Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Collected Works - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 274
Systematic review of the effectiveness of selected drugs for preventive chemotherapy for Taenia solium taeniasis
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2020-01-01)
BACKGROUND: Preventive chemotherapy is a useful tool for the control of Taenia solium taeniasis and cysticercosis. The aim of this systematic review is to assess the scientific evidence concerning the effectiveness and safety of different drugs in preventive chemotherapy for T. solium taeniasis in endemic populations. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted of controlled and uncontrolled studies, assessing the efficacy and adverse effects (among other outcomes) of albendazole, niclosamide and/or praziquantel for preventive chemotherapy of T. solium taeniasis. A comprehensive search was conducted for published and unpublished studies. Two reviewers screened articles, completed the data extraction and assessment of risk of bias. A meta-analysis of cure rate and relative reduction in prevalence was performed. The protocol for this review was registered on the International prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO), number CRD42018112533. RESULTS: We identified 3555 records, of which we included 20 primary studies reported across 33 articles. Meta-analyses of drug and dose showed that a single dose of praziquantel 10mg/kg, albendazole 400mg per day for three consecutive days, or niclosamide 2g, resulted in better cure rates for T. solium taeniasis (99.5%, 96.4% and 84.3%, respectively) than praziquantel 5mg/kg or single dose albendazole 400mg (89.0% and 52.0%, respectively). These findings have a low certainty of evidence due to high risk of bias in individual studies and heterogeneity in combined estimates. In relation to side-effects, most studies reported either no or only mild and transient side-effects within the first three days following drug administration for all drugs and doses. CONCLUSION: Evidence indicated that praziquantel 10mg/kg, niclosamide 2g, and triple dose albendazole 400mg were effective as taenicides and could be considered for use in mass drug administration programs for the control of T. solium taeniasis. Evidence was not found that any of these drugs caused severe side effects at the indicated doses, although the extent of the available evidence was limited.
Faecalibacterium diversity in dairy cow milk.
(Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2019-08-16)
The bacterial species, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, beneficial to humans and animals and found in mammalian and avian gut, is also occasionally found in dairy cow milk. It is one of the butyrate-producing bacteria of the colon, has anti-inflammatory properties and its abundance in the gut is negatively correlated with obesity in humans. Several strains differing in their functional capability, have been identified. It is important therefore, milk being a potential source of F. prausnitzii as a novel probiotic, to investigate the diversity of this species in bovine milk. Using 16s rRNA gene amplicons we find 292 different dereplicated Faecalibacterium-related amplicons in a herd of 21 dairy cows. The distribution of the 20 most abundant amplicons with >97% identity to a Greengenes OTU varies from cow to cow. Clustering of the 292 pooled sequences from all cows at 99.6% identity finds 4 likely Faecalibacterium phylotypes with >98.5% identity to an F. prausnitzii reference sequence. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analysis shows these phylotypes are distinct from 34 other species from the Ruminococcaceae family and displaying the sequence clusters as a network illustrates how each cluster is composed of sequences from multiple cows. We conclude there are several phylotypes of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii (the only species so far defined for the genus) in this dairy herd with cows being inoculated with a mixture of several strains from a common source. We conclude that not only can Faecalibacterium be detected in dairy cow milk (as noted by others) but that there exist multiple different strains in the milk of a dairy herd. Therefore milk, as an alternative to faeces, offers the opportunity of discovering new strains with potential probiotic application.
Perceptions of Responsible Cat Ownership Behaviors among a Convenience Sample of Australians
Responsible cat ownership is important for keeping pet cats and wildlife safe. Much research investigating levels of compliance with and attitudes towards responsible cat ownership practices has focused on cat owners. Non-owner attitudes are relevant because their opinions may encourage cat-owning friends and family to engage (or not) in a cat management practice. The aim of this study was to determine levels of compliance with responsible cat ownership practices among cat owners, as well as attitudes towards those behaviors by owners and non-owners alike. An online survey was completed by 6808 people living in Australia who were recruited via companion animal or wildlife interest groups on social media. Frequency data were used to measure owner compliance with responsible cat ownership behaviors and t-tests were used to determine whether owners and non-owners differed in their attitudes towards these behaviors. Owner compliance with responsible practices ranged from 46.5% (complete cat containment all day and night) to 76.9% (cat is de-sexed). Owner attitudes towards these practices were generally more positive than the reported levels of management practices implemented for their own cat. For example, 47.3% of owners agreed or strongly agreed that cats should always be contained and 88.6% agreed that cats should be contained at night. Non-owners were more likely than owners to agree that cats should be contained during the day, but there was no difference for containment at night. Owners were more likely to report that cats should be de-sexed. These results can be used to inform campaigns aimed at increasing compliance with responsible cat ownership behaviors.
Alterations of serum macro-minerals and trace elements are associated with major depressive disorder: a case-control study
BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mixed disorder with the highly irregular course, inconsistent response to treatment and has no well-known mechanism for the pathophysiology. Major causes of depression are genetic, neurobiological, and environmental. However, over the past few years, altered serum levels of macro-minerals (MM) and trace elements (TE) have been recognized as major causative factors to the pathogenesis of many mental disorders. The purpose of this study was to determine the serum levels of MM (calcium and magnesium) and TE (copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc) in MDD patients and find out their associations with depression risk. METHODS: This prospective case-control study recruited 247 patients and 248 healthy volunteers matched by age and sex. The serum levels of MM and TE were analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS). Statistical analysis was performed with independent sample t-tests and Pearson's correlation test. RESULTS: We found significantly decreased concentrations of calcium and magnesium, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc in MDD patients compared with control subjects (p < 0.05). But the concentration of copper was significantly increased in the patients than control subjects (p < 0.05). Data obtained from different inter-element relations in MDD patients and control subjects strongly suggest that there is a disturbance in the element homeostasis. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that altered serum concentrations of MM and TE are major contributing factors for the pathogenesis of MDD. Alterations of these elements in serum levels of MDD patients arise independently and they may provide a prognostic tool for the assessment of depression risk.
Regulated expression of a cytokinin biosynthesis gene IPT delays leaf senescence and improves yield under rainfed and irrigated conditions in canola (Brassica napus L.).
(Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2015)
Delay of leaf senescence through genetic modification can potentially improve crop yield, through maintenance of photosynthetically active leaves for a longer period. Plant growth hormones such as cytokinin regulate and delay leaf senescence. Here, the structural gene (IPT) encoding the cytokinin biosynthetic enzyme isopentenyltransferase was fused to a functionally active fragment of the AtMYB32 promoter and was transformed into canola plants. Expression of the AtMYB32xs::IPT gene cassette delayed the leaf senescence in transgenic plants grown under controlled environment conditions and field experiments conducted for a single season at two geographic locations. The transgenic canola plants retained higher chlorophyll levels for an extended period and produced significantly higher seed yield with similar growth and phenology compared to wild type and null control plants under rainfed and irrigated treatments. The yield increase in transgenic plants was in the range of 16% to 23% and 7% to 16% under rainfed and irrigated conditions, respectively, compared to control plants. Most of the seed quality parameters in transgenic plants were similar, and with elevated oleic acid content in all transgenic lines and higher oil content and lower glucosinolate content in one specific transgenic line as compared to control plants. The results suggest that by delaying leaf senescence using the AtMYB32xs::IPT technology, productivity in crop plants can be improved under water stress and well-watered conditions.
Improved Wheat Growth and Yield by Delayed Leaf Senescence Using Developmentally Regulated Expression of a Cytokinin Biosynthesis Gene
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2019-10-18)
Delaying leaf senescence in plants, especially under water stress conditions, can help to maintain the remobilization of stored nutrients in source-sink relationships, thus leading to improved crop yields. Leaf senescence can be delayed by plant hormones such as cytokinin. Here, the Isopentenyl transferase (IPT) gene, encoding a cytokinin biosynthesis enzyme, driven by a modified AtMYB32xs promoter was transformed into wheat. Transgenic wheat plants exhibited delayed leaf senescence, retaining chlorophyll for longer under controlled environment conditions. Selected independent transgenic events and their corresponding nulls were grown under field conditions for two consecutive years under well-watered and water stress treatments using automated rainout shelters. Three independent transgenic events had improved canopy green cover, lower canopy temperatures, and higher leaf water potential than their respective non-transgenic nulls, with no abnormality in morphology and phenology. Increased grain yield was observed in transgenic events under both water treatments, with the yield increase more pronounced under water stress (26-42%). These results have shown that delayed leaf senescence using the chimeric transgene AtMYB32xs-p::IPT can be a useful strategy to achieve grain yield gains in wheat and potentially other crops for sustainable food production.
Characterization of Stripe Rust Resistance Genes in the Wheat Cultivar Chuanmai45
The objective of this research was to characterize the high level of resistance to stripe that has been observed in the released wheat cultivar, Chuanmai45. A combination of classic genetic analysis, molecular and cytogenetic methods were used to characterize resistance in an F₂ population derived from Chuanmai45 and the susceptible Chuanmai42. Inheritance of resistance was shown to be conferred by two genes in Chuanmai45. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was used along with segregation studies to show that one gene was located on a 1RS.1BL translocation. Molecular markers were employed to show that the other locus was located on chromosome 4B. The defeated gene, Yr24/26, on chromosome 1BL was present in the susceptible parent and lines that recombined this gene with the 1RS.1BL translocation were identified. The germplasm, loci, and associated markers identified in this study will be useful for application in breeding programs utilizing marker-assisted selection.
Automated phenotyping for early vigour of field pea seedlings in controlled environment by colour imaging technology
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2018-11-19)
Early vigour of seedlings is a beneficial trait of field pea (Pisum sativum L.) that contributes to weed control, water use efficiency and is likely to contribute to yield under certain environments. Although breeding is considered the most effective approach to improve early vigour of field pea, the absence of a robust and high-throughput phenotyping tool to dissect this complex trait is currently a major obstacle of genetic improvement programs to address this issue. To develop this tool, separate trials on 44 genetically diverse field pea genotypes were conducted in the automated plant phenotyping platform of Plant Phenomics Victoria, Horsham and in the field, respectively. High correlation between estimated plant parameters derived from the automated phenotyping platform and important early vigour traits such as shoot biomass, leaf area and plant height indicated that the derived plant parameters can be used to predict vigour traits in field pea seedlings. Plant growth analysis demonstrated that the "broken-stick" model fitted well with the growth pattern of all field pea genotypes and can be used to determine the linear growth phase. Further analysis suggested that the estimated plant parameters collected at the linear growth phase can effectively differentiate early vigour across field pea genotypes. High correlation between normalised difference vegetation indices captured from the field trial and estimated shoot biomass and top-view area confirmed the consistent performance of early vigour field pea genotypes under controlled and field environments. Overall, our results demonstrated that this robust screening tool is highly applicable and will enable breeding programs to rapidly identify early vigour traits and utilise germplasm to contribute to the genetic improvement of field peas.
Mapping dominant annual land cover from 2009 to 2013 across Victoria, Australia using satellite imagery
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-01-01)
There is a demand for regularly updated, broad-scale, accurate land cover information in Victoria from multiple stakeholders. This paper documents the methods used to generate an annual dominant land cover (DLC) map for Victoria, Australia from 2009 to 2013. Vegetation phenology parameters derived from an annual time series of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer Vegetation Indices 16-day 250 m (MOD13Q1) product were used to generate annual DLC maps, using a three-tiered hierarchical classification scheme. Classification accuracy at the broadest (primary) class level was over 91% for all years, while it ranged from 72 to 81% at the secondary class level. The most detailed class level (tertiary) had accuracy levels ranging from 61 to 68%. The approach used was able to accommodate variable climatic conditions, which had substantial impacts on vegetation growth patterns and agricultural production across the state between both regions and years. The production of an annual dataset with complete spatial coverage for Victoria provides a reliable base data set with an accuracy that is fit-for-purpose for many applications.
A Robust Automated Image-Based Phenotyping Method for Rapid Vegetative Screening of Wheat Germplasm for Nitrogen Use Efficiency
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2019-11-05)
Nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) in crops is generally low, with more than 60% of applied nitrogen (N) being lost to the environment, which increases production costs and affects ecosystems and human habitats. To overcome these issues, the breeding of crop varieties with improved NUE is needed, requiring efficient phenotyping methods along with molecular and genetic approaches. To develop an effective phenotypic screening method, experiments on wheat varieties under various N levels were conducted in the automated phenotyping platform at Plant Phenomics Victoria, Horsham. The results from the initial experiment showed that two relative N levels-5 mM and 20 mM, designated as low and optimum N, respectively-were ideal to screen a diverse range of wheat germplasm for NUE on the automated imaging phenotyping platform. In the second experiment, estimated plant parameters such as shoot biomass and top-view area, derived from digital images, showed high correlations with phenotypic traits such as shoot biomass and leaf area seven weeks after sowing, indicating that they could be used as surrogate measures of the latter. Plant growth analysis confirmed that the estimated plant parameters from the vegetative linear growth phase determined by the "broken-stick" model could effectively differentiate the performance of wheat varieties for NUE. Based on this study, vegetative phenotypic screens should focus on selecting wheat varieties under low N conditions, which were highly correlated with biomass and grain yield at harvest. Analysis indicated a relationship between controlled and field conditions for the same varieties, suggesting that greenhouse screens could be used to prioritise a higher value germplasm for subsequent field studies. Overall, our results showed that this phenotypic screening method is highly applicable and can be applied for the identification of N-efficient wheat germplasm at the vegetative growth phase.
Identification and evaluation of resistance to powdery mildew and yellow rust in a wheat mapping population
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2017-05-23)
Deployment of cultivars with genetic resistance is an effective approach to control the diseases of powdery mildew (PM) and yellow rust (YR). Chinese wheat cultivar XK0106 exhibits high levels of resistance to both diseases, while cultivar E07901 has partial, adult plant resistance (APR). The aim of this study was to map resistance loci derived from the two cultivars and analyze their effects against PM and YR in a range of environments. A doubled haploid population (388 lines) was used to develop a framework map consisting of 117 SSR markers, while a much higher density map using the 90K Illumina iSelect SNP array was produced with a subset of 80 randomly selected lines. Seedling resistance was characterized against a range of PM and YR isolates, while field scores in multiple environments were used to characterize APR. Composite interval mapping (CIM) of seedling PM scores identified two QTLs (QPm.haas-6A and QPm.haas-2A), the former being located at the Pm21 locus. These QTLs were also significant in field scores, as were Qpm.haas-3A and QPm.haas-5A. QYr.haas-1B-1 and QYr.haas-2A were identified in field scores of YR and were located at the Yr24/26 and Yr17 chromosomal regions respectively. A second 1B QTL, QYr.haas-1B-2 was also identified. QPm.haas-2A and QYr.haas-1B-2 are likely to be new QTLs that have not been previously identified. Effects of the QTLs were further investigated in multiple environments through the testing of selected lines predicted to contain various QTL combinations. Significant additive interactions between the PM QTLs highlighted the ability to pyramid these loci to provide higher level of resistance. Interactions between the YR QTLs gave insights into the pathogen populations in the different locations as well as showing genetic interactions between these loci.
VLUIS, a land use data product for Victoria, Australia, covering 2006 to 2013
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2015-01-01)
Land Use Information is a key dataset required to enable an understanding of the changing nature of our landscapes and the associated influences on natural resources and regional communities. The Victorian Land Use Information System (VLUIS) data product has been created within the State Government of Victoria to support land use assessments. The project began in 2007 using stakeholder engagement to establish product requirements such as format, classification, frequency and spatial resolution. Its genesis is significantly different to traditional methods, incorporating data from a range of jurisdictions to develop land use information designed for regular on-going creation and consistency. Covering the entire landmass of Victoria, the dataset separately describes land tenure, land use and land cover. These variables are co-registered to a common spatial base (cadastral parcels) across the state for the period 2006 to 2013; biennially for land tenure and land use, and annually for land cover. Data is produced as a spatial GIS feature class.