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Open access

Eugenio Muscianese, Giuseppe Martino, Pasquale Sgro, Sergio Scebba and Michele Sorrenti

Abstract

The European Commission has established that pre-nuptial migration of the Song Thrush Turdus philomelos in Italy begins in the second decade (10-day period) of January. This three-year study was carried out at two localities in the Calabria region of southern Italy from 2012 to 2014, with 3-4 ringing sessions every decade from mid-January to the end of March. In total, 447 birds were captured. Based on catching dynamics and changes in fat load and body mass, we documented that the species’ northward migration took place in mainly March, with early movements in February. As no migratory activity was detected before the second decade of February, the dates of the hunting season in this area can be re-considered.

Open access

Enrico Cavina, Rinaldo Bucchi and Przemysław Busse

Abstract

Given the scarcity of studies on the migration of the Wood Pigeon through Italy, the first systematic observations by a network of hunters, as citizen researchers, can be presented as a starting point for more in-depth analyses. Observations from the years 1998-2006 are analysed and presented in a generalized form. During this period more than 100 observation sites, covering most of Italy, were active for about 40 days every autumn. Migration over Italy was described in terms of the timing and intensity of migration. Special attention was directed to the long-term number dynamics and seasonal dynamics of the passage. The most intensive migration was observed within northern Italy, while lower intensity is visible more to the south of the peninsula. Following tendencies in numbers of observed migrants within the ten years of the study, we can find positive tendencies in most of the northern provinces, while three negative trends are visible in central Italy. The study of the seasonal pattern, in terms of the number dynamics of the passage and the frequency of pronounced peak days, strongly suggests that there are five or six waves of pigeons passing through Italy in different parts of the autumn that are quite stable between years. Every year the time of the passage includes a few peak days of migration.

Open access

D. Chagas De Souza, L. Lima Correa and M. Tavares-Dias

Summary

The present study investigated the occurrence of metacercariae of Ithyoclinostomum dimorphum in Hoplias malabaricus in the basin of the São Francisco River in the state of Minas Gerais (Brazil). Twenty-nine fish were examined in June 2012 during a survey of fish and parasitic fauna. Of the fish examined, 34.5 % had infected eyes, intestine and musculature, with a mean intensity of 1.1 and an abundance of 0.4 per fish. The prevalence in the intestine was 31.0 %, with mean intensity of 1.1 and mean abundance of 0.3. In the eyes, the prevalence was 3.4 %, with a mean intensity of 1.0 and mean abundance of 1.0. The metacercaria found in the right eyeball was lodged between the cornea and iris. The low parasitism did not affect the condition factor (Kn) of the parasitized fish. This was the first report of I. dimorphum in the eyes of Hoplias malabaricus, a secondary intermediate host for this endoparasite

Open access

E. F. Fernandes De Carvalho, A. Ferreira Da Silva-Neta, C. De Sousa Silva, C. R. De Oliveira, J. Da Cunha Xavier Nunes, T. Gonçalves De Souza and R. W. Ávila

Summary

Snakes have diverse feeding and living habits, being exposed to a variety of endoparasite communities. However, more studies are still necessary to document these relationships. We examined 18 specimens of the cat-eyed snake Leptodeira annulata from a semi-arid region in Northeast Brazil. Eight taxa of parasites were found, with higher prevalence of cystacanths (Acanthocephala). Five nematode species (Hexametra boddaertii, Oswaldocruzia sp., Oxyascaris sp., Physaloptera sp. and Raillietnema spectans) and the pentastome Raillietiella furcocerca represent a new parasitism record for the host studied. Our results also showed that L. annulata could act as paratenic host for acanthocephalans. These results contribute to the knowledge of the helminth fauna of L. annulata.

Open access

A. A. M. Teixeira, R. J. Silva, S. V. Brito, D. A. Teles, J. A. Araujo-Filho, L. D. Franzini, D. O. Santana, W. O. Almeida and D. O. Mesquita

Summary

We analyzed the patterns of infection by helminths in populations of the Gymnophthalmidae lizard Dryadosaura nordestina from three Atlantic Forest fragments in Northeast Brazil. Prevalence and mean intensity of infection by location showed the following results: ARIE Mata de Goiamunduba (60.8 % and 10.4 ± 8), RPPN Engenho Gargaú (83.3 % and 20.8 ± 19.7) and Benjamim Maranhão Botanical Garden (70.4 % and 7.78 ± 5.8). We provide the first records of helminth infection for the lizard D. nordestina, in which three species of nematodes, Aplectana sp., Cosmocerca sp. and Physaloptera lutzi and one trematode Haplometroides odhneri were recovered. Trematodes of the genus Haplometroides were previously known as parasites only in snake and amphisbaenian hosts in South America. Now, our study provides the first record of a species belonging to this genus parasitizing lizards. In conclusion, our study shows that D. nordestina have a depleted helminth fauna (three species at maximum), similar to other studies with lizards of this family in Brazil and that its parasite abundance is related to host snout-vent length, but not to the sex.

Open access

Ireneusz Ochmian, Jan Oszmiański, Bogusława Jaśkiewicz and Małgorzata Szczepanek

Abstract

The low availability of soils with an appropriate pH value (4.2-5.2) is a factor limiting an increase in highbush blueberry acreage. The experiments examined the influence of a physiologically acidic urea phosphate fertilizer on the pH change of the soil and the mineral content in the soil, leaves, and fruit as well as polyphenols in the fruit of two highbush blueberry cultivars – ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Brigitta Blue’. The fertilizer, at doses of 30 and 60 kg of nitrogen per hectare, was used in the experiments in each of the three years of the study.

After using 60 kg N ha−1, urea phosphate caused a reduction in soil pH. It also significantly influenced the total soil nitrogen content – the average for the cultivars was 7.40 mg in 2015, while in the control plots – 1.85 mg 100 g−1. These quantities are above the optimum recommended for highbush blueberry. At the same time, low amounts of this ingredient were found in the leaves (‘Sunrise’ – 1.83 mg; ‘Brigitta Blue’ – 1.77 mg 100 g−1).

Even after the application of 30 kg of fertilizer in the second year, the phosphorus content in the soil was at a high level (> 4 mg 100 g−1). The amount of phosphorus also increased in the leaves and fruit. Despite considerable quantities of available magnesium in the soil after urea phosphate application, a significant reduction of this component was observed in the leaves and fruit compared to the unfertilized control bushes. The applied fertilizer reduced the amount of polyphenols in the fruit of the tested cultivars.

Open access

Li-Hui Lü and Qiang-Sheng Wu

Abstract

Replant disease refers to the result of monoculture-continuous repetitive planting of congeneric crops or coordinal crops in the same soil for many years. Such disease is recognized as one of the main limiting factors affecting plant growth and production of horticultural plants in many countries. As a result, replant disease in horticultural plants has become a world problem in agriculture and also a bottleneck restricting the sustainable development of agriculture. In general, replant disease results in unfavorable growth of horticultural plants, which is due to allelopathy, autotoxicity, and the imbalance of both soil physical-biochemical traits and soil microflora. An environmentally friendly contribution to this could be bio-controlled by beneficial microorganisms. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, one of soil-inhabiting fungi, can form a symbiotic association in roots to mitigate the negative effects of replant disease in many horticultural plants. Moreover, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi do not produce any environmental pollution in soils and are a potential biological control. The soil fungi could regulate better morphological, physiological and molecular levels in plants to respond to the disease. This review mainly outlined the current knowledge in mycorrhizal mitigation of replant disease in horticultural plants, which appears to be a promising strategy to improve growth of horticultural plants in replant soils.

Open access

Agnieszka Wojtania and Bożena Matysiak

Abstract

The aim of the study was to develop an efficient micropropagation system for Rosa ‘Konstancin’, an interspecific hybrid between R. rugosa and R. beggeriana, whose fruits have high pro-health value. Shoot cultures were initiated from shoot buds collected in May and August from 15-year-old field-grown Rosa ‘Konstancin’ shrubs. The effect and interaction of different concentrations of phytohormones, sucrose and iron sources on in vitro initiation, multiplication and rooting of shoots were studied.

The time of collecting explants from donor plants significantly affected the initiation of shoot culture of Rosa ‘Konstancin’. Considerably higher frequency of bud break (100%) was obtained in explants isolated in August as compared to those collected at the end of May (30%). All buds developed into single shoots after 2-4 weeks of growing on the basal Murashige and Skoog medium containing 2.2 µM BAP, 0.3 µM GA3 and 88 mM of sucrose. The highest multiplication rate (4.8 shoots/explant) in a 5-week period was obtained on MS medium containing 50% of nitrogen salts, 3.1 µM BAP, 0.9 µM GA3 and 58 mM sucrose. High rooting frequency (100%) and quality of rooted plantlets was obtained on a medium containing 0.5 µM IBA, 138 µM Fe-EDDHA and 88 mM sucrose. Fe-EDDHA had a beneficial effect on the growth and photosynthetic activity of Rosa ‘Konstancin’ plantlets, which were successfully acclimatized ex vitro, with a more than 90% survival rate.

Open access

Ayesha Manzoor, Touqeer Ahmad, Muhammad Ajmal Bashir, Mirza Muhammad Qadeer Baig, Abdul Ahad Quresh, Muhammad Kausar Nawaz Shah and Ishfaq Ahmed Hafiz

Abstract

Gladiolus is one of the most important lucrative cut flower crops that is commercially cultivated worldwide due to its various spike forms, size, and shape and color combinations. In order to further increase the commercial and horticultural value by improving the ornamental traits of gladiolus ‘White Prosperity’, polyploidy was induced by soaking gladiolus corms in different colchicine concentrations (0.1%, 0.2% and 0.3%) for 24 h. Different colchicine concentrations had a little effect on sprouting and survival percentage but it significantly delayed the emergence of sprouts. About one third decreases in plant height along with reduction in number of leaves per plant, leaf area, length and width, chlorophyll content, diameter and number of cormlets per corm was observed in treated plants. Colchicine at 0.1% concentration improved the ornamental value of gladiolus by increasing vase life whereas colchicine at 0.3% was effective in increasing floret diameter. However, the colchicine treated plants exhibited delayed and reduced percentage of flowering corms. Pollen and stomatal study was done for the identification of polyploidy and it showed that both pollen and stomata size were increased while stomatal density and pollen fertility was significantly reduced in polyploid plants. Induction of polyploidy (mixoploids + octoploids) was achieved in all concentrations, however 0.2% and 0.3% concentrations of colchicine were effective for producing large number of polyploid plants. But at 0.1% concentration of colchicine, majority of plants did not show any change in their original ploidy level (tetraploid). These putative polyploids may be helpful for further improvement in ornamental and horticultural value of gladiolus.

Open access

V. Vetvicka and R. Fernandez-Botran

Summary

Immunosuppression caused by parasitic infections represents the foremost way by which the parasites overcome or escape the host’s immune response. Glucan is a well-established natural immunomodulator with the ability to significantly improve immune system, from innate immunity to both branches of specific immunity. Our review is focused on the possible role of glucan’s action in antiparasite therapies and vaccine strategies. We concluded that the established action of glucan opens a new window in treatment and protection against parasitic infections.