Ebetsu, Japan

Rakuno Gakuen University

Ebetsu, Japan

Rakuno Gakuen University is a private university in Ebetsu, Hokkaido, Japan, established in 1960. Its name, Rakunō , refers to the university's predecessor, a public school teaching dairy farming that was founded in 1933. Its specializations remain agriculture and veterinary medicine to this day. Gakuen means simply "school" , being part of its former names. Wikipedia.

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Nine male and eight female adult nematodes in the genus Kalicephalus reported from albino Japanese ratsnakes, Elaphe climacophora from Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, were re-examined to confirm their taxonomic placement. Previously, these nematodes were identified as K. natricis Yamaguti, 1935, despite the fact that the name had been regarded by some earlier authors as a species inquirenda. Our close re-examination of the morphological characters of both sexes suggests that those worms actually belong to K. sinensis Hsü, 1934, which has been recorded from several Japanese snakes, including E. climacophora. © 2017 by The Herpetological Society of Japan.

Sugiyama M.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Ae N.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Hajika M.,Japan National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Plant and Soil | Year: 2011

Significant inter-cultivar differences of soybean seed cadmium (Cd) concentrations arise from the inter-cultivar differences in root Cd accumulation ability. The Cd concentration in the shoots of plants at the vegetative stage is already controlled by the roots Cd concentration in the same way that it determines seed Cd concentration. Based on these results we conjectured that there is no need to wait until the full maturity stage because the inter-cultivar difference in seed Cd concentration can be predicted from the Cd concentration in the shoots of seedlings. To test this theory, we cultivated 150 cultivars/lines to the harvest stage in a field not contaminated with Cd and measured seed Cd concentration. We also planted seeds in pots filled with contaminated soil, cultivated them for 3 weeks, and measured the Cd concentration of the seedling obtained at the 5th-node (V5) stage when the 4th trifoliolate leaf had expanded. The 150 cultivars/lines were roughly divided into 2 groups based on the relationship between these 2 Cd concentrations. One group was cultivars in which seedlings and seeds both had low Cd concentrations (low Cd accumulation group, n = 129), and the other group was the opposite (high Cd accumulation group, n = 21). Further, when we predicted seed Cd concentration using the ratio of Cd and Zn concentrations in seedlings, we were able to clearly divide the 2 groups with no overlap. Measuring Cd/Zn in seedlings therefore makes it possible to select cultivars with low Cd accumulation tendency readily, without waiting to harvest the seeds. Additionally, by investigating genealogies we found that varieties in the high-Cd accumulation group were descended from certain cultivars such as Harosoy. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Minamikawa K.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Nishimura S.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Sawamoto T.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Nakajima Y.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences | Yagi K.,Japan National Institute for Agro - Environmental Sciences
Global Change Biology | Year: 2010

Indirect emission of nitrous oxide (N2O), associated with nitrogen (N) leaching and runoff from agricultural lands is a major source of atmospheric N2O. Recent studies have shown that carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) are also emitted via these pathways. We measured the concentrations of three dissolved greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the subsurface drainage from field lysimeter that had a shallow groundwater table. Above-ground fluxes of CH4 and N2O were monitored using an automated closed-chamber system. The annual total emissions of dissolved and aboveground GHGs were compared among three cropping systems; paddy rice, soybean and wheat, and upland rice. The annual drainage in the paddy rice, the soybean and wheat, and the upland rice plots was 1435, 782, and 1010 mm yr-1, respectively. Dissolved CO2 emissions were highest in the paddy rice plots, and were equivalent to 1.05-1.16% of the carbon storage in the topsoil. Dissolved CH4 emissions were also higher in the paddy rice plots, but were only 0.03-0.05% of the aboveground emissions. Dissolved N2O emissions were highest in the upland rice plots, where leached N was greatest due to small crop biomass. In the soybean and wheat plots, large crop biomass, due to double cropping, decreased the drainage volume, and thus decreased dissolved GHG emissions. Dissolved N2O emissions from both the soybean and wheat plots and the upland rice plots were equivalent to 50.3-67.3% of the aboveground emissions. The results indicate that crop type and rotation are important factors in determining dissolved GHG emissions in the drainage from a crop field. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Tharwat M.,Zagazig University | Oikawa S.,Rakuno Gakuen University
Tropical Animal Health and Production | Year: 2011

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate cattle and buffaloes with respiratory disorders, determine the extent of the lesions, and assess prognosis. The results were compared with the findings determined following physical examination and at slaughter. Animals were referred to Veterinary Teaching Hospitals because of inappetance, loss of body condition, cough, dyspnea, and nasal discharges. Ultrasonographically, it was possible to detect bronchopneumonia, consolidation, pleural effusion, pulmonary emphysema, and pleuritis. It was not possible to visualize lesions located deeper within the lungs where peripheral tissue was not affected. Laboratory findings included a neutrophilic leukocytosis, γ-globulinemia, and increased activity of aspartate aminotransferase. A diagnosis of respiratory disease was made on the basis of clinical and ultrasonographic findings and confirmed in 25 cases at slaughter. Bovine ultrasonography appears to be suitable as a screening tool for detection of pathologic lung processes near the pleura. Thoracic ultrasonography allows assessment of the extent and severity of pulmonary changes so that further evaluations can be considered. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Tanaka F.,Kyoto University | Koga T.,Kyoto University | Kaneda I.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Winnik F.M.,University of Montréal
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter | Year: 2011

The collapse of a poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) (PNIPAM) chain upon heating and the phase diagrams of aqueous PNIPAM solutions with a very flat lower critical solution temperature (LCST) phase separation line are theoretically studied on the basis of cooperative dehydration (simultaneous dissociation of bound water molecules in a group of correlated sequence), and compared with the experimental observation of temperature-induced coil-globule transition by light scattering methods. The transition becomes sharper with the cooperativity parameter σ of hydration. The reentrant coil-globule-coil transition and cononsolvency in a mixed solvent of water and methanol are also studied from the viewpoint of competitive hydrogen bonds between polymer-water and polymer-methanol. The downward shift of the cloud-point curves (LCST cononsolvency) with the mol fraction of methanol due to the competition is calculated and compared with the experimental data. Aqueous solutions of hydrophobically modified PNIPAM carrying short alkyl chains at both chain ends (telechelic PNIPAM) are theoretically and experimentally studied. The LCST of these solutions is found to shift downward along the sol-gel transition curve as a result of end-chain association (association-induced phase separation), and separate from the coil-globule transition line. Associated structures in the solution, such as flower micelles, mesoglobules, and higher fractal assembly, are studied by ultra small-angle neutron scattering with theoretical modeling of the scattering function. Dynamic-mechanical modulus, nonlinear stationary viscosity, and stress build-up in start-up shear flows of the associated networks are studied on the basis of the affine and non-affine transient network theory. The molecular conditions for thickening, strain hardening, and stress overshoot are found in terms of the nonlinear amplitude A of the chain tension and the tension-dissociation coupling constant g. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Enari H.,Kyoto University | Suzuki T.,Rakuno Gakuen University
Landscape and Urban Planning | Year: 2010

The management of human-wildlife conflicts often involves walking the fine line between conservation of the species concerned and damage control. This article documents conflict management with Japanese monkeys (Macaca fuscata) in northern Japan. Although these monkeys are listed as endangered populations in Japan, local residents consider them serious vertebrate pests. In order to devise a reasonable population recovery plan that also serves to minimize the risk of social damage caused by these monkeys, the authors invent a simplified procedure for broadly assessing damage risk. Two indices are analyzed: species accessibility, estimated via an accessibility analysis that uses ecological-niche factor analysis (ENFA), and regional weakness to damage, calculated by evaluating the geographical placement of human settlements. ENFA shows that in northern Japan, most of the potential monkey habitats are not occupied by the species; therefore, the species distribution is expected to expand. The weakness values demonstrate that the municipalities expected to suffer damage in the near future are more vulnerable to damage than the already-damaged ones. A risk map is generated through a consideration of these results. It indicates that the conflicts will increase if no precautionary actions are taken. This risk mapping approach assists in identifying the municipalities where precautionary actions should be taken to efficiently minimize the overall risk in the reference area. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Nakamura T.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Onaga T.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Kitazawa T.,Rakuno Gakuen University
Neurogastroenterology and Motility | Year: 2010

Background Ghrelin stimulates gastric motility in rats, mice and humans. Although ghrelin and the ghrelin receptor are known to be expressed in the guinea-pig gastrointestinal tract, the effects of ghrelin on gastric motility have not been examined. Aim of the present study was to clarify the motor-stimulating action of ghrelin in the guinea-pig stomach. Methods Gastric motility was measured as intraluminal pressure changes using a balloon inserted in the stomach of urethane-anaesthetized guinea pigs. The effects of ghrelin on gastric muscle contraction and [3H]-efflux from [3H]- choline-loaded strips were investigated in vitro. Key Results Ghrelin (0.3-30 μg kg-1, i.v.) increased gastric motility in a dose-dependent manner but des-acyl ghrelin was ineffective. The action of ghrelin was completely inhibited by hexamethonium and d-Lys3-growth-hormone releasing peptide-6. Atropine partially decreased the stimulatory action of ghrelin. In capsaicin-pretreated guinea pigs, the ghrelin-induced response was markedly decreased. Ghrelin (1 μmol L-1) did not affect [ 3H]-efflux in non-stimulated preparations but significantly decreased electrical field stimulation (EFS)-induced [3H]-efflux. l-Nitro arginine methylester (l-NAME) attenuated the inhibition of [3H]- efflux by ghrelin. Ghrelin did not cause any mechanical changes in gastric strips. Electrical field stimulation caused relaxation of gastric strips, which changed to atropine-sensitive contraction in the presence of l-NAME. Relaxation induced by EFS was slightly potentiated, but the EFS-induced contraction was not affected by ghrelin. Conclusions & Inferences Ghrelin stimulates gastric motility of the guinea pig through activation of capsaicin-sensitive vago-vagal reflex pathway including efferent cholinergic neurons. Peripheral ghrelin receptors on enteric nitrergic nerves might affect the ghrelin-induced gastric action by releasing nitric oxide. © 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Ogasawara Y.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Ueda H.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Kikuchi N.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Kirisawa R.,Rakuno Gakuen University
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2015

Five species, Mammalian orthoreovirus, Avian orthoreovirus (ARV), Nelson Bay orthoreovirus (NBV), Baboon orthoreovirus and Reptilian orthoreovirus, have been identified in the genus Orthoreovirus. Their genomes each consist of 10 dsRNA segments. A novel orthoreovirus was isolated from the haemorrhagic intestine of a dead brown-eared bulbul (Hypsipetes amaurotis) in Japan. The virus formed syncytia in Caco-2 and Vero cells. Electron microscopy revealed non-enveloped capsids of ~70 nm diameter, which were characteristic of reoviruses. Complete genomic sequences were determined. The S1 segment was tricistronic and encoded three proteins, p10, p17 and σC, as in the two species ARV and NBV. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses showed that the virus was similar to ARV and NBV, but was located on a phylogenetic branch different from that of ARV and NBV. The virus had the closest phylogenetic relationship to two reovirus strains: SSRV from a Steller sea lion in Canada and PsRV Ge01 from a psittaciform bird in Europe. The 10 RNA segments had a 3′ pentanucleotide sequence (UCAUC-3′) conserved amongst all members of the genus Orthoreovirus, and a unique 5′ terminal heptasequence (5′-GCUUUUC) that was the same as those of SSRV and PsRV Ge01. These results suggested that the novel virus might form a new species with the two strains in the genus Orthoreovirus. © 2015 The Authors.

Nishikawa M.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Iwano H.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Yanagisawa R.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Koike N.,Rakuno Gakuen University | And 2 more authors.
Environmental Health Perspectives | Year: 2010

Background: Bisphenol A (BPA), a well-known endocrine disruptor, is highly glucuronidated in the liver, and the resultant BPA-glucuronide (BPA-GA) is excreted primarily into bile. However, in rodents, prenatal exposure to low doses of BPA can adversely affect the fetus, despite the efficient drug-metabolizing systems of the dams. The transport mechanisms of BPA from mother to fetus are unknown. Objectives: To test our hypothesis that BPA-GA-an inactive metabolite-is passed through the placenta to the fetus, where it affects the fetus after reactivation, we investigated the placental transfer of BPA-GA and reactivation to BPA in the fetus. Methods: After performing uterine perfusion with BPA-GA in pregnant rats, we examined the expression and localization of the placental transporters for drug metabolites in the perfusate by reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. We also investigated the deconjugation of BPA-GA in the fetus and examined uridine 5′-diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) activity toward BPA and the expression of UGT isoforms in fetal liver. Results: We detected BPA-GA and deconjugated BPA in the fetus and amniotic fluid after perfusion. In the trophoblast cells, organic anion-transporting polypeptide 4a1 (Oatp4a1) was localized on the apical membrane, and multidrug resistance-associated protein 1 (Mrp1) was localized to the basolateral membrane. We observed deconjugation of BPA-GA in the fetus; furthermore, we found the expression of UGT2B1, which metabolizes BPA, to be quite low in the fetus. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that BPA-GA is transferred into the fetus and deconjugated in the fetus because of its vulnerable drug-metabolizing system.

Kaneda I.,Rakuno Gakuen University | Sakurai Y.,Rakuno Gakuen University
Food Hydrocolloids | Year: 2016

The effect of glycerol on the solvent transportation behavior of mechanically constrained agarose gels was studied. The sample hydrogels were prepared using a water/glycerol mixed solvent containing various concentrations of glycerol. The compression load relaxed under the compression, and the volume of the agarose gels decreased synchronously with mechanical relaxation. This implied that the solvent is squeezed out due to mechanical constraints; the time constants for both the mechanical relaxation and the volume change are directly related to the friction between the solvent and the gel network structure. Both time constants increased with an increase in glycerol concentration. These results indicate that glycerol changes the gel network structure, and this is confirmed by other experimental evidence. The compression fracture stress and strain improved with an increase in glycerol content. Moreover, scanning electron microscope images showed that the mesh size of the gel network decreased with an increase in glycerol content. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

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