190 research outputs found

    Residue management in double-crop systems: Impact on soybean growth and yield

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    Double-crop soybeans [Glycine max(L.) Merr.] have the potential to be a productive and profitable system. However, due to delayed planting, double-crop soybeans frequently experience lower yields and higher stress. Because planting is a major production constraint, a critical practice is the management of previous wheat residue. Trials were established in 2012, 2013, and 2014 in Saint Joseph, LA, and in 2013 and 2014 in Winnsboro, LA. The four residue management treatments investigated included conventionally tilled, planted into burned residue, planted into mowed residue, and planted into standing wheat residue. Vegetative and reproductive growth parameters, as well as yield, were used to evaluate the influence of residue management on productivity. Overall, residue management did not have a significant impact on early season growth parameters, except for plant height in 2012 at St. Joseph; however, it did significantly influence yield at both locations. In Saint Joseph in 2012, yields from planting into wheat residue were significantly lower than burned and mowed plots (1.2 compared with 2.8 and 2.7 Mg ha-1, respectively), and tilled treatments yielded significantly less than all three nontilled treatments in 2013 and 2014. In Winnsboro, planting into residue left on the soil surface resulted in significantly higher yields than when residue was removed. Overall, leaving residue on the soil surface provided stable yields across years and locations; however, not managing the residue can result in diminished yields. Therefore, practices such as mowing of wheat residue prior to planting provide an alternative to traditional no-till planting.Peer reviewedPlant and Soil Science

    Considering the Case for Biodiversity Cycles: Reexamining the Evidence for Periodicity in the Fossil Record

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    Medvedev and Melott (2007) have suggested that periodicity in fossil biodiversity may be induced by cosmic rays which vary as the Solar System oscillates normal to the galactic disk. We re-examine the evidence for a 62 million year (Myr) periodicity in biodiversity throughout the Phanerozoic history of animal life reported by Rohde & Mueller (2005), as well as related questions of periodicity in origination and extinction. We find that the signal is robust against variations in methods of analysis, and is based on fluctuations in the Paleozoic and a substantial part of the Mesozoic. Examination of origination and extinction is somewhat ambiguous, with results depending upon procedure. Origination and extinction intensity as defined by RM may be affected by an artifact at 27 Myr in the duration of stratigraphic intervals. Nevertheless, when a procedure free of this artifact is implemented, the 27 Myr periodicity appears in origination, suggesting that the artifact may ultimately be based on a signal in the data. A 62 Myr feature appears in extinction, when this same procedure is used. We conclude that evidence for a periodicity at 62 Myr is robust, and evidence for periodicity at approximately 27 Myr is also present, albeit more ambiguous.Comment: Minor modifications to reflect final published versio

    Ki67 proliferation in core biopsies versus surgical samples - a model for neo-adjuvant breast cancer studies

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    Background: An increasing number of neo-adjuvant breast cancer studies are being conducted and a novel model for tumor biological studies, the "window-of-opportunity" model, has revealed several advantages. Change in tumor cell proliferation, estimated by Ki67-expression in pre-therapeutic core biopsies versus post-therapeutic surgical samples is often the primary end-point. The aim of the present study was to investigate potential differences in proliferation scores between core biopsies and surgical samples when patients have not received any intervening anti-cancer treatment. Also, a lack of consensus concerning Ki67 assessment may raise problems in the comparison of neo-adjuvant studies. Thus, the secondary aim was to present a novel model for Ki67 assessment. Methods: Fifty consecutive breast cancer cases with both a core biopsy and a surgical sample available, without intervening neo-adjuvant therapy, were collected and tumor proliferation (Ki67, MIB1 antibody) was assessed immunohistochemically. A theoretical model for the assessment of Ki67 was constructed based on sequential testing of the null hypothesis 20% Ki67-positive cells versus the two-sided alternative more or less than 20% positive cells.. Results: Assessment of Ki67 in 200 tumor cells showed an absolute average proliferation difference of 3.9% between core biopsies and surgical samples (p = 0.046, paired t-test) with the core biopsies being the more proliferative sample type. A corresponding analysis on the log-scale showed the average relative decrease from the biopsy to the surgical specimen to be 19% (p = 0.063, paired t-test on the log-scale). The difference was significant when using the more robust Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-ranks test (p = 0.029). After dichotomization at 20%, 12 of the 50 sample pairs had discrepant proliferation status, 10 showed high Ki67 in the core biopsy compared to two in the surgical specimen (p = 0.039, McNemar's test). None of the corresponding results for 1000 tumor cells were significant - average absolute difference 2.2% and geometric mean of the ratios 0.85 (p = 0.19 and p = 0.18, respectively, paired t-tests, p = 0.057, Wilcoxon's test) and an equal number of discordant cases after dichotomization. Comparing proliferation values for the initial 200 versus the final 800 cancer cells showed significant absolute differences for both core biopsies and surgical samples 5.3% and 3.2%, respectively (p < 0.0001, paired t-test). Conclusions: A significant difference between core biopsy and surgical sample proliferation values was observed despite no intervening therapy. Future neo-adjuvant breast cancer studies may have to take this into consideration

    Pathological non-response to chemotherapy in a neoadjuvant setting of breast cancer: an inter-institutional study

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    To identify markers of non-response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) that could be used in the adjuvant setting. Sixteen pathologists of the European Working Group for Breast Screening Pathology reviewed the core biopsies of breast cancers treated with NAC and recorded the clinico-pathological findings (histological type and grade; estrogen, progesterone receptors, and HER2 status; Ki67; mitotic count; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes; necrosis) and data regarding the pathological response in corresponding surgical resection specimens. Analyses were carried out in a cohort of 490 cases by comparing the groups of patients showing pathological complete response (pCR) and partial response (pPR) with the group of non-responders (pathological non-response: pNR). Among other parameters, the lobular histotype and the absence of inflammation were significantly more common in pNR (p < 0.001). By ROC curve analyses, cut-off values of 9 mitosis/2 mm(2) and 18 % of Ki67-positive cells best discriminated the pNR and pCR + pPR categories (p = 0.018 and < 0.001, respectively). By multivariable analysis, only the cut-off value of 9 mitosis discriminated the different response categories (p = 0.036) in the entire cohort. In the Luminal B/HER2- subgroup, a mitotic count < 9, although not statistically significant, showed an OR of 2.7 of pNR. A lobular histotype and the absence of inflammation were independent predictors of pNR (p = 0.024 and < 0.001, respectively). Classical morphological parameters, such as lobular histotype and inflammation, confirmed their predictive value in response to NAC, particularly in the Luminal B/HER2- subgroup, which is a challenging breast cancer subtype from a therapeutic point of view. Mitotic count could represent an additional marker but has a poor positive predictive value