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Sample records for amphibia gymnophiona caeciliidae

  1. Ultrastructure of the mature spermatozoa of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Scheltinga, David M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jamieson, Barrie G M; Oommen, Oommen V

    2003-11-01

    The spermatozoa of Gymnophiona show the following autapomorphies: 1) penetration of the distal centriole by the axial fiber; 2) presence of an acrosomal baseplate; 3) presence of an acrosome seat (flattened apical end of nucleus); and 4) absence of juxta-axonemal fibers. The wide separation of the plasma membrane bounding the undulating membrane is here also considered to be apomorphic. Three plesiomorphic spermatozoal characters are recognized that are not seen in other Amphibia but occur in basal amniotes: 1) presence of mitochondria with a delicate array of concentric cristae (concentric cristae of salamander spermatozoa differ in lacking the delicate array); 2) presence of peripheral dense fibers associated with the triplets of the distal centriole; and 3) presence of a simple annulus (a highly modified, elongate annulus is present in salamander sperm). The presence of an endonuclear canal containing a perforatorium is a plesiomorphic feature of caecilian spermatozoa that is shared with urodeles, some basal anurans, sarcopterygian fish, and some amniotes. Spermatozoal synapomorphies are identified for 1) the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae, and 2) the Caeciliidae and Typhlonectidae, suggesting that the members of each pair of families are more closely related to each other than to other caecilians. Although caecilian spermatozoa exhibit the clear amphibian synapomorphy of the unilateral location of the undulating membrane and its axial fiber, they have no apomorphic characters that suggest a closer relationship to either the Urodela or Anura. PMID:14518011

  2. Mitochondrial evidence on the phylogenetic position of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2000-06-01

    The complete nucleotide sequence (17,005 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Gymnophiona, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule is characterized by two distinctive genomic features: there are seven large 109-bp tandem repeats in the control region, and the sequence for the putative origin of replication of the L strand can potentially fold into two alternative secondary structures (one including part of the tRNA(Cys)). The new sequence data were used to assess the phylogenetic position of caecilians and to gain insights into the origin of living amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians). Phylogenetic analyses of two data sets-one combining protein-coding genes and the other combining tRNA genes-strongly supported a caecilian + frog clade and, hence, monophyly of modern amphibians. These two data sets could not further resolve relationships among the coelacanth, lungfishes, and tetrapods, but strongly supported diapsid affinities of turtles. Phylogenetic relationships among a larger set of species of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians were estimated with a mitochondrial rRNA data set. Maximum parsimony analysis of this latter data set also recovered monophyly of living amphibians and favored a frog + salamander (Batrachia) relationship. However, bootstrap support was only moderate at these nodes. This is likely due to an extensive among-site rate heterogeneity in the rRNA data set and the narrow window of time in which the three main groups of living amphibians were originated. PMID:10835397

  3. A mitogenomic perspective on the phylogeny and biogeography of living caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Wake, Marvalee H

    2009-11-01

    The caecilians, members of the amphibian Order Gymnophiona, are the least known Order of tetrapods, and their intra-relationships, especially within its largest group, the Family Caeciliidae (57% of all caecilian species), remain controversial. We sequenced thirteen complete caecilian mitochondrial genomes, including twelve species of caeciliids, using a universal primer set strategy. These new sequences, together with eight published caecilian mitochondrial genomes, were analyzed by maximum parsimony, partitioned maximum-likelihood and partitioned Bayesian approaches at both nucleotide and amino acid levels, to study the intra-relationships of caecilians. An additional multiple gene dataset including most of the caecilian nucleotide sequences currently available in GenBank produced phylogenetic results that are fully compatible with those based on the mitogenomic data. Our phylogenetic results are summarized as follow. The caecilian family Rhinatrematidae is the sister taxon to all other caecilians. Beyond Rhinatrematidae, a clade comprising the Ichthyophlidae and Uraeotyphlidae is separated from a clade containing all remaining caecilians (Scolecomorphidae, Typhlonectidae and Caeciliidae). Within this large clade, Scolecomorphidae is the sister taxon of Typhlonectidae and Caeciliidae but this placement did not receive strong support in all analyses. Caeciliidae is paraphyletic with regard to Typhlonectidae, and can be divided into three well-supported groups: Caeciliidae group 1 contains the African caeciliids Boulengerula and Herpele; Caeciliidae group 2 contains Caecilia and Oscaecilia and it is the sister taxon of Typhlonectidae; Caeciliidae group 3 comprises the remaining species of caeciliids. The mitochondrial genome data were also used to calculate divergence times for caecilian evolution using the penalized likelihood method implemented in the program R8S. The newly obtained dating results are compatible with (but a little older than) previous time

  4. The telencephalon of Ichthyophis paucisulcus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona (= Caecilia)). A quantitative cytoarchitectonic study.

    PubMed

    Zilles, K; Welsch, U; Schleicher, A

    1981-01-01

    A parcellation of the telencephalon of Ichthyophis paucisulcus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona (= Caecilia) has been performed with a quantitative cytoarchitectonic method. Ten different regions have been delineated and compared with earlier reports on telencephalic regions in anurans, urodeles and caecilians. The most striking difference between the brain of Ichthyophis and other amphibian brains is the high level of morphological differentiation of the accessory olfactory bulb in Ichthyophis and the large extension of this brain region. This feature may be a correlate of the advanced development and the particular structure of Jacobson's organ in this species. PMID:7336818

  5. Morphology of the kidney in the West African caecilian, Geotrypetes seraphini (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Caeciliidae).

    PubMed

    Møbjerg, N; Jespersen, A; Wilkinson, M

    2004-11-01

    This study deals with the morphology and ultrastructure of the mesonephros in adult caecilians of the species Geotrypetes seraphini. Based on serial sections in paraffin and araldite, nephrons are reconstructed and the cellular characteristics of different nephron segments described. The long and slender mesonephric kidneys of G. seraphini are broadest caudally and taper toward the front, where the organs are divided into smaller segmental divisions. Two nephron types can be distinguished on the basis of their connections to the coelom and their position within the nephric tissue: ventral nephrons connect to the coelom via a ciliated peritoneal funnel, whereas medial nephrons lack this connection. Both nephron types are composed of a filtration unit, the Malpighian corpuscle, and a renal tubule, which can be divided into six morphologically distinct segments: neck segment, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, early distal tubule, late distal tubule, and collecting tubule. Collecting tubules merge and form a branch system that opens into collecting ducts. Collecting ducts empty into the Wolffian duct. Proximal tubules of nephrons in the frontal divisions are morphologically different from the proximal tubules of more caudal kidney regions. Distal tubule subdivision is only clearly recognizable at the electron microscopic level. The length of each nephron segment is calculated from a ventral nephron with a total length of approximately 3.8 mm, and the course of the segments within the nephric tissue is reported. The number of nephrons was estimated at 1,700 units in each kidney. The segmentation and ultrastructure of the mesonephric nephrons in G. seraphini are discussed in relation to nephron descriptions from other caecilians and we further discuss the evolutionary origin of the amphibian nephron. PMID:15376276

  6. Extreme variation in the atrial septation of caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    de Bakker, Desiderius M; Wilkinson, Mark; Jensen, Bjarke

    2015-01-01

    Caecilians (order Gymnophiona) are elongate, limbless, snake-like amphibians that are the sister-group (closest relatives) of all other recent amphibians (frogs and salamanders). Little is known of their cardiovascular anatomy and physiology, but one nearly century old study suggests that Hypogeophis (family Indotyphlidae), commonly relied upon as a representative caecilian species, has atrial septation in the frontal plane and more than one septum. In contrast, in other vertebrates there generally is one atrial septum in the sagittal plane. We studied the adult heart of Idiocranium (also Indotyphlidae) using immunohistochemistry and confirm that the interatrial septum is close to the frontal plane. Additionally, a parallel right atrial septum divides three-fourths of the right atrial cavity of this species. Idiocranium embryos in the Hill collection reveal that atrial septation initiates in the sagittal plane as in other tetrapods. Late developmental stages, however, see a left-ward shift of visceral organs and a concordant rotation of the atria that reorients the atrial septa towards the frontal plane. The gross anatomies of species from six other caecilian families reveal that (i) the right atrial septum developed early in caecilian evolution (only absent in Rhinatrematidae) and that (ii) rotation of the atria evolved later and its degree varies between families. In most vertebrates a prominent atrial trabeculation associates with the sinuatrial valve, the so-called septum spurium, and the right atrial septum seems homologous to this trabeculation but much more developed. The right atrial septum does not appear to be a consequence of body elongation because it is absent in some caecilians and in snakes. The interatrial septum of caecilians shares multiple characters with the atrial septum of lungfishes, salamanders and the embryonic septum primum of amniotes. In conclusion, atrial septation in caecilians is based on evolutionarily conserved structures but

  7. The structural organization of the kidney of Typhlonectes compressicaudus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Sakai, T; Billo, R; Kriz, W

    1986-01-01

    The structural organization of the kidney of Typhlonectes compressicaudus (Amphibia, Gymnophiona) was studied by light microscopic (LM) examination of serial paraffin and semithin Epon sections. The kidney is slender and quite long and has a mesonephric segmental construction; the excretory duct (Wolffian duct), running along the lateral side of the kidney, segmentally receives the terminal trunks of the collecting duct system. The nephron has the following parts: renal corpuscle, neck segment, proximal tubule, intermediate segment, distal tubule and connecting tubule. The distal tubule is located in a ventromedial (central) zone of the kidney; all other tubular segments lie in a dorsolateral (peripheral) zone. The renal corpuscles are found at the border between these two zones. The renal corpuscle is very large; its urinary pole faces the peripheral zone. A small proportion of neck segments receive either a nephrostomal duct or a blind branch. The proximal tubule is a thick, highly convoluted tubule. The intermediate segment is ciliated and makes a few coils. The distal tubule is composed of three portions: a highly convoluted part in the central zone, subsequently an attachment site with the renal corpuscle and a short postattachment-part. The connecting tubule and the collecting duct have a heterogeneous epithelium consisting of light and dark cells. The collecting duct is distinguished by dilated intercellular spaces. The Wolffian duct has a pseudostratified epithelium. The present study correlates the course and segmentation of the renal tubule of Typhlonectes. The tubule has three major convolutions. The first occurs in the proximal tubule in the peripheral zone; the second is established by the distal tubule and occurs in the central zone; the third is formed by the connecting tubule and is found in the peripheral zone. PMID:3740458

  8. Morphometrics of the skeleton of Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona). Part I. The vertebrae, with comparisons to other species.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1980-08-01

    Morphometric analysis of vertebral structure in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) is presented. Ontogenetic variation in Dermophis mexicanus is analyzed through the 100+ vertebrae composing the column. Vertebral structure in adult D. mexicanus is compared with that in Ichthyophis glutinosus and Typhlonectes compressicauda. Centra of the atlas, second, tenth, 20th, and 50th vertebrae grow at allometrically different rates in D. mexicanus, though the 20th and 50th are not significantly different. Growth appears significantly slower in several dimensions of anterior and posterior vertebrae relative to midtrunk vertebrae in all three species. Mensural patterns throughout the entire column are similar in the terrestrail burrowers D. mexicanus and I. glutinosus; patterns in the aquatic T. compressicauda differ substantially from those of the burrowing species and are strongly influenced by allometry. Of the 112 D. mexicanus examined, 13.4% had vertebral anomalies, usually fusions. PMID:7452726

  9. A subterranean generalist predator: diet of the soil-dwelling caecilian Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Amphibia; Gymnophiona; Caeciliidae) in southern India.

    PubMed

    Measey, John G; Gower, David J; Oommen, Oommen V; Wilkinson, Mark

    2004-01-01

    Biologists have paid relatively little attention to subterranean predators, especially their ecology. Although diets of some subterranean lower vertebrates suggest specialisation, there remains a lack of quantitative data. The diet of the caecilian amphibian Gegeneophis ramaswamii was investigated through analyses of gut contents of 67 specimens collected in randomised surveys at three localities in Kerala, southern India, in early and mid-monsoon. Although termites were the most frequently ingested items in the mid-monsoon, the specialist predator hypothesis was rejected because of differences in diet found in early monsoon samples, when earthworms contributed the greatest mass. That guts of some G. ramaswamii contained many individuals of only a single dietary taxon was interpreted as feeding on patchily distributed prey rather than specialisation. No ontogenetic differences in diet were apparent, but more sampling is required to investigate this further. Subadults largely feed on fewer items of the same prey as adults, though there is an indication that subadult diet is less diverse. The data do not support differences between male and female diet. High densities of G. ramaswamii, and perhaps of other terrestrial caecilians and subterranean lower vertebrates feeding on soil-ecosystem engineers (termites, earthworms and ants), might substantially impact soil ecology. PMID:15015756

  10. Phylogeny of caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) based on complete mitochondrial genomes and nuclear RAG1.

    PubMed

    San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Oommen, Oommen V; Wilkinson, Mark; Zardoya, Rafael

    2004-11-01

    We determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial (mt) genome of five individual caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) representing five of the six recognized families: Rhinatrema bivittatum (Rhinatrematidae), Ichthyophis glutinosus (Ichthyophiidae), Uraeotyphlus cf. oxyurus (Uraeotyphlidae), Scolecomorphus vittatus (Scolecomorphidae), and Gegeneophis ramaswamii (Caeciliidae). The organization and size of these newly determined mitogenomes are similar to those previously reported for the caecilian Typhlonectes natans (Typhlonectidae), and for other vertebrates. Nucleotide sequences of the nuclear RAG1 gene were also determined for these six species of caecilians, and the salamander Mertensiella luschani atifi. RAG1 (both at the amino acid and nucleotide level) shows slower rates of evolution than almost all mt protein-coding genes (at the amino acid level). The new mt and nuclear sequences were compared with data for other amphibians and subjected to separate and combined phylogenetic analyses (Maximum Parsimony, Minimum Evolution, Maximum Likelihood, and Bayesian Inference). All analyses strongly support the monophyly of the three amphibian Orders. The Batrachia hypothesis (Gymnophiona, (Anura, Caudata) receives moderate or good support depending on the method of analysis. Within Gymnophiona, the optimal tree (Rhinatrema, (Ichthyophis, Uraeotyphlus), (Scolecomorphus, (Gegeneophis Typhlonectes) agrees with the most recent morphological and molecular studies. The sister group relationship between Rhinatrematidae and all other caecilians, that between Ichthyophiidae and Uraeotyphlidae, and the monophyly of the higher caecilians Scolecomorphidae+Caeciliidae+Typhlonectidae, are strongly supported, whereas the relationships among the higher caecilians are less unambiguously resolved. Analysis of RAG1 is affected by a spurious local rooting problem and associated low support that is ameliorated when outgroups are excluded. Comparisons of trees using the

  11. Phylogenetic relationships of Indian caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) inferred from mitochondrial rRNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; A Sheps, Jonathan; Oommen, Oommen V; Cohen, Bernard L

    2002-06-01

    India has a diverse caecilian fauna, including representatives of three of the six currently recognized families, the Caeciliidae, Ichthyophiidae, the endemic Uraeotyphlidae, but previous molecular phylogenetic studies of caecilians have not included sequences for any Indian caecilians. Partial 12S and 16S mitochondrial gene sequences were obtained for a single representative of each of the caecilian families found in India and aligned against previously reported sequences for 13 caecilian species. The resulting alignment (16 taxa, 1200 sites, of which 288 cannot be aligned unambiguously) was analyzed using parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and distance methods. As judged by bootstrap proportions, decay indices, and leaf stabilities, well-supported relationships of the Indian caecilians are recovered from the alignment. The data (1) corroborate the hypothesis, based on morphology, that the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae are sister taxa, (2) recover a monophyletic Ichthyophiidae, including Indian and South East Asian representatives, and (3) place the Indian caeciliid Gegeneophis ramaswamii as the sister group of the caeciliid caecilians of the Seychelles. Rough estimates of divergence times suggest an origin of the Uraeotyphlidae and Ichthyophiidae while India was isolated from Laurasia and Africa and are most consistent with an Indian origin of these families and subsequent dispersal of ichthyophiids into South East Asia. PMID:12099794

  12. Molecular systematics of caeciliid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) of the Western Ghats, India.

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; San Mauro, Diego; Giri, Varad; Bhatta, Gopalakrishna; Govindappa, Venu; Kotharambath, Ramachandran; Oommen, Oommen V; Fatih, Farrah A; Mackenzie-Dodds, Jacqueline A; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Biju, S D; Shouche, Yogesh S; Wilkinson, Mark

    2011-06-01

    Together, Indian plus Seychelles caeciliid caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) constitute approximately 10% of the extant species of this order. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of all but one (or two) nominal species (16, in five genera) is presented based on mitochondrial (12S, 16S, cytb, cox1) and nuclear (RAG1) sequence data. Results strongly support monophyly of both Seychelles and peninsular Indian caeciliids, and their sister-group status. Within the Indian caeciliids, Indotyphlus and Gegeneophis are monophyletic sister genera. The phylogenetic position of Gegeneophis ramaswamii, Gegeneophis seshachari, and Gegeneophis carnosus are not well resolved, but all lie outside a well-supported clade of most northern Western Ghats Gegeneophis (madhavai, mhadeiensis, goaensis, danieli/nadkarnii). Most nominal species of Indian caeciliid are diagnosed by robust haplotype clades, though the systematics of G. carnosus-like forms in northern Kerala and southern Karnataka requires substantial further investigation. For the most part, Indian caeciliid species comprise narrowly distributed, allopatric taxa with low genetic diversity. Much greater geographic genetic diversity exists among populations referred to G. seshachari, such that some populations likely represent undescribed species. This, the first phylogenetic analysis of Indian caeciliids, generally provides additional support for recent increases in described species (eight since 1999), and a framework for ongoing taxonomic revision. PMID:21406239

  13. Embryonic and larval development in the caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Amphibia, gymnophiona): a staging table.

    PubMed

    Dünker, N; Wake, M H; Olson, W M

    2000-01-01

    Little is known about the developmental biology of caecilians-tropical, elongate, limbless, mostly fossorial amphibians that are members of the Order Gymnophiona. Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Family Ichthyophiidae; southeast Asia) is an oviparous species in which maternal care of the clutch is provided. The clutch is laid in a burrow on land, and the embryos develop in their egg membranes, curved around a large yolk mass. Larvae are aquatic and exhibit characteristic features that are not present in the terrestrial adults. Because accurate descriptions of ontogenies and the establishment of standardized stages of embryonic and larval development are useful for both experimental and comparative embryology, a staging table for I.kohtaoensis was developed based on external morphological features. Development from the end of neurulation to metamorphosis was divided into 20 stages. Principal diagnostic features include development of the lateral line organs, formation of three pairs of external gills, development of the eyes, changes in yolk structure, changes in the structure of the cloacal aperture and growth of the tail, including the formation and regression of the tail fin. This study provides a comparison with descriptions of embryonic stages of I.glutinosus and Hypogeophis rostratus and with a recent staging table for the aquatic, viviparous caecilian Typhlonectes compressicauda, the only other caecilians for which reasonably complete ontogenetic information exists in the literature. Comparisons with established staging tables for selected frogs and salamanders are also presented. PMID:10629095

  14. Colocalization of serotonin and GABA in retinal neurons of Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (amphibia; Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Dünker, N

    1998-01-01

    Ichthyophis kohtaoensis, a member of the limbless Gymnophiona, has a specialized subterranean burrowing mode of life and a predominantly olfactory-guided orientation. The only visually guided behavior seems to be negative phototaxis. As these animals possess extremely small eyes (only 540 microm in diameter in adults), functional investigations of single retinal cells by electrophysiological methods have so far failed. Therefore, the content and distribution of retinal transmitters have been investigated as indications of a functioning sense organ in an animal that is supposed to be blind. Previous immunohistochemical investigation of the retinal transmitter system revealed immunoreactivity for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), serotonin, dopamine and tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme in the catecholamine synthetic pathway. The present studies have been performed in order to determine a possible colocalization of serotonin and GABA in retinal neurons of the caecilian retina. Therefore retinal cryostat sections of various developmental stages have been investigated by the indirect fluorescence method. In single-label preparations, serotonin is localized to cells in the inner nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer. GABA immunocytochemistry labels a variety of cell types in the inner nuclear layer as well as cell bodies in the ganglion cell layer. In double-label preparations, some of the serotonergic cells are found to express GABA immunoreactivity and some GABAergic neurons also label for serotonin immunocytochemistry. Thus, despite the fact that caecilians mainly rely on olfaction and are believed to have a reduced visual system, their retina exhibits a surprisingly "normal" distribution of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, also typical of other anamniotes with a well-developed visual system, including the partial colocalization of serotonin and GABA at all developmental stages of I. kohtaoensis. These results indicate that a functional system

  15. [Enzyme histochemical study of the brain of Chthonerpeton indistinctum (Gymnophiona, Amphibia)].

    PubMed

    Welsch, U; Tan, S H

    1979-01-01

    In the brain of the Caecilian species Chthonerpeton indistinctum the following enzymes have been demonstrated by means of histochemical techniques: acid phosphatase, alpha-naphthylacetate esterase, acetylcholin esterase. Acid phosphatase occurs in the cytoplasm of the neurons in 4 different types of localization. Its activity in the ventral parts of the brain is markedly higher than in the dorsal ones. Of particularly high activity are: the motor neurons in the tegmentum, the nucleus mesencephali trigemini, individual large neurons in the marginal zone of the grey matter of the telencephalon, which seems to be a special character of the Caecilians among the Amphibia. The ependyma exhibits local differences in respect of acid phosphatase activity. alpha-Naphthylacetate esterase marks in particular the secretory neurons of the hypothalamus, the large perikarya of the nucleus mesencephali trigemini and the motor neurons of the tegmentum. In the telencephalon the alpha-naphthylacetate esterase activity corresponds to that of acid phosphatase. Acetylcholin esterase marks--with certain restrictions--cholinergic neurons. These predominate in Chthonerpeton in the caudal parts of the brain. In the telencephalon amygdala, septal area striatum and the mitral cells are of comparatively high activity. The neurosecretory neurons of the hypothalamus are particularly rich in this enzyme. As an anurans the cholinergic fasciculus retroflexus as asymmetric. The tectum opticum is of secondary simplicity and does not exhibit a clearly recognizable stratification. PMID:524986

  16. Immunocytochemical localization of gonadotropin-releasing hormones in the brain of a viviparous caecilian amphibian, Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Ebersole, T J; Boyd, S K

    2000-01-01

    The molecular forms and brain distribution of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) have been well studied in the amphibian orders Urodela (salamanders and newts) and Anura (frogs and toads). In the order Gymnophiona (caecilians), however, few species have been investigated. Antibodies against different molecular forms of GnRH were used to immunohistochemically localize the GnRH-containing neurons in the brain of the caecilian, Typhlonectes natans which differs from most other amphibians in that it is viviparous. An antibody selective for mammalian GnRH recognized cell bodies predominantly in the septo-preoptic area but only with occasional cell bodies in the lateral hypothalamus and ventral thalamic eminence. Thick, prominent fibers in the septal region and fibers within the terminal nerve were also labeled. An antibody selective for chicken-II GnRH labeled a population of cell bodies in the dorsal hypothalamus, ventral thalamus and midbrain tegmentum. Thin fibers projected laterally from these cells. An antibody specific for salmon GnRH did not label cell bodies but did show intense terminal field immunoreactivity. The brain of this caecilian, therefore, contains three antigenically distinct forms of GnRH. The mammalian and chicken-II GnRH peptides have been shown in other amphibians but the distribution of cells and fibers was unique in this caecilian. PMID:10773622

  17. A molecular phylogeny of ichthyophiid caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Ichthyophiidae): out of India or out of South East Asia?

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Kupfer, Alex; Oommen, Oommen V; Himstedt, Werner; Nussbaum, Ronald A; Loader, Simon P; Presswell, Bronwen; Müller, Hendrik; Krishna, Sharath B; Boistel, Renaud; Wilkinson, Mark

    2002-08-01

    Recent molecular phylogenetic studies indicate that the rafting Indian plate harboured several isolated vertebrate lineages between ca. 130 and 56 Myr ago that dispersed and diversified 'out of India' following accretion with Eurasia. A single family of the amphibian order Gymnophiona, the Ichthyophiidae, presently occurs on the Indian plate and across much of South East Asia. Ichthyophiid phylogeny is investigated in order to test competing out of India and out of South East Asia hypotheses for their distribution. Partial sequences of mitochondrial 12S and 16S rRNA and cytochrome b genes for 20 ichthyophiids and proximate outgroups were assembled. Parsimony, maximum-likelihood and distance analyses all recover optimum trees in which uraeotyphlids plus Ichthyophis cf. malabarensis are the sister taxa to all other Ichthyophis, among which the South East Asian taxa are monophyletic. Tree topology and branch lengths indicate that the Indian lineages are more basal and older, and thus are more consistent with the hypothesis that ichthyophiids dispersed from the Indian subcontinent into South East Asia. The estimated relationships also support monophyly of Sri Lankan Ichthyophis, and non-monophyly of striped and unstriped Ichthyophis species groups. Mitochondrial DNA sequences provide evidence that should assist current problematic areas of caecilian taxonomy. PMID:12184826

  18. Identification and characterization of visual pigments in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona), an order of limbless vertebrates with rudimentary eyes.

    PubMed

    Mohun, S M; Davies, W L; Bowmaker, J K; Pisani, D; Himstedt, W; Gower, D J; Hunt, D M; Wilkinson, M

    2010-10-15

    In comparison with the other amphibian orders, the Anura (frogs) and Urodela (salamanders), knowledge of the visual system of the snake-like Gymnophiona (caecilians) is relatively sparse. Most caecilians are fossorial with, as far as is known any surface activity occurring mainly at night. They have relatively small, poorly developed eyes and might be expected to possess detectable changes in the spectral sensitivity of their visual pigments. Microspectrophotometry was used to determine the spectral sensitivities of the photoreceptors in three species of caecilian, Rhinatrema bivittatum, Geotrypetes seraphini and Typhlonectes natans. Only rod opsin visual pigment, which may be associated with scotopic (dim light) vision when accompanied by other 'rod-specific' components of the phototransduction cascade, was found to be present. Opsin sequences were obtained from the eyes of two species of caecilian, Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis and T. natans. These rod opsins were regenerated in vitro with 11-cis retinal to give pigments with spectral sensitivity peaks close to 500 nm. No evidence for cone photoreception, associated with diurnal and colour vision, was detected using molecular and physiological methods. Additionally, visual pigments are short-wavelength shifted in terms of the maximum absorption of light when compared with other amphibian lineages. PMID:20889838

  19. Identification and localization of neurohypophysial peptides in the brain of a caecilian amphibian, Typhlonectes natans (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Hilscher-Conklin, C; Conlon, J M; Boyd, S K

    1998-05-01

    The amphibian order Gymnophiona contains more than 150 different species of caecilians. The characterization and distribution of neurohypophysial peptides, however, has not been described for any member of this order. By using high-performance liquid chromatography, radioimmunoassay, and mass spectrometry, we identified the peptide arginine vasotocin (AVT) in brain and pituitary extracts from the caecilian Typhlonectes natans. By using immunocytochemistry, we found five populations of AVT-immunoreactive (AVT-ir) cells in the brain of T. natans. AVT-ir cell bodies were located in the preoptic area, amygdala pars medialis, ventral thalamus, dorsal hypothalamic nucleus, and nucleus of the solitary tract. AVT-ir fibers and terminal fields were widespread. We also identified a mesotocin-like peptide. The distribution of this peptide in the brain of T. natans was more restricted than the distribution of AVT. Mesotocin-like-immunoreactive cell bodies were located almost exclusively in the preoptic area, with only a few other cells located in the amygdala pars medialis. This caecilian species, therefore, possesses neurohypophysial peptides that are similar in their structure and distribution to the peptides found in anuran and urodele amphibian orders. PMID:9552122

  20. Frequency of independent origins of viviparity among caecilians (Gymnophiona): evidence from the first 'live-bearing' Asian amphibian.

    PubMed

    Gower, D J; Giri, V; Dharne, M S; Shouche, Y S

    2008-09-01

    Viviparity is reported for Gegeneophis seshachari (Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from a gravid female containing four oviductal foetuses. The oviducts are highly vascularized and contain patches of thickened, layered tissue similar to foetal gut contents. Gegeneophis seshachari probably resemble other viviparous caecilians in having foetuses that ingest thickened oviduct lining using specialized deciduous teeth. This is the first report of viviparity in Asian amphibians and Indo-Seychellean caeciliids. Gegeneophis is the only caecilian genus known to include oviparous and viviparous species, and G. seshachari is the smallest known viviparous caecilian. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences supports assignment of G. seshachari to a monophyletic Gegeneophis. Character optimization indicates that viviparity has evolved independently at least four times within Gymnophiona--a rate of incidence relative to the number of extant species that is higher than for other vertebrate groups except squamate reptiles. Our findings strengthen the proposal that caecilian reproduction demands further attention. PMID:18636974

  1. A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from Guyana

    PubMed Central

    Wake, Marvalee H.; Donnelly, Maureen A.

    2010-01-01

    We report the discovery of a single specimen of a small, terrestrial, lungless caecilian, the second known taxon of lungless caecilians. It differs from all other caecilians in lacking open external nares, and from the large aquatic lungless species described by Nussbaum & Wilkinson (Nussbaum, R. A. & Wilkinson, M. 1995 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 331–335) in having no significant skull modifications. All modifications are of ‘soft morphology’ (covered external nares and choanae, lung and pulmonary vessel loss, etc.). A new genus and species are described to accommodate this form. Aspects of its skull and visceral morphology are described and considered in terms of the possible life history and evolution of the species, and compared with those of other lungless amphibians. PMID:19923127

  2. A new lungless caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) from Guyana.

    PubMed

    Wake, Marvalee H; Donnelly, Maureen A

    2010-03-22

    We report the discovery of a single specimen of a small, terrestrial, lungless caecilian, the second known taxon of lungless caecilians. It differs from all other caecilians in lacking open external nares, and from the large aquatic lungless species described by Nussbaum & Wilkinson (Nussbaum, R. A. & Wilkinson, M. 1995 Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 261, 331-335) in having no significant skull modifications. All modifications are of 'soft morphology' (covered external nares and choanae, lung and pulmonary vessel loss, etc.). A new genus and species are described to accommodate this form. Aspects of its skull and visceral morphology are described and considered in terms of the possible life history and evolution of the species, and compared with those of other lungless amphibians. PMID:19923127

  3. First Quaternary Fossil Record of Caecilians from a Mexican Archaeological Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wake, Thomas A.; Wake, Marvalee H.; Lesure, Richard G.

    1999-07-01

    A single vertebra from an Early Formative period archaeological site in coastal Chiapas, México, is identified as belonging to the amphibian Dermophis mexicanus (Duméril and Bibron) 1841 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae). The vertebra was recovered from deposits dated to approximately 1200-1350 B.C. The specimen represents the first Quaternary fossil record for gymnophiones. Its presence suggests the possible role of the species as a bioturbator. Its recovery is further evidence of the utility of fine-grained archaeological recovery techniques.

  4. On the taxonomic status of Gegeneophis nadkarnii Bhatta & Prashanth, 2004 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Indotyphlidae).

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Giri, Varad; Torsekar, Varun R; Gaikwad, Kshamata

    2013-01-01

    Examination of type material and new collections from Goa, southern Maharashtra and northern Karnataka, leads to the conclusion that Gegeneophis nadkarnii Bhatta & Prashanth, 2004 is a subjective junior synonym of Gegeneophis danieli Giri, Wilkinson & Gower, 2003. The purported differences between these species are very minor and attributable to nor-mal individual variation, except for some features of the dentition that are peculiar to the exceptionally abnormal paratype of G. nadkarnii. This taxonomic revision extends the known geographic range of G. danieli and suggests it could be trans-ferred from Data Deficient to Least Concern status in the IUCN Red List. PMID:24699582

  5. Patterns of peripheral innervation of the tongue and hyobranchial apparatus in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1992-04-01

    The innervation of the musculature of the tongue and the hyobranchial apparatus of caecilians has long been assumed to be simple and to exhibit little interspecific variation. A study of 14 genera representing all six families of caecilians demonstrates that general patterns of innervation by the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal, and vagus nerves are similar across taxa but that the composition of the "hypoglossal" nerve is highly variable. Probably in all caecilians, spinal nerves 1 and 2 contribute to the hypoglossal. In addition, in certain taxa, an "occipital," the vagus, and/or spinal 3 appear to contribute fibers to the composition of the hypoglossal nerve. These patterns, the lengths of fusion of the contributing elements, and the branching patterns of the hypoglossal are assessed according to the currently accepted hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships of caecilians, and of amphibians. An hypothesis is proposed that limblessness and a simple tongue, with concomitant reduced complexity of innervation of muscles associated with limbs and the tongue, has released a constraint on pattern of innervation. As a consequence, a greater diversity and, in several taxa, greater complexity of neuroanatomical associations of nerve roots to form the hypoglossal are expressed. PMID:1588590

  6. The karyotype of Typhlonectes compressicauda (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) with comments on chromosome evolution in caecilians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H; Hafner, J C; Hafner, M S; Klosterman, L L; Patton, J L

    1980-02-15

    Typhlonectes compressicauda has a diploid number of 28. Its karyotype, when compared to that of other caecilians, suggests some discordance in the hypothesized model of chromosome reduction in the evolution of amphibian lineages. PMID:7371747

  7. Parasites of the relict fauna of Ceylon. VIII. Helminths from Ichthyophis spp. (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Crusz, H; Santiapillai, A

    1982-01-01

    Trematodes and nematodes are recorded for the first time, and described, from the endemic caecilians Ichthyophis glutinosus (L) and I. orthoplicatus Taylor, 1965 of Sri Lanka. The trematodes are of the species Gorgoderina carli Baer, 1930, from the urinary bladder, and Mesocoelium monas (Rudolphi, 1819) from the small intestine. The nematodes are referred to the species Rhabdias escheri Baer, 1930, from the body cavity and lungs, a new host-record; Pelodera chabaudi sp. nov., from the stomach, small intestine and rectum; and Meteterakis sinharajensis Crusz and Ching, 1976, from the rectum, also a new host-record. Pelodera chabaudi is recognised as a new species on the basis of the arrangment of the bursal papillae, the very prominent pair of fleshy papillae on the cloacal elevation, and the markedly anteriad position of the free proximal ends of the distally fused spicules. PMID:7187196

  8. A new species of Microcaecilia Taylor, 1968 (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Siphonopidae) from Amazonian Brazil.

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Antoniazzi, Marta Maria; Jared, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    A new species of siphonopid caecilian, Microcaecilia butantan sp. nov., is described based on four specimens from Belterra, in the State of Pará, Brazil. The new species differs from all other Microcaecilia in having a combination of more than 135 primary annuli and long premaxillary-maxillary tooth series that extend posteriorly beyond the choanae. Some specimens were dug from soil in a cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) plantation suggesting that this form of agriculture provides an environment suitable for at least some caecilians. PMID:25661220

  9. One hundred million years of skin feeding? Extended parental care in a Neotropical caecilian (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Wilkinson, Mark; Kupfer, Alexander; Marques-Porto, Rafael; Jeffkins, Hilary; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Jared, Carlos

    2008-08-23

    Maternal dermatophagy, the eating of maternal skin by offspring, is an unusual form of parental investment involving co-evolved specializations of both maternal skin and offspring dentition, which has been recently discovered in an African caecilian amphibian. Here we report the discovery of this form of parental care in a second, distantly related Neotropical species Siphonops annulatus, where it is characterized by the same syndrome of maternal and offspring specializations. The detailed similarities of skin feeding in different caecilian species provide strong evidence of its homology, implying its presence in the last common ancestor of these species. Biogeographic considerations, the separation of Africa and South American land masses and inferred timescales of amphibian diversification all suggest that skin feeding is an ancient form of parental care in caecilians, which has probably persisted in multiple lineages for more than 100 Myr. These inferences support the hypotheses that (i) maternal dermatophagy is widespread in oviparous direct-developing caecilians, and (ii) that viviparous caecilians that feed on the hypertrophied maternal oviduct evolved from skin-feeding ancestors. In addition to skin-feeding, young S. annulatus were observed to congregate around, and imbibe liquid exuded from, the maternal cloacal opening. PMID:18547909

  10. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection and lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Gower, David J; Doherty-Bone, Thomas; Loader, Simon P; Wilkinson, Mark; Kouete, Marcel T; Tapley, Benjamin; Orton, Frances; Daniel, Olivia Z; Wynne, Felicity; Flach, Edmund; Müller, Hendrik; Menegon, Michele; Stephen, Ian; Browne, Robert K; Fisher, Mathew C; Cunningham, Andrew A; Garner, Trenton W J

    2013-06-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is commonly termed the 'amphibian chytrid fungus' but thus far has been documented to be a pathogen of only batrachian amphibians (anurans and caudatans). It is not proven to infect the limbless, generally poorly known, and mostly soil-dwelling caecilians (Gymnophiona). We conducted the largest qPCR survey of Bd in caecilians to date, for more than 200 field-swabbed specimens from five countries in Africa and South America, representing nearly 20 species, 12 genera, and 8 families. Positive results were recovered for 58 specimens from Tanzania and Cameroon (4 families, 6 genera, 6+ species). Quantities of Bd were not exceptionally high, with genomic equivalent (GE) values of 0.052-17.339. In addition, we report the first evidence of lethal chytridiomycosis in caecilians. Mortality in captive (wild-caught, commercial pet trade) Geotrypetes seraphini was associated with GE scores similar to those we detected for field-swabbed, wild animals. PMID:23677560

  11. Distribution of somatostatin-like immunoreactivity in the brain of the caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): comparative aspects in amphibians.

    PubMed

    López, Jesús M; Moreno, Nerea; Morona, Ruth; Muñoz, Margarita; Domínguez, Laura; González, Agustín

    2007-03-20

    The organization of the somatostatin-like-immunoreactive (SOM-ir) structures in the brain of anuran and urodele amphibians has been well documented, and significant differences were noted between the two amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the gymnophionans (caecilians). In the present study, we analyzed the anatomical distribution of SOM-ir cells and fibers in the brain of the gymnophionan Dermophis mexicanus. In addition, because of its known relationship with catecholamines in other vertebrates, double immunostaining for SOM and tyrosine hydroxylase was used to investigate this situation in the gymnophionan. Abundant SOM-ir cell bodies and fibers were widely distributed throughout the brain. In the telencephalon, pallial and subpallial cells were labeled, being most numerous in the medial pallium and amygdaloid region. Most of the SOM-ir neurons were found in the preoptic area and hypothalamus and showed a clear projection to the median eminence. Less conspicuously, SOM-ir structures were found in the thalamus, tectum, tegmentum, and reticular formation. Both SOM-ir cells and fibers were demonstrated in the spinal cord. The double-immunohistofluorescence technique revealed that catecholaminergic neurons and SOM-ir cells are largely intermingled in many brain regions but form totally separated populations. Many differences were found between the distribution of SOM-ir structures in Dermophis and that in anurans or urodeles. Some features were shared only with anurans, such as the abundant pallial SOM-ir cells, whereas others were common only to urodeles, such as the organization of the hypothalamohypophysial SOM-ir system. In addition, some characteristics were found only in Dermophis, such as the localization of the SOM-ir spinal cells and the lack of colocalization of catecholamines and SOM throughout the brain. Therefore, any conclusions concerning the SOM system in amphibians are incomplete without considering evidence for gymnophionans. PMID:17245705

  12. Localization of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity in the brain of a caecilian amphibian, Dermophis mexicanus (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    González, Agustín; López, Jesús M; Sánchez-Camacho, Cristina; Marín, Oscar

    2002-07-01

    The organization of the cholinergic system in the brain of anuran and urodele amphibians was recently studied, and significant differences were noted between both amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the limbless gymnophionans (caecilians). To further assess general and derived features of the cholinergic system in amphibians, we have investigated the distribution of choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive (ChAT-ir) cell bodies and fibers in the brain of the gymnophionan Dermophis mexicanus. This distribution showed particular features of gymnophionans such as the existence of a particularly large cholinergic population in the striatum, the presence of ChAT-ir cells in the mesencephalic tectum, and the organization of the cranial nerve motor nuclei. These peculiarities probably reflect major adaptations of gymnophionans to a fossorial habit. Comparison of our results with those in other vertebrates, including a segmental approach to correlate cell populations across species, shows that the general pattern of organization of cholinergic systems in vertebrates can be modified in certain species in response to adaptative processes that lead to morphological and behavioral modifications of members of a given class of vertebrates, as shown for gymnophionans. PMID:12115707

  13. Spermiogenesis in caecilians Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): analysis by light and transmission electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; George, Jancy M; Girija, R; Akbarsha, M A; Oommen, Oommen V

    2004-10-01

    Spermiogenesis, known as spermateleosis in lower vertebrates, is the transformation of the round spermatid into a highly specialized spermatozoon with a species-specific structure. Spermateleosis and sperm morphology of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani, from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, were studied using light and transmission electron microscopy. Spermateleosis is described in early, mid-, and late phases. During the early phase, the spermatid nucleus does not elongate, but the acrosome vesicle is Golgi-derived and its material is produced as a homogeneous substance rather than as discrete granules. In development of the acrosome, the centrioles shift in position to the lower half of the cell. The acrosomal vesicles take the full shape of the acrosome with the establishment of the perforatorium in midphase. An endonuclear canal develops and accommodates the perforatorium. The incipient flagellum is laid down when the proximal centriole attaches to the posterior side of the nucleus and the distal centriole connects to the proximal centriole, which forms the basal granule of the acrosome. The axial fiber also appears during midphase. The mitochondria shift in position to the posterior pole of the cell to commence establishment of the midphase. Late phase is characterized by nuclear condensation and elongation. Consequently, the final organization of the sperm is established with the head containing the nucleus and the acrosome. The undulating membrane separates the axoneme and axial fiber. Most of the cytoplasm is lost as residual bodies. PMID:15352204

  14. Sertoli cells in the testis of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): light and electron microscopic perspective.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; Oommen, Oommen V; George, Jancy M; Akbarsha, M A

    2003-12-01

    The caecilians have evolved a unique pattern of cystic spermatogenesis in which cysts representing different stages in spermatogenesis coexist in a testis lobule. We examined unsettled issues relating to the organization of the caecilian testis lobules, including the occurrence of a fatty matrix, the possibility of both peripheral and central Sertoli cells, the origin of Sertoli cells from follicular cells, and the disengagement of older Sertoli cells to become loose central Sertoli cells. We subjected the testis of Ichthyophis tricolor (Ichthyophiidae) and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Uraeotyphliidae) from the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, to light and transmission electron microscopic studies. Irrespective of the functional state of the testis, whether active or regressed, Sertoli cells constitute a permanent feature of the lobules. The tall Sertoli cells adherent to the basal lamina with basally located pleomorphic nuclei extend deeper into the lobule to meet at the core. There they provide for association of germ cells at different stages of differentiation, an aspect that has earlier been misconceived as the fatty matrix. Germ cells up to the 4-cell stage remain in the intercalating region of the Sertoli cells and they are located at the apices of the Sertoli cells from the 8-cell stage onwards. The developing germ cells are intimately associated with the Sertoli cell adherent to the basal lamina until spermiation. There are ameboid cells in the core of the lobules that appear to interact with the germ cells at the face opposite to their attachment with the Sertoli cells. Adherence of the Sertoli cells to the basal lamina is a permanent feature of the caecilian testicular lobules. The ameboid cells in the core are neither Sertoli cells nor their degeneration products. PMID:14584033

  15. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Che, Jing; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-18

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org. PMID:26828034

  16. AmphibiaChina: an online database of Chinese Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    CHE, Jing; WANG, Kai

    2016-01-01

    AmphibiaChina, an open-access, web-based database, is designed to provide comprehensive and up-to-date information on Chinese amphibians. It offers an integrated module with six major sections. Compared to other known databases including AmphibiaWeb and Amphibian Species of the World, AmphibiaChina has the following new functions: (1) online species identification based on DNA barcode sequences; (2) comparisons and discussions of different major taxonomic systems; and (3) phylogenetic progress on Chinese amphibians. This database offers a window for the world to access available information of Chinese amphibians. AmphibiaChina with its Chinese version can be accessed at http://www.amphibiachina.org. PMID:26828034

  17. Cranial musculature in the larva of the caecilian, Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    Within the Gymnophiona (caecilians) oviparous species with biphasic life-cycles possess a free living semi-aquatic larval stage that feeds in aquatic habitats. The larvae pass through a metamorphosis to a purely terrestrial adult stage. It is likely that the cranial morphology of caecilian larvae has specializations for aquatic feeding. However, little is known about the cranial morphology, and the cranial musculature is especially neglected in the literature. This study provides a detailed description of the jaw and hyobranchial musculature in larval stages of a caecilian. We studied late embryonic and early larval specimens of Ichthyophis kohtaoensis. Furthermore, we compared and homologized the cranial muscles found in larval I. kohtaoensis with the muscles described for adult caecilians. Most cranial muscles of larval I. kohtaoensis are also present in the adult, except for the m. levator mandibulae externus and the m. subarcualis obliquus II. Our results were compared with the data available for larval frogs and salamanders in order to hypothesize the cranial musculature in the larva of the most recent common ancestor of the Lissamphibia. Larval caecilians, frog tadpoles, and salamander larvae share many characters in their cranial musculature, which, consequently, can be assigned to the lissamphibian ground pattern. However, the m. pterygoideus and the m. levator quadrati are unique to the Gymnophiona. PMID:17154285

  18. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of caecilians from Southeast Asia (Amphibia, Gymnophiona, Ichthyophiidae), with special reference to high cryptic species diversity in Sundaland.

    PubMed

    Nishikawa, Kanto; Matsui, Masafumi; Yong, Hoi-Sen; Ahmad, Norhayati; Yambun, Paul; Belabut, Daicus M; Sudin, Ahmad; Hamidy, Amir; Orlov, Nikolai L; Ota, Hidetoshi; Yoshikawa, Natsuhiko; Tominaga, Atsushi; Shimada, Tomohiko

    2012-06-01

    We investigated the phylogenetic relationships and estimated the history of species diversification and character evolution in two ichthyophiid genera: Caudacaecilia and Ichthyophis. We estimated the phylogenetic relationships of 67 samples from 33 localities in Southeast Asia from 3840-bp sequences of the mitochondrial 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, and cyt b genes using Bayesian inference, maximum likelihood, and maximum parsimony methods. The Southeast Asian samples formed a well-supported clade differentiated from a South Asian sample. The Southeast Asian clade was divided into two subclades, one containing samples from South China, Indochina, Malay Peninsula, and Java. The other consisted of samples from Borneo and the Philippines. Neither Caudacaecilia nor Ichthyophis was monophyletic, nor did samples with or without light stripes lateral to the body form clades. We found several distinct sympatric lineages and undescribed species, especially from Sundaland. PMID:22387289

  19. A new Eimeria sP. from the plumbeous Central American caecilian, Dermophis mexicanus (amphibia: gymnophiona) from Volcán Tajumulco, Department of San Marcos, Guatemala.

    PubMed

    Asmundsson, I M; Campbell, J A; Duszynski, D W

    2000-04-01

    Fresh fecal samples from 5 caecilians (Dermophis mexicanus) were collected and examined for coccidia in the summer of 1998. The caecilians were collected in the Department of San Marcos, Guatemala. Two of the 5 (40%) specimens of caecilians contained an Eimeria species that is described here as new. This represents the first coccidia described from a gymnophionian host. Sporulated oocysts are spheroidal to subspheroidal, 19.5 X 17.7 (16-23 x 15-21) microm, micropyle and oocyst residuum are absent, and 3 (or more) polar granules are always present. Sporocysts are ovoidal, 11.0 X 7.2 (10-12 x 6-9); a Stieda body and sporocyst residuum are present. PMID:10780555

  20. Distribution of NADPH-diaphorase/nitric oxide synthase in the brain of the caecilian Dermophis mexicanus (amphibia: gymnophiona): comparative aspects in amphibians.

    PubMed

    González, Augustín; Moreno, Nerea; López, Jesús M

    2002-01-01

    The organization of nitrergic systems in the brains of anuran and urodele amphibians was recently studied and significant differences were noted between both amphibian orders. However, comparable data are not available for the third order of amphibians, the gymnophionans (caecilians). In the present study we have investigated the distribution of neuronal elements that express nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the brain of the gymnophionan amphibian Dermophis mexicanus by means of immunohistochemistry with specific antibodies against NOS and enzyme histochemistry for NADPH-diaphorase. Both techniques yielded identical results and were equally suitable to demonstrate the nitrergic system. In addition, they were useful tools in the identification of cell groups and brain structures, otherwise indistinct in the brains of caecilians. The distribution of nitrergic structures observed in Dermophis conforms to the overall amphibian pattern but numerous distinct peculiarities were also noted. These included a dense innervation of the olfactory bulbs but a lack of reactivity in olfactory and vomeronasal fibers and glomeruli. A large population of nitrergic cells in the striatum and the presence of thalamic neurons, as well as the specific distribution of nitrergic cells in the isthmic region, are some of the differential features in the gymnophionan brain. Given the variability among species in the same class of vertebrates any discussion including amphibians should also include evidence for gymnophionans. PMID:12373060

  1. Contribution of the secretory material of caecilian (amphibia: Gymnophiona) male Mullerian gland to motility of sperm: a study in Uraeotyphlus narayani.

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Mathew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2005-02-01

    Caecilians are a unique group of limbless burrowing amphibians with discontinuous distribution. Several caecilian species are viviparous, and all practice internal fertilization. In amniotic vertebrates the sperm undergo post-testicular physiological maturation when they are initiated into motility under the influence of an epididymal secretion. Further, during ejaculation mammalian sperm are suspended in a fluid secreted by the male accessory sex glands, viz., prostate gland and seminal vesicles. Caecilians lack comparable glands, but still practice internal fertilization. Uniquely, male caecilians retain the Mullerian ducts in the adults as a pair of functional glands. It has long been hypothesized, based on indirect evidence, that the Mullerian gland would be a male accessory sex gland, secreting a fluid in which sperm are suspended during ejaculation and which would also provide nutritional support to the ejaculated sperm. In the present study, the secretory material of the Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani was mixed with sperm obtained from the testis, and the changes in motility were recorded. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm possess a perforatorium of the acrosome proceeding deep into the endonuclear canal of the nucleus. The midpiece is characterized by closely applied centrioles, the anterior ends of the axoneme and axial fiber, and a mitochondrial sheath. The long tail has an undulating membrane on one side, supported by the axoneme and an axial fiber. The live sperm possess a mitochondrial vesicle, also known as the cytoplasmic droplet, anywhere along the head and the midpiece, as in anuran sperm, which is shed from sperm that have ceased motility. Uraeotyphlus narayani sperm are motile the moment they are released directly from the testis, indicating that the sperm do not require post-testicular physiological maturation. On being mixed with the secretory material of the Mullerian gland, the spermatozoa are enhanced in speed as well as duration of motility. Therefore, the caecilian male Mullerian gland is considered to be the male accessory sex gland. PMID:15605393

  2. Stages in spermatogenesis of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): Light and electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Smita, Mathew; Oommen, Oommen V; Jancy, M George; Akbarsha, M A

    2004-07-01

    The sequential changes during spermatogenesis in the testis of two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor (Ichthyophiidae) and Uraeotyphlus cf. narayani (Uraeotyphliidae), of Western Ghats of Kerala, India, were traced using both histological techniques and transmission electron microscopy. The cell nests were assigned to stages in spermatogenesis based on the classification of van Oordt (1956, Thesis, Utrecht University). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first identification and ultrastructural description of stages in spermatogenesis in caecilians. The article illustrates not only the stages, but also the cell divisions, mitotic and meiotic, as specified. The observations indicate that, although caecilians have undergone considerable modifications in morphology and anatomy, including reproductive anatomy, in the context of a subterranean and concealed life, they appear to have conserved the typical amphibian pattern of spermatogenesis for the events of development of spermatids. PMID:15164370

  3. Secretory and basal cells of the epithelium of the tubular glands in the male Mullerian gland of the caecilian Uraeotyphlus narayani (Amphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    George, Jancy M; Smita, Matthew; Kadalmani, Balamuthu; Girija, Ramankutty; Oommen, Oommen V; Akbarsha, Mohammad A

    2004-12-01

    Caecilians are exceptional among the vertebrates in that males retain the Mullerian duct as a functional glandular structure. The Mullerian gland on each side is formed from a large number of tubular glands connecting to a central duct, which either connects to the urogenital duct or opens directly into the cloaca. The Mullerian gland is believed to secrete a substance to be added to the sperm during ejaculation. Thus, the Mullerian gland could function as a male accessory reproductive gland. Recently, we described the male Mullerian gland of Uraeotyphlus narayani using light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and histochemistry. The present TEM study reports that the secretory cells of both the tubular and basal portions of the tubular glands of the male Mullerian gland of this caecilian produce secretion granules in the same manner as do other glandular epithelial cells. The secretion granules are released in the form of structured granules into the lumen of the tubular glands, and such granules are traceable to the lumen of the central duct of the Mullerian gland. This is comparable to the situation prevailing in the epididymal epithelium of several reptiles. In the secretory cells of the basal portion of the tubular glands, mitochondria are intimately associated with fabrication of the secretion granules. The structural and functional organization of the epithelium of the basal portion of the tubular glands is complicated by the presence of basal cells. This study suggests the origin of the basal cells from peritubular tissue leukocytes. The study also indicates a role for the basal cells in acquiring secretion granules from the neighboring secretory cells and processing them into lipofuscin material in the context of regression of the Mullerian gland during the period of reproductive quiescence. In these respects the basal cells match those in the epithelial lining of the epididymis of amniotes. PMID:15487004

  4. The authorships and dates of the specific nomina Megophrys shuichengensis and Pseudohynobius shuichengensis (Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Ohler, Annemarie; Frétey, Thierry; Dubois, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Two amphibian species from China are designated by the specific nomen shuichengensis, which refers to the Shuicheng County (26°34'N, 104°51'E), south of the city of Liupanshui in the province of Guizhou: Megophrys shuichengensis (Amphibia, Anura) and Pseudohynobius shuichengensis (Amphibia, Urodela). The holotypes (holophoronts) of both species were deposited in Department of Biology of the Liupanshui Teachers Higher College (LTHC below). Both species share the particularity of having been described as new twice, at different dates, in different journals and with different authorships. Although this has been acknowledged for the salamander, it has not yet been so for the frog. PMID:26249416

  5. The different meanings of the nomen Amphibia: a correction.

    PubMed

    Dubois, Alain

    2015-01-01

    I recently published a survey of the different meanings of the nomen Amphibia in taxonomic publications since 1758 (Dubois 2015). The 'meaning' of a nomen in zoological nomenclature depends on the system used for the allocation of nomina to taxa, and several such systems can be used (see e.g. Dubois 2006a-b). In the paper at stake, I used the 'orostensional nomenclatural system' (OONS) for class-series nomenclature. In this system, a class-series nomen-i.e., a nomen above the rank superfamily, therefore one whose taxonomic allocation is not regulated by the Code (Anonymous 1999)-applies, in a given classification, to the most inclusive class-series taxon that includes all its originally expressly included nominal genera (conucleogenera) and excludes all its originally expressly excluded nominal genera (alienogenera)-if such a taxon indeed exists in this classification. However, if one a least of the alienogenera is now part of the most inclusive taxon including all the conucleogenera, the nomen cannot be taxonomically allocated and qualifies as an anaptonym in the classification used as reference (Dubois 2006a-b, 2011), although it may not be so under another taxonomic frame. PMID:26250195

  6. Phylogenetic relationships linking Duttaphrynus (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae) species based on 12S and 16S rDNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Pratihar, Suman; Bhattacharya, Manojit; Deuti, Kaushik

    2016-07-01

    Genus Duttaphrynus (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae) is endemic to southwestern and southern China and throughout southern Asia. Duttaphrynus phylogeny was also under debate for many years. 12S and 16S rDNAs help us to elucidate Duttaphrynus phylogeny. PMID:26155970

  7. Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. (Nematoda, Cosmocercidae) in Duttaphrynus himalayanus (Amphibia, Anura) from Dehradun (Uttarakhand), India.

    PubMed

    Rizvi, Anjum N; Bursey, Charles R

    2014-03-01

    Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. (Nematoda, Cosmocercidae) from the large intestine of Duttaphrynus himalayanus (Amphibia, Anura) from Dehradun, India is described and illustrated. Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. represents the 21st species assigned to the genus and the 9th species from the Oriental biogeographical region. Cosmocercoides himalayanus sp. nov. differs from the previously described Oriental species in number and position of rosette papillae; it is the only species possessing 24 or more rosette papillae to have 4 postcloacal papillae. In addition, a list of species assigned to Cosmocercoides is provided; however, C. fotedari Arya, 1992 is removed from the genus and until further study is considered a species inquirenda. PMID:24570052

  8. Applying x-ray tomography in the field of vertebrate biology: form, function, and evolution of the skull of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Beckmann, Felix; Herzen, Julia; Summers, Adam P.; Haas, Alexander

    2008-08-01

    Evolutionary research in biology relies on the comparison of different individuals of different species in order to explore the history of today's biodiversity. Synchrotron radiation based high resolution X-ray tomography (SRμCT) rapidly generates detailed three dimensional datasets. At the beamlines W2 and BW2 of the storage ring DORIS at DESY, Hamburg, Germany, we used SRμCT to study the cranial anatomy of different species and different developmental stages of caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona). Here we describe a work-flow for analysis of the SRμCT data that covers segmentation of tissues in Amira® (Mercury Computer Systems), photorealistic rendering and animation in MayaTM, rapid prototyping, and morphometrics. The integration of different analyses of SRμCT data in our study resulted in a comprehensive understanding of form, function, and evolution of caecilian skulls. SRμCT imaging has the potential to become a standard technique for life sciences applications in the near future.

  9. Sperm morphology of salamandrids (Amphibia, Urodela): implications for phylogeny and fertilization biology.

    PubMed

    Selmi, M G; Brizzi, R; Bigliardi, E

    1997-12-01

    Mature spermatozoa belonging to four salamander species, Salamandrina terdigitata, Triturus alpestris, Triturus carnifex and Triturus vulgaris, have been investigated by electron microscopy. The sperm ultrastructure of these species was compared with that of previously examined urodeles (36 species and 20 genera) and with that of anurans and caecilians. Many phylogenetic considerations may be inferred as a consequence of comparative spermatology. Urodela appears to be a monophyletic order characterized by three sperm synapomorphies: the acrosomal barb, nuclear ridge and marginal filament. Cryptobranchoidea are confirmed to form a monophyletic suborder having two synapomorphic characters: absence of mitochondria in the tail, and cylindrical shape of the tail axial rod. Within the family Salamandridae, sperm morphology confirms the phylogenetic distance between Salamandrina and Triturus, as already pointed out on the basis of molecular and morphological characters. The very complex ultrastructure of spermatozoa confirms a previous opinion that internal fertilization is the ancestral condition of the Amphibia. PMID:18627832

  10. Effects of a glyphosate-based herbicide on the development of Common toads (Bufo bufo L.; Amphibia) at different temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baier, Fabian; Gruber, Edith; Spangl, Bernhard; Zaller, Johann G.

    2016-04-01

    Herbicides based on the active ingredient glyphosate are frequently applied in agriculture, horticulture and private gardens all over the world. Recently, leaching of glyphosate or its metabolite (AMPA) into water bodies inhabited by amphibians has been reported. However, very little is known about non-target effects of these herbicides on amphibians and even less is known to what extent different temperatures might alter these effects. Using climate chambers, we investigated the effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup PowerFlex® (480 g L-1 glyphosate, formulated as 588 g L-1 potassium salt) on the larval development of Common toads (Bufo bufo L.; Amphibia: Anura) under different temperature regimes (15°C vs. 20°C). We established five herbicide concentrations: 0, 1.5, 3, 4 mg acid equivalent L-1 and a 4 mg a.e. L-1 pulse treatment (totally three applications of 1.5, 1.5 and another 1 mg a.e. L-1) at each temperature in a full-factorial design. Each treatment combination was replicated five times, the experiment ran for 24 days. Results showed a highly significant effect of temperature on body length and body width but no effect of herbicide concentration on these growth parameters. Moreover, highly significant interactions between herbicide and temperature on body length and body width were observed suggesting that herbicides had different effects on different temperatures. In conclusion, although Roundup PowerFlex® at the tested concentrations appeared to have no acute toxicity to larvae of Common toads, the observed effects on tadpole morphology will potentially affect competitive interactions in spawning ponds of amphibia. Our findings of herbicide x temperature interactions might become more prevalent when human-induced climate change will lead to more extreme temperatures.

  11. Damage to the gills and integument of Litoria fallax larvae (Amphibia: Anura) associated with ionoregulatory disturbance at low pH.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Edward A; Cramp, Rebecca L; Franklin, Craig E

    2010-02-01

    In fish, exposure to waters of low pH causes significant damage to the gill resulting in fatal iono- and osmoregulatory disturbance. In amphibians, exposure to acid waters also disrupts ionic homeostasis, however the extent and nature of injuries to amphibian larvae from acid exposure are poorly understood. Changes in gross morphology and ultrastructure of the gills and integument were examined, together with measures of Na(+) efflux/uptake, in larval Litoria fallax (Amphibia: Anura) following acute acid exposure. Examination of tissues revealed significant changes in morphology and ultrastructure of both gills and the integument following acutely lethal exposure to low pH water. Changes to the gills of acid-exposed L. fallax larvae included lifting of the branchial epithelium and opening of tight junctions between pavement cells (with a consequent reduction in tight junction length). Damage to epithelial cell-cell tight junctions was also apparent at the integument along with widespread oncosis and localised epithelial necrosis. Mucous secretory activity at the gills and body surface was largely unaffected by acid exposure, with little or no difference in density, cross-sectional area and number of epithelial mucous secretory vesicles in acid-exposed and control larvae. Changes in morphology and ultrastructure at low pH were accompanied by significant Na(+) loss (up to 50% of the total body Na(+) content) attributable in large part to increased paracellular ionic efflux across the gills as well as increased transcellular and paracellular efflux of ions across the integument. PMID:19879955

  12. Further classification of skin alkaloids from neotropical poison frogs (Dendrobatidae), with a general survey of toxic/noxious substances in the amphibia.

    PubMed

    Daly, J W; Myers, C W; Whittaker, N

    1987-01-01

    Cutaneous granular glands are a shared character of adult amphibians, including caecilians, and are thought to be the source of most biologically active compounds in amphibian skin. Data are available from one or more species in over 100 of nearly 400 genera comprising the three living orders of Amphibia. Many species contain unidentified substances judged to be noxious based on predator aversion or human taste. Additionally, there is a great diversity of known compounds, some highly toxic as well as noxious, which can be tabulated under four broad categories: biogenic amines, peptides, bufodienolides (bufogenins) and alkaloids. The last category includes alkaloids derived from biogenic amines, water-soluble alkaloids (tetrodotoxins) and lipophilic alkaloids. Most compounds are known only from skin of adult amphibians, but the toxic and noxious properties of eggs and larvae of certain salamanders and toads can be attributed to tetrodotoxins and bufodienolides, which occur also in adult tissues other than skin. Predator aversion and various antipredator behaviors and aposematic colorations clearly prove the defensive value of these diverse metabolites, whether or not they are elaborated primarily (e.g. alkaloids) or secondarily (e.g. some peptides and biogenic amines) for this function. Lipophilic alkaloids include the samandarine alkaloids, known definitely only from an Old World genus of salamanders, and the more than 200 dendrobatid alkaloids. Nearly all the latter are unique to neotropical poison frogs of the genera Dendrobates and Phyllobates (Dendrobatidae), except for seemingly homoplastic occurrences of a few such alkaloids in small brightly colored anurans of several other families. Owing to recent discoveries and new structural information, the dendrobatid alkaloids are here partitioned among the following major and minor classes: batrachotoxins, histrionicotoxins, indolizidines, pumiliotoxin-A class and its allopumiliotoxin and homopumiliotoxin subclasses

  13. Evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 peroxisomal and mitochondrial targeting. A survey of its subcellular distribution in the livers of various representatives of the classes Mammalia, Aves and Amphibia.

    PubMed

    Danpure, C J; Fryer, P; Jennings, P R; Allsop, J; Griffiths, S; Cunningham, A

    1994-08-01

    As part of a wider study on the molecular evolution of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase 1 (AGT1) intracellular compartmentalization, we have determined the subcellular distribution of immunoreactive AGT1, using postembedding protein A-gold immunoelectron microscopy, in the livers of various members of the classes Mammalia, Aves, and Amphibia. As far as organellar distribution is concerned, three categories could be distinguished. In members of the first category (type I), all, or nearly all, of the immunoreactive AGT1 was concentrated within the peroxisomes. In the second category (type II), AGT1 was found more evenly distributed in both peroxisomes and mitochondria. In the third category (type III), AGT1 was localized mainly within the mitochondria with much lower, but widely variable, amounts in the peroxisomes. Type I animals include the human, two great apes (gorilla, orangutan), two Old World monkeys (anubis baboon, Japanese macaque), a New World monkey (white-faced Saki monkey), a lago, morph (European rabbit), a bat (Seba's short-tailed fruit bat), two caviomorph rodents (guinea pig, orange-rumped agouti), and two Australian marsupials (koala, Bennett's wallaby). Type II animals include two New World monkeys (common marmoset, cotton-top tamarin), three prosimians (brown lemur, fat-tailed dwarf lemur, pygmy slow loris), five rodents (a hybrid crested porcupine, Colombian ground squirrel, laboratory rat, laboratory mouse, golden hamster), an American marsupial (grey short-tailed opossum), and a bird (raven). Type III animals include the large tree shrew, three insectivores (common Eurasian mole, European hedgehog, house shrew), four carnivores (domestic cat, ocelot, domestic dog, polecat ferret), and an amphibian (common frog). In addition to these categories, some animals (e.g. guinea pig, common frog) possessed significant amounts of cytosolic AGT1. Whereas the subcellular distribution of AGT1 in some orders (e.g. Insectivora and Carnivora) did not appear

  14. Comparative morphological features of the caecilian inner ear with comments on the evolution of amphibian auditory structures.

    PubMed

    White, J S; Baird, I L

    1982-01-01

    Comparative fine structural studies of amphibian auditory structures in urodeles have been extended to include examination of the papilliform end-organs (amphibian, neglecta and basilar) that variably occur in species selected from three families of caecilians (Gymnophiona). The species investigated were Ichthyophis kohtaoensis (Ichthyophiidae), Dermophis mexicanus (Caeciliidae) and Typhlonectes natans (Typhlonectidae). Ichthyophis is the only form to display all three papillae; both Dermophis and Typhlonectes lack a basilar papilla but all three species show both neglecta and amphibiorum. In these forms, the amphibian papilla contained the most sensory cells with ciliary bundles organized into two proximal and distal groups polarized toward a mid-line papillar axis. The papilla neglecta contained slightly fewer sensory cells and ciliary bundles oriented predominantly posteriorly. In Ichthyophis, the basilar papilla contained the lowest sensory cell counts of any papilla. Here, basilar sensory cilia were unidirectionally polarized away from the saccule. All papillae were overlain by an essentially similar, extracellular tectorial body. When compared to auditory end-organs in the urodeles and anurans, similar conditions in caecilians are suggestive of a common ancestry for the basilar and amphibian papillae; features of the amphibiorum indicate further that it may represent part of a "displaced" papilla neglecta. PMID:7185152

  15. Chromosome evolution in dendropsophini (Amphibia, Anura, Hylinae).

    PubMed

    Suárez, P; Cardozo, D; Baldo, D; Pereyra, M O; Faivovich, J; Orrico, V G D; Catroli, G F; Grabiele, M; Bernarde, P S; Nagamachi, C Y; Haddad, C F B; Pieczarka, J C

    2013-01-01

    Dendropsophini is the most species-rich tribe within Hylidae with 234 described species. Although cytogenetic information is sparse, chromosome numbers and morphology have been considered as an important character system for systematic inferences in this group. Using a diversity of standard and molecular techniques, we describe the previously unknown karyotypes of the genera Xenohyla, Scarthyla and Sphaenorhynchus and provide new information on Dendropsophus and Lysapsus. Our results reveal significant karyotype diversity among Dendropsophini, with diploid chromosome numbers ranging from 2n = 22 in S. goinorum, 2n = 24 in Lysapsus, Scinax, Xenohyla, and almost all species of Sphaenorhynchus and Pseudis, 2n = 26 in S. carneus, 2n = 28 in P. cardosoi, to 2n = 30 in all known Dendropsophus species. Although nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) and C-banding patterns show a high degree of variability, NOR positions in 2n = 22, 24 and 28 karyotypes and C-banding patterns in Lysapsus and Pseudis are informative cytological markers. Interstitial telomeric sequences reveal a diploid number reduction from 24 to 22 in Scarthyla by a chromosome fusion event. The diploid number of X. truncata corroborates the character state of 2n = 30 as a synapomorphy of Dendropsophus. PMID:24107475

  16. [Neuromuscular spindles of several amphibia and reptiles].

    PubMed

    Kurkina, E A

    1976-09-01

    The work presents data on the structure and innervation of the nerve-muscle spindles in the soleus of the lake from Rana ridibunda, Bufo bufo, turtle Testudo horsfieldi, lizzard Lacerta agilis. The animals under study were shown to have different structure and innervation of these receptors. The thickness of the spindle connective tissue capsule has certain correlation with the width of the subcapsular space. The innervation apparatus in the muscle spindles of reptiles and turtles are similar in the following: sensory nerve terminations in the equatorial area of the spindle are represented by reticulars, bushes, loops and in the lizzard there appear annulo-spirals with a small amount of coils. The character of motor nerve terminations in polar zones of intrafusal muscle fibres in the spindles of reptiles is similar to that of the extrafusal fibres: in the shape of "bayonets" and end bundles (Endbüuschel). In the muscle fibres of the turtle and lizzard in addition to typical motor plaques there occur trail endings. PMID:136238

  17. Ontogenetic differences in the feeding biomechanics of oviparous and viviparous caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona).

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas

    2010-10-01

    Caecilians have a unique dual jaw-closing system in that jaw closure is driven by the ancestral jaw-closing muscles (mm. levatores mandibulae) plus a secondarily recruited hyobranchial muscle (m. interhyoideus posterior). There is a variety of feeding habits (suction feeding, skin feeding, intrauterine scraping, and biting) during ontogeny that relate to reproductive modes in different caecilian species. This study examines the cranial biomechanics of caecilians in the suction-feeding larva of Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis, in the embryo and juvenile of the skin-feeding Boulengerula taitana, and in a newborn of the intrauterine feeder Typhlonectes natans. A lever arm model was applied to calculate effective mechanical advantages of jaw-closing muscles over gape angles and to predict total bite force in developing caecilians. In I. cf. kohtaoensis, Notable differences were found in the larval jaw-closing system compared to that of the adult. The suction-feeding larva of I. cf. kohtaoensis has comparatively large mm. levatores mandibulae that insert with an acute muscle fiber angle to the lower jaw and a m. interhyoideus posterior that has its optimal leverage at small gape angles. Conversely, the skin-feeding juvenile of B. taitana and the neonate T. natans are very similar in the feeding parameters considered herein compared to adult caecilians. Some ontogenetic variation in the feeding system of B. taitana before the onset of feeding was present. This study contributes to our understanding of the functional demands that feeding habits put on the development of cranial structures. PMID:20952171

  18. The braincase of Eocaecilia micropodia (Lissamphibia, Gymnophiona) and the origin of Caecilians.

    PubMed

    Maddin, Hillary C; Jenkins, Farish A; Anderson, Jason S

    2012-01-01

    The scant fossil record of caecilians has obscured the origin and evolution of this lissamphibian group. Eocaecilia micropodia from the Lower Jurassic of North America remains the only stem-group caecilian with an almost complete skull preserved. However, this taxon has been controversial, engendering re-evaluation of traits considered to be plesiomorphic for extant caecilians. Both the validity of the placement of E. micropodia as a stem caecilian and estimates of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians have been questioned. In order to address these issues, the braincase of E. micropodia was examined via micro-computed tomography. The braincase is considered to be a more reliable phylogenetic indicator than peripheral regions of the skull. These data reveal significant new information, including the possession of an ossified nasal septum, ossified anterior wall of the sphenethmoid, long anterolateral processes on the sphenethmoid, and paired olfactory nerve foramina, which are known only to occur in extant caecilians; the latter are possibly related to the evolution of the tentacle, a caecilian autapomorphy. A phylogenetic analysis that included 64 non-amniote taxa and 308 characters represents the first extensive test of the phylogenetic affinities of E. micropodia. The results place E. micropodia securely on the stem of extant caecilians, representing a clade within Temnospondyli that is the sister taxon to batrachians plus Gerobatrachus. Ancestral character state reconstruction confirms the braincase of E. micropodia to be largely representative of the plesiomorphic condition of extant caecilians. Additionally, the results refine the context within which the evolution of the caecilian form can be evaluated. The robust construction and pattern of the dermal skull of E. micropodia is interpreted as symplesiomorphic with advanced dissorophoid temnospondyls, rather than being autapomorphic in its robust construction. Together these data increase confidence in incorporating E. micropodia into discussions of caecilian evolution. PMID:23227204

  19. Water wave communication in the genus Bombina (amphibia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seidel, B.; Yamashita, M.; Choi, I.-H.; Dittami, J.

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians were phylogenetically the first vertebrates to leave the aquatic environment and cope with terrestrial conditions including effects of gravity and substrate on movement and communication. Studies of extant primitive amphibians, which have conserved ancestral morphology and behavior, may help us to understand how gravitational adaptation from aquatic to terrestrial environments occurred. The anuran genus Bombina is a candidate for this type of investigation. In particular, a member of this genus, B. orientalis, is known for its low reaction threshold to minor changes of angular acceleration. We hypothesize that a heightened sensitivity to angular and mechanical accelerations evolved with wave communication. Comparisons of such behavior among B. variegata, B. bombina and B. orientalis may shed light on the evolution of reproductive systems based on water wave communication and relevant vestibular sensitivity. This may represent a transition to derived vocalization modes, which is seen in B. bombina to a certain degree.

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of Telmatobufo australis (Amphibia: Anura: Calyptocephalellidae).

    PubMed

    Grau, José H; Nuñez, José J; Plötner, Jörg; Poustka, Albert J

    2016-07-01

    The mitochondrial (mt) genome of Telmatobufo australis is a circular molecule of 17,989 bp in length, comprising 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes, and two ribosomal RNA genes. Gene order and content are identical to those previously reported from other neobatrachian mt genomes. Two protein-coding genes (COI and ATP6) presumably used GTG as start codons while COIII possessed an incomplete stop codon. PMID:26094990

  1. Chromosome Banding in Amphibia. XXXII. The Genus Xenopus (Anura, Pipidae).

    PubMed

    Schmid, Michael; Steinlein, Claus

    2015-01-01

    Mitotic chromosomes of 16 species of the frog genus Xenopus were prepared from kidney and lung cell cultures. In the chromosomes of 7 species, high-resolution replication banding patterns could be induced by treating the cultures with 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) and deoxythymidine (dT) in succession, and in 6 of these species the BrdU/dT-banded chromosomes could be arranged into karyotypes. In the 3 species of the clade with 2n = 20 and 4n = 40 chromosomes (X. tropicalis, X. epitropicalis, X. new tetraploid 1), as well as in the 3 species with 4n = 36 chromosomes (X. laevis, X. borealis, X. muelleri), the BrdU/dT-banded karyotypes show a high degree of homoeology, though differences were detected between these groups. Translocations, inversions, insertions or sex-specific replication bands were not observed. Minor replication asynchronies found between chromosomes probably involve heterochromatic regions. BrdU/dT replication banding of Xenopus chromosomes provides the landmarks necessary for the exact physical mapping of genes and repetitive sequences. FISH with an X. laevis 5S rDNA probe detected multiple hybridization sites at or near the long-arm telomeric regions in most chromosomes of X. laevis and X. borealis, whereas in X. muelleri, the 5S rDNA sequences are located exclusively at the long-arm telomeres of a single chromosome pair. Staining with the AT base pair-specific fluorochrome quinacrine mustard revealed brightly fluorescing heterochromatic regions in the majority of X. borealis chromosomes which are absent in other Xenopus species. PMID:26112092

  2. The complete mitochondrial genome of Kaloula rugifera (Amphibia, Anura, Microhylidae).

    PubMed

    Deng, Xuyan; Wang, Shouhong; Liang, Xixi; Jiang, Jianping; Wang, Bin; Deng, Liangji

    2016-09-01

    We determined the complete mitochondrial genome of Kaloula rugifera in this work. The mitogenome was 17,073 bp in length, containing 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, 22 tRNA genes and a control region (D-loop). The base composition of the light strand was 29.7% A, 30.4% T, 25.7% C and 14.2% G. The gene order and contents of it is identical to most amphibian mitogenome. All protein-coding genes began with ATG as start codon except ND1 gene beginning with GTG and COI gene beginning with ATA. Five protein-coding genes (COII, ATP 6, COIII, ND3 and ND4) ended with incomplete stop codon T. The 22 tRNA genes with the size ranging from 65 bp to 73 bp were interspersed along the whole genome. The D-loop region containing tandem repetition was 1675 bp in length and heavily biased to A + T nucleotides. PMID:25959137

  3. Spermatogenic cycle of a plethodontid salamander, Eurycea longicauda (Amphibia, Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Dustin S; Alvino, Sam; Trauth, Stanley E; Sever, David M; Gribbins, Kevin M

    2014-01-01

    Previous investigators have described the spermatogenic cycles of numerous species of plethodontid salamanders. Most studies describe a fairly stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions of spermatogenesis commencing in the spring/summer. However, many studies lack details obtainable from histological examination and/or testicular squashes and, instead, provide only mensural data from the testes. Studies that lacked microscopic evaluation often revealed spermatogenic cycles that varied greatly from that of the stereotypical cycle with meiotic divisions commencing in the fall/winter. Those studies hamper comparisons between the spermatogenic cycles of different species and their environments, as they do not provide a correlation between testicular size and any aspect of the spermatogenic cycle. In the following manuscript, we elucidate the spermatogenic cycle of Eurycea longicauda longicauda in an effort to outline an appropriate protocol for analyzing spermatogenesis in salamanders that will facilitate future comparative studies. Like many Nearctic plethodontids, E. l. longicauda exhibits a meiotic wave that travels through the testes during the summer; this process is followed by spermiogenesis, spermiation, and recrudescence in the fall, winter, and spring. PMID:26413402

  4. A new species of Odorrana (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae) from Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Pham, Cuong The; Nguyen, Truong Quang; Le, Minh Duc; Bonkowski, Michael; Ziegler, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    A new species of Odorrana is described from the karst forests in northeastern Vietnam based on morphological differences and molecular divergence. Morphologically, the new species is distinguishable from its congeners on the basis of a combination of the following diagnostic characters: (1) size large (SVL 85.9-91.6 mm in males, 108.7-110.1 mm in females); (2) head longer than wide; (3) vomerine teeth present; (4) external vocal sacs absent; (5) snout short (SL/SVL 0.16-0.17); (6) tympanum large (TD/ED 0.70 in males, 0.68 in females); (7) dorsal surface of head and anterior part of body smooth, posterior part of body and flanks with small tubercles; (8) supratympanic fold present; (9) dorsolateral fold absent; (10) webbing formula I0-0II0-0III0-1/2IV1/2-0V; (11) in life, dorsum green with dark brown spots; (12) flanks greyish brown with dark brown spots; (13) throat and chest grey, underside of limbs with large dark brown spots, edged in white, forming a network. In the phylogenetic analyses, the new species is unambiguously nested within the O. andersonii group, and placed as the sister taxon to O. wuchuanensis. PMID:27394273

  5. The identity of Rana lutea Molina, 1782 (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Ferraro, Daiana P; Lavilla, Esteban O

    2013-01-01

    Rana lutea is one of the two anuran species described in 1782 by the Chilean born priest and naturalist Juan Ignacio Molina, and its nomenclatural history is confusing. After a detailed revision of the pertinent literature, we demonstrate that Bufo thaul Schneider, 1799, is a junior objective synonym of Rana lutea Molina, 1782, but based on the usage of both nomina, we revert the precedence and consider Rana lutea Molina, 1782 as a nomen oblitum whereas Bufo thaul Schneider, 1799 is a nomen protectum. Thus, the authorship of the species currently known as Pleurodema thaul (Lesson, 1826) changes to Pleurodema thaul (Schneider, 1799). PMID:24614468

  6. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Tylototriton taliangensis (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ye; Li, Ziyuan; Liu, Jiabin; Li, Yan; Ni, Qingyong; Yao, Yongfang; Xu, Huailiang; Li, Ying; Zhang, Mingwang

    2016-07-01

    Tylototriton taliangensis was listed as a Near Threatened amphibian in IUCN red list. In this study, we sequenced the complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of this species (GenBank: KP979646) and found it contains 16,265 base pairs, which encode 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA) and 1 control region (CR). We also found that almost all PCGs and tRNA genes are located on the H-strand, except for ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes, which were distributed on the L-strand. The PCGs used "ATG" and "GTG" as the start codon, while used four types of stop codons. Almost all tRNA genes were folded into typical cloverleaf secondary structures. The L-strand replication origin (OL) and a non-coding region were also found. The new mitogenomic phylogenetic tree confirms the reciprocally monophyly of the genus Tylototriton, Echinotriton and Pleurodeles with high bootstrap value. The present study will provide information for future studies on the conservation genetics and phylogeny of this species and its relatives. PMID:26024138

  7. Phylogenetics, classification, and biogeography of the treefrogs (Amphibia: Anura: Arboranae).

    PubMed

    Duellman, William E; Marion, Angela B; Hedges, S Blair

    2016-01-01

    A phylogenetic analysis of sequences from 503 species of hylid frogs and four outgroup taxa resulted in 16,128 aligned sites of 19 genes. The molecular data were subjected to a maximum likelihood analysis that resulted in a new phylogenetic tree of treefrogs. A conservative new classification based on the tree has (1) three families composing an unranked taxon, Arboranae, (2) nine subfamilies (five resurrected, one new), and (3) six resurrected generic names and five new generic names. Using the results of a maximum likelihood timetree, times of divergence were determined. For the most part these times of divergence correlated well with historical geologic events. The arboranan frogs originated in South America in the Late Mesozoic or Early Cenozoic. The family Pelodryadidae diverged from its South American relative, Phyllomedusidae, in the Eocene and invaded Australia via Antarctica. There were two dispersals from South America to North America in the Paleogene. One lineage was the ancestral stock of Acris and its relatives, whereas the other lineage, subfamily Hylinae, differentiated into a myriad of genera in Middle America. PMID:27394762

  8. Cd, Cu, Zn, Se, and metallothioneins in two amphibians, Necturus maculosus (Amphibia, Caudata) and Bufo bufo (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Dobrovoljc, Katarina; Falnoga, Ingrid; Žnidarič, Magda Tušek; Mazej, Darja; Ščančar, Janez; Bulog, Boris

    2012-12-01

    The accumulation of cadmium, its affinity for metallothioneins (MTs), and its relation to copper, zinc, and selenium were investigated in the experimental mudpuppy Necturus maculosus and the common toad Bufo bufo captured in nature. Specimens of N. maculosus were exposed to waterborne Cd (85 μg/L) for up to 40 days. Exposure resulted in tissue-dependent accumulation of Cd in the order kidney, gills > intestine, liver, brain > pancreas, skin, spleen, and gonads. During the 40-day exposure, concentrations increased close to 1 μg/g in kidneys and gills (0.64-0.95 and 0.52-0.76; n = 4), whereas the levels stayed below 0.5 in liver (0.14-0.29; n = 4) and other organs. Cd exposure was accompanied by an increase of Zn and Cu in kidneys and Zn in skin, while a decrease of Cu was observed in muscles and skin. Cytosol metallothioneins (MTs) were detected as Cu,Zn-thioneins in liver and Zn,Cu-thioneins in gills and kidney, with the presence of Se in all cases. After exposure, Cd binding to MTs was clearly observed in cytosol of gills as Zn,Cu,Cd-thionein and in pellet extract of kidneys as Zn,Cu,Cd-thioneins. The results indicate low Cd storage in liver with almost undetectable Cd in liver MT fractions. In field trapped Bufo bufo (spring and autumn animals), Cd levels were followed in four organs and found to be in the order kidney > liver (0.56-5.0 μg/g >0.03-0.72 μg/g; n = 11, spring and autumn animals), with no detectable Cd in muscle and skin. At the tissue level, high positive correlations between Cd, Cu, and Se were found in liver (all r > 0.80; α = 0.05, n = 5), and between Cd and Se in kidney (r = 0.76; n = 5) of autumn animals, possibly connected with the storage of excess elements in biologically inert forms. In the liver of spring animals, having higher tissue level of Cd than autumn ones, part of the Cd was identified as Cu,Zn,Cd-thioneins with traces of Se. As both species are special in having liver Cu levels higher than Zn, the observed highly preferential Cd load in kidney seems reasonable. The relatively low Cd found in liver can be attributed to its excretion through bile and its inability to displace Cu from MTs. The associations of selenium observed with Cd and/or Cu (on the tissue and cell level) point to selenium involvement in the detoxification of excessive cadmium and copper through immobilization. PMID:22700180

  9. The development and replacement of teeth in viviparous caecilians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H

    1976-01-01

    Tooth development and replacement in fetal and adult viviparous caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona) are described and analyzed according to current theories of tooth succession. The fetal dentition differs from that of the adult in morphology, position, and function. Teeth are used by fetuses to scrape the oviducal epithelium, thus stimulating the secretion of a nutrient substance. Fetal dentitions vary in morphology and position in different species. The ontogeny of teeth of several species is described and the patterns of addition of loci and of replacement are analyzed. Loci are added both posteriorly along the jaw and between existing loci as the jaw grows prior to ossification; subsequently addition is restricted to the posterior part of the jaw. Tooth replacement is alternate. The several rows and patches of teeth are the result of retention of replacement series on the dentigerous elements. Tooth development and replacement in a series of juveniles and adults of different sizes in a single species are also considered. Post-fetal patterns of development and replacement are similar to those seen in larvae and adults of oviparous species. Variation in numbers of teeth and proportions of teeth at particular stages occurs ontogenetically and among individuals of the same size, though proportions occur in a similar pattern throughout the series. The general pattern of tooth replacement in fetuses and adults can be explained by either Edmund's Zahnreihen theory or by Osborn's Tooth Family theory, but replacement in fetal tooth patches and the fetal-adult dentitional transition are explained by neither. PMID:1246080

  10. Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. (Nematoda: Heterakidae) from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage) (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae) on São Tomé Island.

    PubMed

    Junker, Kerstin; Mariaux, Jean; Measey, G John; Mutafchiev, Yasen

    2015-10-01

    Meteterakis saotomensis n. sp. is described from Schistometopum thomense (Bocage), a gymnophionan endemic to the oceanic island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. The specimens were assigned to Meteterakis Karve, 1930, based on the possession of a head with three rounded lips, not set-off from the body, the absence of interlabia and cordons, females with a long vagina and males with a preanal sucker, surrounded by a cuticularised rim and caudal alae that are supported by fleshy papillae. The new species is characterised by: body length 4.2-4.5 mm (males) and 5.1-6.4 mm (females); total length of oesophagus, including pharyngeal portion and oesophageal bulb, 820-856 µm (males) and 898-1,070 µm (females); length of pharynx 57-58 µm (males) and 65-68 µm (females); spicules equal, 410-521 µm long, with tessellated ornamentation throughout their length and alae, and with bevelled tip; gubernaculum or 'gubernacular mass' absent; tail length 164-176 µm (males) and 214-239 µm (females), with elongated tip; vulva at 2.3-2.8 mm from anterior end, with anterior lip forming small flap. This is the second species of Meteterakis reported from gymnophionan hosts and the first from the Afrotropical region. Selected comparative morphological data for Meteterakis spp. are presented, and data on host range and geographic distribution are updated. The name M. striaturus Oshmarin & Demshin, 1972 is corrected to M. striatura to reflect the female gender of the genus name. PMID:26358072

  11. Population Genetics of the São Tomé Caecilian (Gymnophiona: Dermophiidae: Schistometopum thomense) Reveals Strong Geographic Structuring

    PubMed Central

    Stoelting, Ricka E.; Measey, G. John; Drewes, Robert C.

    2014-01-01

    Islands provide exciting opportunities for exploring ecological and evolutionary mechanisms. The oceanic island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea exhibits high diversity of fauna including the endemic caecilian amphibian, Schistometopum thomense. Variation in pigmentation, morphology and size of this taxon over its c. 45 km island range is extreme, motivating a number of taxonomic, ecological, and evolutionary hypotheses to explain the observed diversity. We conducted a population genetic study of S. thomense using partial sequences of two mitochondrial DNA genes (ND4 and 16S), together with morphological examination, to address competing hypotheses of taxonomic or clinal variation. Using Bayesian phylogenetic analysis and Spatial Analysis of Molecular Variance, we found evidence of four geographic clades, whose range and approximated age (c. 253 Kya – 27 Kya) are consistent with the spread and age of recent volcanic flows. These clades explained 90% of variation in ND4 (φCT = 0.892), and diverged by 4.3% minimum pairwise distance at the deepest node. Most notably, using Mismatch Distributions and Mantel Tests, we identified a zone of population admixture that dissected the island. In the northern clade, we found evidence of recent population expansion (Fu's Fs = −13.08 and Tajima's D = −1.80) and limited dispersal (Mantel correlation coefficient = 0.36, p = 0.01). Color assignment to clades was not absolute. Paired with multinomial regression of chromatic data, our analyses suggested that the genetic groups and a latitudinal gradient together describe variation in color of S. thomense. We propose that volcanism and limited dispersal ability are the likely proximal causes of the observed genetic structure. This is the first population genetic study of any caecilian and demonstrates that these animals have deep genetic divisions over very small areas in accordance with previous speculations of low dispersal abilities. PMID:25171066

  12. Oviduct structure and function and reproductive modes in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wake, M H; Dickie, R

    The structure and function of the oviducts of members of the three Orders of the Class Amphibia (Anura, frogs and toads; Urodela, salamanders and newts; Gymnophiona, caecilians) are well described for only a few species. Further, the majority of such descriptions relate only to temperate species that breed in water, lay their eggs there, and have free-living larvae, the presumed ancestral condition of oviparity. Many species of amphibians have derived reproductive modes. Such modes include breeding terrestrially and arboreally, making foam nests, parental transport of eggs and/or tadpoles, direct development (copulating on land, laying the eggs in terrestrial sites, fully metamorphosed juveniles hatching, obviating the free-living larval stage). Other derived modes are ovoviviparity (developing embryos retained in the oviducts, born at a diversity stages of development, no maternal nutrition in addition to yolk) and viviparity (oviductal retention of developing young, maternal nutrition after yolk is resorbed, young born as fully metamorphosed juveniles). The amphibian oviduct is regionally differentiated to secrete varying numbers of layers of material around each egg, which function in fertilization, etc.; it is responsive to endocrine output and environmental mediation during the reproductive cycle; and it maintains developing embryos in some members of all three orders, some with oviductal epithelial secretion of nutrients. However, little is known of the structure-function relationships of the oviduct in species with derived reproductive modes. A comparison of oviduct morphology, function, endocrinology, ecology and phylogeny in amphibians with diverse reproductive modes suggests a number of highly productive avenues of investigation. PMID:9803536

  13. Identification and characterization of an antimicrobial peptide of Hypsiboas semilineatus (Spix, 1824) (Amphibia, Hylidae).

    PubMed

    Nacif-Marçal, Lorena; Pereira, Gracielle R; Abranches, Monise V; Costa, Natália C S; Cardoso, Silvia A; Honda, Eduardo R; de Paula, Sérgio O; Feio, Renato N; Oliveira, Leandro L

    2015-06-01

    The multidrug-resistant bacteria have become a serious problem to public health. In this scenery the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) derived from animals and plants emerge as a novel therapeutic modality, substituting or in addition to the conventional antimicrobial. The anurans are one of the richest natural sources of AMPs. In this work several cycles of cDNA cloning of the skin of the Brazilian treefrog Hypsiboas semilineatus led to isolation of a precursor sequence that encodes a new AMP. The sequence comprises a 27 residue signal peptide, followed by an acidic intervening sequence that ends in the mature peptide at the carboxy terminal. The AMP, named Hs-1, has 20 amino acids residues, mostly arranged in an alpha helix and with a molecular weight of 2144.6 Da. The chemically synthesized Hs-1 showed an antimicrobial activity against all Gram-positive bacteria tested, with a range of 11-46 μM, but it did not show any effect against Gram-negative bacteria, which suggest that Hs-1 may have a selective action for Gram-positive bacteria. The effects of Hs-1 on bacterial cells were also demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy. Hs-1 is the first AMP to be described from H. semilineatus. PMID:25772860

  14. Genetic analysis reveals candidate species in the Scinax catharinae clade (Amphibia: Anura) from Central Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira, Lídia; Solé, Mirco; Siqueira, Sérgio; Affonso, Paulo Roberto Antunes de Mello; Strüssmann, Christine; Sampaio, Iracilda

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Scinax (Anura: Hylidae) is a species-rich genus of amphibians (113 spp.), divided into five species groups by morphological features. Cladistic analyses however revealed only two monophyletic clades in these groups: Scinax catharinae and Scinax ruber. Most species from the S. catharinae clade are found in Atlantic rainforest, except for Scinax canastrensis,S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi,S. pombali and S. skaios. In the present work, specimens of Scinax collected in Chapada dos Guimarães, central Brazil, were morphologically compatible with species from theS. catharinae group. On the other hand, genetic analysis based on mitochondrial (16S and 12S) and nuclear (rhodopsin) sequences revealed a nucleotide divergence of 6 to 20% between Scinax sp. and other congeners from the Brazilian savannah (Cerrado). Accordingly, Bayesian inference placed Scinax sp. in the S. catharinae clade with high support values. Hence, these findings strongly indicate the presence of a new species in the S. catharinae clade from the southwestern portion of the Brazilian savannah. To be properly validated as a novel species, detailed comparative morphological and bioacustic studies with other taxa from Brazil such asS. canastrensis, S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi, S. pombali and S. skaios are required. PMID:27007898

  15. A new Leptolalax from the mountains of Sabah, Borneo (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Nishikawa, Kanto; Yambun, Paul

    2014-01-01

    A new species of Leptolalax is described from Kinabalu National Park in western Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. The new species had been assigned to L. dringi, L. gracilis, or L. fritinniens in the past. It differs from all congeners, including these species, by a unique combination of morphological characters, including small body size, rounded snout, narrower interorbital than upper eyelid, basal toe webbing, smooth skin with tiny tubercles on dorsum and dorsal side of head, small pectoral glands, absence of supraaxillary glands and ventrolateral glandular ridges, spotted venter, advertisement call consisting of long series of 1-149 notes, each composed of three or four pulses, and dominant frequency at 6.90-7.35 kHz, without prominent frequency modulation. PMID:24869507

  16. Redescription of the advertisement call of Physalaemus albifrons (Spix, 1824) (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae).

    PubMed

    Pederassi, Jonas; Lima, Mauro Sérgio Cruz Souza; Caramaschi, Ulisses; Souza, Patrícia Dos Santos; Santos, Mayra Caroliny De Oliveira; Silva, Islaíane Costa

    2015-01-01

    The genus Physalaemus Fitzinger, 1826 is composed by 46 species occurring from north to southern South America, east of the Andes (Frost 2015). Physalaemus albifrons is morphologically differentiated from the other species mainly due to the presence of a second tarsal tubercle located nearly the tibio-tarsal articulation (Bokermann 1966). Physalaemus albifrons occurs in Brazil from north of the State of Maranhão through the states of Piauí, Ceará, Bahia, Paraíba, Pernambuco, and Alagoas, being its more austral occurrence in the State of Minas Gerais (Frost 2015). The advertisement call of P. albifrons was described by Bokermann (1966); however, the description needs improvement by applying new technologies, which we provide herein. PMID:26250286

  17. New Material of Beelzebufo, a Hyperossified Frog (Amphibia: Anura) from the Late Cretaceous of Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Susan E.; Groenke, Joseph R.; Jones, Marc E. H.; Turner, Alan H.; Krause, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The extant anuran fauna of Madagascar is exceptionally rich and almost completely endemic. In recent years, many new species have been described and understanding of the history and relationships of this fauna has been greatly advanced by molecular studies, but very little is known of the fossil history of frogs on the island. Beelzebufo ampinga, the first named pre-Holocene frog from Madagascar, was described in 2008 on the basis of numerous disarticulated cranial and postcranial elements from the Upper Cretaceous (Maastrichtian) Maevarano Formation of Madagascar. These specimens documented the presence of a hyperossified taxon that differed strikingly from extant Malagasy frogs in its large size and heavy coarse cranial exostosis. Here we describe and analyse new, articulated, and more complete material of the skull, vertebral column, and hind limb, as well as additional isolated elements discovered since 2008. μCT scans allow a detailed understanding of both internal and external morphology and permit a more accurate reconstruction. The new material shows Beelzebufo to have been even more bizarre than originally interpreted, with large posterolateral skull flanges and sculptured vertebral spine tables. The apparent absence of a tympanic membrane, the strong cranial exostosis, and vertebral morphology suggest it may have burrowed during seasonally arid conditions, which have been interpreted for the Maevarano Formation from independent sedimentological and taphonomic evidence. New phylogenetic analyses, incorporating both morphological and molecular data, continue to place Beelzebufo with hyloid rather than ranoid frogs. Within Hyloidea, Beelzebufo still groups with the South American Ceratophryidae thus continuing to pose difficulties with both biogeographic interpretations and prior molecular divergence dates. PMID:24489877

  18. The karyotype of three Brazilian Terrarana frogs (Amphibia, Anura) with evidence of a new Barycholos species

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    A recent substantial rearrangement of the 882 described eleutherodactyline frog species has considerably improved the understanding of their systematics. Nevertheless, many taxonomic aspects of the South American eleutherodactyline species remain unknown and require further investigation using morphological, cytogenetic and molecular approaches. In this work, the karyotypes of the Brazilian species Ischnocnema juipoca (Atibaia and Campos do Jordão, SP), Barycholos cf. ternetzi (Uberlândia, MG, and Porto Nacional, TO), and Pristimantis crepitans (Chapada dos Guimarães and São Vicente, MT) were analyzed using Giemsa staining, Ag-NOR labeling, and C-banding techniques. All individuals had a diploid number of 22 chromosomes, but the Fundamental Numbers were different among species. The herein described low chromosome number of Pristimantis crepitans is unique within this genus, suggesting that cytogenetically this species is not closely related either to its congeneric species or to Ischnocnema. In addition, karyotype differences, mainly in the NOR position, clearly distinguished the two Barycholos populations, besides indicating the existence of a so far undescribed species in this genus. A taxonomic review could clarify the systematic position of P. crepitans and verify the hypothetic new Barycholos species. PMID:21637508

  19. Unusual chromosomal distribution of a major satellite DNA from Discoglossus pictus (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Amor, N; Odierna, G; Chinali, G; Said, K; Picariello, O

    2009-01-01

    A new highly abundant satellite DNA from Discoglossus pictus (Dp-sat1) was isolated and characterized. The repetitive unit (0.51 kb) has 2 HindIII sites and only one SpeI site: digestion of genomic DNA with HindIII produces 3 fragments: HA (0.17 kb), HB (0.34 kb), and HC = HA + HB (0.51 kb), while digestion with SpeI produces the whole repetitive unit (0.51 kb) that contains both HindIII sites. Sequence analysis of cloned repeats indicates an average A + T content of 71%, with many A- and T-runs. Southern blot analysis shows an arrangement of multiple bands of the 0.51 kb monomer in SpeI-digested DNA, while HindIII-digested DNA shows a ladder composed of all the possible combinations of the 3 digested fragments. Quantitative dot-blot indicates that Dp-sat1 accounts for about 6% of the D. pictus genome: this value represents about 1.5 x 10(6) copies of repetitive units per nucleus. This satellite DNA is also a major repetitive DNA in 4 other Discoglossus species, in which the repetitive unit presents the same size and restriction sites except in D. montalentii where it contains a unique HindIII site. This satellite DNA was absent in all the other tested archaeo- and neo-bratrachian species, as well as non-amphibian species. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis shows that Dp-sat1 is localized only in peri- and/or para-centromeric areas of the 7 small chromosome pairs, while no labeling was observed in the 7 large chromosome pairs. Remarkably, Dp-sat1 heterochromatin is found only at one pole of the nucleus, suggesting that during interphase all 7 small chromosome pairs are located in the same nuclear region. PMID:20110657

  20. [Episodes of adaptive evolution of mitochondrial genome in Asiatic salamanders (Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae)].

    PubMed

    Maliarchuk, B A; Derenko, M V; Denisova, G A

    2014-02-01

    To elucidate the effect of natural selection on the evolution of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in Asiatic salamanders of the family Hynobiidae, nucleotide sequences of 12 protein-coding genes were analyzed. Using a mixed effects model of evolution, it was found that, in spite of the pronounced effect of negative selection on the mtDNA evolution in Hynobiidae (which is typical for the animals in general), two phylogenetic clusters, the West Asian one, represented by the genera Ranodon and Paradactylodon, and North Eurasian one, represented by the genus Salamandrella, were formed under the influence of episodic positive selection. Analysis of protein sequences encoded by the mitochondrial genome also supported the influence of positive selection on the evolution of Hynobiidae at some stages of their cladogenesis. It is suggested that the signatures of adaptive evolution detected in the mtDNA of Hynobiidae were determined by the complex and long-lasting history of their formation, accompanied by adaptation to the changing environment. PMID:25711027

  1. Beautiful bright belly: A distinctive new microhylid frog (Amphibia: Stumpffia) from eastern Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Glaw, Frank; Vallan, Denis; Andreone, Franco; Edmonds, Devin; Dolch, Rainer; Vences, Miguel

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new red-bellied species of the microhylid frog genus Stumpffia from the Andasibe region (18°56' S, 48°25' E, ca. 900 m elevation) in central-eastern Madagascar. Stumpffia kibomena sp. nov. differs from all other described Stumpffia species in coloration, morphology, and by genetic differentiation in the mitochondrial 16S  rRNA gene (≥8.6% uncorrected p-distance to all other nominal species of the genus). It is furthermore distinguished from most other Stumpffia species by its advertisement calls. The new species is reliably known only from a few specimens collected in the Andasibe region and based on the limited knowledge we suggest its IUCN Red List classification as "Data Deficient". PMID:25781734

  2. A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Jia; Gao, Ke-Qin

    2016-01-01

    A new salamandroid salamander, Qinglongtriton gangouensis (gen. et sp. nov.), is named and described based on 46 fossil specimens of juveniles and adults collected from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Tiaojishan Formation cropping out in Hebei Province, China. The new salamander displays several ontogenetically and taxonomically significant features, most prominently the presence of a toothed palatine, toothed coronoid, and a unique pattern of the hyobranchium in adults. Comparative study of the new salamander with previously known fossil and extant salamandroids sheds new light on the early evolution of the Salamandroidea, the most species-diverse clade in the Urodela. Cladistic analysis places the new salamander as the sister taxon to Beiyanerpeton, and the two taxa together form the basalmost clade within the Salamandroidea. Along with recently reported Beiyanerpeton from the same geological formation in the neighboring Liaoning Province, the discovery of Qinglongtriton indicates that morphological disparity had been underway for the salamandroid clade by early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) time. PMID:27144770

  3. A Molecular Assessment of Phylogenetic Relationships and LineageDiversification Within the Family Salamandridae (Amphibia, Caudata)

    SciTech Connect

    Weisrock, David W.; Papenfuss, Theodore J.; Macey, J. Robert; Litvinchuk, Spartak N.; Polymeni, Rosa; Ugurtas, Ismail H.; Zhao, Ermi; Larson, Allan

    2005-08-08

    Phylogenetic relationships among species of the salamanderfamily Salamandridae are investigated using nearly 3000 nucleotide basesof newly reported mitochondrial DNA sequence data from the mtDNA genicregion spanning the genes tRNALeu-COI. This study uses nearlycomprehensive species-level sampling to provide the first completephylogeny for the Salamandridae. Deep phylogenetic relationships amongthe three most divergent lineages in the family Salamandrina terdigitata,a clade comprising the "True" salamanders, and a clade comprising allnewts except S. terdigitata are difficult to resolve. However, mostrelationships within the latter two lineages are resolved with robustlevels of branch support. The genera Euproctus and Triturus arestatistically shown to be nonmonophyletic, instead each contains adiverse set of lineages positioned within the large newt clade. The genusParamesotriton is also resolve as a nonmonophyletic group, with the newlydescribed species P. laoensis constituting a divergent lineage placed ina sister position to clade containing all Pachytriton species and allremaining Paramesotriton species. Sequence divergences between P.laoensis and other Paramesotriton species are as great as those comparingP. laoensis and species of the genera Cynops and Pachytriton. Analyses oflineage diversification across the Salamandridae indicate that, despiteits exceptional diversity, lineage accumulation appears to have beenconstant across time, indicating that it does not represent a truespecies radiation.

  4. Development and characterization of 14 microsatellite markers for Buergeria japonica (Amphibia, Anura, Rhacophoridae).

    PubMed

    Komaki, Shohei; Igawa, Takeshi; Nozawa, Masafumi; Lin, Si-Min; Oumi, Shohei; Sumida, Masayuki

    2014-01-01

    Buergeria japonica is a common frog species distributed throughout almost all islands in Ryukyu Archipelago. Because of their exceptionally wide distribution and higher physiological tolerance comparing to the other anurans, their demographic history and formation of distribution are intrinsic topics in the herpetological fauna of Ryukyu. Microsatellite marker is ideal genetic marker for such studies at inter- and intra-population level. We therefore developed microsatellite markers of B. japonica utilizing Ion PGM™ sequencing. As a result of the screening, we developed a total of 14 polymorphic markers. To test availabilities of these markers, we genotyped four island populations. The total number of alleles and expected hetelozygosities per locus ranged from 4 to 21 and 0.00 to 0.864, respectively. The phylogenetic relationship among the four populations based on the genetic distances of these markers was congruent with general divergence pattern of amphibians and reptiles in Ryukyu area. These markers developed in this study are considered to be useful for future studies about phylogeography and demography of this species. PMID:24817760

  5. Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) Versus Rhabdias paraensis (Nematoda: Rhabdiasidae): Expanding the View on a Natural Infection.

    PubMed

    Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos; da Silva, Djane Clarys Baia; Feitosa, Lucas Aristóteles das Neves; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; de Vasconcelos Melo, Francisco Tiago

    2016-06-01

    Amphibian and reptile lungs are frequently infected with Rhabdias parasites, and this condition ultimately leads to reduced survival, performance, and growth because of granulomatous inflammation, nodule formation, and nematodal pneumonia onset. Here we investigate the histopathological features of naturally infected Rhinella marina by the lung nematode Rhabdias paraensis. A total of 10 host animals were captured in peridomiciliar areas in the eastern Brazilian Amazon, and anatomic-histological analyses were performed on both the infected and non-infected lungs of these amphibians. Helminths were usually found within the secondary and primary septa of infected lungs whereas parasites were not detected within vessels or adhering to tissues. In addition, we observed discrete erythrocytes, diapedesis foci, few granulocytes and erythrocytes in the interseptal spaces, discrete cell infiltration, and a small number of melanomacrophages, and no granulomas or cysts were observed. New aspects related to changes in tissue and helminth-host interactions are discussed for the relationship of R. paraensis × Rhi. marina from the Amazon region. PMID:26959813

  6. A checklist of helminth parasite fauna in anuran Amphibia (frogs) of Nagaland, Northeast India.

    PubMed

    Imkongwapang, R; Jyrwa, D B; Lal, P; Tandon, V

    2014-03-01

    An exhaustive exploratory survey on helminth parasite fauna of anuran frogs was carried out in several localities falling under 5 districts of western region of Nagaland state. Altogether 34 parasite species were recovered from a total of 29 host species surveyed. The parasite spectrum (represented in all the localities by at least one or more parasite species) comprises 2 monogenean, 15 trematode (13 adult and 2 metacercaria stages), 4 cestode (3 adult and 1 larval stages), 12 nematode and 1 acanthocephalan taxa. A checklist of both the parasite and host species with short remarks for each parasite species is provided herein. PMID:24505185

  7. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the neotropical dart-poison frog genus Phyllobates (Amphibia: Dendrobatidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Widmer, A.; Lötters, S.; Jungfer, K.-H.

    A phylogenetic analysis of the Neotropical dart-poison frogs, genus Phyllobates, was performed based on mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences. Members of Phyllobates from South and Central America were found to form each an evolutionary lineage. Among the South American lineage, species with uniform dorsal coloration as adults form a derived monophyletic clade.

  8. Globuli ossei in the long limb bones of Pleurodeles waltl (Amphibia, Urodela, Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Quilhac, Alexandra; de Ricqlès, Armand; Lamrous, Hayat; Zylberberg, Louise

    2014-11-01

    To date, little is known about the structure of the cells and the fibrillar matrix of the globuli ossei, globular structures showing histochemical properties of an osseous tissue, sometimes found in the resorption front of the hypertrophied cartilage in many tetrapods, and easily observed in the long bones of the Urodele Pleurodeles waltl. Here, we present the results obtained from the appendicular long bones of metamorphosed juveniles and subadults using histological and histochemical methods and transmission electron microscopy. The distal part of the cone-shaped cartilage contains a heterogeneous cell population composed of the typical "light" hypertrophic chondrocytes and scarce "dark" hypertrophic chondrocytes. The "dark" chondrocytes display ultrastructural characteristics suggesting that they probably undergo degeneration through chondroptosis. However, in the hypertrophic, calcified cartilage close to the erosion front by the marrow, several noninvaded chondrocytic lacunae retained cells that do not show any morphological characteristics of degeneration and that cannot be identified as regular chondrocytes or osteocytes. These modified chondrocytes that have lost their regular morphology, appear to be active in the terminal cartilage and synthesize collagen fibrils of a peculiar diameter intermediate between the Type I collagen found in bone and the Type II collagen characteristic of cartilage. It is suggested that the local occurrence of globuli ossei is linked to a low rate of longitudinal growth as is the case in the long bones of postmetamorphic urodeles. PMID:24895174

  9. A new species of Telmatobius (Amphibia, Anura, Telmatobiidae) from the Pacific slopes of the Andes, Peru

    PubMed Central

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; García, Víctor Vargas; Lehr, Edgar

    2015-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Telmatobius from the Pacific slopes of the Andes in central Peru. Specimens were collected at 3900 m elevation near Huaytará, Huancavelica, in the upper drainage of the Pisco river. The new species has a snout–vent length of 52.5 ± 1.1 mm (49.3–55.7 mm, n = 6) in adult females, and 48.5 mm in the single adult male. The new species has bright yellow and orange coloration ventrally and is readily distinguished from all other central Peruvian Andean species of Telmatobius but Telmatobius intermedius by having vomerine teeth but lacking premaxillary and maxillary teeth, and by its slender body shape and long legs. The new species differs from Telmatobius intermedius by its larger size, flatter head, and the absence of cutaneous keratinized spicules (present even in immature females of Telmatobius intermedius), and in males by the presence of minute, densely packed nuptial spines on dorsal and medial surfaces of thumbs (large, sparsely packed nuptial spines in Telmatobius intermedius). The hyper-arid coastal valleys of Peru generally support low species richness, particularly for groups such as aquatic breeding amphibians. The discovery of a new species in this environment, and along a major highway crossing the Andes, shows that much remains to be done to document amphibian diversity in Peru. PMID:25685025

  10. The distribution and taxonomy of Lissotriton newts in Turkey (Amphibia, Salamandridae)

    PubMed Central

    Wielstra, Ben; Bozkurt, Emin; Olgun, Kurtuluş

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Two and perhaps three taxa of Lissotriton newt occur in Turkey. Their species status is controversial. The distribution of these taxa and the taxonomic status of each are reviewed and discussed. A database of 128 Turkish Lissotriton localities was compiled and species distribution models were constructed. We reiterate that the presence of Lissotriton (vulgaris) lantzi in Turkey is disputed and needs confirmation. The range of Lissotriton (vulgaris) kosswigi is restricted to north-western Anatolia – given the small global range of this Turkey endemic, a closer look at its conservation status is warranted. The distribution of Lissotriton vulgaris schmidtleri covers western Asiatic and European Turkey. The findings support an allopatric distribution of the Turkish Lissotriton species. We reflect on the biological significance of previously reported morphological intermediates between Lissotriton (vulgaris) kosswigi and Lissotriton vulgaris schmidtleri in the light of the recent proposal to recognize kosswigi at the species level. The available data are in line with species status for Lissotriton (vulgaris) lantzi and Lissotriton (vulgaris) kosswigi. Although Lissotriton vulgaris schmidtleri is a genetically diverged taxon as well, the extent of gene flow with parapatric European Lissotriton taxa is as yet unknown. PMID:25829839

  11. Genetic analysis reveals candidate species in the Scinax catharinae clade (Amphibia: Anura) from Central Brazil.

    PubMed

    Nogueira, Lídia; Solé, Mirco; Siqueira, Sérgio; Affonso, Paulo Roberto Antunes de Mello; Strüssmann, Christine; Sampaio, Iracilda

    2016-03-01

    Scinax (Anura: Hylidae) is a species-rich genus of amphibians (113 spp.), divided into five species groups by morphological features. Cladistic analyses however revealed only two monophyletic clades in these groups: Scinax catharinae and Scinax ruber. Most species from the S. catharinae clade are found in Atlantic rainforest, except for Scinax canastrensis,S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi,S. pombali and S. skaios. In the present work, specimens of Scinax collected in Chapada dos Guimarães, central Brazil, were morphologically compatible with species from theS. catharinae group. On the other hand, genetic analysis based on mitochondrial (16S and 12S) and nuclear (rhodopsin) sequences revealed a nucleotide divergence of 6 to 20% between Scinax sp. and other congeners from the Brazilian savannah (Cerrado). Accordingly, Bayesian inference placed Scinax sp. in the S. catharinae clade with high support values. Hence, these findings strongly indicate the presence of a new species in the S. catharinae clade from the southwestern portion of the Brazilian savannah. To be properly validated as a novel species, detailed comparative morphological and bioacustic studies with other taxa from Brazil such asS. canastrensis, S. centralis, S. luizotavioi, S. machadoi, S. pombali and S. skaios are required. PMID:27007898

  12. A new species of glossiphoniid leech from Rana pretiosa (Amphibia: Ranidae) in Oregon.

    PubMed

    Siddall, Mark E; Bowerman, Jay

    2006-08-01

    A new species of ectoparasitic glossiphoniid leech was found feeding on frogs in the Nature Center Pond and elsewhere in Deschutes County, Oregon. The new species of Placobdella resembles the southern alligator leech, Placobdella multilineata Moore, 1953, notwithstanding their vast geographic separation in North America. The new species is readily distinguished by possessing subdivided annuli, by its papillation and pigmentation patterns as well as by the arrangement of ovarian tissues. There is strong evidence of nocturnality and of the potential for parasitizing humans. PMID:16995404

  13. Oviduct modifications in foam-nesting frogs, with emphasis on the genus Leptodactylus (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Furness, Andrew I.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Heyer, W. Ronald; Zug, George R.

    2010-01-01

    Various species of frogs produce foam nests that hold their eggs during development. We examined the external morphology and histology of structures associated with foam nest production in frogs of the genus Leptodactylus and a few other taxa. We found that the posterior convolutions of the oviducts in all mature female foam-nesting frogs that we examined were enlarged and compressed into globular structures. This organ-like portion of the oviduct has been called a "foam gland" and these structures almost certainly produce the secretion that is beaten by rhythmic limb movements into foam that forms the nest. However, the label "foam gland" is a misnomer because the structures are simply enlarged and tightly folded regions of the pars convoluta of the oviduct, rather than a separate structure; we suggest the name pars convoluta dilata (PCD) for this feature. Although all the foam-nesters we examined had a pars convoluta dilata, its size and shape showed considerable interspecific variation. Some of this variation likely reflects differences in the breeding behaviors among species and in the size, type, and placement of their foam nests. Other variation, particularly in size, may be associated with the physiological periodicity and reproductive state of the female, her age, and/or the number of times she has laid eggs.

  14. Chromosome banding in Amphibia. XXIV. The B chromosomes of Gastrotheca espeletia (Anura, Hylidae).

    PubMed

    Schmid, M; Ziegler, C G; Steinlein, C; Nanda, I; Haaf, T

    2002-01-01

    The mitotic chromosomes of an Ecuadorian population of the marsupial frog Gastrotheca espeletia were analyzed by means of banding techniques and fluorescence in situ hybridization. This species is characterized by unusual supernumerary (B) chromosomes. The maximum number of B chromosomes is 9 and they occur in three different morphological types. Banding analyses show that the B chromosomes are completely heterochromatic, consist of AT base pair-rich repeated DNA sequences, replicate their DNA in very late S-phase of the cell cycle, and are probably derived from a centromeric or paracentromeric region of a standard (A) chromosome. Exceptionally, the B chromosomes carry 18S + 28S ribosomal RNA genes and the conserved vertebrate telomeric DNA sequence appears to be underrepresented. Flow cytometric measurements of the nuclear DNA content differentiate between individuals with different numbers of B chromosomes. Significantly more B chromosomes are present in female than in male animals. PMID:12438715

  15. A new species of Andinobates (Amphibia: Anura: Dendrobatidae) from west central Panama.

    PubMed

    Batista, Abel; Jaramillo, César A; Ponce, Marcos; Crawford, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Dendrobatid frogs are among the best known anurans in the world, mainly due to their toxicity and associated bright colors. A recently described dendrobatid genus, Andinobates, comprises frogs distributed among the Colombian Andes and Panama. During field work in the Distrito de Donoso, Colón province, Panama, we found a poison frog that we here describe as a new species. The new species belongs to the A. minutus species group and is described herein as Andinobates geminisae sp. nov. This new species differs from all other members of the group by having uniformly orange smooth skin over the entire body and a distinctive male advertisement call. The new species is smaller than other colorful dendrobatids present in the area, such as Oophaga pumilio and O. vicentei. We also provide molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences of dendrobatids and summarize genetic distances among Andinobates species. Andinobates geminisae occurs in Caribbean versant rainforest on the westernmost edge of the known distribution of A. minutus, and represents the fourth species within this genus in Panama. This is vulnerable to habitat loss and excessive harvesting and requires immediate conservation plans to preserve this species with a restricted geographic range. PMID:25283663

  16. The identity of the South African toad Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Ohler, Annemarie; Dubois, Alain

    2016-01-01

    The toad species Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 was erected for a single specimen from South Africa which has never been properly studied and allocated to a known species. A morphometrical and morphological analysis of this specimen and its comparison with 75 toad specimens referred to five South African toad species allowed to allocate this specimen to the species currently known as Amietophrynus rangeri. In consequence, the nomen Sclerophrys must replace Amietophrynus as the valid nomen of the genus, and capensis as the valid nomen of the species. This work stresses the usefulness of natural history collections for solving taxonomic and nomenclatural problems. PMID:26788431

  17. The identity of the South African toad Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia, Anura)

    PubMed Central

    Dubois, Alain

    2016-01-01

    The toad species Sclerophrys capensis Tschudi, 1838 was erected for a single specimen from South Africa which has never been properly studied and allocated to a known species. A morphometrical and morphological analysis of this specimen and its comparison with 75 toad specimens referred to five South African toad species allowed to allocate this specimen to the species currently known as Amietophrynus rangeri. In consequence, the nomen Sclerophrys must replace Amietophrynus as the valid nomen of the genus, and capensis as the valid nomen of the species. This work stresses the usefulness of natural history collections for solving taxonomic and nomenclatural problems. PMID:26788431

  18. Reconciling molecular phylogeny, morphological divergence and classification of Madagascan narrow-mouthed frogs (Amphibia: Microhylidae).

    PubMed

    Scherz, Mark D; Vences, Miguel; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Andreone, Franco; Köhler, Jörn; Glaw, Frank; Crottini, Angelica

    2016-07-01

    A recent study clarified several aspects of microhylid phylogeny by combining DNA sequences from Sanger sequencing and anchored phylogenomics, although numerous aspects of tree topology proved highly susceptible to data partition and chosen model. Although the phylogenetic results of the study were in conflict with previous publications, the authors made several changes to the taxonomy of Madagascar's cophyline microhylids. We re-analyzed part of their data together with our own molecular and morphological data. Based on a supermatrix of 11 loci, we propose a new phylogeny of the Cophylinae, and discuss it in the context of a newly generated osteological dataset. We found several sample misidentifications, partially explaining their deviant results, and propose to resurrect the genera Platypelis and Stumpffia from the synonymy of Cophyla and Rhombophryne, respectively. We provide support for the previous genus-level taxonomy of this subfamily, and erect a new genus, Anilany gen. nov., in order to eliminate paraphyly of Stumpffia and to account for the osteological differences observed among these groups. Deep nodes in our phylogeny remain poorly supported, and future works will certainly refine our classification, but we are confident that these will not produce large-scale rearrangements. PMID:27085671

  19. The tadpole of Odontophrynus monachus Caramaschi & Napoli, 2012 (Amphibia, Anura: Odontophrynidae).

    PubMed

    Menegucci, Rafael C; Santos, Marcus Thadeu T; Magalhães, Rafael F De; Machado, Ibere F; Garcia, Paulo C A; Pezzuti, Tiago L

    2016-01-01

    The genus Odontophrynus Reinhardt & Lütken comprises 11 species distributed throughout South and East of South America (Frost 2016) clustered in three phenetic groups: O. americanus, O. cultripes, and O. occidentalis (Savage & Cei 1965; Cei 1987; Caramaschi & Napoli 2012). Only the O. occidentalis group is recovered as monophyletic in the most recent phylogenetic hypotheses (Pyron & Wiens 2011; Pyron 2014). In these analyses, the O. cultripes group is not recovered and the monophyly of O. americanus group was not tested, since only one species of the group was included (Pyron & Wiens 2011; Pyron 2014). Therefore, the relationships within the genus are still inconclusive due to low support values and limited taxon sampling. PMID:27615949

  20. Two new Phrynobatrachus species (Amphibia: Anura: Phrynobatrachidae) from the Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Burger, Marius; Zassi-Boulou, Ange Ghislain; Emmrich, Mike; Penner, Johannes; Barej, Michael F

    2015-01-01

    We describe two new species of puddle frogs, genus Phrynobatrachus, from the south-western Republic of the Congo. One of them, P. horsti sp. nov., occurs also in neighbouring Gabon and is morphologically most similar to the Cameroonian P. ruthbeateae. It differs from the latter species by smaller males with longer thighs and shanks. The new species comprises various colour morphs but always has less conspicuous black borders between flanks and belly than P. ruthbeateae. The distinct and large black axillary blotch of P. ruthbeateae is either much smaller in P. horsti sp. nov., or broken into numerous irregularly shaped smaller dots. Similarly, a black transversal line at the anterior ventral border of thighs and the black face mask is less distinct and irregularly delimitated in P. horsti sp. nov. when compared to P. ruthbeateae. The mean genetic difference in the sampled region of the 16S rRNA gene between P. horsti sp. nov. and 40 other western African congeners range from 3.66-18.10%. The second new species, P. mayokoensis sp. nov., differs from all other known congeners by the combination of a compact and warty body, the absence of a spiny eyelid tubercle and pedal webbing, a conspicuous black triangle on throat and anterior part of the belly, and a distinct large red blotch on the anterior-proximal surface of the thighs. It exhibited a mean genetic difference in the 16S rRNA to 40 other western African congeners ranging from 1.34-16.98%. The genetically most similar sequence stems from a GenBank entry of a Gabonese frog, determined as P. ogoensis. A comparison of the new species with P. ogoensis syntypes confirmed their specific distinctiveness, most convincingly underlined by the absence of pedal webbing in the new species and the pronounced pedal webbing in P. ogoensis. The GenBank entry thus most likely is based on a misidentification and P. mayokoensis sp. nov. may also occur in neighbouring Gabon. The discovery of the two new frog species is further evidence of the huge gap in our knowledge concerning the species richness in the Guineo-Congolian rainforests. PMID:26624339

  1. Histological changes, apoptosis and metallothionein levels in Triturus carnifex (Amphibia, Urodela) exposed to environmental cadmium concentrations.

    PubMed

    Capaldo, Anna; Gay, Flaminia; Scudiero, Rosaria; Trinchella, Francesca; Caputo, Ivana; Lepretti, Marilena; Marabotti, Anna; Esposito, Carla; Laforgia, Vincenza

    2016-04-01

    The aim of this study was to verify if the freshwater safety values established from the European Community (1998) and the Italian Ministry of Health (2001) for cadmium (44.5nM/L in drinking water and 178nM/L in sewage waters) were safe for amphibians, since at these same concentrations cadmium induced endocrine disruption in the newt Triturus carnifex. Adult male specimens of T. carnifex were exposed daily to cadmium (44.5nM/L and 178nM/L as CdCl2, nominal concentrations), respectively, during 3- and 9-months; at the same time, control newts were exposed to tap water only. The accumulation of cadmium in the skin, liver and kidney, the levels of metallothioneins in the skin and the liver, the expression of metallothionein mRNA in the liver, as well as the presence of histological alterations and of apoptosis in the target organs were evaluated. The 9-months exposure induced cadmium accumulation in all the tissues examined; moreover, histological changes were observed in all the tissues examined, irrespective of the dose or the time of exposure. Apoptosis was only detected in the kidney, whereas metallothioneins and metallothionein mRNA did not increase. This study demonstrates that the existing chronic water quality criterion established for cadmium induces in the newt T. carnifex cadmium accumulation and histological alterations in the target organs examined. Together with our previous results, showing that, at these same concentrations, cadmium induced endocrine disruption, the present results suggest that the existing chronic water quality criterion for cadmium appears to be not protective of amphibians. PMID:26851569

  2. Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Kaiser’s Mountain Newt, Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Salamandridae)

    PubMed Central

    Farasat, Hossein; Akmali, Vahid; Sharifi, Mozafar

    2016-01-01

    Species often exhibit different levels of genetic structuring correlated to their environment. However, understanding how environmental heterogeneity influences genetic variation is difficult because the effects of gene flow, drift and selection are confounded. We investigated the genetic variation and its ecological correlates in an endemic and critically endangered stream breeding mountain newt, Neurergus kaiseri, within its entire range in southwestern Iran. We identified two geographic regions based on phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood of 779 bp mtDNA (D-loop) in 111 individuals from ten of twelve known breeding populations. This analysis revealed a clear divergence between northern populations, located in more humid habitats at higher elevation, and southern populations, from drier habitats at lower elevations regions. From seven haplotypes found in these populations none was shared between the two regions. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of N. kaiseri indicates that 94.03% of sequence variation is distributed among newt populations and 5.97% within them. Moreover, a high degree of genetic subdivision, mainly attributable to the existence of significant variance among the two regions is shown (θCT = 0.94, P = 0.002). The positive and significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (r = 0.61, P = 0.002) following controlling for environmental distance suggests an important influence of geographic divergence of the sites in shaping the genetic variation and may provide tools for a possible conservation based prioritization policy for the endangered species. PMID:26918642

  3. Description of a new species of crested newt, previously subsumed in Triturus ivanbureschi (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Wielstra, B; Arntzen, J W

    2016-01-01

    Multilocus molecular data play a pivotal role in diagnosing cryptic species (i.e. genetically distinct but morphologically similar species). A multilocus phylogeographic survey has provided compelling evidence that Triturus ivanbureschi sensu lato comprises two distinct gene pools with restricted gene flow. We conclude that this taxon had better be treated as two distinct (albeit morphologically cryptic) species. The name T. ivanbureschi should be restricted to the western species, which is distributed in western Asiatic Turkey plus the south-eastern Balkan Peninsula. No name is as yet available for the eastern species, which is distributed in northern Asiatic Turkey. We propose the name T. anatolicus sp. nov. for the eastern species and provide a formal species description. PMID:27394852

  4. Population Genetic Structure of the Endangered Kaiser's Mountain Newt, Neurergus kaiseri (Amphibia: Salamandridae).

    PubMed

    Farasat, Hossein; Akmali, Vahid; Sharifi, Mozafar

    2016-01-01

    Species often exhibit different levels of genetic structuring correlated to their environment. However, understanding how environmental heterogeneity influences genetic variation is difficult because the effects of gene flow, drift and selection are confounded. We investigated the genetic variation and its ecological correlates in an endemic and critically endangered stream breeding mountain newt, Neurergus kaiseri, within its entire range in southwestern Iran. We identified two geographic regions based on phylogenetic relationships using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood of 779 bp mtDNA (D-loop) in 111 individuals from ten of twelve known breeding populations. This analysis revealed a clear divergence between northern populations, located in more humid habitats at higher elevation, and southern populations, from drier habitats at lower elevations regions. From seven haplotypes found in these populations none was shared between the two regions. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) of N. kaiseri indicates that 94.03% of sequence variation is distributed among newt populations and 5.97% within them. Moreover, a high degree of genetic subdivision, mainly attributable to the existence of significant variance among the two regions is shown (θCT = 0.94, P = 0.002). The positive and significant correlation between geographic and genetic distances (r = 0.61, P = 0.002) following controlling for environmental distance suggests an important influence of geographic divergence of the sites in shaping the genetic variation and may provide tools for a possible conservation based prioritization policy for the endangered species. PMID:26918642

  5. The complete mitochondrial genome sequence of Red knobby newt Tylototriton shanjing (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ye; Yang, Mingxian; Han, Fuyao; Li, Yan; Ni, Qingyong; Yao, Yongfang; Xu, Huailiang; Li, Ying; Zhang, Mingwang

    2016-07-01

    The complete mitogenome of Tylototriton shanjing is 16,661 bp in length with GenBank accession number KR154461, which contains 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA), and 1 control region (CR). The overall base composition of this mitogenome is biased toward AT content at 59.45%. Most of the PCGs and tRNA genes are located on the H-strand, except for ND6 subunit gene and eight tRNA genes, which were distributed on the L-strand. The PCGs used "ATG" and "GTG" as the start codons, while "TAA", "TAG", "AGA", and "T-" are used as stop codons. Almost all tRNA genes were folded into typical cloverleaf secondary structures. The T. shanjing genome had two tandem repeat sequences in the cob-noncoding region. The mitogenomic phylogenetic analyses shows that the genera Echinotriton and Tylototriton were clustered into a strong supported monophyletic clade, which is a sister clade to the genus Pleurodeles, this confirms the previous phylogenetic results. PMID:26065853

  6. A new species of the genus Amolops (Amphibia: Ranidae) from southeastern Tibet, China

    PubMed Central

    JIANG, Ke; WANG, Kai; YAN, Fang; XIE, Jiang; ZOU, Da-Hu; LIU, Wu-Lin; JIANG, Jian-Ping; LI, Cheng; CHE, Jing

    2016-01-01

    A new species of the genus Amolops Cope, 1865 is described from Nyingchi, southeastern Tibet, China, based on morphological and molecular data. The new species, Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is assigned to the Amolops monticola group based on its skin smooth, dorsolateral fold distinct, lateral side of head black, upper lip stripe white extending to the shoulder. Amolops nyingchiensis sp. nov. is distinguished from all other species of Amolops by the following combination of characters: (1) medium body size, SVL 48.5-58.3 mm in males, and 57.6-70.7 mm in females; (2) tympanum distinct, slightly larger than one third of the eye diameter; (3) a small tooth-like projection on anteromedial edge of mandible; (4) the absence of white spine on dorsal surface of body; (5) the presence of circummarginal groove on all fingers; (6) the presence of vomerine teeth; (7) background coloration of dorsal surface brown, lateral body gray with yellow; (8) the presence of transverse bands on the dorsal limbs; (9) the presence of nuptial pad on the first finger in males; (10) the absence of vocal sac in males. Taxonomic status of the populations that were previously identified to A. monticola from Tibet is also discussed. PMID:26828032

  7. Developmental and acute toxicity of cetylpyridinium chloride in Bombina orientalis (Amphibia: Anura).

    PubMed

    Park, Chan Jin; Song, Sang Ha; Kim, Dae Han; Gye, Myung Chan

    2016-08-01

    In an effort to evaluate the toxicity of cetylpyridinium chloride (CPC), a cationic surfactant in amphibians, we examined the developmental and acute toxicity of CPC in Bombina orientalis embryos and tadpoles. Embryonic exposure to 2.0μM (0.72mg/l) CPC for 7 days significantly decreased the survival rates and increased DNA damage in the intestine of developed tadpoles. Exposure to 1.5μM (0.54mg/l) CPC significantly decreased the growth of embryos and increased developmental abnormalities. The 168-h LC50 and EC50 values of CPC were 1.95μM (0.697mg/l) and 1.48μM (0.531mg/l) in embryos, respectively. In an extended acute toxicity test using tadpoles, the 168-h LC50 value of CPC was 5.07μM (1.82mg/l). In terms of survival and growth rates, the lowest observed effective concentration of CPC was 1.5μM. At sub-lethal concentrations (1.0 and 2.0μM) CPC treatment to embryos increased lipid peroxidation in the intestine and gills of developed tadpoles, indicating that CPC can impose oxidative stress. At 2.0μM CPC, pro-apoptotic Bax and Bak mRNA levels were significantly increased together with DNA fragmentation, indicative of apoptotic cell death. CPC in freshwater system may threaten the normal development of amphibian embryos. PMID:27399156

  8. Extreme negative temperatures and body mass loss in the Siberian salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii, amphibia, hynobiidae).

    PubMed

    Berman, D I; Meshcheryakova, E N; Bulakhova, N A

    2016-05-01

    Frozen Siberian salamander safely tolerates long (45 days) stay at-35°C. Short-term (3 days) cooling down to-50°C was tolerable for 40% of adult individuals; down to-55°C, for 80% of the underyearlings. Generally, the salamanders lose about 28% of the body mass during the pre-hibernating period (before winter, at temperatures as low as 0°C) and during the process of freezing (as low as-5°C). The body weight remained constant upon further cooling (to-35°C). The frozen salamanders have no physiological mechanisms protecting from sublimation. PMID:27411827

  9. Plasma retinoids concentration in Leptodactylus chaquensis (Amphibia: Leptodactylidae) from rice agroecosystems, Santa Fe province, Argentina.

    PubMed

    Teglia, Carla M; Attademo, Andrés M; Peltzer, Paola M; Goicoechea, Héctor C; Lajmanovich, Rafael C

    2015-09-01

    Retinoids are known to regulate important processes such as differentiation, development, and embryogenesis of vertebrates: Alteration in endogenous retinoids concentration is linked with teratogenic effects. Retinol (ROH), retinoid acid (RA), and isoform 13-Cis-retinoic acid (13-Cis-RA), in plasma of a native adults frog, Leptodactylus chaquensis from a rice field (RF) and a forest (reference site; RS) were measured. ROH did not vary between treatment sites. RA and 13-Cis-RA activities were higher (93.7±8.6 μg mL(-1) and 131.7±11.4 μg mL(-1), respectively) in individuals collected from RF than in those from RS (65.5±8.6 μg mL(-1) and 92.2±10.2 μg mL(-1), respectively). The ratios retinoic acid-retinol (RA/ROH) and 13-Cis-RA/ROH revealed significantly higher values in RF than in RS. RA and 13-Cis-RA concentrations in plasma on wild amphibian's species such as L. chaquensis would be suitable biomarkers of pesticide exposure in field monitoring. Finally, the mechanism of alteration in retinoid metabolites alteration should be further explored both in larvae and adult, considering that the potential exposition and uptake contaminants vary between the double lives of these vertebrates. PMID:25880706

  10. Integrative taxonomy helps to reveal the mask of the genus Gynandropaa (Amphibia: Anura: Dicroglossidae).

    PubMed

    Huang, Yan; Hu, Junhua; Wang, Bin; Song, Zhaobin; Zhou, Caiquan; Jiang, Jianping

    2016-03-01

    Species of the genus Gynandropaa within the family Dicroglossidae are typical spiny frogs whose taxonomic status has long been in doubt. We used integrative methods, involving morphological and molecular analyses, to elucidate the phylogenetic relationships, and to determine identities and the geographic distribution of each valid species. We obtained DNA sequence data of 5 species of Gynandropaa (complete sequences of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 [ND2] gene, and 890 bp of 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA partial sequences) from 37 localities (including the topotypes of 5 described species) and constructed Bayesian and maximum-likelihood trees to examine the patterns of phylogeography. A total of 28 morphological variables were taken on 624 specimens. Three clades with clear geographic patterns were recognized: clade C (from south-western Sichuan Province and central Yunnan Province), clade E (western Guizhou Province and eastern to central Yunnan Province) and clade W (western to southern Yunnan Province). Integrating morphological characteristics and distribution information, the clades W, E and C represent Gynandropaa yunnanensis, G. phrynoides and G. sichuanensis, respectively. We draw the following conclusions: (i) the taxon G. phrynoides, formerly evaluated as a junior synonym of G. yunnanensis, is revalidated herein at the rank of species; (ii) G. liui is a junior synonym of G. sichuanensis; and (iii) G. yunnanensis is a valid species while G. bourreti is probably a subspecies of G. yunnanensis, with the distribution range from Vietnam to southern Yunnan Province. This study clears up the taxonomic status of Gynandropaa and provides important information for understanding the evolution and conservation of these spiny frogs. PMID:26531851

  11. Species boundaries and taxonomy of the African river frogs (Amphibia: Pyxicephalidae: Amietia).

    PubMed

    Channing, A; Dehling, J M; Lötters, S; Ernst, R

    2016-01-01

    A molecular phylogeny of the Afrotropical anuran genus Amietia based on 323 16S sequences indicates that there are 19 species, including four not yet described. No genetic material was available for the nominal A. inyangae. We consider them to represent full species, and define them based on 16S genetic distances, as well as differences in morphology, tadpoles and advertisement call where known. An analysis based on two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes (12S, 16S, 28S and tyrosinase exon 1), from 122 samples, confirmed the phylogenetic relationships suggested by the 16S tree. We recognise and (re-) describe the following species: Amietia angolensis (Bocage, 1866), A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), A. fuscigula (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), A. hymenopus (Boulenger, 1920), A. inyangae (Poynton, 1966), A. johnstoni (Günther, 1893), A. moyerorum sp. nov., A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896), A. poyntoni Channing & Baptista, 2013, A. ruwenzorica (Laurent, 1972), A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007), A. vandijki (Visser & Channing, 1997), A. vertebralis (Hewitt, 1927), and A. wittei (Angel, 1924). Three further candidate species of Larson et al. (2016) await formal naming. We provisionally regard A. amieti (Laurent, 1976) as a junior synonym of A. chapini (Noble, 1924). Amietia lubrica (Pickersgill, 2007) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. nutti, while A. quecketti (Boulenger, 1895) is shown to be a junior synonym of A. delalandii (Duméril & Bibron, 1841), and A. viridireticulata (Pickersgill, 2007) is placed as a junior synonym of A. tenuoplicata (Pickersgill, 2007). On the basis of similarity of 16S sequences, we assign A. sp. 1, A. sp. 3 and A. sp. 6 of Larson et al (2016) to the nomina A. chapini (Noble, 1924), A. desaegeri (Laurent, 1972), and A. nutti (Boulenger, 1896) respectively. PMID:27615865

  12. Descriptions and biological notes on three unusual mantellid tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura: Mantellidae) from southeastern Madagascar

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Altig, R.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    2006-01-01

    The morphologies of three unusual tadpoles from slow-flowing, sandy-bottomed, rain forest streams in southeastern Madagascar are described. The large oral apparatus of the tadpole of Boophis picturatus Glaw, Vences, Andreone, and Vallan, 2001 lacks all keratinized structures and has an elaborately-folded lower labium with five, radially oriented, flattopped ridges. The tadpole of Mantidactylus guttulatus (Boulenger, 1881) lacks all keratinized mouthparts and has three immense papillae where the upper jaw normally occurs. The tadpole of Mantidactylus lugubris (Dumeril, 1853) has an ornate oral apparatus involving greatly hypertrophied derivatives of jaw serrations and unique structures on the lower labium that resemble labial teeth.

  13. Reduced genetic variation in the Japanese giant salamander, Andrias japonicus (Amphibia: Caudata).

    PubMed

    Matsui, Masafumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Liu, Wan-zhao; Tanaka-Ueno, Tomoko

    2008-10-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among 46 samples from 27 populations of the Japanese giant salamander, Andriasjaponicus and its congener, A. davidianus from China was investigated, using 3664 bp sequences of the mitochondrial genes NADH1, NADH3, cyt b and CR, partial NADH6 and intervening genes. In phylogenetic trees constructed by MP, ML, and Bayesian methods, the family Cryptobranchidae and the genus Andrias both form monophyletic groups. Japanese A. japonicus and Chinese A. davidianus are sister taxa and can be regarded as separate species despite a small degree of genetic differentiation. Andriasjaponicus is divided into central and western clades, but the phylogenetic relationships within the latter clade are unresolved. As previously reported from allozyme analyses, A. japonicus exhibits little genetic differentiation, in strong contrast to salamanders of the genus Hynobius with which their distributions overlap. This reduced genetic variability in A. japonicus is attributable to a unique mating system of polygyny, delayed sexual maturity, notable longevity, life in a stable aquatic environment, and gigantism, as well as bottleneck effects following habitat fragmentation and extinction of local populations during Quaternary glaciations. The species is thus susceptible to extinction by potential environmental fluctuations, and requires extensive conservation measures. PMID:18723097

  14. The phylogenetic position and diversity of the enigmatic mongrel frog Nothophryne Poynton, 1963 (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Bittencourt-Silva, Gabriela B; Conradie, Werner; Siu-Ting, Karen; Tolley, Krystal A; Channing, Alan; Cunningham, Michael; Farooq, Harith M; Menegon, Michele; Loader, Simon P

    2016-06-01

    The phylogenetic relationships of the African mongrel frog genus Nothophryne are poorly understood. We provide the first molecular assessment of the phylogenetic position of, and diversity within, this monotypic genus from across its range-the Afromontane regions of Malawi and Mozambique. Our analysis using a two-tiered phylogenetic approach allowed us to place the genus in Pyxicephalidae. Within the family, Nothophryne grouped with Tomopterna, a hypothesis judged significantly better than alternative hypotheses proposed based on morphology. Our analyses of populations across the range of Nothophryne suggest the presence of several cryptic species, at least one species per mountain. Formal recognition of these species is pending but there is a major conservation concern for these narrowly distributed populations in an area impacted by major habitat change. The phylogenetic tree of pyxicephalids is used to examine evolution of life history, ancestral habitat, and biogeography of this group. PMID:27001603

  15. DNA barcoding and the identification of tree frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae).

    PubMed

    Dang, Ning-Xin; Sun, Feng-Hui; Lv, Yun-Yun; Zhao, Bo-Han; Wang, Ji-Chao; Murphy, Robert W; Wang, Wen-Zhi; Li, Jia-Tang

    2016-07-01

    The DNA barcoding gene COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) effectively identifies many species. Herein, we barcoded 172 individuals from 37 species belonging to nine genera in Rhacophoridae to test if the gene serves equally well to identify species of tree frogs. Phenetic neighbor joining and phylogenetic Bayesian inference were used to construct phylogenetic trees, which resolved all nine genera as monophyletic taxa except for Rhacophorus, two new matrilines for Liuixalus, and Polypedates leucomystax species complex. Intraspecific genetic distances ranged from 0.000 to 0.119 and interspecific genetic distances ranged from 0.015 to 0.334. Within Rhacophorus and Kurixalus, the intra- and interspecific genetic distances did not reveal an obvious barcode gap. Notwithstanding, we found that COI sequences unambiguously identified rhacophorid species and helped to discover likely new cryptic species via the synthesis of genealogical relationships and divergence patterns. Our results supported that COI is an effective DNA barcoding marker for Rhacophoridae. PMID:26004249

  16. The tadpole of Scinax melanodactylus (Lourenço, Luna & Pombal Jr, 2014) (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).

    PubMed

    Abreu, Rafael Oliveira De; Napoli, Marcelo Felgueiras; Trevisan, Camila Costa; Camardelli, Milena; Dória, Thais Andrade Ferreira; Silva, Lucas Menezes

    2015-01-01

    Scinax melanodactylus is a small treefrog distributed within the Tropical Atlantic morphoclimatic domain (see Ab'Sáber 1977 for South American morphoclimatic domains), from northern Espírito Santo state to Sergipe state in Brazil (Lourenço et al. 2014). The species is usually found inhabiting herbaceous and shrubby xerophytic vegetation (e.g. terrestrial tank-bromeliads) from sandy plains of beach ridges known in Brazil as Restingas (see Rocha et al. 2007 for a Restinga definition), and also the edge of forest areas with temporary ponds and/or permanent lakes and streams near these environments (Bastazini et al. 2007, as Scinax agilis; Lourenço et al. 2014). Scinax melanodactylus is currently placed in the S. catharinae species group (Lourenço et al. 2014), which in turn is included in the S. catharinae clade (sensu Faivovich et al. 2005). The S. catharinae clade is currently comprised of 46 species, 33 placed in the catharinae group and 13 in the perpusillus group (Faivovich et al. 2010, Silva & Alves-da-Silva 2011, Lourenço et al. 2014, Frost 2015). From these, 32 species have tadpoles with external morphology and oral disc formerly described. Here, we describe the external morphology, oral disc and color patterns of the previously unknown tadpole of S. melanodactylus. PMID:26250005

  17. A New Basal Salamandroid (Amphibia, Urodela) from the Late Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China.

    PubMed

    Jia, Jia; Gao, Ke-Qin

    2016-01-01

    A new salamandroid salamander, Qinglongtriton gangouensis (gen. et sp. nov.), is named and described based on 46 fossil specimens of juveniles and adults collected from the Upper Jurassic (Oxfordian) Tiaojishan Formation cropping out in Hebei Province, China. The new salamander displays several ontogenetically and taxonomically significant features, most prominently the presence of a toothed palatine, toothed coronoid, and a unique pattern of the hyobranchium in adults. Comparative study of the new salamander with previously known fossil and extant salamandroids sheds new light on the early evolution of the Salamandroidea, the most species-diverse clade in the Urodela. Cladistic analysis places the new salamander as the sister taxon to Beiyanerpeton, and the two taxa together form the basalmost clade within the Salamandroidea. Along with recently reported Beiyanerpeton from the same geological formation in the neighboring Liaoning Province, the discovery of Qinglongtriton indicates that morphological disparity had been underway for the salamandroid clade by early Late Jurassic (Oxfordian) time. PMID:27144770

  18. A new diminutive frog species of Adelophryne (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) from the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Lourenço-de-Moraes, Ricardo; Ferreira, Rodrigo Barbosa; Fouquet, Antoine; Bastos, Rogério Pereira

    2014-01-01

    The genus Adelophryne is composed of diminutive frogs occurring in northern Amazonia and the Atlantic Forest. Herein we describe a new species of Adelophryne found in the leaf litter of primary and secondary forests in the mountainous region of Espírito Santo state, southeastern Brazil. The new species is characterized by its small body size, two phalanges in the finger IV, and a glandular ridge line that runs from the posterior part of eye to the insertion of the forelimb. This species is sensitive to edge effect and conversion of native forest into coffee and Eucalyptus plantations and may be listed as Endangered (EN) under B1ab(iii) criteria of the IUCN Red List. PMID:25112256

  19. A new species of Noblella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, Peru

    PubMed Central

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Uscapi, Vanessa; von May, Rudolf

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A new species of Noblella is described from the humid montane forest of the Región Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2330–2370 m elevation in Madre Selva, near Santa Ana, in the province of La Convención. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Noblella by having a broad, irregularly shaped, white mark on black background on chest and belly. The new species further differs from known Peruvian species of Noblella by the combination of the following characters: tympanic membrane absent, small tubercles on the upper eyelid and on dorsum, tarsal tubercles or folds absent, tips of digits not expanded, no circumferential grooves on digits, dark brown facial mask and lateral band extending from the tip of the snout to the inguinal region. The new species has a snout-to-vent length of 15.6 mm in one adult male and 17.6 mm in one adult female. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Noblella inhabits high-elevation forests in the Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26312020

  20. Osteological Variation among Extreme Morphological Forms in the Mexican Salamander Genus Chiropterotriton (Amphibia: Plethodontidae): Morphological Evolution And Homoplasy.

    PubMed

    Darda, David M; Wake, David B

    2015-01-01

    Osteological variation is recorded among and within four of the most distinctive species of the Mexican salamander genus Chiropterotriton. Analysis of the data is consistent with the monophyletic status of the genus and documents previously unrecorded intraspecific and interspecific variation. Most of the recorded variation involves qualitative and quantitative proportional differences, but four fixed differences constitute autapomorphic states that affirm and diagnose some species (C. dimidiatus, C. magnipes). Osteological variation in 15 characters is analyzed with respect to predictions generated from four hypotheses: 1) phylogeny, 2) adaptation to specific habitats (the four species include cave-dwelling, terrestrial, and arboreal forms), 3) size-free shape, and 4) size. High levels of intraspecific variation suggest that the characters studied are not subject to rigid functional constraints in salamanders, regardless of size. The pattern predicted by the hypothesis based on size differences seen among these four Chiropterotriton species matches most closely the observed pattern of relative skull robustness. Since size change and heterochrony are often associated in plethodontid evolution, it is likely that changes in developmental timing play a role in the morphological transitions among these morphologically diverse taxa. Webbed feet, miniaturization, body shape, and an unusual tarsal arrangement are morphologies exhibited in species of Chiropterotrition that are shown to be homoplastic with other clades of tropical plethodontids. Although extensive homoplasy in salamanders might be seen as a roadblock to unraveling phylogenetic hypotheses, the homologous developmental systems that appear to underlie such homoplasy may reveal common and consistent evolutionary processes at work. PMID:26060996

  1. A Phenotypic Point of View of the Adaptive Radiation of Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus Superspecies, Caudata, Amphibia).

    PubMed

    Ivanović, Ana; Džukić, Georg; Kalezić, Miloš

    2012-01-01

    The divergence in phenotype and habitat preference within the crested newt Triturus cristatus superspecies, examined across different ontogenetic stages, provides an excellent setting to explore the pattern of adaptive radiation. The crested newts form a well-supported monophyletic clade for which at least the full mitochondrial DNA phylogeny is resolved. Here we summarise studies that explored the variation in morphological (larval and adult body form, limb skeleton, and skull shape) and other phenotypic traits (early life history, developmental sequences, larval growth rate, and sexual dimorphism) to infer the magnitude and direction of evolutionary changes in crested newts. The phenotypic traits show a high level of concordance in the pattern of variation; there is a cline-like variation, from T. dobrogicus, via T. cristatus, T. carnifex, and T. macedonicus to the T. karelinii group. This pattern matches the cline of ecological preferences; T. dobrogicus is relatively aquatic, followed by T. cristatus. T. macedonicus, T. carnifex, and the T. karelinii group are relatively terrestrial. The observed pattern indicates that phenotypic diversification in crested newts emerged due to an evolutionary switch in ecological preferences. Furthermore, the pattern indicates that heterochronic changes, or changes in the timing and rate of development, underlie the observed phenotypic evolutionary diversification. PMID:22315697

  2. A Phenotypic Point of View of the Adaptive Radiation of Crested Newts (Triturus cristatus Superspecies, Caudata, Amphibia)

    PubMed Central

    Ivanović, Ana; Džukić, Georg; Kalezić, Miloš

    2012-01-01

    The divergence in phenotype and habitat preference within the crested newt Triturus cristatus superspecies, examined across different ontogenetic stages, provides an excellent setting to explore the pattern of adaptive radiation. The crested newts form a well-supported monophyletic clade for which at least the full mitochondrial DNA phylogeny is resolved. Here we summarise studies that explored the variation in morphological (larval and adult body form, limb skeleton, and skull shape) and other phenotypic traits (early life history, developmental sequences, larval growth rate, and sexual dimorphism) to infer the magnitude and direction of evolutionary changes in crested newts. The phenotypic traits show a high level of concordance in the pattern of variation; there is a cline-like variation, from T. dobrogicus, via T. cristatus, T. carnifex, and T. macedonicus to the T. karelinii group. This pattern matches the cline of ecological preferences; T. dobrogicus is relatively aquatic, followed by T. cristatus. T. macedonicus, T. carnifex, and the T. karelinii group are relatively terrestrial. The observed pattern indicates that phenotypic diversification in crested newts emerged due to an evolutionary switch in ecological preferences. Furthermore, the pattern indicates that heterochronic changes, or changes in the timing and rate of development, underlie the observed phenotypic evolutionary diversification. PMID:22315697

  3. A new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the foothills of the Andes in Manu National Park, southeastern Peru

    PubMed Central

    Shepack, Alexander; von May, Rudolf; Ttito, Alex; Catenazzi, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Abstract We describe a new species of Pristimantis from the humid sub-montane forest of the Región Cusco in Peru. Pristimantis pluvialis sp. n. was collected in the Kosñipata and Entoro valleys at elevations from 740 to 1110 m a.s.l., near the borders of Manu National Park and within the Huachiperi Haramba Queros Conservation Concession. The new species can be distinguished from other members of the genus Pristimantis by its rostral tubercle, smooth dorsal skin, and by its advertisement call. Pristimantis lacrimosus and Pristimantis waoranii superficially most resemble the new species, but Pristimantis pluvialis sp. n. differs from both species by having a rostral tubercle (absent in Pristimantis waoranii and variable in Pristimantis lacrimosus) and larger size, from Pristimantis lacrimosus by its call emitted at a lower frequency, and from Pristimantis waoranii for its dorsal coloration with dark markings. Two other species have partially overlapping distributions and resemble the new species, Pristimantis mendax and Pristimantis olivaceus, but they produce advertisement calls with much higher dominant frequencies than the advertisement call of the new species. Furthermore, Pristimantis mendax differs from the new species by lacking a rostral tubercle and by having a sigmoid inner tarsal fold, whereas Pristimantis olivaceus differs by being smaller and by having dorsal skin shagreen with scattered tubercles. The new species has snout-vent length of 21.8–26.9 mm in males (n = 12) and 28.8 mm in a single female. PMID:27408563

  4. An evaluation of transcriptome-based exon capture for frog phylogenomics across multiple scales of divergence (Class: Amphibia, Order: Anura).

    PubMed

    Portik, Daniel M; Smith, Lydia L; Bi, Ke

    2016-09-01

    Custom sequence capture experiments are becoming an efficient approach for gathering large sets of orthologous markers in nonmodel organisms. Transcriptome-based exon capture utilizes transcript sequences to design capture probes, typically using a reference genome to identify intron-exon boundaries to exclude shorter exons (<200 bp). Here, we test directly using transcript sequences for probe design, which are often composed of multiple exons of varying lengths. Using 1260 orthologous transcripts, we conducted sequence captures across multiple phylogenetic scales for frogs, including outgroups ~100 Myr divergent from the ingroup. We recovered a large phylogenomic data set consisting of sequence alignments for 1047 of the 1260 transcriptome-based loci (~561 000 bp) and a large quantity of highly variable regions flanking the exons in transcripts (~70 000 bp), the latter improving substantially by only including ingroup species (~797 000 bp). We recovered both shorter (<100 bp) and longer exons (>200 bp), with no major reduction in coverage towards the ends of exons. We observed significant differences in the performance of blocking oligos for target enrichment and nontarget depletion during captures, and differences in PCR duplication rates resulting from the number of individuals pooled for capture reactions. We explicitly tested the effects of phylogenetic distance on capture sensitivity, specificity, and missing data, and provide a baseline estimate of expectations for these metrics based on a priori knowledge of nuclear pairwise differences among samples. We provide recommendations for transcriptome-based exon capture design based on our results, cost estimates and offer multiple pipelines for data assembly and analysis. PMID:27241806

  5. Distribution and morphological variation of Eleutherodactylus mercedesae Lynch & McDiarmid, 1987 (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae) with first record for Peru

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Padial, J.M.; McDiarmid, R.; De la Riva, I.

    2006-01-01

    We report new distributional information for Eleutherodactylus mercedesae in Bolivia, and provide the first record for Peru based on an adult female. This species, previously endemic to Bolivia, now ranges across about 1000 km in cloud forests on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes from southern Peru to central Bolivia. We provide the first morphological description of females based on two specimens, compare them with the male type and paratype, add some observations to the original description, and comment on variation in the species.

  6. Two new species of Oswaldocruzia (Nematoda: Trichostrongylina: Molineoidea) parasites of the cane toad Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Anura) from Peru.

    PubMed

    Guerrero, Ricardo

    2013-03-01

    Two new species of Oswaldocruzia, O. manuensis sp. nov., and O. urubambaensis sp. nov. are described and illustrated from Peru, these are parasites of the cane toad Rhinella marina. O. manuensis is characterized by having cervical alae which are not well developed, ridges without chitinous supports, caudal bursa type II and branches of fork of dissimilar length. O. urubambaensis is characterized by a caudal bursa of type I, ridges with chitinous supports, a thin cephalic vesicle and origin of rays 9 in tip of the dorsal trunk. PMID:23377910

  7. Morphology, molecular genetics, and bioacoustics support two new sympatric Xenophrys toads (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) in southeast China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yingyong; Zhao, Jian; Yang, Jianhuan; Zhou, Zhixin; Chen, Guoling; Liu, Yang

    2014-01-01

    Given their recent worldwide declines and extinctions, characterization of species-level diversity is of critical importance for large-scale biodiversity assessments and conservation of amphibians. This task is made difficult by the existence of cryptic species complexes, species groups comprising closely related and morphologically analogous species. The combination of morphology, genetic, and bioacoustic analyses permits robust and accurate species identification. Using these methods, we discovered two undescribed Xenophrys species, namely Xenophrys lini sp. nov. and Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains, southeast China. These two new species can be reliably distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and morphometric differences, distinctness in male advertisement calls, and substantial genetic distances (>3.6%) based on the mitochondrial 16s and 12s rRNA genes. The two new species, together with X. jinggangensis, are sympatric in the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains but may be isolated altitudinally and ecologically. Our study provides a first step to help resolve previously unrecognized cryptic biodiversity and provides insights into the understanding of Xenophrys diversification in the mountain complexes of southeast China. PMID:24714161

  8. Why are the prevalence and diversity of helminths in the endemic Pyrenean brook newt Calotriton asper (Amphibia, Salamandridae) so low?

    PubMed

    Comas, M; Ribas, A

    2015-03-01

    A cornerstone in parasitology is why some species or populations are more parasitized than others. Here we examine the influence of host characteristics and habitat on parasite prevalence. We studied the helminths parasitizing the Pyrenean brook newt Calotriton asper (n= 167), paying special attention to the relationship between parasites and ecological factors such as habitat, sex, ontogeny, body size and age of the host. We detected two species of parasites, Megalobatrachonema terdentatum (Nematoda: Kathlaniidae) and Brachycoelium salamandrae (Trematoda: Brachycoeliidae), with a prevalence of 5.99% and 1.2%, respectively. Marginally significant differences were found in the prevalence between sexes, with females being more parasitized than males. The present results show significant differences in the body length of paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals, the former being smaller. Nevertheless, no significant correlations between parasite prevalence and either newt body length, ontogenetic stage or age were found. In comparison with other Salamandridae living in ponds, prevalence and diversity values were low. This may be due to a long hibernation period, the species' lotic habitat and its reophilous lifestyle, which probably do not allow for a high parasite load. PMID:24160745

  9. Re-evaluating the taxonomic status of Chiromantis in Thailand using multiple lines of evidence (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae).

    PubMed

    Aowphol, Anchalee; Rujirawan, Attapol; Taksintum, Wut; Arsirapot, Sutipong; McLeod, David S

    2013-01-01

    Because of general phenotypic similarities and distribution of species across two continents, the genus Chiromantis has proven somewhat enigmatic. Among Indochinese species, the validity of C. hansenae has been questioned by some who consider it a junior synonym of C. vittatus. We employ three lines of evidence to elucidate the taxonomic status and phylogenetic relationships of four congeneric species of Chiromantis frogs from Thailand. Results of molecular, morphological, and bioacoustic data analyses support at least four evolutionarily distinct and monophyletic clades: C. doriae, C. nongkhorensis, C. vittatus and C. hansenae. Genetic divergence between C. vittatus and C. hansenae is > 10%, significantly greater than C. doriae and C nongkhorensis (4.5%). Our results support the taxonomic validity of C. hansenae and suggest that there may be more diversity within C. hansenae and C. vittatus than is currently recognized. PMID:26146711

  10. A new rainfrog of the Pristimantis myersi Group (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) from Volcán Pichincha, Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M; C, J Amanda Delgado; Guayasamin, Juan M

    2014-01-01

    A new frog of the Pristimantis myersi Group is described from a bamboo patch within the Reserva Ecológica Verdecocha (0°5'46.9"S, 78°36'15.3"W; 2851 m), located at northwestern flank of the Volcán Pichincha, in the vicinities of Quito, Ecuador. The new species is known from eight adult males, whereas the females remain unknown; it can be readily distinguished from all species of the P. myersi Group that inhabit the highlands of the Ecuadorian Andes by the unique combination of the following characters: body small (adult male SVL 14.9-19.7 mm; females unknown); dorsal skin shagreen, with a barely visible middorsal raphe, scapular and dorsolateral folds; tympanum small but well-defined; upper eyelid with one enlarged tubercle; males with prominent vocal slits, but without nuptial pads on thumbs; fold-like tarsal tubercles. With this new species, the number of Pristimantis assigned to the P. myersi Group raises to 16, of which, 12 are in Ecuador. We provide notes on morphology and color variation, advertisement call, and natural history of the new species. PMID:24871827

  11. Phylogenetic relationships among four new complete mitogenome sequences of Pelophylax (Amphibia: Anura) from the Balkans and Cyprus.

    PubMed

    Hofman, Sebastian; Pabijan, Maciej; Osikowski, Artur; Litvinchuk, Spartak N; Szymura, Jacek M

    2016-09-01

    We present the full-length mitogenome sequences of four European water frog species: Pelophylax cypriensis, P. epeiroticus, P. kurtmuelleri and P. shqipericus. The mtDNA size varied from 17,363 to 17,895 bp, and its organization with the LPTF tRNA gene cluster preceding the 12 S rRNA gene displayed the typical Neobatrachian arrangement. Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference revealed a well-resolved mtDNA phylogeny of seven European Pelophylax species. The uncorrected p-distance for among Pelophylax mitogenomes was 9.6 (range 0.01-0.13). Most divergent was the P. shqipericus mitogenome, clustering with the "P. lessonae" group, in contrast to the other three new Pelophylax mitogenomes related to the "P. bedriagae/ridibundus" lineage. The new mitogenomes resolve ambiguities of the phylogenetic placement of P. cretensis and P. epeiroticus. PMID:25806583

  12. Apoptosis, proliferation and presence of estradiol receptors in the testes and Bidder's organ of the toad Rhinella arenarum (Amphibia, Anura).

    PubMed

    Scaia, María Florencia; Czuchlej, Silvia Cristina; Cervino, Nadia; Ceballos, Nora Raquel

    2016-04-01

    The dynamic equilibrium between spermatogonial proliferation and testicular apoptosis determines the progression of spermatogenesis in amphibians. Estrogens and their receptors play a central role in regulating spermatogenesis in vertebrates, and in some species of anurans, estradiol (E2 ) is involved in the regulation of spermatogonial proliferation and apoptosis of germ cells. Bidder's organ (BO) is a structure characteristic of Bufonidae that has historically been compared to an undeveloped ovary. In adult Rhinella arenarum males, BO is one of the main sources of plasma E2 . The aim of this study was 1) to describe the seasonal variations in testicular apoptosis, spermatogonial proliferation, and cellular proliferation in BO; and 2) to analyze the presence and localization of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) in the testes and BO of R. arenarum. Testicular fragments and BOs from animals collected during the year were labeled with 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and BrdU incorporation was determined using immunohistochemistry. Apoptosis in testicular sections was detected using the TUNEL method, and ERβ localization was assessed using immunohistochemistry in testes and BOs. The results indicate that spermatogonial proliferation is highest during the reproductive season and that cysts of spermatocytes and spermatids undergo apoptosis during the postreproductive season. Furthermore, the proliferation of follicular cells is highest during the reproductive and postreproductive seasons. ERβ was primarily detected by immunolocalization in Sertoli cells, follicular cells, and oocytes. Taken together, these results suggest that cysts that do not form spermatozoa are removed from testes by apoptosis and that estrogens regulate both spermatogenesis and oogenesis in adult males of R. arenarum. PMID:26719144

  13. Preparation and ultrastructure of spermatozoa from green poison frogs, Dendrobates auratus, following hormonal induced spermiation (Amphibia, Anura, Dendrobatidae).

    PubMed

    Lipke, Christian; Meinecke-Tillmann, Sabine; Meyer, Wilfried; Meinecke, Burkhard

    2009-07-01

    Few ultrastructural studies have been performed on members of the Dendrobatidae, although such investigations can be useful for the understanding of reproductive patterns, as a diagnostic method for males in breeding programs for endangered amphibians and for phylogenetic analysis. The sperm ultrastructure of the Green Poison Frog, Dendrobates auratus, from Panama is described following induced spermiation in living animals. To date only testicular spermatozoa in other dendrobatid frogs have been analysed. Moreover, an electron microscopic preparation method (transmission and scanning electron microscopy) for dendrobatid sperm cells in low concentration is presented. Sperm cells from stimulated frogs (100 IU human chorionic gonadotropin, hCG, twice at an interval of 1h) were recovered via cloaca lavage using 600 microl isotonic phosphate-free amphibian saline (IPS). Centrifuged flushings (5 min, 173 x g) were deposited on microscopic slides. Adherent spermatozoa were treated with Karnovsky fixative (overnight, 4 degrees C). After postfixation (2h, 1% osmium tetroxide), samples were dehydrated in series of ascending acetones (30-100%). For transmission electron microscopy sperm cells were encapsulated using Epon and 1.5% 2,4,6-tris(dimethylaminomethyl)phenol (DMP 30). Ultrathin sections (70 nm) were cut and stained with uranyl acetate (30 min) and lead citrate (5 min). Sperm cells are filiform with a 21.1+/-2.7 microm long and arcuated head and a single tail (35.0+/-4.2 microm length). Their acrosomal complex is located at the anterior portion of the head and consists of the acrosomal vesicle which has low electron density, and the subjacent electron-dense subacrosomal cone. In transverse section, the nucleus is circular (1.9+/-0.2 microm diameter) and conical in longitudinal section. It is surrounded by several groups of mitochondria. The chromatin is highly condensed and electron-dense but shows numerous electron-lucent inclusions. A short midpiece has a mitochondrial collar with a proximal and a distal centriole. The latter gives rise to the axoneme which alone forms the flagellum. The sperm ultrastructure of D. auratus differs from that of other Dendrobatidae because of the absence of a nuclear space and the absence of the undulating membrane associated with an axial fibre. This tail conformation is found in the Ranoidea but not in the Bufonoidea. These results show that the spermatozoa of D. auratus are the first within the Dendrobatidae without accessory tail structures. Methods of using sperm samples from hormonal treated frogs for ultrastructural studies is not only reasonable to examine e.g. amphibian phylogeny without killing frogs threatened with extinction but allows investigations in the field of assisted reproduction and male fertility for example in conservation programs for endangered amphibians. PMID:18657373

  14. Climate Change and the Distribution of Neotropical Red-Bellied Toads (Melanophryniscus, Anura, Amphibia): How to Prioritize Species and Populations?

    PubMed Central

    Zank, Caroline; Becker, Fernando Gertum; Abadie, Michelle; Baldo, Diego; Maneyro, Raúl; Borges-Martins, Márcio

    2014-01-01

    We used species distribution modeling to investigate the potential effects of climate change on 24 species of Neotropical anurans of the genus Melanophryniscus. These toads are small, have limited mobility, and a high percentage are endangered or present restricted geographical distributions. We looked at the changes in the size of suitable climatic regions and in the numbers of known occurrence sites within the distribution limits of all species. We used the MaxEnt algorithm to project current and future suitable climatic areas (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a and B2a for 2020 and 2080) for each species. 40% of the species may lose over 50% of their potential distribution area by 2080, whereas 28% of species may lose less than 10%. Four species had over 40% of the currently known occurrence sites outside the predicted 2080 areas. The effect of climate change (decrease in climatic suitable areas) did not differ according to the present distribution area, major habitat type or phylogenetic group of the studied species. We used the estimated decrease in specific suitable climatic range to set a conservation priority rank for Melanophryniscus species. Four species were set to high conservation priority: M. montevidensis, (100% of its original suitable range and all known occurrence points potentially lost by 2080), M. sp.2, M. cambaraensis, and M. tumifrons. Three species (M. spectabilis, M. stelzneri, and M. sp.3) were set between high to intermediate priority (more than 60% decrease in area predicted by 2080); nine species were ranked as intermediate priority, while eight species were ranked as low conservation priority. We suggest that monitoring and conservation actions should be focused primarily on those species and populations that are likely to lose the largest area of suitable climate and the largest number of known populations in the short-term. PMID:24755937

  15. Morphological characterization of Eustrongylides sp. larvae (Nematoda, Dioctophymatoidea) parasite of Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) from Eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Melo, Caroline do Socorro Barros; Nascimento, Luciana de Cássia Silva do; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos

    2016-06-01

    Absctract Eustrongylides spp. nematodes have birds as final hosts and uses other vertebrates as intermediate/paratenic host (fish, amphibians and reptiles) and have zoonotic potential. In amphibians, the larvae may be located in the subcutaneous tissues, liver and mesentery, between the muscle fibres, especially in the lower limbs. Rhinella marina, which is widely observed in Brazil, has exhibited complex diversity in its helminth fauna, reflecting the unique habitat of the Amazon biome. For the first time, this study describes the morphological aspects of third-stage larvae of Eustrongylides sp. in Rhinella marina from Santa Cruz do Ararí, Marajó Archipelago, Eastern Amazonia, using light and scanning electron microscopy. PMID:27276665

  16. Morphological characterization of Eustrongylides sp. larvae (Nematoda, Dioctophymatoidea) parasite of Rhinella marina (Amphibia: Bufonidae) from Eastern Amazonia.

    PubMed

    Melo, Francisco Tiago de Vasconcelos; Melo, Caroline do Socorro Barros; Nascimento, Luciana de Cássia Silva do; Giese, Elane Guerreiro; Furtado, Adriano Penha; Santos, Jeannie Nascimento Dos

    2016-06-01

    Absctract Eustrongylides spp. nematodes have birds as final hosts and uses other vertebrates as intermediate/paratenic host (fish, amphibians and reptiles) and have zoonotic potential. In amphibians, the larvae may be located in the subcutaneous tissues, liver and mesentery, between the muscle fibres, especially in the lower limbs. Rhinella marina, which is widely observed in Brazil, has exhibited complex diversity in its helminth fauna, reflecting the unique habitat of the Amazon biome. For the first time, this study describes the morphological aspects of third-stage larvae of Eustrongylides sp. in Rhinella marina from Santa Cruz do Ararí, Marajó Archipelago, Eastern Amazonia, using light and scanning electron microscopy. PMID:27334826

  17. Distribution and morphological variation of Eleutherodactylus mercedesae Lynch & McDiarmid, 1987 (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae) with first record for Peru

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Padial, J.M.; McDiarmid, R.; De la Riva, I.

    2006-01-01

    We report new distributional information for Eleutherodactylus mercedesae in Bolivia, and provide the first record for Peru based on an adult female. This species, previously endemic to Bolivia, now ranges across about 1000 km in cloud forests on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes from southern Peru to central Bolivia. We provide the first morphological description of females based on two specimens, compare them with the male type and paratype, add some observations to the original description, and comment on variation in the species. Copyright ?? 2006 Magnolia Press.

  18. Morphology, Molecular Genetics, and Bioacoustics Support Two New Sympatric Xenophrys Toads (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yingyong; Zhao, Jian; Yang, Jianhuan; Zhou, Zhixin; Chen, Guoling; Liu, Yang

    2014-01-01

    Given their recent worldwide declines and extinctions, characterization of species-level diversity is of critical importance for large-scale biodiversity assessments and conservation of amphibians. This task is made difficult by the existence of cryptic species complexes, species groups comprising closely related and morphologically analogous species. The combination of morphology, genetic, and bioacoustic analyses permits robust and accurate species identification. Using these methods, we discovered two undescribed Xenophrys species, namely Xenophrys lini sp. nov. and Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains, southeast China. These two new species can be reliably distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and morphometric differences, distinctness in male advertisement calls, and substantial genetic distances (>3.6%) based on the mitochondrial 16s and 12s rRNA genes. The two new species, together with X. jinggangensis, are sympatric in the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains but may be isolated altitudinally and ecologically. Our study provides a first step to help resolve previously unrecognized cryptic biodiversity and provides insights into the understanding of Xenophrys diversification in the mountain complexes of southeast China. PMID:24714161

  19. Long bone histology of the stem salamander Kokartus honorarius (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Middle Jurassic of Kyrgyzstan.

    PubMed

    Skutschas, Pavel; Stein, Koen

    2015-04-01

    Kokartus honorarius from the Middle Jurassic (Bathonian) of Kyrgyzstan is one of the oldest salamanders in the fossil record, characterized by a mixture of plesiomorphic morphological features and characters shared with crown-group salamanders. Here we present a detailed histological analysis of its long bones. The analysis of a growth series demonstrates a significant histological maturation during ontogeny, expressed by the progressive appearance of longitudinally oriented primary vascular canals, primary osteons, growth marks, remodelling features in primary bone tissues, as well as progressive resorption of the calcified cartilage, formation of endochondral bone and development of cartilaginous to bony trabeculae in the epiphyses. Apart from the presence of secondary osteons, the long bone histology of Kokartus is very similar to that of miniaturized temnospondyls, other Jurassic stem salamanders, miniaturized seymouriamorphs and modern crown-group salamanders. We propose that the presence of secondary osteons in Kokartus honorarius is a plesiomorphic feature, and the loss of secondary osteons in the long bones of crown-group salamanders as well as in those of miniaturized temnospondyls is the result of miniaturization processes. Hitherto, all stem salamander long bong histology (Kokartus, Marmorerpeton and 'salamander A') has been generally described as having paedomorphic features (i.e. the presence of Katschenko's Line and a layer of calcified cartilage), these taxa were thus most likely neotenic forms. The absence of clear lines of arrested growth and annuli in long bones of Kokartus honorarius suggests that the animals lived in an environment with stable local conditions. PMID:25682890

  20. Central distribution of the efferent cells and the primary afferent fibers of the trigeminal nerve in Pleurodeles waltlii (Amphibia, Urodela).

    PubMed

    Gonzalez, A; Muñoz, M

    1988-04-22

    As part of a study on the organization of the brainstem in a primitive group of vertebrates, the efferent cells and primary afferent fibers of the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltlii were examined by means of retrograde and anterograde axonal transport and anterograde degeneration. The trigeminal motor nucleus is located in the periventricular gray just medial to the sulcus limitans. Its rostral part is a band of pear-shaped cells lying parallel to the wall of the ventricle, whereas its caudal part is a round mass consisting of polygonal cells. In addition, a small group of scattered neurons is situated ventral to the rostral part of the nucleus. The primary afferent fibers enter the brainstem in the dorsal two-thirds of the trigeminal root. They diverge into a short ascending and a long descending tract. The former distributes its axons to the principal sensory trigeminal nucleus, which is an ill-defined cell group located at the ventrolateral edge of the periventricular gray. In the descending tract, the fibers of the ophthalmic nerve are predominantly located ventromedially, and those of the maxillomandibular nerve dorsolaterally. A fascicle of the ophthalmic nerve leaves the descending tract and, apparently, makes contact with the accessory abducens nucleus. The descending tract extends caudally into the three upper cervical segments of the spinal cord. The mesencephalic trigeminal nucleus consists of conspicuous large cells, which are scattered through the tectum of the mesencephalon. The cells with peripheral branches in the ophthalmic nerve are mainly located in the caudal half of the tectum, and those with peripheral branches in the maxillomandibular nerve in the rostral half. Collaterals of the central branches of the mesencephalic trigeminal system were traced to an area of the periventricular gray situated between the motor nucleus and the principal sensory nucleus of the trigeminus. PMID:2836480

  1. Climate change and the distribution of neotropical red-bellied toads (Melanophryniscus, Anura, Amphibia): how to prioritize species and populations?

    PubMed

    Zank, Caroline; Becker, Fernando Gertum; Abadie, Michelle; Baldo, Diego; Maneyro, Raúl; Borges-Martins, Márcio

    2014-01-01

    We used species distribution modeling to investigate the potential effects of climate change on 24 species of Neotropical anurans of the genus Melanophryniscus. These toads are small, have limited mobility, and a high percentage are endangered or present restricted geographical distributions. We looked at the changes in the size of suitable climatic regions and in the numbers of known occurrence sites within the distribution limits of all species. We used the MaxEnt algorithm to project current and future suitable climatic areas (a consensus of IPCC scenarios A2a and B2a for 2020 and 2080) for each species. 40% of the species may lose over 50% of their potential distribution area by 2080, whereas 28% of species may lose less than 10%. Four species had over 40% of the currently known occurrence sites outside the predicted 2080 areas. The effect of climate change (decrease in climatic suitable areas) did not differ according to the present distribution area, major habitat type or phylogenetic group of the studied species. We used the estimated decrease in specific suitable climatic range to set a conservation priority rank for Melanophryniscus species. Four species were set to high conservation priority: M. montevidensis, (100% of its original suitable range and all known occurrence points potentially lost by 2080), M. sp.2, M. cambaraensis, and M. tumifrons. Three species (M. spectabilis, M. stelzneri, and M. sp.3) were set between high to intermediate priority (more than 60% decrease in area predicted by 2080); nine species were ranked as intermediate priority, while eight species were ranked as low conservation priority. We suggest that monitoring and conservation actions should be focused primarily on those species and populations that are likely to lose the largest area of suitable climate and the largest number of known populations in the short-term. PMID:24755937

  2. Lsh Is Essential for Maintaining Global DNA Methylation Levels in Amphibia and Fish and Interacts Directly with Dnmt1

    PubMed Central

    Dunican, Donncha S.; Pennings, Sari; Meehan, Richard R.

    2015-01-01

    Eukaryotic genomes are methylated at cytosine bases in the context of CpG dinucleotides, a pattern which is maintained through cell division by the DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1. Dramatic methylation losses are observed in plant and mouse cells lacking Lsh (lymphoid specific helicase), predominantly at repetitive sequences and gene promoters. However, the mechanism by which Lsh contributes to the maintenance of DNA methylation is unknown. Here we show that DNA methylation is lost in Lsh depleted frog and fish embryos, both of which exhibit developmental delay. Additionally, we show that both Lsh and Dnmt1 are associated with chromatin and that Lsh knockdown leads to a decreased Dnmt1-chromatin association. Coimmunoprecipitation experiments reveal that Lsh and Dnmt1 are found in the same protein complex, and pulldowns show this interaction is direct. Our data indicate that Lsh is usually diffuse in the nucleus but can be recruited to heterochromatin in a HP1α-dependent manner. These data together (a) show that the role of Lsh in DNA methylation is conserved in plants, amphibian, fish, and mice and (b) support a model in which Lsh contributes to Dnmt1 binding to chromatin, explaining how its loss can potentially lead to perturbations in DNA methylation maintenance. PMID:26491684

  3. Conservation genetics of evolutionary lineages of the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog, Rana muscosa (Amphibia: Ranidae), in southern California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoville, Sean D.; Tustall, Tate S.; Vredenburg, Vance T.; Backlin, Adam R.; Gallegos, Elizabeth; Wood, Dustin A.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2011-01-01

    Severe population declines led to the listing of southern California Rana muscosa (Ranidae) as endangered in 2002. Nine small populations inhabit watersheds in three isolated mountain ranges, the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto. One population from the Dark Canyon tributary in the San Jacinto Mountains has been used to establish a captive breeding population at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Because these populations may still be declining, it is critical to gather information on how genetic variation is structured in these populations and what historical inter-population connectivity existed between populations. Additionally, it is not clear whether these populations are rapidly losing genetic diversity due to population bottlenecks. Using mitochondrial and microsatellite data, we examine patterns of genetic variation in southern California and one of the last remaining populations of R. muscosa in the southern Sierra Nevada. We find low levels of genetic variation within each population and evidence of genetic bottlenecks. Additionally, substantial population structure is evident, suggesting a high degree of historical isolation within and between mountain ranges. Based on estimates from a multi-population isolation with migration analysis, these populations diversified during glacial episodes of the Pleistocene, with little gene flow during population divergence. Our data demonstrate that unique evolutionary lineages of R. muscosa occupy each mountain range in southern California and should be managed separately. The captive breeding program at Dark Canyon is promising, although mitigating the loss of neutral genetic diversity relative to the natural population might require additional breeding frogs.

  4. A new species of the genus Odorrana (Amphibia: Ranidae) and the first record of Odorrana bacboensis from China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying-Yong; Lau, Michael Wai-Neng; Yang, Jian-Huan; Chen, Guo-Ling; Liu, Zu-Yao; Pang, Hong; Liu, Yang

    2015-01-01

    The genus Odorrana currently contains at least 56 recognized species that inhabits montane streams in subtropical and tropical Asia. Twenty new species have been described in the last decade, indicating the potential cryptic species diversity of this genus. We collected several specimens of Odorrana species from Southern China from 2007 to 2014, and on the basis of a combined morphological characters and phylogenetic analysis, we described the new species Odorrana fengkaiensis sp. nov. herein. The new species is very similar to O. hainanensis and O. bacboensis, but can be consistently separated by morphology, and allopatric distribution. It is further reciprocally monophyletic to O. hainanensis in a mitochondrial gene trees with an average genetic divergence of 2.1% (1.9%-2.4%). The new species inhabits in lowland broad streams, rivers, pools and near the riparian areas, but its general ecology remains poorly known. The new species is characterized by its body length of adult females approximately twice as long as adult males (SVL 77.8-111.9 mm in females, 37.4-51.8 mm in males); eye large in males, eye diameter 1.01-1.16 times as long as snout length; tympanum of males large and distinct, extremely close to the eye, 0.7-1.4 mm in tympanum-eye distance; dorsolateral folds absent; dorsal skin shagreened, with several large tubercles in males; flanks with tubercles and scattered larger pustules, 8-10 of which usually arranged in a dorsolateral row; ventral skin smooth, with spines in adult males during the breeding season; the tibio-tarsal articulation stretched forward beyond the tip of snout; relative finger lengths: II < I < IV < III; dorsum brown with irregularly reticulated green markings in males and young females, uniformly brown in some old adult females; males with velvety nuptial pad on thumb, paired gular pouches; mature oocytes almost purely black in life, showed dark grey animal pole and olive vegetative pole in preservative. In addition, we found O. bacboensis, a new country record from China, indicating a range extension from north-central Vietnam to southeast Yunnan and adjacent area in Guangxi. PMID:26623573

  5. Acute toxic effects of cadmium in larvae of the green toad, pseudepidalea variabilis (pallas, 1769) (amphibia: anura).

    PubMed

    Gürkan, Mert; Cetin, Ayşe; Hayretdaĝ, Sibel

    2014-09-01

    The environmental impact of cadmium use and its accumulation in nature have increased to alarming levels. This study aimed to morphologically and histologically investigate the acute toxic effects of cadmium on green toad, Pseudepidalea variabilis (Pallas, 1769) larvae. Embryos were obtained from specimens collected in amplexus from nature and kept under laboratory conditions until stage 26, when they were exposed to cadmium (0, 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 Lig L⁻¹) for 96 h. The LC₁₀ LC₅₀, and LC₉₀ values of cadmium were calculated to be 26.98, 35.35, and 46.31 Lig L⁻¹, respectively. Our results showed that cadmium had a negative effect on the body size of P. variabilis larvae (over 1 ng L⁻¹). Histological examination detected a fusion of gill lamellae, liver haemorrhage, oedema in the abdominal cavity, and deformations of pronephric tubules (over 10 ng L⁻¹). Our findings suggest that the green toad was sensitive to the cadmium treatment, with LC₅₀ values lower than those reported by other studies. Thus, this species could be considered a reliable indicator species of environmental stress in aquatic ecosystem. PMID:25222576

  6. Osteological Variation among Extreme Morphological Forms in the Mexican Salamander Genus Chiropterotriton (Amphibia: Plethodontidae): Morphological Evolution And Homoplasy

    PubMed Central

    Darda, David M.; Wake, David B.

    2015-01-01

    Osteological variation is recorded among and within four of the most distinctive species of the Mexican salamander genus Chiropterotriton. Analysis of the data is consistent with the monophyletic status of the genus and documents previously unrecorded intraspecific and interspecific variation. Most of the recorded variation involves qualitative and quantitative proportional differences, but four fixed differences constitute autapomorphic states that affirm and diagnose some species (C. dimidiatus, C. magnipes). Osteological variation in 15 characters is analyzed with respect to predictions generated from four hypotheses: 1) phylogeny, 2) adaptation to specific habitats (the four species include cave-dwelling, terrestrial, and arboreal forms), 3) size-free shape, and 4) size. High levels of intraspecific variation suggest that the characters studied are not subject to rigid functional constraints in salamanders, regardless of size. The pattern predicted by the hypothesis based on size differences seen among these four Chiropterotriton species matches most closely the observed pattern of relative skull robustness. Since size change and heterochrony are often associated in plethodontid evolution, it is likely that changes in developmental timing play a role in the morphological transitions among these morphologically diverse taxa. Webbed feet, miniaturization, body shape, and an unusual tarsal arrangement are morphologies exhibited in species of Chiropterotrition that are shown to be homoplastic with other clades of tropical plethodontids. Although extensive homoplasy in salamanders might be seen as a roadblock to unraveling phylogenetic hypotheses, the homologous developmental systems that appear to underlie such homoplasy may reveal common and consistent evolutionary processes at work. PMID:26060996

  7. Early development of chondrocranium in the tailed frog Ascaphus truei (Amphibia: Anura): implications for anuran palatoquadrate homologies.

    PubMed

    Reiss, J O

    1997-01-01

    Chondrocranial development in Ascaphus truei was studied by serial sectioning and graphical reconstruction. Nine stages (21-29; 9-18 mm TL) were examined. Mesodermal cells were distinguished from ectomesenchymal (neural crest derived) cells by retained yolk granules. Ectomesenchymal parts of the chondrocranium include the suprarostrals, pila preoptica, anterior trabecula, and palatoquadrate. Mesodermal parts of the chondrocranium include the orbital cartilage, posterior trabecula, parachordal, basiotic lamina, and otic capsule. Development of the palatoquadrate is as follows. The pterygoid process first connects with the trabecula far rostrally; their fusion progresses caudally. The ascending process connects with a mesodermal bar that extends from the orbital cartilage to the otic capsule, and forms the ventral border of the dorsal trigeminal outlet. This bar is the "ascending process" of Ascaphus adults; it is a neurocranial, not palatoquadrate structure. The basal process chondrifies in an ectomesenchymal strand running from the quadrate keel to the postpalatine commissure. Later, the postpalatine commissure and basal process extend anteromedially to contact the floor of the anterior cupula of the otic capsule, creating separate foramina for the palatine and hyomandibular branches of the facial nerve. Based on these data, and on comparison with other frogs and salamanders, the anuran anterior quadratocranial commissure is homologized with the pterygoid process of salamanders, the anuran basal process (= "pseudobasal" or "hyobasal" process) with the basal process of salamanders, and the anuran otic ledge with the basitrabecular process of salamanders. The extensive similarities in palatoquadrate structure and development between frogs and salamanders, and lacking in caecilians, are not phylogenetically informative. Available information on fossil outgroups suggests that some of these similarities are primitive for Lissamphibia, whereas for others the polarity is uncertain. PMID:8946738

  8. Phylogeny and biogeography of the Anderson's crocodile newt, Echinotriton andersoni (Amphibia: Caudata), as revealed by mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Honda, Masanao; Matsui, Masafumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Ota, Hidetoshi; Tanaka, Satoshi

    2012-11-01

    The Anderson's crocodile newt, Echinotriton andersoni, is considered a relic and endangered species distributed in the Central Ryukyus. To elucidate phylogenetic relationships and detailed genetic structures among populations, we analyzed variation in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Results strongly support a primary dichotomy between populations from the Amami and Okinawa Island Groups with substantial genetic divergence, favoring a primary divergence between the two island groups. Within the latter, populations from the southern part of Okinawajima Island are shown to be more closely related to those from Tokashikijima Island than to those from the northern and central parts of Okinawajima. The prominent genetic divergence between the two island groups of the Central Ryukyus seems to have initiated in the Miocene, i.e., prior to formation of the strait that has consistently separated these island groups since the Pleistocene. The ancestor of the southern Okinawajima-Tokashikijima is estimated to have migrated from the northern and central parts of Okinawajima into southern Okinawajima at the Pleistocene, and dispersed into Tokashikijima subsequently. PMID:22846685

  9. [Analysis of proteins synthesized in aggregates of dissociated blastula and gastrula cells of Pleurodeles waltlii (Amphibia, urodela) by electrophoresis in polyacrylamide gradients].

    PubMed

    Boucaut, J C; Desvaux, F X

    1976-09-20

    The protein synthesis manifested by aggregates of blastula and gastrula dissociated cells were studied by means of polyacylamide gradient gel electrophoresis. This method permits a comparative analysis of protein electrophoretic mobilities in aggregates and controls. In all cases, the data obtained establish the identity of protein banding and confirm an egg laying polymorphism. PMID:825304

  10. A revised taxonomy of crested newts in the Triturus karelinii group (Amphibia: Caudata: Salamandridae), with the description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Wielstra, B; Litvinchuk, S N; Naumov, B; Tzankov, N; Arntzen, J W

    2013-01-01

    We present a taxonomic revision of the crested newt Triturus karelinii sensu lato. Based on the presence of discrete nuclear DNA gene pools, deep genetic divergence of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA, and no indication of gene flow, we interpret this taxon as comprising two species: one covering the southern Caspian Sea shore, the Caucasus and the Crimea, i.e. the eastern part of the total range and another covering northern Asiatic Turkey and western Asiatic Turkey plus the southeastern Balkan Peninsula, i.e. the central and western part of the total range. We acknowledge that the central/western species should likely be further subdivided into a central and a western taxon, but we prefer to await a more detailed genetic analysis of the putative contact zone, positioned in northwestern Asiatic Turkey. The name T. karelinii (Strauch, 1870) applies to the eastern species as the type locality is positioned along the coast of the Gulf of Gorgan, Iran. The name T. arntzeni has been applied to the central/western species with Vrtovać, Serbia as the type locality. We show that not T. karelinii sensu lato but T. macedonicus occurs at Vrtovać. Hence, the name T. arntzeni Litvinchuk, Borkin, Dzukić and Kalezić, 1999 (in Litvinchuk et al., 1999) is a junior synonym of T. macedonicus (Karaman, 1922) and should not be used for the central/western species. We propose the name T. ivanbureschi sp. nov. for the central/western species and provide a formal species description. PMID:25243299

  11. Microhyla laterite sp. nov., A New Species of Microhyla Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from a Laterite Rock Formation in South West India.

    PubMed

    Seshadri, K S; Singal, Ramit; Priti, H; Ravikanth, G; Vidisha, M K; Saurabh, S; Pratik, M; Gururaja, Kotambylu Vasudeva

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, several new species of amphibians have been described from India. Many of these discoveries are from biodiversity hotspots or from within protected areas. We undertook amphibian surveys in human dominated landscapes outside of protected areas in south western region of India between years 2013-2015. We encountered a new species of Microhyla which is described here as Microhyla laterite sp. nov. It was delimited using molecular, morphometric and bioacoustics comparisons. Microhyla laterite sp. nov. appears to be restricted to areas of the West coast of India dominated by laterite rock formations. The laterite rock formations date as far back as the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and are considered to be wastelands in-spite of their intriguing geological history. We identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the genus Microhyla from the Indian subcontinent and suggest ways to bridge them. PMID:26960208

  12. Microhyla laterite sp. nov., A New Species of Microhyla Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from a Laterite Rock Formation in South West India

    PubMed Central

    Ravikanth, G.; Vidisha, M. K.; Saurabh, S.; Pratik, M.

    2016-01-01

    In recent times, several new species of amphibians have been described from India. Many of these discoveries are from biodiversity hotspots or from within protected areas. We undertook amphibian surveys in human dominated landscapes outside of protected areas in south western region of India between years 2013–2015. We encountered a new species of Microhyla which is described here as Microhyla laterite sp. nov. It was delimited using molecular, morphometric and bioacoustics comparisons. Microhyla laterite sp. nov. appears to be restricted to areas of the West coast of India dominated by laterite rock formations. The laterite rock formations date as far back as the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and are considered to be wastelands in-spite of their intriguing geological history. We identify knowledge gaps in our understanding of the genus Microhyla from the Indian subcontinent and suggest ways to bridge them. PMID:26960208

  13. Revision of the characters of Centrolenidae (Amphibia: Anura: Athesphatanura), with comments on its taxonomy and the description of new taxa of glassfrogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    2007-01-01

    Anurans of the family Centrolenidae are a diverse clade of arboreal frogs distributed across tropical America. Knowledge of their taxonomy, systematics, ecology, behavior, morphology, and other evolutionary aspects of their biology is deficient. Relationships among centrolenid species remain largely unresolved, with no satisfactory phylogenetic hypothesis, and none of the current genera has compelling evidence of monophyly. Further, understanding the phylogeny of glassfrogs is constrained by species-level taxonomic problems, including incorrect description of characters, incomplete analyses of intraspecific variation, and lack of appreciation of species diversity. Herein, we define and analyze the 23 characters that are useful, in combination, in diagnosing centrolenid species, and thereby provide a reference for the use of future workers. We propose revised classifications for the parietal and visceral peritoneal pigmentation, liver form and coloration of its associated hepatic peritoneum, nuptial excrescences, and hand ornamentation. We comment on the generic and species-level taxonomy of Centrolenidae, proposing the recognition of a new genus and describing a new species from Ecuador. We treat Hyla ocellifera Boulenger as a synonym of Centrolene prosoblepon (Boettger), Hyalinobatrachium cardiacalyptum McCranie & Wilson as a synonym of Hyalinobatrachium chirripoi (Taylor), and Hyalinobatrachium crybetes McCranie and Wilson as a synonym of Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum (Taylor). We also present an annotated list of the species of glassfrogs from the Republic of Ecuador with some distributional remarks. Copyright ?? 2007 Magnolia Press.

  14. A new species of the genus Centrolene (Amphibia: Anura: Centrolenidae) from Ecuador with comments on the taxonomy and biogeography of Glassfrogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    2006-01-01

    We describe a new species of Glassfrog, Centrolene mariaelenae n. sp., from the Contrafuerte de Tzunantza, southeastern Ecuador. The new species is assigned to the Centrolene gorzulai species group, a clade previously known only from the Guayana Shield region, because the parietal peritoneum is transparent and the hepatic peritoneum is covered by guanophores. We analyze the diversity patterns of Glassfrogs from eastern Ecuador. The distribution of the new species herein described supports previous hypothesis of a biogeographical connection between the Andes and the Guayana Shield for various groups of plants and animals; particularly a relationship between the Guayana Shield and the sandstone outcrops mountain ranges of southeastern Ecuador and northeastern Peru. We also comment on the infrageneric and generic classification of Glassfrogs, and propose the new combinations Centrolene balionotum n. comb., Cochranella antisthenesi n. comb., and Cochranella pulverata n. comb. Copyright ?? 2006 Magnolia Press.

  15. A new species of Psychrophrynella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes

    PubMed Central

    Ttito, Alex

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Psychrophrynella from the humid montane forest of the Department Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2,670–3,165 m elevation in the Área de Conservación Privada Ukumari Llakta, Japumayo valley, near Comunidad Campesina de Japu, in the province of Paucartambo. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Psychrophrynella but P. bagrecito and P. usurpator by possessing a tubercle on the inner edge of the tarsus, and from these two species by its yellow ventral coloration on abdomen and limbs. Furthermore, the new species is like P. bagrecito and P. usurpator in having an advertisement call composed of multiple notes, whereas other species of Psychrophrynella whose calls are known have a pulsed call (P. teqta) or a short, tonal call composed of a single note. The new species has a snout-vent length of 16.1–24.1 mm in males and 23.3–27.7 mm in females. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Psychrophrynella inhabits high-elevation forests in the tropical Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26989637

  16. Genetic divergence and reproductive isolation in the genus Fejervarya (Amphibia: Anura) from Bangladesh inferred from morphological observations, crossing experiments, and molecular analyses.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammed Mafizul; Kurose, Naoko; Khan, Mdmukhlesur Rahman; Nishizawa, Toshitaka; Kuramoto, Mitsuru; Alam, Mohammad Shafiqul; Hasan, Mahmudul; Kurniawan, Nia; Nishioka, Midori; Sumida, Masayuki

    2008-11-01

    In the present study, morphological examinations, crossing experiments and molecular analyses were performed to elucidate the degree of genetic divergence and phylogenetic relationships within the genus Fejervarya from Bangladesh and other Asian countries. Morphological characteristics revealed that Fejervarya species from Bangladesh were divided into four distinct groups: large, medium, small, and mangrove types. Crossing experiments indicated the involvement of three reproductive isolating mechanisms: gametic isolation between the large type and mangrove type, hybrid inviability between the large type and two other types, and hybrid sterility between the medium and small types. Experimental results also indicated that these four types of frogs merit the status of individual species of Fejervarya . Molecular analyses based on mtDNA gene sequences showed that the Bangladesh Fejervarya species were largely divided into three groups: the mangrove type, large type, and others, with the last further subdivided into the medium and small types. Comparison with other Asian Fejervarya species revealed that the Bangladesh mangrove type (which resembled F. cancrivora in morphology) was closely related to F. cancrivora from India, Thailand, and the Philippines; the large type belonged to the F. iskandari group and closely resembled F. orissaensis ; the small type was included in the South Asian or Indian group, and was closest to F. syhadrensis from India and Sri Lanka, whereas the medium type was most closely related to F. limnocharis from Myanmar among all described species of this genus. PMID:19267620

  17. Cryptic diversity in the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group (Amphibia, Anura) with the description of a new species from the eastern Guiana Shield.

    PubMed

    Fouquet, Antoine; Martinez, Quentin; Zeidler, Lauren; Courtois, Elodie A; Gaucher, Philippe; Blanc, Michel; Lima, Jucivaldo Dias; Souza, Sergio Marques; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Lima, Jucivaldo Dias; Souza, Sergio Marques; Rodrigues, Miguel T; Kok, Philippe J R

    2016-01-01

    We used molecular and morphological data to investigate the hidden diversity within the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group, and more specifically within H. geographicus, an allegedly widespread species in northern South America. As a result, the identity of H. geographicus was clarified, several candidate species were detected and one of them, from the eastern Guiana Shield, is described herein as a preliminary step to resolve the taxonomy of the group. Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. is mainly distinguished from closely-related species by an acuminate snout in lateral view, well-developed webbing between fingers and toes, and unspotted carmine/crimson colouration on the concealed surfaces of legs, feet and hands in life. The tadpole of the new species is described and is characterized by a large A-2 gap, a mostly single row of large marginal papillae, and a dark brown to black colouration. We also describe the advertisement call of the new species, which is defined as a soft call consisting of short clusters of 2-3 chuckles with a dominant frequency ranging between 1.11-1.19 kHz. Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. is currently known only from the eastern Guiana Shield, and is probably endemic to that region. The new species' range overlaps broadly with another candidate species referred to as H. aff. semilineatus 1. Our preliminary results stress out a high cryptic diversity in that species group and the need for a formal redescription of Hypsiboas geographicus based on more topotypic material than what is currently available  to properly sort out the taxonomic status of several lineages in that clade. PMID:27394251

  18. Revision of the characters of Centrolenidae (Amphibia : Anura : Athesphatanura), with comments on its taxonomy and the description of new taxa of glassfrogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, Roy W.

    2007-01-01

    Anurans of the family Centrolenidae are a diverse clade of arboreal frogs distributed across tropical America. Knowledge of their taxonomy, systematics, ecology, behavior, morphology, and other evolutionary aspects of their biology is deficient. Relationships among centrolenid species remain largely unresolved, with no satisfactory phylogenetic hypothesis, and none of the current genera has compelling evidence of monophyly. Further, understanding the phylogeny of glassfrogs is constrained by species-level taxonomic problems, including incorrect description of characters, incomplete analyses of intraspecific variation, and lack of appreciation of species diversity. Herein, we define and analyze the 23 characters that are useful, in combination, in diagnosing centrolenid species, and thereby provide a reference for the use of future workers. We propose revised classifications for the parietal and visceral peritoneal pigmentation, liver form and coloration of its associated hepatic peritoneum, nuptial excrescences, and hand ornamentation. We comment on the generic and species-level taxonomy of Centrolenidae, proposing the recognition of a new genus and describing a new species from Ecuador. We treat Hyla ocellifera Boulenger as a synonym of Centrolene prosoblepon (Boettger), Hyalinobatrachium cardiacalyptum McCranie & Wilson as a synonym of Hyalinobatrachium chirripoi (Taylor), and Hyalinobatrachium crybetes McCranie and Wilson as a synonym of Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum (Taylor). We also present an annotated list of the species of glassfrogs from the Republic of Ecuador with some distributional remarks.

  19. Phylogeny and Differentiation of Wide-Ranging Ryukyu Kajika Frog Buergeria japonica (Amphibia: Rhacophoridae): Geographic Genetic Pattern Not Simply Explained by Vicariance Through Strait Formation.

    PubMed

    Tominaga, Atsushi; Matsui, Masafumi; Eto, Koshiro; Ota, Hidetoshi

    2015-06-01

    To investigate geographic genetic structures and taxonomic relationships among isolated populations of Buergeria japonica, occurring very widely in various habitats of the Ryukyu Archipelago and Taiwan, we conducted phylogenetic and demographic analyses among individuals from various localities, representing their entire distributional ranges. Buergeria japonica is genetically greatly differentiated and comprises three major clades (the Southern Taiwan [ST] clade, the Northern Taiwan + Southern Ryukyu [NT/SR] clade, and the Central + Northern Ryukyu [CR/NR] clade), each of which seems to represent independent species. The first divergence in the species is estimated to have occurred in the middle to late Miocene in areas of current Taiwan, then eastern periphery of the Asian continent. Split of the ST and the remaining clades, and subsequent divergence between the NT/SR and the CR/NR clades in the latter, indicate consecutive south to north vicariant diversifications. However, these vicariances are not always associated with formation of significant barriers such as deep straits. Less but still prominently diverged subclades (the Amami + Tokara [AM/TK] and the Okinawa [ON] subclades) in the CR/NR clade were recognized in spite of the absence of an intervening deep strait. Contrariwise, individuals from Amami and Tokara Groups formed the AM/TK subclade in spite of the presence of the intervening Tokara Gap (a long-standing deep tectonic strait). Furthermore, in the AM/TK subclade, low but definite genetic divergence was found between the Northern Amami + Tokara (NAM/TK) lineage and the Southern Amami (SAM) lineage. Estimated divergence time and gene flow rate within the NAM/TK lineage indicate that this species reached northern Tokara from the south by overseas dispersal over the Tokara Gap long after its formation, but not by more recent artificial transportation. This overseas dispersal would have been facilitated by its more frequent occurrence around coastal habitats than other frogs. PMID:26003978

  20. Water balance of field-excavated aestivating Australian desert frogs, the cocoon-forming Neobatrachus aquilonius and the non-cocooning Notaden nichollsi (Amphibia: Myobatrachidae).

    PubMed

    Cartledge, Victoria A; Withers, Philip C; McMaster, Kellie A; Thompson, Graham G; Bradshaw, S Don

    2006-09-01

    Burrowed aestivating frogs of the cocoon-forming species Neobatrachus aquilonius and the non-cocooning species Notaden nichollsi were excavated in the Gibson Desert of central Australia. Their hydration state (osmotic pressure of the plasma and urine) was compared to the moisture content and water potential of the surrounding soil. The non-cocooning N. nichollsi was consistently found in sand dunes. While this sand had favourable water potential properties for buried frogs, the considerable spatial and temporal variation in sand moisture meant that frogs were not always in positive water balance with respect to the surrounding soil. The cocoon-forming N. aquilonius was excavated from two distinct habitat types, a claypan in which frogs had a well-formed cocoon and a dune swale where frogs did not have a cocoon. Cocoons of excavated frogs ranged in thickness from 19.4 microm to 55.61 microm and consisted of 81-229 layers. Cocooned claypan N. aquilonius were nearing exhaustion of their bladder water reserves and had a urine osmolality approaching that of the plasma. By contrast, non-cocooned N. aquilonius from the dune swale were fully hydrated, although soil moisture levels were not as high as calculated to be necessary to maintain water balance. Both species had similar plasma arginine vasotocin (AVT) concentrations ranging from 9.4 to 164 pg ml(-1), except for one cocooned N. aquilonius with a higher concentration of 394 pg ml(-1). For both species, AVT showed no relationship with plasma osmolality over the lower range of plasma osmolalities but was appreciably increased at the highest osmolality recorded. This study provides the first evidence that cocoon formation following burrowing is not obligatory in species that are capable of doing so, but that cocoon formation occurs when soil water conditions are more desiccating than for non-cocooned frogs. PMID:16916967

  1. Description of two new species of the genus Megophrys (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Heishiding Nature Reserve, Fengkai, Guangdong, China, based on molecular and morphological data.

    PubMed

    Li, Yu-Long; Jin, Meng-Jie; Zhao, Jian; Liu, Zu-Yao; Wang, Ying-Yong; Pang, Hong

    2014-01-01

    Two new species, Megophrys acuta sp. nov. and Megophrys obesa sp. nov., are described based on a series of specimens collected from Heishiding Nature Reserve, Fengkai County, Guangdong Province, China. They can be distinguished from other known congeners occurred in southern and eastern China by morphological characters and molecular divergence in the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene. M. acuta is characterized by small and slender body with adult females measuring 28.1-33.6 mm and adult males measuring 27.1-33.0 mm in snout-vent length; snout pointed, strongly protruding well beyond margin of lower jaw; canthus rostralis well developed and sharp; hindlimbs short, the heels not meeting, tibio-tarsal articulation reaching forward the pupil of eye. M. obesa is characterized by stout and slightly small body with adult females measuring 37.5-41.2 mm, adult male measuring 35.6 mm in snout-vent length; snout round in dorsal view; canthus rostralis developed; hindlimbs short, the heels not meeting, tibio-tarsal articulation reaching forward the posterior margin of eye. The discovery of these two new species further confirms that the diversity of this genus has been significantly underestimated. At present the genus Megophrys contains 56 species of which 35 species are distributed in China. PMID:24870489

  2. Seasonal changes of basic erythrocyte-metric parameters in Pelophylaxridibundus (Amphibia: Ranidae) from anthropogenically polluted biotopes in Southern Bulgaria and their role as bioindicators.

    PubMed

    Zhelev, Zhivko M; Mehterov, Nikolay H; Popgeorgiev, Georgi S

    2016-02-01

    The purpose of this research work is to present data that show the seasonal changes (spring-summer-autumn) of basic erythrocyte-metric parameters (ЕL: Erythrocyte length, ЕW: Erythrocyte width, ЕL/ЕW, ES: Erythrocyte size; NL: Nucleus length, NW: Nucleus width, NL/NW; NS: Nucleus size, NS/ES: Nucleus-cytoplasmic ratio) in Pelophylax ridibundus populations from three biotopes located on two rivers in Southern Bulgaria (less disrupted biotope, with domestic sewage pollution and heavy metal pollution). Differences of high statistical significance were found among the different populations. Within the population living in conditions of domestic sewage pollution, for the entire period of the investigation the erythrocytes and their nuclei had an elliptical shape (a slight elongation of ellipses in autumn) and the biggest sizes (EL, EW, ES, NL and NS were constantly higher than the less disrupted biotope), NS/ES, became significantly smaller in autumn. Throughout the period of investigation, the values of all nine cellular and nuclear parameters were statistically-significantly the lowest in the population from the biotope with heavy metal pollution. The parameters: EL, ЕW, NL, NW and ES became significantly lower, progressively and statistically, during seasonal transitions. Cells and nuclei grew ovular in shape in comparison to the populations from the other two biotopes (this process was most pronounced in autumn) and NS/ES numbers were significantly decreased in summer and autumn. PMID:26606180

  3. A new species of Psychrophrynella (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from the humid montane forests of Cusco, eastern slopes of the Peruvian Andes.

    PubMed

    Catenazzi, Alessandro; Ttito, Alex

    2016-01-01

    We describe a new species of Psychrophrynella from the humid montane forest of the Department Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2,670-3,165 m elevation in the Área de Conservación Privada Ukumari Llakta, Japumayo valley, near Comunidad Campesina de Japu, in the province of Paucartambo. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Psychrophrynella but P. bagrecito and P. usurpator by possessing a tubercle on the inner edge of the tarsus, and from these two species by its yellow ventral coloration on abdomen and limbs. Furthermore, the new species is like P. bagrecito and P. usurpator in having an advertisement call composed of multiple notes, whereas other species of Psychrophrynella whose calls are known have a pulsed call (P. teqta) or a short, tonal call composed of a single note. The new species has a snout-vent length of 16.1-24.1 mm in males and 23.3-27.7 mm in females. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Psychrophrynella inhabits high-elevation forests in the tropical Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. PMID:26989637

  4. Integrative Phylogeography of Calotriton Newts (Amphibia, Salamandridae), with Special Remarks on the Conservation of the Endangered Montseny Brook Newt (Calotriton arnoldi)

    PubMed Central

    Valbuena-Ureña, Emilio; Amat, Fèlix; Carranza, Salvador

    2013-01-01

    The genus Calotriton includes two species of newts highly adapted to live in cold and fast-flowing mountain springs. The Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper), restricted to the Pyrenean region, and the Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi), endemic to the Montseny massif and one of the most endangered amphibian species in Europe. In the present manuscript, we use an integrative approach including species distribution modeling (SDM), molecular analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data and morphology to unravel the historical processes that have contributed to shaping the biogeography and genetic structure of the genus Calotriton, with special emphasis on the conservation of C. arnoldi. The results of the molecular analyses confirm that, despite having originated recently, being ecologically similar and geographically very close, there is no signal of hybridization between C. asper and C. arnoldi. SDM results suggest that tough environmental conditions on mountains tops during glacial periods, together with subsequent warmer periods could have prevented the contact between the two species. Within the critically endangered C. arnoldi, a high genetic structure is revealed despite its extremely small distribution range compared to C. asper. Haplotype networks, AMOVA and SAMOVA analyses suggest that two distinct groups of populations can be clearly differentiated with absence of gene flow. This is in concordance with morphological differentiation and correlates with its geographical distribution, as the two groups are situated on the eastern and western sides of a river valley that acts as a barrier. The genetic and morphological results are highly important for the ongoing conservation program of C. arnoldi and strongly justify the management of this species into at least two independent evolutionary significant units (eastern and western sectors) to guarantee the long-term population viability. PMID:23750201

  5. The karyotypes of five species of the Scinax perpusillus group (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae) of southeastern Brazil show high levels of chromosomal stabilization in this taxon.

    PubMed

    Peixoto, Marco Antônio Amorim; Lacerda, João Victor Andrade; Coelho-Augusto, Carolina; Feio, Renato Neves; Dergam, Jorge Abdala

    2015-12-01

    Based on morphological, bioacoustics, and morphological traits, the genus Scinax has been subdivided into two major clades: S. catharinae and S. ruber. The first clade includes S. catharinae and S. perpusillus groups, whereas the second clade includes S. rostratus and S. uruguayus groups. Chromosome morphology, NOR and C-banding patterns of variation support these clades. This study aims the cytogenetic characterization of five species currently included in the S. perpusillus group: Scinax sp. (gr. perpusillus), S. arduous, S. belloni, S. cosenzai, and S. v-signatus, including standard cytogenetic techniques and repetitive DNA FISH probes. All species had 2n = 24 chromosomes. Nucleolar organizing regions occurred in chromosome pair 6 in all species, but differed in their locations among some species, suggesting a putative synaponomastic character for the clade. In S. belloni, the first chromosome pair was a metacentric, contrasting with the submetacentric first pair reported in all other species of the genus. Scinax sp. (gr. perpusillus) and S. v-signatus had similar karyotypic formulae, suggesting they are related species. Scinax cosenzai had a divergent C-banding pattern. Repetitive DNA probes hybridized more frequently in chromosomal subtelomeric regions in all species indicating recent cladogenesis in these species. Karyotypic evidence indicates unreported high levels of stabilization within S. perpusillus and in S. catharinae clade, resulting in a wealth of characters potentially informative for higher phylogenetic analyses. PMID:26497874

  6. Evolutionary origins and genetic variation of the Seychelles treefrog, Tachycnemis seychellensis (Duméril and Bibron, 1841) (Amphibia: Anura: Hyperoliidae)

    PubMed Central

    Maddock, Simon T.; Day, Julia J.; Nussbaum, Ronald A.; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The hyperoliid frog Tachycnemis seychellensis, the only species of its genus, is endemic to the four largest granitic islands of the Seychelles archipelago and is reliant on freshwater bodies for reproduction. Its presence in the Seychelles is thought to be the product of a transoceanic dispersal, diverging from the genus Heterixalus, its closest living relative (currently endemic to Madagascar), between approximately 10–35 Ma. A previous study documented substantial intraspecific morphological variation among island populations and also among populations within the largest island (Mahé). To assess intraspecific genetic variation and to infer the closest living relative(s) of T. seychellensis, DNA sequence data were generated for three mitochondrial and four nuclear markers. These data support a sister-group relationship between T. seychellensis and Heterixalus, with the divergence between the two occurring between approximately 11–19 Ma based on cytb p-distances. Low levels of genetic variation were found among major mitochondrial haplotype clades of T. seychellensis (maximum 0.7% p-distance concatenated mtDNA), and samples from each of the islands (except La Digue) comprised multiple mitochondrial haplotype clades. Two nuclear genes (rag1 and tyr) showed no variation, and the other two (rho and pomc) lacked any notable geographic structuring, counter to patterns observed within presumably more vagile Seychelles taxa such as lizards. The low levels of genetic variation and phylogeographic structure support an interpretation that there is a single but morphologically highly variable species of Seychelles treefrog. The contrasting genetic and morphological intraspecific variation may be attributable to relatively recent admixture during low sea-level stands, ecophenotypic plasticity, local adaptation to different environmental conditions, and/or current and previously small population sizes. Low genetic phylogeographic structure but substantial morphological variation is unusual within anurans. PMID:24555995

  7. A new species of limestone karst inhabiting forest frog, genus Platymantis (Amphibia: Anura: Ceratobatrachidae: subgenus Lupacolus) from southern Luzon Island, Philippines.

    PubMed

    Brown, Rafe M; De Layola, Louise Abigail; Lorenzo, Antonio; Diesmos, Mae Lowe L; Diesmos, Arvin C

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of limestone karst dwelling forest frog of the genus Platymantis from the Quezon Protected Landscape in southeastern Luzon Island, Philippines. We assign Platymantis quezoni, sp. nov., to the diverse assemblage of terrestrial species in the Platymantis dorsalis Group, subgenus Lupacolus on the basis of its body size and proportions, only slightly expanded terminal discs of the fingers and toes, and its terrestrial microhabitat. The new species is distinguished from these and all other Philippine congeners by features of its external morphology, its restriction to a distinctive limestone karst microhabitat, and its advertisement call, which is unique among frogs of the family Ceratobatrachidae. Several distinguishing morphological characters include its moderate body size (22.1-33.9 mm SVL for 16 adult males and 32.4-39.7 mm SVL for five adult females), slightly expanded terminal discs of the fingers and toes, smooth skin with limited dermal tuberculation, and a dorsal color pattern of mottled tan to dark brown with black blotches. The new species is the sixth Philippine Platymantis known to occur exclusively on limestone karst substrates (previously known karst-obligate species include: P. bayani, P. biak, P. insulatus, P. paengi, and P. speleaus). Recently accelerated discovery of limestone karst anurans across the Philippines suggests that numerous additional species may await discovery on the hundreds of scattered karst formations throughout the archipelago. This possibility suggests that a major conservation priority in coming years will be to study, characterize, describe, and preserve the endemic species supported by this patchy, unique and imperiled type of forest ecosystem in the Philippines. PMID:26624745

  8. The cephalic glands of Brazilian reptilia and amphibia. IV. Histology of labial, premaxillary, and Duvernoy's glands in the colubrid snake Oxyrhopus trigeminus.

    PubMed

    Lopes, R A; Contrere, M G; da Costa, J R; Campos, G M; Petenusci, S O

    1987-01-01

    A study of the morphology of the salivary glands of the colubrid snake Oxyrhopus trigeminus showed the following: The acini of supralabial, infralabial, and premaxillary glands are formed by mucous and mucoserous cells; the tubules of Duvernoy's gland are formed by seromucous cells; and mucous cells produce neutral and acid mucosubstances, mucoserous cells secrete neutral and acid mucosubstances and protein, and seromucous cells have neutral mucosubstance and protein secretions. PMID:3569821

  9. 3D Bite Modeling and Feeding Mechanics of the Largest Living Amphibian, the Chinese Giant Salamander Andrias davidianus (Amphibia:Urodela)

    PubMed Central

    Fortuny, Josep; Marcé-Nogué, Jordi; Heiss, Egon; Sanchez, Montserrat; Gil, Lluis; Galobart, Àngel

    2015-01-01

    Biting is an integral feature of the feeding mechanism for aquatic and terrestrial salamanders to capture, fix or immobilize elusive or struggling prey. However, little information is available on how it works and the functional implications of this biting system in amphibians although such approaches might be essential to understand feeding systems performed by early tetrapods. Herein, the skull biomechanics of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus is investigated using 3D finite element analysis. The results reveal that the prey contact position is crucial for the structural performance of the skull, which is probably related to the lack of a bony bridge between the posterior end of the maxilla and the anterior quadrato-squamosal region. Giant salamanders perform asymmetrical strikes. These strikes are unusual and specialized behavior but might indeed be beneficial in such sit-and-wait or ambush-predators to capture laterally approaching prey. However, once captured by an asymmetrical strike, large, elusive and struggling prey have to be brought to the anterior jaw region to be subdued by a strong bite. Given their basal position within extant salamanders and their “conservative” morphology, cryptobranchids may be useful models to reconstruct the feeding ecology and biomechanics of different members of early tetrapods and amphibians, with similar osteological and myological constraints. PMID:25853557

  10. Designation and description of a neotype of Sclerophrys maculata (Hallowell, 1854), and reinstatement of S. pusilla (Mertens, 1937) (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae).

    PubMed

    Poynton, John C; Loader, Simon P; Conradie, Werner; Rödel, Mark-Oliver; Liedtke, H Christoph

    2016-01-01

    Molecular analysis indicates that African material previously referred to Amietophrynus maculatus (Hallowell, 1854; now Sclerophrys maculata), is divisible into two distinct clades: a Western Clade from Cameroon westwards and an Eastern Clade from Central African Republic eastwards, and Uganda southwards to South Africa, extending to Angola-Namibia. Preliminary morphological and bioacoustic data support this division. The two clades are recognised here as two separate species. The Western species retains the name S. maculata, with Hallowell's designated type locality of Liberia. The Eastern Clade retains the name published by Mertens (1937), S. pusilla. It is noted that a type specimen of S. maculata cannot be traced and is presumed lost; the so-called syntypes in the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences are not the material described by Hallowell. None of these have been designated as a neotype, consequently a specimen from Liberia in the collection of the Natural History Museum, London, is designated here as the neotype of S. maculata. PMID:27394575

  11. A new species of the genus Centrolene (Amphibia : Anura : Centrolenidae) from Ecuador with comments on the taxonomy and biogeography of Glassfrogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, R.W.

    2006-01-01

    We describe a new species of Glassfrog, Centrolene mariaelenae n. sp., from the Contrafuerte de Tzunantza, southeastern Ecuador. The new species is assigned to the Centrolene gorzulai species group, a clade previously known only from the Guayana Shield region, because the parietal peritoneum is transparent and the hepatic peritoneum is covered by guanophores. We analyze the diversity patterns of Glassfrogs from eastern Ecuador. The distribution of the new species herein described supports previous hypothesis of a biogeographical connection between the Andes and the Guayana Shield for various groups of plants and animals; particularly a relationship between the Guayana Shield and the sandstone outcrops mountain ranges of southeastern Ecuador and northeastern Peru. We also comment on the infrageneric and generic classification of Glassfrogs, and propose the new combinations Centrolene balionotum n. comb., Cochranella antisthenesi n. comb., and Cochranella pulverata n. comb.

  12. A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians.

    PubMed

    Pyron, R Alexander; Wiens, John J

    2011-11-01

    The extant amphibians are one of the most diverse radiations of terrestrial vertebrates (>6800 species). Despite much recent focus on their conservation, diversification, and systematics, no previous phylogeny for the group has contained more than 522 species. However, numerous studies with limited taxon sampling have generated large amounts of partially overlapping sequence data for many species. Here, we combine these data and produce a novel estimate of extant amphibian phylogeny, containing 2871 species (∼40% of the known extant species) from 432 genera (∼85% of the ∼500 currently recognized extant genera). Each sampled species contains up to 12,712 bp from 12 genes (three mitochondrial, nine nuclear), with an average of 2563 bp per species. This data set provides strong support for many groups recognized in previous studies, but it also suggests non-monophyly for several currently recognized families, particularly in hyloid frogs (e.g., Ceratophryidae, Cycloramphidae, Leptodactylidae, Strabomantidae). To correct these and other problems, we provide a revised classification of extant amphibians for taxa traditionally delimited at the family and subfamily levels. This new taxonomy includes several families not recognized in current classifications (e.g., Alsodidae, Batrachylidae, Rhinodermatidae, Odontophrynidae, Telmatobiidae), but which are strongly supported and important for avoiding non-monophyly of current families. Finally, this study provides further evidence that the supermatrix approach provides an effective strategy for inferring large-scale phylogenies using the combined results of previous studies, despite many taxa having extensive missing data. PMID:21723399

  13. Genetic structure and origin of a tetraploid toad species Bufo danatensis Pisanetz, 1978 (Amphibia, Bufonidae) from central Asia: Description of biochemical polymorphism and comparison of heterozygosity levels in diploid and tetraploid species

    SciTech Connect

    Mezhzherin, S.V.; Pisanets, E.M.

    1995-01-01

    Comparison of individual variation at 24 biochemical loci in members of the species complex of Palearctic green toads showed that the heterozygosity of the tetraploid species Bufo danatensis (H{sub obs} = 0.45) was significantly higher than that of the diploid species B. viridis, B. sp., and B. raddei (H{sub obs} = 0.009 - 0.103). Such difference can be explained only by a hybrid origin of the tetraploid species. Individual electrophoretic variability of the polyploid toad species is associated with an allelic variation that is manifested in constantly heterozygous spectra as the gene dosage effect. At the population level, this phenomenon found in Pamir toads is caused by irregular meiosis in founders of the population or by directional changes in gene regulation. Genotypic distributions in zones of contact of the diploid and tetraploid taxons demonstrate the possibility of restricted introgressive hybridization.

  14. Adaptations of the reed frog Hyperolius viridiflavus (Amphibia, Anura, Hyperoliidae) to its arid environment. VII. The heat budget of Hyperolius viridiflavus nitidulus and the evolution of an optimized body shape.

    PubMed

    Kobelt, F; Linsenmair, K E

    1995-01-01

    Estivating reed frogs of the superspecies Hyperolius viridiflavus are extraordinarily resistant to the highly adverse climatic conditions prevailing in their African savanna habitats during dry season (air temperature up to 45 degrees C, solar radiation load up to 1000 W.m-2, no water replenishment possible for up to 3 months). They are able to withstand such climatic stress at their exposed estivation sites on dry plants without evaporative cooling. We developed a heat budget model to understand the mechanisms of how an anuran can achieve this unique tolerance, and which allows us to predict the anuran's core and surface temperature for a given set of environmental parameters, to within 4% of the measured values. The model makes it possible to quantify some of the adaptive mechanisms for survival in semiarid habitats by comparing H. viridiflavus with anurans (H. tuberilinguis and Rana pipiens) of less stressful habitats. To minimize heat gain and maximize heat loss from the frog, the following points were important with regard to avoiding lethal heat stress during estivation: 1) solar heat load is reduced by an extraordinarily high skin reflectivity for solar radiation of up to 0.65 under laboratory and even higher in the field under dry season conditions. 2) The half-cylindrical body shape of H. viridiflavus seems to be optimized for estivation compared to the hemispheroidal shape usually found for anurans in moist habitats. A half-cylinder can be positioned relative to the sun so that large surface areas for conductive and convective heat loss are shielded by a small area exposed to direct solar radiation. 3) Another important contribution of body shape is a high body surface area to body mass ratio, as found in the estivating subadult H. viridiflavus (snout-vent lengths of 14-20 mm and body weights of 350-750 mg) compared to adult frogs (24-30 mm, 1000-2500 mg) which have never been observed to survive a dry season. 4) These mechanisms strongly couple core temperature to air temperature. The time constant of the core temperature is 29 +/- 10 s. Since air temperature can be 43-45 degrees C, H. viridiflavus must have a very unusual tolerance to transient core temperatures of 43-45 degrees C. 5) If air temperature rises above this lethal limit, the estivating frog would die despite all its optimizations, but moving from an unsuited to a more favorable site during estivation can be extremely costly in terms of unavoidably high evaporative water loss. Therefore, H. viridiflavus must have developed behavioral strategies for reliably choosing estivation sites with air temperature staying on average within the vital range during the whole dry season. PMID:7622673

  15. New insights to the molecular phylogenetics and generic assessment in the Rhacophoridae (Amphibia: Anura) based on five nuclear and three mitochondrial genes, with comments on the evolution of reproduction.

    PubMed

    Li, Jia-Tang; Che, Jing; Murphy, Robert W; Zhao, Hui; Zhao, Er-Mi; Rao, Ding-Qi; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2009-11-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among 12 genera of treefrogs (Family, Rhacophoridae), were investigated based on a large sequence data set, including five nuclear (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, proopiomelanocortin, recombination activating gene 1, tyrosinase, rhodopsin) and three mitochondrial (partial 12S and 16S ribosomal RNA and the complete valine t-RNA) genes. Phylogenetic analysis of the nuclear gene sequences resolved three major clades. The first group included Philautus, Pseudophilautus, Kurixalus, Gracixalus, and Theloderma moloch; Pseudophilautus and Kurixalus were sister taxa. The second group consisted of Nyctixalus and Theloderma. The third group contained Feihyla, Polypedates, Rhacophorus, and Chiromantis vittatus; Polypedates and Feihyla were sister taxa. Analyses of the nuclear and mitochondrial genes supported the following results: (1) Genus Liuixalus formed the sister group of all other rhacophorines. (2) Philautus, Theloderma, and Chiromantis were not resolved as monophyletic genera. Four groups, including Philautus ocellatus and P. hainanus, P. longchuanensis and P. gryllus, P. banaensis, and P. quyeti nested well within the genera Liuixalus, Pseudophilautus, Kurixalus, and Gracixalus, respectively. (3) Theloderma moloch and Chiromantis vittatus did not cluster with other species of Theloderma and Chiromantis, respectively. Foam nesting evolved only once, as did laying eggs in a jelly-like matrix containing some bubbles. Terrestrial direct development evolved twice in the Rhacophoridae. PMID:19616637

  16. Terraranans of the Lost World: a new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Craugastoridae) from Abakapá-tepui in the Chimantá massif, Venezuelan Guayana, and additions to the knowledge of P. muchimuk.

    PubMed

    Rojas-Runjaic, Fernando J M; Salerno, Patricia E; Señaris, J Celsa; Pauly, Gregory B

    2013-01-01

    A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is named and described from the summit of Abakapá-tepui in the Chimantd massif, south-eastern Venezuela. The new species is known from two adult specimens and is the second craugastorid species described from this massif. It can be readily distinguished from all congeners inhabiting the highlands of the Guiana Shield by the unique combination of the following characters: dorsal skin shagreen and ventral skin coarsely areolate, tympanum small and ill-defined, vocal slits absent in males, finger I shorter than II, thumbs with two whitish and non-spinous nuptial pads in adult males, fingers and toes with broad lateral fringes, basal webbing between all toes, throat and chest nacreous white in life. Also, based on five specimens of Pristimantis muchimuk recently collected from Churi-tepui, we provide new information on this little known species, including an amended diagnosis, notes on morphology, color variation, advertisement calls, and natural history. PMID:26473223

  17. First report of Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) in caecilians, with description of a new species.

    PubMed

    Harris, D James; Damas-Moreira, Isabel; Maia, João P M C; Perera, Ana

    2014-02-01

    Hepatozoon spp. are identified for the first time in the amphibian order Gymnophiona, or caecilians, from the Seychelles island of Silhouette. Estimate of relationships derived from partial 18S rRNA gene sequences indicate these are not related to Hepatozoon spp. from frogs or to other Hepatozoon spp. from reptiles in the Seychelles. Assessment of mature gamonts from blood smears indicate that these can be recognized as a new species, Hepatozoon seychellensis n. sp. PMID:23971488

  18. Molecular characterization and gene expression of the channel catfish Ferritin H subunit after bacterial infection and iron treatment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ferritins are the major iron storage protein in the cytoplasm of cells, responsible for regulating levels of intracellular iron. Ferritin genes are widely distributed in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In mammals, ferritin molecules are composed of heavy- (H) and light- (L) chain subunits; amphibia...

  19. THE ROLE OF MAMMALIAN DATA IN DETERMINING PHARMACEUTICAL RESPONSES IN AQUATIC ORGANISMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    The limitations surrounding application of pharmaceutical data are restricted to extrapolation of the animal and human data across phyla. Experience dictates that mammalian data are most likely to extrapolate predictably to fish and other aquatic vertebrates (e.g. Amphibia), and ...

  20. Growth hormone in the eye: A comparative update.

    PubMed

    Harvey, Steve; Martínez-Moreno, Carlos G; Ávila-Mendoza, José; Luna, Maricela; Arámburo, Carlos

    2016-08-01

    Comparative studies have previously established that the eye is an extrapituitary site of growth hormone (GH) production and action in fish, amphibia, birds and mammals. In this review more recent literature and original data in this field are considered. PMID:26828817

  1. Toxin from skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus: differentiation from Dendrobatid toxins.

    PubMed

    Fuhrman, F A; Fuhrman, G J; Mosher, H S

    1969-09-26

    A potent, dialyzable toxin (atelopidtoxin) occurs in the skin of frogs of the genus Atelopus. A concentrate of atelopidtoxin from Atelopus zeteki has an LD(50) in mice of 16 micrograms per kilogram. It differs from batrachotoxin, tetrodotoxin, and saxitoxin, the only known nonprotein substances of greater toxicity, as well as from all toxins previously isolated from amphibia. PMID:5807965

  2. On the presence of nucleus ruber in the urodele Salamandra salamandra and the caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis.

    PubMed

    Naujoks-Manteuffel, C; Manteuffel, G; Himstedt, W

    1988-01-01

    The presence of nucleus ruber in urodeles and caecilians (amphibia) was investigated. For that purpose, horseradish peroxidase was applied to the rostral spinal cord, the medulla oblongata at various levels and the dorsolateral funiculus. Whereas Salamandra salamandra possesses a rubrospinal tract, it is absent in the limbless caecilian Ichthyophis kohtaoensis. PMID:3382518

  3. Molecular evolution of HoxA13 and the multiple origins of limbless morphologies in amphibians and reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Singarete, Marina E.; Grizante, Mariana B.; Milograna, Sarah R.; Nery, Mariana F.; Kin, Koryu; Wagner, Günter P.; Kohlsdorf, Tiana

    2015-01-01

    Developmental processes and their results, morphological characters, are inherited through transmission of genes regulating development. While there is ample evidence that cis-regulatory elements tend to be modular, with sequence segments dedicated to different roles, the situation for proteins is less clear, being particularly complex for transcription factors with multiple functions. Some motifs mediating protein-protein interactions may be exclusive to particular developmental roles, but it is also possible that motifs are mostly shared among different processes. Here we focus on HoxA13, a protein essential for limb development. We asked whether the HoxA13 amino acid sequence evolved similarly in three limbless clades: Gymnophiona, Amphisbaenia and Serpentes. We explored variation in ω (dN/dS) using a maximum-likelihood framework and HoxA13sequences from 47 species. Comparisons of evolutionary models provided low ω global values and no evidence that HoxA13 experienced relaxed selection in limbless clades. Branch-site models failed to detect evidence for positive selection acting on any site along branches of Amphisbaena and Gymnophiona, while three sites were identified in Serpentes. Examination of alignments did not reveal consistent sequence differences between limbed and limbless species. We conclude that HoxA13 has no modules exclusive to limb development, which may be explained by its involvement in multiple developmental processes. PMID:26500429

  4. Heterochronical patterns of evolution in the transitional stages of vertebrate classes.

    PubMed

    Schad, W

    1993-12-01

    Transitional forms of the recent classes of vertebrates are only known in paleontology. The well described examples are: Eusthenopteron foordi (Crossopterygii), Ichthyostega and Acanthostega (Labyrinthodontia) between Osteichthyes and Amphibia, Seymouria baylorensis (Amphibiosaria) between Amphibia and Reptilia, Archaeopteryx lithographica (Archaeornithes) between Reptilia and Aves, and the mammal-like reptiles Pelycosauria, Therapsida and Cynodontia between Reptilia and Aves, and the description of their phylogenetical heterochronies in terms of peramorphosis and paedomorphosis shows the progressive role of the motorial, especially the locomotorial organ systems and their functions in comparison with the retarded evolution of the axial system, especially the skull and central nervous system. The evolution of the Hominidae shows the same rule. The evaluation of these transitional forms in their fossil context reveals them as inhabitants of biotopes situated in the border areas of coastal and shore landscapes of marine, brackish or fresh water. These biotopes have obviously favoured the innovations on the high taxonimic level of macro-evolutionary characteristics. PMID:8191805

  5. In situ monitoring of animal micronuclei before the operation of Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station

    SciTech Connect

    Y.N. Cai; H.Y. He; L.M. Qian; G.C. Sun; J.Y. Zhao

    1994-12-31

    Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station, a newly-built nuclear power station in southern mainland China, started its operation in 1993. We examined micro-nucleated cells of Invertibrate (Bivalves) and Vertibrate (Fish and Amphibia) in different spots within the 50km surroundings of the Power Station during 1986-1993. This paper reports the results of the investigation carried out in Dong Shan, a place 4.7km to the Power Station:Bivalves; Pteria martensil 5.1(1986),4.8(1988),4.8(1991),5,0(1993),Mytilus smardinus 4.7(1987),4.6(1988); Chamys nobilis 4.9(1987);4.9(1991),4.5(1992),4.5(1993). Fish; Therapon jarbua 0.48(1991),0.67(1992),0.47(1993). Amphibia; Bufo melanostictus 0.29 (1987), 0.34(1988),0.39(1992),0.39(1993). These results showed that the environmental situation, estimated by using the frequencies of micronucleated cells, was stable-there was no obvious chromosome damage in the animals studied. It was found that the incidence of micronucleated cells of Bivalves was higher than that of Fish and Amphibia, suggesting the epithelial cells to be more sensitive than peripheral erythrocytes to environmental genotoxic effects. The results of our studies for other spots will be reported afterward. These data can be used as the original background information to monitor the environment when the Nuclear Power Station is in operation.

  6. Contributions to the knowledge of amphibians and reptiles from Volta Grande do Xingu, northern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz-Silva, W; Oliveira, R M; Gonzaga, A F N; Pinto, K C; Poli, F C; Bilce, T M; Penhacek, M; Wronski, L; Martins, J X; Junqueira, T G; Cesca, L C C; Guimarães, V Y; Pinheiro, R D

    2015-08-01

    The region of Volta Grande do Xingu River, in the state of Pará, presents several kinds of land use ranging from extensive cattle farming to agroforestry, and deforestation. Currently, the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Power Plant affects the region. We present a checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the region and discuss information regarding the spatial distribution of the assemblies based on results of Environmental Programmes conducted in the area. We listed 109 amphibian (Anura, Caudata, and Gymnophiona) and 150 reptile (Squamata, Testudines, and Crocodylia) species. The regional species richness is still considered underestimated, considering the taxonomic uncertainty, complexity and cryptic diversity of various species, as observed in other regions of the Amazon biome. Efforts for scientific collection and studies related to integrative taxonomy are needed to elucidate uncertainties and increase levels of knowledge of the local diversity. PMID:26691094

  7. Root Transcript Profiling of Two Rorippa Species Reveals Gene Clusters Associated with Extreme Submergence Tolerance1[C][W][OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Sasidharan, Rashmi; Mustroph, Angelika; Boonman, Alex; Akman, Melis; Ammerlaan, Ankie M.H.; Breit, Timo; Schranz, M. Eric; Voesenek, Laurentius A.C.J.; van Tienderen, Peter H.

    2013-01-01

    Complete submergence represses photosynthesis and aerobic respiration, causing rapid mortality in most terrestrial plants. However, some plants have evolved traits allowing them to survive prolonged flooding, such as species of the genus Rorippa, close relatives of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We studied plant survival, changes in carbohydrate and metabolite concentrations, and transcriptome responses to submergence of two species, Rorippa sylvestris and Rorippa amphibia. We exploited the close relationship between Rorippa species and the model species Arabidopsis by using Arabidopsis GeneChip microarrays for whole-genome transcript profiling of roots of young plants exposed to a 24-h submergence treatment or air. A probe mask was used based on hybridization of genomic DNA of both species to the arrays, so that weak probe signals due to Rorippa species/Arabidopsis mismatches were removed. Furthermore, we compared Rorippa species microarray results with those obtained for roots of submerged Arabidopsis plants. Both Rorippa species could tolerate deep submergence, with R. sylvestris surviving much longer than R. amphibia. Submergence resulted in the induction of genes involved in glycolysis and fermentation and the repression of many energy-consuming pathways, similar to the low-oxygen and submergence response of Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa). The qualitative responses of both Rorippa species to submergence appeared roughly similar but differed quantitatively. Notably, glycolysis and fermentation genes and a gene encoding sucrose synthase were more strongly induced in the less tolerant R. amphibia than in R. sylvestris. A comparison with Arabidopsis microarray studies on submerged roots revealed some interesting differences and potential tolerance-related genes in Rorippa species. PMID:24077074

  8. Root transcript profiling of two Rorippa species reveals gene clusters associated with extreme submergence tolerance.

    PubMed

    Sasidharan, Rashmi; Mustroph, Angelika; Boonman, Alex; Akman, Melis; Ammerlaan, Ankie M H; Breit, Timo; Schranz, M Eric; Voesenek, Laurentius A C J; van Tienderen, Peter H

    2013-11-01

    Complete submergence represses photosynthesis and aerobic respiration, causing rapid mortality in most terrestrial plants. However, some plants have evolved traits allowing them to survive prolonged flooding, such as species of the genus Rorippa, close relatives of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). We studied plant survival, changes in carbohydrate and metabolite concentrations, and transcriptome responses to submergence of two species, Rorippa sylvestris and Rorippa amphibia. We exploited the close relationship between Rorippa species and the model species Arabidopsis by using Arabidopsis GeneChip microarrays for whole-genome transcript profiling of roots of young plants exposed to a 24-h submergence treatment or air. A probe mask was used based on hybridization of genomic DNA of both species to the arrays, so that weak probe signals due to Rorippa species/Arabidopsis mismatches were removed. Furthermore, we compared Rorippa species microarray results with those obtained for roots of submerged Arabidopsis plants. Both Rorippa species could tolerate deep submergence, with R. sylvestris surviving much longer than R. amphibia. Submergence resulted in the induction of genes involved in glycolysis and fermentation and the repression of many energy-consuming pathways, similar to the low-oxygen and submergence response of Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa). The qualitative responses of both Rorippa species to submergence appeared roughly similar but differed quantitatively. Notably, glycolysis and fermentation genes and a gene encoding sucrose synthase were more strongly induced in the less tolerant R. amphibia than in R. sylvestris. A comparison with Arabidopsis microarray studies on submerged roots revealed some interesting differences and potential tolerance-related genes in Rorippa species. PMID:24077074

  9. Telocytes in ileum of the Chinese giant salamander: ultrastructural evidence.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Zhong, Shengwei; Ge, Tingting; Peng, Shasha; Yu, Pengcheng; Zhou, Zuohong; Guo, Xiaoquan

    2016-03-01

    Telocytes (TCs) and their telopodes (Tps) have been found in various organs of many mammals, including in lower animals. However, knowledge of TCs in lower animals is still very limited. This study identified TCs and their Tps in the ileum of the Chinese giant salamander, Andrias davidianus (Amphibia: Caudata), by transmission electron microscopy. The TCs/Tps were found near epithelial cells, glandular cells and unmyelinated nerve fibres. Moreover, exosomes were also found to be present in between TCs/Tps and these cells. PMID:26805522

  10. Cardiovascular physiology and diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Heinz-Taheny, Kathleen M

    2009-01-01

    The class Amphibia includes three orders of amphibians: the anurans (frogs and toads), urodeles (salamanders, axolotls, and newts), and caecilians. The diversity of lifestyles across these three orders has accompanying differences in the cardiovascular anatomy and physiology allowing for adaptations to aquatic or terrestrial habitats, pulmonic or gill respiration, hibernation, and body elongation (in the caecilian). This article provides a review of amphibian cardiovascular anatomy and physiology with discussion of unique species adaptations. In addition, amphibians as cardiovascular animal models and commonly encountered natural diseases are covered. PMID:19131029

  11. Helminth parasite communities in anuran amphibians of Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary (Haryana), India.

    PubMed

    Rizvi, Anjum N; Bhutia, Pasang T

    2010-10-01

    Helminth parasite fauna in anuran amphibia were investigated during the general faunistic surveys of Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in Haryana state. Three species of amphibian hosts were found to harbour 12 genera of helminth parasites. The prevalence, intensity and abundance were studied. Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis harboured maximum parasite species followed by Fejervarya limnocharis and Duttaphrynus melanostictus. In E. cyanophlyctis, among nematode parasites, the genus Camallanus was most prevalent followed by Cosmocerca and Cosmocercoides, whereas, Rhabdias and Aplectana were the least prevalent genera. Among trematode parasites, Ganeo was the most prevalent genus and least was Diplodiscus. Acanthocephalus was recovered only once and no cestode infection was found. In F. limnocharis, the most prevalent nematode genus was Oxysomatium, followed by Cosmocerca and the only trematode recorded was Ganeo, whereas, cestode Proteocephalus was also recovered once. In D. melanostictus, only two nematode genera were recovered of which Oxysomatium was dominant followed by Cosmocerca. The helminth parasite community in anuran amphibia of Kalesar WLS comprised 52.9% of nematodes, 46.2% of trematodes, 0.58% cestodes and 0.29% acanthocephala. PMID:21966125

  12. Extreme flooding tolerance in Rorippa.

    PubMed

    Akman, Melis; Bhikharie, Amit; Mustroph, Angelika; Sasidharan, Rashmi

    2014-01-01

    Low oxygen stress imposed by floods creates a strong selection force shaping plant ecosystems in flood-prone areas. Plants inhabiting these environments adopt various adaptations and survival strategies to cope with increasing water depths. Two Rorippa species, R. sylvestris and R. amphibia that grow in naturally flooded areas, have high submergence tolerance achieved by the so-called quiescence and escape strategies, respectively. In order to dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in these strategies, we investigated submergence-induced changes in gene expression in flooded roots of Rorippa species. There was a higher induction of glycolysis and fermentation genes and faster carbohydrate reduction in R. amphibia, indicating a higher demand for energy potentially leading to faster mortality by starvation. Moreover, R. sylvestris showed induction of genes improving submergence tolerance, potentially enhancing survival in prolonged floods. Additionally, we compared transcript profiles of these 2 tolerant species to relatively intolerant Arabidopsis and found that only Rorippa species induced various inorganic pyrophosphate dependent genes, alternatives to ATP demanding pathways, thereby conserving energy, and potentially explaining the difference in flooding survival between Rorippa and Arabidopsis. PMID:24525961

  13. Tuberculosis in wildlife in the Ruwenzori National Park, Uganda (Part II).

    PubMed

    Woodford, M H

    1982-08-01

    The results of post-mortem examinations of 90 warthog (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) conducted in the Ruwenzori National Park, Uganda during a survey of tuberculous infection in wildlife are described. Nine per cent of warthog were found to show gross lesions on autopsy and of these organisms which could by typed, Mycobacterium bovis was isolated in 2 of 6 cases and 5 atypical mycobacterial strains were isolated from the remaining 4. The distribution and character of the lesions is described and it is concluded that the route of infection in the warthog is alimentary. A mycobacterial survey of 8 other species of mammals, 7 species of birds, 5 species of fish and 1 species of amphibian is described. None of the mammals (except possibly 1 elephant), birds, fish or amphibia is described. None of the mammals (except possibly 1 elephant), birds, fish or amphibia was found to be infected with M. bovis but several individuals were found to harbour atypical, probably saprophytic, mycobacterial types. The origin of tuberculosis in buffalo and warthog in the Ruwenzori National Park is discussed and is concluded to have been previous contact with domestic cattle. PMID:7123664

  14. Cranial Morphology of the Carboniferous-Permian Tetrapod Brachydectes newberryi (Lepospondyli, Lysorophia): New Data from µCT.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Jason D; Anderson, Jason S

    2016-01-01

    Lysorophians are a group of early tetrapods with extremely elongate trunks, reduced limbs, and highly reduced skulls. Since the first discovery of this group, general similarities in outward appearance between lysorophians and some modern lissamphibian orders (specifically Urodela and Gymnophiona) have been recognized, and sometimes been the basis for hypotheses of lissamphibian origins. We studied the morphology of the skull, with particular emphasis on the neurocranium, of a partial growth series of the lysorophian Brachydectes newberryi using x-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT). Our study reveals similarities between the braincase of Brachydectes and brachystelechid recumbirostrans, corroborating prior work suggesting a close relationship between these taxa. We also describe the morphology of the epipterygoid, stapes, and quadrate in this taxon for the first time. Contra the proposals of some workers, we find no evidence of expected lissamphibian synapomorphies in the skull morphology in Brachydectes newberryi, and instead recognize a number of derived amniote characteristics within the braincase and suspensorium. Morphology previously considered indicative of taxonomic diversity within Lysorophia may reflect ontogenetic rather than taxonomic variation. The highly divergent morphology of lysorophians represents a refinement of morphological and functional trends within recumbirostrans, and is analogous to morphology observed in many modern fossorial reptiles. PMID:27563722

  15. Cranial Morphology of the Carboniferous-Permian Tetrapod Brachydectes newberryi (Lepospondyli, Lysorophia): New Data from µCT

    PubMed Central

    Pardo, Jason D.; Anderson, Jason S.

    2016-01-01

    Lysorophians are a group of early tetrapods with extremely elongate trunks, reduced limbs, and highly reduced skulls. Since the first discovery of this group, general similarities in outward appearance between lysorophians and some modern lissamphibian orders (specifically Urodela and Gymnophiona) have been recognized, and sometimes been the basis for hypotheses of lissamphibian origins. We studied the morphology of the skull, with particular emphasis on the neurocranium, of a partial growth series of the lysorophian Brachydectes newberryi using x-ray micro-computed tomography (μCT). Our study reveals similarities between the braincase of Brachydectes and brachystelechid recumbirostrans, corroborating prior work suggesting a close relationship between these taxa. We also describe the morphology of the epipterygoid, stapes, and quadrate in this taxon for the first time. Contra the proposals of some workers, we find no evidence of expected lissamphibian synapomorphies in the skull morphology in Brachydectes newberryi, and instead recognize a number of derived amniote characteristics within the braincase and suspensorium. Morphology previously considered indicative of taxonomic diversity within Lysorophia may reflect ontogenetic rather than taxonomic variation. The highly divergent morphology of lysorophians represents a refinement of morphological and functional trends within recumbirostrans, and is analogous to morphology observed in many modern fossorial reptiles. PMID:27563722

  16. Myxozoan infections of caecilians demonstrate broad host specificity and indicate a link with human activity.

    PubMed

    Hartigan, Ashlie; Wilkinson, Mark; Gower, David J; Streicher, Jeffrey W; Holzer, Astrid S; Okamura, Beth

    2016-05-01

    Myxozoans are parasitic cnidarians that infect a wide variety of hosts. Vertebrates typically serve as intermediate hosts whereas definitive hosts are invertebrates, including annelids and bryozoans. Myxozoans are known to exploit species in two of the three extant amphibian orders (Anura: frogs and toads; Caudata: newts and salamanders). Here we use museum collections to determine, to our knowledge for the first time, whether myxozoans also exploit the third amphibian order (Gymnophiona: caecilians). Caecilians are a poorly known group of limbless amphibians, the ecologies of which range from aquatic to fully terrestrial. We examined 12 caecilian species in seven families (148 individuals total) characterised by a diversity of ecologies and life histories. Using morphological and molecular surveys, we discovered the presence of the myxozoan Cystodiscus axonis in two South American species (one of seven examined families) of aquatic caecilians - Typhlonectes natans and Typhlonectes compressicauda. All infected caecilians had been maintained in captivity in the United Kingdom prior to their preservation. Cystodiscus axonis is known from several Australian frog species and its presence in caecilians indicates a capacity for infecting highly divergent amphibian hosts. This first known report of myxozoan infections in caecilians provides evidence of a broad geographic and host range. However, the source of these infections remains unknown and could be related to exposure in South America, the U.K. or to conditions in captivity. PMID:26945641

  17. Discovery of a new family of amphibians from northeast India with ancient links to Africa.

    PubMed

    Kamei, Rachunliu G; San Mauro, Diego; Gower, David J; Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Sherratt, Emma; Thomas, Ashish; Babu, Suresh; Bossuyt, Franky; Wilkinson, Mark; Biju, S D

    2012-06-22

    The limbless, primarily soil-dwelling and tropical caecilian amphibians (Gymnophiona) comprise the least known order of tetrapods. On the basis of unprecedented extensive fieldwork, we report the discovery of a previously overlooked, ancient lineage and radiation of caecilians from threatened habitats in the underexplored states of northeast India. Molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitogenomic and nuclear DNA sequences, and comparative cranial anatomy indicate an unexpected sister-group relationship with the exclusively African family Herpelidae. Relaxed molecular clock analyses indicate that these lineages diverged in the Early Cretaceous, about 140 Ma. The discovery adds a major branch to the amphibian tree of life and sheds light on both the evolution and biogeography of caecilians and the biotic history of northeast India-an area generally interpreted as a gateway between biodiversity hotspots rather than a distinct biogeographic unit with its own ancient endemics. Because of its distinctive morphology, inferred age and phylogenetic relationships, we recognize the newly discovered caecilian radiation as a new family of modern amphibians. PMID:22357266

  18. Is solid always best? Cranial performance in solid and fenestrated caecilian skulls.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Maddin, Hillary C; Herzen, Julia; Beckmann, Felix; Summers, Adam P

    2012-03-01

    Caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) are characterized by a fossorial lifestyle that appears to play a role in the many anatomical specializations in the group. The skull, in particular, has been the focus of previous studies because it is driven into the substrate for burrowing. There are two different types of skulls in caecilians: (1) stegokrotaphic, where the squamosal completely covers the temporal region and the jaw closing muscles, and (2) zygokrotaphic, with incomplete coverage of the temporal region by the squamosal. We used 3-D imaging and modeling techniques to explore the functional consequences of these skull types in an evolutionary context. We digitally converted stegokrotaphic skulls into zygokrotaphic skulls and vice versa. We also generated a third, akinetic skull type that was presumably present in extinct caecilian ancestors. We explored the benefits and costs of the different skull types under frontal loading at different head angles with finite element analysis (FEA). Surprisingly, the differences in stress distributions and bending between the three tested skull types were minimal and not significant. This suggests that the open temporal region in zygokrotaphic skulls does not lead to poorer performance during burrowing. However, the results of the FEA suggest a strong relationship between the head angle and skull performance, implying there is an optimal head angle during burrowing. PMID:22323206

  19. Metabolic and endocrine changes during the reproductive cycle of dermatophagic caecilians in captivity.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Aline D; Navas, Carlos A; Jared, Carlos; Antoniazzi, Marta M; Ceballos, Nora R; Moreira, Renata G

    2013-10-01

    The amphibian order Gymnophiona is poorly known, and studies about their reproduction are mainly comparative and descriptive, focusing on the structure of testes, ovaries and oviducts. However, to understand the reproductive processes, including those of the oviparous dermatophagic species, it is important to know the dynamics of storage and mobilization of energetic substrates to gonads and skin during the reproductive cycle of males and females, as well as the endocrine control associated. For the present study, total lipids and proteins were measured during the annual cycle in the plasma, liver, muscle, testes, ovaries and skin of Siphonops annulatus in captivity. Plasma levels of gonadal steroids (estradiol, testosterone and progesterone) were quantified by radioimmunoassay. Histological analyses of ovaries and testes were performed to classify the maturation stages of the animals during the reproductive cycle. Gonadal maturation in males and females of S. annulatus was accompanied by metabolic changes in reserve tissues, which supported gonadal development and prepared the females' epidermis for skin feeding by the offspring. Even in confinement conditions, females and males synchronized the reproductive period. However, due to the absence of environmental cues in captivity inadequate levels of the hormones responsible for gamete release were triggered, leading to a lack of reproductive success. PMID:24001948

  20. Exploring the Effect of Asymmetric Mitochondrial DNA Introgression on Estimating Niche Divergence in Morphologically Cryptic Species

    PubMed Central

    Wielstra, Ben; Arntzen, Jan W.

    2014-01-01

    If potential morphologically cryptic species, identified based on differentiated mitochondrial DNA, express ecological divergence, this increases support for their treatment as distinct species. However, mitochondrial DNA introgression hampers the correct estimation of ecological divergence. We test the hypothesis that estimated niche divergence differs when considering nuclear DNA composition or mitochondrial DNA type as representing the true species range. We use empirical data of two crested newt species (Amphibia: Triturus) which possess introgressed mitochondrial DNA from a third species in part of their ranges. We analyze the data in environmental space by determining Fisher distances in a principal component analysis and in geographical space by determining geographical overlap of species distribution models. We find that under mtDNA guidance in one of the two study cases niche divergence is overestimated, whereas in the other it is underestimated. In the light of our results we discuss the role of estimated niche divergence in species delineation. PMID:24743746

  1. [Peculiarities of phosphoglycerate kinase-1 pseudogene evolution in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii Strauch, 1870)].

    PubMed

    Malyarchuk, B A; Denisova, G A; Derenko, M V

    2013-07-01

    Processed copies of genes generally evolve in neutral mode as pseudogenes, however, some of them might be important sources of new functional genes. The psiPGK1 pseudogene has been discovered in Schrenck salamander (Salamandrella schrenckii, Amphibia, Caudata, Hynobiidae) via polymerase chain reaction used to amplify the phosphoglycerate kinase 1 gene (PGK1). This pseudogene is an intronless copy of PGK1 gene absent of exon 6. Analysis of psiPGK1 pseudogene polymorphism has demonstrated that it lacks mutations, which results in shifts in the stop codons and reading frames, as well as that the interspecies variation of this pseudogene was inconsistent with the neutral model of evolution. In addition, the pattern of phylogeographic differentiation of the psiPGK1 variants mainly coincides with that observed in mitochondrial DNA. These observations allow it to be suggested that the psiPGK1 pseudogene is a new functional gene in the Schrenck salamander. PMID:24450152

  2. The Chemical and Evolutionary Ecology of Tetrodotoxin (TTX) Toxicity in Terrestrial Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Hanifin, Charles T.

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  3. Ubiquitous presence of gluconeogenic regulatory enzyme, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, within layers of rat retina

    PubMed Central

    Mamczur, Piotr; Mazurek, Jakub

    2010-01-01

    To shed some light on gluconeogenesis in mammalian retina, we have focused on fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase), a regulatory enzyme of the process. The abundance of the enzyme within the layers of the rat retina suggests that, in mammals in contrast to amphibia, gluconeogenesis is not restricted to one specific cell of the retina. We propose that FBPase, in addition to its gluconeogenic role, participates in the protection of the retina against reactive oxygen species. Additionally, the nuclear localization of FBPase and of its binding partner, aldolase, in the retinal cells expressing the proliferation marker Ki-67 indicates that these two gluconeogenic enzymes are involved in non-enzymatic nuclear processes. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00441-010-1008-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:20614135

  4. [Biological experiments on "Kosmos-1887"].

    PubMed

    Alpatov, A M; I'lin, E A; Antipov, V V; Tairbekov, M G

    1989-01-01

    In the 13-ray space flight on Kosmos-1887 various experiments in the field of cell biology, genetics, biorhythm, developmental biology and regeneration were performed using bacteria, protozoa, plants, worms, insects, fish and amphibia. Paramecia showed enhanced cell proliferation, spheroidization and diminished protein content. Experiments on fruit-flies, newt oocytes and primate lymphocytes confirmed involvement of the cell genetic apparatus in responses to microgravity. Beetles exhibited a reduction of the length of the spontaneous period of freely running circadian rhythms. Carausius morosus developed latent changes in early embryogenesis which manifested at later stages of ontogenesis. Exposure to microgravity did not prevent recovery of injured tissues; moreover their regeneration may be accelerated after recovery. Biology research programs in future biosatellite flights are discussed. PMID:2512415

  5. Predators of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (Diptera: Culicidae) Larvae in Wetlands, Western Kenya: Confirmation by Polymerase Chain Reaction Method

    PubMed Central

    OHBA, SHIN-YA; KAWADA, HITOSHI; DIDA, GABRIEL O.; JUMA, DUNCAN; SONYE, GORGE; MINAKAWA, NOBORU; TAKAGI, MASAHIRO

    2010-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed to determine whether mosquito predators in wetland habitats feed on Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) larvae. Aquatic mosquito predators were collected from six wetlands near Lake Victoria in Mbita, Western Kenya. This study revealed that the whole positive rate of An. gambiae s.l. from 330 predators was 54.2%. The order of positive rate was the highest in Odonata (70.2%), followed by Hemiptera (62.8%), Amphibia (41.7%), and Coleoptera (18%). This study demonstrates that the polymerase chain reaction method can determine whether aquatic mosquito predators feed on An. gambiae s.l. larvae if the predators have undigested An. gambiae s.l. in their midgut or stomach. PMID:20939371

  6. [Algo-bacterial communities of the Kulunda steppe (Altai region, Russia) soda lakes].

    PubMed

    Samylina, O S; Sapozhnikov, F V; Gaĭnanova, O Iu; Riabova, A V; Nikitin, M A; Sorokin, D Iu

    2015-01-01

    The composition and macroscopic structure of the floating oxygenic phototrophic communities from Kulunda steppe soda lakes (Petukhovskoe sodovoe, Tanatara VI, and Gorchiny 3) was described based on the data of the 2011 and 2012 expeditions (Winogradsky Institute of Microbiology). The algo-bacterial community with a green alga Ctenocladus circinnatus as an edificator was the typical one. Filamentous Geitlerinema sp. and Nodosilinea sp. were the dominant cyanobacteria. Apart from C. circinnatus, the algological component of the community contained unicellular green algae Dunaliella viridis and cf. Chlorella minutissima, as well as diatoms (Anomeoneis sphaerophora, Brchysira brebissonii, Brachysira zellensis, Mastogloia pusilla var. subcapitata, Nitzschia amphibia, Nitzschia communis, and Nitzschia sp.1). The latter have not been previously identified in the lakes under study. In all lakes, a considerable increase in salinity was found to result in changes in the composition and macroscopic structure of algo-bacterial communities. PMID:25916153

  7. No observable effect of a glyphosate-based herbicide on two top predators of temporal water bodies.

    PubMed

    Ujszegi, János; Gál, Zoltán; Mikó, Zsanett; Hettyey, Attila

    2015-02-01

    It has been implied that the application of pesticides is involved in the world-wide decline of biodiversity, but little is known about the influence of these chemicals on key predators of temporary wetlands. The direct impacts were examined of a frequently applied glyphosate-based herbicide on larval Aeshna cyanea (Müller, 1764; Odonata, Insecta) and adult male Lissotriton vulgaris (Linnaeus, 1758; Caudata, Amphibia), 2 top predators of Central European ephemeral ponds. The effects of herbicide exposure were measured on survival, behavior, body mass change, and predatory activity in an outdoor mesocosm experiment lasting for 17 d. No significant effects of exposure were observed in either predator species. The results suggest that the herbicide has no immediate effect on the predators studied at environmentally relevant concentrations and that these predators can also fulfill their top-down regulatory role in contaminated ecosystems. PMID:25378294

  8. Effects of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control in the Great Lakes on aquatic plants, invertebrates and amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilderhus, P.A.; Johnson, B.G.H.

    1980-01-01

    The chemicals 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) or a combination of TFM and 2a??,5-dichloro-4a??-nitrosalicylanilide (Bayer 73) have been used to control the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Great Lakes for about 20 yr. These chemicals cause some mortalities of Oligochaeta and Hirudinea, immature forms of Ephemeroptera (Hexagenia sp.), and certain Trichoptera, Simuliidae, and Amphibia (Necturus sp.). The combination of TFM and Bayer 73 may affect some Pelecypoda and Gastropoda, but its overall effects on invertebrates are probably less than those of TFM alone. Granular Bayer 73 is likely to induce mortalities among oligochaetes, microcrustaceans, chironomids, and pelecypods. No evidence exists that the lampricides have caused the catastrophic decline or disappearance of any species. The overall impact of chemical control of sea lampreys on aquatic communities has been minor compared with the benefits derived.

  9. Cold-induced changes in amphibian oocytes

    SciTech Connect

    Angelier, N.; Moreau, N.A.; N'Da, E.A.; Lautredou, N.F. )

    1989-08-01

    Female Pleurodeles waltl newts (Amphibia, urodele), usually raised at 20 degrees C, were submitted to low temperatures; oocytes responded to this cold stress by drastic changes both in lampbrush chromosome structure and in protein pattern. Preexisting lateral loops of lampbrush chromosomes were reduced in size and number, while cold-induced loops which were tremendously developed, occurred on defined bivalents of the oocyte at constant, reproducible sites. A comparison of protein patterns in control and stressed oocytes showed two main differences: in stressed oocytes, overall protein synthesis was reduced, except for a set of polypeptides, the cold-stress proteins; second, there was a striking inversion of the relative amount of beta- and gamma-actin found in the oocyte nucleus before and after cold stress. Whereas beta-actin was the predominant form in control oocytes, gamma-actin became the major form in stressed oocytes.

  10. The use of water chemistry and benthic diatom communities for qualification of a polluted tropical river in Costa Rica.

    PubMed

    Silva-Benavides, A M

    1996-08-01

    The water quality of several sections of a tropical river subjected to severe pollution was studied through physico-chemical water analysis and benthic diatom assemblages. The methodology follows the concept of differential species groups and that of its modification for the groups of nutrient-differentiating species for rivers rich in both oxygen and inorganic nutrients. The trophic indication of the latter authors correspond clearly with the results of chemical observations made in this study. The most abundant species found in this river were Navicula goeppertiana, Gomphonema parvulum, Gomphonema sp. aff. pumilum, Nitzschia palea, Nitzschia amphibia, Nitzschia clausii Nitzschia inconspicua, Navicula seminulum, Navicula sp. aff. cryptocephala, Navicula schroeterii var. escambia, Cymbella sinuata and Surirella sp. aff. roba. These species are known to be tolerant to organic pollution and eutrophication. Therefore we may conclude that diatoms are useful for biological monitoring of disturbed tropical rivers. PMID:9246365

  11. The chemical and evolutionary ecology of tetrodotoxin (TTX) toxicity in terrestrial vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Hanifin, Charles T

    2010-01-01

    Tetrodotoxin (TTX) is widely distributed in marine taxa, however in terrestrial taxa it is limited to a single class of vertebrates (Amphibia). Tetrodotoxin present in the skin and eggs of TTX-bearing amphibians primarily serves as an antipredator defense and these taxa have provided excellent models for the study of the evolution and chemical ecology of TTX toxicity. The origin of TTX present in terrestrial vertebrates is controversial. In marine organisms the accepted hypothesis is that the TTX present in metazoans results from either dietary uptake of bacterially produced TTX or symbiosis with TTX producing bacteria, but this hypothesis may not be applicable to TTX-bearing amphibians. Here I review the taxonomic distribution and evolutionary ecology of TTX in amphibians with some attention to the origin of TTX present in these taxa. PMID:20411116

  12. Predators of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (Diptera: Culicidae) larvae in wetlands, western Kenya: confirmation by polymerase chain reaction method.

    PubMed

    Ohba, Shin-Ya; Kawada, Hitoshi; Dida, Gabriel O; Juma, Duncan; Sonye, Gorge; Minakawa, Noboru; Takagi, Masahiro

    2010-09-01

    Polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed to determine whether mosquito predators in wetland habitats feed on Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) larvae. Aquatic mosquito predators were collected from six wetlands near Lake Victoria in Mbita, Western Kenya. This study revealed that the whole positive rate of An. gambiae s.l. from 330 predators was 54.2%. The order of positive rate was the highest in Odonata (70.2%), followed by Hemiptera (62.8%), Amphibia (41.7%), and Coleoptera (18%). This study demonstrates that the polymerase chain reaction method can determine whether aquatic mosquito predators feed on An. gambiae s.l. larvae if the predators have undigested An. gambiae s.l. in their midgut or stomach. PMID:20939371

  13. BION - A Unique Space Biological Laboratory: Reviews and Outlooks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazakova, A. E.; Abrashkin, V. I.; Kozlov, V. D.; Nikanorov, V. M.

    2002-01-01

    unique fundamental and applied researches in field of space biology. facilities when launch date, life time, orbital parameters, operation of the onboard equipment are subject to the benefit of the scientific research. of space system optimization prior to flight tests including ground and airplane tests with research hardware and animals involved. new relevant research hardware was also manufactured. influence of space flight on Earth organisms; combined influence of weightlessness and increased radiation on an organism; implementation of artificial gravity as a preventive aid; possibilities of fertilization and fetal growth under space flight conditions. amphibia, tortoises, laboratory rats, monkeys and others were used in space as biological objects. In total, they constituted 37 appellations. of the system. At present Bion S/C is a space facility, which meets scientific requirements and provides full scale of services to Customers.

  14. Mapping the Space of Genomic Signatures

    PubMed Central

    Kari, Lila; Hill, Kathleen A.; Sayem, Abu S.; Karamichalis, Rallis; Bryans, Nathaniel; Davis, Katelyn; Dattani, Nikesh S.

    2015-01-01

    We propose a computational method to measure and visualize interrelationships among any number of DNA sequences allowing, for example, the examination of hundreds or thousands of complete mitochondrial genomes. An "image distance" is computed for each pair of graphical representations of DNA sequences, and the distances are visualized as a Molecular Distance Map: Each point on the map represents a DNA sequence, and the spatial proximity between any two points reflects the degree of structural similarity between the corresponding sequences. The graphical representation of DNA sequences utilized, Chaos Game Representation (CGR), is genome- and species-specific and can thus act as a genomic signature. Consequently, Molecular Distance Maps could inform species identification, taxonomic classifications and, to a certain extent, evolutionary history. The image distance employed, Structural Dissimilarity Index (DSSIM), implicitly compares the occurrences of oligomers of length up to k (herein k = 9) in DNA sequences. We computed DSSIM distances for more than 5 million pairs of complete mitochondrial genomes, and used Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) to obtain Molecular Distance Maps that visually display the sequence relatedness in various subsets, at different taxonomic levels. This general-purpose method does not require DNA sequence alignment and can thus be used to compare similar or vastly different DNA sequences, genomic or computer-generated, of the same or different lengths. We illustrate potential uses of this approach by applying it to several taxonomic subsets: phylum Vertebrata, (super)kingdom Protista, classes Amphibia-Insecta-Mammalia, class Amphibia, and order Primates. This analysis of an extensive dataset confirms that the oligomer composition of full mtDNA sequences can be a source of taxonomic information. This method also correctly finds the mtDNA sequences most closely related to that of the anatomically modern human (the Neanderthal, the Denisovan

  15. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, Rafael; Meyer, Axel

    2001-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders. PMID:11390961

  16. Amphibian biology and husbandry.

    PubMed

    Pough, F Harvey

    2007-01-01

    Extant amphibians comprise three lineages-- salamanders (Urodela or Caudata), frogs and toads (Anura), and caecilians (Gymnophiona, Apoda, or Caecilia)--which contain more than 6,000 species. Fewer than a dozen species of amphibians are commonly maintained in laboratory colonies, and the husbandry requirements for the vast majority of amphibians are poorly known. For these species, a review of basic characteristics of amphibian biology supplemented by inferences drawn from the morphological and physiological characteristics of the species in question provides a basis for decisions about housing and feeding. Amphibians are ectotherms, and their skin is permeable to water, ions, and respiratory gases. Most species are secretive and, in many cases, nocturnal. The essential characteristics of their environment include appropriate levels of humidity, temperature, and lighting as well as retreat sites. Terrestrial and arboreal species require moist substrates, water dishes, and high relative humidity. Because temperature requirements for most species are poorly known, it is advisable to use a temperature mosaic that will allow an animal to find an appropriate temperature within its cage. Photoperiod may affect physiology and behavior (especially reproduction and hibernation), and although the importance of ultraviolet light for calcium metabolism by amphibians is not yet known, ecological observations suggest that it might be important for some species of frogs. Some amphibians are territorial, and some use olfactory cues to mark their territory and to recognize other individuals of their species. All amphibians are carnivorous as adults, and the feeding response of many species is elicited by the movement of prey. Diets should include a mixture of prey species, and it may be advisable to load prey with vitamins and minerals. PMID:17592184

  17. The hyal and ventral branchial muscles in caecilian and salamander larvae: homologies and evolution.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander

    2011-05-01

    Amphibians (Lissamphibia) are characterized by a bi-phasic life-cycle that comprises an aquatic larval stage and metamorphosis to the adult. The ancestral aquatic feeding behavior of amphibian larvae is suction feeding. The negative pressure that is needed for ingestion of prey is created by depression of the hyobranchial apparatus as a result of hyobranchial muscle action. Understanding the homologies of hyobranchial muscles in amphibian larvae is a crucial step in understanding the evolution of this important character complex. However, the literature mostly focuses on the adult musculature and terms used for hyal and ventral branchial muscles in different amphibians often do not reflect homologies across lissamphibian orders. Here we describe the hyal and ventral branchial musculature in larvae of caecilians (Gymnophiona) and salamanders (Caudata), including juveniles of two permanently aquatic salamander species. Based on previous alternative terminology schemes, we propose a terminology for the hyal and ventral branchial muscles that reflects the homologies of muscles and that is suited for studies on hyobranchial muscle evolution in amphibians. We present a discussion of the hyal and ventral branchial muscles in larvae of the most recent common ancestor of amphibians (i.e. the ground plan of Lissamphibia). Based on our terminology, the hyal and ventral branchial musculature of caecilians and salamanders comprises the following muscles: m. depressor mandibulae, m. depressor mandibulae posterior, m. hyomandibularis, m. branchiohyoideus externus, m. interhyoideus, m. interhyoideus posterior, m. subarcualis rectus I, m. subarcualis obliquus II, m. subarcualis obliquus III, m. subarcualis rectus II-IV, and m. transversus ventralis IV. Except for the m. branchiohyoideus externus, all muscles considered herein can be assigned to the ground plan of the Lissamphibia with certainty. The m. branchiohyoideus externus is either apomorphic for the Batrachia (frogs

  18. On the origin of and phylogenetic relationships among living amphibians.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, R; Meyer, A

    2001-06-19

    The phylogenetic relationships among the three orders of modern amphibians (Caudata, Gymnophiona, and Anura) have been estimated based on both morphological and molecular evidence. Most morphological and paleontological studies of living and fossil amphibians support the hypothesis that salamanders and frogs are sister lineages (the Batrachia hypothesis) and that caecilians are more distantly related. Previous interpretations of molecular data based on nuclear and mitochondrial rRNA sequences suggested that salamanders and caecilians are sister groups to the exclusion of frogs. In an attempt to resolve this apparent conflict, the complete mitochondrial genomes of a salamander (Mertensiella luschani) and a caecilian (Typhlonectes natans) were determined (16,656 and 17,005 bp, respectively) and compared with previously published sequences from a frog (Xenopus laevis) and several other groups of vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitochondrial data supported with high bootstrap values the monophyly of living amphibians with respect to other living groups of tetrapods, and a sister group relationship of salamanders and frogs. The lack of phylogenetically informative sites in the previous rRNA data sets (because of its shorter size and higher among-site rate variation) likely explains the discrepancy between our results and those based on previous molecular data. Strong support of the Batrachia hypothesis from both molecule- and morphology-based studies provides a robust phylogenetic framework that will be helpful to comparative studies among the three living orders of amphibians and will permit better understanding of the considerably divergent vertebral, brain, and digit developmental patterns found in frogs and salamanders. PMID:11390961

  19. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in amphibians of Cameroon, including first records for caecilians.

    PubMed

    Doherty-Bone, T M; Gonwouo, N L; Hirschfeld, M; Ohst, T; Weldon, C; Perkins, M; Kouete, M T; Browne, R K; Loader, S P; Gower, D J; Wilkinson, M W; Rödel, M O; Penner, J; Barej, M F; Schmitz, A; Plötner, J; Cunningham, A A

    2013-02-28

    Amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been hypothesised to be an indigenous parasite of African amphibians. In Cameroon, however, previous surveys in one region (in the northwest) failed to detect this pathogen, despite the earliest African Bd having been recorded from a frog in eastern Cameroon, plus one recent record in the far southeast. To reconcile these contrasting results, we present survey data from 12 localities across 6 regions of Cameroon from anurans (n = 1052) and caecilians (n = 85) of ca. 108 species. Bd was detected in 124 amphibian hosts at 7 localities, including Mt. Oku, Mt. Cameroon, Mt. Manengouba and lowland localities in the centre and west of the country. None of the hosts were observed dead or dying. Infected amphibian hosts were not detected in other localities in the south and eastern rainforest belt. Infection occurred in both anurans and caecilians, making this the first reported case of infection in the latter order (Gymnophiona) of amphibians. There was no significant difference between prevalence and infection intensity in frogs and caecilians. We highlight the importance of taking into account the inhibition of diagnostic qPCR in studies on Bd, based on all Bd-positive hosts being undetected when screened without bovine serum albumin in the qPCR mix. The status of Bd as an indigenous, cosmopolitan amphibian parasite in Africa, including Cameroon, is supported by this work. Isolating and sequencing strains of Bd from Cameroon should now be a priority. Longitudinal host population monitoring will be required to determine the effects, if any, of the infection on amphibians in Cameroon. PMID:23446968

  20. Caecilian jaw-closing mechanics: integrating two muscle systems.

    PubMed

    Kleinteich, Thomas; Haas, Alexander; Summers, Adam P

    2008-12-01

    Caecilians (Lissamphibia: Gymnophiona) are unique among vertebrates in having two sets of jaw-closing muscles, one on either side of the jaw joint. Using data from high-resolution X-ray radiation computed tomography scans, we modelled the effect of these two muscle groups (mm. levatores mandibulae and m. interhyoideus posterior) on bite force over a range of gape angles, employing a simplified lever arm mechanism that takes into account muscle cross-sectional area and fibre angle. Measurements of lever arm lengths, muscle fibre orientations and physiological cross-sectional area of cranial muscles were available from three caecilian species: Ichthyophis cf. kohtaoensis; Siphonops annulatus; and Typhlonectes natans. The maximal gape of caecilians is restricted by a critical gape angle above which the mm. levatores mandibulae will open the jaw and destabilize the mandibular joint. The presence of destabilizing forces in the caecilian jaw mechanism may be compensated for by a mandibular joint in that the fossa is wrapped around the condyle to resist dislocation. The caecilian skull is streptostylic; the quadrate-squamosal complex moves with respect to the rest of the skull. This increases the leverage of the jaw-closing muscles. We also demonstrate that the unusual jaw joint requires streptostyly because there is a dorsolateral movement of the quadrate-squamosal complex when the jaw closes. The combination of the two jaw-closing systems results in high bite forces over a wide range of gape angles, an important advantage for generalist feeders such as caecilians. The relative sizes and leverage mechanics of the two closing systems allow one to exert more force when the other has a poor mechanical advantage. This effect is seen in all three species we examined. In the aquatic T. natans, with its less well-roofed skull, there is a larger contribution of the mm. levatores mandibulae to total bite force than in the terrestrial I. cf. kohtaoensis and S. annulatus. PMID

  1. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-11-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  2. [Characterization of an experimental model of monosodium- glutamate-induced convulsions in the amphibian Bufo spp].

    PubMed

    Alfaro, F; Blas, O; Gutiérrez-Padilla, R; Feria-Velasco, A

    1990-01-01

    In previous reports, Feria-Velasco et al. characterized an experimental model of convulsions in rats induced by monosodium glutamate (MSG) with evaluation of the motor behavior and neurochemical parameters. In the present work, MSG injected in toads (Bufo spp) reproduced the model of convulsions with some peculiarities. The electrocorticographic recordings in toads after MSG injection were similar to those obtained in rats after administration of convulsant agents. Most of the toads injected with MSG (81.8%) showed convulsions preceded by an episode of stereotyped movements and signs of hyperexcitability. Latency for convulsions and frequency of convulsive episodes were similar to what has been reported in rats injected with MSG. However, the duration of convulsive period was larger than that seen in rats, and no deaths were recorded in toads. The peculiar feature of amphibia regarding their cerebral structures and their blood-brain barrier (BBB) make the amphibian model, an interesting and valuable one in studying experimentally induced convulsions, as well as the role of BBB in these phenomena. PMID:1669233

  3. The joining (J) chain is present in invertebrates that do not express immunoglobulins.

    PubMed Central

    Takahashi, T; Iwase, T; Takenouchi, N; Saito, M; Kobayashi, K; Moldoveanu, Z; Mestecky, J; Moro, I

    1996-01-01

    Joining (J) chain is a component of polymeric, but not monomeric, immunoglobulin (Ig) molecules and may play a role in their polymerization and transport across epithelial cells. To date, study of the J chain has been confined to vertebrates that produce Ig and in which the J chain displays a considerable degree of structural homology. The role of the J chain in Ig polymerization has been questioned and, since the J chain can be expressed in lymphoid cells that do not produce Ig, it is possible that the J chain may have other functions. To explore this possibility, we have surveyed J-chain gene, mRNA, and protein expression by using reverse transcriptase-coupled PCR, Northern blot analysis, and immunoblot analysis in invertebrate species that do not produce Ig. We report that the J-chain gene is expressed in invertebrates (Mollusca, Annelida, Arthropoda, Echinodermata, and Holothuroidea), as well as in representative vertebrates (Mammalia, Teleostei, Amphibia). Furthermore, J-chain cDNA from the earthworm has a high degree of homology (68-76%) to human, mouse, and bovine J chains. Immunohistochemical studies reveal that the J chain is localized in the mucous cells of body surfaces, intestinal epithelial cells, and macrophage-like cells of the earthworm and slug. This study suggests that the J chain is a primitive polypeptide that arose before the evolution of Ig molecules and remains highly conserved in extent invertebrates and vertebrates. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8700853

  4. Water quality assessment of the Sinchun stream based on epilithic diatom communities.

    PubMed

    Park, Yeon Jeong; Choi, Jae Sin; Kim, Han Soon

    2014-11-01

    Water quality was assessed 11 sites on the Sinchun Stream, in the region of Daegu City (South Korea), from May 2007 to March 2008 using Diatom Assemblage Index to Organic Water Pollution (DAIpo) and Trophic Diatom Index (TDI). The reference sites were unaffected by effluent from a closed mine or treated sewage and had, epilithic diatom communities that were dominated by saproxenous taxa such as Achnanthes convergens and Cocconeisplacentula var. lineata. The water quality of these sites had DAIpo values ranging between 77.5-93.8 and TDI values between 51.3-67.6, indicating β-oligosaprobic and mesotrophic environments, respectively. Study sites affected by effluent from the closed mine had epilithic diatom communities that were dominated by acidobiontic diatoms, such as Eunotia exigua and Achnanthidium minutissimum. The water quality of these sites had DAlpo values of 45.9-70.8, indicating β-mesosaprobic to α-oligosaprobic environments, whereas TDI ranged between 1.7-66.9, indicating an oligotrophic to mesotrophic environment. Downstream sites affected by the influx of mine effluent and treated sewage had many species and a high percentage of saprophilous taxa, including Fragilaria construens var. venter and Nitzschia amphibia. The water quality of these regions had DAIpo values ranging between 21.8-33.1 and TDI values between 67.5-76.7, indicating α-mesosaprobic and eutrophic environments, respectively. PMID:25522505

  5. Biostratigraphy and biochronology of the Monte Hermoso Formation (early Pliocene) at its type locality, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomassini, Rodrigo L.; Montalvo, Claudia I.; Deschamps, Cecilia M.; Manera, Teresa

    2013-12-01

    The Monte Hermoso Formation, cropping out at its type locality of Farola Monte Hermoso (Buenos Aires Province), is a classical fossiliferous unit of the South American Neogene, highlighted by the abundance and diversity of its vertebrate remains. However, its biostratigraphy and age have been largely debated, and numerous discrepancies and controversies have been stated. In this regard, the result of the analysis of new materials recovered from the different levels of this formation, following a strict control of stratigraphic provenance, is here reported. As well, the provenance of specimens of previous collections has been evaluated. The studied assemblage consists of Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia. These latter are the most numerous and belong to the Didelphimorphia, Polydolopimorphia, Rodentia, Notoungulata, Litopterna and Xenarthra. The recorded taxa suggest no important faunistic variations among the different levels of the Monte Hermoso Formation that would imply significant chronological differences, and hence, justify the recognition of two biostratigraphic units. The analysis of the first and last records as well as the taxa considered as exclusive, does not support the validity of the biozones of Trigodon gaudryi and Neocavia depressidens previously proposed. On this basis, a new scheme for the Monte Hermoso Formation at its type locality is proposed, including a new single biostratigraphic unit. This unit is the Eumysops laeviplicatus Range Zone, which represents the biostratigraphic base for the Montehermosan Stage/Age of the early Pliocene.

  6. [Phytoplankton community structure and eutrophication risk assessment of Beijiang River].

    PubMed

    Gou, Ting; Ma, Qian-Li; Xu, Zhen-Cheng; Wang, Li; Li, Jie; Zhao, Xue-Min

    2015-03-01

    To study the distribution of phytoplankton and water quality of Beijiang River, the community structure of phytoplankton was investigated and analyzed in wet and dry seasons. The results showed that a total of 74 species belonging to six phyla, 29 family and 48 genera of phytoplankton were identified, including 58 species of five phyla, 23 family and 41 genera in wet season and 59 species of six phyla, 26 family and 40 genera in dry season. Phytoplankton community structure in Beijiang River was represented by Bacillariophyta, Chlorophyta and Cyanophyta. Bacillariophyta dominanted the phytoplankton, and the dominant species were Aulacoseira granulate, Fragilaria virescens, Surirella biseriata, Nitzschia amphibia, Navicula simplex, Cyclotella meneghiniana, Synedra ulna, Gomphonema angustatum and Cymbella tumida. There was little difference in phytoplankton density between both seasons with the mean values being 3.54 x 10(5) and 4.87 x 10(5) cells L(-1) in dry and wet seasons, respectively. Based on the RDA results, DO, permanganate index, nitrogen and phosphorus were the important environmental factors affecting the distribution of phytoplankton in Beijiang River. The water quality of Beijiang River was classified as oligo-mesotrophic level even if this river was subjected to nitrogen and phosphorus pollution mainly from agricultural non-point source. PMID:25929062

  7. The properties, functions, and pathophysiology of maxi-anion channels.

    PubMed

    Sabirov, Ravshan Z; Merzlyak, Petr G; Islam, Md Rafiqul; Okada, Toshiaki; Okada, Yasunobu

    2016-03-01

    The maxi-anion channels (MACs) with a unitary conductance of 200-500 pS are detected in virtually every part of the whole body and found in cells from mammals to amphibia. The channels are normally silent but can be activated by physiologically/pathophysiologically relevant stimuli, such as osmotic, salt, metabolic, oxidative, and mechanical stresses, receptor activation, serum, heat, and intracellular Ca(2+) rise. In some MACs, protein dephosphorylation is associated with channel activation. Among MACs so far studied, around 60 % (designated here as Maxi-Cl) possess, in common, the following phenotypical biophysical properties: (1) unitary conductance of 300-400 pS, (2) a linear current-voltage relationship, (3) high anion-to-cation selectivity with PCl/Pcation of >8, and (4) inactivation at positive and negative potentials over a certain level (usually ±20 mV). The pore configuration of the Maxi-Cl is asymmetrical with extracellular and intracellular radii of ∼1.42 and ∼1.16 nm, respectively, and a medial constriction down to ∼0.55-0.75 nm. The classical function of MACs is control of membrane potential and fluid movement. Permeability to ATP and glutamate turns MACs to signaling channels in purinergic and glutamatergic signal transduction defining them as a perspective target for drug discovery. The molecular identification is an urgent task that would greatly promote the developments in this field. A possible relationship between these channels and some transporters is discussed. PMID:26733413

  8. Osmium ferricyanide fixation improves microfilament preservation and membrane visualization in a variety of animal cell types.

    PubMed

    McDonald, K

    1984-02-01

    Using a fixation formula which includes adding potassium ferricyanide (K3Fe(CN)6) to the osmium step and an en bloc aqueous uranyl acetate step before dehydration we have looked at cells from mammals, birds, amphibia, algae, and higher plants and we have collaborated in fixing cells of teleost fish. In every cell type except the algae and higher plants the final EM image was improved by the OsFeCN-uranium method. The most common improvement was an increase in the membrane contrast but more significantly, some cells show improved preservation of microfilaments. We conclude that the OsFeCN adds contrast to all classes of membrane and does not destroy microfilaments to the extent that osmium alone does. Adding uranyl acetate to the cells may protect delicate filamentous structures from collapse during dehydration and embedding. We have preliminary evidence in PtK1 cells that addition of tannic acid after OsFeCN may function in a similar manner. This method is recommended for any animal cell type where improved visualization of membranes and filaments is required. PMID:6539826

  9. Phospholipid transfer activities in toad oocytes and developing embryos. [Bufo arenarum

    SciTech Connect

    Rusinol, A.; Salomon, R.A.; Bloj, B.

    1987-01-01

    The role of lipid transfer proteins during plasma membrane biogenesis was explored. Developing amphibia embryos were used because during their growth an active plasma membrane biosynthesis occurs together with negligible mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum proliferation. Sonicated vesicles, containing /sup 14/C-labeled phospholipids and /sup 3/H-labeled triolein, as donor particles and cross-linked erythrocyte ghosts as acceptor particles were used to measure phospholipid transfer activities in unfertilized oocytes and in developing embryos of the toad Bufo arenarum. Phosphatidylcholine transfer activity in pH 5.1 supernatant of unfertilized oocytes was 8-fold higher than the activity found in female toad liver supernatant, but dropped steadily after fertilization. After 20 hr of development, at the stage of late blastula, the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity had dropped 4-fold. Unfertilized oocyte supernatant exhibited phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activity also, but at the late blastula stage the former had dropped 18-fold and the latter was no longer detectable under our assay conditions. Our results show that fertilization does not trigger a phospholipid transport process catalyzed by lipid transfer proteins. Moreover, they imply that 75% of the phosphatidylcholine transfer activity and more than 95% of the phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylethanolamine transfer activities present in pH 5.1 supernatants of unfertilized oocytes may not be essential for toad embryo development. Our findings do not rule out, however, that a phosphatidylcholine-specific lipid transfer protein could be required for embryo early growth.

  10. Cenoses of phototrophic algae of ultrasaline lakes in the Kulunda steppe (Altai krai, Russian Federation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sapozhnikov, Ph. V.; Kalinina, O. Yu.; Nikitin, M. A.; Samylina, O. S.

    2016-01-01

    In 2012, expeditions of the Institute of Microbiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, delivered samples of algo-bacterial mats from Kulunda steppe alkaline lakes (Petukhovskoe alkaline lake, Tanatar VI, and Gorchina III). The filamentous alga Ctenocladus circinnatus (Chlorophyta) acted as an edificator of the mats. The composition of cenoses algocomponents also included chlorophytes Dunaliella viridis and Picocystis salinarum as well as diatoms Anomeoneis sphaerophora, Brachysira brebissonii, B. zellensis, Mastogloia pusilla var. subcapitata, Nitzschia amphibia, N. cf. communis, and Nitzschia sp. 1. The composition and structure of phototrophic algae cenoses (including diatom taxocenes) were described for the investigated lakes for the first time. For the period from 2011 to 2012, the total mineralization significantly increased in lakes. This involved sensible alterations of cenoses. B. zellensis was the most permanent component of diatom taxocenes in both seasons. In the summer of 2011, it was often accompanied by A. sphaerophora and B. brebissonii. In the summer of 2012, A. sphaerophora was found only singularly in Lake Gorchina III, and some biotopes of Lake Tanatar VI were massively inhabited by N. cf. communis, including colonies that had not been previously described for the species. The genetic analysis of three diatoms, which are markedly different from each other in their appearance and were sampled from different lakes but were all determined as Nitzschia cf. communis, showed their complete similarity to each other with the 18S rRNA gene fragment and the highest similarity of all the three diatoms with the species Nitzschia communis.

  11. Pathogenesis of infantile hemangiomas.

    PubMed

    Uihlein, Lily Changchien; Liang, Marilyn G; Mulliken, John B

    2012-08-01

    1.Review the key features of the life cycle of infantile hemangiomas.2.Highlight cellular and molecular pathways involved in hemangioma-genesis.3.Discuss theories that may account for hemangioma-genesis.In the past, it was believed that a mother's visual impressions or behavior during pregnancy caused the growth of infantile hemangioma in her unborn child. She might have had an excessive craving for strawberries, witnessed the slaughter of an animal, directly contacted human or animal blood, or mocked a child with a similar birthmark.1 This folklore began to slowly fade once hemangiomas were examined through the light microscope. In 1863, Virchow2 suggested that hemangiomas are composed of proliferating new blood vessels resulting from progressive irritation of tissue. In 1933, Laidlow and Murray3 proposed a phylogenetic origin for hemangiomas and hypothesized that hemangiomas are remnants of vascular tufts functioning as accessory lungs for primitive amphibia. Pack and Miller4 (1950) hypothesized that hemangiomas develop from embryonic islands of angioblastic cells that were isolated from the systemic vasculature during fetal development. PMID:22881413

  12. Positive Darwinian selection results in resistance to cardioactive toxins in true toads (Anura: Bufonidae)

    PubMed Central

    Moore, David J.; Halliday, Damien C. T.; Rowell, David M.; Robinson, Anthony J.; Keogh, J. Scott

    2009-01-01

    Members of the Family Bufonidae, true toads, are famous for their endogenously synthesized cardioactive steroids that serve as defensive toxins. Evolution of resistance to these toxins is not understood. We sequenced a key region of the toxin's binding site in the Na+/K+ ATPase for relevant taxa representing Hyloidea (including bufonids), Ranoidea and Archaeobatrachia and tested for positive selection in a phylogenetic context. Bufonidae were distinct from other Hyloidea at 4–6 of 12 sites and, with one exception, had a homologous amino acid sequence. Melanophryniscus stelzneri had a distinct sequence, consistent with other independent evidence for a differentiated toxin. Tests within Bufonidae detected positive selection within the binding region, providing, to our knowledge, the first evidence of this type for positive selection within Amphibia. There was no evidence for positive selection on Bufonidae or M. stelzneri lineages. Sequence change in Leptodactylus ocellatus, a leptodactylid predator of Bufonidae, provides a molecular basis for predator resistance possibly associated with gene duplication. PMID:19465576

  13. Stepwise enrichment of 15N along food chains: Further evidence and the relation between δ 15N and animal age

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minagawa, Masao; Wada, Eitaro

    1984-05-01

    The isotopic composition of nitrogen was measured in marine and fresh-water animals from the East China Sea, The Bering Sea, Lake Ashinoko and Usujiri intertidal zone. Primary producers, showed average δ15Nversus atmospheric nitrogen of +5.0%. (+3.4 to +7.5) in the Bering Sea and Lake Ashinoko, and +6.8%. (+6.0 to +7.6) in Usujiri intertidal zone. Blue green algae from the East China Sea show an average -0.55%. (-0.8 to +1.2). All consumers, Zooplankton, fish and bird exhibited Stepwise enrichment of 15N with increasing trophic level. The 15N enrichment at a single feeding process ranged from +1.3 to +5.3 averaging +3.4 ± 1.1%.. This isotopic fractionation seems to be independent of habitat. The effect of age in animals was obtained by analyzing two marine mussels. The soft tissue nitrogen showed +2.0%. enrichment relative to that of primary producers, and the magnitude was almost constant with shell ages ranging from 0 to 8 years. A similar 15N enrichment occurs in all Molluscs, Crustaceans, Insecta, Amphibia, Fish, Ave and Mammal species regardless of the difference in the form of excreted nitrogen and in laboratory cultured fish, brine shrimp and mice (+2.9 to +4.9%.). The excreted ammonia from guppy was sufficiently light to balance the concentration of 15N to animal body.

  14. A neural network dynamics that resembles protein evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrán, Edgardo A.; Ferrara, Pascual

    1992-06-01

    We use neutral networks to classify proteins according to their sequence similarities. A network composed by 7 × 7 neurons, was trained with the Kohonen unsupervised learning algorithm using, as inputs, matrix patterns derived from the bipeptide composition of cytochrome c proteins belonging to 76 different species. As a result of the training, the network self-organized the activation of its neurons into topologically ordered maps, wherein phylogenetically related sequences were positioned close to each other. The evolution of the topological map during learning, in a representative computational experiment, roughly resembles the way in which one species evolves into several others. For instance, sequences corresponding to vertebrates, initially grouped together into one neuron, were placed in a contiguous zone of the final neural map, with sequences of fishes, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals associated to different neurons. Some apparent wrong classifications are due to the fact that some proteins have a greater degree of sequence identity than the one expected by phylogenetics. In the final neural map, each synaptic vector may be considered as the pattern corresponding to the ancestor of all the proteins that are attached to that neuron. Although it may be also tempting to link real time with learning epochs and to use this relationship to calibrate the molecular evolutionary clock, this is not correct because the evolutionary time schedule obtained with the neural network depends highly on the discrete way in which the winner neighborhood is decreased during learning.

  15. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity.

  16. Response of a phytoplanktonic assemblage to copper and zinc enrichment in microcosm.

    PubMed

    Pandey, Lalit K; Han, T; Gaur, J P

    2015-04-01

    The response of a laboratory-raised phytoplankton assemblage to copper and zinc enrichment was studied. Higher intracellular accumulation of both the test metals caused disappearance of metal sensitive species, loss of diversity and species richness, reduced growth rate, Chl a and biovolume; however, the community could recover after 14 days of incubation. Cyanobacteria showed marked sensitivity to both the test metals besides some diatoms, such as, Cyclotella meneghiniana and Melosira granulata. Metal enrichment enhanced the relative abundance of species like Scenedesmus quadricauda, Oocystis borgei, Achnanthes exigua, Fragilaria capucina and Nitzschia amphibia, and these were apparently metal tolerant. Cu and Zn stress induces formation of lipid bodies (bigger in size as well as in number) and morphological abnormalities in diatoms. Among these two metals, Cu impact was higher than Zn despite the fact that the intracellular accumulation of Zn was higher than Cu. Deformed raphe and mixed deformities in diatoms were exclusively found under heavy metal stress which was well supported by regression analysis. Finally the present study gives new insight for using diatoms as an effective tool for biomonitoring and biofuel production. PMID:25560739

  17. Assessing the Legacy of Red Mud Pollution in a Shallow Freshwater Lake: Arsenic Accumulation and Speciation in Macrophytes.

    PubMed

    Olszewska, Justyna P; Meharg, Andrew A; Heal, Kate V; Carey, Manus; Gunn, Iain D M; Searle, Kate R; Winfield, Ian J; Spears, Bryan M

    2016-09-01

    Little is known about long-term ecological responses in lakes following red mud pollution. Among red mud contaminants, arsenic (As) is of considerable concern. Determination of the species of As accumulated in aquatic organisms provides important information about the biogeochemical cycling of the element and transfer through the aquatic food-web to higher organisms. We used coupled ion chromatography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) to assess As speciation in tissues of five macrophyte taxa in Kinghorn Loch, U.K., 30 years following the diversion of red mud pollution from the lake. Toxic inorganic As was the dominant species in the studied macrophytes, with As species concentrations varying with macrophyte taxon and tissue type. The highest As content measured in roots of Persicaria amphibia (L.) Gray (87.2 mg kg(-1)) greatly exceeded the 3-10 mg kg(-1) range suggested as a potential phytotoxic level. Accumulation of toxic As species by plants suggested toxicological risk to higher organisms known to utilize macrophytes as a food source. PMID:27415607

  18. Variation of osteocyte lacunae size within the tetrapod skeleton: implications for palaeogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Montanari, Shaena; Brusatte, Stephen L.; De Wolf, Wendy; Norell, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent studies have emphasized the ability to reconstruct genome sizes (C-values) of extinct organisms such as dinosaurs, using correlations between known genome sizes and bone cell (osteocyte lacunae) volumes. Because of the established positive relationship between cell size and genome size in extant vertebrates, osteocyte lacunae volume is a viable proxy for reconstructing C-values in the absence of any viable genetic material. However, intra-skeletal osteocyte lacunae size variation, which could cause error in genome size estimation, has remained unexplored. Here, 11 skeletal elements of one individual from each of four major clades (Mammalia, Amphibia, Aves, Reptilia) were examined histologically. Skeletal elements in all four clades exhibit significant differences in the average sizes of their lacunae. This variation, however, generally does not cause a significant difference in the estimated genome size when common phylogenetic estimation methods are employed. On the other hand, the spread of the estimations illustrates that this method may not be precise. High variance in genome size estimations remains an outstanding problem. Additionally, a suite of new methods is introduced to further automate the measurement of bone cells and other microstructural features on histological thin sections. PMID:21411450

  19. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M.

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  20. Tyrosine Recombinase Retrotransposons and Transposons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, Russell T M; Butler, Margi I

    2015-04-01

    Retrotransposons carrying tyrosine recombinases (YR) are widespread in eukaryotes. The first described tyrosine recombinase mobile element, DIRS1, is a retroelement from the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum. The YR elements are bordered by terminal repeats related to their replication via free circular dsDNA intermediates. Site-specific recombination is believed to integrate the circle without creating duplications of the target sites. Recently a large number of YR retrotransposons have been described, including elements from fungi (mucorales and basidiomycetes), plants (green algae) and a wide range of animals including nematodes, insects, sea urchins, fish, amphibia and reptiles. YR retrotransposons can be divided into three major groups: the DIRS elements, PAT-like and the Ngaro elements. The three groups form distinct clades on phylogenetic trees based on alignments of reverse transcriptase/ribonuclease H (RT/RH) and YR sequences, and also having some structural distinctions. A group of eukaryote DNA transposons, cryptons, also carry tyrosine recombinases. These DNA transposons do not encode a reverse transcriptase. They have been detected in several pathogenic fungi and oomycetes. Sequence comparisons suggest that the crypton YRs are related to those of the YR retrotransposons. We suggest that the YR retrotransposons arose from the combination of a crypton-like YR DNA transposon and the RT/RH encoding sequence of a retrotransposon. This acquisition must have occurred at a very early point in the evolution of eukaryotes. PMID:26104693

  1. Endocrine disrupters: a human risk?

    PubMed

    Waring, R H; Harris, R M

    2005-12-01

    Endocrine disrupters (EDs) alter normal hormonal regulation and may be naturally occurring or environmental contaminants. Classically, EDs act genomically, with agonistic or antagonistic effects on steroid receptors and may alter reproductive function and/or cause feminisation by binding to oestrogen or androgen receptors; their binding to the thyroid receptor may dysregulate the neuroendocrine system. Recently, it has been shown that EDs can also act by non-genomic mechanisms, altering steroid synthesis (inhibition of cytochrome P450 isoforms) or steroid metabolism. The alkylphenol and phthalate plasticisers inhibit the inactivation of oestrogens by sulphation (via SULT 1A1 and 1E1 isoforms) and so cause a rise in levels of the free active endogenous oestrogens. A range of ED effects have been shown in mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibia and aquatic invertebrates but it is not yet clear whether these processes also occur in human beings. It is evident that EDs, as well as altering reproduction, can cause changes in neurosteroid levels and so have the potential to affect immune function, behaviour and memory. This may be of long-term concern since traces of EDs such as plasticisers, brominated fire retardants, sunscreen agents and cosmetic ingredients are widely distributed in the environment and in human biofluids. PMID:16271281

  2. Ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors.

    PubMed Central

    Hutchinson, T H; Brown, R; Brugger, K E; Campbell, P M; Holt, M; Länge, R; McCahon, P; Tattersfield, L J; van Egmond, R

    2000-01-01

    The European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals proposes a tiered approach for the ecological risk assessment of endocrine disruptors, integrating exposure and hazard (effects) characterization. Exposure assessment for endocrine disruptors should direct specific tests for wildlife species, placing hazard data into a risk assessment context. Supplementing the suite of mammalian screens now under Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) validation, high priority should be given to developing a fish screening assay for detecting endocrine activity in oviparous species. Taking into account both exposure characterization and alerts from endocrine screening, higher tier tests are also a priority for defining adverse effects. We propose that in vivo mammalian and fish assays provide a comprehensive screening battery for diverse hormonal functions (including androgen, estrogen, and thyroid hormone), whereas Amphibia should be considered at higher tiers if there are exposure concerns. Higher tier endocrine-disruptor testing should include fish development and fish reproduction tests, whereas a full life-cycle test could be subsequently used to refine aquatic risk assessments when necessary. For avian risk assessment, the new OECD Japanese quail reproduction test guideline provides a valuable basis for developing a test to detecting endocrine-mediated reproductive effects; this species could be used, where necessary, for an avian life-cycle test. For aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, data from existing developmental and reproductive tests remain of high value for ecological risk assessment. High priority should be given to research into comparative endocrine physiology of invertebrates to support data extrapolation to this diverse fauna. PMID:11102288

  3. Evolution of the Vertebrate Resistin Gene Family.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qingda; Tan, Huanran; Irwin, David M

    2015-01-01

    Resistin (encoded by Retn) was previously identified in rodents as a hormone associated with diabetes; however human resistin is instead linked to inflammation. Resistin is a member of a small gene family that includes the resistin-like peptides (encoded by Retnl genes) in mammals. Genomic searches of available genome sequences of diverse vertebrates and phylogenetic analyses were conducted to determine the size and origin of the resistin-like gene family. Genes encoding peptides similar to resistin were found in Mammalia, Sauria, Amphibia, and Actinistia (coelacanth, a lobe-finned fish), but not in Aves or fish from Actinopterygii, Chondrichthyes, or Agnatha. Retnl originated by duplication and transposition from Retn on the early mammalian lineage after divergence of the platypus, but before the placental and marsupial mammal divergence. The resistin-like gene family illustrates an instance where the locus of origin of duplicated genes can be identified, with Retn continuing to reside at this location. Mammalian species typically have a single copy Retn gene, but are much more variable in their numbers of Retnl genes, ranging from 0 to 9. Since Retn is located at the locus of origin, thus likely retained the ancestral expression pattern, largely maintained its copy number, and did not display accelerated evolution, we suggest that it is more likely to have maintained an ancestral function, while Retnl, which transposed to a new location, displays accelerated evolution, and shows greater variability in gene number, including gene loss, likely evolved new, but potentially lineage-specific, functions. PMID:26076481

  4. Chapter 9: understanding the nervous system in the 18th century.

    PubMed

    Smith, Christopher U M

    2010-01-01

    The 18th century was an age of transition. The time-honored neuropsychology of classical and medieval times, mechanized in Descartes' hydraulic neurophysiology, was undermined by microscopical observations and careful physiological experimentation. Yet it was not until the very end of the century, when work on electric fish and amphibia began to suggest an acceptable successor to "animal spirit," that the old understanding of human neurophysiology began to fade. This chapter traces this slow retreat from the iatrophysics of the early part of the century, with its hollow nerves and animal spirits, through a number of stop-gap explanations involving mysterious subtle fluids or forces described variously as irritability, élan vital, vis viva, vis insita, the spirit of animation etc., or perhaps involving vibrations and vibratiuncles and mysterious magnetic effluvia, to the dawning electrophysiology of the end of the century and the beginning of the next. This developing understanding filtered slowly through to affect medical education, and the 18th century saw the development of strong medical schools at Leiden, Edinburgh, Paris, Bologna and London. Associated with these developments there was a great increase, as a well-known physician looking back at the beginning of the following century noted, in a class of diseases that had little concerned physicians in the preceding century - "nervous disorders." PMID:19892112

  5. The smelling of Hedione results in sex-differentiated human brain activity.

    PubMed

    Wallrabenstein, I; Gerber, J; Rasche, S; Croy, I; Kurtenbach, S; Hummel, T; Hatt, H

    2015-06-01

    A large family of vomeronasal receptors recognizes pheromone cues in many animals including most amphibia, reptiles, rhodents, and other mammals. Humans possess five vomeronasal-type 1 receptor genes (VN1R1-VN1R5), which code for proteins that are functional in recombinant expression systems. We used two different recombinant expression systems and identified Hedione as a ligand for the putative human pheromone receptor VN1R1 expressed in the human olfactory mucosa. Following the ligand identification, we employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in healthy volunteers to characterize the in vivo action of the VN1R1 ligand Hedione. In comparison to a common floral odor (phenylethyl alcohol), Hedione exhibited significantly enhanced activation in limbic areas (amygdala, hippocampus) and elicited a sex-differentiated response in a hypothalamic region that is associated with hormonal release. Utilizing a novel combination of methods, our results indicate that the putative human pheromone receptor VN1R1 is involved in extra-olfactory neuronal activations induced by the odorous substance Hedione. The activation of VN1R1 might play a role in gender-specific modulation of hormonal secretion in humans. PMID:25797832

  6. In silico analyses of COMT, an important signaling cascade of dopaminergic neurotransmission pathway, for drug development of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Chiranjib; Pal, Soumen; Doss, C George Priya; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Lin, Chan-Shing

    2012-06-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has a vital role for degradation of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, and this dopamine performs an important function in our mental and physical health. The scarcity of dopamine may lead to Parkinson's disease, and inhibition of COMT can stop dopamine metabolism. Here, we have carried out genomics and proteomics analyses of COMT in order to facilitate new inhibitors of COMT. For genomics analyses, we performed codon composition investigation of COMT gene which shows A+T content which is 53.3 %. For proteomics analyses, conservation patterns and residues (highly conserved amino acids GLU64, LEU65, GLY66, CYS69, GLY70, ALA77, GLU90, THR99, SER119, ASP136, LEU140, ASP141, THR164, ASN170, VAL171, and ILE172), binding grooves, binding pockets, binding and conformation with substrate, evaluation of amino acid composition (15 % leucine rich), high scoring hydrophobic segments, high scoring transmembrane segments, tandem and periodic repeats, and disulfide bonds (three numbers), sequence logos (maximum stack height of 3 b and minimum stack height of <0.5 b) have been investigated for COMT protein. Furthermore, using COMT sequences of different species (class Mammalia, class Amphibia, and class Pisces), a phylogenetic tree has been constructed to examine the evolutionary relationship among different species. PMID:22622642

  7. Proteome analysis of the liver in the Chinese fire-bellied newt Cynops orientalis.

    PubMed

    Zang, X Y; Guo, J L; Geng, X F; Li, P F; Sun, J Y; Wang, Q W; Xu, C S

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese fire-bellied newt, Cynops orientalis, belonging to Amphibia, Caudata, Salamandridae is a species endemic to China. The liver, which is an important digestive gland and the largest amphibian organ, has various functions, including detoxification, glycogen storage, protein synthesis, and hormone production. However, the newt liver has rarely been studied at the molecular level. We performed histomorphology and high-throughput proteomic analysis of the Chinese fire-bellied newt liver, using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and two-dimensional electrophoresis coupled with mass spectrometry. The H&E staining showed that the newt liver nuclei are large and round, are located in the lateral cytoplasm, and contain a large quantity of lipid droplets. Melanins were abundantly present throughout the hepatic parenchyma. The proteome analysis showed a total of 545 proteins detected in the newt liver. Furthermore, a gene ontology analysis suggested that these proteins were associated with metabolism, immune response, cellular homeostasis, etc. Among these, proteins with metabolic functions were found to be the most abundant and highly expressed. This supports the role of the liver as the metabolic center. The proteomic results provide new insights into the aspects of the liver proteomes of the Chinese fire-bellied newt. The identification of a more global liver proteome in the newt may provide a basis for characterizing and comparing the liver proteomes from other amphibian species. PMID:27525932

  8. Marcello Malpighi and the discovery of the pulmonary capillaries and alveoli.

    PubMed

    West, John B

    2013-03-15

    Marcello Malpighi (1628-1694) was an Italian scientist who made outstanding contributions in many areas, including the anatomical basis of respiration in amphibia, mammals, and insects and also in the very different fields of embryology and botany. He was one of the first biologists to make use of the newly invented microscope and is best known as the discoverer of the pulmonary capillaries and alveoli. However, he also discovered the spiracles and tracheae that enable respiration in insects. His studies of the embryology of the chicken were far ahead of his time; he then turned to the anatomy of plants, where he made important contributions. Indeed, in some articles Malpighi is referred to as the father of embryology and in other publications as one of the fathers of plant anatomy. His work on the lung was chiefly carried out on the frog; he referred to this animal as the "microscope of nature" because it allowed him to see structures that were not visible in larger animals such as mammals. He also argued that nature undertakes its great works in larger animals after a series of attempts in lower animals. For breadth of interest, innovation, and productivity, it is not easy to think of his equal in the field of life sciences. PMID:23377345

  9. Suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation.

    PubMed

    Germano, Jennifer M; Bishop, Phillip J

    2009-02-01

    Translocations are important tools in the field of conservation. Despite increased use over the last few decades, the appropriateness of translocations for amphibians and reptiles has been debated widely over the past 20 years. To provide a comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of amphibians and reptiles for translocation, we reviewed the results of amphibian and reptile translocation projects published between 1991 and 2006. The success rate of amphibian and reptile translocations reported over this period was twice that reported in an earlier review in 1991. Success and failure rates were independent of the taxonomic class (Amphibia or Reptilia) released. Reptile translocations driven by human-wildlife conflict mitigation had a higher failure rate than those motivated by conservation, and more recent projects of reptile translocations had unknown outcomes. The outcomes of amphibian translocations were significantly related to the number of animals released, with projects releasing over 1000 individuals being most successful. The most common reported causes of translocation failure were homing and migration of introduced individuals out of release sites and poor habitat. The increased success of amphibian and reptile translocations reviewed in this study compared with the 1991 review is encouraging for future conservation projects. Nevertheless, more preparation, monitoring, reporting of results, and experimental testing of techniques and reintroduction questions need to occur to improve translocations of amphibians and reptiles as a whole. PMID:19143783

  10. Drought, deluge and declines: the impact of precipitation extremes on amphibians in a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Walls, Susan C; Barichivich, William J; Brown, Mary E

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change-that of extreme variation in precipitation-may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall "pulses" are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity. PMID:24832668

  11. Drought, Deluge and Declines: The Impact of Precipitation Extremes on Amphibians in a Changing Climate

    PubMed Central

    Walls, Susan C.; Barichivich, William J.; Brown, Mary E.

    2013-01-01

    The Class Amphibia is one of the most severely impacted taxa in an on-going global biodiversity crisis. Because amphibian reproduction is tightly associated with the presence of water, climatic changes that affect water availability pose a particularly menacing threat to both aquatic and terrestrial-breeding amphibians. We explore the impacts that one facet of climate change—that of extreme variation in precipitation—may have on amphibians. This variation is manifested principally as increases in the incidence and severity of both drought and major storm events. We stress the need to consider not only total precipitation amounts but also the pattern and timing of rainfall events. Such rainfall “pulses” are likely to become increasingly more influential on amphibians, especially in relation to seasonal reproduction. Changes in reproductive phenology can strongly influence the outcome of competitive and predatory interactions, thus potentially altering community dynamics in assemblages of co-existing species. We present a conceptual model to illustrate possible landscape and metapopulation consequences of alternative climate change scenarios for pond-breeding amphibians, using the Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum, as an example. Although amphibians have evolved a variety of life history strategies that enable them to cope with environmental uncertainty, it is unclear whether adaptations can keep pace with the escalating rate of climate change. Climate change, especially in combination with other stressors, is a daunting challenge for the persistence of amphibians and, thus, the conservation of global biodiversity. PMID:24832668

  12. Biogeographical Consequences of Cenozoic Tectonic Events within East Asian Margins: A Case Study of Hynobius Biogeography

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Fu, Cuizhang; Lei, Guangchun

    2011-01-01

    Few studies have explored the role of Cenozoic tectonic evolution in shaping patterns and processes of extant animal distributions within East Asian margins. We select Hynobius salamanders (Amphibia: Hynobiidae) as a model to examine biogeographical consequences of Cenozoic tectonic events within East Asian margins. First, we use GenBank molecular data to reconstruct phylogenetic interrelationships of Hynobius by Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses. Second, we estimate the divergence time using the Bayesian relaxed clock approach and infer dispersal/vicariance histories under the ‘dispersal–extinction–cladogenesis’ model. Finally, we test whether evolutionary history and biogeographical processes of Hynobius should coincide with the predictions of two major hypotheses (the ‘vicariance’/‘out of southwestern Japan’ hypothesis). The resulting phylogeny confirmed Hynobius as a monophyletic group, which could be divided into nine major clades associated with six geographical areas. Our results show that: (1) the most recent common ancestor of Hynobius was distributed in southwestern Japan and Hokkaido Island, (2) a sister taxon relationship between Hynobius retardatus and all remaining species was the results of a vicariance event between Hokkaido Island and southwestern Japan in the Middle Eocene, (3) ancestral Hynobius in southwestern Japan dispersed into the Taiwan Island, central China, ‘Korean Peninsula and northeastern China’ as well as northeastern Honshu during the Late Eocene–Late Miocene. Our findings suggest that Cenozoic tectonic evolution plays an important role in shaping disjunctive distributions of extant Hynobius within East Asian margins. PMID:21738684

  13. Molecular and Functional Characterization of Thioredoxin 1 from Korean Rose Bitterling (Rhodeus uyekii)

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Julan; Moon, Ji Young; Kim, Woo-Jin; Kim, Dong-Gyun; Nam, Bo-Hye; Kim, Young-Ok; Park, Jung Youn; An, Cheul Min; Kong, Hee Jeong

    2015-01-01

    Thioredoxin is a multifunctional antioxidant enzyme that belongs to the reductase family. In this study, we cloned and characterized thioredoxin 1 cDNA from the Korean rose bitterling Rhodeus uyekii (RuTrx). The full-length RuTrx cDNA consists of 674 bp with a 324 nt open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 107 aa protein. The deduced RuTrx amino acid sequence indicated a characteristic redox active site, 31WCGPC35. Pairwise alignment revealed RuTrx amino acid identity (55.1%–83.2%) with orthologs from various species of mammalia, amphibia, fish and bird. Phylogenetic analysis was conducted to determine the evolutionary position of RuTrx. Expression analysis showed that RuTrx transcripts were present in all of the tissues examined, and was high in the hepatopancreas of R. uyekii. During early development, the expression of RuTrx transcripts was increased. Recombinant RuTrx protein (rRuTrx) was tested for its capacity to serve as an antioxidant enzyme using a metal-catalyzed oxidation (MCO) system. The ability of rRuTrx to protect against supercoiled DNA cleavage due to oxidative nicking increased in a dose-dependent manner. In Raw264.7 cells, Dihydroethidium (DHE) staining for ROS production indicated the antioxidant activity of rRuTrx. Together, these findings suggest that RuTrx may play a role in maintaining the redox state balance in Korean rose bitterling R. uyekii. PMID:26287186

  14. Phylogenetically-Informed Priorities for Amphibian Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Isaac, Nick J. B.; Redding, David W.; Meredith, Helen M.; Safi, Kamran

    2012-01-01

    The amphibian decline and extinction crisis demands urgent action to prevent further large numbers of species extinctions. Lists of priority species for conservation, based on a combination of species’ threat status and unique contribution to phylogenetic diversity, are one tool for the direction and catalyzation of conservation action. We describe the construction of a near-complete species-level phylogeny of 5713 amphibian species, which we use to create a list of evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered species (EDGE list) for the entire class Amphibia. We present sensitivity analyses to test the robustness of our priority list to uncertainty in species’ phylogenetic position and threat status. We find that both sources of uncertainty have only minor impacts on our ‘top 100‘ list of priority species, indicating the robustness of the approach. By contrast, our analyses suggest that a large number of Data Deficient species are likely to be high priorities for conservation action from the perspective of their contribution to the evolutionary history. PMID:22952807

  15. Insights from the complete genome sequence of Mycobacterium marinum on the evolution of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Stinear, Timothy P.; Seemann, Torsten; Harrison, Paul F.; Jenkin, Grant A.; Davies, John K.; Johnson, Paul D.R.; Abdellah, Zahra; Arrowsmith, Claire; Chillingworth, Tracey; Churcher, Carol; Clarke, Kay; Cronin, Ann; Davis, Paul; Goodhead, Ian; Holroyd, Nancy; Jagels, Kay; Lord, Angela; Moule, Sharon; Mungall, Karen; Norbertczak, Halina; Quail, Michael A.; Rabbinowitsch, Ester; Walker, Danielle; White, Brian; Whitehead, Sally; Small, Pamela L.C.; Brosch, Roland; Ramakrishnan, Lalita; Fischbach, Michael A.; Parkhill, Julian; Cole, Stewart T.

    2008-01-01

    Mycobacterium marinum, a ubiquitous pathogen of fish and amphibia, is a near relative of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the etiologic agent of tuberculosis in humans. The genome of the M strain of M. marinum comprises a 6,636,827-bp circular chromosome with 5424 CDS, 10 prophages, and a 23-kb mercury-resistance plasmid. Prominent features are the very large number of genes (57) encoding polyketide synthases (PKSs) and nonribosomal peptide synthases (NRPSs) and the most extensive repertoire yet reported of the mycobacteria-restricted PE and PPE proteins, and related-ESX secretion systems. Some of the NRPS genes comprise a novel family and seem to have been acquired horizontally. M. marinum is used widely as a model organism to study M. tuberculosis pathogenesis, and genome comparisons confirmed the close genetic relationship between these two species, as they share 3000 orthologs with an average amino acid identity of 85%. Comparisons with the more distantly related Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis reveal how an ancestral generalist mycobacterium evolved into M. tuberculosis and M. marinum. M. tuberculosis has undergone genome downsizing and extensive lateral gene transfer to become a specialized pathogen of humans and other primates without retaining an environmental niche. M. marinum has maintained a large genome so as to retain the capacity for environmental survival while becoming a broad host range pathogen that produces disease strikingly similar to M. tuberculosis. The work described herein provides a foundation for using M. marinum to better understand the determinants of pathogenesis of tuberculosis. PMID:18403782

  16. Energetics of the smallest: Do bacteria breathe at the same rate as whales?

    PubMed

    Makarieva, Anastassia M; Gorshkov, Victor G; Li, Bai-Lian

    2005-10-22

    Power laws describing the dependence of metabolic rate on body mass have been established for many taxa, but not for prokaryotes, despite the ecological dominance of the smallest living beings. Our analysis of 80 prokaryote species with cell volumes ranging more than 1,000,000-fold revealed no significant relationship between mass-specific metabolic rate q and cell mass. By absolute values, mean endogenous mass-specific metabolic rates of non-growing bacteria are similar to basal rates of eukaryote unicells, terrestrial arthropods and mammals. Maximum mass-specific metabolic rates displayed by growing bacteria are close to the record tissue-specific metabolic rates of insects, amphibia, birds and mammals. Minimum mass-specific metabolic rates of prokaryotes coincide with those of larger organisms in various energy-saving regimes: sit-and-wait strategists in arthropods, poikilotherms surviving anoxia, hibernating mammals. These observations suggest a size-independent value around which the mass-specific metabolic rates vary bounded by universal upper and lower limits in all body size intervals. PMID:16191633

  17. Saving the best for last: Differential usage of impaled prey by red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio) during the breeding season.

    PubMed

    Morelli, Federico; Bussière, Raphaël; Goławski, Artur; Tryjanowski, Piotr; Yosef, Reuven

    2015-10-01

    We compared the prey composition of the red-backed shrike's (Lanius collurio) larders in agricultural habitats in Italy, France and Poland. This species exhibits the behaviour of impaling prey in larders, a behaviour attributed not only to storing food, but also as a social indication for sexual selection and/or demarcation of territories. A total of 426 impaled items were identified in 244 larders. Most common prey were identified for each country: Insecta (Hymenoptera) in Italy, Amphibia, Insecta (Diptera) and Clitellata in Poland, and Insecta (Orthoptera, Lepidoptera) in France. We found no relationship between type of prey impaled and height of impalement, however, we noted a negative relationship between the height of impalement and the distance to the nearest road. Furthermore, impaled toxic prey were found in all three countries, strengthening the possibility that prey are exposed to expedite the degradation of toxins or used as a social signal. Our results showed that the average weight of impaled prey was greater during the last reproductive stage (hatching and feeding young), providing evidence of differential usage of impaled prey during the breeding season. We therefore hypothesize that larger animals provide more energy, then vertebrates are preferred to invertebrates, especially when parents are feeding their nestlings. PMID:26200393

  18. Complete nucleotide sequence of the mitochondrial genome of a salamander, Mertensiella luschani.

    PubMed

    Zardoya, Rafael; Malaga-Trillo, Edward; Veith, Michael; Meyer, Axel

    2003-10-23

    The complete nucleotide sequence (16,650 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the salamander Mertensiella luschani (Caudata, Amphibia) was determined. This molecule conforms to the consensus vertebrate mitochondrial gene order. However, it is characterized by a long non-coding intervening sequence with two 124-bp repeats between the tRNA(Thr) and tRNA(Pro) genes. The new sequence data were used to reconstruct a phylogeny of jawed vertebrates. Phylogenetic analyses of all mitochondrial protein-coding genes at the amino acid level recovered a robust vertebrate tree in which lungfishes are the closest living relatives of tetrapods, salamanders and frogs are grouped together to the exclusion of caecilians (the Batrachia hypothesis) in a monophyletic amphibian clade, turtles show diapsid affinities and are placed as sister group of crocodiles+birds, and the marsupials are grouped together with monotremes and basal to placental mammals. The deduced phylogeny was used to characterize the molecular evolution of vertebrate mitochondrial proteins. Amino acid frequencies were analyzed across the main lineages of jawed vertebrates, and leucine and cysteine were found to be the most and least abundant amino acids in mitochondrial proteins, respectively. Patterns of amino acid replacements were conserved among vertebrates. Overall, cartilaginous fishes showed the least variation in amino acid frequencies and replacements. Constancy of rates of evolution among the main lineages of jawed vertebrates was rejected. PMID:14604788

  19. Risks to Colombian amphibian fauna from cultivation of coca (Erythroxylum coca): a geographical analysis.

    PubMed

    Lynch, J D; Arroyo, S B

    2009-01-01

    The Colombian amphibian fauna is among the richest known in the world, with about 20 species of salamanders (order Caudata), 35 of the limbless caecilians (order Gymnophiona), and more than 700 species of frogs and toads (order Anura) recorded from localities within the country. The potential effects of exposure to glyphosate on amphibians arising from production of illegal crops (coca) were examined. The analysis was based on (1) behavior and ecology of species and (2) proximities of actual museum records to localities in which illegal crops are being grown and the subset of those that have been sprayed with glyphosate. Based on data on the location of amphibians collected in Colombia, records were obtained for 193 species (28% of the national diversity) of frogs and toads found in localities within 10 km of areas where coca is grown. Further analyses with ARC MAP software allowed for measurement of the direct distance separating collection locations for frogs, known coca fields, and areas where aerial spraying was being conducted. Records in or near coca fields included data for 11 of 13 families of frogs and toads known to be present in Colombia. Only Ceratophryidae and Pipidae were not reported from these locations and appear not to be at risk. For eight species (Dendrobates truncatus, Craugastor raniformis, Pristimantis gaigeae, Smilisca phaeota, Elachistocleis ovale, Hypsiboas crepitans, Trachycephalus venulosus, and Pseudis paradoxa) selected to represent several habitat preferences and life-cycle strategies, large areas of their distributions lie outside coca production regions and their populations as a whole are at low risk. For a limited number of species that barely enter Colombian territory, the consequences of coca production may be more serious and may have placed several species of frogs at risk. These include Ameerega bilingua, Dendropsophus bifurcus, Pristimantis colomai, P. degener, P. diadematus, P. quaquaversus, P. variabilis, and

  20. Unconventional Myosins in Inner-Ear Sensory Epithelia

    PubMed Central

    Hasson, Tama; Gillespie, Peter G.; Garcia, Jesus A.; MacDonald, Richard B.; Zhao, Yi-dong; Yee, Ann G.; Mooseker, Mark S.; Corey, David P.

    1997-01-01

    To understand how cells differentially use the dozens of myosin isozymes present in each genome, we examined the distribution of four unconventional myosin isozymes in the inner ear, a tissue that is particularly reliant on actin-rich structures and unconventional myosin isozymes. Of the four isozymes, each from a different class, three are expressed in the hair cells of amphibia and mammals. In stereocilia, constructed of cross-linked F-actin filaments, myosin-Iβ is found mostly near stereociliary tips, myosin-VI is largely absent, and myosin-VIIa colocalizes with crosslinks that connect adjacent stereocilia. In the cuticular plate, a meshwork of actin filaments, myosin-Iβ is excluded, myosin-VI is concentrated, and modest amounts of myosin-VIIa are present. These three myosin isozymes are excluded from other actin-rich domains, including the circumferential actin belt and the cortical actin network. A member of a fourth class, myosin-V, is not expressed in hair cells but is present at high levels in afferent nerve cells that innervate hair cells. Substantial amounts of myosins-Iβ, -VI, and -VIIa are located in a pericuticular necklace that is largely free of F-actin, squeezed between (but not associated with) actin of the cuticular plate and the circumferential belt. Our localization results suggest specific functions for three hair-cell myosin isozymes. As suggested previously, myosin-Iβ probably plays a role in adaptation; concentration of myosin-VI in cuticular plates and association with stereociliary rootlets suggest that this isozyme participates in rigidly anchoring stereocilia; and finally, colocalization with cross-links between adjacent stereocilia indicates that myosin-VIIa is required for the structural integrity of hair bundles. PMID:9182663

  1. Parallel tagged amplicon sequencing of transcriptome-based genetic markers for Triturus newts with the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform

    PubMed Central

    Wielstra, B; Duijm, E; Lagler, P; Lammers, Y; Meilink, W R M; Ziermann, J M; Arntzen, J W

    2014-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing is a fast and cost-effective way to obtain sequence data for nonmodel organisms for many markers and for many individuals. We describe a protocol through which we obtain orthologous markers for the crested newts (Amphibia: Salamandridae: Triturus), suitable for analysis of interspecific hybridization. We use transcriptome data of a single Triturus species and design 96 primer pairs that amplify c. 180 bp fragments positioned in 3-prime untranslated regions. Next, these markers are tested with uniplex PCR for a set of species spanning the taxonomical width of the genus Triturus. The 52 markers that consistently show a single band of expected length at gel electrophoreses for all tested crested newt species are then amplified in five multiplex PCRs (with a plexity of ten or eleven) for 132 individual newts: a set of 84 representing the seven (candidate) species and a set of 48 from a presumed hybrid population. After pooling multiplexes per individual, unique tags are ligated to link amplicons to individuals. Subsequently, individuals are pooled equimolar and sequenced on the Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing platform. A bioinformatics pipeline identifies the alleles and recodes these to a genotypic format. Next, we test the utility of our markers. baps allocates the 84 crested newt individuals representing (candidate) species to their expected (candidate) species, confirming the markers are suitable for species delineation. newhybrids, a hybrid index and hiest confirm the 48 individuals from the presumed hybrid population to be genetically admixed, illustrating the potential of the markers to identify interspecific hybridization. We expect the set of markers we designed to provide a high resolving power for analysis of hybridization in Triturus. PMID:24571307

  2. Using catenas for GIS-based mapping of NW Mediterranean littoral habitats

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mariani, Simone; Cefalì, Maria Elena; Terradas, Marc; Chappuis, Eglantine; Ballesteros, Enric

    2014-06-01

    Studies aimed at describing habitats and mapping their distributions are pivotal to implementing management plans and to effectively guide conservation measures. We developed a novel approach of data collection and entry (CAT-LIT) to establish a detailed cartography of the littoral habitats found along the Catalan coast (Spain). Field data were recorded using coded, two-digit hierarchical lists (e.g. Aa, Ab, etc.) of horizons found at each point along the coast, called catenas. The horizons were either dominated by species (on the rocky bottoms) or sediment types (on the beaches) and corresponded to LPRE, EUNIS and CORINE habitats. Catenas were transferred into a database and calculations about the extent of bottom types, habitats, and catenas themselves along the coast were carried out with GIS tools. In addition, habitat link richness was calculated and represented using network analysis programs. The application of CAT-LIT to the Catalan coast showed that the habitats dominated by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia and the flattened barnacle Euraphia depressa and those dominated by the barnacle Chthamalus spp. were almost ubiquitous. Those dominated by the red alga Corallina elongata, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the red alga Rissoella verruculosa were also common. Because of the frequency of their connections, those habitats formed a huge hub of links in the networks. By using catenas, the habitats can be viewed using GIS based programs keeping the catena as the main informational and ecological unit. The catenas allow maximum compactness when vertically distributed habitats are to be shown on a 2D map. The complete cartography and dataset on the spatial distribution of the littoral habitats from Catalonia is valuable for coastal management and conservation to study changes in the habitat distribution and relate such changes to anthropogenic pressures. Furthermore, the CAT-LIT can be easily adapted to shores of other seas and oceans to obtain accurate

  3. Assessing risks to non-target species during poison baiting programs for feral cats.

    PubMed

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R; Johnston, Michael J

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access. PMID:25229348

  4. Traps of carnivorous pitcher plants as a habitat: composition of the fluid, biodiversity and mutualistic activities

    PubMed Central

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Peroutka, Marianne; Lendl, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Background Carnivorous pitcher plants (CPPs) use cone-shaped leaves to trap animals for nutrient supply but are not able to kill all intruders of their traps. Numerous species, ranging from bacteria to vertrebrates, survive and propagate in the otherwise deadly traps. This paper reviews the literature on phytotelmata of CPPs. Pitcher Fluid as a Habitat The volumes of pitchers range from 0·2 mL to 1·5 L. In Nepenthes and Cephalotus, the fluid is secreted by the trap; the other genera collect rain water. The fluid is usually acidic, rich in O2 and contains digestive enzymes. In some taxa, toxins or detergents are found, or the fluid is extremely viscous. In Heliamphora or Sarracenia, the fluid differs little from pure water. Inquiline Diversity Pitcher inquilines comprise bacteria, protozoa, algae, fungi, rotifers, crustaceans, arachnids, insects and amphibia. The dominant groups are protists and Dipteran larvae. The various species of CPPs host different sets of inquilines. Sarracenia purpurea hosts up to 165 species of inquilines, followed by Nepenthes ampullaria with 59 species, compared with only three species from Brocchinia reducta. Reasons for these differences include size, the life span of the pitcher as well as its fluid. Mutualistic Activities Inquilines closely interact with their host. Some live as parasites, but the vast majority are mutualists. Beneficial activities include secretion of enzymes, feeding on the plant's prey and successive excretion of inorganic nutrients, mechanical break up of the prey, removal of excessive prey and assimilation of atmospheric N2. Conclusions There is strong evidence that CPPs influence their phytotelm. Two strategies can be distinguished: (1) Nepenthes and Cephalotus produce acidic, toxic or digestive fluids and host a limited diversity of inquilines. (2) Genera without efficient enzymes such as Sarracenia or Heliamphora host diverse organisms and depend to a large extent on their symbionts for prey utilization

  5. Postglacial Colonization of the Qinling Mountains: Phylogeography of the Swelled Vent Frog (Feirana quadranus)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Bin; Jiang, Jianping; Xie, Feng; Li, Cheng

    2012-01-01

    Background The influence of Pleistocene climatic fluctuations on intraspecific diversification in the Qinling–Daba Mountains of East Asia remains poorly investigated. We tested hypotheses concerning refugia during the last glacial maximum (LGM) in this region by examining the phylogeography of the swelled vent frog (Feirana quadranus; Dicroglossidae, Anura, Amphibia). Methodology/Principal Findings We obtained complete mitochondrial ND2 gene sequences of 224 individuals from 34 populations of Feirana quadranus for phylogeographic analyses. Additionally, we obtained nuclear tyrosinase gene sequences of 68 F. quadranus, one F. kangxianensis and three F. taihangnica samples to test for mitochondrial introgression among them. Phylogenetic analyses based on all genes revealed no introgression among them. Phylogenetic analyses based on ND2 datasets revealed that F. quadranus was comprised of six lineages which were separated by deep valleys; the sole exception is that the Main Qinling and Micang–Western Qinling lineages overlap in distribution. Analyses of population structure indicated restricted gene flow among lineages. Coalescent simulations and divergence dating indicated that the basal diversification within F. quadranus may be associated with the dramatic uplifts of the Tibetan Plateau during the Pliocene. Coalescent simulations indicated that Wuling, Daba, and Western Qinling–Micang–Longmen Mountains were refugia for F. quadranus during the LGM. Demographic analyses indicated that the Daba lineage experienced population size increase prior to the LGM but the Main Qinling and the Micang–Western Qinling lineages expanded in population size and range after the LGM, and the other lineages almost have stable population size or slight slow population size decline. Conclusions/Significance The Qinling–Daba Mountains hosted three refugia for F. quadranus during the LGM. Populations that originated in the Daba Mountains colonized the Main Qinling Mountains

  6. Assessing Risks to Non-Target Species during Poison Baiting Programs for Feral Cats

    PubMed Central

    Buckmaster, Tony; Dickman, Christopher R.; Johnston, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Poison baiting is used frequently to reduce the impacts of pest species of mammals on agricultural and biodiversity interests. However, baiting may not be appropriate if non-target species are at risk of poisoning. Here we use a desktop decision tree approach to assess the risks to non-target vertebrate species in Australia that arise from using poison baits developed to control feral house cats (Felis catus). These baits are presented in the form of sausages with toxicant implanted in the bait medium within an acid-soluble polymer capsule (hard shell delivery vehicle, or HSDV) that disintegrates after ingestion. Using criteria based on body size, diet and feeding behaviour, we assessed 221 of Australia's 3,769 native vertebrate species as likely to consume cat-baits, with 47 of these likely to ingest implanted HSDVs too. Carnivorous marsupials were judged most likely to consume both the baits and HSDVs, with some large-bodied and ground-active birds and reptiles also consuming them. If criteria were relaxed, a further 269 species were assessed as possibly able to consume baits and 343 as possibly able to consume HSDVs; most of these consumers were birds. One threatened species, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) was judged as definitely able to consume baits with implanted HSDVs, whereas five threatened species of birds and 21 species of threatened mammals were rated as possible consumers. Amphibia were not considered to be at risk. We conclude that most species of native Australian vertebrates would not consume surface-laid baits during feral cat control programs, and that significantly fewer would be exposed to poisoning if HSDVs were employed. However, risks to susceptible species should be quantified in field or pen trials prior to the implementation of a control program, and minimized further by applying baits at times and in places where non-target species have little access. PMID:25229348

  7. B-lymphocyte populations in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Hadji-Azimi, I; Coosemans, V; Canicatti, C

    1990-01-01

    Two-color immunofluorescence technique was used to show the development and distribution of surface mu- cytoplasmic mu+ (s mu- c mu+) pre-B, s mu+ B- and s mu+ cIg+ plasma cells in metamorphic, postmetamorphic, and adult Xenopus. Generation of pre-B cells was evident in hematopoietic liver and spleen, but not in bone marrow, thymus, and duodenal mucosa. Surface immunoglobulin positive small lymphocytes were the most abundant in the spleen while plasma cells were detected in the thymus, duodenal mucosa, spleen, and liver. We had shown previously the appearance of s mu- c mu+ pre-B cells in the liver of Xenopus larvae at developmental stage 46 and later at stage 49 in the spleen. The frequency of pre-B cells dropped to zero at stage 58, the climax of metamorphosis. Pre-B cells start to reappear slowly as a second wave, at stage 60 through early postmetamorphic life in the liver and spleen. The percentage of surface Ig+ (sIg+) cells in the spleen of developing animals from stage 60 onward is comparable to that observed in adult life. In adult animals, the periphery of the liver continues to be active in hematopoiesis and contains some IgM producing plasma cells and rare sIg+ small lymphocytes while the pre-B cells are almost nonexistent in this region. The spleen, which is also active in some hematopoiesis, constitutes the main site of B-cell differentiation. Three ontogenic stages of pre-B, B-, and plasma cells are present in this organ. Pre-B and plasma cells are of low density and heterogeneous in size while small sIg+ B lymphocytes are of high density and much more homogeneous in size. The bone marrow in these lower anuran amphibia is rudimentary and is not a lymphopoietic tissue; in adult animals it is active only in differentiation of neutrophilic granulocytes. PMID:2338158

  8. The molecular mechanism for the spectral shifts between vertebrate ultraviolet- and violet-sensitive cone visual pigments.

    PubMed Central

    Cowing, Jill A; Poopalasundaram, Subathra; Wilkie, Susan E; Robinson, Phyllis R; Bowmaker, James K; Hunt, David M

    2002-01-01

    The short-wave-sensitive (SWS) visual pigments of vertebrate cone photoreceptors are divided into two classes on the basis of molecular identity, SWS1 and SWS2. Only the SWS1 class are present in mammals. The SWS1 pigments can be further subdivided into violet-sensitive (VS), with lambda(max) (the peak of maximal absorbance) values generally between 400 and 430 nm, and ultraviolet-sensitive (UVS), with a lambda(max)<380 nm. Phylogenetic evidence indicates that the ancestral pigment was UVS and that VS pigments have evolved separately from UVS pigments in the different vertebrate lineages. In this study, we have examined the mechanism of evolution of VS pigments in the mammalian lineage leading to present day ungulates (cow and pig). Amino acid sequence comparisons of the UVS pigments of teleost fish, amphibia, reptiles and rodents show that site 86 is invariably occupied by Phe but is replaced in bovine and porcine VS pigments by Tyr. Using site-directed mutagenesis of goldfish UVS opsin, we have shown that a Phe-86-->Tyr substitution is sufficient by itself to shift the lambda(max) of the goldfish pigment from a wild-type value of 360 nm to around 420 nm, and the reverse substitution of Tyr-86-Phe into bovine VS opsin produces a similar shift in the opposite direction. The substitution of this single amino acid is sufficient to account therefore for the evolution of bovine and porcine VS pigments. The replacement of Phe with polar Tyr at site 86 is consistent with the stabilization of Schiff-base protonation in VS pigments and the absence of protonation in UVS pigments. PMID:12099889

  9. Evolution of the α-Subunit of Na/K-ATPase from Paramecium to Homo sapiens: Invariance of Transmembrane Helix Topology.

    PubMed

    Morrill, Gene A; Kostellow, Adele B; Liu, Lijun; Gupta, Raj K; Askari, Amir

    2016-05-01

    Na/K-ATPase is a key plasma membrane enzyme involved in cell signaling, volume regulation, and maintenance of electrochemical gradients. The α-subunit, central to these functions, belongs to a large family of P-type ATPases. Differences in transmembrane (TM) helix topology, sequence homology, helix-helix contacts, cell signaling, and protein domains of Na/K-ATPase α-subunit were compared in fungi (Beauveria), unicellular organisms (Paramecia), primitive multicellular organisms (Hydra), and vertebrates (Xenopus, Homo sapiens), and correlated with evolution of physiological functions in the α-subunit. All α-subunits are of similar length, with groupings of four and six helices in the N- and C-terminal regions, respectively. Minimal homology was seen for protein domain patterns in Paramecium and Hydra, with high correlation between Hydra and vertebrates. Paramecium α-subunits display extensive disorder, with minimal helix contacts. Increases in helix contacts in Hydra approached vertebrates. Protein motifs known to be associated with membrane lipid rafts and cell signaling reveal significant positional shifts between Paramecium and Hydra vulgaris, indicating that regional membrane fluidity changes occur during evolution. Putative steroid binding sites overlapping TM-3 occurred in all species. Sites associated with G-protein-receptor stimulation occur both in vertebrates and amphibia but not in Hydra or Paramecia. The C-terminus moiety "KETYY," necessary for the Na(+) activation of pump phosphorylation, is not present in unicellular species indicating the absence of classical Na(+)/K(+)-pumps. The basic protein topology evolved earliest, followed by increases in protein domains and ordered helical arrays, correlated with appearance of α-subunit regions known to involve cell signaling, membrane recycling, and ion channel formation. PMID:26961431

  10. New species of Cryptosporidium Tyzzer, 1907 (Apicomplexa) from amphibian host: morphology, biology and phylogeny.

    PubMed

    Jirků, Miloslav; Valigurová, Andrea; Koudela, Bretislav; Krízek, Jaroslav; Modrý, David; Slapeta, Jan

    2008-06-01

    Cryptosporidium fragile sp. n. (Apicomplexa) is described from black-spined toads, Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider) (Amphibia, Anura, Bufonidae) from the Malay Peninsula. The parasitized animals were directly imported from Malaysia and harboured C. fragile at the time of arrival. Oocysts were subspherical to elliptical with irregular contour in optical section, measuring 6.2 (5.5-7.0) x 5.5 (5.0-6.5) microm. Oocyst wall was smooth and colourless in light microscopy. The endogenous development of C. fragile in the stomach of black-spined toad was analysed in detail using light and electron microscopy. Cryptosporidian developmental stages were confined to the surface of gastric epithelial cells. In transmission experiments, C. fragile has not been infective for one fish species, four amphibian species, one species of reptile and SCID mice. Full length small subunit rRNA gene sequence was obtained. Phylogenetic reconstruction revealed distinct status of C. fragile within the clade of species with gastric localisation including Cryptosporidium muris Tyzzer, 1907, Cryptosporidium serpentis Levine, 1980 and Cryptosporidium andersoni Lindsay, Upton, Owens, Morgan, Mead et Blagburn, 2000. Described characteristics differentiate C. fragile from the currently recognized Cryptosporidium species. Our experience with the description of C. fragile has led us to revise the recommended criteria for an introduction of a new Cryptosporidium species name. C. fragile is the first species described and named from an amphibian host. Its prevalence of 83% (15/18) in black-spined toads within the 3 months after importation calls for strict quarantine measures and import regulation for lower vertebrates. PMID:18666410

  11. Adrenocortical function in cane toads from different environments.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Sandra E; Sernia, Conrad; Bradley, Adrian J

    2016-05-01

    The adrenocortical function of cane toads (Rhinella marina) exposed to different experimental procedures, as well as captured from different environments, was assessed by challenging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It was found that restriction stress as well as cannulation increased plasma corticosterone (B) levels for up to 12h. A single dose of dexamethasone (DEX 2mg/kg) significantly reduced B levels demonstrating its potential for use in the evaluation of the HPA axis in amphibia. We also demonstrate that 0.05 IU/g BW (im) of synthetic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) significantly increased plasma B levels in cane toads. Changes in size area of the cortical cells were positively associated with total levels of B after ACTH administration. We also found differences in adrenal activity between populations. This was assessed by a DEX-ACTH test. The animals captured from the field and maintained in captivity for one year at the animal house (AH) present the highest levels of total and free B after ACTH administration. We also found that animals from the front line of dispersion in Western Australia (WA) present the weakest adrenal response to a DEX-ACTH test. The animals categorized as long established in Queensland Australia (QL), and native in Mexico (MX), do not shown a marked difference in the HPA activity. Finally we found that in response to ACTH administration, females reach significantly higher levels of plasma B than males. For the first time the adrenocortical response in cane toads exposed to different experimental procedures, as well as from different populations was assessed systematically. PMID:26877241

  12. Trichospirura aethiopica n. sp. (Nematoda: Rhabdochonidae) from Malacomys longipes (Rodentia: Muridae) in Gabon, first record of the genus in the Ethiopian Realm

    PubMed Central

    Bain, Odile; Junker, Kerstin

    2013-01-01

    Trichospirura aethiopica n. sp. is described from unidentified tubular structures (pancreatic ducts?) near the stomach of the murid Malacomys longipes Milne-Edwards, 1877 in Gabon. The extremely long and narrow buccal capsule, posterior position of the vulva, unequal spicules and absence of caudal alae readily identified the specimens as belonging to Trichospirura Smith & Chitwood, 1967, but a combination of several characters distinguished them from the described species in this genus. Males of the new species are characterized by the absence of precloacal papillae, the presence of four pairs of postcloacal papillae and a left spicule length of 165–200 μm. With only five nominal and one unnamed species, the host range of Trichospirura extends into the Neotropical, Indo-Malayan and Ethiopian Realms and comprises three classes of vertebrates, Amphibia, Reptilia and Mammalia, suggesting a larger species diversity than that currently recorded. Detection is difficult as predilection sites are often outside the gut lumen. It was noted that, irrespective of their geographic origin, species from mammals share certain characters (shorter left spicule and absence of precloacal papillae) that oppose them to those from amphibians and reptiles. A hypothesis for the origin of Trichospirura in mammals through a remote host-switching event in tupaiids in southern Asia, likely facilitated by the intermediate hosts, and for their subsequent migration to the Ethiopian and finally Neotropical Realm is proposed. Regarding the two species from anurans and saurians in the Antilles, one or two host-switching events are considered equally possible, based on morphological characters. PMID:23369432

  13. The corneal epithelial surface in the eyes of vertebrates: environmental and evolutionary influences on structure and function.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P; Collin, H Barry

    2006-03-01

    The smooth optical surface of the cornea is maintained by a tear film, which adheres to a variety of microprojections. These microprojections increase the cell surface area and are thought to improve the movement of oxygen, nutrients, and metabolic products across the outer cell membranes. However, little is known of these structural adaptations in vertebrates inhabiting different environments. This field emission scanning electron microscopic study examined the cell density and surface structure of corneal epithelial cells across 51 representative species of all vertebrate classes from a large range of habitats (aquatic, amphibious, terrestrial, and aerial). In particular, we wished to extend the range of vertebrates to include agnathans and some uniquely Australian species, such as the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), the Australian galah (Eolophus roseicapillus), the Australian koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), and the rat-tailed dunnart (Sminthopsis crassicaudata). Epithelial cell densities ranged from 28,860 +/- 9,214 cells mm(-2) in the flathead sole Hippoglossoides elassodon (a marine teleost) to 2,126 +/- 713 cells mm(-2) in the Australian koala (a terrestrial mammal), which may indicate a reduction in osmotic stress across the corneal surface. A similar reduction in cell density occurred from marine to estuarine to freshwater species. The structure and occurrence of microholes, microplicae, microridges, and microvilli are also described with respect to the demands placed on the cornea in different environments. All species that spend significant periods out of an aquatic environment possess microvilli and/or microplicae. These include all of our species of Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, Amphibia, and even one species of Teleostei (Australian lungfish). Well-developed microridges occur only in teleosts in high osmolarity environments such as marine or estuarine habitats. Clear interspecific differences in corneal surface structure suggest a degree of

  14. Non-invasive reproductive and stress endocrinology in amphibian conservation physiology

    PubMed Central

    Narayan, E. J.

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive endocrinology utilizes non-invasive biological samples (such as faeces, urine, hair, aquatic media, and saliva) for the quantification of hormones in wildlife. Urinary-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and radio-immunoassay have enabled the rapid quantification of reproductive and stress hormones in amphibians (Anura: Amphibia). With minimal disturbance, these methods can be used to assess the ovarian and testicular endocrine functions as well as physiological stress in captive and free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine monitoring has therefore greatly advanced our knowledge of the functioning of the stress endocrine system (the hypothalamo–pituitary–interrenal axis) and the reproductive endocrine system (the hypothalamo–pituitary–gonadal axis) in the amphibian physiological stress response, reproductive ecology, health and welfare, and survival. Biological (physiological) validation is necessary for obtaining the excretory lag time of hormone metabolites. Urinary-based EIA for the major reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males, can be used to track the reproductive hormone profiles in relationship to reproductive behaviour and environmental data in free-living anurans. Urinary-based corticosterone metabolite EIA can be used to assess the sublethal impacts of biological stressors (such as invasive species and pathogenic diseases) as well as anthropogenic induced environmental stressors (e.g. extreme temperatures) on free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine methods can also assist in the diagnosis of success or failure of captive breeding programmes by measuring the longitudinal patterns of changes in reproductive hormones and corticosterone within captive anurans and comparing the endocrine profiles with health records and reproductive behaviour. This review paper focuses on the reproductive and the stress endocrinology of anurans and demonstrates the uses of non-invasive endocrinology

  15. Two novel antimicrobial peptides from skin venoms of spadefoot toad Megophrys minor.

    PubMed

    Yang, Hong-Ling; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Xuan; Kong, Yi

    2016-04-01

    Amphibian skin contains rich bioactive peptides. Especially, a large amount of antimicrobial peptides have been identified from amphibian skin secretions. Antimicrobial peptides display potent cytolytic activities against a range of pathogenic bacteria and fungi and play important defense roles. No antimicrobial peptides have been reported from toads belonging to the family of Pelobatidae. In this work, two novel antimicrobial peptides (Megin 1 and Megin 2) were purified and characterized from the skin venoms of spadefoot toad Megophrys minor (Pelobatidae, Anura, Amphibia). Megin 1 had an amino acid sequence of FLKGCWTKWYSLKPKCPF-NH2, which was composed of 18 amino acid residues and contained an intra-molecular disulfide bridge and an amidated C-terminus. Megin 2 had an amino acid sequence of FFVLKFLLKWAGKVGLEHLACKFKNWC, which was composed of 27 amino acid residues and contained an intra-molecular disulfide bridge. Both Megin 1 and Megin 2 showed potential antimicrobial abilities against bacteria and fungi. The MICs of Megin 1 against Escherichia coli, Bacillus dysenteriae, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, and Candida albicans were 25, 3, 6.25, 3, and 50 μg·mL(-1), respectively. The corresponding MICs for Megin 2 were 6.25, 1.5, 12.5, 1.5, and 12.5 μg·mL(-1), respectively. They also exerted strong hemolytic activity against human and rabbit red cells. The results suggested that megin peptides in the toad skin of M. minor displayed toxic effects on both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. This was the first report of antimicrobial peptides from amphibians belonging to the family of Pelobatidae. PMID:27114317

  16. Molecular phylogeny of Rhacophoridae (Anura): A framework of taxonomic reassignment of species within the genera Aquixalus, Chiromantis, Rhacophorus, and Philautus.

    PubMed

    Li, Jia-tang; Che, Jing; Bain, Raoul H; Zhao, Er-mi; Zhang, Ya-ping

    2008-07-01

    Phylogenetic relationships among representative species of the family Rhacophoridae were investigated based on 2904bp of sequences from both mitochondrial (12S rRNA, 16S rRNA, the complete t-RNA for valine), and nuclear (tyrosinase, rhodopsin) genes. Maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analyses were employed to reconstruct the phylogenetic trees. This analysis, combined with previous phylogenetic studies, serves as a framework for future work in rhacophorid systematics. The monophyly of Rhacophorus is strongly confirmed except for the species R.hainanus, which is the sister taxon to A.odontotarsus. The non-monophyly of the newly designated genus Aquixalus by Delorme et al. [Delorme, M., Dubois, A., Grosjean, S., Ohler, A., 2005. Une nouvelle classification générique et subgénérique de la tribu des Philautini (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae, Rhacophorinae). Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon 74, 165-171] is further confirmed. Aquixalus (Aquixalus) forms a well-supported monophyletic group within Kurixalus, whereas, Aquixalus (Gracixalus) is more closely related to species of Rhacophorus, Polypedates, and Chiromantis. Philautus as currently understood, does not form a monophyletic group. Philautus (Kirtixalus) is the sister group to the clade comprising Kurixalus and Aquixalus (Aquixalus), and more remotely related to Philautus (Philautus). Chiromantisromeri does not cluster with species of Chiromantis, and forms a basal clade to all rhacophorids save Buergeria. We propose some taxonomic changes that reflect these findings, but further revision should await more detailed studies, which include combined morphological and molecular analyses, with greater species sampling. PMID:18442928

  17. Evolution of the plasma and tissue kallikreins, and their alternative splicing isoforms.

    PubMed

    Koumandou, Vassiliki Lila; Scorilas, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Kallikreins are secreted serine proteases with important roles in human physiology. Human plasma kallikrein, encoded by the KLKB1 gene on locus 4q34-35, functions in the blood coagulation pathway, and in regulating blood pressure. The human tissue kallikrein and kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) have diverse expression patterns and physiological roles, including cancer-related processes such as cell growth regulation, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA), the product of the KLK3 gene, is the most widely used biomarker in clinical practice today. A total of 15 KLKs are encoded by the largest contiguous cluster of protease genes in the human genome (19q13.3-13.4), which makes them ideal for evolutionary analysis of gene duplication events. Previous studies on the evolution of KLKs have traced mammalian homologs as well as a probable early origin of the family in aves, amphibia and reptilia. The aim of this study was to address the evolutionary and functional relationships between tissue KLKs and plasma kallikrein, and to examine the evolution of alternative splicing isoforms. Sequences of plasma and tissue kallikreins and their alternative transcripts were collected from the NCBI and Ensembl databases, and comprehensive phylogenetic analysis was performed by Bayesian as well as maximum likelihood methods. Plasma and tissue kallikreins exhibit high sequence similarity in the trypsin domain (>50%). Phylogenetic analysis indicates an early divergence of KLKB1, which groups closely with plasminogen, chymotrypsin, and complement factor D (CFD), in a monophyletic group distinct from trypsin and the tissue KLKs. Reconstruction of the earliest events leading to the diversification of the tissue KLKs is not well resolved, indicating rapid expansion in mammals. Alternative transcripts of each KLK gene show species-specific divergence, while examination of sequence conservation indicates that many annotated human KLK isoforms are missing

  18. Non-invasive reproductive and stress endocrinology in amphibian conservation physiology.

    PubMed

    Narayan, E J

    2013-01-01

    Non-invasive endocrinology utilizes non-invasive biological samples (such as faeces, urine, hair, aquatic media, and saliva) for the quantification of hormones in wildlife. Urinary-based enzyme immunoassay (EIA) and radio-immunoassay have enabled the rapid quantification of reproductive and stress hormones in amphibians (Anura: Amphibia). With minimal disturbance, these methods can be used to assess the ovarian and testicular endocrine functions as well as physiological stress in captive and free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine monitoring has therefore greatly advanced our knowledge of the functioning of the stress endocrine system (the hypothalamo-pituitary-interrenal axis) and the reproductive endocrine system (the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis) in the amphibian physiological stress response, reproductive ecology, health and welfare, and survival. Biological (physiological) validation is necessary for obtaining the excretory lag time of hormone metabolites. Urinary-based EIA for the major reproductive hormones, estradiol and progesterone in females and testosterone in males, can be used to track the reproductive hormone profiles in relationship to reproductive behaviour and environmental data in free-living anurans. Urinary-based corticosterone metabolite EIA can be used to assess the sublethal impacts of biological stressors (such as invasive species and pathogenic diseases) as well as anthropogenic induced environmental stressors (e.g. extreme temperatures) on free-living populations. Non-invasive endocrine methods can also assist in the diagnosis of success or failure of captive breeding programmes by measuring the longitudinal patterns of changes in reproductive hormones and corticosterone within captive anurans and comparing the endocrine profiles with health records and reproductive behaviour. This review paper focuses on the reproductive and the stress endocrinology of anurans and demonstrates the uses of non-invasive endocrinology for

  19. Assembly of ovarian follicles in the caecilians Ichthyophis tricolor and Gegeneophis ramaswamii: light and transmission electron microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Beyo, R S; Sreejith, P; Divya, L; Oommen, O V; Akbarsha, M A

    2007-08-01

    Though much is known about various aspects of reproductive biology of amphibia, there is little information on the cellular and mechanistic basis of assembly of ovarian follicles in this group. This is especially true of the caecilians. Therefore, taking advantage of the abundant distribution of caecilians in the Western Ghats of India, two species of caecilians, Ichthyophis tricolor and Gegeneophis ramaswamii, were subjected to light and transmission electron microscopic analysis to trace the sequential changes during the assembly of ovarian follicles. The paired ovaries of these caecilians are elongated sac-like structures each including numerous vitellogenic follicles. The follicles are connected by a connective tissue stroma. This stroma contains nests of oogonia, primary oocytes and pregranulosa cells as spatially separated nests. During assembly of follicles the oocytes increase in size and enter the meiotic prophase when the number of nucleoli in the nucleus increases. The mitochondrial cloud or Balbiani vitelline body, initially localized at one pole of the nucleus, disperses through out the cytoplasm subsequently. Synaptonemal complexes are prominent in the pachytene stage oocytes. The pregranulosa cells migrate through the connective tissue fibrils of the stroma and arrive at the vicinity of the meiotic prophase oocytes. On contacting the oocyte, the pregranulosa cells become cuboidal in shape, wrap the diplotene stage oocyte as a discontinuous layer and increase the content of cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions. The oocytes increase in size and are arrested in diplotene when the granulosa cells become flat and form a continuous layer. Soon a perivitelline space appears between the oolemma and granulosa cells, completing the process of assembly of follicles. Thus, the events in the establishment of follicles in the caecilian ovary are described. PMID:17637101

  20. IGF-I is distinctly located in the bony fish pituitary as revealed for Oreochromis niloticus, the Nile tilapia, using real-time RT-PCR, in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry.

    PubMed

    Eppler, Elisabeth; Shved, Natallia; Moret, Olivier; Reinecke, Manfred

    2007-01-01

    In bony fish, IGF-I released from the liver under the control of pituitary GH is the main endocrine regulator of growth, maintenance and development, and the amount of circulating IGF-I regulates synthesis and release of GH. In mammals and amphibia, evidence indicates that anterior pituitary endocrine cells also contain IGF-I. However, only preliminary and conflicting data exist on IGF-I gene expression in bony fish pituitary. Thus, we investigated the presence of IGF-I in the tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) pituitary by quantitative real-time RT-PCR, in situ hybridisation and immunohistochemistry. The absolute amount of IGF-I mRNA in the whole pituitary (7.4+/-3.3 x 10(-3)pg/microg total RNA) was 1000-times lower than in liver (7.5+/-3.1 pg/microg total RNA). IGF-I peptide occurred in both neuro- and adenohypophysis but IGF-I gene expression was mainly restricted to the adenohypophysis. In the neurohypophysis, only few cells, probably pituicytes, contained IGF-I mRNA whereas IGF-I peptide was found also in numerous axons in the pars nervosa. In the adenohypophysis, both IGF-I mRNA and peptide were present in the majority of ACTH cells in all individuals investigated. In alpha-MSH cells, only IGF-I mRNA but no IGF-I peptide was detected likely suggesting an immediate release of IGF-I after synthesis. IGF-I mRNA and peptide were further observed in GH cells but their presence showed pronounced inter-individual differences likely due to the physiological, e.g., nutritional, status of the individual. IGF-I released from the GH cells may serve as auto/paracrine mediator of a negative feedback mechanism in addition to liver-derived endocrine IGF-I. Generally, the constitutive synthesis of IGF-I in ACTH cells and the varying content in GH and alpha-MSH cells suggest particular roles for IGF-I. Local IGF-I may regulate synthesis and release of pituitary hormones in an autocrine and/or paracrine manner as well as prevent apoptosis and stimulate proliferation of endocrine

  1. Impact of Natural and Man-Made Factors on Mineral Composition of the Ardon River Water and Hydrophytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vadim, Ermakov; Elena, Korobova; Alexander, Degtyarev; Nina, Petrunina; Sergey, Tyutikov

    2013-04-01

    The Unal basin located in mountain region of Northern Ossetia (the Caucasus) belongs to Pb-Zn natural province with anthropogenic and natural transformation of the environment leading to risks of ecological damage. Activity of the Misursk Mining Combine and its Arkhon-Khosta tailings caused a significant local increase of Pb, Cd, Cu, Zn content in soils, water and biotic components relative to background values [1-5]. A catastrophic mud flow of 2002 and the later construction of a gas pipeline and a dam for hydroelectric power station changed local landscapes and biota (plants, algae, and amphibia). Biogeochemical studies performed in the area in 2001, 2003 and 2008 showed that in some cases the specified factors might change the structure of landscapes due to enhanced mass migration and the erosion of outcropping rocks which could be followed by corresponding transformation of the chemical composition of draining waters and flood plain soils, and could also change the character of species' invasion. Algae were proved to adapt and to indicate both natural and man-made transformation of the environment [3, 4]. A distinct relation between the particle size of the suspended matter in the Ardon river waters and water mineralization was discovered. However, heavy metals' concentration level in waters of the Ardon river appeared in general to be within the acceptable hygienic standards and therefore ecologically not critical. References 1. Degtyarev V.P., Ermakov V.V. Ecological and geochemical evaluation of the the Ardon river basin (Northern Ossetia). Geokhimiya, 1998, 1, 88-94. 2. Karpova E.A., Krechetova E.V., Degtyarev V.P. Parameters of heavy metal migration in soils of biogeochemical anomalies of the Northern Ossetia. Modern problems of soil contamination, Moscow State University, V. 1, 2007, 106-110. 3. Petrunina N.S., Ermakov V.V., Tuytikov S.F., Karpova E.A., Levkina L.M., Gololobova M.A. Biogeochemical identification of natural and technogenic polymetallic

  2. Aquatic acute species sensitivity distributions of ZnO and CuO nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Adam, Nathalie; Schmitt, Claudia; De Bruyn, Luc; Knapen, Dries; Blust, Ronny

    2015-09-01

    Metal oxide nanoparticles are increasingly being produced and will inevitably end up in the aquatic environment. Up till now, most papers have studied individual nanoparticle effects. However, the implementation of these data into a risk assessment tool, needed to characterise their risk to the aquatic environment, is still largely lacking. Therefore, aquatic species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) were constructed for ZnO and CuO nanoparticles and 5% hazard concentrations (HC5) were calculated in this study. The effect of individual nanoparticles on these SSDs was estimated by comparison with bulk SSDs. Additionally, the effect of nanoparticle dynamics (aggregation and dissolution) was considered by evaluating the effect of aggregate size on the toxicity, by estimation of the dissolved fraction and comparison with SSDs for ZnCl2 and CuCl2 inorganic salt. Bacteria, protozoa, yeast, rotifera, algae, nematoda, crustacea, hexapoda, fish and amphibia species were included in the analysis. The results show that algae (Zn) and crustacea (Zn, Cu) are the most sensitive species when exposed to the chemicals. Similar acute sensitivity distributions were obtained for ZnO nanoparticles (HC5: 0.06 with 90% confidence interval: 0.03-0.15 mg Zn/l; 43 data points), bulk ZnO (HC5: 0.06 with CI: 0.03-0.20 mg Zn/l; 23 dps) and ZnCl2 (HC5: 0.03 with CI: 0.02-0.05 mg Zn/l; 261 dps). CuO nanoparticles (HC5: 0.15 with CI: 0.05-0.47 mg Cu/l; 43 dps) are more toxic than the bulk materials (HC5: 6.19 with CI: 2.15-38.11 mg Cu/l; 12 dps) but less toxic than CuCl2 (HC5: 0.009 with CI: 0.007-0.012 mg Cu/l; 594 dps) to aquatic species. However, the combined dissolution and SSD results indicate that the toxicity of these nanoparticles is mainly caused by dissolved metal ions. Based on the available information, no current risk of these nanoparticles to the aquatic environment is expected. PMID:25933293

  3. A web-based archive for topographic maps of retinal cell distribution in vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Collin, Shaun P

    2008-01-01

    Clinical and Experimental Optometry, in conjunction with Optometrists Association Australia and Professor Shaun P Collin of the University of Queensland, announce the launch of a web-based archive of previously published topographic maps of retinal cell distribution in vertebrates. At present, the archive boasts more than 770 different maps of the distribution of retinal neurons (for example, photoreceptors, bipolar cells, amacrine cells, horizontal cells and ganglion cells) in nearly 200 species within all vertebrate classes (Cephalospidomorpha, Actinopterygii, Sarcopterygii, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia). The distribution of retinal neurons has been studied for more than 100 years and has become a powerful means of predicting the spatial resolving power of the eye and the retinal regions containing specialisations, such as areae centrales, horizontal streaks and foveae, where increased densities of neurons define the way in which a species visually samples its environment. The location of these retinal specialisations thereby identifies the part(s) of the visual field of critical importance for localising food and mates and for predator surveillance. The distribution of sampling elements even reflects the symmetry of a species' ecological habitat. The archive is a unique collection of most of the currently available retinal maps, which also presents relevant information, where known, about eye size, retinal cell density, retinal orientation, cell number, spatial resolving power and the type of specialisation, in addition to basic physical parameters of each species (body size, weight, sex and developmental stage). The archive is accessible at http://www.optometrists.asn.au/ceo/retinalsearch and will be updated regularly. The powerful database is interactive and freely available, providing the opportunity to upload both published and unpublished topographic maps. Following a review process, previously unpublished maps will be 'published' and available

  4. The corneal surface of aquatic vertebrates: microstructures with optical and nutritional function?

    PubMed

    Collin, H B; Collin, S P

    2000-09-29

    The anterior surface of the mammalian cornea plays an important role in maintaining a smooth optical interface and consequently a sharp retinal image. The smooth surface is produced by a tear film, which adheres to a variety of microprojections, which increase the cell surface area, improve the absorbance of oxygen and nutrients and aid in the movement of metabolic products across the outer cell membrane. However, little is known of the structural adaptations and tear film support provided in other vertebrates from different environments. Using field emission scanning electron microscopy; this study examines the density and surface structure of corneal epithelial cells in representative species of the classes Cephalaspidomorphi, Chondrichthyes, Osteichthyes, Amphibia, Reptilia, Aves and Mammalia, including some Marsupialia. Variations in cell density and the structure and occurrence of microholes, microridges, microplicae and microvilli are described with respect to the demands placed upon the cornea in different aquatic environments such as marine and freshwater. A progressive decrease in epithelial cell density occurs from marine (e.g. 29348 cells mm(-2) in the Dover sole Microstomius pacficus) to estuarine or freshwater (e.g. 5999 cells mm(-2) in the black bream Acanthopagrus butcheri) to terrestrial (e.g. 2126 cells mm(-2) in the Australian koala Phascolarctos cinereus) vertebrates, indicating the reduction in osmotic stress across the corneal surface. The microholes found in the Southern Hemisphere lampreys, namely the pouched lamprey (Geotria australis) and the shorthead lamprey (Mordacia mordax) represent openings for the release of mucus, which may protect the cornea from abrasion during their burrowing phase. Characteristic of marine teleosts, fingerprint-like patterns of corneal microridges are a ubiquitous feature, covering many types of sensory epithelia (including the olfactory epithelium and the oral mucosa). Like microplicae and microvilli

  5. Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    L. CONCHA, MIGUEL; W. WILSON, STEPHEN

    2001-01-01

    The epithalamus is a major subdivision of the diencephalon constituted by the habenular nuclei and pineal complex. Structural asymmetries in this region are widespread amongst vertebrates and involve differences in size, neuronal organisation, neurochemistry and connectivity. In species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ, this structure projects asymmetrically to the left habenula, and in teleosts it is also situated on the left side of the brain. Asymmetries in size between the left and right sides of the habenula are often associated with asymmetries in neuronal organisation, although these two types of asymmetry follow different evolutionary courses. While the former is more conspicuous in fishes (with the exception of teleosts), asymmetries in neuronal organisation are more robust in amphibia and reptiles. Connectivity of the parapineal organ with the left habenula is not always coupled with asymmetries in habenular size and/or neuronal organisation suggesting that, at least in some species, assignment of parapineal and habenular asymmetries may be independent events. The evolutionary origins of epithalamic structures are uncertain but asymmetry in this region is likely to have existed at the origin of the vertebrate, perhaps even the chordate, lineage. In at least some extant vertebrate species, epithalamic asymmetries are established early in development, suggesting a genetic regulation of asymmetry. In some cases, epigenetic factors such as hormones also influence the development of sexually dimorphic habenular asymmetries. Although the genetic and developmental mechanisms by which neuroanatomical asymmetries are established remain obscure, some clues regarding the mechanisms underlying laterality decisions have recently come from studies in zebrafish. The Nodal signalling pathway regulates laterality by biasing an otherwise stochastic laterality decision to the left side of the epithalamus. This genetic mechanism ensures a consistency of

  6. Dose rate estimation of the Tohoku hynobiid salamander, Hynobius lichenatus, in Fukushima.

    PubMed

    Fuma, Shoichi; Ihara, Sadao; Kawaguchi, Isao; Ishikawa, Takahiro; Watanabe, Yoshito; Kubota, Yoshihisa; Sato, Youji; Takahashi, Hiroyuki; Aono, Tatsuo; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Soeda, Haruhi; Matsui, Kumi; Une, Yumi; Minamiya, Yukio; Yoshida, Satoshi

    2015-05-01

    The radiological risks to the Tohoku hynobiid salamanders (class Amphibia), Hynobius lichenatus due to the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant accident were assessed in Fukushima Prefecture, including evacuation areas. Aquatic egg clutches (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 4 in total), overwintering larvae (n = 1-5 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total), and terrestrial juveniles or adults (n = 1 or 3 for each sampling date and site; n = 12 in total) of H. lichenatus were collected from the end of April 2011 to April 2013. Environmental media such as litter (n = 1-5 for each sampling date and site; n = 30 in total), soil (n = 1-8 for each sampling date and site; n = 31 in total), water (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total), and sediment (n = 1 for each sampling date and site; n = 17 in total) were also collected. Activity concentrations of (134)Cs + (137)Cs were 1.9-2800, 0.13-320, and 0.51-220 kBq (dry kg) (-1) in the litter, soil, and sediment samples, respectively, and were 0.31-220 and <0.29-40 kBq (wet kg)(-1) in the adult and larval salamanders, respectively. External and internal absorbed dose rates to H. lichenatus were calculated from these activity concentration data, using the ERICA Assessment Tool methodology. External dose rates were also measured in situ with glass dosimeters. There was agreement within a factor of 2 between the calculated and measured external dose rates. In the most severely contaminated habitat of this salamander, a northern part of Abukuma Mountains, the highest total dose rates were estimated to be 50 and 15 μGy h(-1) for the adults and overwintering larvae, respectively. Growth and survival of H. lichenatus was not affected at a dose rate of up to 490 μGy h(-1) in the previous laboratory chronic gamma-irradiation experiment, and thus growth and survival of this salamander would not be affected, even in the most severely contaminated habitat in Fukushima Prefecture. However, further

  7. Distribution of algae in the San Joaquin River, California, in relation to nutrient supply, salinity and other environmental factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leland, H.V.; Brown, L.R.; Mueller, D.K.

    2001-01-01

    ., were the principal late-summer benthic species upstream in the mainstem and in drainages of the San Joaquin Valley. Many of the other abundant diatoms (Amphora veneta, Bacillaria paxillifer, Navicula symmetrica, Nitzschia amphibia, N. fonticola, N. palea, Pleurosigma salinarum) of late-summer assemblages in these segments also are motile species. While many of these species also were abundant in segments downstream of confluences with rivers draining the Sierra Nevada, the relative abundance of prostrate (Cocconeis placentula var. euglypta, Navicula minima) and erect or stalked (Achnanthidium deflexum, Achnanthes lanceolata, Gomphonema kobayasii, G. parvulum var. lagenula) diatoms and Stigeoclonium sp. was greater in these lower San Joaquin River segments. 5. A weighted-averaging regression model, based on salinity and benthic-algal abundance in the San Joaquin River and segments of its major tributaries within the San Joaquin Valley, yielded a highly significant coefficient-of-determination (r2 = 0.84) and low prediction error between salinity inferred from the species and that observed, indicating that salinity tolerance is a primary constraint on growth and assembly of the phytobenthos. The same measures of predictability indicated poor performance of a model based on inorganic nitrogen. However, with a greater representation of tributaries (including segments within the Sierra Nevada foothills) in the sample set, an inorganic nitrogen model also yielded a highly significant coefficient-of-determination (r2 = 0.87) and low prediction error between the species-inferred and the observed concentration. As with the salinity model (r2 = 0.94) for the enlarged data set, a systematic difference (increased deviation of residuals) existed at high inorganic nitrogen concentrations. These results indicate substantial interaction between salinity and inorganic nitrogen as constraints on the structure of benthic-algal communities of the San Joaquin River basin.

  8. DIRS-1 and the other tyrosine recombinase retrotransposons.

    PubMed

    Poulter, R T M; Goodwin, T J D

    2005-01-01

    wide range of animals including nematodes, insects, sea urchins, fish and amphibia, while remnants of elements related to DIRS-1 occur in the human genome. The complete set of YR retrotransposons can be divided into two major groups, the DIRS elements and the Ngaro elements, the two groups forming distinct clades on phylogenetic trees based on alignments of RT/RH and recombinase sequences, and also having some structural distinctions. A third group of transposable elements, which we call Cryptons, also carry tyrosine recombinases. These elements do not encode a reverse transcriptase and so are believed to be DNA transposons not retrotransposons. They have been detected in several pathogenic fungi, including the basidiomycete Cryptococcus neoformans, and the ascomycetes Coccidioides posadasii and Histoplasma capsulatum. Sequence comparisons suggest that the Crypton YRs are related to those of the YR retrotransposons. We suggest that the YR retrotransposons arose from the combination of a Crypton-like YR DNA transposon and the RT/RH encoding sequence of a retrotransposon. PMID:16093711