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European Journal of Microbiology and Immunology
Authors:
Laura Alejandra Mendoza-Larios
,
Fernando García-Dolores
,
Luis Francisco Sánchez-Anguiano
,
Elizabeth Irasema Antuna-Salcido
,
Jesús Hernández-Tinoco
,
Adriana Rocha-Salais
,
Marcela Araceli Segoviano-Mendoza
,
Antonio Sifuentes-Álvarez
, and
Cosme Alvarado-Esquivel

Abstract

We sought to determine the association between Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) infection of the central nervous system and suicide in a sample of decedents in Mexico City. One hundred and forty-seven decedents (87 who committed suicide and 60 who did not commit suicide) were studied. Brain tissues (amygdala and prefrontal cortex) of decedents were examined for the detection of T. gondii using immunohistochemistry. Detection of T. gondii was positive in 7 (8.0%) of the 87 cases (6 found in prefrontal cortex and one in amygdala), and in one (1.7%) of the 60 controls (found in prefrontal cortex) (OR: 5.16; 95% CI: 0.61–43.10; P = 0.14). Results suggest that T. gondii infection in brain is not associated with suicide. Further studies to confirm this finding are needed.

Open access

The genus Tamarix has about 60 species growing mainly in saline areas of deserts and semi-deserts in Asia, Europe, northeastern and southwestern Africa. Thirty-five species of Tamarix are grown in Iran, which have been used in fields to prevent deforestation, control soil erosion or for ornamental purposes. We have limited information on anatomical features of these species. We used 15 anatomical characters for our investigation in 10 species. PCoA ordination of the studied species based on anatomical data separated some of these species from the others. We identified 5 species that were well delimited by anatomical analysis.

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Banana is a cash crop in Mediterranean Region of Türkiye, which is grown mainly in greenhouses and open fields. In weed flora surveys carried out in 2021 and 2022, an Eastern Asian plant, Cardamine occulta Hornem. (Brassicaceae), was determined first time in 60% of banana greenhouses in Türkiye. The species had been recorded in Europe in the second half of the 20th century, and then spread especially in urban areas of many European countries and Mediterranean Basin, which implies many habitats in Türkiye under the threat of C. occulta. The main diagnostic morphological features and an identification key are presented in comparison with those for allied C. flexuosa With. and C. hirsuta L. An eradication program is suggested because it is not scattered but limited with banana greenhouses in Türkiye.

Open access

Parietaria L. is a genus comprised of 20 species distributed throughout temperate and subtropical areas of the world. The leaf and pollen characters of four species of Parietaria from different locations in Iran were investigated with light and scanning electron microscopy, in order to assess their diagnostic significance to provide additional evidence on species delimitation. All pollen grains were small in size and found to be porate. Most of the pollen characters, such as shape and sculpturing of pollen grains, exine diameter, were overlapped between species and indicated limited taxonomic value. The pore and annulus diameter could be provided additional taxonomic characters that can be used for species delimitation in the genus. Moreover, the leaf epidermis provided new qualitative data (laminar hydathodes, bladder-based trichomes) that could delimit the species. The characters like twin stomata and laminar hydathode observed in P. officinalis were reported for the first time in this genus.

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The epiphyllous liverwort collection was continued after the Covid pandemic in 2023 at the low and medium elevations of Batanta Island in the tropical rainforest belt by the entomolo-gist Tibor Kovács and his colleagues, which were identified by Tamás Pócs. The collection resulted in 35 species of which 9 liverworts proved to be new to Batanta Island along the species already known from the previous collections: Cheilolejeunea trapezia, Cheilolejeunea vittata, Cololejeunea schmidtii, Cololejeunea tenella, Colura herzogi, Drepanolejeunea cyclops, Leptolejeunea maculata, Microlejeunea punctiformis, and Radula javanica. Further three taxa are new even to science: Cololejeunea tiberii, Cololejeunea touwii subsp. batantae subsp. nov. and Drepanolejeunea levicornua var. incurviloba var. nov., which were described and illustrated by macro and microphotos. One previous identification was corrected. The results of 7 years of collecting activity resulting in 48 epiphyllous liverwort taxa known from Batanta Island are summarised.

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To carry out a floristical inventory of plants used in traditional medicine in the HaouzRehamna region, a series of ethnobotanical surveys were conducted during five campaigns (2012–2017) with a representative sample of 1,700 people. These researches are completed by the determination of species collected in the field. It is worth mentioning that, taking into account the recent changes at the international level on taxonomy, the results obtained allowed us to elaborate a catalogue of 415 plant species (bryophytes (2 species); lichens (1), superior mushrooms (1), pteridophytes (4), gymnosperms (8), chlamydosperms (2) and angiosperms (397)) belonging to 291 genera and 99 botanical families, of which nine are the most representative and total 53.49%, namely: Asteraceae (11.33%), Lamiaceae (10.12%), Fabaceae (8.43%), Apiaceae (6.50%), Solanaceae (4.34%), Poaceae (3.86%), Rosaceae (3.37%), Brassicaceae (3.13%) and Cucurbitaceae (2.41%). On the contrary, the other 90 families represent a specific number less than or equal to 1.93%. The data also reflect a high degree of monotypic, where a single species represented 47.48% of the recorded families, and 79.03% of the genera were monotypic. The spontaneous plants occupy the first place with 241 species (58.07%). In addition, the classification by genus showed that the genus Mentha is the most used by its number of species (8 species). Moreover, we noted the use of 12 hybrid species. The chorological analysis revealed the domination of taxa with Mediterranean distribution for spontaneous species. Therophytes (27%) and phanerophytes (23.36%) are the most represented life forms. The results of this study could serve as a basis for future research in the field of floristics and ecology for the conservation of biodiversity.

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Haloxylon aphyllum is a significant species adapted to salinity conditions and plays an important role in stabilising soil, providing forage, and serving as a source of firewood for residents. In this study, the genetic diversity of four populations of H. aphyllum in Iran was examined using four primers to assess genetic diversity, which produced a total of 41 bands. The AMOVA test showed that the studied populations differed in their genetic content. Specifically, 46% of genetic variability occurred within populations, while 54% arose between populations, indicating a high degree of genetic variation among H. aphyllum populations. The Mantel test presented a significant correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance. Additionally, the STRUCTURE analysis presented comprehensive information on the genetic structure of the studied H. aphyllum populations. The presence of genetic diversity and heterozygosity among H. aphyllum populations suggests local adaptation among populations, which may be due to the heterogeneity of environmental factors such as soil moisture and nutrients that create genetic heterogeneity.

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A new parasitic lichenicolous fungus Knudsenia, with the type species, K. flavoparmeliarum, growing on the thallus of the corticolous lichen Flavoparmelia caperata in subalpine and alpine regions of Central Himalaya (Uttarakhand, India) is described, illustrated, and compared with other morphologically similar lichenicolous fungi. It is characterised by having inconspicuous galls; stromatic ascomata with sterile brownish black to black tissue which is K+ majenta, N–, I–; hymenial gel K/I–; exciple evident; paraphyses simple to sparsely branched, apically not pigmented; asci bitunicate, elongate, clavate to subcylindrical with an indistinct ocular chamber with a very short stalk, 8-spored, K/I+ reddish brown; ascospores hyaline, spherical to ellipsoid at maturity, simple to rarely 1-pseudoseptate [(9.0–)9.5–10.5–11.5(–12.0) × (1.0–)1.2–1.5–2.0(–2.5) µm], I–, perispore absent. Since the species lacks molecular data, hence, it was tentatively placed in the family Planistromellaceae pending further studies.

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