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Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences

AABC - Volume 86 (4) - December 2014


This was a very successful year for the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências – AABC). With 50 papers published in this issue (86.4), the total number of articles printed by the AABC is the highest ever – 175 original papers, covering a large variety of scientific fields. As always, pointing out highlights is very difficult.

Among the most interesting publications, I would like to call your attention to a study that discusses the establishment of the role of fractalkine as a biomarker in fibromyalgia. The idea is to try to establish an analytical specific criterion to diagnose this particular form of rheumatism that affects millions of people.

Still in the area of Biomedical Sciences, the present issue of the AABC presents studies about the protein tau in the pathophysiology regarding Alzheimer´s disease, modulation of diabetes in rats, and a study on the toxin proteins actinoporins that occur in sea anemones and that might be used in cancer therapy.

Regarding Health Sciences, there is a stimulating paper that evaluated the effects of distinct vancomycin dilutions in several tissues and organs of rats. Among the results, this study points out that the most commonly markers used in monitoring vancomycin toxicity appear not to be as reliable as previously thought.


The number of papers in Agrarian Sciences was quite high in this issue. Among the contributions is a study addressing the wastewater monitoring in agriculture, the problems concerning on how to proceed regarding the mapping of sites addressing questions related to forest planning, and a new cryopreservation protocol that might be useful in long-term storing of Araucaria angustifolia.

Biological Sciences continues to be the majority of the published papers. An interesting study presented here concerns the richness and abundance of a particular group of the Drosophila. There are also other such as how mayfly assemblages might be affected by agricultural and forestry land use, another step in how to better understand the molecular features regarding the Dengue virus (DENV), the description of the structure of a fish community in estuaries located in the more internal portion of the Amazon Estuary, and the antibiotic resistance of Styphylococcus sp. in polluted waters in Southern Brazil.

Lastly, I would like to point out some papers published in the area of Earth Sciences, that include the description of a new Triassic cynodont from Rio Grande do Sul, a new angiosperm from Northeastern Brazil, and the results of a study regarding earthquakes occurred in 2008 in the Borborema Province.

Please, bear in mind that since 2000 all papers published by the AABC can be downloaded free of charge at the SCIELO site. We are now inviting you to scroll through the text and click on the title of the article that interests you!

Alexander W. A. Kellner


● Evaluation of the use of Leptodactylus ocellatus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) frog tissues as bioindicator of metal contamination in Contas River, Northeastern Brazil

Authors: Lívia O. Correia, Sérgio Siqueira Júnior, Paulo L.S. Carneiro and Marcos A. Bezerra

This paper approaches the evaluation of tissues from Leptodactylus ocellatus species (Anura Leptodactylidae) as a pollution bioindicator by metals. The study is based on the determination of manganese, chromium, zinc, nickel, copper and iron concentrations in sediments and tissues (skin, muscles and viscera) of this frog. Highest levels of the studied metals were found in the viscera of this animal in comparison with other tissues. In this tissue, a higher correlation of these metals with those found in sediments was observed. In conclusion, viscera of L. ocellatus species was considered a good bioindicator of contamination by the studied metals.

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Complete assignments of NMR data and assessment of trypanocidal activity of new eremantholide C derivatives

Authors: Dênia A. Saúde-Guimarães, Délio S. Raslan, Egler Chiari and Alaíde B. de Oliveira

Although Brazil has drastically reduced the numbers of contagion from Chagas’ disease in recent decades, between 150 and 200 new cases are still reported annually. The available therapy is inadequate since the treatment of patients with available drugs presents serious toxic side effects. Therefore, the search for new effective drugs to the treatment of disease is needed. Chemical transformations of eremantholide C, a sesquiterpene lactone that was isolated from Lychnophora trichocarpha led to five new derivatives. Eremantholide C and the derivatives were evaluated against trypomastigotes Y and CL strains of Trypanosoma cruzi. The structures of all these derivatives were assigned on the basis of IR, MS, NMR data by 1D and 2D techniques.

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The sea-level highstand correlated to marine isotope stage (MIS) 7 in the coastal plain of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Authors: Renato P. Lopes, Sergio R. Dillenburg, Cesar L. Schultz, Jorge Ferigolo, Ana Maria Ribeiro, Jamil C. Pereira, Elizete C. Holanda, Vanessa G. Pitana and Leonardo Kerber

The stratigraphy and precise ages of the coastal barriers of the state of Rio Grande do Sul older than 125 ka are still unknown. This paper presents stratigraphic and chronological information about the uppermost marine facies of the Barrier II depositional system. This facies contains sedimentary structures, ichnofossils and fossil shells that indicate deposition in shallow marine (upper shoreface-foreshore) environment. The stratigraphy and ages obtained by thermoluminescence suggest that sea-level reached some 10 meters above the present level between 235 and 217 ka BP, thus correlating this depositional system to the marine isotope stage (MIS) 7.

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Coastline changes and sedimentation related with the opening of an artificial channel: the Valo Grande Delta, SE Brazil

Authors: Michel M. de Mahiques, Rubens C.L. Figueira, Daniel P.V. Alves, Diana M. Italiani, Cristina C. Martins and João M.A. Dias

In this paper, we report the origin and evolution of the Valo Grande delta, an anthropogenic intralagoonal delta that originated from the opening of an artificial channel, located on the SE Brazilian coast, called the Valo Grande. As a consequence, sedimentation rates increased drastically in the area, leading to the total colmatation of a previously installed harbor. Despite not being very frequent, anthropogenic deltas represent a favorable environment for the record of natural and artificial changes in historical times and, thus, deserve more attention from researchers of different subjects.

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An experimental study of the partitioning of trace elements between  rutile and silicate melt as a function of oxygen fugacity

Authors: Guilherme Mallmann, Raúl O.C. Fonseca and Adolfo B. Silva

The presence of the accessory mineral rutile (TiO2) in subducted oceanic slabs may explain the characteristic depletion of High Field Strength Elements (HFSE) relative to other similarly incompatible elements in arc magmas. Here we present experimental evidence that confirms the compatibility of HFSEs in rutile over a large range of oxygen fugacity conditions. The experimental data indicates a strong control of melt composition on the partitioning behavior of these elements.

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Seismogenic faulting in the Meruoca granite, NE Brazil, consistent with a local weak fracture zone

Authors: Ana Catarina A. Moura, Paulo H.S. de Oliveira, Joaquim M. Ferreira, Francisco H.R. Bezerra, Reinhardt A. Fuck and Anderson F. do Nascimento

A sequence of earthquakes occurred in 2008 in the Meruoca granitic pluton, located in the northwestern part of the Borborema Province, NE Brazil. This study analyzed the correlation between this seismic activity and geological structures in the Meruoca granite. We carried out geological mapping, analyzed the mineralogy of fault rocks, and compared the seismically-defined fault with geological data. We propose that seismicity reactivated brittle structures in the Meruoca granite. Our study highlights the importance of geological mapping and mineralogical analysis in order to establish the relationships between geological structures and seismicity at a given area.

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Late Pleistocene carnivores (Carnivora: Mammalia) from a cave sedimentary deposit in northern Brazil

Authors: Shirlley Rodrigues, Leonardo S. Avilla, Leopoldo H. Soibelzon and Camila Bernardes

A detailed description of the fossils of the Order Carnivora from Aurora do Tocantins, Southeastern Tocantins, Northern Brazil is presented, and six taxa were identified so far: Panthera onca, Leopardus geoffroyi, Arctotherium wingei, Galictis cuja, Nasua nasua and Procyon cancrivorus. All specimens, mainly represented by craniodentary material, were found at the same level in the cave of the Gruta do Urso. Associated mammalian fossils, such as the horse Equus neogeus and the armadillo Propraopus sulcatus, indicate that those carnivores were from the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene.The assemblage of fossil Carnivora from Gruta do Urso represents the greatest diversity of this group from the Quaternary of Brazil.

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A new angiosperm from the Crato Formation (Araripe Basin, Brazil) and comments on the Early Cretaceous Monocotyledons

Authors: Flaviana J. de Lima, Antonio A.F. Saraiva, Maria A.P. da Silva, Renan A.M. Bantim and Juliana M. Sayão

Smilacaceae is a basal monocotiledoneous family of plants which occurs basically in all continents and is related to the origin of the flowered plants. Fossils of this family are known since the Late Cretaceous. In this paper we show a new genus and species, Cratosmilax jacksoni, of this family from the Early Cretaceous (Aptian-Albian), found in the limestone layers of Crato Formation, Araripe Basin- Northeast from Brazil, therefore, the oldest record of Smilacaceae. The described fossil is based on a leaf with characteristics similar to the genus Smilax frequent in the Americas, Europe and Southeast Asia."

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A new prozostrodontian cynodont (Therapsida) from the Late Triassic Riograndia Assemblage Zone (Santa Maria Supersequence) of Southern Brazil”

Authors: Marina B. Soares, Agustín G. Martinelli and Téo V. de Oliveira

A new cynodont, namely Botucaraitherium belarminoi, found in the Late Triassic (about 225 My) of Candelária, state of Rio Grande do Sul, is presented. The new species represents a non-mammalian cynodont of the Clade Prozostrodontia (that includes Mammalia as a terminal group). The Triassic prozostrodontians are characterized by their small size and carnivore-insectivore adaptations, displaying a series of derived anatomical features that relate them with the earliest mammaliaforms. From the same age and region, other prozostrodontian cynodonts are known and they highlight the importance of this group into the Triassic Biota, when other groups, such as archosaurs (rauisuchians, proterochampsids, basal dinosaurs, etc.) are also noteworthy. Species such as Riograndia, Brasilodon, Brasilitherium, and now Botucaraitherium bring new and relevant data on the previous steps that cynodonts passed through until the rise of the “mammalian grade”. Moreover, these species reinforce the view the small-sized prozostrodontians, closely related to the origin of mammaliaforms, were ecologically well succeeded and diverse in South America, more than in any other place and time.

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Reprodutive phenology and sharing of floral resource among hummingbirds (Trochilidae) in inflorescences of Dahlstedtia pinnata (Benth.) Malme.  (Fabacea) in the Atlantic forest

Authors: Caio C.C. Missagia, Fábio C. Verçoza and Maria Alice S. Alves

This study investigated the reproductive phenology and sharing of nectar resource of Dahlstedtia pinnata in Brazilian Atlantic forest. Flowering occurred between December and March, and fruiting between April and June. Hummingbirds’ foraging schedules differed significantly, with legitimate visits to the flowers occurring in the morning and illegitimate during late morning and afternoon. Five hummingbirds visited flowers, three were legitimate visitors (Phaethornis ruber, P. pretrei, and Ramphodon naevius). Phaethornis ruber also robbed nectar. Ramphodon naevius, territorial and bigger than the others, dominated floral visits. This suggests that D. pinnata is an important resource for this endemic bird of the Atlantic forest.

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Gene homozygosis and mitotic recombination induced by camptothecin and irinotecan in Aspergillus nidulans diploid cells

Authors: Giovana N.M. Esquissato, Juliane R. de Sant’Anna, Cladinéia C.S. Franco, Lúcia J. Rosada, Paula A.S.R. dos Santos and Marialba A.A. de Castro-Prado

The recombinogenic potentials of two anticancer topoisomerase I inhibitors, camptothecin (CPT) and irinotecan (CPT-11) were evaluated in the present study, using the homozygotization assay and a heterozygous diploid strain of Aspergillus nidulans. The three non-cytotoxic concentrations of CPT (3.5 ng mL-1, 10.5 ng mL-1 and 17.4 ng mL-1) induced both mitotic recombination and gene homozygosis, but only the highest CPT-11 concentration tested (18 µg mL-1), corresponding to the maximal single chemotherapeutic dose, induced recombinogenesis. Since mitotic recombination is a process involved in carcinogenesis, CPT and CPT-11 drugs may be characterized as secondary malignancies promoters in cancer patients after chemotherapy treatment.

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Richness and abundance of the cardini group of Drosophila (Diptera, Drosophilidae) in the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes in northeastern Brazil

Authors: Claudia Rohde, Diva M.I.O. Silva, Geórgia F. Oliveira, Liv S. Monteiro, Martín A. Montes and Ana Cristina L. Garcia

We analyzed the fluctuations in the richness and abundance of the cardini group of Drosophila in different environments in the northeastern region of Brazil. Drosophila neocardini and D. cardinoides were registered for the first time in the Caatinga. In this biome, D. cardini stood out as having the highest abundance. In the coastal Atlantic Forest D. polymorpha was found in all localities. The high abundance of D. polymorpha in the High-altitude Forest and in the coastal Atlantic Forest may be a reflection of the historical relationship between these environments.

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Copepod distribution and production in a Mid-Atlantic Ridge archipelago

Authors: Pedro A.M.C. Melo, Mauro de Melo Júnior, Silvio J. de Macêdo, Moacyr Araujo and Sigrid Neumann-Leitão

We assess the Spatial variation of copepod community structure, and the biomass and secondary production of the main calanoid species in Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (SPSPA), a place of complete isolation and under extreme environmental conditions on the vicinities of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, just north of the equator. A trend of declining density, biodiversity and production with increasing distance from archipelago was observed, suggesting that even small features like the SPSPA can affect the copepod community in tropical oligotrophic oceanic areas.

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● Effect of land use on mayfly assemblages structure in Neotropical headwater streams

Authors: Ana Emilia Siegloch, Marcia Suriano, Marcia Spies and Alaíde Fonseca-Gessner

The aim was to test the effect of agricultural and forestry land use on the mayfly assemblages. Twenty-nine headwater streams were investigated in the state of São Paulo (15 streams in pristine areas and 14 covered with sugarcane, eucalyptus and pasture). Our results show that agricultural and forestry land use has a strong negative effect on the richness and structure of mayfly assemblages. The results also support the use of mayflies as environmental indicators, as some genera were sensitive to changes in land use, while others responded to naturally occurring changes in the study area.

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A two-plasmid strategy for engineering a dengue virus type 3 infectious clone from primary Brazilian isolate

Authors: Jefferson J.S. Santos, Marli T. Cordeiro, Giovani R. Bertani, Ernesto T.A. Marques and Laura H.V.G. Gil

Despite enormous progress in unraveling Dengue virus (DENV) biology, many molecular features are not yet clearly understood. Reverse genetics is a powerful method that allows directed genetic manipulation of RNA viruses. Yet, engineering DENV genomes particularly full-length infectious clones remain a difficult challenge. We present here an alternative approach to obtain a functional infectious clone for DENV. We showed DENV derived from this system behaved similarly to the wild-type virus, demonstrating the reliability of our approach. These findings highlight a valuable tool in molecular virology research for better understanding DENV biology and pathogenesis.

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Pequi leaves incorporated into the soil reduce  the initial growth of cultivated, invasive and native species

Authors: Laísa N. Allem, Anabele S. Gomes and Fabian Borghetti

Aqueous extracts from many Cerrado plants have shown phytotoxicity against the growth of target species. However, most studies were conducted using exaggerate amounts of plant material, filter paper as substrate, and species which do not naturally coexist. Here we show that pequi leaves mixed with red latosoil in quantities compatible with the litter production of a pequi tree reduced the initial growth of sesame, radish, purple ipê and braquiaria. These results indicate that rain washing of pequi leaves and litter may interfere with the initial growth of neighbor species, thus suggesting a potential allelopathic interaction under natural conditions.

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The population structure of two sympatric hermit-crab species on a subtidal rocky shore of an island in southeastern Brazil

Authors: Daniel J.M. Lima, Valter J. Cobo, Mariana A.B. de Aquino and Adilson Fransozo

This research contributes to the expansion of knowledge about the biology of two of sympatric hermit-crabs species, Pagurus brevidactylus and Paguristes tortugae, from subtidal rocky-bottoms at Couves Island, southeastern coast of Brazil. Information such as size-frequency distribution, average size, recruitment, reproductive period, sex ratio and shell occupancy are showed. Based on this information, we argued inter-specific interactions involving resource partitioning and equilibrium strategy of these populations, dominants in subtidal rocky-bottom communities in the studied region.

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Composition of functional ecological guilds of the fish fauna of the internal sector of the Amazon Estuary, Pará, Brazil

Authors: Keila R.M. Mourão, Valdimere Ferreira and Flávia Lucena-Frédou

The present study describes the spatial and temporal structure of the estuarine fish community in the internal sector of the Amazon Estuary. Fish species composition and environmental guilds differed among zones: Freshwater Migrants and Stragglers were dominant in the Guamá River and the Guajará Bay, while Estuarine, Marine Stragglers and Migrants predominated in the Marajó Bay. Trophic guilds were well balanced in functional terms and Piscivores and Zoobenthivores dominated in all areas. The use of the guild approach was efficient to describe the structure and functioning of the fish assemblage, also helping to assess the anthropogenic pressures in the area.

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Preferential accumulation of sex and Bs chromosomes in biarmed karyotypes by meiotic drive and rates of chromosomal changes in fishes

Authors: Wagner F. Molina, Pablo A. Martinez, Luiz A.C. Bertollo and Claudio J. Bidau

Mechanisms of accumulation based on typical centromeric drive or of chromosomes carrying pericentric inversions are adjusted to the general karyotype differentiation in the principal Actinopterygii orders. Here, we show that meiotic drive in fish is also supported by preferential establishment of sex chromosome systems and B chromosomes in orders with predominantly bi-brachial chromosomes. The mosaic of trend acting at an infra-familiar level in fish could be explained as the interaction of the directional process of meiotic drive as background, modulated on a smaller scale by adaptive factors or specific karyotypic properties of each group, as proposed for the orthoselection model.

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Antibiotic resistance and enterotoxin genes in Staphylococcus sp. isolates from polluted water in Southern Brazil

Authors: Ana P. Basso, Paula D. Martins, Gisele Nachtigall, Sueli Van Der Sand, Tiane M. de Moura and Ana Paula G. Frazzon

The aims of this study are to evaluate species distribution, antibiotic-resistance profile and the presence of enterotoxin (SE) genes by PCR in staphylococci isolated from a polluted stream in Southern Brazil. A total of 88 staphylococci were isolated and 93.18% as coagulase-negative (CNS) and 6.82% coagulase-positive (CPS). Staphylococcus cohnii and Staphylococcus haemolyticus were the most frequently detected. Erythromycin, penicillin, clindamycin, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, chloramphenicol and norfloxacin resistant strains were also reported. The SE genes were present only in CNS strains. In conclusion, polluted waters from the stream may constitute a reservoir for the dissemination of antibiotic resistance and enterotoxin into the community.

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Attenuation of oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis by ethanolic and aqueous extracts of Crocus sativus L. stigma after chronic constriction injury of rats

Authors: Bahareh Amin, Khalil Abnous, Vahideh Motamedshariaty and Hossein Hosseinzadeh

Proinflammatory cytokines, oxidative stress and apoptosis occurrence are viewed as important contributors to the induction and maintenance of neuropathic pain. This work demonstrated that ameliorative potential of Crocus sativa L. (saffron) in the rats underwent sciatic nerve chronic constriction injury (CCI), could be through normalizing the levels of proinflammatory factors including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and IL-6 in the spinal cord of CCI animals. Anti-oxidant activity was shown by decreased contents of oxidative stress markers such as malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH). Elevated proapoptotic protein, Bax, and decreased levels of anti-apoptotic protein Bcl2, were retained to normal values.

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Food restriction beginning at lactation interferes with the cellular dynamics of the mucosa and colonic myenteric innervation in adult rats

Authors: João Paulo F. Schoffen, Fernando A. Vicentini, Carolina G. Marcelino, Eduardo J.A. Araújo, Maria M.D. Pedrosa and Maria R.M. Natali

Food restriction was imposed by duplication of the experimental brood size in relation to the control brood during lactation. The restrictive diet group received a 50% reduction of food from weaning until 90 days. Histological processing to morphometrically analyze of the proximal colon wall, determine the number of goblet cells and serotoninergic enteroendocrine cells, and morphoquantitatively studied the myenteric neuronal population were made. The implications of the results in relation to body weight, size of the large intestine, morphology of the proximal colon, cell populations in the mucosa and the factors involved in the plasticity of intrinsic innervation are discussed.

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Karyotype characterization and nuclea DNA content measurement in Bromeliaceae: State of the art and future perspectives

Authors: Andrei C.P. Nunes and Wellington R. Clarindo

Flow cytometry (FCM) and cytogenetic analyses have been considered important to enhance systematic and evolutionary approaches in Bromeliaceae. In this context, this review reports the state of the art about chromosome characterization and nuclear DNA content measurement in this family, emphasizing the main problems and suggesting new strategies to investigate the karyotype of the bromeliads.

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Seasonal changes of water quality in a tropical shallow and eutrophic reservoir in the metropolitan region of Recife (Pernambuco-Brazil)

Authors: Fábio H.P.C. de Oliveira, André L.S. Capela e Ara, Cesar H.P. Moreira, Osman O. Lira, Maria do Rosário F. Padilha and Neide K.S. Shinohara

This study investigated the water quality in an urban eutrophic reservoir in Northeastern Brazil, considering the influence of seasonality. Monthly, samples were collected in the sub-surface reservoir and some abiotic and biotic variables were analyzed. Higher values mean phytoplankton biomass (26.3mm3.L-1) occurred in the dry season, especially Planktothrix agardhii and Geiterinema amphibium, which occurred in 100% of samples. High trophic state index was detected throughout the year. Seasonality exerted some influence on both biotic and abiotc variables, leading to changes in water quality of the reservoir.

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Diversity patterns, research trends and mismatches of the investigative efforts to amphibian conservation in Brazil

Authors: Felipe S. Campos, Daniel Brito and Mirco Solé

The number of articles published on Brazilian amphibians has rapidly increased in recent years. In this context, this study aimed to assess this scientific contribution throughout ten years of research. Were evaluated 892 articles on 914 species, which showed that 65 % of the total diversity of amphibian species was represented by the beta diversity among the different Brazilian biomes. We identified many differences in the allocation of research efforts for taxonomic groups, threat categories, geographic regions, and research topics, highlighting the main research trends conducted and the priority themes for future investigations on Brazilian amphibians.

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Chaco ansilta new species from Mendoza province, Western Argentina (Araneae: Nemesiidae)

Author: Nelson Ferretti

A new species, Chaco ansilta (Nemesiidae)was discovered from the Andean foothills of Mendoza, Argentina. It can be easily distinguished by its small size and incrassate femora of all legs; females have two ventral spines on tibia I – II and three on metatarsi I – II; males possess a tibial apophysis with two spines and a bulb with parallel low keels. An updated key is presented for all Chaco species. Additionally, the cladistic analysis resulted in the cladogram: (C. obscura, C. tucumana, C. castanea, (C. socos + C. tigre) (C. tecka (C. sanjuanina (C. Patagonia + C. ansilta sp. nov.))))).

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Effects of atmospheric pollutants on somatic and germ cells of Tradescantia pallida (Rose) D.R. HUNT cv. purpurea

Authors: Bruno A. Crispim, Juliana C.V. Spósito, Rosilda M. Mussury, Leonardo O. Seno and Alexéia B. Grisolia

The search Effects of atmospheric pollutants on somatic and germ cells of Tradescantia pallida, was conducted by researchers from Federal University of Grande Dourados, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. The objective was analyzing correlation between micronuclei in tetrad and stomata analysis, and level of air pollution from vehicular traffic in seasons of year. Micronuclei examination in tetrad and changes in stomata, call for continuous monitoring of urban air quality in different seasons of the year in order to evaluate the risks to affected human populations, and provide subsidies for elaboration of public policies that could minimize exposure to atmospheric pollutants. 

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Biflorin: an o-naphthoquinone of clinical significance

Authors: Gabrielle G.N.S. Wisintainer, Evelyne R.B. Simões, Telma L.G. Lemos, Sidnei Moura, Luciana G.S. Souza, Aluisio M. Fonseca, Manoel Odorico Moraes, Claudia Pessoa, Mariana Roesch-Ely and João A.P. Henriques

Biflorin is an o-naphthoquinone isolated compound taken from the roots of the plant Capraria biflora L. (Schrophulariaceae). This substance has shown to be strongly active against gram-positive and alcohol-acid-resistant bacteria. Therefore, biflorin presents no mutagenic activity in yeast and bacteria and did not induce micronucleus in V79 cells. Biflorin has been reported to inhibit the synthesis of DNA and higher concentrations can present cytotoxic effects, probably because of its ability to induce DNA strand breaks. It has been also efficient in inhibiting the proliferation tumor cell lines CEM, HL-60, B16, HCT-8 and MCF-7. Altogether, its activities suggest that biflorin can be considered a new prototype substance with potential anticancer activity.

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Soluble fractalkine in the plasma of fibromyalgia patients

Authors: Juan J. Garcia and Eduardo Ortega

Fibromyalgia is a form of non-articular rheumatism in which inflammatory cytokines seem to be involved. However, there is still no analytical specific diagnostic criterion for this disease. The aim was to examine a possible role of fractalkine as a biomarker in fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia patients showed lower plasma fractalkine than in healthy women. Since most inflammatory pathologies show elevated plasma levels of soluble fractalkine, the results may contribute towards a differential diagnosis for fibromyalgia.

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In vivo and in vitro effects of fructose on rat brain acetylcholinesterase activity: an ontogenetic study

Authors: Carine A. Guimarães, Mairis S. Biella, Abigail Lopes, Pedro F. Deroza, Mariana B. Oliveira, Tamires P. Macan, Emilio L. Streck, Gustavo C. Ferreira, Alexandra I. Zugno and Patrícia F. Schuck

Increased fructose concentrations are the biochemical hallmark of fructosemia. The pathophysiology of brain complications in patients is still undefined. It was shown that fructose caused an in vitro inhibition of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity in cerebral cortex of 30-day-old-rats. Thirty- and sixty-day old rats receiving fructose (5 μmol/g; i.p.) showed increased AchE activity in cerebral cortex, whilst this enzyme activity was unaffected in cerebral cortex, striatum or hippocampus of 15- and 90- day-old. Our data suggest that a disruption in cholinergic homeostasis may be involved in the pathophysiology of brain damage observed in young patients affected by fructosemia.

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Abeta(1-42) induces abnormal alternative splicing of tau exons 2/3 in NGF-induced PC12 cells

Authors: Teresa Lagunes, Marisol Herrera-Rivero, María Elena Hernández-Aguilar and Gonzalo E. Aranda-Abreu

Protein tau plays a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s disease, where its hyperphosphorylation promotes aggregation and microtubule destabilization. Tau undergoes alternative splicing which generates six isoforms in the human brain, due to inclusion/exclusion of exons 2, 3 and 10. Dysregulation of the splicing process of tau exon 10 is sufficient to cause tauopathy and has shown to be influenced by beta-amyloid peptides, but splicing of other exons is less studied. The effects of Aβ42 in the alternative splicing of tau exons 2/3 and 6, using untreated and NGF-induced PC12 cells are shown. Beta-amyloid exposure caused formed cell processes to retract in differentiated cells and altered the expression of exons 2/3 in both undifferentiated and differentiated cells. Expression of exon 6 was repressed in undifferentiated cells only. We suggest that beta-amyloid interferes with the splicing process of exons 2/3, favoring their exclusion and thus the expression of immature tau isoforms that are less efficient in stabilizing microtubules and may also be more prone to hyperphosphorylation.

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Modulation of Diabetes and Dylipidemia in Diabetic Insulin-Resistant Rats by Mangiferin: Role of Adiponectin and TNF- α

Authors: Samira Saleh, Nabila El-Maraghy, Enji Reda and Waleed Barakat

In this manuscript, we used a dietary model that mimics the unhealthy western diet (high-fat/high fructose diet for eight weeks followed by a subdiabetogenic dose of streptozotocin) to achieve a model of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome in rats. This model induced obesity, hyperglycemia and insulin resistance accompanied by depletion in liver glycogen and dyslipidemia. This was associated with an elevation in serum TNF-α and a reduction in adiponectin. The natural xanthone, mangiferin (20 mg/kg for 28 days) ameliorated the consequences of HFD-Fr-STZ and its actions were comparable to the effects of the standard insulin sensitizer, rosiglitazone.

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Differential Effect of Solution Conditions on the Conformation of the Actinoporins Sticholysin  II and Equinatoxin II

Authors: Edson V.F. Fauth, Eduardo M. Cilli, Rodrigo Ligabue-Braun and Hugo Verli

Actinoporins are toxin proteins from sea anemones. Their ability to disrupt membranes and cause pronounced hemolysis renders them as biotechnological targets. In this work, we analyzed two of these toxins (Sticholysin II and Equinatoxin II) in different conditions to model the toxin interaction with membranes and the formation of pores. We were able to observe structural changes that can be used to modulate the toxin activity. Since actinoporins are considered an attractive tool for cancer therapy (via selective cell removal with immunotoxin conjugates), we expect our results to contribute in the rational design of new bioactive compounds.

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Endothelial, renal and hepatic variables in wistar rats treated with Vancomycin

Authors: Felipe R. Bruniera, Felipe M. Ferreira, Luiz R.M. Savioli, Marcelo R. Bacci, David Feder, Edimar C. Pereira, Mavilde L.G. Pedreira, Maria A.S. Peterlini, Fábio F. Perazzo, Ligia A. Azzalis, Paulo C.P. Rosa, Virginia B.C. Junqueira, Monica A. Sato and Fernando L.A. Fonseca

Vancomycin is a glycopeptide antibiotic, with significant adverse and therapeutic effects, that has been useful for approximately 50 years. However, dose recommendations, dilution, rates and types of infusion are still controversial. The present study evaluated in rats the effect of different vancomycin dilutions in endothelial, liver and kidney injuries by biochemical parameters and histopathological analysis. The proposed model could determine hepatic injury, which was observed due to the increased levels of ALT. Morphological alterations could be seen in some cases; however, the proposed and commonly used markers don’t help in the monitoring of vancomycin toxicity.

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Sublethal effect of concentrations of Metarhizium anisopliae (metsch.) sorok on the larval stage and immunologic characteristics of Diatraea flavipennella (box) (lepidoptera: crambidae)

Authors: Jennifer Guimarães, Edmilson J. Marques, Valéria Wanderley-Teixeira, Auristela C. de Albuquerque, Eliana M. dos Passos, Cínthia C.M. Silva and Álvaro A.C. Teixeira

The manuscript analyzed the effects Metarhizium anisopliae (Metsch.) Sorokin different concentrations against Diatraea flavipennella (Box) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) larval phase, the interference on immunologic parameters like hemocyte dynamics, phenol oxidase production, nitric oxide, and total proteins, as well as to verify the possible differences in the histochemical profile of hemocytes.

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Analysis of morpho-agronomic and climatic variables in successive agricultural years provides novel information regarding the phenological cycle of Jatropha in conditions of the Brazilian cerrado

Authors: Gisele P. Domiciano, Alexandre A. Alves, Bruno G. Laviola and Julio C. Albrecht

The phenological phases of two Jatropha genotypes were studied during two agricultural years. To help understand the plant´s dynamics in the Brazilian Cerrado, agronomic and climatic variables were evaluated. We show that the delimitation of genotype-specific phenophases is determined by environment variations. For instance, emission of new branches and flowers was shown to coincide with the start of the rainy season. Therefore, flowering in Jatropha may be related to increases in temperature and rainfall. The number of inflorescences per plant and number of female flowers were shown to be the major determinants of the number of green fruits.

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Spatial variability of soil potassium in sugarcane areas subjected to the application of vinasse

Authors: Laércio A. de Carvalho, Ismael Meurer, Carlos A. da Silva Junior, Cristiane F.B. Santos and Paulo L. Libardi

The relevance presented in the manuscript seeks a frequency of wastewater monitoring in agriculture (vinasse). The descriptive statistical analysis and geostatistical methods were adequate to describe the dispersion of data and spatial dependence within the sampling interval of the variable K (%) in the studied soils. The investigation of the spatial variability of K on the surface and subsurface soils provided the definition of management zones with different levels of fertility, which can be organized into sub-areas for a more efficient management of resources and the environment.

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Cotesia flavipes (CAM) (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) Supresses Immune Responses in Diatraea flavipennella (BOX) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)

Authors: Eliana M. dos Passos, Valéria Wanderley-Teixeira, Edmilson J. Marques, Álvaro A.C. Teixeira and Fábio A. Brayner

Cotesia flavipes suppresses immune responses in Diatraea flavipennella and dramatically affects the fat body. This parasitoid induced changes in the humoral immune response that are reflected in decreased levels of nitric oxide and phenoloxidase activity. In addition, it altered the cellular immune response observed by the decrease in the total number of hemocytes, increase in plasmatocytes, and decrease of spherulocytes. The parasitized caterpillar showed compromised encapsulation ability, light melanization, and lack of capsule formation in hemocytes adhered to the invading body. Apoptosis in hemocytes and fat body cells was also visualized as a result of the parasitoid’s success.

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Mapping of sites in forest stands

Authors: Sylvio Péllico Netto, Flavio R. Stefanello, Allan L. Pelissari and Hassan C. David

Forest companies monitor annually their plantation areas to establish their forest planning. It is quite important to consider the stratification of the total planted population up to the level of site units. By mapping sites, these sub-populations become much more homogeneous in volume distribution per unit of area, requiring a smaller sample size to conduct the continuous forest inventory – CFI and, consequently, provide more precise estimates, at lower costs for the required information. Stratification by site units makes it possible to increase the sample size by compartments, avoiding the need of establishment of a pre-harvest inventory.

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Photosynthetic metabolism and quality of Eugenia pyriformis Cambess. seedlings on substrate function and water levels

Authors: Silvana P.Q. Scalon, Tatiane S. Jeromini, Rosilda M. Mussury and Daiane M. Dresh

The uvaia (Eugenia pyriformis Cambess. - Myrtaceae) is a fruit of wide dispersion in Brazil, can be used for making juices, vinegar and wine. Its exploitation is still held, extractive form and information on production technologies are essential for seedling production and sustainable use. The water requirement of crops, affects the physiological and metabolic activities of plants.  Thus, to evaluate the effect of substrates and water requirements for seedling production of  uvaia becomes necessary. 

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Frequency and foraging behavior of Apis mellifera in two melon hybrids in Juazeiro, state of Bahia, Brazil

Authors: Lúcia H.P. Kiill, Kátia M.M. Siqueira, Márcia S. Coelho, Tamires A. Silva, Diego R.S. Gama, Diego C.S. Araújo and Joaquim Pereira Neto

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Ultra-low temperature conservation of Brazilian Pine embryogenic cultures

Authors: Grasiela Demarchi, Valdir M. Stefenon, Neusa Steiner, Felipe N. Vieira, Lirio L. Dal Vesco and Miguel P. Guerra

Preservation of genotypes at very low temperature has been considered an alternative to store large number of samples, to avoid loss of embryogenic potential during long-term subculture and to evade possible somaclonal variation. We established a cryopreservation protocol for embryogenic cultures of Araucaria angustifolia, the most important native Brazilian conifer species. The developed protocol, based on the vitrification procedure, enables long-term storage of in vitro cultures of the species and the ex situ conservation of the species genetic resources

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Elaboration of garlic and salt spice with reduced sodium intake

Authors: Jéssica F. Rodrigues, Gabriela Junqueira, Carla S. Gonçalves, João D.S. Carneiro, Ana Carla M. Pinheiro and Cleiton A. Nunes

Garlic and salt spice is widely used in cookery, but it has high sodium content and evidences have linked excessive salt consumption to the development of chronic diseases. Thus, this study aimed to develop a low-sodium garlic and salt spice, utilizing the TDS and TI methodologies. Through the results, it was noted that a mixture of NaCl, KCl and monosodium glutamate is a viable alternative to develop a product with reduced sodium intake. Therefore, this work will give allowance for future studies, supports the development of new products, attending consumer desires, and contributing to the variety of product in market.

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Effect of storage in overcoming seed dormancy of Annona coriacea Mart. seeds

Authors: Daiane M. Dresh, Silvana P.Q. Scalon and Tathiana E. Masetto

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Pollination of Rapeseed (Brassica napus) by Africanized Honeybees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on Two Sowing Dates

Authors: Emerson D. Chambó, Newton T.E. de Oliveira, Regina C. Garcia, José B. Duarte-Júnior, Maria Claudia C. Ruvolo-Takasusuki and Vargner A. Toledo

This research was carried out to evaluate two self-fertile hybrid commercial rapeseed genotypes (Hyola 61 and Hyola 433), three pollination tests (uncovered area, covered area without insects and covered area containing a colony of Apis mellifera) and two sowing dates (May 25th, 2011 and June 25th, 2011). The presence of Africanized honeybees during flowering time increased the productivity of the rapeseed. Weather conditions limited the foraging activity of Africanized honeybees, causing decreased cross-pollination.The rapeseed hybrids respond differently depending on the sowing date, and the short-cycle Hyola 433 hybrid is the most suitable for sowing under less favorable weather conditions.

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Stenospermy and seed development in the “Brazilian seedless” variety of sugar apple (Annona squamosa)

Authors: Rayane C. dos Santos, Leonardo M. Ribeiro, Maria Olívia Mercadante-Simões, Márcia R. Costa, Silvia Nietsche and Marlon C.T. Pereira

Stenospermy was identified in naturally occurring sugar-apple (Annona squamosa) mutants with great potential for use in genetic improvement programs. The anatomy of developing fruit in the 'Brazilian Seedless' mutant was characterized. After fertilization and early development, the embryos and embryo sac degenerate, although this does not affect pericarp development. The mature fruit contains numerous small sterile seeds with living perisperm, formed from the peripheral layers of the nucellus, and unlignified integument, restricted to the micropylar region. Stenospermy leads to the formation of sterile seeds in A. squamosa, and the perisperm possibly plays an important role in fruit development.

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Behavior and performance of sows fed different levels of fiber and reared in individual cages or collective pens

Authors: Fábio E.L. Budiño, Renata F.N. Vieira, Silvio P. Mello and Keila M.R. Duarte

Physiological, behavioral, environmental, and hormonal parameters were studied in sixteen pregnant sows. Productive and reproductive parameters were  also evaluated: weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion of the sow and piglets, number of piglets born dead and alive, number and weight at weaning, and backfat thickness. Pregnant sows reared in collective pens and were fed with low and high fiber diet. A high-fiber diet exhibited better physiological responses, indicating better comfort and  animal welfare and did not interfere with female productive performance. Tifton hay can therefore be indicated as an alternative for sow diets to improve animal welfare.

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Feasible domain of Walker’s unsteady wall-layer model for the velocity profile in turbulent flows

Authors: Mikhail D. Mikhailov and Atila P. Silva Freire

The work discusses the unsteady wall-layer model of Walker et al. (1989) for the velocity profile in turbulent flows. Two new terms are included in the transcendental non-linear system of equations that is used to determine the three main model parameters. The mathematical and physical feasible domains of the model are determined as a function of the non-dimensional pressure gradient parameter. An explicit parameterization scheme is introduced, that results in a very fast computational procedure.

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Brazilian natural fiber (jute) as raw material for activated carbon production

Authors: Carla F.S. Rombaldo, Antonio C.L. Lisboa, Manoel O.A. Mendez and Aparecido R. Coutinho

This original manuscript presents a study about the production and characterization of jute fibers activated with steam. Jute is a low cost easily obtained Brazilian raw material, being Brazil considered one of the major producers. The main concern is to contribute with activated carbon production cost reduction using a renewable source as raw material. The results obtained indicate the possibility to produce activated fiber with specific surface area, around 470 m2.g-1, which is similar to commercial activated carbons.

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The environmental risk as a culture in the Sinos Valley, Brazil

Authors: Valdir Pedde, João A. Figueiredo, José G. Tundisi and Cátia A. Lenz

The study analyses the social-environmental perception from the discourse as a reality constitutive element. The discourse practices and their concretion are the source of meaning and social-cultural value. The research method is qualitative and quantitative. It recaptures a theoretical input by Mary Douglas on risk and culture and on the acceptance of the risks in society. It covers a few data of the risks case resulting from the tanning industry and on how the society of the Sinos Valley relates to these risks. The population’s risk perception is directly related with past experiences, assigning a meaning to all new events.

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Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences

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