• Male reproductive competition in the field crickets : gryllus veletis and G. pennsylvanicus

      French, Bryan Wade.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1986-07-09)
      Sexual behavior in the field crickets, Gryllus veletis and G. pennsylvanicus , was studied in outdoor arenas (12 m2) at high and low levels of population density in 1983 and 1984. Crickets were weighed, individually marked, and observed from 2200 until 0800 hrs for at least 9 continuous nights. Calling was measured at 5 min intervals, and movement and matings were recorded hourly. Continuous 24 hr observations were also conducted,·and occurrences of aggressive and courtship songs were noted. The timing of males searching, calling, courting, and fighting for females should coincide with female movement and mating patterns. For most samples female movement and matings occurred at night in the 24 hr observations and were randomly distributed with time for both species in the 10 hr observations. Male movement for G. veletis high density only was enhanced at night in the 24 hr observations, however, males called more at night in both species at high and low densities. Male movement was randomly distributed with time in the 10 hr observations, and calling increased at dawn for the G. pennsylvanicus 1984 high density sample, but was randomly distributed in other samples. Most courtship and aggression songs in the 24 hr observations were too infrequent for statistical testing and generally did not coincide with matings. Assuming residual reproductive value, and costs attached to a male trait in terms of future reproductive success decline with age, males should behave in more costly ways with age; by calling and moving more with age. Consequently, mating rates should increase with age. Female behavior may not change with age. G. veletis , females moved more with age at both low density samples, however, crickets moved less with age at high density. G. pennsylvanicus females moved more with age in the 1984 low density sample, whereas crickets moved less with age in the 1983 high density sample. For both species males in the 1984 high density samples called less with age. For G. pennsylvanicus in 1983 calling and mating rates increased with age. Mating rates decreased with age for G. veletis males in the high density sample. Aging may not affect cricket behavior. As population density increases fewer calling sites become available, costs of territoriality increase, and matings resulting from non-calling behavior should increase. For both species the amount of calling and in G. veletis the distance travelled per night was not different between densities. G. pennsylvanicus males and females moved more at low density. At the same deneity levels there were no differences in calling, mating, and, movement rates in G. veletis , however, G. pennsylvanicus males moved more at high density in 1983 than 1984. There was a positive relationship between calling and mating for the G. pennsylvanicus low density sample only, and selection was acting directly to increase calling. For both species no relationships between movement and mating success was found, however, the selection gradient on movement in the G. veletis high density population was significant. The intensity of selection was not significant and was probably due to the inverse relationship between displacement and weight. Larger males should call more, mate more, and move less than smaller males. There were no correlations between calling and individual weight, and an inverse correlation between movement and size in the G. veletis high density population only. In G. pennsylvanicus , there was a positive correlation between individual weight and mating, but, some correlate of weight was under counter selection pressure and-prevented significance of the intensity of selection. In contrast, there was an inverse correlation in the G.·veletis low density B sample. Both measures of selection intensities were significant and showed that weight only was under selection pressures. An inverse correlation between calling and movement was found for G. veletis at low density only. Because males are territorial, females are predicted to move more than males, however, if movement is a mode of male-male reproductive competition then males may move more than females. G. pennsylvanicus males moved more than females in all samples, however, G. veletis males and females moved similar distances at all densities. The variation in relative mating success explained by calling scores, movement, and weight for both species and all samples were not significant In addition, for both species and all samples the intensity of selection never equalled the opportunity for selection.
    • Manipulation of adenovirus early region 1 rescue plasmids by homologous recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

      Anderson, Peter.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2003-07-09)
      The manipulation of large (>10 kb) plasmid systems amplifies problems common to traditional cloning strategies. Unique or rare restriction enzyme recognition sequences are uncommon and very rarely located in opportunistic locations. Making site-specific deletions and insertions in larger plasmids consequently leads to multiple step cloning strategies that are often limited by time-consuming, low efficiency linker insertions or blunt-end cloning strategies. Manipulation ofthe adenovirus genome and the genomes ofother viruses as bacterial plasmids are systems that typify such situations. Recombinational cloning techniques based on homologous recombination in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that circumvent many ofthese common problems have been developed. However, these techniques are rarely realistic options for such large plasmid systems due to the above mentioned difficulties associated with the addition ofrequired yeast DNA replication, partitioning and selectable marker sequences. To determine ifrecombinational cloning techniques could be modified to simplify the manipulation of such a large plasmid system, a recombinational cloning system for the creation of human adenovirus EI-deletion rescue plasmids was developed. Here we report for the first time that the 1,456 bp TRP1/ARS fragment ofYRp7 is alone sufficient to foster successful recombinational cloning without additional partitioning sequences, using only slight modifications of existing protocols. In addition, we describe conditions for efficient recombinational cloning involving simultaneous deletion of large segments ofDNA (>4.2 kb) and insertion of donor fragment DNA using only a single non-unique restriction site. The discovery that recombinational cloning can foster large deletions has been used to develop a novel recombiliational cloillng technique, selectable inarker 'kilockouf" recombinational cloning, that uses deletion of a yeast selectable marker coupled with simultaneous negative and positive selection to reduce background transformants to undetectable levels. The modification of existing protocols as described in this report facilitates the use of recombinational cloning strategies that are otherwise difficult or impractical for use with large plasmid systems. Improvement of general recombinational cloning strategies and strategies specific to the manipulation ofthe adenovirus genome are considered in light of data presented herein.
    • Mating behaviours of the field cricket (Gryllus integer) at different levels of male density

      Graham, Katherine Diane.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1982-07-09)
      The reproductive behaviour of the field cricket, Gryllus integer, was systematically observed in indoor arenas to determine the extent of female Choice and male-male competition at different sex ratios representing two male densities (12:6 and 6:6). The costs and benefits to males and females in those two densities were analyzed according to the theory of the evolution o£ leks. Observations were conducted during the dark hours when most calling occurred since hourly rates of courtship song and mating did not fluctuate significantly over a 24 h period. Female mating rates were not significantly different between densities, therefore males at high densities were not advantaged because of increased female tendencies to mate when social stimulation was increased. Mean rates of acoustical signalling (calling and courtin"g) did not differ significantly between densities. Mean rates of fighting by males at the high density were significantly greater than those of males at the low density. Mating benefits associated with callin~courting and fighting were measured. Mating rates did not vary with rates of calling at either density. Calling was not a prerequisite to mating. Courtship song preceded all matings. There was a significant power fit between male mating and courting rates, and male mating and fighting rates at the low, but not at the high, density. Density differences in the benefits associated with increased courting and fighting may relate, in part, to greater economic defensibility and monopoly of females due to reduced male competition at the low density. Dominant males may be preferentially chosen by females or better able to monopolize mating opportunities than subordinate males. Three criteria were used to determine whether dominant males were preferentially chosen by females. The number of matings by males who won fights (within 30 min of mating) was significantly greater than the number of matings by males who were defeated in such fights. Mating rates did not vary significantly with rates of winning at either density. There was a significant power fit between male mating rates and the percentage of fights a male won (irrespective of his fighting-frequency) at the low density. The mean duration a male guarded the female after mating did not vary significantly between densities. There was a significant linear relationship between the duration a spermatophore was retained and the duration a male guarded the female after mating. Courtship song apparently stimulated spermatophore removal. Male guarding involved inter-male aggression and reduced courtship attempts by other males. Males at the high density received no apparent reproductive benefits associated with increased social stimulation. Conclusive evidence for preferential choice of males by females, using the criteria examined here, is lacking. Males at the lower density had fewer competitors and could monopolize females more effectively.
    • Measurement of forces between and within bilayers of neutral phospholipids

      McAlister, Michael James.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      Phospholipids in water form lamellar phases made up of alternating layers of water and bimolecular lipid leaflets. Three complementary methods, osmotic, mechanical, and vapour pressures, were used to measure the work of removing water from lamellar phases composed of frozen dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine ( DPPC ), melted DPPC, egg phosphatidylethanolamine or equimolar mixtures of DPPC and cholesterol ( DPPC/CHOL ), Concurrently the structural changes that resulted from this water removal were measured using X-ray diffraction. The work was divided into that which forces the bilayers together ( F ) and that which compresses the molecules together within the bilayers ( F )# A large repulsive force exists between bilayers composed of each of the lipids studied and this force increases exponentially as bilayer separation is decreased. F is affected by the nature of the head groups, conformation of the acyl chains and heterogeneity of these chains. In general all of the melted phosphatidylcholines ( melted DPPC, egg lecithin and DPPC/CHOL ) have large equilibrium separations in excess water resulting from large repulsive hydration forces between these bilayers. By comparison, egg PE has an increased attractive force, and frozen DPPC has a decreased hydration force; each results in smaller separations in water for these two lipids. The chemical potentials of the water between the bilayers for all these lipids lie on a continuum, indicating that interbilayer water cannot be characterized by two discrete states, usually referred to as "bound" or "non**bound". For all lipids studied a maximum of 25 % of the total work done on the system goes into deforming the bilayers. The method used here viii to separate repulsion from deformation, developed for us by v. A. Parsegian, provides a unique method for the measurement of lateral pressure of a bilayer and its modulus of deformability ( Y ). Lateral pressure is affected by the nature of the head group, conformation and heterogeneity of the acyl chains. For small changes in molecular surface area ( A ) near equilibrium, both melted and frozen DPPC have similar values for the deformability modulus. Thus in this regime it requires about the same force to change the angle of tilt of frozen chains as it does to compress the fluid bilayer. The introduction of cholesterol into bilayers of DPPC reduces dramatically the lateral pressure of the bilayers over a large range of molecular surface areas ( A ). The variation in the magnitude of bilayer repulsion with different phospholipids provides a basis for the mechanism of lipid segregation in mixed lipid systems and suggests that interacting heterogeneous membranes may influence or modulate the composition of the opposing membrane. The measurements of deformabilities of bilayers provides a direct comparison of them with the properties of monolayers.
    • Measurement of growth in the lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum using a new photographic technique

      Henry, Nicole M.; Department of Biological Sciences (2012-03-30)
      Lichenologists and users of lichenometry have long used calipers or photogrammetry to measure the growth of crustose lichens. Now, digital photography and popular computer software provide methodological alternatives. This thesis developed and tested a new methodology for tracking change and growth of the lichen, Rhizocarpon geographicum. Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended software and a photographic time series (1996,2003,2006 and 2007) were used to measure thallus diameter, area, prothallus width and areolae area in 115 small R. geographicum thalli (0.53-1049.88 mm2 ). Measures of 8 diameters per thallus showed that change in diameter was highly variable and is a weak index of growth. Thallus area was a reliable measure of growth (power correlation, R2 = 0.89). Rapid, highly irregular growth occurred in small thalli «30 mm2 ), and steady, uniform growth occurred in larger thalli (>30 mm2 ). This new methodology is tedious but can potentially generate accurate and precise measures for even the tiniest of lichens.
    • Measurement of repulsive forces between charged phospholipid bilayers

      Cowley, Alexandra Christina.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1979-07-09)
      Electrostatic forces between membranes containing charged lipids were assumed to play an important role in influencing interactions between membranes long before quantitative measurements of such forces were available. ~ur measurements were designed to measure electrostatic forces between layers of lecithin charged with lipi~s carrying ionizable head groups. These experiments have shown that the interactions between charged lipid bila.yere are dominated by electrostatic forces only at separations greater than 30 A. At smaller separations the repulsion between charged bilayers is dominated by strong hydration forces. The net repulsive force between egg lecithin bilayers containing various amounts of cherged lipids (phosphatidylglycerol (PG) 5,10 ano 50 mole%, phosphatidyli. nosi tol (PI) 10 mole% and sodium oleate (Na-Ol) 3,5 and 10 mole%, where mole% gives the ratio of the number of moles' of .charged lipid to the total number of moles of all lipids present in the sample) was stuoied with the help ('If the osmotic streas technique described by LeNeveu et aI, (1977). Also, the forces between pure PG were j_nvestigated in the same manner. The results have been plotted showing variation of force as a function of bilay- _ er separation dw• All curVes 90 obtained called force curves, were found to be similar in sha.pe, showing two distinct regions, one when dw<.30 A is a region cf very rapid iiivariation of force with separation ( it is the region dominated by hydre,tion force) and second when dw> 40 A is a region of very slow variation of force with separB.tion ( it is the region dominated by the electrostatic force). Between these two regions there exists a transition area in which, in most systems studied, a phase separation of lipids into fractions containing different amounts of charged groups, was observed. A qualitative analysis showed that our results were v/ell described by the simple electrostatic double -le.yer theory. For quantitative agreement between measured and calculated force curves however, the charge density for the calculations had to be taken as half of that given by the number density of charged lipids present in the lecithin bilayers. It is not clear at the moment what causes such low apparent degree of ionization among the charged head groups, and further study is needed in this area.
    • The measurement of the optical absorption cross section of photosystem 1 and photosystem 2 from whole live cells of porphyridium cruentum, in light state 1 and light state 2

      Rand, Cynthia Gladys.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      The optical cross section of PS I in whole cells of Porphyridium cruentum (UTEX 161), held in either state 1 or state 2, was determined by measuring the change in absorbance at 820nm, an indication of P700+; the X-section of PS2 was determined by measuring the variable fluorescence, (Fv-Fo)/Fo, from PS2. Both cross-sections were 7 determined by fitting Poisson distribution equations to the light saturation curves obtained with single turnover laser flashes which varied in intensity from zero to a level where maximum yield occurred. Flash wavelengths of 574nm, 626nm, and 668nm were used, energy absorbed by PBS, by PBS and chla, and by chla respectively. There were two populations of both PSi and PS2. A fraction of PSi is associated with PBS, and a fraction of PS2 is free from PBS. On the transition S1->S2, only with PBS-absorbed energy (574nm) did the average X-section of PSi increase (27%), and that of PS2 decrease (40%). The fraction of PSi associated with PBS decreased, from 0.65 to 0.35, and the Xsection of this associated PS 1 increased, from 135±65 A2 to 400±300A2. The cross section of PS2 associated with PBS decreased from 150±50 A2 to 85±45 A2, but the fraction of PS2 associated with PBS, approximately 0.75, did not change significantly. The increase in PSi cross section could not be completely accounted for by postulating that several PSi are associated with a single PBS and that in the transition to state2, fewer PSi share the same number of PBS, resulting in a larger X-section. It is postulated that small changes occur in the attachment of PS2 to PBS causing energy to be diverted to the attached PSi. These experiments support neither the mobile-PBS model of state transitions nor that of spillover. From cross section changes there was no evidence of energy transfer from PS2 to PSi with 668nm light. The decrease in PS2 fluorescence which occurred at this wavelength cannot be explained by energy transfer; another explanation must be sought. No explanation was found for an observed decrease in PSi yield at high flash intensities.
    • The mechanism of the regulation of energy distribution between photosystems 1 and 2 in the cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002 /

      Koop, Randy.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1997-05-21)
      Cyanobacteria are able to regulate the distribution of absorbed light energy between photo systems 1 and 2 in response to light conditions. The mechanism of this regulation (the state transition) was investigated in the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7002. Three cell types were used: the wild type, psaL mutant (deletion of a photo system 1 subunit thought to be involved in photo system 1 trimerization) and the apcD mutant (a deletion of a phycobilisome subunit thought to be responsible for energy transfer to photo system 1). Evidence from 77K fluorescence emission spectroscopy, room temperature fluorescence and absorption cross-section measurements were used to determine a model of energy distribution from the phycobilisome and chlorophyll antennas in state 1 and state 2. The data confirm that in state 1 the phycobilisome is primarily attached to PS2. In state 2, a portion of the phycobilisome absorbed light energy is redistributed to photo system 1. This energy is directly transferred to photo system 1 by one of the phycobilisome terminal emitters, the product of the apcD gene, rather than via the photo system 2 chlorophyll antenna by spillover (energy transfer between the photo system 2 and photo system 1 chlorophyll antenna). The data also show that energy absorbed by the photo system 2 chlorophyll antenna is redistributed to photo system 1 in state 2. This could occur in one of two ways; by spillover or in a way analogous to higher plants where a segment of the chlorophyll antenna is dissociated from photo system 2 and becomes part of the photo system 1 antenna. The presence of energy transfer between neighbouring photo system 2 antennae was determined at both the phycobilisome and chlorophyll level, in states 1 and 2. Increases in antenna absorption cross-section with increasing reaction center closure showed that there is energy transfer (connectivity) between photosystem 2 antennas. No significant difference was shown in the amount of connectivity under these four conditions.
    • Mechanisms of long-term modulation of synaptic transmission in crayfish

      Mottershead, Megan; Department of Biological Sciences (2013-01-02)
      Synapses undergo remodeling in response to changes in electrical activity, sensory input and environmental conditions. This thesis focuses on two forms of synaptic plasticity, heat adaptation and long-term adaptation (LTA). Heat adaptation occurs in response to a brief exposure to sub-lethal heat which increases the temperature at which synaptic transmission fails during subsequent heat stress. Long-term adaptation occurs in response to chronic electrical stimulation, which increases the activity of less active (phasic) motoneurons and reduces neurotransmitter output so that the synaptic terminals resemble those of more active (tonic) motoneurons. Previous research has shown longterm adaptation and the synaptic effects of heat adaptation to be calcium dependent. The initial part of this thesis tests the hypothesis that heat adaptation and long-term adaptation share a common mechanism. The present study demonstrated that the induction of LTA through electrical stimulation (conditioning paradigm) does not, by itself, confer heat tolerance. This suggests that the mechanisms underlying these two forms of plasticity are not identical. The present study also examined the calcium channel subtypes which mediate the decreased transmitter output during L T A. Selective calcium channel blockers were used to determine the relative contributions of calcium Ghannel subtypes to recorded postsynaptic potentials. The second part of this thesis tested the hypothesis that a change in the distribution of calcium channel types mediated the synaptic effects seen in longterm adaptation. The induction of LT A did not alter the responsiveness to inhibitors of Ptype and L-type calcium channels (which are sub-types of high voltage activated calcium channels located in synaptic terminals). Thus, LT A does not involve a re-distribution of these two calcium channel sub-types.
    • Mechanisms of synaptic modulation by neuropeptides in crayfish and drosophila

      Dunn, Tyler W.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2003-07-09)
    • Mechanisms underlying Retinoic acid-induced chemoattraction in molluscan neurons

      Farrar, Nathan R.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2010-10-25)
      Retinoic acid, a derivative of vitamin A, is known to play diverse roles in development and regeneration. Previous research in the mollusc Lymnaea stagnalis has shown that a gradient of all-trans retinoic acid attracts the growth cones of cultured neurons. The present study investigates the sub-cellular mechanisms within the growth cones of Lymnaea pedal A neurons which mediate the attractive response to a gradient of alltrans retinoic acid. In this study, the mechanism of growth cone turning is shown to be local, as neurites mechanically isolated from their cell body retain the capacity to turn towards an exogenous gradient of all-trans retinoic acid. The turning response is dependent on the initiation of protein synthesis and calcium influx, but does not appear to involve signaling through protein kinase C (PKC). The retinoid X receptor (RXR), which classically functions as a transcription factor, was also shown to be involved in the turning response, functioning locally through a non-genomic pathway. These data show, for the first time in any species, that all-trans retinoic acid's chemotropic action involves a local mechanism involving non-genomic signaling through the RXR. As retinoic acid is known to playa role in regeneration, understanding the mechanisms underlying retinoic acid signaling may lead to further advances in regenerative neuroscience.
    • Meloidogne incognita (nematode) parasitism of Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) plants : Ethylene action in susceptible and resistant host responses

      Akitt, David Baxter.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1978-07-09)
      Involvement of ethylene in the etiology of tomato plants (Lycopersicon esculentum) infected with the root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne incognita) was investigated. Endogenous root concentrations of ethylene were not significantly different in uninfected resistant var. Anahu and susceptible var. Vendor plants. Exposure of resistant plants to high doses of infectious nematode larvae did not affect root ethylene concentrations during the subsequent 30 day period. The possibility that ethylene may be involved in the mechanism of resistance is therefore not supported by these experiments. In no experiments did ethylene concentrations in roots of susceptible plants increase significantly subsequent to ~ incognita infestation. This result is not consistent with the hypothesis in the literature which suggests that increased ethylene production accompanies gall formation. Growth of susceptible tomato plants was affected by ~ incognita infestation such that root weights increased (due to galling), stem heights decreased and top weights increased. The possibility that alterations in stem growth resulted from increased production of 'stress' ethylene is discussed. Growth of resistant plants was unaffected by exposure to high doses of ~ incognita and galls were never detected on the roots of these plants. Root ethane concentrations generally varied in parallel with root ethylene concentrations although ethane concentrations were without exception greater. In 4 of 6 experiments conducted ethane/ethylene ratios increased significantly with time. These results are discussed in the light of published data on the relationship between ethane and ethylene synthesis. The term infested is used throughout this thesis in reference to plants whose root systems had been exposed to nematodes and does not distinguish between the susceptible and resistant response.
    • Mermithid (nematoa: mermithidae) infections of black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae) : seasonal variation and developmental characteristics /

      Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      Mermithid nematodes (Nematoda: Mermithidae) parasitize larval, pupal and adult black flies (Diptera: Simuliidae), oftentimes resulting in partial or complete host feminization. This study was designed to characterize parasite-host seasonal variation and to estabUsh the developmental life stage at which feminization is initiated. Data indicate that the total adult population of black flies collected from Algonquin Provincial Park throughout the spring of 2004 was comprised of 31.8% female, 67.8% male and 0.4% intersex individuals. Of the total population, 0.6% was infected by mermithid nematodes (69.0% female, 3.5% male and 27.6% intersex). Seasonal infection trends established over a 12-month period revealed that black flies with different life histories host the same mermithid subfamilies, while black flies with similar life histories host mermithids from different subfamilies. If a simuliid species simultaneously hosts two mermithid species, these parasites are from different subfamilies. Molecular mermithid identification revealed two mermithid subfamilies, Me.somermithinae and Gastromermithinae, present in the simuliid hosts. Mermithid colour variation was not found to be a reliable species indicator. The developmental stage at which feminization is initiated was determined by examining gonad morphology and meiotic chromosomal condition. Results indicate that mermithid-infected black flies exhibit feminization prior to larval histoblast formation. Larvae can be morphologically male (testes present) or female (ovaries present), with morphological males exhibiting either male (achiasmate) or female (chiasmate) meiotic chromosomes; morphological females were only genetically female. Additionally, mermithid infection inhibits simuliid gonad development.
    • Metabolic, biochemical and molecular profiling of Catharanthus roseus flower cultivars and transformed hairy roots for monoterpenoid indole alkaloid accumulation /

      Magnotta, Mary.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2007-06-09)
      Catharanthlls rosellS (L.) G Don is a commercially significant flower species and in addition is the only source of the monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (MIA) vinblastine and vincristine, which are key pharmaceutical compounds that are used to combat a number of different cancers. Therefore, procurement of the antineoplastic agents is difficult but essential procedure. Alternatively, CatharanthllS tissue cultures have been investigated as a source of these agents; however they do not produce vindoline, which is an obligate precursor to vinblastine and vincristine. The interest in developing high MIA cultivars of Catharantlws rosellS has prompted metabolic profiling studies to determine the variability of MIA accumulation of existing flowering cultivars, with particular focus on the vindoline component ofthe pathway. Metabolic profiling studies that used high performance liquid chromatography of MIAs from seedlings and young leaf extracts from 50 different flowering cultivars showed that, except for a single low vindoline cultivar (Vinca Mediterranean DP Orchid), they all accumulate similar levels of MIAs. Further enzymatic studies with extracts from young leaves and from developing seedlings showed that the low vindoline cultivar has a IO-fold lower tabersonine-16-hydroxylase activity than those of CatharanthllS rosellS cv Little Delicata. Additionally, studies aimed at metabolic engineering ofvindoline bios}l1thesis in Catharanthus rosellS hairy root cultures have been performed by expressing the last step in vindoline biosynthesis [Dcacetylvindoline-4-0- acetyltransferase (DAT)]. Enzymatic profiling studies with transformed hairy roots have confirmed that over-expressing DAT leads to lines with high levels of O-acetyltransferase activity when compared to non-expressing hairy roots. One particular DA T over111 expressing hairy root culture (line 7) contained 200 times the OAT activity than leaves of control lines. Additional MIA analyses revealed that DAT over-expressing hairy roots have an altered alkaloid profile with significant variation in the accumulation of h6rhammericine. Further analysis of transformed hairy root line 7 suggests a correlation between the expression of OAT activity and h6rhammericine accumulation with root maturation. These studies show that metabolic and selective enzymatic profiling can enhance our ability to search for relevant MIA pathway mutants and that genetic engineering with appropriate pathway genes shows promise as a tool to modify the MIA profile of Catharanthus roseus.
    • Metabolite changes during Riesling icewine fermentation when yeast micronutrients are used /

      Tang, DiQing.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2009-06-15)
      Icewine is an intensely s\veet dessert \vine fermented from the juice of naturally frozen grapes. Icewine fermentation poses many challenges such as failure to reach desired ethanol levels and production of high levels of volatile acidity in the fonn of acetic acid. This study investigated the impact of micronutrient addition (GO-FERM® and NATSTEP®) during the rehydration stage of the commercial \vine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae KI-VIII6 during Ice\vine fermentation. Sterile-filtered and unfiltered Riesling Ice\vine juice was inoculated \vith yeast rehydrated under four different conditions: in water only; with GO-FERM®; with NATSTEP®; or the combination of both micronutrient products in the rehydration water. Using sterile-filtered Icewine juice, yeast rehydration had a positive impact of reducing the rate of acetic acid produced as a function of sugar consumed, reducing the ratio of acetic acid/ethanol and reducing the ratio of acetic acid/glycerol. In the sterile-filtered fermentation, yeast rehydrated with micronutrients generated 9-times less acetic acid per gram of sugar in the first 48 hours compared to yeast rehydrated only \vith water and resulted in a 17% reduction in acetic acid in the final \vine \vhen normalized to sugar consumed. However, the sterile-filtered fermentations likely became stuck due to the overc1arification of the juice as evidenced from the low sugar consumption (117 gIL) that could not be completely overcome by the micronutrient treatments (144 gIL sugar consumed) to reach a target ethanol of IO%v/v. Contrary to \vhat \vas observed in the sterile-filtered treatements, using unfiltered Ice\vine juice, yeast micronutrient addition had no significant impact of reducing the rate of acetic acid produced as a function of sugar consumed, reducing the ratio of acetic acid/ethanol and reducing the ratio of acetic acid/glycerol. However, in the unfiltered fermentation, micronutrient addition during yeast rehydration caused a reduction in the acetic acid produced as a function of sugar consumed up to 150 giL sugar consumed.. In contrast to the sterile-filtered fermentations, the unfiltered fermentations did not become stuck as evidenced from the higher sugar consumption (l47-174g1L). The largest effects of micronutrient addition are evident in the first two days of both sterile and unfiltered fermentations.
    • Mode of action of FMRFamide-like peptide on drosophila body wall muscle conractions

      Milakovic, Maja; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2011-03-08)
      Neuropeptides are the largest group of signalling chemicals that can convey the information from the brain to the cells of all tissues. DPKQDFMRFamide, a member of one of the largest families of neuropeptides, FMRFamide-like peptides, has modulatory effects on nerve-evoked contractions of Drosophila body wall muscles (Hewes et aI.,1998) which are at least in part mediated by the ability of the peptide to enhance neurotransmitter release from the presynaptic terminal (Hewes et aI., 1998, Dunn & Mercier., 2005). However, DPKQDFMRFamide is also able to act directly on Drosophila body wall muscles by inducing contractions which require the influx of extracellular Ca 2+ (Clark et aI., 2008). The present study was aimed at identifying which proteins, including the membrane-bound receptor and second messenger molecules, are involved in mechanisms mediating this myotropic effect of the peptide. DPKQDFMRFamide induced contractions were reduced by 70% and 90%, respectively, in larvae in which FMRFamide G-protein coupled receptor gene (CG2114) was silenced either ubiquitously or specifically in muscle tissue, when compared to the response of the control larvae in which the expression of the same gene was not manipulated. Using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) method, it was determined that at concentrations of 1 ~M- 0.01 ~M, the peptide failed to increase cAMP and cGMP levels in Drosophila body wall muscles. In addition, the physiological effect of DPKQDFMRFamide at a threshold dose was not potentiated by 3-lsobutyl-1-methylxanthine, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, nor was the response to 1 ~M peptide blocked or reduced by inhibitors of cAMP-dependent or cGMP-dependent protein kinases. The response to DPKQDFMRFamide was not affected in the mutants of the phosholipase C-~ (PLC~) gene (norpA larvae) or IP3 receptor mutants, which suggested that the PLC-IP3 pathway is not involved in mediat ing the peptide's effects. Alatransgenic flies lacking activity of calcium/calmodul in-dependent protein kinase (CamKII showed an increase in muscle tonus following the application of 1 JlM DPKQDFMRFamide similar to the control larvae. Heat shock treatment potentiated the response to DPKQDFMRFamide in both ala1 and control flies by approximately 150 and 100 % from a non heat-shocked larvae, respectively. Furthermore, a CaMKII inhibitor, KN-93, did not affect the ability of peptide to increase muscle tonus. Thus, al though DPKQDFMRFamide acts through a G-protein coupled FMRFamide receptor, it does not appear to act via cAMP, cGMP, IP3, PLC or CaMKl1. The mechanism through which the FMRFamide receptor acts remains to be determined.
    • Modulation of muscle contraction by a FMRFamide-related peptide

      Quigley, Patricia A.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1995-11-04)
      A FMRFamide-like neuropeptide with the sequence "DRNFLRF-NH2" was recently isolated from pericardial organs of crayfish (Mercier et aI., Peptides, 14, 137-143, 1993). This neuropeptide, referred to as "DF2'" has already been shown to elicit cardioexcitation and to enhance synaptic transmission at neuromuscular junctions. Possible effects ofDF2 on muscle were investigated using superficial extensor muscles of the abdomen of the crayfish, Procambarus clar/ai. These muscles are of the tonic type and generate slow contractions that affect posture. DF2, at concentrations of 10-8 M or higher, increased muscle tonus and induced spontaneous, rhythmic contractions. These effects were antagonized by 5 rnM Mn2+ but not by lO-7M tetrodotoxin (TTX). Thus, they represent direct actions on muscle cells (rather than effects on motor neurons) and are likely to involve calcium influx. In contrast, deep abdominal extensor muscles, responsible for rapid swimming movements, and superficial flexor muscles do not generate contractions in response to the peptide. 2 Spontaneous contractions were also induced in the superficial extensor muscles by decreasing the temperature to II-13°C. Such contractions were also TTX-insensitive and they were antagonized by adding calcium channel blockers (Mn2+, Cd2+ or Ni2+) or by removing calcium from the bathing solution. This suggests that the spontaneous contractions depend on an influx of calcium from the extracellular solution. N-type and L-type voltage dependent calcium channel blockers did not reduce the effect of the peptide or the spontaneous contractions suggesting that calcium influx is not through N- or L-type calcium channels.
    • Molecular cloning and restriction endonuclease analysis of bovine adenovirus type 3

      Elgadi, Mabrouk Mohammed.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      Bovine adenovirus type 3 (BAV3) is a medium size DNA virus that causes respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders in cattle. The viral genome consists of a 35,000 base pair, linear, double-stranded DNA molecule with inverted terminal repeats and a 55 kilodalton protein covalently linked to each of the 5' ends. In this study, the viral genome was cloned in the form of subgenomic restriction fragments. Five EcoRI internal fragments spanning 3.4 to 89.0 % and two Xb a I internal fragments spanning 35.7 to 82.9 % of the viral genome were cloned into the EcoRI and Xbal sites of the bacterial vector pUC19. To generate overlap between cloned fragments, ten Hi n dIll internal fragments spanning 3.9 to 84.9 and 85.5 to 96% and two BAV3 BamHI internal fragments spanning 59.8 to 84.9% of the viral genome were cloned into the HindllI and BamHI sites of pUC19. The HindlII cloning strategy also resulted in six recombinant plasmids carrying two or more Hi ndII I fragments. These fragments provided valuable information on the linear orientation of the cloned fragments within the viral genome. Cloning of the terminal fragments required the removal of the residual peptides that remain attached to the 5' ends of the genome. This was accomplished by alkaline hydrolysis of the DNA-peptide bond. BamH I restriction fragments of the peptide-free DNA were cloned into pUC19 and resulted in two plasmids carrying the BAV3 Bam HI terminal fragments spanning 0 to 53.9% and 84.9 to 100% of the viral genome.
    • Molecular cloning restriction enzyme analysis, bovine adenovirus type 2 genome

      Salmon, Kirsty Anne.; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 1993-07-09)
      Adenoviruses are non-enveloped icosahedral-shaped particles which possess a double-stranded DNA genome. Currently, nearly 100 serotypes of adenoviruses have been identified, 48 of which are of human origin. Bovine adenoviruses (BAVs), causing both mild respiratory and/or enteral diseases in cattle, have been reported in many countries all over the world. Currently, nine serotypes of SAVs have been isolated which have been placed into two subgroups based on a number of characteristics which include complement fixation tests as well as the ability to replicate in various cell lines. Bovine adenovirus type 2 (BAV2), belonging to subgroup I, is able to cause pneumonia as well as pneumonic-like symptoms in calves. In this study, the genome of BAV2 (strain No. 19) was subcloned into the plasmid vector pUC19. In total, 16 plasmids were constructed; three carry internal San fragments (spanning 3.1 to 65.2% ), and 10 carry internal Pstl fragments (spanning 4.9 to 97.4%), of the viral genome. Each of these plasmids was analyzed using twelve restriction endonucleases; BamHI, CiaI, EcoRl, HiOOlll, Kpnl, Noll, NS(N, Ps~, Pvul, Saj, Xbal, and Xhol. Terminal end fragments were also cloned and analyzed, sUbsequent to the removal of the 5' terminal protein, in the form of 2 BamHI B fragments, cloned in opposite orientations (spanning 0 to 18.1°k), and one Pstll fragment (spanning 97.4 to 1000/0). These cloned fragments, along with two other plasmids previously constructed carrying internal EcoRI fragments (spanning 20.6 to 90.5%), were then used to construct a detailed physical restriction map using the twelve restriction endonucleases, as well as to estimate the size of the genome for BAV2(32.5 Kbp). The DNA sequences of the early region 1 (E1) and hexon-associated gene (protein IX) have also been determined. The amino acid sequences of four open reading frames (ORFs) have been compared to those of the E1 proteins and protein IX from other Ads.
    • The nesting biology of Ceratina (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in the Niagara Region : new species, nest site selection and parasitism

      Vickruck, Jess; Department of Biological Sciences (Brock University, 2010-10-27)
      One of the most common bee genera in the Niagara Region, the genus Ceratina (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is composed of four species, C. dupla, C. calcarata, the very rare C. strenua, and a previously unknown species provisionally named C. near dupla. The primary goal of this thesis was to investigate how these closely related species coexist with one another in the Niagara ~ee community. The first necessary step was to describe and compare the nesting biologies and life histories of the three most common species, C. dupla, C. calcarata and the new C. near dupla, which was conducted in 2008 via nest collections and pan trapping. Ceratina dupla and C. calcarata were common, each comprising 49% of the population, while C. near dupla was rare, comprising only 2% of the population. Ceratina dupla and C. near dupla both nested more commonly in teasel (Dipsacus sp.) in the sun, occasionally in raspberry (Rubus sp.) in the shade, and never in shady sumac (Rhus sp.), while C. calcarata nested most commonly in raspberry and sumac (shaded) and occasionally in teasel (sunny). Ceratina near dupla differed from both C. dupla and C. calcarata in that it appeared to be partially bivoltine, with some females founding nests very early and then again very late in the season. To examine the interactions and possible competition for nests that may be taking place between C. dupla and C. calcarata, a nest choice experiment was conducted in 2009. This experiment allowed both species to choose among twigs from all three substrates in the sun and in the shade. I then compared the results from 2008 (where bees chose from what was available), to where they nested when given all options (2009 experiment). Both C. dupla and C. calcarata had the same preferences for microhabitat and nest substrate in 2009, that being raspberry and sumac twigs in the sun. As that microhabitat and nest substrate combination is extremely rare in nature, both species must make a choice. In nature Ceratina dupla nests more often in the preferred microhabitat (sun), while C. calcarata nests in the preferred substrate (raspberry). Nesting in the shade also leads to smaller clutch sizes, higher parasitism and lower numbers of live brood in C. calcarata, suggesting that C. dupla may be outcompeting C. calcarata for the sunny nesting sites. The development and host preferences of Ceratina parasitoids were also examined. Ceratina species in Niagara were parasitized by no less than eight species of arthropod. Six of these were wasps from the superfamily Chalcidoidea (Hymenoptera), one was a wasp from the family Ichneumonidae (Hymenoptera) and one was a physogastric mite from the family Pyemotidae (Acari). Parasites shared a wide range of developmental strategies, from ichneumonid larvae that needed to consume multiple Ceratina immatures to complete development, to the species from the Eulophidae (Baryscapus) and Encyrtidae (Coelopencyrtus), in which multiple individuals completed development inside a single Ceratina host. Biological data on parasitoids is scarce in the scientific literature, and this Chapter documents these interactions for future research.