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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Biological Sciences
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Map-based cloning of the NIP gene in model legume Medicago truncatula.

Map-based cloning of the NIP gene in model legume Medicago truncatula.

Date: May 2007
Creator: Morris, Viktoriya
Description: Large amounts of industrial fertilizers are used to maximize crop yields. Unfortunately, they are not completely consumed by plants; consequently, this leads to soil pollution and negative effects on aquatic systems. An alternative to industrial fertilizers can be found in legume plants that provide a nitrogen source that is not harmful for the environment. Legume plants, through their symbiosis with soil bacteria called rhizobia, are able to reduce atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia, a biological nitrogen source. Establishment of the symbiosis requires communication on the molecular level between the two symbionts, which leads to changes on the cellular level and ultimately results in nitrogen-fixing nodule development. Inside the nodules hypoxic environment, the bacterial enzyme nitrogenase reduces atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia. Medicago truncatula is the model legume plant that is used to study symbiosis with mycorrhiza and with the bacteria Sinorhizobium meliloti. The focus of this work is the M. truncatula nodulation mutant nip (numerous infections and polyphenolics). The NIP gene plays a role in the formation and differentiation of nodules, and development of lateral roots. Studying this mutant will contribute knowledge to understanding the plant response to infection and how the invasion by rhizobia is regulated. Previous genetic mapping placed NIP ...
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Measuring Atmospheric Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Concentration by Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy

Measuring Atmospheric Ozone and Nitrogen Dioxide Concentration by Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy

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Date: December 2011
Creator: Jerez, Carlos J.
Description: The main objective was to develop a procedure based on differential optical absorption spectroscopy (DOAS) to measure atmospheric total column of ozone, using the automated instrument developed at the University of North Texas (UNT) by Nebgen in 2006. This project also explored the ability of this instrument to provide measurements of atmospheric total column nitrogen dioxide. The instrument is located on top of UNT’s Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building. It employs a low cost spectrometer coupled with fiber optics, which are aimed at the sun to collect solar radiation. Measurements taken throughout the day with this instrument exhibited a large variability. The DOAS procedure derives total column ozone from the analysis of daily DOAS Langley plots. This plot relates the measured differential column to the airmass factor. The use of such plots is conditioned by the time the concentration of ozone remains constant. Observations of ozone are typically conducted throughout the day. Observations of total column ozone were conducted for 5 months. Values were derived from both DOAS and Nebgen’s procedure and compared to satellite data. Although differences observed from both procedures to satellite data were similar, the variability found in measurements was reduced from 70 Dobson units, with ...
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Mechanisms of Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764

Mechanisms of Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764

Date: August 1992
Creator: Nagappan, Olagappan
Description: Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764 was capable of utilizing cyanide as a sole nitrogen source for growth. Cyanate (OCN") and S-cyanoalanine could also serve as nitrogenous substrates, but do not appear to play a role as intermediates in cyanide metabolism. Growth of this strain on cyanate as the sole nitrogen source led to the induction of an enzyme characterized as a cyanase (EC 3.5.5.3) based on its stoichiometric conversion of cyanate to ammonia, and dependence on bicarbonate for maximal activity. However, since cyanase activity was not elevated in cyanide-grown cells it was concluded that it serves no role in cyanide metabolism. Related studies aimed at examining a possible role for S-cyanoalanine as a cyanide-assimilation intermediate showed that while this compound also serves as a nitrogen source, it also is not important in cyanide metabolism. Studies focused on the utilization of free cyanide as a growth substrate led to the development of a fed-batch cultivation procedure greatly facilitating further experimentation aimed at the identification of cyanide metabolites. In addition to CO_2 and NH_3 as described earlier, two additional metabolites including formamide and formate were detected by using nC-NMR, HPLC, radioisotrapping methods and other analytical means. The formation of metabolites was shown to ...
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Mechanisms of rapid receptive field reorganization in rat spinal cord

Mechanisms of rapid receptive field reorganization in rat spinal cord

Date: August 2002
Creator: Vu, Hung
Description: Rapid receptive field (RF) reorganization of somatosensory neurons in the rat dorsal horn was examined using extracellular single unit recording. Subcutaneous injection of lidocaine into RFs of dorsal horn neurons results in expansion of their RFs within minutes. The expanded RFs appear adjacent to or/and proximal to original RFs. Out of 63 neurons tested, 36 (58%) show RF reorganization. The data suggest that dorsal horn of spinal cord is one of the initial sites for RF reorganization. The neural mechanisms of this effect are not well understood. We propose that changes in biophysical properties (membrane conductance, length constant) of the neurons resulting from lidocaine injection contribute to RF reorganization. Iontophoretic application of glutamate onto dorsal horn neurons that show lidocaine induced RF's expansion were used to test the model. Application of glutamate produced reduction of reorganized RFs in 9 of 20 (45%) tested cells. Application of NBQX produced no effect on either original or expanded RFs indicate that RF shrinkage effects of glutamate involve NMDA receptors. The results are consistent with the prediction of the proposed model. Subcutaneous injection of capsaicin into tactile RFs of low threshold mechanoreceptive dorsal horn neurons produced no effect on the RF sizes that are ...
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Medial Medulla Networks in Culture: a Multichannel Electrophysiologic and Pharmacological Study

Medial Medulla Networks in Culture: a Multichannel Electrophysiologic and Pharmacological Study

Date: August 1998
Creator: Keefer, Edward W. (Edward Wesley)
Description: Spontaneously active primary cultures obtained from dissociated embryonic medial medulla tissue were grown on microelectrode arrays for investigating burst patterns and pharmacological responses of respiratory-related neurons. Multichannel burst rates and spike production were used as primary variables for analysis. Pacemaker-like neurons were identified by continued spiking under low Ca++/high Mg++conditions. The number of pacemakers increased with time under synaptic blocking medium. Sensitivity to CO2 levels was found in some neurons. Acetylcholine changed activity in a complex fashion. Curare, atropine and gallamine modified ACh effects. Eserine alone was ineffective, but potentiated ACh-induced responses. Norepinephrine caused channel-specific increases or decreases, whereas dopamine and serotonin had little effect at 30 μM. GABA and glycine stopped most spiking at 70 μM. Developmental changes in glycine sensitivity (increasing with age) were also observed. It is concluded that pacemaker and chemosensitive neurons develop in medial medulla cultures, and that these cultures are pharmacologically histiotypic.
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Metabolic, cardiac and ventilatory regulation in early larvae of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

Metabolic, cardiac and ventilatory regulation in early larvae of the South African clawed frog, Xenopus laevis.

Date: December 2009
Creator: Pan, Tien-Chien
Description: Early development of O2 chemoreception and hypoxic responses under normoxic (150 mmHg) and chronically hypoxic (110 mmHg) conditions were investigated in Xenopus laevis from hatching to 3 weeks post fertilization. Development, growth, O2 consumption, ventilatory and cardiac performance, and branchial neuroepithelial cells (NEC) density and size were determined. At 3 days post fertilization (dpf), larvae started gill ventilation at a rate of 28 ± 4 beats/min and showed increased frequency to 60 ± 2 beats/min at a PO2 of 30 mmHg. Also at 3 dpf, NECs were identified in the gill filament buds using immunohistochemical methods. Lung ventilation began at 5 dpf and exhibited a 3-fold increase in frequency from normoxia to a PO2 of 30 mmHg. Hypoxic tachycardia developed at 5 dpf, causing an increase of 20 beats/min in heart rate, which led to a 2-fold increase in mass-specific cardiac output at a PO2 of 70 mmHg. At 10 dpf, gill ventilatory sensitivity to hypoxia increased, which was associated with the increase in NEC density, from 15 ± 1 to 29 ± 2 cells/mm of filament at 5 and 10 dpf, respectively. Unlike the elevated rate, cardiac and ventilatory volumes were independent of acute hypoxia. Despite increased cardioventilatory frequency, ...
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Metabolic Engineering in Plants to Control Source/sink Relationship and Biomass Distribution

Metabolic Engineering in Plants to Control Source/sink Relationship and Biomass Distribution

Date: August 2013
Creator: Lahiri, Ipsita
Description: Traditional methods like pruning and breeding have historically been used in crop production to divert photoassimilates to harvested organs, but molecular biotechnology is now poised to significantly increase yield by manipulating resource partitioning. It was hypothesized that metabolic engineering in targeted sink tissues can favor resource partitioning to increase harvest. Raffinose Family Oligosaccharides (RFOs) are naturally occurring oligosaccharides that are widespread in plants and are responsible for carbon transport, storage and protection against cold and drought stress. Transgenic plants (GRS47, GRS63) were engineered to generate and transport more RFOs through the phloem than the wild type plants. The transgenic lines produced more RFOs and the RFOs were also detected in their phloem exudates. But the 14CO2 labeling and subsequent thin layer chromatography analysis showed that the RFOs were most likely sequestered in an inactive pool and accumulate over time. Crossing GRS47 and GRS63 lines with MIPS1 plants (that produces more myo-inositol, a substrate in the RFO biosynthetic pathway) did not significantly increase the RFOs in the crossed lines. For future manipulation of RFO degradation in sink organs, the roles of the endogenous α-galactosidases were analyzed. The alkaline α-galactosidases (AtSIP1 and AtSIP2 in Arabidopsis) are most likely responsible for digesting RFOs ...
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Metabolic Engineering of Raffinose-Family Oligosaccharides in the Phloem Reveals Alterations in Patterns of Carbon Partitioning and Enhances Resistance to Green Peach Aphid

Metabolic Engineering of Raffinose-Family Oligosaccharides in the Phloem Reveals Alterations in Patterns of Carbon Partitioning and Enhances Resistance to Green Peach Aphid

Date: August 2010
Creator: Cao, Te
Description: Phloem transport is along hydrostatic pressure gradients generated by differences in solute concentration between source and sink tissues. Numerous species accumulate raffinose-family oligosaccharides (RFOs) in the phloem of mature leaves to accentuate the pressure gradient between source and sinks. In this study, metabolic engineering was used to generate RFOs at the inception of the translocation stream of Arabidopsis thaliana, which transports predominantly sucrose. To do this, three genes, GALACTINOL SYNTHASE, RAFFINOSE SYNTHASE and STACHYOSE SYNTHASE, were expressed from promoters specific to the companion cells of minor veins. Two transgenic lines homozygous for all three genes (GRS63 and GRS47) were selected for further analysis. Sugars were extracted and quantified by high performance anion exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detection (HPAEC-PAD), and 21-day old plants of both lines had levels of galactinol, raffinose, and stachyose approaching 50% of total soluble sugar. All three exotic sugars were also identified in phloem exudates from excised leaves of transgenic plants whereas levels were negligible in exudates from wild type leaves. Differences in starch accumulation or degradation between wild type and GRS63 and GRS47 lines were not observed. Similarly, there were no differences in vegetative growth between wild type and engineered plants, but engineered plants flowered ...
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Microsatellite-based genetic profiling for the management of wild and captive flamingo populations.

Microsatellite-based genetic profiling for the management of wild and captive flamingo populations.

Date: December 2005
Creator: Kapil, Richa
Description: Flamingo species generate tremendous interest whether they are small captive groups or wild populations numbering in the thousands. Genetic pedigrees are invaluable for maintaining maximum genetic diversity in captive, as well as wild, populations. However, presently there is a general lack of genetic data for flamingo populations. Microsatellites are loci composed of 2-6 base pair tandem repeats, scattered throughout higher eukaryotic genomes, often exhibiting high levels of polymorphism and heterozygosity. These loci are thus important genetic markers for identity, parentage and population studies. Here, six microsatellite loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo partial genomic library. Two are compound complex repeats and four are perfect trinucleotide repeats. Each locus was amplified from Caribbean, African greater, Chilean and lesser flamingo genomic DNAs. Heterozygosity frequencies were calculated for Caribbean (range 0.12-0.90) and African greater flamingos (range 0.23-0.94) loci. All six microsatellite loci were found to be in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and linkage disequilibrium analyses did not suggest linkage for any pair of two greater flamingo subspecies (African and Caribbean) loci. At least five of the loci also exhibit polymorphism in Chilean and lesser flamingos, but due to small sample numbers, relevant allele/heterozygosity frequency calculations could not be estimated. Nucleotide sequence comparisons of ...
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Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation in Populations of the Nine-Banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus

Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation in Populations of the Nine-Banded Armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus

Date: August 2000
Creator: Elrod, Diana Adams
Description: Four populations of nine-banded armadillos, Dasypus novemcinctus, were investigated in the south-central United States in order to assess genetic variation in an isolated population (Electric Island, Lake Hamilton, Garland County, Arkansas); a semi-isolated population (Arkansas Post, Arkansas County, Arkansas), and two free ranging populations (southern Arkansas and central Texas). A 233 basepair sequence of the D-loop region of mitochondrial DNA was sequenced in individuals from each population. Individuals and populations were compared to assess relatedness among populations and individuals. Higher sequence diversity was detected in the semi-isolated population, while lower sequence diversity was observed in the isolated and free ranging populations. Overall, all populations exhibited low genetic variation when compared to genetic variation for other mammals. The results support the hypothesis that rapid range expansion combined with the organism's unique reproductive strategies have promulgated low genetic variation in the North American populations of nine-banded armadillos.
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