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  1. Within the United States and Canada, the primary pollinator of alfalfa is the alfalfa leafcutting bee (ALCB), Megachile rotundata . Our previous findings showed that overwintering conditions impacted gene expression profile in ALCB prepupae that entered diapause early in the season. However, ALCB are a bivoltine species, which begs the question of whether bees entering diapause later in the season also show this trend. To better understand the effects of the timing of diapause initiation, we analyzed mRNA copy number of genes known to be involved in diapause regulation in early and late season diapausing ALCB that were overwintered inmore »field conditions or using current agricultural management conditions. We hypothesized that overwintering conditions for late diapausing bees also affects gene expression profiles. Our results showed that expression profiles were altered by both overwintering condition and timing of diapause initiation, with bees that entered diapause earlier in the season showing different expression patterns than those that entered diapause later in the season. This trend was seen in expression of members of the cyclin family and several targets of the insulin signaling pathway, including forkhead box protein O (FOXO), which is known to be important for diapause regulation and stress responses. But, of the genes screened, the proto-oncogene, Myc , was the most impacted by the timing of diapause initiation. Under field conditions, there were significant differences in Myc expression between the early and late season samples in all months except for November and February. This same general trend in Myc expression was also seen in the laboratory-maintained bees with significant difference in expression in all months except for November, February, and May. These results support previous conclusions from our research showing that the molecular regulation of diapause development in ALCB is not a simple singular cascade of gene expression but a highly plastic response that varies between bees depending upon their environmental history.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 8, 2023
  2. We present a combinatorial formula using skew Young tableaux for the coefficients of Kazhdan-Lusztig polynomials for sparse paving matroids. These matroids are known to be logarithmically almost all matroids, but are conjectured to be almost all matroids. We also show the positivity of these coefficients using our formula. In special cases, such as uniform matroids, our formula has a nice combinatorial interpretation.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 8, 2022
  3. ABSTRACT The mean free path of ionizing photons, λmfp, is a key factor in the photoionization of the intergalactic medium (IGM). At z ≳ 5, however, λmfp may be short enough that measurements towards QSOs are biased by the QSO proximity effect. We present new direct measurements of λmfp that address this bias and extend up to z ∼ 6 for the first time. Our measurements at z ∼ 5 are based on data from the Giant Gemini GMOS survey and new Keck LRIS observations of low-luminosity QSOs. At z ∼ 6 we use QSO spectra from Keck ESI andmore »VLT X-Shooter. We measure $\lambda _{\rm mfp} = 9.09^{+1.62}_{-1.28}$ proper Mpc and $0.75^{+0.65}_{-0.45}$ proper Mpc (68 per cent confidence) at z = 5.1 and 6.0, respectively. The results at z = 5.1 are consistent with existing measurements, suggesting that bias from the proximity effect is minor at this redshift. At z = 6.0, however, we find that neglecting the proximity effect biases the result high by a factor of two or more. Our measurement at z = 6.0 falls well below extrapolations from lower redshifts, indicating rapid evolution in λmfp over 5 < z < 6. This evolution disfavours models in which reionization ended early enough that the IGM had time to fully relax hydrodynamically by z = 6, but is qualitatively consistent with models wherein reionization completed at z = 6 or even significantly later. Our mean free path results are most consistent with late reionization models wherein the IGM is still 20 per cent neutral at z = 6, although our measurement at z = 6.0 is even lower than these models prefer.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 7, 2022
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  5. null (Ed.)
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2022
  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 9, 2022
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  8. Conjecturing that an agent's ability to perceive the intentions of others can increase its chances of survival, we introduce a simple game, the Hero's Dilemma, which simulates interactions between two virtual agents to investigate whether an agent's ability to detect the intentional stance of a second agent provides a measurable survival advantage. We test whether agents able to make decisions based on the perceived intention of an adversarial agent have advantages over agents without such perception, but who instead rely on a variety of different game-playing strategies. In the game, an agent must decide whether to remain hidden or attackmore »an often more powerful agent based on the perceived intention of the other agent. We compare the survival rates of agents with and without intention perception, and find that intention perception provides significant survival advantages and is the most successful strategy in the majority of situations tested.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 17, 2022
  9. We evaluate the benefits of intention perception, the ability of an agent to perceive the intentions and plans of others, in improving a software agent's survival likelihood in a simulated virtual environment. To model intention perception, we set up a multi-agent predator and prey model, where the prey agents search for food and the predator agents seek to eat the prey. We then analyze the difference in average survival rates between prey with intention perception-knowledge of which predators are targeting them-and those without. We find that intention perception provides significant survival advantages in almost all cases tested, agreeing with othermore »recent studies investigating intention perception in adversarial situations and environmental danger assessment.« less
  10. Benoit, Joshua B. (Ed.)
    Megachile rotundata exhibits a facultative prepupal diapause but the cues regulating diapause initiation are not well understood. Possible cues include daylength and temperature. Megachile rotundata females experience changing daylengths over the nesting season that may influence diapause incidence in their offspring through a maternal effect. Juvenile M . rotundata spend their developmental period confined in a nesting cavity, potentially subjected to stressful temperatures that may affect diapause incidence and survival. To estimate the impact of daylength and nest cavity temperature on offspring diapause, we designed a 3D printed box with iButtons that measured nest cavity temperature. We observed nest buildingmore »throughout the season, monitored nest cavity temperature, and followed offspring through development to measure diapause incidence and mortality. We found that daylength was a cue for diapause, and nest cavity temperature did not influence diapause incidence. Eggs laid during long days had a lower probability of diapause. Siblings tended to have the same diapause status, explaining a lot of the remaining variance in diapause incidence. Some females established nests that contained both diapausing and nondiapausing individuals, which were distributed throughout the nest. Nest cavities reached stressful temperatures, which decreased survival. Mortality was significantly higher in nondiapausing bees and the individuals that were laid first in the nest. In conclusion, we demonstrate a maternal effect for diapause that is mediated by daylength and is independent of nest box temperature.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 3, 2022