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  1. Abstract Background The spatiotemporal variation of observed trace gases (NO 2 , SO 2 , O 3 ) and particulate matter (PM 2.5 , PM 10 ) were investigated over cities of Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region including Nanjing, Hefei, Shanghai and Hangzhou. Furthermore, the characteristics of different pollution episodes, i.e., haze events (visibility < 7 km, relative humidity < 80%, and PM 2.5  > 40 µg/m 3 ) and complex pollution episodes (PM 2.5  > 35 µg/m 3 and O 3  > 160 µg/m 3 ) were studied over the cities of the YRD region. The impact of China clean air action plan on concentration of aerosols and trace gases is examined. The impacts of trans-boundary pollution and different meteorological conditions were also examined. Results The highest annual mean concentrations of PM 2.5 , PM 10 , NO 2 and O 3 were found for 2019 over all the cities. The annual mean concentrations of PM 2.5 , PM 10 , and NO 2 showed continuous declines from 2019 to 2021 due to emission control measures and implementation of the Clean Air Action plan over all the cities of the YRD region. The annual mean O 3 levels showed a decline in 2020 over all the cities of YRD region, which is unprecedented since the beginning of the China’s National environmental monitoring program since 2013. However, a slight increase in annual O 3 was observed in 2021. The highest overall means of PM 2.5 , PM 10 , SO 2 , and NO 2 were observed over Hefei, whereas the highest O 3 levels were found in Nanjing. Despite the strict control measures, PM 2.5 and PM 10 concentrations exceeded the Grade-1 National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines over all the cities of the YRD region. The number of haze days was higher in Hefei and Nanjing, whereas the complex pollution episodes or concurrent occurrence of O 3 and PM 2.5 pollution days were higher in Hangzhou and Shanghai. The in situ data for SO 2 and NO 2 showed strong correlation with Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) satellite data. Conclusions Despite the observed reductions in primary pollutants concentrations, the secondary pollutants formation is still a concern for major metropolises. The increase in temperature and lower relative humidity favors the accumulation of O 3 , while low temperature, low wind speeds and lower relative humidity favor the accumulation of primary pollutants. This study depicts different air pollution problems for different cities inside a region. Therefore, there is a dire need to continuous monitoring and analysis of air quality parameters and design city-specific policies and action plans to effectively deal with the metropolitan pollution. 
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  2. Abstract Temperate phage can initiate lysis or lysogeny after infecting a bacterial host. The genetic switch between lysis and lysogeny is mediated by phage regulatory genes as well as host and environmental factors. Recently, a new class of decision switches was identified in phage of the SPbeta group, mediated by the extracellular release of small, phage-encoded peptides termed arbitrium. Arbitrium peptides can be taken up by bacteria prior to infection, modulating the decision switch in the event of a subsequent phage infection. Increasing the concentration of arbitrium increases the chance that a phage infection will lead to lysogeny, rather than lysis. Although prior work has centered on the molecular mechanisms of arbitrium-induced switching, here we focus on how selective pressures impact the benefits of plasticity in switching responses. In this work, we examine the possible advantages of near-term adaptation of communication-based decision switches used by the SPbeta-like group. We combine a nonlinear population model with a control-theoretic approach to evaluate the relationship between a putative phage reaction norm (i.e. the probability of lysogeny as a function of arbitrium) and the extent of phage reproduction at a near-term time horizon. We measure phage reproduction in terms of a cellular-level metric previously shown to enable comparisons of near-term phage fitness across a continuum from lysis to latency. We show the adaptive potential of communication-based lysis–lysogeny responses and find that optimal switching between lysis and lysogeny increases the near-term phage reproduction compared to fixed responses, further supporting both molecular- and model-based analyses of the putative benefits of this class of decision switches. We further find that plastic responses are robust to the inclusion of cellular-level stochasticity, variation in life history traits, and variation in resource availability. These findings provide further support to explore the long-term evolution of plastic decision systems mediated by extracellular decision-signaling molecules and the feedback between phage reaction norms and ecological context. 
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