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Analysis of the Trypanosoma brucei Genome and Identification and Characterization of a Gene Family Encoding Putative EF-Hand Calcium-Binding Proteins

Description: The flagellum of Trypanosoma brucei contains a family of antigenically related EF-hand calcium-binding proteins which are called the calflagins. Genomic Southern blots indicated that multiple copies of calflagin genes occur in T brucei. All of the copies were contained in a single 23 kb Xhol-Xhol fragment. Genomic fragments of 2.5 and 1.7 kb were cloned that encoded calflagin sequences. Two new members of the calflagin family were found from genomic clone sequences. The deduced amino acid sequences of the genomic clones showed the calflagin genes were arranged tandemly along the genomic fragments and were similar to previously described calflagins. The calflagin genes were related by two unrelated 3' flanking sequences. An open reading frame that was unrelated to any calflagin was found at the 5' end of the 2.5 kb genomic fragment. Each encoded protein (~24,000u) contained three EF-hand calcium-binding motifs and one degenerate EF-hand motif. In general, variability among the T. brucei calflagins is greater than related proteins in T. lewisii and T. cruzi. This variability results from amino acid substitutions at the amino and carboxy termini, and duplication of internal segments.
Date: May 1998
Creator: DeFord, James H. (James Henry), 1956-

Assembly of Pseudomonas putida Aspartate Transcarbamoylase and Possible Roles of the PyrC' Polypeptide in the Folding of the Dodecameric Enzyme

Description: 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 ...
Date: May 1999
Creator: Hongsthong, Apiradee, 1970-

Assessing Effects of an Environmental Education Field Science Program Fostering Responsibility at an Urban Middle School

Description: The study investigated the ability of an extracurricular program to influence environmental responsibility of sixth and seventh graders. The Children's Environmental Attitude and Knowledge Survey (CHEAKS) was evaluated for appropriateness in assessing the worth of this particular environmental education strategy emphasizing water quality fieldwork and technology. CHEAKS is designed with psychometric reliability and validity that may be used in comparing disparate programs. Wilcoxon two sample tests were used to analyze data gathered from two student groups; one participated in an "Enviro-Mentals Club"; the other received no treatment. Analysis showed no significant change in environmental attitudes between groups, but did show significance (p <= 0.05) in environmental knowledge growth. Therefore, the investigated program had marginal success in influencing environmental responsibility.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Sills, Blake

Attenuation of Escherichia Coli Aspartate Transcarbamoylase Expressed in Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Mutant and Wild Type Strains

Description: 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.
Date: December 1994
Creator: Liu, Haiyan, 1966-

Biochemical Identification of Molecular Components Required for Cyanide Assimilation in Pseudomonas fluorescens NCIMB 11764

Description: 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.
Date: May 1998
Creator: Chen, Jui-Lin

Biodiversity of Caddisflies (Trichoptera) of the Interior Highlands of North America

Description: Caddisflies (Trichoptera) were collected from over 500 different locations throughout the Interior Highlands (Ozark, Ouachita, Arbuckle, and Wichita Mountains) between March 1990 and March 1994. I systematically sampled representative lotic and lentic habitats in 131 natural watersheds that comprise the 17 different physiographic subregions of this area. From my examination of approximately 60,000 specimens, surveys of regional museum collections, and review of literature records, I document 229 species distributed in 16 families and 58 genera. Included in this total are 27 endemic species and 15 new regional records. Descriptions are provided for a species new to science (Cheumatopsyche robisoni), four larvae (Helicopsyche limnella, H. piroa, Marilia species A, Polycentropus crassicornis) and a female (Helicopsyche piroa). Hydropsyche reiseni Denning, previously known only from the Arbuckle Mountains, is reduced in synonymy with H. arinale Ross. Further, I provide illustrated family, generic, and selected species-level keys that reflect this regional biodiversity.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Moulton, Stephen R. (Stephen Richard)

Biodiversity of Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) of the South-Central Nearctic and Adjacent Neotropical Biotic Provinces

Description: The south-central United States serves as an important biogeographical link and dispersal corridor between Nearctic and Neotropical elements of western hemisphere odonate faunas. Its species are reasonably well known because of substantial collections, but there has been no concerted effort to document the extent of biodiversity and possible geographic affinities of dragonflies and damselflies of this region. The recent discoveries of Argia leonorae Garrison, Gomphus gonzalezi Dunkle and Erpetogomphus heterodon Garrison from southern and western Texas and northern Mexico suggest that Odonata species remain to be discovered in this area, particularly from far south Texas and northern Mexico. I have documented a total of 12,515 records of Odonata found in 408 counties within the south-central U.S. A total of 73 species of damselflies and 160 species of dragonflies was revealed in the region. The 233 (197 in Texas) Odonata species are distributed among 10 families and 66 genera. Illustrated family, generic, and species-level keys are provided. Since the beginning of this work in the Fall of 1993, one species has been added each to the Louisiana and Oklahoma faunas, and 12 species have been added, previously unreported from Texas, including four new to the U.S. The area of highest Odonata biodiversity overall (161 spp.) is in the Austroriparian biotic province. The greatest degree of faunal similarity between the south-central U.S. and other intra-continental regions was observed for the eastern (64%) United States. Diversity is a function of area, and as expected, the numbers of breeding birds and Odonata, in each contiguous U.S. state are positively correlated (r=0.376, n=33, p=0.031). There is, however, no strong correlation between land area and species diversity within the region, but those natural biotic provinces (Austroriparian, Texan, Balconian) where aquatic systems and topographic heterogeneity are the greatest provide a broader spectrum of potential Odonata habitats and ...
Date: May 1999
Creator: Abbott, John C.

Biogeographic Relationships of Pocket Gophers (Geomys breviceps and Geomys bursarius) in the Southeastern Portion of Their Ranges

Description: This research utilized population genetic analyses (protein starch-gel electrophoresis and DNA sequencing of the cytochrome b mtDNA gene), host-parasite specificity (lice coevolution), remote sensing of satellite data, and geographic information systems (GIS) to characterize newly discovered populations of pocket gophers (genus: Geomys) in Arkansas. These populations are isolated and occur in seemingly unsuitable habitat in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. Analyses of electrophoretic and ectoparasite data suggested the populations in the Ozark Mountains represented isolates allied to Geomys bursarius, a species not known to occur in Arkansas. Comparison of mitochondrial DNA sequence data of the cytochrome b gene with that of other taxa and morphometric analyses confirmed that these populations are most closely allied to G. bursarius occurring to the north in Missouri. Moreover, these mtDNA sequence analyses indicated a degree of differentiation typical of that between other subspecies of pocket gophers. Therefore, these populations represent a distinct genetic entity in an intermediate stage of speciation and should be designated as a new subspecies, Geomys bursarius ozarkensis. Molecular clock analysis revealed a time of lineage divergence for this new subspecies as approximately 511,000 YBP. Due to the isolated nature and limited distribution of this subspecies, an evaluation of critical habitat needs was initiated. Remote sensing and GIS technologies were used to identify and describe suitable habitat Computerized classification of satellite imagery of suitable vegetation, integrated with ancillary digital information on soil associations, roads, and water systems, revealed that human activity had played a positive role in the establishment and dispersal of pocket gophers in this area. This research represents an initial combination of classical systematic tools with remote sensing and GIS to investigate biogeographic patterns and evolution. This project establishes a framework for using an interdisciplinary approach to studying organisms with limited distributions, determining evolutionary status, and providing recommendations for ...
Date: August 1998
Creator: Elrod, Douglas Allen

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

Description: 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.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Cook, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1969-

Blood Pressure Regulation During Simulated Orthostatism Prior to and Following Endurance Exercise Training

Description: Cardiovascular responses and tolerance to an orthostatic stress were examined in eight men before and after eight months of endurance exercise training. Following training, maximal oxygen consumption and blood volume were increased, and resting heart rate reduced. Orthostatic tolerance was reduced following training in all eight subjects. It was concluded that prolonged endurance training decreased orthostatic tolerance and this decrease in tolerance appeared associated with attenuated baroreflex sensitivity and alterations in autonomic balance secondary to an increased parasympathetic tone noted with training.
Date: May 1992
Creator: Stevens, Glen Harold John

Characterizing Spontaneous Neurophysiological Activity with Measures of Statistical Serial Dependence: a Summary Statistic and an Extension of the Joint Interval Histogram

Description: Two measures which indicate statistical serial dependence were evaluated. The n-dimensional Average Stored Information index (ndASI) is a measure of conditional information, which compares the entropies of higher order conditional distributions to estimate average statistical serial dependence. The generalized ranked joint interval histogram (RJIH-o) is a new nonparametric graphical analysis method. It extends the joint interval histogram by depicting longer interval sequences and can be interpereted precisely analagously to the joint interval histogram. The generalized ranked joint interval histogram correctly represents independence in a Poisson process model and statistical serial dependence in a directionally reinforced Markov model. The generalized ranked joint interval histogram correctly depicts the underlying periodic and strange attractors in a standard map model. Both measures can be used to effectively analyze interspike interval sequences from spontaneous neurophsyiological activity effectively.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Weil, Jon C. (Jon Christopher)

Chemotactic Response of Lumbricus terrestris Coelomocytes to Larval and Adult Stages of Rhabditis pellio

Description: Experiments were performed to assess the suitability of Rhabditis pellio, a nematode found in earthworms, as a challenge organism for use in development of a biomarker assay to determine the potential of chemicals to suppress the immunocompetence of the non-specific immune system. To accomplish this goal, information on the life cycle of R. pellio was determined; including effects of incubation time and temperature on growth rates; along with information on the immune response elicited in the earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris. Immune parameters measured were coelomocyte migration toward and attachment to R. pellio larvae and adults. Preliminary background information showed that R. pellio has potential as a challenge organism for development of a biomarker assay.
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Date: December 1999
Creator: Medrano, Jennifer Centurion

Classification of Toolmark Surfaces on Zipper Teeth

Description: This study proposes the classification of the toolmark under the heads of zipper teeth as a subclass characteristic as outlined by the Association of Firearm and Toolmark Examiners (AFTE). Two separate cases in which zipper teeth were found at crime scenes prompted this study. Brass zipper teeth manufactured by YKK were taken from 20 pairs of jeans and studied using a Reichert comparison microscope at 4X power. Photographs were taken and over 750 comparisons made. It was found that the toolmarks on each side on the 20 zippers were unique and independent of all other sides. The observations made in this study indicate that classifying zipper teeth toolmarks as a subclass characteristic is valid.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Jacobsen, Dawn

Comparison of Aspartate Transcarbamoylase and Pyrimidine Salvage in Sporosarcina urea, Sprolactobacillus inulinus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Micrococcus luteus

Description: The enzyme that catalyzes the committed step in pyrimidine biosynthesis, aspartate transcarbamoylase, has been compared in selected endospore-forming organisms and in morphologically similar control organisms. The ATCases and pyrimidine salvage from Sporosarcina ureae, Sporolactobacillus inulinus, Lactobacillus fermentum, and Micrococcus luteus were compared to those of Bacillus subtilis. While the ATCases from Sporosarcina ureae, Sporolactobacillus inulinus, and L. fermentum were found to exhibit characteristics to that of Bacillus with respect to molecular weight and kinetics, M. luteus ATCase was larger at approximately 480 kDa. Furthermore, pyrimidine salvage in Sporosarcina ureae and M. luteus was identical to those of B. subtilis, while pyrimidine salvage of Sporolactobacillus inulinus and L. fermentum resembled that of the pseudomonads.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Barron, Vincent N. (Vincent Neal)

Comparison of Remediation Methods in Different Hydrogeologic Settings Using Bioplume II

Description: A contaminant fate and transport computer model, Bioplume II, which allows simulation of bioremediation in ground water systems, was used to compare the effects of 11 remediation scenarios on a benzene plume. The plume was created in three different hydrogeologic settings from the simulation of an underground gasoline storage tank leak.
Date: May 1996
Creator: White, Sherry A. (Sherry Anne)

Construction of a Physical Map of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis Strain ATCC25238

Description: 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.
Date: May 1999
Creator: Nguyen, Kim Thuy

Dalbergia and Albizia: Plantlet Production via Tissue Culture, Karyological Evaluation, and Seed Anatomy with Scanning Electron Microscopy

Description: A publication by the National Academy of Sciences, USA (1979) outlined some of the research need for a great variety of economically important woody species whose remaining genetic resources need urgently to be collected and conserved. A viable regeneration system was established via tissue and cell suspension culture for Albizia falcataria and A. lebbeck, two important wood yielding leguminous tree species. The culture medium was standardized after several trials to obtain callus from the leaflet explants of these two tree species. The optimum use of casein hydrolysate (w/v) and coconut milk (v/v) in addition to 6-Benzylaminopurine and Indole-3-butyric acid could induce morphogenesis and somatic embryogenesis in the cultured tissue. This reports the first observation on somatic embryogenesis ofA. lebbeck using leaflets as the explants. Scanning Electron Microscopy and histological studies were done on the different stages plant development following standard techniques. Embryogenesis in suspension culture followed regeneration of plantlets in A. lebbeck. In A.falcaaria the regenerative process followed via organogenesis from the shoot buds developed on the leaf explants. After hardening the regenerated plants were transferred to the greenhouse. Some of the trees grew more than 25 feet tall within a few months outside the greenhouse. Karyotype of the three leguminous trees Albizia lebbeck, A. falcataria, and Dalbergia sissoo was analyzed. In D. sissoo, various chromosomal anomalies were observed in the cultured tissue. The abnormality indices and ploidy level varied with the age and the frequency of the subculture. In the aged culture the regenerative potential declined but was reinstated to some extent with the addition of two complex growth factors, coconut milk and casein hydrolysate. Seed anatomy of 26 species of 4 leguminous genera was studied with SEM. The main distinguishing anatomical features observed in the seed sections were uniseriate or multiseriate epidermis, epidermal projections, and number of rows ...
Date: December 1998
Creator: Ghosh, Nabarun

Descriptions, Life History and Case-Building Behavior of Culoptila cantha (Trichoptera: Glossosomatidae) in the Brazos River, Texas

Description: Larval, pupal and adult samples of Culoptila cantha, from a large riffle of the Brazos River in north-central Texas from January, 1995 to March, 1997, indicated a predominately trivoltine cycle during both years; the over-wintering generation spanned 6-7 months and warm-season generations spanned 2-3 months. Eggs, larvae of all instars, larval cases, case reconstruction progression and behavior, pupae, and adults are described.
Date: August 1997
Creator: Houghton, David Charles

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

Discovery and Characterization of Two Tn5 Generated pyrA Mutants in Pseudomonas putida and the Generation of Hfr Strains

Description: A pyrA mutation in Pseudomonas putida was isolated using transposon mutagenesis for the first time. Transposon Tn5 was used to inactivate the pyrA gene for carbamoylphosphate synthetase in these mutants. Accordingly, these mutants were defective in pyrimidine and arginine biosynthesis. The suicide vector, pM075, from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, was used to introduce the transposon into the cells. Tn5 was subsequently used to supply homology so that the plasmid pM075 could be introduced in its entirety into the Pseudomonas putida chromosome at the locus of the Tn5 insertion in the pyrA gene. Consequently, these strains exhibited high frequency of recombination and were capable of chromosome mobilization.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Liljestrand, Laura Gail

Distribution of a Novel Gram Negative, Capsule-Forming Bacterium

Description: A novel Gram negative, capsule-forming bacterium was previously isolated in Dr. G. Roland Vela's laboratory. The distribution of this bacterium in soils from various locations was investigated. Soil samples from 188 locations around the world were examined. Isolates of the bacterium were obtained from 50 of these soils, with 48 of the isolates found in soils from the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. This suggests that this region is the natural habitat of the bacterium. The other two isolates were obtained from Madrid, Spain and Taipei, Taiwan. None were found in soils from South America or Australia. A lack of variation in morphology and physiological properties in the isolates suggests that a homogeneous population exists, even from widespread geographical locations.
Date: December 1997
Creator: Hughes, Roxana Bejarano

Documentation of Biodiversity Impacts (Including Cumulative Biodiversity Impacts) in Environmental Impact Statements

Description: In the United States, biodiversity impact assessment has historically received little attention. Responding in 1993, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released guidelines on incorporating biodiversity into environmental impact assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. The objectives of the study here were to identify the level of documentation of biodiversity impact assessment in sample Environmental Impact Statements (EISs); identify whether in the years following the release of 1993 CEQ guidelines any significant changes have taken place in assessment of biodiversity; identify deficiencies, and if the need exists, formulate appropriate recommendations and approaches for addressing biodiversity in EISs. The study involved a systematic review of 30 EISs published since the release of CEQ guidelines, and five EISs published prior to it. The review involved answering a series of standard questions, which attempted to ascertain the level of biodiversity impacts included in each impact statement. Trends in approaches to biodiversity impact assessment were investigated and deficiencies summarized. The analysis resulted in a series of recommendations for improving the manner in which biodiversity impact assessment can be approached.
Date: August 1998
Creator: Bhatia, Sarika

Effects of Copper on Immune Responses of Largemouth Bass, Micropterus salmoides

Description: Copper exposures of 400 μg/L for 5,10 and 15 days resulted in no significant differences in antibody titers of largemouth bass, Micropterus salmoides injected with Aeromonas hydrophila compared to control-injected bass. Twenty days of exposure did significantly increase titers. The control group had significantly lower antibody titers than either control-injected or copper-exposed.
Date: August 1994
Creator: Connell, Patrice M. (Patrice Michelle)