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Sample records for alligator cyp3a77 gene

  1. Isolation and expression of a novel alligator gene belonging to the Sox gene family.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jifang; Hu, Nan; Zhu, Muyuan; Nu, Yaqing; Liu, Zhen

    2009-02-01

    Sox genes share a highly conserved DNA-binding motif, the HMG (high mobility group)-box domain, and have diverse roles in vertebrate embryonic development. A novel SRY-related cDNA (temporarily called Sox33) isolated from the Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) is 1,819 bp in length, with an open reading frame from 220 to 1113 bp, encoding a protein of 298 amino acids. Two putative polyadenylation signal sequences (AATAAA) are present upstream of the poly(A) tail in the 3' UTR (at 1255-1260 and 1774-1779). The putative protein contains an HMG-box domain most closely related to hSox12, mSox4, rtSox11, and mSox11 homologs, indicating that alligator Sox33 belongs to group C in the Sox gene family. Alligator adult and developing tissues were tested for Sox33 mRNA by independent Northern blots using a 336-bp probe (at 907-1243) between the HMG-box and the poly(A) site I and a 277-bp probe (at 1477-1754) between the two polyadenylation sites. Two transcripts (1.3 kb and 1.8 kb) in developing brain and one (1.8 kb) in adult brain were identified by the 336-bp probe; only one transcript (1.8 kb) in developing and adult brains was detected by the 277-bp probe. The results suggest that alligator Sox33 may use a different polyadenylation mechanism in the developing brain and play a role in the development and maintenance of the nervous system. PMID:19169861

  2. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  3. A Comprehensive Analysis of the Phylogeny, Genomic Organization and Expression of Immunoglobulin Light Chain Genes in Alligator sinensis, an Endangered Reptile Species.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xifeng; Cheng, Gang; Lu, Yan; Zhang, Chenglin; Wu, Xiaobing; Han, Haitang; Zhao, Yaofeng; Ren, Liming

    2016-01-01

    Crocodilians are evolutionarily distinct reptiles that are distantly related to lizards and are thought to be the closest relatives of birds. Compared with birds and mammals, few studies have investigated the Ig light chain of crocodilians. Here, employing an Alligator sinensis genomic bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library and available genome data, we characterized the genomic organization of the Alligator sinensis IgL gene loci. The Alligator sinensis has two IgL isotypes, λ and κ, the same as Anolis carolinensis. The Igλ locus contains 6 Cλ genes, each preceded by a Jλ gene, and 86 potentially functional Vλ genes upstream of (Jλ-Cλ)n. The Igκ locus contains a single Cκ gene, 6 Jκs and 62 functional Vκs. All VL genes are classified into a total of 31 families: 19 Vλ families and 12 Vκ families. Based on an analysis of the chromosomal location of the light chain genes among mammals, birds, lizards and frogs, the data further confirm that there are two IgL isotypes in the Alligator sinensis: Igλ and Igκ. By analyzing the cloned Igλ/κ cDNA, we identified a biased usage pattern of V families in the expressed Vλ and Vκ. An analysis of the junctions of the recombined VJ revealed the presence of N and P nucleotides in both expressed λ and κ sequences. Phylogenetic analysis of the V genes revealed V families shared by mammals, birds, reptiles and Xenopus, suggesting that these conserved V families are orthologous and have been retained during the evolution of IgL. Our data suggest that the Alligator sinensis IgL gene repertoire is highly diverse and complex and provide insight into immunoglobulin gene evolution in vertebrates. PMID:26901135

  4. Nonpineal melatonin in the alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Roth, J J; Gern, W A; Roth, E C; Ralph, C L; Jacobson, E

    1980-10-31

    All living and most fossil representatives of the reptilian subclass Archosauria lack pineal bodies. Arrhythmic, low-level, nonpineal melatonin is present, however, in the blood of Alligator mississippiensis. Although pineal bodies have been implicated in circadian phenomena, these results suggest that arrhytmic melatonin in alligators may not be involved incircadian events and indicate that the pineal is not the only source of the hormone melatonin. The evolutionary loss of the pineal in Archosauria occurred during the Mesozoic, and era noted for its seasonal stability. Arrhythmic melatonin titers inalligators and pineal loss in alligators and other archosaurs may be related to Mesozoic seasonal stability. PMID:7423204

  5. Identification and Characterization of the Androgen Receptor From the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Miyagawa, Shinichi; Yatsu, Ryohei; Kohno, Satomi; Doheny, Brenna M.; Ogino, Yukiko; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Guillette, Louis J.

    2015-01-01

    Androgens are essential for the development, reproduction, and health throughout the life span of vertebrates, particularly during the initiation and maintenance of male sexual characteristics. Androgen signaling is mediated by the androgen receptor (AR), a member of the steroid nuclear receptor superfamily. Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors, such as exogenous hormones or contaminants that mimic hormones, can disrupt endocrine signaling and function. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a unique model for ecological research in that it exhibits environment-dependent sex determination, is oviparous and long lived. Alligators from a contaminated environment exhibit low reproductive success and morphological disorders of the testis and phallus in neonates and juveniles, both associated with androgen signaling; thus, the alterations are hypothesized to be related to disrupted androgen signaling. However, this line of research has been limited because of a lack of information on the alligator AR gene. Here, we isolated A mississippiensis AR homologs (AmAR) and evaluated receptor-hormone/chemical interactions using a transactivation assay. We showed that AmAR responded to all natural androgens and their effects were inhibited by cotreatment with antiandrogens, such as flutamide, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, and vinclozolin. Intriguingly, we found a spliced form of the AR from alligator cDNA, which lacks seven amino acids within the ligand-binding domain that shows no response to androgens. Finally, we have initial data on a possible dominant-negative function of the spliced form of the AR against androgen-induced AmAR. PMID:25974402

  6. Identification and Characterization of the Androgen Receptor From the American Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Miyagawa, Shinichi; Yatsu, Ryohei; Kohno, Satomi; Doheny, Brenna M; Ogino, Yukiko; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-08-01

    Androgens are essential for the development, reproduction, and health throughout the life span of vertebrates, particularly during the initiation and maintenance of male sexual characteristics. Androgen signaling is mediated by the androgen receptor (AR), a member of the steroid nuclear receptor superfamily. Mounting evidence suggests that environmental factors, such as exogenous hormones or contaminants that mimic hormones, can disrupt endocrine signaling and function. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a unique model for ecological research in that it exhibits environment-dependent sex determination, is oviparous and long lived. Alligators from a contaminated environment exhibit low reproductive success and morphological disorders of the testis and phallus in neonates and juveniles, both associated with androgen signaling; thus, the alterations are hypothesized to be related to disrupted androgen signaling. However, this line of research has been limited because of a lack of information on the alligator AR gene. Here, we isolated A mississippiensis AR homologs (AmAR) and evaluated receptor-hormone/chemical interactions using a transactivation assay. We showed that AmAR responded to all natural androgens and their effects were inhibited by cotreatment with antiandrogens, such as flutamide, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, and vinclozolin. Intriguingly, we found a spliced form of the AR from alligator cDNA, which lacks seven amino acids within the ligand-binding domain that shows no response to androgens. Finally, we have initial data on a possible dominant-negative function of the spliced form of the AR against androgen-induced AmAR. PMID:25974402

  7. Molecular and functional characterization of BAFF from the Yangtze alligator (Alligator sinensis, Alligatoridae).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jia-Xin; Song, Ren; Sang, Ming; Sun, Si-Qing; Ma, Lei; Zhang, Jie; Zhang, Shuang-Quan

    2015-10-01

    B-cell activating factor (BAFF) from the TNF family is critical for B-cell survival and maturation. In this study, we identified a Yangtze alligator (Alligator sinensis, Alligatoridae) BAFF cDNA, designated as asBAFF, using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The open reading frame of this cDNA encodes a 287-amino acid protein containing a predicted transmembrane domain and a furin protease cleavage site, similar to mammalian and avian BAFF. The amino acid identity between biologically soluble asBAFF (assBAFF) and csBAFF, hsBAFF, and msBAFF is 94, 76, and 71%, respectively. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that the asBAFF gene is strongly expressed in the spleen. Since BAFF is always expressed as inclusion bodies in bacteria, it is difficult to purify. To enhance the soluble expression of assBAFF in Escherichia coli, we fused the extracellular region of the asBAFF gene to a small ubiquitin-related modifier gene (SUMO). Purified assBAFF was able to promote the survival of splenic lymphocytes and co-stimulate the proliferation of mouse B cells with anti-mouse IgM. These findings suggest that asBAFF plays an important role in the survival and proliferation of Yangtze alligator B cells, and because it is evolutionarily highly conserved, functional cross-reactivity exists between mammalian and Yangtze alligator BAFF. PMID:26116474

  8. In ovo and in vitro susceptibility of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to avian influenza virus infection.

    PubMed

    Temple, Bradley L; Finger, John W; Jones, Cheryl A; Gabbard, Jon D; Jelesijevic, Tomislav; Uhl, Elizabeth W; Hogan, Robert J; Glenn, Travis C; Tompkins, S Mark

    2015-01-01

    Avian influenza has emerged as one of the most ubiquitous viruses within our biosphere. Wild aquatic birds are believed to be the primary reservoir of all influenza viruses; however, the spillover of H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) and the recent swine-origin pandemic H1N1 viruses have sparked increased interest in identifying and understanding which and how many species can be infected. Moreover, novel influenza virus sequences were recently isolated from New World bats. Crocodilians have a slow rate of molecular evolution and are the sister group to birds; thus they are a logical reptilian group to explore susceptibility to influenza virus infection and they provide a link between birds and mammals. A primary American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) cell line, and embryos, were infected with four, low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) strains to assess susceptibility to infection. Embryonated alligator eggs supported virus replication, as evidenced by the influenza virus M gene and infectious virus detected in allantoic fluid and by virus antigen staining in embryo tissues. Primary alligator cells were also inoculated with the LPAI viruses and showed susceptibility based upon antigen staining; however, the requirement for trypsin to support replication in cell culture limited replication. To assess influenza virus replication in culture, primary alligator cells were inoculated with H1N1 human influenza or H5N1 HPAI viruses that replicate independent of trypsin. Both viruses replicated efficiently in culture, even at the 30 C temperature preferred by the alligator cells. This research demonstrates the ability of wild-type influenza viruses to infect and replicate within two crocodilian substrates and suggests the need for further research to assess crocodilians as a species potentially susceptible to influenza virus infection. PMID:25380354

  9. A big alligator snacks on a smaller alligator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    A large alligator attacks and eats a smaller one in a natural display of cannibalism. Although this event has been observed infrequently by Kennedy Space Center's staff photographers, it is common feeding behavior among the wild alligator population on the space center. Alligators are carnivorous and will eat any living thing that crosses their paths and is small enough for them to kill. For this reason, it is dangerous to feed wild alligators, and in Florida, it is also illegal. Kennedy Space Center is located on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge which is operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  10. Periods of cardiovascular susceptibility to hypoxia in embryonic american alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Tate, Kevin B; Rhen, Turk; Eme, John; Kohl, Zachary F; Crossley, Janna; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-06-01

    During embryonic development, environmental perturbations can affect organisms' developing phenotype, a process known as developmental plasticity. Resulting phenotypic changes can occur during discrete, critical windows of development. Critical windows are periods when developing embryos are most susceptible to these perturbations. We have previously documented that hypoxia reduces embryo size and increases relative heart mass in American alligator, and this study identified critical windows when hypoxia altered morphological, cardiovascular function and cardiac gene expression of alligator embryos. We hypothesized that incubation in hypoxia (10% O2) would increase relative cardiac size due to cardiac enlargement rather than suppression of somatic growth. We exposed alligator embryos to hypoxia during discrete incubation periods to target windows where the embryonic phenotype is altered. Hypoxia affected heart growth between 20 and 40% of embryonic incubation, whereas somatic growth was affected between 70 and 90% of incubation. Arterial pressure was depressed by hypoxic exposure during 50-70% of incubation, whereas heart rate was depressed in embryos exposed to hypoxia during a period spanning 70-90% of incubation. Expression of Vegf and PdgfB was increased in certain hypoxia-exposed embryo treatment groups, and hypoxia toward the end of incubation altered β-adrenergic tone for arterial pressure and heart rate. It is well known that hypoxia exposure can alter embryonic development, and in the present study, we have identified brief, discrete windows that alter the morphology, cardiovascular physiology, and gene expression in embryonic American alligator. PMID:27101296

  11. The 'Angry Alligator'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1966-01-01

    The Augmented Target Docking Adapter (ATDA) as seen from the Gemini 9 spacecraft during one of their three rendezvous in space. The ATDA and Gemini 9 spacecraft are 66.5 ft. apart. Failure of the docking adapter protective cover to fully separate on the ATDA prevented the docking of the two spacecraft. The ATDA was described by the Gemini 9 crew as an 'angry alligator.'

  12. OOGENESIS AND OVARIAN HISTOLOGY OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although folliculogenesis and oogenesis have been observed in numerous reptiles, these phenomena have not been described in detail in a crocodilian. Oogenesis and histological features of the adult ovary of Alligator mississippiensis are described. Using a complex process, the ov...

  13. Mercury in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in the southeastern United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jagoe, C.H.; Arnold-Hill, B.; Yanochko, G.M.; Winger, P.V.; Brisbin, I.L., Jr.

    1998-01-01

    Mercury methylation may be enhanced in wetlands and humic-rich, blackwater systems that crocodiles and alligators typically inhabit. Given their high trophic level and long life-spans, crocodilians could accumulate significant burdens of Hg. Our objectives were to survey Hg concentrations in alligators from several areas in the southeastern United States to test their utility as sentinels of Hg contamination, to examine relationships among Hg concentrations in various tissues and to look for any differences in tissue Hg concentrations among locations. We measured total Hg concentrations in alligators collected in the Florida Everglades (n = 18), the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia (n = 9), the Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina (n = 49) and various locations in central Florida ( n = 21), sampling tissues including blood, brain, liver, kidney, muscle, bone, fat, spleen, claws and dermal scutes. Alligators from the Everglades were mostly juvenile, but Hg concentrations in tissues were high (means: liver 41.0, kidney 36.4, muscle 5.6 mg Hg/kg dry wt.). Concentrations in alligators from other locations in Florida were lower (means: liver 14.6, kidney 12.6, muscle 1.8 mg Hg/kg dry wt.), although they tended to be larger adults. Alligators from the Okefenokee were smallest and had the lowest Hg concentrations (means: liver 4.3, kidney 4.8, muscle 0.8 mg Hg/kg dry wt.). At some locations, alligator length was correlated with Hg concentrations in some internal organs. However, at three of the four locations, muscle Hg was not related to length. Tissue Hg concentrations were correlated at most locations; however, claw or dermal scute Hg explained less than 74% of the variation of Hg in muscle or organs, suggesting readily-obtained tissues, such as scutes or claws, have limited value for nondestructive screening of Hg in alligator populations.

  14. Essential fatty acid nutrition of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Staton, M A; Edwards, H M; Brisbin, I L; Joanen, T; McNease, L

    1990-07-01

    The essential fatty acid (EFA) nutrition of young American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) was examined by feeding a variety of fats/oils with potential EFA activity. Over a 12-wk period, alligators fed diets containing 2.5 or 5.0% chicken liver oil grew longer and heavier and converted feed to body mass more efficiently than alligators fed other fat/oil combinations that lacked or contained only trace amounts of arachidonic acid [20:4(n-6)]. Alligators fed an EFA-deficient diet (containing only coconut fat as the dietary fat) were the slowest-growing animals and converted feed to body mass least efficiently. However, over a 41-wk feeding period, alligators fed this diet showed no obvious external signs of deficiency other than being reduced in size and unthrifty. Fatty acid composition of heart, liver, muscle, skin and adipose tissue lipids was influenced markedly by dietary fat composition. Tissues varied significantly in response to dietary fat composition. Heart lipids contained the lowest levels of short- and medium-chain fatty acids and the highest levels of arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid levels were less influenced by diet than were levels of other 20- and 22-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acids. Radiotracer studies indicated that linoleic acid was converted to arachidonic acid in the liver. Nevertheless, tissue arachidonic acid levels also appeared to be maintained by concentration from dietary sources and selective conservation. It appears that a dietary source of arachidonic acid may be required for a maximum rate of growth. PMID:2114472

  15. Morphological and molecular characterization of Ortleppascaris sinensis sp. nov. (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea) from the Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhao, J H; Wang, S S; Tu, G J; Zhou, Y K; Wu, X B

    2016-05-01

    A new nematode species, Ortleppascaris sinensis sp. nov. (Ascaridoidea), is described from specimens found in the stomach and intestine of the Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis Fauvel, 1879 (Crocodilian: Alligatoridae) in the National Nature Reserve of Chinese Alligator (Chinese Crocodile Lake) in Anhui Province, China. This is the first description of O. sinensis sp. nov. in both China and this crocodile host, increasing its distribution in South Asia as well as expanding the number of helminths known to infect this crocodile. The detailed description of O. sinensis sp. nov., based on light and scanning electron microscopic examination, provides new taxonomic data for this species, and we also report sequences of the internal transcribed spacers (ITS), small subunit DNA segments (18S) and the cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene. PMID:25882968

  16. Mortality of American alligators attributed to cannibalism

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Delany, Michael F.; Woodward, Allan R.; Kiltie, Richard A.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2011-01-01

    Mortality of juvenile (Alligator mississippiensis) attributed to cannibalism on Orange Lake, Florida was examined. Alligator web tags used in mark–recapture studies were found in 12% of 267 stomachs sampled from alligators ≥168 cm TL. Captive alligators retained 76% of force-fed tags during a 588-d tag-retention trial. Models relating the probability of tag recovery to the annual probabilities of juvenile survival, cannibalism, tag retention, adult survival, and adult harvest suggested that cannibalism may on average remove 6–7% of the juvenile alligator population annually. Vulnerability continued to 140 cm TL (age 6–8 yr). Cannibalism of juveniles may serve to regulate the alligator population on Orange Lake. Alligator cannibalism may vary widely among populations, depending on demography and environmental conditions. The role and importance of cannibalism in alligator population dynamics should be more fully assessed and environmental and population factors that influence cannibalism identified to better evaluate management programs.

  17. Growth rates of Chinese and American alligators.

    PubMed

    Herbert, J D; Coulson, T D; Coulson, R A

    2002-04-01

    Growth rates in two closely related species, Alligator mississippiensis (American alligator) and Alligator sinensis (Chinese alligator), were compared under identical conditions for at least 1 year after hatching. When hatched, Chinese alligators were approximately 2/3 the length and approximately 1/2 the weight of American alligator hatchlings. At the end of 1 year of growth in captivity in heated chambers, the Chinese alligators were approximately 1/2 as long and weighed approximately 1/10 as much as American alligator yearlings. When the animals were maintained at 31 degrees C, Chinese alligator food consumption and length gain rates dropped to near zero during autumn and winter and body weights decreased slightly, apparently in response to the change in day length. At constant temperature (31 degrees C), food consumption by American alligators remained high throughout the year. Length gain rates in American alligators decreased slowly as size increased, but were not affected by photoperiod. Daily weight gains in American alligators increased steadily throughout the year. In autumn, provision of artificial light for 18 h a day initially stimulated both length and weight gain in Chinese alligators, but did not affect growth in American alligators. Continuation of the artificial light regimen seemed to cause deleterious effects in the Chinese alligators after several months, however, so that animals exposed to the normal light cycle caught up to and then surpassed the extra-light group in size. Even after removal of the artificial light, it was several months before these extra-light animals reverted to a normal growth pattern. These findings may be of interest to those institutions engaged in captive growth programs intended to provide animals for reintroduction to the wild or to protected habitat. PMID:11897202

  18. Alligator diet in relation to alligator mortality on Lake Griffin, FL

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, A.N.; Ross, J.P.; Woodward, A.R.; Carbonneau, D.A.; Percival, H.F.

    2007-01-01

    Alligator mississippiensis (American Alligators) demonstrated low hatch-rate success and increased adult mortality on Lake Griffin, FL, between 1998 and 2003. Dying Lake Griffin alligators with symptoms of poor motor coordination were reported to show specific neurological impairment and brain lesions. Similar lesions were documented in salmonines that consumed clupeids with high thiaminase levels. Therefore, we investigated the diet of Lake Griffin alligators and compared it with alligator diets from two lakes that exhibited relatively low levels of unexplained alligator mortality to see if consumption of Dorosoma cepedianum (gizzard shad) could be correlated with patterns of mortality. Shad in both lakes Griffin and Apopka had high levels of thiaminase and Lake Apopka alligators were consuming greater amounts of shad relative to Lake Griffin without showing mortality rates similar to Lake Griffin alligators. Therefore, a relationship between shad consumption alone and alligator mortality is not supported.

  19. Cloning and sequence analysis of the coding sequence of β-actin cDNA from the Chinese alligator and suitable internal reference primers from the β-actin gene.

    PubMed

    Zhu, H N; Zhang, S Z; Zhou, Y K; Wang, C L; Wu, X B

    2015-01-01

    β-Actin is an essential component of the cytoskeleton and is stably expressed in various tissues of animals, thus, it is commonly used as an internal reference for gene expression studies. In this study, a 1731-bp fragment of β-actin cDNA from Alligator sinensis was obtained using the homology cloning technique. Sequence analysis showed that this fragment contained the complete coding sequence of the β-actin gene (1128 bp), encoding 375 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of β-actin is highly conserved and its nucleotide sequence is slightly variable. Multiple alignment analyses showed that the nucleotide sequence of the β-actin gene from A. sinensis is very similar to sequences from birds, with 94-95% identity. Ten pairs of primers with different product sizes and different annealing temperatures were screened by PCR amplification, agarose gel electrophoresis, and DNA sequencing, and could be used as internal reference primers in gene expression studies. This study expands our knowledge of β-actin gene phylogenetic evolution and provides a basis for quantitative gene expression studies in A. sinensis. PMID:26505364

  20. AFFINITY OF THE ALLIGATOR ESTROGEN RECEPTOR FOR SERUM PESTICIDE CONTAMINANTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Top predators, like the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) bioaccumulate and biomagnify persistent pollutants, such as organochlorine pesticides. In a recently published study, several pesticides and pesticide metabolites not previously reported in alligator eggs wer...

  1. Alligators in the Sewers? Really?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egbert, Joy

    2009-01-01

    A large number of alligators, flushed down toilets as babies, have grown up and proliferated in the bowels of New York City. Over the years, they have grown in number and size and frequently terrorize those foolish enough to visit the subways. This tale has been making its way around the Internet ever since there's been an Internet. It's wild…

  2. Distribution of ventilation in American alligator Alligator mississippiensis

    SciTech Connect

    Bickler, P.E.; Spragg, R.G.; Hartman, M.T.; White, F.N.

    1985-10-01

    The regional distribution of ventilation in the multicameral lung of spontaneously ventilating alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) was studied with TTXe scintigraphy. Frequent gamma camera images of TTXe washin and washout were obtained and processed to allow evaluation of regional ventilation. Washin of TTXe to equilibrium occurred in three to four breaths in anterior, central, and posterior compartments. Washin was most rapid in the posterior compartment and slowest in the anterior. The structure of the lungs and distribution of ventilation of inspired gas is consistent with the rapid radial spread of gas through a parallel arrangement of lung units surrounding the central intrapulmonary bronchus. Washout to equilibrium of TTXe from all compartments occurred within three to four breaths. This rapid washin and washout of gas to all parts of the lung stands in contrast to the lungs of turtles and snakes, in which the caudal air sacs are relatively poorly ventilated.

  3. Bioprospecting the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) host defense peptidome.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Barney M; Juba, Melanie L; Devine, Megan C; Barksdale, Stephanie M; Rodriguez, Carlos Alberto; Chung, Myung C; Russo, Paul S; Vliet, Kent A; Schnur, Joel M; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Cationic antimicrobial peptides and their therapeutic potential have garnered growing interest because of the proliferation of bacterial resistance. However, the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from animals has proven challenging due to the limitations associated with conventional biochemical purification and difficulties in predicting active peptides from genomic sequences, if known. As an example, no antimicrobial peptides have been identified from the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, although their serum is antimicrobial. We have developed a novel approach for the discovery of new antimicrobial peptides from these animals, one that capitalizes on their fundamental and conserved physico-chemical properties. This sample-agnostic process employs custom-made functionalized hydrogel microparticles to harvest cationic peptides from biological samples, followed by de novo sequencing of captured peptides, eliminating the need to isolate individual peptides. After evaluation of the peptide sequences using a combination of rational and web-based bioinformatic analyses, forty-five potential antimicrobial peptides were identified, and eight of these peptides were selected to be chemically synthesized and evaluated. The successful identification of multiple novel peptides, exhibiting antibacterial properties, from Alligator mississippiensis plasma demonstrates the potential of this innovative discovery process in identifying potential new host defense peptides. PMID:25671663

  4. Biophysics of directional hearing in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Bierman, Hilary S.; Thornton, Jennifer L.; Jones, Heath G.; Koka, Kanthaiah; Young, Bruce A.; Brandt, Christian; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Carr, Catherine E.; Tollin, Daniel J.

    2014-01-01

    Physiological and anatomical studies have suggested that alligators have unique adaptations for spatial hearing. Sound localization cues are primarily generated by the filtering of sound waves by the head. Different vertebrate lineages have evolved external and/or internal anatomical adaptations to enhance these cues, such as pinnae and interaural canals. It has been hypothesized that in alligators, directionality may be enhanced via the acoustic coupling of middle ear cavities, resulting in a pressure difference receiver (PDR) mechanism. The experiments reported here support a role for a PDR mechanism in alligator sound localization by demonstrating that (1) acoustic space cues generated by the external morphology of the animal are not sufficient to generate location cues that match physiological sensitivity, (2) continuous pathways between the middle ears are present to provide an anatomical basis for coupling, (3) the auditory brainstem response shows some directionality, and (4) eardrum movement is directionally sensitive. Together, these data support the role of a PDR mechanism in crocodilians and further suggest this mechanism is a shared archosaur trait, most likely found also in the extinct dinosaurs. PMID:24671963

  5. Jumping the Alligators in the Ditch.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Rims

    Poor black young people in rural Mississippi contemplate their schooling with the same feelings as their friends who dare to jump the local ditches filled with alligators: the odds are against escaping the alligators, and the advantages of getting to the far side are not very apparent. Living in conditions of extreme poverty, these young people…

  6. Coronary blood flow in the anesthetized American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Jensen, Bjarke; Elfwing, Magnus; Elsey, Ruth M; Wang, Tobias; Crossley, Dane A

    2016-01-01

    Coronary circulation of the heart evolved early within ectothermic vertebrates and became of vital importance to cardiac performance in some teleost fish, mammals and birds. In contrast, the role and function of the coronary circulation in ectothermic reptiles remains largely unknown. Here, we investigated the systemic and coronary arterial responses of five anesthetized juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to hypoxia, acetylcholine, adenosine, sodium nitroprusside, isoproterenol, and phenylephrine. We recorded electrocardiograms, monitored systemic blood pressure, blood flows in both aortae, and blood flow in a major coronary artery supplying most of the right ventricle. Coronary arterial blood flow was generally forward, but there was a brief retrograde flow during a ventricular contraction. Blood pressure was significantly changed in all conditions. Acetylcholine decreased coronary forward flow, but this response was confounded by the concomitant lowered work of the ventricles due to decreased heart rate and blood pressure. Coronary forward flow was poorly correlated with heart rate and mean arterial pressure across treatments. Overall changes in coronary forward flow, significant and not significant, were generally in the same direction as mean arterial pressure and ventricular power, approximated as the product of systemic cardiac output and mean arterial pressure. PMID:26436857

  7. On the variability of alligator sex ratios

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nichols, J.D.; Chabreck, R.H.

    1980-01-01

    Samples of alligators from wild and 'farm' populations exhibited disproportionate sex ratios. Males predominated among young alligators from wild populations, whereas females were much more abundant than males in the farm population, where resources were superabundant. These results and other considerations lead us to hypothesize that environmental factors influence sex determination in alligators. During favorable environmental conditions natural selection is expected to favor a preponderance of the sex whose individuals exhibit the greater environmentally associated variation in relative fitness. We hypothesize that environmentally associated variation in age at sexual maturity of females produces sufficient variation in relative fitness of females to result in selection for low sex ratios during periods of resource abundance.

  8. POPS IN ALLIGATOR LIVERS FROM LAKE APOPKA, FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reproductive disorders in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting Lake Apopka, Florida, have been observed for several years. Such disorders are hypothesized to be caused by endocrine disrupting contaminants occurring in the Lake due to pesticide spills and ...

  9. SEASONAL VARIATION IN PLASMA SEX STEROID CONCENTRATION IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Seasonal variation in plasma sex steroid concentrations is common in mature vertebrates, and is occasionally seen in juvenile animals. In this study, we examine the seasonal pattern of sex hormone concentration in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and make...

  10. Occurrence of decabromodiphenyl ethane in captive Chinese alligators (Alligator sinensis) from China.

    PubMed

    Hong, Bing; Wu, Ting; Zhao, Guangchao; Sun, Yuxin; Wang, Xinming; Zhao, Juan; Yi, Zhigang; Wu, Xiaobing; Mai, Bixian

    2015-01-01

    Decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), a replacement for decabromodiphenyl ether (deca-BDE), was investigated in captive Chinese alligators from China. DBDPE was detected in adult tissues, neonates and eggs of Chinese alligators with concentrations ranging from 4.74-192, 0.24-1.94, and 0.01-0.51 ng g(-1) lipid weight, respectively. Compared to PBDEs and PCBs, DBDPE contamination was limited in Chinese alligators. Additionally, DBDPE concentrations in adult muscles were one to three orders of magnitude higher than those in neonates and eggs, suggesting the limited maternal transfer potential of DBDPE in Chinese alligators. This is the first study to report the occurrence of DBDPE in Chinese alligators. PMID:25159734

  11. THYROID STATUS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE SITES ON LAKE OKEECHOBEE, FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been shown to alter normal thyroid function in various wildlife species, including the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Abnormalities in circulating levels of the thyroid hormone thyroxine (T4) have been reported in juven...

  12. 75 FR 34365 - Safety Zone, Alligator River, NC

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-06-17

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone, Alligator River, NC AGENCY: Coast Guard... the waters of the Alligator River at East Lake, North Carolina. The safety zone is intended to... on the Alligator River makes safety zone regulations necessary to provide for the safety...

  13. Genome analysis and signature discovery for diving and sensory properties of the endangered Chinese alligator

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Qiu-Hong; Pan, Sheng-Kai; Hu, Li; Zhu, Ying; Xu, Peng-Wei; Xia, Jin-Quan; Chen, Hui; He, Gen-Yun; He, Jing; Ni, Xiao-Wei; Hou, Hao-Long; Liao, Sheng-Guang; Yang, Hai-Qiong; Chen, Ying; Gao, Shu-Kun; Ge, Yun-Fa; Cao, Chang-Chang; Li, Peng-Fei; Fang, Li-Ming; Liao, Li; Zhang, Shu; Wang, Meng-Zhen; Dong, Wei; Fang, Sheng-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Crocodilians are diving reptiles that can hold their breath under water for long periods of time and are crepuscular animals with excellent sensory abilities. They comprise a sister lineage of birds and have no sex chromosome. Here we report the genome sequence of the endangered Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) and describe its unique features. The next-generation sequencing generated 314 Gb of raw sequence, yielding a genome size of 2.3 Gb. A total of 22 200 genes were predicted in Alligator sinensis using a de novo, homology- and RNA-based combined model. The genetic basis of long-diving behavior includes duplication of the bicarbonate-binding hemoglobin gene, co-functioning of routine phosphate-binding and special bicarbonate-binding oxygen transport, and positively selected energy metabolism, ammonium bicarbonate excretion and cardiac muscle contraction. Further, we elucidated the robust Alligator sinensis sensory system, including a significantly expanded olfactory receptor repertoire, rapidly evolving nerve-related cellular components and visual perception, and positive selection of the night vision-related opsin and sound detection-associated otopetrin. We also discovered a well-developed immune system with a considerable number of lineage-specific antigen-presentation genes for adaptive immunity as well as expansion of the tripartite motif-containing C-type lectin and butyrophilin genes for innate immunity and expression of antibacterial peptides. Multifluorescence in situ hybridization showed that alligator chromosome 3, which encodes DMRT1, exhibits significant synteny with chicken chromosome Z. Finally, population history analysis indicated population admixture 0.60-1.05 million years ago, when the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau was uplifted. PMID:23917531

  14. Molecular cloning, characterization, tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the hibernation and reproductive periods of estrogen receptor alpha (ESR1) in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ruidong; Hu, Yuehong; Wang, Huan; Yan, Peng; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Rong; Wu, Xiaobing

    2016-10-01

    Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis, is a critically endangered reptile species unique to China. Little is known about the mechanism of growth- and reproduction-related hormones gene expression in Chinese alligator. Estrogens play important roles in regulating multiple reproduction- and non-reproduction-related functions by binding to their corresponding receptors. Here, the full-length cDNA of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα/ESR1) was cloned and sequenced from Chinese alligator for the first time, which comprises 1764bp nucleotides and encodes a predicted protein of 587 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis of ESR1 showed that crocodilians and turtles were the sister-group of birds. The results of real-time quantitative PCR indicated that the ESR1 mRNA was widely expressed in the brain and peripheral tissues. In the brain and pituitary gland, ESR1 was most highly transcribed in the cerebellum. But in other peripheral tissues, ESR1 mRNA expression level was the highest in the ovary. Compared with hibernation period, ESR1 mRNA expression levels were increased significantly in the reproductive period (P<0.05) in cerebellum, pituitary gland, liver, spleen, lung, kidney and ovary, while no significant change in other examined tissues (P>0.05). The ESR1 mRNA expression levels changes during the two periods of different tissues suggested that ESR1 might play an important role in mediation of estrogenic multiple reproductive effects in Chinese alligator. Furthermore, it was the first time to quantify ESR1 mRNA level in the brain of crocodilians, and the distribution and expression of ESR1 mRNA in the midbrain, cerebellum and medulla oblongata was also reported for the first time in reptiles. PMID:27212643

  15. Endogenous and exogenous estrogens during embryonic development affect timing of hatch and growth in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Cruze, Lori; Roark, Alison M; Rolland, Gabrielle; Younas, Mona; Stacy, Nicole; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-06-01

    Prenatal exposure to estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) can affect length of gestation and body mass and size of offspring. However, the dose, timing, and duration of exposure as well as sex and strain of the experimental animals determine the direction and magnitude of these effects. In this study, we examined the effects of a one-time embryonic exposure to either 17 β-estradiol (E2) or bisphenol A (BPA) on rate of development and growth in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Our results indicate that BPA and E2-treated alligators hatched approximately 1.4 days earlier than vehicle-treated (control) alligators, suggesting that estrogenic chemicals hasten hatching in these animals. We assessed growth rates, growth allometry, and body condition for 21 weeks after hatching and found that BPA-treated alligators grew more quickly shortly after hatching but more slowly thereafter compared to control alligators. Conversely, E2-treated alligators grew more slowly shortly after hatching but more quickly thereafter compared to control alligators. As a result of differences in growth rate, BPA-treated alligators were heavier, longer, and fatter than control alligators at age 5 weeks but were similar in size and leaner than control alligators at age 21 weeks. Biochemical analytes were examined at the end of the 21-week study to assess overall metabolic condition. We found that E2-treated alligators had significantly higher circulating plasma concentrations of cholesterol and triglycerides than control alligators while BPA-treated alligators had blood profiles comparable to control alligators. Our results provide important insights into the effects of exogenous estrogens on morphology and metabolism in an oviparous, semi-aquatic reptile. PMID:25687799

  16. An algae-covered alligator rests warily

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    An algae-covered alligator keeps a wary eye open as it rests in one of the ponds at Kennedy Space Center. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  17. A mother alligator protects her young

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In the water near Kennedy Space Center, a mother alligator gathers her six offspring. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  18. International Alligator Rivers Analog Project

    SciTech Connect

    Bichard, G.F.

    1988-01-01

    The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization (ANSTO), the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, the U.K. Department of the Environment, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation of Japan are participating under the aegis of the Nuclear Energy Agency in the International Alligator Rivers Analog Project. The project has a duration of 3 yr, starting in 1988. The project has grown out of a research program on uranium ore bodies as analogs of high-level waste (HLW) repositories undertaken by ANSTO supported by the NRC. A primary objective of the project is to develop an approach to radionuclide transport model validation that may be used by the participants to support assessments of the safety of radioactive waste repositories. The approach involves integrating mathematical and physical modeling with hydrological and geochemical field and laboratory investigations of the analog site. The Koongarra uranium ore body has been chosen as the analog site because it has a secondary ore body that has formed over the past million years as a result of leaching by groundwater flowing through fractures in the primary ore body.

  19. ALTERATIONS IN SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC BIOTRANSFORMATION OF TESTOSTERONE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    The goal of this study was to determine whether hepatic biotransformation of testosterone is normally sexually dimorphic in juvenile alligators and whether living in a contaminated environment affects hepatic dimorphism. Lake Woodruff served as our reference site. Moonshine Bay, ...

  20. MORPHOLOGICAL VARIATION IN HATCHLING AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM THREE FLORIDA LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Morphological variation of 508 hatchling alligators from three lakes in north central Florida (Lakes Woodruff, Apopka, and Orange) was analyzed using multivariate statistics. Morphological variation was found among clutches as well as among lakes. Principal components analysis wa...

  1. TRPV4 associates environmental temperature and sex determination in the American alligator

    PubMed Central

    Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Kohno, Satomi; Saito, Shigeru; Lowers, Russell H.; Ogino, Yukiko; Fukuta, Naomi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Tominaga, Makoto; Guillette Jr, Louis J.; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), commonly found among reptiles, is a sex determination mode in which the incubation temperature during a critical temperature sensitive period (TSP) determines sexual fate of the individual rather than the individual’s genotypic background. In the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), eggs incubated during the TSP at 33 °C (male producing temperature: MPT) yields male offspring, whereas incubation temperatures below 30 °C (female producing temperature: FPT) lead to female offspring. However, many of the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive, and the molecular link between environmental temperature and sex determination pathway is yet to be elucidated. Here we show the alligator TRPV4 ortholog (AmTRPV4) to be activated at temperatures proximate to the TSD-related temperature in alligators, and using pharmacological exposure, we show that AmTRPV4 channel activity affects gene expression patterns associated with male differentiation. This is the first experimental demonstration of a link between a well-described thermo-sensory mechanism, TRPV4 channel, and its potential role in regulation of TSD in vertebrates, shedding unique new light on the elusive TSD molecular mechanism. PMID:26677944

  2. TRPV4 associates environmental temperature and sex determination in the American alligator.

    PubMed

    Yatsu, Ryohei; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Kohno, Satomi; Saito, Shigeru; Lowers, Russell H; Ogino, Yukiko; Fukuta, Naomi; Katsu, Yoshinao; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Tominaga, Makoto; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-01-01

    Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD), commonly found among reptiles, is a sex determination mode in which the incubation temperature during a critical temperature sensitive period (TSP) determines sexual fate of the individual rather than the individual's genotypic background. In the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), eggs incubated during the TSP at 33 °C (male producing temperature: MPT) yields male offspring, whereas incubation temperatures below 30 °C (female producing temperature: FPT) lead to female offspring. However, many of the details of the underlying molecular mechanism remains elusive, and the molecular link between environmental temperature and sex determination pathway is yet to be elucidated. Here we show the alligator TRPV4 ortholog (AmTRPV4) to be activated at temperatures proximate to the TSD-related temperature in alligators, and using pharmacological exposure, we show that AmTRPV4 channel activity affects gene expression patterns associated with male differentiation. This is the first experimental demonstration of a link between a well-described thermo-sensory mechanism, TRPV4 channel, and its potential role in regulation of TSD in vertebrates, shedding unique new light on the elusive TSD molecular mechanism. PMID:26677944

  3. Home range and movements of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in an estuary habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Denton, Mathew J.

    2014-01-01

    This study reveals consistent use of estuary habitat by American alligators. The alligators showed variations in their movement pattern and seasonal habitat, with movement attributable to environmental factors. Although satellite-derived locations were more dispersed compared to locations collected using VHF radio-tags, data collected from VHF tracking omitted some habitat used for a short period of time, indicating the effectiveness of satellite telemetry to continuously track animals for ecosystem-scale studies.

  4. METALS AND METALLOIDS IN TISSUES OF AMERICAN ALLIGATORS IN THREE FLORIDA LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Concentrations of metals and selenium were examined in tissues of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three lakes in central Florida, in one of which alligators have exhibited reproductive or developmental defects. Our overall objective was to determine whether ...

  5. Survival and growth of American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) hatchlings after artificial incubation and repatriation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Temsiripong, Y.; Woodward, A.R.; Ross, J.P.; Kubilis, P.S.; Percival, H.F.

    2006-01-01

    Hatchling American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) produced from artificially incubated wild eggs were returned to their natal areas (repatriated). We compared artificially incubated and repatriated hatchlings released within and outside the maternal alligator's home range with naturally incubated hatchlings captured and released within the maternal alligator's home range on Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, and Orange Lake in Florida. We used probability of recapture and total length at approximately nine months after hatching as indices of survival and growth rates. Artificially incubated hatchlings released outside of the maternal alligator's home range had lower recapture probabilities than either naturally incubated hatchlings or artificially incubated hatchlings released near the original nest site. Recapture probabilities of other treatments did not differ significantly. Artificially incubated hatchlings were approximately 6% shorter than naturally incubated hatchlings at approximately nine months after hatching. We concluded that repatriation of hatchlings probably would not have long-term effects on populations because of the resiliency of alligator populations to alterations of early age-class survival and growth rates of the magnitude that we observed. Repatriation of hatchlings may be an economical alternative to repatriation of older juveniles for population restoration. However, the location of release may affect subsequent survival and growth. Copyright 2006 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  6. The isolation of parvalbumin isoforms from the tail muscle of the American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis).

    PubMed

    Laney, E L; Shabanowitz, J; King, G; Hunt, D F; Nelson, D J

    1997-04-01

    Multiple parvalbumin isoforms have been detected in the tail (skeletal) muscle of the American alligator (Alligator mississipiensis). One of these isoforms (APV-1) has been highly purified and partially characterized. Protein purification involved mainly gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography, and characterization included gel electrophoresis, amino acid composition analysis, metal ion analysis, MALDI-TOF and ESI mass spectrometry, ultraviolet and fluorescence spectroscopy, and one- and two-dimensional 500 MHz proton NMR spectroscopy. The alligator isoforms are rich in phenylalanine and deficient in the other aromatic residues as is typical for parvalbumins. In fact, the one highly purified isoform that forms the basis of this study has only phenyl-alanine as an aromatic residue. Ion exchange chromatography further indicates that this isoform has a relatively high isoelectric point (pl approximately 5.0), indicating that it is an alpha-lineage parvalbumin. This alligator parvalbumin isoform is unusual in that it has an atypically high Ca2+ content (almost 3.0 mole of Ca2+ per mole of protein) following purification, a fact supported by terbium fluorescence titration experiments. Preliminary comparative analysis of the highly purified alligator parvalbumin isoform (in the Ca2-loaded state) by two-dimensional 1H-NMR (2D 1H TOCSY and 2D 1H NOESY) indicates that there is considerable similarity in structure between the alligator protein and a homologous protein obtained from the silver hake (a saltwater fish species). PMID:9076974

  7. Urinary Phthalate Metabolites in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Selected Florida Wetlands.

    PubMed

    Brock, John W; Bell, Jane Margaret; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Phthalates have been shown to cause endocrine disruption in laboratory animals and are associated with altered development of the reproductive system in humans. Further, human have significant exposure to phthalates. However, little is known concerning the exposure of wildlife to phthalates. We report urinary phthalate metabolite concentrations from fifty juvenile alligators from three Florida lakes and a site in the Everglades. Urinary phthalate monoester concentrations varied widely among alligators from the different sites but also among alligators from the same site. Mono-2-ethylhexy phthalate and monobutyl phthalate were found in most samples of alligator urine with maximums of 35,700 ng/mL and 193 ng/mL, respectively. Monobenzyl phthalate was found in 5 alligators with a maximum of 66.7 ng/mL. Other monoesters were found in only one or two alligator urine samples. The wide variation within and among sites, in addition to the high levels of mEHP, mBP and mBzP, is consistent with exposure arising from the intermittent spraying of herbicide formulations to control invasive aquatic plants in Florida freshwater sites. Phthalate diesters are used as adjuvants in many of these formulations. PMID:26743198

  8. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  9. Bio-gas production from alligator weeds

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Latif, A.

    1976-01-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to study the effect of temperature, sample preparation, reducing agents, light intensity and pH of the media, on bio-gas and methane production from the microbial anaerobic decomposition of alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides. Efforts were also made for the isolation and characterization of the methanogenic bacteria.

  10. Alternathera philoxeroides (Martius) Grisebach - alligator weed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Biological control of Alternanthera philoxeroides, alligator weed, began when George Vogt, USDA, conducted several surveys by public transport in South America during the 1960s. Three agents were released in USA and two of them, the flea beetle Agasicles hygrophila and the moth Arcola malloi were re...

  11. Crocodiles and Alligators. Young Discovery Library Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Farre, Marie

    This book is written for children ages 5 through 10. Part of a series designed to develop their curiosity, fascinate them and educate them, this volume describes the physical characteristics, behavior, and peculiar habits of crocodiles, including how to distinguish them from close relatives such as alligators, cayman, and gharials. (YP)

  12. Elemental Levels Analyzed by PIXE in Florida Alligators

    SciTech Connect

    Kuharik, J.C.; Kravchenko, I.I.; Dunnam, F.E.; Rinsvelt, H.A. van; Ross, J.P.

    2003-08-26

    Unusual and alarming mortality of alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) has been reported from Lake Griffin, Florida, where almost 400 dead alligators have been observed since 1997. In addition, the hatch rate for alligator eggs around Lake Griffin fell below 10% and remains low (30-45%) while the normal hatch rate is typically 80%. Standard diagnostic methods have been ineffective in determining the cause of the phenomenon. Many possibilities have been considered including pollutants, nutrition, and toxic algae. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) analysis is highly suitable for investigating concentrations of a wide range of elements in animal tissue. Liver, kidney and spinal cord tissues from healthy and sick alligators have been analyzed by PIXE for elemental content. Initial results showed positive correlation between certain elements and neural impairment and morbidity of alligators in Lake Griffin, but have failed to prove significant.

  13. Elemental Levels Analyzed by PIXE in Florida Alligators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuharik, J. C.; Kravchenko, I. I.; Dunnam, F. E.; Van Rinsvelt, H. A.; Ross, J. P.

    2003-08-01

    Unusual and alarming mortality of alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) has been reported from Lake Griffin, Florida, where almost 400 dead alligators have been observed since 1997. In addition, the hatch rate for alligator eggs around Lake Griffin fell below 10% and remains low (30-45%) while the normal hatch rate is typically 80%. Standard diagnostic methods have been ineffective in determining the cause of the phenomenon. Many possibilities have been considered including pollutants, nutrition, and toxic algae. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) analysis is highly suitable for investigating concentrations of a wide range of elements in animal tissue. Liver, kidney and spinal cord tissues from healthy and sick alligators have been analyzed by PIXE for elemental content. Initial results showed positive correlation between certain elements and neural impairment and morbidity of alligators in Lake Griffin, but have failed to prove significant.

  14. Levels of mercury in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected along a transect through the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rumbold, D.G.; Fink, L.E.; Laine, K.A.; Niemczyk, S.L.; Chandrasekhar, T.; Wankel, Scott D.; Kendall, C.

    2002-01-01

    As part of a multi-agency study of alligator health, 28 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) were captured along a transect through the Florida Everglades in 1999. Liver and tail muscle tissues were sampled and analyzed on a wet weight basis for total mercury (THg) using cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. All tissues had detectable concentrations of THg that ranged from 0.6 to 17 mg/kg in liver and from 0.1 to 1.8 mg/kg in tail muscle. THg was more concentrated in liver tissue than tail muscle, but levels were highly correlated between tissues. THg concentrations in tissue differed significantly among locations, with animals from Everglades National Park (ENP) having mean concentrations of THg in liver (10.4 mg/kg) and tail muscle (1.2 mg/kg) that were two-fold higher than basin-wide averages (4.9 and 0.64 mg/kg, respectively). The reasons for higher contamination of ENP alligators were unclear and could not be explained by differences in sex, length, weight or animal age. While ??15N values were positively correlated with THg concentrations in tail muscle, spatial patterns in isotopic composition did not explain the elevated THg levels in ENP alligators. Therefore, it appears that ENP alligators were more highly exposed to mercury in their environment than individuals in other areas. Comparisons to a previous survey by Yanochko et al. [Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 32 (1997) 323] suggest that mercury levels have declined in some Everglades alligators since 1994. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Blood and Plasma Biochemistry Reference Intervals for Wild Juvenile American Alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ).

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Matthew T; Kupar, Caitlin A; Kelley, Meghan D; Finger, John W; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-07-01

    : American alligators ( Alligator mississippiensis ) are one of the most studied crocodilian species in the world, yet blood and plasma biochemistry information is limited for juvenile alligators in their northern range, where individuals may be exposed to extreme abiotic and biotic stressors. We collected blood samples over a 2-yr period from 37 juvenile alligators in May, June, and July to establish reference intervals for 22 blood and plasma analytes. We observed no effect of either sex or blood collection time on any analyte investigated. However, our results indicate a significant correlation between a calculated body condition index and aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase. Glucose, total protein, and potassium varied significantly between sampling sessions. In addition, glucose and potassium were highly correlated between the two point-of-care devices used, although they were significantly lower with the i-STAT 1 CG8+ cartridge than with the Vetscan VS2 Avian/Reptile Rotor. The reference intervals presented herein should provide baseline data for evaluating wild juvenile alligators in the northern portion of their range. PMID:27224213

  16. Hypoxic alligator embryos: chronic hypoxia, catecholamine levels and autonomic responses of in ovo alligators.

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Altimiras, Jordi; Hicks, James W; Crossley, Dane A

    2011-11-01

    Hypoxia is a naturally occurring environmental challenge for embryonic reptiles, and this is the first study to investigate the impact of chronic hypoxia on the in ovo development of autonomic cardiovascular regulation and circulating catecholamine levels in a reptile. We measured heart rate (f(H)) and chorioallantoic arterial blood pressure (MAP) in normoxic ('N21') and hypoxic-incubated ('H10'; 10% O(2)) American alligator embryos (Alligator mississippiensis) at 70, 80 and 90% of development. Embryonic alligator responses to adrenergic blockade with propranolol and phentolamine were very similar to previously reported responses of embryonic chicken, and demonstrated that embryonic alligator has α and β-adrenergic tone over the final third of development. However, adrenergic tone originates entirely from circulating catecholamines and is not altered by chronic hypoxic incubation, as neither cholinergic blockade with atropine nor ganglionic blockade with hexamethonium altered baseline cardiovascular variables in N21 or H10 embryos. In addition, both atropine and hexamethonium injection did not alter the generally depressive effects of acute hypoxia - bradycardia and hypotension. However, H10 embryos showed significantly higher levels of noradrenaline and adrenaline at 70% of development, as well as higher noradrenaline at 80% of development, suggesting that circulating catecholamines reach maximal levels earlier in incubation for H10 embryos, compared to N21 embryos. Chronically elevated levels of catecholamines may alter the normal balance between α and β-adrenoreceptors in H10 alligator embryos, causing chronic bradycardia and hypotension of H10 embryos measured in normoxia. PMID:21798363

  17. Exhaustive exercise training enhances aerobic capacity in American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Owerkowicz, Tomasz; Gwalthney, June; Blank, Jason M; Rourke, Bryan C; Hicks, James W

    2009-11-01

    The oxygen transport system in mammals is extensively remodelled in response to repeated bouts of activity, but many reptiles appear to be 'metabolically inflexible' in response to exercise training. A recent report showed that estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) increase their maximum metabolic rate in response to exhaustive treadmill training, and in the present study, we confirm this response in another crocodilian, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). We further specify the nature of the crocodilian training response by analysing effects of training on aerobic [citrate synthase (CS)] and anaerobic [lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)] enzyme activities in selected skeletal muscles, ventricular and skeletal muscle masses and haematocrit. Compared to sedentary control animals, alligators regularly trained for 15 months on a treadmill (run group) or in a flume (swim group) exhibited peak oxygen consumption rates higher by 27 and 16%, respectively. Run and swim exercise training significantly increased ventricular mass (~11%) and haematocrit (~11%), but not the mass of skeletal muscles. However, exercise training did not alter CS or LDH activities of skeletal muscles. Similar to mammals, alligators respond to exercise training by increasing convective oxygen transport mechanisms, specifically heart size (potentially greater stroke volume) and haematocrit (increased oxygen carrying-capacity of the blood). Unlike mammals, but similar to squamate reptiles, alligators do not also increase citrate synthase activity of the skeletal muscles in response to exercise. PMID:19533151

  18. Low cost of pulmonary ventilation in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) stimulated with doxapram.

    PubMed

    Skovgaard, Nini; Crossley, Dane A; Wang, Tobias

    2016-04-01

    To determine the costs of pulmonary ventilation without imposing severe oxygen limitations or acidosis that normally accompany exposures to hypoxia or hypercapnia, we opted to pharmacologically stimulate ventilation with doxapram (5 and 10 mg kg(-1)) in alligators. Doxapram is used clinically to alleviate ventilatory depression in response to anaesthesia and acts primarily on the peripheral oxygen-sensitive chemoreceptors. Using this approach, we investigated the hypothesis that pulmonary ventilation is relatively modest in comparison to resting metabolic rate in crocodilians and equipped seven juvenile alligators with masks for concurrent determination of ventilation and oxygen uptake. Doxapram elicited a dose-dependent and up to fourfold rise in ventilation, primarily by increasing ventilatory frequency. The accompanying rise in oxygen uptake was very small; ventilation in resting animals constitutes no more than 5% of resting metabolic rate. The conclusion that pulmonary ventilation is energetically cheap is consistent with earlier studies on alligators where ventilation was stimulated by hypoxia or hypercapnia. PMID:26896538

  19. A mother alligator protects her young

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  20. HISTOPATHOLOGY OF GASTRIC WALL IN CHINESE ALLIGATOR ALLIGATOR SINENSIS INFECTED WITH ORTLEPPASCARIS SINENSIS (NEMATODA: ASCARIDOIDEA).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jinhong; Wang, Shaosheng; Tu, Genjun; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing; Li, Chaopin

    2015-01-01

    Crocodiles are susceptible to infection with a wide array of external and internal gastrointestinal helminths, yet little is known on the histopathology following infection or the effects of these parasites. The present study was aimed at evaluating the impact of infection by Ortleppascaris sinensis (Nematoda: Ascaridoidea) on the stomach of captive Alligator sinensis. The histological examination of the stomach revealed presence of superficial ulcer in mucous layer and granulomatous inflammation in submucous layer at entire gastric walls of the Alligator sinensis. Our findings also confirm that development of Ortleppascaris sinensis is in close association with the wall of the stomach. PMID:26319836

  1. Incubation history prior to the canonical thermosensitive period determines sex in the American alligator.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Jessica A; Parrott, Benjamin B; Rainwater, Thomas R; Wilkinson, Phillip M; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-10-01

    Despite the widespread occurrence of environmental sex determination (ESD) among vertebrates, our knowledge of the temporal dynamics by which environmental factors act on this process remains limited. In many reptiles, incubation temperature determines sex during a discrete developmental window just prior to and coincident with the differentiation of the gonads. Yet, there is substantial variation in sex ratios among different clutches of eggs incubated at identical temperatures during this period. Here, we test the hypothesis that temperatures experienced prior to the reported thermosensitive period for alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) can impact how the sex determination system responds to thermal cues later in development. Temperature shift experiments on eggs collected from the field within 24  h of oviposition were employed to decouple various maternal influences from thermal effects, and results demonstrate a previously undefined window of thermosensitivity occurring by stage 15 of embryonic development, six stages earlier than previously reported. We also examine the intrasexual expression of several male- and female-biased genes and show that while male-biased genes display no intrasexual differences, ovarian CYP19A1 (aromatase) transcript abundance differs by approximately twofold depending on thermal exposures experienced at early stages of embryonic development. These findings expand our understanding of the ESD in the alligator and provide the rationale for reevaluation of the temporal dynamics of sex determination in other crocodilians. PMID:26183894

  2. Hexavalent chromium is cytotoxic and genotoxic to American alligator cells.

    PubMed

    Wise, Sandra S; Wise, Catherine; Xie, Hong; Guillette, Louis J; Zhu, Cairong; Wise, John Pierce; Wise, John Pierce

    2016-02-01

    Metals are a common pollutant in the aquatic ecosystem. With global climate change, these levels are anticipated to rise as lower pH levels allow sediment bound metals to be released. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is an apex predator in the aquatic ecosystem and is considered a keystone species; as such it serves as a suitable monitor for localized pollution. One metal of increasing concern is hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)). It is present in the aquatic environment and is a known human carcinogen and reproductive toxicant. We measured the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of Cr(VI) in American alligator cells derived from scute tissue. We found that particulate and soluble Cr(VI) are both cytotoxic and genotoxic to alligator cells in a concentration-dependent manner. These data suggest that alligators may be used as a model for assessing the effects of environmental Cr(VI) contamination as well as for other metals of concern. PMID:26730726

  3. Pathology, physiologic parameters, tissue contaminants, and tissue thiamine in morbid and healthy central Florida adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Honeyfield, Dale C; Ross, J Perran; Carbonneau, Dwayne A; Terrell, Scott P; Woodward, Allan R; Schoeb, Trenton R; Perceval, H Franklin; Hinterkopf, Joy P

    2008-04-01

    An investigation of adult alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) mortalities in Lake Griffin, central Florida, was conducted from 1998-2004. Alligator mortality was highest in the months of April and May and annual death count peaked in 2000. Bacterial pathogens, heavy metals, and pesticides were not linked with the mortalities. Blood chemistry did not point to any clinical diagnosis, although differences between impaired and normal animals were noted. Captured alligators with signs of neurologic impairment displayed unresponsive and uncoordinated behavior. Three of 21 impaired Lake Griffin alligators were found to have neural lesions characteristic of thiamine deficiency in the telencephalon, particularly the dorsal ventricular ridge. In some cases, lesions were found in the thalamus, and parts of the midbrain. Liver and muscle tissue concentrations of thiamine (vitamin B(1)) were lowest in impaired Lake Griffin alligators when compared to unimpaired alligators or to alligators from Lake Woodruff. The consumption of thiaminase-positive gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) is thought to have been the cause of the low tissue thiamine and resulting mortalities. PMID:18436661

  4. Pathology, physiologic parameters, tissue contaminants, and tissue thiamine in morbid and healthy central Florida adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Honeyfield, D.C.; Ross, J.P.; Carbonneau, D.A.; Terrell, S.P.; Woodward, A.R.; Schoeb, T.R.; Perceval, H.F.; Hinterkopf, J.P.

    2008-01-01

    An investigation of adult alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) mortalities in Lake Griffin, central Florida, was conducted from 1998-2004. Alligator mortality was highest in the months of April and May and annual death count peaked in 2000. Bacterial pathogens, heavy metals, and pesticides were not linked with the mortalities. Blood chemistry did not point to any clinical diagnosis, although differences between impaired and normal animals were noted. Captured alligators with signs of neurologic impairment displayed unresponsive and uncoordinated behavior. Three of 21 impaired Lake Griffin alligators were found to have neural lesions characteristic of thiamine deficiency in the telencephalon, particularly the dorsal ventricular ridge. In some cases, lesions were found in the thalamus, and parts of the midbrain. Liver and muscle tissue concentrations of thiamine (vitamin B"1) were lowest in impaired Lake Griffin alligators when compared to unimpaired alligators or to alligators from Lake Woodruff. The consumption of thiaminase-positive gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum) is thought to have been the cause of the low tissue thiamine and resulting mortalities. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2008.

  5. Polychlorinated biphenyls in eggs and chlorioallantoic membranes of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from coastal South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D.; O`Quinn, M.

    1997-07-01

    Assessing chemical exposure in threatened or endangered wildlife species presents unique analytical problems. Chorioallantoic membranes (CAMs) have been proposed as surrogate tissues for evaluation of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) exposure in oviparous species. Research was undertaken to determine the extent of PCB accumulation in alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) at sites along the coast of South Carolina and to evaluate the utility of CAMs as surrogate tissues for determining PCB concentrations in whole alligator eggs. Polychlorinated biphenyls were found in eggs and CAMs of alligators from both sites examined. Concentrations of PCBs were higher in CAMs (p = 0.02) and eggs (p = 0.001) from sites known to contain chlorinated hydrocarbons than from more pristine sites. Total PCBs partitioned predictably (r{sup 2} > 0.59; p < 0.02) between egg and CAM tissues indicating the utility of CAMs to serve as surrogate tissues when comparing total PCB concentrations in whole eggs. Tetrachloro through octachloro biphenyl homologues and total PCBs in CAMs from reference areas were correlated with concentrations of these homologues in eggs. At contaminated sites, total PCB concentrations in CAMs were correlated with total PCB concentrations in eggs.

  6. Global DNA methylation loss associated with mercury contamination and aging in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Frances M; Parrott, Benjamin B; Bowden, John A; Kassim, Brittany L; Somerville, Stephen E; Bryan, Teresa A; Bryan, Colleen E; Lange, Ted R; Delaney, J Patrick; Brunell, Arnold M; Long, Stephen E; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-03-01

    Mercury is a widespread environmental contaminant with exposures eliciting a well-documented catalog of adverse effects. Yet, knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms by which mercury exposures are translated into biological effects remains incomplete. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is sensitive to environmental cues, and alterations in DNA methylation at the global level are associated with a variety of diseases. Using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS/MS) approach, global DNA methylation levels were measured in red blood cells of 144 wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from 6 sites with variable levels of mercury contamination across Florida's north-south axis. Variation in mercury concentrations measured in whole blood was highly associated with location, allowing the comparison of global DNA methylation levels across different "treatments" of mercury. Global DNA methylation in alligators across all locations was weakly associated with increased mercury exposure. However, a much more robust relationship was observed in those animals sampled from locations more highly contaminated with mercury. Also, similar to other vertebrates, global DNA methylation appears to decline with age in alligators. The relationship between age-associated loss of global DNA methylation and varying mercury exposures was examined to reveal a potential interaction. These findings demonstrate that global DNA methylation levels are associated with mercury exposure, and give insights into interactions between contaminants, aging, and epigenetics. PMID:26748003

  7. Perfluorinated Alkyl Acids in Plasma of American Alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis) from Florida and South Carolina

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bangma, Jacqueline T.; Bowden, John A.; Brunell, Arnold M.; Christie, Ian; Finnell, Brendan; Guillette, Matthew P.; Jones, Martin; Lowers, Russell H.; Rainwater, Thomas R.; Reiner, Jessica L.; Wilkinson, Philip M.; Guillette, Louis J., Jr.

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to quantitate fourteen perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs) in 125 adult American alligators at twelve sites across the southeastern US. Of those fourteen PFAAs, nine were detected in 65% - 100% of the samples: PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnA, PFDoA, PFTriA, PFTA, PFHxS, and PFOS. Males (across all sites) showed significantly higher concentrations of four PFAAs: PFOS (p = 0.01), PFDA (p = 0.0003), PFUnA (p = 0.021), and PFTriA (p = 0.021). Concentrations of PFOS, PFHxS, and PFDA in plasma were significantly different among the sites in each sex. Alligators at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Kiawah Nature Conservancy both exhibited some of the highest PFOS concentrations (medians 99.5 ng/g and 55.8 ng/g respectively) in plasma measured to date in a crocodilian species. A number of positive correlations between PFAAs and snout-vent length (SVL) were observed in both sexes suggesting PFAA body burdens increase with increasing size. In addition, several significant correlations among PFAAs in alligator plasma may suggest conserved sources of PFAAs at each site throughout the greater study area. This study is the first to report PFAAs in American alligators, reveals potential PFAA hot spots in Florida and South Carolina, and provides and additional contaminant of concern when assessing anthropogenic impacts on ecosystem health.

  8. Global DNA methylation loss associated with mercury contamination and aging in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Nilsen, Frances M.; Parrott, Benjamin B.; Bowden, John A.; Kassim, Brittany L.; Somerville, Stephen E.; Bryan, Teresa A.; Bryan, Colleen E.; Lange, Ted R.; Delaney, J. Patrick; Brunell, Arnold M.; Long, Stephen E.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is a widespread environmental contaminant with exposures eliciting a well-documented catalog of adverse effects. Yet, knowledge regarding the underlying mechanisms by which mercury exposures are translated into biological effects remains incomplete. DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is sensitive to environmental cues, and alterations in DNA methylation at the global level are associated with a variety of diseases. Using a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS/MS) approach, global DNA methylation levels were measured in red blood cells of 144 wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from 6 sites with variable levels of mercury contamination across Florida’s north-south axis. Variation in mercury concentrations measured in whole blood was highly associated with location, allowing the comparison of global DNA methylation levels across different “treatments” of mercury. Global DNA methylation in alligators across all locations was weakly associated with increased mercury exposure. However, a much more robust relationship was observed in those animals sampled from locations more highly contaminated with mercury. Also, similar to other vertebrates, global DNA methylation appears to decline with age in alligators. The relationship between age-associated loss of global DNA methylation and varying mercury exposures was examined to reveal a potential interaction. These findings demonstrate that global DNA methylation levels are associated with mercury exposure, and give insights into interactions between contaminants, aging, and epigenetics. PMID:26748003

  9. Morphogenesis and patterning of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Gredler, Marissa L; Seifert, Ashley W; Cohn, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    In most animals, reproduction by internal fertilization is facilitated by an intromittent organ, such as the penis in amniote vertebrates. Recent progress has begun to uncover the mechanisms of mammalian external genital development; however, comparatively little is known about the development of the reptilian penis and clitoris. Here, we describe the development of the phallus and cloaca in the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis. The embryonic precursor of the penis and clitoris is the genital tubercle, which forms by the budding of genital mesenchyme beneath the ventral body wall ectoderm, adjacent to the cloacal membrane. The cloacal lips develop from another pair of outgrowths, the lateral swellings. Early development of the alligator phallus, cloaca, and urogenital ducts generally resembles that of other reptiles, suggesting that differences in adult reptilian phallus and cloacal anatomy arise at later stages. The phallic sulcus is derived from the cloacal endoderm, indicating that the crocodilian sulcus is functionally and developmentally homologous to the mammalian urethra. Initial external genital outgrowth and patterning occur prior to temperature-dependent sex determination. Our analysis of alligator phallus and cloaca development suggests that modifications of an ancestral program of urogenital development could have generated the morphological diversity found in the external genitalia of modern amniotes. PMID:24993090

  10. Fluctuating water depths affect American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) body condition in the Everglades, Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brandt, Laura A.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2016-01-01

    Successful restoration of wetland ecosystems requires knowledge of wetland hydrologic patterns and an understanding of how those patterns affect wetland plant and animal populations.Within the Everglades, Florida, USA restoration, an applied science strategy including conceptual ecological models linking drivers to indicators is being used to organize current scientific understanding to support restoration efforts. A key driver of the ecosystem affecting the distribution and abundance of organisms is the timing, distribution, and volume of water flows that result in water depth patterns across the landscape. American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are one of the ecological indicators being used to assess Everglades restoration because they are a keystone species and integrate biological impacts of hydrological operations through all life stages. Alligator body condition (the relative fatness of an animal) is one of the metrics being used and targets have been set to allow us to track progress. We examined trends in alligator body condition using Fulton’s K over a 15 year period (2000–2014) at seven different wetland areas within the Everglades ecosystem, assessed patterns and trends relative to restoration targets, and related those trends to hydrologic variables. We developed a series of 17 a priori hypotheses that we tested with an information theoretic approach to identify which hydrologic factors affect alligator body condition. Alligator body condition was highest throughout the Everglades during the early 2000s and is approximately 5–10% lower now (2014). Values have varied by year, area, and hydrology. Body condition was positively correlated with range in water depth and fall water depth. Our top model was the “Current” model and included variables that describe current year hydrology (spring depth, fall depth, hydroperiod, range, interaction of range and fall depth, interaction of range and hydroperiod). Across all models, interaction

  11. Variations in hepatic biomarkers in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from three sites in Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Gunderson, Mark P; Pickett, Melissa A; Martin, Justin T; Hulse, Elizabeth J; Smith, Spenser S; Smith, Levi A; Campbell, Rachel M; Lowers, Russell H; Boggs, Ashley S P; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-07-01

    Sub-individual biomarkers are sub-lethal biological responses commonly used in the assessment of wildlife exposure to environmental contaminants. In this study, we examined the activity of glutathione-s-transferase (GST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and metallothionein (MT) concentrations among captive-raised alligator hatchlings, wild-caught juveniles, and wild-caught adults. Juveniles and adults were collected from three locations in Florida (USA) with varying degrees of contamination (i.e. Lake Apopka (organochlorine polluted site), Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) (metal polluted site), and Lake Woodruff NWR (reference site)). We examined whether changes in the response of these three biomarkers were age and sex dependent or reflected site-specific variations of environmental contaminants. Juvenile alligators from Merritt Island NWR had higher MT concentrations and lower GST activity compared to those from the other two sites. This outcome was consistent with higher metal pollution at this location. Sexually dimorphic patterns of MT and GST (F > M) were observed in juvenile alligators from all sites, although this pattern was not observed in adults. GST activity was lower in captive-raised alligators from Lake Apopka and Merritt Island NWR as compared to animals from Lake Woodruff NWR, suggesting a possible developmental modulator at these sites. No clear patterns were observed in LDH activity. We concluded that GST and MT demonstrate age and sex specific patterns in the alligators inhabiting these study sites and that the observed variation among sites could be due to differences in contaminant exposure. PMID:27111470

  12. Umbilical scarring in hatchling American alligators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wiebe, J.J.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Buckland, J.E.; Anderson, S.R.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Umbilical scarring is the presence of excess scar tissue deposited between abdominal dermal layers at the site of yolk sac absorption in hatchling American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). The presence of this dermal condition plays a key evaluatory role in the overall quality and subsequent value for various commercial leather products. Despite the prevalent nature of this condition, currently the industry has no standardized protocols for its quantification. The objectives of this study were to examine the relationship between hatchling weight and age and incidence of umbilical scarring and to develop a quantifiable and reproducible technique to measure this dermal condition in hatchling American alligators. Thirty eggs from each of nine clutches were incubated in two separate incubators at different facilities and hatchling umbilical scarring was measured at 2 and 10 days of age using digital calipers. Umbilical area was calculated by multiplying umbilical length times umbilical width. There was a significant effect of both age and clutch on umbilical area (overall decline of 64%) by 10 days post-hatch. However, only five of the nine clutches utilized expressed a noticeable decline in the size of this dermal condition (range 67-74%). We had hypothesized that larger hatchlings would have larger umbilical areas and a slower rate of improvement in this condition during the first few days post-hatch. The differences in umbilical area and percent decline with age across clutches, however, were not associated with differences in initial hatchling weights. Within clutches and time periods, hatchling weight had no significant effect on the size and/or rate of decline of this condition. ?? 2004 Published by Elsevier B.V.

  13. Habitat Suitability Index Models: American Alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Newsom, John D.; Joanen, Ted; Howard, Rebecca J.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a model for evaluating American alligator habitat quality. The model is applicable in marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico. It is scaled to produce an index between 0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimal habitat). Habitat suitability index models are designed for use with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Guidelines for model application and techniques for measuring model variables are described.

  14. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR BEGINS TO CROSS KENNEDY PARKWAY

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    Harold O'Connor, manager of the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, watches a 10-foot-long alligator inch its way toward a busy highway at the Kennedy Space Center. O'Connor, aided by assistant Jerome Carroll, not shown, guided the large gator to safety in a nearby pond, several miles south of the Vehicle Assembly Building, in background. The Apollo 12 astronauts will be launched no earlier than November 14, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center on the Nation's second manned lunar landing mission.

  15. American Alligator Research on the Kennedy Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lowers, Russell H.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the research conducted at the Kennedy Space Center on the American Alligator. The objectives of the research were to establish life history baseline at the Kennedy Space Center and at the Merit Island National Wildlife Reserve (MINWR). Some of the factors that were examined are: nesting success, movement patterns, and population structure. Another objective was to determine the overall health of the alligator population, by analyzing blood and tissue chemistry, and urine analysis. A third objective was to compare alligators at KSC/MINWR to the statewide population. Some of the results are shown in charts and graphs.

  16. Influence of collection time on hematologic and immune markers in the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Finger, John W; Williams, Robert J; Hamilton, Matthew T; Elsey, Ruth M; Oppenheimer, Victor A; Holladay, Steven D; Gogal, Robert M

    2015-01-01

    Crocodilians are important keystone species and indicators of environmental health. Much remains unknown, however regarding utility of field-collected crocodilian blood samples for ecologic assessments. Field sampling sites are also often distant to analysis centers, necessitating development of new techniques and panels of assays that will yield environmentally relevant data. Stability and viability of hematological and immunological indices have been of particular interest for linking ecosystem health to biomarkers in resident species. In this study, we investigated the effect of time at analysis post-blood sampling at 4 and 24 hr on a panel of potential biomarkers in alligator blood. Our results suggest alligator blood samples can be reliably evaluated for both hematologic and immunologic profile 24 hr after sampling. PMID:25560415

  17. Morphology and histochemistry of juvenile male American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) phallus.

    PubMed

    Moore, Brandon C; Mathavan, Ketan; Guillette, Louis J

    2012-02-01

    Phalli of male crocodilians transfer sperm to female cloaca during sexual intercourse, resulting in internal fertilization. For over a century there have been scientific descriptions of crocodilian phallus morphologies; however, little work has presented detailed cellular-level analyses of these structures. Here we present a histological investigation of the complex functional anatomy of the juvenile male American alligator phallus, including fibrous and vascular erectile structures, a variety of secretory epithelium morphologies, and observed immune cells. Using 3D reconstruction software, we show the shape and location of vascular erectile tissues within the phallus. Histochemical staining detected mucin-rich secretory cells in glandular epithelial cells of the phallic shaft and also of the semen-conducting ventral sulcus. Lymphoid aggregates, lymphocytes, and epithelial mucin coats suggest an active immune system in the phallus defending from both the external and intracloacal environments. These results better characterize the complexity of the alligator phallus and predict later reproductive functions during adulthood. PMID:22190479

  18. Reproductive toxins and alligator abnormalities at Lake Apopka, Florida.

    PubMed Central

    Semenza, J C; Tolbert, P E; Rubin, C H; Guillette, L J; Jackson, R J

    1997-01-01

    The alligator population at Lake Apopka in central Florida declined dramatically between 1980 and 1987. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and specifically DDT metabolites have been implicated in the alligators' reproductive failure. The DDT metabolite hypothesis is based largely on the observation of elevated concentrations of p,p-DDE and p,p-DDD in alligator eggs obtained from Lake Apopka in 1984 and 1985. In the following commentary, we draw attention to two nematocides that are established reproductive toxins in humans, dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and ethylene dibromide (EDB), which could also have played a role in the reproductive failure observed in alligators from Lake Apopka in the early 1980s. Images Figure 1. PMID:9349835

  19. An alligator basks in the sun at KSC.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On the bank of a levee near Schwartz Rd. at Kennedy Space Center, an alligator suns itself with a wary eye out for trespassers. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with the Center. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Wildlife Refuge encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  20. ENDOCRINE DISRUPTING CONTAMINANTS AND ALLIGATOR EMBRYOS: A LESSON FROM WILDLIFE?

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many xenobiotic compounds introduced into the environment by human activity adversely affect wildlife. A number of these contaminants have been hypothesized to induce non lethal, multigenerational effects by acting as endocrine disrupting agents. One case is that of the alligator...

  1. 109. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of alligator back and ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    109. Doughton Park Recreation Area. View of alligator back and the parkway seen from bluff mountain. Looking west. - Blue Ridge Parkway, Between Shenandoah National Park & Great Smoky Mountains, Asheville, Buncombe County, NC

  2. Development of sympathetic cardiovascular control in embryonic, hatchling, and yearling female American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Elsey, Ruth M; Crossley, Dane A

    2013-06-01

    We used arterial tyramine injections to study development of sympathetic actions on in vivo heart rate and blood pressure in embryonic, hatching and yearling female American alligators. Tyramine is a pharmacological tool for understanding comparative and developmental sympathetic regulation of cardiovascular function, and this indirect sympathomimetic agent causes endogenous neuronal catecholamine release, increasing blood pressure and heart rate. Arterial tyramine injection in hatchling and yearling alligators caused the typical vertebrate response - rise in heart rate and blood pressure. However, in embryonic alligators, tyramine caused a substantial and immediate bradycardia at both 70% and 90% of embryonic development. This embryonic bradycardia was accompanied by hypotension, followed by a sustained hypertension similar to the hatchling and juvenile responses. Pretreatment with atropine injection (cholinergic receptor blocker) eliminated the embryonic hypotensive bradycardia, and phentolamine pretreatment (α-adrenergic receptor blocker) eliminated the embryonic hypotensive and hypertensive responses but not the bradycardia. In addition, hexamethonium pretreatment (nicotinic receptor blocker) significantly blunted embryos' bradycardic tyramine response. However, pretreatment with 6-hydroxydopamine, a neurotoxin that destroys catecholaminergic terminals, did not eliminate the embryonic bradycardia. Tyramine likely stimulated a unique embryonic response - neurotransmitter release from preganglionic nerve terminals (blocked with hexamethonium) and an acetylcholine mediated bradycardia with a secondary norepinephrine-dependent sustained hypertension. In addition, tyramine appears to stimulate sympathetic nerve terminals directly, which contributed to the overall hypertension in the embryonic, hatchling and yearling animals. Data demonstrated that humoral catecholamine control of cardiovascular function was dominant over the immature parasympathetic nervous system

  3. Persistent Organochlorine Pesticides and their Metabolites in Alligator Livers from Lakes Apopka and Woodruff, Florida, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Reproductive disorders in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) inhabiting Lake Apopka, Florida, have been observed for several years. Such disorders are hypothesized to be caused by endocrine disrupting contaminants occurring in the Lake due to pesticide spills and ...

  4. Population status of the American alligator on the Savannah River Plant, South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, T.M.

    1981-04-01

    Estimates are presented of alligator numbers, size distribution, sex ratios, reproductive effort, and population trends for all major components of the entire Savannah River Plant (SRP) alligator population. Savannah River Plant operations have impacted the alligator population in many different ways. The formation of man-made reservoirs has dramatically increased the amount of aquatic habitat available to alligators and has therefore increased the carrying capacity of the SRP site for this species. The thermal alteration of aquatic habitats on the SRP has also impacted the resident alligator population. Temperature elevations of aquatic habitat to greater than 38/sup 0/C result in the loss of this habitat to alligators. Moderate thermal increases on the other hand are responded to by alligator movement. The current information available on the alligators of the SRP suggests the following future trends: low density populations distant from thermally altered areas will continue at a low density with the exception of localized increases.

  5. Ecological studies on the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) on the Savannah River Plant. Comprehensive Cooling Water Study: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Seigel, R.A.; Brandt, L.A.; Knight, J.L.; Novak, S.S.

    1986-06-01

    The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is the largest vertebrate of the Savannah River Plant (SRP), reaching a maximum length of 3.7 meters (12 feet) and weighing up to 175 kg (385 pounds). Currently, populations in coastal South Carolina are considered Threatened, whereas populations in inland areas (such as the SRP) are still Endangered. Because of their legal status and economic and ecological importance, it is important to determine the environmental impacts of SRP operations on the local alligator population. The major objectives under the Endangered Species Program of the Comprehensive Cooling Water Study (CCWS) were as follows: (1) document and compare the present status and distribution of alligators on the SRP to previous surveys, in order to determine long-term changes in population abundance; (2) establish baseline population and ecological parameters of the Steel Creek population so that the ecological effects of L-Reactor operations can be determined, and (3) conduct ecological research on the immediate impacts of thermal effluents on American alligators. Gladden et al., (1985) summarized data on previous population surveys, temporal changes in the Par Pond population, preliminary results of the Steel Creek surveys and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) research on the effects of thermal effluents. This report summarizes the current status of the SRP population, presents data on the abundance, movement patterns and activity cycles of the Steel Creek population, and presents additional data on the effect of cooling water releases on alligator ecology and behavior.

  6. Unidirectional airflow in the lungs of alligators.

    PubMed

    Farmer, C G; Sanders, Kent

    2010-01-15

    The lungs of birds move air in only one direction during both inspiration and expiration through most of the tubular gas-exchanging bronchi (parabronchi), whereas in the lungs of mammals and presumably other vertebrates, air moves tidally into and out of terminal gas-exchange structures, which are cul-de-sacs. Unidirectional flow purportedly depends on bellowslike ventilation by air sacs and may have evolved to meet the high aerobic demands of sustained flight. Here, we show that air flows unidirectionally through parabronchi in the lungs of the American alligator, an amphibious ectotherm without air sacs, which suggests that this pattern dates back to the basal archosaurs of the Triassic and may have been present in their nondinosaur descendants (phytosaurs, aetosaurs, rauisuchians, crocodylomorphs, and pterosaurs) as well as in dinosaurs. PMID:20075253

  7. 33 CFR 165.T05-0091 - Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 33 Navigation and Navigable Waters 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC... Safety Zone; Alligator River, NC. (a) Definitions. For the purposes of this section, Captain of the Port... on the waters of the Alligator River centered at (35°54′3″ N/076°00′25″ W) a position directly...

  8. Alligator physiology and life history: the importance of temperature.

    PubMed

    Lance, Valentine A

    2003-07-01

    Alligators are the most northerly distributed of the extant Crocodilia. Reproducing populations are found as far north as 35 degrees latitude in the freshwater marshes and rivers of coastal North Carolina, and as far south as 25 degrees latitude in the Florida Keys. Thus different populations are exposed to very different annual thermal cycles. Alligators stop eating when ambient temperature drops below 16 degrees C. This anorexia lasts at least 6 months at 35 degrees latitude. In southwest Louisiana alligators stop feeding in October and do not resume feeding until late March or early April. It is only during the warmer months when actively feeding that growth occurs. Even with this restricted growing season Louisiana alligators grow about 30 cm a year for the first 6 years. When alligators reach sexual maturity at about 1.85 m total length growth slows in both sexes, but is significantly slower in females than males. As a result of differences in thermal regime sexual maturity is estimated at around 18 years in North Carolina and about 10 years in Louisiana. Females lay one clutch of around 40 eggs in June, but the time of nesting is also tightly linked to temperature. In a cool spring nesting can occur as late as July 5th, and in a warm spring as early as June 5th. Immature male alligators undergo a seasonal hormonal cycle similar to fully mature breeding males, but testosterone levels differ by an order of magnitude. The number of mature females reproducing each year is rarely greater than 50%, but data on internest interval is lacking. Immature female alligators show no seasonal hormonal cycle. PMID:12855291

  9. Full-length cDNA cloning and structural characterization of preproinsulin in Alligator sinensis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, R; Zhang, S Z; Li, E; Wang, C; Wang, C L; Wu, X B

    2014-01-01

    Insulin is an important endocrine hormone that plays a critical physiological role in regulating metabolism and glucostasis in vertebrates. In this study, the complete cDNA of Alligator sinensis preproinsulin gene was cloned for the first time by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and rapid amplification of cDNA ends methods; the amino acid sequence encoded and protein structure were analyzed. The full-length of preproinsulin cDNA sequence consists of 528 base pairs (bp), comprising a 34-bp 5'-untranslated region, a 170-bp 3'-untranslated region and an open reading frame that is 324 bp in length. The open reading frame encodes a 107-amino acid preproinsulin with a molecular weight of approximately 12,153.8 Da, theoretical isoelectric point of 5.68, aliphatic index of 92.06, and grand average of hydropathicity of -0.157, from which a signal peptide, a B-chain, a C-peptide, and an A-chain are derived. Online analysis suggested that the deduced preproinsulin amino acid sequence contains a transmembrane region, and that it has a signal peptide whose cleavage site occurs between alanine 24 and alanine 25. Comparative analysis of preproinsulin amino acid sequences indicated that the A-chain and B-chain sequences of preproinsulins are highly conserved between reptiles and birds, and that the preproinsulin amino acid sequence of Alligator sinensis shares 89% similarity to that of Chelonia mydas, but low similarity of 48-63% to those of mammals and fishes. The phylogenetic tree constructed using the neighbor-joining method revealed that preproinsulin of Alligator sinensis had high homology with reptiles and birds, such as Chelonia mydas, Gallus gallus, and Columba livia. PMID:25366775

  10. Estimating sighting proportions of American alligator nests during helicopter survey

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, Kenneth G.; Percival, H. Franklin; Woodward, Allan R.

    2000-01-01

    Proportions of American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) nests sighted during aerial survey in Florida were estimated based upon multiple surveys by different observers. We compared sighting proportions across habitats, nesting seasons, and observer experience levels. The mean sighting proportion across all habitats and years was 0.736 (SE=0.024). Survey counts corrected by the mean sighting proportion reliably predicted total nest counts (7?2=0.933). Sighting proportions did not differ by habitat type (P=0.668) or year P=0.328). Experienced observers detected a greater proportion of nests (P<0.0001) than did either less experienced or inexperienced observers. Reliable estimates of nest abundance can be derived from aerial counts of alligator nests when corrected by the appropriate sighting proportion.

  11. The alligator gut microbiome and implications for archosaur symbioses

    PubMed Central

    Keenan, Sarah W.; Engel, Annette Summers; Elsey, Ruth M.

    2013-01-01

    Among vertebrate gastrointestinal microbiome studies, complete representation of taxa is limited, particularly among reptiles. Here, we provide evidence for previously unrecognized host-microbiome associations along the gastrointestinal tract from the American alligator, a crown archosaur with shared ancestry to extinct taxa, including dinosaurs. Microbiome compositional variations reveal that the digestive system consists of multiple, longitudinally heterogeneous microbiomes that strongly correlate to specific gastrointestinal tract organs, regardless of rearing histories or feeding status. A core alligator gut microbiome comprised of Fusobacteria, but depleted in Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria common to mammalians, is compositionally unique from other vertebrate gut microbiomes, including other reptiles, fish, and herbivorous and carnivorous mammals. As such, modern alligator gut microbiomes advance our understanding of archosaur gut microbiome evolution, particularly if conserved host ecology has retained archosaur-specific symbioses over geologic time. PMID:24096888

  12. An urban Northeastern United States alligator bite.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Suzanne Moore; Shoff, William H

    2014-05-01

    Individuals who live and work in the Southeastern coastal range of the 3 US crocodilian carnivores, American alligators, American crocodiles, and caiman, understand the risks of reptile-human encounters. Individuals who live in other parts of the country maybe exposed through contact with exotic pets at private homes, small menageries, or petting zoos or from escaped or abandoned animals. During these encounters, individuals may be severely injured.Emergency medical services, law enforcement, and animal welfare workers in nonhabitat areas are usually not trained in the handling and safe removal of injured individuals from the scene when the reptile is present. The emergency management of large crocodilian injuries is similar to that of other major trauma; however, providers also must take into consideration the significant crush component potentially inflicted by the tremendous bite power and shaking inflicting during attacks by these large reptiles, appropriate antibiotic coverage for less common organisms that inhabit their mouths, and management of possible psychological distress, including posttraumatic stress disorder produced by such an unusual attack. Emergency physicians should support the development of a readily available national database of scientifically collect information on attacks to inform appropriate care and support efforts to explore responsible measures that the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and other appropriate local, state, and federal agencies can take to ensure ethical and biologically sustainable management of our large reptiles, which also helps to ensure the safety of the public. PMID:24332253

  13. Potential molecular wires and molecular alligator clips

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumm, Jeffry S.; Pearson, Darren L.; Jones, LeRoy, II; Hara, Ryuichiro; Tour, James M.

    1996-12-01

    The synthesis of oligo(2-ethylphenylene-ethynylene)s, oligo(2-(0957-4484/7/4/023/img1-ethylheptyl)phenylene-ethynylene)s, and oligo(3-ethylthiophene-ethynylene)s is described via an iterative divergent convergent approach. Synthesized were the monomer, dimer, tetramer, octamer and 16-mer of the oligo(3-ethylthiophene-ethynylene)s and oligo(2-0957-4484/7/4/023/img1-ethylheptyl)phenylene-ethynylene)s. The 16-mers are 100 Å and 128 Å long, respectively. At each stage in the iteration, the length of the framework doubles. Only three sets of reaction conditions are needed for the entire iterative synthetic sequence; an iodination, a protodesilylation, and a Pd/Cu-catalyzed cross coupling. The oligomers were characterized spectroscopically and by mass spectrometry. The optical properties are presented which show the stage of optical absorbance saturation. The size exclusion chromatography values for the number average weights, relative to polystyrene, illustrate the tremendous differences in the hydrodynamic volume of these rigid rod oligomers versus the random coils of polystyrene. These differences become quite apparent at the octamer stage. The preparation of thiol-protected end groups is described. These may serve as molecular alligator clips for adhesion to gold surfaces. These oligomers may act as molecular wires in molecular electronic devices and they also serve as useful models for understanding related bulk polymers.

  14. Alligator osteoderms: mechanical behavior and hierarchical structure.

    PubMed

    Chen, Irene H; Yang, Wen; Meyers, Marc A

    2014-02-01

    Osteoderms are bony scutes embedded underneath the dermal layers of the skin acting as a protection of the alligator (Archosauria: Crocodylia) internal organs and tissues. Additionally, these scutes function as an aid in temperature regulation. The scutes are inter-linked by fibrous connective tissue. They have properties similar to bone and thus have the necessary toughness to provide protection against predators. The scutes consist of hydroxyapatite and have a porosity of approximately 12%. They have a disc-like morphology with a ridge along the middle of the plate, called the keel; the outer perimeter of the disc has depressions, grooves, and jagged edges which anchor the collagen and act as sutures. Computerized tomography reveals the pattern of elongated pores, which emanate from the keel in a radial pattern. Micro-indentation measurements along the cross-section show a zigzag behavior due to the porosity. Compression results indicate that the axial direction is the strongest (UTS ~67 MPa) and toughest (11 MJ/m(3)); this is the orientation in which they undergo the largest external compression forces from predator teeth. Toughening mechanisms are identified through observation of the damage progression and interpreted in mechanistic terms. They are: flattening of pores, microcrack opening, and microcrack growth and coalescence. Collagen plays an essential role in toughening and plasticity by providing bridges that impede the opening of the cracks and prevent their growth. PMID:24411399

  15. Estimating trends in alligator populations from nightlight survey data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, F.J.; Dorazio, R.M.; Rice, K.G.; Cherkiss, M.; Jeffery, B.

    2011-01-01

    Nightlight surveys are commonly used to evaluate status and trends of crocodilian populations, but imperfect detection caused by survey- and location-specific factors makes it difficult to draw population inferences accurately from uncorrected data. We used a two-stage hierarchical model comprising population abundance and detection probability to examine recent abundance trends of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in subareas of Everglades wetlands in Florida using nightlight survey data. During 2001-2008, there were declining trends in abundance of small and/or medium sized animals in a majority of subareas, whereas abundance of large sized animals had either demonstrated an increased or unclear trend. For small and large sized class animals, estimated detection probability declined as water depth increased. Detection probability of small animals was much lower than for larger size classes. The declining trend of smaller alligators may reflect a natural population response to the fluctuating environment of Everglades wetlands under modified hydrology. It may have negative implications for the future of alligator populations in this region, particularly if habitat conditions do not favor recruitment of offspring in the near term. Our study provides a foundation to improve inferences made from nightlight surveys of other crocodilian populations. ?? 2011 US Government.

  16. Estimating trends in alligator populations from nightlight survey data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Dorazio, Robert M.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Cherkiss, Michael; Jeffery, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Nightlight surveys are commonly used to evaluate status and trends of crocodilian populations, but imperfect detection caused by survey- and location-specific factors makes it difficult to draw population inferences accurately from uncorrected data. We used a two-stage hierarchical model comprising population abundance and detection probability to examine recent abundance trends of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in subareas of Everglades wetlands in Florida using nightlight survey data. During 2001–2008, there were declining trends in abundance of small and/or medium sized animals in a majority of subareas, whereas abundance of large sized animals had either demonstrated an increased or unclear trend. For small and large sized class animals, estimated detection probability declined as water depth increased. Detection probability of small animals was much lower than for larger size classes. The declining trend of smaller alligators may reflect a natural population response to the fluctuating environment of Everglades wetlands under modified hydrology. It may have negative implications for the future of alligator populations in this region, particularly if habitat conditions do not favor recruitment of offspring in the near term. Our study provides a foundation to improve inferences made from nightlight surveys of other crocodilian populations.

  17. Alligators and crocodiles as indicators for restoration of Everglades ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mazzotti, Frank J.; Best, G. Ronnie; Brandt, Laura A.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2009-01-01

    Alligators and crocodiles integrate biological impacts of hydrological operations, affecting them at all life stages through three key aspects of Everglades ecology: (1) food webs, (2) diversity and productivity, and (3) freshwater flow. Responses of crocodilians are directly related to suitability of environmental conditions and hydrologic change. Correlations between biological responses and environmental conditions contribute to an understanding of species' status and trends over time. Positive or negative trends of crocodilian populations relative to hydrologic changes permit assessment of positive or negative trends in restoration. The crocodilian indicator uses monitoring parameters (performance measures) that have been shown to be both effective and efficient in tracking trends. The alligator component uses relative density (reported as an encounter rate), body condition, and occupancy rates of alligator holes; the crocodile component uses juvenile growth and hatchling survival. We hypothesize that these parameters are correlated with hydrologic conditions including depth, duration, timing, spatial extent and water quality. Salinity is a critical parameter in estuarine habitats. Assessments of parameters defined for crocodilian performance measures support these hypotheses. Alligators and crocodiles are the charismatic megafauna of the Everglades. They are both keystone and flagship species to which the public can relate. In addition, the parameters used to track trends are easy to understand. They provide answers to the following questions: How has the number of alligators or crocodiles changed? Are the animals fatter or thinner than they should be? Are the animals in the places (in terms of habitat and geography) where they should be? As surely as there is no other Everglades, no other single species defines the Everglades as does the American alligator. The Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles exist. Crocodilians

  18. Concentrations of trace elements in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Horai, Sawako; Itai, Takaaki; Noguchi, Takako; Yasuda, Yusuke; Adachi, Haruki; Hyobu, Yuika; Riyadi, Adi S; Boggs, Ashley S P; Lowers, Russell; Guillette, Louis J; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2014-08-01

    Concentrations of 28 trace elements (Li, Mg, Al, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, In, Sn, Sb, Cs, Tl, Hg, Pb, and Bi) in the livers of juvenile and adult American alligators inhabiting two central Florida lakes, Lake Apopka (LA), and Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (LW) and one lagoon population located in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge (MINWR; NASA), were determined. In juveniles from MINWR, concentrations of nine elements (Li, Fe, Ni, Sr, In, Sb, Hg, Pb and Bi) were significantly higher, whereas six elements (V, Fe, As, Sr, Hg and Bi) were elevated in adults (p<0.05) obtained from MINWR. Significant enrichment of some trace elements in adults, relative to juveniles, was observed at all three sampling areas. Specifically, Fe, Pb and Hg were significantly elevated in adults when compared to juveniles, suggesting age-dependent accumulation of these elements. Further, As, Se and Sn showed the same trend but only in animals collected from MINWR. Mean Fe concentrations in the livers of adults from LA, LW and MINWR were 1770 μg g(-1) DW, 3690 μg g(-1) DW and 5250 μg g(-1) DW, respectively. More than half of the adult specimens from LW and MINWR exhibited elevated hepatic Fe concentrations that exceed the threshold value for toxic effects in donkey, red deer and human. These results prompted us to express our concern on possible exposure and health effects in American alligators by some trace elements derived from NASA activities. PMID:24698170

  19. Chronic hypercapnic incubation increases relative organ growth and reduces blood pressure of embryonic American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Eme, John; Crossley, Dane A

    2015-04-01

    Reptilian nests can experience natural hypoxic and hypercapnic conditions. We incubated alligator eggs at a female-only producing temperature (30°C) in three conditions: 21% O2/0.04% CO2, 21% O2/3.5% CO2 and 21% O2/7% CO2. Alligator embryos chronically incubated in high CO2 were markedly hypotensive (blood pressure reduced by 46%) and had relatively (mass-specific) enlarged hearts (dry mass increased by 20%), lungs (dry mass increased by 17%), and kidneys (dry mass increased by 14%). This study is the first to chronically incubate reptilian eggs in hypercapnia and suggests that high CO2 alters the cardiovascular phenotype of alligator embryos (low blood pressure, relatively enlarged hearts), as well as the relative size of the organs primarily responsible for acid base balance, lungs and kidneys. The lungs and kidneys are largely non-functional during embryonic development, and the embryonic phenotype of increased relative mass may be a predictive-adaptation to metabolic or respiratory acidosis, such as during exercise or high respiratory CO2. This study demonstrates that phenotypic plasticity of alligator embryos incubated in high CO2 may result in either preferential organ growth, or maintenance of organ growth with reduced somatic growth. PMID:25499241

  20. Olfactory and solitary chemosensory cells: two different chemosensory systems in the nasal cavity of the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Anne

    2007-01-01

    Background The nasal cavity of all vertebrates houses multiple chemosensors, either innervated by the Ist (olfactory) or the Vth (trigeminal) cranial nerve. Various types of receptor cells are present, either segregated in different compartments (e.g. in rodents) or mingled in one epithelium (e.g. fish). In addition, solitary chemosensory cells have been reported for several species. Alligators which seek their prey both above and under water have only one nasal compartment. Information about their olfactory epithelium is limited. Since alligators seem to detect both volatile and water-soluble odour cues, I tested whether different sensory cell types are present in the olfactory epithelium. Results Electron microscopy and immunocytochemistry were used to examine the sensory epithelium of the nasal cavity of the American alligator. Almost the entire nasal cavity is lined with olfactory (sensory) epithelium. Two types of olfactory sensory neurons are present. Both types bear cilia as well as microvilli at their apical endings and express the typical markers for olfactory neurons. The density of these olfactory neurons varies along the nasal cavity. In addition, solitary chemosensory cells innervated by trigeminal nerve fibres, are intermingled with olfactory sensory neurons. Solitary chemosensory cells express components of the PLC-transduction cascade found in solitary chemosensory cells in rodents. Conclusion The nasal cavity of the American alligator contains two different chemosensory systems incorporated in the same sensory epithelium: the olfactory system proper and solitary chemosensory cells. The olfactory system contains two morphological distinct types of ciliated olfactory receptor neurons. PMID:17683564

  1. Computed tomography of granulomatous pneumonia with oxalosis in an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) associated with Metarhizium anisopliae var anisopliae.

    PubMed

    Hall, Natalie H; Conley, Kenneth; Berry, Clifford; Farina, Lisa; Sigler, Lynne; Wellehan, James F X; Roehrl, Michael H A; Heard, Darryl

    2011-12-01

    An 18-yr-old, male, albino, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was evaluated for decreased appetite and abnormal buoyancy. Computed tomography (CT) of the coelomic cavity showed multifocal mineral and soft tissue attenuating pulmonary masses consistent with pulmonary fungal granulomas. Additionally, multifocal areas of generalized, severe emphysema and pulmonary and pleural thickening were identified. The alligator was euthanized and necropsy revealed severe fungal pneumonia associated with oxalosis. Metarhizium anisopliae var. anisopliae was cultured from lung tissue and exhibited oxalate crystal formation in vitro. Crystals were identified as calcium oxalate monohydrate by X-ray powder defractometry. Fungal identification was based on morphology, including tissue sporulation, and DNA sequence analysis. This organism is typically thought of as an entomopathogen. Clinical signs of fungal pneumonia in nonavian reptiles are often inapparent until the disease is at an advanced stage, making antemortem diagnosis challenging. This case demonstrates the value of CT for pulmonary assessment and diagnosis of fungal pneumonia in the American alligator. Fungal infection with associated oxalosis should not be presumed to be aspergillosis. PMID:22204066

  2. Sex-steroid and thyroid hormone concentrations in juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from contaminated and reference lakes in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grain, D.A.; Guillette, L.J., Jr.; Pickford, D.B.; Percival, H.F.; Woodward, A.R.

    1998-01-01

    Sex-steroid and thyroid hormones are critical regulators of growth and reproduction in all vertebrates, and several recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can alter circulating concentrations of these hormones. This study examines plasma concentrations of estradiol-171?? (E2), testosterone (T), triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) in juvenile alligators (60-140 cm total length) from two contaminated lakes and one reference lake in Florida. First, the data were analyzed by comparing hormone concentrations among males and females from the different lakes. Whereas there were no differences in plasma E2 concentrations among animals of the three lakes, male alligators from the contaminated lakes (Lake Apopka and Lake Okeechobee) had significantly lower plasma T concentrations compared 10 males from the reference take (Lake Woodruff). Concentrations of thyroid hormones also differed in animals of the three lakes, with T4 concentrations being elevated in Lake Okeechobee males compared to Lake Woodruff males. Second, the relationship between body size and hormone concentration was examined using regression analysis. Most notably for steroid hormones, no clear relationship was detected between E2 and total length in Apopka females (r2 0.09, p = 0.54) or between T and total length in Apopka males (r2 = 0.007, p = 0.75). Females from Apopka (r2 = 0.318, p = 0.09) and Okeechobee (r2 = 0.222, p = 0.09) exhibited weak correlations between T3 and total length. Males from Apopka (r2 = 0.015, p = 0.66) and Okeechobee (r2 = 0.128, p = 0.19) showed no correlation between T4 and total length. These results indicate: some of the previously reported abnormalities in steroid hormones of hatchling alligators persist, at least, through the juvenile years; steroid and thyroid hormones are related to body size in juvenile alligators from the reference lake, whereas alligators living in lakes Apopka and Okeechobee experience alterations in circulating thyroid and steroid

  3. Spatial and temporal variability in estuary habitat use by American alligators

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Beauchamp, Jeffrey S.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.

    2016-01-01

    Estuarine habitat occupied by Alligator mississippiensis, a primarily freshwater species, is spatially and temporally heterogeneous largely due to a salinity gradient that fluctuates. Using long-term night light survey data, we examined seasonal patterns in alligators’ habitat use by size classes in midstream and downstream estuary zones of Shark River, Everglades National Park, in southern Florida. We observed predominantly large-sized alligators (total length ≥ 1.75 m); observations of alligators in the small size classes (0.5 m ≤ total length < 1.25 m) were rare especially in the higher-salinity downstream zone. The density of alligators in the downstream zone was lower than that of the midstream zone during the dry season when salinity increases due to reduced precipitation. Conversely, the density of the large size alligators was higher in the downstream zone than in the midstream zone during the wet season, likely because of reduced salinity. We also found a significant declining trend over time in the number of alligators in the dry season, which coincides with the reported decline in alligator relative density in southern Florida freshwater wetlands. Our results indicated high adaptability of alligators to the fluctuating habitat conditions. Use of estuaries by alligators is likely driven in part by physiology and possibly by reproductive cycle, and our results supported their opportunistic use of estuary habitat and ontogenetic niche shifts.

  4. Detection of Antibodies to a Pathogenic Mycoplasma in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), Broad-Nosed Caimans (Caiman latirostris), and Siamese Crocodiles (Crocodylus siamensis)

    PubMed Central

    Brown, D. R.; Schumacher, I. M.; Nogueira, M. F.; Richey, L. J.; Zacher, L. A.; Schoeb, T. R.; Vliet, K. A.; Bennett, R. A.; Jacobson, E. R.; Brown, M. B.

    2001-01-01

    An epidemic of pneumonia with fibrinous polyserositis and multifocal arthritis emerged in captive American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida, United States, in 1995. Mycoplasma alligatoris sp. nov. was cultured from multiple organs, peripheral blood, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid of affected alligators. In a subsequent experimental inoculation study, the Henle-Koch-Evans postulates were fulfilled for M. alligatoris as the etiological agent of fatal mycoplasmosis of alligators. That finding was remarkable because mycoplasmal disease is rarely fatal in animals. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies produced by alligators in response to M. alligatoris exposure was developed by using plasma obtained from naturally infected alligators during the original epidemic. The assay was validated by using plasma obtained during an experimental dose-response study and applied to analyze plasma obtained from captive and wild crocodilian species. The ELISA reliably detected alligator seroconversion (P < 0.05) beginning 6 weeks after inoculation. The ELISA also detected seroconversion (P < 0.05) in the relatively closely related broad-nosed caiman Caiman latirostris and the relatively distantly related Siamese crocodile Crocodylus siamensis following experimental inoculation with M. alligatoris. The ELISA may be used to monitor exposure to the lethal pathogen M. alligatoris among captive, repatriated, and wild crocodilian species. PMID:11136785

  5. Validation and use of an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of antibodies to West Nile virus in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Elliott R; Johnson, April J; Hernandez, Jorge A; Tucker, Sylvia J; Dupuis, Alan P; Stevens, Robert; Carbonneau, Dwayne; Stark, Lillian

    2005-01-01

    In October 2002, West Nile virus (WNV) was identified in farmed American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida showing clinical signs and having microscopic lesions indicative of central nervous system disease. To perform seroepidemiologic studies, an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to determine exposure of captive and wild alligators to WNV. To validate the test, a group of WNV-seropositive and -seronegative alligators were identified at the affected farm using hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) and the plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). The indirect ELISA utilized a rabbit anti-alligator immunoglobulins polyclonal antibody as the secondary antibody, and inactivated WNV-infected Vero cells were used as the coating antigen. For all samples (n=58), the results of the ELISA were consistent with the HAI and PRNT findings. Plasma was collected from 669 free-ranging alligators from 21 sites across Florida in April and October 2003. Four samples collected in April and six in October were positive for WNV antibodies using HAI, PRNT, and the indirect ELISA. This indicated that wild alligators in Florida have been exposed to WNV. These findings can be used as a baseline for future surveys. PMID:15827216

  6. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  7. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  8. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  9. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  10. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  11. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  12. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  13. 50 CFR 23.70 - How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... American alligator and other crocodilian skins, parts, and products? 23.70 Section 23.70 Wildlife and... in Certain Specimens § 23.70 How can I trade internationally in American alligator and other... section, crocodilian means all species of alligator, caiman, crocodile, and gavial of the order...

  14. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  15. 33 CFR 334.760 - Naval Support Activity Panama City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... City and Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. 334.760 Section... Alligator Bayou, a tributary of St. Andrew Bay, Fla.; naval restricted area. (a) The area. The waters within... the south side of the entrance to Alligator Bayou; thence directly across the entrance to a point...

  16. Survival of young American alligators on a Florida lake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Woodward, A.R.; Hines, T.C.; Abercrombie, C.L.; Nichols, J.D.

    1987-01-01

    A capture-recapture study was conducted on Orange Lake, Florida, from 1979 through 1984 to estimate survival rates of young in an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) populations. Hatchlings remained together in sibling groups (pods) for at least their 1st year and then began to disperse during their 2nd spring and summer. Mortality through mid-November of their 1st year was negligible. Jolly-Seber (JS) survival estimates of hatchlings for 6 and 12 months were 76 and 41%, respectively. The 2-year JS estimate for the 1980 cohort was 8%. Minimum-Known-Alive (MKA) survival values were 72 and 46% of JS estimates for 6 months and 1 year of age. Survival during the 2nd 6 months of life (spring-summer) tended to be lower than survival during the 1st 6 months (fall-winter).

  17. A new alligator-clip compound for molecular electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacob, Timo; Blanco, Mario; Goddard, William A.

    2004-06-01

    We used the B3LYP flavor of density functional calculations to study new alligator-clip compounds for molecular electronics with platinum electrodes. First, with commonly used S-based linkage molecule 3-methyl-1,2-dithiolane (MDTL) we find that after chemisorption on Pt(1 1 1) the most stable structure is ring-opened with a binding energy of 32.44 kcal/mol. Among several alternative alligator-clip compounds we find that P-based molecules lead to much higher binding energies. For the ring-closed structure of 3-methyl-1,2-diphospholane (MDPL) a binding energy of 47.72 kcal/mol was calculated and even 54.88 kcal/mol for the ring-opened molecule. Thus, MDPL provides a more stable link to the metal surface and might increase the conductance.

  18. Water Hyacinths and Alligator Weeds for Final Filtration of Sewage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Mcdonald, R. C.; Gordon, J.

    1976-01-01

    The potential of water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxerides) (Mart.) Griesb. as secondary and tertiary filtration systems for domestic sewage was demonstrated. These two vascular aquatic plants reduced the suspended solids, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, BOD sub 5, and total organic carbon levels in domestic sewage from 60 percent to 98 percent within a two week period. These plants grown in domestic sewage were also free of toxic levels of trace heavy metals.

  19. Differential limb scaling in the american alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and its implications for archosaur locomotor evolution.

    PubMed

    Livingston, Victoria J; Bonnan, Matthew F; Elsey, Ruth M; Sandrik, Jennifer L; Wilhite, D Ray

    2009-06-01

    Bipedalism evolved multiple times within archosaurs, and relatively shorter forelimbs characterize both crocodyliforms and nonavian dinosaurs. Analysis of a comprehensive ontogenetic sequence of specimens (embryo to adult) of the sauropodomorph Massospondylus has shown that bipedal limb proportions result from negative forelimb allometry. We ask, is negative forelimb allometry a pattern basal to archosaurs, amplified in certain taxa to produce bipedalism? Given the phylogenetic position of extant crocodylians and their relatively shorter forelimb, we tested the hypothesis that prevalent negative forelimb allometry is present in Alligator mississippiensis from a sample of wild specimens from embryonic to adult sizes. Long bone lengths (humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula, third metapodials) were measured with their epiphyseal cartilage intact at all sizes. Our results show an overall isometric pattern for most elements regressed on femur length, humerus length, or total limb length. However, negative allometry was prevalent for the ulna, and the third metapodials scale with positive allometry embryonically. These data suggest that the general forelimb proportions in relation to the hindlimb do not change significantly with increasing size in A. mississippiensis. The negative allometry of the ulna and embryonicaly positive allometry of the third metapodials appears to be related to maintaining the functional integrity of the limbs. We show that this pattern is different from that of the sauropodomorph Massospondylus, and we suggest that if bipedalism in archosaurs is tied, in part, to negative forearm allometry, it was either secondarily lost through isometric scaling, or never developed in the ancestor of A. mississippiensis. PMID:19462445

  20. Mathematical models for growth in alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) embryos developing at different incubation temperatures.

    PubMed Central

    Bardsley, W G; Ackerman, R A; Bukhari, N A; Deeming, D C; Ferguson, M W

    1995-01-01

    A variety of model-based (growth models) and model-free (cubic splines, exponentials) equations were fitted using weighted-nonlinear least squares regression to embryonic growth data from Alligator mississippiensis eggs incubated at 30 and 33 degrees C. Goodness of fit was estimated using a chi 2 on the sum of squared, weighted residuals, and run and sign tests on the residuals. One of the growth models used (Preece & Baines, 1978) was found to be superior to the classical growth models (exponential, monomolecular, logistic, Gompertz, von Bertalanffy) and gave an adequate fit to all longitudinal measures taken from the embryonic body and embryonic mass. However, measurements taken from the head could not be fitted by growth models but were adequately fitted by weighted least squares cubic splines. Data for the stage of development were best fitted by a sum of 2 exponentials with a transition point. Comparison of the maximum growth rates and parameter values, indicated that the growth data at 30 degrees C could be scaled to 33 degrees C to multiplying the time by a scaling factor of 1.2. This is equivalent to a Q10 of about 1.86 or, after solving the Arrhenius equation, an E++ of 46.9 kJmol-1. This may be interpreted as indicating a common rate-limiting step in development at the 2 temperatures. PMID:7591979

  1. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites.

    PubMed

    Tellez, Marisa; Merchant, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment. PMID:26555363

  2. 78 FR 57480 - Safety Zone; 2013 Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator Lighthouse, Atlantic Ocean; Islamorada, FL

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-19

    ...) 366-9826. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Acronyms DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; 2013 Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator... Islamorada, Florida, during the 2013 Annual Islamorada Swim for Alligator Lighthouse on September 21,...

  3. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR STROLLS FROM TURN BASIN TO LC 39 PRESS SITE GRANDSTAND

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    A 12-foot alligator worked his way up from the turn basin at Press Site 39 to the grandstand seats. The toothy reptile was later wrangled by wildlife trappers who relocated him to a less populated area on KSC. The alligator is one of approximately 4,000 on KSC/Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

  4. PLASMA STEROID CONCENTRATIONS IN RELATION TO SIZE AND AGE IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS FROM TWO FLORIDA LAKES.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previous studies have reported a number of physiological differences among juvenile alligators from two well-studied populations (Lake Apopka and Lake Woodruff) in north central Florida. These studies obtained alligators of similar size from each lake under the assumption that th...

  5. Biomonitoring Heavy Metal Pollution Using an Aquatic Apex Predator, the American Alligator, and Its Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Tellez, Marisa; Merchant, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Monitoring the bioaccumulation of chemical elements within various organismal tissues has become a useful tool to survey current or chronic levels of heavy metal exposure within an environment. In this study, we compared the bioaccumulations of As, Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Se, and Zn between the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, and its parasites in order to establish their use as bioindicators of heavy metal pollution. Concomitant with these results, we were interested to determine if parasites were more sensitive bioindicators of heavy metals relative to alligators. We found parasites collectively accumulated higher levels of As, Cu, Se, and Zn in comparison to their alligator hosts, whereas Fe, Cd, and Pb concentrations were higher in alligators. Interestingly, Fe levels were significantly greater in intestinal trematodes than their alligator hosts when analyzed independently from other parasitic taxa. Further analyses showed alligator intestinal trematodes concentrated As, Cu, Fe, Se, and Zn at significantly higher levels than intestinal nematodes and parasites from other organs. However, pentastomids also employed the role as a good biomagnifier of As. Interestingly, parasitic abundance decreased as levels of As increased. Stomach and intestinal nematodes were the poorest bioaccumulators of metals, yet stomach nematodes showed their ability to concentrate Pb at orders of magnitude higher in comparison to other parasites. Conclusively, we suggest that parasites, particularly intestinal trematodes, are superior biomagnifiers of As, Cu, Se, and Zn, whereas alligators are likely good biological indicators of Fe, Cd, and Pb levels within the environment. PMID:26555363

  6. Gastric nematode diversity between estuarine and inland freshwater populations of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis, daudin 1802), and the prediction of intermediate hosts

    PubMed Central

    Tellez, Marisa; Nifong, James

    2014-01-01

    We examined the variation of stomach nematode intensity and species richness of Alligator mississippiensis from coastal estuarine and inland freshwater habitats in Florida and Georgia, and integrated prey content data to predict possible intermediate hosts. Nematode parasitism within inland freshwater inhabiting populations was found to have a higher intensity and species richness than those inhabiting coastal estuarine systems. This pattern potentially correlates with the difference and diversity of prey available between inland freshwater and coastal estuarine habitats. Increased consumption of a diverse array of prey was also correlated with increased nematode intensity in larger alligators. Parasitic nematodes Dujardinascaris waltoni, Brevimulticaecum tenuicolle, Ortleppascaris antipini, Goezia sp., and Contracaecum sp. were present in alligators from both habitat types. Dujardinascaris waltoni, B. tenuicolle, and O. antipini had a significantly higher abundance among inland inhabiting alligators than hosts from estuarine populations. Our findings also suggest that host specific nematode parasites of alligators may have evolved to infect multiple intermediate hosts, particularly fishes, crabs, and turtles, perhaps in response to the opportunistic predatory behaviors of alligators. PMID:25426417

  7. Dry years decrease abundance of American alligators in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waddle, J. Hardin; Brandt, Laura A.; Jeffery, Brian M.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2015-01-01

    The Everglades has been greatly reduced and is threatened by land use change and altered hydrology. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan calls for monitoring and assessment of key ecosystem attributes, one of which is abundance of American alligators. We examined 10 years of alligator night spotlight counts from Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge along two canals and in the interior marsh to determine trends and how dry years affect alligator abundance. Alligators showed population response to hydrologic conditions. In particular, there were declines in abundance after dry years followed by an apparent recovery in abundance in subsequent years. Increases in abundance were lower in the marsh than L-40 Canal. In addition, there was evidence that intensity of dry events affected population dynamics with greater declines observed in years with drier conditions. Results revealed that overall population of alligators increased from 2004 to 2013, but that increases varied by survey route. These results demonstrate that dry years cause a decline in alligator abundance proportional to the intensity of the dry event, and that it is important to make a distinction between canals and marsh when measuring alligator response to hydrology.

  8. Possible generational effects of habitat degradation on alligator reproduction

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rice, K.G.; Woodward, A.R.; Percival, H.F.

    2007-01-01

    Population decline of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) was observed in Lake Apopka in central Florida, USA, in the early 1980s. This decline was thought to result from adult mortality and nest failure caused by anthropogenic increases in sediment loads, nutrients, and contaminants. Reproductive impairment also was reported. Extensive restoration of marshes associated with Lake Apopka has been conducted, as well as some limited restoration measures on the lake. Monitoring by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) has indicated that the adult alligator population began increasing in the early 1990s. We expected that the previously reported high proportion of complete nest failure (??0) during the 1980s may have decreased. We collected clutches from alligator nests in Lake Apopka from 1983 to 2003 and from 5 reference areas from 1988 to 1991, and we artificially incubated them. We used a Bayesian framework with Gibbs sampler of Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation to analyze ??0. Estimated ??0was consistently higher in Lake Apopka compared with reference areas, and the difference in ??0 ranged from 0.19 to 0.56. We conducted change point analysis to identify and test the significance of the change point in ??0in Lake Apopka between 1983 and 2003, indicating the point of reproductive recovery. The estimated Bayes factor strongly supported the single change point hypothesis against the no change point hypothesis. The major downward shift in ??0 probably occurred in the mid-1990s, approximately a generation after the major population decline in the 1980s. Furthermore, estimated ??0 values after the change point (0.21) were comparable with those of reference areas (0.07-0.31). These results combined with the monitoring by FFWCC seem to suggest that anthropogenic habitat degradation caused reproductive impairment of adult females and decreases in ??0 occurred with the sexual maturity of a new generation of breeding females. Long

  9. Traumatic Amputation of Finger From an Alligator Snapping Turtle Bite.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Robert D; Nielsen, Cynthia L

    2016-06-01

    Legend states that the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii) should be handled with extreme caution as it has jaw strength powerful enough to bite a wooden broomstick in half. Tales of bite injuries from what is the largest freshwater turtle in North America exist anecdotally, yet there are few descriptions of medical encounters for such. The risk of infection from reptilian bites to the hand in an aquatic environment warrants thorough antibiotic treatment in conjunction with hand surgery consultation. We present the first case report of a near total amputation of an index finger in an adolescent boy who had been bitten by a wild "gator snapper." PMID:27116923

  10. Comparison of metabolic substrates in alligators and several birds of prey.

    PubMed

    Sweazea, Karen L; McMurtry, John P; Elsey, Ruth M; Redig, Patrick; Braun, Eldon J

    2014-08-01

    On average, avian blood glucose concentrations are 1.5-2 times those of mammals of similar mass and high concentrations of insulin are required to lower blood glucose. Whereas considerable data exist for granivorous species, few data are available for plasma metabolic substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations for carnivorous birds and alligators. Birds and mammals with carnivorous diets have higher metabolic rates than animals consuming diets with less protein whereas alligators have low metabolic rates. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations in several birds of prey and a phylogenetically close relative of birds, the alligator. The hypothesis was that the combination of carnivorous diets and high metabolic rates favored the evolution of greater protein and fatty acid utilization leading to insulin resistance and high plasma glucose concentrations in carnivorous birds. In contrast, it was hypothesized that alligators would have low substrate utilization attributable to a low metabolic rate. Fasting plasma substrate and glucoregulatory hormone concentrations were compared for bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), great horned owls (Bubo virginianus), red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), and American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Avian species had high circulating β-hydroxybutyrate (10-21 mg/dl) compared to alligators (2.81 ± 0.16 mg/dl). In mammals high concentrations of this byproduct of fatty acid utilization are correlated with insulin resistance. Fasting glucose and insulin concentrations were positively correlated in eagles whereas no relationship was found between these variables for owls, hawks or alligators. Additionally, β-hydroxybutyrate concentrations were low in alligators. Similar to carnivorous mammals, ingestion of a high protein diet may have favored the utilization of fatty acids and protein for energy thereby promoting the development of insulin

  11. ALTERED HISTOLOGY OF THE THYMUS AND SPLEEN IN CONTAMINANT-EXPOSED JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Morphological difference in spleen and thymus are closely related to functional immune differences. Hormonal regulation of the immune system has been demonstrated in reptilian splenic and thymic tissue. Spleens and thymus were obtained from juvenile alligators at two reference si...

  12. Concentrations of contaminants in muscle of the American alligator in Florida

    SciTech Connect

    Delany, M.F.; Bell, J.U.; Sundlof, S.F.

    1988-01-01

    Samples of tail muscle from 32 American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in Florida were analyzed for contaminant concentrations to provide preliminary information on the potential public health hazard of meat consumption. Detectable levels were found for eight metals; copper, zinc, iron, chromium, mercury, lead, cadmium and arsenic. Mean residue was highest for mercury (geometric mean = 0.61 ppm). DDE, DDD, DDT, dieldrin, heptachlor epoxide, lindane, and PCB's were found. Mean residue concentrations were compared by lake. Alligators appeared to be suitable monitors of environmental pollution. Concentrations of contaminants found in these animals probably pose little threat to public health. However, recommendations must await analysis of larger sample sizes and information on amount and frequency of meat consumption. Alligators killed for human consumption should continue to be monitored for contaminant residues.

  13. Molecular cloning of the estrogen and progesterone receptors of the American alligator.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Bermudez, Dieldrich S; Braun, Edward L; Helbing, Caren; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Gunderson, Mark P; Kohno, Satomi; Bryan, Teresa A; Guillette, Louis J; Iguchi, Taisen

    2004-03-01

    Steroid hormones perform many essential roles in vertebrates during embryonic development, reproduction, growth, water balance, and responses to stress. The estrogens are essential for normal reproductive activity in female and male vertebrates and appear to have direct actions during sex determination in some vertebrates. To begin to understand the molecular mechanisms of estrogen action in alligators, we have isolated cDNAs encoding the estrogen receptors (ER) from the ovary. Degenerate PCR primers specific to ER were designed and used to amplify alligator ovary RNA. Two different DNA fragments (ERalpha and ERbeta) were obtained and the full-length alligator ERalpha cDNA was obtained using 5' and 3' RACE. The inferred amino acid sequence of alligator ERalpha (aERalpha) was very similar to the chicken ERalpha (91% identity), although phylogenetic analyses suggested profound differences in the rate of sequence evolution for vertebrate ER sequences. We also isolated partial DNA fragments encoding ERbeta and the progesterone receptor (PR) of the alligator, both of which show strong sequence similarities to avian ERbeta and PR. We examined the expression levels of these three steroid receptors (ERalpha, ERbeta, and PR) in the ovary of juvenile alligators and observed detectable levels of all three receptors. Quantitative RT-PCR showed that gonadal ERalpha transcript levels in juvenile alligators decreased after E2 treatment whereas ERbeta and PR transcripts were not changed. These results provide tools that will allow future studies examining the regulation and ontogenic expression of steroid receptors in alligators and expand our knowledge of vertebrate steroid receptor evolution. PMID:14980803

  14. Scale-Dependent Habitat Selection and Size-Based Dominance in Adult Male American Alligators.

    PubMed

    Strickland, Bradley A; Vilella, Francisco J; Belant, Jerrold L

    2016-01-01

    Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance

  15. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR STRADDLES TWO PARKING SPACES IN FRONT OF OFFICE TRAILER

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    Double-parked, an angry alligator straddles two parking spaces outside an office trailer at NASA's Launch Complex 17. Hank Curtin of Pan Am watches from a safe perch as John Tanner gets ready to wrap a rope around the snout of the 10-foot, 9-inch beast. It's all in a day's work for Tanner, who has a contract with the state of Florida to remove nuisance alligators.

  16. Relationship between body condition of American alligators and water depth in the Everglades, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Rice, Kenneth G.; Pearlstine, Leonard G.; Mazzotti, Frank J.

    2009-01-01

    Feeding opportunities of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in freshwater wetlands in south Florida are closely linked to hydrologic conditions. In the Everglades, seasonally and annually fluctuating surface water levels affect populations of aquatic organisms that alligators consume. Since prey becomes more concentrated when water depth decreases, we hypothesized an inverse relationship between body condition and water depth in the Everglades. On average, condition of adult alligators in the dry season was significantly higher than in the wet season, but this was not the case for juveniles/subadults. The correlation between body condition and measured water depth at capture locations was weak; however, there was a significant negative correlation between the condition and predicted water depth prior to capture for all animals except for spring juveniles/subadults which had a weak positive condition-water depth relationship. Overall, a relatively strong inverse correlation occurred at 10-49 days prior to the capture day, suggesting that current body condition of alligators may depend on feeding opportunities during that period. Fitted regression of body condition on water depth (mean depth of 10 days when condition-water depth correlation was greatest) resulted in a significantly negative slope, except for spring adult females and spring juveniles/subadults for which slopes were not significantly different from zero. Our results imply that water management practices may be critical for alligators in the Everglades since water depth can affect animal condition in a relatively short period of time.

  17. Use of alligator hole abundance and occupancy rate as indicators for restoration of a human-altered wetland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fujisaki, Ikuko; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Hart, Kristen M.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Ogurcak, Danielle; Rochford, Michael; Jeffery, Brian M.; Brandt, Laura A.; Cherkiss, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Use of indicator species as a measure of ecosystem conditions is an established science application in environmental management. Because of its role in shaping wetland systems, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is one of the ecological indicators for wetland restoration in south Florida, USA. We conducted landscape-level aerial surveys of alligator holes in two different habitats in a wetland where anthropogenic modification of surface hydrology has altered the natural system. Alligator holes were scarcer in an area where modified hydrology caused draining and frequent dry-downs compared to another area that maintains a functional wetland system. Lower abundance of alligator holes indicates lack of alligator activities, lower overall species diversity, and lack of dry-season aquatic refugia for other organisms. The occupancy rate of alligator holes was lower than the current restoration target for the Everglades, and was variable by size class with large size-class alligators predominantly occupying alligator holes. This may indicate unequal size-class distribution, different habitat selection by size classes, or possibly a lack of recruitment. Our study provides pre-restoration baseline information about one indicator species for the Everglades. Success of the restoration can be assessed via effective synthesis of information derived by collective research efforts on the entire suite of selected ecological indicators.

  18. TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL VARIATION IN PLASMA THYROXINE (T4) CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS COLLECTED FROM LAKE OKEECHOBEE AND THE NORTHERN EVERGLADES, FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined variation in plasma thyroxine (T4) in juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) collected from three sites within the Kissimmee River drainage basin (FL, USA). Based on historical sediment data, Moonshine Bay served as the low contaminant exposure site...

  19. Alligator rivers analogue project an OECD/NEA international project

    SciTech Connect

    Duerden, P.; Airey, P.; Pescatore, C.

    1994-12-31

    The Koongarra uranium deposit in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia was studied as a natural analogue of the far field behaviour of high level waste repositories following groundwater ingress. A number of mathematical modelling approaches were developed for processes as diverse as groundwater transport, host rock weathering, radionuclide sorption, evolution of the uranium dispersion fan and the distribution of uranium series nuclides between mineral assemblages in weathered host rock. Some of these models are relevant to performance assessment at the level of individual processes and subsystem performance. Through the project, new insights into the application of the natural analogue approach to the assessment of potential waste repository sites were obtained.

  20. Isolation and characterization of sulfite oxidase from Alligator mississipiensis

    SciTech Connect

    Robbins, A.; Neame, P.J.; Barber, M.J. )

    1991-03-11

    Sulfite oxidase has been isolated from fresh alligator liver using ammonium sulfate and acetone fractionation, DEAE chromatography and FPLC on Mono Q. The enzyme is dimeric and exhibits a subunit M. Wt. of approximately 58 kDa, larger than that of chicken SO. EPR spectroscopy of the partially-reduced enzyme revealed a single Mo(V) species while visible spectroscopy revealed the presence of cytochrome b{sub 557}. Maximal activities were obtained at pH 8 and 9, respectively. K{sub m}'s for SO{sub 3}{sup 2 {minus}}, cyt. c and Fe(CN){sub 6}{sup 3 {minus}} were 23.5 uM, 2.9 uM and 8.0 uM, respectively. Sequencing of peptides obtained by endoprotease K digestion indicated regions of extensive sequence similarity to chicken and rat enzymes in both heme and Mo-pterin domains. Regions of sequence dissimilarity were also found.

  1. A Chinese alligator in heliox: formant frequencies in a crocodilian

    PubMed Central

    Reber, Stephan A.; Nishimura, Takeshi; Janisch, Judith; Robertson, Mark; Fitch, W. Tecumseh

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Crocodilians are among the most vocal non-avian reptiles. Adults of both sexes produce loud vocalizations known as ‘bellows’ year round, with the highest rate during the mating season. Although the specific function of these vocalizations remains unclear, they may advertise the caller's body size, because relative size differences strongly affect courtship and territorial behaviour in crocodilians. In mammals and birds, a common mechanism for producing honest acoustic signals of body size is via formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances). To our knowledge, formants have to date never been documented in any non-avian reptile, and formants do not seem to play a role in the vocalizations of anurans. We tested for formants in crocodilian vocalizations by using playbacks to induce a female Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) to bellow in an airtight chamber. During vocalizations, the animal inhaled either normal air or a helium/oxygen mixture (heliox) in which the velocity of sound is increased. Although heliox allows normal respiration, it alters the formant distribution of the sound spectrum. An acoustic analysis of the calls showed that the source signal components remained constant under both conditions, but an upward shift of high-energy frequency bands was observed in heliox. We conclude that these frequency bands represent formants. We suggest that crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size via formants. Because birds and crocodilians share a common ancestor with all dinosaurs, a better understanding of their vocal production systems may also provide insight into the communication of extinct Archosaurians. PMID:26246611

  2. A Chinese alligator in heliox: formant frequencies in a crocodilian.

    PubMed

    Reber, Stephan A; Nishimura, Takeshi; Janisch, Judith; Robertson, Mark; Fitch, W Tecumseh

    2015-08-01

    Crocodilians are among the most vocal non-avian reptiles. Adults of both sexes produce loud vocalizations known as 'bellows' year round, with the highest rate during the mating season. Although the specific function of these vocalizations remains unclear, they may advertise the caller's body size, because relative size differences strongly affect courtship and territorial behaviour in crocodilians. In mammals and birds, a common mechanism for producing honest acoustic signals of body size is via formant frequencies (vocal tract resonances). To our knowledge, formants have to date never been documented in any non-avian reptile, and formants do not seem to play a role in the vocalizations of anurans. We tested for formants in crocodilian vocalizations by using playbacks to induce a female Chinese alligator (Alligator sinensis) to bellow in an airtight chamber. During vocalizations, the animal inhaled either normal air or a helium/oxygen mixture (heliox) in which the velocity of sound is increased. Although heliox allows normal respiration, it alters the formant distribution of the sound spectrum. An acoustic analysis of the calls showed that the source signal components remained constant under both conditions, but an upward shift of high-energy frequency bands was observed in heliox. We conclude that these frequency bands represent formants. We suggest that crocodilian vocalizations could thus provide an acoustic indication of body size via formants. Because birds and crocodilians share a common ancestor with all dinosaurs, a better understanding of their vocal production systems may also provide insight into the communication of extinct Archosaurians. PMID:26246611

  3. Post-hatching development of Alligator mississippiensis ovary and testis

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Brandon C.; Hamlin, Heather J.; Botteri, Nicole L.; Lawler, Ashley N.; Mathavan, Ketan K.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated ovary and testis development of Alligator mississippiensis during the first five months post-hatch. To better describe follicle assembly and seminiferous cord development, we employed histochemical techniques to detect carbohydrate-rich extracellular matrix components in one-week, one-month, three-month, and five-month-old gonads. We found profound morphological changes in both ovary and testis. During this time, oogenesis progressed up to diplotene arrest and meiotic germ cells increasingly interacted with follicular cells. Concomitant with follicles becoming invested with full complements of granulosa cells, a periodic acid Schiff’s (PAS)-positive basement membrane formed. As follicles enlarged and thecal layers were observed, basement membranes and thecal compartments gained periodic acid-methionine silver (PAMS)-reactive fibers. The ovarian medulla increased first PAS- and then PAMS-reactivity as it fragmented into wide lacunae lined with low cuboidal to squamous epithelia. During this same period, testicular germ cells found along the tubule margins were observed progressing from spermatogonia to round spermatids located within the center of tubules. Accompanying this meiotic development, interstitial Leydig cell clusters become more visible and testicular capsules thickened. During the observed testis development, the thickening tunica albuginea and widening interstitial tissues showed increasing PAS- and PAMS-reactivity. We observed putative inter-sex structures in both ovary and testis. On the coelomic aspect of testes were cell clusters with germ cell morphology and at the posterior end of ovaries, we observed “medullary rests” resembling immature testis cords. We hypothesize laboratory conditions accelerated gonad maturation due to optimum conditions, including nutrients and temperature. Laboratory alligators grew more rapidly and with increased body conditions compared to previous measured, field-caught animals. Additionally, we

  4. Thermal acclimation, mitochondrial capacities and organ metabolic profiles in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Guderley, Helga; Seebacher, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles thermoregulate behaviourally, but change their preferred temperature and the optimal temperature for performance seasonally. We evaluated whether the digestive and locomotor systems of the alligator show parallel metabolic adjustments during thermal acclimation. To this end, we allowed juvenile alligators to grow under thermal conditions typical of winter and summer, providing them with seasonally appropriate basking opportunities. Although mean body temperatures of alligators in these groups differed by approximately 10°C, their growth and final anatomic status was equivalent. While hepatic mitochondria isolated from cold-acclimated alligators had higher oxidative capacities at 30°C than those from warm-acclimated alligators, the capacities did not differ at 20°C. Cold acclimation decreased maximal oxidative capacities of muscle mitochondria. For mitochondria from both organs and acclimation groups, palmitate increased oligomycin-inhibited respiration. GDP addition reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates more in liver mitochondria from warm- than cold-acclimated alligators. In muscle mitochondria, carboxyatractyloside significantly reduced palmitate-uncoupled rates. This effect was not changed by thermal acclimation. The aerobic capacity of liver, skeletal muscle and duodenum, as estimated by activities of cytochrome c oxidase (COX), increased with cold acclimation. At acclimation temperatures, the activities of COX and citrate synthase (CS) in these organs were equivalent. By measuring COX and CS in isolated mitochondria and tissue extracts, we estimated that cold acclimation did not change the mitochondrial content in liver, but increased that of muscle. The thermal compensation of growth rates and of the aerobic capacity of the locomotor and digestive systems suggests that alligators optimised metabolic processes for the seasonally altered, preferred body temperature. The precision of this compensatory response exceeds that typically shown by aquatic

  5. Chronic Ingestion of Coal Fly-Ash Contaminated Prey and Its Effects on Health and Immune Parameters in Juvenile American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Finger, John W; Hamilton, Matthew T; Metts, Brian S; Glenn, Travis C; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-10-01

    Coal-burning power plants supply approximately 37 % of the electricity in the United States. However, incomplete combustion produces ash wastes enriched with toxic trace elements that have historically been disposed of in aquatic basins. Organisms inhabiting such habitats may accumulate these trace elements; however, studies investigating the effects on biota have been primarily restricted to shorter-lived, lower-trophic organisms. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), a long-lived, top-trophic carnivore, has been observed inhabiting these basins, yet the health or immune effects of chronic exposure and possible accumulation remains unknown. In this study, we investigated how chronic dietary ingestion of prey contaminated with coal combustion wastes (CCWs) for 25 months, and subsequent accumulation of trace elements present in CCWs, affected juvenile alligator immune function and health. Alligators were assigned to one of four dietary-treatment groups including controls and those fed prey contaminated with CCWs for one, two, or three times a week. However, no effect of Dietary Treatment (p > 0.05) was observed on any immune parameter or hematological or plasma analyte we tested. Our results suggest that neither exposure to nor accumulation of low doses of CCWs had a negative effect on certain aspects of the immune and hematological system. However, future studies are required to elucidate this further. PMID:27475646

  6. Temporal profile of nerve growth factor expression in the partial central nervous system of the Yangtze alligator Alligator sinensis (Reptilia,Crocodylia) during early postnatal growth.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Lanrong; Chen, Fangfang; Wang, Renping; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing

    2013-05-01

    Expression of nerve growth factor (NGF) in structures of the partial central nervous system of the Yangtze alligator, Alligator sinensis (Reptilia, Crocodylia) was examined during early postnatal growth using immunohistochemistry and Western blot assays. In animals 0-2 years of age NGF-positive cells in the cerebral cortex increased gradually in number and size, and were predominantly distributed in the molecular layer. NGF-positive cells in the midbrain showed similar increases but with predominant distribution in the ependymal layer. NGF-positive cells increased in the cerebellum between 0 and 1 years of age, with increased NGF expression being seen during the first 2 years of life mostly in the ependymal layer. NGF-positive cells were mainly found in the gray matter of the spinal cord with decreasing cell numbers, NGF expression levels being seen from 0 to 2 years and small processes without synaptic connection from 1 to 2 years. These results suggest that NGF is involved in the early postnatal growth of several structures of Yangtze alligator partial central nervous system, suggesting a possible role of NGF in the Yangtze alligator partial central nervous system. PMID:23504856

  7. IgH loci of American alligator and saltwater crocodile shed light on IgA evolution.

    PubMed

    Magadán-Mompó, Susana; Sánchez-Espinel, Christian; Gambón-Deza, Francisco

    2013-07-01

    Immunoglobulin loci of two representatives of the order Crocodylia were studied from full genome sequences. Both Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus have 13 genes for the heavy chain constant regions of immunoglobulins. The IGHC locus contains genes encoding four immunoglobulins M (IgM), one immunoglobulin D (IgD), three immunoglobulins A (IgA), three immunoglobulins Y (IgY), and two immunoglobulins D2 (IgD2). IgA and IgD2 genes were found in reverse transcriptional orientation compared to the other Ig genes. The IGHD gene contains 11 exons, four of which containing stop codons or sequence alterations. As described in other reptiles, the IgD2 is a chimeric Ig with IgA- and IgD-related domains. This work clarifies the origin of bird IgA and its evolutionary relationship with amphibian immunoglobulin X (IgX) as well as their links with mammalian IgA. PMID:23558556

  8. Effects of egg and hatchling harvest on American alligators in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rice, K.G.; Percival, H.F.; Woodward, A.R.; Jennings, Michael L.

    1999-01-01

    Harvest of crocodilian eggs and young for captive rearing (ranching) has been used worldwide as an option for producing crocodilian skins and meat from wild stock. The long-term effects of harvesting a certain proportion of early age class, wild American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) without repatriation is unknown. We removed an estimated 50% of annual production of alligators on Lakes Griffin and Jesup in central Florida over an 11-year period and monitored population levels via night-light counts. Densities of the total alligator population increased (P 0.117), and subadult (122-182 cm TL) alligators increased (P < 0.011) on harvest areas. The density of juveniles on the control area increased (P = 0.006), and the density of subadults showed some evidence of increasing (P = 0.088). No changes were detected in size distributions on the treatment areas. Nest production, as observed from aerial helicopter surveys, increased (P < 0.039) on Lake Woodruff NWR and Lake Jesup and showed some evidence of an increase on Lake Griffin (P = 0.098) during 1983-91. A 50% harvest rate of eggs or hatchlings did not adversely affect recruitment into the subadult or adult size classes.

  9. The influence of regional hydrology on nesting behavior and nest fate of the American alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ugarte, Cristina A.; Bass, Oron L.; Nuttle, William; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Rice, Kenneth G.; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Whelan, Kevin R.T.

    2013-01-01

    Hydrologic conditions are critical to the nesting behavior and reproductive success of crocodilians. In South Florida, USA, growing human settlement has led to extensive surface water management and modification of historical water flows in the wetlands, which have affected regional nesting of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). Although both natural and anthropogenic factors are considered to determine hydrologic conditions, the aspects of hydrological patterns that affect alligator nest effort, flooding (partial and complete), and failure (no hatchling) are unclear. We deconstructed annual hydrological patterns using harmonic models that estimated hydrological matrices including mean, amplitude, timing of peak, and periodicity of surface water depth and discharge and examined their effects on alligator nesting using survey data from Shark Slough, Everglades National Park, from 1985 to 2005. Nest effort increased in years with higher mean and lesser periodicity of water depth. A greater proportion of nests were flooded and failed when peak discharge occurred earlier in the year. Also, nest flooding rates were greater in years with greater periodicity of water depth, and nest failure rate was greater when mean discharge was higher. This study guides future water management decisions to mitigate negative impacts on reproduction of alligators and provides wildlife managers with a tool for assessing and modifying annual water management plans to conserve crocodilians and other wetland species.

  10. American alligator digestion rate of blue crabs and its implications for stomach contents analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nifong, James C.; Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Johnson, Nathan A.; Barichivich, William; Silliman, Brian; Heithaus, Michael R.

    2012-01-01

    Stomach contents analysis (SCA) provides a snap-shot observation of a consumer's diet. Interpretation of SCA data can be complicated by many factors, including variation in gastric residence times and digestion rates among prey taxa. Although some SCA methods are reported to efficiently remove all stomach contents, the effectiveness of these techniques has rarely been tested for large irregular shaped prey with hard exoskeletons. We used a controlled feeding trial to estimate gastric residency time and decomposition rate of a large crustacean prey item, the Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus), which is consumed by American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis), an abundant apex predator in coastal habitats of the southeastern United States. The decomposition rate of C. sapidus in the stomachs of A. mississippiensis followed a predictable pattern, and some crab pieces remained in stomachs for at least 14 days. We also found that certain portions of C. sapidus were prone to becoming caught within the stomach or esophagus, meaning not all crab parts are consistently recovered using gastric lavage techniques. However, because the state of decomposition of crabs was predictable, it is possible to estimate time since consumption for crabs recovered from wild alligators. This information, coupled with a detailed understanding of crab distributions and alligator movement tactics could help elucidate patterns of cross-ecosystem foraging by the American Alligator in coastal habitats

  11. Effect of alligator pepper (Zingiberaceae aframomum melegueta) on first trimester pregnancy in Sprague Dawley rats.

    PubMed

    Inegbenebor, U; Ebomoyi, M I; Onyia, K A; Amadi, K; Aigbiremolen, A E

    2009-12-01

    Alligator pepper (Aframomum melegueta) is a spice that is widely used in many cultures for entertainment, religious rites, food flavor and as a part of many traditional doctors medications. Pregnant women are among those who ingest Alligator pepper in these activities. This experiment was carried out to determine the health risk or benefit of Alligator pepper to pregnant women if any. Fifteen male rats and fifteen female rats of proven fertility from a pilot study were randomly paired in fifteen cages in a well ventilated room. After three days of mating, the males were withdrawn from the females, which were allowed to stay in their separate maternity cages for 18-25 days. The females in the control group were fed with normal rat chow and clean drinking water ad libitum for the duration of the experiment. Each of the rats in the experimental group was served 20 g of rat chow mixed with 50mg of Alligator pepper for one day only and thereafter fed with normal rat chow and clean drinking water ad libitum for 18-25 days. The rats in the control group had a mean of 7 litters each, while the rats in the experimental group did not litter at all. It was concluded that ingestion of large quantities of Alligator pepper poses a health risk to women in their first trimester of pregnancy. PMID:20234758

  12. Body temperatures and behavior of American alligators during cold winter weather

    SciTech Connect

    Brisbin, I.L., Jr.; Standora, E.A.; Vargo, M.J.

    1982-04-01

    Data from two large (188 and 135 kg) male alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) indicated that 4-5 C seemed to be the lowest body temperatures that they could endure with subsequent recovery. Although one animal in shallow water managed to keep a breathing hole open for several days, in ice that was 1.5 cm thick, it later died following a decrease of its body temperature to 4.0 C. The second alligator which was located in a deeper portion of the reservoir used both terrestrial and aquatic basking behavior to raise its body temperature and level of activity. Except in the case of basking events, there was not clear evidence of significant evaluations of the body temperatures of either the live or dead alligators above those of their adjacent water. When located side-by-side, diurnal cycles of deep body temperatures exceeding adjacent water temperatures to a maximum extent near dawn and usually falling below water temperatures during the afternoon and early evening hours. The physical properties and thermal inertia of the bodies of such large alligators, when placed in appropriate microclimates, may be sufficient in themselves to explain the general patterns and levels of body temperature changes observed at these low temperatures.

  13. Animal-borne imaging reveals novel insights into the foraging behaviors and Diel activity of a large-bodied apex predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Nifong, James C; Nifong, Rachel L; Silliman, Brian R; Lowers, Russell H; Guillette, Louis J; Ferguson, Jake M; Welsh, Matthew; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales) can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam) to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour) as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack) were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals' experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal-borne imaging when

  14. Animal-Borne Imaging Reveals Novel Insights into the Foraging Behaviors and Diel Activity of a Large-Bodied Apex Predator, the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

    PubMed Central

    Nifong, James C.; Nifong, Rachel L.; Silliman, Brian R.; Lowers, Russell H.; Guillette, Louis J.; Ferguson, Jake M.; Welsh, Matthew; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg

    2014-01-01

    Large-bodied, top- and apex predators (e.g., crocodilians, sharks, wolves, killer whales) can exert strong top-down effects within ecological communities through their interactions with prey. Due to inherent difficulties while studying the behavior of these often dangerous predatory species, relatively little is known regarding their feeding behaviors and activity patterns, information that is essential to understanding their role in regulating food web dynamics and ecological processes. Here we use animal-borne imaging systems (Crittercam) to study the foraging behavior and activity patterns of a cryptic, large-bodied predator, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) in two estuaries of coastal Florida, USA. Using retrieved video data we examine the variation in foraging behaviors and activity patterns due to abiotic factors. We found the frequency of prey-attacks (mean = 0.49 prey attacks/hour) as well as the probability of prey-capture success (mean = 0.52 per attack) were significantly affected by time of day. Alligators attempted to capture prey most frequently during the night. Probability of prey-capture success per attack was highest during morning hours and sequentially lower during day, night, and sunset, respectively. Position in the water column also significantly affected prey-capture success, as individuals’ experienced two-fold greater success when attacking prey while submerged. These estimates are the first for wild adult American alligators and one of the few examples for any crocodilian species worldwide. More broadly, these results reveal that our understandings of crocodilian foraging behaviors are biased due to previous studies containing limited observations of cryptic and nocturnal foraging interactions. Our results can be used to inform greater understanding regarding the top-down effects of American alligators in estuarine food webs. Additionally, our results highlight the importance and power of using animal

  15. Antiglycation, antioxidant and toxicological potential of polyphenol extracts of alligator pepper, ginger and nutmeg from Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Kazeem, MI; Akanji, MA; Hafizur, Rahman M; Choudhary, MI

    2012-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the antioxidant and antiglycation potential of polyphenols from three spices; alligator pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Methods Polyphenol extracts of these spices were subjected to brine-shrimp lethality assay, phytotoxicity test, DPPH and superoxide anion radical scavenging as well as BSA-glucose antiglycation assay. Results Results obtained showed that polyphenol extract of ginger has the highest antioxidant potential with IC50 0.075 and 0.070 mg/mL for DPPH and superoxide anion radical scavenging assay while alligator pepper displayed highest antiglycation activity with IC50 0.125 mg/mL. However, nutmeg extract exhibited weakest cytotoxic and phytotoxic potential with LD50 4359.70 and 1490 µg/mL respectively. Conclusions It can be concluded that the polyphenol extracts of alligator pepper, ginger and nutmeg displayed good antioxidant as well as antiglycation potential and are safe for consumption. PMID:23570003

  16. Coplanar PCB distribution between chorioallantoic membranes and eggs of alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles

    SciTech Connect

    Bargar, T.A.; Cobb, G.P.

    1995-12-31

    The relative distribution of coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between chorioallantoic membranes (CAMS) and eggs was investigated in inviable American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretra) eggs. Cam and egg extracts were fractionated by HPLC using a porous graphitic column (PGC) and an in line switching valve to separate coplanar from non-coplanar PCBs. The fractions were collected, concentrated by nitrogen evaporation, and injected on GC-ECD (60M DB-5 capillary column) for quantification. Alligator and Loggerhead sea turtle eggs contain toxicologically significant coplanar PCBs. Mono-ortho substituted PCBs were present with greater frequency relative to non-ortho substituted PCBs in both eggs and CAMS. The presence of coplanar PCBs in eggs appears to be correlated to coplanar PCB presence in CAMS. The chorioallantoic membrane could serve as a biomarker of embryo exposure to coplanar PCBs.

  17. Subglottal pressure and fundamental frequency control in contact calls of juvenile Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Riede, Tobias; Tokuda, Isao T.; Farmer, C. G.

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Vocalization is rare among non-avian reptiles, with the exception of the crocodilians, the sister taxon of birds. Crocodilians have a complex vocal repertoire. Their vocal and respiratory system is not well understood but appears to consist of a combination of features that are also found in the extremely vocal avian and mammalian taxa. Anatomical studies suggest that the alligator larynx is able to abduct and adduct the vocal folds, but not to elongate or shorten them, and is therefore lacking a key regulator of frequency, yet alligators can modulate fundamental frequency remarkably well. We investigated the morphological and physiological features of sound production in alligators. Vocal fold length scales isometrically across a wide range of alligator body sizes. The relationship between fundamental frequency and subglottal pressure is significant in some individuals at some isolated points, such as call onset and position of maximum fundamental frequency. The relationship is not consistent over large segments of the call. Fundamental frequency can change faster than expected by pressure changes alone, suggesting an active motor pattern controls frequency and is intrinsic to the larynx. We utilized a two-mass vocal fold model to test whether abduction and adduction could generate this motor pattern. The fine-tuned interplay between subglottal pressure and glottal adduction can achieve frequency modulations much larger than those resulting from subglottal pressure variations alone and of similar magnitude, as observed in alligator calls. We conclude that the alligator larynx represents a sound source with only two control parameters (subglottal pressure and vocal fold adduction) in contrast to the mammalian larynx in which three parameters can be altered to modulate frequency (subglottal pressure, vocal fold adduction and length/tension). PMID:21865521

  18. Dujardinascaris gigantea sp. n. (Nematoda: Ascaridida) from the critically endangered crocodile Alligator sinensis Fauvel (Reptilia: Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jin-Hong; Li, Liang; Guo, Yan-Ning; Zhang, Lu-Ping

    2015-03-01

    The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis Fauvel (Reptilia: Crocodylia) is considered as one of the most critically endangered species of the 23 extant crocodiles. However, our knowledge of the helminth parasites of this rare animal is completely lacking. During a helminthological survey of reptiles in China, we found a new ascaridoid nematode, Dujardinascaris gigantea sp. n. from A. sinensis. The morphology of D. gigantea sp. n. was studied using light and scanning electron microscopy. The new species was also characterised using molecular methods by sequencing and analysing the small ribosomal DNA (18S) and the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2). PMID:24924435

  19. Water hyacinths and alligator weeds for removal of silver, cobalt, and strontium from polluted waters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Mcdonald, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Water hyacinths and alligator weeds demonstrated the ability to rapidly remove heavy metals from an aqueous system by root absorption and concentration. Water hyacinths demonstrated the ability to remove 0.439 mg of silver, 0.568 mg of cobalt, and 0.544 mg of strontium in an ionized form per gram of dry plant material in a 24-hour period. Alligator weeds removed a maximum of 0.439 mg of silver, 0.130 mg of cobalt, and 0.161 mg of strontium per gram of dry plant material per day.

  20. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, Matthew T.; Finger, John W.; Winzeler, Megan E.; Tuberville, Tracey D.

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3₋), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. In conclusion, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood.

  1. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hamilton, Matthew T.; Finger, John W.; Winzeler, Megan E.; Tuberville, Tracey D.

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressuremore » of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3₋), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. In conclusion, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood.« less

  2. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Matthew T; Finger, John W; Winzeler, Megan E; Tuberville, Tracey D

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3 (-)), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F 2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. Lastly, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood. PMID:27382469

  3. Evaluating the effect of sample type on American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) analyte values in a point-of-care blood analyser

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Matthew T.; Finger, John W.; Winzeler, Megan E.; Tuberville, Tracey D.

    2016-01-01

    The assessment of wildlife health has been enhanced by the ability of point-of-care (POC) blood analysers to provide biochemical analyses of non-domesticated animals in the field. However, environmental limitations (e.g. temperature, atmospheric humidity and rain) and lack of reference values may inhibit researchers from using such a device with certain wildlife species. Evaluating the use of alternative sample types, such as plasma, in a POC device may afford researchers the opportunity to delay sample analysis and the ability to use banked samples. In this study, we examined fresh whole blood, fresh plasma and frozen plasma (sample type) pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), bicarbonate (HCO3−), total carbon dioxide (TCO2), base excess (BE), partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), oxygen saturation (sO2) and lactate concentrations in 23 juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) using an i-STAT CG4+ cartridge. Our results indicate that sample type had no effect on lactate concentration values (F2,65 = 0.37, P = 0.963), suggesting that the i-STAT analyser can be used reliably to quantify lactate concentrations in fresh and frozen plasma samples. In contrast, the other seven blood parameters measured by the CG4+ cartridge were significantly affected by sample type. Lastly, we were able to collect blood samples from all alligators within 2 min of capture to establish preliminary reference ranges for juvenile alligators based on values obtained using fresh whole blood. PMID:27382469

  4. Follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis: molecular characterization, tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the female reproductive cycle.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Shengzhou; Zhu, Xue; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing

    2015-05-01

    The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) plays a central role in vertebrate reproduction, with the actions of FSH mediated by FSH receptors (FSHRs) on the granulosa cells of the ovary. The present study reports the cloning and characterization of FSHR in Chinese alligator, Alligator sinensis (caFSHR), and its tissue distribution and mRNA expression changes during the reproductive cycle. The mature protein of caFSHR displays typical features of the glycoprotein hormone receptor family, but also contains some remarkable differences when compared with other vertebrate FSHRs. The deduced amino acid sequence of the caFSHR shares identity of 85% with Chinese softshell turtle, 84-87% with birds, 77-78% with mammals, 67-73% with amphibians and 51-58% with fishes. Phylogenetic tree analysis of the FSHR amino acid sequence indicated that alligators cluster into the bird branch. Tissue expression analysis showed that caFSHR was not only expressed in the ovary, but also in the stomach, intestine, pancreas liver and oviduct at similar levels, while it was not detectable in heart, thymus or thyroid. Expression of caFSHR in the ovary is high in May (breeding prophase) and peaks in July during the breeding period, where it is maintained at high levels through September (breeding anaphase). Expression decreases significantly in November (hibernating period) and then remains relatively low from January to March (hibernating period). These temporal changes in FSHR expression suggest that it plays an important role in promoting ovarian development during the female reproductive cycle of Chinese alligator. PMID:25765682

  5. Simple solar technology saves money for alligator farms

    SciTech Connect

    Goldman, A.

    1993-01-01

    In 1990, a high-volume solar thermal water-heating system in Florida was installed in Okeechobee County by Solar Development, Inc. (SDI). The system is designed to provide large quantities of hot water for commercial use and heat water to as high as 140[degrees]F. The design in Florida is known as a Shallow Solar Pond (SSP). It was completed with the help of the Florida Alligator Farmers Association, the Florida Energy Office, Foster Farms, and SDI. The SSP is a modular system built on site and modified to meet the specific needs of each application. The tank and the collector are the same unit, which keeps the system cost very low. The typical SSP module is 16 feet wide and up to 200 feet long. The module contains one or two reinforced-rubber flat water bags similar to a water bed. The bags rest on a layer of insulation or sand inside concrete or fiberglass curbs. In the Foster Farms SSP, the insulation was omitted and the water bags are placed on sand. The bag is protected against damage and heat loss by greenhouse-type glazing. At Foster Farms there are 3 SSPs, set in approximately 8,000 square feet, with two 5,000-gallon bags per unit. In addition, there is a pressurizing pump/tank system. Every morning, the heated water from the bags drains into a sump tank. While the bags are emptied into the backup system, well water is pumped in and the solar heating process starts all over again.

  6. Effects of salinity on growth and ion regulation of juvenile alligator gar Atractosteus spatula.

    PubMed

    Schwarz, Daniel E; Allen, Peter J

    2014-03-01

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a primitive euryhaline fish, found primarily in estuaries and freshwater drainages associated with the northern Gulf of Mexico. The extent of its hypo-osmotic regulatory abilities is not well understood. In order to determine how salinity affects growth rates and ionic and osmoregulation, juvenile alligator gar (330 days after hatch; 185 g) were exposed to 4 different salinities (0, 8, 16, and 24 ppt) for a 30-day period. Specific growth rate, plasma osmolality and ion concentrations, gill and gastrointestinal tract Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities, and drinking rate were compared. Juvenile alligator gar were able to tolerate hyperosmotic salinities up to 24 ppt for a 30 day period, albeit with decreased growth resulting largely from decreased food consumption. Plasma osmolality and ionic concentrations were elevated in hyperosmotic salinities, and drinking rates and gastrointestinal tract Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activities increased, particularly in the pyloric caeca, presumably the primary location of water absorption. Therefore, juvenile alligator gar<1 year of age are capable of prolonged exposure to hyperosmotic salinities, but, based on the inference of these data, require access to lower salinities for long-term survival. PMID:24368134

  7. A group of alligators basks in the sun and rest in the water at KSC.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    This pond near Schwartz Rd. at Kennedy Space Center is host to a least the nine alligators shown on the banks and in the water. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with the Center. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Wildlife Refuge encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  8. Effects of salinity on growth and ion regulation of juvenile alligator gar Atractosteus spatula

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) is a primitive euryhaline fish, found primarily in estuaries and freshwater drainages associated with the northern Gulf of Mexico. The extent of its hypo-osmotic regulatory abilities is not well understood. In order to determine how salinity affects growth ra...

  9. The evolutionary history of an invasive species: alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The eco-evolutionary mechanisms of biological invasions are still not thoroughly understood. Alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxeroides (Martius) Gisebach (Amaranthaceae), is a plant native to South America and a weed in Australia and other countries. To better understand its success as an invader,...

  10. Achieving environmentally relevant organochlorine pesticide concentrations in eggs through maternal exposure in Alligator mississippiensis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rauschenberger, R.H.; Wiebe, J.J.; Buckland, J.E.; Smith, Joe T.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Alligator mississippiensis eggs from organochlorine pesticide (OCP) contaminated sites in Florida exhibit high rates of embryonic mortality compared to reference sites (p<0.05). The objective of the present study was to use captive adult alligators to test the hypotheses that maternal exposure to OCPs results in increased OCP concentrations in eggs, and that increased exposure is associated with increased embryonic mortality. A total of 24 adult alligators (8 males and 16 females) were housed in eight pens. Eight females in four pens were dosed with a mixture of p,p'-DDE, toxaphene, dieldrin, and chlordane at a rate of 0.2 ? 0.01 mg/kg/day for 274 ? 8 days. Treated females produced eggs containing higher OCP concentrations (12,814 ? 813 ng/g yolk) than controls (38 ? 4 ng/g yolk). Eggs of treated females exhibited decreased viability (13 ? 22%) as compared to controls (45 ? 20%). Results indicated that 0.6% of administered OCPs were maternally transferred to the eggs of American alligators, and that maternal exposure is associated with decreased egg/embryo viability in this species.

  11. Evaluating recent taxonomic changes for alligator snapping turtles (Testudines: Chelydridae).

    PubMed

    Folt, Brian; Guyer, Craig

    2015-01-01

    The Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys temminckii Troost in Harlan 1835, sensu lato) has been historically treated as a single, wide-ranging species, until a recently published paper by Thomas et al. (2014; hereafter Thomas et al.) analyzed variation in morphology and mitochondrial DNA sequence data to describe two new species of Macrochelys: the Apalachicola Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys apalachicolae Thomas, Granatosky, Bourque, Krysko, Moler, Gamble, Suarez, Leone & Roman 2014) and the Suwannee Alligator Snapping Turtle (Macrochelys suwanniensis Thomas, Granatosky, Bourque, Krysko, Moler, Gamble, Suarez, Leone & Roman 2014). The specific epithet temminckii was retained for populations in drainages from the Yellow River in Alabama and Florida west to the San Antonio River, Texas. Because populations of Macrochelys have been historically exploited by humans (Pritchard 1989) and the life-history strategies of large, long-lived turtles make them susceptible to declines from harvest (Congdon et al. 1994), a sound understanding of species delimitation and richness is critical for the conservation of alligator snapping turtles, especially if the acceptance of a widely distributed species disguises the presence of multiple, smaller-ranged species. PMID:25947748

  12. The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown: Microbial Symbioses of the American Alligator.

    PubMed

    Keenan, Sarah W; Elsey, Ruth M

    2015-12-01

    Vertebrates coexist with microorganisms in diverse symbiotic associations that range from beneficial to detrimental to the host. Most research has aimed at deciphering the nature of the composite microbial assemblage's genome, or microbiome, from the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and skin of mammals (i.e., humans). In mammals, the GI tract's microbiome aids digestion, enhances uptake of nutrients, and prevents the establishment of pathogenic microorganisms. However, because the GI tract microbiome of the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is distinct from that of all other vertebrates studied to date, being comprised of Fusobacteria in the lower GI tract with lesser abundances of Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes, the function of these assemblages is largely unknown. This review provides a synthesis of our current understanding of the composition of alligators' microbiomes, highlights the potential role of microbiome members in alligators' health (the good), and presents a brief summary of microorganisms detrimental to alligators' health (the bad) including Salmonella spp. and others. Microbial assemblages of the GI tract have co-evolved with their vertebrate host over geologic time, which means that evolutionary hypotheses can be tested using information about the microbiome. For reptiles and amphibians, the number of taxa studied at present is limited, thereby restricting evolutionary insights. Nevertheless, we present a compilation of our current understanding of reptiles' and amphibians' microbiomes, and highlight future avenues of research (the unknown). As in humans, composition of microbiome assemblages provides a promising tool for assessing hosts' health or disease. By further exploring present-day associations between symbiotic microorganisms in the microbiomes of reptiles and amphibians, we can better identify good (beneficial) and bad (detrimental) microorganisms, and unravel the evolutionary history of the acquisition of

  13. Conservation genetics of the alligator snapping turtle: cytonuclear evidence of range-wide bottleneck effects and unusually pronounced geographic structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Echelle, A.A.; Hackler, J.C.; Lack, Justin B.; Ballard, S. R.; Roman, J.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie,, David M., Jr.; Van Den Bussche, Ronald A.

    2010-01-01

    A previous mtDNA study indicated that female-mediated gene flow was extremely rare among alligator snapping turtle populations in different drainages of the Gulf of Mexico. In this study, we used variation at seven microsatellite DNA loci to assess the possibility of male-mediated gene flow, we augmented the mtDNA survey with additional sampling of the large Mississippi River System, and we evaluated the hypothesis that the consistently low within-population mtDNA diversity reflects past population bottlenecks. The results show that dispersal between drainages of the Gulf of Mexico is rare (F STmsat  = 0.43, ΦSTmtDNA = 0.98). Past range-wide bottlenecks are indicated by several genetic signals, including low diversity for microsatellites (1.1–3.9 alleles/locus; H e = 0.06–0.53) and mtDNA (h = 0.00 for most drainages; π = 0.000–0.001). Microsatellite data reinforce the conclusion from mtDNA that the Suwannee River population might eventually be recognized as a distinct taxonomic unit. It was the only population showing fixation or near fixation for otherwise rare microsatellite alleles. Six evolutionarily significant units are recommended on the basis of reciprocal mtDNA monophyly and high levels of microsatellite DNA divergence.

  14. The oldest record of Alligator sinensis from the Late Pliocene of Western Japan, and its biogeographic implication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iijima, Masaya; Takahashi, Keiichi; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu

    2016-07-01

    The late Cenozoic fossil record of alligators in East Asia is crucial in understanding the origin and past distribution of Asian alligators that are now represented by a single species, Alligator sinensis. This study reports a partial skeleton of A. sinensis from the Late Pliocene (approximately 3.0 Ma) of western Japan. This Japanese A. sinensis is large in size (>200 cm total length), comparable to the maximum size of extant individuals. It demonstrates the oldest record of A. sinensis and wider distribution of this species in the past. Tectonic and geographic history of East Asia suggests that alligators presumably dispersed into Japan before 25 Ma or after 10 Ma, yet finally were wiped out from Japan due to the semi-isolated condition of the Japanese island arc and the deteriorated climate during the Plio-Pleistocene.

  15. EAARL coastal topography--Alligator Point, Louisiana, 2010

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nayegandhi, Amar; Bonisteel-Cormier, J.M.; Wright, C.W.; Brock, J.C.; Nagle, D.B.; Vivekanandan, Saisudha; Fredericks, Xan; Barras, J.A.

    2012-01-01

    This project provides highly detailed and accurate datasets of a portion of Alligator Point, Louisiana, acquired on March 5 and 6, 2010. The datasets are made available for use as a management tool to research scientists and natural-resource managers. An innovative airborne lidar instrument originally developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Wallops Flight Facility, and known as the Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL), was used during data acquisition. The EAARL system is a raster-scanning, waveform-resolving, green-wavelength (532-nanometer) lidar designed to map near-shore bathymetry, topography, and vegetation structure simultaneously. The EAARL sensor suite includes the raster-scanning, water-penetrating full-waveform adaptive lidar, a down-looking red-green-blue (RGB) digital camera, a high-resolution multispectral color-infrared (CIR) camera, two precision dual-frequency kinematic carrier-phase GPS receivers, and an integrated miniature digital inertial measurement unit, which provide for sub-meter georeferencing of each laser sample. The nominal EAARL platform is a twin-engine aircraft, but the instrument was deployed on a Pilatus PC-6. A single pilot, a lidar operator, and a data analyst constitute the crew for most survey operations. This sensor has the potential to make significant contributions in measuring sub-aerial and submarine coastal topography within cross-environmental surveys. Elevation measurements were collected over the survey area using the EAARL system, and the resulting data were then processed using the Airborne Lidar Processing System (ALPS), a custom-built processing system developed in a NASA-USGS collaboration. ALPS supports the exploration and processing of lidar data in an interactive or batch mode. Modules for presurvey flight-line definition, flight-path plotting, lidar raster and waveform investigation, and digital camera image playback have been developed. Processing algorithms have

  16. Herpetofaunal diversity of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyers, J.M.; Pike, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    In the past century, habitat alteration and fragmentation have increased dramatically, which increases the need for improving our understanding of how species and biological communities react to these modifications. A national strategy on biological diversity has focused attention on how these habitat modifications affect species, especially herpetofauna (i.e., changes in species richness, community evenness and similarity, and dominant/rare species). As part of this strategy, we surveyed Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, a coastal, mixed second-growth forested swamp (MFS) and pocosin wetland (PW), in North Carolina for amphibians and reptiles from September 2000 to August 2001. We randomly selected three sites (3 x 3 km) in two major habitat types (MFS, PW) and completed random surveys and trapping using transects, quadrats, nighttime aural road surveys, drift fences, canal transects, coverboards, incidental captures, and evening road surveys. We also collected herpetofauna opportunistically throughout the refuge to establish an updated species list. For analysis, we used Shannon-Weiner species diversity (H'), evenness (1'), species richness and species detectability (COMDYN4), and community percent similarity index to determine herpetofaunal community differences. We estimated 39 species in MFS and 32 species in PW (P < 0.10). Species detectability was similar between habitats (0.84 to 0.86). More reptilian species (+ 31 %) inhabited MFS than PW, but estimated amphibian species richness was identical (17 spp.). H' was higher (P < 0.000 I) for PW (2.6680) than for MFS (2.1535) because of lower J' in the latter (0.6214 vs. 0.8010). Dominance of three Rana species caused lower J' and H' in MFS. Similarity between the communities was 56.6%; we estimated 22-24 species in common for each habitat (95% CI = 18 to 31 spp.). We verified 49 of the 52 herpetofaunal species on the refuge that were known to exist in the area. Restoration of natural water flows may

  17. Seasonal acclimatisation of muscle metabolic enzymes in a reptile (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Seebacher, Frank; Guderley, Helga; Elsey, Ruth M; Trosclair, Phillip L

    2003-04-01

    Reptiles living in heterogeneous thermal environments are often thought to show behavioural thermoregulation or to become inactive when environmental conditions prevent the achievement of preferred body temperatures. By contrast, thermally homogeneous environments preclude behavioural thermoregulation, and ectotherms inhabiting these environments (particularly fish in which branchial respiration requires body temperature to follow water temperature) modify their biochemical capacities in response to long-term seasonal temperature fluctuations. Reptiles may also be active at seasonally varying body temperatures and could, therefore, gain selective advantages from regulating biochemical capacities. Hence, we tested the hypothesis that a reptile (the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis) that experiences pronounced seasonal fluctuations in body temperature will show seasonal acclimatisation in the activity of its metabolic enzymes. We measured body temperatures of alligators in the wild in winter and summer (N=7 alligators in each season), and we collected muscle samples from wild alligators (N=31 in each season) for analysis of metabolic enzyme activity (lactate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase and cytochrome c oxidase). There were significant differences in mean daily body temperatures between winter (15.66+/-0.43 degrees C; mean +/- S.E.M.) and summer (29.34+/-0.21 degrees C), and daily body temperatures fluctuated significantly more in winter compared with summer. Alligators compensated for lower winter temperatures by increasing enzyme activities, and the activities of cytochrome c oxidase and lactate dehydrogenase were significantly greater in winter compared with summer at all assay temperatures. The activity of citrate synthase was significantly greater in the winter samples at the winter body temperature (15 degrees C) but not at the summer body temperature (30 degrees C). The thermal sensitivity (Q(10)) of mitochondrial enzymes decreased

  18. Mechanics of limb bone loading during terrestrial locomotion in the green iguana (Iguana iguana) and American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis).

    PubMed

    Blob, R W; Biewener, A A

    2001-03-01

    In vivo measurements of strain in the femur and tibia of Iguana iguana (Linnaeus) and Alligator mississippiensis (Daudin) have indicated three ways in which limb bone loading in these species differs from patterns observed in most birds and mammals: (i) the limb bones of I. iguana and A. mississippiensis experience substantial torsion, (ii) the limb bones of I. iguana and A. mississippiensis have higher safety factors than those of birds or mammals, and (iii) load magnitudes in the limb bones of A. mississippiensis do not decrease uniformly with the use of a more upright posture. To verify these patterns, and to evaluate the ground and muscle forces that produce them, we collected three-dimensional kinematic and ground reaction force data from subadult I. iguana and A. mississippiensis using a force platform and high-speed video. The results of these force/kinematic studies generally confirm the loading regimes inferred from in vivo strain measurements. The ground reaction force applies a torsional moment to the femur and tibia in both species; for the femur, this moment augments the moment applied by the caudofemoralis muscle, suggesting large torsional stresses. In most cases, safety factors in bending calculated from force/video data are lower than those determined from strain data, but are as high or higher than the safety factors of bird and mammal limb bones in bending. Finally, correlations between limb posture and calculated stress magnitudes in the femur of I. iguana confirm patterns observed during direct bone strain recordings from A. mississippiensis: in more upright steps, tensile stresses on the anterior cortex decrease, but peak compressive stresses on the dorsal cortex increase. Equilibrium analyses indicate that bone stress increases as posture becomes more upright in saurians because the ankle and knee extensor muscles exert greater forces during upright locomotion. If this pattern of increased bone stress with the use of a more upright posture is

  19. Contaminants in American alligator eggs from Lake Apopka, Lake Griffin, and Lake Okeechobee, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Heinz, G.H.; Percival, H.F.; Jennings, Michael L.

    1991-01-01

    Residues of organochlorine pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and 16 elements were measured in American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) eggs collected in 1984 from Lakes Apopka, Griffin, and Okeechobee in central and south Florida. Organochlorine pesticides were highest in eggs from Lake Apopka. None of the elements appeared to be present at harmful concentrations in eggs from any of the lakes. A larger sample of eggs was collected in 1985, but only from Lakes Griffin, a lake where eggs were relatively clean, and Apopka, where eggs were most contaminated. In 1985, hatching success of artificially incubated eggs was lower for Lake Apopka, and several organochlorine pesticides were higher than in eggs from Lake Griffin. However, within Lake Apopka, higher levels of pesticides in chemically analyzed eggs were not associated with reduced hatching success of the remaining eggs in the clutch. Therefore, it did not appear that any of the pesticides we measured were responsible for the reduced hatching of Lake Apopka eggs.

  20. Hydrodynamic analysis, performance assessment, and actuator design of a flexible tail propulsor in an artificial alligator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Philen, Michael; Neu, Wayne

    2011-09-01

    The overall objective of this research is to develop analysis tools for determining actuator requirements and assessing viable actuator technology for design of a flexible tail propulsor in an artificial alligator. A simple hydrodynamic model that includes both reactive and resistive forces along the tail is proposed and the calculated mean thrust agrees well with conventional estimates of drag. Using the hydrodynamic model forces as an input, studies are performed for an alligator ranging in size from 1 cm to 2 m at swimming speeds of 0.3-1.8 body lengths per second containing five antagonistic pairs of actuators distributed along the length of the tail. Several smart materials are considered for the actuation system, and preliminary analysis results indicate that the acrylic electroactive polymer and the flexible matrix composite actuators are potential artificial muscle technologies for the system.

  1. Water hyacinths and alligator weeds for removal of lead and mercury from polluted waters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wolverton, B. C.; Mcdonald, R. C.

    1975-01-01

    Removal of lead and mercury by water hyacinths (Eichhornia crassipes) (Mart.) Solms and alligator weeds (Alternanthera philoxeroides) (Mart.) Griesb. was investigated. Water hyacinths demonstrated the ability to remove 0.176 mg of lead and 0.150 mg of mercury per gram of dry plant material from distilled water and river water in a 24-hour period. One acre of water hyacinths is potentially capable of removing 105.6 grams of lead and 90.0 grams of mercury per day. Alligator weeds removed 0.101 mg of lead per gram of dry plant material in a 24-hour period. This same plant also demonstrated the ability to remove a minimum of 0.153 mg of mercury per gram of dry plant material in a six hour period.

  2. Determining the size of American alligators using hind-foot track length

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilkinson, Philip M.; Rice, Kenneth G.

    2000-01-01

    Size distribution information is useful for crocodilian management, but can be hard to obtain. Indirect and less costly demographic inferences made from track measurements may be valuable for management decisions. We related hind-foot lengths (HF) with total length (TL) to determine if we could indirectly assess alligator size using track length. Regression showed that HF was an excellent predictor (F1,246= 15722.9, R2=0.98, P<0.01) of TL and track length was an exceptional predictor of HF (F1,14=7520.3, R2= 1.00, P<0.01). The correlation between track length and HF length also was significant (N= 15, r=0.99, P <0.01). Thus, alligator size can be accurately estimated from measures of track length at sites where capture and direct measurement is impractical.

  3. Functional morphology of the Alligator mississippiensis larynx with implications for vocal production.

    PubMed

    Riede, Tobias; Li, Zhiheng; Tokuda, Isao T; Farmer, Colleen G

    2015-04-01

    Sauropsid vocalization is mediated by the syrinx in birds and the larynx in extant reptiles; but whereas avian vocal production has received much attention, the vocal mechanism of basal reptilians is poorly understood. The American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) displays a large vocal repertoire during mating and in parent-offspring interactions. Although vocal outputs of these behaviors have received some attention, the underlying mechanism of sound production remains speculative. Here, we investigate the laryngeal anatomy of juvenile and adult animals by macroscopic and histological methods. Observations of the cartilaginous framework and associated muscles largely corroborate earlier findings, but one muscle, the cricoarytenoideus, exhibits a heretofore unknown extrinsic insertion that has important implications for effective regulation of vocal fold length and tension. Histological investigation of the larynx revealed a layered vocal fold morphology. The thick lamina propria consists of non-homogenous extracellular matrix containing collagen fibers that are tightly packed below the epithelium but loosely organized deep inside the vocal fold. We found few elastic fibers but comparatively high proportions of hyaluronan. Similar organizational complexity is also seen in mammalian vocal folds and the labia of the avian syrinx: convergent morphologies that suggest analogous mechanisms for sound production. In tensile tests, alligator vocal folds demonstrated a linear stress-strain behavior in the low strain region and nonlinear stress responses at strains larger than 15%, which is similar to mammalian vocal fold tissue. We have integrated morphological and physiological data in a two-mass vocal fold model, providing a systematic description of the possible acoustic space that could be available to an alligator larynx. Mapping actual call production onto possible acoustic space validates the model's predictions. PMID:25657203

  4. Nutrient and organochlorine pesticide concentrations in American alligator eggs and their associations with clutch viability.

    PubMed

    Rauschenberger, R Heath; Sepúlveda, Maria S; Wiebe, Jon J; Wiebe, Janet E; Honeyfield, Dale C; Gross, Timothy S

    2009-12-01

    Since the early 1900s, the lakes of the Ocklawaha basin in central Florida have experienced ecological degradation due to anthropogenic development. One species affected by this degradation is the American alligator Alligator mississippiensis, which has suffered from poor clutch viability and embryo mortality. Although some studies indicate that organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) may be involved, OCPs do not account for all of the variation seen in hatch rates. Indeed, nutrition and non-OCP contaminants have been associated with developmental problems in fish and birds. Our study evaluated embryo mortality in alligators at reference and OCP-contaminated sites as a function of exposure to OCPs, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), along with egg nutrients (Zn, Se, and vitamins A, E, and B1). The four-pronged study consisted of a case-control cohort study, an expanded field study, a topical egg treatment thiamine amelioration experiment, and a topical egg treatment thiamine antagonist experiment. The results from the two field studies suggested that the total thiamine levels in the eggs were positively associated with clutch viability and negatively associated with the lipid content and certain OCPs measured in egg yolks. In addition, PCBs, PAHs, Zn, Se, and vitamins A and E were not found to be associated with the observed clutch viability defects. The thiamine levels in the eggs explained 38% of the variation in clutch survival in the case-control cohort study and 27% in the expanded field study. The topical egg treatment experiments were successful in elevating the thiamine concentrations in the albumin but not the yolk. No significant differences were noted among treatment groups in either egg treatment experiment with respect to clutch survival. In summary, thiamine egg concentrations explain some of the variation in the clutch viability of free-ranging alligators, but the cause-effect relationships are still unclear. PMID

  5. WILDLIFE - ALLIGATOR NAMED KASEY LIVES IN POND IN FRONT OF HEADQUARTERS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    A big, toothy saurian grin is flashed by this alligator in the pond in front of the KSC Headquarters Building. And wy not? After years of namelessness, he [or she] has a name. The 'gator was dubbed Kasey following a ''Name the Gator'' contest in which scores of Spaceport employees submitted name suggestions. Kasey is one of two 'gators placed in the pond in an attempt to restore its natural ecology.

  6. Microsatellite DNA analyses support an east-west phylogeographic split of American alligator populations.

    PubMed

    Davis, Lisa M; Glenn, Travis C; Strickland, Denise C; Guillette, Louis J; Elsey, Ruth M; Rhodes, Walter E; Dessauer, Herbert C; Sawyer, Roger H

    2002-12-15

    We examined the population genetic structure of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) sampled from 12 localities across the southeastern United States. The primary goal of this study was to determine the extent of population differentiation among alligators from four Florida lakes using eight microsatellite loci and compare the results to additional sites located at varying distances from them. Analyses of population structure revealed little differentiation (F(ST)=0.039; Rho=0.012) among the four Florida lakes, Apopka, Griffin, Orange and Woodruff, which are all located in the St. John&'s River watershed in north-central Florida. Further, there was little differentiation among these samples and samples collected from the Everglades National Park (F(ST)=0.044; Rho=0.009) and south Georgia (F(ST)=0.045; Rho=0.032). Therefore, these six samples were pooled together as a "FL/sGA group." Similarly, samples collected in the western extent of the range, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and Salvador Wildlife Management Area, Marsh Island Wildlife Refuge and Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana, also lacked population structure (F(ST)=0.024; R(ST)=0.040). These four populations were pooled into the "TX/LA group." Comparisons of these two groups with samples taken from the Santee Coastal Reserve in South Carolina and Mobile, Alabama yielded three to four times more differentiation among groups (F(ST)=0.131; Rho=0.187). These and other analyses support the hypothesis of an east-west phylogeographic split in American alligator populations and are consistent with studies of many freshwater fish and aquatic and terrestrial turtles distributed throughout this same geographic region. PMID:12461815

  7. Biosorption of As(V) onto dried alligator weed root: role of metal (hydro) oxides.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jian; Tao, Weihua; Sun, Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The present work investigates the adsorption of As(V) onto the dried powder of alligator weed root as bio-sorbent, using acid pre-treated alligator weed root powder as the reference. The isotherm study suggested there is a favorable As(V) adsorption happened on the AWR surface. The batch adsorption experimental results indicated that the ionic strength has little impact on the adsorption, while the solution pH has a significant effect on the adsorption with apparent inhibition appearing in both extreme acidic and alkaline pH region. In addition, the properties of the biosorbent were characterized by various techniques including SEM-EDS, FT-IR, and ICP detection. The analysis results suggested that the metals including Mn, Fe, and Al enrich over the alligator weed root surface in the morphology of metal (hydro) oxide. Based on the nature of the biosorbent and As(V) besides the adsorption performance, the metal (hydro) oxides over biosorbent surface is suggested as the essential role to drive the adsorption. With the metal (hydro) oxides denuded in the pre-treatment, the biosorbent loses its adsorption capability for As(V) totally. PMID:26458188

  8. Analysis of the landsat remote sensing images of the types of habitats of Yangtze alligators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Zhujian; Lin, Hengzhang; Zhang, Shengkai

    1986-12-01

    The Chinese “Yangtze” alligator is a rare reptile that has been listed as an “endangered species” by the United Nations, so its preservation has become an urgent task. A study of its habitats through analysis of their Landsat images will provide a scientific basis for the government departments concerned to select the best locations for its breeding. The Chinese alligator is a subtropical reptile of freshwater rivers, lakes and ponds. Found only in China, it is now distributed only in the border region between the three provinces of Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu. On the basis of previous investigations by Chinese scientists, and from an analysis and interpretation of their Landsat images, we made a special study, review, and classification of the natural environment of the alligator’s present habitats (and the modern changes in the natural background of these hatitats) so that the government departments concerned with the preservation of the reptiles may have a scientific basis for determining the best locations for the breeding and propagation of the alligator.

  9. Hepatic and renal trace element concentrations in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) following chronic dietary exposure to coal fly ash contaminated prey.

    PubMed

    Tuberville, Tracey D; Scott, David E; Metts, Brian S; Finger, John W; Hamilton, Matthew T

    2016-07-01

    Little is known about the propensity of crocodilians to bioaccumulate trace elements as a result of chronic dietary exposure. We exposed 36 juvenile alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to one of four dietary treatments that varied in the relative frequency of meals containing prey from coal combustion waste (CCW)-contaminated habitats vs. prey from uncontaminated sites, and evaluated tissue residues and growth rates after 12 mo and 25 mo of exposure. Hepatic and renal concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and selenium (Se) varied significantly among dietary treatment groups in a dose-dependent manner and were higher in kidneys than in livers. Exposure period did not affect Se or As levels but Cd levels were significantly higher after 25 mo than 12 mo of exposure. Kidney As and Se levels were negatively correlated with body size but neither growth rates nor body condition varied significantly among dietary treatment groups. Our study is among the first to experimentally examine bioaccumulation of trace element contaminants in crocodilians as a result of chronic dietary exposure. A combination of field surveys and laboratory experiments will be required to understand the effects of different exposure scenarios on tissue residues, and ultimately link these concentrations with effects on individual health. PMID:27149145

  10. Laser ablation ICP-MS analysis of the radial distribution of lead in the femur of Alligator mississippiensis.

    PubMed

    Seltzer, Michael D; Lance, Valentine A; Elsey, Ruth M

    2006-06-15

    A laser ablation ICP-MS technique has been used to examine the radial distribution of lead in transverse sections of alligator femur. Annual bone growth in the femur results in the deposition of incremental layers of calcified tissue at the periphery of existing bone. Patterns of lead concentration within these layers provide a record of time-dependent accumulation from which exposure history can potentially be deduced. Femur specimens obtained from captive-reared alligators exhibited levels of lead accumulation that were entirely consistent with previously documented clinical signs of lead intoxication. In contrast, femurs obtained from wild alligators contained only minor amounts of lead that were likely accumulated as a result of incidental exposure. PMID:15982720

  11. Plasma steroid concentrations and male phallus size in juvenile alligators from seven Florida lakes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guillette, L.J., Jr.; Woodward, A.R.; Crain, D.A.; Pickford, D.B.; Rooney, A.A.; Percival, H.F.

    1999-01-01

    Neonatal and juvenile alligators from contaminated Lake Apopka in central Florida exhibit abnormal plasma sex steroid concentrations as well as morphological abnormalities of the gonad and phallus. This study addresses whether similar abnormalities occur in juvenile alligators inhabiting six other lakes in Florida. For analysis, animals were partitioned into two subsets, animals 40-79 cm total length (1-3 years old) and juveniles 80-130 cm total length (3-7 years old). Plasma testosterone (T) concentrations were lower in small males from lakes Apopka, Griffin, and Jessup than from Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Similar differences were observed in the larger juveniles, with males from lakes Jessup, Apopka, and Okeechobee having lower plasma T concentrations than Lake Woodruff males. Plasma estradiol-17?? (E2) concentrations were significantly elevated in larger juvenile males from Lake Apopka compared to Lake Woodruff NWR. When compared to small juvenile females from Lake Woodruff NWR, females from lakes Griffin, Apopka, Orange, and Okeechobee had elevated plasma E2 concentrations. Phallus size was significantly smaller in males from lakes Griffin and Apopka when compared to males from Lake Woodruff NWR. An association existed between body size and phallus size on all lakes except Lake Apopka and between phallus size and plasma T concentration on all lakes except lakes Apopka and Orange. Multiple regression analysis, with body size and plasma T concentration as independent covariables, explained the majority of the variation in phallus size on all lakes. These data suggest that the differences in sex steroids and phallus size observed in alligators from Lake Apopka are not limited to that lake, nor to one with a history of a major pesticide spill. Further work examining the relationship of sex steroids and phallus size with specific biotic and abiotic factors, such as antiandrogenic or estrogenic contaminants, is needed.

  12. DIFFERENCES IN SENSITIVITY BUT NOT SELECTIVITY OF XENOESTROGEN BINDING TO ALLIGATOR VERSUS HUMAN ESTROGEN RECEPTOR ALPHA

    PubMed Central

    Rider, Cynthia V.; Hartig, Phillip C.; Cardon, Mary C.; Lambright, Christy R.; Bobseine, Kathy L.; Guillette, Louis J.; Gray, L. Earl; Wilson, Vickie S.

    2010-01-01

    Reproductive abnormalities in alligators exposed to contaminants in Lake Apopka, Florida, USA represent a clear example of endocrine disruption in wildlife. Several of these contaminants that are not able to bind to mammalian estrogen receptors (such as atrazine and cyanazine) have previously been reported to bind to the alligator estrogen receptor from oviductal tissue. Binding of known Lake Apopka contaminants to full length estrogen receptors alpha from human (hERα) and alligator (aERα) was assessed in a side-by-side comparison within the same assay system. Baculovirus-expressed recombinant hERα and aERα were used in a competitive binding assay. Atrazine and cyanazine were not able to bind to either receptor. p,p′-Dicofol was able to bind to aERα with a concentration inhibiting 50% of binding (IC50) of 4 μM, while only partially displacing 17β-estradiol (E2) from hERα and yielding a projected IC50 of 45 μM. Chemicals that only partially displaced E2 from either receptor, including some dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) metabolites and trans-nonachlor, appeared to have higher affinity for aERα than hERα. p,p′-Dicofol-mediated transcriptional activation through aERα and hERα was assessed to further explore the preferential binding of p,p′-dicofol to aERα over hERα. p,p′-Dicofol was able to stimulate transcriptional activation in a similar manner with both receptors. However, the in vitro results obtained with p,p′-dicofol were not reflected in an in vivo mammalian model, where Kelthane™ (mixed o,p′-and p,p′-dicofol isomers) did not elicit estrogenic effects. In conclusion, although there was no evidence of exclusively species-specific estrogen receptor binders, some xenoestrogens, especially p,p′-dicofol, had a higher affinity for aERα than for hERα. PMID:20821664

  13. Do egg-laying crocodilian (Alligator mississippiensis) archosaurs form medullary bone?

    PubMed

    Schweitzer, M H; Elsey, R M; Dacke, C G; Horner, J R; Lamm, E-T

    2007-04-01

    It is beyond question that Mesozoic dinosaurs, like Aves and Crocodylia, are archosaurs. However, within the archosaurian clade, the origin and distribution of some major features are less clear, particularly with respect to reproductive physiology. Medullary bone, a highly mineralized, bony reproductive tissue present in the endosteal cavities of all extant egg-laying birds thus far examined, has recently been reported in Tyrannosaurus rex. Its presence or absence in extant crocodilians, therefore, may shed light on the timing of its evolutionary appearance. If medullary bone is present in all three taxa, it arose before the three lineages diverged. However, if medullary bone arose after this divergence, it may be present in both extinct dinosaurs and birds, or in birds only. If present in extinct dinosaurs and birds, but not crocodilians, it would indicate that it arose in the common ancestor of this clade, thus adding support to the closer phylogenetic relationship of dinosaurs and birds relative to crocodilians. Thus, the question of whether the crocodilian Alligator mississippiensis forms medullary bone during the production of eggs has important evolutionary significance. Our examination of long bones from several alligators (two alligators with eggs in the oviducts, one that had produced eggs in the past but was not currently in reproductive phase, an immature female and an adult male) shows no differences on the endosteal surfaces of the long bones, and no evidence of medullary bone, supporting the hypothesis that medullary bone first evolved in the dinosaur-bird line, after the divergence of crocodilians from this lineage. PMID:17223615

  14. Physiological response of alligator gar juveniles (Atractosteus spatula) exposed to sub-lethal doses of pollutants.

    PubMed

    González, Carlos Aguilera; Cruz, Julio; Alfaro, Roberto Mendoza

    2015-08-01

    Alligator gar populations have declined because of overfishing, habitat loss and pollution. Over time, the exposure to different pollutants have affected these fishes as a consequence of their high trophic level, bottom-dwelling habits and long life span. In order to evaluate the physiological effects of pollutants on alligator gar, juveniles (6, 12 and 24 months) were exposed to sub-lethal doses of diazinon, β-naphthoflavone (BNF) and 17 β-estradiol (E2) by intraperitoneal injection. After 2 days of exposure, liver samples were taken to determine the activities of acetylcholinesterase, butyrylcholinesterase and carboxylesterase; alkaline and acid phosphatases (ALP and ACP); ethoxyresorufin o-deethylase (EROD); glutathione s-transferase (GST); superoxide dismutase (SOD), and vitellogenin (VTG) concentration. Two additional bioassays consisting on the exposure of compounds through water or food were performed and after 4 and 28 days, respectively, biomarkers were determined. All esterases were inhibited in organisms exposed to diazinon as well as in 6-months gar exposed to E2 and BNF. In contrast, ALP activity increased in gar exposed to diazinon and E2, while ACP activity did not show any variations. No EROD activity was registered after exposure to the different pollutants, despite being one of the most sensitive and common detoxification biomarkers used for fishes. GST activity reduction was detected when gar were exposed to E2 and BNF, while SOD activity increased after exposure to diazinon and E2. Finally, VTG levels were higher in animals exposed to E2 compared to other treatments. Overall, these results suggest that alligator gar juveniles have a low biotransformation metabolism and show that they are especially sensitive to those pollutants affecting the nervous system. PMID:25948055

  15. Environmental risk assessment of compost prepared from salvinia, egeria densa, and alligator weed.

    PubMed

    Dorahy, C G; Pirie, A D; McMaster, I; Muirhead, L; Pengelly, P; Chan, K Y; Jackson, M; Barchia, I M

    2009-01-01

    Approximately 70,000 m(3) of salvinia (Salvinia molesta) was removed from the Hawkesbury-Nepean River, New South Wales (NSW), Australia, during 2004. This study assessed the risks associated with applying compost prepared from aquatic weeds (AWC) to land, namely, survival and spread of aquatic and terrestrial weeds, eutrophication of waterways, accumulation of heavy metals and phytotoxicity. The results demonstrate composting is an effective method of reducing the viability of aquatic and terrestrial weeds. However, mortality of alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides), which was used as an indicator plant, was significantly (P < 0.001) correlated with the temperature within the windrows and the length of time the material was subjected to composting. Conditions within the central core of the windrow were sufficient to kill the alligator weed, although not all of the aquatic weed material was exposed to the windrows' central core. This resulted in alligator weed continuing to grow at the base of the windrow. To reduce the risk of weeds surviving and spreading in aquatic and terrestrial environments it is suggested compost windrows should be located on an appropriate hard pad to enable complete mixing of the material and ensure all material is exposed to temperatures >55 degrees C for greater than three consecutive days. The likelihood of other risks associated with the AWC was low. If composting is selected as the preferred method for managing organic material harvested from waterways, then ongoing monitoring and evaluation is required to validate the composting process and ensure consumer confidence in the final product. PMID:19465724

  16. Post-hatching development of mitochondrial function, organ mass and metabolic rate in two ectotherms, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina).

    PubMed

    Sirsat, Sarah K G; Sirsat, Tushar S; Price, Edwin R; Dzialowski, Edward M

    2016-01-01

    The ontogeny of endothermy in birds is associated with disproportionate growth of thermogenic organs and increased mitochondrial oxidative capacity. However, no similar study has been made of the development of these traits in ectotherms. For comparison, we therefore investigated the metabolism, growth and muscle mitochondrial function in hatchlings of a turtle and a crocodilian, two ectotherms that never develop endothermy. Metabolic rate did not increase substantially in either species by 30 days post-hatching. Yolk-free body mass and heart mass did not change through 30 days in alligators and heart mass was a constant proportion of body mass, even after 1 year. Yolk-free body mass and liver mass grew 36% and 27%, respectively, in turtles during the first 30 days post-hatch. The mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria, assessed using permeabilized muscle fibers, increased by a non-significant 47% in alligator thigh and a non-significant 50% in turtle thigh over 30 days, but did not increase in the heart. This developmental trajectory of mitochondrial function is slower and shallower than that previously observed in ducks, which demonstrate a 90% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity in thigh muscles over just a few days, a 60% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of the heart over a few days, and disproportionate growth of the heart and other organs. Our data thus support the hypothesis that these developmental changes in ducks represent mechanistic drivers for attaining endothermy. PMID:26962048

  17. Post-hatching development of mitochondrial function, organ mass and metabolic rate in two ectotherms, the American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and the common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

    PubMed Central

    Sirsat, Sarah K. G.; Sirsat, Tushar S.; Price, Edwin R.; Dzialowski, Edward M.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ontogeny of endothermy in birds is associated with disproportionate growth of thermogenic organs and increased mitochondrial oxidative capacity. However, no similar study has been made of the development of these traits in ectotherms. For comparison, we therefore investigated the metabolism, growth and muscle mitochondrial function in hatchlings of a turtle and a crocodilian, two ectotherms that never develop endothermy. Metabolic rate did not increase substantially in either species by 30 days post-hatching. Yolk-free body mass and heart mass did not change through 30 days in alligators and heart mass was a constant proportion of body mass, even after 1 year. Yolk-free body mass and liver mass grew 36% and 27%, respectively, in turtles during the first 30 days post-hatch. The mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of mitochondria, assessed using permeabilized muscle fibers, increased by a non-significant 47% in alligator thigh and a non-significant 50% in turtle thigh over 30 days, but did not increase in the heart. This developmental trajectory of mitochondrial function is slower and shallower than that previously observed in ducks, which demonstrate a 90% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity in thigh muscles over just a few days, a 60% increase in mass-specific oxidative phosphorylation capacity of the heart over a few days, and disproportionate growth of the heart and other organs. Our data thus support the hypothesis that these developmental changes in ducks represent mechanistic drivers for attaining endothermy. PMID:26962048

  18. Characterization of microsatellite DNA markers for the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii: Primer note

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hackler, J.C.; Van Den Bussche, Ronald A.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2007-01-01

    Two trinucleotide and seven tetranucleotide microsatellite loci were isolated from an alligator snapping turtle Macrochelys temminckii. To assess the degree of variability in these nine microsatellite loci, we genotyped 174 individuals collected from eight river drainage basins in the southeastern USA. These markers revealed a moderate degree of allelic diversity (six to 16 alleles per locus) and observed heterozygosity (0.166-0.686). These polymorphic microsatellite loci provide powerful tools for population genetic studies for a species that is afforded some level of conservation protection in every state in which it occurs. ?? 2006 The Authors.

  19. Urinary iodine and stable isotope analysis to examine habitat influences on thyroid hormones among coastal dwelling American alligators.

    PubMed

    Boggs, Ashley S P; Hamlin, Heather J; Nifong, James C; Kassim, Brittany L; Lowers, Russell H; Galligan, Thomas M; Long, Stephen E; Guillette, Louis J

    2016-01-15

    The American alligator, generally a freshwater species, is known to forage in marine environments despite the lack of a salt secreting gland found in other crocodylids. Estuarine and marine foraging could lead to increased dietary uptake of iodine, a nutrient necessary for the production of thyroid hormones. To explore the influence of dietary iodine on thyroid hormone health of coastal dwelling alligators, we described the seasonal plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay and urinary iodine (UI) concentrations measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. We also analyzed long-term dietary patterns through stable isotope analysis of scute tissue. Snout-to-vent length (SVL) was a significant factor among UI and stable isotope analyses. Large adult males greater than 135cm SVL had the highest UI concentrations but did not display seasonality of thyroid hormones. Alligators under 135 SVL exhibited seasonality in thyroid hormones and a positive relationship between UI and triiodothyronine concentrations. Isotopic signatures provided supporting evidence that large males predominantly feed on marine/estuarine prey whereas females showed reliance on freshwater/terrestrial prey supplemented by marine/estuarine prey. UI measurement provided immediate information that correlated to thyroid hormone concentrations whereas stable isotope analysis described long-term dietary patterns. Both techniques demonstrate that adult alligators in coastal environments are utilizing estuarine/marine habitats, which could alter thyroid hormone physiology. PMID:26684734

  20. The first fossil skull of Alligator sinensis from the Pleistocene, Taiwan, with a paleogeographic implication of the species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsi-yin, Shan; Yen-nien, Cheng; Xiao-chun, Wu

    2013-06-01

    A nearly complete fossil skull of Alligatoridae from the Pleistocene, Penghu Channel, east of Taiwan, is reported. It can be referred to the most latest clade of Alligatorinae, which includes Alligator sinensis, Alligator mississippiensis and Alligator mefferdi, on the basis of the following features: the splenial is excluded from the mandibular symphysis; the anterior tip of the splenial passes dorsal to the Meckelian groove; and the mandible is gently curved between the fourth alveoli and the mid dentary. It differs from A. mississippiensis and A. mefferdi mainly in the following characters: the breadth between the supratemporal fenestrae is approximately equal to the interorbital width, the snout is about half the length of the skull; and the anterior part of the snout is subtriangular in dorsal view. These features suggest that the Penghu alligator is most probably referable to A. sinensis. This is the only fossil skull of A. sinensis known. The discovery of the skull in Penghu Channel not only provides the first solid fossil evidence to indicate that the geological distribution of A. sinensis extended farther southeast than the historical/archeological range of the species but also adds new information on the biodiversity of the Penghu fauna.

  1. Slow isotope turnover rates and low discrimination values in the American alligator: implications for interpretation of ectotherm stable isotope data.

    PubMed

    Rosenblatt, Adam E; Heithaus, Michael R

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotope analysis has become a standard ecological tool for elucidating feeding relationships of organisms and determining food web structure and connectivity. There remain important questions concerning rates at which stable isotope values are incorporated into tissues (turnover rates) and the change in isotope value between a tissue and a food source (discrimination values). These gaps in our understanding necessitate experimental studies to adequately interpret field data. Tissue turnover rates and discrimination values vary among species and have been investigated in a broad array of taxa. However, little attention has been paid to ectothermic top predators in this regard. We quantified the turnover rates and discrimination values for three tissues (scutes, red blood cells, and plasma) in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis). Plasma turned over faster than scutes or red blood cells, but turnover rates of all three tissues were very slow in comparison to those in endothermic species. Alligator δ(15)N discrimination values were surprisingly low in comparison to those of other top predators and varied between experimental and control alligators. The variability of δ(15)N discrimination values highlights the difficulties in using δ(15)N to assign absolute and possibly even relative trophic levels in field studies. Our results suggest that interpreting stable isotope data based on parameter estimates from other species can be problematic and that large ectothermic tetrapod tissues may be characterized by unique stable isotope dynamics relative to species occupying lower trophic levels and endothermic tetrapods. PMID:23303328

  2. Potential impact of Dare County landfills on Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winger, P.V.; Lasier, P.J.; Augspurger, T.

    2005-01-01

    Runoff of leachate from East Lake and Dare County Construction and Demolition Debris landfills has the potential to impact wildlife resources at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Dare and Hyde Counties, North Carolina. Sediment quality of samples collected in August 2000 at 14 locations down-gradient from the landfills was assessed by measuring metal and organic contaminants in the sediments, chronic toxicity of solid-phase sediment (28-d static-renewal exposures; survival and growth as test endpoints) and acute toxicity of sediment porewater (96-h static exposures) to Hyalella azteca (Crustacea: Amphipoda). In addition, contaminant bioaccumulation from 4 sediments was determined using 28-d exposures of Lumbriculus variegatus (freshwater oligochaete). Although survival was not impaired, length of H. azteca was significantly reduced in sediments from 5 locations. Pore water from 4 locations was acutely toxic to H. azteca. Metals and a few polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were bioaccumulated by L. variegatus from the sediments. Several metals and PAHs exceeded sediment quality guidelines, and metals in porewater from several sites exceeded water quality criteria for the protection of aquatic wildlife. Runoff of leachate from the landfills has reduced sediment quality and has the potential to adversely affect wildlife resources at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

  3. Quantification of intraskeletal histovariability in Alligator mississippiensis and implications for vertebrate osteohistology

    PubMed Central

    Horner, John R.; Farlow, James O.

    2014-01-01

    Bone microanalyses of extant vertebrates provide a necessary framework from which to form hypotheses regarding the growth and skeletochronology of extinct taxa. Here, we describe the bone microstructure and quantify the histovariability of appendicular elements and osteoderms from three juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to assess growth mark and tissue organization within and amongst individuals, with the intention of validating paleohistological interpretations. Results confirm previous observations that lamellar and parallel fibered tissue organization are typical of crocodylians, and also that crocodylians are capable of forming woven tissue for brief periods. Tissue organization and growth mark count varies across individual skeletal elements and reveal that the femur, tibia, and humerus had the highest annual apposition rates in each individual. Cyclical growth mark count also varies intraskeletally, but data suggest these inconsistencies are due to differing medullary cavity expansion rates. There was no appreciable difference in either diaphyseal circumference or cyclical growth mark circumferences between left and right element pairs from an individual if diaphyses were sampled from roughly the same location. The considerable intraskeletal data obtained here provide validation for long-held paleohistology assumptions, but because medullary expansion, cyclical growth mark formation, and variable intraskeletal growth rates are skeletal features found in tetrapod taxa living or extinct, the validations presented herein should be considered during any tetrapod bone microanalysis. PMID:24949239

  4. Trigeminal nerve morphology in Alligator mississippiensis and its significance for crocodyliform facial sensation and evolution.

    PubMed

    George, Ian D; Holliday, Casey M

    2013-04-01

    Modern crocodylians possess a derived sense of face touch, in which numerous trigeminal nerve-innervated dome pressure receptors speckle the face and mandible and sense mechanical stimuli. However, the morphological features of this system are not well known, and it remains unclear how the trigeminal system changes during ontogeny and how it scales with other cranial structures. Finally, when this system evolved within crocodyliforms remains a mystery. Thus, new morphological insights into the trigeminal system of extant crocodylians may offer new paleontological tools to investigate this evolutionary transformation. A cross-sectional study integrating histological, morphometric, and 3D imaging analyses was conducted to identify patterns in cranial nervous and bony structures of Alligator mississippiensis. Nine individuals from a broad size range were CT-scanned followed by histomorphometric sampling of mandibular and maxillary nerve divisions of the trigeminal nerve. Endocast volume, trigeminal fossa volume, and maxillomandibular foramen size were compared with axon counts from proximal and distal regions of the trigeminal nerves to identify scaling properties of the structures. The trigeminal fossa has a significant positive correlation with skull length and endocast volume. We also found that axon density is greater in smaller alligators and total axon count has a significant negative correlation with skull size. Six additional extant and fossil crocodyliforms were included in a supplementary scaling analysis, which found that size was not an accurate predictor of trigeminal anatomy. This suggests that phylogeny or somatosensory adaptations may be responsible for the variation in trigeminal ganglion and nerve size in crocodyliforms. PMID:23408584

  5. Quantification of intraskeletal histovariability in Alligator mississippiensis and implications for vertebrate osteohistology.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Holly N; Horner, John R; Farlow, James O

    2014-01-01

    Bone microanalyses of extant vertebrates provide a necessary framework from which to form hypotheses regarding the growth and skeletochronology of extinct taxa. Here, we describe the bone microstructure and quantify the histovariability of appendicular elements and osteoderms from three juvenile American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) to assess growth mark and tissue organization within and amongst individuals, with the intention of validating paleohistological interpretations. Results confirm previous observations that lamellar and parallel fibered tissue organization are typical of crocodylians, and also that crocodylians are capable of forming woven tissue for brief periods. Tissue organization and growth mark count varies across individual skeletal elements and reveal that the femur, tibia, and humerus had the highest annual apposition rates in each individual. Cyclical growth mark count also varies intraskeletally, but data suggest these inconsistencies are due to differing medullary cavity expansion rates. There was no appreciable difference in either diaphyseal circumference or cyclical growth mark circumferences between left and right element pairs from an individual if diaphyses were sampled from roughly the same location. The considerable intraskeletal data obtained here provide validation for long-held paleohistology assumptions, but because medullary expansion, cyclical growth mark formation, and variable intraskeletal growth rates are skeletal features found in tetrapod taxa living or extinct, the validations presented herein should be considered during any tetrapod bone microanalysis. PMID:24949239

  6. Voltage oscillations and ionic conductances in hair cells isolated from the alligator cochlea.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, P A; Evans, M G

    1988-12-01

    Tall hair cells were isolated by enzymatic and mechanical dissociation from selected regions of the apical half of the alligator (A. mississippiensis) cochlea. Single cells were subjected to voltage-clamp and current-clamp using the tight-seal whole-cell recording technique. Most hair cells isolated from the apex of the cochlea produced slowly regenerative depolarizations or Na action potentials during current injection, whereas hair cells isolated from more basal regions usually produced voltage oscillations (ringing) in response to depolarizing current injection, an indication of electrical resonance. Resonant frequencies ranged from 50 to 157 Hz in different cells. The higher-frequency cells tended to have larger and more rapidly activating outward currents than did the lower-frequency cells. An inward Ca current and an outward Ca-activated K current were present in all hair cells. In addition, an inwardly rectifying current and a small, transient outward current were often seen. Thus, we conclude that an electrical tuning mechanism is present in alligator hair cells. The role of the ionic conductances in shaping hair cell responses to current injection, and the possible contributions of these electrical responses to cochlear function are discussed. PMID:3244125

  7. Three-dimensional skeletal kinematics of the shoulder girdle and forelimb in walking Alligator

    PubMed Central

    Baier, David B; Gatesy, Stephen M

    2013-01-01

    Crocodylians occupy a key phylogenetic position for investigations of archosaur locomotor evolution. Compared to the well-studied hindlimb, relatively little is known about the skeletal movements and mechanics of the forelimb. In this study, we employed manual markerless XROMM (X-ray Reconstruction Of Moving Morphology) to measure detailed 3-D kinematics of the shoulder girdle and forelimb bones of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) walking on a treadmill. Digital models of the interclavicle, scapulocoracoid, humerus, radius and ulna were created using a 3-D laser scanner. Models were articulated and aligned to simultaneously recorded frames of fluoroscopic and standard light video to reconstruct and measure joint motion. Joint coordinate systems were established for the coracosternal, glenohumeral and elbow joints. Our analysis revealed that the limb joints only account for about half of fore/aft limb excursion; the remaining excursion results from shoulder girdle movements and lateral bending of the vertebral column. Considerable motion of each scapulocoracoid relative to the vertebral column is consistent with coracosternal mobility. The hemisellar design of the glenohumeral joint permits some additional translation, or sliding in the fore-aft plane, but this movement does not have much of an effect on the distal excursion of the bone. PMID:24102540

  8. Histological organization and its relationship to function in the femur of Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Andrew H

    2004-01-01

    Histological analysis of a growth series of alligator femora tests the correlation between strain milieu and microstructure. From mid-diaphyseal cross-sections of these femora (n = 7), vascular canal orientation and density as well as collagen fibre organization were recorded. Throughout ontogeny, the proportion of transverse–spiral (TS) collagen in the dorsal cortex is significantly greater than it is in the ventral cortex (P = 0.008). This regional difference in the proportion of TS collagen is correlated with a regional difference in the state of peak principal strain (compressive or tensile). Nevertheless, the predominant orientation of collagen fibres is longitudinal, which is inconsistent with biomechanical hypotheses that involve peak principal or shear strains. Although the density and orientation of vascular canals do not show significant regional differences (P = 0.26 and P = 0.26, respectively), as with collagen orientation, the vascular canal orientation is predominantly longitudinal. The longitudinal organization of both the vascular canals and the collagen fibres is probably a consequence of longitudinal shifting of subperiosteal osteoid during femoral lengthening. When taken together, these data suggest that growth dynamics is the dominant influence on the histological organization of primary bony tissues in alligator femora. PMID:15032909

  9. In vivo bone strain and finite element modeling of the mandible of Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Porro, Laura B; Metzger, Keith A; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Ross, Callum F

    2013-01-01

    Forces experienced during feeding are thought to strongly influence the morphology of the vertebrate mandible; in vivo strain data are the most direct evidence for deformation of the mandible induced by these loading regimes. Although many studies have documented bone strains in the mammalian mandible, no information is available on strain magnitudes, orientations or patterns in the sauropsid lower jaw during feeding. Furthermore, strain gage experiments record the mechanical response of bone at a few locations, not across the entire mandible. In this paper, we present bone strain data recorded at various sites on the lower jaw of Alligator mississippiensis during in vivo feeding experiments. These data are used to understand how changes in loading regime associated with changes in bite location are related to changes in strain regime on the working and balancing sides of the mandible. Our results suggest that the working side mandible is bent dorsoventrally and twisted about its long-axis during biting, and the balancing side experiences primarily dorsoventral bending. Strain orientations are more variable on the working side than on the balancing side with changes in bite point and between experiments; the balancing side exhibits higher strain magnitudes. In the second part of this paper, we use principal strain orientations and magnitudes recorded in vivo to evaluate a finite element model of the alligator mandible. Our comparison demonstrates that strain orientations and mandibular deformation predicted by the model closely match in vivo results; however, absolute strain magnitudes are lower in the finite element model. PMID:23855772

  10. Study of red-sore disease in alligators. Final report, September 1, 1976-September 3, 1980. [Predisposing factors

    SciTech Connect

    Gorden, R.E.; Esch, G.W.

    1980-01-01

    Necropsies of eight alligators which died following capture within a thermally-altered reservoir demonstrated the presence of the gram negative, pathogenic bacterium Aeromonas hydrophila, in internal tissues. A study designed to demonstrate whether A. hydrophila were capable of causing infection and death of the ecologically threatened alligator and, if so, the mechanism of exposure and infection in natural habitats was undertaken. The pathology and response to infection were also studied. When juvenile alligators were exposed under experimental conditions to increasing concentrations of A. hydrophila in water, by oral inoculation, or by intramuscular injections at 20/sup 0/, 25/sup 0/, 30/sup 0/, and 35/sup 0/C, they developed external lesions. These lesions were likely to become severe and lead to death of the animal at 30 and 35/sup 0/C. Infected animals produced: (a) increased numbers of white blood cells; (b) increased specific antibody titer; and (c) alpha 2 peaks higher than albumen peaks (except at 35/sup 0/C). Biweekly intraperitoneal injections of live, washed A. hydrophila were apparently more effective in the prevention of infection and of external lesions than were the antibiotics Kanamycin and OTH-Puramycin. Topical applications of Neosporin ointment resulted in the healing of severe lesions on confined animals. Alligators which were shown to be exposed to A. hydrophila in their natural habitats showed no external evidence of infection by the bacteria. It is recommended that exposure to conditions of stress, including water temperatures greater than 30/sup 0/C, be kept to a minimum during the capture, transport, and captivity of alligators. (ERB)

  11. EFFECT OF ACUTE STRESS ON PLASMA CONCENTRATIONS OF SEX AND STRESS HORMONES IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS LIVING IN CONTROL AND CONTAMINATED LAKES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental contaminants can act as stressors, inducing elevated circulating concentrations of stress hormones such as corticosterone and cortisol. Development in contaminated eggs has been reported to modify circulating sex steroid hormone concentrations in alligators (Alligat...

  12. THE FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL OBSERVATIONS OF THE NEONATAL REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM OF ALLIGATORS EXPOSED IN OVO TO ATRAZINE, 2,4-D, OR ESTRADIOL.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wild alligators exposed to persistent organochlorine contaminants, municipal waste compounds, and contemporary-use herbicides exhibit reproductive alterations that are thought to be caused by endocrine disruption. This study tests the hypothesis that these alterations, at least i...

  13. Guidelines for choosing molecular "alligator clip" binding motifs in electron transport devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reuter, Matthew G.; Seideman, Tamar; Ratner, Mark A.

    2011-04-01

    We employ a one-electron, tight-binding model of an electrode-molecule-electrode junction to explore the fundamental relationship between adsorption geometry and electron transport, producing exact results (within this model). By varying the chemisorption location (e.g., atop a surface atom or in a hollow site between surface atoms) and the molecule-electrode coupling, we find that the largest currents are realized when the molecule (i) is highly coordinated by the surface and (ii) has favorable overlap with electrode states near the Fermi level. We also show the importance of electrode-induced molecular level shifting for certain adsorption geometries, which can cause molecular levels far from the Fermi level to conduct better than those near the Fermi level. Since all of these factors are greatly influenced by the chemical moiety used to link the molecule to an electrode, these results present a set of guidelines to help choose "alligator clips" for molecular electronic devices.

  14. Evolution of corticosteroid specificity for human, chicken, alligator and frog glucocorticoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Katsu, Yoshinao; Kohno, Satomi; Oka, Kaori; Baker, Michael E

    2016-09-01

    We investigated the evolution of the response of human, chicken, alligator and frog glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) to dexamethasone, cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone, 11-deoxycorticosterone, 11-deoxycortisol and aldosterone. We find significant differences among these vertebrates in the transcriptional activation of their full length GRs by these steroids, indicating that there were changes in the specificity of the GR for steroids during the evolution of terrestrial vertebrates. To begin to study the role of interactions between different domains on the GR in steroid sensitivity and specificity for terrestrial GRs, we investigated transcriptional activation of truncated GRs containing their hinge domain and ligand binding domain (LBD) fused to a GAL4 DNA binding domain (GAL4-DBD). Compared to corresponding full length GRs, transcriptional activation of GAL4-DBD_GR-hinge/LBD constructs required higher steroid concentrations and displayed altered steroid specificity, indicating that interactions between the hinge/LBD and other domains are important in glucocorticoid activation of these terrestrial GRs. PMID:27317937

  15. ALLIGATOR - An apparatus for ion beam assisted deposition with a broad-beam ion source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wituschek, H.; Barth, M.; Ensinger, W.; Frech, G.; Rück, D. M.; Leible, K. D.; Wolf, G. K.

    1992-04-01

    Ion beam assisted deposition is a versatile technique for preparing thin films and coatings for various applications. Up to now a prototype setup for research purposes has been used in our laboratory. Processing of industrial standard workpieces requires a high current ion source with broad beam and high uniformity for homogeneous bombardment. In this contribution a new apparatus for large area samples will be described. It is named ALLIGATOR (German acronym of facility for ion assisted evaporation on transverse movable or rotary targets). In order to have a wide energy range available two ion sources are used. One delivers a beam energy up to 1.3 keV. The other is suitable for energies from 5 keV up to 40 keV. The ``high-energy'' ion source is a multicusp multiaperture source with 180-mA total current and a beam diameter of 280 mm at the target position.

  16. Ontogeny of the Middle-Ear Air-Sinus System in Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria: Crocodylia)

    PubMed Central

    Dufeau, David L.; Witmer, Lawrence M.

    2015-01-01

    Modern crocodylians, including Alligator mississippiensis, have a greatly elaborated system of pneumatic sinuses invading the cranium. These sinuses invade nearly all the bones of the chondrocranium and several bony elements of the splanchnocranium, but patterns of postnatal paratympanic sinus development are poorly understood and documented. Much of crocodylomorph—indeed archosaurian—evolution is characterized by the evolution of various paratympanic air sinuses, the homologies of which are poorly understood due in large part to the fact that individual sinuses tend to become confluent in adults, obscuring underlying patterns. This study seeks to explore the ontogeny of these sinuses primarily to clarify the anatomical relations of the individual sinuses before they become confluent and thus to provide the foundation for later studies testing hypotheses of homology across extant and extinct Archosauria. Ontogeny was assessed using computed tomography in a sample of 13 specimens covering an almost 19-fold increase in head size. The paratympanic sinus system comprises two major inflations of evaginated pharyngeal epithelium: the pharyngotympanic sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the lateral (true) Eustachian tubes and forms the cavum tympanicum proprium, and the median pharyngeal sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the median pharyngeal tube. Each of these primary inflations gives rise to a number of secondary inflations that further invade the bones of the skull. The primary sinuses and secondary diverticula are well developed in perinatal individuals of Alligator, but during ontogeny the number and relative volumes of the secondary diverticula are reduced. In addition to describing the morphological ontogeny of this sinus system, we provide some preliminary exploratory analyses of sinus function and allometry, rejecting the hypothesis that changes in the volume of the paratympanic sinuses are simply an allometric function of braincase

  17. Functional specialization and ontogenetic scaling of limb anatomy in Alligator mississippiensis

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Vivian; Elsey, Ruth M; Jones, Nicola; Wright, Jordon; Hutchinson, John R

    2010-01-01

    Crocodylians exhibit a fascinating diversity of terrestrial gaits and limb motions that remain poorly described and are of great importance to understanding their natural history and evolution. Their musculoskeletal anatomy is pivotal to this diversity and yet only qualitative studies of muscle-tendon unit anatomy exist. The relative masses and internal architecture (fascicle lengths and physiological cross-sectional areas) of muscles of the pectoral and pelvic limbs of American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis Daudin 1801) were recorded for an ontogenetic series of wild specimens (n = 15, body masses from 0.5 to 60 kg). The data were analysed by reduced major axis regression to determine scaling relationships with body mass. Physiological cross-sectional areas and therefore muscle force-generating capacity were found to be greater in the extensor (anti-gravity) muscles of the pelvic limb than in the pectoral limb, reflecting how crocodylians differ from mammals in having greater loading of the hindlimbs than the forelimbs. Muscle masses and architecture were generally found to scale isometrically with body mass, suggesting an ontogenetic decrease in terrestrial athleticism. This concurs with the findings of previous studies showing ontogenetic decreases in limb bone length and the general scaling principle of a decline of strength : weight ratios with increasing size in animals. Exceptions to isometric scaling found included positive allometry in fascicle length for extensor musculature of both limbs, suggesting an ontogenetic increase in working range interpreted as increasing postural variability – in particular the major hip extensors – the interpretation of which is complicated by previous described ontogenetic increase of moment arms for these muscles. PMID:20148991

  18. Ontogeny of the Middle-Ear Air-Sinus System in Alligator mississippiensis (Archosauria: Crocodylia).

    PubMed

    Dufeau, David L; Witmer, Lawrence M

    2015-01-01

    Modern crocodylians, including Alligator mississippiensis, have a greatly elaborated system of pneumatic sinuses invading the cranium. These sinuses invade nearly all the bones of the chondrocranium and several bony elements of the splanchnocranium, but patterns of postnatal paratympanic sinus development are poorly understood and documented. Much of crocodylomorph--indeed archosaurian--evolution is characterized by the evolution of various paratympanic air sinuses, the homologies of which are poorly understood due in large part to the fact that individual sinuses tend to become confluent in adults, obscuring underlying patterns. This study seeks to explore the ontogeny of these sinuses primarily to clarify the anatomical relations of the individual sinuses before they become confluent and thus to provide the foundation for later studies testing hypotheses of homology across extant and extinct Archosauria. Ontogeny was assessed using computed tomography in a sample of 13 specimens covering an almost 19-fold increase in head size. The paratympanic sinus system comprises two major inflations of evaginated pharyngeal epithelium: the pharyngotympanic sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the lateral (true) Eustachian tubes and forms the cavum tympanicum proprium, and the median pharyngeal sinus, which communicates with the pharynx via the median pharyngeal tube. Each of these primary inflations gives rise to a number of secondary inflations that further invade the bones of the skull. The primary sinuses and secondary diverticula are well developed in perinatal individuals of Alligator, but during ontogeny the number and relative volumes of the secondary diverticula are reduced. In addition to describing the morphological ontogeny of this sinus system, we provide some preliminary exploratory analyses of sinus function and allometry, rejecting the hypothesis that changes in the volume of the paratympanic sinuses are simply an allometric function of braincase

  19. Nuclear β-catenin localization supports homology of feathers, avian scutate scales, and alligator scales in early development.

    PubMed

    Musser, Jacob M; Wagner, Günter P; Prum, Richard O

    2015-01-01

    Feathers are an evolutionary novelty found in all extant birds. Despite recent progress investigating feather development and a revolution in dinosaur paleontology, the relationship of feathers to other amniote skin appendages, particularly reptile scales, remains unclear. Disagreement arises primarily from the observation that feathers and avian scutate scales exhibit an anatomical placode-defined as an epidermal thickening-in early development, whereas alligator and other avian scales do not. To investigate the homology of feathers and archosaur scales we examined patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization during early development of feathers and different bird and alligator scales. In birds, nuclear β-catenin is first localized to the feather placode, and then exhibits a dynamic pattern of localization in both epidermis and dermis of the feather bud. We found that asymmetric avian scutate scales and alligator scales share similar patterns of nuclear β-catenin localization with feathers. This supports the hypothesis that feathers, scutate scales, and alligator scales are homologous during early developmental stages, and are derived from early developmental stages of an asymmetric scale present in the archosaur ancestor. Furthermore, given that the earliest stage of β-catenin localization in feathers and archosaur scales is also found in placodes of several mammalian skin appendages, including hair and mammary glands, we hypothesize that a common skin appendage placode originated in the common ancestor of all amniotes. We suggest a skin placode should not be defined by anatomical features, but as a local, organized molecular signaling center from which an epidermal appendage develops. PMID:25963196

  20. Necropsy findings in American alligator late-stage embryos and hatchlings from northcentral Florida lakes contaminated with organochlorine pesticides

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, M.S.; Del, Piero F.; Wiebe, J.J.; Rauschenberger, H.R.; Gross, T.S.

    2006-01-01

    Increased American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) embryo and neonatal mortality has been reported from several northcentral Florida lakes contaminated with old-use organochlorine pesticides (OCPs). However, a clear relationship among these contaminants and egg viability has not been established, suggesting the involvement of additional factors in these mortalities. Thus, the main objective of this study was to determine the ultimate cause of mortality of American alligator late-stage embryos and hatchlings through the conduction of detailed pathological examinations, and to evaluate better the role of OCPs in these mortalities. Between 2000 and 2001, 236 dead alligators were necropsied at or near hatching (after ???65 days of artificial incubation and up to 1 mo of age posthatch). Dead animals were collected from 18 clutches ranging in viability from 0% to 95%. Total OCP concentrations in yolk ranged from ???100 to 52,000 ??g/kg, wet weight. The most common gross findings were generalized edema (34%) and organ hyperemia (29%), followed by severe emaciation (14%) and gross deformities (3%). Histopathologic examination revealed lesions in 35% of the animals, with over half of the cases being pneumonia, pulmonary edema, and atelectasis. Within and across clutches, dead embryos and hatchlings compared with their live cohorts were significantly smaller and lighter. Although alterations in growth and development were not related to yolk OCPs, there was an increase in prevalence of histologic lesions in clutches with high OCPs. Overall, these results indicate that general growth retardation and respiratory abnormalities were a major contributing factor in observed mortalities and that contaminants may increase the susceptibility of animals to developing certain pathologic conditions. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2006.

  1. Predicting maternal body burdens of organochlorine pesticides from eggs and evidence of maternal transfer in Alligator mississippiensis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rauschenberger, R.H.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Wiebe, J.J.; Szabo, N.J.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Few data exist regarding maternal-embryonal transfer of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in reptiles. The objective of the present study was to evaluate maternal transfer of OCPs in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) from low-, intermediate-, and high-OCP-exposure sites. Overall, total OCP burdens ranged from less than 0.8 ppb in blood to more than 44,000 ppb in abdominal adipose tissue (wet wt concentrations). Lipid-adjusted ratios of maternal adipose burdens (total OCPs) to yolk burdens were close to one (0.94 ?? 0.31:1), suggesting that animals were in steady state and that OCPs in eggs originated from adipose lipids. In contrast, lipid-adjusted muscle and liver OCP burdens were greater than yolk OCP burdens, suggesting that lipids in muscle were not utilized during oogenesis and that nonlipid liver tissue sequesters OCPs. Predictive equations were derived for several tissues and several OCP analytes with r2 values ranging from 0.40 to 0.99 (p < 0.05). We suggest that yolk burdens are predictive of maternal tissue burdens for certain tissues and OCPs and that certain OCPs are maternally transferred in the American alligator. Furthermore, we suggest that future studies should investigate the applicability of these predictive equations for assessing maternal exposure in other crocodilian species.

  2. Cadmium and lead residues in field-collected red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and uptake by alligator weed, Alternanthera philoxiroides

    SciTech Connect

    Naqvi, S.M.; Howell, R.D.; Sholas, M. . Dept. of Biological Sciences and Health Research Center)

    1993-01-01

    The whole-body residues of Cd and Pb in the tissues of Louisiana swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) were determined by flame AAS technique. Test animals were collected from roadside ditches alongside major highways. The water and soil samples were also collected from the same sites. The mean Cd and Pb concentrations in crayfish tissues were 0.46 and 0.07, respectively. The levels of Cd and Pb in the water were 0.09 and 0.04; and in soil were 2.85 and 0.87 mg/1, respectively. The concentration of cadmium was 32 and Pb 12 times more than in the water. The bioaccumulation factors (BF) for Cd and Pb in crayfish tissues were 5.1 and 1.7, respectively. Alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxiroides) plants were exposed to 0.5 mg/1 Cd-chloride or Pb-nitrate solutions for 3 wk period, thrice. The mean Pb accumulation in roots was 1.31 mg/1, followed by stem (0.078 mg/1), but Cd only accumulated in root (0.83 mg/1). The BF for Pb and Cd in plant tissues were 14.8 and 16.6, respectively. The uptake of metals was time-dependent. These data suggest that although there is no biomagnification of Cd and Pb from alligator weed to crayfish, both metals readily accumulate in field-collected crayfish and laboratory-exposed alligator weed.

  3. Interaction of environmental chemicals with the estrogen and progesterone receptors from the oviduct of the American alligator.

    PubMed Central

    Vonier, P M; Crain, D A; McLachlan, J A; Guillette, L J; Arnold, S F

    1996-01-01

    Reports of reproductive abnormalities in the American alligator from Lake Apopka, Florida, have been linked to a spill of DDT and other pesticides suspected of having hormonelike activity. To determine whether environmental chemicals had the potential to function as exogenous hormones in the American alligator, we examined the ability of chemicals to bind the estrogen receptor (aER) and progesterone receptor (aPR) in a protein extract prepared from the oviduct of the alligator. In competition binding assays with [3H]17 beta-estradiol, some DDT metabolites showed inhibition of [3H]17 beta-estradiol binding to aER. A combination of DDTs demonstrated an additive decrease in [3H]17 beta-estradiol binding to aER. Modern-use chemicals such as alachlor, trans-nonachlor, endosulfan, and atrazine also competed with [3H]17 beta-estradiol for binding to the aER. To test the effect of chemicals identified in alligator eggs from Lake Apopka on [3H]17 beta-estradiol binding, we mixed these chemicals at concentrations measured in eggs in the competition binding assay. 2,2-bis(4-chlorophenyl)-N-(methoxymethyl)acetamide (p,p'-DDD) and trans-nonachlor, both found in Lake Apopka, interacted with aER, whereas others such as chlordane and toxaphene did not. Surprisingly, combinations of these chemicals decreased [3H]17 beta-estradiol binding in a greater than additive manner. To assess the ability of chemicals to interact with aPR, we performed commpetition binding assays with the synthetic progestin [3H]R5020. Most of the chemicals tested did not reduce [3H]R5020 binding to aPR, whereas endosulfan, alachlor, and kepone inhibited binding. These results provide the first evidence that environmental chemicals bind the aER and aPR from the American alligator, supporting the hypothesis that the reported reproductive abnormalities may be related to the modulation of endocrine-related responses. The findings that combinations of chemicals demonstrated a greater than additive interaction with

  4. The orientation and navigation of juvenile alligators: evidence of magnetic sensitivity

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rodda, Gordon H.

    1984-01-01

    Displaced juvenile alligators, Alligator mississipiensis, were released on land in a 9 m diameter dodecagonal arena to test their ability to orient in the absence of terrestrial landmarks. Navigational ability seemed to improve with age. When displaced along a fairly direct route yearlings (age 7–14 months) compensated for their displacement, moving in the direction from the arena to their home sites. When displaced by a circuitous route, yearlings failed to compensate for their displacement, exhibiting instead simple compass orientation in a direction that would have returned them to water had they been released on land near the site where they were captured. The older juveniles were oriented in a homeward direction under all displacement and test conditions. The latter animals may have been using geomagnetic map information to select their homeward directions as the errors in their homeward bearings correlated with small deviations in the geomagnetic field's dip angle at the time of the test (1980r s=−0.6047,P=0.0131, all testsr s= −0.4652,P=0.0084). This effect appeared to depend on a very short-term assessment of geomagnetic conditions, as values measured 20 min before or 30 min after the tests began did not correlate with the directions the animals moved. The older juveniles appeared to use magnetically quiet hours on the night of their capture as the baseline from which to measure the geomagnetic deviations that occurred at the time of the arena test. The magnitude of the magnetic effect in the older animals suggests that the geomagnetic information may have been used to perform a ‘map’ step, as small fluctuations in dip angle correlated with much larger deviations in homeward bearings. In addition, the compass-oriented yearlings and the seemingly route-based behavior of the homeward-oriented yearlings did not appear to be influenced by geomagnetic conditions. These findings have many parallels in results obtained from bird orientation studies

  5. Primary alkaline magmas associated with the Quaternary Alligator Lake volcanic complex, Yukon Territory, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eiché, G. E.; Francis, D. M.; Ludden, J. N.

    1987-02-01

    The Alligator Lake complex is a Quaternary alkaline volcanic center located in the southern Yukon Territory of Canada. It comprises two cinder cones which cap a shield consisting of five distinct lava units of basaltic composition. Units 2 and 3 of this shield are primitive olivine-phyric lavas (13.5 19.5 cation % Mg) which host abundant spinel lherzolite xenoliths, megacrysts, and granitoid fragments. Although the two lava types have erupted coevally from adjacent vents and are petrographically similar, they are chemically distinct. Unit 2 lavas have considerably higher abundances of LREE, LILE, and Fe, but lower HREE, Y, Ca, Si, and Al relative to unit 3 lavas. The 87Sr/86Sr and 143Nd/144Nd isotopic ratios of these two units are, however, indistinguishable. The differences between these two lava types cannot be explained in terms of low pressure olivine fractionation, and the low concentrations of Sr, Nb, P, and Ti in the granitoid xenoliths relative to the primitive lavas discounts differential crustal contamination. The abundance of spinel lherzolite xenoliths and the high Mg contents in the lavas of both units indicates that their compositional differences originated in the upper mantle. The Al and Si systematics of these lavas suggests that, compared to unit 3 magmas, the unit 2 magmas may have segregated at greater depths from a garnet lherzolite mantle. The identical isotopic composition and similar ratios of highly incompatible elements in these two lava units argues against their differences being a consequence of random metasomatism or mantle heterogeneity. The lower Y and HREE contents but higher concentrations of incompatible elements in the unit 2 lavas relative to unit 3 can be most simply explained by differential partial melting of similar garnet-bearing sources. The unit 2 magmas thus appear to have been generated by smaller degrees of melting at a greater depth than the unit 3 magmas. The contemporaneous eruption of two distinct but

  6. Microhabitat use, home range, and movements of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, in Oklahoma

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riedle, J.D.; Shipman, P.A.; Fox, S. F.; Leslie, David M., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Little is known about the ecology of the alligator snapping turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, particularly dentography and behavior. To learn more about the species in Oklahoma, we conducted a telemetry project on 2 small streams at Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge, an 8,417.5-ha refuge located in east-central Oklahoma. Between June 1999 and August 2000, we fitted 19 M. temminckii with ultrasonic telemetry tags and studied turtle movements and microhahitat use. Turtles were checked 2 to 3 times weekly in summer and sporadically in winter. Several microhabitat variables were measured at each turtle location and a random location to help quantify microhabitat use vs. availability. We recorded 147 turtle locations. Turtles were always associated with submerged cover with a high percentage of overhead canopy cover. Turtles used deeper depths in late summer (but not deeper depths than random locations) and deeper depths in mid-winter (and deeper depths than random locations) than in early summer. They used shallower depths than random locations in early summer. This seasonal shift in depth use might be thermoregulatory, although evidence for this is indirect. The mean linear home range for all turtles was 777.8 m. Females had larger home ranges than males, and juveniles had larger home ranges than adults, although the latter was not statistically significant. Macrochelys temminckii used submerged structures as a core site, and stayed at each core site for an average of 12.3 d.

  7. Formation and regression of the corpus luteum of the American alligator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Guillette, L.J.; Woodward, A.R.; You-Xiang, Q.; Cox, M.C.; Matter, J.H.; Gross, T.S.

    1995-01-01

    Luteal morphology of the American alligator is unique when compared to other reptiles but is similar to that of its phylogenetic relatives, the birds. The theca is extensively hypertrophied, but the granulosa never fills the cavity formed following the ovulation of the ovum. The formation of the corpus luteum (CL) is correlated with elevated plasma progesterone concentrations, which decline dramatically after oviposition with the onset of luteolysis. Unlike those of most other reptiles, the central luteal cell mass is composed of two cell types; one presumably is derived from the granulosa, whereas the other is from the theca interna. Both cell types are present throughout gravidity but only one cell type is seen during mid to late luteolysis. A significant decline in luteal volume occurs following oviposition and continues throughout the post-oviposition period. The fastest decline in luteal volume occurs in the month immediately after oviposition; this rate then slows. Luteolysis appears to continue for a year or more following oviposition, as distinct structures of luteal origin can still be identified in animals 9 months after oviposition. The size of persistent CL can be used to determine whether a given female oviposited during the previous nesting season. Females with CL having volumes greater than 0.2 cm2 or CL diameters greater than 0.4 cm were active the previous season. 

  8. Thermoluminescence and excess 226Ra decay dating of late Quaternary fluvial sands, East Alligator River, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murray, Andrew; Wohl, Ellen; East, Jon

    1992-01-01

    Thermoluminescence (TL) dating was applied to seven samples of siliceous fluvial sands from the East Alligator River of Northern Australia, giving ages ranging from modern to 6000 yr B.P. Two methods of estimating the equivalent dose (ED), total bleach and regenerative, were applied to the 90- to 125-μm quartz fraction of the samples in order to determine the reliability and internal consistency of the technique. High-resolution γ and α spectroscopy were used to measure radionuclide contents; these measurements revealed an excess 226Ra activity compared with 230Th. This excess decreased with depth, and was used directly to derive mean sedimentation rates, and thus sediment ages. Both this method and one 14C date confirmed the validity of the TL values, which increased systematically with depth and were consistent with site stratigraphy. TL was of limited use in the dating of these late Holocene deposits because of age uncertainties of 500 to 1600 yr, resulting from a significant residual ED. This residual probably resulted from incomplete bleaching during reworking upstream of the sampling site. For Pleistocene deposits, the residual ED will be less significant because of higher total EDs, and TL dates will be correspondingly more accurate.

  9. Two modes of motion of the alligator lizard cochlea: Measurements and model predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aranyosi, A. J.; Freeman, Dennis M.

    2005-09-01

    Measurements of motion of an in vitro preparation of the alligator lizard basilar papilla in response to sound demonstrate elliptical trajectories. These trajectories are consistent with the presence of both a translational and rotational mode of motion. The translational mode is independent of frequency, and the rotational mode has a displacement peak near 5 kHz. These measurements can be explained by a simple mechanical system in which the basilar papilla is supported asymmetrically on the basilar membrane. In a quantitative model, the translational admittance is compliant while the rotational admittance is second order. Best-fit model parameters are consistent with estimates based on anatomy and predict that fluid flow across hair bundles is a primary source of viscous damping. The model predicts that the rotational mode contributes to the high-frequency slopes of auditory nerve fiber tuning curves, providing a physical explanation for a low-pass filter required in models of this cochlea. The combination of modes makes the sensitivity of hair bundles more uniform with radial position than that which would result from pure rotation. A mechanical analogy with the organ of Corti suggests that these two modes of motion may also be present in the mammalian cochlea.

  10. Invertebrate community composition differs between invasive herb alligator weed and native sedges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bassett, Imogen E.; Paynter, Quentin; Beggs, Jacqueline R.

    2012-05-01

    Chemical and/or architectural differences between native and exotic plants may influence invertebrate community composition. According to the enemy release hypothesis, invasive weeds should host fewer and less specialised invertebrates than native vegetation. Invertebrate communities were compared on invasive Alternanthera philoxeroides (alligator weed) and native sedges (Isolepis prolifer and Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani) in a New Zealand lake. A. philoxeroides is more architecturally and chemically similar to I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. Lower invertebrate abundance, richness and proportionally fewer specialists were predicted on A. philoxeroides compared to native sedges, but with greatest differences between A. philoxeroides and S. tabernaemontani. A. philoxeroides is more architecturally and chemically similar to I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. Invertebrate abundance showed taxa-specific responses, rather than consistently lower abundance on A. philoxeroides. Nevertheless, as predicted, invertebrate fauna of A. philoxeroides was more similar to that of I. prolifer than to S. tabernaemontani. The prediction of a depauperate native fauna on A. philoxeroides received support from some but not all taxa. All vegetation types hosted generalist-dominated invertebrate communities with simple guild structures. The enemy release hypothesis thus had minimal ability to predict patterns in this system. Results suggest the extent of architectural and chemical differences between native and invasive vegetation may be useful in predicting the extent to which they will host different invertebrate communities. However, invertebrate ecology also affects whether invertebrate taxa respond positively or negatively to weed invasion. Thus, exotic vegetation may support distinct invertebrate communities despite similar overall invertebrate abundance to native vegetation.

  11. Structure and fracture resistance of alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) armored fish scales.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen; Gludovatz, Bernd; Zimmermann, Elizabeth A; Bale, Hrishikesh A; Ritchie, Robert O; Meyers, Marc A

    2013-04-01

    The alligator gar is a large fish with flexible armor consisting of ganoid scales. These scales contain a thin layer of ganoine (microhardness ~2.5 GPa) and a bony body (microhardness ~400 MPa), with jagged edges that provide effective protection against predators. We describe here the structure of both ganoine and bony foundation and characterize the mechanical properties and fracture mechanisms. The bony foundation is characterized by two components: a mineralized matrix and parallel arrays of tubules, most of which contain collagen fibers. The spacing of the empty tubules is ~60 μm; the spacing of those filled with collagen fibers is ~7 μm. Using micromechanical testing of such scales in a variable-pressure scanning electron microscope, we identify interactions between propagating cracks and the microstructure, and show that the toughness of the scales increases with crack extension in a classical resistance-curve response from the activation of extrinsic toughening mechanisms. We demonstrate how mechanical damage evolves in these structures, and further identify that the reinforcement of the mineral by the network of collagen fibers is the principal toughening mechanism resisting such damage. Additionally, we define the anisotropy of the toughness of the scales and relate this to the collagen fiber orientation. PMID:23274521

  12. Sorption of sulphamethoxazole by the biochars derived from rice straw and alligator flag.

    PubMed

    Li, Tingqiang; Han, Xuan; Liang, Chengfeng; Shohag, M J I; Yang, Xiaoe

    2015-01-01

    The sorption ability of sulphamethoxazole (SMX) by biochar derived from rice straw (RS) and alligator flag (AF) at 600°C was studied to assess the ability of biochar as adsorbent to remove SMX from aqueous solution. The results indicated that sorption of SMX by biochars was well described using the Langmuir equation (R2>0.94), and the maximum sorption parameter (Q) of RS (3650 mg kg(-1)) was much higher than that of AF (1963 mg kg(-1)). Temperature had no effect on SMX sorption by biochars, while thermodynamics analysis indicated that the sorption of SMX on both biochars was a spontaneous physical process. The d 250 RS (diameter of RS sieved through 250 µm) and d 150 AF (diameter of AF sieved through 150 µm) showed excellent sorption ability for SMX. The sorption amount of RS was larger than that of AF when pH<7, whereas, the sorption amount of AF surpassed RS when pH≥7. The presence of Cu2+ and/or Cd2+ ion at low concentrations (20 mg L(-1)) significantly (P<0.05) increased the sorption of SMX on both RS and AF. Our study confirms that biochar derived from the wetland plants could be used as effective adsorbents to remove SMX from aqueous solution. PMID:25413119

  13. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes to assess PCB accumulation in American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles from the coast of South Carolina

    SciTech Connect

    Cobb, G.P.; Wood, P.D.; O`Quinn, M.

    1995-12-31

    Investigation of contaminant burdens in threatened and endangered species is difficult due to the small number of samples that can be collected. Many samples can be collected if the sampling methods are non-lethal and more specifically non-invasive. Analysis of chorioallantoic membranes is demonstrated for American alligators and Loggerhead sea turtles. Significant differences were found in PCB, uptake by alligators from the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto Basin reference site and a contaminated site in Winyah Bay. Intrasite and intersite differences in uptake and distribution of PCB homologues were noted. These data will be discussed as they relate to egg viability and embryo development.

  14. Direct comparison of the electronic coupling efficiency of sulfur and selenium alligator clips for molecules adsorbed onto gold electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrone, L.; Palacin, S.; Bourgoin, J. P.

    2003-05-01

    Scanning tunneling microscopy experiments have been performed to compare the electronic coupling provided by S and by Se used as alligator clips for bisthiol- and biselenol-terthiophene molecules adsorbed onto gold. The molecules were inserted in a dodecanethiol (DT) self-assembled monolayer. Their apparent height above the dodecanethiol matrix was used as a measure of the electronic coupling strength corresponding to S and Se, respectively. We show that the insertion behaviors of the two molecules are qualitatively the same, and that Se provides systematically a better coupling link than S, whatever the tunneling conditions.

  15. Ontogeny of the Alligator Cartilago Transiliens and Its Significance for Sauropsid Jaw Muscle Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Tsai, Henry P.; Holliday, Casey M.

    2011-01-01

    The cartilago transiliens is a fibrocartilaginous structure within the jaw muscles of crocodylians. The cartilago transiliens slides between the pterygoid buttress and coronoid region of the lower jaw and connects two muscles historically identified as m. pseudotemporalis superficialis and m. intramandibularis. However, the position of cartilago transiliens, and its anatomical similarities to tendon organs suggest the structure may be a sesamoid linking a single muscle. Incompressible sesamoids often form inside tendons that wrap around bone. However, such structures rarely ossify in reptiles and have thus far received scant attention. We tested the hypothesis that the cartilago transiliens is a sesamoid developed within in one muscle by investigating its structure in an ontogenetic series of Alligator mississippiensis using dissection, 3D imaging, and polarizing and standard light microscopy. In all animals studied, the cartilago transiliens receives collagen fibers and tendon insertions from its two main muscular attachments. However, whereas collagen fibers were continuous within the cartilaginous nodule of younger animals, such continuity decreased in older animals, where the fibrocartilaginous core grew to displace the fibrous region. Whereas several neighboring muscles attached to the fibrous capsule in older individuals, only two muscles had significant contributions to the structure in young animals. Our results indicate that the cartilago transiliens is likely a sesamoid formed within a single muscle (i.e., m. pseudotemporalis superficialis) as it wraps around the pterygoid buttress. This tendon organ is ubiquitous among fossil crocodyliforms indicating it is a relatively ancient, conserved structure associated with the development of the large pterygoid flanges in this clade. Finally, these findings indicate that similar tendon organs exist among potentially homologous muscle groups in birds and turtles, thus impacting inferences of jaw muscle homology

  16. A moss-covered alligator rests in the sun at KSC. copy form; photos beginning with 99PD are only ava

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On top of what may be a nest on the edge of an algae-coated canal near Schwartz Rd. at Kennedy Space Center, a moss-covered alligator rests while keeping a wary eye open for trespassers. Nearly 5,000 alligators can be found in canals, ponds, and waterways throughout the Center and the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, which shares a boundary with the Center. American alligators feed and rest in the water, and usually lay their eggs in dens they dig into the banks. The young alligators spend their first several weeks in these dens. The Wildlife Refuge encompasses 92,000 acres that are a habitat for more than 331 species of birds, 31 mammals, 117 fishes, and 65 amphibians and reptiles. The marshes and open water of the refuge provide wintering areas for 23 species of migratory waterfowl, as well as a year-round home for great blue herons, great egrets, wood storks, cormorants, brown pelicans and other species of marsh and shore birds, as well as a variety of insects.

  17. Mercury contamination in alligators (Melanosuchus niger) from Mamirauá Reservoir (Brazilian Amazon) and human health risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Correia, Jozélia; Cesar, Ricardo; Marsico, Eliane; Diniz, George Tadeu Nunes; Zorro, Mauricio Camargo; Castilhos, Zuleica

    2014-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations in muscles of wild alligators (Melanosuchus niger) from the Mamirauá Reservoir (a reference area in the Brazilian Amazon) and the human health risks associated with its consumption were assessed. The mean Hg concentration in alligator muscles was 0.407 ± 0.114 μg/g (N = 61). Close to 5 % of the muscle samples showed Hg levels above the World Health Organization guideline for fish consumption (0.5 μg/g). A positive and significant relationship was observed between Hg concentrations in muscle and the age of the specimens. The dose-response approach suggests that close to 27.4 years is required for half of the exposed specimens to attain 0.5 μg/g. The hazard quotient (HQ) is a risk indicator which defines the ratio of exposure level and a toxicological reference dose. HQ resulted above the unity for all the specimens when the ingestion rate for riverine communities (200 g of muscle per day) is considered, indicating the existence of hazard. When the ingestion rate for market consumers (28.57 g/day) is considered, the risks are much lower (mean HQ = 0.55), suggesting that such group is not at risk. The establishment of local and regional ingestion rates for riverine populations and market consumers is extremely recommended. PMID:25017870

  18. Molecular characterization of the Chinese alligator follicle-stimulating hormone β subunit (FSHβ) and its expression during the female reproductive cycle.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Rui; Zhang, Shengzhou; Zhu, Xue; Zhou, Yongkang; Wu, Xiaobing

    2015-05-01

    The Chinese alligator Alligator sinensis is an endangered species endemic to China, it has a highly specialized reproductive pattern with low fecundity. Up to date, little is known about the regulation of its female reproductive cycle. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), a glycoprotein hormone, plays a key role in stimulating and regulating ovarian follicular development and egg production. In this study, the complete FSHβ cDNA from the ovary of the Chinese alligator was obtained for the first time, it consists of 843-bp nucleotides, including 120-bp nucleotides of the 5'-untranslated region (UTR), 396-bp of the open reading frame, and 3'-UTR of 327-bp nucleotides. It encodes a 131-amino acid precursor molecule of FSHβ with a signal peptide of 18 amino acids followed by a mature protein of 113 amino acids. Its deduced amino acid sequence shares high identities with the American alligator (100%) and birds (89-92%). Phylogenetic tree analysis of the FSHβ amino acid sequence indicated that alligators cluster into the bird branch. Tissue distribution analyses indicated that FSHβ mRNA is expressed in ovary, intestine and liver with the highest level in the ovary, while not in stomach, pancreas, heart, thymus and thyroid. Expression of FSHβ in ovary increases in May (breeding prophase) and peaks in July (breeding period), it is maintained at high levels through September, then decreases significantly in November (post-reproductive period) and remains relatively low from January to March (hibernating period). These temporal changes of FSHβ expression implicated that it might play an important role in promoting ovarian development during the female reproductive cycle. PMID:25626184

  19. Organochlorine pesticides and thiamine in eggs of largemouth bass and American alligators and their relationship with early life-stage mortality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sepulveda, M.S.; Wiebe, J.J.; Honeyfield, D.C.; Rauschenberger, H.R.; Hinterkopf, J.P.; Johnson, W.E.; Gross, T.S.

    2004-01-01

    Thiamine deficiency has been linked to early mortality syndrome in salmonids in the Great Lakes. This study was conducted to compare thiamine concentrations in American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) and Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) eggs from sites with high embryo mortality and high exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) (Lakes Apopka and Griffin, and Emeralda Marsh, Florida, USA) to those from sites that have historically exhibited low embryo mortality and low OCPs (Lakes Woodruff and Orange, Florida). During June-July 2000, 20 alligator clutches were collected from these sites, artificially incubated, and monitored for embryo mortality. Thiamine and OCPs were measured in one egg/clutch. During February 2002, 10 adult female bass were collected from Emeralda Marsh and Lake Woodruff and mature ovaries analyzed for thiamine and OCP concentrations. Although ovaries from the Emeralda Marsh bass contained almost 1,000-fold more OCPs compared with the reference site, Lake Woodruff, there were no differences in thiamine concentrations between sites (11,710 vs. 11,857 pmol/g). In contrast, alligator eggs from the reference site had five times the amount of thiamine compared with the contaminated sites (3,123 vs. 617 pmol/g). Similarly, clutches with > 55% hatch rates had significantly higher concentrations of thiamine compared with clutches with <54% hatch rates (1,119 vs. 201 pmol/g). These results suggest that thiamine deficiency might be playing an important role in alligator embryo survival but not in reproductive failure and recruitment of largemouth bass. The cause(s) of this thiamine deficiency are unknown but might be related to differences in the nutritional value of prey items across the sites studied and/or to the presence of high concentration of contaminants in eggs. ?? Wildlife Disease Association 2004.

  20. Alligator ridge district, East-Central Nevada: Carlin-type gold mineralization at shallow depths

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nutt, C.J.; Hofstra, A.H.

    2003-01-01

    Carlin-type deposits in the Alligator Ridge mining district are present sporadically for 40 km along the north-striking Mooney Basin fault system but are restricted to a 250-m interval of Devonian to Mississippian strata. Their age is bracketed between silicified ca. 45 Ma sedimentary rocks and unaltered 36.5 to 34 Ma volcanic rocks. The silicification is linked to the deposits by its continuity with ore-grade silicification in Devonian-Mississippian strata and by its similar ??18O values (_e1???17???) and trace element signature (As, Sb, Tl, Hg). Eocene reconstruction indicates that the deposits formed at depths of ???300 to 800 m. In comparison to most Carlin-type gold deposits, they have lower Au/Ag, Au grades, and contained Au, more abundant jasperoid, and textural evidence from deposition of an amorphous silica precursor in jasperoid. These differences most likely result from their shallow depth of formation. The peak fluid temperature (_e1???230??C) and large ??18OH2O value shift from the meteroric water line (_e1???20???) suggest that ore fluids were derived from depths of 8 km or more. A magnetotelluric survey indicates that the Mooney Basin fault system penetrates to mid-crustal depths. Deep circulation of meteoric water along the Mooney Basin fault system may have been in response to initial uplift of the East Humboldt-Ruby Mountains metamorphic core complex; convection also may have been promoted by increased heat flow associated with large magnitude extension in the core complex and regional magmatism. Ore fluids ascended along the fault system until they encountered impermeable Devonian and Mississippian shales, at which point they moved laterally through permeable strata in the Devonian Guilmette Formation, Devonian-Mississippian Pilot Shale, Mississippian Joana Limestone, and Mississippian Chainman Shale toward erosional windows where they ascended into Eocene fluvial conglomerates and lake sediments. Most gold precipitated by sulfidation of host

  1. Organizational Changes to Thyroid Regulation in Alligator mississippiensis: Evidence for Predictive Adaptive Responses

    PubMed Central

    Boggs, Ashley S. P.; Lowers, Russell H.; Cloy-McCoy, Jessica A.; Guillette, Louis J.

    2013-01-01

    During embryonic development, organisms are sensitive to changes in thyroid hormone signaling which can reset the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. It has been hypothesized that this developmental programming is a ‘predictive adaptive response’, a physiological adjustment in accordance with the embryonic environment that will best aid an individual's survival in a similar postnatal environment. When the embryonic environment is a poor predictor of the external environment, the developmental changes are no longer adaptive and can result in disease states. We predicted that endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and environmentally-based iodide imbalance could lead to developmental changes to the thyroid axis. To explore whether iodide or EDCs could alter developmental programming, we collected American alligator eggs from an estuarine environment with high iodide availability and elevated thyroid-specific EDCs, a freshwater environment contaminated with elevated agriculturally derived EDCs, and a reference freshwater environment. We then incubated them under identical conditions. We examined plasma thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations, thyroid gland histology, plasma inorganic iodide, and somatic growth at one week (before external nutrition) and ten months after hatching (on identical diets). Neonates from the estuarine environment were thyrotoxic, expressing follicular cell hyperplasia (p = 0.01) and elevated plasma triiodothyronine concentrations (p = 0.0006) closely tied to plasma iodide concentrations (p = 0.003). Neonates from the freshwater contaminated site were hypothyroid, expressing thyroid follicular cell hyperplasia (p = 0.01) and depressed plasma thyroxine concentrations (p = 0.008). Following a ten month growth period under identical conditions, thyroid histology (hyperplasia p = 0.04; colloid depletion p = 0.01) and somatic growth (body mass p<0.0001; length p = 0.02) remained altered among the

  2. Alligators and Crocodiles Have High Paracellular Absorption of Nutrients, But Differ in Digestive Morphology and Physiology.

    PubMed

    Tracy, Christopher R; McWhorter, Todd J; Gienger, C M; Starck, J Matthias; Medley, Peter; Manolis, S Charlie; Webb, Grahame J W; Christian, Keith A

    2015-12-01

    Much of what is known about crocodilian nutrition and growth has come from animals propagated in captivity, but captive animals from the families Crocodilidae and Alligatoridae respond differently to similar diets. Since there are few comparative studies of crocodilian digestive physiology to help explain these differences, we investigated young Alligator mississippiensis and Crocodylus porosus in terms of (1) gross and microscopic morphology of the intestine, (2) activity of the membrane-bound digestive enzymes aminopeptidase-N, maltase, and sucrase, and (3) nutrient absorption by carrier-mediated and paracellular pathways. We also measured gut morphology of animals over a larger range of body sizes. The two species showed different allometry of length and mass of the gut, with A. mississippiensis having a steeper increase in intestinal mass with body size, and C. porosus having a steeper increase in intestinal length with body size. Both species showed similar patterns of magnification of the intestinal surface area, with decreasing magnification from the proximal to distal ends of the intestine. Although A. mississippiensis had significantly greater surface-area magnification overall, a compensating significant difference in gut length between species meant that total surface area of the intestine was not significantly different from that of C. porosus. The species differed in enzyme activities, with A. mississippiensis having significantly greater ability to digest carbohydrates relative to protein than did C. porosus. These differences in enzyme activity may help explain the differences in performance between the crocodilian families when on artificial diets. Both A. mississippiensis and C. porosus showed high absorption of 3-O methyl d-glucose (absorbed via both carrier-mediated and paracellular transport), as expected. Both species also showed surprisingly high levels of l-glucose-uptake (absorbed paracellularly), with fractional absorptions as high as those

  3. Effect of aqueous extracts of alligator pear seed (Persea americana mill) on blood glucose and histopathology of pancreas in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.

    PubMed

    Edem, Do; Ekanem, Is; Ebong, Pe

    2009-07-01

    Effects of aqueous extract of alligator pear seed on normal and alloxan-induced diabetic rats were investigated in 6 groups of rats (5 rats per group). Test groups were made diabetic with intra-peritoneal injection of alloxan and treated with 300 mg and 600 mg/kg body weight of alligator pear seed extract. Two non-diabetic groups were also administered with 300 mg and 600 mg/kg body weight extract. The levels of blood glucose were examined in all 6 experimental groups. In diabetic rats, blood glucose levels were significantly reduced (p<0.05) by 73.26-78.24% on consumption of the extracts, with greater effect exhibited by the 600 mg/kg extract. In normal rats, blood glucose levels were significantly reduced (p<0.05) by 34.68-38.9% on consumption of the seed extract. Histological studies showed a degenerative effect on the pancreatic islet cells of diabetic rats. The result suggested restorative (protective) effect of the extract on pancreatic islet cells. Administration of aqueous extract of alligator pear seed may contribute significantly to the reduction of blood glucose levels and can be useful in the treatment of diabetes. PMID:19553173

  4. New insight into the anatomy of the hyolingual apparatus of Alligator mississippiensis and implications for reconstructing feeding in extinct archosaurs.

    PubMed

    Li, Zhiheng; Clarke, Julia A

    2015-07-01

    Anatomical studies of the cranium of crocodilians motivated by an interest in its function in feeding largely focused on bite force, the jaw apparatus and associated muscles innervated by the trigeminal nerve. However, the ossified and cartilaginous elements of the hyoid and the associated hyolingual muscles, innervated by the facial, hypoglossal and glossopharyngeal nerves, received much less attention. Crocodilians are known to retain what are ancestrally the 'Rhythmic Hyobranchial Behaviors' such as buccal oscillation, but show diminished freedom and movement for the hyobranchial apparatus and the tongue in food transport and manipulation. Feeding among crocodilians, generally on larger prey items than other reptilian outgroups, involves passive transport of the food within the mouth. The tongue in extant crocodilians is firmly attached to the buccal floor and shows little movement during feeding. Here, we present a detailed anatomical description of the myology of the hyolingual apparatus of Alligator mississippiensis, utilizing contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography and dissection. We construct the first three-dimensional (3D) description of hyolingual myology in Alligator mississippiensis and discuss the detailed implications of these data for our understanding of hyolingual muscle homology across Reptilia. These anatomical data and an evaluation of the fossil record of hyoid structures also shed light on the evolution of feeding in Reptilia. Simplification of the hyoid occurs early in the evolution of archosaurs. A hyoid with only one pair of ceratobranchials and a weakly ossified or cartilaginous midline basihyal is ancestral to Archosauriformes. The comparison with non-archosaurian reptilian outgroup demonstrates that loss of the second set of ceratobranchials as well as reduced ossification in basihyal occurred prior to the origin of crown-clade archosaurs, crocodilians and birds. Early modification in feeding ecology appears to characterize the

  5. Summary of well construction, testing, and preliminary findings from the Alligator Alley test well, Broward County, Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Meyer, F.W.

    1988-01-01

    A 2,811-foot deep test well was drilled during 1980 in The Everglades along Alligator Alley as part of the Floridan Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis project. The well was cased 895 feet deep. Hydraulic packers were used to isolate selected zones in the open hole for water samples and measurement of water levels. The well penetrated the surficial and intermediate aquifers into the Floridan aquifer system. The top of the Floridan aquifer system occurs at 770 feet and includes limestone ranging in age from Oligocene to early Eocene. About 67 percent of the total thickness of the Floridan aquifer system was penetrated by the well. The chief water-producing zones in the Floridan aquifer system occur at about 1,030 feet and at about 2,560 feet. The 1,030-foot zone contains brackish artesian groundwater, and the 2,560-foot zone contains salty artesian groundwater similar in composition to seawater. The static water geothermal gradient is indicated, and radiocarbon activities suggest that the saltwater in the lower zone is younger than brackish groundwater in the upper zone. (USGS)

  6. A thermal history of the Proterozoic East Alligator River Terrain, N.T., Australia: a fission track study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koul, Sohan L.; Wilde, A. R.; Tickoo, Awtar K.

    1988-01-01

    Radiometric data indicate a major thermal event in Proterozoic rocks of the East Alligator River Terrain, at 1870 Ma. These data, together with metamorphic mineral assemblages, demonstrate peak temperatures in excess of 600 ° C, close to the melting temperature of more deeply buried rocks. A cooling rate following peak metamorphism of 3°C/Ma is suggested. Fission-track dates of peak metamorphic phases, however, reveal a thermal event (or events), after 1650 Ma, rather than the peak metamorphic event. This rise in temperature was the result of thermal blanketing of the metamorphic basement by Carpentarian sediments and anomalous radiogenic heat flow from underlying granitoid gneiss. The temperatures so generated (≥ 175 ° C) were insufficient to reset Rb-Sr and K-Ar systems, but are clearly in excess of F.T. annealing temperatures for all the phases investigated. A cooling history, extending over 1000 m.y. and reflecting gradual erosion of the sedimentary cover, is revealed. This history is consistent with the extraordinary tectonic stability of the region. The importance of F.T. studies in establishing a thermal history is underscored, particularly when maximum temperatures experienced were less than those required to reset Rb-Sr and K-Ar systems.

  7. Intra-population variation in activity ranges, diel patterns, movement rates, and habitat use of American alligators in a subtropical estuary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank M; Cherkiss, Michael S.; Jeffery, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    Movement and habitat use patterns are fundamental components of the behaviors of mobile animals and help determine the scale and types of interactions they have with their environments. These behaviors are especially important to quantify for top predators because they can have strong effects on lower trophic levels as well as the wider ecosystem. Many studies of top predator movement and habitat use focus on general population level trends, which may overlook important intra-population variation in behaviors that now appear to be common. In an effort to better understand the prevalence of intrapopulation variation in top predator movement behaviors and the potential effects of such variation on ecosystem dynamics, we examined the movement and habitat use patterns of a population of adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in a subtropical estuary for nearly four years. We found that alligators exhibited divergent behaviors with respect to activity ranges, movement rates, and habitat use, and that individualized behaviors were stable over multiple years. We also found that the variations across the three behavioral metrics were correlated such that consistent behavioral types emerged, specifically more exploratory individuals and more sedentary individuals. Our study demonstrates that top predator populations can be characterized by high degrees of intra-population variation in terms of movement and habitat use behaviors that could lead to individuals filling different ecological roles in the same ecosystem. By extension, one-size-fits-all ecosystem and species-specific conservation and management strategies that do not account for potential intra-population variation in top predator behaviors may not produce the desired outcomes in all cases.

  8. Estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1; ERα), not ESR2 (ERβ), modulates estrogen-induced sex reversal in the American alligator, a species with temperature-dependent sex determination.

    PubMed

    Kohno, Satomi; Bernhard, Melissa C; Katsu, Yoshinao; Zhu, Jianguo; Bryan, Teresa A; Doheny, Brenna M; Iguchi, Taisen; Guillette, Louis J

    2015-05-01

    All crocodilians and many turtles exhibit temperature-dependent sex determination where the temperature of the incubated egg, during a thermo-sensitive period (TSP), determines the sex of the offspring. Estrogens play a critical role in sex determination in crocodilians and turtles, as it likely does in most nonmammalian vertebrates. Indeed, administration of estrogens during the TSP induces male to female sex reversal at a male-producing temperature (MPT). However, it is not clear how estrogens override the influence of temperature during sex determination in these species. Most vertebrates have 2 forms of nuclear estrogen receptor (ESR): ESR1 (ERα) and ESR2 (ERβ). However, there is no direct evidence concerning which ESR is involved in sex determination, because a specific agonist or antagonist for each ESR has not been tested in nonmammalian species. We identified specific pharmaceutical agonists for each ESR using an in vitro transactivation assay employing American alligator ESR1 and ESR2; these were 4,4',4''-(4-propyl-[1H]-pyrazole-1,3,5-triyl)trisphenol (PPT) and 7-bromo-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1,3-benzoxazol-5-ol (WAY 200070), respectively. Alligator eggs were exposed to PPT or WAY 200070 at a MPT just before the TSP, and their sex was examined at the last stage of embryonic development. Estradiol-17β and PPT, but not WAY 200070, induced sex reversal at a MPT. PPT-exposed embryos exposed to the highest dose (5.0 μg/g egg weight) exhibited enlargement and advanced differentiation of the Müllerian duct. These results indicate that ESR1 is likely the principal ESR involved in sex reversal as well as embryonic Müllerian duct survival and growth in American alligators. PMID:25714813

  9. Intra-population variation in activity ranges, diel patterns, movement rates, and habitat use of American alligators in a subtropical estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenblatt, Adam E.; Heithaus, Michael R.; Mazzotti, Frank J.; Cherkiss, Michael; Jeffery, Brian M.

    2013-12-01

    Movement and habitat use patterns are fundamental components of the behaviors of mobile animals and help determine the scale and types of interactions they have with their environments. These behaviors are especially important to quantify for top predators because they can have strong effects on lower trophic levels as well as the wider ecosystem. Many studies of top predator movement and habitat use focus on general population level trends, which may overlook important intra-population variation in behaviors that now appear to be common. In an effort to better understand the prevalence of intra-population variation in top predator movement behaviors and the potential effects of such variation on ecosystem dynamics, we examined the movement and habitat use patterns of a population of adult American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) in a subtropical estuary for nearly four years. We found that alligators exhibited divergent behaviors with respect to activity ranges, movement rates, and habitat use, and that individualized behaviors were stable over multiple years. We also found that the variations across the three behavioral metrics were correlated such that consistent behavioral types emerged, specifically more exploratory individuals and more sedentary individuals. Our study demonstrates that top predator populations can be characterized by high degrees of intra-population variation in terms of movement and habitat use behaviors that could lead to individuals filling different ecological roles in the same ecosystem. By extension, one-size-fits-all ecosystem and species-specific conservation and management strategies that do not account for potential intra-population variation in top predator behaviors may not produce the desired outcomes in all cases.

  10. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite loci for alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula) and their variability in two other species (Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus) of Lepisosteidae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moyer, G.R.; Sloss, Brian L.; Kreiser, B.R.; Feldheim, K.A.

    2009-01-01

    We report on the isolation of 17 polymorphic microsatellite loci from alligator gar (Atractosteus spatula), a large-bodied species that has experienced population declines across much of its range. These loci possessed 2-19 alleles and observed heterozygosities of 0-0.974. All loci conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations, and none exhibited linkage disequilibrium. Nine and eight of these loci were found to be polymorphic in the related species Lepisosteus oculatus and L. osseus, respectively. These microsatellite loci should prove useful in conservation efforts of A. spatula through the study of population structure and hatchery broodstock management. ?? 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  11. Water in the Lithospheric Mantle Beneath a Phanerozoic Continental Belt: FTIR Analyses of Alligator Lake Xenoliths (Yukon, Canada)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gelber, McKensie; Peslier, Ann H.; Brandon, Alan D.

    2015-01-01

    Water in the mantle influences melting, metasomatism, viscosity and electrical conductivity. The Alligator Lake mantle xenolith suite is one of three bimodal peridotite suites from the northern Canadian Cordillera brought to the surface by alkali basalts, i.e., it consists of chemically distinct lherzolites and harzburgites. The lherzolites have equilibration temperatures about 50 C lower than the harzburgites and are thought to represent the fertile upper mantle of the region. The harzburgites might have come from slightly deeper in the mantle and/or be the result of a melting event above an asthenospheric upwelling detected as a seismic anomaly at 400-500 km depth. Major and trace element data are best interpreted as the lherzolite mantle having simultaneously experienced 20-25% partial melting and a metasomatic event to create the harzburgites. Well-characterized xenoliths are being analyzed for water by FTIR. Harzburgites contain 29-52 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene (opx) and (is) approximately140 ppm H2O in clinopyroxene (cpx). The lherzolites have H2O contents of 27-150 ppm in opx and 46-361 ppm in cpx. Despite correlating with enrichments in LREE, the water contents of the harzburgite pyroxenes are low relative to those of typical peridotite xenoliths, suggesting that the metasomatic agents were water-poor, contrarily to what has been suggested before. The water content of cpx is about double that of opx indicating equilibrium. Olivine water contents are low ((is) less than 5 ppm H2O) and out of equilibrium with those of opx and cpx, which may be due to H loss during xenolith ascent. This is consistent with olivines containing more water in their cores than their rims. Olivines exclusively exhibit water bands in the 3400-3000 cm-1 range, which may be indicative of a reduced environment.

  12. Taxonomic assessment of Alligator Snapping Turtles (Chelydridae: Macrochelys), with the description of two new species from the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Travis M; Granatosky, Michael C; Bourque, Jason R; Krysko, Kenneth L; Moler, Paul E; Gamble, Tony; Suarez, Eric; Leone, Erin; Roman, Joe

    2014-01-01

    The Alligator Snapping Turtle, Macrochelys temminckii, is a large, aquatic turtle limited to river systems that drain into the Gulf of Mexico. Previous molecular analyses using both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA suggested that Macrochelys exhibits significant genetic variation across its range that includes three distinct genetic assemblages (western, central, and eastern = Suwannee). However, no taxonomic revision or morphological analyses have been conducted previously. In this study, we test previous hypotheses of distinct geographic assemblages by examining morphology, reanalyzing phylogeographic genetic structure, and estimating divergence dating among lineages in a coalescent framework using Bayesian inference. We reviewed the fossil record and discuss phylogeographic and taxonomic implications of the existence of three distinct evolutionary lineages. We measured cranial (n=145) and post-cranial (n=104) material on field-captured individuals and museum specimens. We analyzed 420 base pairs (bp) of mitochondrial DNA sequence data for 158 Macrochelys. We examined fossil Macrochelys from ca. 15-16 million years ago (Ma) to the present to better assess historical distributions and evaluate named fossil taxa. The morphological and molecular data both indicate significant geographical variation and suggest three species-level breaks among genetic lineages that correspond to previously hypothesized genetic assemblages. The holotype of Macrochelys temminckii is from the western lineage. Therefore, we describe two new species as Macrochelys apalachicolae sp. nov. from the central lineage and Macrochelys suwanniensis sp. nov. from the eastern lineage (Suwannee River drainage). Our estimates of divergence times suggest that the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of M. temminckii (western) and M. apalachicolae (central) existed 3.2-8.9 Ma during the late Miocene to late Pliocene, whereas M. temminckii-M. apalachicolae and M. suwanniensis last shared a MRCA 5.5-13.4 Ma

  13. Geologic map of the Alligator Ridge area, including the Buck Mountain East and Mooney Basin Summit quadrangles and parts of the Sunshine Well NE and Long Valley Slough quadrangles, White Pine County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nutt, Constance J.

    2000-01-01

    Data set describes the geology of Paleozoic through Quaternary units in the Alligator Ridge area, which hosts disseminated gold deposits. These digital files were used to create the 1:24,000-scale geologic map of the Buck Mountain East and Mooney Basin Summit Quadrangles and parts of the Sunshine Well NE and Long Valley Slough Quadrangles, White Pine County, east-central Nevada.

  14. EFFECT OF ACUTE STRESS ON PLASMA B-CORTICOSTERONE, ESTRADIOL-17B AND TESTOSTERONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS COLLECTED FROM THREE SITES WITHIN THE KISSIMMEE-EVERGLADES DRAINAGE BASIN IN FLORIDA (USA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The effect of acute stress on plasma b-corticosterone (B), testosterone (T) and estradiol-17b (E2), concentrations in juvenile alligators collected from sites with varying sediment contaminants was examined in this study. Dramatic increases in plasma B concentrations were observe...

  15. Water in the lithospheric mantle beneath a Phanerozoic continental belt: FTIR analyses of Alligator Lake Xenoliths (Yukon, Canada)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelber, M.; Peslier, A. H.; Brandon, A. D.

    2015-12-01

    Water in the mantle influences melting, metasomatism, viscosity and electrical conductivity. The Alligator Lake mantle xenolith suite is one of three bimodal peridotite suites from the northern Canadian Cordillera brought to the surface by alkali basalts, i.e., it consists of chemically distinct lherzolites and harzburgites [1-2]. The lherzolites have equilibration temperatures about 50 °C lower than the harzburgites and are thought to represent the fertile upper mantle of the region. The harzburgites might have come from slightly deeper in the mantle and/or be the result of a melting event above an asthenospheric upwelling detected as a seismic anomaly at 400-500 km depth [3]. Major and trace element data are best interpreted as the lherzolite mantle having simultaneously experienced 20-25% partial melting and a metasomatic event to create the harzburgites [3]. Well-characterized xenoliths are being analyzed for water by FTIR. Harzburgites contain 29-52 ppm H2O in orthopyroxene (opx) and ~140 ppm H2O in clinopyroxene (cpx). The lherzolites have H2O contents of 27-150 ppm in opx and 46-361 ppm in cpx. Despite correlating with enrichments in LREE, the water contents of the harzburgite pyroxenes are low relative to those of typical peridotite xenoliths [4], suggesting that the metasomatic agents were water-poor, contrarily to what has been suggested before [3]. The water content of cpx is about double that of opx indicating equilibrium. Olivine water contents are low (< 5 ppm H2O) and out of equilibrium with those of opx and cpx, which may be due to H loss during xenolith ascent. This is consistent with olivines containing more water in their cores than their rims. Olivines exclusively exhibit water bands in the 3400-3000 cm-1 range, which may be indicative of a reduced environment [5]. [1] Francis. 1987 JP 28, 569-97. [2] Eiche et al. 1987 CMP 95, 191-201. [3] Shi et al. 1997 CMP 131, 39-53. [4] Peslier et al. 2015 GGG 154, 98-117. [5] Bai et al. 1993 PCM 19, 460-71.

  16. Intense and specialized dendritic localization of the fragile X mental retardation protein in binaural brainstem neurons: a comparative study in the alligator, chicken, gerbil, and human.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuan; Sakano, Hitomi; Beebe, Karisa; Brown, Maile R; de Laat, Rian; Bothwell, Mark; Kulesza, Randy J; Rubel, Edwin W

    2014-06-15

    Neuronal dendrites are structurally and functionally dynamic in response to changes in afferent activity. The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an mRNA binding protein that regulates activity-dependent protein synthesis and morphological dynamics of dendrites. Loss and abnormal expression of FMRP occur in fragile X syndrome (FXS) and some forms of autism spectrum disorders. To provide further understanding of how FMRP signaling regulates dendritic dynamics, we examined dendritic expression and localization of FMRP in the reptilian and avian nucleus laminaris (NL) and its mammalian analogue, the medial superior olive (MSO), in rodents and humans. NL/MSO neurons are specialized for temporal processing of low-frequency sounds for binaural hearing, which is impaired in FXS. Protein BLAST analyses first demonstrate that the FMRP amino acid sequences in the alligator and chicken are highly similar to human FMRP with identical mRNA-binding and phosphorylation sites, suggesting that FMRP functions similarly across vertebrates. Immunocytochemistry further reveals that NL/MSO neurons have very high levels of dendritic FMRP in low-frequency hearing vertebrates including alligator, chicken, gerbil, and human. Remarkably, dendritic FMRP in NL/MSO neurons often accumulates at branch points and enlarged distal tips, loci known to be critical for branch-specific dendritic arbor dynamics. These observations support an important role for FMRP in regulating dendritic properties of binaural neurons that are essential for low-frequency sound localization and auditory scene segregation, and support the relevance of studying this regulation in nonhuman vertebrates that use low frequencies in order to further understand human auditory processing disorders. PMID:24318628

  17. A New Class of SINEs with snRNA Gene-Derived Heads.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Kenji K

    2015-06-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are colonized by various transposons including short interspersed elements (SINEs). The 5' region (head) of the majority of SINEs is derived from one of the three types of RNA genes--7SL RNA, transfer RNA (tRNA), or 5S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)--and the internal promoter inside the head promotes the transcription of the entire SINEs. Here I report a new group of SINEs whose heads originate from either the U1 or U2 small nuclear RNA gene. These SINEs, named SINEU, are distributed among crocodilians and classified into three families. The structures of the SINEU-1 subfamilies indicate the recurrent addition of a U1- or U2-derived sequence onto the 5' end of SINEU-1 elements. SINEU-1 and SINEU-3 are ancient and shared among alligators, crocodiles, and gharials, while SINEU-2 is absent in the alligator genome. SINEU-2 is the only SINE family that was active after the split of crocodiles and gharials. All SINEU families, especially SINEU-3, are preferentially inserted into a family of Mariner DNA transposon, Mariner-N4_AMi. A group of Tx1 non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons designated Tx1-Mar also show target preference for Mariner-N4_AMi, indicating that SINEU was mobilized by Tx1-Mar. PMID:26019167

  18. Wrestling the process alligator

    SciTech Connect

    Springer, F.E.

    1993-04-01

    The Office of Hydropower Licensing's (FERC) current efforts to address the procedural problems in hydropower licensing are briefly described. A reorganization has taken place along functional lines to focus efforts in the three major programmatic functions: licensing, compliance, and dam safety. Other measures are also described.

  19. A New Class of SINEs with snRNA Gene-Derived Heads

    PubMed Central

    Kojima, Kenji K.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are colonized by various transposons including short interspersed elements (SINEs). The 5′ region (head) of the majority of SINEs is derived from one of the three types of RNA genes—7SL RNA, transfer RNA (tRNA), or 5S ribosomal RNA (rRNA)—and the internal promoter inside the head promotes the transcription of the entire SINEs. Here I report a new group of SINEs whose heads originate from either the U1 or U2 small nuclear RNA gene. These SINEs, named SINEU, are distributed among crocodilians and classified into three families. The structures of the SINEU-1 subfamilies indicate the recurrent addition of a U1- or U2-derived sequence onto the 5′ end of SINEU-1 elements. SINEU-1 and SINEU-3 are ancient and shared among alligators, crocodiles, and gharials, while SINEU-2 is absent in the alligator genome. SINEU-2 is the only SINE family that was active after the split of crocodiles and gharials. All SINEU families, especially SINEU-3, are preferentially inserted into a family of Mariner DNA transposon, Mariner-N4_AMi. A group of Tx1 non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons designated Tx1-Mar also show target preference for Mariner-N4_AMi, indicating that SINEU was mobilized by Tx1-Mar. PMID:26019167

  20. Limited species differences in estrogen receptor alpha-medicated reporter gene transactivation by xenoestrogens.

    PubMed

    Sumida, Kayo; Ooe, Norihisa; Saito, Koichi; Kaneko, Hideo

    2003-01-01

    Estrogen receptors (ERs) play an important role in estrogen function. However, it is well known that there are species differences in amino acid sequences of the ligand binding domains. Here, we report on the analysis of species differences in ER-dependent transactivation with some chemicals using reporter gene assays. Full-length ER cDNAs from human, rat, chicken, alligator (Caiman), whiptail lizard, African clawed frog and rainbow trout were prepared from hepatic mRNA by the RT-PCR method and inserted into expression plasmids. Both expression and reporter plasmids were transiently transfected into HeLa cells, and then the estrogenic effects of chemicals were analyzed in terms of induction of luciferase activity. No species differences in transactivation were found among human, rat, chicken, alligator, whiptail lizard and African clawed frog ERs. However, thermo-dependent alteration in susceptibility to 17-beta-estradiol was observed with the rainbow trout ER because of thermo-dependence of estrogen binding. PMID:12648522

  1. Tissue PAH, blood cell and tissue changes following exposure to water accommodated fractions of crude oil in alligator gar, Atractosteus spatula.

    PubMed

    Omar-Ali, Ahmad; Hohn, Claudia; Allen, Peter J; Rodriguez, Jose; Petrie-Hanson, Lora

    2015-07-01

    Alligator gar Atractosteus spatula acclimated to brackish water (9 ppt) were exposed to water accommodated fraction oil loadings (surrogate to Macondo Deepwater Horizon, northern Gulf of Mexico) of 0.5 and 4.0 gm oil/L tank water for 48 h. The surrogate oil was approximately 98% alkanes and alkynes and 2% petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons. The 2% petroleum aromatic hydrocarbons were predominately naphthalene. After 48 h, naphthalene levels in fish liver exposed to 0.5 or 4 gm oil/L were 547.79 and 910.68 ppb, while muscle levels were 214.11 and 253.84 ppb. There was a significant decrease in peripheral blood lymphocyte numbers and a significant reduction of granulocytes in the kidney marrow of the same fish. Tissue changes included hepatocellular vacuolization and necrosis, necrotizing pancreatitis, renal eosinophilia, and splenic congestion. After 7 days recovery, liver naphthalene levels decreased to 43.59 and 43.20 ppb, while muscle levels decreased to 9.74, and 16.78 ppb for oil exposures of 0, 0.5 or 4 g/L. In peripheral blood and kidney marrow, blood cell counts returned to normal. The severity of liver and kidney lesions lessened after 7 days recovery in non-oiled water, but splenic congestion remained in all gar. PMID:25956543

  2. Genes and Gene Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  3. Genes and Gene Therapy

    MedlinePlus

    ... correctly, a child can have a genetic disorder. Gene therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to ... or prevent disease. The most common form of gene therapy involves inserting a normal gene to replace an ...

  4. The impact of bone and suture material properties on mandibular function in Alligator mississippiensis: testing theoretical phenotypes with finite element analysis

    PubMed Central

    Reed, David A; Porro, Laura B; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Lemberg, Justin B; Holliday, Casey M; Anapol, Fred; Ross, Callum F

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The functional effects of bone and suture stiffness were considered here using finite element models representing three different theoretical phenotypes of an Alligator mississippiensis mandible. The models were loaded using force estimates derived from muscle architecture in dissected specimens, constrained at the 18th and 19th teeth in the upper jaw and 19th tooth of the lower jaw, as well as at the quadrate-articular joint. Stiffness was varied systematically in each theoretical phenotype. The three theoretical phenotypes included: (i) linear elastic isotropic bone of varying stiffness and no sutures; (ii) linear elastic orthotropic bone of varying stiffness with no sutures; and (iii) linear elastic isotropic bone of a constant stiffness with varying suture stiffness. Variation in the isotropic material properties of bone primarily resulted in changes in the magnitude of principal strain. By comparison, variation in the orthotropic material properties of bone and isotropic material properties of sutures resulted in: a greater number of bricks becoming either more compressive or more tensile, changing between being either dominantly compressive or tensile, and having larger changes in the orientation of maximum principal strain. These data indicate that variation in these model properties resulted in changes to the strain regime of the model, highlighting the importance of using biologically verified material properties when modeling vertebrate bones. When bones were compared within each set, the response of each to changing material properties varied. In two of the 12 bones in the mandible, varied material properties within sutures resulted in a decrease in the magnitude of principal strain in bricks adjacent to the bone/suture interface and decreases in stored elastic energy. The varied response of the mandibular bones to changes in suture stiffness highlights the importance of defining the appropriate functional unit when addressing relationships of

  5. The utility of captive animals in actualistic research: A geometric morphometric exploration of the tooth row of Alligator mississippiensis suggesting ecophenotypic influences and functional constraints.

    PubMed

    Drumheller, Stephanie K; Wilberg, Eric W; Sadleir, Rudyard W

    2016-07-01

    Captive broad snouted crocodylians are generally thought to have wider, shorter rostra than their wild counterparts. Interpreted to reflect morphological change in response to the conditions of captivity, this qualitative pattern could affect the utility of these animals in a variety of fields of research. However, due to relative ease of access and availability of life history data, captive animals are often utilized in actualistic research. Thus, this issue should be addressed in more detail. Here we explore snout shape variation between captive and wild members of Alligator mississippiensis using two-dimensional (2D) morphometric techniques. Several landmark schemesare used to assess the utility of different aspects of morphology in distinguishing the groups. While statistical analyses consistently differentiated between the groups, the area of morphospace occupied by wild members of A. mississippiensis generally overlapped with the larger area encompassing the captive specimens. This indicates that the captive condition is not as uniform as previously thought and instead encompasses a large spectrum of morphologies, ranging from the stereotypical broad, shortened snouts to outlines that are indistinguishable from the wild morphotype. These results align well with the interpretation that this change reflects an extreme example of ecophenotypy, since ranched, farmed, or zoo organisms are held in an array of enclosures, ranging from indoor, climate controlled pens to outdoor, more natural areas. This variation in environments should be reflected in different reactions to the animals' surroundings, resulting in a broad spectrum of morphotypes. While wild specimens are still preferred, especially for fine scale analyses, these results indicate that not all captive members of A. mississippiensis exhibit the extreme morphological alterations often cited in the literature. Weighing the conditions in which the animals are held and exploring the possibility of

  6. The impact of bone and suture material properties on mandibular function in Alligator mississippiensis: testing theoretical phenotypes with finite element analysis.

    PubMed

    Reed, David A; Porro, Laura B; Iriarte-Diaz, Jose; Lemberg, Justin B; Holliday, Casey M; Anapol, Fred; Ross, Callum F

    2011-01-01

    The functional effects of bone and suture stiffness were considered here using finite element models representing three different theoretical phenotypes of an Alligator mississippiensis mandible. The models were loaded using force estimates derived from muscle architecture in dissected specimens, constrained at the 18th and 19th teeth in the upper jaw and 19th tooth of the lower jaw, as well as at the quadrate-articular joint. Stiffness was varied systematically in each theoretical phenotype. The three theoretical phenotypes included: (i) linear elastic isotropic bone of varying stiffness and no sutures; (ii) linear elastic orthotropic bone of varying stiffness with no sutures; and (iii) linear elastic isotropic bone of a constant stiffness with varying suture stiffness. Variation in the isotropic material properties of bone primarily resulted in changes in the magnitude of principal strain. By comparison, variation in the orthotropic material properties of bone and isotropic material properties of sutures resulted in: a greater number of bricks becoming either more compressive or more tensile, changing between being either dominantly compressive or tensile, and having larger changes in the orientation of maximum principal strain. These data indicate that variation in these model properties resulted in changes to the strain regime of the model, highlighting the importance of using biologically verified material properties when modeling vertebrate bones. When bones were compared within each set, the response of each to changing material properties varied. In two of the 12 bones in the mandible, varied material properties within sutures resulted in a decrease in the magnitude of principal strain in bricks adjacent to the bone/suture interface and decreases in stored elastic energy. The varied response of the mandibular bones to changes in suture stiffness highlights the importance of defining the appropriate functional unit when addressing relationships of

  7. Crocodilian phylogeny inferred from twelve mitochondrial protein-coding genes, with new complete mitochondrial genomic sequences for Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus novaeguineae.

    PubMed

    Man, Zhang; Yishu, Wang; Peng, Yan; Xiaobing, Wu

    2011-07-01

    We report complete mitochondrial genomic sequences for Crocodylus acutus and Crocodylus novaeguineae, whose gene orders match those of other crocodilians. Phylogenetic analyses based on the sequences of 12 mitochondrial protein-coding genes support monophyly of two crocodilian taxonomic families, Alligatoridae (genera Alligator, Caiman, and Paleosuchus) and Crocodylidae (genera Crocodylus, Gavialis, Mecistops, Osteolaemus, and Tomistoma). Our results are consistent with monophyly of all crocodilian genera. Within Alligatoridae, genus Alligator is the sister taxon of a clade comprising Caiman and Paleosuchus. Within Crocodylidae, the basal phylogenetic split separates a clade comprising Gavialis and Tomistoma from a clade comprising Crocodylus, Mecistops, and Osteolaemus. Mecistops and Osteolaemus form the sister taxon to Crocodylus. Within Crocodylus, we sampled five Indopacific species, whose phylogenetic ordering is ((C. mindorensis, C. novaeguineae), (C. porosus, (C. siamensis, C. palustris))). The African species C. niloticus and New World species C. acutus form the sister taxon to the Indopacific species, although our sampling lacks three other New World species and an Australian species of Crocodylus. PMID:21463698

  8. A comparative examination of odontogenic gene expression in both toothed and toothless amniotes.

    PubMed

    Lainoff, Alexis J; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E; Hu, Diane; Kallonen, Aki; Marcucio, Ralph S; Hlusko, Leslea J

    2015-05-01

    A well-known tenet of murine tooth development is that BMP4 and FGF8 antagonistically initiate odontogenesis, but whether this tenet is conserved across amniotes is largely unexplored. Moreover, changes in BMP4-signaling have previously been implicated in evolutionary tooth loss in Aves. Here we demonstrate that Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2 expression is limited proximally in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) mandible at stages equivalent to those at which odontogenesis is initiated in mice, a similar finding to previously reported results in chicks. To address whether the limited domains in the turtle and the chicken indicate an evolutionary molecular parallelism, or whether the domains simply constitute an ancestral phenotype, we assessed gene expression in a toothed reptile (the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis) and a toothed non-placental mammal (the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica). We demonstrate that the Bmp4 domain is limited proximally in M. domestica and that the Fgf8 domain is limited distally in A. mississippiensis just preceding odontogenesis. Additionally, we show that Msx1 and Msx2 expression patterns in these species differ from those found in mice. Our data suggest that a limited Bmp4 domain does not necessarily correlate with edentulism, and reveal that the initiation of odontogenesis in non-murine amniotes is more complex than previously imagined. Our data also suggest a partially conserved odontogenic program in T. scripta, as indicated by conserved Pitx2, Pax9, and Barx1 expression patterns and by the presence of a Shh-expressing palatal epithelium, which we hypothesize may represent potential dental rudiments based on the Testudinata fossil record. PMID:25678399

  9. A comparative examination of odontogenic gene expression in both toothed and toothless amniotes

    PubMed Central

    Lainoff, Alexis J.; Moustakas-Verho, Jacqueline E.; Hu, Diane; Kallonen, Aki; Marcucio, Ralph S.; Hlusko, Leslea J.

    2015-01-01

    A well-known tenet of murine tooth development is that BMP4 and FGF8 antagonistically initiate odontogenesis, but whether this tenet is conserved across amniotes is largely unexplored. Moreover, changes in BMP4-signaling have previously been implicated in evolutionary tooth loss in Aves. Here we demonstrate that Bmp4, Msx1, and Msx2 expression is limited proximally in the red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta) mandible at stages equivalent to those at which odontogenesis is initiated in mice, a similar finding to previously reported results in chicks. To address whether the limited domains in the turtle and the chicken indicate an evolutionary molecular parallelism, or whether the domains simply constitute an ancestral phenotype, we assessed gene expression in a toothed reptile (the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis) and a toothed non-placental mammal (the gray short-tailed opossum, Monodelphis domestica). We demonstrate that the Bmp4 domain is limited proximally in M. domestica and that the Fgf8 domain is limited distally in A. mississippiensis just preceding odontogenesis. Additionally, we show that Msx1 and Msx2 expression patterns in these species differ from those found in mice. Our data suggest that a limited Bmp4 domain does not necessarily correlate with edentulism, and reveal that the initiation of odontogenesis in non-murine amniotes is more complex than previously imagined. Our data also suggest a partially conserved odontogenic program in T. scripta, as indicated by conserved Pitx2, Pax9, and Barx1 expression patterns and by the presence of a Shh-expressing palatal epithelium, which we hypothesize may represent potential dental rudiments based on the Testudinata fossil record. PMID:25678399

  10. Genes and gene regulation

    SciTech Connect

    MacLean, N.

    1988-01-01

    Genetics has long been a central topic for biologists, and recent progress has captured the public imagination as well. This book addresses questions that are at the leading edge of this continually advancing discipline. In tune with the increasing emphasis on molecular biology and genetic engineering, this text emphasizes the molecular aspects of gene expression, and the evolution of gene sequence organization and control. It reviews the genetic material of viruses, bacteria, and of higher organisms. Cells and organisms are compared in terms of gene numbers, their arrangements within a cell, and the control mechanisms which regulate the activity of genes.

  11. Studying Genes

    MedlinePlus

    ... Area What are genes? Genes are sections of DNA that contain instructions for making the molecules—many ... material in an organism. This includes genes and DNA elements that control the activity of genes. Does ...

  12. A ZFY-like sequence in fish, with comments on the evolution of the ZFY family of genes in vertebrates

    SciTech Connect

    Zimmerer, E.J.; Threlkeld, L.

    1995-08-01

    ZFY-like genes have been observed in a variety of vertebrate species. Although originally implicated as the primary testis-determining gene in humans and other placental mammals, more recent evidence indicates a role(s) outside that of testis determination. In this study, DNA from five species of fish, Carasius auratus, Rivulus marmoratus, Xiphophorus maculatus, X. milleri, and X. nigrensis was subjected to Southern blot analysis using a PCR-amplified fragment of mouse ZFY-like sequence as a probe. Restriction fragment patterns were not polymorphic between sexes in any one species but showed a different pattern for each species. With one exception, Rivulus, a 3.1-kb band from the EcoRI digestion was common to all. Sequence and open reading frame analysis of this fragment showed a strong homology to other known vertebrate ZFY-like genes. Of particular interest in this gene is a novel third finger domain similar to one human and one alligator ZFY-like gene. Our studies and others provide evidence for a family of vertebrate ZFY genes, with those having this novel third finger being representative of the ancestral condition. 30 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  13. Swamps, Alligators, and Adult Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnham, Byron R.

    1990-01-01

    Choice taking is a personal matter that results from consideration of the issues and beliefs about the nature of reality, humans, and social context. Systematic consideration of these elements forms the foundation of professional practice. (Author)

  14. Devin, Alligators, Jellyfish, and Me.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsuchiyama, Elaine

    1997-01-01

    Describes how a first-grade teacher used the "hypothesis-test" approach with Devin, a first grader who struggled as a reader and writer. Points out that, when she started working with Devin, she wanted to understand his difficulties, but by the end, she realized that it was her curriculum, not his difficulties, that needed to be in the foreground.…

  15. Alligator clips to molecular dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prokopuk, Nicholas; Son, Kyung-Ah

    2008-09-01

    Techniques for fabricating nanospaced electrodes suitable for studying electron tunneling through metal-molecule-metal junctions are described. In one approach, top contacts are deposited/placed on a self-assembled monolayer or Langmuir-Blodgett film resting on a conducting substrate, the bottom contact. The molecular component serves as a permanent spacer that controls and limits the electrode separations. The top contact can be a thermally deposited metal film, liquid mercury drop, scanning probe tip, metallic wire or particle. Introduction of the top contact can greatly affect the electrical conductance of the intervening molecular film by chemical reaction, exerting pressure, or simply migrating through the organic layer. Alternatively, vacant nanogaps can be fabricated and the molecular component subsequently inserted. Strategies for constructing vacant nanogaps include mechanical break junction, electromigration, shadow mask lithography, focused ion beam deposition, chemical and electrochemical plating techniques, electron-beam lithography, and molecular and atomic rulers. The size of the nanogaps must be small enough to allow the molecule to connect both leads and large enough to keep the molecules in a relaxed and undistorted state. A significant advantage of using vacant nanogaps in the construction of metal-molecule-metal devices is that the junction can be characterized with and without the molecule in place. Any electrical artifacts introduced by the electrode fabrication process are more easily deconvoluted from the intrinsic properties of the molecule.

  16. Sound localization in the alligator.

    PubMed

    Bierman, Hilary S; Carr, Catherine E

    2015-11-01

    In early tetrapods, it is assumed that the tympana were acoustically coupled through the pharynx and therefore inherently directional, acting as pressure difference receivers. The later closure of the middle ear cavity in turtles, archosaurs, and mammals is a derived condition, and would have changed the ear by decoupling the tympana. Isolation of the middle ears would then have led to selection for structural and neural strategies to compute sound source localization in both archosaurs and mammalian ancestors. In the archosaurs (birds and crocodilians) the presence of air spaces in the skull provided connections between the ears that have been exploited to improve directional hearing, while neural circuits mediating sound localization are well developed. In this review, we will focus primarily on directional hearing in crocodilians, where vocalization and sound localization are thought to be ecologically important, and indicate important issues still awaiting resolution. PMID:26048335

  17. Identification and characterization of a ubiquitinconjugating enzyme UBE2A gene from lamprey.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liyong; Wu, Fenfang; Feng, Bo

    2016-02-01

    Ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) play an important role in the mechanism of ubiquitin transfer. Although in most species many of these enzymes share high sequence and structural conservation, their existence and functions in the lamprey remain unknown. In this study, we identified and characterized a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UBE2A)-like gene in lamprey. The gene, designated as LaUBE2A, contained a 456-bp open reading frame encoding a 152-amino acid protein with a typical UBC domain. Real-time PCR assay showed that LaUBE2A was expressed in various tissues of the adult lamprey, with higher levels in the leukocytes and muscle and lower levels in the skin and liver. The high conservation in amino acid sequence between LaUBE2A and UBE2As from Homo sapiens, Mus musculus, Cavia porcellus, and Alligator sinensi implied that the function of LaUBE2A may be similar to that of UBE2A. PMID:26463350

  18. Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Baum, Bruce J

    2014-01-01

    Applications of gene therapy have been evaluated in virtually every oral tissue, and many of these have proved successful at least in animal models. While gene therapy will not be used routinely in the next decade, practitioners of oral medicine should be aware of the potential of this novel type of treatment that doubtless will benefit many patients with oral diseases. PMID:24372817

  19. Trichoderma genes

    DOEpatents

    Foreman, Pamela; Goedegebuur, Frits; Van Solingen, Pieter; Ward, Michael

    2012-06-19

    Described herein are novel gene sequences isolated from Trichoderma reesei. Two genes encoding proteins comprising a cellulose binding domain, one encoding an arabionfuranosidase and one encoding an acetylxylanesterase are described. The sequences, CIP1 and CIP2, contain a cellulose binding domain. These proteins are especially useful in the textile and detergent industry and in pulp and paper industry.

  20. GlpC gene is responsible for biofilm formation and defense against phagocytes and imparts tolerance to pH and organic solvents in Proteus vulgaris.

    PubMed

    Wu, Y L; Liu, K S; Yin, X T; Fei, R M

    2015-01-01

    Biofilm-forming bacteria are highly resistant to antibiotics, host immune defenses, and other external conditions. The formation of biofilms plays a key role in colonization and infection. To explore the mechanism of biofilm formation, mutant strains of Proteus vulgaris XC 2 were generated by Tn5 random transposon insertion. Only one biofilm defective bacterial species was identified from among 500 mutants. Inactivation of the glpC gene coding an anaerobic glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase subunit C was identified by sequence analysis of the biofilm defective strain. Differences were detected in the growth phenotypes of the wild-type and mutant strains under pH, antibiotic, and organic solvent stress conditions. Furthermore, we observed an increase in the phagocytosis of the biofilm defective strain by the mouse macrophage RAW264.7 cell line compared to the wild-type strain. This study shows that the glpC gene plays an important role in biofilm formation, in addition to imparting pH, organic solvent, and antibiotic tolerance, and defense against phagocytosis to Proteus sp. The results further clarified the mechanism of biofilm formation at the genomic level, and indicated the importance of the glpC gene in this process. This data may provide innovative therapeutic measures against P. vulgaris infections; furthermore, as an important crocodile pathogen, this study also has important significance in the protection of Chinese alligators. PMID:26400293

  1. [Language gene].

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Hiroshi

    2006-11-01

    The human capacity for acquiring speech and language must derive, at least in part, from the genome. Recent advance in the field of molecular genetics finally discovered 'Language Gene'. Disruption of FOXP2 gene, the firstly identified 'language gene' causes severe speech and language disorder. To elucidate the anatomical basis of language processing in the brain, we examined the expression pattern of FOXP2/Foxp2 genes in the monkey and rat brains through development. We found the preferential expression of FOXP2/Foxp2 in the striosomal compartment of the developing striatum. Thus, we suggest the striatum, particularly striosomal system may participate in neural information processing for language and speech. Our suggestion is consistent with the declarative/ procedural model of language proposed by Ullman (1997, 2001), which the procedural memory-dependent mental grammar is rooted in the basal ganglia and the frontal cortex, and the declarative memory-dependent mental lexicon is rooted in the temporal lobe. PMID:17432197

  2. Genes V.

    SciTech Connect

    Lewin, B.

    1994-12-31

    This fifth edition book encompasses a wide range of topics covering 1,272 pages. The book is arranged into nine parts with a total of 36 chapters. These nine parts include Introduction; DNA as a Store of Information; Translation; Constructing Cells; Control of Prokaryotypic Gene Expression; Perpetuation of DNA; Organization of the Eukaryotypic Genome; Eukaryotypic Transcription and RNA Processing; The Dynamic Genome; and Genes in Development.

  3. Attention Genes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posner, Michael I.; Rothbart, Mary K.; Sheese, Brad E.

    2007-01-01

    A major problem for developmental science is understanding how the cognitive and emotional networks important in carrying out mental processes can be related to individual differences. The last five years have seen major advances in establishing links between alleles of specific genes and the neural networks underlying aspects of attention. These…

  4. Designer Genes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Judith; Miller, Mark

    1983-01-01

    Genetic technologies may soon help fill some of the most important needs of humanity from food to energy to health care. The research of major designer genes companies and reasons why the initial mad rush for biotechnology has slowed are reviewed. (SR)

  5. Alligators, hospital birth and other urban legends.

    PubMed

    Cohain, Judy Slome

    2012-05-01

    The belief that hospital birth for low risk pregnancies has better outcomes than planned, attended homebirth is an urban legend. The choice of low-risk women to deliver in hospital is a result of the dominant and irrational human propensities to gossip, to follow the crowd and to cling to irrational hope. Rational analysis shows that planned homebirth with experienced trained attendants has the best outcomes for both mother and newborn for low risk pregnancy. PMID:22550002

  6. Genes and Hearing Loss

    MedlinePlus

    ... Meeting Calendar Find an ENT Doctor Near You Genes and Hearing Loss Genes and Hearing Loss Patient ... mutation may only have dystopia canthorum. How Do Genes Work? Genes are a road map for the ...

  7. Compare Gene Profiles

    SciTech Connect

    2014-05-31

    Compare Gene Profiles (CGP) performs pairwise gene content comparisons among a relatively large set of related bacterial genomes. CGP performs pairwise BLAST among gene calls from a set of input genome and associated annotation files, and combines the results to generate lists of common genes, unique genes, homologs, and genes from each genome that differ substantially in length from corresponding genes in the other genomes. CGP is implemented in Python and runs in a Linux environment in serial or parallel mode.

  8. Gene gymnastics

    PubMed Central

    Vijayachandran, Lakshmi S; Thimiri Govinda Raj, Deepak B; Edelweiss, Evelina; Gupta, Kapil; Maier, Josef; Gordeliy, Valentin; Fitzgerald, Daniel J; Berger, Imre

    2013-01-01

    Most essential activities in eukaryotic cells are catalyzed by large multiprotein assemblies containing up to ten or more interlocking subunits. The vast majority of these protein complexes are not easily accessible for high resolution studies aimed at unlocking their mechanisms, due to their low cellular abundance and high heterogeneity. Recombinant overproduction can resolve this bottleneck and baculovirus expression vector systems (BEVS) have emerged as particularly powerful tools for the provision of eukaryotic multiprotein complexes in high quality and quantity. Recently, synthetic biology approaches have begun to make their mark in improving existing BEVS reagents by de novo design of streamlined transfer plasmids and by engineering the baculovirus genome. Here we present OmniBac, comprising new custom designed reagents that further facilitate the integration of heterologous genes into the baculovirus genome for multiprotein expression. Based on comparative genome analysis and data mining, we herein present a blueprint to custom design and engineer the entire baculovirus genome for optimized production properties using a bottom-up synthetic biology approach. PMID:23328086

  9. Gene doping: gene delivery for olympic victory

    PubMed Central

    Gould, David

    2013-01-01

    With one recently recommended gene therapy in Europe and a number of other gene therapy treatments now proving effective in clinical trials it is feasible that the same technologies will soon be adopted in the world of sport by unscrupulous athletes and their trainers in so called ‘gene doping’. In this article an overview of the successful gene therapy clinical trials is provided and the potential targets for gene doping are highlighted. Depending on whether a doping gene product is secreted from the engineered cells or is retained locally to, or inside engineered cells will, to some extent, determine the likelihood of detection. It is clear that effective gene delivery technologies now exist and it is important that detection and prevention plans are in place. PMID:23082866

  10. ALTERATIONS IN STEROIDOGENESIS IN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) EXPOSED NATURALLY AND EXPERIMENTALLY TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS. (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  11. THE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE OF THE FEMALE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS). (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  12. Autism and Genes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Institutes of Health, 2005

    2005-01-01

    This document defines and discusses autism and how genes play a role in the condition. Answers to the following questions are covered: (1) What are genes? (2) What is autism? (3) What causes autism? (4) Why study genes to learn about autism? (5) How do researchers look for the genes involved in autism? (screen the whole genome; conduct cytogenetic…

  13. Compare Gene Profiles

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2014-05-31

    Compare Gene Profiles (CGP) performs pairwise gene content comparisons among a relatively large set of related bacterial genomes. CGP performs pairwise BLAST among gene calls from a set of input genome and associated annotation files, and combines the results to generate lists of common genes, unique genes, homologs, and genes from each genome that differ substantially in length from corresponding genes in the other genomes. CGP is implemented in Python and runs in a Linuxmore » environment in serial or parallel mode.« less

  14. Evolution by gene loss.

    PubMed

    Albalat, Ricard; Cañestro, Cristian

    2016-07-01

    The recent increase in genomic data is revealing an unexpected perspective of gene loss as a pervasive source of genetic variation that can cause adaptive phenotypic diversity. This novel perspective of gene loss is raising new fundamental questions. How relevant has gene loss been in the divergence of phyla? How do genes change from being essential to dispensable and finally to being lost? Is gene loss mostly neutral, or can it be an effective way of adaptation? These questions are addressed, and insights are discussed from genomic studies of gene loss in populations and their relevance in evolutionary biology and biomedicine. PMID:27087500

  15. Human Gene Therapy: Genes without Frontiers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simon, Eric J.

    2002-01-01

    Describes the latest advancements and setbacks in human gene therapy to provide reference material for biology teachers to use in their science classes. Focuses on basic concepts such as recombinant DNA technology, and provides examples of human gene therapy such as severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, familial hypercholesterolemia, and…

  16. Evolution of gene expression after gene amplification.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Nelson; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Yongrui; Messing, Joachim

    2015-05-01

    We took a rather unique approach to investigate the conservation of gene expression of prolamin storage protein genes across two different subfamilies of the Poaceae. We took advantage of oat plants carrying single maize chromosomes in different cultivars, called oat-maize addition (OMA) lines, which permitted us to determine whether regulation of gene expression was conserved between the two species. We found that γ-zeins are expressed in OMA7.06, which carries maize chromosome 7 even in the absence of the trans-acting maize prolamin-box-binding factor (PBF), which regulates their expression. This is likely because oat PBF can substitute for the function of maize PBF as shown in our transient expression data, using a γ-zein promoter fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Despite this conservation, the younger, recently amplified prolamin genes in maize, absent in oat, are not expressed in the corresponding OMAs. However, maize can express the oldest prolamin gene, the wheat high-molecular weight glutenin Dx5 gene, even when maize Pbf is knocked down (through PbfRNAi), and/or another maize transcription factor, Opaque-2 (O2) is knocked out (in maize o2 mutant). Therefore, older genes are conserved in their regulation, whereas younger ones diverged during evolution and eventually acquired a new repertoire of suitable transcriptional activators. PMID:25912045

  17. Evolution of Gene Expression after Gene Amplification

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Nelson; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Yongrui; Messing, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    We took a rather unique approach to investigate the conservation of gene expression of prolamin storage protein genes across two different subfamilies of the Poaceae. We took advantage of oat plants carrying single maize chromosomes in different cultivars, called oat–maize addition (OMA) lines, which permitted us to determine whether regulation of gene expression was conserved between the two species. We found that γ-zeins are expressed in OMA7.06, which carries maize chromosome 7 even in the absence of the trans-acting maize prolamin-box-binding factor (PBF), which regulates their expression. This is likely because oat PBF can substitute for the function of maize PBF as shown in our transient expression data, using a γ-zein promoter fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Despite this conservation, the younger, recently amplified prolamin genes in maize, absent in oat, are not expressed in the corresponding OMAs. However, maize can express the oldest prolamin gene, the wheat high-molecular weight glutenin Dx5 gene, even when maize Pbf is knocked down (through PbfRNAi), and/or another maize transcription factor, Opaque-2 (O2) is knocked out (in maize o2 mutant). Therefore, older genes are conserved in their regulation, whereas younger ones diverged during evolution and eventually acquired a new repertoire of suitable transcriptional activators. PMID:25912045

  18. Reading and Generalist Genes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haworth, Claire M. A.; Meaburn, Emma L.; Harlaar, Nicole; Plomin, Robert

    2007-01-01

    Twin-study research suggests that many (but not all) of the same genes contribute to genetic influence on diverse learning abilities and disabilities, a hypothesis called "generalist genes". This generalist genes hypothesis was tested using a set of 10 DNA markers (single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs]) found to be associated with early reading…

  19. Accepting Foreign Genes.

    PubMed

    Boto, Luis

    2016-05-01

    Three recent papers underline the importance of the host genomic background in allowing the stable maintenance of horizontally acquired genes. These studies suggest that post-transfer changes in both host genome and acquired genes contribute to the stable integration of foreign genes. PMID:27075565

  20. [Imprinted genes in plants].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li-Geng; Yang, Ruo-Fei; Fu, Feng-Ling; Li, Wan-Chen

    2010-12-01

    The expression of imprinted genes is regulated by epigenetic mechanism. In plant endosperm, the allele of imprinted genes is expressed in a pattern of parent-of-origin-dependent. The expression of imprinted genes plays essential roles in the development of embryos and their annexe structures, as well as seed size, reproductive barriers and apomixis. Along with the progress of plant epigenetic research, the exploration of imprinted genes is becoming hotspot in epigenetic research. This review focused on the parental conflict theory about the origin of imprinted genes, and the latest research advances in expression regulation mechanism of plant imprinted genes, using the examples of the important imprinted genes MEA, FIS2, FWA, MPC, and PHE1 in Arabidopsis, and FIEI and FIE2 in maize. PMID:21513148

  1. Retrieval with gene queries

    PubMed Central

    Sehgal, Aditya K; Srinivasan, Padmini

    2006-01-01

    Background Accuracy of document retrieval from MEDLINE for gene queries is crucially important for many applications in bioinformatics. We explore five information retrieval-based methods to rank documents retrieved by PubMed gene queries for the human genome. The aim is to rank relevant documents higher in the retrieved list. We address the special challenges faced due to ambiguity in gene nomenclature: gene terms that refer to multiple genes, gene terms that are also English words, and gene terms that have other biological meanings. Results Our two baseline ranking strategies are quite similar in performance. Two of our three LocusLink-based strategies offer significant improvements. These methods work very well even when there is ambiguity in the gene terms. Our best ranking strategy offers significant improvements on three different kinds of ambiguities over our two baseline strategies (improvements range from 15.9% to 17.7% and 11.7% to 13.3% depending on the baseline). For most genes the best ranking query is one that is built from the LocusLink (now Entrez Gene) summary and product information along with the gene names and aliases. For others, the gene names and aliases suffice. We also present an approach that successfully predicts, for a given gene, which of these two ranking queries is more appropriate. Conclusion We explore the effect of different post-retrieval strategies on the ranking of documents returned by PubMed for human gene queries. We have successfully applied some of these strategies to improve the ranking of relevant documents in the retrieved sets. This holds true even when various kinds of ambiguity are encountered. We feel that it would be very useful to apply strategies like ours on PubMed search results as these are not ordered by relevance in any way. This is especially so for queries that retrieve a large number of documents. PMID:16630348

  2. Do Housekeeping Genes Exist?

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Bingyun

    2015-01-01

    The searching of human housekeeping (HK) genes has been a long quest since the emergence of transcriptomics, and is instrumental for us to understand the structure of genome and the fundamentals of biological processes. The resolved genes are frequently used in evolution studies and as normalization standards in quantitative gene-expression analysis. Within the past 20 years, more than a dozen HK-gene studies have been conducted, yet none of them sampled human tissues completely. We believe an integration of these results will help remove false positive genes owing to the inadequate sampling. Surprisingly, we only find one common gene across 15 examined HK-gene datasets comprising 187 different tissue and cell types. Our subsequent analyses suggest that it might not be appropriate to rigidly define HK genes as expressed in all tissue types that have diverse developmental, physiological, and pathological states. It might be beneficial to use more robustly identified HK functions for filtering criteria, in which the representing genes can be a subset of genome. These genes are not necessarily the same, and perhaps need not to be the same, everywhere in our body. PMID:25970694

  3. Do housekeeping genes exist?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yijuan; Li, Ding; Sun, Bingyun

    2015-01-01

    The searching of human housekeeping (HK) genes has been a long quest since the emergence of transcriptomics, and is instrumental for us to understand the structure of genome and the fundamentals of biological processes. The resolved genes are frequently used in evolution studies and as normalization standards in quantitative gene-expression analysis. Within the past 20 years, more than a dozen HK-gene studies have been conducted, yet none of them sampled human tissues completely. We believe an integration of these results will help remove false positive genes owing to the inadequate sampling. Surprisingly, we only find one common gene across 15 examined HK-gene datasets comprising 187 different tissue and cell types. Our subsequent analyses suggest that it might not be appropriate to rigidly define HK genes as expressed in all tissue types that have diverse developmental, physiological, and pathological states. It might be beneficial to use more robustly identified HK functions for filtering criteria, in which the representing genes can be a subset of genome. These genes are not necessarily the same, and perhaps need not to be the same, everywhere in our body. PMID:25970694

  4. Towards Consensus Gene Ages.

    PubMed

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J; McWhite, Claire D; Marcotte, Edward M

    2016-01-01

    Correctly estimating the age of a gene or gene family is important for a variety of fields, including molecular evolution, comparative genomics, and phylogenetics, and increasingly for systems biology and disease genetics. However, most studies use only a point estimate of a gene's age, neglecting the substantial uncertainty involved in this estimation. Here, we characterize this uncertainty by investigating the effect of algorithm choice on gene-age inference and calculate consensus gene ages with attendant error distributions for a variety of model eukaryotes. We use 13 orthology inference algorithms to create gene-age datasets and then characterize the error around each age-call on a per-gene and per-algorithm basis. Systematic error was found to be a large factor in estimating gene age, suggesting that simple consensus algorithms are not enough to give a reliable point estimate. We also found that different sources of error can affect downstream analyses, such as gene ontology enrichment. Our consensus gene-age datasets, with associated error terms, are made fully available at so that researchers can propagate this uncertainty through their analyses (geneages.org). PMID:27259914

  5. The gap gene network

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Gap genes are involved in segment determination during the early development of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as well as in other insects. This review attempts to synthesize the current knowledge of the gap gene network through a comprehensive survey of the experimental literature. I focus on genetic and molecular evidence, which provides us with an almost-complete picture of the regulatory interactions responsible for trunk gap gene expression. I discuss the regulatory mechanisms involved, and highlight the remaining ambiguities and gaps in the evidence. This is followed by a brief discussion of molecular regulatory mechanisms for transcriptional regulation, as well as precision and size-regulation provided by the system. Finally, I discuss evidence on the evolution of gap gene expression from species other than Drosophila. My survey concludes that studies of the gap gene system continue to reveal interesting and important new insights into the role of gene regulatory networks in development and evolution. PMID:20927566

  6. Metastasis Suppressor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Jinchun; Yang, Qin; Huang, Qihong

    2014-01-01

    Metastasis is a major cause of cancer mortality. Metastasis is a complex process that requires the regulation of both metastasis-promoting and metastasis suppressor genes. The discovery of metastasis suppressor genes contributes significantly to our understanding of metastasis mechanisms and provides prognostic markers and therapeutic targets in clinical cancer management. In this review, we summarize the methods that have been used to identify metastasis suppressors and the potential clinical impact of these genes. PMID:23348381

  7. Towards Consensus Gene Ages

    PubMed Central

    Liebeskind, Benjamin J.; McWhite, Claire D.; Marcotte, Edward M.

    2016-01-01

    Correctly estimating the age of a gene or gene family is important for a variety of fields, including molecular evolution, comparative genomics, and phylogenetics, and increasingly for systems biology and disease genetics. However, most studies use only a point estimate of a gene’s age, neglecting the substantial uncertainty involved in this estimation. Here, we characterize this uncertainty by investigating the effect of algorithm choice on gene-age inference and calculate consensus gene ages with attendant error distributions for a variety of model eukaryotes. We use 13 orthology inference algorithms to create gene-age datasets and then characterize the error around each age-call on a per-gene and per-algorithm basis. Systematic error was found to be a large factor in estimating gene age, suggesting that simple consensus algorithms are not enough to give a reliable point estimate. We also found that different sources of error can affect downstream analyses, such as gene ontology enrichment. Our consensus gene-age datasets, with associated error terms, are made fully available at so that researchers can propagate this uncertainty through their analyses (geneages.org). PMID:27259914

  8. History of gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Wirth, Thomas; Parker, Nigel; Ylä-Herttuala, Seppo

    2013-08-10

    Two decades after the initial gene therapy trials and more than 1700 approved clinical trials worldwide we not only have gained much new information and knowledge regarding gene therapy in general, but also learned to understand the concern that has persisted in society. Despite the setbacks gene therapy has faced, success stories have increasingly emerged. Examples for these are the positive recommendation for a gene therapy product (Glybera) by the EMA for approval in the European Union and the positive trials for the treatment of ADA deficiency, SCID-X1 and adrenoleukodystrophy. Nevertheless, our knowledge continues to grow and during the course of time more safety data has become available that helps us to develop better gene therapy approaches. Also, with the increased understanding of molecular medicine, we have been able to develop more specific and efficient gene transfer vectors which are now producing clinical results. In this review, we will take a historical view and highlight some of the milestones that had an important impact on the development of gene therapy. We will also discuss briefly the safety and ethical aspects of gene therapy and address some concerns that have been connected with gene therapy as an important therapeutic modality. PMID:23618815

  9. [The gene or genes of allergic asthma?].

    PubMed

    Demoly, P; Bousquet, J; Godard, P; Michel, F B

    1993-05-15

    Asthma is a multifactorial disease in which the hereditary component has been demonstrated by familial and identical twin studies. Allergy is important in the aetiology of asthma and is characterized by a hyperreaction to allergens triggering predominantly the immunoglobulines E. The levels of these antibodies are found to be elevated even in non allergic asthmatics. The majority of genetic research in this area is focused on either the genes of the specific immune response or that of the non allergic response. These are the genes of the class II MHC, and the APY gene on chromosome 11q respectively. The modern techniques of molecular genetics and in particular those of inverse genetics have recently contributed to a more comprehensive understanding of this disease. PMID:8316547

  10. GENE EXPRESSION NETWORKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    "Gene expression network" is the term used to describe the interplay, simple or complex, between two or more gene products in performing a specific cellular function. Although the delineation of such networks is complicated by the existence of multiple and subtle types of intera...

  11. Your Genes, Your Choices

    MedlinePlus

    Table of Contents Your Genes, Your Choices describes the Human Genome Project, the science behind it, and the ethical, legal, and social issues that are ... Nothing could be further from the truth. Your Genes, Your Choices points out how the progress of ...

  12. What Is a Gene?

    MedlinePlus

    ... a new kind of medicine — so new that scientists are still doing experiments to see if it works. It uses the technology of genetic engineering to treat a disease caused by a gene that has changed in some way. One method being tested is replacing sick genes with healthy ...

  13. Gene expression networks.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Reuben; Portier, Christopher J

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of microarrays and next-generation biotechnologies, the use of gene expression data has become ubiquitous in biological research. One potential drawback of these data is that they are very rich in features or genes though cost considerations allow for the use of only relatively small sample sizes. A useful way of getting at biologically meaningful interpretations of the environmental or toxicological condition of interest would be to make inferences at the level of a priori defined biochemical pathways or networks of interacting genes or proteins that are known to perform certain biological functions. This chapter describes approaches taken in the literature to make such inferences at the biochemical pathway level. In addition this chapter describes approaches to create hypotheses on genes playing important roles in response to a treatment, using organism level gene coexpression or protein-protein interaction networks. Also, approaches to reverse engineer gene networks or methods that seek to identify novel interactions between genes are described. Given the relatively small sample numbers typically available, these reverse engineering approaches are generally useful in inferring interactions only among a relatively small or an order 10 number of genes. Finally, given the vast amounts of publicly available gene expression data from different sources, this chapter summarizes the important sources of these data and characteristics of these sources or databases. In line with the overall aims of this book of providing practical knowledge to a researcher interested in analyzing gene expression data from a network perspective, the chapter provides convenient publicly accessible tools for performing analyses described, and in addition describe three motivating examples taken from the published literature that illustrate some of the relevant analyses. PMID:23086841

  14. 4. AERIAL VIEW OF GENE WASH RESERVOIR AND GENE CAMP ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    4. AERIAL VIEW OF GENE WASH RESERVOIR AND GENE CAMP LOOKING SOUTHWEST. DAM AND SPILLWAY VISIBLE IN BOTTOM OF PHOTO. - Gene Wash Reservoir & Dam, 2 miles west of Parker Dam, Parker Dam, San Bernardino County, CA

  15. Genes and Social Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Gene E.; Fernald, Russell D.; Clayton, David F.

    2011-01-01

    What specific genes and regulatory sequences contribute to the organization and functioning of brain circuits that support social behavior? How does social experience interact with information in the genome to modulate these brain circuits? Here we address these questions by highlighting progress that has been made in identifying and understanding two key “vectors of influence” that link genes, brain, and social behavior: 1) social information alters gene readout in the brain to influence behavior; and 2) genetic variation influences brain function and social behavior. We also briefly discuss how evolutionary changes in genomic elements influence social behavior and outline prospects for a systems biology of social behavior. PMID:18988841

  16. GeneLab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berrios, Daniel C.; Thompson, Terri G.

    2015-01-01

    NASA GeneLab is expected to capture and distribute omics data and experimental and process conditions most relevant to research community in their statistical and theoretical analysis of NASAs omics data.

  17. Terplex Gene Delivery System.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Wan

    2005-01-01

    Polymeric gene delivery systems have been developed to overcome problems caused by viral carriers. They are low cytotoxic, have no size limit, are convenient in handling, of low cost and reproducible. A Terplex gene delivery system consisting of plasmid DNA, low density lipoprotein and hydropholized poly-L-lysine was designed and characterized. The plasmid DNA, when formulated with stearyl PLL and LDL, forms a stable and hydrophobicity/charge-balanced Terplex system of optimal size for efficient cellular uptake. DNA is still intact after the Terplex formation. This information is expected to be utilized for the development of improved transfection vector for in vivo gene therapy. Terplex DNA complex showed significantly longer retention in the vascular space than naked DNA. This system was used in the augmentation of myocardial transfection at an infarction site with the VEGF gene. PMID:16243067

  18. Terplex gene delivery system.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Wan

    2005-01-01

    Polymeric gene delivery systems have been developed to overcome problems caused by viral carriers. They are low cytotoxic, have no size limit, are convenient in handling, of low cost and reproducible. A Terplex gene delivery system consisting of plasmid DNA, low density lipoprotein and hydropholized poly-L-lysine was designed and characterized. The plasmid DNA, when formulated with stearyl PLL and LDL, forms a stable and hydrophobicity/charge-balanced Terplex system of optimal size for efficient cellular uptake. DNA is still intact after the Terplex formation. This information is expected to be utilized for the development of improved transfection vector for in vivo gene therapy. Terplex DNA complex showed significantly longer retention in the vascular space than naked DNA. This system was used in the augmentation of myocardial transfection at an infarction site with the VEGF gene. PMID:16240997

  19. Vaginal gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Gascón, Alicia; Del Pozo-Rodríguez, Ana; Isla, Arantxazu; Solinís, María Angeles

    2015-09-15

    In the last years, vaginal gene therapy has gained increasing attention mainly for the treatment and control of sexually transmitted infections. DNA delivery has been also suggested to improve reproductive outcomes for women with deficiencies in the female reproductive tract. Although no product has reached clinical phase, preclinical investigations reveal the potential of the vaginal tract as an effective administration route for gene delivery. This review focuses on the main advantages and challenges of vaginal gene therapy, and on the most used nucleic acid delivery systems, including viral and non-viral vectors. Additionally, the advances in the application of vaginal gene therapy for the treatment and/or prevention of infectious diseases such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the human papillomavirus (HPV) or the herpes simplex virus (HSV) are presented. PMID:26189799

  20. "Bad genes" & criminal responsibility.

    PubMed

    González-Tapia, María Isabel; Obsuth, Ingrid

    2015-01-01

    The genetics of the accused is trying to break into the courts. To date several candidate genes have been put forward and their links to antisocial behavior have been examined and documented with some consistency. In this paper, we focus on the so called "warrior gene", or the low-activity allele of the MAOA gene, which has been most consistently related to human behavior and specifically to violence and antisocial behavior. In preparing this paper we had two objectives. First, to summarize and analyze the current scientific evidence, in order to gain an in depth understanding of the state of the issue and determine whether a dominant line of generally accepted scientific knowledge in this field can be asserted. Second, to derive conclusions and put forward recommendations related to the use of genetic information, specifically the presence of the low-activity genotype of the MAOA gene, in modulation of criminal responsibility in European and US courts. PMID:25708001

  1. Fibrinogen gene regulation.

    PubMed

    Fish, Richard J; Neerman-Arbez, Marguerite

    2012-09-01

    The Aα, Bβ and γ polypeptide chains of fibrinogen are encoded by a three gene cluster on human chromosome four. The fibrinogen genes (FGB-FGA-FGG) are expressed almost exclusively in hepatocytes where their output is coordinated to ensure a sufficient mRNA pool for each chain and maintain an abundant plasma fibrinogen protein level. Fibrinogen gene expression is controlled by the activity of proximal promoters which contain binding sites for hepatocyte transcription factors, including proteins which influence fibrinogen transcription in response to acute-phase inflammatory stimuli. The fibrinogen gene cluster also contains cis regulatory elements; enhancer sequences with liver activities identified by sequence conservation and functional genomics. While the transcriptional control of this gene cluster is fascinating biology, the medical impetus to understand fibrinogen gene regulation stems from the association of cardiovascular disease risk with high level circulating fibrinogen. In the general population this level varies from about 1.5 to 3.5 g/l. This variation between individuals is influenced by genotype, suggesting there are genetic variants contributing to fibrinogen levels which reside in fibrinogen regulatory loci. A complete picture of how fibrinogen genes are regulated will therefore point towards novel sources of regulatory variants. In this review we discuss regulation of the fibrinogen genes from proximal promoters and enhancers, the influence of acute-phase stimulation, post-transcriptional regulation by miRNAs and functional regulatory variants identified in genetic studies. Finally, we discuss the fibrinogen locus in light of recent advances in understanding chromosomal architecture and suggest future directions for researching the mechanisms that control fibrinogen expression. PMID:22836683

  2. Gene therapy in epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Riban, Véronique; Fitzsimons, Helen L.; During, Matthew J.

    2009-01-01

    SUMMARY Results from animal models suggest gene therapy is a promising new approach for the treatment of epilepsy. Several candidate genes such as neuropeptide Y and galanin have been demonstrated in preclinical studies to have a positive effect on seizure activity. For a successful gene therapy-based treatment, efficient delivery of a transgene to target neurons is also essential. To this end, advances have been made in the areas of cell transplantation and in the development of recombinant viral vectors for gene delivery. Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors in particular show promise for gene therapy of neurological disorders due to their neuronal tropism, lack of toxicity, and stable persistence in neurons, which results in robust, long-term expression of the transgene. rAAV vectors have been recently used in phase I clinical trials of Parkinson’s disease with an excellent safety profile. Prior to commencement of phase I trials for gene therapy of epilepsy, further preclinical studies are ongoing including evaluation of the therapeutic benefit in chronicmodels of epileptogenesis, as well as assessment of safety intoxicological studies. PMID:18717707

  3. Evidence for homosexuality gene

    SciTech Connect

    Pool, R.

    1993-07-16

    A genetic analysis of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers has uncovered a region on the X chromosome that appears to contain a gene or genes for homosexuality. When analyzing the pedigrees of homosexual males, the researcheres found evidence that the trait has a higher likelihood of being passed through maternal genes. This led them to search the X chromosome for genes predisposing to homosexuality. The researchers examined the X chromosomes of pairs of homosexual brothers for regions of DNA that most or all had in common. Of the 40 sets of brothers, 33 shared a set of five markers in the q28 region of the long arm of the X chromosome. The linkage has a LOD score of 4.0, which translates into a 99.5% certainty that there is a gene or genes in this area that predispose males to homosexuality. The chief researcher warns, however, that this one site cannot explain all instances of homosexuality, since there were some cases where the trait seemed to be passed paternally. And even among those brothers where there was no evidence that the trait was passed paternally, seven sets of brothers did not share the Xq28 markers. It seems likely that homosexuality arises from a variety of causes.

  4. Identification of four soybean reference genes for gene expression normalization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Gene expression analysis requires the use of reference genes stably expressed independently of specific tissues or environmental conditions. Housekeeping genes (e.g., actin, tubulin, ribosomal, polyubiquitin and elongation factor 1-alpha) are commonly used as reference genes with the assumption tha...

  5. 5. OVERHEAD VIEW OF GENE CAMP LOOKING SOUTH. GENE PUMP ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    5. OVERHEAD VIEW OF GENE CAMP LOOKING SOUTH. GENE PUMP PLANT IS AT CENTER WITH ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLEX IN FOREGROUND AND RESIDENTIAL AREA BEYOND PLANT. - Gene Pump Plant, South of Gene Wash Reservoir, 2 miles west of Whitsett Pump Plant, Parker Dam, San Bernardino County, CA

  6. Prospects for gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ali, Robin R

    2004-01-01

    Inherited retinal disease, which includes conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP), affects about 1/3000 of the population in the Western world. It is characterized by gradual loss of vision and results from mutations in any one of 60 or so different genes. There are currently no effective treatments, but many of the genes have now been identified and their functions elucidated, providing a major impetus to develop gene-based treatments. Many of the disease genes are photoreceptor- or retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell specific. Since adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors can be used for efficient gene transfer to these two cell types, we are developing AAV-mediated gene therapy approaches for inherited retinal degeneration using animal models that have defects in these cells. The retinal degeneration slow (rds or Prph2Rd2/Rd) mouse, a model of recessive RP, lacks a functional gene encoding peripherin 2, which is a photoreceptor-specific protein required for the formation of outer segment discs. We have previously demonstrated restoration of photoreceptor ultrastructure and function by AAV-mediated gene transfer of peripherin 2. We have now extended our assessment to central visual neuronal responses in order to show an improvement of central visual function. The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat, provides another model of recessive RP. Here the defect is due to a defect in Mertk, a gene that is expressed in the RPE and encodes a receptor tyrosine kinase that is thought to be involved in the recognition and binding of outer segment debris. The gene defect results in the inability of the RPE to phagocytose the shed outer segments from photoreceptor cells. The resulting accumulation of debris between the RPE and the neuroretina leads to progressive loss of photoreceptor cells. AAV-mediated delivery of Mertk to the RPE results in reduction of debris indicating that the phagocytosing function of the RPE is restored and delays the degeneration of the

  7. Classification of genes based on gene expression analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Angelova, M.; Myers, C.; Faith, J.

    2008-05-01

    Systems biology and bioinformatics are now major fields for productive research. DNA microarrays and other array technologies and genome sequencing have advanced to the point that it is now possible to monitor gene expression on a genomic scale. Gene expression analysis is discussed and some important clustering techniques are considered. The patterns identified in the data suggest similarities in the gene behavior, which provides useful information for the gene functionalities. We discuss measures for investigating the homogeneity of gene expression data in order to optimize the clustering process. We contribute to the knowledge of functional roles and regulation of E. coli genes by proposing a classification of these genes based on consistently correlated genes in expression data and similarities of gene expression patterns. A new visualization tool for targeted projection pursuit and dimensionality reduction of gene expression data is demonstrated.

  8. Classification of genes based on gene expression analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Angelova, M. Myers, C. Faith, J.

    2008-05-15

    Systems biology and bioinformatics are now major fields for productive research. DNA microarrays and other array technologies and genome sequencing have advanced to the point that it is now possible to monitor gene expression on a genomic scale. Gene expression analysis is discussed and some important clustering techniques are considered. The patterns identified in the data suggest similarities in the gene behavior, which provides useful information for the gene functionalities. We discuss measures for investigating the homogeneity of gene expression data in order to optimize the clustering process. We contribute to the knowledge of functional roles and regulation of E. coli genes by proposing a classification of these genes based on consistently correlated genes in expression data and similarities of gene expression patterns. A new visualization tool for targeted projection pursuit and dimensionality reduction of gene expression data is demonstrated.

  9. GeneCards Version 3: the human gene integrator.

    PubMed

    Safran, Marilyn; Dalah, Irina; Alexander, Justin; Rosen, Naomi; Iny Stein, Tsippi; Shmoish, Michael; Nativ, Noam; Bahir, Iris; Doniger, Tirza; Krug, Hagit; Sirota-Madi, Alexandra; Olender, Tsviya; Golan, Yaron; Stelzer, Gil; Harel, Arye; Lancet, Doron

    2010-01-01

    GeneCards (www.genecards.org) is a comprehensive, authoritative compendium of annotative information about human genes, widely used for nearly 15 years. Its gene-centric content is automatically mined and integrated from over 80 digital sources, resulting in a web-based deep-linked card for each of >73,000 human gene entries, encompassing the following categories: protein coding, pseudogene, RNA gene, genetic locus, cluster and uncategorized. We now introduce GeneCards Version 3, featuring a speedy and sophisticated search engine and a revamped, technologically enabling infrastructure, catering to the expanding needs of biomedical researchers. A key focus is on gene-set analyses, which leverage GeneCards' unique wealth of combinatorial annotations. These include the GeneALaCart batch query facility, which tabulates user-selected annotations for multiple genes and GeneDecks, which identifies similar genes with shared annotations, and finds set-shared annotations by descriptor enrichment analysis. Such set-centric features address a host of applications, including microarray data analysis, cross-database annotation mapping and gene-disorder associations for drug targeting. We highlight the new Version 3 database architecture, its multi-faceted search engine, and its semi-automated quality assurance system. Data enhancements include an expanded visualization of gene expression patterns in normal and cancer tissues, an integrated alternative splicing pattern display, and augmented multi-source SNPs and pathways sections. GeneCards now provides direct links to gene-related research reagents such as antibodies, recombinant proteins, DNA clones and inhibitory RNAs and features gene-related drugs and compounds lists. We also portray the GeneCards Inferred Functionality Score annotation landscape tool for scoring a gene's functional information status. Finally, we delineate examples of applications and collaborations that have benefited from the GeneCards suite. Database

  10. How old is my gene?

    PubMed Central

    Capra, John A.; Stolzer, Maureen; Durand, Dannie; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2013-01-01

    Gene functions, interactions, disease associations, and ecological distributions are all correlated with gene age. However, it is challenging to estimate the intricate series of evolutionary events leading to a modern day gene and then reduce this history to a single age estimate. Focusing on eukaryotic gene families, we introduce a framework in which to compare current strategies for quantifying gene age, discuss key differences between these methods, and highlight several common problems. We argue that genes with complex evolutionary histories do not have a single well-defined age. As a result, care must be taken to articulate the goals and assumptions of any analysis that uses gene age estimates. Recent algorithmic advances offer the promise of gene age estimates that are fast, accurate, and consistent across gene families. This will enable a shift to integrated genome-wide analyses of all events in gene evolutionary histories in the near future. PMID:23915718

  11. Saporin suicide gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zarovni, Natasa; Vago, Riccardo; Fabbrini, Maria Serena

    2009-01-01

    New genes useful in suicide gene therapy are those encoding toxins such as plant ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs), which can irreversibly block protein synthesis, triggering apoptotic cell death. Plasmids expressing a cytosolic saporin (SAP) gene from common soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) are generated by placing the region encoding the mature plant toxin under the control of strong viral promoters and may be placed under tumor-specific promoters. The ability of the resulting constructs to inhibit protein synthesis is tested in cultured tumor cells co-transfected with a luciferase reporter gene. SAP expression driven by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter (pCI-SAP) demonstrates that only 10 ng ofplasmid DNA per 1.6 x 10(4) B16 melanoma cells drastically reduces luciferase reporter activity to 18% of that in control cells (1). Direct intratumoral injections are performed in an aggressive melanoma model. B16 melanoma-bearing mice injected with pCI-SAP complexed with lipofectamine or N-(2,3-dioleoyloxy-1-propyl) trimethylammonium methyl sulfate (DOTAP) show a noteworthy attenuation in tumor growth, and this effect is significantly augmented by repeated administrations of the DNA complexes. Here, we describe in detail this cost-effective and safe suicide gene approach. PMID:19565907

  12. Hox genes and evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hrycaj, Steven M.; Wellik, Deneen M.

    2016-01-01

    Hox proteins are a deeply conserved group of transcription factors originally defined for their critical roles in governing segmental identity along the antero-posterior (AP) axis in Drosophila. Over the last 30 years, numerous data generated in evolutionarily diverse taxa have clearly shown that changes in the expression patterns of these genes are closely associated with the regionalization of the AP axis, suggesting that Hox genes have played a critical role in the evolution of novel body plans within Bilateria. Despite this deep functional conservation and the importance of these genes in AP patterning, key questions remain regarding many aspects of Hox biology. In this commentary, we highlight recent reports that have provided novel insight into the origins of the mammalian Hox cluster, the role of Hox genes in the generation of a limbless body plan, and a novel putative mechanism in which Hox genes may encode specificity along the AP axis. Although the data discussed here offer a fresh perspective, it is clear that there is still much to learn about Hox biology and the roles it has played in the evolution of the Bilaterian body plan. PMID:27239281

  13. LQTS gene LOVD database.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Moss, Arthur; Cong, Peikuan; Pan, Min; Chang, Bingxi; Zheng, Liangrong; Fang, Quan; Zareba, Wojciech; Robinson, Jennifer; Lin, Changsong; Li, Zhongxiang; Wei, Junfang; Zeng, Qiang; Qi, Ming

    2010-11-01

    The Long QT Syndrome (LQTS) is a group of genetically heterogeneous disorders that predisposes young individuals to ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death. LQTS is mainly caused by mutations in genes encoding subunits of cardiac ion channels (KCNQ1, KCNH2,SCN5A, KCNE1, and KCNE2). Many other genes involved in LQTS have been described recently(KCNJ2, AKAP9, ANK2, CACNA1C, SCNA4B, SNTA1, and CAV3). We created an online database(http://www.genomed.org/LOVD/introduction.html) that provides information on variants in LQTS-associated genes. As of February 2010, the database contains 1738 unique variants in 12 genes. A total of 950 variants are considered pathogenic, 265 are possible pathogenic, 131 are unknown/unclassified, and 292 have no known pathogenicity. In addition to these mutations collected from published literature, we also submitted information on gene variants, including one possible novel pathogenic mutation in the KCNH2 splice site found in ten Chinese families with documented arrhythmias. The remote user is able to search the data and is encouraged to submit new mutations into the database. The LQTS database will become a powerful tool for both researchers and clinicians. PMID:20809527

  14. Engineered Gene Circuits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasty, Jeff

    2003-03-01

    Uncovering the structure and function of gene regulatory networks has become one of the central challenges of the post-genomic era. Theoretical models of protein-DNA feedback loops and gene regulatory networks have long been proposed, and recently, certain qualitative features of such models have been experimentally corroborated. This talk will focus on model and experimental results that demonstrate how a naturally occurring gene network can be used as a ``parts list'' for synthetic network design. The model formulation leads to computational and analytical approaches relevant to nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics, and the utility of such a formulation will be demonstrated through the consideration of specific design criteria for several novel genetic devices. Fluctuations originating from small molecule-number effects will be discussed in the context of model predictions, and the experimental validation of these stochastic effects underscores the importance of internal noise in gene expression. Potential biotech applications will be highlighted within the framework of cellular control schemes. Specifically, the coupling of an oscillating cellular process to a synthetic oscillator will be considered, and the resulting model behavior will be analyzed in the context of synchronization. The underlying methodology highlights the utility of engineering-based methods in the design of synthetic gene regulatory networks.

  15. FunGene: the functional gene pipeline and repository

    PubMed Central

    Fish, Jordan A.; Chai, Benli; Wang, Qiong; Sun, Yanni; Brown, C. Titus; Tiedje, James M.; Cole, James R.

    2013-01-01

    Ribosomal RNA genes have become the standard molecular markers for microbial community analysis for good reasons, including universal occurrence in cellular organisms, availability of large databases, and ease of rRNA gene region amplification and analysis. As markers, however, rRNA genes have some significant limitations. The rRNA genes are often present in multiple copies, unlike most protein-coding genes. The slow rate of change in rRNA genes means that multiple species sometimes share identical 16S rRNA gene sequences, while many more species share identical sequences in the short 16S rRNA regions commonly analyzed. In addition, the genes involved in many important processes are not distributed in a phylogenetically coherent manner, potentially due to gene loss or horizontal gene transfer. While rRNA genes remain the most commonly used markers, key genes in ecologically important pathways, e.g., those involved in carbon and nitrogen cycling, can provide important insights into community composition and function not obtainable through rRNA analysis. However, working with ecofunctional gene data requires some tools beyond those required for rRNA analysis. To address this, our Functional Gene Pipeline and Repository (FunGene; http://fungene.cme.msu.edu/) offers databases of many common ecofunctional genes and proteins, as well as integrated tools that allow researchers to browse these collections and choose subsets for further analysis, build phylogenetic trees, test primers and probes for coverage, and download aligned sequences. Additional FunGene tools are specialized to process coding gene amplicon data. For example, FrameBot produces frameshift-corrected protein and DNA sequences from raw reads while finding the most closely related protein reference sequence. These tools can help provide better insight into microbial communities by directly studying key genes involved in important ecological processes. PMID:24101916

  16. GeneCards Version 3: the human gene integrator

    PubMed Central

    Safran, Marilyn; Dalah, Irina; Alexander, Justin; Rosen, Naomi; Iny Stein, Tsippi; Shmoish, Michael; Nativ, Noam; Bahir, Iris; Doniger, Tirza; Krug, Hagit; Sirota-Madi, Alexandra; Olender, Tsviya; Golan, Yaron; Stelzer, Gil; Harel, Arye; Lancet, Doron

    2010-01-01

    GeneCards (www.genecards.org) is a comprehensive, authoritative compendium of annotative information about human genes, widely used for nearly 15 years. Its gene-centric content is automatically mined and integrated from over 80 digital sources, resulting in a web-based deep-linked card for each of >73 000 human gene entries, encompassing the following categories: protein coding, pseudogene, RNA gene, genetic locus, cluster and uncategorized. We now introduce GeneCards Version 3, featuring a speedy and sophisticated search engine and a revamped, technologically enabling infrastructure, catering to the expanding needs of biomedical researchers. A key focus is on gene-set analyses, which leverage GeneCards’ unique wealth of combinatorial annotations. These include the GeneALaCart batch query facility, which tabulates user-selected annotations for multiple genes and GeneDecks, which identifies similar genes with shared annotations, and finds set-shared annotations by descriptor enrichment analysis. Such set-centric features address a host of applications, including microarray data analysis, cross-database annotation mapping and gene-disorder associations for drug targeting. We highlight the new Version 3 database architecture, its multi-faceted search engine, and its semi-automated quality assurance system. Data enhancements include an expanded visualization of gene expression patterns in normal and cancer tissues, an integrated alternative splicing pattern display, and augmented multi-source SNPs and pathways sections. GeneCards now provides direct links to gene-related research reagents such as antibodies, recombinant proteins, DNA clones and inhibitory RNAs and features gene-related drugs and compounds lists. We also portray the GeneCards Inferred Functionality Score annotation landscape tool for scoring a gene’s functional information status. Finally, we delineate examples of applications and collaborations that have benefited from the GeneCards suite

  17. Human DNA repair genes.

    PubMed

    Wood, R D; Mitchell, M; Sgouros, J; Lindahl, T

    2001-02-16

    Cellular DNA is subjected to continual attack, both by reactive species inside cells and by environmental agents. Toxic and mutagenic consequences are minimized by distinct pathways of repair, and 130 known human DNA repair genes are described here. Notable features presently include four enzymes that can remove uracil from DNA, seven recombination genes related to RAD51, and many recently discovered DNA polymerases that bypass damage, but only one system to remove the main DNA lesions induced by ultraviolet light. More human DNA repair genes will be found by comparison with model organisms and as common folds in three-dimensional protein structures are determined. Modulation of DNA repair should lead to clinical applications including improvement of radiotherapy and treatment with anticancer drugs and an advanced understanding of the cellular aging process. PMID:11181991

  18. Virus induced gene silencing of Arabidopsis gene homologues in wheat identify genes conferring improved drought tolerance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In a non-model staple crop like wheat, functional validation of potential drought stress responsive genes identified in Arabidopsis could provide gene targets for wheat breeding. Virus induced gene silencing (VIGS) of genes of interest can overcome the inherent problems of polyploidy and limited tra...

  19. Neighboring Genes Show Correlated Evolution in Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Ghanbarian, Avazeh T.; Hurst, Laurence D.

    2015-01-01

    When considering the evolution of a gene’s expression profile, we commonly assume that this is unaffected by its genomic neighborhood. This is, however, in contrast to what we know about the lack of autonomy between neighboring genes in gene expression profiles in extant taxa. Indeed, in all eukaryotic genomes genes of similar expression-profile tend to cluster, reflecting chromatin level dynamics. Does it follow that if a gene increases expression in a particular lineage then the genomic neighbors will also increase in their expression or is gene expression evolution autonomous? To address this here we consider evolution of human gene expression since the human-chimp common ancestor, allowing for both variation in estimation of current expression level and error in Bayesian estimation of the ancestral state. We find that in all tissues and both sexes, the change in gene expression of a focal gene on average predicts the change in gene expression of neighbors. The effect is highly pronounced in the immediate vicinity (<100 kb) but extends much further. Sex-specific expression change is also genomically clustered. As genes increasing their expression in humans tend to avoid nuclear lamina domains and be enriched for the gene activator 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, we conclude that, most probably owing to chromatin level control of gene expression, a change in gene expression of one gene likely affects the expression evolution of neighbors, what we term expression piggybacking, an analog of hitchhiking. PMID:25743543

  20. Prokaryotic gene prediction using GeneMark and GeneMark.hmm.

    PubMed

    Borodovsky, Mark; Mills, Ryan; Besemer, John; Lomsadze, Alex

    2003-05-01

    In this unit, the GeneMark and GeneMark.hmm programs are presented as two different methods for the in silico prediction of genes in prokaryotes. GeneMark can be used for whole genome analysis as well as for the local analysis of a particular gene and its surrounding regions. GeneMark.hmm makes use of Hidden Markov models to find the transition points (boundaries) between protein coding states and noncoding states and can be efficiently used for larger genome sequences. These methods can be used in conjunction with each other for a higher sensitivity of gene detection. PMID:18428700

  1. Genes and Vocal Learning

    PubMed Central

    White, Stephanie A.

    2009-01-01

    Could a mutation in a single gene be the evolutionary lynchpin supporting the development of human language? A rare mutation in the molecule known as FOXP2 discovered in a human family seemed to suggest so, and its sequence phylogeny reinforced a Chomskian view that language emerged wholesale in humans. Spurred by this discovery, research in primates, rodents and birds suggests that FoxP2 and other language-related genes are interactors in the neuromolecular networks that underlie subsystems of language, such symbolic understanding, vocal learning and theory of mind. The whole picture will only come together through comparative and integrative study into how the human language singularity evolved. PMID:19913899

  2. The gene tree delusion.

    PubMed

    Springer, Mark S; Gatesy, John

    2016-01-01

    Higher-level relationships among placental mammals are mostly resolved, but several polytomies remain contentious. Song et al. (2012) claimed to have resolved three of these using shortcut coalescence methods (MP-EST, STAR) and further concluded that these methods, which assume no within-locus recombination, are required to unravel deep-level phylogenetic problems that have stymied concatenation. Here, we reanalyze Song et al.'s (2012) data and leverage these re-analyses to explore key issues in systematics including the recombination ratchet, gene tree stoichiometry, the proportion of gene tree incongruence that results from deep coalescence versus other factors, and simulations that compare the performance of coalescence and concatenation methods in species tree estimation. Song et al. (2012) reported an average locus length of 3.1 kb for the 447 protein-coding genes in their phylogenomic dataset, but the true mean length of these loci (start codon to stop codon) is 139.6 kb. Empirical estimates of recombination breakpoints in primates, coupled with consideration of the recombination ratchet, suggest that individual coalescence genes (c-genes) approach ∼12 bp or less for Song et al.'s (2012) dataset, three to four orders of magnitude shorter than the c-genes reported by these authors. This result has general implications for the application of coalescence methods in species tree estimation. We contend that it is illogical to apply coalescence methods to complete protein-coding sequences. Such analyses amalgamate c-genes with different evolutionary histories (i.e., exons separated by >100,000 bp), distort true gene tree stoichiometry that is required for accurate species tree inference, and contradict the central rationale for applying coalescence methods to difficult phylogenetic problems. In addition, Song et al.'s (2012) dataset of 447 genes includes 21 loci with switched taxonomic names, eight duplicated loci, 26 loci with non-homologous sequences that are

  3. XLMR genes: Update 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Neri, G.; Chiurazzi, P.; Arena, J.F.; Lubs, H.A.

    1994-07-15

    We provide a comprehensive list of all known forms of X-linked mental retardation. It comprises 127 entries, subdivided into 5 categories (syndromes, dominant disorders, and nonspecific mental retardation). Map location of 69 putative loci demonstrates several overlaps, which will only be resolved by more refined mapping or cloning of the respective genes. The ultimate goal of identifying all the genes on the X chromosome whose mutations cause mental retardation will require a concerted effort between clinical and molecular investigators. 74 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  4. When You're Up to Your Ears in Alligators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baumbach, Donna

    1997-01-01

    Discusses 10 challenges media specialists must overcome to effectively use technology in education. Highlights include people opposed to technology; teacher training to help develop collaborative relationships; establishing and using a comprehensive technology plan; assuming more professional responsibility; and empowerment. (LRW)

  5. A modular solar system provides hot water for alligator farm

    SciTech Connect

    Healey, H.M. )

    1994-03-01

    This article describes an 8,000 ft[sup 2] (743 m[sup 2]), site-built, large volume, Integral Collector Storage (ICS) solar water heating system installed at the farm to preheat water for the building washdown as part of a Florida Energy Office demonstration project. The project utilized at Foster Farms was a Shallow Solar Pond (SSP)--a modular, site-built, solar water heating system capable of providing in excess of 5,000 heated gallons (19 m[sup 3]) per day. During the past 10 years, a large number of solar systems have been proposed to provide economical hot water for industrial processes. Most of these water heating systems have proven to be too costly or too complex to compete with the traditional water heating methods using conventional fuels. Technology initiated at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and expanded upon by the Tennessee Valley Authority was shown to have outstanding potential in Florida. This technology, which was utilized at Foster Farms, consists of a site-built large-volume ICAS system called the Shallow Solar Pond. Shallow Solar Pond (SSP) systems utilize the modular approach in which modules, built in a standardized size, are tied together to supply the required load. The SSP module can be ground mounted or installed on a roof. Each SSP module is typically 16 ft (5 m) wide and up to 200 ft (61 m) in length. The module contains one or two flat waterbags similar to a waterbed. The bags rest on a layer of insulation or bed of sand inside concrete or fiberglass curbs. The bag is protected against damage and heat loss by greenhouse-type glazing. A typical 200 ft [times] 16 ft (61 m [times] 5 m) pond, filled to a 4 in. (10 cm) depth, holds approximately 8,000 gallons (30 m[sup 3]) of water.

  6. Balancing Teaching with Other Responsibilities: Integrating Roles or Feeding Alligators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colbeck, Carol L.

    This study investigated how university research faculty balanced undergraduate teaching with their other professional responsibilities, noting how discipline and rank influenced their efforts to balance their work responsibilities. Interviews with 97 faculty members from the University of Texas at Knoxville, the University of Texas at Austin, and…

  7. The Psychologist's Dilemma: Killing Alligators vs. Draining The Swamp

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Withers, Thomas

    1973-01-01

    Analyzes the problems of the school psychologist, his relationship with the school as a whole as well as with individual children, and the effect teachers can have on child psychological development. (RK)

  8. Gene therapy: progress and predictions

    PubMed Central

    Collins, Mary; Thrasher, Adrian

    2015-01-01

    The first clinical gene delivery, which involved insertion of a marker gene into lymphocytes from cancer patients, was published 25 years ago. In this review, we describe progress since then in gene therapy. Patients with some inherited single-gene defects can now be treated with their own bone marrow stem cells that have been engineered with a viral vector carrying the missing gene. Patients with inherited retinopathies and haemophilia B can also be treated by local or systemic injection of viral vectors. There are also a number of promising gene therapy approaches for cancer and infectious disease. We predict that the next 25 years will see improvements in safety, efficacy and manufacture of gene delivery vectors and introduction of gene-editing technologies to the clinic. Gene delivery may also prove a cost-effective method for the delivery of biological medicines. PMID:26702034

  9. Multidimensional gene search with Genehopper

    PubMed Central

    Munz, Matthias; Tönnies, Sascha; Balke, Wolf-Tilo; Simon, Eric

    2015-01-01

    The high abundance of genetic information enables researchers to gain new insights from the comparison of human genes according to their similarities. However, existing tools that allow the exploration of such gene-to-gene relationships, apply each similarity independently. To make use of multidimensional scoring, we developed a new search engine named Genehopper. It can handle two query types: (i) the typical use case starts with a term-to-gene search, i.e. an optimized full-text search for an anchor gene of interest. The web-interface can handle one or more terms including gene symbols and identifiers of Ensembl, UniProt, EntrezGene and RefSeq. (ii) When the anchor gene is defined, the user can explore its neighborhood by a gene-to-gene search as the weighted sum of nine normalized gene similarities based on sequence homology, protein domains, mRNA expression profiles, Gene Ontology Annotation, gene symbols and other features. Each weight can be adjusted by the user, allowing flexible customization of the gene search. All implemented similarities have a low pairwise correlation (max r2 = 0.4) implying a low linear dependency, i.e. any change in a single weight has an effect on the ranking. Thus, we treated them as separate dimensions in the search space. Genehopper is freely available at http://genehopper.ifis.cs.tu-bs.de. PMID:25990726

  10. Multidimensional gene search with Genehopper.

    PubMed

    Munz, Matthias; Tönnies, Sascha; Balke, Wolf-Tilo; Simon, Eric

    2015-07-01

    The high abundance of genetic information enables researchers to gain new insights from the comparison of human genes according to their similarities. However, existing tools that allow the exploration of such gene-to-gene relationships, apply each similarity independently. To make use of multidimensional scoring, we developed a new search engine named Genehopper. It can handle two query types: (i) the typical use case starts with a term-to-gene search, i.e. an optimized full-text search for an anchor gene of interest. The web-interface can handle one or more terms including gene symbols and identifiers of Ensembl, UniProt, EntrezGene and RefSeq. (ii) When the anchor gene is defined, the user can explore its neighborhood by a gene-to-gene search as the weighted sum of nine normalized gene similarities based on sequence homology, protein domains, mRNA expression profiles, Gene Ontology Annotation, gene symbols and other features. Each weight can be adjusted by the user, allowing flexible customization of the gene search. All implemented similarities have a low pairwise correlation (max r(2) = 0.4) implying a low linear dependency, i.e. any change in a single weight has an effect on the ranking. Thus, we treated them as separate dimensions in the search space. Genehopper is freely available at http://genehopper.ifis.cs.tu-bs.de. PMID:25990726

  11. Gene therapy in pancreatic cancer

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Si-Xue; Xia, Zhong-Sheng; Zhong, Ying-Qiang

    2014-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a highly lethal disease and notoriously difficult to treat. Only a small proportion of PC patients are eligible for surgical resection, whilst conventional chemoradiotherapy only has a modest effect with substantial toxicity. Gene therapy has become a new widely investigated therapeutic approach for PC. This article reviews the basic rationale, gene delivery methods, therapeutic targets and developments of laboratory research and clinical trials in gene therapy of PC by searching the literature published in English using the PubMed database and analyzing clinical trials registered on the Gene Therapy Clinical Trials Worldwide website (http://www. wiley.co.uk/genmed/ clinical). Viral vectors are main gene delivery tools in gene therapy of cancer, and especially, oncolytic virus shows brighter prospect due to its tumor-targeting property. Efficient therapeutic targets for gene therapy include tumor suppressor gene p53, mutant oncogene K-ras, anti-angiogenesis gene VEGFR, suicide gene HSK-TK, cytosine deaminase and cytochrome p450, multiple cytokine genes and so on. Combining different targets or combination strategies with traditional chemoradiotherapy may be a more effective approach to improve the efficacy of cancer gene therapy. Cancer gene therapy is not yet applied in clinical practice, but basic and clinical studies have demonstrated its safety and clinical benefits. Gene therapy will be a new and promising field for the treatment of PC. PMID:25309069

  12. Association Between a Prognostic Gene Signature and Functional Gene Sets

    PubMed Central

    Hummel, Manuela; Metzeler, Klaus H.; Buske, Christian; Bohlander, Stefan K.; Mansmann, Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Background The development of expression-based gene signatures for predicting prognosis or class membership is a popular and challenging task. Besides their stringent validation, signatures need a functional interpretation and must be placed in a biological context. Popular tools such as Gene Set Enrichment have drawbacks because they are restricted to annotated genes and are unable to capture the information hidden in the signature’s non-annotated genes. Methodology We propose concepts to relate a signature with functional gene sets like pathways or Gene Ontology categories. The connection between single signature genes and a specific pathway is explored by hierarchical variable selection and gene association networks. The risk score derived from an individual patient’s signature is related to expression patterns of pathways and Gene Ontology categories. Global tests are useful for these tasks, and they adjust for other factors. GlobalAncova is used to explore the effect on gene expression in specific functional groups from the interaction of the score and selected mutations in the patient’s genome. Results We apply the proposed methods to an expression data set and a corresponding gene signature for predicting survival in Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). The example demonstrates strong relations between the signature and cancer-related pathways. The signature-based risk score was found to be associated with development-related biological processes. Conclusions Many authors interpret the functional aspects of a gene signature by linking signature genes to pathways or relevant functional gene groups. The method of gene set enrichment is preferred to annotating signature genes to specific Gene Ontology categories. The strategies proposed in this paper go beyond the restriction of annotation and deepen the insights into the biological mechanisms reflected in the information given by a signature. PMID:19812786

  13. Old genes experience stronger translational selection than young genes.

    PubMed

    Yin, Hongyan; Ma, Lina; Wang, Guangyu; Li, Mengwei; Zhang, Zhang

    2016-09-15

    Selection on synonymous codon usage for translation efficiency and/or accuracy has been identified as a widespread mechanism in many living organisms. However, it remains unknown whether translational selection associates closely with gene age and acts differentially on genes with different evolutionary ages. To address this issue, here we investigate the strength of translational selection acting on different aged genes in human. Our results show that old genes present stronger translational selection than young genes, demonstrating that translational selection correlates positively with gene age. We further explore the difference of translational selection in duplicates vs. singletons and in housekeeping vs. tissue-specific genes. We find that translational selection acts comparably in old singletons and old duplicates and stronger translational selection in old genes is contributed primarily by housekeeping genes. For young genes, contrastingly, singletons experience stronger translational selection than duplicates, presumably due to redundant function of duplicated genes during their early evolutionary stage. Taken together, our results indicate that translational selection acting on a gene would not be constant during all stages of evolution, associating closely with gene age. PMID:27259662

  14. Genes2FANs: connecting genes through functional association networks

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Protein-protein, cell signaling, metabolic, and transcriptional interaction networks are useful for identifying connections between lists of experimentally identified genes/proteins. However, besides physical or co-expression interactions there are many ways in which pairs of genes, or their protein products, can be associated. By systematically incorporating knowledge on shared properties of genes from diverse sources to build functional association networks (FANs), researchers may be able to identify additional functional interactions between groups of genes that are not readily apparent. Results Genes2FANs is a web based tool and a database that utilizes 14 carefully constructed FANs and a large-scale protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to build subnetworks that connect lists of human and mouse genes. The FANs are created from mammalian gene set libraries where mouse genes are converted to their human orthologs. The tool takes as input a list of human or mouse Entrez gene symbols to produce a subnetwork and a ranked list of intermediate genes that are used to connect the query input list. In addition, users can enter any PubMed search term and then the system automatically converts the returned results to gene lists using GeneRIF. This gene list is then used as input to generate a subnetwork from the user’s PubMed query. As a case study, we applied Genes2FANs to connect disease genes from 90 well-studied disorders. We find an inverse correlation between the counts of links connecting disease genes through PPI and links connecting diseases genes through FANs, separating diseases into two categories. Conclusions Genes2FANs is a useful tool for interpreting the relationships between gene/protein lists in the context of their various functions and networks. Combining functional association interactions with physical PPIs can be useful for revealing new biology and help form hypotheses for further experimentation. Our finding that disease genes in

  15. Gene Manipulation In Cereals

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aluminum, the most abundant metal on earth, is detrimental to plant growth and agricultural production. There are about 2.5 billion hectares of acid soils high in aluminum around the world. Molecular markers linked to aluminum tolerance gene complexes in rye would be of value in marker-mediated ge...

  16. Ultrasound mediated gene transfection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williamson, Rene G.; Apfel, Robert E.; Brandsma, Janet L.

    2002-05-01

    Gene therapy is a promising modality for the treatment of a variety of human diseases both inherited and acquired, such as cystic fibrosis and cancer. The lack of an effective, safe method for the delivery of foreign genes into the cells, a process known as transfection, limits this effort. Ultrasound mediated gene transfection is an attractive method for gene delivery since it is a noninvasive technique, does not introduce any viral particles into the host and can offer very good temporal and spatial control. Previous investigators have shown that sonication increases transfection efficiency with and without ultrasound contrast agents. The mechanism is believed to be via a cavitation process where collapsing bubble nuclei permeabilize the cell membrane leading to increased DNA transfer. The research is focused on the use of pulsed wave high frequency focused ultrasound to transfect DNA into mammalian cells in vitro and in vivo. A better understanding of the mechanism behind the transfection process is also sought. A summary of some in vitro results to date will be presented, which includes the design of a sonication chamber that allows us to model the in vivo case more accurately.

  17. Resistance gene capture.

    PubMed

    Rowe-Magnus, D A; Mazel, D

    1999-10-01

    Integrons are the primary mechanism for antibiotic-resistance gene capture and dissemination among Gram-negative bacteria. The recent finding of super-integron structures in the genomes of several bacterial species has expanded their role in genome evolution and suggests that they are the source of mobile multi-resistant integrons. PMID:10508722

  18. Naming genes beyond Caenorhabditis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The nomenclature of genes in Caenorhabditis elegans is based on long-standing, successful guidelines established in the late 1970s. Over time these guidelines have matured into a comprehensive, systematic nomenclature that is easy to apply, descriptive and therefore highly informative. Recently, a f...

  19. Gene stacking by recombinases

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Efficient methods of stacking genes into plant genomes are needed to expedite transfer of multigenic traits into diverse crops grown in a variety of environments. Over two decades of research has identified several site-specific recombinases that carry out efficient cis and trans recombination betw...

  20. Genes and Vocal Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White, Stephanie A.

    2010-01-01

    Could a mutation in a single gene be the evolutionary lynchpin supporting the development of human language? A rare mutation in the molecule known as FOXP2 discovered in a human family seemed to suggest so, and its sequence phylogeny reinforced a Chomskian view that language emerged wholesale in humans. Spurred by this discovery, research in…

  1. Entrez Gene: gene-centered information at NCBI.

    PubMed

    Maglott, Donna; Ostell, Jim; Pruitt, Kim D; Tatusova, Tatiana

    2007-01-01

    Entrez Gene (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=gene) is NCBI's database for gene-specific information. Entrez Gene includes records from genomes that have been completely sequenced, that have an active research community to contribute gene-specific information or that are scheduled for intense sequence analysis. The content of Entrez Gene represents the result of both curation and automated integration of data from NCBI's Reference Sequence project (RefSeq), from collaborating model organism databases and from other databases within NCBI. Records in Entrez Gene are assigned unique, stable and tracked integers as identifiers. The content (nomenclature, map location, gene products and their attributes, markers, phenotypes and links to citations, sequences, variation details, maps, expression, homologs, protein domains and external databases) is provided via interactive browsing through NCBI's Entrez system, via NCBI's Entrez programing utilities (E-Utilities), and for bulk transfer by ftp. PMID:17148475

  2. Optimal Reference Genes for Gene Expression Normalization in Trichomonas vaginalis

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Odelta; de Vargas Rigo, Graziela; Frasson, Amanda Piccoli; Macedo, Alexandre José; Tasca, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is the etiologic agent of trichomonosis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide. This infection is associated with several health consequences, including cervical and prostate cancers and HIV acquisition. Gene expression analysis has been facilitated because of available genome sequences and large-scale transcriptomes in T. vaginalis, particularly using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), one of the most used methods for molecular studies. Reference genes for normalization are crucial to ensure the accuracy of this method. However, to the best of our knowledge, a systematic validation of reference genes has not been performed for T. vaginalis. In this study, the transcripts of nine candidate reference genes were quantified using qRT-PCR under different cultivation conditions, and the stability of these genes was compared using the geNorm and NormFinder algorithms. The most stable reference genes were α-tubulin, actin and DNATopII, and, conversely, the widely used T. vaginalis reference genes GAPDH and β-tubulin were less stable. The PFOR gene was used to validate the reliability of the use of these candidate reference genes. As expected, the PFOR gene was upregulated when the trophozoites were cultivated with ferrous ammonium sulfate when the DNATopII, α-tubulin and actin genes were used as normalizing gene. By contrast, the PFOR gene was downregulated when the GAPDH gene was used as an internal control, leading to misinterpretation of the data. These results provide an important starting point for reference gene selection and gene expression analysis with qRT-PCR studies of T. vaginalis. PMID:26393928

  3. Optimal Reference Genes for Gene Expression Normalization in Trichomonas vaginalis.

    PubMed

    dos Santos, Odelta; de Vargas Rigo, Graziela; Frasson, Amanda Piccoli; Macedo, Alexandre José; Tasca, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Trichomonas vaginalis is the etiologic agent of trichomonosis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide. This infection is associated with several health consequences, including cervical and prostate cancers and HIV acquisition. Gene expression analysis has been facilitated because of available genome sequences and large-scale transcriptomes in T. vaginalis, particularly using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), one of the most used methods for molecular studies. Reference genes for normalization are crucial to ensure the accuracy of this method. However, to the best of our knowledge, a systematic validation of reference genes has not been performed for T. vaginalis. In this study, the transcripts of nine candidate reference genes were quantified using qRT-PCR under different cultivation conditions, and the stability of these genes was compared using the geNorm and NormFinder algorithms. The most stable reference genes were α-tubulin, actin and DNATopII, and, conversely, the widely used T. vaginalis reference genes GAPDH and β-tubulin were less stable. The PFOR gene was used to validate the reliability of the use of these candidate reference genes. As expected, the PFOR gene was upregulated when the trophozoites were cultivated with ferrous ammonium sulfate when the DNATopII, α-tubulin and actin genes were used as normalizing gene. By contrast, the PFOR gene was downregulated when the GAPDH gene was used as an internal control, leading to misinterpretation of the data. These results provide an important starting point for reference gene selection and gene expression analysis with qRT-PCR studies of T. vaginalis. PMID:26393928

  4. Magnetic nanoparticles: Applications in gene delivery and gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Majidi, Sima; Zeinali Sehrig, Fatemeh; Samiei, Mohammad; Milani, Morteza; Abbasi, Elham; Dadashzadeh, Kianoosh; Akbarzadeh, Abolfazl

    2016-06-01

    Gene therapy is defined as the direct transfer of genetic material to tissues or cells for the treatment of inherited disorders and acquired diseases. For gene delivery, magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) are typically combined with a delivery platform to encapsulate the gene, and promote cell uptake. Delivery technologies that have been used with MNPs contain polymeric, viral, as well as non-viral platforms. In this review, we focus on targeted gene delivery using MNPs. PMID:25727710

  5. Dominance from the perspective of gene-gene and gene-chemical interactions.

    PubMed

    Gladki, Arkadiusz; Zielenkiewicz, Piotr; Kaczanowski, Szymon

    2016-02-01

    In this study, we used genetic interaction (GI) and gene-chemical interaction (GCI) data to compare mutations with different dominance phenotypes. Our analysis focused primarily on Saccharomyces cerevisiae, where haploinsufficient genes (HI; genes with dominant loss-of-function mutations) were found to be participating in gene expression processes, namely, the translation and regulation of gene transcription. Non-ribosomal HI genes (mainly regulators of gene transcription) were found to have more GIs and GCIs than haplosufficient (HS) genes. Several properties seem to lead to the enrichment of interactions, most notably, the following: importance, pleiotropy, gene expression level and gene expression variation. Importantly, after these properties were appropriately considered in the analysis, the correlation between dominance and GI/GCI degrees was still observed. Strikingly, for the GCIs of heterozygous strains, haploinsufficiency was the only property significantly correlated with the number of GCIs. We found ribosomal HI genes to be depleted in GIs/GCIs. This finding can be explained by their high variation in gene expression under different genetic backgrounds and environmental conditions. We observed the same distributions of GIs among non-ribosomal HI, ribosomal HI and HS genes in three other species: Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens. One potentially interesting exception was the lack of significant differences in the degree of GIs between non-ribosomal HI and HS genes in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. PMID:26613610

  6. ALTERATIONS IN SEXUALLY DIMORPHIC BIOTRANSFORMATION OF TESTOSTERONE IN JUVENILE AMERICAN ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED LAKES. (R826129)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  7. SEX-STEROID AND THYROID HORMONE CONCENTRATIONS IN JUVENILE ALLIGATORS (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS) FROM CONTAMINATED AND REFERENCE LAKES IN FLORIDA, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Sex-steroid and thyroid hormones are critical regulators of growth and reproduction in all vertebrates, and several recent studies suggest that environmental chemicals can alter circulating concentrations of these hormones. This study examines plasma concentrations of estradiol-...

  8. IDENTIFICATION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF ESTROGEN AND PROGESTERONE RECEPTORS FROM THE OVIDUCT OF THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR (ALLIGATOR MISSISSIPPIENSIS). (R824760)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  9. Avirulence Genes in Cereal Powdery Mildews: The Gene-for-Gene Hypothesis 2.0

    PubMed Central

    Bourras, Salim; McNally, Kaitlin E.; Müller, Marion C.; Wicker, Thomas; Keller, Beat

    2016-01-01

    The gene-for-gene hypothesis states that for each gene controlling resistance in the host, there is a corresponding, specific gene controlling avirulence in the pathogen. Allelic series of the cereal mildew resistance genes Pm3 and Mla provide an excellent system for genetic and molecular analysis of resistance specificity. Despite this opportunity for molecular research, avirulence genes in mildews remain underexplored. Earlier work in barley powdery mildew (B.g. hordei) has shown that the reaction to some Mla resistance alleles is controlled by multiple genes. Similarly, several genes are involved in the specific interaction of wheat mildew (B.g. tritici) with the Pm3 allelic series. We found that two mildew genes control avirulence on Pm3f: one gene is involved in recognition by the resistance protein as demonstrated by functional studies in wheat and the heterologous host Nicotiana benthamiana. A second gene is a suppressor, and resistance is only observed in mildew genotypes combining the inactive suppressor and the recognized Avr. We propose that such suppressor/avirulence gene combinations provide the basis of specificity in mildews. Depending on the particular gene combinations in a mildew race, different genes will be genetically identified as the “avirulence” gene. Additionally, the observation of two LINE retrotransposon-encoded avirulence genes in B.g. hordei further suggests that the control of avirulence in mildew is more complex than a canonical gene-for-gene interaction. To fully understand the mildew–cereal interactions, more knowledge on avirulence determinants is needed and we propose ways how this can be achieved based on recent advances in the field. PMID:26973683

  10. Gene prediction and gene classes in Arabidopsis thaliana.

    PubMed

    Mathé, C; Déhais, P; Pavy, N; Rombauts, S; Van Montagu, M; Rouzé, P

    2000-03-31

    Gene prediction methods for eukaryotic genomes still are not fully satisfying. One way to improve gene prediction accuracy, proven to be relevant for prokaryotes, is to consider more than one model of genes. Thus, we used our classification of Arabidopsis thaliana genes in two classes (CU(1) and CU(2)), previously delineated according to statistical features, in the GeneMark gene identification program. For each gene class, as well as for the two classes combined, a Markov model was developed (respectively, GM-CU(1), GM-CU(2) and GM-all) and then used on a test set of 168 genes to compare their respective efficiency. We concluded from this analysis that GM-CU(1) is more sensitive than GM-CU(2) which seems to be more specific to a gene type. Besides, GM-all does not give better results than GM-CU(1) and combining results from GM-CU(1) and GM-CU(2) greatly improve prediction efficiency in comparison with predictions made with GM-all only. Thus, this work confirms the necessity to consider more than one gene model for gene prediction in eukaryotic genomes, and to look for gene classes in order to build these models. PMID:10751690

  11. GENE METHYLATION CHANGES IN TUMOR SUPPRESSOR GENES INDUCED BY ARSENIC

    EPA Science Inventory

    The choice of a dose-response model used for extrapolation can be influenced by knowledge of mechanism of action. We have already showed that arsenic affects methylation of the human p53 gene promoter. Evidence that genes other than the p53 tumor suppressor gene are affected woul...

  12. Eukaryotic gene prediction using GeneMark.hmm-E and GeneMark-ES.

    PubMed

    Borodovsky, Mark; Lomsadze, Alex

    2011-09-01

    This unit describes how to use the gene-finding programs GeneMark.hmm-E and GeneMark-ES for finding protein-coding genes in the genomic DNA of eukaryotic organisms. These bioinformatics tools have been demonstrated to have state-of-the-art accuracy for many fungal, plant, and animal genomes, and have frequently been used for gene annotation in novel genomic sequences. An additional advantage of GeneMark-ES is that the problem of algorithm parameterization is solved automatically, with parameters estimated by iterative self-training (unsupervised training). PMID:21901742

  13. Chapter 15: Disease Gene Prioritization

    PubMed Central

    Bromberg, Yana

    2013-01-01

    Disease-causing aberrations in the normal function of a gene define that gene as a disease gene. Proving a causal link between a gene and a disease experimentally is expensive and time-consuming. Comprehensive prioritization of candidate genes prior to experimental testing drastically reduces the associated costs. Computational gene prioritization is based on various pieces of correlative evidence that associate each gene with the given disease and suggest possible causal links. A fair amount of this evidence comes from high-throughput experimentation. Thus, well-developed methods are necessary to reliably deal with the quantity of information at hand. Existing gene prioritization techniques already significantly improve the outcomes of targeted experimental studies. Faster and more reliable techniques that account for novel data types are necessary for the development of new diagnostics, treatments, and cure for many diseases. PMID:23633938

  14. SOX genes: architects of development.

    PubMed Central

    Prior, H. M.; Walter, M. A.

    1996-01-01

    Development in higher organisms involves complex genetic regulation at the molecular level. The emerging picture of development control includes several families of master regulatory genes which can affect the expression of down-stream target genes in developmental cascade pathways. One new family of such development regulators is the SOX gene family. The SOX genes are named for a shared motif called the SRY box a region homologous to the DNA-binding domain of SRY, the mammalian sex determining gene. Like SRY, SOX genes play important roles in chordate development. At least a dozen human SOX genes have been identified and partially characterized (Tables 1 and 2). Mutations in SOX9 have recently been linked to campomelic dysplasia and autosomal sex reversal, and other SOX genes may also be associated with human disease. Images FIG. 1 FIG. 2 PMID:8827711

  15. Gene Therapy for Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Lara-Guerra, Humberto; Roth, Jack A

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy was originally conceived to treat monogenic diseases. The replacement of a defective gene with a functional gene can theoretically cure the disease. In cancer, multiple genetic defects are present and the molecular profile changes during the course of the disease, making the replacement of all defective genes impossible. To overcome these difficulties, various gene therapy strategies have been adopted, including immune stimulation, transfer of suicide genes, inhibition of driver oncogenes, replacement of tumor-suppressor genes that could mediate apoptosis or anti-angiogenesis, and transfer of genes that enhance conventional treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Some of these strategies have been tested successfully in non-small-cell lung cancer patients and the results of laboratory studies and clinical trials are reviewed herein. PMID:27481008

  16. On atavisms and atavistic genes.

    PubMed

    Cantú, J M; Ruiz, C

    1985-01-01

    The authors propose the term atavistic to designate a gene producing an ancestral phenotype (atavism). Several examples are presented, and the possible origin of atavistic genes, as well as their pathological implications discussed. PMID:3879145

  17. Gene Testing for Hereditary Ataxia

    MedlinePlus

    ... have a family history of ataxia, but diagnostic tests for known ataxia genes cannot explain the ataxia in their family. In recent years, scientists have developed technologies to sequence thousands of genes at the same ...

  18. Gene therapy in keratoconus

    PubMed Central

    Farjadnia, Mahgol; Naderan, Mohammad; Mohammadpour, Mehrdad

    2015-01-01

    Keratoconus (KC) is the most common ectasia of the cornea and is a common reason for corneal transplant. Therapeutic strategies that can arrest the progression of this disease and modify the underlying pathogenesis are getting more and more popularity among scientists. Cumulating data represent strong evidence of a genetic role in the pathogenesis of KC. Different loci have been identified, and certain mutations have also been mapped for this disease. Moreover, Biophysical properties of the cornea create an appropriate candidate of this tissue for gene therapy. Immune privilege, transparency and ex vivo stability are among these properties. Recent advantage in vectors, besides the ability to modulate the corneal milieu for accepting the target gene for a longer period and fruitful translation, make a big hope for stupendous results reasonable. PMID:25709266

  19. Graphene based gene transfection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Liangzhu; Zhang, Shuai; Liu, Zhuang

    2011-03-01

    Graphene as a star in materials research has been attracting tremendous attentions in the past few years in various fields including biomedicine. In this work, for the first time we successfully use graphene as a non-toxic nano-vehicle for efficient gene transfection. Graphene oxide (GO) is bound with cationic polymers, polyethyleneimine (PEI) with two different molecular weights at 1.2 kDa and 10 kDa, forming GO-PEI-1.2k and GO-PEG-10k complexes, respectively, both of which are stable in physiological solutions. Cellular toxicity tests reveal that our GO-PEI-10k complex exhibits significantly reduced toxicity to the treated cells compared to the bare PEI-10k polymer. The positively charged GO-PEI complexes are able to further bind with plasmid DNA (pDNA) for intracellular transfection of the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) gene in HeLa cells. While EGFP transfection with PEI-1.2k appears to be ineffective, high EGFP expression is observed using the corresponding GO-PEI-1.2k as the transfection agent. On the other hand, GO-PEI-10k shows similar EGFP transfection efficiency but lower toxicity compared with PEI-10k. Our results suggest graphene to be a novel gene delivery nano-vector with low cytotoxicity and high transfection efficiency, promising for future applications in non-viral based gene therapy.Graphene as a star in materials research has been attracting tremendous attentions in the past few years in various fields including biomedicine. In this work, for the first time we successfully use graphene as a non-toxic nano-vehicle for efficient gene transfection. Graphene oxide (GO) is bound with cationic polymers, polyethyleneimine (PEI) with two different molecular weights at 1.2 kDa and 10 kDa, forming GO-PEI-1.2k and GO-PEG-10k complexes, respectively, both of which are stable in physiological solutions. Cellular toxicity tests reveal that our GO-PEI-10k complex exhibits significantly reduced toxicity to the treated cells compared to the bare PEI

  20. Brains, Genes and Primates

    PubMed Central

    Belmonte, Juan Carlos Izpisua; Callaway, Edward M.; Churchland, Patricia; Caddick, Sarah J.; Feng, Guoping; Homanics, Gregg E.; Lee, Kuo-Fen; Leopold, David A.; Miller, Cory T.; Mitchell, Jude F.; Mitalipov, Shoukhrat; Moutri, Alysson R.; Movshon, J. Anthony; Okano, Hideyuki; Reynolds, John H.; Ringach, Dario; Sejnowski, Terrence J.; Silva, Afonso C.; Strick, Peter L.; Wu, Jun; Zhang, Feng

    2015-01-01

    One of the great strengths of the mouse model is the wide array of genetic tools that have been developed. Striking examples include methods for directed modification of the genome, and for regulated expression or inactivation of genes. Within neuroscience, it is now routine to express reporter genes, neuronal activity indicators and opsins in specific neuronal types in the mouse. However, there are considerable anatomical, physiological, cognitive and behavioral differences between the mouse and the human that, in some areas of inquiry, limit the degree to which insights derived from the mouse can be applied to understanding human neurobiology. Several recent advances have now brought into reach the goal of applying these tools to understanding the primate brain. Here we describe these advances, consider their potential to advance our understanding of the human brain and brain disorders, discuss bioethical considerations, and describe what will be needed to move forward. PMID:25950631

  1. Gene expression technology

    SciTech Connect

    Goeddel, D.V. )

    1990-01-01

    The articles in this volume were assemble to enable the reader to design effective strategies for the expression of cloned genes and cDNAs. More than a compilation of papers describing the multitude of techniques now available for expressing cloned genes, this volume provides a manual that should prove useful for solving the majority of expression problems one likely to encounter. The four major expression systems commonly available to most investigators are stressed: Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, yeast, and mammalian cells. Each of these system has its advantages and disadvantages, details of which are found in Chapter 1 and the strategic overviews for the four major sections of the volume. The papers in each of these sections provide many suggestions on how to proceed if initial expression levels are not sufficient.

  2. Eukaryotic gene prediction using GeneMark.hmm.

    PubMed

    Borodovsky, Mark; Lomsadze, Alex; Ivanov, Nikolai; Mills, Ryan

    2003-05-01

    In this unit, eukaryotic GeneMark.hmm is presented as a method for detecting genes in eukaryotic DNA sequences. The eukaryotic GeneMark.hmm uses Markov models of protein coding and noncoding sequences, as well as positional nucleotide frequency matrices for prediction of the translational start, translational termination and splice sites. All these models along with length distributions of exons, introns and intergenic regions are integrated into one Hidden Markov model. The unit describes running the program over the Internet and locally on a Unix machine. It also discusses GeneMarkS EV, which can be used to detect genes in eukaryotic viruses. PMID:18428701

  3. Independent Gene Discovery and Testing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palsule, Vrushalee; Coric, Dijana; Delancy, Russell; Dunham, Heather; Melancon, Caleb; Thompson, Dennis; Toms, Jamie; White, Ashley; Shultz, Jeffry

    2010-01-01

    A clear understanding of basic gene structure is critical when teaching molecular genetics, the central dogma and the biological sciences. We sought to create a gene-based teaching project to improve students' understanding of gene structure and to integrate this into a research project that can be implemented by instructors at the secondary level…

  4. Time ordering of gene coexpression.

    PubMed

    Leng, Xiaoyan; Müller, Hans-Georg

    2006-10-01

    Temporal microarray gene expression profiles allow characterization of gene function through time dynamics of gene coexpression within the same genetic pathway. In this paper, we define and estimate a global time shift characteristic for each gene via least squares, inferred from pairwise curve alignments. These time shift characteristics of individual genes reflect a time ordering that is derived from ob- served temporal gene expression profiles. Once these time shift characteristics are obtained for each gene, they can be entered into further analyses, such as clustering. We illustrate the proposed methodology using Drosophila embryonic development and yeast cell-cycle gene expression profiles, as well as simulations. Feasibility is demonstrated through the successful recovery of time ordering. Estimated time shifts for Drosophila maternal and zygotic genes provide excellent discrimination between these two categories and confirm known genetic pathways through the time order of gene expression. The application to yeast cell-cycle data establishes a natural time order of genes that is in line with cell-cycle phases. The method does not require periodicity of gene expression profiles. Asymptotic justifications are also provided. PMID:16495429

  5. Gene Porter Bridwell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    Gene Porter Bridwell served as the director of the Marshall Space Flight Center from January 6, 1994 until February 3, 1996, when he retired from NASA after thirty-four years service. Bridwell, a Marshall employee since 1962, had been Marshall's Space Shuttle Projects Office Director and Space Station Redesign Team deputy manager. Under Bridwell, Marshall worked to develop its role as a Center of Excellence for propulsion and for providing access to space.

  6. Genes and athletes.

    PubMed

    Patel, Dilip R; Greydanus, Donald E

    2002-06-01

    Genetics plays an important role in determining characteristics desired for success in a given sport. Advances in biotechnology pose interesting and perplexing dilemmas for athletes, parents, health care providers, and society at large. Gene therapy holds great prospects for disease prevention and treatment. The same techniques also can be misused for genetic manipulation to enhance athletic prowess. This chapter reviews selective aspects of genotype influence on sport performance, uses and misuses of genetic technology, and ethical as well as legal dilemmas. PMID:11986034

  7. nanosheets for gene therapy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kou, Zhongyang; Wang, Xin; Yuan, Renshun; Chen, Huabin; Zhi, Qiaoming; Gao, Ling; Wang, Bin; Guo, Zhaoji; Xue, Xiaofeng; Cao, Wei; Guo, Liang

    2014-10-01

    A new class of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterial, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2 which have fantastic physical and chemical properties, has drawn tremendous attention in different fields recently. Herein, we for the first time take advantage of the great potential of MoS2 with well-engineered surface as a novel type of 2D nanocarriers for gene delivery and therapy of cancer. In our system, positively charged MoS2-PEG-PEI is synthesized with lipoic acid-modified polyethylene glycol (LA-PEG) and branched polyethylenimine (PEI). The amino end of positively charged nanomaterials can bind to the negatively charged small interfering RNA (siRNA). After detection of physical and chemical characteristics of the nanomaterial, cell toxicity was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) was investigated as a well-known oncogene, which was a critical regulator of cell cycle transmission at multiple levels. Through knockdown of PLK1 with siRNA carried by novel nanovector, qPCR and Western blot were used to measure the interfering efficiency; apoptosis assay was used to detect the transfection effect of PLK1. All results showed that the novel nanocarrier revealed good biocompatibility, reduced cytotoxicity, as well as high gene-carrying ability without serum interference, thus would have great potential for gene delivery and therapy.

  8. Extracting gene-gene interactions through curve fitting.

    PubMed

    Das, Ranajit; Mitra, Sushmita; Murthy, C A

    2012-12-01

    This paper presents a simple and novel curve fitting approach for generating simple gene regulatory subnetworks from time series gene expression data. Microarray experiments simultaneously generate massive data sets and help immensely in the large-scale study of gene expression patterns. Initial biclustering reduces the search space in the high-dimensional microarray data. The least-squares error between fitting of gene pairs is minimized to extract a set of gene-gene interactions, involving transcriptional regulation of genes. The higher error values are eliminated to retain only the strong interacting gene pairs in the resultant gene regulatory subnetwork. Next the algorithm is extended to a generalized framework to enhance its capability. The methodology takes care of the higher-order dependencies involving multiple genes co-regulating a single gene, while eliminating the need for user-defined parameters. It has been applied to the time-series Yeast data, and the experimental results biologically validated using standard databases and literature. PMID:22997274

  9. From SNPs to Genes: Disease Association at the Gene Level

    PubMed Central

    Lehne, Benjamin; Lewis, Cathryn M.; Schlitt, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Interpreting Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) at a gene level is an important step towards understanding the molecular processes that lead to disease. In order to incorporate prior biological knowledge such as pathways and protein interactions in the analysis of GWAS data it is necessary to derive one measure of association for each gene. We compare three different methods to obtain gene-wide test statistics from Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) based association data: choosing the test statistic from the most significant SNP; the mean test statistics of all SNPs; and the mean of the top quartile of all test statistics. We demonstrate that the gene-wide test statistics can be controlled for the number of SNPs within each gene and show that all three methods perform considerably better than expected by chance at identifying genes with confirmed associations. By applying each method to GWAS data for Crohn's Disease and Type 1 Diabetes we identified new potential disease genes. PMID:21738570

  10. Advances in Gene Delivery Systems

    PubMed Central

    Kamimura, Kenya; Suda, Takeshi; Zhang, Guisheng; Liu, Dexi

    2011-01-01

    The transfer of genes into cells, both in vitro and in vivo, is critical for studying gene function and conducting gene therapy. Methods that utilize viral and nonviral vectors, as well as physical approaches, have been explored. Viral vector-mediated gene transfer employs replication-deficient viruses such as retro-virus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus and herpes simplex virus. A major advantage of viral vectors is their high gene delivery efficiency. The nonviral vectors developed so far include cationic liposomes, cationic polymers, synthetic peptides and naturally occurring compounds. These nonviral vectors appear to be highly effective in gene delivery to cultured cells in vitro but are significantly less effective in vivo. Physical methods utilize mechanical pressure, electric shock or hydrodynamic force to transiently permeate the cell membrane to transfer DNA into target cells. They are simpler than viral- and nonviral-based systems and highly effective for localized gene delivery. The past decade has seen significant efforts to establish the most desirable method for safe, effective and target-specific gene delivery, and good progress has been made. The objectives of this review are to (i) explain the rationale for the design of viral, nonviral and physical methods for gene delivery; (ii) provide a summary on recent advances in gene transfer technology; (iii) discuss advantages and disadvantages of each of the most commonly used gene delivery methods; and (iv) provide future perspectives. PMID:22200988

  11. The Gene Wiki: community intelligence applied to human gene annotation.

    PubMed

    Huss, Jon W; Lindenbaum, Pierre; Martone, Michael; Roberts, Donabel; Pizarro, Angel; Valafar, Faramarz; Hogenesch, John B; Su, Andrew I

    2010-01-01

    Annotating the function of all human genes is a critical, yet formidable, challenge. Current gene annotation efforts focus on centralized curation resources, but it is increasingly clear that this approach does not scale with the rapid growth of the biomedical literature. The Gene Wiki utilizes an alternative and complementary model based on the principle of community intelligence. Directly integrated within the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, the goal of this effort is to build a gene-specific review article for every gene in the human genome, where each article is collaboratively written, continuously updated and community reviewed. Previously, we described the creation of Gene Wiki 'stubs' for approximately 9000 human genes. Here, we describe ongoing systematic improvements to these articles to increase their utility. Moreover, we retrospectively examine the community usage and improvement of the Gene Wiki, providing evidence of a critical mass of users and editors. Gene Wiki articles are freely accessible within the Wikipedia web site, and additional links and information are available at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Gene_Wiki. PMID:19755503

  12. Identification of genes and gene products necessary for bacterial bioluminescence.

    PubMed

    Engebrecht, J; Silverman, M

    1984-07-01

    Expression of luminescence in Escherichia coli was recently achieved by cloning genes from the marine bacterium Vibrio fischeri. One DNA fragment on a hybrid plasmid encoded regulatory functions and enzymatic activities necessary for light production. We report the results of a genetic analysis to identify the luminescence genes (lux) that reside on this recombinant plasmid. lux gene mutations were generated by hydroxylamine treatment, and these mutations were ordered on a linear map by complementation in trans with a series of polar transposon insertions on other plasmids. lux genes were defined by complementation of lux gene defects on pairs of plasmids in trans in E. coli. Hybrid plasmids were also used to direct the synthesis of polypeptides in the E. coli minicell system. Seven lux genes and the corresponding gene products were identified from the complementation analysis and the minicell programing experiments. These genes, in the order of their position on a linear map, and the apparent molecular weights of the gene products are luxR (27,000), luxI (25,000), luxC (53,000), luxD (33,000), luxA (40,000), luxB (38,000), and luxE (42,000). From the luminescence phenotypes of E. coli containing mutant plasmids, functions were assigned to these genes: luxA, luxB, luxC, luxD, and luxE encode enzymes for light production and luxR and luxI encode regulatory functions. PMID:6377310

  13. Progress in gene targeting and gene therapy for retinitis pigmentosa

    SciTech Connect

    Farrar, G.J.; Humphries, M.M.; Erven, A.

    1994-09-01

    Previously, we localized disease genes involved in retinitis pigmentosa (RP), an inherited retinal degeneration, close to the rhodopsin and peripherin genes on 3q and 6p. Subsequently, we and others identified mutations in these genes in RP patients. Currently animal models for human retinopathies are being generated using gene targeting by homologous recombination in embryonic stem (ES) cells. Genomic clones for retinal genes including rhodopsin and peripherin have been obtained from a phage library carrying mouse DNA isogenic with the ES cell line (CC1.2). The peripherin clone has been sequenced to establish the genomic structure of the mouse gene. Targeting vectors for rhodopsin and peripherin including a neomycin cassette for positive selection and thymidine kinase genes enabling selection against random intergrants are under construction. Progress in vector construction will be presented. Simultaneously we are developing systems for delivery of gene therapies to retinal tissues utilizing replication-deficient adenovirus (Ad5). Efficacy of infection subsequent to various methods of intraocular injection and with varying viral titers is being assayed using an adenovirus construct containing a CMV promoter LacZ fusion as reporter and the range of tissues infected and the level of duration of LacZ expression monitored. Viral constructs with the LacZ reporter gene under the control of retinal specific promoters such as rhodopsin and IRBP cloned into pXCJL.1 are under construction. An update on developments in photoreceptor cell-directed expression of virally delivered genes will be presented.

  14. Gene Circuit Analysis of the Terminal Gap Gene huckebein

    PubMed Central

    Ashyraliyev, Maksat; Siggens, Ken; Janssens, Hilde; Blom, Joke; Akam, Michael; Jaeger, Johannes

    2009-01-01

    The early embryo of Drosophila melanogaster provides a powerful model system to study the role of genes in pattern formation. The gap gene network constitutes the first zygotic regulatory tier in the hierarchy of the segmentation genes involved in specifying the position of body segments. Here, we use an integrative, systems-level approach to investigate the regulatory effect of the terminal gap gene huckebein (hkb) on gap gene expression. We present quantitative expression data for the Hkb protein, which enable us to include hkb in gap gene circuit models. Gap gene circuits are mathematical models of gene networks used as computational tools to extract regulatory information from spatial expression data. This is achieved by fitting the model to gap gene expression patterns, in order to obtain estimates for regulatory parameters which predict a specific network topology. We show how considering variability in the data combined with analysis of parameter determinability significantly improves the biological relevance and consistency of the approach. Our models are in agreement with earlier results, which they extend in two important respects: First, we show that Hkb is involved in the regulation of the posterior hunchback (hb) domain, but does not have any other essential function. Specifically, Hkb is required for the anterior shift in the posterior border of this domain, which is now reproduced correctly in our models. Second, gap gene circuits presented here are able to reproduce mutants of terminal gap genes, while previously published models were unable to reproduce any null mutants correctly. As a consequence, our models now capture the expression dynamics of all posterior gap genes and some variational properties of the system correctly. This is an important step towards a better, quantitative understanding of the developmental and evolutionary dynamics of the gap gene network. PMID:19876378

  15. Identifying Gene Interaction Networks

    PubMed Central

    Bebek, Gurkan

    2016-01-01

    In this chapter, we introduce interaction networks by describing how they are generated, where they are stored, and how they are shared. We focus on publicly available interaction networks and describe a simple way of utilizing these resources. As a case study, we used Cytoscape, an open source and easy-to-use network visualization and analysis tool to first gather and visualize a small network. We have analyzed this network’s topological features and have looked at functional enrichment of the network nodes by integrating the gene ontology database. The methods described are applicable to larger networks that can be collected from various resources. PMID:22307715

  16. Computation in gene networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ben-Hur, Asa; Siegelmann, Hava T.

    2004-03-01

    Genetic regulatory networks have the complex task of controlling all aspects of life. Using a model of gene expression by piecewise linear differential equations we show that this process can be considered as a process of computation. This is demonstrated by showing that this model can simulate memory bounded Turing machines. The simulation is robust with respect to perturbations of the system, an important property for both analog computers and biological systems. Robustness is achieved using a condition that ensures that the model equations, that are generally chaotic, follow a predictable dynamics.

  17. Genes for sexual behavior.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, D; Nakano, Y

    1998-05-01

    The mating behavior of Drosophila melanogaster is a stereotyped sequence of fixed action patterns, composed of orientation, tapping, singing, licking, attempted copulation and copulation. Mutations that block a unique aspect of mating behavior were isolated and analyzed at the cellular and molecular levels. The wild-type counterparts of the mutated genes were shown to rescue the phenotypes by their ubiquitous or targeted expression in some of the mutants. This strategy of artificial control of fly behavior opens up an avenue for studies to identify the neural center for individual behavioral actions. PMID:9600058

  18. Gene transfer: transduction.

    PubMed

    Frangipani, Emanuela

    2014-01-01

    Bacteriophages able to propagate on Pseudomonas strains are very common and can be easily isolated from natural environments or lysogenic strains. The development of transducing systems has allowed bacterial geneticists to perform chromosome analyses and mutation mapping. Moreover, these systems have also been proved to be a successful tool for molecular microbiologists to introduce a foreign gene or a mutation into the chromosome of a bacterial cell. This chapter provides a description of the phage methodology illustrated by Adams in 1959 and applicable to strain PAO1 derivatives. PMID:24818891

  19. Alternative Gene Form Discovery and Candidate Gene Selection from Gene Indexing Projects

    PubMed Central

    Burke, John; Wang, Hui; Hide, Winston; Davison, Daniel B.

    1998-01-01

    Several efforts are under way to partition single-read expressed sequence tag (EST), as well as full-length transcript data, into large-scale gene indices, where transcripts are in common index classes if and only if they share a common progenitor gene. Accurate gene indexing facilitates gene expression studies, as well as inexpensive and early gene sequence discovery through assembly of ESTs that are derived from genes that have not been sequenced by classical methods. We extend, correct, and enhance the information obtained from index groups by splitting index classes into subclasses based on sequence dissimilarity (diversity). Two applications of this are highlighted in this report. First it is shown that our method can ameliorate the damage that artifacts, such as chimerism, inflict on index integrity. Additionally, we demonstrate how the organization imposed by an effective subpartition can greatly increase the sensitivity of gene expression studies by accounting for the existence and tissue- or pathology-specific regulation of novel gene isoforms and polymorphisms. We apply our subpartitioning treatment to the UniGene gene indexing project to measure a marked increase in information quality and abundance (in terms of assembly length and insertion/deletion error) after treatment and demonstrate cases where new levels of information concerning differential expression of alternate gene forms, such as regulated alternative splicing, are discovered. [Tables 2 and 3 can be viewed in their entirety as Online Supplements at http://www.genome.org.] PMID:9521931

  20. The GeneMANIA prediction server: biological network integration for gene prioritization and predicting gene function.

    PubMed

    Warde-Farley, David; Donaldson, Sylva L; Comes, Ovi; Zuberi, Khalid; Badrawi, Rashad; Chao, Pauline; Franz, Max; Grouios, Chris; Kazi, Farzana; Lopes, Christian Tannus; Maitland, Anson; Mostafavi, Sara; Montojo, Jason; Shao, Quentin; Wright, George; Bader, Gary D; Morris, Quaid

    2010-07-01

    GeneMANIA (http://www.genemania.org) is a flexible, user-friendly web interface for generating hypotheses about gene function, analyzing gene lists and prioritizing genes for functional assays. Given a query list, GeneMANIA extends the list with functionally similar genes that it identifies using available genomics and proteomics data. GeneMANIA also reports weights that indicate the predictive value of each selected data set for the query. Six organisms are currently supported (Arabidopsis thaliana, Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, Mus musculus, Homo sapiens and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and hundreds of data sets have been collected from GEO, BioGRID, Pathway Commons and I2D, as well as organism-specific functional genomics data sets. Users can select arbitrary subsets of the data sets associated with an organism to perform their analyses and can upload their own data sets to analyze. The GeneMANIA algorithm performs as well or better than other gene function prediction methods on yeast and mouse benchmarks. The high accuracy of the GeneMANIA prediction algorithm, an intuitive user interface and large database make GeneMANIA a useful tool for any biologist. PMID:20576703

  1. Adenovirus Vectors for Gene Therapy, Vaccination and Cancer Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Wold, William S.M.; Toth, Karoly

    2015-01-01

    Adenovirus vectors are the most commonly employed vector for cancer gene therapy. They are also used for gene therapy and as vaccines to express foreign antigens. Adenovirus vectors can be replication-defective; certain essential viral genes are deleted and replaced by a cassette that expresses a foreign therapeutic gene. Such vectors are used for gene therapy, as vaccines, and for cancer therapy. Replication-competent (oncolytic) vectors are employed for cancer gene therapy. Oncolytic vectors are engineered to replicate preferentially in cancer cells and to destroy cancer cells through the natural process of lytic virus replication. Many clinical trials indicate that replication-defective and replication-competent adenovirus vectors are safe and have therapeutic activity. PMID:24279313

  2. Gene function prediction with knowledge from gene ontology.

    PubMed

    Shen, Ying; Zhang, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Gene function prediction is an important problem in bioinformatics. Due to the inherent noise existing in the gene expression data, the attempt to improve the prediction accuracy resorting to new classification techniques is limited. With the emergence of Gene Ontology (GO), extra knowledge about the gene products can be extracted from GO and facilitates solving the gene function prediction problem. In this paper, we propose a new method which utilises GO information to improve the classifiers' performance in gene function prediction. Specifically, our method learns a distance metric under the supervision of the GO knowledge using the distance learning technique. Compared with the traditional distance metrics, the learned one produces a better performance and consequently classification accuracy can be improved. The effectiveness of our proposed method has been corroborated by the extensive experimental results. PMID:26529907

  3. Human AZU-1 gene, variants thereof and expressed gene products

    DOEpatents

    Chen, Huei-Mei; Bissell, Mina

    2004-06-22

    A human AZU-1 gene, mutants, variants and fragments thereof. Protein products encoded by the AZU-1 gene and homologs encoded by the variants of AZU-1 gene acting as tumor suppressors or markers of malignancy progression and tumorigenicity reversion. Identification, isolation and characterization of AZU-1 and AZU-2 genes localized to a tumor suppressive locus at chromosome 10q26, highly expressed in nonmalignant and premalignant cells derived from a human breast tumor progression model. A recombinant full length protein sequences encoded by the AZU-1 gene and nucleotide sequences of AZU-1 and AZU-2 genes and variant and fragments thereof. Monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies specific to AZU-1, AZU-2 encoded protein and to AZU-1, or AZU-2 encoded protein homologs.

  4. Endocrine regulation of HOX genes.

    PubMed

    Daftary, Gaurang S; Taylor, Hugh S

    2006-06-01

    Hox genes have a well-characterized role in embryonic development, where they determine identity along the anteroposterior body axis. Hox genes are expressed not only during embryogenesis but also in the adult, where they are necessary for functional differentiation. Despite the known function of these genes as transcription factors, few regulatory mechanisms that drive Hox expression are known. Recently, several hormones and their cognate receptors have been shown to regulate Hox gene expression and thereby mediate development in the embryo as well as functional differentiation in the adult organism. Estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, retinoic acid, and vitamin D have been shown to regulate Hox gene expression. In the embryo, the endocrine system directs axial Hox gene expression; aberrant Hox gene expression due to exposure to endocrine disruptors contributes to the teratogenicity of these compounds. In the adult, endocrine regulation of Hox genes is necessary to enable such diverse functions as hematopoiesis and reproduction; endocrinopathies can result in dysregulated HOX gene expression affecting physiology. By regulating HOX genes, hormonal signals utilize a conserved mechanism that allows generation of structural and functional diversity in both developing and adult tissues. This review discusses endocrine Hox regulation and its impact on physiology and human pathology. PMID:16632680

  5. Imprinting genes associated with endometriosis

    PubMed Central

    Kobayashi, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Much work has been carried out to investigate the genetic and epigenetic basis of endometriosis and proposed that endometriosis has been described as an epigenetic disease. The purpose of this study was to extract the imprinting genes that are associated with endometriosis development. Methods: The information on the imprinting genes can be accessed publicly from a web-based interface at http://www.geneimprint.com/site/genes-by-species. Results: In the current version, the database contains 150 human imprinted genes derived from the literature. We searched gene functions and their roles in particular biological processes or events, such as development and pathogenesis of endometriosis. From the genomic imprinting database, we picked 10 genes that were highly associated with female reproduction; prominent among them were paternally expressed genes (DIRAS3, BMP8B, CYP1B1, ZFAT, IGF2, MIMT1, or MIR296) and maternally expressed genes (DVL1, FGFRL1, or CDKN1C). These imprinted genes may be associated with reproductive biology such as endometriosis, pregnancy loss, decidualization process and preeclampsia. Discussion: This study supports the possibility that aberrant epigenetic dysregulation of specific imprinting genes may contribute to endometriosis predisposition. PMID:26417259

  6. Vectors for cancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, J; Russell, S J

    1996-09-01

    Many viral and non-viral vector systems have now been developed for gene therapy applications. In this article, the pros and cons of these vector systems are discussed in relation to the different cancer gene therapy strategies. The protocols used in cancer gene therapy can be broadly divided into six categories including gene transfer to explanted cells for use as cell-based cancer vaccines; gene transfer to a small number of tumour cells in situ to achieve a vaccine effect; gene transfer to vascular endothelial cells (VECs) lining the blood vessels of the tumour to interfere with tumour angiogenesis; gene transfer to T lymphocytes to enhance their antitumour effector capability; gene transfer to haemopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to enhance their resistance to cytotoxic drugs and gene transfer to a large number of tumour cells in situ to achieve nonimmune tumour reduction with or without bystander effect. Each of the six strategies makes unique demands on the vector system and these are discussed with reference to currently available vectors. Aspects of vector biology that are in need of further development are discussed in some detail. The final section points to the potential use of replicating viruses as delivery vehicles for efficient in vivo gene transfer to disseminated cancers. PMID:9034598

  7. Aberrant Gene Expression in Humans

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ence; Ji, Guoli; Brinkmeyer-Langford, Candice L.; Cai, James J.

    2015-01-01

    Gene expression as an intermediate molecular phenotype has been a focus of research interest. In particular, studies of expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) have offered promise for understanding gene regulation through the discovery of genetic variants that explain variation in gene expression levels. Existing eQTL methods are designed for assessing the effects of common variants, but not rare variants. Here, we address the problem by establishing a novel analytical framework for evaluating the effects of rare or private variants on gene expression. Our method starts from the identification of outlier individuals that show markedly different gene expression from the majority of a population, and then reveals the contributions of private SNPs to the aberrant gene expression in these outliers. Using population-scale mRNA sequencing data, we identify outlier individuals using a multivariate approach. We find that outlier individuals are more readily detected with respect to gene sets that include genes involved in cellular regulation and signal transduction, and less likely to be detected with respect to the gene sets with genes involved in metabolic pathways and other fundamental molecular functions. Analysis of polymorphic data suggests that private SNPs of outlier individuals are enriched in the enhancer and promoter regions of corresponding aberrantly-expressed genes, suggesting a specific regulatory role of private SNPs, while the commonly-occurring regulatory genetic variants (i.e., eQTL SNPs) show little evidence of involvement. Additional data suggest that non-genetic factors may also underlie aberrant gene expression. Taken together, our findings advance a novel viewpoint relevant to situations wherein common eQTLs fail to predict gene expression when heritable, rare inter-individual variation exists. The analytical framework we describe, taking into consideration the reality of differential phenotypic robustness, may be valuable for investigating

  8. The Zebrafish Annexin Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Farber, Steven A.; De Rose, Robert A.; Olson, Eric S.; Halpern, Marnie E.

    2003-01-01

    The Annexins (ANXs) are a family of calcium- and phospholipid-binding proteins that have been implicated in many cellular processes, including channel formation, membrane fusion, vesicle transport, and regulation of phospholipase A2 activity. As a first step toward understanding in vivo function, we have cloned 11 zebrafish anx genes. Four genes (anx1a, anx2a, anx5,and anx11a) were identified by screening a zebrafish cDNA library with a Xenopus anx2 fragment. For these genes, full-length cDNA sequences were used to cluster 212 EST sequences generated by the Zebrafish Genome Resources Project. The EST analysis revealed seven additional anx genes that were subsequently cloned. The genetic map positions of all 11 genes were determined by using a zebrafish radiation hybrid panel. Sequence and syntenic relationships between zebrafish and human genes indicate that the 11 genes represent orthologs of human anx1,2,4,5,6,11,13,and suggest that several zebrafish anx genes resulted from duplications that arose after divergence of the zebrafish and mammalian genomes. Zebrafish anx genes are expressed in a wide range of tissues during embryonic and larval stages. Analysis of the expression patterns of duplicated genes revealed both redundancy and divergence, with the most similar genes having almost identical tissue-specific patterns of expression and with less similar duplicates showing no overlap. The differences in gene expression of recently duplicated anx genes could explain why highly related paralogs were maintained in the genome and did not rapidly become pseudogenes. PMID:12799347

  9. Gene-gene interaction between tuberculosis candidate genes in a South African population.

    PubMed

    de Wit, Erika; van der Merwe, Lize; van Helden, Paul D; Hoal, Eileen G

    2011-02-01

    In a complex disease such as tuberculosis (TB) it is increasingly evident that gene-gene interactions play a far more important role in an individual's susceptibility to develop the disease than single polymorphisms on their own, as one gene can enhance or hinder the expression of another gene. Gene-gene interaction analysis is a new approach to elucidate susceptibility to TB. The possibility of gene-gene interactions was assessed, focusing on 11 polymorphisms in nine genes (DC-SIGN, IFN-γ, IFNGR1, IL-8, IL-1Ra, MBL, NRAMP1, RANTES, and SP-D) that have been associated with TB, some repeatedly. An optimal model, which best describes and predicts TB case-control status, was constructed. Significant interactions were detected between eight pairs of variants. The models fitted the observed data extremely well, with p < 0.0001 for all eight models. A highly significant interaction was detected between INFGR1 and NRAMP1, which is not surprising because macrophage activation is greatly enhanced by IFN-γ and IFN-γ response elements that are present in the human NRAMP1 promoter region, providing further evidence for their interaction. This study enabled us to test the theory that disease outcome may be due to interaction of several gene effects. With eight instances of statistically significant gene-gene interactions, the importance of epistasis is clearly identifiable in this study. Methods for studying gene-gene interactions are based on a multilocus and multigene approach, consistent with the nature of complex-trait diseases, and may provide the paradigm for future genetic studies of TB. PMID:20799037

  10. Ancient origins of axial patterning genes: Hox genes and ParaHox genes in the Cnidaria.

    PubMed

    Finnerty, J R; Martindale, M Q

    1999-01-01

    Among the bilaterally symmetrical, triploblastic animals (the Bilateria), a conserved set of developmental regulatory genes are known to function in patterning the anterior-posterior (AP) axis. This set includes the well-studied Hox cluster genes, and the recently described genes of the ParaHox cluster, which is believed to be the evolutionary sister of the Hox cluster (Brooke et al. 1998). The conserved role of these axial patterning genes in animals as diverse as frogs and flies is believed to reflect an underlying homology (i.e., all bilaterians derive from a common ancestor which possessed an AP axis and the developmental mechanisms responsible for patterning the axis). However, the origin and early evolution of Hox genes and ParaHox genes remain obscure. Repeated attempts have been made to reconstruct the early evolution of Hox genes by analyzing data from the triphoblastic animals, the Bilateria (Schubert et al. 1993; Zhang and Nei 1996). A more precise dating of Hox origins has been elusive due to a lack of sufficient information from outgroup taxa such as the phylum Cnidaria (corals, hydras, jellyfishes, and sea anemones). In combination with outgroup taxa, another potential source of information about Hox origins is outgroup genes (e.g., the genes of the ParaHox cluster). In this article, we present cDNA sequences of two Hox-like genes (anthox2 and anthox6) from the sea anemone, Nematostella vectensis. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that anthox2 (= Cnox2) is homologous to the GSX class of ParaHox genes, and anthox6 is homologous to the anterior class of Hox genes. Therefore, the origin of Hox genes and ParaHox genes occurred prior to the evolutionary split between the Cnidaria and the Bilateria and predated the evolution of the anterior-posterior axis of bilaterian animals. Our analysis also suggests that the central Hox class was invented in the bilaterian lineage, subsequent to their split from the Cnidaria. PMID:11324016

  11. Identifying Driver Genes in Cancer by Triangulating Gene Expression, Gene Location, and Survival Data

    PubMed Central

    Rouam, Sigrid; Miller, Lance D; Karuturi, R Krishna Murthy

    2014-01-01

    Driver genes are directly responsible for oncogenesis and identifying them is essential in order to fully understand the mechanisms of cancer. However, it is difficult to delineate them from the larger pool of genes that are deregulated in cancer (ie, passenger genes). In order to address this problem, we developed an approach called TRIAngulating Gene Expression (TRIAGE through clinico-genomic intersects). Here, we present a refinement of this approach incorporating a new scoring methodology to identify putative driver genes that are deregulated in cancer. TRIAGE triangulates – or integrates – three levels of information: gene expression, gene location, and patient survival. First, TRIAGE identifies regions of deregulated expression (ie, expression footprints) by deriving a newly established measure called the Local Singular Value Decomposition (LSVD) score for each locus. Driver genes are then distinguished from passenger genes using dual survival analyses. Incorporating measurements of gene expression and weighting them according to the LSVD weight of each tumor, these analyses are performed using the genes located in significant expression footprints. Here, we first use simulated data to characterize the newly established LSVD score. We then present the results of our application of this refined version of TRIAGE to gene expression data from five cancer types. This refined version of TRIAGE not only allowed us to identify known prominent driver genes, such as MMP1, IL8, and COL1A2, but it also led us to identify several novel ones. These results illustrate that TRIAGE complements existing tools, allows for the identification of genes that drive cancer and could perhaps elucidate potential future targets of novel anticancer therapeutics. PMID:25949096

  12. Introns in gene evolution.

    PubMed

    Fedorova, Larisa; Fedorov, Alexei

    2003-07-01

    Introns are integral elements of eukaryotic genomes that perform various important functions and actively participate in gene evolution. We review six distinct roles of spliceosomal introns: (1) sources of non-coding RNA; (2) carriers of transcription regulatory elements; (3) actors in alternative and trans-splicing; (4) enhancers of meiotic crossing over within coding sequences; (5) substrates for exon shuffling; and (6) signals for mRNA export from the nucleus and nonsense-mediated decay. We consider transposable capacities of introns and the current state of the long-lasting debate on the 'early-or-late' origin of introns. Cumulative data on known types of contemporary exon shuffling and the estimation of the size of the underlying exon universe are also discussed. We argue that the processes central to introns-early (exon shuffling) and introns-late (intron insertion) theories are entirely compatible. Each has provided insight: the latter through elucidating the transposon capabilities of introns, and the former through understanding the importance of introns in genomic recombination leading to gene rearrangements and evolution. PMID:12868603

  13. Conotoxin Gene Superfamilies

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, Samuel D.; Norton, Raymond S.

    2014-01-01

    Conotoxins are the peptidic components of the venoms of marine cone snails (genus Conus). They are remarkably diverse in terms of structure and function. Unique potency and selectivity profiles for a range of neuronal targets have made several conotoxins valuable as research tools, drug leads and even therapeutics, and has resulted in a concerted and increasing drive to identify and characterise new conotoxins. Conotoxins are translated from mRNA as peptide precursors, and cDNA sequencing is now the primary method for identification of new conotoxin sequences. As a result, gene superfamily, a classification based on precursor signal peptide identity, has become the most convenient method of conotoxin classification. Here we review each of the described conotoxin gene superfamilies, with a focus on the structural and functional diversity present in each. This review is intended to serve as a practical guide to conotoxin superfamilies and to facilitate interpretation of the increasing number of conotoxin precursor sequences being identified by targeted-cDNA sequencing and more recently high-throughput transcriptome sequencing. PMID:25522317

  14. GeneMark.hmm: new solutions for gene finding.

    PubMed

    Lukashin, A V; Borodovsky, M

    1998-02-15

    The number of completely sequenced bacterial genomes has been growing fast. There are computer methods available for finding genes but yet there is a need for more accurate algorithms. The GeneMark. hmm algorithm presented here was designed to improve the gene prediction quality in terms of finding exact gene boundaries. The idea was to embed the GeneMark models into naturally derived hidden Markov model framework with gene boundaries modeled as transitions between hidden states. We also used the specially derived ribosome binding site pattern to refine predictions of translation initiation codons. The algorithm was evaluated on several test sets including 10 complete bacterial genomes. It was shown that the new algorithm is significantly more accurate than GeneMark in exact gene prediction. Interestingly, the high gene finding accuracy was observed even in the case when Markov models of order zero, one and two were used. We present the analysis of false positive and false negative predictions with the caution that these categories are not precisely defined if the public database annotation is used as a control. PMID:9461475

  15. Gene: a gene-centered information resource at NCBI

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Garth R.; Hem, Vichet; Katz, Kenneth S.; Ovetsky, Michael; Wallin, Craig; Ermolaeva, Olga; Tolstoy, Igor; Tatusova, Tatiana; Pruitt, Kim D.; Maglott, Donna R.; Murphy, Terence D.

    2015-01-01

    The National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Gene database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/gene) integrates gene-specific information from multiple data sources. NCBI Reference Sequence (RefSeq) genomes for viruses, prokaryotes and eukaryotes are the primary foundation for Gene records in that they form the critical association between sequence and a tracked gene upon which additional functional and descriptive content is anchored. Additional content is integrated based on the genomic location and RefSeq transcript and protein sequence data. The content of a Gene record represents the integration of curation and automated processing from RefSeq, collaborating model organism databases, consortia such as Gene Ontology, and other databases within NCBI. Records in Gene are assigned unique, tracked integers as identifiers. The content (citations, nomenclature, genomic location, gene products and their attributes, phenotypes, sequences, interactions, variation details, maps, expression, homologs, protein domains and external databases) is available via interactive browsing through NCBI's Entrez system, via NCBI's Entrez programming utilities (E-Utilities and Entrez Direct) and for bulk transfer by FTP. PMID:25355515

  16. Bacteriophage phiX174: gene A overlaps gene B.

    PubMed Central

    Weisbeek, P J; Borrias, W E; Langeveld, S A; Baas, P D; Van Arkel, G A

    1977-01-01

    The map position of several phiX174 mutations in the genes A and B was determined by marker rescue with DNA fragments produced by the restriction enzymes Hha I, HindII, Hae III, and Alu I. All the gene B mutants were found to be located within gene A. Genetic complementation and analysis of phage-specific protein synthesis show that, under restrictive conditions, nonsense mutants in gene A do not block the synthesis and activity of the B protein and nonsense mutants in gene B do not affect the gene A function. The map position of the COOH-terminal end of gene A was determined using an amber mutant that synthesizes slightly shortened A and A proteins. It is concluded from these experiments that gene A overlaps gene B completely (or almost completely) and that the overlap region can be translated in two ways with different reading frames: one frame for the synthesis of the A and A proteins and another for the synthesis of the B protein. Images PMID:267943

  17. Immunity-related genes and gene families in Anopheles gambiae.

    PubMed

    Christophides, George K; Zdobnov, Evgeny; Barillas-Mury, Carolina; Birney, Ewan; Blandin, Stephanie; Blass, Claudia; Brey, Paul T; Collins, Frank H; Danielli, Alberto; Dimopoulos, George; Hetru, Charles; Hoa, Ngo T; Hoffmann, Jules A; Kanzok, Stefan M; Letunic, Ivica; Levashina, Elena A; Loukeris, Thanasis G; Lycett, Gareth; Meister, Stephan; Michel, Kristin; Moita, Luis F; Müller, Hans-Michael; Osta, Mike A; Paskewitz, Susan M; Reichhart, Jean-Marc; Rzhetsky, Andrey; Troxler, Laurent; Vernick, Kenneth D; Vlachou, Dina; Volz, Jennifer; von Mering, Christian; Xu, Jiannong; Zheng, Liangbiao; Bork, Peer; Kafatos, Fotis C

    2002-10-01

    We have identified 242 Anopheles gambiae genes from 18 gene families implicated in innate immunity and have detected marked diversification relative to Drosophila melanogaster. Immune-related gene families involved in recognition, signal modulation, and effector systems show a marked deficit of orthologs and excessive gene expansions, possibly reflecting selection pressures from different pathogens encountered in these insects' very different life-styles. In contrast, the multifunctional Toll signal transduction pathway is substantially conserved, presumably because of counterselection for developmental stability. Representative expression profiles confirm that sequence diversification is accompanied by specific responses to different immune challenges. Alternative RNA splicing may also contribute to expansion of the immune repertoire. PMID:12364793

  18. Gene-targeting pharmaceuticals for single-gene disorders.

    PubMed

    Beaudet, Arthur L; Meng, Linyan

    2016-04-15

    The concept of orphan drugs for treatment of orphan genetic diseases is perceived enthusiastically at present, and this is leading to research investment on the part of governments, disease-specific foundations and industry. This review attempts to survey the potential to use traditional pharmaceuticals as opposed to biopharmaceuticals to treat single-gene disorders. The available strategies include the use of antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) to alter splicing or knock-down expression of a transcript, siRNAs to knock-down gene expression and drugs for nonsense mutation read-through. There is an approved drug for biallelic knock-down of the APOB gene as treatment for familial hypercholesterolemia. Both ASOs and siRNAs are being explored to knock-down the transthyretin gene to prevent the related form of amyloidosis. The use of ASOs to alter gene-splicing to treat spinal muscular atrophy is in phase 3 clinical trials. Work is progressing on the use of ASOs to activate the normally silent paternal copy of the imprinted UBE3A gene in neurons as a treatment for Angelman syndrome. A gene-activation or gene-specific ramp-up strategy would be generally helpful if such could be developed. There is exciting theoretical potential for converting biopharmaceutical strategies such gene correction and CRISPR-Cas9 editing to a synthetic pharmaceutical approach. PMID:26628634

  19. Sexually antagonistic genes: experimental evidence.

    PubMed

    Rice, W R

    1992-06-01

    When selection differs between the sexes, a mutation beneficial to one sex may be harmful to the other (sexually antagonistic). Because the sexes share a common gene pool, selection in one sex can interfere with the other's adaptive evolution. Theory predicts that sexually antagonistic mutations should accumulate in tight linkage with a new sex-determining gene, even when the harm to benefit ratio is high. Genetic markers and artificial selection were used to make a pair of autosomal genes segregate like a new pair of sex-determining genes in a Drosophila melanogaster model system. A 29-generation study provides experimental evidence that sexually antagonistic genes may be common in nature and will accumulate in response to a new sex-determining gene. PMID:1604317

  20. Gene Therapy for Cartilage Repair

    PubMed Central

    Madry, Henning; Orth, Patrick; Cucchiarini, Magali

    2011-01-01

    The concept of using gene transfer strategies for cartilage repair originates from the idea of transferring genes encoding therapeutic factors into the repair tissue, resulting in a temporarily and spatially defined delivery of therapeutic molecules to sites of cartilage damage. This review focuses on the potential benefits of using gene therapy approaches for the repair of articular cartilage and meniscal fibrocartilage, including articular cartilage defects resulting from acute trauma, osteochondritis dissecans, osteonecrosis, and osteoarthritis. Possible applications for meniscal repair comprise meniscal lesions, meniscal sutures, and meniscal transplantation. Recent studies in both small and large animal models have demonstrated the applicability of gene-based approaches for cartilage repair. Chondrogenic pathways were stimulated in the repair tissue and in osteoarthritic cartilage using genes for polypeptide growth factors and transcription factors. Although encouraging data have been generated, a successful translation of gene therapy for cartilage repair will require an ongoing combined effort of orthopedic surgeons and of basic scientists. PMID:26069580

  1. Gene targeting with retroviral vectors

    SciTech Connect

    Ellis, J.; Bernstein, A. )

    1989-04-01

    The authors have designed and constructed integration-defective retroviral vectors to explore their potential for gene targeting in mammalian cells. Two nonoverlapping deletion mutants of the bacterial neomycin resistance (neo) gene were used to detect homologous recombination events between viral and chromosomal sequences. Stable neo gene correction events were selected at a frequency of approximately 1 G418/sup r/ cell per 3 x 10/sup 6/ infected cells. Analysis of the functional neo gene in independent targeted cell clones indicated that unintegrated retroviral linear DNA recombined with the target by gene conversion for variable distances into regions of nonhomology. In addition, transient neo gene correction events which were associated with the complete loss of the chromosomal target sequences were observed. These results demonstrated that retroviral vectors can recombine with homologous chromosomal sequences in rodent and human cells.

  2. The Perils of Gene Patents

    PubMed Central

    Salzberg, SL

    2013-01-01

    I argue here that gene patents, and patented genetic tests based on them, are a very bad idea. First, I discuss whether genes can reasonably be the subject of patents in the first place; I maintain that the answer is no. Second, I explain how gene patents interfere with scientific progress, slowing down the development of new cures and treatments for genetic diseases. PMID:22609909

  3. Combinatorial approaches to gene recognition.

    PubMed

    Roytberg, M A; Astakhova, T V; Gelfand, M S

    1997-01-01

    Recognition of genes via exon assembly approaches leads naturally to the use of dynamic programming. We consider the general graph-theoretical formulation of the exon assembly problem and analyze in detail some specific variants: multicriterial optimization in the case of non-linear gene-scoring functions; context-dependent schemes for scoring exons and related procedures for exon filtering; and highly specific recognition of arbitrary gene segments, oligonucleotide probes and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers. PMID:9440930

  4. Symmetry and Stochastic Gene Regulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramos, Alexandre F.; Hornos, José E. M.

    2007-09-01

    Lorentz-like noncompact Lie symmetry SO(2,1) is found in a spin-boson stochastic model for gene expression. The invariant of the algebra characterizes the switch decay to equilibrium. The azimuthal eigenvalue describes the affinity between the regulatory protein and the gene operator site. Raising and lowering operators are constructed and their actions increase or decrease the affinity parameter. The classification of the noise regime of the gene arises from the group theoretical numbers.

  5. Serial analysis of gene expression.

    PubMed

    Velculescu, V E; Zhang, L; Vogelstein, B; Kinzler, K W

    1995-10-20

    The characteristics of an organism are determined by the genes expressed within it. A method was developed, called serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), that allows the quantitative and simultaneous analysis of a large number of transcripts. To demonstrate this strategy, short diagnostic sequence tags were isolated from pancreas, concatenated, and cloned. Manual sequencing of 1000 tags revealed a gene expression pattern characteristic of pancreatic function. New pancreatic transcripts corresponding to novel tags were identified. SAGE should provide a broadly applicable means for the quantitative cataloging and comparison of expressed genes in a variety of normal, developmental, and disease states. PMID:7570003

  6. Gene therapy for Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Lawlor, Patricia A; During, Matthew J

    2004-03-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder arising from loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta and subsequent depletion of striatal dopamine levels, which results in distressing motor symptoms. The current standard pharmacological treatment for PD is direct replacement of dopamine by treatment with its precursor, levodopa (L-dopa). However, this does not significantly alter disease progression and might contribute to the ongoing pathology. Several features of PD make this disease one of the most promising targets for clinical gene therapy of any neurological disease. The confinement of the major pathology to a compact, localised neuronal population and the anatomy of the basal ganglia circuitry mean that global gene transfer is not required and there are well-defined sites for gene transfer. The multifactorial aetiology of idiopathic PD means that it is unlikely any single gene will cure the disease, and as a result at least three separate gene-transfer strategies are currently being pursued: transfer of genes for enzymes involved in dopamine production; transfer of genes for growth factors involved in dopaminergic cell survival and regeneration; and transfer of genes to reset neuronal circuitry by switching cellular phenotype. The merits of these strategies are discussed here, along with remaining hurdles that might impede transfer of gene therapy technology to the clinic as a treatment for PD. PMID:15000692

  7. ERGDB: Estrogen Responsive Genes Database.

    PubMed

    Tang, Suisheng; Han, Hao; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2004-01-01

    ERGDB is an integrated knowledge database dedicated to genes responsive to estrogen. Genes included in ERGDB are those whose expression levels are experimentally proven to be either up-regulated or down-regulated by estrogen. Genes included are identified based on publications from the PubMed database and each record has been manually examined, evaluated and selected for inclusion by biologists. ERGDB aims to be a unified gateway to store, search, retrieve and update information about estrogen responsive genes. Each record contains links to relevant databases, such as GenBank, LocusLink, Refseq, PubMed and ATCC. The unique feature of ERGDB is that it contains information on the dependence of gene reactions on experimental conditions. In addition to basic information about the genes, information for each record includes gene functional description, experimental methods used, tissue or cell type, gene reaction, estrogen exposure time and the summary of putative estrogen response elements if the gene's promoter sequence was available. Through a web interface at http://sdmc.i2r.a-star.edu.sg/ergdb/ cgi-bin/explore.pl users can either browse or query ERGDB. Access is free for academic and non-profit users. PMID:14681475

  8. Cardiac Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Chaanine, Antoine H.; Kalman, Jill; Hajjar, Roger J.

    2010-01-01

    Heart failure is a chronic progressive disorder where frequent and recurrent hospitalizations are associated with high mortality and morbidity. The incidence and the prevalence of this disease will increase with the increase in the number of the aging population of the United States. Understanding the molecular pathology and pathophysiology of this disease will uncover novel targets and therapies that can restore the function or attenuate the damage of malfunctioning cardiomyocytes by gene therapy that becomes an interesting and a promising field for the treatment of heart failure as well as other diseases in the future. Of equal importance is developing vectors and delivery methods that can efficiently transduce the majority of the cardiomyocytes, that can offer a long term expression and that can escape the host immune response. Recombinant adeno-associated virus vectors have the potential to become a promising novel therapeutic vehicles for molecular medicine in the future. PMID:21092890

  9. Taste Receptor Genes

    PubMed Central

    Bachmanov, Alexander A.; Beauchamp, Gary K.

    2009-01-01

    In the past several years, tremendous progress has been achieved with the discovery and characterization of vertebrate taste receptors from the T1R and T2R families, which are involved in recognition of bitter, sweet, and umami taste stimuli. Individual differences in taste, at least in some cases, can be attributed to allelic variants of the T1R and T2R genes. Progress with understanding how T1R and T2R receptors interact with taste stimuli and with identifying their patterns of expression in taste cells sheds light on coding of taste information by the nervous system. Candidate mechanisms for detection of salts, acids, fat, complex carbohydrates, and water have also been proposed, but further studies are needed to prove their identity. PMID:17444812

  10. New genes for boys

    SciTech Connect

    Sinclair, A.H.

    1995-11-01

    Sex is a fascinating topic, particularly at the level of molecular genetics, since it represents a wonderful paradigm for mammalian organ development. Recently, interest in the molecular basis for mammalian sex determination has been heating up as new pieces are added to the jigsaw puzzle of testis development. In mammals, the Y chromosome is male determining and encodes a gene referred to as TDF (testis-determining factor), which induces the indifferent embryonic gonad to develop as a testis. Subsequent male sexual differentiation is largely a consequence of hormonal secretion from the testis. In the absence of the Y chromosome, the testis-determining pathway fails to be initiated, and the embryonic gonad develops as an ovary, resulting in female development. 32 refs.

  11. Gene Express Inc.

    PubMed

    Saccomanno, Colette F

    2006-07-01

    Gene Express, Inc. is a technology-licensing company and provider of Standardized Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (StaRT-PCR) services. Designed by and for clinical researchers involved in pharmaceutical, biomarker and molecular diagnostic product development, StaRT-PCR is a unique quantitative and standardized multigene expression measurement platform. StaRT-PCR meets all of the performance characteristics defined by the US FDA as required to support regulatory submissions [101,102] , and by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act of 1988 (CLIA) as necessary to support diagnostic testing [1] . A standardized mixture of internal standards (SMIS), manufactured in bulk, provides integrated quality control wherein each native template target gene is measured relative to a competitive template internal standard. Bulk production enables the compilation of a comprehensive standardized database from across multiple experiments, across collaborating laboratories and across the entire clinical development lifecycle of a given compound or diagnostic product. For the first time, all these data are able to be directly compared. Access to such a database can dramatically shorten the time from investigational new drug (IND) to new drug application (NDA), or save time and money by hastening a substantiated 'no-go' decision. High-throughput StaRT-PCR is conducted at the company's automated Standardized Expression Measurement (SEM) Center. Currently optimized for detection on a microcapillary electrophoretic platform, StaRT-PCR products also may be analyzed on microarray, high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), or matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) platforms. SEM Center services deliver standardized genomic data--data that will accelerate the application of pharmacogenomic technology to new drug and diagnostic test development and facilitate personalized medicine. PMID:16886903

  12. DIFFERENTIAL GENE EXPRESSION OF PUTATIVE VIRULENCE GENES IN Flavobacterium columnare

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A shot-gun genomic library of the Flavobacterium columnare ALG-530 virulent strain has been constructed and more than 3,000 clones have been sequenced to date (800 contigs). Based on sequence identity with putative known virulence genes from related species, seven genes were selected for differentia...

  13. Candidate reference genes for gene expression studies in water lily.

    PubMed

    Luo, Huolin; Chen, Sumei; Wan, Hongjian; Chen, Fadi; Gu, Chunsun; Liu, Zhaolei

    2010-09-01

    The selection of an appropriate reference gene(s) is a prerequisite for the proper interpretation of quantitative Real-Time polymerase chain reaction data. We report the evaluation of eight candidate reference genes across various tissues and treatments in the water lily by the two software packages geNorm and NormFinder. Across all samples, clathrin adaptor complexes medium subunit (AP47) and actin 11 (ACT11) emerged as the most suitable reference genes. Across different tissues, ACT11 and elongation factor 1-alpha (EF1alpha) exhibited a stable expression pattern. ACT11 and AP47 also stably expressed in roots subjected to various treatments, but in the leaves of the same plants the most stably expressed genes were ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 16 (UBC16) and ACT11. PMID:20452325

  14. Determining Semantically Related Significant Genes.

    PubMed

    Taha, Kamal

    2014-01-01

    GO relation embodies some aspects of existence dependency. If GO term xis existence-dependent on GO term y, the presence of y implies the presence of x. Therefore, the genes annotated with the function of the GO term y are usually functionally and semantically related to the genes annotated with the function of the GO term x. A large number of gene set enrichment analysis methods have been developed in recent years for analyzing gene sets enrichment. However, most of these methods overlook the structural dependencies between GO terms in GO graph by not considering the concept of existence dependency. We propose in this paper a biological search engine called RSGSearch that identifies enriched sets of genes annotated with different functions using the concept of existence dependency. We observe that GO term xcannot be existence-dependent on GO term y, if x- and y- have the same specificity (biological characteristics). After encoding into a numeric format the contributions of GO terms annotating target genes to the semantics of their lowest common ancestors (LCAs), RSGSearch uses microarray experiment to identify the most significant LCA that annotates the result genes. We evaluated RSGSearch experimentally and compared it with five gene set enrichment systems. Results showed marked improvement. PMID:26357049

  15. Candidate gene prioritization with Endeavour.

    PubMed

    Tranchevent, Léon-Charles; Ardeshirdavani, Amin; ElShal, Sarah; Alcaide, Daniel; Aerts, Jan; Auboeuf, Didier; Moreau, Yves

    2016-07-01

    Genomic studies and high-throughput experiments often produce large lists of candidate genes among which only a small fraction are truly relevant to the disease, phenotype or biological process of interest. Gene prioritization tackles this problem by ranking candidate genes by profiling candidates across multiple genomic data sources and integrating this heterogeneous information into a global ranking. We describe an extended version of our gene prioritization method, Endeavour, now available for six species and integrating 75 data sources. The performance (Area Under the Curve) of Endeavour on cross-validation benchmarks using 'gold standard' gene sets varies from 88% (for human phenotypes) to 95% (for worm gene function). In addition, we have also validated our approach using a time-stamped benchmark derived from the Human Phenotype Ontology, which provides a setting close to prospective validation. With this benchmark, using 3854 novel gene-phenotype associations, we observe a performance of 82%. Altogether, our results indicate that this extended version of Endeavour efficiently prioritizes candidate genes. The Endeavour web server is freely available at https://endeavour.esat.kuleuven.be/. PMID:27131783

  16. Using Genes to Guide Prescriptions

    MedlinePlus

    ... Science > Using Genes to Guide Prescriptions Inside Life Science View All Articles | Inside Life Science Home Page Using Genes to Guide Prescriptions By ... to Zoloft: Ways Medicines Work This Inside Life Science article also appears on LiveScience . Learn about related ...

  17. Gene therapy on the move

    PubMed Central

    Kaufmann, Kerstin B; Büning, Hildegard; Galy, Anne; Schambach, Axel; Grez, Manuel

    2013-01-01

    The first gene therapy clinical trials were initiated more than two decades ago. In the early days, gene therapy shared the fate of many experimental medicine approaches and was impeded by the occurrence of severe side effects in a few treated patients. The understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to treatment- and/or vector-associated setbacks has resulted in the development of highly sophisticated gene transfer tools with improved safety and therapeutic efficacy. Employing these advanced tools, a series of Phase I/II trials were started in the past few years with excellent clinical results and no side effects reported so far. Moreover, highly efficient gene targeting strategies and site-directed gene editing technologies have been developed and applied clinically. With more than 1900 clinical trials to date, gene therapy has moved from a vision to clinical reality. This review focuses on the application of gene therapy for the correction of inherited diseases, the limitations and drawbacks encountered in some of the early clinical trials and the revival of gene therapy as a powerful treatment option for the correction of monogenic disorders. PMID:24106209

  18. Multifunctional nanorods for gene delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salem, Aliasger K.; Searson, Peter C.; Leong, Kam W.

    2003-10-01

    The goal of gene therapy is to introduce foreign genes into somatic cells to supplement defective genes or provide additional biological functions, and can be achieved using either viral or synthetic non-viral delivery systems. Compared with viral vectors, synthetic gene-delivery systems, such as liposomes and polymers, offer several advantages including ease of production and reduced risk of cytotoxicity and immunogenicity, but their use has been limited by the relatively low transfection efficiency. This problem mainly stems from the difficulty in controlling their properties at the nanoscale. Synthetic inorganic gene carriers have received limited attention in the gene-therapy community, the only notable example being gold nanoparticles with surface-immobilized DNA applied to intradermal genetic immunization by particle bombardment. Here we present a non-viral gene-delivery system based on multisegment bimetallic nanorods that can simultaneously bind compacted DNA plasmids and targeting ligands in a spatially defined manner. This approach allows precise control of composition, size and multifunctionality of the gene-delivery system. Transfection experiments performed in vitro and in vivo provide promising results that suggest potential in genetic vaccination applications.

  19. Gene Expression in Oligodendroglial Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Elisabeth J.; Haylock, Brian; Husband, David; du Plessis, Daniel; Sibson, D. Ross; Warnke, Peter C.; Walker, Carol

    2010-01-01

    Background: Oligodendroglial tumors with 1p/19q loss are more likely to be chemosensitive and have longer survival than those with intact 1p/19q, but not all respond to chemotherapy, warranting investigation of the biological basis of chemosensitivity. Methods: Gene expression profiling was performed using amplified antisense RNA from 28 oligodendroglial tumors treated with chemotherapy (26 serial stereotactic biopsy, 2 resection). Expression of differentially expressed genes was validated by real-time PCR. Results: Unsupervised hierarchical clustering showed clustering of multiple samples from the same case in 14/17 cases and identified subgroups associated with tumor grade and 1p/19q status. 176 genes were differentially expressed, 164 being associated with 1p/19q loss (86% not on 1p or 19q). 94 genes differed between responders and non-responders to chemotherapy; 12 were not associated with 1p/19q loss. Significant differential expression was confirmed in 11/13 selected genes. Novel genes associated with response to therapy included SSBP2, GFRA1, FAP and RASD1. IQGAP1, INA, TGIF1, NR2F2 and MYCBP were differentially expressed in oligodendroglial tumors with 1p/19q loss. Conclusion: Gene expression profiling using serial stereotactic biopsies indicated greater homogeneity within tumors than between tumors. Genes associated with 1p/19q status or response were identified warranting further elucidation of their role in oligodendroglial tumors. PMID:20966545

  20. From genes to genome biology

    SciTech Connect

    Pennisi, E.

    1996-06-21

    This article describes a change in the approach to mapping genomes, from looking at one gene at a time, to other approaches. Strategies include everything from lab techniques to computer programs designed to analyze whole batches of genes at once. Also included is a update on the work on the human genome.

  1. Method of controlling gene expression

    DOEpatents

    Peters, Norman K.; Frost, John W.; Long, Sharon R.

    1991-12-03

    A method of controlling expression of a DNA segment under the control of a nod gene promoter which comprises administering to a host containing a nod gene promoter an amount sufficient to control expression of the DNA segment of a compound of the formula: ##STR1## in which each R is independently H or OH, is described.

  2. Susceptibility Genes in Thyroid Autoimmunity

    PubMed Central

    Ban, Yoshiyuki; Tomer, Yaron

    2005-01-01

    The autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) are complex diseases which are caused by an interaction between susceptibility genes and environmental triggers. Genetic susceptibility in combination with external factors (e.g. dietary iodine) is believed to initiate the autoimmune response to thyroid antigens. Abundant epidemiological data, including family and twin studies, point to a strong genetic influence on the development of AITD. Various techniques have been employed to identify the genes contributing to the etiology of AITD, including candidate gene analysis and whole genome screening. These studies have enabled the identification of several loci (genetic regions) that are linked with AITD, and in some of these loci, putative AITD susceptibility genes have been identified. Some of these genes/loci are unique to Graves' disease (GD) and Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and some are common to both the diseases, indicating that there is a shared genetic susceptibility to GD and HT. The putative GD and HT susceptibility genes include both immune modifying genes (e.g. HLA, CTLA-4) and thyroid specific genes (e.g. TSHR, Tg). Most likely, these loci interact and their interactions may influence disease phenotype and severity. PMID:15712599

  3. Uncovering trends in gene naming

    PubMed Central

    Seringhaus, Michael R; Cayting, Philip D; Gerstein, Mark B

    2008-01-01

    We take stock of current genetic nomenclature and attempt to organize strange and notable gene names. We categorize, for instance, those that involve a naming system transferred from another context (for example, Pavlov’s dogs). We hope this analysis provides clues to better steer gene naming in the future. PMID:18254929

  4. Nonviral Vectors for Gene Delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baoum, Abdulgader Ahmed

    2011-12-01

    The development of nonviral vectors for safe and efficient gene delivery has been gaining considerable attention recently. An ideal nonviral vector must protect the gene against degradation by nuclease in the extracellular matrix, internalize the plasma membrane, escape from the endosomal compartment, unpackage the gene at some point and have no detrimental effects. In comparison to viruses, nonviral vectors are relatively easy to synthesize, less immunogenic, low in cost, and have no limitation in the size of a gene that can be delivered. Significant progress has been made in the basic science and applications of various nonviral gene delivery vectors; however, the majority of nonviral approaches are still inefficient and often toxic. To this end, two nonviral gene delivery systems using either biodegradable poly(D,L-lactide- co-glycolide) (PLG) nanoparticles or cell penetrating peptide (CPP) complexes have been designed and studied using A549 human lung epithelial cells. PLG nanoparticles were optimized for gene delivery by varying particle surface chemistry using different coating materials that adsorb to the particle surface during formation. A variety of cationic coating materials were studied and compared to more conventional surfactants used for PLG nanoparticle fabrication. Nanoparticles (˜200 nm) efficiently encapsulated plasmids encoding for luciferase (80-90%) and slowly released the same for two weeks. After a delay, moderate levels of gene expression appeared at day 5 for certain positively charged PLG particles and gene expression was maintained for at least two weeks. In contrast, gene expression mediated by polyethyleneimine (PEI) ended at day 5. PLG particles were also significantly less cytotoxic than PEI suggesting the use of these vehicles for localized, sustained gene delivery to the pulmonary epithelium. On the other hand, a more simple method to synthesize 50-200 nm complexes capable of high transfection efficiency or high gene knockdown was

  5. Gene Therapy for Retinal Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Samiy, Nasrollah

    2014-01-01

    Gene therapy has a growing research potential particularly in the field of ophthalmic and retinal diseases owing to three main characteristics of the eye; accessibility in terms of injections and surgical interventions, its immune-privileged status facilitating the accommodation to the antigenicity of a viral vector, and tight blood-ocular barriers which save other organs from unwanted contamination. Gene therapy has tremendous potential for different ocular diseases. In fact, the perspective of gene therapy in the field of eye research does not confine to exclusive monogenic ophthalmic problems and it has the potential to include gene based pharmacotherapies for non-monogenic problems such as age related macular disease and diabetic retinopathy. The present article has focused on how gene transfer into the eye has been developed and used to treat retinal disorders with no available therapy at present. PMID:25709778

  6. Fast parsers for Entrez Gene.

    PubMed

    Liu, Mingyi; Grigoriev, Andrei

    2005-07-15

    NCBI completed the transition of its main genome annotation database from Locuslink to Entrez Gene in Spring 2005. However, to this date few parsers exist for the Entrez Gene annotation file. Owing to the widespread use of Locuslink and the popularity of Perl programming language in bioinformatics, a publicly available high performance Entrez Gene parser in Perl is urgently needed. We present four such parsers that were developed using several parsing approaches (Parse::RecDescent, Parse::Yapp, Perl-byacc and Perl 5 regular expressions) and provide the first in-depth comparison of these sophisticated Perl tools. Our fastest parser processes the entire human Entrez Gene annotation file in under 12 min on one Intel Xeon 2.4 GHz CPU and can be of help to the bioinformatics community during and after the transition from Locuslink to Entrez Gene. PMID:15879451

  7. The Gene Network Underlying Hypodontia.

    PubMed

    Yin, W; Bian, Z

    2015-07-01

    Mammalian tooth development is a precise and complicated procedure. Several signaling pathways, such as nuclear factor (NF)-κB and WNT, are key regulators of tooth development. Any disturbance of these signaling pathways can potentially affect or block normal tooth development, and presently, there are more than 150 syndromes and 80 genes known to be related to tooth agenesis. Clarifying the interaction and crosstalk among these genes will provide important information regarding the mechanisms underlying missing teeth. In the current review, we summarize recently published findings on genes related to isolated and syndromic tooth agenesis; most of these genes function as positive regulators of cell proliferation or negative regulators of cell differentiation and apoptosis. Furthermore, we explore the corresponding networks involving these genes in addition to their implications for the clinical management of tooth agenesis. We conclude that this requires further study to improve patients' quality of life in the future. PMID:25910507

  8. Genes and gene networks implicated in aggression related behaviour.

    PubMed

    Malki, Karim; Pain, Oliver; Du Rietz, Ebba; Tosto, Maria Grazia; Paya-Cano, Jose; Sandnabba, Kenneth N; de Boer, Sietse; Schalkwyk, Leonard C; Sluyter, Frans

    2014-10-01

    Aggressive behaviour is a major cause of mortality and morbidity. Despite of moderate heritability estimates, progress in identifying the genetic factors underlying aggressive behaviour has been limited. There are currently three genetic mouse models of high and low aggression created using selective breeding. This is the first study to offer a global transcriptomic characterization of the prefrontal cortex across all three genetic mouse models of aggression. A systems biology approach has been applied to transcriptomic data across the three pairs of selected inbred mouse strains (Turku Aggressive (TA) and Turku Non-Aggressive (TNA), Short Attack Latency (SAL) and Long Attack Latency (LAL) mice and North Carolina Aggressive (NC900) and North Carolina Non-Aggressive (NC100)), providing novel insight into the neurobiological mechanisms and genetics underlying aggression. First, weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) was performed to identify modules of highly correlated genes associated with aggression. Probe sets belonging to gene modules uncovered by WGCNA were carried forward for network analysis using ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA). The RankProd non-parametric algorithm was then used to statistically evaluate expression differences across the genes belonging to modules significantly associated with aggression. IPA uncovered two pathways, involving NF-kB and MAPKs. The secondary RankProd analysis yielded 14 differentially expressed genes, some of which have previously been implicated in pathways associated with aggressive behaviour, such as Adrbk2. The results highlighted plausible candidate genes and gene networks implicated in aggression-related behaviour. PMID:25142712

  9. Immunoglobulin λ Gene Rearrangement Can Precede κ Gene Rearrangement

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Berg, Jörg; Mcdowell, Mindy; Jäck, Hans-Martin; Wabl, Matthias

    1990-01-01

    Imore » mmunoglobulin genes are generated during differentiation of B lymphocytes by joining gene segments. A mouse pre-B cell contains a functional immunoglobulin heavy-chain gene, but no light-chain gene. Although there is only one heavy-chain locus, there are two lightchain loci: κ and λ .It has been reported that κ loci in the germ-line configuration are never (in man) or very rarely (in the mouse) present in cells with functionally rearranged λ -chain genes. Two explanations have been proposed to explain this: (a) the ordered rearrangement theory, which postulates that light-chain gene rearrangement in the pre-B cell is first attempted at the κ locus, and that only upon failure to produce a functional κ chain is there an attempt to rearrange the λ locus; and (b) the stochastic theory, which postulates that rearrangement at the λ locus proceeds at a rate that is intrinsically much slower than that at the κ locus. We show here that λ -chain genes are generated whether or not the κ locus has lost its germ-line arrangement, a result that is compatible only with the stochastic theory.« less

  10. Gene therapy progress and prospects: gene therapy for diabetes mellitus.

    PubMed

    Yechoor, V; Chan, L

    2005-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus has long been targeted, as yet unsuccessfully, as being curable with gene therapy. The main hurdles have not only been vector-related toxicity but also the lack of physiological regulation of the expressed insulin. Recent advances in understanding the developmental biology of beta-cells and the transcriptional cascade that drives it have enabled both in vivo and ex vivo gene therapy combined with cell therapy to be used in animal models of diabetes with success. The associated developments in the stem cell biology and immunology have opened up further opportunities for gene therapy to be applied to target autoimmune diabetes. PMID:15496957

  11. Genes, Economics, and Happiness.

    PubMed

    De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Christakis, Nicholas A; Fowler, James H; Frey, Bruno S

    2012-11-01

    We explore the influence of genetic variation on subjective well-being by employing a twin design and genetic association study. In a nationally-representative twin sample, we first show that about 33% of the variation in life satisfaction is explained by genetic variation. Although previous studies have shown that baseline happiness is significantly heritable, little research has considered molecular genetic associations with subjective well-being. We study the relationship between a functional polymorphism on the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and life satisfaction. We initially find that individuals with the longer, transcriptionally more efficient variant of this genotype report greater life satisfaction (n=2,545, p=0.012). However, our replication attempts on independent samples produce mixed results indicating that more work needs to be done to better understand the relationship between this genotype and subjective well-being. This work has implications for how economists think about the determinants of utility, and the extent to which exogenous shocks might affect individual well-being. PMID:24349601

  12. Environment, genes, and cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Manuel, J.

    1996-03-01

    In January, comedian George Burns turned 100 years old. In recent appearances in the media, he still seems sharp as a tack, and is still seen smoking his trademark cigars. Others of us, however, were never very funny, and would die of cancer at age 60 if we continuously smoked cigars or cigarettes. Burns presents a common but perplexing paradox; some people are able to tolerate at least moderate exposure to toxins such as cigarette smoke with little adverse affect, while others develop cancer, emphysema, or heart disease. New studies support the idea that there is an interaction between genes and the environment, and that this interaction may be an important determinant of cancer risk. To understand such risks, it is essential to look at both an individual`s genetic makeup and environmental exposures. Such studies require the collaboration of molecular epidemiologists and molecular biologists. At the NIEHS, Jack A. Taylor, a lead clinical investigator in the Epidemiology Branch, and Douglas A. Bell, an investigator with the Genetic Risk Group of the Laboratory of Biochemical Risk Analysis, have worked together and with other scientists to uncover new information in this area.

  13. Genes and equality.

    PubMed

    Farrelly, C

    2004-12-01

    The way people think about equality as a value will influence how they think genetic interventions should be regulated. In this paper the author uses the taxonomy of equality put forth by Derek Parfit and applies this to the issue of genetic interventions. It is argued that telic egalitarianism is untenable and that deontic egalitarianism collapses into prioritarianism. The priority view maintains that it is morally more important to benefit the people who are worse off. Once this precision has been given to the concerns egalitarians have, a number of diverse issues must be considered before determining what the just regulation of genetic interventions would be. Consideration must be given to the current situation of the least advantaged, the fiscal realities behind genetic interventions, the budget constraints on other social programmes egalitarians believe should receive scarce public funds, and the interconnected nature of genetic information. These considerations might lead egalitarians to abandon what they take to be the obvious policy recommendations for them to endorse regarding the regulation of gene therapies and enhancements. PMID:15574450

  14. Genes, Economics, and Happiness *

    PubMed Central

    De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel; Christakis, Nicholas A.; Fowler, James H.; Frey, Bruno S.

    2012-01-01

    We explore the influence of genetic variation on subjective well-being by employing a twin design and genetic association study. In a nationally-representative twin sample, we first show that about 33% of the variation in life satisfaction is explained by genetic variation. Although previous studies have shown that baseline happiness is significantly heritable, little research has considered molecular genetic associations with subjective well-being. We study the relationship between a functional polymorphism on the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) and life satisfaction. We initially find that individuals with the longer, transcriptionally more efficient variant of this genotype report greater life satisfaction (n=2,545, p=0.012). However, our replication attempts on independent samples produce mixed results indicating that more work needs to be done to better understand the relationship between this genotype and subjective well-being. This work has implications for how economists think about the determinants of utility, and the extent to which exogenous shocks might affect individual well-being. PMID:24349601

  15. GenePRIMP: A GENE PRediction IMprovement Pipeline for Prokaryotic genomes

    SciTech Connect

    Pati, Amrita; Ivanova, Natalia N.; Mikhailova, Natalia; Ovchinnikova, Galina; Hooper, Sean D.; Lykidis, Athanasios; Kyrpides, Nikos C.

    2010-04-01

    We present 'gene prediction improvement pipeline' (GenePRIMP; http://geneprimp.jgi-psf.org/), a computational process that performs evidence-based evaluation of gene models in prokaryotic genomes and reports anomalies including inconsistent start sites, missed genes and split genes. We found that manual curation of gene models using the anomaly reports generated by GenePRIMP improved their quality, and demonstrate the applicability of GenePRIMP in improving finishing quality and comparing different genome-sequencing and annotation technologies.

  16. Simulating evolution by gene duplication.

    PubMed

    Ohta, T

    1987-01-01

    By considering the recent finding that unequal crossing over and other molecular interactions are contributing to the evolution of multigene families, a model of the origin of repetitive genes was studied by Monte Carlo simulations. Starting from a single gene copy, how genetic systems evolve was examined under unequal crossing over, random drift and natural selection. Both beneficial and deteriorating mutations were incorporated, and the latter were assumed to occur ten times more frequently than the former. Positive natural selection favors those chromosomes with more beneficial mutations in redundant copies than others in the population, but accumulation of deteriorating mutations (pseudogenes) have no effect on fitness so long as there remains a functional gene. The results imply the following: Positive natural selection is needed in order to acquire gene families with new functions. Without it, too many pseudogenes accumulate before attaining a functional gene family. There is a large fluctuation in the outcome even if parameters are the same. When unequal crossing over occurs more frequently, the system evolves more rapidly. It was also shown, under realistic values of parameters, that the genetic load for acquiring a new gene is not as large as J.B.S. Haldane suggested, but not so small as in a model in which a system for selection started from already redundant genes. PMID:3557113

  17. GENES IN SPORT AND DOPING

    PubMed Central

    Kaliszewski, P.; Majorczyk, E.; Zembroń-Łacny, A.

    2013-01-01

    Genes control biological processes such as muscle production of energy, mitochondria biogenesis, bone formation, erythropoiesis, angiogenesis, vasodilation, neurogenesis, etc. DNA profiling for athletes reveals genetic variations that may be associated with endurance ability, muscle performance and power exercise, tendon susceptibility to injuries and psychological aptitude. Already, over 200 genes relating to physical performance have been identified by several research groups. Athletes’ genotyping is developing as a tool for the formulation of personalized training and nutritional programmes to optimize sport training as well as for the prediction of exercise-related injuries. On the other hand, development of molecular technology and gene therapy creates a risk of non-therapeutic use of cells, genes and genetic elements to improve athletic performance. Therefore, the World Anti-Doping Agency decided to include prohibition of gene doping within their World Anti-Doping Code in 2003. In this review article, we will provide a current overview of genes for use in athletes’ genotyping and gene doping possibilities, including their development and detection techniques. PMID:24744482

  18. Gene Electrotransfer: A Mechanistic Perspective.

    PubMed

    Rosazza, Christelle; Meglic, Sasa Haberl; Zumbusch, Andreas; Rols, Marie-Pierre; Miklavcic, Damijan

    2016-01-01

    Gene electrotransfer is a powerful method of DNA delivery offering several medical applications, among the most promising of which are DNA vaccination and gene therapy for cancer treatment. Electroporation entails the application of electric fields to cells which then experience a local and transient change of membrane permeability. Although gene electrotransfer has been extensively studied in in vitro and in vivo environments, the mechanisms by which DNA enters and navigates through cells are not fully understood. Here we present a comprehensive review of the body of knowledge concerning gene electrotransfer that has been accumulated over the last three decades. For that purpose, after briefly reviewing the medical applications that gene electrotransfer can provide, we outline membrane electropermeabilization, a key process for the delivery of DNA and smaller molecules. Since gene electrotransfer is a multipart process, we proceed our review in describing step by step our current understanding, with particular emphasis on DNA internalization and intracellular trafficking. Finally, we turn our attention to in vivo testing and methodology for gene electrotransfer. PMID:27029943

  19. Linking Genes to Cardiovascular Diseases: Gene Action and Gene-Environment Interactions.

    PubMed

    Pasipoularides, Ares

    2015-12-01

    A unique myocardial characteristic is its ability to grow/remodel in order to adapt; this is determined partly by genes and partly by the environment and the milieu intérieur. In the "post-genomic" era, a need is emerging to elucidate the physiologic functions of myocardial genes, as well as potential adaptive and maladaptive modulations induced by environmental/epigenetic factors. Genome sequencing and analysis advances have become exponential lately, with escalation of our knowledge concerning sometimes controversial genetic underpinnings of cardiovascular diseases. Current technologies can identify candidate genes variously involved in diverse normal/abnormal morphomechanical phenotypes, and offer insights into multiple genetic factors implicated in complex cardiovascular syndromes. The expression profiles of thousands of genes are regularly ascertained under diverse conditions. Global analyses of gene expression levels are useful for cataloging genes and correlated phenotypes, and for elucidating the role of genes in maladies. Comparative expression of gene networks coupled to complex disorders can contribute insights as to how "modifier genes" influence the expressed phenotypes. Increasingly, a more comprehensive and detailed systematic understanding of genetic abnormalities underlying, for example, various genetic cardiomyopathies is emerging. Implementing genomic findings in cardiology practice may well lead directly to better diagnosing and therapeutics. There is currently evolving a strong appreciation for the value of studying gene anomalies, and doing so in a non-disjointed, cohesive manner. However, it is challenging for many-practitioners and investigators-to comprehend, interpret, and utilize the clinically increasingly accessible and affordable cardiovascular genomics studies. This survey addresses the need for fundamental understanding in this vital area. PMID:26545598

  20. Gene Insertion Into Genomic Safe Harbors for Human Gene Therapy.

    PubMed

    Papapetrou, Eirini P; Schambach, Axel

    2016-04-01

    Genomic safe harbors (GSHs) are sites in the genome able to accommodate the integration of new genetic material in a manner that ensures that the newly inserted genetic elements: (i) function predictably and (ii) do not cause alterations of the host genome posing a risk to the host cell or organism. GSHs are thus ideal sites for transgene insertion whose use can empower functional genetics studies in basic research and therapeutic applications in human gene therapy. Currently, no fully validated GSHs exist in the human genome. Here, we review our formerly proposed GSH criteria and discuss additional considerations on extending these criteria, on strategies for the identification and validation of GSHs, as well as future prospects on GSH targeting for therapeutic applications. In view of recent advances in genome biology, gene targeting technologies, and regenerative medicine, gene insertion into GSHs can potentially catalyze nearly all applications in human gene therapy. PMID:26867951

  1. COMPARISON OF THE METHYL REDUCTASE GENES AND GENE PRODUCTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The DNA sequences encoding component C of methyl coenzyme M reductase (mcr genes) in Methanothermus fervidus, Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum, Methanococcus vannielii, and Methanosarcina barkeri have been published. omparisons of transcription initiation and termination site...

  2. BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene testing

    MedlinePlus

    ... gov/ency/patientinstructions/000690.htm BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene testing To use the sharing features on this ... br east ca ncer. What is the BRCA Gene Mutation? BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that suppress ...

  3. Genomics screens for metastasis genes

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Jinchun; Huang, Qihong

    2014-01-01

    Metastasis is responsible for most cancer mortality. The process of metastasis is complex, requiring the coordinated expression and fine regulation of many genes in multiple pathways in both the tumor and host tissues. Identification and characterization of the genetic programs that regulate metastasis is critical to understanding the metastatic process and discovering molecular targets for the prevention and treatment of metastasis. Genomic approaches and functional genomic analyses can systemically discover metastasis genes. In this review, we summarize the genetic tools and methods that have been used to identify and characterize the genes that play critical roles in metastasis. PMID:22684367

  4. The design of synthetic genes.

    PubMed Central

    Presnell, S R; Benner, S A

    1988-01-01

    Computer programs are described that aid in the design of synthetic genes coding for proteins that are targets of a research program in site directed mutagenesis. These programs "reverse-translate" protein sequences into general nucleic acid sequences (those where codons have not yet been selected), map restriction sites into general DNA sequences, identify points in the synthetic gene where unique restriction sites can be introduced, and assist in the design of genes coding for hybrids and evolutionary intermediates between homologous proteins. Application of these programs therefore facilitates the use of modular mutagenesis to create variants of proteins, and the implementation of evolutionary guidance as a strategy for selecting mutants. PMID:2451218

  5. Gene networks controlling petal organogenesis.

    PubMed

    Huang, Tengbo; Irish, Vivian F

    2016-01-01

    One of the biggest unanswered questions in developmental biology is how growth is controlled. Petals are an excellent organ system for investigating growth control in plants: petals are dispensable, have a simple structure, and are largely refractory to environmental perturbations that can alter their size and shape. In recent studies, a number of genes controlling petal growth have been identified. The overall picture of how such genes function in petal organogenesis is beginning to be elucidated. This review will focus on studies using petals as a model system to explore the underlying gene networks that control organ initiation, growth, and final organ morphology. PMID:26428062

  6. The Ensembl gene annotation system.

    PubMed

    Aken, Bronwen L; Ayling, Sarah; Barrell, Daniel; Clarke, Laura; Curwen, Valery; Fairley, Susan; Fernandez Banet, Julio; Billis, Konstantinos; García Girón, Carlos; Hourlier, Thibaut; Howe, Kevin; Kähäri, Andreas; Kokocinski, Felix; Martin, Fergal J; Murphy, Daniel N; Nag, Rishi; Ruffier, Magali; Schuster, Michael; Tang, Y Amy; Vogel, Jan-Hinnerk; White, Simon; Zadissa, Amonida; Flicek, Paul; Searle, Stephen M J

    2016-01-01

    The Ensembl gene annotation system has been used to annotate over 70 different vertebrate species across a wide range of genome projects. Furthermore, it generates the automatic alignment-based annotation for the human and mouse GENCODE gene sets. The system is based on the alignment of biological sequences, including cDNAs, proteins and RNA-seq reads, to the target genome in order to construct candidate transcript models. Careful assessment and filtering of these candidate transcripts ultimately leads to the final gene set, which is made available on the Ensembl website. Here, we describe the annotation process in detail.Database URL: http://www.ensembl.org/index.html. PMID:27337980

  7. The Ensembl gene annotation system

    PubMed Central

    Aken, Bronwen L.; Ayling, Sarah; Barrell, Daniel; Clarke, Laura; Curwen, Valery; Fairley, Susan; Fernandez Banet, Julio; Billis, Konstantinos; García Girón, Carlos; Hourlier, Thibaut; Howe, Kevin; Kähäri, Andreas; Kokocinski, Felix; Martin, Fergal J.; Murphy, Daniel N.; Nag, Rishi; Ruffier, Magali; Schuster, Michael; Tang, Y. Amy; Vogel, Jan-Hinnerk; White, Simon; Zadissa, Amonida; Flicek, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The Ensembl gene annotation system has been used to annotate over 70 different vertebrate species across a wide range of genome projects. Furthermore, it generates the automatic alignment-based annotation for the human and mouse GENCODE gene sets. The system is based on the alignment of biological sequences, including cDNAs, proteins and RNA-seq reads, to the target genome in order to construct candidate transcript models. Careful assessment and filtering of these candidate transcripts ultimately leads to the final gene set, which is made available on the Ensembl website. Here, we describe the annotation process in detail. Database URL: http://www.ensembl.org/index.html PMID:27337980

  8. Saporin as a novel suicide gene in anticancer gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Zarovni, N; Vago, R; Soldà, T; Monaco, L; Fabbrini, M S

    2007-02-01

    We used a non-viral gene delivery approach to explore the potential of the plant saporin (SAP) gene as an alternative to the currently employed suicide genes in cancer therapy. Plasmids expressing cytosolic SAP were generated by placing the region encoding the mature plant ribosome-inactivating protein under the control of cytomegalovirus (CMV) or simian virus 40 (SV40) promoters. Their ability to inhibit protein synthesis was first tested in cultured tumor cells co-transfected with a luciferase reporter gene. In particular, SAP expression driven by CMV promoter (pCI-SAP) demonstrated that only 10 ng of plasmid per 1.6 x 10(4) B16 cells drastically reduced luciferase activity to 18% of that in control cells. Direct intratumoral injection of pCI-SAP complexed with either lipofectamine or N-(2,3-dioleoyloxy-1-propyl) trimethylammonium methyl sulfate (DOTAP) in B16 melanoma-bearing mice resulted in a noteworthy attenuation of tumor growth. This antitumor effect was increased in mice that received repeated intratumoral injections. A SAP catalytic inactive mutant (SAP-KQ) failed to exert any antitumor effect demonstrating that this was specifically owing to the SAP N-glycosidase activity. Our overall data strongly suggest that the gene encoding SAP, owing to its rapid and effective action and its independence from the proliferative state of target cells might become a suitable candidate suicide gene for oncologic applications. PMID:17008932

  9. 75 FR 67784 - STP Nuclear Operating Company South Texas Project Electric Generating Station, Units 3 and 4...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-11-03

    ... femoralis septentrionalis) and the Federally threatened American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis). The... have no impacts on the Northern Aplomado falcon, the American alligator, or their habitats. The...

  10. Gene Cernan on Apollo 17

    NASA Video Gallery

    Apollo 17 Commander Gene Cernan recalls fixing a lunar rover problem with duct tape during his December 1972 mission. Cernan's interview was part of the commemoration of NASA's 50th anniversary in ...

  11. How eukaryotic genes are transcribed

    PubMed Central

    Venters, Bryan J.; Pugh, B. Franklin

    2009-01-01

    Summary Regulation of eukaryotic gene expression is far more complex than one might have imagined thirty years ago. However, progress towards understanding gene regulatory mechanisms has been rapid and comprehensive, which has made the integration of detailed observations into broadly connected concepts a challenge. This review attempts to integrate the following concepts: 1) a well-defined organization of nucleosomes and modification states at most genes, 2) regulatory networks of sequence-specific transcription factors, 3) chromatin remodeling coupled to promoter assembly of the general transcription factors and RNA polymerase II, and 4) phosphorylation states of RNA polymerase II coupled to chromatin modification states during transcription. The wealth of new insights arising from the tools of biochemistry, genomics, cell biology, and genetics is providing a remarkable view into the mechanics of gene regulation. PMID:19514890

  12. [Genes Responsible for Epileptic Syndromes].

    PubMed

    Kato, Mitsuhiro

    2016-02-01

    The first causative gene for epileptic syndrome was revealed 20 years ago. Since then, many genes responsible for epileptic syndrome, particularly sporadic epileptic encephalopathies, such as Ohtahara syndrome, West syndrome, and focal cortical dysplasia, have been identified. Although epilepsy was recognized as a channelopathy in the beginning stages of gene discovery, other molecular mechanisms for epileptic syndromes, such as interneuronopathy, synaptic vesicle release, and mTOR signal transduction, are emerging. A new technique for gene analysis using the next-generation sequencer is now available for clinical purpose abroad and precision medicine based on the molecular mechanisms has started. Infrastructural development of the official framework, from molecular diagnosis to personalized therapy, is urgently required in Japan. PMID:26873236

  13. Why genes are like lemons.

    PubMed

    Boem, F; Ratti, E; Andreoletti, M; Boniolo, G

    2016-06-01

    In the last few years, the lack of a unitary notion of gene across biological sciences has troubled the philosophy of biology community. However, the debate on this concept has remained largely historical or focused on particular cases presented by the scientific empirical advancements. Moreover, in the literature there are no explicit and reasonable arguments about why a philosophical clarification of the concept of gene is needed. In our paper, we claim that a philosophical clarification of the concept of gene does not contribute to biology. Unlike the question, for example, "What is a biological function?", we argue that the question "What is a gene?" could be answered by means of empirical research, in the sense that biologists' labour is enough to shed light on it. PMID:27155220

  14. Gene Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease

    PubMed Central

    2003-01-01

    The last decade has seen substantial advances in the development of gene therapy strategies and vector technology for the treatment of a diverse number of diseases, with a view to translating the successes observed in animal models into the clinic. Perhaps the overwhelming drive for the increase in vascular gene transfer studies is the current lack of successful long-term pharmacological treatments for complex cardiovascular diseases. The increase in cardiovascular disease to epidemic proportions has also led many to conclude that drug therapy may have reached a plateau in its efficacy and that gene therapy may represent a realistic solution to a long-term problem. Here, we discuss gene delivery approaches and target diseases. PMID:12721517

  15. Transgenic Arabidopsis Gene Expression System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferl, Robert; Paul, Anna-Lisa

    2009-01-01

    The Transgenic Arabidopsis Gene Expression System (TAGES) investigation is one in a pair of investigations that use the Advanced Biological Research System (ABRS) facility. TAGES uses Arabidopsis thaliana, thale cress, with sensor promoter-reporter gene constructs that render the plants as biomonitors (an organism used to determine the quality of the surrounding environment) of their environment using real-time nondestructive Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) imagery and traditional postflight analyses.

  16. [Genes for extreme violent behaviour?].

    PubMed

    Jordan, Bertrand

    2015-01-01

    A new genetic study focussing on the degree of violence in criminals and using both candidate gene and GWAS approaches finds statistically significant associations of extreme violent behaviour with low activity alleles of monoamine oxydase A (MAOA) and with the CD13 gene. However, the alleles implicated are common in the general population, thus they cannot be causal, and only represent potential indicators of increased risk. PMID:25658738

  17. Gene Transfer into Cardiac Myocytes

    PubMed Central

    Lang, Sarah E.; Westfall, Margaret V.

    2016-01-01

    Traditional methods for DNA transfection are often inefficient and toxic for terminally differentiated cells, such as cardiac myocytes. Vector-based gene transfer is an efficient approach for introducing exogenous cDNA into these types of primary cell cultures. In this chapter, separate protocols for adult rat cardiac myocyte isolation and gene transfer with recombinant adenovirus are provided and are routinely utilized for studying the effects of sarcomeric proteins on myofilament function. PMID:25836585

  18. Gene therapy for paediatric leukaemia.

    PubMed

    Rousseau, R F; Bollard, C M; Heslop, H E

    2001-07-01

    Improvements in the chemotherapeutic and transplant regimens have had a significant impact in improving survival rates for paediatric leukaemia. However, there are still important problems to address including what options are available for patients with chemoresistant disease and what strategies are available to avoid the concerns regarding the toxicity associated with highly cytotoxic treatment regimens. Gene therapy and immunotherapy protocols hold great promise. Using gene transfer of a marker gene, a number of biological issues in the therapy of leukaemia have been addressed. For example, by gene marking autologous bone marrow grafts it has been possible to demonstrate that infused marrow contributes to relapse in acute and chronic myeloid leukaemias. In the allogeneic transplant setting, genetically modified T-cells have proven valuable for the prophylaxis and treatment of viral diseases and may have an important role in preventing or treating disease relapse. Gene transfer is also being used to modify tumour function, enhance immunogenicity, and confer drug-resistance to normal haematopoietic stem cells. With the continued scientific advancements in this field, gene therapy will almost certainly have a major impact on the treatment of paediatric leukaemia in the future. PMID:11727502

  19. Homologous gene replacement in Physarum

    SciTech Connect

    Burland, T.G.; Pallotta, D.

    1995-01-01

    The protist Physarum polycephalum is useful for analysis of several aspects of cellular and developmental biology. To expand the opportunities for experimental analysis of this organism, we have developed a method for gene replacement. We transformed Physarum amoebae with plasmid DNA carrying a mutant allele, ardD{Delta}1, of the ardD actin gene; ardD{Delta}1 mutates the critical carboxy-terminal region of the gene product. Because ardD is not expressed in the amoeba, replacement of ardD{sup +} with ardD{Delta}1 should not be lethal for this cell type. Transformants were obtained only when linear plasmid DNA was used. Most transformants carried one copy of ardD{Delta}1 in addition to ardD{sup +}, but in two (5%), ardD{sup +} was replaced by a single copy of ardD{Delta}1. This is the first example of homologous gene replacement in Physarum. ardD{Delta}1 was stably maintained in the genome through growth, development and meiosis. We found no effect of ardD{Delta}l on viability, growth, or development of any of the various cell types of Physarum. Thus, the carboxy-terminal region of the ardD product appears not to perform a unique essential role in growth or development. Nevertheless, this method for homologous gene replacement can be applied to analyze the function of any cloned gene. 38 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  20. Gene-gene, gene-environment, gene-nutrient interactions and single nucleotide polymorphisms of inflammatory cytokines.

    PubMed

    Nadeem, Amina; Mumtaz, Sadaf; Naveed, Abdul Khaliq; Aslam, Muhammad; Siddiqui, Arif; Lodhi, Ghulam Mustafa; Ahmad, Tausif

    2015-05-15

    Inflammation plays a significant role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The rise in the pro-inflammatory cytokines is the essential step in glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity induced mitochondrial injury, oxidative stress and beta cell apoptosis in T2DM. Among the recognized markers are interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1, IL-10, IL-18, tissue necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein, resistin, adiponectin, tissue plasminogen activator, fibrinogen and heptoglobins. Diabetes mellitus has firm genetic and very strong environmental influence; exhibiting a polygenic mode of inheritance. Many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in various genes including those of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines have been reported as a risk for T2DM. Not all the SNPs have been confirmed by unifying results in different studies and wide variations have been reported in various ethnic groups. The inter-ethnic variations can be explained by the fact that gene expression may be regulated by gene-gene, gene-environment and gene-nutrient interactions. This review highlights the impact of these interactions on determining the role of single nucleotide polymorphism of IL-6, TNF-α, resistin and adiponectin in pathogenesis of T2DM. PMID:25987962

  1. Transcriptional gene silencing in humans.

    PubMed

    Weinberg, Marc S; Morris, Kevin V

    2016-08-19

    It has been over a decade since the first observation that small non-coding RNAs can functionally modulate epigenetic states in human cells to achieve functional transcriptional gene silencing (TGS). TGS is mechanistically distinct from the RNA interference (RNAi) gene-silencing pathway. TGS can result in long-term stable epigenetic modifications to gene expression that can be passed on to daughter cells during cell division, whereas RNAi does not. Early studies of TGS have been largely overlooked, overshadowed by subsequent discoveries of small RNA-directed post-TGS and RNAi. A reappraisal of early work has been brought about by recent findings in human cells where endogenous long non-coding RNAs function to regulate the epigenome. There are distinct and common overlaps between the proteins involved in small and long non-coding RNA transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, suggesting that the early studies using small non-coding RNAs to modulate transcription were making use of a previously unrecognized endogenous mechanism of RNA-directed gene regulation. Here we review how non-coding RNA plays a role in regulation of transcription and epigenetic gene silencing in human cells by revisiting these earlier studies and the mechanistic insights gained to date. We also provide a list of mammalian genes that have been shown to be transcriptionally regulated by non-coding RNAs. Lastly, we explore how TGS may serve as the basis for development of future therapeutic agents. PMID:27060137

  2. Building Developmental Gene Regulatory Networks

    PubMed Central

    Li, Enhu; Davidson, Eric H.

    2009-01-01

    Animal development is an elaborate process programmed by genomic regulatory instructions. Regulatory genes encode transcription factors and signal molecules, and their expression is under the control of cis-regulatory modules that define the logic of transcriptional responses to the inputs of other regulatory genes. The functional linkages amongst regulatory genes constitute the gene regulatory networks (GRNs) that govern cell specification and patterning in development. Constructing such networks requires identification of the regulatory genes involved and characterization of their temporal and spatial expression patterns. Interactions (activation/repression) among transcription factors or signals can be investigated by large-scale perturbation analysis, in which the function of each gene is specifically blocked. Resultant expression changes are then integrated to identify direct linkages, and to reveal the structure of the GRN. Predicted GRN linkages can be tested and verified by cis-regulatory analysis. The explanatory power of the GRN was shown in the lineage specification of sea urchin endomesoderm. Acquiring such networks is essential for a systematic and mechanistic understanding of the developmental process. PMID:19530131

  3. Gene-gene, gene-environment, gene-nutrient interactions and single nucleotide polymorphisms of inflammatory cytokines

    PubMed Central

    Nadeem, Amina; Mumtaz, Sadaf; Naveed, Abdul Khaliq; Aslam, Muhammad; Siddiqui, Arif; Lodhi, Ghulam Mustafa; Ahmad, Tausif

    2015-01-01

    Inflammation plays a significant role in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The rise in the pro-inflammatory cytokines is the essential step in glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity induced mitochondrial injury, oxidative stress and beta cell apoptosis in T2DM. Among the recognized markers are interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1, IL-10, IL-18, tissue necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), C-reactive protein, resistin, adiponectin, tissue plasminogen activator, fibrinogen and heptoglobins. Diabetes mellitus has firm genetic and very strong environmental influence; exhibiting a polygenic mode of inheritance. Many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in various genes including those of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines have been reported as a risk for T2DM. Not all the SNPs have been confirmed by unifying results in different studies and wide variations have been reported in various ethnic groups. The inter-ethnic variations can be explained by the fact that gene expression may be regulated by gene-gene, gene-environment and gene-nutrient interactions. This review highlights the impact of these interactions on determining the role of single nucleotide polymorphism of IL-6, TNF-α, resistin and adiponectin in pathogenesis of T2DM. PMID:25987962

  4. Vectors for airway gene delivery.

    PubMed

    Davis, Pamela B; Cooper, Mark J

    2007-01-01

    Delivery of genes to the airway epithelium for therapeutic purposes seemed easy at first, because the epithelial cells interface with the environment and are therefore accessible. However, problems encountered were more substantial than were originally expected. Nonviral systems may be preferred for long-term gene expression, for they can be dosed repeatedly. Two nonviral gene transfer systems have been in clinical trials, lipid-mediated gene transfer and DNA nanoparticles. Both have sufficient efficiency to be candidates for correction of the cystic fibrosis defect, and both can be dosed repeatedly. However, lipid-mediated gene transfer in the first generation provokes significant inflammatory toxicity, which may be engineered out by adjustments of the lipids, the plasmid CpG content, or both. Both lipid-mediated gene transfer and DNA nanoparticles in the first generation have short duration of expression, but reengineering of the plasmid DNA to contain mostly eukaryotic sequences may address this problem. Considerable advances in the understanding of the cellular uptake and expression of these agents and in their practical utility have occurred in the last few years; these advances are reviewed here. PMID:17408235

  5. Cationic Bolaamphiphiles for Gene Delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Amelia Li Min; Lim, Alisa Xue Ling; Zhu, Yiting; Yang, Yi Yan; Khan, Majad

    2014-05-01

    Advances in medical research have shed light on the genetic cause of many human diseases. Gene therapy is a promising approach which can be used to deliver therapeutic genes to treat genetic diseases at its most fundamental level. In general, nonviral vectors are preferred due to reduced risk of immune response, but they are also commonly associated with low transfection efficiency and high cytotoxicity. In contrast to viral vectors, nonviral vectors do not have a natural mechanism to overcome extra- and intracellular barriers when delivering the therapeutic gene into cell. Hence, its design has been increasingly complex to meet challenges faced in targeting of, penetration of and expression in a specific host cell in achieving more satisfactory transfection efficiency. Flexibility in design of the vector is desirable, to enable a careful and controlled manipulation of its properties and functions. This can be met by the use of bolaamphiphile, a special class of lipid. Unlike conventional lipids, bolaamphiphiles can form asymmetric complexes with the therapeutic gene. The advantage of having an asymmetric complex lies in the different purposes served by the interior and exterior of the complex. More effective gene encapsulation within the interior of the complex can be achieved without triggering greater aggregation of serum proteins with the exterior, potentially overcoming one of the great hurdles faced by conventional single-head cationic lipids. In this review, we will look into the physiochemical considerations as well as the biological aspects of a bolaamphiphile-based gene delivery system.

  6. PET genes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    PubMed Central

    Tzagoloff, A; Dieckmann, C L

    1990-01-01

    We describe a collection of nuclear respiratory-defective mutants (pet mutants) of Saccharomyces cerevisiae consisting of 215 complementation groups. This set of mutants probably represents a substantial fraction of the total genetic information of the nucleus required for the maintenance of functional mitochondria in S. cerevisiae. The biochemical lesions of mutants in approximately 50 complementation groups have been related to single enzymes or biosynthetic pathways, and the corresponding wild-type genes have been cloned and their structures have been determined. The genes defined by an additional 20 complementation groups were identified by allelism tests with mutants characterized in other laboratories. Mutants representative of the remaining complementation groups have been assigned to one of the following five phenotypic classes: (i) deficiency in cytochrome oxidase, (ii) deficiency in coenzyme QH2-cytochrome c reductase, (iii) deficiency in mitochondrial ATPase, (iv) absence of mitochondrial protein synthesis, and (v) normal composition of respiratory-chain complexes and of oligomycin-sensitive ATPase. In addition to the genes identified through biochemical and genetic analyses of the pet mutants, we have cataloged PET genes not matched to complementation groups in the mutant collection and other genes whose products function in the mitochondria but are not necessary for respiration. Together, this information provides an up-to-date list of the known genes coding for mitochondrial constituents and for proteins whose expression is vital for the respiratory competence of S. cerevisiae. PMID:2215420

  7. Gene Therapy in Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Vinge, Leif Erik; Raake, Philip W.; Koch, Walter J.

    2008-01-01

    With increasing knowledge of basic molecular mechanisms governing the development of heart failure (HF), the possibility of specifically targeting key pathological players is evolving. Technology allowing for efficient in vivo transduction of myocardial tissue with long-term expression of a transgene enables translation of basic mechanistic knowledge into potential gene therapy approaches. Gene therapy in HF is in its infancy clinically with the predominant amount of experience being from animal models. Nevertheless, this challenging and promising field is gaining momentum as recent preclinical studies in larger animals have been carried out and, importantly, there are 2 newly initiated phase I clinical trials for HF gene therapy. To put it simply, 2 parameters are needed for achieving success with HF gene therapy: (1) clearly identified detrimental/beneficial molecular targets; and (2) the means to manipulate these targets at a molecular level in a sufficient number of cardiac cells. However, several obstacles do exist on our way to efficient and safe gene transfer to human myocardium. Some of these obstacles are discussed in this review; however, it primarily focuses on the molecular target systems that have been subjected to intense investigation over the last decade in an attempt to make gene therapy for human HF a reality. PMID:18566312

  8. Homology-dependent Gene Silencing in Paramecium

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz, Françoise; Vayssié, Laurence; Klotz, Catherine; Sperling, Linda; Madeddu, Luisa

    1998-01-01

    Microinjection at high copy number of plasmids containing only the coding region of a gene into the Paramecium somatic macronucleus led to a marked reduction in the expression of the corresponding endogenous gene(s). The silencing effect, which is stably maintained throughout vegetative growth, has been observed for all Paramecium genes examined so far: a single-copy gene (ND7), as well as members of multigene families (centrin genes and trichocyst matrix protein genes) in which all closely related paralogous genes appeared to be affected. This phenomenon may be related to posttranscriptional gene silencing in transgenic plants and quelling in Neurospora and allows the efficient creation of specific mutant phenotypes thus providing a potentially powerful tool to study gene function in Paramecium. For the two multigene families that encode proteins that coassemble to build up complex subcellular structures the analysis presented herein provides the first experimental evidence that the members of these gene families are not functionally redundant. PMID:9529389

  9. PoplarGene: poplar gene network and resource for mining functional information for genes from woody plants

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qi; Ding, Changjun; Chu, Yanguang; Chen, Jiafei; Zhang, Weixi; Zhang, Bingyu; Huang, Qinjun; Su, Xiaohua

    2016-01-01

    Poplar is not only an important resource for the production of paper, timber and other wood-based products, but it has also emerged as an ideal model system for studying woody plants. To better understand the biological processes underlying various traits in poplar, e.g., wood development, a comprehensive functional gene interaction network is highly needed. Here, we constructed a genome-wide functional gene network for poplar (covering ~70% of the 41,335 poplar genes) and created the network web service PoplarGene, offering comprehensive functional interactions and extensive poplar gene functional annotations. PoplarGene incorporates two network-based gene prioritization algorithms, neighborhood-based prioritization and context-based prioritization, which can be used to perform gene prioritization in a complementary manner. Furthermore, the co-functional information in PoplarGene can be applied to other woody plant proteomes with high efficiency via orthology transfer. In addition to poplar gene sequences, the webserver also accepts Arabidopsis reference gene as input to guide the search for novel candidate functional genes in PoplarGene. We believe that PoplarGene (http://bioinformatics.caf.ac.cn/PoplarGene and http://124.127.201.25/PoplarGene) will greatly benefit the research community, facilitating studies of poplar and other woody plants. PMID:27515999

  10. [Synthesis of new gene-loaded microbubbles serve as gene delivery vehicle applied in reporter gene transfer into cardiac myocytes].

    PubMed

    Wang, Guozhong; Hu, Shenjiang; Zheng, Zhelan; Sun, Jian; Zheng, Xia; Zhu, Zhaohui; Li, Jiang; Yao, Yumei

    2006-08-01

    To improve the stability and gene-carried capability of gene-attached microbubbles, the method for manufacture of albumin microbubbles was modified and new gene-loaded microbubbles were synthesized by incorporated gene-PEI complex into the shell of microbubbles. Agarose gel electrophoresis and bacteria transformation showed that PEI had the ability to provide the protection of plasmid DNA from ultrasonic degradation. The new gene-loaded microbubbles exhibited excellent acoustical and hemorheological properties. Moreover, they could carry more plasmid DNA than gene-attached microbubbles. beta-galactosidase plasmid transfection into cardiac myocytes was performed by using ultrasound targeted destruction of new gene-loaded microbubbles or gene-attached microbubbles. Gene expression in cardiac myocytes was detected by beta-galactosidase in situ staining and quantitive assay. It was shown that beta-galactosidase activity in cardiac myocytes was enhanced 107-fold by ultrasonic destruction of gene-loaded microbubbles compared with naked plasmid transfection and new gene-loaded microbubbles resulted in 6.85-fold increase in beta-galactosidase activity compared with optimal transfection mediated by gene-attached microbubbles. These results suggested that ultrasonic destruction of the gene-loaded microbubbles can enhance the cardiac myocytes exogenous gene transfer efficiency significantly and new gene-loaded microbubbles is an efficient and safe gene delivery vehicle. PMID:17002125

  11. PoplarGene: poplar gene network and resource for mining functional information for genes from woody plants.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qi; Ding, Changjun; Chu, Yanguang; Chen, Jiafei; Zhang, Weixi; Zhang, Bingyu; Huang, Qinjun; Su, Xiaohua

    2016-01-01

    Poplar is not only an important resource for the production of paper, timber and other wood-based products, but it has also emerged as an ideal model system for studying woody plants. To better understand the biological processes underlying various traits in poplar, e.g., wood development, a comprehensive functional gene interaction network is highly needed. Here, we constructed a genome-wide functional gene network for poplar (covering ~70% of the 41,335 poplar genes) and created the network web service PoplarGene, offering comprehensive functional interactions and extensive poplar gene functional annotations. PoplarGene incorporates two network-based gene prioritization algorithms, neighborhood-based prioritization and context-based prioritization, which can be used to perform gene prioritization in a complementary manner. Furthermore, the co-functional information in PoplarGene can be applied to other woody plant proteomes with high efficiency via orthology transfer. In addition to poplar gene sequences, the webserver also accepts Arabidopsis reference gene as input to guide the search for novel candidate functional genes in PoplarGene. We believe that PoplarGene (http://bioinformatics.caf.ac.cn/PoplarGene and http://124.127.201.25/PoplarGene) will greatly benefit the research community, facilitating studies of poplar and other woody plants. PMID:27515999

  12. Newer Gene Editing Technologies toward HIV Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Manjunath, N.; Yi, Guohua; Dang, Ying; Shankar, Premlata

    2013-01-01

    Despite the great success of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in ameliorating the course of HIV infection, alternative therapeutic approaches are being pursued because of practical problems associated with life-long therapy. The eradication of HIV in the so-called “Berlin patient” who received a bone marrow transplant from a CCR5-negative donor has rekindled interest in genome engineering strategies to achieve the same effect. Precise gene editing within the cells is now a realistic possibility with recent advances in understanding the DNA repair mechanisms, DNA interaction with transcription factors and bacterial defense mechanisms. Within the past few years, four novel technologies have emerged that can be engineered for recognition of specific DNA target sequences to enable site-specific gene editing: Homing Endonuclease, ZFN, TALEN, and CRISPR/Cas9 system. The most recent CRISPR/Cas9 system uses a short stretch of complementary RNA bound to Cas9 nuclease to recognize and cleave target DNA, as opposed to the previous technologies that use DNA binding motifs of either zinc finger proteins or transcription activator-like effector molecules fused to an endonuclease to mediate sequence-specific DNA cleavage. Unlike RNA interference, which requires the continued presence of effector moieties to maintain gene silencing, the newer technologies allow permanent disruption of the targeted gene after a single treatment. Here, we review the applications, limitations and future prospects of novel gene-editing strategies for use as HIV therapy. PMID:24284874

  13. Noninvasive Tracking of Gene Transcript and Neuroprotection after Gene Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Ren, Jiaqian; Chen, Y. Iris; Liu, Christina H.; Chen, Po-Chih; Prentice, Howard; Wu, Jang-Yen; Liu, Philip K.

    2015-01-01

    Gene therapy holds exceptional potential for translational medicine by improving the products of defective genes in diseases and/or providing necessary biologics from endogenous sources during recovery processes. However, validating methods for the delivery, distribution and expression of the exogenous genes from such therapy can generally not be applicable to monitor effects over the long term because they are invasive. We report here that human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (hG-CSF) cDNA encoded in scAAV-type 2 adeno-associated virus, as delivered through eye drops at multiple time points after cerebral ischemia using bilateral carotid occlusion for 60 min (BCAO-60) led to significant reduction in mortality rates, cerebral atrophy, and neurological deficits in C57black6 mice. Most importantly, we validated hG-CSF cDNA expression using translatable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in living brains. This noninvasive approach for monitoring exogenous gene expression in the brains has potential for great impact in the area of experimental gene therapy in animal models of heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s dementia, Parkinson’s disorder and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the translation of such techniques to emergency medicine. PMID:26207935

  14. Noninvasive tracking of gene transcript and neuroprotection after gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Ren, J; Chen, Y I; Liu, C H; Chen, P-C; Prentice, H; Wu, J-Y; Liu, P K

    2016-01-01

    Gene therapy holds exceptional potential for translational medicine by improving the products of defective genes in diseases and/or providing necessary biologics from endogenous sources during recovery processes. However, validating methods for the delivery, distribution and expression of the exogenous genes from such therapy can generally not be applicable to monitor effects over the long term because they are invasive. We report here that human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (hG-CSF) complimentary DNA (cDNA) encoded in self-complementary adeno-associated virus-type 2 adeno-associated virus, as delivered through eye drops at multiple time points after cerebral ischemia using bilateral carotid occlusion for 60 min (BCAO-60) led to significant reduction in mortality rates, cerebral atrophy and neurological deficits in C57black6 mice. Most importantly, we validated hG-CSF cDNA expression using translatable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in living brains. This noninvasive approach for monitoring exogenous gene expression in the brains has potential for great impact in the area of experimental gene therapy in animal models of heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer's dementia, Parkinson's disorder and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and the translation of such techniques to emergency medicine. PMID:26207935

  15. The biology of novel animal genes: Mouse APEX gene knockout

    SciTech Connect

    MacInnes, M.; Altherr, M.R.; Ludwig, D.; Pedersen, R.; Mold, C.

    1997-07-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The controlled breeding of novel genes into mice, including the gene knockout (KO), or conversely by adding back transgenes provide powerful genetic technologies that together suffice to determine in large part the biological role(s) of novel genes. Inbred mouse remains the best understood and most useful mammalian experimental system available for tackling the biology of novel genes. The major mammalian apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease (APE), is involved in a key step in the repair of spontaneous and induced AP sites in DNA. Efficient repair of these lesions is imperative to prevent the stable incorporation of mutations into the cellular genome which may lead to cell death or transformation. Loss or modulation of base excison repair activity in vivo may elevate the spontaneous mutation rate in cells, and may lead to a substantial increase in the incidence of cancer. Despite extensive biochemical analysis, however, the significance of these individual APE functions in vivo has not been elucidated. Mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells heterozygous for a deletion mutation in APE have been generated and whole animals containing the APE mutation have been derived from these ES cells. Animals homozygous for the APE null mutation die early in gestation, underscoring the biological significance of this DNA repair gene.

  16. Combining Hierarchical and Associative Gene Ontology Relations with Textual Evidence in Estimating Gene and Gene Product Similarity

    SciTech Connect

    Sanfilippo, Antonio P.; Posse, Christian; Gopalan, Banu; Riensche, Roderick M.; Beagley, Nathaniel; Baddeley, Bob L.; Tratz, Stephen C.; Gregory, Michelle L.

    2007-03-01

    Gene and gene product similarity is a fundamental diagnostic measure in analyzing biological data and constructing predictive models for functional genomics. With the rising influence of the Gene Ontology, two complementary approaches have emerged where the similarity between two genes or gene products is obtained by comparing Gene Ontology (GO) annotations associated with the genes or gene products. One approach captures GO-based similarity in terms of hierarchical relations within each gene subontology. The other approach identifies GO-based similarity in terms of associative relations across the three gene subontologies. We propose a novel methodology where the two approaches can be merged with ensuing benefits in coverage and accuracy, and demonstrate that further improvements can be obtained by integrating textual evidence extracted from relevant biomedical literature.

  17. The Influence of Gene-Gene and Gene-Environment Interactions on the Risk of Asbestosis

    PubMed Central

    Franko, A.; Dolžan, V.; Arnerić, N.; Dodič-Fikfak, M.

    2013-01-01

    This study investigated the influence of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions on the risk of developing asbestosis. The study comprised 262 cases with asbestosis and 265 controls with no asbestos-related disease previously studied for MnSOD, ECSOD, CAT, GSTT1, GSTM1, GSTP1, and iNOS polymorphisms. Data on cumulative asbestos and smoking were available for all subjects. To assess gene-gene and gene-environmental interactions, logistic regression was used. The associations between MnSOD Ala −9Val polymorphism and the risk of asbestosis and between iNOS genotypes and asbestosis were modified by CAT –262 C > T polymorphism (P = 0.038; P = 0.031). A strong interaction was found between GSTM1-null polymorphism and smoking (P = 0.007), iNOS (CCTTT)n polymorphism and smoking (P = 0.054), and between iNOS (CCTTT)n polymorphism and cumulative asbestos exposure (P = 0.037). The findings of this study suggest that the interactions between different genotypes, genotypes and smoking, and between genotypes and asbestos exposure have an important influence on the development of asbestosis and should be seriously considered in future research on occupational/environmental asbestos-related diseases. PMID:23984360

  18. [Review of cancer gene therapy].

    PubMed

    Tani, K

    2000-09-01

    Since the first introduction of gene-marking technology to the clinical field in 1989 by Rosenberg et al, more than 4,000 patients have participated gene therapy clinical trials worldwide. Most of those patients had malignancies. Nearly 90% of clinical trials, however, are still in phase I-II stage, and only 3 protocols are in the phase III stage in early 2000. As current clinical gene therapy protocols are intended essentially to examine the safety and feasibility of the new strategy, more careful and steady steps may be required before these clinical trials really produce clinical benefits. Focused on cancer gene therapy, direct and indirect approaches are undertaken. In the direct approach, HSV-TK, HLA-B7, or p53 tumor suppressor gene therapies are the three major approaches historically. In for the indirect approach, cytokine or adhesion molecule gene-transferred tumor cells or immunocompetent cells are considered to be promising to enhance patients' antitumor immunity. In particular, we have concentrated on developing immuno gene therapy using GM-CSF-transduced autologous tumor cells. We have already recruited three patients with stage IV renal cell cancer. In all patients, peripheral blood T cells were mobilized after vaccination with GM-CSF-transduced tumor cells, and two of the three patients showed the persistence of cytotoxic T cells against autologous tumor cells. Clinically, one patient has been followed up with stable disease for more than one year since the start of vaccination. Further clinical studies are required to obtain conclusive results. PMID:11022677

  19. Genes and Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

    PubMed Central

    Hinterseher, Irene; Tromp, Gerard; Kuivaniemi, Helena

    2010-01-01

    Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a multifactorial disease with a strong genetic component. Since first candidate gene studies were published 20 years ago, nearly 100 genetic association studies using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in biologically relevant genes have been reported on AAA. The studies investigated SNPs in genes of the extracellular matrix, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and signaling pathways. Very few studies were large enough to draw firm conclusions and very few results could be replicated in another sample set. The more recent unbiased approaches are family-based DNA linkage studies and genome-wide genetic association studies, which have the potential of identifying the genetic basis for AAA, if appropriately powered and well-characterized large AAA cohorts are used. SNPs associated with AAA have already been identified in these large multicenter studies. One significant association was of a variant in a gene called CNTN3 which is located on chromosome 3p12.3. Two follow-up studies, however, could not replicate the association. Two other SNPs, which are located on chromosome 9p21 and 9q33 were replicated in other samples. The two genes with the strongest supporting evidence of contribution to the genetic risk for AAA are the CDKN2BAS gene, also known as ANRIL, which encodes an antisense RNA that regulates expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors CDKN2A and CDKN2B, and DAB2IP, which encodes an inhibitor of cell growth and survival. Functional studies are now needed to establish the mechanisms by which these genes contribute to AAA pathogenesis. PMID:21146954

  20. Gene expression during memory formation.

    PubMed

    Igaz, Lionel Muller; Bekinschtein, Pedro; Vianna, Monica M R; Izquierdo, Ivan; Medina, Jorge H

    2004-01-01

    For several decades, neuroscientists have provided many clues that point out the involvement of de novo gene expression during the formation of long-lasting forms of memory. However, information regarding the transcriptional response networks involved in memory formation has been scarce and fragmented. With the advent of genome-based technologies, combined with more classical approaches (i.e., pharmacology and biochemistry), it is now feasible to address those relevant questions--which gene products are modulated, and when that processes are necessary for the proper storage of memories--with unprecedented resolution and scale. Using one-trial inhibitory (passive) avoidance training of rats, one of the most studied tasks so far, we found two time windows of sensitivity to transcriptional and translational inhibitors infused into the hippocampus: around the time of training and 3-6 h after training. Remarkably, these periods perfectly overlap with the involvement of hippocampal cAMP/PKA (protein kinase A) signaling pathways in memory consolidation. Given the complexity of transcriptional responses in the brain, particularly those related to processing of behavioral information, it was clearly necessary to address this issue with a multi-variable, parallel-oriented approach. We used cDNA arrays to screen for candidate inhibitory avoidance learning-related genes and analyze the dynamic pattern of gene expression that emerges during memory consolidation. These include genes involved in intracellular kinase networks, synaptic function, DNA-binding and chromatin modification, transcriptional activation and repression, translation, membrane receptors, and oncogenes, among others. Our findings suggest that differential and orchestrated hippocampal gene expression is necessary in both early and late periods of long-term memory consolidation. Additionally, this kind of studies may lead to the identification and characterization of genes that are relevant for the pathogenesis