Person: Bastien, Renaud
Refinement of international recommendations for cubicles, based on the identification of associations between cubicle characteristics and dairy cow welfare measures
2021-02, Lardy, Romain, des Roches, Alice de Boyer, Capdeville, Jacques, Bastien, Renaud, Mounier, Luc, Veissier, Isabelle
Maladjusted cubicles for dairy cattle may cause increased skin alterations, lameness, and dirtiness. The International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering has produced several recommendations for cubicle design, but a previous study showed that not all of them seem efficient. Here, we aim to refine and complete these recommendations. We collected data on 76 dairy farms (2,404 cows). We modeled the association between combinations of cubicle properties (e.g., type of bedding litter) and dimensions (e.g., cubicle width) relative to cow size, and prevalence of cow skin alterations, lameness, and dirtiness. We used weighted multivariable logistic regression models to predict the presence of skin alteration on the carpus; the neck, shoulder, and back; the flank, side, and udder; and the tarsus or hindquarters. We also evaluated the presence of lameness as well as the dirtiness of the lower hind legs including hocks; the hindquarters, upper hind legs, and flank; the cow rear including tail; and the udder. The risk factors highlighted led us to recommend (1) position cubicles in a way that leaves more than 1 m of clearance from any obstacle in front of the cubicle; (2) if there is an obstacle on the lateral plane (i.e., where the cubicle partition is) in front ahead of the cow, put the obstacle in front of the fore knees; (3) if there is an obstacle in front of the cow on the median plane (e.g., neck or front rail), the position the obstacle between 1.25 and 1.5 of the cow length from the curb and between 1.0 and 1.25 of its height; (4) use curb height between 0.11 and 0.15 of cow height with no sharp edges on the curb; (5) use round or at least has no sharp edges brisket board; (6) use a stone-free soil instead of concrete or use a mattress thicker than 1 cm, with microrelief, and a soft fixing area at the curb, (7) litter with straw (rather than nothing or sawdust) and keep it dry. This risk factor analysis should be followed by experiments in controlled environments to further validate these conclusions and used to update the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering recommendations.
A model of collective behavior based purely on vision
2020-02, Bastien, Renaud, Romanczuk, Pawel
Classical models of collective behavior often take a “bird’s-eye perspective,” assuming that individuals have access to social information that is not directly available (e.g., the behavior of individuals outside of their field of view). Despite the explanatory success of those models, it is now thought that a better understanding needs to incorporate the perception of the individual, i.e., how internal and external information are acquired and processed. In particular, vision has appeared to be a central feature to gather external information and influence the collective organization of the group. Here, we show that a vision-based model of collective behavior is sufficient to generate organized collective behavior in the absence of spatial representation and collision. Our work suggests a different approach for the development of purely vision-based autonomous swarm robotic systems and formulates a mathematical framework for exploration of perception-based interactions and how they differ from physical ones.
Spatio-temporal integration in plant tropisms
2019-05-31, Meroz, Yasmine, Bastien, Renaud, Mahadevan, L.
Tropisms, growth-driven responses to environmental stimuli, cause plant organs to respond in space and time and reorient themselves. Classical experiments from nearly a century ago reveal that plant shoots respond to the integrated history of light and gravity stimuli rather than just responding instantaneously. We introduce a temporally non-local response function for the dynamics of shoot growth formulated as an integro-differential equation whose solution allows us to qualitatively reproduce experimental observations associated with intermittent and unsteady stimuli. Furthermore, an analytic solution for the case of a pulse stimulus expresses the response function as a function of experimentally tractable variables, which we calculate for the case of the phototropic response of Arabidopsis hypocotyls. All together, our model enables us to predict tropic responses to time-varying stimuli, manifested in temporal integration phenomena, and sets the stage for the incorporation of additional effects such as multiple stimuli, gravitational sagging, etc.
Fluttering of growing leaves as a way to reach flatness : experimental evidence on Persea americana
2018-01, Derr, Julien, Bastien, Renaud, Couturier, Étienne, Douady, Stéphane
Simple leaves show unexpected growth motions: the midrib of the leaves swings periodically in association with buckling events of the leaf blade, giving the impression that the leaves are fluttering. The quantitative kinematic analysis of this motion provides information about the respective growth between the main vein and the lamina. Our three-dimensional reconstruction of an avocado tree leaf shows that the conductor of the motion is the midrib, presenting continuous oscillations and inducing buckling events on the blade. The variations in the folding angle of the leaf show that the lamina is not passive: it responds to the deformation induced by the connection to the midrib to reach a globally flat state. We model this movement as an asymmetric growth of the midrib, which directs an inhomogeneous growth of the lamina, and we suggest how the transition from the folded state to the flat state is mechanically organized.
Animals in Virtual Environments
2020-05, Naik, Hemal, Bastien, Renaud, Navab, Nassir, Couzin, Iain D.
The core idea in an XR (VR/MR/AR) application is to digitally stimulate one or more sensory systems (e.g. visual, auditory, olfactory) of the human user in an interactive way to achieve an immersive experience. Since the early 2000s biologists have been using Virtual Environments (VE) to investigate the mechanisms of behavior in non-human animals including insects, fish, and mammals. VEs have become reliable tools for studying vision, cognition, and sensory-motor control in animals. In turn, the knowledge gained from studying such behaviors can be harnessed by researchers designing biologically inspired robots, smart sensors, and multi-agent artificial intelligence. VE for animals is becoming a widely used application of XR technology but such applications have not previously been reported in the technical literature related to XR. Biologists and computer scientists can benefit greatly from deepening interdisciplinary research in this emerging field and together we can develop new methods for conducting fundamental research in behavioral sciences and engineering. To support our argument we present this review which provides an overview of animal behavior experiments conducted in virtual environments.
Towards a framework for collective behavior in growth-driven systems, based on plant-inspired allotropic pairwise interactions
2019-08-09, Bastien, Renaud, Porat, Amir, Meroz, Yasmine
A variety of biological systems are not motile, but sessile in nature, relying on growth as the main driver of their movement. Groups of such growing organisms can form complex structures, such as the functional architecture of growing axons, or the adaptive structure of plant root systems. These processes are not yet understood, however the decentralized growth dynamics bear similarities to the collective behavior observed in groups of motile organisms, such as flocks of birds or schools of fish. Equivalent growth mechanisms make these systems amenable to a theoretical framework inspired by tropic responses of plants, where growth is considered implicitly as the driver of the observed bending towards a stimulus. We introduce two new concepts related to plant tropisms: point tropism, the response of a plant to a nearby point signal source, and allotropism, the growth-driven response of plant organs to neighboring plants. We first analytically and numerically investigate the 2D dynamics of single organs responding to point signals fixed in space. Building on this we study pairs of organs interacting via allotropism, i.e. each organ senses signals emitted at the tip of their neighbor and responds accordingly. In the case of local sensing we find a rich state-space. We describe the different states, as well as the sharp transitions between them. We also find that the form of the state-space depends on initial conditions. This work sets the stage towards a theoretical framework for the investigation and understanding of systems of interacting growth-driven individuals.
Quantitative dissection of variations in root growth rate : a matter of cell proliferation or of cell expansion?
2018-10-12, Youssef, Chvan, Bizet, François, Bastien, Renaud, Legland, David, Bogeat-Triboulot, Marie-Béatrice, Hummel, Irène
Plant organ growth results from cell production and cell expansion. Deciphering the contribution of each of these processes to growth rate is an important issue in developmental biology. Here, we investigated the cellular processes governing root elongation rate, considering two sources of variation: genotype and disturbance by chemicals (NaCl, polyethylene glycol, H2O2, abscisic acid). Exploiting the adventitious rooting capacity of the Populus genus, and using time-lapse imaging under infrared-light, particle image velocimetry, histological analysis, and kinematics, we quantified the cellular processes involved in root growth variation, and analysed the covariation patterns between growth parameters. The rate of cell production by the root apical meristem and the number of dividing cells were estimated in vivo without destructive measurement. We found that the rate of cell division contributed more to the variation in cell production rate than the number of dividing cells. Regardless of the source of variation, the length of the elongation zone was the best proxy for growth rate, summarizing rates of cell production and cell elongation into a single parameter. Our results demonstrate that cell production rate is the main driver of growth rate, whereas elemental elongation rate is a key driver of short-term growth adjustments.
New recommendations for self-locking barriers to reduce skin injuries in dairy cows
2020-03-30, Lardy, Romain, de Boyer des Roches, Alice, Capdeville, Jacques, Bastien, Renaud, Mounier, Luc, Veissier, Isabelle
The design of self-locking barriers can affect cows' skin injuries and impair welfare. This study aimed to propose and refine recommendations, expressed relatively to the cows' dimensions, for self-locking barrier design to reduce risks for skin injuries on the neck/shoulder/back and on carpus of dairy cows. We recorded individual body dimensions and the dimensions of self-locking barriers (e.g. top rail height) and assessed skin injuries on 3801 cows from 131 loose-housing dairy farms. We explored the significant associations between presence/absence of skin injuries and self-locking barrier dimensions using weighted multivariable logistic regression, taking into account the diversity of feeding barriers within each farm. The robustness of the models was assessed by cross-validation. Cows had skin injuries mainly on the neck/shoulder/back (29.0%) and, to a lesser extent, on the carpus (14.0%). The final multivariable logistic regression models comprised 13 factors for skin injuries on the neck/shoulder/back, and 11 factors for skin injuries on the carpus. Skin injuries were significantly reduced when the self-locking barriers were inclined (neck/shoulder/back) and when the cows used a feeding table (i.e. flat) instead of a feeding manger or cribs (i.e. hollow) (carpus). A top rail height >1.05 × cow height (measured at withers) was significantly associated with fewer skin injuries on the neck/shoulder/back and on carpus. Skin injuries on the neck/shoulder/back and carpus were significantly reduced when the bottom rail was on the food side relative to the wall, and at a height <0.39 of cow height. Skin injuries were significantly less frequent when the separation wall had no sharp edges on the food side (neck/shoulder/back), was >0.4 of cow height (carpus), was thinner than 15 cm (neck/shoulder/back and carpus) and when the height of the feeding step was 0.04 to 0.1 of cow height (neck/shoulder/back) and the length of the feeding step was <0.2 of cow length (carpus). A headlock articulation nut positioned between 0.62 and 0.78 of cow height significantly reduced skin injuries on the neck/shoulder/back. Here, by combining the diversity of on-farm self-locking barriers and their respective dimensions, we were able to refine the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering recommendations for self-locking barrier design and to propose new ones. This information now needs to be confirmed on other datasets, but can already help farmers and dairy industry stakeholders improve the design of self-locking barriers to improve dairy cow welfare.
Posture control in land plants : growth, position sensing, proprioception, balance, and elasticity
2019-07-23, Moulia, Bruno, Bastien, Renaud, Chauvet-Thiry, Hugo, Leblanc-Fournier, Nathalie
The colonization of the atmosphere by land plants was a major evolutionary step. The mechanisms that allow for vertical growth through air and the establishment and control of a stable erect habit are just starting to be understood. A key mechanism was found to be continuous posture control to counterbalance the mechanical and developmental challenges of maintaining a growing upright structure. An interdisciplinary systems biology approach was invaluable in understanding the underlying principles and in designing pertinent experiments. Since this discovery previously held views of gravitropic perception had to be reexamined and this has led to the description of proprioception in plants. In this review, we take a purposefully pedagogical approach to present the dynamics involved from the cellular to whole-plant level. We show how the textbook model of how plants sense gravitational force has been replaced by a model of position sensing, a clinometer mechanism that involves both passive avalanches and active motion of statoliths, granular starch-filled plastids, in statocytes. Moreover, there is a transmission of information between statocytes and other specialized cells that sense the degree of organ curvature and reset asymmetric growth to straighten and realign the structure. We give an overview of how plants have used the interplay of active posture control and elastic sagging to generate a whole range of spatial displays during their life cycles. Finally, a position-integrating mechanism has been discovered that prevents directional plant growth from being disrupted by wind-induced oscillations.
Milk Fat Globules Hamper Adhesion of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli to Enterocytes : In Vitro and in Vivo Evidence
2018-05-15, Douëllou, Thomas, Galia, Wessam, Kerangart, Stéphane, Marchal, Thierry, Milhau, Nadège, Bastien, Renaud, Bouvier, Marion, Buff, Samuel, Montel, Marie-Christine, Sergentet-Thevenot, Delphine
Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC; E. coli) are food-borne agents associated with gastroenteritis, enterocolitis, bloody diarrhea and the hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Bovine milk glycans have been shown to contain oligosaccharides which are similar to host epithelial cell receptors and can therefore prevent bacterial adhesion. This study aimed to describe interactions between EHEC O157:H7 EDL933 and O26:H11 21765 and milk fat globules (MFGs) in raw milk and raw milk cheese, and the impact of MFGs on EHEC strains adhesion to the intestinal tract in vitro and in vivo. Both EHEC serotypes clearly associated with native bovine MFGs and significantly limited their adhesion to a co-culture of intestinal cells. The presence of MFGs in raw milk cheese had two effects on the adhesion of both EHEC serotypes to the intestinal tracts of streptomycin-treated mice. First, it delayed and reduced EHEC excretion in mouse feces for both strains. Second, the prime implantation site for both EHEC strains was 6 cm more proximal in the intestinal tracts of mice fed with contaminated cheese containing less than 5% of fat than in those fed with contaminated cheese containing 40% of fat. Feeding mice with 40% fat cheese reduced the intestinal surface contaminated with EHEC and may therefore decrease severity of illness.