Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Designing future dairy systems for New Zealand using reflexive interactive design
    Romera, A.J. ; Bos, A.P. ; Neal, M. ; Eastwood, C.R. ; Chapman, D. ; McWilliam, W. ; Royds, D. ; O'Connor, C. ; Brookes, R. ; Connolly, J. ; Hall, P. ; Clinton, P.W. - \ 2020
    Agricultural Systems 181 (2020). - ISSN 0308-521X
    Dairy - Design - Integral sustainability - Reflexion - Stakeholder - Territory

    Globally, agricultural systems are facing unprecedented challenges. The problems are of systemic nature and will require transformational changes and systemic redesign. In this study, we investigated the redesign of dairy systems in New Zealand, due to their large economic, social and environmental influence nationally. We did not set the boundaries of the ‘dairy systems’ from the outset, letting this definition be part of the design process. We applied ‘Reflexive Interactive Design’ (RIO), an approach aimed at structurally addressing complex trade-offs and contributing, by process and design, to change towards sustainable development and integral sustainability (i.e. in all relevant dimensions of sustainability). A detailed system analysis was conducted, followed by two rounds of structured design focused on four main stakeholders (‘actors') identified as part of the RIO process: the farmers, the citizens, the consumers, and the dairy cows. Our study established design goals related to enhancing the wellbeing of humans and animals, enhancing environmental performance, economics and resilience of dairy systems and reconnecting dairy farming with the rest of society. The process took us beyond the boundaries of a dairy farm and identified the territorial level as the object of design, arriving at a design concept we have called the ‘Agro-ecological Park’. The name was chosen to convey an analogy with ‘Eco-industrial Parks’. Operating as a multifunctional network, the Park has the goal of delivering multiple benefits for its members, and multiple goods and services for the rest of society. The coordinated network articulates linkages between farmers and many other businesses and people in the territory. The individual dairy farm is redesigned to be a node in that network rather than operating as an isolated entity. That way, much of the weight for the increased complexity and multifunctionality now demanded of farming can be carried by the network instead of the individual farmer. These preliminary design ideas, and the reasoning behind them, should encourage new perspectives on the complex problems facing NZ dairy farming, and agriculture globally, in the upcoming decades.

    Improving sub-seasonal forecast skill of meteorological drought: A weather pattern approach
    Richardson, Doug ; Fowler, Hayley J. ; Kilsby, Christopher G. ; Neal, Robert ; Dankers, Rutger - \ 2020
    Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 20 (2020)1. - ISSN 1561-8633 - p. 107 - 124.

    Dynamical model skill in forecasting extratropical precipitation is limited beyond the medium-range (around 15 d), but such models are often more skilful at predicting atmospheric variables. We explore the potential benefits of using weather pattern (WP) predictions as an intermediary step in forecasting UK precipitation and meteorological drought on sub-seasonal timescales. Mean sea-level pressure forecasts from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts ensemble prediction system (ECMWF-EPS) are post-processed into probabilistic WP predictions. Then we derive precipitation estimates and dichotomous drought event probabilities by sampling from the conditional distributions of precipitation given the WPs. We compare this model to the direct precipitation and drought forecasts from the ECMWF-EPS and to a baseline Markov chain WP method. A perfect-prognosis model is also tested to illustrate the potential of WPs in forecasting. Using a range of skill diagnostics, we find that the Markov model is the least skilful, while the dynamical WP model and direct precipitation forecasts have similar accuracy independent of lead time and season. However, drought forecasts are more reliable for the dynamical WP model. Forecast skill scores are generally modest (rarely above 0.4), although those for the perfect-prognosis model highlight the potential predictability of precipitation and drought using WPs, with certain situations yielding skill scores of almost 0.8 and drought event hit and false alarm rates of 70 % and 30 %, respectively.

    Use of reflexive interactive design to address challenges to New Zealand dairy farming
    Romera, Álvaro J. ; Neal, Mark ; Bos, Bram - \ 2019
    Animal Production Science 60 (2019)1. - ISSN 1836-0939 - p. 121 - 126.
    structured design - system boundaries - system innovation

    The New Zealand dairy industry will undergo significant changes over the next decades, so as to meet sustainability challenges (environmentally, economically, socially and ethically). The objective of the current study was to tackle these challenges by attempting a radical re-design of the dairy system. The study took a structured approach called reflexive interactive design. The intention was to address complex trade-offs between competing goals, deliberately targeting structural system changes in the systems. Through a series of interviews and design workshops, two concepts were drafted. These concepts are intended to be used as vehicles to construct shared meanings, in conversation with farmers, policy makers, scientists, the public, and other influential actors. Two findings relevant for consideration in redesigning dairy systems were as follows: first, the sustainability issues the industry is facing are interconnected, so solutions to one issue have implications for the others; second, the boundaries of the system to be designed may need to go beyond the farm gate, to include other parts of the value chain, groups of farms and possibly interconnected land uses.

    Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition
    Karp, Daniel S. ; Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca ; Meehan, Timothy D. ; Martin, Emily A. ; Declerck, Fabrice ; Grab, Heather ; Gratton, Claudio ; Hunt, Lauren ; Larsen, Ashley E. ; Martínez-Salinas, Alejandra ; O’Rourke, Megan E. ; Rusch, Adrien ; Poveda, Katja ; Jonsson, Mattias ; Rosenheim, Jay A. ; Schellhorn, Nancy A. ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Wratten, Stephen D. ; Zhang, Wei ; Iverson, Aaron L. ; Adler, Lynn S. ; Albrecht, Matthias ; Alignier, Audrey ; Angelella, Gina M. ; Zubair Anjum, Muhammad ; Avelino, Jacques ; Batáry, Péter ; Baveco, Johannes M. ; Bianchi, Felix J.J.A. ; Birkhofer, Klaus ; Bohnenblust, Eric W. ; Bommarco, Riccardo ; Brewer, Michael J. ; Caballero-López, Berta ; Carrière, Yves ; Carvalheiro, Luísa G. ; Cayuela, Luis ; Centrella, Mary ; Ćetković, Aleksandar ; Henri, Dominic Charles ; Chabert, Ariane ; Costamagna, Alejandro C. ; La Mora, Aldo De; Kraker, Joop De; Desneux, Nicolas ; Diehl, Eva ; Diekötter, Tim ; Dormann, Carsten F. ; Eckberg, James O. ; Entling, Martin H. ; Fiedler, Daniela ; Franck, Pierre ; Veen, F.J.F. van; Frank, Thomas ; Gagic, Vesna ; Garratt, Michael P.D. ; Getachew, Awraris ; Gonthier, David J. ; Goodell, Peter B. ; Graziosi, Ignazio ; Groves, Russell L. ; Gurr, Geoff M. ; Hajian-Forooshani, Zachary ; Heimpel, George E. ; Herrmann, John D. ; Huseth, Anders S. ; Inclán, Diego J. ; Ingrao, Adam J. ; Iv, Phirun ; Jacot, Katja ; Johnson, Gregg A. ; Jones, Laura ; Kaiser, Marina ; Kaser, Joe M. ; Keasar, Tamar ; Kim, Tania N. ; Kishinevsky, Miriam ; Landis, Douglas A. ; Lavandero, Blas ; Lavigne, Claire ; Ralec, Anne Le; Lemessa, Debissa ; Letourneau, Deborah K. ; Liere, Heidi ; Lu, Yanhui ; Lubin, Yael ; Luttermoser, Tim ; Maas, Bea ; Mace, Kevi ; Madeira, Filipe ; Mader, Viktoria ; Cortesero, Anne Marie ; Marini, Lorenzo ; Martinez, Eliana ; Martinson, Holly M. ; Menozzi, Philippe ; Mitchell, Matthew G.E. ; Miyashita, Tadashi ; Molina, Gonzalo A.R. ; Molina-Montenegro, Marco A. ; O’Neal, Matthew E. ; Opatovsky, Itai ; Ortiz-Martinez, Sebaastian ; Nash, Michael ; Östman, Örjan ; Ouin, Annie ; Pak, Damie ; Paredes, Daniel ; Parsa, Soroush ; Parry, Hazel ; Perez-Alvarez, Ricardo ; Perović, David J. ; Peterson, Julie A. ; Petit, Sandrine ; Philpott, Stacy M. ; Plantegenest, Manuel ; Plećaš, Milan ; Pluess, Therese ; Pons, Xavier ; Potts, Simon G. ; Pywell, Richard F. ; Ragsdale, David W. ; Rand, Tatyana A. ; Raymond, Lucie ; Ricci, Benoît ; Sargent, Chris ; Sarthou, Jean-Pierre ; Saulais, Julia ; Schäckermann, Jessica ; Schmidt, Nick P. ; Schneider, Gudrun ; Schüepp, Christof ; Sivakoff, Frances S. ; Smith, Henrik G. ; Stack Whitney, Kaitlin ; Stutz, Sonja ; Szendrei, Zsofia ; Takada, Mayura B. ; Taki, Hisatomo ; Tamburini, Giovanni ; Thomson, Linda J. ; Tricault, Yann ; Tsafack, Noelline ; Tschumi, Matthias ; Valantin-Morison, Muriel ; Trinh, Mai Van; Werf, Wopke Van Der; Vierling, Kerri T. ; Werling, Ben P. ; Wickens, Jennifer B. ; Wickens, Victoria J. ; Woodcock, Ben A. ; Wyckhuys, Kris ; Xiao, Haijun ; Yasuda, Mika ; Yoshioka, Akira - \ 2018
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (2018)33. - ISSN 0027-8424 - p. E7863 - E7870.
    IPM
    The idea that noncrop habitat enhances pest control and represents a win–win opportunity to conserve biodiversity and bolster yields has emerged as an agroecological paradigm. However, while noncrop habitat in landscapes surrounding farms sometimes benefits pest predators, natural enemy responses remain heterogeneous across studies and effects on pests are inconclusive. The observed heterogeneity in species responses to noncrop habitat may be biological in origin or could result from variation in how habitat and biocontrol are measured. Here, we use a pest-control database encompassing 132 studies and 6,759 sites worldwide to model natural enemy and pest abundances, predation rates, and crop damage as a function of landscape composition. Our results showed that although landscape composition explained significant variation within studies, pest and enemy abundances, predation rates, crop damage, and yields each exhibited different responses across studies, sometimes increasing and sometimes decreasing in landscapes with more noncrop habitat but overall showing no consistent trend. Thus, models that used landscape-composition variables to predict pest-control dynamics demonstrated little potential to explain variation across studies, though prediction did improve when comparing studies with similar crop and landscape features. Overall, our work shows that surrounding noncrop habitat does not consistently improve pest management, meaning habitat conservation may bolster production in some systems and depress yields in others. Future efforts to develop tools that inform farmers when habitat conservation truly represents a win–win would benefit from increased understanding of how landscape effects are modulated by local farm management and the biology of pests and their enemies.
    Genome-wide association study in 79,366 European-ancestry individuals informs the genetic architecture of 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels
    Jiang, Xia ; O'Reilly, Paul F. ; Aschard, Hugues ; Hsu, Yi Hsiang ; Richards, J.B. ; Dupuis, Josée ; Ingelsson, Erik ; Karasik, David ; Pilz, Stefan ; Berry, Diane ; Kestenbaum, Bryan ; Zheng, Jusheng ; Luan, Jianan ; Sofianopoulou, Eleni ; Streeten, Elizabeth A. ; Albanes, Demetrius ; Lutsey, Pamela L. ; Yao, Lu ; Tang, Weihong ; Econs, Michael J. ; Wallaschofski, Henri ; Völzke, Henry ; Zhou, Ang ; Power, Chris ; McCarthy, Mark I. ; Michos, Erin D. ; Boerwinkle, Eric ; Weinstein, Stephanie J. ; Freedman, Neal D. ; Huang, Wen Yi ; Schoor, Natasja M. van; Velde, Nathalie van der; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Enneman, Anke ; Cupples, L.A. ; Booth, Sarah L. ; Vasan, Ramachandran S. ; Liu, Ching Ti ; Zhou, Yanhua ; Ripatti, Samuli ; Ohlsson, Claes ; Vandenput, Liesbeth ; Lorentzon, Mattias ; Eriksson, Johan G. ; Shea, M.K. ; Houston, Denise K. ; Kritchevsky, Stephen B. ; Liu, Yongmei ; Lohman, Kurt K. ; Ferrucci, Luigi ; Peacock, Munro ; Gieger, Christian ; Beekman, Marian ; Slagboom, Eline ; Deelen, Joris ; Deelen, Joris ; Heemst, Diana van; Kleber, Marcus E. ; März, Winfried ; Boer, Ian H. De; Wood, Alexis C. ; Rotter, Jerome I. ; Rich, Stephen S. ; Robinson-Cohen, Cassianne ; Heijer, Martin Den; Jarvelin, Marjo Riitta ; Jarvelin, Marjo Riitta ; Cavadino, Alana ; Cavadino, Alana ; Joshi, Peter K. ; Wilson, James F. ; Hayward, Caroline ; Lind, Lars ; Michaëlsson, Karl ; Trompet, Stella ; Zillikens, M.C. ; Uitterlinden, Andre G. ; Rivadeneira, Fernando - \ 2018
    Nature Communications 9 (2018)1. - ISSN 2041-1723
    Vitamin D is a steroid hormone precursor that is associated with a range of human traits and diseases. Previous GWAS of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations have identified four genome-wide significant loci (GC, NADSYN1/DHCR7, CYP2R1, CYP24A1). In this study, we expand the previous SUNLIGHT Consortium GWAS discovery sample size from 16,125 to 79,366 (all European descent). This larger GWAS yields two additional loci harboring genome-wide significant variants (P = 4.7×10 -9 at rs8018720 in SEC23A, and P = 1.9×10 -14 at rs10745742 in AMDHD1). The overall estimate of heritability of 25-hydroxyvitamin D serum concentrations attributable to GWAS common SNPs is 7.5%, with statistically significant loci explaining 38% of this total. Further investigation identifies signal enrichment in immune and hematopoietic tissues, and clustering with autoimmune diseases in cell-type-specific analysis. Larger studies are required to identify additional common SNPs, and to explore the role of rare or structural variants and gene-gene interactions in the heritability of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels.
    Dataset supplementing Lichtenberg et al. (2017) A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes. Global Change Biology
    Lichtenberg, Elinor M. ; Kennedy, Christina M. ; Kremen, Claire ; Batáry, Péter ; Berendse, F. ; Bommarco, Riccardo ; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A. ; Carvalheiro, Luísa G. ; Snyder, William E. ; Williams, Neal M. - \ 2017
    agricultural management schemes - arthropod diversity - functional groups - landscape complexity - meta-analysis - evenness - biodiversity - organic farming - plant diversity
    This dataset contains data and scripts that supplement the publication
    A global synthesis of the effects of diversified farming systems on arthropod diversity within fields and across agricultural landscapes
    Lichtenberg, Elinor M. ; Kennedy, Christina M. ; Kremen, Claire ; Batáry, Péter ; Berendse, Frank ; Bommarco, Riccardo ; Bosque-Pérez, Nilsa A. ; Carvalheiro, Luísa G. ; Snyder, William E. ; Williams, Neal M. ; Winfree, Rachael ; Klatt, Björn K. ; Åström, Sandra ; Benjamin, Faye ; Brittain, Claire ; Chaplin-Kramer, Rebecca ; Clough, Yann ; Danforth, Bryan ; Diekötter, Tim ; Eigenbrode, Sanford D. ; Ekroos, Johan ; Elle, Elizabeth ; Freitas, Breno M. ; Fukuda, Yuki ; Gaines-Day, Hannah R. ; Grab, Heather ; Gratton, Claudio ; Holzschuh, Andrea ; Isaacs, Rufus ; Isaia, Marco ; Jha, Shalene ; Jonason, Dennis ; Jones, Vincent P. ; Klein, Alexandra Maria ; Krauss, Jochen ; Letourneau, Deborah K. ; Macfadyen, Sarina ; Mallinger, Rachel E. ; Martin, Emily A. ; Martinez, Eliana ; Memmott, Jane ; Morandin, Lora ; Neame, Lisa ; Otieno, Mark ; Park, Mia G. ; Pfiffner, Lukas ; Pocock, Michael J.O. ; Ponce, Carlos ; Potts, Simon G. ; Poveda, Katja ; Ramos, Mariangie ; Rosenheim, Jay A. ; Rundlöf, Maj ; Sardiñas, Hillary ; Saunders, Manu E. ; Schon, Nicole L. ; Sciligo, Amber R. ; Sidhu, C.S. ; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf ; Tscharntke, Teja ; Veselý, Milan ; Weisser, Wolfgang W. ; Wilson, Julianna K. ; Crowder, David W. - \ 2017
    Global Change Biology 23 (2017)11. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 4946 - 4957.
    Agricultural management schemes - Arthropod diversity - Biodiversity - Evenness - Functional groups - Landscape complexity - Meta-analysis - Organic farming - Plant diversity
    Agricultural intensification is a leading cause of global biodiversity loss, which can reduce the provisioning of ecosystem services in managed ecosystems. Organic farming and plant diversification are farm management schemes that may mitigate potential ecological harm by increasing species richness and boosting related ecosystem services to agroecosystems. What remains unclear is the extent to which farm management schemes affect biodiversity components other than species richness, and whether impacts differ across spatial scales and landscape contexts. Using a global metadataset, we quantified the effects of organic farming and plant diversification on abundance, local diversity (communities within fields), and regional diversity (communities across fields) of arthropod pollinators, predators, herbivores, and detritivores. Both organic farming and higher in-field plant diversity enhanced arthropod abundance, particularly for rare taxa. This resulted in increased richness but decreased evenness. While these responses were stronger at local relative to regional scales, richness and abundance increased at both scales, and richness on farms embedded in complex relative to simple landscapes. Overall, both organic farming and in-field plant diversification exerted the strongest effects on pollinators and predators, suggesting these management schemes can facilitate ecosystem service providers without augmenting herbivore (pest) populations. Our results suggest that organic farming and plant diversification promote diverse arthropod metacommunities that may provide temporal and spatial stability of ecosystem service provisioning. Conserving diverse plant and arthropod communities in farming systems therefore requires sustainable practices that operate both within fields and across landscapes.
    Development of an investment model for automated mastitis detection systems
    Eastwood, C.R. ; DeVeer, J. ; Neal, M. ; Rue, B.T. De la; Kamphuis, C. - \ 2016
    In: Precision Dairy Farming 2016. - Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862832 - p. 439 - 444.
    Quantification of the smoking-associated cancer risk with rate advancement periods : Meta-analysis of individual participant data from cohorts of the CHANCES consortium
    Ordóñez-Mena, José Manuel ; Schöttker, Ben ; Mons, Ute ; Jenab, Mazda ; Freisling, Heinz ; Bueno-de-Mesquita, Bas ; O'Doherty, Mark G. ; Scott, Angela ; Kee, Frank ; Stricker, Bruno H. ; Hofman, Albert ; Keyser, Catherine E. de; Ruiter, Rikje ; Söderberg, Stefan ; Jousilahti, Pekka ; Kuulasmaa, Kari ; Freedman, Neal D. ; Wilsgaard, Tom ; Groot, Lisette C.P.G.M. de; Kampman, Ellen ; Håkansson, Niclas ; Orsini, Nicola ; Wolk, Alicja ; Nilsson, Lena Maria ; Tjønneland, Anne ; Pajak, Andrzej ; Malyutina, Sofia ; Kubínová, Růžena ; Tamosiunas, Abdonas ; Bobak, Martin ; Katsoulis, Michail ; Orfanos, Philippos ; Boffetta, Paolo ; Trichopoulou, Antonia ; Brenner, Hermann - \ 2016
    BMC Medicine 14 (2016)1. - ISSN 1741-7015
    Cancer - Cohort - Incidence - Meta-analysis - Mortality - Smoking

    Background: Smoking is the most important individual risk factor for many cancer sites but its association with breast and prostate cancer is not entirely clear. Rate advancement periods (RAPs) may enhance communication of smoking related risk to the general population. Thus, we estimated RAPs for the association of smoking exposure (smoking status, time since smoking cessation, smoking intensity, and duration) with total and site-specific (lung, breast, colorectal, prostate, gastric, head and neck, and pancreatic) cancer incidence and mortality. Methods: This is a meta-analysis of 19 population-based prospective cohort studies with individual participant data for 897,021 European and American adults. For each cohort we calculated hazard ratios (HRs) for the association of smoking exposure with cancer outcomes using Cox regression adjusted for a common set of the most important potential confounding variables. RAPs (in years) were calculated as the ratio of the logarithms of the HRs for a given smoking exposure variable and age. Meta-analyses were employed to summarize cohort-specific HRs and RAPs. Results: Overall, 140,205 subjects had a first incident cancer, and 53,164 died from cancer, during an average follow-up of 12 years. Current smoking advanced the overall risk of developing and dying from cancer by eight and ten years, respectively, compared with never smokers. The greatest advancements in cancer risk and mortality were seen for lung cancer and the least for breast cancer. Smoking cessation was statistically significantly associated with delays in the risk of cancer development and mortality compared with continued smoking. Conclusions: This investigation shows that smoking, even among older adults, considerably advances, and cessation delays, the risk of developing and dying from cancer. These findings may be helpful in more effectively communicating the harmful effects of smoking and the beneficial effect of smoking cessation.

    Shifts in dynamic regime of an invasive lady beetle are linked to the invasion and insecticidal management of its prey
    Bahlai, C.A. ; Werf, W. van der; O'Neal, M. ; Hemerik, L. ; Landis, D.A. - \ 2015
    Ecological Applications 25 (2015)7. - ISSN 1051-0761 - p. 1807 - 1818.
    The spread and impact of invasive species may vary over time in relation to changes in the species itself, the biological community of which it is part, or external controls on the system. Here we investigate whether there have been changes in dynamic regimes over the last 20 years of two invasive species in the Midwestern US, the multicolored Asian lady beetle Harmonia axyridis and the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines. We show by model selection that after its 1993 invasion into the American Midwest, the year-to-year population dynamics of H. axyridis were initially governed by a logistic rule supporting gradual rise to a stable carrying capacity. After invasion of the soybean aphid in 2000, food resources at the landscape level became abundant, supporting a higher year-¬to-year growth rate, and a higher but unstable carrying capacity, with 2-year cycles in both aphid and lady beetle abundance as a consequence. During 2005-2007, farmers in the Midwest progressively increased their use of insecticides for managing A. glycines, combining prophylactic seed treatment with curative spraying based on thresholds. This human intervention dramatically reduced the soybean aphid as a major food resource for H. axyridis at landscape level, and corresponded to a reverse shift towards the original logistic rule for year-to-year dynamics. Thus, we document a short episode of major predator-prey fluctuations in an important agricultural system resulting from two biological invasions that were apparently damped by widespread insecticide use. Recent advances in development of plant resistance to A. glycines in soybeans may mitigate the need for pesticidal control and achieve the same stabilization of pest and predator populations at lower cost and environmental burden.
    Food Law
    Meulen, B.M.J. van der - \ 2014
    In: Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 2nd Edition / van Alfen, N., Neal, K., Oxford : Elsevier - ISBN 9780444525123 - p. 186 - 195.
    The inflammasome is a central player in the induction of obesity and insulin resistance
    Stienstra, Rinke ; Diepen, Janna A. van; Tack, Cees J. ; Zaki, Mohammad H. ; Veerdonk, Frank L. van de; Perera, Deshani ; Neal, Geoff ; Hijmans, Anneke ; Vroegrijk, Irene O. ; Berg, Sjoerd A. van den; Romijn, Johannes A. ; Rensen, Patrick C. ; Joosten, Leo A. ; Netea, Mihai G. ; Kanneganti, Thirumala-Devi D. - \ 2011
    GSE25205 - Mus musculus - PRJNA134319
    Inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of obesity. Chronic overfeeding leads to macrophage infiltration in the adipose tissue, resulting in pro-inflammatory cytokine production. Both microbial and endogenous danger signals trigger assembly of the intracellular innate immune sensor Nlrp3 [NLR family, pyrin domain containing 3] resulting in caspase-1 activation and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1beta and IL-18. Here, we showed that mice deficient in Nlrp3, ASC [apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD; a.k.a PYCARD (PYD and CARD domain containing)] and caspase-1 were resistant to the development of high fat diet-induced obesity, which correlated with protection from obesity-induced insulin resistance. Detailed metabolic and molecular phenotyping demonstrated that the inflammasome controls energy expenditure and adipogenic gene expression during chronic overfeeding. These findings reveal a critical function of the inflammasome in obesity and insulin resistance and suggest inhibition of the inflammasome as a potential therapeutic strategy.
    First Report of Root-Knot Nematode Meloidogyne enterolobii on Tomato and Cucumber in Switzerland
    Kiewnick, S. ; Karssen, G. ; Brito, J.A. ; Oggenfuss, M. ; Frey, J.E. - \ 2008
    Plant Disease 92 (2008)9. - ISSN 0191-2917 - p. 1370 - 1370.
    Severe stunting and extensive root galling were observed on tomato rootstock (Solanum lycopersicum L. cv. Maxifort) resistant to Meloidogyne incognita (Kofoid & White, 1919) Chitwood, 1949, M. javanica (Treub, 1885), and M. arenaria (Neal, 1889) Chitwood, 1949 and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Loustik) from two commercial greenhouses in the cantons Aargau and Lucerne in northern Switzerland. Examination of the roots of infected plants revealed the presence of root-knot nematodes in large numbers. Juveniles, males, and females were isolated, and the species was determined on the basis of morphological characteristics, including the female perineal pattern. Identification was confirmed by female esterase (Est) and malate dehydrogenase (MdH) electrophoresis (20 each for Est and MdH). All methods of identification were consistent with M. enterolobii Yang & Eisenback, 1983 (4). For further confirmation, type material of M. enterolobii (from the original host Enterolobium contortisiliquum (Vell.) Morong) from China (4) was used. Furthermore, comparison of the sequence data from 12 individuals of each of the two Swiss populations and the type material of a 310-bp fragment of cytochrome oxidase I (COI), a 723-bp fragment covering the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region 1, 5.8s, ITS2, and part of the 26s, the mtDNA 63-bp repeat region, and a 780-bp fragment of the intergenic spacer region (1¿3) showed 100% homology and confirmed the identification as M. enterolobii. The species M. enterolobii is of great importance because it is able to reproduce on resistant tobacco, pepper, watermelon, and tomato (4). To our knowledge, this is the first report of M. enterolobii in Switzerland.
    Nutrient mobility within river basins: a European perspective
    Heathwaite, A.L. ; Billen, G. ; Gibson, C. ; Neal, C. ; Steenvoorden, J.H.A.M. ; Withers, P. ; Bolton, L. - \ 2005
    Journal of Hydrology 304 (2005)1-4. - ISSN 0022-1694 - p. 1 - 2.
    Genotoxicity testing of extracts from aflatoxin-contaminated peanut meal, following chemical decontamination
    Hoogenboom, L.A.P. ; Polman, Th.H.G. ; Neal, G.E. ; Verma, A. ; Guyomard, C. ; Tulliez, J. ; Gautier, J.P. ; Coker, R.D. ; Nagler, M.J. ; Heidenreich, E. ; Delort-Laval, J. - \ 2001
    Food Additives and Contaminants 18 (2001)4. - ISSN 0265-203X - p. 329 - 341.
    One of the most important concerns in the decontamination of aflatoxin-containing feed commodities is the safety of the products for food-producing animals and for human consumption of products derived from these animals. A new method, based on the use of florisil and C18 solid phase extraction columns, was developed for the preparation of extracts from decontaminated peanut meal, which allowed testing with in vitro genotoxicity assays without interference of the residual aflatoxin B1. Recovery of degradation products in the extracts was evaluated by the use of radiolabelled \\[14C]-aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) added to naturallycontaminated peanut meal (3.5mg AFB1/kg). The meal was treated by a small-scale version of an industrial decontamination process based on ammoniation. Following decontamination, more than 90␘f the label could not be extracted from the meal. AFB1 accounted for about 10␘f the radiolabel present in the extractable fraction, indicating a total AFB reduction of more than 99ÐDecontamination of the meal by a number of other small- and industrial-scale ammonia-based processes resulted in similar efficiencies. Application of the extraction procedure resulted in AFB1-rich and AFB1-poor fractions, the latter containing half of the extractable decontamination products but less than 1␘f the residual AFB1. Testing in the Salmonella /microsome mutagenicity assay (TA 100, with S9-mix) of the original crude extracts and AFB1 rich fractions prepared from non-treated and decontaminated meal, showed the positive results expected from the AFB1 contents as determined by HPLC analysis. Analysis and testing of the AFB1-poor fractions showed that the various decontamination processes not only resulted in a successful degradation of AFB1 but also did not produce other potent mutagenic compounds. Slight positive results obtained with these extracts were similar for the untreated and treated meals and may be due to unknown compounds originally present in the meal. Results obtained with an unscheduled DNA synthesis (UDS) and Comet assay with rat hepatocytes supported this conclusion. Positive results obtained with the micronucleus assay, using immortalized mouse hepatocytes (GKB), did not clearly reflect the mycotoxin levels and require further examination. It is concluded that the newly developed extraction procedure yields highly reproducible fractions and hence is very suitable for examining the possible formation of less potent degradation products of aflatoxins in short-term genotoxicity tests.
    Differences detected in vivo between samples of aflatoxin-contaminated peanut meal, following decontamination by two ammonia-based processes
    Neal, G.E. ; Judah, D.J. ; Garthew, P. ; Verma, A. ; Latour, I. ; Weir, L. ; Coker, R.D. ; Nagler, M.J. ; Hoogenboom, L.A.P. - \ 2001
    Food Additives and Contaminants 18 (2001)2. - ISSN 0265-203X - p. 137 - 149.
    A sample of peanut meal, highly contaminated with aflatoxins, has been subjected to decontamination by two commercial ammonia-based processes. The original contaminated and the two decontaminated meals were fed to rats for 90 days. No lesions associated with aflatoxin-induced hepatocarcinogenesis were detected histologically following feeding with the two detoxified meals. There were, however, clear differences between the two meals in respect of growth rates of the rats. In addition, feeding one of the detoxified meals resulted in hepatic abnormalities detected using novel immunohistochemical reagents. Differences between the two detoxified meals were also indicated by the results of studies using meals 'spiked' with [14C]-aflatoxin B1 prior to being subjected to the detoxification processes. The meals differed in the bioavailability of the label. It was concluded that peanut meal where an initial, unacceptable level of contamination with aflatoxins had been reduced by two ammonia-based processes to comparable, acceptable levels, may still have different effects in vivo when incorporated into animal diets.
    Increased bioactivation of dehaloalkanes in rat liver due to induction of class theta glutathione S-transferase T1-1.
    Sheratt, P.J. ; Manson, M.M. ; Thomson, A.M. ; Hissink, E.A.M. ; Neal, E.A.M. ; Bladeren, P.J. van; Greens, T. ; Hayes, J.D. - \ 1998
    Biochemical Journal 335 (1998). - ISSN 0264-6021 - p. 619 - 630.
    Simulation of digestion in cattle fed sugarcane: prediction of nutrient supply for milk production with locally available supplements.
    Dijkstra, J. ; France, J. ; Assis, A.G. ; Neal, H.D.C. ; Campos, O.F. ; Aroeira, L.J.M. - \ 1996
    The Journal of Agricultural Science 127 (1996)2. - ISSN 0021-8596 - p. 247 - 260.
    Simulation of digestion in cattle fed sugarcane: model development.
    Dijkstra, J. ; France, J. ; Neal, H.D.C. ; Assis, A.G. ; Aroeira, L.J.M. ; Campos, O.F. - \ 1996
    The Journal of Agricultural Science 127 (1996)2. - ISSN 0021-8596 - p. 231 - 246.
    Simulation of nutrient digestion, absorption and outflow in the rumen: model evaluation.
    Neal, H.D.St.C. ; Dijkstra, J. ; Gill, M. - \ 1992
    The Journal of Nutrition 122 (1992)11. - ISSN 0022-3166 - p. 2257 - 2272.
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