Natural History Research Center

Shanghai, China

Natural History Research Center

Shanghai, China
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Cai L.,Peking University | Cai L.,Natural History Research Center | Peng S.,Peking University | Wu D.,Peking University | Tong M.,Peking University
Environmental Pollution | Year: 2016

Colloids (non-biological and biological) with different sizes are ubiquitous in natural environment. The investigations regarding the influence of different-sized colloids on the transport and deposition behaviors of engineered-nanoparticles in porous media yet are still largely lacking. This study investigated the effects of different-sized non-biological and biological colloids on the transport of titanium dioxide nanoparticles (nTiO2) in quartz sand under both electrostatically favorable and unfavorable conditions. Fluorescent carboxylate-modified polystyrene latex microspheres (CML) with sizes of 0.2-2 μm were utilized as model non-biological colloids, while Gram-negative Escherichia coli (∼1 μm) and Gram-positive Bacillus subtilis (∼2 μm) were employed as model biological colloids. Under the examined solution conditions, both breakthrough curves and retained profiles of nTiO2 with different-sized CML particles/bacteria were similar as those without colloids under favorable conditions, indicating that the copresence of model colloids in suspensions had negligible effects on the transport and deposition of nTiO2 under favorable conditions. In contrast, higher breakthrough curves and lower retained profiles of nTiO2 with CML particles/bacteria relative to those without copresent colloids were observed under unfavorable conditions. Clearly, the copresence of model colloids increased the transport and decreased the deposition of nTiO2 in quartz sand under unfavorable conditions (solution conditions examined in present study). Both competition of deposition sites on quartz sand surfaces and the enhanced stability/dispersion of nTiO2 induced by copresent colloids were found to be responsible for the increased nTiO2 transport with colloids under unfavorable conditions. Moreover, the smallest colloids had the highest coverage on sand surface and most significant dispersion effect on nTiO2, resulting in the greatest nTiO2 transport. © 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd.


Bu Y.,Natural History Research Center | Bu Y.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Ma Y.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Ma Y.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Luan Y.-X.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
ZooKeys | Year: 2016

The genus Paracerella Imadaté, 1980 is recorded from China for the first time, with the description of a new species, Paracerella sinensis sp. n. Paracerella sinensis is characterized by four pairs of A-setae on tergite I, the presence of setae Pc and P3a on tergite VII, eight A-setae on tergite VIII, the presence of seta Pc on both sternites VI and VII, and 4/2 setae on sternite VIII, which are different from all other members of the genus. The key to the four species of the genus is updated. In addition, DNA barcodes of four populations are sequenced and their genetic differences are analyzed. © Yun Bu et al.


Zhang L.,Lanzhou University | Wang X.J.,Natural History Research Center | Wang Q.,Lanzhou University | Zhang Y.F.,Natural History Research Center | Jin L.,Natural History Research Center
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2016

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are one of the most important soil microorganisms in terrestrial ecosystems. The arbuscular mycorrhizal network is formed by extraradical mycelium of AM fungi that connect two or more plant roots within the soil system. How to discover the roles of AM fungi in soil ecosystems has been a major focus of ecological research. It has been found that isotope tracer technique could be used for research on AM fungi and its role in nutrient absorption and transportation from soil to host plants. The isotope tracer technique could also be used to identify the mycorrhizal network distribution between different host plants, and to study the role of AM fungi in the ecosystem. To illustrate the value of the isotope tracer technique in AM fungi research, our study combined the latest research findings in the field of mycorrhizal ecology with the present findings and focused on: 1) the application of the isotope tracer technique in exploring the mechanisms of absorption and transportation of different elements in AM symbionts; 2) the value of the isotope tracer technique in arbuscular mycorrhizal network studies; 3) the use of the isotope tracer technique to study the roles of AM fungi in the ecosystem. Thus, the aim of this review was to provide a theoretical basis for, and to predict future prospects of the use of the isotope tracer technique in AM fungi research. © 2016, Ecological Society of China. All Rights Reserved.


Zhou H.C.,Lanzhou University | Jin L.,Natural History Research Center | Li J.,Lanzhou University | Wang X.J.,Natural History Research Center
Genetics and Molecular Research | Year: 2016

Whether callose deposition is the cause or result of ovule sterility in Medicago sativa remains controversial, because it is unclear when and where changes in callose deposition and dissolution occur during fertile and sterile embryo sac formation. Here, alfalfa spontaneous multi-pistil mutant (mp1) and wild-type plants were used to compare the dynamics of callose deposition during embryo sac formation using microscopy. The results showed that both mutant and wild-type plants experienced megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis, and there was no significant difference during megasporogenesis. In contrast to the wild-type plants, in which the mature embryo sac was observed after three continuous cycles of mitosis, functional megaspores of mutant plants developed abnormally after the second round of mitosis, leading to degeneration of synergid, central, and antipodal cells. Callose deposition in both mutant and wild-type plants was first observed in the walls of megasporocytes, and then in the megaspore tetrad walls. After meiosis, the callose wall began to degrade as the functional megaspore underwent mitosis, and almost no callose was observed in the mature embryo sac in wild-type plants. However, callose deposition was observed in mp1 plants around the synergid, and increased with the development of the embryo sac, and was mainly deposited at the micropylar end. Our results indicate that synergid, central, and antipodal cells, which are surrounded by callose, may degrade owing to lack of nutrition. Callose accumulation around the synergid and at the micropylar end may hinder signals required for the pollen tube to enter the embryo sac, leading to abortion. © FUNPEC-RP.


Jin L.,Natural History Research Center | Wang Q.,Lanzhou University | Wang X.,Natural History Research Center | Gange A.C.,Royal Holloway, University of London
Symbiosis | Year: 2016

As plant mutualists, one would not expect arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to cause growth depression of their host plants. The mechanism responsible for negative effects of AMF is still debated and so here we review the possible abiotic and biotic reasons for AMF-induced growth depression in plants: 1) The Phytocentric explanations, include: a) AMF and non-mycotrophic plants, b) different growth stages of plants. 2) The Mycocentric explanations, include: a) Low effective AMF species, b) The existence of vesicles, c) Genetic variability of AMF, and d) Geographic origin of AMF. 3) Unbalanced C-for-nutrient-trade, involving both partners and 4) Indirect effects of other organisms. We note deficiencies in previous studies and suggest improvements in experimental designs such as the use of realistic mixtures of AM fungal species, and growing plants in mixtures in field situations, rather than single pot studies, with and without fungi. Determining whether and how AM fungi cheat on their hosts will enable a better understanding of their roles in natural communities and their use as biofertilizers in agriculture. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht


Wang Q.,Lanzhou University | Wang X.J.,Natural History Research Center | Hang L.,Lanzhou University | Zhang Y.F.,Natural History Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2016

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are one of the most important rhizosphere microorganisms in agro- ecosystems. It has been demonstrated that symbiosis with AM fungi can enhance the growth of host plants by improving water and nutrient absorption and increasing their tolerance ability to stress conditions. However, the positive effects of symbiosis with AM are usually being limited by the application of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and other agronomic practices in traditional farming systems. In order to produce safe foods and maintain the balance of the natural environment, organic farming without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides has been practiced all over the world, and increasing attention has focused on the role of AM fungi in organic farming systems. The aim of this review was to present the advantages and enhance the application of AM fungi in organic farming systems. AM fungi influenced the physical structure of soil, alleviated environmental stress damage, increased nutrient acquisition and biomass production, and improved the quality of crop products by the external hyphae. We also discussed and analyzed the challenges of AM fungi application in organic farming systems. Based on the above, AM fungi could promote the development of organic farming in the future. © 2015, Ecological Society of China. All rights reserved.


Jin L.,Natural History Research Center | Jin L.,Lanzhou University | Sun L.,Lanzhou University | Wang Q.,Lanzhou University | And 4 more authors.
Shengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica | Year: 2016

Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are important soil microorganisms, which can form symbioses with more than 80% of vascular plants in terrestrial ecosystems. It has been demonstrated that AM fungi could improve the growth of host plants through regulation of their physiological and biochemical characteristics. In light of this, AM fungi could regulate plant intra-and inter-specific competition in natural habitats. Recently, using AM fungi to protect plant biodiversity and maintain plant community stability in grassland ecosystems has generated much interest. Here, the functions of AM fungi are discussed at the autecology, population, community and ecosystem levels in order to discover the relationship between AM fungi and host plants. There are three different responses of individual host plants to AM fungi symbiosis, including positive, negative and neutral effects. At the population and community levels, AM fungi could regulate intra- and inter-specific competition by influencing the transportation of nutrients and water among individuals, such as to regulate herbaceous and poisonous plant populations. AM fungi also could maintain plant community structures and plant diversity in grasslands by regulating the plant competition. At the ecosystem level, AM fungi could promote the process of community succession, and thus could be used in bioremediation of damaged ecosystems. This review aims to provide theories and methods for the protection of grassland ecosystems by integrating the uses of AM fungi. © 2016, Ecological Society of China. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Natural History Research Center and Lanzhou University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Genetics and molecular research : GMR | Year: 2016

Whether callose deposition is the cause or result of ovule sterility in Medicago sativa remains controversial, because it is unclear when and where changes in callose deposition and dissolution occur during fertile and sterile embryo sac formation. Here, alfalfa spontaneous multi-pistil mutant (mp1) and wild-type plants were used to compare the dynamics of callose deposition during embryo sac formation using microscopy. The results showed that both mutant and wild-type plants experienced megasporogenesis and megagametogenesis, and there was no significant difference during megasporogenesis. In contrast to the wild-type plants, in which the mature embryo sac was observed after three continuous cycles of mitosis, functional megaspores of mutant plants developed abnormally after the second round of mitosis, leading to degeneration of synergid, central, and antipodal cells. Callose deposition in both mutant and wild-type plants was first observed in the walls of megasporocytes, and then in the megaspore tetrad walls. After meiosis, the callose wall began to degrade as the functional megaspore underwent mitosis, and almost no callose was observed in the mature embryo sac in wild-type plants. However, callose deposition was observed in mp1 plants around the synergid, and increased with the development of the embryo sac, and was mainly deposited at the micropylar end. Our results indicate that synergid, central, and antipodal cells, which are surrounded by callose, may degrade owing to lack of nutrition. Callose accumulation around the synergid and at the micropylar end may hinder signals required for the pollen tube to enter the embryo sac, leading to abortion.


Bu Y.,Natural History Research Center | Gao Y.,Shanghai Hengjie Chemical Co.
ZooKeys | Year: 2015

The genus Paratullbergia Womersley, 1930 is recorded for the first time from China. Paratullbergia changfengensis sp. n. from Shanghai is described and illustrated. It is characterized by the presence of 1+1 pseudocelli on thoracic segment I, with two pairs of pseudocelli on each of thoracic segments II and III, presence of seta px on abdominal segment IV, seta a2 and p4 on abdominal segment V as microsetae, and less differentiated sensory seta p3 on abdominal segment V. Both sexes present. The new species can be easily distinguished from its congeners by the presence of pseudocelli on thoracic segment I. An updated key to the world species of the genus Paratullbergia is provided. © Yun Bu, Yan Gao.


Zhang H.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Yang S.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | Yang S.,Natural History Research Center | Gong H.,Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Parasitology Research | Year: 2015

Ticks encounter various microbes while sucking blood from an infected host and carrying these pathogens in themselves. Ticks can then transmit these pathogens to vertebrate hosts. The immune system of ticks can be stimulated to produce many bioactive molecules during feeding and pathogen invasion. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are key effector molecules of a tick’s immune response, as they can kill invading pathogenic microorganisms. In this study, we identified a novel cysteine-rich AMP, designated Rhamp1, in the salivary glands of unfed and fed female ticks (Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides). Rhamp1 is encoded by a gene with an open reading frame of 333 bp, which in turn encodes a peptide of 12 kDa with a 22 amino acid residue signal peptide. The Rhamp1 protein had a pI of 8.6 and contained six conserved cysteine residues at the C-terminus. Rhamp1 shared 43 % amino acid identity with a secreted cysteine-rich protein of another tick species, Ixodes scapularis. We cloned the Rhamp1 gene and attempted to express a recombinant protein using prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems, to determine its biological significance. Recombinant Rhamp1 was successfully expressed in both systems, yielding a glutathione S-transferase (GST)-tagged protein (36 kDa) from the prokaryotic system, and a polyhistidine-tagged Rhamp1 protein (14 kDa) from the eukaryotic system. Rhamp1 inhibited the activities of chymotrypsin (16 %) and elastase (22 %) and exerted low hemolytic activity. It also inhibited the growth of Gram-negative bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa (49 %), Salmonella typhimurium (50 %), and Escherichia coli (52 %). Our findings suggest that Rhamp1 is a novel AMP in R. haemaphysaloides with the ability to inhibit proteinase activity. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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