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Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Dossou K.S.S.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Devkota K.P.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Morton C.,Section of Botany | Egan J.M.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Natural Products | Year: 2013

In order to study cannabinoid receptor ligands, a novel plate-based assay was developed previously to measure internalization of CB1/CB2 receptors by determining the change in the intracellular levels of the radiolabeled agonists. This plate-based assay was also used for screening against complex matrices, specifically, in the present study screening for CB1/CB2 receptor activity of extracts for several species of the plant genus Zanthoxylum. The objective of this screen was to identify novel antagonists of the CB1 receptor, which simultaneously displayed agonist activity against the CB2 receptor, since compounds matching this criterion could be potential candidates for the treatment of type-1 diabetes. As a result, two Z. bungeanum extracts were deemed active, leading to the identification of eight compounds, of which compound 7 [(2E,4E,8E,10E,12E)-N-isobutyl-2,4,8,10,12-tetradecapentaenamide, γ-sanshool] was obtained as a promising lead compound. © 2013 The American Chemical Society and American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Morton C.M.,Section of Botany | Schlesinger M.D.,New York Natural Heritage Program
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas | Year: 2014

Climate change vulnerability assessments for Pennsylvania were completed for 35 plant species using the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI v2.0) developed by NatureServe. The CCVI allows the user to examine the exposure and sensitivity of a species to a series of risk factors associated with climate change. This study, as well as studies from West Virginia (Byers & Norris 2011) and New York (Schlesinger et al. 2011), indicates that among the top five risk factors, based upon both floral and fauna assessments, appeared to be related to a lack of dispersal and movement mechanisms along with low genetic diversity. All of the above studies found that conservation status rankings and vulnerability to climate change were not directly related to one another. In light of these findings conservation protocols need to be reexamined to direct resources where they will be most effective in furthering the conservation of plant species.

Isaac B.L.,Section of Botany
Annals of Carnegie Museum | Year: 2010

This study determines the current and historic distributions of Prenanthes crepidinea Michaux (Asteraceae: Lactuceae) and describes its habitat and life history. A phytogeographical study based on herbarium material was conducted to delimit historic and current distributions of P. crepidinea. Ecological data were gathered from herbarium specimens. A literature search was conducted for information about P. crepidinea to enhance the herbarium study. An in-depth field study over two seasons, 1998 and 1999, was made at three extant sites, providing a characteristic life history and habitat description for the species. Associated plant species, pollinators, and parasites were investigated, with voucher specimens for all associated plant species deposited in the herbaria of Youngstown State University (YUO) and Carnegie Museum of Natural History (CM).

Cecchi L.,Section of Botany | Colzi I.,University of Florence | Coppi A.,University of Florence | Gonnelli C.,University of Florence | Selvi F.,University of Florence
Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2013

The diversity of Alyssum section Odontarrhena in the central-western Mediterranean region was investigated to elucidate relationships and biogeography of Ni-hyperaccumulators in the group. Karyological, morphometric and molecular phylogenetic analyses were performed on accessions of Ni-hyperaccumulators from serpentine outcrops and non-hyperaccumulators from calcareous-dolomitic soils in the region. Alpine and Apennine populations of A.argenteum, Sardinian A.tavolarae and some Tuscan A.bertolonii had a tetraploid chromosome complement and larger silicles, seeds and seed wings than diploid accessions. DNA sequences from the plastid rpoC1 locus corroborated the monophyly of section Odontarrhena but species relationships were poorly resolved. Bayesian analysis of combined ITS-rpoC1 sequences retrieved three main lineages including hyperaccumulators and non-hyperaccumulators of contrasting geographical origin. One lineage was mainly continental and included alpine and northern Apennine populations of A.argenteum, the Balkan complex of A.murale and the Iberian group of A.serpyllifolium, sister to Corsican A.robertianum as suggested by their similar diploid karyotype. In this clade no divergence was found between typical A.serpyllifolium and related Ni-hyperaccumulator races from the Iberian peninsula, supporting their conspecific status. A second lineage was prevalently Mediterranean and included the sister species A.bertolonii and A.tavolarae, and other endemics from Sicily, the southern Balkans and Turkey from dolomite and serpentine habitats. The present data suggest new model systems consisting of hyperaccumulators and non-hyperaccumulators of proven phylogenetic affinity for further research on the molecular mechanisms of Ni-hyperaccumulation and serpentine tolerance at the diploid and tetraploid level. © 2013 The Linnean Society of London.

Morton C.M.,Section of Botany | Speedy L.,Section of Botany
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas | Year: 2011

Indiana County, Pennsylvania has been formally botanized since 1883, but a checklist of the county's vascular flora has not previously been compiled. A search of herbaria augmented by targeted fieldwork has resulted in a list of 1004 taxa of native and naturalized plants comprising 463 genera and 125 families. The five families with the largest number of taxa are Asteraceae, Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Rosaceae, and Lamiaceae. Carex, Viola, Solidago, Symp/n'oirtchum, and Persicaria are the five largest genera. There are approximately 193 non-native species that have been introduced mainly from Europe and Asia. This checklist recognizes 51 species of Pieridophytes, 8 species of Gymnosperms and 929 species of Angiosperms. Fifteen species have global or state ranking.

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