The presence of predators can have dramatic consequences on prey communities, not only by the direct effects of consumption but also through sublethal effects. We investigated the survival rate and subsequent life history of the mosquito Culex pervigilans Bergroth under the influence of its major predator, the backswimmer Anisops wakefieldi White. We established a field experiment with various treatments: 1) control without predators, 2) free-roaming A. wakefieldi (with one, three, or nine A. wakefieldi per container), 3) caged A. wakefieldi (empty cage without predators, with one, three, or nine A. wakefieldi in each cage, and 4) A. wakefieldi cues (with cues concentrations of one, three, or nine A. wakefieldi). Cx. pervigilans eggs were then taken from these four experimental treatments and reared in two different laboratory conditions: 1) in clean water without any traces of predators, or 2) in water with the same treatments as in field. The survival rate of Cx. pervigilans was significantly reduced by the presence of predators or their cues. Even after a brief exposure to waters containing predators or residual cues, the subsequent progeny and the ontogeny of the remaining survivors were still affected. The percentage of eggs that hatched, and the resulting mosquito population, was influenced by the presence of predators or their cues. Our results suggest that sublethal effects may be carried by surviving individuals primarily through the effects of stress, perhaps by epigenetic mechanisms. We may expect to observe similar plasticity in species or populations with high temporal or spatial variability in predation.
Effects of laterite cover soil with different characteristics on survival of buried eggs, third instar larvae, and pupae of Musca domestica (L.) were studied experimentally. Soil treatments were loose dry soil, loose wet soil, compacted dry soil, and compacted wet soil (CWS). Eggs, third instar larvae, and pupae were buried under 30 cm of the different soil treatments and placed under field conditions until adults emerged. Rearing medium was provided for eggs and larvae, and control treatments of all stages were unburied immatures placed on soil surface. Egg and pupal survival to adult were significantly affected by the cover soil treatments, but third instars were more resilient. Wet soil treatments (loose wet soil and CWS) resulted in significantly reduced pupal survival, but increased survival of eggs. However, CWS significantly reduced adult emergence from buried eggs. Though emergence of house flies buried as eggs was significantly reduced, some were able to hatch and emerging first instar larvae developed to pupation. Although cover soil does not completely prevent fly emergence, it did limit development and emergence of buried house flies.
Neurotrophic factors are important in promoting the growth and differentiation of neurons. Nerve growth factor (NGF) is essential for the maintenance of the basal forebrain cholinergic system. Hericenones and erinacines isolated from the medicinal mushroom Hericium erinaceus can induce NGF synthesis in nerve cells. In this study, we evaluated the synergistic interaction between H. erinaceus aqueous extract and exogenous NGF on the neurite outgrowth stimulation of neuroblastoma-glioma cell NG108-15. The neuroprotective effect of the mushroom extract toward oxidative stress was also studied. Aqueous extract of H. erinaceus was shown to be non-cytotoxic to human lung fibroblast MRC-5 and NG108-15 cells. The combination of 10 ng/mL NGF with 1 μg/mL mushroom extract yielded the highest percentage increase of 60.6% neurite outgrowth. The extract contained neuroactive compounds that induced the secretion of extracellular NGF in NG108-15 cells, thereby promoting neurite outgrowth activity. However, the H. erinaceus extract failed to protect NG108-15 cells subjected to oxidative stress when applied in pre-treatment and co-treatment modes. In conclusion, the aqueous extract of H. erinaceus contained neuroactive compounds which induced NGF-synthesis and promoted neurite outgrowth in NG108-15 cells. The extract also enhanced the neurite outgrowth stimulation activity of NGF when applied in combination. The aqueous preparation of H. erinaceus had neurotrophic but not neuroprotective activities.
Ganoderma boninense, a phytopathogenic white rot fungus had sought minimal genetic characterizations despite huge biotechnological potentials. Thus, efficient collection of fruiting body, basidiospore and protoplast of G. boninense is described. Matured basidiocarp raised under the glasshouse conditions yielded a total of 8.3 × 104 basidiospores/ml using the low speed centrifugation technique. Mycelium aged 3-day-old treated under an incubation period of 3 h in lysing enzyme from Trichoderma harzianum (10 mg/ml) suspended in osmotic stabilizer (0.6 M potassium chloride and 20 mM dipotassium phosphate buffer) yielded the highest number of viable protoplasts (8.9 × 106 single colonies) among all possible combinations tested (regeneration media, age of mycelium, osmotic stabilizer, digestive enzyme and incubation period).
The Malaysian fruit fly, Bactrocera latifrons (Hendel), is a pest of peppers (Capsicum spp.) in Thailand. A field trial was undertaken to determine whether five commonly used cultivars of C. annuum, with marked differences in morphology and pungency, varied in their susceptibility to infestation by B. latifrons. Experiments carried out in both the dry and rainy seasons showed temporal differences in the number of fruits per cultivar, but there was no effect of variety or season on the proportion of fruits attacked or the number of pupae obtained per infested fruit However, the number of dead larvae per infested fruit was significantly higher, and the percent of pupae giving rise to adults was lower for the larger sweet pepper than other cultivars tested.
MAIN CONCLUSION: The propagation of Rafflesia spp. is considered to be important for future development of ornamental and other applications. Thus far, the only successful propagation technique has been grafting. This mini-review succinctly emphasizes what is known about Rafflesia species. Members of the genus Rafflesia (Rafflesiaceae), which are holoparasitic plants known to grow on a host vine, Tetrastigma sp., are widely spread from the Malayan Peninsula to various islands throughout Indonesia. The plant's geographical distribution as well as many other aspects pertaining to the basic biology of this genus have still not been studied. The young flower buds and flowers of wild Rafflesia hasseltii Suringar, Rafflesia keithii Meijer and Rafflesia cantleyi Solms-Laubach are used in local (Malaysia and Indonesia) traditional ethnomedicine as wound-healing agents, but currently no formal published research exists to validate this property. To maintain a balance between its ethnomedicinal and ornamental use, and conservation, Rafflesia spp. must be artificially cultivated to prevent overexploitation. A successful method of vegetative propagation is by host grafting using Rafflesia-impregnated Tetrastigma onto the stem of a normal Tetrastigma plant. Due to difficulties with culture contamination in vitro, callus induction was only accomplished in 2010 for the first time when picloram and 2,4-D were added to a basal Murashige and Skoog medium, and the tissue culture of holoparasitic plants continues to be extremely difficult. Seeds harvested from fertile fruit may serve as a possible method to propagate Rafflesia spp. This paper provides a brief synthesis on what is known about research related to Rafflesia spp. The objective is to further stimulate researchers to examine, through rigorous scientific discovery, the mechanisms underlying the ethnomedicinal properties, the flowering mechanisms, and suitable in vitro regeneration protocols that would allow for the fortification of germplasm conservation.
Matched MeSH terms: Angiosperms/growth & development*; Flowers/growth & development
We examined the growth, reproduction, rutting behavior, and health status of sambar deer (Cervus unicolor brookei) in secondary Acacia mangium plantation. The data were collected over 11 years from a breeding herd of 21 stags and 33 hinds in Sabal Forest Reserve, Sarawak, Malaysia. Brody's growth model of the pooled data is Y t = 148.56 (1 - 0.98e(-0.023t)), which estimates that maximum weights of adults are 184 and 115 kg for males and females respectively. Sambar deer are nonseasonal breeders with the breeding peak in February. Although the earliest age at which a female reached sexual maturity was 11 months, the mean age was 23 ± 7 months. Mean age of first fawning was 32 ± 8 months. Mean gestation period was 259 ± 12 days (n = 82). Stags shed antlers mostly between March and July. Velvet hardens at 103 ± 27 days (n = 23), and velvet harvesting is best at 7-9 weeks when antler length is 25-30 cm. Sambar deer are suitable as a farm species in forest plantations and have a vast potential to uplift rural living standards.
Matched MeSH terms: Antlers/growth & development; Deer/growth & development
From the Malaysian harvester's perspective, the determination of the ripeness of the oil palm (FFB) is a critical factor to maximize palm oil production. A preliminary study of a novel oil palm fruit sensor to detect the maturity of oil palm fruit bunches is presented. To optimize the functionality of the sensor, the frequency characteristics of air coils of various diameters are investigated to determine their inductance and resonant characteristics. Sixteen samples from two categories, namely ripe oil palm fruitlets and unripe oil palm fruitlets, are tested from 100 Hz up to 100 MHz frequency. The results showed the inductance and resonant characteristics of the air coil sensors display significant changes among the samples of each category. The investigations on the frequency characteristics of the sensor air coils are studied to observe the effect of variations in the coil diameter. The effect of coil diameter yields a significant 0.02643 MHz difference between unripe samples to air and 0.01084 MHz for ripe samples to air. The designed sensor exhibits significant potential in determining the maturity of oil palm fruits.
The synthesis of 2,6-bis(hydroxy(phenyl)methyl)cyclohexanone 1 is described. The molecular structure of the title compound 1 was confirmed by NMR, FT-IR, MS, CHN microanalysis, and X-ray crystallography. The molecular structure was also investigated by a set of computational studies and found to be in good agreement with the experimental data obtained from the various spectrophotometric techniques. The antimicrobial activity and molecular docking of the synthesized compound was investigated.
In the present study, we have reported a simple, fast and efficient regeneration protocol using mature embryos as explants, and discovered its effective applicability to a range of Indica rice genotypes. We have considered the response of six varieties in the steps of the regeneration procedure. The results showed that calli were variably developed from the scutellar region of seeds and visible within 6-20 days. The highest and lowest calli induction frequency (70% and 51.66%) and number of induced calli from seeds (14 and 10.33) were observed in MR269 and MRQ74, respectively. The maximum and minimum number (7.66 and 4) and frequency of embryogenic calli (38.33% and 20%) were recorded in MR219 and MRQ74, respectively. However, the highest browning rate was observed in MR84 (87%) and the lowest rate in MRQ50 (46%). The majority of plants regenerated from embryogenic calli were obtained from MRQ50 (54%) and the minimum number of plants from MR84. In this study, the maximum numbers of plantlets were regenerated from the varieties with highest rate of embryogenic calli. Also, various varieties, including MRQ50, MR269, MR276 and MR219, were satisfactorily responding, while MRQ74 and MR84 weakly responded to the procedure. Such a simple, successful and generalized method possesses the potential to become an important tool for crop improvement and functional studies of genes in rice as a model monocot plant.
Seven stains were studied to determine the best color and contrast for staining the developmental stages of free living pathogenic Acanthamoeba and Naegleria species. The acid-fast bacilli stain (AFB) produced a blue color without contrast; trichrome-eosin and modified Field's showed various color contrasts; Giemsa, iron-hematoxylin, modified AFB and Gram produced only one color which distinguished the nucleus, nucleolus, cytoplasm, food- and water-vacuoles. The motile organs (acanthopodia, pseudopodia, lobopodia and flagella) were also clearly differentiated but produced a similar color as the cytoplasm. These motile organelles were first induced by incubating at 37 degrees C for at least 15 minutes and then fixing with methanol in order to preserve the protruding morphology prior to staining. The trichrome-eosin and iron-hematoxylin stains showed good color contrast for detecting all three stages, the trophozoite, cyst and flagellate; Giemsa and Gram stained the trophozoite and flagellate stages; the modified Field's and modified AFB stains stained only the trophozoite stage. Depending on the purpose, all these stains (except the AFB stain) can be used to identify the developmental stages of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria for clinical, epidemiological or public health use.
This study explored the efficacy of Toxorhynchites splendens, predator of Aedes albopictus as a biocontrol agent. There was a negative correlation between Ae. albopictus larval population and Tx. splendens larval population in ovitraps (r=-0.287, R²=0.0821). The correlation is higher between the mean number of Ae. albopictus larvae per ovitrap and the number of Tx. splendens larvae in an ovitrap (r=-0.987, R²=0.9737). Larvae of Tx. splendens were observed to co-exist with larvae of Ae. albopictus and Culex fuscocephala in the ovitraps placed in the study area. The existence of Tx. splendens larvae in the study area coincides with their habit, preferring to breed in bamboo stumps. A total of 480 ovitraps were inspected for 30-week study period and 281 ovitraps were positive with Ae. albopictus larvae respectively. There was a significant difference between numbers of ovitrap positive for Ae. albopictus larvae with number of Tx. splendens larvae in the ovitraps (ANOVA, F((4,475)) 2.655, p<0.05). Of 281 ovitraps positive with Ae. albopictus larvae, 255 ovitraps contained only one Tx. splendens larva each. Only one ovitrap contained four, the most number of Tx. splendens larvae (p< 0.05). Thus, Tx. splendens could be utilised as an alternative for dengue vector control programme.
Matched MeSH terms: Aedes/growth & development*; Larva/growth & development
Determination of physico-chemical (weight, length, diameter, stomatal density, respiration rate, colour, soluble solids concentration, titratable acidity, chlorophyll and betacyanin content) and structural changes of red-fleshed dragon fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus (Weber) Britton & Rose) was carried out from 5 to 35 days after pollination (DAP) in order to explain their growth, development, maturations and ripening stages.
Matched MeSH terms: Fruit/growth & development; Cactaceae/growth & development
A field experiment was conducted to evaluate photosynthetic efficiency along with different growth parameters of aromatic rice genotypes. Forty genotypes including three non-aromatic checks exhibited enormous variations for leaf area index (LAI), crop growth rate (CGR), relative growth rate (RGR), net assimilation rate (NAR), grain yield, total dry matter, harvest index and photosynthetic efficiency or energy use efficiency (Emu) at panicle initiation and heading stages. Minimum LAI-value was 0.52 in Khazar at PI stage and maximum was 4.91 in Sakkor khora at heading stage. The CGR-value was in the range of 4.80-24.11 g m(-2) per day. The best yielder BR39 produced grain of 4.21 t ha(-1) and the worst yielder Khazar gave 1.42 t ha(-1). Total dry matter (TDM) yield varied from 4.04 to 12.26 t ha(-1) where genotypes proved their energy use efficiency a range between 0.58 to 1.65%. Emu showed a significant positive relation with TDM (r=0.80(**)), CGR (r=0.72(**)) and grain yield (r=0.66(**)). A negative correlation was established between TDM and harvest index and LAI and RGR. Path analysis result showed that NAR at heading stage exerted highest positive direct effect (0.70) on Emu.
Matched MeSH terms: Oryza/growth & development*; Plant Leaves/growth & development
The cranial suspensory ligament (CSL) is a fibromuscular structure anchoring the embryonic gonad to the posterior abdominal wall in male and female mammals. Its persistence in females is believed to be responsible for retaining the ovaries within the abdomen, while its regression in males permits testis descent. Embryonic loss of the CSL in males is believed to be an androgen-dependent event, and failure of this process has been proposed as a cause of cryptorchidism. The present study demonstrates that the nuclei of mesenchymal cells in the caudal part of the CSL are immunoreactively positive for androgen receptor. We examined the effects of exposure of the non-steroidal antiandrogen flutamide during the period from gestational day 10 to birth on the development of the CSL and on testis descent. Exposure of male Albino Swiss rats to the antiandrogen flutamide during this period resulted in feminization of the external genitalia and the suppression of growth of the testes and male reproductive tracts. In adulthood, testes were found to be located in diverse positions including normal scrotal (50%), intra-abdominal (10%) and ectopic suprainguinal (40%). The CSL of the testis persisted into adulthood in all flutamide-treated males, regardless of testis location. In all cases, the ligament consisted of bundles of smooth muscle fibres in the retroperitoneal fat of the posterior abdominal wall. These findings suggest that androgen blockade during embryonic development interferes with testicular descent, but that maldescent cannot be correlated with either the persistence of the CSL of the testis or its structure.
Matched MeSH terms: Gonads/growth & development; Testis/growth & development
Crop duration of a rice plant, essentially dictated by flowering response, is an important selection criterion. It is determined by the interaction of genotype and environment. A field experiment was conducted with 40 rice genotypes to assess the fluctuation and/or stability of crop duration in a series of 16 environmental conditions. The effects of genotype, environment and all the components of G x E interaction were highly significant. Among the genotypes Benaful and Gandho kasturi were most sensitive to environmental changes, and indicating lower adaptability over the environments. Crop durations of 17 genotypes were comparatively stable against environmental changes. Four genotypes viz. Basmati PNR346, BR28, Neimat and Sarwati showed only nonlinear sensitivity and thus unpredictable fluctuation. Seventeen genotypes indicated average stability over the environments. The AMMI analysis identified Badshabhog, Basmati Tapl-90, Bhog ganjia, BR38, Elai, Jata katari and Radhuni pagal as most stable genotypes over the environment series. It also advocated three comparatively stable environments for all the genotypes.
Larvae of the Synthesiomyia nudiseta (Wulp) were collected from a decomposed human corpse at the Department of Forensic Medicine, Penang Hospital. A colony of this species was established and the eggs were collected for rearing. The developmental times, rearing temperatures, and relative humidity were recorded twice daily from the time the eggs collected until adult emergence. An average of 5 larvae were randomly collected from the rearings twice daily, warm-water killed and preserved in Kahle's solution. The larval instar stages were determined by observing the number of posterior spiracular slits and the length of the preserved larvae were measured. When the larval life cycle was completed, the accumulated developmental times were calculated. A total of 8 replicates were carried out. The temperature of the rearing room was 28.5+/-1.5 degrees Celcius while the relative humidity was within 67-85%. The total developmental time for S. nudiseta was 322+/-19 hours (13.4+/-0.8 days).
This study was conducted to analyze variation in Strombus canarium larvae development, growth and survivals when cultured during wet (main reproductive period) and dry seasons. Larvae were reared at 200 larvae L(-1) in filtered seawater (0.22 microm) and fed with Isochrysis galbana at 1000 cells mL(-1) ad libitum. The culture environment was maintained at 29 +/- 1 degrees C, salinity of 30 +/- 1 PSU and photoperiod of 12:12 light dark cycle. Growth of the larvae was described on a length-at-age basis using the modified Gompertz regression. There was high correlation in shell length-at-age relationship for both wet season (R2 = 0.99) and dry season (R2 = 0.98) culture experiments. The maximal growth rate (M) and survival rate (S) were higher for larvae cultured during wet season (M = 62.44 microm day(-1), S = 14.36-2.31%), compared with dry season (M = 43.05 microm day(-1), S = 5 +/- 1.15%). The maximal attainable larval size (a) was however lower during wet season (950.19 +/- 66.93 microm shell length) compared with dry season (1343.05 +/- 586.51 microm shell length), which might be due to significantly low larvae density in the latter. Further studies are needed to investigate variation in bio-chemical composition of the egg mass, which was suggested as the main reason for the differences.