Recent Submissions

  • Journal Article

    The Role of Socio-Economic Determinants of Horse Farms for Grassland Management, Vegetation Composition and Ecological Value 

    Hüppe, Cecilia Frauke; Schmitz, Anja; Tonn, Bettina; Isselstein, Johannes
    Sustainability 2020; 12(24) p.1-18: Art. 10641
    Socio-economic context is increasingly seen as a decisive factor for sustainable agricultural land use. The high prevalence of part-time farming and frequent lack of formal agricultural education within the equine sector are often seen as reasons why horse-grazed pastures do not fulfill their biodiversity potential. In spite of the substantial variability within horse farming, little is known about the relationship of socio-economic determinants with vegetation characteristics of horse-grazed grasslands. We surveyed 122 horse farms in Germany, classifying them into four socio-economic classes according to farm income type and farm managers’ agricultural education. We recorded farm structure parameters, grassland management practices and vegetation characteristics. Socio-economic class partly explained the great variability in farm structure that we observed. In contrast to our expectation, income type and agricultural education did not distinctly affect grassland management and were neither directly nor indirectly related to vegetation characteristics. Part-time farming and lack of agricultural education thus did not adversely affect the ecological value of horse-grazed grasslands. By contrast, both farm structure and paddock level management affected grassland vegetation and ecological value. Therefore, the socio-economic context of horse farms should be addressed in further research with strategies targeting the development of sustainable grassland management in horse keeping.
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  • Journal Article

    Predicting Tree Sap Flux and Stomatal Conductance from Drone-Recorded Surface Temperatures in a Mixed Agroforestry System—A Machine Learning Approach 

    Ellsäßer, Florian; Röll, Alexander; Ahongshangbam, Joyson; Waite, Pierre-André; Hendrayanto; Schuldt, Bernhard; Hölscher, Dirk
    Remote Sensing 2020; 12(24) p.1-20: Art. 4070
    Plant transpiration is a key element in the hydrological cycle. Widely used methods for its assessment comprise sap flux techniques for whole-plant transpiration and porometry for leaf stomatal conductance. Recently emerging approaches based on surface temperatures and a wide range of machine learning techniques offer new possibilities to quantify transpiration. The focus of this study was to predict sap flux and leaf stomatal conductance based on drone-recorded and meteorological data and compare these predictions with in-situ measured transpiration. To build the prediction models, we applied classical statistical approaches and machine learning algorithms. The field work was conducted in an oil palm agroforest in lowland Sumatra. Random forest predictions yielded the highest congruence with measured sap flux (r$^2$ = 0.87 for trees and r$^2$ = 0.58 for palms) and confidence intervals for intercept and slope of a Passing-Bablok regression suggest interchangeability of the methods. Differences in model performance are indicated when predicting different tree species. Predictions for stomatal conductance were less congruent for all prediction methods, likely due to spatial and temporal offsets of the measurements. Overall, the applied drone and modelling scheme predicts whole-plant transpiration with high accuracy. We conclude that there is large potential in machine learning approaches for ecological applications such as predicting transpiration.
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  • Journal Article

    Diagnosis and therapy of functional tremor a systematic review illustrated by a case report 

    Bartl, Michael; Kewitsch, Rebekka; Hallett, Mark; Tegenthoff, Martin; Paulus, Walter
    Neurological Research and Practice. 2020 Dec 03;2(1):35
    Background Diagnosis of functional movement disorders and specifically functional tremor (FT) (representing 50% of them) remains demanding. Additionally, due to heterogeneity of the disorders, structured concepts and guidelines for diagnosis and therapy are difficult to establish. Ascertaining the state of knowledge to derive instructions for operating procedures is the aim of this review. Main text Based on a standardized systematic literature research using the term “psychogenic tremor” in the MEDLINE database dating back ten years, 76 studies were evaluated. Conventional features of FT are variability of frequency and amplitude. Further, response to distraction by motor and cognitive tasks is a key diagnostic feature in differentiation between organic and functional origin. A variety of electrophysiological tests have been evaluated including surface electromyography and accelerometry to establish laboratory-supported criteria for diagnosing tremor. Also, finger tapping tests have been used to identify FT, showing positive potential as supplementary evidence. Imaging studies in general are mostly underpowered and imaging cannot be used on an individual basis. Therapeutic studies in FT often have a diagnostic component. Cognitive behavioral therapy should be the preferred psychological treatment independent of additional psychiatric symptoms. Other psychotherapeutic methods show lack of evidence concerning FT. Relaxation techniques and physiotherapy are an important additional feature, especially in children and adolescents. In regard to drug therapy, randomized and blinded trials are not available. A significant decrease in rating scales could be detected after active, not sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation with a long-lasting effect. Also root magnetic stimulation seems to be effective. The clinical feature of tremor entrainment in FT can be used in combination with biofeedback as so-called tremor retrainment, using self-modulation of frequency and severity, to bring the movements under volitional control. Conclusion Diagnosis and treatment of FT is challenging and should include a combination of intensive clinical examination and targeted addition of standardized testing, especially electrophysiological methods. Often therapeutic effects have a diagnostic component. A multimodal strategy, considering psychological factors as a potential origin as well as maintaining effects seems to be most effective.
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  • Journal Article

    Transgenerational effect of drug-mediated inhibition of LSD1 on eye pigment expression in Drosophila 

    Hoyer-Fender, Sigrid
    BMC Ecology 2020; 20(1) p.1-12: Art. 62
    Abstract Background The Drosophila melanogaster mutant white-mottled is a well-established model for position-effect variegation (PEV). Transposition of the euchromatic white gene into the vicinity of the pericentric heterochromatin caused variegated expression of white due to heterochromatin spreading. The establishment of the euchromatin-heterochromatin boundary and spreading of silencing is regulated by mutually exclusive histone modifications, i.e. the methylations of histone H3 at lysine 9 and lysine 4. Demethylation of H3K4, catalysed by lysine-specific demethylase LSD1, is required for subsequent methylation of H3K9 to establish heterochromatin. LSD1 is therefore essential for heterochromatin formation and spreading. We asked whether drug-mediated inhibition of LSD affects the expression of white and if this induced change can be transmitted to those generations that have never been exposed to the triggering signal, i.e. transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. Results We used the lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1)-inhibitor Tranylcypromine to investigate its effect on eye colour expression in consecutive generations by feeding the parental and F1 generations of the Drosophila melanogaster mutant white-mottled. Quantitative Western blotting revealed that Tranylcypromine inhibits H3K4-demethylation both in vitro in S2 cells as well as in embryos when used as feeding additive. Eye colour expression in male flies was determined by optical measurement of pigment extracts and qRT-PCR of white gene expression. Flies raised in the presence of Tranylcypromine and its solvent DMSO showed increased eye pigment expression. Beyond that, eye pigment expression was also affected in consecutive generations including F3, which is the first generation without contact with the inhibitor. Conclusions Our results show that feeding of Tranylcypromine and DMSO caused desilencing of white in treated flies of generation F1. Consecutive generations, raised on standard food without further supplements, are also affected by the drug-induced alteration of histone modifications. Although eye pigment expression eventually returned to the basal state, the observed long-lasting effect points to a memory capacity of previous epigenomes. Furthermore, our results indicate that food compounds potentially affect chromatin modification and hence gene expression and that the alteration is putatively inherited not only parentally but transgenerationally.
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  • Journal Article

    Review of the mite genus Krantzolaspina Datta & Bhattacharjee (Mesostigmata, Parholaspididae) with re-description of K. angustatus comb. nov. (Ishikawa) from Indonesia 

    Quintero-Gutiérrez, Edwin Javier; Sandmann, Dorothee; Cómbita-Heredia, Orlando; Klarner, Bernhard; Widyastuti, Rahayu; Scheu, Stefan
    ZooKeys 2020; 997 p.47-68
    Herein, we update the diagnosis and description of the genus Krantzolaspina Datta & Bhattacharjee and provide a list of the three valid species including new combinations and synonyms, as follows: 1) Krant-zolaspina angustatus (Ishikawa, 1987) comb. nov. (= Indutolaelaps jiroftensis Hajizadeh et al., 2017 syn. nov.),2) K. rebatii Datta & Bhattacharjee, 1989 and 3) K. solimani (Metwali, 1983) comb. nov.Finally, we re-describe K. angustatus (Ishikawa, 1987) comb. nov. based on the holotype from Japan, voucher specimens from Iran and additional females that we found in soil samples from oil palm planta-tions in Sumatra, Indonesia.
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  • Journal Article

    Sequence heterochrony led to a gain of functionality in an immature stage of the central complex: A fly–beetle insight 

    Farnworth, Max S.; Eckermann, Kolja N.; Bucher, Gregor
    PLOS Biology 2020; 18(10) p.1-32: Art. e3000881
    Animal behavior is guided by the brain. Therefore, adaptations of brain structure and function are essential for animal survival, and each species differs in such adaptations. The brain of one individual may even differ between life stages, for instance, as adaptation to the divergent needs of larval and adult life of holometabolous insects. All such differences emerge during development, but the cellular mechanisms behind the diversification of brains between taxa and life stages remain enigmatic. In this study, we investigated holometabolous insects in which larvae differ dramatically from the adult in both behavior and morphology. As a consequence, the central complex, mainly responsible for spatial orientation, is conserved between species at the adult stage but differs between larvae and adults of one species as well as between larvae of different taxa. We used genome editing and established transgenic lines to visualize cells expressing the conserved transcription factor retinal homeobox, thereby marking homologous genetic neural lineages in both the fly Drosophila melanogaster and the beetle Tribolium castaneum. This approach allowed us for the first time to compare the development of homologous neural cells between taxa from embryo to the adult. We found complex heterochronic changes including shifts of developmental events between embryonic and pupal stages. Further, we provide, to our knowledge, the first example of sequence heterochrony in brain development, where certain developmental steps changed their position within the ontogenetic progression. We show that through this sequence heterochrony, an immature developmental stage of the central complex gains functionality in Tribolium larvae.
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  • Journal Article

    Evapotranspiration over agroforestry sites in Germany 

    Markwitz, Christian; Knohl, Alexander; Siebicke, Lukas
    Biogeosciences 2020; 17(20) p.5183-5208
    In the past few years, the interest in growing crops and trees for bioenergy production has increased. One agricultural practice is the mixed cultivation of fast-growing trees and annual crops or perennial grasslands on the same piece of land, which is referred to as one type of agroforestry (AF). The inclusion of tree strips into the agricultural landscape has been shown – on the one hand – to lead to reduced wind speeds and higher carbon sequestration above ground and in the soil. On the other hand, concerns have been raised about increased water losses to the atmosphere via evapotranspiration (ET). Therefore, we hypothesise that short rotation coppice agroforestry systems have higher water losses to the atmosphere via ET compared to monoculture (MC) agriculture without trees. In order to test the hypothesis, the main objective was to measure the actual evapotranspiration of five AF systems in Germany and compare those to five monoculture systems in the close vicinity of the AF systems. We measured actual ET at five AF sites in direct comparison to five monoculture sites in northern Germany in 2016 and 2017. We used an eddy covariance energy balance (ECEB) set-up and a low-cost eddy covariance (EC-LC) set-up to measure actual ET over each AF and each MC system. We conducted direct eddy covariance (EC) measurement campaigns with approximately 4 weeks' duration for method validation. Results from the short-term measurement campaigns showed a high agreement between ETEC-LC and ETEC, indicated by slopes of a linear regression analysis between 0.86 and 1.3 ($R^2$ between 0.7 and 0.94) across sites. Root mean square errors of $LE_{EC-LC}$ vs. $LE_{EC}$ (where LE is the latent heat flux) were half as small as $LE_{ECEB}$ vs. $LE_{EC}$, indicating a superior agreement of the EC-LC set-up with the EC set-up compared to the ECEB set-up. With respect to the annual sums of ET over AF and MC, we observed small differences between the two land uses. We interpret this as being an effect of compensating the small-scale differences in ET next to and in between the tree strips for ET measurements on the system scale. Most likely, the differences in ET rates next to and in between the tree strips are of the same order of magnitude, but of the opposite sign, and compensate each other throughout the year. Differences between annual sums of ET from the two methods were of the same order of magnitude as differences between the two land uses. Compared to the effect of land use and different methods on ET, we found larger mean evapotranspiration indices (∑ET/∑P ) across sites for a drier than normal year (2016) compared to a wet year (2017). This indicates that we were able to detect differences in ET due to different ambient conditions with the applied methods, rather than the potentially small effect of AF on ET. We conclude that agroforestry has not resulted in an increased water loss to the atmosphere, indicating that agroforestry in Germany can be a land-use alternative to monoculture agriculture without trees.
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  • Journal Article

    Quantitative Hormone Signaling Output Analyses of Arabidopsis thaliana Interactions With Virulent and Avirulent Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis Isolates at Single-Cell Resolution 

    Ghareeb, Hassan; El-Sayed, Mohamed; Pound, Michael; Tetyuk, Olena; Hanika, Katharina; Herrfurth, Cornelia; Feussner, Ivo; Lipka, Volker
    Frontiers in Plant Science 2020; 11 p.1-15: Art. 603693
    The phytohormones salicylic acid (SA), jasmonic acid (JA), and ethylene (ET) are central regulators of biotic and abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, we generated modular fluorescent protein-based reporter lines termed COLORFUL-PR1pro, -VSP2pro, and -PDF1.2apro. These feature hormone-controlled nucleus-targeted transcriptional output sensors and the simultaneous constitutive expression of spectrally separated nuclear reference and plasma membrane-localized reporters. This set-up allowed the study of cell-type specific hormone activities, cellular viability and microbial invasion. Moreover, we developed a software-supported high-throughput confocal microscopy imaging protocol for output quantification to resolve the spatio-temporal dynamics of respective hormonal signaling activities at single-cell resolution. Proof-of-principle analyses in A. thaliana leaves revealed distinguished hormone sensitivities in mesophyll, epidermal pavement and stomatal guard cells, suggesting cell type-specific regulatory protein activities. In plant-microbe interaction studies, we found that virulent and avirulent Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) isolates exhibit different invasion dynamics and induce spatio-temporally distinct hormonal activity signatures. On the cellular level, these hormone-controlled reporter signatures demarcate the nascent sites of Hpa entry and progression, and highlight initiation, transduction and local containment of immune signals.
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  • Journal Article

    Mental distress and its association with sociodemographic and economic characteristics: community-based household survey in Aceh, Indonesia 

    Reuter, Anna; Vollmer, Sebastian; Aiyub, A.; Susanti, Suryane Sulistiana; Marthoenis, M.
    BJPsych Open 2020; 6(6) p.1-9: Art. e134
    Background: The role of sociodemographic and economic characteristics in mental distress has been rarely investigated in Indonesia. Aims: To investigate the prevalence of common mental disorders (CMD) and identify any associations between mental distress and sociodemographic and economic characteristics among communities living in urban and rural (peri-urban) areas. Method: A community-based household survey was conducted in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, in 2018. The 20-item Self Reporting: Questionnaire (SRQ-20) screening tool was used to measure symptoms of CMD. Information on sociodemographic characteristics, family functioning, labour market outcomes and healthcare costs was collected. Multivariate regressions were conducted to analyse the relationships between the measures of mental distress and sociodemographic and economic characteristics. Results: We found that 14% of the respondents had CMD symptoms. SRQ-20 scores were higher for female, older and lower-educated individuals. CMD prevalence was higher among non-married participants and clustered within families. Participants with CMD perceive their families as performing significantly better in the dimensions of affective involvement and behaviour control compared with their counterparts. Their work was more often affected by negative feelings; they were also twice as likely to report a recent physical or mental health complaint and faced twice the treatment costs compared with their non-affected counterparts. Conclusions: The prevalence of mental disorders is especially high in disadvantaged population groups. Moreover, mental distress is associated with a lower perceived productivity and a higher physical health burden.
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  • Journal Article

    The High Osmolarity Glycerol Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase regulates glucose catabolite repression in filamentous fungi 

    de Assis, Leandro José; Silva, Lilian Pereira; Liu, Li; Schmitt, Kerstin; Valerius, Oliver; Braus, Gerhard H.; Ries, Laure Nicolas Annick; Goldman, Gustavo Henrique
    PLOS Genetics 2020; 16(8) p.1-27: Art. e1008996
    The utilization of different carbon sources in filamentous fungi underlies a complex regulatory network governed by signaling events of different protein kinase pathways, including the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) and protein kinase A (PKA) pathways. This work unraveled cross-talk events between these pathways in governing the utilization of preferred (glucose) and non-preferred (xylan, xylose) carbon sources in the reference fungus Aspergillus nidulans. An initial screening of a library of 103 non-essential protein kinase (NPK) deletion strains identified several mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) to be important for carbon catabolite repression (CCR). We selected the MAPKs Ste7, MpkB, and PbsA for further characterization and show that they are pivotal for HOG pathway activation, PKA activity, CCR via regulation of CreA cellular localization and protein accumulation, as well as for hydrolytic enzyme secretion. Protein-protein interaction studies show that Ste7, MpkB, and PbsA are part of the same protein complex that regulates CreA cellular localization in the presence of xylan and that this complex dissociates upon the addition of glucose, thus allowing CCR to proceed. Glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) A was also identified as part of this protein complex and shown to potentially phosphorylate two serine residues of the HOG MAPKK PbsA. This work shows that carbon source utilization is subject to cross-talk regulation by protein kinases of different signaling pathways. Furthermore, this study provides a model where the correct integration of PKA, HOG, and GSK signaling events are required for the utilization of different carbon sources.
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  • Journal Article

    Protists and collembolans alter microbial community composition, C dynamics and soil aggregation in simplified consumer–prey systems 

    Erktan, Amandine; Rillig, Matthias C.; Carminati, Andrea; Jousset, Alexandre; Scheu, Stefan
    Biogeosciences 2020; 17(20) p.4961-4980
    Microbes play an essential role in soil functioning including biogeochemical cycling and soil aggregate formation. Yet, a major challenge is to link microbes to higher trophic levels and assess consequences for soil functioning. Here, we aimed to assess how microbial consumers modify microbial community composition (PLFA markers), as well as C dynamics (microbial C use, SOC concentration and CO$_2$ emission) and soil aggregation. We rebuilt two simplified soil consumer–prey systems: a bacterial-based system comprising amoebae (Acanthamoeba castellanii) feeding on a microbial community dominated by the free-living bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens and a fungal-based system comprising collembolans (Heteromurus nitidus) grazing on a microbial community dominated by the saprotrophic fungus Chaetomium globosum. The amoeba A. castellanii did not affect microbial biomass and composition, but it enhanced the formation of soil aggregates and tended to reduce their stability. Presumably, the dominance of P. fluorescens, able to produce antibiotic toxins in response to the attack by A. castellanii, was the main cause of the unchanged microbial community composition, and the release of bacterial extracellular compounds, such as long-chained polymeric substances or proteases, in reaction to predation was responsible for the changes in soil aggregation as a side effect. In the fungal system, collembolans significantly modified microbial community composition via consumptive and non-consumptive effects including the transport of microbes on the body surface. As expected, fungal biomass promoted soil aggregation and was reduced in the presence of H. nitidus. Remarkably, we also found an unexpected contribution of changes in bacterial community composition to soil aggregation. In both the bacterial and fungal systems, bacterial and fungal communities mainly consumed C from soil organic matter (rather than the litter added). Increased fungal biomass was associated with an increased capture of C from added litter, and the presence of collembolans levelled off this effect. Neither amoebae nor collembolans altered SOC concentrations and CO$_2$ production. Overall, the results demonstrated that trophic interactions are important for achieving a mechanistic understanding of biological contributions to soil aggregation and may occur without major changes in C dynamics and with or without changes in the composition of the microbial community.
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  • Journal Article

    Knowledge of Student Teachers on Sustainable Land Use Issues–Knowledge Types Relevant for Teacher Education 

    Richter-Beuschel, Lisa; Bögeholz, Susanne
    Sustainability 2020; 12(20) p.1-20: Art. 8332
    For restructuring educational processes and institutions toward Sustainable Development, teachers’ knowledge and competences are crucial. Due to the high relevance of teachers’ content knowledge, this study aimed to (i) assess Sustainable Development-relevant knowledge by differentiating between situational, conceptual and procedural knowledge, (ii) find out via item response theory modelling how these theoretically distinguished knowledge types can be empirically supported, and (iii) link the knowledge dimension(s) to related constructs. We developed a paper-and-pencil test to assess these three knowledge types (N = 314). A two-dimensional structure that combines situational and conceptual knowledge and that distinguishes situational/conceptual knowledge from procedural knowledge, fits the data best (EAP/PV situational/conceptual: 0.63; EAP/PV procedural: 0.67). Student teachers at master level outperformed bachelor level students in situational/conceptual knowledge but master level students did not differ from students at bachelor level regarding procedural knowledge. We observed only slight correlations between the two knowledge dimensions and the content-related motivational orientations of professional action competence. Student teachers’ deficits in procedural knowledge can be attributed to the small number of Education for Sustainable Development-relevant courses attended. Systematically fostering procedural knowledge in teacher education could promote achieving cognitive learning objectives associated with Sustainable Development Goals in the long term.
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  • Journal Article

    Selection markers for transformation of the sequenced reference monokaryon Okayama 7/#130 and homokaryon AmutBmut of Coprinopsis cinerea 

    Dörnte, Bastian; Peng, Can; Fang, Zemin; Kamran, Aysha; Yulvizar, Cut; Kües, Ursula
    Fungal Biology and Biotechnology. 2020 Oct 12;7(1):15
    Abstract Background Two reference strains have been sequenced from the mushroom Coprinopsis cinerea, monokaryon Okayama 7/#130 (OK130) and the self-compatible homokaryon AmutBmut. An adenine-auxotrophy in OK130 (ade8-1) and a para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)-auxotrophy in AmutBmut (pab1-1) offer selection markers for transformations. Of these two strains, homokaryon AmutBmut had been transformed before to PABA-prototrophy and with the bacterial hygromycin resistance marker hph, respectively. Results Gene ade8 encodes a bifunctional enzyme with an N-terminal glycinamide ribonucleotide synthase (GARS) and a C-terminal aminoimidazole ribonucleotide synthase (AIRS) domain required for steps 2 and 5 in the de novo biosynthesis of purines, respectively. In OK130, a missense mutation in ade8-1 rendered residue N231 for ribose recognition by the A loop of the GARS domain into D231. The new ade8+ vector pCcAde8 complements the auxotrophy of OK130 in transformations. Transformation rates with pCcAde8 in single-vector and co-transformations with ade8+-selection were similarly high, unlike for trp1+ plasmids which exhibit suicidal feedback-effects in single-vector transformations with complementation of tryptophan synthase defects. As various other plasmids, unselected pCcAde8 helped in co-transformations of trp1 strains with a trp1+-selection vector to overcome suicidal effects by transferred trp1+. Co-transformation rates of pCcAde8 in OK130 under adenine selection with nuclear integration of unselected DNA were as high as 80% of clones. Co-transformation rates of expressed genes reached 26–42% for various laccase genes and up to 67% with lcc9 silencing vectors. The bacterial gene hph can also be used as another, albeit less efficient, selection marker for OK130 transformants, but with similarly high co-transformation rates. We further show that the pab1-1 defect in AmutBmut is due to a missense mutation which changed the conserved PIKGT motif for chorismate binding in the C-terminal PabB domain to PIEGT in the mutated 4-amino-4-deoxychorismate synthase. Conclusions ade8-1 and pab1-1 auxotrophic defects in C. cinerea reference strains OK130 and AmutBmut for complementation in transformation are described. pCcAde8 is a new transformation vector useful for selection in single and co-transformations of the sequenced monokaryon OK130 which was transformed for the first time. The bacterial gene hph can also be used as an additional selection marker in OK130, making in combination with ade8+ successive rounds of transformation possible.
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  • Journal Article

    Validating the Efficiency of the FeS$_2$ Method for Elucidating the Mechanisms of Contaminant Removal Using Fe$_0$/H$_2$O Systems 

    Xiao, Minhui; Cui, Xuesong; Hu, Rui; Gwenzi, Willis; Noubactep, Chicgoua
    Processes 2020; 8(9) p.1-16: Art. 1162
    There is growing interest in using pyrite minerals (FeS$_2$) to enhance the efficiency of metallic iron (Fe$^0$) for water treatment (Fe$^0$/H$_2$O systems). This approach contradicts the thermodynamic predicting suppression of FeS$_2$ oxidation by Fe$^0$ addition. Available results are rooted in time series correlations between aqueous and solid phases based on data collected under various operational conditions. Herein, the methylene blue method (MB method) is used to clarify the controversy. The MB method exploits the differential adsorptive affinity of MB onto sand and sand coated with iron corrosion products to assess the extent of Fe$^0$ corrosion in Fe$^0$/H$_2$O systems. The effects of the addition of various amounts of FeS$_2$ to a Fe$^0$/sand mixture (FeS$_2$ method) on MB discoloration were characterized in parallel quiescent batch experiments for up to 71 d (pH$_0$ = 6.8). Pristine and aged FeS$_2$ specimens were used. Parallel experiments with methyl orange (MO) and reactive red 120 (RR120) enabled a better discussion of the achieved results. The results clearly showed that FeS$_2$ induces a pH shift and delays Fe precipitation and sand coating. Pristine FeS$_2$ induced a pH shift to values lower than 4.5, but no quantitative MB discoloration occurred after 45 d. Aged FeS$_2$ could not significantly shift the pH value (final pH ≥ 6.4) but improved the MB discoloration. The used systematic sequence of experiments demonstrated that adsorption and coprecipitation are the fundamental mechanisms of contaminant removal in Fe$^0$/H$_2$O systems. This research has clarified the reason why a FeS$_2$ addition enhances the efficiency of Fe$^0$ environmental remediation.
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  • Journal Article

    A new dataset on plant occurrences on smallislands, including species abundances andfunctional traits across different spatial scales 

    Schrader, Julian; Moeljono, Soetjipto; Tambing, Junus; Sattler, Cornelia; Kreft, Holger
    Biodiversity Data Journal 2020; 8 p.1-16: Art. e55275
    Background We introduce a new dataset of woody plants on 60 small tropical islands located in the Raja Ampat archipelago in Indonesia. The dataset includes incidence, abundance and functional trait data for 57 species. All islands were sampled using a standardised transect and plot design providing detailed information on plant occurrences at different spatial scales ranging from the local (plot and transect scale) to the island scale. In addition, the dataset includes information on key plant functional traits linked to species dispersal, resource acquisition and competitive strategies. The dataset can be used to address ecological questions connected to the species-area relationship and community assembly processes on small islands and in isolated habitats. New information The dataset yields detailed information on plant community structure and links incidence, abundance and functional trait data at different spatial scales. Furthermore, this is the first plant-island dataset for the Raja Ampat archipelago, a remote and poorly studied region, and provides important new information on species occurrences.
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  • Journal Article

    Quantitative Modelling and Perspective Taking: Two Competencies of Decision Making for Sustainable Development 

    Böhm, Marko; Barkmann, Jan; Eggert, Sabina; Carstensen, Claus H.; Bögeholz, Susanne
    Sustainability 2020; 12(17) p.1-32: Art. 6980
    Land use change, natural resource use and climate change are challenging Sustainable Development issues (SDGs 13–15). Fostering the competencies to deal with such issues is one core task for current educational endeavors. Among these competencies, decision-making competencies are central. In detail, we investigate how learners evaluate alternative decision-making options to improve existing competence models. We exemplify our competence modelling approach using the designation of a Marine Protected Area. The cross-sectional sample consists of secondary school students and student teachers (N = 760). Partial Credit modelling shows that quantitative modelling of decision-making options is a different competence dimension than perspective taking if contextualized for Sustainable Development. In quantitative modelling, mathematical modelling is used to evaluate and reflect on decision-making options. Perspective taking covers the ability to consider different normative perspectives on Sustainable Development issues. Both dimensions show plausible (latent) correlations with related constructs within the nomological net, i.e., with qualitative arguing, economic literacy, mathematical competencies, reading competencies and analytical problem solving. Furthermore, person-abilities increase with level of education for both dimensions. The identified competence dimensions quantitative modelling and perspective taking were successfully modelled and shown to be distinct; the resulting measuring instrument is reliable and valid.
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  • Journal Article

    Trophic level and basal resource use of soil animals are hardly affected by local plant associations in abandoned arable land 

    Salamon, Jörg‐Alfred; Wissuwa, Janet; Frank, Thomas; Scheu, Stefan; Potapov, Anton M.
    Ecology and Evolution 2020; 10(15) p.8279-8288
    Plants provide resources and shape the habitat of soil organisms thereby affecting the composition and functioning of soil communities. Effects of plants on soil communities are largely taxon‐dependent, but how different functional groups of herbaceous plants affect trophic niches of individual animal species in soil needs further investigation. Here, we studied the use of basal resources and trophic levels of dominating soil meso‐ and macrofauna using stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen in arable fallow systems 3 and 14–16 years after abandonment. Animals were sampled from the rhizosphere of three plant species of different functional groups: a legume (Medicaco sativa), a nonlegume herb (Taraxacum officinale), and a grass (Bromus sterilis). We found virtually no consistent effects of plant identity on stable isotope composition of soil animals and on thirteen isotopic metrics that reflect general food‐web structure. However, in old fallows, the carbon isotope composition of some predatory macrofauna taxa had shifted closer to that of co‐occurring plants, which was particularly evident for Lasius, an aphid‐associated ant genus. Trophic levels and trophic‐chain lengths in food webs were similar across plant species and fallow ages. Overall, the results suggest that variations in local plant diversity of grassland communities may little affect the basal resources and the trophic level of prey consumed by individual species of meso‐ and macrofauna belowground. By contrast, successional changes in grassland communities are associated with shifts in the trophic niches of certain species, reflecting establishment of trophic interactions with time, which shapes the functioning and stability of soil food webs.
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  • Journal Article

    Land-Use and Health Issues in Malagasy Primary Education—A Delphi Study 

    Niens, Janna; Richter-Beuschel, Lisa; Bögeholz, Susanne
    Sustainability 2020; 12(15) p.1-31: Art. 6212
    Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) plays a key role in Sustainable Development. In low-income countries like Madagascar, this key role is particularly relevant to primary education. However, the curricula lack a comprehensive ESD approach that incorporates regional issues. In Madagascar, sustainable land-use practices (Sustainable Development Goals 12, 15) and health prevention (SDGs 2, 3, 6) are educational challenges. Procedural knowledge allows problem-solving regarding unsustainable developments. We adapted and further developed a measure of ESD-relevant procedural knowledge. Considering curricula, sustainability standards, research, and a two-round Delphi study (n = 34 experts), we identified regionally relevant land-use practices and health-protective behavior. After the experts rated the effectiveness and possibility of implementation of courses of actions, we calculated an index of what to teach under given Malagasy (regional) conditions. Combined with qualitative expert comments, the study offers insights into expert views on land-use and health topics: For example, when teaching ESD in Northeast Madagascar, sustainable management of cultivation and soil is suitable, particularly when linked to vanilla production. Health-protective behavior is ultimately more difficult to implement in rural than in urban areas. These results are important for further curricula development, for ESD during primary education, and because they give insights into the topics teacher education should address.
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  • Journal Article

    Mycoparasite Hypomyces odoratus infests Agaricus xanthodermus fruiting bodies in nature 

    Lakkireddy, Kiran; Khonsuntia, Weeradej; Kües, Ursula
    AMB Express. 2020 Aug 13;10(1):141
    Abstract Mycopathogens are serious threats to the crops in commercial mushroom cultivations. In contrast, little is yet known on their occurrence and behaviour in nature. Cobweb infections by a conidiogenous Cladobotryum-type fungus identified by morphology and ITS sequences as Hypomyces odoratus were observed in the year 2015 on primordia and young and mature fruiting bodies of Agaricus xanthodermus in the wild. Progress in development and morphologies of fruiting bodies were affected by the infections. Infested structures aged and decayed prematurely. The mycoparasites tended by mycelial growth from the surroundings to infect healthy fungal structures. They entered from the base of the stipes to grow upwards and eventually also onto lamellae and caps. Isolated H. odoratus strains from a diseased standing mushroom, from a decaying overturned mushroom stipe and from rotting plant material infected mushrooms of different species of the genus Agaricus while Pleurotus ostreatus fruiting bodies were largely resistant. Growing and grown A. xanthodermus and P. ostreatus mycelium showed degrees of resistance against the mycopathogen, in contrast to mycelium of Coprinopsis cinerea. Mycelial morphological characteristics (colonies, conidiophores and conidia, chlamydospores, microsclerotia, pulvinate stroma) and variations of five different H. odoratus isolates are presented. In pH-dependent manner, H. odoratus strains stained growth media by pigment production yellow (acidic pH range) or pinkish-red (neutral to slightly alkaline pH range).
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  • Journal Article

    The integrated stress response induces R-loops and hinders replication fork progression 

    Choo, Josephine Ann Mun Yee; Schlösser, Denise; Manzini, Valentina; Magerhans, Anna; Dobbelstein, Matthias
    Cell Death & Disease 2020; 11(7) p.1-16: Art. 538
    The integrated stress response (ISR) allows cells to rapidly shutdown most of their protein synthesis in response to protein misfolding, amino acid deficiency, or virus infection. These stresses trigger the phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha, which prevents the initiation of translation. Here we show that triggering the ISR drastically reduces the progression of DNA replication forks within 1 h, thus flanking the shutdown of protein synthesis with immediate inhibition of DNA synthesis. DNA replication is restored by compounds that inhibit eIF2alpha kinases or re-activate eIF2alpha. Mechanistically, the translational shutdown blocks histone synthesis, promoting the formation of DNA:RNA hybrids (R-loops), which interfere with DNA replication. R-loops accumulate upon histone depletion. Conversely, histone overexpression or R-loop removal by RNaseH1 each restores DNA replication in the context of ISR and histone depletion. In conclusion, the ISR rapidly stalls DNA synthesis through histone deficiency and R-loop formation. We propose that this shutdown mechanism prevents potentially detrimental DNA replication in the face of cellular stresses.
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