• Factors affecting DNA uptake by mammalian cells

      Cheikha-Douaihy, Saiid; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1998-07-09)
      The ability to introduce DNA and express custom DNA sequences in bacteria opened the door for improvements in a large number of fields including agriculture, pharmacology, medicine, nutrition, etc. The ability to introduce foreign DNA sequences into mammalian cells in an efficient manner would have a large impact on therapeutic applications especially gene therapy. The methods in use today suffer from low efficiencies and sometimes toxicity. In this work a number of factors were evaluated for their effect onONA uptake efficiency. The factors studied included exposure to sublethal concentration of hydrogen peroxide which have been show to lead to destabilisation ofthe lysosomes. These exposures have proven to be very toxic to cells when combined with either the calcium phosphate or the lipofectAMINE® transfection methods. Another factor evaluated was exposure to Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF). This was fuelled by the fact that EMF have been shown to mediate a number of effects on cell structure and/or physiology. EMF exposure by itself was not sufficient to induce the cells to pick up the DNA, therefore its effect on calcium phosphate and lipofectAMINE® was tested. Although some positive results were obtained, the variability of these results exceeded by far any observed enhancements which discouraged any further work on EMF. Also tested was the possible effect the presence of the cytomegalovirus (CMV) sequence might have on DNA uptake (based on previous results in this lab). It was found that the presence ofCMV in the DNA sequence does not enhance uptake or slow down degradation of the internalised DNA. The final factor tested was the effect of basic amino acids on transfection efficiency. It was found that arginine can enhance DNA uptake by about 170% v/ith calcium phosphate and about 200% with LipofectAMINE®. A model was proposed to explain the effect of arginine as well as the lack of effect from other amino acids.
    • Factors influencing the seasonal changes in primary productivity of the photosynthetic bacteria of Crawford Lake, Ontario

      Severn, Shawn R. T.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1981-07-09)
      A naturally occurring population of photosynthetic bacteria, located in the meromictic Crawford Lake, was examined during two field seasons (1979-1981). Primary production, biomass, light intensity, lake transparency, pH and bicarbonate concentration were all monitored during this period at selected time intervals. Analysis of the data indicated that (l4C) bacterial photosynthesis was potentially limited by the ambient bicarbonate concentration. Once a threshold value (of 270 mg/l) was reached a dramatic (2 to 10 fold) increase in the primary productivity of the bacteria was observed. Light intensity appeared to have very little effect on the primary productivity of the bacteria, even at times when analyses by Parkin and Brock (1980a) suggested that light intensity could be limiting (i.e., 3.0-5.0 ft. candles). Shifts in the absorption maxima at 430 nrn of the .bacteriochlorophyll spectrum suggested that changes in the species or strain composition of the photosynthetic bacteria had occurred during the summer months. It was speculated that these changes might reflect seasonal variation in the wavelength of light reaching the bacteria. Chemocline erosion did not have the same effect on the population size (biomass) of the photosynthetic bacteria in Crawford Lake (this thesis) as it did in Pink Lake (Dickman, 1979). In Crawford Lake the depth of the chemocline was lowered with no apparent loss in biomass (according to bacteriochlorophyll data). A reverse current was. proposed to explain the observation. The photosynthetic bacteria contributed a significant proportion (10-60%) of the lake1s primary productivitya Direct evidence was obtained with (14C) labelling of the photosynthetic bacteria, indica.ting that the zooplankton were grazing the photosynthetic bacteria. This indicated that some of the photosynthetic bacterial productivity was assimilated into the food chain of the lake. Therefore, it was concluded that the photosynthetic bacteria made a significant contribution to the total productivity of Crawford Lake.
    • Feeding and oviposition preferences of the diamondback moth Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) on six Brassicaceae host plant species

      Newman, Kiera; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2014-10-10)
      Plutella xylostella (diamondback moth, DBM) is a globally distributed Lepidopteran that feeds and oviposits almost exclusively on plants in the Brassicaceae family. DBM disperses from the southern United States and Mexico into Canada in the spring and summer. Establishment of DBM in Ontario is partially dependent upon the quantity and quality of host plants available and the preference of DBM for different hosts. Host plants include many crops such as broccoli, canola and cabbage, as well as landscape ornamentals and wild plants. It has previously been established that DBM are attracted to host plants by chemicals, specifically glucosinolates. I examined the preference of DBM among crop, wild and ornamental host plant species and how preference varies with insect life stage (3rd and 4th instar larvae and adults). Experiments included exposing DBM larvae from five populations coming from different locations in Canada to six Brassicaceae species and evaluating the preferences and weight gain over one hour. Then adult females were exposed to these same plant species and their oviposition preferences were examined. Populations from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario were compared to assess differences in preference associated with geographic region or species of host plant. The ultimate goal of my study was to understand the potential of various Brassicaceae species to act as reservoirs to sustain and promote population growth of DBM, as well as sinks that may decrease DBM abundance. Results showed that garden cress (Lepidium sativum) was highly preferred over other species (wintercress, black mustard, aubretia, broccoli and ornamental kale) for both food and oviposition sources. Previous studies report that garden cress contains saponins, chemicals shown to be toxic to developing DBM larvae, however no studies have yet shown a preference for garden cress. These results provide information on a novel host plant with the potential to control DBM population growth. No difference in preferences was found among populations of DBM from various sources in Canada.
    • Feeding rates, parental investment, and brood reduction in Caspian terns (Sterna caspia)

      Quinn, James Scott.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1980-07-09)
      Fresh egg-weights and feeding rates to chicks were related to chick survival as one means of quantifying apportionment of parental investment wi thin broods of Caspian Terns (SterDI casRla) at a colony in Georgian Bay. Lake Huron, during 1978 and 1979. Ftrst-laid eggs from 2-egg clutches were Significantly heavier and usually hatched one to three days earlier than second-laid eggs in both years of the study. In both years, first-hatched chicks were larger and generally better fed than second-hatched siblings. The disparity between feedIng rates of first- and second-hatched ehicks was greater in 1979. Brood feeding I rates correlated positively with the percentage of food fed to the least-fed sibUng through the period of B-chick ages zero to 10 days in 1978. I suggest that after this age period, parental control over whlcb cbick was fed diminished. In 1978, 10 of 16 secondhatched chicks were fed more than their older siblings during their first 5 days. 'lb.is is interpreted as a parental response to reduce the competitive advantage of the larger first-hatched chicks. Most chick losses were apparently caused by starvation or preda. tion. In 1979, seeorvl-hatched chick disappearance (due to predation) was -related to low feeding rates, whereas first-hatched chick disappearance was related to low fresh egg-weights.. First-hatched chicks survived better than second-hatched chicks both years, and more pairs fledged two chicks in 1978. Maximum estimated feeding rates at the nest and fledging ages suggested that food was more avatlable in 1978 than in 1979. In 1979, second eggs apparently functioned as "insurance" eggs. When the first-laid egg falled to hatch, or the first-hatched chick died, the second-hatched chick was often successfully fledged. When first-hatched chicks survived, the second-hatched chick usually starved or was preyed upon, reducing the brood to one chick. Parental investment patterns favored first-hatched chicks. Brood reduction, when employed, discouraged total nest failure, however, under appropriate conditions, brood reduction was avoided and full broods (or two chicks) were fledged.
    • Fimbriae of coprinus cinereus, schizophyllum commune and ustilago violacea = structural aspects and a role in conjugation

      Boulianne, Robert P.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1990-07-09)
      Surface fibrils (fimbriae) have been observed on fungi from every major group. Fimbriae are thought to be involved in the following cell to cell interactions: conjugation, flocculation and adhesion. Several higher fungi exibit two other types of interactions: hyphal fusion (anastomosis) and clamp connection formation. As a prelude to examining the role of fimbriae in these processes, the fimbriae of two fungi that undergo these fusion events were examined. Electron microscopy studies revealed that Coprinus cinereus and Schizophyllum commune are fimbriated. C. cinereus fimbriae were 5 nm in diameter and 0.5 to 20 11m in length. Fimbriae of C. cinereus oidia were more numerous and longer than those of the hyphal stage. S. commune fimbriae were also 5 nm in diameter, but were only 0.5 to 2 11m in length. There was an unequal distribution of fimbriae on the hyphal surfaces of S. commune . Fimbriae were sparsely distributed over the entire hyphal surface, with higher densities of fibrils present on the side growths of the hyphae found in the older sections of the mycelium. Antiserum raised against Ustilago violacea fimbrial protein (AU) crossreacted strongly with 37 and 39 kd C. cinereus mycelial proteins. In contrast, AU bound very weakly to 89 and 92 kd S. commune mycelial proteins. Since AU cross-reacted poorly with S. commune fimbrial proteins, it was impossible to further characterize the fimbriae of this specIes. The 37 and 39 kd C. cinereus proteins, were isolated by electroelution and were shown to be able to form fibrils the same diameter as oidial fimbriae. The 37 kd protein was shown to be composed of several proteins with isoelectric points ranging from pH 6.1 to 7.63. Furthermore, the 37 kd protein was found to be multimeric, while the 39 kd protein was not. These results strongly suggested that the 37 kd protein is the structural fimbrial protein of C. cine reus . Finally, a series of experiments were designed to determine whether fimbriae are required for conjugation in U. violacea Conjugation was inhibited significantly with AU, but not with pre-immune serum or AU preincubated with purified fimbrial protein. Thus, it was concluded that fimbriae play a central role in mating in this organism.
    • Flood Survival Strategies of Overwintering Snakes

      Yagi, Anne .R.; Department of Biological Sciences
      This thesis investigates snake flood survival during hibernation and how anthropogenic habitat alteration and climate variability may affect habitat quality and overwintering survival. Chapter one reviews the current understanding of ecophysiology of hibernation in snakes. In chapter two, I introduce a winter habitat model of a subterranean space that remains flood and frost-free, referred to as the “life zone,” where snakes survive winter. I analyzed 11- winters of hibernation habitat data and 18-yrs of population mark-recapture data to assess the effects of the first flood event on an endangered Massasauga population. Following the flood event, snake observations declined despite hundreds of hours of search-effort. At the population level this was evidence of poor winter survival and recruitment post flood. The direct cause of mortality was not determined but poor winter survival in areas with a depleted life zone was statistically supported. In the third chapter, I measured the metabolic rate (M ̇_(O_2 )) at 5°C for three snake species that inhabit my study area. I varied water level conditions and measured activity and dive behaviours continuously during experiments. I found differences between species in their resting metabolic rate, which I attributed to body size differences. I confirmed, cutaneous respiration occurs at a low rate and was significantly upregulated during a forced dive (flood event). Therefore, there is an intrinsic physiological response to a flood event in neonatal snakes. However, post-flood recovery indicated a greater oxygen demand after the short-forced dive. An oxygen debt was incurred during a short-forced dive under normoxic conditions. My conclusions are, 1) hibernation habitat (i.e., life zone) must include a non-freezing, non-flooding aerobic space throughout winter to maintain snake survival. 2) cutaneous respiration is a short-term flood survival strategy. I found no support for a complete aquatic hibernation strategy 3) the energy costs of a full-dive is additive to the recovery energetic costs of a flood event. A neonatal snake wintering energy budget is proposed, and winter mortality conservation issues are discussed in chapter 4.
    • Fluorescence Studies of Photosystem II Fluorescence Quenching During Desiccation

      Schaven, Kristin S.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2013-12-15)
      Poikilohydric organisms have developed mechanisms to protect their photosynthetic machinery during times of desiccation. In hydrated conditions nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) mechanisms are able to safely dissipate excess excitation energy as heat, but mechanisms of NPQ associated with desiccation tolerance are still largely unclear. In the lichen Parmelia sulcata, photosystem protection has been associated with an energy quenching energetically coupled to PSII and characterized by a fast-fluorescence decay lifetime, and long-wavelength emission. The present study compares the relative ability of green algae and lichens to recover photosynthetic activity after periods of desiccation using steady state fluorescence emission spectroscopy, and picosecond time-resolved fluorescence decay measurements. It was determined that desiccation induced quenching involves an antenna quenching mechanism with similar characteristics appearing in both P. sulcata and green algae. Algae isolated from lichens suggest symbiosis in the lichen appears to enhance this naturally occurring phenomenon and provide greater protection during desiccation.
    • Foraging ecology and parental behaviour in the common tern (Sterna hirundo)

      Burness, Gary P.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1992-05-21)
      One component of successful parenting is related to efficiency in foraging behaviour. The relationships among chick feeding, the size and type of food package, and length of parental foraging trips has not been well studied in seabirds. In addition, relatively few data have been collected on the activities of seabirds when foraging away from the nest site. The objectives of this study were: (1) to contrast productivity, feeding rate, and attendance patterns of individuals carrying a novel transmitter with a control group of birds; (2) to use radio-telemetry to assess the variability in foraging locations within and between individual male Common Terns; (3) to determine the seasonal variation in chick diet; (4) to determine for each transmittered bird, the relationships among the foraging patterns, parental behaviour, and seasonal reproductive success. The study took place over two years (1990-91) on a concrete breakwater 1 km offshore on Lake Erie near Port Colbome, Ontario. Ten pairs of terns in 1990 and 12 pairs in 1991 were radio-tracked by boat or car during the chick rearing stage. Concurrent behavioural observations documented the time each sex spent foraging or at the nest. The frequency and prey species composition of feeds to chicks were also recorded. The transmitters had negligible effects on the feeding frequency and brood attendance patterns of transmitter carrying birds. Peak nesting transmittered birds in 1990 and 1991 exhibited some inter-individual variability in foraging locations, however intraindividual variability was low. Birds foraged primarily to the west and northwest of the colony. Late nesters exhibited greater inter-individual variability, however intra-individual variability remained low for most birds. Neither group demonstrated sufficient variability to support the regular use of this colony as an "information centre". Individual transmittered birds had unique and predictable foraging patterns, and corresponding differences in feeding frequencies and brood attendance patterns, yet productivity was essentially equal between nests due to the impact and importance of stochastic events. Individuals that were recaptured in 1991 exhibited very similar foraging patterns to 1990, suggesting littie variability between years. Conservation of foraging patterns between years may have potential implications for mate choice decisions in future breeding seasons. Prey species delivered to chicks differed between morning and evening for peak and late nesters in 1990, but not 1991. Peak nesters in 1990 fed significantiy more Rainbow Smelt fOsmerus mordM) than Emerald Shiner (Notropis atherinoidesV this trend was reversed for late nesters who also fed large numbers of unidentified larval fish. No significant differences were found in 1991. Seasonal changes in prey species delivered to chicks is believed to be attributable to the temperature tolerances of the smelt and shiners, and the presence of large schools of larval fish during the late nesting season.
    • Foraging ecology and parental care of common terns (Sterna hirundo) nesting in Windermere Basin, Lake Ontario

      Moore, David Joseph.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-10-02)
      The relationships among chick feeding, size and type of prey item, and foraging time away from the brood have not been well studied in seabirds. This study investigated spatial and temporal patterns of foraging and chick-provisioning among 23 radio-tagged male common terns nesting at Hamilton Harbour, Lake Ontario during 1991 and 1992. Telemetry data were collected concurrently with behavioural observations from an elevated blind. Terns fitted with transmitters did not differ from controls with respect to either brood attendance, patterns of chick mortality, species and size distributions of prey delivered to offspring, or chick-provisioning rates. There was a clear separation of parental roles: males were primarily responsible for feeding chicks while females allocated more time to brood attendance. The prey species most commonly delivered to chicks by adults were rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax) and alewife (A/osa pseudoharengus), followed in importance by larval fish, emerald shiner (Notropis antherinoides), salmonids, and fathead minnows (Pimepha/es prome/as). The relative proportions of various fish speCies delivered to chicks by males differed over the course of each breeding season, and there was also much variability in species composition of prey between years. Sizes of prey delivered to chicks also differed between sampling periods. The modal size of fish brought to chicks during Peak 1991 was 1.5 bill lengths, while the majority of prey in Late 1991 were small larval fish. The reverse trend occurred in 1992 when small fish were delivered to chicks predominantly during the Peak nesting period. During periods when predominantly small fish were delivered to chicks, the foraging activity of radio-tagged males was concentrated within a two kilometer radius of the colony. The observed variation in prey composition and foraging locations during the study likely reflects temporal variation in the availability of prey in the vicinity of the colony. Males delivered fish to chicks at a constant rate, while females 4 increased their feeding frequency over the first six to ten brood days. The mean length of fish delivered to chicks by adults increased significantly with increasing chick age. As a group, within each nesting period, transmittered males either foraged predominantly in the same directional bearing (north during Peak 1991, south during Late 1992), or concentrated foraging activity in the immediate vicinity of the colony (Late 1991, Peak 1992). However, individual radio-tagged males exhibited unique and predictable foraging patterns, often favouring specific locations within these areas and differing in their secondary foraging patterns. Overall, the Lake Ontario shoreline between NCB Bay" (3.5 km south of colony) and the lift bridge canal (4 km north of colony) was the foraging area used most frequently by radiotagged males during the chick-rearing period. Foraging patterns of transmittered males at Windermere Basin are similar to patterns of peak-nesting common terns, but differ from those of late-nesters, at a nearby colony (Port Colborne, Lake Erie). Differences between the foraging patterns of late-nesting terns at these colonies likely reflect differences in annual patterns of fish availability between the two locations. No relationship was found between foraging proficiency of adults and survival of offspring. Stochastic factors, such as predation by black-crowned nightherons (Nycticorax nycticorax) and adverse weather conditions during the early stages of chick rearing, may be more important determinants of common tern breeding success than parental quality or fish availability.
    • Frequency-dependent selection at the amylase locus in Drosophila melanogaster

      Haj-Ahmad, Yousef.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1981-10-02)
      A. strain of Drosophila melanog-aster deficient in null amylase activity (Amylase ) was isolated from a wild null population of flies. The survivorship of Amylase homozygous flies is very low when the principal dietary carbohydrate source is starch. However, the survivorship of the null Amylase genotype is comparable to the wild type when the dietary starch is replaced by glucose. In addition, the null viability of the amylase-producing and Amylase strains is comparable v and very lm<] f on a medium with no carbohydrates . Furthermore, amylase-producing genotypes were shovm to excrete enzymatically active amylase protein into the food medium. The excreted amylase causes the external breakdown of dietary starch to sugar. These results led to the following null prediction: the viability of the A.mvlase genotype (fed on a starch rich diet) might increase in the presence of individuals which were amylase-producing. It was shown experimentally that such an increase in viability did in fact occur and that this increase v\Tas proportional to the number of mnylase..::producing fli.es present. These results provide a unique example of a non-"competi ti ve inter-genotype interaction, and one where the underlying physio~ logical and biochemical mechanism has been fully understood.
    • Functional genomics of BAHD acyltransferases in different varieties of the wine grape, Vilis vinifera

      Wiens, Brent; Department of Biological Sciences (2013-04-19)
      The characteristic "foxy" aroma of Vilis labrusca Concord grapes is due in large part to methyl anthranilate, a volatile ester formed by the enzyme anthraniloyl- CoA:methanol anthraniloyltransferase (VIAMAT) of the superfamily of BARD acyltransferases. The publication of the genome ofthe closely related wine grape Vilis vinifera, which does not accumulate methyl anthranilate, permitted the searching for any putative VlAU4T-like genes, with the result of 5 highly homologous candidates being found, with one candidate sharing 95% identity to VlAU4T. Probing the gene expression of 18 different cultivars of V. vinifora ripe berries by RT -PCR showed that many varieties do indeed express VlAU4T-like genes. Subsequent cloning of the full-length open reading frame of one of these genes from eDNA prepared from the cultivar Sauvignon Blanc permitted preliminary biochemical characterization of the enzyme after heterologous expression in E. coli. It was determined that this alcohol acyltransferase (named VvsbAATl) catalyzes the formation of cis-3-hexenyl acetate, a "green-leaf' volatile. Although the cloned gene from Sauvignon Blanc had 95% identity at the amino acid level to VIAMAT, it displayed an altered substrate specificity and expression pattern. These results highlight the difficulty in predicting substrate specificity and function of enzymes through the basis of sequence homology, which is a common finding in the study of BARD acyltransferases. Also, the determination of function of VvsbAATl and other BARD acyltransferases in V. vinifera could be used as a genetic marker for certain aroma characteristics in grape breeding programs.
    • Fungal biotransformation of morphine alkaloids

      Chaudhary, Vigi.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2009-02-16)
      The purpose of the study was to determine the ability of certain fungi to biotransform morphine alkaloids into medicinally relevant intermediates. Fungal strains screened for their ability to affect biotransformation of morphine alkaloids include Cunninghamella echinulata, Helicostylum pirijorme, Pycnoporus sanguinea, Pycnoporus cinnabarina, Curvularia lunata and Sporotrichum sulfurescens. The research demonstrated that Cunninghamella echinulata N-demethylated thebaine, hydrocodone, codeine, oripavine and oxycodone into corresponding nor-compounds in varying yields. The study further focused on the characterization of the enzyme responsible for the biotransformation of thebaine into northebaine by Cunninghamella echinulata. The study clearly showed that incubation of the fungal culture with thebaine over a period of 48 hours was required to activate the biotransformation process. The biotransformation studies with [14C] labeled thebaine showed that Ndemethylation by Cunningham ella echinulata does not involve O-demethylation followed by methyl group transfer as suggested in previous studies.
    • GABA accumulation and the hypersensitive response in isolated mesophyll cells treated with the G protein activator mastoparan

      Allen, Lisa J.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1997-07-09)
      GABA (y-amino butyric acid) is a non-protein amino acid synthesized through the a-decarboxylation of L-glutamate. This reaction is catalyzed by L-glutamate decarboxylase (EC, a cytosolic Ca2+/calmodulin-stimulated enzyme. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not GABA accumulation is associated with the hypersensitive response of isolated Asparagus sprengeri mesophyll cells. The addition of 25 J.lM mastoparan, a G protein activator, to suspensions of isolated asparagus mesophyll cells significantly increased GABA synthesis and cell death. Cell death was assessed using Evan's blue dye and fluorescein diacetate tests for cell viability. In addition, mastoparan stimulated pH-dependent alkalinization of the external medium, and a rapid and large 02 consumption followed by a loss of photosynthetic activity. The rate of 02 consumption and the net decrease in 02 in the dark was enhanced by light. The inactive mastoparan analogue Mas17 was ineffective in stimulating GABA accumulation, medium alkalinization, 02 uptake and cell death. Accumulation of H202 in response tomastoparan was not detected, however, mastoparan caused the cell-dependent degradation of added H202. The pH dependence of mastoparan-stimulated alkalinization suggests cellular electrolyte leakage, while the consumption of 02 corresponds to the oxidative burst in which 02 at the cell surface is reduced to form various active oxygen species. The results are indicative of the "hypersensitive response" of plants to pathogen attack, namely, the death of cells in the locality of pathogen invasion. The data are compatible with a model in which mastoparan triggers G protein activity, subsequent intracellular signal transduction pathway/s, and the hypersensitive response. It is postulated that the physiological elicitation of the hypersensitive response involves G protein signal transduction. The synthesis of GABA during the hypersensitive response has not been documented previously; however the role/s of GABA synthesis in the hypersensitive response, if any, remain unclear.
    • Genetic Analysis of Taste in Homo Sapiens

      Bering, Amanda; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2013-03-06)
      There are many known taste receptors specific to each taste attribute. This thesis examines the relationship between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variations (CNVs) in known taste and taste pathway receptors TAS2R38, Gustin, and TRPM5 and for PROP (6-n-propylthiouracil) taster status (PTS), thermal taster status (TTS), and orosensory sensation intensity ratings. PTS is a proxy for general taste responsiveness, and the ability to taste PROP classifies individuals into three phenotypes: super (PST), medium (PMT), and non-tasters (PNT). Another taste phenotype, also serving as a proxy for general taste responsiveness, is TTS, classifying individuals as thermal tasters (TTs) or thermal non-tasters (TnTs). DNA extractions from buccal cells obtained from 60 individuals were performed and analysis of TAS2R38, Gustin, and TRPM5 variations were conducted through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), sequencing for SNPs, and upQMPSF for CNV analysis of TRPM5. Among the SNPs and CNVs studied, only TAS2R38 was found to be significantly associated with PTS and intensity ratings for sweet, bitter, and sour taste as well as astringency. However, not all PROP phenotypic differences can be explained by the variations at these three SNP sites in TAS2R38, suggesting the involvement of additional genes. No association was found between TTS and TAS2R38 or Gustin, confirming that PTS and TTS are not genetically associated. The examined TRPM5 SNPs and CNVs did not correlate with TTS. Therefore, further research is necessary into other factors contributing to PTS and TTS.
    • Genetic variability in Larus argentatus and Sterna hirundo

      Melvin, George Ian.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1979-07-09)
      Blood serum and egg-white protein samples from individuals representing seven colonies of Larusargentatus, and four colonies of Sterna hirundo were electrophoretically analysed to determine levels of genetic variability and to assess the utility of polymorphic loci as genetic markers. Variability occurred at five co-dominant autosomal loci. S. hirundo protein polymorphism occurred at the Est-5 and the Oest-l loci, while nineteen loci were monomorphic. L. argentatus samples were monomorphic at seventeen loci and polymorphic at the Ldh-A and the Alb loci. Intergeneric differences existed at the Oalb and the Ldh-A loci. Although LDH-A100 from both species possessed identical electrophoretLc mobilities, the intergeneric differences were expressed as a difference in enzyme the'ITIlostabilities. Geographical distribution of alleles and genetic divergence estimates suggest ~ hirundo population panmixis,at least at the sampled locations. The h argentatus gene pool appears relatively heterogeneous with a discreet Atlantic Coast population and a Great Lakes demic population. These observed population structures may be maintained by the relative amount of gene flow occurring within and among populations. Mass ringing data coupled to reproductive success information and analysis of dispersal trends appear to validate this assumption. Similar results may be generated by either selection or both small organism and low locus sample sizes. To clarify these results and to detect the major factor(s) affecting the surveyed portions of the genome, larger sample sizes in conjunction with precise eco-demographic data are required.
    • Genetic variation and evolutionary divergence within and among populations, species, and genera of the Cambarinae

      Nemeth, Steven Thomas.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1977-07-09)
      Seven crayfish species from three genera of the subfamily Cambarinae were electrophoretically examined for genetic variation at a total of twenty-six loci. Polymorphism was detected primarily at three loci: Ao-2, Lap, and Pgi. The average heterozygosities over-all loci for each species were found to be very low when compared to most other invertebrate species that have been examined electrophoretically. With the exception of Cambarus bartoni, the interpopulation genetic identities are high within any given species. The average interspecific identities are somewhat lower and the average intergeneric identities are lower still. Populations, species and genera conform to the expected taxonomic progression. The two samples of ~ bartoni show high genetic similarity at only 50 percent of the loci compared. Locus by locus identity comparisons among species yield U-shaped distributions of genetic identities. Construction of a phylogenetic dendrogram using species mean genetic distances values shows that species grouping is in agreement with morphological taxonomy with the exception of the high similarity between Orconectespropinquus and Procambarus pictus. This high similarity suggests the possibility of a regulatory change between the two species. It appears that the low heterozygosities, high interpopulation genetic identities, and taxonomic mispositioning can all be explained on the basis of low mutation rates.
    • The genetics of glucosamine in yeast : cytoplasmic determinants conferring resistance

      Kunz, Bernard A.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1977-07-09)
      Two cytoplasmic, glucosamine resistant mutants of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, GR6 and GR10, were examined to determine whether or not the lesions involved were located on mitochondrial DNA. Detailed investigation of crosses of GR6 and GR10 or their derivatives to strains bearing known mitochondrial markers demonstrated that: 1. the frequency of glucos~~ine resistance in diploids was independent of factors influencing mitochondrial marker output. 2. upon tetrad analysis a variety of tetrad ratios was observed for glucosamine resistance whereas mitochondrial markers segregated 4:0 or 0:4 (resistant:sensitive). 3. glucosamine resistance and mitochondrial markers segregated differentially with time. 4. glucosamine resistance persisted following treatment of a GRIO derivative with ethidium bromide at concentrations high enough to eliminate all mitochondrial DNA. 5. haploid spore clones displayed two degrees of glucosamine resistance, weak and strong, while growth due to mitochondrial mutations was generally thick and confluent. 6. a number of glucosamine resistant diploids and haploids, which also possessed a mithchondrial resistance mutation, were unable to grow on medium containing both glucosamine and the particular drug involved. 3 These observations 1~ 6 provided strong evidence that the cytoplasmic glucosamine resistant mutations present in GR6 and GRiO were not situated on mitochondrial DNA. Comparison of the glucosamine resistance mutations to some other known cytoplasmic determinants revealed that: 7. glucosamine resistance and the expression of the killer phenotype were separate phenomena. 8. unlike yeast carrying resistance conferring episomes GR6 and GR10 were not resistant to venturicidin or oligomycin and the GR factor exhibited genetic behaviour different from that of the episomal determinants. These results 7--+8 suggested that glucosamine resistance was not associated with the killer determinant nor with alleged yeast episomes. It is therefore proposed that a yeast plasmid(s), previously undescribed, is responsible for glucosamine resistance. The evidence to date is compatible with the hypothesis that GR6 and GR10 carry allelic mutations of the same plasmid which is tentatively designated (GGM).
    • The genetics of glucosamine resistance in yeast /

      Elliot, Joseph J. (St. Catharines [Ont.] : Dept. of Biological Sciences, Brock University,, 2009-06-04)
    • Glucosamine resistance in the yeast, Saccharomyces cerivisae [sic]

      Maheshwari, Prem Lata.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1977-07-09)
      By using glucosamine resistant mutants of Saccharomyces ceriv~sa~ an attempt was made to discover the mechanisms which cause glucose repression and/or the Crabtree effect. The strains used are 4B2, GR6, lOP3r, GR8l and GRI08. 4B2 is a wild type yeast while the others are its mutants. To characterize the biochemical reactions which made these mutants resistant to glucosamine poisoning the following experiments were done~ 1. growth and respiration; 2. transport of sugars; 3. effect of inorganic phosphate (Pi): 4. Hexokinase; 5. In yivo phosphorylation. From the above experiments the following conclusions may be drawn: (i) GR6 and lOP3r have normal respiratory and fermentative pathways. These mutants are resistant to glucosamine poisoning due to a slow rate of sugar transport which is due to change in the cell membrane. (ii) GR8l has a normal respiratory pathway. The slow growth on fermentable carbon sourCEE indicates that in GR8l the lesion is in or associated with the glycolytic pathway. The lower rate of sugar transport may be due to a change in energy metabolism. The invivo phosphorylation rate indicates that in GR81 facilitated diffusion is the dominant transport mechanism. (iii) GR108 msa normal glycolytic pathway but the respiratory pathway is abnormal. The slow rate of sugar transport is due to a change in energy metabolism. The lower percentage of in vivo phosphorylation is probably due to a lowered availability of ATP because of the mitochondrial lesion. In all mutants resistance to glucosamine poisoning is due to a lower rate of utilization of ATP. which is caused by various mechanisms (see above), making less ADP available for phosphorylation via ATP synthase which utilizes inorganic phosphate. Because of the lower utilization of Pi, the concentration of intra-mitochondrial Pi does not go down thus protecting mutants from glucosamine poisoning.
    • Gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar) in the Niagara Region : population density variation, introduction of an entomopathogenic fungus (Entomophaga maimaiga) and occurrence of nuclear polyhedrosis virus

      Belme, Dayle M.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1995-07-09)
      The gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, a major defoliator of broad leaf trees, was accidentally introduced into North America in 1869. Much interest has been generated regarding the potential of using natural pathogens for biological control of this insect. One of these pathogens, a highly specific fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, was accredited with causing major epizootics in populations of gypsy moth across the north-eastern United States in 1989 and 1990 and is thought to be spreading northwards into Canada. This study examined gypsy moth population densities in the Niagara Region. The fungus, .E.. maimaiga, was artificially introduced into one site and the resulting mortality in host populations was noted over two years. The relationship between fungal mortality, host population density and occurrence of another pathogen, the nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV), was assessed. Gypsy moth population density was assessed by counting egg masses in 0.01 hectare (ha) study plots in six areas, namely Louth, Queenston, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Shorthills Provincial Park, Chippawa Creek and Willoughby Marsh. High variability in density was seen among sites. Willoughby Marsh and Chippawa Creek, the sites with the greatest variability, were selected for more intensive study. The pathogenicity of E. maimaiga was established in laboratory trials. Fungal-infected gypsy moth larvae were then released into experimental plots of varying host density in Willoughby Marsh in 1992. These larvae served as the inoculum to infect field larvae. Other larvae were injected with culture medium only and released into control plots also of varying host density. Later, field larvae were collected and assessed for the presence of .E.. maimaiga and NPV. A greater proportion of larvae were infected from experimental plots than from control plots indicating that the experimental augmentation had been successful. There was no relationship between host density and the proportion of infected larvae in either experimental or control plots. In 1992, 86% of larvae were positive for NPV. Presence and intensity of NPV infection was independent of fungal presence, plot type or interaction of these two factors. Sampling was carried out in the summer of 1993, the year after the introduction, to evaluate the persistence of the pathogen in the environment. Almost 50% of all larvae were infected with the fungus. There was no difference between control and experimental plots. Data collected from Willoughby Marsh indicated that there was no correlation between the proportion of larvae infected with the fungus and host population density in either experimental or control plots. About 10% of larvae collected from a nearby site, Chippawa Creek, were also positive for .E.. maimaiga suggesting that low levels of .E.. maimaiga probably occurred naturally in the area. In 1993, 9.6% of larvae were positive for NPV. Again, presence or absence of NPV infection was independent of fungal presence plot type or interaction of these two factors. In conclusion, gypsy moth population densities were highly variable between and within sites in the Niagara Region. The introduction of the pathogenic fungus, .E.. maimaiga, into Willoughby Marsh in 1992 was successful and the fungus was again evident in 1993. There was no evidence for existence of a relationship between fungal mortality and gypsy moth density or occurrence of NPV. The results from this study are discussed with respect to the use of .E.. maimaiga in gypsy moth management programs.