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Pheromones play an important role in mediating interspecific interactions in insects. In an insect community, pheromones can reveal information about the senders, which could be used by other members of the food web (competitor, natural enemies, etc.) to their own advantage. The aggregation pheromones of two closely related thrips species, Frankliniella occidentalis and Frankliniella intonsa, have been identified with the same major compounds, (R)-lavandulyl acetate and neryl (S)-2-methylbutanoate, but in different ratios. However, the roles of the aggregation pheromones in the interspecific interactions between these two closely related species are unknown. Here, we investigated the roles of major aggregation pheromone compounds in interspecific interactions between F. occidentalis and F. intonsa for both long and short ranges. The results showed that, at tested doses, neither aggregation pheromone-induced long range cross-attraction nor short range cross-mating was detected between F. occidentalis and F. intonsa. Field-trapping trials showed that the species-specificity in aggregation pheromones was regulated by the ratio of two major compounds. However, species-specific blends of the two major compounds had no effect on short-range interactions between these two species. Our data from the thrips species provide support for the ‘aggregation model of coexistence’, explaining the species-specific pheromone-mediated coexistence of closely related species. Thus, species-specific pheromones could be one of the factors affecting population dynamics and community structure in closely related insects with similar niches.
Dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-transmitted disease in the world. In China, Guangzhou City is believed to be the most important epicenter of dengue outbreaks although the transmission patterns are still poorly understood. We developed an autoregressive integrated moving average model incorporating external regressors to examine the association between the monthly number of locally acquired dengue infections and imported cases, mosquito densities, temperature and precipitation in Guangzhou. In multivariate analysis, imported cases and minimum temperature (both at lag 0) were both associated with the number of locally acquired infections (P < 0.05). This multivariate model performed best, featuring the lowest fitting root mean squared error (RMSE) (0.7520), AIC (393.7854) and test RMSE (0.6445), as well as the best effect in model validation for testing outbreak with a sensitivity of 1.0000, a specificity of 0.7368 and a consistency rate of 0.7917. Our findings suggest that imported cases and minimum temperature are two key determinants of dengue local transmission in Guangzhou. The modelling method can be used to predict dengue transmission in non-endemic countries and to inform dengue prevention and control strategies.
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) participate in diverse physiological processes in insects, and HSP70 is one of the most highly conserved proteins in the HSP family. In this study, full-length cDNAs of three HSP70 genes (Lthsc70, Lthsp701, and Lthsp702) were cloned and characterized from Liriomyza trifolii, an important invasive pest of vegetable crops and horticultural crops worldwide. These three HSP70s exhibited signature sequences and motifs that are typical of the HSP70 family. The expression patterns of the three Lthsp70s during temperature stress and in different insect development stages were studied by real-time quantitative PCR. Lthsp701 was strongly induced by high- and low-temperature stress, but Lthsc70 and Lthsp702 were not very sensitive to temperature changes. All three Lthsp70s were expressed during insect development stages, but the expression patterns were quite different. The expression of Lthsc70 and Lthsp702 showed significant differences in expression during leafminer development; Lthsc70 was most highly expressed in female adults, whereas Lthsp702 was abundantly expressed in larvae and prepupae. Lthsp701 expression was not significantly different among leafminer stages. These results suggest that functional differentiation within the LtHSP70 subfamily has occurred in response to thermal stress and insect development.
Multiple human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 genotypes in China were first discovered in Yunnan Province before disseminating throughout the country. As the HIV-1 epidemic continues to expand in Yunnan, genetic characteristics and transmitted drug resistance (TDR) should be further investigated among the recently infected population. Among 2828 HIV-positive samples newly reported in the first quarter of 2014, 347 were identified as recent infections with BED-captured enzyme immunoassay (CEIA). Of them, 291 were successfully genotyped and identified as circulating recombinant form (CRF)08_BC (47.4%), unique recombinant forms (URFs) (18.2%), CRF01_AE (15.8%), CRF07_BC (14.4%), subtype C (2.7%), CRF55_01B (0.7%), subtype B (0.3%) and CRF64_BC (0.3%). CRF08_BC and CRF01_AE were the predominant genotypes among heterosexual and homosexual infections, respectively. CRF08_BC, URFs, CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC expanded with higher prevalence in central and eastern Yunnan. The recent common ancestor of CRF01_AE, CRF07_BC and CRF08_BC dated back to 1983.1, 1992.1 and 1989.5, respectively. The effective population sizes (EPS) for CRF01_AE and CRF07_BC increased exponentially during 1991–1999 and 1994–1999, respectively. The EPS for CRF08_BC underwent two exponential growth phases in 1994–1998 and 2001–2002. Lastly, TDR-associated mutations were identified in 1.8% of individuals. These findings not only enhance our understanding of HIV-1 evolution in Yunnan but also have implications for vaccine design and patient management strategies.
l-Arginine is a nutritionally essential amino acid for spermatogenesis and plays versatile roles in animal health and can be utilized as a potential agent to improve reproductive performance of boars under high ambient temperature. The present study aimed to determine whether dietary l-arginine could alleviate heat stress-induced infertility in boars. In all, 20 boars (PIC 1040; 248.59±3.84 kg BW and 407.65±6.40 days of age) were selected and randomly assigned to four groups (group 0.0%, basal diet; group 0.6%, 0.8% or 1.0%, basal diet added with 0.6%, 0.8% or 1.0% l-arginine (wt:wt), respectively.) The four diets were made isonitrogenous by addition of appropriate amounts of l-alanine. Boars were pre-fed the corresponding experimental diet for 42 days. Then, the semen characteristics and libido were accessed for 6 weeks during the hot summer period (25.5° to 33.0°C). Results show that dietary l-arginine remarkably improved sperm motility, normality, total sperm number and effective total sperm number. Also, dietary l-arginine improved semen antioxidant capacity, such as decrease of malondialdehyde and 8-Hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine content in sperm (P<0.05), increase of the ratio of glutathione and oxidized glutathione, total antioxidant capacity, glutathione peroxidase and catalase activities in seminal plasma (P<0.05). Most of mitochondria contained intact ultrastructure in l-arginine-supplemented group which also accompany with higher ATP content than the 0.0% group. The boars fed 0.8% l-arginine show increased levels of estradiol-17β and testosterone and exhibit improved libido performance than boars in the 0.0% group. Adding dietary l-arginine linearly increased (P=0.002) nitric oxide content (as l-arginine increased). The scrotal surface temperature in the 0.6%, 0.8% and 1.0% group were decreased by 0.9°C, 0.9°C and 0.4°C, respectively, compared with the 0.0% group. l-Arginine levels caused linear effect on semen quality and antioxidant capacity, also caused quadratic effect on libido performance. During the hot summer months, the predicted optimal l-arginine levels for best semen quality and antioxidant capacity was 0.8% to 1.0% and for best libido performance was 0.8%. It can be concluded that l-arginine can be used as an effective agent to alleviate heat stress-induced infertility of boar, and that 0.8% to 1.0% can be considered as the optimum dosage.
A new trajectory tracking control approach for an under-actuated stratospheric airship is proposed. There is a two-level structure of the proposed controller. A low-level controller based on non-linear vectorial backstepping method, with the rigid-body dynamics expressed on vector form, stabilises the attitude and velocity of the airship, while a high-level controller performs guidance and trajectory tracking task in the three-dimensional (3D) space. Furthermore, a control allocation module based on the active set algorithm is incorporated into the low-level controller to optimise the practical control inputs under constraints of actuator saturation. The closed-loop trajectory tracking control plant is proved to be globally exponentially stable through the Lyapunov theory. Finally, simulations show that the vectorial backstepping trajectory tracking controller can achieve desired tracking performances even if the airship is affected by parametric uncertainties and exogenous disturbances.
We have studied DNA adduction with 14C-labeled nicotine and nicotine-derived nitrosamine, 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK), by accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) in mouse liver at doses equivalent to low-level exposure of humans. The dose ranges of nicotine and NNK administered were from 0.4 μg to 4.0×102 μg kg b.w.-1, and from 0.1 μg to 2.0×104 μg kg b.w.-1, respectively. In the exposure of mice to either nicotine or NNK, the number of DNA adducts increased linearly with increasing dose. The detection limit of DNA adducts was 1 adduct per 1011 nucleotide molecules. This limit is 1–4 orders of magnitude lower than that of other techniques used for quantification of DNA adducts. The results of our animal experiments enabled us to speculate that nicotine is a potential carcinogen. According to the procedure for 14C-labeled-NNK synthesis, we discuss the ultimate chemical speciation of NNK bound to DNA. From the animal tests we derived a directly perceivable relation between tobacco consumption and DNA adduction as the carcinogenic risk assessment.
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) is an emerging infectious disease that was caused by a novel bunyavirus, SFTSV. The study aimed to disclose the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of SFTSV infection in China so far. An integrated clinical database comprising 1920 SFTS patients was constructed by combining first-hand clinical information collected from SFTS sentinel hospitals (n = 1159) and extracted data (n = 761) from published literature. The considered variables comprised clinical manifestations, routine laboratory tests of acute infection, hospitalization duration and disease outcome. SFTSV-IgG data from 19 119 healthy subjects were extracted from the published papers. The key clinical variables, case-fatality rate (CFR) and seroprevalence were estimated by meta-analysis. The most commonly seen clinical manifestations of SFTSV infection were fever, anorexia, myalgia, chill and lymphadenopathy. The major laboratory findings were elevated lactate dehydrogenase, aminotransferase, followed by thrombocytopenia, lymphocytopenia, elevated alanine transaminase and creatine kinase. A CFR of 12·2% was estimated, significantly higher than that obtained from national reporting data, but showing no geographical difference. In our paper, the mortality rate was about 1·9 parts per million. Older age and longer delay to hospitalization were significantly associated with fatal outcome. A pooled seroprevalence of 3·0% was obtained, which increased with age, while comparable for gender. This study represents a clinical characterization on the largest group of SFTS patients up to now. A higher than expected CFR was obtained. A wider spectrum of clinical index was suggested to be used to identify SFTSV infection, while the useful predictor for fatal outcome was found to be restricted.
Globally, the prevalence of oesophageal cancer cases is particularly high in China. Since 1982, oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) has been hypothesized as a risk factor for oesophageal cancer, but no firm evidence of HPV infection in oesophageal cancer has been established to date. We aimed to conduct a meta-analysis to estimate the high-risk HPV-18 prevalence of oesophageal cancer in the Chinese population. Eligible studies published from 1 January 2005 to 12 July 2014 were retrieved via computer searches of English and Chinese literature databases (including Medline, EMBASE, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure and Wanfang Data Knowledge Service Platform). A random-effects model was used to calculate pooled prevalence and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). A total of 2556 oesophageal cancer cases from 19 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Overall, the pooled HPV-18 prevalence in oesophageal cancer cases was 4·1% (95% CI 2·7–5·5) in China, 6·1% (95% CI 2·9–9·3) in fresh or frozen biopsies and 4·0% (95% CI 2·3–5·8) in paraffin-embedded fixed biopsies, 8·2% (95% CI 4·6–11·7) by the E6/E7 region and 2·2% (95% CI 0·9–3·6) by the L1 region of the HPV gene. This meta-analysis indicated that China has a moderate HPV-18 prevalence of oesophageal cancer compared to cervical cancer, although there is variation between different variables. Further studies are needed to elucidate the role of HPV in oesophagus carcinogenesis with careful consideration of study design and laboratory detection method, providing more accurate assessment of HPV status in oesophageal cancer.
Cavitation bubbles, which always exist in the diesel jet leaving the nozzle and in diesel droplets breaking up from the jet as a result of supercavitation of the diesel within the injection nozzle, increase the instability of jet and droplets in part due to the two-phase mixture, while the mechanism of this effect is still unclear. Cavitation bubble expansion within the diesel droplet has been simulated numerically based on the volume of fluid (VOF) method, and the control mechanism of bubble growth process is analyzed by Rayleigh-Plesset equation. The process of bubble growth is divided into three parts, including surface tension controlled domain, comprehensive competition controlled domain and inertial force controlled domain. During the first stage, cavitation bubble growth is controlled by the surface tension, and the decrease of the surface tension leads to the increase of the bubble growth rate. During the second stage, the bubble growth rate is controlled by the comprehensive competition of the surface tension, the inertial force and the viscous force. During the third stage, the process of bubble growth is majorly controlled by the inertial force.
In this work, we have reported the interface characterization of rf sputtered ZnO/HfO2 in thin film transistor structure by dc current-voltage and admittance spectroscopy. The interface state density (Dit) of 1013 eV−1cm−2 was extracted from the Gp/ω vs ω plot was comparable to value obtained from the subthreshold behavior. The grain boundary trap density (NGB) of 9.12×1012 cm−2 was estimated using Levinson’s model. The interface state density distribution below the conduction band edge shows a decreasing trend with energy below the conduction band edge. We also studied the impact of introducing MgO interfacial layer between ZnO and HfO2 interface as an approach towards decreasing the interface state density.
To understand the clinical epidemiology and molecular characteristics of human bocavirus (HBoV) infection in children with diarrhoea in Guangzhou, South China, we collected 1128 faecal specimens from children with diarrhoea from July 2010 to December 2012. HBoV and five other major enteric viruses were examined using real-time polymerase chain reaction. Human rotavirus (HRV) was the most prevalent pathogen, detected in 250 (22·2%) cases, followed by enteric adenovirus (EADV) in 76 (6·7%) cases, human astrovirus (HAstV) in 38 (3·4%) cases, HBoV in 17 (1·5%) cases, sapovirus (SaV) in 14 (1·2%) cases, and norovirus (NoV) in 9 (0·8%) cases. Co-infections were identified in 3·7% of the study population and 23·5% of HBoV-positive specimens. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 14 HBoV strains to be clustered into species HBoV1 with only minor variations among them. Overall, the detection of HBoV appears to partially contribute to the overall detection gap for enteric infections, single HBoV infection rarely results in severe clinical outcomes, and HBoV sequencing data appears to support conserved genomes across strains identified in this study.
The transmission of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is deeply influenced by the reservoir and hantavirus prevalence rate. In this study, a surveillance on human HFRS cases, relative rodent abundance, and hantavirus infection prevalence was conducted in Shaanxi province, China, during 1984–2012. A generalized linear model with Poisson-distributed residuals and a log link was used to quantify the relationship between reservoir, virus and HFRS cases. The result indicated that there was a significant association of HFRS incidence with relative rodent density and the prevalence rate. This research provides evidence that the changes of infection prevalence in the reservoir could lead directly to the emergence of a new epidemic. It was concluded that the measurement of a number of these variables could be used in disease surveillance to give useful advance warning of potential disease epidemics.
In this study, epidemiological factors of sparganosis cases reported in mainland China from 1959 to December 2012 were analysed. A total of 1061 valid cases were distributed throughout most of the provinces of mainland China, with most cases occurring in Southern and Eastern China. The average age of patients was 29 years (range 0–80 years). Modes of transmission to humans were via contact (54·6%), mainly by application of frog meat as a poultice, foodborne (33·8%), mainly through ingesting frogs or snakes, and waterborne (11·5%) through drinking raw water. The tissue/organs involved were subcutaneous/muscle (43·1%), eyes (31·0%), central nervous system (CNS) (17·9%), urogenital system (3·9%) and visceral organs (3·2%). Obvious differences existed in main risk factors for different areas. Close correlation was found between tissue/organs and risk factors. Main modes of transmission changed during the past decades, from contact (83·8% pre-1979) to foodborne (63·9% post-2000). The tissue/organs involved also changed at the same time. Cases involving eyes fell from 50·0% pre-1979 to 8·3% post-2000, and cases involving CNS increased from 0% pre-1979 to 47·8% post-2000. These results illustrate that China is one of the main epidemic countries of sparganosis in the world. Consumption of frog/snake meat was the main risk factor, although application of frog flesh as a poultice was the main risk factor before 2000. Sparganosis has become one of the neglected but important foodborne/waterborne parasitic diseases in mainland China.
The influence of Zn on the adsorption and desorption of Cry1Ab toxin from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) on palygorskite and montmorillonite was studied. The adsorption of the toxin gradually increased with increasing Zn concentration from 0 to 1.0 mmol L–1, and then decreased with further increase in Zn concentration. The adsorption isotherms of the toxin in the absence and presence of Zn were well described by the Langmuir equation (R2 > 0.9810–0.9991). The separation factor (RL) decreased with increase of Zn concentration, suggesting that the irreversibility of the adsorption increases. The XRD results showed that the treatment by Tris buffer or Zn(NO3)2 solution caused an expansion of the interlayer space of montmorillonite but did not affect palygorskite. The IR spectra suggest that Zn was likely to be combined with amino groups on the surface of the toxin. The presence of Zn during the adsorption of the toxin decreased desorption, suggesting that the residual risk of toxin would be exacerbated if soil is polluted by zinc.
Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) has been widely used as a Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) layer in the photovoltaic solar technology because of its excellent electrical and optical properties. However, ITO is brittle, and its conductivity decreases significantly as the ITO films are exposed to stretching or bending strains especially in flexible/foldable solar cell applications. The cracks in ITO appear at very low strains which might cause failure in the conductive layer because of the combination of a very thin film of brittle ceramic material applied to a polymer substrate. Poly (3, 4-ethylenedioxythiophene), abbreviated PEDOT, is of increasing interest as a competitive candidate to ITO. PEDOT has found its way in many applications such as transparent electrode materials and transparent conductive layers in photovoltaic solar cells. In this work, the mechanical behavior of PEDOT was studied under high cycle bending fatigue in which the effects of bending diameter and bending frequency were considered and compared to ITO. High magnification optical images were used to study cracking in the PEDOT as well as the ITO layers. In flexible solar cells, the web will be exposed to folding/bending many times during manufacturing and installation. Therefore, the thin film substrate structure will be exposed to cyclic loading cyclic tensile and compressive strains. Therefore, this work was designed to mechanically fatigue the structure and study its behavior. It was found that bending diameters as well as material (PEDOT or ITO) have a great influence on the electrical conductivity of the thin films.
InGaN epilayers have been investigated for use in photovoltaic solar cells for the past years. At present, almost all photovoltaic device structures reported have exhibited very low short circuit currents and thus very low solar conversion efficiency. This phenomenon has been attributed to point and extended defect chemistry in InGaN epilayers (e.g. vacancies, misfit dislocations, and V-defects), as well as to spinodal decomposition of the strained InGaN wurtzite lattice system. These defects become more dominant for higher indium concentration InGaN epilayers needed for multijunction photovoltaic device structures. In this work, we will report on the growth and characterization of indium-rich InGaN epilayers that have been grown by novel MOCVD growth technology, including the growth at superatmospheric reactor pressures.