Floral Longevity and Autonomous Selfing Are Altered by Pollination and Water Availability in Collinsia Heterophylla.

Floral longevity and autonomous selfing are altered by pollination and water availability in Collinsia heterophylla.

Ann Bot. 2013 Jul 24;
Jorgensen R, Arathi HS

Background and AimsA plant investing in reproduction partitions resources between flowering and seed production. Under resource limitation, altered allocations may result in floral trait variations, leading to compromised fecundity. Floral longevity and timing of selfing are often the traits most likely to be affected. The duration of corolla retention determines whether fecundity results from outcrossing or by delayed selfing-mediated reproductive assurance. In this study, the role of pollination schedules and soil water availability on floral longevity and seed production is tested in Collinsia heterophylla (Plantaginaceae).MethodsUsing three different watering regimes and pollination schedules, effects on floral longevity and seed production were studied in this protandrous, flowering annual.Key ResultsThe results reveal that soil water status and pollination together influence floral longevity with low soil water and hand-pollinations early in the floral lifespan reducing longevity. However, early pollinations under excess water did not extend longevity, implying that resource surplus does not lengthen the outcrossing period. The results also indicate that pollen receipt, a reliable cue for fecundity, accelerates flower drop. Early corolla abscission under drought stress could potentially exacerbate sexual conflict in this protandrous, hermaphroditic species by ensuring self-pollen paternity and enabling male control of floral longevity. While pollination schedules did not affect fecundity, water stress reduced per-capita seed numbers. Unmanipulated flowers underwent delayed autonomous selfing, producing very few seeds, suggesting that inbreeding depression may limit benefits of selfing.ConclusionsIn plants where herkogamy and dichogamy facilitate outcrossing, floral longevity determines reproductive success and mating system. Reduction in longevity under drought suggests a strong environmental effect that could potentially alter the preferred breeding mode in this mixed-mated species. Extrapolating the findings to unpredictable global drought cycles, it is suggested that in addition to reducing yield, water stress may influence the evolutionary trajectory of plant mating system. HubMed – depression

Daily electronic self-monitoring of subjective and objective symptoms in bipolar disorder–the MONARCA trial protocol (MONitoring, treAtment and pRediCtion of bipolAr disorder episodes): a randomised controlled single-blind trial.

BMJ Open. 2013; 3(7):
Faurholt-Jepsen M, Vinberg M, Christensen EM, Frost M, Bardram J, Kessing LV

Electronic self-monitoring of affective symptoms using cell phones is suggested as a practical and inexpensive way to monitor illness activity and identify early signs of affective symptoms. It has never been tested in a randomised clinical trial whether electronic self-monitoring improves outcomes in bipolar disorder. We are conducting a trial testing the effect of using a Smartphone for self-monitoring in bipolar disorder.We developed the MONARCA application for Android-based Smartphones, allowing patients suffering from bipolar disorder to do daily self-monitoring-including an interactive feedback loop between patients and clinicians through a web-based interface. The effect of the application was tested in a parallel-group, single-blind randomised controlled trial so far including 78 patients suffering from bipolar disorder in the age group 18-60 years who were given the use of a Smartphone with the MONARCA application (intervention group) or to the use of a cell phone without the application (placebo group) during a 6-month study period. The study was carried out from September 2011. The outcomes were changes in affective symptoms (primary), social functioning, perceived stress, self-rated depressive and manic symptoms, quality of life, adherence to medication, stress and cognitive functioning (secondary and tertiary).Recruitment is ongoing.Ethical permission has been obtained.Positive, neutral and negative findings of the study will be published.The trial is approved by the Regional Ethics Committee in The Capital Region of Denmark (H-2-2011-056) and The Danish Data Protection Agency (2013-41-1710). The trial is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT01446406. HubMed – depression

A parallel-group, randomised controlled trial of a multimedia, self-directed, coping skills training intervention for patients with cancer and their partners: design and rationale.

BMJ Open. 2013; 3(7):
Lambert SD, Girgis A, McElduff P, Turner J, Levesque JV, Kayser K, Mihalopoulos C, Shih ST, Barker D

Coping skills training interventions have been found to be efficacious in helping both patients and their partners manage the physical and emotional challenges they face following a cancer diagnosis. However, many of these interventions are costly and not sustainable. To overcome these issues, a self-directed format is increasingly used. The efficacy of self-directed interventions for patients has been supported; however, no study has reported on the outcomes for their partners. This study will test the efficacy of Coping-Together-a multimedia, self-directed, coping skills training intervention for patients with cancer and their partners.The proposed three-group, parallel, randomised controlled trial will recruit patients diagnosed in the past 4 months with breast, prostate, colorectal cancer or melanoma through their treating clinician. Patients and their partners will be randomised to (1) a minimal ethical care (MEC) condition-selected Cancer Council New South Wales booklets and a brochure for the Cancer Council Helpline, (2) Coping-Together generic-MEC materials, the six Coping-Together booklets and DVD, the Cancer Council Queensland relaxation audio CD and login to the Coping-Together website or (3) Coping-Together tailored-MEC materials, the Coping-Together DVD, the login to the website and only those Coping-Together booklet sections that pertain to their direct concerns. Anxiety (primary outcome), distress, depression, dyadic adjustment, quality of life, illness or caregiving appraisal, self-efficacy and dyadic and individual coping will be assessed before receiving the study material (ie, baseline) and again at 3, 6 and 12 months postbaseline. Intention-to-treat and per protocol analysis will be conducted.This study has been approved by the relevant local area health and University ethics committees. Study findings will be disseminated not only through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations but also through educational outreach visits, publication of lay research summaries in consumer newsletters and publications targeting clinicians.Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12613000491763 (03/05/2013). HubMed – depression