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Assessing durum wheat genomic diversity is crucial in a changing environmental particularly in the Mediterranean region where it is largely used to produce pasta. Durum wheat varieties cultivated in Portugal and previously assessed regarding thermotolerance ability were screened for the variability of coding sequences associated with technological traits and repetitive sequences. As expected, reduced variability was observed regarding low molecular weight glutenin subunits (LMW-GS) but a specific LMW-GS allelic form associated with improved pasta-making characteristics was absent in one variety. Contrastingly, molecular markers targeting repetitive elements like microsatellites and retrotransposons – Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) and Inter Retrotransposons Amplified Polymorphism (IRAP) – disclosed significant inter and intra-varietal diversity. This high level of polymorphism was revealed by the 20 distinct ISSR/IRAP concatenated profiles observed among the 23 individuals analysed. Interestingly, median joining networks and PCoA analysis grouped individuals of the same variety and clustered varieties accordingly with geographical origin. Globally, this work demonstrates that durum wheat breeding strategies induced selection pressure for some relevant coding sequences while maintaining high levels of genomic variability in non-coding regions enriched in repetitive sequences.
Insect-borne plant viruses usually alter the interactions between host plant and insect vector in ways conducive to their transmission (‘host manipulation hypothesis’). Most studies have tested this hypothesis with persistently and non-persistently transmitted viruses, while few have examined semi-persistently transmitted viruses. The crinivirus Tomato chlorosis virus (ToCV) is semi-persistently transmitted virus by whiteflies, and has been recently reported infecting potato plants in Brazil, where Bemisia tabaci Middle East Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) is a competent vector. We investigated how ToCV infection modifies the interaction between potato plants and B. tabaci in ways that increase the likelihood of ToCV transmission, in two clones, one susceptible (‘Agata’) and the other moderately resistant (Bach-4) to B. tabaci. Whiteflies alighted and laid more eggs on ToCV-infected plants than mock-inoculated plants of Bach-4. When non-viruliferous whiteflies were released on ToCV-infected plants near mock-inoculated plants, adults moved more intensely towards non-infected plants than in the reverse condition for both clones. Feeding on ToCV-infected plants reduced egg-incubation period in both clones, but the egg–adult cycle was similar for whiteflies fed on ToCV-infected and mock-inoculated plants. Our results demonstrated that ToCV infection in potato plants alters B. tabaci behaviour and development in distinct ways depending on the host clone, with potential implications for ToCV spread.
The use of alternative protein sources in ruminant diets is of interest because of restrictions on the use of animal proteins, loss of nitrogen (N) compounds to the environment and efforts to reduce costs of systems. A problem of some protein-rich-ingredients is that they degrade rapidly in the rumen. The use of tannins has been proposed as a means of reducing the extensive dietary protein degradation in the rumen. However, condensed tannins have been reported to exert detrimental effects on gut microflora and on the gastrointestinal tract, and they can affect post-rumen digestion. The two experiments reported here aimed to study the influence of quebracho tannins (QTs) on ruminal degradation of peas (Pisum sativum) and sweet lupins (Lupinus luteus), and to investigate the effect of QTs on postrumen digestibility of these feeds using a poultry model.
Leishmaniasis is a complex of zoonotic diseases caused by parasites of the genus Leishmania, which can develop in domestic as well as wild animals and humans throughout the world. Currently, this disease is spreading in rural and urban areas of non-endemic regions in Brazil. Recently, bats have gained epidemiological significance in leishmaniasis due to its close relationship with human settlements. In this study, we investigated the presence of Leishmania spp. DNA in blood samples from 448 bats belonging to four families representing 20 species that were captured in the Triangulo Mineiro and Alto Paranaiba areas of Minas Gerais State (non-endemic areas for leishmaniasis), Brazil. Leishmania spp. DNA was detected in 8·0% of the blood samples, 41·6% of which were Leishmania infantum, 38·9% Leishmania amazonensis and 19·4% Leishmania braziliensis. No positive correlation was found between Leishmania spp. and bat food source. The species with more infection rates were the insectivorous bats Eumops perotis; 22·2% (4/18) of which tested positive for Leishmania DNA. The presence of Leishmania in the bat blood samples, as observed in this study, represents epidemiological importance due to the absence of Leishmaniasis cases in the region.
Endothelial function is a key mechanism in the development of CVD. Arginine and exercise are important non-pharmacological strategies for mitigating the impact of metabolic changes in the metabolic syndrome, but the effect of their combined administration is unknown. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the isolated and combined effects of aerobic training and arginine supplementation on metabolic variables and vascular reactivity in rats at high risk for developing the metabolic syndrome. Wistar rats were divided into two groups: control and fructose (F – water with 10 % fructose). After 2 weeks, the F group was divided into four groups: F, fructose+arginine (FA, 880 mg/kg per d of l-arginine), fructose+training (FT) and fructose+arginine+training (FTA); treatments lasted for 8 weeks, and no difference was observed in body mass gain. Arginine did not improve the body protein content, and both the FA and FT groups show a reversal of the increase in adipose tissue. Insulin increase was prevented by training and arginine, without additive effect, and the increase in serum TAG was prevented only by training. The F group showed impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilation and hyperreactivity to phenylephrine, but arginine and training were capable of preventing these effects, even separately. Higher nitric oxide level was observed in the FA and FT groups, and no potentiating effect was detected. Thus, only training was able to prevent the increase in TAG and improve the protein mass, and training and arginine exert similar effects on fat content, insulin and endothelial function, but these effects are not additive.
Treating plants with synthetic jasmonic acid (JA) induces a defensive response similar to herbivore attack, and is a potential strategy for integrated pest management. Despite the importance of sugarcane, its JA-induced defences have not yet been studied. We investigated the effects of JA treatment on the direct and indirect resistance of sugarcane to the key-pest and specialist herbivore Diatraea saccharalis and the generalist Spodoptera frugiperda. Indirect defences were examined by testing the attraction of Cotesia flavipes, a sugarcane-borer parasitoid, to JA-induced volatile. The results showed that JA-treated sugarcane did not affect the weight gain of the two larvae. However, in dual-choice assays, both species preferred to feed on mock rather than JA-treated plants. Leaf colorimetric analyses showed that visual cues are unlikely to be involved in larval preference, whereas results from olfactometric assays revealed that D. saccharalis preferred JA-induced over mock plant volatiles. After 48 h of treatment, JA-treated plants emitted a volatile blend attractive to C. flavipes, comprised mainly of sesquiterpenes. However, the parasitoid did not discriminate JA-treated from host-damaged plant volatiles. When the wasps were given a choice between JA-treated and JA-treated + host-damaged plants, they preferred the latter, which emitted a more complex blend, suggesting that JA treatment likely does not hamper host-finding. We concluded that JA induces the emission of volatiles that are attractive to the sugarcane borer parasitoid, as well as an antixenosis type of resistance in sugarcane against the two pests, although neither volatiles nor visual cues alone are involved in the underlying mechanism.
Research on attachment transmission has focused on variable-centered analyses, where hypotheses are tested by examining linear associations between variables. The purpose of this study was to apply a relationship-centered approach to data analysis, where adult states of mind, maternal sensitivity, and infant attachment were conceived as being three components of a single, intergenerational relationship. These variables were assessed in 90 adolescent and 99 adult mother–infant dyads when infants were 12 months old. Initial variable-centered analyses replicated the frequently observed associations between these three core attachment variables. Relationship-based, latent class analyses then revealed that the most common pattern among young mother dyads featured maternal unresolved trauma, insensitive interactive behavior, and disorganized infant attachment (61%), whereas the most prevalent adult mother dyad relationship pattern involved maternal autonomy, sensitive maternal behavior, and secure infant attachment (59%). Three less prevalent relationship patterns were also observed. Moderation analyses revealed that the adolescent–adult mother distinction differentiated between secure and disorganized intergenerational relationship patterns, whereas experience of traumatic events distinguished between disorganized and avoidant patterns. Finally, socioeconomic status distinguished between avoidant and secure patterns. Results emphasize the value of a relationship-based approach, adding an angle of understanding to the study of attachment transmission.
The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effect of different levels of crude glycerine (CG, 810·9 g glycerol/kg) replacing dry ground maize on intake, digestibility, microbial nitrogen (N) synthesis and N utilization in grazing beef cattle. Five Nellore bulls (332 ± 29·6 kg initial body weight (BW)) were used in a 5 × 5 Latin square design. The animals grazed five Marandu grass (Urochloa brizantha cv. Marandu) paddocks of approximately 0·32 ha. Five supplements were evaluated: mineral supplementation (control, only ad libitum access to a mineral mixture) and 4 g of protein-energy supplementation/kg of BW with four levels of CG (0, 330, 660 and 1000 g/kg) replacing dry ground maize. Bulls that received protein-energy supplementation had greater organic matter (OM) pasture and digested OM (DOM) intakes than the control. No differences were observed among CG levels with regard to OM pasture, neutral detergent fibre and DOM intakes. However, ether extract intake increased linearly as CG levels increased. Protein-energy supplementation enhanced efficiency of microbial N synthesis, N balance and ammonia concentration, but they were not influenced by the CG levels. In conclusion, partial or total replacement of dry ground maize by CG in protein-energy supplements for grazing beef cattle exerted no changes on pasture intake, digestibility and N utilization. Therefore, the use of CG as an energy source in supplements for grazing cattle can be recommended.
To describe the results obtained with endolymphatic sac drainage in patients with Ménière's disease.
A retrospective case review study was conducted of 95 Ménière's disease patients who underwent endolymphatic sac drainage in a tertiary care referral centre, after failing a long course of medical management. The main outcome measures were vertigo control and hearing preservation.
In patients with unilateral disease, vertigo control was obtained in 94.3 per cent of patients. A significant improvement in cochlear function was seen in 14 per cent of patients, and hearing was preserved or improved in 88 per cent. For the bilateral group, vertigo control was obtained in 85.7 per cent of patients and cochlear function improved in 28 per cent. Hearing preservation was attained in 71 per cent of these patients.
Endolymphatic sac drainage is a good surgical option for patients with incapacitating endolymphatic hydrops, providing a high percentage of vertigo control and hearing preservation.
This paper presents the first major data release and survey description for the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme. ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme is an ongoing supernova spectroscopy campaign utilising the Wide Field Spectrograph on the Australian National University 2.3-m telescope. The first and primary data release of this programme (AWSNAP-DR1) releases 357 spectra of 175 unique objects collected over 82 equivalent full nights of observing from 2012 July to 2015 August. These spectra have been made publicly available via the WISEREP supernova spectroscopy repository.
We analyse the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme sample of Type Ia supernova spectra, including measurements of narrow sodium absorption features afforded by the high spectral resolution of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument. In some cases, we were able to use the integral-field nature of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument to measure the rotation velocity of the SN host galaxy near the SN location in order to obtain precision sodium absorption velocities. We also present an extensive time series of SN 2012dn, including a near-nebular spectrum which both confirms its ‘super-Chandrasekhar’ status and enables measurement of the sub-solar host metallicity at the SN site.
Protected areas (PAs) have been selected using either subjective or objective criteria applied to an extremely limited subset of biodiversity. Improved availability of species distribution data, better statistical tools to predict species distributions and algorithms to optimize spatial conservation planning allow many impediments to be overcome, particularly on small islands. This study analyses whether 219 species are adequately protected by PAs on Pico Island (the Azores, Portugal), and if they are as efficient as possible, maximizing species protection while minimizing costs. We performed distribution modelling of species’ potential distributions, proposed individual conservation targets (considering the context of each species in the archipelago and their current conservation status) to determine the efficiency of current PAs in meeting such targets and identify alternative or complementary areas relevant for conservation. Results showed that current PAs do not cover all taxa, leaving out important areas for conservation. We demonstrate that by using optimization algorithms it is possible to include most species groups in spatial conservation planning in the Azores with the current resources. With increasing availability of data and methods, this approach could be readily extended to other islands and regions with high endemism levels.
We report three isolated humeri of small-sized parareptiles, which represent two different taxa, from the lower Keuper (Erfurt Formation) of Germany. They constitute the first definitive evidence of parareptiles in the lower Keuper. The specimens represent the first records of an owenettid procolophonian (aff. Barasaurus) from Europe and of a putative gracile-built procolophonid. This indicates the coexistence in the Middle Triassic of Germany of two procolophonian lineages that first appeared in the fossil record in the late Permian and survived the Permian–Triassic extinction. Although based on isolated limb bones, they highlight the taxonomic diversity of the still poorly known tetrapod assemblage of the lower Keuper in southwestern Germany.
We describe the serendipitous discovery of two new lithium-rich M5 members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association (Sco-Cen). Both stars exhibit large 12 and 22 μm excesses and strong, variable Hα emission which we attribute to accretion from circumstellar discs. Such stars are thought to be incredibly rare at the ~16 Myr median age of much of Sco-Cen. The serendipitous discovery of two accreting stars hosting large quantities of circumstellar material may be indicative of a sizeable age spread in Sco-Cen, or further evidence that disc dispersal and planet formation time-scales are longer around lower-mass stars.
In tropical regions, protein supplementation is a common practice in dairy and beef farming. However, the effect of highly degradable protein in ruminal fermentation and microbial community composition has not yet been investigated in a systematic manner. In this work, we aimed to investigate the impact of casein supplementation on volatile fatty acids (VFA) production, specific activity of deamination (SAD), ammonia concentration and bacterial and archaeal community composition. The experimental design was a 4×4 Latin square balanced for residual effects, with four animals (average initial weight of 280±10 kg) and four experimental periods, each with duration of 29 days. The diet comprised Tifton 85 (Cynodon sp.) hay with an average CP content of 9.8%, on a dry matter basis. Animals received basal forage (control) or infusions of pure casein (230 g) administered direct into the rumen, abomasum or divided (50 : 50 ratio) in the rumen/abomasum. There was no differences (P>0.05) in ruminal pH and microbial protein concentration between supplemented v. non-supplemented animals. However, in steers receiving ruminal infusion of casein the SAD and ruminal ammonia concentration increased 33% and 76%, respectively, compared with the control. The total concentration of VFA increased (P<0.05) in steers receiving rumen infusion of casein. SAD and the microbial protein concentration did not vary significantly among treatments during the feeding cycle, but mean SAD values were greater in steers supplemented in the rumen and rumen/abomasum. Ruminal ammonia concentration was positively correlated with SAD in animals receiving ruminal infusion of casein. Polymerase chain reaction–denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis revealed low similarity between treatments, animals and time of sample collection. Richness analysis and determination of the Shannon–Wiener index indicated no differences (P>0.05) in species richness and diversity of γ-proteobacteria, firmicutes and archaea between non-supplemented Nellore steers and steers receiving casein supplementation in the rumen. However, species richness and the Shannon–Wiener index were lower (P<0.05) for the phylum bacteroidetes in steers supplemented with casein in the rumen compared with non-supplemented animals. Venn diagrams indicated that the number of unique bands varied considerably among individual animals and was usually higher in number for non-supplemented steers compared with supplemented animals. These results add new knowledge about the effects of ruminal and postruminal protein supplementation on metabolic activities of rumen microbes and the composition of bacterial and archaeal communities in the rumen of steers.
The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis of an improved gut environment of post-weaning piglets when administered a blend of essential oils (EO; thymol and cinnamaldehyde) and an enzyme combination (xylanase and β-glucanase (XB)) either alone or in combination. To assess the effect of dietary treatments, faecal nutrient digestibility and microbial counts, as well as ileum histology and gene expression of inflammatory mediators were evaluated. One hundred and ninety-two weaned piglets were allocated into four experimental treatments, and fed the basal diet (CTRL) either without or with EO, XB or their combination (EO+XB) for a 42-day period. The experiment concerning digestibility was designed with two periods (period I: days 15 to 21; period II: days 29 to 35) and the faeces were collected on days 20, 21, 34 and 35. On day 42, six piglets from each treatment were slaughtered. It was found that EO, XB and EO+XB supplementation did not affect (P>0.05) the growth performance of the piglets from days 0 to 42. Moreover, no dietary effect on faecal score was observed. Faecal digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, ash, dietary fibre, lipid, CP and NDF were increased from period I to period II (P<0.01 to P=0.06), while no effect (P>0.05) of EO, XB or their combination on the faecal digestibility was observed at both periods. Compared with the CTRL diet, dietary XB reduced the faecal Lactobacillus and Escherichia coli counts but increased the Lactobacillus to Coliforms ratio on day 42 (P=0.02, 0.03 and 0.03, respectively), and all the additives supplementations decreased the counts of faecal Coliforms on day 42 (P<0.01). XB supplementation increased the villus to crypt ratio (P=0.04) and reduced the mucosal macrophages number (P<0.01) in the ileum compared with the CTRL group, and dietary EO or EO+XB decreased the number of lymphatic follicles (P=0.01 and P<0.01, respectively) and mucosal macrophages (P=0.02 and P<0.01, respectively). In addition, the interleukin (IL)-1α was downregulated in piglets treated with EO+XB compared with the EO group (P=0.02). In conclusion, the administration of EO, XB or their combination was effective in improving ileum histology, and EO+XB supplementation might benefit the modulation of the expression of ileum inflammatory cytokines in piglets.
In this paper we assess the potential economic effects of climate change on Brazilian agriculture scenarios in different regions in a general equilibrium framework, using a detailed regional economic database for the year 2005. Two different climate change impact scenarios are simulated. This paper extends the Brazilian literature in three different ways: by considering detailed shocks by product and region; by highlighting the connections between the potential impacts of climate change on agriculture and the labor market, with an inter-regional focus; and by specifying the links between climate change forecasts for agriculture and household expenditures. Results show that climate change impacts on Brazilian agriculture would have a relatively small economic effect on the Brazilian economy in aggregate terms, but with severe consequences at the regional level, making a strong case for losses that would be concentrated in the poorest regions and for the poorest workers and households in those regions.