CURO Symposium 2017 Book of Abstracts

Page 215

Abstracts (i.e., more phosphorous will be allocated to roots relative to control); and genotypes with higher phosphorous utilization efficiency: phosphorous acquisition efficiency ratio preform best under low-nutrient conditions. Our results will better inform genetic breeding efforts in cultivated sunflower.

needed to determine long-term benefits of vegetation management. Affect of Capsiate on Perirenal and Epididymal Fat in Rats Fed a High Fat Diet Sierra Megan Smith Dr. Buffy Howerth, Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine

Effects of Vegetation Structure on Nest Predation of Artificial Diamondback Terrapin Nests Kayla Jordan Smith, CURO Research Assistant Dr. John Maerz, Forestry, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Obesity has become an epidemic in many parts of the developed world. Because of its relatively recent emergence, scientists have been looking for a remedy to help people who are suffering from the disease. This project aims to evaluate whether oral capsiate can ameliorate the effects of a high fat diet. The specific objective in this project was to evaluate the size and number of fat cells in epididymal fat and perirenal fat of rats on a high fat diet supplemented with capsiate. The anticipated findings are that capsiate will reduce the size and number of fat cells in rats on a high fat diet. Fat cells were evaluated in epididymal and perirenal fat in fixed tissue that was paraffin embedded, sectioned and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. Digital images from three fields were captured, and the total number of fat cells and cell area were determined. Results will be compared to rats fed a low fat diet and a high fat diet without capsiate.

Nesting is an important component in animal life cycles. Human activities often interrupt nesting behavior by degrading nesting habitats. For turtles, altering vegetation structure can increase predation rates. Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) occupy salt marshes, nesting in sparsely vegetated areas above high tide. Terrapin females show nest-site fidelity, and may continue nesting in human-degraded areas. My objectives are to: evaluate the effect of shrub habitat maintenance on terrapin nest predation; determine whether spatial patterns of vegetation-driven nest predation contributes to terrapin population decline; and evaluate whether vegetation management improves terrapin nest survival. Building off of long-term terrapin studies on the Jekyll Island Causeway (JIC) and a dieback of Northern raccoons (Procyon lotor), I measured predation rates using artificial nests in hedgerow, cleared hedgerow, and open, sparse vegetation. Using the results, spatial patterns of nest mortality along the JIC were used in a population viability analysis to estimate terrapin population persistence. I found predation rate on nests in hedgerows (62.5% of nests) was double that of nests in open sites (31.7%), while rates in cleared hedgerow remained high (71.5%). Nest predation was 39% lower (45.7% of nests) compared to a 2013 study at the same locations (75.4%), consistent with local raccoon dieback. These results confirm vegetation structure as a driver of unsustainable predation, and natural raccoon dieback or culling can significantly improve nest survival. Despite effects of vegetation on nest predation, vegetation removal may not immediately reduce predation. Future research is

The Novel Function of RGS10 in Obesity Isabelle Veigh Snider, CURO Research Assistant Dr. Jae-Kyung Lee, Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine In previous research exploring the relationship between neuroinflammation and neurogenerative diseases, the Regulator of G-protein Signaling (RGS10) gene was found to negatively regulate microglial activation. In addition to neuroinflammation and damage to their dopaminergic neurons in response to systemic inflammation, RGS10 knockout (KO) mice showed lower levels of glucose in serum and gained more weight while aging. Although there’s enough evidence to support a relationship between inflammation and metabolic diseases, detailed mechanisms are still unclear. Our objective is to investigate the role of RGS10 in this relationship. RGS10 KO and wild type (WT) 210