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Recovery of the Maternal Skeleton after Lactation Is Impaired by Advanced Maternal Age but Not by Reduced Igf Availability in the Mouse

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-01
Abstract: 

Background

Lactation results in substantial maternal bone loss that is recovered following weaning. However, the mechanisms underlying this recovery, and in particular the role of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-I), is not clear. Furthermore, there is little data regarding whether recovery is affected by advanced maternal age.

Methods

Using micro-computed tomography, we studied bone recovery following lactation in mice at 2, 5 and 7 months of age. We also investigated the effects of reduced IGF-I availability using mice lacking PAPP-A2, a protease of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 5 (IGFBP-5).

Results

In 2 month old mice, lactation affected femoral trabecular and cortical bone, but only cortical bone showed recovery 3 weeks after weaning. This recovery was not affected by deletion of the Pappa2 gene. The amount of trabecular bone was reduced in 5 and 7 month old mice, and was not further reduced by lactation. However, the recovery of cortical bone was impaired at 5 and 7 months compared with at 2 months.

Conclusions

Recovery of the maternal skeleton after lactation is impaired in moderately-aged mice compared with younger mice. Our results may be relevant to the long-term effects of breastfeeding on the maternal skeleton in humans, particularly given the increasing median maternal age at childbearing.

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Article
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Tracking the Rising Extinction Risk of Sharks and Rays in the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-07-28
Abstract: 

The loss of biodiversity is increasingly well understood on land, but trajectories of extinction risk remain largely unknown in the ocean. We present regional Red List Indices (RLIs) to track the extinction risk of 119 Northeast Atlantic and 72 Mediterranean shark and ray species primarily threatened by overfishing. We combine two IUCN workshop assessments from 2003/2005 and 2015 with a retrospective backcast assessment for 1980. We incorporate predicted categorisations for Data Deficient species from our previously published research. The percentage of threatened species rose from 1980 to 2015 from 29 to 41% (Northeast Atlantic) and 47 to 65% (Mediterranean Sea). There are as many threatened sharks and rays in Europe as there are threatened birds, but the threat level is nearly six times greater by percentage (41%, n = 56 of 136 vs. 7%, n = 56 of 792). The Northeast Atlantic RLI declined by 8% from 1980 to 2015, while the higher-risk Mediterranean RLI declined by 13%. Larger-bodied, shallow-distributed, slow-growing species and those with range boundaries within the region are more likely to have worsening status in the Northeast Atlantic. Conversely, long-established, severe threat levels obscure any potential relationships between species’ traits and the likelihood of worsening IUCN status in the Mediterranean Sea. These regional RLIs provide the first widespread evidence for increasing trends in regional shark and ray extinction risk and underscore that effective fisheries management is necessary to recover the ecosystem function of these predators.

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Article
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Listeria Membrane Protrusion Collapse: Requirement of Cyclophilin A for Listeria Cell-to-Cell Spreading

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2018-05-04
Abstract: 

Listeria generate actin-rich tubular protrusions at the plasma membrane that propel the bacteria into neighboring cells. The precise molecular mechanisms governing the formation of these protrusions remain poorly defined. In this study, we demonstrate that the prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) cyclophilin A (CypA) is hijacked by Listeria at membrane protrusions used for cell-to-cell spreading. Cyclophilin A localizes within the F-actin of these structures and is crucial for their proper formation, as cells depleted of CypA have extended actin-rich structures that are misshaped and are collapsed due to changes within the F-actin network. The lack of structural integrity within the Listeria membrane protrusions hampers the microbes from spreading from CypA null cells. Our results demonstrate a crucial role for CypA during Listeria infections.

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Article
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Distribution of CD147 During Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica Serovar Typhimurium Infections

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2019-08-23
Abstract: 

Enteropathogenic Escherichia coli (EPEC) and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) are highly infectious gastrointestinal human pathogens. These microbes inject bacterial-derived effector proteins directly into the host cell cytosol as part of their disease processes. A common host subcellular target of these pathogens is the actin cytoskeleton, which is commandeered by the bacteria and is used during their attachment onto (EPEC) or invasion into (S. Typhimurium) the host cells. We previously demonstrated that the host enzyme cyclophilin A (CypA) is recruited to the actin-rich regions of EPEC pedestals and S. Typhimurium membrane ruffles. To further expand the growing catalogue of host proteins usurped by actin-hijacking bacteria, we examined the host plasma membrane protein and cognate receptor of CypA, CD147, during EPEC and S. Typhimurium infections. Here, we show that CD147 is enriched at the basolateral regions of pedestals but, unlike CypA, it is absent from their actin-rich core. We show that the CD147 recruitment to these areas requires EPEC pedestal formation and not solely bacteria-host cell contact. Additionally, we demonstrate that the depletion of CD147 by siRNA does not alter the formation of pedestals. Finally, we show that CD147 is also a component of actin-rich membrane ruffles generated during S. Typhimurium invasion of host cells. Collectively, our findings establish CD147 as another host component present at dynamic actin-rich structures formed during bacterial infections.

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Article
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Variables Affecting Shoot Growth and Plantlet Recovery in Tissue Cultures of Drug-Type Cannabis sativa L.

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-21
Abstract: 

Tissue culture approaches are widely used in crop plants for the purposes of micropropagation, regeneration of plants through organogenesis, obtaining pathogen-free plantlets from meristem culture, and developing genetically modified plants. In this research, we evaluated variables that can influence the success of shoot growth and plantlet production in tissue cultures of drug-type Cannabis sativa L. (marijuana). Various sterilization methods were tested to ensure shoot development from nodal explants by limiting the frequency of contaminating endophytes, which otherwise caused the death of explants. Seven commercially grown tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing cannabis genotypes (strains) showed significant differences in response to shoot growth from meristems and nodal explants on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing thidiazuron (1 μM) and naphthaleneacetic acid (0.5 μM) plus 1% activated charcoal. The effect of Driver and Kuniyuki Walnut (DKW) or MS basal salts in media on shoot length and leaf numbers from nodal explants was compared and showed genotype dependency with regard to the growth response. To obtain rooted plantlets, shoots from meristems and nodal explants of genotype Moby Dick were evaluated for rooting, following the addition of sodium metasilicate, silver nitrate, indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), kinetin, or 2,4-D. Sodium metasilicate improved the visual appearance of the foliage and improved the rate of rooting. Silver nitrate also promoted rooting. Following acclimatization, plantlet survival in hydroponic culture, peat plugs, and rockwool substrate was 57, 76, and 83%, respectively. The development of plantlets from meristems is described for the first time in C. sativa and has potential for obtaining pathogen-free plants. The callogenesis response of leaf explants of 11 genotypes on MS medium without activated charcoal was 35% to 100%, depending on the genotype; organogenesis was not observed. The success in recovery of plantlets from meristems and nodal explants is influenced by cannabis genotype, degree of endophytic contamination of the explants, and frequency of rooting. The procedures described here have potential applications for research and commercial utility to obtain plantlets in stage 1 tissue cultures of C. sativa.

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Methane emission dynamics among CO2-absorbing and thermokarst lakes of a great Arctic delta

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-09-28
Abstract: 

Lake-rich Arctic deltas differ biogeochemically from tundra lakes, and their role as sources and sinks of greenhouse gases remains poorly understood. Under-ice and open-water changes in methane (CH4) storage (43 lakes, 2014), floating chamber measurements of total and diffusive CH4 evasion to the atmosphere (6 lakes, 2014-2015), and water-column CH4 oxidation (MOX) (6 lakes, 2014-2015) permitted evaluation of how CH4 emissions vary among lakes with differing river-to-lake connection times within the Mackenzie Delta. CH4 emissions during ice-out were considerable, followed by substantial declines as open-water progressed. Water-column MOX rates were highest after ice-out, and declined throughout open-water. After accounting for a strong effect of CH4 substrate levels, MOX rates were inversely related to pH, which can increase to high levels during open-water because of high macrophyte production. Comparisons of water-column CH4 storage versus open-water fluxes (6 lakes) showed that diffusive evasion plus MOX removed most CH4 in the water columns every 1-2 days with only modest changes in storage, suggesting that counter-balancing water-column replenishment is substantial. Lakes with short river-connection times (i.e. most strongly autotrophic and strongly CO2- absorbing in this delta) and thermokarst lakes contribute disproportionately to CH4 flux, relative to lakes with long river-connection times. Thus, this great Arctic delta represents an important system of greenhouse-gas emitting lakes despite prior work showing their net absorption of CO2 during open-water, and having a low landscape area of CO2-saturated thermokarst lakes. Autotrophically absorbed CO2 becomes labile carbon substrate, and is microbially shunted back to the atmosphere as the more potent greenhouse gas CH4.

Document type: 
Article

The Role and Value of Science in Shark Conservation Advocacy

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-08-17
Abstract: 

Many species of sharks are threatened with extinction, and there has been a longstanding debate in scientific and environmental circles over the most effective and appropriate strategy to conserve and protect them. Should we allow for sustainable fisheries exploitation of species which can withstand fishing pressure, or ban all fisheries for sharks and trade in shark products? In the developing world, exploitation of fisheries resources can be essential to food security and poverty alleviation, and global management efforts are typically focused on sustainably maximizing economic benefits. This approach aligns with traditional fisheries management and the perspectives of most surveyed scientific researchers who study sharks. However, in Europe and North America, sharks are increasingly venerated as wildlife to be preserved irrespective of conservation status, resulting in growing pressure to prohibit exploitation of sharks and trade in shark products. To understand the causes and significance of this divergence in goals, we surveyed 155 shark conservation focused environmental advocates from 78 environmental non-profits, and asked three key questions: (1) where do advocates get scientific information? (2) Does all policy-relevant scientific information reach advocates? and (3) Do advocates work towards the same policy goals identified by scientific researchers? Findings suggest many environmental advocates are aware of key scientific results and use science-based arguments in their advocacy, but a small but vocal subset of advocates report that they never read the scientific literature or speak to scientists. Engagement with science appears to be a key predictor of whether advocates support sustainable management of shark fisheries or bans on shark fishing and trade in shark products. Conservation is a normative discipline, and this analysis more clearly articulates two distinct perspectives in shark conservation. Most advocates support the same evidence-based policies as academic and government scientists, while a smaller percentage are driven more by moral and ethical beliefs and may not find scientific research relevant or persuasive. We also find possible evidence that a small group of non-profits may be misrepresenting the state of the science while claiming to use science-based arguments, a concern that has been raised by surveyed scientists about the environmental community. This analysis suggests possible alternative avenues for engaging diverse stakeholders in productive discussions about shark conservation.

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All Sugars Ain’t Sweet: Selection of Particular Mono-, Di- and Trisaccharides by Western Carpenter Ants and European Fire Ants

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-08-18
Abstract: 

Ants select sustained carbohydrate resources, such as aphid honeydew, based on many factors including sugar type, volume and concentration. We tested the hypotheses (H1– H3) that western carpenter ants, Camponotus modoc, seek honeydew excretions from Cinara splendens aphids based solely on the presence of sugar constituents (H1), prefer sugar solutions containing aphid-specific sugars (H2) and preferentially seek sugar solutions with higher sugar content (H3). We further tested the hypothesis (H4) that workers of both Ca. modoc and European fire ants, Myrmica rubra, selectively consume particular mono-, di- and trisaccharides. In choice bioassays with entire ant colonies, sugar constituents in honeydew (but not aphid-specific sugar) as well as sugar concentration affected foraging decisions by Ca. modoc. Both Ca. modoc and M. rubra foragers preferred fructose to other monosaccharides (xylose, glucose) and sucrose to other disaccharides (maltose, melibiose, trehalose). Conversely, when offered a choice between the aphid-specific trisaccharides raffinose and melezitose, Ca. modoc and M. rubra favoured raffinose and melezitose, respectively. Testing the favourite mono-, di- and trisaccharide head-to-head, both ant species favoured sucrose. While both sugar type and sugar concentration are the ultimate cause for consumption by foraging ants, strong recruitment of nest-mates to superior sources is probably the major proximate cause.

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Article
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Research Biases Create Overrepresented “Poster Children” of Marine Invasion Ecology

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-05-04
Abstract: 

Nonnative marine species are increasingly recognized as a threat to the world's oceans, yet are poorly understood relative to their terrestrial and freshwater counterparts. Here, we conducted a systematic review of 2,203 research articles on nonnative marine animals to determine whether the current literature reflects the known diversity of marine invaders, how much we know about these species, and how frequently their impacts are measured. We found that only 39% of nonnative animals listed in the World Register of Introduced Marine Species appeared in the peer-reviewed English literature. Of those, fewer than half were the subject of more than one study. There is currently little focus on the consequences of marine introductions: only 9.9% of studies quantified the impact of nonnative species. Finally, our knowledge of nonnative marine species is heavily limited by strong taxonomic biases consistent across all phyla, resulting in one or two disproportionately well-studied representatives for each phylum, which we refer to as the “poster children” of invasion. These gaps in the literature make it difficult to effectively triage the most detrimental invasive species for management and illustrate the challenges in achieving the global biodiversity goals of preventing and managing the introduction and establishment of invasive species

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Know Your Foe: Synanthropic Spiders Are Deterred by Semiochemicals of European Fire Ants

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2021-05-19
Abstract: 

Many ants prey on spiders, suggesting that web-building spiders may avoid micro-locations near ant colonies or frequented by foraging ants. Here we tested the hypothesis that ant-derived semiochemicals deter synanthropic spiders. To generate stimuli, we exposed filter paper for 12 h to workers of European fire ants, Myrmica rubra, black garden ants, Lasius niger, or western carpenter ants, Camponotus modoc, and then offered select urban spiders in three-chamber olfactometer bioassays a choice between ant-exposed filter paper and unexposed control filter paper. Semiochemical deposits of M. rubra, but not of L. niger or C. modoc, had a significant deterrent effect on subadults of the false black widow, Steatoda grossa, the black widow, Latrodectus hesperus, and the hobo spider, Eratigena agrestis, as well as a moderate (but statistically not significant) deterrent effect on the cross spider, Araneus diadematus. The deterrent effect caused by semiochemical deposits of M. rubra may be attributable to the aggressive nature and efficient foraging of M. rubra in its invaded North American range, exerting selection pressure on community members to recognize M. rubra semiochemicals and to avoid micro-locations occupied by M. rubra.

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