We present a new method to asses the strength of indirect interactions and to indentify candidate keystone species in quantitative food webs. We apply this method to the structural analysis of a host-parasitoid community. The strength and symmetry of indirect interactions between 12 leaf-miner hosts and their 27 hymenopteran parasitoids are quantified. It is shown that (1) quantifying longer pathways helps in determining which species have more important direct or indirect effects on others, (2) a keystone pattern of relative species importance, based on positionality in the interaction network, seems to characterize this community, (3) considering longer pathways results in a characteristic “few strong - many weak” distribution of interaction strength, and (4) between the majority of species pairs the interaction is weakly asymmetrical. We emphasise that a very simple network algebra approach may offer important predictions on both species- and community-level patterns.
Authors:C. Chai, S. Ma, X. Mao, K. Liao, and W. Liu
Two different radiochemical procedures were developed: chelate ion resin exchange and amine solvent extraction. Two kinds of new Chinese chelate resins (NANKAI-3926 and BEI-5) and a new longchain primary amine N1923 were compared with the Srafion NMRR and the tertiary amine N235 in absorption performance of noble metals, respectively. Influences of various experimental conditions, e. g. sample digestion, acidity, equilibrium time, as well as elution of noble metals, on analytical sensitivity and chemical yield were discussed. Combining with neutron activation, the radiochemical separation procedures developed were used to determine the noble metal contents in the geological samples from Permian/Triassic boundary in South China.
Authors:K. Tung, J. Liu, F. Cheng, C. Yang, W. Tu, K. Wang, C. Shyu, C. Lai, C. Chou, and W. Lee
is one of the
species most commonly found in the wild field, which can cause severe infection and mortality in young sparrows. In this study, we selected
(Chung Hsing strain) as a pathogen to orally inoculate russet sparrows (
), spotted munia (
), canary (
), Java sparrows (
), chicken (
), ducks (
) and BALB/c mice. The results indicated that
infected only russet sparrows. Infected sparrows displayed lethargy, muscular weakness and fluffy feathers, followed by rapid death. Liver and spleen enlargement was seen in the infected birds. Schizonts were identified in thin smears from the venous blood, enlarged livers and spleens. Histopathological examination revealed schizonts and merozoites from the liver and spleen of infected russet sparrows, but not from other species experimentally inoculated with
in the present study.
This study investigated the community structure of ciliates in Gahai Alpine Wetland of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. We hypothesized that the ciliate community in the Plateau is more complex and the species diversity is richer than those in other climate zones of China. In particular, we studied how the ciliate species responded to environmental temperature, soil moisture content and the manner of pasture utilization. We determined key features of the ciliate communities such as trophic functional groups, ciliate seasonal distribution, species diversity and similarity index at six sample sites from January 2015 to October 2016. To count and characterize ciliates, we combined the non-flooded Petri dish method with in vivo observation and silver staining. We identified 162 ciliate species in this area, showing a high species and functional diversity. The mode of nutrition was diverse, with the lowest number of ciliates in group N (Nonselective omnivores, 4 species) and the highest number in group B (Bacterivores-detritivores, 118 species, corresponding to 73% of the total species number). Ciliate species richness was significantly positively correlated with environmental temperature and moisture and adversely related to the intensity of agricultural land use. Rotational grazing by livestock or suspended grazing might be useful for maintaining good soil quality, thereby favoring ciliate diversity. Our study may serve as a reference to evaluate the ecosystem status of the Gahai Alpine Wetland and other similar areas in future studies.
Authors:J. Zhou, W. Liu, C. Han, H. Cao, Y. Xu, W. Zhang, and Y. Yan
Wheat glutenins containing high and low molecular weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS and LMW-GS) are the major determinants of wheat gluten quality. In this study, the recently developed reversed-phase ultra-performance liquid chromatography (RP-UPLC) was used to study the synthesis and accumulation patterns of glutenins during grain development of four Chinese bread wheat cultivars with different gluten quality. Developing grains were collected based on thermal times from 150 °Cd to 750 °Cd at 100 °Cd intervals, and the content of glutenin subunits and their accumulation patterns were determined by RP-UPLC as well as sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). The results showed that HMW-GS and LMW-GS synthesis were initiated currently at 250 °Cd and they displayed a gradually upregulated expression. All the HMW-GS can be detected at 250 °Cd, earlier than LMW-GS. Different glutenin subunits and genotypes showed clear accumulation diversity during grain development. Particularly, 1Dx5 + 1Dy10 in the cultivar Gaocheng 8901 and Zhongyou 9507 with superior dough properties were accumulated faster at early stages than 1Dx2 + 1Dy12 in Jingdong 8 and Zhengmai 9023 with poor dough quality, suggesting that faster accumulation rate of glutenin proteins at the early stages of grain development may contribute to the formation of superior gluten structure and dough quality.
Authors:W.-Y. Liu, M.-L. Wei, C.-Y. Wu, H.-Y. Zhu, F. Feng, and N. Xie
Patrinia scabra Bunge has long been used in clinic as a traditional Chinese medicine for treating leukemia and cancer and regulating host immune response. Despite their wide use in China, no report on system analysis on their chemical constituents is available so far. The current study was designed to profile the fingerprint of ethyl acetate extract of it, and in addition, to characterize the major fingerprint peaks and determine their quantity. Therefore, a detailed gradient high-performance liquid chromatography was described to separate more than 30 compounds with satisfactory resolution in P. scabra Bunge. Based on the chromatograms of 10 batches samples, a typical high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) fingerprint was established with 23 chromatographic peaks being assigned as common fingerprint peaks. Furthermore, a quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (Q-TOF/MS) was coupled for the characterization of major compound. As (+)-nortrachelogenin was the most predominant compound in P. scabra Bunge, the quantification on it was also carried out with the method being validated. As a result, (+)-nortrachelogenin was found to be from 1.33 to 2.21 mg g−1 in this plant material. This rapid and effective analytical method could be employed for quality assessment of P. scabra Bunge, as well as pharmaceutical products containing this herbal material.
Authors:W. Zhou, X. Y. Zhang, Y. P. Lv, X. D. Liu, C. Xu, and G. L. Duan
Radix Isatidis has widely useful activities including anti-virus, anti-bacterial. Tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin are active ingredients in R. Isatidis. Response surface methodology (RSM)-optimized infrared-assisted extraction (IRAE) was developed and combined with HPLC for simultaneous determination of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin from R. Isatidis. IRAE were investigated through extraction yields of the three components and optimized by RSM. The optimum conditions were as follows: infrared power of 129 W, solid/liquid ratio of 1:40 g/mL, and irradiation time of 22.5 min. IRAE conditions obtained by RSM were not only accurate, but also had practical value reflecting the expected optimization. Subsequently, this novel IRAE method was evaluated by extraction yield of the components of R. Isatidis samples from different regions. Compared with common extraction methods including maceration extraction (ME), reflux extraction (RE), ultrasound-assisted extraction (UAE), and microwave-assisted extraction (MAE), IRAE showed higher yield with advantages of no limitation of solvent selection, low cost, convenience under optimum extraction conditions. These results suggested the potential of RSM-optimized IRAE for extraction and analysis of the water-/fat-soluble compositions of Chinese herbal medicine. A simple chromatographic separation for simultaneous determination of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin from Chinese herbal medicine R. Isatidis was performed on a C18 column (Diamonsil 150 mm × 4.6 mm i.d., 5 μm) with a mobile phase isocratic consisting of methanol and water at a flow-rate of 0.8 mL min−1. The retention times of tryptanthrin, indigo, and indirubin were 15.4, 31.9, and 58.6 min, respectively. The linear equations were obtained as follows: y = −3094.5744 + 21208.792x for tryptanthrin (R = 0.9998, 0.9–18.0 μg mL−1), y = 4730.0448 + 30180.567x for indigo (R = 0.9997, 0.5–10.0 μg mL−1) and y = −6582.9045 + 67069.312x for indirubin (R = 0.9997, 0.4–8.0 μg mL−1). The result showed that RSM-optimized IRAE was a simple, efficient pretreatment method for the analysis of complex matrix.
Authors:J.C. Zheng, T. Liu, J.Q. Li, X. Wang, W.Y. Li, F. Xu, and Q.W. Zhan
Barley stripe mosaic virus (BSMV)-based virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) is an effective strategy for rapid determination of functional genes in wheat plants. ERECTA genes are reported to regulate stomatal pattern of plants, and manipulation of TaERECTA (a homologue of ERECTA in bread wheat) is a potential route for investigating stomatal development. Here, the leucine-rich repeat domains (LRRs) and transmembrane domains of TaERECTA were selected to gain BSMV:ER-LR and BSMV:ER-TM constructs, respectively, targeting TaERECTA for silencing in wheat cultivars ‘Bobwhite’ and ‘Cadenza’, to identify the function of TaERECTA on stomatal patterns. The results showed that reduced expression of TaERECTA caused an increased stomatal and epidermal cell density by average 13.5% and 3.3%, respectively, due to the significantly reduced size of leaf epidermal and stomatal cells, and this led to an increase in stomatal conductance. These suggest that modulation of TaERECTA offers further opportunities in stomatal engineering for the adaptation of photosynthesis in wheat.
Authors:L.J. Wu, Y. Shang, T. Liu, W.J. Chen, B.L. Liu, L.Q. Zhang, D.C. Liu, B. Zhang, and H.G. Zhang
In this study, the cDNA of homocysteine S-methyltransferase was isolated from Aegilops tauschii Coss., with the gene accordingly designated as AetHMT1. Similar to other methyltransferases, AetHMT1 contains a GGCCR consensus sequence for a possible zinc-binding motif near the C-terminal and a conserved cysteine residue upstream of the zinc-binding motif. Analysis of AetHMT1 uncovered no obvious chloroplast or mitochondrial targeting sequences. We functionally expressed AetHMT1 in Escherichia coli and confirmed its biological activity, as evidenced by a positive HMT enzyme activity of 164.516 ± 17.378 nmol min−1 mg−1 protein when catalyzing the transformation of L-homocysteine. Compared with the bacterium containing the empty vector, E. coli harboring the recombinant AetHMT1 plasmid showed much higher tolerance to selenate and selenite. AetHMT1 transcript amounts in different organs were increased by Na2SeO4 treatment, with roots accumulating higher amounts than stems, old leaves and new leaves. We have therefore successfully isolated HMT1 from Ae. tauschii and characterized the biochemical and physiological functions of the corresponding protein.
Authors:Q. Mo, C.Y. Wang, C.H. Chen, Y.J. Wang, H. Zhang, X.L. Liu, and W.Q. Ji
Thinopyrum ponticum (2n = 10x = 70) has donated rust resistance genes to protect wheat from this fungal disease. In the present study, the line ES-7, derived from the progeny of the crosses between common wheat cultivar Abbondanza and Triticum aestivum–Th. ponticum partial amphiploid line Xiaoyan784, was characterized by cytological, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), genomic in situ hybridization (GISH) and EST-STS marker techniques. Cytological observations revealed that the configuration of ES-7 was 2n = 42 = 21 II. GISH and FISH results showed that ES-7 had two St chromosomes and lacked 5A chromosomes compared to common wheat. The 4A chromosome of ES-7 had small alterations from common wheat. Two EST-SSR markers BE482522 and BG262826, specific to Th. ponticum and tetraploid Pseudoroegneria spicata (2n = 4x = 28), locate on the homoeologous group 5 chromosomes of wheat, could amplify polymorphic bands in ES-7. It was suggested that the introduced St chromosomes belonged to homoeologous group 5, that is, ES-7 was a 5St (5A) disomic substitution line. Furthermore, ES-7 showed highly resistance to mixed stripe rust races of CYR32 and CYR33 in adult stages, which was possibly inherited from Th. ponticum. Thus, ES-7 can be used for wheat stripe rust resistance breeding program.