Continuous invasion by respiratory viruses observed in rural households during a respiratory syncytial virus seasonal outbreak in coastal Kenya
Munywoki PK, Koech DC, Agoti CN, Cane PA, Medley GF, Nokes DJ
Households are high intensity close-contact environments favorable for transmission of respiratory viruses, yet little is known for low-income settings. Active surveillance was completed on 47 households in rural coastal Kenya over six months during a respiratory syncytial virus(RSV) season. Nasopharyngeal swabs (NPS) were taken from 483 household members twice-weekly irrespective of symptoms. NPS from 6 households were screened for 15 respiratory viruses by molecular diagnostics and the remainder only for the most frequent viruses observed. On average, each household and individual had six and three different viruses detected over the study period, respectively.
In this setting respiratory virus infections and associated illness, are ubiquitous in households. Future studies should address the health and economic implications of these observations.
Investigating the potential of an autodissemination system for managing populations of vine weevil, Otiorhynchus sulcatus (Coleoptera : Curculionidae) with entomopathogenic fungi
Pope Tom, Hough Gemma, Arbona Charlotte, Bennison Jude, Roberts Harriet, Prince Gillian and Chandler Dave
Vine weevil, also known as black vine weevil, (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) is an economically important pest affecting soft fruit and nursery stock in temperate regions. We used laboratory and polytunnel experiments to investigate a novel control system based on autodissemination of spores of an entomopathogenic fungus to populations of adult vine weevils. The fungus was applied as a conidial powder, used on its own or formulated with talc, to a simple plastic refuge for vine weevils. The potential of an autodissemination system for entomopathogenic fungi as a means of controlling vine weevil as part of an integrated pest management programme is discussed.
Comparative genomics and mutational analysis reveals a novel XoxF-utilising methylotroph in the Roseobacter group isolated from the marine environment
Alexandra M Howat, John Vollmers, Martin Taubert, Carolina Grob, Joanna L Dixon, Jonathan D Todd, Yin Chen, Anne-Kristin Kasterand, J C Murrell
The Roseobacter group comprise a significant group of marine bacteria which are involved in global carbon and sulfur cycles. Some members are methylotrophs, using one-carbon compounds as a carbon and energy source. It has recently been shown that methylotrophs generally require a rare earth element when using the methanol dehydrogenase enzyme XoxF for growth on methanol. This research revealed that the addition of lanthanides to isolation procedures was key to cultivating novel XoxF-utilising methylotrophs from the marine environment, whilst genome sequencing and MLSA provided insights into their potential genetic adaptations and relationship to the wider community.
Bill Finch-Savage publications
Interaction of maternal environment and allelic differences in seed vigour genes determines seed performance in Brassica oleracea
Awan Sajjad Zahoor, Footitt Steven and Finch-Savage William E
Seed vigour is a key trait essential for the production of sustainable and profitable crops. The genetic basis of variation in seed vigour has recently been determined in Brassica oleracea, but the relative importance of the interaction with parental environment is unknown. The genetic‐environmental interaction revealed provides a robust mechanism of bet‐hedging to minimize environmental risk during subsequent germination, and this could have facilitated the rapid change in seed behaviour (reduced dormancy and rapid germination) observed during crop domestication. Plant Journal. April 2018
The impact of global warming on germination and seedling emergence in Alliaria petiolata, a woodland species with dormancy loss dependent on low temperature
Footitt S, Huang Z, Ölcer-Footitt H, Clay H, Finch-Savage WE
The impact of global warming on seed dormancy loss and germination was investigated in Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard). The results indicate that as mean temperature increases due to global warming, the chilling requirement for dormancy relief may not be fully satisfied, but seedling emergence will continue from low dormancy seeds in the population. However, this potential for adaptation may be countered by increased seed mortality in the seed bank as soils warm. Plant Biology. April 2018
Need for speed: An optimized gridding approach for spatially explicit disease simulations
Numerical models for simulating outbreaks of infectious diseases are powerful tools for informing surveillance and control strategy decisions. However, large-scale spatially explicit models can be limited by the amount of computational resources they require, which poses a problem when multiple scenarios need to be explored to provide policy recommendations. We introduce an easily implemented method that can reduce computation time in a standard Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model without introducing any further approximations or truncations. This new method enables large scale, spatially explicit simulations such as for the entire continental USA without sacrificing realism or predictive power.
Functional characterization of a second pedal peptide/orcokinin-type neuropeptide signaling system in the starfish Asterias rubens
Lin M, Egertová M, Zampronio CG, Jones AM, Elphick MR
Molluscan pedal peptides (PPs) and arthropod orcokinins (OKs) are prototypes of a family of neuropeptides that have been identified in several phyla. Recently, starfish myorelaxant peptide (SMP) was identified as a PP/OK-type neuropeptide in the starfish Patiria pectinifera (phylum Echinodermata). Furthermore, analysis of transcriptome sequence data from the starfish Asterias rubens revealed two PP/OK-type precursors: an SMP-type precursor (A. rubens PP-like neuropeptide precursor 1; ArPPLNP1) and a second precursor (ArPPLNP2). This paper shows that there are similarities in the expression patterns of ArPPLNP1 and ArPPLNP2 but our data also indicate specialization in the roles of neuropeptides derived from these two PP/OK-type precursors in starfish.