Commenced in January 2007
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Paper Count: 9

Search results for: Ayuko Itsuki

9 Neutral Sugar Contents of Laurel-leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

Soil neutral sugar contents in Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan) were examined using the Waksman’s approximation analysis to clarify relations with the neutral sugar constituted the soil organic matter and the microbial biomass. Samples were selected from the soil surrounding laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Carpinus japonica (BB-2) trees for analysis. The water and HCl soluble neutral sugars increased microbial biomass of the laurel-leaved forest soil. Arabinose, xylose, and galactose of the HCl soluble fraction were used immediately in comparison with other neutral sugars. Rhamnose, glucose, and fructose of the HCl soluble fraction were re-composed by the microbes.

Keywords: forest soil, neutral sugaras, soil organic matter, Waksman’s approximation analysis

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8 Soil Respiration Rate of Laurel-Leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

We assessed the ecology of the organic and mineral soil layers of laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Cryptomeria japonica (BB-2 and Pw) forests in the Kasugayama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan). The soil respiration rate was higher in the deeper horizons (F and H) of organic layers than in those of mineral soil layers, suggesting organic layers may be where active microbial metabolism occurs. Respiration rates in the soil of BB-1, BB-2 and Pw forests were closely similar at 5 and 10°C. However, the soil respiration rate increased in proportion to temperatures of 15°C or above. We therefore consider the activity of soil microorganisms to markedly decrease at temperatures below 10°C. At a temperature of 15°C or above, the soil respiration rate in the BB-1 organic layers was higher than in those of the BB-2 and Pw organic layers, due to differences in forest vegetation that appeared to influence several salient soil properties, particularly pH and the carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) content of the F and H horizons.

Keywords: forest soil, mineralization rate, heterotroph, soil respiration rate

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7 Comparative Analysis of Soil Enzyme Activities between Laurel-Leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

Soil enzyme activities in Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan) were examined to determine levels of mineralization and metabolism. Samples were selected from the soil surrounding laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Carpinus japonica (BB-2 and Pw) trees for analysis. Cellulase, β-xylosidase, and protease activities were higher in BB-1 samples those in BB-2 samples. These activity levels corresponded to the distribution of cellulose and hemicellulose in the soil horizons. Cellulase, β-xylosidase, and chymotrypsin activities were higher in soil from the Pw forest than in that from the BB-2 forest. The relationships between the soil enzymes calculated by Spearman’s rank correlation indicate that the interactions between enzymes in BB-2 samples were more complex than those in Pw samples.

Keywords: comparative analysis, enzyme activities, forest soil, Spearman's rank correlation

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6 Comparative Analysis of Enzyme Activities Concerned in Decomposition of Toluene

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

In recent years, pollutions of the environment by toxic substances become a serious problem. While there are many methods of environmental clean-up, the methods by microorganisms are considered to be reasonable and safety for environment. Compost is known that it catabolize the meladorous substancess in its production process, however the mechanism of its catabolizing system is not known yet. In the catabolization process, organic matters turn into inorganic by the released enzymes from lots of microorganisms which live in compost. In other words, the cooperative of activated enzymes in the compost decomposes malodorous substances. Thus, clarifying the interaction among enzymes is important for revealing the catabolizing system of meladorous substance in compost. In this study, we utilized statistical method to infer the interaction among enzymes. We developed a method which combined partial correlation with cross correlation to estimate the relevance between enzymes especially from time series data of few variables. Because of using cross correlation, we can estimate not only the associative structure but also the reaction pathway. We applied the developed method to the enzyme measured data and estimated an interaction among the enzymes in decomposition mechanism of toluene.

Keywords: enzyme activities, comparative analysis, compost, toluene

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5 Neutral Sugars in Two-Step Hydrolysis of Laurel-Leaved and Cryptomeria japonica Forests

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

Soil neutral sugar contents in Kasuga-yama Hill Primeval Forest, which is a World Heritage Site in Nara, Japan consisting of lowland laurel-leaved forest where natural conditions have been preserved for more than 1,000 years, were examined using the two-step hydrolysis to clarify the source of the neutral sugar and relations with the neutral sugar constituted the soil organic matter and the microbial biomass. Samples were selected from the soil (L, F, H and A horizons) surrounding laurel-leaved (BB-1) and Carpinus japonica (BB-2 and PW) trees for analysis. The neutral sugars were one factor of increasing the fungal and bacterial biomass in the laurel-leaved forest soil (BB-1). The more neutral sugar contents in the Cryptomeria japonica forest soil (PW) contributed to the growth of the bacteria and fungi than those of in the Cryptomeria japonica forest soil (BB-2). The neutral sugars had higher correlation with the numbers of bacteria and fungi counted by the dilution plate count method than by the direct microscopic count method. The numbers of fungi had higher correlation with those of bacteria by the dilution plate method.

Keywords: forest soil, neutral sugars, soil organic matter, two-step hydrolysis

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4 Seasonal and Monthly Field Soil Respiration Rate and Litter Fall Amounts of Kasuga-Yama Hill Primeval Forest

Authors: Ayuko Itsuki, Sachiyo Aburatani

Abstract:

The seasonal (January, April, July and October) and monthly soil respiration rate and the monthly litter fall amounts were examined in the laurel-leaved (B_B-1) and Cryptomeria japonica (B_B-2 and PW) forests in the Kasugayama Hill Primeval Forest (Nara, Japan). The change of the seasonal soil respiration rate corresponded to that of the soil temperature. The soil respiration rate was higher in October when fresh organic matter was supplied in the forest floor than in April in spite of the same temperature. The seasonal soil respiration rate of B_B-1 was higher than that of B_B-2, which corresponded to more numbers of bacteria and fungi counted by the dilution plate method and by the direct count method by microscopy in B_B-1 than that of B_B-2. The seasonal soil respiration rate of B_B-2 was higher than that of PW, which corresponded to more microbial biomass by the direct count method by microscopy in B_B-2 than that of PW. The correlation coefficient with the seasonal soil respiration and the soil temperature was higher than that of the monthly soil respiration. The soil respiration carbon was more than the litter fall carbon. It was suggested that the soil respiration included in the carbon dioxide which was emitted by the plant root and soil animal, or that the litter fall supplied to the forest floor included in animal and plant litter.

Keywords: field soil respiration rate, forest soil, litter fall, mineralization rate

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3 Isolation, Identification and Characterization of the Bacteria and Yeast from the Fermented Stevia Extract

Authors: Asato Takaishi, Masashi Nasuhara, Ayuko Itsuki, Kenichi Suga

Abstract:

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) is a composite plant native to Paraguay. Stevia sweetener is derived from a hot water extract of Stevia (Stevia extract), which has some effects such as histamine decomposition, antioxidative effect, and blood sugar level-lowering function. The steviol glycosides in the Stevia extract are considered to contribute to these effects. In addition, these effects increase by the fermentation. However, it takes a long time for fermentation of Stevia extract and the fermentation liquid sometimes decays during the fermentation process because natural fermentation method is used. The aim of this study is to perform the fermentation of Stevia extract in a shorter period, and to produce the fermentation liquid in stable quality. From the natural fermentation liquid of Stevia extract, the four strains of useful (good taste) microorganisms were isolated using dilution plate count method and some properties were determined. The base sequences of 16S rDNA and 28S rDNA revealed three bacteria (two Lactobacillus sp. and Microbacterium sp.) and one yeast (Issatchenkia sp.). This result has corresponded that several kinds of lactic bacterium such as Lactobacillus pentosus and Lactobacillus buchneri were isolated from Stevia leaves. Liquid chromatography/mass spectrometory (LC/MS/MS) and High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) were used to determine the contents of steviol glycosides and neutral sugars. When these strains were cultured in the sterile Stevia extract, the steviol and stevioside were increased in the fermented Stevia extract. So, it was suggested that the rebaudioside A and the mixture of steviol glycosides in the Stevia extract were decomposed into stevioside and steviol by microbial metabolism.

Keywords: fermentation, lactobacillus, Stevia, steviol glycosides, yeast

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2 Evaluation of Practicality of On-Demand Bus Using Actual Taxi-Use Data through Exhaustive Simulations

Authors: Jun-ichi Ochiai, Itsuki Noda, Ryo Kanamori, Keiji Hirata, Hitoshi Matsubara, Hideyuki Nakashima

Abstract:

We conducted exhaustive simulations for data assimilation and evaluation of service quality for various setting in a new shared transportation system, called SAVS. Computational social simulation is a key technology to design recent social services like SAVS as new transportation service. One open issue in SAVS was to determine the service scale through the social simulation. Using our exhaustive simulation framework, OACIS, we did data-assimilation and evaluation of effects of SAVS based on actual tax-use data at Tajimi city, Japan. Finally, we get the conditions to realize the new service in a reasonable service quality.

Keywords: on-demand bus sytem, social simulation, data assimilation, exhaustive simulation

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1 Effects of Exposure to a Language on Perception of Non-Native Phonologically Contrastive Duration

Authors: Chuyu Huang, Itsuki Minemi, Kuanlin Chen, Yuki Hirose

Abstract:

It remains unclear how language speakers are able to perceive phonological contrasts that do not exist on their own. This experiment uses the vowel-length distinction in Japanese, which is phonologically contrastive and co-occurs with tonal change in some cases. For speakers whose first language does not distinguish vowel length, contrastive duration is usually misperceived, e.g., Mandarin speakers. Two alternative hypotheses for how Mandarin speakers would perceive a phonological contrast that does not exist in their language make different predictions. The stress parameter model does not have a clear prediction about the impact of tonal type. Mandarin speakers will likely be not able to perceive vowel length as well as Japanese native speakers do, but the performance might not correlate to tonal type because the prosody of their language is distinctive, which requires users to encode lexical prosody and notice subtle differences in word prosody. By contrast, cue-based phonetic models predict that Mandarin speakers may rely on pitch differences, a secondary cue, to perceive vowel length. Two groups of Mandarin speakers, including naive non-Japanese speakers and beginner learners, were recruited to participate in an AX discrimination task involving two Japanese sound stimuli that contain a phonologically contrastive environment. Participants were asked to indicate whether the two stimuli containing a vowel-length contrast (e.g., maapero vs. mapero) sound the same. The experiment was bifactorial. The first factor contrasted three syllabic positions (syllable position; initial/medial/final), as it would be likely to affect the perceptual difficulty, as seen in previous studies, and the second factor contrasted two pitch types (accent type): one with accentual change that could be distinguished with the lexical tones in Mandarin (the different condition), with the other group having no tonal distinction but only differing in vowel length (the same condition). The overall results showed that a significant main effect of accent type by applying a linear mixed-effects model (β = 1.48, SE = 0.35, p < 0.05), which implies that Mandarin speakers tend to more successfully recognize vowel-length differences when the long vowel counterpart takes on a tone that exists in Mandarin. The interaction between the accent type and the syllabic position is also significant (β = 2.30, SE = 0.91, p < 0.05), showing that vowel lengths in the different conditions are more difficult to recognize in the word-final case relative to the initial condition. The second statistical model, which compares naive speakers to beginners, was conducted with logistic regression to test the effects of the participant group. A significant difference was found between the two groups (β = 1.06, 95% CI = [0.36, 2.03], p < 0.05). This study shows that: (1) Mandarin speakers are likely to use pitch cues to perceive vowel length in a non-native language, which is consistent with the cue-based approaches; (2) an exposure effect was observed: the beginner group achieved a higher accuracy for long vowel perception, which implied the exposure effect despite the short period of language learning experience.

Keywords: cue-based perception, exposure effect, prosodic perception, vowel duration

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