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  • PEERJ
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2015 2017

The molecular mechanisms that allow generalist parasitoids to exploit many, often very distinct hosts are practically unknown. The wasp Aphidius ervi, a generalist koinobiont parasitoid of aphids, was introduced from Europe into Chile in the late 1970s to control agriculturally important aphid species. A recent study showed significant differences in host preference and host acceptance (infectivity) depending on the host A. ervi were reared on. In contrast, no genetic differentiation between A. ervi populations parasitizing different aphid species and aphids of the same species reared on different host plants was found in Chile. Additionally, the same study did not find ...

Contributors
Ballesteros, Gabriel I., Gadau, Juergen, Legeai, Fabrice, et al.
Created Date
2017-08-21

Understanding how individual photoreceptor cells factor in the spectral sensitivity of a visual system is essential to explain how they contribute to the visual ecology of the animal in question. Existing methods that model the absorption of visual pigments use templates which correspond closely to data from thin cross-sections of photoreceptor cells. However, few modeling approaches use a single framework to incorporate physical parameters of real photoreceptors, which can be fused, and can form vertical tiers. Akaike’s information criterion (AIC[subscript c]) was used here to select absorptance models of multiple classes of photoreceptor cells that maximize information, given visual system ...

Contributors
Lessios, Nicolas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Life Sciences
Created Date
2017-07-21

There have been many recent reports across Europe and North America of a change in the timing of arrival and departure of a range of migrant bird species to their breeding grounds. These studies have focused primarily on passerine birds and climate warming has been found to be one of the main drivers of earlier arrival and departure in spring. In Ireland, rising spring temperature has been shown to result in the earlier arrival of sub-Saharan passerine species and the early departure of the Whooper Swan. In order to investigate changes in spring arrival and departure dates of waterbirds to ...

Contributors
Donnelly, Alison, Geyer, Heather, Yu, Rong, et al.
Created Date
2015-01-15

Background. While the evolution of reciprocal cooperation has attracted an enormous attention, the proximate mechanisms underlying the ability of animals to cooperate reciprocally are comparatively neglected. Symmetry-based reciprocity is a hypothetical proximate mechanism that has been suggested to be widespread among cognitively unsophisticated animals. Methods. We developed two agent-based models of symmetry-based reciprocity (one relying on an arbitrary tag and the other on interindividual proximity) and tested their ability both to reproduce significant emergent features of cooperation in group living animals and to promote the evolution of cooperation. Results. Populations formed by agents adopting symmetry-based reciprocity showed differentiated “social relationships” ...

Contributors
Campenni, Marco, Schino, Gabriele, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, et al.
Created Date
2016-03-15

The coastal environments of South Africa’s Cape Floristic Region (CFR) provide some of the earliest and most abundant evidence for the emergence of cognitively modern humans. In particular, the south coast of the CFR provided a uniquely diverse resource base for hunter-gatherers, which included marine shellfish, game, and carbohydrate-bearing plants, especially those with Underground Storage Organs (USOs). It has been hypothesized that these resources underpinned the continuity of human occupation in the region since the Middle Pleistocene. Very little research has been conducted on the foraging potential of carbohydrate resources in the CFR. This study focuses on the seasonal availability ...

Contributors
De Vynck, Jan C., Cowling, Richard M., Potts, Alastair J., et al.
Created Date
2016-02-18

The modified Thomas test was developed to assess the presence of hip flexion contracture and to measure hip extensibility. Despite its widespread use, to the authors’ knowledge, its criterion reference validity has not yet been investigated. The purpose of this study was to assess the criterion reference validity of the modified Thomas test for measuring peak hip extension angle and hip extension deficits, as defined by the hip not being able to extend to 0º, or neutral. Twenty-nine healthy college students (age = 22.00 ± 3.80 years; height = 1.71 ± 0.09 m; body mass = 70.00 ± 15.60 kg) ...

Contributors
Vigotsky, Andrew, Lehman, Gregory J., Beardsley, Chris, et al.
Created Date
2016-08-11

Environmental niche modeling (ENM) is commonly used to develop probabilistic maps of species distribution. Among available ENM techniques, MaxEnt has become one of the most popular tools for modeling species distribution, with hundreds of peer-reviewed articles published each year. MaxEnt’s popularity is mainly due to the use of a graphical interface and automatic parameter configuration capabilities. However, recent studies have shown that using the default automatic configuration may not be always appropriate because it can produce non-optimal models; particularly when dealing with a small number of species presence points. Thus, the recommendation is to evaluate the best potential combination of ...

Contributors
Morales, Narkis S., Fernandez, Ignacio, Baca-Gonzalez, Victoria, et al.
Created Date
2017-03-14

Background Accumulating evidence indicates interactions between human milk composition, particularly sugars (human milk oligosaccharides or HMO), the gut microbiota of human infants, and behavioral effects. Some HMO secreted in human milk are unable to be endogenously digested by the human infant but are able to be metabolized by certain species of gut microbiota, including Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis), a species sensitive to host stress (Bailey & Coe, 2004). Exposure to gut bacteria like B. infantisduring critical neurodevelopment windows in early life appears to have behavioral consequences; however, environmental, physical, and social stress during this period can also have ...

Contributors
Allen-Blevins, Cary R., You, Xiaomeng, Hinde, Katie, et al.
Created Date
2017-01-11

Understanding the interplay between environmental conditions and phenotypes is a fundamental goal of biology. Unfortunately, data that include observations on phenotype and environment are highly heterogeneous and thus difficult to find and integrate. One approach that is likely to improve the status quo involves the use of ontologies to standardize and link data about phenotypes and environments. Specifying and linking data through ontologies will allow researchers to increase the scope and flexibility of large-scale analyses aided by modern computing methods. Investments in this area would advance diverse fields such as ecology, phylogenetics, and conservation biology. While several biological ontologies are ...

Contributors
Thessen, Anne E., Bunker, Daniel E., Buttigieg, Pier Luigi, et al.
Created Date
2015-12-14

Many strength and conditioning coaches utilize the good morning (GM) to strengthen the hamstrings and spinal erectors. However, little research exists on its electromyography (EMG) activity and kinematics, and how these variables change as a function of load. The purpose of this investigation was to examine how estimated hamstring length, integrated EMG (IEMG) activity of the hamstrings and spinal erectors, and kinematics of the lumbar spine, hip, knee, and ankle are affected by changes in load. Fifteen trained male participants (age = 24.6 ± 5.3 years; body mass = 84.7 ± 11.3 kg; height = 180.9 ± 6.8 cm) were ...

Contributors
Vigotsky, Andrew, Feser, Erin, David Russell, Ryan, et al.
Created Date
2015-01-06