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    The AgTech Startup Perspective to Farmers Ex Ante Acceptance Process of Autonomous Field Robots 

    von Veltheim, Friedrich Rübcke; Heise, Heinke
    Sustainability 2020; 12(24)
    Autonomous vehicles not only provide a new impetus in the development of car models in the automotive industry—even in agriculture there has recently been talk of autonomous field robots (AFR). Great expectations are placed on these digital assistants from a wide variety of perspectives. However, it is still unclear whether they will make the transition from market niches to broad-based distribution. Apart from various factors, this depends on user acceptance of this new technology expected by the innovators, since this is likely to be essential for the further development of AFR. For this purpose, the ex ante user acceptance of farmers from the perspective of various AgTech startups with AFR involvement in Europe was investigated in this exploratory and qualitative study. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) served as the basis for the developed interview guideline. In summary, the results confirm that a variety of factors potentially influence farmer acceptance and AFR diffusion from the perspective of AgTech startups, with perceived usefulness being considered the main motivation for using AFR. The interviewed experts believe that AFR will initially be used in crops that have relatively high costs for crop protection treatments before becoming economically attractive for other crops. The basic prerequisite for a successful market launch is an adjustment of the legal framework, which sets standards in relation to AFR and thus, provides security in the production process. The results could support political decision-makers in dealing with this new technology and AFR manufacturers in the promotion of AFR.
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    <i>Sphaeropsis sapinea</i> found as symptomless endophyte in Finland 

    Terhonen, Eeva-Liisa; Babalola, Jumoke; Kasanen, Risto; Jalkanen, Risto; Blumenstein, Kathrin
    Silva Fennica 2021; 55(1)
    The aim of this study was to determine if the ascomycete fungus Sphaeropsis sapinea (Fr.) Dyko & B. Sutton (syn. Diplodia sapinea (Fr.) Fuckel) could be cultured from surface sterilized Scots pine twigs presenting the endophytic stage of this fungus. This fungus causes the disease called Diplodia tip blight in conifers. Symptoms become visible when trees have been weakened by abiotic stressors related to temperature, drought and hailstorms. The disease is rapidly increasing and is observed regularly in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) forests in Europe. Changes in climatic conditions will gradually increase the damage of this pathogen, because it is favored by elevated temperatures and additionally the host trees will be more susceptible due to related environmental stress. Diplodia tip blight is emerging towards Northern latitudes, thus, actions to monitor the spread of S. sapinea in pine-dominated forests should be undertaken in Finland. Our aim was to search for S. sapinea in Scots pine along a transect in Finland. Branch samples were collected from healthy Scots pine, fungal endophytes were isolated and morphologically identified. Sixteen S. sapinea strains were found from four Scots pine trees from two locations. This finding confirms that S. sapinea is found as an endophyte in healthy Scots pine in Finland.
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    Variation and conservation implications of the effectiveness of anti-bear interventions 

    Khorozyan, Igor; Waltert, Matthias
    Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1)
    Human-bear conflicts triggered by nuisance behaviour in public places and damage to livestock, crops, beehives and trees are among the main threats to bear populations globally. The effectiveness of interventions used to minimize bear-caused damage is insufficiently known and comparative reviews are lacking. We conducted a meta-analysis of 77 cases from 48 publications and used the relative risk of damage to compare the effectiveness of non-invasive interventions, invasive management (translocations) and lethal control (shooting) against bears. We show that the most effective interventions are electric fences (95% confidence interval = 79.2–100% reduction in damage), calving control (100%) and livestock replacement (99.8%), but the latter two approaches were applied in only one case each and need more testing. Deterrents varied widely in their effectiveness (13.7–79.5%) and we recommend applying these during the peak periods of damage infliction. We found shooting (− 34.2 to 100%) to have a short-term positive effect with its effectiveness decreasing significantly and linearly over time. We did not find relationships between bear density and intervention effectiveness, possibly due to differences in spatial scales at which they were measured (large scales for densities and local fine scales for effectiveness). We appeal for more effectiveness studies and their scientific publishing in regard to under-represented conflict species and regions.
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    Multiple loci linked to inversions are associated with eye size variation in species of the Drosophila virilis phylad 

    Reis, Micael; Wiegleb, Gordon; Claude, Julien; Lata, Rodrigo; Horchler, Britta; Ha, Ngoc-Thuy; Reimer, Christian; Vieira, Cristina P.; Vieira, Jorge; Posnien, Nico
    Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1)
    The size and shape of organs is tightly controlled to achieve optimal function. Natural morphological variations often represent functional adaptations to an ever-changing environment. For instance, variation in head morphology is pervasive in insects and the underlying molecular basis is starting to be revealed in the Drosophila genus for species of the melanogaster group. However, it remains unclear whether similar diversifications are governed by similar or different molecular mechanisms over longer timescales. To address this issue, we used species of the virilis phylad because they have been diverging from D. melanogaster for at least 40 million years. Our comprehensive morphological survey revealed remarkable differences in eye size and head shape among these species with D. novamexicana having the smallest eyes and southern D. americana populations having the largest eyes. We show that the genetic architecture underlying eye size variation is complex with multiple associated genetic variants located on most chromosomes. Our genome wide association study (GWAS) strongly suggests that some of the putative causative variants are associated with the presence of inversions. Indeed, northern populations of D. americana share derived inversions with D. novamexicana and they show smaller eyes compared to southern ones. Intriguingly, we observed a significant enrichment of genes involved in eye development on the 4th chromosome after intersecting chromosomal regions associated with phenotypic differences with those showing high differentiation among D. americana populations. We propose that variants associated with chromosomal inversions contribute to both intra- and interspecific variation in eye size among species of the virilis phylad.
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    A minimalist model to measure interactions between proteins and synaptic vesicles 

    Perego, Eleonora; Reshetniak, Sofiia; Lorenz, Charlotta; Hoffmann, Christian; Milovanović, Dragomir; Rizzoli, Silvio O.; Köster, Sarah
    Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1)
    Protein dynamics in the synaptic bouton are still not well understood, despite many quantitative studies of synaptic structure and function. The complexity of the synaptic environment makes investigations of presynaptic protein mobility challenging. Here, we present an in vitro approach to create a minimalist model of the synaptic environment by patterning synaptic vesicles (SVs) on glass coverslips. We employed fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) to measure the mobility of monomeric enhanced green fluorescent protein (mEGFP)-tagged proteins in the presence of the vesicle patterns. We observed that the mobility of all eleven measured proteins is strongly reduced in the presence of the SVs, suggesting that they all bind to the SVs. The mobility observed in these conditions is within the range of corresponding measurements in synapses of living cells. Overall, our simple, but robust, approach should enable numerous future studies of organelle-protein interactions in general.
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    Linking human male vocal parameters to perceptions, body morphology, strength and hormonal profiles in contexts of sexual selection 

    Schild, Christoph; Aung, Toe; Kordsmeyer, Tobias L.; Cardenas, Rodrigo A.; Puts, David A.; Penke, Lars
    Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1)
    Sexual selection appears to have shaped the acoustic signals of diverse species, including humans. Deep, resonant vocalizations in particular may function in attracting mates and/or intimidating same-sex competitors. Evidence for these adaptive functions in human males derives predominantly from perception studies in which vocal acoustic parameters were manipulated using specialist software. This approach affords tight experimental control but provides little ecological validity, especially when the target acoustic parameters vary naturally with other parameters. Furthermore, such experimental studies provide no information about what acoustic variables indicate about the speaker—that is, why attention to vocal cues may be favored in intrasexual and intersexual contexts. Using voice recordings with high ecological validity from 160 male speakers and biomarkers of condition, including baseline cortisol and testosterone levels, body morphology and strength, we tested a series of pre-registered hypotheses relating to both perceptions and underlying condition of the speaker. We found negative curvilinear and negative linear relationships between male fundamental frequency (fo) and female perceptions of attractiveness and male perceptions of dominance. In addition, cortisol and testosterone negatively interacted in predicting fo, and strength and measures of body size negatively predicted formant frequencies (Pf). Meta-analyses of the present results and those from two previous samples confirmed that fonegatively predicted testosterone only among men with lower cortisol levels. This research offers empirical evidence of possible evolutionary functions for attention to men’s vocal characteristics in contexts of sexual selection.
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    The WD40-protein CFAP52/WDR16 is a centrosome/basal body protein and localizes to the manchette and the flagellum in male germ cells 

    Tapia Contreras, Constanza; Hoyer-Fender, Sigrid
    Scientific Reports 2020; 10(1)
    Development of spermatozoa requires remodelling and formation of particular structures. In elongating spermatids, the transient microtubular manchette contributes to the formation of the head–tail coupling apparatus (HTCA) and the sperm tail. The HTCA derives from the centrosome in that the proximal centriole inserts into the nuclear indentation and the distal centriole gives rise to the sperm flagellum. Although impairments in the formation of HTCA and sperm tail cause male infertility their molecular constituents are only partially known. The WD40-protein CFAP52 is implicated in motile cilia, but its relevance for male germ cell differentiation is not known. Here we show that CFAP52 is widespread expressed and localizes to a subset of microtubular structures. In male germ cells, CFAP52 is a component of the transient manchette and the sperm tail. However, expression of Cfap52 is not restricted to motile cilia-bearing cells. In NIH3T3 cells, CFAP52 localizes to the centrosome, the basal body, and the mitotic spindle poles, but not to the primary cilium. Our results demonstrate that CFAP52 is not restricted to motile cilia but instead most likely functions in constituting the centrosome/basal body matrix and the sperm tail.
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    Soil bacterial community structures in relation to different oil palm management practices 

    Berkelmann, Dirk; Schneider, Dominik; Hennings, Nina; Meryandini, Anja; Daniel, Rolf
    Scientific Data 2020; 7(1)
    We provide soil bacterial 16 S rRNA gene amplicon and geochemical data derived from an oil palm plantation management experiment. The experimental design covered two different intensities of fertilizer application and weeding practices. We sampled the topsoil of 80 plots in total and extracted DNA and RNA. 16 S rRNA gene-derived and transcript-derived amplicons were generated and sequenced to analyse community composition and beta-diversity. One year after establishing the experiment, statistically significant differences of bacterial diversity or community composition between different treatments at entire (DNA-derived) and active (RNA-derived) community level were not detected. The dominant taxa belonged to Acidobacteriota and Actinobacteriota and were more abundant in the active community compared to the entire community. Similarly, the abundant genera Candidatus Solibacter and Haliangium were more abundant at active community level. Furthermore, clustering corresponding to the different sampling site locations was detected. Beta-diversity did not change among the treatments at DNA and RNA level. This dataset is of interest for related studies on the effect of altered management practices on soilborne communities.
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    Observation of electron-induced characteristic x-ray and bremsstrahlung radiation from a waveguide cavity 

    Vassholz, Malte; Salditt, Tim
    Science Advances 2021; 7(4)
    We demonstrate x-ray generation based on direct emission of spontaneous x-rays into waveguide modes. Photons are generated by electron impact onto a structured anode target, which is formed as an x-ray waveguide or waveguide array. Both emission of characteristic radiation and bremsstrahlung are affected by the changes in mode density induced by the waveguide structure. We investigate how the excited modal pattern depends on the positions of the metal atoms and the distance of the focused electron beam with respect to the waveguide exit side. We compare the results to synchrotron-excited fluorescence. We then discuss how x-ray generation in waveguides can be used to increase the brilliance and directional emission of tabletop x-ray sources, with a corresponding increase in the spatial coherence. On the basis of the Purcell effect, we lastly show that the gain of emission into waveguide modes is governed by the quality factor of the waveguide.
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    Kanchan Arsenic Filters and the Future of Fe0-Based Filtration Systems for Single Household Drinking Water Supply 

    Huang, Zhe; Cao, Viet; Nya, Esther Laurentine; Gwenzi, Willis; Noubactep, Chicgoua
    Processes 2021; 9(1)
    Biological and chemical contamination of natural water bodies is a global health risk for more than one billion people, mostly living in low-income countries. Innovative, affordable, and efficient decentralized solutions for safe drinking water supply are urgently needed. Metallic iron (Fe0)-based filtration systems have been described as such an appropriate solution. This communication focuses on the Kanchan arsenic filter (KAF), presented in the early 2000s and widely assessed during the past decade. The KAF contains iron nails as the Fe0 source and is primarily designed to remove As from polluted tube well waters. Recent independent works assessing their performance have all reported on a high degree of variability in efficiency depending mostly on the following factors: (1) the current operating conditions, (2) the design, and (3) the groundwater chemistry. This communication shows that the major problems of the KAF are two-fold: (1) a design mistake as the Fe0 units disturb the operation and functionality of the biosand filter, and (2) the use of poorly characterized iron nails of unknown reactivity. This assertion is supported by the evidence that the very successful community filter designed by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay works with iron nails and has been efficient for many years. Replacing iron nails by more reactive Fe0 materials (e.g., iron fillings and steel wool) should be tested in a new generation KAF. It is concluded that a methodological or systematic approach in introducing and monitoring the efficiency of KAF should be used to test and disseminate the next generation KAF worldwide. Moreover, better characterization of the Fe0 materials including their intrinsic reactivity is required.
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    Using enriched semantic event chains to model human action prediction based on (minimal) spatial information 

    Ziaeetabar, Fatemeh; Pomp, Jennifer; Pfeiffer, Stefan; El-Sourani, Nadiya; Schubotz, Ricarda I.; Tamosiunaite, Minija; Wörgötter, Florentin
    PLOS ONE 2020; 15(12)
    Predicting other people’s upcoming action is key to successful social interactions. Previous studies have started to disentangle the various sources of information that action observers exploit, including objects, movements, contextual cues and features regarding the acting person’s identity. We here focus on the role of static and dynamic inter-object spatial relations that change during an action. We designed a virtual reality setup and tested recognition speed for ten different manipulation actions. Importantly, all objects had been abstracted by emulating them with cubes such that participants could not infer an action using object information. Instead, participants had to rely only on the limited information that comes from the changes in the spatial relations between the cubes. In spite of these constraints, participants were able to predict actions in, on average, less than 64% of the action’s duration. Furthermore, we employed a computational model, the so-called enriched Semantic Event Chain (eSEC), which incorporates the information of different types of spatial relations: (a) objects’ touching/untouching, (b) static spatial relations between objects and (c) dynamic spatial relations between objects during an action. Assuming the eSEC as an underlying model, we show, using information theoretical analysis, that humans mostly rely on a mixed-cue strategy when predicting actions. Machine-based action prediction is able to produce faster decisions based on individual cues. We argue that human strategy, though slower, may be particularly beneficial for prediction of natural and more complex actions with more variable or partial sources of information. Our findings contribute to the understanding of how individuals afford inferring observed actions’ goals even before full goal accomplishment, and may open new avenues for building robots for conflict-free human-robot cooperation.
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    Word learning from a tablet app: Toddlers perform better in a passive context 

    Ackermann, Lena; Lo, Chang Huan; Mani, Nivedita; Mayor, Julien
    PLOS ONE 2020; 15(12)
    In recent years, the popularity of tablets has skyrocketed and there has been an explosive growth in apps designed for children. Howhever, many of these apps are released without tests for their effectiveness. This is worrying given that the factors influencing children’s learning from touchscreen devices need to be examined in detail. In particular, it has been suggested that children learn less from passive video viewing relative to equivalent live interaction, which would have implications for learning from such digital tools. However, this so-called video deficit may be reduced by allowing children greater influence over their learning environment. Across two touchscreen-based experiments, we examined whether 2- to 4-year-olds benefit from actively choosing what to learn more about in a digital word learning task. We designed a tablet study in which “active” participants were allowed to choose which objects they were taught the label of, while yoked “passive” participants were presented with the objects chosen by their active peers. We then examined recognition of the learned associations across different tasks. In Experiment 1, children in the passive condition outperformed those in the active condition (n = 130). While Experiment 2 replicated these findings in a new group of Malay-speaking children (n = 32), there were no differences in children’s learning or recognition of the novel word-object associations using a more implicit looking time measure. These results suggest that there may be performance costs associated with active tasks designed as in the current study, and at the very least, there may not always be systematic benefits associated with active learning in touchscreen-based word learning tasks. The current studies add to the evidence that educational apps need to be evaluated before release: While children might benefit from interactive apps under certain conditions, task design and requirements need to consider factors that may detract from successful performance.
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    Signs of Warning: Do Health Warning Messages on Sweets Affect the Neural Prefrontal Cortex Activity? 

    Mehlhose, Clara; Risius, Antje
    Nutrients 2020; 12(12)
    In the global attempt to combat rising obesity rates, the introduction of health warning messages on food products is discussed as one possible approach. However, the perception of graphical health warning messages in the food context and the possible impact that they may have, in particular at the neuronal level, have hardly been studied. Therefore, the aim of this explorative study was to examine consumers’ reactions (measured as neuronal activity and subjective reporting) of two different types of graphical health warning messages on sweets compared to sweets without warning messages. One type used the red road traffic stop sign as graphical information (“Stop”), while the other one used shocking pictures (“Shock”), an approach similar to the images on cigarette packages. The neural response of 78 participants was examined with the neuroimaging technique functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). Different hemodynamic responses in the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the frontopolar cortex (FOC), and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) were observed, regions which are associated with reward evaluation, social behavior consequences, and self-control. Further, the health warning messages were actively and emotionally remembered by the participants. These findings point to an interesting health information strategy, which should be explored and discussed further.
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    Remote near infrared identification of pathogens with multiplexed nanosensors 

    Nißler, Robert; Bader, Oliver; Dohmen, Maria; Walter, Sebastian G.; Noll, Christine; Selvaggio, Gabriele; Groß, Uwe; Kruss, Sebastian
    Nature Communications 2020; 11(1)
    Infectious diseases are worldwide a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Fast and specific detection of pathogens such as bacteria is needed to combat these diseases. Optimal methods would be non-invasive and without extensive sample-taking/processing. Here, we developed a set of near infrared (NIR) fluorescent nanosensors and used them for remote fingerprinting of clinically important bacteria. The nanosensors are based on single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) that fluoresce in the NIR optical tissue transparency window, which offers ultra-low background and high tissue penetration. They are chemically tailored to detect released metabolites as well as specific virulence factors (lipopolysaccharides, siderophores, DNases, proteases) and integrated into functional hydrogel arrays with 9 different sensors. These hydrogels are exposed to clinical isolates of 6 important bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli,…) and remote (≥25 cm) NIR imaging allows to identify and distinguish bacteria. Sensors are also spectrally encoded (900 nm, 1000 nm, 1250 nm) to differentiate the two major pathogens P. aeruginosa as well as S. aureus and penetrate tissue (>5 mm). This type of multiplexing with NIR fluorescent nanosensors enables remote detection and differentiation of important pathogens and the potential for smart surfaces.
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    A fourth-generation high-dimensional neural network potential with accurate electrostatics including non-local charge transfer 

    Ko, Tsz Wai; Finkler, Jonas A.; Goedecker, Stefan; Behler, Jörg
    Nature Communications 2021; 12(1)
    Machine learning potentials have become an important tool for atomistic simulations in many fields, from chemistry via molecular biology to materials science. Most of the established methods, however, rely on local properties and are thus unable to take global changes in the electronic structure into account, which result from long-range charge transfer or different charge states. In this work we overcome this limitation by introducing a fourth-generation high-dimensional neural network potential that combines a charge equilibration scheme employing environment-dependent atomic electronegativities with accurate atomic energies. The method, which is able to correctly describe global charge distributions in arbitrary systems, yields much improved energies and substantially extends the applicability of modern machine learning potentials. This is demonstrated for a series of systems representing typical scenarios in chemistry and materials science that are incorrectly described by current methods, while the fourth-generation neural network potential is in excellent agreement with electronic structure calculations.
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    Analysis of signal to noise ratio in coronagraph observations of coronal mass ejections 

    Hinrichs, Johannes; Davies, Jackie A.; West, Matthew J.; Bothmer, Volker; Bourgoignie, Bram; Eyles, Chris J.; Huke, Philipp; Jiggens, Piers; Nicula, Bogdan; Tappin, James
    Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate 2021; 11
    We establish a baseline signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) requirement for the European Space Agency (ESA)-funded Solar Coronagraph for OPErations (SCOPE) instrument in its field of view of 2.5–30 solar radii based on existing observations by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO). Using automatic detection of coronal mass ejections (CMEs), we anaylse the impacts when SNR deviates significantly from our previously established baseline. For our analysis, SNR values are estimated from observations made by the C3 coronagraph on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) spacecraft for a number of different CMEs. Additionally, we generate a series of artificial coronagraph images, each consisting of a modelled coronal background and a CME, the latter simulated using the graduated cylindrical shell (GCS) model together with the SCRaytrace code available in the Interactive Data Language (IDL) SolarSoft library. Images are created with CME SNR levels between 0.5 and 10 at the outer edge of the field of view (FOV), generated by adding Poisson noise, and velocities between 700 km s−1 and 2800 km s−1. The images are analysed for the detectability of the CME above the noise with the automatic CME detection tool CACTus. We find in the analysed C3 images that CMEs near the outer edge of the field of view are typically 2% of the total brightness and have an SNR between 1 and 4 at their leading edge. An SNR of 4 is defined as the baseline SNR for SCOPE. The automated detection of CMEs in our simulated images by CACTus succeeded well down to SNR = 1 and for CME velocities up to 1400 km s−1. At lower SNR and higher velocity of ≥ 2100 km s−1 the detection started to break down. For SCOPE, the results from the two approaches confirm that the initial design goal of SNR = 4 would, if achieved, deliver a comparable performance to established data used in operations today, with a more compact instrument design, and a margin in SNR before existing automatic detection produces significant false positives.
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    Complete Genome of Roseobacter ponti DSM 106830T 

    Hollensteiner, Jacqueline; Schneider, Dominik; Poehlein, Anja; Daniel, Rolf
    Genome Biology and Evolution 2020; 12(7) p.1013-1018
    Members of the Roseobacter group are known for their different ecologically relevant metabolic traits and high abundance in many marine environments. This includes traits like carbon monoxide oxidation, sulfur oxidation, nitrogen oxidation, DMSP demethylation, denitrification, and production of bioactive compounds. Nevertheless, their role in the marine biogeochemical cycles remains to be elucidated. Roseobacter ponti DSM 106830T, also designated strain MM-7T (=KCTC 52469T =NBRC 112431T), is a novel type strain of the Roseobacter group, which was proposed as new Roseobacter species. It was isolated from seawater of the Yellow Sea in South Korea. We report the complete genome sequence of R. ponti DSM 106830T, which belongs to the family Rhodobacteraceae. The genome of R. ponti DSM 106830T comprises a single circular chromosome (3,861,689 bp) with a GC content of 60.52% and an additional circular plasmid (p1) of 100,942 bp with a GC content of 61.51%. The genome encodes 3,812 putative genes, including 3 rRNA, 42 tRNA, 1 tmRNA, and 3 ncRNA. The genome information was used to perform a phylogenetic analysis, which confirmed that the strain represents a new species. Moreover, the genome sequence enabled the investigation of the metabolic capabilities and versatility of R. ponti DSM 106830T. Finally, it provided insight into the high niche adaptation potential of Roseobacter group members.
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    Blue light treatment but not green light treatment after pre-exposure to UV-B stabilizes flavonoid glycoside changes and corresponding biological effects in three different Brassicaceae sprouts 

    Neugart, Susanne; Majer, Petra; Schreiner, Monika; Hideg, Éva
    Frontiers in Plant Science 2021; 11
    Ultraviolet-B (UV-B; 280–315 nm) radiation induces the biosynthesis of secondary plant metabolites such as flavonoids. Flavonoids could also be enhanced by blue (420–490 nm) or green (490–585 nm) light. Flavonoids act as antioxidants and shielding components in the plant’s response to UV-B exposure. They are shown to quench singlet oxygen and to be reactive to hydroxyl radical. The aim was to determine whether treatment with blue or green light can alter flavonoid profiles after pre-exposure to UV-B and whether they cause corresponding biological effects in Brassicaceae sprouts. Based on their different flavonoid profiles, three vegetables from the Brassicaceae were selected. Sprouts were treated with five subsequent doses (equals 5 days) of moderate UV-B (0.23 kJ m–2 day–1 UV-BBE), which was followed with two subsequent (equals 2 days) doses of either blue (99 μmol m–2 s–1) or green (119 μmol m–2 s–1) light. In sprouts of kale, kohlrabi, and rocket salad, flavonoid glycosides were identified by HPLC-DAD-ESI-MSn. Both Brassica oleracea species, kale and kohlrabi, showed mainly acylated quercetin and kaempferol glycosides. In contrast, in rocket salad, the main flavonol glycosides were quercetin glycosides. Blue light treatment after the UV-B treatment showed that quercetin and kaempferol glycosides were increased in the B. oleracea species kale and kohlrabi while—contrary to this—in rocket salad, there were only quercetin glycosides increased. Blue light treatment in general stabilized the enhanced concentrations of flavonoid glycosides while green treatment did not have this effect. Blue light treatment following the UV-B exposure resulted in a trend of increased singlet oxygen scavenging for kale and rocket. The hydroxyl radical scavenging capacity was independent from the light quality except for kale where an exposure with UV-B followed by a blue light treatment led to a higher hydroxyl radical scavenging capacity. These results underline the importance of different light qualities for the biosynthesis of reactive oxygen species that intercept secondary plant metabolites, but also show a pronounced species-dependent reaction, which is of special interest for growers.
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    One-Shot Multi-Path Planning Using Fully Convolutional Networks in a Comparison to Other Algorithms 

    Kulvicius, Tomas; Herzog, Sebastian; Lüddecke, Timo; Tamosiunaite, Minija; Wörgötter, Florentin
    Frontiers in Neurorobotics 2021; 14
    Path planning plays a crucial role in many applications in robotics for example for planning an arm movement or for navigation. Most of the existing approaches to solve this problem are iterative, where a path is generated by prediction of the next state from the current state. Moreover, in case of multi-agent systems, paths are usually planned for each agent separately (decentralized approach). In case of centralized approaches, paths are computed for each agent simultaneously by solving a complex optimization problem, which does not scale well when the number of agents increases. In contrast to this, we propose a novel method, using a homogeneous, convolutional neural network, which allows generation of complete paths, even for more than one agent, in one-shot, i.e., with a single prediction step. First we consider single path planning in 2D and 3D mazes. Here, we show that our method is able to successfully generate optimal or close to optimal (in most of the cases <10% longer) paths in more than 99.5% of the cases. Next we analyze multi-paths either from a single source to multiple end-points or vice versa. Although the model has never been trained on multiple paths, it is also able to generate optimal or near-optimal (<22% longer) paths in 96.4 and 83.9% of the cases when generating two and three paths, respectively. Performance is then also compared to several state of the art algorithms.
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    Mantle modularity underlies the plasticity of the molluscan shell: supporting data from Cepaea nemoralis 

    Jackson, Daniel J.
    Frontiers in Genetics 2021; 12
    Molluscs have evolved the capacity to fabricate a wide variety of shells over their 540+ million-year history. While modern sequencing and proteomic technologies continue to expand the catalog of molluscan shell-forming proteins, a complete functional understanding of how any mollusc constructs its shell remains an ambitious goal. This lack of understanding also constrains our understanding of how evolution has generated a plethora of molluscan shell morphologies. Taking advantage of a previous expression atlas for shell-forming genes in Lymnaea stagnalis, I have characterized the spatial expression patterns of seven shell-forming genes in the terrestrial gastropod Cepaea nemoralis, with the aim of comparing and contrasting their expression patterns between the two species. Four of these genes were selected from a previous proteomic screen of the C. nemoralis shell, two were targeted by bioinformatics criteria designed to identify likely shell-forming gene products, and the final one was a clear homolog of a peroxidase sequence in the L. stagnalis dataset. While the spatial expression patterns of all seven C. nemoralis genes could be recognized as falling into distinct zones within the mantle tissue similar to those established in L. stagnalis, some zones have apparently been modified. These similarities and differences hint at a modularity to the molluscan mantle that may provide a mechanistic explanation as to how evolution has efficiently generated a diversity of molluscan shells.
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