Hamilton, New Zealand
Hamilton, New Zealand

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Ross J.L.,University of Aberdeen | Ivanova E.S.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology | Sirgel W.F.,Stellenbosch University | Malan A.P.,Stellenbosch University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Helminthology | Year: 2012

A survey of nematodes associated with native and introduced species of terrestrial slugs was conducted in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, in order to gather new data regarding diversity and distribution. A total of 521 terrestrial slugs were collected from 35 localities throughout the Western Cape. All slugs were dissected and examined for the presence of internal nematodes. Extracted nematodes were identified using a combination of molecular (18S rRNA gene sequencing) and morphological techniques. Nematodes were found parasitizing slugs at 14 of the 35 sites examined, amounting to 40% of sample sites. Of all slugs, 6% were infected with nematodes. A total of seven species of nematode were identified in the province, including Agfa flexilis, Angiostoma sp., Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1, Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2, Caenorhabditis elegans, Panagrolaimus sp. and Rhabditis sp. Of these species, four were thought to be parasitic to slugs (A. flexilis, Angiostoma sp., Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1 and Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2), as opposed to forming necromenic or phoretic associations. Three new species of slug-parasitic nematode were identified during this study (Angiostoma sp., Phasmarhabditis sp. SA1 and Phasmarhabditis sp. SA2). © 2011 Cambridge University Press.


Epanchin-Niell R.S.,Resources for the Future | Brockerhoff E.G.,New Zealand Forest Research Institute | Kean J.M.,Ruakura Research Center | Turner J.A.,Ruakura Research Center
Ecological Applications | Year: 2014

Wood borers and bark beetles are among the most serious forest pests worldwide. Many such species have become successful invaders, often causing substantial, costly damages to forests. Here we design and evaluate the cost-efficiency of a trap-based surveillance program for early detection of wood borers and bark beetles at risk of establishing in New Zealand. Although costly, a surveillance program could lead to earlier detection of newly established forest pests, thereby increasing the likelihood of successful eradication and reducing control costs and damages from future invasions. We develop a mechanistic bioeconomic model that relates surveillance intensity (i.e., trap density) and invasion size to probabilities of detection and control. It captures the dynamics of invasive species establishment, spread, and damages to urban and plantation forests. We employ the model to design surveillance programs that provide the greatest net present benefits. Our findings suggest that implementing a surveillance trapping program for invasive wood borers and bark beetles would provide positive net benefits under all scenarios considered. The economically optimal trapping strategy calls for a very high investment in surveillance: about 10 000 traps in each year of the 30-year surveillance program, at a present value cost of US$54 million. This strategy provides a 39% reduction in costs compared with no surveillance, corresponding to an expected net present benefit of approximately US$300 million. Although surveillance may provide the greatest net benefits when implemented at relatively high levels, our findings also show that even low levels of surveillance are worthwhile: the economic benefits from surveillance more than offset the rising costs associated with increasing trapping density. Our results also show that the cost-efficiency of surveillance varies across target regions because of differences in pest introduction and damage accumulation rates across locales, with greater surveillance warranted in areas closer to at-risk, high-value resources and in areas that receive more imported goods that serve as an invasion pathway. © 2014 by the Ecological Society of America.


Wheeler T.T.,Agresearch Ltd. | Haigh B.J.,Agresearch Ltd. | Broadhurst M.K.,Agresearch Ltd. | Hood K.A.,Agresearch Ltd. | And 2 more authors.
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2011

Members of the protein family having similarity to BPI (bactericidal/ permeability increasing protein) (the BPI-like proteins), also known as the PLUNC (palate, lung and nasal epithelium clone) family, have been found in a range of mammals; however, those in species other than human or mouse have been relatively little characterized. Analysis of the BPI-like proteins in cattle presents unique opportunities to investigate the function of these proteins, as well as address their evolution and contribution to the distinct physiology of ruminants. The present review summarizes the current understanding of the nature of the BPI-like locus in cattle, including the duplications giving rise to the multiple BSP30 (bovine salivary protein 30 kDa) genes from an ancestral gene in common with the single PSP (parotid secretory protein) gene found in monogastric species. Current knowledge of the expression of the BPI-like proteins in cattle is also presented, including their pattern of expression among tissues, which illustrate their independent regulation at sites of high pathogen exposure, and the abundance of the BSP30 proteins in saliva and salivary tissues. Finally, investigations of the function of the BSP30 proteins are presented, including their antimicrobial, lipopolysaccharide-binding and bacterial aggregation activities. These results are discussed in relation to hypotheses regarding the physiological role of the BPI-like proteins in cattle, including the role they may play in host defence and the unique aspects of digestion in ruminants. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2011 Biochemical Society.


Everett K.R.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | Taylor R.K.,Health Diagnostic Laboratory | Romberg M.K.,Health Diagnostic Laboratory | Rees-George J.,The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd | And 3 more authors.
Australasian Plant Disease Notes | Year: 2011

Leaves from gold kiwifruit plants, Actinidia chinensis, with dark brown angular spots and flowers that were brown and wilted, first yielded non-fluorescent bacterial colonies following isolation. These bacterial colonies were identified by diagnostic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) as Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae. These samples were obtained from the Te Puke region of New Zealand. All isolates were Gram negative and were levan positive, oxidase negative, potato soft rot negative, arginine dehydrolase negative and tobacco hypersensitivity positive (LOPAT 1a). Sequences of the gyrB and the rpoD genes of these isolates were 100% homologous to sequences of P.s. pv. actinidiae deposited in GenBank including the type strain. Koch's postulates were proven by pathogenicity tests on kiwifruit seedlings. © 2011 Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc.


Shokri A.,University of Waikato | Shokri A.,Ruakura Research Center | Bardsley W.E.,University of Waikato
Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering | Year: 2015

The Hooghoudt equation is widely used as a simple means of specifying drain spacing when designing networks of parallel drains in drainage systems, based on estimating the maximum water table height between two drains. It is shown via comparison with a numerical model that the Hooghoudt equation can overestimate water table height and therefore yield drain spacings that may be too wide. This is because the Hooghoudt drain-spacing equation in fact has a concealed dependency on Van Genuchten soil-water retention curve parameters, which can bias the water table estimates unless adjustments are made explicitly. A modification of the Hooghoudt equation is presented that incorporates two new dimensionless coefficients to make allowance for this dependency. The modified expression yields improved accuracy as measured against the numerical reference model. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.


Shokri A.,University of Waikato | Shokri A.,Ruakura Research Center | Bardsley W.E.,University of Waikato
Advances in Water Resources | Year: 2016

Hydrological and hydrogeological investigation of drained land is a complex and integrated procedure. The scale of drainage studies may vary from a high-resolution small scale project through to comprehensive catchment or regional scale investigations. This wide range of scales and integrated system behaviour poses a significant challenge for the development of suitable drainage models. Toward meeting these requirements, a fully distributed coupled surface-subsurface flow model titled DrainFlow has been developed and is described. DrainFlow includes both the diffusive wave equation for surface flow components (overland flow, open drain, tile drain) and Richard's equation for saturated/unsaturated zones. To overcome the non-linearity problem created from switching between wet and dry boundaries, a smooth transitioning technique is introduced to buffer the model at tile drains and at interfaces between surface and subsurface flow boundaries. This gives a continuous transition between Dirichlet and Neumann boundary conditions. DrainFlow is tested against five well-known integrated surface-subsurface flow benchmarks. DrainFlow as applied to some synthetic drainage study examples is quite flexible for changing all or part of the model dimensions as required by problem complexity, problem scale, and data availability. This flexibility enables DrainFlow to be modified to allow for changes in both scale and boundary conditions, as often encountered in real-world drainage studies. Compared to existing drainage models, DrainFlow has the advantage of estimating actual infiltration directly from the partial differential form of Richard's equation rather than through analytical or empirical infiltration approaches like the Green and Ampt equation. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd


Cooney T.P.,Ruakura Research Center | Varelis P.,Fonterra Research and Development Center | Bendall J.G.,Fonterra Research and Development Center
Journal of Food Protection | Year: 2016

As a food defense measure against an extortion threat to poison infant formula with monofluoroacetate, a robust methodology for monofluoroacetate analysis in fluid milk and powdered dairy products was developed and optimized. Critical challenges posed by this situation required that the analytical methodology provide (i) high specificity, (ii) high throughput capable of analyzing thousands of samples of fluid milk per day, and (iii) trace-level detection of 1 ng/g or lower to achieve the maximum residue limit. Solid-phase extraction-purified acetone extracts of fluid milk were derivatized with aniline, and after ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography using a Kinetex-C18 column packed with 1.3-lm shell particles, the resulting Nphenyl 2-fluoroacetamide could be determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in a highly specific manner and with a limit of quantification of 0.5 ng/ml. By using 4-(4-chlorophenoxy)aniline as a derivatizing agent, the method could be extended to powdered dairy products with the same limit of quantification. Between January and July 2015, some 136,000 fluid milk samples were tested using this method. This analytical testing of fluid milk formed one element in a larger program of work by multiple agencies to ensure that consumers could continue to have confidence in the safety of New Zealand milk and dairy products. Copyright ©, International Association for Food Protection.


Mudge P.L.,University of Waikato | Mudge P.L.,Ruakura Research Center | Wallace D.F.,University of Waikato | Wallace D.F.,Plant and Food Research | And 4 more authors.
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2011

Grazed grasslands occupy 26% of the earth's ice free land surface and are therefore an important component of the global C balance. In New Zealand, pastoral agriculture is the dominant land use and recent research has shown that soils under intensive dairy pastures have lost large amounts of carbon (~1000 kg C ha -1 y -1) during the past few decades. The objective of this research was to determine the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) of an intensively grazed dairy pasture in New Zealand. Net ecosystem CO 2 exchange (NEE) was measured using an eddy covariance (EC) system from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009. Other C imports (feed) and exports (milk, methane, leaching, and harvested biomass) were calculated from farm production data and literature values. During 2008 there was a one in 100 year drought during summer/autumn, which was followed by a very wet winter. There were no prolonged periods of above or below average rainfall or soil moisture in 2009, but temperatures were consistently lower than 2008. The severe summer/autumn drought during 2008 caused a loss of CO 2 to the atmosphere, but annual NEE remained negative (a CO 2 sink, -1610±500 kg C ha -1), because CO 2 lost during the drought was regained during the winter and spring. The site was also a net CO 2 sink during 2009 despite the colder than usual conditions (-2290±500 kg C ha -1). Including C imports and exports in addition to CO 2 exchange revealed that the site was a C sink in both years, with a NECB of 590±560 kg C ha -1 in 2008, and 900±560 kg C ha -1 in 2009. The C sequestration found in this study is in agreement with most other Northern Hemisphere EC studies of grazed pastures on mineral soils, but is not consistent with the large C losses reported for soils under dairy pastures throughout New Zealand. In the current study (like many other EC studies) the influence of climatic conditions and management practices on the annual C balance was only semi-quantitatively assessed. An extended period of EC measurements combined with modelling is required to more accurately quantify the effect of different climatic conditions on the annual C balance, and the influence of different management practices needs to be quantified using specifically designed studies (such as paired EC towers), so that practices which minimise C losses and maximise C sequestration can be identified. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


PubMed | Ruakura Research Center and Fonterra Research and Development Center
Type: Evaluation Studies | Journal: Journal of food protection | Year: 2016

As a food defense measure against an extortion threat to poison infant formula with monofluoroacetate, a robust methodology for monofluoroacetate analysis in fluid milk and powdered dairy products was developed and optimized. Critical challenges posed by this situation required that the analytical methodology provide (i) high specificity, (ii) high throughput capable of analyzing thousands of samples of fluid milk per day, and (iii) trace-level detection of 1 ng/g or lower to achieve the maximum residue limit. Solid-phase extraction-purified acetone extracts of fluid milk were derivatized with aniline, and after ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography using a Kinetex-C18 column packed with 1.3-m shell particles, the resulting N-phenyl 2-fluoroacetamide could be determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry in a highly specific manner and with a limit of quantification of 0.5 ng/ml. By using 4-(4-chlorophenoxy)aniline as a derivatizing agent, the method could be extended to powdered dairy products with the same limit of quantification. Between January and July 2015, some 136,000 fluid milk samples were tested using this method. This analytical testing of fluid milk formed one element in a larger program of work by multiple agencies to ensure that consumers could continue to have confidence in the safety of New Zealand milk and dairy products.


PubMed | Massey University, Northumbria University and Ruakura Research Center
Type: | Journal: Behavioural processes | Year: 2016

Facial expressions are routinely used to assess pain in humans, particularly those who are non-verbal. Recently, there has been an interest in developing coding systems for facial grimacing in non-human animals, such as rodents, rabbits, horses and sheep. The aims of this preliminary study were to: 1. Qualitatively identify facial feature changes in lambs experiencing pain as a result of tail-docking and compile these changes to create a Lamb Grimace Scale (LGS); 2. Determine whether human observers can use the LGS to differentiate tail-docked lambs from control lambs and differentiate lambs before and after docking; 3. Determine whether changes in facial action units of the LGS can be objectively quantified in lambs before and after docking; 4. Evaluate effects of restraint of lambs on observers perceptions of pain using the LGS and on quantitative measures of facial action units. By comparing images of lambs before (no pain) and after (pain) tail-docking, the LGS was devised in consultation with scientists experienced in assessing facial expression in other species. The LGS consists of five facial action units: Orbital Tightening, Mouth Features, Nose Features, Cheek Flattening and Ear Posture. The aims of the study were addressed in two experiments. In Experiment I, still images of the faces of restrained lambs were taken from video footage before and after tail-docking (n=4) or sham tail-docking (n=3). These images were scored by a group of five nave human observers using the LGS. Because lambs were restrained for the duration of the experiment, Ear Posture was not scored. The scores for the images were averaged to provide one value per feature per period and then scores for the four LGS action units were averaged to give one LGS score per lamb per period. In Experiment II, still images of the faces nine lambs were taken before and after tail-docking. Stills were taken when lambs were restrained and unrestrained in each period. A different group of five human observers scored the images from Experiment II. Changes in facial action units were also quantified objectively by a researcher using image measurement software. In both experiments LGS scores were analyzed using a linear MIXED model to evaluate the effects of tail docking on observers perception of facial expression changes. Kendalls Index of Concordance was used to measure reliability among observers. In Experiment I, human observers were able to use the LGS to differentiate docked lambs from control lambs. LGS scores significantly increased from before to after treatment in docked lambs but not control lambs. In Experiment II there was a significant increase in LGS scores after docking. This was coupled with changes in other validated indicators of pain after docking in the form of pain-related behaviour. Only two components, Mouth Features and Orbital Tightening, showed significant quantitative changes after docking. The direction of these changes agree with the description of these facial action units in the LGS. Restraint affected peoples perceptions of pain as well as quantitative measures of LGS components. Freely moving lambs were scored lower using the LGS over both periods and had a significantly smaller eye aperture and smaller nose and ear angles than when they were held. Agreement among observers for LGS scores were fair overall (Experiment I: W=0.60; Experiment II: W=0.66). This preliminary study demonstrates changes in lamb facial expression associated with pain. The results of these experiments should be interpreted with caution due to low lamb numbers.

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