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The alien cynipid wasp Dryocosmus kuriphilus Yasumatsu, 1951 is a serious pest of chestnuts (Castanea spp.) in Japan, North America and Europe, causing fruit losses while inducing galls in buds. While D. kuriphilus galls have a recognizable and roughly invariable globular shape, their size varies, reaching up to 4 cm in diameter. Among other factors, such variation may depend on different climatic conditions in different attacked areas. Here, we sampled and measured 375 D. kuriphilus galls from 25 localities throughout the Iberian Peninsula, including both cold and rainy northern (Eurosiberian) areas and warm and dry central-southern (Mediterranean) areas, to test the effects of climate and geographical location on gall morphology. The analyses indicate that gall mass and volume follow a pattern that can be associated with a climatic cline. In particular, the Eurosiberian galls were smaller than the Mediterranean galls according to differences in climatic conditions. In the southern areas, the greater insolation regime does not allow the chestnut trees to be distributed at lower altitudes, but the high rainfall and humidity regime of the mountain enclaves allow their presence. These conditions of insolation and precipitation seem to influence the morphological characteristics of the galls of D. kuriphilus.
Polistes paper wasps can be used to monitor trace metal contaminants, but the effects of pollution on the health of these insects are still unknown. We evaluated, in a south-eastern area of Spain, whether workers of Polistes dominula collected at urban and rural sites differ in health of midgut tissue and in fluctuating asymmetry, an estimate of developmental noise. We found that wasps collected at the urban sites had abundant lead (Pb)-containing spherites, which were less visible in wasps from the rural sites. Evident ultrastructural alterations in the epithelium of the midgut of the wasps collected at the urban sites included broken and disorganized microvilli, a high amount and density of heterochromatin in the nucleus of epithelial cells, cytoplasmic vacuolization and mitochondrial disruptions. Altogether, these findings suggest a negative effect on the transmembrane transport and a less efficient transcription. On the contrary, a healthy epithelium was observed in wasps from the rural sites. These differences may be preliminarily linked with levels of lead pollution, given that wasps from urban sites had double the Pb concentrations of wasps from rural sites. Level of fluctuating asymmetry was unrelated to wasp origin, thus suggesting no link between developmental noise and Pb-driven pollution.
Aganaspis daci and Aganaspis pelleranoi (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) are important parasitoids of fruit flies. Here we studied, with light and scanning electron microscopy, aspects of their morphology that could help with plans to mass rear and thus contribute to improved pest control (preimaginal phases) and to shed light on parasitoid-pest relationships (sensillar equipment). The two species present a stalked egg, eucoiliform first and second-instar larvae and hymenopteriform third instar and mature larvae. The first instar presents tegumental differentiations in the mesoma and first metasomal segment in A. daci, but not in A. pelleranoi, while unlike other figitids, neither species displays setae in the mesosomal processes. Second and third instar and mature larvae present tegumental differentiations in A. daci, but not in A. pelleranoi. The moniliform (female) and filiform (male) antennae of A. daci and A. pelleranoi harbor seven types of sensilla, four of them (sensilla campaniformia, sensilla coeloconica type II, and two types of sensilla trichoidea) described here for the first time in Cynipoidea. The largest sensilla were the multiporous placoid sensilla, which were smaller and more numerous in A. pelleranoi. Species also differed to some extent in morphology of sensilla coeloconica. Observations on the ovipositor revealed the presence of coeloconic sensilla on Valva I in both species.
In Italy buffalo milk is an important animal product utilized solely
manufacture of Mozzarella cheese. Of an estimated population of 200000
there are ∼25000 controlled animals. The average milk production, expressed
270 d lactation, is 2000 kg/head with average fat and protein contents
of 82·6 and 46·4 g/l respectively (Associazione Italiana
1996). In recent years there
has been a steady increase in the number of dairy buffalo replacing dairy
cows as a
consequence of the European Union quota system.
The cheesemaking qualities of milk depend on many factors, the most
of which are the concentrations of intact casein and fat. Milk in which
casein has been
broken down by proteolytic enzymes is of less value to cheese manufacturers
& Kelly, 1994). Plasmin (EC 126.96.36.199), the most important endogenous
proteinase, occurs in milk together with its inactive proenzyme, plasminogen
& Funke, 1986). Plasmin hydrolyses αs-casein and
β-casein, although κ-casein has
been reported to be resistant (Fox, 1981). However, Andrews & Alichanidis
found κ-casein to be hydrolysed quite rapidly by plasmin. Plasmin
activity is higher
in mastitic than normal milk (Bastian & Brown, 1996). Stage of lactation
plasmin activity: late lactation is associated with higher concentrations
(Gilmore et al. 1995; Baldi et al. 1996). Thus,
plasmin could be a major problem in
herds with seasonal breeding such as buffalo, which progress through lactation
synchrony and are therefore at a similar stage of lactation at a given
The cascade of reactions leading to plasminogen activation is regulated
complex network of molecular interactions between plasminogen activators
EC 188.8.131.52) and at least three types of specific PA inhibitors (PAI-1;
PAI-3; Saksela, 1985; Politis, 1996). There are two types of highly specific
tissue-PA (t-PA) and urokinase-PA (u-PA) (Saksela & Rifkin, 1988).
PA activity is
higher in mastitic than normal milk (Heegaard et al. 1994a).
previous studies on PA in milk were carried out on bovine and caprine milk.
is available on the presence and type of PA in buffalo milk. Thus the objective
present study was to determine the level and type of PA in different fractions
buffalo milk: casein, serum, and somatic cells.
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