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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.
Phenoloxidase (PO) plays a key role in melanin biosynthesis during insect development. Here, we isolated the 2310-bp full-length cDNA of PPO1 from Zeugodacus tau, a destructive horticultural pest. qRT-polymerase chain reaction showed that the ZtPPO1 transcripts were highly expressed during larval–prepupal transition and in the haemolymph. When the larvae were fed a 1.66% kojic acid (KA)-containing diet, the levels of the ZtPPO1 transcripts significantly increased by 2.79- and 3.39-fold in the whole larvae and cuticles, respectively, while the corresponding PO activity was significantly reduced; in addition, the larval and pupal durations were significantly prolonged; pupal weights were lowered; and abnormal phenotypes were observed. An in vitro inhibition experiment indicated that KA was an effective competitive inhibitor of PO in Z. tau. Additionally, the functional analysis showed that 20E could significantly up-regulate the expression of ZtPPO1, induce lower pupal weight, and advance pupation. Knockdown of the ZtPPO1 gene by RNAi significantly decreased mRNA levels after 24 h and led to low pupation rates and incomplete pupae with abnormal phenotypes during the larval-pupal interim period. These results proved that PO is important for the normal growth of Z. tau and that KA can disrupt the development of this pest insect.
Human cystic echinococcosis is a widespread, chronic, endemic, helminthic zoonosis caused by larval tapeworms of the species Echinococcus granulosus. At present, there is no rational and effective therapy for patients with echinococcosis. The present study evaluated whether the combination of alkaloids from Sophora moorcroftiana seeds (SMSa2) and Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) was effective in the treatment of experimental echinococcosis. After 20 weeks of secondary infection with protoscoleces, mice were randomly allocated to five groups and treated for 6 weeks by daily intragastric administration of albendazole (ABZ, 100 mg/kg), SMSa2 (100 mg/kg), BCG (abdominal subcutaneous injection at 5 × 106 CFU), SMSa2 + BCG (100 mg/kg SMSa2 and 5 × 106 CFU BCG) or normal saline (untreated group), respectively. The results indicated a significant reduction in the weight of hydatid cysts in the SMSa2 + BCG group compared with the untreated, SMSa2 and BCG groups. The rate of inhibition of hydatid cyst growth in the SMSa2 + BCG group (76.1%) was obviously increased compared with that in the SMSa2 (25.7%) and BCG (26.6%) groups, respectively. Compared with the untreated control, the SMSa2 + BCG group showed a non-significant increase in serum interleukin-4 (IL-4). Furthermore, the serum levels of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) between the untreated and SMSa2 + BCG groups were not statistically different. Therefore, the combination of alkaloids from S. moorcroftiana seeds and BCG can reduce cyst burden and is an effective therapeutic regimen against echinococcosis.
This study aimed to evaluate the acaricidal activity of lettuce (Lactuca sativa) extracts against carmine spider mites (Tetranychus cinnabarinus Boisd.) and isolate the acaricidal components. Acaricidal activities of lettuce extracts isolated from different parts (the leaf, root and seed) using various solvents (petroleum ether, acetone and methanol) were evaluated with slide-dip bioassay and relatively high median lethal concentration (LC50) values were detected. Acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July and September were fractionated and isolated with silica gel and thin-layer chromatography. Consequently, acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July exhibited higher acaricidal activity than those harvested in September, with an LC50 value of 0.268 mg ml−1 at 72 h post-treatment. A total of 27 fractions were obtained from the acetone extract of lettuce leaves harvested in July, and mite mortalities with the 11th and 12th fractions were higher than those with the other 25 fractions (LC50: 0.751 and 1.258 mg ml−1 at 48 h post-treatment, respectively). Subsequently, active acaricidal components of the 11th fraction were identified by infrared, nuclear magnetic resonance and liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry. Five components were isolated from the 11th fraction, with components 11-a and 11-b showing relatively high acaricidal activities (LC50: 0.288 and 0.114 mg ml−1 at 48 h post-treatment, respectively). Component 11-a was identified as β-sitosterol. In conclusion, acetone extracts of lettuce leaves harvested in July might be used as a novel phytogenic acaricide to control mites.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression of target messenger RNAs (mRNAs) and miRNAs have been proven to play vital roles in skeletal muscle development. The miRNA-499-5p has been reported to be negatively related with the expression of Sox6, a critical transcription factor for the maintenance of fast-twitch skeletal muscle. In this study, we amplified a length of 2012-bp mRNA that contains a 1512-bp porcine Sox6 (pSox6) 3'UTR from skeletal muscle of a Duroc×Landrace×Yorkshire pig. By luciferase reporter assay we verified that pSox6 is a target of miR-499-5p. In extensor digitorum longus and Soleus muscles of pigs, the expression levels of miR-499-5p and pSox6 mRNA were also inversely correlated. Besides, overexpression of miR-499-5p in porcine satellite cells promoted the expression of MyHC I and MyHC IIa mRNA, along with a reduction of pSox6 mRNA. Taken together, these results indicate that miR-499-5p may facilitate the oxidative myofibers formation by downregulating pSox6 expression.
A large-scale network named the default mode network (DMN) dynamically cooperates and competes with an external attention system (EAS) to facilitate various cognitive functioning that is prominently impaired in schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether the cognitive deficit in schizophrenia is related to the disrupted competition and/or cooperation between these two networks.
A total of 35 schizophrenia patients and 30 healthy controls were scanned using gradient-echo echo-planar imaging during n-back working memory (WM) processing. Brain activities of the DMN and EAS were measured using general linear modelling of the functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Dynamic interaction between the DMN and EAS was decomposed into two directions using Granger causality analysis.
We observed a significant failure of DMN suppression in patients with schizophrenia, which was significantly related to WM/attentional deficit. Granger causality modelling showed that in healthy controls, while the EAS inhibitorily influenced the DMN, the DMN exerted an ‘excitatory’ or cooperative influence back on the EAS, especially in those with lower WM accuracy. In schizophrenia, this ‘excitatory’ DMN→EAS influence within the reciprocal EAS–DMN loop was significantly reduced, especially in patients with WM/attentional deficit.
The dynamic interaction between the DMN and EAS is likely to be comprised of both competitive and cooperative influences. In healthy controls, both the ‘inhibitory’ EAS→DMN interaction and ‘excitatory’ DMN→EAS interaction are correlated with WM performance. In schizophrenia, reduced ‘cooperative’ influence from the DMN to dorsal nodes of the EAS occurs in the context of non-suppression of the DMN and may form a possible pathophysiological substrate of WM deficit and attention disorder.
We derive zphot for sources in the entire (~0.4 deg2) H-HDF-N field with the EAzY code, based on PSF-matched broad-band (U band to IRAC 4.5 μm) photometry. Our catalog consists of a total of 131,678 sources. We find σNMAD = 0.029 for non-X-ray sources. We also classify each object as a star or galaxy through SED fitting. Furthermore, we match our catalog with the 2 Ms CDF-N main X-ray catalog. For the 462 matched non-stellar X-ray sources, we improve their zphot quality (σNMAD = 0.035) by adding three additional AGN templates. We make our photometry and zphot catalog publicly available.
The aim of this study was to investigate the variations in meat quality, lipid metabolism-related genes, myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform genes and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1α (PGC-1α) gene mRNA expressions in longissimus dorsi muscle (LM) of two different pig breeds. Six Rongchang and six Landrace barrows were slaughtered at 161 days of age. Subsequently, meat quality traits and gene expression levels in LM were observed. Results showed that Rongchang pigs not only exhibited greater pH, CIE a*24 h and intramuscular fat content but also exhibited lower body weight, carcass weight, dressing percentage, LM area and CIE b*24 h compared with Landrace pigs (P<0.05). Meanwhile, the mRNA expression levels of the lipogenesis (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase) and fatty acid uptake (lipoprotein lipase)-related genes were greater in the Rongchang (P<0.05), whereas the lipolysis (adipose triglyceride lipase and hormone sensitive lipase) and fatty acid oxidation (carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1B)-related genes were better expressed in the Landrace. Moreover, compared with the Landrace, the mRNA expression levels of MyHCI, MyHCIIa and MyHCIIx were greater, whereas the mRNA expression levels of MyHCIIb were lower in the Rongchang pigs (P<0.05). In addition, the mRNA expression levels of PGC-1α were greater in Rongchang pigs than in the Landrace (P<0.05), which can partly explain the differences in MyHC isoform gene expressions between Rongchang and Landrace pigs. Although the small number of samples does not allow to obtain a definitive conclusion, we can suggest that Rongchang pigs possess better meat quality, and the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for the better meat quality in fatty pigs may be partly due to the higher mRNA expression levels of lipogenesis and fatty acid uptake-related genes, as well as the oxidative and intermediate muscle fibers, and due to the lower mRNA expression levels of lipolysis and fatty acid oxidation-related genes, as well as the glycolytic muscle fibers.
MicroRNAs are endogenous ~22nt RNAs that negatively regulate gene expression at the posttranscriptional level via binding to the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR) of target mRNAs. The microRNA miR-27a was reported to depress the expression of myostatin, a critical inhibitor of skeletal myogenesis, by binding to its 3′UTR in mouse. In this study, we cloned the full-length 3′UTR of porcine myostatin by rapid amplification of 3′-cDNA ends (3′-RACE) and demonstrated that the 3′UTR of porcine myostatin is targeted by miR-27a. The phenomenon that the level of myostatin inversely correlated with miR-27a was observed in fat and heart of pigs and also in proliferating porcine myoblasts. Besides, overexpression of miR-27a in porcine myoblasts promoted cell proliferation by reducing the expression of myostatin. Our data suggest that miR-27a positive regulates porcine myoblast proliferation via targeting myostatin.
Because cerebral morphological abnormalities in major depressive disorder (MDD) may be modulated by antidepressant treatment, inclusion of medicated patients may have biased previous meta-analyses of voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies. A meta-analysis of VBM studies on medication-free MDD patients should be able to distinguish the morphological features of the disease itself from those of treatment.
A systematic search was conducted for the relevant studies. Effect-size signed differential mapping was applied to analyse the grey matter differences between all medication-free MDD patients and healthy controls. Meta-regression was used to explore the effects of demographics and clinical characteristics.
A total of 14 datasets comprising 400 medication-free MDD patients and 424 healthy controls met the inclusion criteria. The pooled meta-analysis and subgroup meta-analyses showed robustly reduced grey matter in prefrontal and limbic regions in MDD. Increased right thalamus volume was only seen in first-episode medication-naive patients, and increased grey matter in the bilateral anterior cingulate cortex only in medication wash-out patients. In meta-regression analyses the percentage of female patients in each study was negatively correlated with reduced grey matter in the right hippocampus.
By excluding interference from medication effects, the present study identified grey matter reduction in the prefrontal–limbic network in MDD. The subgroup meta-analysis results suggest that an increased right thalamus volume might be a trait directly related to MDD, while an increased anterior cingulate cortex volume might be an effect of medication. The meta-regression results perhaps reveal the structural underpinning of the sex differences in epidemiological and clinical aspects of MDD.
Low-dose clarithromycin has been recommended for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis without nasal polyps. However, it is uncertain whether a high dose of clarithromycin is more effective than a low dose.
Forty-three chronic rhinosinusitis patients were randomised to low-dose or high-dose clarithromycin groups, and clinical efficacy was evaluated. Pre- and post-treatment measures included: nasal symptom assessment, endoscopic inspection (Lund–Kennedy system), a quality of life questionnaire (the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20) and examination of cytokine levels (interleukin-5 and -8) in nasal secretions.
The high dose of clarithromycin was significantly better in terms of clinical efficacy than the low dose for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis (p < 0.025). Significant differences in nasal cytokine levels (interleukin-5 and -8) were also observed between the low-dose and high-dose groups after short-term clarithromycin treatment (p < 0.025).
Short-term, high-dose clarithromycin appears to be more effective for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis than low-dose clarithromycin.
Flexible electronics and microsystems are an emerging technology with a tremedous impact to the future electronics and information technology and widespread applications. Various devices and microsystems have been developed. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) devices are a type of essential device for electronics, microsensors and microsystems; however there is no activity on the development of flexible SAW devices yet. This paper reports the development of flexible SAW devices on cheap, bendable and disposable plastic films. Flexible SAW devices with resonant frequency of 198.1 MHz and 447 MHz for the Rayleigh and Lamb waves respectively have been obtained with a large transmission signal up to 18dB. The flexible SAW devices have also demonstrated their ability for acoustic streaming with a velocity up to 3.4 cm/s and for particle concentration. The results have clearly demonstrated that the flexible SAW devices have great potential for applications in electronics and microsystems.
Flexible surface acoustic wave (SAW) based temperature and humidity sensors were fabricated and characterized. ZnO piezoelectric films were deposited on polyimide substrates by DC magnetron sputtering. ZnO films possess (0002) crystal orientation with large grain sizes of 50∼70 nm. SAW devices showed two wave modes, namely the Rayleigh and Lamb modes, with the frequencies at fR ∼132MHz and fL∼427MHz respectively for a wavelength of 12 μm device. The two resonant frequencies have a temperature coefficient of frequency (TCF) of −423ppm/K and −258ppm/K for the Rayleigh and Lamb waves, respectively. The SAW sensors exhibited a good repeatability in responding to cyclic change of humidity. The responses of the sensors increase with the increase in humidity, and the sensitivity increases with the decrease in wavelength. A high sensitivity of 34.7 kHz/10%RH has been obtained from a SAW device without any surface treatment, demonstrated that the flexible SAW humidity sensors are very promising for application in flexible sensors and microsystems.
We investigated the seasonality of tuberculosis (TB) in Wuhan, China, to evaluate the increased risk of disease transmission during each season and to develop an effective TB control strategy. We applied spectral analysis to the weekly prevalence data of sputum smear positive (SSP) and sputum smear negative (SSN) pulmonary TB reported from 2006 to 2010. Cases of both SSP and SSN feature 1·0- and 0·5-year periodic modes. The least squares method was used to fit curves to the two periodic modes for SSP and SSN data. The curves demonstrated dominant peaks in spring similar to cases reported previously for other locations. Notably for SSP, dominant peaks were also observed in summer. The spring peaks of SSP and SSN were explained in terms of poorly ventilated and humid rooms and vitamin D deficiency. For the summer peaks of SSP, summer influenza epidemics in Wuhan may contribute to the increase in TB prevalence.
We present chromospheric activities of late-type stars based on stellar spectrum survey of LAMOST (also called GuoShouJing telescope) in 2010-2013. Using the equivalent widths of the Hα line (larger than 1 Å), we have found 6391 active stars from 99741 M stars.
For the M active catalogue of Guoshoujing Telescope (LAMOST), 933 sources are presented in at least two exposures. We found that many M active stars show chromospheric variability in the Ca II H, Hα, Hβ, and Hγ lines on short or long timescales.
An adaptive algorithm is presented for the wavelength calibration of the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST). The new algorithm can identify emission lines of calibration lamp without manual interaction and then fit relationship between the pixel positions and the wavelengths by utilizing a polynomial function. In this study, experiments are performed both on the actual data observed by LAMOST and the simulated data to analyze the accuracy and the robustness.The experimental results show that the proposed automatic algorithm can perform the lines identification exactly and acquire the wavelength solution accurately. Thus, an applicable approach is provided for the wavelength calibration of LAMOST.
The relationship between recurrent major depression (MD) in women and suicidality is complex. We investigated the extent to which patients who suffered with various forms of suicidal symptomatology can be distinguished from those subjects without such symptoms.
We examined the clinical features of the worst episode in 1970 Han Chinese women with recurrent DSM-IV MD between the ages of 30 and 60 years from across China. Student's t tests, and logistic and multiple logistic regression models were used to determine the association between suicidality and other clinical features of MD.
Suicidal symptomatology is significantly associated with a more severe form of MD, as indexed by both the number of episodes and number of MD symptoms. Patients reporting suicidal thoughts, plans or attempts experienced a significantly greater number of stressful life events. The depressive symptom most strongly associated with lifetime suicide attempt was feelings of worthlessness (odds ratio 4.25, 95% confidence interval 2.9–6.3). Excessive guilt, diminished concentration and impaired decision-making were also significantly associated with a suicide attempt.
This study contributes to the existing literature on risk factors for suicidal symptomatology in depressed women. Identifying specific depressive symptoms and co-morbid psychiatric disorders may help improve the clinical assessment of suicide risk in depressed patients. These findings could be helpful in identifying those who need more intense treatment strategies in order to prevent suicide.
Phosphoglucose isomerase (PGI) plays an important role in energy metabolism, and it is documented that PGI exhibits an extensive polymorphism which can affect insects' fitness and adaptation. In this paper, we studied the structural characteristics and polymorphism of pgi gene in the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea), an important invasive pest in some European and Asian countries. A 2110-bp pgi full-length cDNA encoding a polypeptide of 556 amino acids was obtained from H. cunea. The pgi full-length in the H. cunea genomic DNA was 14,332 bp with 12 exons and 11 introns, similar to the structures of pgi in other Lepidoptera species. We compared the structures of pgi in different insect species. Moreover, thirteen pgi genotypes comprised of five alleles were identified in the Chinese population. Genotypes pgi-cd, pgi-cc and pgi-ce were the most prevalent with over 70% of individuals allocated to them. Four out of five alleles were sequenced the cDNA full-length. Thirty stably variable sites were found among them with five non-synonymous mutation sites. The frequencies of alleles and genotypes were variable in different Chinese geographic subpopulations. Moreover, comparison of pgi mRNA expression levels in each stage of the moth's lifecycle showed that a high expression level was in the 6th instar larval stage, followed by that in the egg and adult stages. The results will provide a basis for further study of the role of different alleles and genotypes of PGI on fitness and adaptation of the moth H. cunea.