ResearchPad - thermal-stresses https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Modulation of T helper 1 and T helper 2 immune balance in a murine stress model during <i>Chlamydia muridarum</i> genital infection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14727 A murine model to study the effect of cold-induced stress (CIS) on Chlamydia muridarum genital infection and immune response has been developed in our laboratory. Previous results in the lab show that CIS increases the intensity of chlamydia genital infection, but little is known about the effects and mechanisms of CIS on the differentiation and activities of CD4+ T cell subpopulations and bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). The factors that regulate the production of T helper 1 (Th1) or T helper 2 (Th2) cytokines are not well defined. In this study, we examined whether CIS modulates the expressions of beta-adrenergic receptor (β-AR), transcription factors, hallmark cytokines of Th1 and Th2, and differentiation of BMDCs during C. muridarum genital infection in the murine model. Our results show that the mRNA level of the beta2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) compared to β1-AR and β3-AR was high in the mixed populations of CD4+ T cells and BMDCs. Furthermore, we observed decreased expression of T-bet, low level of Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) production, increased expression of GATA-3, and Interleukin-4 (IL-4) production in CD4+ T cells of stressed mice. Exposure of BMDCs to Fenoterol, β2-AR agonist, or ICI118,551, β2-AR antagonist, revealed significant β2-AR stimulation or inhibition, respectively, in stressed mice. Moreover, co-culturing of mature BMDCs and naïve CD4+ T cells increased the production of IL-4, IL-10, L-17, and IL-23 cytokines, suggesting that stimulation of β2-AR leads to the increased production of Th2 cytokines. Overall, our results show for the first time that CIS promotes the switching from a Th1 to Th2 cytokine environment. This was evidenced in the murine stress model by the overexpression of GATA-3 concurrent with elevated IL-4 production, reduced T-bet expression, and IFN-γ secretion.

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<![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.

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<![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.

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<![CDATA[Chalcone synthase (CHS) family members analysis from eggplant (Solanum melongena L.) in the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway and expression patterns in response to heat stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N0c4703df-5c43-4557-a077-ba839b092c8d

Enzymes of the chalcone synthase (CHS) family participate in the synthesis of multiple secondary metabolites in plants, fungi and bacteria. CHS showed a significant correlation with the accumulation patterns of anthocyanin. The peel color, which is primarily determined by the content of anthocyanin, is an economically important trait for eggplants that is affected by heat stress. A total of 7 CHS (SmCHS1-7) putative genes were identified in a genome-wide analysis of eggplants (S. melongena L.). The SmCHS genes were distributed on 7 scaffolds and were classified into 3 clusters. Phylogenetic relationship analysis showed that 73 CHS genes from 7 Solanaceae species were classified into 10 groups. SmCHS5, SmCHS6 and SmCHS7 were continuously down-regulated under 38°C and 45°C treatment, while SmCHS4 was up-regulated under 38°C but showed little change at 45°C in peel. Expression profiles of key anthocyanin biosynthesis gene families showed that the PAL, 4CL and AN11 genes were primarily expressed in all five tissues. The CHI, F3H, F3’5’H, DFR, 3GT and bHLH1 genes were expressed in flower and peel. Under heat stress, the expression level of 52 key genes were reduced. In contrast, the expression patterns of eight key genes similar to SmCHS4 were up-regulated at a treatment of 38°C for 3 hour. Comparative analysis of putative CHS protein evolutionary relationships, cis-regulatory elements, and regulatory networks indicated that SmCHS gene family has a conserved gene structure and functional diversification. SmCHS showed two or more expression patterns, these results of this study may facilitate further research to understand the regulatory mechanism governing peel color in eggplants.

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<![CDATA[Ocimum metabolomics in response to abiotic stresses: Cold, flood, drought and salinity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648ce6d5eed0c484c81a4d

Ocimum tenuiflorum is a widely used medicinal plant since ancient times and still continues to be irreplaceable due to its properties. The plant has been explored chemically and pharmacologically, however, the molecular studies have been started lately. In an attempt to get a comprehensive overview of the abiotic stress response in O. tenuiflorum, de novo transcriptome sequencing of plant leaves under the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses was carried out. A comparative differential gene expression (DGE) study was carried out between the common transcripts in each stress with respect to the control. KEGG pathway analysis and gene ontology (GO) enrichment studies exhibited several modifications in metabolic pathways as the result of four abiotic stresses. Besides this, a comparative metabolite profiling of stress and control samples was performed. Among the cold, drought, flood and salinity stresses, the plant was most susceptible to the cold stress. Severe treatments of all these abiotic stresses also decreased eugenol which is the main secondary metabolite present in the O. tenuiflorum plant. This investigation presents a comprehensive analysis of the abiotic stress effects in O. tenuiflorum. Current study provides an insight to the status of pathway genes’ expression that help synthesizing economically valuable phenylpropanoids and terpenoids related to the adaptation of the plant. This study identified several putative abiotic stress tolerant genes which can be utilized to either breed stress tolerant O. tenuiflorum through pyramiding or generating transgenic plants.

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<![CDATA[The influence of a hot environment on physiological stress responses in exercise until exhaustion]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d4dd5eed0c484c824d1

Exhaustive exercise in a hot environment can impair performance. Higher epinephrine plasma levels occur during exercise in heat, indicating greater sympathetic activity. This study examined the influence of exercise in the heat on stress levels. Nine young healthy men performed a maximal progressive test on a cycle ergometer at two different environmental conditions: hot (40°C) and normal (22°C), both between 40% and 50% relative humidity. Venous blood and saliva samples were collected pre-test and post-test. Before exercise there were no significant changes in salivary biomarkers (salivary IgA: p = 0.12; α-amylase: p = 0.66; cortisol: p = 0.95; nitric oxide: p = 0.13; total proteins: p = 0.07) or blood lactate (p = 0.14) between the two thermal environments. Following exercise, there were significant increases in all variables (salivary IgA 22°C: p = 0.04, 40°C: p = 0.0002; α-amylase 22°C: p = 0.0002, 40°C: p = 0.0002; cortisol 22°C: p = 0.02, 40°C: p = 0.0002; nitric oxide 22°C: p = 0.0005, 40°C: p = 0.0003, total proteins 22°C: p<0.0001, 40°C: p<0.0001 and; blood lactate 22°C: p<0.0001, 40°C: p<0.0001) both at 22°C and 40°C. There was no significant adjustment regarding IgA levels between the two thermal environments (p = 0.74), however the levels of α-amylase (p = 0.02), cortisol (p<0.0001), nitric oxide (p = 0.02) and total proteins (p = 0.01) in saliva were higher in the hotter conditions. Blood lactate was lower under the hot environment (p = 0.01). In conclusion, enduring hot temperature intensified stressful responses elicited by exercise. This study advocates that hot temperature deteriorates exercise performance under exhaustive stress and effort conditions.

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<![CDATA[Effects of moderate thermal anomalies on Acropora corals around Sesoko Island, Okinawa]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5279d5eed0c4842bc91d

Over the past several decades, coral reef ecosystems have experienced recurring bleaching events. These events were predominantly caused by thermal anomalies, which vary widely in terms of severity and spatio-temporal distribution. Acropora corals, highly prominent contributors to the structural complexity of Pacific coral reefs, are sensitive to thermal stress. Response of Acropora corals to extremely high temperature has been well documented. However, studies on the effects of moderately high temperature on Acropora corals are limited. In the summer of 2016, a moderate coral bleaching event due to moderately high temperature was observed around Sesoko Island, Okinawa, Japan. The objective of this study was to examine thermal tolerance patterns of Acropora corals, across reefs with low to moderate thermal exposure (degree heating weeks ~2–5°C week). Field surveys on permanent plots were conducted from October 2015 to April 2017 to compare the population dynamics of adult Acropora corals 6 months before and after the bleaching events around Sesoko Island. Variability in thermal stress response was driven primarily by the degree of thermal stress. Wave action and turbidity may have mediated the thermal stress. Tabular and digitate coral morphologies were the most tolerant and susceptible to thermal stress, respectively. Growth inhibition after bleaching was more pronounced in the larger digitate and corymbose coral morphologies. This study indicates that Acropora populations around Sesoko Island can tolerate short-term, moderate thermal challenges.

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<![CDATA[Epicatechin modulates stress-resistance in C. elegans via insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d64cd5eed0c484031b1e

The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been used to examine the influence of epicatechin (EC), an abundant flavonoid in the human diet, in some stress biomarkers (ROS production, lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation). Furthermore, the ability of EC to modulate the expression of some key genes in the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway (IIS), involved in longevity and oxidative or heat shock stress response, has also been explored. The final aim was to contribute to the elucidation of the mechanisms involved in the biological effects of flavonoids. The results showed that EC-treated wild-type C. elegans exhibited increased survival and reduced oxidative damage of biomolecules when submitted to thermal stress. EC treatment led to a moderate elevation in ROS levels, which might activate endogenous mechanisms of defense protecting against oxidative insult. The enhanced stress resistance induced by EC was found to be mediated through the IIS pathway, since assays in daf-2, age-1, akt-1, akt-2, sgk-1, daf-16, skn-1 and hsf-1 loss of function mutant strains failed to show any heat-resistant phenotype against thermal stress when treated with EC. Consistently, EC treatment upregulated the expression of some stress resistance associated genes, such as gst-4, hsp-16.2 and hsp-70, which are downstream regulated by the IIS pathway.

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<![CDATA[Environmental complexity: A buffer against stress in the domestic chick]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c466559d5eed0c484518bb5

Birds kept in commercial production systems can be exposed to multiple stressors from early life and this alters the development of different morphological, immunological and behavioural indicators. We explore the hypothesis that provision of a complex environment during early life, better prepares birds to cope with stressful events as well as buffers them against future unpredictable stressful episodes. In this study, 96 one day old pullets were randomly distributed in eight pens (12 birds/pen). Half of the chicks (N = 48) were assigned to a Complex Environment (CENV: with perches, a dark brooder etc.) the others to a Simple Environment (SENV: without enrichment features). Half of the birds from each of these treatments were assigned to a No Stress (NSTR, 33°C) or to an acute Cold Stress (CSTR, 18–20°C) treatment during six hours on their second day of life. At four weeks of age, chicks with these four different backgrounds were exposed to an Intermittent Stressful Challenges Protocol (ISCP). In an immunological test indicative of pro-inflammatory status Phytohemagglutinin-P (PHA-P), the response of CSTR birds was ameliorated by rearing chicks in a CENV as they had a similar response to NSTR chicks and a significantly better pro-inflammatory response than those CSTR birds reared in a SENV (five days after the CSTR treatment was applied). A similar better response when coping with new challenges (the ISCP) was observed in birds reared in a CENV compared to those from a SENV. Birds reared in the CENV had a lower heterophil/lymphocyte ratio after the ISCP than birds reared in SENV, independently of whether or not they had been exposed to CSTR early in life. No effects of stress on general behaviour were detected, however, the provision of a CENV increased resting behaviour, which may have favoured stress recover. Additionally, we found that exposure to cold stress at an early age might have rendered birds more vulnerable to future stressful events. CSTR birds had lower humoral immune responses (sheep red blood cells induced antibodies) after the ISCP and started using elevated structures in the CENV later compared to their NSTR conspecifics. Our study reflects the importance of the early provision of a CENV in commercial conditions to reduce negative stress-related effects. Within the context of the theory of adaptive plasticity, our results suggest that the early experience of the birds had long lasting effects on the modulation of their phenotypes.

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<![CDATA[Heat stress induces proteomic changes in the liver and mammary tissue of dairy cows independent of feed intake: An iTRAQ study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa54ed5eed0c484ca2dbc

Heat stress decreases milk yield and deleteriously alters milk composition. Reduced feed intake partially explains some of the consequences of heat stress, but metabolic changes in the mammary tissue and liver associated with milk synthesis have not been thoroughly evaluated. In the current study, changes of protein abundance in the mammary tissue and liver between heat-stressed cows with ad libitum intake and pair-fed thermal neutral cows were investigated using the iTRAQ proteomic approach. Most of the differentially expressed proteins from mammary tissue and liver between heat-stressed and pair-fed cows were involved in Gene Ontology category of protein metabolic process. Pathway analysis indicated that differentially expressed proteins in the mammary tissue were related to pyruvate, glyoxylate and dicarboxylate metabolism pathways, while those in the liver participated in oxidative phosphorylation and antigen processing and presentation pathways. Several heat shock proteins directly interact with each other and were considered as central “hubs” in the protein interaction network. These findings provide new insights to understand the turnover of protein biosynthesis pathways within hepatic and mammary tissue that likely contribute to changes in milk composition from heat-stressed cows.

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<![CDATA[Divergent effects of brief contemplative practices in response to an acute stressor: A randomized controlled trial of brief breath awareness, loving-kindness, gratitude or an attention control practice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1ab84ed5eed0c484027813

Mindfulness practices are increasingly being utilized as a method for cultivating well-being. The term mindfulness is often used as an umbrella for a variety of different practices and many mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) contain multiple styles of practice. Despite the diversity of practices within MBIs, few studies have investigated whether constituent practices produce specific effects. We randomized 156 undergraduates to one of four brief practices: breath awareness, loving-kindness, gratitude, or to an attention control condition. We assessed practice effects on affect following brief training, and effects on affect and behavior after provocation with a stressor (i.e., Cold pressor test). Results indicate that gratitude training significantly improved positive affect compared to breath awareness (d = 0.58) and loving-kindness led to significantly greater reductions in implicit negative affect compared to the control condition (d = 0.59) immediately after brief practice. In spite of gains in positive affect, the gratitude group demonstrated increased reactivity to the stressor, reporting the CPT as significantly more aversive than the control condition (d = 0.46) and showing significantly greater increases in negative affect compared to the breath awareness, loving-kindness, and control groups (ds = 0.55, 0.60, 0.65, respectively). Greater gains in implicit positive affect following gratitude training predicted decreased post-stressor likability ratings of novel neutral faces compared to breath awareness, loving-kindness, and control groups (ds = - 0.39, -0.40, -0.33, respectively) as well. Moreover, the gratitude group was significantly less likely to donate time than the loving-kindness group in an ecologically valid opportunity to provide unrewarded support. These data suggest that different styles of contemplative practice may produce different effects in the context of brief, introductory practice and these differences may be heightened by stress. Implications for the study of contemplative practices are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Stress-responsive and metabolic gene regulation are altered in low S-adenosylmethionine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08418ed5eed0c484fca068

S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) is a donor which provides the methyl groups for histone or nucleic acid modification and phosphatidylcholine production. SAM is hypothesized to link metabolism and chromatin modification, however, its role in acute gene regulation is poorly understood. We recently found that Caenorhabditis elegans with reduced SAM had deficiencies in H3K4 trimethylation (H3K4me3) at pathogen-response genes, decreasing their expression and limiting pathogen resistance. We hypothesized that SAM may be generally required for stress-responsive transcription. Here, using genetic assays, we show that transcriptional responses to bacterial or xenotoxic stress fail in C. elegans with low SAM, but that expression of heat shock genes are unaffected. We also found that two H3K4 methyltransferases, set-2/SET1 and set-16/MLL, had differential responses to survival during stress. set-2/SET1 is specifically required in bacterial responses, whereas set-16/MLL is universally required. These results define a role for SAM in the acute stress-responsive gene expression. Finally, we find that modification of metabolic gene expression correlates with enhanced survival during stress.

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<![CDATA[Is the risk of low birth weight or preterm labor greater when maternal stress is experienced during pregnancy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6945c4463d7e3867f4acaa

Antenatal stress is linked to fetal risks that increase the chances of neonatal complications and reduction of child cognitive ability. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate if maternal stress affects fetal, neonatal or child development. The following databases were searched: MEDLINE (1966 to May 2016), Embase (1980 to May 2016), LILACS (1982 to May 2016) and CENTRAL (1972 to May 2016). Observational studies published in English and Portuguese were included whether there was any relationship between fetal and neonatal outcome, such as birth weight, preterm labor, child development with pregnant women that were subjected to any stress type during at least one month of follow-up. Two independent reviewers screened eligible articles, extracted data and assessed the risk of bias. Thus, 8 cohort studies with about 8,271 pregnant women and 1,081,151 children proved eligible. Results suggested a significant association between antenatal stress exposure and increasing rates of low birth weight (Odds ratio (OR) 1.68 [95% Confidential Interval (CI) 1.19, 2.38]). However, there was no statistically significance difference between non-exposed and exposed groups related to preterm labor (OR 1.98 [95% CI 0.91 to 4.31]; I2 = 68%, p = 0.04). Although, results were inconsistent with primary analysis suggesting a significant association between antenatal stress exposure and the occurrence of higher rates of preterm birth (OR 1.42 [95% CI 1.05 to 1.91]; I2 = 68%, p = 0.04) in the sensitivity analysis. Furthermore, the current review has suggested that stress perceived during antenatal negatively influences fetal life and child development. Yet, further studies are necessary with adequate sample size and longer follow-up time to confirm our findings.

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<![CDATA[Elevated temperature increases meiotic crossover frequency via the interfering (Type I) pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b07d0e9463d7e0d4a37a6ee

For most eukaryotes, sexual reproduction is a fundamental process that requires meiosis. In turn, meiosis typically depends on a reciprocal exchange of DNA between each pair of homologous chromosomes, known as a crossover (CO), to ensure proper chromosome segregation. The frequency and distribution of COs are regulated by intrinsic and extrinsic environmental factors, but much more is known about the molecular mechanisms governing the former compared to the latter. Here we show that elevated temperature induces meiotic hyper-recombination in Arabidopsis thaliana and we use genetic analysis with mutants in different recombination pathways to demonstrate that the extra COs are derived from the major Type I interference sensitive pathway. We also show that heat-induced COs are not the result of an increase in DNA double-strand breaks and that the hyper-recombinant phenotype is likely specific to thermal stress rather than a more generalized stress response. Taken together, these findings provide initial mechanistic insight into how environmental cues modulate plant meiotic recombination and may also offer practical applications.

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<![CDATA[Ensemble yield simulations: Using heat-tolerant and later-maturing varieties to adapt to climate warming]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf1ca

The use of modern crop varieties is a dominant method of obtaining high yields in crop production. Efforts to identify suitable varieties, with characteristics that would increase crop yield under future climate conditions, remain essential to developing sustainable agriculture and food security. This work aims to evaluate potential genotypic adaptations (i.e., using varieties with increased ability to produce desirable grain numbers under high temperatures and with enhanced thermal time requirements during the grain-filling period) to cope with the negative impacts of climate change on maize yield. The contributions of different options were investigated at six sites in the North China Plain using the APSIM model and the outputs of 8 GCMs under RCP4.5 scenarios. It was found that without considering adaptation options, mean maize yield would decrease by 7~18% during 2010–2039 relative to 1976–2005. A large decrease in grain number relative to stabilized grain weight decreased maize yield under future climate scenarios. Using heat-tolerant varieties, maize yield could increase on average by 6% to 10%. Using later maturing varieties, e.g., enhanced thermal time requirements during the grain-filling period, maize yield could increase by 7% to 10%. The optimal adaptation options were site specific.

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<![CDATA[An attribute control chart for a Weibull distribution under accelerated hybrid censoring]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db4fab0ee8fa60bdbc3a

In this article, an attribute control chart has been proposed using the accelerated hybrid censoring logic for the monitoring of defective items whose life follows a Weibull distribution. The product can be tested by introducing the acceleration factor based on different pressurized conditions such as stress, load, strain, temperature, etc. The control limits are derived based on the binomial distribution, but the fraction defective is expressed only through the shape parameter, the acceleration factor and the test duration constant. Tables of the average run lengths have been generated for different process parameters to assess the performance of the proposed control chart. Simulation studies have been performed for the practical use, where the proposed chart is compared with the Shewhart np chart for demonstration of the detection power of a process shift.

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<![CDATA[Seasonal Variability in Calorimetric Energy Content of Two Caribbean Mesophotic Corals]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dab9ab0ee8fa60badff9

Energetic responses of zooxanthellate reef corals along depth gradients have relevance to the refugia potential of mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs). Previous observations suggested that MCEs in the Caribbean are thermally buffered during the warmest parts of the year and occur within or just below the chlorophyll maximum, suggesting abundant trophic resources. However, it is not known if mesophotic corals can maintain constant energy needs throughout the year with changing environmental and biological conditions. The energetic content of tissues from the stony coral species Orbicella faveolata and Agaricia lamarcki was measured on the southern insular shelf of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (USVI), using micro-bomb calorimetry. Three sites for each species, at depths of 6m, 25m, 38m and 63m, were selected to capture energetic differences across the major vertical range extent of both species in the USVI—and sampled over five periods from April 2013 to April 2014. Mesophotic colonies of O. faveolata exhibited a significant reduction in energetic content during the month of September 2013 compared to mid-depth and shallow colonies (p = 0.032), whereas A. lamarcki experienced similar energetic variability, but with a significant reduction in energy content that occurred in July 2013 for colonies at sites deeper than 25m (p = 0.014). The results of calorimetric analyses indicate that O. faveolata may be at risk during late summer stress events, possibly due to the timing of reproductive activities. The low-point of A. lamarcki energy content, which may also coincide with reproduction, occurs prior to seasonal stress events, indicating contrasting, species-specific responses to environmental variability on MCEs.

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<![CDATA[Selection and validation of reference genes for qRT-PCR analysis during biological invasions: The thermal adaptability of Bemisia tabaci MED]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db50ab0ee8fa60bdbff6

The Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean (MED) cryptic species has been rapidly invading to most parts of the world owing to its strong ecological adaptability, which is considered as a model insect for stress tolerance studies under rapidly changing environments. Selection of a suitable reference gene for quantitative stress-responsive gene expression analysis based on qRT-PCR is critical for elaborating the molecular mechanisms of thermotolerance. To obtain accurate and reliable normalization data in MED, eight candidate reference genes (β-act, GAPDH, β-tub, EF1-α, GST, 18S, RPL13A and α-tub) were examined under various thermal stresses for varied time periods by using geNorm, NormFinder and BestKeeper algorithms, respectively. Our results revealed that β-tub and EF1-α were the best reference genes across all sample sets. On the other hand, 18S and GADPH showed the least stability for all the samples studied. β-act was proved to be highly stable only in case of short-term thermal stresses. To our knowledge this was the first comprehensive report on validation of reference genes under varying temperature stresses in MED. The study could expedite particular discovery of thermotolerance genes in MED. Further, the present results can form the basis of further research on suitable reference genes in this invasive insect and will facilitate transcript profiling in other invasive insects.

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<![CDATA[Triticum aestivum WRAB18 functions in plastids and confers abiotic stress tolerance when overexpressed in Escherichia coli and Nicotiania benthamiana]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc43e

WRAB18, an ABA-inducible protein belongs to the third family of late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins which can be induced by different biotic or abiotic stresses. In the present study, WRAB18 was cloned from the Zhengyin 1 cultivar of Triticum aestivum and overexpressed in Escherichia coli to explore its effects on the growth of E. coli under different abiotic stresses. Results suggested the enhanced exhibition of tolerance of E. coli to these stresses. Meanwhile, the WRAB18-transgenic tobacco plants were obtained to analyze the stress-related enzymatic activities of ascorbate peroxidase (APX), peroxidase (POD) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), and to quantify the content of malonaldehyde (MDA) under osmotic stress, high salinity, and low and high temperature stress. The activities of APX, POD and SOD in the transgenic tobacco lines were higher while the content of MDA was lower than those of WT lines. Moreover, plastid localization of WRAB18 in Nicotiana benthamiana plasma cells were found fusing with GFP. In addition, purified WRAB18 protein protected LDH (Lactate dehydrogenase) enzyme activity in vitro from various stress conditions. In brief, WRAB18 protein shows protective action behaving as a “molecular shield” in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells under various abiotic stresses, not only during ABA stress.

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<![CDATA[Genome-Scale Transcriptome Analysis of the Desert Shrub Artemisia sphaerocephala]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f0ab0ee8fa60b6e2a2

Background

Artemisia sphaerocephala, a semi-shrub belonging to the Artemisia genus of the Compositae family, is an important pioneer plant that inhabits moving and semi-stable sand dunes in the deserts and steppes of northwest and north-central China. It is very resilient in extreme environments. Additionally, its seeds have excellent nutritional value, and the abundant lipids and polysaccharides in the seeds make this plant a potential valuable source of bio-energy. However, partly due to the scarcity of genetic information, the genetic mechanisms controlling the traits and environmental adaptation capacity of A. sphaerocephala are unknown.

Results

Here, we present the first in-depth transcriptomic analysis of A. sphaerocephala. To maximize the representation of conditional transcripts, mRNA was obtained from 17 samples, including living tissues of desert-growing A. sphaerocephala, seeds germinated in the laboratory, and calli subjected to no stress (control) and high and low temperature, high and low osmotic, and salt stresses. De novo transcriptome assembly performed using an Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform resulted in the generation of 68,373 unigenes. We analyzed the key genes involved in the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway and identified 26 A. sphaerocephala fad2 genes, which is the largest fad2 gene family reported to date. Furthermore, a set of genes responsible for resistance to extreme temperatures, salt, drought and a combination of stresses was identified.

Conclusion

The present work provides abundant genomic information for functional dissection of the important traits of A. sphaerocephala and contributes to the current understanding of molecular adaptive mechanisms of A. sphaerocephala in the desert environment. Identification of the key genes in the unsaturated fatty acid synthesis pathway could increase understanding of the biological regulatory mechanisms of fatty acid composition traits in plants and facilitate genetic manipulation of the fatty acid composition of oil crops.

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