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The North-Eastern region (NER) of India falls under the Eastern Himalayan region and it is a bio-diversity hub. Diverse maize landraces with wide adaptability to extreme climatic and soil scenario like heavy rainfall, drought and acidic soil conditions have been grown in NER since time immemorial. However, maize diversity in NER region has drastically reduced due to introduction of high yielding varieties and hybrids. Modern maize breeding programmes are focused on high yield but other unique traits like stay green trait, prolificacy (more than one fertile ear per plant), self-fertilizing ability are also important and the local germplasm of the NER region can contribute with these unique traits. Prior to the selection of any lines in several breeding programmes, assessment of genetic diversity and population structure are basic requirements. Hence, in the present study assessment of genetic diversity and population structure study in 30 maize inbreds developed from different germplasm of NER was undertaken using SSR markers, selected for their broad distribution throughout the genome, in order to assess the extent of allelic diversity among the lines and whether any population structure could be established. In addition to assessing molecular diversity, the study aims to evaluate the potential for yield and other beneficial and unique alleles that have high potential to contribute in the genetic enhancement programme of maize.
Rice cultivation in hills is challenged by sub-optimum weather conditions, low soil fertility, low temperature and moisture stress which impedes in attaining high productivity. To address this, four studies were carried out at ICAR Sikkim Centre, Gangtok, India to evaluate relative performance of local organic cultivars and conventionally bred varieties under an organic farming system. Conventionally bred varieties yielded significantly higher (45%) than local cultivars under recommended timely sown conditions whereas local cultivars showed superiority in grain yield under late sown conditions coinciding with low temperature during flowering to grain filling. Genotypes did not show significant interaction when organic or conventional production conditions were compared. For grain yield, there was a significant variation for variety × year interaction under organic system. Local organic cultivars had reduced grain yield and associated traits under rainfed upland conditions. Panicles per unit area had a significant positive association with grain yield in all production environments (organic lowland, organic upland, conventional lowland and conventional upland). Overall, the study indicates using local cultivars as donors for specific stress tolerance traits in background of high yielding genotypes to enhance rice yields sustainably under organic system in hills.
Preeclampsia (PE) affects up to five times more women with pre-existing diabetes mellitus (PDM) than women without it. The present study aimed to identify the effect of the DASH diet on PE incidence (primary outcome) and blood pressure, glycated haemoglobin (GH), serum lipids, glutathione peroxidase (GP), C-reactive protein (CRP – secondary outcomes) in pregnant with PDM. This randomised, controlled, single-blind trial studied sixty-eight pregnant women with PDM throughout prenatal care until delivery (18 weeks) at a public maternity hospital, Brazil. The standard diet group (SDG) received a diet containing 45–65 % carbohydrates, 15–20 % protein and 25–30 % lipids. The DASH diet group (DDG) received the adapted DASH diet with a similar macronutrient distribution, but with a higher concentration of fibres, unsaturated fats, calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as lower saturated fat. Student's t, Mann–Whitney U and the Chi-square tests were used to compare outcomes. PE incidence was 22⋅9 % in the SDG and 12⋅1 % in the DDG (P = 0⋅25). GP levels significantly increased in the DDG (intra-group analysis; mean difference = 1588 [CI 181, 2994], P = 0⋅03) and tended to be different from the variation in the SDG (mean difference = −29⋅5 [CI −1305; 1⋅365]; v. DDG: 1588 [CI 181; 2994], P = 0⋅09). GH levels decreased significantly and similarly between groups (SDG: −0⋅61 [CI −0⋅26, −0⋅96], P = 0⋅00) v. DDG: −1⋅1 [CI −0⋅57, −1⋅62], P = 0⋅00). There was no evidence of a difference in PE incidence at the end of the intervention between the two diets. The DASH diet seems to favour PE-related biochemical markers.
Although morphological plasticity has been widely known in various cactus genera, few studies have investigated the origin and molecular relationship between morphological variants from cacti. Morphological variants are relevant specimens because atypical, exotic and generally unique forms are preferred by cactus traders and collectors. The current study investigates the molecular relationship between the tortuosus and monstruosus ornamental variants of Cereus peruvianus used in landscapes. Polymorphisms in loci of simple-sequence repeats in DNA were used as molecular markers. The variants tortuosus and monstruosus, and plants with typically columnar and erect shoots cultivated in southern Brazil were retrieved from public parks and home gardens. High polymorphism, an indicative of vegetative propagation, and a moderate genetic divergence were detected at the molecular level in monstruosus and tortuosus plants. Artificial selection and vegetative propagation of the ornamental variants of Cereus may be inducing a moderate genetic divergence and formation of two heterologous groups with conservative genetic diversity. Polymorphism in Cereus variants revealed groups with contrasting genes among the variants tortuosus and monstruosus which may be useful for breeding to generate new and different new variants.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of growth-regulating insecticides of synthetic (e.g., Certero 480 SC, Intrepid 240 SC, Match EC and Mimic 240 SC) and botanical origins (e.g., Azamax 1.2 EC, Agroneem 850 EC, Azact 2.4 EC and Fitoneem 850 EC) on the biological parameters and fertility life table of Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) under laboratory conditions. Larvae were fed insecticides that were incorporated into artificial diets. To develop the fertility life table, the following biological parameters were evaluated: survival at 7 days after infestation (d.a.i) and survivorship at adult eclosion, duration of the neonate-to-adult eclosion period, larval and pupal weights and total fecundity (number of total eggs per female). The results indicated that S. frugiperda neonates surviving LC25 or LC50 concentrations of the evaluated insecticides showed longer larval and egg-to-adult periods, lower larval and pupal weights and reduced fecundity, when compared to the control treatment. Larvae exposed to Azamax at LC25 or LC50 concentrations showed the greatest increase in generation duration (75 d). In addition, S. frugiperda adults emerged from pupae when larvae reared on an artificial diet containing growth regulating insecticides of synthetic and botanical origins produced fewer females per female per generation (Ro). As well as, lower rates of natural population increase per day (rm) compared to insects fed the control diet. Our findings indicated that, neem-derived products and growth-regulating insecticides of synthetic origin may be employed within integrated management strategies that aim to keep populations of S. frugiperda below levels that cause economic damage. Similarly, they offer alternatives for insecticide resistance management programs.
Poor academic performance has been linked to factors such as sleep, health, illicit drug use, physical fighting, social media use, cyber bullying, physical activity, homelessness, times spent in video games and television. It is difficult to get a sense of the interplay between and relative importance of different behaviours/factors on academic performance as only limited research has been aimed at quantifying these factors.
To evaluate association of school performance and variables in five categories of the YRBSS: physical fighting, diet/lifestyle, electronic device usage, concurrent substance use, and violence/self-harm.
The CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from 1991-2019 was used in study. Respondents were grouped by good and poor school performance and variables related to nutrition/lifestyle, electronic device use, concurrent substance use, mood/violence/self-harm were analyzed using chi-square test.
A total of 41,235 student respondents.Nutrition/Lifestyle, electronic device use, concurrent substance use, mood/violence/self-harm are found to be significantly correlated with school performance.
Poor Performance n(%)
Good Performance n(%)
Concurrent Substance Use
Felt sad or hopeless
In national data, we found school performance is affected by nutrition, lifestyle, substance use, mood and exposure to surrounding violence, and self-harm. Further studies should be planned to evaluate benefits from the risk stratification to reduce this burden amongst US adolescents.
Rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis is a rapidly progressive disease with high mortality rates of about 60 per cent. The increasing incidence of rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis in coronavirus disease 2019 patients in India and worldwide has become a matter of concern owing to the case fatality rate. This study explored the use of low dose aspirin in decreasing the mortality rate of coronavirus disease 2019 associated mucormycosis.
This was a retrospective observational study. Patients suffering from post-coronavirus disease 2019 mucormycosis were included in the study. Each patient was treated with surgical debridement and systemic amphotericin B. Low dose aspirin was added, and mortality rates were compared with the patients who did not receive aspirin.
The demographic data and rhino-orbito-cerebral mucormycosis staging between the two groups were not significantly different. There was a statistically significant difference in mortality outcomes between the two groups (p = 0.029) and a 1.77 times higher risk of dying for patients not receiving aspirin. Kaplan–Meier survival indicated that patients receiving aspirin had better survival rates (p = 0.04).
This study describes a new species of Hypotrachyna subgenus Parmelinopsis from the south-eastern Cerrado (Brazilian savannah), a biodiversity hotspot. The species is especially common in open vegetation, including urban environments. Hypotrachyna neohorrescens sp. nov. is morphologically and chemically similar to H. horrescens. Nevertheless, phylogenetic analyses of the nuITS and mtSSU regions revealed that H. neohorrescens is a distinct species and closely related to the North American H. mcmulliniana, differing by the size of the laciniae and ascospores.
The increased incidence of necrotising otitis externa over the last decade has had a significant burden on healthcare providers. Several factors may affect outcome, and stratifying risk may allow personalised treatment.
Retrospectively identified patients were prospectively surveyed over 12 months. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to identify predictors of poor prognosis.
Twenty-six patients with necrotising otitis externa (average age of 80 years) were admitted from 2018 to 2019. At one year, 19 per cent mortality was observed. A high Charlson Comorbidity Index was associated with increased mortality (p = 0.03), prolonged in-patient stay (p = 0.047) and increased odds of adverse outcomes (odds ratio = 1.48, 95 per cent confidence interval = 0.26–2.67, p = 0.019). The Charlson Comorbidity Index in our prognostic model was validated using the receiver operating characteristic curve (area under the curve = 0.76). Charlson Comorbidity Index score of 5 or more independently predicted one-year morbidity and mortality (hazard ratio = 1.30, 95 per cent confidence interval = 0.94–1.79, p = 0.03).
Risk-stratifying patients may enable clinicians to holistically counsel patients and tailor their treatment to improve their prognosis and subsequently alleviate the burden of necrotising otitis externa.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on how health outcomes are unequally distributed among different population groups, with disadvantaged communities and individuals being disproportionality affected in terms of infection, morbidity and mortality, as well as vaccine access. Recently, there has been considerable debate about how social disadvantage and inequality intersect with developmental processes to result in a heightened susceptibility to environmental stressors, economic shocks and large-scale health emergencies. We argue that DOHaD Society members can make important contributions to addressing issues of inequality and improving community resilience in response to COVID-19. In order to do so, it is beneficial to engage with and adopt a social justice framework. We detail how DOHaD can align its research and policy recommendations with a social justice perspective to ensure that we contribute to improving the health of present and future generations in an equitable and socially just way.
Dietary supplements have been increasingly used by gym users and are often consumed without the guidance of a health professional. Moreover, the indiscriminate supplements use can have adverse health effects, such as changes in liver and kidney function. The aim of this study was to verify the association between dietary supplements intake with alterations in the liver and kidney function among gym users. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 594 gym users (mean age 37 (sd 14) years, 55·2 % women) from a city in southern Brazil. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the use of dietary supplements. The markers of the liver (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase, γ-glutamyltransferase) and renal (creatinine and urea) function were also evaluated on a subsample of the study population. Data were analysed by binary logistic regression, adjusted for sex, age and education. The prevalence of dietary supplement intake was 36·0 %. Individuals who intake dietary supplements showed a higher prevalence to present slight alterations in the AST enzyme and in the urea after adjustments for potential confounders. In conclusion, the use of dietary supplement was associated with slight alterations in AST enzyme and in the urea among gym users. These findings show the importance of using supplements correctly, especially with guidance from professionals trained to avoid possible risks to health.
In different parts of the world, aphid populations and their natural enemies are influenced by landscapes and climate. In the Neotropical region, few long-term studies have been conducted, maintaining a gap for comprehension of the effect of meteorological variables on aphid population patterns and their parasitoids in field conditions. This study describes the general patterns of oscillation in cereal winged aphids and their parasitoids, selecting meteorological variables and evaluating their effects on these insects. Aphids exhibit two annual peaks, one in summer–fall transition and the other in winter-spring transition. For parasitoids, the highest annual peak takes place during winter and a second peak occurs in winter–spring transition. Temperature was the principal meteorological regulator of population fluctuation in winged aphids and parasitoids during the year. The favorable temperature range is not the same for aphids and parasitoids. For aphids, temperature increase resulted in population growth, with maximum positive effect at 25°C. Temperature also positively influenced parasitoid populations, but the growth was asymptotic around 20°C. Although rainfall showed no regulatory function on aphid seasonality, it influenced the final number of insects over the year. The response of aphids and parasitoids to temperature has implications for trophic compatibility and regulation of their populations. Such functions should be taken into account in predictive models.
The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has improved with the search of novel antigens; however, their performance is limited when samples from VL/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-coinfected patients are tested. In this context, studies conducted to identify more suitable antigens to detect both VL and VL/HIC coinfection cases should be performed. In the current study, phage display was performed using serum samples from healthy subjects and VL, HIV-infected and VL/HIV-coinfected patients; aiming to identify novel phage-exposed epitopes to be evaluated with this diagnostic purpose. Nine non-repetitive and valid sequences were identified, synthetized and tested as peptides in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay experiments. Results showed that three (Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4) peptides showed excellent performance to diagnose VL and VL/HIV coinfection, with 100% sensitivity and specificity values. The other peptides showed sensitivity varying from 50.9 to 80.0%, as well as specificity ranging from 60.0 to 95.6%. Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 also showed a potential prognostic effect, since specific serological reactivity was significantly decreased after patient treatment. Bioinformatics assays indicated that Leishmania trypanothione reductase protein was predicted to contain these three conformational epitopes. In conclusion, data suggest that Pep2, Pep3 and Pep4 could be tested for the diagnosis of VL and VL/HIV coinfection.
Despite evidence showing that the intake of ultra-processed food has a negative impact on health, diet quality and dietary vitamin E, its impact on vitamin E nutritional status and breast milk remains unknown. This study aimed to assess the influence of the consumption of ultra-processed foods on vitamin E biomarkers of lactating women. A cross-sectional study was performed with 294 lactating women. Food consumption was obtained by 24-h dietary recall, and foods were grouped according to the NOVA classification. Levels of α-tocopherol were analysed by HPLC. Breast milk vitamin E (BMVE) adequacy was based on the quantity of the vitamin in the estimated intake volume. The Kruskal–Wallis test was used to compare the tertiles and linear regression to association between ultra-processed food consumption and biomarkers. Ultra-processed foods accounted for 16 % of energy intake and vitamin E intakes by all women were considered low. Serum α-tocopherol was 26·55 (sd 7·98) µmol/l, 5 % (n 11) showed inadequate vitamin E (< 12 µmol/l) and 78 % had an inadequate BMVE content (< 4 mg/780 ml). The regression showed that a higher dietary share of ultra-processed foods was associated with lower concentrations of serum α-tocopherol (β = –0·168, 95 % CI –0·047, 0·010, P = 0·003) and inadequate BMVE content (β = –0·144, 95 % CI = –0·505, 0·063, P = 0·012) (adjustment for income and maternal age). Thus, higher dietary shares of ultra-processed foods had an impact on vitamin E biomarkers, suggesting that inadequate dietary intake practices during lactation may reduce the supply of vitamin E to women and breast milk.
Maternal nutrition is critical in mammalian development, influencing the epigenetic reprogramming of gametes, embryos, and fetal programming. We evaluated the effects of different levels of sulfur (S) and cobalt (Co) in the maternal diet throughout the pre- and periconceptional periods on the biochemical and reproductive parameters of the donors and the DNA methylome of the progeny in Bos indicus cattle. The low-S/Co group differed from the control with respect to homocysteine, folic acid, B12, insulin growth factor 1, and glucose. The oocyte yield was lower in heifers from the low S/Co group than that in the control heifers. Embryos from the low-S/Co group exhibited 2320 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) across the genome compared with the control embryos. We also characterized candidate DMRs linked to the DNMT1 and DNMT3B genes in the blood and sperm cells of the adult progeny. A DMR located in DNMT1 that was identified in embryos remained differentially methylated in the sperm of the progeny from the low-S/Co group. Therefore, we associated changes in specific compounds in the maternal diet with DNA methylation modifications in the progeny. Our results help to elucidate the impact of maternal nutrition on epigenetic reprogramming in livestock, opening new avenues of research to study the effect of disturbed epigenetic patterns in early life on health and fertility in adulthood. Considering that cattle are physiologically similar to humans with respect to gestational length, our study may serve as a model for studies related to the developmental origin of health and disease in humans.
Fluorescent proteins (FPs) are reported to play an important role as photoprotectants and antioxidants in corals subjected to stressful conditions. Identifying the various FP genes expressed and FP gene expression patterns under stress in diverse coral species can provide insight into FP function. In this study, we identified 16 putative FP homologues from the transcriptomes of corals with varying susceptibility to elevated temperature, including Acropora digitifera, Favites colemani, Montipora digitata and Seriatopora caliendrum. Each coral expressed a different complement of FP transcripts, which were predicted to have distinct spectral properties. The most diverse and abundant repertoire of FP transcripts, including at least 6 green FPs, were expressed in the temperature-tolerant coral, F. colemani. In comparison, the other corals expressed fewer FP types. Specific FP transcripts exhibited variable expression profiles in coral fragments subjected to 32 ± 1 °C (treatment) or 28 ± 1 °C (control) for up to 72 h, suggesting that distinct FPs may have different roles. Further studies on the expression of the proteins encoded by these FP transcripts, their fluorescence activity, tissue localization, and possible antioxidant properties, are needed to reveal their contribution to thermal stress tolerance in certain species of corals.
The role of fire in the management of degraded areas remains strongly debated. Here we experimentally compare removal and infestation of popcorn kernels (Zea mays L. – Poaceae) and açaí fruits (Euterpe oleracea Mart. – Arecaceae) in one burned and two unburned savanna habitats in the eastern Brazilian Amazon. In each habitat, a total of ten experimental units (five per seed type) were installed, each with three treatments: (1) open access, (2) vertebrate access, and (3) invertebrate access. Generalized linear models showed significant differences in both seed removal (P < 0.0001) and infestation (P < 0.0001) among seed type, habitats and access treatments. Burned savanna had the highest overall seed infestation rate (24.3%) and invertebrate access increased açaí seed infestation levels to 100% in the burned savanna. Increased levels of invertebrate seed infestation in burned savanna suggest that preparation burning may be of limited use for the management and restoration of such habitats in tropical regions.
This study aimed to examine the effects of re-ensiling time and Lactobacillus buchneri on the fermentation profile, chemical composition and aerobic stability of sugarcane silages. The experiment was set up as a repeated measure design consisting of four air-exposure periods (EP)(0, 6, 12, and 24 h) microbial additive (A) (L. buchneri; or lack of there), with five replicates. Sugarcane was ground through a stationary forage chopper and ensiled in four plastic drums of 200-L capacity. After 210 days of storage, the drums were opened and half of the silage mass was treated with L. buchneri at the concentration of 105 cfu/g of forage. Subsequently, the silages were divided into stacks. The re-ensiling process was started immediately, at 0, 6, 12 and 24-hour intervals, by transferring the material to PVC mini-silos. Silos were opened after 120 days of re-ensiling. The use of L. buchneri reduced butyrate concentration but did not change ethanol or acetic acid concentrations and aerobic stability. An interaction effect between L. buchneri and re-ensiling time was observed for dry matter (DM) losses and composition. Lactobacillus buchneri is not effective in improving aerobic stability in re-ensiled sugarcane silages. However, less DM is lost in silages treated with L. buchneri and exposed to air for 24 h. Re-ensiling sugar cane in up to 24 h of exposure to air does not change final product quality.
The aim of this study was to assess change in temperature, audiometric outcomes and post-operative complications following exposure to different light sources during endoscopic ear surgery.
A total of 64 patients diagnosed with chronic otitis media with central perforation and pure conductive hearing loss underwent endoscopic type 1 tympanoplasty. The patients were randomised into two groups based on the light source used: xenon or light-emitting diode. Temperature was measured using a K type thermocouple at the promontory and round window niche. Mean temperature change with respect to operating time, mean audiometric change, incidence of vomiting in the first 24 hours, vertigo and tinnitus at the end of the first week were observed.
Mean temperature change showed a statistically significant difference with increasing length of operating time with the xenon light source and when the two light sources were compared for a particular time interval. Mean audiometric change showed statistically significant deterioration at higher frequencies (4, 6 and 8 kHz) with the xenon light source but only at 8 kHz for the light emitting diode source. When the mean audiometric change was compared between light sources for a particular frequency, statistical significance was found at 4, 6 and 8 kHz. Post-operative complications were vomiting, vertigo and tinnitus (p-values of 0.042, 0.099 and 0.147, respectively, between two groups).
Light emitting diodes are associated with less significant middle-ear temperature rises and audiometric changes at higher frequencies when compared to xenon light sources. Hence, xenon should be replaced with cooler light sources.