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Seed longevity is influenced by many factors, a widely discussed one of which is the seed lipid content and fatty acid composition. Here, linear and non-linear regressions based on machine learning were applied to analyse germinability and seed composition of a set of 42 oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) accessions grown under the same single environment and at the same time following a period of up to 31 years storage at 7°C. Mean viability was halved after 27.0 years of storage, but this figure concealed a major influence of genotype. There was also wide variation with respect to fatty acid composition, particularly with respect to oleic, α-linolenic, eicosenoic and erucic acid. Linear regression (rL) revealed significant correlation coefficients between normal seedling appearance and the content of α-linolenic acid (+0.52) and total oil (+0.59). Multivariate regression using artificial neural networks including a radial basis function (RBF), a multilayer perceptron (MLP) and a partial least square (PLS) recognized underlying structures and revealed high significant correlation coefficients (rM) for oil content (+0.87), eicosenoic acid (+0.75), stearic acid (+0.73) and lignoceric acid (+0.97). Oil content or a combination of oleic, α-linolenic, arachidic, eicosenoic and eicosadienoic acids and glucosinolates resulted in highest model fitting parameters R2 of 0.90 and 0.88, respectively. In addition, the glucosinolate content, predominantly in the Brassicaceae family and ranging from 4.6 to 79.5 µM, was negatively correlated with viability (rL = ‒0.43). Summarizing, oil content, some fatty acids and glucosinolates contribute to variations in average half-life (15.2 to 50.7 years) of oilseed rape seeds. In contrast to linear regression, multivariate regression using artificial neural networks revealed high associations for combinations of parameters including underestimated minor fatty acids such as arachidic, stearic and eicosadienoic acids. This indicates that genetic and seed composition factors contribute to seed longevity. In addition, multivariate regressions might be a successful approach to predict seed viability based on fatty acids and seed oil content.
High performing dairy cows experience distinct metabolic stress during periods of negative energy balance. Subclinical disorders of the cow’s energy metabolism facilitate failure of adaptational responses resulting in health problems and reduced performance. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) with its sympathetic and parasympathetic branches plays a predominant role in adaption to inadequate energy and/or fuel availability and mediation of the stress response. Therefore, we hypothesize that indices of heart rate variability (HRV) that reflect ANS activity and sympatho-vagal balance could be early markers of metabolic stress, and possibly useful to predict cows with compromised regulatory capacity. In this study we analysed the autonomic regulation and stress level of 10 pregnant dried-off German Holstein cows before, during and after a 10-h fasting period by using a wide range of HRV parameters. In addition heat production (HP), energy balance, feed intake, rumen fermentative activity, physical activity, non-esterified fatty acids, β-hydroxybutyric acid, cortisol and total ghrelin plasma concentrations, and body temperature (BT) were measured. In all cows fasting induced immediate regulatory adjustments including increased lipolysis (84%) and total ghrelin levels (179%), reduction of HP (−16%), standing time (−38%) and heart rate (−15%). However, by analysing frequency domain parameters of HRV (high-frequency (HF) and low-frequency (LF) components, ratio LF/HF) cows could be retrospectively assigned to groups reacting to food removal with increased or decreased activity of the parasympathetic branch of the ANS. Regression analysis reveals that under control conditions (feeding ad libitum) group differences were best predicted by the nonlinear domain HRV component Maxline (LMAX, R2=0.76, threshold; TS=258). Compared with cows having LMAX values above TS (>LMAX: 348±17), those with LMAX values below TS (<LMAX: 109±26) had higher basal blood cortisol levels, lower concentrations of insulin, and respond to fasting with a shift of their sympatho-vagal balance towards a much stronger dominance of the sympathetic branch of the ANS and development of stress-induced hyperthermia. The data indicate a higher stress level, reduced well-being and restricted regulatory capacity in <LMAX cows. This assumption is in accord with the lower dry matter intake and energy corrected milk yield (16.0±0.7 and 42±2 kg/day) in lactating <LMAX compared with >LMAX cows (18.5±0.4 and 47.3 kg/day). From the present study, it seems conceivable that LMAX can be used as a predictive marker to discover alterations in central autonomic regulation that might precede metabolic disturbances.
The basic idea of inflation in cosmology is very simple: It is the assumption that the expansion factor R(t) of a Friedmann-Lemaltre cosmological model grows exponentially during a brief time interval in the very early universe. The phase of exponential growth is followed by a thermalizatlon stage and a subsequent “normal” evolution R(t)∼vt. This “Inflationary expansion“ can help to solve cosmological puzzles inherent in the standard model - such as the large-scale flatness, the horizon structure, the numerical value of the entropy in a comoving volume [for a review see Brandenberger 1985]. To turn this romantic idea of inflation into a quantitative model requires still a lot of work: The simple change in the thermal history of the universe must be derived from a fundamental particle theory. The models proposed so far do not inspire much confidence. In the following a few difficulties of the Higgs field idea, especially the Coleman-Weinberg formalism will be pointed out (section 1). In section 2 some problems connected with the investigation of initially strongly anisotropic or Inhomogeneous cosmological models will be mentioned.
In many regions of the world, the cultivation of landraces is still common, in particular in centres of crop diversity. Significant effort has been put into ex situ conservation of landraces but limited data exist on the changes in genetic diversity that occur over time in farmers’ fields. We assessed temporal changes in barley landrace diversity in Jordan using seed samples collected in 1981 and 2012 from the same locations. We did not observe significant changes in the amount of genetic diversity, but samples collected in 2012 were more homogenous and less locally distinct. In two sites, we observed replacement of the old material. We observed a change in phenotype, and phenotypes were found to be more homogeneous among sites in 2012. Climate changed significantly over the study period, becoming hotter and dryer, but we did not identify any correlation between the changes in climate and genetic and phenotypic variations. While the amount of genetic diversity in terms of allelic richness and number of multi-locus genotypes has been maintained, local distinctiveness among landrace barley populations in Jordan was reduced.
Surface composition of a neutron star in the absence of accretion is pure iron (Tsuruta, 1964). We considered two cases of accretion. (a) The accretion of inter-stellar matter: Here we expect the presence of a significant amount of various elements between proton and iron, though iron is still the most dominant. (b) The accretion as the energy source of an X-ray source in a binary system. Here it is most likely that the incoming flux is sufficiently high (non-steady state) and protons accumulate on the accreting region of the surface.
Deforestation and forest degradation in the Peruvian Amazon represent a major threat to biodiversity-related ecosystem services and the global climate. In 2010, the Peruvian Ministry of Environment launched the National Forest Conservation Program for Climate Change Mitigation, an innovative approach to maintaining forest cover of over 54 million hectares of land in protected areas and indigenous and peasant communities. A key component is a payments for environmental services scheme encouraging investments in sustainable land and forest uses in community-controlled territories. We conducted an ex-ante assessment of how the program would play out in terms of conservation cost–effectiveness, income effects and distributional (equity) outcomes if payments were up-scaled, as intended, to all native communities in the Peruvian Amazon. Our spatially explicit impact assessment relied on remotely sensed deforestation data and field data-supported estimates of conservation opportunity costs. We found that the spatially heterogeneous distribution of forestland and economic returns to multiple land uses across communities results in important tradeoffs between hypothetical cost–effectiveness, poverty alleviation and equity outcomes. Nevertheless, our scenario analyses suggested that alternative design options for payment schemes could improve both cost–effectiveness and equity outcomes simultaneously.
Typical scales in the distribution of IRAS galaxies have been searched for with the unnormalized pair count method given by Mo et al.1. Samples consist of a) galaxies from QDOT with | b | ≥ 20°; b) galaxies from the IRAS faint source catalog(FSC) with f60 ≥ 0.3 Jy and | b | ≥ 30°. Galaxies with b ≥ 0 and b ≤ 0 were treated as independent samples in our analysis.
The properties of fully relativistic rotating hadron star models are discussed using models based on recently developed equations of state. All of these stable neutron star models are bound with binding energies as high as ∼ 25%. During hadron star formation, much of this energy will be released. The consequences, resulting from the release of this energy, are examined.
Information about the physical parameters of neutron stars is obtained from pulsar observations. The energy balance of the Crab Nebula and the Vela X remnant allows one to derive limits for the masses of the Crab and Vela pulsars. Glitch observations provide further clues on the masses of these two pulsars. The degree of confidence with which one should believe the derived numbers is pointed out. The possibility of observing neutron stars in binary systems as pulsating X-ray sources is discussed. Finally, the importance of observing redshifted gamma ray lines from the surface of neutron stars, and thus directly measuring either individual or statistical properties of these objects, is pointed out.
The process of laser-induced brazing constitutes a potential option for connecting several ceramic components (n- and p-type ceramic bars and ceramic substrate) of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) unit. For the construction of the TEGs, TiOx and BxC were used as thermoelectric bars and AlN was used as substrate material. The required process time for joining is well below that of conventional furnace brazing processes and, furthermore, establishes the possibility of using a uniform filler system for all contacting points within the thermoelectric unit. In the work reported here, the application-specific optimization of the laser-joining process is presented as well as the adapted design of the thermoelectric modules. The properties of the produced bonding were characterized by using fatigue strength and microstructural investigations. Furthermore, the operational reliability of the modules was verified.
The pattern of inheritance of powdery mildew resistance expressed by two bread wheat (cultivar ‘Alcedo’)/Aegilops markgrafii introgression lines was explored using F2 populations bred from crosses made with the powdery mildew-susceptible cultivar ‘Kanzler’. Disease reaction was tested at both seedling and adult plant stages. Two resistance loci, designated QPm.ipk-1A and QPm.ipk-7A, were identified as mapping to the distal ends of chromosome arms 1AS and 7AL, respectively. Whereas QPm.ipk-1A was expressed throughout the plant's life, QPm.ipk-7A was only effective at the seedling stage. The map location of both resistance loci indicated that resistances originated from A. markgrafii. The possible genetic relationship of these disease-resistant genes to known Pm genes is discussed in the context of synteny.
Dwarfing genes play an important role in improving yield and adaptability of wheat cultivars in most production environments. Understanding the allelic distribution at dwarfing loci is very important for any wheat-breeding programmes. In this study, we reported the allelic constitution at microsatellite locus Xgwm261 and the two major height-reducing genes Rht-B1 and Rht-D1 among a set of 56 bread wheat cultivars and nine landraces, based on diagnostic polymerase chain reaction assays. With respect to Rht-B1, 37% of the accessions carried the dwarfing allele Rht-B1b, while at Rht-D1, only one accession carried the dwarfing allele Rht-D1b. The allelic state at Rht8 was assayed indirectly by genotyping for the linked microsatellite locus Xgwm261. About 26% of the accessions carried the 192 bp allele (linked with Rht8 gene in some cases), whereas 35 and 12% genotypes carried 165 and 174 bp allele at the microsatellite locus Xgwm261. Cultivars released from 1980 onwards increasingly carried either Rht-B1b or Rht8. This information should allow for a more rational use of this collection for the purpose of wheat improvement in Turkey.
Although oilseed rape has become one of the most important oil crops in Europe, little is known regarding the viability of its seed under conditions of long-term storage. We report here an examination of oilseed rape seed longevity performed on a set of 42 accessions housed at the German ex situ genebank at IPK, Gatersleben. A comparison of germination between the accessions stored for 26 years showed that viability was in part genetically determined, since it ranged between 42 and 98%. An attempt was made to define the genetic basis of viability by subjecting a mapping population of doubled haploids to three artificial ageing treatments. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) were detected on six chromosomes: N6, N7, N8, N15, N16 and N18. The chromosomal locations of these QTL were compared with their syntenic regions in Arabidopsis thaliana in order to explore what genes might underlie genetic variation for longevity.
The crystallization behavior (ordering) of undoped and boron-doped Si0.5Ge0.5 films, deposited on SiO2/Si(001) substrate by molecular beam epitaxy in hish vacuum at room temperature, were studied by XRD, HRTEM and in situ by Doppler broadening spectroscopy using monoenergetic positrons. Some decomposition features of SiGe solid solutions were demonstrated via splitting the XRD peaks at high temperatures. The SiGe decomposition was detected in the precrystalline state of the SiGe undoped and doped films in the temperature range from 450 to 600 K by compaering S- and W-parameters of SiGe with that of amorphous silicon and germanium. In conclusion, we discuss model of internim ordering states before crystallization.
An arrangement for large area PLD on 3-inch wafers is proposed. In order to get a homogeneous stoichiometry and thickness distribution and small variations of superconducting properties on the 3-inch diameter, the substrate is foreseen to be rotated and additionally laterally moved up to 45 mm during deposition whereas the laser plume remains fixed.
YSZ buffer layers showed thickness homogeneity of 1% within 10 mm, of 4% within 2 inch and of 8% within 3 inch diameter, respectively. For in-situ deposited YBCO thin films on r-plane sapphire with YSZ buffer layer we inductively measured within 3 inch diameter values of the critical temperature Tc(90%) from 85.9 K to 86.7 K and values of the critical current density jc(77 K) from 1 × 106 to 2 × 106 A/cm2. However, up to now the degree of epitaxy of the YBCO thin films on r-plane sapphire with YSZ buffer layer is lower compared to YBCO on MgO(100) as determined by Raman spectroscopy. Nevertheless, large area PLD seems to be a very promising technique for homogeneous coating of 3-inch wafers by epitaxial oxide thin films.
The ability of crop seeds to retain their viability over extended periods of uncontrolled temperature and/or relative humidity conditions has not been widely investigated, although this is an important issue for genebank management. We report here the response of 18 crop species to storage for up to 26 years at 20.3 ± 2.3°C and 50.5 ± 6.3% relative humidity. Germination rates decreased in a sigmoid fashion, but the curve parameters were species characteristic. Pea, common bean and maize seeds retained their viability over the longest period (23, 21 and 19 years, respectively). In contrast, chive seeds survived for only 5 years and lettuce for 7 years. In addition to this interspecific variability, there were also indices for intraspecific variability, particularly in bean and chive seeds, just as in collard, lupin, poppy, wheat and maize seeds. A significant correlation was obtained between germination performance in the laboratory and seedling emergence following autumn sowing. Seeds in which oil was the major seed storage component were more short lived, whereas carbohydrates or proteins did not show an effect on seed longevity.
Sets of microsatellites extracted from both a genomic library (gSSRs) and from expressed sequence tag sequence (eSSRs), and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were applied to assess the levels of genetic diversity in a sample of 70 barley accessions, originating from 28 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The eSSR assays detected a mean of 9.5 alleles per locus, and the gSSRs only 5.7 alleles per locus, but the polymorphism information content values for the two assay types were indistinguishable. Strong and statistically significant correlations were observed between the eSSR and gSSR (r = 0.86, P < 0.05), the eSSR and SNP (r = 0.74, P < 0.05) and the gSSR and SNP genotypes (r = 0.67, P < 0.05). Accessions originating from the Middle East and Asia had the highest levels of genetic diversity. Pairwise genetic similarity ranged from 0.16 to 0.87 (mean 0.43), indicating that the sample was genetically diverse. When clustered on the basis of genotype, Asian and African accessions tended to be grouped together, but those originating from the Middle East were not concentrated in any particular cluster.
The effects of various gibberellin-insensitive semi-dwarfing (Rht) alleles and background genotypes on the growth response of wheat seedlings to simulated low water potential were investigated. Four sets of near-isogenic lines, each consisting of six members (Rht-B1a+Rht-D1a (rht), Rht-B1b, Rht-B1c, Rht-D1b, Rht-B1b+Rht-D1b and Rht-B1c+Rht-D1b), and one set of five members (rht, Rht-B1b, Rht-B1c, Rht-B1d and Rht-D1b) were germinated in the presence of polyethylene glycol (PEG). The growth responses were assessed by measuring the lengths of the longest root, coleoptile and longest leaf (shoot) and calculating the root length:shoot length ratio and a tolerance index (TI). Seedling growth was significantly affected by the allelic status at the Rht loci, background genes and the water potential. The PEG treatment had major effects on root and shoot growth. Coleoptile growth was mainly affected by the Rht alleles. There were significant interactions of the Rht allele and variety on the growth response to low water potential. Genotypes with longer roots, coleoptiles and shoots when grown in water, as determined by the Rht allelic status (rht, Rht-B1b and Rht-D1b) and varietal background, had the highest TI and maintained this advantage under stress, while genotypes with smaller seedlings (Rht-B1c and Rht-B1c+Rht-D1b) when grown in water were more strongly affected.
Aegilops markgrafii is a useful source of genes encoding both resistance to biotic stress and high seed lysine content. Bread wheat/Ae. markgrafii introgression lines expressing leaf rust resistance were developed from a cross between a leaf rust-resistant Ae.markgrafii accession and the susceptible bread wheat cultivar ‘Alcedo’. The content of introgressed segments present in five sister introgression lines was assessed with the help of chromosome-specific simple sequence repeats (SSRs). One of the lines was used as a parent of a 140 individual F2 mapping population, by crossing with the leaf rust-susceptible bread wheat cv. ‘Borenos’. The population was tested for susceptibility or resistance to leaf rust, and linkage analysis indicated the presence of a quantitative trait locus (QLr.ipk-2A) originating from the Ae. markgrafii parent, mapping to the distal segment of chromosome arm 2AS.
This paper addresses the question as to whether it is profitable to apply a mechanical mulching technology (MT) in the Bragantina region of Brazil and assesses the technology's feasibility as an alternative to the slash-and-burn practices of the Amazon. Using empirical data collected from a prototype assessment and a few secondary sources, the paper employs a cost–benefit analysis of ‘with’ and ‘without’ technology cropping systems (plots that applied the technology are compared with those that did not) to assess the financial and economic feasibility of investing in the MT. The analysis showed that the technology is profitable, both financially and socially, mainly because it is able to produce yields that are high enough to offset the costs, including the hiring of the mulching equipment. However, it may not be a feasible alternative to slash-and-burn farming unless certain conditions are fulfilled by farmers. Most of these conditions relate to farmers' adherence to a set of rules for the successful application of the technology. These rules include the abandonment of a single cropping cycle, typical for the traditional slash-and-burn system, and the adoption of two cycles of crop cultivation. In addition, farmers have to choose profitable crop combinations, such as cassava and beans for both cycles. Since most of the trial farmers did not meet these conditions, the technology received a notably low acceptability (8%). Further analysis indicated that the main reason for this trend was the increase of total labor requirement (by 32%), though the technology reduced labor demand during land preparation to almost zero. Similarly, there was a 22% increase in requirement for inorganic fertilizers. Thus, compared with the slash-and-burn practices of the Amazon, the MT can be regarded as a more intensive method of farming which gives higher crop yields but demands higher quantities of inputs such as labor and inorganic fertilizers. The paper concludes by deriving policy implications for the feasibility of the MT as an alternative to slash-and-burn agriculture in the Amazon. Among these is the importance of creating incentives to extend the cropping period from one to two consecutive cycles. Moreover, the necessity to conduct further studies after the technology has been adopted by the farmers is underscored.