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Simon G Potts, Peter Neumann, Bernard Vaissière, Nicolas J Vereecken
The notion that robotic crop pollination will solve the decline in pollinators has gained wide popularity recently (Fig. 1), and in March 2018 Walmart filed a patent for autonomous robot bees. However, w present six arguments showing that this is a technically and economically inviable 'solution' at present and poses substantial ecological and moral risks: (1) despite recent advances, robotic pollination is far from being able to replace bees to pollinate crops efficiently; (2) using robots is very unlikely to be economically viable; (3) there would be unacceptably high environmental costs; (4) wider ecosystems would be damaged; (5) it would erode the values of biodiversity; and, (6) relying on robotic pollination could actually lead to major food insecurity...
June 14, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Bryan R Helm, Scott Payne, Joseph P Rinehart, George D Yocum, Julia H Bowsher, Kendra J Greenlee
Insect metamorphosis involves a complex change in form and function. In this study, we examined development of the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata, using micro-computed tomography (μCT) and volume analysis. We describe volumetric changes of brain, tracheae, flight muscles, gut, and fat bodies in prepupal, pupal, and adult M. rotundata. We observed that individual organ systems have distinct patterns of developmental progression, which vary in their timing and duration. This has important implications for commercial management of this agriculturally relevant pollinator...
June 14, 2018: Arthropod Structure & Development
Suk Ling Wee, Shwu Bing Tan, Andreas Jürgens
The plants of the enigmatic genus Rafflesia are well known for their gigantic flowers and their floral features such as pungent floral scent and vivid dark color, which mimics the food/brood sites of carrion. However, information on the pollination biology of this plant group remains limited and mostly anecdotal. In the present paper, we studied the floral volatiles of R. cantleyi Solms-Laubach and their role in pollinator attraction. To achieve these aims, the floral scent was collected in situ in the field using a dynamic headspace method followed by chemical analysis via GC-MS...
June 12, 2018: Phytochemistry
Ikuko Amano, Sakihito Kitajima, Hideyuki Suzuki, Takao Koeduka, Nobukazu Shitan
The biosynthesis of plant secondary metabolites is associated with morphological and metabolic differentiation. As a consequence, gene expression profiles can change drastically, and primary and secondary metabolites, including intermediate and end-products, move dynamically within and between cells. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying differentiation and transport mechanisms. In this study, we performed a transcriptome analysis of Petunia axillaris subsp. parodii, which produces various volatiles in its corolla limbs and emits metabolites to attract pollinators...
2018: PloS One
Maria A Gandolfo, Kevin C Nixon, William L Crepet, David A Grimaldi
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: An inflorescence with three pistillate flowers in amber from the early Upper Cretaceous (Turonian, ~90-94 million years ago) of central New Jersey represents the oldest known flowers with features present in an early stem complex of the Fagales. The inflorescence has characteristics of Nothofagaceae, but also has strikingly distinct characters that suggest it is intermediate between Nothofagus and other Fagales. This intermediacy is consistent with its northern hemisphere distribution...
June 14, 2018: American Journal of Botany
Fengzhan Gao, Baofeng Liu, Min Li, Xiaoyan Gao, Qiang Fang, Chang Liu, Hui Ding, Li Wang, Xiang Gao
The origin of flower scents is a crucial event in biological evolution, which provides olfactory signals to attract pollinators. In this study, bioinformatic, metabolomics, biochemical and molecular methodologies were integrated to investigate the candidate genes involved in the biosynthesis of volatile components (VOCs) in two cultivars of Freesia hybrida, Red River® and Ambiance, which released different categories of compounds. We found that terpene synthase (TPS) genes were the pivotal genes determining spatiotemporal release of the VOCs in both cultivars...
June 12, 2018: Journal of Experimental Botany
Lynae P Ovinge, Shelley E Hoover
We compare two different sizes of honey bee colony units: singles (one brood chamber) and doubles (two brood chambers) in hybrid seed canola pollination in southern Alberta in 2014 and 2015. Currently, canola seed production companies only contract double-brood chamber units to pollinate canola in southern Alberta, but it may be advantageous to the industry if singles could also be contracted for pollination, as they are in many other crops. To evaluate the differences between the colony units, we measured population size, nectar and pollen foraging, nectar and pollen load weights, pollen collection, and honey production...
June 12, 2018: Journal of Economic Entomology
Andrew V Gougherty, Steven W Gougherty
While much research has focused on the timing of individual plant phenological events, the sequence of phenological events has received considerably less attention. Here we identify drivers and patterns of flower and leaf emergence sequence (FLS) in deciduous tree species of the Great Lakes region of North America. Five hypotheses related to cold tolerance, water dynamics, seed mass, pollination syndrome, and xylem anatomy type were compared for their ability to explain FLS. Phylogenetic and geographic patterns of FLS were also assessed...
June 14, 2018: New Phytologist
Man Wang, Zhibin Chen, Huairen Zhang, Huabang Chen, Xiquan Gao
In maize ( Zea mays L.), unilateral cross-incompatibility (UCI) is controlled by Gametophyte factors ( Ga ), including Ga1 , Ga2 , and Tcb1 ; however, the molecular mechanisms underpinning this process remain unexplored. Here, we report the pollination phenotype of an inbred line, 511L, which carries a near-dominant Ga2 - S allele. We performed a high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis of the compatible and incompatible crosses between 511L and B73, to identify the transcriptomic differences associated with Ga2 -mediated UCI...
June 13, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Rodrigo Medel, Catalina González-Browne, Daniela Salazar, Pedro Ferrer, Mildred Ehrenfeld
G. L. Stebbins' most effective pollinator principle states that when pollinators are not limiting, plants are expected to specialize and adapt to the most abundant and effective pollinator species available. In this study, we quantify the effectiveness of bees, hummingbirds and hawkmoths in a Chilean population of Erythranthe lutea (Phrymaceae), and examine whether flower traits are subject to pollinator-mediated selection by the most effective pollinator species during two consecutive years. Unlike most species in the pollinator community, the visitation rate of the recently arrived Bombus terrestris did not change substantially between years, which together with its high and stable pollen delivery to flower stigmas made this species the most important in the pollinator assemblage, followed by the solitary bee Centris nigerrima Flower traits were under significant selection in the direction expected for short-tongue bees, suggesting that E...
June 2018: Biology Letters
Chuliang Song, Serguei Saavedra
The timing of the first and last seasonal appearance of a species in a community typically follows a pattern that is governed by temporal factors. While it has been shown that changes in the environment are linked to phenological changes, the direction of this link appears elusive and context-dependent. Thus, finding consistent predictors of phenological events is of central importance for a better assessment of expected changes in the temporal dynamics of ecological communities. Here we introduce a measure of structural stability derived from species interaction networks as an estimator of the expected range of environmental conditions compatible with the existence of a community...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Mar Leza, Kristal M Watrous, Jade Bratu, S Hollis Woodard
Bumblebees are among the world's most important groups of pollinating insects in natural and agricultural ecosystems. Each spring, queen bumblebees emerge from overwintering and initiate new nests, which ultimately give rise to workers and new reproductives later in the season. Nest initiation and survival are thus key drivers of both bumblebee pollination services and population dynamics. We performed the first laboratory experiment with the model bumblebee species Bombus impatiens that explores how early nesting success is impacted by the effects of temporary or more sustained exposure to sublethal levels of a neonicotinoid-type insecticide (imidacloprid at 5 ppb in nectar) and by reliance on a monofloral pollen diet, two factors that have been previously implicated in bumblebee decline...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
David A Lawson, Lars Chittka, Heather M Whitney, Sean A Rands
Flowers act as multisensory billboards to pollinators by using a range of sensory modalities such as visual patterns and scents. Different floral organs release differing compositions and quantities of the volatiles contributing to floral scent, suggesting that scent may be patterned within flowers. Early experiments suggested that pollinators can distinguish between the scents of differing floral regions, but little is known about how these potential scent patterns might influence pollinators. We show that bumblebees can learn different spatial patterns of the same scent, and that they are better at learning to distinguish between flowers when the scent pattern corresponds to a matching visual pattern...
June 13, 2018: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Dori McCombe, Josef D Ackerman
Particle capture is important for ecological processes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. The current model is based on a stationary collector for which predictions about capture efficiency (η; flux of captured particles ∶ flux of particles) are based on the collector flow environment (i.e., collector Reynolds number, Rec ; inertial force ∶ viscous force). This model does not account for the movement of collectors in nature. We examined the effect of collector motion (transverse and longitudinal to the flow) on η using a cylindrical model in the lab and the grass species Phleum pratense in the field...
July 2018: American Naturalist
E La Orden Izquierdo, C Gutiérrez Junquera, I Mahillo-Fernández, J Subiza Garrido-Lestache, E Román Riechmann
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The incidence of eosinophilic esophagitis is unknown in our area. The aim of our study is to determine the incidence of diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis and its possible association with the most frequent absolute annual pollen counts. METHODS: A descriptive retrospective multicenter observational study was designed to calculate the incidence of eosinophilic esophagitis in children under 15 years in the southwest of the region of Madrid in 2002-2013 (provided by the Statistics Institute of Madrid)...
June 13, 2018: Journal of Investigational Allergology & Clinical Immunology
Angel F Farinas, Ravinder Bamba, Alonda C Pollins, Nancy L Cardwell, Lillian B Nanney, Wesley P Thayer
BACKGROUND: Individuals in the geriatric age range are more prone than younger individuals to convert their partial thickness thermal burns into full thickness injuries. We hypothesized that this often observed clinical phenomenon is strongly related to differential local injury responses mediated by the immune system. MATERIALS & METHODS: Skin samples from areas with partial thickness thermal burns were obtained during routine excision and grafting procedures between post burn days 2-6...
June 9, 2018: Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Ando Misaki, Tomoyuki Itagaki, Yutaka Matsubara, Satoki Sakai
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Plants that secrete abundant nectar attract many pollinator visits, potentially leading to a high frequency of geitonogamous pollination. However, intraflower variation in nectar volume might enhance early departure from the flower or inflorescence, reducing geitonogamy. To examine the adaptive significance of multiple nectar-producing spurs within flowers, we related intraflower variation in nectar characteristics to pollinator foraging behavior and plant reproductive success in protandrous Aquilegia buergeriana var...
June 12, 2018: American Journal of Botany
Meishan Zhang, Ruili Lv, Wei Yang, Tiansi Fu, Bao Liu
Imprinted gene expression in flowering plants predominantly occurs in the triploid endosperm of developing seed. However, endosperm is composed of distinct tissue types. For example, the maize (Zea mays) endosperm is constituted by two major tissues, starchy endosperm and aleurone. Previous studies in imprinted gene expression have generally assumed that the different tissues constituting endosperm would behavior the same, and hence have not examined them separately. Here, to examine parental-specific expression of imprinted genes in different parts of the seed, eight previously reported maize protein-coding imprinted genes were selected, and analyzed by cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) coupled with Sanger sequencing for transcripts from the various seed tissues collected at 18 days after pollination (DAP)...
January 2018: Genes & Genomics
Dana C Roberts, Shelby J Fleischer, Joyce M Sakamoto, Jason L Rasgon
AIMS: We aim to determine if Pseudomonas fluorescens is a viable biological control for Erwinia tracheiphila within the insect vector, Acalymma vittatum. METHODS AND RESULTS: Pseudomonas fluorescens secreted fluorescein and inhibited growth of Erwinia tracheiphila in disk diffusion assays. To determine if this antagonism was conserved within the insect vector, we performed in vivo assays by orally injecting beetles with bacterial treatments and fluorescent in situ hybridization to determine bacterial presence within the alimentary canal...
June 11, 2018: Journal of Applied Microbiology
Yudai Okuyama, Tomoko Okamoto, Jostein Kjaerandsen, Makoto Kato
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
June 11, 2018: Ecology
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