Contributors: Brandon, Christopher, Frost, William N.
... The pedal ganglion of the nudibranch gastropod Tritonia diomedea has been the focus of neurophysiological studies for more than 50 years. These investigations have examined the neural basis of behaviors as diverse as swimming, crawling, reflex withdrawals, orientation to water flow, orientation to the earth’s magnetic field, and learning. In spite of this sustained research focus, most studies have confined themselves to the layer of neurons that are visible on the ganglion’s surface, leaving many neurons, which reside in deeper layers, largely unknown and thus unstudied. To facilitate work on such neurons, the present study used serial section light microscopy to generate a detailed pictorial atlas of the pedal ganglion. One pedal ganglion was sectioned horizontally at 2 µm, and another vertically at 5 µm intervals. The resulting images were examined separately or combined into stacks to generate movie tours through the ganglion. These were also used to generate 3D reconstructions of individual neurons, and rotating movies of digitally desheathed whole ganglia to reveal all surface neurons. A complete neuron count of the horizontally sectioned ganglion yielded 1885 neurons. Real and virtual sections from the image stacks were used to reveal the morphology of individual neurons, as well as the major axon bundles traveling within the ganglion to and between its several nerves and connectives. Extensive supplemental data are provided, as well as a link to the Dryad Data Repository site where the complete sets of high resolution serial section images can be downloaded.
Data from: Exploring the potential pharmacodynamic material basis and pharmacologic mechanism of the Fufang-Xialian-Capsule in chronic atrophic gastritis by network pharmacology approach based on the components absorbed into the blood
Contributors: Li, Shizhe, Xu, Tengfei, Liu, Shu, Liu, Zhiqiang, Pi, Zifeng, Song, Fengrui, Jin, Yongri
... In this study, a new network pharmacology approach based on the components absorbed into the blood was utilized to investigate the pharmacodynamic material basis and the pharmacologic mechanism of the Fufang-Xialian-Capsule (FXL) in treating chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG). Initially, we confirmed the components absorbed into the blood by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Then, the network approach, which was based on the results of components absorbed into the blood, was utilized to analyze the pharmacodynamic material basis and the pharmacologic mechanism of FXL on treating CAG. As a result, 22 absorbed components were found in the rat’s plasma. Given the results of the absorption analysis of the components, 8 pathways associated with CAG development were found. The targets linked to these pathways are the drug targets of FXL in CAG treatment. The components associated with these targets are the potential pharmacodynamic material basis and exert synergy in regulating pathways during CAG treatment.
Data from: Effector gene birth in plant parasitic nematodes: neofunctionalization of a housekeeping glutathione synthetase gene
Contributors: Lilley, Catherine J., Maqbool, Abbas, Wu, Duqing, Yusup, Hazijah B., Jones, Laura M., Birch, Paul R. J., Banfield, Mark J., Urwin, Peter E., Eves-van den Akker, Sebastian
... Plant pathogens and parasites are a major threat to global food security. Plant parasitism has arisen four times independently within the phylum Nematoda, resulting in at least one parasite of every major food crop in the world. Some species within the most economically important order (Tylenchida) secrete proteins termed effectors into their host during infection to re-programme host development and immunity. The precise detail of how nematodes evolve new effectors is not clear. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of a novel effector gene family. We show that during the evolution of plant parasitism in the Tylenchida, the housekeeping glutathione synthetase (GS) gene was extensively replicated. New GS paralogues acquired multiple dorsal gland promoter elements, altered spatial expression to the secretory dorsal gland, altered temporal expression to primarily parasitic stages, and gained a signal peptide for secretion. The gene products are delivered into the host plant cell during infection, giving rise to “GS-like effectors”. Remarkably, by solving the structure of GS-like effectors we show that during this process they have also diversified in biochemical activity, and likely represent the founding members of a novel class of GS-like enzyme. Our results demonstrate the re-purposing of an endogenous housekeeping gene to form a family of effectors with modified functions. We anticipate that our discovery will be a blueprint to understand the evolution of other plant-parasitic nematode effectors, and the foundation to uncover a novel enzymatic function.
Data from: The reproductive biology of two poorly known relatives of the fig (Ficus) and insights into the evolution of the fig syconium.
Contributors: Thorogood, Chris, Dalton, Naomi, Irvine, Aisa, Hiscock, Simon
... We conducted the first detailed investigation of the floral architecture and reproductive biology of two species from the genus Dorstenia, which are poorly known relatives of Ficus (Moraceae). Our aims were to extend and refine knowledge of the understudied genus Dorstenia and to explore possible insights into the evolution of the fig syconium. We characterised four key stages of floral development using light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and histological staining. Reproductive biology was found to be complex and species-specific. Both study species are monoecious and produce an inflorescence of minute male and female flowers. Protogyny, associated with a spatial separation of male and female flowers and asynchronous stamen development, was species-specific, as was seed set. Our results reveal novel insights into the complex reproductive biology of an under-studied genus in the family Moraceae. We propose that exploring the reproductive biology of Dorstenia and other poorly known Ficus relatives will provide insights into the evolution of the fig syconium – the unique reproductive structure of this economically and ecologically important genus.
Data from: First molecular characterization of Echinococcus granulosus (sensu stricto) genotype 1 among cattle in Sudan
Contributors: Ahmed, Mohamed E., Salim, Bashir, Grobusch, Martin P., Aradaib, Imadeldin E.
... Background: Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato (s.l.) is the causative agent of cystic echinococcosis (CE), which is a cosmopolitan zoonotic parasitic disease infecting humans and a wide range of mammalian species including cattle. Currently, little information is available on the genetic diversity of Echinococcus species among livestock in Sudan. In the present study, fifty (n = 50) hydatid cysts were collected from cattle carcasses (one cyst sample per animal) at Al-kadarou slaughterhouse, Khartoum North, Sudan. DNA was extracted from protoscolices and the germinal layer of each cyst and subsequently amplified by PCR targeting the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (NADH-1) gene. The amplified PCR products were purified and subjected to direct sequencing for subsequent construction of phylogenetic tree and net work analysis. Results: The phylogenetic tree revealed the presence of Echinococcus canadenesis genotype 6 (G6) in 44 cysts (88.0%), Echinococcus ortleppi genotype 5 (G5) in 4 cysts (8.0%) and Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto (s.s) genotype 1 (G1) in 2 cysts (4.0%). The phylogenetic network analysis revealed genetic variation among the different haplotypes/genotypes. This report has provided, for the first time, an insight of the role of cattle in the transmission of the zoonotic G1 echinococosis. Conclusions: The results of the study illustrate that Sudanese breeds of cattle may play an important role in the transmission dynamics and the epidemiology of cystic echinococcosis in Sudan. This study reports the first molecular identification of E. granulosus s.s. in cattle in Central Sudan.
Contributors: Bergeron, Zachary T., Fuller, Rebecca C.
... Assessing variation in animal coloration is difficult as animals differ in their visual system properties. This has led some to propose that human vision can never be used to evaluate coloration, yet many studies have a long history of relying on human vision. To reconcile these views, we compared the reflectance spectra of preserved avian plumage elements with two measures that are humans biased: RGB values from digital photographs and the corresponding reflectance spectra from a field guide. We measured 73 plumage elements across 14 bird species. The field guide reflectance spectra were drastically different from that of the actual birds, particularly for blue elements. However, principal components analyses on all three data sets indicated remarkably similar data structure. We conclude that human vision can detect much of the variation in coloration in the visible range, providing fodder for subsequent studies in ecology, evolution, behavior, and visual ecology.
Contributors: Bouson, Supaporn, Krittayavathananon, Atiweena, Phattharasupakun, Nutthaphon, Siwayaprahm, Patcharaporn, Sawangphruk, Montree
... Although metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) or porous coordination polymers have been widely studied, their antimicrobial activities have not yet been fully investigated. In this work, antifungal activity of copper-based benzene-tricarboxylate MOF (Cu-BTC MOF), which is water stable and industrially interesting, is investigated against Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus oryzae and Fusarium oxysporum. The Cu-BTC MOF can effectively inhibit the growth rate of C. albicans and remarkably inhibit the spore growth of A. niger, A. oryzae and F. oxysporum. This finding shows the potential of using Cu-BTC MOF as a strong biocidal material against representative yeasts and moulds that are commonly found in the food and agricultural industries.
Contributors: Reeves, Scott, Fletcher, Simon, McLoughlin, Clodagh, Yim, Alastair, Patel, Kunal D.
... Objectives: This article presents the findings from a scoping review which explores the nature of interprofessional online learning in primary health care. The review was informed by the following questions: What is the nature of evidence on online postgraduate education for primary health care interprofessional teams? What learning approaches and study methods are used in this context? What is the range of reported outcomes for primary health care learners, their organisations and the care they deliver to patients/clients? Setting: The review explored the global literature on interprofessional online learning in primary health care settings. Participants: n/a Primary and secondary outcome measures: n/a Results: The review found that the 23 included studies employed a range of different e-learning methods with contrasting course durations, use of theory, participant mix, approaches to accreditation and assessment of learning. Most of the included studies reported outcomes associated with learner reactions and positive changes in participant attitudes/perceptions and improvement in knowledge/skills as a result of engagement in an e-learning course. In contrast, fewer studies reported changes in participant behaviours, changes in organisational practice and improvements to patients/clients. Conclusions: A number of educational, methodological and outcome implications could be offered. E-learning enhances education experience, supports development, eases time constraints, overcomes geographic limitations and offers greater flexibility. However it also contributes to the isolation of learners and its benefits can be negated by technical problems.
Data from: The magnitude of ivacaftor effects on fluid secretion via R117H-CFTR channels: human in vivo measurements
Contributors: Char, Jessica E., Dunn, Colleen, Davies, Zoe, Milla, Carlos, Moss, Richard B., Wine, Jeffrey J.
... We optically measured effects of orally available ivacaftor (Kalydeco®) on sweat rates of identified glands in 3 R117H subjects, each having a unique set of additional mutations, and compared them with 5 healthy control subjects tested contemporaneously. We injected β-adrenergic agonists intradermally to stimulate CFTR-dependent ‘C-sweat’ and methacholine to stimulate ‘M-sweat’, which persists in CF subjects. We focused on an R117H-7T/F508del subject who produced quantifiable C-sweat off ivacaftor and was available for 1 blinded, 3 off ivacaftor, and 3 on ivacaftor tests, allowing us to estimate in vivo fold-increase in sweat rates produced by ivacaftor’s effect on the open probability (PO) of R117H-CFTR. Measured sweat rates must be corrected for sweat losses. With estimated sweat losses of 0.023 to 0.08 nl·gland-1·min-1, ivacaftor increased the average C-sweat rates 3-7 fold, and estimated function as % of WT were 4.1-12% off ivacaftor and 21.9-32% on ivacaftor (larger values reflect increased loss estimates). Based on single tests, an R117H-7T/ R117H-7T subject showed 6-9% WT function off ivacaftor and 28-43% on ivacaftor. Repeat testing of an R117H-5T/F508del subject detected only trace responding to ivacaftor. We conclude that in vivo, R117H PO is strongly increased by ivacaftor, but channel number, mainly determined by variable deletion of exon 10, has a marked influence on outcomes.
Data from: Nonselective bottlenecks control the divergence and diversification of phase-variable bacterial populations
Contributors: Aidley, Jack, Rajopadhye, Shweta, Akinyemi, Nwanekka M., Lango-Scholey, Lea, Bayliss, Christopher D.
... Phase variation occurs in many pathogenic and commensal bacteria and is a major generator of genetic variability. A putative advantage of phase variation is to counter reductions in variability imposed by nonselective bottlenecks during transmission. Genomes of Campylobacter jejuni, a widespread food-borne pathogen, contain multiple phase-variable loci whose rapid, stochastic variation is generated by hypermutable simple sequence repeat tracts. These loci can occupy a vast number of combinatorial expression states (phasotypes) enabling populations to rapidly access phenotypic diversity. The imposition of nonselective bottlenecks can perturb the relative frequencies of phasotypes, changing both within-population diversity and divergence from the initial population. Using both in vitro testing of C. jejuni populations and a simple stochastic simulation of phasotype change, we observed that single-cell bottlenecks produce output populations of low diversity but with bimodal patterns of either high or low divergence. Conversely, large bottlenecks allow divergence only by accumulation of diversity, while interpolation between these extremes is observed in intermediary bottlenecks. These patterns are sensitive to the genetic diversity of initial populations but stable over a range of mutation rates and number of loci. The qualitative similarities of experimental and in silico modeling indicate that the observed patterns are robust and applicable to other systems where localized hypermutation is a defining feature. We conclude that while phase variation will maintain bacterial population diversity in the face of intermediate bottlenecks, narrow transmission-associated bottlenecks could produce host-to-host variation in bacterial phenotypes and hence stochastic variation in colonization and disease outcomes.