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In a rice (Oryza sativa L.)–wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) rotation system, a study was conducted to determine the effects of different fertilization regimens (no fertilization, replacement of a portion of chemical fertilizer with composted pig manure, chemical fertilizer only, and straw return combined with chemical fertilizer) on the weed communities and wheat yields after 4 and 5 yr. The impact of the long-term recurrent fertilization regimen initiated in 2010 on the composition and diversity of weed communities and the impact of the components and total amount of fertilizer on wheat yields were assessed in 2014 and 2015. Totals of 19 and 16 weed species were identified in experimental wheat fields in 2014 and 2015, respectively, but the occurrence of weed species varied according to the fertilization regimen. American sloughgrass [Beckmannia syzigachne (Steud.) Fernald], water starwort [Myosoton aquaticum (L.) Moench], and lyrate hemistepta (Hemistepta lyrata Bunge.) were adapted to all fertilization treatments and were the dominant weed species in the experimental wheat fields. The greatest number of weed species were observed under the no-fertilization treatment, in which 40% of the weed community was composed of broadleaf weeds and the lowest wheat yields were obtained. With fertilizer application, the number of weed species was reduced, the height of weeds increased significantly, the density of broadleaf weeds was significantly reduced, the biodiversity indices of weed communities decreased significantly, and higher wheat yields were obtained. Only the chemical fertilizer plus composted pig manure treatment and the chemical fertilizer–only treatment increased the density of grassy weeds and the total weed community density. The treatment with chemical fertilizer only also resulted in the highest density of B. syzigachne. Rice straw return combined with chemical fertilizer yielded the lowest total weed density, which suggests that it inhibited occurrence of weeds. The different fertilizer regimens not only affected the weed species composition, distribution, and diversity, but also the weed density. Our study provides new information from a rice–wheat rotation system on the relationship between soil amendments and agricultural weed infestation.
The Zhenzhu Spring, located in the Tengchong volcanic field, Yunnan, China, is an acid hot spring with high SO42− concentrations and intense acid aerosol generation. In order to understand the formation mechanism of sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring and provide a better insight into the sulfur isotope geochemistry of the associated Rehai hydrothermal system, we investigated the spring water hydrochemistry, mineralogy and major-element geochemistry of sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring together with the sulfur-oxygen isotope geochemistry of sulfur-containing materials at the Rehai geothermal field and compared the isotope results with those in other steam-heated environments. Subaerial minerals include a wide variety of sulfate minerals (gypsum, alunogen, pickeringite, tamarugite, magnesiovoltaite and a minor Mg–S–O phase) and amorphous SiO2. The δ34S values of the subaerial sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring varied subtly from –0.33 to 1.88‰ and were almost consistent with the δ34S values of local H2S (–2.6 to 0.6‰) and dissolved SO42− (–0.2 to 5.8‰), while the δ18O values (–8.94 to 20.1‰) were between that of the spring waters (–10.19 to –6.7‰) and atmospheric O2 (~23.88‰). The results suggest that most of the sulfate minerals are derived from the oxidation of H2S, similar to many sulfate minerals from modern steam-heated environments. However, the rapid environmental change (different ratio of atmospheric and water oxygen) at the Zhenzhu Spring accounts for the large variation of δ18O. The formation of subaerial sulfate minerals around the Zhenzhu Spring is related to acid aerosols (vapour and acid water droplets). The intense activity of spring water around vents supply the aerosol with H2SO4 (H2S oxidation and acid water droplets formed by bubble bursting) and few cations. Deposition of the acid sulfate aerosol forms the acid condensate, which attacks the underlying rocks and releases many cations and anions to form subaerial sulfate minerals at the Zhenzhu Spring.
The aim of this study was to investigate the in vivo degradation mechanism and the mechanical properties of poly(lactide-co-glycolide)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (PLGA/β-TCP) composite anchors. Anchors composed of PLGA and β-TCP were implanted in the dorsal subcutaneous tissue of beagle dogs for 6, 12, 16, and 26 weeks. The degradation of the materials was evaluated by measuring the changes in thermal behavior, crystallinity, and mechanical properties. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to observe the surface and longitudinal section of the material. The evaluation of mechanical strength retention and degradation properties suggest that the addition of β-TCP particles efficiently enhances their mechanical properties and thermal characteristics and delays their degradation rate. By analyzing the results of SEM, X-ray diffraction, and differential scanning calorimetry, we can infer that after 12 weeks, the connection between β-TCP and PLGA becomes less compact, which accelerates the decline of mechanical strength.
The giant panda, native to mountains of south-west China, is one of the world's rarest bear species and is subject to considerable conservation effort. In captivity, the proportion of twins accounts for 54% of the total number of births. To date, little is known about zygosity in panda populations — specifically, the proportion of monozygotic and dizygotic twins. In this study, we used 10 microsatellite markers for reliable zygosity testing, and the probability of monozygotic twins was 99.963% when all 10 markers were concordant. Out of 43 studied twin pairs, no MZ twins were found, indicating that there may be no identical panda twins (or the incidence is very low). We speculate that the fertilized eggs of giant pandas do not have the capability to split into two identical embryos, or that this ability is very poor, which is likely due to delayed implantation that is common in bear species. The results of this study deepen our understanding of giant panda breeding, yield insight into panda twins’ likely mechanism of formation, and reduce the uncertainty of individual identity in wild population surveys.
A stable reference gene is a key prerequisite for accurate assessment of gene expression. At present, the real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction has been widely used in the analysis of gene expression in a variety of organisms. Neoseiulus barkeri Hughes (Acari: Phytoseiidae) is a major predator of mites on many important economically crops. Until now, however, there are no reports evaluating the stability of reference genes in this species. In view of this, we used GeNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder software tools to evaluate the expression stability of 11 candidate reference genes in developmental stages and under various abiotic stresses. According to our results, β-ACT and Hsp40 were the top two stable reference genes in developmental stages. The Hsp60 and Hsp90 were the most stable reference genes in various acaricides stress. For alterations in temperature, Hsp40 and α-TUB were the most suitable reference genes. About UV stress, EF1α and α-TUB were the best choice, and for the different prey stress, β-ACT and α-TUB were best suited. In normal conditions, the β-ACT and α-TUB were the two of the highest stable reference genes to respond to all kinds of stresses. The current study provided a valuable foundation for the further analysis of gene expression in N. barkeri.
Dipetalonema gracile is a common parasite in squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus), which can cause malnutrition and progressive wasting of the host, and lead to death in the case of massive infection. This study aimed to identify a suspected D. gracile worm from a dead squirrel monkey by means of molecular biology, and to amplify its complete mitochondrial genome by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. The results identified the worm as D. gracile, and the full length of its complete mitochondrial genome was 13,584 bp, which contained 22 tRNA genes, 12 protein-coding genes, two rRNA genes, one AT-rich region and one small non-coding region. The nucleotide composition included A (16.89%), G (20.19%), T (56.22%) and C (6.70%), among which A + T = 73.11%. The 12 protein-coding genes used TTG and ATT as start codons, and TAG and TAA as stop codons. Among the 22 tRNA genes, only trnS1AGN and trnS2UCN exhibited the TΨC-loop structure, while the other 20 tRNAs showed the TV-loop structure. The rrnL (986 bp) and rrnS (685 bp) genes were single-stranded and conserved in secondary structure. This study has enriched the mitochondrial gene database of Dipetalonema and laid a scientific basis for further study on classification, and genetic and evolutionary relationships of Dipetalonema nematodes.
The finding that noun production is slower and less accurate in bilinguals compared to monolinguals is well replicated, but not well understood. This study examined the two prominent theoretical accounts for this bilingual effect: weaker links and cross-language interference. Highly proficient Mandarin–English bilinguals and English-speaking monolinguals named pictures in which the effects of grammatical class, word frequency and translatability were examined. While bilinguals were slower overall than monolinguals in both L1 and L2, the magnitude of this bilingual effect was smaller for verbs than for nouns. Bilinguals showed a larger production advantage for high vs. low frequency words in their L2 relative to monolinguals and their L1. Bilinguals also showed an advantage for words with greater translatability, which did not differ across grammatical categories. The findings lend partial support to the weaker links account, and reveal cross-language facilitation rather than interference.
Scabies is a parasitic disease caused by the ectoparasite Sarcoptes scabiei, affecting different mammalian species, including rabbits, worldwide. In the present study, we cloned and expressed a novel inorganic pyrophosphatase, Ssc-PYP-1, from S. scabiei var. cuniculi. Immunofluorescence staining showed that native Ssc-PYP-1 was localized in the tegument around the mouthparts and the entire legs, as well as in the cuticle of the mites. Interestingly, obvious staining was also observed on the fecal pellets of mites and in the integument of the mites. Based on its good immunoreactivity, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using recombinant Ssc-PYP-1 (rSsc-PYP-1) as the capture antigen was developed to diagnose sarcoptic mange in naturally infected rabbits; the assay had a sensitivity of 92·0% and specificity of 93·6%. Finally, using the rSsc-PYP-1-ELISA, the Ssc-PYP-1 antibody from 10 experimentally infected rabbits could be detected from 1 week post-infection. This is the first report of S. scabiei inorganic pyrophosphatase and the protein could serve as a potential serodiagnostic candidate for sarcoptic mange in rabbits.
Neoseiulus barkeri (HUGHES) is the natural enemy of spider mites, whiteflies and thrips. Screening for chemically-resistant predatory mites is a practical way to balance the contradiction between the pesticide using and biological control. In this study, the number of eggs laid by fenpropathrin-susceptible and resistant strains of N. barkeri was compared. Additionally, we cloned three N. barkeri vitellogenin (Vg) genes and used quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction to quantify Vg expression in susceptible and resistant strains. The total number of eggs significantly increased in the fenpropathrin-resistant strain. The full-length cDNA cloning of three N. barkeri Vg genes (NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3) revealed that the open reading frames of NbVg1, NbVg2 and NbVg3 were 5571, 5532 and 4728 bp, encoding 1856, 1843 and 1575 amino acids, respectively. The three N. barkeri Vg possessed the Vitellogenin-N domain (or lipoprotein N-terminal domain (LPD_N)), von Willebrand factor type D domain (VWD) and the domain with unknown function 1943 (DUF1943). The NbVg1 and NbVg2 expression levels were significantly higher in the resistant strain than in the susceptible strain, while the NbVg3 expression level was lower in the resistant strain. Thus, we speculate that the increased number of eggs laid by the fenpropathrin-resistant strain of N. barkeri may be a consequence of changes in Vg gene expression.
Magnesium oxide aerogels were made by sol-gel process using magnesium methoxide as precursor, methanol and deionized water as solvent with ethanol supercritical fluid drying. The influences of the different factors on the gel time and the specific surface area of magnesium oxide aerogels were studied, and the structure and morphology were characterized by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) and X-ray diffraction (XRD), and the Small Angle X-ray Scatter (SAXS) was utilized to determine the fractural structure of the magnesium oxide aerogels. The results show that MgO aerogels belong to the typical mesoporous materials with rich network and highly developed pore structure, and the specific surface area is 904.9 m2/g, the apparent density is 0.055 g/cm3, the average pore size is 19.6 nm. The results of SAXS analysis show that the fractal dimension of the MgO aerogels is 2.32 in high q area which proves the existence of rough surface and pore fractal structure.
Recently we showed that 5% linseed oil (LSO) and 5% safflower oil (SFO) supplementation of cow's diets reduced milk fat yield by 30·38 and 32·42% respectively, accompanied by differential expression of genes and regulation by microRNAs (miRNA). This research communication addresses the hypothesis that epigenetic regulation could be involved in the observed milk fat reduction. Thus, this study investigated the gene expression pattern of major epigenetic modifying enzymes in response to dietary supplementation with LSO or SFO. Twenty-six Canadian Holstein cows in mid lactation were randomly assigned to two groups (13/group) and fed a control diet for 28 d (day −28 to −1) (control period- CP) followed by a treatment period (TP) (control diet supplemented with 5% LSO (LSO treatment) or 5% SFO (SFO treatment) of 28 d (day +1 to +28). After treatment, cows in the two groups were returned to the control diet for another 28 d (day +29 to +56) (post treatment period-PTP). Milk samples were collected on day −1 (CP), +7, +28 (TP) and +56 (PTP) for RNA isolation and measurement of the expression of thirteen epigenetic modifying genes including two DNA methytrasferases (DNMT1, DNMT3A), four histone acetylases (HAT1, KAT2A, KAT5 and CREBBP), five histone deacetylases (HDAC1, HDAC2, HDAC3, SIRT1 and SIRT2) and two histone methytransferases (EHMT2 and PRMT1) by qPCR. Linseed oil supplementation significantly repressed the expression of EHMT2, HDAC2 and HDAC3 on day +7 (P < 0·05) and KAT2A and SIRT2 on day +28 (P < 0·05) as compared with the control period (day −1) while SFO had no effect. When LSO was withdrawn, the expression of some of the genes increased slightly but did not reach control (day −1) levels at the end of the PTP. Our study demonstrated a significant role of LSO in the epigenetic regulation of fatty acid synthesis as compared to SFO. The effect of LSO may be related to its higher degree of unsaturation and might represent a different regulatory mechanism which needs further investigation.
Schizophrenia (SZ) is suggested to be a complex polygenetic disorder with high heritability. Genome-wide association studies have found that the rs1635, rs11038167, and rs10489202 polymorphisms are associated with SZ in Han Chinese. However, results of validation studies are inconsistent. This study aimed to test the association between the NKAPL rs1635, TSPAN18 rs11038167, and MPC2 rs10489202 polymorphisms and SZ in a Chinese population.
This study contained 700 unrelated SZ patients (300 Zhuang and 400 Han) and 700 gender- and age-matched controls (300 Zhuang and 400 Han). The polymorphisms in TSPAN18 (rs11038167), NKAPL (rs1635), and MPC2 (rs10489202) were genotyped using the Sequenom MassARRAY method. Statistical analyses were performed with PLINK program and SPSS l6.0 for Windows. STATA11.1 was used for meta-analysis.
No statistically significant difference was found in different allele and genotype frequencies of rs1635, rs11038167, and rs10489202 between SZ cases and controls of Zhuang and Han ethnicities and the total samples (all p>0.05). Further meta-analysis suggested that single-nucleotide polymorphism rs10489202 was significantly associated with SZ in a Han Chinese population (pOR=0.002).
Our case–control study failed to validate the significant association of NKAPL rs1635, TSPAN18 rs11038167, and MPC2 rs10489202 polymorphisms with SZ susceptibility in the southern Zhuang or Han Chinese population. However, meta-analysis showed a significant association between MPC2 variant rs10489202 and SZ susceptibility in Han Chinese.
Co-infections of cystic echinococcosis (CE) and HIV/AIDS is rare. We report four CE cases that were HIV positive. Three out of the four patients underwent a surgical operation to remove the hydatid cysts in their livers. The operation confirmed that in two of the cases their cysts had ruptured. These patients were given 3 months of albendazole after the operation. Follow-up showed they were remarkably improved in term of their health, although they were still HIV antibody positive 6 months after surgical treatment. Interestingly, the treatment remarkably increased their CD4+ cell population. We showed that surgery is suitable for treating hepatic cystic echinococcosis with HIV/AIDS co-infection.
To detect the expression of pro-fibrotic molecules, such as heat shock protein 47 (Hsp47), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) in liver specimens, and analyse their correlations with the progression of schistosomal hepatic fibrosis, liver biopsy was performed in 42 chronic schistosomiasis (CS) patients, 16 chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients and five healthy individuals (HI). Immunohistochemistry (IHC) analyses displayed that the expression of Hsp47, TGF-β1 and CTGF was increased in CS and CHB patients compared with HI. Using real-time PCR, the mRNA levels of Hsp47, TGF-β1 and CTGF were higher in CS patients compared with HI. In CS patients, the mRNA levels of these genes were correlated with the stage of fibrosis, and TGF-β1 mRNA expression was associated with the grade of inflammation. Additional analyses indicated that the mRNA levels of Hsp47 and CTGF were highly correlated with liver stiffness value and spleen thickness diameter, both of which represented the severity of fibrosis. In conclusion, the three molecules are involved in the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis infected by Schistosoma japonicum. TGF-β1 participates not only in the inflammatory process, but also in the fibrotic process in which Hsp47 and CTGF probably play a key role.
In this work, the metallic element Ru is introduced into a-Si:H. The structural and electrical properties of the films doped with Ru have been investigated. Raman spectra reveal that the addition of Ru disarranges further the intrinsically disordered amorphous network and generates more coordinated defects. Meanwhile, a new paramagnetic signal, associated with the holes localized in valence band tail, has been observed. Moreover, the conductivity increases by about nine orders of magnitude with the increase of doping concentration, and the temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) results show that this material may have a potential application in the infrared detectors.
The governing equations for heat transfer and fluid flow are often formulated in a general form for the simplification of discretization and programming, which has achieved great success in thermal science and engineering. Based on the analysis of the popular general form of governing equations, we found that energy conservation cannot be guaranteed when specific heat capacity is not constant, which may lead to unreliable results. A new concept of generalized density is put forward, based on which a new general form of governing equations is proposed to guarantee energy conservation. A number of calculation examples have been employed to verify validation and feasibility.
TiO2@C core–shell nanostructures with various crystal structures of TiO2-B, anatase, and rutile were successfully synthesized by a simple hydrothermal process and postheat treatments. As-synthesized precursor hydrogen titanate@carbonaceous nanoribbons transformed into TiO2-B@C nanoribbons at 400 °C and further transformed into anatase and rutile TiO2@C nanoribbons at 700 and 800 °C, respectively. The morphology of nanoribbons can be retained up to 800 °C. The transformation temperature (800 °C) from anatase to rutile phase is lower than that of TiO2 nanofibers without carbon layers and anatase TiO2@C nanoparticles. These results show that the carbon shell plays important roles in promoting the phase transition from anatase to rutile phase and protecting the nanoribbon-like morphology. The formation mechanism of the TiO2@C core–shell nanostructures with various crystal structures was discussed.