[Experimental] List of manuscripts available for review volunteers
29 manuscripts available for review volunteers
June 14, 2017
The phylogeny of the Salmonidae family, the only living one of the Order Salmoniformes, remains still unclear because of several reasons. Such reasons include insufficient taxon sampling and/or DNA information. The use of complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomics) could provide some light on it, but despite the high number of mitogenomes of species of this family that have been published last years, an integrative work containing all this information has not been done. In this work, the phylogeny of 46 Salmonidae species was inferred from their mitogenomic information. Results included a Bayesian phylogenetic tree with almost total statistical support showing Coregoninae and Salmoninae as sister subfamilies, as well as several new phylogenetic relationships among species and even Genus of the family. All these findings contribute to advance in the knowledge of the Salmonidae systematics and could have consequences on evolutionary studies regarding it, as well as highlight the importance of revisiting incomplete phylogenies with integrative studies including new and more complete information.
June 14, 2017

Objectives. To examine maternal functioning and wellbeing as important aspects of a family’s adaptation to chronic paediatric conditions, in particular, children with diabetes.

Method. This cross-sectional study investigated the difference between the perceived quality of life of mothers of children with diabetes (n=63) and mothers of children without diabetes (n=114). The study also examined the role of self-efficacy, relationship satisfaction, number of social support providers, and satisfaction with social support in predicting quality of life.

Results. Mothers who had a child with diabetes had lower quality of life measured by general health, vitality, social functioning, role-emotional, and mental health than mothers that did not have a child with diabetes. Self-efficacy, relationship satisfaction, and social support were significant predictors of quality of life (mental health domain).

Conclusion. In order to enhance their psychological wellbeing, mothers of children with diabetes require adequate psychosocial support. Other implications for research and potential interventions are discussed.

June 14, 2017
The public reputation of spiders is that they are deadly poisonous, brown and nondescript, and hairy and ugly. There are tales describing how they lay eggs in human skin, frequent toilet seats in airports, and crawl into your mouth when you are sleeping. Misinformation about spiders in the popular media and on the World Wide Web is rampant, leading to distorted perceptions and negative feelings about spiders. Despite these negative feelings, however, spiders offer intrigue and mystery and can be used to effectively engage even arachnophobic individuals. As such, we contend that spider biology can be a convincing hook for engaging people of all ages in science-related learning. Towards this end, and in order to provide an enthusiastic knowledge base for spider-related learning, we provide essential information about spider biology followed by a compilation of Spider World Records. We choose a world-record style format, as it is known to be an effective tool of engaging youth and adults alike. We group our records into the categories of Taxonomy, Morphology/Physiology and Ecology/Behaviour. We further reported on curiosities and clarify fake news about these underappreciated animals. Our contribution is specifically aimed to raise public awareness and attractiveness of spiders, meanwhile providing the first official knowledge base for world spider records.
June 13, 2017
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between different aerobic exercise and the selective improvement in cognitive function in healthy older adults. A cross-sectional design was adopted. In total, 84 healthy older adults were enrolled in the study. They were categorized into the Tai Chi group (TG), the aerobic group (AG) or the control group (CG). The results indicated that both the TG and the AG performed better than the CG in the cognitive and TUG tasks. Further analysis revealed that the AG exhibited a faster reaction time in the executive functioning tasks and conditions than the CG, and selective improvement was supported. However, the TG performed even better in more tasks, even the naming task. These findings demonstrated that among healthy older adults, physical exercise is associated with better cognitive function. However, Tai Chi exercise may combat cognitive decline via a different mechanism. Future studies should evaluate the difference in the underlying mechanisms of the two types of exercise.
June 10, 2017
Plant derived pesticides could be useful alternatives to manage the insect pests. The present study was conducted to evaluate the ovicidal and growth inhibition effects of acetonic leaves extract of Thevetia peruviana against Bactrocera zonata. The eggs of B. zonata of 24, 48, and 72 h aged were treated with five concentrations of the (100, 250, 500,750, 1000 ppm) and water as control for comparison. Hatchability of eggs was observed at 24, 48, and 72 hours post treatment. First, second, and third instars were also treated with the above concentrations to check the larvicidal activities of the extracts. The results revealed that the percentage hatchability of 24 hour aged eggs significantly greater than that of other two intervals. Maximum larval inhibition of 83.33% was observed in freshly laid eggs (24h) treated with the concentration 1000 ppm, Prolonged larval, pupal and total developmental periods was evident during the first three instars. The percentage of pupation and adult emergence was also significantly (p <0.05) decreased with the increase in concentration of extract treatments in all the treated instars. Pupal weight of larvae of the first and second instars treated 750 and 1000 ppm was effectively reduced as compared to control and pupae were malformed. More than half of the pupal mortality 50.4 and 57.6% was recorded in first instar treated with 750 and 1000 ppm, respectively. Our results demonstrate that T. peruviana acetonic leaves extracts has ovicidal and larvicidal potential against B. zonata and could be helpful in the development of ecofriendly strategy for its management.
June 10, 2017
Hands motor imagery (MI) has been reported to alter synchronization patterns amongst neurons, yielding variations in the mu and beta bands’ power spectral density (PSD) of the electroencephalography (EEG) signal. These alterations have been used in the field of brain-computer interface (BCI), in an attempt to assemble distinct MI tasks to commands of such a system. Recent studies have highlighted that information may be missing if knowledge about brain functional connectivity is not considered. In this work, we modeled the brain as a graph in which each EEG electrode represents a node. Our goal was to understand if there exists any linear correlation between variations in the synchronization patterns induced by MI and alterations in the corresponding functional networks. Moreover, we 1) explored the feasibility of using functional connectivity parameters as features for a classifier in the context of an MI-BCI; . 2) investigated three different types of feature selection (FS) techniques; and 3) compared our approach to a more traditional method using the signal PSD as classifier inputs. Ten healthy subjects participated in this study. We observed significant correlations (p < 0.05) with values ranging from 0.4 to 0.9 between synchronization patterns and functional network alterations for some electrodes, prominently in the beta band. We corroborated that functional connectivity features may be used for an MI-BCI, although generally, the PSD method performed better for data classification, with mean accuracies of (90 ± 8)% and (87 ± 7)% for the mu and beta band, respectively, versus (83 ± 8)% and (83 ± 7)% for the same bands for the graph method. Moreover, the number of features for the graph method was considerably larger. Further investigation regarding a careful exploration of other graph metrics may provide better alternatives. Moreover, the effect of combining graph and PSD inputs should also be investigated in a future scenario.
June 10, 2017
In order to understand the migratory phenotype of a long-distance migrant, the Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe), in terms of genetics, gene expression, biochemistry and physiology, we have established a first annotated transcriptome from sequence data (RNASeq) generated via the Roche GS FLX System. The transcriptome was constructed de novo from pooled mRNA of six organs of nine birds: brain, muscle, intestine, liver, adipose tissue and skin. All individuals were captive birds, and the samples were collected at three different time points before the onset of migration. We were able to identify 14,724 genes (17,539 isogroups and 21,982 isotigs), 63% of them with more than 50% identity with other genes from genomes of other birds, such as Turkey and Zebra Finch, or to proteins in the Swissprot and NCBI databases. Around 13% of the isogroups have a putative splicing variant, most of them just a second alternative.
June 9, 2017

Background. The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) is a highly infectious disease that has claimed over 25,000 cases in the past 50 years. While many past outbreaks of EVD resulted in relatively few incidents, the 2014 outbreak in West Africa was the most deadly occurrence of EVD to date producing over 15,000 confirmed cases.

Objective. In this study we relate total confirmed case counts of EVD to predictor variables at the region level in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea.

Methods. We used a Poisson framework and negative binomial framework to relate the predictors to the outcome. A spatial analysis was conducted to further our understanding and help interpret results.

Results. Results indicate that the percent of the population living in urban areas, percent of household with a bad quality or no toilet, and percent of married men working in blue collar jobs protect against the transmission of EVD. Our study also shows that mean years of education contributes to increased case counts of the disease.

Conclusions. Each significant predictor are associated with the types of dynamics that either protect against, or exacerbate, the spread of EVD. While having limited contact with the bodily fluids of others, reduced person-to-person contact, and isolated population clusters protect against the spread of EVD, the types of daily interactions an educated individual will experience leads to higher incidence rates. This information can be used to identify potential transmission routes and prevent future outbreak of this deadly disease.

June 9, 2017
Wheat (Triticum aestivum spp. L.), among the crop plants for human nutrition assessment, is important, in terms of cultivation and production. Barley yellow dwarf luteovirus is the most prevalent viral disease on grain areas in the world, and causes significant yield loss. This study was conducted in order to determine the presence of BYDV on the grain area in the Aegean region. A Total of 214 samples were collected proportionally with the cultivated land according to TÜİK 2013, and were tested by DAS-ELISA and RT-PCR. The infection rate was found to be 9.8%. The sequences of the infected two isolates (Aydın and Izmir) were compared with the similarities from other isolates both in Turkey and worldwide. As a result of the sequence analysis and phylogenetic methods, the Aydın isolate showed a 100% (KJ816648.1) and 99% (KJ816646.1, KJ816649.1, KJ816645.1 and KJ816643.1) similarity with isolates in Turkey, a 99% similarity with the USA (EF521828.1), Morocco (AJ007922.1), France (AY167109.1) and Tunis (JX402453.1) isolates; and the Izmir isolate showed a 99% similarity with the USA (DQ631850.1), Azerbaijan (JX275852.1), Brazil (JX067837.1), China (EU332309.1), Morocco (AJ007929.1), Sweden (EF521841.1), Egypt (KM046987.1) and (KJ816660.1; KJ816655.1) isolates in Turkey. This study is important for one being conducted in the Aegean region regarding the detection of BYDV in grain areas.
June 9, 2017

Background: Astragalus polysaccharide (APS) has immunomodulatory activities on porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The immunomodulatory effects of APS on porcine endothelial cells (ECs) expose to classical swine fever virus (CSFV) remain unknown.

Methods: The virus was titrated using an indirect immune biotin enzyme standard method to confirm that porcine ECs were susceptible to CSFV infection and to determine the TCID50 of CSFV (C-strain). Porcine ECs were cultured with CSFV in the presence of APS. Relative quantitative PCR was used to assess the mRNA expression of factors that influence EC adhesion and immunity.

Results: The expression of adhesion factors mRNA increased following stimulation with CSFV; this effect was inhibited by pre-exposing the cells to APS. In addition, the expression of growth factors and some immune factors increased after infection with CSFV; this increase in tissue factor (TF), transforming growth factor (TGF-β), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) could be inhibited by the addition of APS. The immune response mediated by Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in ECs may be unregulated by CSFV as it was also inhibited by pre-treatment with APS.

Discussion: The addition of APS to the culture can obviously regulate the expression of molecules related to the adhesion, growth, and immune response of ECs, as well as the production of cytokines. Therefore, it may have the potential to be an effective component in vaccines against CSFV.

June 8, 2017
Galianthe (Rubiaceae) is a neotropical genus comprising 50 species divided into two subgenera, Galianthe subgen. Galianthe, with 39 species and Galianthe subgen. Ebelia, with 11 species. This study focused on two species originally described under Diodia because their fruits have indehiscent mericarps: Diodia palustris and D. spicata. Classical methods of taxonomy were combined with molecular analyses. As a result, we propose that both species belong to Galianthe subgen. Ebelia. The molecular position within Galianthe, based on ITS and ETS sequences, has been supported by the following morphological characters: thyrsoid, spiciform or cymoidal inflorescences, bifid stigmas, pollen grains with a double reticulum, and indehiscent fruit mericarps. However, both species, unlike the rest, are homostylous, so the presence of this syndrome significantly modifies the generic concept. In this framework, a third homostylous species, Galianthe vasquezii, of the Andean region is described. This species remained cryptic under Galianthe palustris specimens until now. It differs from this G. palustris by its longer calyx lobes, the presence of dispersed trichomes inside of corolla lobes (vs. glabrous), fruits that are acropetally dehiscent (vs. basipetally dehiscent), and its Andean geographical distribution (vs. Paranaense). Additionally, a lectotype has been chosen for Diodia palustris, Borreria pterophora has been placed under synonymy of Galianthe palustris, and Galianthe boliviana is reported for the first time from Peru. A key of the all species of Galianthe with indehiscent mericarps is also provided.
June 8, 2017
Alkaline saline soils known also as “soda solonchaks” represent a natural soda habitat which differed from soda lake sediments by higher aeration and lower humidity. The microbiology of soda soils, in contrast to the more intensively studied soda lakes, remains poorly explored. In this work we present information on the diversity of culturable aerobic haloalkalitolerant bacteria with various hydrolytic activities from soda soils at different locations in Central Asia and Africa. In total, 180 isolates were obtained by using media with various polymers at pH 10 and 0.6 M total Na+. According to the 16S rRNA gene sequences analysis, most of the isolates belonged to Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Most isolates possessed multiple hydrolytic activities, including endoglucanase, xylanase, amylase and protease. The pH profiling of selected representatives of actinobacteria and endospore-forming bacteria showed, that the former were facultative alkaliphiles, while the latter were mostly obligate alkaliphiles. The hydrolases of both groups were active at a broad pH range from 6 to 11. Overall, this work demonstrated the presence of a rich hydrolytic bacterial community in soda soils which might be explored further for production of haloalkalistable hydrolases.
June 8, 2017
HD-Zip proteins represent the major transcription factors in the highest plants, which playing essential roles in plant development and stress-responsive process. In order to further analysis the expression profiling of the HD-Zip gene family in foxtail millet, a comprehensive genome-wide expression was conducted. In this study, we found 47 protein encoding genes in the foxtail millet using Blast search tools and the putative proteins were classified into four subfamily. Duplication analysis revealed 8 (~17%) hdz genes were tandem duplicated and 28 (58%) were segmentally duplicated. Microsynteny analysis between foxtail millet and sorghum (41 orthologous), rice (42 orthologous), maize (48 orthologous) revealed the closer relationship in foxtail millet-maize than foxtail millet-sorghum and foxtail millet-rice. Expression profiling against abiotic stress drought, highly salinity and biotic stress ABA revealed that some genes were regulated drought and salinity stresses in ABA-dependent process. Taken together, our study provided a new insight for evolutionary and functional characterization of HD-Zip genes in foxtail millet.
June 7, 2017
Terrestrial runoff, resuspension events and dredging, can affect filter-feeding sponges by elevating the concentration of suspended sediments, reducing light intensity, and smothering sponges with sediments. To investigate how sponges respond to pressures associated with increased sediment loads, the abundant and widely distributed Indo-Pacific species Ianthella basta was exposed to elevated suspended sediment concentrations, sediment deposition, and light attenuation for 48 hours (acute exposure) and 4 weeks (chronic exposure). In order to visualise the response mechanisms, sponge tissue was examined by 3D X-ray microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Acute exposures resulted in sediment rapidly accumulating in the aquiferous system of I. basta,although this sediment was fully removed within 3 days. Sediment removal took longer (>2 weeks) following chronic exposures, and I. basta alsoexhibited tissue regression and a smaller aquiferous system. The application of advanced imaging approaches revealed that I. basta employs a multilevel system for sediment rejection and elimination, containing both active and passive components. Sponges responded to sediment stress through i) mucus production, ii) exclusion of particles by incurrent pores, iii) closure of oscula and pumping cessation, iv) expulsion of particles from the aquiferous system, and v) tissue regression to reduce the volume of the aquiferous system, thereby entering a dormant state. These mechanisms would result in tolerance and resilience to exposure to variable and high sediment loads associated with both anthropogenic impacts like dredging programs and natural pressures like flood events.
June 7, 2017
Background. Medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are demonstrably ketogenic and may reduce symptoms of keto-induction and time-to-ketosis, thus, offering the potential to improve compliance with very low carbohydrate diets. This study investigates whether MCT, relative to long chain triglyceride (LCT) supplementation, reduces time to nutritional ketosis, improves mood, and reduces symptoms of keto-induction. Methods. We compared changes in beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB), blood glucose, symptoms of keto-induction, and markers of mood disturbance, in 28 non-obese, non-diabetic adults. Participants were prescribed a ketogenic diet, and randomised to receive either 30 ml of MCT or sunflower oil (LCT) as a control; three times per day, for 20 days. The primary outcome measured was the achievement of nutritional ketosis; ≥0.5 mmol.L-1 beta-hydroxybutyrate. Participants also completed a daily Profile of Mood States and keto-induction symptom questionnaire. Results. We observed higher levels of BOHB at all time-points with supplementation of MCT but this did not improve time-to-ketosis significantly. Symptoms associated with keto-induction were present in both diets with a possibly beneficial effect exhibited on symptoms by MCT. The magnitude of symptoms overall was greater for control, except for abdominal pain, which occurred with greater frequency and severity in the MCT-supplemented diet. The effect of MCT on mood was unclear, but when BOHB was considered as a predictor variable,there was a possibly beneficial clinical effect. Discussion. MCTs are ketogenic, and the observed effect on BOHB was expected. Although a significant effect on time-to-NK wasn’t demonstrated, the MCT group achieved ketosis two days earlier. A positive effect of MCT on time-to-NK may exist due to the primary ketonaemia, and secondary ketogenesis resulting from MCT ingestion. A possibly beneficial effect of MCT on symptoms, and a large inverse correlation between BOHB and symptoms in the MCT group, not observed for LCT, suggests that increased BOHB resulting from MCT supplementation results in improved symptoms of keto-induction. The effect of MCT on mood-state was unclear but when BOHB was considered as a predictor variable for mood, there was a likely beneficial effect from MCT supplementation. Conclusions. MCTs increase BOHB compared with control, and reduce symptoms of keto-induction. It is unclear at this time whether MCTs significantly improve mood or time to NK.
June 6, 2017
As other spiny lobsters, Panulirus argus is supposed to use preferentially proteins and lipids in energy metabolism, while carbohydrates are well digested but poorly utilized. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary carbohydrate (CH) level on carbohydrate digestion and metabolism in the spiny lobster P. argus. We used complementary methodologies such as post-feeding flux of nutrients and metabolites, as well as measurements of α-amylase expression and activity in the digestive tract. Lobsters readily digest and absorb dietary CH with a time-course that is dependent on the dietary CH content. Lobster enhances the level of free glucose and stored glycogen in different tissues as the inclusion of wheat flour increases. This occurs along with modifications in intermediary metabolism, with a decrease in amino acid catabolism coupled with a higher use of free glucose as dietary CH rises up to 20 %. However, this effect seems to be limited by the metabolic capacity of specimens to use CH, so there is no apparent advantage of including more than 20 % CH in diets. Lobsters are not able to tightly regulate α-amylase expression according to the CH level in diet but exhibited marked difference in secretion of this enzyme into the gut. Results are discussed to highlight some limitations should be overcomed to increase carbohydrate utilization for lobsters.
June 6, 2017
Background. The phenotypic characters of X -linked Hypohidrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia (XLHED) are the dysplasia of epithelial- and mesenchymal- derived organs. Ectodysplasin (EDA) is the causative gene of XLHED. Methods. The current study reported a large Chinese XLHED pedigree. The genomic DNA of adult and fetus was extracted from peripheral blood and shed chorion cell respectively. The nucleotide variation in EDA gene was screened through direct sequencing the coding sequence. The methylation state of EDA gene’s promoter was evaluated by pyrosequencing. Results. This Chinese XLHED family had two male patients and three carriers. All of them were with a novel EDA frameshift mutation. The mutation, c.172-173insGG, which leads to an immediate premature stop codon in exon one caused severe structural changes of EDA. Prenatal diagnosis suggested that the fetus was a female carrier. The follow-up observation of this child indicated that she had mild hypodontia of deciduous teeth at age six. The methylation level of EDA gene’s promoter was not related to carriers’ phenotype changes in this family. Discussion. We reported a new frameshift mutation of EDA gene in a Chinese family. Prenatal diagnosis can help to predict the disease status of the fetus.
June 5, 2017
Baculoviruses are a family of invertebrate-specific pathogenic viruses that are able to persist outside for a long time owing to the forming of occlusion bodies (OBs). In spite of this ability, the UV spectra of sunlight that reaches the surface of the Earth is the essential factor that limits the survival of baculoviruses outside. In the current study, we compared the UV tolerance of two strains of Lymantria dispar multiple nucleocapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV), which were isolated in spatially different regions (LdMNPV-27/0 in Western Siberia (Russia) and LdMNPV-45/0 in North America (USA)) and dramatically differ in their virulence. We exposed the studied strains to sunlight in an open area for 0.25, 0.5, 1, and 2 hours and then perorally inoculated host larvae with same doses of virus (5x105) and with dose lead to same effect (LD90). We found that strain LdMNPV-45/0, which previously showed high virulence against L. dispar larvae, was more sensitive to UV irradiation (estimated as the as relative rate of inactivation (r, h -1) and as half-life of the virus (τ1/2, h)) compared to LdMNPV-27/0. The same situation was observed in mortality speed: LdMNPV-45/0 infected larvae took faster to die compared to LdMNPV-27/0 strain when we do not exposed virus to UV treatment, while this difference was disappear when strains were exposed under UV. We suppose that the rapid loss of potency of LdMNPV-45/0 was mediated by a rapid inactivation of structural proteins (enhancin) encoded by the virus enhancin factor-1 gene, which was absent in the genome of LdMNPV-27/0.
June 4, 2017
Background. The effluents of the mono-specific aquaculture contain high concentrations of dissolved nutrients and organic matter, which affect negatively water quality of the recipient aquatic ecosystems. A key feature of water quality is its transparency. Chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM) determines most of the light transmission in the ultraviolet and blue bands in the aquatic ecosystems. A sustainable alternative to mono-specific aquaculture is the integrated multitrophic aquaculture that includes species trophically complementary named “extractive” species. Sea cucumbers are recognized as efficient extractive species, with a high potential to improve water quality, due to the consumption of particulate organic matter (POM). However, the effects of sea cucumbers on CDOM are still unknown. Methods. During one year, we biweekly monitored CDOM in two aquaculture tanks with different trophic structure. One of the tanks (-holothurian tank) only contained the primary species, Anemonia sulcata, whereas the other tank (+ holothurian tank) also contained individuals of Holothuria tubulosa and H. forskali. We routinely performed CDOM absorption spectra from 200 nm to 750 nm and determined quantitative (absorption coefficients at 325 nm) and qualitative (spectral slopes and molar absorption coefficients at 325 nm) optical parameters in the inlet waters, in the tanks, and in their corresponding effluents. Results. Absorption coefficients at 325 nm (a325) and spectral slopes from 275 to 295 nm (S275-295) were significantly lower in the effluents of the +holothurian tank (average: 0.33 and16 μm-1, respectively) than in the effluents of the −holothurian tank (average: 0.69 m-1 and34 μm-1, respectively), being the former similar to those found in the inlet waters (average: 0.32 m-1 and 22 μm-1, respectively). This reduction in CDOM absorption appears to be mediated by the POM consumption by the holothurians. The reduction of POM concentration in the +holothurian tank may weaken the process of POM disaggregation into dissolved organic matter, which ultimately might have generated CDOM in the –holothurian tank. Discussion. Extractive species such as holothurians improve water transparency through POM consumption, likely because reduces POM disaggregation into CDOM. We suggest that CDOM monitoring in aquaculture facilities, using automatic probes or even remote sensing, could be a useful tool to trace the effectiveness of extractive species at large scales of time and space.
May 30, 2017

Despite most Spatial Data Infrastructures are offering service-based visualization of geospatial data, requirements are often at a very basic level leading to poor quality of maps. This is a general observation for any geospatial architecture as soon as open standards as those of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) shall be applied. To improve the situation, this paper does focus on improvements at the portrayal interoperability side by considering standardization aspects. We propose two major redesign recommendations. First to consolidate the cartographic theory at the core of the OGC Symbology Encoding standard. Secondly to build the standard in a modular way so as to be ready to be extended with upcoming future cartographic requirements.

Thus, we start by defining portrayal interoperability by means of typical use cases that frame the concept of sharing cartography. Then we bring to light the strengths and limits of the relevant open standards to consider in this context. Finally we propose a set of recommendations to overcome the limits so as to make these use cases a true reality.

Even if the definition of a cartographic-oriented standard is not able to act as a complete cartographic design framework by itself, we argue that pushing forward the standardization work dedicated to cartography is a way to share and disseminate good practices and finally to improve the quality of the visualizations.

May 27, 2017
Plant type III polyketide synthase can catalyze into a series of secondary metabolites with different structures and different biological functions, and play a very important role in plant growth, development and resistance to stress. At present, the PKS gene has been identified and studied in a variety of plants. Here, we identified 11 PKS genes from upland cotton and compared them with 41 PKS genes in Populus tremula, Vitis vinifera, Malus domestica and Arabidopsis thaliana. According to phylogenetic tree, a total of 52 PKS genes can be divided into four subfamilies (I-IV). The analysis of gene structures and conserved motifs revealed that most of the PKS genes were composed of two exons and one intron, and have two characteristic conserved domains of the PKS gene family. The results of chromosome localizations showed that the distribution of PKS genes in these five species was irregular. Through the analysis of Ka/Ks ratio, we determined that the selection of purification is of great significance in maintaining the function of PKS gene in upland cotton, Arabidopsis thaliana (no duplicated gene was found in Arabidopsis thaliana). With qRT-PCR analysis and combination of the role of the accumulation of procyanidins in brown cotton fiber, we concluded that the five brown PKS genes are candidate genes involving in brown cotton fiber pigment synthesis. These results play an important role in the further study of brown cotton PKS genes.
May 25, 2017
Advancement of mobile technologies such as smartphones and PC tablets has given a great impact on healthcare systems. The mobile technology offers innovative approaches to addressing complex health concerns. Many mobile health applications (mHealth apps) are currently available on marketplaces. These apps are designed to facilitate various health issues and problems, and are intended to be used outside clinics. However, very little research has been conducted to address trend, opportunities, and challenging issues of the apps. The purpose of this study is to investigate the current state of mHealth applications (apps). A literature survey was conducted. Major findings of this study include, smartphones will be the major platform for mHealth apps, the number of published software is much higher than the number of published scientific research of the field, current mHealth apps lacking in grounded based theory and evaluation, and security and usability issues are still vulnerable. The findings suggest that involvement of all healthcare stakeholders is critical to the success of mHealth apps.
May 24, 2017
Background and Objectives: The increasing prevalence of obesity and overweight and their epidemic across the world is one of the health problems of communities. The aim of this study is to determine anthropometric indices among 11-18-year-old girls and to investigate their determinants.
Methods: The current cross-sectional study was conducted on 950 female students aged from 11 to 18 years old in Urmia (North West of Iran) who had been selected via multi-stage random sampling method out of schools. Anthropometric indices, including height, weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, height, and weight of parents as well as socio-economic and demographic data were collected through questionnaires.
Results: The mean values of the female students' height and weight equaled 55.17 ± 12.79 kilograms and 159.10 ± 5.96 centimeters, respectively. Waist and hip circumferences were equal to 75.39 ± 10.11 centimeters and 90.13 ± 9.04 centimeters, respectively. The prevalence of overweight and obesity equaled 17.9% and 10.5%, respectively. BMI and hip circumference in rural areas were higher than those in urban areas (P <0.05). In multivariate analysis, it was shown that paternal age and participants' age were two effective factors in BMI, and it was also revealed that waist circumference was significantly correlated only with BMI, and hip circumference held a statistically significant relationship with waist circumference, age, and possession of a personal room (P <0.05).
Conclusions: The mean values of anthropometric indices were high in the 11-18-year-old girls in the study, and overweight and obesity in the population under study were higher than those in many similar studies. Demographic characteristics were found to be effective factors, and BMI increased with aging. Regarding the relationship of overweight and obesity with the prevalence and incidence of non-communicable diseases and adult obesity, the development of more effective school-based and population-based control plans and programs is required to curb overweight and obesity.
May 23, 2017
Background. Repetitive species-specific sound enables the identification of the presence and behavior of soniferous species by acoustic means. Passive acoustic monitoring has been widely applied to monitor the spatial and temporal occurrence and behavior of calling species. Methods. Underwater biological sounds in the Pearl River Estuary, China, were collected using passive acoustic monitoring, with special attention paid to fish sounds. A total of 1408 suspected fish calls comprising 18,942 pulses were qualitatively analyzed using a customized acoustic analysis routine. Results. We identified a diversity of 66 types of fish sounds. In addition to single pulse, the sounds tended to have a pulse train structure. The pulses were characterized by an approximate 8 ms duration, with a peak frequency from 500 to 2600 Hz and a majority of the energy below 4000 Hz. The median inter-pulsepeak interval (IPPI) of most call types was 9 or 10 ms. Most call types with median IPPIs of 9 ms and 10 ms were observed at times that were exclusive from each other, suggesting that they might be produced by different species. According to the literature, the 1+1 and 1+N10 call types might belong to big-snout croaker (Johnius macrorhynus), and 1+N19 might be produced by Belanger's croaker(J. belangerii). Discussion. Categorization of the baseline ambient biological sound is an important first step in mapping the spatial and temporal patterns of soniferous fishes. The next step is the identification of the species producing each sound. The distribution pattern of soniferous fishes will be helpful for the protection and management of local fishery resources and in marine environmental impact assessment. Since the local vulnerable Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) mainly preys on soniferous fishes, the fine-scale distribution pattern of soniferous fishes can aid in the conservation of this species. Additionally, prey and predator relationships can be observed when a database of species-identified sounds is completed.
May 20, 2017
In order to understand the distribution and prevalence of Ommatissus lybicus (Homoptera: Tropiduchidae) as well as analyse their current biographical patterns and predict their future spread, comprehensive and detailed information on the environmental, climatic, and agricultural practices are essential. The spatial analytical techniques such as Remote Sensing and Spatial Statistics Tools, can help detect and model spatial links and correlations between the presence, absence and density of O. lybicus in response to climatic, environmental and human factors. The main objective of this paper is to review remote sensing and relevant analytical techniques that can be applied in mapping and modelling the habitat and population density of O. lybicus. An exhaustive search of related literature revealed that there are very limited studies linking location-based infestation levels of pests like the O. lybicus with climatic, environmental and human practice related variables. This review also highlights the accumulated knowledge and addresses the gaps in this area of research. Furthermore, it makes recommendations for future studies, and gives suggestions on monitoring and surveillance methods in designing both local and regional level integrated pest management (IPM) strategies of palm tree and other affected cultivated crops.

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No, peer review is still single-blind and all recommendations are private between the authors and Academic Editor. However, any reviewer has the option to sign their report, and once accepted for publication then that review can be shown publicly - again this is optional.

Will I be guaranteed to review if I volunteer?

No. Volunteering is not a guarantee that you will be asked to review. This is for many reasons. For one, reviewers must have relevant qualifications for any manuscript and void of any conflicts of interest. Additionally, it could be that enough reviewers have accepted an invitation to review already, in which case we would not invite any more.

Why aren't there more manuscripts available?

Manuscripts are shown when authors have opted-in for obtaining reviewers through the reviewer-match service. Additionally, there may already be enough reviewers found through other means, for example, invitations sent by the Academic Editor in charge.

What are the editorial criteria?

Please visit the editorial criteria page for initial guidance. You will also be given additional information if invited to review.