Science.gov

Sample records for saguaro cactus carnegiea

  1. Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose saguaro or giant cactus

    Treesearch

    Susan E. Meyer

    2008-01-01

    Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton & Rose - has the northernmost distribution of any of the large, columnar cacti of the tropical and subtropical Americas. Formerly regarded as a member of the genus Cereus, it is now considered the single species of its own genus, Carnegiea. It is a principal indicator species of the Sonoran Desert and is found at...

  2. Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) Mortality and Population Regeneration in the Cactus Forest of Saguaro National Park: Seventy-Five Years and Counting

    PubMed Central

    Orum, Thomas V.; Ferguson, Nancy; Mihail, Jeanne D.

    2016-01-01

    Annual census data spanning seventy-five years document mortality and regeneration in a population of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) in the Cactus Forest of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park near Tucson, AZ. On 6 four-hectare plots, each saguaro was censused and a methodical search for new saguaros was conducted annually each year from 1942 through 2016, with the exception of 1955. Regeneration has been episodic with 828 plants established from 1959 through 1993 compared with 34 plants established between 1942 and 1958 and only three plants established after 1993. The years preceding 1959 and following 1993, include some of the driest decades in centuries in southern Arizona. While woodcutting and cattle grazing are believed to be among the causes of decades of failed regeneration prior to 1958, neither of these factors contributed to the failed regeneration following 1993. The height structure of the population from 1942 to 2016 shifted dramatically from a population dominated by large saguaros (> 5.4 m tall) in the first three decades of the study to a population dominated by small saguaros (< 1.8 m tall) in the most recent two decades. Mortality is shown to be strongly age dependent. In the year following the 2011 catastrophic freeze, 21 of 59 plants older than 80 years died compared with zero deaths in 270 plants between the ages of 29 and 80 years. Saguaros under 40 years old, growing under small shrubs or in the open, have a lower probability of survival than better protected saguaros. Long-term population monitoring is essential to understanding the complex impacts of human and environmental factors on the population dynamics of long-lived species. PMID:27505437

  3. Seasonal photosynthetic gas exchange and water-use efficiency in a constitutive CAM plant, the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea).

    PubMed

    Bronson, Dustin R; English, Nathan B; Dettman, David L; Williams, David G

    2011-11-01

    Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and the capacity to store large quantities of water are thought to confer high water use efficiency (WUE) and survival of succulent plants in warm desert environments. Yet the highly variable precipitation, temperature and humidity conditions in these environments likely have unique impacts on underlying processes regulating photosynthetic gas exchange and WUE, limiting our ability to predict growth and survival responses of desert CAM plants to climate change. We monitored net CO(2) assimilation (A(net)), stomatal conductance (g(s)), and transpiration (E) rates periodically over 2 years in a natural population of the giant columnar cactus Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro) near Tucson, Arizona USA to investigate environmental and physiological controls over carbon gain and water loss in this ecologically important plant. We hypothesized that seasonal changes in daily integrated water use efficiency (WUE(day)) in this constitutive CAM species would be driven largely by stomatal regulation of nighttime transpiration and CO(2) uptake responding to shifts in nighttime air temperature and humidity. The lowest WUE(day) occurred during time periods with extreme high and low air vapor pressure deficit (D(a)). The diurnal with the highest D(a) had low WUE(day) due to minimal net carbon gain across the 24 h period. Low WUE(day) was also observed under conditions of low D(a); however, it was due to significant transpiration losses. Gas exchange measurements on potted saguaro plants exposed to experimental changes in D(a) confirmed the relationship between D(a) and g(s). Our results suggest that climatic changes involving shifts in air temperature and humidity will have large impacts on the water and carbon economy of the giant saguaro and potentially other succulent CAM plants of warm desert environments.

  4. Exceptional reduction of the plastid genome of saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea): Loss of the ndh gene suite and inverted repeat.

    PubMed

    Sanderson, Michael J; Copetti, Dario; Búrquez, Alberto; Bustamante, Enriquena; Charboneau, Joseph L M; Eguiarte, Luis E; Kumar, Sudhir; Lee, Hyun Oh; Lee, Junki; McMahon, Michelle; Steele, Kelly; Wing, Rod; Yang, Tae-Jin; Zwickl, Derrick; Wojciechowski, Martin F

    2015-07-01

    • Land-plant plastid genomes have only rarely undergone significant changes in gene content and order. Thus, discovery of additional examples adds power to tests for causes of such genome-scale structural changes.• Using next-generation sequence data, we assembled the plastid genome of saguaro cactus and probed the nuclear genome for transferred plastid genes and functionally related nuclear genes. We combined these results with available data across Cactaceae and seed plants more broadly to infer the history of gene loss and to assess the strength of phylogenetic association between gene loss and loss of the inverted repeat (IR).• The saguaro plastid genome is the smallest known for an obligately photosynthetic angiosperm (∼113 kb), having lost the IR and plastid ndh genes. This loss supports a statistically strong association across seed plants between the loss of ndh genes and the loss of the IR. Many nonplastid copies of plastid ndh genes were found in the nuclear genome, but none had intact reading frames; nor did three related nuclear-encoded subunits. However, nuclear pgr5, which functions in a partially redundant pathway, was intact.• The existence of an alternative pathway redundant with the function of the plastid NADH dehydrogenase-like complex (NDH) complex may permit loss of the plastid ndh gene suite in photoautotrophs like saguaro. Loss of these genes may be a recurring mechanism for overall plastid genome size reduction, especially in combination with loss of the IR. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  5. The interaction of drought and habitat explain space-time patterns of establishment in saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea).

    PubMed

    Winkler, Daniel E; Conver, Joshua L; Huxman, Travis E; Swann, Don E

    2018-03-01

    The long-lived columnar saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is among the most studied plants in the world. Long-term studies have shown saguaro establishment to be generally episodic and strongly influenced by precipitation and temperature. Water limitation through lower-than-average seasonal rainfall and elevated temperatures increasing evaporative loss can reduce survivorship of recent germinates. Thus, multi-year, extended drought could cause populations to decline as older saguaros die without replacement. Previous studies have related establishment to temporal variation in rainfall, but most studies have been on non-randomized plots in ideal habitat and thus might not have captured the full variability within the local area. We studied how saguaro establishment varied in space and which habitat features may buffer responses to drought on 36 4-ha plots located randomly across an elevation gradient, including substantial replication in landscape position (bajada, foothills, and slopes) in the two disjunct districts of Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona, USA. Recent, severe drought coincided with drastic declines in saguaro establishment across this ~25,000-ha area. Establishment patterns derived from the park-wide data set was strongly correlated with drought, but the Park's two districts and diversity of plots demonstrated substantially different population outcomes. Saguaro establishment was best explained by the interaction of drought and habitat type; establishment in bajada and foothill plots dropped to near-zero under the most severe periods of water limitation but remained higher in slope plots during the same time span. Combined with saguaro density estimates, these data suggest that the most suitable habitat type for saguaro establishment shifted to higher elevations during the time span of the recent drought. These results place into context the extent to which historical patterns of demography provide insight into future population dynamics in

  6. Acoustic emissions correlated with hydration of Saguaro Cactus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wardell, L. J.; Rowe, C. A.

    2012-12-01

    For some years it has been demonstrated that hardwood trees produce acoustic emissions during periods of drought, which arise from cavitation in the xylem as water is withdrawn. These emissions not only provide insights into the fluid transport behavior within these trees, but also the degree to which cavitation can proceed before inevitable tree mortality. Such studies can have significant impact on our understanding of forest die-off in the face of climate change. Plant mortality is not limited to woody trees, however, and it is not only the coniferous and deciduous forests whose response to climate and rainfall changes are important. In the desert Southwest we observe changes to survival rates of numerous species of flora. One of the most conspicuous of these plants is the iconic Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantean). These behemoths of the Sonoran Desert are very sensitive to small perturbations in their environment. Specifically, during the summer monsoon season when the cacti become well-hydrated, they can absorb hundreds of gallons of water within a very short time frame. We have obtained a juvenile saguaro on which we are conducting experiments to monitor acoustic emissions during hydration and dessication cycles. We will report on our observations obtained using piezoelectric ceramic accelerometers whose signals are digitized up to 44 Khz and recorded during hydration.

  7. Acoustic emissions correlated with hydration of Saguaro Cactus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wardell, L. J.; Rowe, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    For some years it has been demonstrated that hardwood trees produce acoustic emissions during periods of drought, which arise from cavitation in the xylem as water is withdrawn. These emissions not only provide insights into the fluid transport behavior within these trees, but also the degree to which cavitation can proceed before inevitable tree mortality. Such studies can have significant impact on our understanding of forest die-off in the face of climate change. Plant mortality is not limited to woody trees, however, and it is not only the coniferous and deciduous forests whose response to climate and rainfall changes are important. In the desert Southwest we observe changes to survival rates of numerous species of flora. One of the most conspicuous of these plants is the iconic Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantean). These behemoths of the Sonoran Desert are very sensitive to small perturbations in their environment. Specifically, during the summer monsoon season when the cacti become well-hydrated, they can absorb hundreds of gallons of water within a very short time frame. We have obtained a juvenile saguaro on which we are conducting experiments to monitor acoustic emissions during hydration and dessication cycles. We will report on our observations obtained using piezoelectric ceramic accelerometers whose signals are digitized up to 44 Khz and recorded during hydration.

  8. Regional demographic trends from long-term studies of saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) across the northern Sonoran Desert

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pierson, Elizabeth A.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Turner, Raymond M.

    2013-01-01

    Ten saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) populations in the northern Sonoran Desert were monitored from 1959 to 2005 to discriminate how climate influences plant growth, abundance, reproductive potential, survivorship, age structure and regeneration trends. Thousands of saguaros were measured to determine site-specific growth rates and survivorship through time. Observed growth rates were used to predict the ages of saguaros and reconstruct local and regional regeneration patterns back to the late 18th century. Both growth rates and degree of branching generally tracked temperature and moisture gradients. Site-specific age-height models explained 89-97% of variance in observed ages, with a slope of nearly one. Regeneration was more consistent at sites in the western (hotter/drier) than eastern (cooler/wetter) sites, which exhibited clear multidecadal variability in regeneration rates. Averaged across the region, saguaro regeneration rates were highest from 1780 to 1860, coincident with wet conditions and high Pinus ponderosa recruitment in the highlands. Milder and wetter winters and protection from livestock grazing likely promoted late 20th century regeneration surges at some sites. Predictions of saguaro population dynamics in the 21st century likely will be confounded by the saguaro's episodic and asynchronous regeneration, continued urbanization, ongoing grass invasions and associated wildfires, and changing climate.

  9. Association between nurse plants and saguaros (Carnegiea gigantea) in the western Sonora

    Treesearch

    C. Hinojo-Hinojo; C. Trujillo-Lopez; O. Calva-Perez; O. Galaz-Garcia; A. E. Castellanos-Villegas

    2013-01-01

    The objectives in this work were to determine nurse species associated with the saguaro, as well as the diversity of plant species in the saguaro patch. We also recorded the presence of termites on saguaro green tissues to evaluate their existence and possible causes for their presence. At each site a point-centered quarter transect was used, where the data on the...

  10. Past climate changes and ecophysiological responses recorded in the isotope ratios of saguaro cactus spines.

    PubMed

    English, Nathan B; Dettman, David L; Sandquist, Darren R; Williams, David G

    2007-11-01

    The stable isotope composition of spines produced serially from the apex of columnar cacti has the potential to be used as a record of changes in climate and physiology. To investigate this potential, we measured the delta(18)O, delta(13)C and F(14)C values of spines from a long-lived columnar cactus, saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). To determine plant age, we collected spines at 11 different heights along one rib from the stem apex (3.77 m height) to the base of a naturally occurring saguaro. Fractions of modern carbon (F(14)C) ranged from 0.9679 to 1.5537, which is consistent with ages between 1950 and 2004. We observed a very strong positive correlation (r = 0.997) between the F(14)C age of spines and the age of spines determined from direct and repeated height measurements taken on this individual over the past 37 years. A series of 96 spines collected from this individual had delta(18)O values ranging from 38 per thousand to 50 per thousand [Vienna standard mean ocean water (VSMOW)] and delta(13)C values from -11.5 per thousand to -8.5 per thousand [Vienna Peedee belemnite (VPDB)]. The delta(18)O and delta(13)C values of spines were positively correlated (r = 0.45, P < 0.0001) and showed near-annual oscillations over the approximately 15-year record. This pattern suggests that seasonal periods of reduced evaporative demand or greater precipitation input may correspond to increased daytime CO(2) uptake. The lowest delta(18)O and delta(13)C values of spines observed occurred during the 1983 and 1993 El Niño years, suggesting that the stable isotope composition recorded in spine tissue may serve as a proxy for these climate events. We compared empirical models and data from potted experimental cacti to validate these observations and test our hypotheses. The isotopic records presented here are the first ever reported from a chronosequence of cactus spines and demonstrate that tissues of columnar cacti, and potentially other long-lived succulents, may contain a

  11. Burned saguaro: Will they live or die?

    Treesearch

    Marcia G. Narog; Bonni M. Corcoran; Ruth C. Wilson

    2013-01-01

    Thousands of acres of giant saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) habitat in the Sonoran Desert have been scorched by fire in recent decades. Resource managers struggle to maintain scenic landscapes featuring majestic saguaro faced with the challenges of fire, non-native species invasion, and recreational needs of millions of annual visitors. Successfully managing this iconic...

  12. Post-fire saguaro community: impacts on associated vegetation still apparent 10 years later

    Treesearch

    Marcia Narog; Ruth Wilson

    2005-01-01

    Fire impacts on saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) associated vegetation were studied in unburned and burned areas over a 10 year post-fire period after the 1993 Vista View fire, Tonto National Forest, Arizona. Many associated species, crucial for saguaro survival, regenerate by vegetative growth after fire. Bushes were the most common nearest-neighbor,...

  13. Transcriptional variation associated with cactus host plant adaptation in Drosophila mettleri populations.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Kim; Matzkin, Luciano M; Bono, Jeremy M

    2015-10-01

    Although the importance of host plant chemistry in plant-insect interactions is widely accepted, the genetic basis of adaptation to host plants is not well understood. Here, we investigate transcriptional changes associated with a host plant shift in Drosophila mettleri. While D. mettleri is distributed mainly throughout the Sonoran Desert where it specializes on columnar cacti (Carnegiea gigantea and Pachycereus pringleii), a population on Santa Catalina Island has shifted to chemically divergent coastal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia littoralis). We compared gene expression of larvae from the Sonoran Desert and Santa Catalina Island when reared on saguaro (C. gigantea), coastal prickly pear and laboratory food. Consistent with expectations based on the complexity and toxicity of cactus relative to laboratory food, within-population comparisons between larvae reared on these food sources revealed transcriptional differences in detoxification and other metabolic pathways. The majority of transcriptional differences between populations on the cactus hosts were independent of the rearing environment and included a disproportionate number of genes involved in processes relevant to host plant adaptation (e.g. detoxification, central metabolism and chemosensory pathways). Comparisons of transcriptional reaction norms between the two populations revealed extensive shared plasticity that likely allowed colonization of coastal prickly pear on Santa Catalina Island. We also found that while plasticity may have facilitated subsequent adaptive divergence in gene expression between populations, the majority of genes that differed in expression on the novel host were not transcriptionally plastic in the presumed ancestral state. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Implications of seed size for seedling survival in Carnegiea gigantea and Ferocactus wislizeni (Cactaceae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.; Pierson, E.A.

    2001-01-01

    Larger seeds have been shown to convey benefits for seedling survival but the mechanisms of this process are not well understood. In this study, seed size and seedling survival were compared for 2 sympatric cactus species, Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose and Ferocactus wislizeni (Engelm.) Britt. & Rose, in laboratory and field experiments in the northern Sonoran Desert. Both species have small seeds, but Ferocactus seeds are nearly twice as long and 3 times as heavy as those of Carnegiea. The difference in size is perpetuated after germination: new Ferocactus seedlings have 4 times the estimated volume of new Carnegiea seedlings. In an outdoor experiment, annual survivorship of both species was low but was 6 times higher for Ferocactus (6 seedlings, 8.1%) than Carnegiea (1 seedling, 1.4%). The pattern of seedling mortality in relation to temperature and rain suggests that, after the initial flush of seed and seedling predation, drought and heat took a greater toll on Carnegiea than Ferocactus seedlings, probably because the larger seedling volume of Ferocactus conferred greater drought tolerance. In addition, F. wislizeni could become established without benefit of nurse plants whereas C. gigantea could not; this might reflect differential tolerance to high soil temperatures.

  15. Mass balance computation in SAGUARO

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, B.L.; Eaton, R.R.

    1986-12-01

    This report describes the development of the mass balance subroutines used with the finite-element code, SAGUARO, which models fluid flow in partially saturated porous media. Derivation of the basic mass storage and mass flux equations is included. The results of the SAGUARO mass-balance subroutine, MASS, are shown to compare favorably with the linked results of FEMTRAN. Implementation of the MASS option in SAGUARO is described. Instructions for use of the MASS option are demonstrated with the three sample cases.

  16. Regeneration of Carnegiea gigantea (Cactaceae) since 1850 in three populations in the northern Sonoran Desert

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drezner, Taly Dawn

    2006-03-01

    Saguaro cacti ( Carnegiea gigantea) are long-lived and exhibit great variability in growth that makes age estimation problematic. A few single-site studies have focused on those locales where long-term data (e.g. 85 years) are available. Using a newly developed technique, 733 saguaros were sampled in three locales (Silverbell, Harcuvar, Kofa) across Arizona and their age structure reconstructed for the last 150 years based on a mathematical model of the heights of individuals. This is the first study to compare regeneration at multiple locations across the species' range. Regression analysis for each site (years and frequency of individuals established during that year) was run and residuals extracted to determine peaks and troughs in regeneration over time. Correlation was run on the residuals between sites, and chi-square analysis was employed to compare frequency of good and bad regeneration years between Kofa and Silverbell. Peaks and troughs represent regeneration as well as survivorship and mortality. Several large cohorts established at Kofa and Harcuvar since 1850, while at Silverbell well over 80% of sampled saguaros established after the late 1930s. This more recent recruitment at Silverbell may be related to the major freezing event of 1937 whose impact was likely greater at the cooler Silverbell site. Despite the widely different population structures at Silverbell and Kofa, recruitment trends in both populations were statistically linked as both locales often benefited from the same favorable periods for regeneration ( P < 0.001). The Harcuvar population shares some common peaks and troughs in regeneration over time with Kofa and Silverbell, but its relationship to them is not statistically significant. Some trends overlap in some locales, such as the favorable regeneration period in the late 1800s and early 1900s, particularly at Silverbell and Kofa as well as at other known sites. However, each population has its own signature. Silverbell is a

  17. Quantifying Impacts of Ground Water Withdrawal on Avian Communities in Desert Riparian Woodlands of the Southwestern U.S.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-03-31

    2 CARGIG = saguaro cactus ( Carnegiea gigantea ); CELRET = (Celtis reticulate); FRAPEN = velvet ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica); OPUNTIA = cholla cacti ...at Rincon Creek (D. Swann, Saguaro National Park, personal communication). We used a GIS to determine which pools of standing water and what...received information and/or logistical support from the following people: D. Swann, N. Kline ( Saguaro National Park), K. Baldwin, D. Carter, J. Fonseca, M

  18. Dreamy Draw Dam - Master Plan and Feature Design, New River and Phoenix City Streams, Arizona.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-09-01

    Carnegiea gigantea Saguaro Cactus Ferocactus wislizenii Fishhook Barrel Cactus The area north of the paved assembly area will be recontoured to...brittlebush, triangle bursage, little leaf palo verde, ocotillo, and various cacti species (pls. 8 and 9). Destructive past land uses have contributed to the...is well established. Plants used include saguaro , ocotillo, and Bermuda grass. The areas used for borrowing of material in construction of the 18 dam

  19. Concentrating Solar Power Projects - Saguaro Power Plant | Concentrating

    Science.gov Websites

    Solar Power | NREL Saguaro Power Plant This page provides information on Saguaro, a concentrating solar power (CSP) project, with data organized by background, participants, and power plant configuration. Status Date: April 14, 2017 Project Overview Project Name: Saguaro Power Plant Country: United

  20. Saguaro power plant solar repowering project

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-03-01

    The subsystem characteristics, design requirements, and system environmental requirements for the Saguaro Power Plant Solar Repowering Project are defined. The plant conceptual design, performance, and economic data to be provided for the solar additions are identified as well as certain design data for the existing plant. All of the 115 MWe net No. 1 steam-Rankine unit of the Saguaro station is to be repowered. The receiver heat transport fluid is draw salt (60% sodium nitrate and 40% potassium nitrate) that is also used to provide 4 hours of sensible heat storage. The receiver is quad-cavity type, and there is amore » field of 10,500 second generation heliostats. (LEW)« less

  1. 36 CFR 7.11 - Saguaro National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Saguaro National Park. 7.11 Section 7.11 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.11 Saguaro National Park. (a) Bicycles. That portion of the...

  2. 36 CFR 7.11 - Saguaro National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Saguaro National Park. 7.11 Section 7.11 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.11 Saguaro National Park. (a) Bicycling. (1) The following...

  3. 36 CFR 7.11 - Saguaro National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Saguaro National Park. 7.11 Section 7.11 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.11 Saguaro National Park. (a) Bicycles. That portion of the...

  4. 36 CFR 7.11 - Saguaro National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Saguaro National Park. 7.11 Section 7.11 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.11 Saguaro National Park. (a) Bicycles. That portion of the...

  5. 36 CFR 7.11 - Saguaro National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Saguaro National Park. 7.11 Section 7.11 Parks, Forests, and Public Property NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.11 Saguaro National Park. (a) Bicycling. (1) The following...

  6. Interim Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Arid West Region

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-12-01

    splendens), mesquite (Prosopis spp.), saguaro cactus ( Carnegiea gigantea ), and cholla and prickly pear cacti (Opuntia spp.). The cold desert lies...Creosote bush (Larrea divaricata) is commonly associated with the hot desert, along with other xeric shrubs, succulents, cacti , and short grasses. In

  7. Cove benchmark calculations using SAGUARO and FEMTRAN

    SciTech Connect

    Eaton, R.R.; Martinez, M.J.

    1986-10-01

    Three small-scale, time-dependent, benchmarking calculations have been made using the finite element codes SAGUARO, to determine hydraulic head and water velocity profiles, and FEMTRAN, to predict the solute transport. Sand and hard rock porous materials were used. Time scales for the problems, which ranged from tens of hours to thousands of years, have posed no particular diffculty for the two codes. Studies have been performed to determine the effects of computational mesh, boundary conditions, velocity formulation and SAGUARO/FEMTRAN code-coupling on water and solute transport. Results showed that mesh refinement improved mass conservation. Varying the drain-tile size in COVE 1N hadmore » a weak effect on the rate at which the tile field drained. Excellent agreement with published COVE 1N data was obtained for the hydrological field and reasonable agreement for the solute-concentration predictions. The question remains whether these types of calculations can be carried out on repository-scale problems using material characteristic curves representing tuff with fractures.« less

  8. Post-fire saguaro community: impacts on associated vegetation still apparent 10 years later [Abstract

    Treesearch

    Marcia Narog; Ruth Wilson

    2005-01-01

    In recent decades thousands of hectares of saguaro habitat burned by wildfire have converted to grasslands. Historically, this was desirable and saguaro-shrub was burned to improve rangeland for livestock. New priorities now support conservation of healthy saguaro communities and restoration of burned or degraded habitat. Understanding regeneration and developing...

  9. Magnetic monitoring in Saguaro National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol; Gamez Valdez, Yesenia C.; Swann, Don

    2017-06-02

    On a sandy, arid plain, near the Rincon Moun­tain Visitor Center of Saguaro National Park, tucked in among brittlebush, creosote, and other hardy desert plants, is an unusual type of observatory—a small unmanned station that is used for monitor­ing the Earth’s variable magnetic field. Named for the nearby city of Tucson, Arizona, the observatory is 1 of 14 that the Geomagnetism Program of the U.S. Geological Survey operates at various locations across the United States and Ter­ritories.Data from USGS magnetic observatories, including the Tucson observatory, as well as observatories operated by institutions in other countries, record a variety of signals related to a wide diversity of physical phenomena in the Earth’s interior and its surrounding outer-space environment. The data are used for geomagnetic mapping and surveying, for fundamental scientific research, and for assessment of magnetic storms, which can be hazardous for the activities and infra­structure of our modern, technologically based society. The U.S. Geological Survey observatory service is an integral part of a U.S. national project for monitoring and assessing space weather hazards.

  10. SAGUARO: a finite-element computer program for partially saturated porous flow problems

    SciTech Connect

    Eaton, R.R.; Gartling, D.K.; Larson, D.E.

    1983-06-01

    SAGUARO is a finite element computer program designed to calculate two-dimensional flow of mass and energy through porous media. The media may be saturated or partially saturated. SAGUARO solves the parabolic time-dependent mass transport equation which accounts for the presence of partially saturated zones through the use of highly non-linear material characteristic curves. The energy equation accounts for the possibility of partially saturated regions by adjusting the thermal capacitances and thermal conductivities according to the volume fraction of water present in the local pores. Program capabilities, user instructions and a sample problem are presented in this manual.

  11. An anti-inflammatory principle from cactus.

    PubMed

    Park, E H; Kahng, J H; Lee, S H; Shin, K H

    2001-03-01

    In previous studies, the ethanol extract of cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) showed potent anti-inflammatory action. In the present study, following fractionation of the methanol extract of cactus stems guided by adjuvant-induced chronic inflammation model in mice, an active anti-inflammatory principle has been isolated and identified as beta-sitosterol.

  12. Demographic monitoring of Wright fishhook cactus

    Treesearch

    Ronald J. Kass

    2001-01-01

    Wright fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus wrightiae Benson) is a small barrel cactus endemic to the San Rafael Swell in south-central Utah. It was listed as an endangered species in 1979 due to its small population size, threats of over-collecting, and development associated with oil and gas. Demographic monitoring was initiated in 1993 with the following objectives: to...

  13. Morphology, nurse plants, and minimum apical temperatures for young Carnegiea gigantea

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.

    1980-06-01

    The northern limit of Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton and Rose apparently depends on minimum apical temperatures. Diameters, apical spine coverage, and effects of nurse plants on incoming long-wave (infrared (ir)) radiation, all of which affect apical temperatures, were therefore determined for stems of C. gigantea up to 4 m tall at four sites along a north-south transect in Arizona. A simulation model indicated that the increase in diameter accompanying stem growth raised the minimum apical temperature more than 3 C. Thus, plants with the shortest stems would be expected to be the most vulnerable to freezing damage; indeed, freezing damagemore » on stems <0.5 m tall without nurse plants was fairly common at the colder sites. Nurse plants obstructed a greater portion of the sky for C. gigantea at the colder sites; e.g., the effective environmental temperature for ir radiation at such locations was raised more than 10 C for stems under 1 m tall. If the northern limit of C. gigantea reflects wintertime survival of juveniles, nurse plants could extend the range by offering some protection against freezing.« less

  14. High-resolution climate monitoring on a mountain island: the Saguaro National Park pilot study

    Treesearch

    Michael A. Crimmins

    2005-01-01

    A pilot project to identify climate monitoring needs within Saguaro National Park began in fall 2003. Nine weather stations were deployed across the complex topography of the park to provide insight into the spatial and temporal patterns of climate within the park management unit. This project will provide a valuable baseline for park management and may highlight...

  15. Analysis of the seasonal activity rate of sympatric carnivores and their prey in Saguaro National Park

    Treesearch

    Mary Beth Benton; Siria A. Cerda-Navarro; Katie R. Keck; Brittany N. McKnight

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the monthly activity rates of bobcats (Lynx rufus), gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and four of their potential prey species, antelope jackrabbits (Lepus alleni), black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus), desert cottontails (Sylvilagus audubonii) and eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus), in Saguaro National Park using remote camera...

  16. CACTUS SPRING ROADLESS AREA, CALIFORNIA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Matti, Jonathan C.; Kuizon, Lucia

    1984-01-01

    Geologic, geochemical, and geophysical studies together with a review of historic mining and prospecting activities indicate that the Cactus Spring Roadless Area in California has little promise for the occurrence of mineral or energy resources. Marble bodies occur in the northern part of the roadless area and are possible resources for building stone, crushed and quarried aggregate, and lime and magnesium for Portland cement and industrial applications. It is recommended that the terrane of marble be mapped and sampled carefully in order to evaluate the quantity and quality of the carbonate resources.

  17. Cactus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2007-01-01

    The transfer of data from one part of a computer to another has always been a complex task in which speed is traded against accuracy and the time required for error correction. Much more complex therefore is the transfer of information from one machine to another of a different type. Difficulties arise when machines are updated, when file formats…

  18. Water relations of cacti during desiccation: distribution of water in tissues. [Carnegiea gigantea; Ferocactus acanthodes; Opuntia basilaris

    SciTech Connect

    Barcikowski, W.; Nobel, P.S.

    1984-03-01

    Three species of cacti survived an average stem water loss of 81%. Fractional water loss was greater from water-storage tissue than from the chlorenchyma, as documented at the cellular level by determining changes in cell volume and at the tissue level by determining relative water content of chlorenchyma and storage tissues. For Carnegiea gigantea and Ferocactus acanthodes, this differential loss of water resulted from a decrease in the moles of solute per cell for storage tissue; hence, less water was retained at a given osmotic pressure than for the chlorenchyma. Opuntia basilaris lost less water from the chlorenchyma during droughtmore » because of a greater initial osmotic pressure in the chlorenchyma than in the storage tissue. Greater retention of water in the chlorenchyma would result in less disruption of photosynthetic activity in these cacti during drought.« less

  19. Concomitant changes in high temperature tolerance and heat-shock proteins in desert succulents. [Agave deserti, Carnegiea gigantea, Ferocactus acanthodes

    SciTech Connect

    Kee, S.C.; Nobel, P.S.

    1986-02-01

    Raising the day/night air temperatures from 30/sup 0/C/20/sup 0/C to 50/sup 0/C/40/sup 0/C increases the high temperature tolerated by Agave deserti, Carnegiea gigantea, and Ferocactus acanthodes by 6/sup 0/C to 8/sup 0/C; the increase is about half completed in 3 days and fully completed in 10 days. A 25 to 27 kilodalton protein concomitantly accumulates for all three desert succulents upon transfer to 50/sup 0/C/40/sup 0/C, while accumulation of other heat heat-shock proteins is species specific. Some of the induced proteins are more abundant at 3 days, while others (including the 25-27 kilodalton protein) remain after completion of high temperaturemore » acclimation.« less

  20. Saguaro Power Plant Solar Repowering Project. Volume II. System requirements specification. Final technical report, September 1979-July 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.R.

    1980-07-01

    This specification defines the system and subsystem characteristics, design requirements, and system environmental requirements for the Saguaro Power Plant Solar Repowering Project. This project involves the solar repowering of all (120.2 MWe gross) of the 115 MWe net power No. One steam-Rankine unit of the Arizona Public Service Company's Saguaro station. The receiver heat transport fluid is draw salt (60% sodium nitrate and 40% potassium nitrate) that is also used to provide 3.8 hours of sensible heat thermal energy storage. The quad-cavity type receiver is mounted on a tower within a single surrounding collector field of 10,500 second generation heliostats.

  1. 75 FR 81087 - South American Cactus Moth Quarantine; Addition of the State of Louisiana

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-27

    .... After an incubation period following mating, the female South American cactus moth deposits an egg stick... plant. Within a short period of time, the South American cactus moth can destroy whole stands of cactus...

  2. An investigation of the impact of inorganic air pollutants on soils in Saguaro National Monument, Tucson, Arizona

    SciTech Connect

    Gladney, E.S.; Ferenbaugh, R.W.; Stolte, K.W.

    1993-08-01

    Environmental data related to the evaluation of inorganic air pollution input to the Saguaro National Monument ecosystem were collected over four years. The data specific to soils are presented in this document. The enrichment factor approach is employed to provide a framework for simplified interpretation of this large collection of data.

  3. The paradoxical distribution of a shallow-rooted keystone species away from surface water, near the water-limited edge of its range in the Sonoran Desert: Seed-seedling conflicts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drezner, Taly Dawn

    2013-02-01

    Species distributions reflect limiting factors, particularly near the margins of their range where density and abundance decrease as environmental factors decrease or increase to non-optimal conditions. I test whether the keystone saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), a shallow-rooted species, is indeed distributed disproportionately in areas of concentrated drainage (runnels) in a water-limited population. Carnegiea and a common nurse were sampled at a marginal site in and out of areas with concentrated surface water and chi-square analysis was used to determine the pattern of distribution. In this study I found that, surprisingly, near the hot, water-limited edge of their range, C. gigantea are found significantly less often in areas where more water would be available to them. For example, while only 20% of nurses were on interfluves, half of Carnegiea protégé were there. One possible explanation is that the subsequent redistribution of seeds by water away from preferred microsites may be important in shaping the final pattern of successful establishment. The shallow-rooted Carnegiea relies entirely on surface water for its moisture; it is thus paradoxical that the surface water so fundamentally essential to its survival throughout its life appears to hinder its establishment in precisely those sites where the greatest surface water would be available, particularly near the water-limited edge of its range.

  4. Preliminary design of a solar central receiver for a site-specific repowering application (Saguaro Power Plant). Volume III. Specifications. Final report, October 1982-September 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.R.

    1983-09-01

    This volume on specifications for the Saguaro Power Plant includes the following: subsystem interface definition document; solar collector subsystem specification; receiver specification; thermal energy storage specification; solar steam generator specification; and master control system specification.

  5. Biology and population dynamics of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, was a successful biological control agent against prickly pear cacti in Australia in the 1920’s. Since then, it was introduced to other countries including the Carribean islands. In 1989, the cactus moth was reported in Florida and has continued to spread nort...

  6. Carpet: Adaptive Mesh Refinement for the Cactus Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnetter, Erik; Hawley, Scott; Hawke, Ian

    2016-11-01

    Carpet is an adaptive mesh refinement and multi-patch driver for the Cactus Framework (ascl:1102.013). Cactus is a software framework for solving time-dependent partial differential equations on block-structured grids, and Carpet acts as driver layer providing adaptive mesh refinement, multi-patch capability, as well as parallelization and efficient I/O.

  7. Saguaro: a distributed operating system based on pools of servers. Annual report, 1 January 1984-31 December 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Andrews, G.R.

    1986-03-03

    Prototypes of components of the Saguaro distributed operating system were implemented and the design of the entire system refined based on the experience. The philosophy behind Saguaro is to support the illusion of a single virtual machine while taking advantage of the concurrency and robustness that are possible in a network architecture. Within the system, these advantages are realized by the use of pools of server processes and decentralized allocation protocols. Potential concurrency and robustness are also made available to the user through low-cost mechanisms to control placement of executing commands and files, and to support semi-transparent file replication andmore » access. Another unique aspect of Saguaro is its extensive use of type system to describe user data such as files and to specify the types of arguments to commands and procedures. This enables the system to assist in type checking and leads to a user interface in which command-specific templates are available to facilitate command invocation. A mechanism, channels, is also provided to enable users to construct applications containing general graphs of communication processes.« less

  8. Effects of a natural fire on a Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus fendleri var. kuenzleri) and nylon hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus viridiflorus) population in Southeastern New Mexico

    Treesearch

    Robert C. Sivinski

    2007-01-01

    During the summer of 1992, a natural wildfire burned 250 acres of juniper savanna on Rawhide Ridge in the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. This fire burned through the center of a Kuenzler's hedgehog cactus population. This threatened cactus is locally sympatric with the more abundant nylon hedgehog cactus, which has similar growth form and stature...

  9. DISPERSAL OF SEEDS AS NEST MATERIAL BY THE CACTUS WREN

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) nests from the southern Chihuahuan Desert contained viable seeds of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. The most common plants used as construction material in these nests were Muhlenbergia porteri, Boerhavia spicata, and the alien grass Era...

  10. Annealing a magnetic cactus into phyllotaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nisoli, Cristiano; Gabor, Nathaniel M.; Lammert, Paul E.; Maynard, J. D.; Crespi, Vincent H.

    2010-04-01

    The appearance of mathematical regularities in the disposition of leaves on a stem, scales on a pine-cone, and spines on a cactus has puzzled scholars for millennia; similar so-called phyllotactic patterns are seen in self-organized growth, polypeptides, convection, magnetic flux lattices and ion beams. Levitov showed that a cylindrical lattice of repulsive particles can reproduce phyllotaxis under the (unproved) assumption that minimum of energy would be achieved by two-dimensional Bravais lattices. Here we provide experimental and numerical evidence that the Phyllotactic lattice is actually a ground state. When mechanically annealed, our experimental “magnetic cactus” precisely reproduces botanical phyllotaxis, along with domain boundaries (called transitions in Botany) between different phyllotactic patterns. We employ a structural genetic algorithm to explore the more general axially unconstrained case, which reveals multijugate (multiple spirals) as well as monojugate (single-spiral) phyllotaxis.

  11. Biomimetic "Cactus Spine" with Hierarchical Groove Structure for Efficient Fog Collection.

    PubMed

    Bai, Fan; Wu, Juntao; Gong, Guangming; Guo, Lin

    2015-07-01

    A biomimetic "cactus spine" with hierarchical groove structure is designed and fabricated using simple electrospinning. This novel artificial cactus spine possesses excellent fog collection and water transportation ability. A model cactus equipped with artificial spines also shows a great water storage capacity. The results can be helpful in the development of water collectors and may make a contribution to the world water crisis.

  12. Reproduction, longevity and survival of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae).

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Screened potted cactus plants (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) containing pairs of adult male and female cactus moths, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), were placed in a cactus field in St. Marks, Florida to measure oviposition patterns under field-realistic conditions. Results...

  13. Dispersal of desert-adapted Drosophila: the saguaro-breeding D. nigrospiracula

    SciTech Connect

    Johnston, J.S.; Heed, W.B.

    1976-01-01

    Dispersal of Drosophila nigrospiracula on naturally occurring necrotic saguaro cacti occurs at rates up to three times higher than those observed for any other Drosophila. In eight separate experiments, a total of 3,034 marked flies were captured at 22 cacti. Overall immigration rates averaged 6.83 percent over 371 m. Immigration from a single cohort averaged 3.67 percent overall distances. Effective-population sizes at a single cacti are estimated from 361 to 3,999, while the overall population of D. nigrospiracula is estimated at 100 billion flies. The genetics of large, mobile populations has been considered, using island, stepping-stone, and isolation-by-distance models. Allmore » three models suggest that D. nigrospiracula is so mobile that drift plays a minor role. The population acts as if it were panmictic. This view is supported further by behavioral considerations. Immigrants are an effective part of mating populations. Barriers to dispersal are nonexistent. Adverse habitat conditions increase dispersal rates. Three explanations are proposed for the high dispersal rates of D. nigrospiracula. First, immature adults may be more mobile than mature flies. Second, dispersal may be increased by food stress. If so, baited studies, which considerably enrich the environment, underestimate dispersal rates in adverse environments. Third, dispersal rates are an evolutionary response to habitat predictability. Those species (such as D. nigrospiracula at cacti) which occupy short-lived and widely-spaced habitats are more mobile than species (such as D. melanogaster at a garbage dump) which occupy a small, rich, constantly renewed habitat.« less

  14. Historical and current fire management practices in two wilderness areas in the southwestern United States: The Saguaro Wilderness Area and the Gila-Aldo Leopold Wilderness Complex

    Treesearch

    Molly E. Hunter; Jose M. Iniguez; Calvin A. Farris

    2014-01-01

    Fire suppression has been the dominant fire management strategy in the West over the last century. However, managers of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness Complex in New Mexico and the Saguaro Wilderness Area in Arizona have allowed fire to play a more natural role for decades. This report summarizes the effects of these fire management practices on key resources,...

  15. Corrective action investigation plan: Cactus Spring Waste Trenches. Revision 2

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    This Correction Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) contains environmental sample collection objectives and logic for the CAU No. 426, which includes the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, CAS No. RG-08-001-RG-CS. The Cactus Spring Waste Trenches are located at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) which is part of the Nellis Air Force Range, approximately 255 kilometers (km) (140 miles [mi]) northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, by air. The purpose of this investigation is to generate sufficient data to establish the types of waste buried in the trenches, identify the presence and nature of contamination, determine the vertical extent of contaminant migration below themore » Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, and determine the appropriate course of action for the site. The potential courses of action for the site are clean closure, closure in place (with or without remediation), or no further action.« less

  16. Molecular evolution and population genetics of two Drosophila mettleri cytochrome P450 genes involved in host plant utilization

    PubMed Central

    Bono, Jeremy M.; Matzkin, Luciano M.; Castrezana, Sergio; Markow, Therese A.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the genetic basis of adaptation is one of the primary goals of evolutionary biology. The evolution of xenobiotic resistance in insects has proven to be an especially suitable arena for studying the genetics of adaptation, and resistant phenotypes are known to result from both coding and regulatory changes. In this study, we examine the evolutionary history and population genetics of two Drosophila mettleri cytochrome P450 genes that are putatively involved in the detoxification of alkaloids present in two of its cactus hosts: saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and senita (Lophocereus schottii). Previous studies demonstrated that Cyp28A1 was highly upregulated following exposure to rotting senita tissue while Cyp4D10 was highly upregulated following exposure to rotting saguaro tissue. Here, we show that a subset of sites in Cyp28A1 experienced adaptive evolution specifically in the D. mettleri lineage. Moreover, neutrality tests in several populations were also consistent with a history of selection on Cyp28A1. In contrast, we did not find evidence for positive selection on Cyp4D10, though this certainly does not preclude its involvement in host plant use. A surprising result that emerged from our population genetic analyses was the presence of significant genetic differentiation between flies collected from different host plant species (saguaro and senita) at Organ Pipe National Monument, Arizona, USA. This preliminary evidence suggests that D. mettleri may have evolved into distinctive host races that specialize on different hosts, a possibility that warrants further investigation. PMID:18510584

  17. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.; Schmidt, Cecilia A.

    2007-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of plants and vertebrates at the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) of Saguaro National Park, Arizona. From 2001 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at the district to document the presence of species within its boundaries. Park staff also carried out extensive infrared-triggered camera work for medium and large mammals from 2002-2005 and results from that effort are reported here. Our spatial sampling design for all taxa employed a combination of random and nonrandom survey sites. Survey effort was greatest for medium and large mammals and herpetofauna. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the district. We also provide an overview of previous survey efforts in the district. We use data from our inventory and other surveys to compile species lists and to assess inventory completeness. The survey effort for herpetofauna, birds, and medium and large mammals was the most comprehensive ever undertaken in the district. We recorded a total of 320 plant and vertebrate species, including 21 species not previously found in the district (Table 1). Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the district, there have been a total of 723 species of plants and vertebrates found there. We believe inventories for most taxonomic groups are nearly complete. Based on our surveys, we believe the native plant and vertebrate community compositions of the district are relatively intact, though some species loss has occurred and threats are increasing, particularly to herpetofauna and larger mammals. Of particular note is the relatively small number of non-native species and their low abundance in the district, which is in contrast to many nearby natural areas. Rapidly expanding development on the west, north, and east sides of

  18. CACTUS: Command and Control Training Using Knowledge-Based Simulations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Roger; Ravenscroft, Andrew; Williams, R. J.

    2008-01-01

    The CACTUS project was concerned with command and control training of large incidents where public order may be at risk, such as large demonstrations and marches. The training requirements and objectives of the project are first summarized justifying the use of knowledge-based computer methods to support and extend conventional training…

  19. Extensive gene tree discordance and hemiplasy shaped the genomes of North American columnar cacti.

    PubMed

    Copetti, Dario; Búrquez, Alberto; Bustamante, Enriquena; Charboneau, Joseph L M; Childs, Kevin L; Eguiarte, Luis E; Lee, Seunghee; Liu, Tiffany L; McMahon, Michelle M; Whiteman, Noah K; Wing, Rod A; Wojciechowski, Martin F; Sanderson, Michael J

    2017-11-07

    Few clades of plants have proven as difficult to classify as cacti. One explanation may be an unusually high level of convergent and parallel evolution (homoplasy). To evaluate support for this phylogenetic hypothesis at the molecular level, we sequenced the genomes of four cacti in the especially problematic tribe Pachycereeae, which contains most of the large columnar cacti of Mexico and adjacent areas, including the iconic saguaro cactus ( Carnegiea gigantea ) of the Sonoran Desert. We assembled a high-coverage draft genome for saguaro and lower coverage genomes for three other genera of tribe Pachycereeae ( Pachycereus , Lophocereus , and Stenocereus ) and a more distant outgroup cactus, Pereskia We used these to construct 4,436 orthologous gene alignments. Species tree inference consistently returned the same phylogeny, but gene tree discordance was high: 37% of gene trees having at least 90% bootstrap support conflicted with the species tree. Evidently, discordance is a product of long generation times and moderately large effective population sizes, leading to extensive incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). In the best supported gene trees, 58% of apparent homoplasy at amino sites in the species tree is due to gene tree-species tree discordance rather than parallel substitutions in the gene trees themselves, a phenomenon termed "hemiplasy." The high rate of genomic hemiplasy may contribute to apparent parallelisms in phenotypic traits, which could confound understanding of species relationships and character evolution in cacti. Published under the PNAS license.

  20. Extensive gene tree discordance and hemiplasy shaped the genomes of North American columnar cacti

    PubMed Central

    Búrquez, Alberto; Bustamante, Enriquena; Charboneau, Joseph L. M.; Childs, Kevin L.; Eguiarte, Luis E.; Lee, Seunghee; Liu, Tiffany L.; McMahon, Michelle M.; Whiteman, Noah K.; Wing, Rod A.; Wojciechowski, Martin F.; Sanderson, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    Few clades of plants have proven as difficult to classify as cacti. One explanation may be an unusually high level of convergent and parallel evolution (homoplasy). To evaluate support for this phylogenetic hypothesis at the molecular level, we sequenced the genomes of four cacti in the especially problematic tribe Pachycereeae, which contains most of the large columnar cacti of Mexico and adjacent areas, including the iconic saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) of the Sonoran Desert. We assembled a high-coverage draft genome for saguaro and lower coverage genomes for three other genera of tribe Pachycereeae (Pachycereus, Lophocereus, and Stenocereus) and a more distant outgroup cactus, Pereskia. We used these to construct 4,436 orthologous gene alignments. Species tree inference consistently returned the same phylogeny, but gene tree discordance was high: 37% of gene trees having at least 90% bootstrap support conflicted with the species tree. Evidently, discordance is a product of long generation times and moderately large effective population sizes, leading to extensive incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). In the best supported gene trees, 58% of apparent homoplasy at amino sites in the species tree is due to gene tree-species tree discordance rather than parallel substitutions in the gene trees themselves, a phenomenon termed “hemiplasy.” The high rate of genomic hemiplasy may contribute to apparent parallelisms in phenotypic traits, which could confound understanding of species relationships and character evolution in cacti. PMID:29078296

  1. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William Lee; Schmidt, Cecilia A.

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary This report summarizes the results of the first comprehensive inventory of plants and vertebrates at the Rincon Mountain District (RMD) of Saguaro National Park, Arizona. From 2001 to 2003 we surveyed for vascular plants and vertebrates (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) at the district to document the presence of species within its boundaries. Park staff also surveyed for medium and large mammals using infrared-triggered cameras from 1999 to 2005. This report summarizes the methods and results of these two efforts. Our spatial sampling design was ambitious and was one of the first of its kind in the region to colocate study sites for vegetation and vertebrates using a stratified random design. We also chose the location of some study sites non-randomly in areas that we thought would have the highest species richness. Because we used repeatable study designs and standardized field methods, these inventories can serve as the first step in a biological monitoring program for the district. We also provide an important overview of most previous survey efforts in the district. We use data from our inventory and other surveys to compile species lists and to assess inventory completeness. With the exception of plants, our survey effort was the most comprehensive ever undertaken in the district. We recorded a total of 801 plant and vertebrate species, including 50 species not previously found in the district (Table 1) of which five (all plants) are non-native species. Based on a review of our inventory and past research at the district, there have been a total of 1,479 species of plants and vertebrates found there. We believe inventories for all taxonomic groups are nearly complete. In particular, the plant, amphibian and reptile, and mammal species lists are the most complete of any comparably large natural area of the 'sky island' region of southern Arizona and adjacent Mexico. For each taxon-specific chapter we discuss patterns of species

  2. Preliminary design of a solar central receiver for a site-specific repowering application (Saguaro Power Plant). Volume IV. Appendixes. Final report, October 1982-September 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.R.

    1983-09-01

    The appendixes for the Saguaro Power Plant includes the following: receiver configuration selection report; cooperating modes and transitions; failure modes analysis; control system analysis; computer codes and simulation models; procurement package scope descriptions; responsibility matrix; solar system flow diagram component purpose list; thermal storage component and system test plans; solar steam generator tube-to-tubesheet weld analysis; pipeline listing; management control schedule; and system list and definitions.

  3. Nopal Cactus (Opuntia Ficus-Indica) as a Holographic Material

    PubMed Central

    Olivares-Pérez, Arturo; Toxqui-López, Santa; Padilla-Velasco, Ana L.

    2012-01-01

    The nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) releases a substance through its mucilage, which comes from the degradation of pectic substances and chlorophyll. Combined in a polyvinyl alcohol matrix, this substance can be used as a recording medium. The resulting extract material has excellent photosensitizer properties, is easy to handle, has a low cost, and low toxicity. This material has the property of self-developing, and it can be used in holographic applications. The polyvinyl alcohol and extract from the nopal cactus was deposited by a gravity technique on a glass substrate, which dried to form a photosensitive emulsion. We show experimental results on a holographic grating using this material, written by a He-Cd laser (442 nm). We obtained diffraction gratings by transmission with a diffraction efficiency of approximately 32.3% to first order.

  4. Corrective action investigation plan: Cactus Spring Waste Trenches. Revision 2

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    This Correction Action Investigation Plan (CAIP) contains environmental sample collection objectives and logic for the Corrective Action Unit No. 426, which includes the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, located at the Tonopah Test Range. The purpose of this investigation is to generate sufficient data to establish the types of waste buried in the trenches, identify the presence and nature of contamination, determine the vertical extent of contaminant migration below the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, and determine the appropriate course of action for the site. The potential courses of action for the site are clean closure, closure in place (with or withoutmore » remediation), or no further action. The scope of this investigation will include drilling and collecting subsurface samples from within and below the trenches. Sampling locations will be biased toward the areas most likely to be contaminated. The Cactus Spring Waste Trenches Site is identified as one of three potential locations for buried, radioactively contaminated materials from the Double Tracks Test. This test was the first of four storage-transportation tests conducted in 1963 as part of Operation Roller Coaster. The experiment involved the use of live animals to assess the inhalation intake of a plutonium aerosol.« less

  5. A tale of two cacti-the complex relationship between peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and endangered star cactus (Astrophytum asterias)

    Treesearch

    M. Terry; D. Price; J. Poole

    2007-01-01

    Astrophytum asterias, commonly called star cactus, is a federally listed endangered cactus endemic to the Tamaulipan thornscrub ecoregion of extreme southern Texas, USA, and Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Only three metapopulations totaling less than 4000 plants are presently known in Texas. Star cactus, known locally as “star peyote”, is highly...

  6. RAPD analysis of the last population of a likely Florida Keys endemic cactus

    Treesearch

    D.R. Gordon; Thomas L. Kubisiak

    1998-01-01

    The semaphore cactus in the Florida Keys has until recently been considered a disjunct location of the Jamaican Opuntia spinosissima. Loss of all but one population in the Keys coupled with recent suggestions that the species should be taxonomically separated from the Jamaican cactus and is, therefore, a Florida Keys endemic, makes this population of conservation...

  7. Endophytic bacteria in cacti seeds can improve the development of cactus seedlings.

    Treesearch

    M. Esther Puente; Ching Y. Li; Yoav Bashan

    2009-01-01

    A plant-bacterium association between the giant cardon cactus Pachycereus pringlei and endophytic bacteria help seedlings establish and grow on barren rock, This cactus, together with other desert plants, is responsible for weathering ancient lava flows in the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico.When cardon seeds are inoculated with endophytic...

  8. Cruise survey of oxidant air pollution injury to Pinus ponderosa and Pinus jeffreyi in Saguaro National Monument, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Duriscoe, D.M.

    1990-08-01

    The yellow pine populations in Saguaro National Monument, Yosemite National Park, and Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were surveyed in 1986 to evaluate and quantify the extent and severity of ozone injury (chlorotic mottle) to foliage of ponderosa and Jeffrey pines. A total of 3780 trees were observed. Severity of ozone injury was quantified, using an approximate square root transformation of the percentage of foliage exhibiting chlorotic mottle in branches pruned from each tree. Foliage of different ages was examined separately. Of all trees examined at Saguaro National Monument, 15% had visible chlorotic mottle; at Yosemite, 28%; and atmore » Sequoia and Kings Canyon, 39%. Severity of injury averaged very slight for all three parks, with least injury at Saguaro and greatest at Sequoia and Kings Canyon.« less

  9. Assessment of geochemical and hydrologic conditions near Old Yuma Mine in Saguaro National Park, Arizona, 2014–17

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Gray, Floyd

    2018-03-13

    The Old Yuma Mine is an abandoned copper, lead, zinc, silver, and gold mine located within the boundaries of Saguaro National Park, Tucson Mountain District, Arizona. This study analyzed the geochemistry of sediments associated with the Old Yuma Mine and assessed hydrologic and geochemical conditions of groundwater to evaluate the area surrounding the Old Yuma Mine. The purpose of the study was to establish the geochemical signature of material associated with the Old Yuma Mine and to compare it with background material and groundwater in the area. Few groundwater samples exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drinking water standards. Concentrations of several elements were elevated in the waste rock and mine tailings compared with concentrations in sediments collected in background areas. A subset of 15 sediment samples was leached to simulate precipitation interacting with the solid material. Analysis of leachate samples compared to groundwater samples suggests that groundwater samples collected in this study are distinct from leachate samples associated with mining related material. Results suggest that at this time groundwater samples collected during this investigation are not influenced by elements leached from Old Yuma Mine materials.

  10. Introduced and invasive cactus species: a global review

    PubMed Central

    Novoa, Ana; Le Roux, Johannes J.; Robertson, Mark P.; Wilson, John R.U.; Richardson, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Understanding which species are introduced and become invasive, and why, are central questions in invasion science. Comparative studies on model taxa have provided important insights, but much more needs to be done to unravel the context dependencies of these findings. The cactus family (Cactaceae), one of the most popular horticultural plant groups, is an interesting case study. Hundreds of cactus species have been introduced outside their native ranges; a few of them are among the most damaging invasive plant species in the world. We reviewed the drivers of introductions and invasions in the family and seek insights that can be used to minimize future risks. We compiled a list of species in the family and determined which have been recorded as invasive. We also mapped current global distributions and modelled the potential global distributions based on distribution data of known invasive taxa. Finally, we identified whether invasiveness is phylogenetically clustered for cacti and whether particular traits are correlated with invasiveness. Only 57 of the 1922 cactus species recognized in this treatment have been recorded as invasive. There are three invasion hotspots: South Africa (35 invasive species recorded), Australia (26 species) and Spain (24 species). However, there are large areas of the world with climates suitable for cacti that are at risk of future invasion—in particular, parts of China, eastern Asia and central Africa. The invasive taxa represent an interesting subset of the total species pool. There is a significant phylogenetic signal: invasive species occur in 2 of the 3 major phylogenetic clades and in 13 of the 130 genera. This phylogenetic signal is not driven by human preference, i.e. horticultural trade, but all invasive species are from 5 of the 12 cactus growth forms. Finally, invasive species tend to have significantly larger native ranges than non-invasive species, and none of the invasive species are of conservation concern in their

  11. Introduced and invasive cactus species: a global review.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; Le Roux, Johannes J; Robertson, Mark P; Wilson, John R U; Richardson, David M

    2014-12-03

    Understanding which species are introduced and become invasive, and why, are central questions in invasion science. Comparative studies on model taxa have provided important insights, but much more needs to be done to unravel the context dependencies of these findings. The cactus family (Cactaceae), one of the most popular horticultural plant groups, is an interesting case study. Hundreds of cactus species have been introduced outside their native ranges; a few of them are among the most damaging invasive plant species in the world. We reviewed the drivers of introductions and invasions in the family and seek insights that can be used to minimize future risks. We compiled a list of species in the family and determined which have been recorded as invasive. We also mapped current global distributions and modelled the potential global distributions based on distribution data of known invasive taxa. Finally, we identified whether invasiveness is phylogenetically clustered for cacti and whether particular traits are correlated with invasiveness. Only 57 of the 1922 cactus species recognized in this treatment have been recorded as invasive. There are three invasion hotspots: South Africa (35 invasive species recorded), Australia (26 species) and Spain (24 species). However, there are large areas of the world with climates suitable for cacti that are at risk of future invasion-in particular, parts of China, eastern Asia and central Africa. The invasive taxa represent an interesting subset of the total species pool. There is a significant phylogenetic signal: invasive species occur in 2 of the 3 major phylogenetic clades and in 13 of the 130 genera. This phylogenetic signal is not driven by human preference, i.e. horticultural trade, but all invasive species are from 5 of the 12 cactus growth forms. Finally, invasive species tend to have significantly larger native ranges than non-invasive species, and none of the invasive species are of conservation concern in their

  12. Betalain, Acid Ascorbic, Phenolic Contents and Antioxidant Properties of Purple, Red, Yellow and White Cactus Pears

    PubMed Central

    Sumaya-Martínez, María Teresa; Cruz-Jaime, Sandra; Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo; García-Paredes, Juan Diego; Cariño-Cortés, Raquel; Cruz-Cansino, Nelly; Valadez-Vega, Carmen; Martinez-Cardenas, Leonardo; Alanís-García, Ernesto

    2011-01-01

    Commercialization of cactus pears based on their antioxidant properties can generate competitive advantages, and these can turn into business opportunities and the development of new products and a high-value ingredient for the food industry. This work evaluated the antioxidant activities (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging, protection against oxidation of a β-carotene-linoleic acid emulsion, and iron (II) chelation), the content of total phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid, betacyanin, betaxanthin and the stability of betacyanin pigments in presence of Cu (II)-dependent hydroxyl radicals (OH•), in 18 cultivars of purple, red, yellow and white cactus pear from six Mexican states. Our results indicated that the antiradical activities from yellow and white cactus pear cultivars were not significantly different (p < 0.05) and were lower than the average antiradical activities in red and purple cultivars. The red cactus pear from the state of Zacatecas showed the highest antioxidant activity. The free radical scavenging activity for red cactus pears was significantly correlated (p < 0.05) to the concentration of total phenolic compounds (R2 = 0.90) and ascorbic acid (R2 = 0.86). All 18 cultivars of cactus pears studied showed significant chelating activity of ferrous ions. The red and purple cactus pears showed a great stability when exposed to OH•. PMID:22072899

  13. Post-Wildfire Sedimentation in Saguaro National Park, Rincon Mountain District, and Effects on Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parker, John T.C.

    2006-01-01

    The Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park occupies about 272 square kilometers of mountains, canyons, and alluvial fans in southeastern Arizona just east of Tucson. The park contains some of the last remaining habitat in the Tucson Basin of the lowland leopard frog that lives in the bedrock pools called tinajas in canyons at elevations between 850 and 1,800 meters. Those tinajas that contain water year-round are critical winter habitat for tadpoles, and the breeding success of the leopard frogs depends on these features. In recent years, many tinajas that previously had provided habitat for the leopard frogs have been buried beneath large volumes of coarse sandy gravel that resulted from severe, stand-replacing wildfires in the watersheds above them. The U. S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the National Park Service, conducted a study in 2004-06 to determine critical sediment-source areas, and the mechanisms of sediment delivery from hillslopes to stream channels to areas of leopard frog habitat and to estimate the increase in rates of sedimentation resulting from wildfires. Spatial data of watershed characteristics, as well as historical data, including photographs, monitoring surveys, precipitation and stream discharge records, were used in conjunction with field observations conducted between spring 2004 and fall 2005. The Helens II fire in 2003, the fifth largest wildfire to burn in the Rincon Mountains since 1989, offered an opportunity to observe mechanisms of sediment erosion, transport, and deposition in the immediate post-fire environment. Reduction of the forest canopy, understory vegetation, and organic litter on the ground surface in severe burn areas caused increased surface runoff in the Joaquin Canyon watershed that led to intensified erosion of hillslopes. An initial flush of fine material, mostly ash, was transported to lower channel reaches with the first significant precipitation event following the fire. Subsequently, the main

  14. Plant population and habitat characteristics of the endemic Sonoran Desert cactus Peniocereus striatus in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Anderson, Greta; Rutman, Sue; Munson, Seth M.

    2010-01-01

    Peniocereus striatus (Brandegee) Buxb. (Cactaceae) is an endemic Sonoran Desert cactus that reaches its northern range limit in southwestern Arizona. One U.S. population occupies a small area of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument near the U.S./Mexico international boundary, which has been monitored since 1939. An extensive survey conducted in 2002, covering 177 ha, resulted in the discovery of 88 new plants, in addition to the relocation of 57 plants found in previous surveys. Despite potential increases in population size and spatial distribution, mean plant height and number of basal stems has not significantly changed in recent years. Bud scars revealed that a majority of the population was sexually mature. Peniocereus striatus occurrence increased with decreasing slope, spanned every slope aspect, and was highest on rocky soils, but was noticeably low on west and northwest slopes and areas where severe land degradation had previously occurred. Over half of P. striatus plants were nursed by shrubs and subshrubs, while 40% occurred under leguminous trees. A severe frost in January 2002 top-killed 19% of the population, with the greatest damage in drainage bottoms. However, long-term (1944–2002) climate records show that there has been an overall increase in the number of frost free days in the region, which, coupled with land use change, has implications for the future health of this population.

  15. Host Plant Adaptation in Drosophila mettleri Populations

    PubMed Central

    Castrezana, Sergio; Bono, Jeremy M.

    2012-01-01

    The process of local adaptation creates diversity among allopatric populations, and may eventually lead to speciation. Plant-feeding insect populations that specialize on different host species provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the causes of ecological specialization and the subsequent consequences for diversity. In this study, we used geographically separated Drosophila mettleri populations that specialize on different host cacti to examine oviposition preference for and larval performance on an array of natural and non-natural hosts (eight total). We found evidence of local adaptation in performance on saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) for populations that are typically associated with this host, and to chemically divergent prickly pear species (Opuntia spp.) in a genetically isolated population on Santa Catalina Island. Moreover, each population exhibited reduced performance on the alternative host. This finding is consistent with trade-offs associated with adaptation to these chemically divergent hosts, although we also discuss alternative explanations for this pattern. For oviposition preference, Santa Catalina Island flies were more likely to oviposit on some prickly pear species, but all populations readily laid eggs on saguaro. Experiments with non-natural hosts suggest that factors such as ecological opportunity may play a more important role than host plant chemistry in explaining the lack of natural associations with some hosts. PMID:22493678

  16. Host plant adaptation in Drosophila mettleri populations.

    PubMed

    Castrezana, Sergio; Bono, Jeremy M

    2012-01-01

    The process of local adaptation creates diversity among allopatric populations, and may eventually lead to speciation. Plant-feeding insect populations that specialize on different host species provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the causes of ecological specialization and the subsequent consequences for diversity. In this study, we used geographically separated Drosophila mettleri populations that specialize on different host cacti to examine oviposition preference for and larval performance on an array of natural and non-natural hosts (eight total). We found evidence of local adaptation in performance on saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) for populations that are typically associated with this host, and to chemically divergent prickly pear species (Opuntia spp.) in a genetically isolated population on Santa Catalina Island. Moreover, each population exhibited reduced performance on the alternative host. This finding is consistent with trade-offs associated with adaptation to these chemically divergent hosts, although we also discuss alternative explanations for this pattern. For oviposition preference, Santa Catalina Island flies were more likely to oviposit on some prickly pear species, but all populations readily laid eggs on saguaro. Experiments with non-natural hosts suggest that factors such as ecological opportunity may play a more important role than host plant chemistry in explaining the lack of natural associations with some hosts.

  17. Physicochemical characterization of cactus pads from Opuntia dillenii and Opuntia ficus indica.

    PubMed

    Méndez, Lorena Pérez; Flores, Fidel Tejera; Martín, Jacinto Darias; Rodríguez Rodríguez, Elena M; Díaz Romero, Carlos

    2015-12-01

    Physicochemical characteristics (weight, length, width, thickness, moisture, Brix degree, total fiber, protein, ash, pH, acidity, ascorbic acid, total phenolic compounds, P, Na, K, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn and Cr) were determined in cactus pads from Opuntia dillenii and Opuntia ficus indica. The physicochemical characteristics of both species were clearly different. There were important differences between the orange and green fruit pulp of O. ficus indica; the cactus pads of O. dillenii could be differentiated according to the region (North and South). Consumption of cactus pads contributes to the intake of dietary fiber, total phenolic compounds, K, Mg, Mn and Cr. Applying factor and/or discriminant analysis, the cactus pad samples were clearly differentiated according to the species, the fruit pulp color and production region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Husimi-cactus approximation study on the diluted spin ice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Otsuka, Hiromi; Okabe, Yutaka; Nefedev, Konstantin

    2018-04-01

    We investigate dilution effects on the classical spin-ice materials such as Ho2Ti2O7 and Dy2Ti2O7 . In particular, we derive a formula of the thermodynamic quantities as functions of the temperature and a nonmagnetic ion concentration based on a Husimi-cactus approximation. We find that the formula predicts a dilution-induced crossover from the cooperative to the conventional paramagnets in a ground state, and that it also reproduces the "generalized Pauling's entropy" given by Ke et al. To verify the formula from a numerical viewpoint, we compare these results with Monte Carlo simulation calculation data, and then find good agreement for all parameter values.

  19. Preliminary design of a solar central receiver for site-specific repowering application (Saguaro Power Plant). Volume II. Preliminary design. Final report, October 1982-September 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.R.

    1983-09-01

    The solar central receiver technology, site, and specific unit for repowering were selected in prior analyses and studies. The objectives of this preliminary design study were to: develop a solar central receiver repowering design for Saguaro that (1) has potential to be economically competitive with fossil fueled plants in near and long term applications, (2) has the greatest chance for completion without further government funding, (3) will further define technical and economic feasibility of a 66 MWe gross size plant that is adequate to meet the requirements for utility and industrial process heat applications, (4) can potentially be constructed andmore » operated within the next five years, and (5) incorporates solar central receiver technology and represents state-of-the-art development. This volume on the preliminary design includes the following sections: executive summary; introduction; changes from advanced conceptual design; preliminary design; system characteristics; economic analysis; and development plan.« less

  20. Effects of ultrasound treatment in purple cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) juice.

    PubMed

    Zafra-Rojas, Quinatzin Yadira; Cruz-Cansino, Nelly; Ramírez-Moreno, Esther; Delgado-Olivares, Luis; Villanueva-Sánchez, Javier; Alanís-García, Ernesto

    2013-09-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit is a berry with a tasty pulp full of seeds that constitutes about 10-15% of the edible pulp. In Mexico, cactus pear is mainly consumed fresh, but also has the potential to be processed in other products such as juice. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of different ultrasound conditions at amplitude levels ranging (40% and 60% for 10, 15, 25 min; 80% for 3, 5, 8, 10, 15 and 25 min) on the characteristics of purple cactus pear juice. The evaluated parameters were related with the quality (stability, °Brix, pH), microbial growth, total phenolic compounds, ascorbic acid and antioxidant activity (ABTS, DPPH and % chelating activity) of purple cactus pear juices. The ultrasound treatment for time period of 15 and 25 min significantly reduced the microbial count in 15 and 25 min, without affecting the juice quality and its antioxidant properties. Juice treated at 80% of amplitude level showed an increased of antioxidant compounds. Our results demonstrated that sonication is a suitable technique for cactus pear processing. This technology allows the achievement of juice safety and quality standards without compromising the retention of antioxidant compounds. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. The cactus webworm, Loxomorpha flavidissimalis (Grote, 1878) (Pyraloidea, Crambidae): its distribution and a potential pest in Mexico

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    We report Loxomorpha flavidissimalis, the cactus webworm, for the first time from Tamaulipas, Mexico, as an herbivore of the cultivated cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica. We observed larvae over a four year period (2010-2014) during the months of March to November and found young cladode losses attributa...

  2. Soil compaction vulnerability at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Carmichael, Shinji; Esque, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    Compaction vulnerability of different types of soils by hikers and vehicles is poorly known, particularly for soils of arid and semiarid regions. Engineering analyses have long shown that poorly sorted soils (for example, sandy loams) compact to high densities, whereas well-sorted soils (for example, eolian sand) do not compact, and high gravel content may reduce compaction. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) in southwestern Arizona, is affected greatly by illicit activities associated with the United States–Mexico border, and has many soils that resource managers consider to be highly vulnerable to compaction. Using geospatial soils data for ORPI, compaction vulnerability was estimated qualitatively based on the amount of gravel and the degree of sorting of sand and finer particles. To test this qualitative assessment, soil samples were collected from 48 sites across all soil map units, and undisturbed bulk densities were measured. A scoring system was used to create a vulnerability index for soils on the basis of particle-size sorting, soil properties derived from Proctor compaction analyses, and the field undisturbed bulk densities. The results of the laboratory analyses indicated that the qualitative assessments of soil compaction vulnerability underestimated the area of high vulnerability soils by 73 percent. The results showed that compaction vulnerability of desert soils, such as those at ORPI, can be quantified using laboratory tests and evaluated using geographic information system analyses, providing a management tool that managers potentially could use to inform decisions about activities that reduce this type of soil disruption in protected areas.

  3. Phytochemicals, nutritionals and antioxidant properties of two prickly pear cactus cultivars (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) growing in Taif, KSA.

    PubMed

    Abdel-Hameed, El-Sayed S; Nagaty, Mohamed A; Salman, Mahmood S; Bazaid, Salih A

    2014-10-01

    The antioxidant properties, some phytochemicals and nutritionals were characterized in two prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica Mill.) cultivars; red and yellow; growing in Taif, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The antioxidant properties of red cactus cultivar were higher than the yellow cactus cultivar. Linear correlation appeared between the antioxidant properties and total phenolics. All samples nearly have the same quantity of iron, copper, sodium and potassium. Some phenolic compounds were detected by HPLC-UV analysis. HPLC-RI analysis of all samples revealed the absence of sucrose and the presence of glucose and fructose. According to the above results, this study gave a good indication about the nutritional and pharmaceutical potential of the two cactus cultivars that must be widespread cultivated in arid and semiarid regions as KSA accompanying with establishment of industries beside the cactus farms that used all parts of plants. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus.

    PubMed

    Ju, Jie; Bai, Hao; Zheng, Yongmei; Zhao, Tianyi; Fang, Ruochen; Jiang, Lei

    2012-01-01

    Multiple biological structures have demonstrated fog collection abilities, such as beetle backs with bumps and spider silks with periodic spindle-knots and joints. Many Cactaceae species live in arid environments and are extremely drought-tolerant. Here we report that one of the survival systems of the cactus Opuntia microdasys lies in its efficient fog collection system. This unique system is composed of well-distributed clusters of conical spines and trichomes on the cactus stem; each spine contains three integrated parts that have different roles in the fog collection process according to their surface structural features. The gradient of the Laplace pressure, the gradient of the surface-free energy and multi-function integration endow the cactus with an efficient fog collection system. Investigations of the structure-function relationship in this system may help us to design novel materials and devices to collect water from fog with high efficiencies.

  5. A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus

    PubMed Central

    Ju, Jie; Bai, Hao; Zheng, Yongmei; Zhao, Tianyi; Fang, Ruochen; Jiang, Lei

    2012-01-01

    Multiple biological structures have demonstrated fog collection abilities, such as beetle backs with bumps and spider silks with periodic spindle-knots and joints. Many Cactaceae species live in arid environments and are extremely drought-tolerant. Here we report that one of the survival systems of the cactus Opuntia microdasys lies in its efficient fog collection system. This unique system is composed of well-distributed clusters of conical spines and trichomes on the cactus stem; each spine contains three integrated parts that have different roles in the fog collection process according to their surface structural features. The gradient of the Laplace pressure, the gradient of the surface-free energy and multi-function integration endow the cactus with an efficient fog collection system. Investigations of the structure–function relationship in this system may help us to design novel materials and devices to collect water from fog with high efficiencies. PMID:23212376

  6. Leaf and stem CO/sub 2/ uptake in the three subfamilies of the Cactaceae. [Pereskia aculeata; Pereskia grandifolia; Maihuenia poeppigii; Carnegiea gigantea; Ferocactus acanthodes; Coryphantha vivipara; Mammillaria dioica; Opuntia ficus-inidica; Pereskiopsis porteri; Quiabentia chacoensis; Austrocylindropuntia subulata

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.; Hartsock, T.L.

    Net CO/sub 2/ uptake over 24-hour periods was examined for the leaves and for the stems of 11 species of cacti representing all three subfamilies. For Pereskia aculeata, Pereskia grandifolia, and Maihuenia poeppigii (subfamily Pereskioideae), all the net shoot CO/sub 2/ uptake was by the leaves and during the daytime. In contrast, for the leafless species Carnegiea gigantea, Ferocactus acanthodes, Coryphantha vivipara, and Mammillaria dioica (subfamily Cactoideae), all the shoot net CO/sub 2/ uptake was by the stems and at night. Similarly, for leafless Opuntia ficus-indica (subfamily Opuntioideae), all net CO/sub 2/ uptake occurred at night. For leafy members ofmore » the Opuntioideae (Pereskiopsis porteri, Quiabentia chacoensis, Austrocylindropuntia subulata), at least 88% of the shoot CO/sub 2/ uptake over 24 hours was by the leaves and some CO/sub 2/ uptake occurred at night. Leaves responded to the instantaneous level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) during the daytime, as occurs for C/sub 3/ plants, whereas nocturnal CO/sub 2/ uptake by stems of O. ficus-indica and F. acanthodes responded to the total daily PAR, as occurs for Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants. Thus, under the well-watered conditions employed, the Pereskioideae behaved as C/sub 3/ plants, the Cactoideae behaved as CAM plants, and the Opuntioideae exhibited characteristics of both pathways.« less

  7. How Nectar-Feeding Bats Localize their Food: Echolocation Behavior of Leptonycteris yerbabuenae Approaching Cactus Flowers

    PubMed Central

    Koblitz, Jens C.; Fleming, Theodore H.; Medellín, Rodrigo A.; Kalko, Elisabeth K. V.; Schnitzler, Hans-Ulrich; Tschapka, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Nectar-feeding bats show morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations for feeding on nectar. How they find and localize flowers is still poorly understood. While scent cues alone allow no precise localization of a floral target, the spatial properties of flower echoes are very precise and could play a major role, particularly at close range. The aim of this study is to understand the role of echolocation for classification and localization of flowers. We compared the approach behavior of Leptonycteris yerbabuenae to flowers of a columnar cactus, Pachycereus pringlei, to that to an acrylic hollow hemisphere that is acoustically conspicuous to bats, but has different acoustic properties and, contrary to the cactus flower, present no scent. For recording the flight and echolocation behaviour we used two infrared video cameras under stroboscopic illumination synchronized with ultrasound recordings. During search flights all individuals identified both targets as a possible food source and initiated an approach flight; however, they visited only the cactus flower. In experiments with the acrylic hemisphere bats aborted the approach at ca. 40–50 cm. In the last instant before the flower visit the bats emitted a long terminal group of 10–20 calls. This is the first report of this behaviour for a nectar-feeding bat. Our findings suggest that L. yerbabuenae use echolocation for classification and localization of cactus flowers and that the echo-acoustic characteristics of the flower guide the bats directly to the flower opening. PMID:27684373

  8. Chapter 1: The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl: Taxonomy, distribution, and natural history

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; W. Scott Richardson; Glenn A. Proudfoot

    2000-01-01

    The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) is a small, cryptic owl that is often difficult to observe. Its natural history and conservation needs are poorly understood. Despite ongoing research in Texas and Arizona, the available information remains limited. In addition, factors influencing demographics (e.g., habitat...

  9. Chapter 6: Research needs for the conservation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; W. Scott Richardson; Deborah M. Finch; David J. Krueper

    2000-01-01

    In this chapter, we describe research needs for the conservation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) in Arizona. Estimates of population size, structure, and dynamics, as well as demographic data, are needed for the recovery team to formulate sound population objectives. Habitat loss due to residential development...

  10. Historical biogeography of longhorn cactus beetles: the influence of Pleistocene climate changes on American desert communities

    Treesearch

    Christopher Irwin Smith; Brian Dorsey Farrell

    2005-01-01

    Mitochondrial sequence data from three species of flightless cactus beetles, Moneilema gigas, M. armatum, and M. appressum, were analyzed. The coalescent models implemented in the program FLUCTUATE were used to test the hypothesis that these species experienced range changes following the end of the last glacial...

  11. Response of vegetable pads of two cactus cultivars to the presence of Salmonella strains

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Tender cactus pads (cladodes) or nopalitos (Opuntia ficus-indica L) are an important vegetable in Mexico. They are often pre-trimmed, cut and packaged, and while usually consumed cooked, they may also be eaten raw in salads. Salmonella is an enteropathogenic bacterium that can adapt to adverse envir...

  12. Trail marking by the larvae of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) spends most of its larval life feeding within the cladodes of Opuntia cactuses, but the gregarious caterpillars begin their life outside the plant, and in the later instars make intermittent excursions over plant surfaces to access new cladodes and to t...

  13. Preliminary report on the reproductive biology of the threatened Chisos Mountain hedgehog cactus

    Treesearch

    Bonnie B. Amos; Christos Vassiliou

    2001-01-01

    The Chisos Mountain hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus chisoensis, Cactaceae) is a narrow endemic restricted to an approximately 100 square mile area in Big Bend National Park, Texas. It was listed as threatened in 1987 as Echinocereus chisoensis var. chisoensis. An investigation of the reproductive biology and pollination ecology conducted in 1999 and 2000 revealed the...

  14. Five-Year Monitoring Study of Siler's Pincushion Cactus (Pediocactus sileri) in Kane County, Utah

    Treesearch

    Alyce M. Hreha; Therese B. Meyer

    2001-01-01

    Siler's pincushion cactus (Pediocuctus sileri) occurs primarily on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in Washington and Kane Counties in southwestern Utah and across the border in northwestern Arizona. This 5 year (1993-1997) monitoring study was set up as a challenge cost-share project between Red Butte Garden and the Utah State BLM Office in Salt Lake City. A...

  15. Ecology and conservation of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Deborah M. Finch

    2000-01-01

    This report is the result of a cooperative effort by the Rocky Mountain Research Station and the USDA Forest Service Region 3, with participation by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the Bureau of Land Management. It assesses the state of knowledge related to the conservation status of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona. The population decline of this...

  16. Survival of the endangered Pima pineapple cactus: Does clearing before prescribed fire alter survival postfire?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, Kathryn A.; Jarchow, Christopher; Crawford, Julie A.

    2017-01-01

    Federal land managers and ranchers often use prescribed fire as a tool to reduce invading woody plants within desert grasslands of the arid southwestern United States. Managers must evaluate the threat of the burn toward the health and survival of plants of concern including how preemptive clearing before prescribed fire might benefit these species. One example is the endangered Pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha scheeri var. robustispina), a small hemispheric cactus of desert scrublands and grasslands of south-central Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico. In 2014, we examined survival of Pima pineapple cactus documented in 2009 or 2010 within grasslands of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona. Of the 72 sites observed, 35 had no burn after documentation and 37 experienced prescribed fire. Refuge staff removed vegetation between 0.3 and 3.0 m from the cactus preburn. We found that Pima pineapple cacti in areas subjected to prescribed fire and with preemptive clearing had the same survival statistically as cacti from sites that were not burned.

  17. Knowlton's cactus (Pediocactus knowltonii): Eighteen years of monitoring and recovery actions

    Treesearch

    Robert C. Sivinski; Charlie McDonald

    2007-01-01

    Pediocactus knowltonii is a rare, endemic cactus that is presently known to occur on a single 10-hectare hill in northwestern New Mexico near the Colorado border. It was listed as federally endangered in 1979. Population monitoring and recovery actions were initiated when the Recovery Plan was adopted in 1985. The land at the type locality has been...

  18. The influence of herbivory and weather on the vital rates of two closely related cactus species.

    PubMed

    Sauby, Kristen E; Kilmer, John; Christman, Mary C; Holt, Robert D; Marsico, Travis D

    2017-09-01

    Herbivory has long been recognized as a significant driver of plant population dynamics, yet its effects along environmental gradients are unclear. Understanding how weather modulates plant-insect interactions can be particularly important for predicting the consequences of exotic insect invasions, and an explicit consideration of weather may help explain why the impact can vary greatly across space and time. We surveyed two native prickly pear cactus species (genus Opuntia ) in the Florida panhandle, USA, and their specialist insect herbivores (the invasive South American cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum , and three native insect species) for five years across six sites. We used generalized linear mixed models to assess the impact of herbivory and weather on plant relative growth rate (RGR) and sexual reproduction, and we used Fisher's exact test to estimate the impact of herbivory on survival. Weather variables (precipitation and temperature) were consistently significant predictors of vital rate variation for both cactus species, in contrast to the limited and varied impacts of insect herbivory. Weather only significantly influenced the impact of herbivory on Opuntia humifusa fruit production. The relationships of RGR and fruit production with precipitation suggest that precipitation serves as a cue in determining the trade-off in the allocation of resources to growth or fruit production. The presence of the native bug explained vital rate variation for both cactus species, whereas the invasive moth explained variation only for O .  stricta . Despite the inconsistent effect of herbivory across vital rates and cactus species, almost half of O .  stricta plants declined in size, and the invasive insect negatively affected RGR and fruit production. Given that fruit production was strongly size-dependent, this suggests that O .  stricta populations at the locations surveyed are transitioning to a size distribution of predominantly smaller sizes and with reduced

  19. Nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) as a source of bioactive compounds for nutrition, health and disease.

    PubMed

    El-Mostafa, Karym; El Kharrassi, Youssef; Badreddine, Asmaa; Andreoletti, Pierre; Vamecq, Joseph; El Kebbaj, M'Hammed Saïd; Latruffe, Norbert; Lizard, Gérard; Nasser, Boubker; Cherkaoui-Malki, Mustapha

    2014-09-17

    Opuntia ficus-indica, commonly referred to as prickly pear or nopal cactus, is a dicotyledonous angiosperm plant. It belongs to the Cactaceae family and is characterized by its remarkable adaptation to arid and semi-arid climates in tropical and subtropical regions of the globe. In the last decade, compelling evidence for the nutritional and health benefit potential of this cactus has been provided by academic scientists and private companies. Notably, its rich composition in polyphenols, vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and amino acids has been highlighted through the use of a large panel of extraction methods. The identified natural cactus compounds and derivatives were shown to be endowed with biologically relevant activities including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, antimicrobial and neuroprotective properties. The present review is aimed at stressing the major classes of cactus components and their medical interest through emphasis on some of their biological effects, particularly those having the most promising expected health benefit and therapeutic impacts.

  20. Preliminary design of a solar central receiver for a site-specific repowering application (Saguaro Power Plant). Volume 1. Executive summary. Final report, October 1982-September 1983

    SciTech Connect

    Weber, E.R.

    1983-09-01

    The preliminary design of a solar central receiver repowered gas/oil fired steam-Rankine cycle electric power generation plant was completed. The design is based on a central receiver technology using molten salt (60% NaNO/sub 3/, 40% KNO/sub 3/, by weight) for the heat transport and thermal storage fluid. Unit One of APS's Saguaro power plant located 43 km (27 mi) northwest of Tucson, AZ, is to be repowered. The selection of both the site and the molten salt central receiver promotes a near-term feasibility demonstration and cost-effective power production from an advanced solar thermal technology. The recommended system concept is tomore » repower the existing electric power generating system at the minimum useful level (66 MW/sub e/ gross) using a field of 4850 Martin Marietta second-generation (58.5 m/sup 2/) heliostats and a storage capacity of 4.0 hours. The storage capacity will be used to optimize dispatch of power to the utility system. The preliminary design was based on the use of the systems approach to design where the overall project was divided into systems, each of which is clearly bounded, and performs specific functions. The total project construction cost was estimated to be 213 million in 1983 dollars. The plant will be capable of displacing fossil energy equivalent to 2.4 million barrels of No. 6 oil in its first 10 years of operation.« less

  1. Fish and wildlife to determine endangered status of San Rafael Cactus

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-09-01

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to determine the endangered status of the San Rafael Cactus. Although the only known occurrences of the species do not appear to fall within the boundaries of the San Rafael Swell Special Tar Sands Area, nearby combined hydrocarbon leasing could be impacted. There are two known populations of Pediocactus despainii, about 25 miles apart and each containing 2000 to 3000 individuals. Both occur in central Utah (Emery County), mainly in areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management. This rare species is being sought be cactus collectors, one population is heavily impactedmore » by recreational off-road vehicles, and approximately one-half of each population is in areas covered by oil and gas leases and/or mining claims for gypsum. If the species is determined to be endangered, then the Fish and Wildlife Service could define a critical habitat for its preservation.« less

  2. Studies on the pharmacological action of cactus: identification of its anti-inflammatory effect.

    PubMed

    Park, E H; Kahng, J H; Paek, E A

    1998-02-01

    The ethanol extracts of Opuntia ficus-indica fructus (EEOF) and Opuntia ficus-indica stem (EEOS) were prepared and used to evaluate the pharmacological effects of cactus. Both the extracts inhibited the writhing syndrome induced by acetic acid, indicating that they contains analgesic effect. The oral administrations of EEOF and EEOS suppressed carrageenan-induced rat paw edema and also showed potent inhibition in the leukocyte migration of CMC-pouch model in rats. Moreover, the extracts suppressed the release of beta-glucuronidase, a lysosomal enzyme in rat neutrophils. It was also noted that the extracts showed the protective effect on gastric mucosal layers. From the results it is suggested that the cactus extracts contain anti-inflammatory action having protective effect against gastric lesions.

  3. Carcass characteristics of lambs fed spineless cactus as a replacement for sugarcane.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Juliana Paula Felipe; de Andrade Ferreira, Marcelo; Alves, Adryanne Marjorie Souza Vitor; de Melo, Ana Caroline Cerqueira; de Andrade, Ida Barbosa; Urbano, Stela Antas; Suassuna, Juraci Marcos Alves; de Barros, Leonardo José Assis; de Barros Melo, Tobias Tobit

    2018-04-01

    Fresh sugarcane has been a new roughage source for ruminant's in semiarid regions, a function of the decline of sugar and alcohol industry in recent years. However, there is little data published regarding lambs fed sugarcane associated with spineless cactus. This study evaluated the effect of sugarcane replacement with spineless cactus (0%, 33%, 66%, and 100%) in the diet of Santa Inês lambs on carcass characteristics. Thirty-six non-castrated Santa Ines lambs at four months of age and an initial body weight of 22±2.3 kg were assigned in a randomized block design and slaughtered after 70 days of confinement. The effects of spineless cactus as a replacement for sugarcane in the diet of the lambs on the carcass characteristics, commercial cut weight and yield, leg tissue composition, and carcass measurements were studied. The study revealed quadratic behavior in slaughter body weight, and hot and cold carcass weight, with maximum values of 38.60, 18.60, and 18.11 kg and replacement levels of 40.18%, 44.42%, and 43.14%, respectively. The cold carcass yield presented an increasing linear behavior. The compactness index of carcass and leg presented a quadratic effect, with estimated maximal values of 0.28 and 0.57 kg/cm and replacement levels of 43.37% and 45.5%, respectively. The weights of commercial cuts of leg, loin, shoulder, and breast showed quadratic behavior, with maximum values of 2.79, 0.852, 1.46, and 1.30 kg and replacement levels of 49.5, 45.32, 39.0, and 40.7, respectively. For tissue composition, quadratic behavior was verified for leg weight, subcutaneous fat, and total fat. The replacement of sugarcane by spineless cactus at level 44% is recommended for finishing lambs considering that this level improved most of the carcass characteristics, weights, and yields of commercial cuts and leg tissue composition.

  4. Habitat fragmentation in coastal southern California disrupts genetic connectivity in the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus).

    PubMed

    Barr, Kelly R; Kus, Barbara E; Preston, Kristine L; Howell, Scarlett; Perkins, Emily; Vandergast, Amy G

    2015-05-01

    Achieving long-term persistence of species in urbanized landscapes requires characterizing population genetic structure to understand and manage the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on connectivity. Urbanization over the past century in coastal southern California has caused both precipitous loss of coastal sage scrub habitat and declines in populations of the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). Using 22 microsatellite loci, we found that remnant cactus wren aggregations in coastal southern California comprised 20 populations based on strict exact tests for population differentiation, and 12 genetic clusters with hierarchical Bayesian clustering analyses. Genetic structure patterns largely mirrored underlying habitat availability, with cluster and population boundaries coinciding with fragmentation caused primarily by urbanization. Using a habitat model we developed, we detected stronger associations between habitat-based distances and genetic distances than Euclidean geographic distance. Within populations, we detected a positive association between available local habitat and allelic richness and a negative association with relatedness. Isolation-by-distance patterns varied over the study area, which we attribute to temporal differences in anthropogenic landscape development. We also found that genetic bottleneck signals were associated with wildfire frequency. These results indicate that habitat fragmentation and alterations have reduced genetic connectivity and diversity of cactus wren populations in coastal southern California. Management efforts focused on improving connectivity among remaining populations may help to ensure population persistence. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  5. Habitat fragmentation in coastal southern California disrupts genetic connectivity in the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barr, Kelly R.; Kus, Barbara E.; Preston, Kristine; Howell, Scarlett; Perkins, Emily; Vandergast, Amy

    2015-01-01

    Achieving long-term persistence of species in urbanized landscapes requires characterizing population genetic structure to understand and manage the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on connectivity. Urbanization over the past century in coastal southern California has caused both precipitous loss of coastal sage scrub habitat and declines in populations of the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). Using 22 microsatellite loci, we found that remnant cactus wren aggregations in coastal southern California comprised 20 populations based on strict exact tests for population differentiation, and 12 genetic clusters with hierarchical Bayesian clustering analyses. Genetic structure patterns largely mirrored underlying habitat availability, with cluster and population boundaries coinciding with fragmentation caused primarily by urbanization. Using a habitat model we developed, we detected stronger associations between habitat-based distances and genetic distances than Euclidean geographic distance. Within populations, we detected a positive association between available local habitat and allelic richness and a negative association with relatedness. Isolation-by-distance patterns varied over the study area, which we attribute to temporal differences in anthropogenic landscape development. We also found that genetic bottleneck signals were associated with wildfire frequency. These results indicate that habitat fragmentation and alterations have reduced genetic connectivity and diversity of cactus wren populations in coastal southern California. Management efforts focused on improving connectivity among remaining populations may help to ensure population persistence.

  6. Impact of cooking process on nutritional composition and antioxidants of cactus cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica).

    PubMed

    De Santiago, Elsy; Domínguez-Fernández, Maite; Cid, Concepción; De Peña, María-Paz

    2018-02-01

    The impact of cooking methods (boiling, microwaving, griddling and frying in olive and soybean oils) on nutritional composition (protein, minerals, fat, carbohydrates, fibre, fatty acid profile and energy), antioxidant capacity and (poly)phenolic compounds of cactus cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica) was evaluated. Culinary processes, except boiling, increased soluble and insoluble fibre up to 5.0g/100g becoming a good fibre source. Cactus cladodes fried in olive oil showed a healthier fatty acid profile and lower ω-6/ω-3 ratio than in soybean oil. Flavonoids accounted for 80% of total (poly)phenolic compounds, being isorhamnetin the most abundant. Heat treatment, particularly griddling and microwaving, increased every flavonoid and phenolic acid up to 3.2-fold higher than in raw samples, and consequently their antioxidant capacity. Even boiling induced losses in total (poly)phenols and antioxidant capacity by leaching into water, the main compounds were maintained. Principal Component Analysis distributed heat treated cactus cladodes according to their distinctive polyphenols and antioxidant capacity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Bacteria Associated with Copestylum (Diptera, Syrphidae) Larvae and Their Cactus Host Isolatocereus dumortieri

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Falcón, Ana Paola; Durbán, Ana; Latorre, Amparo; Antón, Josefa; Marcos-García, María de los Ángeles

    2011-01-01

    We describe the gut bacterial diversity inhabiting two saprophagous syrphids and their breeding substrate (decayed tissues of the columnar cactus Isolatocereus dumortieri). We analyzed the gut microbiota of Copestylum latum (scooping larvae that feed on decayed cactus tissues) and Copestylum limbipenne (whose larvae can also feed on semiliquid tissues) using molecular techniques. DNA was extracted from larval guts and cactus tissues. The V1-V3 region of the 16S rRNA genes was amplified and sequenced. A total of 31079 sequences were obtained. The main findings are: C. limbipenne is dominated by several Enterobacteriaceae, including putative nitrogen-fixing genera and pectinolitic species and some denitrifying species, whereas in C. latum unclassified Gammaproteobacteria predominate. Decayed tissues have a dominant lactic acid bacterial community. The bacterial communities were more similar between larval species than between each larva and its breeding substrate. The results suggest that the gut bacterial community in these insects is not strongly affected by diet and must be dependent on other factors, such as vertical transmission, evolutionary history and host innate immunity. PMID:22132101

  8. Genetic variation and population structure of the mixed-mating cactus, Melocactus curvispinus (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Nassar, J M; Hamrick, J L; Fleming, T H

    2001-07-01

    Genetic diversity was measured in the mixed-mating cactus, Melocactus curvispinus, in Venezuela. Allozyme diversity was surveyed in 19 putative loci over 18 populations. Compared to other plant taxa, this cactus is rich in polymorphic loci (Ps=89.5%), with high numbers of alleles per polymorphic locus (APs=3.82), but moderate levels of heterozygosity (Hes=0.145). Substantial levels of inbreeding were detected across loci and populations at macrogeographic (FIS=0.348) and regional levels (FIS=0.194-0.402). Moderate levels of genetic differentiation among populations were detected at macrogeographical (FST=0.193) and regional (FST=0.084-0.187) scales, suggesting that gene flow is relatively restricted, but increases within regions without topographic barriers. The population genetic structure observed for this cactus was attributed to, at least, three factors: short-distance pollination and seed dispersal, the mixed-mating condition of the species, and genetic drift. High genetic identities between populations (I=0.942) supported the conspecific nature of all populations surveyed. The levels and patterns of genetic structure observed for M. curvispinus were consistent with its mating system and gene dispersal mechanisms.

  9. Unusual presentation of cactus spines in the flank of an elderly man: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Splinters and spines of plant matter are common foreign bodies in skin wounds of the extremities, and often present embedded in the dermis or subcutaneous tissue. Vegetative foreign bodies are highly inflammatory and, if not completely removed, can cause infection, toxic reactions, or granuloma formation. Older patients are at increased risk for infection from untreated plant foreign bodies. The most common error in plant splinter and spine management is failure to detect their presence. Case presentation Here we report a case of cactus spines in an 84-year-old Caucasian man presenting on the right flank as multiple, red papules with spiny extensions. This presentation was unusual both in location and the spinous character of the lesions, and only after punch biopsy analysis was a diagnosis of cactus matter spines made. Conclusions Our patient presented with an unusual case of cactus spines that required histopathology for identification. Skin lesions with neglected foreign bodies are a common cause of malpractice claims. If not removed, foreign bodies of the skin, particularly in elderly individuals, can result in inflammatory and infectious sequela. This report underscores the importance of thoroughly evaluating penetrating skin lesions for the presence of foreign bodies, such as splinters and spines. PMID:20500838

  10. Review of samples of sediment, tailings, and waters adjacent to the Cactus Queen gold mine, Kern County, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rytuba, James J.; Kim, Christopher S.; Goldstein, Daniel N.

    2011-01-01

    The Cactus Queen Mine is located in the western Mojave Desert in Kern County, California. The Cactus Queen gold-silver (Au-Ag) deposit is similar to other Au-Ag deposits hosted in Miocene volcanic rocks that consist of silicic domes and associated flows, pyroclastic rocks, and subvolcanic intrusions. The volcanic rocks were emplaced onto a basement of Mesozoic silicic intrusive rocks. A part of the Cactus Queen Mine is located on Federal land managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Staff from the BLM initially sampled the mine area and documented elevated concentrations of arsenic (As) in tailings and sediment. BLM then requested that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with Chapman University, measure and characterize As and other geochemical constituents in sediment, tailings, and waters on the part of the mine on Federal lands. This report is made in response to the request by the BLM, the lead agency mandated to conduct a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) - Removal Site Investigation (RSI). The RSI applies to the potential removal of As-contaminated mine waste from the Cactus Queen Mine as a means of reducing As release and exposure to humans and biota. This report summarizes data obtained from field sampling of sediments, mine tailings, and surface waters at the Cactus Queen Mine on January 27, 2008. Our results provide a preliminary assessment of the sources of As and associated chemical constituents that could potentially impact humans and biota.

  11. A novel function for the IκB inhibitor Cactus in promoting Dorsal nuclear localization and activity in the Drosophila embryo.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Maira Arruda; Fontenele, Marcio; Lim, Bomyi; Bisch, Paulo Mascarello; Shvartsman, Stanislav Y; Araujo, Helena Marcolla

    2017-08-15

    The evolutionarily conserved Toll signaling pathway controls innate immunity across phyla and embryonic patterning in insects. In the Drosophila embryo, Toll is required to establish gene expression domains along the dorsal-ventral axis. Pathway activation induces degradation of the IκB inhibitor Cactus, resulting in a ventral-to-dorsal nuclear gradient of the NFκB effector Dorsal. Here, we investigate how cactus modulates Toll signals through its effects on the Dorsal gradient and on Dorsal target genes. Quantitative analysis using a series of loss- and gain-of-function conditions shows that the ventral and lateral aspects of the Dorsal gradient can behave differently with respect to Cactus fluctuations. In lateral and dorsal embryo domains, loss of Cactus allows more Dorsal to translocate to the nucleus. Unexpectedly, cactus loss-of-function alleles decrease Dorsal nuclear localization ventrally, where Toll signals are high. Overexpression analysis suggests that this ability of Cactus to enhance Toll stems from the mobilization of a free Cactus pool induced by the Calpain A protease. These results indicate that Cactus acts to bolster Dorsal activation, in addition to its role as a NFκB inhibitor, ensuring a correct response to Toll signals. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  12. Phenology and egg production of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum(Lepidoptera: Pyralidae): comparison of field census data and life stage development in the field

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Natural phenology and development of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) was studied under field conditions in St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, St. Marks, FL. from July 2006 to September 2007. Cactus pads (Opuntia stricta Haw. [Cactaceae]) were visually surveyed...

  13. Decay of cacti and carbon cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garvie, Laurence A. J.

    2006-03-01

    Cacti contain large quantities of Ca-oxalate biominerals, with C derived from atmospheric CO2. Their death releases these biominerals into the environment, which subsequently transform to calcite via a monohydrocalcite intermediate. Here, the fate of Ca-oxalates released by plants in arid environments is investigated. This novel and widespread form of biomineralization has unexpected consequences on C cycling and calcite accumulation in areas with large numbers of cacti. The magnitude of this mineralization is revealed by studying the large columnar cactus Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton and Rose in southwestern Arizona (locally called the saguaro). A large C. gigantea contains on the order of 1×105 g of the Ca-oxalate weddellite—CaC2O4·2H2O. In areas with high C. gigantea density, there is an estimated 40 g Catm m-2 sequestered in Ca-oxalates. Following the death of the plant, the weddellite transforms to calcite on the order to 10-20 years. In areas with high saguaro density, there is an estimated release of up to 2.4 g calcite m-2 year-1 onto the desert soil. Similar transformation mechanisms occur with the Ca-oxalates that are abundant in the majority of cacti. Thus, the total atmospheric C returned to the soil of areas with a high number density of cacti is large, suggesting that there may be a significant long-term accumulation of atmospheric C in these soils derived from Ca-oxalate biominerals. These findings demonstrate that plant decay in arid environments may have locally significant impacts on the Ca and inorganic C cycles.

  14. Decay of cacti and carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Garvie, Laurence A J

    2006-03-01

    Cacti contain large quantities of Ca-oxalate biominerals, with C derived from atmospheric CO(2). Their death releases these biominerals into the environment, which subsequently transform to calcite via a monohydrocalcite intermediate. Here, the fate of Ca-oxalates released by plants in arid environments is investigated. This novel and widespread form of biomineralization has unexpected consequences on C cycling and calcite accumulation in areas with large numbers of cacti. The magnitude of this mineralization is revealed by studying the large columnar cactus Carnegiea gigantea (Engelm.) Britton and Rose in southwestern Arizona (locally called the saguaro). A large C. gigantea contains on the order of 1 x 10(5) g of the Ca-oxalate weddellite-CaC(2)O(4) x 2H(2)O. In areas with high C. gigantea density, there is an estimated 40 g C(atm) m(-2) sequestered in Ca-oxalates. Following the death of the plant, the weddellite transforms to calcite on the order to 10-20 years. In areas with high saguaro density, there is an estimated release of up to 2.4 g calcite m(-2) year(-1) onto the desert soil. Similar transformation mechanisms occur with the Ca-oxalates that are abundant in the majority of cacti. Thus, the total atmospheric C returned to the soil of areas with a high number density of cacti is large, suggesting that there may be a significant long-term accumulation of atmospheric C in these soils derived from Ca-oxalate biominerals. These findings demonstrate that plant decay in arid environments may have locally significant impacts on the Ca and inorganic C cycles.

  15. Protective Effect of Cactus Cladode Extracts on Peroxisomal Functions in Microglial BV-2 Cells Activated by Different Lipopolysaccharides.

    PubMed

    Saih, Fatima-Ezzahra; Andreoletti, Pierre; Mandard, Stéphane; Latruffe, Norbert; El Kebbaj, M'Hammed Saïd; Lizard, Gérard; Nasser, Boubker; Cherkaoui-Malki, Mustapha

    2017-01-07

    In this study, we aimed to evaluate the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Opuntia ficus-indica cactus cladode extracts in microglia BV-2 cells. Inflammation associated with microglia activation in neuronal injury can be achieved by LPS exposure. Using four different structurally and biologically well-characterized LPS serotypes, we revealed a structure-related differential effect of LPS on fatty acid β-oxidation and antioxidant enzymes in peroxisomes: Escherichia coli -LPS decreased ACOX1 activity while Salmonella minnesota -LPS reduced only catalase activity. Different cactus cladode extracts showed an antioxidant effect through microglial catalase activity activation and an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing nitric oxide (NO) LPS-dependent production. These results suggest that cactus extracts may possess a neuroprotective activity through the induction of peroxisomal antioxidant activity and the inhibition of NO production by activated microglial cells.

  16. Seasonal resource value and male size influence male aggressive interactions in the leaf footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata.

    PubMed

    Nolen, Zachary J; Allen, Pablo E; Miller, Christine W

    2017-05-01

    In animal contests, resource value (the quality of a given resource) and resource holding potential (a male's absolute fighting ability) are two important factors determining the level of engagement and outcome of contests. Few studies have tested these factors simultaneously. Here, we investigated whether natural, seasonal differences in cactus phenology (fruit quality) influence interactions between males in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae). We also considered whether males were more likely to interact when they were similar in size, as predicted by theory. Finally, we examined if male size relative to the size of an opponent predicted competitive success. We found that males have more interactions on cactus with high value ripe fruit, as we predicted. Further, we found that males that were closer in size were more likely to interact, and larger males were more likely to become dominant. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Microbial populations and activities in the rhizoplane of rock-weathering desert plants. II. Growth promotion of cactus seedlings.

    PubMed

    Puente, M E; Li, C Y; Bashan, Y

    2004-09-01

    Four bacterial species isolated from the rhizoplane of cacti growing in bare lava rocks were assessed for growth promotion of giant cardon cactus seedlings (Pachycereus pringlei). These bacteria fixed N(2), dissolved P, weathered extrusive igneous rock, marble, and limestone, and significantly mobilized useful minerals, such as P, K, Mg, Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn in rock minerals. Cardon cactus seeds inoculated with these bacteria were able to sprout and grow normally without added nutrients for at least 12 months in pulverized extrusive igneous rock (ancient lava flows) mixed with perlite. Cacti that were not inoculated grew less vigorously and some died. The amount of useful minerals (P, K, Fe, Mg) for plant growth extracted from the pulverized lava, measured after cultivation of inoculated plants, was significant. This study shows that rhizoplane bacteria isolated from rock-growing cacti promote growth of a cactus species, and can help supply essential minerals for a prolonged period of time.

  18. Bleogens: Cactus-Derived Anti-Candida Cysteine-Rich Peptides with Three Different Precursor Arrangements

    PubMed Central

    Loo, Shining; Kam, Antony; Xiao, Tianshu; Tam, James P.

    2017-01-01

    Cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) play important host-defense roles in plants. However, information concerning CRPs in the Cactaceae (cactus) family is limited, with only a single cactus-derived CRP described to date. Here, we report the identification of 15 novel CRPs with three different precursor architectures, bleogens pB1-15 from Pereskia bleo of the Cactaceae family. By combining proteomic and transcriptomic methods, we showed that the prototype, bleogen pB1, contained 36 amino acid residues, a six-cysteine motif typical of the six-cysteine-hevein-like peptide (6C-HLP) family, and a type I two-domain precursor consisting of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and a mature domain. In contrast, the precursors of the other 14 bleogens contained a type II three-domain architecture with a propeptide domain inserted between the ER and the mature bleogen domain. Four of these 14 bleogens display a third type of architecture with a tandemly repeating bleogen domain. A search of the Onekp database revealed that <1% plant species possess three different precursor architectures for the biosynthesis of 6C-HLPs, including Lophophora williamsii, Pereskia aculeate, Portulaca cryptopetala, Portulaca oleracea, Portulaca suffruticosa, and Talinum sp. NMR analysis confirmed that bleogen pB1 has cystine-knot disulfide connectivity as well as a two-beta-sheet and a four-loop structural fold that is similar to other 6C-HLPs. Sequence analysis, structural studies, and in silico modeling revealed that bleogen pB1 has a cation-polar-cation motif, a signature heparin-binding motif that was confirmed by heparin affinity chromatography. Cell-based assays showed that bleogen pB1 is non-toxic to mammalian cells but functions as an anti-Candida peptide. Taken together, our findings provide insight into the occurrence, functions and precursor architectures of CRPs in the cactus family. PMID:29312404

  19. Cactus cladodes (Opuntia humifusa) extract minimizes the effects of UV irradiation on keratinocytes and hairless mice.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyungmi; Choi, Hyeon-Son; Hong, Yang Hee; Jung, Eun Young; Suh, Hyung Joo

    2017-12-01

    Cactus cladodes [Opuntia humifusa (Raf.) Raf. (Cactaceae)] is one of the cactus genera, which has long been used as a folk medicine for skin disorders. This study investigated the skincare potential of cactus cladodes extract (OHE), including its ability to regulate ultraviolet B (UVB)-induced hyaluronic acid (HA) production. Gene expression levels of hyaluronic acid synthases (HASs) and hyaluronidase (HYAL) were measured in UVB-irradiated HaCaT cells with OHE treatment (10, 25, 50, 100 μg/mL) by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The HA content was analyzed in hairless mice (SKH-1, male, 6 weeks old) treated with OHE for 10 weeks by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) and immunohistological staining were performed to examine epidermal thickness and levels of CD44 and hyaluronic acid-binding protein (HABP). HA synthases (HAS,1 HAS2, HAS3) mRNA levels were increased by 1.9-, 2.2- and 1.6-fold, respectively, with OHE treatment (100 μg/mL), while UVB-induced increase of hyaluronidase mRNA significantly decreased by 35%. HA content in animal was decreased from 42.9 to 27.1 ng/mL by OHE treatment. HAS mRNA levels were decreased by 39%, but HYAL mRNA was increased by 50% in OHE group. CD44 and HABP levels, which were greatly increased by UVB-irradiation, were reduced by 64 and 60%, respectively. Epidermal thickness, transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and erythema formation was also decreased by 45 (45.7 to 24.2 μm), 48 (48.8 to 25 g/h/m 2 ) and 33%, respectively. OHE protects skin from UVB-induced skin degeneration in HaCaT cells and hairless mice.

  20. Increased acidification in the rhizosphere of cactus seedlings induced by Azospirillum brasilense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo, Angel; Li, Ching; Bashan, Yoav

    2002-08-01

    Acidification of the rhizosphere of cactus seedlings (giant cardon, Pachycereus pringlei) after inoculation with the plant growth-promoting bacterium Azospirillum brasilense Cd, in the presence or absence of ammonium and nitrate, was studied to understand how to increase growth of cardon seedlings in poor desert soils. While ammonium enhanced rhizosphere and liquid culture acidification, inoculation with the bacteria enhanced it further. On the other hand, nitrate increased pH of the rhizosphere, but combined with the bacterial inoculation, increase in pH was significantly smaller. Bacterial inoculation with ammonium enhanced plant growth.

  1. Cultivar and Harvest Month Influence the Nutrient Content of Opuntia spp. Cactus Pear Cladode Mucilage Extracts.

    PubMed

    du Toit, Alba; de Wit, Maryna; Hugo, Arno

    2018-04-16

    Mucilage extracted from cactus pear cladodes is a hydrocolloid gum. It is a novel, natural, low-kilojoule, cost-effective texture-modifying ingredient in functional food products. Yet, the cultivar with the most optimal nutrient content and the preferred harvest times are as yet unknown. For this reason, mucilage from three Opuntia ficus-indica (Algerian, Morado and Gymno-Carpo) and one Opuntia robusta (Robusta) cultivar were investigated to determine their nutrient content over six months. Nutrients that contribute energy (10.2 kJ/g) were low. The mineral content was high (ash 17.7/100 g), particularly calcium (3.0 g/100 g) and phosphorous (109.5 mg/kg). Low insoluble acid-detergent fibre (1.4 g/kg) and neutral-detergent fibre (2.1 g/kg) values indicated that mucilage was mostly soluble fibre. Calcium oxalate crystals were not detected in dried mucilage. Opuntia robusta powders had higher protein, extractable fat and potassium content, while Opuntia ficus-indica mucilage powders had higher polyunsaturated (Linoleic and α-Linolenic acid) fat content. O. robusta Robusta mucilage, harvested after the fruit harvest (February) had the lowest energy content and the highest mineral and protein content. Mucilage powders were highly soluble, low-kilojoule and mineral-rich. This is a functional ingredient that is produced from an easily cultivated crop, as cactus pears grow in areas with poor soil, extremely high daytime temperatures and limited water supplies.

  2. Antibacterial and antioxidant activities in extracts of fully grown cladodes of 8 cultivars of cactus pear.

    PubMed

    Sánchez, E; Dávila-Aviña, J; Castillo, S L; Heredia, N; Vázquez-Alvarado, R; García, S

    2014-04-01

    The antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of some cultivars of the nopal cactus have not been determined. In this study, 8 cultivars of nopal cacti from Mexico were assayed for phenolic content, antioxidant activities, and antimicrobial activities against Campylobacter Jejuni, Vibrio cholera, and Clostridium Perfringens. Plant material was washed, dried, and macerated in methanol. Minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) were determined using the broth microdilution method. Antioxidant activities were quantitatively determined using spectrophotometric methods. The MCBs of the nopal cacti ranged from 1.1 to 12.5 mg/mL for c. jejuni, 4.4 to 30 mg/mL for V. cholera, and 0.8 to 16 mg/mL for C. perfringens in the cultivars Cardon Blanco, Real de Catorce, and Jalpa, respectively. High quantities of total phenols and total flavonoids were found in the Jalpa cacti (3.80 mg of gallic acid equivalent GAE/g dry weight [DW] and 36.64 mg of quercetin equivalents [QE]/g DW, respectively). 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging activities (RSA) were correlated to bioactive compound contents. The Villanueva cacti had the highest %RSA at 42.31%, and the lowest activity was recorded in Copena V1 at 19.98%. In conclusion, we found that some of the 8 cactus pear cultivars studied may be used for their antioxidant compounds or antimicrobials to control or prevent the contamination of foods. © 2014 Institute of Food Technologists®

  3. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert

    PubMed Central

    Pfeiler, Edward; Markow, Therese A.

    2011-01-01

    Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera) and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones). For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal “stepping stones”. Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation. PMID:26467624

  4. Phylogeography of the Cactophilic Drosophila and Other Arthropods Associated with Cactus Necroses in the Sonoran Desert.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, Edward; Markow, Therese A

    2011-05-05

    Studies on the population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, systematics and evolution of arthropods that inhabit necrotic tissue of cacti in the Sonoran Desert of North America are reviewed. These studies have focused upon several species of insects (orders Diptera and Coleoptera) and arachnids (order Pseudoscorpiones). For most taxa studied, little genetic structure and high dispersal ability are found in populations inhabiting the mainland and Baja California peninsula regions of the Sonoran Desert, consistent with the availability of the rotting cactus microhabitat which is patchily distributed and ephemeral. There is evidence, however, that the Gulf of California, which bisects the Sonoran Desert, has played a role in limiting gene flow and promoting speciation in several taxa, including histerid beetles, whereas other taxa, especially Drosophila nigrospiracula and D. mettleri, apparently are able to freely cross the Gulf, probably by taking advantage of the Midriff Islands in the northern Gulf as dispersal "stepping stones". Genetic evidence has also been found for historical population expansions dating to the Pleistocene and late Pliocene in several taxa. Overall, these studies have provided important insights into how arthropods with different life history traits, but generally restricted to a necrotic cactus microhabitat, have evolved in an environmentally harsh and tectonically active region. In addition, they suggest some taxa for further, and more detailed, hypothesis driven studies of speciation.

  5. Characterization of alkali treated and untreated new cellulosic fiber from Saharan aloe vera cactus leaves.

    PubMed

    A N, Balaji; K J, Nagarajan

    2017-10-15

    The aim of this study is to examine the use of new natural fibers, which are extracted from the Saharan aloe vera cactus plant leaves as reinforcement in polymer composites. The physicochemical, mechanical and thermal properties of the Saharan Aloe Vera Cactus Leaves (SACL) fibers are investigated, through the effect of alkali treatment. The contents of α-cellulose, hemicellulose, wax and moisture present in SACL fibers were characterized by standard test methods The mechanical properties of SACL fibers were measured through single fiber tensile test. The interfacial strength between the fiber and matrix was estimated by the fiber pull-out test. These results ensure that the chemical and mechanical properties of the fibers are improved after the alkali treatment. FT-IR spectroscopic analysis confirms that the alkali treatment process has removed certain amount of amorphous materials from the fibers. XRD analysis results show that the alkali treatment has enhanced the Crystallinity Index and Crystalline Size of the fibers. Thermal behavior of the fibers was analyzed by using TGA. The thermal stability and the thermal degradation temperature increases after the alkali treatment of fibers. The morphologies of fibers were analyzed by SEM and prove that the fiber surfaces become rough after alkali treatment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Influence of Abscisic Acid and Sucrose on Somatic Embryogenesis in Cactus Copiapoa tenuissima Ritt. forma mostruosa

    PubMed Central

    Lema-Rumińska, J.; Goncerzewicz, K.; Gabriel, M.

    2013-01-01

    Having produced the embryos of cactus Copiapoa tenuissima Ritt. forma monstruosa at the globular stage and callus, we investigated the effect of abscisic acid (ABA) in the following concentrations: 0, 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μM on successive stages of direct (DSE) and indirect somatic embryogenesis (ISE). In the indirect somatic embryogenesis process we also investigated a combined effect of ABA (0, 0.1, 1 μM) and sucrose (1, 3, 5%). The results showed that a low concentration of ABA (0-1 μM) stimulates the elongation of embryos at the globular stage and the number of correct embryos in direct somatic embryogenesis, while a high ABA concentration (10–100 μM) results in growth inhibition and turgor pressure loss of somatic embryos. The indirect somatic embryogenesis study in this cactus suggests that lower ABA concentrations enhance the increase in calli fresh weight, while a high concentration of 10 μM ABA or more changes calli color and decreases its proliferation rate. However, in the case of indirect somatic embryogenesis, ABA had no effect on the number of somatic embryos and their maturation. Nevertheless, we found a positive effect of sucrose concentration for both the number of somatic embryos and the increase in calli fresh weight. PMID:23843737

  7. Factors affecting establishment success of the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2012-06-01

    Early plant stages may be the most vulnerable within the life cycle of plants especially in arid ecosystems. Interference from exotic species may exacerbate this condition. We evaluated germination, seedling survival and growth in the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis, as a function of sunlight exposure (i.e., growing under open and shaded areas), different shade providers (i.e., growing under two native shrubs and one exotic grass species), two levels of predation (i.e., exclusion and non-exclusion) and variable microenvironmental conditions (i.e., temperature, PAR, humidity). Field experiments demonstrated that suitable conditions for germination and establishment of H. portoricensis seedling are optimal in shaded areas beneath the canopy of established species, but experiments also demonstrated that the identity of the shade provider can have a significant influence on the outcome of these processes. Harrisia portoricensis seedlings had higher probabilities of survival and grew better (i.e., larger diameters) when they were transplanted beneath the canopy of native shrubs, than beneath the exotic grass species, where temperature and solar radiation values were on average much higher than those obtained under the canopies of native shrubs. We also detected that exclusion from potential predators did not increase seedling survival. Our combined results for H. portoricensis suggested that the modification of microenvironmental conditions by the exotic grass may lower the probability of recruitment and establishment of this endangered cactus species.

  8. Population Genetic Structure of a Widespread Bat-Pollinated Columnar Cactus

    PubMed Central

    Bustamante, Enriquena; Búrquez, Alberto; Scheinvar, Enrique; Eguiarte, Luis Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Bats are the main pollinators and seed dispersers of Stenocereus thurberi, a xenogamous columnar cactus of northwestern Mexico and a good model to illustrate spatial dynamics of gene flow in long-lived species. Previous studies in this cactus showed differences among populations in the type and abundance of pollinators, and in the timing of flowering and fruiting. In this study we analyzed genetic variability and population differentiation among populations. We used three primers of ISSR to analyze within and among populations genetic variation from eight widely separated populations of S. thurberi in Sonora, Mexico. Sixty-six out of 99 of the ISSR bands (P = 66.7%) were polymorphic. Total heterozygosity for all populations sampled revealed high genetic diversity (Hsp = 0.207, HBT = 0.224). The AMOVA showed that most of the genetic variation was within populations (80.5%). At the species level, estimates of population differentiation, θ = 0.175 and θB = 0.194, indicated moderate gene flow among populations. The absence of a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances indicated little isolation by geographic distance. The large genetic variation and diversity found in S. thurberi is consistent with its open reproductive system and the high mobility of bats, a major pollinator. However, small changes in number or kind of pollinators and seed dispersal agents, in the directionality of migratory routes, and/or in the timing of flowering and fruiting among populations, can critically affect gene flow dynamics. PMID:27015281

  9. Population Genetic Structure of a Widespread Bat-Pollinated Columnar Cactus.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Enriquena; Búrquez, Alberto; Scheinvar, Enrique; Eguiarte, Luis Enrique

    2016-01-01

    Bats are the main pollinators and seed dispersers of Stenocereus thurberi, a xenogamous columnar cactus of northwestern Mexico and a good model to illustrate spatial dynamics of gene flow in long-lived species. Previous studies in this cactus showed differences among populations in the type and abundance of pollinators, and in the timing of flowering and fruiting. In this study we analyzed genetic variability and population differentiation among populations. We used three primers of ISSR to analyze within and among populations genetic variation from eight widely separated populations of S. thurberi in Sonora, Mexico. Sixty-six out of 99 of the ISSR bands (P = 66.7%) were polymorphic. Total heterozygosity for all populations sampled revealed high genetic diversity (Hsp = 0.207, HBT = 0.224). The AMOVA showed that most of the genetic variation was within populations (80.5%). At the species level, estimates of population differentiation, θ = 0.175 and θB = 0.194, indicated moderate gene flow among populations. The absence of a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances indicated little isolation by geographic distance. The large genetic variation and diversity found in S. thurberi is consistent with its open reproductive system and the high mobility of bats, a major pollinator. However, small changes in number or kind of pollinators and seed dispersal agents, in the directionality of migratory routes, and/or in the timing of flowering and fruiting among populations, can critically affect gene flow dynamics.

  10. Chapter 3: The status of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona: Population surveys and habitat assessment

    Treesearch

    W. Scott Richardson; Jean-Luc E. Cartron; David J. Krueper; Lauren Turner; Thomas H. Skinner

    2000-01-01

    In 1993, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) began formal population surveys in an attempt to document the numbers and distribution of cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) in Arizona. Surveys were initiated to gather information on this little-known subspecies which was considered for listing at the time. Prior to...

  11. Distribution of Paradine plains cactus in pinyon-juniper woodland on the North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest

    Treesearch

    Arthur M. Phillips; Debra J. Kennedy; Barbara G. Phillips; Diedre Weage

    2001-01-01

    Surveys for Paradine plains cactus (Pediocactus paradinei B. W. Benson) conducted for the Kaibab National Forest, North Kaibab Ranger District in 1992-94 qualitatively showed a fairly substantial population of scattered individuals in the pinyon-juniper woodland, and indicated that there might be a correlation between plant distribution and dripline of trees. This...

  12. Analysis of factors that affect the potential of star fruit (Averhoa Bilimbi) and cactus (Gymnocalycium Hossei) extracts as alternative battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahmawati, Sitti; Agnesstacia

    2014-03-01

    This research analyzes the factors that affect the work of the battery from the star fruit extract and the cactus extract. The value voltage and current generated are measure the work of the battery. Voltage measurement based on the electrode distance function, and electrode surface area. Voltage as a surface area electrode function and electrode distance function determined the current density and the voltage generated. From the experimental results obtained that the battery voltage is large enough, it is about 1.8 V for the extract of star fruit, and 1.7 V for the extract of cactus, which means that the juice extract from star fruit and the juice extract of cactus can become an alternative as battery replacement. The measurements with different electrode surface area on the star fruit and cactus extract which has the depth of the electrode 0.5 cm to 4 cm causes a decrease in the electric current generated from 12.5 mA to 1.0 mA, but obtained the same voltage.

  13. Microbial populations and activities in the rhizoplane of rock-weathering desert plants. II. growth promotion of cactus seedlings.

    Treesearch

    M.E. Puente; C.Y. Li; Y. Bashan

    2004-01-01

    Four bacterial species isolated from the rhizoplane of cacti growing in bare lava rocks were assessed for growth promotion of giant cardon cactus seedlings (Pachycereus pringlei). These bacteria fixed N2, dissolved P, weathered extrusive igneous rock, marble, and limestone, and significantly mobilized useful minerals, such as...

  14. Digestibility of (Poly)phenols and Antioxidant Activity in Raw and Cooked Cactus Cladodes ( Opuntia ficus-indica).

    PubMed

    De Santiago, Elsy; Pereira-Caro, Gema; Moreno-Rojas, José Manuel; Cid, Concepción; De Peña, María-Paz

    2018-05-29

    This study aims to investigate whether heat treatment applied to cactus cladodes influences the bioaccessibility of their (poly)phenolic compounds after simulated gastric and intestinal digestion. A total of 45 (poly)phenols were identified and quantified in raw and cooked cactus cladodes by ultra high performance liquid chromatography photodiode array detector high resolution mass spectrometry. Both flavonoids (60-68% total), mainly isorhamnetin derivatives, and phenolic acids (32-40%) with eucomic acids as the predominant ones significantly ( p < 0.05) increased with microwaving and griddling processes. After in vitro gastrointestinal digestion, 55-64% of the total (poly)phenols of cooked cactus cladodes remained bioaccessible versus 44% in raw samples. Furthermore, digestive conditions and enzymes degraded or retained more flavonoids (37-63% bioaccessibility) than phenolic acids (56-87% bioaccessibility). Microwaved cactus cladodes contributed the highest amount of (poy)phenols (143.54 mg/g dm) after gastrointestinal process, followed by griddled samples (133.98 mg/g dm), showing the highest antioxidant capacity. Additionally, gastrointestinal digestion induced isomerizations among the three stereoisomeric forms of piscidic and eucomic acids.

  15. Betalains, Phenols and Antioxidant Capacity in Cactus Pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] Fruits from Apulia (South Italy) Genotypes.

    PubMed

    Albano, Clara; Negro, Carmine; Tommasi, Noemi; Gerardi, Carmela; Mita, Giovanni; Miceli, Antonio; De Bellis, Luigi; Blando, Federica

    2015-04-01

    Betacyanin (betanin), total phenolics, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity (by Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays) were investigated in two differently colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) genotypes, one with purple fruit and the other with orange fruit, from the Salento area, in Apulia (South Italy). In order to quantitate betanin in cactus pear fruit extracts (which is difficult by HPLC because of the presence of two isomers, betanin and isobetanin, and the lack of commercial standard with high purity), betanin was purified from Amaranthus retroflexus inflorescence, characterized by the presence of a single isomer. The purple cactus pear variety showed very high betanin content, with higher levels of phenolics, vitamin C, and antioxidant capacity (TEAC) than the orange variety. These findings confirm the potential for exploiting the autochthonous biodiversity of cactus pear fruits. In particular, the purple variety could be an interesting source of colored bioactive compounds which not only have coloring potential, but are also an excellent source of dietary antioxidant components which may have beneficial effects on consumers' health.

  16. Pollination of pima pineapple cactus (Coryphantha sheeri var. robustispina): does pollen flow limit abundance of this endangered species?

    Treesearch

    Christopher J. McDonald; Guy R. McPherson

    2005-01-01

    Pima pineapple cactus (PPC) (Coryphantha sheeri var. robustispina), a federally listed endangered species, occurs throughout southeastern Arizona and has relatively low population densities. To determine whether pollination limits reproduction of PPC we used florescent dye to quantify pollen flow between individuals in a PPC...

  17. Betalains, Phenols and Antioxidant Capacity in Cactus Pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.] Fruits from Apulia (South Italy) Genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Albano, Clara; Negro, Carmine; Tommasi, Noemi; Gerardi, Carmela; Mita, Giovanni; Miceli, Antonio; De Bellis, Luigi; Blando, Federica

    2015-01-01

    Betacyanin (betanin), total phenolics, vitamin C and antioxidant capacity (by Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC) and oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assays) were investigated in two differently colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.) genotypes, one with purple fruit and the other with orange fruit, from the Salento area, in Apulia (South Italy). In order to quantitate betanin in cactus pear fruit extracts (which is difficult by HPLC because of the presence of two isomers, betanin and isobetanin, and the lack of commercial standard with high purity), betanin was purified from Amaranthus retroflexus inflorescence, characterized by the presence of a single isomer. The purple cactus pear variety showed very high betanin content, with higher levels of phenolics, vitamin C, and antioxidant capacity (TEAC) than the orange variety. These findings confirm the potential for exploiting the autochthonous biodiversity of cactus pear fruits. In particular, the purple variety could be an interesting source of colored bioactive compounds which not only have coloring potential, but are also an excellent source of dietary antioxidant components which may have beneficial effects on consumers’ health. PMID:26783704

  18. Floral orientation in Eulychnia acida, an arborescent cactus of the Atacama Desert, and implications for cacti globally

    Treesearch

    Steven D. Warren; Lorgio E. Aguilera; L. Scott Baggett; Mauricio Zuniga

    2017-01-01

    The hyperarid Atacama Desert of northern Chile may be the driest place on Earth. Plants surviving there have adapted a number of unique strategies to cope with the harsh conditions. Many cacti in arid areas tend to produce reproductive organs in positions that maximize incidence of solar radiation. We sought to determine whether Eulychnia acida, an endemic cactus with...

  19. Chapter 2: A historical perspective on the population decline of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl in Arizona

    Treesearch

    R. Roy Johnson; Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Lois T. Haight; Russell B. Duncan; Kenneth J. Kingsley

    2000-01-01

    The cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) was discovered in the U.S. by Bendire in 1872 in the Tucson area (Coues 1872). During the next five decades, naturalists collected many specimens of this owl and typically described the subspecies as common or fairly common along some streams and rivers of central and southern Arizona...

  20. Microencapsulation of betalains obtained from cactus fruit (Opuntia ficus-indica) by spray drying using cactus cladode mucilage and maltodextrin as encapsulating agents.

    PubMed

    Otálora, María Carolina; Carriazo, José Gregorio; Iturriaga, Laura; Nazareno, Mónica Azucena; Osorio, Coralia

    2015-11-15

    The microencapsulation of betalains from cactus fruit by spray drying was evaluated as a stabilization strategy for these pigments. The betalains used as active agent were extracted from purple fruits of Opuntia ficus-indica (BE) and encapsulated with maltodextrin and cladode mucilage MD-CM and only with MD. The microcapsulates were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermal analysis (TGA-DSC), tristimulus colorimetry, as well as, their humidity, water activity and dietary fiber content were also determined. The active agent content was measured by UV-Vis spectrophotometry and its composition confirmed by HPLC-ESIMS. A pigment storage stability test was performed at 18 °C and different relative humidities. The addition of CM in the formulation increased the encapsulation efficiency, diminished the moisture content, and allowed to obtain more uniform size and spherical particles, with high dietary fiber content. These microencapsulates are promising functional additive to be used as natural colorant in the food industry. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Dye-sensitized solar cells using Aloe Vera and Cladode of Cactus extracts as natural sensitizers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ganta, D.; Jara, J.; Villanueva, R.

    2017-07-01

    The purpose of this study is to develop dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) from natural plant-based dyes, extracted from the Cladode (nopal) of the Thornless Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica), the gel of Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller), and the combination of Cladode and Aloe Vera extracts on side-by-side configuration. Optical properties were analyzed using UV-Vis Absorption and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Open circuit voltages (Voc) varied from 0.440 to 0.676 V, fill factors (FF) were greater than 40%, short-circuit photocurrent densities (Jsc) ranged from 0.112 to 0.290 mA/cm2 and highest conversion efficiency of 0.740% was reported for the Cladode DSSC.

  2. Chemical composition and antibacterial activity of Opuntia ficus-indica f. inermis (cactus pear) flowers.

    PubMed

    Ennouri, Monia; Ammar, Imene; Khemakhem, Bassem; Attia, Hamadi

    2014-08-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica f. inermis (cactus pear) flowers have wide application in folk medicine. However, there are few reports focusing on their biological activity and were no reports on their chemical composition. The nutrient composition and hexane extracts of Opuntia flowers at 4 flowering stages and their antibacterial and antifungal activities were investigated. The chemical composition showed considerable amounts of fiber, protein, and minerals. Potassium (K) was the predominant mineral followed by calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn). The main compounds in the various hexane extracts were 9.12-octadecadienoic acid (29-44%) and hexadecanoic acid (8.6-32%). The antibacterial activity tests showed that O. inermis hexane extracts have high effectiveness against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, making this botanical source a potential contender as a food preservative or food control additive.

  3. Development of microsatellite markers using next-generation sequencing for the columnar cactus Echinopsis chiloensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Ossa, Carmen G; Larridon, Isabel; Peralta, Gioconda; Asselman, Pieter; Pérez, Fernanda

    2016-12-01

    The aim of this study was to develop microsatellite markers as a tool to study population structure, genetic diversity and effective population size of Echinopsis chiloensis, an endemic cactus from arid and semiarid regions of Central Chile. We developed 12 polymorphic microsatellite markers for E. chiloensis using next-generation sequencing and tested them in 60 individuals from six sites, covering all the latitudinal range of this species. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 3 to 8, while the observed (Ho) and expected (He) heterozygosity ranged from 0.0 to 0.80 and from 0.10 to 0.76, respectively. We also detected significant differences between sites, with F ST values ranging from 0.05 to 0.29. Microsatellite markers will enable us to estimate genetic diversity and population structure of E. chiloensis in future ecological and phylogeographic studies.

  4. Viruses in laboratory-reared cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Marti, O.G.; Myers, R.E.; Carpenter, J.E.

    2007-03-15

    The cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae: Phycitinae), is a non-native species threatening a variety of native cacti, particularly endangered species of Opuntia (Zimmerman et al. 2001), on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Cactoblastis cactorum populations have expanded from Florida northward along the Atlantic coast as far as Charleston, SC, and westward along the Gulf of Mexico to Dauphin Island, south of Mobile, AL. It is feared that further movement to the west will allow C. cactorum to enter the US desert Southwest and Mexico, particularly the latter. Numerous cactus species, especially those of the genera Opuntia andmore » Nopalea, are native to the U.S. and Mexico. Local economies based on agricultural and horticultural uses of cacti could be devastated by C. cactorum (Vigueras and Portillo 2001). A bi-national control program between the US and Mexico is being developed, utilizing the sterile insect technique (SIT). In the SIT program, newly emerged moths are irradiated with a {sup 60}Co source and released to mate with wild individuals. The radiation dose completely sterilizes the females and partially sterilizes the males. When irradiated males mate with wild females, the F1 progeny of these matings are sterile. In order for the SIT program to succeed, large numbers of moths must be reared from egg to adult on artificial diet in a quarantined rearing facility (Carpenter et al. 2001). Irradiated insects must then be released in large numbers at the leading edge of the invasive population and at times which coincide with the presence of wild individuals available for mating. Mortality from disease in the rearing colony disrupts the SIT program by reducing the numbers of insects available for release.« less

  5. Water availability and the competitive effect of a columnar cactus on its nurse plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flores-Martínez, Arturo; Ezcurra, Exequiel; Sánchez-Colón, Salvador

    1998-02-01

    A field study was conducted in a semi-arid tropical ecosystem in Mexico to test whether competition for soil water is the causal mechanism underlying the negative effect of the columnar cactus Neobuxbaumia tetetzo on its nurse plant Mimosa luisana and to examine how this relationship varies over time. The effect of irrigation was evaluated by recording the production of leaves, modules (i.e. internodes with an axillary bud), inflorescences and fruits in shrubs growing either isolated or associated with juvenile or adult columnar cacti. 4 001 of water, in five doses of 801 each every 15 d, were added to the treatment plants; no water other than rainfall was added to control plants. Additionally, to evaluate how the effect of the columnar cacti on the shrubs may vary among years we made a comparison of the production of plant structures between 2 years of contrasting rainfall. The irrigation treatment increased the production of modules, inflorescences and fruits, but not of leaves. Shrub response to watering was also dependent on class of association: those associated with juvenile cacti showed a higher response to irrigation than any other treatment. Our results show that water addition increases the production of structures and partially reduces the negative effect of the cactus on nurse shrub, thus supporting the hypothesis of competition for water. The negative effect of the cacti on their nurse plants was present during both years of observations, but the intensity of the negative effect varies from relatively wet to dry years. The results are discussed in relation to how temporal changes in resource availability affect the results of competitive interactions and the importance of this mechanism in the structure and dynamics of this dryland community.

  6. Differences in Tolerance to Host Cactus Alkaloids in Drosophila koepferae and D. buzzatii

    PubMed Central

    Soto, Ignacio M.; Carreira, Valeria P.; Corio, Cristian; Padró, Julián; Soto, Eduardo M.; Hasson, Esteban

    2014-01-01

    The evolution of cactophily in the genus Drosophila was a major ecological transition involving over a hundred species in the Americas that acquired the capacity to cope with a variety of toxic metabolites evolved as feeding deterrents in Cactaceae. D. buzzatii and D. koepferae are sibling cactophilic species in the D. repleta group. The former is mainly associated with the relatively toxic-free habitat offered by prickly pears (Opuntia sulphurea) and the latter has evolved the ability to use columnar cacti of the genera Trichocereus and Cereus that contain an array of alkaloid secondary compounds. We assessed the effects of cactus alkaloids on fitness-related traits and evaluated the ability of D. buzzatii and D. koepferae to exploit an artificial novel toxic host. Larvae of both species were raised in laboratory culture media to which we added increasing doses of an alkaloid fraction extracted from the columnar cactus T. terschekii. In addition, we evaluated performance on an artificial novel host by rearing larvae in a seminatural medium that combined the nutritional quality of O. sulphurea plus amounts of alkaloids found in fresh T. terschekii. Performance scores in each rearing treatment were calculated using an index that took into account viability, developmental time, and adult body size. Only D. buzzatii suffered the effects of increasing doses of alkaloids and the artificial host impaired viability in D. koepferae, but did not affect performance in D. buzzatii. These results provide the first direct evidence that alkaloids are key determinants of host plant use in these species. However, the results regarding the artificial novel host suggest that the effects of alkaloids on performance are not straightforward as D. koepferae was heavily affected. We discuss these results in the light of patterns of host plan evolution in the Drosophila repleta group. PMID:24520377

  7. Vivipary and offspring survival in the epiphytic cactus Epiphyllum phyllanthus (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Cota-Sánchez, J Hugo; Abreu, Deusa D

    2007-01-01

    Vivipary, the germination of seeds before they are shed from the parent plant, is a rare event in angiosperms involving complex ecophysiological processes. Pseudovivipary and cryptovivipary occur in approximately 30 (2%) species of the cactus family. A remarkable case of vivipary in Epiphyllum phyllanthus is described here. Information is provided regarding the biology of viviparous fruits, morphology, mortality, survival rates of viviparous offspring, and some eco-evolutionary implications of this reproductive strategy in the Cactaceae. This epiphytic cactus has no host-specific relationship. A low proportion (33.3%) of individuals produced viviparous fruits. Seed number/fruit varied from 197 to 230 with percentage of viviparous germination from 97.5% to 99%. The viviparous seedlings exhibited normal development and were no different from non-viviparous offspring. Transplanting experiments showed that the first week is critical for seedling establishment, and high mortality occurred in the three treatments used: 69% on the phorophyte surface, 58.6% on the ground, and 44.8% under controlled conditions. The number of survivors gradually stabilized, and the contribution to establishment was comparable in each of the treatments after the acclimation phase. It is suggested that vivipary is associated with thermoregulation, parental care, conspecific nursing, and rapid seedling establishment. Germination is not a limiting factor in the perpetuation of this viviparous species, but seedling establishment is. In viviparous individuals of E. phyllanthus, seedling mortality during establishment rather than failure to germinate within the fruit is a limiting factor affecting local population density. Overall, viviparity is an intrinsic, genetic event involving high metabolic costs favouring germination and dispersal of the fittest offspring regardless of substrate and environmental conditions.

  8. Cactus stem (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill): anatomy, physiology and chemical composition with emphasis on its biofunctional properties.

    PubMed

    Ventura-Aguilar, Rosa Isela; Bosquez-Molina, Elsa; Bautista-Baños, Silvia; Rivera-Cabrera, Fernando

    2017-12-01

    Cactus stem (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill) is native to Mesoamerica and marketed in different forms such as fresh, frozen or pre-cooked. Worldwide, this vegetable is recognized for its pharmaceutical actions, including its antioxidant, diuretic, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, and anti-hypercholesterolemic properties, as well as their antiviral and antispermatogenic effects. However, not all of these properties have been associated with its chemical composition; therefore, this review aims to present and integrate information available on the physiology and anatomy of cactus stem and its chemical composition, focusing on some of the many factors that determine its biofunctionality. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  9. Corrrective action decision document for the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches (Corrective Action Unit No. 426). Revision No. 1

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    The Corrective Action Decision Document (CADD) for the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches (Corrective Action Unit [CAU] No. 426) has been prepared for the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Nevada Environmental Restoration Project. This CADD has been developed to meet the requirements of the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO) of 1996, stated in Appendix VI, {open_quotes}Corrective Action Strategy{close_quotes} (FFACO, 1996). The Cactus Spring Waste Trenches Corrective Action Site (CAS) No. RG-08-001-RG-CS is included in CAU No. 426 (also referred to as the {open_quotes}trenches{close_quotes}); it has been identified as one of three potential locations for buried, radioactively contaminated materials frommore » the Double Tracks Test. The trenches are located on the east flank of the Cactus Range in the eastern portion of the Cactus Spring Ranch at the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) in Nye County, Nevada, on the northern portion of Nellis Air Force Range. The TTR is approximately 225 kilometers (km) (140 miles [mi]) northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, by air and approximately 56 km (35 mi) southeast of Tonopah, Nevada, by road. The trenches were dug for the purpose of receiving waste generated during Operation Roller Coaster, primarily the Double Tracks Test. This test, conducted in 1963, involved the use of live animals to assess the biological hazards associated with non-nuclear detonation of plutonium-bearing devices (i.e., inhalation uptake of plutonium aerosol). The CAS consists of four trenches that received solid waste and had an overall impacted area of approximately 36 meters (m) (120 feet [ft]) long x 24 m (80 ft) wide x 3 to 4.5 m (10 to 15 ft) deep. The average depressions at the trenches are approximately 0.3 m (1 ft) below land surface.« less

  10. Use of spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis) for dairy goats and growing kids: impacts on milk production, kid's growth, and meat quality.

    PubMed

    Mahouachi, M; Atti, N; Hajji, H

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of spineless cactus incorporation in food of dairy goats and growing kids on milk production and composition and on kid's growth and meat characteristics. Two experiments were conducted on Tunisian local goats. In the first, 30 females were divided into two groups; goats of Control group were reared on grazing pasture receiving indoor 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. Goats for the second group (Cac-FL) were kept in feedlot and fed cactus ad libitum more 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. In the second experiment, 14 kids were divided into 2 groups receiving 600 g of hay. The Control group received ad libitum a concentrate containing 130 g crude protein (CP) per kg of dry matter. The second group received cactus ad-libitum plus the half concentrate quantity of control one with 260 g CP/kg DM (Cactus). The daily milk production averaged 485 ml for Control group and 407 ml for Cac-FL one. The milk fat content was significantly higher for Control than Cac-FL group. In the second experiment, animals in Control and Cactus groups had similar growth rate. Carcass fat was significantly lower in Cactus than in the Control group. Cactus in the diet was associated with more C18:2 and conjugated linoleic acid as well as a higher proportion of PUFA than Control ones.

  11. Use of Spineless Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica f. inermis) for Dairy Goats and Growing Kids: Impacts on Milk Production, Kid's Growth, and Meat Quality

    PubMed Central

    Mahouachi, M.; Atti, N.; Hajji, H.

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the effect of spineless cactus incorporation in food of dairy goats and growing kids on milk production and composition and on kid's growth and meat characteristics. Two experiments were conducted on Tunisian local goats. In the first, 30 females were divided into two groups; goats of Control group were reared on grazing pasture receiving indoor 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. Goats for the second group (Cac-FL) were kept in feedlot and fed cactus ad libitum more 0.5 kg of hay and 0.4 kg of concentrate. In the second experiment, 14 kids were divided into 2 groups receiving 600 g of hay. The Control group received ad libitum a concentrate containing 130 g crude protein (CP) per kg of dry matter. The second group received cactus ad-libitum plus the half concentrate quantity of control one with 260 g CP/kg DM (Cactus). The daily milk production averaged 485 ml for Control group and 407 ml for Cac-FL one. The milk fat content was significantly higher for Control than Cac-FL group. In the second experiment, animals in Control and Cactus groups had similar growth rate. Carcass fat was significantly lower in Cactus than in the Control group. Cactus in the diet was associated with more C18:2 and conjugated linoleic acid as well as a higher proportion of PUFA than Control ones. PMID:22536135

  12. A Distinctive and Host-Restricted Gut Microbiota in Populations of a Cactophilic Drosophila Species

    PubMed Central

    Carpinteyro-Ponce, Javier

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Almost all animals possess gut microbial communities, but the nature of these communities varies immensely. For example, in social bees and mammals, the composition is relatively constant within species and is dominated by specialist bacteria that do not live elsewhere; in laboratory studies and field surveys of Drosophila melanogaster, however, gut communities consist of bacteria that are ingested with food and that vary widely among individuals and localities. We addressed whether an ecological specialist in its natural habitat has a microbiota dominated by gut specialists or by environmental bacteria. Drosophila nigrospiracula is a species that is endemic to the Sonoran Desert and is restricted to decaying tissues of two giant columnar cacti, Pachycereus pringlei (cardón cactus) and Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro cactus). We found that the D. nigrospiracula microbiota differs strikingly from that of the cactus tissue on which the flies feed. The most abundant bacteria in the flies are rare or completely absent in the cactus tissue and are consistently abundant in flies from different cacti and localities. Several of these fly-associated bacterial groups, such as the bacterial order Orbales and the genera Serpens and Dysgonomonas, have been identified in prior surveys of insects from the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera, including several Drosophila species. Although the functions of these bacterial groups are mostly unexplored, Orbales species studied in bees are known to break down plant polysaccharides and use the resulting sugars. Thus, these bacterial groups appear to be specialized to the insect gut environment, where they may colonize through direct host-to-host transmission in natural settings. IMPORTANCE Flies in the genus Drosophila have become laboratory models for microbiota research, yet the bacteria commonly used in these experiments are rarely found in wild-caught flies and instead represent bacteria also present in

  13. A Distinctive and Host-Restricted Gut Microbiota in Populations of a Cactophilic Drosophila Species.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Vincent G; Carpinteyro-Ponce, Javier; Moran, Nancy A; Markow, Therese A

    2017-12-01

    Almost all animals possess gut microbial communities, but the nature of these communities varies immensely. For example, in social bees and mammals, the composition is relatively constant within species and is dominated by specialist bacteria that do not live elsewhere; in laboratory studies and field surveys of Drosophila melanogaster , however, gut communities consist of bacteria that are ingested with food and that vary widely among individuals and localities. We addressed whether an ecological specialist in its natural habitat has a microbiota dominated by gut specialists or by environmental bacteria. Drosophila nigrospiracula is a species that is endemic to the Sonoran Desert and is restricted to decaying tissues of two giant columnar cacti, Pachycereus pringlei (cardón cactus) and Carnegiea gigantea (saguaro cactus). We found that the D. nigrospiracula microbiota differs strikingly from that of the cactus tissue on which the flies feed. The most abundant bacteria in the flies are rare or completely absent in the cactus tissue and are consistently abundant in flies from different cacti and localities. Several of these fly-associated bacterial groups, such as the bacterial order Orbales and the genera Serpens and Dysgonomonas , have been identified in prior surveys of insects from the orders Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, and Diptera, including several Drosophila species. Although the functions of these bacterial groups are mostly unexplored, Orbales species studied in bees are known to break down plant polysaccharides and use the resulting sugars. Thus, these bacterial groups appear to be specialized to the insect gut environment, where they may colonize through direct host-to-host transmission in natural settings. IMPORTANCE Flies in the genus Drosophila have become laboratory models for microbiota research, yet the bacteria commonly used in these experiments are rarely found in wild-caught flies and instead represent bacteria also present in the food

  14. Lessons from Cacti: How to Survive the Prickles of Life during Tough Times

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigger, Alan S.; Bigger, Linda B.

    2009-01-01

    The saguaro cactus looked a little like humans, in different shapes and sizes. How on earth do they survive in a climate that seems so inhospitable? It is possible to learn lessons for life from a cactus, if one can only get beyond the thorns, and that these lessons will assist one to survive during tough or prickly times. These plants survive…

  15. The fatty acid profile of fat depots from Santa Inês sheep fed spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica Mill.).

    PubMed

    Costa, Roberto G; Almeida, Michelly DA; Cruz, George Rodrigo B; Beltrão Filho, Edvaldo M; Ribeiro, Neila L; Madruga, Marta S; Queiroga, Rita de Cássia Re

    2017-10-01

    Fat is the tissue that varies most in animals from both a quantitative and distribution perspective. It plays a fundamental biological role as energy storage during food scarcity. Renal, pelvic and internal fat are deposited first. These fats are used to identify fatty acid profiles that may be considered beneficial or unhealthy. The aim of this study is to evaluate the fatty acid profile of fat depots in Santa Inês sheep finished in confinement with spineless cactus in their diets. The treatments included increasing levels of spineless cactus (Opuntia fícus-indica Mill.): T1 = 0%, T2 = 30%, T3 = 50%, and T4 = 70%. The diets significantly affected the adipose depots. The orthogonal contrast between the diet with no cactus (control) and the other diets indicates that the quantity of saturated fatty acids decreased and that the levels of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids increased in animals fed spineless cactus. The use of spineless cactus in the diets of Santa Inês sheep affects the lipid profile of their fat depots, reducing the quantity of saturated fatty acids and increasing the quantity of mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. The fatty acid profile of the fat depots indicates that these fats can be used to formulate meat products and add economic and nutritional value to such products, which increases sheep farmers' incomes. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  16. Closure Report for Corrective Action Unit 426: Cactus Spring Waste Trenches, Tonopah Test Range, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    Dave Madsen

    This Closure Report provides the documentation for closure of the Cactus Spring Waste Trenches Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 426. The site is located on the Tonopah Test Range, approximately 225 kilometers northwest of Las Vegas, NV. CAU 426 consists of one corrective action site (CAS) which is comprised of four waste trenches. The trenches were excavated to receive solid waste generated in support of Operation Roller Coaster, primary the Double Tracks Test in 1963, and were subsequently backfilled. The Double Tracks Test involved use of live animals to assess the biological hazards associated with the nonnuclear detonation of plutonium-bearing devices.more » The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection approved Corrective Action Plan (CAP)which proposed ''capping'' methodology. The closure activities were completed in accordance with the approved CAP and consisted of constructing an engineered cover in the area of the trenches, constructing/planting a vegetative cover, installing a perimeter fence and signs, implementing restrictions on future use, and preparing a Post-Closure Monitoring Plan.« less

  17. Resolving a Prickly Situation: Involving Stakeholders in Invasive Cactus Management in South Africa.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; Kaplan, Haylee; Wilson, John R U; Richardson, David M

    2016-05-01

    The regulation and management of alien species can be contentious, particularly when the stakeholders who benefit from alien species are different from those who suffer the costs. We propose a consultative process involving relevant stakeholders in invasive species management decisions. The process involves (1) the identification of relevant stakeholders, (2) assessing their perceptions, (3) enhancing interaction between stakeholders, (4) assessing changes in stakeholders' perceptions following interactions with other stakeholders, and (5) developing management recommendations in collaboration with stakeholders. We demonstrate the application of the process using the family Cactaceae ('cacti') in South Africa. Many species of cacti have been introduced to the country over the past two centuries, mostly for horticulture, food and fodder, and hundreds of other species have been introduced in the past few decades (or are likely to be introduced soon) for horticulture. Using the proposed process enabled the negotiation and participation of all stakeholders in decision making and helped minimize contentious situations by clarifying stakeholder's beliefs and exploring consensus solutions. Consequently, management objectives were broadly supported by all stakeholders. These results will be included in a national cactus management strategy for South Africa.

  18. Hierarchical structures of cactus spines that aid in the directional movement of dew droplets

    PubMed Central

    Clement, R. M.; Gethin, D. T.; Kiernan, M.; Goral, T.; Griffiths, P.; Beynon, D.; Parker, A. R.

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cactus whose spines act as dew harvesters were chosen for this study: Copiapoa cinerea var. haseltoniana, Mammillaria columbiana subsp. yucatanensis and Parodia mammulosa and compared with Ferocactus wislizenii whose spines do not perform as dew harvesters. Time-lapse snapshots of C. cinerea showed movement of dew droplets from spine tips to their base, even against gravity. Spines emanating from one of the areoles of C. cinerea were submerged in water laced with fluorescent nanoparticles and this particular areole with its spines and a small area of stem was removed and imaged. These images clearly showed that fluorescent water had moved into the stem of the plant. Lines of vascular bundles radiating inwards from the surface areoles (from where the spines emanate) to the core of the stem were detected using magnetic resonance imaging, with the exception of F. wislizenii that does not harvest dew on its spines. Spine microstructures were examined using SEM images and surface roughness measurements (Ra and Rz) taken of the spines of C. cinerea. It was found that a roughness gradient created by tapered microgrooves existed that could potentially direct surface water from a spine tip to its base. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science’. PMID:27354735

  19. Disruption rates for one vulnerable soil in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Webb, Robert H.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Sturm, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Rates of soil disruption from hikers and vehicle traffic are poorly known, particularly for arid landscapes. We conducted an experiment in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (ORPI) in western Arizona, USA, on an air-dry very fine sandy loam that is considered to be vulnerable to disruption. We created variable-pass tracks using hikers, an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), and a four-wheel drive vehicle (4WD) and measured changes in cross-track topography, penetration depth, and bulk density. Hikers (one pass = 5 hikers) increased bulk density and altered penetration depth but caused minimal surface disruption up to 100 passes; a minimum of 10 passes were required to overcome surface strength of this dry soil. Both ATV and 4WD traffic significantly disrupted the soil with one pass, creating deep ruts with increasing passes that rendered the 4WD trail impassable after 20 passes. Despite considerable soil loosening (dilation), bulk density increased in the vehicle trails, and lateral displacement created berms of loosened soil. This soil type, when dry, can sustain up to 10 passes of hikers but only one vehicle pass before significant soil disruption occurs; greater disruption is expected when soils are wet. Bulk density increased logarithmically with applied pressure from hikers, ATV, and 4WD.

  20. Resolving a Prickly Situation: Involving Stakeholders in Invasive Cactus Management in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novoa, Ana; Kaplan, Haylee; Wilson, John R. U.; Richardson, David M.

    2016-05-01

    The regulation and management of alien species can be contentious, particularly when the stakeholders who benefit from alien species are different from those who suffer the costs. We propose a consultative process involving relevant stakeholders in invasive species management decisions. The process involves (1) the identification of relevant stakeholders, (2) assessing their perceptions, (3) enhancing interaction between stakeholders, (4) assessing changes in stakeholders' perceptions following interactions with other stakeholders, and (5) developing management recommendations in collaboration with stakeholders. We demonstrate the application of the process using the family Cactaceae (`cacti') in South Africa. Many species of cacti have been introduced to the country over the past two centuries, mostly for horticulture, food and fodder, and hundreds of other species have been introduced in the past few decades (or are likely to be introduced soon) for horticulture. Using the proposed process enabled the negotiation and participation of all stakeholders in decision making and helped minimize contentious situations by clarifying stakeholder's beliefs and exploring consensus solutions. Consequently, management objectives were broadly supported by all stakeholders. These results will be included in a national cactus management strategy for South Africa.

  1. Combining Ferric Salt and Cactus Mucilage for Arsenic Removal from Water.

    PubMed

    Fox, Dawn I; Stebbins, Daniela M; Alcantar, Norma A

    2016-03-01

    New methods to remediate arsenic-contaminated water continue to be studied, particularly to fill the need for accessible methods that can significantly impact developing communities. A combination of cactus mucilage and ferric (Fe(III)) salt was investigated as a flocculation-coagulation system to remove arsenic (As) from water. As(V) solutions, ferric nitrate, and mucilage suspensions were mixed and left to stand for various periods of time. Visual and SEM observations confirmed the flocculation action of the mucilage as visible flocs formed and settled to the bottom of the tubes within 3 min. The colloidal suspensions without mucilage were stable for up to 1 week. Sample aliquots were tested for dissolved and total arsenic by ICP-MS and HGAFS. Mucilage treatment improved As removal (over Fe(III)-only treatment); the system removed 75-96% As in 30 min. At neutral pH, removal was dependent on Fe(III) and mucilage concentration and the age of the Fe(III) solution. The process is fast, achieving maximum removal in 30 min, with the majority of As removed in 10-15 min. Standard jar tests with 1000 μg/L As(III) showed that arsenic removal and settling rates were pH-dependent; As removal was between 52% (high pH) and 66% (low pH).

  2. Immunoprotective activity and antioxidant properties of cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) extract against chlorpyrifos toxicity in rats.

    PubMed

    Smida, Amani; Ncibi, Saida; Taleb, Jihen; Ben Saad, Anouar; Ncib, Sana; Zourgui, Lazhar

    2017-04-01

    Opuntia ficus indica (family Cactaceae) is a typical Mediterranean plant, mainly used in food and traditional folk medicine. The present study was designed to evaluate the protective effect of Opuntia ficus indica extract against chlorpyrifos (CPF)-induced immunotoxicity in rats. The experimental animals consisted of four groups of Wistar rats (5-6 weeks old) of eight each: a control group, a group treated with CPF (10mg/kg), a group treated with Opuntia ficus indica extract (100mg/kg), and a group treated with cactus extract then treated with CPF. These components were daily administered by gavage for 30days. After treatment, immunotoxicity was estimated by a count of thymocytes, splenocytes, stem cells in the bone marrow, relative weights of thymus and spleen, DNA aspects, and oxidative stress status in these organs. Results showed that CPF could induce thymus atrophy, splenomegaly, and a decrease in the cell number in the bone marrow. It also increased the oxidative stress markers resulting in elevated levels of the lipid peroxidation with a concomitant decrease in the levels of enzymatic antioxidants (SOD, CAT, GPx) in both spleen and thymus, and also degradation of thymocyte and splenocyte DNA. Consistent histological changes were found in the spleen and thymus under CPF treatment. However, administration of Opuntia ficus indica extract was found to alleviate this CPF-induced damage. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Micromorphology of cactus-pear (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill) cladodes based on scanning microscopies.

    PubMed

    Ben Salem-Fnayou, Asma; Zemni, Hassène; Nefzaoui, Ali; Ghorbel, Abdelwahed

    2014-01-01

    Cladode ultrastructural features of two prickly and two spineless Opuntia ficus-indica cultivars were examined using environmental scanning electron and atomic force microscopies. Observations focused on cladode as well as spine and glochid surface micromorphologies. Prickly cultivars were characterized by abundant cracked epicuticular wax deposits covering the cladode surface, with an amorphous structure as observed by AFM, while less abundant waxy plates were observed by ESEM on spineless cultivar cladodes. Further AFM observations allowed a rough granular and crystalloid epicuticular wax structure to be distinguished in spineless cultivars. Regarding spine micromorphology, prickly cultivars had strong persistent spines, observed by ESEM as a compact arrangement of oblong epidermal cells with a rough granular structure. However, deciduous spines in spineless cultivars had a broken transversely fissured epidermis covering a parallel arrangement of fibres. Through AFM, the deciduous spine surface presented an irregular hilly and smooth microrelief while persistent spines exhibited rough helical filamentous prints. ESEM and AFM studies of cladode surfaces from prickly and spineless cactus pear cultivars revealed valuable micro-morphological details that ought to be extended to a large number of O. ficus-indica cultivars. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Polymorphic microsatellite markers for the rare and endangered cactus Uebelmannia pectinifera (Cactaceae) and its congeneric species.

    PubMed

    Moraes, E M; Cidade, F W; Silva, G A R; Machado, M C

    2014-12-04

    The cactus genus Uebelmannia includes 3 narrow endemic species associated with rocky savanna habitats in eastern South America. Because of their rarity and illegal over-collection, all of these species are endangered. Taxonomic uncertainties resulting from dramatic local variation in morphology within Uebelmannia species preclude effective conservation efforts, such as the reintroduction or translocation of plants, to restore declining populations. In this study, we developed and characterized 18 perfect, dinucleotide simple-sequence repeat markers for U. pectinifera, the most widely distributed species in the genus, and tested the cross-amplification of these markers in the remaining congeneric species and subspecies. All markers were polymorphic in a sample from 2 U. pectinifera populations. The effective number of alleles ranged from 1.6 to 8.7, with an average per population of 3.3 (SE ± 0.30) and 4.5 (SE ± 0.50). Expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.375 to 0.847 and 8-10 loci showed departures from Hardy- Weinberg equilibrium in the analyzed populations. Based on the observed polymorphism level of each marker, as well as the analysis of null allele presence and evidence of amplification of duplicate loci, a subset of 12 loci can be used as reliable markers to investigate the genetic structure, diversity, and species limits of the Uebelmannia genus.

  5. Hierarchical structures of cactus spines that aid in the directional movement of dew droplets.

    PubMed

    Malik, F T; Clement, R M; Gethin, D T; Kiernan, M; Goral, T; Griffiths, P; Beynon, D; Parker, A R

    2016-08-06

    Three species of cactus whose spines act as dew harvesters were chosen for this study: Copiapoa cinerea var. haseltoniana, Mammillaria columbiana subsp. yucatanensis and Parodia mammulosa and compared with Ferocactus wislizenii whose spines do not perform as dew harvesters. Time-lapse snapshots of C. cinerea showed movement of dew droplets from spine tips to their base, even against gravity. Spines emanating from one of the areoles of C. cinerea were submerged in water laced with fluorescent nanoparticles and this particular areole with its spines and a small area of stem was removed and imaged. These images clearly showed that fluorescent water had moved into the stem of the plant. Lines of vascular bundles radiating inwards from the surface areoles (from where the spines emanate) to the core of the stem were detected using magnetic resonance imaging, with the exception of F. wislizenii that does not harvest dew on its spines. Spine microstructures were examined using SEM images and surface roughness measurements (Ra and Rz) taken of the spines of C. cinerea It was found that a roughness gradient created by tapered microgrooves existed that could potentially direct surface water from a spine tip to its base.This article is part of the themed issue 'Bioinspired hierarchically structured surfaces for green science'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  6. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    Executive Summary We summarized inventory and monitoring efforts for plants and vertebrates at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (NM) in Arizona. We used data from previous research to compile complete species lists for the monument and to assess inventory completeness. There have been 1,031 species of plants and vertebrates observed at the monument. Most of the species on the list are documented by voucher specimens. There are 59 non-native species established in the monument: one mammal, three birds, and 55 non-native plants. Most non-native plant species were first recorded along roads. In each taxon-specific chapter, we highlight areas that contribute disproportionately to species richness or that have unique species for the monument. Of particular importance are Quitobaquito Springs and Pond, which are responsible for the monument having one of the highest number of bird species in the Sonoran Desert Network of parks. Quitobaquito also contains the only fish in the monument, the endangered Quitobaquito pupfish (Cyprinodon eremus). Other important resources for the plants and vertebrates include the xeroriparian washes (e.g., Alamo Canyon) and the Ajo Mountains. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventories of vascular plants and vertebrates are nearly complete and that the monument has one of the most complete inventories of any unit in the Sonoran Desert Network.

  7. Forensic identification of CITES protected slimming cactus (Hoodia) using DNA barcoding.

    PubMed

    Gathier, Gerard; van der Niet, Timotheus; Peelen, Tamara; van Vugt, Rogier R; Eurlings, Marcel C M; Gravendeel, Barbara

    2013-11-01

    Slimming cactus (Hoodia), found only in southwestern Africa, is a well-known herbal product for losing weight. Consequently, Hoodia extracts are sought-after worldwide despite a CITES Appendix II status. The failure to eradicate illegal trade is due to problems with detecting and identifying Hoodia using morphological and chemical characters. Our aim was to evaluate the potential of molecular identification of Hoodia based on DNA barcoding. Screening of nrITS1 and psbA-trnH DNA sequences from 26 accessions of Ceropegieae resulted in successful identification, while conventional chemical profiling using DLI-MS led to inaccurate detection and identification of Hoodia. The presence of Hoodia in herbal products was also successfully established using DNA sequences. A validation procedure of our DNA barcoding protocol demonstrated its robustness to changes in PCR conditions. We conclude that DNA barcoding is an effective tool for Hoodia detection and identification which can contribute to preventing illegal trade. © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

  8. Sun/shade conditions affect recruitment and local adaptation of a columnar cactus in dry forests.

    PubMed

    Miranda-Jácome, Antonio; Montaña, Carlos; Fornoni, Juan

    2013-02-01

    Facilitation among plants in water-limited environments (i.e. where evapotranspiration overcomes the availability of water during the growing season) has been considered a local adaptation to water and light conditions. Among cacti, early life-history stages can benefit from the facilitative effects of nurse plants that reduce solar radiation and water stress. However, whether light condition itself acts as an agent of selection through facilitation remains untested. The aim of this study was to determine (1) whether light conditions affect seedling recruitment, (2) whether the positive effect of shade on seedling recruitment is more intense under more stressful conditions and (3) whether shade condition (facilitation) reduces the magnitude of local adaptation on seedling recruitment relative to full sunlight conditions. A reciprocal transplant experiment, coupled with the artificial manipulation of sun/shade conditions, was performed to test for the effects of local adaptation on germination, seedling survival and growth, using two demes of the columnar cactus Pilosocereus leucocephalus, representing different intensities of stressful conditions. Full sunlight conditions reduced recruitment success and supported the expectation of lower recruitment in more stressful environments. Significant local adaptation was mainly detected under full sunlight conditions, indicating that this environmental factor acts as an agent of selection at both sites. The results supported the expectation that the magnitude of local adaptation, driven by the effects of facilitative nurse plants, is less intense under reduced stressful conditions. This study is the first to demonstrate that sun/shade conditions act as a selective agent accounting for local adaptation in water-limited environments, and that facilitation provided by nurse plants in these environments can attenuate the patterns of local adaptation among plants benefiting from the nurse effect.

  9. Sun/shade conditions affect recruitment and local adaptation of a columnar cactus in dry forests

    PubMed Central

    Miranda-Jácome, Antonio; Montaña, Carlos; Fornoni, Juan

    2013-01-01

    Background and Aims Facilitation among plants in water-limited environments (i.e. where evapotranspiration overcomes the availability of water during the growing season) has been considered a local adaptation to water and light conditions. Among cacti, early life-history stages can benefit from the facilitative effects of nurse plants that reduce solar radiation and water stress. However, whether light condition itself acts as an agent of selection through facilitation remains untested. The aim of this study was to determine (1) whether light conditions affect seedling recruitment, (2) whether the positive effect of shade on seedling recruitment is more intense under more stressful conditions and (3) whether shade condition (facilitation) reduces the magnitude of local adaptation on seedling recruitment relative to full sunlight conditions. Methods A reciprocal transplant experiment, coupled with the artificial manipulation of sun/shade conditions, was performed to test for the effects of local adaptation on germination, seedling survival and growth, using two demes of the columnar cactus Pilosocereus leucocephalus, representing different intensities of stressful conditions. Key Results Full sunlight conditions reduced recruitment success and supported the expectation of lower recruitment in more stressful environments. Significant local adaptation was mainly detected under full sunlight conditions, indicating that this environmental factor acts as an agent of selection at both sites. Conclusions The results supported the expectation that the magnitude of local adaptation, driven by the effects of facilitative nurse plants, is less intense under reduced stressful conditions. This study is the first to demonstrate that sun/shade conditions act as a selective agent accounting for local adaptation in water-limited environments, and that facilitation provided by nurse plants in these environments can attenuate the patterns of local adaptation among plants benefiting

  10. Thermal Energy Exchange Model and Water Loss of a Barrel Cactus, Ferocactus acanthodes1

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Donald A.; Nobel, Park S.

    1977-01-01

    The influences of various diurnal stomatal opening patterns, spines, and ribs on the stem surface temperature and water economy of a CAM succulent, the barrel cactus Ferocactus acanthodes, were examined using an energy budget model. To incorporate energy exchanges by shortwave and longwave irradiation, latent heat, conduction, and convection as well as the heat storage in the massive stem, the plant was subdivided into over 100 internal and external regions in the model. This enabled the average surface temperature to be predicted within 1 C of the measured temperature for both winter and summer days. Reducing the stem water vapor conductance from the values observed in the field to zero caused the average daily stem surface temperature to increase only 0.7 C for a winter day and 0.3 C for a summer day. Thus, latent heat loss does not substantially reduce stem temperature. Although the surface temperatures averaged 18 C warmer for the summer day than for the winter day for a plant 41 cm tall, the temperature dependence of stomatal opening caused the simulated nighttime water loss rates to be about the same for the 2 days. Spines moderated the amplitude of the diurnal temperature changes of the stem surface, since the daily variation was 17 C for the winter day and 25 C for the summer day with spines compared with 23 C and 41 C, respectively, in their simulated absence. Ribs reduced the daytime temperature rise by providing 54% more area for convective heat loss than for a smooth circumscribing surface. In a simulation where both spines and ribs were eliminated, the daytime average surface temperature rose by 5 C. PMID:16660148

  11. Asynchronous ripening behavior of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) cultivars with respect to physicochemical and physiological attributes.

    PubMed

    Kyriacou, M C; Emmanouilidou, M G; Soteriou, G A

    2016-11-15

    Physicochemical and physiological ripening events in cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) fruit of cultivars 'Ntopia' and 'Hercules' were profiled against skin coloration from mature-green (S1) to over-mature (S5). Fructose and glucose accumulation were linear in 'Ntopia' but peaked near S3 in 'Hercules' synchronously to the appearance of sucrose. Betalains increased steadily in 'Ntopia' (103.2mg/l) but peaked before full skin coloration in 'Hercules' (49.7mg/l); whereas phenolic content remained invariable and ascorbate content peaked near S5 in both 'Ntopia' (108.6μg/g) and 'Hercules' (163.1μg/g). Cell wall material diminished with maturity though textural changes with ripening appeared not related to pectin solubilization but to weakening of glycan bonding and loss of neutral sugars. Fruit firmness rather was correlated to seed weight (r=0.89) and seed-to-pulp ratio (r=0.73). Cultivar differences highlighted in the chronology of ripening events are critical for defining optimum harvest maturity and postharvest handling protocols for premium quality cactus pear fruit. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Patterns of growth and mortality in the endangered Nichol's Turk's Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) in Southeastern Arizona

    Treesearch

    M. E. McIntosh; L. A. McDade; A. E. Boyd; P. D. Jenkins

    2007-01-01

    Nichol’s Turk’s Head Cactus (Echinocactus horizonthalonius var. nicholii L. Benson; Cactaceae) occurs in a few isolated populations in the Sonoran desert of southcentral Arizona (Pima and Pinal counties). The populations of this variety are disjunct from the more widespread variety that occurs in the Chihuahuan desert of Texas and...

  13. Characterization of the nutritional components in fruit and cladode of selenium-enriched nutraceutical cactus pear fruit varieties grown on agricultural sediment

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Different accessions of different colored cactus pear (Opuntia ficus Indica) were grown in soils high in salts, boron and selenium (Se) located in the Westside of central California. The changes in the nutritional status and biological transformation of the absorbed inorganic Se from the soils into ...

  14. Diversity and antifungal activity of the endophytic fungi associated with the native medicinal cactus Opuntia humifusa (Cactaceae) from the United States

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The endophytic fungal community associated with the native cactus Opuntia humifusa in the United States was investigated and its potential for providing antifungal compounds. A total of 108 endophytic fungal isolates were obtained and identified by molecular methods into 17 different taxa of the gen...

  15. Preliminary Assessment for CAU 485: Cactus Spring Ranch Pu and DU Site CAS No. TA-39-001-TAGR: Soil Contamination, Tonopah Test Range, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    NONE

    1998-07-01

    Corrective Action Unit 485, Corrective Action Site TA-39-001-TAGR, the Cactus Spring Ranch Soil Contamination Area, is located approximately six miles southwest of the Area 3 Compound at the eastern mouth of Sleeping Column Canyon in the Cactus Range on the Tonopah Test Range. This site was used in conjunction with animal studies involving the biological effects of radionuclides (specifically plutonium) associated with Operation Roofer Coaster. The location had been used as a ranch by private citizens prior to government control of the area. According to historical records, Operation Roofer Coaster activities involved assessing the inhalation uptake of plutonium in animalsmore » from the nonnuclear detonation of nuclear weapons. Operation Roofer Coaster consisted of four nonnuclear destruction tests of a nuclear device. The four tests all took place during May and June 1963 and consisted of Double Tracks and Clean Slate 1, 11, and 111. Eighty-four dogs, 84 burros, and 136 sheep were used for the Double Tracks test, and ten sheep and ten dogs were used for Clean Slate 11. These animals were housed at Cactus Spring Ranch. Before detonation, all animals were placed in cages and transported to the field. After the shot, they were taken to the decontamination area where some may have been sacrificed immediately. All animals, including those sacrificed, were returned to Cactus Spring Ranch at this point to have autopsies performed or to await being sacrificed at a later date. A description of the Cactus Spring Ranch activities found in project files indicates the ranch was used solely for the purpose of the Roofer Coaster tests and bioaccumulation studies and was never used for any other project. No decontamination or cleanup had been conducted at Cactus Spring Ranch prior to the start of the project. When the project was complete, the pits at Cactus Spring Ranch were filled with soil, and trailers where dogs were housed and animal autopsies had been performed were

  16. Abiotic factors shape microbial diversity in Sonoran Desert soils.

    PubMed

    Andrew, David R; Fitak, Robert R; Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Racolta, Adriana; Martinson, Vincent G; Dontsova, Katerina

    2012-11-01

    High-throughput, culture-independent surveys of bacterial and archaeal communities in soil have illuminated the importance of both edaphic and biotic influences on microbial diversity, yet few studies compare the relative importance of these factors. Here, we employ multiplexed pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to examine soil- and cactus-associated rhizosphere microbial communities of the Sonoran Desert and the artificial desert biome of the Biosphere2 research facility. The results of our replicate sampling approach show that microbial communities are shaped primarily by soil characteristics associated with geographic locations, while rhizosphere associations are secondary factors. We found little difference between rhizosphere communities of the ecologically similar saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and cardón (Pachycereus pringlei) cacti. Both rhizosphere and soil communities were dominated by the disproportionately abundant Crenarchaeota class Thermoprotei, which comprised 18.7% of 183,320 total pyrosequencing reads from a comparatively small number (1,337 or 3.7%) of the 36,162 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs). OTUs common to both soil and rhizosphere samples comprised the bulk of raw sequence reads, suggesting that the shared community of soil and rhizosphere microbes constitute common and abundant taxa, particularly in the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria. The vast majority of OTUs, however, were rare and unique to either soil or rhizosphere communities and differed among locations dozens of kilometers apart. Several soil properties, particularly soil pH and carbon content, were significantly correlated with community diversity measurements. Our results highlight the importance of culture-independent approaches in surveying microbial communities of extreme environments.

  17. Abiotic Factors Shape Microbial Diversity in Sonoran Desert Soils

    PubMed Central

    Fitak, Robert R.; Munguia-Vega, Adrian; Racolta, Adriana; Martinson, Vincent G.; Dontsova, Katerina

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput, culture-independent surveys of bacterial and archaeal communities in soil have illuminated the importance of both edaphic and biotic influences on microbial diversity, yet few studies compare the relative importance of these factors. Here, we employ multiplexed pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene to examine soil- and cactus-associated rhizosphere microbial communities of the Sonoran Desert and the artificial desert biome of the Biosphere2 research facility. The results of our replicate sampling approach show that microbial communities are shaped primarily by soil characteristics associated with geographic locations, while rhizosphere associations are secondary factors. We found little difference between rhizosphere communities of the ecologically similar saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and cardón (Pachycereus pringlei) cacti. Both rhizosphere and soil communities were dominated by the disproportionately abundant Crenarchaeota class Thermoprotei, which comprised 18.7% of 183,320 total pyrosequencing reads from a comparatively small number (1,337 or 3.7%) of the 36,162 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs). OTUs common to both soil and rhizosphere samples comprised the bulk of raw sequence reads, suggesting that the shared community of soil and rhizosphere microbes constitute common and abundant taxa, particularly in the bacterial phyla Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Planctomycetes, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, and Acidobacteria. The vast majority of OTUs, however, were rare and unique to either soil or rhizosphere communities and differed among locations dozens of kilometers apart. Several soil properties, particularly soil pH and carbon content, were significantly correlated with community diversity measurements. Our results highlight the importance of culture-independent approaches in surveying microbial communities of extreme environments. PMID:22885757

  18. Active aerodynamic drag reduction on morphable cylinders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guttag, M.; Reis, P. M.

    2017-12-01

    We study a mechanism for active aerodynamic drag reduction on morphable grooved cylinders, whose topography can be modified pneumatically. Our design is inspired by the morphology of the Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), which possesses an array of axial grooves, thought to help reduce aerodynamic drag, thereby enhancing the structural robustness of the plant under wind loading. Our analog experimental samples comprise a spoked rigid skeleton with axial cavities, covered by a stretched elastomeric film. Decreasing the inner pressure of the sample produces axial grooves, whose depth can be accurately varied, on demand. First, we characterize the relation between groove depth and pneumatic loading through a combination of precision mechanical experiments and finite element simulations. Second, wind tunnel tests are used to measure the aerodynamic drag coefficient (as a function of Reynolds number) of the grooved samples, with different levels of periodicity and groove depths. We focus specifically on the drag crisis and systematically measure the associated minimum drag coefficient and the critical Reynolds number at which it occurs. The results are in agreement with the classic literature of rough cylinders, albeit with an unprecedented level of precision and resolution in varying topography using a single sample. Finally, we leverage the morphable nature of our system to dynamically reduce drag for varying aerodynamic loading conditions. We demonstrate that actively controlling the groove depth yields a drag coefficient that decreases monotonically with Reynolds number and is significantly lower than the fixed sample counterparts. These findings open the possibility for the drag reduction of grooved cylinders to be operated over a wide range of flow conditions.

  19. A 30-year chronosequence of burned areas in Arizona: effects of wildfires on vegetation in Sonoran Desert Tortoise (Gopherus morafkai) habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shryock, Daniel F.; Esque, Todd C.; Chen, Felicia C.

    2015-01-01

    Fire is widely regarded as a key evolutionary force in fire-prone ecosystems, with effects spanning multiple levels of organization, from species and functional group composition through landscape-scale vegetation structure, biomass, and diversity (Pausas and others, 2004; Bond and Keeley 2005; Pausas and Verdu, 2008). Ecosystems subjected to novel fire regimes may experience profound changes that are difficult to predict, including persistent losses of vegetation cover and diversity (McLaughlin and Bowers, 1982; Brown and Minnich, 1986; Brooks, 2012), losses to seed banks (Esque and others, 2010a), changes in demographic processes (Esque and others, 2004; DeFalco and others, 2010), increased erosion (Soulard and others, 2013), changes in nutrient availability (Esque and others, 2010b), increased dominance of invasive species (Esque and others, 2002; Brooks and others, 2004), and transitions to alternative community states (Davies and others, 2012). In the deserts of the Southwestern United States, fire size and frequency have increased substantially over the last several decades because of an invasive grass/fire feedback cycle (Schmid and Rogers, 1988; D’Antonio and Vitousek, 1992; Swantek and others, 1999; Brooks and Matchett, 2006; Esque and others, 2010a), in which invasive annual species are able to establish fuel loads capable of sustaining large-scale wildfires following years of high rainfall (Esque and Schwalbe, 2002). Native perennial vegetation is not well-adapted to fire in these environments, and widespread, physiognomically dominant species such as creosote bush (Larrea tridentata), Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia), giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), and paloverde (Parkinsonia spp.) may be reduced or eliminated (Brown and Minnich, 1986; Esque and others, 2006; DeFalco and others, 2010), potentially affecting wildlife populations including the Sonoran and federally threatened Mojave Desert Tortoises (Gopherus morafkai and Gopherus agassizii

  20. Cactus (Opuntia humifusa) water extract ameliorates loperamide-induced constipation in rats.

    PubMed

    Han, Sung Hee; Park, Kyungmi; Kim, Eun Young; Ahn, So Hyun; Lee, Hyun-Sun; Suh, Hyung Joo

    2017-01-17

    Korean cactus Cheonnyuncho (Opuntia humifusa) is rich in pectin, phenols, flavonoids, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. Some Koreans drink Cheonnyuncho juice prepared by grinding Cheonnyuncho with water. Cheonnyuncho is well known for its functional properties and antioxidant effects, but its effect on constipation has not been sufficiently studied. Loperamide (2 mg/kg) was injected subcutaneously to induce constipation in rats. The animals were divided into four groups: a normal group (NOR), constipation control group (CON), and two constipation groups receiving the Cheonnyuncho extract (CE) at two different concentrations in drinking water, 3% (L-CE group) and 6% (H-CE group), for 25 days. The fecal pellet numbers of NOR and L-CE were significantly increased from 35.67 ± 2.09 (CON) to 50.60 ± 1.38 and 46.50 ± 2.91 after loperamide treatment, respectively (p < 0.05). The water content of fecal excretions was significantly enhanced in only the L-CE group (33.05 ± 0.49%) compared to control (23.38 ± 1.26%) (p < 0.05) after loperamide treatment. The oral intake of CE (L-CE and H-CE groups) significantly increased levels of the intestinal transit ratio (45.25 ± 1.86% and 41.05 ± 2.47%, respectively) compared to the CON group (32.15 ± 2.05%) (p < 0.05). Treatment with the low concentration of CE significantly increased fecal levels of acetic, propionic, butyric, and valeric acids, as well as the total short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) concentration. Histological analyses revealed that the thickness of the distal colon also increased in the CE-treated groups in a dose-dependent manner. Constipation decreased when CE was fed to the rats. In particular, the fecal pellet number and water content, as well as histological parameters such as distal colon thickness, improved. The CE treatment also increased the fecal SCFA content. These results show that the extract of Cheonnyuncho (O. humifusa) alleviated the

  1. Phytochemical, antioxidant and protective effect of cactus cladodes extract against lithium-induced liver injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Ben Saad, Anouar; Dalel, Brahmi; Rjeibi, Ilhem; Smida, Amani; Ncib, Sana; Zouari, Nacim; Zourgui, Lazhar

    2017-12-01

    Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. (Castaceae) (cactus) is used in Tunisian medicine for the treatment of various diseases. This study determines phytochemical composition of cactus cladode extract (CCE). It also investigates antioxidant activity and hepatoprotective potential of CCE against lithium carbonate (Li 2 CO 3 )-induced liver injury in rats. Twenty-four Wistar male rats were divided into four groups of six each: a control group given distilled water (0.5 mL/100 g b.w.; i.p.), a group injected with Li 2 CO 3 (25 mg/kg b.w.; i.p.; corresponding to 30% of the LD 50 ) twice daily for 30 days, a group receiving only CCE at 100 mg/kg of b.w. for 60 days and then injected with distilled water during the last 30 days of CCE treatment, and a group receiving CCE and then injected with Li 2 CO 3 during the last 30 days of CCE treatment. The bioactive components containing the CCE were identified using chemical assays. Treatment with Li 2 CO 3 caused a significant change of some haematological parameters including red blood cells (RBC), white blood cells (WBC), haemoglobin content (Hb), haematocrit (Ht) and mean corpuscular volume (VCM) compared to the control group. Moreover, significant increases in the levels of glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides and of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities were observed in the blood of Li 2 CO 3 -treated rats. Furthermore, exposure to Li 2 CO 3 significantly increased the LPO level and decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities in the hepatic tissues. CCE possesses a significant hepatoprotective effect.

  2. Floral visitation by the Argentine ant reduces pollinator visitation and seed set in the coast barrel cactus, Ferocactus viridescens.

    PubMed

    LeVan, Katherine E; Hung, Keng-Lou James; McCann, Kyle R; Ludka, John T; Holway, David A

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that trade-offs between plant defense and reproduction arise not only from resource allocation but also from interactions among mutualists. Indirect costs of plant defense by ants, for example, can outweigh benefits if ants deter pollinators. Plants can dissuade ants from occupying flowers, but such arrangements may break down when novel ant partners infiltrate mutualisms. Here, we examine how floral visitation by ants affects pollination services when the invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) replaces a native ant species in a food-for-protection mutualism with the coast barrel cactus (Ferocactus viridescens), which, like certain other barrel cacti, produces extrafloral nectar. We compared the effects of floral visitation by the Argentine ant with those of the most prevalent native ant species (Crematogaster californica). Compared to C. californica, the Argentine ant was present in higher numbers in flowers. Cactus bees (Diadasia spp.), the key pollinators in this system, spent less time in flowers when cacti were occupied by the Argentine ant compared to when cacti were occupied by C. californica. Presumably as a consequence of decreased duration of floral visits by Diadasia, cacti occupied by L. humile set fewer seeds per fruit and produced fewer seeds overall compared to cacti occupied by C. californica. These data illustrate the importance of mutualist identity in cases where plants balance multiple mutualisms. Moreover, as habitats become increasingly infiltrated by introduced species, the loss of native mutualists and their replacement by non-native species may alter the shape of trade-offs between plant defense and reproduction.

  3. Choline chloride (ChCl) and monosodium glutamate (MSG)-based green solvents from optimized cactus malic acid for biomass delignification.

    PubMed

    Yiin, Chung Loong; Quitain, Armando T; Yusup, Suzana; Uemura, Yoshimitsu; Sasaki, Mitsuru; Kida, Tetsuya

    2017-11-01

    This work aimed to develop an efficient microwave-hydrothermal (MH) extraction of malic acid from abundant natural cactus as hydrogen bond donor (HBD) whereby the concentration was optimized using response surface methodology. The ideal process conditions were found to be at a solvent-to-feed ratio of 0.008, 120°C and 20min with 1.0g of oxidant, H 2 O 2 . Next generation environment-friendly solvents, low transition temperature mixtures (LTTMs) were synthesized from cactus malic acid with choline chloride (ChCl) and monosodium glutamate (MSG) as hydrogen bond acceptors (HBAs). The hydrogen-bonding interactions between the starting materials were determined. The efficiency of the LTTMs in removing lignin from oil palm biomass residues, empty fruit bunch (EFB) was also evaluated. The removal of amorphous hemicellulose and lignin after the pretreatment process resulted in an enhanced digestibility and thermal degradability of biomass. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Technological characteristics and selected bioactive compounds of Opuntia dillenii cactus fruit juice following the impact of pulsed electric field pre-treatment.

    PubMed

    Moussa-Ayoub, Tamer E; Jaeger, Henry; Youssef, Khaled; Knorr, Dietrich; El-Samahy, Salah; Kroh, Lothar W; Rohn, Sascha

    2016-11-01

    Selected technological characteristics and bioactive compounds of juice pressed directly from the mash of whole Opuntia dillenii cactus fruits have been investigated. The impact of pulsed electric fields (PEF) for a non-thermal disintegration on the important juice characteristics has been evaluated in comparison to microwave heating and use of pectinases. Results showed that the cactus juice exhibited desirable technological characteristics. Besides, it also contained a high amount of phenolic compounds being the major contributors to the overall antioxidant activity of juice. HPLC-DAD/ESI-MS(n) measurements in the fruits' peel and pulp showed that isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside was determined as the single flavonol found only in the fruit's peel. Treating fruit mash with a moderate electric field strength increased juice yield and improved juice characteristics. Promisingly, the highest release of isorhamnetin 3-O-rutinoside from fruit's peel into juice was maximally achieved by PEF. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. ViDiT-CACTUS: an inexpensive and versatile library preparation and sequence analysis method for virus discovery and other microbiology applications.

    PubMed

    Verhoeven, Joost Theo Petra; Canuti, Marta; Munro, Hannah J; Dufour, Suzanne C; Lang, Andrew S

    2018-04-19

    High-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies are becoming increasingly important within microbiology research, but aspects of library preparation, such as high cost per sample or strict input requirements, make HTS difficult to implement in some niche applications and for research groups on a budget. To answer these necessities, we developed ViDiT, a customizable, PCR-based, extremely low-cost (<5 US dollars per sample) and versatile library preparation method, and CACTUS, an analysis pipeline designed to rely on cloud computing power to generate high-quality data from ViDiT-based experiments without the need of expensive servers. We demonstrate here the versatility and utility of these methods within three fields of microbiology: virus discovery, amplicon-based viral genome sequencing and microbiome profiling. ViDiT-CACTUS allowed the identification of viral fragments from 25 different viral families from 36 oropharyngeal-cloacal swabs collected from wild birds, the sequencing of three almost complete genomes of avian influenza A viruses (>90% coverage), and the characterization and functional profiling of the complete microbial diversity (bacteria, archaea, viruses) within a deep-sea carnivorous sponge. ViDiT-CACTUS demonstrated its validity in a wide range of microbiology applications and its simplicity and modularity make it easily implementable in any molecular biology laboratory, towards various research goals.

  6. Replacement of wheat bran with spineless cactus (Opuntia ficus indica Mill cv Gigante) and urea in the diets of Holstein x Gyr heifers.

    PubMed

    de Figueiredo Monteiro, Carolina Corrêa; Silva de Melo, Airon Aparecido; Ferreira, Marcelo Andrade; de Souza Campos, José Mauricio; Rodrigues Souza, Julyana Sena; Dos Santos Silva, Evannielly Thuanny; de Paula Xavier de Andrade, Rafael; da Silva, Emmanuelle Cordeiro

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the replacement effect of wheat bran with spineless cactus and urea in heifers. Twenty-four heifers with an average initial weight of 185 ± 13 kg were used in this experiment. Four levels of spineless cactus corrected with urea and ammonium sulfate (9:1) were studied: 0, 33, 66, and 100 % replacement with wheat bran. Samples of feed, orts, and feces were analyzed to estimate the intake and digestibility of dry matter (DM) and nutrients. Indigestible neutral detergent fiber was used as an internal marker. The experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design. Dry matter, neutral detergent fiber, and total digestible nutrient intake demonstrated a quadratic effect (P < 0.05). Rumen degradable protein intake increased linearly (P < 0.05). The maximum DM digestibility was estimated to be 0.67 with a 43 % replacement. Crude protein and NDF digestibility increased linearly (P < 0.05). The total body weight gain and average daily gain decreased linearly with the replacement. Thus, it is practical to replace wheat bran with spineless cactus containing urea and ammonium sulfate up to 66 % in sugar cane-based diets.

  7. Blooming rhythms of cactus Cereus peruvianus with nocturnal peak at full moon during seasons of prolonged daytime photoperiod.

    PubMed

    Ben-Attia, Mossadok; Reinberg, Alain; Smolensky, Michael H; Gadacha, Wafa; Khedaier, Achraf; Sani, Mamane; Touitou, Yvan; Boughamni, Néziha Ghanem

    2016-01-01

    Cereus peruvianus (Peruvian apple cactus) is a large erect and thorny succulent cactus characterized by column-like (cereus [L]: column), that is, candle-shaped, appendages. For three successive years (1100 days), between early April and late November, we studied the flowering patterns of eight cacti growing in public gardens and rural areas of north and central Tunisia, far from nighttime artificial illumination, in relation to natural environmental light, temperature, relative humidity and precipitation parameters. Flower blooming was assessed nightly between 23:00 h and until at least 02:00 h, and additionally around-the-clock at ~1 h intervals for 30 consecutive days during the late summer of each year of study to quantify both nyctohemeral (day-night) and lunar patterns. During the summer months of prolonged daytime photoperiod, flower blooming of C. peruvianus exhibited predictable-in-time variation as "waves" with average period of 29.5 days synchronized by the light of the full moon. The large-sized flower (~16 cm diameter) opens almost exclusively at night, between sunset and sunrise, as a 24 h rhythm during a specific 3-4-day span of the lunar cycle (full moon), with a strong correlation between moon phase and number and proportion of flowers in bloom (ranging from r = +0.59 to +0.91). Black, blue and red cotton sheets were used to filter specific spectral bands of nighttime moonlight from illuminating randomly selected plant appendages as a means to test the hypothesis of a "gating" 24 h rhythm phenomenon of photoreceptors at the bud level. Relative to control conditions (no light filtering), black sheet covering inhibited flower bud induction by 87.5%, red sheet covering by 46.6% and blue sheet covering by 34%, and the respective inhibiting effects on number of flowers in bloom were essentially 100%, ~81% and ~44%. C. peruvianus is a unique example of a terrestrial plant that exhibits a circadian flowering rhythm (peak ~00:00 h) "gated" by 24 h, lunar

  8. Microencapsulation of pulp and ultrafiltered cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) extracts and betanin stability during storage.

    PubMed

    Vergara, Cristina; Saavedra, Jorge; Sáenz, Carmen; García, Paula; Robert, Paz

    2014-08-15

    Pulp (CP) and ultrafiltered (UF) cactus pear extracts were encapsulated with Capsul (C) by applying a central composite design (CP-C and UF-C systems) by spray-drying. To evaluate the effect of the extract, microparticles obtained under optimal conditions were characterised and stored at 60 °C. Betacyanin and betaxanthin encapsulation efficiency reached values above 98% for both systems studied. This efficiency was attributed to strong interactions between betalains and the polymer. Betalain degradation in CP-C and UF-C microparticles followed pseudo-first order kinetics. The betacyanin degradation rate constant was significantly higher for CP-C than for UF-C. These results suggested that the mucilage or higher sugar content of CP increased the hygroscopicity of the CP-C microparticles, leading to the degradation of betalain. The hydrolysis pathway was the main mechanism of betanin degradation during microparticle storage. These results demonstrate the potential utility of both CP-C and UF-C microparticles as natural colourants for healthy foods. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Enrichment of rice-based extrudates with Cactus Opuntia dillenii seed powder: a novel source of fiber and antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Rayan, Ahmed M; Morsy, Noha E; Youssef, Khaled M

    2018-02-01

    The present study investigated the effects of adding the powder of cactus Opuntia dillenii ( O. dillenii ) seeds on the functional properties, fiber, antioxidants and acceptability of rice-based extrudates. The control blend consisting basically of rice flour was replaced with O. dillenii seed powder at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15 and 20% then extruded at the optimum processing conditions. The extruded products were evaluated for their chemical composition, functional properties, color attributes, antioxidant activity and sensory characteristics. The results revealed that adding O. dillenii seeds powder enhanced the fiber, phenolics, flavonoid contents and antioxidant activity of extrudates. Expansion, bulk density and breaking strength were significantly decreased, while water absorption index, water solubility index and oil absorption index were significantly increased compared to the control. Furthermore, the mean scores of sensory evaluation indicated clear improvements in all tested sensory attributes, which significantly increased by increasing the level of O. dillenii seed powder up to 15%. The results confirmed that O. dillenii seed powder could be incorporated in rice to develop snack products of acceptable functional, nutritional and sensory properties.

  10. Bioactives in cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) stems possess potent antioxidant and pro-apoptotic activities through COX-2 involvement.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinhee; Soh, Soon Yil; Shin, Juha; Cho, Chi-Woung; Choi, Young Hee; Nam, Sang-Yong

    2015-10-01

    Bioactives extracted from cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) stems were investigated for their chemopreventive activities using human cancer cells in vitro. The bioactives present in crude extracts were detected and quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography. Among all the extracts, such as hexane, ethyl acetate (EtOAc), acetone, methanol (MeOH), and MeOH:water (80:20), the MeOH extract had the highest amount of polyphenolic compounds and the acetone extract exhibited the most potent effect at scavenging the 2,2,-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2'-azino-di-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline)-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS(•+) ) radical. In addition, most of the extracts, with the exception of hexane, exhibited significant cytotoxicity in human SW480 colon and MCF7 breast cancer cells. Overall, the SW480 cells were more sensitive than the MCF7 cells to the cytotoxic effect of the O. ficus-indica extracts (OFEs). Cell death by OFE treatment caused significant inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2 and increased the Bax/Bcl2 ratio in both SW480 and MCF7 cell lines. However, degradation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase was significantly increased by OFE only in the MCF7 cells, thereby inducing apoptosis. These findings demonstrate the health-benefit roles, including anti-oxidative and anti-proliferative activities as well as pro-apoptotic effects, of bioactive compounds in OFEs, suggesting a chemopreventive role in human cancer cells. © 2014 Society of Chemical Industry.

  11. Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) Protects Against Stress-Induced Acute Gastric Lesions in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seung Hyun; Jeon, Byung Ju; Kim, Dae Hyun; Kim, Tae Il; Lee, Hee Kyoung; Han, Dae Seob; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Kim, Tae Bum; Kim, Jung Wha

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The protective activity of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) fruit juice and its main constituent, betanin, were evaluated against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats. After 6 h of water immersion restraint stress (WIRS), gastric mucosal lesions with bleeding were induced in Sprague–Dawley rats. Pretreatment of a lyophilized powder containing O. ficus indica var. saboten fruit juice and maltodextrin (OFSM) and betanin significantly reduced stress lesions (800–1600 mg/kg). Both OFSM and betanin effectively prevented the decrease in gastric mucus content as detected by alcian blue staining. In addition, OFSM significantly suppressed WIRS-induced increases in the level of gastric mucosal tumor necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Betanin alone was only effective in decreasing MPO. These results revealed the protective activity of OFSM against stress-induced acute gastric lesions and that betanin may contribute to OFSM's gastric protective activity, at least in part. When OFSM and betanin were taken together, OFSM exerted gastroprotective activity against stress-induced gastric lesions by maintaining gastric mucus, which might be related to the attenuation of MPO-mediated damage and proinflammatory cytokine production. PMID:23062184

  12. Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) protects against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung Hyun; Jeon, Byung Ju; Kim, Dae Hyun; Kim, Tae Il; Lee, Hee Kyoung; Han, Dae Seob; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Kim, Tae Bum; Kim, Jung Wha; Sung, Sang Hyun

    2012-11-01

    The protective activity of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica var. saboten) fruit juice and its main constituent, betanin, were evaluated against stress-induced acute gastric lesions in rats. After 6 h of water immersion restraint stress (WIRS), gastric mucosal lesions with bleeding were induced in Sprague-Dawley rats. Pretreatment of a lyophilized powder containing O. ficus indica var. saboten fruit juice and maltodextrin (OFSM) and betanin significantly reduced stress lesions (800-1600 mg/kg). Both OFSM and betanin effectively prevented the decrease in gastric mucus content as detected by alcian blue staining. In addition, OFSM significantly suppressed WIRS-induced increases in the level of gastric mucosal tumor necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Betanin alone was only effective in decreasing MPO. These results revealed the protective activity of OFSM against stress-induced acute gastric lesions and that betanin may contribute to OFSM's gastric protective activity, at least in part. When OFSM and betanin were taken together, OFSM exerted gastroprotective activity against stress-induced gastric lesions by maintaining gastric mucus, which might be related to the attenuation of MPO-mediated damage and proinflammatory cytokine production.

  13. Chilocorus cacti (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) as a Biological Control Agent of the Wild Cochineal (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) of Prickly Pear Cactus.

    PubMed

    Hernández-González, I A; Cruz-Rodríguez, J A

    2018-04-05

    The wild cochineal (Dactylopius opuntiae Cockerell) (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) is considered to be the most important pest in cactus pear plantations. In Mexico, there are seven natural enemies that provide natural biological control of D. opuntiae. However, their role and impact have not been evaluated. In this article, we report on aspects of the population biology of Chilocorus cacti L. (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), which is considered one of the main natural enemies of D. opuntiae. We also conducted experiments to evaluate the consumption of C. cacti by this predator when fed nymphs and adult females of D. opuntiae. Changes in the survival function of D. opuntiae in the presence or absence C. cacti were also identified. Both larvae and adults of C. cacti prefer to consume D. opuntiae nymphs because the wax produced by adult females presents a significant obstacle. The survival analysis showed that the presence of C. cacti had significant negative effects on D. opuntiae survival. C. cacti significantly increased its abundance while reducing the density of adult female D. opuntiae, but this impact occurred only after they had consumed the more preferred nymphs. For this reason, natural enemies other than C. cacti may be required to achieve adequate levels of biological control.

  14. A Common Caatinga Cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, is an Important Ecotope of Wild Triatoma brasiliensis Populations in the Jaguaribe Valley of Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Valença-Barbosa, Carolina; Lima, Marli M.; Sarquis, Otília; Bezerra, Claudia M.; Abad-Franch, Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Triatoma brasiliensis is the most important vector of Chagas disease in the Caatinga eco-region of northeastern Brazil. Wild T. brasiliensis populations have been reported only from rocky outcrops. However, this species frequently infests/re-infests houses in rock-free sedimentary lowlands. We therefore hypothesized that it should also occupy other natural ecotopes. We show that a common Caatinga cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, locally known as xiquexique, often harbors T. brasiliensis breeding colonies apparently associated with rodents (n = 44 cacti, infestation rate = 47.7%, 157 bugs captured). Our findings suggest that infested cacti might be involved in house re-infestation by T. brasiliensis in the Caatinga region. PMID:24710611

  15. Effects of an invasive grass on the demography of the Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis: Implications for cacti conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rojas-Sandoval, Julissa; Meléndez-Ackerman, Elvia

    2012-05-01

    The impact of exotic species around the world is among the primary threats to the conservation and management of rare and endangered species. In this work we asked whether or not the presence of the African grass Megathyrsus maximus on Mona Island was associated with negative impacts on the demography of the endangered Caribbean cactus Harrisia portoricensis. To address this question we performed field observations where we compared demographic data collected at un-manipulated areas invaded by Megathyrsus with un-manipulated areas non-invaded by this exotic grass. Additionally, demographic data were also collected in areas in which we removed the exotic grass biomass using two alternative treatments: complete and partial grass removal. Results demonstrated that the presence of Megathyrsus has negative effects on demographic parameters of Harrisia at various stages throughout its life cycle. In general, the survival, growth, and reproduction of Harrisia plants were depressed under the presence of Megathyrsus. Growth and survival of seedlings and juveniles of Harrisia were more impacted by the presence of Megathyrsus than adult performance and seedling recruitment only occurred in areas with grass absence. Our combined results suggest that modifications of the micro-environment by the presence of Megathyrsus may add an additional level of vulnerability to the persistence of Harrisia, and as such this factor must be considered when designing conservation strategies for this endangered species. This study highlights the need for a greater emphasis on understanding the interactions between invasive grass species and native cacti, and the importance of such information in designing conservation strategies for cacti species elsewhere.

  16. Differential Response to Soil Salinity in Endangered Key Tree Cactus: Implications for Survival in a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Joie; Maschinski, Joyce; Hughes, Phillip; McAuliffe, Joe; Roncal, Julissa; Powell, Devon; Sternberg, Leonel O'reilly

    2012-01-01

    Understanding reasons for biodiversity loss is essential for developing conservation and management strategies and is becoming increasingly urgent with climate change. Growing at elevations <1.4 m in the Florida Keys, USA, the endangered Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii) experienced 84 percent loss of total stems from 1994 to 2007. The most severe losses of 99 and 88 percent stems occurred in the largest populations in the Lower Keys, where nine storms with high wind velocities and storm surges, occurred during this period. In contrast, three populations had substantial stem proliferation. To evaluate possible mortality factors related to changes in climate or forest structure, we examined habitat variables: soil salinity, elevation, canopy cover, and habitat structure near 16 dying or dead and 18 living plants growing in the Lower Keys. Soil salinity and elevation were the preliminary factors that discriminated live and dead plants. Soil salinity was 1.5 times greater, but elevation was 12 cm higher near dead plants than near live plants. However, distribution-wide stem loss was not significantly related to salinity or elevation. Controlled salinity trials indicated that salt tolerance to levels above 40 mM NaCl was related to maternal origin. Salt sensitive plants from the Lower Keys had less stem growth, lower root:shoot ratios, lower potassium: sodium ratios and lower recovery rate, but higher δ 13C than a salt tolerant lineage of unknown origin. Unraveling the genetic structure of salt tolerant and salt sensitive lineages in the Florida Keys will require further genetic tests. Worldwide rare species restricted to fragmented, low-elevation island habitats, with little or no connection to higher ground will face challenges from climate change-related factors. These great conservation challenges will require traditional conservation actions and possibly managed relocation that must be informed by studies such as these. PMID:22403670

  17. Differential response to soil salinity in endangered key tree cactus: implications for survival in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Goodman, Joie; Maschinski, Joyce; Hughes, Phillip; McAuliffe, Joe; Roncal, Julissa; Powell, Devon; Sternberg, Leonel O'reilly

    2012-01-01

    Understanding reasons for biodiversity loss is essential for developing conservation and management strategies and is becoming increasingly urgent with climate change. Growing at elevations <1.4 m in the Florida Keys, USA, the endangered Key tree cactus (Pilosocereus robinii) experienced 84 percent loss of total stems from 1994 to 2007. The most severe losses of 99 and 88 percent stems occurred in the largest populations in the Lower Keys, where nine storms with high wind velocities and storm surges, occurred during this period. In contrast, three populations had substantial stem proliferation. To evaluate possible mortality factors related to changes in climate or forest structure, we examined habitat variables: soil salinity, elevation, canopy cover, and habitat structure near 16 dying or dead and 18 living plants growing in the Lower Keys. Soil salinity and elevation were the preliminary factors that discriminated live and dead plants. Soil salinity was 1.5 times greater, but elevation was 12 cm higher near dead plants than near live plants. However, distribution-wide stem loss was not significantly related to salinity or elevation. Controlled salinity trials indicated that salt tolerance to levels above 40 mM NaCl was related to maternal origin. Salt sensitive plants from the Lower Keys had less stem growth, lower root:shoot ratios, lower potassium: sodium ratios and lower recovery rate, but higher δ (13)C than a salt tolerant lineage of unknown origin. Unraveling the genetic structure of salt tolerant and salt sensitive lineages in the Florida Keys will require further genetic tests. Worldwide rare species restricted to fragmented, low-elevation island habitats, with little or no connection to higher ground will face challenges from climate change-related factors. These great conservation challenges will require traditional conservation actions and possibly managed relocation that must be informed by studies such as these.

  18. Effect of different film packaging on microbial growth in minimally processed cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica).

    PubMed

    Palma, A; Mangia, N P; Fadda, A; Barberis, A; Schirra, M; D'Aquino, S

    2013-01-01

    Microorganisms are natural contaminants of fresh produce and minimally processed products, and contamination arises from a number of sources, including the environment, postharvest handling and processing. Fresh-cut products are particularly susceptible to microbial contaminations because of the changes occurring in the tissues during processing. In package gas composition of modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) in combination with low storage temperatures besides reducing physiological activity of packaged produce, can also delay pathogen growth. Present study investigated on the effect of MAPs, achieved with different plastic films, on microbial growth of minimally processed cactus pear (Opuntio ficus-indica) fruit. Five different plastic materials were used for packaging the manually peeled fruit. That is: a) polypropylene film (Termoplast MY 40 micron thickness, O2 transmission rate 300 cc/m2/24h); b) polyethylene film (Bolphane BHE, 11 micron thickness, O2 transmission rate 19000 cc/m2/24h); c) polypropylene laser-perforated films (Mach Packaging) with 8, 16 or 32 100-micron holes. Total aerobic psychrophilic, mesophilic microorganisms, Enterobacteriaceae, yeast, mould populations and in-package CO2, O2 and C2H4 were determined at each storage time. Different final gas compositions, ranging from 7.8 KPa to 17.1 KPa O2, and 12.7 KPa to 2.6 KPa CO2, were achieved with MY and micro perforated films, respectively. Differences were detected in the mesophilic, Enterobacteriaceae and yeast loads, while no difference was detected in psychrophilic microorganisms. At the end of storage, microbial load in fruits sealed with MY film was significantly lower than in those sealed with BHE and micro perforated films. Furthermore, fruits packed with micro-perforated films showed the highest microbial load. This occurrence may in part be related to in-package gas composition and in part to a continuous contamination of microorganisms through micro-holes.

  19. Shelf life, physicochemical, microbiological and antioxidant properties of purple cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) juice after thermoultrasound treatment.

    PubMed

    Cruz-Cansino, Nelly Del Socorro; Ramírez-Moreno, Esther; León-Rivera, Jesús Ernesto; Delgado-Olivares, Luis; Alanís-García, Ernesto; Ariza-Ortega, José Alberto; Manríquez-Torres, José de Jesús; Jaramillo-Bustos, Diana Pamela

    2015-11-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate changes in color, betalain content, browning index, viscosity, physical stability, microbiological growth, antioxidant content and antioxidant activity of purple cactus pear juice during storage after thermoultrasonication at 80% amplitude level for 15 and 25 min in comparison with pasteurized juice. Thermoultrasound treatment for 25 min increased color stability and viscosity compared to treatment for 15 min (6.83 and 6.72 MPa, respectively), but this last parameter was significantly lower (p<0.05) compared to the control and pasteurized juices (22.47 and 26.32 MPa, respectively). Experimental treatment reduced significantly (p<0.05) sediment solids in juices. Total plate counts decreased from the first day of storage exhibiting values of 1.38 and 1.43 logCFU/mL, for 15 and 25 min treatment, respectively. Compared to the control, both treatments reduced enterobacteria counts (1.54 logCFU/mL), and compared to pasteurized juice decreased pectinmethylesterase activity (3.76 and 3.82 UPE/mL), maintained high values of ascorbic acid (252.05 and 257.18 mg AA/L) and antioxidant activity (by ABTS: 124.8 and 115.6 mg VCEAC/100 mL; and DPPH: 3114.2 and 2757.1 μmol TE/L). During storage thermoultrasonicated juices had a minimum increase in pectinmethylesterase activity (from day 14), and exhibited similar total plate counts to pasteurized juice. An increase of phenolic content was observed after 14 days of storage, particularly for treatment at 80%, 25 min, and an increase in antioxidant activity (ABTS, DPPH) by the end of storage. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Influence of Pleistocene glacial/interglacial cycles on the genetic structure of the mistletoe cactus Rhipsalis baccifera (Cactaceae) in Mesoamerica.

    PubMed

    Ornelas, Juan Francisco; Rodríguez-Gómez, Flor

    2015-01-01

    Phylogeographical work on cloud forest-adapted species provides inconsistent evidence on cloud forest dynamics during glacial cycles. A study of Rhipsalis baccifera (Cactaceae), a bird-dispersed epiphytic mistletoe cactus, was conducted to investigate genetic variation at sequence data from nuclear [internal transcribed spacer (ITS), 677 bp] and chloroplast (rpl32-trnL, 1092bp) DNA for 154 individuals across the species range in Mesoamerica to determine if such patterns are consistent with the expansion/contraction model of cloud forest during glacial cycles. We conducted population and spatial genetic analyses as well as gene flow and divergence time estimates between 24 populations comprising the distribution of R. baccifera in Mexico and Guatemala to gain insight of the evolutionary history of these populations, and a complementary species distribution modeling approach to frame information derived from the genetic analyses into an explicit paleoecological context. The results revealed a phylogeographical break at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and high levels of genetic diversity among populations and cloud forest areas. Despite the genetic differentiation of some R. baccifera populations, the widespread ITS ribotypes suggest effective nuclear gene flow via pollen and population differentiation shown by the rpl32-trnL suggests more restricted seed flow. Predictions of species distribution models under past last glacial maximum (LGM) climatic conditions and a significant signal of demographic expansion suggest that R. baccifera populations experienced a range expansion tracking the conditions of the cloud forest distribution and shifted to the lowlands with population connectivity during the LGM. © The American Genetic Association 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  1. Extreme variation in floral characters and its consequences for pollinator attraction among populations of an Andean cactus

    PubMed Central

    Schlumpberger, Boris O.; Cocucci, Andrea A.; Moré, Marcela; Sérsic, Alicia N.; Raguso, Robert A.

    2009-01-01

    Background and aims A South American cactus species, Echinopsis ancistrophora (Cactaceae), with dramatic among-population variation in floral traits is presented. Methods Eleven populations of E. ancistrophora were studied in their habitats in northern Argentina, and comparisons were made of relevant floral traits such as depth, stigma position, nectar volume and sugar concentration, and anthesis time. Diurnal and nocturnal pollinator assemblages were evaluated for populations with different floral trait combinations. Key Results Remarkable geographical variations in floral traits were recorded among the 11 populations throughout the distribution range of E. ancistrophora, with flower lengths ranging from 4·5 to 24·1 cm. Other floral traits associated with pollinator attraction also varied in a population-specific manner, in concert with floral depth. Populations with the shortest flowers showed morning anthesis and those with the longest flowers opened at dusk, whereas those with flowers of intermediate length opened at unusual times (2300–0600 h). Nectar production varied non-linearly with floral length; it was absent to low (population means up to 15 µL) in short- to intermediate-length flowers, but was high (population means up to 170 µL) in the longest tubed flowers. Evidence from light-trapping of moths, pollen carriage on their bodies and moth scale deposition on stigmas suggests that sphingid pollination is prevalent only in the four populations with the longest flowers, in which floral morphological traits and nectar volumes match the classic expectations for the hawkmoth pollination syndrome. All other populations, with flowers 4·5–15 cm long, were pollinated exclusively by solitary bees. Conclusions The results suggest incipient differentiation at the population level and local adaptation to either bee or hawkmoth (potentially plus bee) pollination. PMID:19342397

  2. Effect of habitat disturbance on pollination biology of the columnar cactus Stenocereus quevedonis at landscape-level in central Mexico.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Oseguera, A G; Casas, A; Herrerías-Diego, Y; Pérez-Negrón, E

    2013-05-01

    Stenocereus quevedonis ('pitire') is a columnar cactus endemic to central Mexico, grown for its edible fruit. Phenology, pollination biology and behaviour of flower visitors of this species were compared in six conserved and disturbed sites, hypothesising that: (i) pitire pollination is self-incompatible, requiring animal vectors; (ii) higher incidence of radiation on plants in cleared forest may lead to a higher number of flowers per pitire plant and longer blooming season, and disturbing and differential spatial availability of flower resources may determine differential attraction of pollinators to conserved and disturbed areas; (iii) if pitire pollination system is specialised, reproductive success would decrease with pollinator scarcity, or other species may substitute for main pollinators. In all sites, pitire reproduction started in January, flowering peak occurring in April, anthesis duration was 15 h and predominantly nocturnal (9 h), pollen was released at 23:00 h, nectar was produced throughout anthesis, and breeding system was self-incompatible. Flower production per plant was similar in disturbed and conserved sites, but flower availability was higher (because of higher tree density) and longer in disturbed sites. Pollination is nocturnal, the most frequent legitimate pollinator being the bat Leptonycteris yerbabuenae; diurnal pollination is rare but possible, carried out by bee species. Fruit and seed set in control and nocturnal pollination treatments at disturbed sites were higher than in conserved sites. Frequency of L. yerbabuenae visits was similar among site types, but more visits of complementary nocturnal and diurnal pollinators were recorded in disturbed sites, which could explain differences in reproductive success. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  3. Nurse Plants vs. Nurse Objects: Effects of Woody Plants and Rocky Cavities on the Recruitment of the Pilosocereus leucocephalus Columnar Cactus

    PubMed Central

    Munguía-Rosas, Miguel Angel; Sosa, Vinicio J.

    2008-01-01

    Background and Aims Most studies on cactus recruitment have focused on the role of woody plants as seedling facilitators. Although the spatial association of cacti with objects had been described, the mechanisms underlying this association remain unknown. The aims of this study were to identify which mechanisms facilitate the establishment of a columnar cactus under the shade and protection of objects and to compare these mechanisms with those involved in plant–plant facilitation. Methods Three split-split-plot field experiments were conducted to compare the effects of two microhabitats (inside rocky cavities and beneath plant canopies) on seed removal, germination, seedling survivorship and dry weight. Flat, open spaces were used as the control. For each microhabitat, the effect of seed or seedling protection and substrate limitation were explored; aboveground microclimate and some soil properties were also characterized. Key Results The permanence of superficial seeds was greater inside rocky cavities than beneath woody plant canopies or on flat, open areas. Germination was similar in cavities and beneath plant canopies, but significantly higher than on flat, open areas. Seedling survivorship was greater beneath plant canopies than inside cavities or on flat, open spaces. Conclusions The mechanisms of plant facilitation are different from those of object facilitation. There are seed–seedling conflicts involved in the recruitment of P. leucocephalus: nurse plants favour mainly seedling survivorship by providing a suitable microenvironment, while nurse objects mainly favour seed permanence, by protecting them from predators. PMID:18056054

  4. EVALUATION OF FREEZE DRIED ALOE VERA AND NOPAL CACTUS FOR POSSIBLE HEALTH TREATMENTS BY COMPARISON OF ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES AND FREE RADICAL INHIBITION.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez, Kenneth R; Jones, Anthony E; Belmont, Barbara

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this project was to characterize the antioxidant powers of lyophilized Aloe Vera ( Aloe barbadensis ) and Nopal Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) by quantifying the phenolics content and radical scavenging abilities of preparations derived from these plants. Extracts of these lyophylized succulents were assayed for phenolic compounds by the Folin Ciocalteau method and compared for free radical scavenging capability by the DPPH method. We found that even though the Aloe lyophilizate extract contained more phenolic content, the Nopal lyophilizate exhibited better free radical scavenging ability. Aloe Vera extract contained 0.278 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 11.1% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.177±0.015 min -1 . Nopal Cactus extract contained 0.174 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 13.2% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.155±0.009 min -1 . These results showed Nopal to have greater antioxidant potency than Aloe.

  5. EVALUATION OF FREEZE DRIED ALOE VERA AND NOPAL CACTUS FOR POSSIBLE HEALTH TREATMENTS BY COMPARISON OF ANTIOXIDANT PROPERTIES AND FREE RADICAL INHIBITION

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Anthony E.; Belmont, Barbara

    2016-01-01

    The goal of this project was to characterize the antioxidant powers of lyophilized Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) and Nopal Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) by quantifying the phenolics content and radical scavenging abilities of preparations derived from these plants. Extracts of these lyophylized succulents were assayed for phenolic compounds by the Folin Ciocalteau method and compared for free radical scavenging capability by the DPPH method. We found that even though the Aloe lyophilizate extract contained more phenolic content, the Nopal lyophilizate exhibited better free radical scavenging ability. Aloe Vera extract contained 0.278 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 11.1% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.177±0.015 min−1. Nopal Cactus extract contained 0.174 g/L of phenolic content and exhibited 13.2% free radical inhibition, with a free radical scavenging rate constant of 0.155±0.009 min−1. These results showed Nopal to have greater antioxidant potency than Aloe. PMID:27284273

  6. Lactic Acid Fermentation of Cactus Cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) Generates Flavonoid Derivatives with Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties.

    PubMed

    Filannino, Pasquale; Cavoski, Ivana; Thlien, Nadia; Vincentini, Olimpia; De Angelis, Maria; Silano, Marco; Gobbetti, Marco; Di Cagno, Raffaella

    2016-01-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) is widely distributed in the arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. In the last decades, the interest towards vegetative crop increased, and cladodes are exploited for nutraceutical and health-promoting properties. This study aimed at investigating the capacity of selected lactic acid bacteria to increase the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cactus cladodes pulp, with the perspective of producing a functional ingredient, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical preparation. Preliminarily, the antioxidant activity was determined through in vitro assays. Further, it was confirmed through ex vivo analysis on intestinal Caco-2/TC7 cells, and the profile of flavonoids was characterized. Cactus cladode pulp was fermented with lactic acid bacteria, which were previously selected from plant materials. Chemically acidified suspension, without bacterial inoculum and incubated under the same conditions, was used as the control. Lactobacillus plantarum CIL6, POM1 and 1MR20, Lactobacillus brevis POM2 and POM4, Lactobacillus rossiae 2LC8 and Pediococcus pentosaceus CILSWE5 were the best growing strains. Fermentation of cladode pulp with L. brevis POM2 and POM4 allowed the highest concentration of γ-amino butyric acid. Lactic acid fermentation had preservative effects (P<0.05) on the levels of vitamin C and carotenoids. Two flavonoid derivatives (kaemferol and isorhamnetin) were identified in the ethyl acetate extracts, which were considered to be the major compounds responsible for the increased radical scavenging activity. After inducing oxidative stress by IL-1β, the increased antioxidant activity (P<0.05) of fermented cladode pulp was confirmed using Caco-2/TC7 cells. Fermented cladode pulp had also immune-modulatory effects towards Caco-2 cells. Compared to the control, fermented cladode pulp exhibited a significantly (P<0.05) higher inhibition of IL-8, TNFα and prostaglandins PGE2 synthesis. The highest

  7. Lactic Acid Fermentation of Cactus Cladodes (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) Generates Flavonoid Derivatives with Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    PubMed Central

    Filannino, Pasquale; Cavoski, Ivana; Thlien, Nadia; Vincentini, Olimpia; De Angelis, Maria; Silano, Marco; Gobbetti, Marco; Di Cagno, Raffaella

    2016-01-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L.) is widely distributed in the arid and semi-arid regions throughout the world. In the last decades, the interest towards vegetative crop increased, and cladodes are exploited for nutraceutical and health-promoting properties. This study aimed at investigating the capacity of selected lactic acid bacteria to increase the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of cactus cladodes pulp, with the perspective of producing a functional ingredient, dietary supplement or pharmaceutical preparation. Preliminarily, the antioxidant activity was determined through in vitro assays. Further, it was confirmed through ex vivo analysis on intestinal Caco-2/TC7 cells, and the profile of flavonoids was characterized. Cactus cladode pulp was fermented with lactic acid bacteria, which were previously selected from plant materials. Chemically acidified suspension, without bacterial inoculum and incubated under the same conditions, was used as the control. Lactobacillus plantarum CIL6, POM1 and 1MR20, Lactobacillus brevis POM2 and POM4, Lactobacillus rossiae 2LC8 and Pediococcus pentosaceus CILSWE5 were the best growing strains. Fermentation of cladode pulp with L. brevis POM2 and POM4 allowed the highest concentration of γ-amino butyric acid. Lactic acid fermentation had preservative effects (P<0.05) on the levels of vitamin C and carotenoids. Two flavonoid derivatives (kaemferol and isorhamnetin) were identified in the ethyl acetate extracts, which were considered to be the major compounds responsible for the increased radical scavenging activity. After inducing oxidative stress by IL-1β, the increased antioxidant activity (P<0.05) of fermented cladode pulp was confirmed using Caco-2/TC7 cells. Fermented cladode pulp had also immune-modulatory effects towards Caco-2 cells. Compared to the control, fermented cladode pulp exhibited a significantly (P<0.05) higher inhibition of IL-8, TNFα and prostaglandins PGE2 synthesis. The highest

  8. A common Caatinga cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, is an important ecotope of wild Triatoma brasiliensis populations in the Jaguaribe valley of northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Valença-Barbosa, Carolina; Lima, Marli M; Sarquis, Otília; Bezerra, Claudia M; Abad-Franch, Fernando

    2014-06-01

    Triatoma brasiliensis is the most important vector of Chagas disease in the Caatinga eco-region of northeastern Brazil. Wild T. brasiliensis populations have been reported only from rocky outcrops. However, this species frequently infests/re-infests houses in rock-free sedimentary lowlands. We therefore hypothesized that it should also occupy other natural ecotopes. We show that a common Caatinga cactus, Pilosocereus gounellei, locally known as xiquexique, often harbors T. brasiliensis breeding colonies apparently associated with rodents (n = 44 cacti, infestation rate = 47.7%, 157 bugs captured). Our findings suggest that infested cacti might be involved in house re-infestation by T. brasiliensis in the Caatinga region. © The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

  9. The Relationship Between CME Properties in the CDAW, CACTUS and SEEDS Catalogs and ?25 MeV Solar Proton Event Intensities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, I. G.; von Rosenvinge, T. T.; Cane, H. V.

    2013-12-01

    The existence of a correlation between the intensity of solar energetic proton (SEP) events and the speed of the associated coronal mass ejection near the Sun is well known, and is often interpreted as evidence for particle acceleration at CME-driven shocks. However, this correlation is far from perfect and might be improved by taking other parameters into consideration (e.g., CME width). In studies of cycle 23 SEP events, values of CME speed, width and other parameters were typically taken from the CDAWWeb LASCO CME catalog. This is compiled 'by hand' from examination of LASCO images by experienced observers. Other automated LASCO CME catalogs have now been developed, e.g., CACTUS (Royal Observatory of Belgium) and SEEDS (George Mason University), but the basic CME parameters do not always agree with those from the CDAWweb catalog since they are not determined in the same way. For example the 'CME speed' might be measured at a specific position angle against the plane of the sky in one catalog, or be the average of speeds taken along the CME front in another. Speeds may also be based on linear or higher order fits to the coronagraph images. There will also be projection effects in these plane of the sky speeds. Similarly, CME widths can vary between catalogs and are dependent on how they are defined. For example, the CDAW catalog lists any CME that surrounds the occulting disk as a 'halo' (360 deg. width) CME even though the CME may be highly-asymmetric and originate from a solar event far from central meridian. Another catalog may give a smaller width for the same CME. The problem of obtaining the 'true' CME width is especially acute for assessing the relationship between CME width and SEP properties when using the CDAW catalog since a significant fraction, if not the majority, of the CMEs associated with major SEP events are reported to be halo CMEs. In principle, observations of CMEs from the STEREO A and B spacecraft, launched in late 2006, might be used to

  10. Preliminary Assessment for CAU 485: Cactus Spring Ranch Pu and Du Site, CAS No. TA-39-001-TAGR: Soil Contamination, Tonapah Test Range, Nevada

    SciTech Connect

    ITLV

    1998-07-01

    Corrective Action Unit 485, Corrective Action Site TA-39-001-TAGR, the Cactus Spring Ranch Soil Contamination Area, is located approximately six miles southwest of the Area 3 Compound at the eastern mouth of Sleeping Column Canyon in the Cactus Range on the Tonopah Test Range. This site was used in conjunction with animal studies involving the biological effects of radionuclides (specifically plutonium) associated with Operation Roller Coaster. According to field records, a hardened layer of livestock feces ranging from 2.54 centimeters (cm) (1 inch [in.]) to 10.2 cm (4 in.) thick is present in each of the main sheds. IT personnel conductedmore » a field visit on December 3, 1997, and noted that the only visible feces were located within the east shed, the previously fenced area near the east shed, and a small area southwest of the west shed. Other historical records indicate that other areas may still be covered with animal feces, but heavy vegetation now covers it. It is possible that radionuclides are present in this layer, given the history of operations in this area. Chemicals of concern may include plutonium and depleted uranium. Surface soil sampling was conducted on February 18, 1998. An evaluation of historical documentation indicated that plutonium should not be and depleted uranium could not be present at levels significantly above background as the result of test animals being penned at the site. The samples were analyzed for isotopic plutonium using method NAS-NS-3058. The results of the analysis indicated that plutonium levels of the feces and surface soil were not significantly elevated above background.« less

  11. Secondary Metabolites Production and Plant Growth Promotion by Pseudomonas chlororaphis and P. aurantiaca Strains Isolated from Cactus, Cotton, and Para Grass.

    PubMed

    Shahid, Izzah; Rizwan, Muhammad; Baig, Deeba Noreen; Saleem, Rahman Shahzaib; Malik, Kauser A; Mehnaz, Samina

    2017-03-28

    Fluorescent pseudomonads have been isolated from halophytes, mesophytes, and xerophytes of Pakistan. Among these, eight isolates, GS-1, GS-3, GS-4, GS-6, GS-7, FS-2 (cactus), ARS-38 (cotton), and RP-4 (para grass), showed antifungal activity and were selected for detailed study. Based on biochemical tests and 16S rRNA gene sequences, these were identified as strains of P. chlororaphis subsp. chlororaphis and aurantiaca . Secondary metabolites of these strains were analyzed by LC-MS. Phenazine-1-carboxylic acid (PCA), 2-hydroxy-phenazine, Cyclic Lipopeptide (white line-inducing principle (WLIP)), and lahorenoic acid A were detected in variable amounts in these strains. P. aurantiaca PB-St2 was used as a reference as it is known for the production of these compounds. The phzO and PCA genes were amplified to assure that production of these compounds is not an artifact. Indole acetic acid production was confirmed and quantified by HPLC. HCN and siderophore production by all strains was observed by plate assays. These strains did not solubilize phosphate, but five strains were positive for zinc solubilization. Wheat seedlings were inoculated with these strains to observe their effect on plant growth. P. aurantiaca strains PB-St2 and GS-6 and P. chlororaphis RP-4 significantly increased both root and shoot dry weights, as compared with uninoculated plants. However, P. aurantiaca strains FS-2 and ARS-38 significantly increased root and shoot dry weights, respectively. All strains except PB-St2 and ARS-38 significantly increased the root length. This is the first report of the isolation of P. aurantiaca from cotton and cactus, P. chlororaphis from para grass, WLIP and lahorenoic acid A production by P. chlororaphis , and zinc solubilization by P. chlororaphis and P. aurantiaca .

  12. Cactus: Writing an Article

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley; Spencer, Toby

    2010-01-01

    Some people became mathematics or science teachers by default. There was once such a limited range of subjects that students who could not write essays did mathematics and science. Computers changed that. Word processor software helped some people overcome huge spelling and grammar hurdles and made it easy to edit and manipulate text. Would-be…

  13. Nopal cactus film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toxqui-López, S.; Olivares-Pérez, A.; Fuentes-Tapia, I.; Conde-Cuatzo, María. G.

    2017-03-01

    Nopal mucilage potentially has certain properties required for the preparation biofilms which can be used as holographic replication recording medium. In this study, mucilage from nopal was extracted and characterized by its ability to form films under different concentration with polyvinyl alcohol. The transmission holographic diffraction gratings (master) were replicated into nopal films. The results showed good diffraction efficiencies. Mucilage from nopal could represent a good option for the development of films to replication holographic, owing to; its low cost and its compatibility with the environmental.

  14. Probable hypoglycemic adverse drug reaction associated with prickly pear cactus, glipizide, and metformin in a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Sobieraj, Diana M; Freyer, Craig W

    2010-01-01

    To report a case of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) in a patient with type 2 diabetes mellitus taking prickly pear cactus (PPC), glipizide, and metformin. A 58-year-old Mexican male with type 2 diabetes mellitus being treated with metformin 1000 mg twice daily and extended-release glipizide 10 mg daily was referred to the pharmacist for medication education. He denied taking herbal supplements or experiencing hypoglycemia. Two hemoglobin A(1c) values (6.8% and 6.7%) obtained over the past year demonstrated glycemic control, which was supported by his reported fasting blood glucose readings of 113-132 mg/dL. One month later, the patient reported 4 hypoglycemic events with blood glucose readings of 49-68 mg/dL, which resulted in discontinuation of glipizide. One month later, the patient denied any further hypoglycemia. During medication reconciliation he reported consuming crude PPC pads daily for 2 months for glucose control. Literature suggests that PPC has an effect on lowering blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, although few identified data describe ADRs from combining PPC with other agents used in treating type 2 diabetes mellitus. A literature search of MEDLINE (through December 2009) using the search terms diabetes mellitus, prickly pear cactus, nopal, opuntia, metformin, glipizide, glyburide, glimepiride, and sulfonylurea revealed no case reports of the described ADR. One case report describing the blood glucose-lowering effect of PPC in a patient concurrently taking oral antihyperglycemics documented an episode of hypoglycemia, although the Naranjo probability scale was not applied. One patient survey discovered the most common drug-herbal interaction in the given population to be between PPC and antihyperglycemic agents, resulting in hypoglycemia. In our case, use of the Naranjo probability scale suggests the ADR to be probable. The mechanism may be due to the additive glucose lowering of the 3 agents consumed concurrently by the

  15. Morphology-controlled cactus-like branched anatase TiO2 arrays with high light-harvesting efficiency for dye-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Wu-Qiang; Rao, Hua-Shang; Feng, Hao-Lin; Guo, Xin-Dong; Su, Cheng-Yong; Kuang, Dai-Bin

    2014-08-01

    The present work establishes a facile process for one-step hydrothermal growth of vertically aligned anatase cactus-like branched TiO2 (CBT) arrays on a transparent conducting oxide (TCO) substrate. Various CBT morphologies are obtained by adjusting the potassium titanium oxide oxalate (PTO) reactant concentration (from 0.05 M to 0.15 M) and this yields a morphologically-controllable branched TiO2 arrays geometry. The CBT arrays consist of a vertically oriented nanowire (NW) or nanosheet (NS) stem and a host of short nanorod (NR) branches. The hierarchical CBT arrays demonstrate their excellent candidatures as photoanodes, which are capable of exhibiting high light-harvesting efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs). Consequently, DSSCs based on 7 μm long optimized CBT arrays (0.05 M PTO), which are assembled with high density and high aspect-ratio NR branches, exhibit an impressive power conversion efficiency of 6.43% under AM 1.5G one sun illumination. The high performance can be attributed to the prominent light-harvesting efficiency, resulting from larger surface area and superior light-scattering capability.

  16. Resource quality affects weapon and testis size and the ability of these traits to respond to selection in the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata.

    PubMed

    Sasson, Daniel A; Munoz, Patricio R; Gezan, Salvador A; Miller, Christine W

    2016-04-01

    The size of weapons and testes can be central to male reproductive success. Yet, the expression of these traits is often extremely variable. Studies are needed that take a more complete organism perspective, investigating the sources of variation in both traits simultaneously and using developmental conditions that mimic those in nature. In this study, we investigated the components of variation in weapon and testis sizes using the leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) on three natural developmental diets. We show that the developmental diet has profound effects on both weapon and testis expression and scaling. Intriguingly, males in the medium-quality diet express large weapons but have relatively tiny testes, suggesting complex allocation decisions. We also find that heritability, evolvability, and additive genetic variation are highest in the high-quality diet for testis and body mass. This result suggests that these traits may have an enhanced ability to respond to selection during a small window of time each year when this diet is available. Taken together, these results illustrate that normal, seasonal fluctuations in the nutritional environment may play a large role in the expression of sexually selected traits and the ability of these traits to respond to selection.

  17. Adult nutrition, but not inbreeding, affects male primary sexual traits in the leaf-footed cactus bug Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae).

    PubMed

    Joseph, Paul N; Sasson, Daniel A; Allen, Pablo E; Somjee, Ummat; Miller, Christine W

    2016-07-01

    Adverse conditions may be the norm rather than the exception in natural populations. Many populations experience poor nutrition on a seasonal basis. Further, brief interludes of inbreeding can be common as population density fluctuates and because of habitat fragmentation. Here, we investigated the effects of poor nutrition and inbreeding on traits that can be very important to reproductive success and fitness in males: testes mass, sperm concentration, and sperm viability. Our study species was Narnia femorata, a species introduced to north-central Florida in the 1950s. This species encounters regular, seasonal changes in diet that can have profound phenotypic effects on morphology and behavior. We generated inbred and outbred individuals through a single generation of full-sibling mating or outcrossing, respectively. All juveniles were provided a natural, high-quality diet of Opuntia humifusa cactus cladode with fruit until they reached adulthood. New adult males were put on a high- or low-quality diet for at least 21 days before measurements were taken. As expected, the low-quality diet led to significantly decreased testes mass in both inbred and outbred males, although there were surprisingly no detectable effects on sperm traits. We did not find evidence that inbreeding affected testes mass, sperm concentration, and sperm viability. Our results highlight the immediate and overwhelming effects of nutrition on testes mass, while suggesting that a single generation of inbreeding might not be detrimental for primary sexual traits in this particular population.

  18. Evaluation of protective effect of cactus pear seed oil (Opuntia ficus-indica L. MILL.) against alloxan-induced diabetes in mice.

    PubMed

    Berraaouan, Ali; Abderrahim, Ziyyat; Hassane, Mekhfi; Abdelkhaleq, Legssyer; Mohammed, Aziz; Mohamed, Bnouham

    2015-07-01

    To evaluate the in vitro antioxidant power of cactus pear seed oil [Opuntia ficus-indica L. MILL. (CPSO)] and its protective effect against chemically induced diabetes mellitus in mice. The in vitro antioxidant effect of CPSO was evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging assay. The preventive effect was conducted on Swiss albino mice treated with CPSO (2 mL/kg, per os), before and after a single intraperitoneal alloxan administration (100 mg/kg). Survival rate, body weight and fasting blood glucose were measured and histopathological analysis of pancreas was performed to evaluate alloxan-induced tissue injuries. CPSO exhibited an antioxidant effect in DPPH scavenging assay. Moreover, the administration of CPSO (2 mL/kg) significantly attenuated alloxan-induced death and hyperglycemia (P < 0.001) in treated mice. Morphometric study of pancreas revealed that CPSO significantly protected islets of langerhans against alloxan induced-tissue alterations. Based on theses results, CPSO can prevente alloxan-induced-diabetes by quenching free radicals produced by alloxan and inhibiting tissue injuries in pancreatic β-cells. Copyright © 2015 Hainan Medical College. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Use of green chemistry methods in the extraction of dietary fibers from cactus rackets (Opuntia ficus indica): Structural and microstructural studies.

    PubMed

    Cheikh Rouhou, Marwa; Abdelmoumen, Souhir; Thomas, Sabu; Attia, Hamadi; Ghorbel, Dorra

    2018-05-23

    This work aims to compare the development of three green chemistry methods in the extraction of cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) dietary fibers. The influence of extraction conditions (solvent nature: water, lemon juice and ethanol; extraction process: maceration and steam explosion; extraction time: 30 min, 1 h, 3 h, 5 h) on the chemical and structural composition was studied. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy proved that all treatments do not affect the cellulose structure and could induce the reduction of hemicelluloses and lignin content. The steam treatment with lemon juice was the best treatment in term of quality of the fibers extracted. Through X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis, it was demonstrated that this treatment contributed to the destruction of the amorphous phase with preservation of the crystalline phase. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed that the microstructure of the sample surface was uniform and contains arranged fibers. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) revealed fibers with 80 nm of diameter. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Model-based analysis supports interglacial refugia over long-dispersal events in the diversification of two South American cactus species

    PubMed Central

    Perez, M F; Bonatelli, I A S; Moraes, E M; Carstens, B C

    2016-01-01

    Pilosocereus machrisii and P. aurisetus are cactus species within the P. aurisetus complex, a group of eight cacti that are restricted to rocky habitats within the Neotropical savannas of eastern South America. Previous studies have suggested that diversification within this complex was driven by distributional fragmentation, isolation leading to allopatric differentiation, and secondary contact among divergent lineages. These events have been associated with Quaternary climatic cycles, leading to the hypothesis that the xerophytic vegetation patches which presently harbor these populations operate as refugia during the current interglacial. However, owing to limitations of the standard phylogeographic approaches used in these studies, this hypothesis was not explicitly tested. Here we use Approximate Bayesian Computation to refine the previous inferences and test the role of different events in the diversification of two species within P. aurisetus group. We used molecular data from chloroplast DNA and simple sequence repeats loci of P. machrisii and P. aurisetus, the two species with broadest distribution in the complex, in order to test if the diversification in each species was driven mostly by vicariance or by long-dispersal events. We found that both species were affected primarily by vicariance, with a refuge model as the most likely scenario for P. aurisetus and a soft vicariance scenario most probable for P. machrisii. These results emphasize the importance of distributional fragmentation in these species, and add support to the hypothesis of long-term isolation in interglacial refugia previously proposed for the P. aurisetus species complex diversification. PMID:27071846

  1. Growth and reproductive characteristics of the columnar cactus Stenocereus queretaroensis and their relationships with environmental factors and colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae.

    PubMed

    Pimienta-Barrios, Eulogio; Pimienta-Barrios, Enrique; Salas-Galván, Mariá Eugenia; Zañudo-Hernandez, Julia; Nobel, Park S

    2002-06-01

    Three natural populations of pitayo (Stenocereus queretaroensis (Weber) Buxbaum), a columnar arborescent cactus, were studied in their subtropical environments in western Mexico. All of the sites were characterized by shallow, nutrient-poor soils. Percentage of colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae (AM) fungi, stem growth, fruit mass, and percentage germination were greater in S. queretaroensis at Autlan, Jalisco (AJ) than at Zacoalco de Torres, Jalisco (ZTJ) or Santa Rosa, Zacatecas (SRZ). The onset of root colonization by arbuscular mycorrhizae during the middle of the summer wet period preceded increases in stem extension rate and stem phosphorus concentration. Based on previous studies of effects of environmental factors on photosynthesis, climatic conditions were more favorable for photosynthesis at AJ than at SRZ and ZTJ, as indicated by the amount of summer rainfall, the amount of light, and the moderate air temperatures that prevailed during the fall and winter seasons. There was a significant positive correlation between stem growth and percentage of total root length colonized by arbuscules of AM fungi for S. queretaroensis at SRZ and AJ, but not at ZTJ. A negative significant correlation was observed between stem growth and maximal and minimal air temperatures at the three study sites. Stem growth was positively related to rainfall only at SRZ, and light was statistically related to stem growth only at ZTJ. Among sites, S. queretaroensis at AJ had the highest carbon gain and greatest AM colonization, creating physiological conditions that led to the highest stem growth, fruit mass and percentage of seed germination.

  2. Anonymous nuclear markers reveal taxonomic incongruence and long-term disjunction in a cactus species complex with continental-island distribution in South America.

    PubMed

    Perez, Manolo F; Carstens, Bryan C; Rodrigues, Gustavo L; Moraes, Evandro M

    2016-02-01

    The Pilosocereus aurisetus complex consists of eight cactus species with a fragmented distribution associated to xeric enclaves within the Cerrado biome in eastern South America. The phylogeny of these species is incompletely resolved, and this instability complicates evolutionary analyses. Previous analyses based on both plastid and microsatellite markers suggested that this complex contained species with inherent phylogeographic structure, which was attributed to recent diversification and recurring range shifts. However, limitations of the molecular markers used in these analyses prevented some questions from being properly addressed. In order to better understand the relationship among these species and make a preliminary assessment of the genetic structure within them, we developed anonymous nuclear loci from pyrosequencing data of 40 individuals from four species in the P. aurisetus complex. The data obtained from these loci were used to identify genetic clusters within species, and to investigate the phylogenetic relationship among these inferred clusters using a species tree methodology. Coupled with a palaeodistributional modelling, our results reveal a deep phylogenetic and climatic disjunction between two geographic lineages. Our results highlight the importance of sampling more regions from the genome to gain better insights on the evolution of species with an intricate evolutionary history. The methodology used here provides a feasible approach to develop numerous genealogical molecular markers throughout the genome for non-model species. These data provide a more robust hypothesis for the relationship among the lineages of the P. aurisetus complex. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. The effect of cactus spines on light interception and Photosystem II for three sympatric species of Opuntia from the Mojave Desert.

    PubMed

    Loik, Michael E

    2008-09-01

    Cactus spines reduce herbivory, direct water toward roots and reduce the impacts of high- and low-temperature extremes. Yet, shading of stems by spines reduces incident photosynthetic photon flux density (PFD), photosynthesis and growth. This study compared spinescence, PFD interception, stem temperature, Photosystem II (PSII) photochemistry and xanthophyll pigment composition for three species of cacti from the Mojave Desert, CA. The species vary in spinescence: Opuntia basilaris, which has no central or radial spines; Opuntia erinacea, which is densely covered with spines; and Opuntia phaeacantha, which has an intermediate coverage of spines. The role of spines was tested by removing spines from stems of O. erinacea. PFD interception was similar for both O. basilaris and O. phaeacantha, and about three times that for densely spined O. erinacea; removal of spines increased incident PFD three-fold. There were no effects of spines on stem temperatures. Steady-state light-response curves of chlorophyll a fluorescence from PSII indicated that PhiPSII, photochemical quenching (qP) and electron flux within PSII were lower, and non-photochemical quenching was higher, for O. erinacea in comparison to the other two species with less spines. After 2 months, qP was higher and electron flux lower, and xanthophyll pigment pool size was higher, for stems from which spines had been removed compared with intact stems. These three species allocate different amounts of biomass to spines, resulting in species-specific PFD interception, PSII photochemistry and xanthophyll pigment pool size, which may help maintain rates of photosynthesis during the hot, dry Mojave Desert summer.

  4. Selenium Accumulation, Distribution, and Speciation in Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus: A Drought- and Salt-Tolerant, Selenium-Enriched Nutraceutical Fruit Crop for Biofortified Foods1[OA

    PubMed Central

    Bañuelos, Gary S.; Fakra, Sirine C.; Walse, Spencer S.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Yang, Soo In; Pickering, Ingrid J.; Pilon-Smits, Elizabeth A.H.; Freeman, John L.

    2011-01-01

    The organ-specific accumulation, spatial distribution, and chemical speciation of selenium (Se) were previously unknown for any species of cactus. We investigated Se in Opuntia ficus-indica using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, microfocused x-ray fluorescence elemental and chemical mapping (μXRF), Se K-edge x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). μXRF showed Se concentrated inside small conic, vestigial leaves (cladode tips), the cladode vasculature, and the seed embryos. Se K-edge XANES demonstrated that approximately 96% of total Se in cladode, fruit juice, fruit pulp, and seed is carbon-Se-carbon (C-Se-C). Micro and bulk XANES analysis showed that cladode tips contained both selenate and C-Se-C forms. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry quantification of Se in high-performance liquid chromatography fractions followed by LC-MS structural identification showed selenocystathionine-to-selenomethionine (SeMet) ratios of 75:25, 71:29, and 32:68, respectively in cladode, fruit, and seed. Enzymatic digestions and subsequent analysis confirmed that Se was mainly present in a “free” nonproteinaceous form inside cladode and fruit, while in the seed, Se was incorporated into proteins associated with lipids. μXRF chemical mapping illuminated the specific location of Se reduction and assimilation from selenate accumulated in the cladode tips into the two LC-MS-identified C-Se-C forms before they were transported into the cladode mesophyll. We conclude that Opuntia is a secondary Se-accumulating plant whose fruit and cladode contain mostly free selenocystathionine and SeMet, while seeds contain mainly SeMet in protein. When eaten, the organic Se forms in Opuntia fruit, cladode, and seed may improve health, increase Se mineral nutrition, and help prevent multiple human cancers. PMID:21059825

  5. The effect of cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.

    PubMed

    Onakpoya, Igho J; O'Sullivan, Jack; Heneghan, Carl J

    2015-05-01

    Hundreds of dietary supplements are currently marketed as weight loss supplements. However, the advertised health claims of effectiveness for most of these have not been proven. The aim of this study was to critically appraise and evaluate the evidence for effectiveness of cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI), using data from published randomized clinical trials. We conducted electronic searches in Medline, Embase, Amed, Cinahl, and the Cochrane Library. No restrictions on age, time, or language were imposed. The risk for bias in the studies included was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration criteria. Two reviewers independently determined the eligibility of included studies, assessed reporting quality, and extracted data. We identified seven eligible studies, of which five were included. The studies varied in design and reporting quality. Meta-analysis revealed a nonsignificant difference in body weight between OFI and controls (mean difference = -0.83 kg; 95% confidence interval, -2.49 to 0.83; I(2) = 93%). Significant reductions in body mass index, percentage body fat, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and total cholesterol were observed. Adverse events included gastric intolerance and flu symptoms. The evidence from randomized clinical trials does not indicate that supplementation with OFI generates statistically significant effects on body weight. Consumption of OFI can cause significant reductions in percentage body fat, blood pressure, and total cholesterol. Few clinical trials evaluating the effects of OFI have been published. They vary in design and methodology, and are characterized by inconsistent quality of reporting. Further clinical trials evaluating the effects of OFI on body composition and metabolic parameters are warranted. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Conserved and divergent rhythms of crassulacean acid metabolism-related and core clock gene expression in the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Mallona, Izaskun; Egea-Cortines, Marcos; Weiss, Julia

    2011-08-01

    The cactus Opuntia ficus-indica is a constitutive Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species. Current knowledge of CAM metabolism suggests that the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase kinase (PPCK) is circadian regulated at the transcriptional level, whereas phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME), and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) are posttranslationally controlled. As little transcriptomic data are available from obligate CAM plants, we created an expressed sequence tag database derived from different organs and developmental stages. Sequences were assembled, compared with sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information nonredundant database for identification of putative orthologs, and mapped using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Orthology and Gene Ontology. We identified genes involved in circadian regulation and CAM metabolism for transcriptomic analysis in plants grown in long days. We identified stable reference genes for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and found that OfiSAND, like its counterpart in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), and OfiTUB are generally appropriate standards for use in the quantification of gene expression in O. ficus-indica. Three kinds of expression profiles were found: transcripts of OfiPPCK oscillated with a 24-h periodicity; transcripts of the light-active OfiNADP-ME and OfiPPDK genes adapted to 12-h cycles, while transcript accumulation patterns of OfiPEPC and OfiMDH were arrhythmic. Expression of the circadian clock gene OfiTOC1, similar to Arabidopsis, oscillated with a 24-h periodicity, peaking at night. Expression of OfiCCA1 and OfiPRR9, unlike in Arabidopsis, adapted best to a 12-h rhythm, suggesting that circadian clock gene interactions differ from those of Arabidopsis. Our results indicate that the evolution of CAM metabolism could be the result of modified circadian regulation at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional

  7. Conserved and Divergent Rhythms of Crassulacean Acid Metabolism-Related and Core Clock Gene Expression in the Cactus Opuntia ficus-indica1[C][W

    PubMed Central

    Mallona, Izaskun; Egea-Cortines, Marcos; Weiss, Julia

    2011-01-01

    The cactus Opuntia ficus-indica is a constitutive Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) species. Current knowledge of CAM metabolism suggests that the enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase kinase (PPCK) is circadian regulated at the transcriptional level, whereas phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC), malate dehydrogenase (MDH), NADP-malic enzyme (NADP-ME), and pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) are posttranslationally controlled. As little transcriptomic data are available from obligate CAM plants, we created an expressed sequence tag database derived from different organs and developmental stages. Sequences were assembled, compared with sequences in the National Center for Biotechnology Information nonredundant database for identification of putative orthologs, and mapped using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes Orthology and Gene Ontology. We identified genes involved in circadian regulation and CAM metabolism for transcriptomic analysis in plants grown in long days. We identified stable reference genes for quantitative polymerase chain reaction and found that OfiSAND, like its counterpart in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), and OfiTUB are generally appropriate standards for use in the quantification of gene expression in O. ficus-indica. Three kinds of expression profiles were found: transcripts of OfiPPCK oscillated with a 24-h periodicity; transcripts of the light-active OfiNADP-ME and OfiPPDK genes adapted to 12-h cycles, while transcript accumulation patterns of OfiPEPC and OfiMDH were arrhythmic. Expression of the circadian clock gene OfiTOC1, similar to Arabidopsis, oscillated with a 24-h periodicity, peaking at night. Expression of OfiCCA1 and OfiPRR9, unlike in Arabidopsis, adapted best to a 12-h rhythm, suggesting that circadian clock gene interactions differ from those of Arabidopsis. Our results indicate that the evolution of CAM metabolism could be the result of modified circadian regulation at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional

  8. Diversity and antifungal activity of the endophytic fungi associated with the native medicinal cactus Opuntia humifusa (Cactaceae) from the United States.

    PubMed

    Silva-Hughes, Alice F; Wedge, David E; Cantrell, Charles L; Carvalho, Camila R; Pan, Zhiqiang; Moraes, Rita M; Madoxx, Victor L; Rosa, Luiz H

    2015-06-01

    The endophytic fungal community associated with the native cactus Opuntia humifusa in the United States was investigated and its potential for providing antifungal compounds. A hundred-eight endophytic fungal isolates were obtained and identified by molecular methods into 17 different taxa of the genera Alternaria, Aureobasidium, Biscogniauxia, Cladosporium, Cryptococcus, Curvularia, Diaporthe, Epicoccum, Paraconiothyrium, Pestalotiopsis and Phoma. The most frequent species associated with O. humifusa were Alternaria sp. 3, Aureobasidium pullulans and Diaporthe sp. The fungal community of O. humifusa had a high richness and diversity; additionally, the species richness obtained indicates that the sample effort was enough to recover the diversity pattern obtained. Six extracts of endophytes showed antifungal properties and (1)H NMR analyses of the extracts of Alternaria sp. 5 Ohu 8B2, Alternaria sp. 3 Ohu 30A, Cladosporium funiculosum Ohu 17C1 and Paraconiothyrium sp. Ohu 17A indicated the presence of functional groups associated with unsaturated fatty-acid olefinic protons and fatty acid methylene and methyl protons. GC-FID analysis of these extracts confirmed the presence of a mixture of different fatty acids. The (1)H NMR analyses of Biscogniauxia mediterranea Ohu 19B extracts showed the presence of aromatic compounds. From the extract of B. mediterranea we isolated the compound 5-methylmellein that displayed moderate antifungal activity against the phytopathogenic fungi Phomopsis obscurans. Our results suggest that native medicinal cacti of the United States can live symbiotically with rich and diverse endophytic communities and may be a source of bioactive molecules, including those able to inhibit or control plant disease pathogens. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Selenium Accumulation, Distribution, and Speciation in Spineless Prickly Pear Cactus: A Drought- and Salt-Tolerant, Selenium-Enriched Nutraceutical Fruit Crop for Biofortified Foods

    SciTech Connect

    Banuelos, Gary S.; Fakra, Sirine C.; Walse, Spencer S.

    The organ-specific accumulation, spatial distribution, and chemical speciation of selenium (Se) were previously unknown for any species of cactus. We investigated Se in Opuntia ficus-indica using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, microfocused x-ray fluorescence elemental and chemical mapping ({micro}XRF), Se K-edge x-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) spectroscopy, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). {micro}XRF showed Se concentrated inside small conic, vestigial leaves (cladode tips), the cladode vasculature, and the seed embryos. Se K-edge XANES demonstrated that approximately 96% of total Se in cladode, fruit juice, fruit pulp, and seed is carbon-Se-carbon (C-Se-C). Micro and bulk XANES analysis showed that cladode tipsmore » contained both selenate and C-Se-C forms. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry quantification of Se in high-performance liquid chromatography fractions followed by LC-MS structural identification showed selenocystathionine-to-selenomethionine (SeMet) ratios of 75:25, 71:29, and 32:68, respectively in cladode, fruit, and seed. Enzymatic digestions and subsequent analysis confirmed that Se was mainly present in a 'free' nonproteinaceous form inside cladode and fruit, while in the seed, Se was incorporated into proteins associated with lipids. {micro}XRF chemical mapping illuminated the specific location of Se reduction and assimilation from selenate accumulated in the cladode tips into the two LC-MS-identified C-Se-C forms before they were transported into the cladode mesophyll. We conclude that Opuntia is a secondary Se-accumulating plant whose fruit and cladode contain mostly free selenocystathionine and SeMet, while seeds contain mainly SeMet in protein. When eaten, the organic Se forms in Opuntia fruit, cladode, and seed may improve health, increase Se mineral nutrition, and help prevent multiple human cancers.« less

  10. Genetic diversity and structure of a rare endemic cactus and an assessment of its genetic relationship with a more common congener.

    PubMed

    Rayamajhi, Niraj; Sharma, Jyotsna

    2018-06-01

    Endemic, obligate outcrossing plant species with narrow geographic distributions and disjunct populations are prone to loss of genetic diversity. Simultaneously, delineating clear species boundaries is important for targeted conservation efforts. The rare and endemic cactus, Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. tobuschii (SBT), has a parapatric relationship with Sclerocactus brevihamatus subsp. brevihamatus (SBB) but genetic distance between the two taxa is unknown. We: (1) developed taxon-specific polymorphic microsatellites, (2) assessed genetic diversity within and among nine populations of SBT, and within one population of SBB, and (3) estimated the genetic relationship between the two subspecies. Within-population genetic diversity of SBT was moderate to high (mean H o  = 0.37; mean H e  = 0.59). Indirect estimate of inbreeding corrected for null alleles (F is-INEst ) was low for SBT, ranging from 0.03 to 0.14 (mean F is-INEst  = 0.07). Genetic differentiation among populations of SBT was low based on F st (0.08) and AMOVA (Ф PT  = 0.10). Lack of genetic and spatial correlation in SBT populations coupled with the presence of private alleles and bottleneck events in several populations suggests that reproductive isolation is occurring but that sufficient time may not have yet passed to manifest strong differentiation. Cluster analyses segregated the 10 populations into three distinct groups, and separated SBB genotypes clearly. Results suggest that while hybridization between the two subspecies may occur, SBT is clearly differentiated genetically from SBB to retain its current taxonomic status.

  11. Software Engineering Support of the Third Round of Scientific Grand Challenge Investigations: An Earth Modeling System Software Framework Strawman Design that Integrates Cactus and UCLA/UCB Distributed Data Broker

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Talbot, Bryan; Zhou, Shu-Jia; Higgins, Glenn

    2002-01-01

    One of the most significant challenges in large-scale climate modeling, as well as in high-performance computing in other scientific fields, is that of effectively integrating many software models from multiple contributors. A software framework facilitates the integration task. both in the development and runtime stages of the simulation. Effective software frameworks reduce the programming burden for the investigators, freeing them to focus more on the science and less on the parallel communication implementation, while maintaining high performance across numerous supercomputer and workstation architectures. This document proposes a strawman framework design for the climate community based on the integration of Cactus, from the relativistic physics community, and UCLA/UCB Distributed Data Broker (DDB) from the climate community. This design is the result of an extensive survey of climate models and frameworks in the climate community as well as frameworks from many other scientific communities. The design addresses fundamental development and runtime needs using Cactus, a framework with interfaces for FORTRAN and C-based languages, and high-performance model communication needs using DDB. This document also specifically explores object-oriented design issues in the context of climate modeling as well as climate modeling issues in terms of object-oriented design.

  12. Saguaro: A Distributed Operating System Based on Pools of Servers.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-03-25

    asynchronous message passing, multicast, and semaphores are supported. We have found this flexibility to be very useful for distributed programming. The...variety of communication primitives provided by SR has facilitated the research of Stella Atkins, who was a visiting professor at Arizona during Spring...data bits in a raw communication channel to help keep the source and destination synchronized , Psync explicitly embeds timing information drawn from the

  13. Effect of spineless cactus intake (Opuntia ficus-indica) on blood glucose levels in lactating sows and its impact on feed intake, body weight loss, and weaning-estrus interval.

    PubMed

    Ordaz-Ochoa, Gerardo; Juárez-Caratachea, Aureliano; Pérez-Sánchez, Rosa Elena; Román-Bravo, Rafael María; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Ruy

    2017-06-01

    The effect of spineless cactus intake (Opuntia ficus-indica) on blood glucose (BG) levels in lactating sows and its impact on daily and total feed intake (dFI -1 and TFI, respectively), body weight loss (BWL), and weaning-estrus interval length (WEI) were evaluated. Thirty-four hybrid (Yorkshire × Landrace × Pietrain) sows in lactation phase were used. Sows were divided into two groups: G1 (n = 17) where they received commercial feed and G2 (n = 17) provided with commercial feed plus an average of 2.0 ± 0.5 kg spineless cactus, based on a sow's body weight. The variables evaluated were BG, dFI -1 , TFI, BWL, and WEI. Statistical analysis was performed by using a fixed and mixed model methodology, under a repeated measurements experiment. Group effects were found on all analyzed variables (P < 0.05). The BG was lower in G2 (55.2 and 64.5 mg/dL pre- and post-prandial, respectively), compared to that in G1 (70.9 and 80.1 mg/dL pre- and post-prandial, respectively) (P < 0.05). G2 showed better performance than G1 for dFI -1 , BWL, and WEI (P < 0.05) whose averages were 5.5 ± 1.8 kg, 7.4 ± 4.5%, and 5.3 ± 1.2 days, respectively. Averages for these variables in G1 were 4.7 ± 1.5 kg, 16.8 ± 4.6%, and 6.1 ± 1.6 days, respectively. Intake of spineless cactus reduced BG levels in lactating sows, generating greater dFI -1 , lower BWL at the end of lactation, and a lower WEI.

  14. Changes in physiological and some nutritional, nutraceuticals, chemical-physical, microbiological and sensory quality of minimally processed cactus pears cvs 'Bianca', 'Gialla' and 'Rossa' stored under passive modified atmosphere.

    PubMed

    Palma, Amedeo; Continella, Alberto; La Malfa, Stefano; D'Aquino, Salvatore

    2018-03-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the overall quality changes of minimally processed cactus pears cvs 'Bianca', Gialla' and 'Rossa' stored at 4 °C for 10 days. Periodically in-package CO 2 , O 2 and C 2 H 4 were determined and fruit were assessed for overall quality changes (pH, acidity, sugars, phenolics, betacyanins and betaxanthines, antioxidant capacity, colour, firmness, microbiological population and sensory attributes). In a preliminary study three different polymeric films were tested to select the most suitable to design a package with a short lag time to achieve steady-state conditions. Results showed marked differences between measured in-package CO 2 and O 2 values and those calculated based on respiration of peeled fruit and film permeance to CO 2 and O 2 provided by manufactures. The sensory evaluation of packed fruit indicated in film BBT-Bolphane, which created a steady-state in-package partial pressure for CO 2 of 4.3-4.8 kPa and for O 2 of 4.8-5.5 kPa, as the best film. Results of in-package gas composition with the three cultivars were similar to those achieved in cv. 'Gialla' with the preliminary test. All measured qualitative parameters changed slightly over the storage period for all cultivars and followed the same trend, despite significant differences existing among cultivars. This study clearly showed a similar physiological behavior of minimally processed 'Bianca', 'Gialla' and 'Rossa' cactus pears. Storage conditions optimal for one cultivar fit well for the others; thus mixing fruit of different cultivars in a package designed for one specific cultivar does not lead to relevant deviation from expected results. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2017 Society of Chemical Industry.

  15. Thiabendazole uptake and storage performance of cactus pear [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. Cv Gialla] fruit following postharvest treatments with reduced doses of fungicide at 52 degrees C.

    PubMed

    Schirra, Mario; Brandolini, Vincenzo; Cabras, Paolo; Angioni, Alberto; Inglese, Paolo

    2002-02-13

    The storage response of cactus pears [Opuntia ficus-indica Miller (L.) cv. Gialla] was investigated over 6 weeks at 6 degrees C, plus an additional week of simulated marketing period (SMP) at 20 degrees C, after a 3-min dip treatment with thiabendazole (TBZ) at 1000 mg/L at 20 degrees C or 150 mg/L TBZ at 52 degrees C. Untreated fruits were used as control. Following TBZ treatments at 20 and 52 degrees C, total residues were recovered from the peel of cactus pear, as the concentration of residues in the pulp was negligible. Treatments with 1000 mg/L TBZ at 20 degrees C resulted in a 2.82 mg/kg residue uptake (active ingredient, whole-fruit basis), whereas treatment at 150 mg/L TBZ left 1.09 mg/kg. TBZ showed great persistence over both storage and SMP: on average, in the fruits treated at 20 and 52 degrees C, over 72 and 68%, respectively, of TBZ was still present after SMP. Postharvest treatments with 1000 mg/L TBZ at room temperature did not affect the expression of slight-to-moderate chilling injury (CI), but reduced severe CI by approximately 50% and decay development by 63.4% in comparison to those of untreated fruit after SMP. The effectiveness of TBZ was much higher with the treatment at 150 mg/L TBZ at 52 degrees C, providing 91% control of severe CI and approximately 89% suppression of decay; no treatment damage occurred during storage and SMP. External appearance was better in fruit treated with 150 mg/L TBZ at 52 degrees C. Respiration rate, titratable acidity, soluble solids concentration, and acetaldehyde in the flesh were not significantly influenced by treatments. Ethylene production rate and ethanol levels in the flesh were significantly higher in the TBZ-treated fruit as opposed to those in the untreated control fruit.

  16. Protective effect of cactus cladode extract against cisplatin induced oxidative stress, genotoxicity and apoptosis in balb/c mice: combination with phytochemical composition

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Cis-Platinum (II) (cis-diammine dichloroplatinum; CDDP) is a potent antitumor compound widely used for the treatment of many malignancies. An important side-effect of CDDP is nephrotoxicity. The cytotoxic action of this drug is often thought to induce oxidative stress and be associated with its ability to bind DNA to form CDDP–DNA adducts and apoptosis in kidney cells. In this study, the protective effect of cactus cladode extract (CCE) against CDDP-induced oxidative stress and genotoxicity were investigated in mice. We also looked for levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), catalase activity, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, chromosome aberrations (CA) test, SOS Chromotest, expressions of p53, bax and bcl2 in kidney and we also analyzed several parameters of renal function markers toxicity such as serum biochemical analysis. Methods Adult, healthy balb/c (20–25 g) male mice aged of 4–5 weeks were pre-treated by intraperitonial administration of CCE (50 mg/Kg.b.w) for 2 weeks. Control animals were treated 3 days a week for 4 weeks by intraperitonial administration of 100 μg/Kg.b.w CDDP. Animals which treated by CDDP and CCE were divided into two groups: the first group was administrated CCE 2 hours before each treatment with CDDP 3 days a week for 4 weeks. The second group was administrated without pre-treatment with CCE but this extract was administrated 24 hours after each treatment with CDDP 3 days a week for 4 weeks. Results Our results showed that CDDP induced significant alterations in all tested oxidative stress markers. In addition it induced CA in bone morrow cells, increased the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins p53 and bax and decreased the expression of anti-apoptotic protein bcl2 in kidney. On the other hand, CDDP significantly increased the levels of urea and creatinine and decreased the levels of albumin and total protein.The treatment of CCE before or after treatment with CDDP showed, (i) a total reduction

  17. Cactus: An Introduction to Regression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2008-01-01

    When the author first used "VisiCalc," the author thought it a very useful tool when he had the formulas. But how could he design a spreadsheet if there was no known formula for the quantities he was trying to predict? A few months later, the author relates he learned to use multiple linear regression software and suddenly it all clicked into…

  18. Hypoglycemic effect of Opuntia cactus.

    PubMed

    Ibañez-Camacho, R; Roman-Ramos, R

    1979-01-01

    Nopal (Opuntia sp.) has been traditionally used by the Mexican population for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. The purpose of this work is to describe effects produced by directly liquified nopal and extracts from this plant in healthy and pancreatectomized rabbits. Preliminary results allow us to conclude that Opuntia streptacantha, Lemaire, has hypoglycemic properties when orally administered, in animals with experimentally induced diabetes as well as in healthy ones with physiologic hyperglycemia.

  19. Stable Isotopic Variations in Columnar Cacti: are Responses to Climate Recorded in Spines?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    English, N. B.; Dettman, D. L.; Williams, D. G.

    2004-12-01

    The behavior of the North American monsoon (NAM), particularly with respect to times of continental drought and its relationship to the Pacific-North American (PNA) teleconnection pattern and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is of great interest to paleoclimatologists and water managers. Long-term instrumental precipitation and tree ring records in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico at low elevations are sparse and this has hindered research on NAM variability at interannual timescales. Saguaro cacti (Carnegiea gigantea) and other columnar cacti in North and South America are long-lived and have the potential to record climate variability on land with high temporal and spatial resolution. The vertical sequence of spines on the saguaro's exterior represents a high resolution (4 to 6 per year), and long (over 150 years) record of environmental change. We present results from an experiment where we tracked the oxygen isotopic values in the source waters, stem tissue waters and spine tissue for three treatments over the course of three months. These data are then compared to a previously developed mechanistic model of isotopic variation that reflects the physiological responses of Saguaro to climate variation over seasonal to century long time-scales. We also present the rationale for a new method to determine the growth rate of columnar cacti using the radiocarbon bomb spike. Our measurements reveal that oxygen and hydrogen isotopic variation among the sequentially produced and persistent spines covering the saguaro body record fluctuations in saguaro water balance. The model successfully predicts isotopic variation in spines and constrains controlling variables, yielding a powerful and high-resolution stable isotope index of water stress in the low desert. The development and refinement of an isotopic model for saguaro will serve as the basis for models applied to other species of columnar cacti in North and South America. The role of the

  20. Sexual isolation and mating propensity among allopatric Drosophila mettleri populations.

    PubMed

    Castrezana, Sergio J; Markow, Therese Ann

    2008-07-01

    Drosophila mettleri is found in deserts of North America breeding in soil soaked by the juices of necrotic cacti. Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) and cardón (Pachycereus pringlei) are the usual host cacti in Mexico and Arizona, while prickly pear (Opuntia spp.) is used by an isolated population on Santa Catalina Island off the southern California Coast. Populations of D. mettleri show significant local genetic differentiation, especially when geographical isolation is coupled with host shifts. We tested for evidence of sexual isolation among allopatric populations of D. mettleri using a variety of choice and no-choice tests. Populations exhibited significant differences in mating propensity, which translated into significant deviations from random mating. While in some cases these deviations were consistent with sexual isolation, in others, negative assortative mating was observed. No relationship between degree of genetic differentiation and the appearance of sexual isolation was detected.

  1. Sonoran Desert ecosystem transformation by a C4 grass without the grass/fire cycle

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Olsson, Aaryn D.; Betancourt, Julio; McClaran, Mitchel P.; Marsh, Stuart E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Biological invasions facilitate ecosystem transformation by altering the structure and function, diversity, dominance and disturbance regimes. A classic case is the grass–fire cycle in which grass invasion increases the frequency, scale and/or intensity of wildfires and promotes the continued invasion of invasive grasses. Despite wide acceptance of the grass–fire cycle, questions linger about the relative roles that interspecific plant competition and fire play in ecosystem transformations. Location Sonoran Desert Arizona Upland of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Arizona, USA. Methods We measured species cover, density and saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) size structure along gradients of Pennisetum ciliare invasion at 10 unburned/ungrazed P. ciliare patches. Regression models quantified differences in diversity, cover and density with respect to P. ciliare cover, and residence time and a Fisher's exact test detected demographic changes in saguaro populations. Because P. ciliare may have initially invaded locations that were both more invasible and less diverse, we ran analyses with and without the plots in which initial infestations were located. Results Richness and diversity decreased with P. ciliare cover as did cover and density of most dominant species. Richness and diversity declined with increasing time since invasion, suggesting an ongoing transformation. The proportion of old-to-young Carnegiea gigantea was significantly lower in plots with dominant P. ciliare cover. Main conclusions Rich desert scrub (15–25 species per plot) was transformed into depauperate grassland (2–5 species per plot) within 20 years following P. ciliare invasion without changes to the fire regime. While the onset of a grass–fire cycle may drive ecosystem change in the later stages and larger scales of grass invasions of arid lands, competition by P. ciliare can drive small-scale transformations earlier in the invasion. Linking competition-induced transformation rates with

  2. Dietary indicaxanthin from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica L. Mill) fruit prevents eryptosis induced by oxysterols in a hypercholesterolaemia-relevant proportion and adhesion of human erythrocytes to endothelial cell layers.

    PubMed

    Tesoriere, Luisa; Attanzio, Alessandro; Allegra, Mario; Livrea, Maria A

    2015-08-14

    Toxic oxysterols in a hypercholesterolaemia-relevant proportion cause suicidal death of human erythrocytes or eryptosis. This process proceeds through early production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), release of prostaglandin (PGE2) and opening of PGE2-dependent Ca channels, membrane phosphatidylserine (PS) externalisation, and cell shrinkage. The present study was the first to reveal that a bioavailable phytochemical, indicaxanthin (Ind) from cactus pear fruit, in a concentration range (1.0-5.0 μM) consistent with its plasma level after a fruit meal, prevents PS externalisation and cell shrinkage in a dose-dependent manner when incubated with isolated healthy human erythrocytes exposed to an oxysterol mixture for 48 h. Dietary Ind inhibited ROS production, glutathione (GSH) depletion, PGE2 release and Ca2+ entry. Ind alone did not modify the erythrocyte redox environment or affect other parameters. Ex vivo spiking of normal human blood with the oxysterol mixture for 48 h induced eryptosis, resulting in the production of ROS and decreased levels of GSH, which was prevented by concurrent exposure to 5 μm-Ind. The adherence of eryptotic erythrocytes to the endothelium causes vascular tissue injury. Erythrocytes isolated from blood incubated with the oxysterol mixture plus 5 μm-Ind did not adhere to endothelial cell monolayers. Eryptotic erythrocytes may contribute to thrombotic complications in hypercholesterolaemia. Our findings suggest the positive effects of diets containing Ind on erythrocytes in hypercholesterolaemic subjects.

  3. Cactus: The Centres of a Triangle

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2009-01-01

    This is the first of two articles which describe how to use "JavaSketchPad" to explore the centres of a triangle. This introductory exercise is suggested in the GSP "Workshop Guide". Students can use "JavaSketchPad Interactive Geometry" (JSP) at home at no cost. They are likely to impress their parents with their enthusiasm for geometry and all…

  4. CACTUS: Calculator and Computer Technology User Service.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    1998-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students use computer-based spreadsheets to find out how much grain should be added to a chess board when a grain of rice is put on the first square, the amount is doubled for the next square, and the chess board is covered. (ASK)

  5. Urban growth and landscape connectivity threats assessment at Saguaro National Park, Arizona, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Perkl, Ryan; Norman, Laura M.; Mitchell, David; Feller, Mark R.; Smith, Garrett; Wilson, Natalie R.

    2018-01-01

    Urban and exurban expansion results in habitat and biodiversity loss globally. We hypothesize that a coupled-model approach could connect urban planning for future cities with landscape ecology to consider wildland habitat connectivity. Our work combines urban growth simulations with models of wildlife corridors to examine how species will be impacted by development to test this hypothesis. We leverage a land use change model (SLEUTH) with structural and functional landscape-connectivity modeling techniques to ascertain the spatial extent and locations of connectivity related threats to a national park in southern Arizona, USA, and describe how protected areas might be impacted by urban expansion. Results of projected growth significantly altered structural connectivity (80%) when compared to current (baseline) corridor conditions. Moreover, projected growth impacted functional connectivity differently amongst species, indicating resilience of some species and near-complete displacement of others. We propose that implementing a geospatial-design-based model will allow for a better understanding of the impacts management decisions have on wildlife populations. The application provides the potential to understand both human and environmental impacts of land-system dynamics, critical for long-term sustainability.

  6. 77 FR 12761 - Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Saguaro National Park, Bicycle Route

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-02

    ..., preserve, and interpret the monument's resources, and to provide for education and benefit to the public... worldwide as an icon of the American Southwest. The Hope Camp Trail is a 2.8 mile long hiking and equestrian... the route to be used for recreational purposes, including hiking, equestrian and bicycle use. Shortly...

  7. 77 FR 60050 - Special Regulations; Areas of the National Park System, Saguaro National Park, Bicycling

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-02

    ... hiking and equestrian trail that originates at the Loma Alta Trailhead and travels east through the..., including hiking, equestrian, and bicycle use. Shortly after acquiring the land, the NPS closed the route to... leadership after an adequate analysis of the benefits, impacts, and economic cost of alternative courses of...

  8. CACTUS (Calculator and Computer Technology User Service): Some Easter Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hyde, Hartley

    2007-01-01

    In the Western Gregorian Calendar, the date of Easter Sunday is defined as the Sunday following the ecclesiastical Full Moon that falls on or next after March 21. While the pattern of dates so defined usually repeats each 19 years, there is a 0.08 day difference between the cycles. More accurately, the system has a period of 70 499 183 lunations…

  9. 75 FR 41073 - South American Cactus Moth Regulations; Quarantined Areas

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-15

    ...) that is indigenous to Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. It is a serious quarantine... notice to the owner, person in possession, or person responsible for the management of the land to be...

  10. High proportion of cactus species threatened with extinction.

    PubMed

    Goettsch, Bárbara; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Cruz-Piñón, Gabriela; Duffy, James P; Frances, Anne; Hernández, Héctor M; Inger, Richard; Pollock, Caroline; Schipper, Jan; Superina, Mariella; Taylor, Nigel P; Tognelli, Marcelo; Abba, Agustín M; Arias, Salvador; Arreola-Nava, Hilda J; Baker, Marc A; Bárcenas, Rolando T; Barrios, Duniel; Braun, Pierre; Butterworth, Charles A; Búrquez, Alberto; Caceres, Fátima; Chazaro-Basañez, Miguel; Corral-Díaz, Rafael; Del Valle Perea, Mario; Demaio, Pablo H; Duarte de Barros, Williams A; Durán, Rafael; Yancas, Luis Faúndez; Felger, Richard S; Fitz-Maurice, Betty; Fitz-Maurice, Walter A; Gann, George; Gómez-Hinostrosa, Carlos; Gonzales-Torres, Luis R; Patrick Griffith, M; Guerrero, Pablo C; Hammel, Barry; Heil, Kenneth D; Hernández-Oria, José Guadalupe; Hoffmann, Michael; Ishihara, Mario Ishiki; Kiesling, Roberto; Larocca, João; León-de la Luz, José Luis; Loaiza S, Christian R; Lowry, Martin; Machado, Marlon C; Majure, Lucas C; Ávalos, José Guadalupe Martínez; Martorell, Carlos; Maschinski, Joyce; Méndez, Eduardo; Mittermeier, Russell A; Nassar, Jafet M; Negrón-Ortiz, Vivian; Oakley, Luis J; Ortega-Baes, Pablo; Ferreira, Ana Beatriz Pin; Pinkava, Donald J; Porter, J Mark; Puente-Martinez, Raul; Gamarra, José Roque; Pérez, Patricio Saldivia; Martínez, Emiliano Sánchez; Smith, Martin; Manuel Sotomayor M Del C, J; Stuart, Simon N; Muñoz, José Luis Tapia; Terrazas, Teresa; Terry, Martin; Trevisson, Marcelo; Valverde, Teresa; Van Devender, Thomas R; Véliz-Pérez, Mario Esteban; Walter, Helmut E; Wyatt, Sarah A; Zappi, Daniela; Alejandro Zavala-Hurtado, J; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-10-05

    A high proportion of plant species is predicted to be threatened with extinction in the near future. However, the threat status of only a small number has been evaluated compared with key animal groups, rendering the magnitude and nature of the risks plants face unclear. Here we report the results of a global species assessment for the largest plant taxon evaluated to date under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Categories and Criteria, the iconic Cactaceae (cacti). We show that cacti are among the most threatened taxonomic groups assessed to date, with 31% of the 1,478 evaluated species threatened, demonstrating the high anthropogenic pressures on biodiversity in arid lands. The distribution of threatened species and the predominant threatening processes and drivers are different to those described for other taxa. The most significant threat processes comprise land conversion to agriculture and aquaculture, collection as biological resources, and residential and commercial development. The dominant drivers of extinction risk are the unscrupulous collection of live plants and seeds for horticultural trade and private ornamental collections, smallholder livestock ranching and smallholder annual agriculture. Our findings demonstrate that global species assessments are readily achievable for major groups of plants with relatively moderate resources, and highlight different conservation priorities and actions to those derived from species assessments of key animal groups.

  11. Evaluation of salvage and replanted native plants on ADOT projects.

    DOT National Transportation Integrated Search

    2012-06-01

    ADOT has transplanted thousands of saguaros during the construction of roadway projects, and although : the projects are typically tracked for two years, the long-term survivability of saguaros has never been : documented. The purpose of this study i...

  12. Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    Like the saguaro cactus (Carnegia gigantea) and the rattlesnake, the Gila monster is emblematic of the desert Southwest. The Gila monster is not only the largest lizard native to the United States, but also one of only two known species of venomous lizard in the Americas. This stout-bodied lizard can grow to 50 cm (20 in) and is covered with black and pink or orange markings and bead-like scales. The Gila monster's range is centered in western and southern Arizona, continuing south to Sonora, Mexico. Despite public fascination with the species, relatively little is known about the ecology and behavior of the Gila monster in the wild. For this reason, managers at Tonto National Monument, Arizona, contacted the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to investigate why Gila monsters were being seen in developed areas of the park, particularly crossing the main road. Managers were concerned about possible lizard-human conflicts and the risk of vehicle traffic killing Gila monsters. USGS scientists initiated a research effort in Tonto National Monument beginning in 2004 to provide information needed to make management decisions and improve scientific understanding of the species. Specifically, USGS scientists examined the movement patterns, range requirements, dietary habits, and use of developed areas by Gila monsters within the park. The 2004 research effort also extended a program begun in Tonto National Monument in 1994 to recognize individual Gila monsters based on unique dorsal patterns identified from photographs.

  13. Potential flood hazards and hydraulic characteristics of distributary-flow areas in Maricopa County, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hjalmarson, H.W.

    1994-01-01

    Flood hazards of distributary-flow areas in Maricopa County, Arizona, can be distinguished on the basis of morphological features. Five distributary-flow areas represent the range of flood-hazard degree in the study area. Descriptive factors, including the presence of desert varnish and the absence of saguaro cactus, are more useful than traditional hydraulic-based methods in defining hazards. The width, depth, and velocity exponents of the hydraulic-geometry relations at the primary diffluences of the sites are similar to theoretical exponents for streams with cohesive bank material and the average exponents of stream channels in other areas in the United States. Because of the unexplained scatter of the values of the exponent of channel width, however, the use of average hydraulic-geometry relations is con- sidered inappropriate for characterizing flood hazards for specific distributary-flow in Maricopa County. No evidence has been found that supports the use of stochastic modeling of flows or flood hazards of many distributary-flow areas. The surface of many distributary-flow areas is stable with many distributary channels eroded in the calcreted surface material. Many distributary- flow areas do not appear to be actively aggrading today, and the paths of flow are not changing.

  14. Indicaxanthin from cactus pear fruit exerts anti-inflammatory effects in carrageenin-induced rat pleurisy.

    PubMed

    Allegra, Mario; Ianaro, Angela; Tersigni, Mariaroberta; Panza, Elisabetta; Tesoriere, Luisa; Livrea, Maria Antonia

    2014-02-01

    Nutritional research has shifted recently from alleviating nutrient deficiencies to chronic disease prevention. We investigated the activity of indicaxanthin, a bioavailable phytochemical of the betalain class from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (L. Miller) in a rat model of acute inflammation. Rat pleurisy was achieved by injection of 0.2 mL of λ-carrageenin in the pleural cavity, and rats were killed 4, 24, and 48 h later; exudates were collected to analyze inflammatory parameters, such as nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α); cells recruited in pleura were analyzed for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nuclear factor κ-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) activation. Indicaxanthin (0.5, 1, or 2 μmol/kg), given orally before carrageenin, time- and dose-dependently, reduced the exudate volume (up to 70%) and the number of leukocytes recruited in the pleural cavity (up to 95%) at 24 h. Pretreatment with indicaxanthin at 2 μmol/kg inhibited the carrageenin-induced release of PGE(2) (91.4%), NO (67.7%), IL-1β (53.6%), and TNF-α (71.1%), and caused a decrease of IL-1β (34.5%), TNF-α (81.6%), iNOS (75.2%), and COX2 (87.7%) mRNA, as well as iNOS (71.9%) and COX-2 (65.9%) protein expression, in the recruited leukocytes. Indicaxanthin inhibited time- and dose- dependently the activation of NF-κB, a key transcription factor in the whole inflammatory cascade. A pharmacokinetic study with a single 2 μmol/kg oral administration showed a maximum 0.22 ± 0.02 μmol/L (n = 15) plasma concentration of indicaxanthin, with a half-life of 1.15 ± 0.11 h. When considering the high bioavailability of indicaxanthin in humans, our findings suggest that this dietary pigment has the potential to improve health and prevent inflammation-based disorders.

  15. Antioxidant betalains from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) inhibit endothelial ICAM-1 expression.

    PubMed

    Gentile, C; Tesoriere, L; Allegra, M; Livrea, M A; D'Alessio, P

    2004-12-01

    It has been suggested that some pigments would have antioxidant properties and that their presence in dietary constituents would contribute to reduce the risk of oxidative stress-correlated diseases. Among others, inflammatory response depends on redox status and may implicate oxidative stress. Vascular endothelial cells are a direct target of oxidative stress in inflammation. We have tested the impact of the free radical scavenger and antioxidant properties of betalains from the prickle pear in an in vitro model of endothelial cells. Here we show the capacity of betalains to protect endothelium from cytokine-induced redox state alteration, through ICAM-1 inhibition.

  16. Semiochemicals from ex situ abiotically stressed cactus tissue: a contributing role of fungal spores

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Semiochemicals play a central role in communication between plants and insects, such as signaling the location of a suitable host. Fungi on host plants can also play an influential role in communicating certain plant vulnerabilities to an insect. The spiroketal conophthorin is an important semiochem...

  17. Water Relations, Diurnal Acidity Changes, and Productivity of a Cultivated Cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica.

    PubMed

    Acevedo, E; Badilla, I; Nobel, P S

    1983-07-01

    Physiological responses of the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) were studied on a commercial plantation in central Chile. Young cladodes (flattened stems) and flower buds exhibited daytime stomatal opening, whereas mature cladodes and fruit exhibited the nocturnal stomatal opening characteristic of CAM plants. Severe water stress suppressed the nocturnal stomatal opening by mature cladodes, but their high water vapor conductance occurring near dawn was not affected. Nocturnal acidity increases were not as sensitive to water stress as was the nocturnal stomatal opening. The magnitude of the nocturnal acidity increases depended on the total daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), being 90% PAR-saturated at 27 moles per square meter per day for a mean nighttime air temperature of 5 degrees C and at 20 moles per square meter per day for 18 degrees C. Inasmuch as the PAR received on unshaded vertical surfaces averaged about 21 moles per square meter per day, nocturnal acidity increases by the cladodes were on the verge of being PAR-limited in the field. The net assimilation rate, which was positive throughout the year, annually averaged 3.4 grams per square meter per day for 1.0- and 2.0-year-old plants. Plants that were 5.4 years old had 7.2 square meters of cladode surface area (both sides) and an annual dry weight productivity of 13 megagrams (metric tons) per hectare per year when their ground cover was 32%. This substantial productivity for a CAM plant was accompanied by the highest nocturnal acidity increase so far observed in the field, 0.78 mole H(+) per square meter.

  18. Water Relations, Diurnal Acidity Changes, and Productivity of a Cultivated Cactus, Opuntia ficus-indica1

    PubMed Central

    Acevedo, Edmundo; Badilla, Ignacio; Nobel, Park S.

    1983-01-01

    Physiological responses of the Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant Opuntia ficus-indica (Cactaceae) were studied on a commercial plantation in central Chile. Young cladodes (flattened stems) and flower buds exhibited daytime stomatal opening, whereas mature cladodes and fruit exhibited the nocturnal stomatal opening characteristic of CAM plants. Severe water stress suppressed the nocturnal stomatal opening by mature cladodes, but their high water vapor conductance occurring near dawn was not affected. Nocturnal acidity increases were not as sensitive to water stress as was the nocturnal stomatal opening. The magnitude of the nocturnal acidity increases depended on the total daily photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), being 90% PAR-saturated at 27 moles per square meter per day for a mean nighttime air temperature of 5°C and at 20 moles per square meter per day for 18°C. Inasmuch as the PAR received on unshaded vertical surfaces averaged about 21 moles per square meter per day, nocturnal acidity increases by the cladodes were on the verge of being PAR-limited in the field. The net assimilation rate, which was positive throughout the year, annually averaged 3.4 grams per square meter per day for 1.0- and 2.0-year-old plants. Plants that were 5.4 years old had 7.2 square meters of cladode surface area (both sides) and an annual dry weight productivity of 13 megagrams (metric tons) per hectare per year when their ground cover was 32%. This substantial productivity for a CAM plant was accompanied by the highest nocturnal acidity increase so far observed in the field, 0.78 mole H+ per square meter. PMID:16663084

  19. 76 FR 9978 - South American Cactus Moth; Territorial and Import Regulations

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-23

    ... 7 CFR Part 318 Cotton, Cottonseeds, Fruits, Guam, Hawaii, Plant diseases and pests, Puerto Rico, Quarantine, Transportation, Vegetables, Virgin Islands. 7 CFR Part 319 Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs...

  20. Spatial patterns of distribution and abundance of Harrisia portoricensis, an endangered Caribbean cactus

    Treesearch

    J. Rojas-Sandoval; E. J. Melendez-Ackerman; NO-VALUE

    2013-01-01

    Aims The spatial distribution of biotic and abiotic factors may play a dominant role in determining the distribution and abundance of plants in arid and semiarid environments. In this study, we evaluated how spatial patterns of microhabitat variables and the degree of spatial dependence of these variables influence the distribution and abundance of the endangered...

  1. Feather isotope analysis reveals differential patterns of habitat and resource use in populations of white-winged doves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carleton, Scott A.; Martinez Del Rio, Carlos; Robinson, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    The white-winged dove (Zenaida asiatica) serves an important ecological role as a diurnal pollinator of the saguaro cactus in the Sonoran desert and an economic role as a highly sought after game bird in North America. White-winged doves are intimately linked to anthropogenic changes on the landscape and because of this, have experienced dramatic population fluctuations over the last 75 years in response, both positively and negatively, to anthropogenic changes on the landscape. To understand the factors driving population growth and decline of migratory species like the white-winged dove, it is imperative we study resource use on both their breeding and wintering grounds. To understand how populations are distributed on the wintering grounds, we tested an alternative to band recovery approaches by using stable isotope analysis. Before we could use isotope analysis to link breeding and wintering locations for this species, we first needed to determine if hydrogen (δ2H) and carbon (δ13C) stable isotopes in feather tissue (δ2Hf and δ13Cf, respectively) could differentiate among populations of white-winged doves across their breeding range in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. δ2Hf and δ13Cf not only differentiated between populations of white-winged doves that breed in the United States, but δ2Hf also provided further differentiation in white-winged doves that breed in native Sonoran Desert and agricultural habitats in the western portion of their range. Ecological processes associated with desert resources and anthropogenic influences, specifically saguaro cacti and irrigated crops, largely determined δ2Hf in some white-winged doves in Arizona whereas δ2H of precipitation (δ2Hp) largely determined δ2Hfof doves in New Mexico and Texas. This study highlights the usefulness of stable isotope analysis to differentiate populations of animals across the landscape and the insight isotopes can provide into habitat and resource use. Published 2015. This article

  2. Bio-mimetic Flow Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, Haecheon

    2009-11-01

    Bio-mimetic engineering or bio-mimetics is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology (from Wikipedia). The concept itself is old, but successful developments have been made recently, especially in the research field of flow control. The objective of flow control based on the bio-mimetic approach is to develop novel concepts for reducing drag, increasing lift and enhancing aerodynamic performance. For skin friction reduction, a few ideas have been suggested such as the riblet from shark, compliant surface from dolphin, microbubble injection and multiple front-body curvature from penguin, and V-shaped protrusion from sailfish. For form drag reduction, several new attempts have been also made recently. Examples include the V-shaped spanwise grooves from saguaro cactus, overall shape of box fish, longitudinal grooves on scallop shell, bill of swordfish, hooked comb on owl wing, trailing-edge protrusion on dragonfly wing, and fillet. For the enhancement of aerodynamic performance, focuses have been made on the birds, fish and insects: e.g., double layered feather of landing bird, leading-edge serration of humpback-whale flipper, pectoral fin of flying fish, long tail on swallowtail-butterfly wing, wing flapping motion of dragonfly, and alula in birds. Living animals adapt their bodies to better performance in multi purposes, but engineering requires single purpose in most cases. Therefore, bio-mimetic approaches often produce excellent results more than expected. However, they are sometimes based on people's wrong understanding of nature and produce unwanted results. Successes and failures from bio-mimetic approaches in flow control will be discussed in the presentation.

  3. Vascular Plant and Vertebrate Inventory of Coronado National Memorial

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schmidt, Cecilia A.; Powell, Brian F.; Swann, Don E.; Halvorson, William L.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted inventories for amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals; and summarized past inventories for vascular plants at Coronado National Memorial (NM) in Arizona. We used our data as well as data from previous research to compile species lists for the memorial, assess inventory completeness, and make suggestions on future monitoring efforts. There have been 940 species of plants and vertebrates recorded at Coronado NM (Table 1), of which 46 (5%) are non-native. The species richness of the memorial is one of the highest in the Sonoran Desert Network of park units, third only to park units that are two and one-half (Chiricahua National Monument), 19 (Saguaro National Park) and 70 (Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument) times larger in area. The high species diversities are due to the large elevational gradient, overlap of bigeographical regions, wide range of geology and soils, and diverse vegetation communities present at the memorial. Changes in species composition have occurred at the memorial over the last 20 years in all major taxonomic groups. These changes are likely due to increases in grassy plant species (both native and non-native) at the lower elevations of the memorial. We suspect that grassy plant cover has increased because of changes in grazing intensity, introduction of some non-native species, and a recent fire. All recent vertebrate inventories have yielded grassland obligate species not previously recorded at the memorial. Based on the review of past studies, we believe the inventory for most taxa, except bats, is nearly complete, though some rare or elusive species will likely be added with additional survey effort.

  4. Variable presence of the inverted repeat and plastome stability in Erodium

    PubMed Central

    Blazier, John C.; Jansen, Robert K.; Mower, Jeffrey P.; Govindu, Madhu; Zhang, Jin; Weng, Mao-Lun; Ruhlman, Tracey A.

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Several unrelated lineages such as plastids, viruses and plasmids, have converged on quadripartite genomes of similar size with large and small single copy regions and a large inverted repeat (IR). Except for Erodium (Geraniaceae), saguaro cactus and some legumes, the plastomes of all photosynthetic angiosperms display this structure. The functional significance of the IR is not understood and Erodium provides a system to examine the role of the IR in the long-term stability of these genomes. We compared the degree of genomic rearrangement in plastomes of Erodium that differ in the presence and absence of the IR. Methods We sequenced 17 new Erodium plastomes. Using 454, Illumina, PacBio and Sanger sequences, 16 genomes were assembled and categorized along with one incomplete and two previously published Erodium plastomes. We conducted phylogenetic analyses among these species using a dataset of 19 protein-coding genes and determined if significantly higher evolutionary rates had caused the long branch seen previously in phylogenetic reconstructions within the genus. Bioinformatic comparisons were also performed to evaluate plastome evolution across the genus. Key Results Erodium plastomes fell into four types (Type 1–4) that differ in their substitution rates, short dispersed repeat content and degree of genomic rearrangement, gene and intron content and GC content. Type 4 plastomes had significantly higher rates of synonymous substitutions (dS) for all genes and for 14 of the 19 genes non-synonymous substitutions (dN) were significantly accelerated. We evaluated the evidence for a single IR loss in Erodium and in doing so discovered that Type 4 plastomes contain a novel IR. Conclusions The presence or absence of the IR does not affect plastome stability in Erodium. Rather, the overall repeat content shows a negative correlation with genome stability, a pattern in agreement with other angiosperm groups and recent findings on genome stability

  5. 76 FR 61855 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Cactus...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-05

    ... the opportunity to provide input. We identified, contacted, and consulted with a diverse group of... ``Cuatro Ojos'' (four eyes), as it is sometimes called in Mexico (Oberholser 1974, p. 451). The species... concerning the relevant taxonomic group'' (50 CFR 424.11(a)) and on ``the best available scientific and...

  6. Performance improvement through quality evaluations of sterile cactus moths, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), mass-reared at two insectaries

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A bi-national program was established by Mexico and the United States to mitigate the threat of Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), an invasive herbivore from South America, to native Opuntia spp. biodiversity and Opuntia-based industries. Mass-rearing, sterilization, and transpo...

  7. Study of the antioxidant properties of extracts obtained from nopal cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) cladodes after convective drying.

    PubMed

    Medina-Torres, Luis; Vernon-Carter, E Jaime; Gallegos-Infante, J Alberto; Rocha-Guzman, Nuria E; Herrera-Valencia, E E; Calderas, Fausto; Jiménez-Alvarado, Rubén

    2011-04-01

    The process of convective drying was evaluated in terms of the bioactive compounds contained in nopal samples before and after dehydration. Total polyphenol, flavonoid, flavonol, carotene and ascorbic acid contents were determined in undehydrated and dehydrated samples. Two drying temperatures (45 and 65 °C) and two air flow rates (3 and 5 m s(-1) ) were evaluated. The rheology of samples under the best drying conditions was also studied, since it provides important information regarding processing (mixing, flow processing) as well as the sensory attributes (texture) of rehydrated samples. Non-Newtonian shear-thinning behaviour was observed for samples dried at 45 °C, while samples dried at 65 °C showed shear-thickening behaviour, possibly caused by thermal chain scission of high-molecular-weight components. The best conditions for bioactive compound preservation were a drying temperature of 45 °C and an air flow rate of 3 m s(-1) , resulting in 40.97 g phenols, 23.41 g flavonoids, 0.543 g β-carotene and 0.2815 g ascorbic acid kg(-1) sample as shown in table 3. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.

  8. Effect of fiber fractions of prickly pear cactus (nopal) on quality and sensory properties of wheat bread rolls.

    PubMed

    Guevara-Arauza, Juan Carlos; Bárcenas, Diego Guadalupe; Ortega-Rivas, Enrique; Martínez, Jaime David Pérez; Hernández, Jaime Reyes; de Jesús Ornelas-Paz, José

    2015-05-01

    In this study the addition of total fiber (TF), insoluble fiber (IF), and soluble fiber (SF) from nopal to wheat flour used to make bread rolls was assessed. The rheological properties of dough as well as quality, texture, sensorial and physical characteristics of the crumb rolls produced were evaluated. The storage (23.50 MPa) and loss modulus (11.95 MPa) for SF-dough were the lowest indicating that a less visco-elastic behavior was obtained. Polarized light microscopy showed that a more homogeneous size and a better distribution of starch granules were developed into SF-dough. Crumb hardness (3.25-4.78 N) and chewiness (0.31-0.81 N) of SF-rolls were lower than the control experiment (3.99-5.81 N and 0.35-1.01 N respectively). Springiness for all treatments was constant (1.0) compared with the control (1.02-0.87) for 2 days of storage. The lowest cohesiveness values (0.24-014) were computed by IF treatment for a similar storage time. The specific crumb volume increased by 12.46, 9.03 and 1.10 % by the addition of SF, TF and IF respectively. The lowest rate of staling was shown by SF-rolls (0.199) and it was followed by TF (0.296), IF (0.381) and control (0.458) treatments. As a result, the highest scores on quality (9.3 out of 10) and sensorial attributes (from 8.9 up to 9.7) were assigned to SF-rolls.

  9. Clinical and cost effectiveness of computer treatment for aphasia post stroke (Big CACTUS): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Rebecca; Cooper, Cindy; Enderby, Pam; Brady, Marian; Julious, Steven; Bowen, Audrey; Latimer, Nicholas

    2015-01-27

    Aphasia affects the ability to speak, comprehend spoken language, read and write. One third of stroke survivors experience aphasia. Evidence suggests that aphasia can continue to improve after the first few months with intensive speech and language therapy, which is frequently beyond what resources allow. The development of computer software for language practice provides an opportunity for self-managed therapy. This pragmatic randomised controlled trial will investigate the clinical and cost effectiveness of a computerised approach to long-term aphasia therapy post stroke. A total of 285 adults with aphasia at least four months post stroke will be randomly allocated to either usual care, computerised intervention in addition to usual care or attention and activity control in addition to usual care. Those in the intervention group will receive six months of self-managed word finding practice on their home computer with monthly face-to-face support from a volunteer/assistant. Those in the attention control group will receive puzzle activities, supplemented by monthly telephone calls. Study delivery will be coordinated by 20 speech and language therapy departments across the United Kingdom. Outcome measures will be made at baseline, six, nine and 12 months after randomisation by blinded speech and language therapist assessors. Primary outcomes are the change in number of words (of personal relevance) named correctly at six months and improvement in functional conversation. Primary outcomes will be analysed using a Hochberg testing procedure. Significance will be declared if differences in both word retrieval and functional conversation at six months are significant at the 5% level, or if either comparison is significant at 2.5%. A cost utility analysis will be undertaken from the NHS and personal social service perspective. Differences between costs and quality-adjusted life years in the three groups will be described and the incremental cost effectiveness ratio will be calculated. Treatment fidelity will be monitored. This is the first fully powered trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of computerised aphasia therapy. Specific challenges in designing the protocol are considered. Registered with Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN68798818 on 18 February 2014.

  10. 75 FR 70897 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; South American Cactus...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-19

    ... either of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http:[sol][sol]www.regulations.gov[sol]fdmspublic[sol]component[sol]main ?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2010-0106 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically. Postal Mail[sol]Commercial Delivery: Please send...

  11. Genetic structure of Kurtzmaniella cleridarum, a cactus flower beetle yeast of the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts: speciation by distance?

    PubMed

    Lachance, Marc-André; Perri, Ami M; Farahbakhsh, Amy S; Starmer, William T

    2013-11-01

    We studied 95 isolates of the yeast species Kurtzmaniella cleridarum recovered from nitidulid beetles collected in flowers of cacti of the Sonoran Desert of southern Arizona and the Mojave Desert of California. They were characterized on the basis of mating type and ten polymorphic DNA markers in relation to their geographic distribution. Although all loci appeared to be free of strong linkage, the recovered haplotypes represented but a small fraction of possible combinations, indicating that abundant asexual reproduction of local genotypes accounts for much of population growth, even though the yeast is capable of sexual recombination in nature. Much of the genetic differentiation took place at the local level, indicating that gene flow across the various localities is limited. However, a relationship exists between overall genetic differentiation and geography over long distances. We estimated that populations separated by c. 1300 km would share no alleles in common and that such a separation might be enough to favor the onset of speciation. © 2013 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Extended geographical distribution and host range of the cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera Pyralidae)in Argentina

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    A field exploration was conducted to confirm the southernmost distribution of Cactoblastis cactorum in Argentina. The distribution of the moth was extended to the south (40° 10´S) and west (66° 56´W). The native Opuntia penicilligera was recorded as a host for the first time. These findings should ...

  13. Ameliorative Effect of Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) Extract on Lithium-Induced Nephrocardiotoxicity: A Biochemical and Histopathological Study.

    PubMed

    Saad, Anouar Ben; Rjeibi, Ilhem; Ncib, Sana; Zouari, Nacim; Zourgui, Lazhar

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia ficus indica (family Cactaceae) is used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including metal-induced toxicity. The study reports the protective effects of Opuntia ficus indica (CCE) against lithium carbonate-induced toxicity in rats. Nephrocardiotoxicity was induced in male Wistar rats by single dose of lithium carbonate (25 mg/kg b.w twice daily for 30 days). Aqueous extract of Opuntia ficus indica was administered at the dose of 100 mg/kg of b.w by gavage for 60 days. Obtained results revealed that administration of lithium carbonate caused a significant increase in serum creatinine, uric acid, and urea levels. Additionally, a significant decrease in the level of renal and cardiac SOD, CAT, and GPx activities was associated with a significant increase of MDA levels in lithium carbonate group more than those of the control. However, the treatment of experimental rats with CCE prevented these alterations and maintained the antioxidant status. The histopathological observations supported the biochemical evidences of nephrocardioprotection. CCE supplementation could protect against lithium carbonate-induced renal and cardiac injuries in rats, plausibly by the upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and inhibition of MDA to confer the protective effect.

  14. Ameliorative Effect of Cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) Extract on Lithium-Induced Nephrocardiotoxicity: A Biochemical and Histopathological Study

    PubMed Central

    Ncib, Sana

    2017-01-01

    Opuntia ficus indica (family Cactaceae) is used in the treatment of a variety of conditions including metal-induced toxicity. The study reports the protective effects of Opuntia ficus indica (CCE) against lithium carbonate-induced toxicity in rats. Nephrocardiotoxicity was induced in male Wistar rats by single dose of lithium carbonate (25 mg/kg b.w twice daily for 30 days). Aqueous extract of Opuntia ficus indica was administered at the dose of 100 mg/kg of b.w by gavage for 60 days. Obtained results revealed that administration of lithium carbonate caused a significant increase in serum creatinine, uric acid, and urea levels. Additionally, a significant decrease in the level of renal and cardiac SOD, CAT, and GPx activities was associated with a significant increase of MDA levels in lithium carbonate group more than those of the control. However, the treatment of experimental rats with CCE prevented these alterations and maintained the antioxidant status. The histopathological observations supported the biochemical evidences of nephrocardioprotection. CCE supplementation could protect against lithium carbonate-induced renal and cardiac injuries in rats, plausibly by the upregulation of antioxidant enzymes and inhibition of MDA to confer the protective effect. PMID:29376078

  15. Ecophysiological and Anatomical Mechanisms behind the Nurse Effect: Which Are More Important? A Multivariate Approach for Cactus Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Delgado-Sánchez, Pablo; Yáñez-Espinosa, Laura; Jiménez-Bremont, Juan Francisco; Chapa-Vargas, Leonardo; Flores, Joel

    2013-01-01

    Background Cacti establish mostly occurs under the canopy of nurse plants which provide a less stressful micro-environment, although mechanisms underlying this process are unknown. The impact of the combination of light and watering treatments on Opuntia streptacantha (Cactaceae) seedlings was examined. Methods/Principal Findings Ecophysiological [titratable acidity, osmotic potential (‘solute potential’, Ψs), relative growth rate (RGR) and their components (NAR, SLA, and LWR)], anatomical (chloroplast density, chloroplast frequency, and cell area), and environmental [photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) and air temperature] sets of variables were analyzed, assessing relationships between them and measuring the intensity of the relationships. Three harvests were carried out at days 15, 30, and 45. Ψs and acidity content were the most important responses for seedling establishment. The main anatomical and environmental variables were chloroplast density and water availability, respectively. Opuntia streptacantha seedlings establish better in the shade-watering treatment, due to higher Ψs and acidity, unaffected chloroplasts, and lower PPFD. In addition, the chloroplasts of cells under high-light and non-watering treatment were clumped closer to the center of the cytosol than those under shade-drought, to avoid photoinhibition and/or to better distribute or utilize the penetrating light in the green plant tissue. Conclusions Opuntia seedlings grow better under the shade, although they can tolerate drought in open spaces by increasing and moving chloroplasts and avoiding drastic decreases in their Ψs. This tolerance could have important implications for predicting the impact of climate change on natural desert regeneration, as well as for planning reforestation-afforestation practices, and rural land uses. PMID:24312310

  16. Does retained-seed priming drive the evolution of serotiny in drylands? An assessment using the cactus Mammillaria hernandezii.

    PubMed

    Santini, Bianca A; Martorell, Carlos

    2013-02-01

    Serotinous plants retain their seeds for a long time. In deserts, retained seeds undergo hydration-dehydration cycles and thus may become primed. Priming enhances germination and seedling vigor. We test the hypothesis that serotiny evolves because it provides a site protected from predators in which seeds can become primed. Rainfall-cued dispersal of primed seeds may enhance this effect. We tested this hypothesis with Mammillaria hernandezii through protein-content analyses; field and laboratory germination experiments with primed, unprimed, and retained seeds; and fitness estimations from demographic models. Hydration-dehydration cycles induced priming, enhancing germination. Artificial priming and retention in the parent plant for 1 yr induced similar changes in seed protein patterns, suggesting that priming occurs naturally while seeds are retained. Under field conditions, germination of seeds retained for 1 yr more than doubled that of seeds of the same cohort that were not primed or that remained buried for 1 yr. The first seeds to germinate died rapidly. Serotinous plants whose seeds underwent priming had higher fitness than those whose seeds were in the soil seed bank or that did not experience priming. Priming in soil seed banks may be costly because of high predation, so seed protection during priming is sufficient to promote the evolution of serotiny. Bet hedging contributes to this process. Rapid germination of primed seeds that respond to brief rainfall events is disadvantageous because such rainfall is insufficient for seedling survival. Serotinous species counteract this cost by cueing dispersal with heavy precipitation.

  17. Rock-colonizing plants: abundance of the endemic cactus Mammillaria fraileana related to rock type in the southern Sonoran Desert

    Treesearch

    Blanca R. Lopez; Yoav Bashan; Macario Bacilio; Gustavo De la Cruz-Aguero

    2009-01-01

    Establishment, colonization, and permanence of plants affect biogenic and physical processes leading to development of soil. Rockiness, temperature, and humidity are accepted explanations to the influence and the presence of rock-dwelling plants, but the relationship between mineral and chemical composition of rocks with plant abundance is unknown in some regions. This...

  18. A perspective on natural products research and ethnopharmacology in Mexico: the eagle and the serpent on the prickly pear cactus.

    PubMed

    Heinrich, Michael; Frei Haller, Barbara; Leonti, Marco

    2014-03-28

    Mexico's extraordinarily rich cultural and floristic diversity has fascinated explorers and researchers ever since the "New World" was discovered for and by Europeans. For many decades, natural product research has been a very active field of research in Mexico, and there also are some ongoing ethnopharmacological research efforts. This review provides an overview and critical appraisal on some key developments in these fields and examples of medicinal plants used by indigenous communities that have become of great local importance in Mexican popular medicine. In this review, the focus is on plants with effects on the CNS, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory processes, and gastrointestinal disorders. While some of the major food plants consumed worldwide originate from southern North America, only very few medicinal plants have become of major global importance. Opuntia species are now used increasingly to manage diabetes and metabolic syndrome and represent an example of a novel medicinal product/supplement. Undoubtedly, narcotic and mind-altering drugs both have received the widest scientific interest and have attracted considerable popular attention. The history of use of the indigenous Mexican Materia Medica in the context of research on local and popular resources specifically with regard to the diverse challenges in the context of studying the world's biodiversity and the development of comparative and semiquantitative ethnobotanical research methods is discussed herein. Natural product and ethnopharmacological research in Mexico seems to have been influenced by the political and societal developments originating from the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and subsequent conventions, which have not yet had the desired effect of giving value to these local resources, as they might deserve. Their equitable and sustainable implementation remains a challenge. Natural product research and ethnopharmacology will play a key role in developing an adequate evidence base for such products derived from local and traditional knowledge in Mexico.

  19. Variable presence of the inverted repeat and plastome stability in Erodium.

    PubMed

    Blazier, John C; Jansen, Robert K; Mower, Jeffrey P; Govindu, Madhu; Zhang, Jin; Weng, Mao-Lun; Ruhlman, Tracey A

    2016-06-01

    Several unrelated lineages such as plastids, viruses and plasmids, have converged on quadripartite genomes of similar size with large and small single copy regions and a large inverted repeat (IR). Except for Erodium (Geraniaceae), saguaro cactus and some legumes, the plastomes of all photosynthetic angiosperms display this structure. The functional significance of the IR is not understood and Erodium provides a system to examine the role of the IR in the long-term stability of these genomes. We compared the degree of genomic rearrangement in plastomes of Erodium that differ in the presence and absence of the IR. We sequenced 17 new Erodium plastomes. Using 454, Illumina, PacBio and Sanger sequences, 16 genomes were assembled and categorized along with one incomplete and two previously published Erodium plastomes. We conducted phylogenetic analyses among these species using a dataset of 19 protein-coding genes and determined if significantly higher evolutionary rates had caused the long branch seen previously in phylogenetic reconstructions within the genus. Bioinformatic comparisons were also performed to evaluate plastome evolution across the genus. Erodium plastomes fell into four types (Type 1-4) that differ in their substitution rates, short dispersed repeat content and degree of genomic rearrangement, gene and intron content and GC content. Type 4 plastomes had significantly higher rates of synonymous substitutions (dS) for all genes and for 14 of the 19 genes non-synonymous substitutions (dN) were significantly accelerated. We evaluated the evidence for a single IR loss in Erodium and in doing so discovered that Type 4 plastomes contain a novel IR. The presence or absence of the IR does not affect plastome stability in Erodium. Rather, the overall repeat content shows a negative correlation with genome stability, a pattern in agreement with other angiosperm groups and recent findings on genome stability in bacterial endosymbionts. © The Author 2016

  20. Inhibition of amyloid β aggregation and protective effect on SH-SY5Y cells by triterpenoid saponins from the cactus Polaskia chichipe.

    PubMed

    Fujihara, Koji; Koike, Shin; Ogasawara, Yuki; Takahashi, Kunio; Koyama, Kiyotaka; Kinoshita, Kaoru

    2017-07-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) destroys brain function, especially in the hippocampus, and is a social problem worldwide. A major pathogenesis of AD is related to the accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) peptides, resulting in neuronal cell death in the brain. Here, we isolated four saponins (1-4) and elucidated their structures from 1D and 2D NMR and HRFABMS spectral data. The structures of 1 and 2 were determined as new saponins which have cochalic acid as the aglycon, and 3 was determined as a new saponin with oleanolic acid as the aglycon. Compound 4 was confirmed as the known saponin chikusetsusaponin V (=ginsenoside R 0 ). Isolated saponins (1-4) and six previously reported saponins (5-10) were tested for their inhibitory effects of Aβ aggregation and their protective effects on SH-SY5Y cells against Aβ-associated toxicity. As the results, compounds 3 and 4 showed inhibitory effect of Aβ aggregation and compounds 5-8 exerted the protective effects on SH-SY5Y cells against Aβ-associated toxicity. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Phylogenetic relationships of Sonoran Desert cactus beetles in the tribe Hololeptini (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Histerinae), with comments on the taxonomic status of Iliotona beyeri.

    PubMed

    Pfeiler, Edward; Vergara-Quintanar, Joel E; Castrezana, Sergio; Caterino, Michael S; Markow, Therese A

    2010-07-01

    Nucleotide sequences from 16S rRNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) were used to examine phylogenetic relationships and evolution of beetles from the tribe Hololeptini (Coleoptera: Histeridae: Histerinae) that inhabit necrotic tissue of columnar cacti in the Sonoran Desert. Phylogenetic and morphological analyses revealed the presence of seven separate lineages, three representing species in the genus Iliotona, including I. beyeri stat. nov., and four species belonging to the genus Hololepta (sensu lato). The possible roles of historical vicariance and host plant associations on the evolution of the Hololeptini from the Sonoran Desert are discussed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Flight Operations in the Sells Airspace Overlying the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation and Organ Pipe Cactus Nat’l Monument. Volume 2

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-01

    by crash- associated fires. I -2 An Epual Opportunity Agency b. all off-road tracks created by vehicles driven to the site to retrieve the wreakage...require responses: 1. The DEIS established that in 1977, 10,394 supersonic sorties capable of creating sonic booms were flown in the Sells Airspace, DEIS...report discuss the effect of a typical case of a F-16 aircraft flying at interme- diate power and z00 feet AGL creating a noise of 103dB. RDEI3 §4.3.2.1

  3. Anoxia-conditioning hormesis alters the relationship between irradiation doses for survival and sterility in the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    One of the most important components of a Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) program is appropriate irradiation dose. Knowing the organismal dose-response enables the selection of a dose that induces the highest level of sterility while preserving the sexual competitiveness and quality of the sterile in...

  4. The optimization of phenolic compounds extraction from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) skin in a reflux system using response surface methodology

    PubMed Central

    Jorge, Aguirre Joya; Heliodoro, De La Garza Toledo; Alejandro, Zugasti Cruz; Ruth, Belmares Cerda; Noé, Aguilar Cristóbal

    2013-01-01

    Objective To extract, quantify, and evaluate the phenolic content in Opuntia ficus-indica skin for their antioxidant capacity with three different methods (ABTS, DPPH, and lipid oxidation) and to optimize the extraction conditions (time, temperature and ethanol concentration) in a reflux system. Methods The extraction process was done using a reflux system. A San Cristobal II experimental design with three variables and three levels was used. The variables evaluated were time of extraction (h), concentration of ethanol (%, v/v) and temperature (°C). The extraction process was optimized using a response surface methodology. Results It was observed that at higher temperature more phenolic compounds were extracted, but the antioxidant capacity was decreased. The optimum conditions for phenolic compounds extraction and antioxidant capacity mixing the three methods were as follows: 45% of ethanol, 80 °C and 2 hours of extraction. Values obtained in our results are little higher that other previously reported. Conclusions It can be concluded the by-products of Opuntia ficus-indica represent a good source of natural antioxidants with possible applications in food, cosmetics or drugs industries. PMID:23730555

  5. Effect of air flow rate on the polyphenols content and antioxidant capacity of convective dried cactus pear cladodes (Opuntia ficus indica).

    PubMed

    Gallegos-Infante, José-Alberto; Rocha-Guzman, Nuria-Elizabeth; González-Laredo, Ruben-Francisco; Reynoso-Camacho, Rosalia; Medina-Torres, Luis; Cervantes-Cardozo, Veronica

    2009-01-01

    The interest in nopal has encouraged the use of dehydration; there are few studies about the effect of process parameters on the nopal polyphenol content and antioxidant activity. The objective of the present work was to evaluate the effect of air-drying flow rates on the amount and antioxidant capacity of extracts of Opuntia ficus indica cladodes. Nopal was dried at 45 degrees C and air flow rates of 3 and 5 m/sec. Samples were analyzed for moisture, total polyphenol, flavonoid, and flavonol contents, chain-breaking activity, inhibition of low-density lipoprotein and deoxyribose oxidation. Nopal drying at an air flow rate of 3 m/sec showed higher values of phenols, flavonoids and flavonols. The best value of low-density lipoprotein inhibition and deoxyribose was found at 1,000 microg/ml. The air flow rate affected the amount of polyphenols and the OH( . ) radical scavenging, but did not modify the chain-breaking activity and the low-density lipoprotein inhibition activity.

  6. The optimization of phenolic compounds extraction from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) skin in a reflux system using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Jorge, Aguirre Joya; Heliodoro, De La Garza Toledo; Alejandro, Zugasti Cruz; Ruth, Belmares Cerda; Noé, Aguilar Cristóbal

    2013-06-01

    To extract, quantify, and evaluate the phenolic content in Opuntia ficus-indica skin for their antioxidant capacity with three different methods (ABTS, DPPH, and lipid oxidation) and to optimize the extraction conditions (time, temperature and ethanol concentration) in a reflux system. The extraction process was done using a reflux system. A San Cristobal II experimental design with three variables and three levels was used. The variables evaluated were time of extraction (h), concentration of ethanol (%, v/v) and temperature (°C). The extraction process was optimized using a response surface methodology. It was observed that at higher temperature more phenolic compounds were extracted, but the antioxidant capacity was decreased. The optimum conditions for phenolic compounds extraction and antioxidant capacity mixing the three methods were as follows: 45% of ethanol, 80 °C and 2 hours of extraction. Values obtained in our results are little higher that other previously reported. It can be concluded the by-products of Opuntia ficus-indica represent a good source of natural antioxidants with possible applications in food, cosmetics or drugs industries.

  7. Culturable Facultative Methylotrophic Bacteria from the Cactus Neobuxbaumia macrocephala Possess the Locus xoxF and Consume Methanol in the Presence of Ce3+ and Ca2+

    PubMed Central

    del Rocío Bustillos-Cristales, María; Corona-Gutierrez, Ivan; Castañeda-Lucio, Miguel; Águila-Zempoaltécatl, Carolina; Seynos-García, Eduardo; Hernández-Lucas, Ismael; Muñoz-Rojas, Jesús; Medina-Aparicio, Liliana; Fuentes-Ramírez, Luis Ernesto

    2017-01-01

    Methanol-consuming culturable bacteria were isolated from the plant surface, rhizosphere, and inside the stem of Neobuxbaumia macrocephala. All 38 isolates were facultative methylotrophic microorganisms. Their classification included the Classes Actinobacteria, Sphingobacteriia, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria. The deduced amino acid sequences of methanol dehydrogenase obtained by PCR belonging to Actinobacteria, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammaproteobacteria showed high similarity to rare-earth element (REE)-dependent XoxF methanol dehydrogenases, particularly the group XoxF5. The sequences included Asp301, the REE-coordinating amino acid, present in all known XoxF dehydrogenases and absent in MxaF methanol dehydrogenases. The quantity of the isolates showed positive hybridization with a xoxF probe, but not with a mxaF probe. Isolates of all taxonomic groups showed methylotrophic growth in the presence of Ce3+ or Ca2+. The presence of xoxF-like sequences in methylotrophic bacteria from N. macrocephala and its potential relationship with their adaptability to xerophytic plants are discussed. PMID:28855445

  8. Cactus, Riparian Habitat, and Turf Grass: Water Budget and Policy Implications of Vegetation Change Under Urban Heat Island and Effluent Irrigation in the Southwest U.S.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, C. A.

    2008-12-01

    This paper assesses the impacts of two urban growth drivers--urban heat island (UHI) and effluent irrigation--on the landscaping vegetation component of water budgets in semi-arid southern Arizona, and has policy significance for other urbanizing regions facing water scarcity. Landscaping irrigation, accounting for up to half of the study area's urban water demand, is influenced by vegetation type, UHI temperature and evapotranspiration, and water type (potable or effluent). Conservation programs that have resulted in widespread adoption of low-flow indoor plumbing fixtures and appliances currently identify irrigation of lawns, trees, and other landscaping as targets to reduce water use. At the same time, however, high water-demand turf grass is expanding on golf courses, public parks, and campuses that are irrigated using effluent that historically has supported riparian corridor habitat. Tucson, Arizona's UHI over 1969-2006 is characterized by a 0.043 degC/yr increase in annual average differences between urban - nonurban minimum temperatures (Tmin). The most pronounced trends in urban Tmin increases are 0.097 degC/yr for the months of March, April, May, and June corresponding to the pre- monsoon period of highest outdoor water demand. The UHI Tmax and reference evapotranspiration trends are less marked but indicate increasing irrigation demand for both residential and public landscaping. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from Landsat Thematic Mapper for 1984-2005 shows that vegetation, particularly turf on golf courses, is increasing in Tucson's expanding urban fringe but has largely stabilized or is marginally decreasing in the urban core. Regression analysis of NDVI with water use (records only available for 2000-2006) shows mixed results. The tradeoff between water conservation for residential landscaping and expanding turf grass on public landscaping at the cost of riparian corridors is explored from dual water budget and policy perspectives.

  9. More flowers or new cladodes? Environmental correlates and biological consequences of sexual reproduction in a Sonoran Desert prickly pear cactus, Opuntia engelmannii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowers, Janice E.

    1996-01-01

    Should a platyopuntia expend all aerolar meristems in flower production, now new cladodes could be produced, and further reproductive effort and vegetative growth would cease. To investigate the trade-off between flower and cladode production, the numbers of flowers, fruits, and cladodes were monitored for 4 years on 30 Opuntia engelmannii Salm-Dyek, plants on Tumamoc Hill, Tucson, Arizona. Plant size controlled the number of flowers initiated each spring. The proportion of flowers that developed (i.e., did not abort) was perhaps determined by December-February rainfall in the months before bloom, with more being developed in the wettest years. Models based on different ratios of initiated cladodes to initiated flowers demonstrated that continued high investment in flowers and fruits would eventually terminate reproduction altogether; therefore periods of high sexual reproduction should alternate with periods of high vegetative growth. In the first 3 years of this study, the ratio of new cladodes to initiated flowers was low, showing a high investment in sexual reproduction. As suggested by the model, the population recouped this investment in the fourth year, when the number of new cladodes was nearly 3 times the 1992-1994 mean, and the number of initiated flowers was only 73% of the 3-year mean.

  10. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  11. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  12. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  13. 7 CFR 301.55-4 - Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while moving through the... woven cloth) adequate to prevent access by South American cactus moths while within the quarantined area...

  14. Development of cell lines from the cactophagous insect: Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) and their susceptibility to three baculoviruses

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The unintentional introduction of the cactus moth, Cactoblastis cactorum, a successful biological control agent formerly employed in the control of invasive prickly pear cactus species (Opuntia spp.) as a possible threat to native, endangered species of cactus in the southeastern United States as we...

  15. Evaluation and management of 2 ferocactus spines in the orbit.

    PubMed

    Russell, David J; Kim, Tim I; Kubis, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    A 49-year-old woman, who had fallen face first in a cactus 1 week earlier, presented with a small, mobile, noninflamed subcutaneous nodule at the rim of her right lateral orbit with no other functional deficits. A CT scan was obtained, which revealed a 4-cm intraorbital tubular-shaped foreign body resembling a large cactus spine. A second preoperative CT scan, obtained for an intraoperative guidance system, demonstrated a second cactus spine, which was initially not seen on the first CT scan. Both spines were removed surgically without complication. The authors discuss factors that can cause diagnosis delay, review the radiographic features of cactus spines, and discuss the often times benign clinical course of retained cactus spine foreign bodies. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first case report of cactus spines in the orbit. Health-care professionals should have a low threshold for imaging in cases of traumatic injuries involving cactus spines.

  16. 75 FR 59247 - Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-27

    ... Segundo Power II LLC, Long Beach Generation LLC, Long Beach Peakers LLC, NRG Power Marketing Inc., Cabrillo Power I LLC, Cabrillo Power II LLC, El Segundo Power LLC, NRG Solar Blythe LLC, Saguaro Power... LLC, Dunkirk Power LLC, GenConn Energy LLC, GenCon Devon LLC, GenConn Middletown LLC, Huntley Power...

  17. Concentrating Solar Power Projects in the United States | Concentrating

    Science.gov Websites

    States are listed belowâ€"alphabetical by state, then by project name. You can browse a project profile by clicking on the project name. Arizona Maricopa Solar Project (Maricopa) Saguaro Power Plant Solana Generating Station (Solana) California Genesis Solar Energy Project Ivanpah Solar Electric

  18. Shifts in the potential distribution of Sky Island plant communities in response to climate change

    Treesearch

    John A. Kupfer; Jeff Balmat; Jacqueline L. Smith

    2005-01-01

    To examine potential responses of sky island ecosystem pattern to projected climate changes, we used topographic and climatic data to develop a predictive model of plant community distribution in Saguaro National Park East, AZ. Increasing temperatures led to an upslope movement of communities and increased the area of desert scrub at the expense of montane conifer...

  19. Environmental Impact Analysis Process. Environmental Impact Statement, Flight Operations in the Sells Airspace Overlying the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation & Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Southern Arizona. Revised Draft

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-06-06

    farm animals (horses, beef cattle, turkeys, broilers , sheep, dairy cattle and pheasants) at Edwards AFB during 1966 show, except for avian species...15 15 loss of hearing, effects on mental health, effects on the circulatory system such as hypertension, digestive system problems, etc. Invlew of the

  20. Bone Mineral Density, Mechanical, Microstructural Properties and Mineral Content of the Femur in Growing Rats Fed with Cactus Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) Cladodes as Calcium Source in Diet

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Becerra, Ezequiel; Gutiérrez-Cortez, Elsa; Del Real, Alicia; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Rodríguez-García, Mario; Rubio, Efraín; Quintero-García, Michelle; Rojas-Molina, Isela

    2017-01-01

    Mechanical, microstructural properties, mineral content and bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur were evaluated in growing rats fed with Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) cladodes at different maturity stages as calcium source. Male weanling rats were fed with cladodes at early maturity stage (25 and 60 days of age, belonging to groups N-60 and N-200, respectively) and cladodes at late maturity stage (100 and 135 days of age, belonging to groups N-400 and N-600, respectively) for 6 weeks. Additionally, a control group fed with calcium carbonate as calcium source was included for comparative purposes. All diets were fitted to the same calcium content (5 g/kg diet). The failure load of femurs was significantly lower (p ≤ 0.05) in groups N-60 and N-200 in comparison to N-400, N-600 and control groups. The cortical width (Ct.Wi) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) of the femurs in control and N-600 groups were significantly higher (p ≤ 0.05) than Ct.Wi and Tb.Th of femurs in groups N-60 and N-200. Trabecular separation of the femurs in N-60 and N-200 groups showed the highest values compared with all experimental groups. The highest calcium content in the femurs were observed in control, N-600 and N-400 groups; whereas the lowest phosphorus content in the bones were detected in N-200, N-600 and N-400 groups. Finally, the BMD in all experimental groups increased with age; nevertheless, the highest values were observed in N-600 and control groups during pubertal and adolescence stages. The results derived from this research demonstrate, for the first time, that the calcium found in Opuntia ficus indica cladodes is actually bioavailable and capable of improving mineral density and mechanical and microstructural properties of the bones. These findings suggest that the consumption of cladodes at late maturity stage within the diet might have a beneficial impact on bone health. PMID:28165410

  1. Bone Mineral Density, Mechanical, Microstructural Properties and Mineral Content of the Femur in Growing Rats Fed with Cactus Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) Cladodes as Calcium Source in Diet.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Becerra, Ezequiel; Gutiérrez-Cortez, Elsa; Del Real, Alicia; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Rodríguez-García, Mario; Rubio, Efraín; Quintero-García, Michelle; Rojas-Molina, Isela

    2017-02-04

    Mechanical, microstructural properties, mineral content and bone mineral density (BMD) of the femur were evaluated in growing rats fed with Opuntia ficus indica (L.) Mill. (Cactaceae) cladodes at different maturity stages as calcium source. Male weanling rats were fed with cladodes at early maturity stage (25 and 60 days of age, belonging to groups N-60 and N-200, respectively) and cladodes at late maturity stage (100 and 135 days of age, belonging to groups N-400 and N-600, respectively) for 6 weeks. Additionally, a control group fed with calcium carbonate as calcium source was included for comparative purposes. All diets were fitted to the same calcium content (5 g/kg diet). The failure load of femurs was significantly lower ( p ≤ 0.05) in groups N-60 and N-200 in comparison to N-400, N-600 and control groups. The cortical width (Ct.Wi) and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) of the femurs in control and N-600 groups were significantly higher ( p ≤ 0.05) than Ct.Wi and Tb.Th of femurs in groups N-60 and N-200. Trabecular separation of the femurs in N-60 and N-200 groups showed the highest values compared with all experimental groups. The highest calcium content in the femurs were observed in control, N-600 and N-400 groups; whereas the lowest phosphorus content in the bones were detected in N-200, N-600 and N-400 groups. Finally, the BMD in all experimental groups increased with age; nevertheless, the highest values were observed in N-600 and control groups during pubertal and adolescence stages. The results derived from this research demonstrate, for the first time, that the calcium found in Opuntia ficus indica cladodes is actually bioavailable and capable of improving mineral density and mechanical and microstructural properties of the bones. These findings suggest that the consumption of cladodes at late maturity stage within the diet might have a beneficial impact on bone health.

  2. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... michelinii, Blushing star Family Caryophylliidae Eusmilia fastigiata, Flower coral Tubastrea aurea, Cup coral... cactus Mussa angulosa, Large flower coral Mycetophyllia aliciae, Thin fungus coral M. danae, Fat fungus...

  3. 50 CFR Appendix A to Part 622 - Species Tables

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... michelinii, Blushing star Family Caryophylliidae Eusmilia fastigiata, Flower coral Tubastrea aurea, Cup coral... cactus Mussa angulosa, Large flower coral Mycetophyllia aliciae, Thin fungus coral M. danae, Fat fungus...

  4. 77 FR 17052 - Metaldehyde; Notice of Receipt of Request To Voluntarily Amend a Registration To Terminate...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-23

    ..., kohlrabi, mizuna, mustard greens, mustard spinach, rape greens), grass grown for seed, ornamentals, prickly..., rape greens), grass grown for seed, ornamentals, prickly pear cactus, tomato, strawberry, watercress...

  5. 76 FR 39888 - Endangered Species Recovery Permit Applications

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-07

    ... (Bakersfield cactus); Orcuttia pilosa (hairy orcutt grass); Orcuttia viscida (Sacramento orcutt grass...); Tuctoria mucronata (Solano grass). Permit No. TE-45778A Applicant: Ellis Ecological Services Incorporated...

  6. Design and Evaluation of Simulations for the Development of Complex Decision-Making Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartley, Roger; Varley, Glen

    2002-01-01

    Command and Control Training Using Simulation (CACTUS) is a computer digital mapping system used by police to manage large-scale public events. Audio and video records of adaptive training scenarios using CACTUS show how the simulation develops decision-making skills for strategic and tactical event management. (SK)

  7. 78 FR 40673 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Designation of Critical Habitat for the Acuña...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-08

    ... acres (ac)) in six units located in Maricopa, Pima, and Pinal Counties, Arizona. For the Fickeisen plains cactus, we proposed to designate as critical habitat approximately 19,901 ha (49,186 ac) in nine.... For the acu[ntilde]a cactus, we propose to designate approximately 7,657 ha (18,921 ac) as critical...

  8. 76 FR 65163 - Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-20

    ...] Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Importation of Christmas Cactus and Easter Cactus in Growing Media From the Netherlands and Denmark AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request...

  9. 77 FR 60509 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for the Lemmon Fleabane...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-03

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list as an endangered or threatened species Erigeron lemmonii (Lemmon fleabane). After a review of the best available scientific information we find that listing the Lemmon fleabane as an endangered or threatened species is no longer warranted, and therefore we are removing this species from the candidate list. We propose to list Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis (acu[ntilde]a cactus) and Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus) as an endangered species, and we propose to designate critical habitat for both cactus species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). If finalized, the effect of these regulations would be to add acu[ntilde]a cactus and Fickeisen plains cactus to the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants and to designate critical habitat for these species.

  10. Automated LASCO CME Catalog for Solar Cycle 23: Are CMEs Scale Invariant?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robbrecht, E.; Berghmans, D.; Van der Linden, R. A. M.

    2009-02-01

    In this paper, we present the first automatically constructed LASCO coronal mass ejection (CME) catalog, a result of the application of the Computer Aided CME Tracking software (CACTus) on the LASCO archive during the interval 1997 September-2007 January. We have studied the CME characteristics and have compared them with similar results obtained by manual detection (CDAW CME catalog). On average, CACTus detects less than two events per day during solar minimum, up to eight events during maximum, nearly half of them being narrow (<20°). Assuming a correction factor, we find that the CACTus CME rate is surprisingly consistent with CME rates found during the past 30 years. The CACTus statistics show that small-scale outflow is ubiquitously observed in the outer corona. The majority of CACTus-only events are narrow transients related to previous CME activity or to intensity variations in the slow solar wind, reflecting its turbulent nature. A significant fraction (about 15%) of CACTus-only events were identified as independent events, thus not related to other CME activity. The CACTus CME width distribution is essentially scale invariant in angular span over a range of scales from 20° to 120° while previous catalogs present a broad maximum around 30°. The possibility that the size of coronal mass outflows follow a power-law distribution could indicate that no typical CME size exists, i.e., that the narrow transients are not different from the larger well defined CMEs.

  11. Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Produced and Directed by Wessells, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    'Sonoran Desert: Fragile Land of Extremes' shows how biologists with the U.S. Geological Survey work with other scientists in an effort to better understand native plants and animals such as desert tortoises, saguaro cacti, and Gila monsters. Much of the program was shot in and around Saguaro National Park near Tucson, Arizona. Genetic detective work, using DNA, focuses on understanding the lives of tortoises. Studies of saguaros over many decades clarify how these amazing plants reproduce and thrive in the desert. Threats from fire, diseases in tortoises, and a growing human population motivate the scientists. Their work to identify how these organisms live and survive is a crucial step for the sound management of biological resources on public lands. This 28-minute program, USGS Open-File Report 03-305, was shot entirely in high definition video and produced by the USGS Western Ecological Research Center and Southwest Biological Science Center; produced and directed by Stephen Wessells, Western Region Office of Communications.

  12. An Archeological Survey in the Gypsum Breaks on the Elm Fork of the Red River,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1979-01-01

    Tamarix gallica salt cedar Salix nigra black willow Opuntia lindenheimeri prickly pear cactus* Artemisia filifolia sand sage Bouteloua gracilis blue...125 projectile points were recovered including Gary, Bonham, Hayes barbed, Alba barbed, knives, drills, scrapers, gouges, cores, grinding stones

  13. Wild Plants Used by the Native Americans.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nature Study, 1984

    1984-01-01

    Describes 10 wild plants used by Native Americans. They include: rose hips; the common milkweed; cattails; elderberries; cactus fruits; lamb's quarters pigweeds (Chenopodium sp.); persimmons; mints (Monardo sp.); the yucca; and the hawthorn. Illustrations of each plant are included. (JN)

  14. Splinters and Other Foreign Bodies in the Skin

    MedlinePlus

    ... FBs: Bullets, BBs, nails, sewing needles, pins, tacks. Fiberglass spicules. Fishhooks: May have a barbed point that ... need removal Tiny plant stickers, cactus spines, or fiberglass spicules that need removal Minor sliver, splinter, or ...

  15. Accumulation of silicon in cacti native to the United States: characterization of silica bodies and cyclic oligosiloxanes in Stenocereus thurberi, Opuntia littoralis, Opuntia ficus-indica, and Opuntia stricta.

    PubMed

    Wright, Cynthia R; Waddell, Emanuel A; Setzer, William N

    2014-06-01

    Four different cactus species growing in the United States, Stenocereus thurberi growing in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Arizona, Opuntia littoralis and Opuntia ficus-indica, growing on Santa Catalina Island, California, and Opuntia stricta, growing in northern Alabama, were examined for the presence of silica bodies (opaline phytoliths). Silica bodies were found in all four of these cactus species, parallelepiped-shaped crystals in S. thurberi, and starburst-shaped crystalline structures in the three Opuntia species. In addition, the essential oils of the four cactus species were obtained by hydrodistillation and analyzed by gas chromatography - mass spectrometry. To our surprise, S. thurberi, O. littoralis, and O. ficus-indica (but not O. stricta) essential oils contained cyclic oligosiloxanes. To our knowledge, cyclic oligosiloxanes have not been previously found as essential oil components.

  16. Literary support to the vegetable origin of shilajit.

    PubMed

    Lal, V K; Panday, K K; Kapoor, M L

    1988-01-01

    Shilajit, exuding from the rocks of mountains has been proved to be basically derived from the latex of cactus like Euphorbia species. Therefore, in the present communication, an attempt has been made to provide similar information from the ayurvedic literatures.

  17. Sexual selection is influenced by both developmental and adult environments.

    PubMed

    Gillespie, Stephanie R; Scarlett Tudor, M; Moore, Allen J; Miller, Christine W

    2014-12-01

    Sexual selection is often assumed to be strong and consistent, yet increasing research shows it can fluctuate over space and time. Few experimental studies have examined changes in sexual selection in response to natural environmental variation. Here, we use a difference in resource quality to test for the influence of past environmental conditions and current environmental conditions on male and female mate choice and resulting selection gradients for leaf-footed cactus bugs, Narnia femorata. We raised juveniles on natural high- and low-quality diets, cactus pads with and without ripe cactus fruits. New adults were again assigned a cactus pad with or without fruit, paired with a potential mate, and observed for mating behaviors. We found developmental and adult encounter environments affected mating decisions and the resulting patterns of sexual selection for both males and females. Males were not choosy in the low-quality encounter environment, cactus without fruit, but they avoided mating with small females in the high-quality encounter environment. Females were choosy in both encounter environments, avoiding mating with small males. However, they were the choosiest when they were in the low-quality encounter environment. Female mate choice was also context dependent by male developmental environment. Females were more likely to mate with males that had developed on cactus with fruit when they were currently in the cactus with fruit environment. This pattern disappeared when females were in the cactus without fruit environment. Altogether, these results experimentally demonstrate context-dependent mate choice by both males and females. Furthermore, we demonstrate that simple, seasonal changes in resources can lead to fluctuations in sexual selection. © 2014 The Author(s). Evolution © 2014 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Environmental Assessment: Space Innovation and Development Center Schriever AFB, Colorado

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-03-01

    Ptychocheilus lucius E Gunnison sage-grouse Centrocercus minimus c Humpback chub Gila cypha E Razorback sucker© Xyrauchentexanus E Uinta Basin hookless...debilis c Razorback sucker© Xyrauchen texanus E Uinta Basin hookless cactus Sclerocactus glaucus T Yellow-billed cuckoo Coccyzus americanus c GILPIN...Razorback sucker© Xyrauchen texanus E Uinta Basin hookless cactus Sclerocactus glaucus T Yellow-billed cuckoo Coccyzus americanus c MINERAL Bald

  19. β-Arrestins Negatively Regulate the Toll Pathway in Shrimp by Preventing Dorsal Translocation and Inhibiting Dorsal Transcriptional Activity*

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jie-Jie; Lan, Jiang-Feng; Shi, Xiu-Zhen; Yang, Ming-Chong; Niu, Guo-Juan; Ding, Ding; Zhao, Xiao-Fan; Yu, Xiao-Qiang; Wang, Jin-Xing

    2016-01-01

    The Toll signaling pathway plays an important role in the innate immunity of Drosophila melanogaster and mammals. The activation and termination of Toll signaling are finely regulated in these animals. Although the primary components of the Toll pathway were identified in shrimp, the functions and regulation of the pathway are seldom studied. We first demonstrated that the Toll signaling pathway plays a central role in host defense against Staphylococcus aureus by regulating expression of antimicrobial peptides in shrimp. We then found that β-arrestins negatively regulate Toll signaling in two different ways. β-Arrestins interact with the C-terminal PEST domain of Cactus through the arrestin-N domain, and Cactus interacts with the RHD domain of Dorsal via the ankyrin repeats domain, forming a heterotrimeric complex of β-arrestin·Cactus·Dorsal, with Cactus as the bridge. This complex prevents Cactus phosphorylation and degradation, as well as Dorsal translocation into the nucleus, thus inhibiting activation of the Toll signaling pathway. β-Arrestins also interact with non-phosphorylated ERK (extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase) through the arrestin-C domain to inhibit ERK phosphorylation, which affects Dorsal translocation into the nucleus and phosphorylation of Dorsal at Ser276 that impairs Dorsal transcriptional activity. Our study suggests that β-arrestins negatively regulate the Toll signaling pathway by preventing Dorsal translocation and inhibiting Dorsal phosphorylation and transcriptional activity. PMID:26846853

  20. Plant reproductive allocation predicts herbivore dynamics across spatial and temporal scales.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Tyre, Andrew J; Louda, Svata M

    2006-11-01

    Life-history theory suggests that iteroparous plants should be flexible in their allocation of resources toward growth and reproduction. Such plasticity could have consequences for herbivores that prefer or specialize on vegetative versus reproductive structures. To test this prediction, we studied the response of the cactus bug (Narnia pallidicornis) to meristem allocation by tree cholla cactus (Opuntia imbricata). We evaluated the explanatory power of demographic models that incorporated variation in cactus relative reproductive effort (RRE; the proportion of meristems allocated toward reproduction). Field data provided strong support for a single model that defined herbivore fecundity as a time-varying, increasing function of host RRE. High-RRE plants were predicted to support larger insect populations, and this effect was strongest late in the season. Independent field data provided strong support for these qualitative predictions and suggested that plant allocation effects extend across temporal and spatial scales. Specifically, late-season insect abundance was positively associated with interannual changes in cactus RRE over 3 years. Spatial variation in insect abundance was correlated with variation in RRE among five cactus populations across New Mexico. We conclude that plant allocation can be a critical component of resource quality for insect herbivores and, thus, an important mechanism underlying variation in herbivore abundance across time and space.

  1. The use of a natural coagulant (Opuntia ficus-indica) in the removal for organic materials of textile effluents.

    PubMed

    de Souza, Maísa Tatiane Ferreira; Ambrosio, Elizangela; de Almeida, Cibele Andrade; de Souza Freitas, Thábata Karoliny Formicoli; Santos, Lídia Brizola; de Cinque Almeida, Vitor; Garcia, Juliana Carla

    2014-08-01

    The goal of this study was to investigate the activity of the coagulant extracted from the cactus Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI) in the process of coagulation/flocculation of textile effluents. Preliminary tests of a kaolinite suspension achieved maximum turbidity removal of 95 % using an NaCl extraction solution. Optimization assays were conducted with actual effluents using the response surface methodology (RSM) based on the Box-Behnken experimental design. The responses of the variables FeCl3, dosage, cactus dosage, and pH in the removal of COD and turbidity from both effluents were investigated. The optimum conditions determined for jeans washing laundry effluent were the following: FeCl3 160 mg L(-1), cactus dosage 2.60 mg L(-1), and pH 5.0. For the fabric dyeing effluent, the optimum conditions were the following: FeCl3 640 mg L(-1), cactus dosage 160 mg L(-1), and pH 6.0. Investigation of the effects of the storage time and temperature of the cactus O. ficus-indica showed that coagulation efficiency was not significantly affected for storage at room temperature for up to 4 days.

  2. Coherent Anomaly Method Calculation on the Cluster Variation Method. II.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Koh; Watanabe, Naotosi; Uchida, Tetsuya

    The critical exponents of the bond percolation model are calculated in the D(= 2,3,…)-dimensional simple cubic lattice on the basis of Suzuki's coherent anomaly method (CAM) by making use of a series of the pair, the square-cactus and the square approximations of the cluster variation method (CVM) in the s-state Potts model. These simple approximations give reasonable values of critical exponents α, β, γ and ν in comparison with ones estimated by other methods. It is also shown that the results of the pair and the square-cactus approximations can be derived as exact results of the bond percolation model on the Bethe and the square-cactus lattice, respectively, in the presence of ghost field without recourse to the s→1 limit of the s-state Potts model.

  3. Coherent Anomaly Method Calculation on the Cluster Variation Method. II. Critical Exponents of Bond Percolation Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Koh; Watanabe, Naotosi; Uchida, Tetsuya

    1991-10-01

    The critical exponents of the bond percolation model are calculated in the D(=2, 3, \\cdots)-dimensional simple cubic lattice on the basis of Suzuki’s coherent anomaly method (CAM) by making use of a series of the pair, the square-cactus and the square approximations of the cluster variation method (CVM) in the s-state Potts model. These simple approximations give reasonable values of critical exponents α, β, γ and ν in comparison with ones estimated by other methods. It is also shown that the results of the pair and the square-cactus approximations can be derived as exact results of the bond percolation model on the Bethe and the square-cactus lattice, respectively, in the presence of ghost field without recourse to the s→1 limit of the s-state Potts model.

  4. Stability of some Cactaceae proteins based on fluorescence, circular dichroism, and differential scanning calorimetry measurements.

    PubMed

    Gorinstein, S; Zemser, M; Vargas-Albores, F; Ochoa, J L; Paredes-Lopez, O; Scheler, C; Aksu, S; Salnikow, J

    1999-02-01

    Characterization of three cactus proteins (native and denatured) from Machaerocereus gummosus (Pitahaya agria), Lophocereu schottii (Garambullo), and Cholla opuntia (Cholla), was based on electrophoretic, fluorescence, CD (circular dichroism), DSC (differential scanning calorimetry), and FT-IR (Fourier transform infrared) measurements. The obtained results of intrinsic fluorescence, DSC, and CD were dissimilar for the three species of cactus, providing evidence of differences in secondary and tertiary structures. Cactus proteins may be situated in the following order corresponding to their relative stability: Machaerocereus gummosus (Pitahaya agria) > Cholla opuntia (Cholla) > Lophocereu schottii (Garambullo). Thermodynamic properties of proteins and their changes upon denaturation (temperature of denaturation, enthalphy, and the number of ruptured hydrogen bonds) were correlated with the secondary structure of proteins and disappearance of alpha-helix.

  5. Effect of fruit extract on renal stone formation and kidney injury in rats.

    PubMed

    Partovi, Nasrin; Ebadzadeh, Mohammad Reza; Fatemi, S Jamilaldin; Khaksari, Mohammad

    2018-05-01

    This study investigated the effect of oral administration of Cactus fruit extracts on calcium oxalate deposition, malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in rat model. About 42 rats were used for the study. The animals were divided into seven groups. Control group maintained on regular rat food and drinking water throughout the study period, whereas in other groups nephrolithiasis was induced by ethylene glycol. Rats in kidney stone group were sacrificed after 28 days and all remaining groups after 58 days. Treatment groups were treated with 1 and 100 mg/kg of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Cactus fruit for 30 days. After treatment, SOD activity was increased and MDA was decreased significantly. CaOx depositions were decreased significantly, especially in ethanolic extract of Cactus fruit in high dose (100 mg/kg).

  6. The IRAK homolog Pelle is the functional counterpart of IκB kinase in the Drosophila Toll pathway.

    PubMed

    Daigneault, Jessica; Klemetsaune, Liv; Wasserman, Steven A

    2013-01-01

    Toll receptors transduce signals that activate Rel-family transcription factors, such as NF-κB, by directing proteolytic degradation of inhibitor proteins. In mammals, the IκB Kinase (IKK) phosphorylates the inhibitor IκBα. A βTrCP protein binds to phosphorylated IκBα, triggering ubiquitination and proteasome mediated degradation. In Drosophila, Toll signaling directs Cactus degradation via a sequence motif that is highly similar to that in IκBα, but without involvement of IKK. Here we show that Pelle, the homolog of a mammalian regulator of IKK, acts as a Cactus kinase. We further find that the fly βTrCP protein Slimb is required in cultured cells to mediate Cactus degradation. These findings enable us for the first time to trace an uninterrupted pathway from the cell surface to the nucleus for Drosophila Toll signaling.

  7. The IRAK Homolog Pelle Is the Functional Counterpart of IκB Kinase in the Drosophila Toll Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Daigneault, Jessica; Klemetsaune, Liv; Wasserman, Steven A.

    2013-01-01

    Toll receptors transduce signals that activate Rel-family transcription factors, such as NF-κB, by directing proteolytic degradation of inhibitor proteins. In mammals, the IκB Kinase (IKK) phosphorylates the inhibitor IκBα. A βTrCP protein binds to phosphorylated IκBα, triggering ubiquitination and proteasome mediated degradation. In Drosophila, Toll signaling directs Cactus degradation via a sequence motif that is highly similar to that in IκBα, but without involvement of IKK. Here we show that Pelle, the homolog of a mammalian regulator of IKK, acts as a Cactus kinase. We further find that the fly βTrCP protein Slimb is required in cultured cells to mediate Cactus degradation. These findings enable us for the first time to trace an uninterrupted pathway from the cell surface to the nucleus for Drosophila Toll signaling. PMID:24086459

  8. A novel method of genomic DNA extraction for Cactaceae1

    PubMed Central

    Fehlberg, Shannon D.; Allen, Jessica M.; Church, Kathleen

    2013-01-01

    • Premise of the study: Genetic studies of Cactaceae can at times be impeded by difficult sampling logistics and/or high mucilage content in tissues. Simplifying sampling and DNA isolation through the use of cactus spines has not previously been investigated. • Methods and Results: Several protocols for extracting DNA from spines were tested and modified to maximize yield, amplification, and sequencing. Sampling of and extraction from spines resulted in a simplified protocol overall and complete avoidance of mucilage as compared to typical tissue extractions. Sequences from one nuclear and three plastid regions were obtained across eight genera and 20 species of cacti using DNA extracted from spines. • Conclusions: Genomic DNA useful for amplification and sequencing can be obtained from cactus spines. The protocols described here are valuable for any cactus species, but are particularly useful for investigators interested in sampling living collections, extensive field sampling, and/or conservation genetic studies. PMID:25202521

  9. Seasonal Effects on the Population, Morphology and Reproductive Behavior of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae)

    PubMed Central

    Cirino, Lauren A.; Miller, Christine W.

    2017-01-01

    Many insects are influenced by the phenology of their host plants. In North Central Florida, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) spends its entire life cycle living and feeding on Opuntia mesacantha ssp. lata. This cactus begins producing flower buds in April that lead to unripe green fruit in June that ripen into red fruit through December. Many morphological and behavioral characteristics of N. femorata are known to be affected by cactus phenology in a controlled laboratory setting, including the degree of sexual dimorphism and mating behavior. Our goal with this study was to determine if similar phenotypic changes of N. femorata occurred over time in the wild, and the extent to which these changes were concordant with phenological changes in its host plant. Further, we investigate the length of the insect mouthparts (beak) over time. Ongoing work has suggested that beak length may change across cohorts of developing insects in response to feeding deep within cactus fruit where seed and pulp depth decrease as the fruit ripens. Our results revealed a drop in cactus fruit abundance between the months of July through October 2015 as cactus fruits turned red and ripened. Simultaneously, the average body size of both males and females of N. femorata declined at two sampled sites. Male hind femora (a sexually-selected weapon) decreased disproportionately in size over time so that males later in the year had relatively smaller hind femora for their body size. The sex-specific patterns of morphological change led to increased sexual-size dimorphism and decreased sexual dimorphism for hind femora later in the year. Further, we found that beak length decreased across cohorts of insects as cactus fruit ripened, suggesting phenotypic plasticity in mouthpart length. Behavioral studies revealed that female readiness to mate increased as the season progressed. In sum, we found pronounced changes in the phenotypes of these insects in the field. Although this study is far from

  10. Seasonal Effects on the Population, Morphology and Reproductive Behavior of Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae).

    PubMed

    Cirino, Lauren A; Miller, Christine W

    2017-01-17

    Many insects are influenced by the phenology of their host plants. In North Central Florida, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae) spends its entire life cycle living and feeding on Opuntia mesacantha ssp. lata . This cactus begins producing flower buds in April that lead to unripe green fruit in June that ripen into red fruit through December. Many morphological and behavioral characteristics of N. femorata are known to be affected by cactus phenology in a controlled laboratory setting, including the degree of sexual dimorphism and mating behavior. Our goal with this study was to determine if similar phenotypic changes of N. femorata occurred over time in the wild, and the extent to which these changes were concordant with phenological changes in its host plant. Further, we investigate the length of the insect mouthparts (beak) over time. Ongoing work has suggested that beak length may change across cohorts of developing insects in response to feeding deep within cactus fruit where seed and pulp depth decrease as the fruit ripens. Our results revealed a drop in cactus fruit abundance between the months of July through October 2015 as cactus fruits turned red and ripened. Simultaneously, the average body size of both males and females of N. femorata declined at two sampled sites. Male hind femora (a sexually-selected weapon) decreased disproportionately in size over time so that males later in the year had relatively smaller hind femora for their body size. The sex-specific patterns of morphological change led to increased sexual-size dimorphism and decreased sexual dimorphism for hind femora later in the year. Further, we found that beak length decreased across cohorts of insects as cactus fruit ripened, suggesting phenotypic plasticity in mouthpart length. Behavioral studies revealed that female readiness to mate increased as the season progressed. In sum, we found pronounced changes in the phenotypes of these insects in the field. Although this study is far from

  11. SciTech Connect

    Wosnik, Martin; Bachant, Pete; Neary, Vincent Sinclair

    CACTUS, developed by Sandia National Laboratories, is an open-source code for the design and analysis of wind and hydrokinetic turbines. While it has undergone extensive validation for both vertical axis and horizontal axis wind turbines, and it has been demonstrated to accurately predict the performance of horizontal (axial-flow) hydrokinetic turbines, its ability to predict the performance of crossflow hydrokinetic turbines has yet to be tested. The present study addresses this problem by comparing the predicted performance curves derived from CACTUS simulations of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 1:6 scale reference model crossflow turbine to those derived by experimental measurements inmore » a tow tank using the same model turbine at the University of New Hampshire. It shows that CACTUS cannot accurately predict the performance of this crossflow turbine, raising concerns on its application to crossflow hydrokinetic turbines generally. The lack of quality data on NACA 0021 foil aerodynamic (hydrodynamic) characteristics over the wide range of angles of attack (AoA) and Reynolds numbers is identified as the main cause for poor model prediction. A comparison of several different NACA 0021 foil data sources, derived using both physical and numerical modeling experiments, indicates significant discrepancies at the high AoA experienced by foils on crossflow turbines. Users of CACTUS for crossflow hydrokinetic turbines are, therefore, advised to limit its application to higher tip speed ratios (lower AoA), and to carefully verify the reliability and accuracy of their foil data. Accurate empirical data on the aerodynamic characteristics of the foil is the greatest limitation to predicting performance for crossflow turbines with semi-empirical models like CACTUS. Future improvements of CACTUS for crossflow turbine performance prediction will require the development of accurate foil aerodynamic characteristic data sets within the appropriate ranges of Reynolds

  12. Do cacti form soil seed banks? An evaluation using species from the Southern Central Andes.

    PubMed

    Lindow-López, Lucía; Galíndez, Guadalupe; Sühring, Silvia; Pastrana-Ignes, Valeria; Gorostiague, Pablo; Gutiérrez, Angela; Ortega-Baes, Pablo

    2018-06-22

    There is controversy over whether cactus species form soil seed banks. Although it is commonly assumed that cacti do not form seed banks, very few studies have evaluated them. In this work, we analyzed whether cactus species form soil seed banks, studying seed distribution, seed density and seed longevity in the Southern Central Andes. Soil samples were collected in two microhabitats (under nurse plants and in bare areas) at 12 selected sites. We determined seed presence-absence, density and distribution for 32 native cactus species. Seed longevity for six of these species was determined through a burial experiment. We recorded viable seeds for 62.5% of the 32 evaluated species, finding variation in seed density between microenvironments and among populations. In some species, the greatest seed density was found under potential nurse plants. Seed germination and seed viability decreased with burial time, with seed longevity always being less than 24 months after burial. Our results show strong evidence that cactus species do form seed banks. Seed density can vary between microenvironments and among populations, suggesting that cactus-nurse plant associations can also be explained by differential seed dispersal and not only by differential establishment. We found that Echinopsis and Gymnocalycium species form short-term seed banks. Our results will help to better understand the population dynamics of cactus species, a focal species group for conservation actions because many of them are threatened by human activities. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Forecasting an invasive species’ distribution with global distribution data, local data, and physiological information

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Young, Nicholas E.; Talbert, Marian; Talbert, Colin

    2018-01-01

    Understanding invasive species distributions and potential invasions often requires broad‐scale information on the environmental tolerances of the species. Further, resource managers are often faced with knowing these broad‐scale relationships as well as nuanced environmental factors related to their landscape that influence where an invasive species occurs and potentially could occur. Using invasive buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris), we developed global models and local models for Saguaro National Park, Arizona, USA, based on location records and literature on physiological tolerances to environmental factors to investigate whether environmental relationships of a species at a global scale are also important at local scales. In addition to correlative models with five commonly used algorithms, we also developed a model using a priori user‐defined relationships between occurrence and environmental characteristics based on a literature review. All correlative models at both scales performed well based on statistical evaluations. The user‐defined curves closely matched those produced by the correlative models, indicating that the correlative models may be capturing mechanisms driving the distribution of buffelgrass. Given climate projections for the region, both global and local models indicate that conditions at Saguaro National Park may become more suitable for buffelgrass. Combining global and local data with correlative models and physiological information provided a holistic approach to forecasting invasive species distributions.

  14. PVA with nopal dye as holographic recording material

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toxqui-López, S.; Olivares-Pérez, A.; Fuentes-Tapia, I.; Pinto-Iguanero, B.

    2011-09-01

    Cactus nopal dye is introduced into a polyvinyl alcohol matrix achieving a like brown appearance thick film, such that they can be used as a recording medium. This dye material provides excellent property as photosensitizer, i.e., easy handling, low cost and can be used in real time holographic recording applications. The experimental results show the diffraction efficiencies obtained by recording grating patterns induced by a He-Cd laser (442nm). For the samples, a thick film of polyvinyl alcohol and dye from cactus nopal was deposited by the gravity technique on a glass substrate. This mixture dries to form a photosensitive emulsion.

  15. [Triatominae and Cactaceae: a risk for the transmission of the American trypanosomiasis in the peridomicilary space (Northeast Brazil)].

    PubMed

    Emperaire, L; Romaña, C A

    2006-06-01

    Field observations carried in semi-arid Brazil Northeast point out the frequent association, in the peridomiciliary space, between a cactus, Cereus jamacaru, the occurrence of nests in its branches and the occurrence of two species of insects vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi, pathogenic agent of Chagas disease: Rhodnius neglectus and Triatoma pseudomaculata. The analysis of the architectural variables of this Cactaceae shows that the presence of nests, and thus of insects, depends on the traditional practices of management of this cactus. This study underlines the relevance of an integrated approach of the ecology of Triatominae for the identification of factors of risk.

  16. A new Anagyrus (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae) from Argentina, parasitoid of Hypogeococcus sp. (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Harrisia pomanensis (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Triapitsyn, Serguei V; Aguirre, María B; Logarzo, Guillermo A

    2016-05-26

    A new species of Anagyrus Howard (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae), A. lapachosus sp. n., is described from Salta Province of Argentina as a parasitoid of Hypogeococcus sp. (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Harrisia pomanensis cactus (Cactaceae). It is a candidate "new association" biological control agent for quarantine evaluation and possible following introduction to Puerto Rico (USA) against another Hypogeococcus sp., commonly called the Harrisia cactus mealybug and often misidentified as H. pungens Granara de Willink (according to our unpublished data the latter attacks only Amaranthaceae), which devastates or threatens the native cacti there and also in some other Caribbean islands (Triapitsyn, Aguirre et al. 2014; Carrera-Martínez et al. 2015).

  17. 78 FR 60607 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Endangered Species Status for Echinomastus...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-01

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), determine that Echinomastus erectocentrus var. acunensis (acu[ntilde]a cactus) and Pediocactus peeblesianus var. fickeiseniae (Fickeisen plains cactus) meet the definition of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended. This final rule implements the Federal protections provided by the Act for these species. The effect of this regulation will be to add these species to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants under the Endangered Species Act.

  18. Computer Simulation of the VASIMR Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, David

    2005-01-01

    The goal of this project is to develop a magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) computer code for simulation of the VASIMR engine. This code is designed be easy to modify and use. We achieve this using the Cactus framework, a system originally developed for research in numerical relativity. Since its release, Cactus has become an extremely powerful and flexible open source framework. The development of the code will be done in stages, starting with a basic fluid dynamic simulation and working towards a more complex MHD code. Once developed, this code can be used by students and researchers in order to further test and improve the VASIMR engine.

  19. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  20. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  1. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  2. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  3. 7 CFR 301.55-2 - Regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Regulated articles. 301.55-2 Section 301.55-2... Regulated articles. The following are regulated articles: (a) The South American cactus moth, in any living..., Nopalea, and Opuntia. (c) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed in paragraphs (a...

  4. 3000 Years of Breeding for Drought Tolerance in Soybean

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Plants and animals have both suffered through extreme environments over the long evolutionary history of life. Amazing adaptations such as camels and cactus have occurred. On the whole however, evolutionary adaptation to stress has been greater in plants than in animals. The simple difference betwe...

  5. Secondary Subtropical Dry Forest at the La Tinaja Tract of the Cartagena Lagoon National Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico.

    Treesearch

    PETER L. WEAVER; J. DANILO CHINEA

    2003-01-01

    A vegetation survey using 109 circular plots (3.4% sample) of the recently acquired 110-ha La Tinaja tract in the Cartagena Lagoon Wildlife Refuge disclosed 103 dicotyledonous tree species. Another 58 tree species were tallied within the tract but outside of the plots. The cactus, Pilosocereus royenii (L.) Byles & Rowley, occurring on 44% of the plots, had the...

  6. Students Explore a Complex Landscape of Fear

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monaghan, Peter

    2007-01-01

    National security demands that "illegals" must be kept out of the country. Terrorists may be entering alongside Mexicans jumping immigration queues. So explain members of the self-appointed Minuteman Civil Defense Corps as they and 25 Vassar College students trudge a migrant trail across a parched, cactus-punctuated desert near Douglas,…

  7. Effects of ungulate disturbance and weather variation on Pediocactus winkleri: insights from long-term monitoring

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clark, Deborah J.; Clark, Thomas O.; Duniway, Michael C.; Flagg, Cody B.

    2015-01-01

    Population dynamics and effects of large ungulate disturbances on Winkler cactus (Pediocactus winkleri K.D. Heil) were documented annually over a 20-year time span at one plot within Capitol Reef National Park, Utah. This cactus species was federally listed as threatened in 1998. The study began in 1995 to gain a better understanding of life history aspects and threats to this species. Data were collected annually in early spring and included diameter, condition, reproductive structures, mortality, recruitment, and disturbance by large ungulates. We used odds ratio and probability model analyses to determine effects of large ungulate trampling and weather on these cacti. During the study, plot population declined by 18%, with trampling of cactus, low precipitation, and cold spring temperatures implicated as causal factors. Precipitation and temperature affected flowering, mortality, and recruitment. Large ungulate disturbances increased mortality and reduced the probability of flowering. These results suggest that large ungulate disturbances and recent climate regimes have had an adverse impact on long-term persistence of this cactus.

  8. Mystery #5 Answer

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-22

    ... the questions are provided. 1.   There are no endemic species of cactus on any of the islands. Answer: FALSE. Endemic ... on this island. 6.   Several plant species are endangered due to decimation by goats and competition with non-native ...

  9. Mystery #5

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-22

    ... statement true or false: 1.   There are no endemic species of cactus on any of the islands. 2.   Flamingos, whose diets ... to over 2,000 people. 6.   Several plant species are endangered due to decimation by goats and competition with non-native ...

  10. Host specificity and risk assessment of Trichogramma fuentesi (Hymenoptera:Trichogrammatidae), a potential biological agent of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a non-native moth attacking prickly pear cactus, Opuntia spp., in southeastern U.S. The insect is also an important threat to ecological systems and to native and endangered Opuntia spp. in southwestern USA. The egg parasitoid Trichogramma f...

  11. GIS and path analysis: examining associations between the birds, the bees, and plant sex in Echinocereus coccineus (Cactaceae)

    Treesearch

    Summer Scobell; Stewart Schultz

    2005-01-01

    We tested hypotheses of how pollinators and water resource gradients influence the evolution of dioecy using Echinocereus coccineus, a cactus with both hermaphroditic and dioecious populations growing over wide climatic and biotic gradients in the Madrean Archipelago. A GIS database was compiled from herbarium specimens, rainfall data, and...

  12. 40 CFR 180.523 - Metaldehyde; tolerances for residues.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ....15 Cactus 0.07 Caneberry subgroup 13-07A 0.15 Corn, field, forage 0.30 Corn, field, grain 0.05 Corn, field, stover 0.10 Corn, sweet, forage 0.30 Corn, sweet, kernel plus cob with husks removed 0.05 Corn...

  13. 77 FR 40893 - Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge, PR; Draft Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-07-11

    ... federally threatened Higo Chumbo cactus. Removal of invasive animal species would also continue, and we... animal species and would implement efforts to avoid introduction of new invasive species from increased... restoration efforts. Over the 15-year life of the CCP, we would complete the removal of all invasive animal...

  14. Complex of primary and secondary parasitoids (Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae and Signiphoridae) of Hypogeoccoccus spp. mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in the New World

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Parasitoids, both primary and secondary (hyperparasitoids), of Hypogeococcus spp. mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) are reviewed to report results of the surveys in the New World conducted during 2009–2017 for perspective natural enemies of the Harrisia cactus mealybug, Hypogeococcus sp., which ...

  15. Introduction

    Treesearch

    Jean-Luc E. Finch Cartron; Deborah M.

    2000-01-01

    In March 1997, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Arizona population of the cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl (Glaucidium brasilianum cactorum) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (U.S. Fish and Wildlife 1997). Federal listing for the owl in Arizona resulted from a petition submitted in 1992 to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (...

  16. Conspecific and Heterospecific Cues Override Resource Quality to Influence Offspring Production

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Christine W.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Gillespie, Stephanie R.

    2013-01-01

    Animals live in an uncertain world. To reduce uncertainty, animals use cues that can encode diverse information regarding habitat quality, including both non-social and social cues. While it is increasingly appreciated that the sources of potential information are vast, our understanding of how individuals integrate different types of cues to guide decision-making remains limited. We experimentally manipulated both resource quality (presence/absence of cactus fruit) and social cues (conspecific juveniles, heterospecific juveniles, no juveniles) for a cactus-feeding insect, Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae), to ask how individuals responded to resource quality in the presence or absence of social cues. Cactus with fruit is a high-quality environment for juvenile development, and indeed we found that females laid 56% more eggs when cactus fruit was present versus when it was absent. However, when conspecific or heterospecific juveniles were present, the effects of resource quality on egg numbers vanished. Overall, N . femorata laid approximately twice as many eggs in the presence of heterospecifics than alone or in the presence of conspecifics. Our results suggest that the presence of both conspecific and heterospecific social cues can disrupt responses of individuals to environmental gradients in resource quality. PMID:23861984

  17. Natural vegetation groups and canopy chemical markers in a dry subtropical forest on calcareous substrate: the vegetation of Mona Island, Puerto Rico

    Treesearch

    E. Medina; E.H. Helmer; E. Melendez-Ackerman; H. Marcano-Vega

    2014-01-01

    Mona Island is the third largest island in the archipelago of Puerto Rico located about 70 km west of the main island. Presently it is a wilderness refuge that contains well-preserved arboreal and shrubby vegetation, and distinct cactus forests, covering the calcareous, elevated plateau. During a forest inventory conducted by the US Forest Service, we obtained leaves...

  18. 3 CFR 8868 - Proclamation 8868 of September 21, 2012. Establishment of the Chimney Rock National Monument

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... of the San Juan Mountains. Migratory mule deer and elk herds pass through the area each fall and... turkeys, river otters, bald eagles, golden eagles, mountain lions, bats, woodpeckers, and many species of... usually found farther south grow there, including a species of cholla cactus that does not occur naturally...

  19. Allergy-Friendly Gardening

    MedlinePlus

    ... gardening may also help reduce symptoms. Certain flowers, trees and grasses are better suited for the gardens ... people with outdoor allergies. These include: • Cactus • Cherry tree • Dahlia • Daisy • Geranium • Hibiscus • Iris • Magnolia • Roses • Snapdragon • ...

  20. Extraction and characterization of cellulose nanowhiskers from Mandacaru (Cereus jamacaru DC.) spines

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cellulose nanowhiskers were extracted from the spines of Mandacaru (Cereus jamacaru DC.) spines, a cactus native to the Caatinga biome of in northeastern Brazil, using sulfuric acid hydrolysis preceeded by mercerization and bleaching. Nanowhisker size decreased from about 400 to 260 nm when extracti...

  1. A Review of Botanical Characteristics, Traditional Usage, Chemical Components, Pharmacological Activities, and Safety of Pereskia bleo (Kunth) DC

    PubMed Central

    Tan, Chay-Hoon

    2014-01-01

    Pereskia bleo, a leafy cactus, is a medicinal plant native to West and South America and distributed in tropical and subtropical areas. It is traditionally used as a dietary vegetable, barrier hedge, water purifier, and insect repellant and for maintaining health, detoxification, prevention of cancer, and/or treatment of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, stomach ache, muscle pain, and inflammatory diseases such as dermatitis and rheumatism. The aim of this paper was to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the botanical characteristics, traditional usage, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, and safety of P. bleo. A literature search using MEDLINE (via PubMed), Science direct, Scopus and Google scholar and China Academic Journals Full-Text Database (CNKI) and available eBooks and books in the National University of Singapore libraries in English and Chinese was conducted. The following keywords were used: Pereskia bleo, Pereskia panamensis, Pereskia corrugata, Rhodocacus corrugatus, Rhodocacus bleo, Cactus panamensis, Cactus bleo, Spinach cactus, wax rose, Perescia, and Chinese rose. This review revealed the association between the traditional usage of P. bleo and reported pharmacological properties in the literature. Further investigation on the pharmacological properties and phytoconstituents of P. bleo is warranted to further exploit its potentials as a source of novel therapeutic agents or lead compounds. PMID:24987426

  2. Microbiological quality of fresh nopal juice

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Microbial quality of commercially available fresh juices (n=162) made with nopal cactus in Texcoco, State of Mexico, was evaluated during the summer and spring season. All samples contained total coliforms and 91% were positive for Escherichia coli. Although total coliforms and E. coli were detected...

  3. Microbial populations and activities in the rhizoplane of rock-weathering desert plants. I. root colonization and weathering of igneous rocks.

    Treesearch

    M.E. Puente; Y. Bashan; C.Y. Li; V.K. Lebsky

    2004-01-01

    Dense layers of bacteria and fungi in the rhizoplane of three species of cactus (Pachycereus pringlei, Stenocereus thurberi, Opuntia cholla) and a wild fig tree (Ficus palmeri) growing in rocks devoid of soil were revealed by bright-field and fluorescence microscopy and field emission...

  4. Reproductive biology of Apanteles opuntiarum (Hymenoptera: Braconidae), biological control agent of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in Mexico and USA

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Apanteles opuntiarum, a parasitoid of cactus-feeding lepidopteran larvae, was incorrectly identified as A. alexanderi during the last 50 years. The discovery of A. opuntiarum as a new and separate species was followed by studies of its native host range. These studies revealed that the host range o...

  5. Geographical range and laboratory studies on Apanteles opuntiarum (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in Argentina, a candidate for biological control of Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) in North America

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The cactus moth Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg) (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) is a pest that threatens native Opuntia spp. in North America. Control tactics developed and implemented against this invasive pest successfully eradicated the moth in Mexico and on barrier islands in the United States. However,...

  6. Reinvestigation of Cactoblastis Captorum (LEPIDOPTERA: PYRALIDAE) sex pheromone for improved attractiveness and greater specificity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum (Berg.) is recognized as an invasive species in the Caribbean, United States, and Mexico with potential to adversely impact native cactus population. Prior work using hexane extracts of sex glands showed that the sex pheromone of this species has 54% of (Z, E) -9.12 tetradecadi...

  7. Cytotoxicity of plants used in traditional medicine in Yemen.

    PubMed

    Al-Fatimi, M; Friedrich, U; Jenett-Siems, K

    2005-06-01

    Twenty-five extracts obtained from 14 plant species used in the traditional medicine in Yemen have been screened for cytotoxic activity against human ECV-304 cells. Extracts of Dracaena cinnabari, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Euclea divinorum, Euphorbia cactus, Pulicaria crispa, and Withania somnifera displayed a remarkable activity.

  8. Innexin AGAP001476 Is Critical for Mediating Anti-Plasmodium Responses in Anopheles Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Li, Michelle W. M.; Wang, Jiuling; Zhao, Yang O.; Fikrig, Erol

    2014-01-01

    The Toll and IMD pathways are known to be induced upon Plasmodium berghei and Plasmodium falciparum infection, respectively. It is unclear how Plasmodium or other pathogens in the blood meal and their invasion of the midgut epithelium would trigger the innate immune responses in immune cells, in particular hemocytes. Gap junctions, which can mediate both cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular communication, may participate in this signal transduction. This study examined whether innexins, gap junction proteins in insects, are involved in anti-Plasmodium responses in Anopheles gambiae. Inhibitor studies using carbenoxolone indicated that blocking innexons resulted in an increase in Plasmodium oocyst number and infection prevalence. This was accompanied by a decline in TEP1 levels in carbenoxolone-treated mosquitoes. Innexin AGAP001476 mRNA levels in midguts were induced during Plasmodium infection and a knockdown of AGAP001476, but not AGAP006241, caused an induction in oocyst number. Silencing AGAP001476 caused a concurrent increase in vitellogenin levels, a TEP1 inhibitor, in addition to a reduced level of TEP1-LRIM1-APL1C complex in hemolymph. Both vitellogenin and TEP1 are regulated by Cactus under the Toll pathway. Simultaneous knockdown of cactus and AGAP001476 failed to reverse the near refractoriness induced by the knockdown of cactus, suggesting that the AGAP001476-mediated anti-Plasmodium response is Cactus-dependent. These data demonstrate a critical role for innexin AGAP001476 in mediating innate immune responses against Plasmodium through Toll pathway in mosquitoes. PMID:25035430

  9. Trail following response of larval Cactoblastis cactorum to 2-acyl-1,3 cyclohexane diones

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The caterpillars of Cactoblastis cactorum secrete onto the surface of host cactuses droplets of an oily fluid that issues from the orifices of their paired mandibular glands. The fluid contains a series of 2-acyl-1,3 cyclohexane diones which, collectively, have been shown to elicit trail following ...

  10. Detection of Co-Infection of Notocactus leninghausii f. cristatus with Six Virus Species in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Park, Chung Hwa; Song, Eun Gyeong; Ryu, Ki Hyun

    2018-01-01

    Co-infection with two virus species was previously reported in some cactus plants. Here, we showed that Notocactus leninghausii f. cristatus can be co-infected with six different viruses: cactus mild mottle virus (CMMoV)-Nl, cactus virus X (CVX)-Nl, pitaya virus X (PiVX)-Nl, rattail cactus necrosis-associated virus (RCNaV)-Nl, schlumbergera virus X (SchVX)-Nl, and zygocactus virus X (ZyVX)-Nl. The coat protein sequences of these viruses were compared with those of previously reported viruses. CMMoV-Nl, CVX-Nl, PiVX-Nl, RCNaV-Nl, SchVX-Nl, and ZyVX-Nl showed the greatest nucleotide sequence homology to CMMoV-Kr (99.8% identity, GenBank accession NC_011803), CVX-Jeju (77.5% identity, GenBank accession LC12841), PiVX-P37 (98.4% identity, GenBank accession NC_024458), RCNaV (99.4% identity, GenBank accession NC_016442), SchVX-K11 (95.7% identity, GenBank accession NC_011659), and ZyVX-B1 (97.9% identity, GenBank accession NC_006059), respectively. This study is the first report of co-infection with six virus species in N. leninghausii f. cristatus in South Korea. PMID:29422789

  11. UNDERSTANDING THE FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE GEOGRAPHICAL EXPANSION OF CACTOBLASTIS CACTORUM IN NON-NATIVE HABITATS

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Cactoblastis cactorum is renowned for its role as a highly successful biological control agent for weedy Opuntia cactus, but more recently it is notorious as an invasive pest in North America. Interestingly, historical accounts of the geographical expansion of C. cactorum when deployed as a biologi...

  12. Cytogenetic Evidence for a Complex of Species within the Taxon Anopheles maculatus (Diptera: Culicidae)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1985-01-01

    condition . Both Y, and Y, are associated with species B and forms E and F; however, they show geographic variation. Chromosome Y, does not occur (or is...Heterochromatin and karyotypic differentiation of some Neotropical cactus-breeding species of the Drosophila replctu group. Genetica 60: 81-92

  13. 7 CFR 301.55-7 - Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. 301.55-7 Section 301.55-7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND... Cactus Moth § 301.55-7 Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. (a) Any person (other than a person...

  14. 7 CFR 301.55-7 - Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. 301.55-7 Section 301.55-7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND... Cactus Moth § 301.55-7 Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. (a) Any person (other than a person...

  15. 7 CFR 301.55-7 - Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. 301.55-7 Section 301.55-7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND... Cactus Moth § 301.55-7 Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. (a) Any person (other than a person...

  16. 7 CFR 301.55-7 - Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. 301.55-7 Section 301.55-7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND... Cactus Moth § 301.55-7 Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. (a) Any person (other than a person...

  17. 7 CFR 301.55-7 - Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. 301.55-7 Section 301.55-7 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL AND... Cactus Moth § 301.55-7 Assembly and inspection of regulated articles. (a) Any person (other than a person...

  18. Biofilm formation and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella spp. isolated from nopal stems and water and soil samples

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Nopal is a native cactus specie [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) MILL (Cactaceae)] of appreciable economic importance in Mexico. This plant or its by-products are typically ingested fresh as a salad or processed into juice or yogurt, but it can also be used as a dietary supplement or be formulated into co...

  19. Characterization of Salmonella spp. from nopal leaves and associated soil and water samples in Morelos, Mexico

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Introduction: Nopal is a native cactus specie [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) MILL (Cactaceae)] of great economic importance in Mexico. It is grown in open fields and subsequently ingested fresh as a salad or processed as a juice or yogurt, but it may also be used as a dietary supplement and/or for cosme...

  20. Contemporaneous and recent radiations of the world's major succulent plant lineages

    PubMed Central

    Arakaki, Mónica; Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Nyffeler, Reto; Lendel, Anita; Eggli, Urs; Ogburn, R. Matthew; Spriggs, Elizabeth; Moore, Michael J.; Edwards, Erika J.

    2011-01-01

    The cacti are one of the most celebrated radiations of succulent plants. There has been much speculation about their age, but progress in dating cactus origins has been hindered by the lack of fossil data for cacti or their close relatives. Using a hybrid phylogenomic approach, we estimated that the cactus lineage diverged from its closest relatives ≈35 million years ago (Ma). However, major diversification events in cacti were more recent, with most species-rich clades originating in the late Miocene, ≈10–5 Ma. Diversification rates of several cactus lineages rival other estimates of extremely rapid speciation in plants. Major cactus radiations were contemporaneous with those of South African ice plants and North American agaves, revealing a simultaneous diversification of several of the world's major succulent plant lineages across multiple continents. This short geological time period also harbored the majority of origins of C4 photosynthesis and the global rise of C4 grasslands. A global expansion of arid environments during this time could have provided new ecological opportunity for both succulent and C4 plant syndromes. Alternatively, recent work has identified a substantial decline in atmospheric CO2 ≈15–8 Ma, which would have strongly favored C4 evolution and expansion of C4-dominated grasslands. Lowered atmospheric CO2 would also substantially exacerbate plant water stress in marginally arid environments, providing preadapted succulent plants with a sharp advantage in a broader set of ecological conditions and promoting their rapid diversification across the landscape. PMID:21536881

  1. How specialised is bird pollination in the Cactaceae?

    PubMed

    Gorostiague, P; Ortega-Baes, P

    2016-01-01

    Many cactus species produce 'bird' flowers; however, the reproductive biology of the majority of these species has not been studied. Here, we report on a study of the pollination of two species from the Cleistocactus genus, cited as an ornithophilous genus, in the context of the different ways in which they are specialised to bird pollination. In addition, we re-evaluate the level of specialisation of previous studies of cacti with bird pollination and evaluate how common phenotypic specialisation to birds is in this family. Both Cleistocactus species exhibited ornithophilous floral traits. Cleistocactus baumannii was pollinated by hummingbirds, whereas Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus was pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. Pollination by birds has been recorded in 27 cactus species, many of which exhibit ornithophilous traits; however, they show generalised pollination systems with bees, bats or moths in addition to birds being their floral visitors. Of all cactus species, 27% have reddish flowers. This trait is associated with diurnal anthesis and a tubular shape. Phenotypic specialisation to bird pollination is recognised in many cactus species; however, it is not predictive of functional and ecological specialisation in this family. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  2. 7 CFR 301.55 - Restrictions on interstate movement of regulated articles.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 7 Agriculture 5 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Restrictions on interstate movement of regulated articles. 301.55 Section 301.55 Agriculture Regulations of the Department of Agriculture (Continued) ANIMAL... American Cactus Moth § 301.55 Restrictions on interstate movement of regulated articles. No person may move...

  3. First report of Beet western yellows virus infecting Epiphyllum spp

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Beet western yellow virus (BWYV) was identified from an orchid cactus (Epiphyllum spp.) hybrid without obvious symptoms by high-throughput sequencing. The nearly complete genomic sequence of 5,458 nucleotides of the virus was determined. The isolate has the highest nucleotide sequence identity (93%)...

  4. LITERARY SUPPORT TO THE VEGETABLE ORIGIN OF SHILAJIT

    PubMed Central

    Lal, V. K.; Panday, K. K.; Kapoor, M. L.

    1988-01-01

    Shilajit, exuding from the rocks of mountains has been proved to be basically derived from the latex of cactus like Euphorbia species. Therefore, in the present communication, an attempt has been made to provide similar information from the ayurvedic literatures. PMID:22557605

  5. Chain hexagonal cacti with the extremal eccentric distance sum.

    PubMed

    Qu, Hui; Yu, Guihai

    2014-01-01

    Eccentric distance sum (EDS), which can predict biological and physical properties, is a topological index based on the eccentricity of a graph. In this paper we characterize the chain hexagonal cactus with the minimal and the maximal eccentric distance sum among all chain hexagonal cacti of length n, respectively. Moreover, we present exact formulas for EDS of two types of hexagonal cacti.

  6. A Review of Botanical Characteristics, Traditional Usage, Chemical Components, Pharmacological Activities, and Safety of Pereskia bleo (Kunth) DC.

    PubMed

    Zareisedehizadeh, Sogand; Tan, Chay-Hoon; Koh, Hwee-Ling

    2014-01-01

    Pereskia bleo, a leafy cactus, is a medicinal plant native to West and South America and distributed in tropical and subtropical areas. It is traditionally used as a dietary vegetable, barrier hedge, water purifier, and insect repellant and for maintaining health, detoxification, prevention of cancer, and/or treatment of cancer, hypertension, diabetes, stomach ache, muscle pain, and inflammatory diseases such as dermatitis and rheumatism. The aim of this paper was to provide an up-to-date and comprehensive review of the botanical characteristics, traditional usage, phytochemistry, pharmacological activities, and safety of P. bleo. A literature search using MEDLINE (via PubMed), Science direct, Scopus and Google scholar and China Academic Journals Full-Text Database (CNKI) and available eBooks and books in the National University of Singapore libraries in English and Chinese was conducted. The following keywords were used: Pereskia bleo, Pereskia panamensis, Pereskia corrugata, Rhodocacus corrugatus, Rhodocacus bleo, Cactus panamensis, Cactus bleo, Spinach cactus, wax rose, Perescia, and Chinese rose. This review revealed the association between the traditional usage of P. bleo and reported pharmacological properties in the literature. Further investigation on the pharmacological properties and phytoconstituents of P. bleo is warranted to further exploit its potentials as a source of novel therapeutic agents or lead compounds.

  7. Rock-degrading endophytic bacteria in cacti

    Treesearch

    M. Esther Puente; Ching Y. Li; Yoav Bashan

    2009-01-01

    A plant-bacterium association of the cardon cactus (Pachycereus pringlei) and endophytic bacteria promotes establishment of seedlings and growth on igneous rocks without soil. These bacteria weather several rock types and minerals, unbind significant amounts of useful minerals for plants from the rocks, fix in vitro N2. produce...

  8. "Since You Asked": Remembering America's Veterans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatch, Barbara

    2010-01-01

    The Arizona Heritage Project began in 2003 when the Salt River Project (SRP) celebrated its centennial. This Arizona utility sponsored five student groups engaged in documenting Arizona history. Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek, Arizona--an old cowboy town about 20 miles north of Phoenix--was one of the recipients of a $3,000 grant to…

  9. Bioinspired one-dimensional materials for directional liquid transport.

    PubMed

    Ju, Jie; Zheng, Yongmei; Jiang, Lei

    2014-08-19

    One-dimensional materials (1D) capable of transporting liquid droplets directionally, such as spider silks and cactus spines, have recently been gathering scientists' attention due to their potential applications in microfluidics, textile dyeing, filtration, and smog removal. This remarkable property comes from the arrangement of the micro- and nanostructures on these organisms' surfaces, which have inspired chemists to develop methods to prepare surfaces with similar directional liquid transport ability. In this Account, we report our recent progress in understanding how this directional transport works, as well our advances in the design and fabrication of bioinspired 1D materials capable of transporting liquid droplets directionally. To begin, we first discuss some basic theories on droplet directional movement. Then, we discuss the mechanism of directional transport of water droplets on natural spider silks. Upon contact with water droplets, the spider silk undergoes what is known as a wet-rebuilt, which forms periodic spindle-knots and joints. We found that the resulting gradient of Laplace pressure and surface free energy between the spindle-knots and joints account for the cooperative driving forces to transport water droplets directionally. Next, we discuss the directional transport of water droplets on desert cactus. The integration of multilevel structures of the cactus and the resulting integration of multiple functions together allow the cactus spine to transport water droplets continuously from tip to base. Based on our studies of natural spider silks and cactus spines, we have prepared a series of artificial spider silks (A-SSs) and artificial cactus spines (A-CSs) with various methods. By changing the surface roughness and chemical compositions of the artificial spider silks' spindle-knots, or by introducing stimulus-responsive molecules, such as thermal-responsive and photoresponsive molecules, onto the spindle-knots, we can reversibly manipulate

  10. Branched ZnO wire structures for water collection inspired by cacti.

    PubMed

    Heng, Xin; Xiang, Mingming; Lu, Zhihui; Luo, Cheng

    2014-06-11

    In this work, motivated by an approach used in a cactus to collect fog, we have developed an artificial water-collection structure. This structure includes a large ZnO wire and an array of small ZnO wires that are branched on the large wire. All these wires have conical shapes, whose diameters gradually increase from the tip to the root of a wire. Accordingly, a water drop that is condensed on the tip of each wire is driven to the root by a capillary force induced by this diameter gradient. The lengths of stem and branched wires in the synthesized structures are in the orders of 1 mm and 100 μm, respectively. These dimensions are, respectively, comparable to and larger than their counterparts in the case of a cactus. Two groups of tests were conducted at relative humidity of 100% to compare the amounts of water collected by artificial and cactus structures within specific time durations of 2 and 35 s, respectively. The amount of water collected by either type of structures was in the order of 0.01 μL. However, on average, what has been collected by the artificial structures was 1.4-5.0 times more than that harvested by the cactus ones. We further examined the mechanism that a cactus used to absorb a collected water drop into its stem. On the basis of the gained understanding, we developed a setup to successfully collect about 6 μL of water within 30 min.

  11. Large-Scale Optimization for Bayesian Inference in Complex Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Willcox, Karen; Marzouk, Youssef

    2013-11-12

    The SAGUARO (Scalable Algorithms for Groundwater Uncertainty Analysis and Robust Optimization) Project focused on the development of scalable numerical algorithms for large-scale Bayesian inversion in complex systems that capitalize on advances in large-scale simulation-based optimization and inversion methods. The project was a collaborative effort among MIT, the University of Texas at Austin, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Sandia National Laboratories. The research was directed in three complementary areas: efficient approximations of the Hessian operator, reductions in complexity of forward simulations via stochastic spectral approximations and model reduction, and employing large-scale optimization concepts to accelerate sampling. The MIT--Sandia component of themore » SAGUARO Project addressed the intractability of conventional sampling methods for large-scale statistical inverse problems by devising reduced-order models that are faithful to the full-order model over a wide range of parameter values; sampling then employs the reduced model rather than the full model, resulting in very large computational savings. Results indicate little effect on the computed posterior distribution. On the other hand, in the Texas--Georgia Tech component of the project, we retain the full-order model, but exploit inverse problem structure (adjoint-based gradients and partial Hessian information of the parameter-to-observation map) to implicitly extract lower dimensional information on the posterior distribution; this greatly speeds up sampling methods, so that fewer sampling points are needed. We can think of these two approaches as ``reduce then sample'' and ``sample then reduce.'' In fact, these two approaches are complementary, and can be used in conjunction with each other. Moreover, they both exploit deterministic inverse problem structure, in the form of adjoint-based gradient and Hessian information of the underlying parameter-to-observation map, to achieve

  12. Influence of the fiber from agro-industrial co-products as functional food ingredient on the acceptance, neophobia and sensory characteristics of cooked sausages.

    PubMed

    Díaz-Vela, Juan; Totosaus, Alfonso; Escalona-Buendía, Héctor B; Pérez-Chabela, M Lourdes

    2017-02-01

    The sensory analysis of new products is essential for subsequent acceptance by consumers, moreover in the functional food market. The acceptance and food neophobia of cooked sausages formulated with cactus pear fiber or pineapple pear fiber, as functional ingredient, was complemented with a sensory characterization by R-index and qualitative descriptive analysis (QDA). Female consumers aged between 40 and 50 years showed greater interest in the consumption of healthy foods, with a higher level of food neophobia towards pineapple fiber sausages. R-index for taste was higher in pineapple fiber samples. Cactus pear fiber samples presented higher R-index score for texture. In QDA, color, sweet, astringent and bitter flavors, pork meat smell and a firm and plastic texture were significant, with a good relationship (38%) between the evaluated attributes. Sensory attributes are important on the acceptance and neophobia of functional foods like cooked sausages with fruit peel fiber as functional ingredient.

  13. KSC-2009-1012

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-12-22

    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Morning light sculpts a cactus on the roadside at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge that includes salt-water estuaries, brackish marshes, hardwood hammocks and pine flatwoods. The diverse landscape provides habitat for more than 310 species of birds, 25 mammals, 117 fishes and 65 amphibians and reptiles. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

  14. Level of environmental threat posed by horticultural trade in Cactaceae.

    PubMed

    Novoa, Ana; Le Roux, Johannes J; Richardson, David M; Wilson, John R U

    2017-10-01

    Ornamental horticulture has been identified as an important threat to plant biodiversity and is a major pathway for plant invasions worldwide. In this context, the family Cactaceae is particularly challenging because it is considered the fifth most threatened large taxonomic group in the world; several species are among the most widespread and damaging invasive species; and Cactaceae is one of the most popular horticultural plant groups. Based on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna and the 11 largest online auction sites selling cacti, we documented the international cactus trade. To provide an in-depth look at the dynamics of the industry, we surveyed the businesses involved in the cactus trade in South Africa (a hotspot of cactus trade and invasions). We purchased seeds of every available species and used DNA barcoding to identify species to the genus level. Although <20% of this trade involved threatened species and <3% involved known invasive species, many species were identified by a common name. However, only 0.02% of the globally traded cacti were collected from wild populations. Despite a large commercial network, all South African imports (of which 15% and 1.5% were of species listed as threatened and invasive, respectively) came from the same source. With DNA barcoding, we identified 24% of the species to genus level. Based on our results, we believe that if trade restrictions are placed on the small proportion of cacti that are invasive and there is no major increase in harvesting of native populations, then the commercial trade in cactus poses a negligible environmental threat. However, there are currently no effective methods for easily identifying which cacti are traded, and both the illicit harvesting of cacti from the wild and the informal trade in invasive taxa pose on-going conservation challenges. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  15. Cultural Resource Reconnaissance of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Land Alongside Lake Sakakawea in Dunn County, North Dakota. Volume 1. Main Report

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-11-01

    and depth: Depression is 200cm in depth. Vegetation: Pasture/short grass. Depression full of chokecherries and trees. Ground surface visibility...Strata and depth: Unknown - likely 0-10cm. Vegetation: Dwarf juniper and chokecherry (Locus 1) and bunch grass and ball cactus (Locus 2). Ground surface...position: On the NE edge of a long, narrow ridge/erosional remnant or bluff. Site size: 6m2. Strata and depth: Unknown. Vegetation: Buckbrush, chokecherry

  16. VIEW OF BUILDING 440 LOOKING WEST, NORTHWEST. BUILDING 440, THE ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    VIEW OF BUILDING 440 LOOKING WEST, NORTHWEST. BUILDING 440, THE TRANSPORT MODIFICATION CENTER, CONSISTS OF FOUR HIGH-BAY CORRUGATED METAL STRUCTURES. BUILDING 440 WAS USED FOR PACKAGING AND STAGING SPECIAL NUCLEAR MATERIALS AND DEPLETED URANIUM FOR SHIPMENT AND TO MODIFY VEHICLES TO MEET SPECIFIC UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY REQUIREMENTS. (2/8/84) - Rocky Flats Plant, Transport Modification Center, North of Cactus Avenue, approximately 400 feet east of Third Street, Golden, Jefferson County, CO

  17. Structure–Function Relationships in Highly Modified Shoots of Cactaceae

    PubMed Central

    MAUSETH, JAMES D.

    2006-01-01

    • Background and Aims Cacti are extremely diverse structurally and ecologically, and so modified as to be intimidating to many biologists. Yet all have the same organization as most dicots, none differs fundamentally from Arabidopsis or other model plants. This review explains cactus shoot structure, discusses relationships between structure, ecology, development and evolution, and indicates areas where research on cacti is necessary to test general theories of morphogenesis. • Scope Cactus leaves are diverse; all cacti have foliage leaves; many intermediate stages in evolutionary reduction of leaves are still present; floral shoots often have large, complex leaves whereas vegetative shoots have microscopic leaves. Spines are modified bud scales, some secrete sugar as extra-floral nectaries. Many cacti have juvenile/adult phases in which the flowering adult phase (a cephalium) differs greatly from the juvenile; in some, one side of a shoot becomes adult, all other sides continue to grow as the juvenile phase. Flowers are inverted: the exterior of a cactus ‘flower’ is a hollow vegetative shoot with internodes, nodes, leaves and spines, whereas floral organs occur inside, with petals physically above stamens. Many cacti have cortical bundles vascularizing the cortex, however broad it evolves to be, thus keeping surface tissues alive. Great width results in great weight of weak parenchymatous shoots, correlated with reduced branching. Reduced numbers of shoot apices is compensated by great increases in number of meristematic cells within individual SAMs. Ribs and tubercles allow shoots to swell without tearing during wet seasons. Shoot epidermis and cortex cells live and function for decades then convert to cork cambium. Many modifications permit water storage within cactus wood itself, adjacent to vessels. PMID:16820405

  18. 40 CFR 180.628 - Chlorantraniliprole; tolerances for residues.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ..., subgroup 13-07B 2.5 Cacao bean 0.08 Cacao bean, chocolate 1.5 Cacao bean, cocoa powder 1.5 Cacao bean, roasted bean 0.8 Cactus 13 Canistel 4.0 Cattle, fat 0.5 Cattle, liver 0.3 Cattle, meat 0.1 Cattle, meat..., green bean 0.4 Coffee, instant 2.0 Corn, field, forage 14 Corn, field, grain 0.04 Corn, field, milled...

  19. 40 CFR 180.628 - Chlorantraniliprole; tolerances for residues.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ..., subgroup 13-07B 2.5 Cacao bean 0.08 Cacao bean, chocolate 1.5 Cacao bean, cocoa powder 1.5 Cacao bean, roasted bean 0.8 Cactus 13 Canistel 4.0 Cattle, fat 0.5 Cattle, meat 0.1 Cattle, meat byproducts 0.5 Cherimoya 4.0 Cherry, sweet 2.0 Cherry, tart 2.0 Citrus, dried pulp 14 Coffee, green bean 0.4 Coffee...

  20. 40 CFR 180.628 - Chlorantraniliprole; tolerances for residues.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ..., subgroup 13-07B 2.5 Cacao bean 0.08 Cacao bean, chocolate 1.5 Cacao bean, cocoa powder 1.5 Cacao bean, roasted bean 0.8 Cactus 13 Canistel 4.0 Cattle, fat 0.3 Cattle, liver 0.3 Cattle, meat 0.05 Cattle, meat..., green bean 0.4 Coffee, instant 2.0 Corn, field, forage 14 Corn, field, grain 0.04 Corn, field, milled...

  1. General Roy S. Geiger, USMC: Marine Aviator, Joint Force Commander

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    in a destroyed N-9 trainer.50 Geiger was attempting to land on Pensacola Bay , when a submarine surfaced at his intended point of landing... Corsairs , Hawks, Falcons, and SeaHawks, which replaced the WW I-vintage DH-4’s, out of which the Marine Corps had wrung every ounce of utility. Brown...CACTUS Air Force possessed a force of over 200 aircraft, including the formidable F4U Corsair , and the Japanese military had adopted a defensive

  2. A Statistical Study of CME Properties and of the Correlation Between Flares and CMEs over Solar Cycles 23 and 24

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Compagnino, A.; Romano, P.; Zuccarello, F.

    2017-01-01

    We investigated some properties of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), such as speed, acceleration, polar angle, angular width, and mass, using data acquired by the Large Angle Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) onboard the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) from 31 July 1997 to 31 March 2014, i.e. during the Solar Cycles 23 and 24. We used two CME catalogs: one provided by the Coordinated Data Analysis Workshops (CDAW) Data Center and one obtained by the Computer Aided CME Tracking software (CACTus) detection algorithm. For each dataset, we found that the number of CMEs observed during the peak of Cycle 24 was higher than or comparable to the number during Cycle 23, although the photospheric activity during Cycle 24 was weaker than during Cycle 23. Using the CMEs detected by CACTus, we noted that the number of events [N] is of the same order of magnitude during the peaks of the two cycles, but the peak of the CME distribution during Cycle 24 is more extended in time (N > 1500 during 2012 and 2013). We ascribe the discrepancy between the CDAW and CACTus results to the observer bias for CME definition in the CDAW catalog. We also used a dataset containing 19,811 flares of C-, M-, and X-class observed by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) during the same period. Using both datasets, we studied the relationship between the mass ejected by the CMEs and the flux emitted during the corresponding flares: we found 11,441 flares that were temporally correlated with CMEs for CDAW and 9120 for CACTus. Moreover, we found a log-linear relationship between the flux of the flares integrated from the start to end in the 0.1 - 0.8 nm range and the CME mass. We also found some differences in the mean CMEs velocity and acceleration between the events associated with flares and those that were not.

  3. Bioinspired conical copper wire with gradient wettability for continuous and efficient fog collection.

    PubMed

    Ju, Jie; Xiao, Kai; Yao, Xi; Bai, Hao; Jiang, Lei

    2013-11-06

    Inspired by the efficient fog collection on cactus spines, conical copper wires with gradient wettability are fabricated through gradient electrochemical corrosion and subsequent gradient chemical modification. These dual-gradient copper wires' fog-collection ability is demonstrated to be higher than that of conical copper wires with pure hydrophobic surfaces or pure hydrophilic surfaces, and the underlying mechanism is also analyzed. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Structure-function relationships in highly modified shoots of cactaceae.

    PubMed

    Mauseth, James D

    2006-11-01

    Cacti are extremely diverse structurally and ecologically, and so modified as to be intimidating to many biologists. Yet all have the same organization as most dicots, none differs fundamentally from Arabidopsis or other model plants. This review explains cactus shoot structure, discusses relationships between structure, ecology, development and evolution, and indicates areas where research on cacti is necessary to test general theories of morphogenesis. Cactus leaves are diverse; all cacti have foliage leaves; many intermediate stages in evolutionary reduction of leaves are still present; floral shoots often have large, complex leaves whereas vegetative shoots have microscopic leaves. Spines are modified bud scales, some secrete sugar as extra-floral nectaries. Many cacti have juvenile/adult phases in which the flowering adult phase (a cephalium) differs greatly from the juvenile; in some, one side of a shoot becomes adult, all other sides continue to grow as the juvenile phase. Flowers are inverted: the exterior of a cactus 'flower' is a hollow vegetative shoot with internodes, nodes, leaves and spines, whereas floral organs occur inside, with petals physically above stamens. Many cacti have cortical bundles vascularizing the cortex, however broad it evolves to be, thus keeping surface tissues alive. Great width results in great weight of weak parenchymatous shoots, correlated with reduced branching. Reduced numbers of shoot apices is compensated by great increases in number of meristematic cells within individual SAMs. Ribs and tubercles allow shoots to swell without tearing during wet seasons. Shoot epidermis and cortex cells live and function for decades then convert to cork cambium. Many modifications permit water storage within cactus wood itself, adjacent to vessels.

  5. Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for Airborne Laser Program at Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) and White Sands Missile Range/Holloman AFB, NM, and Edwards AFB and Vandenberg AFB, CA

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-06-01

    californicus- _" -~ T ~ - 1" T - E I T Coho salmon Unarmoured three- spined stickleback I Tidewater goby 1 Eucyclogobius n e w b e p i ,.I...ENDANGERED Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes)"" Northern aplomado falcon (Falcofemoralis septentrionalis) Kuenzler hedgehog cachls (Echi...Empidonax traillii ertimus) Kuenzler hedgehog cactus (Echinocer~.~rendleri var. kuenzleri) Todsen’s pennyroyal (Hedeoma fodsenii) Sacramento

  6. Evaluation of some biological parameters of Opuntia ficus indica. 1. Influence of a seed oil supplemented diet on rats.

    PubMed

    Ennouri, Monia; Fetoui, Hamadi; Bourret, Evelyne; Zeghal, Najiba; Attia, Hamadi

    2006-08-01

    Cactus pear (Opuntia ficus indica) is native to Tunisia and the fruit is consumed exclusively as fresh fruit. The seed oil is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids but the nutritive value of the oil is unknown. The objective of our research was to determine the fatty acid content of cactus pear seed oil and to evaluate the effect of an oil supplemented diet on rats. The main fatty acids of prickly pear seed oil were C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C18:2 with an exceptional level of linoleic acid, up to 700 g kg(-1), and a total content of unsaturated fatty acids of 884.8 g kg(-1). Feed intake and body weight of rats were measured every two days during the nine weeks of treatment. Digestibility, feed conversion efficiency and protein efficiency ratio were determined. No difference in digestibility was noted for the oil enriched diet. The results indicated a significant decrease in serum glucose concentration (22%) over the control group. However, an increase in the concentration of glycogen was noted in liver and muscle. Blood cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol decreased in the treated group. High density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentration remained unaltered during the treatment. These findings support the nutritional value of cactus pear as a natural source of edible oil containing essential fatty acids and reinforce the possibility of cactus pear as a new crop for Tunisia especially in semi-arid regions, where conventional crops are difficult to establish.

  7. Delisting Process for Endangered Species and Relevance to Populations on Army Lands

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-10-01

    Tooth Cave spider Williamson County Commissioners Court 06-07-1993 Delist Negative (59 FR 11755) Uinta Basin hookless cactus National...distributed throughout the bottomlands and prairie woodlands of the lower Columbia, Willamette, and Umpqua River basins in Oregon and southern...proportion of plants that had been affected by OHVs was small primarily because drivers avoid vegetated basins due to the potential tire damage from woody

  8. Ecological Baseline, Fort Hood, Texas

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-08-01

    cedar eTm (Uiimus crassifolia), Texas ash (Fraxinus texansis), and Texas persimmon ( Diospyros texana). Conversely, the two predominant tree species...Ilex decidua), Mex- ican buckeye (Ungnadia spjeciosa), and Texas persimmon ( Diospyros texana). Vines included greenbrier (Smilax bona-nox) and white...Hedgehey Cactus (Echinocereus sp.) has been observed on Fort Hood. Due to the brief period of flowering for this genus , the individual species were not

  9. Equivalency of Galápagos giant tortoises used as ecological replacement species to restore ecosystem functions.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Elizabeth A; Gibbs, James P; Cayot, Linda J; Tapia, Washington

    2013-08-01

    Loss of key plant-animal interactions (e.g., disturbance, seed dispersal, and herbivory) due to extinctions of large herbivores has diminished ecosystem functioning nearly worldwide. Mitigating for the ecological consequences of large herbivore losses through the use of ecological replacements to fill extinct species' niches and thereby replicate missing ecological functions has been proposed. It is unknown how different morphologically and ecologically a replacement can be from the extinct species and still provide similar functions. We studied niche equivalency between 2 phenotypes of Galápagos giant tortoises (domed and saddlebacked) that were translocated to Pinta Island in the Galápagos Archipelago as ecological replacements for the extinct saddlebacked giant tortoise (Chelonoidis abingdonii). Thirty-nine adult, nonreproductive tortoises were introduced to Pinta Island in May 2010, and we observed tortoise resource use in relation to phenotype during the first year following release. Domed tortoises settled in higher, moister elevations than saddlebacked tortoises, which favored lower elevation arid zones. The areas where the tortoises settled are consistent with the ecological conditions each phenotype occupies in its native range. Saddlebacked tortoises selected areas with high densities of the arboreal prickly pear cactus (Opuntia galapageia) and mostly foraged on the cactus, which likely relied on the extinct saddlebacked Pinta tortoise for seed dispersal. In contrast, domed tortoises did not select areas with cactus and therefore would not provide the same seed-dispersal functions for the cactus as the introduced or the original, now extinct, saddlebacked tortoises. Interchangeability of extant megaherbivores as replacements for extinct forms therefore should be scrutinized given the lack of equivalency we observed in closely related forms of giant tortoises. Our results also demonstrate the value of trial introductions of sterilized individuals to test

  10. ESTCP Pilot Project Wide Area Assessment for Munitions Response

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-07-01

    Data A broadband normalized difference vegetation index ( NDVI ) was computed from the high- resolution spectral data to provide a detection of canopy...chlorophyll content. The NDVI strongly correlates with the green yucca, cactus, juniper, and other SAR-responsive vegetation species on the site...Vegetation Index. NDVI is broadband normalized difference vegetation index computed from high resolution spectral data using (RED-NIR) / (RED +NIR) to

  11. Height distributions of two species of cacti in relation to rainfall, seedling establishment, and growth

    SciTech Connect

    Jordon, P.W.; Nobel, P.S.

    1982-01-01

    In three populations of Ferocactus acanthodes and two of Carnegiea gigantea, multiple discrete peaks in the height distribution were observed, suggesting that seedling establishment was intermittent. To identify periods of establishment, we determined the relationship between stem height and age for each site, based on observed growth rates in the field, gas-exchange data, and weather records. The average yearly growth for the globular F. acanthodes was relatively constant at about 9 mm yr/sup -1/, but for the club-shaped C. gigantea, it increased with age from 2 mm yr/sup -1/ in the first year to 44 mm yr/sup -1/ at 13more » yr. In years suitable for establishment, seedlings grow to sufficient size that stored water is not depleted by cuticular transpiration during the ensuing drought. The pattern of such suitable years over the last 3 decades correlated with the measured height distributions when the relation between stem height and age was considered. At a Sonoran Desert site, major peaks in the height distribution were centered at 0.05 m and 0.19 m, which corresponded to suitable conditions for establishment in 1976 and 1959, respectively. Rainfall records from various weather stations indicated that both species occurred where at least 10% of the years are suitable for seedling establishment.« less

  12. Morphology, surface temperatures, and northern limits of columnar cacti in the Sonoran Desert

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.

    1980-02-01

    Interspecific morphological differences and intraspecific morphological changes with latitude were evaluated to help examine the distributional ranges of Carnegiea gigantea, Lemaireocereus thurberi, Lophocereus schottii, Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum, and P. pringlei in the Sonoran Desert (US and Mexico). A computer model, which predicted the average surface temperature of the stem within 1/sup 0/C of that measured hourly throughout a 24-h period, was particularly useful in studying the thermal relations of the stem apex, where the lowest surface temperature occurred. Simulated increases in stem diameter raised the minimum apical temperature for C. gigantea and may help account for the extension of its rangemore » to higher latitudes than the other species studied. However, diameter increases led to a slight decrease in minimum apical temperatures for Lophocereus schottii. The immature stems of L. schottii are morphologically distinct from the mature stems, which caused minimum apical temperatures to be 1.6/sup 0/C lower for the immature stems under given environmental conditions; thus, freezing damage to the immature stems could limit the northward extension of the range of this species. As the apical pubescence in the simulations was increased up to the normal amount (10 mm), the minimum apical temperature for the stem of C. gigantea increased 2.4/sup 0/C. Simulated increases in spine shading of the apexalso raised the minimum apical temperatures, again indicating the influence of morphological features on the temperature of the meristematic region.« less

  13. Leaf and Stem CO2 Uptake in the Three Subfamilies of the Cactaceae 1

    PubMed Central

    Nobel, Park S.; Hartsock, Terry L.

    1986-01-01

    Net CO2 uptake over 24-hour periods was examined for the leaves and for the stems of 11 species of cacti representing all three subfamilies. For Pereskia aculeata, Pereskia grandifolia, and Maihuenia poeppigii (subfamily Pereskioideae), all the net shoot CO2 uptake was by the leaves and during the daytime. In contrast, for the leafless species Carnegiea gigantea, Ferocactus acanthodes, Coryphantha vivipara, and Mammillaria dioica (subfamily Cactoideae), all the shoot net CO2 uptake was by the stems and at night. Similarly, for leafless Opuntia ficus-indica (subfamily Opuntioideae), all net CO2 uptake occurred at night. For leafy members of the Opuntioideae (Pereskiopsis porteri, Quiabentia chacoensis, Austrocylindropuntia subulata), at least 88% of the shoot CO2 uptake over 24 hours was by the leaves and some CO2 uptake occurred at night. Leaves responded to the instantaneous level of photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) during the daytime, as occurs for C3 plants, whereas nocturnal CO2 uptake by stems of O. ficus-indica and F. acanthodes responded to the total daily PAR, as occurs for Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plants. Thus, under the well-watered conditions employed, the Pereskioideae behaved as C3 plants, the Cactoideae behaved as CAM plants, and the Opuntioideae exhibited characteristics of both pathways. PMID:16664741

  14. Demographic models reveal the shape of density dependence for a specialist insect herbivore on variable host plants.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X

    2007-07-01

    1. It is widely accepted that density-dependent processes play an important role in most natural populations. However, persistent challenges in our understanding of density-dependent population dynamics include evaluating the shape of the relationship between density and demographic rates (linear, concave, convex), and identifying extrinsic factors that can mediate this relationship. 2. I studied the population dynamics of the cactus bug Narnia pallidicornis on host plants (Opuntia imbricata) that varied naturally in relative reproductive effort (RRE, the proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction), an important plant quality trait. I manipulated per-plant cactus bug densities, quantified subsequent dynamics, and fit stage-structured models to the experimental data to ask if and how density influences demographic parameters. 3. In the field experiment, I found that populations with variable starting densities quickly converged upon similar growth trajectories. In the model-fitting analyses, the data strongly supported a model that defined the juvenile cactus bug retention parameter (joint probability of surviving and not dispersing) as a nonlinear decreasing function of density. The estimated shape of this relationship shifted from concave to convex with increasing host-plant RRE. 4. The results demonstrate that host-plant traits are critical sources of variation in the strength and shape of density dependence in insects, and highlight the utility of integrated experimental-theoretical approaches for identifying processes underlying patterns of change in natural populations.

  15. SciTech Connect

    El Kharrassi, Youssef; Laboratoire de Biochimie et Neurosciences, Faculté des Sciences et Techniques, Université Hassan I, BP 577, 26000 Settat; Samadi, Mohammad

    Highlights: • Sterol composition in argan oil and in cactus seed oil. • Chemical synthesis of two sterols: Schottenol and Spinasterol. • Sterols from argan oil or from cactus seed oil show no toxicity on BV2 cells. • Schottenol and Spinasterol modulate the activation and the expression of two nuclear receptors, LXRα and LXRβ. - Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the biological activities of the major phytosterols present in argan oil (AO) and in cactus seed oil (CSO) in BV2 microglial cells. Accordingly, we first determined the sterol composition of AO and CSO, showing the presencemore » of Schottenol and Spinasterol as major sterols in AO. While in CSO, in addition to these two sterols, we found mainly another sterol, the Sitosterol. The chemical synthesis of Schottenol and Spinasterol was performed. Our results showed that these two phytosterols, as well as sterol extracts from AO or CSO, are not toxic to microglial BV2 cells. However, treatments by these phytosterols impact the mitochondrial membrane potential. Furthermore, both Schottenol and Spinasterol can modulate the gene expression of two nuclear receptors, liver X receptor (LXR)-α and LXRβ, their target genes ABCA1 and ABCG1. Nonetheless, only Schottenol exhibited a differential activation vis-à-vis the nuclear receptor LXRβ. Thus Schottenol and Spinasterol can be considered as new LXR agonists, which may play protective roles by the modulation of cholesterol metabolism.« less

  16. Seasonal reliance on nectar by an insectivorous bat revealed by stable isotopes.

    PubMed

    Frick, Winifred F; Shipley, J Ryan; Kelly, Jeffrey F; Heady, Paul A; Kay, Kathleen M

    2014-01-01

    Many animals have seasonally plastic diets to take advantage of seasonally abundant plant resources, such as fruit or nectar. Switches from insectivorous diets that are protein rich to fruits or nectar that are carbohydrate rich present physiological challenges, but are routinely done by insectivorous songbirds during migration. In contrast, insectivorous bat species are not known to switch diets to consume fruit or nectar. Here, we use carbon stable isotope ratios to establish the first known case of a temperate bat species consuming substantial quantities of nectar during spring. We show that pallid bats (Antrozous pallidus) switch from a diet indistinguishable from that of sympatric insectivorous bat species in winter (when no cactus nectar is present) to a diet intermediate between those of insectivorous bats and nectarivorous bats during the spring bloom of a bat-adapted cactus species. Combined with previous results that established that pallid bats are effective pollinators of the cardon cactus (Pachycereus pringlei), our results suggest that the interaction between pallid bats and cardon cacti represents the first-known plant-pollinator mutualism between a plant and a temperate bat. Diet plasticity in pallid bats raises questions about the degree of physiological adaptations of insectivorous bats for incorporation of carbohydrate-rich foods, such as nectar or fruit, into the diet.

  17. Toll Receptor-Mediated Hippo Signaling Controls Innate Immunity in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bo; Zheng, Yonggang; Yin, Feng; Yu, Jianzhong; Silverman, Neal; Pan, Duojia

    2016-01-28

    The Hippo signaling pathway functions through Yorkie to control tissue growth and homeostasis. How this pathway regulates non-developmental processes remains largely unexplored. Here, we report an essential role for Hippo signaling in innate immunity whereby Yorkie directly regulates the transcription of the Drosophila IκB homolog, Cactus, in Toll receptor-mediated antimicrobial response. Loss of Hippo pathway tumor suppressors or activation of Yorkie in fat bodies, the Drosophila immune organ, leads to elevated cactus mRNA levels, decreased expression of antimicrobial peptides, and vulnerability to infection by Gram-positive bacteria. Furthermore, Gram-positive bacteria acutely activate Hippo-Yorkie signaling in fat bodies via the Toll-Myd88-Pelle cascade through Pelle-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of the Cka subunit of the Hippo-inhibitory STRIPAK PP2A complex. Our studies elucidate a Toll-mediated Hippo signaling pathway in antimicrobial response, highlight the importance of regulating IκB/Cactus transcription in innate immunity, and identify Gram-positive bacteria as extracellular stimuli of Hippo signaling under physiological settings. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Characterizing the reproductive transcriptomic correlates of acute dehydration in males in the desert-adapted rodent, Peromyscus eremicus.

    PubMed

    Kordonowy, Lauren; MacManes, Matthew

    2017-06-23

    The understanding of genomic and physiological mechanisms related to how organisms living in extreme environments survive and reproduce is an outstanding question facing evolutionary and organismal biologists. One interesting example of adaptation is related to the survival of mammals in deserts, where extreme water limitation is common. Research on desert rodent adaptations has focused predominantly on adaptations related to surviving dehydration, while potential reproductive physiology adaptations for acute and chronic dehydration have been relatively neglected. This study aims to explore the reproductive consequences of acute dehydration by utilizing RNAseq data in the desert-specialized cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus). We exposed 22 male cactus mice to either acute dehydration or control (fully hydrated) treatment conditions, quasimapped testes-derived reads to a cactus mouse testes transcriptome, and then evaluated patterns of differential transcript and gene expression. Following statistical evaluation with multiple analytical pipelines, nine genes were consistently differentially expressed between the hydrated and dehydrated mice. We hypothesized that male cactus mice would exhibit minimal reproductive responses to dehydration; therefore, this low number of differentially expressed genes between treatments aligns with current perceptions of this species' extreme desert specialization. However, these differentially expressed genes include Insulin-like 3 (Insl3), a regulator of male fertility and testes descent, as well as the solute carriers Slc45a3 and Slc38a5, which are membrane transport proteins that may facilitate osmoregulation. These results suggest that in male cactus mice, acute dehydration may be linked to reproductive modulation via Insl3, but not through gene expression differences in the subset of other a priori tested reproductive hormones. Although water availability is a reproductive cue in desert-rodents exposed to chronic drought

  19. Low-temperature tolerance and cold hardening of cacti

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.

    Reduced uptake by the chlorenchyma cells of cacti of a stain (neutral red) was used as an indicator of low-temperature damage resulting from cooling stems in the laboratory. Necrosis set in a few degrees below the temperature at which the fraction of cells accumulating stain was reduced by 50%. Coryphantha vivipara, Opuntia polyacantha, and Pediocactus simpsonii, which range to over 300 m altitude in southern Wyoming, were quite cold tolerant. Relationships among tissue cold sensitivity, morphological features which protect the stems from low temperatures, and the occurrence of species in progressively colder regions were investigated. Differences in tissue cold sensitivitymore » accounted for the approx. = 600 m higher elevational limit of Coryphantha vivipara var. rosea compared to the morphologically similar var. deserti in southern Nevada. In contrast, morphological differences alone could adequately explain the relative northern limits of the columnar cacti Carnegiea gigantea vs Stenocereus gummosus and the barrel cacti Ferocactus acanthodes vs. F. wislizenii in the southwestern United States, as previously indicated using a computer model. Cold hardening in response to decreasing day/night air temperatures was observed for 10 species. A decrease from 50/sup 0//40/sup 0/ to 10/sup 0//0/sup 0/ lowered by 4/sup 0/ the temperature at which the fraction of the chlorenchyma cells taking up stain was reduced 50% for both D. rhodacantha and T. candicans, with a half-time for the shift of approx. = 3 d. The tolerance of subzero temperatures and the ability to cold harden allow cacti to range into regions with considerable wintertime freezing.« less

  20. Low temperature tolerance and cold hardening of cacti

    SciTech Connect

    Nobel, P.S.

    Reduced uptake by the chlorenchyma cells of cacti of a stain (neutral red) was used as an indicator of low-temperature damage resulting from cooling stems in the laboratory. Necrosis set in a few degrees below the temperature at which the fraction of cells accumulating stain was reduced by 50%. Coryphantha vivipara, Opuntia polyacantha, and Pediocactus simpsonii, which range to over 3000 m altitude in southern Wyoming, were quite cold tolerant (50% inhibition of staining occurred from -17/sup 0/ to -20/sup 0/C), while O. bigelovii and O. ramosissima, which are restricted to much warmer habitats, were not very cold tolerant (50%more » inhibition from -4/sup 0/ to -7/sup 0/). Relationships among tissue cold sensitivity, morphological features which protect the stems from low temperatures, and the occurrence of species in progressively colder regions were investigated. Differences in tissue cold sensitivity accounted for the =600 m higher elevational limit of Coryphantha vivipara var. rosea compared to the morphologically similar var. deserti in southern Nevada. In contrast, morphological differences alone could adequately explain the relative northern limits of the columnar cacti Carnegiea gigantea vs. Stenocereus gummosus and the barrel cacti Ferocactus acanthodes vs. F. wislizenii in the southwestern United States, as previously indicated using a computer model. Differences in both morphology and tissue cold sensitivity apparently influenced the relative northern ranges of Lophocereus schottii with respect to the other columnar cacti and F. covillei with respect to the other barrel cacti, as well as the relative elevational range of Denmoza rhodacantha with respect to Trichocereus candicans in northcentral Argentina. Cold hardening in response to decreasing day/night air temperatures was observed for 10 species.« less

  1. Demographic outcomes and ecosystem implications of giant tortoise reintroduction to Española Island, Galapagos.

    PubMed

    Gibbs, James P; Hunter, Elizabeth A; Shoemaker, Kevin T; Tapia, Washington H; Cayot, Linda J

    2014-01-01

    Restoration of extirpated species via captive breeding has typically relied on population viability as the primary criterion for evaluating success. This criterion is inadequate when species reintroduction is undertaken to restore ecological functions and interactions. Herein we report on the demographic and ecological outcomes of a five-decade-long population restoration program for a critically endangered species of "ecosystem engineer": the endemic Española giant Galapagos tortoise (Chelonoidis hoodensis). Our analysis of complementary datasets on tortoise demography and movement, tortoise-plant interactions and Española Island's vegetation history indicated that the repatriated tortoise population is secure from a strictly demographic perspective: about half of tortoises released on the island since 1975 were still alive in 2007, in situ reproduction is now significant, and future extinction risk is low with or without continued repatriation. Declining survival rates, somatic growth rates, and body condition of repatriates suggests, however, that resources for continued population growth are increasingly limited. Soil stable carbon isotope analyses indicated a pronounced shift toward woody plants in the recent history of the island's plant community, likely a legacy of changes in competitive relations between woody and herbaceous plants induced by now-eradicated feral goats and prolonged absence of tortoises. Woody plants are of concern because they block tortoise movement and hinder recruitment of cactus--a critical resource for tortoises. Tortoises restrict themselves to remnant cactus patches and areas of low woody plant density in the center of the island despite an apparent capacity to colonize a far greater range, likely because of a lack of cactus elsewhere on the island. We conclude that ecosystem-level criteria for success of species reintroduction efforts take much longer to achieve than population-level criteria; moreover, reinstatement of

  2. Variation in chromosome number and breeding systems: implications for diversification in Pachycereus pringlei (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; la Luz, José L León-de; León, Francisco J García-De; Cota-Sánchez, J Hugo

    2018-01-01

    Polyploidy, the possession of more than two sets of chromosomes, is a major biological process affecting plant evolution and diversification. In the Cactaceae, genome doubling has also been associated with reproductive isolation, changes in breeding systems, colonization ability, and speciation. Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson, 1885) Britton & Rose, 1909, is a columnar cactus that has long drawn the attention of ecologists, geneticists, and systematists due to its wide distribution range and remarkable assortment of breeding systems in the Mexican Sonoran Desert and the Baja California Peninsula (BCP). However, several important evolutionary questions, such as the distribution of chromosome numbers and whether the diploid condition is dominant over a potential polyploid condition driving the evolution and diversity in floral morphology and breeding systems in this cactus, are still unclear. In this study, we determined chromosome numbers in 11 localities encompassing virtually the entire geographic range of distribution of P. pringlei . Our data revealed the first diploid (2n = 22) count in this species restricted to the hermaphroditic populations of Catalana (ICA) and Cerralvo (ICE) Islands, whereas the tetraploid (2n = 44) condition is consistently distributed throughout the BCP and mainland Sonora populations distinguished by a non-hermaphroditic breeding system. These results validate a wider distribution of polyploid relative to diploid individuals and a shift in breeding systems coupled with polyploidisation. Considering that the diploid base number and hermaphroditism are the proposed ancestral conditions in Cactaceae, we suggest that ICE and ICA populations represent the relicts of a southern diploid ancestor from which both polyploidy and unisexuality evolved in mainland BCP, facilitating the northward expansion of this species. This cytogeographic distribution in conjunction with differences in floral attributes suggests the distinction of the diploid

  3. Variation in chromosome number and breeding systems: implications for diversification in Pachycereus pringlei (Cactaceae)

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-Flores, Carina; la Luz, José L. León-de; León, Francisco J. García-De; Cota-Sánchez, J. Hugo

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Polyploidy, the possession of more than two sets of chromosomes, is a major biological process affecting plant evolution and diversification. In the Cactaceae, genome doubling has also been associated with reproductive isolation, changes in breeding systems, colonization ability, and speciation. Pachycereus pringlei (S. Watson, 1885) Britton & Rose, 1909, is a columnar cactus that has long drawn the attention of ecologists, geneticists, and systematists due to its wide distribution range and remarkable assortment of breeding systems in the Mexican Sonoran Desert and the Baja California Peninsula (BCP). However, several important evolutionary questions, such as the distribution of chromosome numbers and whether the diploid condition is dominant over a potential polyploid condition driving the evolution and diversity in floral morphology and breeding systems in this cactus, are still unclear. In this study, we determined chromosome numbers in 11 localities encompassing virtually the entire geographic range of distribution of P. pringlei. Our data revealed the first diploid (2n = 22) count in this species restricted to the hermaphroditic populations of Catalana (ICA) and Cerralvo (ICE) Islands, whereas the tetraploid (2n = 44) condition is consistently distributed throughout the BCP and mainland Sonora populations distinguished by a non-hermaphroditic breeding system. These results validate a wider distribution of polyploid relative to diploid individuals and a shift in breeding systems coupled with polyploidisation. Considering that the diploid base number and hermaphroditism are the proposed ancestral conditions in Cactaceae, we suggest that ICE and ICA populations represent the relicts of a southern diploid ancestor from which both polyploidy and unisexuality evolved in mainland BCP, facilitating the northward expansion of this species. This cytogeographic distribution in conjunction with differences in floral attributes suggests the distinction of the

  4. Soil, vegetation, and seed bank of a Sonoran Desert ecosystem along an exotic plant (Pennisetum ciliare) treatment gradient.

    PubMed

    Abella, Scott R; Chiquoine, Lindsay P; Backer, Dana M

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1% median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70%) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93% relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93%) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  5. Evolution of the tRNALeu (UAA) Intron and Congruence of Genetic Markers in Lichen-Symbiotic Nostoc

    PubMed Central

    Kaasalainen, Ulla; Olsson, Sanna; Rikkinen, Jouko

    2015-01-01

    The group I intron interrupting the tRNALeu UAA gene (trnL) is present in most cyanobacterial genomes as well as in the plastids of many eukaryotic algae and all green plants. In lichen symbiotic Nostoc, the P6b stem-loop of trnL intron always involves one of two different repeat motifs, either Class I or Class II, both with unresolved evolutionary histories. Here we attempt to resolve the complex evolution of the two different trnL P6b region types. Our analysis indicates that the Class II repeat motif most likely appeared first and that independent and unidirectional shifts to the Class I motif have since taken place repeatedly. In addition, we compare our results with those obtained with other genetic markers and find strong evidence of recombination in the 16S rRNA gene, a marker widely used in phylogenetic studies on Bacteria. The congruence of the different genetic markers is successfully evaluated with the recently published software Saguaro, which has not previously been utilized in comparable studies. PMID:26098760

  6. Evolution of the tRNALeu (UAA) Intron and Congruence of Genetic Markers in Lichen-Symbiotic Nostoc.

    PubMed

    Kaasalainen, Ulla; Olsson, Sanna; Rikkinen, Jouko

    2015-01-01

    The group I intron interrupting the tRNALeu UAA gene (trnL) is present in most cyanobacterial genomes as well as in the plastids of many eukaryotic algae and all green plants. In lichen symbiotic Nostoc, the P6b stem-loop of trnL intron always involves one of two different repeat motifs, either Class I or Class II, both with unresolved evolutionary histories. Here we attempt to resolve the complex evolution of the two different trnL P6b region types. Our analysis indicates that the Class II repeat motif most likely appeared first and that independent and unidirectional shifts to the Class I motif have since taken place repeatedly. In addition, we compare our results with those obtained with other genetic markers and find strong evidence of recombination in the 16S rRNA gene, a marker widely used in phylogenetic studies on Bacteria. The congruence of the different genetic markers is successfully evaluated with the recently published software Saguaro, which has not previously been utilized in comparable studies.

  7. Benchmarking NNWSI flow and transport codes: COVE 1 results

    SciTech Connect

    Hayden, N.K.

    1985-06-01

    The code verification (COVE) activity of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project is the first step in certification of flow and transport codes used for NNWSI performance assessments of a geologic repository for disposing of high-level radioactive wastes. The goals of the COVE activity are (1) to demonstrate and compare the numerical accuracy and sensitivity of certain codes, (2) to identify and resolve problems in running typical NNWSI performance assessment calculations, and (3) to evaluate computer requirements for running the codes. This report describes the work done for COVE 1, the first step in benchmarking some of themore » codes. Isothermal calculations for the COVE 1 benchmarking have been completed using the hydrologic flow codes SAGUARO, TRUST, and GWVIP; the radionuclide transport codes FEMTRAN and TRUMP; and the coupled flow and transport code TRACR3D. This report presents the results of three cases of the benchmarking problem solved for COVE 1, a comparison of the results, questions raised regarding sensitivities to modeling techniques, and conclusions drawn regarding the status and numerical sensitivities of the codes. 30 refs.« less

  8. Soil, Vegetation, and Seed Bank of a Sonoran Desert Ecosystem Along an Exotic Plant ( Pennisetum ciliare) Treatment Gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abella, Scott R.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Backer, Dana M.

    2013-10-01

    Ecological conditions following removal of exotic plants are a key part of comprehensive environmental management strategies to combat exotic plant invasions. We examined ecological conditions following removal of the management-priority buffelgrass ( Pennisetum ciliare) in Saguaro National Park of the North American Sonoran Desert. We assessed soil, vegetation, and soil seed banks on seven buffelgrass site types: five different frequencies of buffelgrass herbicide plus hand removal treatments (ranging from 5 years of annual treatment to a single year of treatment), untreated sites, and non-invaded sites, with three replicates for each of the seven site types. The 22 measured soil properties (e.g., pH) differed little among sites. Regarding vegetation, buffelgrass cover was low (≤1 % median cover), or absent, across all treated sites but was high (10-70 %) in untreated sites. Native vegetation cover, diversity, and composition were indistinguishable across site types. Species composition was dominated by native species (>93 % relative cover) across all sites except untreated buffelgrass sites. Most (38 species, 93 %) of the 41 species detected in soil seed banks were native, and native seed density did not differ significantly across sites. Results suggest that: (1) buffelgrass cover was minimal across treated sites; (2) aside from high buffelgrass cover in untreated sites, ecological conditions were largely indistinguishable across sites; (3) soil seed banks harbored ≥12 species that were frequent in the aboveground vegetation; and (4) native species dominated post-treatment vegetation composition, and removing buffelgrass did not result in replacement by other exotic species.

  9. A study to explore the use of orbital remote sensing to determine native arid plant distribution. [Arizona Regional Ecological Test Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcginnies, W. G. (Principal Investigator); Lepley, L. K.; Haase, E. F.; Conn, J. S.; Musick, H. B.; Foster, K. E.

    1974-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. It is possible to determine, from ERTS imagery, native arid plant distribution. Using techniques of multispectral masking and extensive fieldwork, three native vegetation communities were defined and mapped in the Avra Valley study area. A map was made of the Yuma area with the aid of ground truth correlations between areas of desert pavement visible on ERTS images and unique vegetation types. With the exception of the Yuma soil-vegetation correlation phenomena, only very gross differentiations of desert vegetation communities can be made from ERTS data. Vegetation communities with obvious vegetation density differences such as saguaro-paloverde, creosote bush, and riparian vegetation can be separated on the Avra Valley imagery while more similar communities such as creosote bush and saltbush could not be differentiated. It is suggested that large differences in vegetation density are needed before the signatures of two different vegetation types can be differentiated on ERTS imagery. This is due to the relatively insignificant contribution of vegetation to the total radiometric signature of a given desert scene. Where more detailed information concerning the vegetation of arid regions is required, large scale imagery is appropriate.

  10. Using NASA Earth Observations to Assist the National Park Service in Assessing Snow Cover Distribution and Persistence Changes in the Sky Islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayat, F.; Barrow, C., III; Gonsoroski, E.; Dutta, S.; Lynn, T.; Harville, K.; Spruce, J.

    2017-12-01

    Saguaro National Park in southeastern Arizona occupies one of several unique mountain ranges known collectively as the Sky Islands or the Madrean Archipelago. The Sky Islands are biodiversity hotspots and host different ecosystems, ranging from arid deserts to temperate forests. Snowmelt provides a source of water during the dry season for various flora and fauna inhabiting the region. Climate change and its effect on snow cover is of growing concern by resource managers in this location. Currently, the National Park Service (NPS) monitors water presence via stream gauges, but a synoptic record of snow presence does not exist due to the remote and rugged topography of the region. As a result, it is difficult to study how climate change has affected water resources in the Sky Islands and what effect this has on wildlife and vegetation. This project used NASA Earth observations (e.g., Landsat data) and GIS technology to help the NPS in understanding the role of snow cover in the Sky Islands. Historical snow cover maps were compiled using a combination of snow detection indices to provide spatio-temporal information on snow presence and phenology. With a more complete understanding of snow cover trends in the park, the NPS can further analyze snow cover impacts to improve future land management decisions.

  11. Home range characteristics of Mexican Spotted Owls in the Rincon Mountains, Arizona

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Willey, David W.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    We studied a small isolated population of Mexican Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis lucida) from 1996–1997 in the Rincon Mountains of Saguaro National Park, southeastern Arizona, USA. All mixed-conifer and pine-oak forest patches in the park were surveyed for Spotted Owls, and we located, captured, and radio-tagged 10 adult birds representing five mated pairs. Using radio-telemetry, we examined owl home range characteristics, roost habitat, and monitored reproduction within these five territories. Breeding season (Mar–Sep) home range size for 10 adult owls (95% adaptive kernel isopleths) averaged 267 ha (±207 SD), and varied widely among owls (range 34–652 ha). Mean home range size for owl pairs was 478 ha (±417 ha SD), and ranged from 70–1,160 ha. Owls that produced young used smaller home ranges than owls that had no young. Six habitat variables differed significantly between roost and random sites, including: percent canopy cover, number of trees, number of vegetation layers, average height of trees, average diameter of trees, and tree basal area. Radio-marked owls remained in their territories following small prescribed management fires within those territories, exhibiting no proximate effects to the presence of prescribed fire.

  12. KSC-07pd1858

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2007-07-11

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- A blooming cactus takes the spotlight in a sandy area near Launch Pad 39A on the Kennedy Space Center. A broad variety of flora and fauna can be found on the grounds, which share a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Within the refuge, 1,045 plant species has been identified and more than 500 species of wildlife, including 330 species of birds, 117 fishes, 65 amphibians and reptiles and 31 mammals. Photo credit: NASA/Ken Thornsley

  13. Candida coquimbonensis sp. nov., a link between Australian and Nearctic/Neotropical Phaffomyces.

    PubMed

    Cardinali, Gianluigi; Antonielli, Livio; Corte, Laura; Roscini, Luca; Ganter, Philip F

    2012-12-01

    A novel species of ascomycetous yeast, Candida coquimbonensis sp. nov., from the necrotic tissue of cacti in Chile and Australia is described. C. coquimbonensis sp. nov. is closely related and phenotypically similar to Phaffomyces opuntiae. There is no overlap in the geographical distribution between C. coquimbonensis and any species in the Phaffomyces clade. However, this is the first member of the clade to be collected in both native (Chile) and non-native (Australia) cactus habitats. The type strain of C. coquimbonensis sp. nov. is TSU 00-206.4B(T) ( = CBS 12348(T) = USCFST 12-103(T)).

  14. Descriptions of therapeutic arthrocenthesis and of synovial fluid in a Nahuatl text from prehispanic Mexico.

    PubMed Central

    Alarcon-Segovia, D

    1980-01-01

    Paracelsus is considered to have been the first to record the viscid quality of the synovial fluid. However, his contemporary Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscan friar who came to Mexico shortly after the Spanish conquest, obtained from elderly Aztec Indians who spoke only Nahuatl the descriptions of therapeutic arthrocentesis and of the viscid nature of the synovial fluid. They compared the fluid from the knee joint to the viscid fluid from the leaves of the nopal cactus (Opuntia sp.). We here record their description and confirm the accuracy of their comparison. Images PMID:7416821

  15. Descriptions of therapeutic arthrocenthesis and of synovial fluid in a Nahuatl text from prehispanic Mexico.

    PubMed

    Alarcon-Segovia, D

    1980-06-01

    Paracelsus is considered to have been the first to record the viscid quality of the synovial fluid. However, his contemporary Bernardino de Sahagún, a Franciscan friar who came to Mexico shortly after the Spanish conquest, obtained from elderly Aztec Indians who spoke only Nahuatl the descriptions of therapeutic arthrocentesis and of the viscid nature of the synovial fluid. They compared the fluid from the knee joint to the viscid fluid from the leaves of the nopal cactus (Opuntia sp.). We here record their description and confirm the accuracy of their comparison.

  16. Gradio: Project proposal for satellite gradiometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balmino, G.; Barilier, F.; Bernard, A.; Bouzat, C.; Riviera, G.; Runavot, J.

    1981-01-01

    A gradiometric approach, rather than the more complicated satellite to satellite tracking, is proposed for studying anomalies in the gravitational fields of the Earth and, possibly, other telluric bodies. The first analyses of a gradiometer based on four of ONERA's CACTUS or SUPERCACTUS accelerometers are summarized. it is shown that the obstacles to achieving the required accuracy are not insuperable. The device will be carried in a 1000 kg lens shaped satellite in a heliosynchronous orbit 200 to 300 km in altitude. The first launching is planned for the end of 1987.

  17. Selection of a model of Earth's albedo radiation, practical calculation of its effect on the trajectory of a satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walch, J. J.

    1985-01-01

    Theoretical models of Earth's albedo radiation was proposed. By comparing disturbing accelerations computed from a model to those measured in flight with the CACTUS Accelerometer, modified according to the results. Computation of the satellite orbit perturbations from a model is very long because for each position of this satellite the fluxes coming from each elementary surface of the terrestrial portion visible from the satellite must be summed. The speed of computation is increased ten times without significant loss of accuracy thanks to a stocking of some intermediate results. Now it is possible to confront the orbit perturbations computed from the selected model with the measurements of these perturbations found with satellite as LAGEOS.

  18. Isolation, characterization, and cross-species amplification of polymorphic microsatellite markers for Pilosocereus machrisii (Cactaceae).

    PubMed

    Perez, Manolo F; Téo, Mariana F; Zappi, Daniela C; Taylor, Nigel P; Moraes, Evandro M

    2011-08-01

    Microsatellite primers were developed in Pilosocereus machrisii, a columnar cactus with a patchy distribution in eastern tropical South America, to assess its genetic diversity and population structure. Eleven microsatellite markers were developed, of which one was monomorphic among 51 individuals from two populations. The number of alleles per polymorphic locus ranged from two to eight, and the total number of alleles was 57. From the 11 isolated loci, nine were successfully amplified in the other four Pilosocereus species. The results showed that these markers will be useful for studies of genetic diversity, patterns of gene flow, and population genetic structure in P. machrisii, as well as across other congeneric species.

  19. Cellular behavior controlled by bio-inspired and geometry-tunable nanohairs.

    PubMed

    Heo, Chaejeong; Jeong, Chanho; Im, Hyeon Seong; Kim, Jong Uk; Woo, Juhyun; Lee, Ji Yeon; Park, Byeonghak; Suh, Minah; Kim, Tae-Il

    2017-11-23

    A cicada wing has a biocidal feature of rupturing the membrane of cells, while the cactus spine can transmit a water drop to the stem of the plant. Both of these properties have evolved from their respective unique structures. Here, we endeavor to develop geometry-controllable nanohairs that mimic the cicada's wing-like vertical hairs and the cactus spine-like stooped hairs, and to quantitatively characterize the cell migration behavior of the hairy structures. It was found that the neuroblastoma cells are highly sensitive to the variation of surfaces: flat, vertical, and stooped nanohairs (100 nm diameter and 900 nm height). The cells on the vertical hairs showed significantly decreased proliferation. It was found that the behavior of cells cultured on stooped nanohairs is strongly influenced by the direction of the stooped pattern of hairs when we quantitatively measured the migration of cells on flat, vertical, and stooped structures. However, the cells on the flat structures showed random movement and the cells on the vertical nanohairs restricted the nanohair movement. Cells on the stooped structure showed higher forward migration preference compared to that of the other structures. Furthermore, we found that these cellular behaviors on the different patterns of nanohairs were affected by intracellular actin flament change. Consistent with these results, the vertical and stooped structures can facilitate the control of cell viability and guide directional migration for biomedical applications such as organogenesis.

  20. Production of oil palm empty fruit bunch compost for ornamental plant cultivation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trisakti, B.; Mhardela, P.; Husaini, T.; Irvan; Daimon, H.

    2018-02-01

    The aim of this research was to produce the oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) compost for ornamental plant cultivation. EFB compost was produced by chopping fresh EFB into 1-3 cm pieces, inserting the pieces into basket composter (33 cm W × 28 cm L × 40 cm H), and adding activated liquid organic fertilizer (ALOF) until moisture content (MC) in the range of 55-65%. During composting, the compost pile was turned every 3 days and the MC was maintained at 55-65% range by adding the ALOF. The compost processed was then mixed with sand and rice husk with a ratio of 1:1:1; 1:3:1; 1:0:1 and was used as a potting medium for planting some valuable ornamental plants i.e. cactus (cactaceae), sansevieria, and anthurium. Composting was carried out for 40 days and the compost characteristic were pH 9.0; MC 52.59%; WHC 76%; CN ratio 12.15; N 1.96%; P 0.58%; and K 0.95%. The compost-sand-husk rice mixture can be used as a growing medium where the best ratio for cactus, sansevieria, and anthurium was 1:3:1; 1:1:1; and 1:0:1, respectively.

  1. Mean first passage time for random walk on dual structure of dendrimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ling; Guan, Jihong; Zhou, Shuigeng

    2014-12-01

    The random walk approach has recently been widely employed to study the relations between the underlying structure and dynamic of complex systems. The mean first-passage time (MFPT) for random walks is a key index to evaluate the transport efficiency in a given system. In this paper we study analytically the MFPT in a dual structure of dendrimer network, Husimi cactus, which has different application background and different structure (contains loops) from dendrimer. By making use of the iterative construction, we explicitly determine both the partial mean first-passage time (PMFT, the average of MFPTs to a given target) and the global mean first-passage time (GMFT, the average of MFPTs over all couples of nodes) on Husimi cactus. The obtained closed-form results show that PMFPT and EMFPT follow different scaling with the network order, suggesting that the target location has essential influence on the transport efficiency. Finally, the impact that loop structure could bring is analyzed and discussed.

  2. Herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction shape the life history of an iteroparous plant.

    PubMed

    Miller, Tom E X; Tenhumberg, Brigitte; Louda, Svata M

    2008-02-01

    Plant reproduction yields immediate fitness benefits but can be costly in terms of survival, growth, and future fecundity. Life-history theory posits that reproductive strategies are shaped by trade-offs between current and future fitness that result from these direct costs of reproduction. Plant reproduction may also incur indirect ecological costs if it increases susceptibility to herbivores. Yet ecological costs of reproduction have received little empirical attention and remain poorly integrated into life-history theory. Here, we provide evidence for herbivore-mediated ecological costs of reproduction, and we develop theory to examine how these costs influence plant life-history strategies. Field experiments with an iteroparous cactus (Opuntia imbricata) indicated that greater reproductive effort (proportion of meristems allocated to reproduction) led to greater attack by a cactus-feeding insect (Narnia pallidicornis) and that damage by this herbivore reduced reproductive success. A dynamic programming model predicted strongly divergent optimal reproductive strategies when ecological costs were included, compared with when these costs were ignored. Meristem allocation by cacti in the field matched the optimal strategy expected under ecological costs of reproduction. The results indicate that plant reproductive allocation can strongly influence the intensity of interactions with herbivores and that associated ecological costs can play an important selective role in the evolution of plant life histories.

  3. The form of sexual selection arising from male-male competition depends on the presence of females in the social environment.

    PubMed

    Procter, D S; Moore, A J; Miller, C W

    2012-05-01

    Sexual selection arises from social interactions, and if social environments vary so too should sexual selection. For example, male-male competition often occurs either in the presence or in the absence of females, and such changes in the social environment could affect the form and strength of sexual selection. Here we examine how the presence of a female influences selection arising from male-male competition in a leaf-footed cactus bug, Narnia femorata, which has a resource defence mating system. Males compete for territories on cacti because females lay eggs on the cactus plants. Females are not always present when this competition first occurs; however, the presence or absence of the female matters. We found that both the form and strength of selection on male traits, those traits that influenced success in intrasexual competition, depended on the social context. When a female was not present, male size and the area of the sexually dimorphic hind legs was only marginally important to winning a contest. However, males with larger overall size and leg area were more likely to win in the presence of a female. There was also positive quadratic selection on these traits when a female was present with both the largest and the smallest males winning. The implication is unexpected alternative strategies when females are present. Our results support the notion that sexual selection should be studied under all relevant social contexts. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2012 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  4. [Anesthesia in the Inca empire].

    PubMed

    Fairley, H Barrie

    2007-11-01

    The Incas had no written language and their chroniclers say little about their surgery and nothing about their methods for relieving the pain it caused. It is possible that they did have some form of anesthesia. Available plants that had central effects include maize (which they used in different ways to prepare an alcoholic beverage called chicha), Datura, espingo, tobacco, San Pedro cactus, and coca. The Incas used chicha to induce unconsciousness during minor surgical operations and it was still being used in those regions in the 19th century to perform female circumcision. Datura, espingo, tobacco, and San Pedro cactus can produce a deep trance and, in all probability, anesthesia. There is evidence that they used Datura as a total or partial anesthetic. The Incas chewed coca leaves with lime and swallowed the resulting juice, and this allowed them to work long hours without eating or drinking. Modern-day Peruvian Indians say that coca only numbs the mouth, though it was observed in the 19th century that coca leaves placed in wounds provided pain relief. It is possible that the Incas used chicha - probably in combination with another narcotic - to achieve the total or partial anesthesia needed for their surgery. A decoction of coca leaves may have been used as a topical anesthetic.

  5. Determination of free amino compounds in betalainic fruits and vegetables by gas chromatography with flame ionization and mass spectrometric detection.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Florian; Graneis, Stephan; Schreiter, Pat P-Y; Stintzing, Florian C; Carle, Reinhold

    2006-06-14

    Amino acids and amines are the precursors of betalains. Therefore, the profiles of free amino compounds in juices obtained from cactus pears [Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. cv. Bianca, cv. Gialla, and cv. Rossa], pitaya fruits [Selenicereus megalanthus (K. Schumann ex Vaupel) Moran, Hylocereus polyrhizus (Weber) Britton & Rose, and Hylocereus undatus (Haworth) Britton & Rose], and in extracts from differently colored Swiss chard [Beta vulgaris L. ssp. cicla (L.) Alef. cv. Bright Lights] petioles and red and yellow beets (B. vulgaris L. ssp. vulgaris var. conditiva Alef. cv. Burpee's Golden) were investigated for the first time. Amino compounds were derivatized with propyl chloroformate. While gas chromatography (GC) with mass spectrometry was used for peak assignment, GC flame ionization detection was applied for quantification of individual compounds. Whereas proline was the major free amino compound of cactus pear and pitaya fruit juices, glutamine dominated in Swiss chard stems and beets, respectively. Interestingly, extremely high concentrations of dopamine were detected in Swiss chard stems and beets. Furthermore, the cleavage of betaxanthins caused by derivatization in alkaline reaction solutions is demonstrated for the first time. Amino acids and amines thus released might increase the actual free amino compound contents of the respective sample. To evaluate the contribution of betaxanthin cleavage to total amino acid and amine concentration, isolated betaxanthins were derivatized according to the "EZ:faast" method prior to quantification of the respective amino compounds released. On a molar basis, betaxanthin contribution to overall amino compound contents was always below 6.4%.

  6. Review of natural products with hepatoprotective effects.

    PubMed

    Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo; Madrigal-Bujaidar, Eduardo; Álvarez-González, Isela; Sumaya-Martínez, María Teresa; Gutiérrez-Salinas, José; Bautista, Mirandeli; Morales-González, Ángel; García-Luna y González-Rubio, Manuel; Aguilar-Faisal, J Leopoldo; Morales-González, José A

    2014-10-28

    The liver is one of the most important organs in the body, performing a fundamental role in the regulation of diverse processes, among which the metabolism, secretion, storage, and detoxification of endogenous and exogenous substances are prominent. Due to these functions, hepatic diseases continue to be among the main threats to public health, and they remain problems throughout the world. Despite enormous advances in modern medicine, there are no completely effective drugs that stimulate hepatic function, that offer complete protection of the organ, or that help to regenerate hepatic cells. Thus, it is necessary to identify pharmaceutical alternatives for the treatment of liver diseases, with the aim of these alternatives being more effective and less toxic. The use of some plants and the consumption of different fruits have played basic roles in human health care, and diverse scientific investigations have indicated that, in those plants and fruits so identified, their beneficial effects can be attributed to the presence of chemical compounds that are called phytochemicals. The present review had as its objective the collecting of data based on research conducted into some fruits (grapefruit, cranberries, and grapes) and plants [cactus pear (nopal) and cactus pear fruit, chamomile, silymarin, and spirulina], which are consumed frequently by humans and which have demonstrated hepatoprotective capacity, as well as an analysis of a resin (propolis) and some phytochemicals extracted from fruits, plants, yeasts, and algae, which have been evaluated in different models of hepatotoxicity.

  7. The role of native flower visitors in pollinating Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., naturalized in Sicily

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo Verde, Gabriella; La Mantia, Tommaso

    2011-09-01

    The role of insects in pollination and consequently in fruit set and quality was assessed in two commercial orchards of the cactus pear, Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill., in Agrigento Province, Sicily. In 1997, insects visiting flowers were sampled during May-June (the first bloom) and July (the second bloom, induced by the "scozzolatura" practise). More than 50 insect species belonging to 10 orders were collected in May-June, while only five species of Hymenoptera Apoidea were collected in July. The quality of fruits arising from the second bloom showed that Hymenoptera alone were able to guarantee effective pollination. To verify the role of insects in pollination in 1996 (during only the second bloom), and in 1997 and 2009 (during both blooms), 60 single flowers were marked during each bloom; 30 of them covered with paper sleeves (which prevented natural pollination), while the others were not covered. After withering, fruits produced by marked flowers were analyzed in laboratory: in all years and blooms, the total number of seeds, the number of developed seeds, and the weight and the percentage of pulp were significantly lower for covered flowers than for non-covered flowers. The results are consistent with the hypothesis that native insects effectively carry out the pollination of cactus pear flowers.

  8. Studies on betaxanthin profiles of vegetables and fruits from the Chenopodiaceae and Cactaceae.

    PubMed

    Kugler, Florian; Graneis, Stephan; Stintzing, Florian C; Carle, Reinhold

    2007-01-01

    The present study provides an update on the betaxanthin (bx) compositions of red and yellow beetroots, yellow-coloured Swiss chard petioles, and yellow-orange cactus pear. Applying RP-HPLC coupled with positive ion electrospray mass spectrometry and by comparison with UV-vis and mass spectrometric characteristics as well as retention times of semi-synthesized reference compounds, 24 betaxanthins were identified in red and yellow beetroot hypocotyls. Twenty-five and thirteen betaxanthins were present in yellow Swiss chard petioles and the cactus pear cultivar 'Gialla', respectively. Ethanolamine-bx and threonine-bx were found to be novel betaxanthins in Chenopodiaceae representatives, which to the best of our knowledge have not been reported as genuine pigments so far. Furthermore, aspartic acid-bx (miraxanthin II), lysine-bx, and methionine-bx, hitherto found in other families, were identified in the Chenopodiaceae for the first time. Additionally, tyrosine-bx (portulacaxanthin II) and tryptophan-bx have not been earlier reported to occur in the Cactaceae. These findings provide valuable phytochemical information and may be useful for a better understanding of the functional properties of betaxanthins in plants.

  9. Biodegradation of polystyrene-graft-starch copolymers in three different types of soil.

    PubMed

    Nikolic, Vladimir; Velickovic, Sava; Popovic, Aleksandar

    2014-01-01

    Materials based on polystyrene and starch copolymers are used in food packaging, water pollution treatment, and textile industry, and their biodegradability is a desired characteristic. In order to examine the degradation patterns of modified, biodegradable derivates of polystyrene, which may keep its excellent technical features but be more environmentally friendly at the same time, polystyrene-graft-starch biomaterials obtained by emulsion polymerization in the presence of new type of initiator/activator pair (potassium persulfate/different amines) were subjected to 6-month biodegradation by burial method in three different types of commercially available soils: soil rich in humus and soil for cactus and orchid growing. Biodegradation was monitored by mass decrease, and the highest degradation rate was achieved in soil for cactus growing (81.30%). Statistical analysis proved that microorganisms in different soil samples have different ability of biodegradation, and there is a significant negative correlation between the share of polystyrene in copolymer and degree of biodegradation. Grafting of polystyrene on starch on one hand prevents complete degradation of starch that is present (with maximal percentage of degraded starch ranging from 55 to 93%), while on the other hand there is an upper limit of share of polystyrene in the copolymer (ranging from 37 to 77%) that is preventing biodegradation of degradable part of copolymers.

  10. Treatment of waste water by coagulation and flocculation using biomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muruganandam, L.; Saravana Kumar, M. P.; Jena, Amarjit; Gulla, Sudiv; Godhwani, Bhagesh

    2017-11-01

    The present study deals with the determination of physical and chemical parameters in the treatment process of waste water by flocculation and coagulation processes using natural coagulants and assessing their feasibility for water treatment by comparing the performance with each other and with a synthetic coagulant. Initial studies were done on the synthetic waste water to determine the optimal pH and dosage, the activity of natural coagulant, followed by the real effluent from tannery waste. The raw tannery effluent was bluish-black in colour, mildly basic in nature, with high COD 4000mg/l and turbidity in the range 700NTU, was diluted and dosed with organic coagulants, AloeVera, MoringaOleifera and Cactus (O.ficus-indica). The study observed that coagulant Moringa Oleifera of 15 mg/L dose at 6 pH gave the best reduction efficiencies for major physicochemical parameters followed by Aloe Vera and Cactus under identical conditions. The study reveals that the untreated tannery effluents can be treated with environmental confirmative naturally occurring coagulants.

  11. Review of natural products with hepatoprotective effects

    PubMed Central

    Madrigal-Santillán, Eduardo; Madrigal-Bujaidar, Eduardo; Álvarez-González, Isela; Sumaya-Martínez, María Teresa; Gutiérrez-Salinas, José; Bautista, Mirandeli; Morales-González, Ángel; García-Luna y González-Rubio, Manuel; Aguilar-Faisal, J Leopoldo; Morales-González, José A

    2014-01-01

    The liver is one of the most important organs in the body, performing a fundamental role in the regulation of diverse processes, among which the metabolism, secretion, storage, and detoxification of endogenous and exogenous substances are prominent. Due to these functions, hepatic diseases continue to be among the main threats to public health, and they remain problems throughout the world. Despite enormous advances in modern medicine, there are no completely effective drugs that stimulate hepatic function, that offer complete protection of the organ, or that help to regenerate hepatic cells. Thus, it is necessary to identify pharmaceutical alternatives for the treatment of liver diseases, with the aim of these alternatives being more effective and less toxic. The use of some plants and the consumption of different fruits have played basic roles in human health care, and diverse scientific investigations have indicated that, in those plants and fruits so identified, their beneficial effects can be attributed to the presence of chemical compounds that are called phytochemicals. The present review had as its objective the collecting of data based on research conducted into some fruits (grapefruit, cranberries, and grapes) and plants [cactus pear (nopal) and cactus pear fruit, chamomile, silymarin, and spirulina], which are consumed frequently by humans and which have demonstrated hepatoprotective capacity, as well as an analysis of a resin (propolis) and some phytochemicals extracted from fruits, plants, yeasts, and algae, which have been evaluated in different models of hepatotoxicity. PMID:25356040

  12. Knockdown of genes in the Toll pathway reveals new lethal RNA interference targets for insect pest control.

    PubMed

    Bingsohn, L; Knorr, E; Billion, A; Narva, K E; Vilcinskas, A

    2017-02-01

    RNA interference (RNAi) is a promising alternative strategy for ecologically friendly pest management. However, the identification of RNAi candidate genes is challenging owing to the absence of laboratory strains and the seasonality of most pest species. Tribolium castaneum is a well-established model, with a strong and robust RNAi response, which can be used as a high-throughput screening platform to identify potential RNAi target genes. Recently, the cactus gene was identified as a sensitive RNAi target for pest control. To explore whether the spectrum of promising RNAi targets can be expanded beyond those found by random large-scale screening, to encompass others identified using targeted knowledge-based approaches, we constructed a Cactus interaction network. We tested nine genes in this network and found that the delivery of double-stranded RNA corresponding to fusilli and cactin showed lethal effects. The silencing of cactin resulted in 100% lethality at every developmental stage from the larva to the adult. The knockdown of pelle, Dorsal-related immunity factor and short gastrulation reduced or even prevented egg hatching in the next generation. The combination of such targets with lethal and parental RNAi effects can now be tested against different pest species in field studies. © 2016 The Royal Entomological Society.

  13. Relaxation dynamics of multilayer triangular Husimi cacti

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galiceanu, Mircea; Jurjiu, Aurel

    2016-09-01

    We focus on the relaxation dynamics of multilayer polymer structures having, as underlying topology, the Husimi cactus. The relaxation dynamics of the multilayer structures is investigated in the framework of generalized Gaussian structures model using both Rouse and Zimm approaches. In the Rouse type-approach, we determine analytically the complete eigenvalues spectrum and based on it we calculate the mechanical relaxation moduli (storage and loss modulus) and the average monomer displacement. First, we monitor these physical quantities for structures with a fixed generation number and we increase the number of layers, such that the linear topology will smoothly come into play. Second, we keep constant the size of the structures, varying simultaneously two parameters: the generation number of the main layer, G, and the number of layers, c. This fact allows us to study in detail the crossover from a pure Husimi cactus behavior to a predominately linear chain behavior. The most interesting situation is found when the two limiting topologies cancel each other. For this case, we encounter in the intermediate frequency/time domain regions of constant slope for different values of the parameter set (G, c) and we show that the number of layers follows an exponential-law of G. In the Zimm-type approach, which includes the hydrodynamic interactions, the quantities that describe the mechanical relaxation dynamics do not show scaling behavior as in the Rouse model, except the limiting case, namely, a very high number of layers and low generation number.

  14. Deciphering life history transcriptomes in different environments

    PubMed Central

    Etges, William J.; Trotter, Meredith V.; de Oliveira, Cássia C.; Rajpurohit, Subhash; Gibbs, Allen G.; Tuljapurkar, Shripad

    2014-01-01

    We compared whole transcriptome variation in six preadult stages and seven adult female ages in two populations of cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis reared on two host plants in order to understand how differences in gene expression influence standing life history variation. We used Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) to identify dominant trajectories of life cycle gene expression variation, performed pair-wise comparisons of stage and age differences in gene expression across the life cycle, identified when genes exhibited maximum levels of life cycle gene expression, and assessed population and host cactus effects on gene expression. Life cycle SVD analysis returned four significant components of transcriptional variation, revealing functional enrichment of genes responsible for growth, metabolic function, sensory perception, neural function, translation and aging. Host cactus effects on female gene expression revealed population and stage specific differences, including significant host plant effects on larval metabolism and development, as well as adult neurotransmitter binding and courtship behavior gene expression levels. In 3 - 6 day old virgin females, significant up-regulation of genes associated with meiosis and oogenesis was accompanied by down-regulation of genes associated with somatic maintenance, evidence for a life history tradeoff. The transcriptome of D. mojavensis reared in natural environments throughout its life cycle revealed core developmental transitions and genome wide influences on life history variation in natural populations. PMID:25442828

  15. Co-sensitization of natural dyes for improved efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cell application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, K. Ashok; Subalakshmi, K.; Senthilselvan, J.

    2016-05-01

    In this paper, a new approach of co-sensitized DSSC based on natural dyes is investigated to explore the possible way to improve the power conversion efficiency. To realize this purpose 10 DSSC devices were fabricated using mono-sensitization and co-sensitization of ethanolic extracts of natural dye sensitizers obtained from Cactus fruit, Jambolana fruit, Curcumin and Bermuda grass. The optical absorption spectrum of the mono and hybrid dye extracts were studied by UV-Visible absorption spectrum. It shows the characteristic absorption peaks in visible region corresponds to the presence of natural pigments of anthocyanin, betacyanin and chlorophylls. Absorption spectrum of hybrid dyes reveals a wide absorption band in visible region with improved extinction co-efficient and it is favorable for increased light harvesting nature. The power conversion efficiency of DSSC devices were calculated using J-V curve and the maximum efficiency achieved in the present work is noted to be ~0.61% for Cactus-Bermuda co-sensitized DSSC.

  16. Kranc: a Mathematica package to generate numerical codes for tensorial evolution equations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husa, Sascha; Hinder, Ian; Lechner, Christiane

    2006-06-01

    We present a suite of Mathematica-based computer-algebra packages, termed "Kranc", which comprise a toolbox to convert certain (tensorial) systems of partial differential evolution equations to parallelized C or Fortran code for solving initial boundary value problems. Kranc can be used as a "rapid prototyping" system for physicists or mathematicians handling very complicated systems of partial differential equations, but through integration into the Cactus computational toolkit we can also produce efficient parallelized production codes. Our work is motivated by the field of numerical relativity, where Kranc is used as a research tool by the authors. In this paper we describe the design and implementation of both the Mathematica packages and the resulting code, we discuss some example applications, and provide results on the performance of an example numerical code for the Einstein equations. Program summaryTitle of program: Kranc Catalogue identifier: ADXS_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/ADXS_v1_0 Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University of Belfast, N. Ireland Distribution format: tar.gz Computer for which the program is designed and others on which it has been tested: General computers which run Mathematica (for code generation) and Cactus (for numerical simulations), tested under Linux Programming language used: Mathematica, C, Fortran 90 Memory required to execute with typical data: This depends on the number of variables and gridsize, the included ADM example requires 4308 KB Has the code been vectorized or parallelized: The code is parallelized based on the Cactus framework. Number of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 1 578 142 Number of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 11 711 Nature of physical problem: Solution of partial differential equations in three space dimensions, which are formulated as an initial value problem. In particular, the program is geared

  17. Proto-Typing Research Aimed for Secondary School Students and Teachers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, C. E.; Fersch, A.; Barringer, D.; Pompea, S. M.

    2011-12-01

    In workshops on GLOBE at Night, teacher professional development has begun on using night sky brightness data and bat telemetry data to do scientific research in the classroom. The study looks at the effects of light pollution on the flight paths of threatened and endangered (T&E) bats between their day roosts and night foraging areas. A jump-start in getting secondary school students involved was the BioBlitz event in Tucson, Arizona in October 2011. During the 24-hour event, night Sky Quality Meter (SQM) data was taken across the Saguaro National Park West, through Tucson and across the Saguaro National Park East. The program had its beginning with a pair of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students and their advisor. Through the collaboration of the National Science Foundation's REU program, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's GLOBE at Night program and the U.S. Arizona Game and Fish Department (AzGFD), two REU students along with their advisor used data from the GLOBE at Night project and telemetry tracking data of lesser long-nosed bats to study the effects of light pollution on the flight paths of the bats between their day roosts and night foraging areas around the city of Tucson, AZ. During the summer of 2010, the first REU student used the visual limiting magnitude data from GLOBE at Night and, with the assistance of the AzGFD, ran compositional analyses with respect to the bats' flight paths to determine whether the bats were selecting for or against flight through regions of particular night sky brightness levels. The bats selected for the regions in which the limiting sky magnitudes fell between the ranges of 2.8-3.0 to 3.6-3.8 and 4.4-4.6 to 5.0-5.2, suggesting that the lesser long-nosed bat can tolerate a fair degree of urbanization. Three areas of systematic uncertainty were identified of which 2 could be addressed the following summer. Due to a relatively large uncertainty in each individually measured visual limiting magnitude

  18. Plant Responses to Increased UV-B Radiation: A Research Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DAntoni, H. L.; Skiles, J. W.; Armstrong, R.; Coughlan, J.; Daleo, G.; Mayoral, A.; Lawless, James G. (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    Ozone decrease implies more ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation reaching the surface of the Earth. Increased UV-B radiation triggers responses by living organisms. Despite the large potential impacts on vegetation, little is known about UV-B effects on terrestrial ecosystems. Long-term ecological studies are needed to quantify the effects of increased UV radiation on terrestrial ecosystems, asses the risks, and produce reliable data for prediction. Screening pigments are part of one of the protective mechanism in plants. Higher concentrations of screening pigments in leaves may be interpreted as a response to increased UV radiation. If the screening effect is not sufficient, important molecules will be disturbed by incoming radiation. Thus, genetics, photosynthesis, growth, plant and leaf shape and size, and pollen grains may be affected. This will have an impact on ecosystem dynamics, structure and productivity. It is necessary to monitor selected terrestrial ecosystems to permit detection and interpretation of changes attributable to global climate change and depleted ozone shield. The objectives of this project are: (1) To identify and measure indicators of the effects of increased solar UV-B radiation on terrestrial plants; (2) to select indicators with the greatest responses to UV-B exposure; (3) to test, adapt or create ecosystem models that use the information gathered by this project for prediction and to enhance our understanding of the effects of increased UV-B radiation on terrestrial ecosystems. As a first step to achieve these objectives we propose a three-year study of forest and steppe vegetation on the North slope of the Brooks Range (within the Arctic circle, in Alaska), in the Saguaro National Monument (near Tucson, Arizona) and in the forests and steppes of Patagonia (Argentina). We selected (1) vegetation north of the Polar Circle because at 70N there is 8% risk of plant damage due to increased UV-B radiation; (2) the foothills of Catalina Mountains

  19. Final Report: Large-Scale Optimization for Bayesian Inference in Complex Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ghattas, Omar

    2013-10-15

    The SAGUARO (Scalable Algorithms for Groundwater Uncertainty Analysis and Robust Optimiza- tion) Project focuses on the development of scalable numerical algorithms for large-scale Bayesian inversion in complex systems that capitalize on advances in large-scale simulation-based optimiza- tion and inversion methods. Our research is directed in three complementary areas: efficient approximations of the Hessian operator, reductions in complexity of forward simulations via stochastic spectral approximations and model reduction, and employing large-scale optimization concepts to accelerate sampling. Our efforts are integrated in the context of a challenging testbed problem that considers subsurface reacting flow and transport. The MIT component of the SAGUAROmore » Project addresses the intractability of conventional sampling methods for large-scale statistical inverse problems by devising reduced-order models that are faithful to the full-order model over a wide range of parameter values; sampling then employs the reduced model rather than the full model, resulting in very large computational savings. Results indicate little effect on the computed posterior distribution. On the other hand, in the Texas-Georgia Tech component of the project, we retain the full-order model, but exploit inverse problem structure (adjoint-based gradients and partial Hessian information of the parameter-to- observation map) to implicitly extract lower dimensional information on the posterior distribution; this greatly speeds up sampling methods, so that fewer sampling points are needed. We can think of these two approaches as "reduce then sample" and "sample then reduce." In fact, these two approaches are complementary, and can be used in conjunction with each other. Moreover, they both exploit deterministic inverse problem structure, in the form of adjoint-based gradient and Hessian information of the underlying parameter-to-observation map, to achieve their speedups.« less

  20. Mapping presence and predicting phenological status of invasive buffelgrass in southern Arizona using MODIS, climate and citizen science observation data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Walker, Jessica; Skirvin, Susan M.; Patrick-Birdwell, Caroline; Weltzin, Jake F.; Raichle, Helen

    2016-01-01

    The increasing spread and abundance of an invasive perennial grass, buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare), represents a critical threat to the native vegetation communities of the Sonoran desert in southern Arizona, USA, where buffelgrass eradication is a high priority for resource managers. Herbicidal treatment of buffelgrass is most effective when the vegetation is actively growing, but the remoteness of infestations and the erratic timing and length of the species’ growth periods confound effective treatment. The goal of our research is to promote buffelgrass management by using remote sensing data to detect where the invasive plants are located and when they are photosynthetically active. We integrated citizen scientist observations of buffelgrass phenology in the Tucson, Arizona area with PRISM precipitation data, eight-day composites of 250-m Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite imagery, and aerially-mapped polygons of buffelgrass presence to understand dynamics and relationships between precipitation and the timing and amount of buffelgrass greenness from 2011 to 2013. Our results show that buffelgrass responds quickly to antecedent rainfall: in pixels containing buffelgrass, higher correlations (R2 > 0.5) typically occur after two cumulative eight-day periods of rain, whereas in pixels dominated by native vegetation, four prior 8-day periods are required to reach that threshold. Using the new suite of phenometrics introduced here—Climate Landscape Response metrics—we accurately predicted the location of 49% to 55% of buffelgrass patches in Saguaro National Park. These metrics and the suggested guidelines for their use can be employed by resource managers to treat buffelgrass during optimal time periods.

  1. Testicular lesions and antler abnormalities in Colorado, USA mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus): a possible role for epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus.

    PubMed

    Fox, Karen A; Diamond, Brandon; Sun, Feng; Clavijo, Alfonso; Sneed, Loyd; Kitchen, Donald N; Wolfe, Lisa L

    2015-01-01

    Antler abnormalities of deer and other cervids often result from testicular lesions and decreased levels of testosterone, inhibiting normal cycles of antler growth. Affected males have antlers with retained velvet, numerous short, misshapen points ("cactus bucks"), and failure to shed these abnormal antlers annually. In Colorado, US, we observed a high occurrence of "cactus bucks" in mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) populations after management efforts to increase the number of mature male deer in the state. Affected males consistently had antibody to epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotype 2 (EHDV-2), and examination of the testes of these animals demonstrated nonspecific end-stage lesions of chronic inflammation, fibrosis, and mineralization. To examine more acute stages of testicular lesions, and to screen for EHDV specifically within the testes, we sampled 16 male mule deer from affected herds, but with essentially normal antlers (n = 14) or retained velvet only (n = 2). Testicular and epididymal lesions identified from these samples included necrotizing vasculitis (n = 2), hemorrhage (n = 6), edema (n = 2), seminiferous tubular necrosis (n = 5), orchitis (n = 5), epididymitis (n = 10), hypospermia (n = 6), and end-stage lesions of seminiferous tubular loss (n = 2), fibrosis (n = 2), and mineralization (n = 2). Each of the 16 cases was blindly scored on the basis of number of histologic lesions, with a median score of two. Five of seven (71%) testes that were PCR positive for EHDV had lesion scores above the median, whereas none of the nine (0%) EHDV PCR-negative testes had lesion scores above the median, suggesting an association between testicular lesions and detection of EHDV RNA in the testes (P = 0.003). Although the role of EHDV infection remains unconfirmed, the association between testicular and epididymal lesions and presence of EHDV RNA in the affected tissues suggests that cactus buck antlers

  2. Citizen Science and Open Data: a Model for Invasive Alien Plant Species in Kenya's Northern Rangelands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amirazodi, S.; Griffin, R.; Flores Cordova, A. I.; Ouko, E.; Omondi, S.; Mugo, R. M.; Farah, H.; Flores Cordova, A. I.; Adams, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    Invasive species in African savannas pose great threat to the native biodiversity and changes ecosystem functioning. In the forest sector, for instance Acacia species are important sources of fuel-wood, yet at the same time they have increased strain on water resources and shrunken forage spaces for both livestock and wildlife. In recently infested regions, invasive species can progress through the stages of introduction, establishment and dispersal to a full range. Currently there is much worldwide interest in predicting distributions of invasive species, and several organizations are faced with questions of whether and how to tackle such environmental challenges, or how to interpret predictions from the science community. Conservation practioners require mapped estimates of where species could persist in a given region, and this is associated to information about the biotope - i.e. the geographic location of the species' niche. The process of collecting species distribution data for identifying the potential distribution of the invasive species in the invaded ranges has become a challenge both in terms of resource and time allocation. This study highlights innovative approaches in crowdsourcing validation data in mapping and modelling invasive species (Acacia reficiens and Cactus) through involvement of the local communities. The general approach was to model the distribution of A. reficiens and Cactus (Opuntia Spp) using occurrence records from native range, then project the model into new regions to assess susceptibility to invasion using climatic and topographic environmental variables. The models performed better than random prediction (P < 0.05). The average testing omission rate varied from 11.3% to 14% for the two species. The average test AUC values for Acacia reficiens (0.97 ± 0.01) and Cactus (Opuntia Spp) (0.96 ± 0.02) were high showing the fitted models had high discriminative ability to differentiate suitable environments for invasive plant species

  3. The 2015 Summer Solstice Storm: One of the Major Geomagnetic Storms of Solar Cycle 24 Observed at Ground Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Augusto, C. R. A.; Navia, C. E.; de Oliveira, M. N.; Nepomuceno, A. A.; Raulin, J. P.; Tueros, E.; de Mendonça, R. R. S.; Fauth, A. C.; Vieira de Souza, H.; Kopenkin, V.; Sinzi, T.

    2018-05-01

    We report on the 22 - 23 June 2015 geomagnetic storm that occurred at the summer solstice. There have been fewer intense geomagnetic storms during the current solar cycle, Solar Cycle 24, than in the previous cycle. This situation changed after mid-June 2015, when one of the largest solar active regions (AR 12371) of Solar Cycle 24 that was located close to the central meridian, produced several coronal mass ejections (CMEs) associated with M-class flares. The impact of these CMEs on the Earth's magnetosphere resulted in a moderate to severe G4-class geomagnetic storm on 22 - 23 June 2015 and a G2 (moderate) geomagnetic storm on 24 June. The G4 solstice storm was the second largest (so far) geomagnetic storm of Cycle 24. We highlight the ground-level observations made with the New-Tupi, Muonca, and the CARPET El Leoncito cosmic-ray detectors that are located within the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) region. These observations are studied in correlation with data obtained by space-borne detectors (ACE, GOES, SDO, and SOHO) and other ground-based experiments. The CME designations are taken from the Computer Aided CME Tracking (CACTus) automated catalog. As expected, Forbush decreases (FD) associated with the passing CMEs were recorded by these detectors. We note a peculiar feature linked to a severe geomagnetic storm event. The 21 June 2015 CME 0091 (CACTus CME catalog number) was likely associated with the 22 June summer solstice FD event. The angular width of CME 0091 was very narrow and measured {˜} 56° degrees seen from Earth. In most cases, only CME halos and partial halos lead to severe geomagnetic storms. We perform a cross-check analysis of the FD events detected during the rise phase of Solar Cycle 24, the geomagnetic parameters, and the CACTus CME catalog. Our study suggests that narrow angular-width CMEs that erupt in a westward direction from the Sun-Earth line can lead to moderate and severe geomagnetic storms. We also report on the strong solar proton

  4. A character demonstrating the occurrence of mating in male Cactoblastis cactorum (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae)

    SciTech Connect

    Marti, O.G.; Carpenter, J.E.

    The reproductive system of adult male Cactoblastis cactorum, the cactus moth, was examined to determine whether the mating status of males could be ascertained. In unmated males, the posterior portion of the primary ductus ejaculatorius simplex is opaque yellow in color and contains many small football-shaped hyaline granules 3-5 x 5-10 {mu}m in size. In mated males, the posterior simplex is clear and contains no granules. The presence or absence of these characters was found to be highly reliable and should be of value in determining mating status in marked-recaptured males of this species in a sterile insect release programmore » directed against Cactoblastis. (author)« less

  5. Extraordinarily high spider densities on islands: flow of energy from the marine to terrestrial food webs and the absence of predation.

    PubMed Central

    Polis, G A; Hurd, S D

    1995-01-01

    Some islands in the Gulf of California support very high densities of spiders. Spider density is negatively correlated with island size; many small islands support 50-200 spiders per m3 of cactus. Energy for these spiders comes primarily from the ocean and not from in situ productivity by land plants. We explicitly connect the marine and terrestrial systems to show that insular food webs represent one endpoint of the marine web. We describe two conduits for marine energy entering these islands: shore drift and seabird colonies. Both conduits are related to island area, having a much stronger effect on smaller islands. This asymmetric effect helps to explain the exceptionally high spider densities on small islands. Although productivity sets the maximal potential densities, predation (by scorpions) limits realized spider abundance. Thus, prey availability and predation act in concert to set insular spider abundance. PMID:7753815

  6. 137,138,139La(n ,γ ) cross sections constrained with statistical decay properties of 138,139,140La nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kheswa, B. V.; Wiedeking, M.; Brown, J. A.; Larsen, A. C.; Goriely, S.; Guttormsen, M.; Bello Garrote, F. L.; Bernstein, L. A.; Bleuel, D. L.; Eriksen, T. K.; Giacoppo, F.; Görgen, A.; Goldblum, B. L.; Hagen, T. W.; Koehler, P. E.; Klintefjord, M.; Malatji, K. L.; Midtbø, J. E.; Nyhus, H. T.; Papka, P.; Renstrøm, T.; Rose, S. J.; Sahin, E.; Siem, S.; Tornyi, T. G.

    2017-04-01

    The nuclear level densities and γ -ray strength functions of 138,139,140La were measured using the 139La(3He,α ), 139La(3He,3He' ), and 139La(d ,p ) reactions. The particle-γ coincidences were recorded with the silicon particle telescope (SiRi) and NaI(Tl) (CACTUS) arrays. In the context of these experimental results, the low-energy enhancement in the A ˜140 region is discussed. The 137,138,139La (n ,γ ) cross sections were calculated at s - and p -process temperatures using the experimentally measured nuclear level densities and γ -ray strength functions. Good agreement is found between 139La(n ,γ ) calculated cross sections and previous measurements.

  7. High-Efficiency Fog Collector: Water Unidirectional Transport on Heterogeneous Rough Conical Wires.

    PubMed

    Xu, Ting; Lin, Yucai; Zhang, Miaoxin; Shi, Weiwei; Zheng, Yongmei

    2016-12-27

    An artificial periodic roughness-gradient conical copper wire (PCCW) can be fabricated by inspiration from cactus spines and wet spider silks. PCCW can harvest fog on periodic points of the conical surface from air and transports the drops for a long distance without external force, which is attributed to dynamic as-released energy generated from drop deformation in drop coalescence, in addition to both gradients of geometric curve (inducing Laplace pressure) and periodic roughness (inducing surface energy difference). It is found that the ability of fog collection can be related to various tilt-angle wires, thus a fog collector with an array system of PCCWs is further designed to achieve a continuous process of efficient water collection. As a result, the effect of water collection on PCCWs is better than previous results. These findings are significant to develop and design materials with water collection and water transport for promising application in fogwater systems to ease the water crisis.

  8. Volcanic Centers of the Northern McCullough Range, Southern Nevada USA: a View of Pre- Extensional Volcanism in the Colorado River Extensional Corridor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Honn, D. K.; Johnsen, R.; Smith, E. I.

    2007-05-01

    The northern McCullough Range, just south of Las Vegas, Nevada, is being developed by the US Bureau of Land Management as the Sloan Canyon National Conservation Area to preserve its natural history. Compared to adjacent ranges, the northern McCullough Range was relatively undeformed by Miocene extension in the Colorado River Extensional Corridor. Therefore, the well preserved volcanic centers within the McCullough Range provide an excellent opportunity to study pre-extensional volcanism. There are at least seven volcanic centers in the northern McCullough Range; this study focuses on the Cactus Hill, McCullough Wash, and Eldorado Valley Volcanoes in the central McCullough Range, and the Henderson Caldera in the northern McCullough Range. The Cactus Hill volcano is a 200 m thick section of flows and agglomerates that form a broad basalt-andesite cone, nearly 2 km in diameter. This cone is cut by two (2-3 m wide) basalt dikes and at least 8 dacite domes. Each of the domes is associated with a broad debris apron. The McCullough Wash volcano is composed of at least 6 dacite domes and carapace breccias that reflect periods of dome growth and collapse. The Eldorado Valley Volcano, another series of dacite domes and flows, is the source of a 250 m thick breccia unit (Eldorado Valley breccia). The breccia is a block and ash deposit (with beds up to 1.5 m thick) containing spectacular blocks (1 cm - 3 m in diameter) and bombs (10 cm - 6 m in diameter) that are interbedded with flows from the McCullough Wash and Cactus Hill volcanoes. Interbedding of dacite breccia of the Eldorado Valley Volcano with dacitic, andesitic and basaltic dome debris from the Cactus Hill volcano reflect coeval mafic and felsic volcanism. The Henderson caldera at the northern tip of the McCullough Range is formed by a arc of domes that erupted a series of biotite dacite flows. The caldera is also filled by domes and flows of hornblende andesite, ash-flow tuff and mesobreccia deposits. The tuff of

  9. Chromatin-bound IκBα regulates a subset of polycomb target genes in differentiation and cancer.

    PubMed

    Mulero, María Carmen; Ferres-Marco, Dolors; Islam, Abul; Margalef, Pol; Pecoraro, Matteo; Toll, Agustí; Drechsel, Nils; Charneco, Cristina; Davis, Shelly; Bellora, Nicolás; Gallardo, Fernando; López-Arribillaga, Erika; Asensio-Juan, Elena; Rodilla, Verónica; González, Jessica; Iglesias, Mar; Shih, Vincent; Mar Albà, M; Di Croce, Luciano; Hoffmann, Alexander; Miyamoto, Shigeki; Villà-Freixa, Jordi; López-Bigas, Nuria; Keyes, William M; Domínguez, María; Bigas, Anna; Espinosa, Lluís

    2013-08-12

    IκB proteins are the primary inhibitors of NF-κB. Here, we demonstrate that sumoylated and phosphorylated IκBα accumulates in the nucleus of keratinocytes and interacts with histones H2A and H4 at the regulatory region of HOX and IRX genes. Chromatin-bound IκBα modulates Polycomb recruitment and imparts their competence to be activated by TNFα. Mutations in the Drosophila IκBα gene cactus enhance the homeotic phenotype of Polycomb mutants, which is not counteracted by mutations in dorsal/NF-κB. Oncogenic transformation of keratinocytes results in cytoplasmic IκBα translocation associated with a massive activation of Hox. Accumulation of cytoplasmic IκBα was found in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) associated with IKK activation and HOX upregulation. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Chromatin-Bound IκBα Regulates a Subset of Polycomb Target Genes in Differentiation and Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mulero, María Carmen; Ferres-Marco, Dolors; Islam, Abul; Margalef, Pol; Pecoraro, Matteo; Toll, Agustí; Drechsel, Nils; Charneco, Cristina; Davis, Shelly; Bellora, Nicolás; Gallardo, Fernando; López-Arribillaga, Erika; Asensio-Juan, Elena; Rodilla, Verónica; González, Jessica; Iglesias, Mar; Shih, Vincent; Albà, M. Mar; Di Croce, Luciano; Hoffmann, Alexander; Miyamoto, Shigeki; Villà-Freixa, Jordi; López-Bigas, Nuria; Keyes, William M.; Domínguez, María; Bigas, Anna; Espinosa, Lluís

    2014-01-01

    Summary IκB proteins are the primary inhibitors of NF-κB. Here, we demonstrate that sumoylated and phosphorylated IκBα accumulates in the nucleus of keratinocytes and interacts with histones H2A and H4 at the regulatory region of HOX and IRX genes. Chromatin-bound IκBα modulates Polycomb recruitment and imparts their competence to be activated by TNFα. Mutations in the Drosophila IκBα gene cactus enhance the homeotic phenotype of Polycomb mutants, which is not counteracted by mutations in dorsal/NF-κB. Oncogenic transformation of keratinocytes results in cytoplasmic IκBα translocation associated with a massive activation of Hox. Accumulation of cytoplasmic IκBα was found in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) associated with IKK activation and HOX upregulation. PMID:23850221

  11. Determining average path length and average trapping time on generalized dual dendrimer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Ling; Guan, Jihong

    2015-03-01

    Dendrimer has wide number of important applications in various fields. In some cases during transport or diffusion process, it transforms into its dual structure named Husimi cactus. In this paper, we study the structure properties and trapping problem on a family of generalized dual dendrimer with arbitrary coordination numbers. We first calculate exactly the average path length (APL) of the networks. The APL increases logarithmically with the network size, indicating that the networks exhibit a small-world effect. Then we determine the average trapping time (ATT) of the trapping process in two cases, i.e., the trap placed on a central node and the trap is uniformly distributed in all the nodes of the network. In both case, we obtain explicit solutions of ATT and show how they vary with the networks size. Besides, we also discuss the influence of the coordination number on trapping efficiency.

  12. La 137 , 138 , 139 ( n , γ ) cross sections constrained with statistical decay properties of La 138 , 139 , 140 nuclei

    DOE PAGES

    Kheswa, B. V.; Wiedeking, M.; Brown, J. A.; ...

    2017-04-21

    The nuclear level densities and γ-ray strength functions of 138,139,140La were measured using the 139La( 3He,α), 139La( 3He,' 3He), and 139La(d,p) reactions. The particle-γ coincidences were recorded with the silicon particle telescope (SiRi) and NaI(Tl) (CACTUS) arrays. In the context of these experimental results, the low-energy enhancement in the A~140 region is discussed. The 137,138,139La(n,γ) cross sections were calculated at s- and p-process temperatures using the experimentally measured nuclear level densities and γ-ray strength functions. As a result, good agreement is found between 139La(n,γ) calculated cross sections and previous measurements.

  13. La 137 , 138 , 139 ( n , γ ) cross sections constrained with statistical decay properties of La 138 , 139 , 140 nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Kheswa, B. V.; Wiedeking, M.; Brown, J. A.

    The nuclear level densities and γ-ray strength functions of 138,139,140La were measured using the 139La( 3He,α), 139La( 3He,' 3He), and 139La(d,p) reactions. The particle-γ coincidences were recorded with the silicon particle telescope (SiRi) and NaI(Tl) (CACTUS) arrays. In the context of these experimental results, the low-energy enhancement in the A~140 region is discussed. The 137,138,139La(n,γ) cross sections were calculated at s- and p-process temperatures using the experimentally measured nuclear level densities and γ-ray strength functions. As a result, good agreement is found between 139La(n,γ) calculated cross sections and previous measurements.

  14. The protein kinase Pelle mediates feedback regulation in the Drosophila Toll signaling pathway.

    PubMed

    Towb, P; Bergmann, A; Wasserman, S A

    2001-12-01

    Dorsoventral polarity in the Drosophila embryo is established through a signal transduction cascade triggered in ventral and ventrolateral regions. Activation of a transmembrane receptor, Toll, leads to localized recruitment of the adaptor protein Tube and protein kinase Pelle. Signaling through these components directs degradation of the IkappaB-like inhibitor Cactus and nuclear translocation of the Rel protein Dorsal. Here we show through confocal immunofluorescence microscopy that Pelle functions to downregulate the signal-dependent relocalization of Tube. Inactivation of the Pelle kinase domain, or elimination of the Tube-Pelle interaction, dramatically increases Tube recruitment to the ventral plasma membrane in regions of active signaling. We also characterize a large collection of pelle alleles, identifying the molecular lesions in these alleles and their effects on Pelle autophosphorylation, Tube phosphorylation and Tube relocalization. Our results point to a mechanism operating to modulate the domain or duration of signaling downstream from Tube and Pelle.

  15. Fruits and vegetables dehydration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ita, A.; Flores, G.; Franco, F.

    2015-01-01

    Dehydration diagrams were determined by means of Differential Thermal Analysis, DTA, and Thermo Gravimetric Analysis, TGA, curves of several simultaneous fruits and vegetables, all under the same conditions. The greater mass loss is associated with water containing in the structure of the investigated materials at low temperature. In poblano chile water is lost in a single step. The banana shows a very sharply two stages, while jicama can be observed although with a little difficulty three stages. The major mass loss occurs in the poblano chile and the lower in banana. The velocity and temperature of dehydration vary within a small range for most materials investigated, except for banana and cactus how are very different.

  16. [Christmas from an allergist's perspective].

    PubMed

    Wedi, Bettina

    2016-12-01

    The customs and traditions associated with Christmas may result in allergic reactions to allergens that are typical for this period. On the one hand the rise in prevalence of allergic diseases has continued in the industrialized world for the last decades and allergies are regarded as widespread diseases. On the other hand the 21th century is a time of "allergy delusion". This review summarizes the facts about allergic reactions to Christmas typical decoration, food and behavior. Taken together, allergic reactions to Christmas tree, poinsettia, Christmas cactus, perfumed candles, Christmas typical food, common gifts like mobile phones and laptops, frankincense, myrrh and pollens have been described but in very rare instances. The chance to survive Christmas without allergic symptoms is high, particularly for non-atopics. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  17. By-products of Opuntia ficus-indica as a source of antioxidant dietary fiber.

    PubMed

    Bensadón, Sara; Hervert-Hernández, Deisy; Sáyago-Ayerdi, Sonia G; Goñi, Isabel

    2010-09-01

    Dietary fiber and bioactive compounds are widely used as functional ingredients in processed foods. The market in this field is competitive and the development of new types of quality ingredients for the food industry is on the rise. Opuntia ficus-indica (cactus pear) produces edible tender stems (cladodes) and fruits with a high nutritional value in terms of minerals, protein, dietary fiber and phytochemicals; however, around 20% of fresh weight of cladodes and 45% of fresh weight of fruits are by-products. The objective of this study was therefore to determine the nutritional value of by-products obtained from cladodes and fruits from two varieties of Opuntia ficus-indica, examining their dietary fiber and natural antioxidant compound contents in order to obtain quality ingredients for functional foods and increase the added value of these by-products.

  18. Potent virucidal effect of pheophorbide a and pyropheophorbide a on enveloped viruses.

    PubMed

    Bouslama, Lamjed; Hayashi, Kyoko; Lee, Jung-Bum; Ghorbel, Abdelwahed; Hayashi, Toshimitsu

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of ethanol and aqueous extracts from a stem of Opuntia ficus indica on replication of three kinds of viruses: two enveloped viruses [herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), influenza A virus (IFV-A)], and one non-enveloped virus [poliovirus type 1 (PV-1)]. Only ethanol extract from the cactus stem showed significant antiviral activity in vitro. Two chlorophyll derivatives, pheophorbide a and pyropheophorbide a, were isolated as active substances exhibiting potent virucidal effects on HSV-2 and IFV-A, but no activity against PV-1 was observed. These findings suggest that these active compounds might recognize specific glycoproteins of enveloped viruses, precluding their binding to host cell receptors and inhibiting viral infections.

  19. Severe acute dehydration in a desert rodent elicits a transcriptional response that effectively prevents kidney injury.

    PubMed

    MacManes, Matthew David

    2017-08-01

    Animals living in desert environments are forced to survive despite severe heat, intense solar radiation, and both acute and chronic dehydration. These animals have evolved phenotypes that effectively address these environmental stressors. To begin to understand the ways in which the desert-adapted rodent Peromyscus eremicus survives, reproductively mature adults were subjected to 72 h of water deprivation, during which they lost, on average, 23% of their body weight. The animals reacted via a series of changes in the kidney, which included modulating expression of genes responsible for reducing the rate of transcription and maintaining water and salt balance. Extracellular matrix turnover appeared to be decreased, and apoptosis was limited. In contrast to the canonical human response, serum creatinine and other biomarkers of kidney injury were not elevated, suggesting that changes in gene expression related to acute dehydration may effectively prohibit widespread kidney damage in the cactus mouse. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  20. The initial rise method extended to multiple trapping levels in thermoluminescent materials.

    PubMed

    Furetta, C; Guzmán, S; Ruiz, B; Cruz-Zaragoza, E

    2011-02-01

    The well known Initial Rise Method (IR) is commonly used to determine the activation energy when only one glow peak is presented and analysed in the phosphor materials. However, when the glow peak is more complex, a wide peak and some holders appear in the structure. The application of the Initial Rise Method is not valid because multiple trapping levels are considered and then the thermoluminescent analysis becomes difficult to perform. This paper shows the case of a complex glow curve structure as an example and shows that the calculation is also possible using the IR method. The aim of the paper is to extend the well known Initial Rise Method (IR) to the case of multiple trapping levels. The IR method is applied to minerals extracted from Nopal cactus and Oregano spices because the thermoluminescent glow curve's shape suggests a trap distribution instead of a single trapping level. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Study of TiO2 particles size, dyes, and catalyst to improve the performance of DSSC

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saehana, Sahrul; Darsikin, Muslimin

    2016-02-01

    This study reports effort to improve performance of solar cells by using various natural dyes in dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). We applied three kind of natural dye, i.e, black rice dye, cactus dye and dragon fruit dye. We found that performance of DSSC which employ black rice dye was higher than other natural dyes. It is because the wider spectrum wavelength of black rice dyes. Its performance also compared with rhutenium dye (N719). Effect of TiO2 particle to DSSC performance was also investigated. It was concluded that smaller TiO2 particle size will increase the performance of DSSC solar cells. It was because the smaller particle size (high surface area) will load more dye. In addition, we also demonstrated the use of graphite from lead pencil as counter electrode.

  2. Pitaya (Stenocereus spp. , cactaceae): An ancient and modern fruit crop of Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Pimienta-Barrios, E.; Nobel, P.S

    Pitayas from various species were an important edible fruit in semiarid lands of tropical and subtropical Mexico in ancient times. Recently, farmers have been cultivating plants selected from the wild, such as Stenocereus queretaroensis in the Sayula Basin of Jalisco. These cacti can flower and produce fruit before the onset of the summer rainy period. Their fruits have an attractively colored pulp (often dark red) with digestible seeds and without the nasty glochids found on cactus pears. The sugar content is 10 to 11%. The shelf life is only a few days, as the fruits tend to dehisce longitudinally. Pitayasmore » bring a competitive price in local markets, resulting in a substantial financial return with relatively low inputs of water, fertilizer, and pesticides.« less

  3. Osprey distribution, abundance, and status in western North America: III. The Baja California and Gulf of California population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Henny, C.J.; Anderson, D.W.

    1979-01-01

    -An estimated 810 ? 55 pairs (minimum estimate) of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) were nesting in the study area during our survey (24 March-l April 1977). Approximately 174 pairs nested along the Pacific side of Baja California, 255 pairs along the gulf side, 187 pairs on the Midriff Islands, and 194 pairs in coastal Sonora and Sinaloa. Most nested on cliffs adjacent to the sea (59%); some nested on cactus in flat terrain (26%). Seven per cent nested on the ground, three percent nested in mangroves and other trees in the southern portion of the study area,.and four percent nested on man-made structures. The extreme northwestern Baja California population that was extirpated early in this century has not recovered. However, several populations immediately to the south along the Pacific Coast now appear stationary. Pesticide residues in osprey eggs from Mexico were among the lowest reported for the species in North America.

  4. Epizootiology of arenaviral infections in the white-throated woodrat (Muridae: Sigmodontinae) and other woodrats in Arizona.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Ken D; Milazzo, Mary L; Keith, Josh; Bradley, Robert D; Fulhorst, Charles F

    2004-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to extend and refine our knowledge of the geographical distribution and natural host relationships of the arenaviruses associated with woodrats indigenous to Arizona. Antibody to a Tacaribe serocomplex virus was found in 112 of 1,250 white-throated woodrats, five of 208 Mexican woodrats, one of 114 Stephen's woodrats, and none of 862 other rodents captured at 51 sites in 10 counties in Arizona. Of the 112 antibody-positive white-throated woodrats, 109 (97.3%) were captured within extensive, dense patches of prickly pear cactus and cane cholla in three counties in mid-central Arizona. Analysis of the serological and zoographical data suggested that white-throated woodrats usually become infected early in life and that the distribution of antibody-positive white-throated woodrats in Arizona is not linked to a specific biome.

  5. Anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activity of whole extract and isolated indicaxanthin from Opuntia ficus-indica associated with re-activation of the onco-suppressor p16{sup INK4a} gene in human colorectal carcinoma (Caco-2) cells

    SciTech Connect

    Naselli, Flores; Tesoriere, Luisa; Caradonna, Fabio

    Highlights: • Cactus pear fruit extract and indicaxanthin cause apoptosis of colon cancer cells. • Indicaxanthin does not cause ROS formation, but affects epigenoma in Caco-2 cells. • Indicaxanthin reverses methylation of oncosuppressor p16{sup INK4a} gene in Caco-2 cells. • Indicaxanthin reactivates retinoblastoma in Caco-2 cells. • Bioavailable indicaxanthin may have chemopreventive activity in colon cancer. - Abstract: Phytochemicals may exert chemo-preventive effects on cells of the gastro-intestinal tract by modulating epigenome-regulated gene expression. The effect of the aqueous extract from the edible fruit of Opuntia ficus-indica (OFI extract), and of its betalain pigment indicaxanthin (Ind), on proliferation of humanmore » colon cancer Caco-2 cells has been investigated. Whole extract and Ind caused a dose-dependent apoptosis of proliferating cells at nutritionally relevant amounts, with IC{sub 50} 400 ± 25 mg fresh pulp equivalents/mL, and 115 ± 15 μM (n = 9), respectively, without toxicity for post-confluent differentiated cells. Ind accounted for ∼80% of the effect of the whole extract. Ind did not cause oxidative stress in proliferating Caco-2 cells. Epigenomic activity of Ind was evident as de-methylation of the tumor suppressor p16{sup INK4a} gene promoter, reactivation of the silenced mRNA expression and accumulation of p16{sup INK4a}, a major controller of cell cycle. As a consequence, decrease of hyper-phosphorylated, in favor of the hypo-phosphorylated retinoblastoma was observed, with unaltered level of the cycline-dependent kinase CDK4. Cell cycle showed arrest in the G2/M-phase. Dietary cactus pear fruit and Ind may have chemo-preventive potential in intestinal cells.« less

  6. Permeability of roads to movement of scrubland lizards and small mammals

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brehme, Cheryl S.; Tracey, Jeff A.; McClenaghan, Leroy R.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    A primary objective of road ecology is to understand and predict how roads affect connectivity of wildlife populations. Road avoidance behavior can fragment populations, whereas lack of road avoidance can result in high mortality due to wildlife-vehicle collisions. Many small animal species focus their activities to particular microhabitats within their larger habitat. We sought to assess how different types of roads affect the movement of small vertebrates and to explore whether responses to roads may be predictable on the basis of animal life history or microhabitat preferences preferences. We tracked the movements of fluorescently marked animals at 24 sites distributed among 3 road types: low-use dirt, low-use secondary paved, and rural 2-lane highway. Most data we collected were on the San Diego pocket mouse (Chaetodipus fallax), cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus), western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra), Dulzura kangaroo rat (Dipodomys simulans) (dirt, secondary paved), and deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) (highway only). San Diego pocket mice and cactus mice moved onto dirt roads but not onto a low-use paved road of similar width or onto the highway, indicating they avoidpaved road substrate. Both lizard species moved onto the dirt and secondary paved roads but avoided the rural 2-lane rural highway, indicating they may avoid noise, vibration, or visual disturbance from a steady flow of traffic. Kangaroo rats did not avoid the dirt or secondary paved roads. Overall, dirt and secondary roads were more permeable to species that prefer to forage or bask in open areas of their habitat, rather than under the cover of rocks or shrubs. However, all study species avoided the rural 2-lane highway. Our results suggest that microhabitat use preferences and road substrate help predict species responses to low-use roads,but roads with heavy traffic may deter movement of a much wider range of small animal

  7. The tale of the shrinking weapon: seasonal changes in nutrition affect weapon size and sexual dimorphism, but not contemporary evolution.

    PubMed

    Miller, C W; McDonald, G C; Moore, A J

    2016-11-01

    Sexually selected traits are often highly variable in size within populations due to their close link with the physical condition of individuals. Nutrition has a large impact on physical condition, and thus, any seasonal changes in nutritional quality are predicted to alter the average size of sexually selected traits as well as the degree of sexual dimorphism in populations. However, although traits affected by mate choice are well studied, we have a surprising lack of knowledge of how natural variation in nutrition affects the expression of sexually selected weapons and sexual dimorphism. Further, few studies explicitly test for differences in the heritability and mean-scaled evolvability of sexually selected traits across conditions. We studied Narnia femorata (Hemiptera: Coreidae), an insect where males use their hind legs as weapons and the femurs are enlarged, to understand the extent to which weapon expression, sexual dimorphism and evolvability change across the actual range of nutrition available in the wild. We found that insects raised on a poor diet (cactus without fruit) are nearly monomorphic, whereas those raised on a high-quality diet (cactus with ripe fruit) are distinctly sexually dimorphic via the expression of large hind leg weapons in males. Contrary to our expectations, we found little evidence of a potential for evolutionary change for any trait measured. Thus, although we show weapons are highly condition dependent, and changes in weapon expression and dimorphism could alter evolutionary dynamics, our populations are unlikely to experience further evolutionary changes under current conditions. © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology. Journal of Evolutionary Biology © 2016 European Society For Evolutionary Biology.

  8. Effects of temperature on transcriptome and cuticular hydrocarbon expression in ecologically differentiated populations of desert Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Etges, William J; de Oliveira, Cássia C; Rajpurohit, Subhash; Gibbs, Allen G

    2017-01-01

    We assessed the effects of temperature differences on gene expression using whole-transcriptome microarrays and cuticular hydrocarbon variation in populations of cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis . Four populations from Baja California and mainland Mexico and Arizona were each reared on two different host cacti, reared to sexual maturity on laboratory media, and adults were exposed for 12 hr to 15, 25, or 35°C. Temperature differences influenced the expression of 3,294 genes, while population differences and host plants affected >2,400 each in adult flies. Enriched, functionally related groups of genes whose expression changed at high temperatures included heat response genes, as well as genes affecting chromatin structure. Gene expression differences between mainland and peninsular populations included genes involved in metabolism of secondary compounds, mitochondrial activity, and tRNA synthases. Flies reared on the ancestral host plant, pitaya agria cactus, showed upregulation of genes involved in metabolism, while flies reared on organ pipe cactus had higher expression of DNA repair and chromatin remodeling genes. Population × environment (G × E) interactions had widespread effects on the transcriptome where population × temperature interactions affected the expression of >5,000 orthologs, and there were >4,000 orthologs that showed temperature × host plant interactions. Adults exposed to 35°C had lower amounts of most cuticular hydrocarbons than those exposed to 15 or 25°C, including abundant unsaturated alkadienes. For insects adapted to different host plants and climatic regimes, our results suggest that temperature shifts associated with climate change have large and significant effects on transcriptomes of genetically differentiated natural populations.

  9. Permeability of roads to movement of scrubland lizards and small mammals.

    PubMed

    Brehme, Cheryl S; Tracey, Jeff A; McClenaghan, Leroy R; Fisher, Robert N

    2013-08-01

    A primary objective of road ecology is to understand and predict how roads affect connectivity of wildlife populations. Road avoidance behavior can fragment populations, whereas lack of road avoidance can result in high mortality due to wildlife-vehicle collisions. Many small animal species focus their activities to particular microhabitats within their larger habitat. We sought to assess how different types of roads affect the movement of small vertebrates and to explore whether responses to roads may be predictable on the basis of animal life history or microhabitat preferences preferences. We tracked the movements of fluorescently marked animals at 24 sites distributed among 3 road types: low-use dirt, low-use secondary paved, and rural 2-lane highway. Most data we collected were on the San Diego pocket mouse (Chaetodipus fallax), cactus mouse (Peromyscus eremicus), western fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), orange-throated whiptail (Aspidoscelis hyperythra), Dulzura kangaroo rat (Dipodomys simulans) (dirt, secondary paved), and deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus) (highway only). San Diego pocket mice and cactus mice moved onto dirt roads but not onto a low-use paved road of similar width or onto the highway, indicating they avoid paved road substrate. Both lizard species moved onto the dirt and secondary paved roads but avoided the rural 2-lane rural highway, indicating they may avoid noise, vibration, or visual disturbance from a steady flow of traffic. Kangaroo rats did not avoid the dirt or secondary paved roads. Overall, dirt and secondary roads were more permeable to species that prefer to forage or bask in open areas of their habitat, rather than under the cover of rocks or shrubs. However, all study species avoided the rural 2-lane highway. Our results suggest that microhabitat use preferences and road substrate help predict species responses to low-use roads, but roads with heavy traffic may deter movement of a much wider range of small animal

  10. Validation of the CME Geomagnetic Forecast Alerts Under the COMESEP Alert System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumbović, Mateja; Srivastava, Nandita; Rao, Yamini K.; Vršnak, Bojan; Devos, Andy; Rodriguez, Luciano

    2017-08-01

    Under the European Union 7th Framework Programme (EU FP7) project Coronal Mass Ejections and Solar Energetic Particles (COMESEP, http://comesep.aeronomy.be), an automated space weather alert system has been developed to forecast solar energetic particles (SEP) and coronal mass ejection (CME) risk levels at Earth. The COMESEP alert system uses the automated detection tool called Computer Aided CME Tracking (CACTus) to detect potentially threatening CMEs, a drag-based model (DBM) to predict their arrival, and a CME geoeffectiveness tool (CGFT) to predict their geomagnetic impact. Whenever CACTus detects a halo or partial halo CME and issues an alert, the DBM calculates its arrival time at Earth and the CGFT calculates its geomagnetic risk level. The geomagnetic risk level is calculated based on an estimation of the CME arrival probability and its likely geoeffectiveness, as well as an estimate of the geomagnetic storm duration. We present the evaluation of the CME risk level forecast with the COMESEP alert system based on a study of geoeffective CMEs observed during 2014. The validation of the forecast tool is made by comparing the forecasts with observations. In addition, we test the success rate of the automatic forecasts (without human intervention) against the forecasts with human intervention using advanced versions of the DBM and CGFT (independent tools available at the Hvar Observatory website, http://oh.geof.unizg.hr). The results indicate that the success rate of the forecast in its current form is unacceptably low for a realistic operation system. Human intervention improves the forecast, but the false-alarm rate remains unacceptably high. We discuss these results and their implications for possible improvement of the COMESEP alert system.

  11. Sugarcane bagasse as exclusive roughage for dairy cows in smallholder livestock system.

    PubMed

    de Almeida, Gleidiana Amélia Pontes; de Andrade Ferreira, Marcelo; de Lima Silva, Janaina; Chagas, Juana Catarina Cariri; Véras, Antônia Sherlânea Chaves; de Barros, Leonardo José Assis; de Almeida, Gledson Luiz Pontes

    2018-03-01

    The study aimed to evaluate sugarcane bagasse as roughage in lactating cow on feed intake, digestibility, ingestive behavior, milk production and composition, and microbial protein synthesis. Ten Girolando cows at initial body weight of 450±25.6 kg and at 143.7±30.7 days in milk were assigned in two 5×5 Latin square designs. Five 21-day experimental periods were adopted (1° to 14-day: diets adaptation period; 15° to 21-day: data collection and sampling period). The diets consisted of four different levels of sugarcane bagasse (45%, 50%, 55%, and 60%) and a control diet, commonly adopted in the region, based on spineless cactus (25% sugarcane bagasse), formulated to meet 12 kg/d milk yield. The dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and total digestible nutrients intakes and DM and OM digestibilities observed for 45% and 50% bagasse inclusion were similar to control diet, while that 55% and 60% bagasse inclusion were lower. Cows fed control diet, and bagasse diets of 45%, and 50% levels had the nutritional requirements attended, that guaranteed 12 kg/d of milk yield. The crude protein intake and digestibility of cows fed 45%, 50%, and 55% of bagasse inclusion were similar to control diet. The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intake and digestibility differ for all bagasse diets related to control diet, while the non-fiber carbohydrates intake and digestibility for cows fed 45% of bagasse were similar for control diet. The intakes and digestibilities of nutrients decreased linearly in function of bagasse inclusion; NDF and indigestible NDF intakes did not vary. The ruminating time, feeding and rumination efficiency, microbial protein synthesis and milk yield decreased linearly with sugarcane bagasse inclusion. Sugarcane bagasse decreases milk production; however, its inclusion level in between 45% to 50% associated to concentrate could replace diets based on spineless cactus for crossbred dairy cow's producing 12 kg/d of milk.

  12. Sugarcane bagasse as exclusive roughage for dairy cows in smallholder livestock system

    PubMed Central

    2018-01-01

    Objective The study aimed to evaluate sugarcane bagasse as roughage in lactating cow on feed intake, digestibility, ingestive behavior, milk production and composition, and microbial protein synthesis. Methods Ten Girolando cows at initial body weight of 450±25.6 kg and at 143.7±30.7 days in milk were assigned in two 5×5 Latin square designs. Five 21-day experimental periods were adopted (1° to 14-day: diets adaptation period; 15° to 21-day: data collection and sampling period). The diets consisted of four different levels of sugarcane bagasse (45%, 50%, 55%, and 60%) and a control diet, commonly adopted in the region, based on spineless cactus (25% sugarcane bagasse), formulated to meet 12 kg/d milk yield. Results The dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and total digestible nutrients intakes and DM and OM digestibilities observed for 45% and 50% bagasse inclusion were similar to control diet, while that 55% and 60% bagasse inclusion were lower. Cows fed control diet, and bagasse diets of 45%, and 50% levels had the nutritional requirements attended, that guaranteed 12 kg/d of milk yield. The crude protein intake and digestibility of cows fed 45%, 50%, and 55% of bagasse inclusion were similar to control diet. The neutral detergent fiber (NDF) intake and digestibility differ for all bagasse diets related to control diet, while the non-fiber carbohydrates intake and digestibility for cows fed 45% of bagasse were similar for control diet. The intakes and digestibilities of nutrients decreased linearly in function of bagasse inclusion; NDF and indigestible NDF intakes did not vary. The ruminating time, feeding and rumination efficiency, microbial protein synthesis and milk yield decreased linearly with sugarcane bagasse inclusion. Conclusion Sugarcane bagasse decreases milk production; however, its inclusion level in between 45% to 50% associated to concentrate could replace diets based on spineless cactus for crossbred dairy cow's producing 12 kg/d of milk

  13. Expression of the KNOTTED HOMEOBOX Genes in the Cactaceae Cambial Zone Suggests Their Involvement in Wood Development.

    PubMed

    Reyes-Rivera, Jorge; Rodríguez-Alonso, Gustavo; Petrone, Emilio; Vasco, Alejandra; Vergara-Silva, Francisco; Shishkova, Svetlana; Terrazas, Teresa

    2017-01-01

    The vascular cambium is a lateral meristem that produces secondary xylem (i.e., wood) and phloem. Different Cactaceae species develop different types of secondary xylem; however, little is known about the mechanisms underlying wood formation in the Cactaceae. The KNOTTED HOMEOBOX (KNOX) gene family encodes transcription factors that regulate plant development. The role of class I KNOX genes in the regulation of the shoot apical meristem, inflorescence architecture, and secondary growth is established in a few model species, while the functions of class II KNOX genes are less well understood, although the Arabidopsis thaliana class II KNOX protein KNAT7 is known to regulate secondary cell wall biosynthesis. To explore the involvement of the KNOX genes in the enormous variability of wood in Cactaceae, we identified orthologous genes expressed in species with fibrous ( Pereskia lychnidiflora and Pilosocereus alensis ), non-fibrous ( Ariocarpus retusus ), and dimorphic ( Ferocactus pilosus ) wood. Both class I and class II KNOX genes were expressed in the cactus cambial zone, including one or two class I paralogs of KNAT1 , as well as one or two class II paralogs of KNAT3 - KNAT4 - KNAT5 . While the KNOX gene SHOOTMERISTEMLESS ( STM) and its ortholog ARK1 are expressed during secondary growth in the Arabidopsis and Populus stem, respectively, we did not find STM orthologs in the Cactaceae cambial zone, which suggests possible differences in the vascular cambium genetic regulatory network in these species. Importantly, while two class II KNOX paralogs from the KNAT7 clade were expressed in the cambial zone of A. retusus and F. pilosus , we did not detect KNAT7 ortholog expression in the cambial zone of P. lychnidiflora . Differences in the transcriptional repressor activity of secondary cell wall biosynthesis by the KNAT7 orthologs could therefore explain the differences in wood development in the cactus species.

  14. Expression of the KNOTTED HOMEOBOX Genes in the Cactaceae Cambial Zone Suggests Their Involvement in Wood Development

    PubMed Central

    Reyes-Rivera, Jorge; Rodríguez-Alonso, Gustavo; Petrone, Emilio; Vasco, Alejandra; Vergara-Silva, Francisco; Shishkova, Svetlana; Terrazas, Teresa

    2017-01-01

    The vascular cambium is a lateral meristem that produces secondary xylem (i.e., wood) and phloem. Different Cactaceae species develop different types of secondary xylem; however, little is known about the mechanisms underlying wood formation in the Cactaceae. The KNOTTED HOMEOBOX (KNOX) gene family encodes transcription factors that regulate plant development. The role of class I KNOX genes in the regulation of the shoot apical meristem, inflorescence architecture, and secondary growth is established in a few model species, while the functions of class II KNOX genes are less well understood, although the Arabidopsis thaliana class II KNOX protein KNAT7 is known to regulate secondary cell wall biosynthesis. To explore the involvement of the KNOX genes in the enormous variability of wood in Cactaceae, we identified orthologous genes expressed in species with fibrous (Pereskia lychnidiflora and Pilosocereus alensis), non-fibrous (Ariocarpus retusus), and dimorphic (Ferocactus pilosus) wood. Both class I and class II KNOX genes were expressed in the cactus cambial zone, including one or two class I paralogs of KNAT1, as well as one or two class II paralogs of KNAT3-KNAT4-KNAT5. While the KNOX gene SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM) and its ortholog ARK1 are expressed during secondary growth in the Arabidopsis and Populus stem, respectively, we did not find STM orthologs in the Cactaceae cambial zone, which suggests possible differences in the vascular cambium genetic regulatory network in these species. Importantly, while two class II KNOX paralogs from the KNAT7 clade were expressed in the cambial zone of A. retusus and F. pilosus, we did not detect KNAT7 ortholog expression in the cambial zone of P. lychnidiflora. Differences in the transcriptional repressor activity of secondary cell wall biosynthesis by the KNAT7 orthologs could therefore explain the differences in wood development in the cactus species. PMID:28316604

  15. An integrative approach to understanding the evolution and diversity of Copiapoa (Cactaceae), a threatened endemic Chilean genus from the Atacama Desert.

    PubMed

    Larridon, Isabel; Walter, Helmut E; Guerrero, Pablo C; Duarte, Milén; Cisternas, Mauricio A; Hernández, Carol Peña; Bauters, Kenneth; Asselman, Pieter; Goetghebeur, Paul; Samain, Marie-Stéphanie

    2015-09-01

    Species of the endemic Chilean cactus genus Copiapoa have cylindrical or (sub)globose stems that are solitary or form (large) clusters and typically yellow flowers. Many species are threatened with extinction. Despite being icons of the Atacama Desert and well loved by cactus enthusiasts, the evolution and diversity of Copiapoa has not yet been studied using a molecular approach. Sequence data of three plastid DNA markers (rpl32-trnL, trnH-psbA, ycf1) of 39 Copiapoa taxa were analyzed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference approaches. Species distributions were modeled based on geo-referenced localities and climatic data. Evolution of character states of four characters (root morphology, stem branching, stem shape, and stem diameter) as well as ancestral areas were reconstructed using a Bayesian and maximum likelihood framework, respectively. Clades of species are revealed. Though 32 morphologically defined species can be recognized, genetic diversity between some species and infraspecific taxa is too low to delimit their boundaries using plastid DNA markers. Recovered relationships are often supported by morphological and biogeographical patterns. The origin of Copiapoa likely lies between southern Peru and the extreme north of Chile. The Copiapó Valley limited colonization between two biogeographical areas. Copiapoa is here defined to include 32 species and five heterotypic subspecies. Thirty species are classified into four sections and two subsections, while two species remain unplaced. A better understanding of evolution and diversity of Copiapoa will allow allocating conservation resources to the most threatened lineages and focusing conservation action on real biodiversity. © 2015 Botanical Society of America.

  16. Thermal buffering capacity of the germination phenotype across the environmental envelope of the Cactaceae.

    PubMed

    Seal, Charlotte E; Daws, Matthew I; Flores, Joel; Ortega-Baes, Pablo; Galíndez, Guadalupe; León-Lobos, Pedro; Sandoval, Ana; Ceroni Stuva, Aldo; Ramírez Bullón, Natali; Dávila-Aranda, Patricia; Ordoñez-Salanueva, Cesar A; Yáñez-Espinosa, Laura; Ulian, Tiziana; Amosso, Cecilia; Zubani, Lino; Torres Bilbao, Alberto; Pritchard, Hugh W

    2017-12-01

    Recruitment from seeds is among the most vulnerable stage for plants as global temperatures change. While germination is the means by which the vast majority of the world's flora regenerate naturally, a framework for accurately predicting which species are at greatest risk of germination failure during environmental perturbation is lacking. Taking a physiological approach, we assess how one family, the Cactaceae, may respond to global temperature change based on the thermal buffering capacity of the germination phenotype. We selected 55 cactus species from the Americas, all geo-referenced seed collections, reflecting the broad environmental envelope of the family across 70° of latitude and 3700 m of altitude. We then generated empirical data of the thermal germination response from which we estimated the minimum (T b ), optimum (T o ) and ceiling (T c ) temperature for germination and the thermal time (θ 50 ) for each species based on the linearity of germination rate with temperature. Species with the highest T b and lowest T c germinated fastest, and the interspecific sensitivity of the germination rate to temperature, as assessed through θ 50 , varied tenfold. A left-skewed asymmetry in the germination rate with temperature was relatively common but the unimodal pattern typical of crop species failed for nearly half of the species due to insensitivity to temperature change at T o . For 32 fully characterized species, seed thermal parameters correlated strongly with the mean temperature of the wettest quarter of the seed collection sites. By projecting the mean temperature of the wettest quarter under two climate change scenarios, we predict under the least conservative scenario (+3.7°C) that 25% of cactus species will have reduced germination performance, whilst the remainder will have an efficiency gain, by the end of the 21st century. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Validation of the CME Geomagnetic forecast alerts under COMESEP alert system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dumbovic, Mateja; Srivastava, Nandita; Khodia, Yamini; Vršnak, Bojan; Devos, Andy; Rodriguez, Luciano

    2017-04-01

    An automated space weather alert system has been developed under the EU FP7 project COMESEP (COronal Mass Ejections and Solar Energetic Particles: http://comesep.aeronomy.be) to forecast solar energetic particles (SEP) and coronal mass ejection (CME) risk levels at Earth. COMESEP alert system uses automated detection tool CACTus to detect potentially threatening CMEs, drag-based model (DBM) to predict their arrival and CME geo-effectiveness tool (CGFT) to predict their geomagnetic impact. Whenever CACTus detects a halo or partial halo CME and issues an alert, DBM calculates its arrival time at Earth and CGFT calculates its geomagnetic risk level. Geomagnetic risk level is calculated based on an estimation of the CME arrival probability and its likely geo-effectiveness, as well as an estimate of the geomagnetic-storm duration. We present the evaluation of the CME risk level forecast with COMESEP alert system based on a study of geo-effective CMEs observed during 2014. The validation of the forecast tool is done by comparing the forecasts with observations. In addition, we test the success rate of the automatic forecasts (without human intervention) against the forecasts with human intervention using advanced versions of DBM and CGFT (self standing tools available at Hvar Observatory website: http://oh.geof.unizg.hr). The results implicate that the success rate of the forecast is higher with human intervention and using more advanced tools. This work has received funding from the European Commission FP7 Project COMESEP (263252). We acknowledge the support of Croatian Science Foundation under the project 6212 „Solar and Stellar Variability".

  18. Ecological longevity of Polaskia chende (Cactaceae) seeds in the soil seed bank, seedling emergence and survival.

    PubMed

    Ordoñez-Salanueva, C A; Orozco-Segovia, A; Canales-Martínez, M; Seal, C E; Pritchard, H W; Flores-Ortiz, C M

    2017-11-01

    Soil seed banks are essential elements of plant population dynamics, enabling species to maintain genetic variability, withstand periods of adversity and persist over time, including for cactus species. However knowledge of the soil seed bank in cacti is scanty. In this study, over a 5-year period we studied the seed bank dynamics, seedling emergence and nurse plant facilitation of Polaskia chende, an endemic columnar cactus of central Mexico. P. chende seeds were collected for a wild population in Puebla, Mexico. Freshly collected seeds were sown at 25 °C and 12-h photoperiod under white light, far-red light and darkness. The collected seeds were divided in two lots, the first was stored in the laboratory and the second was use to bury seeds in open areas and beneath a shrub canopy. Seeds were exhumed periodically over 5 years. At the same time seeds were sown in open areas and beneath shrub canopies; seedling emergence and survival were recorded over different periods of time for 5 years. The species forms long-term persistent soil seed banks. The timing of seedling emergence via germination in the field was regulated by interaction between light, temperature and soil moisture. Seeds entered secondary dormancy at specific times according to the expression of environmental factors, demonstrating irregular dormancy cycling. Seedling survival of P. chende was improved under Acacia constricta nurse plants. Finally, plant facilitation affected the soil seed bank dynamics as it promoted the formation of a soil seed bank, but not its persistence. © 2017 German Society for Plant Sciences and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  19. Space invaders? A search for patterns underlying the coexistence of alien black rats and Galápagos rice rats.

    PubMed

    Harris, Donna B; Gregory, Stephen D; Macdonald, David W

    2006-08-01

    The introduction and spread of the black rat Rattus rattus is believed to have caused the worst decline of any vertebrate taxon in Galápagos. However, the "extinct" Santiago rice rat Nesoryzomys swarthi has recently been rediscovered in sympatry with R. rattus providing the first exception to this general pattern of displacement. We carried out an exploratory investigation of this novel system with the aim of identifying patterns that may facilitate the apparent coexistence of the two species. We carried out an extensive survey of Santiago Island to map the current distribution of the endemic rice rat and to explore broad scale distribution-habitat associations. We then used live-trapping, radio-tracking, and spool-and-line tracking to quantify abundance-habitat correlations and to test for evidence of interspecific spatial segregation, alteration of N. swarthi activity patterns (spatial and temporal), and microhabitat partitioning. We found that N. swarthi has disappeared from part of its historical range and appears to be restricted to a 14 km stretch of the north-central coast, characterised by high density of the cactus Opuntia galapageia. In contrast, the generalist R. rattus was found at all survey sites. We found no evidence of spatial segregation, and home range size, temporal activity and density of N. swarthi did not vary with local density of R. rattus. However, pre-dawn and post-dusk N. swarthi activity levels increased with R. rattus density perhaps reflecting an increase in foraging effort necessary to compensate for the costs of interspecific exploitation or interference competition. The distribution, microhabitat selection, and abundance-habitat relations of N. swarthi suggest that the endemic cactus O. galapageia may facilitate interspecific coexistence. Further research should include a comparison of inter-seasonal resource preference and foraging activity of the two species coupled with replicated field experiments to confirm and quantify

  20. Taxonomic revision of the tarantula genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae) within the United States

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Chris A.; Hendrixson, Brent E.; Bond, Jason E.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This systematic study documents the taxonomy, diversity, and distribution of the tarantula spider genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 within the United States. By employing phylogenomic, morphological, and geospatial data, we evaluated all 55 nominal species in the United States to examine the evolutionary history of Aphonopelma and the group’s taxonomy by implementing an integrative approach to species delimitation. Based on our analyses, we now recognize only 29 distinct species in the United States. We propose 33 new synonymies (Aphonopelma apacheum, Aphonopelma minchi, Aphonopelma rothi, Aphonopelma schmidti, Aphonopelma stahnkei = Aphonopelma chalcodes; Aphonopelma arnoldi = Aphonopelma armada; Aphonopelma behlei, Aphonopelma vogelae = Aphonopelma marxi; Aphonopelma breenei = Aphonopelma anax; Aphonopelma chambersi, Aphonopelma clarum, Aphonopelma cryptethum, Aphonopelma sandersoni, Aphonopelma sullivani = Aphonopelma eutylenum; Aphonopelma clarki, Aphonopelma coloradanum, Aphonopelma echinum, Aphonopelma gurleyi, Aphonopelma harlingenum, Aphonopelma odelli, Aphonopelma waconum, Aphonopelma wichitanum = Aphonopelma hentzi; Aphonopelma heterops = Aphonopelma moderatum; Aphonopelma jungi, Aphonopelma punzoi = Aphonopelma vorhiesi; Aphonopelma brunnius, Aphonopelma chamberlini, Aphonopelma iviei, Aphonopelma lithodomum, Aphonopelma smithi, Aphonopelma zionis = Aphonopelma iodius; Aphonopelma phanum, Aphonopelma reversum = Aphonopelma steindachneri), 14 new species (Aphonopelma atomicum sp. n., Aphonopelma catalina sp. n., Aphonopelma chiricahua sp. n., Aphonopelma icenoglei sp. n., Aphonopelma johnnycashi sp. n., Aphonopelma madera sp. n., Aphonopelma mareki sp. n., Aphonopelma moellendorfi sp. n., Aphonopelma parvum sp. n., Aphonopelma peloncillo sp. n., Aphonopelma prenticei sp. n., Aphonopelma saguaro sp. n., Aphonopelma superstitionense sp. n., and Aphonopelma xwalxwal sp. n.), and seven nomina dubia (Aphonopelma baergi, Aphonopelma cratium, Aphonopelma