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 Department: Department of Biological Sciences
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Pyrimidine Enzyme Specific Activity at Four Different Phases of Growth in Minimal and Rich Media, and Concomitant Virulence Factors Evaluation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Pyrimidine Enzyme Specific Activity at Four Different Phases of Growth in Minimal and Rich Media, and Concomitant Virulence Factors Evaluation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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Date: December 2005
Creator: Azad, Kamran Nikkhah
Description: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a Gram-negative rod, aerobic, non-fermenting, oxidase positive, pigment producing, and nutritionally versatile bacterium. Infections by P. aeruginosa are the most important cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients, given virulence factor production that suppresses antibiotic therapy and promotes persistent infection. This research is the first comprehensive report of the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway for all phases of growth in minimal and rich media coupled with the evaluation of virulence factor production of P. aeruginosa in comparison to four other bacterial species (Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Burkholderia cepacia, and Escherichia coli wild-type strains). Cellular growth and passing genetic information to the next generation depend on the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines, the precursors of DNA and RNA. The pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway is essential and found in most organisms, with the exception of a few parasites that depend upon the pyrimidine salvage pathway for growth. Both the pyrimidine biosynthetic and salvage enzymes are targets for chemotherapeutic agents. In our laboratory, research on pyrimidine auxotrophic mutants showed the role of the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway and its intermediates on P. aeruginosa metabolism and impaired virulence factors production. The present research shows that pyrimidine enzymes are active in all phases of growth, ...
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The Influence of a Return of Native Grasslands upon the Ecology and Distribution of Small Rodents in Big Bend National Park

The Influence of a Return of Native Grasslands upon the Ecology and Distribution of Small Rodents in Big Bend National Park

Date: August 1971
Creator: Baccus, John T.
Description: In the southwestern United States there is a delicate balance between the existing grasslands and the rodent fauna. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of secondary succession of native grasslands upon the ecology and distribution of small rodents. Two methods of determining the rodent species were plot quadrates and trap lines using Sherman live traps.
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The developmental physiology of the zebrafish: Influence of environment and cardiovascular attributes

The developmental physiology of the zebrafish: Influence of environment and cardiovascular attributes

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Date: August 2001
Creator: Bagatto, Brian
Description: Temperature effects on the development of the zebrafish embryos and larvae and adults were examined. It was found that the earlier in development a temperature change was performed on an embryo, the more significant the change in survival and/or subsequent development. Thus, viable temperature ranges for zebrafish widened significantly as development proceeded. Adults reared and bred at 25oC produced embryos that were significantly more successful at the lower range of rearing temperatures compared to embryos produced from adults reared at 28oC. The majority of this study focused on the physiological effects of swim training during development in the zebrafish. The earlier in development the zebrafish larvae were trained, the greater the mortality. Trained free swimming larvae had a significantly higher routine oxygen consumption after 11 days of training, and a higher mass specific routine metabolic rate after 8 and 11 days of training. Trained free swimming larvae consumed significantly less oxygen during swimming and were more efficient at locomotion, compared to control larvae. Training enhanced survival during exposure to extreme hypoxia in all age groups. Performance aspects of training were investigated in attempt to quantify training effects and in most cases, trained fish performed significantly better than controls. As blood ...
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In vitro Cultures of Morus alba for Enhancing Production of Phytoestrogens

In vitro Cultures of Morus alba for Enhancing Production of Phytoestrogens

Date: December 2009
Creator: Bakshi, Vibhu
Description: Plant estrogens have long been associated with health benefits. The potential of tissue culture techniques for the production of several secondary metabolites has been known for many years. Tissue cultures stimulate the production or induce the biosynthesis of novel compounds not found in the mature plant. Tissue culture of Morus alba, family Moraceae, is known to contain phytoestrogens, was established on plant-hormone supplemented Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Petiole and the stem tissue from mature trees were the best explants for initiation and proliferation of calli. The best callus proliferation was obtained on MS medium containing 1-napthalene acetic acid (1mg/ml) and benzylaminopurine (0.5mg/ml) for M. alba. Comparison of phytoestrogens of Moraceae species from in vivo and in vitro tissue isolation were carried out. The estrogenic activities of callus extracts were assayed in an estrogen-responsive yeast system expressing the human estrogen receptor alpha. Male callus extracts had higher estrogenic activity than male and female extracts from in vivo and in vitro tissues. Isolation and characterization of phytoestrogens from above tissues were carried out using solid phase extraction, high perfomance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques. Biochanin A, an isoflavonoid, was isolated as one of the compounds in male callus extracts. Biochanin ...
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Ecology of chironomids associated with  Myriophyllum spicatum L. and  Heteranthera dubia (Jacq.) MacM.

Ecology of chironomids associated with Myriophyllum spicatum L. and Heteranthera dubia (Jacq.) MacM.

Date: May 2002
Creator: Balci, Pinar
Description: Macroinvertebrate communities inhabiting an exotic, Myriophyllum spicatum, and a native, Heteranthera dubia macrophyte were studied from March 1999 to June 2000 in experimental ponds. Although macrophyte architecture explained some variation in macroinvertebrate abundance between the two macrophytes, most variation was explained by the sampling months. Total number of macroinvertebrates was found to be positively correlated with epiphyton biomass which differed significantly between the two plant types and among sampling months. Taxa richness did not vary between the two plant types. Chironomid larvae were the most abundant organisms and dominated by Apedilum elachistus on both plant communities. Annual production of five chironomid species was estimated by the size-frequency method. Production estimates (P) in g dry wt m-2 yr-1 of plant surface area for the predator Tanypodinae larvae were: Larsia decolarata, P= 0.77 and 0.67, Labrundinia virescens, P= 0.59 and 0.35 on M. spicatum and H. dubia, respectively. Larvae of Cricotopus sylvestris and Psectrocladius vernalis were collected from M. spicatum from March to mid-June. Production of C. sylvestris was found to be 0.46 g dry wt m-2, whereas it was 0.07 g dry wt m-2 for P. vernalis for this period. Apedilum elachistus exhibited the highest productivity: 9.9 g dry wt m-2 ...
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Ecological Significance and Underlying Mechanisms of Body Size Differentiation in White-tailed Deer

Ecological Significance and Underlying Mechanisms of Body Size Differentiation in White-tailed Deer

Date: May 2012
Creator: Barr, Brannon
Description: Body size varies according to nutritional availability, which is of ecological and evolutionary relevance. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that differences in adult body size are realized by increasing juvenile growth rate for white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Harvest records are used to construct growth rate estimates by empirical nonlinear curve fitting. Results are compared to those of previous models that include additional parameters. The rate of growth increases during the study period. Models that estimate multiple parameters may not work with harvest data in which estimates of these parameters are prone to error, which renders estimates from complex models too variable to detect inter-annual changes in growth rate that this simpler model captures
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Evaluation of the Economic, Social, and Biological Feasibility of Bioconverting Food Wastes with the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)

Evaluation of the Economic, Social, and Biological Feasibility of Bioconverting Food Wastes with the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia illucens)

Date: August 2004
Creator: Barry, Tami
Description: Food waste in the waste stream is becoming an important aspect of integrated waste management systems. Current efforts are composting and animal feeding. However, these food waste disposal practices rely on slow thermodynamic processes of composting or finding farmers with domestic animals capable of consuming the food wastes. Bioconversion, a potential alternative, is a waste management practice that converts food waste to insect larval biomass and organic residue. This project uses a native and common non-pest insect in Texas, the black soldier fly, which processes large quantities of food wastes, as well as animal wastes and sewage in its larval stage. The goal of this research is to facilitate the identification and development of the practical parameters of bioconversion methods at a large cafeteria. Three major factors were selected to evaluate the practicality of a bioconversion system: (1) the biological constraints on the species; (2) the economic costs and benefits for the local community; (3) the perception of and interaction between the public and management agencies with respect to the bioconversion process. Results indicate that bioconversion is feasible on all levels. Larvae tolerate and consume food waste as well as used cooking grease, reducing the overall waste volume by 30-70% ...
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Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish

Hepatotoxicity of Mercury to Fish

Date: August 2010
Creator: Barst, Benjamin Daniel
Description: Tissue samples from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from Caddo Lake. Gar and bass livers were subjected to histological investigation and color analysis. Liver color (as abs at 400 nm) was significantly correlated with total mercury in the liver (r2 = 0.57, p = 0.02) and muscle (r2 = 0.58, p = 0.01) of gar. Evidence of liver damage as lipofuscin and discoloration was found in both species but only correlated with liver mercury concentration in spotted gar. Inorganic mercury was the predominant form in gar livers. In order to determine the role of mercury speciation in fish liver damage, a laboratory feeding study was employed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed either a control (0.12 ± 0.002 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), inorganic mercury (5.03 ± 0.309 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), or methylmercury (4.11 ± 0.146 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt) diet. After 78 days of feeding, total mercury was highest in the carcass of zebrafish fed methylmercury (12.49 ± 0.369 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic mercury (1.09 ± 0.117 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in fish fed the control diet (0.48 ± 0.038 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt). Total mercury was ...
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Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Areal and Volumetric Phytoplankton Productivity of Lake Texoma

Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Areal and Volumetric Phytoplankton Productivity of Lake Texoma

Date: August 2001
Creator: Baugher, Tessy
Description: Phytoplankton productivity of Lake Texoma was measured for one year from August 1999 to August 2000 for four stations, using the oxygen change method and laboratory incubation. Mean values of the photosynthetic parameters, PBmax and alphaB ranged from 4.86 to 46.39 mg O2.mg Chl-1.hr-1 for PBmax and 20.06 to 98.96 mg O2.mg Chl-1.E-1.m2 for alphaB. These values were in the range to be expected for a highly turbid, temperate reservoir. Estimated gross annual areal productivity ranged from 594 g C.m2.yr-1 (P.Q. = 1.2), at a station in the Washita River Zone to 753 g C.m2.yr-1 at a station in the Red River Zone, of the reservoir. Gross annual areal productivity at Station 17, in the Main Lake Zone, was 708 g C.m2.yr-1. Gross areal and volumetric productivity showed distinct seasonal variation with Photosynthetically Available Radiation (PAR) and temperature. Trophic status estimated on a station-by-station basis, using net productivity values derived from gross productivity and respiration estimates, was mesotrophic for all the stations, though one station approached eutrophy. Net productivity values ranged from 0.74 to 0.91 g C. m-2.d-1. An algal bioassay conducted at two stations in August 2000, revealed that phosphorus was most likely the nutrient limiting photosynthesis at both ...
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Evaluating Fish Impingement and Entrainment at the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Evaluating Fish Impingement and Entrainment at the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station

Date: May 1996
Creator: Bauml, George A. (George Arthur)
Description: This study was designed to determine if impingement and entrainment by cooling water intake at the Comanche Peak Steam Electric Station have an adverse impact upon the Squaw Creek Reservoir fish population. The yearly impingement of fish was estimated to be 262,994 of 14 species. The threadfin shad (Dorosoma petenense) accounted for 96% of this total. Entrainment of eggs and larvae for a five month period was estimated to be 15,989,987 and 42,448,794 respectively. Two fish population studies were performed on Squaw Creek Reservoir to help assess impact. It was determined that the losses due to impingement and entrainment have no adverse impact upon the fish population of Squaw Creek Reservoir.
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