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Coming dissertations at Uppsala university

  • Para-espaces dans le théâtre français de la période romantique (1828-1835) Author: Nicolas Manuguerra Link: Publication date: 2019-08-30 11:04

    This thesis deals with the functions of prevalent threshold-like spaces such as windows, stairs, doors or balconies in theatre plays from the height of the Romantic era in France (1828-1835). The study coins the concept of « para-espaces » (para-spaces) and elucidates the way they mediate between different divisions of the spatiotemporal structure of a play. It applies a textual approach with a deeper focus on the inherent permeability of para-espaces, rather than merely their capacity to impose physical or symbolic limits. It aims to shed light on the impact of para-espaces on the structures of the dramatic text, to observe how they contribute to a redefinition of the relations between the stage and its surroundings – spatially and temporally, and to discern how they affect the poetics and aesthetics of theatre productions during the Romantic period. The analysis is based on a corpus of 36 plays representing different authors and genres. 

    The theoretical part of the thesis revisits the fundaments of the notion of “dramatic space” and defines the concept of “para-espaces”, as well as discussing their potential to occupy a key place in global spatiotemporal structures of plays. It investigates how they mediate between the “actual space” (the stage) and “virtual spaces” (its spatiotemporal surroundings). The first chapter of the analysis deals with para-espaces as “spatio-dramatic pivot points”, i.e. as the spatial, actionnal and symbolic anchors of many plays. The second chapter focuses on sound permeability and how para-espaces are used to mediate information and heighten tensions between what is exposed on stage and what is hidden from sight. Para-espaces also convey visual information from the offstage space. The third chapter focuses on the prevalent rhetorical figure of “teichoscopie”, examining the benefits of placing part of the action offstage. It argues that this phenomenon, by allowing for a systematic emphasis on emotional reactions on stage, influences both the type of text it generates (in both monological and dialogical structures) and the relative disappearance of the role of the “confidant” among the dramatis personae. The fourth chapter addresses the ambiguities of para-espaces as mechanisms for both openness and closeness in the works of Alexandre Dumas, and elucidates how he uses them to build up tension, as well as to deepen the characterization of the protagonists of his plays. The fifth and final chapter discusses the inscription of para-espaces in the predominant aesthetic of “the spectacular”, finding that they often deviate from their original function in order to actualize tensions related to identity and social roles in nineteenth-century France.

  • Studies on cysteine-rich peptides from Nemertea and Violaceae : Proteomic and transcriptomic discovery and characterization Author: Erik Jacobsson Link: Publication date: 2019-08-30 09:06

    The overall aims of the projects included in this thesis were to discover, synthesize and characterize disulphide-stabilized peptides from marine worms (Nemertea sp.) and plants (Viola sp.). 

    One of the main outcomes of this thesis is the discovery of a new family of highly active cysteine-rich toxins, alpha nemertides, from nemertean worms (paper II). Functional characterization and production routes of nemertides were further explored (papers II-III). In addition, 12 new cyclotides from the bog violet were discovered (paper I). Finally, transcriptomes and mucus of the Antarctic nemertean Parborlasia corrugatus were investigated for toxin content (paper IV).

     In paper I wild-type leaf and callus tissue of the endangered bog violet, V. uliginosa, were analyzed using transcriptomics and LC-MS, resulting in the discovery of 12 new cyclotides (i.e. cysteine-rich cyclic peptides). In addition, cyclotide expression under different cell-growth conditions was monitored.

    In paper II  the discovery and initial characterization of a new family of highly active peptides, the alpha nemertides, from the epidermal mucus of the world’s longest animal; Lineus longissimus is described. The most abundant alpha nemertide, alpha-1, was extracted in minute amounts, prompting the use solid phase peptide synthesis (SPPS) for further characterization. The tertiary structure of alpha-1 was elucidated and revealed an inhibitory cystine knot (ICK) framework. The knotted core-structure is similar to the cyclic cystine knot (CCK) motif, found in the cyclotides described in paper I.

    In manuscript III, the production route established in paper II was used to produce nemertides alpha 1-7. These were tested in vivo in an Artemia microwell assay as well as on an extended panel of voltage-gated sodium channels (NaV1.1 – 1.8 and BgNaV1). All seven alpha nemertides were highly active in the in vivo Artemia assay with EC50 values in the sub to low µM range. The alpha nemertides were also active in the NaVs tested. However, differences in the activity profiles were observed, indicating an opportunity for future optimization of alpha nemertides to reach higher specificity to certain NaV subtypes.

    In manuscript IV, the exploration of nemertide toxins was extended to include the Antarctic P. corrugatus. Resulting findings include a set of cysteine-rich peptides, some similar to the nemertides previously discovered in paper II. Two purified peptides and one fraction were evaluated for their membranolytic activity.

  • Population divergence at different spatial scales in a wide-spread amphibian Author: Patrik Rödin Mörch Link: Publication date: 2019-08-29 14:16

    To study the distribution of genetic and phenotypic variation in different environments and at different spatial scales is important in order to understand the process of local adaptation and how populations will respond to future climate change. In my thesis I study populations of moor frogs (Rana arvalis) at different spatial scales, first along a 1700 km latitudinal gradient (Paper I, II, IV) and, second, in a system of inter-connected wetlands (III, IV). In Paper I, I present evidence for a major latitudinal break-point in larval life-history traits which is linked to a post glacial contact zone between two lineages that colonized Scandinavia after the last ice age. Using QST-FST comparisons I found divergent selection acting on life-history traits, where a major source of differentiation comes from the two colonization routes. In Paper II I focus on genomic variation, demographic history and selection along the gradient. Using demographic modeling I confirm the proposed demographic history and show historical signatures of gene flow between regions and over the contact zone. In terms of genetic variation showing extreme differentiation as well as associations with growing season length I identify numerous variants under putative divergent selection, some of which have functions relating to immunity and development. I further show that differentiation outlier variation is higher in the north, as compared to neutral variation and variation associated with growing season length, which both decrease with latitude. These patterns are shaped by gene flow over the contact zone and the increased strength of drift at higher latitudes. I reduce the spatial scale in Paper III and characterize larval environments, landscape and geographical distance, to partition their influence on genetic variation. I show that environment explained more of the genetic variation than landscape and geographic distance, indicating that adaptive divergence can persist under high gene flow. Using the environmental variables, I identify genetic variants under putative divergent selection with functions associated with development and immunity. Using data from both scales, QST-FST comparisons and gene-phenotype associations I show in Paper IV that selection on both larval traits aligns across scales, whereas selection on plasticity only aligns in size at metamorphosis. This further connects to the influence of temperature and seasonal time constraints in colder environments. Finally, I find several genetic variants associated with the traits and plasticity at both spatial scales with functions relating to immunity and metamorphosis.