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Epigenetics as a source of variation in comparative animal physiology - or - Lamarck is lookin' pretty good these days

Description: This article discusses the ecological and and evolutionary significance of such epigenetic inheritance in a comparative physiological context, and provides a number of caveats and warnings regarding the interpretation of transgenerational phenotype modification as a true epigenetic phenomenon.
Date: February 26, 2014
Creator: Burggren, Warren W.
Partner: UNT College of Arts and Sciences

The Role of Thyroid Hormone across Avian Development Spectrum: Investigations on Systemic Development, Metabolism and Ontogeny of Endothermy

Description: Achievement of endothernic capacity is vital for independence from ambient temperature changes, sustained activity, optimal biochemical reactions and optimization of parental care. During early avian development, the core tenets of transition from ectothermy to endothermy are development of metabolic capacity (oxygen consumption, mitochondrial bioenergetics), enhanced cardiovascular function (heart rate and cardiac output), pulmonary ventilation and thermogenic capacity. Thyroid hormones, particularly T3, are key metabolic regulators of basal metabolism, thermogenesis, pulmonary ventilation and mitochondrial respiration. Thyroid hormone fluctuation patterns during both precocial and altricial avian endothermic transition suggest a prominent role in maturation of endothermy, cardiovascular, respiratory and skeletal muscle physiology. This body of work explores effects of T3 manipulations in two avian species: the precocial Pekin duck and the altricial Red-winged Blackbird. Increased plasma T3 during late incubation resulted in increased cardiac mass, elevated resting and intrinsic heart rate, intrinsic mean arterial pressure, increased cholinergic tone and blunted alpha-adrenergic tone in the precocial Pekin duck. In both Pekin duck and Red-winged blackbird, plasma T3 levels correlated with changes in the trajectory of endothermic ontogeny, systemic oxygen consumption, thermogenesis, maturation of pulmonary ventilatory function, altered growth and effects on skeletal and cardiac mitochondrial bioenergetics. These observations support the role of thyroid hormones as metabolic and developmental regulators at the time of attainment of endothermy during the perinatal period in precocial and altricial avian species. Insights into the role of thyroid hormone as a metabolic and development regulator at the time of avian endothermic attainment provide a more thorough understanding of metabolic and physical transitions a hatchling bird must undergo to reach the adult endothermic phenotype. Such insights also deepen understanding of the complex role thyroid hormones play in homeostasis and offer implications about the evolutionary history of endothermic capacity.
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Date: August 2017
Creator: Sirsat, Tushar S
Partner: UNT Libraries

Maturation of Endothermic Capacity within the Avian Developmental Spectrum: A Characterization of Thermoregulatory Metamorphosis

Description: An avian embryo is ectothermic, with body temperature determined by environmental temperature. Upon hatching, the neonate begins a conversion so that endothermic capacity becomes feasible and body temperature becomes independent of environment. Whole animal metabolic rate and ventilation response, cardiovascular development, and maturation of muscle mitochondrial flux were the focus of this dissertation because of the direct role in shivering thermogenesis. Precocial ducks and altricial Double-crested Cormorants exhibit increasing hematocrit and disproportionate increases in fractional heart mass resulting in greater oxygen delivery capacity and increased capacity of muscles to utilize oxygen compared with ectothermic American Alligator and Common Snapping turtles. By selecting for faster growth and higher meat yield in the domestic chicken, differences in whole-animal, tissue, cellular, and regulatory responses are evident between broiler and layer type birds. In the altricial red-winged blackbird, despite appearance of a whole animal endothermic response sometime after 7 dph, capacity of skeletal muscles involved in shivering thermogenesis peaks prior to that time. Thus, full development of endothermy is delayed in this species, allowing the altricial nestling to allocate energy towards growth rather than metabolic maintenance. Hypothyroidism in neonate red-winged blackbirds results in delayed maturation of the cardiovascular system and mitochondrial oxidative capacity of skeletal muscle. Such deficiencies were quickly recovered once the animals returned to a normothyroid state, apparently at the cost of increasing body mass. Insights into onset of thermoregulation provide a more thorough understanding of metabolic and physical transitions a hatchling bird must undergo to reach the adult endothermic phenotype. Endothermic capacity will continue to be at the forefront of physiological research because of the significance of changes between the energetic relations of an animal that must occur with its environment.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Sirsat, Sarah Goy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effects of High Intensity Radiant Energy on Skin: [Part] 1. Type of Energy and Its Relation to Energy Delivery Rate

Description: Abstract: Burn lesions were produced by radiant energy, 3100 A to 22000 A, on depilated rat skin. The gross and microscopic pathological changes so caused are described and correlated with the amounts of incident energy and the rate of energy delivery. Within the limits studied, 0.2 to 64 cal./cm.2/sec. and 0.1 to 8.0 seconds, it was found that increasing the rate of energy delivery lowered the amount of energy required to produce a specified degree of tissue injury. The tissue changes were in many respects similar to those described for contact burns of the skin of rats and other animals. The findings suggest the action of such intensities of this spectrum of radiant energy is essentially of a thermal nature.
Date: March 17, 1952
Creator: Sheline, Glenn E.; Alpen, Edward L.; Kuhl, P. R. & Ahokas, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Regulation of Alternative Sigma Factors During Oxidative and Ph Stresses in the Phototroph Rhodopseudomonas Palustris

Description: Rhodopseudomonas palustris is a metabolically versatile phototrophic α-proteobacterium. The organism experiences a wide range of stresses in its environment and during metabolism. The oxidative an pH stresses of four ECF (extracytoplasmic function) σ-factors are investigated. Three of these, σ0550, σ1813, and σ1819 show responses to light-generated singlet oxygen and respiration-generated superoxide reactive oxygen species (ROS). The EcfG homolog, σ4225, shows a high response to superoxide and acid stress. Two proteins, one containing the EcfG regulatory sequence, and an alternative exported catalase, KatE, are presented to be regulated by σ4225. Transcripts of both genes show similar responses to oxidative stress compared to σ4225, indicating it is the EcfG-like σ-factor homolog and controls the global stress response in R. palustris.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Perry, Leslie M.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Draft genome sequence of Therminicola potens strain JR

Description: 'Thermincola potens' strain JR is one of the first Gram-positive dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria (DMRB) for which there is a complete genome sequence. Consistent with the physiology of this organism, preliminary annotation revealed an abundance of multiheme c-type cytochromes that are putatively associated with the periplasm and cell surface in a Gram-positive bacterium. Here we report the complete genome sequence of strain JR.
Date: July 1, 2010
Creator: Byrne-Bailey, K.G.; Wrighton, K.C.; Melnyk, R.A.; Agbo, P.; Hazen, T.C. & Coates, J.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Respiratory Responses in the Freshwater Snail (Pomacea Bridgesii) are Differently Affected by Temperature, Body Mass,and Oxygen Availability

Description: Pomacea bridgesii is a snail species native to tropical and sub-tropical regions, where it usually faces variability in water, temperature and oxygen level. This study of the effect of temperature on mass-specific oxygen consumption (ṀO2) and its relation to body weight shows that the ṀO2 of juvenile snails in normoxia (18-21 kPa) acclimated at temperature of 25°C ranged from 5 to 58 µMol O2/g/h, with a mean of 41.4 ± 18.3 µMol O2/g/h (n=7). Adult snails in normoxia at 25°C show less variation, ranging from 13 to 23 µMol O2/g/h , with a mean of 24.4± 6.1 µMol O2/g/h (n=12). The Q10 value for juvenile snails was higher in the interval 25-30°C (Q 10=5.74) than in the interval 20-25°C (Q10= 0.286). In adult snails, Q10 was higher in the interval 20-25°C (Q10=3.19). ṀO2 of P. bridgesii in relation to body weight showed a negative linear correlation between metabolic rate and body weight with b values between 0.23 and 0.76. Also, both juvenile and adult snails exhibited weak O2 regulation. In general, the different respiratory characteristics between juvenile and adult snails might be related to the differences of individual life history, which caused them to perform differently in face of temperatures change. Additionally, Pomacean snails species originated in tropical habitats where there is a lack of thermal fluctuation. For this reason, Pomacean snails may be less likely to have evolved effective thermal acclimation capabilities.
Date: August 2016
Creator: Frifer, Wenasa Salem
Partner: UNT Libraries

Retinoic acid Treatment Affects Kidney Development and Osmoregulatory System in the Developing Chicken (Gallus Gallus)

Description: Development is a dynamic process characterized by critical periods in which organ systems are sensitive to changes in the surrounding environment. In the current study, critical windows of embryonic growth and kidney development were assessed in the embryonic chicken. All‐trans retinoic acid (tRA) influences not only organogenesis and cell proliferation, but also targets metanephric kidney nephrogenesis. Embryonic chickens were given a single injection of tRA on embryonic day 8. tRA decreased embryo, kidney, and heart mass from day 16 to day 18. However, mass specific kidney and heart masses showed no differences. Whole blood, plasma, and allantoic fluid osmolality were altered in tRA treated embryos from day 16 to day 18. In addition, hematocrit, red blood cell count, and hemoglobin concentration were altered in tRA treated embryos. The results suggest that although nephrogenesis was not affected by tRA, the developing osmoregulatory system was altered in tRA treated embryos.
Date: May 2011
Creator: Alvine, Travis Douglas
Partner: UNT Libraries

Effect of Nucleus Circularis and Lateral Preoptic Lesions on Osmotically Induced Drinking

Description: The area most widely associated with osmoreception has been the lateral preoptic nucleus. However, Hatton (1976) proposed that the nucleus circularis could be the actual osmoreceptor in the hypothalamus. The present study supported Hatton by using 30 rats which were randomly assigned to sham, lateral preoptic, and nucleus circularis lesion groups. After a 2-week post-operative period, half of each group was injected with isotonic saline while the other half was injected with hypertonic saline. Water consumption was measured at 10-minute intervals for one hour. Following a 4-day recovery period, the injection procedure was reversed. Analysis of difference scores, computed by subtracting the amount of water consumed after isotonic injection from the amount of water consumed after hypertonic injection, revealed a significant difference between the nucleus circularis group and the other two groups.
Date: August 1982
Creator: Wallace, Forrest Layne
Partner: UNT Libraries

The effect of seat back angle on responses during recumbent cycling

Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate metabolic, cardiorespiratory, and perceptual responses during recumbent cycle ergometry performed at various seat back angles and different work rates. Healthy college-aged men performed steady-state exercise at two work rates, 100 watts (n=46) and 150 watts (n=26), using five back seat angles, 90, 105, 120, 135, and 150 degrees.
Date: December 1990
Creator: Smith, Jimmy
Partner: UNT Libraries

Determination of neuronal morphology in spinal monolayer cultures

Description: The objective of the completed research was to characterize the morphology of individual neurons within monolayer networks of fetal mouse spinal tissue via intraperikaryal injections of horseradish peroxidase (HRP). Thirty labelled neurons were reconstructed via camera lucida drawings and morphometrically analyzed.
Date: May 1989
Creator: De La Garza, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries

Functional Properties and Organization of Primary Somatosensory Cortex

Description: The physiological characteristics and organization of cat primary somatosensory cortex (SI) were studied in electrophysiological and anatomical experiments. In single cell recording experiments, quantitatively controlled mechanical stimuli were used to examine the responses of SI cortical neurons to the velocity component of skin or hair displacement. The firing frequency of most rapidly adapting neurons increased as stimulus velocity was increased. Rapidly adapting neurons were classified based on their response patterns to constant-velocity ramp stimuli. Neurons in these classes differed significantly in sensitivity to stimulus velocity and amplitude, adaptation rate, and spontaneous firing rate. The results suggest that frequency coding of stimulus displacement velocity could be performed by individual SI rapidly adapting neurons, and that the classes of rapidly adapting neurons may play different roles in sensation of tactile stimuli. Tract-tracing experiments were used to investigate the ipsilateral corticocortical connections of areas 3b and 2 in SI. Different patterns of connections were found for these areas: area 2 projects to areas 3b, 1, 3a, 5a, 4 and second somatosensory cortex (SII), and area 3b projects to areas 2, 1, 3a and SII. To further compare the organization of these areas, the thalamic input to the forepaw representation within each area was studied. The forepaw region in area 3b receives thalamic input exclusively from ventroposteriopr lateral nucleus (VPL), while area 2 receives input from VPL, medial division of the posterior complex (PoM), and lateral posterior nucleus (LP). These results suggest that area 2 lies at a higher position in the hierarchy of somatosensory information flow.
Date: December 1993
Creator: Esteky, Hossein
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

Physiological Assessment and Behavioral Interaction of Wild and Hatchery Juvenile Salmonids : The Relationship of Fish Size and Growth to Smoltification in Spring Chinook Salmon.

Description: Experiments were performed to determine the relative influence of size and growth rate on downstream migratory disposition and physiology in yearling spring chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawtscha) smolts. A group of juvenile chinook salmon was size graded into small and large categories with half the fish in each group reared at an elevated temperature, resulting in four distinct treatment groups: Large Warm (LW), Large Cool (LC), Small Warm (SW), and Small Cool (SC). Fish from warm-water treatment groups displayed significantly higher growth rates than cool-water groups. Fish were tagged and released into a natural creek where downstream movement was monitored. For each of the two releases, fish that migrated past a weir within the first 5 days postrelease had significantly higher spring growth rates than fish that did not migrate within that period. Significant differences in length for the same fish were only found in the second release. Also for the second release, fish from the warm water treatment groups were recovered in higher proportions than fish from cool water groups. The results indicate that increased growth rate in the spring has a positive relation to downstream migratory disposition. Furthermore, there is a relation between smolt size and migration; however, this relation is weaker than that found between growth rate and migration.
Date: October 1, 1996
Creator: Beckman, Brian R.; Larsen, Donald A.; Lee-Pawlak, Beeda & Dickhoff, Walton W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dissecting Biological Dark Matter: Single Cell Genetic Analysis of TM7, a Rare and Uncultivated Microbe from the Human Mouth

Description: We have developed a microfluidic device that allows the isolation and genome amplification of individual microbial cells, thereby enabling organism-level genomic analysis of complex microbial ecosystems without the need for culture. This device was used to perform a directed survey of the human subgingival crevice and to isolate bacteria having rod-like morphology. Several isolated microbes had a 16S rRNA sequence that placed them in candidate phylum TM7, which has no cultivated or sequenced members. Genome amplification from individual TM7 cells allowed us to sequence and assemble >1,000 genes, providing insight into the physiology of members of this phylum. This approach enables single-cell genetic analysis of any uncultivated minority member of a microbial community.
Date: July 1, 2007
Creator: Fenner, Marsha W; Marcy, Yann; Ouverney, Cleber; Bik, Elisabeth M.; Losekann, Tina; Ivanova, Natalia et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Expansion of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea

Description: To date the vast majority of bacterial and archaeal genomes sequenced are of rather limited phylogenetic diversity as they were chosen based on their physiology and/ or medical importance. The Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea (GEBA) project (Wu et al. 2009) is aimed to systematically filling the gaps of the tree of life with phylogenetically diverse reference genomes. However more than 99percent of microorganisms elude current culturing attempts, severely limiting the ability to recover complete or even partial genomes of these largely mysterious species. These limitations gave rise to the GEBA uncultured project. Here we propose to use single cell genomics to massively expand the Genomic Encyclopedia of Bacteria and Archaea by targeting 80 single cell representatives of uncultured candidate phyla which have no or very few cultured representatives. Generating these reference genomes of uncultured microbes will dramatically increase the discovery rate of novel protein families and biological functions, shed light on the numerous underrepresented phyla that likely play important roles in the environment, and will assist in improving the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of Bacteria and Archaea. Moreover, these data will improve our ability to interpret metagenomics sequence data from diverse environments, which will be of tremendous value for microbial ecology and evolutionary studies to come.
Date: March 20, 2011
Creator: Rinke, Christian; Sczyrba, Alex; Malfatti, Stephanie; Lee, Janye; Cheng, Jan-Fang; Stepanauskas, Ramunas et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cardiovascular Fetal Programming in Quail (Colinus virginianus), An Avian Comparative Model

Description: The consequences of early embryonic insults and how they affect subsequent life reflects the emerging concept of "fetal programming". The aim of this project is to study the effects of embryonic insults as they subsequently manifest themselves in adults, with emphasis on the heart and vasculature. My experiments establish that fetal programming operates on the bobwhite quail inducing similar changes as those observed in mammalians and other birds. The quail's fast development provides reliable data in a short period of time than other avian models (e.g. domestic chicken). Data on quail showed a correlation between egg mass and hatchling mass; where small eggs produce small hatchlings but a high mortality made it impractical as a stressor for this study. Hypoxia was used as a stressor during embryonic incubation, where it induced a low hatching weight in quail that was not observable in adult birds. Morphological measurements demonstrated an increased ventricular collagen content and reduced ventricular lumen in birds in adults incubated in hypoxia consistent with hypertension. The hematological analyzes showed few differences indicating organ remodeling instead of hematopoietic compensation. The assessment of vascular reactivity pointed out an impaired endothelium dependent relaxation commonly associated to hypertension in birds and mammals. Fetal programming could be a widespread response to an adverse prenatal environment in endotherms and the resulting data from this work contributes to our understanding of fetal programming in vertebrates and its long term consequences.
Date: December 2016
Creator: Flores Santin, Josele
Partner: UNT Libraries

Quantitative EEG Analysis of Individuals with Chronic Pain

Description: Recent advances in neuroimaging and electromagnetic measurement technology have permitted the exploration of structural and functional brain alterations associated with chronic pain. A number of cortical and subcortical brain regions have been found to be involved in the experience of chronic pain (Baliki et al., 2008; Jensen et al., 2010). Evidence suggests that living with chronic pain shapes the brain from both an architectural and a functional perspective, and that individuals living with chronic pain display altered brainwave activity even at rest. Quantitative EEG (qEEG) is a method of spectral analysis that utilizes a fast Fourier transform algorithm to convert analog EEG signals into digital signals, allowing for precise quantification and analysis of signals both at single electrode locations and across the scalp as a whole. An important advance that has been permitted by qEEG analysis is the development of lifespan normative databases against which individual qEEGs can be compared (Kaiser, 2006; Thatcher et al, 2000). Pilot data utilizing qEEG to examine brainwave patterns of individuals with chronic pain have revealed altered EEG activity at rest compared to age- and gender-matched healthy individuals (Burroughs, 2011). The current investigation extended the findings of the pilot study by utilizing qEEG to examine a larger sample of individuals with chronic pain. Individuals with chronic pain displayed significantly reduced slow wave activity in frontal, central, and temporal regions. Findings will be presented in terms of specific patterns of altered EEG activity seen in individuals with chronic pain.
Date: December 2015
Creator: Burroughs, Ramona D.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Systems Biology Knowledgebase for a New Era in Biology A Genomics:GTL Report from the May 2008 Workshop

Description: Biology has entered a systems-science era with the goal to establish a predictive understanding of the mechanisms of cellular function and the interactions of biological systems with their environment and with each other. Vast amounts of data on the composition, physiology, and function of complex biological systems and their natural environments are emerging from new analytical technologies. Effectively exploiting these data requires developing a new generation of capabilities for analyzing and managing the information. By revealing the core principles and processes conserved in collective genomes across all biology and by enabling insights into the interplay between an organism's genotype and its environment, systems biology will allow scientific breakthroughs in our ability to project behaviors of natural systems and to manipulate and engineer managed systems. These breakthroughs will benefit Department of Energy (DOE) missions in energy security, climate protection, and environmental remediation.
Date: March 1, 2009
Creator: Gregurick, S.; Fredrickson, J. K. & Stevens, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department