2,046 research outputs found

    Climate‐driven evolutionary change in reproductive and early‐acting life‐history traits in the perennial grass Festuca ovina

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    Reproductive and early‐acting life‐history traits are likely to be particularly important determinants of plant fitness under a changing climate. There have, however, been few robust tests of the evolution of these traits under chronic climate change in natural ecosystems. Such studies are urgently needed, to evaluate the contribution of evolutionary change to population persistence. Here, we examine climate‐driven evolutionary change in reproductive and early‐acting plant life‐history traits in the long‐lived perennial plant, Festuca ovina. We collected established plants of F. ovina from species‐rich calcareous grassland at the Buxton Climate Change Impacts Laboratory (BCCIL), after 17 years of in situ experimental drought treatment. P1 plants collected from drought‐treated and control (ambient climate) plots at BCCIL were used to create an open‐pollinated F1 progeny array, which was subsequently validated using microsatellite markers to establish a robust bi‐parental pedigree. We measured the timing of germination and seed mass in the F1 progeny, the P1 paternal contribution to F1 offspring (paternal reproductive success), and assessed the effects of flowering time on the mating system. F1 seed with ancestry in drought‐treated plots at BCCIL germinated significantly later than seed derived from individuals from control plots. P1 plants from the drought treatment flowered significantly earlier than those from the control plots in summer 2012, but not in 2013. Male reproductive success was also lower in P1 plants collected from drought plots than those from control plots. Furthermore, our pedigree revealed that mating among parents of the F1 progeny had been assortative with respect to flowering time. Synthesis. Our study shows that chronic drought treatment at Buxton Climate Change Impacts Laboratory has driven rapid evolutionary change in reproductive and early‐acting life‐history traits in Festuca ovina, and suggests that evolutionary differentiation may be reinforced through changes in flowering time that reduce the potential for gene flow

    The Situation Analysis Approach to Assessing Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services: A Handbook

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    Good family planning service delivery emphasizing both access and quality is key to the related goals of satisfying individual needs and achieving programmatic success. Situation Analysis (SA) provides a needed link between the manager and the client he or she is trying to serve. The data marshaled for SA offer a representative picture of how subsystems are working and provide a way to “see” the client’s experience. Situation Analyses assist managers in achieving the broadest management goal—that of efficient administration of a vital health care service while keeping in view the ultimate goal—providing good care for those who seek it. “The Situation Analysis Approach to Assessing Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services” handbook is a tool to help implement SA studies. Some of the sections are more valuable for policymakers and program planners, others for researchers, and still others for field interviewers. The handbook consists of four chapters: The Situation Analysis Study Methodology; Conducting the Study; Instruments and Question-by-Question Guides; and Data Analysis and Reporting

    Structural features discriminate androgen receptor N/C terminal and coactivator interactions

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    Human androgen receptor (AR) transcriptional activity involves interdomain and coactivator interactions with the agonist-bound AR ligand binding domain (LBD). Structural determinants of the AR NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction between the AR NH2-terminal FXXLF motif and activation function 2 (AF2) in the LBD were shown previously by crystallography. In this report, we provide evidence for a region in AR LBD helix 12 outside the AF2 binding cleft that facilitates interactions with the FXXLF and LXXLL motifs. Mutagenesis of glutamine 902 to alanine in AR LBD helix 12 (Q902A) disrupted AR FXXLF motif binding to AF2, but enhanced coactivator LXXLL motif binding. Functional compensation for defective FXXLF motif binding by AR-Q902A was suggested by the slower dissociation rate of bound androgen. Functional importance of glutamine 902 was indicated by the charged residue germline mutation Q902R that caused partial androgen insensitivity, and a similar somatic mutation Q902K reported in prostate cancer, both of which increased the androgen dissociation rate and decreased AR transcriptional activity. High affinity equilibrium androgen binding was retained by alanine substitution mutations at Tyr-739 in AR LBD helix 5 or Lys-905 in helix 12 structurally adjacent to AF2, whereas transcriptional activity decreased and the androgen dissociation increased. Deleterious effects of these loss of function mutations were rescued by the helix stabilizing AR prostate cancer somatic mutation H874Y. Sequence NH2-terminal to the AR FXXLF motif contributed to the AR NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction based on greater AR-2-30 FXXLF motif peptide binding to the agonist-bound AR LBD than a shorter AR-20-30 FXXLF motif peptide. We conclude that helix 12 residues outside the AF2 binding cleft modulate AR transcriptional activity by providing flexibility to accommodate FXXLF or LXXLL motif binding

    Managing learning trajectories: the case of 14-19 mathematics

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    In this paper we explore how mathematics department leaders manage curriculum (what is taught), teaching (how it is taught) and learner progression (what results) for 14-19 year olds. The background to the study is a range of national, and international, concerns about participation rates in university entrance level mathematics. Given the recommendation of the Smith Report (2004) that new pathways models be developed for 14-19 mathematics, this paper explores some of the strategies employed, and issues faced, by schools as they seek to maximise attainment and participation in mathematics. Following a thematic analysis of data from interviews with heads of department in fifteen schools we look in more depth at one school to see how it manages the mathematics learning trajectories of young people. The theme of performativity is all pervasive

    Adaptation to chronic drought modifies soil microbial community responses to phytohormones

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    Drought imposes stress on plants and associated soil microbes, inducing coordinated adaptive responses, which can involve plant–soil signalling via phytohormones. However, we know little about how microbial communities respond to phytohormones, or how these responses are shaped by chronic (long-term) drought. Here, we added three phytohormones (abscisic acid, 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid, and jasmonic acid) to soils from long-term (25-year), field-based climate treatments to test the hypothesis that chronic drought alters soil microbial community responses to plant stress signalling. Phytohormone addition increased soil respiration, but this effect was stronger in irrigated than in droughted soils and increased soil respiration at low phytohormone concentrations could not be explained by their use as substrate. Thus, we show that drought adaptation within soil microbial communities modifies their responses to phytohormone inputs. Furthermore, distinct phytohormone-induced shifts in microbial functional groups in droughted vs. irrigated soils might suggest that drought-adapted soil microorganisms perceive phytohormones as stress-signals, allowing them to anticipate impending drought