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See detailLa construction d'un futur sur quatre roues. Une ethnographie du handicap locomoteur dans Mitchell's Plain (Afrique du Sud)
Schnitzler, Marie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis explores subjectivities shaped by locomotive disability in the post-apartheid city through an ethnography of ordinary life. Locomotive disability encompasses every limitation of mobility due ... [more ▼]

This thesis explores subjectivities shaped by locomotive disability in the post-apartheid city through an ethnography of ordinary life. Locomotive disability encompasses every limitation of mobility due to an infirmity of the lower limbs. In my discussion, it is conceived as a ‘test’ (épreuve), namely an event that interrupts everyday routines and creates tensions between the responsibilities of different actors’ – people with disabilities, families, the state, etc. These tensions are articulated on various levels. In my discussion, I focus on three of them: the political field that determines a certain type of citizenship, the social networks that constitute the person, and finally the understanding people with disabilities have of their personal history. These levels combine to shape people’s subjectivity, and are analysed in a Foucauldian perspective not just as individuals’ relations with themselves, but also with others and the wider world. [less ▲]

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See detailLa Celestina, un mito literario hispánico (1822-2014)
Francois, Jeromine ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailEffets de la fertilisation NP et de l'irrigation à des périodes critiques sur le rendement et la qualité des fruits du figuier de Barbarie (Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill.)
Arba, Mohamed ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Selon la classification révisée récemment, les cactus appartiennent à la famille des Opuntiaceae Desv. (Synon. Cactaceae Juss.), dont le genre-type Opuntia Mill. est économiquement le plus important car ... [more ▼]

Selon la classification révisée récemment, les cactus appartiennent à la famille des Opuntiaceae Desv. (Synon. Cactaceae Juss.), dont le genre-type Opuntia Mill. est économiquement le plus important car il comprend un ensemble de variétés qui participent à la plupart des systèmes agricoles des régions arides et semi-arides. Récemment, dans le Maghreb, la culture de plusieurs espèces et variétés s'est développée à de fins de production fruitière commercialisable, c’est-à-dire répondant à des critères de qualité de plus en plus sévères et exigeant des technologies culturales précises. La partie expérimentale de notre étude s'est déroulée pendant deux années dans le Sud du Maroc, région d'Agadir, sur trois variétés représentatives. Les essais ont été réalisés à la ferme expérimentale de l'Institut Agronomique et Vétérinaire Hassan II, Complexe Horticole d'Agadir (30°36' Nord, 9°36' Est; altitude: 32 m). Le site est caractérisé par des températures moyennes mensuelles qui varient de 8°C en janvier à 31°C en juillet, la température journalière maximale pouvant atteindre 45°C en juillet-aout. La pluviométrie annuelle varie de 100 à 200 mm. La durée moyenne d'ensoleillement est de 8 heures par jour. Un premier objectif de notre étude a été de préciser les réponses quantitatives (rendement en fruits) et qualitatives à des apports modérés d'eau d'irrigation. Un deuxième objectif consistait à évaluer les effets d'apports limités de fertilisation minérale azotée et phosphatée, ces deux éléments majeurs étant les plus susceptibles de se trouver déficitaires dans le contexte pédoclimatique propre à la région. Un troisième objectif a été de préciser la phénologie des trois variétés - surtout les phases de développement floral et fruitier - afin de mettre en évidence d'éventuels impacts des interventions culturales sur la phénologie et de mieux situer les moments de ces interventions en les reliant de manière plus objective à la physiologie du développement. Dans l'étude sur l'irrigation, les variétés utilisées ont été les inermes 'Aissa' et 'Moussa' d'Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. et l'épineuse 'Achefri’ d’O. megacantha Salm Dyck. En première année, caractérisée par un printemps pluvieux, les traitements d'irrigation ont été: (T1) 0 mm, (T2) 30 mm à la floraison et 30 mm au grossissement des fruits et (T3) 30 mm seulement au grossissement des fruits; les irrigations ont été appliquées entre la mi-avril et la mi-juin. Les irrigations T2 et T3 ont eu un effet négatif sur le rendement en fruits des variétés inermes 'Aissa' et 'Moussa' (-2,8 kg/plant) et T2 a eu un effet positif hautement significatif (p <0,01) sur la variété épineuse 'Achefri’ (+ 2,7 kg/plant ou +18 %). La qualité des fruits n'a pas été affectée par l'irrigation. En deuxième année, caractérisée par un printemps sec, les traitements d’irrigation ont été: (T1) 0 mm, (T2) 60 mm à la floraison et 60 mm au grossissement des fruits et (T3) 60 mm seulement au grossissement des fruits; les irrigations ont été apportées entre février et mai. Toutes les variétés ont répondu positivement à l'irrigation, les augmentations de rendement très significatives (p <0,01) ont varié entre 30% pour 'Moussa' avec T2 et 63 % pour 'Achefri' avec T3 par rapport au témoin non irrigué. Toutes les irrigations ont augmenté le nombre et la taille des fruits et ont provoqué une légère diminution de la teneur en sucres totaux et de l'acidité titrable. Les irrigations n'ont eu aucun effet significatif sur les autres paramètres physiques, chimiques et organoleptiques participant à la définition de la qualité. L'essai sur la fertilisation minérale azotée-phosphorique sur le cultivar ‘Moussa’, mettait en comparaison cinq traitements: 0N-0P; 0N-80P; 40N-40P; 60N-0P et 60N-80P (en kg N ha-1- kg P2O5 ha-1). En première année, l'application de N et/ou de P n'a eu aucun effet sur le rendement en fruits. En deuxième année, les apports de 60 unités de N ou de 80 unités de P2O5 ont augmenté (p <0,01) le rendement de resp. 3,0 et 6,1 kg par plante (+ 18% et + 36%), par rapport au témoin. L'apport simultané des deux éléments N et P (60N-80P2O5) a conduit à une augmentation très significative (p <0,01) de 14,9 kg/plante (+ 90%) mettant en évidence une interaction positive très significative (p <0,01) entre ces deux éléments. Les apports de N et de P ont eu des effets positifs sur le nombre de fruits et leurs poids moyens mais ils n'ont pas modifié le contenu de la pulpe, la teneur en jus, l'épaisseur de l’écorce, la matière sèche du jus, le pH, l’acidité titrable, les sucres totaux, ni le °Brix. L'étude portant sur la phénologie et le développement a été effectuée simultanément dans un essai spécifique reprenant les trois variétés et dans chacun des essais d'irrigation et de fertilisation. Elle a d'une part permis de préciser la variabilité du déroulement des phénologies comme résultant des conditions de milieu (climat), de la génétique, des techniques culturales (fumure et irrigation), et de certaines de leurs interactions. Notre attention s'est portée prioritairement sur les effets des techniques culturales maîtrisables. En première année, les essais ont montré que l'émission de bourgeons est plus élevée (p<0,05) chez la variété épineuse que chez les inermes (plus de 6 bourgeons émis/cladode contre moins de 4,5 chez les variétés inermes). En 2ème année, l'irrigation a augmenté (p <0,05) l'émission de bourgeons chez les trois variétés (plus de 7 bourgeons émis/cladode pour chacun des traitements T2 et T3 vs pas plus que 5 pour T1). L'irrigation a aussi allongé la durée de la phase de floraison de ces variétés. La fertilisation a montré des effets allant dans le même sens. Cependant, ni l'irrigation, ni la fertilisation minérale n'ont modifié significativement la durée de la réalisation du stade maturité du fruit, ne permettant pas ainsi d'allonger la saison de récolte. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisations phénotypiques des populations de pintades (Numida meleagris) locales élevées au Bénin
Houndonougbo, Pascal ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

La pintade (Numida meleagris) est une volaille d’origine africaine. Son élevage est répandu en Afrique subsaharienne dans un système traditionnel où plusieurs variétés sont élevées en liberté. Ces ... [more ▼]

La pintade (Numida meleagris) est une volaille d’origine africaine. Son élevage est répandu en Afrique subsaharienne dans un système traditionnel où plusieurs variétés sont élevées en liberté. Ces variétés qui diffèrent par le coloris de leur plumage sont très peu caractérisées. Au nord Bénin, l’élevage avicole moderne est peu rencontré et la pintade constitue la pondeuse d’œufs de table dans cette région. Mais, la mortalité élevée, la faible productivité de la pintade locale limitent fortement le développement de son élevage. Il est alors nécessaire de caractériser les variétés de pintades élevées pour mieux les valoriser dans un système amélioré. L’objectif de cette thèse est de caractériser phénotypiquement la population de pintade locale élevée au Bénin afin de mieux valoriser l’espèce dans des programmes d’amélioration et de développement du secteur avicole national. Une revue bibliographique (Article de synthèse) a permis de réaliser l’état des lieux de l’élevage de pintade au Bénin et de mieux orienter nos travaux pour une bonne caractérisation des variétés élevées. L’existence de plusieurs variétés dans les élevages a été soulignée dans la revue bibliographique et nous a amené à des enquêtes et un suivi des élevages de pintades en milieu villageois. Ces enquêtes et suivi nous ont permis de caractériser les pintades locales dans leur milieu d’élevage selon les dire des éleveurs. Ils nous ont aussi permis de dégager selon les éleveurs, les objectifs de production, l’importance socio-économique et culturelle des variétés élevées. L’influence de l’alimentation sur les performances technico-économiques des pintades locales a été soulignée dans l’Article de synthèse et l’Article I. Cette influence a été abordée en évaluant l’influence de l’alimentation sur le potentiel de croissance de la pintade locale en station (Article II). Enfin, des travaux ont été réalisés en station pour mieux caractériser les variétés de pintades rencontrées dans les élevages sur le plan morphologique, performances de croissance et de reproduction (Articles III, IV et V). Ces différents travaux nous ont permis de recenser les différentes variétés de pintades locales élevées au Bénin, les objectifs d’élevage des éleveurs ainsi que quelques difficultés liées au développement de cet élevage. Ces travaux nous ont surtout permis de mieux caractériser les variétés rencontrées. Cette caractérisation pourrait être valorisée pour améliorer la productivité des variétés par sélection. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyse comparée des chaines de valeur du riz dans la plaine de la Ruzizi de la Communauté Economique des pays des Grands Lacs (CEPGL)
Furaha Mirindi, Germaine ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis aims at carrying out a comparative study of three rice value chains in the Ruzizi plain shared between three countries of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) namely ... [more ▼]

This thesis aims at carrying out a comparative study of three rice value chains in the Ruzizi plain shared between three countries of the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) namely Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. These include the Burundi rice value chain (Imbo Plain), the Congolese rice value chain (Ruzizi Plain) and the Rwandan rice value chain (Bugarama Plain). The diagnostic analysis was about analyzing the rice-farming environment (ie policies and support services accessed by actors along the value chain), analyzing economic performance of these three value chains and to identify the factors that may foster the development of a value chain with a regional potential. For this purpose, the study adopted the field approach, which allowed carrying out investigations during three years (2013 to 2015). The data collection process involved a sample of 228 actors distributed equitably among the three countries. It combined several techniques, namely, direct stakeholder surveys (producers, processors, collectors, wholesalers and retailers), interviews with various support structures and state services, focus group discussions with producer groups and representatives of their organizations. The analysis of these three value chains driving conditions linked the policies implemented in each country and the access by the actors to certain production factors and services such as land, water, credit and the use of inputs. It also highlighted the issue of wage labor and its different roles in the sector. The analysis shows that land policy in Bugarama plain in Rwanda has reduced the cost of land to more than half compared to land costs in Burundi and the DRC. Moreover, this policy is accused by the producers of Bugarama of limiting their entrepreneurial innovations since they can not enlarge their farms (the cultivated area is 0.23 ha). Despite the high cost of water access and management, all rice plots access irrigation water in Rwanda, while the lack of organization and good water management is one of the factors behind low yields in Burundi and the DRC, where 25% and 40% of the rice plots have difficulties in accessing water. Regarding access to agricultural credit, the results reveal that the value chain of rice in the three countries experiences the lack of funding in spite of improvements observed in Rwanda. The rate of access to credit is 17.5% (in Burundi), 16% (in DRC) and 52.8% (in Rwanda), and among them rice farmers with access to formal credits account for only 8% (in Burundi), 10% (in the DRC) and 37.5% (in Rwanda). Analysis of the wage labour force shows that labor is not as widely available as was thought in the study area. Indeed, the DRC is the zone of deficit in wage labor due to the rural exodus and the diversity of economic activities. In the DRC, 60% of the rice workforce used is foreign, including 46% from Burundi and 14% from Rwanda. This mobility of the workforce leads to technology transfers, the supply of inputs at lower cost, but also to consolidate the social cohesion in a post-conflict context. The economic analysis of these three value chains reveals that production costs in the study area remain very high, varying between 292 and 388USD per ton. The highest costs are observed in the DRC where paradoxically there is a better financial performance in terms of profit and added value. The statistical tests carried out on certain parameters identified by the financial analysis undermines the policies regarding the inputs subsidies, agricultural financing and fixing sales prices. Indeed, there are no significant differences between the means of rice farmers who benefit from these policies and those who do not. Paradoxically, statistical analyzes reveal that rice farmers not affected by the pricing policy (they are not price takers) have a good financial performance in terms of income. The three studied areas are complementary in terms of the development potentials of a regional value chain. Indeed, Rwanda has modern underutilization peeling plants that are capable of responding almost entirely to the needs of the whole plain. In addition, Burundi and the DRC should develop land and water potentials to increase production. Several other regional structures in favor of the regional value chain have to be relaunched or strengthened in logic of rice development in the Ruzizi plain. These include the benefits of economic integration of the CEPGL countries. [less ▲]

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See detailWalking droplets above cavities
Filoux, Boris ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailAdvanced porosity-based models to assess the influence of urban layouts on inundation flows and impact of urban evolution on flood damage
Bruwier, Martin ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Worldwide, flood risk is expected to increase over the 21st century due to the combined effect of climate and land use changes. However, while the impact of climate change on future flood risk was ... [more ▼]

Worldwide, flood risk is expected to increase over the 21st century due to the combined effect of climate and land use changes. However, while the impact of climate change on future flood risk was extensively studied, the effects of urbanization remain unclear. The goal of this PhD thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the influence of future urban development on changes in inundation flows as well as on the related damage. First, an original porosity-based model was developed, which enables efficient computation of urban flooding. It uses anisotropic porosity parameters to reproduce the influence of subgrid-scale obstacles on the flow. An original merging technique was implemented to optimize the computational efficiency in the presence of low values of the storage porosity parameter. Compared to a standard inundation model, the developed model enables speedup factors of the order of 100, while keeping the error on the flow variables at a few percent. Second, we systematically investigated how the layout of buildings located in floodplains influences the inundation characteristics for a long-duration flood scenario. The anisotropic porosity-based model was used to compute the flow variables for 2,000 alternative urban patterns. Correlations between the computed water depths and the urban characteristics reveal which features of the layout of buildings influences most the severity of urban flooding. In particular, the results suggest how the hydraulic effect of new urban development can be effectively mitigated by a suitable location of the buildings preserving a higher flow conveyance at the district-scale. This result provides guidance for more flood-proof urban developments. Finally, we evaluated the evolution of future flood damage as a result of urbanization along all the main rivers in the Walloon region, Belgium. The study was conducted at the regional level using detailed hydraulic results (resolution of 2 to 5 m). Despite high uncertainties in the considered urbanization scenarios, involving both urban expansion and densification, robust conclusions could be drawn, such as the overwhelming influence of banning new developments in flood-prone areas compared to the other tested facets of urban planning policy. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of functionalized materials through sol-gel route for applications in catalysis and surface protection
Léonard, Géraldine ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In this work, materials have been produced by sol-gel route. This synthesis way has been used for immobilization on a support of a function focused on green chemistry. The different functions are related ... [more ▼]

In this work, materials have been produced by sol-gel route. This synthesis way has been used for immobilization on a support of a function focused on green chemistry. The different functions are related with different applications that allow to illustrate the versatility and the flexibility of this sol-gel process. The two applications are: - Photocatalysis: Synthesis of material with photocatalytic property or with an additional property - Cyclocarbonation: Synthesis of an immobilized catalyst for polyurethane production through a green process The first application concerns the use of a photocatalyst that allows to degrade volatile organic compounds (VOC). The main photocatalyst is TiO2. It has been studied as a powder or as a film deposited on a support. A comparison of these two shapes has shown that an identical photocatalyst can have different performances depending on the final shape. A catalyst must be considered in its totality and with its environment rather than as a chemical composition only. To increase the photocatalyst performances, modifications have been added as the Zn doping to increase the photocatalytic activity and the superhydrophilicity. These new photocatalysts have been compared with pure ZnO and bilayer films composed of TiO2 and of ZnO. Different photocatalytic tests have been performed and depending on the test the best photocatalyst was different. Then, to increase the economic interest, some dopant have been used. In addition of the improvement of the photocatalytic activity and superhydrophilicity, theses dopants add a new property such as electrical conductivity and anticorrosion. First, metallic silver has been incorporated to add antistatic property and to increase the photocatalytic activity. The photocatalytic property has been improved, superhydrophilicity has been kept but no antistatic property was observed. Multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have been tested with TiO2 to increase the electrical conductivity. This doping is efficient because MWCNTs increase the conductivity, the photocatalytic activity and maintain the superhydrophilicity. In addition, anticorrosive property has been observed on stainless steel in a preliminary study with the MWCNTs incorporation. The second study is focused on the heterogeneous cyclocarbonation catalyst synthesis to produce, in fine, polyurethane. The catalyst was immobilized on different matrices that are inert from catalytic point of view but that have a potential activator effect. First, with the preselected catalyst, different supports have been investigated. The comparison between the supports has highlighted the activator effect and the texture influence (accessibility of the active sites) on cyclocarbonation yields. Then, with the optimal matrix, different catalysts from a same family have been grafted to choose the best catalyst. Therefore, it has been possible to define the best catalyst and the best support. With this combination, a kinetic study has been performed to determine the best experimental conditions to produce cyclocarbonates. [less ▲]

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See detailCapturing fine-scale population structure towards molecular reclassification of patients
Chaichoompu, Kridsadakorn ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

During the past decades, population structure analysis has been playing an important role for stratifying populations and tracking back population ancestries. Population structure is mainly due to non ... [more ▼]

During the past decades, population structure analysis has been playing an important role for stratifying populations and tracking back population ancestries. Population structure is mainly due to non-random mating between subgroups in a population because of various reasons, being of social, cultural, or geographical nature. Genetic structure in populations may also arise from known or unknown family relationships. Complex disease analyses, in case-control genetic association studies particularly, can be affected by so-called cryptic relatedness, which refers to unobserved ancestral relationships between study individuals. As population structure may confound results from genetic association studies and studies that aim to detect clinically relevant substructure in patients, its detection is highly relevant. Revealing population structure is really essential. Notably, removing unwanted population structure in molecular-based patient subtypes detection is likely to lead to subtle or fine-scale remaining structure. In this thesis, we developed a novel genetic structure detection tool, hereafter referred to as IPCAPS, which can also be used as, or extended to, a tool for fine-scale reclassification of patients. IPCAPS utilizes a fixation index (FST) to measure the distance between clusters for iterative loop termination. An FST > 0.001 is typically seen as evidence for genetic differentiation between European populations. We also introduced a novel heuristic called EigenFit as one of the stopping criteria. Although our tool has been developed to easily accommodate multiple data types, we have illustrated the conception of IPCAPs and its performance on simulated and real-life data using panels of genome-wide SNP data. SNPs, standing for Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms, are the most common type of genetic variation among people. There are roughly 10 million of them. We evaluated the performance of IPCAPS using a variety of simulation studies and simulation scenarios, including varying sample sizes, varying SNP panel sizes, the absence or presence of outliers, large or very small genetic separation between synthetic populations. The performance of IPCAPS was measured by estimating accuracy and computation time. We observed that our method generally outperformed a selection of other iterative pruning based methods such as ipPCA, iNJclust, and SHIPS. Also in the presence of outliers, IPCAPS' computation time is largely affected by sample size, not by the number of SNPs included in the analysis. We furthermore validated our tools and proposed protocols on a variety of real-life datasets. These datasets differed in complexity and ranged from worldwide sample collections, over regional populations, to geographically confined samples. In particular, we analyzed data from the International HapMap Project, the 1000 Genomes Project, Africa and Thailand. We proposed a suitable protocol to correct for population stratification and to perform patient subgrouping in samples from the International IBD Genetics Consortium (IBD referring to inflammatory bowel disease). All developed analysis protocols involved guidelines for the interpretation of identified strata. In conclusion, IPCAPS is a promising structure detection analysis tool. It was able to identify fine structure in African and HapMap populations, previously unreported. IPCAPS analysis also suggested the presence of at least 3 subtypes of Crohn’s disease and at least 3 subtypes of Ulcerative Colitis patients. More work is needed to evaluate the importance of these findings in clinical practice and for precisions medicine. [less ▲]

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See detailA Combining Approach to Cover Song Identification
Osmalsky, Julien ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis is concerned with the problem of determining whether two songs are different versions of each other. This problem is known as the problem of cover song identification, which is a challenging ... [more ▼]

This thesis is concerned with the problem of determining whether two songs are different versions of each other. This problem is known as the problem of cover song identification, which is a challenging task, as different versions of the same song can differ in terms of pitch, tempo, voicing, instrumentation, structure, etc. Our approach differs from existing methods, by considering as much information as possible to identify cover songs. More precisely, we consider audio features spanning multiple musical facets, such as the tempo, the duration, the harmonic progression, the musical structure, the relative evolution of timbre, among others. In order to do that, we evaluate several state-of-the-art systems on a common database, containing 12,856 songs, that is a subset of the Second Hand Song dataset. In addition to evaluating existing systems, we introduce our own methods, based on global features, and making use of supervised machine learning algorithms to build a similarity model. For evaluating and comparing the performance of 10 cover song identification systems, we propose a new intuitive evaluation space, based on the notions of pruning and loss. Our evaluation space allows to represent the performance of the selected systems in a two dimensional space. We further demonstrate that it is compatible with standard metrics, such as the mean rank, the mean reciprocal rank and the mean average precision. Using our evaluation space, we present a comparative analysis of 10 systems. The results show that few systems are usable in a commercial system, as the most efficient is able to identify a match at the first position for 39% of the analyzed queries, which corresponds to 4,965 songs. In addition, we evaluate the systems when they are pushed to their limits, by analyzing how they perform when the audio signal is strongly degraded. To improve the identification rate, we investigate ways of combining 10 systems. We evaluate rank aggregation methods, that aim at aggregating ordered lists of similarity results, to produce a new, better ordering of the database. We demonstrate that such methods produce improved results, especially for early pruning applications. In addition to evaluating rank aggregation techniques, we propose to study combination through probabilistic rules. As the 10 selected systems do not all produce probabilities of similarity, we investigate calibration techniques to map scores to relevant posterior probability estimates. After the calibration process, we evaluate several probabilistic rules, such as the product, the sum, and the median rule. We further demonstrate that a subset of the 10 initial systems produces better performance than the full set, thus showing that some systems are not relevant to the final combination. Applying a probabilistic product rule to a subset of systems significantly outperforms any individual systems, on the considered database. In terms of direct identification (top-1), we achieve an improvement of 10% (5,460 tracks identified), and in terms of mean rank, mean reciprocal rank and mean average precision, we respectively improve the performance by 40%, 9.5%, and 12.5%, with respect to the previous state-of-the-art performance. We further implement our final combination in a practical application, named DISCover, giving the possibility for a user to select a query and listen to the produced list of results. While a cover is not systematically identified, the produced list of songs is often musically similar to the query. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation de disques de poussière exozodiacale par interférométrie stellaire en infrarouge proche et moyen
Marion, Lindsay ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Nous savons aujourd’hui que notre système solaire n’est pas un cas isolé dans la galaxie et qu’il pourrait potentiellement en exister des milliers d’autres. La recherche de ces systèmes est devenue un ... [more ▼]

Nous savons aujourd’hui que notre système solaire n’est pas un cas isolé dans la galaxie et qu’il pourrait potentiellement en exister des milliers d’autres. La recherche de ces systèmes est devenue un centre d’intérêt majeur de la recherche en astrophysique au XXIème. La présence de poussière chaude et tiède est étroitement liée à la présence de planètes dans un système stellaire. En effet, elle provient généralement de la formation du système planétaire, du dégazage de comètes, et de collisions d’astéroides, comme c’est le cas dans notre système solaire. Il est donc devenu primordial de détecter et caractériser la poussière tiède/chaude autour d’étoiles en séquence principale. L’intérêt de l’étude des disques de débris tièdes/chauds est double : d’une part, les détecter et les caractériser nous permet d’obtenir plus d’informations sur la formation d’un éventuel système planétaire et sur la dynamique du système (mécanisme de piégeage de la poussière, ré-approvisionnement du disque de poussière chaudes à partir d’un disque de poussière plus froide, plus éloigné, présence de planètes qui nettoient le disque interne, etc) ; d’autre part, les disques de débris tièdes/chauds peuvent complètement masquer une planète lors de tentatives de détection en imagerie directe. Il convient donc de les détecter pour discriminer ces étoiles pour les missions futures de détection d’exoplanètes par imagerie directe. Le présent travail vise à poursuivre l’étude des disques tièdes/chauds commencée au début des années 2000. Dans un premier temps, nous recherchons la présence de compagnon au sein de l’échantillon d’étoiles dédiées au programme de détection d’exozodis afin de fournir un échantillon non biaisé pour la recherche de disques de débris tièdes/chauds. Grâce aux détections de compagnons, nous révisons également la statistique d’étoiles binaires de type spectral A. Ensuite, dans un nouvel échantillon défini spécifiquement à cet effet, nous étudions la corrélation possible entre présence de poussière tiède et chaude. Nous arrivons à la conclusion qu’il existe une corrélation entre présence de poussière tiède et chaude et que la poussière tiède pourrait donc servir de réservoir à la poussière chaude. Toutefois, pour confirmer ce résultat, d’autres études devront être menées. Ensuite, nous résumons les avancées réalisées au LBTI et mettons en exergue les progrès réalisés sur la méthode statistique de traitement de données pour des observations de nulling. Enfin, nous étudions le système de beta Pic au travers d’observations dans l’infrarouge moyen réalisées avec MIDI. Cette étude nous permet de conclure qu’il n’y a pas de poussière tiède dans les zones internes (~ 1.5 UA) du disque de Pic et que la poussière chaude qui cause un excès en infrarouge proche est probablement alimentée par le dégazage de comètes envoyées dans le système stellaire interne par la planète se trouvant aux environs de 9 UA. [less ▲]

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See detailDroplet manipulation on a fiber network
Weyer, Floriane ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailPhysical properties of L-type asteroids: a link to the primordial Solar System?
Devogele, Maxime ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

A few years ago, asteroid polarimetry allowed to discover a class of asteroids exhibiting peculiar phase polarization curves, collectively called "Barbarians" from the prototype of this class, the ... [more ▼]

A few years ago, asteroid polarimetry allowed to discover a class of asteroids exhibiting peculiar phase polarization curves, collectively called "Barbarians" from the prototype of this class, the asteroid (234) Barbara. All such objects belong to the L visible plus near infrared based taxonomic class. The anomalous polarization has been tentatively interpreted in terms of high-albedo, spinel-rich Calcium-Aluminum inclusions (CAI) that could be abundant on the surfaces of some of these asteroids, according to their spectral reflectance properties and to analogies with CO3/CV3 meteorites. Such CAIs are among the oldest mineral assemblages ever found in the Solar System. Barbarians' surfaces could therefore be rich in this very ancient material and bring information on the early phases of planetary formation. During this thesis, a systematic campaign for photometric, polarimetric and spectroscopic characterization has been conducted. These observation campaigns allowed improving our general knowledge about these peculiar asteroids and highlighting the link between polarization and polarimetric properties. Our observation also allowed discarding the hypotheses involving peculiar shape for these asteroids. However, as it was suggested, a link between the presence of CAI and the polarimetric response was found. Our observations show that the relative abundance of CAI is correlated with the polarimetric inversion angle. This is the first time that a direct link between polarimetric and spectroscopic properties is found. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst-principles study of tungsten trioxide:structurale properties and polaron formation
Hamdi, Hanen ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Résumé L’oxyde de tungstène (WO 3 ) est un composé qui a été énormément étudié du fait de la richesse de ses propriétés physiques et de leurs utilisations pour des applications technologiques. En effet ... [more ▼]

Résumé L’oxyde de tungstène (WO 3 ) est un composé qui a été énormément étudié du fait de la richesse de ses propriétés physiques et de leurs utilisations pour des applications technologiques. En effet, WO 3 est le matériau électrochromique le plus connu grâce à sa capacité de changer de couleur de manière réversible lorsqu’il est soumis à des ondes électromagnétiques ou bien sous l’application d’un champ électrique. Au niveau industriel, les matériaux électrochromiques, dont WO 3 fait partie, sont utilisés principalement dans la fabrication de fentêres à haut rendement énergétique, de verres intelligents, de rétroviseurs anti-reflets, de toits ouvrants, de batteries ou de cristaux photoniques accordables. Il est intéressant de noter que toutes ces propriétés sont liées au dopage et donc directement à la formation de polarons et de bipolarons qui vont influencer les transporteurs de charges. Bien que ce composé ai été largement étudié expérimentalement et théoriquement, il reste encore des questions pertinentes et non résolues concernant les propriétés structurales de WO 3 et la caractérisation des polarons dans WO 3−x . Cette thèse est ainsi dédiée en premier temps, à analyser et comprendre les différentes tran- sitions de phase du WO 3 sur base de calculs ab-initio basés sur la théorie de la fonctionnelle de la densité (DFT) et de reproduire les mesures expérimentales. Plus particulièrement, nous avons montré que WO 3 est un matériau anti-ferroélectrique à l’état fondamental et que c’est possible de le rendre ferroélectrique sous l’application d’un champs électrique. En second temps, nous avons élargi nos précédentes études de WO 3 à l’état pur sans defaut, en explo- rant théoriquement les effets des lacunes d’oxygène sur les propriétés physiques de WO 3 . Nous avons discuté le développement du polaron, qui est due à l’ajout d’un électron extèrieur dans la supercellule de l’état fondamentale de WO 3 , en fonction de la taille de la supercellule en utilisant des calculs de premier principe. Nous avons ainsi confirmé des travaux expérimentaux précédents reliés au polaron dans WO3 . [less ▲]

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See detailComputer vision systems for automatic analysis of face and eye images in specific applications of interpretation of facial expressions
Hoyoux, Thomas ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis is about the computer vision-based automation of specific tasks of face perception, for specific applications where they are essential. These tasks, and the applications in which they are ... [more ▼]

This thesis is about the computer vision-based automation of specific tasks of face perception, for specific applications where they are essential. These tasks, and the applications in which they are automated, deal with the interpretation of facial expressions. Our first application of interest is the automatic recognition of sign language, as carried out via a chain of automatic systems that extract visual communication cues from the image of a signer, transcribe these visual cues to an intermediary semantic notation, and translate this semantic notation to a comprehensible text in a spoken language. For use within the visual cue extraction part of such a system chain, we propose a computer vision system that automatically extracts facial communication cues from the image of a signer, based on a pre-existing facial landmark point tracking method and its various robust refinements. With this system, our contribution notably lies in the fruitful use of this tracking method and its refinements within a sign language recognition system chain. We consider the facial communication cues extracted by our system as facial expressions with a specific interpretation useful to this application. Our second application of interest is the objective assessment of visual pursuit in patients with a disorder of consciousness. In the clinical practice, this delicate assessment is done by a clinician who manually moves a handheld mirror in front of the patient's face while simultaneously estimating the patient's ability to track this visual stimulus. This clinical setup is appropriate, but the assessment outcome was shown to be sensitive to the clinician's subjectivity. For use with a head-mounted device, we propose a computer vision system that attaches itself to the clinical procedure without disrupting it, and automatically estimates, in an objective way, the patient's ability to perform visual pursuit. Our system, combined with the use of a head-mounted device, therefore takes the form of an assisting technology for the clinician. It is based on the tracking of the patient's pupil and the mirror moved by the clinician, and the comparison of the obtained trajectories. All methods used within our system are simple yet specific instantiations of general methods, for the objective assessment of visual pursuit. We consider the visual pursuit ability extracted by our system as a facial expression with a specific interpretation useful to this application. To some extent, our third application of interest is the general-purpose automatic recognition of facial expression codes in a muscle-based taxonomic coding system. We do not actually provide any new computer vision system for this application. Instead, we consider a supervised classification problem relevant to this application, and we empirically compare the performance of two general classification approaches for solving this problem, namely hierarchical classification and standard classification ("flat" classification, in this comparative context). We also compare these approaches for solving a classification problem relevant to 3D shape recognition, as well as artificial classification problems we generate in a simulation framework of our design. Our contribution lies in the general theoretical conclusions we reach from our empirical study of hierarchical vs. flat classification, which are of interest for properly using hierarchical classification in vision-based recognition problems, for example for an application of facial expression recognition. [less ▲]

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See detailEffect of different crop residue management on soil hydraulic properties - a study in a silt loam soil in Belgium
Parvin, Nargish ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In recent decades, agriculture is challenged to develop strategies for sustainability which conserve non-renewable natural resources such as soil. Soil improving conservation systems aim at improving soil ... [more ▼]

In recent decades, agriculture is challenged to develop strategies for sustainability which conserve non-renewable natural resources such as soil. Soil improving conservation systems aim at improving soil functions and at the same time ensuring high productivity. Such soil management systems have to be adapted to climate and soil specific conditions, and may include reduced tillage, balanced crop rotation, retention of crop residues, cover crops, and appropriate timing of field operations. Changes in soil functions have huge impacts on environmental flows like hydrology, crop production, solute transfer, and CO2 emission at macroscale. Soil structure is considered as one of the key factors for soil functioning. The effect of different land management on soil structure and consequently on soil hydrodynamics is not fully understood and still under investigation. The main aim of this thesis was to evaluate the effect of crop residue management on soil structure by measuring soil hydraulic properties in pedon and core scale. The agronomic context was different crop residue management in a reduced tillage system. The experimental field is named as Solresidus located in Gembloux, Belgium. Since 2008, the field has been under conservation system. Different residue management includes reduced tillage with incorporation of crop residues (RT-in) and without incorporation (RT-out). A large part of this thesis was methodological development to obtain accurate results from experimentations. Many studies have been made and documented in literature to develop indirect methods to predict soil hydrology from soil water retention curve (SWRC). There is no measuring device available which can determine the SWRC over the entire soil moisture range. Therefore, one of the methodological developments was to obtain complete SWRC by combining three different methods in core scale: X-ray computed microtomography (X-ray CT), HYPROP evaporation and Richards pressure plate method to obtain the entire SWRC. The combination of these methods found well justified to obtain the accurate and complete SWRC. Saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks), specific connectivity (SC) of soil pores and bulk density of the soil were also measured in core and pore scale. There were soil moisture sensors (capacitance sensors) in the field to observe the soil moisture dynamics in pedon scale. Another important methodological development was to obtain the calibration results with the moisture sensor according to the soil texture and horizons. Calibration results found quite satisfying to get the accurate moisture content of the field; it was also noticed that it could be over estimation of soil moisture without the calibration. Significantly, average higher moisture content was observed by the moisture sensors in RT-in than RT-out during the canopy formation to harvest of winter wheat in 2014. The SWRCs also showed that plant available water content was higher in RT-in than RT-out. SC of soil pores was also significantly higher at the surface soil of RT-in than RT-out. RT-in found to have significant positive effects on soil structure by reducing bulk density, increasing SC, Ks and retention of soil moisture during the observation period of this study. Crop yield was marginally higher and organic matter content was significantly higher in RT-in than RT-out (results from close collaboration). Therefore, reduced tillage with residues incorporation found to have better soil hydraulics together with better crop yield than reduced tillage without incorporation of crop residues. [less ▲]

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See detailValorisation des sous-produits de la graine de Jatropha curcas L. en production de poulets au Sénégal
Nesseim, Thierry ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This study evaluated the effects of Jatropha curcas kernel meal incorporated in poultry feed in Senegal. All experimentations were conducted in the experimental station of the National Superior School of ... [more ▼]

This study evaluated the effects of Jatropha curcas kernel meal incorporated in poultry feed in Senegal. All experimentations were conducted in the experimental station of the National Superior School of Agriculture (ENSA) of Thies University (Senegal). In the same way, all chemical analyses were performed in the feed science laboratory of the Department of Animal Production of ENSA. The first part of this study was a description of toxic and anti-nutritional compounds present in J. curcas seed meal, which most important are phorbol esters, characteristics of Euphorbiaceae, known for its inflammatory effects, and curcin, a toxalbumin which manifested by an irritant action. Other compounds, also present, interfere more or less with digestive process in animals. Different treatments were applied, with different levels of success, to reduce or eliminate these toxic and anti-nutritional compounds for the valuation of this meal in animal feed. A particular emphasis was placed on the biological treatment, not only for a significant reduction of these compounds but also to improve the nutritional quality of the meal. The second part of this work has focused on the study of the effect of the J. curcas kernel meal obtained by chemical de-oiling, incorporated in corn at 4, 8, and 12% and distributed to broiler chickens at the end their growth phase to assess their feed intake, their daily weight gain and diet digestibility. For all diets, feed intake was inversely influenced by the incorporation on the jatropha kernel meal, leading a weight gain decrease in animals that received the largest amounts of jatropha despite the absence of toxicity signs and mortality. Similarly, the apparent digestibility of each nutrient has been affected by the incorporation of jatropha kernel meal as well as the differential digestibility thereof. The low digestibility, especially protein was explained by the low availability of meal proteins incorporated corn, but also the presence of anti-nutritional and toxic factors still present in the diets used. The third part of this work has presented results of two experimentations conducted successively. The first one studied the effect of jatropha kernel meal obtained by a chemical de-oiling, incorporated in diets at 4 and 8%, on broiler chickens performance during growing/finishing. The second experimentation studied the effect of the same cake that was heat treated before incorporated in diets at 8%, on day-old broiler chicks’ performance. In one as the other experimentation, feed intake and daily weight gain were affected by the incorporation of jatropha kernel meal. It was the same for the total mortality rates recorded despite the absence of visible signs of toxicity. These experimentations confirmed other experimentations have shown that the de-oiling of jatropha kernel meal followed by heat treatment, even if it caused a significant reduction of anti-nutritional compounds, did not remove all the toxic factors that may even interfere with feed intake and weight gain of animals. These observations were not confirmed in the fourth part, which studied the effects of jatropha kernel meal obtained by chemical de-oiling, subject to heat treatment then biological treatment with Aspergillus niger and incorporated in diets at 8%, on day-old broiler chicks performance. Indeed, the feed intake, the weight gain as well as the viability of animals were not affected by the incorporation of jatropha. These successive studies were among the first which interested the same animal species at different levels of development based on a product whose nutritional quality is proven, but has toxic and anti-nutritional factors could not be completely eliminated despite different treatments applied. The application of heat treatment may have helped to reduce some anti-nutritional compounds (curcin and trypsin inhibitor) but without improve feed intake and weight gain. Considering the reaction of animals subjected to diet, biological and heat treatments may have reduced the toxicity of jatropha kernel meal, which has afected the feed intake of animals and thus the weight gain. This study showed that, despite its nutritional level, J. curcas kernel meal presented limitations in its use as a raw material that can integrate a ration for broilers in Senegal but hopes remain with biological treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailWho Cares for Those Who Cared? An Intersectional Ethnography of Global Social Protection Arrangements
Vivas Romero, Maria ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

How and through which repertoires of practices do migrant domestic workers access global social protection? And how do their gender, race, class, and generational positioning along with their ... [more ▼]

How and through which repertoires of practices do migrant domestic workers access global social protection? And how do their gender, race, class, and generational positioning along with their transnational family relations affect this access? This dissertation deals with these questions and focuses on the case of Peruvian and Colombian Migrant Domestic Workers in the city of Brussels. Such migrants share a paradoxical positioning as they contribute productively and reproductively to the development of their receiving and sending societies but experience a lack of formal and informal social protection on both sides. This analysis first maps through a multi-sited ethnography the repertoire of practices they use to strategize their access to Social Protection in the areas of: 1- old-age and survivors benefits, 2- incapacity, 3- health & family, 4- active labor market programs, 5- unemployment, 6-housing, and education, 7- community and family support. Secondly, it theorizes these practices as Global Social Protection Arrangements that are simultaneously made out of transnational interpersonal relationships and formal support systems. Thirdly, building from the work of Anthias (2016) a Translocations lens is used to analyze how these actor’s gender, race, class, religious and generational positioning within the global reproduction of labor as well as within their transnational family networks simultaneously affect the functionality of such arrangements. Concluding, it’s argued that more privileged migrant domestic workers will use arrangements composed mostly of formal resources, while less privileged ones will see formal avenues less open to them and therefore have to rely on an informal arrangement. Far, from the rights based normative approach to social protection, this thesis provides a glance at how transnational access to social protection is strategize across borders. Furthermore, it’s relevant in a context of increasing human mobility where inequalities in access to social protection emerge as a public transnational social question (Faist, 2016) that is suitable both for academics and policy makers. [less ▲]

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See detailAbundance determination in massive stars: challenges for mixing processes
Cazorla, Constantin ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Massive stars, the most luminous stars, are the true “cosmic engines” of our Universe. They eject large quantity of material throughout their life, which strongly influences their evolutionary path as ... [more ▼]

Massive stars, the most luminous stars, are the true “cosmic engines” of our Universe. They eject large quantity of material throughout their life, which strongly influences their evolutionary path as well as their environment. An important feature of massive stars is their high rotational velocities that are either acquired at birth or due to the influence of a companion. Rotation is believed to transport nitrogen-rich and carbon/oxygen-poor material generated in the stellar core through the CNO cycle, to the surface. A way to test the e ciency of rotational mixing is to study the chemical composition at the surface of stars, in particular the fastest rotators. The incentive for this study was the discovery, in the context of the VLT- FLAMES Survey of Massive Stars, of fast rotators exhibiting an unenriched nitrogen composition at their surface, contrary to predictions from single-star evolutionary models including rotation. However, their multiplicity may a ect this conclusion, since both rotation and abundances can change as a result of binary interactions. In this work, we combined, for the first time, a detailed surface abundance analysis with a radial-velocity study to quantify the importance of binary e ects. This work was conducted for a sample of 40 bright, OB fast rotators in our Galaxy. Statistical tests and period-search techniques revealed that ≥ 40% of our targets whose multiplicity status can be probed, are binary or binary candidates. We derived the projected rotational velocity of our targets and model atmosphere codes were then used to derive stellar parameters and surface abundances of all sample stars. This abundance study revealed a correlation between the helium and nitrogen abundances of our targets, which is predicted by the rotational mixing theory. Finally, we compared our results to predictions of single-star evolutionary models. We found that 10 – 20% of our 40 targets exhibit no enhancement of the [N/O] abundance ratio, in line with results of the VLT-FLAMES Survey of Massive Stars. The properties of only half of our sample are explained by such models, and surprisingly we also uncovered a quite common large abundance of helium at the surface of our targets. Modifying the di usion coe cient in single-star models and models of non-rotating mergers did not reproduce simultaneously both the observed helium abundances and the [N/O] abundance ratios. Binary models considering a mass-transfer episode can, however, reproduce the [N/O] values of the majority of our targets and even the helium abundances of some of the most helium-enriched targets, but they cannot explain stars displaying little helium enrichment but high [N/O] values. In conclusion, we found that not every feature of massive stars can be explained by models, suggesting that they lack a physical ingredient and thus require further improvements. The second part of this thesis aimed at improving our knowledge of the X-ray emission of early B-type stars. We studied 11 such stars at high resolution thanks to two X-ray facilities, XMM-Newton and Chandra, doubling the number of B-stars analysed at high resolution. In many aspects, our study confirmed previous ones: early B-stars display rather narrow and unshifted lines arising from a warm (of typically 0.2 – 0.6 keV) plasma located at a few stellar radii over the stellar surface. We also found that abundances derived in the X-ray domain are in fair agreement with photospheric ones derived in the optical domain. Furthermore, most early B-stars are moderately bright X-ray emitters – though we also unexpectedly found that this X-ray emission varies, on short and/or long timescales, for half of our sample. A few stars display peculiar features: the presence of a very hot (1.6 – 4.4 keV) component and strong variations. These features suggest that the recorded X-ray emission may not be entirely linked to the B-stars, but could be contaminated by emission from a companion or an interaction with it. Indeed, in one case, HD 79351, a flare was detected, of a luminosity compatible with those from PMS stars, and which could be associated to its companion. Finally, the data used also led to the discovery of the second case of X-ray pulsations associated to beta Cephei activity. [less ▲]

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See detailHollow Nanoparticles for Low Cost, High Activity and Durability for the Oxygen Reduction Reaction for Fuel Cell Applications
Asset, Tristan ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This Ph.D. thesis investigates the mechanisms driving the formation, the enhanced activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the durability of porous hollow PtM/C nanoparticles (NPs) for proton ... [more ▼]

This Ph.D. thesis investigates the mechanisms driving the formation, the enhanced activity for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the durability of porous hollow PtM/C nanoparticles (NPs) for proton ex-change membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) applications. The formation and growth of the NPs, synthesized by a ‘one-pot’ process, were discussed in the light of microscopic, operando X-ray and electron-based tech-niques, unveiling the different intermediate steps of the synthesis. The synthe-sis process was extended to different non-noble metals (M = Ni, Co, Cu, Zn and Fe) and to different carbon supports. The enhanced activity for the ORR resulted from (i) the contraction of the lattice pa-rameter by the non-noble metal (the final NPs contains ca. 15 – 20 at. % of M), (ii) the open porosity and (iii) the density of structural defects at the surface of the NPs, which was semi-quantitativey estimated by COads stripping measurements and Rietveld analysis of wide-angle X-ray scattering patterns. The non-noble metal was found to be annealed (dissolved) faster than the structural defects during the accelerated stress tests. [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental study of methods to increase the shielded volume in passive superconducting magnetic screens
Wera, Laurent ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis is dedicated to the experimental study of methods to increase the shielded volume in passive magnetic shields made of high temperature superconductors (HTS). Two main approaches are ... [more ▼]

This thesis is dedicated to the experimental study of methods to increase the shielded volume in passive magnetic shields made of high temperature superconductors (HTS). Two main approaches are investigated. The first approach is to study how the size of the shield can be increased. The second is to study how the shielded volume can be extended in a shield of given size. In the first approach, we study how large-scale or scalable magnetic shields could be obtained. Scalability means the possibility of building magnetic shields of various dimensions by keeping the same fabrication technique. First, we study in detail the shielding properties and the behaviour of shields made as an assembly of superconducting coated conductor loops, obtained from second generation superconducting YBa2Cu3O7 coated conductor tapes that are commercially available. We show that such shields are an excellent alternative to bulk magnetic shields for shielding large volumes and fields of the order of 50 mT at 77 K. Different dimensions can be easily obtained by adapting the number and the length of the coated conductor tapes. This technique is shown to be very promising for building easily large size magnetic shields. However, unlike bulk magnetic shields, the shielding efficiency decreases rapidly when the applied field is no longer parallel to the main axis of the shield. The results in these configurations are analyzed to investigate the role played by the peculiar eye-shape cross-section of the shield on the various shielding current loops. We show that in the transverse field configuration, the structure can be used to locally modify the direction of the applied field. Finally, we take advantage of the scalability of such shields to build and study a triaxial structure that is able to attenuate a magnetic field of arbitrary orientation. Next we study the superconducting properties and the shielding efficiency of YBa2Cu3O7 superconducting tubes made by two distinct fabrication techniques allowing large-scale or scalable magnetic shields to be obtained. The first technique is the electrophoretic deposition (EPD) which consists in the deposition of a superconducting thick-film (about 100 μm thick) on a metallic substrate. Compared to previous studies, our results show an improvement of the shielding properties and open encouraging prospects for a future development of magnetic shields made by EPD. For the second technique, the shield is obtained by the pulsed-laser deposition (PLD) of a superconducting thin layer (about 1 μm thick) on a textured metallic substrate. In the case where a continuous layer (i.e. joint-free) has been deposited successfully, we show that the persistent current flowing in the superconducting layer has a critical current density close to that of the commercial YBa2Cu3O7 coated conductor tapes, and point out the similarities with the coated conductor structures studied previously. We also consider a similar material containing joints and compare their impact on the magnetic shielding in various configurations (DC/AC, axial/transverse). The results highlight the profound impact of nΩ level joint resistances on the superconducting shielding. For the second approach used in this thesis, we study how to increase the shielded volume in HTS bulk magnetic shields of given dimensions. In the case of non-textured polycrystalline superconductors (Bi2Sr2Ca2Cu3O10 commercial tubes), we analyse the improvements resulting from closing one or both ends of a tube by a cap made of the same material. In this configuration the joint between the cap and the tube is non-superconducting. Numerical simulations are used to see how the volume can be further increased by increasing the thickness of the cap or increasing its critical current density. Then, we study the shielding efficiency of a melt-textured bulk YBa2Cu3O7 superconducting tube closed at one extremity with a cap in which the joint between the cap and the tube is superconducting. Our results show that such a tube can shield axial fields in excess of 1 tesla at 20 K and is therefore useful for shielding small volumes against high magnetic fields. The beneficial effect of a cap is also studied in the transverse field configuration. We show experimentally and with help of numerical simulations that, in this case, the superconducting character of the joint between the tube and the cap is mandatory. In addition to the increase of the shielded volume, this thesis also addresses another problem relevant to future shielding applications. We investigate experimentally the effect of a magnetic field trapped initially in a bulk HTS hollow cylinder on its shielding performances. In the studied configurations, the initial applied field and the field to be shielded are mutually orthogonal. Remarkably the shielding properties are not affected provided the flux lines have not reached the inner hollow part of the cylinder. A trapped field inside the shield, however, is found to affect the threshold induction significantly. We then study how to efficiently demagnetize the superconducting tube without heating it above its critical temperature. By applying a single demagnetization cycle of adequate amplitude, we show that the initial shielding properties can be recovered. [less ▲]

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See detailContraintes et stratégies d’amélioration de la filière maïs au Rwanda
Musabanganji, Edouard ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

For more than a decade, Rwanda has adopted a series of policies and strategies aimed at economic development and the improvement of the living conditions of its predominantly agricultural population. In ... [more ▼]

For more than a decade, Rwanda has adopted a series of policies and strategies aimed at economic development and the improvement of the living conditions of its predominantly agricultural population. In agriculture, implementation of these strategies and related programs has been accompanied by a series of advances in the adoption of farming technologies and increasing agricultural production. However, the country's economy is still characterized by subsistence agriculture, and for the maize sector in particular, the country is continuously depending on imports to meet domestic demand, and maize processing plants always operate below their productive capacity. This research aims to examine the level of competitiveness of this sector in the current production and marketing conditions in order to identify existing constraints and formulate the strategies that can improve the level of economic performance of maize production and maize marketing system. The data used to study the economic performance of maize production come from close monitoring of maize production activities on a sample of 50 producers from five maize producers’ cooperatives selected in the districts of Huye, Rusizi, Gasabo, Burera and Bugesera during two growing seasons. They were supplemented by direct observation, interviews with targeted resource persons, and focus group discussions. The analysis was done using group analysis and appropriate statistical methods. The study of the maize marketing system used the 'Structure-Conduct-Performance' model with data collected from a sample of 150 producers and 17 assemblers selected in the districts of Burera, Bugesera and Huye, and 15 transporters, 5 wholesalers and 15 retailers selected at the national market of Kigali. The results revealed that for many producers, the yield is very low compared to theoretical expected yields, production costs are higher and exceed sales prices, gross margin and family labor income are negative, and the gross added value created by maize producers is not high even though it is positive. The analysis showed that the increase in the selling price positively influences the gross margin, added value and family labor income, and that the rational use of improved seeds, chemical fertilizers and soil conditioners improves the yield. This clearly shows that improving the selling price and rational use of inputs can significantly contribute to making maize production a more profitable and income-generating activity. The study also identified challenges that hamper the production process. These include non-availability of, and low access to inputs, inadequate technical support, limited financial resources and low access to formal agricultural credit, high marshlands rental fee, method of fixing the maize floor price and lack of mechanisms ensuring its use by potential buyers, the lack of storage infrastructure, and the unsustainability of inputs subsidies granted by the government. At the marketing level, the results revealed that several actors are involved in the marketing of maize. The study also revealed that maize imported from Uganda is sold on domestic market at lower prices than locally produced maize, which attests the increase in the cost of maize production in Rwanda compared to Uganda and the low level of competitiveness of the local maize compared to Ugandan maize. The improved status of feeder roads and the high level of access to price information by actors were highlighted among the technological innovations that helped improve the marketing system of foodstuffs in general and maize in particular, which was also evidenced by the level of integration observed between districts maize markets and the national market of Kigali. However, the lack of enough capital and low access to formal credit were noted as major constraints by most of the chain actors. In the light of all these results, it is clear that the production and marketing of maize are not done in good conditions at all levels. This in turn undermines the sector's ability to respond adequately to domestic demand, generate income for actors and integrate itself into both domestic and regional markets. Therefore, strategies aiming at scaling-up the maize production and marketing, and improving working conditions of the sector operators were recommended. These strategies include the implementation of actions to improve access to finance by farmers and other actors; making inputs avail and accessible; reorganizing the marketing system especially in terms of fixing and using the floor price; making available storage facilities where necessary; improving the monitoring, training and sensitization of maize producers on farming techniques and the use of improved technologies; and harmonizing the marshland rental fee at national level. [less ▲]

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See detailDéfinition d’un outil d’aide à la décision spatiotemporel structurant et articulant les potentialités de développement agricole : cas du Niger
Andres, Ludovic ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The concern about food insecurity in rural populations needs to be rethought and adapted to the overall living conditions of households by shifting to a concentrated spatial scale and a long-term analysis ... [more ▼]

The concern about food insecurity in rural populations needs to be rethought and adapted to the overall living conditions of households by shifting to a concentrated spatial scale and a long-term analysis. This change will allow identifying territories on a finer scale than the national level in order to allocate development objectives and to link them to areas with high development potential. The finer level of analysis will also allow regrouping the actions carried out on a smaller scale in order to structure all the activities carried out on the targeted area and population. The general comment that the development and emergency aid has been focused in circumscribed areas and that the level of analysis is based on two scales, one "macro" (national, regional, departmental) and the other "micro" (village, community, household, individual and community) reinforces the need to create an intermediate level of analysis. The latter will serve to improve the structure other actions carried out at different levels and the articulation of the activities to be carried out and the targeted population. From a state of the art analysis of subject such as development, targeting, territory, food security, resilience, etc; different finding have led to the definition of a major question and an objective which form the core structure of the present dissertation. The research question is defined as "how to structure the targeting and identification of areas with high potential to articulate all the emergency and development actions carried out on several scales of analysis?”. At the end of these observations, the objective of this research is "the establishment of a tool to support spatial and temporal decision making in structuring the emergency and development actions and targeting of populations subjected to food insecurity ". Three considerations emerge from this objective and research question: spatiotemporal analysis and targeting, development potentials, rural production systems. The various productions are also studied over a long series in order to consider the yield variations over time. Finally, these two analyzes, spatial (systems) and temporal (yields) are crossed in order to demonstrate the contribution of this decision-supporting tool in the articulation and structuring of the other two levels of targeting populations to food insecurity. The decision-supporting tool has been tested on the case study of the Nigerian population. The main outcomes are: the characterization of the opportunities and constraints of the Nigerian rural production systems; the identification of the products to be developed by production system; the identification of the most promising pathways by means of the distribution of the yields by systems. Finally, an essential point must be made about the increase of conservation methods and transformations for increasing the added value obtained by Nigerian households. At the end of this dissertation, the tool demonstrated its importance in structuring and articulating the targeting of food insecurity in the field of emergency aid and development: The territorial zones in the production systems identify the problems to which one or several solutions must be found. Production systems allow a concentration of actions according to the definition of the general and specific objectives of the agricultural development assistance programs. Potential outputs to be developed in production systems allow diversification of agriculture and structuring of development from a national point of view. The actions defined by the Technical and Financial Partners at the level of a village, a community and / or a commune can be more easily integrated into this scale of analysis and can be structured later in national development policies Agricultural policy. The increase in productivity in Niger depends on the development of products within the most favorable zones and not on the whole territory. However, this tool is complementary to the other targeting tools already in place. It should also be complemented by the same type of analysis at the level of West Africa and an analysis of the flows and prices condition to favor the flow of production. [less ▲]

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See detailLipin-1 regulates cancer cell phenotype and is a potential target to amplify the effect of metabolic inhibitors
Brohée, Laura ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

An increased lipogenesis was reported in various cancers and its inhibition represses proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells while barely affecting most normal cells. The family of lipins ... [more ▼]

An increased lipogenesis was reported in various cancers and its inhibition represses proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells while barely affecting most normal cells. The family of lipins encompasses three members: lipin-1, -2 and -3. All exhibit dual functions as enzymes, catalyzing the de-phosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, and as co-transcriptional regulators. Thus, they are able to regulate lipid homeostasis at several nodal points. However, no studies addressed the involvement of these proteins in cancer progression neither in vitro nor in vivo. During this PhD work, we first investigated the importance of lipin-1 on prostate cancer cell phenotype. We showed that lipin-1 expression is increased in various cancer cell types both in vitro and in vivo in human prostate tumor samples. The specific inhibition of lipin-1 in prostate and breast cancer cells demonstrated its critical importance for cell proliferation and migration through deregulation of several intracellular signaling pathways. This study demonstrated for the first time that the targeting of lipin-1 is a potential new anti-cancer strategy that could be used alone or in combination with drugs like rapamycin. During the course of these investigations, we also observed a compensatory regulation between lipin-1 and lipin-2 preventing the complete inhibition of lipins enzymatic activity when using a siRNA approach. Therefore, we focused our interest on inhibiting all lipins through treatment with a pharmacological inhibitor, propranolol. This drug also induced a blockade of the late phases of autophagy, likely because the inhibition of all lipins decreases diacylglycerol synthesis, which is required for the maturation of autolysosomes. Autophagy is a pro-survival mechanism induced by several stresses or by anticancer agents. In the case of the glycolysis inhibitor 2DG, the induction of autophagy limits its anticancer effects in monotherapy. In the light of their individual specific effects on cancer cells, we hypothesized that the combination of propranolol and 2DG might exert a more than additive toxic effect on cancer cells. In this second study, we report that combined treatment is effective on preventing prostate cancer cell proliferation, inducing cell apoptosis, altering the function of several organelles as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus in vitro but also in suppressing tumor growth in vivo. Altogether, our data suggest that lipins are key players involved in cancer progression. Targeting lipins, alone or in combination with other treatments, could open new avenues in anticancer therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailPhenotyping hygienic behavior and studying diversity in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.): methodological issues and solutions
Leclercq, Gil ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are a crucial resource for world agriculture. The global stock of honey bees has increased over the last five decades. In contrast, honey bees have been declining in several ... [more ▼]

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are a crucial resource for world agriculture. The global stock of honey bees has increased over the last five decades. In contrast, honey bees have been declining in several regions, especially in the northern hemisphere. Among the factors responsible for these regional declines, the parasitic mite Varroa destructor plays a central role and is considered as one of the main threats for apiculture. A sustainable solution to the problems caused by V. destructor is to breed Varroa-resistant honey bees. In this context, in Belgium, a research project was developed with the aim of studying the diversity of honey bees in Wallonia, and selecting, within this “local” diversity, Varroa-resistant honey bees. This project required methods to accurately phenotype Varroa-resistance traits, and methods to study the diversity of honey bee populations. In this thesis, we decided to work on these methods, which are a prerequisite for such research project. Two independent objectives were developed: (1) solving the controversy and methodological issues regarding the quantification of hygienic behavior in honey bee colonies, and (2) designing a new method to study the diversity of honey bee admixed populations covering a large-scale area, using pool-based sequencing data. The hygienic behavior of worker bees contributes to the social immunity of honey bee colonies. The manifestation of this behavior consists in detecting and removing unhealthy or dead brood. In this thesis, we reviewed the drawbacks, the benefits, and the methods to test for hygienic behavior, in honey bee colonies. We concluded that, while hygienic behavior was efficient against some brood diseases, it was difficult to draw any definitive conclusion on the efficiency of this behavior against V. destructor. Hygienic behavior likely contributes to Varroa-resistance, but the controversy is fueled by the use of inappropriate bioassays to quantify the hygienic removal of Varroa-infested brood. In our experiments, we showed that a commonly used bioassay, the freeze-killed brood removal bioassay, was unreliable to approximate the benefits arising from the hygienic removal of Varroa-infested brood. As an introduction to the second part of the thesis, we reviewed how human has contributed to reshape the diversity of honey bee populations worldwide, except in Africa. Human management was shown to increase the proportion of admixed populations, sometimes to the detriment of subspecies populations (such as in Belgium). Then, we presented a new approach to study the admixture of hybrid honey bee populations. It was based on a reduced representation of the genome (through genotyping-by-sequencing). In this approach, we enabled the use of pool-based sequencing data by simulating an individual genotype for each pool, sampled from a hybrid colony. Finally, some conclusions and discussion were brought on a few perspectives and research avenues about (1) the phenotyping of hygienic behavior towards Varroa-infested brood, and (2) the study of admixture in honey bee populations. [less ▲]

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See detailStochastic multiscale modeling of MEMS stiction failure
Hoang Truong, Vinh ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In the context of microelectromechanical systems, due to their reduced size, the surface phenomena, e.g. adhesion contact, play an important role in the reliability of the devices. Indeed, the adhesive ... [more ▼]

In the context of microelectromechanical systems, due to their reduced size, the surface phenomena, e.g. adhesion contact, play an important role in the reliability of the devices. Indeed, the adhesive forces, e.g. capillary and van der Waal forces, can lead to the stiction failure for which the two contacting surfaces can accidentally be stuck together permanently. This is a common failure of MEMS. Because of the comparability between the roughness of the contacting surfaces and the ranges of adhesive stress, the interaction area can be much smaller than the apparent one. Since the contact zone is reduced and becomes comparable with the characteristic length scale of the surface roughness, the behaviors of micro structures subjected to adhesion suffer from a scatter, i.e. while some devices are unstuck, the others with an identical design are stuck. The objective of this work is to predict in a probabilistic way the adhesion behaviors of MEMS by accounting for the randomness of the contacting surfaces. The straightforward solution toward this end consists in constructing a numerical model, e.g. using finite element method, and in performing a Monte-Carlo simulation (MCS) directly on that model. Because the problem spans multiple scales, including the nanometers range of adhesive stress and the micrometers length scale of MEMS, that method demands a huge computational cost and becomes unpractical. In this work, a stochastic model-based multiscale method is developed to fulfill the predefined objective while remaining efficient in terms of computational cost. In this model, MCS is also per- formed, however, in a scale-by-scale way. With this method, the model is executed with acceptable computational cost. To verify the proposed model, a comparison in terms of the numerical predictions obtained from two approaches, direct MCS and stochastic model-based method, is performed. Furthermore, the model is applied to simulate the stiction tests reported in the literature, and also on the experimental surfaces fabri- cated by our partner at IMT-Bucharest lab 1 (without stiction test). By comparing the numerical predictions with the experimental results, the model is then validated. The model is used to broaden our knowledge in stiction phenomenon by considering the effects of the following aspects on the adhesion energies: the roughness of surfaces, the non-Gaussianity in the probability distribution of surface heights, and the humidity of the environment conditions. Furthermore, the comparison between different sources of uncertainty, e.g. due to the surfaces roughness and in the geometry dimensions of the devices, is performed. [less ▲]

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See detailEnvironmental sustainability of the Walloon cereal sector using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) fed with local data - Current situation and potential evolution scenarios
Van Stappen, Florence ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In a world facing a growing population and diminishing resources, agriculture has a major role to play in terms of sustainable provision of food and feed, job creation in rural areas, preservation of ... [more ▼]

In a world facing a growing population and diminishing resources, agriculture has a major role to play in terms of sustainable provision of food and feed, job creation in rural areas, preservation of natural resources and climate change mitigation. As a very intensive agricultural region, Wallonia (southern Belgium) dedicates more than half of its arable land to cereal crops. Thanks to a long history of research and development, rich soils and favorable climate conditions, yields of cereals such as wheat or barley cropped in Wallonia are amongst the highest in the world. As a major sector in the Walloon agricultural landscape, the cereal sector therefore calls for production and processing opportunities that meet the requirements for sustainable agriculture. In this context, the objectives of the present thesis were to evaluate the environmental sustainability of current and potential evolution scenarios for the Walloon cereal sector using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology fed with local data. On the basis of current uses of cereals grown in Wallonia, this research aimed first at describing various scenarios for the future of the Walloon cereal sector. Based on contrasting hypotheses, four scenarios for the uses of Walloon cereals by 2030 were defined with the support of stakeholders involved in all parts of the sector. Issues such as competition between food uses (both direct and indirect) and non-food uses or Walloon dependency on cereal imports were addressed in these scenarios, which illustrate contrasting future situations, from food self-sufficiency to drastic globalization, through the development of new outlets combining changes in crop-growing practices and consumption habits and new technologies. Using the widely used, yet continuously improved, methodology of LCA, the second part of this work evaluated the environmental impacts of cereal production in Wallonia. It identified the production steps with the greatest contribution to environmental impacts. The leading contributor was mineral fertilizer production, for which this work used up-to-date data from best available technologies and demonstrated the importance of using such recent data. The second greatest contributor to environmental impacts was emissions from mineral and organic fertilizer use on field, before and during plant growth until harvest. As well as being very important, these emissions are also extremely variable, depending on agricultural practices, soil and weather conditions, and thus particularly difficult to assess. This is particularly true of nitrogen- and carbon-related emissions, whose dynamics are very problematic to evaluate. This work demonstrated the limits of commonly used emission models, which use generic emission factors and therefore weaken LCA results. As a result, the use of more specific models, based on field trials and adapted to local conditions, was placed at the top of the list for future research in this area. From a methodological point of view, this part of the work also confirmed the influence of the functional unit used to express LCA results. It showed the strong link between yield and environmental impacts, and identified cereal crops demonstrating efficient input management, with lower impacts per kilogram of product, per hectare and per euro. Other methodological choices, such as the choice of allocation factor between grain and straw, also showed their relevance. In short, this part of the work demonstrated the pertinence of using local data to feed LCAs of agricultural productions and identified the most sensitive parameters to be adjusted in priority to achieve good quality LCAs. Thirdly, on the basis of an original methodology comparing equivalent balanced animal diets, a case study on cereal processing in a biogas plant assessed the consequences of diverting feedstock from the animal feed industry into the bioenergy sector. Despite the environmental benefits brought by fossil fuel displacement and digestate use as organic fertilizer, the replacement of raw materials previously used as animal feed induces additional impacts potentially more important than the benefits of this technology. The key message from this finding is that it is urgent to stop using potentially edible raw material for bioenergy production. The only countervailing consideration here is that current trends towards decreasing meat consumption would in the longer term make lands and raw material available for purposes other than animal feed. The strength of all the LCA results in this work was tested using a wide range of sensitivity and uncertainty analyses. These good practices, often neglected due to time constraints, proved to be essential to be able to draw robust conclusions. Through the application of LCA to the Walloon cereal sector, this work had some practical implications for enhancing the quality of LCAs of agricultural productions. It showed the sensitivity of the method to the use of local data and demonstrated the strengths and limitations of the method. It has produced specific LCA references for cereal production in Wallonia, which are useful for feeding environmental impact assessments of cereal-based products sourced with Walloon cereal crops. Further improvements could include the use of specific models to assess on-field emissions from fertilizer use and the consideration of additional impact indicators regarding soil organic stock changes, biodiversity impacts and water consumption. Additionally, assessing impacts at the rotation scale would reflect more accurately the way farmers optimize their crops and allow for the evaluation of more diverse cropping systems. [less ▲]

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See detailOf trees and men: new insights into man-environment relationships in the moist forests of central Africa during the late Holocene
Morin, Julie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In central Africa, vegetation history has been documented by paleoenvironmental studies (especially palynology), which mainly concerned the way climate has shaped the forest landscapes. Human impacts in ... [more ▼]

In central Africa, vegetation history has been documented by paleoenvironmental studies (especially palynology), which mainly concerned the way climate has shaped the forest landscapes. Human impacts in this region have hardly been studied so far, especially at local scale. The main objective of this PhD is to propose an approach based on archaeology and the use of charred botanical remains found in soils, either wood charcoal or seeds, in order to document the Holocene anthropogenic impacts on the forest structure and composition. When coupled with the diachronic analysis of human activities, these land-use biomarkers can allow a better understanding of the relationship between man and his environment in central Africa during this period. Thereby, the first part of this PhD introduces the conceptual framework and the materials and methods used during the research. Then, the second part constitutes the core of the work, and presents the chronology of human activities in the northern Congo Basin, the use of biomarkers to discrimate between these activities, either domestic or agricultural, and the effect of the recent anthropogenic activities in the dynamic of several light-demanding tree populations. Finally, the third part draws the main recommendations of the work, and formulates potential for additional research. [less ▲]

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See detailPush-Pull strategy to control aphids in Belgium and China
Xu, Qingxuan ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most cultivated crops in temperate climates. As its pests are mainly controlled with insecticides which are harmful to the environment and human health ... [more ▼]

Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the most cultivated crops in temperate climates. As its pests are mainly controlled with insecticides which are harmful to the environment and human health, alternative practices such as intercropping have been studied for their potential to promote biological control. Fifty original research papers were obtained from a systematic search of the peer-reviewed literature. Results from a vote-counting analysis indicated that, in the majority of studies, pest abundance was significantly reduced in intercropping systems compared with pure stands. However, the occurrence of their natural enemies as well as predation and parasitism rates were not significantly increased. Nevertheless, other practices could be combined with intercropping to favour natural enemies and enhance pest control. Dispersal of viruses is intimately tied to their vectors. Aphids are known to invest in costly antipredator behavior when perceiving cues of predators. Before presenting the results and the answers to the previous questions, a brief research was conducted in order to have an overview of the intercropping on the spread of aphids, to assess the potential impact of intercropping systems attracting natural enemies on the virus transmission. We studied aphid antipredator behavior in intercropping with wheat-broad bean (Vicia faba L.) as a model. The bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi Linnaeus, is an important vector of the barley yellow dwarf virus. The effects of two natural aphid enemies, adult and larvae of the seven-spot ladybeetle, Coccinella septempunctata Linneaus, on R. padi dispersion was studied under laboratory conditions. Results show that in receptor lines (other lines than the source one), two hours after the experiment started, aphids were more abundant in monoculture than intercropping in the presence of ladybeetle adults and larvae and after 24 hours, it was still the case in the presence of predatory larvae. These results might be explained by the non-host plant chemical cues and the physical barrier that was broad-bean plants confusing R. padi when searching for their host plants after being dropped from wheat by predators. After make sure that the intercropping can reduce the dispersal of aphids in the presence of predators, in fine potentially limiting virus dispersal, especially shortly after aphids colonize plants. Then we try to solve how to increase the number of natural enemies of intercropping in Belgium and China. Semiochemical substances have been tested to enhance biological control, with inconsistent results. Combining semiochemical and intercropping can be an interesting way to maximize pest control. In Belgium, a two-year setup involving wheat–pea strip intercropping combined with the release of E-β-farnesene (EBF) or methyl salicylate (MeSA) was tested as a push–pull strategy to simultaneously repell aphids and attract beneficials. Two types of slow-release formulation (i.e., oil and alginate beads) containing EBF or MeSA were deployed with intercropping. The abundance of aphids was significantly decreased, hoverfly larvae and mummified aphids increased on both pea plants and wheat tillers by the release of oil-formulated EBF and MeSA. The proportion parasitism of aphids-parasitism rate was also increased by treating both crops in both years. Releasing EBF through oil rather than alginate beads proved significantly better for attracting natural enemies and reducing aphids. Aphids were negatively correlated with the density of hoverflies (both adults and larvae) and numbers of mummies. We also tested the combining in China and the experiments were set-up: wheat-pea strip intercropping solely, intercropping combined with the release of EBF, and intercropping combined with the release of MeSA, each treatment repeated three times. The total number of aphids throughout the growing season was significantly decreased in treatments with releases of semiochemicals compared to intercropping solely. The effect was stronger with MeSA than with EBF on the control of R. padi, and hoverflies and lacewings were twice more numerous in MeSA. All the results showed that combining intercropping with the release of EBF or MeSA formulated in oil can significantly reduce aphid density and attract their natural enemies. Therefore, the combination of both strategies could help farmers reduce the use of insecticides Dispersal of viruses is intimately tied to their vectors. Aphids are known to invest in costly antipredator behavior when perceiving cues of predators. Before presenting the results and the answers to the previous questions, a brief research was conducted in order to have an overview of the intercropping on the spread of aphids, to assess the potential impact of intercropping systems attracting natural enemies on the virus transmission. We studied aphid antipredator behavior in intercropping with wheat-broad bean (Vicia faba L.) as a model. The bird cherry-oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi Linnaeus, is an important vector of the barley yellow dwarf virus. The effects of two natural aphid enemies, adult and larvae of the seven-spot ladybeetle, Coccinella septempunctata Linneaus, on R. padi dispersion was studied under laboratory conditions. Results show that the total number of aphids was higher in intercropping than monoculture in treatments without ladybeetles, while the contrary was observed in the presence of ladybeetle larvae. These results might be explained by the non-host plant chemical cues and the physical barrier that was broad-bean plants confusing R. padi when searching for their host plants after being dropped from wheat by predators (i.e. associational resistance). After make sure that the intercropping can reduce the dispersal of aphids in the presence of predators, in fine potentially limiting virus dispersal, especially shortly after aphids colonize plants. Next step will be to solve how to increase the number of natural enemies of intercropping in Belgium and China. Semiochemical substances have been tested to enhance biological control, with inconsistent results. Combining semiochemical and intercropping can be an interesting way to maximize pest control. In Belgium, a two-year setup involving wheat–pea strip intercropping combined with the release of E-β-farnesene (EBF) or methyl salicylate (MeSA) was tested as a push–pull strategy to simultaneously repell aphids and attract beneficials. Two types of slow-release formulation (i.e., oil and alginate beads) containing EBF or MeSA were deployed with intercropping. The abundance of aphids was significantly decreased, hoverfly larvae and mummified aphids increased on both pea plants and wheat tillers by the release of oil-formulated EBF and MeSA. The proportion parasitism of aphids-parasitism rate was also increased by treating both crops in both years. Releasing EBF through oil rather than alginate beads proved significantly better for attracting natural enemies and reducing aphids. Aphids were negatively correlated with the density of hoverflies (both adults and larvae) and numbers of mummies. We also tested the combining in China and the experiments were set-up: wheat-pea strip intercropping solely, intercropping combined with the release of EBF, and intercropping combined with the release of MeSA, each treatment repeated three times. The total number of aphids throughout the growing season was significantly decreased in treatments with releases of semiochemicals compared to intercropping solely. The effect was stronger with MeSA than with EBF on the control of R. padi, and hoverflies and lacewings were twice more numerous in MeSA. All these results showed that combining intercropping with the release of EBF or MeSA formulated in oil can significantly reduce aphid density and attract their natural enemies. Therefore, the combination of both strategies could help farmers reduce the use of insecticides. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of inversion techniques in Asteroseismology
Buldgen, Gaël ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailAdvanced data processing for high-contrast imaging - Pushing exoplanet direct detection limits with machine learning
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Since ancient times, mankind has wondered whether other solar systems exist around other stars somewhere in the Universe. It took many centuries to finally prove the existence of extra-solar planetary ... [more ▼]

Since ancient times, mankind has wondered whether other solar systems exist around other stars somewhere in the Universe. It took many centuries to finally prove the existence of extra-solar planetary systems. Nowadays, more than 3500 exoplanets have been discovered, mostly thanks to indirect detection methods. Indeed, the task of directly detecting exoplanets through high-contrast imaging (HCI) is a formidable challenge, and has only been enabled in the last decade thanks to advances in instrumentation and dedicated image processing algorithms. This last component of the exoplanet direct imaging pipeline is what ultimately pushes the detection limits and sensitivity of HCI instruments and survey campaigns. Unfortunately, the HCI community has been slow in adopting the latest developments in data management and machine learning for analyzing the increasing amount of available data. This dissertation is an attempt to fill in this very gap, and develops at the interface of computer science, machine learning, statistics, and astrophysics. This work contributes to the field of data processing for HCI in two main ways. On one hand, I have developed an open source \texttt{Python} library for taking HCI data from the raw state up to the characterization of companions. It implements state-of-the-art approaches and is positioning itself as one of the de facto software solutions for building HCI pipelines. I have also participated to the critical analysis of data from different first and second generation HCI instruments. On the other hand, I have approached the task of exoplanet detection in angular differential imaging sequences from a computer vision and machine learning perspective. This interdisciplinary work has led to novel algorithmic solutions, extending unsupervised learning techniques widely used in HCI and proposing advanced supervised learning approaches based on cutting-edge deep learning models. My novel algorithms have been presented using a robust performance assessment framework to produce large comparative performance studies. These studies show the improved sensitivity vs specificity trade-off of the proposed supervised detection approach. The proposed algorithms bring the possibility of re-processing existing HCI databases to maximize their scientific return and potentially improve the demographics of directly imaged exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailEconomic Development and Structural Change
Van Neuss, Leif ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This doctoral dissertation contributes to the understanding of structural change, often defined as the process of reallocation of economic activity and resources across the three broad sectors agriculture ... [more ▼]

This doctoral dissertation contributes to the understanding of structural change, often defined as the process of reallocation of economic activity and resources across the three broad sectors agriculture (primary sector), manufacturing (secondary sector) and services (tertiary sector). Increasingly connected to the study of modern growth, the analysis of structural change has known an important revival over recent decades, due in part to the economic concerns associated with the movement of deindustrialization that has particularly affected the world’s most economically successful countries since the last third of the 20th century. These concerns have indeed fed many discussions on the causes and consequences of structural change, as well as on the role of policy instruments in driving and accompanying the inter-sectoral reallocation of activity. The first part of the thesis gets particularly interested in the driving forces behind the process of structural change. It begins by placing structural change in a very long historical perspective, notably shedding light on the factors that contributed to the emergence of the Industrial Revolution, an event characterized by the acceleration of structural change and traditionally considered as a turning point in the history of mankind because it eventually brought about modernity. It then analyzes the main causes of structural change in market economies, putting a particular emphasis on two mechanisms of structural change that have been largely overlooked in the recent multi-sector growth literature: changes in input-output (sectoral) linkages and changes in comparative advantage via globalization and trade. With respect to trade, an empirical analysis reveals that global exchanges have the potential to influence significantly and substantially a country’s sectoral patterns of employment, and that the estimated contribution of trade, especially of trade with developing countries, to recent structural change (deindustrialization) in affluent countries may be revised upwards when resorting to better-suited indicators of trade in manufactures. The second part of this doctoral thesis deals more with the economic effects of structural change. In particular, it proposes a new shift-share method, which is an accounting method aimed at computing the impact of the economic structure - or structural change - on a territory’s economic performance. By way of illustration, it provides an application to manufacturing employment in the Belgian provinces between 1995 and 2007. [less ▲]

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See detailContributions to deep reinforcement learning and its applications in smartgrids
François-Lavet, Vincent ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Reinforcement learning and its extension with deep learning have led to a field of research called deep reinforcement learning. Applications of that research have recently shown the possibility to solve ... [more ▼]

Reinforcement learning and its extension with deep learning have led to a field of research called deep reinforcement learning. Applications of that research have recently shown the possibility to solve complex decision-making tasks that were previously believed extremely difficult for a computer. Yet, deep reinforcement learning requires caution and understanding of its inner mechanisms in order to be applied successfully in the different settings. As an introduction, we provide a general overview of the field of deep reinforcement learning. In the first part of this thesis, we provide an analysis of reinforcement learning in the particular setting of a limited amount of data and in the general context of partial observability. In this setting, we focus on the tradeoff between asymptotic bias (suboptimality with unlimited data) and overfitting (additional suboptimality due to limited data), and theoretically show that while potentially increasing the asymptotic bias, a smaller state representation decreases the risk of overfitting. An original theoretical contribution relies on expressing the quality of a state representation by bounding $L_1$ error terms of the associated belief states. We also discuss and empirically illustrate the role of other parameters to optimize the bias-overfitting tradeoff: the function approximator (in particular deep learning) and the discount factor. In addition, we investigate the specific case of the discount factor in the deep reinforcement learning setting case where additional data can be gathered through learning. In the second part of this thesis, we focus on a smartgrids application that falls in the context of a partially observable problem and where a limited amount of data is available (as studied in the first part of the thesis). We consider the case of microgrids featuring photovoltaic panels (PV) associated with both long-term (hydrogen) and short-term (batteries) storage devices. We propose a novel formalization of the problem of building and operating microgrids interacting with their surrounding environment. In the deterministic assumption, we show how to optimally operate and size microgrids using linear programming techniques. We then show how to use deep reinforcement learning to solve the operation of microgrids under uncertainty where, at every time-step, the uncertainty comes from the lack of knowledge about future electricity consumption and weather dependent PV production. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification et analyse fonctionnelle de nouveaux variants d’épissage du CD46 des bovidés, le (co)-récepteur du virus BVD/MD
Alzamel, Nidal ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The pestivirus bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is known to bind to the CD46 molecule, which subsequently promotes entry of the virus. Mapping of the BVD-virion-binding site has shown that two peptides ... [more ▼]

The pestivirus bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is known to bind to the CD46 molecule, which subsequently promotes entry of the virus. Mapping of the BVD-virion-binding site has shown that two peptides, 66EQIV69 and 82GQVLAL87, located on antiparallel beta sheets in the most distal complement control protein module (CCP1), provide the attachment platform. In the present study, we reveal new CD46-encoding transcripts that are predicted to encode CCP1-containing soluble forms. Further, we show that the serum of most adult cattle contains soluble CD46 (sCD46) and that a recombinant soluble isoform neutralizes BVDV infectivity in an in vitro assay. We have then established an ELISA for determination of plasma sCD46 in a large cohort of animals. Overall, serum sCD46 amounts to 8 ± 18 ng/mL (mean ± SD, n = 543), with a IC [95-105] ranging from 6,4 to 9,8 ng/mL and extreme values between 0 and 178 ng/mL. We found that sCD46 is not detectable in fetal and neonatal sera and that its plasma concentration increases progressively up to adulthood. We also detected high- and low-sCD46 performers and show that this phenotype does not depend of environment. As modern rearing techniques make it possible to disseminate genetically-determined phenotypes very quickly in a population, a large-scale study examining whether high-sCD46 animals provide epidemiological protection against BVDV infection and transmission should be undertaken [less ▲]

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See detailAdaptive capacity assessment of damselfishes (Pomacentridae)
Gajdzik, Laura ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Assessing the multiple facets of adaptive capacity is a core issue as it reflects species' ability to cope with variations in environmental conditions. Within the threatened coral reefs, the Pomacentridae ... [more ▼]

Assessing the multiple facets of adaptive capacity is a core issue as it reflects species' ability to cope with variations in environmental conditions. Within the threatened coral reefs, the Pomacentridae (damselfishes) represent a very suitable model to undertake such issue. Damselfishes are one of the most ecologically dominant reef fish families whose lineages repeatedly radiated across convergent trophic strategies. These strategies comprise (1) pelagic feeders (mainly picking zooplankton in the water column), (2) benthic feeders (essentially feeding on algae and vagile invertebrates on the benthos) and (3) an intermediate group (foraging in the entire bentho–pelagic compartment). To date, most studies compared the degree of vulnerability between specialists and generalists because the first ones are thought to have a higher risk of extinction. The tripartite trophic guild system in Pomacentridae provides the opportunity to step out of the binary "specialist–generalist" classification and to robustly grasp the adaptive capacity by focusing on fundamental units in assemblages. In the present thesis, I estimated the ecology of damselfishes by quantifying their eco–functional diversity (including trophic, habitat and behavioural diversity and also the ecosystem functions they performed) and by gauging their abiotic (i.e. species–environment relationship) and biotic (i.e species–species relationship) interactions. Ecological results revealed (a) the systematic presence of the three main trophic guilds in each assemblage, and (b) a consistent pattern of species eco–functional niches that are highly differentiated and evenly distributed in eco–functional spaces of similar size, but they provided (c) limited support for any degree of trophic plasticity (i.e. little evidence for any geographic variation in the diet of widespread species). The trophic guilds were also functionally dissimilar and displayed different levels of functional diversity. The intermediate group was the least functionally diverse guild with the lowest functional redundancy, while opposite findings were found for the pelagic–feeding guild. Then, I quantified the genetic diversity, which varied among trophic guilds and was associated with variation in their trophic ecology and habitat–behavioural traits (e.g. pelagic feeders have the lowest genetic and ecological diversity). Using a phylogenetic framework, I found that functional traits were evolutionarily labile and accumulated at a similar rate within the three trophic guilds. Transition rates among guilds were also biased, suggesting differences in the evolvability. The evaluation of all of these components indicated that some processes occurring at an "ecological" timescale and others at an "evolutionary" timescale had concordant effects (e.g. the coupling between levels of genetic and ecological diversity supported by the evolvability result for the intermediate group), although sometimes one type of process had more important effects (e.g. the principle of competitive exclusion probably shaped the high functional diversity of pelagic feeders). Overall, I demonstrated that the adaptive capacity of Pomacentridae is bounded and that trophic guilds are not equal in the face of environmental changes. The case of pelagic feeders illustrates a scenario wherein evolution and the right environmental conditions led to the success of a given group, but their persistence may be jeopardized by a low genetic diversity. The two other guilds possess more intrinsic assets (e.g. less restricted habitat and dietary requirements) to adapt. Given the uncertainty regarding the pace at which evolutionary processes will occur and the potential imperilment of evolvability to act as a source of future diversity, the ability to diversify along many niche axes associated with broad intrinsic characteristics (i.e. higher genetic diversity) may help organisms to sustain themselves in a long–term perspective and to maintain more ecosystem functions. [less ▲]

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See detailMagneto-optical investigation of superconducting hybrid structures
Brisbois, Jérémy ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailThe Cyanobacterial Biota of Polar Regions: a Molecular Approach
Stelmach Pessi, Igor ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Cyanobacteria are major components of Polar ecosystems. They comprise a considerable amount of the total biomass, are the main primary producers, and play important roles in the initial development of ... [more ▼]

Cyanobacteria are major components of Polar ecosystems. They comprise a considerable amount of the total biomass, are the main primary producers, and play important roles in the initial development of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Although the cyanobacterial diversity in the Polar Regions has been well studied, research has been mostly limited to traditional methods such as microscopy, culturing, and Sanger-based molecular ecology approaches. High-troughput sequencing (HTS) has revolutionized our knowledge of microbial diversity and distribution, but a thorough investigation of polar cyanobacterial communities using HTS has not yet been performed. As a result, knowledge of the distributional patterns of polar cyanobacterial communities and the mechanisms underlying their structure is fragmentary. In this thesis, we applied the HTS approach to investigate the diversity and distributional patterns of cyanobacteria in a range of polar habitats. The main goals were: 1. To evaluate the use of HTS as a tool for assessing the cyanobacterial diversity in polar environments, including an assessment of different bioinformatics pipelines and the improvement represented by HTS in comparison to traditional methods; 2. To assess the spatial patterns of cyanobacterial communities across polar environments and the environmental factors shaping cyanobacterial community composition; 3. Tho study the successional dynamics of cyanobacterial communities following the colonization of recently deglaciated habitats. Due to its higher analytical depth, HTS was proven a valuable tool for the study of the cyanobacterial biota of Polar Regions. Nevertheless, the analysis of artificial communities highlighted the importance of strict bioinformatics control of HTS reads, as PCR and sequencing errors might bias the observed structure of the communities. Given the strict bioinformatics workflow applied, our results suggest a previously undetected polar cyanobacterial rare biosphere. On one side, the HTS approach revealed that microbial mat and biological soil crust (BSCs) across different Antarctic and Svalbard (High Arctic) regions are somewhat homogeneous, being dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria from the orders Pseudanabaenales and Oscillatoriales. At the phylotype level (97.5% similarity threshold), on the other hand, cyanobacterial communities were highly variable along environmental gradients within and between habitats. A study of benthic mat communities in Antarctic lakes revealed cyanobacterial communities highly structured by lake conductivity, and comparable compositions in lakes from distant Antarctic regions. In a study of BSC communities in four nunataks and mountain ridges in the Sør Rondane Mountains (Dronning Maud Land), highly dissimilar communities were observed between locations. Finally, two studies of BSC communities in Petunia Bay (Svalbard) revealed a marked, linear cyanobacterial community turnover along gradients of soil development. Altogether, the results obtained in the present thesis show that HTS is a powerful yet underused tool for the study of cyanobacterial diversity, not only in Polar Regions, but also on a global scale. This can be attributed to the very high sequencing depth achieved by HTS, which provides more robust assessments of community turnover and with a stronger statistical support than Sanger- based molecular ecology approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailétude fonctionnelle des facteurs d’épissage SR (Ser/Arg-rich) au cours du développement embryonnaire de Danio rerio.
Joris, Marine ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Ser/Arg-rich (SR) proteins constitute a phylogenetically conserved family of RNA binding proteins characterized by one or two RNA-recognition motifs (RRMs) at the N-terminus and a C-terminal domain ... [more ▼]

Ser/Arg-rich (SR) proteins constitute a phylogenetically conserved family of RNA binding proteins characterized by one or two RNA-recognition motifs (RRMs) at the N-terminus and a C-terminal domain enriched in Ser/Arg dipeptides. They are important regulators of constitutive and alternative splicing. Moreover, SR proteins are involved in many other aspects of RNA metabolism, including transcription, non-sense mediated decay, mRNA export, translational control as well as maintenance of genome stability. While the roles of SR splicing factors have been widely studied at a molecular level, their functions during animal cell differentiation and development are still largely undetermined. In this study, we decided to take advantage of the vertebrate model organism Danio rerio (zebrafish) to investigate SR protein functions by using molecular and genetic approaches. Fifteen zebrafish SR genes were identified belonging to the three subfamilies of SR proteins [SRSF1 (1RRM and 1 pseudo-RRM), SRSF2 (1RRM) and SRSF7 (1RRM +1ZnK)] initially described in humans. The current PhD thesis aimed to study of four of them, Srsfs5a, Srsf9, Srsfs7 and Srsf2b. We first determined the expression pattern of all SR genes by in situ hybridization at 24, 48 and 72 hours post-fertilization. This analysis revealed an ubiquitous expression pattern for SR genes, however pointing a higher expression in the brain and in the eyes. We next performed “knock-down” experiments using morpholinos (MOs) microinjection to determine SR gene functions. One splicing MO, designed to target srsf5a (sMOsrsf5a) showed an interesting phenotype that coincides with the expression pattern of the gene in the eyes. As none of the four other MOs used to target srsf5a could confirm the phenotype, we generated stable knockout mutant lines using TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9. Interestingly, the corresponding homozygous mutants did not display any phenotypic traits. These inconsistencies were attributed to a possible genetic compensation mechanism in mutants, but also to an underestimated large number of inadvertent morpholino RNA targets. Indeed, we uncovered that only 11 consecutive bases complementary to the 25 MO bases are sufficient for binding and subsequent blocking of splice sites, suggesting that the sMOsrsf5a induced phenotype was not due to the inactivation of this unique, specific gene. In addition, we observed that sMOsrsf5a secondary targets can be slightly reduced by increasing embryos growth temperature after microinjection. Our study contributes to the debate concerning MO specificity, efficacy and the number of unknown targeted sequences.   [less ▲]

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See detailValence des verbes et interdépendances entre lexique et syntaxe en kirundi
Tuyubahe, Pascal ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Ce travail de recherche a pour objet de décrire des phénomènes lexicaux et syntaxiques du kirundi peu examinés précédemment. Il est subdivisé en deux principales parties : la première partie est consacrée ... [more ▼]

Ce travail de recherche a pour objet de décrire des phénomènes lexicaux et syntaxiques du kirundi peu examinés précédemment. Il est subdivisé en deux principales parties : la première partie est consacrée à l’élaboration d’un lexique valenciel des verbes avec un ou plusieurs compléments, en prenant comme points de départ la liste de lexèmes de de Samie (2008) ainsi que le dictionnaire rundi-français de Rodegem (1970). Il s’avère que beaucoup de verbes peuvent apparaître dans différents schémas de construction, ce qui implique plusieurs unités lexicales pour ces verbes dans le lexique valenciel. La deuxième partie, composée de sept chapitres, consiste en la recherche de généralisations pouvant être faites à partir de ce lexique ; ces généralisations reposant sur une large base empirique, elles sont assez fréquemment accompagnées d’exceptions. Le chapitre 1 concerne le comportement syntaxique des groupes nominaux et groupes prépositionnels dans la valence des verbes et leur caractérisation par des tests; il y est question des objets directs, des objets prépositionnels, des circonstants et des attributs. Un chapitre est consacré au passif impersonnel (chapitre 2) car cette construction fournit une justification purement empirique à la catégorie « objet prépositionnel » en kirundi, permettant de distinguer les objets prépositionnels (locatif ou non) des autres compléments (y compris les circonstants valenciels de lieu). Le chapitre 3 montre l’importance quantitative des objets directs par rapport aux autres objets du lexique valenciel des verbes en kirundi et montre comment cette importance est encore accrue par l’existence en kirundi d’objets directs non valenciels, en particulier les objets introduits par l’intermédiaire d’un suffixe verbal (suffixe applicatif -ir- ou suffixe causatif -i- ou -iish-) et les possesseurs inaliénables introduits sans intermédiaire. Après avoir fait une présentation générale des temps et aspects et de la concordance des temps en kirundi (chapitre 4), les chapitres 5, 6 et 7 montrent comment cela se manifeste dans les propositions subordonnées valencielles et les propositions avec auxiliaire, en distinguant celles qui ont un verbe conjugué et celles qui ont un infinitif. Les conclusions générales sont suivies des propositions prospectives permettant d’effectuer des recherches approfondies en vue de compléter le lexique valenciel, d’une part et, d’autre part, de déterminer les conditions d’emploi des suffixes causatifs -i- et -iish-. [less ▲]

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See detailFunctional diversity and mowing regime of flower strips as tools to support pollinators and to suppress weeds
Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Intensification of agriculture during past decades is one of the causes of biodiversity declines. Ecological intensification has been proposed as a more sustainable alternative of intensive agriculture ... [more ▼]

Intensification of agriculture during past decades is one of the causes of biodiversity declines. Ecological intensification has been proposed as a more sustainable alternative of intensive agriculture that should be able to fulfill worldwide demands of food, by optimizing ecosystem functions and services and reducing environmental impacts. One way to restore ecosystem functions and services in arable fields is creating flower strips in field margins. These flower strips enable wild plant communities to thrive and provide food and shelter to associated fauna. It is often suggested that increasing plant functional diversity could be a tool to optimize ecosystem functioning and ecosystem service delivery, and it could thus be a goal for the creation and management of flower strips. An example of ecosystem functioning studied in this manuscript, is the mutualistic interaction between plants and pollinators. To convince European farmers to implement flower strips, they are included in the subsidized Agri-Environment Schemes. However, there exists no clear appraisal of the pros and cons of flower strips for farmers. By systematically reviewing the literature for pros and cons, we found that most studies concerned agronomical and ecological processes related to flower strips, but few or no studies were dedicated to the social and economic aspects. Furthermore, pollination appears to be an important pro, and weed infestation a possible con, depending on flower strip creation and management. We focused on these two examples in the further study. We investigated (1) whether the increase of plant functional diversity can be used as tool to optimize flower strips for pollinators, (2) whether forb competition and adapting timing and frequency of mowing can be used as tools to limit weeds in flower strips, and (3) whether flower strips perform equally in supporting pollinators as the natural habitat for which they are thought to be a surrogate. To use functional diversity as a tool to optimize flower strips for pollinators, we first tested whether it is possible to create a flower strip with a desired functional diversity level. We sew experimental flower strips with increasing functional diversity, based on visual, morphological and phenological flower traits and surveyed the vegetation composition the first year after sowing. The sown gradient of functional diversity was present, but with lower absolute values due to unequal cover of sown species and due to the presence of spontaneous species. To test the effect on pollinator support, we monitored the plant-pollinator networks in the experimental strips during two years. In contrast to our expectations, pollinator species richness and evenness were not influenced by functional diversity, and increasing functional diversity even resulted in lower flower visitation rates. To investigate the effect of forb competition and timing and frequency of mowing on weed infestation, we created experimental flower strips either with grass and forb species in the seed mixture, either with only grass species. Three different mowing regimes were applied: summer mowing, autumn mowing and mowing both in summer and autumn. The cover of important weed, Cirsium arvense, was limited by adding forbs to the seed mixture and by mowing in summer or in summer and autumn. At last, by surveying plant-pollinator networks in perennial flower strips and natural hay meadows in the same landscape context, we observed that both the plant and the pollinator communities differed between the flower strips and the meadows. Perennial flower strips can thus be considered as a complementary habitat in the landscape and not a hay meadow surrogate. This study suggests that it is possible to manipulate the vegetation as well as infestation by certain weeds in flower strips by adapting the seed mixture and the mowing regime. However, to promote pollinators in flower strips, increasing plant functional diversity appears not to be the key, and the abundance of certain attractive plant species can be more important. Moreover our results suggest that pollinators perceived a lower redundancy of functional plant trait values when functional diversity was higher, as they had more separate feeding niches (less visited flower species in common). Our results also suggest that there could be a trade-off between the increase of functional trait diversity and the floral resource abundance per niche or functional trait combination. With the results of the tested flower strip creation and management methods and their effect on pollinator support and weed infestation, farmers and administrations can try to create and manage flower strips with the desired balance between pros and cons, and researchers can try to refine these methods and test the effects on other pros and cons. [less ▲]

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See detailL'abandon de sanctuaires et le transfert de cultes en Grèce antique
Palamidis, Alaya ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Dans la Grèce antique, les sanctuaires anciens comme les sanctuaires nouvellement fondés étaient censés continuer à être fréquentés indéfiniment. Cependant, ce n’était pas le cas de tous les lieux de ... [more ▼]

Dans la Grèce antique, les sanctuaires anciens comme les sanctuaires nouvellement fondés étaient censés continuer à être fréquentés indéfiniment. Cependant, ce n’était pas le cas de tous les lieux de culte: certains pouvaient être abandonnés, de même que les divinités qui y étaient honorées, tandis que d’autres divinités continuaient à être honorées à un emplacement différent. Ce travail vise en premier lieu à analyser les sources littéraires, épigraphiques et surtout archéologiques qui nous renseignent sur des tels abandons de sanctuaires et transferts de cultes. L’étude de deux types de déplacements de population, les synécismes et les métécismes, au cours desquels de tels abandons et transferts sont documentés, permet par la suite de réfléchir notamment aux raisons qui expliquent l’abandon de certains sanctuaires plutôt que d’autres. L’analyse des sources disponibles suggère que ni les abandons de sanctuaires, ni les transferts de culte n’étaient considérés comme la transgression d’une norme tacite ou orale et que ces phénomènes sont beaucoup plus courants que ce qui est généralement supposé. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalyse de l’effet de la température et du préférendum thermique sur les mécanismes du déterminisme sexuel et de la différenciation gonadique chez le poisson-chat Africain, Clarias gariepinus
Santi, Saïdou ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Les poissons constituent le groupe de vertébré le plus diversifié présentant des systèmes de déterminisme et de différenciation sexuels aussi divers que variés. Ces systèmes sont caractérisés par une ... [more ▼]

Les poissons constituent le groupe de vertébré le plus diversifié présentant des systèmes de déterminisme et de différenciation sexuels aussi divers que variés. Ces systèmes sont caractérisés par une grande labilité et sont influencés par des facteurs génétiques, physiologiques et environnementaux, ces derniers pouvant influencer à la fois, le déterminisme du sexe et la différenciation des gonades. Le poisson chat africain Clarias gariepinus, une espèce présentant un déterminisme sexuel à homogamétie femelle (XX/XY), n’a fait l’objet que de peu d’études sur le rôle des facteurs environnementaux sur la détermination et différenciation sexuelle. Nous avons choisi d’étudier le rôle de la température dans ces mécanismes par trois approches complémentaires. Une approche histologique nous a permis de mettre en évidence qu’une haute température (36°C) influence la différenciation gonadique très précocement, de 6 à 8 jours post-l’éclosion (jpe), en entrainant fréquemment une déviation significative du sexe-ratio vers les mâles. La précocité de la thermosensibilité, avant le premier signe de différenciation histologique des gonades, suggère que la haute température pourrait agir sur d’autres cibles que les gonades elles-mêmes, telles que les cellules germinales primordiales, ou le cerveau, pour induire une masculinisation de la progéniture. Nous avons de plus mis en évidence que la distribution du sexe-ratio dans les différentes populations était très variable, suggérant le rôle de déterminants génétiques mineurs dans le processus de déterminisme du sexe chez le poisson-chat africain. Globalement, nous ces résultats sont caractéristiques de la présence d’une inversion du sexe température-induite (TISR) ainsi que des traits d’un déterminisme génétique polyfactoriel du sexe chez le poisson-chat africain. Une approche physiologique et génétique nous a permis de mettre en évidence que globalement, la haute température n’influence ni les profils des concentrations des trois principaux stéroïdes sexuels (17β-œstradiol, 11-cétotestostérone et testostérone), ni les expressions des gènes cyp19a1b et dmrt1 généralement impliqués dans ces mécanismes. Toutefois, les progénitures très thermosensibles présentent des expressions plus faibles du gène cyp19a1b six jours après l’exposition à la haute température. De même, les plus fortes expressions du gène de dmrt1 ont été observées chez les individus contrôles. Ces résultats renforcent notre hypothèse de sexualisation précoce du cerveau dans le processus de masculinisation température-induite. Des études supplémentaires sur l’action de la haute température sur la prolifération de cellules germinales primordiales, ainsi que d’autres processus comme l’activité ou la méthylation des gènes de la différenciation sexuelle doivent être envisagées. Une approche comportementale nous a finalement permis de mettre en évidence que les juvéniles indifférenciés présentent un comportement migratoire vers les hautes températures lorsqu’ils sont placés dans un continuum thermique (28,0 – 32,0 – 36,0°C), associés à une masculinisation de 50,0 à 82,5%, soulevant la question suivante : le déplacement à hautes températures confère-t-il des avantages particuliers aux individus ou à la population en milieu naturel ? Cette thermosensibilité contribuerait à augmenter la proportion de femelles dans la population, lorsque les pseudomales (XX) vont se reproduire avec des femelles XX. L’augmentation de la capacité reproductive de la population, résultante, pourrait permettre un accroissement de l’effectifs des larves et juvéniles, pour rétablir l’équilibre du sexe-ratio lors du retour à des conditions environnementales normales. Globalement nous pouvons conclure que Clarias gariepinus présente un TISR avec une implication des déterminants génétiques mineurs dans la différenciation du sexe. La thermolabilité pourrait conférer un avantage adaptatif à l’espèce, mais l’adaptabilité d’un tel processus d’établissement du sexe reste une question très ouverte. [less ▲]

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See detailNonlinear analysis of compliant deployable structures: modelling, simulation and experimental validation
Dewalque, Florence ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Compliant mechanisms are flexible components which can store elastic energy when deformed and then passively release it to produce a motion. Their scope of applications encompasses various domains from ... [more ▼]

Compliant mechanisms are flexible components which can store elastic energy when deformed and then passively release it to produce a motion. Their scope of applications encompasses various domains from robotic orthoses to microscopes and grippers. In this work, the developments focus on compliant mechanisms called tape springs used in deployable space structures. Tape springs, due to their autonomous deployment capacity from a compact folded configuration, their high stiffness in the deployed equilibrium state and their simplicity of integration, represent efficient alternatives to common motorised hinges for space applications. Thus, they are currently used to deploy appendices on satellites such as solar panels or telescopes and are considered as valuable components in the design of future applications such as solar sails, deployable optics and inflatable structures. However, their structural behaviour is highly nonlinear and quite sensitive to the design parameters and to the various constraints encountered on Earth and in a space environment. The objective of this thesis is thus to develop validated high-fidelity dynamic models of tape springs which can be used to support the design process. The methodology involves the development of advanced finite element models and experimental tests based on an original set-up. First, a quasi-static model based on shell finite elements is established and used to investigate the nonlinear response of tape springs as well as the influence of various geometric parameters. This model is then exploited for the design of tape springs deploying a reflector based on an automatic optimisation procedure. The study is further extended to dynamic analyses, which are characterised by a self-locking of the tape springs in their final deployed configuration. In order to accurately capture these phenomena, the importance of a suitable representation of the physical structural dissipation in the model is demonstrated and, for metallic tape springs, a Kelvin-Voigt model is retained. An experimental set-up is then designed in order to validate the model and its capacity to represent the nonlinear phenomena inherent to tape springs which occur during quasi-static and dynamic tests. The experimental data are acquired by the means of an innovative 3D motion analysis system and a force plate. The reproducibility of the tests is assessed and a procedure, involving several elementary tests, is proposed to identify the parameters of the finite element model, in particular, the structural damping. In the end, a fair correlation between the experimental and numerical results is achieved. The proposed methodology, which relies on numerical and experimental methods, thus leads to a dynamic model of tape springs which can be used to predict their behaviour in various conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailMultifunctional Polyelectrolytes Bearing Pendant Catechol / Quinone for Energy and Environmental Applications
Patil, Nagaraj ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The discovery of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine (L-DOPA), a catechol-functionalized amino acid as major component in mussel adhesion proteins, has triggered enormous interest in mussel-mimetic adhesives ... [more ▼]

The discovery of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine (L-DOPA), a catechol-functionalized amino acid as major component in mussel adhesion proteins, has triggered enormous interest in mussel-mimetic adhesives. The design of innovative bioinspired polymers-containing catechols has rapidly gained widespread utility in the (bio)material field, ascribed to the versatility of the catechol chemistry that allows anchoring (bio)polymers, biomolecules, nanoparticles (metals and metal oxides) and other compounds onto almost any kind of surfaces without any pre-treatment. Amongst the various synthetic protocols to incorporate catechol functionalities into (bio)polymers, the radical polymerization of catechol-bearing vinyl monomers in their protected form has proven to be a versatile technique to impart intrinsic physico–chemical properties of the catechol pendants to polymers after appropriate deprotection. Importantly, the scope of applications of catechol-bearing polymers can potentially be drastically increased by developing controlled radical polymerization (CRP) techniques of their protected vinyl monomers. Indeed, these techniques will enable to precisely design the polymer with the appropriate structure, molar mass and functionality that fit at best the target application. When this thesis started in 2013, only very limited examples of functional catechol-bearing polymers prepared by CRP were reported. The aim of this PhD thesis was to develop well-defined innovative catechol-containing (co)polymers that find applications in energy storage and environmental fields by employing function-oriented macromolecular engineering approaches. In this work, numerous catechol-protected monomers have been prepared and their CRP investigated to afford well-defined (co)polymers with controlled and tunable molar masses, compositions, functionalities, and architectures (homopolymers, statistical and block copolymers). The potential of these innovative catechol-containing (co)polymers was then explored for applications in energy storage (as active-material in lithium-ion half-cells) and environment (as protein fouling/antifouling coatings). [less ▲]

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See detailSearch for the signatures of mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries
Raucq, Françoise ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Massive stars are known for their crucial role in our Universe, through their extreme stellar parameters, leading to a strong impact on their environment. However, there remain numbers of unanswered ... [more ▼]

Massive stars are known for their crucial role in our Universe, through their extreme stellar parameters, leading to a strong impact on their environment. However, there remain numbers of unanswered questions concerning the exact processes of their formation, their stability or the processes driving their strong stellar winds. In the context of this thesis work, we adress one of the most interesting of their peculiarities: their tendency to be part of binary of higher multiplicity systems. Whilst this multiplicity does help to solve some open issues by allowing us to study some of the fundamental properties of the stars, such as their minimum masses and radii as well as their stellar luminosities, it can also lead to interactions between the components of a system, which affect the subsequent evolution of the stars and give rise to additional open questions on the processes in place in such systems. Among the possible interactions taking place within close binary systems is the possibility of a transfer of mass and kinetic momentum through a Roche lobe overflow. This process has a huge impact on the subsequent evolution of both components and many aspects of this phenomenon are not well understood yet. The present work is devoted to the search for the signatures of such past mass-exchange episodes in a sample of four short-period massive multiple systems: HD 149404, LSS 3074, HD 17505 and HD 206267. We determined a new orbital solution for three of them. We then used phase-resolved spectroscopy to perform the spectral disentangling of the optical spectra of the components. The spectral disentangling is a mathematical tool which allows to separate the contributions of both components to the observed spectra of a system. We then analysed the reconstructed spectra with the CMFGEN atmosphere code to determine stellar parameters, such as the effective temperatures and surface gravities, and to constrain the surface chemical composition of each component. The first two parts of this dissertation are dedicated to the scientific background and the description of the numerical tools and methods used in this work. The third part presents our studies of the selected massive systems. We confirmed that the hypothesis of a past Roche lobe overflow episode is most plausible to explain the observed properties of the components of HD 149404. Photometric data permitted us to confirm that LSS 3074 is in an overcontact configuration, and a combined analysis with spectroscopy showed that the system has lost a significant fraction of its mass to its surroundings. We proposed several possible evolutionary pathways involving a Roche lobe overflow process to explain the current parameters of its components. We found no evidence of past mass-transfer episodes in the spectra of HD 17505 and showed that the current properties of its components can be explained by single star evolutionary models including rotational mixing. We found clues of binary interactions in the spectra of HD 206267, but suggested that the system did not experience a complete Roche lobe overflow episode at this stage of its evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailQuality evaluation of peach chips and anticancer activity of pectin extracted from chips dehydrated by explosion puffing drying
Lyu, Jian ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The objectives of this research are to discriminate the overall quality level of peach and nectarine chips prepared by explosion puffing drying (EPD), determine the changes of texture and water soluble ... [more ▼]

The objectives of this research are to discriminate the overall quality level of peach and nectarine chips prepared by explosion puffing drying (EPD), determine the changes of texture and water soluble pectin (WSP) during EPD processing and study the anticancer activity of WSP on malignant mesothelioma (MM). Principle component analysis (PCA), Analytic hierarchy process (AHP), K-mean cluster and Discriminant analysis (DA) are used to distinguish the overall quality level of peach and nectarine chips and get the characteristic evaluation indicators, which of them (e. g. rehydration ratio and expansion ratio) are corresponding to texture properties of dehydrated products. Additionally, biochemical changes of the cell wall (e. g. pectin) are also related to texture changes. The investigate on the changes of texture and WSP at different stages of EPD processing in which osmotic dehydration (OD) was used as the pretreatment, show that OD with the appropriated concentration can improve the texture quality of dried products. The drying processing causes the degradation and structure modification of WSP, which can induce apoptosis in MM cells. EPD technology can be carried out as a potential pathway on modification of pectin, which may contribute to the development of a potential therapy against MM. [less ▲]

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See detailRhétorique du détournement vidéoludique. Le cas de Pokémon
Barnabé, Fanny ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

La présente recherche se situe au croisement de plusieurs traditions disciplinaires – les sciences du jeu, les études littéraires, la rhétorique, les cultural studies – et de plusieurs objets – le jeu, le ... [more ▼]

La présente recherche se situe au croisement de plusieurs traditions disciplinaires – les sciences du jeu, les études littéraires, la rhétorique, les cultural studies – et de plusieurs objets – le jeu, le détournement, les fanfictions, machinimas, speedruns, let’s plays et mods. Sans prétendre opérer ici leur synthèse ou leur conciliation, nous tenterons de dégager, entre ces différents domaines, de nouvelles ouvertures : nous montrerons, en circulant parmi eux, qu’ils sont pris dans des tensions, des dynamiques, des questionnements similaires et, surtout, centraux pour la compréhension de la culture populaire contemporaine. Plusieurs objectifs nous animent : définir le détournement et, à travers lui, éclairer sous un autre jour le fonctionnement du jeu ; développer un métadiscours à même de soutenir l’analyse des œuvres produites par les joueurs ; enfin, par la même occasion, défendre l’intérêt d’étudier de près ces œuvres amateurs, trop souvent délaissées par la recherche au profit des pratiques, et qui sont pourtant des épicentres essentiels autour desquels se développent les cultures ludiques. La poursuite de ces objectifs, toutefois, ne va pas sans soulever des questions complexes, qui traversent toute la thèse : quels parallèles et quelle frontière établir entre le détournement et le jeu ? Comment une œuvre est-elle reconnue, étiquetée, classée comme un détournement ? Qu’est-ce au juste qu’une œuvre dans un domaine où l’intertextualité, la reprise, la réinterprétation sont des normes ? Avec quels outils décrire les formes du détournement, et qu’ont en commun les genres disparates regroupés sous cette dénomination ? Nous traiterons ces diverses interrogations en deux temps. La première partie de la thèse, qui comporte deux sous-sections, en constituera le socle théorique : un premier chapitre y aborde les relations intimes entre jeu et détournement, tout en resituant notre recherche dans les différents champs qu’elle fait se croiser ; le second chapitre s’attache à la constitution d’un cadre métadiscursif inspiré de la rhétorique, visant à définir ce que pourraient être des « figures » du détournement vidéoludique. La deuxième partie, plus analytique, servira d’application au cadre précédemment construit, en montrant son utilité sur des études d’œuvres concrètes. Celles-ci sont réparties en trois grandes catégories : les détournements par le play (let’s plays, speedruns, tool-assisted speedruns et machinimas), les détournements du game (fanfictions et mods) et les recontextualisations (« Twitch plays… »). Par ailleurs, en guise de fil conducteur, toutes ces œuvres – de formes et de genres variés – auront pour point commun essentiel d’être dérivées d’un même univers fictionnel : celui de la licence Pokémon. [less ▲]

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See detailLes pathologies intestinales chirurgicales chez le cheval: activation neutrophilique, pronostic et complications postopératoires
Salciccia, Alexandra ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Postoperative complications after colic surgery in horses remain of major concern as they are associated with non-negligible mortality rates. Many of these postoperative complications have an important ... [more ▼]

Postoperative complications after colic surgery in horses remain of major concern as they are associated with non-negligible mortality rates. Many of these postoperative complications have an important inflammatory component involving leukocytes, and particularly neutrophils, which represent the majority of granulocytes. Activated neutrophils produce reactive oxygen species and release inflammatory mediators and oxidative and proteolytic enzymes such as myeloperoxidase and elastase, which in turn will exacerbate pre-existing tissue lesions. This cascade of events will lead to the systemic inflammatory response syndrome. In an effort to improve the understanding of the systemic inflammatory reaction that follows colic surgery in horses, we described the time-trends of blood leukocytes and granulocytes counts and plasma myeloperoxidase and elastase concentrations during the perioperative period. Globally, survivor horses presented curves of blood leukocytes and granulocytes counts evolution lower and curve of evolution of plasma myeloperoxidase concentrations higher than those of non-survivor horses. These findings confirm the major influence of the inflammatory reaction on patient survival and allowed us to determine a prognostic value of blood leukocytes counts, a parameter easily available and routinely used in the aftercare of horses undergoing a colic surgery. We showed that in our population, non-survivor horses were more likely to have at least one blood leukocyte count inferior or equal to 3.9×10³/mm³ between 28 and 60 hours after surgery than survivor horses. Our following research, based on clinical studies, were directly or indirectly related to 2 common postoperative complications: incisional complications and ileus. In a study evaluating more than 600 exploratory laparotomies for colic, we showed that short laparotomy incisions, partially closed with interrupted vertical mattress sutures on the linea alba, and protected and supported by an abdominal bandage applied before the recovery from anaesthesia were associated with relatively low incisional complication and infection rates. These rates were respectively 9,52% and 5,31% after a single laparotomy and respectively 33,33% and 26,67% after repeat laparotomy. Bandage related complications occurred rarely. Risk factors of an incisional complication or infection in our population were prolonged anaesthesia duration, performing an enterotomy and postoperative intravenous lidocaine administration. The knowledge of these elements will certainly contribute to reduce the incidence of these complications in the future. Transabdominal ultrasonography of the small intestine is frequently used to diagnose and monitor a postoperative ileus. In order to improve the interpretation of ultrasonographic images after surgery, we determined the influence of general anaesthesia on these images. Using a protocol including horses anaesthetised for non-abdominal surgeries, we showed that although anaesthesia induces a physiologic ileus of short duration, expressed by a decreased of borborygmi without abdominal discomfort, its effects on the ultrasonographic images of the small intestine consisted mainly of a temporary increase (less than 12 hours) of the jejunal visualisation and diameter (with most of the observations remaining in the normal range) without thickening of the intestinal wall. Therefore the effects of general anaesthesia on ultrasonographic images of the small intestine can be distinguished from those of a pathological process. Our last study, including sound horses revealed that lidocaine, a molecule frequently used for treatment of postoperative ileus, may have a mild hypotensive effect on the arterial blood pressure and a mild prokinetic effect on the duodenum. Nevertheless, these results, original about the hypotensive effect, and controverted about the prokinetic effect, need to be confirmed in longer and larger studies. Our work has allowed us to bring some new elements leading to the improvement of our understanding of inflammatory processes related to the neutrophilic activation during the perioperative period of colic horses. Despite the improvement of methods of prevention, detection and treatment of postoperative complications, prognoses after this type of surgery still need to be enhanced. It seems that a huge work remains to be done to precisely determine the effects of various treatments, such as lidocaine. Numerous perspectives appear in the search of new molecules aiming to reduce the inflammatory reaction and to prevent or treat postoperative complications of horses undergoing colic surgery. [less ▲]

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See detailStatistical analysis of areal quantities in the brain through permutation tests
Winkler, Anderson ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In this thesis we demonstrate that direct measurement and comparison across subjects of the surface area of the cerebral cortex at a fine scale is possible using mass conservative interpolation methods ... [more ▼]

In this thesis we demonstrate that direct measurement and comparison across subjects of the surface area of the cerebral cortex at a fine scale is possible using mass conservative interpolation methods. We present a framework for analyses of the cortical surface area, as well as for any other measurement distributed across the cortex that is areal by nature, including cortical gray matter volume. The method consists of the construction of a mesh representation of the cortex, registration to a common coordinate system and, crucially, interpolation using a pycnophylactic method. Statistical analysis of surface area is done with power-transformed data to address lognormality, and inference is done with permutation methods, which can provide exact control of false positives, making only weak assumptions about the data. We further report on results on approximate permutation methods that are more flexible with respect to the experimental design and nuisance variables, conducting detailed simulations to identify the best method for settings that are typical for imaging scenarios. We present a generic framework for permutation inference for complex general linear models (GLMs) when the errors are exchangeable and/or have a symmetric distribution, and show that, even in the presence of nuisance effects, these permutation inferences are powerful. We also demonstrate how the inference on GLM parameters, originally intended for independent data, can be used in certain special but useful cases in which independence is violated. Finally, we show how permutation methods can be applied to combination analyses such as those that include multiple imaging modalities, multiple data acquisitions of the same modality, or simply multiple hypotheses on the same data. For this, we use synchronised permutations, allowing flexibility to integrate imaging data with different spatial resolutions, surface and/or volume-based representations of the brain, including non-imaging data. For the problem of joint inference, we propose a modification of the Non-Parametric Combination (NPC) methodology, such that instead of a two-phase algorithm and large data storage requirements, the inference can be performed in a single phase, with more reasonable computational demands. We also evaluate various combining methods and identify those that provide the best control over error rate and power across. We show that one of these, the method of Tippett, provides a link between correction for the multiplicity of tests and their combination. [less ▲]

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See detailLANDSLIDE SUSCEPTIBILITY PREDICTION IN A MOUNTAINOUS CATCHMENT: THE NARANJO BASIN, WESTERN GUATEMALA
Estrada Orozco, Nick Kenner ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In tropical mountain areas, landslides triggered by heavy rainfall represent a natural hazard, especially where meteorological events such as tropical cyclones are recurrent. Rainfall-triggered landslides ... [more ▼]

In tropical mountain areas, landslides triggered by heavy rainfall represent a natural hazard, especially where meteorological events such as tropical cyclones are recurrent. Rainfall-triggered landslides may also increase in highly seismic active areas. This is the case of Guatemala, located in the Circum-Pacific Belt and between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, sources of cyclonic events. Although Guatemala is a region where landslides are a widespread phenomenon, landslide inventories, maps and quantitative susceptibility assessments that are useful for land use planners and decision makers are hitherto non-existent. The aim of this research is to produce quantitative landslide susceptibility assessments, using logistic regression multivariate statistical method. The study area is a watershed located in the department of San Marcos (western Guatemala), impacted by a tropical storm event in October 2005. A total of 766 landslides were identified and mapped using orthoimages from 2005. Then, 99 landslides were mapped in 2011 based on field data. The main landslide type is shallow landslide (61 % in 2005), while 39 % of those landslides from 2005 evolved into debris flows. In total, susceptibility models using multivariate probabilistic approach were developed for shallow landslides, evaluating two different strategies for the sample size of non-landslides events and three different numbers of input variable in the models. Susceptibility models were developed for debris flows dataset and the union of both dataset (shallow and debris flows). The comparison of the models and the associated susceptibility maps highlighted 6 significant input variables that are associated with landslide occurences - elevation, slope, aspect, profile curvature, planform curvature and distance to roads. Performance comparisons of models were also carried out. To validate the performance of the model results, the ROC curve was used, as well as the four-fold and confusion matrix plots. A susceptibility map was generated to display the results of the models in terms of probability values. A proposal and discussion on the operational use of susceptibility maps where cutoff values can be chosen to define the lowest and highest landslide susceptibility were also made. These will help land use planners in decision-making and in implementing protective measures. [less ▲]

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See detailHistoire évolutive du complexe Afzelia Smith (Leguminosae - Caesalpinioideae) dans les écosystèmes forestiers et savanicoles en Afrique tropicale
Donkpegan, Segbedji ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The genus Afzelia Smith (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) is known to have seven African tree species two of which are found in the Zambezian region, one is distributed in the Sudanian region and the four ... [more ▼]

The genus Afzelia Smith (Fabaceae, Caesalpinioideae) is known to have seven African tree species two of which are found in the Zambezian region, one is distributed in the Sudanian region and the four other are endemic to the Guineo-Congolian region. These taxa, of high commercial value, are difficult to identify. They are therefore marketed under the same "doussié" name. These difficulties of distinction can prove detrimental to the sustainable management of populations. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to characterize the evolutionary history of the Afzelia genus. More specifically, this study aims to: (i) evaluate the level of morphological divergences within the Afzelia genus and describe the phylogenetic relationships in order to quantify the reproductive isolation between taxa by highlighting the role of past climate change and / or ecological gradients in the speciation of the genus; (ii) proceed to an analysis of the spatial genetic diversity and structure of Afzelia spp.; (iii) identify and describe ecological, biotic and abiotic factors that may influence population-level gene flows of an Afzelia species (A. bipindensis). A morpho-genetic analysis of Afzelia species was carried out and confirmed the strong botanical resemblance between the taxa. The savannah species are diploid and have half the size of the genome of forest species that are tetraploid. The phylogenies of genes (nuclear and chloroplastic) differ from one another and do not allow the separation of tetraploid taxa from one another. Such differences can be generated as a result of episodes of ancestral hybridization between species. These hybridizations would probably be old and would have occurred between lineages of the forest species and A quanzensis (a species of the Zambezian savannahs) lineages. Polyploidy would have occurred between 7 and 9.4 million years in the evolutionary history of the genus. In addition, Bayesian assignment and reproductive isolation analyzes suggested interspecific crosses, but only in forest species distributed sympatrically. At a more limited spatial scale, we observed two well differentiated genetic groups in sympatry in A. bipindensis. These show a morphological differentiation and a phenological shift of flowering which can contribute to their reproductive isolation. This study highlighted some important points: the discovery of a polyploid complex within the Afzelia genus, the confirmation of the delimitation of the diploid savannah species and the need to revise the delimitation of forest tetraploid species. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterizing Thiamine Status and Mechanisms of Thiamine Supplementation on Subacute Ruminal Acidosis Attenuation in Dairy Cows
Pan, Xiaohua ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Dairy cows are often fed high grain diets to maximize milk production in today’s intensive management farms. However, overfeeding high grain diets increases the risk of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA ... [more ▼]

Dairy cows are often fed high grain diets to maximize milk production in today’s intensive management farms. However, overfeeding high grain diets increases the risk of subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA), which is characterized by prolonged decrease in rumen pH and high levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). SARA challenge has been confirmed to severely impair animal health, production performance and farm profitability, and more and more attentions have been paid to prevent the occurrence of SARA in dairy industry worldwide. Our teams’ previous research found that thiamine supplementation relieved SARA in dairy cows, but the modes of action of thiamine in SARA attenuation are still unclear. In this context, this thesis was conducted to increase our understanding of relationships between SARA induction and thiamine, and to explore the mechanisms of thiamine supplementation on SARA attenuation by determining its effects on rumen fermentation, microbiome composition and anti-inflammatory response. Firstly, the first experiment in Chapter III demonstrated that thiamine status in rumen and blood were altered by SARA induction and thiamine deficiency occurred during SARA challenge. Regression analysis proved the ruminal thiamine content was positively related to pH and the concentrations of acetate in the rumen, and negatively correlated to the lactate contents, indicating the altered rumen fermentation would affect thiamine status. Secondly, the mRNA expression of thiamine transporters in ruminal epithelium (Chapter IV) and ruminal bacteria compositions (Chapter V) in SARA and control cows were detected. We found that thiamine concentration was positively correlated with Bacteroides, Ruminococcus 1, Ruminobacter, Pyramidobacter and Fibrobacter, and the decrease in these genera implied SARA challenge altered ruminal thiamine status by inhibiting the growth of thiamine synthesis related bacteria. The positive correlation between ruminal and blood thiamine, and the down-regulation of thiamine transporters’ expression in rumen epithelium indicated the reduced ruminal thiamine synthesis and thiamine absorption by SARA challenge resulted in low blood thiamine content of SARA cows. Thirdly, the effects of thiamine on rumen fermentation (Chapter III), anti-inflammatory response (Chapter IV) and microbiome composition (Chapter V) were evaluated to reveal its mechanisms on SARA attenuation. We found that thiamine supplementation promoted acetate-producing bacteria including Ruminococcus 1, Pyramidobacter, Succinivibrio and Bacteroides, and decreased bacteria positively related to ruminal lactate (Succiniclasticum and Ruminococcaceae NK4A214). Consequently, rumen fermentation was improved by reducing the accumulation of lactate and increasing ruminal pH. In addition, thiamine supplementation alleviated inflammatory response in rumen epithelium by reducing the release of LPS and phosphorylation of NFκB protein, which is conducive to SARA attenuation. In summary, this thesis had increased our understanding of thiamine nutrition in dairy cows, and provided a new control strategy for subacute ruminal acidosis in dairy cows. However, further investigations are needed to deeply understand the relationship between thiamine and SARA induction, such as the isolation and validation of thiamine synthesis bacteria affected by SARA challenge, as well as to figure out metabolic pathways through which SARA induction affects thiamine synthesis in the rumen. Moreover, the impacts of overfeeding high grain diets on intestinal thiamine absorption are still unclear and need to be illuminated in dairy cows. [less ▲]

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See detailOmics insights into rumen ureolytic bacterial community and urea metabolism in dairy cows
Jin, Di ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Urea has been used in the diets of ruminants as a non-protein nitrogen source. Ureolytic bacteria are key organisms in the rumen producing urease enzymes to catalyze the breakdown of urea to ammonia (NH3 ... [more ▼]

Urea has been used in the diets of ruminants as a non-protein nitrogen source. Ureolytic bacteria are key organisms in the rumen producing urease enzymes to catalyze the breakdown of urea to ammonia (NH3), and the NH3 is used as nitrogen for microbial protein synthesis. In the rumen, hydrolysis of urea to NH3 occurs at a greater rate than NH3 can be utilized by rumen bacteria, and excess ammonia absorbed into blood may be harmful to the animals. Nowadays, little is known about the information of ureolytic microorganisms in the rumen, and the changes that occur in the rumen microbial and host metabolites induced by urea nitrogen have not been fully characterized. ‘Omics’ approaches, such as metagenomics and metabolomics have been applied to analyzing rumen microbial community and nutrients metabolism in dairy cows. The objective of this study is to investigate the rumen predominant ureolytic bacteria community and the mechanisms of urea utilization in ruminants using sequencing and metabolomics approaches. Firstly, an in vitro experiment trying to explore the ruminal ureolytic bacterial community was performed. Urea or acetohydroxamic acid were supplemented into the rumen simulation systems as the stimulator and inhibitor for ureolytic bacteria, respectively. The bacterial 16S rRNA genes were analyzed by Miseq sequencing and used to reveal the ureolytic bacteria by comparing different treatments. We found that urea supplementation significantly increased the proportion of ureC genes. The rumen ureolytic bacteria were abundant in the genera of Pseudomonas, Haemophilus, Neisseria, Streptococcus, Actinomyces, Bacillus and unclassified Succinivibrionaceae. Secondly, an in vivo experiment was taken to investigate differences in ureolytic bacterial composition between the rumen digesta and rumen wall based on ureC gene classification. Six dairy cows with rumen fistula were assigned to a two-period cross-over trial. One group was fed a total mixed ration without urea and the treatment group was fed rations plus 180 g urea per cow per day. Rumen bacterial samples from rumen content and rumen wall fractions were collected for ureC gene amplification and sequencing using Miseq. More than 55% of the ureC sequences did not affiliate with any known taxonomically assigned urease genes. The wall-adherent bacteria had a distinct ureolytic bacterial profile compared to the bacteria in the rumen content. The most abundant ureC genes were affiliated with Methylococcaceae, Clostridiaceae, Paenibacillaceae, Helicobacteraceae and Methylophilaceae families. Relative abundance of the operational taxonomic units (OTUs) affiliated with Methylophilus and Marinobacter genera were significantly higher in the bacteria on the rumen wall than that in the rumen content. Thirdly, based on the in vivo experiment, rumen fluid and blood samples were collected and analyzed using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and multivariate analysis of variance. Concentrations of valine, aspartate, glutamate, and uracil in the rumen, and urea and pyroglutamate in the plasma were increased after urea supplementation. Metabolic pathways include pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis, beta-alanine metabolism, valine, leucine, and isoleucine metabolism in the rumen, and urea and glutathione metabolism in the plasma were significantly increased by urea nitrogen. In conclusion, this study identified significant populations of ureolytic bacterial community that have not been recognized or studied previously in the rumen and provides a basis for obtaining regulatory targets to moderate urea hydrolysis in the rumen. The findings also provided novel information to aid understanding of the metabolic pathways affected by urea nitrogen in dairy cows, and could potentially help to guide efforts directed at improving the efficiency of urea utilization in the rumen. [less ▲]

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See detailSoil Acidification in Southern China: Spatio-temporal Evolution and Effects on Phosphorus Availability
Zhou, Xiaoyang ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Rapid industrial development and intensive agriculture induced serious soil degradation in recent decades worldwide and specifically in China. In cropland, soil acidification and nutrient deficiency are ... [more ▼]

Rapid industrial development and intensive agriculture induced serious soil degradation in recent decades worldwide and specifically in China. In cropland, soil acidification and nutrient deficiency are often associated with increased use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers. Soil acidification can lead to reduction of phosphorus (P) availability, even though with high inputs of P fertilizer. The studies presented in the thesis deal with spatio-temporal evolution of soil pH in different soil types and land uses in southern China and effects of soil acidification on soil P availability. Evolution of inorganic P fractions in Red Soil was characterized upon fertilization trials, as a response to long-term fertilization and soil acidity changes. The first focus of the thesis deals with spatio-temporal evolution and main factors of soil acidification in different soil types, parent materials and land uses of Southern China. Firstly, data from 20 monitoring sites under 25-year fertilization on Paddy Soil were investigated to research changes of pH. Paddy Soil pH significantly declined from 1988-1998, then stabilized from 1998-2013 with conventional fertilization. Chemical N fertilization, manure application, soil available N and total N increases were significantly correlated with soil pH. Secondly, changes of pH in Red Soil and Paddy Soil were assessed in 32 monitoring sites of Hunan Province (Southern China) under 10-year fertilization in order to analyze soil acidification in different soil types and agro-systems. Soil pH decline was observed in Paddy Soils under rice-vegetable rotation but not observed in Paddy Soil under continuous cropping with rice. Soil pH significantly declined in Red Soil with high initial soil pH. Thirdly, spatio-temporal characteristics of soil pH were investigated by comparison of soil pH between 1982 and 2014 in Qiyang County (Hunan Province). Average topsoil pH declined of 0.58 units between the two surveys. Soil pH in the south was lower than in the north both in 1982 and 2014. Land use and parent materials are the main drivers of differences in the soil pH changes in Qiyang County. Soil pH declined significantly in forest and upland crop over non-alkaline parent materials during 1982-2014 period. Chemical N fertilizer application can have generated 12-42 kmol H+ ha-1yr-1, which is much higher than removal by crop harvest. Reduction of chemical N fertilization and return of straws to field should be conducted to reduce H+ production and supplement base cations in Qiyang County. The second approach studied evolution of inorganic P fractions in Red Soil under 25-year fertilization, and available P and inorganic P fractions responses to various soil acidity levels. Inorganic P fractions increased under P fertilization from 1990-2015, especially Ca2-P, Ca8-P and Al-P, but inorganic P fractions significantly decreased without P fertilization. Contributions of soil properties (SOC, C:P ratio and N:P ratio) and cumulative P apparent balance (CPAB) to inorganic P fractions were ≥ 95%, while interaction of CPAB and soil properties made greater contributions than did any single factor. Soil dissolved inorganic P (DIP) decreased with rising pH value, and a minimum DIP was observed between pH 5.5 and 6.5. Olsen-P, Ca-P and Al-P increased significantly with pH between 3.4 and 5.0. Soil with pH <5.0 P availability was much lower than soil with pH ≥5.0. Managing soil acidity is a key issue regarding availability of P in Red Soil of China and our results suggest that at least a pH of 5.0 should be targeted. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation des argiles utilisées dans le secteur de la terre cuite de la région de Marrakech en vue d'améliorer la qualité des produits
El Boudour El Idrissi, Hicham ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The purpose of this study is to characterize the clay raw materials being exploited and used in the earthenware sector (pottery and building materials) of Marrakech region. It aims to improve product ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this study is to characterize the clay raw materials being exploited and used in the earthenware sector (pottery and building materials) of Marrakech region. It aims to improve product quality in 12 sites within a radius of 10 to 80 km around the city of Marrakech, where are active more than 850 potters spread over about 550 workshops. This characterization also aims at establishing a database on the properties of the raw materials of Marrakech and on the characteristics of the products. This will help in the selection of the most suitable materials, which generate the least defects, in restoring the historical sites of the city and in linking archaeological ceramics with their possible source of clayey material. A total of 34 samples of clay raw materials were collected from the various studied sites. 26 ceramic pastes were formed from these raw materials. Ceramic pastes have been characterized for their particle size (semi-wet sieving and laser particles size), chemical (XRF) and mineralogical compositions (XRD), plasticities (Atterberg limits), carbonate content (Bernard's calcimetry), drying behaviour (Bigot curve) and loss on ignition. The fired products were characterized by firing shrinkage, water porosity, compressive and flexural strengths and by SEM combined with EDX. The studied ceramic pastes show a large particle size variation: clay (18-66%), silt (12-53%) and sand (5-65%). Mineralogically, they are composed mainly of clay minerals (25-60%), quartz (20-55%), feldspars (5-35%), carbonates (≤15%), diopside (5-10%) and hematite (1-3%). Clay minerals are formed by illite (10-40%), kaolinite (5-15%), interstratified (≤10%), talc and pyrophyllite (≤10%), vermiculite (5%) and chlorite (≤5%). The chemical composition shows that the majority of the pastes are composed of SiO2 (48-74%), Al2O3 (12-20%), Fe2O3 (3-8%), CaO (0.4-8%), K2O (2-5%), MgO (0.5-3.5%), Na2O (0.1-2%), TiO2 (0.8-1.2%), P2O5 (≤ 0.4%) and MnO (≤ 3%). Plasticity varies from one paste to another with plasticity indices between 15 and 32. The shrinkage on drying is between 4 and 10%. For a firing temperature of 1050°C, the firing shrinkage of the various pastes is between 0.5 and 5%. The mineral transformations during firing are very diversified from one sample to another and from one site to another. The comparison of the obtained results shows that granulometry, mineralogy and degree of diagenesis are the main factors controlling plasticity. We showed a relationship between the properties of the pastes (particle size, mineralogy and plasticity) and the type of product. We proposed solutions for each of the many observed defects (poor quality of raw material, lime blowing, lime efflorescence, inadequate drying procedure, cracking, blisters, black hearts, crazing and poor ovens quality). In addition, this study valuated the clay raw materials of the Marrakech region for the use in the field of production of building materials. [less ▲]

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See detailPlant traits variability within and among populations in the context of calcareous grassland restoration
Harzé, Mélanie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In Western Europe, abandonment of traditional forms of agriculture has caused the fragmentation of semi-natural grasslands, affecting ecosystems functioning as well as population survival. Habitat ... [more ▼]

In Western Europe, abandonment of traditional forms of agriculture has caused the fragmentation of semi-natural grasslands, affecting ecosystems functioning as well as population survival. Habitat restoration has become a crucial aspect of grasslands conservation, and one of the main issues is evaluating restoration success and setting appropriate criteria to do so. Indicators used to judge whether a restoration has been successful may concern a wide range of organisms. They may be defined at different geographical scales and may concern various levels of biodiversity organization. Among them, population parameters are less represented despite their usefulness. To consider restoration as a success, restored populations of targeted species should demonstrably possess characteristics allowing their dispersal, reproduction, growth and adaptation to the environment. In this thesis, the use of plant population parameters for evaluating grassland restoration was assessed based on a literature review. Then, the success of calcareous grassland restoration was determined regarding colonization of restored grasslands by five calcareous grasslands species; Helianthemum nummularium, Hippocrepis comosa, Potentilla tabernaemontani, Sanguisorba minor and Scabiosa columbaria. Population establishment and intra-specific functional trait variability in response to the environment were observed and compared among restored and reference populations of those species, through field inventories and in-situ traits measurements in calcareous grasslands of south Belgium. Moreover, a glasshouse experiment was set-up with the aim to evaluate the intra-specific variability in response to drought stress in reference populations of P. tabernaemontani. The results indicated that population parameters were less well studied for evaluating grassland restoration success compared to indicators related to ecosystems and communities. The population parameters used to assess the success of calcareous grassland restoration showed that the study species colonized restored sites and established new populations. The fitness of the restored populations was very high. High intra-specific trait variability was highlighted at a very local scale in the reference habitat. Individuals exhibited high leaf dry matter content (LDMC), low specific leaf area (SLA) and low vegetative height in relation to low soil depth and high potential incident radiation (PDIR). These environmental variables are possibly linked to the availability of soil moisture. Further, the relationship between traits and environmental variables was not always consistent in restored sites. However, the intra-specific variability of plant traits was similar in the reference and restored grasslands. Finally, the findings from the glasshouse experiment suggested that individuals originating from drier parts of calcareous grasslands better survive drought stress.   The overall conclusion of this thesis is rather optimistic concerning restored populations of the five specialist plant species studied, specifically regarding their colonization, persistence and response to the environment or to potential climate change. The conclusions must, however, be modified depending on the reference ecosystem used as a model. This approach has to be integrated into a multi-scales and a multi-species approach to fully evaluate restoration outputs. Yet, this thesis has contributed to the understanding of population responsiveness to habitat restoration, as well as to the evaluation of restoration success of calcareous grasslands in Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailQUALITY IMPROVEMENT OF POTATO STEAMED BREAD USING FOOD HYDROCOLLOIDS
Liu, Xingli ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Nowadays, there is an increasing interest for composite or gluten-free products due to some economic, nutritional reasons or the number of the celiac patient. The estimated prevalence of Celiac disease is ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, there is an increasing interest for composite or gluten-free products due to some economic, nutritional reasons or the number of the celiac patient. The estimated prevalence of Celiac disease is about 1% of the general population, and it affects persons of any age, race, and ethnic group. Steamed bread is a traditional staple food of China, and has been consumed for at least 2000 years, taking up almost 40% of wheat consumption, and the popularity is increasing around the world. However, most traditional wheat steamed bread lack essential nutrients, including lysine, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, etc. Therefore, the use of composite flour for steamed bread making has attracted great attention. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the most widely planted vegetables worldwide and is the only tuber used as a major food crop. Potato has a balanced amino acid composition, high total vitamin and mineral levels, and also contains phytochemicals such as polyphenols, polyamines, and carotenoids. However, the replacement of wheat flour is a major challenge for food technologist to produce the steamed bread with desirable quality and technological properties because that gluten is important to retain gas to obtain the desired volume and texture in a dough system. It is essential to form a strong protein network required for the desired viscoelasticity, and the easiest way to ensure the viscoelasticity properties is via the use of food hydrocolloids. Therefore, the aim of this work was to study the quality improvement of potato steamed bread using food hydrocolloids. Firstly, the influence of potato flour on dough rheological properties and quality of steamed bread showed that the dough stability and specific volume of steamed bread were significantly decreased with the potato flour proportions increasing. Then we carried out the comparative study of the nutritional quality of steamed and baked breads from four potato cultivars because that the steamed and baked breads were two type of staple food in eastern and western countries, respectively. The results showed that potato flour addition increased the contents of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and total polyphenol contents and antioxidant activity. Hongmei was the optimum choose of the studied four cultivars, followed by Blue Congo, Shepody, and Atlantic, in terms of nutritional value. For the same cultivar, the nutritional value of steamed bread was higher than that of baked bread. Secondly, the effect of different food hydrocolloids on the dough rheology and steamed bread quality parameters in composite and gluten-free formulations based on potato flour was studied. Compared to control, the food hydrocolloids addition significantly increased tightly bound water population, water absorption, starch gelatinization temperature, dough viscoelasticity, recovery percentage and development height. Little adhesion and aggregation of starch were observed and the density of potato protein bands was decreased when food hydrocolloids were added, suggesting that some aggregation formed between starch-hydrocolloids or proteins-hydrocolloids. Moreover, steamed breads with food hydrocolloids presented higher specific volume, lower hardness, and lower estimated glycemic index. In conclusion, food hydrocolloids showed the potential as a gluten replacement in composite or gluten-free potato steamed bread, particularly HPMC. Thirdly, we optimized the formulations of gluten-free potato steamed bread. The optimal gluten-free steamed bread could be produced by adding 4.84 g/100g pregelatinized potato flour (PGPF), 1.68 g/100g hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), 5.87 g/100g egg white protein (EWP) and 69.69 g/100g water based on potato flour, and this optimal bread was compatible with regular wheat bread in key sensory properties. Moreover, the optimized solid phase microextraction parameters (sample weight 2.42 g, extraction time 60 min, and extraction temperature 50°C) were adopted to determine the volatile compounds of gluten-free potato steamed bread. 72 volatile compounds were detected in the dough and crumb. The contents of alcohols, acids and esters increased significantly with the fermentation time increasing, which would improve the aroma of steamed bread. However, further investigations are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action and the interactions with dough components and making additives. The other studies should be focused on technological approaches to improve steamed bread quality, which involved different flour particles, high pressure technology and application of sourdough. [less ▲]

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See detailThe behavior of pesticide during beer brewing and the toxicity of pesticide using state-of-the-art omic tools
Kong, Zhiqiang ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Beer is an extremely popular beverage worldwide, representing the third-most popular drink after water and tea. And barley is the major raw material used for beer production. However, various combinations ... [more ▼]

Beer is an extremely popular beverage worldwide, representing the third-most popular drink after water and tea. And barley is the major raw material used for beer production. However, various combinations of pesticides are widely used at several stages of barley culti¬vation and during post-harvest storage to control pest and fungal disease. Hence, traces of these pesticides might remain in the beer produced from the treated ingredients. Hence, monitoring trace levels of pesticide residues during beer brewing and investigated the effects of pesticide residue on the quality of beer is essential. First, the behavior and fate of 3 pesticides (triadimefon, malathion, and dichlorvos) and the main metabolites (triadimenol and malaoxon) during barley storage or beer processing were assessed using a pilot-plant equipment. The residues of all products were determined using liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Field investigation of the dissipation rate kinetics for triadimefon and malathion during storage indicated that their half-life was twice as high when 5 times the recommended dosage was used. Milling had little effect on removing dichlorvos and malathion residues, whereas they were substantially removed when the spent grains were mashed. The calculated processing factors after processing were all <1, indicating that the residual ratios of dichlorvos and malathion were reduced during the entire process. In conclusion, storage and processing extensively reduced pesticide residue levels in barley and beer; however, greater focus needs to be paid to the toxicity of their metabolites in commercial by-products. Then we selected the triadimefon as the target fungicide to further study its behavior, the dissipation kinetics of TF during fermentation mediated by two different yeast strains, Saccharomyces cerevisiae IAPPST 1401 (Y1) and CICC 1202 (Y2), and found that Y2 promoted the degradation of TF. Response surface methodology was used to optimize fermentation process variables, in order to achieve the maximum removal rate of TF and the minimum production of its corresponding metabolite, triadimenol (TN). Triadimefon is also a widely used triazole fungicide with one chiral carbon center, Stereoselective degradation of triadimefon was found during barley storage, the half-life of S-(+)-triadimefon was 36.5d, 31.5d and 30.1d, while R-(-)-traidmefon was 69.3d, 53.3d and 33d under 4°C, 25°C and 40°C, respectively. During brewing process, both enantiomers of triadimefon were easily degraded. After fermentation, little triadimefon detected in the beer, while RS-(+) and SS-(-)-triadimenol were detectable. This research provides accurate information for evaluating the risk of food safety. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of triadimefon affect the quality and flavor of the fermented beer, The effect of triadimefon on yeast growth and the sensory quality of beer were studied. There were significant differences in sensory quality between beer samples fermented with and without triadimefon based on data obtained with an electronic tongue and nose. Such an effect was most likely underlain by changes in yeast fermentation activity, including decreased utilization of maltotriose and most amino acids, reduced production of isobutyl and isoamyl alcohols, and increased ethyl acetate content in the fungicide treated samples. Furthermore, yeast metabolic profiling by phenotype microarray and UPLC/TOF-MS showed that triadimefon caused significant changes in the metabolism of glutathione, phenylalanine and sphingolipids, and in sterol biosynthesis. Thus, triadimefon negatively affects beer sensory qualities by influencing the metabolic activity of S. cerevisiae during fermentation, emphasizing the necessity of stricter control over fungicide residues in brewing by the food industry. [less ▲]

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See detailRôle des lymphocytes T TCR γδ dans la progression des lésions associées à l'infection par les papillomavirus humains
Van Hede, Dorien ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Cervical cancer was the fourth most frequent cancer in women in 2012, with the majority of cases occurring in less developed countries. Although this cancer is induced by Human Papillomavirus (HPV ... [more ▼]

Cervical cancer was the fourth most frequent cancer in women in 2012, with the majority of cases occurring in less developed countries. Although this cancer is induced by Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections that have a high prevalence, only a very few percentage of infected women will developed this disease. Host immune defenses are essential to clear infection and to kill virus-infected transformed cells. Indeed, majority of infected women clear the virus within two years while immunocompromised patients are more likely to develop cervical preneoplastic lesions and cancers. γδ T cells have been shown to protect against the formation of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in several models. Nowadays, the contribution of γδ T cells in HPV associated uterine cervical SCC is unknown. Here we investigated the impact of γδ T cells in a transgenic mouse model of carcinogenesis induced by HPV16-oncoproteins. Surprisingly, γδ T cells promoted the development of HPV16-oncoprotein-induced lesions. These oncoproteins induced a decrease in epidermal Skint-1 expression and modification of the associated anti-tumor Vγ5+ γδ T cells (or DETC), which were joined by other γδ T cell subsets actively producing IL-17. Consistent with a proangiogenic role, γδ T cells promoted the formation of blood vessels in the dermis underlying the HPV-induced lesions. In human cervical, IL-17+ γδ T cells could be only observed at the cancer stage (SCC) (but not in less advanced cervical lesions), where HPV oncoproteins are highly expressed, supporting the clinical relevance of our observations in mice. Overall, our results suggest that HPV16-oncoproteins induce a reorganization of the local epithelial-associated γδ T cell Subpopulations thereby promoting angiogenesis and cancer development. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial diversification of agroecosystems towards biological control of insect pests: A focus on intercropping and wildflower strips
Hatt, Séverin ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Facing the limits of input-intensive agriculture, agroecology aims at thinking ways to design a sustainable agriculture that is economically viable and socially relevant. It notably invites to mobilize ... [more ▼]

Facing the limits of input-intensive agriculture, agroecology aims at thinking ways to design a sustainable agriculture that is economically viable and socially relevant. It notably invites to mobilize ecological processes within agroecosystems in order to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services towards reducing the use of external inputs – among others insecticides. For enhancing biological control of insect pests, a strategy is to spatially diversify agroecosystems at the field scale. Whereas increasing plant diversity could directly negatively affect pest development on the one hand (i.e. bottom-up effect), providing flowering features could allow the enhancement of natural enemies and their direct effect on pest populations on the other hand (i.e. top-down effect). The present thesis focused on intercropping (i.e. the cultivation of at least two crop species simultaneously in a same field) as a way to diversify crop habitat, and the sowing of wildflower strips as a non-crop feature. A systematic analysis of the literature revealed that, in most of studies, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-based intercropping allows a reduction of insect pests on crops, without necessarily favouring their natural enemies, compared to pure-stands. Besides, the provision of flowering resources, by for instance sowing wildflower strips, can attract and support flower visiting predators and parasitoids. Hence, in a first set of field experiments, combining the two tactics of increasing crop diversity and providing flowering resources was tested. First in China, wheat crop was associated with oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), but it neither allowed reducing aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) abundance nor enhancing their natural enemies compared to pure stands. Instead, aphid density – independently from the treatments – affected natural enemy abundance, and interspecific relations between aphids and their natural enemies were observed. Second in Belgium, wildflower strips were sown within a wheat field, which led to a reduction of aphid density in wheat plots in between flowering features and an increase of aphidophagous hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) compared to pure-stand wheat. Nevertheless, the presence of flowering strips did not affect the other natural enemies, i.e. lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), ladybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Therefore, a second set of field experiments focussed on ways to compose mixtures of wild flowers attractive to a diversity of natural enemies. Flower functional traits were considered due to their effect on insect behaviour. First, the hypothesis that mixtures with high functional diversity attract and support a high abundance and diversity of aphid flower visiting predators was tested. This hypothesis was not verified. Instead, the high density in the plots of some flower species (especially the Asteraceae Leucanthemum vulgare Lam.) known to be attractive to flower visitors was supposed to have overwhelmed the effect of functional diversity. Second, a methodology was developed to identify which flower traits significantly affect natural enemy abundance – in this experiment parasitoids of oilseed rape beetle pests (i.e. Meligethes spp. [Coleoptera: Nitidulidae] and Ceutorhynchus spp. [Coleoptera: Curculionidae]) – in flower mixtures. Among seven traits, visual traits (i.e. colour, ultra-violet reflectance) and the one related to food availability (i.e. corolla morphology) were found to significantly affect parasitoid abundance. These results highlight that (i) increasing plant diversity at the field scale can – but not systematically – favour a reduction of insect pests, (ii) including flowering features can enhance some – but not all – of their natural enemies, and (iii) in order to compose flower mixes attractive to natural enemies, specific flower traits – rather than functional diversity at the mixture level – can be considered. These results are discussed in a broader perspective. Indeed, strategies to spatially diversify crop and non-crop habitats in agroecosystems are various, as well as the ways to compose, manage and design such habitats. Also, processes at larger scales than the field may be determinant. Moreover, insects are not the only pests, and pests are not the only biotic or abiotic elements that need to be regulated in agroecosystems. Controlling multiple pests simultaneously but also enhancing the provision of multiple regulating services represent challenges for future research in agriculture. [less ▲]

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See detailCrop water productivity of winter wheat at multi-scale and its improvements over the Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, China
Liu, Qin ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Droughts and water shortage are generally accepted to be one of the most critical problems faced by worldwide agriculture, and it is so especially in China where agricultural production and prosperity are ... [more ▼]

Droughts and water shortage are generally accepted to be one of the most critical problems faced by worldwide agriculture, and it is so especially in China where agricultural production and prosperity are largely dependent on the timely, adequate and proper distribution of rainfall. The analysis of water productivity is becoming very critical in light of population growth, food security and increasing pressure on water resources. However, there is limited understanding of the spatio-temporal variation of crop water productivity (CWP) from the rotation system and its key influencing factors in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain (3H Plain) in which there is an over-exploitation of groundwater region and where future warmer and drought conditions will intensify crop water demand. As the largest water user, agricultural sector is facing a challenge to produce more crops with less water. Consequently, 3H Plain faced the double threat of both making contributions of high and stable yield to government and improving CWP of winter wheat through reducing water consumption. The overall ambition of this thesis was to investigate to what extent the grain yield and crop water productivity for winter wheat can respond to climate change and drought across the 3H Plain. In our study, a combined dataset composed of a historical 54-year time series and the RCP 8.5 scenario from 40 meteorological stations was provided by the China Meteorological Administration. Among these 40 stations we selected 12 stations with more detailed information available. The minimal data sets required for model operation include daily climatic variables, soil information and management information collected from the China Soil Scientific Database. Finally, we also used satellite data to estimate water productivity mainly involved in MODIS products including MOD11A1 (land surface temperature/surface emissivity), MOD13A2 (NDVI) and MCD43B3 (surface albedo). We used SPEI-PM method, DSSAT-CERES-Wheat model and SEBAL model to explore the characteristics in grain yield and crop water productivity for winter wheat in response to climate change and drought associated with their improvements across the 3H Plain. Our work demonstrated the investigation that an increase of ET0 was predicted leading to subsequent drought rise in frequency, duration, severity and intensity under the RCP 8.5 scenario. The cumulative probability of the simulated yield reduction was detected to be higher during jointing to heading stage in northern than southern region due to water stress and changes in the management inputs. The lower CWP was mainly situated in the low plain-hydropenia irrigable land and dry land (zone2) and the hill-wet hot paddy field (zone6), which suggests that it is an important issue and opportunity for improving agricultural water management in the water-scarce 3H Plain. The spatial increase of yield principally controlled increase of water productivity in north agricultural sub-regions and the spatial increase of water productivity was more governed by increment of yield than the reduction of ETa in other agricultural sub-regions. It will be adopted to develop feasible straw mulching, regulated deficit irrigation, and soil water storage and preservation to reduce pressure on groundwater over-exploitation, especially for winter wheat in the 3H Plain. In our work, major agronomic consequences have been drawn regarding the reform of the common agricultural policy in Huang-Huai-Hai Plain, China. Researchers are encouraged to further investigations into how to implement these practices with emphasis of improving the sustainability of these agro-ecosystems. [less ▲]

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See detailGENETIC DIVERSITY AND FACULTATIVE SYMBIONTS INFECTION PATTERNS OF TWO RHOPALOSIPHUM APHIDS
Guo, Jianqing ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Aphids, during the long-term evolution, kept their genetic traits for continuation of the species while some variations caused by selection, migration, mutation, and genetic drift occurred meanwhile to ... [more ▼]

Aphids, during the long-term evolution, kept their genetic traits for continuation of the species while some variations caused by selection, migration, mutation, and genetic drift occurred meanwhile to adapt to novel environments. The differentiation takes place not only among species but could also be observed within species that finally contributes to the population genetic diversity. However, the migrant behavior of aphid can enhances the gene flow among populations, as a result, decreasing the genetic variation. Additionally, insect such as aphids usually hold the mutualistic relationships with endosymbionts which may affect the adaptive characteristics of the host aphid. Both Corn leaf aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and Bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) are worldwidely severe pests that attack cereal crops such as maize, barley, wheat, sorghum and oats. They suck the phloem and can transmit viruses including Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) and Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), the main virus of maize and barley, which may result in serious damage for the yield and quality of the host plant. Moreover, one aphid species usually exerts genetic differentiation among populations which is related to factors such as geographic conditions, host plants and life history. Hence, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the genetic structure and variation among geographic populations to further explore the historical expanding routes and occurrence of these pests and design efficient control strategies. Targeting the genetic divergence among populations of two Rhopalosiphum aphids, 32 populations of R. padi and 38 populations of R. maidis were collected on maize from most regions of China as well as some countries in Europe. The sequencing results of two mitochondrial (COI and COII) and one nuclear (EF-1α) genes indicated that a high level of gene flow existed among the populations of R. maidis in terms of geographic locations, proving the migratory capacity of this aphid. With regard to R. padi, high genetic diversity were found between the populations from China and Europe based on combined COI-COII, however, the genetic diversification among Chinese populations and European populations were low, which illustrated that the length of geographic distance may play an important role in genetic diversity. The infection patterns of seven facultative symbionts (Serratia symbiotica, Hamiltonella defensa, Regiella insecticola, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma, Wolbachia and Arsenophonus) in R. padi and R. maidis were investigated as well. Both aphids were found to have wide symbiotic associations with variant symbionts. Unlike Acyrthosiphum pisim (H.) which is frequently infected with S. symbiotica, R. insecticola, Rickettsia and Spiroplasma were dominant facultative symbionts in these two Rhopalosiphum aphids. The results also indicated that the geographic conditions such as latitude of collecting locations may have an effect on the distribution of facultative symbionts, implying the adaptive function of the facultative symbionts to various environmental conditions on their host aphids. Considering the population diversity within species, we also tested the survival and reproduction rates of two R. maidis populations (i.e. Beijing and Mangshi) on barley and maize of small (10 cm) and high (50 cm) size. Direct observation method was used and none of the populations could survive on maize of small size whereas they were capable to develop on maize of high size, but with much lower growing speeds compared with barley on which both populations showed the best performances. In addition, Beijing population was found to perform significantly better than Mangshi population which may be related to the infection of facultative symbionts. We hypothesize that the lethality on small maize may result from the secondary metabolites synthesized to be more abundant in young maize seedlings. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and applications of CRISPR-Cas9 and RNAi for rice and wheat agronomic traits improvement
Sun, Yongwei ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies ... [more ▼]

Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies on the induction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) to initiate DNA repair reactions that are based on either non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology-directed repair (HDR). NHEJ can result in frame-shift mutations that often create genetic knockouts. These knockout lines are useful for functional and reverse genetic studies but also have applications in agriculture. HDR has a variety of applications as it can be used for gene replacement, gene stacking, and for creating various fusion proteins. An overview of development and applications of precise GT in plants using SSNs systems is presented in Chapter I. Cereals high in amylose content (AC) and resistant starch (RS) offer potential health benefits. Starch branching enzyme (SBE) plays a major role in determining the fine structure and physical properties of starch. Here, we use CRISPR/Cas9 technology to generate targeted mutagenesis in SBEI and SBEIIb in rice. The frequencies of obtained homozygous or bi-allelic mutant lines with indels in SBEI and SBEIIb in T0 generation were from 26.7 to 40%. SbeII mutants showed higher proportion of long chains presented in debranched amylopectin, significantly increased AC and RS content to as higher as 25.0% and 9.8%, respectively. The details of results are presented in Chapter IV Complete knockouts and loss-of-function mutations are very valuable in defining gene functions, their applications in crop improvement are somewhat limited because many agriculturally important traits are conferred by point mutations or a change of gene expression levels. Development of a technology that enables gene replacement rather than gene inactivation will greatly facilitate plant breading. In this study, we report an efficient method to introduce multiple discrete point mutations in the rice ALS gene using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination. We not only generated homozygous herbicide resistance rice plants in one generation, but also demonstrated that the presented strategy is feasible and effective in precise gene replacement by using CRISPR/Cas9 system to facilitate crop genetic improvement. The details of results are presented in Chapter V Aphids are major agricultural pests which cause significant yield losses of wheat each year in China. Present attempts to improve the aphid resistance of wheat through conventional breeding in China are being confronted by slow progress due to lack of aphid resistant wheat germplasm, the complexity of plant-aphid interactions and the rapid development of resistant pest biotypes. An overview of the engineering of plants for aphid resistance is presented in chapter II. We identify a gene (23028) related to aphid ingestion and digestion from the aphid, S. avenae. Aphids fed on plant material expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) specific to 23028 and C002 show a decline in growth, reproduction and survival rates. The details of results presented in the chapter VI. [less ▲]

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See detailStrategies of host defense and viral counter defense: analysis of Fusarium graminearium responses to FgHV1 infection
Wang, Shuangchao ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Viruses that selectively infect fungi are named fungal viruses or mycoviruses. Fungal viruses exist in all major groups of fungi and are important in both fundamental research and biological control of ... [more ▼]

Viruses that selectively infect fungi are named fungal viruses or mycoviruses. Fungal viruses exist in all major groups of fungi and are important in both fundamental research and biological control of plant pathogens. Fusarium graminearum hypovirus 1 (FgHV1) was the first virus isolated from F. graminearum belonging to the hypoviridae family. FgHV1 was supposed to encode two open reading frames, which had high sequence identities with Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 and 2 (CHV1 and CHV2). F. graminearum strain infected with FgHV1 showed lower growth rate and reduced conidia production, but with no pathogenicity change. To elucidate the host defense and viral counter defense mechanism, we analyzed the F. graminearum stress responses to FgHV1 infection from several aspects. In the first part, we preliminarily elucidated the RNA silencing mechanism of the F. graminearum/hypovirus system from a small RNA (sRNA) perspective. The length distributions of F. graminearum sRNA were altered by FgHV1 infection, especially 24-nt sRNA. Extensive FgHV1-derived sRNAs were detected, yielding the first high resolution map of sRNA from mycoviruses. In particular, the RNA silencing-related genes FgDicer1 and FgRdRp5 were predicted targets of FgHV1- and FgHV2-derived siRNAs, possibly revealing a novel anti-RNA silencing strategy employed by mycoviruses. In the second part, we performed genome-wide expression analysis to reveal stress-related genes with expression changes in response to FgHV1 infection. A total of 248 differentially expressed genes were identified. Cellular redox regulation related genes were the most affected categories in F. graminearum challenged with FgHV1. Then we verified that FgHV1 encoded protein 20 (p20) could induce the H2O2 accumulation and hypersensitive response in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. In the last part, our experiments confirmed that p20 functioned as a RNA silencing suppressor (RSS) with the agroinfiltration-mediated technique, making p20 the third RSS identified in mycoviruses. By incorporating single strand sRNA, p20 could suppress host RNA silencing. Globally, the defense responses of F. graminearum to FgHV1 infection were studied all-around and in-depth. On the other hand, FgHV1 developed counter defense strategies to protect from invasion resistance. [less ▲]

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See detailDisease detection and management at the wildlife-livestock-human interface
Chaber, Anne-Lise ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailImprovement of the ChIP-seq technique for histone posttranslational modifications through enhanced laboratory protocols and data processing methods
Laczik, Miklos ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Massively parallel sequencing has rapidly become the dominant technique in various omics studies as it provides an unequalled amount of high quality quantitative data for a reasonable cost that is ... [more ▼]

Massively parallel sequencing has rapidly become the dominant technique in various omics studies as it provides an unequalled amount of high quality quantitative data for a reasonable cost that is decreasing ever since the first next generation sequencers appeared. Subsequently, chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the prevailing method of choice for investigating protein–DNA interactions in a genome-wide manner. Bioinformatics tools are also evolving quickly to meet the increasing demands of processing huge amounts of ChIP-seq data and to open the way for novel techniques and insights. However areas still exist that could benefit from improved wet-lab and dry-lab methods. One such area is data visualisation and interpretation; another is the ChIP-seq study of histone posttranslational modifications, especially the research of inactive histone marks which tend to produce diffuse broad enrichments instead of point-source peaks. Achieving proper enrichment and unbiased analysis in such histone mark studies proves to be a great challenge. In this doctoral thesis we show how we addressed these issues on both the level of bioinformatics and the level of sample processing methods. We present our innovative analysis tools we developed to this end, among others a highly customisable, feature rich viewer for next generation sequencing data visualisation, and an analysis pipeline specifically aimed to handle broad enrichments from ChIP-seq studies of (inactive) histone marks. We propose specific software and specific peak calling settings to detect a range of histone modifications accurately, and we describe the way to determine the optimal settings. Along the pipeline we also present a protocol designed to enhance enrichments and facilitate peak detection in broad peak studies typical of inactive histone marks. We demonstrate how this method affects various enrichment types and propose potential applications that could benefit from it. Furthermore we show diverse achievements with the analysis pipeline, including the interpretation of the aforementioned wet-lab method, and the development of an automated ChIP-seq protocol optimised for low cell numbers. [less ▲]

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See detailField border flowering strips as a source of valuable compounds
Paul, Aman ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Intensification of agricultural practices has caused irreversible damage to environment during the last few years. Several consumers are now deviating towards healthier diets produced from eco-friendly ... [more ▼]

Intensification of agricultural practices has caused irreversible damage to environment during the last few years. Several consumers are now deviating towards healthier diets produced from eco-friendly and sustainable agricultural systems. In this regard, the possibilities of utilizing edible biomass originating from sustainable agricultural practices have gained recent attention. The underutilized edible plants, especially their seeds could be one of the interesting alternates, as some of these seeds are not only nutritious, but could also be produced using sustainable practices. Similarly, edible insects represent another category of biomass which are rich in nutrients and could be produced sustainably. The seeds from underutilized edible plants and the edible insects could be simultaneously harvested using a sustainable agricultural system involving field border flowering strips. Field border flowering strip is a part of agricultural landscape that is reserved for herbaceous vegetation. These strips are popularly grown throughout the world to enhance biodiversity. The main objective of this thesis is to utilize seeds from some of the plants grown as field border flowering strips and insects that find refuge in these plants for the provision of food and health promoting substances. From the literature reviewed in chapter two, it was observed that: (1). Most plants that are grown in field border flowering strips are edible, and their aerial parts have been extensively analyzed for chemical composition. However, there is a scarcity of literature evaluating chemical composition/food utilization of the seeds from plants that are grown as field border flowering strips. So, the primary objective of this thesis is to investigate the nutritional and health promoting potential of the seeds from some plants that are grown in these strips. (2). A number of grasshopper species find refuge in field border flowering strips. Several grasshopper species are considered edible throughout the world and they are interesting source of nutrients. So the secondary objective of this thesis is to screen some edible grasshopper species that are present in field border flowering strips, analyze their nutritional value, and investigate possibilities to establish their commercial rearing for ensuring year-long availability of edible biomass. The research strategy adopted to achieve the objectives of this thesis is mentioned in chapter three. This chapter includes details about the selection of raw materials (both plant seeds and insects), and subsequent analysis. Chapter four contains the detail about the materials and methods used for analysis during this study. Chapter five includes details about the investigations on edible insects. Chorthippus parallelus Zetterstedt species grasshoppers were shortlisted for detailed investigation due to their high densities in field border flowering strips. This insect species was analyzed for proximate composition, amino acid profile, fatty acid profile and mineral profile. Moreover the toxicity of these insects was also evaluated using two different models. Results indicated that these insects could be consumed as an alternate source of proteins (69%) and omega-3 fatty acid rich lipids (10%). Rearing trials done during this study indicates that commercial rearing could be developed to produce sufficient and safe biomass for human consumption. The selection of seeds from three plant species (Achillea millefolium L., Anthriscus sylvestris (L). Hoffm. and Prunella vulgaris L.), for detailed analysis on the basis of lipid content and fatty acid profile has been mentioned in chapter six. Chapter seven, eight and nine include the details about the composition and anti-oxidant activity of A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds, respectively. Proximate composition, lipid profile, amino acid profile, mineral profile, lignocellulosic profile, phenolic profile and phytate content of the three plant seeds were investigated during this study. Two new phenolic acids were discovered originating from P. vulgaris seeds. These compounds were named amolsamic acid A and amolsamic acid B. Discovery of these compounds was the true highlight of this thesis. All the three plant seeds were found to contain substantial level of total phenolics (0.8-2.6%) and interesting phenolic profiles (dominated by chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acids and related compounds). Keeping this in mind, the detailed anti-oxidant activity (including anti-radical scavenging, horseradish peroxidase response modulation, cellular anti-oxidant, myeloperoxidase response modulation and anti-lipid peroxidation activity) of their respective seed extracts was also analyzed. Results obtained during this study indicate that A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds not only contain interesting level of nutrients, but their extracts also exhibit significant anti-radical scavenging, horseradish peroxidase response modulation, cellular anti-oxidant (IC50 values order: P. vulgaris>A. sylvestris>A. millefolium) and myeloperoxidase response modulation activity (IC50 values order: A. sylvestris>A. millefolium>P. vulgaris for both direct and SIEFED assay). The main conclusions (chapter ten) of this PhD dissertation are: (1). C. parallelus insects could be viewed as an alternative source of nutrients to diversify human diets. The preliminary rearing studies done during this study indicate that commercial rearing could be developed for generation of substantial (and safe) biomass to support human consumption. (2). A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds could be included in food formulations (or consumed as whole) as a source of proteins, lipids, minerals and phenolics. P. vulgaris seeds could also be used for the extraction of two new phenolic constituents (amolsamic acid A and amolsamic acid B). The first investigations involving A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds realized during this study, indicate that seed extract (or whole seeds) from all three plants could possibly be consumed for the prevention of neutrophil and myeloperoxidase mediated damage in human body. [less ▲]

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See detailLa ligue d'Action française: mode d'organisation et pratiques culturelles, sociales et politiques (1905-1936)
Schmidt, Anne-Catherine ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Notre thèse se décline en une approche chronologico-thématique autour de trois pôles majeurs. Il s'agit, tout d'abord d'une démonstration qui entend établir un tableau aussi précis que possible de la ... [more ▼]

Notre thèse se décline en une approche chronologico-thématique autour de trois pôles majeurs. Il s'agit, tout d'abord d'une démonstration qui entend établir un tableau aussi précis que possible de la structure, des rouages et de l'implantation des organisations d'AF à Paris et en province. L'objectif est ensuite d'analyser les grandes matrices de l'engagement militant mais aussi et surtout leurs évolutions successives en lien avec un contexte politico-diplomatique extrêmement mouvant. Il s'agit pour chaque période donnée de chercher à comprendre ce qui constitue l'engagement au sein de la ligue dans une approche résolument tournée vers la base militante. Enfin, il faut réfléchir à la place et au rôle de l'AF dans la nébuleuse royaliste et nationaliste de son temps afin de comprendre les jeux d'alliance et de concurrence entre les diverses organisations mais aussi dans quelle mesure et de quelle manière la ligue d'AF s'est intégrée au répertoire d'action collective de son temps tout en participant à son renouvellement. Le choix de notre découpage chronologique répond à des nécessités à la fois contextuelles et propres à l'histoire de l'Action française. Au cours de la première période, de 1905 à 1914, on assiste à une structuration rapide et continue de l'appareil d'action intellectuelle et militante. Les rouages nationaux et locaux de la ligue se mettent en place et les matrices de l'engagement militant sont diffusées par l'intermédiaire du quotidien et contribuent à influencer l'opinion publique. A cette époque, l'AF est presque seule dans le champ nationaliste mais doit se positionner au sein du monde royaliste. Pendant la Grande Guerre, les structures de la ligue sont désorganisées. L'objectif principal est alors de continuer à diffuser le journal ce qui n'empêche pas la ligue d'utiliser le temps de guerre pour tenter de nouvelles méthodes de propagande notamment dans l'armée. La période 1914-1918 permet aussi à l'AF de se respectabiliser en choisissant la voie de l'Union sacrée. Elle reste malgré tout une organisation particulièrement surveillée d'autant plus que son influence dans l'opinion publique s'accroît. Après-guerre, l'AF se réorganise partout en province. Au cours de la période 1919-1926, elle fait l'expérience de la vie parlementaire et glisse, de fait, vers une sorte de conservatisme contre lequel elle s'est initialement constituée. Ses échecs électoraux couplés à l'influence croissante des communistes dans la vie publique contribuent à relancer son activisme militant mais pas suffisamment selon certains de ses membres qui suivent alors Georges Valois dans la dissidence du Faisceau. L'AF doit également faire face à l'apparition d'une nouvelle concurrence nationaliste avec la naissance des Jeunesses Patriotes. En 1926, elle est confrontée à la plus grave crise de son histoire : sa condamnation pontificale. Au cours de la période 1927-1929, la ligue cherche à rebondir et à maintenir son implantation et ses activités dans un contexte, par ailleurs, globalement défavorable. Les résultats sont extrêmement nuancés selon les régions mais, dans l'ensemble, il n'y a pas d'écroulement de sa structure militante même si les difficultés financières de la ligue sont de plus en plus importantes. Au tournant des années 1930, la crise économique aggrave encore ces difficultés mais contribue aussi à créer un contexte favorable à un nouvel épisode de flambée ligueuse. Au cours de la période 1933-1936, l'AF connaît un regain de vitalité dont le paroxysme se situe au moment du 6 février 1934. Cela étant, cet épisode démontre également les limites et les faiblesses du phénomène ligueur nationaliste en France. [less ▲]

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See detailModulation strategies of integrated HVAC systems used in residential buildings for demand-side management at different scales
Georges, Emeline ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The integration of renewable energy sources in the electricity production mix has an important impact on the management of the electricity grid, due to their intermittency. In particular, to ensure grid ... [more ▼]

The integration of renewable energy sources in the electricity production mix has an important impact on the management of the electricity grid, due to their intermittency. In particular, to ensure grid balancing, there is a rising need for flexibility, both on the supply and demand sides. A possible solution to help achieve grid balancing is the smart modulation of the electrical load in a "demand following supply" scheme through demand-side management. In this context, the objective of this doctoral thesis is to assess the amount of flexibility that can be harvested from the management of residential thermostatically-controlled loads and, in particular, through the use of heat pumps and storage. To that end, a modeling and control framework is developed to define efficient and scalable optimal load modulation strategies. The flexibility potential is investigated in different contexts: day-ahead electricity market, matching of decentralized electricity production and provision of ancillary services. Different scales are considered, from a single building to several thousand buildings. [less ▲]

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See detailAlle origini della conservazione in Belgio: il contributo originale di Louis Van der Swaelmen
Rapalo, Maria Chiara ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

La recherche proposée s’intègre dans le cadre d'une collaboration entre l'Italie et la Belgique portant sur les questions de la conservation et de la protection du paysage, lies au thème de l'urbanisme ... [more ▼]

La recherche proposée s’intègre dans le cadre d'une collaboration entre l'Italie et la Belgique portant sur les questions de la conservation et de la protection du paysage, lies au thème de l'urbanisme. L’objectif de cette collaboration est de mettre en évidence les contributions d’échelles diverses qui, dans le contexte belge, ont contribué à l'émergence des directives internationales actuelles dans le domaine de la conservation et de la protection des centres historiques et du paysage. Ces dernières années, le concept de paysage a fait l’objet d’une attention croissante de la part d'universitaires et d'experts appartenant à différentes disciplines. Au cours du XXe siècle, ce concept a connu une importante évolution au contact de ces disciplines ; en résulte ce que l’on nomme aujourd’hui le paysage urbain historique, qui est « le résultat d’une stratification historique de valeurs et caractères culturels et naturels qui vont au-delà de la notion de centre historique ou ensemble, jusqu'à inclure le contexte urbain le plus large et son emplacement (setting) géographique » (ajouter référence). Prenant en compte les perceptions et relations visuelles, les pratiques et valeurs sociales et culturelles, les processus économiques et les dimensions immatérielles du patrimoine liés à la diversité et l'identité des différentes cultures locales, l'approche du paysage urbain historique soutient les communautés dans leur quête de développement et d'adaptation, tout en conservant les caractéristiques et les valeurs liées à leur histoire, leur mémoire collective et leur environnement. Dès l’entre-deux-guerres, plusieurs personnalités ont abordé le problème des sites à partir de domaines jusque là distincts au profit d’une vision globale, liant les instances historique et esthétique de la ville et donc, la protection et la restauration du patrimoine et celle du paysage. Avec d’autres personnalités remarquables, tel Charles Buls, l’architecte-paysagiste Louis Van der Swaelmen a joué, dans le contexte belge, un rôle essentiel dans cette évolution de la culture de la conservation de la seule prise en compte des monuments à celle de la dimension urbaine. Avant tout connu comme planificateur et architecte-paysagiste urbain dans le cadre du Mouvement Moderne – dont il a été l'un des promoteurs –, Louis Van der Swaelmen est l’auteur des premières cités-jardins belges dans le premier tiers du XXe siècle. A ce jour, il est considéré comme l'un des acteurs principaux de la reconstruction d'une Belgique en grande partie détruite par l'artillerie allemande. En effet, après une période d'exil aux Pays-Bas lors de la Première Guerre mondiale, il rassemble une abondante documentation qui servira de base théorique non seulement aux travaux de reconstruction, mais aussi au développement du nouveau. En revanche, il est peu connu pour sa mobilisation en faveur de la protection et de la conservation des sites. Pourtant, on peut affirmer que Louis Van der Swaelmen fait partie des architectes qui ont conduit au changement de l'image du paysage belge, à un moment significatif de l'histoire architecturale nationale et européenne. L'objectif de cette étude a été non seulement d'examiner la figure de Louis Van Der Swaelmen en tant qu’architecte-paysagiste, personnalité émergente dans le contexte du développement urbain et précurseur du Mouvement Moderne belge, mais surtout de restituer sa culture architecturale et sa pensée dans le contexte national et international de la conservation, avec l’émergence de l’intérêt pour les sites et paysages. L’oeuvre de Van de Swaelmen se développe à une période particulière de l'histoire de la Belgique, où la construction d’une identité, notamment à travers la formation d’un esprit artistique national, est essentielle. Sur la scène internationale, les bases d'une conservation des sites, étroitement liés à l'évolution de la société dans son ensemble, ont été posées. Les contributions théoriques liées à la période complexe de la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle jusqu'aux années 1930 ont été essentielles, avec la conférence d'Athènes de 1931 et le Congrès du CIAM de 1933. Parmi celles-ci émergent les réflexions de Victor Hugo en France, de Goethe en Allemagne, de John Ruskin et du mouvement Arts and Crafts de William Morris en Grande-Bretagne, les études sur la culture historique de l'espace urbain de Camillo Sitte, la théorie du Kunstwollen de Alois Riegl ou encore les progrès dans le domaine de l'esthétique allemande de Gottfried Semper et les théories de Friedrich Theodor Vischer. Toutes ces expériences ont contribué, d'une façon plus ou moins visible, à l'évolution des mécanismes d’élaboration des directives internationales dans le domaine de la conservation et de la protection des centres historiques et du paysage. On peut donc considérer que Louis Van der Swaelmen a été formé dans un contexte très stimulant, non seulement par les contributions européennes dans le domaine de la conservation, mais aussi par les influences importantes anglaises, françaises, allemandes et néerlandaises qui ont marqué, après la Première Guerre mondiale, le monde de la planification urbaine et de la conservation dans le contexte belge. L’étude a été également l’occasion de comprendre et définir les points de contact entre les théories de conservation et celles de l'urbanisme, qui aujourd'hui, selon une vision simpliste de la réalité, sont considérées dans certains cas comme éloignées voire opposées. L'un des objectifs a été, par conséquent, contribuer à l'idée qu'au contraire, l’acte de la conservation et le projet du nouveau (soit en milieu urbain ou non), ne sont que des moments différents et complémentaires du même acte culturel. [less ▲]

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See detailL'art de la médiation scolaire. Entre ambiguïté et interprétations
Dethier, Baptiste ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

La thèse porte sur la construction de la politique de médiation scolaire menée en Belgique francophone et sa mise en œuvre concrète par de nouveaux agents chargés de l’interpréter : les médiateurs ... [more ▼]

La thèse porte sur la construction de la politique de médiation scolaire menée en Belgique francophone et sa mise en œuvre concrète par de nouveaux agents chargés de l’interpréter : les médiateurs scolaires. Dans un milieu scolaire où les acteurs, internes et externes aux établissements, sont multiples, les médiateurs sont appelés à prendre en charge des problèmes scolaires tels que la violence, le décrochage et l’absentéisme dans un cadre ambigu et, par conséquent, sujet à interprétation. La thèse rend compte du contexte organisationnel dans lequel les médiateurs s’inscrivent et de la mise en œuvre de cette politique. Baptiste Dethier analyse leur travail à l’aide de la métaphore du travail « artistique », c’est-à-dire comme un ensemble de procédures, de connaissances et de règles encadrant l’exercice d’une activité créative. Tout d’abord, cette activité est construite à partir d’orientations de sens – et non de prescriptions – données par l’État, les médiateurs scolaires étant chargés de les interpréter, grâce à une autonomie partiellement contrôlée. Ensuite, ces interprétations sont analysées grâce aux discours des médiateurs, reflétant la forte hétérogénéité dans la mise en œuvre de la politique de médiation scolaire ainsi que les controverses qui animent en permanence la fonction de médiateur. Enfin, à travers l’analyse des pratiques concrètes des médiateurs, il apparaît qu’elles consistent : d’une part, en la création de mises en scène spécifiques destinées à produire chez les bénéficiaires un état particulier de sensibilité ; d’autre part, comme autant de mises à l’épreuve de leur intégrité « artistique » et des principes dont ils se revendiquent. La thèse montre que les médiateurs scolaires se distinguent moins par ce qu’ils font que par la façon dont ils en parlent. Dès lors, la place de la place de la médiation et de la fonction de médiateur dans la division du travail au sein des organisations scolaires est questionnée. Celle-ci s’y trouve éclatée et ambigüe, entre contre-culture bousculant les équilibres historiques du système et participation au maintien de la forme scolaire traditionnelle. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of spatio-temporal sahde on crop growth and productivity, perspectives for temperate agroforestry
Artru, Sidonie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Currently, silvoarable agroforestry is receiving renewed interest in Europe, as a land use system that allows for combining the production of commodities with a range of non-commodity outputs, such as ... [more ▼]

Currently, silvoarable agroforestry is receiving renewed interest in Europe, as a land use system that allows for combining the production of commodities with a range of non-commodity outputs, such as environmental protection. Despite the potential of this practice, it remains rarely implemented in Northwestern Europe. One of the obstacles in the adoption of silvoarable agroforestry systems is the lack of quantitative knowledge on the long term performance of different crops when they are competing for resources with trees. In the face of a wide range of possibilities, it remains difficult to obtain a clear overview of overall system functioning. In this thesis, we simplify this complexity by focusing our research questions on the resource of light, based on the assumption that in Belgian climatic conditions light is likely to be the predominant constraint for understorey crops in a silvoarable agroforestry system. With regard to this resource, we develop our research in order to gain insights into the growth mechanisms and final yield of shaded winter wheat and sugar beet crops. We address these questions using an artificial shade system, which has been developed to reproduce the effect of the heterogeneous spatio-temporal pattern of light observed under late-flushing trees in an agroforestry system, isolated from the competition effects for water and nutrients. The shade structures recreate two shade environments: continuous and periodic. The continuous shade treatment leads to shade throughout the entire day, while the periodic shade treatment induces an intermittent shade period, which varies during the day and according to structure orientation. Winter wheat responded to the late application of both shade treatments with a significant decrease in grain yield, which was partly compensated for by an increase in grain protein content. When shaded, sugar beet compensated through morphological adaptations of the aboveground part of the plant, and by a decrease in the final root dry matter and sugar yield. Overall, for both crops, the magnitude of the final yield repercussion varied with the level and period of shade application. Additionally, an arable plot bordered by a row of poplar trees was selected to evaluate the effect of real trees on the winter wheat. The reduction in the final grain yield follows a gradient, from underneath the trees to the centre of the field. Notwithstanding that interactions other than light competition may have occurred, the maximum yield reduction observed under the trees never reaches the level of decrease which is observed under the continuous shade treatment simulated by the artificial shade arrangement. This experimental approach with winter wheat was complemented by a modelling study, in which we evaluate the ability of the STICS crop model to simulate crops growing under dynamic shade. The results highlight the limits of the STICS model when it is used to simulate crop growth under contrasted shade conditions. Finally, we propose agroecology as a conceptual framework for developing sustainable and profitable agroforestry systems in Europe, and reflect on agricultural practices, food systems, and research methodologies. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la gestion des ressources génétiques ovines et caractérisation de leurs marchés en région périurbaine de Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
Tindano, Kisito ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Sheep production in Burkina Faso supplies internal consumption and exportation markets, in countries of West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin). In this region, sheep have both economic and ... [more ▼]

Sheep production in Burkina Faso supplies internal consumption and exportation markets, in countries of West Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Benin). In this region, sheep have both economic and socio-cultural importance. While production is mainly located in the rural area, it is nevertheless noted that suburban livestock is developing, in particular around the capital city of Ouagadougou. Suburban production differs from rural livestock production, in particular by the actors involved, the economic orientation of production as well as by the availability of resources and production factors (services, inputs, land and capital). This context leads to the search for genetic resources favourable to this environment production, allowing for an optimisation of the activity. This implies a specific management of these resources. However, there is no information on how farmers in the suburban area manage their sheep genetic resources and on the sustainability of this management. Aiming to fill this information gap, this work focuses on (i) the characteristics of sheep farms in Ouagadougou suburbs and in neighbouring rural areas, (ii) the sheep traits, that have an impact on the their price, and finally (iii) the relative importance of some traits in the choice of breeding ram by breeders. In order to characterise sheep farming in the suburban area of Ouagadougou in terms of socio-economic motivations, breeding practices, including genetic resources management, and in order to better understand the dynamics of the sector, a survey was conducted among 80 breeders in the area. The results showed that the sector essentially comprises two categories of livestock, with almost half (42.5%) of the breeders who can be described as traditional livestock keepers. The latter breeders are illiterate at 94.1% and have no non-agricultural economic activities (88.2%). They don’t have sheltered enclosures (70.6) and their sheep don’t receive systematic deworming (61.8%). They keep Mossi sheep (88.2%) and their main selection objective is rusticity (64.7%). The other category includes 50% of the livestock keepers. These tend to intensify production through the use of better infrastructures (enclosures, shelters), better feeding and systematic de-worming of animals (87.5%). They report keeping animals for generation of additional income and they practice crossbreeding. Their main selection objective is to improve the young growth and adult weight. Reproduction is generally characterised by a lack of mating control, especially during the dry season when the animals are allowed to graze freely. This phenomenon, in the context of the practice of crossbreeding by some breeders, creates negative externalities for breeders preferring the purity of their herd for rusticity motives. This also undermines the sustainability of the systems by an uncontrolled increase in the share of Fulani genetics in herds and the loss of sources of Mossi pure breed. To investigate the possibility for the rural area to constitute a source for purebred Mossi sheep for the suburban area, another survey was conducted among 63 livestock keepers in the region of the Central Plateau of Burkina Faso. This study showed that sheep in this area are kept in sedentary systems and the Mossi sheep is the most encountered. A selective breeding strategy can be found for all breeders through the choice of males. The most cited selection objectives were the improvement of the adult weight (84.1%), the young growth (79.4%) and the maintenance of the rusticity (73%). In agreement with their goal of improving the weight and growth of animals, Mossi sheep females are often crossed with Fulani ram. These males are eliminated from the herd after the birth of the first crossbred lambs, while the latter are subsequently used for breeding. By removing the Fulani males after a short period of use, management appears to be better mastered and more sustainable compared to the suburban area, but leads to reconsider the notion of "purebred" in the region, as the management of breeders includes the mixed use of available breeds. However, with regard to the use of this area as a source of replacement females, if farmers appear to be willing to sell females to other farmers, the size of their herds doesn’t allow the sale of large numbers because of their own replacement needs. Added to this is the tendency expressed by some farmers to only sell to farmers they know, in hopes of reciprocity, hence for social rather than commercial motives. Consumer market demand for different phenotypic traits was investigated through a monitoring of market transactions (revealed preference surveys) and surveys among sheep exporters and butchers. A total of 338 transactions were monitored over three different periods (the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast period, Christmas and New Year period and a neutral period). The interviews involved 25 exporters and 15 butchers, who were asked about the characteristics of the animals quested for and their purchase localities. Survey results showed that exporters have preferences for large-framed and good body conditions animals while local butchers mark their preferences for small-framed and low-fitness animals. Markets are categorised into collection, assembly and terminal markets through which animals pass before reaching the final consumer. The revealed preferences have shown that phenotypic traits such as coat colour, weight and height at the withers have a highly significant (p<0.001) influence on prices. The weight has shown a non-linear, increasing influence on prices with increasing marginal income per kg of live weight. The purchase period, which is embedded with the purchase motive, also showed a highly significant (p<0.001) influence on prices, showing a superiority of the prices during the Eid al-Adha, but no difference between prices during the Christmas and New Year period and the neutral periods. Finally, the purchase period and coat colour showed highly significant interactions with the weight, the white-coloured animals and the Eid al-Adha period having better valorised the increase in weight. This study sheds light on the links between markets and demands for a certain orientation of sheep genetic resources. It is suggested, for example, that an improvement on the basis of higher weight and white colour criteria, which are more valued on the market, would rather favour a niche market linked to feasts periods and exports, and some breeders benefiting improved livestock resources. On the contrary, an improvement towards rusticity for small-framed animals would supply a more ordinary market, contributing to food security of households and an income generation for a wider range of sheep producers. In this market context, a final study aimed at highlighting the trade-off that breeders are willing to make for the improvement of the different traits, whether "productive" or "adaptive". A stated choice experience, taking into account the traits such as weight, colour, susceptibility to diseases and the feed requirement, was carried out with 137 breeders. These farmers mainly use natural grazing (82.5% of the farmers involved). Crossbreeding is observed in 23.4% of farmers. The highest willingness to pay (WTP) was observed for resistance to diseases with 261€. However, among the farmer practicing crossbreeding, there was an apparent preference for susceptibility to disease with a WTP of 45€. A significant WTP was also revealed for the white coat colour (21€) then preferred to the bicoloured. The preference for large-framed animals compared to medium-framed ones was significant but relatively lower than preferences for white coat colour and resistance to diseases. On the other hand, farmers showed indifference for the transition from the medium body size to the small body size. For all traits, farmers practicing crossbreeding showed a preference for extreme levels compared to intermediate levels. Two trends emerged from this study: on the one hand, farmers willing to take the risk of reducing resistance to diseases in order to increase productivity; on the other hand, those with greater risk aversion, strongly willing to spend to gain resistance to diseases. The case of crossbreeding farmers suggests an interesting double preference, demonstrating a WTP for opposed traits being considered as typical of one breed or the other, then depreciating the intermediate traits indicating the possibility of a crossbred. All the studies indicate that the management of sheep genetic resources in Ouagadougou's suburban area, although it does not really present threats to the different breeds in its present state, nevertheless shows signs, particularly from the market, that could hamper the sustained use of small-framed and environmentally adapted sheep. It is therefore necessary to find a strategy to better organise this management to make it sustainable. The establishment of a terminal crossbreeding scheme involving suburban and rural livestock farmers is a possible strategy. This nevertheless requires truly commercial livestock at the end of the scheme and means to overcome certain constraints raised in this thesis. [less ▲]

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See detailDroplet microfluidics for single-cell manipulation
Van Loo, Stéphanie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

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See detailMulti-instrument study of the hourly pulsations in Saturn's magnetophere
Palmaerts, Benjamin ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The exploration of the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn has revealed various periodic processes. Some periodicities are related to the planetary rotation while some others are characterized by a short ... [more ▼]

The exploration of the magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn has revealed various periodic processes. Some periodicities are related to the planetary rotation while some others are characterized by a short period. In Saturn's magnetosphere, periodicities of about one hour have been reported in the measurements of charged particle fluxes, plasma wave emissions, magnetic field strength and auroral emission brightness. The frequency, the spatial distribution and the magnetospheric process generating these hourly periodicities are still unknown. Similar short-period pulsations have been also observed in Jupiter's magnetosphere, suggesting that these 1-hour periodicities are the signature of a fundamental process in the magnetospheres of these two giant planets. In this thesis, I performed a thorough analysis of these hourly periodicities at Saturn using the data sets of several instruments on board the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around the giant planet since 2004. First I made a survey of the quasi-periodic 1-hour energetic electron pulsations observed in Saturn's magnetosphere between 2004 and 2014 by the Cassini particle instrumentation. These pulsations appear in the electron fluxes at energies between a hundred keV up to several MeV. The survey includes 720 pulsed electron events observed in the outer magnetosphere over a wide range of latitudes and local times, revealing that this phenomenon is common and frequent in Saturn's magnetosphere. A statistical analysis on the morphological properties of the pulsed events suggests a high-latitude source for the pulsed energetic electrons. I also investigated the simultaneous signatures of the electron pulsations in the radio emissions and the magnetic field measured by Cassini. The results of the multi-instrument study support the scenario of a high-latitude electron source and suggest a possible relation with the auroral processes. Images of Saturn's auroral emissions, which display the ionospheric response to magnetospheric dynamics, have been investigated to highlight any hourly pulsations. A high-latitude auroral spot exhibits quasi-periodic brightening with a periodicity of around 60 minutes. This auroral spot is associated with the magnetospheric cusp and high-latitude magnetopause reconnection in the lobes. Pulsed dayside magnetopause reconnection is likely a common triggering process for the cusp auroral brightening and for the high-latitude energetic electron pulsations. Finally, analysis of the plasma environment with low-energy electron measurements provided evidence of the presence of energetic electron pulsed events in the close vicinity of the magnetopause. Therefore it is suggested that processes at the magnetopause, most likely magnetic reconnection induced by instabilities, generate the hourly electron pulsations located at low latitude. The multi-instrument study achieved in my thesis sets constraints on the origin of the pulsed electron events and bring forward our current understanding on the hourly pulsations in Saturn's magnetosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailRégulation de voies de signalisation par deux acteurs de la voie Nonsense-mediated Decay, Dhx34 et Nbas: la cas particulier de l'adénohypophyse.
Windhausen, Thomas ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In eukaryotes, biosynthesis of functional mRNAs is the core process of genetic expression and is monitored by highly conserved pathways that prevent appearance of aberrant mRNAs. Amongst them the Nonsense ... [more ▼]

In eukaryotes, biosynthesis of functional mRNAs is the core process of genetic expression and is monitored by highly conserved pathways that prevent appearance of aberrant mRNAs. Amongst them the Nonsense-Mediated Decay (NMD) pathway is the surveillance mechanism that detects and degrades mRNAs containing premature termination codons (PTCs). The translation of transcripts containing such nonsense codon within the coding sequence would leads to the production of C-terminally truncated proteins that could exhibit dominant negative or gain-of-function activities. The NMD is thus a key determinant of the phenotypic outcome of numerous diseases involving PTCs such as the β-thalassemia, the Duchenne muscular dystrophy or even some cancers. In addition to its quality control function degrading aberrant mRNA, the NMD is also involved in the abundance regulation of several physiological transcripts. For example the NMD is involved in the regulation of the concentration of splicing factors in a process called AS-NMD (Alternative splicing- Nonsense-mediated Decay), establish a threshold for some stress responses such as the UPR pathway (Unfolded Protein Response) and constitute a defence mechanism against ARN(+) viruses. Despite tremendous studies, the study of the developmental and physiological impact of the NMD pathway is restrained due to the early lethality of the mammals embryos that underwent knock-out of one of the NMD actor. As an alternative model we propose Danio rerio which as a vertebrate with external development and a large panel of genetic inactivation methods is a wonderful model for developmental studies and represent a excellent tool to study the NMD pathway. Initial studies in zebrafish conducted by morpholino knock-down, showed that depletion of upf1, upf2, smg5, smg6, dhx34 or nbas leads to the NMD blockage and induce similar developmental defects mainly in brain, eyes and somites. Moreover, it’s has been showed that as in mammals the NMD in fish also implicated in the regulation of natural transcripts. We present here a functional study of two key actors of the NMD, Dhx34 and Nbas, in the interesting case of the pituitary gland development. In the present study, we shed light on the NMD pathway importance for the developmental process of the pituitary gland. Using in situ hybridization confirmed by RT-qPCR quantification, we observed that the NMD inactivation thought inhibition of two crucial actors of this surveillance pathway, Dhx34 and Nbas, lead to a hypertrophy of the gland coupled with a promotion of the anterior cell fates and a repression of the posterior fates at 2 dpf. We proved that this endocrine deregulation is due to a late general increase of the Sonic Hedgehog and Delta-Notch signalling during AH formation. In addition to previous works, our results show that the NMD pathway is required to control the activity diverse signalling pathways involved in the developmental process. As confirmation, we could observe serious abnormalities in a variety of tissues such as underdeveloped eyes, intestine, liver and skeleton, defects in brain, somites and vascular patterning. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign and Management of Freight Transport Networks: Intermodal Transport and Externalities
Mostert, Martine ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Transportation of goods contributes to the economic development of societies but it generates negative impacts on its environment called negative externalities. In its White Paper on Transport, the ... [more ▼]

Transportation of goods contributes to the economic development of societies but it generates negative impacts on its environment called negative externalities. In its White Paper on Transport, the European Commission encourages the flow transfer from road to more environmentally friendly modes like rail or inland waterways (IWW). This objective can be reached by the development of intermodal transport. A literature review on transport externalities and their valorization methods highlights the small number of studies related to the general modeling of transport externalities through dedicated mathematical formulas. However, the latter are important for identifying the key parameters that influence transport competitiveness in terms of externalities. This is demonstrated by analyzing two external cost functions for road and rail. The location of intermodal terminals stands out from the environmental perspective as one of the most important competitiveness factors of intermodal transport regarding road. An innovative mathematical model for the location of terminals and allocation of flows between road and intermodal rail and IWW transport is developed. The model is based on a bi-objective formulation which evaluates the trade-offs between transport operational costs and CO2 emissions. Economies of scale of intermodal transport are integrated. The model is applied to the Belgian network. Results indicate that terminal locations are relatively stable, whatever the optimized economic or environmental objective. The type of terminal located changes according to the followed strategy. Minimizing CO2 emissions leads to an increased use of intermodal transport. The impact of transport on air pollution is also evaluated. On the Belgian case, an economic optimization of transport operational costs is compared to an environmental optimization of transport air pollution external costs. The intervention of public authorities through a taxation policy for trucks is also studied. Results show that the introduction of road taxes leads to a more intensive use of intermodal transport than in the absence of taxes. The maximum intermodal market share is observed when air pollution external costs are minimized. Finally, a new model which considers other intermodal chains than the traditional “road-rail/IWW-road” modeling is applied on experimental data at the European level. The model allows to choose between any direct transport by one mode (road, rail or IWW), and any intermodal transport of up to three modes. Results indicate that several connections may benefit from the use of other combinations of modes than the “road-rail/IWW-road” combination. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of non-linear Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Discontinuous Galerkin formulations
Homsi, Lina ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

A coupled Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) method is developed considering the non-linear interactions of electrical, thermal, and mechanical fields. The numerical properties of the ... [more ▼]

A coupled Electro-Thermo-Mechanical Discontinuous Galerkin (DG) method is developed considering the non-linear interactions of electrical, thermal, and mechanical fields. The numerical properties of the DG are demonstrated, such as uniqueness, consistency, stability and the optimal convergence rate. The framework is applied to simulate the response of smart composite materials, where the shape memory effect is triggered by the Joule effect. [less ▲]

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See detailInnate signaling by mycolate esters of the cell wall of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and relevance for the development of adjuvants for subunit vaccines
Tima, Giresse ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Tuberculosis remains among the most deadly health threats to humankind. This povertyrelated disease, caused by bacteria of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, kills each year more than 1.5 million ... [more ▼]

Tuberculosis remains among the most deadly health threats to humankind. This povertyrelated disease, caused by bacteria of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, kills each year more than 1.5 million people. It is estimated that a further 2 billion individuals are latently infected with M. tuberculosis. Most of them will never develop any clinical symptoms, although 5 to 10% of these latently infected individuals are at risk to develop TB in their lifetime. During the last decades the situation worsened because of deteriorating socioeconomic conditions, the increased incidence of drug-resistant M.tuberculosis strains and the co-infection with HIV (a major risk factor for development of TB). Currently only one vaccine is available against TB, the Bacille of Calmette and Guérin (BCG). However, its efficacy is extremely variable against the contagious form of TB - pulmonary TB - in adults and adolescents (ranging from 0 to 80%). Therefore, to control and eliminate TB, a better vaccine, efficient drug treatments and more rapid and cheaper diagnostic techniques are needed. In this PhD thesis we have attempted to provide additional information to reach this goal. Indeed, we investigated the inflammatory and adjuvant potential of mycolate esters homologous of those found in the cell wall of M. tuberculosis. These mycolate esters vary in terms of sugar (trehalose, glucose and arabinose) and lipid (alpha-, methoxy-, keto-, wax-ester MAs) moieties. TDM, TMM, GMM and AraMM were found to be potent activators of BMDCs in vitro. This activation was shown to be dependent on the Mincle pathway. Our results demonstrated that the classes of MAs bound to sugar do not consistently impact the level of pro-inflammatory and adjuvant responses induced. Rather, the nature of the sugar and the number of acyl chains bound to it seem to dictate the affinity of the glycolipid for Mincle receptor in vitro. In vivo, we observed that TDM, TMM and GMM induce similar immune responses characterized by a production of antigen-specific IFN-γ and IL-17A. The immune responses induced by AraMM are dependent on the type of formulation. Indeed, AraMM in emulsion does not induce substantial level of Th1 while AraMM in DDA liposome induces Th1 immune response. This study increases our knowledge on host-pathogen interactions during M. tuberculosis infection by identifying the receptor involved in the recognition of several PAMPs. Furthermore, we showed that the activation of this receptor by these mycolate esters triggers the induction of protective Th1 and Th17 immune responses [less ▲]

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See detailApplication of wavelet transforms to geosciences: Extraction of functional and frequential information
Deliège, Adrien ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

It is now well-known that there exist functions that are continuous but nowhere differentiable. Still, it appears that some of them are less “irregular” than others. The pointwise regularity of a function ... [more ▼]

It is now well-known that there exist functions that are continuous but nowhere differentiable. Still, it appears that some of them are less “irregular” than others. The pointwise regularity of a function can be characterized by its Hölder exponent at each point. For the sake of practicability, it is more appropriate to determine the “size” of the sets of points sharing a same exponent, through their Hausdorff measure. By doing so, one gets the multifractal spectrum of a function, which characterizes in particular its monofractal or multifractal nature. The first part of this work is based on the so-called “wavelet leaders method” (WLM), recently developed in the context of multifractal analysis, and aims at its application to concrete situations in geosciences. First, we present the WLM and we insist particularly on the major differences between theory and practice in its use and in the interpretation of the results. Then, we show that the WLM turns out to be an efficient tool for the analysis of Mars topography from a unidimensional and bidimensional point of view; the first approach allowing to recover information consistent with previous works, the second being new and highlighting some areas of interest on Mars. Then, we study the regularity of temperature signals related to various climate stations spread across Europe. In a first phase, we show that the WLM allows to detect a strong correlation with pressure anomalies. Then we show that the Hölder exponents obtained are directly linked to the underlying climate and we establish criteria that compare them with their climate characteristics as defined by the Köppen-Geiger classification. On the other hand, the continuous version of the wavelet transform (CWT), developed in the context of time-frequency analysis, is also studied in this work. The objective here is the determination of dominant periods and the extraction of the associated oscillating components that constitute a given signal. The CWT allows, unlike the Fourier transform, to obtain a representation in time and in frequency of the considered signal, which thus opens new research perspectives. Moreover, with a Morlet-like wavelet, a simple reconstruction formula can be used to extract components. Therefore, the second part of the manuscript presents the CWT and focuses mainly on the border effects inherent to this technique. We illustrate the advantages of the zero-padding and introduce an iterative method allowing to alleviate significantly reconstruction errors at the borders of the signals. Then, we study in detail the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal related to temperature anomalies in the Pacific Ocean and responsible for extreme climate events called El Niño (EN) and La Niña (LN). Through the CWT, we distinguish its main periods and we extract its dominant components, which reflect well-known geophysical mechanisms. A meticulous study of these components allows us to elaborate a forecasting algorithm for EN and LN events with lead times larger than one year, which is a much better performance than current models. After, we generalize the method used to extract components by developing a procedure that detects ridges in the CWT. The algorithm, called WIME (Wavelet-Induced Mode Extraction), is illustrated on several highly non-stationary examples. Its ability to recover target components from a given signal is tested and compared with the Empirical Mode Decomposition. It appears that WIME has a better adaptability in various situations. Finally, we show that WIME can be used in real-life cases such as an electrocardiogram and the ENSO signal. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign of reprocessable poly(ɛ-caprolactone)-based shape-memory materials
Defize, Thomas ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Shape-memory polymers (SMPs) are remarkable materials able to switch from a temporary shape to their initial permanent shape by crossing a thermal transition, e.g. glass or melting transition. Efficient ... [more ▼]

Shape-memory polymers (SMPs) are remarkable materials able to switch from a temporary shape to their initial permanent shape by crossing a thermal transition, e.g. glass or melting transition. Efficient shape-memory effect is notably observed for chemically cross- linked semi-crystalline polymers. Chemical networks of semi-crystalline poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) are widely studied for the development of SMPs especially when biomedical applications are foreseen. As these SMPs are irreversibly cross-linked material, their (re)processing is quite limited since they cannot be molten or solubilized after cross-linking. This prevents any recycling. Thereby, using reversible cross-linking reactions allowing the formation or cleavage of the network upon a selected stimulus raise tremendous interest for the development of smart SMPs. Chemically cross-linked but remarkably (re)processable shape-memory polymers (SMP) were designed by crosslinking poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) stars via reversible cycloaddition reactions. The thermo-reversible Diels-Alder (DA) reaction between furan and maleimide was investigated to crosslink the PCL matrix. However, the relatively low retro DA temperature of the furan-maleimide adducts led to some inelastic deformation during shape memory tensile cycles. In order to get rid of this drawback, two alternative approaches were investigated, i.e. the substitution of the DA reaction firstly by the efficient triazolinedione click chemistry, especially the very fast and reversible Alder-ene reaction of 1,2,4-triazoline-3,5- dione (TAD) with indole compounds and secondly by a photo-reversible reaction, typically the photo-induced (2+2) cycloaddition of coumarins. With these networks, the typical shape memory properties of PCL networks (high fixity and recovery ratios) were preserved while upon an external (light or stress) stimulus, the PCL network can be (re)processed efficiently. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude descriptive et relationnelle des facteurs de risque d’infécondité et d’infertilité des vaches laitières au sud Viet Nam
Nguyen, Kien Cuong ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Increasing milk production is a key issue for Vietnam. Improving milk production involves controlling direct or indirect factors responsible for this. These factors are genetics, feed, environment, and ... [more ▼]

Increasing milk production is a key issue for Vietnam. Improving milk production involves controlling direct or indirect factors responsible for this. These factors are genetics, feed, environment, and reproductive performance. The identification and control of individual or collective factors responsible for reproductive performance is therefore an important step in improving milk production. The general objective of our study is to describe the milk and reproductive performances of dairy smallholding in Vietnam and to analyze the effects of risk factors on reproductive performance. The specific objectives are:(1) to describe the physiological and pathological characteristics of genital tract of culled dairy cows in dairy smallholding; (2) to specify the fecundity and fertility of heifers and dairy cows of small dairy farms; (3) to identify the postpartum (PP) reproductive disorders of cows in dairy smallholders (4) to analyze the effects of individual and environmental risk factors on the reproductive performance of heifers and cows; and (5) to analyze the risk factors for the postpartum (PP) reproductive disorders of cows. The first work of our study was conducted from February to August 2012 on 507 culled crossbred Holstein Friesian (HF) x Lai Sind (LS) dairy cows at two slaughterhouses in HCMC. Age and body condition score (BCS) of cows were determined prior to slaughter. A visual examination of vulva region was also performed to identify the presence of eventual discharges. Then, vaginoscopic examination was performed to determine the presence of discharges and pneumovagina or even urovagina. After slaughter, the uterus was incised to examine the contents. Oviducts were observed to identify abnormalities. The ovaries were collected to evaluate eventual structures (number and diameter of follicles, corpus luteum - CL and cysts) using an ultrasound (KX5200, 6.5 MHz linear probe). The results of this study revealed some important pathological characteristics of examined cows. Nearly half (44.4%) of examined cows had a BCS lower than 2.5. The prevalence of pneumovagina and urovagina was 33.1% and 14.7%, respectively; age and BCS have had a significant effect on the prevalence of these pathologies. The frequencies of vaginal discharges and abnormal uterine contents were 12.1% and 5.4%, respectively. 226 out of 507 examined cows (44.6%) were in anœstrus. The frequencies of functional pathological anœstrus, cystic, pyometral and gestation were 37.3%, 2.0%, 0.4% and 4.9%, respectively. Type 0 and I anœstrus have been more often observed in cows with low BCS and in cows aged less than 6 years. The results of the first work reinforced us in the need to set up specific monitoring of small dairy farms at HCMC. The total of 232 heifers and 244 cows (261 lactations) of 35 small farms in Cu Chi district, HCMC were observed during the years 2013 and 2014. The animals are kept permanently indoors. Their diet consists of fodder (Pennisetum purpureum or natural grass and rice straw), concentrates and by-products (spent grain and cassava waste). Each farm was monitored monthly for reproduction of heifers and cows by transrectal palpation, ultrasound (KX5200, 6.5 MHz linear probe) and vaginoscopy. Reproductive data (dates and type of calving, calf sex, complications, results of clinical examinations, date of heat, date of insemination), milk production (daily average milk yield per cow), BCS and weight of heifers were updated at each visit. The reproductive performance was assessed by fecundity and fertility parameters. The fecundity of heifers and cows was calculated by (1) birth to conception interval (heifers) (or age at conception – AC) or calving to conception interval (cows) (or days open - DO), (2) birth to first service (heifers) (or age at first service – AFS) or calving to first service (cows) (or waiting period - WP) and (3) days between first and last service (DFLS). The fertility of heifers and cows was determined by (1) number of services per conception (NSC), (2) conception rate at first service (CRFS) and (3) overall conception rate (CR). The prevalence of PP disorders (dystocia, retained placenta or RP, clinical endometritis, urovagina, cysts and anœstrus) was also determined. The monthly temperature and humidity index (THI) for the years 2013 - 2014 has been calculated. The body weight and average daily gain of heifer at 6, 12 and 16 months of age were 159, 280 and 351 kg and 690, 646 and 705 g/day respectively. The average daily milk yield per cow was 11.6 (± 0.5) kg. The average duration of lactation was 368 (± 100) days. The overall mean of AFS, DFLS and AC of heifers was 479 (± 80), 38 (± 80) and 517 (± 114) days, respectively. The NSC, CR and CRFS was 1.8 (± 1.4), 55% and 58%, respectively. A significant decrease in AFS and AC according to the year of birth and a significant increase in AFS with a heavier weight (> 320 kg) at first AI were observed. CRFS of heifers inseminated in 2013 was higher than that of heifers inseminated in 2014 (64% vs 50%, P <0.05). The monthly CR in heifers was negatively correlated with the monthly THI during observed period (P = 0.003). The overall mean of WP, DFLS, DO of cows was 109 (±52), 133 (±114) and 242 (±129), respectively. The mean for NSC, CR and CRFS was 4.3 (±2.7), 23 % and 14 %. A significant decrease in WP, DFLS, DO and NSC with an increase according to the year of calving was observed in this study. Calving occurring during rainy season was accompanied by a significant increase in WP. The presence of PP disorders was accompanied by an increase in WP (108 vs 98 days), DO (249 vs 216 days) and NSC (4.7 vs 3.9). A decrease in BCS between calving and day 60th (C60) and between day 60th and 120th PP resulted in a significant increase in WP and DO. The decrease in BCS between C60 also leaded to a significant reduction in CRFS (8 vs 18%, P <0.05). The year and season of insemination, and the BCS at insemination had a significant effect on the NSC and CR of cows. There was a negative correlation between monthly CR in cows and THI (r = -0645, P = 0.02). A total of 353 calvings and PP periods of 302 cows were observed. The prevalence of dystocia, RP, clinical endometritis, urovagin, PP anestrus and ovarian cysts was 24.4%, 16.4%, 19.2%, 5.6%, 49.9% and 6.3%, respectively. The primiparous cows had 1.7 times more risk of dystocia than the multiparous cows (29.9% vs 20.4%, P <0.05). Cows that calved in 2014 or in rainy season had 6 or 2.1 times more than risk of dystocia than cows that calved in 2013 (P <0.001) or in dry season (P <0.01), respectively. The frequency of RP was higher in 2014 than in 2013 (21.8% vs. 11.7%, P <0.01). Cows that calved in 2014 or in rainy season showed more frequently clinical endometritis than cows that calved in 2013 (OR = 3.03, P = 0.001) or in dry season (OR = 3.78, P <0.001). Dystocia (OR = 2.8; P = 0.003) and RP (OR = 4.7, P = 0.001) were the major risk factors of clinical endometritis. The difficult calving, clinical endometritis and insufficient BCS at calving (< 3) or day 30th in PP were accompanied by an increase in risk of type I anestrus. In conclusion, the reproductive performance was satisfactory for heifers, but poor for cows. The infertility and PP anestrus are the major factors responsible for this situation. Heat stress and under-nutrition are the major causes of infertility and PP anestrus. Moreover, the frequency of reproductive disorders (dystocia, RP, clinical endometritis and PP anestrus) is also important in this study. Dystocia and RP are the risk factors for clinical endometritis and this disorder also had a negative effect on fertility and resumption of ovarian activity in cows. [less ▲]

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See detailNouvelles combinaisons thérapeutiques pour améliorer l'efficacité anti-tumorale de l'inhibition d'HDAC5
Hendrick, Elodie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

En oncologie, les 18 membres de la famille des déacétylases d’histone (HDAC) représentent des cibles thérapeutiques d’intérêt croissant. En effet, de nombreuses molécules pharmacologiques ciblant ... [more ▼]

En oncologie, les 18 membres de la famille des déacétylases d’histone (HDAC) représentent des cibles thérapeutiques d’intérêt croissant. En effet, de nombreuses molécules pharmacologiques ciblant l’activité enzymatique de ces protéines (HDACi) montrent des effets anti-tumoraux intéressants in vitro et in vivo ainsi que dans de nombreux essais cliniques sur des patients souffrant de pathologies cancéreuses solides et hématologiques. A ce jour, 4 de ces molécules (Vorinostat®, l’Istodax®, Beleodaq® et le Farydak®) sont d’ailleurs approuvées par la FDA et l’EMA pour le traitement de patients souffrant, notamment, de différents types de lymphomes et de myélomes. Aujourd’hui, les oncologues s’intéressent au développement d’inhibiteurs d’HDAC plus sélectifs avec comme objectifs de maintenir et d’améliorer l’effet anti-tumoral tout en diminuant la toxicité et en réduisant les potentiels effets non désirés. Dans cette optique, il convient de déterminer plus finement les relations qu’il existe entre l’inhibition spécifique d’une HDAC et les effets anti- tumoraux observés et ce, afin d’identifier la (les) HDAC d’intérêt à cibler en thérapie anti-cancéreuse. Dans ce travail, nous nous sommes focalisés sur le rôle et les mécanismes d’action de l’histone déacétylase 5 (HDAC5) dans les cellules cancéreuses. Nos résultats démontrent que l’inhibition sélective d’HDAC5 module l’expression de protéines du complexe I de la chaîne respiratoire mitochondriale, de protéines pro- et anti- oxydantes et des protéines impliquées dans le métabolisme de métaux tel que le métabolisme de stockage du fer labile. Par conséquent, la déplétion d’HDAC5 induit une production accrue d’espèces réactives de l’oxygène (ROS) mitochondriaux accentués par la présence accrue de fer labile intracellulaire disponible pour la réaction de Fenton. Cette accumulation accrue de ROS induit une mort cellulaire par apoptose et un processus d’autophagie de type mitophagie (dégradation sélective des mitochondries endommagées et productrice de ROS). La déplétion d’HDAC5 dans des cellules cancéreuses modifie également le métabolisme énergétique dépendant du glucose et de la glutamine. Nous avons effectivement observé d’une part, une augmentation de l’import du glucose dirigé vers la voie des pentoses phosphates assurant une production de NADPH, force réductrice du glutathion permettant ainsi de contrecarrer le stress oxydant et d’autre part, une glutamino-dépendance nécessaire au maintien des besoins énergétiques de la cellule. Par conséquent, des cellules déplétées en HDAC5 dont l’apport en glucose ou en glutamine est contrecarré par des inhibiteurs métaboliques utilisés en clinique, meurent de manière significative par apoptose in vitro et diminuent la croissance de tumeurs in vivo, suggérant que des stratégies combinatoires couplant l’inhibition sélective d’HDAC5 à des inhibiteurs du métabolisme énergétique actuellement testés en essai clinique pourraient être proposées comme nouvelle stratégie combinatoire en thérapie anti-cancéreuse. [less ▲]

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See detailLes constructions relatives du néo-égyptien. Une approche fonctionnelle
Sojic, Nathalie ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Cette dissertation doctorale se propose d’étudier les constructions relatives du néo-égyptien suivant une approche fonctionnelle. Elle offre une première étude large de la relativisation pour cet état de ... [more ▼]

Cette dissertation doctorale se propose d’étudier les constructions relatives du néo-égyptien suivant une approche fonctionnelle. Elle offre une première étude large de la relativisation pour cet état de langue sous l’angle de la variation linguistique. Elle comprend deux grandes parties : les chapitres 1 à 4 sont théoriques, les chapitres 5 à 9 constituent la recherche à proprement parler. Le chapitre 10 conclut l’ensemble. Le premier chapitre (Ch. 1) propose un état de la question des études relatives aux constructions relatives en égyptien ancien et met en avant le manque criant de vision d’ensemble des descriptions et des études proposées jusqu’à présent, tous états de langue confondus. Le chapitre suivant (Ch. 2) définit le cadre théorique dans lequel s’inscrit l’étude, à savoir les bases conceptuelles et terminologiques issues du fonctionnalisme en linguistique. J’y fais également le point sur le recours, en égyptologie, à ces théories. Le troisième chapitre (Ch. 3) est consacré à la délimitation et à la description du corpus, l’accent étant mis sur la variation linguistique (en diachronie et en synchronie dynamique). Je propose ensuite (Ch. 4) un préambule ou un excursus relatif à la définition des « parties du discours », catégories d’après lesquelles sont classées les unités qui composent la phrase. La plupart des études fonctionnelles, dont la présente, ont pour objet l’une de ces catégories. Le cinquième chapitre (Ch. 5) offre une vue d’ensemble des constructions relatives et constructions apparentées en égyptien ancien (ancien, moyen et néo). La description, très générale, vise à rendre compte de leurs principales caractéristiques typologiques et des particularités de la langue étudiée. Le chapitre suivant (Ch. 6) est consacré à l’histoire du système : il en présente les grandes tendances distributionnelles aux stades de la langue antérieurs au néo-égyptien. Cette synthèse montre l’existence de jeux d’oppositions à l’œuvre à une époque donnée et permet d’en constater l’évolution au stade concerné. Dans un autre chapitre, (Ch. 7) j’examine en détail l’expression de la négation dans les relatives. Après y avoir exposé les facteurs de variation spécifique à l’évolution de la négation, je propose une taxonomie fonctionnelle des constructions relatives négatives en néo-égyptien. Plus loin (Ch. 8), je me penche sur l’épineuse question de la valeur sémantique des relatives introduites par nty (« vraies » relatives) et de celles introduites par iw (relatives « virtuelles », c’est-à-dire des circonstancielles fonctionnant comme des relatives). Ma démarche, issue d’une réflexion critique à partir des études menées sur les différents types de relatives dans d’autres langues, m’amène à suggérer que, contrairement à ce qui a été dit pour l’égyptien ancien, leur distribution ne dépend pas uniquement de la définition de l’antécédent ou de la nature du relateur, mais que la valeur sémantique – contingente ou non – de la construction relativisée joue un rôle tout aussi important. Cette nouvelle façon d’aborder le problème permet d’apporter une explication quant à la grammaticalisation observée dans la distribution de ces constructions. L’avant dernier chapitre (Ch. 9) propose une étude approfondie de l’omission du pronom de rappel de l’antécédent dans les relatives du néo-égyptien. J’y recours aux concepts d’échelle d’accessibilité à la relativisation élaborée par Keenan & Comrie (1977), d’échelle d’accessibilité cognitive d’Ariel (1990) et aux travaux d’Hawkins (1999, 2004) relatifs à la structure informationnelle de la phrase complexe. Ce faisant, je définis des contextes particulièrement favorables à une omission, et démontre aussi que ces omissions sont en partie motivées par des facteurs extralinguistiques. Le dernier chapitre (Ch. 10) fait office de conclusion générale. Il fait le point sur l’apport des chapitres précédents et sur les différents types de variations mis en évidence dans cette étude. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation des amidons de sorgho et de mil perlé cultivés dans le Sahara algérien
Boudries, Nadia ULiege

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Starches of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.)) cultivated in Tidikelt (In Salah) and Ahaggar (Tamanrasset), were the subject of a characterization study. The ... [more ▼]

Starches of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) and pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.)) cultivated in Tidikelt (In Salah) and Ahaggar (Tamanrasset), were the subject of a characterization study. The approach consists of the isolation of starches, the determination of physico-chemical and functional properties and the study of enzymatic hydrolysis modification. The starches with a rate ranging from 63.1 to 66.8 % were isolated according to the alkaline method. The purity of the obtained starches is satisfactory (91.4-96.7 %).However the extraction yield remains average (59.1-61.2 %). The physical properties (color, shape and size of the granules), chemical composition (moisture, starch and amylose) and rheological properties (solubility, swelling power and viscosity) of the isolated starches were determined. Important results were obtained highlighting interesting functional properties of these starches. Indeed, the average diameter of native starches granules had reached 18 and 10µm for sorghum and pearl millet respectively. These values are lower than those of others regions cultivars and close to those of corn and cassava. The amylose content (23.0 and 27.1 %) revealed that the analyzed cereals are normal varieties. The analysis of viscosity showed a very high peak viscosity that is reached rapidly. The DSC analysis has revealed higher gelatinization temperatures, attributed to high maturity temperatures. The X-rays diffraction patterns show the type A characteristic of cereals and allowed deducing the relative degrees of cristallinity. The kinetic studies of hydrolysis showed that the sorghum and pearl millet starches present susceptibility for hydrolysis in presence of fungal, bacterial and human amylases. However, this susceptibility varies according to the treatment used with the integral grinding (flour) and to enzyme source. The experimental conditions allowing to enzymatic hydrolysis reactions of isolated starches to follow the Michaelis-Menten model were determined and kinetic constants (KM and Vmax) were calculated. The HPAEC-PAD profiles of oligosaccharides in sorghum starches hydrolysates were determinated for highlight the amylases activities. The study demonstrated the potential of sorghum and pearl millet starches and considers their applications and bioprocessing. [less ▲]

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