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Tammy Kohlleppel, Jennifer Campbell Bradley and Steve Jacob

Stress has been characterized as an epidemic and has been found to play an important role in causing many diseases. In contrast, people often seek out nature and green spaces to help cope with life stress. Botanic gardens provide opportunities for people to immerse in nature, explore their horticultural interests, and experience recreation and leisure. The literature suggests that all of these activities are effective coping strategies against life stress. This study explored the effectiveness of botanic garden visits as a coping strategy. The findings of this study suggest that botanic gardens could be a place for coping with the effects of stress. Botanic garden visitation, along with gender, stressful life events, perceived health, and selfesteem, was found to be important in explaining reported levels of depression. Data also showed that visitors who received the most benefit of stress reduction were those most needing a coping strategy.

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Tammy C. Kohlleppel, Jennifer C. Bradley and Steve Jacob

Stress has been called the epidemic of the 90s and has been found to play an important role in causing many diseases. To help cope with the stresses of life, people often seek out leisure activities and nature. Botanic gardens provide a place for experiencing recreational activities and the natural environment. Researchers at the Univ. of Florida developed a survey to gain insight into the influence of a botanic garden on visitor stress. Three botanic gardens in Florida participated in the survey of garden visitors; these included Bok Tower Gardens, Fairchild Tropical Garden, and Mounts Botanical Garden. More than 300 surveys were administered to and completed by visitors of these gardens in Apr. 1999. The survey consisted of three main sections: 1) visitor perceptions of botanic gardens, 2) visitor personal perceptions, and 3) demographic variables. A stress process model was developed that incorporated botanic gardens as a coping strategy. The relative importance of a visit to a botanic garden and other stress process factors were examined for their importance in stress reduction. Also, botanic gardens were placed in context of the stress process model with the development of a multivariate framework. The stress process model included individual factors, stressors, stress mediators, and stress outcomes. Findings from this study provided insight into the role of botanic gardens as a method to cope with the effects of stress. Results showed that a visit to a botanic garden is important in the context of the stress process model as a coping strategy. Data also showed that visitors receiving the most benefit of stress reduction were persons most needing a coping strategy, those having higher depression index scores.

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Melanie M. Davidson, Jeanne M.E. Jacobs, Jill K. Reader, Ruth C. Butler, Christina M. Frater, Ngaire P. Markwick, Steve D. Wratten and Anthony J. Conner

Transgenic potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) lines of two cultivars, Ilam Hardy and Iwa, were developed using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation to transfer a cry1Ac9 gene under the transcriptional control of the CaMV 35S promoter. PCR confirmed the presence of the nptII selectable marker gene in all recovered lines. All ten lines of Ilam Hardy and 14 of 15 Iwa lines were PCR-positive for the cry gene. In greenhouse trials, all Ilam Hardy transgenic lines produced phenotypically normal plants and significantly inhibited larval growth of potato tuber moth (Phthorimaea operculella Zeller). In contrast, only 60% of the Iwa transgenic lines produced phenotypically normal plants, but all lines positive for the cry gene significantly inhibited larval growth. All transgenic lines with a greenhouse appearance equivalent to the nontransgenic controls and improved resistance to potato tuber moth larvae were planted in the field. Three of the ten Ilam Hardy lines and two of the eight Iwa lines retained phenotypically normal appearance in the field and produced tuber yields equivalent to the nontransgenic controls. All five of these transgenic lines significantly inhibited larval growth of potato tuber moth on excised field-grown leaves. A high correlation was established between larval growth indices from the greenhouse and the field. A transgenic line from each cultivar inhibited larval growth by over 40%, and the line derived from Ilam Hardy prevented pupation of all larvae. Southern analysis on these five elite lines revealed that they contained either one or two copies of the cry1Ac9 gene. The amount of Cry protein in all transgenic lines tested was less than 60 ng·g-1 of fresh leaf tissue. A transgenic line from each cultivar was identified with comparable phenotypic appearance and yield to their parent cultivars coupled with high resistance to PTM.