Please help to identify this shrub

Please help to identify this shrub

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Please help to identify this shrub in Hong Kong: - dark green fruit with white spot - fruits cluster at top of stem - upright growing of green leaves

The shrub was from Hong Kong MacLehose Country Park Trail in Tuen Mun (somewhere near a reservoir), route 10. The place was of an altitude about 200m (600 feet from sea level) hot and humid. Hong Kong weather is South of the tropic of Cancer which is equal to Hawaii in latitude.

Identification and analysis of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) transcriptomes by massively parallel pyrosequencing

Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) is the most important food legume in the world. Although this crop is very important to both the developed and developing world as a means of dietary protein supply, resources available in common bean are limited. Global transcriptome analysis is important to better understand gene expression, genetic variation, and gene structure annotation in addition to other important features. However, the number and description of common bean sequences are very limited, which greatly inhibits genome and transcriptome research. Here we used 454 pyrosequencing to obtain a substantial transcriptome dataset for common bean.


We obtained 1,692,972 reads with an average read length of 207 nucleotides (nt). These reads were assembled into 59,295 unigenes including 39,572 contigs and 19,723 singletons, in addition to 35,328 singletons less than 100 bp. Comparing the unigenes to common bean ESTs deposited in GenBank, we found that 53.40% or 31,664 of these unigenes had no matches to this dataset and can be considered as new common bean transcripts. Functional annotation of the unigenes carried out by Gene Ontology assignments from hits to Arabidopsis and soybean indicated coverage of a broad range of GO categories. The common bean unigenes were also compared to the bean bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) end sequences, and a total of 21% of the unigenes (12,724) including 9,199 contigs and 3,256 singletons match to the 8,823 BAC-end sequences. In addition, a large number of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and transcription factors were also identified in this study.


This work provides the first large scale identification of the common bean transcriptome derived by 454 pyrosequencing. This research has resulted in a 150% increase in the number of Phaseolus vulgaris ESTs. The dataset obtained through this analysis will provide a platform for functional genomics in common bean and related legumes and will aid in the development of molecular markers that can be used for tagging genes of interest. Additionally, these sequences will provide a means for better annotation of the on-going common bean whole genome sequencing.

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Plant blindness and the implications for plant conservation

Plant conservation initiatives lag behind and receive considerably less funding than animal conservation projects. We explored a potential reason for this bias: a tendency among humans to neither notice nor value plants in the environment. Experimental research and surveys have demonstrated higher preference for, superior recall of, and better visual detection of animals compared with plants. This bias has been attributed to perceptual factors such as lack of motion by plants and the tendency of plants to visually blend together but also to cultural factors such as a greater focus on animals in formal biological education. In contrast, ethnographic research reveals that many social groups have strong bonds with plants, including nonhierarchical kinship relationships. We argue that plant blindness is common, but not inevitable. If immersed in a plant-affiliated culture, the individual will experience language and practices that enhance capacity to detect, recall, and value plants, something less likely to occur in zoocentric societies. Therefore, conservation programs can contribute to reducing this bias. We considered strategies that might reduce this bias and encourage plant conservation behavior. Psychological research demonstrates that people are more likely to support conservation of species that have human-like characteristics and that support for conservation can be increased by encouraging people to practice empathy and anthropomorphism of nonhuman species. We argue that support for plant conservation may be garnered through strategies that promote identification and empathy with plants.


Las Implicaciones de Ignorar a las Plantas en su Conservación


Las iniciativas de conservación de plantas se quedan atrás y reciben considerablemente menos financiamiento que los proyectos de conservación de animales. Exploramos una posible razón de esta preferencia: una tendencia entre los humanos a no tomar en cuenta ni valorar a las plantas en el ambiente. La investigación experimental y los censos han demostrado una mayor preferencia por, una memoria superior por y una mejor detección visual de los animales en comparación con las plantas. Este sesgo se ha atribuido a factores de percepción como la falta de movimiento de las plantas y la tendencia de las plantas a combinarse entre sí, pero también se atribuye a factores culturales como un mayor enfoque sobre los animales en la educación biológica formal. En contraste, la investigación etnográfica revela que muchos grupos sociales tienen lazos fuertes con las plantas, incluyendo relaciones no-jerárquicas de parentesco. Argumentamos que ignorar a las plantas es común, pero no es inevitable. Si se está inmerso en una cultura afiliada con las plantas, el individuo vivirá lenguajes y prácticas que incrementan la capacidad de detectar, recordar y valorar a las plantas, algo menos probable de ocurrir en las sociedades zoocéntricas. Por esto, los programas de conservación pueden contribuir a reducir este sesgo. Consideramos estrategias que podrían reducir este sesgo y fomentar el comportamiento de conservación de plantas. La investigación psicológica demuestra que las personas tienen mayor probabilidad de apoyar a la conservación de las especies que tienen características humanas y que el apoyo hacia la conservación puede incrementarse si se alienta a las personas a practicar la empatía y el antropomorfismo de especies –humanas. Argumentamos que el apoyo para la conservación de las plantas puede obtenerse por medio de estrategias que promuevan la identificación con y la empatía hacia las plantas.

Genetic Control of Flowers

A variety of genes control flower development, which involves sexual maturation and growth of reproductive organs as shown by the ABC model.

Learning Objectives

Diagram the ABC model of flower development and identify the genes that control that development

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Flower development describes the process by which angiosperms (flowering plants) produce a pattern of gene expression in meristems that leads to the appearance of a flower the biological function of a flower is to aid in reproduction.
  • In order for flowering to occur, three developments must take place: (1) the plant must reach sexual maturity, (2) the apical meristem must transform from a vegetative meristem to a floral meristem, and (3) the plant must grow individual flower organs.
  • These developments are initiated using the transmission of a complex signal known as florigen, which involves a variety of genes, including CONSTANS, FLOWERING LOCUS C and FLOWERING LOCUS T.
  • The last development (the growth of the flower’s individual organs) has been modeled using the ABC model of flower development.
  • Class A genes affect sepals and petals, class B genes affect petals and stamens, class C genes affect stamens and carpels.

Key Terms

  • sepal: a part of an angiosperm, and one of the component parts of the calyx collectively the sepals are called the calyx (plural calyces), the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower
  • stamen: in flowering plants, the structure in a flower that produces pollen, typically consisting of an anther and a filament
  • verticil: a whorl a group of similar parts such as leaves radiating from a shared axis
  • biennial: a plant that requires two years to complete its life cycle
  • whorl: a circle of three or more leaves, flowers, or other organs, about the same part or joint of a stem
  • apical meristem: the tissue in most plants containing undifferentiated cells (meristematic cells), found in zones of the plant where growth can take place at the tip of a root or shoot.
  • angiosperm: a plant whose ovules are enclosed in an ovary
  • perennial: a plant that is active throughout the year or survives for more than two growing seasons
  • primordium: an aggregation of cells that is the first stage in the development of an organ

Genetic Control of Flowers

Flower development is the process by which angiosperms produce a pattern of gene expression in meristems that leads to the appearance of a flower. A flower (also referred to as a bloom or blossom) is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants. There are three physiological developments that must occur in order for reproduction to take place:

Anatomy of a flower: Mature flowers aid in reproduction for the plant. In order to achieve reproduction, the plant must become sexually mature, the apical meristem must become a floral meristem, and the flower must develop its individual reproductive organs.

  1. the plant must pass from sexual immaturity into a sexually mature state
  2. the apical meristem must transform from a vegetative meristem into a floral meristem or inflorescence
  3. the flowers individual organs must grow (modeled using the ABC model)

Flower Development

A flower develops on a modified shoot or axis from a determinate apical meristem (determinate meaning the axis grows to a set size). The transition to flowering is one of the major phase changes that a plant makes during its life cycle. The transition must take place at a time that is favorable for fertilization and the formation of seeds, hence ensuring maximal reproductive success. In order to flower at an appropriate time, a plant can interpret important endogenous and environmental cues such as changes in levels of plant hormones and seasonable temperature and photoperiod changes. Many perennial and most biennial plants require vernalization to flower.

Genetic Control of Flower Development

When plants recognize an opportunity to flower, signals are transmitted through florigen, which involves a variety of genes, including CONSTANS, FLOWERING LOCUS C and FLOWERING LOCUS T. Florigen is produced in the leaves in reproductively favorable conditions and acts in buds and growing tips to induce a number of different physiological and morphological changes.

From a genetic perspective, two phenotypic changes that control vegetative and floral growth are programmed in the plant. The first genetic change involves the switch from the vegetative to the floral state. If this genetic change is not functioning properly, then flowering will not occur. The second genetic event follows the commitment of the plant to form flowers. The sequential development of plant organs suggests that a genetic mechanism exists in which a series of genes are sequentially turned on and off. This switching is necessary for each whorl to obtain its final unique identity.

ABC Model of Flower Development

In the simple ABC model of floral development, three gene activities (termed A, B, and C-functions) interact to determine the developmental identities of the organ primordia (singular: primordium) within the floral meristem. The ABC model of flower development was first developed to describe the collection of genetic mechanisms that establish floral organ identity in the Rosids and the Asterids both species have four verticils (sepals, petals, stamens and carpels), which are defined by the differential expression of a number of homeotic genes present in each verticil.

In the first floral whorl only A-genes are expressed, leading to the formation of sepals. In the second whorl both A- and B-genes are expressed, leading to the formation of petals. In the third whorl, B and C genes interact to form stamens and in the center of the flower C-genes alone give rise to carpels. For example, when there is a loss of B-gene function, mutant flowers are produced with sepals in the first whorl as usual, but also in the second whorl instead of the normal petal formation. In the third whorl the lack of B function but presence of C-function mimics the fourth whorl, leading to the formation of carpels also in the third whorl.

ABC model of flower development: Class A genes (blue) affect sepals and petals, class B genes (yellow) affect petals and stamens, class C genes (red) affect stamens and carpels.

Most genes central in this model belong to the MADS-box genes and are transcription factors that regulate the expression of the genes specific for each floral organ.

  • Biology majors explore and compare the biology of plants, animals, and humans, preparing students for a wide range of careers.
  • Biology majors are highly competitive applicants for acceptance into veterinary school, medical and dental school, and into graduate programs in health care professions.
  • Pursue your interests in animal science through unique courses such as Ornithology and via a Seneca Park Zoo Internship.
  • The Genomics Lab includes an Illumina MiSeq where undergraduate students sequence and annotate the whole-genomes of a variety of organisms.

Biology encompasses all of the processes and patterns that characterize living cells, organisms, and ecosystems. Building on recent advances in the molecular, cellular, and ecological disciplines, modern biological science offers students a rich framework that can launch a career with a wide variety of skills for discoveries within cells, organ systems, species, and even ecosystems in which we live. Scientific knowledge is based on research, and students are encouraged to undertake significant research projects to enhance their educational experience and prepare them for graduate school or full-time employment.

Biologists may investigate the conservation of animals and plants, study interactions between living organisms with the changing environment, uncover evolutionary relationships between different organisms, learn how living systems work or even work with the public to increase awareness of important health and environmental issues.

In the College of Science, biology is something that students do, rather than something they merely learn. Courses present biology and the hands-on laboratory work and field experiences as it is done by career biologists, and hands-on laboratory and field experience is emphasized.

The major includes all of the course work and support services to prepare you to pursue advanced degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatry, and chiropractic medicine, as well as a wide range of graduate programs in the life sciences.

Course of Study

You'll start with foundation courses in biology, math, chemistry, and liberal arts and then immerse yourself in the biological sciences, studying animals, micro-organisms, and plants at the level of molecules, cells, tissues, organisms, populations, and the environment. You will acquire a comprehensive set of practical skills, from the proper way to prepare cultures in the lab to the proper way to gather and analyze ecological data in the field.

Nature of Work

Biologists answer important questions about the world by making observations in the natural environment and in the laboratory, collecting and evaluating data and integrating evidence to help solve problems.

National Labs Career Fair

Hosted by RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, the National Labs Career Fair is an annual event that brings representatives to campus from the United States’ federally funded research and development labs. These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Students are invited to attend the career fair to network with lab professionals, learn about opportunities, and interview for co-ops, internships, research positions, and full-time employment.

Combined Accelerated Pathways

This program has an accelerated bachelor’s/master’s available, one of RIT's Combined Accelerated Pathways, which enables you to earn two degrees in as little as five years.

Accelerated 4+1 MBA

An accelerated 4+1 MBA option is available to students enrolled in any of RIT’s undergraduate programs. RIT’s Combined Accelerated Pathways can help you prepare for your future faster by enabling you to earn both a bachelor’s and an MBA in as little as five years of study.

Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program

Medical schools and graduate programs in the health professions (such as physician assistant, physical therapy, and occupational therapy) welcome applications from students majoring in a wide range of academic programs . Acceptance into these programs requires the completion of pre-med requirements such as course work in biological and physical sciences, a strong academic record, pertinent experiences in the field, and key intrapersonal and interpersonal capabilities. Learn more about how RIT’s Premedical and Health Professions Advisory Program can help you become a competitive candidate for admission to graduate programs in the medical and health professions.

Pre-Vet Advising Program

Occupations in veterinary medicine are expected to grow three times faster than all other occupations between 2016 and 2026. If you’re interested in caring for animals, conducting research related to animal illnesses, or working with livestock in university or government settings, the Pre-Vet Advising Program can help you reach your career goals. Learn more about RIT’s personalized Pre-Vet Advising Program and how it can help you maximize your candidacy for admission to veterinary schools.

These authors contributed equally: Malathy Palayam, Jagadeesan Ganapathy, Angelica M. Guercio.


Department of Plant Biology, University of California – Davis, One shields Avenue, 1002 Life sciences, Davis, CA, 95616, USA

Malathy Palayam, Jagadeesan Ganapathy, Angelica M. Guercio, Lior Tal, Samuel L. Deck & Nitzan Shabek

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N.S., M.P., J.G., and A.G. conceived and designed the experiments. N.S. and S.D. conducted the protein purification and crystallization experiments. N.S., M.P., and J.G. determined and analyzed the structures. N.S. and S.D. conceived and conducted the SEC-MALS, and spectroscopy experiments. M.P., J.G., and A.G. conducted in silico studies and analyses. N.S., M.P., J.G., A.G., and L.T., wrote the manuscript with the help from all other co-authors.

Corresponding author

Production of Vaccines, Antibiotics, and Hormones

Biotechnological advances in gene manipulation techniques have further resulted in the production of vaccines, antibiotics, and hormones.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the methods by which biotechnology is used to produce vaccines, antibiotics, and hormones.

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Vaccines use weakened or inactive forms of microorganisms to mount the initial immune response through the use of antigens, which are produced through use the genes of microbes that are cloned into vectors.
  • Antibiotics, agents that inhibit bacterial growth or kill bacteria, are produced by cultivating and manipulating fungal cells.
  • Hormones, such as the human growth hormone (HGH), can be formulated through recombinant DNA technology for example, HGH can be cloned from a cDNA library and inserted into E. coli cells by cloning it into a bacterial vector.

Key Terms

  • bactericidal: that which kills bacteria
  • bacteriostatic: that which slows down or stalls bacterial growth
  • antigen: a substance that binds to a specific antibody may cause an immune response

Production of Vaccines, Antibiotics, and Hormones


Traditional vaccination strategies use weakened or inactive forms of microorganisms to mount the initial immune response. Modern techniques use the genes of microorganisms cloned into vectors to mass produce the desired antigen. The antigen is then introduced into the body to stimulate the primary immune response and trigger immune memory. Genes cloned from the influenza virus have been used to combat the constantly-changing strains of this virus.


Antibiotics are biotechnological products that inhibit bacterial growth or kill bacteria. They are naturally produced by microorganisms, such as fungi, to attain an advantage over bacterial populations. Antibiotics are produced on a large scale by cultivating and manipulating fungal cells. Many antibacterial compounds are classified on the basis of their chemical or biosynthetic origin into natural, semisynthetic, and synthetic. Another classification system is based on biological activity. In this classification, antibiotics are divided into two broad groups according to their biological effect on microorganisms: bactericidal agents kill bacteria, and bacteriostatic agents slow down or stall bacterial growth.

Antibiotic Treatment: Assays such as the one shown help scientists understand the effects of antibiotics on bacterial species. Clear rings around the round inserts, which contain antibiotic, mean that bacteria on the plate are inhibited or killed by the compound.


Recombinant DNA technology was used to produce large-scale quantities of human insulin (a hormone) in E. coli as early as 1978. Previously, it was only possible to treat diabetes with pig insulin, which caused allergic reactions in humans because of differences in the gene product. In recent times, human growth hormone (HGH) has been used to treat growth disorders in children. The HGH gene was cloned from a cDNA library and inserted into E. coli cells by cloning it into a bacterial vector. The bacteria was then grown and the hormone isolated, enabling large scale commercial production.

Research on plant-parasitic nematode biology conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service † ‡

One of a collection of papers on various aspects of agrochemicals research contributed by staff of the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, collected and organized by Drs RD Wauchope, NN Ragsdale and SO Duke

This article is a US Government work and is in the public domain in the USA

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The recent de-registration of several chemical nematicides and the impending loss of methyl bromide from the pest-control market necessitate the development of new methods for controlling nematode-induced crop damage. One approach for developing novel target-specific controls is by exploiting fundamental differences between the biological processes of nematodes and their host plants. Researchers of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture are actively exploring these differences. Research accomplishments include the discovery of heat shock protein genes possibly involved in developmental arrest of the soybean cyst nematode, the identification of neuropeptides and female-specific proteins in the soybean cyst nematode, the disruption of nematode reproduction with inhibitors of nematode sterol metabolism, the development of novel morphological and molecular (heat shock protein genes and the D3 segment of large subunit ribosomal DNA) features useful for nematode identification and classification, and the elucidation of the population genetics of potato cyst nematode pathotypes. In addition, several ARS researchers are investigating biological determinants of nematode response to management strategies utilized in agricultural fields. These collective efforts should lead to new chemical and non-chemical alternatives to conventional nematode control strategies. Published in 2003 for SCI by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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