The aim of this study was to design a resolution typing system for the HLA-B gene. This technique involves a one-step PCR reaction utilizing genomic DNA and sequence-specific primers to determine the specificity of each allele and to produce a larger primer data base ideal for serological analysis. The application of this technique to serological analysis can improve serology detection which is currently hindered by antibody cross-reactivity and the unavailability of useful typing reagents.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids are major structural components of plant chloroplast and endoplasmic reticulum membranes. Two fatty acid desaturases (designated FAD2 and FAD3) desaturate 75% of the fatty acids in the endoplasmic reticulum. The w -6 fatty acid desaturase (FAD2) may be responsible for cold acclimation response, since polyunsaturated phospholipids are important in helping maintain plant viability at lowered temperatures. To study regulation of FAD2 gene expression in cotton, a FAD2 gene was isolated from two genomic libraries using an Arabidopsis FAD2 hybridization probe and a cotton FAD2 5¢ -flanking region gene-specific probe, respectively. A cotton FAD2 gene was found to be in two overlapping genomic clones by physical mapping and DNA sequencing. The cloned DNA fragments are identical in size to cotton FAD2 genomic DNA fragments shown by genomic blot hybridization. The cotton FAD2 coding region has 1,155 bp with no introns and would encode a putative polypeptide of 384 amino acids. The cotton FAD2 enzyme has a high identity of 75% with other plant FAD2 enzymes. The enzyme has three histidine-rich motifs that are conserved in all plant membrane desaturases. These histidine boxes may be the iron-binding domains for reduction of oxygen during desaturation. To confirm that this FAD2 enzyme is functional, a plasmid construct containing the cotton FAD2 coding region was transformed into Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The transformed yeast cells were able to catalyze the conversion of oleic acid (C18:1) into linoleic acid (C18:2). The FAD2 gene contains an intron of 2,967 bp in its 5¢ -flanking region, 11 bp upstream from the initiation codon. The intron could be essential for transcriptional regulation of FAD2 gene expression. Several putative promoter elements occur in the 5¢ -flanking region of this gene. A potential TATA basal promoter element occurs at 41 bp upstream from the cap site. Two presumptive helix-loop-helix (bHLH) ...
In situ hybridization was used to examine effects of monocular enucleation on nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit cc3 mRNA in the rat dLGNand visual cortex. After 28 days postoperative, there were no significant differences in α3 mRNA density between the contralateral (deprived) and ipsilateral (non-deprived) sides. The lack of obvious effects of visual deprivation on α3 mRNA density suggests that other factors, possibly intrinsic to dLGNand visual cortex, govern the postnatal expression of α3 mRNA.
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 ...
Pseudomonas fluorescens does not appear to regulate the enzymes of de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis at the level of gene expression. Little or no apparent repression of pyr gene expression is observed upon addition of exogenous pyrimidines to the growth medium. The Escherichia coli pyrBI genes for aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) were sized down and cloned into the broad host range plasmid, pKT230. Upon introduction into a P.fluorescenspyrB mutant strain, ATCase showed repression in response to exogenously fed pyrimidine compounds. Thus, it was possible to bring about changes in pyrimidine nucleotide pool levels and in transcriptional regulation of gene expression at the same time.
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.
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 ...
Embryonic murine neuronal networks cultured on microelectrode arrays were used to quantify acute electrophysiological effects of fluoxetine and ethanol. Spontaneously active frontal cortex cultures showed highly repeatable, dose-dependent sensitivities to both compounds. Cultures began to respond to fluoxetine at 3 µM and were shut off at 10-16 µM. EC50s mean ± S.D. for spike and burst rates were 4.1 ± 1.5 µM and 4.5 ± 1.1 µM (n=14). The fluoxetine inhibition was reversible and without effect on action potential wave shapes. Ethanol showed initial inhibition at 20 mM, with spike and burst rate EC50s at 52.0 ± 17.4 mM and 56.0 ± 17.0 mM (n=15). Ethanol concentrations above 100 -140 mM led to cessation of activity. Although ethanol did not change the shape and amplitude of action potentials, unit specific effects were found. The combined application of ethanol and fluoxetine was additive. Ethanol did not potentiate the effect of fluoxetine.
Tissue samples from spotted gar (Lepisosteus oculatus) and largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) were collected from Caddo Lake. Gar and bass livers were subjected to histological investigation and color analysis. Liver color (as abs at 400 nm) was significantly correlated with total mercury in the liver (r2 = 0.57, p = 0.02) and muscle (r2 = 0.58, p = 0.01) of gar. Evidence of liver damage as lipofuscin and discoloration was found in both species but only correlated with liver mercury concentration in spotted gar. Inorganic mercury was the predominant form in gar livers. In order to determine the role of mercury speciation in fish liver damage, a laboratory feeding study was employed. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) were fed either a control (0.12 ± 0.002 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), inorganic mercury (5.03 ± 0.309 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), or methylmercury (4.11 ± 0.146 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt) diet. After 78 days of feeding, total mercury was highest in the carcass of zebrafish fed methylmercury (12.49 ± 0.369 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic mercury (1.09 ± 0.117 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in fish fed the control diet (0.48 ± 0.038 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt). Total mercury was highest in the viscera of methylmercury fed zebrafish (11.6 ± 1.86 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), intermediate in those fed inorganic diets (4.3 ± 1.08 µg Hg.g-1 dry wt), and lowest in the control fish (below limit of detection). Total mercury was negatively associated with fish length and weight in methylmercury fed fish. Condition factor was not associated with total mercury and might not be the best measure of fitness for these fish. No liver pathologies were observed in zebrafish from any treatment.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a well studied and diverse class of environmental toxicants. PAHs act via the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), and studies have suggested that PAHs may elicit neurological and estrogenic effects. Doses of PAHs between 50 to 150 ppm may elicit neurotoxicity in rodent models. The present study investigated the effects of naphthalene on in vivo steroidogenesis in Swiss Webster male mice, and in vitro neural function of Balb-C/ICR mice frontal cortex neurons. These data suggest that naphthalene may not elicit steroidogenic effects at concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 25 mg/kg/day, following a 7 day subcutaneous dosing regime. In addition, naphthalene may cause functional toxicity of frontal cortex neurons at concentrations of 32 to 160 ppm naphthalene.
Rapid receptive field (RF) reorganization of somatosensory neurons in the rat dorsal horn was examined using extracellular single unit recording. Subcutaneous injection of lidocaine into RFs of dorsal horn neurons results in expansion of their RFs within minutes. The expanded RFs appear adjacent to or/and proximal to original RFs. Out of 63 neurons tested, 36 (58%) show RF reorganization. The data suggest that dorsal horn of spinal cord is one of the initial sites for RF reorganization. The neural mechanisms of this effect are not well understood. We propose that changes in biophysical properties (membrane conductance, length constant) of the neurons resulting from lidocaine injection contribute to RF reorganization. Iontophoretic application of glutamate onto dorsal horn neurons that show lidocaine induced RF's expansion were used to test the model. Application of glutamate produced reduction of reorganized RFs in 9 of 20 (45%) tested cells. Application of NBQX produced no effect on either original or expanded RFs indicate that RF shrinkage effects of glutamate involve NMDA receptors. The results are consistent with the prediction of the proposed model. Subcutaneous injection of capsaicin into tactile RFs of low threshold mechanoreceptive dorsal horn neurons produced no effect on the RF sizes that are consistent with other studies. Following the injection, the original RFs were completely silenced (46%) or remained responsive (54%).
Pecan Creek flows southeast through the City of Denton, Texas. Characterized as an urban watershed, the basin covers approximately 63.5 km2. Pecan Creek is an intermittent stream that receives nonpoint runoff from urban landuses, and the City of Denton's wastewater treatment plant, Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant, discharges effluent to the stream. Downstream from the City of Denton and the wastewater treatment plant, Pecan Creek flows about 6,000 m through agricultural, pasture, and forested landscapes into Copas Cove of Lake Lewisville, creating backwater conditions. Pecan Creek water quality and chemistry were monitored from August 1997 to October 2001. Water quality was influenced by seasonal, spatial, climatic, and diurnal dynamics. Wastewater effluent discharged from the Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant had the greatest influence on water quality of the stream and backwaters. Water quality monitoring of Pecan Creek demonstrated that dissolved oxygen standards for the protection of aquatic life were being achieved. Water quality modeling of Pecan Creek was completed to assess future increases in effluent flow from the Pecan Creek Water Reclamation Plant. Water quality modeling indicated that dissolved oxygen standards would not be achieved at the future effluent flow of 21 MGD and at NPDES permitted loadings. Model results with application of a safety factor indicated that the maximum allowable concentrations for a 21 MGD discharge would be 2.3 mg/L of ammonia and 7.0 mg/L of biochemical oxygen demand at summer conditions. Drought conditions that occurred from 1998 to 2001 reduced water levels in Lake Lewisville and impacted dissolved oxygen water quality in Pecan Creek. Water quality observations made during the period of drought allowed for the development of a model to estimate the zone of the dissolved oxygen sag in Pecan Creek based on reservoir elevation. Finally, monitoring results were analyzed with nonparametric statistical procedures to detect water ...
The goals of this study were to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies to gain a better understanding of habitat requirements of a population of ocelots in south Texas, and then apply this knowledge to form a predictive model to locate areas of suitable habitat in Willacy and Cameron counties, Texas. Satellite imagery from August 1991 and August 2000 were classified into four land cover types: closed canopy, open canopy, water, and urban/barren. These classified images were converted into digital thematic maps for use in resource utilization studies and modeling. Location estimates (762 from 1991 and 406 from 2000) were entered into a GIS in order to extract information about home range and resource selection. Each animal's home range was calculated using both Minimum Convex Polygon (MCP) and Kernel home range estimators (95% and 50%). Habitat parameters of interest were: soil, land cover, human density, road density, and distance to closest road, city and water body. Ocelots were found to prefer closed canopy and avoid open canopy land cover types. Ocelots preferred soils known to support thorn scrub, an indication of the importance of this habitat. Landscape metrics associated with habitat used by ocelots were determined through the use of Patch Analyst, an extension for ArcView 3.2. Contrary to expectations, ocelots utilized areas with greater fragmentation than random areas available for use. However, this use of highly fragmented areas was an indication of the degree of fragmentation of suitable habitat in the area. Further investigation of patch size selection indicated that ocelots used large sized patches disproportionately to availability, indicating a preference for larger patches. A model was created using the resource selection and habitat preference GIS database from 1991. This model was used to identify areas of “optimal”, ”sub-optimal”, and “unsuitable” habitat for ocelots in 2000. ...
This research is designed to test how sublethal exposure to copper affects tadpole predator-escape behavior and how quickly tadpoles recover. After exposure, tadpoles were separated. Escape behavior was recorded for two-thirds of exposed tadpoles while one-third of the exposed population was measured weekly to determine growth and recovery. Control tadpoles were consumed within 15 minutes whereas those exposed to higher concentrations were consumed at a slower rate, which does not support the hypotheses. Although the rate of predation was lower, tadpoles exposed to higher Cu concentrations were on average, 1.47 cm in total body length. Those exposed to 0.93 mg/L averaged 0.86 cm. After being placed into clean water, treatment tadpoles recovered after 20 days.
A study was conducted to evaluate the sorption characteristics of six disinfection byproducts (DBPs) on four sorbents. To investigate sorption of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), specially designed experimental batch and continuous flow modules were developed. The investigated compounds included: chloroform, 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), bromodichloromethane (BDCM), methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), bromate and bromide ions. Sorbents used included light weight aggregate (LWA), an inorganic porous material with unique surface characteristics, Amberlite® XAD-16, a weakly basic anion exchange resin, Amberjet®, a strongly basic anion exchange resin, and granular activated carbon (GAC). Batch experiments were conducted on spiked Milli-Q® and lake water matrices. Results indicate considerable sorption of TCE (68.9%), slight sorption of bromate ions (19%) and no appreciable sorption for the other test compounds on LWA. The sorption of TCE increased to 75.3% in experiments utilizing smaller LWA particle size. LWA could be a viable medium for removal of TCE from contaminated surface or groundwater sites. Amberlite® was found unsuitable for use due to its physical characteristics, and its inability to efficiently remove any of the test compounds. Amberjet® showed an excellent ability to remove the inorganic anions (>99%), and BDCM (96.9%) from aqueous solutions but with considerable elevation of pH. Continuous flow experiments evaluated GAC and Amberjet® with spiked Milli-Q® and tap water matrices. The tested organic compounds were sorbed in the order of their hydrophobicity. Slight elevation of pH was observed during continuous flow experiments, making Amberjet® a viable option for removal of BDCM, bromate and bromide ions from water. The continuous flow experiments showed that GAC is an excellent medium for removal of the tested VOCs and bromate ion. Each of the test compounds showed different breakthrough and saturation points. The unique design of the continuous flow apparatus used in the study proved to be highly beneficial to ...
This study employed geographic information systems (GIS) technology to evaluate the vulnerability of groundwater to pesticide pollution. The study area included three provinces (namely, Kanchana Buri, Ratcha Buri, and Suphan Buri) located in the western part of central Thailand. Factors used for this purpose were soil texture, percent slope, primary land use, well depth, and monthly variance of rainfall. These factors were reclassified to a common scale showing potential to cause groundwater contamination by pesticides. This scale ranged from 5 to 1 which means high to low pollution potential. Also, each factor was assigned a weight indicating its influence on the movement of pesticides to groundwater. Well depth, the most important factor in this study, had the highest weight of 0.60 while each of the remaining factors had an equal weight of 0.10. These factors were superimposed by a method called “arithmetic overlay” to yield a composite vulnerability map of the study area. Maps showing relative vulnerability of groundwater to contamination by pesticides were produced. Each of them represented the degree of susceptibility of groundwater to be polluted by the following pesticides: 2,4-D, atrazine, carbofuran, dicofol, endosulfan, dieldrin & aldrin, endrin, heptachlor & heptachlor epoxide, total BHC, and total DDT. These maps were compared to groundwater quality data derived from actual observations. However, only the vulnerability maps of atrazine, endosulfan, total BHC, and heptachlor & heptachlor epoxide showed the best approximation to actual data. It was found that about 7 to 8%, 83 to 88% and 4.9 to 8.7% of the study area were highly, moderately, and lowly susceptible to pesticide pollution in groundwater, respectively. In this study a vulnerability model was developed, which is expressed as follow: V = 0.60CW + 0.10CS + 0.10CR + 0.10CL + 0.10CSL. Its function is to calculate a vulnerability score for a certain ...
The purpose of this study is to provide a qualitative, detailed description of individual and social behavior in a free-living population of thirteen-lined ground squirrels. Behavioral differences in relation to various periods of the annual cycle are also evaluated.
Rates and energy equivalents of consumption (C), egestion+ excretion (FU) , assimilation (A), respiration (R) and production (P) were measured in two groups of Sceloporus olivaceus: 1) a laboratory group acclimated at four seasonally encountered temperatures (15, 20, 25 and 30°C) ; and 2) four acclimatization groups collected at different seasons when ambient temperatures corresponded to 15, 20, 25 and 30°C.
This work concerns itself with essentially four experiments: (1) the cecum-injective-infection experiment; (2) the anus-injective-infection experiment; (3) the mouth ingestive-infection with larvae, and (4) the mouth ingestive-infection with the flesh of infected rats.
Very little work has been done on bacteria capable of significantly inhibiting algal growth. This thesis reports the research on mixed cultures of a high-temperature strain of algae, Chlorella pyrenoidosa TX71105, and an organism isolated from the air and tentatively identified as a variant strain of Bacillus megaterium.
This investigation was concerned with characterizing a tumor line induced and maintained in this laboratory. Various chemical assays, cell counts, and electron microscopy were the methods employed to characterize the blood of mice bearing the tumor at days 3, 6, 9, and 12 after injection of the 1.2 x 10^8 tumor cells.
This investigation was designed to evaluate the need for retaining both Sigmodon hispidus texianus and Sigmodon hispidus berlandieri as subspecific designations. An attempt was made to demonstrate bioclimatic variation and reproductive seasonality in cotton rats. The validity of applying the results of isolated studies of cotton rat populations to the species as a whole was examined.
The effects of a lethal dose (1380 r) of X-irradiation on plasma and adrenal tissue histamine levels of rats were studied. The plasma histamine response was triphasic (increase at 1-3 hours, decrease at 5 and 9 hours and return to control at 24 hours post-irradiation). The adrenal tissue histamine response was found to be biphasic (decrease at 1 to 9 hours and a return to control level at 24 hours post-irradiation).
In the work presented here, it is claimed that bacteria have been isolated which are capable of growth at high temperatures utilizing molecular nitrogen as their sole nitrogen source. Soil bacteria were isolated which grew at 55 C in nitrogen-free media. They were found to be obligatory thermophiles in nitrogen-free media and facultative thermophiles in media containing organically bound nitrogen.
This study concerned the effects of short-term exposures to continuous (10 kv/meter) and pulsed 20 volts at 640 cps/100 msecs) electrostatic fields on the EEG recorded from external electrodes and hypothalamic activity recorded from implanted electrodes in rats. Each experiment lasted at least 90 minutes. The total energies of the waveforms recorded were integrated and printed out for plotting and analysis. Besides the brain activity, the ECG, respiration, and temperature of the animals were also monitored before, during,and after exposure to the electrostatic fields.
A single plaque-pure lambda clone designated λBA84 that hybridized to a ˆ32P-labeled bovine arginine tRNA was isolated from a bovine genomic library harbored in a lambda bacteriophage vector. A 2.3-kilobase segment of this clone was found to contain an arginine transfer RNAccg gene by Southern blot hybridization analysis and dideoxyribonucleotide DNA sequencing. This gene contains the characteristic RNA polymerase III split promoter sequence found in all eukaryotic tRNAs and a potential RNA polymerase III termination site, consisting of four consecutive thymine residues, in the 3'-flanking region. Several possible cis-acting promoter elements were found within the 5'-flanking region of the sequenced gene. The function of these elements, if any, is unknown.
N-acylation of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) with free fatty acids catalyzed by N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) synthase was reported in cotyledons of 24-h-old cotton seedlings. Here I report subcellular localization of this enzyme. Differential centrifugation, sucrose density gradient fractionation,aqueous two-phase partitioning and electron microscopy techniques were utilized to elucidate subcellular site(s) of NAPE synthase. Marker enzymes were used to locate organelles in subcellular fractions. Differential centrifugation indicated that NAPE synthase is present in more than one organelle and it is a membrane bound enzyme. Sucrose density gradient fractionations indicated that NAPE synthase is present in membranes derived from endoplasmic reticulum (ER),Golgi and possibly plasma membrane (PM) but not mitochondria, glyoxysomes or plastids. Aqueous two-phase partitioning experiments with cotton and spinach tissues supported these results but Goigi appeared to be the major site of NAPE synthesis. Electron microscopy of subcellular fractions was used to examine isolated fractions to provide visual confirmation of our biochemical results. Collectively, these results indicate that NAPE is synthesized in plant ER, Golgi and possibly PM.
Heavy metal bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms may occur through direct or indirect uptake routes. Research indicates that the significance of uptake route varies with contaminant and organism exposed. The relative importance of different metal sources in aquatic systems was investigated by exposing freshwater snails to dietary or dissolved sources of cadmium. Snails were exposed to control, contaminated food only, contaminated water only, and contaminated food and water treatments. During the 15-day exposure, samples were taken to determine Cd concentration in snail soft tissue, snail shell, algal food, and overlying water. Analyses of snail soft tissue and shells indicate that exposure route significantly affects Cd concentrations in the tissues. In both cases, dissolved Cd is the primary contributor to metal body burden.
This thesis is a comparative study of gene arrangements in Pseudomonas species, and is organized into three major sections. The first section compares gene arrangements for different pathways in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 to determine if the gene arrangements are similar to previous studies. It also serves as a reference for pyrimidine gene arrangements in P. aeruginosa. The second part compares the physical, and genetic maps of P. aeruginosa PAO1 with the genome sequence. The final section compares pyrimidine gene arrangements in three species of Pseudomonas. Pyrimidine biosynthesis and salvage genes will be aligned for P. aeruginosa PAO1, P. putida KT2440, and P. syringae DC3000. The whole study will gives insight into gene patterns in Pseudomonas, with a focus on pyrimidine genes.
This dissertation has two overall objectives: first, to demonstrate the utility of paleozoological data for ongoing and future mussel-conservation efforts in Texas and second, to evaluate whether simple measures of habitat (e.g., water depth, velocity and particle size) are important for demonstrating the within-habitat spatial separation of mussels. Although these topics may seem disparate, both are important for increasing our understanding of unionid ecology and biogeography. Chapters 1 through 3 examine the use of paleozoological data for mussel conservation. Although these types of data are not new they have rarely been used in mussel conservation efforts within Texas. This is unfortunate because paleozoological data can provide an excellent record of the mussel fauna prior to wide-scale modern impacts and in areas where historical survey data are lacking. Chapter 4 examines whether assessments of microhabitat for mussels using simple measures of habitat (e.g., water velocity, depth and particle size) are useful. Recent studies have suggested that these measures do not explain the mussel distribution in flowing streams. If this is correct, instream flow studies using this approach need to be revised. Results of Chapter 4 indicate that mussels in the lower Brazos River basin are constrained in distribution by the availability of heterogenous substrate. Appendix A, details the first account of a living population of Truncilla macrodon, which is a candidate species for the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The population was found while conducting mussel instream flow studies in the lower Brazos River basin.
The regulation of pyrimidine biosynthesis was studied in Pseudomonas putida. The biosynthetic and salvage pathways provide pyrimidine nucleotides for RNA, DNA, cell membrane and cell wall biosynthesis. Pyrimidine metabolism is intensely studied because many of its enzymes are targets for chemotheraphy. Four aspects of pyrimidine regulation are described in this dissertation. Chapter I compares the salvage pathways of Escherichia coli and P. putida. Surprisingly, P. putida lacks several salvage enzymes including nucleoside kinases, uridine phosphorylase and cytidine deaminase. Without a functional nucleoside kinase, it was impossible to feed exogenous uridine to P. putida. To obviate this problem, uridine kinase was transferred to P. putida from E. coli and shown to function in this heterologous host. Chapter II details the enzymology of Pseudomonas aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase), its allosteric regulation and how it is assembled. The E. coli ATCase is a dodecamer of two different polypeptides, encoded by pyrBI. Six regulatory (PyrI) and six catalytic (PyrB) polypeptides assemble from two preformed trimers (B3) and three preformed regulatory dimers (I2) in the conserved 2B3:3I2 molecular structure. The Pseudomonas ATCase also assembles from two different polypeptides encoded by pyrBC'. However, a PyrB polypeptide combines with a PyrC. polypeptide to form a PyrB:PyrC. protomer; six of these assemble into a dodecamer of structure 2B3:3C'2. pyrC' encodes an inactive dihydroorotase with pyrB and pyrC' overlapping by 4 bp. Chapter III explores how catabolite repression affects pyrimidine metabolism. The global catabolite repression control protein, Crc, has been shown to affect pyrimidine metabolism in a number of ways. This includes orotate transport for use as pyrimidine, carbon and nitrogen sources. Orotate is important because it interacts with PyrR in repressing the pyr genes. Chapter IV describes PyrR, the positive activator of the pyrimidine pathway. As with other positive activator proteins, when pyrimidine nucleotides are depleted, PyrR binds to ...
Three overlapping genomic clones covering 29.0 kilobases of cotton DNA were found to encompass a cluster of two presumptive osmotin genes (OSMI and OSMII) and two osmotin pseudogenes (OSMIII and OSMIV). A segment of 16,007 basepairs of genomic DNA was sequenced from the overlapping genomic clones (GenBank Accessions AY303690 and AF304007). The two cotton osmotin genes were found to have open reading frames of 729 basepairs without any introns, and would encode presumptive osmotin preproteins of 242 amino acids. The open reading frames of the genes are identical in sequence to two corresponding cDNA clones (GenBank Accessions AF192271 and AY301283). The two cDNA inserts are almost full-length, since one lacks codons for the four N-terminal amino acids, and the other cDNA insert lacks the coding region for the 34 N-terminal amino acids. The cotton osmotin preproteins can be identified as PR5 proteins from their similarities to the deduced amino acid sequences of other plant osmotin PR5 preproteins. The preproteins would have N-terminal signal sequences of 24 amino acids, and the mature 24 kilodalton isoforms would likely be targeted for extracellular secretion. Prospective promoter elements, including two ethylene response elements, implicated as being positive regulatory elements in the expression of a number of PR-proteins, occur in the 5'-flanking regions. The mature osmotin proteins accumulate in cotton plants treated with the inducers ethephon and hydrogen peroxide. Thus, the two cotton osmotin genes encode osmotin proteins. The coding regions of the two genes have been expressed and isolated as fusion polypeptides in a bacterial expression system. Binary constructs containing the open reading frames of the two osmotin genes under the control of the 35S CaMV promoter have been generated for eventual production of transgenic Arabidopsis and cotton plants for potential constitutive expression of the osmotin proteins for increased resistance against fungal pathogens.
Flamingo species generate tremendous interest whether they are small captive groups or wild populations numbering in the thousands. Genetic pedigrees are invaluable for maintaining maximum genetic diversity in captive, as well as wild, populations. However, presently there is a general lack of genetic data for flamingo populations. Microsatellites are loci composed of 2-6 base pair tandem repeats, scattered throughout higher eukaryotic genomes, often exhibiting high levels of polymorphism and heterozygosity. These loci are thus important genetic markers for identity, parentage and population studies. Here, six microsatellite loci were isolated from a microsatellite-enriched Caribbean flamingo partial genomic library. Two are compound complex repeats and four are perfect trinucleotide repeats. Each locus was amplified from Caribbean, African greater, Chilean and lesser flamingo genomic DNAs. Heterozygosity frequencies were calculated for Caribbean (range 0.12-0.90) and African greater flamingos (range 0.23-0.94) loci. All six microsatellite loci were found to be in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and linkage disequilibrium analyses did not suggest linkage for any pair of two greater flamingo subspecies (African and Caribbean) loci. At least five of the loci also exhibit polymorphism in Chilean and lesser flamingos, but due to small sample numbers, relevant allele/heterozygosity frequency calculations could not be estimated. Nucleotide sequence comparisons of the amplicons derived from the four flamingo groups reveal a high level of sequence conservation at all loci. Although small sample numbers again limit the data for lesser flamingos and to some degree for the Chilean birds, the sequences of the two greater flamingo subspecies were identical and the number of nonconserved nucleotides appears to be higher for lesser/greater comparisons than for Chilean/greater comparisons. This is consistent with Chilean flamingos being a different species within the same genus as the greater flamingos, while lesser flamingos belong to a separate genus. Parentage analyses on suggested African greater flamingo family groups from ...
Managing water quality aspects requires the use of integrative tools that allow a holistic approach to this problem. Water quality models coupled to hydrodynamic models are these tools. This study presents the application of the water quality model WASP coupled to the hydrodynamic model DYNHYD for two distinct reservoirs: Lake Texoma and Tocoma Reservoir. Modeling the former included simulations of water velocities, water level, and four chemical and physical compounds: chlorides, dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and total suspended solids (TSS); and validation of the results by comparing with observed values during March - May, 1997. The latter is still under project status and the simulation was performed in a prospective way. The analysis included simulations of water velocities under current and for expected conditions, DO and BOD. Both models, DYNHYD and WASP, fitted pretty well to observed conditions for Lake Texoma and for where Tocoma Reservoir has been planned. Considering management and decision support purposes, the role of boundary and loading conditions also was tested. For Lake Texoma, controlling boundary conditions for chlorides is a determinant factor for water quality of the system. However, DO and TSS in the reservoir are governed by additional process besides the condition of the boundary. Estimated loadings for this system did not provided significant effects, even though the allocation of a load for chlorides resulted in significant changes in the trend for expected chloride concentrations at the Washita River Arm of Lake Texoma. For Tocoma Reservoir, the expected concentration of DO all over the reservoir is going to driven by boundary conditions, as well as by the management of autochthonous BOD loadings provided by vegetation decomposition. These two factors will be determinant for the resulting water quality of the future reservoir.
Previous research in our laboratory showed that when knockout mutations were created in the pyrB and pyrC genes of the pyrimidine pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, not only were the resultant mutants auxotrophic for pyrimidines but they were also impaired in virulence factor production. Such a correlation had not been previously reported for P. aeruginosa, a ubiquitous opportunistic pathogen in humans. In an earlier study it was reported that mutants blocked in one of the first three enzymes of the pyrimidine pathway in the non-pathogenic strain P. putida M produced no pyoverdin pigment while mutants blocked in the later steps produced copious amounts of pigment, just like the wild type. This study probed for the same connection between pyrimidine auxotrophy and pigment production applied in P. aeruginosa. To that end a knockout mutation was created in pyrD, the fourth step in the pyrimidine pathway which encodes dihydroorotate dehydrogenase. The resulting mutant required pyrimidines for growth but produced wild type pigment levels. Since the pigment pyoverdin is a siderophore it may also be considered a virulence factor, other virulence factors were quantified in the mutant. These included casein protease, hemolysin, elastase, swimming, swarming and twitching motility, and iron binding capacity. In all cases these virulence factors were significantly decreased in the mutant. Even supplementing with uracil did not attain wild type levels. Starvation of the pyrimidine mutant for uracil caused increased specific activity of the pyrimidine enzymes, suggesting that regulation of the pyrimidine pathway occurred at the level of transcription. This effect has also been reported for P. oleovorans. The present research consolidates the idea that pyrimidine auxotrophs cause decreased pathogenicity in P. aeruginosa. Such a finding may open the search for chemotherapy targets in cystic fibrosis and burn victims where P. aeruginosa is an infecting agent.
The soil-nematode Caenorhabditis elegans survives oxygen deprivation (anoxia < 0.001 kPa of O2, 0% O2) by entering into a state of suspended animation during which cell cycle progression at interphase, prophase and metaphase stage of mitosis is arrested. I conducted cell biological characterization of embryos exposed to various anoxia exposure times, to demonstrate the requirement and functional role of spindle checkpoint gene san-1 during brief anoxia exposure. I conducted a synthetic lethal screen, which has identified genetic interactions between san-1, other spindle checkpoint genes, and the kinetochore gene hcp-1. Furthermore, I investigated the genetic and cellular mechanisms involved in anoxia-induced prophase arrest, a hallmark of which includes chromosomes docked at the nuclear membrane. First, I conducted in vivo analysis of embryos carried inside the uterus of an adult and exposed to anoxic conditions. These studies demonstrated that anoxia exposure prevents nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD) in prophase blastomeres. Second, I exposed C. elegans embryos to other conditions of mitotic stress such as microtubule depolymerizing agent nocodazole and mitochondrial inhibitor sodium azide. Results demonstrate that NEBD and chromosome docking are independent of microtubule function. Additionally, unlike anoxia, exposure to sodium azide causes chromosome docking in prophase blastomeres but severely affects embryonic viability. Finally, to identify the genetic mechanism(s) of anoxia-induced prophase arrest, I conducted extensive RNA interference (RNAi) screen of a subset of kinetochore and inner nuclear membrane genes. RNAi analysis has identified the novel role of 2 nucleoporins in anoxia-induced prophase arrest.
Earthworms, Lumbricus terrestris, were challenged orally and intracoelomically with two bacterial species, Aeromonas hydrophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and mortality rates were observed. Neither were found to be particularly pathogenic at injected doses of up to 108 bacteria per earthworm. The influence of Cu++ (as CuSO4) on the earthworm's response to bacterial challenge was investigated by exposing earthworms to sublethal levels of Cu++ prior to bacterial challenge. Exposure at sublethal concentrations up to 3 m g/cm2 did not have a pronounced influence on host resistance to challenge as measured by earthworm mortality. Cu++ increased the earthworm's ability to agglutinate rabbit erythrocytes, indicating that Cu++ exposure caused coelomocyte death, autolysis and release of agglutinins into the coelom, possibly explaining resistance to bacterial challenge.
In this study, the presence and possible function of endocannabinoid ligands in the planarian is investigated. The endocannabinoids ananadamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and entourage NAE compounds palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), stearoylethanolamide (SEA) and oleoylethanolamide (OEA) were found in Dugesia dorotocephala. Changes in SEA, PEA, and AEA levels were observed over the initial twelve hours of active regeneration. Exogenously applied AEA, 2-AG and their catabolic inhibition effected biphasic changes in locomotor velocity, analogous to those observed in murines. The genome of a close relative, Schmidtea mediterranea, courtesy of the University of Utah S. med genome database, was explored for cannabinoid receptors, none were found. A putative fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) homolog was found in Schmidtea mediterranea.
Cardiac performance, angiogenesis and growth was investigated during early chicken development. Heart rate, and thus arterial pulse pressure and cardiac output, were altered with the bradycardic drug ZD7288. Heart rates at 72 h of development of control embryos and those dosed with chicken Ringer were not different at 171 bpm. Acute and chronic application of ZD7288 caused significant bradycardia. Chronic dosing of Ringer and ZD7288 changed neither eye diameter nor development rate. Chronic dosing of ZD7288 did not significantly alter CAM vessel density close to the embryo (2, 3 and 4 mm) but at farther distances (5 and 6 mm) chronic dosing with both Ringer and ZD7288 decreased vessel density by 13 - 16%. Chronic dosing with ZD7288 also reduced body mass by 20%. Thus, lowered heart rate and cardiac output had little effect on vessel density or developmental stage, but did reduce embryo growth.
Super-resolution 3D imaging was achieved using newly synthesized photoactivatable quantum dot (PAQ dot) probes. Quantum dots were modified with a novel quencher system to make them photoactivatable. The unique properties of these PAQ dots enable single-fluorophore localization in three dimensions using a confocal microscopy optical sectioning method. Myosin and tropomyosin of rabbit myofibrilar bundles were specifically labeled with the newly synthesized PAQ dot. A sufficient number of single quantum dots were photoactivated, localized and reduced to their centroid and then reconstructed to a super-resolution image. The acquired super-resolution image shows a lateral and an axial sub-diffraction resolution and demonstrates ultrafine striations with widths less than 70 nm that are not evident by conventional confocal microscopy. The striations appear to be related to nebulin thin filament binding protein. This newly developed imaging system is cutting edge for its high resolution and localization as well its simplicity and convenience.
Fatty acid desaturase 2 (FAD2) enzymes are phosphatidylcholine desaturases occurring as integral membrane proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and convert monounsaturated oleic acid into polyunsaturated linoleic acid. The major objective of this research was to study the expression and function of two cotton FAD2 genes (the FAD2-3 and FAD2-4 genes) and their possible role in plant sensitivity to environmental stress, since plants may increase the polyunsaturated phospholipids in membranes under environmental stress events, such as low temperature and osmotic stress. Two FAD2 cDNA clones corresponding to the two FAD2 genes have been isolated from a cotton cDNA library, indicating both genes are truly expressed in cotton. Model yeast cells transformed with two cotton FAD2 genes were used to study the chilling sensitivity, ethanol tolerance, and growth rate of yeast cells. The expression patterns of the two FAD2 genes were analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reactions (RT-PCR) and Western blot analyses in cotton plants under different treatment conditions. The coding regions of both FAD2 genes were inserted downstream from the CaMV 35S promoter in the pMDC gateway binary vector system. Five different FAD2/pMDC constructs were transformed into the Arabidopsis fad2 knockout mutant background, and multiple potential transgenic Arabidopsis plant lines harboring the cotton FAD2 genes were generated. The cotton FAD2 genes were amplified by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from the genomic DNAs isolated from the transgenic Arabidopsis T1 plant lines. Complementation of the putative transgenic Arabidopsis plants with the two cotton FAD2 genes was demonstrated by gas chromatography analyses of the fatty acid profiles of leaf tissues. The cellular localization of cotton FAD2-4 polypeptides with N-terminal green fluorescence protein (GFP) was visualized by confocal fluorescence microscopy. The phenotype of transgenic Arabidopsis plants transformed with the cotton FAD2-4 gene was compared to Arabidopsis knockout fad2 mutant plants and wild ...
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.
This research investigated the impact of invertebrates to four species of native aquatic macrophytes: V. americana, P. nodosus, P. illinoensis, and N. mexicana. Two treatments were utilized on each plant species, an insecticide treatment to remove most invertebrates and a non-treated control. Ten herbivore taxa were collected during the duration of the study including; Synclita, Paraponyx, Donacia, Rhopalosiphum, and Hydrellia. Macrophyte biomass differences between treatments were not measured for V. americana or N. mexicana. The biomasses of P. nodosus and P. illinoensis in non-treated areas were reduced by 40% and 63% respectively. This indicated that herbivory, once thought to be insignificant to aquatic macrophytes, can cause substantial reductions in biomass.
A cotton PATE cDNA clone has a 1.7-kb insert with an coding region for 410 amino acids, lacking codons for the three N-terminal amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence of the PATE preprotein has a characteristic stromal-targeting domain and a 63% identity to the Arabidopsis FatB1 thioesterase sequence. A cotton genomic clone containing a 17.4-kb DNA segment was found to encompass a palmitoyl-ACP thioesterase (FatB1) gene. The gene spans 3.6 kb with six exons and five introns. The six exons are identical in nucleotide sequence to the open reading frame of the corresponding cDNA, and would encode a preprotein of 413 amino acids. The preprotein is identified as a FatB thioesterase from its deduced amino acid sequence similarity to those of other FatB thioesterase preproteins. A 5'-flanking region of 914 bp was sequenced, with the potential promoter/enhancer elements including basic helix-loop-helix elements (E box). Alkaline blot hybridization of cotton genomic DNA suggests the presence at least two FatB1 thioesterase genes in cotton. Four plasmid constructs for both constitutive and seed-specific anti-sense RNA suppression and gene-transgene co- suppression of PATE gene expression were successfully generated. Two overlapping cotton genomic clones were found to encompass a Δ-12 fatty acid desaturase (FAD2-3) gene. The continuous FAD2-3 coding region is 1,155 bp and would encode a protein of 384 amino acids. The FAD2-3 gene has one large intron of 2,967 bp entirely within its 5'-untranslated region. Several potential promoter/enhancer elements, including several light responsive motifs occur in the 5'-flanking region. Yeast cells transformed with a plasmid construct containing the cotton FAD2-3 coding region accumulate an appreciable amount of linoleic acid (18:2), not normally present in wild-type yeast cells, indicating that the gene encodes a functional FAD2 enzyme.
An anti-G"11 antibody was used to label neuronal cilia throughout the rat central nervous system. Immunoreactive cilia were observed in every examined region of the rat CNS, but not in monkey or mouse tissue. Antibodies to G"q and G"q/11 failed to label cilia. Immunoreactive cilia were observed as early as postnatal day 0 in spinal tissue, and postnatal day 3 in hypothalamic tissue. There was a statistically significant negative correlation between a region's mean cilium length and that region's distance to the nearest ventricle; regions nearest ventricles were those with the longest cilia. This correlation suggests neuronal cilia may function as chemosensors, detecting substances as they move out from the cerebrospinal fluid and into the extracellular space of the brain.
Development of a college level freshman biology course was undertaken in response to government reports that American students have fallen behind students of other countries in the area of the sciences. Teaching strategies were investigated to accomplish two objectives, to define essential academic material to include in the course and to investigate teaching techniques that would increase deep processing of the information. An active process that consisted of applying the cognitive information to solving problems or developing answers to questions was defined as critical thinking. Critical thinking was incorporated into the course by the use of case studies.
This study is concerned with a critical comparison of the passive transfer mechanisms of tuberculin and chemical contact hypersensitivities in the guinea pig by use of a four phase experimental approach.
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