M. Dvořáková, I. Weingartová, J. Nevoral, D. Němeček and T. Krejčová
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Nematode communities in a Norway spruce forest in High Tatra National Park, Slovakia were monitored for the period of several years (2006 and 2013). Unfortunately, in May 2014 natural windstorm damaged the forest. This disastrous event, together with preliminary obtained results allowed us to compare the direct impact of windstorm damage of forest habitat on soil nematode assemblages. The forest destruction by windstorm had a significant effect on the total nematode abundance, the abundance of omnivores and herbivores, as well as the nematode species diversity. The most dominant species, representing 55 % of the total nematode fauna, in the plot studied were Acrobeloides nanus followed by Malenchus exiguus, Filenchus vulgaris, Plectus communis, Plectus parvus and Tylencholaimus mirabilis. The abundance of bacterivorous signifi cantly increased after the windstorm, meanwhile the abundance of omnivores, fungivores, and herbivores ectoparasites and epidermal/root hair feeders showed an opposite trend. Of the evaluative indicators, Shannon species diversity (H’spp), maturity index (MI), maturity index 2-5 (MI2-5), sigma maturity index (ΣMI), enrichment index (EI) and structure index (SI) decreased significantly after windstorm. The EI and SI indexes characterized soil ecosystems before windstorm (2006 - 2013) as maturing with low or moderate disturbance, but soil ecosystems shortly after the windstorm (2014) were degraded and nutrient depleted. This also corresponded with graphical display of metabolic footprints characteristics of soil food web. Overall, the nematode communities differed significantly before and after forest damage. These results suggest the role of nematode communities as indicators of environment condition quality or its disruption.
Wetlands and particularly peatlands are the main natural source of methane. Data indicate that 10-45% of methane emission comes from these sources. Methane emission from wetlands is the result of the balance between methanogenesis and methanotrophic processes and is actively affected by the wetland plant community composition. There are many factors affecting the balance of CH4: for instance, vegetation has a strong effect on CH4 emissions from wetland ecosystems by influencing methane production, consumption and transport in the soil. The effects of plants on methane fluxes may be mediated by: molecular diffusion, internal transport through plant aerenchyma tissues and ebullition. Methane is formed in the process of methanogenesis under anaerobic conditions. It may then be emitted into the atmosphere directly from the soil or by internal transport through the plant. Alternatively, it may undergo methane oxidation by methanotrophic bacteria, both free-living in the root zone and associated with the host plant in symbiosis. Sphagnum moss is of particular importance for this processes as it contains methanotrophic bacteria in its endophytic system. Methanotrophic bacteria live inside the dead hyaline cells or on the surface of Sphagnum leaves and are able to oxidise methane produced in the soil during methanogenesis, making peatlands a natural biofilter for methane, one of the main greenhouse gases
Z. Hroncová, J. Havlík, L. Stanková, S. Hájková, D. Titěra and V. Rada
Plant secondary metabolites present naturally in nectar, such as alkaloids, may change the behavioural responses of floral visitors and affect pollination. Some studies have shown that nectar containing low concentrations of these secondary metabolites is preferred by honey bee foragers over pure nectar. However, it remains unclear whether this is caused by dependence or addictive behaviour, a simple taste preference, or by other conditions such as self-medication. In our choice experiment, free-flying bees were presented with artificial flowers holding 20% sucrose containing 0.5−50 μg ml−1 of one of the naturally occurring nectar alkaloids - caffeine, nicotine, senecionine, and gelsemine. Nectar uptake was determined by weighing each flower and comparing the weight to that of the control flower. Our experimental design minimized memorizing and marking; despite this, caffeine was significantly preferred at concentrations 0.5−2 μg ml−1 over control nectar; this preference was not observed for other alkaloids. All of the compounds tested were repellent at concentrations above 5 μg ml−1. We confirmed previous reports that bees exhibit a preference for caffeine, and hypothesize that this is not due only to addictive behaviour but is at least partially mediated by taste preference. We observed no significant preference for nicotine or any other alkaloid.
Kamil M. Mustafa, Mufeed J. Ewadh, Mohammed Baqur S. Al-Shuhaib and Hamid G. Hasan
This study was conducted to describe the role of the chloroplast maturase K (matK) genetic polymorphism in the reciprocal crossing between five barley varieties using several in vitro / in silico tools. Besides, the final consequences of the matK gene polymorphism on its protein structure, function, and interactions were predicted computationally. Five parental varieties were crossed to each other by full reciprocal crossing design, DNA was extracted from seeds and two different primers’ pairs were designed to scan matK gene. Then, polymerase chain reaction - single-stranded conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) were performed. Two distinct haplotypes in both parents and artificial F1 hybrids in the matK gene were observed in both amplified fragments. This finding indicated that the studied gene had no participation in the reciprocal crossing performed. Three SNPs were identified; two of them are non-synonymous (nsSNPs), namely G387V and L459M. The effect of these missense mutations on the matK protein was analyzed by several in silico tools. It was shown that the coding SNP, L459M was predicted to have much more effective consequences on matK protein structure and function. While the I-Mutant 2.0 prediction tool showed a decrease in stability for these two nsSNPs, which may destabilize the protein interactions to some extent. In conclusion, though the observed missense mutations in the matK gene have no suggestive role in the reciprocally crossed barley varieties, they caused dramatic alterations in several matK protein moieties, which may lead to potential subsequent changes in the matK protein-mediated RNA splicing mechanisms.
P. M., Bigler F. 1998. Effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis corn-fed prey on mortality and development time of immature Chrysoperla carnea ( Neuroptera: Chrysopidae ). Environmental Entomology 27 : 480-487.
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Marcin Nowicki, Małgorzata Lichocka, Marzena Nowakowska, Urszula Kłosińska and Elżbieta U. Kozik
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