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Beltsville, MD, United States

Delwiche S.R.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kim M.S.,Beltsville Agricultural Research Center | Dong Y.,University of Minnesota
Sensing and Instrumentation for Food Quality and Safety | Year: 2011

Fusarium head blight is a fungal disease that affects the world's small grains, such as wheat and barley. Attacking the spikelets during development, the fungus causes a reduction of yield and grain of poorer processing quality. Secondary metabolites that often accompany the fungus, such as deoxynivalenol (DON), are health concerns to humans and livestock. Conventional grain inspection procedures for Fusarium damage are heavily reliant on human visual analysis. As an inspection alternative, a near-infrared (NIR) hyperspectral image system (1000-1700 nm) was fabricated and applied to Fusarium-damaged kernel recognition. An existing extended visible (400-1000 nm) system was similarly used. Exhaustive searches were performed on the 144 and 125 wavelength pair images that, respectively, comprised the NIR and visible systems to determine accuracy of classification using a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifier. On a limited set of wheat samples the best wavelength pairs, either with visible or NIR wavelengths, were able to discriminate Fusarium-damaged kernels from sound kernels, both based on visual assessment, at an average accuracy of approximately 95%. Accuracy dropped off substantially when the visual contrast between the two kernel conditions became imperceptible. The NIR region was slightly better than the visible region in its broader array of acceptable wavelength pairs. Further, the region of interest (ROI) defined as the whole kernel was slightly better than ROIs limited to either a portion of the endosperm or the germ tip. For the NIR region, the spectral absorption near 1200 nm, attributed to ergosterol (a primary constituent in fungi cell membranes), was shown to be useful in spectral recognition of Fusarium damage. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.


Metabolites and stress related transcripts were measured in Arabidopsis thaliana in response to chilling temperatures. Rates of carbon assimilation increased 17% on average in response to cold treatment. Sucrose, glucose and fructose accumulation consumed 42% of the carbon from A but leaf starch only could synthesize ∼10% of observed changes in soluble sugars. Carbohydrates were the only major class of metabolites that accumulated during the first 24. h of cold treatment. Except maltose and raffinose, carbohydrate accumulation was abolished when cold treatments were in darkness. Starch hydrolysis was correlated with maltose accumulation and increased expression of BAM3, which encodes a β-amylase necessary for starch mobilization. Hexose accumulation was delayed 6. h and raffinose accumulation was not observed in a starchless (pgm1) mutant. Changes of expression of five stress-induced transcripts in response to cold were similar in the wild type and in the pgm1 mutant. Three of five stress related transcripts had decreased expression when cold treatments were performed in the dark compared to the light. Therefore, starch hydrolysis may augment hexose and raffinose accumulations during the first 24. h after a cold shock and a partial cold stress response was observed in Arabidopsis during cold treatments in the dark. © 2011.


Bevacqua C.E.,University of Maryland College Park | Rice C.P.,Beltsville Agricultural Research Center | Torrents A.,University of Maryland College Park | Ramirez M.,District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2011

Steroid hormones can act as potent endocrine disruptors when released into the environment. The main sources of these chemicals are thought to be wastewater treatment plant discharges and waste from animal feeding operations. While these compounds have frequently been found in wastewater effluents, few studies have investigated biosolids or manure, which are routinely land applied, as potential sources. This study assessed the potential environmental contribution of steroid hormones from biosolids and chicken litter. Hormone concentrations in samples of limed biosolids collected at a waste treatment plant over a four year period ranged from < 2.5 to 21.7. ng/g dry weight for estrone (E1) and < 2.5 to 470. ng/g dry weight for progesterone. Chicken litter from 12 mid-Atlantic farms had averages of 41.4. ng/g dry weight E1, 63.4. ng/g dry weight progesterone, and 19.2. ng/g dry weight E1-sulfate (E1-S). Other analytes studied were 17β-estradiol (E2), estriol (E3), 17β-ethinylestradiol (EE2), testosterone, E2-3-sulfate (E2-3-S), and E2-17-sulfate (E2-17-3). © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Shwab E.K.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Jiang T.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Pena H.F.J.,University of Sao Paulo | Gennari S.M.,University of Sao Paulo | And 2 more authors.
International Journal for Parasitology | Year: 2016

The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful known eukaryotic pathogens on Earth. Virulence of T. gondii strains varies greatly in mice, and mounting evidence suggests that such variations may be relevant to the manifestation of human toxoplasmosis. Polymorphic rhoptry-secreted kinases and pseudokinases (ROP) have been demonstrated to account for murine virulence among the archetypal clonal parasite lineages that dominate the populations of North America and Europe. However, the distribution of virulence gene alleles in natural populations and the broad influence of these allele combinations on T. gondii virulence have not been examined in depth. In the present study, we performed PCR-RFLP genotyping analysis on a diverse array of globally distributed T. gondii strains at four ROP gene loci including ROP18, ROP5, ROP16 and ROP17 that were previously implicated in influencing T. gondii virulence and pathogenesis. We demonstrated through correlation with published virulence data that the combination of ROP18 and ROP5 allele types is highly predictive of T. gondii virulence across a broad range of global T. gondii isolates. These findings indicate that the importance of ROP18 and ROP5 in determining strain virulence is not limited to the North American/European archetypal lineages most commonly used in molecular studies, but also appears to apply to diverse isolates from South/central America and Asia. Restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of these loci may thus serve as a valuable tool in determining the potential virulence of uncharacterized T. gondii strains in future studies. © 2015 .


Crook D.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Khrimian A.,Beltsville Agricultural Research Center | Cosse A.,National United University | Fraser I.,Ford Motor Company | Mastro V.C.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Journal of Economic Entomology | Year: 2012

Field trapping assays were conducted in 2009 and 2010 throughout western Michigan, to evaluate lures for adult emerald ash borer, A. planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae). Several ash tree volatiles were tested on purple prism traps in 2009, and a dark green prism trap in 2010. In 2009, six bark oil distillate lure treatments were tested against manuka oil lures (used in 2008 by USDA APHIS PPQ emerald ash borer cooperative program). Purple traps baited with 80/20 (manuka/phoebe oil) significantly increased beetle catch compared with traps baited with manuka oil alone. In 2010 we monitored emerald ash borer attraction to dark green traps baited with six lure combinations of 80/20 (manuka/phoebe), manuka oil, and (3Z)-hexenol. Traps baited with manuka oil and (3Z)-hexenol caught significantly more male and total count insects than traps baited with manuka oil alone. Traps baited with manuka oil and (3Z)-hexenol did not catch more beetles when compared with traps baited with (3Z)-hexenol alone. When compared with unbaited green traps our results show that (3Z)-hexenol improved male catch significantly in only one of three field experiments using dark green traps. Dark green traps caught a high number of A. planipennis when unbaited while (3Z)-hexenol was seen to have a minimal (nonsignificant) trap catch effect at several different release rates. We hypothesize that the previously reported kairomonal attractancy of (3Z)-hexenol (for males) on light green traps is not as obvious here because of improved male attractancy to the darker green trap. © 2012 Entomological Society of America.

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