UNT Theses and Dissertations - 144 Matching Results

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Development of Cardiovascular Regulation in Embryos of the Domestic Fowl (Gallus Gallus), with a Partial Comparison to Embryos of the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus Agassizii)

Description: In adult vertebrates, cardiovascular regulation is accomplished by numerous systems with neural, hormonal and local components responsible for the majority of regulation. These regulatory components work in concert to maintain the essential function of blood perfusion to adult tissues. Given the essential nature of this function it is therefore surprising that the development of cardiovascular regulation during gestation is poorly understood. The majority of what is known is based on a single vertebrate model, the fetal lamb. The fetal lamb has been used in multiple studies due to the clear clinical applications and has been pivotal in understanding the onset of regulation in developing vertebrates. However, study on the fetal lamb is limited to the latter 40% of gestation and has the added complication of an in-utero developmental strategy. Therefore the primary focus of this dissertation was to characterize basic cardiovascular regulation in the chicken embryo to provided the needed information for it's use an alternative to the fetal lamb. Developing chicken embryos rely on both alpha and beta adrenergic tones to maintain normal heart rate and arterial blood pressure during incubation. However, on day 21, just prior to hatch, these animals lose both tones on arterial pressure suggesting the onset of adult regulation. Cholinergic tone, however, was absent throughout chicken development indicating that it must mature during the neonatal life. Adult cardiovascular reflexes become apparent late in chicken development with a clear baroreflex specifically operating initially on day. However, an adult response to changes in ambient gas tension was absent during incubation suggesting embryos possess unique regulatory systems that are absent in adult chickens. This mechanism is comprised entirely of adrenergic systems with no cholinergic action during change in ambient gas tension. Similar developmental patterns were determined in embryos of the desert tortoise suggesting fundamental differences between in-utero and ...
Date: August 1999
Creator: Crossley, Dane Alan
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spatial and Temporal Influences of Water Quality on Zooplankton in Lake Texoma

Description: Seventy-one aquatic species including the copepodids and nauplii were identified from Lake Texoma from August 1996 to September 1997. Zooplankton community structure, abundance and spatial and temporal distributions were compared among five lake zones delineated a priori based on chloride concentration. The zones, in order of decreasing chloride concentration, are the Red River zone (RRZ), Red river Transition zone (RRTZ), Main Lake zone (MLZ), Washita River Transition zone (WRTZ) and Washita River zone (WRZ). Bray Curtis Similarity Index showed community structure was most similar in the two Red River arm zones, the two Washita River arm zones and the MLZ. Zooplankton abundance was greatest in the Red River arm (312 org/L), intermediate in the Washita River arm (217 org/L) and least in the Main Lake body (103 org/L). A significant increase in the abundance of a deformed rotifer, Keratella cochlearis, was observed mainly in the Red River arm during a second study from March 1999 to June 1999. Seasonal dynamics, rather than spatial dynamics, were more important in structuring the zooplankton community, especially in the two river arms. Spatial variance was solely attributed to station and zone effects independent of time for a few crustacean species and many of the water quality parameters supporting the presence of longitudinal gradients of differing water quality. Three independent models (Red River arm, Washita River arm, Main Lake body) rather than a single model for the entire reservoir, best describe patterns in the zooplankton community and its relationship to seasonal, physical and chemical factors. Statistical power, sample size and taxonomic resolution were examined. When monitoring seasonal and annuals trends in abundance, the greatest statistical power was achieved by analyzing count data at taxonomic levels above genus. Taxonomic sufficiency was assessed to determine if costs could be reduced for zooplankton identifications. For water quality monitoring ...
Date: May 2000
Creator: Franks, Jessica L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Adolescent Stress Response to a Naturalistic Driving Stressor

Description: The proposed study examined the role of anxiety and risk-taking in driving performance in adolescents. In addition to examining the sample as a whole, gender differences were assessed given earlier reports from our laboratory and others indicating that males and females differ with respect to risky behaviors to driving performance and anxiety. Adolescents' subjective and physiological responses to a driving simulator task were assessed. Anxiety was measured via self report and salivary cortisol. Participants provided a baseline saliva sample and 3 post-task samples for cortisol analysis. Subjective anxiety scores were obtained at both baseline and following the driving stressor. Information concerning impulsivity, as well as other psychological constructs was also collected at baseline. Unlike the pilot study, there were no relationships (with or without respect to gender) between salivary cortisol and both self-reported anxiety (state and trait) or impulsively measures for this sample. These results suggest that this group of adolescents may not have been anxious about the driving task. This discrepancy may stem from error introduced by the smaller sample size obtained from the initial findings or to other factors remaining outside the parameters of the current study. The task did, however, induce a slight hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis response indicating some physiological arousal. Males had significantly higher cortisol levels at baseline than females and at time point 3 while approaching significance at time points 2 and 4. Females possessed significantly higher trait anxiety than males and all post task cortisol levels were positively correlated to age while time points 2 and 4 (with time point 3 approaching significance, p=0.09) were inversely correlated with Self Depreciation scores. Additionally, females had Persecutory Ideas scores that were also negatively correlated with cortisol at time points 3 and 4. For both the entire sample and males only, the correlation between post-task ...
Date: August 2000
Creator: Wingo, Mary
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

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

Production and Characterization of a Novel Extracellular Polysaccharide Produced by Paenibacillus velaei, Sp. Nov

Description: Paenibacillus velaei, sp. nov. is a soil bacterium capable of producing an unusually large amount of exopolysaccharide (EPS). The EPS contains glucose, mannose, galactose and fucose in a molar ratio of 4:2:1:1. The molecular weight of the EPS is higher than 2x106. The viscosity of 1% EPS is 1300 cP when measured at a shear rate of 1 sec-1. Physiological parameters for optimal production of the EPS were studied and it was found that 1.4 g dry weight per 1 l of medium was produced when the bacteria were grown at 30EC and the pH adjusted at 7± 0.2 in a medium containing glucose as the carbon source. Growing the bacteria on different carbon sources did not alter the quantity or the composition of the EPS produced. No toxicity effects were observed in mice or rats when EPS was administered in amounts ranging from 20 to 200 mg per kg body weight. The data obtained from physical, chemical and biological properties suggest that the EPS may be employed in several industrial and environmental applications. It is an excellent emulsifier, it holds 100 times its own weight in water, it is not toxic, and it can be used to remove mercury, cadmium and lead from aqueous solutions.
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Date: August 2000
Creator: Sukplang, Patamaporn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Head Trauma Release of Histamine from Dural Mast Cells Alters Blood-Brain Barrier: Attenuation with Zolantidine

Description: This study employed a new model of mild-to-moderate head trauma to specifically identify the role of dural mast cell (MC) histamine in trauma-induced increased permeability in the blood-brain barrier (BBB). A single line was scored partially through the left dorsal parietal skull. Immediately following the trauma, degranulation was seen in 39% of the MCs on the left and in 2% on the right. After a 20 min survival period, left duras showed 55% with MC degranulation (fewer with complete degranulation) compared to 34% on the right. In the other experiments two parallel lines were scored following the injection of Evan's blue. Histamine assay showed histamine increased in the left cortex to 154% at 5 min, 174% at 10 min, and 151% at 20 min. Fluorescent quantitation of extravasated Evan's blue at 20 min following the trauma gave an increase of 1385% over the value measured for the right cortex. Zolantidine, a selective histamine H2 receptor antagonist, administered at 10- and 20- mg/kg 30 min before the trauma blocked 65% of the Evan's blue extravasation compared with the control and 2.5 mg group.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Laufer, Susan R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Unique applications of cultured neuronal networks in pharmacology, toxicology, and basic neuroscience

Description: This dissertation research explored the capabilities of neuronal networks grown on substrate integrated microelectrode arrays in vitro with emphasis on utilizing such preparations in three specific application domains: pharmacology and drug development, biosensors and neurotoxicology, and the study of burst and synaptic mechanisms. Chapter 1 details the testing of seven novel AChE inhibitors, demonstrating that neuronal networks rapidly detect small molecular differences in closely related compounds, and reveal information about their probable physiological effects that are not attainable through biochemical characterization alone. Chapter 2 shows how neuronal networks may be used to classify and characterize an unknown compound. The compound, trimethylol propane phosphate (TMPP) elicited changes in network activity that resembled those induced by bicuculline, a known epileptogenic. Further work determined that TMPP produces its effects on network activity through a competitive inhibition of the GABAA receptor. This demonstrates that neuronal networks can provide rapid, reliable warning of the presence of toxic substances, and from the manner in which the spontaneous activity changes provide information on the class of compound present and its potential physiological effects. Additional simple pharmacological tests can provide valuable information on primary mechanisms involved in the altered neuronal network responses. Chapter 3 explores the effects produced by a radical simplification of synaptic driving forces. With all synaptic interactions pharmacologically limited to those mediated through the NMDA synapse, spinal cord networks exhibited an extremely regular burst oscillation characterized by a period of 2.9 ± 0.3 s, with mean coefficients of variation of 3.7, 4.7, and 4.9 % for burst rate, burst duration, and inter-burst interval, respectively (16 separate cultures). The reliability of expression of this oscillation suggests that it may represent a fundamental mechanism of importance during periods of NMDA receptor dominated activity, such as embryonic and early postnatal development. NMDA synapse mediated activity produces a precise ...
Date: May 2001
Creator: Keefer, Edward W.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Age-Dependent Effects Of Chronic GABAA Receptor Blockade In Barrel Cortex

Description: GABAA receptor binding is transiently increased in rat whisker barrels during the second postnatal week, at a time when neurons in the developing rat cortex are vulnerable to excitotoxic effects. To test whether these GABAA receptors might serve to protect neurons from excessive excitatory input, polymer implants containing the GABAA receptor antagonist bicuculline were placed over barrel cortex for a 4-day period in young (postnatal days 8 - 12) and adult rats. In the cortex of young, but not adult rats, the chronic blockade of GABAA receptors resulted in substantial tissue loss and neuron loss. The greater loss of neurons in young rats supports the hypothesis that a high density of GABAA receptors protects neurons from excessive excitatory input during a sensitive period in development.
Date: May 2001
Creator: Gargan, Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Developmental Physiology of the Zebrafish: Influence of Environment and Cardiovascular Attributes

Description: Temperature effects on the development of the zebrafish embryos and larvae and adults were examined. It was found that the earlier in development a temperature change was performed on an embryo, the more significant the change in survival and/or subsequent development. Thus, viable temperature ranges for zebrafish widened significantly as development proceeded. Adults reared and bred at 25oC produced embryos that were significantly more successful at the lower range of rearing temperatures compared to embryos produced from adults reared at 28oC. The majority of this study focused on the physiological effects of swim training during development in the zebrafish. The earlier in development the zebrafish larvae were trained, the greater the mortality. Trained free swimming larvae had a significantly higher routine oxygen consumption after 11 days of training, and a higher mass specific routine metabolic rate after 8 and 11 days of training. Trained free swimming larvae consumed significantly less oxygen during swimming and were more efficient at locomotion, compared to control larvae. Training enhanced survival during exposure to extreme hypoxia in all age groups. Performance aspects of training were investigated in attempt to quantify training effects and in most cases, trained fish performed significantly better than controls. As blood vessels formed during development, they decreased in cross sectional area from days two to six. It was also shown that the variability in visual stroke volume measurements could be reduced significantly by using a third dimension in the analysis with a more accurate volume equation. Finally, the ontogeny of cardiac control was evaluated. The adrenergic receptors were the first to respond to pharmacological stimulation but were closely followed by cholinergic pharmacological stimulation a few days later. There was a significant cholinergic tone present in day 15 zebrafish larvae which persisted. Although an adrenergic tone was not documented in this study, ...
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Bagatto, Brian
Partner: UNT Libraries

Submerged wood inhabiting macoinvertebrates of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River, Texas: Assemblage analyses, comparisons to the benthic fauna, and a study of Cyrnellus fraternus (Trichoptera: Polycentropodidae)

Description: Taxonomic composition and spatio-temporal variability of macroinvertebrates inhabiting snags were examined from an 8-km segment of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Seventy-seven macroinvertebrate taxa were collected from submerged wood during the study. Assemblages were highly variable spatially and temporally, especially among seasons. An ordination of species and environment did not find snag taxa to have striking correlations with many of the selected environmental variables, although there were some trends in flow-mediated species distributions. There were significant seasonal differences in the abundances of some taxa, particularly among the Chironomidae (Diptera). The Tribe Orthocladiini was numerically abundant during the winter, while the Tribes Chironomini and Tanytarsini dominated the summer and autumn. Additionally, this study included a secondary production and microdistribution analysis of a population of the caddisfly Cyrnellus fraternus. Distributions of C. fraternus were restricted to snags, the most stable substratum for retreat building and for resisting periodic high waters. Larvae were not found in the soft sand and mud benthic habitats near submerged wood. The insects were multivoltine with a minimum of three generations per year. Pupae were collected July through September and adults emerged from May through October. The population overwintered as larvae. Estimated annual production was 1,015.4 mg/m2/yr. Mean standing stock biomass was 61.24 mg/m2, the cohort production/biomass ratio was 4.59, and the annual production/biomass rate was 16.58/yr for this population. Standing stock biomass ranged from 1.6 to 349.1 mg/m2 during the year and was significantly higher in autumn and summer than winter. Larvae were more abundant in the lower portions of the study area where flow was reduced for much of the year, than in the upper reaches, characterized by higher current velocities. C. fraternus larvae were found in their highest numbers on snags with dense deposits of silt and sand.
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Date: August 2001
Creator: Johnson, Zane B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Novel Phytoestrogen that Acts as an Agonist for Human Estrogen Receptors.

Description: Estrogen is the natural agonist of the estrogen receptor (ER). However, certain plant-derived compounds or phytoestrogens have been identified that mimic estrogens and act as agonists and/or antagonists of ERs, depending on subtype and target tissue. Understanding how phytoestrogens interact with ERs, and therefore effect the estrogenic response, may prove beneficial in hormone replacement therapy and in the prevention and treatment of hormone-related diseases. Using Thin Layer Chromatography, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and proton nuclear nagnetic resonance (HNMR), I identified 4-ethoxymethylphenol (4EM) found in Maclura pomifera. While most phytoestrogens are heterocyclic compounds, 4EM is a simple phenol that acts as an agonist of ER-alpha and -beta in HeLa and MCF-7 cells. To study the effect of 4EM on ER-alpha and -beta activity, I performed transient transfection assays and showed that 4EM activates ER dependent gene transcription in a dose dependent manner in both ER subtypes. Further, 4EM- mediated transcription in ER-alpha, like estrogen, was enhance in the presense of co-activators, SRC-1 (steroid receptor coactivator-1), CBP (CREB binding proteins), and E6-AP (E6-associated protein) and inhibited by trans-4- hydroxytamoxifen (4HT). I found that 4EM was specific for ER and did not activate transcription of the progesterone receptor in HeLa cells.
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Date: December 2001
Creator: Pearce, Virginia
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative Morphology of Sensilla Styloconica on the Proboscis of North American Nymphalidae and Other Selected Taxa: Systematic and Ecological Considerations.

Description: Sensilla styloconica on the proboscis of 107 species of North American and tropical butterflies were comparatively studied using the scanning electron microscope. Focus was on 76 species of North American Nymphalidae representing 45 genera and 11 subfamilies. Nomenclature for generalized and specific types of nymphalid sensilla is proposed. Written descriptions and micrographs are presented for each species studied. Morphological features were generally consistent for all or most species within genera and sometimes within subfamilies, with specified exceptions. Statistical analysis revealed significant differences for six of eight variables tested between two distinct feeding guilds of North American Nymphalidae. Average number, density, extent of proboscis coverage with sensilla, their total length, and shoulder spine length were all significantly greater in the non-nectar feeding guild than in nectar feeders, and may indicate adaptation for greater efficiency in feeding on flat surfaces. The greater frequency of apical shoulder spines in non-nectar feeders may represent adaptation for protection of sensory pegs from mechanical abrasion during feeding, or for anchoring the flexible proboscis tip to the surface. Correlation analysis revealed 9 out of 28 positive correlations in nectar feeders and 5 out of 28 in non-nectar feeders. Results of preliminary cladistic analysis were not considered to be meaningfully robust due to few available characters. The stylar characters identified in this study should be more useful in future analyses when included with characters from other lines of evidence. The presence of sensilla styloconica in all subfamilies of Nymphalidae, except Danainae, largely supports Ehrlich's (1958) higher classification concept for the family. The presence of less conspicuous sensilla in the Danainae, and other characteristics are presented as further evidence that they should be reconsidered for full family status. Sensilla styloconica in nymphalid butterflies appear to function as extensions that provide greater sensory reach during feeding. The role of these ...
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Date: December 2001
Creator: Petr, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Study of the Pyrimidine Biosynthesis Pathway and its Regulation in Two Distinct Organisms: Methanococcus jannaschii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Description: Methanococcus jannaschii is a thermophilic methane producing archaebacterium. In this organism genes encoding the aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) catalytic (PyrB) and regulatory (PyrI) polypeptides were found. Unlike Escherichia coli where the above genes are expressed from a biscistronic operon the two genes in M. jannaschii are separated by 200-kb stretch of genome. Previous researchers have not been able to show regulation of the M. jannaschii enzyme by the nucleotide effectors ATP, CTP and UTP. In this research project we have genetically manipulated the M. jannaschii pyrI gene and have been able to assemble a 310 kDa E. coli like enzyme. By using the second methionine in the sequence we have shown that the enzyme from this organism can assemble into a 310 kDa enzyme and that this enzyme is activated by ATP, CTP and inhibited by UTP. Thus strongly suggesting that the second methionine is the real start of the gene. The regulation of the biosynthetic pathway in Pseudomoans aeruginosa has previously been impossible to study due to the lack of CTP synthase (pyrG) mutants. By incorporating a functional uridine (cytidine) kinase gene from E. coli it has been possible to isolate a pyrG mutant. In this novel mutant we have been able to independently manipulate the nucleotide pools and study its effects on the enzymes in the biosynthetic pathway. The enzyme asapartate transcarbamoylase was repressed 5-fold when exogenous uridine was high and cytidine was low. The enzyme dihydroorotate was repressed 9-fold when uridine was high. These results suggest that a uridine compound may be the primary repressing metabolite for the enzymes encoded by pyrB and pyrC. This is the first study to be done with the proper necessary mutants in the biosynthetic pathway of P aeruginosa. In the past it has been impossible to vary the internal UTP and CTP ...
Date: December 2001
Creator: Patel, Seema R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigations of neuronal network responses to electrical stimulation in murine spinal cultures.

Description: Spontaneous activity in neuronal networks in vitro is common and has been well documented. However, alteration of spontaneous activity in such networks via conditioning electrical stimulation has received much less experimental attention. Two different patterns of electrical stimulation were used to enhance or depress the level of spontaneous activity in spinal cord cultures. High-frequency stimulation (HFS), a method routinely shown to increase the efficacy of synaptic transmission, was employed to augment spontaneous activity. Low-frequency stimulation (LFS), the technique often applied to depress synaptic efficacy, was employed to decrease spontaneous activity. In addition, LFS was used to reverse the effect of HFS on spontaneous activity. Likewise, HFS was applied to counter the effect of LFS. Because these networks were grown on multi-microelectrode plates (MMEPs), this allowed the simultaneous stimulation of any combination of the 64 electrodes in the array. Thus, the possible differences in response to single versus multi-electrode stimulation were also addressed. Finally, test-pulses were delivered before and after the conditioning stimulation on the same stimulation electrode(s) in order to assess the change in mean evoked action potentials (MEAPs). Dissociated spinal tissue from embryonic mice was allowed to mature into self-organized networks that exhibited spontaneous bursting activity after two weeks of incubation. Spontaneous activity was monitored from up to 14 recording channels simultaneously. Although uniform responses to stimulation across all recording electrodes were rarely observed, a large majority of the recording channels had similar responses. Spontaneous activity was increased in 52% of 89 HFS trials, whereas activity was decreased in 35% of 75 LFS trials. The duration of most of these increases was less than 5 minutes. When there were substantial and long-term (> 15 min) changes in spontaneous activity, the opposing stimulation pattern successfully reversed the effect of the previous stimulation. The percent change in MEAPs following conditioning stimulation ...
Date: December 2001
Creator: Sparks, Christopher A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Autoradiographic Localization of Carbachol-Induced Second Messenger Response in the Rat Spinal Cord Following Inflammation.

Description: This study examined central mechanisms of persistent pain using an autoradiographic technique to localize phosphoinositide hydrolysis (PI) in the rat spinal cord dorsal horn. The lateral half of laminae I-II showed the highest levels of baseline PI turnover and carbachol-stimulated PI turnover in normal animals as well as after inflammation. Inflammation resulted in increased baseline PI turnover in this region of the ipsilateral (76%) and contralateral (65%) dorsal horns. Carbachol increased PI turnover in this region in normal rats (55%) and following inflammation (ipsilateral: 46%, contralateral: 45%). The absolute magnitudes of these increases were 1.85, 2.71, and 2.51 nCi/mg, respectively. The results of this study demonstrate the involvement of PI turnover in neural mechanisms of persistent pain, and provide evidence for the involvement of cholinergic systems in this process. Because spinal cholinergic systems have been reported to be anti-nociceptive, the present results appear to reflect an upregulation of anti-nociceptive activity in response to inflammation. Thus, the spinal cholinergic system may be a regulatory site within the anti-nociceptive pathway, and may provide an attractive target for the development of new therapeutic agents.
Date: May 2002
Creator: Moore, Jack
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparative biochemistry and genetic analysis of nucleoside hydrolase in Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Pseudomonas fluorescens.

Description: The pyrimidine salvage enzyme, nucleoside hydrolase, is catalyzes the irreversible hydrolysis of nucleosides into the free nucleic acid base and D-ribose. Nucleoside hydrolases have varying degrees of specificity towards purine and pyrimidine nucleosides. In E. coli, three genes were found that encode homologues of several known nucleoside hydrolases in protozoa. All three genes (designated yaaF, yeiK, and ybeK) were amplified by PCR and cloned. Two of the gene products (yeiK and ybeK) encode pyrimidine-specific nucleoside hydrolases, while the third (yaaF) encodes a nonspecific nucleoside hydrolase. All three were expressed at low levels and had different modes of regulation. As a comparative analysis, the homologous genes of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and P. fluorescens (designated nuh) were cloned. Both were determined to encode nonspecific nucleoside hydrolases. The nucleoside hydrolases of the pseudomonads exhibited markedly different modes of regulation. Both have unique promoter structures and genetic organization. Furthermore, both pseudomonad nucleoside hydrolase were found to contain an N-terminal extension of 30-35 amino acids that is shown to act as a periplasmic-signaling sequence. These are the first two nucleoside hydrolases, to date,that have been conclusively demonstrated to be exported to the periplasmic space. The physiological relevance of this is explained.
Date: December 2002
Creator: Fields, Christopher J.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Establishing genetic and physiological baselines for the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

Description: The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) has experienced dramatic declines over much of its historical range due to habitat loss, plague, poisonings, and shootings. Many populations now occur as isolated genetic relicts. A multiple locus genetic profile was obtained using microsatellite analyses of six polymorphic nucleotide repeats from 319 black-tailed prairie dogs collected from 16 colonies throughout the state of Texas. This assessment revealed that existing populations have sufficient variation at all six loci to verify the usefulness of this approach as a primary genetic tool in conservation and preservation. The data reveals regional-dependent frequency patterns as well as support for founder/bottleneck effects for several of the 16 sites. Although the prairie dog population in Texas as a whole may appear genetically diverse, considerable genetic divergence has already occurred among the subpopulations (FST = 0.164). Isolation by distance is supported by genic differentiation analysis (P < 0.001) and pairwise correlation analysis between genetic distance and geographic distance (P < 0.001). Prairie dogs from six (COC, LUBA, LUBC, LUBD, LUBE, and TAR) of the original 16 sites have been relocated or exterminated, or were in the process of being relocated. Results indicated the following colonies (COT, DAL, HOW, and HUD) are of sufficient size and possess ample genetic diversity to be characterized as candidate foundation populations for future preservation efforts. The proximity of small colonies (< 20 hectares) such as HEMB, LUBB, and PEC, to other colonies should be examined to determine if they are isolated or part of a metapopulation. Colonies (HAR, HEMA, and SCH) with low genetic diversity would be ideal candidates for supplementation. Alternatively, these colonies could be relocated or blended with other similar but genetically distinct colonies. Baselines for healthy, pet prairie dog hematology and blood chemistries were also established. Results signify that data gathered from pet ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Biggs, Cindy Dawn
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Contravention of Established Principles of Interspecific Allometric Metabolic Scaling in Developing Silkworms, Bombyx Mori.

Description: Established interspecific metabolic allometric relationships do not adequately describe the complexity and variable physiological states of developing animals. Consequently, intraspecific allometric relationships of oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production as a function of body mass; the respiratory quotient; the function of the silk cocoon; and body composition were investigated for each distinct developmental stage of the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Whole animal O2 consumption in Bombyx ranged from 0.00064 + 0.000047 ml O2 .hr-1 at larval instar I to 0.77 + 0.06 ml O2 .hr-1 in pre-pupal, falling to 0.21+ 0.01 ml O2 .hr-1 in the pupae. Those instars having a significant relationship between O2 consumption as a function of body mass, the slope of the line relating O2 consumption to body mass varied between 0.99 and 1.02, while across all instars the slope was 0.82. Developmental allometry should be presented for individual developmental stages because the individual allometric exponents of the stages can be significantly different from the overall allometric exponent throughout development and in some cases, the overall allometric exponent can be a statistical artifact. The first larval instar of Bombyx mori has the lowest cross sectional area of high metabolic tissue of the midgut (27%) and had one of the highest percentages of some metabolically inert tissues (i.e. lipid, 7.5%). Body composition of the first instar does not support the idea that smaller mass animals having the highest O2 consumption are composed of a greater percentage of metabolically active organs when compared to larger animals. However, this developmental stage has the highest percentage of the mitochondrial marker cytochrome oxidase, which correlates well with the high O2 consumption rate of the smaller mass. Therefore, established interspecific principles should not be assumed to function as valid models for intraspecific developmental relationships of metabolism as a function of body mass. Developmental ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Blossman-Myer, Bonnie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigation of Pyrimidine Salvage Pathways to Categorize Indigenous Soil Bacteria of Agricultural and Medical Importance and Analysis of the Pyrimidine Biosynthetic Pathway's Enzyme Properties for Correlating Cell Morphology to Function in All Phases of Growth

Description: This dissertation comprises three parts and is presented in two chapters. Chapter 1 concerns Arthrobacter, a bacterium with an intriguing growth cycle. Whereas most bacteria exist as either a rod or coccus, this bacterium shares the rod/coccus lifestyle. It therefore seemed important to examine the growth regulatory pathways from the rod and coccus. The committed step, that catalyzed by aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase), in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway was chosen. The ATCase in Arthrobacter is like the well known Pseudomonas enzyme except that it has an active dihydroorotase (DHOase) associated. Included in Chapter 1 is the description of a microorganism, Burkholderia cepacia, whose ATCase has characteristics that are at once reminiscent of bacteria, mammals, and fungi. It differs in size or aggregation based on environmental conditions. In addition, it has an active DHOase associated with the ATCase, like Arthrobacter. B. cepacia is important both medically and for bioremediation. Since B. cepacia is resistant to most antibiotics, its unique ATCase is a prime target for inhibition. Whereas the first chapter deals with the de novo pathway to making pyrimidines, which is found mainly in the lag and log phase, Chapter 2 addresses the salvage pathway, which comes more into play during the stationary phase. This section focuses on the isolation, identification, and grouping of a number of natural soil bacteria from various soil locations. These organisms are important agriculturally, medically, and industrially. Addition of these soil isolates to poor soils has been found to improve the soil. In a previous study by D.A. Beck, the salvage schemes for a number of laboratory strains of microorganisms were determined. Nine separate classes of salvage were designated by determining the salvage enzymes present. In this study emphasis has been placed on soil bacteria, which had not previously been analyzed. A number of species of soil ...
Date: May 2003
Creator: Meixner, Jeffery Andrew
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Methanol, Atrazine, and Copper on the Ultrastructure of Pseudokirchneriella Subcapitata (Selenastrum Capricornutum).

Description: The toxicity of methanol, atrazine, and copper to Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata (Korshikov) Hindák historically referred to as Selenastrum capricornutum Printz were determined following 96 hrs growth in a modified Goram's growth media. Methanol and atrazine inhibited fluorescence readings in the cultures by 50% (IC50) at concentrations of 2% and 82 µg/l respectively. These toxicity values compared favorably to other published reports. The IC50 for copper was 160 µg/l which is substantially higher than reported values. This is understandable because of the high chelating capacity of Goram's media. The use of stereologically derived relative volume in the chloroplasts, mitochondria, lipid bodies, phosphate bodies, and nucleus was investigated to determine if it could be used as a sensitive endpoint in toxicity tests. The volume fractions for the chloroplasts and mitochondria were normally distributed in control cells while the nuclei, phosphate bodies, and lipid bodies were not. The chloroplasts were the most dominate organelle occupying a mean relative volume of 46% and mitochondria occupied a mean relative volume of 3%. The nucleus and phosphate bodies occupied a median relative volume of 7% and 2% respectively. The lipid bodies were rare in section profile and no meaningful median relative volume could be calculated. Up to the 82nd percentile of sectioned profiles contained no recognizable lipid bodies. The use of relative volume was not a sensitive endpoint for use in toxicity tests. No significant differences in relative volume could be detected in the nucleus or phosphate bodies following any treatment. Limited differences were detected in the mitochondria, chloroplasts, and lipid bodies. The only significant differences that appear to be biologically significant occurred in methanol treated cells where an increase in the lipid bodies' relative volume was apparently concentration dependent. Significant differences in the relative volume of mitochondria and chloroplasts do not appear to be biologically significant.
Date: May 2004
Creator: Garrett, David C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Biogeography of Montane Mammals on the Colorado Plateau and Adjacent Regions

Description: This study identifies the biogeographic factors that structure small mammal communities on mountains of the Colorado Plateau and adjacent regions. Forty six isolated ranges were characterized across a 5-state study area encompassing the Colorado Plateau, including the central high plateaus of Utah and the Basin and Range Province (i.e. the Great Basin and mountains of Arizona and New Mexico). Presence/absence data of 25 montane mammal species were used to explore the interactions between historical and ecological processes affecting local and regional diversity patterns. Multivariate analyses, such as non-metric dimensional scaling, were used to explore factors which influence community composition. Results of these analyses revealed the Colorado River as a significant biogeographic barrier that affects montane mammal community structure. MtDNA cytochrome b sequence variation was analyzed among populations of the long-tailed vole, Microtus longicaudus, sampled from five interior ranges of the Colorado Plateau- Abajo, LaSal, Henry, and Chuska Mts., and Boulder Mountain of the Aquarius Plateau-and analyzed using traditional phylogenetic approaches (parsimony and likelihood) as well as nested clade analysis. Results support previous documentation of a major east-west phylogeographic break occurring between populations southeast of the Colorado River (eastern Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico) and all other western populations, which include a central clade, a northwest clade, and an Alaskan island clade. Evidence also supports differentiation of a 'southern Rockies' clade and a distinct 'southwest island' clade. Populations of M. longicaudus north and west of the Colorado River (Boulder and Henry Mts.) share two haplotypes, form a well-supported subclade with populations from the Kaibab plateau, and are closely related to the Northwest clade. Past approaches to studying montane mammal communities utilizing theory based on island biogeography have overemphasized area and isolation as the only forces structuring insular communities. As a result, there has been a lack of recognition of the ...
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Date: May 2004
Creator: Carr, Carla B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Spatial and temporal patterns exhibited by select physicochemical and biological water quality parameters in Lake Texoma, Oklahoma and Texas.

Description: From August 1996 through September 1997 eleven fixed stations were sampled monthly in January, March , April , July, August, September, and November and fortnightly in May and June for the purposes of establishing baseline conditions present in Lake Texoma as related to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chloride control activities in the upper Wichita River, Texas. Five reservoir zones were identified a priori using historical chloride concentration data and include the Red River Zone (RRZ), Red River Transition Zone (RRTZ), Main Lake Body (MLB), Washita River Transition Zone (WRTZ), and Washita River Zone (WRZ) in order of decreasing chloride concentration. The existence of the WRTZ is not supported here, however the Big Mineral Arm in the RRTZ was observed to be highly independent of the mixing patterns observed in the RRTZ and was treated post priori separately from the RRTZ. Spatial and temporal comparisons between reservoir zones were performed on seventeen (17) physicochemical parameters from each of the eleven sampling stations and phytoplankton count data from one sampling station within each reservoir zone and physicochemical parameters were observed to exhibit a fixed spatial gradient. Strong density gradients throughout the reservoir were observed to occur in conjunction with vertical stratification of the water column. Stratification stability at individual stations was attributable to both thermal and salinity density gradients throughout the period of stratification with the degree to which stratification is thermally or chemically induced influenced by inter-annual variability in hydraulic residence time. Hypolimnetic oxygen depletion rates were also observed to be affected by changes in hydraulic residence time with a long-term trend of decreasing relative areal hypolimnetic oxygen rates detected between the 1970s and 1990s. The algal assemblage present in Lake Texoma is dominated by the Cyanophyta, which comprises 82.1 % of the assemblage total standing crop with one species, ...
Date: August 2004
Creator: Clyde, Gerard A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Whisker-Trimming on GABAA Receptors in S1 Cortex

Description: A number of studies have shown that sensory deprivation is associated with selective decreases in GABA, GAD, and GABA receptors, in deprived areas of visual and somatosensory cortex. Those studies focused on layer 4, a recipient of direct thalamocortical sensory input. However, supragranular layers 2/3 have been recently identified as a major locus of functional plasticity in sensory deprivation and long-term potentiation. To examine whether GABAA receptors in layers 2/3 are affected by sensory deprivation, rats had mystacial vibrissae in middle row C or rows ABDE trimmed for 6 weeks beginning in early adulthood. Layers 2/3 above the deprived and adjacent whisker barrels were located in tangential sections, using patterns of radial blood vessels as fiducial marks. In deprived whisker barrel columns, [3H]muscimol binding to GABAA receptors decreased by 12.8% ± 1.2 (P &lt; 0.001) in layers 2/3 and 11.4% ± 1.2 (P<0.001) in layer 4. Altered levels of GABAA α1 subunit (Fritschy et al., 1994) were indicated by reduced optical density of immunostaining, both in deprived layers 2/3 (6.4% ± 0.7; P&lt; 0.001) and in layer 4 (3.4% ± 1.0; P &lt; 0.005). Interestingly, Nissl staining density also decreased in deprived layers 2/3 (12.7% ± 1.8 P &lt; 0.001) and in 4 (6.0 ± 0.7 (P &lt; 0.001). The percent decreases were greater in layers 2/3 than in 4 for both GABAA α1 (P &lt; 0.05) and Nissl substance (P &lt; 0.005). The present results suggest that down-regulation in GABAA receptors may underlie the physiological signs of disinhibition observed in neurons of layer 2/3 and 4 in deprived whisker barrel columns.
Date: August 2004
Creator: Salazar, Eduardo
Partner: UNT Libraries

The stonefly genus Isogenoides Klapálek (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) of North America: Systematics, behavior and ecology.

Description: The stonefly genus Isogenoides is revised following a holomorphological approach utilizing traditional morphology and behavioral lines of evidence. Species keys are provided for all life stages. One species, I. krumholzi (Ricker) is considered a synonym of I. doratus (Frison). Detailed species descriptions are provided for males, females, nymphs and ova. Distributions are updated utilizing all known published accounts and materials examined. The vibrational communication (drumming) behavior is reported for males and all but one species for females. The signals were species-specific and ranged in complexity from ancestral sequenced duets to derived grouped exchanges. I. olivaceus is least specialized, having mostly sequenced duets, and I. zionensis most specialized, displaying ancestral sequenced, derived grouped and complex derived exchanges containing both sequenced and grouped elements. Laboratory egg incubation experiments over a 2-4 year period show that Isogenoides has a great capacity for extended, sometimes-asynchronous diapause and hatching. The eggs of six species were incubated at a single, ca. simulated San Miguel River, Colorado, seasonal temperature regime. Direct hatch within two weeks occurred only for I. zionensis (Leopard Creek, Colorado) with small numbers hatching again after one, two, and four years. Eggs of I. doratus and I. varians hatched after an over summer, 3-5 month diapause, and I. varians again in August the next year. Populations of I. colubrinus, I. elongatus, I. frontalis and San Miguel River, I. zionensis began hatching after a 9-11 month diapause and again during spring-summer temperatures in 2nd through 4th years. I. zionensis in the San Miguel River, Colorado, exhibited a semivoltine life cycle over the two-year study period. Adults emerged in June-July when stream temperature reached ca. 11-17°C. Reared females at Quartz Creek, Pitkin, Colorado, deposited up to three egg batches. Mean fecundity of females was 691 egg/female. Oviposition in the field was observed and described. Nymphal growth ...
Date: May 2005
Creator: Sandberg, John Burton
Partner: UNT Libraries