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Ediacaran rangeomorphs were the first substantially macroscopic organisms to appear in the fossil record, but their underlying biology remains problematic. Although demonstrably heterotrophic, their current interpretation as osmotrophic consumers of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is incompatible with the inertial (high Re) and advective (high Pe) fluid dynamics accompanying macroscopic length scales. The key to resolving rangeomorph feeding and physiology lies in their underlying construction. Taphonomic analysis of three-dimensionally preserved Charnia from the White Sea identifies the presence of large, originally water-filled compartments that served both as a hydrostatic exoskeleton and semi-isolated digestion chambers capable of processing recalcitrant substrates, most likely in conjunction with a resident microbiome. At the same time, the hydrodynamically exposed outer surface of macroscopic rangeomorphs would have dramatically enhanced both gas exchange and food delivery. A bag-like epithelium filled with transiently circulated seawater offers an exceptionally efficient means of constructing a simple, DOC-consuming, multicellular heterotroph. Such a body plan is broadly comparable to that of anthozoan cnidarians, minus such derived features as muscle, tentacles and a centralized mouth. Along with other early bag-like fossils, rangeomorphs can be reliably identified as total-group eumetazoans, potentially colonial stem-group cnidarians.
Biogas digesters convert waste matter into a natural gas-like fuel and a nutrient-rich digestate by-product. This digestate has the potential to be used as a soil amendment to benefit crop production with or without biochar, a purported nutrient sponge. In a greenhouse study of several crop species, the effects of digestate fertilization on crop growth, photosynthetic efficiency, vegetable production and chemical nutrient levels were tested. Results indicate that increasing potency of the applied digestate fosters higher growth and fruit production rates of several studied plants but to a lesser degree than a conventional fertilizer. More potent digestate application increases antioxidant capacity, total phenolics content and ascorbic acid levels in kale compared to the control chemical fertilizer test groups but has confounding results on legume nutrient levels. Additionally, the combined application of biochar and biogas digestate added to compost and used as potting media positively impacts crop germination. This work has relevance to agrarian communities that could benefit from recycling livestock and food waste into fuel and a renewable fertilizer.
It is known that the level of dietary protein modulates the enzymatic activity of the digestive tract of fish; however, its effect at the molecular level on these enzymes and the hormones regulating appetite has not been well characterised. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of CP on the activity of proteases and the expression of genes related to the ingestion and protein digestion of juveniles of red tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), as well as the effects on performance, protein retention and body composition of tilapia. A total of 240 juveniles (29.32 ± 5.19 g) were used, distributed across 20 tanks of 100 l in a closed recirculation system. The fish were fed to apparent satiety for 42 days using four isoenergetic diets with different CP levels (24%, 30%, 36% and 42%). The results indicate that fish fed the 30% CP diet exhibited a higher growth performance compared to those on the 42% CP diet (P < 0.05). Feed intake in fish fed 24% and 30% CP diets was significantly higher than that in fish fed 36% and 42% CP diets (P < 0.05). A significant elevation of protein retention was observed in fish fed with 24% and 30% CP diets. Fish fed with 24% CP exhibited a significant increase in lipid deposition in the whole body. The diet with 42% CP was associated with the highest expression of pepsinogen and the lowest activity of acid protease (P < 0.05). The expression of hepatopancreatic trypsinogen increased as CP levels in the diet increased (P < 0.05) up to 36%, whereas trypsin activity showed a significant reduction with 42% CP (P < 0.05). The diet with 42% CP was associated with the lowest intestinal chymotrypsinogen expression and the lowest chymotrypsin activity (P < 0.05). α-amylase expression decreased with increasing (P < 0.05) CP levels up to 36%. No significant differences were observed in the expression of procarboxypeptidase, lipase or leptin among all the groups (P > 0.05). In addition, the diet with 42% CP resulted in a decrease (P < 0.05) in the expression of ghrelin and insulin and an increase (P < 0.05) in the expression of cholecystokinin and peptide yy. It is concluded that variation in dietary protein promoted changes in the metabolism of the red tilapia, which was reflected in proteolytic activity and expression of digestion and appetite-regulating genes.
Johansen examines the role of internal heat in the theories of nutrition and animal generation in Plato’s Timaeus. There, Plato does not ascribe the status of being besouled to all beings which engage in nutrition, but to beings with perceptive faculties. This raises questions as to the status of nutrition in the explanation of life and besouled beings.
Macfarlane highlights Aristotle’s use of the concept of pathological pneuma, which reveals Aristotle’s connections with the medical ideas current in his time. Macfarlane’s analysis casts new light on this connection, the difference between respired and connate pneuma, and on the relation between connate pneuma and blood.
In the present study, the morphological development of the Brycon amazonicus digestive tract is described to provide basic knowledge for nutritional studies and, therefore, increase the survival of this species during larviculture. Samples were collected from hatching up to 25 days of age, measured, processed and observed under a stereomicroscope and light microscopy. Newly hatched larvae presented their digestive tract as a straight tube, dorsal to the yolk sac, lined with a single layer of undifferentiated cells. At 24 h post-hatching (hPH), the buccopharyngeal cavity was open, but the posterior region of the digestive tube remained closed. At 25 hPH, the digestive tube was completely open and could be divided into buccopharyngeal cavity, oesophagus and intestine. At 35 hPH, the intestine presented a dilatation in the proximal region, which had the function of storing food. Differentiation of the stomach started at 83 hPH, and mucous cells were observed in the epithelium. These cells are important in the production of mucus, whose function is to protect the organ against acidity, although the gastric glands began developing only from 171 hPH, when three stomach regions were observed: cardiac, fundic and pyloric. The gastric glands were observed in the cardiac region, indicating that this organ already had digestive functionality. From 243 hPH, the absorption and assimilation of nutrients were already possible but, only from 412 hPH, the digestive tract was completely developed and functional.
To model the colonization of a novel host by fleas, Synosternus cleopatrae and Xenopsylla ramesis, we established experimental lines maintained for 15 generations on a principal or a novel host (either co-occurring with a flea or not). We compared the blood meal size and the energy expended for digestion by fleas from the 15th generation of each line on these hosts between hosts within a line and between lines within a host asking (a) whether fleas adapt to a novel host (increased blood consumption/decreased energy expended for digestion); (b) if yes, whether this adaptation leads to the loss of ability to exploit an original host, and (c) whether the success of adaptation to a novel host depends on its ecological co-occurrence with a flea. The blood consumption and digestion energetics of fleas fed on the principal host differed from those on other hosts. The effect of the principal host on feeding performance differed between fleas, with S. cleopatrae consuming less blood and expending more energy for digestion on the principal than on any other host, whereas the opposite was true for X. ramesis. No changes in feeding performance on a novel host over generations were found. We propose several explanations for the lack of adaptation to a novel host over time. We explain the poor performance of S. cleopatrae on its principal host via its immune response mounting pattern. We argue that the principal host of a parasite is not necessarily the host on which the parasite demonstrates the best performance.
Pregastric fermentation along with production practices that are dependent on high-energy diets means ruminants rely heavily on starch and protein assimilation for a substantial portion of their nutrient needs. While the majority of dietary starch may be fermented in the rumen, significant portions can flow to the small intestine. The initial phase of small intestinal digestion requires pancreatic α-amylase. Numerous nutritional factors have been shown to influence pancreatic α-amylase secretion with starch producing negative effects and casein, certain amino acids and dietary energy having positive effects. To date, manipulation of α-amylase secretion has not resulted in substantial changes in digestibility. The second phase of digestion involves the actions of the brush border enzymes sucrase-isomaltase and maltase-glucoamylase. Genetically, ruminants appear to possess these enzymes; however, the absence of measurable sucrase activity and limited adaptation with changes in diet suggests a reduced capacity for this phase of digestion. The final phase of carbohydrate assimilation is glucose transport. Ruminants possess Na+-dependent glucose transport that has been shown to be inducible. Because of the nature of pregastric fermentation, ruminants see a near constant flow of microbial protein to the small intestine. This results in a nutrient supply, which places a high priority on protein digestion and utilization. Comparatively, little research has been conducted describing protein assimilation. Enzymes and processes appear consistent with non-ruminants and are likely not limiting for efficient digestion of most feedstuffs. The mechanisms regulating the nutritional modulation of digestive function in the small intestine are complex and coordinated via the substrate, neural and hormonal effects in the small intestine, pancreas, peripheral tissues and the pituitary—hypothalamic axis. More research is needed in ruminants to help unravel the complexities by which small intestinal digestion is regulated with the aim of developing approaches to enhance and improve the efficiency of small intestinal digestion.
Ruminants living in seasonal environments face a two-fold challenge during winter. The energetic cost of maintaining a high body temperature is higher at lower ambient temperatures, and this is compounded by poor availability and quality of feed. Wild ruminants acclimatize to this energetic challenge by hypothermia, that is, reduced endogenous heat production and abandoning the maintenance of a high body temperature, particularly in peripheral body parts. Further but lesser contributions to lower energy expenditure during winter are reduced foraging activity; lower heat increment of feeding; and reduced maintenance cost of size-reduced organs. Altogether, metabolic rate, estimated by the continuous measurement of heart rate, during winter is downregulated to more than half of the summer level, as is voluntary food intake, even in animals fed ad libitum. The transformation from the summer into the thrifty winter phenotype is also evident in the physiology of digestion. Microbial protein synthesis is less facilitated by diminished phosphorus secretion into the shrunk rumen during winter. In line with this result, the concentration of ammonia, the end-product of protein digestion in the rumen, peaks in rumen liquid in spring, whereas the molar proportion of acetate, an indicator of fermentation of a diet rich in fiber, peaks in winter. In contrast to reduced stimulation of growth of ruminal microbes during winter, active transport of nutrients across the intestinal epithelium is increased, resulting in more efficient exploitation of the lower amount and quality of ingested winter feed. Nevertheless, the energy balance remains negative during winter. This is compensated by using fat reserves accumulated during summer, which become a major metabolic fuel during winter.
The bioaccessibility of fat has implications for satiety and postprandial lipidaemia. The prevailing view holds that the integrity of plant cell wall structure is the primary determinant of energy and nutrient extraction from plant cells as they pass through the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, comparisons across nuts (walnuts, almonds and pistachios) with varying physical properties do not support this view. In the present study, masticated samples of three nuts from healthy adults were exposed to a static model of gastric digestion followed by simulated intestinal digestion. Primary outcomes were particle size and lipid release at each phase of digestion. Walnuts produced a significantly larger particle size post-mastication compared with almonds. Under gastric and intestinal conditions, the particle size was larger for walnuts compared with pistachios and almonds (P < 0·05). However, the masticated and digesta particle sizes were not related to the integrity of cell walls or lipid release. The total lipid release was comparable between nuts after the in vitro intestinal phase (P > 0·05). Microstructural examination showed ruptured and fissured cell walls that would allow digestion of cellular contents, and this may be governed by internal cellular properties such as oil body state. Furthermore, the cell walls of walnuts tend to rupture rather than separate and as walnut tissue passes through the GI tract, lipids tend to coalesce reducing digestion efficiency.
The digestive system of the weaned piglets can be affected by the type of ingredients present in the diet, and a high fibre content in diets can limit the use of other nutrients and energy. The study was conducted to determine the effects of multicarbohydrase (MC) and phytase (Phy) supplementation on the nutritive value of wheat bran (WB) in weaned piglets. Multicarbohydrase preparation had 700 U α-galactosidase, 2200 U galactomannanase, 3000 U xylanase and 22 000 U β-glucanase per kilogram of diet, and Phy had 500 phytase units – FTU/kg of diet. Twenty-five weaned piglets (6.1 ± 0.63 kg) at 21 days old were fed five diets in a completely randomised experimental design with a 2 × 2 + 1 (0 and 200 mg/kg MC; 0 and 50 mg/kg Phy; and basal diet – BD) factorial arrangement used to determine treatment effects. An additional group of piglets was fed a corn-basal diet during apparent digestibility of nutrients, and fed a 5% casein-corn starch basal diet during apparent and standardised ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acid evaluations. Piglets were individually caged until 38 days old, when Ileal digesta was collected at slaughter. Test diets were made by mixing the basal diets and WB 7 : 3 (w/w), with or without MC, Phy or the combination. There was an interaction trend (P = 0.07) between MC and Phy in the balance of ash, digestible energy (DE) and metabolisable energy (ME). Effects of MC (P < 0.01) on DM, N retention, DE and ME, as well as an effect of Phy (P < 0.05) on ash, DE and ME and a trend in protein digestibility (P = 0.07) also was observed. The enzyme combination showed effect (P < 0.05) on SID of Lys, Pro and Ser; as a trend (P < 0.07) on His, Thr and Val. Isolated, MC also suggested improving (P < 0.07) on SID of His, Lys, Ala (P < 0.05), while Phy improved (P < 0.06) SID of Leu, Lys, Met (P < 0.01), Thr, Val, Ala (P < 0.01), Pro and Ser (P < 0.05). The MC carbohydrate complex was characterised as a viable alternative to increase the apparent nutrients digestibility and SID of amino acids when WB was used in the diet of young pigs and, when combined with Phy, suggested an additive effect on the apparent use of energy.
The burrower bug Scaptocoris castanea Perty, 1830 (Hemiptera: Cydnidae) is an agricultural pest feeding on roots of several crops. The histology and ultrastructure of the salivary glands of S. castanea were described. The salivary system has a pair of principal salivary glands and a pair of accessory salivary glands. The principal salivary gland is bilobed with anterior and posterior lobes joined by a hilus where an excretory duct occurs. The accessory salivary gland is tubular with a narrow lumen that opens into the hilus near the excretory duct, suggesting that its secretion is stored in the lumen of the principal gland. The cytoplasm of the secretory cells is rich in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, secretory vesicles with different electron densities and mitochondria. At the base of the accessory gland epithelium, there were scattered cells that do not reach the gland lumen, with the cytoplasm rich in the rough endoplasmic reticulum, indicating a role in protein production. Data show that principal and accessory salivary glands of S. castanea produce proteinaceous saliva. This is the first morphological description of the S. castanea salivary system that is similar to other Hemiptera Pentatomomorpha, but with occurrence of basal cells in the accessory salivary gland.
The introduction reads Yeats’ record of his meeting with Joyce in 1902 and uncovers in Joyce’s declaration of his intention to write prose poetry an unacknowledged echoing of Baudelaire’s idea for prose poétique. It explores the Parisian context of Baudelaire’s ambition to develop a new kind of materially displaced thinking and considers it in relation to New Materialism: While neo-materialist approaches would shift emphasis and agency from a Cartesian subject to the world of matter, Baudelaire’s “things think through me, or I through them” retains a vital openness. It is here that I introduce the concept of Joyce’s sentient thinking, an undoing of the sovereign and dominating subject that offers new possibilities of cooperative co-being. The introduction theorizes Joyce’s exploration of a lived aesthetic practice with reference to accounts of subjectivity such as Judith Butler’s Senses of the Subject (2016) and works on reason under capitalism such as Martin Jay’s Reason After Its Eclipse (2016).
The aim of this study was to test the effective separation of shape indices of otoliths of three species belonging to the family Sciaenidae before and after in vitro digestion. We measured 328 sagittal otoliths and applied six shape indices. Before the experiment, the aspect ratio (otolith height/otolith length%), circularity, ellipticity and relative surface of the sulcus acusticus were suitable for differentiating the species of genera Paralonchurus and Stellifer. Among the species of Stellifer, the aspect ratio and rectangularity were suitable. Otoliths exposed to in vitro digestion showed no significant differences in their morphometry before and after the experiment. After in vitro digestion, the aspect ratio and circularity were effective in separating Paralonchurus and Stellifer. However, none of the indices used in the present study were efficient to separate otoliths of congeneric species after in vitro digestion.
Rheological properties of digesta play a role in digesta passage kinetics through the gastrointestinal tract, in turn affecting nutrient absorption kinetics. Therefore, we studied the effects of diet viscosity on digesta passage and physicochemical properties in pigs. Twenty male growing pigs (35 kg body weight at the start) were assigned to one of five diets with increasing dietary concentrations of β-glucans (BG; from 0 % to 10 %), in exchange for maize starch. After a 17-day adaptation period, pigs were euthanised and the mean retention time (MRT) of digesta solids (TiO2) and liquids (Cr-EDTA) in the stomach, and proximal and distal half of the small intestine was quantified. In the stomach, the MRT of liquids, but not of solids, increased when dietary BG level increased (6 min per % dietary BG, P = 0.008 and R2 = 0.35). Concomitantly, stomach DM content (5 g/kg per % dietary BG, P < 0.001 and R2 = 0.53) and apparent digesta viscosity (56 Pa × s at 1/s shear rate per % dietary BG, P = 0.003 and R2 = 0.41) decreased. In the proximal half of the small intestine, no effects of dietary BG level were observed. In the distal half of the small intestine, water-binding capacity (WBC) of digesta increased (0.11 g/g digesta DM per % dietary BG, P = 0.028 and R2 = 0.24) and starch digestibility decreased (0.3% per % dietary BG, P = 0.034 and R2 = 0.23) when dietary BG level increased. In the colon, apparent digesta viscosity at 45/s shear rate increased (0.1 Pa × s per % dietary BG, P = 0.03 and R2 = 0.24) in the proximal half of the colon, and digesta WBC increased (0.06 g/g digesta DM per % dietary BG, P = 0.024 and R2 = 0.26) in the distal half of the colon when dietary BG level increased. To conclude, increasing dietary BG level caused the MRT of liquids, but not that of solids, to increase in the stomach, resulting in reduced separation of the solid and liquid digesta fractions. This caused dilution of the stomach content and reduction in digesta viscosity when dietary BG levels increased. Effects of dietary BG level on physicochemical properties in the proximal small intestine were absent and may have been due to a low DM content. The WBC of digesta in the distal small intestine and colon increased when dietary BG level increased, as did apparent digesta viscosity in the proximal colon. This likely reflects the concentration of BG in digesta when moving through the gastrointestinal tract.
Toxocara canis is an important zoonotic roundworm distributed worldwide. The infective larvae of T. canis are one of the causes of visceral larva migrans (VLM), a clinical syndrome in humans. Diagnosing VLM is difficult, and the differential diagnosis of the larval development stage is limited. Therefore, this experimental research aimed to diagnose T. canis larvae using a molecular method, not only in liver tissue, which is the most commonly affected tissue, but also in the limb muscles, lungs and brain tissues. For this purpose, 24 BALB/c mice were infected with 1000 embryonated T. canis eggs. Necropsies were performed on the second, fourth, seventh and 14th days post-infection. While a part of the samples were digested with pepsin-HCl, the molecular method was used for the remainder of the samples to replicate the mitochondrial DNA adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase subunit-6 gene region of T. canis. BbsI, a restriction endonuclease, was used to determine the specificity of the amplicons obtained from Polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The detection limit for embryonated eggs was recorded. The PCR results showed that the sensitivity of the PCR analysis was 83.3% in the liver (with 88.8% accuracy), 87.5% in the lungs (with 91.6% accuracy) and 75.0% in the brain, forelimb and hindlimb muscles (with 83.3% accuracy). In all tissues, the test specificity was determined to be 100%. In this study, the molecular method was applied to only experimentally infected BALB/c mice tissues; thus, it is suggested that it can be also employed in different paratenic hosts and materials possibly infected with T. canis.
In the present study, we evaluated the effect of process-induced common bean hardness on structural properties of in vivo generated boluses and the consequences for in vitro starch digestion. Initially, the impact of human mastication on the particle size distribution (PSD) of oral boluses from common beans with different process-induced hardness levels was investigated through a mastication study. Then the effect of structural properties of selected boluses on in vitro starch digestion kinetics was assessed. For a particular process-induced hardness level, oral boluses had similar PSD despite differences in masticatory parameters between participants of the mastication study. At different hardness levels, a clear effect of processing (P<0·0001) was observed. However, the effect of mastication behaviour (P=0·1141) was not significant. Two distinctive fractions were present in all boluses. The first one was a cotyledon-rich fraction consisting of majorly small particles (40–125 µm), which could be described as individual cells based on microscopic observations. This fraction increased with a decrease in process-induced hardness. The second fraction (>2000 µm) mostly contained seed coat material and did not change based on hardness levels. The in vitro starch digestion kinetics of common bean boluses was only affected by process-induced hardness. After kinetic modelling, significant differences were observed between the reaction rate constant of boluses generated from the hardest beans and those obtained from softer ones. Overall this work demonstrated that the in vitro nutritional functionality of common beans is affected to a greater extent by structural properties induced by processing than by mechanical degradation in the mouth.
Rubber seed oil (RO) that is rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (FA) can improve milk production and milk FA profiles of dairy cows; however, the responses of digestion and ruminal fermentation to RO supplementation in vivo are still unknown. This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of RO and flaxseed oil (FO) supplementation on nutrients digestibility, rumen fermentation parameters and rumen FA profile of dairy cows. Forty-eight mid-lactation Holstein dairy cows were randomly assigned to one of four treatments for 8 weeks, including basal diet (CON) or the basal dietary supplemented with 4% RO, 4% FO or 2% RO plus 2% FO on a DM basis. Compared with CON, dietary oil supplementation improved the total tract apparent digestibility of DM, neutral detergent fibre and ether extracts ( P < 0.05). Oil treatment groups had no effects on ruminal digesta pH value, ammonia N and microbial crude protein ( P > 0.05), whereas oil groups significantly changed the volatile fatty acid (VFA) profile by increasing the proportion of propionate whilst decreasing total VFA concentration, the proportion of acetate and the ratio of acetate to propionate ( P < 0.05). However, there were no differences in VFA proportions between the three oil groups (P > 0.05). In addition, dietary oil supplementation increased the total unsaturated FA proportion in the rumen by enhancing the proportion of trans-11 C18:1 vaccenic acid (VA), cis-9, trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and α-linolenic acid (ALA) ( P < 0.05). These results indicate that dietary supplementation with RO and FO could improve nutrients digestibility, ruminal fermentation and ruminal FA profile by enhancing the VA, cis-9, trans-11 CLA and ALA composition of lactating dairy cows. These findings provide a theoretical basis for the application of RO in livestock production.
Ruminants are unique among livestock due to their ability to efficiently convert plant cell wall carbohydrates into meat and milk. This ability is a result of the evolution of an essential symbiotic association with a complex microbial community in the rumen that includes vast numbers of bacteria, methanogenic archaea, anaerobic fungi and protozoa. These microbes produce a diverse array of enzymes that convert ingested feedstuffs into volatile fatty acids and microbial protein which are used by the animal for growth. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatic analyses have helped to reveal how the composition of the rumen microbiome varies significantly during the development of the ruminant host, and with changes in diet. These sequencing efforts are also beginning to explain how shifts in the microbiome affect feed efficiency. In this review, we provide an overview of how meta-omics technologies have been applied to understanding the rumen microbiome, and the impact that diet has on the rumen microbial community.
Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata, Say) is the main pest of Solanaceae and its survival is mainly dependent on the carbohydrate digestion. Characterizing the gut enzymes may help us with finding effective inhibitors for plant protection. Activity measurements revealed that gut extracts contain α- and β-glucosidase in addition to α-amylase. For larvae, amylase activity was detected only in gut saturated with nutrients. Leptinotarsa decemlineata α-amylase (LDAmy) had optimum pH of 6.0 and was active under 30–40°C temperature measured on a selective α-amylase substrate, 2-chloro-4-nitrophenyl-4-O-α-D-galactopyranosyl-maltoside. HPLC analysis demonstrated dimer, trimer, and tetramer reducing end amylolytic products from 2-chloro-4-nitrophenyl-maltoheptaoside substrate in similar ratio than that of during porcine pancreatic α-amylase (PPA) catalyzed hydrolysis. The 4,6-O-benzylidene-modified substrate (BzG7PNP) is very stable toward hydrolysis by exo-glycosidases, therefore is very useful to monitor the digestion catalyzed by α-amylases exclusively. Similarly to PPA active site, three glycon and two aglycon binding sites are suggested for LDAmy based on the pattern of early hydrolysis products of BzG7PNP. The observed similarity between LDAmy and PPA raises the possibility of using known inhibitors of mammalian α-amylases to protect the potato plant from attack of Colorado potato beetle.