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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Biological Sciences
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Macroinvertebrate Community Structure as an Indicator of Watershed Health in the Upper Trinity River Basin, North Central Texas

Macroinvertebrate Community Structure as an Indicator of Watershed Health in the Upper Trinity River Basin, North Central Texas

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
Date: May 2000
Creator: Stephenson, Jaynie M.
Description: This study describes macroinvertebrate community structure and assesses its potential in detecting point and non-point sources of disturbance associated with rural and urban areas in the Upper Trinity River Basin. Geospatial techniques were used to quantify landuse within the watershed in a GIS. At rural sites near the headwaters of the Trinity River, collector-gathering burrowers that are adapted to minimal flow comprised the majority of taxa. Destinies of taxa compositions at downstream sites increased and shifted toward psammophilic and rheophilic invertebrates, including primarily collector-filtering clingers, that are characteristic of shifting sand habitats in large prairie rivers. Benthic community structure generally benefited from point source impacts including wastewater treatment plant effluents that maintained higher flow. Community indices were negatively associated with forest landuse and positively associated with urban landuse. Partial CCA determined that flow and landuse contributed equally to species dispersions. Comparisons with historical biomonitoring studies in upper Trinity River Basin indicate improved watershed health.
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Management Tools for Prescribed Burning for Tallgrass Prairie Restoration at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area

Management Tools for Prescribed Burning for Tallgrass Prairie Restoration at the Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area

Date: December 2003
Creator: Moreno, Maria C.
Description: The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is a wildlife management area with tallgrass prairie, an endangered ecosystem. Essential ecosystem processes, especially fire, are part of restoration. To support fire management efforts at LLELA and surrounding areas, this project evaluated and developed tools for fire restoration. The four primary prairie grasses respond favorably to burning. Fuel loads and fuel models vary by scale and survey method. One- and 10-hour fuel moisture can be predicted using a statistical model; 100- and 1,000-hour fuel moisture cannot. Historic weather data suggests that burning can occur when it is most effective. The production of ozone precursors produced by burning is comparable to those emitted every six minutes by regional automobiles.
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Manipulating Sucrose Proton Symporters to Understand Phloem Loading

Manipulating Sucrose Proton Symporters to Understand Phloem Loading

Date: August 2013
Creator: Dasgupta, Kasturi
Description: Phloem vascular tissues transport sugars synthesized by photosynthesis in mature leaves by a process called phloem loading in source tissues and unloading in sink tissues. Phloem loading in source leaves is catalyzed by Suc/H+ symporters (SUTs) which are energized by proton motive force. In Arabidopsis the principal and perhaps exclusive SUT catalyzing phloem loading is AtSUC2. In mutant plants harboring a T-DNA insertion in each of the functional SUT-family members, only Atsuc2 mutants demonstrate overtly debilitated phloem transport. Analysis of a mutant allele (Atsuc2-4) of AtSUC2 with a T-DNA insertion in the second intron showed severely stunted phenotype similar to previously analyzed Atsuc2 null alleles. However unlike previous alleles Atsuc2-4 produced viable seeds. Analysis of phloem specific promoters showed that promoter expression was regulated by Suc concentration. Unlike AtSUC2p, heterologous promoter CoYMVp was not repressed under high Suc conc. Further analysis was conducted using CoYMVp to test the capacity of diverse clades in SUT-gene family for transferring Suc in planta in Atsuc2 - / - mutant background. AtSUC1 and ZmSUT1 from maize complemented Atsuc2 mutant plants to the highest level compared to all other transporters. Over-expression of the above SUTs in phloem showed enhanced Suc loading and transport, but against ...
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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

Access: Use of this item is restricted to the UNT Community.
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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