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Sand Hutton, United Kingdom

Agatz A.,University of York | Agatz A.,Food and Environmental Research Agency | Hammers-Wirtz M.,Research Institute for Ecosystem Analysis and Assessment gaiac | Gabsi F.,RWTH Aachen | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry | Year: 2012

Environmental risk assessment of chemicals is based on single species tests at the individual level with single compounds. However, the protection goal is the sustainability of a population, which faces several natural stressors and mixtures of chemicals in the environment. Therefore, experiments were undertaken to quantify the combined effects of chemicals with different modes of action on Daphnia magna populations. Populations continuously exposed to dispersogen A and at abundance equilibrium were treated with a 2-d pulse of p353-nonylphenol. In previous studies, dispersogen A was shown to act as a natural info-chemical, promoting the reproduction of daphnids (higher offspring quantity) coupled with reduced offspring fitness, whereas nonylphenol in pulsed-exposure caused size-selective mortality. Dispersogen A caused accelerated population growth to maximum abundance, shifted the population structure towards smaller individuals, and increased the population sensitivity to nonylphenol. The authors showed that a positive effect observed at the individual level can be transposed to a negative effect when monitored at the population level. So far, positive effects are not addressed in environmental risk assessment, and even in higher-tier testing, population structure is not quantified. Both factors indicate a potential mismatch between protection aim and risk assessment practice. © 2012 SETAC. Source


Ferguson C.T.J.,University of Leeds | O'Neill T.L.,University of Leeds | Audsley N.,Food and Environmental Research Agency | Isaac R.E.,University of Leeds
Journal of Experimental Biology | Year: 2015

The polyphagous Drosophila suzukii is a highly invasive species that causes extensive damage to a wide range of berry and stone fruit crops. A better understanding of its biology and especially its behaviour will aid the development of new control strategies. We investigated the locomotor behaviour of D. suzukii in a semi-natural environment resembling a typical summer in northern England and show that adult female D. suzukii are at least 4-fold more active during daylight hours than adult males. This result was reproduced in several laboratory environments and was shown to be a robust feature of mated, but not virgin, female flies. Both males and virgin females kept on a 12 h light:12 h dark (12LD) cycle and constant temperature displayed night-time inactivity (sleep) followed by weak activity in the morning, an afternoon period of quiescence (siesta) and then a prominent evening peak of activity. Both the siesta and the sharp evening peak at lights off were severely reduced in females after mating. Flies of either sex entrained in 12LD displayed a circadian pattern of activity in constant darkness confirming the importance of an endogenous clock in regulating adult activity. This response of females to mating is similar to that elicited in female Drosophila melanogaster by the male sex peptide (SP). We used mass spectrometry to identify a molecular ion (m/z, 5145) corresponding to the poly-hydroxylated SP of D. suzukii and to show that this molecule is transferred to the female reproductive tract during copulation. We propose that the siesta experienced by male and virgin female D. suzukii is an adaptation to avoid unnecessary exposure to the afternoon sun, but that mated females faced with the challenge of obtaining resources for egg production and finding oviposition sites take greater risks, and we suggest that the change in female behaviour is induced by the male SP. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd. Source


Martinez-Martinez M.,Leon Institute of Technology | Diez-Valcarce M.,Leon Institute of Technology | Cook N.,Food and Environmental Research Agency | Hernandez M.,Leon Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Food Analytical Methods | Year: 2011

We report an in-house protocol for extraction and purification of nucleic acids of enteric viruses, which gives more consistent results than representative commercial methods. The protocol uses 4 M guanidine thiocyanate, 0.5% N-lauroylsarcosine sodium salt, and 25 mM sodium citrate pH 7.0 supplemented with 0.14 M β-mercaptoethanol for lysis of virus particles. The addition of TRIzol followed by chloroform-based separation of the aqueous phase is used to purify nucleic acids from the lysate. RNA precipitation is performed using lithium chloride. This protocol was compared with QIAGEN's RNeasy Kit and bioMérieux's NucliSens method, by evaluating the ability of each to detect enteric viruses in a complex food matrix. Three different pork products, i.e., cooked ham, liver, and Spanish fermented sausage ("chorizo") were artificially contaminated with decreasing numbers of murine norovirus 1 and human adenovirus 2. The extracted and purified viral nucleic acids were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Whereas the two commercial extraction methods did not facilitate robust results (quantification was only possible with some viruses and/or some matrices), when coupled with the in-house protocol the linearity and the efficiency of the quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) assays were close to 1 in all the food matrices, independent of the virus. Scalability of the in-house method was evaluated by analysis of 1 and 2.5 g of spiked pig liver samples, and quantification was possible on 1 g samples contaminated with any of the two model viruses. Therefore, the in-house protocol facilitates robust qRT-PCR-based quantitative detection of viruses in pork products, and is moreover relatively cheap and simple to perform. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. Source


Craig B.H.,University of Edinburgh | Craig B.H.,Food and Environmental Research Agency | Pilkington J.G.,University of Edinburgh | Pemberton J.M.,University of Edinburgh
Journal of Helminthology | Year: 2010

Teladorsagia circumcincta is a polygamous nematode that exhibits morphological polymorphism. Sex ratio is typically female biased and the male nematodes occur in association with the genetically similar, minor morphotypes Teladorsagia davtiani and Teladorsagia trifurcata. In experimental infections, sex ratio (proportion male) and the proportion of minor male morphs observed have been shown to be influenced by both host and nematode-related factors. As similar investigations from natural systems are rare, this study examined whether sex ratio and minor male morph frequency were associated with host age and sex and nematode infra-population size in the isolated Soay sheep population on St Kilda. Count data for Teladorsagia were analysed for sheep of all age classes and both sexes from the winters of three consecutive population crashes (1999, 2002 and 2005). Generally, the intensity of Teladorsagia nematodes increased with host age until the age of 2 years before decreasing. In 2005, abundance of nematodes was generally higher than in the previous crashes, nematode sex ratio was negatively associated with host age and tended to be negatively associated with nematode intensity. Within the male nematode subpopulation, T. circumcincta always predominated, followed by T. davtiani and then T. trifurcata, with little variation in the relative proportions between hosts. The presence of each minor morph was primarily associated with the intensity of male T. circumcincta and, in those hosts where all three male morphs were detected, intensity of each minor morph was most associated with intensity of Teladorsagia females. Therefore, in a year when the nematode was generally more abundant, sex ratio appeared to be influenced by both host and nematode-related factors, whereas in all years examined, the frequency of morphological polymorphism was primarily density dependent. © Cambridge University Press 2009. Source


Isaac R.E.,University of Leeds | Kim Y.-J.,Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology | Audsley N.,Food and Environmental Research Agency
Peptides | Year: 2014

The male sex peptide (SP) of Drosophila melanogaster has wide ranging effects on females, including rejection of courting males, increased egg production, changes to the feeding habit, increased synthesis of antimicrobial peptides and elevated locomotor activity during day-time. The peptide activates receptors in sensory neurons of the female reproductive tract and can also traverse into the hemolymph and reach the central nervous system. The SP receptor involved in rejection and egg-laying responses has been shown to be identical to the receptor for the evolutionary conserved myoinhibitory peptides (MIPs) that function as neuropeptides in both males and females. Intriguingly, MIPs cannot substitute for SP when either expressed in the male accessory glands or injected into virgin females. MIPs are linear peptides with an amidated C-terminus which protects them from cleavage by carboxypeptidases, but leaves them exposed to potential attack from aminopeptidase and endopeptidase activities. In contrast, the SP region responsible for eliciting the post-mating response is cyclic and has several hydroxyproline residues N-terminal to the disulfide bridge which is expected to protect the biological activity of SP from peptidases of the male accessory gland and seminal fluid. We now present in vitro data showing that SP is metabolically stable, whereas MIPs are much more susceptible to degradation by peptidases of the male accessory gland and the hemolymph of virgin female D. melanogaster. SP has evolved relatively recently as a MIP receptor ligand that is particularly well adapted to surviving in the hostile degradome of the male accessory gland and seminal fluid. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

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