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There is an urgent need to identify and develop cross-sectoral policies which promote and support a healthy, safe and sustainable food system. To help shape the political agenda, a critical first step is a shared definition of such a system among policy makers across relevant sectors. The aim of the present study was to determine how Australian policy actors define, and contribute to, a healthy, safe and sustainable food system.
A Delphi survey, consisting of two rounds, was conducted. Participants were asked how they define, and contribute to, a healthy, safe and sustainable food system (Round 1) and indicate their level of agreement with summary statements (Round 2).
This was an online Delphi survey conducted in Australia.
Twenty-nine and fourteen multisectoral and multilevel policy makers completed Round 1 and Round 2, respectively.
The definition included food processing regulation, environmentally friendly food production and access to nutritious food. All agreed that it was important for them to improve access and supply of healthy food and ensure healthy planning principles are applied.
There were cross-sectoral differences in definitions and contributions; however, critical consensus was achieved. The study contributes to the definition of key elements of a cross-sectoral food and nutrition policy to meet today’s environmental, health, social and economic challenges; however, further research using a more representative multisectoral sample is warranted.
Human milk contains an abundant supply and diverse array of oligosaccharides (HMOs) that are known to impart significant health benefits to the nursing infant including establishment and maintenance of a healthy gut microflora, immune development and protection against gastrointestinal infections. When breast-feeding is not possible or insufficient, infant formulas are commonly used as an alternative. However, limited information is available about the presence of naturally occurring oligosaccharides in these infant formulas and their likely health benefits. The present study examined the presence of naturally occurring oligosaccharides in commercial goat’s milk-based Stage 1 and Stage 2 infant formulas and their prebiotic and anti-infection properties. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS) was used to detect and quantify oligosaccharides and their prebiotic potential was assessed by their ability, at concentrations present in reconstituted ready-to-use infant formula, to promote the growth of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis BB12, Bifidobacterium longum BB536, Lactobacillus acidophilus 4461 and Lactobacillus casei 2607 in vitro. For anti-infection properties, the ability of goat milk oligosaccharides to prevent the adhesion of Escherichia coli NCTC 10418 and a Salmonella typhimurium isolate to Caco-2 cells was investigated. The results showed the presence of 14 quantifiable oligosaccharides in stage-1 and stage-2 goat's milk-based infant formula. This was similar to the numbers of oligosaccharides detected in the fresh goat's milk. Of these, five were structurally similar to those found in human milk. These oligosaccharides were shown to significantly enhance the growth of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli and reduce the adhesion of E. coli NCTC 10418 and S. typhimurium to Caco-2 cells. Together, these results suggest that oligosaccharides naturally present in goat’s milk-based infant formula exhibit strong prebiotic and anti-pathogen adhesion properties and may confer gut health benefits to infants.
The measured hardness of a metal crystal depends on a variety of length scales. Microstructural features, such as grain size and precipitate spacing, determine the intrinsic material length scale. Extrinsic (test) length scales, such as the indentation depth, lead to the indentation size effect (ISE), whereby it is typically found that smaller is stronger. Nix and Gao [J. Mech. Phys. Solids46, 411 (1998)] developed a widely used model for interpreting the ISE based on forest hardening in single crystalline pure metals. This work extends that model to consider the hardness of polycrystals and alloys, as well as introducing a finite limit to the hardness at very small extrinsic length scales. The resulting expressions are validated against data from the literature. It is shown that a reasonable estimate of the intrinsic material length scale can be extracted from a suite of hardness tests conducted across a range of indentation depths using spherical indenters of various radii.
Five populations of rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin) from fields across cropping regions in southern Australia were suspected of having resistance to thiocarbamates, chloroacetamides, and sulfonylisoxazoline herbicides. Resistant (R) populations 375-14, 198-15, 16.2, EP162, RAC1, and A18 and two susceptible (S) populations (SLR4 and VLR1) were included in a dose–response study. All suspected R populations expressed resistance to one or all herbicides (thiocarbamates, chloroacetamides, and pyroxasulfone). Population 198-15 exhibited the highest LD50 to triallate (44.7-fold), prosulfocarb (45.7-fold), S-metolachlor (31.5-fold), and metazachlor (27.2-fold) compared with the S populations. Populations 198-15 and 375-14 were also resistant to pyroxasulfone (13.5- and 14.9-fold) compared with the S populations, as was population EP162. This study documents the first case of field-evolved resistance to thiocarbamate, chloroacetamide, and sulfonylisoxazoline herbicides in L. rigidum.
A population of rigid ryegrass (Lolium rigidum Gaudin) from a field on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, was suspected of resistance to thiocarbamate herbicides. Dose–response studies were conducted on this population (EP162) and two susceptible populations (SLR4 and VLR1). The resistant population exhibited cross-resistance to triallate, prosulfocarb, EPTC, and thiobencarb with higher LD50 to triallate (14.9-fold), prosulfocarb (9.4-fold), EPTC (9.7-fold), and thiobencarb (13.6-fold) compared with the susceptible populations SLR4 and VLR1. The resistant population also displayed resistance to trifluralin, pyroxasulfone, and propyzamide. The LD50 of the resistant population was higher for trifluralin (13.8-fold), pyroxasulfone (8.1-fold), and propyzamide (2.7-fold) compared with the susceptible populations. This study documents the first case of field-evolved resistance to thiocarbamate herbicides in L. rigidum.
Twin researchers face the challenge of accurately determining the zygosity of twins for research. As part of the annual questionnaire between 1999 and 2006, 8,307 twins from the TwinsUK registry were asked to complete five questions (independently from their co-twin) to ascertain their self-perceived zygosity during childhood on up to five separate occasions. This questionnaire is known as the ‘peas in the pod’ questionnaire (PPQ), but there is little evidence of its validation. Answers were scored and classified as monozygotic (MZ), dizygotic (DZ), or unknown zygosity (UZ) and were compared with 4,484 twins with genotyping data who had not been selected for zygosity. Of these, 3,859 individuals (46.5% of those who had a zygosity from PPQ) had zygosity classified by both the PPQ and genotyping. Of the 708 individual twins whose answers meant that they were consistently classed as MZ in the PPQ, 683 (96.5%) were MZ within the genotype data. Of the 945 individual twins consistently classed as DZ within questionnaire, 936 (99.0%) were DZ in the genotype data. Where both twins scored MZ consistently across multiple questionnaires, 99.6% were MZ on genotyping, 99.7% were DZ on genotyping if both twins consistently scored DZ. However, for the initial questionnaire, 88.6% of those scoring as MZ were genotypically MZ and 98.7% DZ. For twin pairs where both scored UZ, 94.7% were DZ. Using the PPQ on a single occasion provided a definitive classification of whether the twin was MZ or DZ with an overall accuracy of 86.9%, increasing to 97.9% when there was a consistent classification of zygosity across multiple questionnaires. This study has shown that the PPQ questionnaire is an excellent proxy indicator of zygosity in the absence of genotyping information.
Populations of rigid ryegrass suspected of resistance to trifluralin due to control failures exhibited varying levels of susceptibility to trifluralin, with 15 out of 17 populations deemed resistant (>20% plant survival). Detailed dose–response studies were conducted on one highly resistant field-evolved population (SLR74), one known multiply resistant population (SLR31), and one susceptible population (VLR1). On the basis of the dose required to kill 50% of treated plants (LD50), SLR74 had 15-fold greater resistance than VLR1, whereas, the multiply resistant SLR31 had 10-fold greater resistance than VLR1. Similarly, on the basis of dose required to reduce shoot biomass by 50% (GR50), SLR74 had 17-fold greater resistance than VLR1, and SLR31 had 8-fold greater resistance than VLR1. Sequencing of the α-tubulin gene from resistant plants of different populations confirmed the presence of a previously known goosegrass mutation causing an amino acid substitution at position 239 from threonine to isoleucine in resistant population SLR74. This mutation was also found in 4 out of 5 individuals in another highly resistant population TR2 and in 3 out of 5 individuals of TR4. An amino acid substitution from valine to phenylalanine at position 202 was also observed in TR4 (3 out of 5 plants) and TR2 (1 out of 5 plants). There was no target-site mutation identified in SLR31. This study documents the first known case of field-evolved target-site resistance to dinitroaniline herbicides in a population of rigid ryegrass.
Windmillgrass is a major weed in agricultural systems in northern Australia, and it has now become more common in southern Australia. Because little information is available on the biology of this weed species in southern Australia, studies were conducted to investigate plant development and seed biology. Under irrigated field conditions in South Australia, windmillgrass required 748 to 786 growing degree days from emergence to mature seed production. Freshly harvested seed had low dormancy with 16% to 40% germination. Seeds required light exposure for germination and less than 2% germination was observed in complete darkness. Seed could germinate over a wide temperature range (10 to 40 C) with maximum germination at 20 to 25 C. At 25 to 30 C, 50% germination occurred within 27.3 to 45.5 h, and the predicted base temperature for germination of the two populations investigated ranged from 9.2 to 11.2 C. The sodium chloride concentration and osmotic potential required to inhibit germination by 50% were 51 to 73 mM and −0.27 MPa, respectively. Seedling emergence was completely inhibited by burial of seed, which is consistent with its absolute requirement for light exposure to begin germination. Under field conditions, there was no clear effect of burial depth on seed viability in the first 2 yr with average rainfall, and seeds were completely nonviable after 12 mo. However, in the third year, with low spring–summer rainfall, buried seeds (37% viability after 14 mo) persisted longer than those left on the soil surface (6% viability after 14 mo). This study provides important information on plant development and seed biology of windmillgrass that will contribute to the development of a management program for this weed species in southern Australia.
Sediments deposited from the Permian–Triassic boundary (~252 Ma) until the end-Smithian (Early Triassic; c. 250.7 Ma) in the Sonoma Foreland Basin show marked thickness variations between its southern (up to c. 250 m thick) and northern (up to c. 550 m thick) parts. This basin formed as a flexural response to the emplacement of the Golconda Allochthon during the Sonoma orogeny. Using a high-resolution backstripping approach, a numerical model and sediment thickness to obtain a quantitative subsidence analysis, we discuss the controlling factor(s) responsible for spatial variations in thickness. We show that sedimentary overload is not sufficient to explain the significant discrepancy observed in the sedimentary record of the basin. We argue that the inherited rheological properties of the basement terranes and spatial heterogeneity of the allochthon are of paramount importance in controlling the subsidence and thickness spatial distribution across the Sonoma Foreland Basin.
Feather fingergrass is a major weed in agricultural systems in northern Australia and has now spread to southern Australia. To better understand the biology of this emerging weed species, its growth, development, and seed biology were examined. Under field conditions in South Australia, seedlings that emerged after summer rainfall events required 1,200 growing degree days from emergence to mature seed production and produced 700 g m−2 shoot biomass. Plants produced up to 1,000 seeds panicle−1 and more than 40,000 seeds plant−1, with seed weight ranging from 0.36 to 0.46 mg. Harvested seeds were dormant for a period of about 2 mo and required 5 mo of after-ripening to reach 50% germination. Freshly harvested seed could be released from dormancy by pretreatment with 564 mM sodium hypochlorite for 30 min. Light significantly increased germination. Seed could germinate over a wide temperature range (10 to 40 C), with maximum germination at 15 to 25 C. At 20 to 25 C, 50% germination was reached within 2.7 to 3.3 d, and the predicted base temperature to germinate was 2.1 to 3.0 C. The osmotic potential and NaCl concentration required to inhibit germination by 50% were −0.16 to −0.20 MPa and 90 to 124 mM, respectively. Seedling emergence was highest (76%) for seeds present on soil surface and was significantly reduced by burial at 1 (57%), 2 (49%), and 5 cm (9%). Under field conditions, seeds buried in the soil persisted longer than those left on the soil surface, and low spring–summer rainfall increased seed persistence. This study provides important information on growth, development, and seed biology of feather fingergrass that will contribute to the development of a more effective management program for this weed species in Australia.
Rigid ryegrass, an important annual weed species in cropping regions of southern Australia, has evolved resistance to 11 major groups of herbicides. Dose–response studies were conducted to determine response of three clethodim-resistant populations and one clethodim-susceptible population of rigid ryegrass to three different frost treatments (−2 C). Clethodim-resistant and -susceptible plants were exposed to frost in a frost chamber from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 A.M. for three nights before or after clethodim application and were compared with plants not exposed to frost. A reduction in the level of clethodim efficacy was observed in resistant populations when plants were exposed to frost for three nights before or after clethodim application. In the highly resistant populations, the survival percentage and LD50 were higher when plants were exposed to frost before clethodim application compared with frost after clethodim application. However, frost treatment did not influence clethodim efficacy of the susceptible population. Sequencing of the acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase) gene of the three resistant populations identified three known mutations at positions 1781, 2041, and 2078. However, most individuals in the highly resistant populations did not contain any known mutation in ACCase, suggesting the resistance mechanism was a nontarget site. The effect of frost on clethodim efficacy in resistant plants may be an outcome of the interaction between frost and the clethodim resistance mechanism(s) present.
Rigid ryegrass is the most-troublesome, herbicide-resistant weed in cropping systems of southern Australia. Field experiments were undertaken at Roseworthy, South Australia, in 2013 and 2014, to identify effective herbicide options for the control of clethodim-resistant rigid ryegrass in Clearfield canola. PPI trifluralin + triallate followed by (fb) POST imazamox + imazapyr + clethodim + butroxydim had the lowest plant density of rigid ryegrass in 2014 and provided superior control compared with the standard grower practice of PPI trifluralin + triallate fb POST imazamox + imazapyr + clethodim in 1 of 2 yr. Propyzamide either alone or as a split application (PPI fb POST) or in combination with clethodim provided similar rigid ryegrass control to that of the standard grower practice (38 to 553 plants m−2). Rigid ryegrass treated with PPI dimethenamid-P, pethoxamid, pethoxamid + triallate, and PPI trifluralin fb carbetamide POST produced significantly more seeds than the standard grower practice, which would lead to reinfestation of subsequent crops. Canola yield responded positively to effective herbicide treatments, especially in 2014, when rigid ryegrass density was greater. PPI dimethenamid-P and pethoxamid alone or in combination with triallate and propyzamide were ineffective in reducing rigid ryegrass density and seed production to levels acceptable for continuous cropping systems.
Smooth barley is an annual weed species that is infesting crops and pastures in South Australia. Complicating control options is the presence of herbicide-resistant biotypes. A field trial was conducted to identify alternative herbicides for the management of acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACCase)-inhibiting herbicide-resistant smooth barley in field pea. Preplant (PP) soil applications of pyroxasulfone; prosulfocarb plus S-metolachlor; dimethenamid-P; propyzamide; trifluralin alone or with triallate or with diuron; or imazamox applied POST were evaluated for their effectiveness and crop safety. Propyzamide, pyroxasulfone, or imazamox applied POST provided a high level of smooth barley control, did not cause any crop injury, and increased field pea grain or forage yield compared with the nontreated. Furthermore, propyzamide or pyroxasulfone reduced panicle density and seed production in smooth barley, whereas the effectiveness of POST imazamox varied over the two seasons. Dimethenamid-P reduced the impact of smooth barley on field pea yield, but cause stunting, and was less effective than propyzamide, pyroxasulfone, and imazamox in reducing smooth barley seed production. Negative relationship between field pea yield and smooth barley panicle density indicated that smooth barley is highly competitive in field pea crops and can cause large yield losses. The results of this investigation suggest that propyzamide or pyroxasulfone applied PP and imazamox applied POST could be used effectively in the field for the management of ACCase-inhibiting herbicide-resistant smooth barley in South Australia.
A field study was undertaken to investigate the influence of different management strategies on rigid ryegrass plant density and seedbank dynamics over 4 yr. Even though weed seedbank declined by 86% after oaten hay in year 1, the residual seedbank enabled rigid ryegrass to reinfest field peas the next year, and the population rebounded sharply when weed control relied solely on PPI trifluralin. However, use of POST clethodim followed by crop-topping for seed-set prevention of rigid ryegrass in field pea was highly effective and caused a further decline in the weed seedbank. Integration of effective management tactics over 3 yr significantly reduced rigid ryegrass weed and spike density (90 and 81%) in the final year of the 4-yr cropping sequence. Use of oaten hay in year 1, followed by effective weed control in field pea and wheat crops, depleted the high initial seedbank (4,820 seeds m−2) to moderate levels (< 200 seeds m−2) within 3 yr. Effective weed-management treatments depleted the rigid ryegrass seedbank, reduced in-crop weed infestation, and returned higher grain yields and profitability. The results of this study clearly show that large rigid ryegrass populations can be managed effectively without reducing crop productivity and profitability provided multiyear weed-management programs are implemented effectively.
Between 2010 and 2012, 3 outbreaks of nosocomial infections in German neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) attracted considerable public interest. Headlines on national television channels and in newspapers had important consequences for the involved institutions and a negative impact on the relationship between families and staff in many German NICUs.
To determine whether NICU outbreaks reported in the media influenced provider behavior in the community of neonatal care and led to more third-line antibiotic prescribing.
Observational cohort study.
To investigate secular trends, we evaluated data for very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBWIs, birth weight <1,500 g) enrolled in the German Neonatal Network (GNN) between 2009 and 2014 (N=10,253). For outbreak effects, we specifically analyzed data for VLBWIs discharged 6 months before (n=2,428) and 6 months after outbreaks (n=2,508).
The exposure of all VLBWIs to third-line antibiotics increased after outbreaks (19.4% before vs 22.5% after; P=.007). This trend particularly affected male infants (4.6% increase; P=.005) and infants with a birth weight between 1,000 and 1,499 g (3.5% increase; P=.001)
In a logistic regression analysis, month of discharge as linear variable of time was associated with increased exposure to third-line antibiotics (odds ratio [OR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.009–1.014; P<.001), and discharge within the 6-month period after outbreak reports independently contributed to this long-term trend (OR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.017–1.270; P=.024).
Media reports directly affect medical practice, eg, overuse of third-line antibiotics. Future communication and management strategies must be based on objective dialogues between the scientific community and investigative journalists.
Previous genetic studies of extant planktonic foraminifera have provided evidence that the traditional, strictly morphological definition of species in these organisms underestimates their biodiversity. Here, we report the first case where this pattern is reversed. The modern (sub)tropical species plexus Globigerinoides sacculifer is characterized by large morphological variability, which has led to the proliferation of taxonomic names attributed to morphological end-members within the plexus. In order to clarify the taxonomic status of its morphotypes and to investigate the genetic connectivity among its currently partly disjunct (sub)tropical populations, we carried out a global survey of two ribosomal RNA regions (SSU and ITS-1) in all recent morphotypes of the plexus collected throughout (sub)tropical surface waters of the global ocean. Unexpectedly, we find an extremely reduced genetic variation within the plexus and no correlation between genetic and morphological divergence, suggesting taxonomical overinterpretation. The genetic homogeneity within the morphospecies is unexpected, considering its partly disjunct range in the (sub)tropical Atlantic and Indo-Pacific and its old age (early Miocene). A sequence variant in the rapidly evolving ITS-1 region indicates the existence of an exclusively Atlantic haplotype, which suggests an episode of relatively recent (last glacial) isolation, followed by subsequent resumption of unidirectional gene flow from the Indo-Pacific into the Atlantic. This is the first example in planktonic foraminifera where the morphological variability in a morphospecies exceeds its rDNA genetic variability. Such evidence for inconsistent scaling of morphological and genetic diversity in planktonic foraminifera could complicate the interpretation of evolutionary patterns in their fossil record.