Biological Sciences collegiate section.
* Bell, I., A. Townsend and M. Scott. Department of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Lincoln University. A Comparison Of Time-Lapse Video Recordings And Passive Infrared Still Cameras For Surveying Small Mammalian Predators. A comparison of time-lapse video recordings and passive infrared still cameras for surveying small predators at baited stations was made in conjunction with a study on the abundance and behavior of small predators in an urban environment. The time-lapse video system (Security Labs SL811) continuously recorded images using natural sunlight and/or infrared illumination at a speed equivalent to 8 frames per second. The passive infrared still camera (Highlander Sports Photo Spy) was initiated using a passive infrared trigger. The primary advantages of the battery powered still camera were portability and weather resistance. The primary advantages of the time-lapse video were continuous recording and the ability to monitor animal behaviors. The disadvantages of the battery powered still camera were the time lag between the triggering event and the image capture and the lack of behavioral data. The disadvantages of the video recording system were the reliance on 110 V AC power and weather resistant storage. Overall, in an urban environment, time-lapse video recording offers more advantages than disadvantages. In a less urban environment, the portability of a battery powered recording system is a great advantage but limits the type of data that may be collected.
* Callaghan, T. N., Biology Department, Park University; Slitt, A., University of Kansas Medical Center; Maher, J., University of Kansas Medical Center; Gonzalez, F., National Institute of Health; Klaassen, C. D., University of Kansas Medical Center. Changes In Gene Expression After The Loss Of Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1 Alpha. We studied hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 alpha (HNF-1[alpha]), a transcription factor enriched mainly in the liver, but it is also found in the kidneys, stomach, intestine, and pancreas. Mice deficient in HNF-1[alpha] were produced, livers were collected, and total RNA was extracted. Using bDNA assays, we observed changes in gene expression in the family members of phase 1 enzymes, Oatps, Mrps, sterol transporters, bile salt transporters, and nuclear hormone receptors. Results confirm that HNF-1[alpha] plays a critical role in altering gene expression for metabolic and transport activity in the liver, demonstrating that HNF-1[alpha] can stimulate or suppress gene expression when present. Phenotypic and physiological changes, based on the presence of HNF-1[alpha], vary within each of the families studied.
* Farmer, D., * Taylor, H. and K. L. Schaffer. Department of Biological Sciences, Northwest Missouri State University. Response of robinia pseudoacacia to cambial treatments of two herbicides. Robinia pseudoacacia 1. is highly invasive and effectively outcompetes native prairie species. During the past decade, Robinia has become established in a prairie conservation area on our campus and, in an attempt to eradicate this population, we subdivided a densely populated 82 x 34 meter area into smaller plots and cut the trees 10-20 cm above the soil surface. We then applied the following treatments to the stumps: Plot 1-Garlon 3A before bud break, Plot 2-control/water before bud break, Plot 3-Garlon 3A after bud break, Plot 4-control/water after bud break, Plot 5-Tordon after bud break. Plots were observed periodically during summer and fall of 2002. Plot 1, which had fewer stump resprouts and more individual saplings, was subdivided, recut, and treated with Garlon 3A. Subsequent investigations revealed that 99% of these Robinia saplings consisted of root sprouts. Therefore, initial cambial herbicide application of Garlon 3A before bud break was not successful in eradicating the Robinia population because it did not penetrate the length of the root and inhibit further resprouting. Supported by Applied Research Grant 122218.
* Hays, J.M. and L.M. Bowe. Department of Biology, Southwest Missouri State University. Missouri's Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis): Preliminary Genetic Analysis Of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphisms (Aflps). This study aims to find genetic markers that can be used to establish relationships among closely related Missouri Oxalis species and determine if clearer morphological characteristics can be used to distinguish species. In Steyermark's Flora of Missouri, three species of yellow-flowered Oxalis' are described, but only two are common: O. stricta L., which has been called O. europaea Jord., and O. dillenii Jacq., which had been called O. stricta by some, indicating debate about the nomenclature of these highly morphologically variable species. AFLPs are short fragments of DNA that are polymorphic enough to distinguish closely related species (and even individuals). In this preliminary study of populations from five counties, approximately 55 informative AFLP loci were found using three primer combinations. AFLPs from 40 individuals were coded as presence-absence data and analyzed in PAUP. Preliminary analysis identified two genetic groups that would key to O. dillenii and possibly just one that would key to O. stricta. While some overlap in morphological characteristics remains in these genetic groups, most "O. dillenii" could be identified by their deflexed pedicels. This study demonstrates the use of AFLPs for this type of research and indicates that abundant data can be acquired with fairly few primer combinations.
* Montoya, B. and J. Benne. 2004. West Nile Virus and Its Arthropod Host. West Nile Virus (WNV) is currently one of the most widespread mosquito based viruses in the world. WNV occurs in a complex life cycle involving a non-human primary vertebrate host (usually bird) and a primary mosquito vector. WNV is amplified during periods of adult mosquito blood-feeding by continuous transmission between mosquito vectors and bird hosts. Infectious mosquitoes carry virus particles in their salivary glands and infect susceptible bird species during blood meal feeding. The principal route of human infection with WNV is through the bite of an infected mosquito. For this reason U.S. mosquito populations are under constant surveillance for the presence of virus in adult mosquitoes. Although the relationships described here indicate the most common interactions between virus, vector and host, they are not the only possible reservoirs or modes of transmission. Just as horses may serve as an alternative vertebrate target, it is possible that blood-feeding arthropods other than mosquitoes may serve as vectors. This study examines the use of reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to determine the presence of WNV and then utilizes this technology to examine alternate vector possibilities including black flies, horse flies and ticks.
* Nedich, B.L., and S.S. Daggett. Department of Biology, Avila University. Extraction Of Isoenzymes From Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a unicellular alga commonly found in freshwater and soil systems. The alga has a haplobiontic life cycle and has long used as a genetic model organism. Very little is known about the population genetics of Chlamydomonas species because its small size, simple cell structure, and life cycle idiosyncrasies has restricted the number of discrete phenotypes that can be studied. Isoenzymes would seem to be ideal phenotypic markers for such studies. However, very few studies have been carried out using isoenzyme analysis with Chlamydomonas species. This project involved the development of a method to extract and assay isoenzymes from laboratory cultures of C. reinhardtii. Lysates collected from 100 Bold's agar cultures of [mt.sup.+] cells yielded 4 mg/ml of total protein. Starch gel electrophoresis was used to run samples of extracted protein and stained for the isoenzyme malate dehdrogenase (MDH). Results suggest a heterozygotic banding pattern that fits with expectations based on previous work. Additional isoenzyme markers are currently being sought, including leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), which has been resolved with the same buffers as MDH.
* Parker, E. E. and H.W. Keller. Department of Biology, Central Missouri State University. Correlation of pH with assemblages of corticolous myxomycetes in big oak tree state park, missouri. Big oak tree state park, located in the "Bootheel" region of Missouri, is a unique park within the Missouri Division of State Parks. The 1029 acres represent all that remains of an ancient virgin bottomland hardwood deciduous forest now recognized as a National Natural Landmark. The canopy of towering champion-sized trees provides the perfect environment for cryptogams such as mosses, liverworts, ferns, fungi, and especially the myxomycetes. Twenty trees were climbed over a two-week period in July of 2002. Bark samples from eight trees, representing five tree species, were cultured using the moist-chamber culture technique. Hydrogen ion concentration (pH) values were measured for the five tree species, and later compared to the recorded myxomycete species assemblages. Myxomycete species were associated with narrow or broad pH ranges. Some species were found exclusively on tree species with a near neutral pH of 7.0, while others preferred the trees with an acidic pH as low as 4.6, still others were found on all five tree species, showing a wide pH tolerance. One new species was found on a bald cypress tree with an acidic pH. This is the first tree canopy study in the state of Missouri and the Midwestern United States. A total of 40 myxomycete species were recorded for Big Oak Tree State Park, which were new records for the park and the state of Missouri. Funded in part by the United States Department of Education, Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks.
* Roberts, M.W., J. J. Millspaugh, and D. C. Dey. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri (MWR, JJM). US Forest Service (DCD). Movement Dynamics Of Eastern Cottontail In The Missouri River Floodplain. Our study was initiated to help understand movement dynamics of eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus) to mitigate herbivory damage to oak tree seedlings planted in the Lower Missouri River floodplains. At Plowboy Bend Conservation Area we collected radio telemetry locations from 23 rabbits (10 males and 13 females) during winter and spring for two years. We analyzed 50% and 95% adaptive kernel (AK) and minimum convex polygon (MCP) home ranges using 'CALHOME'. Home range size (95% contour) averaged 5.9 ha (Range = 0.84 to 45.3ha, SD = 7.49). Rabbit core areas (50% contour) averaged 0.57 ha (Range = 0.8 to 1.8 ha, SD =0.57). Males core areas (50% contour) averaged 0.83 ha (Range = 0.08 to 1.8 ha, SD = 0.74); home range (95% contour) averaged 9.1 ha (Range = 1.8 to 45.3 ha, SD = 9.72). Females core area averaged 0.33 ha (Range = 0.09 to 0.79 ha, SD = 0.17); female home range averaged 2.97 ha (Range = 0.84 to 8.94 ha, SD = 2.28). The largest distance traveled between successive locations was 600m, by a male. Also, we observed that rabbits moved almost exclusively at night, being near or in the same form daily. Managers will use these movement dynamics data to mitigate herbivory damage.
* Smith, K.M., and T.R. Bragg. Agricultural Science, Truman State University. Allometric scaling in three sizes of equids (equus eaballus). As an extension of an ongoing study, this research project concerns relative growth patterns of body parts in equids (Equus caballus) of three body types. In a previous study, eight body dimensions, including body mass, were determined for 32 Quarter Horse and Paint mares (light body type) and 29 Percheron mares (heavy body type). With the current study, 11 miniature horses of mixed gender were integrated into the dataset to test if the smaller body type would follow previously determined allometric and isometric patterns observed with the two larger body types. Male miniature horses were included in the data set as they fit well with data for the females, with no outliers. Compared to previous trials, [R.sup.2] values improved greatly with the addition of the miniature horse data, indicating that previously noted allometric and isometric growth patterns are consistent across a variety of body sizes within this species. Results indicate the most closely correlated dimensions are withers height and leg length with an [R.sup.2] of 0.9774. A preliminary formula for computing body mass was also developed, utilizing body dimensions of withers height, leg length, and body length ([R.sup.2]=0.9668). Future studies will incorporate Arabian horse mares, and males (geldings and/or stallions) of the light and heavy body types.
* Swearingin, R. M, J. J. Millspaugh, and D. C. Dey. Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri (RMS, JJM). USDA Forest Service (DCD). Resource Selection Habits Of Eastern Cottontail Rabbits In Missouri Bottomlands. Recent management at Plowboy Bend Conservation Area has created bottomland forest by reestablishing mast producing trees that were lost to flooding in 1993. The trees were planted in two 40-acre fields of different cover types, natural vegetation vs. redtop grass. Other grasses and crops exist around these fields. Since their planting, the 3,700 mixed oak trees have received considerable browsing damage from eastern cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus floridanus). We collected locations from 23 rabbits (10 males and 13 females) five days a week using radio telemetry during winter and spring 2003 and 2004. Using these data, we assessed micro-site resource selection. We found that rabbits selected for resources offering concealment during daylight hours such as Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense) and eastern cottonwoods (Populus deltoides). At night they selected open areas in corn (Zea mays) and wheat stubble (Triticum aestivum), as well in willows (Salix alba) and smartweed (Polygonum spp.). Rabbits avoided redtop grass (Agrostis alba), soybean stubble (Glycine max), and sunflower fields (Helianthus annuus), possibly due to the lack of protective cover and food availability. Although different trends in habitat selection existed among day and night, selection between seasons was very similar. The findings from this research will offer ways to manipulate the structure and composition of the habitat to reduce the herbivory impact on the planted trees, and focus it on alternate habitat types.
* Townsend, A., I. Bell and M. Scott. Department of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, Lincoln University. The Abundance And Behavior Of Small Mammalian Predators In An Urban Environment. The primary objectives of this project were to survey the small mammalian predators attracted to baited stations in an urban environment and to monitor their behavioral responses to an experimental exclusion device. Stations at several locations in or near Jefferson City, MO were baited with sardines. Animal visits to the baited stations were simultaneously recorded using time-lapse video recordings and passive infrared still cameras. A total of four mammalian predator species were recorded visiting the stations (domestic cats, domestic dogs, opossums and raccoons). The frequency and duration of visits of were also recorded and used in before and after comparisons to monitor the effectiveness of an experimental exclusion device (a two strand electric fence). The number of visits by domestic pets was relatively small at most locations. The response of raccoons to the placement of the exclusion device was to avoid the electric fence following the initial encounter. Opossums were more likely to return to the bait stations for short duration visits and often defeated the exclusion device.
Larry A. Reichard
Maplewood Community College
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|Title Annotation:||Collegiate & Senior Divisions|
|Author:||Reichard, Larry A.|
|Publication:||Transactions of the Missouri Academy of Science|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|
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