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Max Kolton, Ellen R Graber, Ludmila Tsehansky, Yigal Elad, Eddie Cytryn
The 'biochar effect' depicts a phenomenon in which biochar soil amendment enhances plant performance by promoting growth and suppressing disease. Although this phenomenon has been observed in numerous studies, the mode of action that explains it is currently unknown. In order to elucidate mechanisms responsible for the 'biochar effect', we comprehensively monitored tomato plant development and resistance to the foliar fungal pathogen Botrytis cinerea, in biochar-amended and nonamended soils using native biochar and washed biochar, striped of labile chemical constituents...
October 25, 2016: New Phytologist
Wioleta Chajęcka-Wierzchowska, Anna Zadernowska, Łucja Łaniewska-Trokenheim
The objective of the study was to answer the question of whether the ready-to-eat meat products can pose indirect hazard for consumer health serving as reservoir of Enterococcus strains harboring tetracyclines, aminoglycosides, and macrolides resistance genes. A total of 390 samples of ready-to-eat meat products were investigated. Enterococcus strains were found in 74.1% of the samples. A total of 302 strains were classified as: Enterococcus faecalis (48.7%), Enterococcus faecium (39.7%), Enterococcus casseliflavus (4...
October 25, 2016: Journal of Food Science
Peter Werner Roesky, Claude Kiefer, Sebastian Bestgen, Michael T Gamer, Michael Kühn, Sergei Lebedkin, Florian Weigend, Manfred M Kappes
Bis-phenylpropynyl-functionalized imidazolium salts and their corresponding gold and copper NHC complexes were prepared in order to investigate their potential application for the synthesis of heterometallic coinage metal compounds. By transmetallation reactions with different precious metal sources including copper and silver phenylacetylides [MCCPh]x (M = Cu, Ag), polynuclear molecules were obtained, which were further investigated for their photoluminescence properties. Additionally, one gold NHC complex was post-functionalized by autocatalytic hydration of the alkynyl side chains...
October 25, 2016: Chemistry: a European Journal
José R Valverde, Sonia Gullón, Rafael Pérez Mellado
INTRODUCTION: Biological communities present in soil are essential to sustainable and productive agricultural practices; however, an accurate determination of the ecological status of agricultural soils remains to date an elusive task. An ideal indicator should be pervasive, play a relevant role in the ecosystem, show a rapid and proportional answer to external perturbations and be easily and economically measurable. Rhizobacteria play a major role in determining soil properties, becoming an attractive candidate for the detection of ecological indicators...
2016: PloS One
Luciano Rogério Braatz de Andrade, Roberto Fritsche Neto, Ítalo Stefanine Correia Granato, Gustavo César Sant'Ana, Pedro Patric Pinho Morais, Aluízio Borém
A few breeding companies dominate the maize (Zea mays L.) hybrid market in Brazil: Monsanto® (35%), DuPont Pioneer® (30%), Dow Agrosciences® (15%), Syngenta® (10%) and Helix Sementes (4%). Therefore, it is important to monitor the genetic diversity in commercial germplasms as breeding practices, registration and marketing of new cultivars can lead to a significant reduction of the genetic diversity. Reduced genetic variation may lead to crop vulnerabilities, food insecurity and limited genetic gains following selection...
2016: PloS One
Kathryn S Carpentier, Nicolle M Esparo, Stephanie J Child, Adam P Geballe
During millions of years of coevolution with their hosts, cytomegaloviruses (CMVs) have succeeded in adapting to overcome host-specific immune defenses, including the protein kinase R (PKR) pathway. Consequently, these adaptations may also contribute to the inability of CMVs to cross species barriers. Here, we provide evidence that the evolutionary arms race between the antiviral factor PKR and its CMV antagonist TRS1 has led to extensive differences in the species-specificity of primate CMV TRS1 proteins. Moreover, we identify a single residue in human PKR that when mutated to the amino acid present in African green monkey (Agm) PKR (F489S) is sufficient to confer resistance to HCMVTRS1...
October 2016: PLoS Pathogens
Steven M Grodsky, Christopher E Moorman, Sarah R Fritts, Steven B Castleberry, T Bently Wigley
Forest regeneration following timber harvest is a principal source of habitat for early-successional birds and characterized by influxes of early-successional vegetation and residual downed woody material. Early-successional birds may use harvest residues for communication, cover, foraging, and nesting. Yet, increased market viability of woody biomass as bioenergy feedstock may intensify harvest residue removal. Our objectives were to: 1) evaluate effects of varying intensities of woody biomass harvest on the early-successional bird community; and (2) document early-successional bird use of harvest residues in regenerating stands...
2016: PloS One
Jennifer R Honda, Nabeeh A Hasan, Rebecca M Davidson, Myra D Williams, L Elaine Epperson, Paul R Reynolds, Terry Smith, Elena Iakhiaeva, Matthew J Bankowski, Richard J Wallace, Edward D Chan, Joseph O Falkinham, Michael Strong
Lung disease caused by nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) is an emerging infectious disease of global significance. Epidemiologic studies have shown the Hawaiian Islands have the highest prevalence of NTM lung infections in the United States. However, potential environmental reservoirs and species diversity have not been characterized. In this cross-sectional study, we describe molecular and phylogenetic comparisons of NTM isolated from 172 household plumbing biofilms and soil samples from 62 non-patient households and 15 respiratory specimens...
October 2016: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Ala Khazendar, Eric Rignot, Dustin M Schroeder, Helene Seroussi, Michael P Schodlok, Bernd Scheuchl, Jeremie Mouginot, Tyler C Sutterley, Isabella Velicogna
Enhanced submarine ice-shelf melting strongly controls ice loss in the Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica, but its magnitude is not well known in the critical grounding zones of the ASE's major glaciers. Here we directly quantify bottom ice losses along tens of kilometres with airborne radar sounding of the Dotson and Crosson ice shelves, which buttress the rapidly changing Smith, Pope and Kohler glaciers. Melting in the grounding zones is found to be much higher than steady-state levels, removing 300-490 m of solid ice between 2002 and 2009 beneath the retreating Smith Glacier...
October 25, 2016: Nature Communications
Kenneth D Birnbaum
Plants often make the same organ in different development contexts. Roots are a quintessential example, with embryonic, primary, lateral, adventitious, and regenerative roots common to many plants. The cellular origins and early morphologies of different roots can vary greatly, but the adult structures can be remarkably similar. Recent studies have highlighted the diversity of mechanisms that can initiate roots while late patterning mechanisms are frequently shared. In the middle stages when patterning emerges, evidence shows that antagonistic auxin-cytokinin interactions regulate tissue patterns in root embryogenesis, vascular organization, and regeneration but it is not yet clear if a common ontogeny for the root body plan exists...
October 22, 2016: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Tetsuro Kikuchi, Manabu Fujii, Koumei Terao, Ran Jiwei, Ying Ping Lee, Chihiro Yoshimura
Chemical speciation, reactivity, and bioavailability of trace metals in aqueous systems arestrongly influenced by dissolved organic matter (DOM). DOM is a mixture of diverse components, so a range of organic molecules potentially participates in the occurrence of dissolved trace metals. In this study, we investigated water quality variables that influence dissolved trace metal concentrations in natural and effluent water systems with a particular attention given to the relationship between DOM optical properties and dissolved copper and iron concentrations...
October 22, 2016: Science of the Total Environment
Kit D Longden
Color is famous for not existing in the external world: our brains create the perception of color from the spatial and temporal patterns of the wavelength and intensity of light. For an intangible quality, we have detailed knowledge of its origins and consequences. Much is known about the organization and evolution of the first phases of color processing, the filtering of light in the eye and processing in the retina, and about the final phases, the roles of color in behavior and natural selection. To understand how color processing in the central brain has evolved, we need well-defined pathways or circuitry where we can gauge how color contributes to the computations involved in specific behaviors...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Binyamin Hochner, David L Glanzman
Members of the phylum Mollusca demonstrate the animal kingdom's tremendous diversity of body morphology, size and complexity of the nervous system, as well as diversity of behavioral repertoires, ranging from very simple to highly flexible. Molluscs include Solenogastres, with their worm-like bodies and behavior (see phylogenetic tree; Figure 1); Bivalvia (mussels and clams), protected by shells and practically immobile; and the cephalopods, such as the octopus, cuttlefish and squid. The latter are strange-looking animals with nervous systems comprising up to half a billion neurons, which mediate the complex behaviors that characterize these freely moving, highly visual predators...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Carmen Ramona Smarandache-Wellmann
Arthropods are very diverse, come in many different forms with diverse adaptations, and through such diversity have populated all environmental niches on the planet. Almost 80% of the animals on planet Earth belong to this phylum. Despite their very diverse phenotypes they share fundamental similarities which were previously used to generate a phylogenetic tree. All arthropods have segmented bodies and possess jointed limbs at all or many of their body segments. An additional common feature of arthropods is their exoskeleton, made mainly of chitin and/or sclerotin...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
William Schafer
Nematodes comprise one of the largest phyla in the animal kingdom, both in terms of individual numbers and species diversity. Although only 20,000-30,000 species have been described, it is estimated that the true number ranges between 100,000 and 10 million. Marine, freshwater, and terrestrial species are all widespread, and some nematodes have even been isolated from such inhospitable environments as deserts, hot springs, and polar seas. Some nematode species are parasitic, with either plant or animal hosts; other species are free-living microbivores, scavengers, or predators of insects or other nematodes...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Michael J Bok, Dan-Eric Nilsson
A quick guide to the diverse and unusual eyes of polychaete fan worms, by Michael Bok and Dan-Eric Nilsson.
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Sten Grillner, Brita Robertson
The lamprey belongs to the phylogenetically oldest group of vertebrates that diverged from the mammalian evolutionary line 560 million years ago. A comparison between the lamprey and mammalian basal ganglia establishes a detailed similarity regarding its input from cortex/pallium and thalamus, as well as its intrinsic organisation and projections of the output nuclei. This means that the basal ganglia circuits now present in rodents and primates most likely had evolved already at the dawn of vertebrate evolution...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
William J Joiner
Despite decades of intense study, the functions of sleep are still shrouded in mystery. The difficulty in understanding these functions can be at least partly attributed to the varied manifestations of sleep in different animals. Daily sleep duration can range from 4-20 hrs among mammals, and sleep can manifest throughout the brain, or it can alternate over time between cerebral hemispheres, depending on the species. Ecological factors are likely to have shaped these and other sleep behaviors during evolution by altering the properties of conserved arousal circuits in the brain...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Daniel M Bear, Jean-Marc Lassance, Hopi E Hoekstra, Sandeep Robert Datta
Evolution sculpts the olfactory nervous system in response to the unique sensory challenges facing each species. In vertebrates, dramatic and diverse adaptations to the chemical environment are possible because of the hierarchical structure of the olfactory receptor (OR) gene superfamily: expansion or contraction of OR subfamilies accompanies major changes in habitat and lifestyle; independent selection on OR subfamilies can permit local adaptation or conserved chemical communication; and genetic variation in single OR genes can alter odor percepts and behaviors driven by precise chemical cues...
October 24, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Michael Argenyi
Applicants to medical schools who are deaf and hard of hearing (DHoH) or who have other disabilities face significant barriers to medical school admission. One commonly cited barrier to admission is medical schools' technical standards (TS) for admission, advancement, and graduation. Ethical values of diversity and equity support altering the technical standards to be more inclusive of people with disabilities. Incorporating these values into admissions, advancement, and graduation considerations for DHoH and other students with disabilities can contribute to the physician workforce being more representative of the diverse patients it serves and better able to care for them...
October 1, 2016: AMA Journal of Ethics
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