ResearchPad - pigments https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Response of cytokinins and nitrogen metabolism in the fronds of <i>Pteris</i> sp. under arsenic stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14748 Given the close relationship between cytokinins (CKs), photosynthesis and nitrogen metabolism, this study assessed the effect of arsenic (As) contamination on these metabolic components in the As-hyperaccumulators Pteris cretica L. var. Albo-lineata (Pc-A) and var. Parkerii (Pc-P) as well as the As-non-hyperaccumulator Pteris straminea Mett. ex Baker (Ps). The ferns were cultivated in a pot experiment for 23 weeks in soil spiked with As at the levels 20 and 100 mg·kg-1. For the purpose of this study, the CKs were placed into five functionally different groups according to their structure and physiological roles: bioactive forms (bCKs; CK free bases); inactive or weakly active forms (dCKs; CK N-glucosides); transport forms (tCKs; CK ribosides); storage forms (sCKs; O-glucosides); and primary products of CK biosynthesis (ppbCKs; CK nucleotides). An important finding was higher CKs total content, accumulation of sCKs and reduction of dCKs in As-hyperaccumulators in contrast to non-hyperaccumulator ferns. A significant depletion of C resources was confirmed in ferns, especially Ps, which was determined by measuring the photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll fluorescence. A fluorescence decrease signified a reduction in the C/N ratio, inducing an increase of bioactive CKs forms in Pc-P and Ps. The impact of As on N utilization was significant in As-hyperaccumulators. The glutamic acid/glutamine ratio, an indicator of primary N assimilation, diminished in all ferns with increased As level in the soil. In conclusion, the results indicate a large phenotypic diversity of Pteris species to As and suggest that the CKs composition and the glutamic acid/glutamine ratio can be used as a tool to diagnose As stress in plants.

]]>
<![CDATA[Terminal drought and heat stress alter physiological and biochemical attributes in flag leaf of bread wheat]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14475 Heat stress along with low water availability at reproductive stage (terminal growth phase of wheat crop) is major contributing factor towards less wheat production in tropics and sub-tropics. Flag leaf plays a pivotal role in assimilate partitioning and stress tolerance of wheat during terminal growth phase. However, limited is known about biochemical response of flag leaf to combined and individual heat and drought stress during terminal growth phase. Therefore, current study investigated combined and individual effect of terminal drought and heat stress on water relations, photosynthetic pigments, osmolytes accumulation and antioxidants defense mechanism in flag leaf of bread wheat. Experimental treatments comprised of control, terminal drought stress alone (50% field capacity during reproductive phase), terminal heat stress alone (wheat grown inside plastic tunnel during reproductive phase) and terminal drought stress + terminal heat stress. Individual and combined imposition of drought and heat stresses significantly (p≤0.05) altered water relations, osmolyte contents, soluble proteins and sugars along with activated antioxidant defensive system in terms of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX). Turgor potential, POD and APX activities were lowest under individual heat stress; however, these were improved when drought stress was combined with heat stress. It is concluded that combined effect of drought and heat stress was more detrimental than individual stresses. The interactive effect of both stresses was hypo-additive in nature, but for some traits (like turgor potential and APX) effect of one stress neutralized the other. To best of our knowledge, this is the first report on physiological and biochemical response of flag leaf of wheat to combine heat and drought stress. These results will help future studies dealing with improved stress tolerance in wheat. However, detailed studies are needed to fully understand the genetic mechanisms behind these physiological and biochemical changes in flag leaf in response to combined heat and drought stress.

]]>
<![CDATA[Extending thermotolerance to tomato seedlings by inoculation with SA1 isolate of <i>Bacillus cereus</i> and comparison with exogenous humic acid application]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_11229 Heat stress is one of the major abiotic stresses that impair plant growth and crop productivity. Plant growth-promoting endophytic bacteria (PGPEB) and humic acid (HA) are used as bio-stimulants and ecofriendly approaches to improve agriculture crop production and counteract the negative effects of heat stress. Current study aimed to analyze the effect of thermotolerant SA1 an isolate of Bacillus cereus and HA on tomato seedlings. The results showed that combine application of SA1+HA significantly improved the biomass and chlorophyll fluorescence of tomato plants under normal and heat stress conditions. Heat stress increased abscisic acid (ABA) and reduced salicylic acid (SA) content; however, combined application of SA1+HA markedly reduced ABA and increased SA. Antioxidant enzymes activities revealed that SA1 and HA treated plants exhibited increased levels of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and reduced glutathione (GSH). In addition, heat stress markedly reduced the amino acid contents; however, the amino acids were increased with co-application of SA1+HA. Similarly, inductively-coupled plasma mass-spectrometry results showed that plants treated with SA1+HA exhibited significantly higher iron (Fe+), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K+) uptake during heat stress. Heat stress increased the relative expression of SlWRKY33b and autophagy-related (SlATG5) genes, whereas co-application of SA1+HA augmented the heat stress response and reduced SlWRKY33b and SlATG5 expression. The heat stress-responsive transcription factor (SlHsfA1a) and high-affinity potassium transporter (SlHKT1) were upregulated in SA1+HA-treated plants. In conclusion, current findings suggest that co-application with SA1+HA can be used for the mitigation of heat stress damage in tomato plants and can be commercialized as a biofertilizer.

]]>
<![CDATA[Origin of the natural variation in the storage of dietary carotenoids in freshwater amphipod crustaceans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N905bc2f7-7243-429f-9b99-7855ae079227

Carotenoids are diverse lipophilic natural pigments which are stored in variable amounts by animals. Given the multiple biological functions of carotenoids, such variation may have strong implications in evolutionary biology. Crustaceans such as Gammarus amphipods store large amounts of these pigments and inter-population variation occurs. While differences in parasite selective pressure have been proposed to explain this variation, the contribution of other factors such as genetic differences in the gammarid ability to assimilate and/or store pigments, and the environmental availability of carotenoids cannot be dismissed. This study investigates the relative contributions of the gammarid genotype and of the environmental availability of carotenoids in the natural variability in carotenoid storage. It further explores the link of this natural variability in carotenoid storage with major crustacean immune parameters. We addressed these aspects using the cryptic diversity in the amphipod crustacean Gammarus fossarum and a diet supplementation protocol in the laboratory. Our results suggest that natural variation in G. fossarum storage of dietary carotenoids results from both the availability of the pigments in the environment and the genetically-based ability of the gammarids to assimilate and/or store them, which is associated to levels of stimulation of cellular immune defences. While our results may support the hypothesis that carotenoids storage in this crustacean may evolve in response to parasitic pressure, a better understanding of the specific roles of this large pigment storage in the crustacean physiology is needed.

]]>
<![CDATA[Transient expression of Wnt5a elicits ocular features of pseudoexfoliation syndrome in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897767d5eed0c4847d2c07

Purpose

Pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome is an age-related systemic disease with ocular manifestations. The development of animal models is critical in order to elucidate the cause of the disease and to test potential treatment regimens. The purpose of this study is to report phenotypes found in mouse eyes injected with Adenovirus coding Wnt5a. Some of the phenotypes resemble those found in PEX patients while others are different.

Methods

Recombinant Adenovirus coding Wnt5a or green fluorescent protein (GFP) were injected into mouse eyes. Two months after the injection, eyes were examined for PEX phenotypes using slit lamp, fluorescence stereomicroscope, histological staining, immunostaining and transmission electron microscope.

Result

Certain ocular features of PEX syndrome were found in mouse eyes injected with recombinant Adenovirus coding Wnt5a. These features include accumulation of exfoliation-like extracellular material on surfaces of anterior segment structures and its dispersion in the anterior chamber, saw-tooth appearance and disrupted basement membrane of the posterior iris pigment epithelium, iris stromal atrophy and disorganized ciliary zonules. Ultrastructure analysis of the exfoliation material revealed that the microfibril structure found in this model was different from those of PEX patients.

Conclusion

These features, resembling signs of ocular PEX syndrome in patients, suggest that new information obtained from this study will be helpful for developing better mouse models for PEX syndrome.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification and expression profiling of miRNAs in two color variants of carrot (Daucus carota L.) using deep sequencing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accd2d5eed0c48499009d

microRNAs represent small endogenous RNAs which are known to play a crucial role in various plant metabolic processes. Carrot being an important vegetable crop, represents one of the richest sources of carotenoids and anthocyanins. Most of the studies on microRNAs have been conducted in the aerial parts of the plants. However, carrot has the rare distinction of storing these compounds in roots. Therefore, carrot represents a good model system to unveil the regulatory roles of miRNAs in the underground edible part of the plant. For the first time, we report the genome wide identification and expression profiling of miRNAs in two contrasting color variants of carrot namely Orange Red and Purple Black using RNA-seq. Illumina sequencing resulted in the generation of 25.5M and 18.9M reads in Orange Red and Purple Black libraries, respectively. In total, 144 and 98 (read count >10), conserved microRNAs and 36 and 66 novel microRNAs were identified in Orange Red and Purple Black, respectively. Functional categorization and differential gene expression revealed the presence of several miRNA genes targeting various secondary metabolic pathways including carotenoid and anthocyanin biosynthetic pathways in the two libraries. 11 known and 2 novel microRNAs were further validated using Stem-Loop PCR and qRT-PCR. Also, target validation was performed for selected miRNA genes using RLM-RACE approach. The present work has laid a foundation towards understanding of various metabolic processes, particularly the color development in carrot. This information can be further employed in targeted gene expression for increasing the carotenoid and anthocyanin content in crop plants.

]]>
<![CDATA[Enhanced in vivo-imaging in medaka by optimized anaesthesia, fluorescent protein selection and removal of pigmentation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c9902e5d5eed0c484b98849

Fish are ideally suited for in vivo-imaging due to their transparency at early stages combined with a large genetic toolbox. Key challenges to further advance imaging are fluorophore selection, immobilization of the specimen and approaches to eliminate pigmentation. We addressed all three and identified the fluorophores and anaesthesia of choice by high throughput time-lapse imaging. Our results indicate that eGFP and mCherry are the best conservative choices for in vivo-fluorescence experiments, when availability of well-established antibodies and nanobodies matters. Still, mVenusNB and mGFPmut2 delivered highest absolute fluorescence intensities in vivo. Immobilization is of key importance during extended in vivo imaging. Here, traditional approaches are outperformed by mRNA injection of α-Bungarotoxin which allows a complete and reversible, transient immobilization. In combination with fully transparent juvenile and adult fish established by the targeted inactivation of both, oca2 and pnp4a via CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in medaka we could dramatically improve the state-of-the art imaging conditions in post-embryonic fish, now enabling light-sheet microscopy of the growing retina, brain, gills and inner organs in the absence of side effects caused by anaesthetic drugs or pigmentation.

]]>
<![CDATA[Detailed characterization of the solution kinetics and thermodynamics of biotin, biocytin and HABA binding to avidin and streptavidin]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c818e96d5eed0c484cc260a

The high affinity (KD ~ 10−15 M) of biotin for avidin and streptavidin is the essential component in a multitude of bioassays with many experiments using biotin modifications to invoke coupling. Equilibration times suggested for these assays assume that the association rate constant (kon) is approximately diffusion limited (109 M-1s-1) but recent single molecule and surface binding studies indicate that they are slower than expected (105 to 107 M-1s-1). In this study, we asked whether these reactions in solution are diffusion controlled, which reaction model and thermodynamic cycle describes the complex formation, and if there are any functional differences between avidin and streptavidin. We have studied the biotin association by two stopped-flow methodologies using labeled and unlabeled probes: I) fluorescent probes attached to biotin and biocytin; and II) unlabeled biotin and HABA, 2-(4’-hydroxyazobenzene)-benzoic acid. Both native avidin and streptavidin are homo-tetrameric and the association data show no cooperativity between the binding sites. The kon values of streptavidin are faster than avidin but slower than expected for a diffusion limited reaction in both complexes. Moreover, the Arrhenius plots of the kon values revealed strong temperature dependence with large activation energies (6–15 kcal/mol) that do not correspond to a diffusion limited process (3–4 kcal/mol). Accordingly, we propose a simple reaction model with a single transition state for non-immobilized reactants whose forward thermodynamic parameters complete the thermodynamic cycle, in agreement with previously reported studies. Our new understanding and description of the kinetics, thermodynamics, and spectroscopic parameters for these complexes will help to improve purification efficiencies, molecule detection, and drug screening assays or find new applications.

]]>
<![CDATA[Endothelin receptor Aa regulates proliferation and differentiation of Erb-dependent pigment progenitors in zebrafish]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c803c68d5eed0c484ad88f6

Skin pigment patterns are important, being under strong selection for multiple roles including camouflage and UV protection. Pigment cells underlying these patterns form from adult pigment stem cells (APSCs). In zebrafish, APSCs derive from embryonic neural crest cells, but sit dormant until activated to produce pigment cells during metamorphosis. The APSCs are set-aside in an ErbB signaling dependent manner, but the mechanism maintaining quiescence until metamorphosis remains unknown. Mutants for a pigment pattern gene, parade, exhibit ectopic pigment cells localised to the ventral trunk, but also supernumerary cells restricted to the Ventral Stripe. Contrary to expectations, these melanocytes and iridophores are discrete cells, but closely apposed. We show that parade encodes Endothelin receptor Aa, expressed in the blood vessels, most prominently in the medial blood vessels, consistent with the ventral trunk phenotype. We provide evidence that neuronal fates are not affected in parade mutants, arguing against transdifferentiation of sympathetic neurons to pigment cells. We show that inhibition of BMP signaling prevents specification of sympathetic neurons, indicating conservation of this molecular mechanism with chick and mouse. However, inhibition of sympathetic neuron differentiation does not enhance the parade phenotype. Instead, we pinpoint ventral trunk-restricted proliferation of neural crest cells as an early feature of the parade phenotype. Importantly, using a chemical genetic screen for rescue of the ectopic pigment cell phenotype of parade mutants (whilst leaving the embryonic pattern untouched), we identify ErbB inhibitors as a key hit. The time-window of sensitivity to these inhibitors mirrors precisely the window defined previously as crucial for the setting aside of APSCs in the embryo, strongly implicating adult pigment stem cells as the source of the ectopic pigment cells. We propose that a novel population of APSCs exists in association with medial blood vessels, and that their quiescence is dependent upon Endothelin-dependent factors expressed by the blood vessels.

]]>
<![CDATA[Solanum lycopersicum GOLDEN 2-LIKE 2 transcription factor affects fruit quality in a light- and auxin-dependent manner]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75a8d5eed0c4843cff97

Plastids are organelles responsible for essential aspects of plant development, including carbon fixation and synthesis of several secondary metabolites. Chloroplast differentiation and activity are highly regulated by light, and several proteins involved in these processes have been characterised. Such is the case of the GOLDEN 2-LIKE (GLK) transcription factors, which induces the expression of genes related to chloroplast differentiation and photosynthesis. The tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) genome harbours two copies of this gene, SlGLK1 and SlGLK2, each with distinct expression patterns. While the former predominates in leaves, the latter is mainly expressed in fruits, precisely at the pedicel region. During tomato domestication, the selection of fruits with uniform ripening fixed the mutation Slglk2, nowadays present in most cultivated varieties, what penalised fruit metabolic composition. In this study, we investigated how SlGLK2 is regulated by light, auxin and cytokinin and determined the effect of SlGLK2 on tocopherol (vitamin E) and sugar metabolism, which are components of the fruit nutritional and industrial quality. To achieve this, transcriptional profiling and biochemical analysis were performed throughout fruit development and ripening from SlGLK2, Slglk2, SlGLK2-overexpressing genotypes, as well as from phytochrome and hormonal deficient mutants. The results revealed that SlGLK2 expression is regulated by phytochrome-mediated light perception, yet this gene can induce chloroplast differentiation even in a phytochrome-independent manner. Moreover, auxin was found to be a negative regulator of SlGLK2 expression, while SlGLK2 enhances cytokinin responsiveness. Additionally, SlGLK2 enhanced chlorophyll content in immature green fruits, leading to an increment in tocopherol level in ripe fruits. Finally, SlGLK2 overexpression resulted in higher total soluble solid content, possibly by the regulation of sugar metabolism enzyme-encoding genes. The results obtained here shed light on the regulatory network that interconnects SlGLK2, phytohormones and light signal, promoting the plastidial activity and consequently, influencing the quality of tomato fruit.

]]>
<![CDATA[The association of choroidal structure and its response to anti-VEGF treatment with the short-time outcome in pachychoroid neovasculopathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f14b7d5eed0c48467a726

Pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV) shares some anatomical features with other pachychoroid spectrum diseases, but little is known about the characteristics on the treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We investigated the effect of choroidal structure and responses to anti-VEGF on the prognosis of pachychoroid neovasculopathy (PNV) and other types of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (non-PNV). Twenty-one eyes with PNV and 34 eyes with non-PNV who had anti-VEGF treatment were retrospectively reviewed. Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) area at baseline was measured with fluorescein angiography (FAG). The luminal and stromal area in the choroid was measured by enhanced-depth-imaging (EDI) OCT at baseline and 1 month. The association between dry macula or LogMAR VA (visual acuity, VA) at 1 month and baseline values or changes in the luminal or stromal area at 1 month, baseline CNV area, or anti-VEGF drugs were analyzed in patients with or without PNV. In non-PNV, change of luminal area (coefficient = 7.0×10−5, p = 0.0001), baseline CNV area (coefficient = 0.18, p = 0.033), and aflibercept vs. ranibizumab (coefficient = 0.29, p = 0.0048) were chosen as predictors for dry macula by the model selection. Similarly, in non-PNV, change of luminal area (coefficient = 6.1×10−6, p = 0.033), baseline CNV area (coefficient = 0.034, p = 0.022), and aflibercept vs. ranibizumab (coefficient = 0.056, p = 0.0020) were chosen as predictors for greater VA improvement. In PNV, however, none of these factors was chosen as predictors for dry macula or VA improvement by the model selection. The result of the present study implied that structural response after anti-VEGF might be different between non-PNV and PNV in the treatment with anti-VEGF agents.

]]>
<![CDATA[Genome-wide association study and a post replication analysis revealed a promising genomic region and candidate genes for chicken eggshell blueness]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c521876d5eed0c4847986a3

The eggshell blueness is an interesting object for chicken genetic studies and blue-shelled chicken industry, especially after the discovery of the causative mutation of chicken blue eggshell. In the present study, genome wide association study (GWAS) was conducted in Chinese Dongxiang blue-shelled chicken underlying four traits of blue eggshell pigments: quantity of biliverdin (QB), quantity of protoporphyrin (QP), quantity of total pigment (QT), and color density trait (CD). A total of 139 individuals were randomly collected for GWAS. We detected two SNPs in genome-wise significance and 35 in suggestive significance, 24 out of the 37 SNP were located either within intron/exon or near 15 genes in a range of ~1.17 Mb on GGA21. For further confirmation of the identified SNP loci by GWAS, the follow-up replication studies were performed in two populations. A total of 146 individuals of the second generation derived from the former GWAS population, as well as 280 individuals from an alternative independent population were employed for genotyping by MALDI-TOF MS in a genotype-phenotype association study. Eighteen SNPs evenly distributed on the GGA21 significant region were successfully genotyped in the two populations, of which 4 and 6 SNP loci were shown significantly associated with QB, QT and QP in the two repeat populations, respectively. Further, the SNPs were narrowed down to a region of ~ 653.819 Kb on GGA21 that harbors five candidate genes: AJAP1, TNFRSF9, C1ORF174, CAMTA1, and CEP104. Shell gland of chickens laying dark and light blue eggshell was chosen for detection of mRNA expression of the five candidate genes. The results showed differential expression levels of these genes in the two groups. The specific function of these genes has not yet been defined clearly in chickens and further in-depth studies are needed to explore the new functional role in chicken eggshell blueness.

]]>
<![CDATA[High-resolution imagery acquired from an unmanned platform to estimate biophysical and geometrical parameters of olive trees under different irrigation regimes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c50c493d5eed0c4845e895b

The experiments were conducted in a fully-productive olive orchard (cv. Frantoio) at the experimental farm of University of Pisa at Venturina (Italy) in 2015 to assess the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) equipped with RGB-NIR cameras to estimate leaf area index (LAI), tree height, canopy diameter and canopy volume of olive trees that were either irrigated or rainfed. Irrigated trees received water 4–5 days a week (1348 m3 ha-1), whereas the rainfed ones received a single irrigation of 19 m3 ha-1 to relieve the extreme stress. The flight altitude was 70 m above ground level (AGL), except for one flight (50 m AGL). The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was calculated by means of the map algebra technique. Canopy volume, canopy height and diameter were obtained from the digital surface model (DSM) obtained through automatic aerial triangulation, bundle block adjustment and camera calibration methods. The NDVI estimated on the day of the year (DOY) 130 was linearly correlated with both LAI and leaf chlorophyll measured on the same date (R2 = 0.78 and 0.80, respectively). The correlation between the on ground measured canopy volumes and the ones by the UAV-RGB camera techniques yielded an R2 of 0.71–0.86. The monthly canopy volume increment estimated from UAV surveys between (DOY) 130 and 244 was highly correlated with the daily water stress integral of rainfed trees (R2 = 0.99). The effect of water stress on the seasonal pattern of canopy growth was detected by these techniques in correspondence of the maximum level of stress experienced by the rainfed trees. The highest level of accuracy (RMSE = 0.16 m) in canopy height estimation was obtained when the flight altitude was 50 m AGL, yielding an R2 value of 0.87 and an almost 1:1 ratio of measured versus estimated canopy height.

]]>
<![CDATA[Integrating ecosystem services considerations within a GIS-based habitat suitability index for oyster restoration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e667d5eed0c484ef3039

Geospatial habitat suitability index (HSI) models have emerged as powerful tools that integrate pertinent spatial information to guide habitat restoration efforts, but have rarely accounted for spatial variation in ecosystem service provision. In this study, we utilized satellite-derived chlorophyll a concentrations for Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA in conjunction with data on water flow velocities and dissolved oxygen concentrations to identify potential restoration locations that would maximize the oyster reef-associated ecosystem service of water filtration. We integrated these novel factors associated with oyster water filtration ecosystem services within an existing, ‘Metapopulation Persistence’ focused GIS-based, HSI model containing biophysical (e.g., salinity, oyster larval connectivity) and logistical (e.g., distance to nearest restoration material stockpile site) factors to identify suitable locations for oyster restoration that maximize long-term persistence of restored oyster populations and water filtration ecosystem service provision. Furthermore, we compared the ‘Water Filtration’ optimized HSI with the HSI optimized for ‘Metapopulation Persistence,’ as well as a hybrid model that optimized for both water filtration and metapopulation persistence. Optimal restoration locations (i.e., locations corresponding to the top 1% of suitability scores) were identified that were consistent among the three HSI scenarios (i.e., “win-win” locations), as well as optimal locations unique to a given HSI scenario (i.e., “tradeoff” locations). The modeling framework utilized in this study can provide guidance to restoration practitioners to maximize the cost-efficiency and ecosystem services value of habitat restoration efforts. Furthermore, the functional relationships between oyster water filtration and chlorophyll a concentrations, water flow velocities, and dissolved oxygen applied in this study can guide field- and lab-testing of hypotheses related to optimal conditions for oyster reef restoration to maximize water quality enhancement benefits.

]]>
<![CDATA[Comparison of transcriptional expression patterns of phenols and carotenoids in ‘Kyoho’ grapes under a two-crop-a-year cultivation system]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7ded5eed0c484386b3a

To fully utilize the characteristic climatic conditions in the southern region of China, a two-crop-a-year cultivation system technique for ‘Kyoho’ grape was developed during the past decade. After summer harvest in June, appropriate pruning and chemical treatments promote flowering and fruiting, which enables a second harvest in late December. Due to climatic differences between the two crop growing seasons, grape phenol and carotenoid metabolism differ greatly. The reported study analyzed the transcriptome of the carotenoid and phenylpropanoid/flavonoid pathways in grapes at four different stages during the two growing seasons. Compared with those in summer grapes, expression levels of the majority of genes involved in the carotenoid metabolic pathway in winter grapes were generally upregulated. This result was associated with lower rainfall and much more abundant sunlight during the second growing season. On the other hand, summer cropping strongly triggered the expression of upstream genes in the phenylpropanoid/flavonoid pathway at E-L 33 and E-L 35. Transcript levels of flavonoid 3’,5’-hydroxylase (F3’5’H), flavonoid 3’-hydroxylase (F3’H), flavonoid 3-hydroxylase (F3H) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) were upregulated in winter grapes at the mature stage. Together, these results might indicate that more flavonoids would be synthesized in ripe winter grapes during the mature stage of the second crop under much drier conditions, longer sunlight hours and lower temperature. These data provide a theoretical foundation for the secondary metabolism of berries grown under two-crop-a-year cultivation systems.

]]>
<![CDATA[Determinants of drug-target interactions at the single cell level]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c25450dd5eed0c48442bda5

The physiochemical determinants of drug-target interactions in the microenvironment of the cell are complex and generally not defined by simple diffusion and intrinsic chemical reactivity. Non-specific interactions of drugs and macromolecules in cells are rarely considered formally in assessing pharmacodynamics. Here, we demonstrate that non-specific interactions lead to very slow incorporation kinetics of DNA binding drugs. We observe a rate of drug incorporation in cell nuclei three orders of magnitude slower than in vitro due to anomalous drug diffusion within cells. This slow diffusion, however, has an advantageous consequence: it leads to virtually irreversible binding of the drug to specific DNA targets in cells. We show that non-specific interactions drive slow drug diffusion manifesting as slow reaction front propagation. We study the effect of non-specific interactions in different cellular compartments by permeabilization of plasma and nuclear membranes in order to pinpoint differential compartment effects on variability in intracellular drug kinetics. These results provide the basis for a comprehensive model of the determinants of intracellular diffusion of small-molecule drugs, their target-seeking trajectories, and the consequences of these processes on the apparent kinetics of drug-target interactions.

]]>
<![CDATA[Unique photosynthetic electron transport tuning and excitation distribution in heterokont algae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa591d5eed0c484ca5e0e

Heterokont algae are significant contributors to marine primary productivity. These algae have a photosynthetic machinery that shares many common features with that of Viridiplantae (green algae and land plants). Here we demonstrate, however, that the photosynthetic machinery of heterokont algae responds to light fundamentally differently than that of Viridiplantae. While exposure to high light leads to electron accumulation within the photosynthetic electron transport chain in Viridiplantae, this is not the case in heterokont algae. We use this insight to manipulate the photosynthetic electron transport chain and demonstrate that heterokont algae can dynamically distribute excitation energy between the two types of photosystems. We suggest that the reported electron transport and excitation distribution features are adaptations to the marine light environment.

]]>
<![CDATA[Coral-dwelling fish moderate bleaching susceptibility of coral hosts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1d5bd2d5eed0c4846ecafb

Global environmental change has the potential to disrupt well established species interactions, with impacts on nutrient cycling and ecosystem function. On coral reefs, fish living within the branches of coral colonies can promote coral performance, and it has been hypothesized that the enhanced water flow and nutrients provided by fish to corals could ameliorate coral bleaching. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of small, aggregating damselfish on the health of their host corals (physiology, recovery, and survival) before, during, and after a thermal-bleaching event. When comparing coral colonies with and without fish, those with resident fish exhibited higher Symbiodinium densities and chlorophyll in both field and experimentally-induced bleaching conditions, and higher protein concentrations in field colonies. Additionally, colonies with damselfish in aquaria exhibited both higher photosynthetic efficiency (FV/FM) during bleaching stress and post-bleaching recovery, compared to uninhabited colonies. These results demonstrate that symbiotic damselfishes, and the services they provide, translate into measureable impacts on coral tissue, and can influence coral bleaching susceptibility/resilience and recovery. By mediating how external abiotic stressors influence coral colony health, damselfish can affect the functional responses of these interspecific interactions in a warming ocean.

]]>
<![CDATA[Characterization of biodegradation in a 17th century easel painting and potential for a biological approach]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c117b5ed5eed0c484698e58

It is important to characterize the microorganisms involved in biodeterioration processes to understand their effects on cultural assets and to define an efficient strategy for protecting artworks, monuments, and buildings from microbiological recolonization. In this study, we analyzed the microbial communities dwelling on the verso (front) and recto (back) sides of a 17th century easel painting attributed to Carlo Bononi, an Italian artist of the first Baroque period. Cultivable bacteria and fungi colonizing the painting were isolated and identified in order to characterize the microbial community possibly involved in deteriorating the pictorial layer of the painting. The isolated bacterial strains belonged to the Staphylococcus and Bacillus genera. Furthermore, culture-dependent techniques and SEM/EDS analyses revealed the presence of filamentous fungi of the genera Aspergillus, Penicillium, Cladosporium, and Alternaria. The chemical compositions of pigments were consistent with typical 17th century paintings, and some of the identified pigments, namely red lac and red and yellow earths, could be exploited as nutrient sources by painting-associated microorganisms. The study also evaluated, in vitro, the potential decontaminating activity of a biocompound, containing spores of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus pumilus, and Bacillus megaterium. The results indicated the ability of this biocompound to counteract the growth of contaminating microorganisms that are potentially dangerous to the painting, suggesting the potential use of these microorganisms to prevent biodeterioration of artworks.

]]>
<![CDATA[Modeling the spatial and seasonal distribution of offshore recreational vessels in the southeast United States]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c0841e3d5eed0c484fcb11d

Understanding the distribution and intensity of recreational boating activities is key for managing safety as well as environmental and social impacts. Recreational boating is a very important component of the diverse maritime traffic in the southeastern United States. The seasonal distribution of offshore recreational vessels in waters off the coast of Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia was modeled using several techniques (Poisson, negative binomial, hurdle and zero inflated modes, generalized additive models, and generalized mixed models) and by combining map-based information provided by recreational boaters with environmental and geographical variables to find the most parsimonious model. Based on model performance, the final model analysis was conducted using a GAM approach with a negative binomial distribution. The best seasonal models explained between 86.1%– 88.6% of the total deviance. For most seasons, a model that included latitude, longitude, interaction between latitude and longitude, chlorophyll a concentration, and abundance of artificial reefs resulted in the best fit. The only exception was the model for the summer season, which did not include chlorophyll a concentration. Given the complexity of the study area, with a number of maritime activities and several marine species co-occurring, these models could provide information to analyze the distribution and overlap of recreational boating trips with other maritime activities (e.g., cargo ships, commercial vessels) and species (e.g., right whales, sea turtles, sharks). These analyses could be used to decrease harmful interactions among these groups and activities.

]]>