Authors:C. M. Mutshinda, Z. V. Finkel, C. E. Widdicombe, and A. J. Irwin
Ecological communities are shaped by a complex interplay between abiotic forcing, biotic regulation and demographic stochasticity. However, community dynamics modelers tend to focus on abiotic forcing overlooking biotic interactions, due to notorious challenges involved in modeling and quantifying inter-specific interactions, particularly for species-rich systems such as planktonic assemblages. Nevertheless, inclusive models with regard to the full range of plausible drivers are essential to characterizing and predicting community response to environmental changes. Here we develop a Bayesian model for identifying, from in-situ time series, the biotic, abiotic and stochastic factors underlying the dynamics of species-rich communities, focusing on the joint biomass dynamics of biologically meaningful groups. We parameterize a multivariate model of population co-variation with an explicit account for demographic stochasticity, density-dependent feedbacks, pairwise interactions, and abiotic stress mediated by changing environmental conditions and resource availability, and work out explicit formulae for partitioning the temporal variance of each group in its biotic, abiotic and stochastic components. We illustrate the methodology by analyzing the joint biomass dynamics of four major phytoplankton functional types namely, diatoms, dinoflagellates, coccolithophores and phytoflagellates at Station L4 in the Western English Channel using weekly biomass records and coincident measurements of environmental covariates describing water conditions and potentially limiting resources. Abiotic and biotic factors explain comparable amounts of temporal variance in log-biomass growth across functional types. Our results demonstrate that effective modelling of resource limitation and inter-specific interactions is critical for quantifying the relative importance of abiotic and biotic factors.
Due to its overall environmental impact, the residual dye in the wastewater from the synthetic dye manufacturing and textile industries is a global concern. The discharge contains a high content of pigments and other additives, possessing complex structures. As per the requirement for dyed clothing, dyestuff in the effluent is less susceptible to acids, bases, and oxygen. Thus, conventional physical and chemical methods are not always efficient in degrading the dyes. Some microorganisms growing in an area affected with textile effluent have the capability to utilize the dyes as a source of carbon or nitrogen or both. As a very clean, inexpensive, and sufficient alternative, bioremediation of textile wastewater using these microorganisms has gained major popularity. This review primarily centers the contribution of bacteria in this sector and the isolation of such bacteria from textile effluent. A secondary focus is discussing the factors which influence the performance by different bacteria.
Authors:Nabi Khezrinejad, Gholam Khodakaramian, and Fatemeh Shahryari
This study aims to characterize plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) in sunflowers growing in different locations at North West of Iran.
Materials and methods
Sunflower plants were collected from different regions of West Azarbaijan, and rhizospheric bacterial strains were isolated and screened for PGP traits. Identification and characterization of the PGPR were conducted based on 16s rDNA sequences and phenotypic analysis, the strains clustered for genetic diversity by rep-PCR method.
Among the 80 bacterial isolates, 20 showed PGP traits and were selected for other potentials. All the selected isolates produced indole-3-acetic acid at the rate of 9.2–33.7 mg/ml. In addition, 13, 15, 12, and 16 were positive for phosphate solubilization, siderephore, hydrogen cyanide, and ammonia production, respectively. The results from a subsequent pot experiment indicated that PGPRs distinctly increased sun flower shoot and root length, shoot and root fresh weight, as well as shoot and root dry weight. Based on 16S rDNA sequences and biochemical and physiological characteristics, 20 PGPRs were identified as Pseudomonas fluorescens (five isolates), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (four isolates), Pseudomonas geniculata (one isolate), Bacillus subtilis (four isolates), Bacillus pumilus (two isolates), Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (two isolates), and Brevibacterium frigoritolerans (two isolates). In rep-PCR, PGPR isolates were differentiated into seven clusters (A–G) at 65% similarity level. These results demonstrated the existence of a considerable species richness and genetic diversity among PGPRs isolated from different regions of North West of Iran.
To the best of our knowledge, this is first report for the identification and characterization of B. frigoritolerans as PGPR in sunflower plants.
Authors:Rubina Tu¨nde Szabó, Mária Kovács-Weber, Márta Erdélyi, Krisztián Balogh, Natasa Fazekas, Ákos Horváth, Miklós Mézes, and Balázs Kovács
Background and aims
The aim of this study was to verify that the comet assay can be used to investigate the DNA damaging effects of T-2 and HT-2 toxins in the liver of broiler chickens. The comet assay is a favorable genotoxic analysis because it is cheap, simple, and can be used in many organisms and different tissues.
Materials and methods
Male broiler chickens were fed with T-2/HT-2 toxins-contaminated diet for 14 days. The comet assay was successfully adapted to chicken liver cells, and the DNA damage was determined by a decrease in the comet parameter (DNA % in the tail) in the experimental groups.
The method of evaluation was found to be critical because DNA damage could not be detected exactly using the CometScore software, due to inaccurate separation of head and comet. However, this problem can be solved by visual evaluation.
In the case of the visual evaluation, each toxin-treated group differed significantly from the control group, indicating that the assay can be useful for the assessment of primary DNA damage caused by T-2/HT-2 toxins.
In this study, we analyzed gynandromorphs with female terminalia, to dissect mating-related female behaviors in Drosophila.
Materials and methods
We used gynandromorphs, experimentally modified wild-type (Oregon-R) females, and mutant females that lacked different components of the female reproductive apparatus.
Many of the gynandromorphs mated but did not expel the mating plug (MP). Some of these – with thousands of sperm in the uterus – failed to take up sperm into the storage organs. There were gynandromorphs that stored plenty of sperm but failed to release them to fertilize eggs. Expelling the MP, sperm uptake into the storage organs, and the release of stored sperm along egg production are separate steps occurring during Drosophila female fertility. Cuticle landmarks of the gynandromorphs revealed that while the nerve foci that control MP expelling and also those that control sperm uptake reside in the abdominal, the sperm release foci derive from the thoracic region of the blastoderm.
Discussion and conclusion
The gynandromorph study is confirmed by analyses of (a) mutations that cause female sterility: Fs(3)Avar (preventing egg deposition), Tm2gs (removing germline cells), and iab-4DB (eliminating gonad formation) and (b) by experimentally manipulated wild-type females: decapitated or cut through ventral nerve cord.
Authors:F. Tóth, Franciska Tóthné Bogdányi, Renáta Petrikovszki, Anita Gódor, M. Zalai, B. Bálint, P. Sunder, and A. Myrta
The effectiveness of dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) to control root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) and weeds was tested for the first time in Hungary in two consecutive protected cucumber crops with application made only before the first crop. The treatments were Accolade EC (DMDS 94.1%) at 400 l/ha applied by driplines, Nemathorin 10 G (fosthiazate) at 30 kg/ha, and an untreated control. During the first cucumber cycle vigour-index, yield, root-gall index, Meloidogyne juveniles in the soil and germination of weeds were evaluated. All considered parameters were significantly improved by using DMDS compared respectively to the chemical standard and untreated control: (i) vigour-index of 7.0, 4.3 and 3.6; (ii) cumulative yield/sample of 45.1 kg, 30.9 kg, and 16.6 kg; root-gall index (RGI) of 1.2, 4.9, and 5.9; (iii) M. incognita J2/25 g soil of 0.25, 48.5 and 78.0, and (iv) number of weed seedlings/sample in the 20–30 cm soil profile of 1.1, 2.6, and 4.2. During the second cucumber crop, only root-gall index was evaluated. Results showed that a single DMDS treatment applied before the first crop had a prolonged beneficial effect on the following crop. In the second crop cycle, root gall indices were 5.58, 9.18, and 8.44 for DMDS treated plots, chemical control and untreated control, respectively.
Authors:Elisabetta Gerace, Vincenzo Di Marco Lo Presti, and Carmelo Biondo
Cryptosporidium is a protozoan that infects a wide variety of vertebrates, including humans, causing acute gastroenteritis. The disease manifests with abdominal pain and diarrhea similar to that of choleric infection. In the immunocompromised hosts, the parasite causes prolonged infections that can also be fatal. For this reason, cryptosporidiosis is considered one of riskiest opportunistic infections for patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The best way to control the infection in these patients is setting up sensitive and specific diagnostic tests for epidemiological surveillance and morbidity reduction. Here, we summarized the general aspects of Cryptosporidium infection focusing on available diagnostic tools used for the diagnosis of cryptosporidiosis. Molecular methods currently available for its detection and progress in the development of new diagnostics for cryptosporidiosis are also discussed.
Authors:F. Khorrami, K. Ojaghi Aghbash, A. Soleymanzade, M. Forouzan, and Y. Ghosta
Phthorimaea operculella is a significant insect pest of cultivated potatoes in tropical and subtropical regions such as Iran. Since the potato is one of the most valuable sources of human food, non-chemical control of potato pests is essential. Application of medicinal plant extracts is a low-risk alternative method to synthetic chemical insecticides. Hence, the present study was conducted to investigate a potential strategy to improve the insecticidal activity of plant extracts for efficient management of P. operculella. The insecticidal efficacy of pure methanolic extract (PME) and Fe3O4@methanolic extract (FME) of Cuminum cyminum were evaluated against the potato tuber moth under laboratory conditions. The morphological characteristics of Fe3O4@Cumin were investigated by scanning electron microscope. Magnetic properties of the samples were determined using a vibration sample magnetometer. XRD was used to prove the crystalline structure of Fe3O4@Cumin. SEM, FTIR, XRD, and VSM analyses confirmed that the methanolic extract was loaded on Fe3O4. The toxicity of PME and Fe3O4@Cumin were evaluated on one-day-old eggs and penetration the first instar larvae of P. operculella into potato tubers and leaves. The LC50 values of Cumin extract and Fe3O4@ Cumin were 961.07 and 601.48 and 496.84 and 268.82 ppm for penetrating neonate larvae to tubers and leaves, and 874.90 and 595.16 ppm for eggs, respectively. Bioassays revealed that Fe3O4@Cumin was more toxic than non-formulated Cumin methanolic extract against eggs and neonate larvae of P. operculella. The formulated methanolic extract was significantly more repellent against the pest. Our results suggested that the prepared nanocomposite could be used as a new effective tool for P. operculella management strategies to protect potatoes.
Foundation species and invasive species strongly influence community diversity and structure, but typically in different ways. However, when widespread invasive species provide novel habitat within a community, their net effect may depend on both the environment and community composition. Fouling communities in northern and southern California harbors were surveyed to determine whether there was variation between two locations in the percent cover of an invasive bryozoan, Watersipora subtorquata (d'Orbigny, 1852), and its relationship to community diversity and composition in these two environments. Diversity significantly differed between locations and had a location-dependent association with W. subtorquata abundance. Communities were significantly dissimilar between locations, and W. subtorquata abundance had the highest percent contribution to community dissimilarity when compared to other species in the community. These results suggest that invasive species may have both facilitative and inhibitive relationships with species in a community, but that the net balance of these interactions depends on both the environmental and community context.
The economic threshold level of Meloidogyne incognita, Alternaria dauci and Rhizoctonia solani were determined on carrot (Daucus carota L.) under greenhouse conditions. The results revealed that plant length, plant fresh weight, shoot and root dry weight, chlorophyll and carotenoid decreased progressively with the corresponding increase in the inoculum levels of each pathogen. The significant reduction in plant growth parameters, chlorophyll and carotenoid occurred when 2000 or more second stage juveniles (J2s) of M. incognita, 1.0 g or more inoculum of A. dauci or R. solani per kg soil were inoculated. Maximum reduction in plant growth attributes, chlorophyll and carotenoid occurred at the highest inoculum level of the test pathogens. Increase in the inoculum level of M. incognita caused an increase in the number of root galls, while the multiplication of nematode was found inversely related to the inoculum density. The increase in the inoculum levels of A. dauci and R. solani resulted in a progressive increase in leaf blight and crown rot indices and caused a higher reduction in plant growth parameters. The damaging threshold level of M. incognita was 2000 J2 per kg soil while 1.0 g per kg soil of A. dauci or R. solani was threshold level on carrot. The assessment of infestation levels of test pathogens will enable growers to cost-effectively select and implement the management tactics.