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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: Department of Biological Sciences
Synthetic Peptides Model Instability of Cardiac Myosin Subfragment-2
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart-related abnormality, is the most prevalent cause of sudden death in young athletes at sporting events. A cluster of cardiomyopathy mutations are localized in β-cardiac myosin at the N-terminal region of subfragment-2. Using resonance energy transfer probes, a synthetic peptide model system was developed to study stability of the coiled coil (S2 fragment) structure by determining monomer-dimer equilibrium of the peptide. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer and MacroModel software suite were used to obtain distance measurements along with measurement of coiled coil formation. The model peptide was used to characterize the effects of disease-causing-mutations and examine potential candidate drugs (polyamines) to counteract effects of mutations causing HCM. Distance measurements between donor and acceptor probes obtained by computational simulation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) were consistent. Measurements also agreed with simulations of unlabeled wildtype, indicating coiled coil structural stability of the peptide. Interaction of the site-specific antibody with the peptide strongly inhibited dimerization and destabilized coiled coil structure of the peptide. Presence of negatively charged glutamate residues in the region of subfragment-2 strongly suggested a potential interaction site for positively charged polyamines. Binding of certain polyamines, such as poly-L-Lysine 11 residues and poly-D-Lysine 17 residues, demonstrated the ability to enhance dimerization and improve stability of the coiled coil structure, while some other polyamines were shown to have insignificant impact on the structure. In an attempt to characterize the effect of HCM-causing-mutations, peptides containing E924K mutation and lethal mutation E930 deletion were synthesized. Fluorescence resonance probes were conjugated to the mutant peptides to determine coiled coil formation. Results obtained from both dynamic simulations and resonance energy transfer experiments indicated that these mutations strongly inhibit dimerization, and thus, destabilize coiled coil structure of the peptide. Further experiments were conducted using heterodimers containing a chain of wildtype and a chain of mutant peptide. Both E924K & Edel930 mutations destabilized coiled coil formation and prevented dimerization. This peptide model system would provide a promising tool for drug development targeting HCM-causing-mutations along the S2 region of myosin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283844/
Manipulating Sucrose Proton Symporters to Understand Phloem Loading
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 expectations, plants were stunted. The implications of SUT over-expression to enhance phloem transport and loading are discussed and how it induces a perception of phosphate imbalance is presented. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283792/
Comparative Phyto-uptake Across Distribution Coefficients of Pharmaceutical Compounds and Aquatic Macrophytes: Carbamazepine and Amiodarone Uptake in Lemna Spp
Few studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of phytoremediation of pharmaceutical compounds, although the persistent and non-acutely toxic nature of many of these compounds in today's water bodies may yield an ideal application for this practice. To quantify the potential effectiveness of plant uptake, kinetic and proportional bioconcentration factors (BCFk, and BCFp, respectively) in nanograms (ng) carbamazepine and amiodarone per gram (g) wet weight plant tissue for Lemna spp. were determined utilizing a 14-day continuous flow-through study. Samples were analyzed using isotope dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (ID-LC-MS/MS) running in positive ion mode. Kinetic BCF was estimated at 0.538, while proportional BCF was estimated at 0.485. Kinetic BCF for the amiodarone study was estimated at 23.033, whereas proportional BCF was estimated at 41.340. Possible contamination of the C18 column and peristaltic pump failure may have impacted uptake results. In light of variability and current lack of research in the field, this work should be considered exploratory rather than conclusive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283798/
Metabolic Engineering in Plants to Control Source/sink Relationship and Biomass Distribution
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 in the cytoplasm and may influence the ability to manipulate RFO levels in engineered plants. Atsip1/2 (AtSIP1/AtSIP2 double-knockout plants) were generated and phenotypically characterized based on seed germination patterns, flowering time, and sugar content to observe the impact on RFO sugar levels. The observations and analysis from these lines provide a basis for further insight in the manipulation of resource allocation between source and sink tissues in plants for future research. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283836/
Quantifying Forest Vertical Structure to Determine Bird Habitat Quality in the Greenbelt Corridor, Denton, Tx
This study presents the integration of light detection and range (LiDAR) and hyperspectral remote sensing to create a three-dimensional bird habitat map in the Greenbelt Corridor of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. This map permits to examine the relationship between forest stand structure, landscape heterogeneity, and bird community composition. A biannual bird census was conducted at this site during the breeding seasons of 2009 and 2010. Census data combined with the three-dimensional map suggest that local breeding bird abundance, community structure, and spatial distribution patterns are highly influenced by vertical heterogeneity of vegetation surface. For local breeding birds, vertical heterogeneity of canopy surface within stands, connectivity to adjacent forest patches, largest forest patch index, and habitat (vegetation) types proved to be the most influential factors to determine bird community assemblages. Results also highlight the critical role of secondary forests to increase functional connectivity of forest patches. Overall, three-dimensional habitat descriptions derived from integrated LiDAR and hyperspectral data serve as a powerful bird conservation tool that shows how the distribution of bird species relates to forest composition and structure at various scales. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283803/
Endocrine Disruption of Levonorgestrel in Early-life Stages of Fathead Minnows, Pimephales Promelas
Pharmaceuticals have routinely been detected in the environment resulting in a growing concern about whether these drugs could elicit effects on aquatic organisms. The concerns are centered on the highly conserved nature of mammalian therapeutic targets in fish. These pharmaceuticals are found at very low levels in the environment, which can result in sub-lethal effects in aquatic organisms. Therefore, 28 d early-life stage studies were conducted on six pharmaceuticals to assess their impacts on survival and growth fathead minnow larvae. Two pharmaceuticals tested, carbamazepine and fenofibrate, resulted in no alterations to survival and growth. However, amiodarone, clozapine, dexamethasone, and levonorgestrel (LNG) reduced survival at concentrations tested with LNG being the most potent at 462 ng/L. Survival was increased with amiodarone and clozapine; however LNG significantly decreased growth at 86 ng/L. Therefore, the most potent pharmaceutical tested was the synthetic progestin LNG with survival and growth impacts at concentrations less than 1 μg/L. Further analysis was conducted by measuring specific endocrine related mRNA transcript profiles in FHM larvae following the 28 d ELS exposure to LNG. Transcripts of 3β-HSD, 20β-HSD, and FSH were significantly down-regulated following 28 d exposure to both 16.3 and 86.9 ng/L LNG. Also, CYP19a expression was significantly down-regulated at 86.9 and 2392 ng/L LNG. Subsequently, a second study examined time periods that may be most sensitive (e.g., windows of sensitivity) for FHM larvae exposed to LNG. Larvae were exposed to a single concentration of LNG (i.e. LOECgrowth of 86.2 ng/L as determined in the 28 d ELS study) for different time periods starting with fertilized egg through 28 dph. Growth and mRNA expression of the four differentially expressed transcripts from the first study were measured. Regardless of the duration of exposure, LNG significantly decreased growth in fathead minnow larvae at day 28. For both 20β-HSD and CYP19a, mRNA expression was decreased following exposure to LNG; however, these transcripts returned to baseline levels after removal of LNG. 3β-HSD and FSH showed similar trends after exposure to LNG with 7-14 d and 14-28 d exposures exhibiting a decrease in expression; however, FSH expression returned to baseline once removed for LNG exposure. Based on these data, 3β-HSD was the only transcript to remain down regulated after LNG exposure. Together these data suggest LNG can negatively impact FHM larval survival and growth, with significant alterations in endocrine related responses. However, these changes in endocrine related responses may not directly correlate to the changes in growth demonstrated with LNG exposure to fathead minnows. Therefore, additional research is warranted to ascertain additional mechanisms, either endocrine related or non-endocrine functions, related to changes in growth of larval fathead minnows. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283848/
The Influence of a Return of Native Grasslands upon the Ecology and Distribution of Small Rodents in Big Bend National Park
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279314/
Lipids and Phospholipase Activity of Vibrio Cholerae
One purpose of this investigation is to determine the fatty acid and lipid content of typical Vibrio cholerae cells. The comparison of cholera lipid constituents with those of closely-related bacteria might be of taxonomic value. Furthermore, chemical characterization of the cholera vibrio could provide useful criteria for identification of these disease-producing microorganisms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279194/
Attenuation of Escherichia Coli Aspartate Transcarbamoylase Expressed in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Mutant and Wild Type Strains
No apparent repression of pyr gene expression in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is observed upon addition of exogenous pyrimidines to the growth medium. Upon introduction of the subcloned Escherichia coli pyrBI genes for aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) into a P. aeruginosa pyrB mutant strain, repression was observed in response to exogenously fed pyrimidine compounds. The results proved that it is possible to bring about changes in pyrimidine nucleotide pool levels and changes in transcriptional regulation of gene expression as a result. Thus, the lack of regulatory control in P. aeruginosa pyr gene expression is not due to an inability to take up and incorporate pyrimidine compounds into metabolic pools, or to an inability of the RNA polymerase to respond to regulatory sequences in the DNA but is probably due to a lack of specific regulatory signals in the promoter of the genes themselves. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279106/
Subcellular Localization of N-acylphosphatidyl-ethanolamine Synthase in Cotyledons of Cotton Seedlings
N-acylation of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) with free fatty acids catalyzed by N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) synthase was reported in cotyledons of 24-h-old cotton seedlings. Here I report subcellular localization of this enzyme. Differential centrifugation, sucrose density gradient fractionation,aqueous two-phase partitioning and electron microscopy techniques were utilized to elucidate subcellular site(s) of NAPE synthase. Marker enzymes were used to locate organelles in subcellular fractions. Differential centrifugation indicated that NAPE synthase is present in more than one organelle and it is a membrane bound enzyme. Sucrose density gradient fractionations indicated that NAPE synthase is present in membranes derived from endoplasmic reticulum (ER),Golgi and possibly plasma membrane (PM) but not mitochondria, glyoxysomes or plastids. Aqueous two-phase partitioning experiments with cotton and spinach tissues supported these results but Goigi appeared to be the major site of NAPE synthesis. Electron microscopy of subcellular fractions was used to examine isolated fractions to provide visual confirmation of our biochemical results. Collectively, these results indicate that NAPE is synthesized in plant ER, Golgi and possibly PM. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278717/
A Two Semester Life Science Syllabus for Use in Texas Public Schools with Seventh Grade Students
The problem of using a state adopted textbook written to apply to a large body of students with varying interests and needs was overcome by using a detailed syllabus that arranged course content in a meaningful sequence that appealed to student interest. The outlined syllabus prepared a two semester life science curriculum to be used by the teacher to guide lesson planning. Both semesters were divided into three units each. Materials included in the syllabus were given to actual student groups in real classroom settings. Since hands on learning was an important part of classroom instruction, two laboratory sections were included in the appendices to be used with the syllabus. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279246/
Evaluation of the Use of the Bivalves Ischadium recurvum Rafinesque, 1820 and Corbicula fluminea Muller, 1774 as Biological Indicators of Relative Water Quality in Terms of Growth and Upper Temperature Tolerance
Growth of mussels under laboratory conditions was examined under various food regimes in different water types and temperatures. Growth was less than would be useful as an indicator and comparisons with field exposures were of minimal value. The effects of organophosphates on bivalves were examined via toxicity tests, tissue concentration, and by controlling exposure through the use of physical constraints. Upper temperature tolerance of both bivalve species was examined with respect to different acclimation temperatures and organophosphate exposures. Deviations from control exposures occurred at some temperatures. Copper effectively lowered the mean heat coma temperatures of C. fluminea at some concentrations, however, chlorine exposures did not alter heat coma temperature. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278827/
Heat Shock Proteins in Ascaris suum
Ascaris suum were exposed to a number of stressors, including heavy metals and both high (40°C) and low (18°C) temperatures. The 70kD and 90kD heat shock proteins (HSPs) in the different A. suum tissues were analyzed by Western blot and quantitated by Macintosh Image Program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279311/
Upper and Lower Temperature Tolerances of Three Freshwater Game-Fish Species Exposed to Cycling Temperatures
A total of 670 critical thermal maxima (CTMax) and minima (CTMin) were determined for three freshwater fishes acclimated to three constant temperatures and a diel regimen cycling between the lowest and highest acclimation temperatures. In all species temperature tolerance was directly related to acclimation temperature and slopes relating these variables indicate that acclimation temperature has a greater influence on tolerance of low rather than high temperatures. CTMax and CTMin values generated following exposure to 32 days of oscillating temperatures indicate that in general, fishes had temperature tolerance acclimation states consistent with the average temperature and not either the highest or lowest temperature of the diel cycle. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279105/
The Role of Gabergic Inhibition in Modulating Receptive Field Size of Cuneate Neurons
A blockade of GABAergic inhibition increases the receptive field(RF) size of most somatosensory cortex (SI) and some ventrobasal thalamus (VB) neurons. The results suggest RF size of cuneate neurons may be modulated through GABAa and GABAb receptors, independent of firing frequency. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279157/
Subcloning and Nucleotide Sequence of the xylO/PUWCMA Region from the Pseudomonas putida TOL Plasmid pDK1
The TOL plasmids of Pseudomonas putida encode enzymes required for the oxidation of toluene and other related aromatic compounds. These genes are organized into two operons, the xylUWCMABN operon (upper), and the xylXYZLTEGFJQKIH operon (lower). Here we report the nucleotide sequence of a 7107 bp segment of the TOL pDK1 plasmid encoding the region just upstream of the "upper" operon through the genes encoding xylUWCMA. Sequence analysis, comparison of base-usage patterns, codon-usage patterns, and intergenic distances between genes help support the idea that the "upper" and "lower" operons have evolved independently in different genetic backgrounds and have only more recently been brought together in TOL and related catabolic plasmids. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279318/
Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor α3 mRNA in Rat Visual System After Monocular Deprivation
In situ hybridization was used to examine effects of monocular enucleation on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit cc3 mRNA in the rat dLGNand visual cortex. After 28 days postoperative, there were no significant differences in α3 mRNA density between the contralateral (deprived) and ipsilateral (non-deprived) sides. The lack of obvious effects of visual deprivation on α3 mRNA density suggests that other factors, possibly intrinsic to dLGNand visual cortex, govern the postnatal expression of α3 mRNA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278900/
GABAᴀ Receptors in Rat Whisker Barrel Cortex: Effects of Sensory Deprivation
The GABAergic system in adult sensory cortex is affected by sensory deprivation, but little is known about how this predominant inhibitory system is affected during ontogeny. The present study investigates developmental effects of whisker trimming on GABAa receptors in rat barrel cortex. Rats trimmed for 6 wk beginning at birth and adulthood showed similar decreases in [3H]muscimol binding in deprived relative to non-deprived barrels, suggesting absence of a critical period. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279232/
The Removal of Linseed Oil Vapors by Biodegradation
Linseed oil is very important in industry but its use is limited due to noxious vapors produced by oxidation on exposure to air. Since some of the products are toxic, release of linseed oil vapors to the environment is normally prohibited. In order to remove the odorous compounds, a biofilter system based on bacterial metabolism was designed and the major premises of bioremediation were studied. A total of five bacterial strains capable of using linseed oil vapors as their sources of carbon and energy were isolated from soil. The individual organisms were also mixed to form a bacterial consortium. The mixed population was able to degrade linseed oil vapors with more than 99 per cent efficiency. According to this research, a successful biodegradation system was designed and, theoretically, this system could be applied to the removal of linseed oil vapors in any industrial plant air stream. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278809/
Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Two Southwestern Reservoirs
This investigation has determined the presence of biological nitrogen fixation in two reservoirs in the southwestern United States: Lake Arlington and Lake Ray Hubbard. Subsequent tests have gathered baseline data on the effects of various biological, chemical, and physical parameters on in situ nitrogen fixation in these reservoirs. Of specific importance is the relationship between nitrogen fixation arid occasional blooms of blue-green algae which produce such problems as testes and odors in these water-supply impoundments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278063/
A Characterization of Liver Glyoxalase I From Normal Mice and Mice Bearing Lymphosarcoma
The purpose of this investigation was (1) to isolate and purify glyoxalase I from the livers of normal DBA/lJ mice and the livers from mice bearing a lymphosarcoma tumor; and (2) to determine, at least with respect to glyoxalase I, if the tumor has an effect on the chemical properties or structure of macromolecules in an organ removed from tumor locale and not histologically affected by its presence. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278019/
Effects of a Methylcholanthrene-Induced Lymphosarcoma on Various Tissues of DBA/1J and Swiss White Mice
This investigation was concerned with characterizing effects of this tumor line on lipid metabolism in DBA/lJ mice and serum protein levels and cellular changes in DBA/lJ and Swiss white mice. Total lipids, lipid phosphorus, neutral lipids, and changes in fatty acids were determined in liver, spleen, skin, and tumor of DBA/lJ mice bearing the lymphosarcoma at various days after injection of tumor cells. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278082/
Assessing the Effects of a Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Effluent on Zooplankton, Phytoplankton and Corbicula Flumina in a Constructed Wetland
Wetland wastewater treatment offers low-cost, energy efficient alternatives to conventional wastewater technologies. In this study, an artificial wetland was constructed at the City of Denton, Texas Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant to facilitate diazinon removal from treated effluent. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277927/
Regulation of Escherichia coli pyrBI Gene Expression in Pseudomonas fluorescens
Pseudomonas fluorescens does not appear to regulate the enzymes of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis at the level of gene expression. Little or no apparent repression of pyr gene expression is observed upon addition of exogenous pyrimidines to the growth medium. The Escherichia coli pyrBI genes for aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) were sized down and cloned into the broad host range plasmid, pKT230. Upon introduction into a P.fluorescenspyrB mutant strain, ATCase showed repression in response to exogenously fed pyrimidine compounds. Thus, it was possible to bring about changes in pyrimidine nucleotide pool levels and in transcriptional regulation of gene expression at the same time. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278188/
A Behavioral Model for Detection of Acute Stress in Bivalves
A behavioral model for acute responses in bivalves, was developed using time series analysis for use in a real-time biomonitoring unit. Stressed bivalves closed their shell and waited for the stressful conditions to pass. Baseline data showed that group behavior of fifteen bivalves was periodic, however, individuals behaved independently. Group behavior did not change over a period of 20 minutes more than 30 percent, however, following toxic exposures the group behavior changed by more than 30 percent within 20 minutes. Behavior was mathematically modeled using autoregression to compare current and past behavior. A logical alarm applied to the behavior model determined when organisms were stressed. The ability to disseminate data collected in real time via the Internet was demonstrated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277998/
Biology and Energetics of Tropisternus Lateralis Nimbatus (SAY) (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae) in a Playa on the Southern High Plains of Texas and Aquatic Coleoptera Diversity from Seven Playas on the Southern High Plains of Texas
A study of the biology of Tropisternus lateralis, a hydrophilid beetle, was conducted during the flood period of a single playa on the Southern High Plains of Texas from early June 1995 through early September 1995. Mechanism of colonization, tolerance/avoidance to drought, larval density, and secondary production were analyzed. T. lateralis colonized playas from surrounding aquatic habitats and avoided drought through aerial dispersion. Once in the playa, larval density increased over time. Secondary production was 1.31 g/m2/.25 yr. In addition, aquatic Coleoptera diversity was studied in seven playas on the Southern High Plains of Texas. A total of twenty three species were identified from the study region. Nine species not reported in playa literature were identified. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277795/
An Evaluation of Fish and Macroinvertebrate Response to Effluent Dechlorination in Pecan Creek
This study evaluated the effects of chlorinated effluent discharged from the City of Denton, Texas' wastewater treatment plant on Pecan Creek's fish and macroinvertebrate assemblages, and their recovery upon dechlorination. A baseline of ecological conditions was established while chlorine was present in the effluent (June 1993- October 1993), and was evaluated again after dechlorination with sulfur dioxide (October 1993-August 1994). In situ Asiatic clam and fathead minnow ambient toxicity tests, and fish and macroinvertebrate collections were used to establish this baseline for comparison to post-dechlorination results. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278302/
An Assessment of Storm Water Toxicity from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and Denton, Texas
With the advent of national storm water regulations, municipalities with populations greater than 100,000 are required to obtain National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits (NPDES) for storm water discharges. In addition to the sampling required for the permit process, the City of Fort Worth contracted with the University of North Texas' Institute of Applied Sciences to conduct acute toxicity testing using Pimephales prcmelas and Ceriodaphnia dubia on storm water samples received from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. A Toxicity Identification Evaluation (TIE) was performed on four samples that exhibited acute toxicity to C. dubia. High levels of metals as well as diazinon were some of the probable toxicants found. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278384/
Descriptions, Life History and Case-Building Behavior of Culoptila cantha (Trichoptera: Glossosomatidae) in the Brazos River, Texas
Larval, pupal and adult samples of Culoptila cantha, from a large riffle of the Brazos River in north-central Texas from January, 1995 to March, 1997, indicated a predominately trivoltine cycle during both years; the over-wintering generation spanned 6-7 months and warm-season generations spanned 2-3 months. Eggs, larvae of all instars, larval cases, case reconstruction progression and behavior, pupae, and adults are described. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277587/
In Vitro Studies of Nuclear Changes in Mammalian CNS Neurons Subjected to Rapid Acceleration Impact Injury
An in vitro model of Rapid Acceleration Impact (RAI) Injury was used to study the effects of multiple impact (220 g/impact, 3-5 sec intervals) trauma on cultures of murine CNS cells. Investigations with spinal cord cultures showed that 1) multiple impacts delivered tangential to the plane of cell growth caused neuronal death (12% after 3 impacts to 46% after 10 impacts); 2) multiple impacts delivered normal to the plane of cell growth were much less effective (8% dead after 10 impacts); 3) most neuronal death occurred within 15 minutes after injury 4) morphological changes observed included increased nuclear prominence and somal swelling; and 5) pretreatment with ketamine (0.1mM) reduced cell death from 51 to 14% and reduced somal swelling. Identical studies performed on cortical cultures revealed minimal differences between the two tissues in their response to multiple tangential impacts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278044/
Site Directed Mutagenesis of Dienelactone Hydrolase
The clcD gene encoding dienelactone hydrolase (DLH) is part of the clc gene cluster for the utilization of the B-ketoadipate pathway intermediate chlorocatechol. The roles that individual amino acids residues play in catalysis and binding of the enzyme were investigated. Using PCR a 1.9 kbp clcD fragment was amplified and subcloned yielding a 821 bp BamHi to ZscoRI subclone in the plasmid pUC19. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277940/
Bioconcentration and Morphological Effects of Triclosan on Three Species of Wetland Plants
Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial compound found in several types of common household products. After being washed down the drain, TCS will then end up in the local watershed. Although numerous studies have been conducted to evaluate the fate and effects of TCS in aquatic environments, there have been no studies evaluating the role arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AM) play in a plants response to TCS exposure. Three species of wetland plants native North Texas were inoculated with AM spores and exposed to 0, 0.4 g/L and 4.0 g/L TCS concentrations. Root morphology of E. prostrata and S. herbacea showed AM and exposure responses. S. herbacea produced the greatest amounts biomass and TCS bioaccumulation, in all but one treatment. It also displayed opposing results to E. prostrata in measures of root length, root surface area, relative root mass, relative shoot mass and shoot:root ratio. TCS root tissue concentrations increased with increased exposures for both E. prostrata and S. herbacea. Even though E. prostrata had the lowest levels in each measure of biomass production, it had the highest amount of root TCS bioaccumulation in the AM inoculated 4.0 g/L treatment. H. laevis was between the other two species in terms of biomass production, and did not demonstrate any exposure or inoculation effects in morphology or TCS accumulation. Overall, no clear patterns were detected, which highlights the fact that further study is required to completely understand the effects compounds like TCS can have on plant community structure, and ultimately ecosystem function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271900/
Examination of the Relationship Between Glucuronic Acid and Vascular Damage in Rats
The goal of this experiment was to examine the role of glucuronic acid in the development of vascular damage in the kidneys and retinas of diabetic individuals. Glucuronic acid was provided to rats in their water at various concentrations in order to increase plasma levels of the compound. Kidneys and retinas were excised and compared to control specimens using microscopy to determine the effect of elevated blood glucuronic acid levels on the occurrence of microaneurysms in renal capillary networks. No differences were seen between the treatment and control groups. Further study needs to be conducted to determine a more suitable time frame for this experiment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271866/
Expression of G-protein Coupled Receptors in Young and Mature Thrombocytes and Knockdown of Gpr18 in Zebrafish
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In this study, a novel method based on biotinylated antibodies and streptavidin coated magnetic beads was used to separate the thrombocyte subpopulations from zebrafish whole blood. DiI-C18, a lipophilic dye, labels only young thrombocytes when used at low concentrations. Commercially available biotinylated anti-Cy3 antibody was used to label the chromophore of DiI-C18 on the young thrombocytes and streptavidin coated magnetic beads were added subsequently, to separate young thrombocytes. The remaining blood cells were probed with custom-made biotinylated anti-GPIIb antibody and streptavidin magnetic beads to separate them from other cells. Further, thrombocytes are equivalents of mammalian platelets. Platelets play a crucial role in thrombus formation. The G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) present on the platelet surface are involved during platelet activation and aggregation processes. So, thrombocytes were studied for the presence of GPCRs. The GPCR mRNA transcripts expressed in the young and mature thrombocytes were subjected to densitometry analysis and pixel intensities of the bands were compared using one way ANOVA. This analysis did not show significant differences between the young and mature GPCR mRNA transcripts but identified a novel GPCR, GPR18 that was not reported in platelets earlier. To study the function of this GPCR, it was knocked down using GPR18 specific antisense morpholino and vivo morpholino. The immunofluorescence experiment indicated the presence of GPR18 on thrombocytes. The results of the assays, such as, time to occlusion (TTO) and time to aggregation (TTA) in response to N-arachidonyl glycine (NAG) as an agonist, showed prolongation of time in GPR18 larval and adult morphants respectively, suggesting that GPR18 plays a role in thrombus formation in zebrafish. In conclusion, our results indicate that GPR18 may be present in zebrafish thrombocytes, it may be involved in thrombus formation and that NAG may be an agonist at GPR18 on thrombocytes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271881/
Aging Is a Determinant in Anoxia Stress Tolerance in Caenorhabditis Elegans
Oxygen availability is critical for survival for most organisms. The nematode, C. elegans, has been useful for studying genetic regulation of anoxia tolerance due to the oxygen deprivation response mechanisms shared with other metazoans. Studies examining long-term anoxia (72h, LTA) tolerance have only been conducted at adult day 1. To investigate the effect of aging on anoxia tolerance wild-type and mutant strains were exposed to LTA between adult day 1 and day 9. Wild-type isolates and daf-16(mu86) (FOXO transcription factor regulated by insulin-signaling) and aak-2(gt33) (catalytic subunit of AMP-activated protein kinase) strains were anoxia sensitive at day 1 and displayed increased LTA tolerance with aging correlated with reproductive senescence followed by a decline in survivorhsip through day 9. The daf-2(e1370) (insulin receptor homologue of C. elegans), glp-1(e2141) (a lin-12/Notch receptor) and fog-2(q71) (required for spermatogenesis) strains were LTA-tolerant through day 5. I conclude that aging influences LTA-tolerance in a strain- and age-dependent manner. In addition to being LTA-tolerant the daf-2(e1370) and glp-1(e2141) strains have a longevity phenotype that is suppressed by loss of kri-1 or daf-12. While loss of kri-1 did not suppress the LTA-tolerant phenotype of glp-1(e2141) at day 1 the portion of impaired survivors increased at day 3 and by day 5 tolerance was suppressed. Similarly, when exposed to 4 days of anoxia the glp-1(e2141);daf-12(rh41rh611) double mutant had a reduced survivor rate at all ages analyzed compared to glp-1(e2141) controls. To better understand formation of an anoxia-tolerant physiology I exposed adults to one or more 24h bouts. Recurrent bouts increased LTA tolerance in wild-type hermaphrodites in a dose-dependent manner. Bout-treated daf-16(mu86) animals had increased survival rate compared to controls yet maximum survival remained below age-matched wild-type. Anoxia bouts decreased LTA-tolerance in aak-2(gt33) mutants, indicating the requirement for ATP regulation in establishing an LTA-tolerant phenotype. These data support the idea that anoxia tolerance is multi-factorial and influenced by environment, metabolism, food, reproduction, sex phenotype and likely additional factors. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271821/
Evaluating the Habitat Requirements of the Golden Orb Mussel (Quadrula Aurea) for Conservation Purposes
Many freshwater mussels are imperiled, due to a number of interrelated factors such as habitat alteration, degradation of water quality, and impoundments. The Golden Orb mussel (Quadrula aurea, I. Lea, 1859) is endemic to the state of Texas and is currently a candidate for the endangered species list, as the number of known populations has been declining in recent years. Little is currently known about Q. aurea aside from basic distribution data. This study is focused on evaluating a combination of macro-habitat and micro-habitat variables to determine their influence on the distribution and density of this species. Macro-habitat variables, including dominant land cover, surface geology, and soil erodibility factor, did not have a significant relationship with mussel distributions. The best model of micro-habitat variables that impacts the Q. aurea distributions is comprised of relative substrate stability (RSS) at moderate flows and current velocity at low flows. For all mussel species in this study, current velocity at low flows is the primary variable that influences distribution. Q. aurea are associated with habitats where larger sediment particles (large gravel and cobble) help to stabilize the substrate in areas with higher current velocities. An understanding of the preferred habitats for Q. aurea can be used to help focus conservation efforts and practices. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271827/
Primary Cilia in the Oligodendrocyte Lineage
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oligodendrocytes migrate from the corpus callosum into the overlying cortex. The incidence of cilia did not change markedly across age groups, and did not vary consistently with the number of processes per cell, which was used as an indication of the maturation stage of OPCs and young OLs. The mean percent of Olig1 immunopositive (Olig1+) cells having cilia across ages was 33.1% + 16.5%, with all ages combined. In O4+ cells of these mice, 56.7 + 3.6% had primary cilia. If it is the case that adult OLs do not have cilia, the point in the lineage when primary cilia are lost is still unknown. Adult mice that had been injected with cyclopamine to block cilia-dependent Shh signaling were examined to determine whether the rate of generating new OPCs was influenced. In the CC of control mice, the numerical density of Olig1+/BrdU+ cells was 1.29 + 0.07/mm2 was reduced to 0.68 + 0.38/mm2 in the cyclopamine-injected group, and the numerical density of all BrdU+ cells (including both Olig1+ and Olig1- cells) of 4.55 + 1.50/mm2 in the control group was reduced to 3.14 + 1.27/mm2 in the cyclopamine-injected group. However, there were only 2 mice in each group and the differences were not statistically significant. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271828/
Novel Role of Trypsin in Zebrafish
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It has been shown previously in our laboratory that zebrafish produce trypsin from their gills when they are under stress, and this trypsin is involved in thrombocyte activation via PAR2 during gill bleeding. In this study, I investigated another role of the trypsin that is secreted from zebrafish. This investigation has demonstrated a novel role of trypsin in zebrafish. Not only did this investigation demonstrate the role of trypsin in zebrafish behavior, but also it showed that PAR2 might be the receptor that is involved in trypsin-mediated behavioral response. In addition, we have shown that Gq and ERK inhibitors are able to block the trypsin pathway and prevent the escaping behavior. Finally, the results of this investigation suggest that the cells that respond to trypsin are surface cells, which have an appearance similar to that of neuromast cells. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271771/
Exploring the Evolutionary History of North American Prairie Grouse (Genus: Tympanuchus) Using Multi-locus Coalescent Analyses
Conservation biologists are increasingly using phylogenetics as a tool to understand evolutionary relationships and taxonomic classification. The taxonomy of North American prairie grouse (sharp-tailed grouse, T. phasianellus; lesser prairie-chicken, T. pallidicinctus; greater prairie-chicken, T. cupido; including multiple subspecies) has been designated based on physical characteristics, geography, and behavior. However, previous studies have been inconclusive in determining the evolutionary history of prairie grouse based on genetic data. Therefore, additional research investigating the evolutionary history of prairie grouse is warranted. In this study, ten loci (including mitochondrial, autosomal, and Z-linked markers) were sequenced across multiple populations of prairie grouse, and both traditional and coalescent-based phylogenetic analyses were used to address the evolutionary history of this genus. Results from this study indicate that North American prairie grouse diverged in the last 200,000 years, with species-level taxa forming well-supported monophyletic clades in species tree analyses. With these results, managers of the critically endangered Attwater's prairie-chicken (T. c. attwateri) can better evaluate whether outcrossing Attwater's with greater prairie-chickens would be a viable management tool for Attwater's conservation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271815/
Characterization of Arthrobacter Globiformis Aspartate Transcarbamylase Concentrations of Substrates
This thesis consists of one major section with two subsections. The first subsection investigates the activity of Arthrobacter globiformis aspartate transcarbamylase's specific activity with increasing concentrations of the enzyme's substrate. Dihydroorotase (DHOase) activity was also measured with increasing concentrations of the substrate dihydroorotate. The second subsection collected data in order to classify the enzyme, resulting in a classification into the category of class A ATCases with bifunctional ATCase-DHOase complexes. The thesis provides evidence to broaden understanding of the ATCase and DHOase enzymes for members of the family that Arthrobacter belongs to. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc271918/
Somatostatin Receptors on Neuronal Cilia: Evidence for Neuroprotection
Primary cilia are essential in brain development, as mediators of sonic hedgehog signaling. However, their role in mature neurons remains elusive. One means to elucidate their function may be to investigate the function of the somatostatin type 3 receptor (SstR3), which is concentrated on the primary cilia of neurons. The inhibitory and anticonvulsant properties of somatostatin suggest that ciliary SstR3 might protect neurons against excitotoxicity, as seen in epileptic seizures. C57BL/6 wild type (wt) and SstR3 knockout mice were administered vehicle or epileptogenic agents kainic acid (KA) or pentylenetetrazole. Seizure behaviors were rated on seizure severity scales. KA-induced seizure behaviors were more severe in SstR3 mutants than in wt. Correspondingly, the mutants showed greater reactive gliosis, as indicated by increased numbers of GFAP immunoreactive (GFAP(+)) astrocyte processes. In addition, seizure severity was associated with a greater percentage of neural stem cells having an ACIII(+) cilium. Following injections of pentylenetetrazole, SstR3 mutants reached maximum seizure levels faster than wt. These results support the hypothesis that ciliary SstR3 are neuroprotective in mature neurons, and may provide a new avenue for the treatment of seizures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177195/
Clustering Algorithms for Time Series Gene Expression in Microarray Data
Clustering techniques are important for gene expression data analysis. However, efficient computational algorithms for clustering time-series data are still lacking. This work documents two improvements on an existing profile-based greedy algorithm for short time-series data; the first one is implementation of a scaling method on the pre-processing of the raw data to handle some extreme cases; the second improvement is modifying the strategy to generate better clusters. Simulation data and real microarray data were used to evaluate these improvements; this approach could efficiently generate more accurate clusters. A new feature-based algorithm was also developed in which steady state value; overshoot, rise time, settling time and peak time are generated by the 2nd order control system for the clustering purpose. This feature-based approach is much faster and more accurate than the existing profile-based algorithm for long time-series data. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177269/
Zebrafish Von Willebrand Factor
In humans, von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a key component in hemostasis and acts as a 'cellular adhesive' by letting the circulating platelets bind to exposed subendothelium. It also acts as a carrier and stabilizer of factor VIII (FVIII). A dysfunction or reduction of vWF leads to von Willebrand disease (vWD), resulting in bleeding phenotype which affects 1% of the population. Currently there are a variety of animal models used for the study of vWF and vWD; however, they do not possess the advantages found in zebrafish. Therefore, we set out to establish zebrafish as a model for the investigation of vWF and vWD through the use of bioinformatics and various molecular techniques. Using bioinformatics we found that the vWF gene is located on chromosome 18, that the GPIb? protein sequence is conserved. Confirmation of vWF production was shown by means of immunostaining and by RT-PCR, in thrombocytes as well as in veins and arteries. Evidence of vWF involvement in hemostasis and thrombosis was shown using MO and VMO technology to produce a vWD like phenotype, resulting in an increase in TTO and TTA, as well as a reduction in FVIII when blood was tested using the kPTT assay, coinciding with a decrease in vWF. Stimate treatment provided opposite results of MO and VMO, showing a decrease in TTO and TTA. Investigation of the role of microparticles in hemostasis and their interaction with vWF resulted in a conclusion that the GPIb? receptor should exist on MPs and that it may interact not only with zebrafish vWF but also with human UL-vWF. Agglutination of MPs in the presence of UL-vWF but in the absence of ristocetin and plasma, treatment with ADAMTS-13 abolishing the interaction between MPs and UL-vWF provided evidence that vWF interacts with MPs probably with the GPIb?. We also found that TMPs agglutinate within the vessel wall in vivo when treated with Stimate. In conclusion, this research provided evidence for the presence of vWF in zebrafish and its conserved role in hemostasis. In addition to this we also showed that MPs also participation in hemostasis. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177228/
Beta-adrenergic Blockade Via Atenolol and Its Effects on Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, and Renal Morphology in the Developing Chicken Gallus Gallus Domesticus
Chicken embryos were chronically exposed to the ?1- blocker atenolol during one of three stages: mesonephros (E7-E9), mesonephros-metanephros (E11-E13), or metanephros (E15-E17). Mesonephros group hearts were larger than all other groups (P < 0.01). Mesonephros and metanephros group kidneys were larger than all remaining groups (P < 0.0001). The mesonephros group nephron number was ~40% lower than control values (P = 0.002). Glomerular areas were 26% and 18% larger than the control group in the mesonephros and metanephros groups, respectively (P < 0.001). These data suggest an E7-E9 critical window of cardiovascular and renal development for atenolol. Acute atenolol exposure in E15 embryos showed an increase in mean arterial pressure with all but the highest dose. All doses significantly decreased heart rate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177248/
Chronic Hypoxia and Hyperoxia Modifies Morphology and Vegf Expression of the Lungs of the Developing Chicken (Gallus Gallus Domesticus)
This study determines effects of oxygen levels on morphology and VEGF expression of developing chicken lungs following incubation in normoxia (21% O2), hypoxia (15% O2) or hyperoxia (30% O2), until developmental days 16 or 18. Lung morphology was assessed using light microscopy, while VEGF expression was determined with ELISA. In hypoxia, the proportion of parabronchial tissue and parabronchi including lumina increased from day 16 to 18 (61 to 68% and 74.2 to 82.2%, respectively). Non-parabronchial tissue was higher in hypoxia than in hyperoxia on day 16 (26 to 20%). However, by day 18, there were no differences between groups. VEGF expression was 33% higher in hypoxia than in hyperoxia on day 16 (736 vs. 492 pg/ml). On day 18, VEGF expression was 43% higher in hyperoxia than in normoxia (673 to 381pg/ml), and remained elevated by 40% in hypoxia over normoxia (631 pg/ml). VEGF may be a mechanism by which parabronchial tissue is stimulated from day 16 to 18 following exposure to chronic hypoxia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc177224/
Some Acute Effects of X-Irradiation (LD100) on Plasma and Adrenal Tissue Histamine in Rats
The effects of a lethal dose (1380 r) of X-irradiation on plasma and adrenal tissue histamine levels of rats were studied. The plasma histamine response was triphasic (increase at 1-3 hours, decrease at 5 and 9 hours and return to control at 24 hours post-irradiation). The adrenal tissue histamine response was found to be biphasic (decrease at 1 to 9 hours and a return to control level at 24 hours post-irradiation). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc163992/
A Comparative Study of Passive Transfer Mechanisms of Tuberculin and Chemical Contact Delayed Hypersensitivities in the Guiea Pig
This study is concerned with a critical comparison of the passive transfer mechanisms of tuberculin and chemical contact hypersensitivities in the guinea pig by use of a four phase experimental approach. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc164409/
Food, Feeding Selectivity, and Ecological Efficiencies of Fundulus notatus (Rafinesque) (Osteichthyes; Cyprinodontidae)
This study was made to further define the trophic dynamics of Fundulus notatus by determining its ration composition under natural conditions, measuring feeding selectivity under various laboratory conditions of prey-species composition and availability, and determining the efficiencies with which F. notatus utilizes ingested chironomid larvae. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc164422/
Studies on the Morphology and Biology of Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus) from Northern Mexico to Southern Nebraska
This investigation was designed to evaluate the need for retaining both Sigmodon hispidus texianus and Sigmodon hispidus berlandieri as subspecific designations. An attempt was made to demonstrate bioclimatic variation and reproductive seasonality in cotton rats. The validity of applying the results of isolated studies of cotton rat populations to the species as a whole was examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc164508/
Effects of carbaryl (1-naphthyl-n-methylcarbamate) on Trichocorixa reticulata (Hemiptera: corixidae) and Glyptotendipes barbipes (Diptera: chironomidae)
My study of the effects of carbaryl in aquatic systems under controlled laboratory conditions emphasized four major objectives: (1) to determine the acute toxicity of carbaryl to the herbivorous adult and immature Trichocorixa reticulata (Guerin)(Hemiptera: Corixidae), and to the omnivorous larvae of Glyptotendipes barbipes (Staeger) (Diptera: Chironomidae) under static bioassay; (2) to adapt a quantitative method of analysis for carbaryl in water and whole insect tissue extract; (3) to measure the accumulation of the insecticide by G. barbipes under static exposure; and (4) to quantify the uptake and loss of carbaryl by G. barbipes under daily-renewed sublethal dosages. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc164515/
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