The Pistacia chinensis Bunge is traditionally dioecious, and the female trees are more required to grow in practice for oil seed production. The discovery of monoecious P. chinensis Bunge in North China provided good raw materials to study the sex differentiation process. The objective of this study was to identify the differently expressed proteins in flower buds in two key sex differentiation phases in monoecious P. chinensis Bunge. Morphological observation and paraffin section were used to determine the key phenophases, and label-free quantitative technique was used for proteomic analysis. The results showed that the proteins related to oxidative stress resistance up-regulated while proteins involved in photosynthesis down-regulated during the female primordium differentiation in bisexual flower buds of the monoecious P. chinensis Bunge in early March, while proteins related to oxidative stress resistance, ribosome activity, and photosynthetic function up-regulated during the male primordium differentiation in bisexual flower buds of the monoecious P. chinensis Bunge in late May. The most up-regulated proteins all involved in the photosynthesis pathway in both kind of flower buds in late May compared to those in early March, and the down-regulated proteins all involved in the ribosome pathway. The identified differentially expressed proteins such as the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutases may be possible molecular markers for sex determination in monoecious P. chinensis Bunge.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

To understand the value of data transfer, this paper uses consumers’ contact information in mobile application that resides in their mobile devices as a proxy to evaluate the value of user data to application developer and platform owner. Based on a data set of 567,730 Android mobile applications, our research results show that using user contacts can increase application popularity, enable developer to become more influential, and have a positive effect on developers’ productivity when developing future applications. In addition to examining the use and access of a consumers extending contact information on their device, we broaden our research to examine the context and appropriateness of using this information in the context of privacy, and to a less extent education. We conclude our research with a summary of guidance to developers, consumerss, and platform owners in order to maintain a healthy application ecosystem.

In: Frontiers of Business Research in China

Mifepristone and quinestrol are effective drugs for controlling rodent fertility, but their inhibitory effectiveness during premating, early pregnancy, and late pregnancy is unknown. In this study, six groups of eight female Brandt’s voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) were administered with mifepristone, quinestrol, or a control for three days during premating, early pregnancy, or late pregnancy. In the mifepristone-treated groups, the premating females bred, whereas the early and late pregnant females did not. The reproductive rate, litter size, average body mass at birth, and survival rate of pups did not significantly differ between the mifepristone-treated premating group and the control group. By contrast, quinestrol treatment completely inhibited fertility during the three reproductive phases. In addition, fertility was not completely restored in the second pairing. The reproductive rates were higher for mifepristone, both during early and late pregnancy, than for quinestrol, but both were lower than the control. Thus, mifepristone and quinestrol both inhibited the fertility of female Brandt’s voles at different reproductive periods. These results suggest that these two sterilants could be delivered during the reproductive season of the target pest animal.

In: Animal Biology

Heat stress dramatically decreases bull sperm quality and has recently received more attention due to the warmer global climate and more intensive production. However, no data exist regarding sperm quality or the related molecular mechanisms under heat stress. Recent studies showed that inducible heat shock proteins (HSPs) play an important role in the dairy heat stress regulation. In this article, to investigate the impacts of heat stress on sperm quality and the associated molecular mechanisms, sperm quality and enzyme activities concerning acrosome reaction were assessed in Simmental, Limousin and Yanbian bulls under heat stress. Subsequently, changes in heat shock protein expression profiles of Simmental bulls were observed, because we observed that sperm quality of these bulls was most sensitive to heat stress. Finally, the relationship between sperm quality and heat shock protein expression under heat stress was analyzed. The results show that summer heat stress decreased the sperm quality of the three bull breeds significantly. Moreover, different levels of heat stimulation induced various enzyme activity changes, among which the activity change in acrosomal enzyme was the most remarkable. Furthermore, the expression of heat shock proteins in the sperm was influenced by the imposed heat stress, among which the expression levels of HSP60 and HSP70 were increased while HSP90 decreased. In summary, our data show that heat stress seriously affects sperm quality and that HSP90 was most sensitive, although it should be noted that seasonal effects may confound these results. This change in heat shock protein expression may be the major factor that affected the sperm quality of the bulls. The findings may provide a new hypothesis for how heat stress impacts reproduction mechanistically.

In: Animal Biology

The photosynthetic characters and water use efficiency of the desert plants Haloxylon ammodendron and Calligonum mongolicum, which grow in conditions of extreme stress, were studied. The mechanisms of their acclimation to harsh desert conditions and their potential capacity for sand stabilizing are revealed. The stable carbon isotope ratios (d 13C or 13C/12C) of leaves or assimilating shoots of desert plants growing at the southern edge of the Badain Jaran Desert were analyzed by mass spectrometry and compared. The diurnal course of net photosynthesis rate (Pn), Pn/light and Pn/CO2 curves, and water use efficiency (WUE, Pn/E) were measured by using the LI-6400 Portable Photosynthesis System. The results showed that: (1) Assimilating shoots of H. ammodendron and C. mongolicum have Kranz anatomy; (2) The d 13C values of H. ammodendron and C. mongolicum were -14.3‰ and -14.8‰, respectively, whereas the corresponding values of Caragana korshinskii, Nitraria sphaerocarpa, Hedysarum scoparium, and Reaumuria soongorica were -25.8‰, -25.8‰, -26.4‰, and -28.1‰, respectively; (3) The CO2 compensation points (CCP) of H. ammodemdron and C. mongolicum were 1.6 and 4.3 mmol mol-1, respectively, and those of C. korshinskii and H. scoparium were 90.7 and86.3 mmol mol-1, respectively; (4) The light saturation points (LSP) of H. ammodemdron and C. mongolicum were 1660.0 and 1755.6 mmol m-2 s-1,respectively, and those of C. korshinskii and H. scoparium were 1266.7 and 1394.4 mmol m-2 s-1, respectively. It was concluded that H. ammodendron and C. mongolicum belong to C4 plants, while C. korshinskii, N. sphaerocarpa, H. scoparium, and R. soongorica are C3 plants. The annual WUE of the five desert plants was ranked in the following order: H. ammodendron > C. mongolicum > C. korshinskii > H. scopariumN. sphaerocarpa > R. soongorica. For estimation of the long-term WUE of desert plants by d 13C values of leaves or assimilating shoots, the best period of time for sampling in temperate desert regions is between late August and late September.

In: Israel Journal of Plant Sciences