Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Abstract Count: 46013

Bioengineering and Life Sciences

Molecular Defects Underlying Genital Ambiguity in Egyptian Patients: A Systematic Review
Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) are defined as congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal or anatomical sex is atypical. The DSD are relatively prevalent in Egypt. In spite of that, the relative rarity of the individual disease types or their molecular pathologies frequently resulted in reporting on single or few cases. This augmented the challenging nature of phenotype-genotype correlation in this disease group and its utilization in the management of such medical emergency. Through critical assessment of the published DSD reports, the current review aims at analyzing the clinical characteristics of the various DSD forms in relation to the underlying molecular pathologies. A systematic literature search was done in Pubmed, using relevant keywords (Egypt versus DSD, genital ambiguity or ambiguous genitalia, the old terms of 'intersex, hermaphroditism and pseudohermaphroditism', and a list of the DSD entities and their related genes). The search yielded 24 reports of molecular data in Egyptian patients presenting with ambiguous genitalia. However, only 21 publications fulfilled the criteria of inclusion of detailed clinical descriptions and definitive molecular diagnoses of individual patients. Curation of the data yielded a total of 53 cases that were ascertained from 40 families. Fifty-one patients present with ambiguous genitalia only while 2 had multiple congenital anomalies. Parental consanguinity was noted in 60% of cases. Sex of rearing at initial presentation was female in 75% and 60% in 46,XY and 46,XX DSD cases, respectively. The external genital phenotype in 2/3 of the 46,XY DSD cases showed moderate undermasculinization [Quigley scores 3 & 4] and 1/3 had severe presentations [scores 5 & 6]. For 46,XX subjects, 1 had severe virilization of the external genitalia while 8 had moderate phenotype. Hormonal data were inconclusive or contradictory to final diagnosis in a forth of cases. Collectively, 31 families [31/40, 77.5%] with 46,XY DSD had molecular defects in the genes, 5 alpha reductase 2 (SRD5A2) [12/31], 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 3 [8/31], androgen receptor [7/31], Steroidogenic factor 1 [2/31], luteinizing hormone receptor [1/31], and fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 [1/31]. In a multiethnic study, 9 families afflicted with 46,XX DSD due to 11 beta hydroxylase (CYP11B1) deficiency were documented. Two recurrent mutations, G34R and N160D, in SRD5A2 were present, respectively, in 42 and 17% of cases. Similarly, 4 recurrent mutations resulted in 89% of the CYP11B1 presentations. In conclusion, this analysis highlights the importance of autosomal recessive inheritance and inbreeding among DSD presentations, the importance of founder effect in at least 2 disorders, the difficulties in relating the genotype with the indeterminate genital phenotype, the under-reporting of some DSD subtypes, and the notion that the reported mutational profiles among Egyptian DSD cases are relatively different from those reported in other ethnic groups.
A Review on Biological Control of Mosquito Vectors
The share of vector-borne diseases (VBDs) in the global burden of infectious diseases is almost 17%. The advent of new drugs and latest research in medical science helped mankind to compete with these lethal diseases but still diseases transmitted by different mosquito species, including filariasis, malaria, viral encephalitis and dengue are serious threats for people living in disease endemic areas. Injudicious and repeated use of pesticides posed selection pressure on mosquitoes leading to development of resistance. Hence biological control agents are under serious consideration of scientific community to be used in vector control programmes. Fish have a history of predating immature stages of different aquatic insects including mosquitoes. The noteworthy examples in Africa and Asia includes, Aphanius discolour and a fish in the Panchax group. Moreover, common mosquito fish, Gambusia affinis predates mostly on temporary water mosquitoes like anopheline as compared to permanent water breeders like culicines. Mosquitoes belonging to genus Toxorhynchites have a worldwide distribution and are mostly associated with the predation of other mosquito larvae habituating with them in natural and artificial water containers. These species are harmless to humans as their adults do not suck human blood but feeds on floral nectar. However, their activity is mostly temperature dependent as Toxorhynchites brevipalpis consume 359 Aedes aegypti larvae at 30-32 ºC in contrast to 154 larvae at 20-26 ºC. Although many bacterial species were isolated from mosquito cadavers but those belonging to genus Bacillus are found highly pathogenic against them. The successful species of this genus include Bacillus thuringiensis and Bacillus sphaericus. The prime targets of B. thuringiensis are mostly the immatures of genus Aedes, Culex, Anopheles and Psorophora while B. sphaericus is specifically toxic against species of Culex, Psorophora and Culiseta. The entomopathogenic nematodes belonging to family, mermithidae are also pathogenic to different mosquito species. Eighty different species of mosquitoes including Anopheles, Aedes and Culex proved to be highly vulnerable to the attack of two mermithid species, Romanomermis culicivorax and R. iyengari. Cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus was the first described pathogenic virus, isolated from the cadavers of mosquito specie, Culex tarsalis. Other viruses which are pathogenic to culicine includes, iridoviruses, cytopolyhedrosis viruses, entomopoxviruses and parvoviruses. Protozoa species belonging to division microsporidia are the common pathogenic protozoans in mosquito populations which kill their host by the chronic effects of parasitism. Moreover, due to their wide prevalence in anopheline mosquitoes and transversal and horizontal transmission from infected to healthy host, microsporidia of the genera Nosema and Amblyospora have received much attention in various mosquito control programmes. Fungal based mycopesticides are used in biological control of insect pests with 47 species reported virulent against different stages of mosquitoes. These include both aquatic fungi i.e. species of Coelomomyces, Lagenidium giganteum and Culicinomyces clavosporus, and the terrestrial fungi Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana. Hence, it was concluded that the integrated use of all these biological control agents can be a healthy contribution in mosquito control programmes and become a dire need of the time to avoid repeated use of pesticides.
Abundant Plasma Protein Depletion Using Ammonium Sulfate Precipitation and Protein A Affinity Chromatography to Improve Biomarker Identification
Blood and plasma are highly valuable resources for biomarker research, because they are easy obtainable and contain a high amount of information about patient health status. Thanks to recent advances in the field of proteomics and mass spectrometry techniques, information contained in the plasma became more accessible. However, mass spectrometric analysis of plasma proteins is hampered due to the high complexity and large dynamic range. These factors challenge analysis of the proteins of interest which are mainly temporarily present within a picogram or low nanogram per milliliter range. Albumin (40 – 60 mg/mL) and immunoglobulins, as two of the most abundant proteins, represent about 80 % of the plasma proteins. Identification of disease markers in plasma is therefore subjected to the depletion of at least these two highly abundant proteins. In order to reduce the dynamic range of protein concentrations, a tandem fractionation/depletion technique consisting of ammonium sulfate precipitation and protein A affinity chromatography was evaluated using mouse plasma samples. 20 % to 40 % ammonium sulfate saturation depleted the highest amount of albumin, together with other high abundant proteins such as alpha-1-antitrypsin. Immunoglobulin removal using an Amsphere™ protein A column (JSR micro, Haasrode, Belgium) proved to be highly efficient, with all mouse IgG subclasses, Ig A and Ig M being completely depleted. The enrichment of less abundant proteins was evaluated by LC-MS/MS analysis. A total of 82 protein groups were identified in total plasma compared to 115 in depleted plasma, of which 40 were found uniquely in depleted plasma. Several low abundance proteins were found to be enriched, including apolipoprotein B-100 and thrombospondin-1. In a 2D-PAGE analysis, 270 new spots emerged after depletion, offering comparable results to those of commercial kits based on immune-affinity chromatography. Moreover, a minimal amount of non-target proteins was depleted, and reproducibility was demonstrated with CV values close to 20 %. This technique offers a cheap and reproducible alternative to commercial kits, with proteins remaining in native conformation, which is important for activity assays.
Real Time Activity Recognition Framework for Health Monitoring Support in Home Environments
Technology advances accelerate the quality and type of services provided for health care and especially for monitoring health conditions. Sensors have turned out to be more effective to detect diverse physiological signs and can be worn on the human body utilizing remote correspondence modules. An assortment of programming devices have been created to help in preparing a difference rundown of essential signs by examining and envisioning information produced by different sensors. In this proposition, we presented a Health signs and Activity acknowledgment monitoring system. Utilizing off-the-rack sensors, we executed a movement location system for identifying five sorts of action: falling, lying down, sitting, standing, and walking. The framework collects and analyzes sensory data in real-time, and provides different feedback to the users. In addition, it can generate alerts based on the detected events and store the data collected to a medical server.
Varietal Screening of Watermelon against Powdery Mildew Disease and Its Management
Except for few scattered cases, powdery mildew disease was not a big problem for watermelon in the past but with the outbreaks of its pathotypes, races 1W and 2W, this disease becomes a serious issue all around the globe. The severe outbreak of this disease also increased the rate of fungicide application for its proper management. Twelve varieties of watermelon were screened in Research Area of Department of Plant pathology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad to check the incidence of powdery mildew disease. Disease inoculum was prepared and applied with the help of foliar spray method. Fungicides and plants extracts were also applied after the disease incidence. Percentage leaf surface area diseased was assessed visually with a modified Horsfall-Barratt scale. The results of the experiment revealed that among all varieties, WT2257 and Zcugma F1 were highly resistant showing less than 5% disease incidence while Anar Kali and Sugar baby were highly susceptible with disease incidence of more than 65%. Among botanicals neem extract gave best results with disease incidence of less than 20%. Besides neem, all other botanicals also gave significant control of powdery mildew disease than the untreated check. In case of fungicides, Gemstar showed least disease incidence i.e. < 10%, however besides control maximum disease incidence was observed in Curzate (> 30%).
In Vitro Modeling of Aniridia-Related Keratopathy by the Use of Crispr/cas9 on Limbal Epithelial Cells and Rescue
Haploinsufficiency of PAX6 in humans is the main cause of congenital aniridia, a rare eye disease characterized by reduced visual acuity. Patients have also progressive disorders including cataract, glaucoma and corneal abnormalities making their condition very challenging to manage. Aniridia-related keratopathy (ARK), caused by a combination of factors including limbal stem-cell deficiency, impaired healing response, abnormal differentiation, and infiltration of conjunctival cells onto the corneal surface, affects up to 95% of patients. It usually begins in the first decade of life resulting in recurrent corneal erosions, sub-epithelial fibrosis with corneal decompensation and opacification. Unfortunately, current treatment options for aniridia patients are currently limited. Although animal models partially recapitulate this disease, there is no in vitro cellular model of AKT needed for drug/therapeutic tools screening and validation. We used genome editing (CRISPR/Cas9 technology) to introduce a nonsense mutation found in patients into one allele of the PAX6 gene into limbal stem cells. Resulting mutated clones, expressing half of the amount of PAX6 protein and thus representative of haploinsufficiency were further characterized. Sequencing analysis showed that no off-target mutations were induced. The mutated cells displayed reduced cell proliferation and cell migration but enhanced cell adhesion. Known PAX6 targets expression was also reduced. Remarkably, addition of soluble recombinant PAX6 protein into the culture medium was sufficient to activate endogenous PAX6 gene and, as a consequence, rescue the phenotype. It strongly suggests that our in vitro model recapitulates well the epithelial defect and becomes a powerful tool to identify drugs that could rescue the corneal defect in patients. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the homeotic transcription factor Pax6 is able to be uptake naturally by recipient cells to function into the nucleus.
Ectoine: A Compatible Solute in Radio-Halophilic Stenotrophomonas sp. WMA-LM19 Strain to Prevent Ultraviolet-Induced Protein Damage
Aim: This study aims to investigate the possible radiation protective role of a compatible solute in the tolerance of radio-halophilic bacterium against stresses, like desiccation and exposure to ionizing radiation. Methods and Results: Nine different radio-resistant bacteria were isolated from desert soil, where strain WMA-LM19 was chosen for detailed studies on the basis of its high tolerance for ultraviolet radiation among all these isolates. 16S rRNA gene sequencing indicated that the bacterium was closely related to Stenotrophomonas sp. (KT008383). A bacterial milking strategy was applied for extraction of intracellular compatible solutes in 70% (v/v) ethanol, which were purified by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The compound was characterized as ectoine by 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and mass spectrometry (MS). Ectoine demonstrated more efficient preventive activity (54.80%) to erythrocyte membranes and also inhibited oxidative damage to proteins and lipids in comparison to the standard ascorbic acid. Furthermore, a high level of ectoine-mediated protection of bovine serum albumin against ionizing radiation (1500-2000 Jm-2) was observed, as indicated by sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis. Conclusion: The results indicated that ectoine can be used as a potential mitigator and radio-protective agent to overcome radiation- and salinity-mediated oxidative damage in extreme environments. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study shows that ectoine from radio-halophiles can be used as a potential source in topical creams as sunscreen. The investigation of ectoine as UV protectant also changes the prospective that radiation resistance is specific only to molecular adaptation.
Comparative Demography of Lady Beetle, Coccinella Septempunctata Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) with Respect to Different Aphid Species
Comparative demography of Coccinella septempunctata Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) was studied with respect to four host aphid species viz; Rhopalosiphum padi, Rhopalosiphum maidis, Sitobion avenae, and Shizaphis graminum under laboratory conditions using Two-sex Age-stage life table instead of traditional age specific life table which considers only female. Results revealed that developmental period from egg to adult of C. septempunctata were shorter on R. padi (16.49 days) whereas longer on R. maidis (22.83 days). Net reproductive rate varied from 110.01 offspring on R. maidis to 288.78 offspring on R. padi. Mean generation time (T) ranged from 29.02 d on R. padi to 39.788 d on R. maidis. Highest to lowest values of intrinsic rate of increase (rm) were recorded on R. padi, S. graminum, S. avenae, and R. maidis (0.194, 0.143, 0.140 and 0.117 d⁻¹, respectively). Highest finite rate of increase was observed on R. padi (1.214 d⁻¹) followed by S. graminum (1.154 d⁻¹) whereas lowest values were obtained on R. maidis and S. avenae (1.124 and 1.150 d⁻¹, respectively). In this study, the data on the life table of both predator and prey provide useful information in the mass rearing and practical application of a natural agent to biological control systems.
Identification of Microbial Community in an Anaerobic Reactor Treating Brewery Wastewater
The study of microbial ecology and their function in anaerobic digestion processes are essential to control the biological processes. This is to know the symbiotic relationship between the microorganisms that are involved in the conversion of complex organic matter in the industrial wastewater to simple molecules. In this study, diversity and quantity of bacterial community in the granular sludge taken from the different compartments of a full-scale up-flow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactor treating brewery wastewater was investigated using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). The phylogenetic analysis showed three major eubacteria phyla that belong to Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, and Chloroflexi in the full-scale UASB reactor, with different groups populating different compartment. The result of qPCR assay showed high amount of eubacteria with increase in concentration along the reactor’s compartment. This study extends our understanding on the diverse, topological distribution and shifts in concentration of microbial communities in the different compartments of a full-scale UASB reactor treating brewery wastewater. The colonization and the trophic interactions among these microbial populations in reducing and transforming complex organic matter within the UASB reactors were established.
Glycan Analyzer: Software to Annotate Glycan Structures from Exoglycosidase Experiments
Glycoproteins and their covalently bonded glycans play critical roles in the immune system, cell communication, disease and disease prognosis. Ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with mass spectrometry is conventionally used to qualitatively and quantitatively characterise glycan structures in a given sample. Exoglycosidases are enzymes that catalyze sequential removal of monosaccharides from the non-reducing end of glycans. They naturally have specificity for a particular type of sugar, its stereochemistry (α or β anomer) and its position of attachment to an adjacent sugar on the glycan. Thus, monitoring the peak movements (both in the UPLC and MS1) after application of exoglycosidases provides a unique and effective way to annotate sugars with high detail - i.e. differentiating positional and linkage isomers. Manual annotation of an exoglycosidase experiment is difficult and time consuming. As such, with increasing sample complexity and the number of exoglycosidases, the analysis could result in manually interpreting hundreds of peak movements. Recently, we have implemented pattern recognition software for automated interpretation of UPLC-MS1 exoglycosidase digestions. In this work, we explain the software, indicate how much time it will save and provide example usage showing the annotation of positional and linkage isomers in Immunoglobulin G, apolipoprotein J, and simple glycan standards.
Effect of Silicon on Tritrophic Interaction of Cotton, Whitefly and Chrysoperla carnea
The present experiment was carried out to examine the effects of silicon dioxide on tritrophic interaction of cotton, whitefly, and the predator Chrysoperla carnea. Population of whitefly was maintained on silicon treated and non-treated cotton for two generations in greenhouse net cages exposed to outside temperature and luminosity. The cotton was treated with silicon dioxide twice after 15 days intervals with 200 ppm concentration. A stock rearing of the natural predator was developed in the laboratory conditions. In the bioassay eggs of the predator all at the same age were individualized in glass petri plates that will be pierced with a pin to allow aeration and maintained in an incubator at 28 ± 2°C, 70 ± 10% relative humidity and 12h photo phase. Population of whitefly stayed on silicon treated, and non-treated cotton were offered to newly hatched chrysopid larvae until the end of the larval stage, assuring a permanent supply. Feeding preference of C. carnea along with longevity, survival of each instar larvae, pupation, adult emergence, and fecundity was checked. The results revealed that there was no significant difference in the feeding preference of C. carnea among both treatments. Durations of 1st and 2nd larval instar were also at par in both treatments. However overall longevity and adult emergence were a bit lower in silicon treated whitefly treatment. This may be due to the fact that silicon reduces the nutritional quality of host because of reduced whitefly feeding on silicon treated cotton. No significant difference in 1st and 2nd larval instars and then increased larval duration in later instars suggested that the effect of silicon treated host should be checked on more than 1 generation of C. carnea to get better findings.
Digitization and Morphometric Characterization of Botanical Collection of Indian Arid Zones as Informatics Initiatives Addressing Conservation Issues in Climate Change Scenario
Indian Thar desert being the seventh largest in the world is the main hot sand desert occupies nearly 385,000km², and about 9% of the area of the country harbours several species likely the flora of 682 species (63 introduced species) belonging to 352 genera and 87 families. The degree of endemism of plant species in the Thar desert is 6.4 percent, which is relatively higher than the degree of endemism in the Sahara desert which is very significant for the conservationist to envisage. The advent and development of computer technology for digitization and data base management coupled with the rapidly increasing importance of biodiversity conservation resulted in the invention of biodiversity informatics as a discipline of basic sciences with multiple applications. Aichi target 19 as an outcome of convention of biological diversity (CBD) specifically mandates the development of an advanced and shared biodiversity knowledge base. Information on species distributions in space is the crux of effective management of biodiversity in the rapidly changing world. The efficiency of biodiversity management is being increased rapidly by various stakeholders like researchers, policy makers, and funding agencies with the knowledge and application of biodiversity informatics. Herbarium specimens being a vital repository for biodiversity conservation especially in climate change scenario the digitization process usually aims to improve access and to preserve delicate specimens and in doing so creating large sets of images as a part of the existing repository as arid plant information facility for long term future usage. The leaf characters are important for describing taxa and distinguishing between them, and they can be measured from herbarium specimens as well. As a part of this activity, laminar characterization (leaves being the most important characters in assessing climate change impact) initially resulted in the classification of more than thousands collections belonging to ten families like Acanthaceae, Aizoaceae, Amaranthaceae, Asclepiadaceae, Anacardeaceae, Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, Aristolochiaceae, Berseraceae and Bignoniaceae etc. Taxonomic diversity indices have also been worked out is one of the important domain of biodiversity informatics approaches. The digitization process also encompasses workflows which incorporate automated systems to enable us to expand and speed up the digitisation process. The digitisation workflows used to be on a modular system which has the potential to be scaled up. As they are being developed with a geo-referencing tool and additional quality control elements and finally placing specimen images and data into a fully searchable, web-accessible database. Our effort in this paper is to elucidate the role of biodiversity informatics' present effort of database development of the existing botanical collection of institute repository. This effort is expected to be considered as a part of various global initiatives having an effective biodiversity information facility. This will enable access to plant biodiversity data that are fit-for-use by scientists and decision makers working on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development in the region and isoclimatic situation of the world.
Detection, Isolation, and Raman Spectroscopic Characterization of Acute and Chronic Staphylococcus Aureus Infection in an Endothelial Cell Culture Model
Staphylococcus aureus is a facultative intracellular pathogen, which by entering host cells may evade immunologic host response as well as antimicrobial treatment. In that way, S. aureus can cause persistent intracellular infections which are difficult to treat. Depending on the strain, S. aureus may persist at different intracellular locations like the phagolysosome. The first barrier invading pathogens from the blood stream that they have to cross are the endothelial cells lining the inner surface of blood and lymphatic vessels. Upon proceeding from an acute to a chronic infection, intracellular pathogens undergo certain biochemical and structural changes including a deceleration of metabolic processes to adopt for long-term intracellular survival and the development of a special phenotype designated as small colony variant. In this study, the endothelial cell line Ea.hy 926 was used as a model for acute and chronic S. aureus infection. To this end, Ea.hy 926 cells were cultured on QIAscout™ Microraft Arrays, a special graded cell culture substrate that contains around 12,000 microrafts of 200 µm edge length. After attachment to the substrate, the endothelial cells were infected with GFP-expressing S. aureus for 3 weeks. The acute infection and the development of persistent bacteria was followed by confocal laser scanning microscopy, scanning the whole Microraft Array for the presence and for detailed determination of the intracellular location of fluorescent intracellular bacteria every second day. After three weeks of infection representative microrafts containing infected cells, cells with protruded infections and cells that did never show any infection were isolated and fixed for Raman micro-spectroscopic investigation. For comparison, also microrafts with acute infection were isolated. The acquired Raman spectra are correlated with the fluorescence microscopic images to give hints about a) the molecular alterations in endothelial cells during acute and chronic infection compared to non-infected cells, and b) metabolic and structural changes within the pathogen when entering a mode of persistence within host cells. We thank Dr. Ruth Kläver from QIAGEN GmbH for her support regarding QIAscout technology. Financial support by the BMBF via the CSCC (FKZ 01EO1502) and from the DFG via the Jena Biophotonic and Imaging Laboratory (JBIL, FKZ PO 633/29-1, BA 1601/10-1) is highly acknowledged.
Multivariate Genome-Wide Association Studies for Identifying Additional Loci for Myopia
A systematic, simultaneous analysis of multiple phenotypes in genome-wide association studies (GWASs) draws a great attention to integrate the signals from single phenotypes with increased power. However, lacking an interpretable and efficient multivariate GWAS analysis impede the application of such approach. In this study, we propose to decompose the multivariate model into a series of simple univariate models. This transformation illuminates what exactly the individual trait contributes to the significant signals from the multivariate analyses. By employing our approach in the analysis of three myopia-related endophenotypes from the Singapore Malay Eye Study (SIMES), we identify novel candidate loci which were successfully validated in an independent Guangzhou Twin Eye Study (GTES).
Evaluation of Neonicotinoids Against Sucking Insect Pests of Cotton in Laboratory and Field Conditions
Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) universally known as silver fiber and is one of the most important cash crop of Pakistan. A wide array of pests constraints cotton production among which sucking insect pests cause serious losses. Mostly new chemistry insecticides used to control a wide variety of insect pests including sucking insect pests. In the present study efficacy of different neonicotinoids was evaluated against sucking insect pests of cotton in the field and in laboratory for red and dusky cotton bug. The experiment was conducted at Entomology Research Station, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD). Field trial was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of Confidence Ultra (Imidacloprid) 70% SL, Confidor (Imidacloprid) 20% SL, Kendo (Lambda cyhalothrin) 24.7 SC, Actara (Thiamethoxam) 25% WG, Forcast (Tebufenozide+ Emamectin benzoate) 8.8 EW and Timer (Emamectin benzoate) 1.9 EC at their recommended doses. The data was collected on per leaf basis of thrips, aphid, jassid and whitefly before 24 hours of spray. The post treatment data was recorded after 24, 48 and 72 hours. The fresh, non-infested and untreated cotton leaves was collected from the field and brought to the laboratory to assess the efficacy of neonicotinoids against red and dusky cotton bug. After data analysis all the insecticides were found effective against sucking pests. Confidence Ultra was highly effective against the aphid, jassid, and whitefly and gave maximum mortality, while showed non-significant results against thrips. In case of aphid plot which was treated with Kando 24.7 SC showed significant mortality after 72 hours of pesticide application. Similar trends were found in laboratory conditions with all these treatments by making different concentrations and had significant impact on dusky cotton bug and red cotton bug population after 24, 48 and 72 hours after application.
Impact of ‎Foliar ‎Formulations of Macro and Micro Nutrients on ‎the ‎Tritrophic Association of Wheat Aphid ‎and Entomophagous Insects
In Pakistan, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is seriously attacked by the wheat ‎aphid. Naturally, bio control agents play an important role in managing wheat aphid. However, association ‎among pest, natural enemies and host plant is highly affected by food resource ‎concentration and predator/parasitoid factor of any ecosystem. The present ‎study was conducted to estimate the effect of different dose levels of macro ‎and micronutrients on the aphid population and its entomophagous insect ‎on wheat and their tri-trophic association. The experiment was laid out in ‎RCBD with six different combinations of macro and micronutrients and a control treatment. The data was initiated from the second week of ‎the February till the maturity of the crop. Data regarding aphid population and ‎coccinellids counts were collected on weekly basis and subjected to analysis of ‎variance and mean comparison. The data revealed that aphid ‎population was at peak in the last week of March. Coccinellids population ‎increased side by side with aphid population and declined after second week of ‎April. Aphid parasitism was maximum 25% on recommended dose of Double and ‎Flasher and minimum 8.67% on control treatment. Maximum aphid population was observed on first April with 687.2 specimens. However, this maximum population was shown against the application of Double + Flasher treatment. The minimum aphid population was recorded after the application of HiK Gold + Flasher recommended dose on 15th April. The coccinellids population was at peak level at on 8th April and against the treatment double recommended dose of HiK gold + Flasher. Amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium percentage dry leaves ‎components was maximum (2.33, 0.18 and 2.62 % dry leaves. respectively) in ‎plots treated with recommended double dose mixture of Double + Flasher and ‎Hi-K Gold + Flasher while it was minimum (1.43, 0.12 and 1.77 dry leaves ‎respectively) in plots where no nutrients applied. The result revealed that maximum parasitism was at recommended level of micro and macro nutrients application.‎ Maximum micro nutrients zinc, copper, manganese, iron and boron found with values 46.67 ppm, 21.81 ppm, 62.35 ppm, 152.69 ppm and 36.78 respectively. The result also showed that Over application of macro and micro nutrients should be avoided because it do not help in pest control, conversely it may cause stress on plant. The treatment Double and Flasher recommended dose ratio is almost comparable with recommended dose and present studies confirm its usefulness on wheat.
Risks for Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms in Georgia Piedmont Waterbodies Due to Land Management and Climate Interactions
The frequency and severity of cyanobacteria harmful blooms (CyanoHABs) have been increasing over time, with point and non-point source eutrophication and shifting climate paradigms being blamed as the primary culprits. Excessive nutrients, warm temperatures, quiescent water, and heavy and less regular rainfall create more conducive environments for CyanoHABs. CyanoHABs have the potential to produce a spectrum of toxins that cause gastrointestinal stress, organ failure, and even death in humans and animals. To promote enhanced, proactive CyanoHAB management, risk modeling using geospatial tools can act as predictive mechanisms to supplement current CyanoHAB monitoring, management and mitigation efforts. The risk maps would empower water managers to focus their efforts on high risk water bodies in an attempt to prevent CyanoHABs before they occur, and/or more diligently observe those waterbodies. For this research, exploratory spatial data analysis techniques were used to identify the strongest predicators for CyanoHAB blooms based on remote sensing-derived cyanobacteria cell density values for 771 waterbodies in the Georgia Piedmont and landscape characteristics of their watersheds. In-situ datasets for cyanobacteria cell density, nutrients, temperature, and rainfall patterns are not widely available, so free gridded geospatial datasets were used as proxy variables for assessing CyanoHAB risk. For example, the percent of a watershed that is agriculture was used as a proxy for nutrient loading, and the summer precipitation within a watershed was used as a proxy for water quiescence. Cyanobacteria cell density values were calculated using atmospherically corrected images from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A satellite and multispectral instrument sensor at a 10-meter ground resolution. Seventeen explanatory variables were calculated for each watershed utilizing the multi-petabyte geospatial catalogs available within the Google Earth Engine cloud computing interface. The seventeen variables were then used in a multiple linear regression model, and the strongest predictors of cyanobacteria cell density were selected for the final regression model. The seventeen explanatory variables included land cover composition, winter and summer temperature and precipitation data, topographic derivatives, vegetation index anomalies, and soil characteristics. Watershed maximum summer temperature, percent agriculture, percent forest, percent impervious, and waterbody area emerged as the strongest predictors of cyanobacteria cell density with an adjusted R-squared value of 0.31 and a p-value ~ 0. The final regression equation was used to make a normalized cyanobacteria cell density index, and a Jenks Natural Break classification was used to assign waterbodies designations of low, medium, or high risk. Of the 771 waterbodies, 24.38% were low risk, 37.35% were medium risk, and 38.26% were high risk. This study showed that there are significant relationships between free geospatial datasets representing summer maximum temperatures, nutrient loading associated with land use and land cover, and the area of a waterbody with cyanobacteria cell density. This data analytics approach to CyanoHAB risk assessment corroborated the literature-established environmental triggers for CyanoHABs, and presents a novel approach for CyanoHAB risk mapping in waterbodies across the greater southeastern United States.
Stress-Controlled Senescence and Development in Arabidopsis Thaliana by Root Associated Factor (RAF), a NAC Transcription Regulator
Adverse environmental conditions such as salinity stress, high temperature and drought limit plant growth and typically lead to precocious tissue degeneration and leaf senescence, a process by which nutrients from photosynthetic organs are recycled for the formation of flowers and seeds to secure reaching the next generation under such harmful conditions. In addition, abiotic stress affects developmental patterns that help the plant to withstand unfavourable environmental conditions. We discovered an NAC (for NAM, ATAF1, 2, and CUC2) transcription factor (TF), called RAF in the following, which plays a central role in abiotic drought stress-triggered senescence and the control of developmental adaptations to stressful environments. RAF is an ABA-responsive TF; RAF overexpressors are hypersensitive to abscisic acid (ABA) and exhibit precocious senescence while knock-out mutants show delayed senescence. To explore the RAF gene regulatory network (GRN), we determined its preferred DNA binding sites by binding site selection assay (BSSA) and performed microarray-based expression profiling using inducible RAF overexpression lines and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-PCR. Our studies identified several direct target genes, including those encoding for catabolic enzymes acting during stress-induced senescence. Furthermore, we identified various genes controlling drought stress-related developmental changes. Based on our results, we conclude that RAF functions as a central transcriptional regulator that coordinates developmental programs with stress-related inputs from the environment. To explore the potential agricultural applications of our findings, we are currently extending our studies towards crop species.
A Novel Control Module for Heat Stress Memory in Plants
Plants have the capacity to 'memorize' stressful events and protect themselves from future stresses. Furthermore, they are able to 'reset' or 'forget' memories of certain stressful situations, which helps to maximize growth after returning to non-stress conditions. A delicate balance between the consolidation of stress memory and the degree of forgetfulness is critical for plant growth and productivity under changing environmental conditions. Here we report a novel control module for heat stress memory (thermomemory) in plants. Recently we identified HSP21, a chloroplast-localized small heat shock protein, as a crucial component of thermomemory. Variation in HSP21 protein level contributes to the differential thermomemory performance of Arabidopsis accessions, indicating a strong link between protein abundance of HSP21 and enhanced thermomemory capacity. Employing a combined pharmacological/genomics approach, we discovered a plastid-localised metalloprotease, FtsH6, for which no previous in vivo function was reported, as a protease involved in the initial degradation of HSP21 during the memory phase in Col-0. Furthermore, we showed that in addition to FtsH6, autophagy contributes to the selective degradation of HSP21 at later stages of the thermomemory phase. Our results thus reveal the presence of a novel HSP21- a plastidial protease – autophagy control module for thermomemory in plants and hold a great promise for understanding how plants grow and reproduce in highly dynamic environments with many predictable and unpredictable variables.
An Anomalous Digastric Muscle in the Carotid Sheath: A Case Report with Its Embryological Perspective and Clinical Relevance
Although infrahyoid muscles show considerable variations in their development, existence of an anomalous digastric muscle in the neck was seldom reported. During dissection of triangles of the neck for medical undergraduate students, we came across an anomalous digastric muscle in the carotid sheath of left side of neck. It was observed in a middle-aged cadaver at College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman. Digastric muscle was located within the carotid sheath between the common and internal carotid arteries and internal jugular vein. It had two bellies; cranial belly and caudal belly which were connected by an intermediate tendon. The cranial belly of the muscle was attached to the base of the skull at the petrous part of the temporal bone. The caudal belly extended into the superior mediastinum and merged with the connective tissue around the left brachiocephalic vein. In addition, the caudal belly of the muscle was connected to the lateral margin of the sternothyroid by few muscle fasciculi. The total length of muscle was 15.5 cm and the width of cranial belly, intermediate tendon and caudal belly was found to be 5 mm, 2 mm and 4 mm, respectively. During development, the infrahyoid muscles, intrinsic muscles of the tongue and diaphragm originate more or less from a single premuscle mass called lingual-infrahyoid-diaphragmatic band. The anomalous muscle reported in the present case might formed by the abnormal splitting, growth and/or differentiation of lingual-infrahyoid-diaphragmatic band. Due to its close relation, the anomalous muscle may cause compression of vascular structures in the carotid sheath and it may cause confusion during diagnostic imaging of neck soft tissues. The knowledge of reported variation is clinically important while evaluating the compression of internal jugular vein in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension and during the surgical repair of carotid arteries.
Cellulolytic and Xylanolytic Enzymes from Mycelial Fungi
Multiple repeated soil-climatic zones in Georgia determines the diversity of microorganisms. Hundreds of microscopic fungi of different genera have been isolated from different ecological niches, including some extreme environments. Biosynthetic ability of microscopic fungi has been studied. Trichoderma ressei, representative of the Ascomycetes secrete cellulolytic and xylanolytic enzymes that act in synergy to hydrolyze polysaccharide polymers to glucose, xylose and arabinose, which can be fermented to biofuels. The other mesophilic strains producing cellulases are Allesheria terrestris, Chaetomium thermophile, Fusarium oxysporium, Piptoporus betulinus, Penicillium echinulatum, P. purpurogenum, Aspergillus niger, A. wentii, A. versicolor, A. fumigatus etc. In the majority of the cases the cellulases produced by strains of genus Aspergillus usually have high β-glucosidase activity and average endoglucanases levels (with some exceptions), whereas strains representing Trichoderma have high endo enzyme and low β-glucosidase, and hence has limited efficiency in cellulose hydrolysis. Six producers of stable cellulases and xylanases from mesophilic and thermophilic fungi have been selected. By optimization of submerged cultivation conditions, high activities of cellulases and xylanases were obtained. For enzymes purification, their sedimentation by organic solvents such as ethyl alcohol, acetone, isopropanol and by ammonium sulphate in different ratios have been carried out. Best results were obtained with precipitation by ethyl alcohol (1:3.5) and ammonium sulphate. The yields of enzyme according to cellulase activities were 80-85% in both cases. Cellulase activity of enzyme preparation obtained from the strain Trichoderma viride X 33 is 126 U/g, from the strain Penicillium canescence D 85–185U/g and from the strain Sporotrichum pulverulentum T 5-0 110 U/g. Cellulase activity of enzyme preparation obtained from the strain Aspergillus sp. Av10 is 120 U/g, xylanase activity of enzyme preparation obtained from the strain Aspergillus niger A 7-5–1155U/g and from the strain Aspergillus niger Aj 38-1250 U/g. Optimum pH and temperature of operation and thermostability, of the enzyme preparations, were established. The efficiency of hydrolyses of different agricultural residues by the microscopic fungi cellulases has been studied. The glucose yield from the residues as a result of enzymatic hydrolysis is highly determined by the ratio of enzyme to substrate, pH, temperature, and duration of the process. Hydrolysis efficiency was significantly increased as a result of different pretreatment of the residues by different methods. Acknowledgement: The Study was supported by the ISTC project G-2117, funded by Korea.
Protective Effect of Aframomun chrysanthum Seed Aqueous Extract in Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Toxicity in Rats
Owing to the outbreak of different diseases and microbial resistance to some available drugs, proper identification, and evaluation of plants have been encouraged. There have been claims worldwide by the traditional system that some plants possessed medicinal properties. Plants and their components have been said to be source of large amount of drugs which comprise of distinct groups such as antispasmodics, anticancer and antimicrobials. Researchers have reported that chemicals in plants are responsible for the medicinal uses of plants. Thus this study evaluated the protective effect of Aframomun chrysanthum seed aqueous extract in acetaminophen-induced liver toxicity in rats. A suspension of 750 mg/kg acetaminophen was administered once every 72 hours to induce toxicity in the rats. Oral administration of 500, 1000 and 2000 mg/kg body weight of the extract and 100 mg/kg of silymarin (reference drug) were administered for 10 days. Biochemical analysis showed significant (p < 0.05) increase in the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT)and alkaline phosphatase (ALP)as well as the concentrations of albumin (ALB) and total bilirubin (T.B.) levels in rats administered with acetaminophen only. The levels of these parameters were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased in the groups pretreated with the extract.
Impact of Climate Variability on Dispersal and Distribution of Airborne Pollen and Fungal Spores in Nsukka, South-East Nigeria: Implication on Public Health
Airborne pollen and fungal spores are major triggers of allergies, and their abundance and seasonality depend on plant responses to climatic and meteorological variables. A survey of seasonal prevalence of airborne pollen and fungal spores in Nsukka, Enugu, South- East Nigeria and relationship to climatic variables were carried out from Jan-June, 2017. The aim of the study was to access climate change and variability over time in the area and their accrued influence on modern pollen and spores rain. Decadal change in climate was accessed from variables collected from meteorological centre in the study area. Airborne samples were collected monthly using a modified Tauber-like pollen samplers raised 5 ft above ground level. Aerosamples collected were subjected to acetolysis. Dominant pollen recorded were those of Poaceae, Elaeis guinensis Jacq. and Casuarina equisetifolia L. Change in weather brought by onset of rainfall evoked sporulation and dispersal of diverse spores into ambient air especially potent allergenic spores with the spores of Ovularia, Bispora, Curvularia, Nigrospora, Helminthosporium preponderant; these 'hydrophilic fungi' were abundant in the rainy season though in varying quantities. Total fungal spores correlated positively with monthly rainfall and humidity but negatively with temperature. There was a negative though not significant correlation between total pollen count and rainfall. The study revealed a strong influence of climatic variables on abundance and spatial distribution of pollen and fungal spores in the ambient atmosphere.
In vitro Evaluation of the Synergistic Antiviral Activity of Amantadine Coupled with Magnesium Lithospermate B against Enterovirus 71 Infection
It is well known that enterovirus 71(EV71) causes recurring outbreaks of hand, foot and mouth disease and encephalitis leading to complications or death in young children. And, several enterovirus 71 (EV71) of hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD) with high mortalities occurred in Asia country, such as Hong Kung (1985), Malaysia (1997), Taiwan (1998) and China (2008) that EV71 results in severe neurological complications and sudden death in infants and young children. However, there are still no effective drugs and vaccines to reduce and inhibit EV71 infection. Therefore, the development of specific and effective antiviral strategies against EV71 has become an urgent issue for the protection of children from the hazards of the HFMD. As reported, amantadine is effective in prophylaxis and treatment of the EV71 infections. Thus, the aim of this study was to further evaluate the synergistic antiviral activity of amantadine coupled with magnesium lithospermate B (MLB) against enterovirus 71 infection. In a preliminary test, it is shown that the infected RD cells were treated with amantadine after virus absorption, at concentrations of 3 and 5µM of amantadine suppressed EV71-induced CPE to 13% and 23%, respectively at MOI of 3. Alternatively, at concentrations of 5µg/ml of MLB combined with 3 and 5 µM of amantadine apparently suppressed EV71-induced CPE to 45% and 63%, respectively at MOI of 3. Thus, amantadine coupled with MLB may have the potential for further study to development as the chemopreventive reagents against EV71 infection.
Interaction of Phytochemicals Present in Green Tea, Honey and Cinnamon to Human Melanocortin 4 Receptor
Human Melanocortin 4 Receptor (HMC4R) is one of the most potential drug targets for the treatment of obesity which controls the appetite. A deletion of the residues 88-92 in HMC4R is sometimes the cause of severe obesity in the humans. In this study, two homology models are constructed for the normal as well as mutated HMC4Rs and some phytochemicals present in Green Tea, Honey and Cinnamon have been docked to them to study their differential binding to the normal and mutated HMC4R as compared to the natural agonist α- MSH. Two homology models have been constructed for the normal as well as mutated HMC4Rs using the Modeller9v7. Some of the phytochemicals present in Green Tea, Honey, and Cinnamon, which have appetite suppressant activities are constructed, minimized and docked to these normal and mutated HMC4R models using ArgusLab 4.0.1. The mode of binding of the phytochemicals with the Normal and Mutated HMC4Rs have been compared. Further, the mode of binding of these phytochemicals with that of the natural agonist α- Melanocyte Stimulating Hormone(α-MSH) to both normal and mutated HMC4Rs have also been studied. It is observed that the phytochemicals Kaempherol, Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) present in Green Tea and Honey, Isorhamnetin, Chlorogenic acid, Chrysin, Galangin, Pinocambrin present in Honey, Cinnamaldehyde, Cinnamyl acetate and Cinnamyl alcohol present in Cinnamon have capacity to form more stable complexes with the Mutated HMC4R as compared to α- MSH. So they may be potential agonists of HMC4R to suppress the appetite.
The Prevalence of Mutations in Natural Population of Drosophila melanogaster
The evolutionary process is conditioned by the existence of genetic variability. The description of this variability in a population is the first step in studies of evolution, and it is necessary to explain its origin and its maintenance and to predict its evolutionary consequences. The aim of this research was to observe the prevalence of mutations in natural population of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly). One thousand one hundred and fifty-two (1152) Drosophila melanogaster flies were randomly collected and observed for the prevalence of physical mutations, of this number, 991 (86.02%) were trapped from the wild population with the prevalence of yellow body mutation occurring at 14.7% (females 14.2% and males 0.5%). 161 (13.98%) were the first filial generation having the prevalence of yellow body mutation occurring at 20.5% (19.3% were females and 1.2% males). The yellow body mutant flies have a defect in their 'yellow gene' which is located on the X-chromosome. Since the yellow gene is needed for producing the flies’ normal black pigment, yellow body mutant flies cannot produce the pigment. It is a non-lethal recessive mutation; hence, flies having such defect survive and pass the defect to their offspring in the subsequent generation.
Antimicrobial, Antioxidant and Enzyme Activities of Geosmithia Pallida (KU693285): A Fungal Endophyte Associated with Brucea Mollis Wall Ex. Kurz, Endangered and Medicinal Plant of N. E. India
Endophytes are the microbes that colonize living, internal tissues of plants without causing any immediate, overt negative effects. Endophytes are rich source of therapeutic substances like antimicrobial, anticancerous, herbicidal, insecticidal, immunomodulatory compounds. Brucea mollis, commonly known as Quinine in Assam, belonging to the family Simaroubaceae, is a shrub or small tree, recorded as endangered species in North East India by CAMP survey in 2003. It is traditionally being used as antimalarial and antimicrobial agent and has antiplasmodial, cytotoxic, anticancer, diuretic, cardiovascular effect etc. Being endangered and medicinal; this plant may host certain noble endophytes which need to be studied in depth. The aim of the present study was isolation and identification of potent endophytic fungi from Brucea mollis, an endangered medicinal plant, to protect it from extinction due to over use for medicinal purposes. Aseptically collected leaves, barks and roots samples of healthy plants were washed and cut into a total of 648 segments of about 2 cm long and 0.5 cm broad with sterile knife, comprising 216 segments each from leaves, barks and roots. These segments were surface sterilized using ethanol, mercuric chloride (HgCl2) and aqueous solution of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO). Different media viz., Czapeck-Dox-Agar (CDA, Himedia), Potato-Dextrose-Agar (PDA, Himedia), Malt Extract Agar (MEA, Himedia), Sabourad Dextrose Agar (SDA, Himedia), V8 juice agar, nutrient agar and water agar media and media amended with plant extracts were used separately for the isolation of the endophytic fungi. A total of 11 fungal species were recovered from leaf, bark and root tissues of B. mollis. The isolates were screened for antimicrobial, antioxidant and enzymatic activities using certain protocols. Cochliobolus geniculatus was identified as the most dominant species. The mycelia sterilia (creamy white) showing highest inhibitory activity against Candida albicans (MTCC 183) was induced to sporulate using modified PDA media. The isolate was identified as Geosmithia pallida. The internal transcribed spacer of rDNA was sequenced for confirmation of the taxonomic identity of the sterile mycelia (creamy white). The internal transcribed spacer r-DNA sequence was submitted to the NCBI (KU693285) for the first time from India. G. pallida and Penicillium showed highest antioxidant activity among all the isolates. The antioxidant activity of G. pallida and Penicillium didn’t show statistically significant difference (P˃0.05). G. pallida, Cochliobolus geniculatus and P. purpurogenum respectively showed highest cellulase, amylase and protease activities. Thus, endopytic fungal isolates may be used as potential natural resource of pharmaceutical importance. The endophytic fungi, Geosmithia pallida, may be used for synthesis of pharmaceutically important natural products and consequently can replace plants hitherto used for the same purpose. This study suggests that endophytes should be investigated more aggressively to better understand the endophyte biology of B. mollis.
Alterations in Esterases and Phosphatases of Three Economically Important Stored Grain Insect Pests Exposed to Botanical Extracts, Nicotiana tabacum and Eucalyptus globulus
Natural extracts of two medicinal plants Nicotiana tabacum and Eucalyptus globulus were tested for their toxic and enzyme inhibition effects against three insects species of stored grains Tribolium castaneum, Trogoderma granarium and Sitophilus granarius. Responses of insects varied with exposure periods and dilution levels of acetone extracts of plants. Both plant extracts were lethal to insects but the crude leaf extract of N. tabacum evidenced strong toxic action against three tested insect species. Maximum mortality 36.30% in S. granarius, 25.96% in T. castaneum, and 21.88% in T. granarium were found at 20% dilution level, after 10 days exposure to botanical extract of N. tabacum. The impact of N. tabacum and E. globulus on the activity of esterases; acetylcholinesterase (AChE), α-carboxylesterase (α-CE), β-carboxylesterase (β-CE) and phosphatses; acid phosphatase (AcP), alkaline phosphatase (AlP) of three stored grain insect species were also studied in the survivors of toxicity assay. Whole body homogenates of insects were used for enzyme determination and consumption of high dose rate N. tabacum extract containing diet resulted in maximum 55.33% inhibition of AChE and 26.17% AlP inhibition in T. castaneum, while 44.17% of α-CE and 31.67% inhibition of β-CE activity were noted in S. granarius. Maximum inhibition 23.44% of AcP activity was found in T. granarium exposed to diet treated with the extract of E. globulus. The findings indicate that acetone extracts of N. tabacum and E. globulus are naturally occurring pesticide and facts of the enzyme inhibition relations specify that their effect changes with the insect species.
The Effects of Above-Average Precipitation after Extended Drought on Phytoplankton in Southern California Surface Water Reservoirs
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWDSC) manages surface water reservoirs that are a source of drinking water for more than 19 million people in Southern California. These reservoirs experience periodic planktonic cyanobacteria blooms that can impact water quality. MWDSC imports water from two sources – the Colorado River (CR) and the State Water Project (SWP). The SWP brings supplies from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta that are characterized as having higher nutrients than CR water. Above average precipitation in 2017 after five years of drought allowed the majority of the reservoirs to fill. Phytoplankton was analyzed during the drought and after the drought at three reservoirs: Diamond Valley Lake (DVL), which receives SWP water exclusively, Lake Skinner, which can receive a blend of SWP and CR water, and Lake Mathews, which generally receives only CR water. DVL experienced a significant increase in water elevation in 2017 due to large SWP inflows, and there were no significant changes to total phytoplankton biomass, Shannon-Wiener diversity of the phytoplankton, or cyanobacteria biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years despite the higher nutrient loads. The biomass of cyanobacteria that could potentially impact DVL water quality (Microcystis spp., Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Dolichospermum spp., and Limnoraphis birgei) did not differ significantly between the heavy precipitation year and drought years. Compared to the other reservoirs, DVL generally has the highest concentration of cyanobacteria due to the water supply having greater nutrients. Lake Mathews’ water levels were similar in drought and wet years due to a reliable supply of CR water and there were no significant changes in the total phytoplankton biomass, phytoplankton diversity, or cyanobacteria biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years. The biomass of cyanobacteria that could potentially impact water quality at Lake Mathews (L. birgei and Microcystis spp.) did not differ significantly between 2017 and previous drought years. Lake Mathews generally had the lowest cyanobacteria biomass due to the water supply having lower nutrients. The CR supplied most of the water to Lake Skinner during drought years, while the SWP was the primary source during 2017. This change in water source resulted in a significant increase in phytoplankton biomass in 2017, no significant change in diversity, and a significant increase in cyanobacteria biomass. Cyanobacteria that could potentially impact water quality at Skinner included: Microcystis spp., Dolichospermum spp., and A.flos-aquae. There was no significant difference in Microcystis spp. biomass in 2017 compared to previous drought years, but biomass of Dolichospermum spp. and A.flos-aquae were significantly greater in 2017 compared to previous drought years. Dolichospermum sp. and A. flos-aquae are two cyanobacteria that are more sensitive to nutrients than Microcystis spp., which are more sensitive to temperature. Patterns in problem cyanobacteria abundance among Southern California reservoirs as a result of above-average precipitation after more than five years of drought were most closely related to nutrient loading.
Assessment of Platelet and Lymphocyte Interaction in Autoimmune Hyperthyroidism
Background: Graves’ disease is a frequent organ-specific autoimmune thyroid disease, which characterized by the presence of different kind autoantibodies, that, in most cases, act as agonists of the thyrotropin receptor, leading to hyperthyroidism. Role of platelets and lymphocytes can be modulated in the pathophysiology of thyroid autoimmune diseases. Interference in the physiology of platelets can lead to enhanced activity of these cells. Activated platelets can bind to circulating lymphocytes and to affect lymphocyte adhesion. Platelets and lymphocytes can regulate mutual functions. Therefore, the activation of T lymphocytes, as well as blood platelets, is associated with the development of inflammation and oxidative stress within the target tissue. The present study was performed to investigate a platelet-lymphocyte relation by assessing the degree of their mutual aggregation in whole blood of patients with Graves’ disease. Also, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact of platelet interaction on lymphocyte migration capacity. Methods: 30 patients with Graves’ disease were recruited in the study. The matched 30 healthy subjects were served as the control group. Immunophenotyping of lymphocytes was carried out by flow cytometry method. A CytoSelect™ Cell Migration Assay Kit was used to evaluate lymphocyte migration and adhesion to blood platelets. Visual assessment of lymphocyte-platelet aggregate morphology was done using confocal microscope after magnetic cell isolation by Miltenyi Biotec. Results: The migration and functional responses of lymphocytes to blood platelets were greater in the group of Graves’ disease patients compared with healthy controls. The group of Graves’ disease patients exhibited a reduced T lymphocyte and a higher B cell count compared with controls. Based on microscopic analysis, more platelet-lymphocyte aggregates were found in patients than in control. Conclusions: Studies have shown that in Graves' disease, lymphocytes show increased platelet affinity, more strongly migrating toward them, and forming mutual cellular conglomerates. This may be due to the increased activation of blood platelets in this disease.