28,288 research outputs found

    Evaluation of economic loss caused by Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in agricultural land of district Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan

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    The Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) is a vertebrate pest of agricultural lands and forest. The study was aimed to report the damage to local crops by the Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) in the Muzaffarabad District. A survey was conducted to identify the porcupine-affected areas and assess the crop damage to the local farmers in district Muzaffarabad Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) from May 2017 to October 2017. Around 19 villages were surveyed, and a sum of 191 semi-structured questionnaires was distributed among farmers. Crop damage was found highest in village Dhanni where a porcupine destroyed 175 Kg/Kanal of the crops. Regarding the total magnitude of crop loss, village Danna and Koomi kot were the most affected areas. More than half (51.8%) of the respondents in the study area suffered the economic loss within the range of 101-200,and(29.8, and (29.8%) of the people suffered losses in the range of 201-300 annually. Among all crops, maize (Zea mays) was found to be the most damaged crop ranging between 1-300 Kg annually. In the study area, porcupine also inflicted a lot of damages to some important vegetables, including spinach (Spinacia oleracea), potato (Solanum tuberosum) and onion (Allium cepa). It was estimated that, on average, 511Kg of vegetables are destroyed by porcupine every year in the agricultural land of Muzaffarabad. It was concluded that the Indian crested porcupine has a devastating effect on agriculture which is an important source of income and food for the local community. Developing an effective pest control strategy with the help of the local government and the Wildlife department could help the farmers to overcome this problem

    Biofuncionalização da superfície de membranas fibrosas de policaprolactona para terapias avançadas de tecido esquelético e neural

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    Tese de Doutoramento em Engenharia de Tecidos, Medicina Regenerativa e C√©lulas EstaminaisDamage of the skeletal and neural tissues has a significant impact over the quality-of-life of patients and high socio-economical costs. Current treatment options are not effective in long term, due to the suboptimal integration with the host tissue and limited bioactivity of implantable biomaterials. The immobilization of biomolecules at the surface of biomedical devices has attracted increasing interest, allowing for their local bioavailability avoiding systemic side effects and longer half-life. Envisioning the development of advanced therapies, the electrospun nanofibrous meshes (NFMs) were used as a substrate due to their fibrous structure mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) of many tissues, allowing cell-cell and cell-biomaterial interactions. For that, the surface of polycaprolactone NFMs was activated and functionalized with amine groups allow for covalent immobilization of defined antibodies, with the capacity to selectively bind autologous biomolecules. Different biofunctional substrates with chondrogenic inductive properties were developed through the surface biofunctionalization of NFM with endogenous human fibronectin, extracellular vesicles or the combination of endogenous Transforming Growth Factor-133 and Insulin-like Growth Factor-I. All these biofunctional substrates successfully induced the chondrogenic differentiation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBM-MSCs) under basal culture conditions. Blood-derived Nerve Growth Factor bound to the surface of NFMs remains bioactive, being an effective inducer of the neurogenic differentiation of a relevant cell line. Additionally, we developed a biofunctional system able to mimic the vasculature of bone tissue, comprising Bone Morphogenetic Protein 2 and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in a parallel pattern design. This biofunctional system enabled a spatially defined osteogenic and angiogenic differentiation of hBM-MSCs. The surface biofunctionalization of biomaterial substrates enables developing biofunctional systems envisioning patient-specific devices promoting skeletal and neural tissue regeneration that can maximize and extend the local efficacy and minimize the side effects of the use of biologic based therapies in patients.A deteriora√ß√£o dos tecidos esquel√©tico a neural t√™m um impacto significativo na qualidade de vida dos pacientes e um elevado custo socioecon√≥mico. Os tratamentos atualmente dispon√≠veis n√£o s√£o eficazes a longo termo, devido √† inadequada integra√ß√£o com o tecido hospedeiro e √† baixa bioatividade dos biomateriais implantados. A imobiliza√ß√£o de biomol√©culas constitui uma estrat√©gia alternativa, permitindo a biodisponibilidade local das biomol√©culas evitando efeitos colaterais sist√™micos. Ambicionando desenvolver terapias avan√ßadas, malhas fibrosas produzidas por "electrospinning" (NFMs) foram usadas como substratos polim√©ricos devido √† sua estrutura fibrosa similar a matriz extracelular (ECM) de muitos tecidos, promovendo as intera√ß√Ķes c√©lula-c√©lula e c√©lula-biomaterial. Para isso, NFMs de policaprolactona foram ativadas e funcionalizadas com grupos amina, permitindo a imobiliza√ß√£o covalente de anticorpos pr√©-definidos, com capacidade de ligar seletivamente biomol√©culas aut√≥logas. Foram desenvolvidos diferentes substratos biofuncionais, com propriedades indutoras de diferencia√ß√£o condrog√©nica, mediante liga√ß√£o de fibronectina humana, ves√≠culas extracelulares ou a combina√ß√£o do fator de transforma√ß√£o do crescimento beta 3 com o fator de crescimento semelhante √† insulina tipo I. Todos estes substratos biofuncionalizados foram capazes de induzir a diferencia√ß√£o condrog√©nica de c√©lulas estaminais mesenquimais derivadas de medula √≥ssea humana (hBM-MSCs) sendo cultivadas em condi√ß√Ķes basais. O fator de crescimento nervoso ligado √† superf√≠cie das NFMs permanece bioativo, sendo um indutor eficaz da diferencia√ß√£o neurog√©nica de uma linha celular relevante. Numa outra abordagem, foi desenvolvido um sistema biofuncional capaz de mimetizar a vasculatura de um tecido √≥sseo, ligando paralelamente a prote√≠na morfogen√©tica √≥ssea 2 e o fator de crescimento do endot√©lio vascular sobre uma mesma NFM. Este sistema biofuncional permitiu a diferencia√ß√£o osteog√©nica e angiog√©nica de hBM-MSCs espacialmente definida. Concluindo, a bioftmcionaliza√ß√£o de substratos produzidos por "electrospinning" permite o desenvolvimento de dispositivos biom√©dicos personalizados, capazes de promover a regenera√ß√£o do tecido esquel√©tico e neural, maximizando a efic√°cia local e minimizando os efeitos colaterais do uso de terapias biol√≥gicas em pacientes.To the financial support of the Portuguese Fotmdatron for Science and Technology to maize possible this PhD by awarded me with a PhD scholarship (PD/BD/113797/2015) under the Doctoral Program on Advanced Therapies for Health (FSE/POCK/PD/169/2013). The experimental work was funded by the projects SPARTAN (PTDC/CTM-BIO/4388/2014) and FRONthera (NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-0000232)

    Desarrollo de papeles biocativos por injerto de moléculas específicas en celulosa

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    Tesis (DCI)--FCEFN-UNC, 2019En la presente tesis se presenta el desarrollo de papeles bioactivos con potencial aplicaci√≥n en el envasado activo de alimentos. Para tal fin, se propuso el injerto de eugenol, un compuesto de origen natural con propiedades antimicrobiana, antioxidante y repelente de insectos, en celulosa, utilizando √°cido policarbox√≠lico como agente ligante. Con el objetivo de evaluar la escalabilidad del proceso propuesto, se estudiaron distintas tecnolog√≠as de curado, tales como calentamiento por convecci√≥n, infrarrojo, microondas y conducci√≥n. En todos los casos, se analizaron la influencia de las variables operativas sobre el avance de la reacci√≥n y propiedades finales del papel preparado, utilizando un dise√Īo de experimentos Doehlert para elegir las experiencias a realizar, y analizando los resultados mediante metodolog√≠a de superficie de respuesta y an√°lisis estad√≠stico ANOVA. Se pudo comprobar que la reacci√≥n de injerto de eugenol en papel comercial se produjo con √©xito en todas las tecnolog√≠as estudiadas. Asimismo, se encontraron las condiciones √≥ptimas de reacci√≥n para cada una de las tecnolog√≠as, para lo cual se busc√≥ un compromiso entre el avance de la reacci√≥n y las propiedades finales del material (mec√°nicas y color). A partir de estas condiciones, se prepararon papeles y se realiz√≥ una caracterizaci√≥n m√°s espec√≠fica para su aplicaci√≥n como envase de alimentos comparando los papeles modificados con el papel virgen. Se analizaron las propiedades mec√°nicas por ensayo de tracci√≥n, rasgado y punzonado y se midi√≥ la absorci√≥n de agua y la capacidad de degradaci√≥n. Por otro lado, las propiedades bioactivas analizadas fueron la actividad antioxidante, antimicrobiana, repelente e insecticida de gorgojos (T. castaneum y R. dominica). Una vez probado que el papel modificado presenta buenas caracter√≠sticas f√≠sicas y bioactivas para su posible aplicaci√≥n en el envasado de alimentos, se realizaron prototipos de envasado para harina, como alimento representativo de alimentos derivados de cereales, susceptibles al ataque de plagas. En este estudio se analiz√≥ la migraci√≥n de reactivos, propiedades organol√©pticas y conservaci√≥n del alimento, arrojando resultados promisorios para la industria de envases de alimentos. Finalmente, se realiz√≥ una comparaci√≥n de las tecnolog√≠as de curado ensayadas, analizando diferentes aspectos como avance de reacci√≥n, propiedades finales, apariencia, tiempo de reacci√≥n, consumo de energ√≠a, entre otros, como as√≠ tambi√©n disponibilidad y uso de estas tecnolog√≠as a escala industrial, seleccionando la tecnolog√≠a de conducci√≥n como la m√°s adecuada para una propuesta de escalado industrial.Fil: Muratore, Florencia. Universidad Nacional de C√≥rdoba. Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, F√≠sicas y Naturales; Argentina.Fil: Muratore, Florencia. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cient√≠ficas y T√©cnicas. Instituto de Investigaci√≥n y Desarrollo en Ingenier√≠a de Procesos y Qu√≠mica Aplicada; Argentina

    Epigenetics : a catalyst of plant immunity against pathogens

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    The plant immune system protects against pests and diseases. The recognition of stress-related molecular patterns triggers localised immune responses, which are often followed by longer-lasting systemic priming and/or up-regulation of defences. In some cases, this induced resistance (IR) can be transmitted to following generations. Such transgenerational IR is gradually reversed in the absence of stress at a rate that is proportional to the severity of disease experienced in previous generations. This review outlines the mechanisms by which epigenetic responses to pathogen infection shape the plant immune system across expanding time scales. We review the cis- and trans-acting mechanisms by which stress-inducible epigenetic changes at transposable elements (TEs) regulate genome-wide defence gene expression and draw particular attention to one regulatory model that is supported by recent evidence about the function of AGO1 and H2A.Z in transcriptional control of defence genes. Additionally, we explore how stress-induced mobilisation of epigenetically controlled TEs acts as a catalyst of Darwinian evolution by generating (epi)genetic diversity at environmentally responsive genes. This raises questions about the long-term evolutionary consequences of stress-induced diversification of the plant immune system in relation to the long-held dichotomy between Darwinian and Lamarckian evolution

    Understanding interactions between Ramularia collo-cygni and barley leaf physiology to target improvements in host resistance and disease control strategy

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    Ramularia Leaf Spot (RLS) is an increasingly problematic disease of barley. Control options are limited as the causal fungus, Ramularia collo-cygni, has developed resistance to several of the major fungicide groups. Developing new methods for controlling this disease is therefore a priority. R. collo-cygni can grow systemically in barley plants from infected seed, without inducing visible symptoms. In the field, visible symptoms normally only appear after flowering. The relative contribution of the latent and symptomatic stages of the fungal lifecycle to reduction in barley yield is not currently known with any certainty. Two possibilities are that the effect of asymptomatic infection on pre-flowering photosynthetic activity, and the development of grain sink capacity, plays an important role; or that reduction in photosynthetic activity during grain filling, resulting from lesion development and loss of green leaf area, is the predominant factor. This research aimed to increase our understanding of the impact of different phases of the fungal lifecycle on barley photosynthesis and yield formation, to better target host resistance and disease control strategies. Controlled environment and field experiments were used to determine the relative effects of asymptomatic and symptom-expressing phases of R. collo-cygni infection on photosynthesis and yield formation in spring barley. In controlled environment experiments leaf photosynthetic activity was measured in seedlings inoculated with suspensions of R. collo-cygni mycelia. Measurements were made before and after visible symptom development using Infra-Red Gas Analysis (IRGA), chlorophyll fluorescence analysis and chlorophyll fluorescence imaging. No reduction in photosynthetic activity was observed in leaves infected with R. collo-cygni, compared to those of non- infected leaves, during the latent phase of infection. After the appearance of visible symptoms, photosynthetic activity within lesions reduced as the lesions developed. However, this did not lead to reductions in photosynthetic activity when measured across the whole leaf area, suggesting that for there to be a significant effect of disease on whole leaf photosynthetic activity, visible symptoms must develop into mature lesions and coalesce to cover larger areas of the leaf surface. In field experiments plots were treated with a full fungicide regime, left untreated, or inoculated with R. collo-cygni and treated with fungicide to which R. collo-cygni is resistant (the latter as a precaution against lack of natural RLS disease that year and/or other diseases developing on untreated plots). RLS was the only disease of significance that developed in untreated or inoculated plots. Symptoms first appeared after flowering, around Zadoks Growth Stage 72. Fungicide-treated plots remained free of disease. Chlorophyll fluorescence analysis of field plants showed no effect of infection on the maximum quantum efficiency of Photosystem II (Fv/Fm) before visible symptom development, consistent with results from controlled environment experiments. Grain yield of untreated and fungicide-treated plots was predicted from fixed common values of radiation use efficiency (RUE) and utilisation of soluble sugar reserves, and measured values of post-flowering healthy (green) leaf area light interception. Grain yields predicted from the difference in post-flowering light interception between fungicide-treated plants and untreated or inoculated plants displaying symptoms of RLS were comparable with the measured yield response to fungicide. This suggests that yield loss to RLS is primarily associated with a reduction in light capture during grain filling, resulting from lesion development and loss of green leaf area. Results from controlled environment and field experiments suggested that symptom expression was associated with leaf senescence. Further controlled environment experiments tested this relationship by using treatments to vary the onset and rate of leaf senescence. Seedlings that were treated with cytokinin to delay senescence after inoculation with suspensions of R. collo-cygni mycelia developed fewer lesions than control plants. Fungal growth, as measured by quantification of R. collo-cygni DNA in leaves, was also restricted in plants treated with cytokinin. Collectively these results suggest that prevention of visible symptom development, rather than prevention of asymptomatic growth, is the most important target for management of this disease. Control methods targeted at delaying senescence could be a useful avenue for further investigation

    A new index of resilience applicable to external pulse-disturbances that considers the recovery of communities in the short term

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    .Resilience is a key concept in the study of the recovery of ecosystems affected by disturbances. Currently, there are numerous indices to measure resilience, but many of them do not show the accuracy of the resilience value or the behaviour of ecological parameters in the face of disturbances. New approaches and technologies enable large amounts of information to be obtained, facilitating the proposal of new resilience indices that work consistently and intuitively for a wide variety of ecological response variables under different scenarios after pulse-disturbances. In this study, we propose and verify a new resilience index, comparing its performance with others previously published. We validated the performance of the new index using real data based on field measurements of changes in soil bacterial OTUs diversity and abundance after a wildfire. The new resilience index provided an automatic and robust functional classification of the behaviour of ecosystems after disturbances, supported by a bootstrap analysis. We identified 5 scenarios of ecosystem resilience performance according to their behaviour after a pulse-disturbance: resilient, non-resilient, recovering, rebound, and continuing.S

    4) Adventures in Statistics II: Attributing ancestry: The corny but $B story of genetics of maize ... & Bayes; DNA Profiling

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    This lecture was presented on January 25, 2022. The recorded lecture and slides are available to view and download The Adventures in Statistics II series was organized by Dr. J. Jack Lee and Dr. Yu Shen from the Department of Biostatistics. References Berry DA (1991). Probability of Paternity. In The Use of Statistics in Forensic Science 150-156. New York: Ellis Horwood Limited. (Ed: Aitken CGG, Stoney DA.) Berry DA (1983). Statistics of Disputed Paternity Cases. Invited paper: Proceedings of the Social Statistics Section of the American Statistical Association 131-138. Berry DA, Seltzer JD, Xie C, Wright DL, Smith JSC (2002). Assessing probability of ancestry using simple sequence repeat profiles: Applications to maize hybrids and inbreds. Genetics 161:813-824. Berry DA, Seltzer JD, Xie C, Wright DL, Jones ES, Sebastian S, Smith JSC (2003). Assessing probability of ancestry using simple sequence repeat profiles: Applications to maize inbred lines and soybean varieties. Genetics 165:331-342. Berry DA, Wright DL, Xie C, Seltzer JD, Smith JSC (2005). Using molecular sizes of simple sequence repeats versus discrete binned data in assessing probability of ancestry: Application to maize hybrids. Genetics 170:365-374. Smith JSC, Hoeft E, Cole G, Lu H, Jones ES, Wall SJ, Berry DA (2009). Genetic diversity among US sunflower inbreds and hybrids: Assessing probability of ancestry and potential for use in plant variety protection. Crop Science 49:1295-1303 Berry DA (1990). DNA fingerprinting: What does it prove? Chance 3 (3):15-25. Berry DA (1991). Inferences using DNA profiling in forensic identification and paternity cases (with discussion). Statistical Science 6:175-205. Berry DA, Evett IW, Pinchin R (1992). Statistical inferences in crime investigations using deoxyribonucleic acid profiling (Read paper, with discussion). Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C 41:499-531. Berry DA (1992). Statistical Issues in DNA Identification. In DNA on Trial: Genetic Identification and Criminal Justice 91-108. Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. (Ed: Billings PR.) Berry DA (1994). DNA, Statistics and the Simpson Case. Chance 7(4):9-12.https://openworks.mdanderson.org/biostatistics_adventures/1003/thumbnail.jp

    Pharmacological, Biopesticide, and Post-Harvest Loss Management Application of Jimsonweed (<em>Datura stramonium</em>)

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    Datura stramonium is one of the most intriguing, in part because of its well-known therapeutic and psychoactive properties in the treatment of many diseases. Datura species have been found to exhibit a variety of biological activity. Insecticide, fungicide, antioxidant, antibacterial, hypoglycemic, and immune response boosting properties have been linked to the genus’ species. These effects are linked to the existence of secondary metabolites such as terpenoids, flavonoids, with anolides, tannins, phenolic compounds, and tropane alkaloids, which are the most prevalent atropine and scopolamine in the genus Datura. Ingestion of Jimson weed produces the toxidrome of anticholinergic intoxication. Understanding and recognizing the classic signs and symptoms of anticholinergic intoxication can help clinicians evaluate persons presenting with Jimson weed poisoning. Moreover, this review is to identify the most important phytochemical substances extracted from the Jimsonweed and to characterize their biological activity for health effect and biopesticide application. Biopesticides are less harmful than chemical pesticides because they do not leave harmful residues, generally target one specific pest or a small number of related pests rather than broad spectrum chemical pesticides that affect other beneficial insects, birds, mammals, or non-target species, are effective in smaller quantities, decompose quickly and do not cause environmental problems, and are often cheaper. In conclusion, Datura stramonium, beside its medicinal value, can applicable for biopesticide application and for postharvest loss control of insects such as weevil

    Is Rice and Sunflower Commercialisation in Tanzania Inclusive for Women and Youth?

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    Rice is Tanzania’s third most important staple crop after maize and cassava, and produced by more than 1 million households who are mostly small-scale farmers. Meanwhile sunflower is the most important edible oil crop in Tanzania, also grown mostly by small-scale farmers. Over the last two decades, rice and sunflower have increasingly become important sources of income. This can be attributed to efforts by the government, in collaboration with development agencies, to commercialise rice and sunflower production to improve livelihoods and reduce poverty among actors in both value chains. There have also been efforts aimed at ensuring sustainable commercialisation and involvement of women and youth in the commercialisation process. Despite these initiatives, women and youth involvement in the rice and sunflower commercialisation process is likely to be constrained by their limited access to land and financial capital. Looking at government policy to promote commercial rice and sunflower production for poverty reduction, this brief examines the extent to which households headed by women and youth have been able to participate in the commercialisation process of the two value chains
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