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  • Undergraduate Poster Abstracts
  • Other Biological Sciences

    Room National Harbor 10

    ap042 LARVAL SETTLEMENT AND REPRODUCTIVE PATTERNS IN THE BROODING CORAL, LEPTASTREA PURPUREA

    • Narrissa Spies ;
    • Robert Richmond ;

    n/a

    LARVAL SETTLEMENT AND REPRODUCTIVE PATTERNS IN THE BROODING CORAL, LEPTASTREA PURPUREA

    Narrissa Spies, Robert Richmond.

    Kewalo Marine Laboratory, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI.

    Coral reefs are highly diverse marine ecosystems of ecological, economic, and cultural value. With the expected negative effects on reefs from global climate change including rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, the identification of resilient coral species has become increasingly important. Leptastrea purpurea is an encrusting coral that is found throughout the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea. While most corals are broadcast spawners that release sperm and eggs to be fertilized in the water column, some corals brood planula larvae within their bodies after internal fertilization. L. purpurea appears to brood planula larvae on a continuous basis within the parent colony as observed during histological analysis. The planula larvae show incredible resilience under a wide range of stressful conditions, as well as the ability to successfully settle and metamorphose after 180 days. Various compounds were tested to identify a settlement cue for L. purpurea, and our results suggest that a microbial cue associated with the parent colony may induce settlement and metamorphosis. Understanding the settlement cues and reproductive biology of this coral is important to our broader knowledge of this resilient coral species in the reef environment.

    ap043 IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY THROUGH BIRD-FRIENDLY AGROECOSYSTEMS ON A SHARED LANDSCAPE: LESSONS FROM Q'EQCHI' MAYA AGROECOLOGY

    • Gemara Gifford ;
    • Amanda Rodewald ;

    n/a

    IMPROVING FOOD SECURITY THROUGH BIRD-FRIENDLY AGROECOSYSTEMS ON A SHARED LANDSCAPE: LESSONS FROM Q'EQCHI' MAYA AGROECOLOGY

    Gemara Gifford, Amanda Rodewald.

    Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

    Meeting the complex challenges of food security, malnutrition, and biodiversity conservation requires that we consider multiple social and ecological dimensions. The multi-functionality of land-sharing is especially important in working landscapes where biodiversity and poverty often converge. The highlands of Guatemala illustrate this condition well since the area is home to incredible bird diversity and also supports rural communities whose livelihoods are dependent on agriculture. Working with Guatemalan partners at Community Cloud Forest Conservation (CCFC), our project evaluates the socio-ecological value of traditional Q’eqchi’ Mayan agricultural practices in terms of biodiversity (using birds as an indicator), provisioning ecosystem services (food and fiber production), and integration to markets. Specifically, we identified agroecosystem practices that both supported bird conservation and the ability of local communities to meet their nutritional and economic needs. Using a mixed-methods approach (i.e., household surveys, avian point counts, and vegetation surveys), we found that polyculture agroecosystems have the potential to meet economic, nutritional, and ecological demands of the region compared to mono-cropping alternatives. Polycultures provide multiple crops, better nutrition for local farmers, an income stream for marketable products, and higher household diet diversity scores indicating better market integration. Shade coffee, cardamom, and fruit orchards are excellent examples of systems that produce both marketable products and locally-consumed foods, as well as support impressive biodiversity. Thus, incentivizing polyculture agroecosystems is likely to be a key component in improving both food security and bird conservation in working landscapes across Central America.

    ap044 EPIGENETIC MECHANISM FOR OXIDATIVE STRESS-INDUCED DOXORUBICIN RESISTANCE IN KIDNEY CANCER CELLS

    • Logeswari Ponnusamy ;
    • Prathap Kumar S Mahalingaiah ;
    • Kamaleshwar Singh ;

    n/a

    EPIGENETIC MECHANISM FOR OXIDATIVE STRESS-INDUCED DOXORUBICIN RESISTANCE IN KIDNEY CANCER CELLS

    Logeswari Ponnusamy, Prathap Kumar S Mahalingaiah, Kamaleshwar Singh.

    Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX.

    Human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the common form of kidney cancer. Regardless of therapeutic advancement, treatment to some patients fail due to rapidly developing resistance. While reports suggest the role of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in chemoresistance, response of cancer cells with chronic exposure to oxidative-stress to chemotherapeutics is unknown. Hence, the objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of chronic exposure to elevated levels of oxidative stress in human kidney cancer cells. Caki-1 renal carcinoma cells were chronically exposed to 25 µM and 250 µM direct-ROS source hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The effects of ROS on sensitivity to chemotherapeutic doxorubicin was measured by cytotoxicity assay, cell cycle-analysis, and anchorage-independent growth. Expression of genes/proteins involved in drug transport, survival, and DNA repair were measured by qRT-PCR and western blot. Results showed that doxorubicin cytotoxicity was significantly less in Caki-1 cells chronically exposed to H2O2 than control cells. Changes in gene/protein expression further confirmed increased resistance to doxorubicin. Down regulation of the MSH2 gene suggests that loss of DNA repair-dependent apoptosis could be a potential mechanism for increased resistance observed. To further evaluate the role of the epigenetic process of DNA-methylation in ROS-induced resistance, cells were pretreated with demethylating agent 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine and then treated with doxorubicin. Pretreatment with 5-aza-2’-deoxycytidine significantly restored MSH2 gene expression and resensitized resistant Caki-1 cells to doxorubicin. This suggests that epigenetic silencing of the MSH2 gene and therefore DNA repair-dependent apoptosis could be a potential mechanism for ROS-induced resistance. This study provides, for the first time, direct-evidence for the role of oxidative-stress in chemoresistance in renal carcinoma cells

    ap045 TARGETING OF OSTEOSARCOMA CELLS THROUGH ARTIFICIAL EVOLUTION OF THE FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS ENVELOPE PROTEIN: SELECTION FOR A DISULPHIDE BOND WITHIN THE VARIABLE REGION A

    • Leonardo Sr. Valdivieso-Torres ;
    • Anindita Sarangi ;
    • Jill Whidby ;
    • Zheng Hayian ;
    • Monica Roth ;

    n/a

    TARGETING OF OSTEOSARCOMA CELLS THROUGH ARTIFICIAL EVOLUTION OF THE FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS ENVELOPE PROTEIN: SELECTION FOR A DISULPHIDE BOND WITHIN THE VARIABLE REGION A

    Leonardo Valdivieso-Torres Sr.1, Anindita Sarangi1, Jill Whidby2, Zheng Hayian3, Joseph Marcotrigiano2, Monica Roth1.

    1Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ, 2Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine-Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, 3Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ.

    Retroviral vectors are exceptional vehicles for gene delivery. As a result, they hold great therapeutic potential for treating a variety of diseases including cancer. However, in order to realize this potential, the engineered viral vectors must be highly specific for the appropriate tissue or cancer targeted. The specificity of retroviral vectors is conferred by the envelope (Env) protein present on the surface of virus particles and is responsible for binding a host-cell receptor, thereby initiating virus entry. We successfully generated a library of peptides by randomizing 11 residues of the receptor-binding domain of the feline leukemia virus Env protein and screening for functional Envs specific to osteosarcoma cells. We are reporting 9 new isolates, mutagenesis, and mass spectrometry studies of the best Envs. This study validates our technique to obtain novel re-targeted Env proteins and shear lights into understanding the rules for optimal library screenings that will assist in the design of third-generation Env libraries. The overall goal of our research is to identify novel retroviral Env host cell-receptor pairs to facilitate targeted gene delivery.