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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    Response of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) growth to soil contaminated with microplastics
    Meng, Fanrong ; Yang, Xiaomei ; Riksen, Michel ; Xu, Minggang ; Geissen, Violette - \ 2020
    Science of the Total Environment 755 (2020)2. - ISSN 0048-9697
    Biodegradable microplastics - Microplastics - Plant growth - Soil-plant system

    Although concerns surrounding microplastics (MPs) in terrestrial ecosystems have been growing in recent years, little is known about the responses of plant growth to MPs pollution. Here, we conducted a pot experiment in a net house under natural condition by adding two types of MPs, low-density polyethylene (LDPE-MPs) and polylactic acid (PLA) mixed with poly-butylene-adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT, Bio-MPs), to sandy soil at 5 doses (0.5%, 1.0%, 1.5%, 2.0%, 2.5% ω/ω dry soil weight). The effects of LDPE-MPs and Bio-MPs on common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) were tested. Compared to control (no MPs addition), LDPE-MPs showed no significant effects on shoot, root and fruit biomass while ≥1.0% LDPE-MPs showed significant higher specific root nodules (n·g−1 dry root biomass) and only 2.5% LDPE-MPs showed significant higher specific root length (cm·g−1 dry root biomass). 1.0% LDPE-MPs caused significant higher leaf area and 0.5% LDPE-MPs caused significant lower leaf relative chlorophyll content. For Bio-MPs treatment, compared to control, ≥1.5% Bio-MPs showed significant lower shoot and root biomass. ≥2.0% Bio-MPs showed significant lower leaf area and fruit biomass. All Bio-MPs treatments showed significant higher specific root length and specific root nodules as compared to control. The results of the current research show that both MPs induced the responses of common bean growth, and ≥1.5% Bio-MPs exerted stronger effects. Further studies of their ecological impacts on soil-plant systems are urgently needed.

    A High Glycemic Burden Relates to Functional and Metabolic Alterations of Human Monocytes in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes
    Thiem, Kathrin ; Dierendonck, Xanthe A.M.H. van; Janssen, Anna W.M. ; Boogaard, Joline P. ; Riksen, Niels P. ; Tack, Cees J. ; Stienstra, Rinke - \ 2020
    Diabetes (2020). - ISSN 0012-1797
    Diabetes mellitus is associated with increased cardiovascular risk and higher occurrence of infections. These complications suggest altered responses of the innate immune system. Recent studies have shown that energy metabolism of monocytes is crucial in determining their functionality. Here we investigate whether monocyte metabolism and function are changed in patients with diabetes and aim to identify diabetes-associated factors driving these alterations. Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) (n=41) and healthy age-, sex- and BMI-matched controls (n=20) were recruited. Monocytes were isolated from peripheral blood to determine immune functionality, metabolic responses and transcriptome profile. Upon ex vivo stimulation with TLR-4 or TLR-2 agonists, monocytes of patients with T1D secreted lower levels of various cytokines and showed lower glycolytic rates in comparison to monocytes isolated from matched controls. Stratification based on HbA1c levels revealed that lower cytokine secretion was coupled to higher glycolytic rate of monocytes in patients with higher glycemic burden. Circulating monocytes displayed an enhanced inflammatory gene expression profile associated with high glycemic burden. These results suggest that a high glycemic burden in patients with T1D is related to expression of inflammatory genes of monocytes and is associated with an impaired relationship between metabolism and inflammatory function upon activation.
    Correction to: Rewiring of glucose metabolism defines trained immunity induced by oxidized low-density lipoprotein
    Keating, Samuel T. ; Groh, Laszlo ; Thiem, Kathrin ; Bekkering, Siroon ; Li, Yang ; Matzaraki, Vasiliki ; Heijden, Charlotte D.C.C. van der; Puffelen, Jelmer H. van; Lachmandas, Ekta ; Jansen, Trees ; Oosting, Marije ; Bree, L.C.J. de; Koeken, Valerie A.C.M. ; Moorlag, Simone J.C.F.M. ; Mourits, Vera P. ; Diepen, Janna van; Stienstra, Rinke ; Novakovic, Boris ; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G. ; Crevel, Reinout van; Joosten, Leo A.B. ; Netea, Mihai G. ; Riksen, Niels P. - \ 2020
    Journal of Molecular Medicine 98 (2020). - ISSN 0946-2716

    The correct name of the 17th Author is presented in this paper. In the paragraph “Metabolic analysis” of the Method section “an XFp Analyzer” should be changed to “an XFe96 Analyzer”.

    Rewiring of glucose metabolism defines trained immunity induced by oxidized low-density lipoprotein
    Keating, Samuel T. ; Groh, Laszlo ; Thiem, Kathrin ; Bekkering, Siroon ; Li, Yang ; Matzaraki, Vasiliki ; Heijden, Charlotte D.C.C. van der; Puffelen, Jelmer H. van; Lachmandas, Ekta ; Jansen, Trees ; Oosting, Marije ; Bree, L.C.J. de; Koeken, Valerie A.C.M. ; Moorlag, Simone J.C.F.M. ; Mourits, Vera P. ; Diepen, Janna van; Stienstra, Rinke ; Novakovic, Boris ; Stunnenberg, Hendrik G. ; Crevel, Reinout van; Joosten, Leo A.B. ; Netea, Mihai G. ; Riksen, Niels P. - \ 2020
    Journal of Molecular Medicine 98 (2020). - ISSN 0946-2716 - p. 819 - 831.
    Atherosclerosis - Cardiovascular disease - Diabetes complications - Glycolysis - Immunometabolism - Inflammation - Trained immunity

    Abstract: Stimulation of monocytes with microbial and non-microbial products, including oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), induces a protracted pro-inflammatory, atherogenic phenotype sustained by metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming via a process called trained immunity. We investigated the intracellular metabolic mechanisms driving oxLDL-induced trained immunity in human primary monocytes and observed concomitant upregulation of glycolytic activity and oxygen consumption. In two separate cohorts of healthy volunteers, we assessed the impact of genetic variation in glycolytic genes on the training capacity of monocytes and found that variants mapped to glycolytic enzymes PFKFB3 and PFKP influenced trained immunity by oxLDL. Subsequent functional validation with inhibitors of glycolytic metabolism revealed dose-dependent inhibition of trained immunity in vitro. Furthermore, in vivo administration of the glucose metabolism modulator metformin abrogated the ability for human monocytes to mount a trained response to oxLDL. These findings underscore the importance of cellular metabolism for oxLDL-induced trained immunity and highlight potential immunomodulatory strategies for clinical management of atherosclerosis. Key messages: Brief stimulation of monocytes to oxLDL induces a prolonged inflammatory phenotype.This is due to upregulation of glycolytic metabolism.Genetic variation in glycolytic genes modulates oxLDL-induced trained immunity.Pharmacological inhibition of glycolysis prevents trained immunity.

    Orsay virus infection reduces outcrossing behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans males
    Sluijs, L. van; Liu, Jie ; Schrama, Mels ; Hamond, Sanne van; Vromans, Sophie ; Scholten, Marèl ; Žibrat, Nika ; Riksen, J.A.G. ; Sterken, M.G. ; Pijlman, G.P. ; Kammenga, J.E. - \ 2020
    Rainwater harvesting for sustainable agriculture in high water-poor areas in the West Bank, Palestine
    Shadeed, Sameer ; Judeh, Tariq ; Riksen, Michel - \ 2020
    Water 12 (2020)2. - ISSN 2073-4441
    Agricultural rainwater harvesting - Agricultural rainwater harvesting suitability - Agricultural water poverty - GIS - Sustainable agriculture - West bank (Palestine)

    In most arid regions of the world, the increasing agricultural water supply-demand gap jeopardizes sustainable agricultural development and, as such, undermines local food security. In such situations, unconventional water resource practices such as agricultural rainwater harvesting (ARWH) can be potentially used to tackle agricultural water poverty (AWP). This study aims to integrate AWP and agricultural rainwater harvesting suitability (ARWHS) maps to identify locations where ARWH can be of the most benefit to theWest Bank, Palestine. These maps were developed under the GIS environment. The weighted overlay summation process (WOSP), supported by the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), was utilized. Research findings of the AWP map indicate that high to very high AWP covers about 61% of the study area, whereas, the findings of the ARWHS map shows that highly suitable ARWH areas cover 65% of the total study area. Further, 31% of the study area has highly suitable sites for the implementation of proper ARWH techniques. Finally, the combined mapping between the ARWHS map and agricultural lands indicates that high to very high ARWH-suitable areas cover 53% of the rough grazing areas (62% of the entire West Bank area). Thus, the implementation of proper ARWH techniques in such areas is seen to be a sustainable water management option for achieving agricultural sustainability and, accordingly, improved food security in the West Bank, Palestine.

    Beheer en herstel van stuifzanden
    Riksen, M.J.P.M. ; Sparrius, L.B. ; Nijssen, M. - \ 2020
    Driebergen : Ontwikkeling en Beheer Natuurkwaliteit (OBN)
    eolisch zand - natuurbeheer - herstelbeheer - natura 2000 - aeolian sands - nature management - restoration management - natura 2000
    Deze uitgave is bedoeld om beheerders van stuifzand handvatten te bieden om op een doelmatige wijze een beheerplan voor hun stuifzandgebied op te stellen. Er staan tips in over mogelijkheden voor monitoring ter beoordeling van de effectiviteit en bijsturing van het beheer. Ook worden er richtlijnen gegeven voor het herstel van voormalige stuifzandgebieden.
    Trained Immunity: Linking Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease across the Life-Course?
    Bekkering, Siroon ; Saner, Christoph ; Riksen, Niels P. ; Netea, Mihai G. ; Sabin, Matthew A. ; Saffery, Richard ; Stienstra, Rinke ; Burgner, David P. - \ 2020
    Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 31 (2020)5. - ISSN 1043-2760 - p. 378 - 389.
    atherosclerosis - cardiovascular disease - inflammation - obesity - trained immunity

    Obesity, a chronic inflammatory disease, is the most prevalent modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The mechanisms underlying inflammation in obesity are incompletely understood. Recent developments have challenged the dogma of immunological memory occurring exclusively in the adaptive immune system and show that the innate immune system has potential to be reprogrammed. This innate immune memory (trained immunity) is characterized by epigenetic and metabolic reprogramming of myeloid cells following endogenous or exogenous stimulation, resulting in enhanced inflammation to subsequent stimuli. Trained immunity phenotypes have now been reported for other immune and non-immune cells. Here, we provide a novel perspective on the putative role of trained immunity in mediating the adverse cardiovascular effects of obesity and highlight potential translational pathways.

    Evaluating the SandFlow, an acoustic sediment transport sensor
    Rezaei, Mahrooz ; Goossens, Dirk ; Riksen, Michel J.P.M. - \ 2020
    Aeolian Research 42 (2020). - ISSN 1875-9637
    Acoustic sensor - Sand transport - SandFlow - Wind

    The SandFlow is an acoustic device for detecting and measuring aeolian sand transport. It is based on the FlowCapt sensor, an instrument developed to measure aeolian snow transport. This study investigates the performance of the SandFlow in relation to the Saltiphone and the Modified Wilson and Cooke sampler, two devices frequently used in aeolian sand transport. The performance of the SandFlow was tested during three wind erosion events on the Dutch barrier island Terschelling and also in laboratory tests. Results show that the SandFlow adequately registers the periods of aeolian sand transport provided sand transport is sufficiently intense. For low sand transport the SandFlow is less accurate, although the periods with sand transport may still be detected. The sand transport fluxes measured by the SandFlow were lower than those measured by the MWAC although they remained within the same order of magnitude. Laboratory measurements showed that the efficiency of the SandFlow to register sand transport is close to 100% for sand coarser than 300 µm. For finer sand, efficiency decreases rapidly although the instrument remains usable for particles coarser than 150 µm provided appropriate corrections for efficiency are made. This study shows that the SandFlow can be used for aeolian sand transport provided the erosion event is strong enough and the particles are not too fine.

    Genetic background modifies phenotypic and transcriptional responses in a C. elegans model of α-synuclein toxicity
    Wang, Yiru ; Snoek, Basten ; Sterken, Mark ; Riksen, Joost ; Stastna, Jana J. ; Kammenga, Jan ; Harvey, Simon C. - \ 2019
    Wageningen University and Research
    Natural variation - Gene expression profile - Protein aggregation - alfa-Synuclein - Genetic background - Caenorhabditis elegans
    Accumulation of protein aggregates are a major hallmark of progressive neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes expressing the human synaptic protein α-synuclein in body wall muscle show inclusions of aggregated protein, which affects similar genetic pathways as in humans. It is not however known how the effects of α-synuclein expression in C. elegans differs among genetic backgrounds. Here, we compared gene expression patterns and investigated the phenotypic consequences of transgenic α-synuclein expression in five different C. elegans genetic backgrounds. Results Transcriptome analysis indicates that α-synuclein expression effects pathways associated with nutrient storage, lipid transportation and ion exchange and that effects vary depending on the genetic background. These gene expression changes predict that a range of phenotypes will be affected by α-synuclein expression. We confirm this, showing that α-synuclein expression delayed development, reduced lifespan, increased rate of matricidal hatching, and slows pharyngeal pumping. Critically, these phenotypic effects depend on the genetic background and coincide with the core changes in gene expression. Conclusions Together, our results show genotype-specific effects and core alterations in both gene expression and in phenotype in response to α-synuclein expression. We conclude that the effects of α-synuclein expression are substantially modified by the genetic background, illustrating that genetic background needs to be considered in C. elegans models of neurodegenerative disease.
    Leveraging genetic complexity of inbred populations for understanding eQTL complexity in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Sterken, Mark ; Snoek, Basten ; Bevers, Roel ; Volkers, Rita ; Riksen, Joost ; Kammenga, Jan - \ 2019
    A multi-parent recombinant inbred line population of C. elegans allows identification of novel QTLs for complex life history traits
    Snoek, Basten ; Volkers, Rita ; Nijveen, Harm ; Petersen, Carola ; Dirksen, Philipp ; Sterken, Mark ; Nakad, Rania ; Riksen, Joost ; Rosenstiel, P.C. ; Stastna, J.J. ; Braekman, B.P. ; Harvey, S.C. ; Schulenburg, Hinrich ; Kammenga, Jan - \ 2019
    Wageningen University & Research
    Multi-parent RILs - Caenorhabditis elegans - QTL - life-history - natural variation - genetic map
    Background The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has been extensively used to explore the relationships between complex traits, genotypes, and environments. Complex traits can vary across different genotypes of a species, and the genetic regulators of trait variation can be mapped on the genome using quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of recombinant inbred lines (RILs) derived from genetically and phenotypically divergent parents. Most RILs have been derived from crossing two parents from globally distant locations. However, the genetic diversity between local C. elegans populations can be as diverse as between global populations and could thus provide means of identifying genetic variation associated with complex traits relevant on a broader scale. Results To investigate the effect of local genetic variation on heritable traits, we developed a new RIL population derived from 4 parental wild isolates collected from 2 closely located sites in France: Orsay and Santeuil. We crossed these 4 genetically diverse parental isolates to generate a population of 200 multi-parental RILs and used RNA-seq to obtain sequence polymorphisms identifying almost 9000 SNPs variable between the 4 genotypes with an average spacing of 11Â kb, doubling the mapping resolution relative to currently available RIL panels for many loci. The SNPs were used to construct a genetic map to facilitate QTL analysis. We measured life history traits such as lifespan, stress resistance, developmental speed, and population growth in different environments, and found substantial variation for most traits. We detected multiple QTLs for most traits, including novel QTLs not found in previous QTL analysis, including those for lifespan and pathogen responses. This shows that recombining genetic variation across C. elegans populations that are in geographical close proximity provides ample variation for QTL mapping. Conclusion Taken together, we show that using more parents than the classical two parental genotypes to construct a RIL population facilitates the detection of QTLs and that the use of wild isolates facilitates the detection of QTLs. The use of multi-parent RIL populations can further enhance our understanding of local adaptation and life history trade-offs.
    Transcriptome resilience predicts thermotolerance in Caenorhabditis elegans
    Jovic, Katharina ; Grilli, Jacopo ; Sterken, Mark G. ; Snoek, Basten L. ; Riksen, Joost A.G. ; Allesina, Stefano ; Kammenga, Jan E. - \ 2019
    BMC Biology 17 (2019)1. - ISSN 1741-7007
    The detrimental effects of a short bout of stress can persist and potentially turn lethal, long after the return to normal conditions. Thermotolerance, which is the capacity of an organism to withstand relatively extreme temperatures, is influenced by the response during stress exposure, as well as the recovery process afterwards. While heat-shock response mechanisms have been studied intensively, predicting thermal tolerance remains a challenge.
    Results: Here, we use the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to measure transcriptional resilience to heat stress and predict thermotolerance. Using principal component analysis in combination with genome-wide gene expression profiles collected in three high-resolution time series during control, heat stress, and recovery conditions, we infer a quantitative scale capturing the extent of stress-induced transcriptome dynamics in a single value. This scale provides a basis for evaluating transcriptome resilience, defined here as the ability to depart from stress-expression dynamics during recovery. Independent replication across multiple highly divergent genotypes reveals that the transcriptional resilience parameter measured after a spike in temperature is quantitatively linked to long-term survival after heat stress.
    Conclusion: Our findings imply that thermotolerance is an intrinsic property that pre-determines long-term outcome of stress and can be predicted by the transcriptional resilience parameter. Inferring the transcriptional resilience parameters of higher organisms could aid in evaluating rehabilitation strategies after stresses such as disease and trauma.
    Sex-specific viral susceptibility of Caenorhabditis elegans
    Sluijs, Lisa van; Liu, Jie ; Hamond, Sanne van; Vromans, Sophie ; Scholten, Marèl ; Riksen, Joost ; Pijlman, Gorben ; Kammenga, Jan - \ 2019
    Evaluatie van elf jaar stuifzandbeheer op de Veluwe 2007-2018
    Sparrius, Laurens ; Riksen, Michel - \ 2019
    Oude Tonge : Bryologische + Lichenologische Werkgroep (BLWG) (BLWG-Rapport 23) - 127
    Selection and gene flow shape niche-associated variation in pheromone response
    Lee, Daehan ; Zdraljevic, Stefan ; Cook, Daniel E. ; Frézal, Lise ; Hsu, Jung-Chen ; Sterken, Mark G. ; Riksen, Joost A.G. ; Wang, John ; Kammenga, Jan E. ; Braendle, Christian ; Félix, Marie-Anne ; Schroeder, Frank C. ; Andersen, Erik C. - \ 2019
    Nature Ecology & Evolution 3 (2019). - ISSN 2397-334X - p. 1455 - 1463.
    From quorum sensing in bacteria to pheromone signalling in social insects, chemical communication mediates interactions among individuals in local populations. In Caenorhabditis elegans, ascaroside pheromones can dictate local population density; high levels of pheromones inhibit the reproductive maturation of individuals. Little is known about how natural genetic diversity affects the pheromone responses of individuals from diverse habitats. Here, we show that a niche-associated variation in pheromone receptor genes contributes to natural differences in pheromone responses. We identified putative loss-of-function deletions that impair duplicated pheromone receptor genes (srg-36 and srg-37), which were previously shown to be lost in population-dense laboratory cultures. A common natural deletion in srg-37 arose recently from a single ancestral population that spread throughout the world; this deletion underlies reduced pheromone sensitivity across the global C. elegans population. We found that many local populations harbour individuals with a wild-type or a deletion allele of srg-37, suggesting that balancing selection has maintained the recent variation in this pheromone receptor gene. The two srg-37 genotypes are associated with niche diversity underlying boom-and-bust population dynamics. We hypothesize that human activities likely contributed to the gene flow and balancing selection of srg-37 variation through facilitating the migration of species and providing a favourable niche for the recently arisen srg-37 deletion.

    ICON.NL: coastline observatory to examine coastal dynamics in response to natural forcing and human interventions
    Aarninkhof, Stefan ; Schipper, Matthieu De; Luijendijk, Arjen ; Ruessink, Gerben ; Bierkens, Marc ; Wijnberg, Kathelijne ; Roelvink, Dano ; Limpens, J. ; Baptist, M.J. ; Riksen, Michel ; Bouma, Tjeerd ; Vries, Sierd de; Reniers, Ad ; Hulscher, Suzanne ; Wijdeveld, Arjan ; Dongeren, Ap van; Gelder-Maas, Carola van; Lodder, Quirijn ; Spek, Ad van der - \ 2019
    - 8 p.
    In the light of challenges raised by a changing climate and increasing population pressure in coastal regions, it has become clear that theoretical models and scattered experiments do not provide the data we urgently need to understand coastal conditions and processes. We propose a Dutch coastline observatory named ICON.NL, based at the Delfland Coast with core observations focused on the internationally well-known Sand Engine experiment, as part of an International Coastline Observatories Network (ICON). ICON.NL will cover the physics and ecology from deep water to the dunes. Data will be collected continuously by novel remote sensing and in-situ sensors, coupled to numerical models to yield unsurpassed long-term coastline measurements. The combination of the unique site and ambitious monitoring design enables new avenues in coastal science and a leap in interdisciplinary research.
    Gene expression profile in a C. elegans model of Alpha-Synuclein with variable natural genetic background and their phenotypic variations
    Wang, Yiru A. ; Snoek, L.B. ; Sterken, M.G. ; Riksen, J.A.G. ; Stastna, Jana J. ; Kammenga, J.E. ; Harvey, S. - \ 2019
    α-synuclein plays a key role in progressive degeneration in the human nervous system which underlies Parkinson’s disease (PD). The nematode C. elegans is an excellent model for studying α-synuclein associated molecular mechanisms due to the high level of conservation of gene functions compared to humans. Until recently, C. elegans research has mostly relied on a single genotype – the canonical N2 strain – limiting the ability to explore how naturally varying alleles alter pathological mechanisms in neurodegeneration. Hence, we employ transgenic C. elegans worms containing the introgressed human copy of α-synuclein in five different genetic backgrounds. Analysis of these transgenic introgressed lines indicates that transgene (unc-54:: α-Syn:: YFP) effects vary greatly depending on the background. To understand the genetic bases of these phenotypic differences, we measured various phenotypic traits and investigated gene expression differences by microarray. These analyses identified genes that are up- and down-regulated in all genotypes and genes expressed at a specific stage to particular genetic backgrounds. Functional enrichment links these genes to the aggregation of α-synuclein, also to the associated developmental arrest, metabolic, and cellular repair mechanisms. There are also other phenotypic variations related to α-synuclein accumulation, including the genotype-specific on lifespan, developmental delay, mobility deficits, and feeding arrest.
    Assessing the impact of climate change on rainwater harvesting in the Oum Zessar watershed in Southeastern Tunisia
    Adham, Ammar ; Wesseling, Jan G. ; Abed, Rasha ; Riksen, Michel ; Ouessar, Mohamed ; Ritsema, Coen J. - \ 2019
    Agricultural Water Management 221 (2019). - ISSN 0378-3774 - p. 131 - 140.
    Climate change - GCMs - SDSM - Tunisia - Water harvesting model

    Climate change is believed to have a large impact on water resources system both globally and regionally. It has become a major global issue, especially in developing countries because these are most affected by its impacts. Rainwater harvesting techniques offer an alternative source of water and represent specific adaptive strategies to cope with water scarcity within future climate change. Studying the impact of climate change on rainwater harvesting techniques, however, is difficult, because the general circulation models (GCMs) which are widely used to simulate scenarios of future climate change operate on a coarse scale. We estimated the impact of climate change on water availability at the watershed level by downscaling precipitation and temperature from the GCMs using a statistical downscaling model. A water harvesting model then assessed the performance of the rainwater harvesting techniques for the Oum Zessar watershed in southeastern Tunisia under current climatic conditions and scenarios of future climate change. Annual temperature tended to increase and precipitation tended to decrease. These changes of climatic variables were used in the water harvesting model to simulate future water availability. Changing the directions of water flow between sub-catchments in combination with changing the spillway heights strongly affected the performance of rainwater harvesting under the scenarios of future climate, resulting in a sufficient water supply for 92% of all sub-catchments, compared to 72% without these changes.

    Association between Psychosocial Stress and Fecal Microbiota in Pregnant Women
    Hechler, C. ; Borewicz, K. ; Beijers, R. ; Saccenti, E. ; Riksen-Walraven, M. ; Smidt, H. ; Weerth, C. de - \ 2019
    Scientific Reports 9 (2019)1. - ISSN 2045-2322

    Maternal prenatal psychosocial stress is associated with altered child emotional and behavioral development. One potential underlying mechanism is that prenatal psychosocial stress affects child outcomes via the mother's, and in turn the child's, intestinal microbiota. This study investigates the first step of this mechanism: the relation between psychosocial stress and fecal microbiota in pregnant mothers. Mothers (N = 70) provided a late pregnancy stool sample and filled in questionnaires on general and pregnancy-specific stress and anxiety. Bacterial DNA was extracted and analysed by Illumina HiSeq sequencing of PCR-amplified 16 S ribosomal RNA gene fragments. Associations between maternal general anxiety and microbial composition were found. No associations between the other measured psychosocial stress variables and the relative abundance of microbial groups were detected. This study shows associations between maternal pregnancy general anxiety and microbial composition, providing first evidence of a mechanism through which psychological symptoms in pregnancy may affect the offspring.

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