Protected areas play a paramount role in counteracting the negative effects of human activity on the environment. Without good management effectiveness they might not be able to fulfill their mission. The tools for management effectiveness assessments that are currently most widely used struggle to provide sufficient depth of analysis, present the situation with sufficient breadth of indicators, provide necessary objectivity in identifying challenges during the assessment, and suggesting possible paths for improvement. The Integrated Management Effectiveness Tool (IMET), a novel tool for management effectiveness, is introduced in the article. The purpose of the article is to show that IMET offers instruments for a more in-depth analysis when compared to other protected areas management effectiveness assessment methodologies. Furthermore, the article demonstrates how the introduction of instruments that aid in decision-making and encourage a results-oriented approach can be particularly beneficial in enhancing managerial effectiveness. Additionally, it is asserted that IMET enhances planning and monitoring by incorporating the necessary components into a system of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation. IMET has been tested in the field. Ten protected areas from Central Africa (CA) were selected and the tool demonstrated good properties in discriminating between well-performing protected areas and those with a room for improvement. The initial results have pointed to challenges in the management effectiveness dimensions of inputs and process that the studied protected areas are facing. In the long-run IMET is expected to support transition from merely routine management to results-oriented management of protected areas.
Schefflera bojeri possesses several therapeutic virtues: the leaves are used to alleviate hypertension and the bark for the treatment of diabetes. This work aims to verify its potential medicinal virtues. Quantitative analyses of phytochemicals from the leaves and bark were performed using spectrophotometric methods. The antioxidant capacity was determined with DPPH and FRAP assays. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the two methanol extracts were respectively assessed on the in vivo experimental pain and oedema models. Their antidiabetic property was determined using the oral glucose tolerance test in mice. The acute toxicity of the methanolextracts was evaluated in mice. The total bioactive compound content (TBCC) in the leaves was two-fold more than in the bark as well as the total phenolic compounds (TPC). Oxalic acid (22.39%) was the main compound quantified in the bark, while ferulic acid (18.42%) was of the main molecule in the leaves. The leaves exerted a stronger antioxidant activity than the bark against DPPH but exerted a similar activity on ferric ions. Both the methanol extracts showed a similar dose-dependent analgesic activity (p < 0.05). Yet, the anti-inflammatory activity of the methanol extracts at each phase of observation (1h, 2h, 3h and 4h, p < 0.05, respectively) was in a dose-dependent manner however the leaves exerted more potent activity than the bark at the dose of 200 mg/kg at each time of observation. Both of the extracts demonstrated a dose-dependent hypoglycaemic activity at 60- and 120 min post glucose administration (p < 0.01). Both of the methanol extracts did not show any sign of preliminary toxicity. The secondary metabolites in the extracts could be at the origin of preliminary pharmacological properties justifying the therapeutic virtues of this species. Further phytochemical, pharmacological and toxicological studies should be undertaken to better clarify these biological activities.
We present deep 1.4 GHz source counts from ∼5 deg2 of the continuum Early Science data release of the MeerKAT International Gigahertz Tiered Extragalactic Exploration (MIGHTEE) survey down to S1.4GHz ∼15 μJy. Using observations over two extragalactic fields (COSMOS and XMM-LSS), we provide a comprehensive investigation into correcting the incompleteness of the raw source counts within the survey to understand the true underlying source count population. We use a variety of simulations that account for: errors in source detection and characterisation, clustering, and variations in the assumed source model used to simulate sources within the field and characterise source count incompleteness. We present these deep source count distributions and use them to investigate the contribution of extragalactic sources to the sky background temperature at 1.4 GHz using a relatively large sky area. We then use the wealth of ancillary data covering a subset of the COSMOS field to investigate the specific contributions from both active galactic nuclei (AGN) and star forming galaxies (SFGs) to the source counts and sky background temperature. We find, similar to previous deep studies, that we are unable to reconcile the sky temperature observed by the ARCADE 2 experiment. We show that AGN provide the majority contribution to the sky temperature contribution from radio sources, but the relative contribution of SFGs rises sharply below 1 mJy, reaching an approximate 15-25 per cent contribution to the total sky background temperature (Tb ∼100 mK) at ∼15 μJy.
A topological index is a real number derived from the structure of a chemical graph. It is helpful to determine the physicochemical and biological properties of a wide range of drugs, and it better reflects the theoretical properties of organic compounds. This is accomplished using degree-based topological indices. Vitiligo is a common, acquired skin pigmentation disorder that significantly impacts the quality of life. It frequently embodies a therapeutic challenge, resulting in interest in alternative treatments based on vitamin and herbal supplements. In this article, azathioprine, clobetasol, desonide, hydrocortisone valerate, and other drugs utilized to cure vitiligo have discoursed, and the goal of QSPR revision is to determine the mathematical relationship between properties under investigation (e.g., polarity and enthalpy) and diverse descriptors associated with the drugs' molecule. The QSPR model will help to predict physical properties. In this study, topological indices (TIs) imposed on said drugs were found to have a good correlation with physicochemical properties in this course. Finally, this work can be helpful to design and synthesize new vitiligo treatments and other disease drugs.
There has never been a more pressing and opportune time for science and practice to collaborate towards restoration of the world's forests. Multiple uncertainties remain for achieving successful, long-term forest landscape restoration (FLR). In this article, we use expert knowledge and literature review to identify knowledge gaps that need closing to advance restoration practice, as an introduction to a landmark theme issue on FLR and the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Aligned with an Adaptive Management Cycle for FLR, we identify 15 essential science advances required to facilitate FLR success for nature and people. They highlight that the greatest science challenges lie in the conceptualization, planning and assessment stages of restoration, which require an evidence base for why, where and how to restore, at realistic scales. FLR and underlying sciences are complex, requiring spatially explicit approaches across disciplines and sectors, considering multiple objectives, drivers and trade-offs critical for decision-making and financing. The developing tropics are a priority region, where scientists must work with stakeholders across the Adaptive Management Cycle. Clearly communicated scientific evidence for action at the outset of restoration planning will enable donors, decision makers and implementers to develop informed objectives, realistic targets and processes for accountability. This article paves the way for 19 further articles in this theme issue, with author contributions from across the world. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Understanding forest landscape restoration: reinforcing scientific foundations for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration’.
Background Tuberculous meningitis (TBM) is the most lethal and disabling form of tuberculosis (TB), particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Current anti-TB treatment is poorly effective since TBM mortality reaches 40% in HIV-negative patients and up to 70% in HIV-co-infected patients. To reduce TBM-induced morbidity and mortality, the INTENSE-TBM trial evaluates two interventions in both HIV-infected and uninfected patients: an anti-TB treatment intensification using oral high-dose rifampicin (35 mg/kg daily) and linezolid (1200 mg daily and then 600 mg daily) during the first 8 weeks of the anti-TB treatment and the use of adjunctive aspirin (200 mg daily). Methods This is a randomized controlled, phase III, multicenter, 2 × 2 factorial plan superiority trial. The trial has four arms, combining the two experimental treatments (intensified TBM regimen and aspirin) with the two reference treatments (WHO standard TB treatment and placebo), and is open-label for anti-TB treatment and double-blind placebo-controlled for aspirin treatment. This trial is conducted in adults or adolescents of age ≥15 years with TBM defined as “definite,” “probable,” or “possible” using Tuberculosis Meningitis International Research Consortium criteria, in four African countries: Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Uganda, and South Africa. The primary outcome is all-cause death between inclusion and week 40. Discussion The INTENSE-TBM trial represents a key opportunity to enhance TBM treatment with widely available existing drugs notably in high-incidence settings of both TB and HIV. The trial design is pragmatic and the results will permit early and effective applications in TBM patient care, in both HIV and TB high-incidence countries. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04145258. Registered on October 30, 2019.
Water beetles of the families Gyrinidae, Haliplidae, Noteridae, and Dytiscidae (aquatic Adephaga) of the Makay in central-western Madagascar were surveyed in three campaigns during the years 2016–2018. A total of 74 species was collected from 62 sampling sites, all except one being newly recorded from the Makay. Copelatus malavergnorum sp. nov. ( irinus group) and C. zanabato sp. nov. ( erichsonii group) (Dytiscidae, Copelatinae) are described and their habitus and male genitalia are illustrated. A systematic account is given, including description of habitat preferences for each species. Analyses of species composition and dominance, species diversity and endemism highlighted the strong singularity of the aquatic Adephaga fauna inhabiting the sandstone massif of inner Makay (notably with several local endemic dytiscids) with respect to its peripheral lowlands. These comparisons were also performed between groups of sites categorised according to vegetation context (forested, semi-forested, non-forested). Rather unexpectedly, inner Makay although well-preserved and little deforested has relatively low endemism level and low species diversity (H 1 Hill number twice lower than in the geographically close and geologically similar massif of Isalo). Species diversity was higher in the deforested and man-impacted peripheral sites, which yielded a rich contingent of western Madagascar lowland species including a few undescribed or rarely observed dytiscids.
Blue Ventures (BV) works holistically with communities in Madagascar, developing transformative approaches to catalyse and sustain locally led marine conservation. In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, BV’s priority was to safeguard the immediate wellbeing and livelihoods of as many communities as possible, recognising that livelihoods are integral to broader well-being. This article describes in detail BV’s health response and the perceptions of BV’s Madagascar team regarding the successes and challenges of this effort. As a result of the combined efforts of BV teams across Madagascar and in the United Kingdom, the existing healthcare services at BV’s sites were maintained, and messages about recognising and dealing with COVID-19 and the importance of vaccination were conveyed to communities that might otherwise not have received comprehensive information. Data were also collected on suspected cases in areas where testing was not available, and outbreaks of suspected COVID-19 cases were managed. Because BV’s teams are embedded within the communities where they work, they maintain strong relationships with communities and conveyed important messages around reducing the spread of COVID-19, not only via activities in response to the pandemic but also through activities for other programmes such as fisheries and livelihoods. Blue Ventures’ holistic approach ensured that the organisation had a multidimensional understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on communities, facilitating the development of more relevant messaging that considered both safety and the need for continued income-generating activities. Staff felt that an effective public health response was facilitated by strong in-country partnerships and BV’s long-standing presence in communities. Contribution: The challenges in responding to the pandemic and in implementing and maintaining effective behaviour change are discussed. Although not an objective study of the effectiveness of the response or a comparison with other approaches, the lessons learned from this process are shared in the hope that they may inform responses to future shocks in low-income countries.
Only 400 km off the coast of East Africa, the island of Madagascar is one of the last large land masses to have been colonized by humans. While many questions surround the human occupation of Madagascar, recent studies raise the question of human impact on endemic biodiversity and landscape transformation. Previous genetic and linguistic analyses have shown that the Malagasy population has emerged from an admixture that happened during the last millennium, between Bantu-speaking African populations and Austronesian-speaking Asian populations. By studying the sharing of chromosome segments between individuals (IBD determination), local ancestry information, and simulated genetic data, we inferred that the Malagasy ancestral Asian population was isolated for more than 1,000 years with an effective size of just a few hundred individuals. This isolation ended around 1,000 years before present (BP) by admixture with a small African population. Around the admixture time, there was a rapid demographic expansion due to intrinsic population growth of the newly admixed population, which coincides with extensive changes in Madagascar’s landscape and the extinction of all endemic large-bodied vertebrates. Therefore, our approach can provide new insights into past human demography and associated impacts on ecosystems.
We review our results on Zc-like states  which we complete with the ones on Zb-like states by using relativistic QCD Laplace Sum Rules (LSR) within stability criteria and including Factorized Next-to-Leading Order (FNLO) Perturbative (PT) corrections and Lowest Order (LO) QCD condensates up to 〈G³〉. We emphasize the importance of PT radiative corrections for heavy quark sum rules in order to justify the use of the running heavy quark mass in the analysis. Our estimates are compiled in Tables 3 and 4. From our results, the observed Zcs(3983) state are good candidate for being Tcs tetramole (superposition of nearly degenerated molecules and tetraquark states having the same quatum numbers JPC and with almost the same couplings to the currents). The Zcs bump around 4100 MeV can be interpreted as a combination of D0⁎Ds1 and Ds0⁎D1 molecules. The physical states Zcs(4000) and Zcs(4220) found by LHCb are too low to be considered as the first radial excitations of Zcs(3983). For the future Zb, Zbs and Zbss, we suggest to scan the region around (10.3 ∼ 10.9) GeV while the 1st radial excitations are about 2.4 GeV above the ground states.
Encouraged by the agreement, with the recent LHCb data on the D−K+ invariant mass from B→D+D−K+ decay, of our results for the masses of the 0+ and 1− open charm (c¯d¯)(us) tetraquarks and molecules states from QCD spectral sum rules within stability criteria, which we review here, we extend our analysis to the b-quark channel. We find, in the 0+ case the lowest mass MBK=5195(15)MeV with fBK=8.3(2.4)keV and three (almost) degenerate states having respectively the masses MSS=5702(60)MeV, MAA=5661(75)MeV and MB⁎K⁎=5720(71)MeV and couplings fSS=22.2(2.3)keV, fAA=30.1(3.1)keV and fB⁎K⁎=26.5(2.8)keV, from which we can associate a scalar tetramole with MTM0=5694(69)MeV and fTM0=26.5(2.7)keV. In the spin 1 case, we find four (almost) degenerate states associated with a tetramole having MTM1=5700(81)MeV and fTM1=16.2(2.6)keV. For the first radial excitation of the BK molecule, we have M(BK)1=6265(146)MeV and f(BK)1=22.8(3.2)keV. For the remaining states, we associate a scalar and vector tetramoles having respectively M(TM0)1=7439(314)MeV, f(TM0)1=74.7(8.4)keV and M(TM1)1=7544(345)MeV, f(TM1)1=33.0(6.7)keV.
Retinal and cerebral arterioles have similar characteristics. Silent infarcts are associated with a risk of incident lacunar stroke and dementia. The objective of our study was to determine the correlation between silent lacunar strokes and retinopathy in patients hospitalized in our department for lacunar strokes. This is an observational, retrospective study, from July 2018 to December 2019, of patients diagnosed with lacunar stroke at the neurology department of Befelatanana Hospital, Antananarivo. Stroke was diagnosed with brain CT scan and retinopathy was classified according to fundus examination. The correlation between the presence of silent lacunar stroke and different types and stages of retinopathy was studied. Silent lacunar lesions were discovered on imaging in 70.59% of patients with lacunar strokes. All patients with symptomatic lacunar stroke, with or without associated silent lacunar lesions, were hypertensives. No statistical difference was found between patients with or without associated silent lacunar lesions according to age and gender. Among patients with silent lacunar lesions, dysexecutive syndrome was more prevalent as compared to patients without silent lesions (52.63% vs. 47.36%, P = 0.03). Arteriolopathy was more prevalent in patients with silent lacunar lesions (85.71% vs. 14.28%, P = 0.047). Silent lacunar lesions were unique in 72% of cases (P = 0.022). The presence of stage II hypertensive retinopathy was significantly correlated with the presence of silent lacunar lesions (OR 5.20 [1.02–267] [1.02–26.47], P = 0.018). Upon discovery of stage II hypertensive retinopathy on fundus examination, brain imaging should be performed for silent lacunar stroke screening to optimize hypertension management. This management is expected to prevent the incidence of lacunar stroke and vascular dementia.
Despite a free TB care policy, access to TB care in rural Madagascar is limited due to a markedly underfunded health care system. The World Health Organization estimated the yearly TB incidence in Madagascar at 238 cases per 100,000 people in 2020; only half of the patients with TB are being notified and treated. We describe the development, implementation, and lessons learned of an intervention to improve TB care services in a remote, rural district in southern Madagascar. We involved national, regional, and local stakeholders in assessing the multifaceted challenges in a remote, rural area and codesigning activities to address them. The overarching principles of the intervention were to (1) promote national TB guidelines, (2) build on best practices, and (3) prioritize low-cost activities to enable scale-up. An in-depth assessment of challenges in accessing and delivering TB care resulted in the following prioritization of activities: (1) fostering community engagement, (2) decentralizing service provision, (3) improving quality of care, (4) providing nutritional support, and (5) ensuring staff support and supervision. The intervention was launched in September 2019 and is ongoing as of October 2022. During mobile TB clinics conducted between September 2019 and December 2020, 4,982 presumptive patients were screened and 1,706 (34.2%) have been diagnosed with TB. Based on 2010-2020 official TB notification data, we calculated trend-adjusted additional TB notifications during the intervention, resulting in a 2.6-fold increase in cases in 2019-2020. The intervention district's TB notification rate increased from 178 cases per 100,000 people in 2018 to 424 cases per 100,000 people in 2020. Involving stakeholders from all levels of care was perceived as a key to success. The unexpected increase in the number of patients with TB in the intervention district overburdened the current paper-based TB notification system and emphasized the need for expanded diagnostics and social support services.
Cyperus sect. Incurvi (Cyperaceae) contains 31 species worldwide, with important continental radiations in Australasia, Tropical Africa and Madagascar, and the Neotropics. Here, a monograph of the African and Madagascan species of Cyperus sect. Incurvi is presented, including descriptions, illustrations, synonymy, notes on habitat and ecology, geographic distribution ranges and conservation assessments. Our results identify eight species of Cyperus sect. Incurvi endemic to Madagascar, and a further three species native to Tropical Africa. Seven species of Cyperus sect. Incurvi have been typified herein. Six rare Madagascan endemics are assessed as threatened with extinction.
Introduction Chromoblastomycosis is a chronic fungal infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissue caused by several pigmented fungi. It is frequently found in tropical and subtropical areas like Madagascar. This study primarily discusses the effects of antifungal therapy while also describing the epidemiological, clinical, and pathological features of CBM in our patients. Methods From March 2013 to January 2019, a descriptive prospective study on chromoblastomycosis patients was undertaken. The study included patients with CBM who had received antifungal treatment for at least 3 months. Itraconazole 200 mg was given to patients every day for more than 3 months. Results were assessed at the 6th and 12th months, and classified as improvement, cure, or failure. Results 29 cases of chromoblastomycosis were included. The mean age of patients was 42.02 years. They primarily worked in rural areas. Infected men were more prevalent. At the end of the 12th month of itraconazole therapy, 3 patients presented major responses, 14 patients had minor responses to treatment, and 12 had been lost to follow up. The clinical response of CBM to treatment was correlated to the severity and the long course of CBM. When compared to CBM caused by Cladophialophora, CBM caused by Fonsecaea showed a greater clinical response. Conclusion These findings demonstrated that chromoblastomycosis lesions are recalcitrant and difficult to treat.
Background: Many sub-Saharan African patients receive clinical care from extramurally-supported research and surveillance. During the COVID-19 pandemic, pausing these activities reduces patient care, surveillance, and research staff employment, increasing pandemic losses. In Oyo State, Nigeria, we paused a multi-country invasive salmonellosis surveillance initiative and a rural clinical bacteriology project. Objective: Working with research partners raises health facility con- cerns about SARS-CoV-2 transmission risks and incurs infection pre- vention costs, so we developed and implemented re-opening plans to protect staff and patients and help health facilities deliver care. Methods: Our reopening plan included appointing safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) managers from existing project staff cadres, writing new standard operating procedures, implementing extensive assessed training, COVID-19 testing for staff, procuring and managing PPE, and providing secondary bacteraemia blood culture support for COVID-19 patients in State isolation facilities. Results: Surveillance data showed that the pandemic reduced care access and negatively affected patient unsupervised antibacterial use. The re-opening plan repurposed human and material resources from national and international extramurally-supported programs to mitigate these effects on public health. Conclusions: A structured reopening plan restarted care, surveillance, and infection prevention and control.
Background Infections with S. haematobium are endemic in tropical regions and emerging in some European countries. Prolonged chronic infection with S. haematobium can cause Female Genital Schistosomiasis (FGS), which can lead to serious gynecological conditions, including infertility. However, awareness of FGS is limited, as are adequate guidelines and public health strategies to manage the disease. The aim of this study is to determine the levels and quality of FGS awareness among women and healthcare workers (HCW) in the Boeny region of Madagascar, where the disease is endemic. Methods Data collection involved a cross-sectional survey of adult women (n = 694) and HCWs (n = 93) on topics, such as respondents’ sociodemographic background characteristics, FGS awareness, and risk perceptions. Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics including proportions and 95% confidence intervals. Results Of the 694 women included in the study, 11.2% (CI [9.0-13.8%]) had heard of FGS. Among these, 34.6% (CI [24.1-46.2%]) were unaware of the gynecological symptoms signature for FGS, and 41% (CI [30.0-52.7%]) were unaware of the urological symptoms of the disease. Out of the 93 HCW surveyed, 53.2% (CI [42.6-63.6%]) had heard of FGS. Among these, 42.0% (CI [28.1-56.8%]) were unaware of the gynecological symptoms, and 52.0% (CI [37.4-66.3%]) were unaware of the urological symptoms. Conclusions Preliminary results show overall low levels of FGS awareness among the study population. While more women reported to have never heard of FGS than HCW, the proportion of HCWs who did not know the gynecological and urological symptoms of FGS was higher. Given the occurrence of FGS in Europe and the chronic character of the disease it would be crucial to conduct similar investigations in Europe. Such findings can contribute to the design of targeted local and global FGS awareness campaigns to improve the health of women affected by this disease worldwide. Key messages • Awareness of FGS among the study population in Madagascar, an endemic country, is low. • Lack of awareness can delay the identification of the disease and increase individual and community burden.
Background Schistosomiasis is a high-burden parasitic disease and endemic in tropical climates, such as Madagascar. Recently it is emerging in Europe. Chronic infections lead to disabilities including loss in work productivity. Current control strategies focus on school-aged children, thereby systematically excluding adults. The goal to eliminate the disease as a public health problem is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, including Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We aim at assessing the distribution of schistosomiasis among adults in Madagascar, in order to promote more targeted public health initiatives against the disease. Methods In a cross-sectional study, 1477 blood samples were collected at three primary health-care centers in Madagascar from 03.21 to 01.22. A semi quantitative PCR assay was used to assess the presence of Schistosoma. Positivity rates with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI) were reported by gender and age groups. Results Our study population had a balanced gender distribution with 54.2% [CI: 51.7;56.8] of females and a median age of 37 years (IQR: 24-48). Preliminary results show an overall Schistosome positivity rate of 59.5% [CI: 57.0;62.0]. Positivity was higher in males 62.4% [CI: 58.7;66.1], than in females 57.1% [CI: 53.5;60.5]. Highest positivity was seen in the 18-34 year age group with 66.2% [CI: 62.7;69.6]. Lowest positivity of 46.2% [CI: 39.2;53.2] was observed in adults aged over 55 years. Conclusions Our preliminary results provide evidence of high positivity rates of schistosomiasis among adults in a highly endemic country. Differently from many studies, males seem more affected than females. The youngest age group, representing the more active workforce of a population, shows a higher positivity rate. Our data suggests that, in the logic of UHC and health as a human right, public health strategies for schistosomiasis need to be re-addressed towards a universal coverage of affected individuals. Key messages
Background Schistosomiasis is a disease of poverty, prevalent in tropical regions and emerging in Europe. Mass drug administration (MDA) is a common strategy to fight the disease. Pre-school aged children (PSAC) are conventionally considered not to be at high risk of infection and thus usually excluded from MDA. However, chronic infections at young ages can result in serious health consequences. Our study aims to better understand the schistosomiasis transmission routes in PSAC and risk perceptions among caretakers in the endemic context of Madagascar. Methods This is a cross-sectional sub-study embedded in the clinical trial freeBILy. Using a mixed methods approach, 86 women and their two-year-old children in four communities of the Amoron’ I Mania and Itasy regions of Madagascar in April 2022 were interviewed using structured questionnaires, focus group discussions and in-depth-interviews. Additionally, structured observational data were collected on the behaviours of 20 PSAC around waterbodies in the communities where notes and anonymised photos were taken. Results Preliminary analysis shows that knowledge of schistosomiasis, its transmission routes and effects is limited. Risky behaviours of children were reported during the observations. They joined their mothers during daily activities and spent between 3-60 mins in rivers, lakes and rice fields. The exposure time to potentially contaminated waters was sufficient to represent a risk for infection. Conclusions Even though our preliminary results show that PSAC are at risk of schistosomiasis infection, they are currently excluded from systematic public health interventions. The lack of risk awareness among caretakers in endemic countries calls for actions to establish tailored programs on health literacy and education. Treatment should be considered for PSAC as well as the implementation of awareness campaigns, both locally and globally given the re-occurrence of schistosomiasis in countries outside the tropics. Key messages • Pre-school aged children are exposed to the risk of early infection with schistosomiasis. • Public health programs against schistosomiasis should address pre-school aged children in endemic countries and in health promotion strategies globally.
Upland rice production is limited by the low phosphorus (P) availability of many highly weathered tropical soils and P deficiency is likely to become increasingly limiting in future drier climates because P mobility decreases sharply with soil moisture. Good seedling root development will be crucial to cope with the combined effects of low P and water availability. Upland rice genebank accession DJ123 was used as a donor for P efficiency and root vigor traits in a cross with inefficient local variety Nerica4 and a set of backcross lines were used to characterize the seedling stage response of upland rice to low P availability and to identify associated QTL in field trials in Japan and Madagascar. Ten QTL were detected for crown root number, root, shoot and total dry weight per plant in a highly P deficient field in Japan using the BC 1 F 3 generation. Of these, qPef9 on chromosome 9 affected multiple traits, increasing root number, root weight and total biomass, whereas a neighboring QTL on chromosome 9 ( qPef9- 2) increased shoot biomass. Field trials with derived BC 1 F 5 lines in a low-P field in Madagascar confirmed a highly influential region on chromosome 9. However, qPef9- 2 appeared more influential than qPef9 , as the shoot and root biomass contrast between lines carrying DJ123 or Nerica4 alleles at qPef9- 2 was +23.8% and +13.5% compared to +19.2% and +14.4% at qPef9 . This advantage increased further during the growing season, leading to 46% higher shoot biomass at the late vegetative stage. Results suggest an introgression between 8.0 and 12.9 Mb on chromosome 9 from P efficient donor DJ123 can improve plant performance under P-limited conditions. The QTL identified here have practical relevance because they were confirmed in the target genetic background of the local variety Nerica4 and can therefore be applied directly to improve its performance.
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