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Communicative & Integrative Biology

Erin Swinton, Emily de Freitas, Cayley Swinton, Tamila Shymansky, Emily Hiles, Jack Zhang, Cailin Rothwell, Ken Lukowiak
A flavonoid, (-)-epicatechi (Epi), enhances long-term memory (LTM) formation in Lymnaea and reverses memory obstruction caused by stress. Many foods contain substantial amounts of Epi, (e.g. green tea and cocoa). In humans eating such foods may directly or indirectly enhance cognition. We directly test whether operant conditioning training Lymnaea in these natural foods result in the same effects as training snails in pure Epi. We found that exposure to products containing high concentrations of Epi (e.g. green tea and cocoa) during training enhanced memory formation and could even reverse a learning and memory deficit brought about by stress...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Tahseen Raza Hashmi, Salam Rita Devi, Naresh M Meshram, Ram Prasad
Endosymbionts are vital factor for arthropod ecology. The whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a cryptic species complex composed of more than 34 putative species. Moreover to the primary endosymbiont Portiera aleyrodidarum , six secondary endosymbionts Cardinium , Arsenophonus , Rickettsia , Wolbachia, Hamiltonella and Fritschea are known in B . tabaci . Here, we tested four of the six secondary endosymbiont lineages (excluding Fritschea and Hamiltonella ) from 180 whitely individuals collected from six host plants belonging to families Solanaceae (Brinjal, Tomato and Potato) and Fabaceae (Soyabean, Mungbean and Subabool)...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Keit Men Wong, Bogdan Beirowski
During nerve development, Schwann cells (SCs) build multilayered myelin sheaths around axons to accelerate nerve conduction. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) downstream of PI3K/AKT signaling lately emerged as a central anabolic regulator of myelination. Using mutant mice with sustained mTORC1 hyperactivity in developing SCs we recently uncovered that mTORC1 impedes developmental myelination by promoting proliferation of immature SCs while antagonizing SC differentiation. In contrast, mTORC1 stimulates myelin production, rather than SC proliferation, in already differentiated SCs...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Celia Herrera-Rincon, Michael Levin
A recent study in Xenopus laevis embryos showed that the very early brain has important functions long before behavior. While the nascent brain is being constructed, it is required for normal patterning of the muscle and peripheral nerve networks, including those far away from the head. In addition to providing important developmental signals to remote tissues in normal embryogenesis, its presence is also able to render harmless exposure to specific chemicals that normally act as teratogens. These activities of the early brain can be partially compensated for in a brainless embryo by experimental modulation of neurotransmitter and ion channel signaling...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Arnold De Loof
Are sex and gende r interchangeable terms? In classical biology, both are sometimes but not always used on an equal basis for some groups of animals. However, for our own species the Homo sapiens, they are not. A major question is why are there only two types of gametes (sperm- and egg cells), two types of sex steroids, (androgens and estrogens in vertebrates, and two types of ecdysteroids in insects), while the reproduction-related behaviour of the gamete producers displays a much greater variability than just two prominent forms, namely heterosexual males and heterosexual females? It indicates that in addition to a few sex-determining genes ( = the first pillar), other factors play a role...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Jimok Yoon, Jonathan R Terman
To change their size, shape, and connectivity, cells require actin and tubulin proteins to assemble together into long polymers - and numerous extracellular stimuli have now been identified that alter the assembly and organization of these cytoskeletal structures. Yet, there remains a lack of defined signaling pathways from the cell surface to the cytoskeleton for many of these extracellular signals, and so we still know little of how they exert their precise structural effects. These extracellular cues may be soluble or substrate-bound and have historically been classified into two independently acting and antagonistic groups: growth-promoting/attractants (inducing turning toward the source of the factor/positive chemotropism) or growth-preventing/repellents (turning away from the source of the factor/negative chemotropism)...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Wendy Cajero Sánchez, Berenice García-Ponce, María de la Paz Sánchez, Elena R Álvarez-Buylla, Adriana Garay-Arroyo
The Arabidopsis thaliana (hereafter Arabidopsis) root has become a useful model for studying how organ morphogenesis emerge from the coordination and balance of cell proliferation and differentiation, as both processes may be observed and quantified in the root at different stages of development. Hence, being able to objectively identify and delimit the different stages of root development has been very important. Up to now, three different zones along the longitudinal axis of the primary root of Arabidopsis, have been identified: the root apical meristematic zone (RAM) with two domains [the proliferative (PD) and the transition domain (TD)], the elongation zone (EZ) and the maturation zone (MZ)...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Sachin Rustgi, Edouard Boex-Fontvieille, Christiane Reinbothe, Diter von Wettstein, Steffen Reinbothe
Plants have evolved an intricate regulatory network of proteases and corresponding protease inhibitors (PI), which operate in various biological pathways and serve diverse spatiotemporal functions during the sedentary life of a plant. Intricacy of the regulatory network can be anticipated from the observation that, depending on the developmental stage and environmental cue(s), either a single PI or multiple PIs regulate the activity of a given protease. On the other hand, the same PI often interacts with different targets at different places, necessitating another level of fine control to be added in planta...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Pete A Williams, Jeffrey M Harder, Brynn H Cardozo, Nicole E Foxworth, Simon W M John
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is a key molecule in several cellular processes and is essential for healthy mitochondrial metabolism. We recently reported that mitochondrial dysfunction is among the very first changes to occur within retinal ganglion cells during initiation of glaucoma in DBA/2J mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated that an age-dependent decline of NAD contributes to mitochondrial dysfunction and vulnerability to glaucoma. The decrease in NAD renders retinal ganglion cells vulnerable to a metabolic crisis following periods of high intraocular pressure...
2018: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Thomas E Marler, Anders J Lindström
Conservation agencies charged with care of threatened plant species should be governed by the concepts that conservation actions should do no harm. Adaptive management research progresses in imperfect situations due to incomplete knowledge. Interpreting new experimental or observational evidence for inclusion in conservation plans should first consider the big picture by identifying collateral quandaries before scaling up the approach to large-scale implementation. We discuss a case study of Cycas micronesica conservation activities on the island of Guam...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
D D Vorontsov, V E Dyakonova
We have recently demonstrated that preceding motor activity can facilitate decision-making not only in humans and mammals but also in molluscs.5 In the behavioral paradigm used, snails Lymnaea stagnalis were removed from their natural environment (water) and placed in a dry, asymmetrically lit arena from which they had to decide which way to go in order to reach an aquatic environment. One possible explanation of the observed effects of preceding motor activity was that it could affect the snail's memory of light conditions that corresponded to its previous aquatic habitat...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Erik T Frank, K Eduard Linsenmair
Rescue behavior focused on injured individuals has rarely been observed in animals. These observations though are from very different taxa's: birds, mammals and social insects. Here we discuss likely antecedents to rescue behaviors in ants, like social carrying and alarm pheromones. We then compare similarities and preconditions necessary for rescue behavior focused on injured individuals to evolve across taxa's: a high value of individuals, a high injury risk and social interaction. Ultimately we argue that a similar problem, how to rescue injured group members, has led to different mechanisms to save injured individuals across different taxa...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Pasquale Stano, Emiliano Altamura, Fabio Mavelli
Important progresses have been achieved in the past years in the field of bottom-up synthetic biology, especially aiming at constructing cell-like systems based on lipid vesicles (liposomes) entrapping both biomolecules or synthetic compounds. These "synthetic cells" mimic the behaviour of biological cells but are constituted by a minimal number of components. One key aspect related to this research is the energetic needs of synthetic cells. Up to now, high-energy compounds have been given in order to drive biochemical reactions inside the vesicle lumen...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
David T Blake, Alvin V Terry, Marc Plagenhoef, Christos Constantinidis, Ruifeng Liu
The brain's cholinergic arousal pathways decline in parallel with the brain's executive functions in aging and Alzheimer's Disease. The frontline and currently most effective approach to treating Alzheimer's disease is the administration of cholinesterase inhibitors, which, in a dose dependent manner, improve the symptoms of cognitive decline over the first months of treatment before further decline occurs. We recently showed that intermittent deep brain stimulation of the nucleus basalis of Meynert improves working memory function in young adult monkeys, and that this improvement depended on cholinergic function...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Luc H Arnal, Andreas K Kleinschmidt
The ability to precisely anticipate the timing of upcoming events at the time-scale of seconds is essential to predict objects' trajectories or to select relevant sensory information. What neurophysiological mechanism underlies the temporal precision in anticipating the occurrence of events? In a recent article,1 we demonstrated that the sensori-motor system predictively controls neural oscillations in time to optimize sensory selection. However, whether and how the same oscillatory processes can be used to keep track of elapsing time and evaluate short durations remains unclear...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
T Hassenkam, M T Rosing
3.7 Billion year old inclusions inside garnet crystals contain13 C depleted carbonaceous material consistent with biogenic origin. Additional evidence in the form of the other elements of life mainly O, N and P were found to be structural bound to this material by using a new technique, AFM-IR. Here we show additional evidence that support our claim. By overlaying maps generated by the AFM-IR we show how the location of 100's of nm sized contiguous domains of nitrile and possibly phosphonate overlap inside the inclusion...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Diana Molino, Anna Chiara Nascimbeni, Francesca Giordano, Patrice Codogno, Etienne Morel
Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER), spreading in the whole cell cytoplasm, is a central player in eukaryotic cell homeostasis, from plants to mammals. Beside crucial functions, such as membrane lipids and proteins synthesis and outward transport, the ER is able to connect to virtually every endomembrane compartment by specific tethering molecular machineries, which enables the establishment of membrane-membrane contact sites. ER-mitochondria contact sites have been shown to be involved in autophagosome biogenesis, the main organelle of the autophagy degradation pathway...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Akifumi Sugiyama, Yusuke Unno, Ui Ono, Emon Yoshikawa, Hideyuki Suzuki, Kiwamu Minamisawa, Kazufumi Yazaki
Since the domestication of soybean ( Glycine max ) about 4,500 years ago, thousands of local cultivars have been developed around the world. In Japan, black soybeans grown in the mountainous region of central Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures, called the Tamba region, are well known for large seeds and palatability. The yields of black soybean in the Tamba region of Kyoto have decreased during the past few decades, and the involvement of rhizosphere microbes in the yield decline has been suggested. We analyzed bacterial communities of the soybean rhizosphere on 7 farms managed under different strategies...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Míriam Osés-Ruiz, Nicholas J Talbot
The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae forms a specialized infection structure called appressorium which uses a turgor-driven mechanical process to breach the leaf cuticle and gain entry into plant tissue. Appressorium development and plant infection are regulated by cell cycle progression and critically depend upon two, temporally separated S-phase checkpoints. Following conidial germination on the rice leaf surface, an S-phase checkpoint is essential for appressorium differentiation and operates through the DNA damage response pathway...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
Francisco Sarmento Mesquita, Cláudia Brito, Didier Cabanes, Sandra Sousa
Following damage by pore forming toxins (PFTs) host cells engage repair processes and display profound cytoskeletal remodeling and concomitant plasma membrane (PM) blebbing. We have recently demonstrated that host cells utilize similar mechanisms to control cytoskeletal dynamics in response to PFTs and during cell migration. This involves assembly of cortical actomyosin bundles, reorganisation of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network, and the interaction between the ER chaperone Gp96 and the molecular motor Non-muscle Myosin Heavy Chain IIA (NMHCIIA)...
2017: Communicative & Integrative Biology
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