Authors:R. Prasanna, A. Sood, A. Suresh, S. Nayak, and B. Kaushik
A wide variety of pigments, like chlorophyll, carotenoids and phycobiliproteins, which exhibit colours ranging from green, yellow, brown to red are present in algae. Increasing awareness of harmful effects of synthetic dyes and inclination of society towards the usage of natural products, such as plant / microbial based colours in food and cosmetics, has led to the exploitation of microalgae as a source of natural colours. Algal pigments have great commercial value as natural colorants in nutraceutical, cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry, besides their health benefits.
capsules are now commonly prescribed health foods for improving vitality and longevity of human beings. This review describes the distribution, structure of these pigments in algae, with emphasis on specific techniques for extraction and purification, along with different methods of biomass production and commercially feasible techniques documented in literature. An overview of the industrial applications of these natural colouring agents in diagnostics, food and cosmetics industry is also provided.
Authors:G. Kemény, K. Penksza, Nagy Z., and et al.
A neighbourding -quadrate transect study was conducted in order to examine the possibile relationship between small scale topography and coenotaxa occurrence and cover in subassociations of Festucetum vaginataeRapaics ex Soó 1929 sandy grassland plant community near Fülöpháza. These investigations served as a starting point in later soil seed bank studies. Cover of species was recorded in three transects of different exposition starting on the top of different dunes and ending in the depressions. Subassociations and facies forming species of the community occurred in all investigated transects. Parts of the transects could not have been classified unambiguously into any of the coenotaxa mentioned in the literature. In these zones the charactersitic species of the different subbasociations and facies were occurding together. These patches are propbably also the ones where changes in dominance relations and simultaneous spread of a species can relatively easily happen, as it is the case with Cleistogenes serotina. Annual vegetation of the open sandy grassland, ond the other hand, has occured only in the transition zones, between the subassociations or facies. In these transects moss-lichen synusia were peresent usually in the subassociation Festucetum vaginatae pennatae Kerner 1863.
Authors:G. Amori, S. Gippoliti, L. Luiselli, and C. Battisti
Changes in taxa composition among different communities in a landscape or along an environmental gradient are defined as β-diversity. From a biogeographic point of view, it is interesting to analyse patterns of β-turnover across latitudinal bands, and to understand whether P-diversity is significantly associated with endemism at lower latitudes, as predicted by theory. We inspected these issues by using squirrels (Rodentia, Sciuridae) as a study case. Distribution data for each genus were obtained from literature and mapped. The two hemispheres were subdivided into 23 latitudinal bands of equal area, and we calculated a β-turnover index between latitudinal bands with two formulae: Wilson and Shmida’s (1984) and Lennonetal.’s (2001) indices. We found that the peak of number of Sciuridae genera significantly corresponded to the peak in β-turnover scores at the same latitudes (25–31°N) with Wilson and Shmida’s (1984), but not with Lennon et al.’s (2001) index. We also found that the turnover between ground and tree squirrels corresponded to the grassland vegetation latitudinal bands (around 40° N), and the beginning of the latitudinal bands characterized by tropical and subtropical forests is accomplished with the occurrence of tree and flying squirrels
An intense debate is underway on the different approaches to measuring the importance of neighbour interaction. Both the ecological meaning and the statistical suitability of one of the most popular indices have been seriously questioned, but no simpler and practical alternative tools have been proposed up to now. This paper proposes a novel approach based on the use of new normalized indices which scale the effects of neighbours and environment to the maximum target-plant potential. Two indices related to environmental suitability and size-asymmetry are suggested as tools to stratify data in homogeneous subsets before analysis, and an index of normalized neighbour effect (Nn) is proposed to integrate the measuring of neighbour importance and intensity. When tested on literature data, Nn index proves to be very highly correlated to the most currently used importance index. At the same time, it is moderately but significantly correlated to the intensity index. Yet, an accurate reanalysis of three published datasets proves that several detected trends are predictable on the basis of the inherent properties of the used indices. This is inextricably linked to the use of the same phytometers at different productivity levels. Thus, a glimpse is proposed towards the opportunity to use groups of equivalent competitors, each one working at a different point of the gradient, but all in a comparable range of environmental suitability and potential size-asymmetry relative to neighbours. Once defined these equivalence conditions, the normalized Nn metric is suited to measure how the relative weight of neighbour impact changes along the productivity gradient.
A preliminary checklist of Tamaricaceae in the Indian subcontinent has been prepared on the basis of primary observations of different taxa belonging to this family in wild habitats and on secondary observations based on examining herbarium specimens and taxonomic literature. On the Indian subcontinent (comprising Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India), the family Tamaricaceae is poorly represented (20% of all species). The present paper deals with a brief review of distribution, endemism, possible fossil ancestry, economic potential and survival threat on existing taxa, etc. The present status of endemism of Tamaricaceae in Indian subcontinent (22.5% in 2002–2007) has been compared to the data of previous investigations (50% in 1939–1940) done in nineteenth century. The decreasing rate of endemism either indicates decreasing number of endemic taxa or increasing span of distribution of pan-endemic taxa belonging to this family. For better understanding of the functional aspects of species dynamics the rate of endemism in percent of a particular group of plants has been used as key index here.
Authors:A. Wiater, J. Szczodrak, and M. Pleszczyńska
Conidia of TrichodermaharzianumF-340, an active producer of fungal mutanase, were mutagenized with physical and chemical mutagens used separately or in combination. After mutagenesis, the drop in conidia viability ranged from 0.004% to 71%. Among the applied mutagens, nitrosoguanidine gave the highest frequency of cultures with enhanced mutanase activity (98%). In total, 400 clones were isolated, and preliminarily evaluated for mutanase activity in flask microcultures. Eight most productive mutants were then quantified for mutanase production in shake flask cultures. The obtained results fully confirmed a great propensity of all the tested mutants to synthesize mutanase, the activity of which increased from 59 to 107% in relation to the parental T.harzianumculture. The best mutanase-overproducing mutant (T. harzianumF-340-48), obtained with nitrosoguanidine, produced the enzyme activity of 1.36 U/ml (4.5 U/mg protein) after 4 days of incubation in shake flask culture. This productivity was almost twices higher than that achieved by the initial strain F-340, and, at present, is the best reported in the literature. The potential application of mutanase in dentistry is also discussed.
This paper describes aspects of the leaf anatomy of two Salvia taxa, Salvia nemorosa L. subsp. tesquicola (Klokov et Pobed.) Soó and Salvia nutans L., as well as their hybrid, Salvia ×dobrogensis Negrean, aiming to highlight common anatomical characteristics and superiority of the hybrid, compared with its parental taxa, less subject to these plants raised in the literature. Differences were found both in the structure of petiole and blade. For the petiole, differences arise concerning the degree of development of the external (collenchyma and chlorenchyma) and inner cortex. The vascular system in all considered taxa, comprises a great number of vascular bundles, with different levels of development of the conductive tissues. The mesophyll is heterogeneous, bifacial in S. nemorosa subsp. tesquicola and the hybrid, and equifacial in S. nutans. The presence and anatomy of numerous glandular and non-glandular trichomes (hairs), different in structure, shape and size, were investigated and evaluated. Stomata are present on both upper and lower epidermis of the blade having diacytic type, impressing, as well, an amphistomatic character. The vascular system of the midrib of the studied Salvia taxa is well developed, in particular those of the hybrid species. The analysis of petiole and blade anatomy of two Salvia taxa and their hybrid reveals common and specific features from which we could conclude that although the hybrid leaf is more developed anatomically than its parental taxa, the petiole has many features similar to that of Salvia nutans and the blade is almost similar to that of Salvia nemorosa species.
The importance of accurate species databases is debated in the recent literature of biodiversity assessment, considering that limited resources for conservation could be better allocated to assessment based on cost effective biodiversity features. I aimed to provide an understanding of sampling bias and provide practical advice to minimize bias either before or after data collection. I used 10×10 km
UTM grid data for 121 land snail species to account for geographic and taxonomic sampling bias in Hungary. Sampling intensity corrected for species richness varied significantly among regions, although regions were not good predictors of sampling intensity. Residuals were significantly autocorrelated in 15 km distance, indicating small scale heterogeneity in sampling intensity compared to species richness. Sampling coverage and intensity were higher close to human settlements and sampling intensity was higher within protected areas than outside. Commonness of species was positively associated with sampling intensity, while some rare species were over-represented in the records. Sampling intensity of microsnails (<3 mm) was significantly lower than that of the more detectable large species (>15 mm). Systematic effects of the collecting methods used in malacological research may be responsible for these differences. Understanding causes of sampling bias may help to reduce its effects in ecological, biogeographical and conservation biological applications, and help to guide future research.
Authors:R. Okada, H. Ikeno, T. Kimura, Mizue Ohashi, H. Aonuma, and E. Ito
A honeybee informs her nestmates of the location of a flower by doing a waggle dance. The waggle dance encodes both the direction of and distance to the flower from the hive. To reveal how the waggle dance benefits the colony, we created a Markov model of bee foraging behavior and performed simulation experiments by incorporating the biological parameters that we obtained from our own observations of real bees as well as from the literature. When two feeders were each placed 400 m away from the hive in different directions, a virtual colony in which honeybees danced and correctly transferred information (a normal, real bee colony) made significantly greater numbers of successful visits to the feeders compared to a colony with inaccurate information transfer. Howerer, when five feeders were each located 400 m from the hive, the inaccurate information transfer colony performed better than the normal colony. These results suggest that dancing’s ability to communicate accurate information depends on the number of feeders. Furthermore, because non-dancing colonies always made significantly fewer visits than those two colonies, we concluded that dancing behavior is beneficial for hives’ ability to visit food sources.