69,670 research outputs found

    Effects of inter-varietal diversity, biotic stresses and environmental productivity on grain yield of spring barley variety mixtures

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    Varietal seed mixtures tend to increase and stabilize crop yields, yet their application is sparse. Large-scale cultivation of variety mixtures may require a better understanding of how inter-varietal interactions and their interaction with the environment may influence the grain yield of variety mixtures relative to their component varieties. For this purpose, six variety mixtures of spring barley and 14 component varieties were grown in each of 17 trial environments. A total of 28 observed and a priori plant characteristics, including grain yield, disease severity and weed competitiveness, were derived for each component variety in each trial. The relationship between inter-varietal diversity of each characteristic and the mixing effect on grain yield was analysed. Additionally, various types of yield stability were estimated and compared among mixtures and component varieties. One mixture out-yielded all of its component varieties in almost half of the trial environments. Inter-varietal diversity in grain yield potential correlated significantly with mixing effect, as did straw length diversity when weighted with weed pressure. The grain yields of most mixtures were more stable across environments than their component varieties when accounting also for the general response to environmental productivity. Hence, most mixtures adapted slightly better to environmental productivity and were less sensitive to environmental stress than their component varieties. We conclude that the efficacy of variety mixtures may be enhanced by mixing relatively high-yielding varieties differing in responsiveness to environmental productivity

    Does virulence assessment of Vibrio anguillarum using sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax) larvae correspond with genotypic and phenotypic characterization?

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    Background: Vibriosis is one of the most ubiquitous fish diseases caused by bacteria belonging to the genus Vibrio such as Vibrio (Listonella) anguillarum. Despite a lot of research efforts, the virulence factors and mechanism of V. anguillarum are still insufficiently known, in part because of the lack of standardized virulence assays. Methodology/Principal Findings: We investigated and compared the virulence of 15 V. anguillarum strains obtained from different hosts or non-host niches using a standardized gnotobiotic bioassay with European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax L.) larvae as model hosts. In addition, to assess potential relationships between virulence and genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, the strains were characterized by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and repetitive extragenic palindromic PCR (rep-PCR) analyses, as well as by phenotypic analyses using Biolog's Phenotype MicroArray (TM) technology and some virulence factor assays. Conclusions/Significance: Virulence testing revealed ten virulent and five avirulent strains. While some relation could be established between serotype, genotype and phenotype, no relation was found between virulence and genotypic or phenotypic characteristics, illustrating the complexity of V. anguillarum virulence. Moreover, the standardized gnotobiotic system used in this study has proven its strength as a model to assess and compare the virulence of different V. anguillarum strains in vivo. In this way, the bioassay contributes to the study of mechanisms underlying virulence in V. anguillarum

    Quantitative genetics of maize (Zea mays L.) during seedling establishment under cool conditions : a thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Agricultural Science in Plant Science at Massey University

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    Two experiments were conducted to study cool tolerance in maize (Zea mays L.). The first experiment was carried out under controlled environment to evaluate several genotypes from five synthetic populations which are currently being used to develop hybrid maize for better adaptation to New Zealand climate and to study the qualitative inheritance of maize seedling growth under cool conditions. In this study, diurnal temperature of 16 °C day/6 °C night was used and characters related to seedling growth were examined. The second experiment conducted to study the effect of temperature on maize during its early growth and to examine whether the initial seed constitution and germination characteristics could be used as selection criteria for improvement of the subsequent seedling growth. Eleven physical, chemical, and morphological characters were measured. The growth was studied in germinators under two temperature regimes of 25/20 and 16/6 °C. The genotypic variation was highly significant for all nine characters examined in the first experiment. For the three repeatedly measured characters (i.e. chlorophyll content, shoot and root dry masses), the genotype x time interaction effect was significant. In the second experiment, the variation due to genotypic difference was highly significant only for the initial seed constitution characters and the amount of ion leakage during the early hours of germination process. It was non significant for the time to germinate, seedling growth rates, and seedling growth functions. The variation due to the difference of temperature regimes was significant for the time to germinate and seedling growth but not the growth functions. The genotypes of synthetic line NZS3 showed the best performance for general combining ability (GCA) for almost all characters studied in the first experiment. From all genotypes evaluated, however, only few of them consistently showed good GCA over the characters. Four of the characters studied in the first experiment had moderate to high narrow sense heritabilities, namely total leaves at 50 days after planting (82 %), chlorophyll content (46 %), anthocyanin (69%), and leaf area (62 %). In the second experiment, the estimated broad sense heritabilities observed ranged from very low to very high over all characters. The high broad sense heritabilities were recorded on most of the initial seed constitution characters, the conductivity of ion leakage, and the growth rates of root (length) and shoot (dry mass). Both the phenotypic and genotypic correlation coefficients between pairs are in good agreement and followed the same direction. Amongst the characters examined in the first experiment only time to achieve second mature leaf, total leaf number at 50 day after planting, chlorophyll content, leaf area had considerable correlations to the dry masses. In the second experiment a good correlation with growth rate was observed for the seed weight, nitrogen and maltose contents

    Adaptability of safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) genotypes to some New Zealand environments : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Plant Science at Massey University

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    Seven safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) genotypes were grown at three sites (Massey, Aorangi and Flockhouse) in the Manawatu area in years 1978 and 1979. Three additional genotypes from the world germplasm collection were included in the study in 1979. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with three replications. The safflower genotypes were evaluated with respect to several morphological traits, and some important agronomic traits, such as yield, % oil content, % hull content and susceptibility to head rot disease. Data collected on seven safflower genotypes were analysed as a combined experiment with 3 sites and 2 years (Expt. I). The data available on 10 genotypes in 1979 were analysed separately with respect to ten important characters (Expt. II). Of the 23 characters studied in Expt. I, the genotypic variance component (σ2G) was significant only for the following 6 characters: mid stem leaf length, primary head diameter, involucral bract length and length/width, bract spine index and susceptibility to head rot disease. The addition of 3 genotypes in Expt. II had a marked effect on the magnitude σ2G component. Of the environmental components, site x year interaction effect was the most significant for the majority of traits. Most of the characters studied in Expt. I showed significant genotype x environment interactions, and in most instances the second order interaction of genotype x site x year being highly significant. Adaptation analyses were performed following procedures of Finlay and Wilkinson (1963). The genotypes Leed and Dart with adaptation coefficients 1.52 and 1.75 respectively were specifically adapted to favourable environments with respect to yield. Cultivar 0-22 and Rio showed general adaptability to the same trait. For % oil content all genotypes except Rio showed general adaptability. Cultivar Rio was slightly specifically adapted to favourable environments. Two forms of broad sense heritabilities (full and restricted) were estimated. In Expt. I, relatively high restricted heritability estimates were obtained for the following traits: leaf length, primary head diameter, bract length and length/width, spine index and susceptibility to head rot disease. The heritability estimates obtained in Expt. II were higher than Expt. I, due to the additional genetic variability in the population. Of the additional traits studied in Expt. II, lodging and susceptibility to leaf spot disease, showed high heritability estimates. Resistances to two fungal diseases - head rot (Botrytis cinerea Pers.) and leaf spot (Stemphylium/Alternaria species) - were assessed in field conditions. The leaf spot disease was detected only in the second year of this study. The cultivars VFSTP-1 and Partial-hull were highly susceptible to head rot disease. The two genotypes from safflower germplasm collection, PI 262437 and PI 306684 had considerable tolerance to leaf spot disease. The optimum plot allocation study indicated that, disregarding costs, an allocation of 2 years, 4 sites and 2 replications would be more efficient than the present allocation. There was no significant correlation between spininess and bird damage. The % oil content and % hull content were negatively correlated at both phenotypic and genotypic levels. Susceptibility to the two diseases were negatively correlated with yield. The susceptibility to head rot disease also showed a significant negative correlation with the % oil content

    Dismantling Lamarckism: why descriptions of socio-economic evolution as Lamarckian are misleading

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    “The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com”. Copyright Springer.This paper addresses the widespread tendency to describe socio-economic evolution as Lamarckian. The difference between Lamarckian and Darwinian replication is clarified. It is shown that a phenotype-genotype distinction must first be established before we can identify Lamarckian transmission. To qualify as Lamarckian inheritance, acquired properties at the phenotypic level must be encoded in a genotype that is passed on to the next generation. Some possible social replicators (or genotypes) are identified, with a view to exploring possible distinctions between genotype and phenotype at the social level. It is concluded that the Lamarckian label does not readily transfer to socio-economic evolution, despite the fact that social genotypes (such as routines) may adapt within any given phenotype (such as an organisation). By contrast, no such problems exist with the description of socio-economic evolution as Darwinian.Peer reviewe

    Asymmetric evolutionary games

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    Evolutionary game theory is a powerful framework for studying evolution in populations of interacting individuals. A common assumption in evolutionary game theory is that interactions are symmetric, which means that the players are distinguished by only their strategies. In nature, however, the microscopic interactions between players are nearly always asymmetric due to environmental effects, differing baseline characteristics, and other possible sources of heterogeneity. To model these phenomena, we introduce into evolutionary game theory two broad classes of asymmetric interactions: ecological and genotypic. Ecological asymmetry results from variation in the environments of the players, while genotypic asymmetry is a consequence of the players having differing baseline genotypes. We develop a theory of these forms of asymmetry for games in structured populations and use the classical social dilemmas, the Prisoner's Dilemma and the Snowdrift Game, for illustrations. Interestingly, asymmetric games reveal essential differences between models of genetic evolution based on reproduction and models of cultural evolution based on imitation that are not apparent in symmetric games.Comment: accepted for publication in PLOS Comp. Bio

    Not Judging by Appearances: The Role of Genotype in Jewish Law on Intersex Conditions

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    Jewish communities have always had children with intersex conditions, which involve atypical anatomic, chromosomal, or gonadal sex. In the last several decades, Orthodox rabbis have issued ad hoc rulings to assign sex to children and adults with intersex conditions. However, rabbinic texts reflect disunity over whether to assign gender, for the purposes of Jewish law, according to outward appearance or chromosomal makeup. This rabbinic controversy has been exacerbated by an increasingly complicated medical picture. Endocrinologists have diagnosed more than two dozen intersex conditions, across nine overarching congenital types. Such complexity makes it difficult for rabbis to make across-the-board decisions about gender assignment. This essay examines how rabbinic law may change because gender cannot be assigned consistently by chromosomal sex—despite the prevalence of this formulaic criterion in rabbinic opinions. Consequently, Jewish legal reasoning is poised to shift from a static reliance on chromosomal sex. The essay also considers the implications of this trajectory on Jewish law towards sex change surgery and transsexuals