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Mehle N.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Trdan S.,University of Ljubljana
Journal of Pest Science | Year: 2012

Many thrips are pests of commercial crops due to the damage they cause by feeding on developing flowers or vegetables. Thrips may also serve as vectors for plant diseases, such as tospoviruses. Their small size and predisposition towards enclosed places makes them difficult to detect by phytosanitary inspection. In this review, several methods available for identifying thrips, including their advantages and disadvantages, are discussed. A combination of different methods gives the most reliable identification. Relatively new morphometric, molecular and biochemical methods for identifying thrips species represent valuable alternatives for situations in which correct identification with classical morphological methods is very difficult, time consuming or virtually impossible. However, traditional morphological methods should not be neglected, especially because adequate identification using morphological keys is usually an indispensable first step in the development and validation of these new modern methods. In addition, modern systems may still require specimen identification to the genus level via morphological keys, or such keys may be recommended to confirm the results of modern identification methods. © 2012 Springer-Verlag. Source

Grego M.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Riedel B.,University of Vienna | Stachowitsch M.,University of Vienna | De Troch M.,Ghent University
Biogeosciences | Year: 2014

The impact of anoxia on meiobenthic copepod species was assessed by means of a field experiment. Four plexiglass chambers were deployed in situ in 24 m depth to simulate an anoxic event of 9 days, 1 month, 2 months and 10 months. From normoxic to anoxic conditions, we recorded a drop in copepod density and species richness. With increasing duration of anoxia the relative abundance of the individuals of the family Cletodidae increased, and they survived the 1 month and 2 month anoxia, the latter with few specimens. They were the true "winners" of the experimentally induced anoxia. Dominance did not increase in the deployments because not one, but several species from this family were tolerant to anoxia. The overall rate of survival was the same for males and females, but no juvenile stages of copepods survived in anoxia. During a recovery phase of 7 days after a short-term anoxia of 9 days, harpacticoid copepod density did not increase significantly, and there was only a slight increase in species diversity. We concluded that no substantial colonisation from the surrounding sediment took place. The survivors, however, showed a high potential for recovery according to the number of gravid females, whose number increased significantly once the oxygen was available again. These findings imply that substantial energy is allocated to reproduction in the recovery phase. © Author(s) 2014. Source

Koren A.,University Clinic Golnik | Motaln H.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology | Cufer T.,University Clinic Golnik
Cellular Oncology | Year: 2013

Introduction: Lung cancer is the most lethal form of cancer in the world and despite significant therapeutic improvements that have been made, its survival rate still remains low. The latter is mainly due to the acquisition of resistance to systemic treatment regimens which, in turn, may be due to the presence of cancer stem cells (CSCs) within the primary tumors. CSCs constitute a subpopulation of cells that are highly tumorigenic and that exhibit biological properties similar to those of normal tissue stem cells, including an unlimited self-renewal capacity, an extensive proliferative capacity and a capacity to generate differentiated progeny. A better understanding of the signaling pathways that regulate lung CSC maintenance, proliferation, and tumorigenicity could thus lead to the design of improved approaches to lung cancer treatment. Aim: In this review we will discuss the current knowledge on lung CSCs, their biological properties and their putative clinical relevance. By employing currently available data, we will evaluate the prognostic value of several lung CSC markers. In addition, we will discuss the release of CSCs from tumor tissue into the blood circulation via epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) as an important step towards acquiring a metastatic phenotype. Finally, we will provide an outlook into novel CSC-targeting approaches for achieving less invasive diagnostic procedures and improving long-term therapeutic options. Conclusion: Lung CSC research has gained considerable momentum to both basic and clinical applications, both aiming to identify a reliable panel of markers for lung CSCs and to clarify their function, with the final goal to develop a CSC-targeted therapy that will result in the complete elimination of CSCs for achieving significantly better long-time survival of lung cancer patients. © 2013 International Society for Cellular Oncology. Source

Bajt O.,Slovenian National Institute of Biology
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment | Year: 2012

The distribution and sources of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) were determined in sediments at seven sites around the Slovenian coastal area. The potential toxicological significance was also assessed using biological thresholds. The results of the analyses showed higher concentrations of hydrocarbons in the Port of Koper and in the Marina of Portoroz. The influence of pollution was also evident in rather higher concentrations of hydrocarbons in the surrounding area in the Bays of Koper and Piran. Concentrations of hydrocarbons decrease toward the central part of the Gulf of Trieste. The major component of the aliphatic fraction was the unresolved complex mixture. Concentrations of the total resolved aliphatic hydrocarbons were in a range from 689 to 3,164 ng g-1. Concentrations of the total PAHs were between 330 and 1,173 ng g-1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are primarily of pyrolytic origin with some smaller contributions of the petrogenic, while the aliphatic are mostly of petrogenic origin with significant amounts of biogenic derived compounds of terrestrial and marine origin. Strong evidence of the diagenetic origin of perylene in the investigated area was also found. Quite a good linear relationship between PAH concentration and TOC and between aliphatic hydrocarbon concentrations and TOC was observed. The principal component analysis showed differences between the nearshore and offshore sites. In general, the investigated area is moderately contaminated by hydrocarbons. Concentrations of PAHs, hydrocarbons of high concern, are below the levels (effects range low and the effects range median) associated with adverse biological effects. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012. Source

During mating, males and females of N. viridula (Heteroptera: Pentatomidae) produce sex- and species-specific calling and courtship substrate-borne vibratory signals, grouped into songs. Recognition and localization of these signals are fundamental for successful mating. The recognition is mainly based on the temporal pattern, i.e. the amplitude modulation, while the frequency spectrum of the signals usually only plays a minor role. We examined the temporal selectivity for vibratory signals in four types of ascending vibratory interneurons in N. viridula. Using intracellular recording and labelling technique, we analyzed the neurons' responses to 30 pulse duration/interval duration (PD/ID) combinations. Two response arrays were created for each neuron type, showing the intensity of the responses either as time-averaged spike counts or as peak instantaneous spike rates. The mean spike rate response arrays showed preference of the neurons for short PDs (below 600 ms) and no selectivity towards interval duration; while the peak spike rate response arrays exhibited either short PD/long ID selectivity or no selectivity at all. The long PD/short ID combinations elicited the weakest responses in all neurons tested. No response arrays showed the receiver preference for either constant period or duty cycle. The vibratory song pattern selectivity matched the PD of N. viridula male vibratory signals, thus pointing to temporal filtering for the conspecific vibratory signals already at level of the ascending interneurons. In some neurons the responses elicited by the vibratory stimuli were followed by distinct, regular oscillations of the membrane potential. The distance between the oscillation peaks matched the temporal structure of the male calling song, indicating a possible resonance based mechanism for signal recognition. © 2011 Maja Zorović. Source

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