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A Study of Morality In Nature
Can we discover morality in nature? Flowers and Honeybees extends the considerable scientific knowledge of flowers and honeybees through a philosophical discussion of the origins of morality in nature. Flowering plants and honeybees form a social group where each requires the other. They do not intentionally harm each other, both reason, and they do not compete for commonly required resources. They also could not be more different. Flowering plants are rooted in the ground and have no brains. Mobile honeybees can communicate the location of flower resources to other workers. We can learn from a million-year-old social relationship how morality can be constructed and maintained over time.
Paintings, Drawings and Prints up to the Nineteenth Century
This richly illustrated book provides an overview of all known Dutch and Flemish artists up to the nineteenth century who painted or drew flower pieces, or else made prints of them. Unlike many mainstream art historical studies, the book takes a truly comprehensive approach, including cases where only a single example is known or even if nothing of the artist’s other work appears to have survived. Containing highly instructive lists identifying the names of flowers, as well as insects and other animals, the book also discusses the earliest depictions of flower still life and the distinctive characteristics behind the development of floral arrangements in different periods, including the variation of the flowers, the variety of techniques used by artists, as well as an exploration of the symbolism behind the numerous plant and animal species this form of art portrays.

Composed in Dutch, the text was translated into English by Judith Deitch and edited by Philip Kelleway.

Publication of this book was made possible thanks to generous support of:

• Dr. med. Bettina Leysen

• Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

With additional support of the M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting

Forest trees possess high genetic diversity and high heterozygosity which allow adaptation to changing environmental conditions. There is a tendency to propagate successful and unique genotypes, which are identified at their mature stage in the forests, for future improvement programs and conservation purposes. However, vegetative propagation of mature forest trees is still a challenge in many conifers. In this study, we focused on improving the rooting of cuttings of mature and old Pinus halepensis and its hybrids. We observed that storage of cuttings before rooting at 4°C for 4 weeks and prolong immersion of cuttings in a solution containing 400 mg/l of indole-3-butyric acid, 5 mg/l of the auxin conjugate 2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)propanoic acid-glycine methyl ester, and 0.01% of Amistar fungicide significantly improved rooting of mature cuttings. The active ingredient in Amistar is azoxystrobin, an uncoupler of respiration, which seems to directly promote rooting. Rooted cuttings of selected clones demonstrated unique and uniform growth performance, most likely delivering the intrinsic growth parameters of the mother trees. It was also observed that trees growing under drought stress possess improved rooting ability. By using rooted cuttings, it will be possible to study the relationship between growth rate and adaptation to semi-arid climate conditions. The ability to clonal propagate mature and old P. halepensis trees not only enables vegetative propagation of elite trees for improvement programs, but also provides an opportunity to preserve unique naturally occurring old P. halepensis genotypes.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Maturation-related decline of adventitious root formation is one of the major factors affecting adventitious rooting in forest tree species. We demonstrate that inhibition of polar auxin transport promoted cambium and xylem differentiation in rooting-competent hypocotyl cuttings from Pinus radiata under conditions of adventitious root formation. Treatments with bioactive gibberellins inhibited rooting while at the same time inducing both the differentiation of a continuous ring of cambium and xylem formation. Treatments with inhibitors of gibberellin biosynthesis did not affect the rooting response. The results demonstrate that xylem parenchyma and procambial cells at the xylem poles of rooting-competent hypocotyl cuttings after excision and under conditions of adventitious root induction become adventitious root meristems or xylem, depending on the directional auxin flow. Gibberellin may interact with this pathway, inducing xylem differentiation and inhibiting rooting. We conclude that modifications of auxin flow at the rooting sites, and the priming of cambial cells to differentiate into xylem during tree ageing, may be associated with the maturation-related decline of adventitious root formation.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Abstract

Recent studies on the seasonal dynamics of secondary tissue formation in Mediterranean trees have shown that xylogenesis depends on species and site conditions, but many questions still remain open. On the other side of the cambium, even less information is available about phloem structure and timing of its formation. We analysed intra-annual phloem variation in width and cell traits in the conducting, non-collapsed phloem (CPH) of Pinus pinea and Pinus halepensis at Mediterranean sites in southern Italy and Spain. In all investigated trees, it was possible to differentiate among the non-conducting, collapsed phloem (NCPH), and the CPH. CPH showed no evident annual growth layers; no differences in radial dimensions of early- and late phloem sieve cells, and no cyclic patterns of axial parenchyma distribution. Since it was not possible to study the seasonality of the phloem growth, we analysed the entire CPH. CPH width showed seasonal fluctuations and was generally the widest during the maximum cambial activity and narrowest during summer and winter. The radial size of newly formed sieve cells varied in relation to seasonal dynamics of cambial activity and fluctuations in local weather conditions. The number of axial parenchyma cells in CPH increased during the summer. The observed intra-annual variations in CPH width and structure seemed to be correlated with seasonal weather conditions in order to ensure a sufficient amount of conducting phloem tissue for translocation of photosynthates and signalling molecules to the actively growing tissues along the stem of a tree growing in the harsh Mediterranean conditions.

In: IAWA Journal
(Diptera: Syrphidae)
The Atlas of the Hoverflies of Greece is the first of a kind within the Mediterranean region. It is the result of decades of research, many travels into the fascinating habitats of Greece (a biodiversity hotspot), visits to world museums, and many people’s passion for hoverflies.
The Atlas is a concise presentation of all 418 hoverfly species for Greece known so far. The species are documented with photos and distribution GIS-maps and they are preceded by a general introduction on the hoverflies and Greek nature, and a generic key.
The Atlas of the Hoverflies of Greece is a handbook for insect aficionados, students and teachers, everyone interested in nature, and managers and conservationists aiming at raising public awareness of a nature nowadays threatened more than ever.

Abstract

The present study investigated how auxin concentration and the method of application affected the formation of adventitious roots in microshoots of chestnut (Castanea sativa) and oak (Quercus robur). The activity of two urea derivatives (2, 3-MDPU and 3, 4-MDPU) was also evaluated. Microshoots were derived from basal sprouts of two mature chestnut trees (P1 and P2) and one adult oak genotype (Sainza). In chestnut, rooting percentage was positively affected by auxin in a dose-dependent manner, particularly in shoots treated with the hormone for 24 h. The effect of auxin on rooting also differed depending on the application method. In shoots treated for 24 h, the highest concentration of auxin produced the healthiest rooted plantlets, in terms of the root system and shoot quality. By contrast, in shoots treated by the basal quick-dip method, the shoot quality was best at the lowest auxin concentration. The effect of urea derivatives on the root system depended on the species as well as on the auxin concentration and application period. Use of the MDPUs improved the root system architecture of auxin-treated shoots by promoting lateral root development and triggering the synchronous initiation of root primordia at the base of the shoot. Shoot quality was also improved by MDPUs, which promoted resumption of growth and reduced shoot-tip necrosis.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Abstract

Adventitious rooting of cuttings is a complex developmental process in forest species, with several exogenous and endogenous factors influencing the outcome of the process. In this study we applied an in vitro working system, comprising two lines of microshoots with the same genotype but at a different ontogenetic stages, in two different tree species (chestnut and oak). We analyzed the expression of a gene encoding an AP2/ERF transcription factor from group VII in the initial hours of the adventitious rooting induction, both in rooting competent and incompetent microshoots. The analysis revealed that expression of this gene is related to wounding, ontogenetic stage and auxin in a complex and species-specific manner. Putative induction of the gene by auxin was also analyzed in the presence of naphthyl-phthalamic acid (NPA), an auxin transport inhibitor. In situ expression analysis in chestnut relates the gene activity to cambial divisions and root primordia in rooting competent microshoots, as well as in the root apex. The putative role of the gene during adventitious roots formation is discussed.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

Abstract

Lateral organs are formed in plants by post embryonic developmental programs. Leaves, and flowers differentiate from the shoot apical meristem and lateral roots from the primary root pericycle meristem. Adventitious roots are roots formed from non-root lateral meristematic tissues, mostly the cambium, in many cases in response to stress signals. The ability of plants to regenerate adventitious roots is fundamental for selection and breading programs which are based on vegetative propagation of elite clones. Thus, recalcitrant plants, losing their rooting capability, may form a genuine commercial barrier in agricultural and forestry improvement programs. Some cellular mechanisms underlying adventitious root formation have been revealed, but much is yet to be clarified. The plant primary cell wall is a dynamic organ that can change its form, and perceive and relay molecular signals inward and outward during certain stages of development in particular cells. Therefore, before the secondary cell wall is deposited and plants become the wood from which walls and furniture are built, and the fibers from which cloths are woven, primary cell walls actively participate in plant cell differentiation and developmental programs. While auxin is a major regulator, cell walls are important in regulating coherent formative cell division and synchronized polar elongation of cell lineages that are necessary for lateral organ induction and formation, and collaborative cell functioning. Nevertheless, little is known of how cell wall changes are molecularly sensed and translated to intracellular signals during differentiation of adventitious roots. Here we summarize recent data linking, directly or indirectly, cell wall events to auxin signaling and to lateral or adventitious root induction and formation.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences
In 1964-1965 Herbert Buhr published his ‘Bestimmungstabellen der Gallen (Zoo- und Phytocecidien) an Pflanzen Mittel- und Nordeuropas’. These keys were developed in the great tradition of cecidology in Europe. During the second half of the twentieth century a new generation of cecidologists expanded significantly our knowledge of plant galls and their distribution, about doubling the knowledge known before.

We concentrated on Buhr’s keys, but implemented additions, especially for Southern Europe, from Houard (1908-1913): Les zoocécidies des plantes d’Europe et du bassin de la Méditerranée. The nomenclature of as well gall inducers as host plants has been updated, and information about specific groups of gall inducers has been reviewed and new insights have been given by a team of specialists. To the proxy 9,000 galls and malformations described by Buhr and Houard, we added about 1,250 new galls which have been described in the more recent literature. Moreover, we collected distribution data for total Europe and, if available, adjacent areas.

VOLUME I: Abies-Myrrhis
VOLUME II: Narcissus-Zygophyllum
VOLUME III: References, Plates, Index