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Selected Abstracts

Phenology of neotropical pepper plants (Piperaceae) and their association with their main dispersers, two short-tailed fruit bats, Carollia perspicillata and C. castanea (Phyllostomidae)

OIKOS, Issue 2 2004
Wibke Thies
To relate differences in phenological strategies of a group of closely related plants to biotic (pollinators, dispersers) and abiotic (water, light) factors, we studied leafing, flowering, and fruiting phenology of 12 species of Piper (Piperaceae) in a neotropical lowland forest in Panama for 28 months. We asked how Piper may partition time and vertebrate frugivores to minimize possible competition for dispersal agents. Based on habitat preferences and physiological characteristics we discriminate between forest Piper species (eight species) and gap Piper species (four species). Forest Piper species flowered synchronously mostly at the end of the dry season. Gap Piper species had broader or multiple flowering peaks distributed throughout the year with a trend towards the wet season. Both groups of Piper species showed continuous fruit production. Fruiting peaks of forest Piper species were short and staggered. Gap Piper species had extended fruiting seasons with multiple or broad peaks. Both groups of Piper species also differed in their time of ripening and disperser spectrum. Forest Piper species ripened in late afternoon and had a narrow spectrum consisting mainly of two species of frugivorous bats: Carollia perspicillata and C. castanea (Phyllostomidae). Fruits of gap Piper species, in contrast, ripened early in the morning and were eaten by a broader range of diurnal and nocturnal visitors, including bats, birds, and ants. We conclude that the differences in flowering phenology of forest and gap Piper species are primarily caused by abiotic factors, particularly the availability of water and light, whereas differences in fruiting patterns are mostly influenced by biotic factors. The staggered fruiting pattern of forest Piper species may reflect competition for a limited spectrum of dispersers. The long and overlapping fruiting periods of gap Piper species are associated with a larger spectrum of dispersers and may be a strategy to overcome the difficulty of seed dispersal into spatially unpredictable germination sites with suitable light conditions. [source]

Classification, presentation, and initial treatment of Wegener's granulomatosis in childhood

David A. Cabral
Objective To compare the criteria for Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) with those of the European League Against Rheumatism/Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (EULAR/PRES) in a cohort of children with WG and other antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA),associated vasculitides (AAVs), and to describe the interval to diagnosis, presenting features, and initial treatment for WG. Methods Eligible patients had been diagnosed by site rheumatologists (termed the "MD diagnosis") since 2004. This diagnosis was used as a reference standard for sensitivity and specificity testing of the 2 WG classification criteria. Descriptive analyses were confined to ACR-classified WG patients. Results MD diagnoses of 117 patients (82 of whom were female) were WG (n = 76), microscopic polyangiitis (n = 17), ANCA-positive pauci-immune glomerulonephritis (n = 5), Churg-Strauss syndrome (n = 2), and unclassified vasculitis (n = 17). The sensitivities of the ACR and EULAR/PRES classification criteria for WG among the spectrum of AAVs were 68.4% and 73.6%, respectively, and the specificities were 68.3% and 73.2%, respectively. Two more children were identified as having WG by the EULAR/PRES criteria than by the ACR criteria. For the 65 ACR-classified WG patients, the median age at diagnosis was 14.2 years (range 4,17 years), and the median interval from symptom onset to diagnosis was 2.7 months (range 0,49 months). The most frequent presenting features by organ system were constitutional (89.2%), pulmonary (80.0%), ear, nose, and throat (80.0%), and renal (75.4%). Fifty-four patients (83.1%) commenced treatment with the combination of corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide, with widely varying regimens; the remainder received methotrexate alone (n = 1), corticosteroids alone (n = 4), or a combination (n = 6). Conclusion The EULAR/PRES criteria minimally improved diagnostic sensitivity and specificity for WG among a narrow spectrum of children with AAVs. Diagnostic delays may result from poor characterization of childhood WG. Initial therapy varied considerably among participating centers. [source]

Psychiatric diagnoses in the context of genetic studies of bipolar disorder

Anne Duffy
Precise definition of the phenotype is an issue of critical importance for the future success of genetic studies of bipolar disorders. So far, an uncertain phenotypic spectrum and genetic heterogeneity are realities that have hampered progress in genetic studies. While recognition of a broader spectrum of related illnesses is important for some applications, for genetic studies a narrow spectrum of illness closely tied to the genotype is paramount. This paper highlights current dilemmas and trends associated with phenotype specification and traces historical approaches. Finally, we explore a number of strategic directions in the diagnostic approach to bipolar disorders that may better serve genetic studies. [source]

Scope and Mechanistic Insights into the Use of Tetradecyl(trihexyl)phosphonium Bistriflimide: A Remarkably Selective Ionic Liquid Solvent for Substitution Reactions

James McNulty
Abstract A survey of substitution reactions conducted in a phosphonium bistriflimide ionic liquid is presented. The results demonstrate high selectivity favoring substitution over typically competitive elimination and solvolytic processes even when challenging secondary and tertiary electrophiles are employed. The first reports of Kornblum substitution reactions in an ionic liquid are described that proceed with very high chemoselectivity in favor of nitro over nitroso products and elimination side products. The structure,reactivity study indicates that these reactions proceed through a narrow spectrum of pathways ranging from straight SN2 to a preassociation pathway along a saddle point that approaches the SN1 limit. The barrier to the formation of dissociated carbocations is attributed to the structural features of this ionic liquid that favor intervention of the associated nucleophile over dissociation, also preventing cross over to E1 processes. The lack of any basic entity in the phosphonium bistriflimide ionic liquid appears to prevent any potential base-mediated elimination reactions, which makes this a highly selective medium for use in general substitution reactions. [source]