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 Degree Discipline: Biology
A Multimedia Atlas of Dissection for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates
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This interactive multimedia content is part of the thesis that was prepared for the degree of Master of Science in Biology: http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2224. Traditional methods of teaching the laboratory course for Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates could be improved by applying current computer technology to construct an interactive, multimedial atlas of dissection. Five specimens used in comparative anatomy courses at most institutions were chosen as representative members of the Phylum Chordata: amphioxus, lamprey, dogfish shark, mud puppy, and cat. Specimens were dissected according to the modified method of Wischnitzer, 1993, and each stage was photographed with a Kodak DC120 digital zoom camera. These images were processed on a Power Macintosh 7600 computer with Adobe Photoshop v. 5.0. The atlas was constructed from these images using Macromedia Authorware v. 4.0.3. Each image contains a series of interactive objects that display a highlight and descriptive text as the cursor passes over each object. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500425/
Developing a Collection Digitization Workflow for the Elm Fork Natural Heritage Museum
Natural history collections house immense amounts of data, but the majority of data is only accessible by locating the collection label, which is usually attached to the physical specimen. This method of data retrieval is time consuming and can be very damaging to fragile specimens. Digitizing the collections is the one way to reduce the time and potential damage related to finding the collection objects. The Elm Fork Natural Heritage Museum is a natural history museum located at the University of North Texas and contains collections of both vertebrate and invertebrate taxa, as well as plants. This project designed a collection digitization workflow for Elm Fork by working through digitizing the Benjamin B. Harris Herbarium. The collection was cataloged in Specify 6, a database program designed for natural history collection management. By working through one of the museum’s collections, the project was able to identify and address challenges related to digitizing the museum’s holdings in order to create robust workflows. The project also produced a series of documents explaining common processes in Specify and a data management plan. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc500042/
Immunohistochemistry of the Gills of the Channel Catfish Ictalurus Punctatus: Cells and Neurochemicals That May Be Involved in the Control of Cardioventilatory Reflexes
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In teleost fishes the neurochemicals involved in sensing and responding to hypoxia are unresolved. Serotonergic branchial neuroepithelial cells (NECs) are putative O2 chemoreceptors believed to be homologous to the neural crest (NC) derived APUD (amine-precursor uptake and decarboxylation) pulmonary NECs and carotid body type-1 glomus cells. Branchial NECs contain serotonin (5-HT), thought to be central to the induction of the hypoxic cardioventilatory reflexes. However, application of 5-HT in vivo does not elicit cardioventilatory reflexes similar to those elicited by hypoxia. But previous in vitro neural recordings from glossopharyngeal (IX) afferents innervating O2 chemoreceptors in the trout gill show the same discharge response to hypoxic conditions as does that of acetylcholine (ACh) application. This evidence strongly supports the cholinergic hypothesis of chemoreceptor impulse origin rather than a serotonergic-induced impulse origin model. We therefore hypothesized that NECs contain ACh among other neurochemicals in cells belonging to the APUD series. Although serotonergic branchial NECs did not colocalize with ACh using immunohistochemical methods, several populations of ACh and/or tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) (catecholaminergic) positive, dopamine (DA) negative, cells were found throughout the second gill arch of the channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus. In addition, the NC derivation marker zn-12 labelled the HNK-1-like epitope (Human natural killer) expressed by lamellar pillar cells’ collagen column-associated pillar cell adhesion molecules (CC-PCAMs), evidence confirming their hypothesized NC origin. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407757/
Shortened in Vivo Bioconcentration Factor Testing in Cyprinus Carpio
Bioconcentration factor testing serves as the most valuable surrogate for the assessment of bioaccumulation. The assessment of potentially harmful chemicals is crucial to not only the health of aquatic environments, but to humans as well. Chemicals that possess the ability to persist in the environment or that have the potential to bioaccumulate, pose a greater risk to organisms that are exposed to these chemicals. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guideline 305 outlines specific protocols to run an accurate and reliable aquatic flow-through test. However, since its adoption in 1996, very few changes have been made to accommodate the endeavor to lowering the amount of test species to run one of these said tests. Running an aquatic flow-through test, according to 305, takes much time and money as well as numerous amounts of fish. Such burdens can be eliminated through simple modifications to the standard protocols. In this study, we propose an abbreviated study design for aquatic bioconcentration testing which effectively alleviates the burdens of running a flow-through test. Four chemicals were used individually to evaluate the usefulness of the proposed shortened design; 4-Nonyphenol, Chlorpyrifos, Musk Xylene, and DDT. The study consisted of exposing Cyprinus carpio for 7 days followed by 7 days of depuration, for a total of a 14-day study. Our results for each of the four compounds are consistent with literature values, thus, demonstrating that BCFk can be accurately predicted in an abbreviated in vivo test. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407781/
The Effect of Menthol on Nicotine Metabolism: a Cross Species Evaluation
The effect of menthol on nicotine metabolism was examined in liver S9 fractions of four different species and in the in vivo mouse model. The purpose of this study was to investigate three parameters: (1) biotransformation of nicotine to cotinine in various species (human, mouse, rat and trout) using in vitro methods; (2) to determine if the addition of menthol with nicotine altered biotransformation of nicotine to cotinine; (3) and to assess similar parameters in an in vivo mouse model. The major findings of this study include: (1) mice appear to metabolize nicotine, over time, in a manner similar to humans; (2) menthol decreased cotinine production, over time, after a single dose in mice; and (3) menthol increased cotinine production, over time, after repeated doses, in mice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407773/
Relationships of Benthic Macroinvertebrate Community Structure with Land-use, Habitat, In-stream Water Chemistry, Depositional Sediment Biofilm Fatty Acids, and Surfactants in the Effluent Dominated Texas Trinity River
The Trinity River is an urbanized, effluent-dominated river, and is heavily relied upon for drinking water. The benthic macroinvertebrate community has been monitored for over 20 years, with the focus of this dissertation on three studies (1987-88, 2005, and 2011). Water quality improvement following dechlorination resulted in increased benthic metrics. Overall habitat quality, in-stream cover, surface water total organic carbon, sediment total organic carbon, near-field urban land-use, near-field forested land-use, surface water surfactant toxic units, and depositional sediment biofilm fatty acids all have statistically significant relationships with benthic macroinvertebrate metrics. These relationships are better defined with increased taxonomic resolution at the genus/species level for all benthic taxa, including Chironomidae and Oligochaeta. It is recommend that benthic identifications for state and city water quality assessments be done at the genus/species level. A novel method for quantifying depositional sediment biofilm fatty acids has been produced and tested in this dissertation. Benthic metrics are directly related to fatty acid profiles, with several essential fatty acids found only at upstream sites. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407738/
Effects of Airway Pressure, Hypercapnia, and Hypoxia on Pulmonary Vagal Afferents in the Alligator (Alligator Misssissippiensis)
The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is an aquatic diving reptile with a periodic breathing pattern. Previous work has identified pulmonary stretch receptors (PSR), both rapidly- and slowly-adapting, and intrapulmonary chemoreceptors (IPCs) that modulate breathing patterns in alligators. The purpose of the present study was to identify the effects of prolonged lung inflation and deflation (simulated dives) on PSR and/or IPC firing characteristics in the alligator. The effects of airway pressure, hypercapnia, and hypoxia on dynamic and static responses of pulmonary stretch receptors (PSR) were studied in juvenile alligators (mean mass = 246 g) at 24°C. Receptor activity appeared to be a mixture of slowly-adapting PSRs (SARs) and rapidly-adapting PSRs (RARs) with varying thresholds and degrees of adaptation, but no CO2 sensitivity. Dives were simulated in order to character receptor activity before, during, and after prolonged periods of lung inflation and deflation. Some stretch receptors showed a change in dynamic response, exhibiting inhibition for several breaths after 1 min of lung inflation, but were unaffected by prolonged deflation. For SAR, the post-dive inhibition was inhibited by CO2 and hypoxia alone. These airway stretch receptors may be involved in recovery of breathing patterns and lung volume during pre- and post-diving behavior and apneic periods in diving reptiles. These results suggest that inhibition of PSR firing following prolonged inflation may promote post-dive ventilation in alligators. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407750/
Phototoxic Effects of Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles on Daphnia Magna
Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2-NP) are one of the most abundantly utilized nanomaterials in the world. Studies have demonstrated the mechanism of acute toxicity in TiO2-NP to be the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to oxidative stress and mortality in exposed organisms. It has also been demonstrated that the anatase crystalline conformation is capable of catalyzing the cleavage of water molecules to further increase the concentration of ROS in the presence of ultraviolet radiation. This photoenhanced toxicity significantly lowers the toxicity threshold of TiO2-NP to environmentally relevant concentrations (ppb). The goal of this study was to determine whether dietary uptake and accumulation of TiO2-NP in the aquatic filter feeder Daphnia magna resulted in photoenhanced toxicity. D. magna and S. caprincornatum were exposed to aqueous solutions of 20ppm and 200ppm TiO2-NP for 24hrs and then transferred to clean moderately hard water. Samples were taken at various time points, dried, and TiO2 quantified using ICP-MS. Toxicity assays were run on D. magna using three TiO2-NP (20ppm, 200ppm) exposure protocols and two ultraviolet radiation treatments. The first exposure group was exposed to aqueous solutions of TiO2-NP for the duration of the test. The second exposure group was exposed to TiO2-NP for an hour and then transferred to clean water. The third exposure group was fed S. capricornatum that had been allowed to adsorb TiO2-NP. All samples were then placed in an outdoor UV exposure system and exposed to either full spectrum sunlight (with UV) or filtered sunlight (no UV). Here we show that TiO2 uptake peaked at one hour of exposure likely due to sedimentation of the particles out of suspension, thus decreasing bioavailability for the duration of the test. Interetsingly, when D. magna were moved to clean water, aqueous concentrations of TiO2 increase as a result of depuration from the gut tract. Data also suggests these excreted particles were bioavailable and re-consumed by D. magna. These data will contribute to the understanding of TiO2-NP environmental fate and toxicity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407741/
Field and Laboratory Fish Tissue Accumulation of Carbamazepine and Amiodarone
The goals of this dissertation work were to assess the bioaccumulation potential of carbamazepine and amiodarone, two widely used ionizable pharmaceutical compounds that possess mid-range and high LogD values, respectively, and to evaluate alternative methods to assess chemical accumulation in bluntnose minnows, catfish, and tilapia. Results indicated that carbamazepine does not appreciably bioaccumulate in fish tissue with BCFk and BAF carbamazepine values < 10. Amiodarone, however, with a log D of 5.87 at pH 7.4, accumulated in fish tissues with kinetic BCF values <2,400. Collectively, the data suggest that full and abbreviated laboratory-derived BCFs, BCFMs derived from S9 loss-of-parent assays, as well as field BAF values are similar for each of the two drugs. In summary, the results from this dissertation indicated: 1) The reduced design BCF test is a good estimate for the traditional OECD 305 test. 2) In vitro S9 metabolism assays provide comparable BCF estimates to the OECD 305 test. 3) Metabolism may play a large role in the accumulation of drugs in fish. 4) Reduced BCF tests and in vitro assays are cost effective and can reduce vertebrate testing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc407838/
The Stoneflies (Plecoptera) of the Ozark and Ouachita Mountains
Collections of stoneflies (Plecoptera) were made at 603 stream sites from Nov. 1983 - May 1988 in the Ozark-Ouachita Mountain region, in relation to physiographic and vegetational characteristics. Examination of approximately 9000 vials from these collections, supplemented with material from major museums and other collectors, revealed 88 stonefly species in 8 families and 24 genera. Pearson's measure of association (R) showed there was a significant association between species present and each of the tested variables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331637/
Response of Freshwater and Saltwater Toxicity Test Species to Calcium and Salinity Concentrations Encountered in Toxicity Tests
The responses of freshwater (Daphnia magna. Pimephales promelas) and saltwater (Mysidopsis bahia. Cyprinodon variegatus) toxicity test species to elevated calcium concentrations and changing salinity conditions were investigated. The use of salinity as a criterion for selection between saltwater and freshwater test species was investigated by conducting both calcium and salinity toxicity tests. Salinity was determined to be an inappropriate criterion under conditions encountered in this study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331168/
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/
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/
Light Spectra Distributions in Temperate Conifer-Forest Canopy Gaps, Oregon and in Tropical Cloud-Forest Canopy, Venezuela
Light spectra distributions were measured in two different montane forests: temperate and tropical. Spectral light measurements were made in different sized canopy gaps in the conifer forest at H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, USA. Researchers at Oregon State University created these gaps of 20 m, 30 m, and 50 m in diameter. In the tropical cloud forest, spectral light measurements were made in two plots that were permanently established at La Mucuy Parque Nacional in Venezuela, in collaboration with researchers at Universidad de Los Andes. In both studies, spectra and distributions of physiologically active light were analyzed: red, far-red, R/FR ratio, and blue light. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279052/
Analysis of Phytoplankton Responses to Water Chemistry Dynamics in a Moderately Eutrophic North Texas Reservoir
Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) was used to explore relationships between measured environmental variables and in situ phytoplankton communities in a moderately eutrophic North Texas Reservoir. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278929/
Nucleotide Sequence of a Bovine Arginine Transfer RNA Gene
A single plaque-pure lambda clone designated λBA84 that hybridized to a ˆ32P-labeled bovine arginine tRNA was isolated from a bovine genomic library harbored in a lambda bacteriophage vector. A 2.3-kilobase segment of this clone was found to contain an arginine transfer RNAccg gene by Southern blot hybridization analysis and dideoxyribonucleotide DNA sequencing. This gene contains the characteristic RNA polymerase III split promoter sequence found in all eukaryotic tRNAs and a potential RNA polymerase III termination site, consisting of four consecutive thymine residues, in the 3'-flanking region. Several possible cis-acting promoter elements were found within the 5'-flanking region of the sequenced gene. The function of these elements, if any, is unknown. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278753/
Evaluation of a Constructed Wetland to Reduce Toxicity from Diazinon at the Pecan Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, Denton, TX
The City of Denton Pecan Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility has periodically failed effluent toxicity testing. A Toxicity Identification Evaluation has determined that Diazinon in the effluent is contributing to the observed toxicity. Chlorpyrifos is also implicated as a factor. The City of Denton constructed a half acre experimental wetland to remove Diazinon related toxicity. Results from spiking and microcosm experiments indicate that the wetland can reduce the Diazinon. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279107/
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/
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/
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/
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/
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/
Passive Dispersal of Algae and Protozoa Internally and Externally by Selected Aquatic Insects
This investigation was concerned with three aspects of the problem of passive dispersal of algae and protozoa by aquatic insects: the role of odonates in passive dispersal of viable small aquatic organisms, the passage of viable algae and protozoa through digestive tracts of field-collected herbivorous and carnivorous aquatic insects, and the viability duration of selected algae, during insect transport under monitored conditions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279208/
Effects of External Electric Fields on Light Transmittance in Isolated Crayfish Nerves
Acute effects of a pulsed external electric field (PEEF) at 20 V/cm and a d.c. EEF at 90 V/cm on light transmittance in an isolated compound crayfish nerve was measured. In a third series, the nerve was pre-treated with the Na+ channel blocker tetrodotoxin (TTX). A PEEF produced an irreversible increase in the variation of light transmittance in normal nerves but a reversible increase in TTX treated nerves. This data was statistically insignificant. The d.c. EEFs produced a reversible and statistically significant enhancement of variation in light transmittance in both untreated and TTX-treated nerves. The findings may be due to either (1) an alteration in the ion/fluid flux within the nerve or (2) a physical alteration of protein molecules in the membranes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279205/
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/
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/
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/
Quantitative Analysis of the Gabaergic System in Cat Primary Somatosensory Cortex and Its Relation to Receptive Field Properties
Sensory neocortex contains a significant number of inhibitory neurons that use gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) as their neurotransmitter. Functional roles for these neurons have been identified in physiological studies. For example, in primary somatosensory cortex (SI), blockade of GABAa receptors with bicuculline leads to expansion of receptive fields (RFs). The magnitude of RF enlargement varies between SIpopulations of GABAergic neurons were identified by labeling specific calcium binding proteins. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279190/
Construction of a Physical Map of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis Strain ATCC25238
In order to gain a better understanding of this microorganismand its role in human pathogenesis, a physical map of Moraxella catarrhalis type strain ATCC25238 was constructed using pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) in combination with Southern hybridization techniques. Restriction endonucleases Not I, Rsr II, and Sma I were used to digest the chromosomal DNA. An overlapping circular map was generated by cross-hybridization of isolated radiolabeled fragments of Moraxella catarrhalis genomic DNA to dried PFGE gels. The number and location of the 16S and 23S ribosomal RNA genes were determined by digestion with l-Ceul enzyme and by Southern hybridization. Virulence-associated genes, the gene for β-lactamase, and housekeeping genes were also placed onto the physical map. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279104/
Development and Application of an Assessment Protocol for Watershed Based Biomonitoring
With numerous bioassessment methodologies available, a regional protocol needs to be developed to ensure that results are comparable. A regional assessment protocol was developed that includes collecting five benthic macroinvertebrate samples, identifying organisms to genus, and calculating the following metrics: Number of Taxa, Total Number of Individuals, Simpson's Diversity Index, Shannon's Diversity Index, Percent Contribution of Dominant Taxa, Hilsenhoffs Biotic Index, and Percent Contribution of Dipterans. Once the protocol was developed, it was used to assess the Bayou Chico tributaries and watershed. All three tributaries had been significantly impacted by human activity as had the watershed as a whole. This study indicates that a regional protocol could be developed and is appropriate for biomonitoring at the watershed scale. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279219/
Temporal and Spatial Comparisons of Ambient Toxicity of the Trinity River in Relationship to an Effluent
A toxicological study was initiated because of concerns about allegations that the Texas Water Commission that effluent from the Dallas Central Wastewater Treatment Plant, which discharges into the Trinity River, was affecting downstream water quality. Monthly, flow-weighted composite effluent samples were collected. Grab samples were also collected upstream and downstream from the effluent from April 1989 to August 1991. Toxicity tests were conducted on these samples using Ceriodaphnia dubia as the test organism. Samples were collected four times during this study in which rainfall occurred prior to sampling. In every instance, this "first flush" of the watershed during a rising hydrograph was toxic to C. dubia upstream. Analyzing toxicity by season resulted in a statistically significantly lower neonate production in the effluent than in the river samples during the months of June, July, and August. This impact on neonate production was suspected of being caused by organic pesticides which are used for insect control on lawns. The effluent was never acutely toxic to C. dubia. Primarily, toxic occurrences in either the effluent or the river samples were primarily of a chronic nature. Overall, survival of C. dubia was affected more frequently at the upstream site than in the effluent or the downstream site. Because EPA's Phase I Acute Toxicity Identification Evaluations (TIEs) methods were designed for identifying acute toxicity, two alternative strategies were attempted to identify chronic toxicity. The first attempt was the modification of the phase I acute TIE methodologies. This was done by processing more sample through the phase I characterization tests. This approach was inadequate due to toxicity that occurred during the last several days of the seven-day C. dubia reproduction test. The second strategy for identifying chronic toxicity within a TIE involved the use of freeze concentration. During this preliminary investigation ofthe efficiency of freeze concentration, four metals and two organic compounds were freeze concentrated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279097/
Nesting Ecology of the Dickcissel (Spiza americana) on a Tallgrass Prairie Relict in North Central Texas
Eighty-three species of vascular plants were inventoried on the prairie relict during peak dickcissel nesting. Based on foliar cover and occurrence frequency, the five dominant plants were heath aster (Aster ericoides), eastern gammagrass (Tripsacum dactyloides), little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), sensitive briar (Schrankia roemeriana) and meadow dropseed (Sporobolus asper). Sixty-one percent of dickcissel nests were constructed on or immediately next to three plant species: eastern gammagrass, sensitive briar and green milkweed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278787/
Interactions between Carotid and Cardiopulmonary Baroreceptor Populations during Dynamic Exercise in Man
During dynamic exercise the arterial baroreflexes have been thought to reset to the prevailing level of systemic pressure in order to modulate transient changes in blood pressure with the same sensitivity (gain) as at rest. To test this hypothesis, cardiovascular responses to dynamic exercise and carotid baroreflex responses to graded neck suction and neck pressure (NS/NP) were examined in seven men of moderate fitness (V02 = 41.4±3.6 ml O2*kg^-1*min^-1) during two levels (20% and 40% of peak oxygen uptake) of steady-state exercise. In addition, deactivation of cardiopulmonary baroreceptors has been thought to increase carotid baroreflex responsiveness in the quiescent state in man. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278722/
Ecological Association Between the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and Southern Pine Beetle in the Homochitto National Forest: a Geographic Information System Approach
Since the introduction of management practices by the Forest Service to stabilize red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) populations, the number of cavity trees killed by southern pine beetles (SPB) has increased. A model of the landscape ecology of RCW and SPB in the Homochitto National Forest was created using data collected from the Forest Service and Global Atmospherics. The conclusions of the study were that the RCW and SPB utilize the same type of habitat and the stand hazard maps are an accurate means of determining the locations of SPB infestations. The functional heterogeneity maps created for the SPB and RCW would be useful predictors of future occurrences of either species if complete data were obtained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279384/
Life History and Case-building Behavior of Molanna Tryphena Betten (Trichoptera: Molannidae) in Two East Texas Spring-fed Streams
The life history and case-building behavior of Molanna tryphena from two spring-fed tributaries in East Texas were studied from January 1997 to May 1998. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279201/
A Comparison of Predicted and Actual Trophic Status of Lake Ray Roberts, TX Based on Chlorophyll A
Two years before impoundment, the trophic status of Lake Ray Roberts was predicted by applying the total phosphorus input into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) eutrophication model. Predicted mean summer epilimnetic (MSE) chlorophyll a of Elm Fork arm, Isle duBois arm and Main Body were in the eutrophic category of the OECD model. Observed MSE chlorophyll a two years after impoundment of Elm Fork arm, Isle duBois and Main Body had not reached their predicted means and were at the mesotrophic-eutrophic boundary of the OECD model. Six years after impoundment, observed MSE chlorophyll a for Main Body, was closer to its predicted mean and in the eutrophic category of the OECD model. Six years after impoundment, Elm Fork arm was the most productive area of Lake Ray Roberts. Observed means of chlorophyll a, total phosphates, suspended solids and turbidity were often highest in the Elm Fork arm. Wastewater effluent from Gainesville and Valley View, TX, had an impact on productivity in Elm Fork arm. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279143/
Underwater Optical Properties of Lake Texoma (Oklahoma-Texas) Using Secchi Disk, Submarine Photometer, and High-Resolution Spectroscopy
The underwater optical climate of Lake Texoma was measured at eleven fixed stations from August 1996 to August 1997. Secchi transparency and submarine photometry characterized seasonal and spatial values of secchi depth (SD), vertical attenuation coefficient (η''), and depth of euphotic zone (Zeu). Indices of Zeu:SD and η'' × SD were compared with universally applied values derived from inland and coastal waters. Turbidity explained 76% of the variation (p = 0.0001) of η'' among water quality parameters, including chlorophyll-α. Using a spectroradiometer, spectral signatures of chlorophyll-α and turbidity were located. Stations with low turbidity exhibited a distinct green reflectance peak around 590-610 nanometers, indicating presence of chlorophyll-α. Stations with high turbidity exhibited a reflectance peak shift towards the red spectrum, making it difficult to detect the chlorophyll signature. Derivative analysis of the reflectance signal at 590-610, and 720-780 nanometers allowed discrimination of this chlorophyll signature from those of turbidity (0.66 ≤ r^2 ≤ 0.99). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278978/
Impacts of the Pyrethroid Insecticide Cyfluthrin on Aquatic Invertibrate Populations in Outdoor Experimental Tanks
The chemical fate and biological impacts of cyfluthrin in aquatic ecosystems were investigated using microcosms (1.9 m^3 concrete tanks) during 1989. Results were compared to a concurrent pesticide registration study using mesocosms (634.7 m^3 earthen ponds). Ten spray drift and five soil runoff simulations were conducted. Pesticide loadings were scaled by system volume, with the same experimental design in ponds and microcosms. Aqueous cyfluthrin concentrations and sediment residue values were generally higher in microcosms, while aqueous half-life was shorter in the smaller systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279350/
Autonomic reflexes of the heart during acute myocardial ischemia
This study investigated whether acute myocardial ischemia of the anterior left ventricular wall induced an increase in cardiac sympathetic efferent nerve activity and thereby affected regional myocardial blood flow and contractile function. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279150/
Modifications in Cellular Responses of Mononuclear Cells Exposed to Mycobacterium Avium Serovar-specific Glycopeptidolipid and Its Lipopeptide Fragment
Immunological and ultrastructural changes in mononuclear cells exposed to Mycobacterium avium serovar-specific glycopeptidolipid (GPL) and the chemically derived R-lipid (lipopeptide fragment) were examined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278939/
Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of the American Woodrats, Genus Neotoma (Muridae)
The evolutionary relationships of woodrats (Neotoma) were elulcidated through phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA restriction site and allozyme data. DNA samples from eleven nominal species from the genus Neotoma and two outgroup taxa, Ototylomys phyttotis and Xenomys nelsoni, were cleaved using a suite of 17 Type II restriction endonucleases. Mitochondrial DNA restriction profiles were visualized following electrophoresis of restriction digests via methods of Southern transfer and hybridization with 32P- and digoxigenin-labeled mtDNA probes. Restriction mapping resulted in the identification of 37 unique mtDNA haplotypes among the woodrat taxa examined. Proteins representing 24 presumptive structural gene loci were examined through starch gel electrophoresis. Binary-coded allozyme data and allozyme frequency data were analyzed using PAUP and FREQPARS, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of the mtDNA restriction site data incorporated three different character type assumptions: unordered binary characters, Dollo characters, and differentially weighted unordered characters employing the STEPMATRIX option of PAUP. Proposed phylogenies for Neotoma are based on majority-rule consensus trees produced using bootstrap procedures. Phylogenetic analyses of the woodrat data sets revealed a distinct dichotomy among populations of white-throated woodrats (N. albigula) suggesting the presence of cryptic species within that taxon. MtDNA and allozyme data support the specific status of N. devia as distinct from N. lepida, and additionally reveal the presence of a third cryptic species referable to N. intermedia among the desert woodrats. Phylogenetic analyses of the genetic data also suggest subgeneric status for the desert woodrats, which is in agreement with evidence from morphology. The genetic data revealed a sister group relationship between N. stephensi and samples of N. mexicana, suggesting the placement of N. stephensi into the N. mexicana species-group. Neotoma fuscipes and N. cinerea formed a monophyletic lineage basal to the remaining members of the subgenus Neotoma which supports the assignment of N. fuscipes to the subgenus Teonoma with N. cinerea. Although stringent, Dollo parsimony methods produced the best supported phylogenies among the species of Neotoma. The STEPMATRIX approach was unable to resolve species relationships within species-groups but clearly delineated the higher taxonomic levels between species-groups and subgenera. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278829/
Biological and Toxicological Responses Resulting from Dechlorination of a Major Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plant Discharge to the Trinity River
Federal regulations such as the Clean Water Act (P.L. 92-500), and its amendments, direct the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to implement programs to control the releases of conventional pollutants and toxics into the waterways of the United States. The EPA began requiring treatment plants to conduct toxicity tests (biomonitoring) of their effluent discharges. To control toxicity caused by chlorination of wastewater discharges, the EPA also began requiring some treatment facilities to dechlorinate their wastewater before discharging. This research was funded by the EPA to document the changes that occurred in the Trinity River from the dechlorination of the effluent from Ft. Worth's Village Creek municipal wastewater treatment plant. The study occurred over a two year period beginning in August 1990. A wide variety of biological field assessments and toxicological assays were used to measure various responses. Seven river stations, covering approximately twenty river miles, and the treatment plant effluent were assessed. Two of the river stations were upstream from the treatment plant and used as reference sites. The remaining five river stations were downstream from the treatment plant, spread out over seventeen river miles. The study evaluated the impact of chlorination prior to dechlorination, which served as a baseline. Responses determined during dechlorination were compared to the baseline data. An overall improvement in species richness and diversity was seen at those river stations which had previously been adversely impacted by chlorine. Aquatic toxicity tests, such as those required to be used by dischargers, were conducted during this study. Periodic toxicity was observed with these tests in the effluent and river samples after dechlorination was initiated. Those tests, along with in situ toxicity assays, proved to be good predictors of biological community responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc279074/
Advanced Molecular and Microbial Techniques: a Complete Laboratory Notebook
The purpose of this project is to produce a complete and thorough notebook that may be used to supplement laboratory coursework. Its intent is to be used primarily by the students to aid them in understanding background information and the proper laboratory procedures involved in various types of experiments. The laboratory notebook is a summation of all the experiments and procedures used in the six-credit hour Advanced Microbial and Molecular Biology (BIOL 5160) course offered during the summer semester at the University of North Texas. This class is a team taught effort by Professors O'Donovan and Kunz. The course is constructed as an intensive practice exercise to teach the student about gene mutations, biosynthetic pathways, preparation and analysis of plasmid DNA, and many other topics included in the notebook. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278293/
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/
Primary Productivity and Nutrient Relationships in Garza-Little Elm Reservoir
A large, multi-basin, reservoir (Garza-Little Elm Reservoir) in north central Texas was studied to determine the relative effects of various parameters on primary productivity. The basins were impounded several years apart,thus allowing the influence of age on water chemistry and biota to be considered. Another principal influence on water quality was secondary sewage effluent that entered one basin from a nearby source. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277688/
Assembly of Pseudomonas putida Aspartate Transcarbamoylase and Possible Roles of the PyrC' Polypeptide in the Folding of the Dodecameric Enzyme
Aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) of Pseudomonas putida consists of two different polypeptides, PyrB and PyrC' (Schurr et al, 1995). The role of the PyrC' and the assembly of PyrB and PyrC' have been studied. The ATCase made in vitro of P.putida PyrB with P.putida PyrC', and of E.coli PyrB with P.putida PyrC ' were generated under two different conditions, denaturation and renaturation, and untreated. It was found that PyrC' plays a role in the enzymatic regulation by ATP, CTP and UTP. In addition to playing a role in substrate binding, the PyrB polypeptide is also involved in effector binding (Kumar et al., manuscript in preparation). The most energetically preferred form of the P.putida WT is a dodecamer with a molecular mass of 480 kDa. The ratio between the PyrB and the PyrC' is 1:1. In studies of nucleotide binding, it was discovered that the P.putida PyrB was phosphorylated by a protein kinase in the cell extract. In the presence of 20 mM EDTA, this phosphorylation was inhibited and the inhibition could be overcome by the addition of divalent cations such as Zn2+ and Mg2+. This result suggested that the phosphorylation reaction required divalent cations. In the CAD complex of eukaryotes, phosphorylations of the CPSase and the linker region between ATCase and DHOase did not occur in the presence of UTP and it was hypothesized (Carrey, 1993) that UTP and phosphorylation(s) regulated the conformational change in the enzyme complex. Therefore, the same idea was approached with P.putida ATCase, where it was found that 1.0 mM UTP inhibited the phosphorylation of PyrB by more than 50%. These results suggested that the regulation of the conformational change of the P.putida ATCase might be similar to that of CAD. Furthermore, peptide mapping for phosphorylation sites was performed on P.putida ATCase WT, WT --11 amino acids and WT --34 amino acids from the N-terminus of the PyrB polypeptide. The results showed that the phosphorylation sites were located on the fragment that contained amino acid number-35 to amino acid number-112 from the N-terminus of the PyrB polypeptide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278618/
The Response of Aquatic Insect Communities and Caged In situ Asiatic Clams (Corbicula fluminea) to Dechlorinated Municipal Effluent in the Trinity River in North Texas
Dischargers to the Trinity River in North Texas were required to dechlorinate their effluents in 1990-91. Field surveys were conducted above and below an outfall to determine the response of resident immature insects and caged in situ juvenile Asiatic clams to chlorinated and dechlorinated effluent. Within six months after dechlorination began, insect community composition and C. fluminea survival significantly improved at stations below the outfall. Significantly lower clam growth within one mile below the dechlorinated effluent indicated the presence of non-chlorine toxicants. Effects from chlorinated and dechlorinated effluent exposure were comparable between Ceriodaphnia dubia lab tests and in situ C. fluminea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278622/
Biochemical Identification of Molecular Components Required for Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764
Utilization of cyanide as a nutritional nitrogen source in P. fluorescens NCIMB 11764 was shown to involve a novel metabolic mechanism involving nonenzymatic neutralization outside of cells prior to further enzymatic oxidation within. Several cyanide degrading enzymes were produced by NCIMB 11764 in response to growth or exposure to cyanide, but only one of these cyanide, oxygenase (CNO), was shown to be physiologically required for assimilation of cyanide as a growth substrate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc278624/
Short Term Effects of External Electric Fields on Electrical Activity of the Pineal Gland in Rats
The effects of short term exposure (5 minutes) to EEFs at relatively high dosages (10, 25, 39, kV/m) on the electrical activity in rat pineal glands was studied. Daytime and nighttime recordings were taken from an implanted microelectrode in the gland. The data show that (1) both the activity and frequency were enhanced when the animals were exposed to EEFs at 39 kV/m continuously and discontinuously; (2) the later condition yielded a sustained increase (36%) whereas the former a brief (10 sec) increase. This enhancement was statistically significant under both conditions (day and night). The effects observed were thought to be due to membrane alterations either in the pineal gland itself or in the neural inputs to the gland. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc277728/
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/
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