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Authors: G. Gadimaliyeva, N. Aminov, A. Jahangirov, H. Hamidov, A. Abugalieva, V. Shamanin and A. Morgounov

Hexaploid synthetic wheat, derived from crosses between durum wheat and Aegilops tauschii, is widely accepted as an important source of useful traits for wheat breeding. During 2015 and 2016, three groups of synthetics were studied in Azerbaijan (3 sites) and Russia (1 site). Group 1 comprised CIMMYT primary synthetics derived from eastern European winter durum wheats crossed to Ae. tauschii accessions from the Caspian Sea basin. Group 2 included lines derived from CIMMYT synthetics × bread wheat crosses. Group 3 consisted of synthetics developed in Japan by crossing durum variety Langdon with a diverse collection of Ae. tauschii accessions. Varieties Bezostaya-1 and Seri were used as checks. Group 1 synthetics were better adapted and more productive than those in group 3, indicating that the durum parent plays an important role in the adaptation of synthetics. Compared to Bezostaya-1 synthetics produced fewer spikes per unit area, an important consideration for selecting bread wheat parents for maintenance of productivity. Synthetics had longer spikes but were not generally free-threshing. All synthetics and derivatives had 1000-kernel weights comparable to Bezostya-1 and significantly higher than Seri. All primary synthetics were resistant to leaf rust, several to stem rust, and few to stripe rust. Superior genotypes from all three groups that combine high expression of spike productivity traits and stress tolerance index were identified.

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Starch is a product of photosynthetic activities in leaves. Wheat yields largely depend on photosynthetic carbon fixation and carbohydrate metabolism in flag leaves. The mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with flag leaf starch content (FLSC) in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) was completed using unconditional and conditional QTL analyses. The FLSC of this population during the early grain-filling stage was measured at six stages in six environments. Combining unconditional and conditional QTL mapping methods, eight unconditional QTLs and nine conditional QTLs were detected, with five QTLs identified as unconditional and conditional QTLs. Four unconditional QTLs (i.e. qFLS-1B, qFLS-1D-1, qFLS-4A, and qFLS-7D-1) and one conditional QTL (i.e. qFLS-3A-1) were identified in two of six environments. Two QTLs (qFLS-1D-2 and qFLS-7D-1), which significantly affected the FLSC, were identified using the unconditional QTL mapping method, while three QTLs (i.e. qFLS-1A, qFLS-3A-1, and qFLS-7D-1) were detected using the conditional QTL mapping method. Our findings provide new insights into the genetic mechanism and regulatory network underlying the diurnal FLSC in wheat.

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Authors made regular insect collections between 2010 and 2017, especially on ornamental trees and shrubs, on streets, parks, in city greenery, forests, botanical gardens and private gardens, in various localities of Hungary. Trioza soniae Rapisarda, 1994 and Trioza scottii Löw, 1880 are reported for the first time in Hungary. New host, locality and habitat data are given.

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During studies of Diptera in the grasslands of Miandoab County, West Azerbaijan province, Iran, during 2014-2015, 10 species of the family Dolichopodidae have been identified that among them Hydrophorus callostomus Loew, 1857 is recorded for the first time from Iran.

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Authors: Farzaneh Garousi, Béla Kovács and Szilvia Veres

Selenium (Se) is an essential element for animals and humans, but not plants. However, the capacity of some plants to accumulate and transform Se into bioactive compounds has important implications for human nutrition and health. In this study, sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and maize (Zea mays) seedlings were cultivated in soil to investigate the effect of different rates of sodium selenite (1–90 mg kg–1 soil) and sodium selenate (1–30 mg kg–1 soil) on absorption and translocation of Se and sulphur (S). Sodium selenate decreased growth of sunflower roots at all applied rates and of maize roots at the highest rate applied. In contrast, sodium selenite up to 30 mg kg–1 for sunflower and 3 mg kg–1 for maize resulted in increased shoot and root growth. An increase in Se concentration in soil resulted in an increase in Se and a decrease in S accumulation in roots and shoots of both maize and sunflower. Selenium translocation from roots to shoot was higher in sunflower than maize. Root-to-shoot translocation of Se was 5 to 30 times greater in sunflower and 0.4 to 3 times greater in maize in the sodium selenate than sodium selenite treatments. Sunflower, as a Se-hyperaccumulator with up to 1.8 g kg–1 in shoots (with no significant decrease in shoot biomass) can be a valuable plant in biofortification to improve animal/human nutrition, as well as in phytoremediation of contaminated sites to restore ecosystem services.

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Female of Aculus scutellariae (Canestrini et Massalongo, 1895) is redescribed, male and nymph are described and illustrated. It was collected from Scutellaria hastifolia L. (Fam. Lamiaceae) in Hungary.

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Urbanization effects on terrestrial isopod (Isopoda, Oniscidea) populations were studied in forested areas along a rural-to-urban gradient including a native beech forest, suburban and urban forest fragments in Sorø, Denmark. The seasonal activity patterns of the dominating species (Oniscus asellus, Philoscia muscorum and Porcellio scaber) indicated differences among the areas, but these patterns were idiosyncratic. There were more females than males in most areas. The seasonal patterns of males and non-gravid females were similar and often bimodal; gravid females showed markedly different, usually unimodal activity patterns. Temporal changes of sex ratios were – in each species – characterized by an early summer activity peak of males, followed by the activity peak of gravid females. We suggest that these trends might indicate a reproduction-driven surface activity of males. The small response of the three isopod species to urbanization may reflect their wide ecological tolerance as well as the “soft management” of the urban park.

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We suggest the use of a graphical method, involving a standardisation of the seasonal activity curves and their subsequent comparison by a percentile-percentile graph as an easy way to compare seasonal activities in arthropods. To test the suitability of the suggested method, the seasonal dynamics of three common carabid beetles, Pterostichus melanarius, Nebria brevicollis and Carabus nemoralis were compared in three habitats (rural forest, suburban and urban forest fragments) along an urbanisation gradient near Sorø, Denmark, in 2004 and 2005. Activity in urban habitats often started earlier, possibly caused by the warmer microclimate in the city centre. The comparative graphs indicated the unsuitability of the suburban habitat for N. brevicollis, and the differential suitability as overwintering habitat of the three urbanisation stages for C. nemoralis. The method seems suitable to analyse differences in seasonal activity while being more sensitive than traditional seasonal-activity graphs.

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The northern lagoon of Tunis is closed, except for a limited communication with the sea via a very narrow channel. It is subjected, as the majority of Mediterranean lagoons, to environmental/anthropogenic constraints related mainly to the slowness of circulation and renewal of its waters, and also to surrounding human activities. Fifteen stations distributed in the northern lagoon of Tunis were sampled seasonally. The main physicochemical parameters of the water and the sediment were measured and the macro-invertebrates were sampled and identified. Results show that the nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients are relatively low in the study site compared with other Tunisian and Mediterranean lagoons, and the dissolved oxygen content and the pH are relatively satisfactory. However, the temperature and salinity which are higher compared with other Tunisian lagoons show remarkable seasonal variations, and seem to play interesting role in shaping community structure. Thus, the macrofauna community is poorly diversified and impoverished during warm/dry seasons, but slightly improved with precipitation and flow of freshwater during cool/rainy seasons. According to our own results and those of the literature, it seems that the northern lagoon of Tunis has for several years been affected by some major factors, mainly high temperature and salinity, sediment silting and perhaps an excess of organic matter. This has led to deep changes in the macrofauna community before being in its current status.

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Plant communities in extensive landscapes are often mapped remotely using detectable patterns based on vegetation structure and canopy species with a high relative cover. A plot-based classification which includes species with low relative canopy cover and ignores vegetation structure, may result in plant communities not easily reconcilable with the landscape patterns represented in mapping. In our study, we investigate the effects on classification outcomes if we (1) remove rare species based on canopy cover, and (2) incorporate vegetation structure by weighting species’ cover by different measures of vegetation height. Using a dataset of 101 plots of savanna vegetation in north-eastern Australia we investigated first, the effect of removing rare species using four cover thresholds (1, 5, 8 and 10% contribution to total cover) and second, weighting species by four height measures including actual height as well as continuous and categorical transformations. Using agglomerative hierarchical clustering we produced a classification for each dataset and compared them for differences in: patterns of plot similarity, clustering, species richness and evenness, and characteristic species. We estimated the ability of each classification to predict species cover using generalised linear models. We found removing rare species at any cover threshold produced characteristic species appearing to correspond to landscape scale changes and better predicted species cover in grasslands and shrublands. However, in woodlands it made no difference. Using actual height of vegetation layer maintained vegetation structure, emphasised canopy and then sub-canopy species in clustering, and predicted species cover best of the height-measures tested. Thus, removing rare species and weighting species by height are useful techniques for identifying plant communities from plot-based classifications which are conceptually consistent with those in landscape scale mapping. This increases the confidence of end-users in both the classifications and the maps, thus enhancing their use in land management decisions.

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Authors: Gergely Zachar, Tamás Jakó, István Vincze, Zsolt Wagner, Tamás Tábi, Eszter Bálint, Szilvia Mezey, Éva Szökő and András Csillag

D-aspartate (D-Asp) modulates adult neural plasticity and embryonic brain development by promoting cell proliferation, survival and differentiation. Here, developmental changes of the excitatory amino acids (EAAs) L-Glu, L-Asp and D-Asp were determined during the first postembryonic days, a time window for early learning, in selected brain regions of domestic chickens after chiral separation and capillary electrophoresis. Extracellular concentration (ECC) of EAAs was measured in microdialysis samples from freely moving chicks. ECC of D-Asp (but not L-EAAs) decreased during the first week of age, with no considerable regional or learning-related variation. ECC of L-Asp and L-Glu (but not of D-Asp) were elevated in the mSt/Ac in response to a rewarding stimulus, suggesting importance of Asp-Glu co-release in synaptic plasticity of basal ganglia. Potassium-evoked release of D-Asp, with a protracted transient, was also demonstrated. D-Asp constitutes greater percentage of total aspartate in the extracellular space than in whole tissue extracts, thus the bulk of D-Asp detected in tissue appears in the extracellular space. Conversely, only a fraction of tissue L-EAAs can be detected in extracellular space. The lack of changes in tissue D-Asp following avoidance learning indicates a tonic, rather than phasic, mechanism in the neuromodulatory action of this amino acid.

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Authors: H. Aadel, R. Abdelwahd, S.M. Udupa, G. Diria, A. El Mouhtadi, K. Ahansal, F. Gaboun, A. Douira and D. Iraqi

Although significant progress has been made on Agrobacterium-mediated wheat transformation, current methodologies using immature embryos as recipient tissues are labor intensive, time consuming and expensive. The use of mature embryos as explants is increasingly being recognized as an optimal method for developing regenerable cell lines during wheat transformation. Therefore, we have developed an Agrobacterium-based transformation protocol using mature embryos while adjusting several factors that influence genetic transformation efficiency. In this study, we focussed on acetosyringone concentrations, genotypes and different types of mature embryos (intact or longitudinally halved-embryos or fragmented into four latitudinal pieces) used as a source of explants for the genetic transformation. A. tumefaciens strain EHA101 harboring the plasmid vector pTF101.1 carrying the barley HVA1 gene and bar-selectable marker gene were used. Mature intact-embryos and longitudinally halved-embryos yielded the highest number of putative transgenic plantlets on the selection medium. However, no plantlets were obtained from latitudinal fragmented mature embryos. ‘Amal’ and ‘Rajae’ genotypes regenerated the highest number of putative transgenic plants and 200 μM acetosyringone was found to be the optimal concentration for their transformation. A total of 47 transgenic plants were selected with 11 plantlets showing resistance to leaf painting. Molecular analysis revealed that 1% and 0.66% of T0 regenerated plantlets were successfully transformed and carried the HVA1 gene for the ‘Amal’ and ‘Rajae’ genotypes, respectively. Additional analysis shows the transgene is stably inherited in the T1 generation. Based on the results, we conclude that among the influencing factors tested, genotypes, mature embryo explant types and acetosyringone concentration contribute significantly to the success of bread wheat transformation.

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Authors: R. Ponnuswamy, A. Rathore, A. Vemula, R.R. Das, A.K. Singh, D. Balakrishnan, H.S. Arremsetty, R.B. Vemuri and T. Ram

The All India Coordinated Rice Improvement Project of ICAR-Indian Institute of Rice Research, Hyderabad organizes multi-location testing of elite lines and hybrids to test and identify new rice cultivars for the release of commercial cultivation in India. Data obtained from Initial Hybrid Rice Trials of three years were utilized to understand the genotype × environment interaction (GEI) patterns among the test locations of five different agro-ecological regions of India using GGE and AMMI biplot analysis. The combined analysis of variance and AMMI ANOVA for a yield of rice hybrids were highly significant for GEI. The GGE biplots first two PC explained 54.71%, 51.54% and 59.95% of total G + GEI variation during 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively, whereas AMMI biplot PC1 and PC2 explained 46.62% in 2010, 36.07% in 2011 and 38.33% in 2012 of the total GEI variation. Crossover interactions, i.e. genotype rank changes across locations were observed. GGE biplot identified hybrids, viz. PAN1919, TNRH193, DRH005, VRH639, 26P29, Signet5051, KPH385, VRH667, NIPH101, SPH497, RH664 Plus and TNRH222 as stable rice hybrids. The discriminative locations identified in different test years were Coimbatore, Maruteru, VNR, Jammu, Raipur, Ludhiana, Karjat and Dabhoi. The AMMI1 biplot identified the adaptable rice hybrids viz., CNRH102, DRH005, NK6303, NK6320, DRRH78, NIPH101, Signet5050, BPH115, Bio452, NPSH2003, and DRRH83. The present study demonstrated that AMMI and GGE biplots analyses were successful in assessing genotype by environment interaction in hybrid rice trials and aided in the identification of stable and adaptable rice hybrids with higher mean and stable yields.

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Authors: Y. Akyol, C. Durmuskahya, K. Yetişen, O. Kocabaş and C. Özdemir

In this study, anatomical properties of Biarum marmarisense (P. C. Boyce) P. C. Boyce and Biarum pyrami (Schott) Engl. var. pyrami were examined. The specimens were collected from Antalya province, South West of Anatolia. Degree of spathe tube margin connection, distribution of pistillodes and staminate-pistillate flower zone interstice length characters are important in Biarum Schott. taxonomy at specific level. The cross-sections of root, stem and leaf parts of the plant were examined and demonstrated by photographs. Although thicknesses of the cell wall of the endodermis and xylem strands are distinguishing features, raphide crystals are same feature in both species. B. marmarisense has observed paracytic stoma types while B. pyrami var. pyrami has anomocytic stoma types. Most of the anatomical properties were similar to the other members of the Araceae family.

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Progress in plant molecular tools has been resulted in the development of gene-targeted and functional marker systems. CAAT box region is a different pattern of nucleotides with a consensus sequence, GGCCAATCT, which situated upstream of the start codon of eukaryote genes and plays an important role during transcription. In the present study, several CAAT box-derived polymorphism (CBDP) primers were used for fingerprinting in mini-core collection of durum wheat (including internationally developed breeding lines and Iranian landraces). Twelve selected primers amplified 98 loci, of which all were polymorphic. The average values of the polymorphism information content (PIC) and resolving power (Rp) were 0.31 and 9.16, respectively, indicating a high level of variability among studied genotypes. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) indicated that 92% of the total variation resided among populations. The values of the percentage polymorphic bands (PPL), the observed (Na) and effective (Ne) number of alleles, Nei’s gene diversity (He) and Shannon’s information index (I) for Iranian landraces were higher than the breeding lines. The Fandendrogram obtained by cluster analysis grouped all individuals into three main clusters. Our results showed a remarkable level of genetic diversity among studied durum wheat, especially among Iranian landraces, which can be interest for future breeding programs. More importantly, the present study also revealed that CBDP technique was efficient and powerful tool to assess genetic diversity in wheat germplasm. Hence, this technique could be employed individually or in combination with other molecular markers to evaluate genetic diversity and relations among different species.

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In recent years more attention is being paid to the presence of various non-pathogenic root fungal associations in plants of natural ecosystems for their role in various ecosystem processes. Despite their widespread reports in various ecosystems worldwide, our knowledge on root endophyte fungal association in plants from natural vegetation is far from complete. We assessed the arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) and dark septate endophyte (DSE) fungal association in plants of Velliangiri Hills of the southern Western Ghats region, due to limited information on the root fungal association in this region. Of the 147 plant taxa (belonging to 46 families) investigated from five different vegetation types ranging from montane grasslands to tropical rainforest, 141 were colonised by AM fungi and co-occurrence of DSE fungi along with AM fungi was observed in 74 plant taxa. We report AM and DSE fungal associations for the first time in 61 and 42 plant species, respectively. Determination of AM morphological types indicated the frequent occurrence of intermediate type and AM morphology is reported for the first time in 64 plant taxa. Spore morphotypes belonging to eleven species (in six genera) were isolated from the different vegetation types. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spore numbers neither differed significantly among vegetation types nor were related to AM fungal colonisation. Spores of Funneliformis geosporum was the most frequent spore morphotypes. Dark septate endophyte fungal association occurred in plants of all the vegetation types and was most frequent in herbs. Though no significant relationship was found between AM and DSE fungal colonisation within roots, a positive association was found in the occurrence of these two fungal groups.

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Eleven spring wheat cultivars were compared in terms of the stability of their grain yield and grain quality. The cultivars’ stability was evaluated separately at two different crop management levels – moderate-input management and high-input management. Three stability models were used for the two crop management levels based on a linear mixed model framework with restricted maximum likelihood. The Shukla model was the most appropriate for the evaluation of stability of tested spring wheat cultivars. The thousand-grain weight, starch content, Zeleny sedimentation value and test weight were characterized, and the stability ranking cultivars at moderate-input management level was mostly consistent with the rank of cultivars 24 for high-input management level. For grain yield, grain protein content and wet gluten content, the stability rankings were not consistent. Cultivars ‘Monsun’ and ‘Parabola’ are the most stable cultivars for grain yield in moderate-input management and high-input management, respectively. Cultivar ‘Hewilla’ was the stable cultivar for all quality traits at moderate-input management. Cultivar ‘Arabella’ was the most stable cultivar at high-input management level.

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Pakistan holds the position of top chilies producers. So Capsicum annuum L. production in Pakistan should be promoted by combating against diseases. The only solution is to cultivate resistant varieties. Presently six chili varieties were treated with Fusarium oxysporum Schlecht. and screened for the most resistant and the most susceptible varieties. Representative varieties were evaluated for their biochemical and transcriptional profiles to discover the bases of antifungal-resistance. Results concluded that the most resistant variety was “Dandicut” and the most susceptible was “Ghotki”. Tannins, coumarins, flavonoids, phenolics, Riboflavins and saponins were observed in higher quantities in Dandicut as compared to Ghotki. Defense related enzymes i.e. polyphenol oxidase, phenyl ammonia lyase and peroxidase were found in elevated amounts in Dandicut than in Ghotki. Transcriptional results showed that defense related genes i.e. PR2a, acidic glucanase; Chitinase 3, acidic; Osmotin-like PR5 and Metallothionein 2b-like had higher expressional rates in Dandicut. Pearson’s correlation coefficient revealed stronger direct interaction in signal transduction and salicylic acid pathway. Resistance of chili varieties is salicylic acid based. Results obtained from this study not only help to improve chili production in Pakistan but also facilitate variety development operations. Moreover, it also constructed a scale to evaluate innate resistance among varieties.

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A new genus was described based on Portlandia guatemalensis Standl. of uncertain taxonomic position. The proposal of D. H. Lorence to place it into the genus Coutaportla Urb. as C. guatemalensis (Standl.) Lorence has not been supported by the discovery of a new species of Coutaportla (C. pailensis) nor by the molecular taxonomic studies of the group either. The differences of floral morphological, ovary and seed anatomical characters existing between the actually known three Coutaportla species of Lorence are the following: 1.) Placentation: all the three species belong to the Portlandia-complex (Urban 1923, Aiello 1979). Within the complex the placentation is one of the more important, fundamental feature in distinction and separation of the genera (Urban, 1923, Aiello 1979). Coutaportla has a unique form of placentation, the Coutaportla-type with a central-horizontal quadrangular placenta with determined number and position of ovules: 2–3 ascendent and 2–3 colgate separately positioned ones (Aiello 1979). This type of placentation is found only in Coutaportla ghisbreghtiana (the type species of the genus) and in C. pailensis. Coutaportla guatemalensis (Standl.) Lorence has a different form of placentation, with a basal-ascendent placenta and vertically arranged undetermined number of tile-likely arranged ovules, which is of Hintonia-type (Lorence 1986, Borhidi 2003). 2.) Morphological differences: five–six further important differences are found in the stipular, floral and seed morphology of the two Mexican (C. ghisbreghtiana and C. pailensis) and the one Mesoamerican (C. guatemalensis) species (Borhidi 2003, see below in the table). 3.) Molecular differences: the two species group have distant placements in the molecular cladograms of Chiococceae tribe belonging to two different major clades (Motley et al. 2005, Manns and Bremer 2010). All these differences seemed to give satisfactory amount of arguments for the separation of C. guatemalensis as an independent monotypic genus, the Lorencea Borhidi 2003, as endemic to the Mesoamerican flora, dedicated to the honor of D. H. Lorence, who has made numerous important discoveries and successful efforts to promote our knowledge about the Mexican and Central American Rubiaceae. The presented arguments convinced the experts of the World checklist of Rubiaceae to accept it as a valid new genus (Govaerts et al. 2006). As an obvious phytogeographical consequence of all these previous investigations, Coutaportla Urb. turned to be a Mexican endemic genus with two species living in the states Coahuila, Puebla and Oaxaca, of México and Lorencea Borhidi a monotypic endemic one of Mesoamerica, living in the states Chiapas of México and Guatemala. It was a surprise, that in the Flora Mesoamericana (2012): appeared the genus Coutaportla represented by C. guatemalensis (Standl.) Lorence, reducing Lorencea into synonymy with the following sentence: “No hay características de C. guatemalensis que apoyan su separación como género monotípico, como propuso Borhidi”, which is obviously an orbital lie with full knowledge of the above detailed facts. The treatment of the genus Coutaportla en la Flora Mesoamérica is a collection of inadmissible taxonomic inconsequences, starting with the modified generic protologue of Coutaportla by Ochoterena 2012 non Urban 1923, but attributed to Urban without amendment, which is a falsification of the original description of Urban based on a new type and including alien elements without new original studies (see Flora Mesoamericana 4.2: 69). Not to mention the absence of the obligatory citation of the criticised paper of Borhidi, and the fundamental publications of Aiello (1979), Motley et al. (2005), Borhidi (2006), and Manns and Bremer (2010). Therefore, the critical treatment of the genus Coutaportla with the re-establishment of Lorencea is a scientifically well-based, obvious, taxonomic necessity.

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Authors: David Olusoga Ogbolu, O. A. Terry Alli, Mark Alexander Webber, Adeolu Sunday Oluremi and Omoboriowo Moses Oloyede

β-Lactam antibiotics are widely used to treat urinary tract infections in Nigeria. This study aimed to determine the presence and characteristics of extended spectrum β-lactamases in commonly isolated uropathogenic Gram-negative bacteria (GNB) in Nigeria.

Fifty non-duplicate GNB isolates consisting of Escherichia coli, 19; Klebsiella pneumoniae, 21; and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, 10 were obtained from three tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. The antibiotic susceptibility testing of all isolates to a panel of antibiotics including minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and extended spectrum β-lactamases was determined. Polymerase chain reactions and sequencing were used to detect β-lactam genes.

Polymerase chain reactions and sequencing identified varying extended spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) encoding genes for 24 isolates (48.0%). Cefotaximase-Munich (CTX-M) 15 was the dominant gene with 20/24 of the isolates positive at 83.3%; multiple genes (2 to 6 ESBL genes) were found in 20 of the isolates. The isolates encoded other genes such as CTX-M-14, 33.3%; sulfhydryl variable (SHV) variants, 58.3%; oxacillinase (OXA) variants, 70.8%; OXA-10, 29.2%; and Vietnamese extended β-lactamase (VEB) 1, 25.0%. There was no difference between the MIC50 and MIC90 of all the isolates.

The high-level multidrug resistance of uropathogens to third generation cephalosporins including other antibiotics used in this study is strongly associated with carriage of ESBLs, predominantly CTX-M-15, as well as CTX-X-M-14, OXA-10, and VEB-1.

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This study investigated the effect of cerium (Ce) on the ascorbate-glutathione (AsAGSH) cycle in the roots of maize seedlings under salt stress. The results showed that salt stress significantly increased the activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX) and monodehydroascorbate reductase (MDHAR), malondialdehyde (MDA) content and electrolyte leakage (EL) in the roots of maize seedlings, compared to the control. However, salt stress significantly decreased plant height, dry weight of root and shoot, the activities of glutathione reductase (GR) and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR), and the ratios of AsA/DHA and GSH/GSSG in the roots of maize seedlings, compared to the control. Pretreatment with cerium nitrate (Ce(NO3)3) significantly increased plant height, dry weight of root and shoot, the activities of above four enzymes, and the ratios of AsA/DHA and GSH/GSSG under salt stress, compared to salt stress alone. Pretreatment with Ce(NO3)3 significantly decreased MDA content and EL induced by salt stress, compared to salt stress alone. Meanwhile, application of Ce(NO3)3 to the control also significantly increased plant height, dry weight of root and shoot, the activities of above four enzymes and the ratios of AsA/DHA and GSH/GSSG, and decreased MDA content and EL, compared with control. Our results suggested that Ce(NO3)3 alleviated salt stress-induced oxidative damage by improving AsA-GSH cycle in maize roots.

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Wheat flour was enhanced by linseed fibre, characterised by granulation 500–700 μm. Using seeds from 2015 flax harvest, linseed fibre was gained from two golden and one brown linseed varieties (Amon, Raciol and Recital, respectively). Additions at levels 2.5% and 5.0% affected amylases activity and protein technological quality softly, evaluated by Falling Number and Zeleny sedimentation tests, respectively. Both brown and yellow linseed fibre significantly supported extensograph elasticity of non-fermented dough. Baking potential of composites tested evaluated as extensograph energy significantly decreased about 7–18%, likely owing to dilution of dough gluten skeleton. Pasting behaviour of flour composites reflected a hydrophilic character of non-traditional material – amylograph viscosity was elevated from 590 units to ca 700 units by Amon and Recital fibre, and to ca 930 units by Raciol fibre. Pasting profiles of flour composites, recorded by using of Rapid Visco Analyser, confirmed this finding. Dough fermentation was represented by maturograph test, during which the tested samples were differentiated in part according to the dough resistance. Reflecting small modifications in dough visco-elastic properties, specific volumes of bread buns were similar trough whole sample set. A weak worsening of buns vaulting reflected a partial disruption of dough gluten skeleton. Consumer’s quality of all enhanced bread variants was evaluated in category acceptable, determined as crumb penetration (values higher than 20 mm).

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Anthocyanins are natural antioxidants able to scavenge free radicals, which appear in plant cells under various environmental stresses. In wheat, anthocyanin pigments can be synthesized in vegetative and reproductive organs. The objective of the current study was to estimate the significance of these substances for wheat seedlings protection under irradiation stress (after treatment of dry seeds with moderate doses of gamma-irradiation, 50, 100 and 200 Gy). For this goal a set of near-isogenic lines (8 NILs) carrying different combinations of the Pp (purple pericarp) and Rc (red coleoptile) alleles were used. The effect of gammairradiation on the growth parameters and anthocyanin content in coleoptiles was studied at the 4th day after germination. The germination rate was not affected, while roots’ and shoots’ lengths and fresh weights as well as root number decreased significantly under irradiation treatment. The effect was deeper under higher doses. Irradiation treatment also induced change of root morphology (‘hairy roots’). The effect of treatment on coleoptile anthocyanin content depended on allelic combination at the Rc loci. At the presence of ‘weak’ Rc-A1 allele anthocyanin content decreased, while it did not change in lines with Rc-A1 + Rc-D1 combination (NILs with intensively colored coleoptiles). Factors ‘pericarp color’ and ‘coleoptile color’ influenced vigor of the seedlings under 50 Gy, whereas under higher doses (100 and 200 Gy) these factors did not contribute to growth parameters changes. Statistically significant positive effect of anthocyanins synthesized in coleoptile (in the presence of Rc-A1 + Rc-D1 dominant alleles) on root growth of seedling germinated from 50 Gy-treated seeds was observed.

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The present study describes the elicitor effect of silver ion (Ag+) and biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) to enhance the biomass accumulation and phenolic compound production as well as biological activities (antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer) in genetically transformed root (hairy root) cultures of Cucumis anguria. The biomass of hairy root cultures was significantly increased by AgNPs whereas decreased in Ag+ elicitation at 1 and 2 mg/L. AgNPs-elicited hairy roots produced a significantly higher amount of individual phenolic compounds (flavonols, hydroxycinnamic and hydroxybenzoic acids), total phenolic and flavonoid contents than Ag+-elicited hairy roots. Moreover, antioxidant, antimicrobial and anticancer activities were significantly higher following AgNPs-elicitation compared with that in Ag+-elicited hairy roots. We suggest that AgNPs could be an efficient elicitor in hairy root cultures to increase the phytochemical production.

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Waxy wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is grown throughout the world for its specific quality. Fertilization and planting density are two crucial factors that affect waxy wheat yield and photosynthetic capacity. The objectives of the research were to determine the effects of fertilization and planting density on photosynthetic characteristics, yield, and yield components of waxy wheat, including Yield, SSR, TGW, GNPP, GWPP, PH, HI, Pn, Gs, Ci, E and WUE using the method of field experiment, in which there were three levels (150, 300, and 450 kg ha−1) of fertilizer application rate and three levels (1.35, 1.8, and 2.25 × 106 plants ha−1) of planting density. The results suggested that photosynthetic characteristics, yield, and yield components had close relationship with fertilization levels and planting density. Under the same plant density, with the increase of fertilization, Yield, SSR, TGW, GNPP, GWPP, HI, Pn, Gs, E and WUE increased and then decreased, PH increased, but Ci decreased. Under the same fertilization, with the increase of plant density, Yield, SSR, TGW, GNPP, GWPP, HI increased and then decreased, PH, Pn, Gs and E increased, PH and WUE declined. The results also showed that F2 (300 kg ha−1) and D2 (1.8 × 106 plants ha−1) was a better match in this experiment, which could obtain a higher grain yield 4961.61 kg ha−1. Consequently, this combination of fertilizer application rate and plant densities are useful to get high yield of waxy wheat.

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Tocopherols, tocotrienols and γ-oryzanol are potent antioxidants of rice grains, and they may play an important role in the germination and growth of rice plants. In this study, the objective was to examine the effects of germination time on contents of Toc, T3, GO and ascorbate, as well as enzymatic antioxidant activities in the grains of two different rice varieties, namely TN71 and KS139. Samplings were conducted at 0, 3, 6 and 9 days after imbibition. The results showed that T3 and GO contents, but not Toc increased during seedling emergence. Toc content showed a trend of decrease from 0 DAI to 6 DAI. Contrasting to KS139, the AsA content in the grains of TN71 increased with increasing DAI. KS139 showed a time-dependent increase in the dehydroascorbate level, while that of TN71 remains unchanged at all times. TN71 showed significant increases in superoxide dismutase, catalase, ascorbate peroxidase and glutathione reductase activities in the late germination stages (9 DAI); with the exception of APX, KS139 exhibited a relatively constant enzymatic activities throughout the germination period. The changes in the malondialdehyde and H2O2 levels were minimum before 6 DAI, however a significant increase was noted at 9 DAI. This study indicates that besides the enzymatic antioxidants, the increase in T3 and GO contents may play a role in countering the oxidative stress during rice grain germination.

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Application of salt stress (100 mM) through root growing medium caused a considerable decrease in plant fresh and dry biomass, maximum quantum yield (F v/F m), chlorophyll contents, leaf water potential, and leaf Ca, K, P and N concentrations of two maize cultivars (Apex 836 and DK 5783). However, salt-induced increase was observed in leaf osmolality (LO), proline, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), malondialdehyde (MDA), Na+ concentration and activities of enzymatic antioxidants, such as catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Of five humic acid (HA) levels used under non-stress and stress conditions in an initial experiment, 100 mg L−1 was chosen for subsequent studies. Exogenous application of humic acid (HA) at the rate of 100 mM as a foliar or pre-sowing seed treatment significantly increased the plant biomass, F v/F m, chlorophyll pigments and proline contents, while it considerably reduced the leaf water potential, H2O2 and MDA contents as well as the activities of all the afore-mentioned enzymatic antioxidants. Of both modes of exogenous treatment, foliar spray was better in improving plant biomass, chlorophyll contents, LO, leaf Na+ as well as the accumulation of all nutrients measured, however, in contrast, seed pre-treatment was more effective in altering leaf proline, H2O2 and MDA contents. Of both maize cultivars, cv. DK 5783 excelled in plant biomass, chlorophyll contents and leaf N, Ca and K concentrations as well as in the activities of all three antioxidant enzymes, whereas cv. Apex 836 was superior in leaf Na+ and P concentrations, H2O2 and MDA contents. Cv. DK 5783 was comparatively better in salt tolerance as compared to cv. Apex 836. Overall, exogenous application of HA was effective in improving salinity tolerance of maize plants which can be attributed to HA-induced increase in plant biomass, chlorophyll contents, mineral nutrients and activities of key antioxidant enzymes.

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Authors: Samira Samea-Andabjadid, Kazem Ghassemi-Golezani, Safar Nasrollahzadeh and Nosratollah Najafi

This research was conducted in a greenhouse to evaluate the effects of exogenous application of salicylic acid (SA) (1 mM) and 6-benzylaminopurine (BAP) (50 μM) on physiological performance of faba bean (Vicia faba) under different levels of NaCl salinity (0, 4, 8 and 12 dS/m). The experiment was arranged as factorial on the bases of randomized complete block design in three replications. Leaf Na+ content, root and leaf soluble sugars, antioxidant enzymes activities such as catalase (CAT), ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and lipid peroxidation increased, but K+, K+/Na+ and membrane stability index (MSI) decreased as a result of salt stress. However, foliar sprays of BAP and particularly SA reduced Na+ content and lipid peroxidation, while enhanced the K+ content, K+/Na+, soluble sugars, antioxidant enzymes activities and MSI under different levels of salinity. It was, therefore, concluded that exogenous application of these growth regulators (GR) can considerably improve salt tolerance and physiological performance of faba bean.

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Housekeeping genes (HK genes) are required for cell survival and the maintenance of basic cellular functions. The investigation of factors affecting codon usage patterns in HK genes of insects can help in understanding the molecular evolution of insects and aid the development of insect pest management strategies. In this study, we employed bioinformatics approaches to analyze the codon usage bias (CUB) of HK genes in the insect model organism, Drosophila melanogaster. A comparison of CUB between 1107 HK genes and 1084 high tissue specificity genes suggested that HK genes have higher CUB in D. melanogaster. In addition, we found that CUB inversely correlates with the non-synonymous substitution rate of HK genes. Therefore, we attempted to identify the factors that potentially influence the codon usage pattern of HK genes. Our results suggest that mutation pressure and natural selection highly correlate with CUB in the HK genes of D. melanogaster and that two topological properties of HK proteins (proportion of protein interacting length and protein connectivity) also correlate with CUB in the HK genes of D. melanogaster. This study provides insight into CUB in the HK genes of D. melanogaster, and the results can support future investigations of potential applications in agricultural and biomedical field.

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Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, P.-E. Persson, M. Hansson, L. Lőkös, D. Liu, J.-S. Hur, I. Kärnefelt and A. Thell

Two new genera in the subfamily Teloschistoideae (Teloschistaceae, Teloschistales) are described: Hosseusiella S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et A. Thell for the Caloplaca chilensis group including three South American species and Rehmanniella S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur for the new species, R. wirthii S. Y. Kondr. from South Africa. The new genera are supported by a three-gene phylogeny based on ITS1/ITS2 nrDNA, 28S nrLSU, and 12S mtSSU sequences. The new taxonomic position of Elixjohnia ovis-atra in the subfamily Teloschistoideae is discussed. The two new species Hosseusiella gallowayiana and Rehmanniella wirthii are described, illustrated and compared with closely related taxa. Hosseusiella gallowayiana is recorded for the first time as the host for the lichenicolous fungus Arthonia tetraspora S. Y. Kondr. A key to the species of Hosseusiella is included, as well as new information of the related genus Follmannia. The following new combinations are proposed: Hosseusiella chilensis (Kärnefelt, S. Y. Kondr., Frödén et Arup) S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, Kärnefelt et A. Thell, Hosseusiella pergracilis (Zahlbr.) S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, Kärnefelt et A. Thell and Elixjohnia ovis-atra (Søchting, Søgaard et Sancho) S. Y. Kondr.

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This study investigated the regulation of ascorbic acid and glutathione metabolism by hydrogen peroxide in wheat leaves under water stress. The results showed that H2O2 level, the activities of ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, monodehydroascorbate reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, L-galactono-1,4-lactone dehydrogenase and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, and the contents of reduced ascorbate, reduced glutathione, total ascorbate and total glutathione were increased by water stress. And above increases were suppressed by pre-treatment with NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenyleneiodonium chloride. Application of DPI also reduced H2O2 level, the activities of γ-ECS, GalLDH, APX, GR, DHAR and MDHAR, and the contents of AsA, GSH, total ascorbate and total glutathione, compared with control. Application of H2O2 to DPI-inhibited wheat seedlings prevented the reduction in the activities of APX, GR, MDHAR, DHAR, GalLDH and γ-ECS, and the contents of AsA, GSH, total ascorbate and total glutathione induced by DPI under water stress. Meanwhile, pre-treatment with DPI increased the malondialdehyde content and electrolyte leakage. Application of H2O2 to DPI-inhibited wheat seedlings prevented the increases in MDA content and EL. Our results suggested that water stress-induced H2O2 is a signal that leads to the up-regulation of ascorbate and glutathione metabolism and has an important role for acquisition of water-stress tolerance in wheat.

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The aphid Sitobion avenae F. is one of the most harmful pests of wheat growth in the world. A primary field screening test was carried out to evaluate the S. avenae resistance of 527 wheat landraces from Shaanxi. The results indicated that 25 accessions (4.74%) were resistant to S. avenae in the three consecutive seasons, of which accession S849 was highly resistant, and seven accessions were moderately resistant. The majority of S. avenae resistant accessions come from Qinling Mountains. Then, the genetic variability of a set of 33 accessions (25 S. avenae resistant and 8 S. avenae susceptible) originating from Qinling Mountains have been assessed by 20 morphological traits and 99 simple sequence repeat markers (SSRs). Morphological traits and SSRs displayed a high level of genetic diversity within 33 accessions. The clustering of the accessions based on morphological traits and SSR markers showed significant discrepancy according to the geographical distribution, resistance to S. avenae and species of accessions. The highly and moderately resistant landrace accessions were collected from the middle and the east part of Qinling Mountains with similar morphology characters, for example slender leaves with wax, lower leaf area, and high ear density. These S. avenae resistant landraces can be used in wheat aphid resistance breeding as valuable resources.

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Spindle oscillations are generated predominantly during sleep state II, through cyclical interactions between thalamocortical and reticular neurons. Inhibition from reticular cells is critical for this activity; it enables burst firing by the de-inactivation of T-type Ca2+ channels. While the effect of different channelopathies on spindling is extensively investigated, our knowledge about the role of intrathalamic connections is limited. Therefore, we explored how the connection pattern and the density of reticular inhibitory synapses affect spindle activity in a thalamic network model. With more intrareticular connections, synchronous firing of reticular cells, and intraspindle burst frequency decreased, spindles lengthened. In models with strong intrareticular inhibition spindle activity was impaired, and a sustained 6–8 Hz oscillation was generated instead. The strength of reticular innervation onto thalamocortical cells played a key role in the generation of oscillations; it determined the amount of thalamocortical cell bursts, and consequently spindle length. Focal inputs supported bursts but affected only a few cells thus barely reinforced network activity, while diffuse contacts aided bursts only when a sufficient number of reticular cells fired synchronously. According to our study, alterations in the connection pattern influence thalamic activities and may contribute to pathological conditions, or alternatively, they serve as a compensatory mechanism.

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The Volovec Mts (Volovské vrchy) have insufficiently been investigated area for lichens. Kojšovská hol’a is one of the highest parts in the Volovec Mts. No records of lichens were published from here. Some historical collections need revision. The list of 35 lichen species collected by the authors is presented from the investigated areas. Three interesting and vulnerable lichens are characterised in more details: Cladonia ciliata var. tenuis, Cladonia cornuta and Umbilicaria vellea. The area of Kojšovská hoľa gives further opportunities for new findings.

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Authors: Hagen Frickmann, Thomas Köller, Ralf Matthias Hagen, Klaus-Peter Ebert, Martin Müller, Werner Wenzel, Renate Gatzer, Ulrich Schotte, Alfred Binder, Romy Skusa, Philipp Warnke, Andreas Podbielski, Christian Rückert and Bernd Kreikemeyer

Introduction: We assessed the molecular epidemiology of multidrug-resistant bacteria colonizing or infecting war-injured patients from Libya and Syria who were treated at the Bundeswehr hospitals Hamburg and Westerstede, Germany.

Methods: Enterobacteriaceae and Gram-negative rod-shaped nonfermentative bacteria with resistance against third-generation methoxyimino cephalosporins or carbapenems as well as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from war-injured patients from Libya and Syria were assessed by molecular typing, i.e., spa typing for MRSA strains and rep-PCR and next-generation sequencing (NGS) for Gram-negative isolates.

Results: A total of 66 isolates were assessed – comprising 44 Enterobacteriaceae, 16 nonfermentative rod-shaped bacteria, and 6 MRSA from 22 patients – and 8 strains from an assessment of the patient environment comprising 5 Enterobacteriaceae and 3 nonfermentative rod-shaped bacteria. Although 24 out of 66 patient strains were isolated more than 3 days after hospital admission, molecular typing suggested only 7 likely transmission events in the hospitals. Identified clonal clusters primarily suggested transmission events in the country of origin or during the medical evacuation flights.

Conclusions: Nosocomial transmissions in hospital can be efficiently prevented by hygiene precautions in spite of heavy colonization. Transmission prior to hospital admission like on evacuation flights or in crises zones needs further assessment.

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The aim of the study was to describe the morphology and the development of the extraocular muscles (EOMs) in the pre-hatchling and post-hatchling African black ostrich. The study involved 50 birds aged between 28 days and 3 years. The EOMs were analyzed morphologically with respect to the location and length of the straight and oblique muscles and the third eyelid muscles, the length and breadth of their tendons as well as the distance and shape of the muscle tendon insertions at the corneal limbus. A histological and histometric analysis were also carried out. The greatest increase in the length of the EOMs was noted in groups III–V. A marked increase in the length of the tendons of the dorsal straight muscle was found in groups II and III, in the tendons of the nasal straight muscle in groups IV and V, in the tendons of the dorsal oblique muscle in groups III to V and in the tendons of the ventral oblique muscle in groups IV and V. There was a significant increase in the breadth of the dorsal straight and ventral oblique muscle tendons in groups IV and V and the tendons of the pyramidal muscle in groups III and V. The distance of the distal insertion of the tendon at the corneal limbus increased steadily with age in all the examined groups. The number of fascicles and muscle fibres, their diameter and length in all the studied EOMs were different in the different groups.

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Authors: S. Y. Kondratyuk, L. Lőkös, J. P. Halda, E. Farkas, D. K. Upreti, A. Thell, J.-J. Woo, S.-O. Oh and J.-S. Hur

Nineteen new to science species of lichen forming fungi, i.e.: Agonimia ascendens S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, A. sunchonensis S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, A. yongsangensis S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Biatora loekoesiana S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Caloplaca ivanpisutii S. Y. Kond., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Candelariella makarevichiae S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Huriella pohangensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, H. salyangiana S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Hyperphyscia oxneri S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Nectriopsis gangwondoensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Porina ulleungdoensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, J. Halda et J.-S. Hur, Psoroglaena gangwondoensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, J.-J. Woo et J.-S. Hur, Pyrenopsis cavernicola S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Rhizocarpon sunchonense S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Rufoplaca ulleungensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Sarcogyne ulleungdoensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös et J.-S. Hur, Skyttea bumyoungsungii S. Y. Kondr. et J.-S. Hur, Thelopsis gangwondoensis S. Y. Kondr., L. Lőkös, J.-J. Woo et J.-S. Hur, Topelia loekoesiana S. Y. Kondr., J.-J. Woo et J.-S. Hur, all from South Korea, as well as Gallowayella awasthiana S. Y. Kondr. et D. K. Upreti from India and Franwilsia skottsbergii S. Y. Kondr., A. Thell, S.-O. Oh et J.-S. Hur from Chile are described, illustrated and compared with closely related taxa. A key to Agonimia species known from Eastern Asia is also included.

Lecanora helicopis is recorded for Korea for the first time, as well as a number of new to Jeju-do Island species (i.e.: Agonimia loekoesii, Biatora pseudosambuci, Buellia extremoorientalis, and Ivanpisutia oxneri) are recorded. Additional data on conidiomata and morphological characters of thallus and apothecia and illustrations as well as data on newly located isotype specimens recently described from Canary Islands, Spain Fominiella tenerifensis are provided.

Two new combinations, i.e.: Phaeophyscia saxatilis (for Physcia saxatilis Kashiw.), and Xanthoparmelia umezuana (for Karoowia umezuana Moon K. H. et Kashiw.) are also proposed.

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A list of 136 lichen species from the Giresun province (Turkey) is reported. Among them, 73 are new records for province, and Acarospora molybdina is new to Turkey. Here with, the infraspecific taxa for the province rise from 475 to 548. Locality and substrate data is presented for each taxa. Brief taxonomic description and comments are also provided for the Acarospora molybdina.

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Reinerantha foliicola was recently described as a new epiphyllous genus and species in the Cololejeuneinae subtribe of the liverwort family Lejeuneaceae, from the montane rainforest region of Ecuador. A second locality of this unusual plant was detected in Venezuela in a rich Andean montane rainforest near Mérida, at an elevation of 2,300 m.

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New high-molecular-weight glutenin (HMW glutenin) sequences isolated from six Psathyrostachys juncea accessions by thermal asymmetric interlaced PCR differ from previous sequences from this species. They showed novel modifications in all of the structural domains, with unique C-terminal residues, and their N-terminal lengths were the longest among the HMW glutenins reported to date. In their repetitive domains, there were three repeatable motif units: 13-residue [GYWH(/I/Y)YT(/Q)S(/T)VTSPQQ], hexapeptide (PGQGQQ), and tetrapeptide (ITVS). The 13-residue repeats were restricted to the current sequences, while the tetrapeptides were only shared by D-hordein and the current sequences. However, these sequences were not expressed as normal HMW glutenin proteins because an in-frame stop codon located in the C-termini interrupted the intact open reading frames. A phylogenetic analysis supported different origins of the P. juncea HMW glutenin sequences than that revealed by a previous study. The current sequences showed a close relationship with D-hordein but appeared to be more primitive.

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The use of vancomycin for treatment of serious infections caused by MRSA strains has resulted in emergence of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VRSA) in clinical settings. Following our previous report of phenotypic VRSA in Nigeria, the current study attempts to determine the genetic basis underlying this resistance. Over a period of 6 months, non-duplicate clinical S. aureus isolates from 73 consecutive patients with infective conditions at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Teaching Hospital, Osogbo were tested against a panel of eight selected antibiotics by disk diffusion test. The Epsilom test strip was used to determine vancomycin minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to amplify nuc, mecA, vanA, and vanB genes. Of 73 isolates, 61 (83.6%) had MIC of ≤2 μg/ml, 11 (15.1%) had 4–8 μg/ml and 1 (1.4%) had 16 μg/ml. The mecA gene was detected in 5 (6.8%) isolates but none contained vanA or vanB genes. Both vancomycin-susceptible and intermediate isolates were resistant to multiple antibiotics, while the only vancomycin resistant isolate was resistant to all eight antibiotics. The result confirms the occurrence of phenotypic vancomycin intermediate-resistant S. aureus (VISA) and VRSA infections in Nigeria, but the molecular basis will require further investigation.

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Authors: F. Sciacca, M. Allegra, S. Licciardello, G. Roccuzzo, B. Torrisi, N. Virzì, M. Brambilla, E. Romano and M. Palumbo

The selection process has caused modern durum wheat cultivars to achieve higher yields with different protein quality but also to have low micronutrient amounts. In order to evaluate the suitability of germplasm for the recovery of such nutrient content, macro- and microelements concentrations in twelve ancient Sicilian durum wheat landraces and in three modern cultivars were compared. According to the results, the substantial differences in macro- and micro-element concentrations between the two groups of wheat genotypes suggest ancient Sicilian landraces can effectively represent a suitable genetic material for biofortification plans of micronutrients in modern varieties.

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Authors: T. Nagy, K. Nótári, A. Takács, T. Malkócs, J. Tökölyi and A. Molnár V.

The rare, fully mycoheterotrophic Ghost Orchid, Epipogium aphyllum is only visible during its short flowering and fruiting season, which lasts for a few weeks between May and October. Due to the apparent unpredictability of its flowering, decades may pass between subsequent observations at the same locality. The factors affecting timing of flowering in this enigmatic species remain largely unexplored. In Hungary, it is an extremely rare species: between 1924 and 2014 only 25 dated observations from 15 locations are known. Hungary is located on the edge of the species’ distribution area where higher precipitation may occur only in higher regions of mountains. Hence, the spatial and temporal pattern of precipitation might limit the emergence of generative shoots. In this paper we compared rainfall patterns in relation with the Ghost Orchids’ observations to multiannual precipitation averages. The year of flowering and the month preceding flowering (but not the year before flowering and the month of flowering) were characterised by significantly more rainfall than the multi-annual average precipitation. These results suggest that the appearance of the species in Hungary is precipitation-dependent.

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Karnal bunt of wheat (Tilletia indica) is an important internationally quarantined disease from food security point of view. For understanding host specificity and host-pathogen interaction, putative pathogenicity-related genes were analysed in Tilletia indica in response to host factor at different time points. Highest radial mycelia growth (3.4 cm) was recorded in media amended with susceptible host factor followed by resistant host (2.6 cm) and control (2.0 cm) at 30 days after incubation significantly. Fourteen homologous sequences of putative pathogenicity-related genes, viz. TiPmk1, TiKss1, TiHog1, TiHsp70, TiKpp2, TiCts1, TiHos2, TiChs1, TiPrf1, TiSid1, TiSsp1, TiSte20, TiUbc4 and TiUkc1, were identified in T. indica by in silico analysis. Some of the pathogenicity-related genes were highly expressed significantly in T. indica in response to susceptible host factor as compared to resistant host factor. TiPmk1, TiHog1, TiKss1 were found highly upregulated up to 26-fold (3 days), 20-fold (3 days) and 18-fold (4 days), respectively, significantly in presence of susceptible host factor. The TiCts1 and TiChs1 showed transcripts up to 26-fold (4 days) and 20-fold (3 days) in the presence of susceptible host factor. Further, the TiUbc4 and TiUkc1 were found upregulated up to 20-fold and 7-fold at 8 days and 3 days post incubation. This study provided the insight on expression of putative pathogenicity-related genes in T. indica which will help in understanding the infection mechanism and basis for further functional genomics approach.

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The last synthetic treatment of the Rogiera genus was published by D. Lorence in the Flora Mesoamericana (Vol. 4, part 2) based on a polyphyletic concept including two genera of different tribes and leaving the results of the molecular studies out of consideration or misinterpreting them (Lorence 2012). Rovaeanthus has been distinguished at first by Johan Rova upon comparative molecular studies (Rova 1999, Rova et al. 1999, 2002). Micro- and macromorphological studies revealed that the basic differences between Rogiera and Rovaeanthus are in the structure of the flowers and the shape and cell-patterns of the seeds as they were correctly presented and illustrated by Borhidi (2006, 2012) and Borhidi et al. (2004). These are: Rovaeanthus has a special form of corolla-throat, consisting of fleshy ring – as in Rondeletia – and a superposed hairy ring, like in Rogiera. This combination of the corolla-features is unique in the Neotropical Rubiaceae. Anthers are subbasal in Rovaeanthus, dorsifixed in the middle in Rogiera. Ovary disc with naked ring in Rogiera and hairy in Rovaeanthus. Shape and ornamentation of the seeds are completely different in the two genera (see below). In these features there are not any intermediate variation, between the two taxonomic units as it is suggested by Lorence. The present treatment is based on the original strictly monophyletic concept of Rogiera pointed out by Planchon (1849) and detailed by Borhidi (1982) and Borhidi et al. (2004) including into the study all (15) valid species of Rogiera and two species of Rovaeanthus. The separation of the two genera has been confirmed by later, more detailed molecular studies (Manns and Bremer 2010, Rova et al. 2009) establishing that the two genera belong to two different tribes: Rogiera belongs to Guettardeae, while Rovaeanthus is a member of the Rondeletieae tribe. It is important to mention, that Rovaeanthus was originally accepted as a valid genus by the World checklist of Rubiaceae (2006) and later has been re-classified into Rogiera in 2012, under the influence of the Lorence’s inaccurate treatment.

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Authors: Thundiparampil Vasanth Vineethkumar, Gopal Shyla and Sanil George

Lectins are sugar-binding proteins and considered as attractive candidates for drug delivery and targeting. Here, we report the identification of the smallest lectin-like peptide (odorranalectin HYba) from the skin secretion of Hydrophylax bahuvistara which is being the shortest lectin-like peptide identified so far from the frog skin secretion, with 15 amino acid residues. The peptide is the first report from an Indian frog and lacks antimicrobial activity but strongly agglutinate intact human erythrocytes. The sequences at the L-fucose recognizing region is conserved as in other lectins reported from frog skin secretion and could be exploited for specificity and drug targeting properties.

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Species delimitation is essential since species is regarded as the basic unit of analysis in nearly all biological disciplines, such as ecology, biogeography, conservation biology, and macroevolution. The genus Geranium (Geraniaceae) comprises about 350 species distributed throughout most parts of the world. The subg. Robertium comprises 30 species which are arranged in 8 sections. This subgenus is represented in Iran by 10 species. These species are grouped into 5 sections. In spite vast distribution of many Geranium species that grow in Iran, there are not any available report on their genetic diversity, mode of divergence and patterns of dispersal. Therefore molecular (ISSR markers) and morphological studies of 147 accessions from 10 species of Geranium (subg. Robertium), that were collected from different habitats in Iran were performed. The aims of the present study are: 1) to find the diagnostic value of ISSR markers in delimitation of Geranium species, 2) to find the genetic structure of these taxa in Iran, and 3) to investigate the species inter-relationship. The present study revealed that combination of morphological and ISSR data can delimit the species. AMOVA and STRUCTURE analysis revealed that the species of subg. Robertium are genetically differentiated but have some degree of shared common alleles.

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Authors: V. Derycke, S. Landschoot, K. Dewitte, E. Wambacq, J. Latré and G. Haesaert

Straw is a valuable by-product from cereal production. It is used for agricultural purposes as feed and bedding material for livestock. Additionally, cereal straw is a resource for the production of sustainable biomaterials and bio-energy. To meet the demands of these sectors substantial amounts of straw, with specific properties (e.g. water-holding capacity), are necessary. Since wheat breeding has mainly focused on grain yield rather than on straw yield other cereal species, such as triticale, can be of interest. Therefore, in this research the straw yield and water-holding capacity of four winter wheat and four winter triticale varieties were studied during two growing seasons. For both wheat and triticale there were differences in dry matter yield and percentage dry matter between growing seasons. Furthermore, depending on the growing season, there were significant differences in straw yield between the different wheat and triticale varieties. However, during both growing seasons, the straw yield obtained from the triticale varieties was significantly higher compared to the straw yield obtained from the wheat varieties. Concerning the water-holding capacity, it was concluded that the water absorption potential of triticale straw was higher compared to the water absorption potential of wheat straw. However, only in 2014 a significant difference between wheat and triticale was noted. So, it can be concluded that, besides the known advantages of triticale (performance on marginal soils, disease resistance, low fertilizer input, etc.), this crop has the potential to deliver high yields of high quality straw.

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This experiment was carried out to evaluate the growth, physiological and yield traits of stay-green (Stg) QTL introgression sorghum lines, which were developed by the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research in collaboration with ICRISAT between 2006 and 2008, under induced post-flowering drought stress. It involved a total of 12 genotypes including seven Stg QTL introgression lines, two Stg donor parents and three senescent recurrent parents. It was organized in a split plot design with three replications under well-watered and induced drought stress growing conditions at Melka Werer, Ethiopia during the post-rainy season of 2014. Analysis of variance revealed that the effect of moisture regimes on all measured traits was significant (P > 0.05). Differences among the genotypes and genotypeby- water regime interaction were also significant (P > 0.05) for all the traits considered. Postflowering drought stress was observed to significantly reduce most of the growth, physiological and yield related traits. The Stg introgression lines Meko/B35-selection 120, Teshale/B35-selection 2 and Teshale/E36-1 showed better drought stress tolerance properties than the rest of the genotypes based on the measured growth and physiological traits. These introgression lines also showed better grain yield than their recurrent parents under post-flowering drought stress and can be used as new versions of the existing varieties (served as recurrent parents) and for future breeding programs. Furthermore, leaf chlorophyll content, assimilation rate, transpiration rate, water use efficiency, root length and root dry weight were found to have strong correlation and can be used to screen genotypes for post-flowering drought tolerance.

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T-2 toxin is primarily produced by Fusarium sp. abundant under temperate climatic conditions. Its main harmful effect is the inhibition of protein synthesis. Causing oxidative stress, it also promotes lipid peroxidation and changes plasma membrane phospholipid composition; this may lead to nervous system alterations. The aim of the present study was to examine whether a single dose of T-2 toxin administered at newborn age has any long-lasting effects on nervous system functions. Rat pups were treated on the first postnatal day with a single intraperitoneal dose of T-2 toxin (0.2 mg/bwkg). Body weight of treated pups was lower during the second and third week of life, compared to littermates; later, weight gain was recovered. At young adulthood, behavior was tested in the open field, and no difference was observed between treated and control rats. Field potential recordings from somatosensory cortex and hippocampus slices did not reveal any significant difference in neuronal network functions. In case of neocortical field EPSP, the shape was slightly different in treated pups. Long-term synaptic plasticity was also comparable in both groups. Seizure susceptibility of the slices was not different, either. In conclusion, T-2 toxin did not significantly affect basic nervous system functions at this dose.

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The route of egg white transfer into the yolk and the mechanisms underlying the digestion of egg proteins are unexplored in the fertilized egg of the duck, Anas platyrhynchos domestica. Here, we investigated the route(s) of egg white transfer and we determined the type of activated proteases during duck embryo development. Initially, we tested the electrophoretic patterns of egg proteins throughout development. Then, we used lysozyme as a reference protein to follow egg white transfer and we measured its activity. After that, we determined the type of activated proteases by employing different types of protease inhibitors. Several presumptive egg white protein bands appeared in different egg compartments. Also, lysozyme activity was detected chronologically on day 15 in the extraembryonic fluid, on day 17 in the amniotic and intestinal fluids and on day 19 in the yolk. Furthermore, acidic aspartic proteases seemed to be activated at hatch in the intestine and late in development in the yolk. Our results suggest that the main route of egg white transfer into the yolk is through the amniotic cavity and intestinal lumen. Also, the transferred egg white and endogenous yolk proteins are probably digested by the activated acidic proteases in the intestine and yolk.

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One-day-old cultures of the plant pathogenic fungus Alternaria alternata were exposed to 0%, 5% and 10% acetaldehyde mixed with distilled water. Fungal growth data showed that, overall, the 5% and the 10% acetaldehyde treatments significantly inhibited the growth of A. alternata, and that acetyldehyde also facilitated maturity and multicellularity of fungal conidia. The increase of the acetyldehyde dose also caused correlated decrease of adenosine 3’,5’-cyclic monophosphate produced by A. alternata.

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Carbon and nitrogen metabolism are regulated by complex mechanisms in order to optimize growth and development of plants and play a major role during germination and postgerminative growth. The objective of the current work was to establish the degree of changes in activities of key enzymes implicated in these two metabolism pathways during germination and post-germinative growth such as; glutamine synthetase, glutamate dehydrogenase, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, malate dehydrogenase, isocitrate dehydrogenase and aspartate aminotransferase. We have observed that during germination and seedlings development the most activities of nitrogen and carbon metabolism enzymes were correlated (nearly show similar kinetic changes) and influenced by their cellular environment and developmental stage. Therefore, higher activities of these enzymes were observed in the seed, root and shoot at early stages of the post-germinative phase could be effectively linked to the demand of de novo proteins to ensure a good development of seedlings.

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Herbal oil vapours from Hippophae rhamnoides L. (Elaeagnaceae), and Calendula officinalis L. (Asteraceae) were tested for their toxicity against the adults of Sitophilus granarius L.. According to our hypothesis the mentioned oils can become potential bioagents against stored product pests. The results revealed that both studied essential oils exerted strongly toxic effect on S. granarius, but C. officinalis triggered higher mortality. The efficacy (94.62±2.63%) was reached after a 48-h exposure to H. rhamnoides oil at 2 ml kg–1 while the application of 2 ml kg–1 of C. officinalis oil for 24 h produced 98.94±1.00% mortality rate. Insect mortality was hyperbolically-featured, and increased with the duration of the exposure to the examined oils. Mortality was 100% at 5 ml kg–1 of H. rhamnoides after 24-h duration of its application, while with C. officinalis the same value could be reached after a 12-h exposure to the oil. The progeny pronouncedly recovered from the treatment of both essential oils applied.

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The 2013 reform of the European Common Agricultural Policy tries to support farmers willing to follow environment- friendly rural practices, by the so called “green payment”. Within this framework, it is suggested that governments and regions should maintain a certain ratio of the area of permanent grasslands to the total Utilized Agricultural Area according to the greening rules of the reform. However, the weak economic performance of permanent grasslands does not encourage farmers to invest into their conservation. This fact persuaded us to revisit our old unpublished data, obtained by experiments on the use of chemical fertilizers in permanent grasslands. By this reanalysis we hope to further support the new European policy with the perspective to find a trade-off between the conservation of the biodiversity and the economic productivity of permanent grasslands. Of the many possibilities we have chosen to present the results of two experiments, one in Italy and the other in Slovakia. The main reason for this choice was that these two studies followed complementary strategies of fertilization that appeared useful to detect both the single and the synergistic effects of N, P, and K on the relationships between yield and species diversity. The results of cluster and diversity analysis suggest that chemical fertilization should be carefully planned according to soil conditions, since different treatments may have the same effect on the floristic and vegetation patterns of grasslands. These results, according to similarity theory, allow to choose the least expensive and polluting combination of N, P and K from those that, according to the species combinations, are assigned to the same cluster.

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In the past, the horizontal transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes was mainly associated with conjugative plasmids or transposons, whereas transduction by bacteriophages was thought to be a rare event. In order to analyze the likelihood of transduction of antimicrobial resistance in the field of clinical veterinary medicine, we isolated phages from Escherichia coli from a surgery suite of an equine clinic. In a pilot study, the surgery suite of a horse clinic was sampled directly after surgery and subsequently sampled after cleaning and disinfection following a sampling plan based on hygiene, surgery, and anesthesia. In total, 31 surface sampling sites were defined and sampled. At 24 of these 31 surface sampling sites, coliphages were isolated. At 12 sites, coliphages were found after cleaning and disinfection. Randomly selected phages were tested for their ability of antimicrobial resistance transduction. Ten of 31 phages were detected to transfer antimicrobial resistance. These phages most often transduced resistance to streptomycin, encoded by the addA1 gene (n = 9), followed by resistance to chloramphenicol by cmlA (n = 3) and ampicillin (n = 1). This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report on antimicrobial resistance-transferring bacteriophages that have been isolated at equine veterinary clinics.

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