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Alligatorweed [Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.] is an invasive semi-aquatic weed that poses serious threats to agricultural production and ecological balance worldwide. However, genetic factors associated with the adaptation and invasion mechanisms of this species are limited. Screening for appropriate reference genes is important for gene expression and functional analysis research in A. philoxeroides. In this study, 30 candidate genes that showed stable expression in different A. philoxeroides tissues under various treatments in RNA-seq data were chosen to design qRT-PCR primers. After the amplification specificity validation, 25 candidates were selected and further evaluated in a diverse set of A. philoxeroides samples, including leaf, stem, and root tissues under drought, salinity, heat, chilling, five kinds of herbicides, and control treatments using qRT-PCR. The delta-CT method, geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper, and RefFinder algorithms were used to identify stable reference genes from A. philoxeroides samples. Overall, CoA, RFI2, Tubby, SRP19, and V-ATPase were the top five ideal reference genes in all organs and conditions. Tubby and CoA were the most stable reference genes in the leaf/stem, and RFI2, ERprr, and SPR19 were suitable reference genes for the roots. This work provided a foundation for exploring gene expression profiling of A. philoxeroides, especially those adaptation and invasion-related genes, which may help manage this invasive weed.
With rapid development in hardware storage, precision instrument manufacturing, and economic globalization etc., data in various forms have become ubiquitous in human life. This enormous amount of data can be a double-edged sword. While it provides the possibility of modeling the world with a higher fidelity and greater flexibility, improper modeling choices can lead to false discoveries, misleading conclusions, and poor predictions. Typical data-mining, machine-learning, and statistical-inference procedures learn from and make predictions on data by fitting parametric or non-parametric models. However, there exists no model that is universally suitable for all datasets and goals. Therefore, a crucial step in data analysis is to consider a set of postulated candidate models and learning methods (the model class) and select the most appropriate one. We provide integrated discussions on the fundamental limits of inference and prediction based on model-selection principles from modern data analysis. In particular, we introduce two recent advances of model-selection approaches, one concerning a new information criterion and the other concerning modeling procedure selection.
Salicylic acid (SA), a phytohormone, has been considered to be a key regulator mediating plant defence against pathogens. It is still vague how SA activates plant defence against herbivores such as chewing and sucking pests. Here, we used an aphid-susceptible wheat variety to investigate Sitobion avenae response to SA-induced wheat plants, and the effects of exogenous SA on some defence enzymes and phenolics in the plant immune system. In SA-treated wheat seedlings, intrinsic rate of natural increase (rm), fecundity and apterous rate of S. avenae were 0.25, 31.4 nymphs/female and 64.4%, respectively, and significantly lower than that in the controls (P < 0.05). Moreover, the increased activities of phenylalanine-ammonia-lyase, polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and peroxidase in the SA-induced seedlings obviously depended on the sampling time, whereas activities of catalase and 4-coumarate:CoA ligase were suppressed significantly at 24, 48 and 72 h in comparison with the control. Dynamic levels of p-coumaric acid at 96 h, caffeic acid at 24 and 72 h and chlorogenic acid at 24, 48 and 96 h in wheat plants were significantly upregulated by exogenous SA application. Nevertheless, only caffeic acid content was positively correlated with PPO activity in SA-treated wheat seedlings (P = 0.031). These findings indicate that exogenous SA significantly enhanced the defence of aphid-susceptible wheat variety against aphids by regulating the plant immune system, and may prove a potential application of SA in aphid control.
Over recent decades, Chinese giant salamanders Andrias spp. have declined dramatically across much of their range. Overexploitation and habitat degradation have been widely cited as the cause of these declines. To investigate the relative contribution of each of these factors in driving the declines, we carried out standardized ecological and questionnaire surveys at 98 sites across the range of giant salamanders in China. We did not find any statistically significant differences between water parameters (temperature, dissolved oxygen, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, salinity, alkalinity, hardness and flow rate) recorded at sites where giant salamanders were detected by survey teams and/or had been recently seen by local respondents, and sites where they were not detected and/or from which they had recently been extirpated. Additionally, we found direct and indirect evidence that the extraction of giant salamanders from the wild is ongoing, including within protected areas. Our results support the hypothesis that the decline of giant salamanders across China has been primarily driven by overexploitation. Data on water parameters may be informative for the establishment of conservation breeding programmes, an initiative recommended for the conservation of these species.
Fish schools and bird flocks, which involve a variety of orderly formations, have fascinated people for a long time. The collective performance of two flapping foils in parallel, which can self-propel in both lateral and longitudinal directions, is numerically studied through two-dimensional simulations in this paper. For the first time it is numerically confirmed that two flapping swimmers can simultaneously converge to equilibrium distances in both lateral and longitudinal directions. Two types of stable formations have been observed and which type occurs depends on the phase difference between two foils. The staggered formation appears in the in-phase scenario, and the side-by-side formation occurs in the anti-phase scenario. Moreover, both types of the stable formations strongly depend on the flapping frequency and amplitude, but are independent of the perturbation of the initial distance between the two foils when the perturbation is small. In addition, considerable velocity enhancement can be achieved by two foils in all of the stable formations, as compared with that of a single foil. Moreover, the velocity of the two-foil system can be couched as a specific scaling law, which is determined by the type of the stable formations. Finally, the mechanism behind the stable formations has been analysed. The results obtained here may shed some light on the understanding of collective behaviour of fish schools and bird flocks.
A multicenter study of sharps injuries (SIs) and other blood or body fluid (OBBF) exposures was conducted among 33,156 healthcare workers (HCWs) from 175 hospitals in Anhui, China. In total, 12,178 HCWs (36.7%) had experienced at least 1 SI in the previous 12 months and 8,116 HCWs (24.5%) had experienced at least 1 OBBF exposure during the previous 12 months.
The South China Block is one of the largest continental blocks located on the East Asian continent. The early Palaeozoic Wuyi–Yunkai orogen of the South China Block (known as the Caledonian orogen in Europe) is a major orogenic belt in East Asia and represents the first episode of extensive crustal reworking since Neoproterozoic time. Although this orogen is key to deciphering the formation and evolution of the South China Block, details about the orogen remain poorly defined. The Songshutang and Wushitou ultramafic–mafic units in southern Jiangxi Province, South China, have 206Pb–238U ages of c. 437 Ma, suggesting a Silurian formation age. All the Songshutang and Wushitou ultramafic–mafic rocks show relatively flat chondrite-normalized rare earth element patterns, depletions in Nb, Ta, Zr, Hf and Ti, and low ϵNd(t) values from −9.12 to −5.49 with negative zircon ϵHf(t) values from −10.84 to −2.58, resembling a typical arc magma affinity. Geochemical and isotopic data indicate that the newly identified ultramafic–mafic rocks, along with the reported Silurian mafic rocks in South China, possibly originated from the similar partial melting of an ancient subducted slab, fluid/sediment and metasomatized lithospheric mantle with varying degrees of fractional crystallization. In conjunction with other records of magmatism and metamorphism in South China, a late-orogenic extensional event led to the melting of the sub-continental lithospheric mantle in Silurian time and generated ultramafic–mafic rocks with a limited distribution along the Wuyi–Yunkai orogen and widespread late-orogenic granitic plutons in the South China Block.
In view of many problems associated with the availability of global navigation satellite system (GNSS) signals in high-altitude space, this paper presents a comprehensive and systematic analysis. First, the coverage and strength characteristics of GNSS signals in high-altitude space (i.e., space above the GNSS constellation) are presented, and the visibility of GNSS signals is evaluated by combining these two factors. Second, the geometric configuration and geometric dilution of precision (GDOP) of visible GNSS satellites are analysed. Then, the Doppler shift range of the GNSS signals is deduced based on the dynamic performance of high-altitude spacecraft. Finally, taking GaoFen-4 (GF-4) as the application object, the availability of GNSS signals is simulated and evaluated. GNSS signals in high-altitude space are generally weak, and the visible GNSS satellites are concentrated in the high-elevation range. The combination of main and side lobe signals and compatibility of multiple constellations can increase the number of visible satellites, improve the geometry configuration, reduce GDOP, and thus improve the availability of GNSS signals. The results of this research can provide technical support for the design and development of GNSS receivers suitable for high-altitude space.
The FNDC5 gene encodes the fibronectin type III domain-containing protein 5 that is a membrane protein mainly expressed in skeletal muscle, and the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism may be associated with liver disease severity in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We investigated the influence of the FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the relationship between sarcopenia and the histological severity of NAFLD. A total of 370 adult individuals with biopsy-proven NAFLD were studied. The association between the key exposure sarcopenia and the outcome liver histological severity was investigated by binary logistic regression. Stratified analyses were undertaken to examine the impact of FNDC5 rs3480 polymorphism on the association between sarcopenia and the severity of NAFLD histology. Patients with sarcopenia had more severe histological grades of steatosis and a higher prevalence of significant fibrosis and definite non-alcoholic steatohepatitis than those without sarcopenia. There was a significant association between sarcopenia and significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 2·79, 95 % CI 1·31, 5·95, P = 0·008), independent of established risk factors and potential confounders. Among patients with sarcopenia, significant fibrosis occurred more frequently in the rs3480 AA genotype carriers than in those carrying the FNDC5 rs3480 G genotype (43·8 v. 17·2 %, P = 0·031). In the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis, there was a significant interaction between the FNDC5 genotype and sarcopenia status (P value for interaction = 0·006). Sarcopenia is independently associated with significant liver fibrosis, and the FNDC5 rs3480 G variant influences the association between sarcopenia and liver fibrosis in patients with biopsy-proven NAFLD.
To evaluate the effects of dietary Ca intake and Ca supplementation during pregnancy on low birth weight (LBW) and small for gestational age (SGA) infants.
A birth cohort study was conducted in 2010–2012 at the Gansu Provincial Maternity and Child Care Hospital in Lanzhou, China.
A birth cohort study.
Totally, 9595 pregnant women who came to the hospital for delivery at 20 weeks of gestation or more, and who were 18 years of age or older.
Compared with non-users, Ca supplement users had a reduced risk of LBW infants (OR = 0·77, 95 % CI: 0·63, 0·95) and a reduced risk of nulliparous women giving birth to LBW infants (OR = 0·75, 95 % CI: 0·58, 0·98) (P < 0·05). More specifically, both the use of Ca supplement before conception and during pregnancy (OR = 0·44, 95 % CI: 0·19, 0·99) and during pregnancy only (OR = 0·80, 95 % CI: 0·65, 0·99) had the main effect of reducing risk of nulliparous women giving birth to LBW infants (P < 0·05). There was no association between Ca supplementation and SGA (OR = 0·87, 95 % CI: 0·75, 1·01) (P > 0·05). However, higher dietary Ca intake during pregnancy decreases the risk of both LBW (quartile 2: OR = 0·72, 95 % CI: 0·55, 0·94; quartile 3: OR = 0·68, 95 % CI: 0·50, 0·62) and SGA infants (quartile 2: OR = 0·77, 95 % CI: 0·63, 0·95; quartile 3: OR = 0·71, 95 % CI: 0·57, 0·88, quartile 4: OR = 0·71, 95 % CI: 0·57, 0·88) (P < 0·05).
Ca supplementation and adequate dietary intake of Ca during pregnancy are associated with a decreased risk of LBW infants born to nulliparous women.
To identify the association of the glucokinase gene (GCK) rs4607517 polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and determine whether sweets consumption could interact with the polymorphism on GDM in Chinese women.
We conducted a case–control study at a hospital including 1015 participants (562 GDM cases and 453 controls). We collected the data of pre-pregnancy BMI, sweets consumption and performed genotyping of the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism. Logistic regression was performed to test the association between the rs4607517 polymorphism and GDM, and the stratified analyses by sweets consumption were conducted, using an additive genetic model.
A case–control study of women at a hospital in Beijing, China.
One thousand and fifteen Chinese women.
The GCK rs4607517 A allele was significantly associated with GDM (OR 1·35, 95 % CI 1·03, 1·77; P = 0·028). Furthermore, stratified analyses showed that the A allele increased the risk of GDM only in women who had a habitual consumption of sweet foods (sweets consumption ≥ once per week) (OR 1·61, 95 % CI 1·17, 2·21; P = 0·003). Significant interaction on GDM was found between the rs4607517 A allele and sweets consumption (P = 0·004).
This study for the first time reported the interaction between the GCK rs4607517 polymorphism and sweets consumption on GDM. The results provided novel evidence for risk assessment and personalised prevention of GDM.
The first case of 2019-nCoV pneumonia infection occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, South China Seafood Market in December 2019. As a group with a high probability of infection, health workers are faced with a certain degree of psychological challenges in the process of facing the epidemic. This study attempts to evaluate the impact of 2019-nCoV outbreak on the psychological state of Chinese health workers and to explore the influencing factors. During the period from 31 January 2020 to 4 February 2020, the ‘Questionnaire Star’ electronic questionnaire system was used to collect data. The 2019-nCoV impact questionnaire and The Impact of Event Scale (IES) were used to check the psychological status of health workers in China. A total of 442 valid data were collected in this study. Seventy-four (16.7%) male and 368 (83.3%) female individuals participated in this study. The average score of high arousal dimension was 5.15 (s.d. = 4.71), and the median score was 4.0 (IQR 2.0, 7.0). The average score of IES was 15.26 (s.d. = 11.23), and the median score was 13.5 (IQR 7.0, 21.0). Multiple regression analysis showed that there were critical statistical differences in high arousal scores among different gender groups (male 3.0 vs. female 5.0, P = 0.075). Whether being quarantined had significant statistical differences of IES scores (being quarantined 16.0 vs. not being quarantined 13.0, P = 0.021). The overall impact of the 2019-nCoV outbreak on health workers is at a mild level. Chinese health workers have good psychological coping ability in the face of public health emergencies.
The bacterial foraging optimisation (BFO) algorithm is a commonly adopted bio-inspired optimisation algorithm. However, BFO is not a proper choice in coping with continuous global path planning in the context of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs). In this paper, a grid partition-based BFO algorithm, named AS-BFO, is proposed to address this issue in which the enhancement is contributed by the involvement of the A* algorithm. The chemotaxis operation is redesigned in AS-BFO. Through repeated simulations, the relative optimal parameter combination of the proposed algorithm is obtained and the most influential parameters are identified by sensitivity analysis. The performance of AS-BFO is evaluated via five size grid maps and the results show that AS-BFO has advantages in USV global path planning.
The storage root of alligatorweed [Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.] growing in terrestrial habitats is an important metamorphic organ for its propagation, overwintering, and spread. However, the regulatory mechanism adventitious root expansion to form storage roots is still unclear. To reveal the changes accompanying the root-swelling process, we quantified sugar, soluble protein, and phytohormone content in adventitious and storage roots. Results demonstrated that sucrose, fructose, and soluble protein increased in storage roots, whereas abscisic acid (ABA), indoleacetic acid (IAA), brassinosteroid (BR), gibberellin, jasmonic acid, and cytokinin (trans-zeatin [tZ] and isopentenyladenine [iP] and the corresponding ribosides tZR and iPR). tZ-type (tZR and tZ) content decreased, suggesting the involvement of sugars and hormones in the formation of storage roots. To further reveal the molecular basis of A. philoxeroides’s ability to form storage roots and provide candidate genes for molecular function analyses, we assembled a de novo transcriptome of A. philoxeroides based on four sets of RNA-sequencing data. According to functional annotation and expression profiling, 42 unigenes involved in sucrose synthesis and hydrolysis were identified, in addition to 70, 58, and 78 unigenes in ABA, BR, and IAA signal transduction, respectively. The quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed 21 unigenes involved in sugar metabolism and hormone signal transduction were differentially expressed during the formation of storage roots. These results revealed metabolic changes during the formation of storage roots and provide candidate genes involved in sugar and phytohormone metabolism in A. philoxeroides.
HIV-1 drug resistance can compromise the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART). A survey of pretreatment HIV-1 drug resistance (PDR) was conducted in Lincang Prefecture of Yunnan Province. From 372 people living with HIV/AIDS initiating ART for the first time during 2017–2018, 322 pol sequences were obtained, of which 11 HIV-1 strain types were detected. CRF08_BC (70.2%, 226/322) was the predominant strain, followed by URF strains (10.6%, 34/322). Drug resistance mutations (DRMs) were detected among 34.2% (110/322) of the participants. E138A/G/K/R (14.3%, 46/322) and V179E/D/T (13.7%, 47/322) were the predominant DRMs. Specifically, E138 mutations commonly occurred in CRF08_BC (19.9%, 45/226). Among the DRMs detected, some independently conferred resistance, such as K65R (1.6%, 5/322), Y188C/F/L (0.9%, 3/322), K103N (0.6%, 2/322) and G190A (0.3%, 1/322), which conferred high-level resistance. The prevalence of PDR was 7.5% (95% CI: 4.6–10.3%) and the prevalence of non-nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) resistance was 5.0% (95% CI: 2.6–7.4%), which is below the threshold (⩾10%) of initiating a public health response. In conclusion, HIV-1 genetic diversity and an overall moderate level of PDR prevalence were found in western Yunnan. PDR surveillance should be continually performed to decide whether a public health response to NNRTI resistance should be initiated.
To explore the association between dietary Na intake and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a nationally representative sample of the US population.
In this cross-sectional study, the associations between Na intake and NAFLD, defined by the hepatic steatosis index (HSI) and the fatty liver index (FLI), were assessed through multivariable logistic regression models.
Communities in the USA from 2007 to 2014.
Men and women aged 20 years and older.
A total of 11 022 participants were included in the HSI-defined NAFLD analysis, and a subsample of 5320 participants was included in the FLI-defined NAFLD analysis. Compared with the lowest quartile of Na intake, the highest quartile had a multivariate-adjusted OR and 95 % CI of 1·46 (1·29, 1·65) for NAFLD as defined by HSI, and 1·41 (1·18, 1·69) for NAFLD as defined by FLI. This association was, to some degree, attenuated but remained significant after adjusting for several related metabolic parameters, including BMI, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, and diabetes.
Findings from the current study indicate that dietary Na intake is positively associated with NAFLD in US adults.
Palaeoscolecid worms are widespread in the Palaeozoic period, and are of key importance to understanding the emergence of moulting animals (superphylum Ecdysozoa). However, palaeoscolecids lack a diagnostic set of morphological characters, and as such are unlikely to form a natural (monophyletic) group. Consequently, detailed anatomical study of individual taxa is necessary in order to evaluate the phylogenetic significance of palaeoscolecids. New specimens of Mafangscolex from the Cambrian Stage 3 Xiaoshiba Lagerstätte in Kunming, China, provide the first detailed account of a proboscis in Palaeoscoelcida sensu stricto, a core group of palaeoscolecids characterized by having a tessellating scleritome of phosphatic plates and platelets. The eversible mouthparts of Mafangscolex comprise an armoured, hexaradially symmetrical introvert, a ring of coronal spines and quincuncially arranged pharyngeal armature, with a range of tooth morphologies. Taken together, this configuration strikingly resembles the proboscis arrangement inferred for the ancestral ecdysozoan. The six-fold symmetry represents an important difference from the pentaradial priapulan proboscis. The retention of key aspects of the ancestral ecdysozoan body plan suggests that palaeoscolecids represent a useful window on the earliest stages of ecdysozoan evolution.
This study aims to ascertain the long-term epidemic trends of malaria and evaluates the probability of achieving the eradication goal by 2020 in China. Data on malaria incidence and deaths were extracted from the China Information System for Disease Control and Prevention. The epidemic trends by sex, age and spatial distribution and predictions of malaria were estimated by using Joinpoint and Poisson regressions. From 1950 to 2016, 227 668 374 malaria cases were reported in China, with an annualised average incidence of 337.02 (336.98–337.07, 95% confidence interval (CI)) per 100 000 population. The incidence decreased with an average annual per cent change (AAPC) of −11.4% (−16.6 to −6.0). There were 36 085 malaria deaths, with an annualised average mortality of 0.534 (0.529–0.540) per 1 000 000 population. The mortality decreased with an AAPC of −8.7% (−13.7 to −3.4). The predicted number of malaria cases and deaths for 2020 is 2 562 and 10, respectively, and zero for indigenous cases. The disease burden of malaria dramatically decreased in China. Though, the goal of malaria elimination is realistic by 2020 in China, routine clinical and entomological surveillance should be continually conducted, especially for the cross-border areas and imported malaria cases.