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Effective management of the introduced invasive grass common reed [Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.] requires the ability to differentiate between the introduced and native subspecies found in North America. While genetic tools are useful for discriminating between the subspecies, morphological identification is a useful complementary approach that is low to zero cost and does not require specialized equipment or technical expertise. The objective of our study was to identify the best morphological traits for rapid and simple identification of native and introduced P. australis. A suite of 22 morphological traits were measured in 21 introduced and 27 native P. australis populations identified by genetic barcoding across southern Ontario, Canada. Traits were compared between the subspecies to identify measurements that offered reliable, diagnostic separation. Overall, 21 of the 22 traits differed between the subspecies, with four offering complete separation: the retention of leaf sheaths on dead stems; a categorical assessment of stem color; the base height of the ligule, excluding the hairy fringe; and a combined measurement of leaf length and lower glume length. Additionally, round fungal spots on the stem occurred only on the native subspecies and never on the sampled introduced populations. The high degree of variation observed in traits within and between the subspecies cautions against a “common wisdom” approach to identification or automatic interpretation of intermediate traits as indicative of aberrant populations or hybridization. As an alternative, we have compiled the five best traits into a checklist of simple and reliable measurements to identify native and introduced P. australis. This guide will be most applicable for samples collected in the late summer and fall in the Great Lakes region but can also inform best practices for morphological identification in other regions as well.
Ligamentous atresia of the left side of a double arch distal to the left subclavian artery is a rare form of vascular ring, which can easily be confused, on transthoracic echocardiography, with the right-sided aortic arch when there is mirror-imaged branching. Because of its rapid acquisition, computed tomographic angiography with three-dimensional reconstruction has now become the modality of choice for accurate diagnosis of the various forms of double aortic arch. It can be performed without sedation in any age group, including neonates. It provides excellent visualisation of the aortic arch and its branching pattern, thus permitting accurate diagnosis and surgical planning. We present a case series of six children with this rare vascular ring assessed using CT, highlighting their outcomes.
Orange wheat blossom midge, Sitodiplosis mosellana (Géhin) (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), has been successfully reared in the laboratory for more than 20 years in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The rearing method has been developed to the point where it efficiently produces large numbers of wheat midge continuously under laboratory conditions for use in experiments on wheat midge biology and for screening wheat lines for crop resistance. Adult survival was extended by providing high humidity, and oviposition was increased by simulating natural dawn and dusk conditions and by supplying preflowering spring wheat to adults. Preventing desiccation of the wheat midge larvae in the wheat spikes before overwintering in soil and providing optimal cold conditions for a long enough period to break larval diapause enabled successful adult emergence. We provide data to facilitate the coordination of timing of wheat midge emergence from diapause with the wheat susceptible period. The method can be readily scaled up for screening many lines for resistance or scaled down for small experiments. Here, we report details of the rearing method so that others can implement it for research on the management of this internationally important pest.
Prediction of geomagnetic variability depends on the accuracy of geomagnetic field modeling, dynamical modeling of source regions that contribute to geomagnetic signals, and advanced assimilation algorithms that combine effectively the results of geomagnetic field and dynamic models to make accurate estimates of the dynamic states of the sources and, therefore, accurate forecast of geomagnetic variations. Here, an overview of recent research efforts in these three research areas is provided, focusing primarily on geomagnetic variations from the dynamic outer core and from solar and lunar tidal effects, but also including a review of relevant research results and developments. Prediction of weak but periodic tidal phenomena, and of strong but chaotic secular variation showcases two very important new developments which will lead to new opportunities in geomagnetic research and application.
A Just-Pope model was developed to assess tillage, nitrogen, weather, and pest effects on risk for cotton grown after alternative winter cover crops. Yield risk for cotton after hairy vetch was less than for cotton with no winter cover when no nitrogen fertilizer was used to Supplement the vetch nitrogen. However, because cotton after vetch has a higher production cost, farmers growing conventionally tilled cotton may be slow to adopt because risk-return tradeoffs may be unacceptable under risk neutrality and risk aversion. For risk-averse farmers who have already adopted no tillage, cotton grown after hairy vetch is risk efficient.
Fluometuron adsorption and degradation were determined in soil collected at three depths from no-till + no cover, conventional-till + no cover, no-till + vetch cover, and conventional-till + vetch cover in continuous cotton. These combinations of tillage + cover crop + soil depth imparted a range of organic matter and pH to the soil. Soil organic matter and pH ranged from 0.9 to 2.5% and from 4.7 to 6.5, respectively. Fluometuron adsorption was affected by soil depth, tillage, and cover crop. In surface soils (0 to 4 cm), fluometuron adsorption was greater in no-till + vetch plots than in conventional-tilled + no cover plots. Soil adsorption of fluometuron was positively correlated with organic matter content and cation exchange capacity. Fluometuron degradation was not affected by adsorption, and degradation empirically fit a first-order model. Soil organic matter content had no apparent effect on fluometuron degradation rate. Fluometuron degradation was more rapid at soil pH > 6 than at pH ≤ 5, indicating a potential shift in microbial activity or population due to lower soil pH. Fluometuron half-life ranged from 49 to 90 d. These data indicate that tillage and cover crop may affect soil dissipation of fluometuron by altering soil physical and chemical properties that affect fluometuron degrading microorganisms or bioavailability.
This research examined the effect of mechanical soil disturbance (none or tilled) and legume crop residues (none or hairy vetch) on fluometuron dissipation for 2 yr from the top 0 to 8 cm of soil in a 10 yr field experiment. Soil pH in the upper 0 to 8 cm was ≤ 5.6, and soil organic matter was highest in plots not-tilled and plots which had a vetch cover crop. Calculated initial half-lives of fluometuron ranged from 19 to 38 d in the 2 yr. Neither tillage nor cover crop influenced early-season fluometuron dissipation. However, there were detectable amounts of fluometuron in all treatments 1 yr after application.
Carcinomatous transformation of pituitary adenomas is uncommon, and is generally accompanied by nuclear accumulation of p53 protein. Pituitary carcinoma lacking accumulation of p53 protein is very rare, only two such cases being previously reported.
A patient presented with visual disturbance and cranial nerve palsies and was found to have a suprasellar mass. He underwent both transphenoidal and transfrontal excision of a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma which recurred several times. The third recurrence was accompanied by multiple dural-based metastases. Despite aggressive surgical management, he continued to develop additional intracranial lesions and died two years after the discovery of metastatic disease. Specimens from 1984, 1995, 1997 and 1998 were available for histological and immunocytochemical analysis. Antibodies recognizing the pituitary hormones (ACTH, PRL, GH, FSH, LH and TSH), as well as cytokeratin, epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and chromogranin A were applied to investigate the lineage of the neoplasm. Antisera specific for Ki-67 (MIB-1) and p53 protein were also applied to further delineate the biology of the tumour.
Although cytokeratin and chromogranin A were detected in neoplastic cells, no expression of pituitary hormones was demonstrable, indicative of a nonfunctioning, null-cell pituitary adenoma. Nuclear pleomorphism and mitotic activity increased with subsequent resections. Abnormal accumulation of p53 protein was not observed, neither in early resections nor in the metastatic deposits.
Failure to demonstrate p53 protein accumulation does not ensure a favourable outcome for pituitary adenoma. Accordingly, pituitary carcinoma may occur in the absence of p53 accumulation. The factors which underlie aggressive behaviour of pituitary neoplasms are uncertain but are under investigation.
Restoration in Mediterranean-climate grasslands is strongly impeded by lack of native propagules and competition with exotic grasses and forbs. We report on a study testing several methods for exotic plant control combined with planting native grasses to restore prairies in former agricultural land in coastal California. Specifically we compared tarping (shading out recently germinated seedlings with black plastic) once, tarping twice, topsoil removal, herbicide (glyphosate), and a control treatment in factorial combinations with or without wood mulch. Into each treatment we planted three native grass species (Elymus glaucus, Hordeum brachyantherum, and Stipa pulchra) and monitored plant survival and cover for three growing seasons. Survival of native grass species was high in all treatments, but was slightly lower in unmulched soil removal and control treatments in the first 2 yr. Mulching, tarping, and herbicide were all effective in reducing exotic grass cover and enhancing native grass cover for the first 2 yr, but by the third growing season cover of the plant guilds and bare ground had mostly converged, primarily because of the declining effects of the initial treatments. Mulching and tarping were both considerably more expensive than herbicide treatment. Topsoil removal was less effective in increasing native grass cover likely because soil removal altered the surface hydrology in this system. Our results show that several treatments were effective in enhancing native grass establishment, but that longer term monitoring is needed to evaluate the efficacy of restoration efforts. The most appropriate approach to controlling exotics to restore specific grassland sites will depend not only on the effectiveness, but also on relative costs and site constraints.
New cranial and postcranial material of the baenid turtle Neurankylus from the Paleocene Nacimiento Formation (Torrejonian NALMA) of northwestern New Mexico represents a new species, Neurankylus torrejonensis. The material consists of a fragmented but mostly complete skull, a partial carapace and plastron, portions of both humeri, a partial pelvis, a complete right femur, and a distal phalanx. The small, undivided cervical scale, wide vertebrals, complete ring of marginals, and large size (carapace length 520 mm) diagnose the new taxon as belonging to Neurankylus. The narrow fifth vertebral scale and scalloped posterior shell margin reveal affinities with Neurankylus baueri Gilmore, 1916, which is known from Campanian sediments in New Mexico and Utah. The holotype of Neurankylus torrejonensis is the youngest known specimen of the Neurankylus lineage, which is known to reach at least back to the Late Cretaceous (Santonian). A nearly complete species-level analysis of baenids confirms the basal placement of Neurankylus outside of Baenodda and the split of Baenodda into two primary subclades, herein named Palatobaeninae and Eubaeninae.
Winter legumes can substitute for applied nitrogen fertilization of corn. Stochastic dominance was used to order net revenues from legume and applied nitrogen alternatives. Stochastic dominance orderings indicate that systems combining vetch with low applied nitrogen fertilization (50 and 100 pounds/acre, respectively) were risk inefficient. By contrast, vetch and 150 pounds/acre applied nitrogen maximized expected net revenue and was risk efficient for a wide range of risk-averse and risk-seeking behavior. Farmers with these risk attitudes may not reduce applied nitrogen if they switch to a vetch cover. Extremely risk-averse or risk-seeking farmers would not prefer winter legumes.
Meta-response functions for corn yields and nitrogen losses were estimated from EPIC-generated data for three soil types and three weather scenarios. These metamodels were used to evaluate variable rate (VRT) versus uniform rate (URT) nitrogen application technologies for alternative weather scenarios and policy options. Except under very dry conditions, returns per acre for VRT were higher than for URT and the economic advantage of VRT increased as realized rainfall decreased from expected average rainfall. Nitrogen losses to the environment from VRT were lower for all situations examined, except on fields with little spatial variability.
Little is known about the impact of corn and energy prices on the profitability of irrigating corn in Tennessee. We evaluated the probability of a positive net present value (NPV) for center-pivot irrigation in Tennessee corn production. Three corn price series were employed to evaluate the effects of the shift in corn prices on the feasibility of irrigation. The recent rise in corn prices increased the probability of NPV being positive for irrigation investment. Future corn prices will need to remain high for investment in center-pivot irrigation to remain profitable under Tennessee growing conditions.
Deterministic and stochastic yield response plateau functions were estimated to determine the expected profit-maximizing nitrogen rates, yields, and net returns for corn grown after corn, cotton, and soybeans. The stochastic response functions were more appropriate than their deterministic counterparts, and the linear response stochastic plateau described the data the best. The profit-maximizing nitrogen rates were similar for corn after corn, cotton, and soybeans, but relative to corn after corn, the expected corn yield plateaus increased by 12% and 16% after cotton and soybeans, respectively. Expected net returns increased for corn after cotton and soybeans relative to corn after corn.
New and reemerging infectious diseases, such as pandemic viruses and resistant bacteria, pose a serious threat in the 21st century. Some of these agents represent global security threats. This review provides an overview of diagnostic challenges presented by pandemic influenza and biothreat agents. The article summarizes recent pandemics and disease outbreaks, point-of-care influenza diagnostic tests, biothreat agents, biothreat instrument systems, and technologies in development. It highlights how medical innovation and health care initiatives can help prepare health care professionals and public health personnel to handle future crises. Based on gap analysis for current point-of-care testing deficiencies, it concludes with policy recommendations that will enhance preparedness. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3(Suppl 2):S193–S202)