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Hypoxic and hyperoxic incubation affects the ductus arteriosus in the developing chicken embryo (Gallus gallus).

Description: Developing chicken embryos have two ductus arteriosus (DA) that shunt blood away from the lungs and to the chorioallantoic membrane, the embryonic gas exchanger. In mammals, DA closure is stimulated by an increase in blood gas O2 that occurs as the animal begins to breathe with its lungs. The goal of this study was to determine the influence of O2 levels during incubation on the vascular reactivity and morphology of the O2-sensitive DA and to examine the effects of changing O2 levels during late incubation on the morphology of the DA from chicken embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia (15%) reduced venous O2 levels in day 16 and day 18 embryos and reduced aircell O2 values in day 16, day 18, and internally pipped (IP) embryos, whereas hyperoxia (30%) increased venous O2 levels and aircell O2 level in day 16, day 18, and IP embryos. In comparison to normoxia, hypoxia delayed closure of the DA, whereas hyperoxia accelerated DA closure. In comparison to the left DA from externally pipped (EP) normoxic embryos, the left DA from EP hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to O2. The DA from day 18 hypoxic embryos exhibited a significantly weaker contractile response to norepinephrine and phenylephrine when compared with the DA from day 18 normoxic and hyperoxic embryos. The effect of incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia during different developmental windows on the DA O2-induced contractile response was observed only in IP embryos that were incubated in normoxia for 16 days and were then moved to hyperoxia. Incubation in hypoxia / hyperoxia resulted in differences in embryo mass, yolk mass, and heart mass. There is an association between the decreased contractile response to O2 and delayed closure in the proximal portion of the DA from hypoxic embryos; as well as an increased contractile ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Copeland, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

In vitro Cultures of Morus alba for Enhancing Production of Phytoestrogens

Description: Plant estrogens have long been associated with health benefits. The potential of tissue culture techniques for the production of several secondary metabolites has been known for many years. Tissue cultures stimulate the production or induce the biosynthesis of novel compounds not found in the mature plant. Tissue culture of Morus alba, family Moraceae, is known to contain phytoestrogens, was established on plant-hormone supplemented Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium. Petiole and the stem tissue from mature trees were the best explants for initiation and proliferation of calli. The best callus proliferation was obtained on MS medium containing 1-napthalene acetic acid (1mg/ml) and benzylaminopurine (0.5mg/ml) for M. alba. Comparison of phytoestrogens of Moraceae species from in vivo and in vitro tissue isolation were carried out. The estrogenic activities of callus extracts were assayed in an estrogen-responsive yeast system expressing the human estrogen receptor alpha. Male callus extracts had higher estrogenic activity than male and female extracts from in vivo and in vitro tissues. Isolation and characterization of phytoestrogens from above tissues were carried out using solid phase extraction, high perfomance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques. Biochanin A, an isoflavonoid, was isolated as one of the compounds in male callus extracts. Biochanin A has been known to have an antiestrogenic acitivity in mammals. Isoflavonoid compounds have been characterized as strong protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors in variety of animal cells. Isoflavones are structurally similar to estradiol, and display agonistic and antagonistic interactions with the estrogen receptor. Isoflavones possess therapeutic and preventive properties such as being used for postmenopausal osteoporosis, breast cancer, and inhibition of tumors.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Bakshi, Vibhu
Partner: UNT Libraries

Investigation of cryopreservation methods for adherent nerve cell networks in vitro.

Description: Cryopreservation in suspension is commonplace for a variety of cell types. However, cryopreservation of adherent cells has achieved limited success. This research aimed to cryopreserve adherent nerve cell networks in vitro in a manner that preserved network morphology and physiology. Successful implementation would enable long term storage of adherent neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays and on-demand access for use in pharmacological and toxicological testing. Based upon morphological assessments, excellent post-thaw preservation was obtained and post-thaw cultures survived in a transitional medium for up to 3.5 hours. However, transitions to native culture medium post-thaw presented difficulties, ultimately resulting in necrosis. A discussion of methods to supplement the current research and increase post-thaw viability is included in the thesis.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Webb, Veronica Fine
Partner: UNT Libraries

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

Description: Early development of O2 chemoreception and hypoxic responses under normoxic (150 mmHg) and chronically hypoxic (110 mmHg) conditions were investigated in Xenopus laevis from hatching to 3 weeks post fertilization. Development, growth, O2 consumption, ventilatory and cardiac performance, and branchial neuroepithelial cells (NEC) density and size were determined. At 3 days post fertilization (dpf), larvae started gill ventilation at a rate of 28 ± 4 beats/min and showed increased frequency to 60 ± 2 beats/min at a PO2 of 30 mmHg. Also at 3 dpf, NECs were identified in the gill filament buds using immunohistochemical methods. Lung ventilation began at 5 dpf and exhibited a 3-fold increase in frequency from normoxia to a PO2 of 30 mmHg. Hypoxic tachycardia developed at 5 dpf, causing an increase of 20 beats/min in heart rate, which led to a 2-fold increase in mass-specific cardiac output at a PO2 of 70 mmHg. At 10 dpf, gill ventilatory sensitivity to hypoxia increased, which was associated with the increase in NEC density, from 15 ± 1 to 29 ± 2 cells/mm of filament at 5 and 10 dpf, respectively. Unlike the elevated rate, cardiac and ventilatory volumes were independent of acute hypoxia. Despite increased cardioventilatory frequency, larvae experienced an average of 80% depression in during acute hypoxia. Chronic hypoxia (PO2 of 110 mmHg) decreased mass-specific cardiac performance before 10 dpf. In older larvae (10 to 21 dpf), chronic hypoxia decreased acute branchial and pulmonary hypoxic hyperventilation and increased NEC size. Collectively, these data suggest that larvae exhibit strong O2-driven acute hypoxic responses post-hatching, yet are still O2 conformers. All acute hypoxic responses developed before 5 dpf, and then the effects of chronic hypoxia started to show between 7 and 21 dpf. Thus, the early formation of acute hypoxic responses is susceptible to the environment and can ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Pan, Tien-Chien
Partner: UNT Libraries

Cardio-Respiratory Ontogeny and the Transition to Bimodal Respiration in an Air Breathing Fish: Morphological and Physiological Development in Normoxia and Hypoxia.

Description: As selection pressures exist for not only adults, but for every life history stage, it is important to understand how environmental factors shape developing animals. Despite the significance placed on aquatic hypoxia as a driving force in the evolution of air breathing, this is the first known study to examine the effects of hypoxia on cardio-respiratory ontogeny of an air breathing fish. Blue gouramis are obligatory air breathing fish that possess a labyrinth-like structure that serves as the air breathing organ. Gouramis were reared for up to 90 d in normoxia or hypoxia, and morphological and physiological development was observed. Hypoxic larvae had increased lamellar and labyrinth organ surface areas. Bradycardia and increased gill ventilation rates were observed when larvae from either rearing group were briefly exposed to hypoxia. Hypoxic larvae also showed a reduced heart rate and gill ventilation rate in the absence of a hypoxic stimulus, possibly indicative of a more comprehensive, long-term respiratory plasticity. The similarity of routine oxygen consumption between rearing groups suggests that metabolic demand did not change for hypoxic larvae, but that they were more efficient at oxygen acquisition. This is further supported by increased resistance time of hypoxic gouramis to extreme hypoxia. The onset of air breathing was between 20 and 25 d post-fertilization, and was not affected by either rearing or exposure environment. It may be that this behavior is associated with the inability of smaller larvae to successfully overcome water surface tension, rather than with the necessity of aerial respiration at this stage. Hypoxia is commonly experienced by most air breathing fishes, and studies of hypoxia-induced developmental effects may provide critical insights into the evolution of air breathing. The studies presented here provide novel data on the plasticity of cardio-respiratory development of an air breathing fish reared in hypoxia, and can ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Blank, Tara M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of Triclosan, Triclocarban, and Caffeine Exposure on the Development of Amphibian Larvae.

Description: Triclosan and triclocarban are antimicrobials found in numerous consumer products, while caffeine is the most commonly consumed stimulant by humans. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of triclosan, triclocarban, and caffeine on the development and physiology of amphibian larvae. LC50 values of triclosan and triclocarban were determined after 96 hours for three North American larval species: Acris crepitans blanchardii, Bufo woodhousii woodhousii, Rana sphenocephala, and for a common amphibian developmental model: Xenopus laevis. Amphibian larvae were most sensitive to triclosan and triclocarban exposure during early development based upon 96-hour LC50 values. Heart rates for X. laevis and North American larvae exposed to triclosan were variable throughout development. However, significantly lower heart rates were observed in all larvae exposed to triclocarban. Metabolic rates of X. laevis and R. sphenocephala larvae exposed to triclosan were significantly affected in larvae exposed to ½ LC50 and the LC50 concentration. Metabolic rates of X. laevis larvae exposed to triclocarban were significantly affected by exposure to ½ LC50 concentrations in three of four stages investigated. No significant differences were observed in North American larvae exposed to triclocarban. Tissue uptake, lipid uptake, tissue bioconcentration factor (BCF) and lipid BCF of triclosan and triclocarban were investigated in three developmental stages of X. laevis, and in one developmental stage of B. woodhousii woodhousii, and R. sphenocephala. For most tissue and lipid uptake values, a significant increase was observed as exposure concentration increased. Tissue and lipid BCF values were dependent upon both stage and species. Chronic and acute effects of caffeine were determined in X. laevis larvae. Acute 96-hour LC50 values in four developmental stages were > 75,000 ug L-1 caffeine and heart rates were significantly different at the two earliest developmental stages. Larvae chronically exposed to caffeine reached metamorphosis at the same time as controls. Changes in ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Palenske, Nicole Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Incubation humidity as an environmental stressor on the osmoregulatory developmental program of the chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus.

Description: Fetal programming results from stressors during fetal development and may influence the occurrence of disease later in life. Maternal nutritional status and/or environment can affect renal development by inducing limited nephron endowment at birth, which results in diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease in mammals. Birds are likely to be effective models for this process because, like mammals, they have high pressure cardiovascular systems, mammalian-type nephrons and are homeothermic. This project uses the chicken embryo to explore physiological responses of disrupted hydration state thereby providing insights into renal fetal programming. Under normal conditions the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and developing avian kidney work in unison to ensure a proper balance of ions and water within the egg. White leghorn chicken eggs were incubated at 37.5oC±0.5oC and either <35%, 55-60% (normal) or >85% relative humidity. Amniotic fluid serves as the drinking source for the embryo late in development; its composition is important to salt and water homeostasis. High amniotic fluid osmolality increased the blood osmolality for embryos exposed to low humidity incubation thereby indirectly influencing the renal developmental program of the embryos from this group. Indeed estimated filtering capacity was doubled in the low humidity group (6.77 ± 0.43 mm3) compared to normal (4.80 ± 0.33 mm3) and high (3.97 ± 0.30 mm3) humidity groups. The increased filtering capacity seen for those embryos from low humidity may indicate the ability for more efficient recovery of water if similarly stressed as an adult bird. All embryo populations maintained similar oxygen consumption (0.075 ml/min - 0.37 ml/min), hematocrit (15 % - 32 %) and hemoglobin values (4 g/dl - 9 g/dl), thus displaying control over these aspects of the internal environment despite the obvious environmental insult of extreme incubation humidity. These results signify the embryo's immature kidney, along with lower gastrointestinal tract, ...
Date: August 2009
Creator: Bolin, Greta M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Influence of stormwater drainage facilities on mosquito communities within the city of Denton, Texas.

Description: Weekly collections were conducted from May to December, 2007 (153 trap nights, total) in Denton, Texas, in and around large storm drains and overpass drainage facilities in residential and non-residential areas, using Centers for Disease Control (CDC) light traps and gravid traps. A total of 1964 mosquitoes were collected, representing 24 species within 6 genera: Aedes, Anopheles, Culiseta, Culex, Psorophora, and Uranotaenia. Culex was the most abundant genus, representing 75% of all mosquitoes collected; Aedes was the second most abundant, representing 12 % of all mosquitoes collected. Cx. quinquefasciatus was the dominant species collected via gravid traps; Cx. (Melanoconion) species were the dominant species collected via CDC light traps. Data of gravid traps and light traps were analyzed separately using nonparametric correlation analysis, comparing environmental data and physical characteristics to total abundance of mosquitoes. There was no significant correlation found when comparing the three dominant species collected in light traps (unidentified Cx. (Melanoconion) sp, Cx. quinquefasciatus, and Ae. vexans) to environmental characteristics and physical characteristics. Analysis of Cx. quinquefasciatus collected in gravid traps indicated no significant correlation between abundance, environmental data, and physical characteristics. Linear regression models were analyzed to determine if either environmental variables or physical characteristics of the drainage system explained the species abundance collected; no individual variable showed an association of significance. Analysis of Cx. quinquefasciatus collected in storm drains via gravid traps determined temperature to be the most important variable in determining population abundance and explained 99% of the population variability.
Date: December 2008
Creator: Kavanaugh, Michael David
Partner: UNT Libraries

Genetic Mechanisms for Anoxia Survival in C. Elegans

Description: Oxygen deprivation can be pathological for many organisms, including humans. Consequently, there are several biologically and economically relevant negative impacts associated with oxygen deprivation. Developing an understanding of which genes can influence survival of oxygen deprivation will enable the formulation of more effective policies and practices. In this dissertation, genes that influence adult anoxia survival in the model metazoan system, C. elegans, are identified and characterized. Insulin-like signaling, gonad function and gender have been shown to influence longevity and stress resistance in the soil nematode, C. elegans. Thus, either of these two processes or gender may influence anoxia survival. The hypothesis that insulin-like signaling alters anoxia survival in C. elegans is tested in Aim I. The hypotheses that gonad function or gender modulates anoxia survival are tested in Aim II. Insulin-like signaling affects anoxia survival in C. elegans. Reduction of insulin-like signaling through mutation of the insulin-like receptor, DAF-2, increases anoxia survival rates in a gpd-2/3 dependent manner. The glycolytic genes gpd-2/3 are necessary for wild-type response to anoxia, and sufficient for increasing anoxia survival through overexpression. Gonad function and gender both affect anoxia survival in C. elegans. A reduction of ovulation and oocyte maturation, as measured by oocyte flux, is associated with enhanced anoxia survival in all cases examined to date. Reduction of function of several genes involved in germline development and RTK/Ras/MAPK signaling reduce ovulation and oocyte maturation while concurrently increasing anoxia survival. The act of mating does not influence anoxia survival, but altering ovulation through breeding or chemical treatment does. The male phenotype also increases anoxia survival rates independent of genotype. These studies have identified and characterized over ten different genotypes that affect adult survival of anoxia in C. elegans. Before these studies were conducted, there were no genes known to influence adult anoxia survival in C. ...
Date: August 2008
Creator: Mendenhall, Alexander R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Morphological and physiological developmental consequences of parental effects in the chicken embryo (Gallus gallus domesticus) and the zebrafish larva (Danio rerio).

Description: Cardiac, metabolic and growth response of early-stage chicken embryos to perturbations in yolk environment was investigated. Also, effects of parental hypoxia exposure on hypoxia resistance, thermal tolerance and body length of zebrafish larvae were investigated. In the first study, thyroxine, triiodothyronine and testosterone produced differential effects on heart rate and development rate of chicken embryos during the first 4 days of development. Triiodothyronine caused a dose-dependent increase in heart rate when applied at 40 or 70 hours of age, while thyroxine caused a dose-dependent increase in heart rate when applied at 40 hours only. Testosterone and propyl-thiouracil (deiodinase antagonist) did not have an effect on heart rate. Development rate was not changed by thyroxine, triiodothyronine, testosterone or propyl-thiouracil, which suggested that heart rate changes did not result from changes in embryo maturity. In the second study, chicken embryos exposed to yolks of different bird species during early-stage embryonic development showed changes in heart rate, mass-specific oxygen consumption and body mass that scaled with the egg mass, incubation period length, and yolk triiodothyronine and testosterone levels of the species from which yolk was derived. In the third study, this phenomenon was investigated between layer and broiler chickens. Heart rate, oxygen consumption and body mass of broiler and layer embryos were significantly changed by a breed-specific change in yolk environment. Yolk triiodothyronine and testosterone concentrations of broiler and layer eggs did not suggest that these hormones were responsible for physiological and morphological changes observed. The final study demonstrated that hypoxia resistance and body lengths, but not thermal tolerance of zebrafish larvae was increased by parental hypoxia exposure.
Date: August 2008
Creator: Ho, Dao H.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Home range analysis of rehabilitated and released great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) in Denton County, Texas, through radio telemetry.

Description: Raptor rehabilitation has become commonplace globally, yet studies on the survival and adaptation of great horned owls (Bubo virginianus) after release has been neglected to an appreciable extent. The primary objective of this study is to provide quantitative data on the success of rehabilitated and released great horned owls in the North Texas region. Owls (N=12) were rehabilitated and released onto the Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor in Denton County, Texas, and monitored using radio telemetry to evaluate home range (November 2002 - February 2005). With approximately 75% of the birds released for this study surviving until transmitter battery failure, it is believed that the rehabilitation process was successful for these birds.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Johnston, Jennifer Lynn
Partner: UNT Libraries

Optimization of Cell Culture Procedures for Growing Neural Networks on Microelectrode Arrays

Description: This thesis describes the development of an optimized method for culturing dissociated, monolayer neuronal networks from murine frontal cortex and midbrain. It is presented as a guidebook for use by cell culture specialists and laboratory personnel who require updated and complete procedures for use with microelectrode array (MEA) recording technology. Specific cell culture protocols, contamination prevention and control, as well common problems encountered within the cell culture facility, are discussed. This volume offers value and utility to the rapidly expanding fields of MEA recording and neuronal cell culture. Due to increasing interest in determining the mechanisms underlying Parkinson's disease, the newly developed procedures for mesencephalon isolation and culture on MEAs are an important research contribution.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Santa Maria, Cara L.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The role of prostaglandins, nitric oxide and oxygen in the ductus arteriosi of the pre-term chicken embryo (Gallus domesticus).

Description: The chicken ductus arteriosi (DA) are two embryonic blood vessels that shunt blood away from the non-ventilated lungs and towards the body and chorioallantoic membrane. I show that prostaglandins have a diminished role in maintaining chicken DA patency and nitric oxide inhibits oxygen induced contraction of the day 19 proximal DA in a time dependent manner. The pathways governing oxygen induced contraction in the chicken DA are similar to those found in mammals and include contributions from ROS, Kv channels, L-type Ca2+ channels, and the Rho kinase pathway. Longer exposure to high oxygen generates increased oxygen induced constriction of the day 19 DA that may be mediated through the Rho kinase pathway.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Greyner, Henry José
Partner: UNT Libraries

Stream water quality corridor assessment and management using spatial analysis techniques: Introduction, evaluation, and implementation of the WQCM model.

Description: The rapid development of once-rural landscapes often produces detrimental effects on surface water quality entering local reservoirs through vulnerable stream channels. This study presents a methodology that incorporates geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques for the creation of a stream corridor evaluation mechanism, coined the water quality corridor management (WQCM) model. Specifically, the study focuses on determining the viability of the WQCM model in assessing the stream corridor conditions within a northern Denton County pilot study region. These results will aid in the prediction and evaluation of the quality of stream water entering reservoirs that serve as the primary drinking water source for local municipalities.
Date: August 2007
Creator: English, April R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Bacterial Challenge in Lumbricus Terrestris: A Terrestrial Invertebrate Immunotoxicity Model.

Description: A bacterial challenge assay was developed utilizing the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, in order to assess potential immunotoxic effects from exposure to specific polychlorinated biphenyl congeners. Earthworms were inoculated with Aeromonous hydrophila, establishing a 10-day LD50. In vitro assays for effects of PCBs on phagocytosis agreed with mammalian studies, demonstrating potent suppression of phagocytosis by the non-coplanar PCB congener 138 and no suppression by the coplanar congener 126. However, when the effects of the two PCB congeners were evaluated for suppression of resistance to a whole animal infection challenge assay, coplanar PCB 126 decreased the ability of L. terrestris to withstand infection while non-coplanar PCB 138 did not.
Date: May 2007
Creator: McDonald, Jennifer C.
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

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

Influence of parental swimming stamina on the cardiac and metabolic performance of larval zebrafish (Danio rerio).

Description: Superior swimming stamina in adult fish is presumably passed on to their offspring, but the ontogeny of the appearance of superior stamina and the requisite enhanced cardio-respiratory support for locomotion in larval fishes has not been determined. Is the expression of the suite of parental traits enabling superior swimming stamina in their offspring dependent upon their achieving juvenile/adult morphology, or does it appear earlier in their larvae? To answer this, adults were classified into three groups based on swimming stamina, followed by measurement of length, mass, and width. Larval offspring from the two parental groups -high stamina larvae (HSL) and low stamina larvae (LSL)- were reared at 27°C in aerated water (21% O2). Routine and active heart rate, routine and active mass specific oxygen consumption were recorded through 21dpf, and cost of transport (COT) and factorial aerobic scope were derived from oxygen consumption measurements. Routine heart rate at 2dpf of LSL was 164 ± 1 b·min-1, compared to only 125 ± 2 b·min-1 for HSL. Routine heart rate subsequently peaked at 203 ± 1 b·min-1 at 5dpf in the HSL group, compared to 207 ± 1 b·min-1, at 4dpf in the LSP larvae. Active heart rate at 5 dpf of LSL was 218 ± 2 b·min-1 compared to 216 ± 2 b·min-1 for HSL. Active heart rate increased slightly to 227 ± 2 b·min-1 for LSL before decreasing again, while active heart rate remained relatively constant for HSL. Routine O2 consumption at 2dpf of HSL was 0.09 μmol·mg-1·hr-1, compared to 0.03 μmol·mg-1·hr-1 in LSL. Routine O2 consumption subsequently peaked at 0.70 μmol·mg-1·hr-1 at 9dpf in the HSL, compared to 0.71 μmol·mg-1·hr-1, at 9dpf in the LSL. These values dramatically decreased before leveling off at around 0.20 μmol·mg-1·hr-1 and 0.15 μmol·mg-1·h-1, respectively. Active O2 consumption at 5dpf for HSL was 0.38 ...
Date: May 2007
Creator: Gore, Matthew R.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Coelomic Fluid Protein Profile in Earthworms Following Bacterial Challenge.

Description: Proteomic techniques were used to evaluate the protein profile of the earthworm, (Lumbricus terrestris), following a bacterial challenge. One control group received no injection; a second control group received injections of phosphate buffer solution (PBS). The experimental group received injections of PBS containing (Aeromonas hydrophila). After incubation for 12 hours at 20°C, coelomic fluid was collected from each group for analysis by 2-D electrophoresis. There were significant differences in spot appearance and density between control and experimental groups. Sixteen spots showed a two-fold increase in density and 63 showed at least a two-fold decrease in density between samples from control and bacteria-challenged earthworms, respectively, suggesting up- and down-modulation of proteins potentially involved in the earthworm's response to bacterial challenge.
Date: December 2006
Creator: Brooks, Geoffrey Lance
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluation of City of Denton Sub-Watershed by Benthic Macroinvertebrate Field Experimental Approach

Description: In this study, two different field experiments were designed to assess the relative influence of urbanization on benthic communities. During spring and summer, four urban and one reference sites from Denton County, Texas were selected for benthic macroinvertebrate evaluation. Statistically significant differences in colonized benthic macroinvertebrate taxa on artificial substrates were observed among the four urban sites and the reference site. Oligochaetes and chironomids were the dominant taxa at all sites. Identification of chironomid larvae at the subfamily and genus level to detect differences between sites had higher statistical power than the evaluation based on total chironomids. At the reference site, Caenis, Cladotanytarsus, Orthocladius, and Ceratopogonidae were the dominant taxa, while the urban sites were dominated by Dero, Physella, Ancylidae, Chironomus, Dicrotendipes, Glyptotendipes, Polypedilum, Pseudochironomus, Stenochironomus, and Tanytarsus. These differences may have been dependent upon differences in hydrologic regime and water quality between sites. Significant differences (ANOVA, p < 0.01) in water quality parameters (alkalinity, hardness, nitrates, phosphates, chlorides, sulfates, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and triazine) were found among water samples collected from the reference and urban sites. During the transfer period, most of the Ephemeroptera and Trichoptera taxa and a few other taxa disappeared from artificial substrates that were colonized at the reference site and then moved to the urban sites. Also, local abundant taxa from the urban site significantly (t test, p < 0.05) increased in number on the transferred artificial substrates. Seasonal differences in colonization patterns were also observed between the spring and summer experimental periods, which indicate that temporal variation is equally important, as is the anthropogenic effect in benthic community evaluation. Field survival and growth experiments using Erpetogomphus designatus larvae were designed to detect differences between evaluated sites. Larvae were collected from the reference site, measured in the laboratory, and exposed at the urban sites for ...
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Date: August 2006
Creator: Mahato, Mahendra
Partner: UNT Libraries

Automated Low-cost Instrument for Measuring Total Column Ozone

Description: Networks of ground-based and satellite borne instruments to measure ultraviolet (UV) sunlight and total column ozone have greatly contributed to an understanding of increased amounts of UV reaching the surface of the Earth caused by stratospheric ozone depletion. Increased UV radiation has important potential effects on human health, and agricultural and ecological systems. Observations from these networks make it possible to monitor total ozone decreases and to predict ozone recovery trends due to global efforts to curb the use of products releasing chemicals harmful to the ozone layer. Thus, continued and expanded global monitoring of ozone and UV is needed. However, existing automatic stratospheric ozone monitors are complex and expensive instruments. The main objective of this research was the development of a low-cost fully automated total column ozone monitoring instrument which, because of its affordability, will increase the number of instruments available for ground-based observations. The new instrument is based on a high-resolution fiber optic spectrometer, coupled with fiber optics that are precisely aimed by a pan and tilt positioning mechanism and with controlling programs written in commonly available software platforms which run on a personal computer. This project makes use of novel low-cost fiber optic spectrometer technology. A cost advantage is gained over available units by placing one end of the fiber outdoors to collect sunlight and convey it indoors, thereby allowing the spectrometer and computer to be placed in a controlled environment. This reduces the cost of weatherproofing and thermal compensation. Cost savings also result from a simplified sun targeting system, because only a small pan and tilt device is required to aim the lightweight fiber optic ends. Precision sun-targeting algorithms, optical filter selection, and software to derive ozone from spectral measurements by the spectrometer are a major contribution of this project. This system is a flexible platform ...
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Nebgen, Gilbert Bernard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Gene Flow among Populations of the Mayfly Epeorus pleuralis (Banks 1910) (Ephemeroptera: Heptageniidae) in Three Adjacent Appalachian Headwater Streams

Description: Dispersal of aquatic insects is difficult to measure with traditional direct trapping methodologies. However, genetic markers are an ideal surrogate to indirectly infer dispersal and gene flow. For this research, a portion of the cytochrome oxidase I gene was used to evaluate gene flow and dispersal of Epeorus pleuralis located in the northern Appalachian headwater streams of the Allegheny, Genesee, and Susquehanna watersheds. A total of 536 basepairs from 16 individual insects were used for analysis. Thirteen haplotypes were discovered, two of which were shared between the Allegheny and Genesee streams. Although no shared haplotypes were found in the Susquehanna, analysis of molecular variance results suggest that there is not a significant genetic difference between the three populations and attributes the majority of variation to within population differences.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Dunlap, Rebecca
Partner: UNT Libraries

Leaf elemental analysis and growth characteristics of mycorrhizal treated post oak seedlings via particle induced X-ray emission spectroscopy.

Description: Growth and element assimilation was investigated in post oak seedlings exposed to four different treatment combinations of fertilization and ectomycorrhizal inoculation. Element concentration in excised leaves was analyzed via particle induced X-ray emission spectrometry with a 1.8 MeV proton macrobeam. Mean growth was significantly different across the treatment groups as well as mean concentration of Mg, Al, S, K, Ca, Fe, Cu, and Zn. The data suggest that fertilization rather than mycorrhizal inoculation had a stronger influence on plant growth and nutrient uptake. A follow up study was conducted with a 3 MeV microbeam. A 850 μm2 scanned area of a post oak leaf produced topographical maps of 11 elements.
Date: May 2006
Creator: Boling, Blake C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A morphological study of the avian (Gallus domesticus) ductus arteriosi during hatching.

Description: The ductus arteriosi (DA) are two blood vessels connecting the pulmonary arteries to the descending aorta in the avian embryo. Following hatching, the DA closes, separation of the systemic and pulmonary circulation. I present the morphological changes that occur in the chicken DA during prepipping, internal pipping, external pipping, and hatching. The avian DA consists of two distinct tissue types, a proximal and a distal portion. Histological examination shows developmental differences between the proximal and distal portions of the DA with regard to lumen occlusion, endothelial cells, smooth muscle and elastin. Endothelial cell proliferation begins to occur as early as external pipping, with the lumen almost completely occluded by the 3rd day of post-hatching life. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) increases in avian endothelial cells during hatching. I provide a morphological timeline of changes in the DA as the chicken develops from embryo to hatchling.
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Date: May 2006
Creator: Belanger, Candace
Partner: UNT Libraries