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Recruitment limitation has been hypothesized to promote the maintenance of high species diversity in forests by slowing down competitive exclusion. However, the difference of recruitment limitation for tree species with varying seed masses, which is a common phenomenon in tropical or subtropical forests, is largely unknown. In this study we conducted a seed sowing experiment for five dominant tree species with varying seed mass (a proxy of dispersal ability) in a subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest at different successional stages to test the hypothesis that the determinants of species recruitment vary with their seed masses in Heishiding Nature Reserve (Guangdong Province, China). The effects of seed predators, soil pathogens, light conditions, plant litter, seed additions, and the presence of adult conspecific trees on the performance of seeds and seedlings for the five species were examined. We particularly investigated the effects of habitat hazards and seed size on the relative importance of dispersal limitation and establishment limitation. The results show that all five sowing species experienced recruitment limitation at the microsite level, although the causes of the limitation of these species varied between pathogen infection, animal predation, litter covering and shading. Seedling recruitment of the wind-dispersed, small-seeded species was mostly limited by microsite condition, while large-seeded species were mostly limited by dispersal ability.

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Casein peptides with calcium-chelating capacity were rapidly enriched by using a novel ceramic matrix (CM)-based Ti4+-IMAC adsorbent. The ability of calcium-chelating peptides (CCPs) to bind calcium and the physical properties of complexes formed between CCPs and calcium were investigated. Results demonstrated that the amount of calcium bound depended on the degree of hydrolysis (DH) of casein hydrolysates. The highest calcium binding capacity (683 mg g−1) occurred when bovine casein was hydrolysed by pancreatin at a DH of 0.14%, meanwhile, the calcium content of CCPs-Ca complex exhibited the maximum level (134.96 mg g−1). In addition, CCPs showed a higher radical scavenging capacity (50 µg ml−1; 99% inhibition, or an equivalent activity of 9.91×10−3 M Trolox) compared to casein digest. Moreover, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy and fluorescence spectroscopy were used to explore the interaction between CPPs and calcium, and the results demonstrated that phosphoserine residues as well as COO- groups of CCPs were involved in the formation of CCPs-Ca complex.

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Summary  

Iodine deficiency disorders (IDD) are one of most common nutritional deficiencies in the world. The nuclear analytical methods (ENAA, SRXRF and XRF) were employed to study the effect of iodine deficiency on the metal ion changes during the stage of brain development, combined with biochemical methods. The results show that the distributions of iron, copper and zinc varied to different extent in different brain regions and subcellular fractions of the ID rat brains. These distributional changes of trace elements might be associated with the brain damage caused by the iodine deficiency.

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Abstract  

New special engineering thermoplastics, poly(phthalazinone ether sulfone) (PPES) and poly(phthalazinone ether sulfone ketone) (PPESK), containing phthalazinone are synthesized through step-polymerization. The kinetics of thermal degradation of PPES and PPESK (1/1) in nitrogen is investigated at several heating rates by thermogravimetry (TG). It is concluded that, based on using Satava’s theory, the thermal degradation mechanism of PPESK (1/1) is nucleation and growth, the order of reaction of the degradation process is one (n = 1). In contrast, the thermal degradation mechanism of PPES is a phase boundary controlled reaction and the order of the reaction is two (n = 2). The kinetic parameters, including reaction energy and frequency factor of thermal degradation reaction for PPES and PPESK (1/1) are analyzed using isoconversional Friedman, Kissinger–Akahira–Sunose (K–A–S) and Ozawa method. In addition, the study focus on the influence of heating rate and ratio of ketone/sulfone on thermal stability and the life estimation are described.

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The damage in the pup rat brain with low-level mercury exposure, and the concentration variation of trace elements in the rat hippocampus was determined by synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence technique (SRXRF). Meanwhile, the levels and activities of glutathione (GSH), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and malondialdehyde (MDA) in the hippocampus were also measured. The results showed that the low dose of inorganic mercury prenatal and postnatal exposure could lead to the significant increase of both copper and zinc contents and remarkable decrease of iron content in pup rat brain. Compared to the control group, the activities of antioxidant enzymes such as GSH-Px, SOD, the contents of GSH and MDA in the pup rat hippocampus of mercury-exposed group fell down obviously.

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Fungal diseases pose a great challenge to Canadian barley production, among which are Fusarium head blight (FHB), yellow rust and scald. An integrated management approach is needed to mitigate these diseases, in which breeding for host resistance is the most effective component. Constant evaluation of advanced breeding lines for their resistance to the diseases is important for making steady progression. The main objective of this study was to screen 1,174 barley accessions, from a collaborative project between the Field Crop Development Center (FCDC), Alberta, Canada, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), Mexico for their reactions to the three diseases. For FHB a 1-5 scale was employed to discard the very susceptible material in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, 514 most resistant lines having the score 1 in 2013 were re-evaluated in a replicated experiment. The most promising 166 genotypes were selected and advanced for their last evaluation in 2015 where FHB index was measured. Simultaneously, these 166 genotypes were subjected to two more experiments to test their reactions against stripe rust and scald. Eighteen two-rowed barley genotypes exhibiting broad-spectrum resistance to all of the three evaluated diseases were identified in addition to 40 lines combining FHB resistance with resistance to Mexican isolates and natural fungal population of either of the two foliar diseases and could be utilized in breeding programs aimed at improving resistance to multiple barley leaf and head blight diseases.

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Analysis of the binding interaction of (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and pepsin is important for understanding the inhibition of digestive enzymes by tea polyphenols. We studied the binding of EGCG to pepsin using fluorescence spectroscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, isothermal titration calorimetry, and protein-ligand docking. We found that EGCG could inhibit pepsin activity. According to thermodynamic parameters, a negative ΔG indicated that the interaction between EGCG and pepsin was spontaneous, and the electrostatic force accompanied by hydrophobic binding forces may play major role in the binding. Data from multi-spectroscopy and docking studies suggest that EGCG could bind pepsin with a change in the native conformation of pepsin. Our results provide further understanding of the nature of the binding interactions between catechins and digestive enzymes.

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Thinopyrum intermedium, which has many useful traits, is valuable for wheat breeding. A new wheat-Thinopyrum addition line, SN100109, was developed from the progeny of common wheat cultivar Yannong 15 and Th. intermedium. It was resistant to most races of Blumeria graminis f. sp tritici (Bgt), which caused powdery mildew in wheat, and its reactions were different from the reactions of gene Pm40 and Pm43. Genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and molecular marker analysis were used to identify the genomic composition of SN100109. GISH results showed that SN100109 was a wheat-Th. intermedium disomic addition line containing one pair of J chromosomes, and the resistance gene was located on the alien additional chromosomes of SN100109. And four molecular markers BE425942, BF482714, Xgdm93 and BV679214 which were assigned to homologous group 2, were specific molecular markers of the additional chromosomes. All the results indicated that SN100109 contained one pair of 2J chromosomes. SN100109 can be used as a novel germplasm source for introducing powdery mildew resistance genes to wheat in breeding programs.

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Abstract  

To investigate the effects of lanthanum exposure on regional distribution of inorganic elements in rat brain. Wistar rats were exposed to lanthanum chloride through oral administration at 0, 0.1, 2, and 40 mg/kg concentration for 6 months. The elements such as Cl, K, Ca, Fe, Cu, and Zn were identified in the brain slices by synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence (SRXRF) analysis. Differences of brain elemental distributions were noticed. Cl, Ca, and Zn were primarily concentrated in hippocampus of the controls. With the increase of the lanthanum dosage, the Ca and Zn levels significantly decreased, while the Cu levels significantly elevated in cortex, hippocampus and thalamus. Our results suggest that subchronic lanthanum exposure in rats appears to change elemental distributions in brain.

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A rapid and sensitive method for the identification and quantification of phillyrin (POG) in Forsythia suspense is described. The phillyrin standard solution was directly infused into the ion trap mass spectrometers (IT-MS) for collecting the MSn spectra. The electrospray ionization (ESI) mass spectral fragmentation pathway of phillyrin was proposed, and the ESI-MSn fragmentation behavior of phillyrin was deduced in detail. The major product ion at m/z 355 belongs to furofuran, which was formed by loss the glucopyranoside (180 Da), and the characteristic fragment ions m/z 473, 395, 337, 309, and 249 were observed. The loss of 18 Da could arise from two different fragmentation pathways, and the observed ion was composed of a mixture of two different structural ions. Quantification of phillyrin was assigned in positive-ion mode at a product ion at m/z 557 → 355 by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The LC-MS method was validated for linearity, sensitivity, accuracy, and precision and then used to determine the content of the phillyrin. Lastly, the LC-MS method was successfully applied to determine phillyrin in real sample F. suspense and three of its medicinal preparations in the positive mode at the first time.

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