Ocean climate prior to breeding affects the duration of the nestling period in the Atlantic puffin. (1/586)

Time-series covering 23 years for a long-lived seabird, the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica L.) at Rost, northern Norway, was used to explore any indirect effects of climatic variations on chick production. By fitting statistical models on the duration of the nestling period, we found that it may be estimated using the average sea temperature and salinity at 0-20 m depth in March (having a positive and a negative effect, respectively). We propose that when the phytoplankton bloom occurs in early spring, adverse oceanographic conditions, i.e. low temperature and high salinity in March, have a negative effect on puffin reproduction by degradation of the prey availability (mainly Clupea harengus) for chick-feeding adults three months later.  (+info)

Effect of temperature, light and salinity on seed germination and radicle growth of the geographically widespread halophyte shrub Halocnemum strobilaceum. (2/586)

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The small leafy succulent shrub Halocnemum strobilaceum occurs in saline habitats from northern Africa and Mediterranean Europe to western Asia, and it is a dominant species in salt deserts such as those of north-west China. The effects of temperature, light/darkness and NaCl salinity were tested on seed germination, and the effects of salinity were tested on seed germination recovery, radicle growth and radicle elongation recovery, using seeds from north-west China; the results were compared with those previously reported on this species from 'salt steppes' in the Mediterranean region of Spain. METHODS: Seed germination was tested over a range of temperatures in light and in darkness and over a range of salinities at 25 degrees C in the light. Seeds that did not germinate in the NaCl solutions were tested for germination in deionized water. Seeds from which radicles had barely emerged in deionized water were transferred to NaCl solutions for 10 d and then back to deionized water for 10 d to test for radicle growth and recovery. KEY RESULTS: Seeds germinated to higher percentages in light than in darkness and at high than at low temperatures. Germination percentages decreased with an increase in salinity from 0.1 to 0.75 M NaCl. Seeds that did not germinate in NaCl solutions did so after transfer to deionized water. Radicle elongation was increased by low salinity, and then it decreased with an increase in salinity, being completely inhibited by > or = 2.0 M NaCl. Elongation of radicles from salt solutions < 3.0 M resumed after seedlings were transferred to deionized water. CONCLUSIONS: The seed and early seedling growth stages of the life cycle of H. strobilaceum are very salt tolerant, and their physiological responses differ somewhat between the Mediterranean 'salt steppe' of Spain and the inland cold salt desert of north-west China.  (+info)

Sodium ion concentration vs. sweat rate relationship in humans. (3/586)

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of active heat acclimation on the sweat osmolality and sweat sodium ion concentration vs. sweat rate relationship in humans. Eight healthy male volunteers completed 10 days of exercise in the heat. The mean exercising heart rate and core temperature were significantly decreased (P < 0.05) by 18 beats/min and 0.6 degrees C, respectively, following heat acclimation. Furthermore, sweat osmolality and the sweat sodium ion concentration vs. sweat rate relationships were shifted to the right. Specifically, the slopes of the relationships were not affected by heat acclimation. Rather, heat acclimation significantly reduced the y-intercepts of the sweat osmolality and sweat sodium relationships with sweat rate by 28 mosmol/kgH(2)O and 15 mmol/l, respectively. Thus there was a significantly lower sweat sodium ion concentration for a given sweat rate following heat acclimation. These results suggest that heat acclimation increases the sodium ion reabsorption capacity of the human eccrine sweat gland.  (+info)

Differential gene expression and Hog1 interaction with osmoresponsive genes in the extremely halotolerant black yeast Hortaea werneckii. (4/586)

BACKGROUND: Fluctuations in external salinity force eukaryotic cells to respond by changes in the gene expression of proteins acting in protective biochemical processes, thus counteracting the changing osmotic pressure. The high-osmolarity glycerol (HOG) signaling pathway is essential for the efficient up-regulation of the osmoresponsive genes. In this study, the differential gene expression of the extremely halotolerant black yeast Hortaea werneckii was explored. Furthermore, the interaction of mitogen-activated protein kinase HwHog1 and RNA polymerase II with the chromatin in cells adapted to an extremely hypersaline environment was analyzed. RESULTS: A cDNA subtraction library was constructed for H. werneckii, adapted to moderate salinity or an extremely hypersaline environment of 4.5 M NaCl. An uncommon osmoresponsive set of 95 differentially expressed genes was identified. The majority of these had not previously been connected with the adaptation of salt-sensitive S. cerevisiae to hypersaline conditions. The transcriptional response in hypersaline-adapted and hypersaline-stressed cells showed that only a subset of the identified genes responded to acute salt-stress, whereas all were differentially expressed in adapted cells. Interaction with HwHog1 was shown for 36 of the 95 differentially expressed genes. The majority of the identified osmoresponsive and HwHog1-dependent genes in H. werneckii have not been previously reported as Hog1-dependent genes in the salt-sensitive S. cerevisiae. The study further demonstrated the co-occupancy of HwHog1 and RNA polymerase II on the chromatin of 17 up-regulated and 2 down-regulated genes in 4.5 M NaCl-adapted H. werneckii cells. CONCLUSION: Extremely halotolerant H. werneckii represents a suitable and highly relevant organism to study cellular responses to environmental salinity. In comparison with the salt-sensitive S. cerevisiae, this yeast shows a different set of genes being expressed at high salt concentrations and interacting with HwHog1 MAP kinase, suggesting atypical processes deserving of further study.  (+info)

Transcriptional profiling of chickpea genes differentially regulated in response to high-salinity, cold and drought. (5/586)

BACKGROUND: Cultivated chickpea (Cicer arietinum) has a narrow genetic base making it difficult for breeders to produce new elite cultivars with durable resistance to major biotic and abiotic stresses. As an alternative to genome mapping, microarrays have recently been applied in crop species to identify and assess the function of putative genes thought to be involved in plant abiotic stress and defence responses. In the present study, a cDNA microarray approach was taken in order to determine if the transcription of genes, from a set of previously identified putative stress-responsive genes from chickpea and its close relative Lathyrus sativus, were altered in chickpea by the three abiotic stresses; drought, cold and high-salinity. For this, chickpea genotypes known to be tolerant and susceptible to each abiotic stress were challenged and gene expression in the leaf, root and/or flower tissues was studied. The transcripts that were differentially expressed among stressed and unstressed plants in response to the particular stress were analysed in the context of tolerant/susceptible genotypes. RESULTS: The transcriptional change of more than two fold was observed for 109, 210 and 386 genes after drought, cold and high-salinity treatments, respectively. Among these, two, 15 and 30 genes were consensually differentially expressed (DE) between tolerant and susceptible genotypes studied for drought, cold and high-salinity, respectively. The genes that were DE in tolerant and susceptible genotypes under abiotic stresses code for various functional and regulatory proteins. Significant differences in stress responses were observed within and between tolerant and susceptible genotypes highlighting the multiple gene control and complexity of abiotic stress response mechanism in chickpea. CONCLUSION: The annotation of these genes suggests that they may have a role in abiotic stress response and are potential candidates for tolerance/susceptibility.  (+info)

Plasma membrane composition of Debaryomyces hansenii adapts to changes in pH and external salinity. (6/586)

Debaryomyces hansenii is a marine yeast that has to cope with different stress situations. Since changes in membrane properties can play an important function in adaptation, we have examined the fluidity and lipid composition of purified plasma membranes of D. hansenii grown at different external pH values and salt concentrations. Growth at low pH caused an increase in the sterol-to-phospholipid ratio and a decrease in fatty acid unsaturation which was reflected in decreased fluidity of the plasma membrane. High levels of NaCl increased the sterol-to-phospholipid ratio and fatty acid unsaturation, but did not significantly affect fluidity. The sterol-to-phospholipid ratios obtained in D. hansenii grown under any of these conditions were similar to the ratios that have been reported for halophilic/halotolerant black yeasts, but much smaller than those observed in the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  (+info)

Control of electrostatic interactions between F-actin and genetically modified lysozyme in aqueous media. (7/586)

The aim for deterministic control of the interactions between macroions in aqueous media has motivated widespread experimental and theoretical work. Although it has been well established that like-charged macromolecules can aggregate under the influence of oppositely charged condensing agents, the specific conditions for the stability of such aggregates can only be determined empirically. We examine these conditions, which involve an interplay of electrostatic and osmotic effects, by using a well defined model system composed of F-actin, an anionic rod-like polyelectrolyte, and lysozyme, a cationic globular protein with a charge that can be genetically modified. The structure and stability of actin-lysozyme complexes for different lysozyme charge mutants and salt concentrations are examined by using synchrotron x-ray scattering and molecular dynamics simulations. We provide evidence that supports a structural transition from columnar arrangements of F-actin held together by arrays of lysozyme at the threefold interstitial sites of the actin sublattice to marginally stable complexes in which lysozyme resides at twofold bridging sites between actin. The reduced stability arises from strongly reduced partitioning of salt between the complex and the surrounding solution. Changes in the stability of actin-lysozyme complexes are of biomedical interest because their formation has been reported to contribute to the persistence of airway infections in cystic fibrosis by sequestering antimicrobials such as lysozyme. We present x-ray microscopy results that argue for the existence of actin-lysozyme complexes in cystic fibrosis sputum and demonstrate that, for a wide range of salt conditions, charge-reduced lysozyme is not sequestered in ordered complexes while retaining its bacterial killing activity.  (+info)

Differential expression of the TFIIIA regulatory pathway in response to salt stress between Medicago truncatula genotypes. (8/586)

Soil salinity is one of the most significant abiotic stresses for crop plants, including legumes. These plants can establish root symbioses with nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria and are able to grow in nitrogen-poor soils. Medicago truncatula varieties show diverse adaptive responses to environmental conditions, such as saline soils. We have compared the differential root growth of two genotypes of M. truncatula (108-R and Jemalong A17) in response to salt stress. Jemalong A17 is more tolerant to salt stress than 108-R, regarding both root and nodulation responses independently of the nitrogen status of the media. A dedicated macroarray containing 384 genes linked to stress responses was used to compare root gene expression during salt stress in these genotypes. Several genes potentially associated with the contrasting cellular responses of these plants to salt stress were identified as expressed in the more tolerant genotype even in the absence of stress. Among them, a homolog of the abiotic stress-related COLD-REGULATEDA1 gene and a TFIIIA-related transcription factor (TF), MtZpt2-1, known to regulate the former gene. Two MtZpt2 TFs (MtZpt2-1 and MtZpt2-2) were found in Jemalong A17 plants and showed increased expression in roots when compared to 108-R. Overexpression of these TFs in the sensitive genotype 108-R, but not in Jemalong A17, led to increased root growth under salt stress, suggesting a role for this pathway in the adaptive response to salt stress of these M. truncatula genotypes.  (+info)