Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências]]> vol. 90 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[Nonylphenol: Properties, legislation, toxicity and determination]]> ABSTRACT This paper aims to gather and discuss important information about nonylphenol, such as physical chemistry properties, toxicity and analytical methods in various matrices. As a degradation product of ethoxylated alkylphenols, nonylphenol presents a higher degree of reactivity than its precursor. Due to its harmful effects on the environment, use and production of nonylphenol has been banned in European Union countries, alongside their precursors. The guide on quality of drinking water (USEPA) recommends a maximum concentration of 28 µg L-1 for fresh water. In Brazil, there is no clear legislation containing values ​​of maximum concentration of nonylphenol. Due to this lack of regulation, a continuous monitoring is necessary of this pollutant in environmental samples. This paper aims to encourage further studies on nonylphenol, seen as a critical environmental pollutant. For proper monitoring is necessary to have reliable analytical methods and easy to perform in routine analysis. <![CDATA[Chemical constituents of apolar fractions from fruit latex of twelve Clusia species (Clusiaceae)]]> Abstract The apolar fractions components of fruit latex of twelve species of Clusia belonging to four different taxonomic sections were examined by GC-MS. The latex of Clusia is characterised by large amounts of sesquiterpene hydrocarbons as major constituents like germacrene D: C. paralicola (44.28 %), C. criuva subsp. criuva (29.03 %); β-caryophyllene: C. fluminensis (35.61 %), C. lanceolata (36.39 %), C. hilariana (58.10 %); α-trans-bergamontene: C. spirictus-sanctensis (36.30 %); α-bulnesene: C. weddelliana (25.61 %); bicyclogermacrene: C. panapanari (25.93 %) and trans-β-farnesene: C. nemorosa (24.63 %), while C. grandiflora is composed of 42.16 % monoterpene hydrocarbons. Verbenone (31.91 %) was the major component. In contrast, C. rosea, C. grandiflora, C. lanceolata and C. criuva subsp. parviflora are rich in 3-methylcyclohexanone (19.56 %), hexadecanol (22.72 %), p-anisaldehyde (23.39 %) and octadecanol (26.81 %), respectively. This study suggests considerable chemical variation among the non-polar fractions of fruit latex of the twelve Clusia species. <![CDATA[Green speciation of iron using aqueous two-phase system]]> Abstract Fe(II) and Fe(III) have distinct chemical and biological functions. Consequently, it is more important to determine the fraction of both oxidation state that knowing the total iron concentration in a sample. However, green methods for iron speciation are still limited. This work uses aqueous two-phase system, a safe alternative to liquid–liquid extraction, to perform the chemical speciation of iron. This method is based on the reaction of Fe(II) with 1,10-phenanthroline extractant, forming a complex of Fe(II)-phenanthroline that concentrates in the top phase of the system. The Fe(III) specie concentrated in the bottom phase of the system. Iron speciation was affected by the electrolyte nature, macromolecule type, quantity of phenanthroline added, and pH. The system formed by PEO1500 + Na3C6H5O7 + H2O at pH 6.00, containing 5.00 mmol kg-1 of phenanthroline, was successfully used to separate the iron species before determination by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Under these optimal conditions, a separation factor of 233 was obtained between Fe(II) and Fe(III) with extraction percentages of (95.1 ± 1.0)% and (7.68 ± 0.50)%, respectively The proposed method was successfully applied for iron speciation in water samples, and provided recovery percentages ranging between 90 and 106%. <![CDATA[Acetylcholinesterase inhibition and antimicrobial activity of hydroxyl amides synthesized from natural products derivatives]]> ABSTRACT Thirteen natural products derivatives of hydroxyl amide class, three described for the first time, were synthesized by reaction of three indole acids and 3,4,5-trimethoxybenzoic acid with six different amino alcohols in the presence of triphenylphosphine and N-bromosuccinimide. The derivatives were tested against the Gram (+) bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus, Gram (-) Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli, besides the yeast Candida albicans. One of the compounds (7) was selectively active against C. albicans (91.3 ± 0.49% inhibition) showing a great potential as a new drug lead, since it was more active than the positive control, miconazole (88.7 ± 2.41% inhibition). Regarding bacterial inhibition, compounds demonstrated mild activity, but inhibition of compounds 9, 10 and 13 towards E. coli is of interest since it is difficult to find drugs selectively active against Gram (-) bacteria. Most of the compounds were very active in the acetylcholinesterase inhibition assay. Compound 7 was again the most active (93.2 ± 4.47%), being more potent than the control galantamine (90.3 ± 0.45%). The most active gallic acid derivatives, compounds 3, 7 and 8 have in common, besides gallic acid skeleton, a (CH2)2OH group, which may be one of the structural requirements for AChE inhibition. <![CDATA[Isoflavonoid composition and biological activity of extracts from soybean seedlings treated by different elicitors]]> Abstract Time-course and dose-response experiments were carried out to establish the ability for synthesizing isoflavonoids of soybean seedlings (cv. Soyica P34) treated with salicylic (SA) and isonicotinic acids (INA). Then, 25 structurally-related compounds were evaluated for their isoflavonoid-eliciting activity. Next, the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of EtOAc-soluble fraction from soybean seedlings treated with some synthetic elicitors were determined. Results showed that the concentration of isoflavonoids in soybean seedlings was significantly increased by the application of SA and INA. The major isoflavonoids detected were the malonyl-glycosidic isoflavones, followed by genistin and daidzin. The isoflavone aglycones (genistein, daidzein, and formononetin), coumestrol and glyceollins were found in lower concentrations. Maximum accumulation of glyceollins was detected after 48 and 144 h in soybean seedlings treated with 1.6 mM INA and SA, respectively. EtOAc-extracts from soybean seedlings treated with two structurally-related compounds to INA displayed a significant antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. Therefore, INA, SA and structurally-related compounds can be used to increase the amounts of natural antioxidant or antimicrobial compounds in soybean, either to protect the plant directly against pathogens or as a natural source for subsequent isolation of isoflavonoids or bioactive extracts, which have potential application in functional foods or pharmaceutical and personal care products. <![CDATA[Climatic characteristics of the 2010-2016 drought in the semiarid Northeast Brazil region]]> ABSTRACT This study discusses the climatological aspects of the most severe drought ever recorded in the semiarid region Northeast Brazil. Droughts are recurrent in the region and while El Nino has driven some of these events others are more dependent on the tropical North Atlantic sea surface temperature fields. The drought affecting this region during the last 5 years shows an intensity and impact not seen in several decades in the regional economy and society. The analysis of this event using drought indicators as well as meteorological fields shows that since the middle 1990s to 2016, 16 out of 25 years experienced rainfall below normal. This suggests that the recent drought may have in fact started in the middle-late 1990s, with the intense droughts of 1993 and 1998, and then the sequence of dry years (interrupted by relatively wet years in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2011) after that may have affected the levels of reservoirs in the region, leading to a real water crisis that was magnified by the negative rainfall anomalies since 2010. <![CDATA[Remote sensing of the chlorophyll-<em>a</em> based on OLI/Landsat-8 and MSI/Sentinel-2A (Barra Bonita reservoir, Brazil)]]> ABSTRACT In this present research, we assessed the performance of band algorithms in estimating chlorophyll-a (Chl-a) concentration based on bands of two new sensors: Operational Land Imager onboard Landsat-8 satellite (OLI/Landsat-8), and MultiSpectral Instrument onboard Sentinel-2A (MSI/Sentinel-2A). Band combinations designed for Thematic Mapper onboard Landsat-5 satellite (TM/Landsat-5) and MEdium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer onboard Envisat platform (MERIS/Envisat) were adapted for OLI/Landsat-8 and MSI/Sentinel-2A bands. Algorithms were calibrated using in situ measurements collected in three field campaigns carried out in different seasons. The study area was the Barra Bonita hydroelectric reservoir (BBHR), a highly productive aquatic system. With exception of the three-band algorithm, the algorithms were spectrally few affected by sensors changes. On the other hands, algorithm performance has been hampered by the bio-optical difference in the reservoir sections, drought in 2014 and pigment packaging. <![CDATA[High-resolution topography for Digital Terrain Model (DTM) in Keller Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica]]> Abstract High resolution topography (HRT) surveys is an important tool to model landscapes, especially in zones subjected to strong environmental changes, such as Antarctica, where landform is highly influenced by cryoclasty and permafrost melting. The aim of this work was to obtain a high accurate DTM for Keller Peninsula, Maritime Antarctica. The survey study was assessed in the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 during the austral summer, by using Terrestrial Laser Scanner (TLS). In order to cover 8 km² of the Peninsula, the TLS equipment was installed in 81 different points. Results of the DTM generated by TLS (hereafter, HRT-DTM), and the terrain variables Aspect, Slope and Hillshade obtained were compared with previous models generated by aerophotographic survey (hereafter, APG-DTM). RMSE for the HRT and APG-DTM were 0.726 and 2.397 m, respectively. Spatial resolution of the DTMs was 0.20 m. Morphometric variables obtained from the two methods presented visual differences on the thematic maps, especially related to the Aspect. Generalization was the main process, whereas interpolation occurred for the HRT survey, being the process of choice for the APG method. A large number of points are obtained by the TLS, providing a dense cloud of points, spatially well-distributed, enabling the generalization process to obtain surface models with high performance. <![CDATA[New Holocene pollen records from the Brazilian Caatinga]]> Abstract We present two pollen diagrams from the semi-arid Caatinga of the Catimbau National Park, in Pernambuco and from a Mauritia palm forest in the Caatinga/Cerrado ecotone of southern Piauí, NE Brazil, spanning the last 10,000 cal. yrs BP and the last 1,750 cal yrs BP, respectively. These two records contain a signature of the local vegetation and permit the correlation of the pollen signal with regional climatic changes. The Catimbau record shows Zizyphus sp., a typical Caatinga taxon, in all three pollen zones indicating regional Caatinga vegetation and the predominance of local arboreal taxa adapted to high humidity from 10,000 to ca. 6,000 cal. yrs BP with a gradual tendency towards drier conditions revealed by a deposition hiatus between 6,000 to ca. 2,000 cal. yrs BP. This abrupt loss of sediments in both localities is interpreted as a consequence of the establishment of modern semi-arid climates. The subsequent return of humidity is signaled by increased sedimentation rates and 14C date inversions in agreement with high precipitation, revealed by σ18O ratios in speleothems from NE Brazil. Modern sediments deposited in the last 500 years reflect local conditions with the maintenance of humidity by geological faulting and surfacing water tables. <![CDATA[Uncertainties Associated with Arithmetic Map Operations in GIS]]> Abstract Arithmetic map operations are very common procedures used in GIS to combine raster maps resulting in a new and improved raster map. It is essential that this new map be accompanied by an assessment of uncertainty. This paper shows how we can calculate the uncertainty of the resulting map after performing some arithmetic operation. Actually, the propagation of uncertainty depends on a reliable measurement of the local accuracy and local covariance, as well. In this sense, the use of the interpolation variance is proposed because it takes into account both data configuration and data values. Taylor series expansion is used to derive the mean and variance of the function defined by an arithmetic operation. We show exact results for means and variances for arithmetic operations involving addition, subtraction and multiplication and that it is possible to get approximate mean and variance for the quotient of raster maps. <![CDATA[Stratigraphic Relations of the Ipubi Formation: Siliciclastic-Evaporitic Succession of the Araripe Basin]]> ABSTRACT The Ipubi Formation represents the Aptian-Albian siliciclastic-evaporitic succession of Araripe Basin, NE Brazil. This succession comprises siliciclastic rocks (bituminous shales and claystones) and evaporites (gypsum and secondary anhydrite) and represents part of the lacustrine-shallow marine post-rift phase I. This study used sequence stratigraphy concepts to define the relations between changes in the relative lake level and the formation of Ipubi deposits. Results show that the organic-rich shales of the Ipubi Formation formed during a transgressive pulse that covered large areas of the proximal domains. These deposits overlie a regional unconformity that marks the end of the deposition of the underlying Crato Formation. A High Stand stage that followed the transgression influenced the formation of evaporitic deposits. Climate conditions played a major role in influencing the triggering and stopping of evaporite deposition. Thus, a new relative lake level fall event caused the exposure of the Ipubi Formation deposits, and created another regional subaerial unconformity accompanied by widespread karstification of evaporite beds. A posterior transgression caused the deposition of siliciclastic rocks of the Romualdo Formation over the Ipubi Formation strata, and also promoted a new event of karstification of the Ipubi upper evaporite beds. <![CDATA[Limnology of the largest multi-use artificial reservoir in NE Brazil: The Castanhão Reservoir, Ceará State]]> Abstract This work reviews the limnology of the largest multi-use reservoir in NE Brazil, the Castanhão Reservoir in Ceará State, during 5 years of an extended drought when the reservoir’s volume decreased from 88% to about 30%. Major physical and chemical parameters of the water column, phytoplankton community, trophic state and sediment geochemistry were monitored, as well as the impact from extensive aquaculture. Water quality of the full reservoir was maintained due to hydrodynamics, which transport nutrients to the hypolimnion of a stratified water column, rendering an oligotrophic state to the reservoir, notwithstanding the large nutrient inputs from aquaculture and irrigated agriculture. However, with the extension of the drought period, the reservoir volume reduced, decreasing water depth leading to breaking of the thermocline due to wind forcing, and mixing the entire water column. This increased turbidity, nutrient availability and primary productivity, also changed phytoplankton functional groups. As a result, at the end of the monitoring period, when the reservoir attained its lowest volume, its trophic state became eutrophic. Under a scenario of climate change, where annual precipitation is decreasing, human uses of reservoirs in the semiarid should be very restricted to maintain water quality proper for human use. <![CDATA[Growth of the Anchovy <em>Anchoa tricolor</em> in a brazilian subtropical estuary]]> ABSTRACT This study aimed to describe the growth parameters of Anchoa tricolor in a subtropical estuary. From August 2010 to July 2011, 10.009 specimens of the anchovy Anchoa tricolor, mean total length 4.2 cm (±1.45), were captured in the intertidal region of the Estuarine Complex of Paranaguá (25º 15’ - 25° 35’ S and 48° 20’ - 48° 45’ W). Species´s weight/length relationship for grouped genders was described as follow: W = 0.0000591.Lt3.282 (length in centimeters; weight in grams) showing a positive allometric growth pattern (b&gt;3; P=0.000). Significant differences concerning weight/length relationship for males, females and unsexed individuals were identified. Parameters of the length to age growth curve were estimated by adjusting a von Bertalanffy growth equation from aged individuals from a length-frequency distribution: L∞ = 10.06 (1-e-17715(t + 0.205)) (length in centimeters, age in years). The age to attain 95% of the asymptotic length ( A95 ; longevity sensu Taylor) was estimated at 1.7 years. Size frequency distributions indicate that A. tricolor uses the estuarine area as reproductive and growing grounds, especially during the first year of the life cycle, where the species represent a key element for ecosystem functioning due to relatively high abundance and energy transference from plankton to top predators. <![CDATA[Anatomical, phytochemical and histochemical study of <em>Solidago chilensis</em> Meyen]]> ABSTRACT Solidago chilensis Meyen, belonging to the family Asteraceae, is a plant native to South America and the only representative of the genus in Brazil. This species is popularly known as “arnica” and is used to treat bruises, muscle pain and inflammation. The objective of this work was to contribute to the pharmacognostic standardization of S. chilensis. Cross-sections were obtained, by freehand, for microscopic analysis of root, stem and leaf; for these parts of the plant maceration was also performed according to the method of Jeffrey. For the leaf were still made paradermal sections, scanning electron microscopy analysis, phytochemical and histochemical tests. Thus, it was determined anatomical features useful for diagnosis of the species which, together with identification of the chemical compounds and its histolocalization, provides support to their quality control. <![CDATA[HOW STRONG IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RAINFALL VARIABILITY AND CAATINGA PRODUCTIVITY? A CASE STUDY UNDER A CHANGING CLIMATE]]> ABSTRACT Despite the knowledge of the influence of rainfall on vegetation dynamics in semiarid tropical Brazil, few studies address and explore quantitatively the various aspects of this relationship. Moreover, Northeast Brazil is expected to have its rainfall reduced by as much as 60% until the end of the 21st Century, under scenario AII of the IPCC Report 2010. We sampled and analyzed satellite-derived monthly rainfall and a vegetation index data for 40 sites with natural vegetation cover in Paraíba State, Brazil from 2001 to 2012. In addition, the anomalies for both variables were calculated. Rainfall variation explained as much as 50% of plant productivity, using the vegetation index as a proxy, and rainfall anomaly explained 80% of the vegetation productivity anomaly. In an extreme dry year (2012), with 65% less rainfall than average for the period 2001-2012, the vegetation index decreased by 25%. If such decrease persists in a long term trend in rainfall reduction, this could lead to a disruption in this ecosystem functioning and the dominant vegetation could become even more xeric or desert-like, bringing serious environmental, social and economical impacts. <![CDATA[Mercury content in the fur of jaguars (<em>Panthera onca</em>) from two areas under different levels of gold mining impact in the Brazilian Pantanal]]> ABSTRACT The Pantanal is the largest inland wetland in the world and is under increasing anthropogenic threats, including long-term regionally intensive gold mining practices. Gold mining activities are known to cause the release of harmful pollutants such as mercury (Hg) to the surrounding environment. Jaguars (Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758)) are apex predators, and therefore show great potential to accumulate Hg by biomagnification. We hypothesize that total Hg content in the fur of jaguars from two sites within the Brazilian Pantanal would be significantly different as a function of distance from active gold mining operations. The Hg content was determined by fluorescence spectrometry. The mean ± SD Hg content in jaguars from the study site influenced by gold mining (SB) was compared to jaguars sampled in the area free of gold mining activities (CA) using a one-way ANOVA. The mean Hg content in jaguars from SB (673.0 ± 916.8 µg g-1) is significantly different from jaguars sampled in CA (29.7 ± 23.3 µg g-1), p = 0.03. The maximum recorded content of Hg was 2,010.4 ± 150.5 µg g-1, highest level ever recorded in a wild animal. The data indicate that Hg is an important threat to jaguars within at-risk regions of the Pantanal. <![CDATA[Evaluation of embryotoxic and embryostatic effects of the aqueous extract of <em>Rhizophora mangle</em> and tannic acid on eggs and larvae of <em>Aedes aegypti</em>]]> ABSTRACT Rhizophora mangle is an abundant plant in mangroves and tannic acid is a polyphenol produced by the secondary metabolism of plants. The aim of the study was to evaluate the embryotoxic and embriostatic effects of the aqueous extract of R. mangle and synthetic tannic acid on eggs and larvae of Aedes aegypti. A. aegypti eggs were exposed in duplicate at concentrations of 250, 500, 750 and 1000 µg/mL of extract and tannic acid for a period of 14 days. Mineral water was used as a negative control. The eggs were observed and counted in a stereomicroscope (1.2x). In all extract concentrations there was stimulation in hatching in relation to the control, but only in concentration of 750 mg/mL it was statistically significant. In tannic acid (250µg/ml) there was significant stimulus in hatching, but in 500, 750 and 1000 µg/mL there was significant inhibition. All concentrations of aqueous extract and tannic acid on larvae showed embryotoxic and embryostatic effects when compared to the control. The aqueous extract of R. mangle showed effect on hatching of A. aegypti eggs and synthetic tannic acid showed embryotoxic and embryostatic effects. On larvae, both the aqueous extract as tannic acid showed embryotoxic and embryostatic effects. <![CDATA[Beneficial effects of bio-controlling agent <em>Bacillus cereus</em> IB311 on the agricultural crop production and its biomass optimization through response surface methodology]]> ABSTRACT Disease in agricultural field is a big problem that causes a massive loss in production. In this present investigation, we have reported a soil-borne bacterium Bacillus cereus IB311 which is antagonistic to plant pathogens (Pseudomonas syringae and Agrobacterium tumefaciens), and could make a substantial contribution to the prevention of plant diseases. To prove the practical application, the strain was directly applied in agricultural field. The results demonstrated that B. cereus IB311 has increased the production (20% and 26% in term of average pod number per plant, average seed number per pod, and seed yield per experimental plot) in ground nut (Arachis hypogaea var. Koushal, G201) and sesame (Sesamum indicum var. Kanak), respectively. To reduce the production cost, the biomass production was optimized through response surface methodology (RSM). Interactions of three variables (glucose, beef extract and inoculum) were studied using Central Composite Design. According to our analysis, optimum production of Bacillus cereus IB311 (5.383 µg/ mL) may be obtained at glucose 1.985%, beef extract 1.615% and inoculums size 0.757%. Therefore, we strongly believe that the application of this strain in agricultural field as bio-controlling agent will definitely enhance the production yield and will reduce the disease risk. <![CDATA[Treatment with either leflunomide or adalimumab reduces anaemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis]]> ABSTRACT Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease of the joints, which causes joint pain and disability. Anaemia is a frequent extra-articular manifestation in rheumatoid arthritis, affecting 30-70% of the patients; presenting a negative impact on patient´s quality of life. Some of the drugs used in rheumatoid arthritis treatment improve anaemia; but little is known on the beneficial effects of the anti-rheumatic leflunomide or the anti-TNFα adalimumab, in this parameter. We investigated the incidence of anaemia in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated or not with leflunomide or adalimumab. We also assessed whether anaemia correlates with disease activity. Anaemia was present in patients who had just been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and had never taken disease modifying agents or biologicals (non-specific therapy group), but not in those taking either leflunomide or adalimumab. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate was increased in patients with non-specific therapy in comparison with those taking either leflunomide or adalimumab. Anaemia correlated with increased erythrocyte sedimentation rate. We suggest that leflunomide and adalimumab may be useful in treating anaemia in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. <![CDATA[Post-seminal development and morphoanatomy of vegetative and reproductive organs in Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) Bertoni (Asteraceae)]]> Abstract Stevia rebaudiana belongs to the Asteraceae family with high economic and medicinal potential. This article describes and illustrates morphological and histological aspects of leaves and reproductive organs, and the germination process, to provide detailed information on this species and to contribute to taxonomic, phylogenetic and pharmacobotanical projects. The fruit is a cypsela, small, simple, dry, indehiscent, monospermic, light or dark colored, with aristate pappus, and the seed presents a spatulate axile embryo. Germination is phaneroepigeal with a pivotal root system and many absorbing root hairs. The leaves are simple, elliptical to obovate, with two types of trichomes (glandular and tector), with a short petiole, exhibiting an opposite decussate phyllotaxy. Our results showed 37.5% germination after 12 days, only in the dark cypsela, the light colored being considered unviable. The inflorescence is paniculate and the florets are grouped in capitula with isomorphic ends, monoclinous (bisexual), dichlamydeous, heterochlamydeous, pentamerous calyx and corolla, gamossepalous and gamopetalous. The androecium is gamostemone comprised of five stamens with free filaments, isodynamous and epipetalous stamens, synandrous and rimose anthers. The flower presents an inferior ovary, bicarpelar, unilocular and ovules with a basal placentation. The pollen grains are small, isopolar, radial symmetry, tricolporate, with echinate ornamentation. <![CDATA[Cell Division in genus <em>Corynebacterium</em>: protein-protein interaction and molecular docking of SepF and FtsZ in the understanding of cytokinesis in pathogenic species]]> ABSTRACT The genus Corynebacterium includes species of great importance in medical, veterinary and biotechnological fields. The genus-specific families (PLfams) from PATRIC have been used to observe conserved proteins associated to all species. Our results showed a large number of conserved proteins that are associated with the cellular division process. Was not observe in our results other proteins like FtsA and ZapA that interact with FtsZ. Our findings point that SepF overlaps the function of this proteins explored by molecular docking, protein-protein interaction and sequence analysis. Transcriptomic analysis showed that these two (Sepf and FtsZ) proteins can be expressed in different conditions together. The work presents novelties on molecules participating in the cell division event, from the interaction of FtsZ and SepF, as new therapeutic targets. <![CDATA[Responses of riffle beetle assemblages to deforestation in a semi-deciduous Atlantic Forest remnant]]> Abstract Deforestation affects freshwater assemblages since aquatic organisms are dependent on the structure of the riparian vegetation. To investigate the responses of riffle beetles (Elmidae) to deforestation, this study assessed the structure of riffle beetle assemblages found in streams running through a large and well-preserved semi-deciduous Atlantic Forest remnant in Southern Brazil and in nearby deforested areas. Additionally, the effects of different substrate types (litter and stone) on the assemblages were assessed. Riffle beetle assemblages showed a remarkably distinct structure between forested and deforested areas. Lower abundance occurred in deforested streams. Indicator genera of forested streams were detected (e.g.,Macrelmis and Microcylloepus), while a generalist genus (Heterelmis) predominated in deforested streams. Substrate type did not affect the composition of riffle beetle genera, although higher abundance was found in litter. Our results are likely associated with changes in the vegetation type and levels and quality of allochthonous material input between forested (native and higher levels) and deforested (exotic and lower levels) streams, which are directly linked to the feeding habits of riffle beetles. Thus, our study reveals an interesting potential of riffle beetles as indicators of stream ecological integrity in semi-deciduous areas of the Atlantic Forest biome. <![CDATA[Influence of hesperidin and vitamin C on glycemic parameters, lipid profile, and DNA damage in rats treated with sucrose overload]]> ABSTRACT We evaluated the influence of hesperidin and vitamin C (VitC) on glycemic parameters, lipid profile, and DNA damage in male Wistar rats treated with sucrose overload. Rats were divided into six experimental groups: I-water control; II-sucrose control; III-hesperidin control; IV-VitC control; V-co-treatment of sucrose plus hesperidin; VI-co-treatment of sucrose plus VitC. We measured the levels of triglycerides, total cholesterol, HDL-c, LDL-c, fasting glucose, and glycated hemoglobin (A1C). DNA damage was evaluated in blood and brain cells using the comet assay and the micronucleus test was used to evaluate chromosomal damages in the rat bone marrow. Co-treatment with VitC, but not with hesperidin, normalized the serum glucose. No effect of co-treatments was observed on A1C. The co-treatment with VitC or hesperidin did not influence the lipid profile (p&gt;0.05). Rats co-treated with hesperidin had a significantly lower DNA damage level in blood (p&lt;0.05) and brain (p&lt;0.05). Rats treated with VitC only, but not those co-treated with VitC plus sucrose, had significantly higher DNA damage in brain (p&lt;0.05). No significant differences were observed in the results of micronucleus test (p&gt;0.05). Hesperidin and VitC showed different effects on sucrose and DNA damage levels. While VitC lowered the serum glucose, hesperidin reduced the DNA damage. <![CDATA[Early fragmentation of polyester urethane sheet neither causes persistent oxidative stress nor alters the outcome of normal tissue healing in rat skin]]> Abstract Silicone breast implant is associated with complications inherent to the surgical procedure. Prosthesis coating with polyurethane, however, commonly reduces the incidence of such complications. In this paper, the authors evaluated the inflammatory histomorphometric profile and oxidative damage associated to the implant of polyester urethane sheets. Forty-eight Wistar rats were divided into Sham or polyester urethane groups (n = 8/group) and underwent a polyester urethane implant in the dorsal skinfold. Tissue samples were collected on days seven, 30, and 90 after surgery and subjected to histomorphometric analysis and biochemical tests. Results were analyzed by one-way ANOVA (p ≤ 0.05). Peri-implant tissue samples exhibited characteristic inflammatory response associated with the biomaterial, with increased vascularization on day seven and augmented levels of IL1-b and TNF-a after 30 days. Peri-implant fibrocystic population was small on day seven, but increased considerably after 90 days. A rise in the carbonyl group levels of skin samples in the polyester urethane group was observed on day seven. Findings suggest that polyester urethane sheets undergo biodegradation at an early stage after implantation, followed by increased vascularity and microencapsulation of biomaterial fragments, without persistent oxidative damage. Fiber arrangement inside the collagen matrix results in a fibrotic scar because of polyester urethane degradation. <![CDATA[Deformation of Mitochondrial Cristae in Human Neural Progenitor Cells Exposed to Valproic Acid]]> ABSTRACT Neural development represents a dynamic process where mitochondrial integrity is decisive for neuronal activity. Structural changes in these organelles may be related to neurological disorders. Valproic acid (VPA) is an anticonvulsive drug commonly used for epilepsy treatment and its use is associated to increased risk of neuropsychiatric disorders. Recently we showed changes in shape and membrane potential in mitochondria from human neural progenitor cells (NPCs) exposed to VPA (da Costa et al. 2015). Here, we applied transmission electron microscopy and electron tomography to evaluate mitochondrial damage caused by VPA in NPCs. Results showed mitochondrial cristae disorganization in a dose dependent manner. Disturbance in mitochondrial ultrastructure may influence metabolism, leading to synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis impairment. These data contribute to understanding VPA exposure potential effects on brain development. <![CDATA[Air quality assessment in different urban areas from Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, using lichen transplants]]> Abstract Based on the need to monitor air pollution and on the importance of doing it with biological organisms, the present work had as main objective to assess air quality in urban areas through lichen transplants. Besides, we also tested whether there were differences among the studied sites, aiming to point out the main pollution characteristics of the areas. The monitoring was carried out in seven cities, which varied from mainly rural to mainly industrial, in Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. The foliose lichen Parmotrema tinctorum was used as the biomonitor species. Physiological tests and contents of sulphur and heavy metals were measured in the lichen thalli. Other pollutants assessed through air samplers were available for some cities, and modeled concentrations of fine particulate matter and nitrogen oxides for all sites. The effect of air pollution negatively reflected on the physiology parameters of the lichen and the concentration of all heavy metals increased after exposure, especially in the industrial sites. We generated a profile of air pollutants and pointed out that Charqueadas and Esteio had the worst air quality. Since they have high demographic densities, the results are of great public health concern and could be guidelines for future studies. <![CDATA[Changes in microplanktonic protists assemblages promoted by the thermocline induced stratification around an oceanic archipelago]]> Abstract In the area around the archipelago of São Pedro e São Paulo (ASPSP), a set of small rocky islands in the Equatorial Atlantic, the thermocline begins at a more superficial depth than in the surrounding waters. This raises the question if there is any change in heterotrophic microplanktonic protists assemblages occurring in the surface mixed layer and in the subsurface layer. To answer this question, we sampled seawater in seven depths (between 1-100 m) with a 10L Niskin bottle and obtained temperature and salinity profiles with a CTD at eight sites around the ASPSP. The depth of the surface mixed layer varied between 18-63 meters. Dinoflagellates dominated in terms of abundance representing over 80% and 65% of the individuals found in the surface and subsurface layers, respectively. A PERMANOVA test revealed significant differences (p &lt; 0.001) among the dinoflagellate and tintinnid assemblages occurring in both layers, but no evidence for difference in the radiolarian assemblage was detected. Good ecological indicators were found mainly within the dinoflagellate assemblage. The thermocline induced stratification allowed the development of different microplanktonic protists assemblages above and under the depth of the surface mixed layer in the upper 100 m of the water column. <![CDATA[Morphological and histological characterization of sexual segment of the kidney in Notomabuya frenata (Cope, 1862) and Aspronema dorsivittatum (Cope, 1862) (Squamata, Mabuyidae)]]> Abstract The kidneys in two viviparous species of Neotropical lizards, Notomabuya frenata and Aspronema dorsivittatum (Mabuyidae), were investigated by light and scanning electron microscopy in order to determine the presence of the sexual segment of the kidney (SSK) and to study its morphology. The individuals used in this study belong to the Herpetological Collection of the Herpetology Laboratory - Reptiles of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (CHUFJF-Reptiles) and they were collected between the years 2008 and 2012 from the Cerrado region in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The SSK was present only in sexually mature males (with sperm in the testes / epididymis), whereas it was absent in sexually immature males. The nephron in both species consists of renal corpuscle, proximal convoluted tubule, distal convoluted tubule, collecting duct and sexual segment of the kidney. The SSK of the analyzed species were coated with a simple columnar epithelium, with high cells, basal nucleus and in the apical portion innumerable secretory granules. This study adds to the knowledge on reproductive biology and structures related to reproductive strategies of both lizard species and viviparous Neotropical lizards. <![CDATA[Consequences of gestational diabetes to the brain and behavior of the offspring]]> ABSTRACT Gestational diabetes mellitus (GD) is a form of insulin resistance triggered during the second/third trimesters of pregnancy in previously normoglycemic women. It is currently estimated that 10% of all pregnancies in the United States show this condition. For many years, the transient nature of GD has led researchers and physicians to assume that long-term consequences were absent. However, GD diagnosis leads to a six-fold increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) in women and incidence of obesity and T2D is also higher among their infants. Recent and concerning evidences point to detrimental effects of GD on the behavior and cognition of the offspring, which often persist until adolescence or adulthood. Considering that the perinatal period is critical for determination of adult behavior, it is expected that the intra-uterine exposure to hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia and pro-inflammatory mediators, hallmark features of GD, might affect brain development. Here, we review early clinical and experimental evidence linking GD to consequences on the behavior of the offspring, focusing on memory and mood disorders. We also discuss initial evidence suggesting that downregulation of insulin signaling cascades are seen in the brains of GD offspring and could contribute to the consequences on their behavior. <![CDATA[Feline heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis) infection: first case report of serological diagnosis in Brazil, confirmed by molecular assay]]> Abstract The clinical importance of heartworm infection in cats has indeed increased in recent years. Dirofilaria immitis infection has been reported worldwide in cats and continues to be regularly diagnosed in endemic areas. The diagnosis can be overlooked easily, especially in Brazil, where there is not a specific feline immunodiagnostic test, forcing the veterinarians to use a test made for the canine host. In 2015, a 10-year-old female neutered cat was diagnosed with D. immitis using an antigen serological test, based on imunocromatography and designed for dogs. The modified Knott test was negative. As the disease progressed, the cat showed clinical signals of respiratory distress, such as dyspnoea and polypnea in addition to prostration and emaciation, and died a few weeks after the diagnosis. During necropsy, one adult nematode was found in the pulmonary artery. D. immitis infection was confirmed by molecular amplification, performed in the worm fragment. This is the first report of serological diagnosis of feline dirofilariasis in Brazil. A chemoprophylaxis routine in cats should be done, as is done in dogs from endemic areas. <![CDATA[Conformational analysis of Pneumococcal Surface Antigen A (PsaA) upon zinc binding by fluorescence spectroscopy]]> ABSTRACT PsaA (pneumococcal surface antigen A) is a S. pneumoniae virulence factor that belongs to the metal transport system. The Manganese PsaA binding has been associated with oxidative stress resistance becoming a pivotal element in the bacteria virulence. It has been shown that Zinc inhibits the Manganese acquisition and promotes bacteria toxicity. We have performed a PsaA conformational analysis both in the presence (Zn-rPsaA) and in the absence of Zinc (free-rPsaA). We performed experiments in the presence of different Zinc concentrations to determine the metal minimum concentration which induced a conformational change. The protein in free and Zn-binding condition was also studied in pH ranging 2.6-8.0 and in temperature ranging 25oC-85oC. pH experiments showed a decrease of fluorescence intensity only in acidic medium. Analysis of the heat-induced denaturation demonstrated that Zinc-binding promoted an increase in melting temperature from 55oC (free-rPsaA) to 78.8oC (Zn-rPsaA) according to fluorescence measurements. In addition, the rPsaA stabilization by Zinc was verified through analysis of urea and guanidine hydrochloride denaturation. Data showed that Zinc promoted an increase in the rPsaA stability and its removal by EDTA can lead to a PsaA intermediate conformation. These findings can be considered in the development of vaccines containing PsaA as antigen. <![CDATA[Minimum free energy predicted base pairing in the 39 nt spliced leader and 5’ UTR of calmodulin mRNA from <em>Trypanosoma cruzi</em>: influence of the multiple trans-splicing sites]]> ABSTRACT We analyzed the compositional changes and the stable base pairs in the predicted secondary structure of the 5’ UTR calmodulin mRNA in T. cruzi. The three copies of calmodulin in T. cruzi genome display variable position of the trans splicing sites and give rise to several mRNA that differs slightly on 5’ UTR composition in the epimastigote stage. We show that the pattern of high probability base pairs in the minimum free energy predicted secondary structures of the calmodulin 5’ UTR remains unchanged despite the nucleotide composition variation. However, the 39 nt spliced leader (mini-exon, the 5’ exon sequence transferred to trypanosome mRNAs by the mechanism of trans splicing) shows a variable pattern of high and low probability base pairing as consequence of the altered composition of the 5’ UTR. <![CDATA[Production, characterization and toxicology assay of creatine pegylated nanoliposome with polysorbate 80 for brain delivery]]> ABSTRACT Creatine acts intracellularly as energy buffer and storage, demonstrating protective effects in animal models of neurodegenerative diseases. However, its permeability throught blood-brain barrier (BBB) is reduced. The aim of the present study was developing a carrier to facilitate the delivery of creatine to the central nervous system. Creatine nanoliposomes were produced, characterized and assayed in models of toxicity in vitro and in vivo. Particles showed negative zeta potential (-12,5 mV), polydispersity index 0.237 and medium-size of 105 nm, which was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Toxicity assay in vitro was evaluated with blank liposomes (no drug) or creatine nanoliposomes at concentrations of 0.02 and 0.2 mg/mL, that did not influence the viability of Vero cells. The result. of the comet assay that the nanoliposomes are not genotoxic, togeher with cell viability demonstrated that the nanoliposomes are not toxic. Besides, in vivo assays not demonstrate toxicity in hematological and biochemical markers of young rats. Nevertheless, increase content of creatine in the cerebral cortex tissue after subchronic treatment was observed. Altogether, results indicate increase permeability of creatine to the BBB that could be used as assay for in vivo studies to confirm improved effect than free creatine. <![CDATA[Perspectives of Dendrimer-based Nanoparticles in Cancer Therapy]]> Abstract Currently, cancer is the second most common cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease. Chemotherapy traditionally suffers from a non-specific distribution, with only a small fraction of the drug reaching the tumor, in this sense, the use of dendrimers incorporating drugs non-covalently encapsulated inside the dendrimer or covalently conjugated have proven to be effectives against different cancer cell lines. However, at present the dendrimers used as drug-carriers still do not meet the necessary characteristic to be considered as an ideal dendrimer for drug delivery; high toxicity, bio-degradability, low toxicity, biodistribution characteristics, and favorable retention with appropriate specificity and bioavailability have not been fully covered by the current available dendrimers. However, the development and study of new dendrimers drug-carriers continues to be an important tool in the cancer therapy as they can be functionalized with varied ligands to reach the tumor tissue through the different body barriers in the body with minimal loss of activity in the bloodstream, have the ability to selectively kill tumor cells without affecting the normal cells and most important with a release mechanism controlling actively. Given the continuous efforts and research in this area of interest, we presented in this review the work done with a special emphasis on the development of dendrimers as a major tool in the combination with drugs, as a potential adjunctive agent in anticancer therapy. <![CDATA[Essential oils of green cumin and chamomile partially protect against acute acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in rats]]> ABSTRACT Essential oils of green cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and chamomile (Chamomilla recutita) have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Acetaminophen, N-acetyl-p-amino-phenol, is an over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic. Despite being safe at therapeutic doses, acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of acute liver failure. This study aimed to compare the possible protective effects of cumin and chamomile essential oils against acute acetaminophen hepatotoxicity in male rats. Cumin oil (400 mg/kg) and chamomile oil (250 mg/kg) were orally administered for 2 weeks prior to a single acetaminophen dose (1g/kg). Serum liver function enzymes, oxidative stress markers in the liver and histopathological features were evaluated. Acetaminophen caused marked damage to hepatocytes evidenced by a significant rise in the levels of liver function enzymes, including alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase, and disruption to the liver antioxidant protective system. Whereas the cumin oil normalized acetaminophen-induced liver enzymes elevation, the chamomile oil slightly attenuated the increase in alanine aminotransferase levels in acetaminophen-intoxicated rats. The Chamomile oil moderately ameliorated glutathione depletion and the decrease in superoxide dismutase activity in the liver of acetaminophen-administered rats. The Cumin oil preserved the liver structure to a greater extent than chamomile oil in acetaminophen-intoxicated rats. Essential oils of cumin and chamomile partially counteracted acute acetaminophen hepatotoxicity. <![CDATA[Assessment of the occurrence and richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal spores by direct analysis of field samples and trap culture - a comparative study]]> ABSTRACT In this work, we hypothesized that two spore-based methods, direct analysis of field samples and trap cultures, simultaneously used for assessment of occurrence and species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) may vary in their efficiency according to the environmental conditions and the total AMF species richness of the evaluated ecosystem. The performance of both methods was analyzed based on two datasets: 1) a complete site x species matrix compiled from two studies in different land uses in the Amazon using direct analysis of field samples and trap cultures. 2) Total number of AMF morphotypes detected by both methods in published manuscripts across several ecosystems. From dataset 1, direct analysis of field samples revealed 57 morphotypes, whereas only 21 of these were detected by trap culture. Community variation (beta diversity) analysis revealed that field samples are far more sensitive in detecting shifts in AMF community composition among land uses than trap cultures in the Amazon region, with the combined results of both methods being not better than that obtained only by direct analysis of field samples. Analysis of dataset 2 showed that the relative performance of trap cultures, using direct analysis of field sample as reference, was inversely related to the total observed AMF species richness. <![CDATA[Resistance of <em>Xanthomonas euvesicatoria</em> strains from Brazilian pepper to copper and zinc sulfates]]> ABSTRACT Bacterial spot, caused by Xanthomonas spp., is one of the major bacterial diseases in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.). The infection results in reduced crop yield, particularly during periods of high rainfall and temperature, due to the low efficiency of chemical control with copper bactericides. This study evaluated the copper and zinc sulfate sensitivity of 59 pathogenic strains of Xanthomonas euvesicatoria isolated from pepper plants produced in various regions throughout Brazil. Both the respective sulfates and a mixture thereof was evaluated at 50, 100, 200 and 400 μg.mL-1. All the evaluated strains were found to be resistant to zinc sulfate (100 μg.mL-1) and 86.4% were resistant to copper sulfate (200 μg.mL-1). The mixture of copper (200 μg.mL-1) and zinc (200 μg.mL-1) sulfates inhibited the growth of all strains of X. euvesicatoria. To our knowledge this is the first study to report the resistance of X. euvesicatoria strains from pepper plants to copper and zinc sulfates in Brazil. <![CDATA[Comparative pollen morphological analysis in the subgenera <em>Passiflora</em> and <em>Decaloba</em>]]> ABSTRACT The genus Passiflora is the most diversified of the Passifloraceae, and its palynology presents wide morphological variability. The objective of the study was to evaluate the pollen morphology of 18 Passiflora species in order to identify informative pollinic characteristics to contribute to the taxonomic classification of the genus. The morphology of the pollen grains and the exine structure were investigated using light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. Differences in the pollen morphology were found in the studied species, mainly in terms of shape, pollen aperture and ornamentation pattern of the exine. Most of the species belonging to the subgenus Passiflora presented ornamented 6-syncolpate pollen grains with an oblate-spheroidal shape and an exine with large lumens. In the subgenus Decaloba the pollen grains were 6-colporate, 12-colpate and 12-colporate, with subprolate to prolate-spheroidal shape, as well as an exine with smaller lumen size and few ornamented. The pollen morphology of the species of the subgenera Passiflora and Decaloba has shown palynological characteristics that have specific diagnostic value, thus allowing a better understanding of the taxonomy of the genus Passiflora. <![CDATA[Dispersion and aggregation patterns of tree species in Araucaria Forest, Southern Brazil]]> Abstract Studies about dispersal syndromes and spatial distribution can provide information about species ecology. However, few studies analyze these ecological patterns in different vegetation layers. In this work, we verified the relationship between the dispersion syndromes and the spatial distribution in different layers in Araucaria Forest. We sampled 180 plots with size and inclusion criteria that changed according to the vegetative layer. We sampled 15,545 individuals in 103 tree species. We found significant differences between the number of species in the dispersion syndromes (χ2 = 11.52; P ≤ 0.05) and spatial distribution patterns (χ2 = 10.94; P ≤ 0.05), being zoochoric and tends to clustering the most predominant. We also found a significant interaction between the dispersion syndromes and spatial distribution patterns in the analyzed layers (F = 1,044; P &lt; 0.0001), with anemochoric species characterized by random distribution, autochoric in the cluster distribution and zoochoric in the tends to clustering. The results demonstrate that the tree species of the different layers are related to the type of dispersion and the aggregation pattern. <![CDATA[Mini-incubators improve the adventitious rooting performance of <em>Corymbia</em> and <em>Eucalyptus</em> microcuttings according to the environment in which they are conditioned]]> ABSTRACT We addressed a major challenge in the in vitro clonal propagation of Corymbia citriodora, Eucalyptus urophylla and E. benthamii by using an ex vitro adventitious rooting strategy in a mini-incubator. Mini-incubators were placed in four environments for rooting. A shade house with no fogging system and a greenhouse with no ventilation but with a fogging environment had the best performance in terms of rooting, root growth and survival of microcuttings. Daily recording of the temperature within each mini-incubator in each environment allowed the verification of negative correlations between the maximum average temperature and the survival, adventitious rooting and root growth. The ideal maximum air temperature for the efficient production of clonal plants was 28.4°C (± 5.5°C), and the minimum was 20.3°C (± 6.2°C). E. benthamii was more sensitive to higher temperatures than C. citriodora and E. urophylla. Nevertheless, placing mini-incubators in the shade house with no fogging system resulted in a stable and uniform performance among the three species, with 100.0% survival and 81.4% rooting. Histological sections of the adventitious roots revealed connection with the stem vascular cambium. Therefore, our experimental system demonstrated the potential of mini-incubators coupled with the proper environment to optimize the adventitious rooting performance of microcuttings. <![CDATA[Growth of tree species and sugarcane production in agroforestry systems]]> Abstract The appropriate choice of tree species and planting arrangement for use in agroforestry systems is very important in order to maximize productivity and sustainability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the growth of five tree species and its effect on sugarcane yields in different planting arrays in agroforestry systems. The study was conducted from 2007 to 2011 in the city of Frederico Westphalen, RS, Brazil. The five studied tree species were: guapuruvu (Schizolobium parahybae), bracatinga (Mimosa scabrella), canafístula (Peltophorum dubium), angico-vermelho (Parapiptadenia rigida) and eucalypt (Eucalyptus urophylla S.T. Blake x Eucalyptus grandis Hill ex Maiden). Root collar diameter, diameter at breast height, plant height and mean diameter of crown were evaluated for four years with an interval of 90 days between assessments. Yield data for sugarcane were collected in June 2009, 2010, and 2011. Eucalypt presented the greatest root collar diameter values, diameter at breast height, crown development, and plant height. Angico-vermelho, canafístula and eucalypt presented a higher growth in the strip system, while guapuruvu presented the greater growth in the line system. Bracatinga was not influenced by an arrangement in the agroforestry systems. Sugarcane presented greater production in the understory of angico and bracatinga. <![CDATA[Genetic diversity of promising ‘conilon’ coffee clones based on morpho-agronomic variables]]> Abstract Knowledge of the genetic variability of a population is essential to guide its preservation and maintenance in addition to increasing the efficiency of genetic breeding programs. On this basis, this study was conducted to evaluate the genetic diversity of Coffea canephora genotypes using multivariate statistical procedures applied to a set of morpho-agronomic variables. The materials employed in this study constitute a crop located in Vila Valério - ES, Brazil, where the genotypes are arranged in a randomized-blocks experimental design with four replicates. Significant differences were detected by the F test at the 1% or 5% probability levels among the genotypes for all evaluated traits, demonstrating heterogeneity of genetic constitution in the studied population, which is favorable to breeding, as it indicates the possibility to identify superior and divergent individuals. Based on the generalized Mahalanobis distance, the most divergent combinations were obtained between genotypes 23 and 10 (256.43) and 23 and 17 (250.09). The clusters formed by Tocher’s optimization and the UPGMA hierarchical method agreed, both similarly grouping the genotypes into three clusters. Of the analyzed traits, mature fruit weight (19.08%), yield (15.50%), plant diameter (12.42%), and orthotropic-shoot internode length (10.94%) were the most efficient to explain the dissimilarity among the genotypes. <![CDATA[Thermal requirements, development and number of generations of Duponchelia fovealis (Zeller) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae)]]> Abstract In this study, the effect of temperature on the growth of the European pepper moth, Duponchelia fovealis (Zeller), was assessed at five constant temperatures (18, 21, 24, 27 and 30 °C). The European pepper moth was observed to complete its developmental stages (from egg to adult) at all the temperatures evaluated. From the results, it was evident that temperature affected the rate and development time of all the growth stages, to a significant degree. The length in time of the embryonic, larval, pupal and total (egg-adult) stages was observed to drop as the temperature rose from 18 to 24 °C, but remained constant between 27 and 30 °C. The developmental time in the pre-pupal stage dropped between 18 and 30 °C. The European pepper moth takes 454 degree-days to complete development at 11.7 °C temperature threshold. The D. fovealis survival was thus inversely proportional to temperature over range of 18 to 30 °C. On assessing the number of annual generations for the five largest strawberry-producing municipalities in Espírito Santo State, an average of 5.5 generations per year was estimated. This is a first report of temperature on D. fovealis development. <![CDATA[Soil aggregation and carbon stabilization in burn and no-burn sugarcane management systems]]> ABSTRACT Retaining sugarcane straw over the soil after harvesting can improve soil structure and increase soil carbon stabilization, mainly in macroaggregates. We evaluated the carbon content in the aggregate classes in areas under burn and no-burn (adopted for five years) sugarcane management systems, focusing on the superficial layer (0.00-0.20 m). The experiment was carried in an Oxisol and the treatments consisted in burnt sugarcane, manual harvest; burnt sugarcane, mechanized harvest; and no-burn, mechanized harvest. The retention of sugarcane straw on the soil surface is justified by the increase in carbon content and carbon stock in the surface layer (0.00-0.20 m) by restructuring of the soil, even though it cannot match the structure of the soil under native forest. Our results suggest that in no-burn management the carbon not occluded inside aggregates was important to increase carbon stabilization in soil and that more attention should be given to macroaggregates 2.00-8.00 mm present in this management system, that showed higher carbon content and was responsible for increase of the geometric and weight diameter, increasing the erosion resistance in the long term in relation to burn systems. <![CDATA[Timing carbon turnover (δ<sup>13</sup>C) in weaned piglet’s brain by IRMS]]> Abstract Isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) is a potential tool that provides time-integrated estimate of assimilated and not just ingested nutrients. This feature turned possible its application to evaluate the effects of dietary nucleotides and glutamate on carbon turnover (δ13C) in the brain of weanling piglets. Eighty-seven piglets weaned at 21-day-old were used, being three piglets slaughtered at day-0 (prior to diet-switch) and, the remaining 84 randomly assigned in a complete block design with a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments (two nucleotide levels: 0% and 0.1% and, two glutamate levels: 0% and 1%). On trial days 3, 6, 9, 14, 21, 35 and 49, three piglets per treatment were also slaughtered. The samples were analyzed by IRMS and adjusted to the first-order equation by a nonlinear regression analysis using NLIN procedure of SAS, in order to obtain the exponential graphics. The carbon turnover (t95%) verified for cerebral tissue was faster (P&lt;0.05) for diet containing glutamate in comparison to other diets, supporting the fact that glutamate contributed to develop the piglets’ brain, due to the fastest incorporation of 13C-atoms in this tissue at post-weaning phase, despite the energy deficit experienced by them. <![CDATA[Partum and postpartum characteristics on the postpartum rebreeding in beef cattle]]> ABSTRACT The objective was to evaluate the influence of calving and postpartum characteristics, measured in different genetic predominance, on the postpartum rebreeding. Were evaluated 437 partum from cows that received feeding management consisting of a forage base of the native field and the mating season consisted of 90 days. The measurements were used from the data base (age of cow, genetic predominance, body weight, body condition score and date of calving) of the cows in the partum and postpartum period. The variables were submitted to analysis of multiple variances, multiple regression, correlation and cluster. Already the groups formed by cluster analysis were submitted to analysis of variance and F test and the means, compared by Student’s t-test, α=0.05 probability. The increase in the mean at 0.14 points in the body condition score at calving and the occurrence of calving 9 days earlier at the calving season gives the Charolais genetically predominant cows repeat calves. The Nellore genetic predominance when they calved with similar body condition score (2.32 points) and showed a negative body weight gain at weaning (-3.0 kg and -2.1 kg) showed different behaviors, where they did not repeat the offspring, when they calved and weaned with smaller body weight. <![CDATA[Spatial variability of tree species diversity in a mixed tropical forest in Southern Brazil]]> Abstract Floristic surveys and diversity indices are often applied to measure tree species diversity in mixed tropical forest remnants. However, these analyses are frequently limited to the overall results and do not allow to evaluate the spatial variability distributions of tree diversity, leading to develop additional tools. This study aimed to estimate the spatial variability of tree diversity and map their spatial patterns in a Brazilian mixed tropical forest conservation area. We used indices to measure the tree species diversity (dbh ≥ 10 cm) in 400 sampling units (25 m x 25 m) from a continuous forest inventory. Semivariograms were fitted to estimate spatial dependences and punctual kriging was applied to compose maps. Mean diversity values were constant in the continuous inventories, indicating a forest remnant in an advanced stage of ecological succession. On the other hand, tree diversity presented spatial patterns identified by geostatistics, in which the dynamics were composed of heterogeneous mosaics spatially influenced by tree species with different ecological features and densities, gap dynamics, advancement of forest succession, mortality, and Araucaria angustilofia’s cohorts. <![CDATA[Extreme cultural persistence in eastern-central Brazil: the case of Lagoa Santa Paleaeoindians]]> ABSTRACT Lapa do Santo rockshelter, a Paleoindian site located in Eastern-Central Brazil, presented two main occupations; one during Early Holocene (12,460 to 8700 cal BP), and a latter in Middle Holocene (5100 to 4200 cal BP). In spite of this 3600 year gap, the stratigraphy and general characteristics of the material culture did not indicate any visible discontinuity. This led us to hypothesise a reoccupation of the rockshelter by the same cultural group, tested by means of statistical analyses comparing lithics, bone artifacts, and faunal remains from early and middle Holocene layers. No significant differences were found, and our results indicate the presence of a cultural tradition that persisted for 8240 years, or roughly 412 generations. <![CDATA[Brazilian science communication research: national and international contributions]]> ABSTRACT Science communication has emerged as a new field over the last 50 years, and its progress has been marked by a rise in jobs, training courses, research, associations, conferences and publications. This paper describes science communication internationally and the trends and challenges it faces, before looking at the national level. We have documented science communication activities in Brazil, the training courses, research, financial support and associations/societies. By analyzing the publication of papers, dissertations and theses we have tracked the growth of this field, and compared the level of activity in Brazil with other countries. Brazil has boosted its national research publications since 2002, with a bigger contribution from postgraduate programs in education and communication, but compared to its national research activity Brazil has only a small international presence in science communication. The language barrier, the tradition of publishing in national journals and the solid roots in education are some of the reasons for that. Brazil could improve its international participation, first by considering collaborations within Latin America. International publication is dominated by the USA and the UK. There is a need to take science communication to the next level by developing more sophisticated tools for conceptualizing and analyzing science communication, and Brazil can be part of that. <![CDATA[Geographic and Gender Diversity in the Brazilian Academy of Sciences]]> ABSTRACT Recent studies have shown that diversity in race and gender is important to improve competitiveness, creativity and innovation. However, many studies have shown that the universe of science is not diverse in none of these criteria. In this work, we quantify the gender and geographic diversity in the Brazilian science. We study in detail the profile of the titular members of the most prestigious academic institution of Brazil, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC). Our analysis shows that the members of the ABC concentrates 80% in the Southeast region and that the overwhelming majority is composed by men. We show that female and male researchers have roughly the same amount of publication per year but women produce more human resources. Using the Brazilian Researchers’ Fellowship databank we show that the gender and diversity both in gender and in geography decreases along the researchers’ career.