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‘Autistic savants' are individuals with autism who have extraordinary skills. Brain mechanisms underlying such capacities are still unknown.
To map the exceptional calendar capacity of a man with primary autism.
Positron emission tomography was used to map brain activity in a man who is able to associate a day of the week with the corresponding calendar date.
During the calendar task, the left hippocampus, the left frontal cortex and the left middle temporal lobe were activated.
The cerebral circuit involved in this man's prodigious calendar skill is similar to that normally involved in memory retrieval tasks. These results suggest that the prodigious capacities may be sustained by memory processing.
The effect of colonization of tissue-cultured strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa
Duch. cv. Kent) plantlets in vitro by
the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus (AMF) Glomus intraradices on plantlet response to poly(ethylene glycol)
(PEG)-8000-induced water stress was investigated. The plantlets were inoculated axenically and co-cultured with
the AMF for 4 wk, then transferred to 15% PEG-8000 solutions for 4, 8 and 12 h. Relative water content, water
potential, osmotic potential, leaf conductance for water vapour diffusion and photosynthetic efficiency as estimated
by chlorophyll a fluorescence were all affected by the PEG treatment and its duration but not by the presence of
the intraradical phase of the AMF. However, distinct differences in PEG-induced changes in amino acid content
were observed between nonmycorrhizal and mycorrhizal plantlets. In the latter, the treatment with PEG caused
a substantial decrease in asparagine levels in leaves that was accompanied by a marked increase in asparagine
concentration in roots. The opposite was observed in nonmycorrhizal plantlets. Furthermore, concentrations of
aspartic acid, serine, threonine, amino-N-butyric acid, alanine and starch increased in roots of mycorrhizal
and decreased in nonmycorrhizal plantlets. Our results suggest the presence of a mobile pool of asparagine
that can be translocated from leaves to roots or vice versa in response to PEG-induced water stress, depending on
the mycorrhizal status of the plantlets. These opposite patterns suggest different strategies of mycorrhizal and
nonmycorrhizal plantlets to water stress, which seem to involve different adjustments in nitrogen and carbon
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