We compared the haematological and biochemical values within a population of yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis) in the Chafarinas Islands (Northern Africa), in non-breeding (February) and breeding (May) animals. We collected blood samples from 51 adults. We found that according to the haematological data, there was a significant variation in haemoglobin content, and a higher proportion of heterophils, thrombocytes, and Haemoproteus infection in breeding individuals with a lower level in basophils. Blood biochemistry showed a higher level in plasmatic proteins, calcium, phosphorus, thiobarbituric acidreactive substances and alkaline phosphatase as well as alanine aminotransferase activity in breeding animals while cholesterol and phospholipid levels showed a lower level. There was also a sexual difference in triglycerides, albumin, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and alkaline phosphatase activity. Hence, the haematological and blood chemistry values of yellow-legged gulls showed some differences between breeding and non-breeding individuals as well as between sexes.
Sliced ready-to-eat traditional meat products presented in individual packaging with more convenience to the consumer is the way that food industry tries to adapt to the new consumer tendencies.
The current work assessed the survival of Listeria monocytogenes in a contaminated sliced vacuum packed chouriço with different sugar concentrations, two salt levels, and presence/absence of Lactobacillus sakei as starter culture along the storage period at two temperatures (8 °C and 22 °C). Neither the inoculation with L. sakei, nor the addition of carbohydrates influenced the survival of the pathogen. Higher amount of salt resulted in a significant reduction of L. monocytogenes, and storage at the higher temperature displayed a safer product. After 7 days, L. monocytogenes was not detected in any samples. The study of the association of the factors contributing for L. monocytogenes survival by logistic regression showed that increasing the level of salt addition from 1.5% to 3% reduces the odds of survival of L. monocytogenes to about one fifth (0.174). Worthy of attention is the significant reduction in the odds (OR=0.028) of finding viable L. monocytogenes when the samples are stored at room temperature (22 °C), when compared to low temperature (8 °C).
The general and indiscriminate use of refrigeration for meat products might increase the risk of presence of L. monocytogenes. The competitive advantage that L. monocytogenes has at low temperatures, as the potential inhibition of LAB activity, is probably the reason of the observed behaviour. The amount of salt was an important hurdle to control L. monocytogenes growth, so, manufacturing meat products with lower salt contents to meet the demands of healthy products might represent a risk for safety, since high levels of salt together with low aw are the keys for their conservation.
The importance of space as an ecological factor is an emerging paradigm in community ecology, particularly as a driving force of biodiversity patterns. We analysed β-diversity linked to spatial structure in four communities (tropical dry forest, savanna, xerophytic vegetation, subdeciduous forest) that occur in a tropical complex landscape of southern Mexico. The landscape was described through an object-oriented classification of a Quickbird satellite image. The classification revealed a highly heterogeneous spatial arrangement of the four communities. Global (landscape-level) β-diversity was 0.12 (mean Sørensen index), a value smaller than those observed for the individual communities (0.20–0.41). By using multivariate classic and partial Mantel tests, and Mantel correlograms based on two distance classes, we analysed β-diversity spatial variation related to landscape configuration. The Mantel statistic values for the four communities combined were negative and very similar both for the classic Mantel (rM = −0.23) and the partial Mantel test (rM = −0.19). Correlograms proved significant spatial autocorrelation across most of the analysed distance classes, except in the case of riparian subdeciduous forest. Tropical dry forest and savanna occupy large, highly connected areas in the landscape. Correlograms for these two communities showed decreasing trends, starting at positive, significant autocorrelation values at short distances. The loss of floristic autocorrelation beyond a 5000 m distance for the tropical dry forest may reflect spatially autocorrelated dispersal, and thus a dispersal-limited community. Xerophytic vegetation displayed a distinctly different correlogram, with a wavy shape showing an alternation of positive and negative values, in agreement with the insular configuration of this community in the landscape. We suggest that the routinely incorporation of a spatial approach in community ecology research will help in furthering our understanding of the elusive issues of species turnover across space.
In Spain the consumption of bakery products is increasing, while that of bread is decreasing. Baked goods have a high fat and sugar content, and their intake accounts for a high percentage of the food consumed by the population for breakfast, mid-morning and mid-afternoon meals. Twenty products, with and without cream and chocolate, were analysed. The nutrients examined were proteins, fats and fatty acids, carbohydrates, sugars, starch, and fibre. The values for carbohydrates ranged between 36.8% and 62.3%, and for sugars between 9.0% and 33.8%. The fat content ranged from 6.0% to 36.8%, while 76% of the saturated fatty acids (SFA) determined were atherogenic acids. In accordance with daily energy intake recommendations for SFA and sugars, the intake of one serving of the product provides 25% or more of the recommended energy from SFA for nine of the twenty baked goods tested, and more than 15% of the energy recommended from sugars for fourteen of these products.
Activity and functional diversity of rhizosphere bacterial communities and fungal composition were studied in order to assess the effects of different genotypes (N8035, N224 and N8637) of
on these communities growing in different soils. Genotype effect and soil effect were studied independently. Also, the interactions between both factors (genotypes and soils) were considered. The activity was determined by thymidine and leucine incorporation analysis, and Biolog ECO plates were used to study bacterial functional diversity. Additionally, fungi groups (genera and/or species) were studied in the different rhizospheres. Statistical differences on thymidine incorporation between plant genotypes were only found in two of the soils. In addition, functional diversity (measured by Shanonn-Weaver index), showed statistical differences only in soil 1 for line N8035 (line B)
. the other lines. Redundancy analysis (RDA) performed with Biolog data indicated and important effect of soil type, but also an effect of genotype since line N8035 (line B) was separated from the other lines within each soil in the RDA ordination, in spite of genotypic differences between them were minimum. Furthermore, carboxylic acids and amino acids were found to be the Biolog plate substrates with more influence in samples ordination in the Redundancy Analysis (RDA). However, fungi seem to be less labile to plant selection than bacteria probably due to a lower turn-over time of fungi than bacteria coupled with the short phenology of
. In this paper, plant-soil-micro-organism relationships in the rhizosphere were studied, and the complex interactions between them were highlighted. More studies are necessary to go deep in these interactions and to be able to asses the impact of genetically modified plants.
Mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) was carried out in a set of 114 RILs of the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI) mapping population under salt stress. Seedling population was grown during 8 days, under salt treatment (Hoagland’s ½ strength + 110 mM NaCl, EC 12.4 mS/cm) and normal treatment (Hoagland’s ½ strength, EC 0.9 mS/cm). We calculated starch degradation, measuring the dry weight of the grains on the 4th, 6th and 8th days of culturing. Formation of biomass was calculated measuring leaf and root length on the 4th, 6th and 8th days of culture. Interval mapping resulted in 13 QTLs, 2 major QTLs (LOD> 3) and 11 minors QTLs (LOD> 2). A total of 10 QTLs were associated with saline treatment and 3 QTLs at normal treatment. The data show that a high percentage of QTLs were in chromosomes 2B (3, 23.0%), and 1A (3, 23.0%), followed by 4D (2, 13.6%).
Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping was carried out in a set of 114 lines of the International Triticeae Mapping Initiative (ITMI) mapping population for null nitrogen fertilization during two agricultural cycles. We quantified phenologic parameters (days to: ear emergency time, flowering time) and components of yield (number of plants and ears, plant height, leaf area, length and weight of ear, spikelet number, number and total weight of grains and by third in the ear, weight of thousand grains and total yield). Interval mapping resulted of 138 QTLs, of which 47 were catalogued as major QTLs (LOD ≥ 3.0) and 91 as minor QTLs (LOD 2.0 >0 2.9). The QTLs were distributed in 14 of the 21 chromosomes of wheat. The data showed that a high percentage of QTLs were in chromosomes 2D (49 or 35.5%), followed by 5A (22 or 15.9%), 1B (10 or 7.2%).
The effectiveness of five commercial disinfectants used in the food industry was evaluated against different strains isolated from foodborne outbreaks (E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp. and L. monocytogenes) and a collection strain (S. aureus) in an aqueous suspension medium. The disinfectants evaluated included quaternary ammonium compounds, aldehydes, hydrogen peroxide and peracetic acid, clorhexidine and a tertiary alkylamine. In the absence of organic matter, all the disinfectants tested were effective with an exposure time of 10 min at the lowest concentration recommended by the manufacturer. However, in the presence of organic matter their effectiveness decreased. The most effective disinfectant against pathogenic bacteria tested was a quaternary ammonium compound based disinfectant combined with non-ionic surfactants, polyphosphates and alkaline salts. The least effective ones were disinfectants containing tertiary alkylamine, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Mediterranean forests are especially prone to fire, a periodic disturbance that affects all the ecosystem components in different ways. Gathering knowledge on the particular responses and rate of recovery of multiple ecosystem components following a wildfire is crucial to reliably evaluate its consequences on biodiversity. Using eight sampling transects, we studied the changes in four ecosystem components (topsoil, plants, carabids, and staphylinids) during three years after a spring wildfire in a Quercus pyrenaica forest; and compared them with the surrounding unburnt forest (hereafter control). We found great variety of responses to fire suggesting each component may deal with this recurring disturbance via different adaptations, and that the time spent to recover to pre-disturbance conditions depends on the group of focus. Topsoil characteristics were highly variable and minor differences were found between burnt and control transects. Plant community was considerably affected by fire but rapidly recovered exceeding the control forest in species richness and cover, partly due to proliferation of annual herbs. However, plant species composition differed between burnt and control forests during the whole study period. Carabid beetles were more abundant and richer in species in the burnt forest, thanks to the arrival of seed predators favoured by post-fire drier and warmer conditions. Staphylinid beetle composition differed between control and burnt transects during the whole period, although their abundance was strongly variable. Distinct post-fire plant, carabid and staphylinid species composition suggests scattered low-intensity wildfires in this region may help to maintain habitat heterogeneity benefiting biodiversity at the landscape scale.
In arid and semi-arid ecosystems, the presence of woody neighbours affects the existence of several herbaceous species by modifying critical aspects of the environment (e.g., soil humidity, nutrient content or light availability) beneath their canopies. Herbaceous species growing in the understory of
may be distinct from those in open areas due to litter fall, light interception and changes in nutrient availability. We suggest that the overall effect of woody neighbours on herbaceous layer diversity may vary with the scale focus of analysis. To examine this hypothesis, we collected data on the abundance of herbaceous species in open pineland forests of the central Iberian Peninsula (Spain) using sample quadrats of 0.5 m × 0.5 m distributed beneath, at the edge, and outside the canopy of pines in a landscape composed of dunes and plains. The results of CCA ordination revealed significant spatial segregation of herbaceous species reflecting the occurrence of pines and dunes in the landscape. Nested ANOVA disclosed markedly lower species richness beneath the pines, particularly in the dune sites. Species richness partitioning showed higher pine-induced heterogeneity than expected from the sample-based randomized model, leading to significantly increased species richness at the patch level. Hence, the outcome of pine-induced effects on the herbaceous plant diversity is scale-dependent, negative if we focus on separate communities, but positive if the scale focus is extended to whole patches comprising the sum of communities beneath, at the edge, and outside pine tree canopies. These results emphasize the necessity of using various scale perspectives to clarify the different ways in which pines and other woody nurse species affect structure of herbaceous communities in semi-arid Mediterranean ecosystems.