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Rapid hydraulic collapse as cause of drought-induced mortality in conifers.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 Apr;118(16)

Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, 4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Understanding the vulnerability of trees to drought-induced mortality is key to predicting the fate of forests in a future climate with more frequent and intense droughts, although the underlying mechanisms are difficult to study in adult trees. Here, we explored the dynamic changes of water relations and limits of hydraulic function in dying adults of Norway spruce ( L.) during the progression of the record-breaking 2018 Central European drought. Read More

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Current and time-lagged effects of climate on innate immunity in two sympatric snake species.

Ecol Evol 2021 Apr 16;11(7):3239-3250. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Westmont College Santa Barbara CA USA.

Changing environments result in alterations at all levels of biological organization, from genetics to physiology to demography. The increasing frequency of droughts worldwide is associated with higher temperatures and reduced precipitation that can impact population persistence via effects on individual immune function and survival.We examined the effects of annual climate variation on immunity in two sympatric species of garter snakes from four populations in California over a seven-year period that included the record-breaking drought. Read More

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A modified culture medium and hyphae isolation method can increase quality of the RNA extracted from mycelia of a dimorphic fungal species.

Curr Genet 2021 Apr 10. Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Department of Genetics and Applied Microbiology, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, 4032, Debrecen, Hungary.

The capability of RNA isolation with good efficiency and high quality is essential for a downstream application such as RNA sequencing. It requires successful cell culturing and an effective RNA isolation method. Although effective methods are available, production of the homogenous mycelia and extraction of good-quality mycelial RNA from true invasive hyphae, which penetrated into the agar plates, are difficult. Read More

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Quantum computation of dominant products in lithium-sulfur batteries.

J Chem Phys 2021 Apr;154(13):134115

IBM Quantum, Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California 95120, USA.

Quantum chemistry simulations of some industrially relevant molecules are reported, employing variational quantum algorithms for near-term quantum devices. The energies and dipole moments are calculated along the dissociation curves for lithium hydride (LiH), hydrogen sulfide, lithium hydrogen sulfide, and lithium sulfide. In all cases, we focus on the breaking of a single bond to obtain information about the stability of the molecular species being investigated. Read More

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Magnetic Ordering in the Ising Antiferromagnetic Pyrochlore NdScNbO.

J Phys Condens Matter 2021 Apr 7. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

University of Winnipeg, 599 Portage Ave, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 2E9, CANADA.

The question of structural disorder and its effects on magnetism is relevant to a number of spin liquid candidate materials. Although commonly thought of as a route to spin glass behaviour, here we describe a system in which the structural disorder results in long-range antiferromagnetic order due to local symmetry breaking. NdScNbOis shown to have a dispersionless gapped excitation observed in other neodymium pyrochlores below T=0. Read More

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Quantifying Species Populations in Multivalent Borohydride Electrolytes.

J Phys Chem B 2021 Apr 2. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Joint Center for Energy Storage Research, Lemont, Illinois 60439, United States.

Multivalent batteries represent an important beyond Li-ion energy storage concept. The prospect of calcium batteries, in particular, has emerged recently due to novel electrolyte demonstrations, especially that of a ground-breaking combination of the borohydride salt Ca(BH) dissolved in tetrahydrofuran. Recent analysis of magnesium and calcium versions of this electrolyte led to the identification of divergent speciation pathways for Mg and Ca despite identical anions and solvents, owing to differences in cation size and attendant flexibility of coordination. Read More

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The ménage à trois of autophagy, lipid droplets and liver disease.

Autophagy 2021 Apr 2:1-24. Epub 2021 Apr 2.

Department of Cell Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, AV Groningen, The Netherlands.

Autophagic pathways cross with lipid homeostasis and thus provide energy and essential building blocks that are indispensable for liver functions. Energy deficiencies are compensated by breaking down lipid droplets (LDs), intracellular organelles that store neutral lipids, in part by a selective type of autophagy, referred to as lipophagy. The process of lipophagy does not appear to be properly regulated in fatty liver diseases (FLDs), an important risk factor for the development of hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). Read More

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Molecular functions of nitric oxide and its potential applications in horticultural crops.

Hortic Res 2021 Apr 1;8(1):71. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

MOE Key Laboratory of Environment Remediation and Ecological Health, College of Environmental & Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, 310058, Hangzhou, China.

Nitric oxide (NO) regulates plant growth, enhances nutrient uptake, and activates disease and stress tolerance mechanisms in most plants, making NO a potential tool for use in improving the yield and quality of horticultural crop species. Although the use of NO in horticulture is still in its infancy, research on NO in model plant species has provided an abundance of valuable information on horticultural crop species. Emerging evidence implies that the bioactivity of NO can occur through many potential mechanisms but occurs mainly through S-nitrosation, the covalent and reversible attachment of NO to cysteine thiol. Read More

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Research-Relevant Background Lesions and Conditions in Common Avian and Aquatic Species.

ILAR J 2021 Mar 30. Epub 2021 Mar 30.

Experimental Pathology Laboratories, Inc., Sterling, Virginia, USA.

Non-mammalian vertebrates including birds, fish, and amphibians have a long history of contributing to ground-breaking scientific discoveries. Because these species offer several experimental advantages over higher vertebrates and share extensive anatomic and genetic homology with their mammalian counterparts, they remain popular animal models in a variety of fields such as developmental biology, physiology, toxicology, drug discovery, immunology, toxicology, and infectious disease. As with all animal models, familiarity with the anatomy, physiology, and spontaneous diseases of these species is necessary for ensuring animal welfare, as well as accurate interpretation and reporting of study findings. Read More

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Phagosome-Bacteria Interactions from the Bottom Up.

Annu Rev Chem Biomol Eng 2021 Mar 29. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA;

When attempting to propagate infections, bacterial pathogens encounter phagocytes that encase them in vacuoles called phagosomes. Within phagosomes, bacteria are bombarded with a plethora of stresses that often lead to their demise. However, pathogens have evolved numerous strategies to counter those host defenses and facilitate survival. Read More

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The effects of GC-biased gene conversion on patterns of genetic diversity among and across butterfly genomes.

Genome Biol Evol 2021 Mar 24. Epub 2021 Mar 24.

Evolutionary Biology Program, Department of Ecology and Genetics (IEG), Uppsala University, Norbyvägen 18D, SE-752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.

Recombination reshuffles the alleles of a population through crossover and gene conversion. These mechanisms have considerable consequences on the evolution and maintenance of genetic diversity. Crossover, for example, can increase genetic diversity by breaking the linkage between selected and nearby neutral variants. Read More

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Social groups buffer maternal loss in mountain gorillas.

Elife 2021 Mar 23;10. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, Musanze, Rwanda.

Mothers are crucial for mammals' survival before nutritional independence, but many social mammals reside with their mothers long after. In these species the social adversity caused by maternal loss later in life can dramatically reduce fitness. However, in some human populations these negative consequences can be overcome by care from other group members. Read More

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3'-(Phenyl alkynyl) analogs of abscisic acid: synthesis and biological activity of potent ABA antagonists.

Org Biomol Chem 2021 04 17;19(13):2978-2985. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5C9, Canada.

We report here the synthesis and biological testing of 3'-(phenyl alkynyl) abscisic ABA analogs, a new class of potent ABA antagonists. These ABA analogs incorporate a rigid framework of eight carbon atoms attached at the 3'-carbon atom of ABA that prevents folding of the ABA analog-bound receptor required for ABA signalling. The two-step synthesis is based upon the optimized conversion of natural (S)-ABA to 3'-iodo ABA which can be coupled to phenyl acetylenes using Sonogashira conditions, or to styryl compounds through Suzuki chemistry. Read More

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Effects of ferric ion on the photo-treatment of nonionic surfactant Brij35 washing waste containing 2,2',4,4'-terabromodiphenyl ether.

J Hazard Mater 2021 Mar 6;415:125572. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

School of Environment and Energy, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China; The Key Laboratory of Pollution Control and Ecosystem Restoration in Industry Clusters, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510006, China. Electronic address:

The effects of ferric iron on the photo-treatment of simulated BDE-47 (2,2',4,4'- terabromodiphenyl ether)-Brij35 (Polyoxyethylene lauryl ether) washing waste were studied to evaluate the influences of ferric iron on BDE-47 removal and Brij35 recovery. The results show that Fe accelerated BDE-47 degradation at lower concentrations (<0.5 mM) but attenuated it at higher concentrations (0. Read More

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Genetic structure in the endosymbiont is correlated with geographical location, environment and host species.

Proc Biol Sci 2021 Mar 10;288(1946):20202896. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

Departamento de Ciencias Marinas y Costeras, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur, La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Corals and cnidarians form symbioses with dinoflagellates across a wide range of habitats from the tropics to temperate zones. Notably, these partnerships create the foundation of coral reef ecosystems and are at risk of breaking down due to climate change. This symbiosis couples the fitness of the partners, where adaptations in one species can benefit the holobiont. Read More

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Genome editing of avian species: implications for animal use and welfare.

Lab Anim 2021 Mar 10:23677221998400. Epub 2021 Mar 10.

The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh, UK.

Avian species are used as model systems in research and have contributed to ground-breaking concepts in developmental biology, immunology, genetics, virology, cancer and cell biology. The chicken in particular is an important research model and an agricultural animal as a major contributor to animal protein resources for the global population. The development of genome editing methods, including CRISPR/Cas9, to mediate germline engineering of the avian genome will have important applications in biomedical, agricultural and biotechnological activities. Read More

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Reconstructing the Evolutionary History of a Highly Conserved Operon Cluster in Gammaproteobacteria and Bacilli.

Authors:
Gerrit Brandis

Genome Biol Evol 2021 Mar 2. Epub 2021 Mar 2.

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Biomedical Center, Uppsala, Box 582, SE-75123, Sweden.

The evolution of gene order rearrangements within bacterial chromosomes is a fast process. Closely related species can have almost no conservation in long-range gene order. A prominent exception to this rule is a > 40 kb long cluster of five core operons (secE-rpoBC-str-S10-spc-alpha) and three variable adjacent operons (cysS, tufB, and ecf) that together contain 57 genes of the transcriptional and translational machinery. Read More

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A New Way of Rice Breeding: Polyploid Rice Breeding.

Plants (Basel) 2021 Feb 24;10(3). Epub 2021 Feb 24.

School of Life Sciences, Hubei University, Wuhan 430062, China.

Polyploid rice, first discovered by Japanese scientist Eiiti Nakamori in 1933, has a history of nearly 90 years. In the following years, polyploid rice studies have mainly focused on innovations in breeding theory, induction technology and the creation of new germplasm, the analysis of agronomic traits and nutritional components, the study of gametophyte development and reproduction characteristics, DNA methylation modification and gene expression regulation, distant hybridization and utilization among subspecies, species and genomes. In recent years, lines and neo-tetraploid rice lines with stable high seed setting rate characteristics have been successively selected, breaking through the bottleneck of low seed setting rate of polyploid rice. Read More

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February 2021

Recombinant turkey coronavirus: are some S gene structures of gammacoronaviruses especially prone to exchange?

Poult Sci 2021 Apr 26;100(4):101018. Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Department of Poultry Diseases, National Veterinary Research Institute, 24-100 Puławy, Poland.

The objective of the present study was to characterize the atypical turkey coronavirus strain detected in a commercial meat turkey farm in Poland. Using the viral metagenomics approach, we obtained a complete genome sequence of coronavirus, isolated from duodenum samples of animals suffering from acute enteritis. The nearly full-length genome consisted of 27,614 nucleotides and presented a typical genetic organization similar to that of Polish infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) or French turkey coronavirus/guinea fowl coronavirus strains. Read More

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Geometrical characteristics of eggs from 3 poultry species.

Poult Sci 2021 Mar 26;100(3):100965. Epub 2020 Dec 26.

College of Animal Science and Technology, Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University, Lin'an 311300, Zhejiang, China. Electronic address:

We studied the correlations between egg geometrical parameters (i.e., egg shape index, sphericity, geometric mean diameter, surface area, and volume) and eggshell qualities, or the organic matrix in eggshell. Read More

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Construction of a Pd(PdO)/CoO@SiO core-shell structure for efficient low-temperature methane combustion.

Nanoscale 2021 Mar;13(9):5026-5032

National Engineering Research Center of Chemical Fertilizer Catalyst, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350002, China.

Catalytic combustion is a promising way to remove trace amounts of CH4 to alleviate serious environmental concerns. However, the reactivity of a catalyst at low temperature is usually limited because of the difficulty to activate the C-H bond of methane. Herein, we design a Pd(PdO)/Co3O4@SiO2 bimetallic oxide core-shell catalyst which shows much higher activity in the methane combustion reaction compared with Pd(PdO)/SiO2 and Co3O4@SiO2 catalysts without a core-shell structure. Read More

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Quantification of enamel decussation in gracile and robust capuchins (Cebus, Sapajus, Cebidae, Platyrrhini).

Am J Primatol 2021 Feb 27:e23246. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

Department of Biological Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA.

Multiple behavioral and biomechanical analyses have demonstrated that capuchin monkeys (Cebus and Sapajus) are specialized for breaking down hard-object foods as compared to other cebid monkeys. In addition to a complex suite of craniodental adaptations, it has specifically been demonstrated that capuchins possess highly complex dental enamel, with extensive Hunter-Schreger banding and other decussation, that likely serve as an adaptation to resist crack propagation during hard-object feeding. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that robust capuchins (Sapajus spp. Read More

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February 2021

Zinc Hydride Catalyzed Chemoselective Hydroboration of Isocyanates: Amide Bond Formation and C=O Bond Cleavage.

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2021 Feb 26. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

School of Chemical Sciences, National Institute of Science Education and Research (NISER), Homi Bhabha National Institute (HBNI), Bhubaneswar, 752050, India.

Herein, a remarkable conjugated bis-guanidinate (CBG) supported zinc hydride, [{LZnH} ; L={(ArHN)(ArN)-C=N-C=(NAr)(NHAr); Ar=2,6-Et -C H }] (I) catalyzed partial reduction of heteroallenes via hydroboration is reported. A large number of aryl and alkyl isocyanates, including electron-donating and withdrawing groups, undergo reduction to obtain selectively N-boryl formamide, bis(boryl) hemiaminal and N-boryl methyl amine products. The compound I effectively catalyzes the chemoselective reduction of various isocyanates, in which the construction of the amide bond occurs. Read More

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February 2021

Degradable Poly(vinyl alcohol)-Based Supramolecular Plastics with High Mechanical Strength in a Watery Environment.

Adv Mater 2021 Apr 26;33(13):e2007371. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials, College of Chemistry, Jilin University, Changchun, 130012, P. R. China.

It is challenging to fabricate degradable poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA)-based plastics that can be used in watery environments because PVA is soluble in water. In this study, PVA-based supramolecular plastics with excellent degradability in soil and high mechanical strength in watery environments are fabricated by the complexation of vanillin-grafted PVA (VPVA), hydrophobic humic acid (HA), and Fe ions (hereafter denoted as VPVA-HA-Fe complexes). Large-area PVA-based plastics can be easily prepared from a solution of VPVA-HA-Fe complexes using a blade-coating method. Read More

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Genome-wide characterization of PEBP family genes in nine Rosaceae tree species and their expression analysis in P. mume.

BMC Ecol Evol 2021 Feb 23;21(1):32. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Beijing Key Laboratory of Ornamental Plants Germplasm Innovation & Molecular Breeding, National Engineering Research Center for Floriculture, Beijing Laboratory of Urban and Rural Ecological Environment, Key Laboratory of Genetics and Breeding in Forest Trees and Ornamental Plants of Ministry of Education, School of Landscape Architecture, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing, 100083, China.

Background: Phosphatidylethanolamine-binding proteins (PEBPs) constitute a common gene family found among animals, plants and microbes. Plant PEBP proteins play an important role in regulating flowering time, plant architecture as well as seed dormancy. Though PEBP family genes have been well studied in Arabidopsis and other model species, less is known about these genes in perennial trees. Read More

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February 2021

Breaking a species barrier by enabling hybrid recombination.

Curr Biol 2021 Feb;31(4):R180-R181

Experimental Evolution Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön 24306, Germany; Centre for Life's Origins and Evolution, Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Hybrid sterility maintains reproductive isolation between species by preventing them from exchanging genetic material. Anti-recombination can contribute to hybrid sterility when different species' chromosome sequences are too diverged to cross over efficiently during hybrid meiosis, resulting in chromosome mis-segregation and aneuploidy. The genome sequences of the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces paradoxus have diverged by about 12% and their hybrids are sexually sterile: nearly all of their gametes are aneuploid and inviable. Read More

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February 2021

Oxidation-Induced Breakage of the Imine Bond and Aggregate Transition in a Se-Containing Dynamic Covalent Surfactant.

Langmuir 2021 Mar 21;37(8):2833-2842. Epub 2021 Feb 21.

The Key Laboratory of Synthetic and Biological Colloids, Ministry of Education, School of Chemical & Materials Engineering, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, P. R. China.

Controlling the dynamic imine bonds upon a novel trigger except for pH and temperature is still a significant challenge. Here, a Se-containing imine-based dynamic covalent surfactant (HOBAB-BSeEA) was developed for the first time by mixing two precursors in situ: an asymmetric double-chain cationic surfactant bearing a formyl group at the terminal of one hydrophobic tail and a Se-containing amine (2-(benzylselanyl)ethan-1-amine) in order to confirm the effect of redox on the imine bonds. The imine bond in HOBAB-BSeEA can be regulated not only upon changing the pH as well as other common imine-based surfactants but also by oxidation. Read More

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The effect of ethanol concentration on the morphological and molecular preservation of insects for biodiversity studies.

PeerJ 2021 12;9:e10799. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Department of Bioinformatics and Genetics, Swedish Museum of Natural History, Stockholm, Sweden.

Traditionally, insects collected for scientific purposes have been dried and pinned, or preserved in 70% ethanol. Both methods preserve taxonomically informative exoskeletal structures well but are suboptimal for preserving DNA for molecular biology. Highly concentrated ethanol (95-100%), preferred as a DNA preservative, has generally been assumed to make specimens brittle and prone to breaking. Read More

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February 2021

Rapid Detection Method for Pathogenic Captured by Magnetic Nanoparticles and Identified Using SERS via AgNPs.

Int J Nanomedicine 2021 11;16:941-950. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Biotechnology, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing Key Laboratory of New Molecular Diagnosis Technologies for Infectious Diseases, Beijing, 100850, People's Republic of China.

Purpose: Candidemia infection is common in the clinic and has a high mortality rate. , and are very important and common pathogenic species. is difficult to isolate from clinical samples and culture, and immunological detection cannot distinguish these related strains. Read More

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Determining structural and chemical heterogeneities of surface species at the single-bond limit.

Science 2021 02;371(6531):818-822

Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale and Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China.

The structure determination of surface species has long been a challenge because of their rich chemical heterogeneities. Modern tip-based microscopic techniques can resolve heterogeneities from their distinct electronic, geometric, and vibrational properties at the single-molecule level but with limited interpretation from each. Here, we combined scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), noncontact atomic force microscopy (AFM), and tip-enhanced Raman scattering (TERS) to characterize an assumed inactive system, pentacene on the Ag(110) surface. Read More

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February 2021