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Saikat Chakraborty, Shantanu P Shukla, K P Arunkumar, Javaregowda Nagaraju, Raghavendra Gadagkar
Ropalidia marginata is a social wasp in which colonies consist of a single fertile queen and several sterile workers. If the queen is removed, one of the workers, potential queen (PQ), becomes hyperaggressive and becomes the next queen. The identity of the PQ cannot be predicted in the presence of the queen. The probability of a worker succeeding the queen is uncorrelated with her body size, dominance rank, ovarian or mating status, but imperfectly correlated with her age. Here, we investigate whether genetic relatedness help to predict the queen's successors...
June 2018: Journal of Genetics
M Leobold, A Bézier, A Pichon, E A Herniou, A-N Volkoff, J-M Drezen
Polydnaviruses (PDVs) are compelling examples of viral domestication, in which wasps express a large set of genes originating from a chromosomally integrated virus to produce particles necessary for their reproductive success. Parasitoid wasps generally use PDVs as a virulence gene delivery system allowing the protection of their progeny in the body of parasitized host. However, in the wasp Venturia canescens an independent viral domestication process led to an alternative strategy as the wasp incorporates virulence proteins in viral liposomes named Virus-like Particles (VLPs), instead of DNA molecules...
June 20, 2018: Genome Biology and Evolution
Grech Victor
Slide show presentations have become integral to the workplace, and PowerPoint is ubiquitous since it ships with the Microsoft Office Suite. However, the increasing sophistication of such software may encourage presenters to privilege form over content. It is possible to apply scientific research from Educational Psychology to slide shows so as to not only avoid this fate but also to optimise presentations. This paper applies several Educational Psychology concepts to PowerPoint, most notably those of Mayer's Multimedia Learning Theory, and will emphasise and demonstrate that the quality of a presentation is dependent on the quality, relevance, and integrity of its content...
June 18, 2018: Early Human Development
Benjamin R Schrank, Tomas Aparicio, Yinyin Li, Wakam Chang, Brian T Chait, Gregg G Gundersen, Max E Gottesman, Jean Gautier
DNA double-strand breaks repaired by non-homologous end joining display limited DNA end-processing and chromosomal mobility. By contrast, double-strand breaks undergoing homology-directed repair exhibit extensive processing and enhanced motion. The molecular basis of this movement is unknown. Here, using Xenopus laevis cell-free extracts and mammalian cells, we establish that nuclear actin, WASP, and the actin-nucleating ARP2/3 complex are recruited to damaged chromatin undergoing homology-directed repair. We demonstrate that nuclear actin polymerization is required for the migration of a subset of double-strand breaks into discrete sub-nuclear clusters...
June 20, 2018: Nature
P K Piekarski, J M Carpenter, A R Lemmon, E Moriarty Lemmon, B J Sharanowski
The hypothesis that eusociality originated once in Vespidae has shaped interpretation of social evolution for decades and has driven the supposition that preimaginal morphophysiological differences between castes were absent at the outset of eusociality. Many researchers also consider casteless nest-sharing an antecedent to eusociality. Together, these ideas endorse a stepwise progression of social evolution in wasps (solitary → casteless nest-sharing → eusociality with rudimentary behavioral castes → eusociality with preimaginal caste-biasing → morphologically differentiated castes)...
June 19, 2018: Molecular Biology and Evolution
Li Fan, Yichao Lu, Xiulian Shen, Hong Shao, Lun Suo, Qiang Wu
Diverse clustered protocadherins are thought to function in neurite morphogenesis and neuronal connectivity in the brain. Here we report that the protocadherin alpha ( Pcdha ) gene cluster regulates neuronal migration during cortical development and cytoskeletal dynamics in primary cortical culture through the WAVE (Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome family verprolin homologous protein, also known as WASP or Wasf) complex. In addition, overexpression of proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2, also known as Ptk2b, Cakb, Raftk, Fak2, and Cadtk), a non-receptor cell-adhesion kinase and scaffold protein downstream of Pcdha, impairs cortical neuron migration via inactivation of the small GTPase Rac1...
June 18, 2018: ELife
Xiaoling Chen, Luyao Zhang, Yue Wu, Lei Wang, Chengbang Ma, Xinping Xi, Olaf R P Bininda-Emonds, Chris Shaw, Tianbao Chen, Mei Zhou
Mastoparan is a typical cationic and amphipathic tetradecapeptide found in wasp venom and exhibits potent biological activities. Yet, compared with other insect-derived peptides, such as melittin from the bee venom, this family have been underrated. Herein, we evaluated the biological activities of mastoparan-C (MP-C), which was identified from the venom of the European Hornet ( Vespa crabro ), and rationally designed two analogues (a skeleton-based cyclization by two cysteine residues and an N-terminal extension via tat-linked) for enhancing the stability of the biological activity and membrane permeability, respectively...
2018: International Journal of Biological Sciences
Eduardo G P Fox, Meng Xu, Lei Wang, Li Chen, Yong-Yue Lu
This paper summarises gas-chromatography (GC-MS) and preliminary UV-spectroscopy analyses data of fresh, unmodified venom of aculeate hymenopterans (ants, bees, wasps), mainly focusing on red imported fire ants. No solvents nor fractionation were used at any point, which is a novel approach to describing integral toxins cocktails as proposed by Fox et al. (2018a) [1] 10.1016/j.toxicon.2018.02.050 where these results are discussed in deeper details. Herein we focus on further characterising the obtained venom extracted through a novel approach...
June 2018: Data in Brief
Salvatore J Agosta, Kanchan A Joshi, Karen M Kester
Understanding how climate change affects host-parasite systems and predicting the consequences for ecosystems, economies, and human health has emerged as an important task for science and society. Some basic insight into this complex problem can be gained by comparing the thermal physiology of interacting host and parasite species. In this study, we compared upper thermal tolerance among three component species in a natural host-parasitoid-hyperparasitoid system from Virginia, USA. To assess the ecological relevance of our results, we also examined a record of maximum daily air temperatures collected near the study site in the last 124 years...
2018: PloS One
Dane C Elmquist, Peter J Landolt
We investigated associative learning of food odors by the European paper wasp Polistes dominula Christ (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) because of consistent low rates of attraction to food materials in laboratory assays. We hypothesized that wasps in nature exhibit nonspecific food-finding behavior until locating a suitable food, and then respond more strongly and specifically to odors associated with that food reward. Female P. dominula workers exhibited higher rates of attraction in a flight tunnel to piped odors of fermented fruit purees following previous experience with that puree, compared to wasps with no prior experience with the fermented fruits...
June 9, 2018: Environmental Entomology
Sergei Popov, Elena Popova, Michio Inoue, Yuanfei Wu, Heinrich Göttlinger
The p2b domain of Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) Gag and the p6 domain of HIV-1 Gag contain late assembly (L) domains that engage the ESCRT membrane fission machinery and are essential for virus release. We now show that the PPXY-type RSV L domain specifically recruits the BAR domain protein PACSIN2 into virus-like particles (VLP), in addition to the NEDD4-like ubiquitin ligase ITCH and ESCRT pathway components such as TSG101. PACSIN2, which has been implicated in the remodeling of cellular membranes and the actin cytoskeleton, is also recruited by HIV-1 p6 independent of its ability to engage the ESCRT factors TSG101 or ALIX...
June 11, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Sergio Rivas, Inés M Antón, Francisco Wandosell
Wild-type p53 (wtp53) is described as a tumour suppressor gene, and mutations in p53 occur in many human cancers. Indeed, in high-grade malignant glioma, numerous molecular genetics studies have established central roles of RTK-PI3K-PTEN and ARF-MDM2-p53 INK4a-RB pathways in promoting oncogenic capacity. Deregulation of these signalling pathways, among others, drives changes in the glial/stem cell state and environment that permit autonomous growth. The initially transformed cell may undergo subsequent modifications, acquiring a more complete tumour-initiating phenotype responsible for disease advancement to stages that are more aggressive...
June 9, 2018: Cancers
Leonardo Almeida-Souza, Rene A W Frank, Javier García-Nafría, Adeline Colussi, Nushan Gunawardana, Christopher M Johnson, Minmin Yu, Gillian Howard, Byron Andrews, Yvonne Vallis, Harvey T McMahon
Multiple proteins act co-operatively in mammalian clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) to generate endocytic vesicles from the plasma membrane. The principles controlling the activation and organization of the actin cytoskeleton during mammalian CME are, however, not fully understood. Here, we show that the protein FCHSD2 is a major activator of actin polymerization during CME. FCHSD2 deletion leads to decreased ligand uptake caused by slowed pit maturation. FCHSD2 is recruited to endocytic pits by the scaffold protein intersectin via an unusual SH3-SH3 interaction...
June 4, 2018: Cell
Victor Ukleev, Sergey Suturin, Taro Nakajima, Taka-Hisa Arima, Thomas Saerbeck, Takayasu Hanashima, Alla Sitnikova, Demid Kirilenko, Nikolai Yakovlev, Nikolai Sokolov
The metastable ε-Fe2 O3 is known to be the most intriguing ferrimagnetic and multiferroic iron oxide phase exhibiting a bunch of exciting physical properties both below and above room temperature. The present paper unveils the structural and magnetic peculiarities of a few nm thick interface layer discovered in these films by a number of techniques. The polarized neutron reflectometry data suggests that the interface layer resembles GaFeO3 in composition and density and is magnetically softer than the rest of the ε-Fe2 O3 film...
June 7, 2018: Scientific Reports
Zhi-Zhi Wang, Xi-Qian Ye, Min Shi, Fei Li, Ze-Hua Wang, Yue-Nan Zhou, Qi-Juan Gu, Xiao-Tong Wu, Chuan-Lin Yin, Dian-Hao Guo, Rong-Min Hu, Na-Na Hu, Ting Chen, Bo-Ying Zheng, Jia-Ni Zou, Le-Qing Zhan, Shu-Jun Wei, Yan-Ping Wang, Jian-Hua Huang, Xiao-Dong Fang, Michael R Strand, Xue-Xin Chen
Parasitic wasps produce several factors including venom, polydnaviruses (PDVs) and specialized wasp cells named teratocytes that benefit the survival of offspring by altering the physiology of hosts. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms for the alterations remain unclear. Here we find that the teratocytes of Cotesia vestalis, an endoparasitoid of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella, and its associated bracovirus (CvBV) can produce miRNAs and deliver the products into the host via different ways...
June 7, 2018: Nature Communications
Pierre Mallia
Past experience in science has thought us the importance of ethics in research. Research is important to the advancement of medicine and therefore good clinical practice in research maintains public trust which otherwise is not only lost but may cause science to seem negative. The rights of participants in the research trial are discussed. This includes knowledge and information about the research itself, the obligations of the researchers and the rights of participants during the research. The EU Directive on Good Clinical Practice in research trials is reviewed, including the twelve principles of the directive...
June 4, 2018: Early Human Development
Marinus L de Jager, Rod Peakall
Background and Aims: Selection exerted by pollinators on flowers is predicted to occur along two distinct axes. While pollinator attraction to flowers is governed by pollinator preferences, pollen transfer efficiency is mediated by the mechanical fit of pollinators to flower morphology. Although pollinator attraction in sexually deceptive orchids is typically underpinned by floral odour, morphological traits are expected to play a vital role in mechanical fit during floral contact with pollinators...
June 7, 2018: Annals of Botany
Tamara Spasojevic, Sonja Wedmann, Seraina Klopfstein
Parasitoid wasps of the family Ichneumonidae are one of the most diverse and species-rich groups of organisms with a worldwide distribution. We here describe seven new ichneumonid fossil species and two new genera from a remarkable insect fossil site, the Eocene Messel Pit in Germany (~47Ma). The unique fossil preservation allows us to place five out of the seven new species unequivocally in extant subfamilies and genera. For the first time, lobed claws which are a clear synapomorphy for the subfamily Pimplinae, are observed in a fossil, making the newly described Scambus fossilobus sp...
2018: PloS One
André Rodrigues de Souza, Talitta Guimarães Simões, Markus J Rantala, Eduardo Fernando Santos, José Lino-Netto, Fábio Santos do Nascimento
It has been recently suggested that female mate choice, based on sexually selected ornaments, is an important component of social wasps' reproductive biology. The correlates of male ornaments that could be of a female's interest, however, remain to be investigated. Males of the Neotropical paper wasp Polistes simillimus have sexually dimorphic melanin-based black spots on their faces. In this species, male spots work like sexual ornaments, as it has been experimentally demonstrated that females prefer sexual partners with a higher proportion of black pigment on their faces...
June 2, 2018: Journal of Insect Physiology
Jie Li, Ningxin Wang, Yong Liu, Shiqi Qiu
Background: Nasonia vitripennis , a parasitic wasp, is a good model organism to study developmental and evolutionary genetics and to evaluate the interactions between insect hosts and their symbionts. Wolbachia may be the most prevalent endosymbiont among insect species due to their special ability to improve the fitness of the infected hosts. Transinfection of bacteria or fungi could substantially alter the expression of host immune system components. However, few studies have focused on the effects of native Wolbachia infection...
2018: PeerJ
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