Growth Rates
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2021 ◽  
Vol 220 (10) ◽  
Veronica Farmer ◽  
Göker Arpağ ◽  
Sarah L. Hall ◽  
Marija Zanic

The GTP-tubulin cap is widely accepted to protect microtubules against catastrophe. The GTP-cap size is thought to increase with the microtubule growth rate, presumably endowing fast-growing microtubules with enhanced stability. It is unknown what GTP-cap properties permit frequent microtubule catastrophe despite fast growth. Here, we investigate microtubules growing in the presence and absence of the polymerase XMAP215. Using EB1 as a GTP-cap marker, we find that GTP-cap size increases regardless of whether growth acceleration is achieved by increasing tubulin concentration or by XMAP215. Despite increased mean GTP-cap size, microtubules grown with XMAP215 display increased catastrophe frequency, in contrast to microtubules grown with more tubulin, for which catastrophe is abolished. However, microtubules polymerized with XMAP215 have large fluctuations in growth rate; display tapered and curled ends; and undergo catastrophe at faster growth rates and with higher EB1 end-localization. Our results suggest that structural perturbations induced by XMAP215 override the protective effects of the GTP-cap, ultimately driving microtubule catastrophe.

2021 ◽  
Vol 288 (1955) ◽  
pp. 20211154
Sinead Collins ◽  
C. Elisa Schaum

Phytoplankton exist in genetically diverse populations, but are often studied as single lineages (single strains), so that interpreting single-lineage studies relies critically on understanding how microbial growth differs with social milieu, defined as the presence or absence of conspecifics. The properties of lineages grown alone often fail to predict the growth of these same lineages in the presence of conspecifics, and this discrepancy points towards an opportunity to improve our understanding of the factors that affect lineage growth rates. We demonstrate that different lineages of a marine picoplankter modulate their maximum lineage growth rate in response to the presence of non-self conspecifics, even when resource competition is effectively absent. This explains why growth rates of lineages in isolation do not reliably predict their growth rates in mixed culture, or the lineage composition of assemblages under conditions of rapid growth. The diversity of growth strategies observed here are consistent with lineage-specific energy allocation that depends on social milieu. Since lineage growth is only one of many traits determining fitness in natural assemblages, we hypothesize that intraspecific variation in growth strategies should be common, with more strategies possible in ameliorated environments that support higher maximum growth rates, such as high CO 2 for many marine picoplankton.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (8) ◽  
pp. 798
George N. Hotos

A strain of the filamentous non N-fixing cyanobacterium Phormidium sp. isolated from the Messolonghi (W. Greece) saltworks, was cultured in the laboratory at six different combinations of salinity (20-40-60 ppt) and illumination (low-2000 lux and high-8000 lux). At salinities of 60 and 40 ppt and in high illumination (XL-8000 lux), the growth rate (μmax) presented the highest values (0.491 and 0.401, respectively) compared to the corresponding at 20 ppt (0.203). In general and at all salinities, the higher illumination (XL) gave the highest growth rates and shorter duplication time (tg) in comparison to the lower illumination (L). On the contrary, phycocyanin, phycoerythrin and allophycocyanin production was extremely increased in the lower illumination (L) in all salinities, from ~14 fold at 40 and 60 ppt to 269 fold at 20 ppt of those corresponding to higher illumination (XL). Similar analogies were also recorded for the other two billiproteins. Chlorophyll-a content was also higher in lower illumination at all salinities in contrast to total carotenoids that did not exhibit such a pattern. The high growth rate and high phycocyanin content along with the rapid sedimentation of its cultured biomass can set this marine Phormidium species as a promising candidate for mass culture.

Birds ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 2 (3) ◽  
pp. 230-249
Jukka Jokimäki ◽  
Jukka Suhonen ◽  
Marja-Liisa Kaisanlahti-Jokimäki

Urban planning and management need long-term population level studies for evaluating how urbanization influences biodiversity. Firstly, we reviewed the current population trends of the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) and the Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) in Europe, and evaluated the usefulness of citizens’ science projects to monitor these species in Finland. Secondly, we conducted a long-term (1991–2020) winter field study in 31 urban settlements along a 950 km north–south extent in Finland to study how latitude, weather and urbanization influence on sparrow’s growth rates. The House Sparrow is declining in 15 countries, and increasing in 5, whereas the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is declining in 12 and increasing in 9 European countries. The trend of the House Sparrow was significantly negative in continental Europe. However, the trend of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow was not significant. Both species have declined simultaneously in six countries, whereas in four countries, their trends are opposite. Citizen-based, long-term (2006–2020) winter season project data indicated that House Sparrow has decreased, whereas Eurasian Tree Sparrow has increased in Finland. However, the short-term (2013–2020) breeding season citizen-based project data did not indicate significant changes in the occupation rate of sparrows. Our long-term (1991–2020) field study indicated that wintering populations of the House Sparrow have decreased, whereas the Eurasian Tree Sparrows have both expanded their wintering range and increased their population size. Based on our winter count data, latitude and weather did not significantly influence the growth rates of sparrows. When the human population increased within the study plot, House Sparrow populations decreased, and vice versa. There was also a trend that a decreasing number of feeding sites has decreased the House Sparrow numbers. Urban-related factors did not influence the growth rate of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Our results indicate that the colonization of a new, even closely related species does not influence negatively on earlier urbanized species. It is probable that the niches of these sparrow species are different enough for allowing them to co-occur. The House Sparrow mainly nests on buildings, whereas the Eurasian Tree Sparrow can easily accept, e.g., nest boxes. Urban planning should take care of both the food availability and nest sites availability for both sparrow species.

2021 ◽  
Vol 7 (8) ◽  
pp. 598
Brenda Sánchez-Montesinos ◽  
Mila Santos ◽  
Alejandro Moreno-Gavíra ◽  
Teresa Marín-Rodulfo ◽  
Francisco J. Gea ◽  

Our purpose was to evaluate the ability of Trichoderma aggressivum f. europaeum as a biological control agent against diseases from fungal phytopathogens. Twelve isolates of T. aggressivum f. europaeum were obtained from several substrates used for Agaricus bisporus cultivation from farms in Castilla-La Mancha (Spain). Growth rates of the 12 isolates were determined, and their antagonistic activity was analysed in vitro against Botrytis cinerea, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum, Fusarium solani f. cucurbitae, Pythium aphanidermatum, Rhizoctonia solani, and Mycosphaerella melonis, and all isolates had high growth rates. T. aggressivum f. europaeum showed high antagonistic activity for different phytopathogens, greater than 80%, except for P. aphanidermatum at approximately 65%. The most effective isolate, T. aggressivum f. europaeum TAET1, inhibited B. cinerea, S. sclerotiorum, and M. melonis growth by 100% in detached leaves assay and inhibited germination of S. sclerotiorum sclerotia. Disease incidence and severity in plant assays for pathosystems ranged from 22% for F. solani to 80% for M. melonis. This isolate reduced the incidence of Podosphaera xanthii in zucchini leaves by 66.78%. The high compatibility by this isolate with fungicides could allow its use in combination with different pest management strategies. Based on the results, T. aggressivum f. europaeum TAET1 should be considered for studies in commercial greenhouses as a biological control agent.

Geology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Elliot K. Foley ◽  
R.A. Henderson ◽  
E.M. Roberts ◽  
A.I.S. Kemp ◽  
C.N. Todd ◽  

The tectonic setting of the Australian sector of the eastern Gondwanan margin during the Jurassic and Cretaceous is enigmatic. Whether this involved convergent tectonism and a long-lived continental magmatic arc or rift-related extension unrelated to subduction is debated. The paucity of Australian Jurassic–Cretaceous igneous outcrops makes resolving these competing models difficult. We used the detrital zircon record of the Jurassic–Cretaceous Great Australian Superbasin (GAS) as a proxy for igneous activity. We attribute the persistent magmatism recorded in GAS sedimentary fill throughout the Mesozoic to ca. 95 Ma to continuation of the established Paleozoic continental arc system. The detrital zircon record signals short (~10 m.y.) pulses of elevated Jurassic and Cretaceous magmatic activity and strongly positive εHf values, indicating juvenile crust or mantle-derived magmatism. Margin reconstruction indicates sustained continental growth at rates of at least ~55 km3 km–1 m.y.–1, mainly to the tract now represented by submerged northern Zealandia, due to the retreat of this arc system. We posit that arc retreat was a key factor in rapid crust generation and preservation, and that continental sedimentary systems globally may host cryptic records of juvenile crustal addition that must be considered in estimating crustal growth rates along convergent plate margins.

Science ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. eabj0113
Moritz U.G. Kraemer ◽  
Verity Hill ◽  
Christopher Ruis ◽  
Simon Dellicour ◽  
Sumali Bajaj ◽  

Understanding the causes and consequences of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern is crucial to pandemic control yet difficult to achieve, as they arise in the context of variable human behavior and immunity. We investigate the spatial invasion dynamics of lineage B.1.1.7 by jointly analyzing UK human mobility, virus genomes, and community-based PCR data. We identify a multi-stage spatial invasion process in which early B.1.1.7 growth rates were associated with mobility and asymmetric lineage export from a dominant source location, enhancing the effects of B.1.1.7’s increased intrinsic transmissibility. We further explore how B.1.1.7 spread was shaped by non-pharmaceutical interventions and spatial variation in previous attack rates. Our findings show that careful accounting of the behavioral and epidemiological context within which variants of concern emerge is necessary to interpret correctly their observed relative growth rates.

2021 ◽  
Vol 51 ◽  
Lisa Nguyen ◽  
Karen Bayne ◽  
Clemens Altaner

Background: Demand for imported sawn timbers in New Zealand has increased over the last decade, reflecting the lack of New Zealand-grown, naturally durable timber in the domestic market. Therefore, a market opportunity exists for sustainably grown, naturally durable timbers in New Zealand for specialty applications. Kowhai (Sophora spp.) are New Zealand native tree species, known for their bright, yellow flowers and reported to produce coloured, naturally durable heartwood.Methods: Information on kowhai was collated from literature, focusing on their potential for commercial forestry. The taxonomic relationships, species descriptions, establishment, and growth rates of kowhai were examined, along with timber properties and historical uses, as well as medicinal applications. The review identified potential market opportunities for kowhai and key areas for further research.Results: Kowhai refers to eight different Sophora species that are endemic to New Zealand. Kowhai is easily established and the different species hybridise readily. While growth and form of kowhai varies with species, site, and management, examples of straight single-stemmed trees and annual diameter increments exceeding 20 mm have been found. Kowhai timber properties might be comparable to those of teak (Tectona grandis L.f.). Kowhai contains alkaloids, a class of compounds used in pharmaceutical applications. The species have been used for timber and traditional medicine by Maori in the past, while European settlers used kowhai for their durable and flexible timber.Conclusions: Kowhai could be established as a sustainable, domestic source of high-quality timber and substitute imported specialty timbers in New Zealand on account of their natural durability, strength, stiffness, colour, and density properties. The residues could support a secondary industry, as a source of alkaloids for pharmaceutical applications or natural dyes. Key areas that require further study include growth rates and silviculture, mechanical timber properties, machining/processing characteristics, natural durability and cytisine levels in kowhai, as well as the cultural, economic, and ecological framework required for a commercial kowhai forestry industry. Lack of literature on, and expertise in the use of native timbers in general are barriers to promoting native species for commercial forestry in New Zealand.

PLoS ONE ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 16 (7) ◽  
pp. e0253510
Nick Scott ◽  
Allan Saul ◽  
Tim Spelman ◽  
Mark Stoove ◽  
Alisa Pedrana ◽  

Background Whilst evidence of use of face masks in reducing COVID-19 cases is increasing, the impact of mandatory use across a large population has been difficult to assess. Introduction of mandatory mask use on July 22, 2020 during a resurgence of COVID-19 in Melbourne, Australia created a situation that facilitated an assessment of the impact of the policy on the epidemic growth rate as its introduction occurred in the absence of other changes to restrictions. Methods and findings Exponential epidemic growth or decay rates in daily COVID-19 diagnoses were estimated using a non-weighted linear regression of the natural logarithm of the daily cases against time, using a linear spline model with one knot (lspline package in R v 3.6.3). The model’s two linear segments pivot around the hinge day, on which the mask policy began to take effect, 8 days following the introduction of the policy. We used two forms of data to assess change in mask usage: images of people wearing masks in public places obtained from a major media outlet and population-based survey data. Potential confounding factors (including daily COVID-19 tests, number of COVID-19 cases among population subsets affected differentially by the mask policy–e.g., healthcare workers) were examined for their impact on the results. Daily cases fitted an exponential growth in the first log-linear segment (k = +0.042, s.e. = 0.007), and fitted an exponential decay in the second (k = -0.023, s.e. = 0.017) log-linear segment. Over a range of reported serial intervals for SARS-CoV-2 infection, these growth rates correspond to a 22–33% reduction in an effective reproduction ratio before and after mandatory mask use. Analysis of images of people in public spaces showed mask usage rose from approximately 43% to 97%. Analysis of survey data found that on the third day before policy introduction, 44% of participants reported “often” or “always” wearing a mask; on the fourth day after, 100% reported “always” doing so. No potentially confounding factors were associated with the observed change in growth rates. Conclusions The mandatory mask use policy substantially increased public use of masks and was associated with a significant decline in new COVID-19 cases after introduction of the policy. This study strongly supports the use of masks for controlling epidemics in the broader community.

Yao Tian ◽  
Matt Hall ◽  
Martha-Conley E Ingram ◽  
Andrew Hu ◽  
Mehul V Raval

BACKGROUND: Observation status could improve efficiency of healthcare resource use but also might shift financial burdens to patients and hospitals. Although the use of observation stays has increased for adult patient populations, the trends are unknown among hospitalized children. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to describe recent trends in observation stays for pediatric populations at children’s hospitals. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Both observation and inpatient stays for all conditions were retrospectively studied using the Pediatric Health Information System database (2010 to 2019). EXPOSURE, MAIN OUTCOMES, AND MEASURES: Patient type was classified as inpatient or observation status. Main outcomes included annual percentage of observation stays, annual percentage of observation stays having prolonged length of stay (>2 days), and growth rates of observation stays for the 20 most common conditions. Risk adjusted hospital-level use of observation stays was estimated using generalized linear mixed-effects models. RESULTS: The percentage of observation stays increased from 23.6% in 2010 to 34.3% in 2019 (P < .001), and the percentage of observation stays with prolonged length of stay rose from 1.1% to 4.6% (P < .001). Observation status was expanded among a diverse group of clinical conditions; diabetes mellitus and surgical procedures showed the highest growth rates. Adjusted hospital-level use ranged from 0% to 67% in 2019, indicating considerable variation among hospitals. CONCLUSION: Based on the increase in observation stays, future studies should explore the appropriateness of observation care related to efficient use of healthcare resources and financial implications for hospitals and patients.

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