Old G Fresh
For diapause eggs of the silkworm, Bombyx mori, diapause initiation is prevented with hydrochloric acid (HCl) at around 20 h post-oviposition while diapause status is terminated with chilling around 5C. To investigate whether hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) and catalase expression are involved in diapause initiation and termination, the concentration of H(2)O(2), relatively higher levels of catalase mRNA and activity of catalase were compared between (1) 20-h-old diapause eggs and the HCl-treated diapause eggs, and (2) 10-day-old diapause eggs and the 5C-chilled diapause eggs. Compared to diapause eggs, the HCl-treated eggs had significantly higher H(2)O(2) concentrations (up from approximately 1-3 µmol/g fresh mass to 5-8 µmol/g fresh mass), higher relative level of catalase mRNA (up from 0 to 35.2%) and higher catalase activity (up from 2.51 units/mg protein to 4.97 units/mg protein) at 96 h post-treatment. On the other hand, the 5C chilling resulted in significant increases of H(2)O(2) concentration (up from 0.79 µmol/g fresh mass to 5.57 µmol/g fresh mass), relative level of catalase mRNA (up from 0 to 71.4%) and catalase activity (up from 0.88 units/mg protein to 3.42 units/mg protein) within 120 days. The results obtained in this work suggest that variations of H(2)O(2) and catalase expression in Bombyx eggs are involved in diapause initiation and termination.
Old G Fresh
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One mechanism of invasive species success is the production of allelopathic chemicals that negatively affect native competitors. A highly invasive shrub, Cytisus scoparius, impedes Douglas-fir tree establishment in clearcuts, even years after its removal. This impediment may be from the allelopathic alkaloids of C. scoparius that could indirectly hinder Douglas-fir by inhibiting their mutualistic ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF). I extracted and quantified alkaloids from C. scoparius tissue for use in a laboratory bioassay. I then tested if and how these alkaloids affected EMF growth. In a second assay, I tested the effects of three concentrations of pure sparteine, the primary alkaloid in C. scoparius , on fungal growth. Sparteine was the only alkaloid recovered from the extraction which yielded 0.32 mg sparteine/g fresh weight, a lower concentration than previously reported values. Both the crude extract and pure sparteine significantly affected fungal growth, but only sparteine produced a species-specific response. Growth was inhibited by increasing sparteine concentrations, and most species were inhibited at 1.4 mM, the concentration found in C. scoparius. One common EMF, Wilcoxina mikolae, was unaffected by sparteine while others, like Suillus caerulescens and Cenococcum geophilum, were more sensitive and stopped growing entirely at 5 to 10 mM. These results suggest that the alkaloids of C. scoparius may seriously hinder EMF, and indirectly Douglas-fir, contributing to the competitive dominance of the invasive shrub. 041b061a72