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Dietary Zn has significant impacts on the growth and development of breeding rams. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary Zn source and concentration on serum Zn concentration, growth performance, wool traits and reproductive performance in rams. Forty-four Targhee rams (14 months; 68 ± 18 kg BW) were used in an 84-day completely randomized design and were fed one of three pelleted dietary treatments: (1) a control without fortified Zn (CON; n = 15; ~1 × NRC); (2) a diet fortified with a Zn amino acid complex (ZnAA; n = 14; ~2 × NRC) and (3) a diet fortified with ZnSO4 (ZnSO4; n = 15; ~2 × NRC). Growth and wool characteristics measured throughout the course of the study were BW, average daily gain (ADG), dry matter intake (DMI), feed efficiency (G : F), longissimus dorsi muscle depth (LMD), back fat (BF), wool staple length (SL) and average fibre diameter (AFD). Blood was collected from each ram at four time periods to quantify serum Zn and testosterone concentrations. Semen was collected 1 to 2 days after the trial was completed. There were no differences in BW (P = 0.45), DMI (P = 0.18), LMD (P = 0.48), BF (P = 0.47) and AFD (P = 0.9) among treatment groups. ZnSO4 had greater (P ≤ 0.03) serum Zn concentrations compared with ZnAA and CON treatments. Rams consuming ZnAA had greater (P ≤ 0.03) ADG than ZnSO4 and CON. There tended to be differences among groups for G : F (P = 0.06), with ZnAA being numerically greater than ZnSO4 and CON. Wool staple length regrowth was greater (P < 0.001) in ZnSO4 and tended to be longer (P = 0.06) in ZnAA treatment group compared with CON. No differences were observed among treatments in scrotal circumference, testosterone, spermatozoa concentration within ram semen, % motility, % live sperm and % sperm abnormalities (P ≥ 0.23). Results indicated beneficial effects of feeding increased Zn concentrations to developing Targhee rams, although Zn source elicited differential responses in performance characteristics measured.
The Mediterranean diet offers a range of health benefits. However, previous studies indicate that the restricted consumption of red meat in the diet may affect long-term sustainability in non-Mediterranean countries. A 24-week randomised controlled parallel cross-over design compared a Mediterranean diet supplemented with 2–3 serves per week of fresh, lean pork (MedPork) with a low-fat control diet (LF). Thirty-three participants at risk of CVD followed each intervention for 8 weeks, with an 8-week washout period separating interventions. The primary outcome was home-measured systolic blood pressure. Secondary outcomes included diastolic blood pressure, fasting lipids, glucose, insulin, C-reactive protein (CRP), body composition and dietary adherence. During the MedPork intervention, participants achieved high adherence to dietary guidelines. Compared with the MedPork intervention, the LF intervention led to greater reductions in weight (Δ = −0·65; 95 % CI −0·04, −1·25 kg, P = 0·04), BMI (Δ = −0·25; 95 % CI −0·03, −0·47 kg/m2, P = 0·01) and waist circumference (Δ = −1·40; 95 % CI −0·45, −2·34 cm, P < 0·01). No significant differences were observed for blood pressure, lipids, glucose, insulin or CRP. These findings indicate that Australians are capable of adhering to a Mediterranean diet with 2–3 weekly serves of fresh, lean pork. Larger intervention studies are now required to demonstrate clinical efficacy of the diet in populations with elevated blood pressure.
Global inequity in access to and availability of essential mental health services is well recognized. The mental health treatment gap is approximately 50% in all countries, with up to 90% of people in the lowest-income countries lacking access to required mental health services. Increased investment in global mental health (GMH) has increased innovation in mental health service delivery in LMICs. Situational analyses in areas where mental health services and systems are poorly developed and resourced are essential when planning for research and implementation, however, little guidance is available to inform methodological approaches to conducting these types of studies. This scoping review provides an analysis of methodological approaches to situational analysis in GMH, including an assessment of the extent to which situational analyses include equity in study designs. It is intended as a resource that identifies current gaps and areas for future development in GMH. Formative research, including situational analysis, is an essential first step in conducting robust implementation research, an essential area of study in GMH that will help to promote improved availability of, access to and reach of mental health services for people living with mental illness in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). While strong leadership in this field exists, there remain significant opportunities for enhanced research representing different LMICs and regions.
Introduction: Cardioactive steroid poisoning occurs worldwide with the use of pharmaceutical digoxin and botanical cardiac glycosides. The wholesale price of the antidote, digoxin immune fab, has increased over 300% from 2010 to 2015. Our objective was to identify gaps in the existing literature with respect to the use of digoxin immune fab in cardioactive steroid toxicity in acute care settings. Methods: We used scoping study methodology, as described by Arksey and O'Malley, to assess the range and scope of empiric research and will report: 1) sources of cardioactive steroid toxicity in acute settings; 2) doses of digoxin immune fab used in treatment; and, 3) intervention outcomes of acute cardioactive steroid toxicity following the administration of digoxin immune fab as first or second-line therapy. We collaborated with a library scientist to devise search strategies for PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, CENTRAL and Toxnet. We sought unpublished literature through the Canadian Electronic Library, Proquest, and Scopus and searched reference lists of included studies. We hand searched relevant conference proceedings and applicable guidelines. Two reviewers independently reviewed titles and abstracts using predetermined criteria. Using a structured data abstraction form, two reviewers independently extracted data. All discrepancies were resolved through consensus. Results: Our search strategy yielded 3458 results. After screening titles and abstracts 384 underwent full text screening. We included 147 studies and are currently extracting data from 12 French studies and 135 English studies. To date we have extracted data from 90 case reports and case series. Conclusion: Given concerns over rising costs, our findings will shed light on the extent of the evidence for use of digoxin immune fab in acute care settings.
Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) is a common impediment to ecological restoration, because its seedbank remains viable after repeated treatment with herbicides. Soil solarization has been used in ecological restoration to control seedbanks of invasive plants. Here we test the efficacy of soil solarization to reduce B. tectorum cover and establish native plants at a site in B. tectorum’s core invasive range with a long history of disturbance and infestation. Solarization raised soil temperatures by as much as 13 C and reduced B. tectorum densities by approximately 20-fold. In 30 plots solarized for 0 to 101 d, B. tectorum emerged in inverse abundance to treatment duration. Broadleaf weeds were less abundant than B. tectorum before treatment, and diminished under solarization, but their response to solarization was weaker than B. tectorum’s, and they emerged in greater numbers than B. tectorum 2 to 3 yr after treatment. When seeded after solarization, a native perennial bunchgrass, squirreltail [Elymus elymoides (Raf.) Swezey], did not differ in abundance between solarized and control plots. Solarization may facilitate B. tectorum control on a small scale without jeopardizing the establishment of native plants, but only if treatment durations are long and subsequent management of broadleaf weeds and remnant B. tectorum is planned.
The book brings together papers covering the most recent scientific research from the top endophyte researchers in the world. It presents the state of the art in our knowledge and technical capacity and explores future directions of this work. It is highly relevant and timely because of the need to improve global food security and its sustainability, and also to provide novel bioactive molecules for medicine. There is also a need to protect forestry in a changing and growing world. Endophytes offer a huge potential to reduce environmentally damaging agricultural inputs such as fertilisers and pesticides. They are also a largely overlooked group of organisms where much basic science remains to be undertaken. For example, new molecular tools of DNA profiling using high throughput environmental sequencing are allowing the exploration of a previously largely unknown resource. There is a pressing need to convert scientific research on endophytes into practical application. This book describes how that will be achieved.
Barley is an important crop worldwide with production largely used for animal feed and alcoholic beverages. Diseases are a major limiting factor to its production. These have, up until recently, been controlled by agrochemicals. However, legislation on the use of agrochemicals, especially within the European Union, is being tightened and there is growing interest in integrated pest management. This means that there is an increasing focus on controlling diseases using biological control. Living microorganisms that are applied as biological control agents (BCAs) to either soil, seed or leaves can have difficulty in persisting. Therefore, the focus of this review is on endophytes, which are microorganisms that live inside the plant without causing symptoms of disease and have the potential of staying protected as well as being beneficial to the plant and effective against multiple diseases. In this review, we discuss the different approaches for finding and testing beneficial endophytes and for determining the endophyte host range. Furthermore, we undertook a literature search to summarise previous studies that have investigated the use of endophytes as well as BCAs against barley diseases.
In some environments, the survival and production of ryegrass and fescue is heavily reliant on its mutualistic association with Epichloë endophytes. Epichloë endophytes produce a range of bioactive alkaloids, or secondary metabolites that can be effective in deterring insect pests, although some have also been shown to be toxic to grazing animals. These endophytes are being used in grassland farming systems in Australia, New Zealand, USA and some parts of South America. However, to achieve this outcome there has been considerable investment into developing a research pipeline for delivery of animal-safe endophyte strains that are still capable of deterring insect pests and providing protection against abiotic stresses. The pipeline starts with the discovery and isolation of endophytes from wild populations of ryegrass and fescue, characterisation of the known alkaloids they produce, use of genetic markers to determine the relationship between known well-characterised strains and new strains entering the collection, determination of their bioactivity against insect pests of economic significance, understanding issues of compatibility of a strain of interest with the elite germplasm into which it has been inoculated, determining ease of transmission to subsequent seed generations, and ensuring there will be no or minimal animal health and welfare issues associated with using the strain in grazing systems.
A study to detect the diversity of endophytic Actinobacteria from Australian rice was conducted using culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Rice samples were collected from the rice growing area near Yanco, New South Wales, Australia. Isolation of the endophytic Actinobacteria was done over two consecutive growing seasons. The results demonstrated that most isolates were obtained from plants 10 weeks and older, and only a few were found in younger plants. Microbispora spp. were the most commonly isolated endophytic Actinobacteria (94%) with Streptomyces spp. and other genera present at lower numbers (6%). The culture-dependent method findings were confirmed by T-RFLP profile analysis. Restriction digests using HhaI and RsaI also showed an abundance of terminal restriction fragments (TRFs) profiles related to the genus Microbispora. Furthermore, other biological properties of the endophytic Actinobacteria isolates were also determined. Four isolates, Saccharothrix OSH21, Saccharopolyspora OSR26, Streptomyces OSR46 and Microbispora OSR61, were found to suppress the growth of the pathogenic fungus Rhizoctonia solani. Moreover, these isolates might be able to promote plant growth by producing indole acetic acid or to solubilise phosphate making this nutrient available for plant uptake.
The fortuitous discovery of penicillin from Penicillium chrysogenum heralded the golden era of antibiotics. Since then, fungi have significantly contributed to the welfare of humans by producing bioactive compounds which have been used as antibacterial, anticancer, antioxidant and immunomodulatory agents. However, in recent years, microorganisms associated with plants have emerged as fountainheads of bioactive molecules with high therapeutic potential. In general terms, endophytes are an extremely diverse and ubiquitous group of microorganisms that resides within the living internal tissues of a host plant in a non-invasive manner. Endophytes communicate with their host plant through metabolic interactions which enables them to produce signal molecules with interesting biological activities. Further, the genetic recombination of endophytes with the host plant enables them to mimic the biological properties of the host and produce analogous bioactive compounds. Thus, they start producing the host plant phytochemicals when cultured independently. The endless need for potent drugs has prompted researchers to explore alternative avenues for finding novel bioactive molecules, and endophytes appear to be a plausible target for drug discovery. This chapter reviews the current research trends with these promising organisms.
Endophytes are any microbes that can live within plants. We divide them into three major functional groups: endosyms (endosymbionts), endopaths (pathogens) and endosympaths (those that exist in both forms along a mutualism–parasitism continuum). Within these groups, endophytologists recognise harmful pathogenic microbes and a diverse range of beneficial/commensal microbes, including bacteria and archaea, such as diazotrophs, and fungi, such as the vertically transmitted clavicipitaceous endophytes, the generally horizontally transmitted class 2 fungal endophytes, mycorrhizal fungi and dark septate endophytes. This chapter introduces the science of endophyte biology and its application for a world population that is projected to grow to over 9 billion by 2050. It explores the potential of endophytes for improved agricultural and silvicultural sustainability including: yield improvement and nutrition; biocontrol of pests and diseases; and abiotic stress resistance in the context of climate change. It outlines how bioprospectors are using endophytes as sources of novel metabolites for the pharmaceutical and biochemical industries, and describes how endophytes can be used in vitro to elicit the increased production of known secondary metabolites from plants.
There are increasing efforts aiming to utilise endophytes as biological control agents (BCAs) to improve crop production. However, reliability remains a major practical constraint for the development of novel BCAs. Many organisms are adapted to their specific habitat; it is optimistic to expect that a new organism added can find a niche or even out-compete those adapted and already present. Our approach for isolating novel BCAs for specific plant diseases is therefore to look in healthy plants in a habitat where disease is a problem, since we predict that it is more likely to find competitive strains among those present and adapted. In vitro inhibitory activities often do not correlate with in planta efficacy, especially since endophytes rely on intimate plant contact. They can, however, be useful to indicate modes of action. We therefore screen for in planta biological activity as early as possible in the process in order to minimise the risk of discarding valuable strains. Finally, some fungi are endophytic in one situation and pathogenic in another (the mutualism–parasitism continuum). This depends on their biology, environmental conditions, the formulation of inoculum, the health, developmental stage and cultivar of the host plant, and the structure of the plant microbiome.
We describe the motivation and design details of the ‘Phase II’ upgrade of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope. The expansion doubles to 256 the number of antenna tiles deployed in the array. The new antenna tiles enhance the capabilities of the Murchison Widefield Array in several key science areas. Seventy-two of the new tiles are deployed in a regular configuration near the existing array core. These new tiles enhance the surface brightness sensitivity of the array and will improve the ability of the Murchison Widefield Array to estimate the slope of the Epoch of Reionisation power spectrum by a factor of ∼3.5. The remaining 56 tiles are deployed on long baselines, doubling the maximum baseline of the array and improving the array u, v coverage. The improved imaging capabilities will provide an order of magnitude improvement in the noise floor of Murchison Widefield Array continuum images. The upgrade retains all of the features that have underpinned the Murchison Widefield Array’s success (large field of view, snapshot image quality, and pointing agility) and boosts the scientific potential with enhanced imaging capabilities and by enabling new calibration strategies.
Objectives: The self-reference effect (SRE), enhanced memory for self-related information, has been studied in healthy young and older adults but has had little investigation in people with age-related memory disorders, such as amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI). Self-referential encoding may help to improve episodic memory in aMCI. Additionally, self-referential processing has been shown to benefit recollection, the vivid re-experiencing of past events, a phenomenon that has been termed the self-reference recollection effect (SRRE; Conway & Dewhurst, 1995). Furthermore, it remains unclear whether the valence of stimuli influences the appearance of the SRE and SRRE. Methods: The current study investigated the SRE and SRRE for trait adjective words in 20 individuals with aMCI and 30 healthy older adult controls. Ninety trait adjective words were allocated to self-reference, semantic, or structural encoding conditions; memory was later tested using a recognition test. Results: While healthy older adults showed a SRE, individuals with aMCI did not benefit from self-referential encoding over and above that of semantic encoding (an effect of “deep encoding”). A similar pattern was apparent for the SRRE; healthy controls showed enhanced recollection for words encoded in the self-reference condition, while the aMCI group did not show specific benefit to recollection for self-referenced over semantically encoded items. No effects of valence were found. Conclusions: These results indicate that while memory for trait adjective words can be improved in aMCI with deep encoding strategies (whether self-reference or semantic), self-referencing does not provide an additional benefit. (JINS, 2018, 24, 821–832)
The goal of this study was to assess the utility of serial electrocardiograms in routine follow-up of paediatric Marfan patients.
Children ⩽18 years who met the revised Ghent criteria for Marfan syndrome and received a 12-lead electrocardiogram and echocardiogram within a 3-month period were included. Controls were matched by age, body surface area, gender, race, and ethnicity, and consisted of patients assessed in clinic with a normal cardiac evaluation. Demographic, clinical, echocardiographic, and electrocardiographic data were collected.
A total of 45 Marfan patients (10.8 [2.4–17.1] years) and 37 controls (12.8 [1.3–17.1] years) were included. Left atrial enlargement and left ventricular hypertrophy were more frequently present on 12-lead electrocardiogram of Marfan patients compared with controls (12 (27%) versus 0 (0%), p<0.001; and 8 (18%) versus 0 (0%), p=0.008, respectively); however, only two patients with left atrial enlargement on 12-lead electrocardiogram were confirmed to have left atrial enlargement by echocardiogram, and one patient had mild left ventricular hypertrophy by echocardiogram, not appreciated on 12-lead electrocardiogram. QTc interval was longer in Marfan patients compared with controls (427±16 versus 417±22 ms, p=0.03), with four Marfan patients demonstrating borderline prolonged QTc intervals for gender.
While Marfan patients exhibited a higher frequency of left atrial enlargement and left ventricular hypertrophy on 12-lead electrocardiograms compared with controls, these findings were not supported by echocardiography. Serial 12-lead electrocardiograms in routine follow-up of asymptomatic paediatric Marfan patients may be more appropriate for a subgroup of Marfan patients only, specifically those with prolonged QTc interval at their baseline visit.