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Concept: Temperateness

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Background and AimsCold is a major constraint for cereal cultivation under temperate climates. Winter-hardy plants interpret seasonal changes and can acquire the ability to resist sub-zero temperatures. This cold acclimation process is associated with physiological, biochemical and molecular alterations in cereals. Brachypodium distachyon is considered a powerful model system to study the response of temperate cereals to adverse environmental conditions. To date, little is known about the cold acclimation and freezing tolerance capacities of Brachypodium. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the cold hardiness of seven diploid Brachypodium accessions.MethodsAn integrated approach, involving monitoring of phenological indicators along with expression profiling of the major vernalization regulator VRN1 orthologue, was followed. In parallel, soluble sugars and proline contents were determined along with expression profiles of two COR genes in plants exposed to low temperatures. Finally, whole-plant freezing tests were performed to evaluate the freezing tolerance capacity of Brachypodium.Key ResultsCold treatment accelerated the transition from the vegetative to the reproductive phase in all diploid Brachypodium accessions tested. In addition, low temperature exposure triggered the gradual accumulation of BradiVRN1 transcripts in all accessions tested. These accessions exhibited a clear cold acclimation response by progressively accumulating proline, sugars and COR gene transcripts. However, whole-plant freezing tests revealed that these seven diploid accessions only have a limited capacity to develop freezing tolerance when compared with winter varieties of temperate cereals such as wheat and barley. Furthermore, little difference in terms of survival was observed among the accessions tested despite their previous classification as either spring or winter genotypes.ConclusionsThis study is the first to characterize the freezing tolerance capacities of B. distachyon and provides strong evidence that some diploid accessions such as Bd21 have a facultative growth habit.

Concepts: Physiology, Climate, Temperature, Poaceae, Cereal, Season, Carbohydrate, Temperateness

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A new grading system for plant-available potassium (K) in soils based on K release rate from soils and plant growth indices was established. In the study, fourteen different agricultural soils from the southern subtropical to the northern temperate zones in China were analyzed by both chemical extraction methods and exhaustive cropping techniques. Based on the change trends in plant growth indices, relative biomass yields of 70% and 50%, K-deficient coefficients of 35 and 22 under conventional exhaustive experiments, and tissue K concentrations of 40 g kg(-1) and 15 g kg(-1) under intensive exhaustive experiments were obtained as critical values that represent different change trends. In addition, the extraction method using 0.2 mol L(-1) sodium tetraphenylboron (NaTPB) suggested soil K release rates of 12 mg kg(-1) min(-1) and 0.4 mg kg(-1) min(-1) as turning points that illustrated three different release trends. Thus, plant-available K in soils was classified into three categories: high available K, medium available K and low available K, and grading criteria and measurement methods were also proposed. This work has increased our understanding of soil K bioavailability and has direct application in terms of routine assessment of agriculture soils.

Concepts: Climate, Chemistry, Soil, Nitrogen, Potassium, Extraction, 14, Temperateness

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After its domestication, rice cultivation expanded from tropical regions towards northern latitudes with temperate climate in a progressive process to overcome limiting photoperiod and temperature conditions. This process has originated a wide range of diversity that can be regarded as a valuable resource for crop improvement. In general, current rice breeding programs have to deal with a lack of both germplasm accessions specifically adapted to local agro-environmental conditions and adapted donors carrying desired agronomical traits. Comprehensive maps of genome variability and population structure would facilitate genome-wide association studies of complex traits, functional gene investigations and the selection of appropriate donors for breeding purposes.

Concepts: Genetics, Agriculture, Genome, Climate, Population genetics, Rice, Arctic Circle, Temperateness

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The factors that determine the characteristic seasonality of influenza remain enigmatic. Current models predict that occurrences of influenza outside the normal surveillance season within a temperate region largely reflect the importation of viruses from the alternate hemisphere or from equatorial regions in Asia. To help reveal the drivers of seasonality we investigated the origins and evolution of influenza viruses sampled during inter-seasonal periods in Australia. To this end we conducted an expansive phylogenetic analysis of 9912, 3804, and 3941 hemagglutinnin (HA) sequences from influenza A/H1N1pdm, A/H3N2, and B, respectively, collected globally during the period 2009-2014. Of the 1475 viruses sampled from Australia, 396 (26.8% of Australian, or 2.2% of global set) were sampled outside the monitored temperate influenza surveillance season (1 May - 31 October). Notably, rather than simply reflecting short-lived importations of virus from global localities with higher influenza prevalence, we documented a variety of more complex inter-seasonal transmission patterns including “stragglers” from the preceding season and “heralds” of the forthcoming season, and which included viruses sampled from clearly temperate regions within Australia. We also provide evidence for the persistence of influenza B virus between epidemic seasons, in which transmission of a viral lineage begins in one season and continues throughout the inter-seasonal period into the following season. Strikingly, a disproportionately high number of inter-seasonal influenza transmission events occurred in tropical and subtropical regions of Australia, providing further evidence that climate plays an important role in shaping patterns of influenza seasonality.

Concepts: Virus, Climate, Antiviral drug, Influenza, Orthomyxoviridae, Influenzavirus B, Arctic Circle, Temperateness

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Experimental studies in guinea pigs demonstrated that influenza virus transmission is strongly modulated by temperature and humidity. A number of epidemiological studies have followed up on these findings and revealed robust associations between influenza incidence in temperate regions and local conditions of humidity and temperature, offering a long-awaited explanation for the wintertime seasonality of influenza in these locales. Despite recent progress, important questions remain as to the mechanism(s) by which humidity and/or temperature affect transmission.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Climate, Influenza, Arctic Circle, Reassortment, Temperateness, Ubuntu, Locale

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Eimeriosis is caused by a protozoan infection affecting most domestic animal species. Outbreaks in cattle are associated with various environmental factors in temperate climates but limited work has been done in tropical settings. The objective of this work was to determine the prevalence and environmental factors associated with bovine Eimeria spp. infection in a mixed farming area of western Kenya. A total of 983 cattle were sampled from 226 cattle-keeping households. Faecal samples were collected directly from the rectum via digital extraction and analysed for the presence of Eimeria spp. infection using the MacMaster technique. Individual and household level predictors of infection were explored using mixed effects logistic regression. The prevalence of individual animal Eimeria infection was 32.8% (95% CI 29.9-35.9). A positive linear relationship was found between risk of Eimeria infection and increasing temperature (OR = 1.4, 95% CI 1.06-1.86) and distance to areas at risk of flooding (OR = 1.49, 95% CI 1.17-1.91). There was weak evidence of non-linear relationship between Eimeria infection and the proportion of the area around a household that was classified as swamp (OR = 1.12, 95% CI 0.87-1.44; OR (quadratic term) = 0.85, 95% CI 0.73-1.00), and the sand content of the soil (OR = 1.18, 95% CI 0.91-1.53; OR (quadratic term) = 1.1, 95% CI 0.99-1.23). The risk of animal Eimeria spp. infection is influenced by a number of climatic and soil-associated conditions.

Concepts: Climate, Household, Feces, Logistic function, Kingdom, Eimeria, Quadratic equation, Temperateness

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In temperate zones, all-cause mortality exhibits a marked seasonality, and influenza represents a major cause of winter excess mortality. We present a statistical model, FluMOMO, which estimate influenza associated mortality from all-cause mortality data and apply it to Danish data from 2010/11 to 2016/17.

Concepts: Statistics, Mathematics, Denmark, Temperateness

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1.Climate is known to influence breeding phenology and reproductive success in temperate zone bats, but long-term population level studies and interspecific comparisons are rare. 2.Investigating the extent to which intrinsic (i.e. age), and extrinsic (i.e. spring weather conditions), factors influence such key demographic parameters as the proportion of females becoming pregnant, or completing lactation, each breeding season, is vital to understanding of bat population ecology and life-history traits. 3.Using data from twelve breeding seasons (2006 - 2017), encompassing the reproductive histories of 623 Myotis daubentonii and 436 M. nattereri adult females, we compare rates of recruitment to the breeding population, and show that these species differ in their relative sensitivity to environmental conditions and climatic variation, affecting annual reproductive success at the population level. 4.We demonstrate that i) Spring weather conditions influence breeding phenology, with warm, dry and calm conditions leading to earlier parturition dates and advanced juvenile development, whilst cold, wet and windy weather delays birth timing and juvenile growth, ii) Reproductive rates in first-year females are influenced by spring weather conditions in that breeding season and in the preceding breeding season when each cohort was born. Pregnancy and lactation rates were both higher when favourable spring foraging conditions were more prevalent, iii) Reproductive success increases with age in both species, but at different rates, iv) Reproductive rates were consistently higher, and showed less inter-annual variation, in second-year and older M. daubentonii (mean 91.55% ± 0.05 SD) than M. nattereri (mean 72.74% ± 0.15 SD), v) Estimates of reproductive success at the population level were highly correlated with the size of the juvenile cohort recorded each breeding season. 5.Improving understanding of the influence of environmental conditions, especially extreme climatic fluctuations, and the identification of critical periods (i.e. spring for reproductive female bats in temperate zones), which have disproportionate and lasting impacts on breeding phenology and reproductive success at a population level, is critical for improving predictions of the likely impact of climate change on bat populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Reproduction, Biology, Demography, Population, Climate, Climate change, Breeding season, Temperateness

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Eremophila sturtii and E. mitchellii are found in the arid and temperate regions of Australia and, because of their similar appearances, are often confused. Previous phytochemical investigations have described mitchellene sesquiterpenes (1-5) reported from E. mitchellii but are here demonstrated to be from E. sturtii. A previous study that described serrulatic acids (16 and 17) from a species reported as E. sturtii actually used E. mitchellii. In addition, two new C-15 modified analogues, mitchellenes F (14) and G (15), were isolated from E. sturtii. The absolute configuration of 14 was determined with the first X-ray structure of a compound with the mitchellene skeleton.

Concepts: X-ray, Absolute, X-ray crystallography, Chemical compound, Temperateness, Phytochemical, Phytochemistry