153 research outputs found

    High Resolution HST-STIS Spectra of CI and CO in the Beta Pictoris Circumstellar Disk

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    High resolution FUV echelle spectra showing absorption features arising from CI and CO gas in the Beta Pictoris circumstellar (CS) disk were obtained on 1997 December 6 and 19 using the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS). An unsaturated spin-forbidden line of CI at 1613.376 A not previously seen in spectra of Beta Pictoris was detected, allowing for an improved determination of the column density of CI at zero velocity relative to the star (the stable component), N = (2-4) x 10^{16} cm^{-2}. Variable components with multiple velocities, which are the signatures of infalling bodies in the Beta Pictoris CS disk, are observed in the CI 1561 A and 1657 A multiplets. Also seen for the first time were two lines arising from the metastable singlet D level of carbon, at 1931 A and 1463 A The results of analysis of the CO A-X (0-0), (1-0), and (2-0) bands are presented, including the bands arising from {13}^CO, with much better precision than has previously been possible, due to the very high resolution provided by the STIS echelle gratings. Only stable CO gas is observed, with a column density N(CO) = (6.3 +/- 0.3) x 10^{14} cm{-2}. An unusual ratio of the column densities of {12}^CO to {13}^CO is found (R = 15 +/- 2). The large difference between the column densities of CI and CO indicates that photodissociation of CO is not the primary source of CI gas in the disk, contrary to previous suggestion.Comment: 13 pages, including 6 figures. LaTex2e (emulateapj5.sty). Accepted for publication in Ap

    Nectar-Inhabiting Bacteria Affect Olfactory Responses of an Insect Parasitoid by Altering Nectar Odors

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    Floral nectar is ubiquitously colonized by a variety of microorganisms among which yeasts and bacteria are the most common. Microorganisms inhabiting floral nectar can alter several nectar traits, including nectar odor by producing microbial volatile organic compounds (mVOCs). Evidence showing that mVOCs can affect the foraging behavior of insect pollinators is increasing in the literature, whereas the role of mVOCs in altering the foraging behavior of third-trophic level organisms such as insect parasitoids is largely overlooked. Parasitoids are frequent visitors of flowers and are well known to feed on nectar. In this study, we isolated bacteria inhabiting floral nectar of buckwheat, Fagopyrum esculentum (Polygonales: Polygonaceae), to test the hypothesis that nectar bacteria affect the foraging behavior of the egg parasitoid Trissolcus basalis (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) via changes in odors of nectar. In behavioral assays, we found that T. basalis wasps are attracted toward nectar fermented by 4 out of the 14 bacterial strains isolated, which belong to Staphylococcus epidermidis, Terrabacillus saccharophilus (both Firmicutes), Pantoea sp. (Proteobacteria), and Curtobacterium sp. (Actinobacteria). Results of chemical investigations revealed significant differences in the volatile blend composition of nectars fermented by the bacterial isolates. Our results indicate that nectar-inhabiting bacteria play an important role in the interactions between flowering plants and foraging parasitoids. These results are also relevant from an applied perspective as flowering resources, such as buckwheat, are largely used in agriculture to promote conservation biological control of insect pests

    Antiferromagnet-mediated interlayer exchange: hybridization versus proximity effect

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    We investigate the interlayer coupling between two thin ferromagnetic (F) films mediated by an antiferromagnetic (AF) spacer in F*/AF/F trilayers and show how it transitions between different regimes on changing the AF thickness. Employing layer-selective Kerr magnetometry and ferromagnetic-resonance techniques in a complementary manner enables us to distinguish between three functionally distinct regimes of such ferromagnetic interlayer coupling. The F layers are found to be individually and independently exchange-biased for thick FeMn spacers - the first regime of no interlayer F-F* coupling. F-F* coupling appears on decreasing the FeMn thickness below 9 nm. In this second regime found in structures with 6.0-9.0 nm thick FeMn spacers, the interlayer coupling exists only in a finite temperature interval just below the effective N\'eel temperature of the spacer, which is due to magnon-mediated exchange through the thermally softened antiferromagnetic spacer, vanishing at lower temperatures. The third regime, with FeMn thinner than 4 nm, is characterized by a much stronger interlayer coupling in the entire temperature interval, which is attributed to a magnetic-proximity induced ferromagnetic exchange. These experimental results, spanning the key geometrical parameters and thermal regimes of the F*/AF/F nanostructure, complemented by a comprehensive theoretical analysis, should broaden the understanding of the interlayer exchange in magnetic multilayers and potentially be useful for applications in spin-thermionics.Comment: 14 pages, 9 figure

    Testing the optimal defence hypothesis for two indirect defences: extrafloral nectar and volatile organic compounds

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    Many plants respond to herbivory with an increased production of extrafloral nectar (EFN) and/or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to attract predatory arthropods as an indirect defensive strategy. In this study, we tested whether these two indirect defences fit the optimal defence hypothesis (ODH), which predicts the within-plant allocation of anti-herbivore defences according to trade-offs between growth and defence. Using jasmonic acid-induced plants of Phaseolus lunatus and Ricinus communis, we tested whether the within-plant distribution pattern of these two indirect defences reflects the fitness value of the respective plant parts. Furthermore, we quantified photosynthetic rates and followed the within-plant transport of assimilates with 13C labelling experiments. EFN secretion and VOC emission were highest in younger leaves. Moreover, the photosynthetic rate increased with leaf age, and pulse-labelling experiments suggested transport of carbon to younger leaves. Our results demonstrate that the ODH can explain the within-plant allocation pattern of both indirect defences studied

    Social Transfer of Pathogenic Fungus Promotes Active Immunisation in Ant Colonies

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    Social contact with fungus-exposed ants leads to pathogen transfer to healthy nest-mates, causing low-level infections. These micro-infections promote pathogen-specific immune gene expression and protective immunization of nest-mates

    Herbivore benefits from vectoring plant virus through reduction of period of vulnerability to predation

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    Herbivores can profit from vectoring plant pathogens because the induced defence of plants against pathogens sometimes interferes with the induced defence of plants against herbivores. Plants can also defend themselves indirectly by the action of the natural enemies of the herbivores. It is unknown whether the defence against pathogens induced in the plant also interferes with the indirect defence against herbivores mediated via the third trophic level. We previously showed that infection of plants with Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) increased the developmental rate of and juvenile survival of its vector, the thrips Frankliniella occidentalis. Here, we present the results of a study on the effects of TSWV infections of plants on the effectiveness of three species of natural enemies of F. occidentalis: the predatory mites Neoseiulus cucumeris and Iphiseius degenerans, and the predatory bug Orius laevigatus. The growth rate of thrips larvae was positively affected by the presence of virus in the host plant. Because large larvae are invulnerable to predation by the two species of predatory mites, this resulted in a shorter period of vulnerability to predation for thrips that developed on plants with virus than thrips developing on uninfected plants (4.4 vs. 7.9 days, respectively). Because large thrips larvae are not invulnerable to predation by the predatory bug Orius laevigatus, infection of the plant did not affect the predation risk of thrips larvae from this predator. This is the first demonstration of a negative effect of a plant pathogen on the predation risk of its vector