A multi-structural and multi-functional integrated fog collection system in cactus.
ABSTRACT: Multiple biological structures have demonstrated fog collection abilities, such as beetle backs with bumps and spider silks with periodic spindle-knots and joints. Many Cactaceae species live in arid environments and are extremely drought-tolerant. Here we report that one of the survival systems of the cactus Opuntia microdasys lies in its efficient fog collection system. This unique system is composed of well-distributed clusters of conical spines and trichomes on the cactus stem; each spine contains three integrated parts that have different roles in the fog collection process according to their surface structural features. The gradient of the Laplace pressure, the gradient of the surface-free energy and multi-function integration endow the cactus with an efficient fog collection system. Investigations of the structure-function relationship in this system may help us to design novel materials and devices to collect water from fog with high efficiencies.
Project description:A biomimetic "cactus spine" with hierarchical groovestructure is designed and fabricated using simple electrospinning. This novel artificial cactus spine possesses excellent fog collection and water transportation ability. A model cactus equipped with artificial spines also shows a great water storage capacity. The results can be helpful in the development of water collectors and may make a contribution to the world water crisis.
Project description:The family Cactaceae Juss. contains some of the most widespread and damaging invasive alien plant species in the world, with Australia (39 species), South Africa (35) and Spain (24) being the main hotspots of invasion. The Global Cactus Working Group (IOBC GCWG) was launched in 2015 to improve international collaboration and identify key actions that can be taken to limit the impacts caused by cactus invasions worldwide. Based on the results of an on-line survey, information collated from a review of the scientific and grey literature, expertise of the authors, and because invasiveness appears to vary predictably across the family, we (the IOBC GCWG): (1) recommend that invasive and potentially invasive cacti are regulated, and to assist with this propose five risk categories; (2) recommend that cactus invasions are treated physically or chemically before they become widespread; (3) advocate the use of biological control to manage widespread invasive species; and (4) encourage the development of public awareness and engagement initiatives to integrate all available knowledge and perspectives in the development and implementation of management actions, and address conflicts of interest, especially with the agricultural and ornamental sectors. Implementing these recommendations will require global co-operation. The IOBC GCWG aims to assist with this process though the dissemination of information and experience.
Project description:In April 2018, a cyst nematode was discovered from soil samples collected from a cactus garden collection in Meridian, Ada County, Idaho, USA. The cactus garden collection field reported was observed with localized areas of heavily stunted plants. Roots from affected plants displayed moderate numbers of nematode cysts. Living nematode juveniles (J2) recovered from the cysts were examined morphologically and molecularly for species identification which indicated that the specimens were Cactodera cacti. This is the first report of the cactus cyst nematode, C. cacti in Idaho.In April 2018, a cyst nematode was discovered from soil samples collected from a cactus garden collection in Meridian, Ada County, Idaho, USA. The cactus garden collection field reported was observed with localized areas of heavily stunted plants. Roots from affected plants displayed moderate numbers of nematode cysts. Living nematode juveniles (J2) recovered from the cysts were examined morphologically and molecularly for species identification which indicated that the specimens were Cactodera cacti. This is the first report of the cactus cyst nematode, C. cacti in Idaho.
Project description:Cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs) play important host-defense roles in plants. However, information concerning CRPs in the Cactaceae (cactus) family is limited, with only a single cactus-derived CRP described to date. Here, we report the identification of 15 novel CRPs with three different precursor architectures, bleogens pB1-15 from Pereskia bleo of the Cactaceae family. By combining proteomic and transcriptomic methods, we showed that the prototype, bleogen pB1, contained 36 amino acid residues, a six-cysteine motif typical of the six-cysteine-hevein-like peptide (6C-HLP) family, and a type I two-domain precursor consisting of an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and a mature domain. In contrast, the precursors of the other 14 bleogens contained a type II three-domain architecture with a propeptide domain inserted between the ER and the mature bleogen domain. Four of these 14 bleogens display a third type of architecture with a tandemly repeating bleogen domain. A search of the Onekp database revealed that <1% plant species possess three different precursor architectures for the biosynthesis of 6C-HLPs, including Lophophora williamsii, Pereskia aculeate, Portulaca cryptopetala, Portulaca oleracea, Portulaca suffruticosa, and Talinum sp. NMR analysis confirmed that bleogen pB1 has cystine-knot disulfide connectivity as well as a two-beta-sheet and a four-loop structural fold that is similar to other 6C-HLPs. Sequence analysis, structural studies, and in silico modeling revealed that bleogen pB1 has a cation-polar-cation motif, a signature heparin-binding motif that was confirmed by heparin affinity chromatography. Cell-based assays showed that bleogen pB1 is non-toxic to mammalian cells but functions as an anti-Candida peptide. Taken together, our findings provide insight into the occurrence, functions and precursor architectures of CRPs in the cactus family.
Project description:Being an essential component in various metabolic activities, water is important for the survival of plants and animals. Cacti grown in arid areas have developed intrinsic water management systems, such as water collection through spines, water absorption through trichome, and water storage using mucilage. The water collection method of cactus is well-documented, but its water absorption and storage strategies remain to be elucidated. Thus, this study analyzed the morphology and wettability of cactus trichomes by using advanced bio-imaging techniques and by performing in vitro experiments on an artificial system mimicking these structures, respectively. In addition, the in situ water absorption process through the trichome cluster was quantitatively visualized. This paper proposes a new bio-inspired technique for dew collection based on information about the water management strategies of cactus. This study discusses the underlying water absorption and storage strategies of cactus and provides the experimental database required to develop a biomimetic water management device.
Project description:Desert beetles and cactus plants collect water from fog in arid regions. The desert beetle uses heterogeneous wettability to transport water to its mouth. A cactus uses conical spines which provide Laplace pressure gradient to transport water to its base. In this study, bioinspired triangular patterns with various wettability and different from the surrounding regions were investigated to transport condensed water from ambient air. A low temperature of 5°C was used to decrease saturated vapour pressure to promote water condensation. Results from this study can be used to enhance the performance of water collection systems. This article is part of the theme issue 'Bioinspired materials and surfaces for green science and technology'.
Project description:Understanding which species are introduced and become invasive, and why, are central questions in invasion science. Comparative studies on model taxa have provided important insights, but much more needs to be done to unravel the context dependencies of these findings. The cactus family (Cactaceae), one of the most popular horticultural plant groups, is an interesting case study. Hundreds of cactus species have been introduced outside their native ranges; a few of them are among the most damaging invasive plant species in the world. We reviewed the drivers of introductions and invasions in the family and seek insights that can be used to minimize future risks. We compiled a list of species in the family and determined which have been recorded as invasive. We also mapped current global distributions and modelled the potential global distributions based on distribution data of known invasive taxa. Finally, we identified whether invasiveness is phylogenetically clustered for cacti and whether particular traits are correlated with invasiveness. Only 57 of the 1922 cactus species recognized in this treatment have been recorded as invasive. There are three invasion hotspots: South Africa (35 invasive species recorded), Australia (26 species) and Spain (24 species). However, there are large areas of the world with climates suitable for cacti that are at risk of future invasion-in particular, parts of China, eastern Asia and central Africa. The invasive taxa represent an interesting subset of the total species pool. There is a significant phylogenetic signal: invasive species occur in 2 of the 3 major phylogenetic clades and in 13 of the 130 genera. This phylogenetic signal is not driven by human preference, i.e. horticultural trade, but all invasive species are from 5 of the 12 cactus growth forms. Finally, invasive species tend to have significantly larger native ranges than non-invasive species, and none of the invasive species are of conservation concern in their native range. These results suggest fairly robust correlates of invasiveness that can be used for proactive management and risk assessments.
Project description:Fog collection can be a sustainable solution to water scarcity in many regions around the world. Most proposed collectors are meshes that rely on inertial collision for droplet capture and are inherently limited by aerodynamics. We propose a new approach in which we introduce electrical forces that can overcome aerodynamic drag forces. Using an ion emitter, we introduce a space charge into the fog to impart a net charge to the incoming fog droplets and direct them toward a collector using an imposed electric field. We experimentally measure the collection efficiency on single wires, two-wire systems, and meshes and propose a physical model to quantify it. We identify the regimes of optimal collection and provide insights into designing effective fog harvesting systems.
Project description:In healthcare applications, numerous sensors and devices produce massive amounts of data which are the focus of critical tasks. Their management at the edge of the network can be done by Fog computing implementation. However, Fog Nodes suffer from lake of resources That could limit the time needed for final outcome/analytics. Fog Nodes could perform just a small number of tasks. A difficult decision concerns which tasks will perform locally by Fog Nodes. Each node should select such tasks carefully based on the current contextual information, for example, tasks' priority, resource load, and resource availability. We suggest in this paper a Multi-Agent Fog Computing model for healthcare critical tasks management. The main role of the multi-agent system is mapping between three decision tables to optimize scheduling the critical tasks by assigning tasks with their priority, load in the network, and network resource availability. The first step is to decide whether a critical task can be processed locally; otherwise, the second step involves the sophisticated selection of the most suitable neighbor Fog Node to allocate it. If no Fog Node is capable of processing the task throughout the network, it is then sent to the Cloud facing the highest latency. We test the proposed scheme thoroughly, demonstrating its applicability and optimality at the edge of the network using iFogSim simulator and UTeM clinic data.
Project description:Superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic patterned surfaces have attracted more and more attention due to their great potential applications in the fog harvest process. In this work, we developed a simple and universal electrochemical-etching method to fabricate the superhydrophobic-superhydrophilic patterned surface on metal superhydrophobic substrates. The anti-electrochemical corrosion property of superhydrophobic substrates and the dependence of electrochemical etching potential on the wettability of the fabricated dimples were investigated on Al samples. Results showed that high etching potential was beneficial for efficiently producing a uniform superhydrophilic dimple. Fabrication of long-term superhydrophilic dimples on the Al superhydrophobic substrate was achieved by combining the masked electrochemical etching and boiling-water immersion methods. A long-term wedge-shaped superhydrophilic dimple array was fabricated on a superhydrophobic surface. The fog harvest test showed that the surface with a wedge-shaped pattern array had high water collection efficiency. Condensing water on the pattern was easy to converge and depart due to the internal Laplace pressure gradient of the liquid and the contact angle hysteresis contrast on the surface. The Furmidge equation was applied to explain the droplet departing mechanism and to control the departing volume. The fabrication technique and research of the fog harvest process may guide the design of new water collection devices.