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Chitinase is responsible for insect chitin hydrolyzation, which is a key process in insect molting and pupation. However, little is known about the chitinase of Spodoptera exigua (SeChi). In this study, based on the SeChi gene (ADI24346) identified in our laboratory, we constructed the recombinant baculovirus P-Chi for the expression of recombinant SeChi (rSeChi) in Hi5 cells. The rSeChi was purified by chelate affinity chromatography, and the purified protein showed activity comparable with that of a commercial SgChi, suggesting that we harvested active SeChi for the first time. The purified protein was subsequently tested for enzymatic properties and revealed to exhibit its highest activity at pH 8 and 40 C. Using homology modeling and molecular docking techniques, the three-dimensional model of SeChi was constructed and screened for inhibitors. In two rounds of screening, twenty compounds were selected. With the purified rSeChi, we tested each of the twenty compounds for inhibitor activity against rSeChi, and seven compounds showed obvious activity. This study provided new information for the chitinase of beet armyworm and for chitinase inhibitor development.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
An experiment was conducted to determine the effects of supplementing different amounts of daidzein in a diet on the growth performance, blood biochemical parameters and meat quality of finishing beef cattle. Thirty finishing Xianan steers were distributed in three groups equilibrated by weight and fed three different dietary treatments (concentrate ratio = 80%): (1) control; (2) 500 mg/kg daidzein and (3) 1000 mg/kg daidzein, respectively. Steers were slaughtered after an 80-day feeding trial. Results showed that daidzein supplementation had no effect on the final body weight, average daily gain and feed conversion rate of steers. Steers fed with 1000 mg/kg daidzein had greater dry matter intake than those fed with control diets. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group had a higher fat thickness, lower shear force and lightness. The pH, drip loss, cooking loss, redness (a*), yellowness (b*), moisture, ash, crude protein and intramuscular fat of the Longissimus dorsi muscle were unaffected by daidzein supplementation. Compared with the control group, the 1000 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentrations of insulin, free fatty acid and Glutamic-pyruvic transaminase. The 500 mg/kg daidzein group significantly increased the serum concentration of tetraiodothyronine compared with the control group. Supplemental daidzein did not affect the blood antioxidant ability and blood immune parameters in serum. In conclusion, daidzein supplementation above 500 mg/day modifies feed intake and metabolic and hormonal profile, with positive and negative effects on meat quality.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
Taihu pig breeds are the most prolific breeds of swine in the world, and they also have superior economic traits, including high resistance to disease, superior meat quality, high resistance to crude feed and a docile temperament. The formation of these phenotypic characteristics is largely a result of long-term artificial or natural selection. Therefore, exploring selection signatures in the genomes of the Taihu pigs will help us to identify porcine genes related to productivity traits, disease and behaviour. In this study, we used both intra-population (Relative Extend Haplotype Homozygosity Test (REHH)) and inter-population (the Cross-Population Extend Haplotype Homozygosity Test (XPEHH); F-STATISTICS, FST) methods to detect genomic regions that might be under selection process in Taihu pig breeds. As a result, we found 282 (REHH) and 112 (XPEHH) selection signature candidate regions corresponding to 159.78 Mb (6.15%) and 62.29 Mb (2.40%) genomic regions, respectively. Further investigations of the selection candidate regions revealed that many genes under these genomic regions were related to reproductive traits (such as the TLR9 gene), coat colour (such as the KIT gene) and fat metabolism (such as the CPT1A and MAML3 genes). Furthermore, gene enrichment analyses showed that genes under the selection candidate regions were significantly over-represented in pathways related to diseases, such as autoimmune thyroid and asthma diseases. In conclusion, several candidate genes potentially under positive selection were involved in characteristics of Taihu pig. These results will further allow us to better understand the mechanisms of selection in pig breeding.
As more and more data is being generated by sensor networks, social media and organizations, the Web interlinking this wealth of information becomes more complex. This is particularly true for the so-called Web of Data, in which data is semantically enriched and interlinked using ontologies. In this large and uncoordinated environment, reasoning can be used to check the consistency of the data and of associated ontologies, or to infer logical consequences which, in turn, can be used to obtain new insights from the data. However, reasoning approaches need to be scalable in order to enable reasoning over the entire Web of Data. To address this problem, several high-performance reasoning systems, which mainly implement distributed or parallel algorithms, have been proposed in the last few years. These systems differ significantly; for instance in terms of reasoning expressivity, computational properties such as completeness, or reasoning objectives. In order to provide a first complete overview of the field, this paper reports a systematic review of such scalable reasoning approaches over various ontological languages, reporting details about the methods and over the conducted experiments. We highlight the shortcomings of these approaches and discuss some of the open problems related to performing scalable reasoning.
Multi-decade observing campaigns of the globular clusters 47 Tucanae and M15 have led to an outstanding number of discoveries. Here, we report on the latest results of the long-term observations of the pulsars in these two clusters. For most of the pulsars in 47 Tucanae we have measured, among other things, their higher-order spin period derivatives, which have in turn provided stringent constraints on the physical parameters of the cluster, such as its distance and gravitational potential. For M15, we have studied the relativistic spin precession effect in PSR B2127+11C. We have used full-Stokes observations to model the precession effect, and to constrain the system geometry. We find that the visible beam of the pulsar is swiftly moving away from our line of sight and may very soon become undetectable. On the other hand, we expect to see the opposite emission beam sometime between 2041 and 2053.
This cross-sectional study aimed to examine and compare prevalence and correlates of whole blood Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) DNA between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM). Five hundred and four HIV-positive MSM and 504 age-matched HIV-negative MSM were recruited from an HIV counseling and testing clinic in Shanghai, China from November 2014 to November 2015 and were administered with a face-to-face questionnaire interview. Whole blood EBV DNA was tested by nested polymerase chain reaction assays on EBNA-1, EBNA-2, and LMP-1 genes. The prevalence of whole blood EBV DNA was 56·0% (95% CI 51·7–60·3%) among HIV-positive MSM and 26·0% (95% CI 22·4–30·0%) among HIV-negative MSM. Whole blood EBV DNA positivity was significantly associated with HIV infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 3·43, 95% CI 2·58–4·57) and frequent intake of pickled, smoked, or salty food (aOR 1·71, 95% CI 1·02–2·86) in the whole sample, and with <200 cells/μl CD4 cell counts (aOR 1·79, 95% CI 1·05–3·05) and pickled, smoked, or salty food intake (aOR 3·14, 95% CI 1·39–7·08) in HIV-positive group. HIV-infected MSM are at higher risk of active EBV replication than HIV-uninfected MSM, underscoring needs of surveillance and research on EBV-related carcinogenesis in this population.
Pudong White (PW) pigs are distributed in the Taihu region of China and are characterized by their completely white coats. A heated debate concerning this genetic resource and its relationship to Taihu and western pig breeds has arisen, due to the white coat of the animals. To determine whether PW is a unique genetic resource, we performed a detailed assessment of the genetic relationships among PW, six breeds from the Taihu population and three western pig breeds, based on whole-genome single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. A total of 68 102 SNPs were identified in the genomes of the tested populations by next-generation sequencing technology, of which, 64 were determined as the potentially specific to PW breed. The genetic distance between PW pigs and the Taihu population was shorter than that between PW and western breeds. The genetic distance within the PW population was small and neighbour-joining tree analysis revealed that all PW individuals clustered into a separated group, indicating a close genetic relationship among PW individuals which may result from a small effective population size (Ne) and inbreeding. The results of both principal component analysis and evaluation using fastSTRUCTURE demonstrated that PW was clearly differentiated from other breeds. Together, these results indicate that PW is a distinctive genetic resource with a unique genetic structure separate from other Taihu and western pig breeds. Furthermore, this genome-wide comprehensive survey of the relationships among PW, Taihu and western pig breeds, demonstrates the rationality of the current breed classification of PW. The results also provide evidence about the unique genetic resource of PW, based on genome-wide genetic markers. These data will improve our understanding of the genetic structure and current state of PW breed, and facilitate the development of a national project for the conservation and utilization of these pigs.
An anti-resonance pulse forming network (PFN) has been designed, analyzed, and tested for its application in generating quasi-square pulses. According to the circuit simulations, a compact generator based on two/three-section network was constructed. Two-section network is applied in the generator due to its compact structure, while three-section network is employed for generating pulses with higher quality. When two-section network is applied in the generator, the full-width at half-maximum of the load pulse is 400 ns, at the same time, its rise time, flat top and fall time are 90, 180 and 217 ns, respectively. When the three-section network is applied with the same pulse width of the load pulse, the rise time of the output decreases to 60 ns, while the flat top increases to 240 ns and the fall time reduces to 109 ns. Meanwhile, this kind of network could be used to shape the output pulses of generators whose equivalent circuit is LC series discharge network, such as MARX generator, into quasi-square pulses. And the preliminary experiment demonstrates that anti-resonance network could work well on four-stage Marx generators. A sine pulse generated by the four-stage Marx generator is shaped into a quasi-square pulse with voltage of 11.8 kV and pulse width about 110 ns based on two-section anti-resonance network.
Both growth and immune capacity are important traits in animal breeding. The animal quantitative trait loci (QTL) database is a valuable resource and can be used for interpreting the genetic mechanisms that underlie growth and immune traits. However, QTL intervals often involve too many candidate genes to find the true causal genes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to provide an effective annotation pipeline that can make full use of the information of Gene Ontology terms annotation, linkage gene blocks and pathways to further identify pleiotropic genes and gene sets in the overlapping intervals of growth-related and immunity-related QTLs. In total, 55 non-redundant QTL overlapping intervals were identified, 1893 growth-related genes and 713 immunity-related genes were further classified into overlapping intervals and 405 pleiotropic genes shared by the two gene sets were determined. In addition, 19 pleiotropic gene linkage blocks and 67 pathways related to immunity and growth traits were discovered. A total of 343 growth-related genes and 144 immunity-related genes involved in pleiotropic pathways were also identified, respectively. We also sequenced and genotyped 284 individuals from Chinese Meishan pigs and European pigs and mapped the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to the pleiotropic genes and gene sets that we identified. A total of 971 high-confidence SNPs were mapped to the pleiotropic genes and gene sets that we identified, and among them 743 SNPs were statistically significant in allele frequency between Meishan and European pigs. This study explores the relationship between growth and immunity traits from the view of QTL overlapping intervals and can be generalized to explore the relationships between other traits.
Understanding the physiological mechanisms of biomass accumulation and partitioning in the grain, and the nitrogen (N) uptake associated with different plant densities and N management strategies, is essential for achieving both high yield and N use efficiency (NUE) in maize plants. A field experiment was conducted in 2013 and 2014, using five rates of N application and three plant densities (6·0, 7·5 and 9·0 plants/m2) in Quzhou County on the North China Plain (NCP). The objective was to evaluate whether higher plant density can produce more biomass allocated to the grain to achieve higher grain yield and to determine the optimal N management strategies for different plant densities. The highest grain yield and NUE were achieved in the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment; both the sub-optimal (6·0 plants/m2) and supra-optimal (9·0 plants/m2) plant densities resulted in diminished yield and NUE. Compared to 6·0 plants/m2, the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment displayed higher biomass accumulation during the grain-filling period and also exhibited more biomass allocated to kernels with similar total biomass accumulation compared with the 9·0 plants/m2 treatment, which contributed to its higher grain yield. The N uptake in the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment was similar to that in the 9·0 plants/m2 treatment up to pre-silking. However, the post-silking N uptake of the 7·5 plants/m2 treatment was 66·4 kg/ha, which was 29·1% higher than that of the 9·0 plants/m2 treatment. Furthermore, the highest maize grain yield was achieved in the 0·7 × optimal N rate (ONR × 0·7), ONR and ONR × 1·3 treatments for 6·0, 7·5 and 9·0 plants/m2, respectively, which suggests that different N management strategies are needed for different plant densities. In conclusion, selecting a planting density of 7·5 plants/m2 with an in-season root zone N management is a potentially effective strategy for achieving high grain yield and high NUE for maize production on the NCP.
Continuous ingestion of the phloem sap of plants by aphids can remove a significant amount of photoassimilates. Based on our earlier works, we hypothesized that due to the reduced aphid feeding time caused by antibiosis, wheat plants may achieve growth tolerance to aphids. We tested this hypothesis using three wheat cultivars, XY22 (Xiaoyan22), AK58 (Bainongaikang58) and XN979 (Xinong979) and the grain aphid, Sitobion avenae. In the choice test, S. avenae did not show any preference among the three wheat cultivars. However, S. avenae had a lower body weight and a lower intrinsic rate of increase when feeding on XY22 than on AK58 and XN979. The electrical penetration graph results indicated that S. avenae had significantly shorter mean and total phloem ingestion periods on XY22 than on AK58 or XN979. The aphids required a similar time to reach the phloem sap on the three wheat cultivars, but required more time to establish sustained phloem ingestion on XY22. These results suggest that the resistance factors of XY22 may be phloem based. Moreover, XY22 suffered less biomass loss in response to aphid infestation compared with XN979, suggesting that XY22 also had a better growth tolerance to S. avenae than XN979. Wheat resistance level to S. avenae was partially correlated with plant photosynthetic rates, and peroxidase activities. These results confirmed that the limitation in aphid feeding from plant phloem in wheat cultivar XY22 was related to antibiosis but not antixenosis, which caused XY22 tolerance to S. avenae.
The enteric pathogens causing diarrhoea impair children's health severely. This study retrospectively analysed 1577 pathogens isolated from inpatients and outpatients in six hospitals located in Northern (Inner Mongolia), Northeastern (Hebei), Eastern (Shanghai and Jiangsu), Southern (Hainan) and Central (Hubei) China between 2008 and 2013. Of the 1577 enteric pathogens, Salmonella presented with the highest frequency (36·0%), followed by diarrhoeagenic Escherichia coli (23·7%), Staphylococcus aureus (15·0%), Shigella (13·1%), and Aeromonas (4·6%). The predominant pathogens varied in different regions of China, with Salmonella most prevalent in Shanghai and Hainan, diarrhoeagenic E. coli most prevalent in Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu and Hubei, and Shigella most prevalent in Hebei. Enteric pathogens were more frequently isolated in males (56·9%) than in females (43·1%). The highest proportion of all enteric pathogens was found in infants (67·6%) with a peak in summer and autumn (68·5%). Antimicrobial susceptibility assay demonstrated that Shigella was more resistant to ampicillin, ceftriaxone and sulfamethoxazole than Salmonella. Of the top two serotypes in Salmonella, Typhimurium was more resistant to ciprofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole and chloramphenicol than Enteritidis (P < 0·001). Meanwhile, the resistance rates of Shigella flexneri against ampicillin/sulbactam, ciprofloxacin, and chloramphenicol were significantly higher than those of Shigella sonnei (P < 0·001). Multidrug resistance was apparent in 58·2% of Shigella and 45·9% of Salmonella, and this phenomenon was more pronounced in S. flexneri.
The first human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus was reported in Shanghai, China in March 2013. An additional 32 cases of human H7N9 infection were identified in the following months from March to April 2013 in Shanghai. Here we conducted a case-control study of the patients with H7N9 infection (n = 25) using controls matched by age, sex, and residence to determine risk factors for H7N9 infection. Our findings suggest that chronic disease and frequency of visiting a live poultry market (>10 times, or 1–9 times during the 2 weeks before illness onset) were likely to be significantly associated with H7N9 infection, with the odds ratios being 4·07 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1·32–12·56], 10·61 (95% CI 1·85–60·74), and 3·76 (95% CI 1·31–10·79), respectively. Effective strategies for live poultry market control should be reinforced and ongoing education of the public is warranted to promote behavioural changes that can help to eliminate direct or indirect contact with influenza A(H7N9) virus.
Pulsed tandem gas metal arc welding (PT-GMAW) is being developed to increase productivity and minimise weld-induced distortion in ship-building. The PT-GMAW process was used in pulse–pulse mode to butt-weld two different strength and thickness steels; the residual stress and hardness profiles of the welds are reported and correlated.
Based on the results of the study of convex object motion1 (J. Hopcroft and G. Wilfong, “Motion of objects in contact,” Int. J. Robot. Res., 4(4), 32–46 (1986)), this paper addresses the problem of exact collision detection of a pair of scaled convex polyhedra in relative motion, and determines the contact conditions of tangential contact features, arbitrary relative motion involving translation and rotation, and uniform scaling of the objects about a fixed point. We propose a new concept of the decision curve based on analytical contact equations that characterize a continuum of scaling factors (or a single scaling factor), which ensures that a pair of objects undergoing a scaling transformation will maintain the same tangential contact feature pair (or make instantaneous tangential contact feature transitions). We propose a reliable simulation-based approach to construct the decision curve by hybridizing analytical contact equations and conventional collision detection method, called the Fast Collision Detection Method (FCDM). This method can determine whether two scaled objects will make contact at specific tangential contact features (vertices, edges, or faces) under particular uniform scaling factors and after distinctive relative motion with better accuracy and less computational time than the existing collision detection methods. Finally, we demonstrate our approach for solving motion design in simple assembly/disassembly problems.
Despite substantial research, uncertainty remains about the clinical and etiological heterogeneity of major depression (MD). Can meaningful and valid subtypes be identified and would they be stable cross-culturally?
Symptoms at their lifetime worst depressive episode were assessed at structured psychiatric interview in 6008 women of Han Chinese descent, age ⩾30 years, with recurrent DSM-IV MD. Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed in Mplus.
Using the nine DSM-IV MD symptomatic A criteria, the 14 disaggregated DSM-IV criteria and all independently assessed depressive symptoms (n = 27), the best LCA model identified respectively three, four and six classes. A severe and non-suicidal class was seen in all solutions, as was a mild/moderate subtype. An atypical class emerged once bidirectional neurovegetative symptoms were included. The non-suicidal class demonstrated low levels of worthlessness/guilt and hopelessness. Patterns of co-morbidity, family history, personality, environmental precipitants, recurrence and body mass index (BMI) differed meaningfully across subtypes, with the atypical class standing out as particularly distinct.
MD is a clinically complex syndrome with several detectable subtypes with distinct clinical and demographic correlates. Three subtypes were most consistently identified in our analyses: severe, atypical and non-suicidal. Severe and atypical MD have been identified in multiple prior studies in samples of European ethnicity. Our non-suicidal subtype, with low levels of guilt and hopelessness, may represent a pathoplastic variant reflecting Chinese cultural influences.
A tall waterhemp population from Missisippi was suspected to be resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate dose response experiments resulted in GR50 (dose required to reduce plant growth by 50%) values of 1.28 and 0.28 kg ae ha−1 glyphosate for the glyphosate-resistant (GR) and -susceptible (GS) populations, respectively, indicating a five-fold resistance. The absorption pattern of 14C-glyphosate between the GR and GS populations was similar up to 24 h after treatment (HAT). Thereafter, the susceptible population absorbed more glyphosate (55 and 49% of applied) compared to the resistant population (41 and 40% of applied) by 48 and 72 HAT, respectively. Treatment of a single leaf in individual plants with glyphosate at 0.84 kg ha−1, in the form of 10 1-µl droplets, provided greater control (85 vs. 29%) and shoot fresh weight reduction (73 vs. 34% of nontreated control) of the GS plants compared to the GR plants, possibly indicating a reduced movement of glyphosate in the GR plants. The amount of 14C-glyphosate that translocated out of the treated leaves of GR plants (20% of absorbed at 24 HAT and 23% of absorbed at 48 HAT) was significantly lower than the GS plants (31% of absorbed at 24 HAT and 32% of absorbed at 48 HAT). A potential difference in shikimate accumulation between GR and GS populations at different concentrations of glyphosate was also studied in vitro. The IC50 (glyphosate concentration required to cause shikimate accumulation at 50% of peak levels measured) values for the GR and GS populations were 480 and 140 µM of glyphosate, respectively, resulting in more shikimate accumulation in the GS than the GR population. Sequence analysis of 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), the target site of glyphosate, from GR and GS plants identified a consistent single nucleotide polymorphism (T/C, thymine/cytosine) between GR/GS plants, resulting in a proline to serine amino acid substitution at position 106 in the GR population. The GR and GS plants contained equal genomic copy number of EPSPS, which was positively correlated with EPSPS gene expression. Thus, glyphosate resistance in the tall waterhemp population from Mississippi is due to both altered target site and nontarget site mechanisms. This is the first report of an altered EPSPS-based resistance in a dicot weed species that has evolved resistance to glyphosate.