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Pechal J.L.,University of Dayton | Pechal J.L.,Texas A&M University | Crippen T.L.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | Tarone A.M.,Texas A&M University | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Microorganisms play a critical role in the decomposition of organic matter, which contributes to energy and nutrient transformation in every ecosystem. Yet, little is known about the functional activity of epinecrotic microbial communities associated with carrion. The objective of this study was to provide a description of the carrion associated microbial community functional activity using differential carbon source use throughout decomposition over seasons, between years and when microbial communities were isolated from eukaryotic colonizers (e.g., necrophagous insects). Additionally, microbial communities were identified at the phyletic level using high throughput sequencing during a single study. We hypothesized that carrion microbial community functional profiles would change over the duration of decomposition, and that this change would depend on season, year and presence of necrophagous insect colonization. Biolog EcoPlates™ were used to measure the variation in epinecrotic microbial community function by the differential use of 29 carbon sources throughout vertebrate carrion decomposition. Pyrosequencing was used to describe the bacterial community composition in one experiment to identify key phyla associated with community functional changes. Overall, microbial functional activity increased throughout decomposition in spring, summer and winter while it decreased in autumn. Additionally, microbial functional activity was higher in 2011 when necrophagous arthropod colonizer effects were tested. There were inconsistent trends in the microbial function of communities isolated from remains colonized by necrophagous insects between 2010 and 2011, suggesting a greater need for a mechanistic understanding of the process. These data indicate that functional analyses can be implemented in carrion studies and will be important in understanding the influence of microbial communities on an essential ecosystem process, carrion decomposition. © 2013 Pechal et al.

Xue X.,Nanjing Research Institute for Agriculture Mechanization | Lan Y.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center
Nongye Jixie Xuebao/Transactions of the Chinese Society for Agricultural Machinery | Year: 2013

The United States has the most advanced equipment and applications in agricultural aviation. It also has a complete service system in agricultural aviation. This article introduced the current status of aerial applications including service, equipment, and aerial application techniques. It had a complete system including various components for aerial applications which could fit into the different applications. It had practical application of different advanced technologies such as GPS autonomous guidance, variable rate technology, and application models. This article also summarized the techniques in remote sensing, spatial statistic, and variable rate controls, and how these technologies had been used in yield estimation and monitoring for crop water and nutrient stresses, and also pest damages. This article also showed the current status of USA precision aerial application and also provided some thought of the future direction in precision aerial applications including real-time imaging processing, variable rate technologies, and multisensory data fusion.

Wang C.,University of California at Riverside | Ulloa M.,Western Integrated Cropping Systems Research Unit | Mullens T.R.,University of California at Riverside | Yu J.Z.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | Roberts P.A.,University of California at Riverside
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The southern root-knot nematode (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita) is a major soil-inhabiting plant parasite that causes significant yield losses in cotton (Gossypium spp.). Progeny from crosses between cotton genotypes susceptible to RKN produced segregants in subsequent populations which were highly resistant to this parasite. A recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of 138 lines developed from a cross between Upland cotton TM-1 (G. hirsutum L.) and Pima 3-79 (G. barbadense L.), both susceptible to RKN, was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) determining responses to RKN in greenhouse infection assays with simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. Compared to both parents, 53.6% and 52.1% of RILs showed less (P<0.05) root-galling index (GI) and had lower (P<0.05) nematode egg production (eggs per gram root, EGR). Highly resistant lines (transgressive segregants) were identified in this RIL population for GI and/or EGR in two greenhouse experiments. QTLs were identified using the single-marker analysis nonparametric mapping Kruskal-Wallis test. Four major QTLs located on chromosomes 3, 4, 11, and 17 were identified to account for 8.0 to 12.3% of the phenotypic variance (R 2) in root-galling. Two major QTLs accounting for 9.7% and 10.6% of EGR variance were identified on chromosomes 14 and 23 (P<0.005), respectively. In addition, 19 putative QTLs (P<0.05) accounted for 4.5-7.7% of phenotypic variance (R 2) in GI, and 15 QTLs accounted for 4.2-7.3% of phenotypic variance in EGR. In lines with alleles positive for resistance contributed by both parents in combinations of two to four QTLs, dramatic reductions of >50% in both GI and EGR were observed. The transgressive segregants with epistatic effects derived from susceptible parents indicate that high levels of nematode resistance in cotton may be attained by pyramiding positive alleles using a QTL mapping approach.

Creech C.F.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Henry R.S.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Fritz B.K.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | Kruger G.R.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Weed Technology | Year: 2015

Recent concerns regarding herbicide spray drift, its subsequent effect on the surrounding environment, and herbicide efficacy have prompted applicators to focus on methods to reduce offtarget movement of herbicides. Herbicide applications are complex processes, and as such, few studies have been conducted that consider multiple variables that affect the droplet spectrum of herbicide sprays. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of nozzle type, orifice size, herbicide active ingredient, pressure, and carrier volume on the droplet spectra of the herbicide spray. Droplet spectrum data were collected on 720 combinations of spray-application variables, which included six spray solutions (five herbicides and water alone), four carrier volumes, five nozzles, two orifice sizes, and three operating pressures. The laboratory study was conducted using a Sympatec laser diffraction instrument to determine the droplet spectrum characteristics of each treatment combination. When averaged over each main effect, nozzle type had the greatest effect on droplet size. Droplet size rankings for nozzles, ranked smallest to largest using volume median diameter (Dv0.5) values, were the XR, TT, AIXR, AI, and TTI nozzle with 176% change in Dv0.5 values from the XR to the TTI nozzle. On average, increasing the nozzle orifice size from a 11003 orifice to a 11005 increased the Dv0.5 values 8%. When compared with the water treatment, cloransulam (FirstRate) did not change the Dv0.5 value. Clethodim (Select Max), glyphosate (Roundup PowerMax), lactofen (Cobra), and glufosinate (Ignite) all reduced the Dv0.5 value 5, 11, 11, and 18%, respectively, when compared with water averaged over the other variables. Increasing the pressure of AIXR, TT, TTI, and XR nozzles from 138 to 276 kPa and the AI nozzle from 276 to 414 kPa decreased the Dv0.5 value 25%. Increasing the pressure from 276 to 414 kPa and from 414 to 552 kPa for the same nozzle group and AI nozzle decreased the Dv0.5 value 14%. Carrier volume had the least effect on the Dv0.5 value. Increasing the carrier volume from 47 to 187 L ha-1 increased the Dv0.5 value 5%, indicating that droplet size of the herbicides tested were not highly dependent on delivery volume. The effect on droplet size of the variables examined in this study from greatest effect to least effect were nozzle, operating pressure, herbicide, nozzle orifice size, and carrier volume. Nomenclature: Clethodim; cloransulam; glufosinate; glyphosate; lactofen.

Kogut M.H.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | Chiang H.-I.,Texas A&M University | Swaggerty C.L.,Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center | Pevzner I.Y.,Cobb Vantress Inc | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Genetics | Year: 2012

Previously conducted studies using two chicken lines (A and B) show that line A birds have increased resistance to a number of bacterial and protozoan challenges and that heterophils isolated from line A birds are functionally more responsive. Furthermore, when stimulated with Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists, heterophils from line A expressed a totally different cytokine and chemokine mRNA expression pattern than heterophils from line B. A large-scale gene expression profile using an Agilent 44K microarray on heterophils isolated from line A and line B also revealed significantly differential expression in many immune-related genes following Salmonella enteritidis (SE) stimulation, which included genes involved in the TLR pathway. Therefore, we hypothesize the differences between the lines result from distinctive TLR pathway signaling cascades that mediate heterophil function and, thus, innate immune responsiveness to SE. Using quantitative RT-PCR on mRNA from heterophils isolated from control and SE-stimulated heterophils of each line, we profiled the expression of all chicken homologous genes identified in a reference TLR pathway. Several differentially expressed genes found were involved in the TLR-induced My88-dependent pathway, showing higher gene expression in lineAthan line B heterophils following SE stimulation. These genes included the TLR genes TLR4, TLR15, TLR21, MD-2, the adaptor proteins Toll-interleukin 1 receptor domain-containing adaptor protein (TIRAP), Tumor necrosis factor-receptor associated factor 3 (TRAF3), the IΚB kinases transforming growth factor-β-activating kinase 1 (TAK1), IKKε and IKKα, the transcription factors NFkB2 and interferon regulatory factor 7, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI-3K), and the mitogen-activated protein kinase p38. These results indicate that higher expression of TLR signaling activation of both MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent pathways are more beneficial to avian heterophil-mediated innate immunity and a complicated regulation of downstream adaptors is involved in stronger induction of aTLR-mediated innate response in the resistant line A. These findings identify new targets for genetic selection of chickens to increase resistance to bacterial infections. © 2012 Kogut, Chiang, Swaggerty, Pevzner and Zhou.

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