• Dietary glycated protein modulates the colonic microbiota towards a more detrimental composition in ulcerative colitis patients and non-ulcerative colitis subjects

      Mills, D.J.S.; Tuohy, K.M.; Booth, J.; Buck, M.; Crabbe, M. James C.; Gibson, G.R.; Ames, J.M. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008)
      The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of native, heated and glycated bovine serum albumin (BSA) on the ulcerative colitis (UC) and non-UC colonic microbiota in vitro. Results suggest that dietary glycated protein may impact upon the composition and activity of the colonic microbiota, an important environmental variable in UC.
    • Disruption of the Coniothyrium minitans PIF1 DNA helicase gene impairs growth and capacity for sclerotial mycoparasitism

      Rogers, C.W.; Challen, M.P.; Muthumeenakshi, S.; Sreenivasaprasad, Surapareddy; Whipps, J.M. (Society for General Microbiology, 2008-06)
    • Diversity of the rice blast pathogen populations in Ghana and strategies for resistance management

      Nutsugah, S.K.; Twumasi, J.K.; Chipili, J.; Sere, Y.; Sreenivasaprasad, Surapareddy (Asian Network for Scientific Information (ANSINET), 2008)
      The present study describes the outputs of a collaborative research programme funded by the UK`s Department for International Development-Crop Protection Program to investigate the genetic (lineages) and pathogenic (pathotypes) diversity of the blast fungus populations and characterize the key sites suitable for resistance screening. Seventy-one Magnaporthe grisae isolates were collected from seven regions where rice is grown, representing blast populations in Ghana.
    • Effect of chilling on sox2, sox3 and sox19a gene expression in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos

      Desai, Kunjan; Spikings, Emma; Zhang, Tiantian; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2011-10)
      Zebrafish embryos have not been cryopreserved due to their structural limitations. Although embryo survival rates have been used as the measured outcome for most of the cryopreservation protocols studied, there are very limited data available at the molecular level. This study focused on the effect of chilling and subsequent warming on gene expression of sox2, sox3 and sox19a which play vital roles in the development of zebrafish embryos. A quantitative RT-PCR approach was used to investigate gene expression following chilling at 0°C for up to 180 min. The effect on gene expression was also studied during a 180 min warming period after chilling for 30 or 60 min. There were significant decreases in sox2 (up to 4-fold) and sox3 (up to 3-fold) expressions following chilling. Significant increases in gene expressions of sox2 (up to 2-fold), sox3 (up to 33-fold) and sox19a (up to 25-fold) were observed during warming in the embryos that had been chilled for 30 min. Similarly, significant increases were observed in sox2 (up to 3-fold) and sox3 (up to 2-fold) during warming in embryos that had been chilled for 60 min. These increases may be explained by compensation for the suppression observed during chilling and/or to activate repair mechanisms or maintain homeostasis.
    • Effect of methanol on mitochondrial organization in zebrafish (Danio rerio) ovarian follicles.

      Spikings, Emma; Zampolla, Tiziana; Rawson, David M.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, Tiantian; University of Bedfordshire; China Agricultural University (Elsevier, 2012-01-01)
      Successful cryopreservation is usually measured in terms of cell survival. However, there may also be more subtle effects within cells that survive. Previous studies on zebrafish have produced evidence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage in cryopreserved embryonic blastomeres and, after exposure to cryoprotectants, alterations in mtDNA replication in embryos and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, mtDNA and ATP production in ovarian follicles. This study shows that the decreased ATP levels previously observed in stage III zebrafish ovarian follicles exposed to ≥3 M methanol persisted in those follicles that subsequently developed to stage IV. However, the decreased mtDNA levels were restored in those follicles. In order to determine whether mitochondrial distribution and/or their transport network was affected by the methanol exposure, immunocytochemistry analysis of tubulin and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COX-I) was performed, along with phalloidin staining of polymerized actin. Neat arrangements of all proteins were observed in control follicles, with COX-I and tubulin being colocalized near granulosa cell nuclei, while actin formed hexagonal and/or polygonal structures nearer granulosa cell membranes and projected into the oocyte surface. Exposure to methanol (2 to 4 M) disrupted the COX-I and tubulin arrangements and the hexagonal and/or polygonal actin distribution and actin projections into the oocyte. These effects were still observed in those follicles that developed to stage IV, although the severity was reduced. In summary, the disruption to function and distribution of mitochondria in ovarian follicles exposed to >2 M methanol may be mediated via disruption of the mitochondrial transport system. Some recovery of this disruption may take place after methanol removal and subsequent follicle maturation.
    • Effect of slope on development of pahoehoe flow fields: evidence from Mount Etna

      Guest, John E.; Duncan, Angus M.; Stofan, Ellen R.; Anderson, Steve W. (Elsevier, 2012-03-15)
    • Environmental effects on coral growth and recruitment in the Caribbean

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 2011)
      Knowledge about factors that are important in coral reef growth help us to understand how reef ecosystems react following major anthropogenic and environmental disturbances. In addition, they may help the industry understand how aquarists can improve the health of their corals. The author have studied environmental and climate effects on corals on fringing reefs in Jamaica. Radial growth rates (mm/yr) of non-branching corals calculated on an annual basis from 2000–2008 showed few significant differences either spatially or temporally along the north coast, although growth rates tended to be higher on reefs of higher rugosity and lower macroalgal cover. He has also reconstructed recruitment patterns, using growth modelling, for nonbranching corals at sites on the north coast of Jamaica near Discovery Bay, and near Kingston Harbour, on the south coast. The aim was to better understand the impacts of tropical storms on coral reefs and for aquarists to better maintain coral reef species in artificial environments.
    • Environmental regulation of reproductive phase change in Agaricus bisporus by 1-octen-3-ol, temperature and CO2

      Eastwood, Daniel C.; Herman, Bram; Noble, Ralph; Dobrovin-Pennington, Andreja; Sreenivasaprasad, Surapareddy; Burton, Kerry S.; University of Swansea; University of Warwick; East Malling Research; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Elsevier, 2013)
      Reproductive phase change from vegetative mycelium to the initiation of fruiting in Agaricus bisporus is regulated in large part by the sensing of environmental conditions. A model is proposed in which three separate environmental factors exert control at different stages of the reproductive developmental process change. The eight carbon volatile 1-octen-3-ol controls the early differentiation from vegetative hyphae to multicellular knots; temperature reduction is essential for the later differentiation of primodia; and carbon dioxide level exerts quantitative control on the number of fruiting bodies developed. Analysis of transcriptomic changes during the reproductive phase change was carried out with initiation-specific microarrays, and the newly published A. bisporus genome was used to analyse the promoter regions of differentially regulated genes. Our studies have shown there to be both early and late initiation responses relating to sensing of eight carbon volatiles and temperature respectively. A subset of 45 genes was transcriptionally regulated during the reproductive phase change which exhibited a range of functions including cell structure, nitrogen and carbon metabolism, and sensing and signalling. Three gene clusters linking increased transcription with developmental stage were identified. Analysis of promoter regions revealed cluster-specific conserved motifs indicative of co-ordinated regulation of transcription
    • Epidemiology, histopathology and aetiology of olive anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum acutatum and C. gloeosporioides in Portugal

      Talhinhas, Pedro; Mota-Capitão, C.; Martins, S.; Ramos, A.P.; Neves-Martins, João; Guerra-Guimarães, L.; Várzea, V.; Silva, M.C.; Sreenivasaprasad, Surapareddy; Oliveira, Helena (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011-06)
    • Eu-social science: the role of Internet social networks in the collection of bee biodiversity data

      Stafford, Richard; Hart, Adam G.; Collins, Laura; Kirkhope, Claire L.; Williams, Rachel L.; Rees, Samuel G.; Lloyd, Jane R.; Goodenough, Anne Elizabeth; Gratwicke, Brian (Public Library of Science, 2010-12-17)
    • Evidence for contemporary evolution during Darwin's lifetime

      Hart, Adam G.; Stafford, Richard; Smith, Angela L.; Goodenough, Anne Elizabeth (Elsevier, 2010-02-09)
    • Experimentally testing the accuracy of an extinction estimator: Solow's optimal linear estimation model

      Clements, Christopher F.; Worsfold, Nicholas T.; Warren, Philip H.; Collen, Ben; Clark, Nick; Blackburn, Tim M.; Petchey, Owen L.; Butler, Simon; University of Sheffield; University of York; et al. (Wiley Blackwell, 2013)
      Mathematical methods for inferring time to extinction have been widely applied but poorly tested. Optimal linear estimation (also called the 'Weibull' or 'Weibull extreme value' model) infers time to extinction from a temporal distribution of species sightings. Previous studies have suggested optimal linear estimation provides accurate estimates of extinction time for some species; however, an in-depth test of the technique is lacking. The use of data from wild populations to gauge the error associated with estimations is often limited by very approximate estimates of the actual extinction date and poor sighting records. Microcosms provide a system in which the accuracy of estimations can be tested against known extinction dates, whilst incorporating a variety of extinction rates created by changing environmental conditions, species identity and species richness. We present the first use of experimental microcosm data to exhaustively test the accuracy of one sighting-based method of inferring time of extinction under a range of search efforts, search regimes, sighting frequencies and extinction rates. Our results show that the accuracy of optimal linear estimation can be affected by both observer-controlled parameters, such as change in search effort, and inherent features of the system, such as species identity. Whilst optimal linear estimation provides generally accurate and precise estimates, the technique is susceptible to both overestimation and underestimation of extinction date. Microcosm experiments provide a framework within which the accuracy of extinction predictors can be clearly gauged. Variables such as search effort, search regularity and species identity can significantly affect the accuracy of estimates and should be taken into account when testing extinction predictors in the future.
    • A framework for assessing threats and benefits to species responding to climate change

      Thomas, Chris D.; Hill, Jane K.; Anderson, Barbara J.; Bailey, Sallie; Beale, Colin M.; Bradbury, Richard B.; Bulman, Caroline R.; Crick, Humphrey Q. P.; Eigenbrod, Felix; Griffiths, Hannah M.; et al. (Wiley Blackwell, 2011-04)
      Current national and international frameworks for assessing threats to species have not been developed in the context of climate change, and are not framed in a way that recognises new opportunities that arise from climate change. The framework presented here separates the threats and benefits of climate change for individual species. Threat is assessed by the level of climate-related decline within a species’ recently occupied (e.g. pre-1970s) historical distribution, based on observed (e.g. repeat census) and/or projected changes (e.g. modelled bioclimate space). Benefits are assessed in terms of observed and/or projected increases outside the recently occupied historical range. Exacerbating factors (e.g. small population size, low dispersal capacity) that might increase levels of threat or limit expansion in response to climate change are taken into consideration within the framework. Protocols are also used to identify levels of confidence (and hence research and/or monitoring needs) in each species’ assessment.
    • From citizen science to policy development on the coral reefs of Jamaica

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Hindawi Publishing Corporation, 2012)
      This paper explores the application of citizen science to help generation of scientific data and capacity-building, and so underpin scientific ideas and policy development in the area of coral reef management, on the coral reefs of Jamaica. From 2000 to 2008, ninety Earthwatch volunteers were trained in coral reef data acquisition and analysis and made over 6,000 measurements on fringing reef sites along the north coast of Jamaica. Their work showed that while recruitment of small corals is returning after the major bleaching event of 2005, larger corals are not necessarily so resilient and so need careful management if the reefs are to survive such major extreme events. These findings were used in the development of an action plan for Jamaican coral reefs, presented to the Jamaican National Environmental Protection Agency. It was agreed that a number of themes and tactics need to be implemented in order to facilitate coral reef conservation in the Caribbean. The use of volunteers and citizen scientists from both developed and developing countries can help in forging links which can assist in data collection and analysis and, ultimately, in ecosystem management and policy development.
    • Global warming and coral reefs: modelling the effect of temperature on Acropora Palmata colony growth

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2007)
      Data on colony growth of the branching coral Acropora palmata from fringing reefs off Discovery Bay on the north coast of Jamaica have been obtained over the period 2002-2007 using underwater photography and image analysis by both SCUBA and remotely using an ROV incorporating twin lasers. Growth modelling shows that while logarithmic growth is an approximate model for growth, a 3:3 rational polynomial function provides a significantly better fit to growth data for this coral species. Over the period 2002-2007, involving several cycles of sea surface temperature (SST) change, the rate of growth of A. palmata was largely proportional to rate of change of SST, with R(2)=0.935. These results have implications for the influence of global warming and climate change on coral reef ecosystems.
    • A hard instrument goes soft: the implications of the Convention on Biological Diversity's current trajectory

      Harrop, Stuart R.; Pritchard, Diana J. (Elsevier, 2011)
      The relentless loss of biological diversity, which will have a direct impact on human society and degrade ecosystem buffers against the extremes of climate perturbation, requires a strong global governance response. Of the numerous international legal instruments relating to the protection of nature, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most comprehensive. This paper examines its current emphasis on global biodiversity targets to extend our understanding of its trajectory, and its evolving nature as an instrument of global governance. We review CBD documents, and early examinations of its emergent character, in the context of the distinction between hard and soft law approaches, and combine analysis on the issue of targets from the literature on development, climate change and conservation biology. We emphasise that the CBD, created as a hard law instrument with a framework character, had the clear facility to develop subsidiary hard law instruments in the form of protocols but has not significantly followed this route.
    • Hurricanes and coral bleaching linked to changes in coral recruitment in Tobago

      Mallela, Jennie; Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2009)
      Knowledge of coral recruitment patterns helps us understand how reefs react following major disturbances and provides us with an early warning system for predicting future reef health problems. The authors have reconstructed and interpreted historical and modern-day recruitment patterns, using a combination of growth modelling and in situ recruitment experiments, in order to understand how hurricanes, storms and bleaching events have influenced coral recruitment on the Caribbean coastline of Tobago. Whilst Tobago does not lie within the main hurricane belt results indicate that regional hurricane events negatively impact coral recruitment patterns in the Southern Caribbean. The results indicate that despite multiple large-scale disturbances corals are still recruiting on Tobago’s marginal reef systems, albeit in low numbers.
    • Identifying management needs for sustainable coral-reef ecosystems

      Crabbe, M. James C.; Martinez, Edwin; Garcia, Christiana; Chub, Juan; Castro, Leonardo; Guy, Jason (ProQuest, 2009)
      In 2007, it was developed with the aid of the Earthwatch Institute and the Oak Foundation a capacity-building program in southern Belize to address issues of marine reserve management underpinned by science. The first component included group discussions on important issues related to the management of the reserves and review of scientific papers, strategic plans, and action plans. The second component included field research in the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve and the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. The project’s overall objectives and outcomes were to increase the participants’ capacity to lead and educate regarding sustainable development and to promote networking among organizations that manage marine resources, enhancing their collective influence over policy decisions. From that program, the project group developed the concepts and management protocols for coral-reef sustainability elucidated below.