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Sample records for amphibian metamorphosis assay

  1. Thyroid Histopathology Assessments for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay to Detect Thyroid-active Substances

    EPA Science Inventory

    In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...

  2. Thyroid Hormone-disrupting Effects and the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay

    PubMed Central

    Miyata, Kaori; Ose, Keiko

    2012-01-01

    There are continued concerns about endocrine-disrupting chemical effects, and appropriate vertebrate models for assessment of risk are a high priority. Frog tadpoles are very sensitive to environmental substances because of their habitat and the complex processes of metamorphosis regulated by the endocrine system, mainly thyroid hormones. During metamorphosis, marked alteration in hormonal factors occurs, as well as dramatic structural and functional changes in larval tissues. There are a variety of mechanisms determining thyroid hormone balance or disruption directly or indirectly. Direct-acting agents can cause changes in thyroxine synthesis and/or secretion in thyroid through effects on peroxidases, thyroidal iodide uptake, deiodinase, and proteolysis. At the same time, indirect action may result from biochemical processes such as sulfation, deiodination and glucuronidation. Because their potential to disrupt thyroid hormones has been identified as an important consideration for the regulation of chemicals, the OECD and the EPA have each established guidelines that make use of larval African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) and frog metamorphosis for screening and testing of potential endocrine disrupters. The guidelines are based on evaluation of alteration in the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis. One of the primary endpoints is thyroid gland histopathology. Others are mortality, developmental stage, hind limb length, snout-vent length and wet body weight. Regarding histopathological features, the guidelines include core criteria and additional qualitative parameters along with grading. Taking into account the difficulties in evaluating amphibian thyroid glands, which change continuously throughout metamorphosis, histopathological examination has been shown to be a very sensitive approach. PMID:22481853

  3. Triclosan exposure alters postembryonic development in a Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (TREEMA).

    PubMed

    Marlatt, Vicki L; Veldhoen, Nik; Lo, Bonnie P; Bakker, Dannika; Rehaume, Vicki; Vallée, Kurtis; Haberl, Maxine; Shang, Dayue; van Aggelen, Graham C; Skirrow, Rachel C; Elphick, James R; Helbing, Caren C

    2013-01-15

    The Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA), developed for Xenopus laevis, is designed to identify chemicals that disrupt thyroid hormone (TH)-mediated biological processes. We adapted the AMA for use on an ecologically-relevant North American species, the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla), and applied molecular endpoints to evaluate the effects of the antibacterial agent, triclosan (TCS). Premetamorphic (Gosner stage 26-28) tadpoles were immersed for 21 days in solvent control, 1.5 μg/L thyroxine (T(4)), 0.3, 3 and 30 μg/L (nominal) TCS, or combined T(4)/TCS treatments. Exposure effects were scored by morphometric (developmental stage, wet weight, and body, snout-vent and hindlimb lengths) and molecular (mRNA abundance using quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction) criteria. T(4) treatment alone accelerated development concomitant with altered levels of TH receptors α and β, proliferating cell nuclear antigen, and gelatinase B mRNAs in the brain and tail. We observed TCS-induced perturbations in all of the molecular and morphological endpoints indicating that TCS exposure disrupts coordination of postembryonic tadpole development. Clear alterations in molecular endpoints were evident at day 2 whereas the earliest morphological effects appeared at day 4 and were most evident at day 21. Although TCS alone (3 and 30 μg/L) was protective against tadpole mortality, this protection was lost in the presence of T(4). The Pacific tree frog is the most sensitive species examined to date displaying disruption of TH-mediated development by a common antimicrobial agent. PMID:23159728

  4. The phylogeny of amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Reiss, John O

    2002-01-01

    Frogs have one of the most extreme metamorphoses among vertebrates. How did this metamorphosis evolve? By combining the methods previously proposed by Mabee and Humphries (1993) and Velhagen (1997), I develop a phylogenetic method suited for rigorous analysis of this question. In a preliminary analysis using 12 transformation sequence characters and 36 associated event sequence characters, all drawn from the osteology of the skull, the evolution of metamorphosis is traced on an assumed phylogeny. This phylogeny has lissamphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) monophyletic, with frogs the sister group of salamanders. Successive outgroups used are temnospondyls and discosauriscids, both of which are fossil groups for which ontogenetic data are available. In the reconstruction of character evolution, an unambiguous change (synapomorphy) along the branch leading to lissamphibians is a delay in the lengthening of the maxilla until metamorphosis, in accordance with my previous suggestion (Reiss, 1996). However, widening of the interpterygoid vacuity does not appear as a synapomophy of lissamphibians, due to variation in the character states in the outgroups. From a more theoretical perspective, the reconstructed evolution of amphibian metamorphosis involves examples of heterochrony, through the shift of ancestral premetamorphic events to the metamorphic period, caenogenesis, through the origin of new larval features, and terminal addition, through the origin of new adult features. Other changes don't readily fit these categories. This preliminary study provides evidence that metamorphic changes in frogs arose as further modifications of changes unique to lissamphibians, as well as a new method by which such questions can be examined. PMID:16351859

  5. The metamorphosis of amphibian toxicogenomics.

    PubMed

    Helbing, Caren C

    2012-01-01

    Amphibians are important vertebrates in toxicology often representing both aquatic and terrestrial forms within the life history of the same species. Of the thousands of species, only two have substantial genomics resources: the recently published genome of the Pipid, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, and transcript information (and ongoing genome sequencing project) of Xenopus laevis. However, many more species representative of regional ecological niches and life strategies are used in toxicology worldwide. Since Xenopus species diverged from the most populous frog family, the Ranidae, ~200 million years ago, there are notable differences between them and the even more distant Caudates (salamanders) and Caecilians. These differences include genome size, gene composition, and extent of polyploidization. Application of toxicogenomics to amphibians requires the mobilization of resources and expertise to develop de novo sequence assemblies and analysis strategies for a broader range of amphibian species. The present mini-review will present the advances in toxicogenomics as pertains to amphibians with particular emphasis upon the development and use of genomic techniques (inclusive of transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) and the challenges inherent therein. PMID:22435070

  6. Effects of freshwater petroleum contamination on amphibian hatching and metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Mahaney, P.A. . Dept. of Zoology)

    1994-02-01

    This study examined the effects of freshwater petroleum contamination on amphibian reproduction. The primary objectives were to assess the potential environmental and physiological impacts of runoff petroleum products on amphibians, using the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) as a target species and engine crankcase oil as a contaminant. Egg hatching success, tadpole growth, and successful metamorphosis were measured in four concentrations of oil. The effects of oil on food source was also studied. Hatching success was not measurably influenced by the presence of oil. Tadpole and alga growth were negatively associated with the presence of oil. No tadpoles from the high concentration of oil treatments successfully metamorphosed.

  7. Do effects of mercury in larval amphibians persist after metamorphosis?

    PubMed

    Todd, Brian D; Willson, John D; Bergeron, Christine M; Hopkins, William A

    2012-01-01

    Despite widespread concern about the role of environmental contaminants in global amphibian declines, and evidence that post-metamorphic life stages contribute disproportionately to amphibian population dynamics, most studies in amphibian ecotoxicology focus on larval life stages. Studies that focus solely on early life stages may miss important effects of contaminant exposure, such as latent effects that manifest some time after previous exposure. Moreover, it is often assumed that effects observed in amphibian larvae will persist to affect survival or reproduction later in life. We used terrestrial enclosures to determine whether exposure to mercury (Hg) through maternal transfer and/or larval diet had any adverse effects in post-metamorphic American toads (Bufo americanus). We found a 5% difference in size at metamorphosis that was attributed to maternal Hg exposure persisted for 1 year in the terrestrial environment, resulting in a 7% difference at the conclusion of the study. Although patterns of survival differed among treatments through time, we found no overall difference in survival after 1 year. We also found no evidence of emergent latent effects in the terrestrial toads that could be attributed to earlier exposure. Our results indicate that adverse effects of maternal Hg exposure that were observed in larval amphibians may persist to affect later terrestrial life stages but that no novel adverse effects developed when animals were raised in a semi-natural environment. Moreover, we found no evidence of persistent effects of dietary Hg exposure in larvae, highlighting a need for greater focus on maternal effects in amphibian ecotoxicology. Finally, we suggest an increase in the use of longitudinal studies to better understand contaminant impacts to amphibian populations via effects in both aquatic and terrestrial life stages. PMID:21850489

  8. Visual implant elastomer mark retention through metamorphosis in amphibian larvae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.

    2008-01-01

    Questions in population ecology require the study of marked animals, and marks are assumed to be permanent and not overlooked by observers. I evaluated retention through metamorphosis of visual implant elastomer marks in larval salamanders and frogs and assessed error in observer identification of these marks. I found 1) individual marks were not retained in larval wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), whereas only small marks were likely to be retained in larval salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), and 2) observers did not always correctly identify marked animals. Evaluating the assumptions of marking protocols is important in the design phase of a study so that correct inference can be made about the population processes of interest. This guidance should be generally useful to the design of mark-recapture studies, with particular application to studies of larval amphibians.

  9. Visual implant elastomer mark retention through metamorphosis in amphibian larvae

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grant, E.H.C.

    2008-01-01

    Questions in population ecology require the study of marked animals, and marks are assumed to be permanent and not overlooked by observers. I evaluated retention through metamorphosis of visual implant elastomer marks in larval salamanders and frogs and assessed error in observer identification of these marks. I found 1) individual marks were not retained in larval wood frogs (Rana sylvatica), whereas only small marks were likely to be retained in larval salamanders (Eurycea bislineata), and 2) observers did not always correctly identify marked animals. Evaluating the assumptions of marking protocols is important in the design phase of a study so that correct inference can be made about the population processes of interest. This guidance should be generally useful to the design of mark?recapture studies, with particular application to studies of larval amphibians.

  10. Cultured cells as a model for amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed Central

    Kanamori, A; Brown, D D

    1993-01-01

    Gene expression screens have been applied to a cultured cell line of Xenopus laevis, XL-177, to isolate genes that are up- and down-regulated in the first 8 h after thyroid hormone (TH) induction. At least 14 up-regulated genes were isolated from TH-induced cells grown in the presence or absence of cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis. These genes respond directly to TH as demonstrated by the resistance of up-regulation to protein synthesis inhibition in the cultured cells or in tadpoles. Kinetics of mRNA accumulation after TH induction is similar for these genes, including those that are superinduced by cycloheximide. Their mRNAs start to be up-regulated several hours after TH treatment and reach maximum levels between 8 and 16 h. These genes show up-regulation in one or more tadpole organs in response to exogenous TH. Only a few minimally down-regulated genes were identified. Fourteen of the 20 genes that were found to be up-regulated by TH in tadpole tail are also up-regulated in XL-177 cells. Their up-regulation falls into the same two kinetic patterns in the cultured cells as it does in tadpole tail. Another cell line of X. laevis, XLA, is greatly reduced in its ability to up-regulate the same genes isolated from XL-177 cells and tadpole tails in response to TH. Thus these cell lines make up a model system to examine the interactions of gene expression triggered by TH during amphibian metamorphosis. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8327476

  11. Metamorphosis and neoteny: alternative pathways in an extinct amphibian clade.

    PubMed

    Schoch, Rainer R; Fröbisch, Nadia B

    2006-07-01

    The Branchiosauridae was a clade of small amphibians from the Permo-Carboniferous with an overall salamander-like appearance. The clade is distinguished by an extraordinary fossil record that comprises hundreds of well-preserved specimens, representing a wide range of ontogenetic stages. Branchiosaurids had external gills and weakly ossified skeletons, and due to this larval appearance their status as neotenic (perennibranchiate) forms has long been accepted. Despite their extensive fossil record large specimens with an adult morphology appeared to be lacking altogether, but recently two adult specimens were identified in a rich sample of Apateon gracilis collected in the 19th century from a locality near Dresden, Saxony. These specimens are unique among branchiosaurids in showing a high level of ossification, including bones that have never been reported in a branchiosaur. These highlight the successive formation of features believed to indicate terrestrial locomotion, as well as feeding on larger prey items. Moreover, these transformations occurred in a small time window (whereas the degree of size increase is used as a proxy of time) and the degree of concentration of developmental events in branchiosaurids is unique among tetrapods outside the lissamphibians. These specimens are compared with large adults of the neotenic branchiosaurid Apateon caducus from the Saar-Nahe Basin, which despite their larger body size lack the features found in the adult A. gracilis specimens. These specimens give new insight into patterns of metamorphosis (morphological transformation) in branchiosaurids that are believed to be correlated to a change of habitat, and clearly show that different life-history pathways comparable to those of modern salamanders were already established in this Paleozoic clade. PMID:16929663

  12. Amphibian Metamorphosis: A Sensitive Life Stage to Chemical and Non-chemical Stressors

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibian metamorphosis is a dynamic period of post-embryonic development which transforms the larval anuran into the juvenile. The body structure is remodeled through a variety of processes which may be perturbed by exposure to chemicals as well as other environmental stressors....

  13. Effects of pesticide exposure and the amphibian chytrid fungus on gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Gaietto, Kristina M; Rumschlag, Samantha L; Boone, Michelle D

    2014-10-01

    Pesticides are detectable in most aquatic habitats and have the potential to alter host-pathogen interactions. The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been associated with amphibian declines around the world. However, Bd-associated declines are more prominent in some areas, despite nearly global distribution of Bd, suggesting other factors contribute to disease outbreaks. In a laboratory study, the authors examined the effects of 6 different isolates of Bd in the presence or absence of a pesticide (the insecticide carbaryl or the fungicide copper sulfate) to recently hatched Cope's gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) tadpoles reared through metamorphosis. The authors found the presence or absence of pesticides differentially altered the mass at metamorphosis of tadpoles exposed to different Bd isolates, suggesting that isolate could influence metamorphosis but not in ways expected based on origin of the isolate. Pesticide exposure had the strongest impact on metamorphosis of all treatment combinations. Whereas copper sulfate exposure reduced the length of the larval period, carbaryl exposure had apparent positive effects by increasing mass at metamorphosis and lengthening larval period, which adds to evidence that carbaryl can stimulate development in counterintuitive ways. The present study provides limited support to the hypothesis that pesticides can alter the response of tadpoles to isolates of Bd and that the insecticide carbaryl can alter developmental decisions. PMID:25044296

  14. Metamorphosis of two amphibian species after chronic cadmium exposure in outdoor aquatic mesocosms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    James, S.M.; Little, E.E.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian larvae at contaminated sites may experience an alteration of metamorphic traits and survival compared to amphibians in uncontaminated conditions. Effects of chronic cadmium (Cd) exposure on the metamorphosis of American toads (Bufo americanus) and southern leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala) were determined. The two species were reared separately from shortly after hatching through metamorphosis in outdoor mesocosms (1,325-L polyethylene cattle tanks) that simulated natural ponds and enhanced environmental realism relative to the laboratory. Both species exhibited a decrease in survival with increasing initial nominal aqueous Cd concentration. Cadmium treatment did not influence mass at metamorphosis for either species when survival was included as a covariate, but increased the age at metamorphosis for the American toads. The whole body Cd content of metamorphs increased with aqueous Cd treatment level for both species, and the American toads tended to possess more elevated residues. Cadmium quickly partitioned out of the water column and accumulated in and altered the abundance of the tadpoles' diet. Cadmium-contaminated sites may produce fewer metamorphs, and those that survive will metamorphose later and contain Cd. Interspecific differences in the response variables illustrate the importance of testing multiple species when assessing risk. ?? 2005 SETAC.

  15. Global increases in ultraviolet B radiation: potential impacts on amphibian development and metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Croteau, M C; Davidson, M A; Lean, D R S; Trudeau, V L

    2008-01-01

    Levels of ultraviolet B radiation (UVBR) reaching the Earth's surface have increased since the 1970s as a result of stratospheric ozone depletion caused by the emission of ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) such as chlorofluorocarbons. Despite international agreements to phase out harmful ODSs, these substances are persistent, and even under the most optimistic scenarios, stratospheric ozone levels will not return to pre-1980 levels for several decades. Furthermore, climate change may enhance chemical stratospheric ozone depletion. Global phenomena such as climate change, ozone depletion, and acidification of aquatic ecosystems interact to modify dissolved organic carbon levels in aquatic systems, thereby increasing the penetration of UVBR. Since amphibians inhabit both aquatic and terrestrial habitats and have unshelled eggs and permeable skin, they are vulnerable to changes in environmental conditions and habitat quality. Increased exposure of amphibians to UVBR can produce lethal and sublethal effects, especially in individuals that do not possess adequate defense mechanisms to protect themselves. In this article, we discuss worldwide increases in UVBR and the adverse effects of UVBR exposure on amphibians. Specifically, studies on the effects of UVBR on amphibian development and metamorphosis are summarized, and possible mechanisms of thyroid system disruption caused by UVBR exposure are considered. PMID:18954263

  16. Suitability of golf course ponds for amphibian metamorphosis when bullfrogs are removed.

    PubMed

    Boone, Michelle D; Semlitsch, Raymond D; Mosby, Cory

    2008-02-01

    Managing areas designed for human recreation so that they are compatible with natural amphibian populations can reduce the negative impacts of habitat destruction. We examined the potential for amphibians to complete larval development in golf course ponds in the presence or absence of overwintered bullfrog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana), which are frequently found in permanent, human-made ponds. We reared larval American toads (Bufo americanus), southern leopard frogs (R. sphenocephala), and spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) with 0 or 5 overwintered bullfrog tadpoles in field enclosures located in ponds on golf courses or in experimental wetlands at a reference site. Survival to metamorphosis of American toads, southern leopard frogs, and spotted salamanders was greater in ponds on golf courses than at reference sites. We attributed this increased survival to low abundance of insect predators in golf course ponds. The presence of overwintered bullfrogs, however, reduced the survival of American toads, southern leopard frogs, and spotted salamanders reared in golf course ponds, indicating that the suitability of the aquatic habitats for these species partly depended on the biotic community present. Our results suggest that ponds in human recreational areas should be managed by maintaining intermediate hydroperiods, which will reduce the presence of bullfrog tadpoles and predators, such as fish, and which may allow native amphibian assemblages to flourish. PMID:18254862

  17. Transition of chytrid fungus infection from mouthparts to hind limbs during amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Taegan A; Rohr, Jason R

    2015-03-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is implicated in worldwide amphibian declines. Bd has been shown to qualitatively transition from the mouthparts of tadpoles to the hindlimbs during metamorphosis, but we lack evidence of consistency in the timing of this transition across amphibian species. We also do not have predictive functions for the abundance of Bd in mouthparts and limbs as tadpoles develop or for the relationship between keratin and Bd abundance. Hence, researchers presently have little guidance on where to sample developing amphibians to maximize Bd detection, which could affect the accuracy of prevalence and abundance estimates for this deadly pathogen. Here, we show consistency in the timing of the transition of Bd from mouthparts to hind limbs across two frog species (Osteopilus septentrionalis and Mixophyes fasciolatus). Keratin and Bd simultaneously declined from the mouthparts starting at approximately Gosner stage 40. However, keratin on the hindlimbs began to appear at approximately stage 38 but, on average, Bd was not detectable on the hindlimbs until approximately stage 40, suggesting a lag between keratin and Bd arrival. Predictive functions for the relationships between developmental stage and keratin and developmental stage and Bd for mouthparts and hind limbs are provided so that researchers can optimize sampling designs and minimize erroneous conclusions associated with missing Bd infections or misestimating Bd abundance. PMID:25384612

  18. DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN METAMORPHOSIS MODEL FOR DETECTING THYROID AXIS DISRUPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis represents an elaborate process of post-embryonic development which is thyroid hormone (TH) dependent. The development of a functional thyroid axis and the responses of tissues to different TH concentrations are well defined in this species, provid...

  19. Delayed metamorphosis of amphibian larvae facilitates Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis transmission and persistence.

    PubMed

    Medina, Daniel; Garner, Trenton W J; Carrascal, Luis María; Bosch, Jaime

    2015-12-01

    Highly virulent pathogens that cause host population declines confront the risk of fade-out, but if pathogen transmission dynamics are age-structured, pathogens can persist. Among other features of amphibian biology, variable larval developmental rates generate age-structured larval populations, which in theory can facilitate pathogen persistence. We investigated this possibility empirically in a population of Salamandra salamandra in Spain affected by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) at breeding sites that lacked alternative amphibian hosts. None of the adults presented infection by Bd. However, for the larvae, while environmental heterogeneity was the most important predictor of infection, the effect on infection dynamics was mediated by transmission from overwintered larvae to new larval recruits, which occurred only in permanent larval habitats. We suggest that interannual Bd maintenance in a host population that experiences mass mortality associated with infection can occur without an environmental reservoir or direct involvement of an alternative host in our study system. However the 2 aquatic habitat types that support intraspecific reservoirs, permanent streams and ponds, are not ideal habitats for long-term Bd maintenance, either due to poor transmission probability or low host survival, respectively. While intraspecific pathogen maintenance due to larval plasticity might be possible at our study sites, this transmission pattern is not without significant risk to the pathogen. The availability of alternative hosts nearby does indicate that permanent Bd fade-out is unlikely. PMID:26648101

  20. Neuromodulation and developmental plasticity in the locomotor system of anuran amphibians during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Sillar, Keith T; Combes, Denis; Ramanathan, Sankari; Molinari, Micol; Simmers, John

    2008-01-01

    Metamorphosis in frogs has long fascinated laymen and scientists alike. This remarkable developmental transformation involves the simultaneous remodelling of almost every organ in the body, including the gut, associated with a switch in diet from filter feeder to predator, and the visual system, from laterally-directed monocular to forward-directed binocular vision. In the context of locomotion there is the complete loss of the tail, the main structure involved in generating thrust during swimming in larvae, and the gain of the limbs which produce rhythmic extension-flexion kicks during swimming and jumping. Here we review recent evidence from experiments utilizing novel in vitro isolated preparations of the Xenopus laevis spinal cord and brainstem which remain viable for several days and can generate motor rhythms similar to those that would normally drive locomotion in vivo. The results indicate that the developing limb circuitry is born from within the existing axial-based network, which acts like a functional scaffold. Initially the limb activity shares the same left-right alternation coordination and relatively high frequency as the tail swimming network. Only later, once the limbs are fully functional, does the limb network break free to produce left-right synchrony of limb motoneuron bursting and with a different, slower cadence than the tail-based system. During the initial formation of the limb networks nitric oxide-producing neurons appear in the spinal cord, but occupy regions other than those in which the new limb circuitry is developing. Now exogenous nitric oxide facilitates locomotor activity, in contrast to its inhibitory effects on swimming at earlier larval stages of development. PMID:17900702

  1. Amphibians.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Describes some of the characteristics of amphibians. Contains teaching activities ranging from a "frog sing-along" to lessons on amphibian adaptations, and night hikes to identify frog calls. Includes reproducible handouts to be used with the activities, and a quiz. (TW)

  2. Metamorphosis in teleosts.

    PubMed

    McMenamin, Sarah K; Parichy, David M

    2013-01-01

    Teleosts are the largest and most diverse group of vertebrates, and many species undergo morphological, physiological, and behavioral transitions, "metamorphoses," as they progress between morphologically divergent life stages. The larval metamorphosis that generally occurs as teleosts mature from larva to juvenile involves the loss of embryo-specific features, the development of new adult features, major remodeling of different organ systems, and changes in physical proportions and overall phenotype. Yet, in contrast to anuran amphibians, for example, teleost metamorphosis can entail morphological change that is either sudden and profound, or relatively gradual and subtle. Here, we review the definition of metamorphosis in teleosts, the diversity of teleost metamorphic strategies and the transitions they involve, and what is known of their underlying endocrine and genetic bases. We suggest that teleost metamorphosis offers an outstanding opportunity for integrating our understanding of endocrine mechanisms, cellular processes of morphogenesis and differentiation, and the evolution of diverse morphologies and life histories. PMID:23347518

  3. Differential patterns of accumulation and retention of dietary trace elements associated with coal ash during larval development and metamorphosis of an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Heyes, Andrew; Rowe, Christopher L; Conrad, Phillip

    2014-01-01

    We performed an experiment in which larval gray tree frogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) were raised through metamorphosis on diets increased with a suite of elements associated with coal combustion residues (silver [Ag], arsenic [As], cadmium [Cd], chromium [Cr], copper [Cu], mercury [Hg], lead [Pb], selenium [Se], vanadium [V], and zinc [Zn]) at "low" and "high" concentrations. We quantified accumulation of metals at three life stages (mid-larval development, initiation of metamorphosis, and completion of metamorphosis) as well as effects on survival, metabolic rate, size at metamorphosis, and duration and loss of weight during metamorphosis. Most elements were accumulated in a dose-dependent pattern by some or all life stages, although this was not the case for Hg. For most elements, larval body burdens exceeded those of later life stages in some or all treatments (control, low, or high). However for Se, As, and Hg, body burdens in control and low concentrations were increased in later compared with earlier life stages. A lack of dose-dependent accumulation of Hg suggests that the presence of high concentrations of other elements (possibly Se) either inhibited accumulation or increased depuration of Hg. The duration of metamorphosis (forelimb emergence through tail resorption) was lengthened in individuals exposed to the highest concentrations of elements, but there were no other statistically significant biological effects. This study shows that patterns of accumulation and possibly depuration of metals and trace elements are complex in animals possessing complex life cycles. Further study is required to determine specific interactions affecting these patterns, in particular which elements may be responsible for affecting accumulation or retention of Hg when organisms are exposed to complex mixtures of elements. PMID:24169791

  4. PROGRESS TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN-BASED THYROID SCREENING ASSAY USING XENOPUS LAEVIS: ORGANISMAL AND THYROIDAL RESPONSES TO THE MODEL COMPOUNDS 6-PROPYLTHIOURACIL, METHIMAZOLE, AND THYROXINE.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The data presented in this manuscript specifically addresses the development and standardization needs associated with an amphibian thyroid axis screening assay. A protocol for an amphibian growth and reproduction test has been requested by the Office of Science Council and Polic...

  5. Tissue-dependent developmental expression of a cytosolic thyroid hormone protein gene in Xenopus: its role in the regulation of amphibian metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Shi, Y B; Liang, V C; Parkison, C; Cheng, S Y

    1994-11-21

    We have cloned the cDNA encoding the Xenopus laevis homolog of mammalian cytosolic thyroid hormone binding protein (CTHBP). We found that while its mRNA level varies little in whole animals during development, the expression of CTHBP is inversely correlated with tissue-specific transformations during metamorphosis. A high level of its mRNA was observed in the tail of premetamorphic tadpoles. However, the expression is dramatically repressed with the onset of rapid tail resorption. In the hindlimb, the expression of CTHBP is very low during morphogenesis. Subsequently, its expression continuously increases during the period of limb growth. In contrast, a low level of CTHBP expression was detected in the intestine throughout metamorphosis. These results suggest that CTHBP could function to modulate the metamorphic process by regulating the level of intracellular thyroid hormones. PMID:7957964

  6. Evolution of Life Cycles in Early Amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoch, Rainer R.

    2009-05-01

    Many modern amphibians have biphasic life cycles with aquatic larvae and terrestrial adults. The central questions are how and when this complicated ontogeny was established, and what is known about the lives of amphibians in the Paleozoic. Fossil evidence has accumulated that sheds light on the life histories of early amphibians, the origin of metamorphosis, and the transition to a fully terrestrial existence. The majority of early amphibians were aquatic or amphibious and underwent only gradual ontogenetic changes. Developmental plasticity played a major role in some taxa but was restricted to minor modification of ontogeny. In the Permo-Carboniferous dissorophoids, a condensation of crucial ontogenetic steps into a short phase (metamorphosis) is observed. It is likely that the origin of both metamorphosis and neoteny falls within these taxa. Fossil evidence also reveals the sequence of evolutionary changes: apparently, the ontogenetic change in feeding, not the transition to a terrestrial existence per se, made a drastic metamorphosis necessary.

  7. Are Fish and Standardized FETAX Assays Protective Enough for Amphibians? A Case Study on Xenopus laevis Larvae Assay with Biologically Active Substances Present in Livestock Wastes

    PubMed Central

    Martini, Federica; Tarazona, José V.; Pablos, M. Victoria

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium) that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC50) and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians. PMID:22629159

  8. Environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate inhibit development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Anderson, Todd A; Smith, Ernest E; Kendall, Ronald J; Carr, James A

    2002-02-01

    We determined whether environmentally relevant concentrations of ammonium perchlorate alter development and metamorphosis in Xenopus laevis. Eggs and larvae were exposed to varying concentrations of ammonium perchlorate or control medium for 70 d. Most treatment-related mortality was observed within 5 d after exposure and was due in large part to reduced hatching success. The 5- and 70-d median lethal concentrations (LC50s) were 510 +/- 36 mg ammonium perchlorate/L and 223 +/- 13 mg ammonium perchlorate/L, respectively. Ammonium perchlorate did not cause any concentration-related developmental abnormalities at concentrations below the 70-d LC50. Ammonium perchlorate inhibited metamorphosis in a concentration-dependent manner as evident from effects on forelimb emergence, tail resorption, and hindlimb growth. These effects were observed after exposure to ammonium perchlorate concentrations in the parts-per-billion range, at or below concentrations reported in surface waters contaminated with ammonium perchlorate. Ammonium perchlorate significantly inhibited tail resorption after a 14-d exposure in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Committee (EDSTAC) Tier I frog metamorphosis assay for thyroid disruption in amphibians. We believe that ammonium perchlorate may pose a threat to normal development and growth in natural amphibian populations. PMID:11833812

  9. Validation of the sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test in the amphibian Xenopus laevis using in situ nick translation and comet assay.

    PubMed

    Pollock, K; Gosálvez, J; Arroyo, F; López-Fernández, C; Guille, M; Noble, A; Johnston, S D

    2015-11-01

    The integrity of sperm DNA is becoming increasingly recognised as an important parameter of semen quality, but there are no published reports of this procedure for any amphibian. The primary aim of this study was to apply a modified sperm chromatin dispersion (SCD) test (Halomax) to an amphibian sperm model (African clawed frog; Xenopus laevis) and to validate the assay against in situ nick translation (ISNT) and the double-comet assay procedure. Inactivated spermatozoa were collected from fresh testes (n=3). Sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF) for each sperm sample was conducted immediately following activation (T0) and again after 1h (T1) and 24h (T24) of incubation at room temperature in order to produce a range of spermatozoa with differing levels of DNA damage. The SCD procedure resulted in the production of three nuclear morphotypes; amphibian sperm morphotype 1 (ASM-1) and ASM-2 showed no evidence of DNA damage, whereas ASM-3 spermatozoa were highly fragmented with large halos of dispersed DNA fragments and a reduced nuclear core. ISNT confirmed that ASM-3 nuclei contained damaged DNA. There was a significant correlation (r=0.9613) between the levels of ASM-3 detected by the SCD test and SDF revealed by the double-comet assay. PMID:25482041

  10. ELASTICITY ANALYSIS OF AMPHIBIAN LIFE HISTORIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    By comparing life history parameters (e.g., age at metamorphosis, age at sexual maturation, egg number, longevity) and phenology of different species, we gain valuable insight into why growth rates differ across populations. Although the demography of most amphibians is lacking, ...

  11. Sodium arsenite induced changes in survival, growth, metamorphosis and genotoxicity in the Indian cricket frog (Rana limnocharis).

    PubMed

    Singha, Utsab; Pandey, Neelam; Boro, Freeman; Giri, Sarbani; Giri, Anirudha; Biswas, Somava

    2014-10-01

    Arsenic contamination of the environment is a matter of great concern. Understanding the effects of arsenic on aquatic life will act as biological early warning system to assess how arsenic could shape the biodiversity in the affected areas. Rapid decline in amphibian population in recent decades is a cause of major concern. Over the years, amphibians have been recognized as excellent bio-indicators of environmental related stress. In the present study, we examined the toxic and genotoxic effects of sodium arsenite in the tadpoles of the Indian cricket frog (Rana limnocharis). Sodium arsenite at different concentrations (0, 50, 100, 200 and 400 μg L(-1)) neither induced lethality nor significantly altered body weight at metamorphosis. However, it accelerated the rate of metamorphosis at higher concentrations, reduced body size (snout-vent length) and induced developmental deformities such as loss of limbs. Besides, at concentration ranges between 100 and 400 μg L(-1), sodium arsenite induced statistically significant genotoxicity at 24, 48, 72 and 96 h of the exposure in a concentration-dependent manner. However, it did not show time effects as the highest frequency was found between 48 and 72 h which remained steady subsequently. The genotoxicity was confirmed by comet assay in the whole blood cells. These findings suggest that arsenic at environmentally relevant concentrations has significant sub-lethal effects on R.limnocharis, which may have long-term fitness consequence to the species and may have similar implications in other aquatic life too. PMID:25048924

  12. Interactive shape metamorphosis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, David T.; State, Andrei; Banks, David

    1994-01-01

    A technique for controlled metamorphosis between surfaces in 3-space is described. Well-understood techniques to produce shape metamorphosis between models in a 2D parametric space is applied. The user selects morphable features interactively, and the morphing process executes in real time on a high-performance graphics multicomputer.

  13. Amphibian macrophage development and antiviral defenses.

    PubMed

    Grayfer, Leon; Robert, Jacques

    2016-05-01

    Macrophage lineage cells represent the cornerstone of vertebrate physiology and immune defenses. In turn, comparative studies using non-mammalian animal models have revealed that evolutionarily distinct species have adopted diverse molecular and physiological strategies for controlling macrophage development and functions. Notably, amphibian species present a rich array of physiological and environmental adaptations, not to mention the peculiarity of metamorphosis from larval to adult stages of development, involving drastic transformation and differentiation of multiple new tissues. Thus it is not surprising that different amphibian species and their respective tadpole and adult stages have adopted unique hematopoietic strategies. Accordingly and in order to establish a more comprehensive view of these processes, here we review the hematopoietic and monopoietic strategies observed across amphibians, describe the present understanding of the molecular mechanisms driving amphibian, an in particular Xenopus laevis macrophage development and functional polarization, and discuss the roles of macrophage-lineage cells during ranavirus infections. PMID:26705159

  14. Biomonitoring of the genotoxic potential of aqueous extracts of soils and bottom ash resulting from municipal solid waste incineration, using the comet and micronucleus tests on amphibian (Xenopus laevis) larvae and bacterial assays (Mutatox and Ames tests).

    PubMed

    Mouchet, F; Gauthier, L; Mailhes, C; Jourdain, M J; Ferrier, V; Triffault, G; Devaux, A

    2006-02-15

    The management of contaminated soils and wastes is a matter of considerable human concern. The present study evaluates the genotoxic potential of aqueous extracts of two soils (leachates) and of bottom ash resulting from municipal solid waste incineration (MSWIBA percolate), using amphibian larvae (Xenopus laevis). Soil A was contaminated by residues of solvents and metals and Soil B by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and metals. MSWIBA was predominantly contaminated by metals. Two genotoxic endpoints were analysed in circulating erythrocytes taken from larvae: clastogenic and/or aneugenic effects (micronucleus induction) after 12 days of exposure and DNA-strand-breaking potency (comet assay) after 1 and 12 days of exposure. In addition, in vitro bacterial assays (Mutatox and Ames tests) were carried out and the results were compared with those of the amphibian test. Physicochemical analyses were also taken into account. Results obtained with the amphibians established the genotoxicity of the aqueous extracts and the comet assay revealed that they were genotoxic from the first day of exposure. The latter test could thus be considered as a genotoxicity-screening tool. Although genotoxicity persisted after 12 days' exposure, DNA damage decreased overall between days 1 and 12 in the MSWIBA percolate, in contrast to the soil leachates. Bacterial tests detected genotoxicity only for the leachate of soil A (Mutatox). The results confirm the ecotoxicological relevance of the amphibian model and underscore the importance of bioassays, as a complement to physico-chemical data, for risk evaluation. PMID:16442436

  15. THYROID AXIS INHIBITION IN XENOPUS LAEVIS: DEVELOPMENT OF AN AMPHIBIAN-BASED SCREENING ASSAY FOR THYROID DISRUPTION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In response to the initial EDSTAC recommendations, research was conducted on the development of a Xenopus laevis based tail resorption assay for evaluating thyroid axis disruption. These experiments highlighted key limitations associated with reliance on tail resorption as a meas...

  16. Effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus and four insecticides on Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kleinhez, Peter; Boone, Michelle D.; Fellers, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Chemical contamination may influence host-pathogen interactions, which has implications for amphibian population declines. We examined the effects of four insecticides alone or as a mixture on development and metamorphosis of Pacific Treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) in the presence or absence of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]). Bd exposure had a negative impact on tadpole activity, survival to metamorphosis, time to metamorphosis, and time of tail absorption (with a marginally negative effect on mass at metamorphosis); however, no individuals tested positive for Bd at metamorphosis. The presence of sublethal concentrations of insecticides alone or in a mixture did not impact Pacific Treefrog activity as tadpoles, survival to metamorphosis, or time and size to metamorphosis. Insecticide exposure did not influence the effect of Bd exposure. Our study did not support our prediction that effects of Bd would be greater in the presence of expected environmental concentrations of insecticide(s), but it did show that Bd had negative effects on responses at metamorphosis that could reduce the quality of juveniles recruited into the population.

  17. Effects of an insecticide on amphibians in large-scale experimental ponds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.; Fairchild, J.F.; Rothermel, B.B.

    2004-01-01

    We examined the effects of the insecticide carbaryl on larval amphibian communities in large-scale experimental ponds. Tadpoles of two anurans, Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii) and southern leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala), were reared in ponds (800 m3 volume) to determine the effects of tadpole density and carbaryl exposure on mass at metamorphosis and on time and survival to metamorphosis. Exposure to carbaryl significantly affected toads at metamorphosis, but not leopard frogs. Carbaryl exposure nearly doubled toad survival compared to controls; this effect may be attributable to an indirect effect of earbaryl increasing algal food resources. The competitive environment (i.e., density) and carbaryl exposure significantly affected the trade-off between mass and time to metamorphosis for toads. Our study is the first to demonstrate that in pond communities where predation and competition may be strong, short-lived insecticides can significantly alter the community dynamics of amphibians.

  18. Thyroid hormone deiodinase type 2 mRNA levels in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) are regulated during metamorphosis and in response to a thyroid challenge.

    PubMed

    Stilborn, S Salina M; Manzon, Lori A; Schauenberg, Jennifer D; Manzon, Richard G

    2013-03-01

    Thyroid hormones (THs) are crucial for normal vertebrate development and are the one obligate morphogen that drives amphibian metamorphosis. However, contrary to other metamorphosing vertebrates, lampreys exhibit a sharp drop in serum TH early in metamorphosis, and anti-thyroid agents such as potassium perchlorate (KClO(4)) induce metamorphosis. The type 2 deiodinase (D2) enzyme is a key regulator of TH availability during amphibian metamorphosis. We set out to determine how D2 may be involved in the regulation of lamprey metamorphosis and thyroid homeostasis. We cloned a 1.8Kb Petromyzon marinus D2 cDNA that includes the entire protein coding region and a selenocysteine (Sec) codon. Northern blotting indicated that the lamprey D2 mRNA is the longest reported to date (>9Kb). Using real-time PCR, we showed that intestinal and hepatic D2 mRNA levels were elevated prior to and during the early stages of metamorphosis and then declined dramatically to low levels that were sustained for the remainder of metamorphosis. These data are consistent with previously reported changes in serum TH levels and deiodinase activity. Treatment of larvae with either TH or KClO(4) significantly affected D2 mRNA levels in the intestine and liver. These D2 mRNA levels during metamorphosis and in response to thyroid challenges suggest that D2 may function in the regulation of TH levels during lamprey metamorphosis and the maintenance of TH homeostasis. PMID:23295540

  19. Amphibian parathyroids: morphological and functional aspects.

    PubMed

    Srivastav, A K; Das, V K; Das, S; Sasayama, Y; Suzuki, N

    1995-10-01

    Amphibians living partially or totally in a terrestrial environment are the first tetrapods to possess parathyroid glands. Purely aquatic amphibians and amphibian larvae lack these endocrine glands. The parathyroids develop at the time of metamorphosis. The parathyroid glands in caecilians consist of a single cell type, that of urodeles may be composed of basal (supporting) cells and suprabasal (chief) cells, and that of anurans of small and large chief cells. Parathyroid glands of caecilians and anurans lack connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves. The parathyroid cells become activated in response to decreased blood calcium concentration and undergo changes indicating increased parathyroid hormone secretion. Increased blood calcium concentration suppresses secretory activity. Usually, parathyroidectomy elicits hypocalcemia in most amphibians. Such operations have no effect in lower urodeles. Parathyroid hormone administration provokes hypercalcemia in most amphibians. The parathyroids of caecilians have not been studied in detail. The urodeles and anurans exhibit seasonal changes in the parathyroid glands. These changes may be initiated by environmental stimuli such as light, temperature, or alterations in blood calcium levels caused by natural hibernation. PMID:8580512

  20. Ontogenetic loss of phenotypic plasticity of age at metamorphosis in tadpoles

    SciTech Connect

    Hensley, F.R. )

    1993-12-01

    Amphibian larvae exhibit phenotypic plasticity in size at metamorphosis and duration of the larval period. I used Pseudacris crucifer tadpoles to test two models for predicting tadpole age and size at metamorphosis under changing environmental conditions. The Wilbur-Collins model states that metamorphosis is initiated as a function of a tadpole's size and relative growth rate, and predicts that changes in growth rate throughout the larval period affect age and size at metamorphosis. An alternative model, the fixed-rate model, states that age at metamorphosis is fixed early in larval life, and subsequent changes in growth rate will have no effect on the length of the larval period. My results confirm that food supplies affect both age and size at metamorphosis, but developmental rates became fixed at approximately Gosner (1960) stages 35-37. Neither model completely predicted these results. I suggest that the generally accepted Wilbur-Collins model is improved by incorporating a point of fixed developmental timing. Growth trajectories predicted from this modified model fit the results of this study better than trajectories based on either of the original models. The results of this study suggests a constraint that limits the simultaneous optimization of age and size at metamorphosis. 32 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  1. Bubbles of Metamorphosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prakash, Manu

    2011-11-01

    Metamorphosis presents a puzzling challenge where, triggered by a signal, an organism abruptly transforms its entire shape and form. Here I describe the role of physical fluid dynamic processes during pupal metamorphosis in flies. During early stages of pupation of third instar larvae into adult flies, a physical gas bubble nucleates at a precise temporal and spatial location, as part of the normal developmental program in Diptera. Although its existence has been known for the last 100 years, the origin and control of this ``cavitation'' event has remained completely mysterious. Where does the driving negative pressure for bubble nucleation come from? How is the location of the bubble nucleation site encoded in the pupae? How do molecular processes control such a physical event? What is the role of this bubble during development? Via developing in-vivo imaging techniques, direct bio-physical measurements in live insect pupal structures and physical modeling, here I elucidate the physical mechanism for appearance and disappearance of this bubble and predict the site of nucleation and its exact timing. This new physical insight into the process of metamorphosis also allows us to understand the inherent design of pupal shell architectures in various species of insects. Milton Award, Harvard Society of Fellows; Terman Fellowship, Stanford

  2. Amphibian Bioacoustics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob

    Anuran amphibians (frogs and toads) of most of the 3,500 species that exist today are highly vocal animals. In most frogs, males will spend considerable energy on calling and incur sizeable predation risks and the females’ detection and localization of the calls of conspecific males is often a prerequisite for successful mating. Therefore, acoustic communication is evidently evolutionarily important in the anurans, and their auditory system is probably shaped by the selective pressures associated with production, detection and localization of the communication calls.

  3. Comparative acute and chronic sensitivity of fish and amphibians: a critical review of data.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Weltje L; Simpson P; Gross M; Crane M; Wheeler JR

    2013-04-01

    The relative sensitivity of amphibians to chemicals in the environment, including plant protection product active substances, is the subject of ongoing scientific debate. The objective of this study was to compare systematically the relative sensitivity of amphibians and fish to chemicals. Acute and chronic toxicity data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ECOTOX database and were supplemented with data from the scientific and regulatory literature. The overall outcome is that fish and amphibian toxicity data are highly correlated and that fish are more sensitive (both acute and chronic) than amphibians. In terms of acute sensitivity, amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only four of 55 chemicals and more than 100-fold more sensitive for only two chemicals. However, a detailed inspection of these cases showed a similar acute sensitivity of fish and amphibians. Chronic toxicity data for fish were available for 52 chemicals. Amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only two substances (carbaryl and dexamethasone) and greater than 100-fold more sensitive for only a single chemical (sodium perchlorate). The comparison for carbaryl was subsequently determined to be unreliable and that for sodium perchlorate is a potential artifact of the exposure medium. Only a substance such as dexamethasone, which interferes with a specific aspect of amphibian metamorphosis, might not be detected using fish tests. However, several other compounds known to influence amphibian metamorphosis were included in the analysis, and these did not affect amphibians disproportionately. These analyses suggest that additional amphibian testing is not necessary during chemical risk assessment.

  4. Comparative acute and chronic sensitivity of fish and amphibians: a critical review of data.

    PubMed

    Weltje, Lennart; Simpson, Peter; Gross, Melanie; Crane, Mark; Wheeler, James R

    2013-04-01

    The relative sensitivity of amphibians to chemicals in the environment, including plant protection product active substances, is the subject of ongoing scientific debate. The objective of this study was to compare systematically the relative sensitivity of amphibians and fish to chemicals. Acute and chronic toxicity data were obtained from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) ECOTOX database and were supplemented with data from the scientific and regulatory literature. The overall outcome is that fish and amphibian toxicity data are highly correlated and that fish are more sensitive (both acute and chronic) than amphibians. In terms of acute sensitivity, amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only four of 55 chemicals and more than 100-fold more sensitive for only two chemicals. However, a detailed inspection of these cases showed a similar acute sensitivity of fish and amphibians. Chronic toxicity data for fish were available for 52 chemicals. Amphibians were between 10- and 100-fold more sensitive than fish for only two substances (carbaryl and dexamethasone) and greater than 100-fold more sensitive for only a single chemical (sodium perchlorate). The comparison for carbaryl was subsequently determined to be unreliable and that for sodium perchlorate is a potential artifact of the exposure medium. Only a substance such as dexamethasone, which interferes with a specific aspect of amphibian metamorphosis, might not be detected using fish tests. However, several other compounds known to influence amphibian metamorphosis were included in the analysis, and these did not affect amphibians disproportionately. These analyses suggest that additional amphibian testing is not necessary during chemical risk assessment. PMID:23381988

  5. Here today, gone tomorrow: Short-term retention of pesticide-induced tolerance in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Jones, Devin K; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-10-01

    Pesticide use has led to the ubiquitous contamination of natural habitats, which has inadvertently increased pesticide tolerance in target and nontarget species. Historically, increased pesticide tolerance has been attributed to natural selection for tolerance among individuals of affected populations. Recent research, however, has discovered that pesticide tolerance can be increased through phenotypic plasticity. Although induced pesticide tolerance may benefit organisms experiencing contaminated systems, little is known about its occurrence in vertebrates, its retention through ontogeny, or potential life history tradeoffs. Using time-to-death assays at 2 distinct developmental windows, the authors discovered that gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) tadpoles exposed to sublethal concentrations (0?mg a.i./L, 0.5?mg a.i./L, and 1.0?mg a.i./L) of the insecticide Sevin (carbaryl) early in life increased their pesticide tolerance to a lethal carbaryl concentration 5 d after sublethal exposure. However, this increased tolerance was not retained later in ontogeny (23?d post-sublethal exposure). Moreover, no indication was found of pesticide-induced treefrogs experiencing life-history tradeoffs in terms of survival to metamorphosis, mass, or snout-vent length. Gray treefrogs are only the second vertebrate species and the second amphibian family to exhibit pesticide-induced tolerance after sublethal exposure. The authors' data suggest that the ability to induce increased pesticide tolerance may play a critical role in amphibian survival in contaminated ecosystems. However, future work is needed to test the occurrence of inducible pesticide tolerance among numerous amphibian populations worldwide. PMID:25940070

  6. Acid tolerance in amphibians

    SciTech Connect

    Pierce, B.A.

    1985-04-01

    Studies of amphibian acid tolerance provide information about the potential effects of acid deposition on amphibian communities. Amphibians as a group appear to be relatively acid tolerant, with many species suffering increased mortality only below pH 4. However, amphibians exhibit much intraspecific variation in acid tolerance, and some species are sensitive to even low levels of acidity. Furthermore, nonlethal effects, including depression of growth rates and increases in developmental abnormalities, can occur at higher pH.

  7. Vertebral development and amphibian evolution.

    PubMed

    Carroll, R L; Kuntz, A; Albright, K

    1999-01-01

    Amphibians provide an unparalleled opportunity to integrate studies of development and evolution through the investigation of the fossil record of larval stages. The pattern of vertebral development in modern frogs strongly resembles that of Paleozoic labyrinthodonts in the great delay in the ossification of the vertebrae, with the centra forming much later than the neural arches. Slow ossification of the trunk vertebrae in frogs and the absence of ossification in the tail facilitate the rapid loss of the tail during metamorphosis, and may reflect retention of the pattern in their specific Paleozoic ancestors. Salamanders and caecilians ossify their centra at a much earlier stage than frogs, which resembles the condition in Paleozoic lepospondyls. The clearly distinct patterns and rates of vertebral development may indicate phylogenetic separation between the ultimate ancestors of frogs and those of salamanders and caecilians within the early radiation of ancestral tetrapods. This divergence may date from the Lower Carboniferous. Comparison with the molecular regulation of vertebral development described in modern mammals and birds suggests that the rapid chondrification of the centra in salamanders relative to that of frogs may result from the earlier migration of sclerotomal cells expressing Pax1 to the area surrounding the notochord. PMID:11324019

  8. Architecture and Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    When compared to other conserved housekeeping protein families, such as ribosomal proteins, during the evolution of higher eukaryotes, aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) show an apparent high propensity to add new sequences, and especially, new domains. The stepwise emergence of those new domains is consistent with their involvement in a broad range of biological functions beyond protein synthesis, and correlates with the increasing biological complexity of higher organisms. The new domains have been extensively characterized based on their evolutionary origins and their sequence, structural and functional features. While some of the domains are uniquely found in aaRSs and may have originated from nucleic acid binding motifs, others are common domain modules mediating protein-protein interactions that play a critical role in the assembly of the multi-synthetase complex (MSC). Interestingly, the MSC has emerged from a miniature complex in yeast, to a large, stable complex in insects to humans. The human MSC consists of 9 aaRSs (LysRS, ArgRS, GlnRS, AspRS, MetRS, IleRS, LeuRS and GluProRS) and 3 scaffold proteins (AIMP1/p43, AIMP2/p38 and AIMP3/p18), and has a molecular weight of 1.5 million Da. The MSC has been proposed to have a functional dualism: both facilitating protein synthesis and serving as a reservoir of non-canonical functions associated with its synthetase and non-synthetase components. Importantly, domain additions and functional expansions are not limited to the components of the MSC and are found in almost all aaRS proteins. From a structural perspective, multi-functionalities are represented by multiple conformational states. In fact, alternative conformations of aaRSs have been generated by various mechanisms from proteolysis to alternative splicing and posttranslational modifications, as well as by disease-causing mutations. Therefore, the metamorphosis between different conformational states is connected to the activation and regulation of the novel functions of aaRSs in higher eukaryotes. PMID:23536245

  9. Is the amphibian X. laevis WEC a good alternative method to rodent WEC teratogenicity assay? The example of the three triazole derivative fungicides Triadimefon, Tebuconazole, Cyproconazole.

    PubMed

    Di Renzo, Francesca; Bacchetta, Renato; Bizzo, Andrea; Giavini, Erminio; Menegola, Elena

    2011-09-01

    The aim of the present work is the assessment of teratogenic effects of three triazole-derived fungicides (Triadimefon, FON, Tebuconazole, TEBU, Cyproconazole, CYPRO) on rat and Xenopus laevis embryos cultured in vitro. Rat embryos, exposed to FON 31.25-250μM, CYPRO 31.25-62.5μM and to TEBU 62.5-250μM, showed specific malformations (fusions) at the level of the first and second branchial arches, with a concentration-dependent increase of severity of malformative pictures. After immunostaining, the ectomesenchyme has been identified as the target tissue. X. laevis larvae showed, at the same concentrations, specific malformations at the level of cartilaginous element derived from the first and second branchial arch ectomesenchyme. This work indicates the three tested triazoles as teratogenic both in rodents and in amphibian, inducing ectomesenchymal abnormalities, and suggests, at least for this class of molecules, the X. laevis method as adequate alternative model for teratogenic screening. PMID:21601633

  10. Where have all the tadpoles gone? Individual genetic tracking of amphibian larvae until adulthood.

    PubMed

    Ringler, Eva; Mangione, Rosanna; Ringler, Max

    2015-07-01

    Reliably marking larvae and reidentifying them after metamorphosis is a challenge that has hampered studies on recruitment, dispersal, migration and survivorship of amphibians for a long time, as conventional tags are not reliably retained through metamorphosis. Molecular methods allow unique genetic fingerprints to be established for individuals. Although microsatellite markers have successfully been applied in mark-recapture studies on several animal species, they have never been previously used in amphibians to follow individuals across different life cycle stages. Here, we evaluate microsatellites for genetic across-stages mark-recapture studies in amphibians and test the suitability of available software packages for genotype matching. We sampled tadpoles of the dendrobatid frog Allobates femoralis, which we introduced on a river island in the Nature Reserve 'Les Nouragues' in French Guiana. In two subsequent recapture sessions, we searched for surviving juveniles and adults, respectively. All individuals were genotyped at 14 highly variable microsatellite loci, which yielded unique genetic fingerprints for all individuals. We found large differences in the identification success of the programs tested. The pairwise-relatedness-based approach, conducted with the programs kingroup or ML-Relate, performed best with our data set. Matching ventral patterns of juveniles and adult individuals acted as a control for the reliability of the genetic identification. Our results demonstrate that microsatellite markers are a highly powerful tool for studying amphibian populations on an individual basis. The ability to individually track amphibian tadpoles throughout metamorphosis until adulthood will be of substantial value for future studies on amphibian population ecology and evolution. PMID:25388775

  11. A Qualitative Meta-Analysis Reveals Consistent Effects of Atrazine on Freshwater Fish and Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; McCoy, Krista A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective The biological effects of the herbicide atrazine on freshwater vertebrates are highly controversial. In an effort to resolve the controversy, we conducted a qualitative meta-analysis on the effects of ecologically relevant atrazine concentrations on amphibian and fish survival, behavior, metamorphic traits, infections, and immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Data sources We used published, peer-reviewed research and applied strict quality criteria for inclusion of studies in the meta-analysis. Data synthesis We found little evidence that atrazine consistently caused direct mortality of fish or amphibians, but we found evidence that it can have indirect and sublethal effects. The relationship between atrazine concentration and timing of amphibian metamorphosis was regularly nonmonotonic, indicating that atrazine can both accelerate and delay metamorphosis. Atrazine reduced size at or near metamorphosis in 15 of 17 studies and 14 of 14 species. Atrazine elevated amphibian and fish activity in 12 of 13 studies, reduced antipredator behaviors in 6 of 7 studies, and reduced olfactory abilities for fish but not for amphibians. Atrazine was associated with a reduction in 33 of 43 immune function end points and with an increase in 13 of 16 infection end points. Atrazine altered at least one aspect of gonadal morphology in 7 of 10 studies and consistently affected gonadal function, altering spermatogenesis in 2 of 2 studies and sex hormone concentrations in 6 of 7 studies. Atrazine did not affect vitellogenin in 5 studies and increased aromatase in only 1 of 6 studies. Effects of atrazine on fish and amphibian reproductive success, sex ratios, gene frequencies, populations, and communities remain uncertain. Conclusions Although there is much left to learn about the effects of atrazine, we identified several consistent effects of atrazine that must be weighed against any of its benefits and the costs and benefits of alternatives to atrazine use. PMID:20056568

  12. Where have all the tadpoles gone? Individual genetic tracking of amphibian larvae until adulthood

    PubMed Central

    RINGLER, EVA; MANGIONE, ROSANNA; RINGLER, MAX

    2015-01-01

    Reliably marking larvae and reidentifying them after metamorphosis is a challenge that has hampered studies on recruitment, dispersal, migration and survivorship of amphibians for a long time, as conventional tags are not reliably retained through metamorphosis. Molecular methods allow unique genetic fingerprints to be established for individuals. Although microsatellite markers have successfully been applied in mark–recapture studies on several animal species, they have never been previously used in amphibians to follow individuals across different life cycle stages. Here, we evaluate microsatellites for genetic across-stages mark–recapture studies in amphibians and test the suitability of available software packages for genotype matching. We sampled tadpoles of the dendrobatid frog Allobates femoralis, which we introduced on a river island in the Nature Reserve ‘Les Nouragues’ in French Guiana. In two subsequent recapture sessions, we searched for surviving juveniles and adults, respectively. All individuals were genotyped at 14 highly variable microsatellite loci, which yielded unique genetic fingerprints for all individuals. We found large differences in the identification success of the programs tested. The pairwise-relatedness-based approach, conducted with the programs kingroup or ML-Relate, performed best with our data set. Matching ventral patterns of juveniles and adult individuals acted as a control for the reliability of the genetic identification. Our results demonstrate that microsatellite markers are a highly powerful tool for studying amphibian populations on an individual basis. The ability to individually track amphibian tadpoles throughout metamorphosis until adulthood will be of substantial value for future studies on amphibian population ecology and evolution. PMID:25388775

  13. Effects of copper on growth, metamorphosis and endocrine disruption of Bufo gargarizans larvae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chao; Liang, Gang; Chai, Lihong; Wang, Hongyuan

    2016-01-01

    Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) tadpoles were exposed to copper (1, 6.4, 32 and 64μgL(-1) copper) from the beginning of larval period through completion of metamorphosis. We examined the effects of chronic copper exposure on mortality, growth, time to metamorphosis, tail resorption time, body size at the metamorphic climax (Gs 42) and completion of metamorphosis (Gs 46) and thyroid gland histology. In addition, type 2 and 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2 and Dio3), thyroid hormone receptors (TRα and TRβ) mRNA levels were also measured to assess disruption of TH synthesis. Our result showed that 6.4-64μgL(-1) copper concentration increased the mortality and inhibited the growth of B. gargarizans tadpoles. In addition, significant reduction in size at Gs 42 and a time delay to Gs 42 were observed at 6.4-64μgL(-1) copper treatments. Moreover, histological examinations have clearly revealed that 64μgL(-1) copper caused follicular cell hyperplasia in thyroid gland. According to real-time PCR results, exposure to 32 and 64μgL(-1) copper significantly up-regulated mRNA expression of Dio3, but down-regulated mRNA expression of TRα and TRβ mRNA level. We concluded that copper delayed amphibian metamorphosis through changing mRNA expression of Dio3, TRα and TRβ, which suggests that copper might have the endocrine-disrupting effect. PMID:26587739

  14. Cadmium pollution and amphibians--Studies in tadpoles of Rana limnocharis.

    PubMed

    Patar, Arabinda; Giri, Anirudha; Boro, Freeman; Bhuyan, Krishna; Singha, Utsab; Giri, Sarbani

    2016-02-01

    Cadmium is released into the environment in increasing amounts from different natural and anthropogenic activities contaminating the aquatic habitats. Amphibian tadpoles develop in water and hence are likely to be adversely affected by cadmium present in the aquatic environment. We have studied the toxic and genotoxic effects of CdCl2 on the tadpoles of Rana limnocharis. CdCl2 in the concentration range between 0.1 and 0.4 mg/L induced significant mortality in R. limnocharis tadpoles in a dose and time dependent manner. The 10-day LC50 which has more ecological relevance was far less than the 24-h LC50. Tadpoles exposed to CdCl2 metamorphosed at an early age possibly as a survival strategy to move out of the stressful environment. The body weight of the CdCl2 exposed animals at metamorphosis was lower compared to the control individuals which may affect survival and reproductive fitness in adult life. Besides, the average body length of the metamorphosed individuals in the CdCl2 exposed group was higher than the control group. CdCl2 was found to be genotoxic in micronucleus test and comet assay. The ambient concentration of Cd could reach up to 60 μg/L or more. Exposure to 18.5 μg/L of CdCl2 (1% of 24-h LC50) induced significant increase in DNA strand breaks as compared to the control. The present findings demonstrate that presence of cadmium in the aquatic environment can significantly alter the life history traits and cause DNA damage in amphibians and hence, could contribute towards their population decline. PMID:26451654

  15. Fetal adaptations for viviparity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wake, Marvalee H

    2015-08-01

    Live-bearing has evolved in all three orders of amphibians--frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Developing young may be either yolk dependent, or maternal nutrients may be supplied after yolk is resorbed, depending on the species. Among frogs, embryos in two distantly related lineages develop in the skin of the maternal parents' backs; they are born either as advanced larvae or fully metamorphosed froglets, depending on the species. In other frogs, and in salamanders and caecilians, viviparity is intraoviductal; one lineage of salamanders includes species that are yolk dependent and born either as larvae or metamorphs, or that practice cannibalism and are born as metamorphs. Live-bearing caecilians all, so far as is known, exhaust yolk before hatching and mothers provide nutrients during the rest of the relatively long gestation period. The developing young that have maternal nutrition have a number of heterochronic changes, such as precocious development of the feeding apparatus and the gut. Furthermore, several of the fetal adaptations, such as a specialized dentition and a prolonged metamorphosis, are homoplasious and present in members of two or all three of the amphibian orders. At the same time, we know little about the developmental and functional bases for fetal adaptations, and less about the factors that drive their evolution and facilitate their maintenance. PMID:24643944

  16. Introducing Environmental Toxicology in Instructional Labs: The Use of a Modified Amphibian Developmental Toxicity Assay to Support Inquiry-Based Student Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sauterer, Roger; Rayburn, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Introducing students to the process of scientific inquiry is a major goal of high school and college labs. Environmental toxins are of great concern and public interest. Modifications of a vertebrate developmental toxicity assay using the frog Xenopus laevis can support student-initiated toxicology experiments that are relevant to humans. Teams of

  17. Introducing Environmental Toxicology in Instructional Labs: The Use of a Modified Amphibian Developmental Toxicity Assay to Support Inquiry-Based Student Projects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sauterer, Roger; Rayburn, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Introducing students to the process of scientific inquiry is a major goal of high school and college labs. Environmental toxins are of great concern and public interest. Modifications of a vertebrate developmental toxicity assay using the frog Xenopus laevis can support student-initiated toxicology experiments that are relevant to humans. Teams of…

  18. Climate change and amphibians

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian life histories are exceedingly sensitive to temperature and precipitation, and there is good evidence that recent climate change has already resulted in a shift to breeding earlier in the year for some species. There are also suggestions that the recent increase in the occurrence of El Niño events has caused declines of anurans in Central America and is linked to elevated mortality of amphibian embryos in the northwestern United States. However, evidence linking amphibian declines in Central America to climate relies solely on correlations, and the mechanisms underlying the declines are not understood. Connections between embryo mortality and declines in abundance have not been demonstrated. Analyses of existing data have generally failed to find a link between climate and amphibian declines. It is likely, however, that future climate change will cause further declines of some amphibian species. Reduced soil moisture could reduce prey species and eliminate habitat. Reduced snowfall and increased summer evaporation could have dramatic effects on the duration or occurrence of seasonal wetlands, which are primary habitat for many species of amphibians. Climate change may be a relatively minor cause of current amphibian declines, but it may be the biggest future challenge to the persistence of many species

  19. A Role for Taiman in Insect Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Lozano, Jesus; Kayukawa, Takumi; Shinoda, Tetsuro; Belles, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies in vitro have reported that the Methoprene-tolerant (Met) and Taiman (Tai) complex is the functional receptor of juvenile hormone (JH). Experiments in vivo of Met depletion have confirmed this factor's role in JH signal transduction, however, there is no equivalent data regarding Tai because its depletion in larval or nymphal stages of the beetle Tribolium castaneum and the bug Pyrrhocoris apterus results in 100% mortality. We have discovered that the cockroach Blattella germanica possesses four Tai isoforms resulting from the combination of two indels in the C-terminal region of the sequence. The presence of one equivalent indel-1 in Tai sequences in T. castaneum and other species suggests that Tai isoforms may be common in insects. Concomitant depletion of all four Tai isoforms in B. germanica resulted in 100% mortality, but when only the insertion 1 (IN-1) isoforms were depleted, mortality was significantly reduced and about half of the specimens experienced precocious adult development. This shows that Tai isoforms containing IN-1 are involved in transducing the JH signal that represses metamorphosis. Reporter assays indicated that both T. castaneum Tai isoforms, one that contains the IN-1 and another that does not (DEL-1) activated a JH response element (kJHRE) in Krüppel homolog 1 in conjunction with Met and JH. The results indicate that Tai is involved in the molecular mechanisms that repress metamorphosis, at least in B. germanica, and highlight the importance of distinguishing Tai isoforms when studying the functions of this transcription factor in development and other processes. PMID:25356827

  20. Larval Environment Alters Amphibian Immune Defenses Differentially across Life Stages and Populations

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Recent global declines, extirpations and extinctions of wildlife caused by newly emergent diseases highlight the need to improve our knowledge of common environmental factors that affect the strength of immune defense traits. To achieve this goal, we examined the influence of acidification and shading of the larval environment on amphibian skin-associated innate immune defense traits, pre and post-metamorphosis, across two populations of American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), a species known for its wide-ranging environmental tolerance and introduced global distribution. We assessed treatment effects on 1) skin-associated microbial communities and 2) post-metamorphic antimicrobial peptide (AMP) production and 3) AMP bioactivity against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While habitat acidification did not affect survival, time to metamorphosis or juvenile mass, we found that a change in average pH from 7 to 6 caused a significant shift in the larval skin microbial community, an effect which disappeared after metamorphosis. Additionally, we found shifts in skin-associated microbial communities across life stages suggesting they are affected by the physiological or ecological changes associated with amphibian metamorphosis. Moreover, we found that post-metamorphic AMP production and bioactivity were significantly affected by the interactions between pH and shade treatments and interactive effects differed across populations. In contrast, there were no significant interactions between treatments on post-metamorphic microbial community structure suggesting that variation in AMPs did not affect microbial community structure within our study. Our findings indicate that commonly encountered variation in the larval environment (i.e. pond pH and degree of shading) can have both immediate and long-term effects on the amphibian innate immune defense traits. Our work suggests that the susceptibility of amphibians to emerging diseases could be related to variability in the larval environment and calls for research into the relative influence of potentially less benign anthropogenic environmental changes on innate immune defense traits. PMID:26107644

  1. Larval Environment Alters Amphibian Immune Defenses Differentially across Life Stages and Populations.

    PubMed

    Krynak, Katherine L; Burke, David J; Benard, Michael F

    2015-01-01

    Recent global declines, extirpations and extinctions of wildlife caused by newly emergent diseases highlight the need to improve our knowledge of common environmental factors that affect the strength of immune defense traits. To achieve this goal, we examined the influence of acidification and shading of the larval environment on amphibian skin-associated innate immune defense traits, pre and post-metamorphosis, across two populations of American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), a species known for its wide-ranging environmental tolerance and introduced global distribution. We assessed treatment effects on 1) skin-associated microbial communities and 2) post-metamorphic antimicrobial peptide (AMP) production and 3) AMP bioactivity against the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). While habitat acidification did not affect survival, time to metamorphosis or juvenile mass, we found that a change in average pH from 7 to 6 caused a significant shift in the larval skin microbial community, an effect which disappeared after metamorphosis. Additionally, we found shifts in skin-associated microbial communities across life stages suggesting they are affected by the physiological or ecological changes associated with amphibian metamorphosis. Moreover, we found that post-metamorphic AMP production and bioactivity were significantly affected by the interactions between pH and shade treatments and interactive effects differed across populations. In contrast, there were no significant interactions between treatments on post-metamorphic microbial community structure suggesting that variation in AMPs did not affect microbial community structure within our study. Our findings indicate that commonly encountered variation in the larval environment (i.e. pond pH and degree of shading) can have both immediate and long-term effects on the amphibian innate immune defense traits. Our work suggests that the susceptibility of amphibians to emerging diseases could be related to variability in the larval environment and calls for research into the relative influence of potentially less benign anthropogenic environmental changes on innate immune defense traits. PMID:26107644

  2. Methods for Evaluating Wetland Condition #12: Using Amphibians in Bioassessments of Wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Richter, K.O.; Calhoun, A.; Micacchion, M.

    2001-01-01

    Because amphibians have both aquatic and terrestrial life stages they can serve in a unique way among vertebrates as sources of information for bioassessments of both wetlands and surrounding habitats. Although there are many data gaps in our knowledge about the habitat requirements and ecology of many amphibian species, it is apparent that community composition, presence and frequency of abnormalities, various mensural characteristics (e.g. snout vent length divided by body weight) and laboratory diagnostics (e.g. cholinesterase activity, blood chemistry) can be used in developing metrics for an index of biotic integrity. In addition, potential metrics can be derived from the various life stages that most amphibians experience such as egg clusters; embryonic development and hatching rates; tadpole growth, development, and survival; progress and success of metamorphosis; and breeding behavior and presence of adults. It is important, however, to focus on regional biodiversity and species assemblages of amphibians in the development of metrics rather than to strive for broadscale application of common metrics. This report discusses the procedures of developing an index of biotic integrity based on amphibians, explains potential pitfalls in using amphibians in bioassessments, and demonstrates where more research is needed to enhance the use of amphibians in evaluating wetland conditions.

  3. Immunohistochemical localization and biochemical changes in catalase and superoxide dismutase during metamorphosis in the olfactory system of frog Microhyla ornata.

    PubMed

    Gaupale, Tekchand C; Londhe, Jayant; Ghaskadbi, Saroj; Subhedar, N K; Bhargava, Shobha

    2012-02-01

    Amphibian metamorphosis is characterized by rapid tissue remodeling and drastic changes in the body structure and function. Like other organs, olfactory system also undergoes a dramatic rearrangement as the animal experiences transition from aquatic to terrestrial habitat. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are known to play an important role during anuran metamorphosis and role of antioxidant enzymes like catalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) are believed to play a major role in these processes. Therefore, we hypothesize that antioxidant enzymes in the olfactory system may undergo changes that reflect metamorphic processes. Immunohistochemical study revealed the presence of catalase and SOD in the olfactory receptor neurons and also granular reaction in olfactory epithelium of medial diverticulum during metamorphosis. Catalase and SOD immunoreactivity were seen in the epithelium of lateral diverticulum, vomeronasal organ as metamorphosis proceeds and in the apical lining of olfactory epithelium of adult frog. Biochemical study showed that catalase activity gradually increases in the olfactory system from metamorphic stage 40-46 and adult, while SOD activity decreases from stage 40 to 46 and increases in adult. Thus, the localization and relative levels of catalase and SOD during metamorphosis in the olfactory system suggests that these enzymes may be involved in protection from oxidative damage. PMID:22134050

  4. Tadpoles of Early Breeding Amphibians are Negatively Affected by Leaf Litter From Invasive Chinese Tallow Trees

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leonard, N. E.

    2005-05-01

    As wetlands are invaded by Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera), native trees are displaced and detrital inputs to amphibian breeding ponds are altered. I used a mesocosm experiment to examine the effect of Chinese tallow leaf litter on the survival to, size at, and time to metamorphosis of amphibian larvae. Fifty 1000-L cattle watering tanks were treated with 1500 g dry weight of one of five leaf litter treatments: Chinese tallow, laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), or a 3:1:1:1 mixture. Each tank received 45 tadpoles of Pseudacris feriarum, Bufo terrestris, and Hyla cinerea in sequence according to their natural breeding phonologies. Every Pseudacris feriarum and Bufo terrestris tadpole exposed to Chinese tallow died prior to metamorphosis. Hyla cinerea survival in tanks with tallow-only was significantly lower than that observed for all other leaf treatments. Hyla cinerea tadpoles from tallow-only and mixed-leaf treatments were larger at metamorphosis and transformed faster than those in tanks with native leaves only. These results suggest that Chinese tallow leaf litter may negatively affect tadpoles of early breeding frogs and that Chinese tallow invasion may change the structure of amphibian communities in temporary ponds.

  5. Antiviral Immunity in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Guangchun; Robert, Jacques

    2011-01-01

    Although a variety of virus species can infect amphibians, diseases caused by ranaviruses ([RVs]; Iridoviridae) have become prominent, and are a major concern for biodiversity, agriculture and international trade. The relatively recent and rapid increase in prevalence of RV infections, the wide range of host species infected by RVs, the variability in host resistance among population of the same species and among different developmental stages, all suggest an important involvement of the amphibian immune system. Nevertheless, the roles of the immune system in the etiology of viral diseases in amphibians are still poorly investigated. We review here the current knowledge of antiviral immunity in amphibians, focusing on model species such as the frog Xenopus and the salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), and on recent progress in generating tools to better understand how host immune defenses control RV infections, pathogenicity, and transmission. PMID:22163335

  6. Amphibian pain and analgesia.

    PubMed

    Machin, K L

    1999-03-01

    Analgesics are often not provided to amphibians because the presence and severity of pain may not be recognized in these animals. In addition, there is little information on the mechanism of action of analgesic agents in amphibians. However, amphibians possess appropriate neurologic components for transmitting pain from peripheral receptors to the central nervous system and antinociceptive mechanisms to modulate pain. They are capable of displaying behavioral and physiologic modification of pain systems in response to analgesic pharmacologic agents. Therefore, pain perception in amphibians is likely analogous to that in mammals and invasive, potentially painful procedures should be accompanied by appropriate analgesia and anesthesia. Although specific doses have not been established in clinical trials, basic research into the mechanisms and regulation of endogenous opioid systems demonstrates the potential clinical benefit for the use of opioids in these animals. Other analgesics such as alpha2-agonists, ketamine, and tricaine methanesulfonate have also demonstrated analgesic potential. PMID:10367638

  7. Vikers Viking Amphibian - biplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1924-01-01

    Vikers Viking Amphibian - biplane: Initially procured in 1921 by the U.S. Navy during their studies of foreign designs, the Vickers Viking IV became NACA 17 during its short period of study at Langley.

  8. AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Agriculture has contributed to loss of vertebrate biodiversity in many regions, including the U.S. Corn Belt. Amphibian populations, in particular, have experienced widespread and often inexplicable declines, range reductions, and extinctions. However, few attempts have been made...

  9. 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

  10. Understanding of the impact of chemicals on amphibians: a meta-analytic review

    PubMed Central

    Egea-Serrano, Andrés; Relyea, Rick A; Tejedo, Miguel; Torralva, Mar

    2012-01-01

    Many studies have assessed the impact of different pollutants on amphibians across a variety of experimental venues (laboratory, mesocosm, and enclosure conditions). Past reviews, using vote-counting methods, have described pollution as one of the major threats faced by amphibians. However, vote-counting methods lack strong statistical power, do not permit one to determine the magnitudes of effects, and do not compare responses among predefined groups. To address these challenges, we conducted a meta-analysis of experimental studies that measured the effects of different chemical pollutants (nitrogenous and phosphorous compounds, pesticides, road deicers, heavy metals, and other wastewater contaminants) at environmentally relevant concentrations on amphibian survival, mass, time to hatching, time to metamorphosis, and frequency of abnormalities. The overall effect size of pollutant exposure was a medium decrease in amphibian survival and mass and a large increase in abnormality frequency. This translates to a 14.3% decrease in survival, a 7.5% decrease in mass, and a 535% increase in abnormality frequency across all studies. In contrast, we found no overall effect of pollutants on time to hatching and time to metamorphosis. We also found that effect sizes differed among experimental venues and among types of pollutants, but we only detected weak differences among amphibian families. These results suggest that variation in sensitivity to contaminants is generally independent of phylogeny. Some publication bias (i.e., selective reporting) was detected, but only for mass and the interaction effect size among stressors. We conclude that the overall impact of pollution on amphibians is moderately to largely negative. This implies that pollutants at environmentally relevant concentrations pose an important threat to amphibians and may play a role in their present global decline. PMID:22957147

  11. Interactive effects of competition and predator cues on immune responses of leopard frogs at metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Groner, Maya L; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Reinert, Laura K; Hempel, John; Bier, Mark E; Relyea, Rick A

    2014-02-01

    Recent hypotheses suggest that immunosuppression, resulting from altered environmental conditions, may contribute to the increased incidence of amphibian disease around the world. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) in amphibian skin are an important innate immune defense against fungal, viral and bacterial pathogens. Their release is tightly coupled with release of the stress hormone noradrenaline (norepinephrine). During metamorphosis, AMPs may constitute the primary immune response in the skin of some species because acquired immune functions are temporarily suppressed in order to prevent autoimmunity against new adult antigens. Suppression of AMPs during this transitional stage may impact disease rates. We exposed leopard frog tadpoles (Lithobates pipiens) to a factorial combination of competitor and caged-predator environments and measured their development, growth and production of hydrophobic skin peptides after metamorphosis. In the absence of predator cues, or if the exposure to predator cues was late in ontogeny, competition caused more than a 250% increase in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides. Predator cues caused a decrease in mass-standardized hydrophobic skin peptides when the exposure was late in ontogeny under low competition, but otherwise had no effect. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry of the skin peptides showed that they include six AMPs in the brevinin and temporin families and at least three of these peptides are previously uncharacterized. Both of these peptide families have previously been shown to inhibit harmful microbes including Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the fungal pathogen associated with global amphibian declines. Our study shows that amphibians may be able to adjust their skin peptide defenses in response to stressors that are experienced early in ontogeny and that these effects extend through an important life-history transition. PMID:24115058

  12. The cost of metamorphosis in flatfishes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geffen, A. J.; van der Veer, H. W.; Nash, R. D. M.

    2007-07-01

    Flatfish development includes a unique physical metamorphosis with morphological and physiological changes associated with eye migration, a 90° rotation in posture and asymmetrical pigmentation. Flatfish larvae also undergo settlement, a behavioural and ecological change associated with a transition from a pelagic to a benthic existence. These processes are often assumed to be critical in determining recruitment in flatfish, through their impact on feeding, growth and survival. The timing of metamorphosis in relation to settlement varies between different flatfish species and this suggests that growth and development are not closely coupled. Existing information on feeding, growth and survival during metamorphosis and settlement is reviewed. Growth during metamorphosis is reduced in some but not all species. Despite the profound internal and external changes, there are no indications that the process of metamorphosis results in an increased mortality or that it might affect recruitment in flatfishes.

  13. Distortion of frontal bones results from cell apoptosis by the mechanical force from the up-migrating eye during metamorphosis in Paralichthys olivaceus.

    PubMed

    Sun, Mingyan; Wei, Fen; Li, Hui; Xu, Juan; Chen, Xinye; Gong, Xiaoling; Tian, Yongsheng; Chen, Songlin; Bao, Baolong

    2015-05-01

    Craniofacial remodeling during flatfish metamorphosis, including eye migration, is perhaps the most striking example of asymmetric postembryonic development in the vertebrate world. The asymmetry of the cranium mainly results from distortion of the frontal bones, which depends on eye migration during metamorphosis. However, it is unclear how the up-migrating eye causes distortion of the frontal bones. In this study, we first show that distortion of the frontal bones during metamorphosis in Paralichthys olivaceus is the result of cell apoptosis, rather than cell autophagy or cell proliferation. Secondly, we report that cell apoptosis in the frontal bones is induced by the mechanical force transferred from the up-migrating eye. The mechanical force from the up-migrating eye signals through FAK to downstream molecules that are integrated into the BMP-2 signal pathway. Finally, it is shown that cell apoptosis in the frontal bones is activated by the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway; the extrinsic death receptor is not involved in this process. Moreover, cell apoptosis in frontal bones is not induced directly by thyroid hormones, which are thought to mediate metamorphosis in flatfishes and directly mediate cell apoptosis during amphibian metamorphosis. These findings help identify the major signaling route used during regulation of frontal bone distortion during metamorphosis in flatfish, and indicate that the asymmetry of the cranium, or at least the distortion of frontal bones, is the result of rather than the reason underlying eye migration. PMID:25622577

  14. Adaptive colouration in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Rudh, Andreas; Qvarnström, Anna

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians, i.e. salamanders, frogs and caecilians show a wide range of bright colours in combination with contrasting patterns. There is variation among species, populations and also within species and populations. Furthermore, individuals often change colours during developmental stages or in response to environmental factors. This extraordinary variation means that there are excellent opportunities to test hypotheses of the adaptive significance of colours using amphibian species as models. We review the present view of functions of colouration in amphibians with the main focus on relatively unexplored topics. Variation in colouration has been found to play a role in thermoregulation, UV protection, predator avoidance and sexual signalling. However, many proposed cases of adaptive functions of colouration in amphibians remain virtually scientifically unexplored and surprisingly few genes influencing pigmentation or patterning have been detected. We would like to especially encourage more studies that take advantage of recent developments in measurement of visual properties of several possible signalling receivers (e.g. predators, competitors or mates). Future investigations on interactions between behaviour, ecology and vision have the potential to challenge our current view of the adaptive function of colouration in amphibians. PMID:23664831

  15. A conceptual model to facilitate amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushnet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    As pressures on agricultural landscapes to meet worldwide resource needs increase, amphibian populations face numerous threats including habitat destruction, chemical contaminants, disease outbreaks, wetland sedimentation, and synergistic effects of these perturbations. To facilitate conservation planning, we developed a conceptual model depicting elements critical for amphibian conservation in the northern Great Plains. First, we linked upland, wetland, and landscape features to specific ecological attributes. Ecological attributes included adult survival; reproduction and survival to metamorphosis; and successful dispersal and recolonization. Second, we linked ecosystem drivers, ecosystem stressors, and ecological effects of the region to each ecological attribute. Lastly, we summarized information on these ecological attributes and the drivers, stressors, and effects that work in concert to influence the maintenance of viable and genetically diverse amphibian populations in the northern Great Plains. While our focus was on the northern Great Plains, our conceptual model can be tailored to other geographic regions and taxa.

  16. DEVELOPMENTAL DIVERSITY OF AMPHIBIANS

    PubMed Central

    Elinson, Richard P.; del Pino, Eugenia M.

    2011-01-01

    The current model amphibian, Xenopus laevis, develops rapidly in water to a tadpole which metamorphoses into a frog. Many amphibians deviate from the X. laevis developmental pattern. Among other adaptations, their embryos develop in foam nests on land or in pouches on their mother’s back or on a leaf guarded by a parent. The diversity of developmental patterns includes multinucleated oogenesis, lack of RNA localization, huge non-pigmented eggs, and asynchronous, irregular early cleavages. Variations in patterns of gastrulation highlight the modularity of this critical developmental period. Many species have eliminated the larva or tadpole and directly develop to the adult. The wealth of developmental diversity among amphibians coupled with the wealth of mechanistic information from X. laevis permit comparisons that provide deeper insights into developmental processes. PMID:22662314

  17. Invasive reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Moutou, F; Pastoret, P P

    2010-08-01

    Although they are frequently lumped together, reptiles and amphibians belong to two very different zoological groups. Nevertheless, one fact is clear: while numerous reptile and amphibian species on Earth are in decline, others have taken advantage of trade or human movements to become established in new lands, adopting different, and sometimes unusual, strategies. The authors have taken a few examples from these two zoological groups that illustrate the majority of cases. A brief analysis of the causes and effects of their introductions into new areas reveals connections with economic interests, trade in companion animals, medical research and public health. PMID:20919579

  18. An endogenous peptide is involved in internal control of metamorphosis in the marine invertebrate Cassiopea xamachana (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa).

    PubMed

    Thieme, C; Hofmann, D K

    2003-03-01

    In the metagenetic life-cycle of the scyphozoan Cassiopea xamachana metamorphosis of planula-larvae or larva-like buds to polyps is triggered by specific external cues which are transmitted inside the larva or bud where internal signals finally coordinate the initiation of metamorphosis. This study deals with an endogenous metamorphosis inducer present in planulae and buds of Cassiopea. The inductive cue is localized in the basal part of the buds and can be characterized as a peptide with an apparent molecular weight of about 7,000 Da. Further purification was performed via reversed phase HPLC on a C18 column. Additional inhibitor assays revealed that protein kinase C and PI3 kinase, two known elements of the metamorphosis-inducing signal transduction cascade in Cassiopea, may act downstream of the endogenous inducing peptide. PMID:12632179

  19. Xenopus sonic hedgehog as a potential morphogen during embryogenesis and thyroid hormone-dependent metamorphosis.

    PubMed Central

    Stolow, M A; Shi, Y B

    1995-01-01

    The hedgehog family of proteins have been implicated as important signaling molecules in establishing cell positional information and tissue patterning. Here we present the cloning and characterization of a hedgehog homologue from Xenopus laevis similar to the sonic class of vertebrate hedgehog genes. We isolated Xenopus hedgehog (Xhh) from a subtractive hybridization screen designed to identify genes induced by thyroid hormone during metamorphosis of the X.laevis gastrointestinal tract. In the intestine, Xhh mRNA expression was up-regulated at the climax of metamorphosis (stage 62) when intestinal epithelium underwent morphogenesis. Treatment of pre-metamorphic tadpoles with exogenous thyroid hormone (TH) resulted in a similar pattern of Xhh induction. Furthermore, TH induction was resistant to inhibitors of protein synthesis suggesting that Xhh is a direct thyroid hormone response gene. The expression and TH regulation of Xhh was not limited to the intestine, but was also observed in the limb and a mixture of pancreas and stomach. Throughout development, Xhh mRNA was present at varying levels with the earliest expression being detected at neurula stage. The highest levels of Xhh were observed between stages 33 and 40 shortly before tadpole feeding begins. Whole mount in situ hybridization analysis of Xhh expression in pre-hatching, stage 32 tadpoles demonstrated staining in the notochord and floor plate similar to that observed for other vertebrate hedgehog genes. Together, these data suggest a putative role for Xhh in organ development during both amphibian embryogenesis and metamorphosis. Images PMID:7630736

  20. Amphibians of Olympic National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    U.S. Geological Survey

    2000-01-01

    Amphibians evolved from fishes about 360 million years ago and were the first vertebrates adapted to life on land. The word amphibian means "double life." It refers to the life history of many amphibians, which spend part of their life in water and part on land. There are three major groups of amphibians: salamanders, frogs, and toads, and caecilians. Salamanders, frogs, and toads can be found in Olympic National Park (ONP), but caecilians live only in tropical regions. Many amphibians are generalist predators, eating almost any prey they can fit into their mouths.

  1. Metamorphosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balch, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    One thing history's torrent appears to be sweeping away is, ironically, the study of its most productive wellspring, Western civilization. "The Vanishing West", a report the National Association of Scholars released in May 2011, documents the extent of this vanishing. The traditional Western civilization survey requirement, commonplace only

  2. Metamorphosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Balch, Stephen H.

    2012-01-01

    One thing history's torrent appears to be sweeping away is, ironically, the study of its most productive wellspring, Western civilization. "The Vanishing West", a report the National Association of Scholars released in May 2011, documents the extent of this vanishing. The traditional Western civilization survey requirement, commonplace only…

  3. Using Bacterial Extract along with Differential Gene Expression in Acropora millepora Larvae to Decouple the Processes of Attachment and Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Siboni, Nachshon; Abrego, David; Seneca, Francois; Motti, Cherie A.; Andreakis, Nikos; Tebben, Jan; Blackall, Linda L.; Harder, Tilmann

    2012-01-01

    Biofilms of the bacterium Pseudoalteromonas induce metamorphosis of acroporid coral larvae. The bacterial metabolite tetrabromopyrrole (TBP), isolated from an extract of Pseudoalteromonas sp. associated with the crustose coralline alga (CCA) Neogoniolithon fosliei, induced coral larval metamorphosis (100%) with little or no attachment (0–2%). To better understand the molecular events and mechanisms underpinning the induction of Acropora millepora larval metamorphosis, including cell proliferation, apoptosis, differentiation, migration, adhesion and biomineralisation, two novel coral gene expression assays were implemented. These involved the use of reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) and employed 47 genes of interest (GOI), selected based on putative roles in the processes of settlement and metamorphosis. Substantial differences in transcriptomic responses of GOI were detected following incubation of A. millepora larvae with a threshold concentration and 10-fold elevated concentration of TBP-containing extracts of Pseudoalteromonas sp. The notable and relatively abrupt changes of the larval body structure during metamorphosis correlated, at the molecular level, with significant differences (p<0.05) in gene expression profiles of 24 GOI, 12 hours post exposure. Fourteen of those GOI also presented differences in expression (p<0.05) following exposure to the threshold concentration of bacterial TBP-containing extract. The specificity of the bacterial TBP-containing extract to induce the metamorphic stage in A. millepora larvae without attachment, using a robust, low cost, accurate, ecologically relevant and highly reproducible RT-qPCR assay, allowed partially decoupling of the transcriptomic processes of attachment and metamorphosis. The bacterial TBP-containing extract provided a unique opportunity to monitor the regulation of genes exclusively involved in the process of metamorphosis, contrasting previous gene expression studies that utilized cues, such as crustose coralline algae, biofilms or with GLW-amide neuropeptides that stimulate the entire onset of larval metamorphosis and attachment. PMID:22655067

  4. Interaction between perchlorate and iodine in the metamorphosis of Hyla versicolor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.; Harvey, G.; Nzengung, V.

    2003-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) is a water-soluble, inorganic anion that is often combined with ammonium, potassium or other cations for use in industry and agriculture. Ammonium perchlorate, for example, is a potent oxidizer and is used in various military applications including rocket fuel. It has also been found in an historically widely used fertilizer, Chilean nitrate and in other fertilizers. It has been found in ground and surface waters of over 30 states and is considered a human health risk. Because of its similar atomic radius and volume, perchlorate competes with iodide for thyroid uptake and storage and thereby inhibits production of thyroid hormones. Amphibians may be particularly affected by perchlorate because they rely on the thyroid for metamorphosis. This study exposed early larval Hyla versicolor to concentrations of perchlorate ranging from 2.2 to 50 ppm to determine the effects of perchlorate on a native amphibian. In addition, three controls, 0 perchlorate, 0 perchlorate with 0.10 ppm iodide (C + I) and 50 ppm perchlorate + 0.10 ppm iodide (50 + I) were tested. Mortality (< 11% with all treatments) and growth appeared to be unaffected by perchlorate. Inhibition of development started with 2.2 ppm perchlorate and little or no development occurred at 22.9 ppm and above. This inhibition was particularly apparent at the latter stages of development including hindlimb formation and metamorphosis. The estimated EC50 for total inhibition of metamorphosis at 70 days of treatment was 3.63 ppm. There was no evidence of inhibition of development with the 50 + I, C + I, or controls, indicating that the presence of small concentrations of iodide could counter the effects of perchlorate. When tadpoles that had been inhibited by perchlorate were subsequently treated with iodide, development through prometamorphosis progressed but mortality was very high.

  5. Interaction between perchlorate and iodine in the metamorphosis of Hyla versicolor

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Harvey, G.; Nzengung, V.

    2003-01-01

    Perchlorate (ClO4-) is a water-soluble, inorganic anion that is often combined with ammonium, potassium or other cations for use in industry and agriculture. Ammonium perchlorate, for example, is a potent oxidizer and is used in various military applications including rocket fuel. It has also been found in an historically widely used fertilizer, Chilean nitrate and in other fertilizers. It has been found in ground and surface waters of over 30 states and is considered a human health risk. Because of its similar atomic radius and volume, perchlorate competes with iodide for thyroid uptake and storage and thereby inhibits production of thyroid hormones. Amphibians may be particularly affected by perchlorate because they rely on the thyroid for metamorphosis. This study exposed early larval Hyla versicolor to concentrations of perchlorate ranging from 2.2 to 50 ppm to determine the effects of perchlorate on a native amphibian. In addition, three controls, 0 perchlorate, 0 perchlorate with 0.10 ppm iodide (C + I) and 50 ppm perchlorate + 0.10 ppm iodide (50 + I) were tested. Mortality (<11% with all treatments) and growth appeared to be unaffected by perchlorate. Inhibition of development started with 2.2 ppm perchlorate and little or no development occurred at 22.9 ppm and above. This inhibition was particularly apparent at the latter stages of development including hindlimb formation and metamorphosis. The estimated EC50 for total inhibition of metamorphosis at 70 days of treatment was 3.63 ppm. There was no evidence of inhibition of development with the 50 + I, C + I, or controls, indicating that the presence of small concentrations of iodide could counter the effects of perchlorate. When tadpoles that had been inhibited by perchlorate were subsequently treated with iodide, development through prometamorphosis progressed but mortality was very high.

  6. Toxicity of two insecticides to California, USA, anurans and its relevance to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.; Fellers, G.M.

    2009-01-01

    Contaminants have been associated with population declines of several amphibian species in California (USA). Pesticides from the Central Valley of California are transported by winds into the Sierra Nevada Mountains and precipitate into wet meadows where amphibians breed. The present study examined the chronic toxicity of two of the insecticides most commonly used in the Central Valley and found in the mountains, chlorpyrifos and endosulfan, to larval Pacific treefrogs (Pseudacris regilla) and foothill yellow-legged frogs (Rana boylii) and discusses the implications of this toxicity to declining amphibian populations. Larvae were exposed to the pesticides from Gosner stages 25 to 26 through metamorphosis. The estimated median lethal concentration (LC50) for chlorpyrifos was 365 ??g/L in P. regilla and 66.5 ??g/L for R. boylii. Time to metamorphosis increased with concentration of chlorpyrifos in both species, and cholinesterase activity declined with exposure concentration in metamorphs of both species at Gosner stages 42 to 46. For endosulfan, the estimated LC50 was 15.6 ??g/L for P. regilla and 0.55 ??g/L for R. boylii. All R. boylii exposed to concentrations of greater than 0.8 ??g/L died before they entered metamorphosis. Pseudacris regilla remains relatively abundant and is broadly distributed throughout California. In contrast, R. boylii is among the species experiencing severe population declines. The present study adds to the increasing evidence that pesticides are very harmful to amphibians living in areas that are miles from sources of pesticide application. ?? 2009 SETAC.

  7. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color…

  8. Rainforest: Reptiles and Amphibians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Susanna

    2006-01-01

    Rainforest reptiles and amphibians are a vibrantly colored, multimedia art experience. To complete the entire project one may need to dedicate many class periods to production, yet in each aspect of the project a new and important skill, concept, or element is being taught or reinforced. This project incorporates the study of warm and cool color

  9. Growth and developmental effects of coal combustion residues on Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala) tadpoles exposed throughout metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.D.; Peterson, V.A.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2008-09-15

    The effects of aquatic deposition of coal combustion residues (CCRs) on amphibian life histories have been the focus of many recent studies. In summer 2005, we raised larval Southern Leopard Frogs, Rana sphenocephala, on either sand or CCR substrate (approximately 1 cm deep within plastic bins) and documented effects of sediment type on oral disc condition, as well as time to, mass at, and total body length at key developmental stages, including metamorphosis (Gosner stages (GS) 37, 42, and 46). We found no significant difference in mortality between the two treatments and mortality was relatively low (eight of 48 in the control group and four of 48 in the CCR group). Ninety percent of exposed tadpoles displayed oral disc abnormalities, while no control individuals displayed abnormalities. Tadpoles raised on CCR-contaminated sediment had decreased developmental rates and weighed significantly less at all developmental stages, on average, when compared to controls. The CCR treatment group was also significantly shorter In length than controls at the completion of metamorphosis (GS 46). Collectively, these findings are the most severe sub-lethal effects noted for any amphibian exposed to CCRs to date. More research is needed to understand how these long term effects may contribute to the dynamics of local amphibian populations.

  10. Effects of temperature, density and food quality on larval growth and metamorphosis in the north African green frog Pelophylax saharicus.

    PubMed

    Bellakhal, Meher; Neveu, André; Fartouna-Bellakhal, Mouna; Missaoui, Hechmi; Aleya, Lotfi

    2014-10-01

    The ectodermic status of Amphibians explains their heavy dependence at ambient temperatures and thus their sensitivity to global warming. Temperature is likely the main factor regulating their physiology by acting on the endocrine system, with consequences on development, growth and size at metamorphosis. All these parameters control survival in the wild and performances in raniculture. This study is, to our knowledge, the first report on the effects of temperature, density and protein level in food on the rearing of the North African green Frog Pelophylax saharicus. Results show that a temperature of 26 °C is optimal for maximum weight gain. The maximum metamorphosis rate is obtained between 24 and 26 °C. The highest yields occur at low densities from 1 to 10 tadpolesl(-1). The best survival rate and accelerated metamorphosis are obtained at a level of 35% protein in food whose impact on food intake and weight gain is low. The maximum weight attained by tadpoles at metamorphosis, however, is obtained with a level of 40% protein. These results justify examination of this species in the light of climate change and suggest new techniques for aquaculture. PMID:25436955

  11. Effects of hydroperiod duration on survival, developmental rate, and size at metamorphosis in boreal chorus frog tadpoles (Pseudacris maculata)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Amburgey, Staci; Funk, W. Chris; Murphy, Melanie; Muths, Erin

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between climate-driven habitat conditions and survival is key to preserving biodiversity in the face of rapid climate change. Hydroperiod—the length of time water is in a wetland—is a critical limiting habitat variable for amphibians as larvae must metamorphose before ponds dry. Changes in precipitation and temperature patterns are affecting hydroperiod globally, but the impact of these changes on amphibian persistence is poorly understood. We studied the responses of Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) tadpoles to simulated hydroperiods (i.e., water level reductions) in the laboratory using individuals collected from ponds spanning a range of natural hydroperiods (Colorado Front Range, USA). To assess the effects of experimental hydroperiod reduction, we measured mortality, time to metamorphosis, and size at metamorphosis. We found that tadpoles grew at rates reflecting the hydroperiods of their native ponds, regardless of experimental treatment. Tadpoles from permanent ponds metamorphosed faster than those from ephemeral ponds across all experimental treatments, a pattern which may represent a predation selection gradient or countergradient variation in developmental rates. Size at metamorphosis did not vary across experimental treatments. Mortality was low overall but varied with pond of origin. Our results suggest that adaptation to local hydroperiod and/or predation and temperature conditions is important in P. maculata. Moreover, the lack of a plastic response to reduced hydroperiods suggests that P. maculata may not be able to metamorphose quickly enough to escape drying ponds. These results have important implications for amphibian persistence in ponds predicted to dry more quickly due to rapid climate change.

  12. Amphibian development in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A.

    1987-01-01

    The results of experiments performed by the U.S. Biosatellites 1 and 2 and the Gemini VIII and XII missions and by the Soviet Salyut and Soyuz missions on the effect of gravity on the development of prefertilized amphibian egg and, in particular, of the vestibular system of amphibian embryo are described. In these experiments, the condition of microgravity was reached only after the prefertilized eggs were in the early stages of first cell division or in the blastula stage. No significant changes were observed in the morphology of the embryos or in the vestibular system of embyos developed, respectively, for 2-5 days or 20 days under conditions of microgravity. Experiments planned for future spaceflights are discussed.

  13. Field Surveys of Amphibian Populations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brodman, Robert

    2000-01-01

    Describes a course on amphibian research for environmental science majors. Involves students in field studies and introduces them to investigative research. Evaluates the course. (Contains 19 references.) (YDS)

  14. Flatfish metamorphosis: a hypothalamic independent process?

    PubMed

    Campinho, Marco A; Silva, Nadia; Roman-Padilla, Javier; Ponce, Marian; Manchado, Manuel; Power, Deborah M

    2015-03-15

    Anuran and flatfish metamorphosis are tightly regulated by thyroid hormones that are the necessary and sufficient factors that drive this developmental event. In the present study whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) and quantitative PCR in sole are used to explore the central regulation of flatfish metamorphosis. Central regulation of the thyroid in vertebrates is mediated by the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Teleosts diverge from other vertebrates as hypothalamic regulation in the HPT axis is proposed to be through hypothalamic inhibition although the regulatory factor remains enigmatic. The dynamics of the HPT axis during sole metamorphosis revealed integration between the activity of the thyrotrophes in the pituitary and the thyroid follicles. No evidence was found supporting a role for thyroid releasing hormone (trh) or corticotrophin releasing hormone (crh) in hypothalamic control of TH production during sole metamorphosis. Intriguingly the results of the present study suggest that neither hypothalamic trh nor crh expression changes during sole metamorphosis and raises questions about the role of these factors and the hypothalamus in regulation of thyrotrophs. PMID:25575457

  15. Responses of Mammalian Insectivores, Amphibians, and Reptiles to Broad-Scale Manipulation of Coarse Woody Debris

    SciTech Connect

    McCay, T.S.; Forschler, B.T.; Komoroski, M.J.; Ford, W.M.

    2002-03-10

    Sampled shrews at 9.3 ha plots from logs manually removed and control plots in loblolly pine forests of the Southeastern Coastal Plain. Capture rates of Cryptotis parva were lower at plots from which deadwood was removed whereas capture rates of Blarina cavolinensis and Sorex longirostris did not differ between control and removal plots. Cryptotis may have been most sensitive to removal plots due to low population density, hence poor ability to move into areas of low reproduction. (Second Abstract, p. 37)Presentation of evidence that juvenile amphibians including Ambystomatid salamanders may disperse hundreds of meter from their natal wetlands within the weeks to months following metamorphosis. Data indicates Ambystoma trigrinum metamorphs can take at least six months to disperse and en route use non-polar lipid reserves garnished as larvae. Report suggests a land management regime that allows for both juvenile amphibian dispersal and also the consumptive use of the surrounding landscape.

  16. Structural Elements in Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Scott

    1993-01-01

    Notes that Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" is not only a masterpiece of modern literature but also a work that exemplifies many ideas of structural family therapy. Examines how Kafka's novella embodies concepts such as parentified children, enmeshment, intergenerational boundaries, coalitions and triangles, structural dysfunction, and structural

  17. Metamorphosis: Play, Spirituality and the Animal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bone, Jane

    2010-01-01

    Animal- and bird-becoming is an aspect of play as metamorphosis connected to spirituality in early childhood settings. The reconceptualisation of play presented here is supported by research that explored the spiritual experiences of young children in different early childhood contexts. Qualitative case study research carried out in Aotearoa New

  18. Organizational Metamorphosis in Space Research and Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tompkins, Phillip K.

    1978-01-01

    The communicative, and therefore organizational and managerial, aspects of the Marshall Space Flight Center's (MSFC) metamorphosis from Saturn V to Skylab are analyzed. MSFC's consistent successes are attributed to the organization's commitment to communication systems, its technical integrity, and its single-minded purpose. (JMF)

  19. Metamorphosis: Play, Spirituality and the Animal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bone, Jane

    2010-01-01

    Animal- and bird-becoming is an aspect of play as metamorphosis connected to spirituality in early childhood settings. The reconceptualisation of play presented here is supported by research that explored the spiritual experiences of young children in different early childhood contexts. Qualitative case study research carried out in Aotearoa New…

  20. Structural Elements in Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Scott

    1993-01-01

    Notes that Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" is not only a masterpiece of modern literature but also a work that exemplifies many ideas of structural family therapy. Examines how Kafka's novella embodies concepts such as parentified children, enmeshment, intergenerational boundaries, coalitions and triangles, structural dysfunction, and structural…

  1. Effects of depleted uranium on survival, growth, and metamorphosis in the african clawed frog (Xenopus laevis)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, S.E.; Caldwell, C.A.; Gonzales, G.; Gould, W.R.; Arimoto, R.

    2005-01-01

    Embryos (stage 8-47, Nieuwkoop and Faber) of the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) were subjected to water-borne depleted uranium (DU) concentrations that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/Lusing an acute 96-h frog embryo teratogenesis assay-Xenopus (FETAX). In a chronic 64-d assay, X. laevis (from embryo through metamorphosis; stages 8-66) were subjected to concentrations of DU that ranged from 6.2 to 54.3 mg/L Our results indicate DU is a non teratogenic metal. No effects on mortality, malformations, or growth were observed in the 96-h FETAX with concentrations of DU that ranged from 4.8 to 77.7 mg/L From stage 8 to stage 47, X. laevis tadpoles do not actively feed and the gills are not well developed. Thus, uptake of DU was reduced despite exposure to elevated concentrations. The 64-d assay resulted in no concentration response for either mortality or malformations; however, a delay in metamorphosis was observed in tadpoles subjected to elevated DU concentrations (from 13.1 to 54.3 mg/L) compared to tadpoles in both the well-water control and reference. The delay in metamorphosis was likely due to increasing body burden of DU that ranged from 0.98 to 2.82 mg/kg. Copyright?? Taylor & Francis Inc.

  2. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone

    PubMed Central

    Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R.; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be infected with Bd and the fungus may be exposed to T3 during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that exposure of Bd to T3 may induce the expression of factors associated with host colonization and pathogenicity. We utilized a proteomics approach to better understand the dynamics of the Bd-T3 interaction. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), we generated a data set of a large number of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins following exposure of Bd to T3. From these data, we identified a total of 263 proteins whose expression was significantly changed following T3 exposure. We provide evidence for expression of an array of proteins that may play key roles in both genomic and non-genomic actions of T3 in Bd. Additionally, our proteomics study shows an increase in several proteins including proteases and a class of uncommon crinkler and crinkler-like effector proteins suggesting their importance in Bd pathogenicity as well as those involved in metabolism and energy transfer, protein fate, transport and stress responses. This approach provides insights into the mechanistic basis of the Bd-amphibian interaction following T3 exposure. PMID:26046527

  3. Quantitative Proteomics of an Amphibian Pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, following Exposure to Thyroid Hormone.

    PubMed

    Thekkiniath, Jose; Zabet-Moghaddam, Masoud; Kottapalli, Kameswara Rao; Pasham, Mithun R; San Francisco, Susan; San Francisco, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a chytrid fungus, has increasingly been implicated as a major factor in the worldwide decline of amphibian populations. The fungus causes chytridiomycosis in susceptible species leading to massive die-offs of adult amphibians. Although Bd infects the keratinized mouthparts of tadpoles and negatively affects foraging behavior, these infections are non-lethal. An important morphogen controlling amphibian metamorphosis is thyroid hormone (T3). Tadpoles may be infected with Bd and the fungus may be exposed to T3 during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that exposure of Bd to T3 may induce the expression of factors associated with host colonization and pathogenicity. We utilized a proteomics approach to better understand the dynamics of the Bd-T3 interaction. Using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS), we generated a data set of a large number of cytoplasmic and membrane proteins following exposure of Bd to T3. From these data, we identified a total of 263 proteins whose expression was significantly changed following T3 exposure. We provide evidence for expression of an array of proteins that may play key roles in both genomic and non-genomic actions of T3 in Bd. Additionally, our proteomics study shows an increase in several proteins including proteases and a class of uncommon crinkler and crinkler-like effector proteins suggesting their importance in Bd pathogenicity as well as those involved in metabolism and energy transfer, protein fate, transport and stress responses. This approach provides insights into the mechanistic basis of the Bd-amphibian interaction following T3 exposure. PMID:26046527

  4. Sensory Flask Cells in Sponge Larvae Regulate Metamorphosis via Calcium Signaling.

    PubMed

    Nakanishi, Nagayasu; Stoupin, Daniel; Degnan, Sandie M; Degnan, Bernard M

    2015-12-01

    The Porifera (sponges) is one of the earliest phyletic lineages to branch off the metazoan tree. Although the body-plan of sponges is among the simplest in the animal kingdom and sponges lack nervous systems that communicate environmental signals to other cells, their larvae have sensory systems that generate coordinated responses to environmental cues. In eumetazoans (Cnidaria and Bilateria), the nervous systems of larvae often regulate metamorphosis through Ca(2+)-dependent signal transduction. In sponges, neither the identity of the receptor system that detects an inductive environmental cue (hereafter "metamorphic cues") nor the signaling system that mediates settlement and metamorphosis are known. Using a combination of behavioral assays and surgical manipulations, we show here that specialized epithelial cells-referred to as flask cells-enriched in the anterior third of the Amphimedon queenslandica larva are most likely to be the sensory cells that detect the metamorphic cues. Surgical removal of the region enriched in flask cells in a larva inhibits the initiation of metamorphosis. The flask cell has an apical sensory apparatus with a cilium surrounded by an apical F-actin-rich protrusion, and numerous vesicles, hallmarks of eumetazoan sensory-neurosecretory cells. We demonstrate that these flask cells respond to metamorphic cues by elevating intracellular Ca(2+) levels, and that this elevation is necessary for the initiation of metamorphosis. Taken together, these analyses suggest that sponge larvae have sensory-secretory epithelial cells capable of converting exogenous cues into internal signals via Ca(2+)-mediated signaling, which is necessary for the initiation of metamorphosis. Similarities in the morphology, physiology, and function of the sensory flask cells in sponge larvae with the sensory/neurosecretory cells in eumetazoan larvae suggest this sensory system predates the divergence of Porifera and Eumetazoa. PMID:25898842

  5. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Glinski, Donna A; Henderson, W Matthew; Garrison, A Wayne; Cyterski, Mike; Purucker, S Thomas

    2015-11-01

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation of pesticides through dermal contact is a primary route of exposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributing to widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticide transfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted label application rates, our study was designed to measure pesticide body burdens after two simulated exposure scenarios. We compared direct exposures, where amphibians were present when spraying occurred, to indirect exposures, where amphibians were exposed to soils after pesticide application. During summer 2012, we reared barking (Hyla gratiosa) and green treefrogs (H. cinerea) through 60-90 days post-metamorphosis at a United States Environmental Protection Agency research laboratory. We tested exposure for 8 h to five pesticide active ingredients (imidacloprid, atrazine, triadimefon, fipronil, or pendimethalin) in glass aquaria lined with soil in the laboratory. We quantified total pesticide body burden and soil concentrations using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. All individuals in both treatments had measurable body burdens at the end of the study. A randomized block design analysis of variance (n = 18) showed that body burdens (p = 0.03) and bioconcentration factors (BCFs) (p = 0.01) were significantly greater in the direct overspray treatment relative to the indirect soil spray treatment for both species and tested pesticides. BCFs ranged from 0.1 to 1.16 and from 0.013 to 0.78 in the direct and indirect treatments, respectively. Our study shows dermal uptake for multiple pesticides from both direct spray and indirect soil exposures and provides empirical support for the degree to which terrestrial phase amphibians have higher body burdens after overspray pesticide exposure. PMID:26135301

  6. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus

    PubMed Central

    Buck, Julia C.; Hua, Jessica; Brogan, William R.; Dang, Trang D.; Urbina, Jenny; Bendis, Randall J.; Stoler, Aaron B.; Blaustein, Andrew R.; Relyea, Rick A.

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas) from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan) or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D) or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs). Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load. This result could have broad implications for risk assessment of amphibians; the outcome of exposure to multiple stressors may be unpredictable and can differ between species and life stages. PMID:26181492

  7. Effects of Pesticide Mixtures on Host-Pathogen Dynamics of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus.

    PubMed

    Buck, Julia C; Hua, Jessica; Brogan, William R; Dang, Trang D; Urbina, Jenny; Bendis, Randall J; Stoler, Aaron B; Blaustein, Andrew R; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic and natural stressors often interact to affect organisms. Amphibian populations are undergoing unprecedented declines and extinctions with pesticides and emerging infectious diseases implicated as causal factors. Although these factors often co-occur, their effects on amphibians are usually examined in isolation. We hypothesized that exposure of larval and metamorphic amphibians to ecologically relevant concentrations of pesticide mixtures would increase their post-metamorphic susceptibility to the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a pathogen that has contributed to amphibian population declines worldwide. We exposed five anuran species (Pacific treefrog, Pseudacris regilla; spring peeper, Pseudacris crucifer; Cascades frog, Rana cascadae; northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens; and western toad, Anaxyrus boreas) from three families to mixtures of four common insecticides (chlorpyrifos, carbaryl, permethrin, and endosulfan) or herbicides (glyphosate, acetochlor, atrazine, and 2,4-D) or a control treatment, either as tadpoles or as newly metamorphic individuals (metamorphs). Subsequently, we exposed animals to Bd or a control inoculate after metamorphosis and compared survival and Bd load. Bd exposure significantly increased mortality in Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads, but not in Cascades frogs or northern leopard frogs. However, the effects of pesticide exposure on mortality were negligible, regardless of the timing of exposure. Bd load varied considerably across species; Pacific treefrogs, spring peepers, and western toads had the highest loads, whereas Cascades frogs and northern leopard frogs had the lowest loads. The influence of pesticide exposure on Bd load depended on the amphibian species, timing of pesticide exposure, and the particular pesticide treatment. Our results suggest that exposure to realistic pesticide concentrations has minimal effects on Bd-induced mortality, but can alter Bd load. This result could have broad implications for risk assessment of amphibians; the outcome of exposure to multiple stressors may be unpredictable and can differ between species and life stages. PMID:26181492

  8. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis prevalence and haplotypes in domestic and imported pet amphibians in Japan.

    PubMed

    Tamukai, Kenichi; Une, Yumi; Tominaga, Atsushi; Suzuki, Kazutaka; Goka, Koichi

    2014-05-13

    The international trade in amphibians is believed to have increased the spread of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), the fungal pathogen responsible for chytridiomycosis, which has caused a rapid decline in amphibian populations worldwide. We surveyed amphibians imported into Japan and those held in captivity for a long period or bred in Japan to clarify the Bd infection status. Samples were taken from 820 individuals of 109 amphibian species between 2008 and 2011 and were analyzed by a nested-PCR assay. Bd prevalence in imported amphibians was 10.3% (58/561), while it was 6.9% (18/259) in those in private collections and commercially bred amphibians in Japan. We identified the genotypes of this fungus using partial DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. Sequencing of PCR products of all 76 Bd-positive samples revealed 11 haplotypes of the Bd ITS region. Haplotype A (DNA Data Bank of Japan accession number AB435211) was found in 90% (52/58) of imported amphibians. The results show that Bd is currently entering Japan via the international trade in exotic amphibians as pets, suggesting that the trade has indeed played a major role in the spread of Bd. PMID:24991744

  9. Polarity of the Amphibian Egg

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malacinski, G. M.

    1983-01-01

    Amphibian egg polarity and the mechanism which generates the polarity is addressed. Of particular concern is the question of whether the activation rotation which responds to gravity is a prerequisite for normal development.

  10. Interpreting in vivo Effects of Thyroid Synthesis Inhibitors through the Lens of in vitro and ex vivo Assays

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US EPA has been charged to evaluate chemicals for their ability to disrupt endocrine pathways including estrogen, androgen, and thyroid hormone. Amphibian metamorphosis, which is regulated by thyroid hormone, is an ideal model system for investigating disruption of the thyroi...

  11. Generalized morphological transformation for describing nonhomotopic object metamorphosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Hua; Liu, Wen-Yu; Zhu, Yaoting; Zhu, Guang-Xi

    2001-09-01

    Metamorphosis or morphing is the process of continuously transforming one object into another, and is popular in computer animation, industrial design, and growth simulation. In this paper, a novel metamorphosis approach is presented for computing continuous shape transformation between polyhedral objects. Metamorphosis can be achieved by decomposing two objects into sets of individual convex sub- objects respectively and constructing the mapping relationship of subsets, this method can solve the metamorphosis problem of two non-homotopic objects (including concave objects and holey objects). The results of object metamorphosis are also discussed in this paper. The experiments show that this method can generate natural, high quality metamorphosis results with simple computation. This method can also be used in font composition and interpolation between two keyframes in 2D and 3D computer animation automatically.

  12. Effects of nutrient supplementation on host-pathogen dynamics of the amphibian chytrid fungus: a community approach

    PubMed Central

    BUCK, JULIA C.; ROHR, JASON R.; BLAUSTEIN, ANDREW R.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Anthropogenic stressors may influence hosts and their pathogens directly or may alter host–pathogen dynamics indirectly through interactions with other species. For example, in aquatic ecosystems, eutrophication may be associated with increased or decreased disease risk. Conversely, pathogens can influence community structure and function and are increasingly recognised as important members of the ecological communities in which they exist.In outdoor mesocosms, we experimentally manipulated nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) and the presence of a fungal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and examined the effects on Bd abundance on larval amphibian hosts (Pseudacris regilla: Hylidae), amphibian traits and community dynamics. We predicted that resource supplementation would mitigate negative effects of Bd on tadpole growth and development and that indirect effects of treatments would propagate through the community.Nutrient additions caused changes in algal growth, which benefitted tadpoles through increased mass, development and survival. Bd-exposed tadpoles metamorphosed sooner than unexposed individuals, but their mass at metamorphosis was not affected by Bd exposure. We detected additive rather than interactive effects of nutrient supplementation and Bd in this experiment.Nutrient supplementation was not a significant predictor of infection load of larval amphibians. However, a structural equation model revealed that resource supplementation and exposure of amphibians to Bd altered the structure of the aquatic community. This is the first demonstration that sublethal effects of Bd on amphibians can alter aquatic community dynamics. PMID:25432573

  13. Metamorphosis in the cirripede crustacean Balanus amphitrite.

    PubMed

    Maruzzo, Diego; Aldred, Nick; Clare, Anthony S; Høeg, Jens T

    2012-01-01

    Stalked and acorn barnacles (Cirripedia Thoracica) have a complex life cycle that includes a free-swimming nauplius larva, a cypris larva and a permanently attached sessile juvenile and adult barnacle. The barnacle cyprid is among the most highly specialized of marine invertebrate larvae and its settlement biology has been intensively studied. By contrast, surprisingly few papers have dealt with the critical series of metamorphic events from cementation of the cyprid to the substratum until the appearance of a suspension feeding juvenile. This metamorphosis is both ontogenetically complex and critical to the survival of the barnacle. Here we use video microscopy to present a timeline and description of morphological events from settled cyprid to juvenile barnacle in the model species Balanus amphitrite, representing an important step towards both a broader understanding of the settlement ecology of this species and a platform for studying the factors that control its metamorphosis. Metamorphosis in B. amphitrite involves a complex sequence of events: cementation, epidermis separation from the cypris cuticle, degeneration of cypris musculature, rotation of the thorax inside the mantle cavity, building of the juvenile musculature, contraction of antennular muscles, raising of the body, shedding of the cypris cuticle, shell plate and basis formation and, possibly, a further moult to become a suspension feeding barnacle. We compare these events with developmental information from other barnacle species and discuss them in the framework of barnacle settlement ecology. PMID:22666355

  14. Metamorphosis in the Cirripede Crustacean Balanus amphitrite

    PubMed Central

    Maruzzo, Diego; Aldred, Nick; Clare, Anthony S.; Høeg, Jens T.

    2012-01-01

    Stalked and acorn barnacles (Cirripedia Thoracica) have a complex life cycle that includes a free-swimming nauplius larva, a cypris larva and a permanently attached sessile juvenile and adult barnacle. The barnacle cyprid is among the most highly specialized of marine invertebrate larvae and its settlement biology has been intensively studied. By contrast, surprisingly few papers have dealt with the critical series of metamorphic events from cementation of the cyprid to the substratum until the appearance of a suspension feeding juvenile. This metamorphosis is both ontogenetically complex and critical to the survival of the barnacle. Here we use video microscopy to present a timeline and description of morphological events from settled cyprid to juvenile barnacle in the model species Balanus amphitrite, representing an important step towards both a broader understanding of the settlement ecology of this species and a platform for studying the factors that control its metamorphosis. Metamorphosis in B. amphitrite involves a complex sequence of events: cementation, epidermis separation from the cypris cuticle, degeneration of cypris musculature, rotation of the thorax inside the mantle cavity, building of the juvenile musculature, contraction of antennular muscles, raising of the body, shedding of the cypris cuticle, shell plate and basis formation and, possibly, a further moult to become a suspension feeding barnacle. We compare these events with developmental information from other barnacle species and discuss them in the framework of barnacle settlement ecology. PMID:22666355

  15. Why Does Amphibian Chytrid (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) Not Occur Everywhere? An Exploratory Study in Missouri Ponds

    PubMed Central

    Strauss, Alex; Smith, Kevin G.

    2013-01-01

    The amphibian chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a globally emerging pathogen that has caused widespread amphibian population declines, extirpations, and extinctions. However, Bd does not occur in all apparently suitable amphibian populations, even within regions where it is widespread, and it is often unclear why Bd occurs in some habitats but not others. In this study, we rigorously surveyed the amphibian and invertebrate biodiversity of 29 ponds in Missouri, screened resident amphibian larvae (Rana (Lithobates) sp.) for Bd infection, and characterized the aquatic physiochemical environment of each pond (temperature pH, conductivity, nitrogen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll-a). Our goal was to generate hypotheses toward answering the question, “Why does Bd not occur in all apparently suitable habitats?” Bd occurred in assayed amphibians in 11 of the 29 ponds in our study area (38% of ponds). We found no significant relationship between any single biotic or abiotic variable and presence of Bd. However, multivariate analyses (nonmetric multidimensional scaling and permutational tests of dispersion) revealed that ponds in which Bd occurred were a restricted subset of all ponds in terms of amphibian community structure, macroinvertebrate community structure, and pond physiochemistry. In other words, Bd ponds from 6 different conservation areas were more similar to each other than would be expected based on chance. The results of a structural equation model suggest that patterns in the occurrence of Bd among ponds are primarily attributable to variation in macroinvertebrate community structure. When combined with recent results showing that Bd can infect invertebrates as well as amphibians, we suggest that additional research should focus on the role played by non-amphibian biota in determining the presence, prevalence, and pathogenicity of Bd in amphibian populations. PMID:24086681

  16. Understanding Amphibian Declines Through Geographic Approaches

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, Alisa

    2006-01-01

    Growing concern over worldwide amphibian declines warrants serious examination. Amphibians are important to the proper functioning of ecosystems and provide many direct benefits to humans in the form of pest and disease control, pharmaceutical compounds, and even food. Amphibians have permeable skin and rely on both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems during different seasons and stages of their lives. Their association with these ecosystems renders them likely to serve as sensitive indicators of environmental change. While much research on amphibian declines has centered on mysterious causes, or on causes that directly affect humans (global warming, chemical pollution, ultraviolet-B radiation), most declines are the result of habitat loss and habitat alteration. Improving our ability to characterize, model, and monitor the interactions between environmental variables and amphibian habitats is key to addressing amphibian conservation. In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) initiated the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) to address issues surrounding amphibian declines.

  17. BIOTIC FACTORS IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians evolved in, and continue to exist in, habitats that are replete with many other organisms. Some of these organisms serve as prey for amphibians and others interact with amphibians as predators, competitors, pathogens, or symbionts. Still other organisms in their enviro...

  18. Climate warming mediates negative impacts of rapid pond drying for three amphibian species.

    PubMed

    O'Regan, Sacha M; Palen, Wendy J; Anderson, Sean C

    2014-04-01

    Anthropogenic climate change will present both opportunities and challenges for pool-breeding amphibians. Increased water temperature and accelerated drying may directly affect larval growth, development, and survival, yet the combined effects of these processes on larvae with future climate change remain poorly understood. Increased surface temperatures are projected to warm water and decrease water inputs, leading to earlier and faster wetland drying. So it is often assumed that larvae will experience negative synergistic impacts with combined warming and drying. However, an alternative hypothesis is that warming-induced increases in metabolic rate and aquatic resource availability might compensate for faster drying rates, generating antagonistic larval responses. We conducted a mesocosm experiment to test the individual and interactive effects of pool permanency (permanent vs. temporary) and water temperature (ambient vs. (+) -3 degrees C) on three anurans with fast-to-slow larval development rates (Great Basin spadefoot [Spea intermontana], Pacific chorus frog [Pseudacris regilla], and northern red-legged frog [Rana aurora]). We found that although tadpoles in warmed pools reached metamorphosis 15-17 days earlier, they did so with little cost (< 2 mm) to size, likely due to greater periphyton growth in warmed pools easing drying-induced resource competition. Warming and drying combined to act antagonistically on early growth (P = 0.06) and survival (P = 0.06), meaning the combined impact was less than the sum of the individual impacts. Warming and drying acted additively on time to and size at metamorphosis. These nonsynergistic impacts may result from cotolerance of larvae to warming and drying, as well as warming helping to offset negative impacts of drying. Our results indicate that combined pool warming and drying may not always be harmful for larval amphibians. However, they also demonstrate that antagonistic responses are difficult to predict, which poses a challenge to proactive conservation and management. Our study highlights the importance of considering the nature of multiple stressor interactions as amphibians are exposed to an increasing number of anthropogenic threats. PMID:24933805

  19. Agricultural ponds support amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knutson, M.G.; Richardson, W.B.; Reineke, D.M.; Gray, B.R.; Parmelee, J.R.; Weick, S.E.

    2004-01-01

    In some agricultural regions, natural wetlands are scarce, and constructed agricultural ponds may represent important alternative breeding habitats for amphibians. Properly managed, these agricultural ponds may effectively increase the total amount of breeding habitat and help to sustain populations. We studied small, constructed agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota to assess their value as amphibian breeding sites. Our study examined habitat factors associated with amphibian reproduction at two spatial scales: the pond and the landscape surrounding the pond. We found that small agricultural ponds in southeastern Minnesota provided breeding habitat for at least 10 species of amphibians. Species richness and multispecies reproductive success were more closely associated with characteristics of the pond (water quality, vegetation, and predators) compared with characteristics of the surrounding landscape, but individual species were associated with both pond and landscape variables. Ponds surrounded by row crops had similar species richness and reproductive success compared with natural wetlands and ponds surrounded by nongrazed pasture. Ponds used for watering livestock had elevated concentrations of phosphorus, higher turbidity, and a trend toward reduced amphibian reproductive success. Species richness was highest in small ponds, ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum) present, and lacking fish. Multispecies reproductive success was best in ponds with lower total nitrogen concentrations, less emergent vegetation, and lacking fish. Habitat factors associated with higher reproductive success varied among individual species. We conclude that small, constructed farm ponds, properly managed, may help sustain amphibian populations in landscapes where natural wetland habitat is rare. We recommend management actions such as limiting livestock access to the pond to improve water quality, reducing nitrogen input, and avoiding the introduction of fish.

  20. Life-history evolution: at the origins of metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Holstein, Thomas W; Laudet, Vincent

    2014-02-17

    Metamorphosis is a widespread life history strategy of animals but apart from some model organisms it is poorly characterized. A recent study of moon jellies highlights the similarities and differences between the various types of metamorphosis and illuminates its molecular determinants. PMID:24556439

  1. Response of larval Xenopus laevis to atrazine: assessment of growth, metamorphosis, and gonadal and laryngeal morphology.

    PubMed

    Carr, James A; Gentles, Angie; Smith, Ernest E; Goleman, Wanda L; Urquidi, Lina J; Thuett, Kerry; Kendall, Ronald J; Giesy, John P; Gross, Tim S; Solomon, Keith R; Van Der Kraak, Glen

    2003-02-01

    Larval Xenopus laevis were exposed to one of four concentrations of atrazine (0, 1, 10, or 25 microg/L, 11 replicate tanks per treatment, 60-65 larvae per replicate) dissolved in an artificial pond water (frog embryo teratogenesis assay- Xenopus [FETAX]) medium beginning 48 h after hatching until the completion of metamorphosis. Separate groups of larvae (six replicate tanks per treatment, 60-65 larvae per replicate) were exposed to estradiol (100 microg/L), dihydrotestosterone (100 microg/L), or ethanol vehicle control dissolved in FETAX medium. None of the treatments affected posthatch mortality, larval growth, or metamorphosis. There were no treatment effects on sex ratios except for estradiol, which produced a greater percentage of female offspring. Exposure to either estradiol or 25 microg atrazine/L increased the incidence of intersex animals based on assessment of gonadal morphology. Atrazine did not reduce the size of the laryngeal dilator muscle, a sexually dimorphic muscle in this species. We conclude that environmentally relevant concentrations of atrazine do not influence metamorphosis or sex ratios and do not inhibit sexually dimorphic larynx growth in X. laevis. The incidence of atrazine-induced intersex animals was small (<5%) and occurred only at the greatest concentration of atrazine tested, a concentration that is rarely observed in surface waters in the United States. PMID:12558173

  2. Retention of Memory through Metamorphosis: Can a Moth Remember What It Learned As a Caterpillar?

    PubMed Central

    Blackiston, Douglas J.; Silva Casey, Elena; Weiss, Martha R.

    2008-01-01

    Insects that undergo complete metamorphosis experience enormous changes in both morphology and lifestyle. The current study examines whether larval experience can persist through pupation into adulthood in Lepidoptera, and assesses two possible mechanisms that could underlie such behavior: exposure of emerging adults to chemicals from the larval environment, or associative learning transferred to adulthood via maintenance of intact synaptic connections. Fifth instar Manduca sexta caterpillars received an electrical shock associatively paired with a specific odor in order to create a conditioned odor aversion, and were assayed for learning in a Y choice apparatus as larvae and again as adult moths. We show that larvae learned to avoid the training odor, and that this aversion was still present in the adults. The adult aversion did not result from carryover of chemicals from the larval environment, as neither applying odorants to naïve pupae nor washing the pupae of trained caterpillars resulted in a change in behavior. In addition, we report that larvae trained at third instar still showed odor aversion after two molts, as fifth instars, but did not avoid the odor as adults, consistent with the idea that post-metamorphic recall involves regions of the brain that are not produced until later in larval development. The present study, the first to demonstrate conclusively that associative memory survives metamorphosis in Lepidoptera, provokes intriguing new questions about the organization and persistence of the central nervous system during metamorphosis. Our results have both ecological and evolutionary implications, as retention of memory through metamorphosis could influence host choice by polyphagous insects, shape habitat selection, and lead to eventual sympatric speciation. PMID:18320055

  3. Ecopathology of Ranaviruses Infecting Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-01-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs. PMID:22163349

  4. Ecopathology of ranaviruses infecting amphibians.

    PubMed

    Miller, Debra; Gray, Matthew; Storfer, Andrew

    2011-11-01

    Ranaviruses are capable of infecting amphibians from at least 14 families and over 70 individual species. Ranaviruses infect multiple cell types, often culminating in organ necrosis and massive hemorrhaging. Subclinical infections have been documented, although their role in ranavirus persistence and emergence remains unclear. Water is an effective transmission medium for ranaviruses, and survival outside the host may be for significant duration. In aquatic communities, amphibians, reptiles and fish may serve as reservoirs. Controlled studies have shown that susceptibility to ranavirus infection and disease varies among amphibian species and developmental stages, and likely is impacted by host-pathogen coevolution, as well as, exogenous environmental factors. Field studies have demonstrated that the likelihood of epizootics is increased in areas of cattle grazing, where aquatic vegetation is sparse and water quality is poor. Translocation of infected amphibians through commercial trade (e.g., food, fish bait, pet industry) contributes to the spread of ranaviruses. Such introductions may be of particular concern, as several studies report that ranaviruses isolated from ranaculture, aquaculture, and bait facilities have greater virulence (i.e., ability to cause disease) than wild-type isolates. Future investigations should focus on the genetic basis for pathogen virulence and host susceptibility, ecological and anthropogenic mechanisms contributing to emergence, and vaccine development for use in captive populations and species reintroduction programs. PMID:22163349

  5. Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2000-01-01

    For many years, ecological research on amphibians and reptiles has lagged behind that of other vertebrates such as fishes, birds, and mammals, despite the known importance of these animals in their environments. The lack of study has been particularly acute in the he area of ecotoxicology where the number of published scientific papers is a fraction of that found for the other vertebrate classes. Recently, scientists have become aware of severe crises among amphibian populations, including unexplained and sudden extinctions, worldwide declines, and hideous malformations. In many of these instances, contaminants have been listed as probable contributors. Data on the effects of contaminants on reptiles are so depauperate that even the most elementary interpretations are difficult. This state-of-the-science review and synthesis of amphibian and reptile ecotoxicology demonstrates the inter-relationships among distribution, ecology, physiology, and contaminant exposure, and interprets these topics as they pertain to comparative toxicity, population declines, malformations, and risk assessment . In this way, the book identifies and serves as a basis for the most pressing research needs in the coming years. The editors have invited 27 other internationally respected experts to examine the state of existing data in specific areas, interpret it in light of current problems, and identify research gaps and needs. Through its emphasis on recent research, extensive reviews and synthesis, Ecotoxicology of Amphibians and Reptiles will remain a definitive reference work well into the new century.

  6. METAPOPULATION DYNAMICS AND AMPHIBIAN CONSERVATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In many respects, amphibian spatial dynamics resemble classical metapopulation models, where subpopulations in breeding ponds blink in and out of existance and where extinction and colonization rates are functions of pond spatial arrangement. This "ponds-as-patches" view of amphi...

  7. Chronic sublethal exposure to silver nanoparticles disrupts thyroid hormone signaling during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Carew, Amanda C; Hoque, M Ehsanul; Metcalfe, Chris D; Peyrot, Caroline; Wilkinson, Kevin J; Helbing, Caren C

    2015-02-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs) are engineered in the nanoscale (<100 nm) to have unique physico-chemical properties from their bulk counterparts. Nanosilver particles (AgNPs) are the most prevalent NPs in consumer products due to their strong antimicrobial action. While AgNP toxicity at high concentrations has been thoroughly investigated, the sublethal effects at or below regulatory guidelines are relatively unknown. Amphibian metamorphosis is mediated by thyroid hormone (TH), and initial studies with bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana) indicate that low concentrations of AgNPs disrupt TH-dependent responses in premetamorphic tadpole tailfin tissue. The present study examined the effects of low, non-lethal, environmentally-relevant AgNP concentrations (0.018, 0.18 or 1.8 μg/L Ag; ∼10 nm particle size) on naturally metamorphosing Xenopus laevis tadpoles in two-28 day chronic exposures beginning with either pre- or prometamorphic developmental stages. Asymmetric flow field flow fractionation with online inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and nanoparticle tracking analysis indicated a mixture of single AgNPs with homo-agglomerates in the exposure water with a significant portion (∼30-40%) found as dissolved Ag. Tadpoles bioaccumulated AgNPs and displayed transient alterations in snout/vent and hindlimb length with AgNP exposure. Using MAGEX microarray and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction transcript analyses, AgNP-induced disruption of five TH-responsive targets was observed. The increased mRNA abundance of two peroxidase genes by AgNP exposure suggests the presence of reactive oxygen species even at low, environmentally-relevant concentrations. Furthermore, differential responsiveness to AgNPs was observed at each developmental stage. Therefore, low concentrations of AgNPs had developmental stage-specific endocrine disrupting effects during TH-dependent metamorphosis. PMID:25531432

  8. Toxicity to amphibians of environmental extracts from natural waters in National Parks and Fish and Wildlife Refuges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.; Little, E.E.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibian population declines are not limited to overtly degraded habitats, but often occur in relatively pristine environments such as national parks or wildlife refuges, thus forcing biologists to examine less obvious causes for declines such as the presence of contaminants. The objective of our study was to extract naturally-occurring compounds from amphibian habitats (using semipermeable membrane devices) in three national parks or wildlife refuges (two sites within Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, Big Bend National Park, and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge), and assess their toxicity to developing larvae using bioassays. Extracts did not cause mortality, so all effects observed were sublethal, influencing life history characteristics. In all three areas studied, amphibians reared in extracts from at least one of the two sites exhibited either a lengthened larval period or reduced mass at metamorphosis. Extracts from both the air and water at one site in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park lengthened the larval period, which is in agreement with studies showing elevated levels of aerially transported contaminants at sites such as this within the park. Ultraviolet radiation, which is also suspected of having caused amphibian declines and was included as a factor in our study, did not act alone or alter the toxicity of the extracts. ?? ISSCA 2005.

  9. Acute toxicity tests and meta-analysis identify gaps in tropical ecotoxicology for amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ghose, Sonia L; Donnelly, Maureen A; Kerby, Jacob; Whitfield, Steven M

    2014-09-01

    Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, particularly in tropical regions where amphibian diversity is highest. Pollutants, including agricultural pesticides, have been identified as a potential contributor to decline, yet toxicological studies of tropical amphibians are very rare. The present study assesses toxic effects on amphibians of 10 commonly used commercial pesticides in tropical agriculture using 2 approaches. First, the authors conducted 8-d toxicity assays with formulations of each pesticide using individually reared red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) tadpoles. Second, they conducted a review of available data for the lethal concentration to kill 50% of test animals from the US Environmental Protection Agency's ECOTOX database to allow comparison with their findings. Lethal concentration estimates from the assays ranged over several orders of magnitude. The nematicides terbufos and ethoprophos and the fungicide chlorothalonil were very highly toxic, with evident effects within an order of magnitude of environmental concentrations. Acute toxicity assays and meta-analysis show that nematicides and fungicides are generally more toxic than herbicides yet receive far less research attention than less toxic herbicides. Given that the tropics have a high diversity of amphibians, the findings emphasize the need for research into the effects of commonly used pesticides in tropical countries and should help guide future ecotoxicological research in tropical regions. PMID:24934557

  10. Exposure to coal combustion residues during metamorphosis elevates corticosterone content and adversely affects oral morphology, growth, and development in Rana sphenocephala

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J.D.; Peterson, V.A.; Mendonca, M.T.

    2009-01-15

    Coal combustion residues (CCRs) are documented to negatively impact oral morphology, growth, and development in larval amphibians. It is currently unclear what physiological mechanisms may mediate these effects. Corticosterone, a glucocorticoid hormone, is a likely mediator because when administered exogenously it, like CCRs, also negatively influences oral morphology, growth, and development in larval amphibians. In an attempt to identify if corticosterone mediates these effects, we raised larval Southern Leopard Frogs, Rana sphenocephala, on either sand or CCR substrate and documented effects of sediment type on whole body corticosterone, oral morphology, and time to and mass at key metamorphic stages. Coal combustion residue treated tadpoles contained significantly more corticosterone than controls throughout metamorphosis. However, significantly more oral abnormalities occurred early in metamorphosis when differences in corticosterone levels between treatments were minimal. Overall, CCR-treated tadpoles took significantly more time to transition between key stages and gained less mass between stages than controls, but these differences between treatments decreased during later stages when corticosterone differences between treatments were greatest. Our results suggest endogenous increase in corticosterone content and its influence on oral morphology, growth and development is more complex than previously thought.

  11. Effects of Underwater Turbine Noise on Crab Larval Metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Pine, Matthew K; Jeffs, Andrew G; Radford, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    The development of marine tidal turbines has advanced at a rapid rate over the last decade but with little detailed understanding of the potential noise impacts on invertebrates. Previous research has shown that underwater reef noise plays an important role in mediating metamorphosis in many larval crabs and fishes. New research suggests that underwater estuarine noise may also mediate metamorphosis in estuarine crab larvae and that the noise emitted from underwater tidal and sea-based wind turbines may significantly influence larval metamorphosis in estuarine crabs. PMID:26611041

  12. Plasticity of lung development in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Rose, Christopher S; James, Brandon

    2013-01-01

    Contrary to previous studies, we found that Xenopus laevis tadpoles raised in normoxic water without access to air can routinely complete metamorphosis with lungs that are either severely stunted and uninflated or absent altogether. This is the first demonstration that lung development in a tetrapod can be inhibited by environmental factors and that a tetrapod that relies significantly on lung respiration under unstressed conditions can be raised to forego this function without adverse effects. This study compared lung development in untreated, air-deprived (AD) and air-restored (AR) tadpoles and frogs using whole mounts, histology, BrdU labeling of cell division and antibody staining of smooth muscle actin. We also examined the relationship of swimming and breathing behaviors to lung recovery in AR animals. Inhibition and recovery of lung development occurred at the stage of lung inflation. Lung recovery in AR tadpoles occurred at a predictable and rapid rate and correlated with changes in swimming and breathing behavior. It thus presents a new experimental model for investigating the role of mechanical forces in lung development. Lung recovery in AR frogs was unpredictable and did not correlate with behavioral changes. Its low frequency of occurrence could be attributed to developmental, physical and behavioral changes, the effects of which increase with size and age. Plasticity of lung inflation at tadpole stages and loss of plasticity at postmetamorphic stages offer new insights into the role of developmental plasticity in amphibian lung loss and life history evolution. PMID:24337117

  13. Effects of polychlorinated biphenyl 126 on green frog (Rana clamitans) and leopard frog (Rana pipiens) hatching success, development, and metamorphosis

    SciTech Connect

    Rosenshield, M.L.; Jofre, M.B.; Karasov, W.H.

    1999-11-01

    Although increasing evidence links plana chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), to decreases in survival and reproduction of fish, mammals, and birds near Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes, USA, relatively little is known of their bioaccumulation or of their possible effects in amphibians. The authors exposed embryos and larvae of two ranid species commonly occurring in the Green Bay ecosystem, the green frog (Rana clamitans) and the leopard frog (Rana pipiens), to PCB 126, a model coplanar PCB compound. Nominal concentrations ranged from 0.005 to 50 {micro}g/L, and exposure lasted through metamorphosis. Tissue concentrations of PCB 126 in tadpoles that did not metamorphose by the end of the experiment ranged from 1.2 to 9,600 ng/g wet mass. No significant mortality of embryos occurred before hatching; however, survival of larvae was significantly reduced at the highest concentration for both species. Few deformities were observed, but the incidence of edema was significantly higher in tadpoles exposed to 50 {micro}g/L. Swimming speed and growth of tadpoles was also significantly reduced in this treatment. The percent of tadpoles that reached metamorphosis was significantly lower in green frogs at the highest concentration, and no leopard frogs survived past day 47 of the experiment in this treatment. At high concentrations, PCB 126 affected both ranid species; however, sublethal effects were not apparent for the parameters the authors measured at concentrations that occur in water in the Green Bay ecosystem.

  14. Characterization of receptor of activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) and functional analysis during larval metamorphosis of the oyster Crassostrea angulata.

    PubMed

    Yang, Bingye; Pu, Fei; Qin, Ji; You, Weiwei; Ke, Caihuan

    2014-03-10

    During a large-scale screen of the larval transcriptome library of the Portuguese oyster, Crassostrea angulata, the oyster gene RACK, which encodes a receptor of activated protein kinase C protein was isolated and characterized. The cDNA is 1,148 bp long and has a predicted open reading frame encoding 317 aa. The predicted protein shows high sequence identity to many RACK proteins of different organisms including molluscs, fish, amphibians and mammals, suggesting that it is conserved during evolution. The structural analysis of the Ca-RACK1 genomic sequence implies that the Ca-RACK1 gene has seven exons and six introns, extending approximately 6.5 kb in length. It is expressed ubiquitously in many oyster tissues as detected by RT-PCR analysis. The Ca-RACK1 mRNA expression pattern was markedly increased at larval metamorphosis; and was further increased along with Ca-RACK1 protein synthesis during epinephrine-induced metamorphosis. These results indicate that the Ca-RACK1 plays an important role in tissue differentiation and/or in cell growth during larval metamorphosis in the oyster, C. angulata. PMID:24374472

  15. Metamorphosis of the landlocked sea lamprey, Petromyzon marinus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Manion, Patrick J.; Stauffer, Thomas M.

    1970-01-01

    The external metamorphosis of the sea lamprey was divided into four stages, based primarily on the condition of the mouth: mouth reduced, mouth fused, mouth enclosed, and mouth elongated. During metamorphosis, the eye enlarged greatly, the snout and mouth region changed from a fleshy hood enclosing a sieve apparatus to a large sucking disc, the nasopore membrane and the branchial area shrank, the branchiopores changed in shape, the general color changed from dark brown and yellow to an intense blue-black dorsally and white ventrally, and the total length increased. Metamorphosis began in early to mid-July and did not take place after August. The duration of external metamorphosis was about 3 months for lampreys transforming under natural conditions. The mean lengths of metamorphosing lampreys from tributaries of lakes Superior and Michigan were 145 and 136 mm, respectively.

  16. The Next Decade in Career Counseling: Cocoon Maintenance or Metamorphosis?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parmer, Twinet; Rush, Lee Covington

    2003-01-01

    Articulates the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, and future vision for career counseling using a cocoon maintenance or metamorphosis metaphor. Concludes with a vision for the future for the discipline and profession of career counseling. (Contains 40 references.) (GCP)

  17. Thyroxine-induced metamorphosis in the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum).

    PubMed

    Coots, Peggy S; Seifert, Ashley W

    2015-01-01

    The axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) has remained an important model for regeneration and developmental biology for over a century. Although axolotls in captive-bred colonies usually exist in an aquatic form, they retain the ability to undergo metamorphosis following exposure to thyroid hormone. Here we present a robust method for inducing metamorphosis in adult axolotls that results in high survivability and produces terrestrial animals that can be maintained in long-term captivity. PMID:25740483

  18. Bacterial and parasitic diseases of amphibians.

    PubMed

    Klaphake, Eric

    2009-09-01

    Whether in private practice or in a zoologic setting, veterinarians of the exotic animal persuasion are asked to work on amphibians. Veterinarians are able to evaluate amphibians thoroughly for medical issues, with infectious diseases at the forefront. Until quite recently, many infectious diseases were unknown or even misdiagnosed as being caused by opportunistic secondary organisms. Although Batrachochytrium dendrobates and viral diseases are in the forefront of research for amphibians, parasitic and bacterial diseases often present secondarily and, occasionally, even as the primary cause. Full diagnostic workups, when possible, can be critical in determining all the factors involved in morbidity and mortality issues in amphibians. PMID:19732711

  19. Pesticide Mixtures, Endocrine Disruption, and Amphibian Declines: Are We Underestimating the Impact?

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Tyrone B.; Case, Paola; Chui, Sarah; Chung, Duc; Haeffele, Cathryn; Haston, Kelly; Lee, Melissa; Mai, Vien Phoung; Marjuoa, Youssra; Parker, John; Tsui, Mable

    2006-01-01

    Amphibian populations are declining globally at an alarming rate. Pesticides are among a number of proposed causes for these declines. Although a sizable database examining effects of pesticides on amphibians exists, the vast majority of these studies focus on toxicological effects (lethality, external malformations, etc.) at relatively high doses (parts per million). Very few studies focus on effects such as endocrine disruption at low concentrations. Further, most studies examine exposures to single chemicals only. The present study examined nine pesticides (four herbicides, two fungicides, and three insecticides) used on cornfields in the midwestern United States. Effects of each pesticide alone (0.1 ppb) or in combination were examined. In addition, we also examined atrazine and S-metolachlor combined (0.1 or 10 ppb each) and the commercial formulation Bicep II Magnum, which contains both of these herbicides. These two pesticides were examined in combination because they are persistent throughout the year in the wild. We examined larval growth and development, sex differentiation, and immune function in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens). In a follow-up study, we also examined the effects of the nine-compound mixture on plasma corticosterone levels in male African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). Although some of the pesticides individually inhibited larval growth and development, the pesticide mixtures had much greater effects. Larval growth and development were retarded, but most significantly, pesticide mixtures negated or reversed the typically positive correlation between time to metamorphosis and size at metamorphosis observed in controls: exposed larvae that took longer to metamorphose were smaller than their counterparts that metamorphosed earlier. The nine-pesticide mixture also induced damage to the thymus, resulting in immunosuppression and contraction of flavobacterial meningitis. The study in X. laevis revealed that these adverse effects may be due to an increase in plasma levels of the stress hormone corticosterone. Although it cannot be determined whether all the pesticides in the mixture contribute to these adverse effects or whether some pesticides are effectors, some are enhancers, and some are neutral, the present study revealed that estimating ecological risk and the impact of pesticides on amphibians using studies that examine only single pesticides at high concentrations may lead to gross underestimations of the role of pesticides in amphibian declines. PMID:16818245

  20. UVB Radiation Delays Tribolium castaneum Metamorphosis by Influencing Ecdysteroid Metabolism.

    PubMed

    Sang, Wen; Yu, Lin; He, Li; Ma, Wei-Hua; Zhu, Zhi-Hui; Zhu, Fen; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Lei, Chao-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is an important environmental factor. It is generally known that UVB exhibits high genotoxicity due to causing DNA damage, potentially leading to skin carcinogenesis and aging in mammals. However, little is known about the effects of UVB on the development and metamorphosis of insects, which are the most abundant terrestrial animals. In the present study, we performed dose-response analyses of the effects UVB irradiation on Tribolium castaneum metamorphosis, assessed the function of the T. castaneum prothoracicotropic hormone gene (Trcptth), and analyzed ecdysteroid pathway gene expression profile and ecdysterone titers post-UVB irradiation. The results showed that UVB not only caused death of T. castaneum larvae, but also delayed larval-pupal metamorphosis and reduced the size and emergence rate of pupae. In addition, we verified the function of Trcptth, which is responsible for regulating metamorphosis. It was also found that the expression profiles of Trcptth as well as ecdysteroidogenesis and response genes were influenced by UVB radiation. Therefore, a disturbance pulse of ecdysteroid may be involved in delaying development under exposure to irradiation. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that UVB can influence the metamorphosis of insects. This study will contribute to a better understanding of the impact of UVB on signaling mechanisms in insect metamorphosis. PMID:26986217

  1. UVB Radiation Delays Tribolium castaneum Metamorphosis by Influencing Ecdysteroid Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Sang, Wen; Yu, Lin; He, Li; Ma, Wei-Hua; Zhu, Zhi-Hui; Zhu, Fen; Wang, Xiao-Ping; Lei, Chao-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation is an important environmental factor. It is generally known that UVB exhibits high genotoxicity due to causing DNA damage, potentially leading to skin carcinogenesis and aging in mammals. However, little is known about the effects of UVB on the development and metamorphosis of insects, which are the most abundant terrestrial animals. In the present study, we performed dose-response analyses of the effects UVB irradiation on Tribolium castaneum metamorphosis, assessed the function of the T. castaneum prothoracicotropic hormone gene (Trcptth), and analyzed ecdysteroid pathway gene expression profile and ecdysterone titers post-UVB irradiation. The results showed that UVB not only caused death of T. castaneum larvae, but also delayed larval-pupal metamorphosis and reduced the size and emergence rate of pupae. In addition, we verified the function of Trcptth, which is responsible for regulating metamorphosis. It was also found that the expression profiles of Trcptth as well as ecdysteroidogenesis and response genes were influenced by UVB radiation. Therefore, a disturbance pulse of ecdysteroid may be involved in delaying development under exposure to irradiation. To our knowledge, this is the first report indicating that UVB can influence the metamorphosis of insects. This study will contribute to a better understanding of the impact of UVB on signaling mechanisms in insect metamorphosis. PMID:26986217

  2. ITRAQ MASS SPECTROMETRIC PROTEOMIC APPLICATIONS FOR IN VIVO TOXICOLOGY STUDIES OF AMPHIBIAN SPECIES: DATA HANDLING AND INTERPRETATION USING PEPTIDE-TAGGING SOFTWARE

    EPA Science Inventory

    This addresses the USEPA's need for a cost effective, non-mammalian screening assay for thyroid axis disrupting chemicals; a multi-endpoint strategy combining molecular and in vivo protocols in an amphibian model is being applied at MED Duluth.

  3. Do hormone-modulating chemicals impact on reproduction and development of wild amphibians?

    PubMed

    Orton, Frances; Tyler, Charles R

    2015-11-01

    Globally, amphibians are undergoing a precipitous decline. At the last estimate in 2004, 32% of the approximately 6000 species were threatened with extinction and 43% were experiencing significant declines. These declines have been linked with a wide range of environmental pressures from habitat loss to climate change, disease and pollution. This review evaluates the evidence that endocrine-disrupting contaminants (EDCs) - pollutants that affect hormone systems - are impacting on wild amphibians and contributing to population declines. The review is limited to anurans (frogs and toads) as data for effects of EDCs on wild urodeles (salamanders, newts) or caecilians (limbless amphibians) are extremely limited. Evidence from laboratory studies has shown that a wide range of chemicals have the ability to alter hormone systems and affect reproductive development and function in anurans, but for the most part only at concentrations exceeding those normally found in natural environments. Exceptions can be found for exposures to the herbicide atrazine and polychlorinated biphenyls in leopard frogs (Rana pipiens) and perchlorate in African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis). These contaminants induce feminising effects on the male gonads (including 'intersex' - oocytes within testes) at concentrations measured in some aquatic environments. The most extensive data for effects of an EDC in wild amphibian populations are for feminising effects of atrazine on male gonad development in regions across the USA. Even where strong evidence has been provided for feminising effects of EDCs, however, the possible impact of these effects on fertility and breeding outcome has not been established, making inference for effects on populations difficult. Laboratory studies have shown that various chemicals, including perchlorate, polychlorinated biphenyls and bromodiphenylethers, also act as endocrine disrupters through interfering with thyroid-dependent processes that are fundamental for amphibian metamorphosis. Perchlorate has also been shown to induce these effects in wild anuran populations from perchlorate-contaminated environments. Overall, the published data available suggest that some health effects observed in wild anuran populations, most notably intersex, likely have a chemical aetiology; however they derive only from very few anuran species and for a few pesticides at field sites in the USA. To understand better the impacts of EDCs on wild anuran populations, as well as other amphibian groups, assessment of fertility in exposed animals are required. Development of non-destructive biomarkers that are indicative of specific EDC-effect mechanisms are also needed to allow the study of vulnerable populations. This will help to distinguish the effects of EDCs from other environmental and/or genetic influences on development and reproduction. PMID:25335651

  4. Interactions of an insecticide, herbicide, and natural stressors in amphibian community mesocosms

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; James, S.M.

    2003-01-01

    Amphibians developing in wetlands embedded within or near agricultural lands may frequently encounter chemical mixtures. The objectives of our study were to determine the effects that post-application concentrations of an insecticide (carbaryl) and an herbicide (atrazine) have on body mass, development, and survival of two anuran species (southern leopard frog, Rana sphenocephala; American toad, Bufo americanus) and two caudate species (spotted salamander, Ambystoma maculatum; small-mouthed salamander, A. texanum) reared in outdoor cattle tank mesocosms. In one experiment, we manipulated tadpole density (low or high), carbaryl exposure (0, 3.5, 7.0 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 ??g/L) to test for effects on development, mass, and survival of larvae. In a second experiment, we manipulated pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), carbaryl exposure (0 or 5 mg/L), and atrazine exposure (0 or 200 ??g/L) to test for effects on mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis. Salamanders were virtually eliminated in carbaryl treatments, indicating that at realistic levels, this insecticide could cause population declines for salamanders in contaminated habitats. Carbaryl also had negative effects on toad survival. Exposure to atrazine had negative effects on body size, development, and time to metamorphosis in anuran species, which were associated with reduced chlorophyll levels. Both chemicals interacted significantly with density or hydroperiod, indicating that the environmental conditions could influence the impact of a contaminant. A significant atrazine-by-carbaryl interaction resulted in smaller and less developed spotted salamander larvae than in control ponds. Atrazine exposure, however, appeared to moderate negative effects of carbaryl for spotted salamanders. Our research suggests that important changes in the community's food web result from chemical exposure, which influence the susceptibility of amphibian species to contaminants.

  5. Effects of pond salinization on survival rate of amphibian hosts infected with the chytrid fungus.

    PubMed

    Stockwell, Michelle Pirrie; Storrie, Lachlan James; Pollard, Carla Jean; Clulow, John; Mahony, Michael Joseph

    2015-04-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in the decline and extinction of amphibian populations worldwide, but management options are limited. Recent studies show that sodium chloride (NaCl) has fungicidal properties that reduce the mortality rates of infected hosts in captivity. We investigated whether similar results can be obtained by adding salt to water bodies in the field. We increased the salinity of 8 water bodies to 2 or 4 ppt and left an additional 4 water bodies with close to 0 ppt and monitored salinity for 18 months. Captively bred tadpoles of green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) were released into each water body and their development, levels of B. dendrobatidis infection, and survival were monitored at 1, 4, and 12 months. The effect of salt on the abundance of nontarget organisms was also investigated in before and after style analyses. Salinities remained constant over time with little intervention. Hosts in water bodies with 4 ppt salt had a significantly lower prevalence of chytrid infection and higher survival, following metamorphosis, than hosts in 0 ppt salt. Tadpoles in the 4 ppt group were smaller in length after 1 month in the release site than those in the 0 and 2 ppt groups, but after metamorphosis body size in all water bodies was similar . In water bodies with 4 ppt salt, the abundance of dwarf tree frogs (Litoria fallax), dragonfly larvae, and damselfly larvae was lower than in water bodies with 0 and 2 ppt salt, which could have knock-on effects for community structure. Based on our results, salt may be an effective field-based B. dendrobatidis mitigation tool for lentic amphibians that could contribute to the conservation of numerous susceptible species. However, as in all conservation efforts, these benefits need to be weighed against negative effects on both target and nontarget organisms. PMID:25354647

  6. Effects of acute and chronic acidification on three larval amphibians that breed in temporary ponds

    SciTech Connect

    Rowe, C.L.; Sadinski, W.J.; Dunson, W.A. )

    1992-10-01

    This study explored the effects of acute (7 days) and chronic (4 months) exposure to pH 4.2 on three species of larval amphibians, Ambystoma jeffersonianum, Ambystoma maculatum, and Rana sylvatica. Acute tests were conducted in 24 impermeable enclosures in three temporary ponds. Total dissolved aluminum was higher in acidified enclosures in comparison with controls (pH 4.2, [Al] approximately 10-30 microM and pH greater than 4.7, [Al] approximately 5-15 microM, respectively). Greater mortality of A. jeffersonianum occurred at pH 4.2 than at pH greater than 4.7, whereas survival of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica were unaffected by pH. Mean wet masses of R. sylvatica were significantly lower at pH 4.2 than at pH greater than 4.7, but mean wet masses of surviving A. jeffersonianum and A. maculatum were not influenced by pH. There were no pH-related differences in body sodium concentration in larval R. sylvatica. Chronic acidification of mesocosms to pH 4.2 ([Al] approximately 16 microM) (controls = pH greater than 6, [Al] approximately 0.1 microM) resulted in total mortality of A. jeffersonianum. Survival of A. maculatum and R. sylvatica were not associated with pH, but survival of A. maculatum was low at both pH levels. Time to metamorphosis was longer for R. sylvatica maintained at pH 4.2, but not for A. maculatum. No differences in wet masses at metamorphosis were observed for R. sylvatica or A. maculatum. These results indicate that short and long term acidification of temporary wetlands could dramatically affect amphibians which rely upon them as breeding sites, either by causing mortality or by decreasing growth rates.

  7. Interactions of an insecticide with competition and pond drying in amphibian communities

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boone, M.D.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    Amphibian populations are often imbedded in agricultural landscapes. Therefore the potential for contamination of their habitat is considerable. Our study examined the effects of an insecticide (carbaryl, a neurotoxin), on larval amphibian communities experiencing natural stresses of competition for resources, predation, and pond drying. In a set of experimental ponds, tadpoles of three anuran species (southern leopard frog [Rana sphenocephala], plains leopard frog [R. blairi], and the Woodhouse's toad [Bufo woodhousii]) were added to 1000-L ponds containing leaf litter, plankton, two newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), and four overwintered green frog (R. clamitans) tadpoles. We manipulated the overall tadpole density (low or high), pond hydroperiod (constant or drying), and chemical exposure (0, 3.5, 5.0, or 7.0 mg/L carbaryl) of the ponds. We measured mass, time, and survival to metamorphosis to determine treatment effects. Carbaryl positively affected Woodhouse's toad survival, although it had a negligible effect on both leopard frog species. Tadpole density interacted with the chemical treatment: Proportionately more Woodhouse's toads survived to metamorphosis in high-density environments than in low-density or control environments. Greater survival may be an indirect effect of increased algal food resources from carbaryl exposure. Most newts lost mass over the course of the experiment, although ponds with drying hydroperiods and high anuran density were the least favorable environments. Overwintered green frogs exposed to carbaryl had longer larval periods on average than did green frogs in control ponds. Our study demonstrated that even sublethal, short-lived contaminants can alter natural communities in ways that cannot be predicted from simple, one-factor studies.

  8. The complexity of amphibian population declines: understanding the role of cofactors in driving amphibian losses.

    PubMed

    Blaustein, Andrew R; Han, Barbara A; Relyea, Rick A; Johnson, Pieter T J; Buck, Julia C; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Kats, Lee B

    2011-03-01

    Population losses and extinctions of species are occurring at unprecedented rates, as exemplified by declines and extinctions of amphibians worldwide. However, studies of amphibian population declines generally do not address the complexity of the phenomenon or its implications for ecological communities, focusing instead on single factors affecting particular amphibian species. We argue that the causes for amphibian population declines are complex; may differ among species, populations, and life stages within a population; and are context dependent with multiple stressors interacting to drive declines. Because amphibians are key components of communities, we emphasize the importance of investigating amphibian declines at the community level. Selection pressures over evolutionary time have molded amphibian life history characteristics, such that they may remain static even in the face of strong, recent human-induced selection pressures. PMID:21449968

  9. Effects of amphibian chytrid fungus exposure on American toads in the presence of an insecticide.

    PubMed

    Wise, Rayona S; Rumschlag, Samantha L; Boone, Michelle D

    2014-11-01

    Abiotic factors such as pesticides may alter the impact of a pathogen on hosts, which could have implications for host-pathogen interactions and may explain variation in disease outbreaks in nature. In the present laboratory experiment, American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) metamorphs were exposed to the amphibian chytrid fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and environmentally relevant concentrations of the insecticide malathion to determine whether malathion altered the effects of Bd exposure on growth and survival of toad metamorphs. Exposure to Bd significantly decreased survival over the 51 d of the experiment, suggesting that Bd could reduce recruitment into the terrestrial life stage when exposure occurs at metamorphosis. Malathion did not impact survival, but a 12-h exposure at metamorphosis significantly reduced terrestrial growth. Toads that were exposed to both Bd and malathion showed a nonsignificant trend toward the smallest growth compared with other treatments. The present study suggests that Bd may pose a threat to American toads even though population declines have not been observed for this species; in addition, the presence of both the insecticide malathion and Bd could reduce terrestrial growth, which could have implications for lifetime fitness and suggests that environmental factors could play a role in pathogen impacts in nature. PMID:25099070

  10. AMPHIBIANS AS BIOINDICATORS OF WETLAND CONDITION

    EPA Science Inventory

    King county has over ten years of data on the distribution and abundance of amphibians in wetlands. Changes in wetland amphibian composition are being analyzed in relationship to physical changes within wetlands and surrounding land-use development and change. In addition to tes...

  11. Variation in the Presence of Anti-Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Bacteria of Amphibians Across Life Stages and Elevations in Ecuador.

    PubMed

    Bresciano, J C; Salvador, C A; Paz-Y-Miño, C; Parody-Merino, A M; Bosch, J; Woodhams, D C

    2015-06-01

    Amphibian populations are decreasing worldwide due to a variety of factors. In South America, the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is linked to many population declines. The pathogenic effect of Bd on amphibians can be inhibited by specific bacteria present on host skin. This symbiotic association allows some amphibians to resist the development of the disease chytridiomycosis. Here, we aimed (1) to determine for the first time if specific anti-Bd bacteria are present on amphibians in the Andes of Ecuador, (2) to monitor anti-Bd bacteria across developmental stages in a focal amphibian, the Andean marsupial tree frog, Gastrotheca riobambae, that deposits larvae in aquatic habitats, and (3) to compare the Bd presence associated with host assemblages including 10 species at sites ranging in biogeography from Amazonian rainforest (450 masl) to Andes montane rainforest (3200 masl). We sampled and identified skin-associated bacteria of frogs in the field using swabs and a novel methodology of aerobic counting plates, and a combination of morphological, biochemical, and molecular identification techniques. The following anti-Bd bacteria were identified and found to be shared among several hosts at high-elevation sites where Bd was present at a prevalence of 32.5%: Janthinobacterium lividum, Pseudomonas fluorescens, and Serratia sp. Bd were detected in Gastrotheca spp. and not detected in the lowlands (sites below 1000 masl). In G. riobambae, recognized Bd-resistant bacteria start to be present at the metamorphic stage. Overall bacterial abundance was significantly higher post-metamorphosis and on species sampled at lower elevations. Further metagenomic studies are needed to evaluate the roles of host identity, life-history stage, and biogeography of the microbiota and their function in disease resistance. PMID:25669915

  12. Fire and amphibians in North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pilliod, D.S.; Bury, R.B.; Hyde, E.J.; Pearl, C.A.; Corn, P.S.

    2003-01-01

    Information on amphibian responses to fire and fuel reduction practices is critically needed due to potential declines of species and the prevalence of new, more intensive fire management practices in North American forests. The goals of this review are to summarize the known and potential effects of fire and fuels management on amphibians and their aquatic habitats, and to identify information gaps to help direct future scientific research. Amphibians as a group are taxonomically and ecologically diverse; in turn, responses to fire and associated habitat alteration are expected to vary widely among species and among geographic regions. Available data suggest that amphibian responses to fire are spatially and temporally variable and incompletely understood. Much of the limited research has addressed short-term (1-3 years) effects of prescribed fire on terrestrial life stages of amphibians in the southeastern United States. Information on the long-term negative effects of fire on amphibians and the importance of fire for maintaining amphibian communities is sparse for the majority of taxa in North America. Given the size and severity of recent wildland fires and the national effort to reduce fuels on federal lands, future studies are needed to examine the effects of these landscape disturbances on amphibians. We encourage studies to address population-level responses of amphibians to fire by examining how different life stages are affected by changes in aquatic, riparian, and upland habitats. Research designs need to be credible and provide information that is relevant for fire managers and those responsible for assessing the potential effects of various fuel reduction alternatives on rare, sensitive, and endangered amphibian species. ?? 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. First evidence of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and ranavirus in Hong Kong amphibian trade.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Berger, Lee; Karesh, William B; Preston, Asa; Pessier, Allan P; Skerratt, Lee F

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious amphibian diseases caused by amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranaviruses are responsible for global amphibian population declines and extinctions. Although likely to have been spread by a variety of activities, transcontinental dispersal appears closely associated with the international trade in live amphibians. The territory of Hong Kong reports frequent, high volume trade in amphibians, and yet the presence of Bd and ranavirus have not previously been detected in either traded or free-ranging amphibians. In 2012, a prospective surveillance project was conducted to investigate the presence of these pathogens in commercial shipments of live amphibians exported from Hong Kong International Airport. Analysis of skin (Bd) and cloacal (ranavirus) swabs by quantitative PCR detected pathogen presence in 31/265 (11.7%) and in 105/185 (56.8%) of amphibians, respectively. In addition, the water in which animals were transported tested positive for Bd, demonstrating the risk of pathogen pollution by the disposal of untreated wastewater. It is uncertain whether Bd and ranavirus remain contained within Hong Kong's trade sector, or if native amphibians have already been exposed. Rapid response efforts are now urgently needed to determine current pathogen distribution in Hong Kong, evaluate potential trade-associated exposure to free-ranging amphibians, and identify opportunities to prevent disease establishment. PMID:24599268

  14. In situ effects of pesticides on amphibians in the Sierra Nevada.

    PubMed

    Sparling, Donald W; Bickham, John; Cowman, Deborah; Fellers, Gary M; Lacher, Thomas; Matson, Cole W; McConnell, Laura

    2015-03-01

    For more than 20 years, conservationists have agreed that amphibian populations around the world are declining. Results obtained through laboratory or mesocosm studies and measurement of contaminant concentrations in areas experiencing declines have supported a role of contaminants in these declines. The current study examines the effects of contaminant exposure to amphibians in situ in areas actually experiencing declines. Early larval Pseudacris regilla were translocated among Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, California, USA and caged in wetlands in 2001 and 2002 until metamorphosis. Twenty contaminants were identified in tadpoles with an average of 1.3-5.9 (maximum = 10) contaminants per animal. Sequoia National Park, which had the greatest variety and concentrations of contaminants in 2001, also had tadpoles that experienced the greatest mortality, slowest developmental rates and lowest cholinesterase activities. Yosemite and Sequoia tadpoles and metamorphs had greater genotoxicity than those in Lassen during 2001, as determined by flow cytometry. In 2001 tadpoles at Yosemite had a significantly higher rate of malformations, characterized as hemimelia (shortened femurs), than those at the other two parks but no significant differences were observed in 2002. Fewer differences in contaminant types and concentrations existed among parks during 2002 compared to 2001. In 2002 Sequoia tadpoles had higher mortality and slower developmental rates but there was no difference among parks in cholinesterase activities. Although concentrations of most contaminants were below known lethal concentrations, simultaneous exposure to multiple chemicals and other stressors may have resulted in lethal and sublethal effects. PMID:25381462

  15. Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry.

    PubMed

    Ferrie, Gina M; Alford, Vance C; Atkinson, Jim; Baitchman, Eric; Barber, Diane; Blaner, William S; Crawshaw, Graham; Daneault, Andy; Dierenfeld, Ellen; Finke, Mark; Fleming, Greg; Gagliardo, Ron; Hoffman, Eric A; Karasov, William; Klasing, Kirk; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Lankton, Julia; Lavin, Shana R; Lentini, Andrew; Livingston, Shannon; Lock, Brad; Mason, Tom; McComb, Alejandra; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Probst, Tom; Rodriguez, Carlos; Schad, Kristine; Semmen, Kent; Sincage, Jamie; Stamper, M Andrew; Steinmetz, Jason; Sullivan, Kathleen; Terrell, Scott; Wertan, Nina; Wheaton, Catharine J; Wilson, Brad; Valdes, Eduardo V

    2014-01-01

    Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists' understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas. PMID:25296396

  16. Nutrition and Health in Amphibian Husbandry

    PubMed Central

    Ferrie, Gina M.; Alford, Vance C.; Atkinson, Jim; Baitchman, Eric; Barber, Diane; Blaner, William S.; Crawshaw, Graham; Daneault, Andy; Dierenfeld, Ellen; Finke, Mark; Fleming, Greg; Gagliardo, Ron; Hoffman, Eric A.; Karasov, William; Klasing, Kirk; Koutsos, Elizabeth; Lankton, Julia; Lavin, Shana R.; Lentini, Andrew; Livingston, Shannon; Lock, Brad; Mason, Tom; McComb, Alejandra; Morris, Cheryl; Pessier, Allan P.; Olea-Popelka, Francisco; Probst, Tom; Rodriguez, Carlos; Schad, Kristine; Semmen, Kent; Sincage, Jamie; Stamper, M. Andrew; Steinmetz, Jason; Sullivan, Kathleen; Terrell, Scott; Wertan, Nina; Wheaton, Catharine J.; Wilson, Brad; Valdes, Eduardo V.

    2015-01-01

    Amphibian biology is intricate, and there are many inter-related factors that need to be understood before establishing successful Conservation Breeding Programs (CBPs). Nutritional needs of amphibians are highly integrated with disease and their husbandry needs, and the diversity of developmental stages, natural habitats, and feeding strategies result in many different recommendations for proper care and feeding. This review identifies several areas where there is substantial room for improvement in maintaining healthy ex situ amphibian populations specifically in the areas of obtaining and utilizing natural history data for both amphibians and their dietary items, achieving more appropriate environmental parameters, understanding stress and hormone production, and promoting better physical and population health. Using a scientific or research framework to answer questions about disease, nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and endocrinology of ex situ amphibians will improve specialists’ understanding of the needs of these species. In general, there is a lack of baseline data and comparative information for most basic aspects of amphibian biology as well as standardized laboratory approaches. Instituting a formalized research approach in multiple scientific disciplines will be beneficial not only to the management of current ex situ populations, but also in moving forward with future conservation and reintroduction projects. This overview of gaps in knowledge concerning ex situ amphibian care should serve as a foundation for much needed future research in these areas. PMID:25296396

  17. Host and Symbiont Jointly Control Gut Microbiota during Complete Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Paul R.; Rolff, Jens

    2015-01-01

    Holometabolous insects undergo a radical anatomical re-organisation during metamorphosis. This poses a developmental challenge: the host must replace the larval gut but at the same time retain symbiotic gut microbes and avoid infection by opportunistic pathogens. By manipulating host immunity and bacterial competitive ability, we study how the host Galleria mellonella and the symbiotic bacterium Enterococcus mundtii interact to manage the composition of the microbiota during metamorphosis. Disenabling one or both symbiotic partners alters the composition of the gut microbiota, which incurs fitness costs: adult hosts with a gut microbiota dominated by pathogens such as Serratia and Staphylococcus die early. Our results reveal an interaction that guarantees the safe passage of the symbiont through metamorphosis and benefits the resulting adult host. Host-symbiont “conspiracies” as described here are almost certainly widespread in holometobolous insects including many disease vectors. PMID:26544881

  18. [Perspective on gravitational biology of amphibians].

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Naitoh, Tomio; Wassersug, Richard J

    2002-12-01

    We review here the scientific significance of the use of amphibians for research in gravitational biology. Since amphibian eggs are quite large, yet develop rapidly and externally, it is easy to observe their development. Consequently amphibians were the first vertebrates to have their early developmental processes investigated in space. Though several deviations from normal embryonic development occur when amphibians are raised in microgravity, their developmental program is robust enough to return the organisms to an ostensibly normal morphology by the time they hatch. Evolutionally, amphibians were the first vertebrate animal to come out of the water and onto land. Subsequently they diversified and have adaptively radiated to various habitats. They now inhabit aquatic, terrestrial, arboreal and fossorial niches. This diversity can be used to help study the biological effects of gravity at the organismal level, where macroscopic phenomena are associated with gravitational loading. By choosing different amphibian models and using a comparative approach one can effectively identify the action of gravity on biological systems, and the adaptation that vertebrates have made to this loading. Advances in cellular and molecular biology provide powerful tools for the study in many fields, including gravitational biology, and amphibians have proven to be good models for studies at those levels as well. The low metabolic rates of amphibians make them convenient organisms to work with (compared to birds and mammals) in the difficult and confined spaces on orbiting research platforms. We include here a review of what is known about and the potential for further behavioral and physiological researches in space using amphibians. PMID:12721528

  19. Exposure to the herbicide acetochlor alters thyroid hormone-dependent gene expression and metamorphosis in Xenopus Laevis.

    PubMed Central

    Crump, Doug; Werry, Kate; Veldhoen, Nik; Van Aggelen, Graham; Helbing, Caren C

    2002-01-01

    A growing number of substances released into the environment disrupt normal endocrine mechanisms in a wide range of vertebrates. Little is known about the effects and identities of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that target thyroid hormone (TH) action, particularly at the cellular level. Frog tadpole metamorphosis depends completely on TH, which has led to the suggestion of a metamorphosis-based assay for screening potential EDCs. A major mechanism of TH action is the alteration of gene expression via hormone-bound nuclear receptors. To assess the gene expression profiles in the frog model, we designed a novel multispecies frog cDNA microarray. Recently, the preemergent herbicide acetochlor was shown to accelerate 3,5,3 -triiodothyronine (T3)-induced forelimb emergence and increase mRNA expression of thyroid hormone ss receptors in ranid tadpoles. Here we show that T3-induced metamorphosis of Xenopus laevis, a species commonly used in the laboratory, is accelerated upon acute exposure to an environmentally relevant level of acetochlor. The morphologic changes observed are preceded by alterations in gene expression profiles detected in the tadpole tail, and the nature of these profiles suggest a novel mechanism of action for acetochlor. PMID:12460798

  20. Amphibian declines in the twenty-first century: why we need assisted reproductive technologies.

    PubMed

    Clulow, John; Trudeau, Vance L; Kouba, Andrew J

    2014-01-01

    Each amphibian species is evolutionarily distinct, having developed highly specialized and diverse reproductive strategies in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. These unique reproductive patterns and mechanisms, key to species propagation, have only been explored in a limited number of laboratory models. Although the development of applied reproductive technologies for amphibians has proven useful for a few threatened species, the real benefit of this technology has been new insights into the reproductive adaptations, behavior, endocrinology, and physiological mechanisms that have evolved over millions of years. As the basic fundamental database on amphibian reproductive physiology has grown, so has the applied benefit for species conservation. In particular, technologies such as non-invasive fecal and urinary hormone assays, hormone treatments for induced breeding or gamete collection, in vitro fertilization, and the ability to establish genome resource banks have all played important roles in monitoring or managing small populations of captive species. Amphibians have the ability to produce a large excess of germplasm (up to 10,000 ovulated eggs in a single reproductive event) that if not collected and preserved, would represent a wasted valuable resource. We discuss the current state of knowledge in assisted reproductive technologies for amphibians and why their extinction crisis means these available tools can no longer be implemented as small-scale, last-ditch efforts. The reproductive technologies must be established early as a key component of large-scale species recovery. PMID:25091914

  1. 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

  2. Report of Amphibian Development Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Malacinski, G.

    1985-01-01

    Amphibian and fish embryos are extremely well suited for studies on pattern specification, whereas other systems (e.g., avian or mammalian) might be just as well suited for studies on differentiation or growth. Those distinctions are important for at least two reasons: (1) More precise focus regarding underlying mechanisms is called for when those distinctions are made. That facilitates the formulation of specific models or hypotheses; and (2) stress effects (i.e., the effects of weightlessness on structures (e.g., bones) which normally bear a load) are distinguished as being indirect, in contrast to direct effects of microgravity, which would be expected to act on pattern specification. That is, direct gravity effects are distinguished from indirect stress effects.

  3. Amphibian responses to photoinduced toxicity of PAHs

    SciTech Connect

    Hatch, A.C.; Burton, G.A. Jr.

    1995-12-31

    Amphibians are essential components of many ecosystems, yet little information exists on their sensitivity to environmental stressors. Recent evidence shows amphibian diversity is declining. Others have suggested this decline is a result of increasing ultraviolet (UV) light levels. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread pollutants in the aquatic environment and their toxicity is increased in the presence of UV light. Embryos of two frogs (Rana pipiens and Xenopus laevis) were exposed to a PAH, fluoranthene, to evaluate amphibian responses to this common contaminant in the presence of sunlight. Hatching rate and development were measured in field and laboratory exposures at multiple concentrations and varying UV intensities. Hatching rate was relatively unaffected, while newly hatched larvae were sensitive to low (ug/L) concentrations. Response was related to both PAH concentration and UV intensity. Results suggest that PAH contamination in the aquatic environment may contribute to declines in amphibian populations.

  4. Amphibians and Reptiles of Los Alamos County

    SciTech Connect

    Teralene S. Foxx; Timothy K. Haarmann; David C. Keller

    1999-10-01

    Recent studies have shown that amphibians and reptiles are good indicators of environmental health. They live in terrestrial and aquatic environments and are often the first animals to be affected by environmental change. This publication provides baseline information about amphibians and reptiles that are present on the Pajarito Plateau. Ten years of data collection and observations by researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of New Mexico, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, and hobbyists are represented.

  5. Surveys of calling amphibians in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.; Batie, R.D.

    2001-01-01

    Amphibians have received increased attention in recent years from the scientific community and general public alike. Many populations throughout the world have declined, or have been extirpated, often without an apparent cause. Concern about the status of amphibians has translated into a growing interest in systematic and statistically sound monitoring programs. Several extensive efforts to monitor populations of calling amphibians are in place, and more are under development. Necessary for the design of appropriate surveys is an understanding of the behavior, especially vocalization, of the various species, and how it varies by geographic location and environmental conditions. In 1995 we conducted roadside surveys of calling amphibians along 44 routes in North Dakota. We describe results of that survey, with special attention given to variables that influence detectability of calling amphibians. Unlike similar studies, we accounted for the amount of time observers spent listening for amphibians under different conditions. We found that the optimal conditions for a single survey for North Dakota in that year would be in early June, between the hours of 2300 and 0130, with ambient temperatures above 13 deg. C, and with no rain and little or no wind or moonlight. Multiple surveys in a year would yield better results, of course, especially for the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), which is most active earlier in the season. Studies such as ours should be replicated in space and time to ensure a well-designed survey.

  6. The chemistry of poisons in amphibian skin.

    PubMed Central

    Daly, J W

    1995-01-01

    Poisons are common in nature, where they often serve the organism in chemical defense. Such poisons either are produced de novo or are sequestered from dietary sources or symbiotic organisms. Among vertebrates, amphibians are notable for the wide range of noxious agents that are contained in granular skin glands. These compounds include amines, peptides, proteins, steroids, and both water-soluble and lipid-soluble alkaloids. With the exception of the alkaloids, most seem to be produced de novo by the amphibian. The skin of amphibians contains many structural classes of alkaloids previously unknown in nature. These include the batrachotoxins, which have recently been discovered to also occur in skin and feathers of a bird, the histrionicotoxins, the gephyrotoxins, the decahydroquinolines, the pumiliotoxins and homopumiliotoxins, epibatidine, and the samandarines. Some amphibian skin alkaloids are clearly sequestered from the diet, which consists mainly of small arthropods. These include pyrrolizidine and indolizidine alkaloids from ants, tricyclic coccinellines from beetles, and pyrrolizidine oximes, presumably from millipedes. The sources of other alkaloids in amphibian skin, including the batrachotoxins, the decahydroquinolines, the histrionicotoxins, the pumiliotoxins, and epibatidine, are unknown. While it is possible that these are produced de novo or by symbiotic microorganisms, it appears more likely that they are sequestered by the amphibians from as yet unknown dietary sources. PMID:7816854

  7. Dynamic mechanical oscillations during metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly

    PubMed Central

    Pelling, Andrew E; Wilkinson, Paul R; Stringer, Richard; Gimzewski, James K

    2008-01-01

    The mechanical oscillation of the heart is fundamental during insect metamorphosis, but it is unclear how morphological changes affect its mechanical dynamics. Here, the micromechanical heartbeat with the monarch chrysalis (Danaus plexippus) during metamorphosis is compared with the structural changes observed through in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We employ a novel ultra-sensitive detection approach, optical beam deflection, in order to measure the microscale motions of the pupae during the course of metamorphosis. We observed very distinct mechanical contractions occurring at regular intervals, which we ascribe to the mechanical function of the heart organ. Motion was observed to occur in approximately 15 min bursts of activity with frequencies in the 0.4–1.0 Hz range separated by periods of quiescence during the first 83 per cent of development. In the final stages, the beating was found to be uninterrupted until the adult monarch butterfly emerged. Distinct stages of development were characterized by changes in frequency, amplitude, mechanical quality factor and de/repolarization times of the mechanical pulsing. The MRI revealed that the heart organ remains functionally intact throughout metamorphosis but undergoes morphological changes that are reflected in the mechanical oscillation. PMID:18682363

  8. Dynamic mechanical oscillations during metamorphosis of the monarch butterfly.

    PubMed

    Pelling, Andrew E; Wilkinson, Paul R; Stringer, Richard; Gimzewski, James K

    2009-01-01

    The mechanical oscillation of the heart is fundamental during insect metamorphosis, but it is unclear how morphological changes affect its mechanical dynamics. Here, the micromechanical heartbeat with the monarch chrysalis (Danaus plexippus) during metamorphosis is compared with the structural changes observed through in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We employ a novel ultra-sensitive detection approach, optical beam deflection, in order to measure the microscale motions of the pupae during the course of metamorphosis. We observed very distinct mechanical contractions occurring at regular intervals, which we ascribe to the mechanical function of the heart organ. Motion was observed to occur in approximately 15 min bursts of activity with frequencies in the 0.4-1.0 Hz range separated by periods of quiescence during the first 83 per cent of development. In the final stages, the beating was found to be uninterrupted until the adult monarch butterfly emerged. Distinct stages of development were characterized by changes in frequency, amplitude, mechanical quality factor and de/repolarization times of the mechanical pulsing. The MRI revealed that the heart organ remains functionally intact throughout metamorphosis but undergoes morphological changes that are reflected in the mechanical oscillation. PMID:18682363

  9. Kafka's Metamorphosis: Transforming the Pre-Graduation Malaise.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Sheryl

    1998-01-01

    A teacher of an advanced placement English class of over-stressed, over-busy, and rebellious gifted seniors describes how she used Kafka's "Metamorphosis" to help them adjust to this transitional period in their lives while keeping all reading and assignments within the class period. (DB)

  10. Establishing a baseline and faunal history in amphibian monitoring programs: The amphibians of Harris Neck, GA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C.K., Jr.; Barichivich, W.J.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted an intensive inventory of Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge in coastal Georgia to determine the feasibility of establishing an amphibian monitoring program at this location. Thirteen semi-aquatic amphibian species were identified at 21 locations. Amphibian species richness at Harris Neck was similar to that of nearby barrier islands. The amphibian fauna of Harris Neck has long been affected by human-induced landscape changes, including the inadvertent introduction of tadpoles from distant fish hatcheries and the creation of artificial impoundments. Land-use history provides important information necessary to understand current amphibian distribution, especially when census data are used to establish a baseline from which to monitor future status and trends.

  11. Countryside biogeography of Neotropical reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Chase D; Frishkoff, Luke O; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Pacheco, Jesús; Mesfun, Eyobed; Mendoza Quijano, Fernando; Ehrlich, Paul R; Ceballos, Gerardo; Daily, Gretchen C; Pringle, Robert M

    2014-04-01

    The future of biodiversity and ecosystem services depends largely on the capacity of human-dominated ecosystems to support them, yet this capacity remains largely unknown. Using the framework of countryside biogeography, and working in the Las Cruces system of Coto Brus, Costa Rica, we assessed reptile and amphibian assemblages within four habitats that typify much of the Neotropics: sun coffee plantations (12 sites), pasture (12 sites), remnant forest elements (12 sites), and a larger, contiguous protected forest (3 sites in one forest). Through analysis of 1678 captures of 67 species, we draw four primary conclusions. First, we found that the majority of reptile (60%) and amphibian (70%) species in this study used an array of habitat types, including coffee plantations and actively grazed pastures. Second, we found that coffee plantations and pastures hosted rich, albeit different and less dense, reptile and amphibian biodiversity relative to the 326-ha Las Cruces Forest Reserve and neighboring forest elements. Third, we found that the small ribbons of "countryside forest elements" weaving through farmland collectively increased the effective size of a 326-ha local forest reserve 16-fold for reptiles and 14-fold for amphibians within our 236-km2 study area. Therefore, countryside forest elements, often too small for most remote sensing techniques to identify, are contributing -95% of the available habitat for forest-dependent reptiles and amphibians in our largely human-dominated study region. Fourth, we found large and pond-reproducing amphibians to prefer human-made habitats, whereas small, stream-reproducing, and directly developing species are more dependent on forest elements. Our investigation demonstrates that tropical farming landscapes can support substantial reptile and amphibian biodiversity. Our approach provides a framework for estimating the conservation value of the complex working landscapes that constitute roughly half of the global land surface, and which are experiencing intensification pressure worldwide. PMID:24933806

  12. Phylogenetic distribution of symbiotic bacteria from Panamanian amphibians that inhibit growth of the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Becker, Matthew H; Walke, Jenifer B; Murrill, Lindsey; Woodhams, Douglas C; Reinert, Laura K; Rollins-Smith, Louise A; Burzynski, Elizabeth A; Umile, Thomas P; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Belden, Lisa K

    2015-04-01

    The introduction of next-generation sequencing has allowed for greater understanding of community composition of symbiotic microbial communities. However, determining the function of individual members of these microbial communities still largely relies on culture-based methods. Here, we present results on the phylogenetic distribution of a defensive functional trait of cultured symbiotic bacteria associated with amphibians. Amphibians are host to a diverse community of cutaneous bacteria and some of these bacteria protect their host from the lethal fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) by secreting antifungal metabolites. We cultured over 450 bacterial isolates from the skins of Panamanian amphibian species and tested their interactions with Bd using an in vitro challenge assay. For a subset of isolates, we also completed coculture experiments and found that culturing isolates with Bd had no effect on inhibitory properties of the bacteria, but it significantly decreased metabolite secretion. In challenge assays, approximately 75% of the bacterial isolates inhibited Bd to some extent and these inhibitory isolates were widely distributed among all bacterial phyla. Although there was no clear phylogenetic signal of inhibition, three genera, Stenotrophomonas, Aeromonas and Pseudomonas, had a high proportion of inhibitory isolates (100%, 77% and 73%, respectively). Overall, our results demonstrate that antifungal properties are phylogenetically widespread in symbiotic microbial communities of Panamanian amphibians and that some functional redundancy for fungal inhibition occurs in these communities. We hope that these findings contribute to the discovery and development of probiotics for amphibians that can mitigate the threat of chytridiomycosis. PMID:25737297

  13. Estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide body burden through dermal exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Our study measured dermal uptake of pesticides of varying hydrophobicity (logKow) in frogs. Amphibians were indirectly exposed to one of five pesticide active...

  14. Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rothermel, Betsie B.; Walls, Susan C.; Mitchell, Joseph C.; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.; Irwin, Lisa K.; Green, David E.; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Petranka, James W.; Stevenson, Dirk J.

    2008-01-01

     From 1999 to 2006, we sampled >1200 amphibians for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd) at 30 sites in the southeastern USA. Using histological techniques or PCR assays, we detected chytrid infection in 10 species of aquatic-breeding amphibians in 6 states. The prevalence of chytrid infection was 17.8% for samples of postmetamorphic amphibians examined using skin swab-PCR assays (n = 202 samples from 12 species at 4 sites). In this subset of samples, anurans had a much higher prevalence of infection than caudates (39.2% vs. 5.5%, respectively). Mean prevalence in ranid frogs was 40.7%. The only infected salamanders were Notophthalmus viridescens at 3 sites. We found infected amphibians from late winter through late spring and in 1 autumn sample. Although we encountered moribund or dead amphibians at 9 sites, most mortality events were not attributed to Bd. Chytridiomycosis was established as the probable cause of illness or death in fewer than 10 individuals. Our observations suggest a pattern of widespread and subclinical infections. However, because most of the sites in our study were visited only once, we cannot dismiss the possibility that chytridiomycosis is adversely affecting some populations. Furthermore, although there is no evidence of chytrid-associated declines in our region, the presence of this pathogen is cause for concern given global climate change and other stressors. Although presence-absence surveys may still be needed for some taxa, such as bufonids, we recommend that future researchers focus on potential population-level effects at sites where Bd is now known to occur.

  15. Widespread occurrence of the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in the southeastern USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rothermel, B.B.; Walls, S.C.; Mitchell, J.C.; Dodd, C.K., Jr.; Irwin, L.K.; Green, D.E.; Vazquez, Victoria M.; Petranka, James W.; Stevenson, Dirk J.

    2008-01-01

    From 1999 to 2006, we sampled >1200 amphibians for the fungal pathogen Batrachochytnum dendrobatidis (Bd) at 30 sites in the southeastern USA. Using histological techniques or PCR assays, we detected chytrid infection in 10 species of aquatic-breeding amphibians in 6 states. The prevalence of chytrid infection was 17.8% for samples of postmetamorphic amphibians examined using skin swab-PCR assays (n = 202 samples from 12 species at 4 sites). In this subset of samples, anurans had a much higher prevalence of infection than caudates (39.2% vs. 5.5%, respectively). Mean prevalence in ranid frogs was 40.7 %. The only infected salamanders were Notophthalmus viridescens at 3 sites. We found infected amphibians from late winter through late spring and in 1 autumn sample. Although we encountered moribund or dead amphibians at 9 sites, most mortality events were not attributed to Bd. Chytridiomycosis was established as the probable cause of illness or death in fewer than 10 individuals. Our observations suggest a pattern of widespread and subclinical infections. However, because most of the sites in our study were visited only once, we cannot dismiss the possibility that chytridiomycosis is adversely affecting some populations. Furthermore, although there is no evidence of chytrid-associated declines in our region, the presence of this pathogen is cause for concern given global climate change and other stressors. Although presence-absence surveys may still be needed for some taxa, such as bufonids, we recommend that future researchers focus on potential population-level effects at sites where Bd is now known to occur. ?? Inter-Research 2008.

  16. Heterochrony in a complex world: disentangling environmental processes of facultative paedomorphosis in an amphibian.

    PubMed

    Denoël, Mathieu; Ficetola, Gentile F

    2014-05-01

    Heterochrony, the change in the rate or timing of development between ancestors and their descendants, plays a major role in evolution. When heterochrony produces polymorphisms, it offers the possibility to test hypotheses that could explain its success across environments. Amphibians are particularly suitable to exploring these questions because they express complex life cycles (i.e. metamorphosis) that have been disrupted by heterochronic processes (paedomorphosis: retention of larval traits in adults). The large phenotypic variation across populations suggests that more complex processes than expected are operating, but they remain to be investigated through multivariate analyses over a large range of natural populations across time. In this study, we compared the likelihood of multiple potential environmental determinants of heterochrony. We gathered data on the proportion of paedomorphic and metamorphic palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) across more than 150 populations during 10 years and used an information-theoretic approach to compare the support of multiple potential processes. Six environmental processes jointly explained the proportion of paedomorphs in populations: predation, water availability, dispersal limitation, aquatic breathing, terrestrial habitat suitability and antipredator refuges. Analyses of variation across space and time supported models based on the advantage of paedomorphosis in favourable aquatic habitats. Paedomorphs were favoured in deep ponds, in conditions favourable to aquatic breathing (high oxygen content), with lack of fish and surrounded by suitable terrestrial habitat. Metamorphs were favoured by banks allowing easy dispersal. These results indicate that heterochrony relies on complex processes involving multiple ecological variables and exemplifies why heterochronic patterns occur in contrasted environments. On the other hand, the fast selection of alternative morphs shows that metamorphosis and paedomorphosis developmental modes could be easily disrupted in natural populations. PMID:24180255

  17. On natural metamorphosis inducers of the cnidarians Hydractinia echinata (Hydrozoa) and Aurelia aurita (Scyphozoa)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroiher, M.; Berking, S.

    1999-11-01

    Hydractinia echinata and Aurelia aurita produce motile larvae which undergo metamorphosis to sessile polyps when induced by external cues. The polyps are found at restricted sites, A. aurita predominantly on rocks close to the shore, H. echinata on shells inhabited by hermit crabs. It has been argued that the differential distribution of the polyps in their natural environment largely reflects the distribution of the natural metamorphosis-inducing cues. In the case of H. echinata, bacteria of the genus Alteromonas were argued to meet these conditions. We found that almost all substrates collected in the littoral to induce metamorphosis in H. echinata, and several bacterial strains isolated from the sea, including the common E. coli, induce metamorphosis efficiently. In A. aurita metamorphosis may be induced by the water-air interface, whereby metamorphosis precedes (final) settlement.

  18. Amphibian monitoring in the Atchafalaya Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waddle, Hardin

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians are a diverse group of animals that includes frogs, toads, and salamanders. They are adapted to living in a variety of habitats, but most require water for at least one life stage. Amphibians have recently become a worldwide conservation concern because of declines and extinctions even in remote protected areas previously thought to be safe from the pressures of habitat loss and degradation. Amphibians are an important part of ecosystem dynamics because they can be quite abundant and serve both as a predator of smaller organisms and as prey to a suite of vertebrate predators. Their permeable skin and aquatic life history also make them useful as indicators of ecosystem health. Since 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey has been studying the frog and toad species inhabiting the Atchafalaya Basin to monitor for population declines and to better understand how the species are potentially affected by disease, environmental contaminants, and climate change.

  19. Emesis and Space Motion Sickness in Amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naitoh, T.; Yamashita, M.; Izumi-Kurotani, A.; Takabatake, I.; Wassersug, R. J.

    Amphibians possess the ability to vomit in response to a variety of stimuli that provoke emesis in mammals. Pharmacological studies have establish that the ejection of gastric contents and the basic mechanism for vomiting have been phylogenetically conserved among these tetrapods. As part of on-going comparative studies on emesis in vertebrates, we previously documented that some postmetamorphic anurans and salamander larvae experience motion-induced emesis when exposed to the provocative stimulus of parabolic aircraft flight. However, more recent experiments suggest that there are strict conditions for inducing emesis in amphibians exposed to parabolic flight and that amphibians are not as sensitive to this stimulus as mammals. Further studies on emesis in lower vertebrates may help us understand the processes that cause emesis in abnormal gravitational regimes

  20. Microbiota and mucosal immunity in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Colombo, Bruno M; Scalvenzi, Thibault; Benlamara, Sarah; Pollet, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota. PMID:25821449

  1. Design of an Amphibian Exploring Robot

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maity, Atanu; Majumder, Somajyoti

    2014-07-01

    To design and develop an amphibian exploring robot capable of operation in constrained mine environment puts a tremendous challenge to the system developers from both scientific and engineering perspective. Very few attempts have been made to fulfil these criteria of versatility in design, communication and control. The CSIR-CMERI developed amphibian subterranean robotic explorer (SR) is capable of moving over fairly rough terrain. It can swim as well as crawl over basin floor effortlessly. It is capable of operating at a maximum depth of 10m and can swim at 1 knot. A number of field trials have been carried out for performance testing of the system to ascertain its capability in underground flooded mine tunnels. This paper presents the insight on the design of an amphibian exploring robot for mine safety and disaster mitigation with special features of low power consumption vis-a-vis high mission time.

  2. Microbiota and Mucosal Immunity in Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Colombo, Bruno M.; Scalvenzi, Thibault; Benlamara, Sarah; Pollet, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    We know that animals live in a world dominated by bacteria. In the last 20 years, we have learned that microbes are essential regulators of mucosal immunity. Bacteria, archeas, and viruses influence different aspects of mucosal development and function. Yet, the literature mainly covers findings obtained in mammals. In this review, we focus on two major themes that emerge from the comparative analysis of mammals and amphibians. These themes concern: (i) the structure and functions of lymphoid organs and immune cells in amphibians, with a focus on the gut mucosal immune system; and (ii) the characteristics of the amphibian microbiota and its influence on mucosal immunity. Lastly, we propose to use Xenopus tadpoles as an alternative small-animal model to improve the fundamental knowledge on immunological functions of gut microbiota. PMID:25821449

  3. Effects of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup WeatherMax® on metamorphosis of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) in natural wetlands.

    PubMed

    Lanctôt, C; Robertson, C; Navarro-Martín, L; Edge, C; Melvin, S D; Houlahan, J; Trudeau, V L

    2013-09-15

    Amphibian tadpoles develop in aquatic environments where they are susceptible to the effects of pesticides and other environmental contaminants. Glyphosate-based herbicides are currently the most commonly used herbicide in the world and have been shown to affect survival and development of tadpoles under laboratory and mesocosm conditions. In the present study, whole wetland manipulations were used to determine if exposure to an agriculturally relevant application of Roundup WeatherMax(®), a herbicide formulation containing the potassium salt of glyphosate and an undisclosed surfactant, influences the development of wood frog tadpoles (Lithobates sylvaticus) under natural conditions. Wetlands were divided in half with an impermeable curtain so that each wetland contained a treatment and control side. Tadpoles were exposed to two pulses of this herbicide at an environmentally realistic concentration (ERC, 0.21 mg acid equivalent (a.e.)/L) and the predicted maximum environmental concentration (PMEC, 2.89 mg a.e./L), after which abundance, growth, development, and mRNA levels of genes involved in tadpole metamorphosis were measured. Results present little evidence that exposure to this herbicide affects abundance, growth and development of wood frog tadpoles. As part of the Long-term Experimental Wetlands Area (LEWA) project, this research demonstrates that typical agricultural use of Roundup WeatherMax(®) poses minimal risk to larval amphibian development. However, our gene expression data (mRNA levels) suggests that glyphosate-based herbicides have the potential to alter hormonal pathways during tadpole development. PMID:23751794

  4. Common procedures in reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    de la Navarre, Byron J S

    2006-05-01

    Reptiles and amphibians continue to be popular as pets in the United States and throughout the world. It therefore behooves veterinarians interested in caring for these exotic species to continually gather knowledge concerning both their proper husbandry and the conditions that require medical and/or surgical intervention. This article covers husbandry, physical examination, and clinical and diagnostic techniques in an effort to present guidelines for the evaluation of the reptile or amphibian patient. Gathering clinical data will aid veterinarians in arriving at the proper diagnosis,increasing the chances of success with treatment protocols, and educating the clients in proper nutrition and husbandry for their pets. PMID:16759946

  5. Live imaging of muscles in Drosophila metamorphosis: Towards high-throughput gene identification and function analysis.

    PubMed

    Puah, Wee Choo; Wasser, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Time-lapse microscopy in developmental biology is an emerging tool for functional genomics. Phenotypic effects of gene perturbations can be studied non-invasively at multiple time points in chronological order. During metamorphosis of Drosophila melanogaster, time-lapse microscopy using fluorescent reporters allows visualization of alternative fates of larval muscles, which are a model for the study of genes related to muscle wasting. While doomed muscles enter hormone-induced programmed cell death, a smaller population of persistent muscles survives to adulthood and undergoes morphological remodeling that involves atrophy in early, and hypertrophy in late pupation. We developed a method that combines in vivo imaging, targeted gene perturbation and image analysis to identify and characterize genes involved in muscle development. Macrozoom microscopy helps to screen for interesting muscle phenotypes, while confocal microscopy in multiple locations over 4-5days produces time-lapse images that are used to quantify changes in cell morphology. Performing a similar investigation using fixed pupal tissues would be too time-consuming and therefore impractical. We describe three applications of our pipeline. First, we show how quantitative microscopy can track and measure morphological changes of muscle throughout metamorphosis and analyze genes involved in atrophy. Second, our assay can help to identify genes that either promote or prevent histolysis of abdominal muscles. Third, we apply our approach to test new fluorescent proteins as live markers for muscle development. We describe mKO2 tagged Cysteine proteinase 1 (Cp1) and Troponin-I (TnI) as examples of proteins showing developmental changes in subcellular localization. Finally, we discuss strategies to improve throughput of our pipeline to permit genome-wide screens in the future. PMID:26431669

  6. Neuroendocrine regulation of Drosophila metamorphosis requires TGF?/Activin signaling

    PubMed Central

    Gibbens, Ying Y.; Warren, James T.; Gilbert, Lawrence I.; O'Connor, Michael B.

    2011-01-01

    In insects, initiation of metamorphosis requires a surge in the production of the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone from the prothoracic gland, the primary endocrine organ of juvenile larvae. Here, we show that blocking TGF?/Activin signaling, specifically in the Drosophila prothoracic gland, results in developmental arrest prior to metamorphosis. The terminal, giant third instar larval phenotype results from a failure to induce the large rise in ecdysteroid titer that triggers metamorphosis. We further demonstrate that activin signaling regulates competence of the prothoracic gland to receive PTTH and insulin signals, and that these two pathways act at the mRNA and post-transcriptional levels, respectively, to control ecdysone biosynthetic enzyme expression. This dual regulatory circuitry may provide a cross-check mechanism to ensure that both developmental and nutritional inputs are synchronized before initiating the final genetic program leading to reproductive adult development. As steroid hormone production in C. elegans and mammals is also influenced by TGF?/Activin signaling, this family of secreted factors may play a general role in regulating developmental transitions across phyla. PMID:21613324

  7. Metabolism of a Glycosaminoglycan during Metamorphosis in the Japanese Conger eel, Conger myriaster

    PubMed Central

    Kawakami, Yutaka; Oku, Hiromi; Nomura, Kazuharu; Gorie, Shigeaki; Ohta, Hiromi

    2009-01-01

    Hyaluronan (HA) is a linear polysaccharide of high molecular weight that exists as a component of the extracellular matrix. The larvae (leptocephali) of the Japanese conger eel (Anguilliformes: Conger myriaster) have high levels of hyaluronan (HA) which is thought to help control body water content. We isolated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) from Japanese conger eel leptocephali and measured the changes in tissue HA content during metamorphosis. HA content decreased during metamorphosis. In contrast, neutral sugar content increased during metamorphosis. We hypothesize that the leptocephali utilize a metabolic pathway that converts HA to glucose during metamorphosis. Glucose may then be metabolized to glycogen and stored in the juvenile life-history stage. PMID:22820749

  8. Time and size at metamorphosis related to adult fitness in Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Scott, D.E.; Pechmann, J.H.K.

    1988-02-01

    The relationships among timing of metamorphosis, size at metamorphosis, and traits related to adult fitness were studied for 8 yr in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum at a temporary pond. Among years, the modal time of metamorphosis and mean body size at metamorphosis were positively correlated with the date the pond dried. In years that the pond dried late, one group of larvae metamorphosed well before the pond dried, whereas the other group metamorphosed just before pond drying. Mean body size of late-metamorphosing individuals was not greater than that of individuals metamorphosing early. Early-metamorphosing males and females were larger at first and second reproduction than were late-metamorphosing individuals. Independent of timing of metamorphosis, larger juveniles at metamorphosis were also larger adults at first reproduction. Age at first reproduction for males was not associated with timing of or size at metamorphosis but large early-metamorphosing females reproduced at a younger age than did small early-metamorphosing females. Neither time of metamorphosis nor size at metamorphosis was associated with survival to first reproduction. These results demonstrate a direct relationship between phenotypic variation generated in the larval stage and adult traits closely associated with an individual's fitness.

  9. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-based Amphibian Course for Educators.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-01-01

    Introduces an online zoology course that was offered primarily to upper elementary and middle school teachers in which teachers were expected to take action to help the local amphibian population. (Author/YDS)

  10. In situ effects of pesticides on amphibians in the Sierra Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, Donald W.; Bickham, John W.; Cowman, Deborah; Fellers, Gary M.; Lacher, Thomas E., Jr.; Matson, Cole W.; McConnell, Laura

    2015-01-01

    For more than 20 years, conservationists have agreed that amphibian populations around the world are declining. Results obtained through laboratory or mesocosm studies and measurement of contaminant concentrations in areas experiencing declines have supported a role of contaminants in these declines. The current study examines the effects of contaminant exposure to amphibians in situ in areas actually experiencing declines. Early larval Pseudacris regilla were translocated among Lassen Volcanic, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, California, USA and caged in wetlands in 2001 and 2002 until metamorphosis. Twenty contaminants were identified in tadpoles with an average of 1.3–5.9 (maximum = 10) contaminants per animal. Sequoia National Park, which had the greatest variety and concentrations of contaminants in 2001, also had tadpoles that experienced the greatest mortality, slowest developmental rates and lowest cholinesterase activities. Yosemite and Sequoia tadpoles and metamorphs had greater genotoxicity than those in Lassen during 2001, as determined by flow cytometry. In 2001 tadpoles at Yosemite had a significantly higher rate of malformations, characterized as hemimelia (shortened femurs), than those at the other two parks but no significant differences were observed in 2002. Fewer differences in contaminant types and concentrations existed among parks during 2002 compared to 2001. In 2002 Sequoia tadpoles had higher mortality and slower developmental rates but there was no difference among parks in cholinesterase activities. Although concentrations of most contaminants were below known lethal concentrations, simultaneous exposure to multiple chemicals and other stressors may have resulted in lethal and sublethal effects.

  11. Presence of the Amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Native Amphibians Exported from Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Kolby, Jonathan E.

    2014-01-01

    The emerging infectious disease chytridiomycosis is driven by the spread of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd), a highly virulent pathogen threatening global amphibian biodiversity. Although pandemic in distribution, previous intensive field surveys have failed to detect Bd in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot home to hundreds of endemic amphibian species. Due to the presence of Bd in nearby continental Africa and the ecological crisis that can be expected following establishment in Madagascar, enhanced surveillance is imperative. I sampled 565 amphibians commercially exported from Madagascar for the presence of Bd upon importation to the USA, both to assist early detection efforts and demonstrate the conservation potential of wildlife trade disease surveillance. Bd was detected in three animals via quantitative PCR: a single Heterixalus alboguttatus, Heterixalus betsileo, and Scaphiophryne spinosa. This is the first time Bd has been confirmed in amphibians from Madagascar and presents an urgent call to action. Our early identification of pathogen presence prior to widespread infection provides the necessary tools and encouragement to catalyze a swift, targeted response to isolate and eradicate Bd from Madagascar. If implemented before establishment occurs, an otherwise likely catastrophic decline in amphibian biodiversity may be prevented. PMID:24599336

  12. Toxicity of five antidepressant drugs on embryo-larval development and metamorphosis success in the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas.

    PubMed

    Di Poi, C; Evariste, L; Serpentini, A; Halm-Lemeille, M P; Lebel, J M; Costil, K

    2014-12-01

    Unlike conventional pollutants, pharmaceutical residues are continuously discharged at low levels (low to mid ng l(-1) concentrations), which results in the chronic contamination of non-target organisms, but little is known about the effects of these residues. The purpose of this study was to provide the first assessment of the ecotoxicity of five antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors [SSRIs] fluoxetine and sertraline, tricyclic antidepressants [TCAs] clomipramine and amitriptyline, and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor [SNRI] duloxetine) at a wide range of concentrations from 0.1 to 100,000 μg l(-1) on two early life stages in the Pacific oyster. The toxicity was quantified in D-shaped larvae after 36 h of exposure, and in 21-day-old pediveliger larvae after 24 h of exposure using the percentage of normal larval development and the metamorphosis rate as endpoints, respectively. The embryotoxicity assays reported that the EC50 values were within the same range of concentrations (67 to 192 μg l(-1)) for all of the tested molecules. The metamorphosis tests revealed that the antidepressants can be ranked along an increasing severity gradient: clomipramine < amitriptyline < duloxetine ~ fluoxetine. Sertraline appeared to be the less toxic molecule on this endpoint; however, a different concentration range was used. The embryotoxicity test was more sensitive than the metamorphosis bioassay for three of the five molecules tested, but the latter test showed more practical benefits. Overall, the obtained toxicity values were at least 10,000-fold higher than the reported environmental concentrations. PMID:24122267

  13. POTENTIAL DEVELOPMENTAL EFFECTS OF ATRAZINE ON AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent research has generated conflicting results on the effects of atrazine on gonadal developmental (e.g., male hermaphroditism) in amphibians and how these effects influence secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., laryngeal muscle mass). The SAP is being asked to consider the...

  14. Managing Amphibian Disease with Skin Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Woodhams, Douglas C; Bletz, Molly; Kueneman, Jordan; McKenzie, Valerie

    2016-03-01

    The contribution of emerging amphibian diseases to the sixth mass extinction is driving innovative wildlife management strategies, including the use of probiotics. Bioaugmentation of the skin mucosome, a dynamic environment including host and microbial components, may not provide a generalized solution. Multi-omics technologies and ecological context underlie effective implementation. PMID:26916805

  15. Quantitative evidence for global amphibian population declines.

    PubMed

    Houlahan, J E; Findlay, C S; Schmidt, B R; Meyer, A H; Kuzmin, S L

    2000-04-13

    Although there is growing concern that amphibian populations are declining globally, much of the supporting evidence is either anecdotal or derived from short-term studies at small geographical scales. This raises questions not only about the difficulty of detecting temporal trends in populations which are notoriously variable, but also about the validity of inferring global trends from local or regional studies. Here we use data from 936 populations to assess large-scale temporal and spatial variations in amphibian population trends. On a global scale, our results indicate relatively rapid declines from the late 1950s/early 1960s to the late 1960s, followed by a reduced rate of decline to the present. Amphibian population trends during the 1960s were negative in western Europe (including the United Kingdom) and North America, but only the latter populations showed declines from the 1970s to the late 1990s. These results suggest that while large-scale trends show considerable geographical and temporal variability, amphibian populations are in fact declining--and that this decline has been happening for several decades. PMID:10783886

  16. Culture of Cells from Amphibian Embryos.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stanisstreet, Martin

    1983-01-01

    Describes a method for in vitro culturing of cells from amphibian early embryos. Such cells can be used to demonstrate such properties of eukaryote cells as cell motility, adhesion, differentiation, and cell sorting into tissues. The technique may be extended to investigate other factors. (Author/JN)

  17. Universal COI primers for DNA barcoding amphibians.

    PubMed

    Che, Jing; Chen, Hong-Man; Yang, Jun-Xiao; Jin, Jie-Qiong; Jiang, Ke; Yuan, Zhi-Yong; Murphy, Robert W; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2012-03-01

    DNA barcoding is a proven tool for the rapid and unambiguous identification of species, which is essential for many activities including the vouchering tissue samples in the genome 10K initiative, genealogical reconstructions, forensics and biodiversity surveys, among many other applications. A large-scale effort is underway to barcode all amphibian species using the universally sequenced DNA region, a partial fragment of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I COI. This fragment is desirable because it appears to be superior to 16S for barcoding, at least for some groups of salamanders. The barcoding of amphibians is essential in part because many species are now endangered. Unfortunately, existing primers for COI often fail to achieve this goal. Herein, we report two new pairs of primers (➀, ➁) that in combination serve to universally amplify and sequence all three orders of Chinese amphibians as represented by 36 genera. This taxonomic diversity, which includes caecilians, salamanders and frogs, suggests that the new primer pairs will universally amplify COI for the vast majority species of amphibians. PMID:22145866

  18. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Green, D.E.; Converse, K.A.

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians generally are prolific egg producers. In tropical and semi-tropical regions, deposition of eggs may occur year-round or may coincide with rainy seasons, while in temperate regions, deposition of eggs usually occurs immediately after emergence from hibernation. Numbers of eggs produced by each species may vary from a few dozen to thousands. Accordingly, some eggs may be infertile and wastage of embryos is to be expected. Fertility, viability and decomposition of eggs and embryos must be considered before it is assumed that diseases are present. An important consideration in the evaluation of egg masses is the fact that some will contain infertile and non-viable eggs. These infertile and nonviable eggs will undergo decomposition and they may appear similar to eggs that are infected by a pathogen. Evaluation of egg masses and embryos for the presence of disease may require repeated observations in a given breeding season as well as continued monitoring of egg masses during their growth and development and over successive breeding seasons. Amphibian eggs rarely are subjected to a comprehensive health (diagnostic) examination; hence, there is scant literature on the diseases of this life stage. Indeed, the eggs of some North American amphibians have yet to be described. Much basic physiology and normal biomedical baseline data on amphibian eggs is lacking. For example, it is known that the aquatic eggs of some species of shrimp quickly are coated by a protective and commensal bacterium that effectively impedes invasion of the eggs by other environmental organisms and potential pathogens. In the absence of this bacterium, shrimp eggs are rapidly killed by other bacteria and fungi (Green, 2001). The possibility that amphibian eggs also have important symbiotic or commensal bacteria needs to be investigated. Furthermore, the quantity and types of chemicals in the normal gelatinous capsules of amphibian eggs have scarcely been examined. Abnormalities of the female oviduct, either due to infectious disease, nutritional status, hormonal imbalances, or sublethal intoxications, could affect the quality of secreted gelatinous capsules on eggs, thus rendering an egg mass susceptible to other stressors. Diseases of amphibian eggs and embryos presented in this chapter are Lucke frog herpesvirus Ranavirus (iridovirus) infection Bacteria Watermold infection (saprolegniasis) Algae Microsporidia

  19. Chytrid fungus infections in laboratory and introduced Xenopus laevis populations: assessing the risks for U.K. native amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Tinsley, Richard C.; Coxhead, Peter G.; Stott, Lucy C.; Tinsley, Matthew C.; Piccinni, Maya Z.; Guille, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is notorious amongst current conservation biology challenges, responsible for mass mortality and extinction of amphibian species. World trade in amphibians is implicated in global dissemination. Exports of South African Xenopus laevis have led to establishment of this invasive species on four continents. Bd naturally infects this host in Africa and now occurs in several introduced populations. However, no previous studies have investigated transfer of infection into co-occurring native amphibian faunas. A survey of 27 U.K. institutions maintaining X. laevis for research showed that most laboratories have low-level infection, a risk for native species if animals are released into the wild. RT-PCR assays showed Bd in two introduced U.K. populations of X. laevis, in Wales and Lincolnshire. Laboratory and field studies demonstrated that infection levels increase with stress, especially low temperature. In the U.K., native amphibians may be exposed to intense transmission in spring when they enter ponds to spawn alongside X. laevis that have cold-elevated Bd infections. Exposure to cross-infection has probably been recurrent since the introduction of X. laevis, >20 years in Lincolnshire and 50 years in Wales. These sites provide an important test for assessing the impact of X. laevis on Bd spread. However, RT-PCR assays on 174 native amphibians (Bufo, Rana, Lissotriton and Triturus spp.), sympatric with the Bd-infected introduced populations, showed no foci of self-sustaining Bd transmission associated with X. laevis. The abundance of these native amphibians suggested no significant negative population-level effect after the decades of co-occurrence. PMID:25843959

  20. EVIDENCE FOR FIRST YEAR METAMORPHOSIS OF BULLFROGS IN AN EPHEMERAL POND

    EPA Science Inventory

    It is widely accepted that bullfrog ( R catesbeiana) tadpoles in the Pacific Northwest require more than one year for metamorphosis. Often time to metamorphosis increases along a latitudinal gradient. During our pond surveys at the EE Wilson Reserve, we found evidence of first ...

  1. The role of reduced oxygen in the developmental physiology of growth and metamorphosis initiation in Drosophila

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rearing oxygen level is known to affect final body size in a variety of insects, but the physiological mechanisms by which oxygen affects size are incompletely understood. In Manduca and Drosophila, the larval size at which metamorphosis is initiated largely determines adult size, and metamorphosis ...

  2. Establishing causality in the decline and deformity of amphibians: The amphibian research and monitoring initiative model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Little, E.E.; Bridges, C.M.; Linder, G.; Boone, M.

    2003-01-01

    Research to date has indicated that a range of environmental variables such as disease, parasitism, predation, competition, environmental contamination, solar ultraviolet radiation, climate change, or habitat alteration may be responsible for declining amphibian populations and the appearance of deformed organisms, yet in many cases no definitive environmental variable stands out as a causal factor. Multiple Stressors are often present in the habitat, and interactions among these can magnify injury to biota. This raises the possibility that the additive or synergistic impact of these Stressors may be the underlying cause of amphibian declines. Effective management for the restoration of amphibian populations requires the identification of causal factors contributing to their declines. A systematic approach to determine causality is especially important because initial impressions may be misleading or ambiguous. In addition, the evaluation of amphibian populations requires consideration of a broader spatial scale than commonly used in regulatory monitoring. We describe a systematic three-tiered approach to determine causality in amphibian declines and deformities. Tier 1 includes an evaluation of historic databases and extant data and would involve a desktop synopsis of the status of various stressors as well as site visits. Tier 2 studies are iterative, hypothesis driven studies beginning with general tests and continuing with analyses of increasing complexity as certain stressors are identified for further investigation. Tier 3 applies information developed in Tier 2 as predictive indicators of habitats and species at risk over broad landscape scales and provides decision support for the adaptive management of amphibian recovery. This comprehensive, tiered program could provide a mechanistic approach to identifying and addressing specific stressors responsible for amphibian declines across various landscapes.

  3. Differences in sensitivity to the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis among amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Paul W; Gervasi, Stephanie S; Hua, Jessica; Cothran, Rickey D; Relyea, Rick A; Olson, Deanna H; Blaustein, Andrew R

    2015-10-01

    Contributing to the worldwide biodiversity crisis are emerging infectious diseases, which can lead to extirpations and extinctions of hosts. For example, the infectious fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is associated with worldwide amphibian population declines and extinctions. Sensitivity to Bd varies with species, season, and life stage. However, there is little information on whether sensitivity to Bd differs among populations, which is essential for understanding Bd-infection dynamics and for formulating conservation strategies. We experimentally investigated intraspecific differences in host sensitivity to Bd across 10 populations of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) raised from eggs to metamorphosis. We exposed the post-metamorphic wood frogs to Bd and monitored survival for 30 days under controlled laboratory conditions. Populations differed in overall survival and mortality rate. Infection load also differed among populations but was not correlated with population differences in risk of mortality. Such population-level variation in sensitivity to Bd may result in reservoir populations that may be a source for the transmission of Bd to other sensitive populations or species. Alternatively, remnant populations that are less sensitive to Bd could serve as sources for recolonization after epidemic events. PMID:26219571

  4. Metabolomic insights into system-wide coordination of vertebrate metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background After completion of embryogenesis, many organisms experience an additional obligatory developmental transition to attain a substantially different juvenile or adult form. During anuran metamorphosis, the aquatic tadpole undergoes drastic morphological changes and remodelling of tissues and organs to become a froglet. Thyroid hormones are required to initiate the process, but the mechanism whereby the many requisite changes are coordinated between organs and tissues is poorly understood. Metabolites are often highly conserved biomolecules between species and are the closest reflection of phenotype. Due to the extensive distribution of blood throughout the organism, examination of the metabolites contained therein provides a system-wide overview of the coordinated changes experienced during metamorphosis. We performed an untargeted metabolomic analysis on serum samples from naturally-metamorphosing Rana catesbeiana from tadpoles to froglets using ultraperformance liquid chromatography coupled to a mass spectrometer. Total and aqueous metabolite extracts were obtained from each serum sample to select for nonpolar and polar metabolites, respectively, and selected metabolites were validated by running authentic compounds. Results The majority of the detected metabolites (74%) showed statistically significant abundance changes (padj < 0.001) between metamorphic stages. We observed extensive remodelling of five core metabolic pathways: arginine and purine/pyrimidine, cysteine/methionine, sphingolipid, and eicosanoid metabolism and the urea cycle, and found evidence for a major role for lipids during this postembryonic process. Metabolites traditionally linked to human disease states were found to have biological linkages to the system-wide changes occuring during the events leading up to overt morphological change. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first wide-scale metabolomic study of vertebrate metamorphosis identifying fundamental pathways involved in the coordination of this important developmental process and paves the way for metabolomic studies on other metamorphic systems including fish and insects. PMID:24495308

  5. Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA): An Internet-Based Amphibian Course for Educators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murphy, Tony P.

    2001-12-01

    A pilot on-line course on amphibians was offered free to 20 educators around the United States in 1999. This course, called Helping Your Local Amphibians (HYLA), was the first of its kind on-line course for educators dealing with amphibian issues. It also used these animals as a focus to teach about the environment. The course lasted 9 weeks with some additional time for continued discussions and used various aspects of Internet technology (including a virtual conference center), media, and traditional paper-based products to complete the learning process. Five teachers were selected to attend a national amphibian summit hosted by the Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN. The course was aimed primarily at upper elementary and middle school teachers, but participants included formal and nonformal educators. For the most part, educators expressed satisfaction with the course and the content, as well as the structure of the web site. For 80% of the group, this was their first Internet-based course. In addition, as part of the course, the educators were expected to take some action with their primary audiences to help local amphibian populations. This mainly took the form of surveys or habitat clean-ups. The development of the course was underwritten by grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Best Buy Children's Foundation, and Hamline University.

  6. Neurosteroid Biosynthesis in the Brain of Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Vaudry, Hubert; Do Rego, Jean-Luc; Burel, Delphine; Luu-The, Van; Pelletier, Georges; Vaudry, David; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians have been widely used to investigate the synthesis of biologically active steroids in the brain and the regulation of neurosteroid production by neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. The aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomical distribution and biochemical activity of steroidogenic enzymes in the brain of anurans and urodeles. The data accumulated over the past two decades demonstrate that discrete populations of neurons and/or glial cells in the frog and newt brains express the major steroidogenic enzymes and are able to synthesize de novo a number of neurosteroids from cholesterol/pregnenolone. Since neurosteroidogenesis has been conserved during evolution from amphibians to mammals, it appears that neurosteroids must play important physiological functions in the central nervous system of vertebrates. PMID:22649387

  7. Explanation for missing limbs in deformed amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ballengée, Brandon; Sessions, Stanley K

    2009-11-15

    We present evidence that the most commonly found deformities in wild-caught amphibians, those featuring missing limbs and missing limb segments, may be the result of selective predation. Here we report that predatory dragonfly nymphs can severely injure and even fully amputate developing hind limbs of anuran tadpoles. Developmental responses of the injured/amputated tadpole limbs range from complete regeneration to no regeneration, with intermediate conditions represented by various idiosyncratic limb deformities, depending mainly on the developmental stage of the tadpole at the time of injury/amputation. These findings were reinforced by experimental amputations of anuran tadpole hind limbs that resulted in similar deformities. Our studies suggest that selective predation by dragonfly nymphs and other aquatic predators may play a significant role in the most common kinds of limb deformities found in natural populations of amphibians. PMID:19507246

  8. Direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blaustein, Andrew R.; Walls, Susan C.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Searle, Catherine L.; Gervasi, Stephanie S.

    2010-01-01

    As part of an overall decline in biodiversity, populations of many organisms are declining and species are being lost at unprecedented rates around the world. This includes many populations and species of amphibians. Although numerous factors are affecting amphibian populations, we show potential direct and indirect effects of climate change on amphibians at the individual, population and community level. Shifts in amphibian ranges are predicted. Changes in climate may affect survival, growth, reproduction and dispersal capabilities. Moreover, climate change can alter amphibian habitats including vegetation, soil, and hydrology. Climate change can influence food availability, predator-prey relationships and competitive interactions which can alter community structure. Climate change can also alter pathogen-host dynamics and greatly influence how diseases are manifested. Changes in climate can interact with other stressors such as UV-B radiation and contaminants. The interactions among all these factors are complex and are probably driving some amphibian population declines and extinctions.

  9. Emerging infectious diseases and amphibian population declines.

    PubMed Central

    Daszak, P.; Berger, L.; Cunningham, A. A.; Hyatt, A. D.; Green, D. E.; Speare, R.

    1999-01-01

    We review recent research on the pathology, ecology, and biogeography of two emerging infectious wildlife diseases, chytridiomycosis and ranaviral disease, in the context of host-parasite population biology. We examine the role of these diseases in the global decline of amphibian populations and propose hypotheses for the origins and impact of these panzootics. Finally, we discuss emerging infectious diseases as a global threat to wildlife populations. PMID:10603206

  10. Bent's Old Fort: Amphibians and Reptiles

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, E.

    2008-01-01

    Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site sits along the Arkansas River in the semi-desert prairie of southeastern Colorado. The USGS provided assistance in designing surveys to assess the variety of herpetofauna (amphibians and reptiles) resident at this site. This brochure is the results of those efforts and provides visitors with information on what frogs, toads, snakes and salamanders might be seen and heard at Bent's Old Fort.

  11. Amphibians as research models for regenerative medicine

    PubMed Central

    Song, Fengyu; Li, Bingbing

    2010-01-01

    The ability to regenerate bone across a critical size defect would be a marked clinical advance over current methods for dealing with such structural gaps. Here, we briefly review the development of limb bones and the mandible, the regeneration of urodele limbs after amputation, and present evidence that urodele and anuran amphibians represent a valuable research model for the study of segment defect regeneration in both limb bones and mandible. PMID:21197215

  12. The first anionic defensin from amphibians.

    PubMed

    Wei, Lin; Che, Helong; Han, Yi; Lv, Jing; Mu, Lixian; Lv, Lechun; Wu, Jing; Yang, Hailong

    2015-07-01

    A variety of antimicrobial peptides against infection have been identified from the skin of amphibians. However, knowledge on amphibian defensins is very limited. A novel anionic defensin designated PopuDef was purified from the skin of tree frog Polypedates puerensis, and the cDNA encoding PopuDef precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library. The amino acid sequence of PopuDef (net charge: -2, pI: 4.75) shared the highest identity of 57 % (25/44) with the salamander defensin CFBD-1 (net charge: 0, pI: 6.14) from urodela amphibians. PopuDef showed moderate antimicrobial activities against P. aeruginosa and S. aureus (MICs are 19.41 and 17.25 μM, respectively), and relatively weak activities against E. coli and B. subtilis (MICs are 38.82 and 43.14 μM, respectively). Tissue distribution analysis indicated that relatively high expression level of PopuDef mRNA was observed in immune-related tissues including skin, gut, lung and spleen. Furthermore, the expression level of PopuDef was significantly upregulated in these tissues after tree frogs were infected with different bacteria strains mentioned above. Interestingly, the induction of PopuDef challenged with E. coli or B. subtilis, which was less sensitive to PopuDef, was much higher than that did with P. aeruginosa or S. aureus. These findings highlight the key role of PopuDef in innate immunity against infection. To our knowledge, PopuDef is the first anionic defensin characterized from amphibians. PMID:25792112

  13. Meeting ultraviolet B radiation requirements of amphibians in captivity: a case study with mountain chicken frogs (Leptodactylus fallax) and general recommendations for pre-release health screening.

    PubMed

    Tapley, Benjamin; Rendle, Matthew; Baines, Frances M; Goetz, Matthias; Bradfield, Kay S; Rood, David; Lopez, Javier; Garcia, Gerardo; Routh, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Conservation breeding programmes are a tool used to prevent amphibian extinctions. The husbandry requirements of amphibians are complex. Ongoing research is needed to ensure optimal management of those captive-bred animals destined, in particular, for reintroduction. The UV-B and vitamin D3 requirements of amphibians are largely unknown. Metabolic bone disease has been reported in a number of species. These include the Critically Endangered mountain chicken frog (Leptodactylus fallax) reared in captivity on diets supplemented with a high-calcium multivitamin and mineral supplement containing vitamin D3 but without UV-B provision. Captive-bred L. fallax being reared for reintroduction to Montserrat were provided with UV-B radiation from metamorphosis and were fed on insects supplemented with vitamins and minerals. Overlapping heat, light and UV-B gradients were provided, mimicking what we believe best represents the natural situation and thereby facilitated self-regulation of UV-B exposure. A subset of 10 frogs was periodically radiographed to assess skeletal health. Radiographic bone density and anatomical integrity appeared unremarkable when compared with a wild caught L. fallax. In addition to other routine health-screening, we recommend that radiography be performed to a structured schedule on a subset of all captive-bred and reared amphibians to assess skeletal health and to gauge the appropriateness of captive husbandry. We demonstrate here that, through the appropriate provision of a combination of both UV-B radiation and dietary supplementation, L. fallax can be bred and reared in captivity with healthy skeletal development. PMID:25255994

  14. Pesticide Uptake Across the Amphibian Dermis Through Soil and Overspray Exposures

    EPA Science Inventory

    For terrestrial amphibians, accumulation ofpesticides through dermal contact is a primary route ofexposure in agricultural landscapes and may be contributingto widespread amphibian declines. To show pesticidetransfer across the amphibian dermis at permitted labelapplication rates...

  15. Pesticide Detection in Rainwater, Stemflow, and Amphibians from Agricultural Spray Drift in Southern Georgia, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibians are important sentinel environmental species since they integrate stressors from both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Pesticides are well established as a significant stressor for amphibians. In order to study spray-drift contributions to amphibian habitats, pestic...

  16. Ranavirus outbreaks in amphibian populations of northern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Russell, Danelle M.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Sprague, Laura; Waits, Lisette P.; Green, D. Earl; Schuler, Krysten L.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree

    2011-01-01

    Ranavirus outbreaks, caused by pathogens in the genus Ranavirus (Family Iridoviridae), were the largest single cause of reported amphibian mass mortality events in the United States from 1996–2001 (Green et al. 2002). Mortality events associated with ranaviruses have been documented on five continents and throughout the latitudes and elevations where amphibians occur (Gray et al. 2009). However, the threat of ranaviruses to amphibian and reptile populations in specific regions is still largely unknown (Chinchar 2002; Gray et al. 2009).

  17. Amphibian molecular ecology and how it has informed conservation.

    PubMed

    McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Shaffer, H Bradley

    2015-10-01

    Molecular ecology has become one of the key tools in the modern conservationist's kit. Here we review three areas where molecular ecology has been applied to amphibian conservation: genes on landscapes, within-population processes, and genes that matter. We summarize relevant analytical methods, recent important studies from the amphibian literature, and conservation implications for each section. Finally, we include five in-depth examples of how molecular ecology has been successfully applied to specific amphibian systems. PMID:26437125

  18. Ecdysone signaling at metamorphosis triggers apoptosis of Drosophila abdominal muscles.

    PubMed

    Zirin, Jonathan; Cheng, Daojun; Dhanyasi, Nagaraju; Cho, Julio; Dura, Jean-Maurice; Vijayraghavan, Krishnaswamy; Perrimon, Norbert

    2013-11-15

    One of the most dramatic examples of programmed cell death occurs during Drosophila metamorphosis, when most of the larval tissues are destroyed in a process termed histolysis. Much of our understanding of this process comes from analyses of salivary gland and midgut cell death. In contrast, relatively little is known about the degradation of the larval musculature. Here, we analyze the programmed destruction of the abdominal dorsal exterior oblique muscle (DEOM) which occurs during the first 24h of metamorphosis. We find that ecdysone signaling through Ecdysone receptor isoform B1 is required cell autonomously for the muscle death. Furthermore, we show that the orphan nuclear receptor FTZ-F1, opposed by another nuclear receptor, HR39, plays a critical role in the timing of DEOM histolysis. Finally, we show that unlike the histolysis of salivary gland and midgut, abdominal muscle death occurs by apoptosis, and does not require autophagy. Thus, there is no set rule as to the role of autophagy and apoptosis during Drosophila histolysis. PMID:24051228

  19. Ecdysone signaling at metamorphosis triggers apoptosis of Drosophila abdominal muscles

    PubMed Central

    Zirin, Jonathan; Cheng, Daojun; Dhanyasi, Nagaraju; Cho, Julio; Dura, Jean-Maurice; VijayRaghavan, Krishnaswamy; Perrimon, Norbert

    2013-01-01

    One of the most dramatic examples of programmed cell death occurs during Drosophila metamorphosis, when most of the larval tissues are destroyed in a process termed histolysis. Much of our understanding of this process comes from analyses of salivary gland and midgut cell death. In contrast, relatively little is known about the degradation of the larval musculature. Here, we analyze the programmed destruction of the abdominal dorsal exterior oblique muscle (DEOM) which occurs during the first 24 hrs of metamorphosis. We find that ecdysone signaling through Ecdysone receptor isoform B1 is required cell autonomously for the muscle death. Furthermore, we show that the orphan nuclear receptor FTZ-F1, opposed by another nuclear receptor, HR39, plays a critical role in the timing of DEOM histolysis. Finally, we show that unlike the histolysis of salivary gland and midgut, abdominal muscle death occurs by apoptosis, and does not require autophagy. Thus, there is no set rule as to the role of autophagy and apoptosis during Drosophila histolysis. PMID:24051228

  20. Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide.

    PubMed

    Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Young, Bruce E; Rodrigues, Ana S L; Fischman, Debra L; Waller, Robert W

    2004-12-01

    The first global assessment of amphibians provides new context for the well-publicized phenomenon of amphibian declines. Amphibians are more threatened and are declining more rapidly than either birds or mammals. Although many declines are due to habitat loss and overutilization, other, unidentified processes threaten 48% of rapidly declining species and are driving species most quickly to extinction. Declines are nonrandom in terms of species' ecological preferences, geographic ranges, and taxonomic associations and are most prevalent among Neotropical montane, stream-associated species. The lack of conservation remedies for these poorly understood declines means that hundreds of amphibian species now face extinction. PMID:15486254

  1. Analgesia in Amphibians: Preclinical Studies and Clinical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Stevens, Craig W.

    2010-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Preclinical studies of analgesia in amphibians or recommendations for clinical use of analgesics in amphibian species are extremely limited. This article briefly reviews the issues surrounding the use of analgesics in amphibians starting with common definitions of pain and analgesia when applied to non-human animals. Nociceptive and endogenous opioid systems in amphibians are reviewed and results of preclinical research on opioid and non-opioid analgesics summarized. Recommended opioid and non-opioid analgesics are summarized and practical recommendations made for their clinical use. PMID:21074701

  2. Amphibian Decline: An Integrated Analysis of Multiple Stressor Effects

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    Although the effects of contaminants on amphibians have been studied for decades, relatively little is known about these effects compared to the more intensively studied mammals. and birds. Science has advanced its understanding of the complexities linked to declining amphibian populations; however, there are many remaining questions whose answers would directly benefit amphibians and adaptive management plans ministering to them. In an effort to answer those questions and focus on ecological risk assessment of amphibians, scientists, researchers, and resource management professionals from diverse fields participated in a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC)-Johnson Foundation Wingspread conference with three goals: characterize a process that would bring a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis; demonstrate the current state of available technical tools to assess amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors; and focus on identifying research that would likely benefit sustainable populations through adaptive management programs. A result of the Wingspread conference, Amphibian Decline examines the ecotoxicology and stressors of amphibians in an attempt to address issues related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors might have in those losses. It identifies gaps in current data, interprets information into an existing framework, and points toward critical areas for future research. Through the combined efforts of research and resource management communities, recommendations can be developed to change current policies and management actions to address the problem of amphibian decline.

  3. Effects of Delayed Metamorphosis on Larval Survival, Metamorphosis, and Juvenile Performance of Four Closely Related Species of Tropical Sea Urchins (Genus Echinometra)

    PubMed Central

    Rahman, M. Aminur; Yusoff, Fatimah Md.; Arshad, A.; Uehara, Tsuyoshi

    2014-01-01

    We report here, the effects of extended competency on larval survival, metamorphosis, and postlarval juvenile growth of four closely related species of tropical sea urchins, Echinometra sp. A (Ea), E. mathaei (Em), Echinometra sp. C (Ec), and E. oblonga (Eo). Planktotrophic larvae of all four species fed on cultured phytoplankton (Chaetoceros gracilis) attained metamorphic competence within 22–24 days after fertilization. Competent larvae were forced to delay metamorphosis for up to 5 months by preventing them from settling in culture bottles with continuous stirring on a set of 10 rpm rotating rollers and larval survival per monthly intervals was recorded. Larval survival was highest at 24 days, when competence was attained (0 delayed period), and there were no significant differences among the four species. Larvae that had experienced a prolonged delay had reduced survival rate, metamorphosis success, and juvenile survival, but among older larvae, Em had the highest success followed by Ea, Eo, and Ec. Juveniles from larvae of all four species that metamorphosed soon after becoming competent tended to have higher growth rates (test diameter and length of spines) than juveniles from larvae that metamorphosed after a prolonged period of competence with progressively slower growth the longer the prolonged period. Despite the adverse effects of delaying metamorphosis on growth parameters, competent larvae of all four species were able to survive up to 5 months and after metamorphosis grew into 1-month-old juveniles in lab condition. Overall, delayed larvae of Em showed significantly higher larval survival, metamorphosis, and juvenile survival than Ea and Eo, while Ec showed the lowest values in these performances. Em has the most widespread distribution of these species ranging from Africa to Hawaii, while Ec probably has the most restricted distribution. Consequently, differences in distribution may be related to differences in the ability to delay metamorphosis. PMID:24624048

  4. Conceptual Design for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Battaglin, W. A.; Langtimm, C. A.; Adams, M. J.; Gallant, A. L.; James, D. L.

    2001-12-01

    In 2000, the President of the United States (US) and Congress directed Department of Interior (DOI) agencies to develop a program for monitoring trends in amphibian populations on DOI lands and to conduct research into causes of declines. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was given lead responsibility for planning and implementing the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) in cooperation with the National Park Service (NPS), Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management. The program objectives are to (1) establish a network for monitoring the status and distribution of amphibian species on DOI lands; (2) identify and monitor environmental conditions known to affect amphibian populations; (3) conduct research on causes of amphibian population change and malformations; and (4) provide information to resource managers, policy makers, and the public in support of amphibian conservation. The ARMI program will integrate research efforts of USGS, other Federal, and non-federal herpetologists, hydrologists, and geographers across the Nation. ARMI will conduct a small number (~20) of intensive research efforts (for example, studies linking amphibian population changes to hydrologic conditions) and a larger number (~50) of more generalized inventory and monitoring studies encompassing broader areas such as NPS units. ARMI will coordinate with and try to augment other amphibian inventory studies such as the National Amphibian Atlas and the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program. ARMI will develop and test protocols for the standardized collection of amphibian data and provide a centrally managed database designed to simplify data entry, retrieval, and analysis. ARMI pilot projects are underway at locations across the US.

  5. Global rates of habitat loss and implications for amphibian conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gallant, A.L.; Klaver, R.W.; Casper, G.S.; Lannoo, M.J.

    2007-01-01

    A large number of factors are known to affect amphibian population viability, but most authors agree that the principal causes of amphibian declines are habitat loss, alteration, and fragmentation. We provide a global assessment of land use dynamics in the context of amphibian distributions. We accomplished this by compiling global maps of amphibian species richness and recent rates of change in land cover, land use, and human population growth. The amphibian map was developed using a combination of published literature and digital databases. We used an ecoregion framework to help interpret species distributions across environmental, rather than political, boundaries. We mapped rates of land cover and use change with statistics from the World Resources Institute, refined with a global digital dataset on land cover derived from satellite data. Temporal maps of human population were developed from the World Resources Institute database and other published sources. Our resultant map of amphibian species richness illustrates that amphibians are distributed in an uneven pattern around the globe, preferring terrestrial and freshwater habitats in ecoregions that are warm and moist. Spatiotemporal patterns of human population show that, prior to the 20th century, population growth and spread was slower, most extensive in the temperate ecoregions, and largely exclusive of major regions of high amphibian richness. Since the beginning of the 20th century, human population growth has been exponential and has occurred largely in the subtropical and tropical ecoregions favored by amphibians. Population growth has been accompanied by broad-scale changes in land cover and land use, typically in support of agriculture. We merged information on land cover, land use, and human population growth to generate a composite map showing the rates at which humans have been changing the world. When compared with the map of amphibian species richness, we found that many of the regions of the earth supporting the richest assemblages of amphibians are currently undergoing the highest rates of landscape modification. ?? 2007 by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.

  6. Reframing menstruation in India: metamorphosis of the menstrual taboo with the changing media coverage.

    PubMed

    Yagnik, Arpan Shailesh

    2014-01-01

    In this study I hypothesize metamorphosis of the menstrual taboo by examining the image and perception shifts of two social taboos-HIV/AIDS and homosexuality-from estranged taboos to embraced social issues. Trends identified in their media framing and respective image shifts were applied to menstruation in India. Based on my understanding of theory, topic, and geographical location, I construct a metamorphosis. I contribute the hypothesized final stage of metamorphosis, and explain how framing is likely instrumental in bringing about these changes. PMID:24180612

  7. Interacting Symbionts and Immunity in the Amphibian Skin Mucosome Predict Disease Risk and Probiotic Effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Woodhams, Douglas C.; Brandt, Hannelore; Baumgartner, Simone; Kielgast, Jos; Küpfer, Eliane; Tobler, Ursina; Davis, Leyla R.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Bel, Christian; Hodel, Sandro; Knight, Rob; McKenzie, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    Pathogenesis is strongly dependent on microbial context, but development of probiotic therapies has neglected the impact of ecological interactions. Dynamics among microbial communities, host immune responses, and environmental conditions may alter the effect of probiotics in human and veterinary medicine, agriculture and aquaculture, and the proposed treatment of emerging wildlife and zoonotic diseases such as those occurring on amphibians or vectored by mosquitoes. Here we use a holistic measure of amphibian mucosal defenses to test the effects of probiotic treatments and to assess disease risk under different ecological contexts. We developed a non-invasive assay for antifungal function of the skin mucosal ecosystem (mucosome function) integrating host immune factors and the microbial community as an alternative to pathogen exposure experiments. From approximately 8500 amphibians sampled across Europe, we compared field infection prevalence with mucosome function against the emerging fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Four species were tested with laboratory exposure experiments, and a highly susceptible species, Alytes obstetricans, was treated with a variety of temperature and microbial conditions to test the effects of probiotic therapies and environmental conditions on mucosome function. We found that antifungal function of the amphibian skin mucosome predicts the prevalence of infection with the fungal pathogen in natural populations, and is linked to survival in laboratory exposure experiments. When altered by probiotic therapy, the mucosome increased antifungal capacity, while previous exposure to the pathogen was suppressive. In culture, antifungal properties of probiotics depended strongly on immunological and environmental context including temperature, competition, and pathogen presence. Functional changes in microbiota with shifts in temperature provide an alternative mechanistic explanation for patterns of disease susceptibility related to climate beyond direct impact on host or pathogen. This nonlethal management tool can be used to optimize and quickly assess the relative benefits of probiotic therapies under different climatic, microbial, or host conditions. PMID:24789229

  8. First survey for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Connecticut (USA) finds widespread prevalence.

    PubMed

    Richards-Hrdlicka, Kathryn L; Richardson, Jonathan L; Mohabir, Leon

    2013-02-28

    The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is an emerging infectious fungal pathogen of amphibians and is linked to global population declines. Until now, there has only been 1 survey for the fungus in the northeastern USA, which focused primarily on northern New England. We tested for Bd in a large number of samples (916 individuals from 116 sites) collected throughout the state of Connecticut, representing 18 native amphibian species. In addition, 239 preserved wood frog Lithobates sylvaticus tadpoles from throughout the state were screened for the fungus. Bd presence was assessed in both the fresh field swabs and the preserved samples using a sensitive quantitative PCR assay. Our contemporary survey found widespread Bd prevalence throughout Connecticut, occurring in 14 species and in 28% of all sampled animals. No preserved L. sylvaticus specimens tested positive for the fungus. Two common species, bullfrogs R. catesbeiana and green frogs R. clamitans had particularly high infection rates (0.21-0.39 and 0.33-0.42, respectively), and given their wide distribution throughout the state, we suggest they may serve as sentinels for Bd occurrence in this region. Further analyses found that several other factors increase the likelihood of infection, including life stage, host sex, and host family. Within sites, ponds with ranids, especially green frogs, increased the likelihood of Bd prevalence. By studying Bd in populations not facing mass declines, the results from this study are an important contribution to our understanding of how some amphibian species and populations remain infected yet exhibit no signs of chytridiomycosis even when Bd is widely distributed. PMID:23446966

  9. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar

    PubMed Central

    Kolby, Jonathan E.; Smith, Kristine M.; Ramirez, Sara D.; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P.; Brunner, Jesse L.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F.

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease. Standardized population monitoring of key amphibian and reptile species should be established with urgency to enable early detection of potential impacts of disease emergence in this global biodiversity hotspot. PMID:26083349

  10. Rapid Response to Evaluate the Presence of Amphibian Chytrid Fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) and Ranavirus in Wild Amphibian Populations in Madagascar.

    PubMed

    Kolby, Jonathan E; Smith, Kristine M; Ramirez, Sara D; Rabemananjara, Falitiana; Pessier, Allan P; Brunner, Jesse L; Goldberg, Caren S; Berger, Lee; Skerratt, Lee F

    2015-01-01

    We performed a rapid response investigation to evaluate the presence and distribution of amphibian pathogens in Madagascar following our identification of amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, Bd) and ranavirus in commercially exported amphibians. This targeted risk-based field surveillance program was conducted from February to April 2014 encompassing 12 regions and 47 survey sites. We simultaneously collected amphibian and environmental samples to increase survey sensitivity and performed sampling both in wilderness areas and commercial amphibian trade facilities. Bd was not detected in any of 508 amphibian skin swabs or 68 water filter samples, suggesting pathogen prevalence was below 0.8%, with 95% confidence during our visit. Ranavirus was detected in 5 of 97 amphibians, including one adult Mantidactylus cowanii and three unidentified larvae from Ranomafana National Park, and one adult Mantidactylus mocquardi from Ankaratra. Ranavirus was also detected in water samples collected from two commercial amphibian export facilities. We also provide the first report of an amphibian mass-mortality event observed in wild amphibians in Madagascar. Although neither Bd nor ranavirus appeared widespread in Madagascar during this investigation, additional health surveys are required to disentangle potential seasonal variations in pathogen abundance and detectability from actual changes in pathogen distribution and rates of spread. Accordingly, our results should be conservatively interpreted until a comparable survey effort during winter months has been performed. It is imperative that biosecurity practices be immediately adopted to limit the unintentional increased spread of disease through the movement of contaminated equipment or direct disposal of contaminated material from wildlife trade facilities. The presence of potentially introduced strains of ranaviruses suggests that Madagascar's reptile species might also be threatened by disease. Standardized population monitoring of key amphibian and reptile species should be established with urgency to enable early detection of potential impacts of disease emergence in this global biodiversity hotspot. PMID:26083349

  11. All about Amphibians. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape…

  12. Amphibians and Reptiles from Paramakatoi and Kato, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    MacCulloch, Ross D.; Reynolds, Robert P.

    2012-01-01

    We report the herpetofauna of two neighboring upland locations in west-central Guyana. Twenty amphibian and 24 reptile species were collected. Only 40% of amphibians and 12.5% of reptiles were collected in both locations. This is one of the few collections made at upland (750–800 m) locations in the Guiana Shield.

  13. AMPHIBIAN DECLINES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE IN THE EASTERN "MOJAVE DESERT"

    EPA Science Inventory

    A number of amphibian species historically inhabited sparsely distributed wetlands in the Mojave Desert, USA, habitats that have been dramatically altered or eliminated as a result of human activities. The population status and distribution of amphibians were investigated in a 20...

  14. MOJAVE DESERT SPRING: THE AMPHIBIAN POINT OF VIEW

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous springs are scattered throughout the eastern Mojave Desert, most of which are concentrated near the bases of mountain ranges. Spring-fed wetlands in this region comprise nearly all the available habitat for amphibians. We surveyed 128 springs for amphibians and habitat t...

  15. Current and Future Effects of Climate Change on Montane Amphibians

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corn, S.

    2002-05-01

    Breeding phenology of amphibians in inextricably linked to weather, and change in the timing of breeding resulting from climate change may have consequences for the fitness of individuals and may affect persistence of amphibian populations. Amphibians in some north temperate locations have been observed to breed earlier in recent years in response to warmer spring temperatures, but this is not a universal phenomenon. In mountain populations, phenology is influenced by snow deposition as much as temperature. A trend towards earlier breeding, associated with increasing El Niño frequency, may be occurring in the Cascade Mountains in Oregon, but only at lower elevations. There is no evidence for changes in the dates of breeding activity by amphibians in the Rocky Mountains. Too few amphibian species have been studied, and those for which data exist have been studied for too brief a span of years to allow general conclusions about the effects of climate change. However, regardless of whether climate change has contributed to current amphibian declines, changes in temperature and the extent and duration of snow cover predicted for the next century will have increasingly severe consequences for the persistence of some species. Additional observations from amphibian populations, and spatial and temporal modeling of climate variables are needed to generate predictions of past and future breeding phenology, and the effects on amphibian population dynamics.

  16. Amphibian Oasis: Designing and Building a Schoolyard Pond.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gosselin, Heather; Johnson, Bob

    1996-01-01

    Building a pond in a schoolyard is a rewarding way to help boost local populations of amphibians, to increase the natural value of school grounds, and to serve as a locale for observing the life cycles of plants, invertebrates, and amphibians. This article outlines important considerations in designing and building a pond from siting through…

  17. All about Amphibians. Animal Life for Children. [Videotape].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    2000

    This videotape teaches children about their favorite amphibious creatures, as well as amphibians' nearest cousins--toads, newts, and salamanders. Young students discover how these amazing creatures can live both in and out of water, learn about the amphibious life cycle, and compare the differences between amphibians and reptiles. This videotape

  18. Incorporating Amphibian Malformations into Inquiry-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Talley, Brooke L.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibians, a class of vertebrates consisting of frogs and toads, salamanders, and caecilians, are excellent organisms for middle school science students to study because of their ecological significance. Because they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide through their skin, amphibians absorb any chemicals or substances present in their immediate…

  19. Amphibian otoconia in normal and altered gravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Membre, H.; Horn, E.; Dournon, C.

    In vertebrates, the macular end organs of the inner ear are gravity sensing organs. They consist of a neuroepithelium overlaid by a mass of little otoconia or by a single large otolith. These crystallites provide essential informations for orientation and equilibrium. They are mosaic biominerals composed of proteic and inorganic phases. In amphibian adults, the mineral phase is calcium carbonate in the form of calcite or aragonite. The calcitic otoconia with a rhomboedric shape are observed in the utricle of Pleurodeles waltl (urodele amphibian). The aragonitic otoconia with a prismatic or a fusiform shape are observed in the saccule and lagena of Pleurodeles, and in the three gravity-sensing regions of Xenopus laevis (anuran amphibian). The aragonitic biocrystallites are in different proportions depending on the inner ear regions. During the development, in Pleurodeles larvae, we observed that saccular otoconia changed from calcitic to aragonitic form. In Xenopus tadpoles, we observed peculiar otoconia with a rhomboedric-like morphology or a tripartite morphology. We called the latter crystallites cauliflower-like otoconia according to the aspect. We reported our observations performed after two space missions, the experiment Torcol which flew on the French Soyuz taxi flight Perseus to MIR (launch: February 20, 1999; landing: August 28, 1999), and the experiment Aquarius-Xenopus which flew on the French Soyuz taxi flight Andromède to ISS (launch: October 21, 2001; landing: October 31, 2001). After a long journey in space, both calcitic and aragonitic otoconia were altered in Pleurodeles adults. After a short space mission, otoconia with rhomboedric, fusiform or cauliflower-like aspects were observed in Xenopus tadpoles. In these tadpoles, otoconia with rhomboedric aspect were never mixed with the other otoconia types, whereas fusiform otoconia were never alone. Cauliflower-shaped otoconia were alone or associated with fusiform otoconia. The study needs further investigations.

  20. Estrogens Can Disrupt Amphibian Mating Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Hoffmann, Frauke; Kloas, Werner

    2012-01-01

    The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L) can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L), alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline. PMID:22355410

  1. Amphibian XIS: an immersion lithography microstepper platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Bruce W.; Bourov, Anatoly; Fan, Yongfa; Cropanese, Frank; Hammond, Peter

    2005-05-01

    Recent advances in immersion lithography have created the need for a small field microstepper to carry out the early learning necessary for next generation device application. Combined with fluid immersion, multiple-beam lithography can provide an opportunity to explore lithographic imaging at oblique propagation angles and extreme NA imaging. Using the phase preserving properties of Smith Talbot interferometry, the Amphibian XIS immersion lithography microstepper has been created for research and development applications directed toward sub-90nm patterning. The system has been designed for use at ArF and KrF excimer laser wavelengths, based on a fused silica or sapphire prism lens with numerical aperture values up to 1.60. Combined with a chromeless phase grating mask, two and four beam imaging is made possible for feature resolution to 35nm. The approach is combined with X-Y staging to provide immersion imaging on a microstepper platform for substrates ranging up to 300mm. The Amphibian system consists of single or dual wavelength sources (193nm and 248nm), a 2mm exposure field size, stage accuracy better than 1 um, polarization control over a full range from linear polarization to unpolarized illumination, full control of exposure dose and demodulation (to synthesize defocus), and the ability to image both line patterns as well as contact features. A fluid control system allows use of water or alternative fluids, with the ability to change fluids rapidly between wafers. The Amphibian system is fully enclosed in a HEPA and amine controlled environment for use in fab or research environments.

  2. Estrogens can disrupt amphibian mating behavior.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Frauke; Kloas, Werner

    2012-01-01

    The main component of classical contraceptives, 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2), has high estrogenic activity even at environmentally relevant concentrations. Although estrogenic endocrine disrupting compounds are assumed to contribute to the worldwide decline of amphibian populations by adverse effects on sexual differentiation, evidence for EE2 affecting amphibian mating behaviour is lacking. In this study, we demonstrate that EE2 exposure at five different concentrations (0.296 ng/L, 2.96 ng/L, 29.64 ng/L, 2.96 µg/L and 296.4 µg/L) can disrupt the mating behavior of adult male Xenopus laevis. EE2 exposure at all concentrations lowered male sexual arousal, indicated by decreased proportions of advertisement calls and increased proportions of the call type rasping, which characterizes a sexually unaroused state of a male. Additionally, EE2 at all tested concentrations affected temporal and spectral parameters of the advertisement calls, respectively. The classical and highly sensitive biomarker vitellogenin, on the other hand, was only induced at concentrations equal or higher than 2.96 µg/L. If kept under control conditions after a 96 h EE2 exposure (2.96 µg/L), alterations of male advertisement calls vanish gradually within 6 weeks and result in a lower sexual attractiveness of EE2 exposed males toward females as demonstrated by female choice experiments. These findings indicate that exposure to environmentally relevant EE2 concentrations can directly disrupt male mate calling behavior of X. laevis and can indirectly affect the mating behavior of females. The results suggest the possibility that EE2 exposure could reduce the reproductive success of EE2 exposed animals and these effects might contribute to the global problem of amphibian decline. PMID:22355410

  3. Coupling constant metamorphosis, the Staeckel transform and superintegrability

    SciTech Connect

    Post, Sarah

    2010-12-23

    This paper is dedicated to the memory of Marcos Moshinsky. In this paper, we discuss the important role that coupling constant metamorphosis (CCM) and the Staeckel transform have played in the analysis of superintegrable systems. We explain the relation between the two and in particular show that they coincide when transforming between second-order superintegrable systems. Unlike in the case of second-order superintegrability, the quantum analog of CCM has only been proven for a subclass of systems with integrals of a specific form. We give the proof and as an application show the mapping of a family of superintegrable deformations of the simple harmonic oscillator to an associated family of superintegrable deformations of the Kepler-Coulomb potential.

  4. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians.

    PubMed

    Van Bocxlaer, Ines; Roelants, Kim; Biju, S D; Nagaraju, J; Bossuyt, Franky

    2006-01-01

    Overseas dispersals are often invoked when Southern Hemisphere terrestrial and freshwater organism phylogenies do not fit the sequence or timing of Gondwana fragmentation. We used dispersal-vicariance analyses and molecular timetrees to show that two species-rich frog groups, Microhylidae and Natatanura, display congruent patterns of spatial and temporal diversification among Gondwanan plates in the Late Cretaceous, long after the presumed major tectonic break-up events. Because amphibians are notoriously salt-intolerant, these analogies are best explained by simultaneous vicariance, rather than by oceanic dispersal. Hence our results imply Late Cretaceous connections between most adjacent Gondwanan landmasses, an essential concept for biogeographic and palaeomap reconstructions. PMID:17183706

  5. Partners in amphibian and reptile conservation 2013 annual report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Conrad, Paulette M., (Edited By); Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, Priya

    2014-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effect from overexploitation; these animals are also challenged by the perception that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural an cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation of these animals has never been more important.

  6. Carryover effects in amphibians: are characteristics of the larval habitat needed to predict juvenile survival?

    PubMed

    Earl, Julia E; Semlitsch, Raymond D

    2013-09-01

    Carryover effects occur when experiences early in life affect an individual's performance at a later stage. Many studies have shown carryover effects to be important for future performance. However, it is currently unclear whether variation in later environments could overwhelm factors from an earlier life stage. We were interested in whether similar patterns would emerge under the same experimental design with similar taxa. To examine this, we implemented a four-way factorial experimental design with different forestry practices on three species of anurans (each examined in different years) in the aquatic larval environment and terrestrial juvenile environment in outdoor mesocosms in central Missouri, USA. Using Cormack-Jolly-Seber mark-recapture models implemented in program MARK, we investigated whether one environment or both environments best predicted terrestrial juvenile survival. We found only limited evidence of carryover effects for one of three species in one time period. These were the effects of time to metamorphosis and body condition at metamorphosis predicting leopard frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) survival. However, both effects were counterintuitive and/or very weak. For wood frogs (L. sylvaticus), all of the variables predicting survival had confidence intervals that included zero, but very low survival may have limited our ability to estimate parameters. The terrestrial environment was important for predicting survival in both American toads (Anaxyrus americanus) and southern leopard frogs. The partial harvest forest tended to increase survival relative to control forest and early-successional forest in American toads. Alternately, early-successional forest with downed wood removed increased survival for leopard frogs, but this treatment was no different from control forest for American toads. Previous studies have shown negative effects of recent clearcuts on terrestrial amphibians. It appears that vegetative regrowth after just a few years can mitigate these initial negative effects. Our study shows that variation in later environments probably can overwhelm variation from earlier environments. However, previous evidence of carryover effects suggests that more research is needed to predict when carryover effects are likely to occur. PMID:24147414

  7. Nitric Oxide Acts as a Positive Regulator to Induce Metamorphosis of the Ascidian Herdmania momus

    PubMed Central

    Ueda, Nobuo; Degnan, Sandie M.

    2013-01-01

    Marine invertebrates commonly have a biphasic life cycle in which the metamorphic transition from a pelagic larva to a benthic post-larva is mediated by the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Nitric oxide (NO) is synthesised by nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is a client protein of the molecular chaperon heat shock protein 90 (HSP90). It is notable, then, that both NO and HSP90 have been implicated in regulating metamorphosis in marine invertebrates as diverse as urochordates, echinoderms, molluscs, annelids, and crustaceans. Specifically, the suppression of NOS activity by the application of either NOS- or HSP90-inhibiting pharmacological agents has been shown consistently to induce the initiation of metamorphosis, leading to the hypothesis that a negative regulatory role of NO is widely conserved in biphasic life cycles. Further, the induction of metamorphosis by heat-shock has been demonstrated for multiple species. Here, we investigate the regulatory role of NO in induction of metamorphosis of the solitary tropical ascidian, Herdmania momus. By coupling pharmacological treatments with analysis of HmNOS and HmHSP90 gene expression, we present compelling evidence of a positive regulatory role for NO in metamorphosis of this species, in contrast to all existing ascidian data that supports the hypothesis of NO as a conserved negative regulator of metamorphosis. The exposure of competent H. momus larvae to a NOS inhibitor or an NO donor results in an up-regulation of NOS and HSP90 genes. Heat shock of competent larvae induces metamorphosis in a temperature dependent manner, up to a thermal tolerance that approaches 35°C. Both larval/post-larval survival and the appearance of abnormal morphologies in H. momus post-larvae reflect the magnitude of up-regulation of the HSP90 gene in response to heat-shock. The demonstrated role of NO as a positive metamorphic regulator in H. momus suggests the existence of inter-specific adaptations of NO regulation in ascidian metamorphosis. PMID:24019877

  8. The origins of cardiac tissue in the amphibian, Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Mohun, Timothy; Orford, Robert; Shang, Catherine

    2003-08-01

    Understanding the mechanisms that regulate cardiogenesis is of fundamental importance if we are to determine the origins of congenital heart disease or devise effective new therapies for the regeneration of healthy cardiac tissue. Amphibian embryos provide a useful model for such studies because embryos are relatively large, available in large numbers, and robust enough to survive simple microsurgery. Because eggs are shed from the adult prior to fertilization, all stages of embryo development are readily accessible. Furthermore, until swimming tadpole stages, development occurs without growth, using nutrients stored in each cell. These features have three significant experimental consequences: all stages of heart development are readily accessible, explants of embryonic tissue will continue to differentiate in simple salts solution, and the function of individual gene products can be studied by microinjection into embryonic cells. Additionally, because heart function is entirely unnecessary until tadpoles begin feeding, even treatments that cause severe disruption of cardiogenesis are readily amenable to study. This article reviews how the combination of simple embryologic manipulation and direct assays of gene function have been used to investigate the cell interactions necessary for heart formation in Xenopus embryos. PMID:12922021

  9. A model of transcriptional and morphological changes during thyroid hormone-induced metamorphosis of the axolotl.

    PubMed

    Page, Robert B; Monaghan, James R; Walker, John A; Voss, S Randal

    2009-06-01

    Anuran (frog) metamorphosis has long-served as a model of how thyroid hormones regulate post-embryonic development in vertebrates. However, comparatively little is known about urodele (salamander) metamorphosis. We conducted a detailed time-course study of induced metamorphosis in the Mexican axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) that probed metamorphic changes in morphology and gene expression in the skin. Using morphometrics, quantitative PCR, histology, and in situ hybridization we demonstrate that the development of transcriptional markers is fundamental to the resolution of early metamorphic events in axolotls. We then use linear and piecewise linear models to identify a sequence of morphological and transcriptional changes that define larval to adult remodeling events throughout metamorphosis. In addition, we show that transcriptional biomarkers are expressed in specific larval and adult cell populations of the skin and that temporal changes in these biomarkers correlate with tissue remodeling. We compare our results with other studies of natural and induced metamorphosis in urodeles and highlight what appear to be conserved features between urodele and anuran metamorphosis. PMID:19275901

  10. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Alroy, John

    2015-10-20

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  11. Current extinction rates of reptiles and amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Alroy, John

    2015-01-01

    There is broad concern that a mass extinction of amphibians and reptiles is now underway. Here I apply an extremely conservative Bayesian method to estimate the number of recent amphibian and squamate extinctions in nine important tropical and subtropical regions. The data stem from a combination of museum collection databases and published site surveys. The method computes an extinction probability for each species by considering its sighting frequency and last sighting date. It infers hardly any extinction when collection dates are randomized and it provides underestimates when artificial extinction events are imposed. The method also appears to be insensitive to trends in sampling; therefore, the counts it provides are absolute minimums. Extinctions or severe population crashes have accumulated steadily since the 1970s and 1980s, and at least 3.1% of frog species have already disappeared. Based on these data and this conservative method, the best estimate of the global grand total is roughly 200 extinctions. Consistent with previous results, frog losses are heavy in Latin America, which has been greatly affected by the pathogenic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. Extinction rates are now four orders-of-magnitude higher than background, and at least another 6.9% of all frog species may be lost within the next century, even if there is no acceleration in the growth of environmental threats. PMID:26438855

  12. Hypometabolic homeostasis in overwintering aquatic amphibians.

    PubMed

    Boutilier, R G; Donohoe, P H; Tattersall, G J; West, T G

    1997-01-01

    Many amphibians encounter conditions each winter when their body temperature is so low that normal activities are suspended and the animals enter into a state of torpor. In ice-covered ponds or lakes, oxygen levels may also become limiting, thereby forcing animals to endure prolonged periods of severe hypoxia or anoxia. Certain frogs (e.g. Rana temporaria) can dramatically suppress their metabolism in anoxia but are not as tolerant as other facultative vertebrate anaerobes (e.g. turtle, goldfish) of prolonged periods of complete O2 lack. Many overwintering amphibians do, however, tolerate prolonged bouts of severe hypoxia, relying exclusively on cutaneous gas exchange. Rana temporaria overwintering for 2 months in hypoxic water (PO2 approximately 25 mmHg) at 3 degrees C progressively reduce their blood PCO2 to levels characteristic of water-breathing fish. The result is that blood pH rises and presumably facilitates transcutaneous O2 transfer by increasing Hb O2-affinity. Even after months of severe hypoxia, there is no substantial build-up of lactate as the animals continue to rely on cutaneous gas exchange to satisfy the requirements of a suppressed aerobic metabolism. Our recent experiments have shown that the skeletal muscle of frogs oxyconforms in vitro to the amount of O2 available. The cellular basis for the oxyconformation of skeletal muscle is unknown, but the hypothesis driving our continuing experiments theories that metabolic suppression at a cellular level is synonymous with suppressed ion leak across cellular membranes. PMID:9050248

  13. Nitrogen pollution: an assessment of its threat to amphibian survival.

    PubMed Central

    Rouse, J D; Bishop, C A; Struger, J

    1999-01-01

    The potential for nitrate to affect amphibian survival was evaluated by examining the areas in North America where concentrations of nitrate in water occur above amphibian toxicity thresholds. Nitrogen pollution from anthropogenic sources enters bodies of water through agricultural runoff or percolation associated with nitrogen fertilization, livestock, precipitation, and effluents from industrial and human wastes. Environmental concentrations of nitrate in watersheds throughout North America range from < 1 to > 100 mg/L. Of the 8,545 water quality samples collected from states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes, 19.8% contained nitrate concentrations exceeding those which can cause sublethal effects in amphibians. In the laboratory lethal and sublethal effects in amphibians are detected at nitrate concentrations between 2.5 and 100 mg/L. Furthermore, amphibian prey such as insects and predators of amphibians such as fish are also sensitive to these elevated levels of nitrate. From this we conclude that nitrate concentrations in some watersheds in North America are high enough to cause death and developmental anomalies in amphibians and impact other animals in aquatic ecosystems. In some situations, the use of vegetated buffer strips adjacent to water courses can reduce nitrogen contamination of surface waters. Ultimately, there is a need to reduce runoff, sewage effluent discharge, and the use of fertilizers, and to establish and enforce water quality guidelines for nitrate for the protection of aquatic organisms. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 PMID:10504145

  14. Amphibian skin may select for rare environmental microbes.

    PubMed

    Walke, Jenifer B; Becker, Matthew H; Loftus, Stephen C; House, Leanna L; Cormier, Guy; Jensen, Roderick V; Belden, Lisa K

    2014-11-01

    Host-microbe symbioses rely on the successful transmission or acquisition of symbionts in each new generation. Amphibians host a diverse cutaneous microbiota, and many of these symbionts appear to be mutualistic and may limit infection by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has caused global amphibian population declines and extinctions in recent decades. Using bar-coded 454 pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, we addressed the question of symbiont transmission by examining variation in amphibian skin microbiota across species and sites and in direct relation to environmental microbes. Although acquisition of environmental microbes occurs in some host-symbiont systems, this has not been extensively examined in free-living vertebrate-microbe symbioses. Juvenile bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), adult red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), pond water and pond substrate were sampled at a single pond to examine host-specificity and potential environmental transmission of microbiota. To assess population level variation in skin microbiota, adult newts from two additional sites were also sampled. Cohabiting bullfrogs and newts had distinct microbial communities, as did newts across the three sites. The microbial communities of amphibians and the environment were distinct; there was very little overlap in the amphibians' core microbes and the most abundant environmental microbes, and the relative abundances of OTUs that were shared by amphibians and the environment were inversely related. These results suggest that, in a host species-specific manner, amphibian skin may select for microbes that are generally in low abundance in the environment. PMID:24858782

  15. Nitrogen pollution: an assessment of its threat to amphibian survival.

    PubMed

    Rouse, J D; Bishop, C A; Struger, J

    1999-10-01

    The potential for nitrate to affect amphibian survival was evaluated by examining the areas in North America where concentrations of nitrate in water occur above amphibian toxicity thresholds. Nitrogen pollution from anthropogenic sources enters bodies of water through agricultural runoff or percolation associated with nitrogen fertilization, livestock, precipitation, and effluents from industrial and human wastes. Environmental concentrations of nitrate in watersheds throughout North America range from < 1 to > 100 mg/L. Of the 8,545 water quality samples collected from states and provinces bordering the Great Lakes, 19.8% contained nitrate concentrations exceeding those which can cause sublethal effects in amphibians. In the laboratory lethal and sublethal effects in amphibians are detected at nitrate concentrations between 2.5 and 100 mg/L. Furthermore, amphibian prey such as insects and predators of amphibians such as fish are also sensitive to these elevated levels of nitrate. From this we conclude that nitrate concentrations in some watersheds in North America are high enough to cause death and developmental anomalies in amphibians and impact other animals in aquatic ecosystems. In some situations, the use of vegetated buffer strips adjacent to water courses can reduce nitrogen contamination of surface waters. Ultimately, there is a need to reduce runoff, sewage effluent discharge, and the use of fertilizers, and to establish and enforce water quality guidelines for nitrate for the protection of aquatic organisms. PMID:10504145

  16. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  17. Cool temperatures reduce antifungal activity of symbiotic bacteria of threatened amphibians--implications for disease management and patterns of decline.

    PubMed

    Daskin, Joshua H; Bell, Sara C; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Alford, Ross A

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians' skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd's optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata). All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8 °C to 33 °C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs) from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to avoid inconsistent antifungal activity, bacteria evaluated for use in chytridiomycosis biocontrol should be tested over a range of environmental temperatures spanning those likely to be encountered in the field. PMID:24941262

  18. [Strategies for Conservation of Endangered Amphibian and Reptile Species].

    PubMed

    Anan'eva, N B; Uteshev, V K; Orlova, N L; Gakhova, E N

    2015-01-01

    Strategies for conservation of endangered amphibian and reptile species are discussed. One-fifth of all vertebrates belongs to the category of "endangered species," and amphibians are first on the list (41%). Every fifth reptile species is in danger of extinction, and insufficient information is characteristic of every other fifth. As has been demonstrated, efficient development of a network of nature conservation areas, cryopreservation, and methods for laboratory breeding and reintroduction play.the key roles in adequate strategies for preservation of amphibians and reptiles. PMID:26638239

  19. Channel metamorphosis, floodplain disturbance, and vegetation development: Ain River, France

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marston, Richard A.; Girel, Jacky; Pautou, Guy; Piegay, Herve; Bravard, Jean-Paul; Arneson, Chris

    1995-09-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe and explain channel metamorphosis of the Ain River in east-central France and the effects of this metamorphosis on floodplain disturbance and vegetation development. The Ain River is a 195 km long stream originating in the Jura Mountains which flows into the Rhône River between Lyon, France, and Geneva, Switzerland. The lower 40 km of the Ain River, beyond the mountain front, are situated in a valley of outwash deposits where the floodplain is 0.2 to 1.2 km wide. A complex mosaic of floodplain landscape units has developed. Maps dating back to 1766 and six sets of aerial photographs dated between 1945 and 1991 were used to document changes in channel pattern. Aerial photos and field surveys were used to compile maps of landscape units based on dominant vegetation life-forms, species, and substrate. Six maps dated between 1945 and 1991 were digitized in ARC/INFO and an overlay was generated to determine the changes in landscape units as related to channel disturbance. Change from a braided to a single-thread meandering channel probably took place in the period 1930-1950. The process of river entrenchment has occurred throughout the Holocene but has accelerated in the present century due to shortening of the river course, construction of lateral embankments, and vegetation encroachment following reservoir construction and cessation of wood-cutting and grazing. The increase in horizontal channel stability coupled with channel entrenchment have decreased floodplain disturbance and lowered the water table by approximately one meter. Pioneer and disturbance-dependent landscape units have experienced a more terrestrial-like succession to an alluvial forest. Abandoned channels have also been replaced by alluvial forests. On poorly drained soils, shrub-swamp communities of willow and hydrophytic herbaceous plants have been replaced by mixed forests of ash, alder, black poplar, and oak. On well drained alluvial soils, ash and oak dominated hardwood forests have declined in favor of mesophytic stands of black poplar. All types of vegetation, but particularly dry grasslands-shrublands, have been cleared for mines, campgrounds, agriculture, and other types of development. Using several measures, landscape diversity decreased between 1945 and 1991.

  20. ASSESSMENT OF THE RISK OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION TO AMPHIBIANS. II: IN SITU CHARACTERIZATION OF SOLAR ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION IN AMPHIBIAN HABITATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation has been hypothesized as a potential cause of amphibian population declines and increased incidences of malformations. Realistic studies documenting UV irradiance or dose have rarely been conducted in wetlands used by amphibians. We demonstrate that ...

  1. Vestibular Lesion-Induced Developmental Plasticity in Spinal Locomotor Networks during Xenopus laevis Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Beyeler, Anna; Rao, Guillaume; Ladepeche, Laurent; Jacques, André; Simmers, John; Le Ray, Didier

    2013-01-01

    During frog metamorphosis, the vestibular sensory system remains unchanged, while spinal motor networks undergo a massive restructuring associated with the transition from the larval to adult biomechanical system. We investigated in Xenopus laevis the impact of a pre- (tadpole stage) or post-metamorphosis (juvenile stage) unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL) on young adult swimming performance and underlying spinal locomotor circuitry. The acute disruptive effects on locomotion were similar in both tadpoles and juvenile frogs. However, animals that had metamorphosed with a preceding UL expressed restored swimming behavior at the juvenile stage, whereas animals lesioned after metamorphosis never recovered. Whilst kinematic and electrophysiological analyses of the propulsive system showed no significant differences in either juvenile group, a 3D biomechanical simulation suggested that an asymmetry in the dynamic control of posture during swimming could account for the behavioral restoration observed in animals that had been labyrinthectomized before metamorphosis. This hypothesis was subsequently supported by in vivo electromyography during free swimming and in vitro recordings from isolated brainstem/spinal cord preparations. Specifically, animals lesioned prior to metamorphosis at the larval stage exhibited an asymmetrical propulsion/posture coupling as a post-metamorphic young adult. This developmental alteration was accompanied by an ipsilesional decrease in propriospinal coordination that is normally established in strict left-right symmetry during metamorphosis in order to synchronize dorsal trunk muscle contractions with bilateral hindlimb extensions in the swimming adult. Our data thus suggest that a disequilibrium in descending vestibulospinal information during Xenopus metamorphosis leads to an altered assembly of adult spinal locomotor circuitry. This in turn enables an adaptive compensation for the dynamic postural asymmetry induced by the vestibular imbalance and the restoration of functionally-effective behavior. PMID:23951071

  2. Orchestrating change: The thyroid hormones and GI-tract development in flatfish metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Gomes, A S; Alves, R N; Rnnestad, I; Power, D M

    2015-09-01

    Metamorphosis in flatfish (Pleuronectiformes) is a late post-embryonic developmental event that prepares the organism for the larval-to-juvenile transition. Thyroid hormones (THs) play a central role in flatfish metamorphosis and the basic elements that constitute the thyroid axis in vertebrates are all present at this stage. The advantage of using flatfish to study the larval-to-juvenile transition is the profound change in external morphology that accompanies metamorphosis making it easy to track progression to climax. This important lifecycle transition is underpinned by molecular, cellular, structural and functional modifications of organs and tissues that prepare larvae for a successful transition to the adult habitat and lifestyle. Understanding the role of THs in the maturation of organs and tissues with diverse functions during metamorphosis is a major challenge. The change in diet that accompanies the transition from a pelagic larvae to a benthic juvenile in flatfish is associated with structural and functional modifications in the gastrointestinal tract (GI-tract). The present review will focus on the maturation of the GI-tract during metamorphosis giving particular attention to organogenesis of the stomach a TH triggered event. Gene transcripts and biological processes that are associated with GI-tract maturation during Atlantic halibut metamorphosis are identified. Gene ontology analysis reveals core biological functions and putative TH-responsive genes that underpin TH-driven metamorphosis of the GI-tract in Atlantic halibut. Deciphering the specific role remains a challenge. Recent advances in characterizing the molecular, structural and functional modifications that accompany the appearance of a functional stomach in Atlantic halibut are considered and future research challenges identified. PMID:24975541

  3. From metamorphosis to maturity in complex life cycles: equal performance of different juvenile life history pathways.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Benedikt R; Hödl, Walter; Schaub, Michael

    2012-03-01

    Performance in one stage of a complex life cycle may affect performance in the subsequent stage. Animals that start a new stage at a smaller size than conspecifics may either always remain smaller or they may be able to "catch up" through plasticity, usually elevated growth rates. We study how size at and date of metamorphosis affected subsequent performance in the terrestrial juvenile stage and lifetime fitness of spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus). We analyzed capture-recapture data of > 3000 individuals sampled during nine years with mark-recapture models to estimate first-year juvenile survival probabilities and age-specific first-time breeding probabilities of toads, followed by model selection to assess whether these probabilities were correlated with size at and date of metamorphosis. Males attained maturity after two years, whereas females reached maturity 2-4 years after metamorphosis. Age at maturity was weakly correlated with metamorphic traits. In both sexes, first-year juvenile survival depended positively on date of metamorphosis and, in males, also negatively on size at metamorphosis. In males, toads that metamorphosed early at a small size had the highest probability to reach maturity. However, because very few toadlets metamorphosed early, the vast majority of male metamorphs had a very similar probability to reach maturity. A matrix projection model constructed for females showed that different juvenile life history pathways resulted in similar lifetime fitness. We found that the effects of date of and size at metamorphosis on different juvenile traits cancelled each other out such that toads that were small or large at metamorphosis had equal performance. Because the costs and benefits of juvenile life history pathways may also depend on population fluctuations, ample phenotypic variation in life history traits may be maintained. PMID:22624219

  4. Amphibian fertilization and development in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, K. A.; Black, S. D.

    1985-01-01

    An experiment investigating the effects of gravity on embryonic development in amphibians is proposed. The planned procedures for the preparation of the frog eggs for launching in the Space Shuttle, for the injection of the eggs with gonadotropin, for the insertion of the eggs into egg chambers, for the storage of one of the chambers in a microgravity area and the second into a centrifuge, and for the fertilization of the eggs are described. The later organogenesis, swimming behavior, cytoplasmic components, cellular formation, neural plate and archenteron expansion, and allometry and expansion of the organ systems will be examined. Normal morphology for embryos and tadpoles developing at microgravity and the formation of the neural plate opposite the sperm entry point meridian are predicted.

  5. Dark adaptaion processes in the amphibian rod.

    PubMed

    Donner, K O

    1977-06-29

    Rod dark adaptation in the amphibian retina appears to be due to three processes: 1. background adaptation, occurring immediately after the extinction of an adapting or bleaching light, 2. intermediate adaptation, that frequently lasts 30 min or more and 3. opsin adaptation, which in the isolated retina where regeneration of rhodopsin is insignificant, is observed a a permanent loss of sensitivity after the completion of intermediate adaptation. Intermediate adaptation is characterized by a linear relation between log threshold and the amount of "retinal" present, a similar relation is obtained between log threshold and the amount of rhodopsin bleached in opsin adaptation. These adaptation processes are discussed in terms of a model of the rod outer segment. PMID:890054

  6. Xenopus laevis Mllerian ducts are sensitive indicators of estrogenic or androgenic chemical exposure in vivo (poster presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is one of a series of Tier 2 test guidelines developed by the US EPA under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and repr...

  7. Xenopus laevis Müllerian ducts are sensitive indicators of estrogenic or androgenic chemical exposure in vivo (poster presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Larval Amphibian Growth and Development Assay (LAGDA) is one of a series of Tier 2 test guidelines developed by the US EPA under the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. The LAGDA was designed to evaluate effects on growth, thyroid-mediated amphibian metamorphosis and repr...

  8. Metamorphosis of a Butterfly-Associated Bacterial Community

    PubMed Central

    Hammer, Tobin J.; McMillan, W. Owen; Fierer, Noah

    2014-01-01

    Butterflies are charismatic insects that have long been a focus of biological research. They are also habitats for microorganisms, yet these microbial symbionts are little-studied, despite their likely importance to butterfly ecology and evolution. In particular, the diversity and composition of the microbial communities inhabiting adult butterflies remain uncharacterized, and it is unknown how the larval (caterpillar) and adult microbiota compare. To address these knowledge gaps, we used Illumina sequencing of 16S rRNA genes from internal bacterial communities associated with multiple life stages of the neotropical butterfly Heliconius erato. We found that the leaf-chewing larvae and nectar- and pollen-feeding adults of H. erato contain markedly distinct bacterial communities, a pattern presumably rooted in their distinct diets. Larvae and adult butterflies host relatively small and similar numbers of bacterial phylotypes, but few are common to both stages. The larval microbiota clearly simplifies and reorganizes during metamorphosis; thus, structural changes in a butterfly's bacterial community parallel those in its own morphology. We furthermore identify specific bacterial taxa that may mediate larval and adult feeding biology in Heliconius and other butterflies. Although male and female Heliconius adults differ in reproductive physiology and degree of pollen feeding, bacterial communities associated with H. erato are not sexually dimorphic. Lastly, we show that captive and wild individuals host different microbiota, a finding that may have important implications for the relevance of experimental studies using captive butterflies. PMID:24466308

  9. Frederick Sanger, Erwin Chargaff, and the metamorphosis of specificity.

    PubMed

    Judson, H F

    1993-12-15

    That a transformation of ruling ideas in genetics and biochemistry took place at the dawn of molecular biology, in the late 1940s, is a commonplace; but the nature and components of that transformation are widely misunderstood. The change is often identified with the importation into biology of new styles of thought and new rigor by the many scientists trained in physics or chemistry who came into the nascent field--notably, Max Delbrück, Max Perutz, Francis Crick, John Kendrew, Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind Franklin. Most generally, the change is supposed to be the realization that genes are made not of protein but of nucleic acid--and this change was initiated, of course, by the work of Oswald Avery and his colleagues. These changes are not mutually exclusive, and both were surely important to the genesis of molecular biology. But logically prior to them, more fundamental, was another transformation in ruling preconceptions, one that has been neglected: the revolution in understanding of the chemical structures--the sequences of subunits--of proteins and of nucleic acids which was wrought by the work of Frederick Sanger and of Erwin Chargaff. This was a metamorphosis in the understanding of biochemical specificity, and while it astonished many biochemists it set free the small groups of those who were beginning to call themselves molecular biologists, enabling them to think of the relationship between genes and proteins in entirely new ways. PMID:8276259

  10. Steroid control of muscle remodeling during metamorphosis in Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Hegstrom, C D; Truman, J W

    1996-04-01

    During metamorphosis in the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta, the abdominal body-wall muscle DEO1 is remodeled to form the adult muscle DE5. The degeneration of muscle DEO1 involves the dismantling of its contractile apparatus followed by the degeneration of muscle nuclei. As some nuclei are degenerating, others begin to incorporate 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), indicating the onset of nuclear proliferation. This proliferation is initially most evident at the site where the motoneuron contacts the muscle remnant. The developmental events involved in muscle remodeling are under the control of the steroid hormones, the ecdysteroids. The loss of the contractile elements of the larval muscle requires the rise and fall of the prepupal peak of ecdysteroids, whereas the subsequent loss of muscle nuclei is influenced by the slight rise in ecdysteroids seen after pupal ecdysis. Incorporation of BrdU by muscle nuclei depends on both the adult peak of the ecdysteroids and contact with the motoneuron. Unilateral axotomy blocks proliferation within the rudiment, but it does not block its subsequent differentiation into a very thin muscle in the adult. PMID:8656216

  11. Trends in Amphibian Occupancy in the United States

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A. W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized. PMID:23717602

  12. An alternative framework for responding to the amphibian crisis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Muths, Erin L.; Fisher, Robert N.

    2015-01-01

    Volumes of data illustrate the severity of the crisis affecting amphibians, where > 32% of amphibians worldwide are threatened with declining populations. Although there have been isolated victories, the current approach to the issue is unsuccessful. We suggest that a radically different approach, something akin to human emergency response management (i.e. the Incident Command System), is one alternative to addressing the inertia and lack of cohesion in responding to amphibian issues. We acknowledge existing efforts and the useful research that has been conducted, but we suggest that a change is warranted and that the identification of a new amphibian chytrid provides the impetus for such a change. Our goal is to recognize that without a centralized effort we (collectively) are likely to fail in responding to this challenge.

  13. Checklist of Helminth parasites of Amphibians from South America.

    PubMed

    Campião, Karla Magalhães; Morais, Drausio Honorio; Dias, Olívia Tavares; Aguiar, Aline; Toledo, Gislayne De Melo; Tavares, Luiz Eduardo Roland; Da Silva, Reinaldo José

    2014-01-01

    Parasitological studies on helminths of amphibians in South America have increased in the past few years. Here, we present a list with summarized data published on helminths of South American amphibians from 1925 to 2012, including a list of helminth parasites, host species, and geographic records. We found 194 reports of helminths parasitizing 185 amphibian species from eleven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Equador, French Guyana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. Helminth biodiversity includes 278 parasite species of the groups Acanthocephala, Nematoda, Cestoda, Monogenea and Trematoda. A list of helminth parasite species per host, and references are also presented. This contribution aims to document the biodiversity of helminth parasites in South American amphibians, as well as identify gaps in our knowledge, which in turn may guide subsequent studies.  PMID:25082165

  14. 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

  15. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States.

    PubMed

    Adams, Michael J; Miller, David A W; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L; Fellers, Gary M; Fisher, Robert N; Sadinski, Walter J; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized. PMID:23717602

  16. CHARACTERIZATION OF RELATIVE SENSITIVITY OF AMPHIBIANS TO ULTRA VIOLET RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Different studies have demonstrated that solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation can adversely affect survival and development of embryonic and larval amphibians. However, because of among-laboratory variations in exposure profiles (artificial vs. natural sunlight; natural sunlight at d...

  17. A database of life-history traits of European amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Moulherat, Sylvain; Calvez, Olivier; Stevens, Virginie M; Clobert, Jean; Schmeller, Dirk S

    2014-01-01

    Abstract In the current context of climate change and landscape fragmentation, efficient conservation strategies require the explicit consideration of life history traits. This is particularly true for amphibians, which are highly threatened worldwide, composed by more than 7400 species, which is constitute one of the most species-rich vertebrate groups. The collection of information on life history traits is difficult due to the ecology of species and remoteness of their habitats. It is therefore not surprising that our knowledge is limited, and missing information on certain life history traits are common for in this species group. We compiled data on amphibian life history traits from literature in an extensive database with morphological and behavioral traits, habitat preferences and movement abilities for 86 European amphibian species (50 Anuran and 36 Urodela species). When it were available, we reported data for males, females, juveniles and tadpoles. Our database may serve as an important starting point for further analyses regarding amphibian conservation. PMID:25425939

  18. ALIEN SPECIES: THEIR ROLE IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES AND RESTORATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Alien species (also referred to as exotic, invasive, introduced, or normative species) have been implicated as causal agents in population declines of many amphibian species. Herein, we evaluate the relative contributions of alien species and other factors in adversely affecting ...

  19. 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

  20. Conservation needs of amphibians in China: a review.

    PubMed

    Xie, Feng; Lau, Michael Wai Neng; Stuart, Simon N; Chanson, Janice S; Cox, Neil A; Fischman, Debra L

    2007-04-01

    The conservation status of all the amphibians in China is analyzed, and the country is shown to be a global priority for conservation in comparison to many other countries of the world. Three Chinese regions are particularly rich in amphibian diversity: Hengduan, Nanling, and Wuyi mountains. Salamanders are more threatened than frogs and toads. Several smaller families show a high propensity to become seriously threatened: Bombinatoridae, Cryptobranchidae, Hynobiidae and Salamandridae. Like other parts of the world, stream-breeding, high-elevation forest amphibians have a much higher likelihood of being seriously threatened. Habitat loss, pollution, and over-harvesting are the most serious threats to Chinese amphibians. Over-harvesting is a less pervasive threat than habitat loss, but it is more likely to drive a species into rapid decline. Five conservation challenges are mentioned with recommendations for the highest priority research and conservation actions. PMID:17447035

  1. Ambient UV-B radiation causes deformities in amphibian embryos

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Blaustein, A.R.; Kiesecker, J.M.; Chivers, D.P.; Anthony, R.G.

    1997-01-01

    There has been a great deal of recent attention on the suspected increase in amphibian deformities. However, most reports of amphibian deformities have been anecdotal, and no experiments in the field under natural conditions have been performed to investigate this phenomenon. Under laboratory conditions, a variety of agents can induce deformities in amphibians. We investigated one of these agents, UV-B radiation, in field experiments, as a cause for amphibian deformities. We monitored hatching success and development in long-toed salamanders under UV-B shields and in regimes that allowed UV-B radiation. Embryos under UV-B shields had a significantly higher hatching rate and fewer deformities, and developed more quickly than those exposed to UV-B. Deformities may contribute directly to embryo mortality, and they may affect an individual's subsequent survival after hatching.

  2. Metabolism of pesticides after dermal exposure to amphibians

    EPA Science Inventory

    Understanding how pesticide exposure to non-target species influences toxicity is necessary to accurately assess the ecological risks these compounds pose. Aquatic, terrestrial, and arboreal amphibians are often exposed to pesticides during their agricultural application resultin...

  3. Trends in amphibian occupancy in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Michael J.; Miller, David A.W.; Muths, Erin; Corn, Paul Stephen; Grant, Evan H. Campbell; Bailey, Larissa L.; Fellers, Gary M.; Fisher, Robert N.; Sadinski, Walter J.; Waddle, Hardin; Walls, Susan C.

    2013-01-01

    Though a third of amphibian species worldwide are thought to be imperiled, existing assessments simply categorize extinction risk, providing little information on the rate of population losses. We conducted the first analysis of the rate of change in the probability that amphibians occupy ponds and other comparable habitat features across the United States. We found that overall occupancy by amphibians declined 3.7% annually from 2002 to 2011. Species that are Red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) declined an average of 11.6% annually. All subsets of data examined had a declining trend including species in the IUCN Least Concern category. This analysis suggests that amphibian declines may be more widespread and severe than previously realized.

  4. Hot bodies protect amphibians against chytrid infection in nature

    PubMed Central

    Rowley, Jodi J. L.; Alford, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Environmental context strongly affects many host-pathogen interactions, but the underlying causes of these effects at the individual level are usually poorly understood. The amphibian chytrid fungus has caused amphibian population declines and extinctions in many parts of the world. Many amphibian species that have declined or have been extirpated by the pathogen in some environments coexist with it in others. Here we show that in three species of rainforest frogs in nature, individuals' probability of infection by the amphibian chytrid fungus was strongly related to their thermal history. Individuals' probability of infection declined rapidly as they spent more time above the pathogen's upper optimum temperature. This relationship can explain population-level patterns of prevalence in nature, and suggests that natural or artificial selection for higher thermal preferences could reduce susceptibility to this pathogen. Similar individual-level insights could improve our understanding of environmental context-dependence in other diseases. PMID:23519020

  5. The effects of the amphibian chytrid fungus, insecticide exposure, and temperature on larval anuran development and survival.

    PubMed

    Rumschlag, Samantha L; Boone, Michelle D; Fellers, Gary

    2014-11-01

    Chytridiomycosis, a disease caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), has been implicated as a cause of amphibian declines. Susceptibility may be influenced by environmental factors that suppress the immune response. The authors conducted a laboratory study to examine the effect of temperature, insecticide exposure, and Bd exposure during larval anuran development. The authors examined the consequences of exposure to Bd, an insecticide (carbaryl or malathion), and static or fluctuating temperature (15 °C, 20 °C, 25 °C, or 15 °C to 25 °C 72-h flux) on larval development through metamorphosis of the Pacific treefrog (Pseudacris regilla). High and fluctuating temperature had negative effects on survival in the presence of Bd. Insecticides inhibited the effects of Bd; time to tail resorption of Pacific treefrogs decreased when tadpoles were exposed to carbaryl. The present study indicates that abiotic factors may play a role in the host-pathogen interactions in this system. PMID:25098758

  6. Exposure to sublethal concentrations of a pesticide or predator cues induces changes in brain architecture in larval amphibians.

    PubMed

    Woodley, Sarah K; Mattes, Brian M; Yates, Erika K; Relyea, Rick A

    2015-11-01

    Naturally occurring environmental factors shape developmental trajectories to produce variable phenotypes. Such developmental phenotypic plasticity can have important effects on fitness, and has been demonstrated for numerous behavioral and morphological traits. However, surprisingly few studies have examined developmental plasticity of the nervous system in response to naturally occurring environmental variation, despite accumulating evidence for neuroplasticity in a variety of organisms. Here, we asked whether the brain is developmentally plastic by exposing larval amphibians to natural and anthropogenic factors. Leopard frog tadpoles were exposed to predator cues, reduced food availability, or sublethal concentrations of the pesticide chlorpyrifos in semi-natural enclosures. Mass, growth, survival, activity, larval period, external morphology, brain mass, and brain morphology were measured in tadpoles and after metamorphosis. Tadpoles in the experimental treatments had lower masses than controls, although developmental rates and survival were similar. Tadpoles exposed to predator cues or a high dose of chlorpyrifos had altered body shapes compared to controls. In addition, brains from tadpoles exposed to predator cues or a low dose of chlorpyrifos were narrower and shorter in several dimensions compared to control tadpoles and tadpoles with low food availability. Interestingly, the changes in brain morphology present at the tadpole stage did not persist in the metamorphs. Our results show that brain morphology is a developmentally plastic trait that is responsive to ecologically relevant natural and anthropogenic factors. Whether these effects on brain morphology are linked to performance or fitness is unknown. PMID:26169394

  7. Work in progress: the renaissance in amphibian embryology.

    PubMed

    Malacinski, G M; Ariizumi, T; Asashima, M

    2000-06-01

    Various historical eras in the distant as well as the recent past of amphibian embryology are briefly reviewed. The concepts which emerged from the early years matured, then were laid to rest for several decades. A resurgence, driven by key discoveries with peptide growth factors, and fueled by modern molecular biology methods, is underway. The future for several amphibian research projects should be promising since interest in basic concepts remains strong, and application of frontier methodologies is yielding novel findings. PMID:10874165

  8. Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Johanna M; Walters, David M; Wesner, Jeff S; Stricker, Craig A; Schmidt, Travis S; Zuellig, Robert E

    2014-09-16

    Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and fractionation of chemical tracers used to establish contaminant biomagnification in food webs, but no framework exists for predicting and managing these effects. We analyzed data from 39 studies of 68 analytes (stable isotopes and contaminants), and found that metamorphosis effects varied greatly. δ(15)N, widely used to estimate relative trophic position in biomagnification studies, was enriched by ∼ 1‰ during metamorphosis, while δ(13)C used to estimate diet, was similar in larvae and adults. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were predominantly lost during metamorphosis leading to ∼ 2 to 125-fold higher larval concentrations and higher exposure risks for predators of larvae compared to predators of adults. In contrast, manufactured organic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls) were retained and concentrated in adults, causing up to ∼ 3-fold higher adult concentrations and higher exposure risks to predators of adult insects. Both food web studies and contaminant management and mitigation strategies need to consider how metamorphosis affects the movement of materials between habitats and ecosystems, with special regard for aquatic-terrestrial linkages. PMID:25136925

  9. Identification of genes differentially expressed during larval molting and metamorphosis of Helicoverpa armigera

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Du-Juan; He, Hong-Juan; Chai, Lian-Qin; Jiang, Xiao-Juan; Wang, Jin-Xing; Zhao, Xiao-Fan

    2007-01-01

    Background Larval molting and metamorphosis are important physiological processes in the life cycle of the holometabolous insect. We used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to identify genes differentially expressed during larval molting and metamorphosis. Results We performed SSH between tissues from a variety of developmental stages, including molting 5th and feeding 6th instar larvae, metamorphically committed and feeding 5th instar larvae, and feeding 5th instar and metamorphically committed larvae. One hundred expressed sequence tags (ESTs) were identified and included 73 putative genes with similarity to known genes, and 27 unknown ESTs. SSH results were further characterized by dot blot, Northern blot, and RT-PCR. The expression levels of eleven genes were found to change during larval molting or metamorphosis, suggesting a functional role during these processes. Conclusion These results provide a new set of genes expressed specifically during larval molt or metamorphosis that are candidates for further studies into the regulatory mechanisms of those stage-specific genes during larval molt and metamorphosis PMID:17588272

  10. Expression of let-7 microRNAs that are involved in Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yuanshuai; Shi, Zhiyi; Wang, Guyue; Zhang, Junling; Li, Wenjuan; Jia, Liang

    2013-06-01

    The let-7 microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small noncoding RNAs, are phylogenetically conserved and temporally expressed and control the proper timing of events during development as heterochronic genes in many animals. Japanese flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) undergoes a metamorphosis from the larval to juvenile form. Here, we identified 21 let-7 miRNA precursors from different genome loci in Japanese flounder. P. olivaceus let-7 miRNAs are widely expressed in adult tissues, highly expressed during metamorphosis, but weakly during embryonic development. Exogenous thyroid hormone (0.1 mg/L), which induces premature metamorphosis, significantly promotes the expression of let-7 miRNAs, while thiourea (30 mg/L), which affects metamorphic arrest, inhibits the expression of let-7 miRNAs in metamorphosis in P. olivaceus. These results show that let-7 miRNAs widely participate in tissue development and metabolism during development and are also involved in regulation of temporal transitions associated with cell proliferation and differentiation during metamorphosis, in P. olivaceus. PMID:23528201

  11. Effects of chemical cues on larval survival, settlement and metamorphosis of abalone Haliotis asinina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiaobing; Bai, Yang; Huang, Bo

    2010-11-01

    Low larval survival, poor settlement, and abnormal metamorphosis are major problems in seed production of donkey-ear abalone Haliotis asinina. We examined the effects of chemical cues including epinephrine, nor-epinephrine, and serotonin on larval survival, settlement, and metamorphosis in order to determine the possibility of using these chemicals to induce the problems. The results show that epinephrine could enhance metamorphosis rate at 10-6 mol/L only but higher concentrations (10-3-10-4 mol/L); and nor-epinephrine could inhibit the performance significantly, and serotonin could increase significantly the performance at a wide-range concentration (10-3-10-6 mol/L). Treatment with serotonin at 10-5 mol/L for 72 hours resulted in the highest settlement rate (42.2%) and survival rate (49.3%), while at 10-4 mol/L for 72 hours resulted in the highest metamorphosis rate (38.8%). Therefore, serotonin may be used as a fast metamorphosis inducer in abalone culture.

  12. Metamorphosis alters contaminants and chemical tracers in insects: implications for food webs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kraus, Johanna M.; Walters, David M.; Wesner, Jeff S.; Stricker, Craig A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Zuellig, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    Insects are integral to most freshwater and terrestrial food webs, but due to their accumulation of environmental pollutants they are also contaminant vectors that threaten reproduction, development, and survival of consumers. Metamorphosis from larvae to adult can cause large chemical changes in insects, altering contaminant concentrations and fractionation of chemical tracers used to establish contaminant biomagnification in food webs, but no framework exists for predicting and managing these effects. We analyzed data from 39 studies of 68 analytes (stable isotopes and contaminants), and found that metamorphosis effects varied greatly. δ15N, widely used to estimate relative trophic position in biomagnification studies, was enriched by 1‰ during metamorphosis, while δ13C used to estimate diet, was similar in larvae and adults. Metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were predominantly lost during metamorphosis leading to 2 to 125-fold higher larval concentrations and higher exposure risks for predators of larvae compared to predators of adults. In contrast, manufactured organic contaminants (such as polychlorinated biphenyls) were retained and concentrated in adults, causing up to 3-fold higher adult concentrations and higher exposure risks to predators of adult insects. Both food web studies and contaminant management and mitigation strategies need to consider how metamorphosis affects the movement of materials between habitats and ecosystems, with special regard for aquatic-terrestrial linkages.

  13. Why Amphibians Are More Sensitive than Mammals to Xenobiotics

    PubMed Central

    Quaranta, Angelo; Bellantuono, Vito; Cassano, Giuseppe; Lippe, Claudio

    2009-01-01

    Dramatic declines in amphibian populations have been described all over the world since the 1980s. The evidence that the sensitivity to environmental threats is greater in amphibians than in mammals has been generally linked to the observation that amphibians are characterized by a rather permeable skin. Nevertheless, a numerical comparison of data of percutaneous (through the skin) passage between amphibians and mammals is lacking. Therefore, in this investigation we have measured the percutaneous passage of two test molecules (mannitol and antipyrine) and three heavily used herbicides (atrazine, paraquat and glyphosate) in the skin of the frog Rana esculenta (amphibians) and of the pig ear (mammals), by using the same experimental protocol and a simple apparatus which minimizes the edge effect, occurring when the tissue is clamped in the usually used experimental device. The percutaneous passage (P) of each substance is much greater in frog than in pig. LogP is linearly related to logKow (logarithm of the octanol-water partition coefficient). The measured P value of atrazine was about 134 times larger than that of glyphosate in frog skin, but only 12 times in pig ear skin. The FoD value (Pfrog/Ppig) was 302 for atrazine, 120 for antipyrine, 66 for mannitol, 29 for paraquat, and 26 for glyphosate. The differences in structure and composition of the skin between amphibians and mammals are discussed. PMID:19888346

  14. Value of artificial habitats for amphibian reproduction in altered landscapes.

    PubMed

    Brand, Adrianne B; Snodgrass, Joel W

    2010-02-01

    Installation and maintenance of stormwater ponds to detain and treat runoff from impervious surfaces is a common method of stormwater control in developed areas. That these ponds capture pollutants, however, is of concern for wildlife species that use the ponds, particularly pond-breeding amphibians. To assess the relative contribution of stormwater ponds to the persistence of amphibian populations in suburban landscapes, we compared amphibian use of stormwater ponds and other available wetlands in suburban and forested watersheds. We surveyed three suburban and three primarily forested first-order watersheds to identify all potential wetlands that might serve as breeding sites for pond-breeding amphibians. We performed call, egg-mass, and larval surveys to measure breeding effort at each wetland in spring and summer 2007 and 2008. In suburban watersheds most (89%) of the wetlands that had breeding activity were either stormwater ponds or otherwise artificial. This pattern was also evident in the forested watersheds, where amphibians were primarily found breeding in wetlands created by past human activity. Late-stage larvae were found only in anthropogenic wetlands in all study areas because the remaining natural wetlands did not hold water long enough for larvae to complete development. Our results suggest that in urban and suburban landscapes with naturally low densities of wetlands, wetlands created by current or historic land uses may be as important to amphibian conservation as natural wetlands or pools and that management strategies directed at urban and suburban landscapes should recognize and incorporate human-created wetlands. PMID:19681986

  15. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats.

    PubMed

    Becker, C Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-06-14

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines. PMID:21628560

  16. Global amphibian declines: perspectives from the United States and beyond

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Densmore, Christine L.

    2011-01-01

    Over recent decades, amphibians have experienced population declines, extirpations and species-level extinctions at an alarming rate. Numerous potential etiologies for amphibian declines have been postulated including climate and habitat degradation. Other potential anthropogenic causes including overexploitation and the frequent introductions of invasive predatory species have also been blamed for amphibian declines. Still other underlying factors may include infectious diseases caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, pathogenic viruses (Ranavirus), and other agents. It is nearly certain that more than one etiology is to blame for the majority of the global amphibian declines, and that these causal factors include some combination of climatological or physical habitat destabilization and infectious disease, most notably chytridiomycosis. Scientific research efforts are aimed at elucidating these etiologies on local, regional, and global scales that we might better understand and counteract the driving forces behind amphibian declines. Conservation efforts as outlined in the Amphibian Conservation Action Plan of 2005 are also being made to curtail losses and prevent further extinctions wherever possible.

  17. Tropical amphibian populations experience higher disease risk in natural habitats

    PubMed Central

    Becker, C. Guilherme; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2011-01-01

    Habitat loss and disease are main drivers of global amphibian declines, yet the interaction between them remains largely unexplored. Here we show that paradoxically, habitat loss is negatively associated with occurrence, prevalence, and infection intensity of the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in amphibian populations in the tropics. At a large spatial scale, increased habitat loss predicted lower disease risk in amphibian populations across Costa Rica and eastern Australia, even after jointly considering the effect of potential biotic and abiotic correlates. Lower host-species richness and suboptimal microclimates for Bd in disturbed habitats are potential mechanisms underlying this pattern. Furthermore, we found that anthropogenic deforestation practices biased to lowlands and natural vegetation remaining in inaccessible highlands explain increased Bd occurrence at higher elevations. At a smaller spatial scale, holding constant elevation, latitude, and macroclimate, we also found a negative relationship between habitat loss, and both Bd prevalence and infection intensity in frog populations in two landscapes of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Our results indicate that amphibians will be disproportionately affected by emerging diseases in pristine environments, and that, paradoxically, disturbed habitats may act as shelters from disease, but only for the very few species that can tolerate deforestation. Thus, tropical amphibian faunas are threatened both by destruction of natural habitats as well as increased disease in pristine forests. To curb further extinctions and develop effective mitigation and restoration programs we must look to interactions between habitat loss and disease, the two main factors at the root of global amphibian declines. PMID:21628560

  18. Predation of Ladybird Beetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Sloggett, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Studies of predation of ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) have focused on a limited number of predator taxa, such as birds and ants, while other potential predators have received limited attention. I here consider amphibians as predators of ladybirds. Published amphibian gut analyses show that ladybirds are quite often eaten by frogs and toads (Anura), with recorded frequencies reaching up to 15% of dietary items. Salamanders (Caudata) eat ladybirds less frequently, probably as their habits less often bring them into contact with the beetles. Amphibians do not appear to be deleteriously affected by the potentially toxic alkaloids that ladybirds possess. Amphibians, especially frogs and toads, use primarily prey movement as a release cue to attack their food; it is thus likely that their ability to discriminate against ladybirds and other chemically defended prey is limited. Because of this poor discriminatory power, amphibians have apparently evolved non-specific resistance to prey defensive chemicals, including ladybird alkaloids. Although amphibian-related ladybird mortality is limited, in certain habitats it could outweigh mortality from more frequently studied predators, notably birds. The gut analyses from the herpetological literature used in this study, suggest that in studying predation of insects, entomologists should consider specialized literature on other animal groups. PMID:26466621

  19. Environmental and historical constraints on global patterns of amphibian richness

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Lauren B; Jetz, Walter

    2007-01-01

    Our knowledge of the broad-scale ecology of vertebrate ectotherms remains very limited. Despite ongoing declines and sensitivity to environmental change, amphibian distributions are particularly poorly understood. We present a global analysis of contemporary environmental and historical constraints on amphibian richness, the first for an ectotherm clade at this scale. Amphibians are presumed to experience environmental constraints distinct from those of better studied endothermic taxa due to their stringent water requirements and the temperature dependence of their energetic costs and performance. Single environmental predictors set upper bounds on, but do not exclusively determine, amphibian richness. Accounting for differing regional histories of speciation and extinction helps resolve triangular or scattered relationships between core environmental predictors and amphibian richness, as the relationships' intercepts or slopes can vary regionally. While the magnitude of richness is strongly determined by regional history, within-region patterns are consistently jointly driven by water and temperature. This confirms that ecophysiological constraints extend to the broad scale. This coupling suggests that shifts in climatic regimes will probably have dramatic consequences for amphibians. Our results illustrate how the environmental and historical explanations of species richness gradients can be reconciled and how the perspectives are complements for understanding broad-scale patterns of diversity. PMID:17327208

  20. Monitoring amphibians in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This report provides an overview of the Park’s amphibians, the factors affecting their distribution, a review of important areas of biodiversity, and a summary of amphibian life history in the Southern Appalachians. In addition, survey techniques are described as well as examples of how the techniques are set up, a critique of what the results tell the observer, and a discussion of the limitations of the techniques and the data. The report reviews considerations for site selection, outlines steps for biosecurity and for processing diseased or dying animals, and provides resource managers with a decision tree on how to monitor the Park’s amphibians based on different levels of available resources. It concludes with an extensive list of references for inventorying and monitoring amphibians. USGS and Great Smoky Mountains National Park biologists need to establish cooperative efforts and training to ensure that congressionally mandated amphibian surveys are performed in a statistically rigorous and biologically meaningful manner, and that amphibian populations on Federal lands are monitored to ensure their long-term survival. The research detailed in this report will aid these cooperative efforts.

  1. Global patterns of diversification in the history of modern amphibians.

    PubMed

    Roelants, Kim; Gower, David J; Wilkinson, Mark; Loader, Simon P; Biju, S D; Guillaume, Karen; Moriau, Linde; Bossuyt, Franky

    2007-01-16

    The fossil record of modern amphibians (frogs, salamanders, and caecilians) provides no evidence for major extinction or radiation episodes throughout most of the Mesozoic and early Tertiary. However, long-term gradual diversification is difficult to reconcile with the sensitivity of present-day amphibian faunas to rapid ecological changes and the incidence of similar environmental perturbations in the past that have been associated with high turnover rates in other land vertebrates. To provide a comprehensive overview of the history of amphibian diversification, we constructed a phylogenetic timetree based on a multigene data set of 3.75 kb for 171 species. Our analyses reveal several episodes of accelerated amphibian diversification, which do not fit models of gradual lineage accumulation. Global turning points in the phylogenetic and ecological diversification occurred after the end-Permian mass extinction and in the late Cretaceous. Fluctuations in amphibian diversification show strong temporal correlation with turnover rates in amniotes and the rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Approximately 86% of modern frog species and >81% of salamander species descended from only five ancestral lineages that produced major radiations in the late Cretaceous and early Tertiary. This proportionally late accumulation of extant lineage diversity contrasts with the long evolutionary history of amphibians but is in line with the Tertiary increase in fossil abundance toward the present. PMID:17213318

  2. Cloning and stage-specific expression of CK-M1 gene during metamorphosis of Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yanjie; Zhang, Quanqi; Qi, Jie; Wang, Zhigang; Wang, Xubo; Sun, Yeying; Zhong, Qiwang; Li, Shuo; Li, Chunmei

    2010-05-01

    The symmetrical body of flatfish larvae changes dramatically into an asymmetrical form after metamorphosis. The molecular mechanisms responsible for this change are poorly understood. As an initial step to clarify these mechanisms, we used representational difference analysis of cDNA for the identification of genes active during metamorphosis in the Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olicaceus. One of the up-regulated genes was identified as creatine kinase muscle type 1 (CK-M1). Sequence analysis of CK-M1 revealed that it spanned 1 708 bp and encoded a protein of 382 amino acids. The overall amino acid sequence of the CK-M1 was highly conserved with those of other organisms. CK-M1 was expressed in adult fish tissues, including skeletal muscle, intestine and gill. Whole mount in-situ hybridization showed that the enhanced expression of CK-M1 expanded from the head to the whole body of larvae as metamorphosis progressed. Quantitative analysis revealed stage-specific high expression of CK-M1 during metamorphosis. The expression level of CK-M1 increased initially and peaked at metamorphosis, decreased afterward, and finally returned to the pre-metamorphosis level. This stage-specific expression pattern suggested strongly that CK-M1 was related to metamorphosis in the Japanese flounder. Its specific role in metamorphosis requires further study.

  3. Multiple stressor effects in relation to declining amphibian populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    2003-01-01

    This book represents the work of several authors who participated in the symposium entitled 'Multiple Stressor Effects in Relation to Declining Amphibian Populations' convened 16-17 April, 2002, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Declines of amphibian populations of varying severity have been observed for many years, and in the last 8 to 10 years considerable progress has been made in documenting the status and distribution of a range of amphibian species. Habitat alteration and destruction are likely linked to many amphibian declines, but a variety of other factors, both anthropogenic and natural, have been observed or proposed to have caused declines or extinctions of amphibian populations. Unfortunately, determining the environmental causes for the decline of many species has proven difficult. The goals of this symposium were three-fold. First, highlight ASTM's historic role in providing a forum for the standardization of amphibian toxicity test methods and the characterization of adverse effects potentially associated with chemical stressors. Second, demonstrate through case studies the current state of technical 'tools' available to biologists, ecologists, environmental scientists and natural resource professionals for assessing amphibian populations exposed to various environmental stressors. And third, characterize a process that brings a range of interdisciplinary technical and management tools to the tasks of causal analysis, especially as those relate to a multiple stressor risk assessment 'mind-set.' As part of the symposium, scientists and resource management professionals from diverse fields including ecotoxicology and chemistry, ecology and field biology, conservation biology, and natural resource management and policy contributed oral presentations and posters that addressed topics related to declining amphibian populations and the role that various stressors have in those losses. The papers contained in this publication reflect the commitment of ASTM International committee E47 on Biological Fate and Environmental Effects to provide timely and comprehensive information to the technical community and the lay-public who have become increasingly aware of amphibians and their current plight. Common themes emphasized throughout the symposium can be found in this issue, including papers focused on (1) toxicity assessment, (2) integrated field and laboratory studies, and (3) causal analysis. In addition to historical accounts of the development of amphibian test methods and contemporary studies illustrating current applications of these methods, this publication addresses future needs by providing contributions focused on research requirements in these areas.

  4. The effect of pinealectomy, continuous light, and continuous darkness on metamorphosis of anadromous sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus L

    SciTech Connect

    Cole, W.C.; Youson, J.H.

    1981-12-01

    The role of the pineal complex in lamprey metamorphosis was investigated by examining the influence of pinealectomy and continuous light and darkness on the initiation of this event in anadromous sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus L. Larval lampreys, which on the basis of a condition factor were considered likely to enter metamorphosis in July, were separated in May of 1979 and 1980 into the following groups: (1) intact controls, (2) sham-operated controls, (3) pinealectomized individuals, (4) those exposed to continuous light, and (5) those exposed to continuous light or dark. The importance of the pineal complex to metamorphosis was supported by morphological evidence that, in all presumably pinealectomized individuals that entered metamorphosis, the complex had apparently not been removed during the surgical procedure. The ways in which the pineal complex may be involved in lamprey metamorphosis are discussed.

  5. Regulation of Drosophila Metamorphosis by Xenobiotic Response Regulators

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Huai; Kerppola, Tom K.

    2013-01-01

    Mammalian Nrf2-Keap1 and the homologous Drosophila CncC-dKeap1 protein complexes regulate both transcriptional responses to xenobiotic compounds as well as native cellular and developmental processes. The relationships between the functions of these proteins in xenobiotic responses and in development were unknown. We investigated the genes regulated by CncC and dKeap1 during development and the signal transduction pathways that modulate their functions. CncC and dKeap1 were enriched within the nuclei in many tissues, in contrast to the reported cytoplasmic localization of Keap1 and Nrf2 in cultured mammalian cells. CncC and dKeap1 occupied ecdysone-regulated early puffs on polytene chromosomes. Depletion of either CncC or dKeap1 in salivary glands selectively reduced early puff gene transcription. CncC and dKeap1 depletion in the prothoracic gland as well as cncCK6/K6 and dKeap1EY5/EY5 loss of function mutations in embryos reduced ecdysone-biosynthetic gene transcription. In contrast, dKeap1 depletion and the dKeap1EY5/EY5 loss of function mutation enhanced xenobiotic response gene transcription in larvae and embryos, respectively. Depletion of CncC or dKeap1 in the prothoracic gland delayed pupation by decreasing larval ecdysteroid levels. CncC depletion suppressed the premature pupation and developmental arrest caused by constitutive Ras signaling in the prothoracic gland; conversely, constitutive Ras signaling altered the loci occupied by CncC on polytene chromosomes and activated transcription of genes at these loci. The effects of CncC and dKeap1 on both ecdysone-biosynthetic and ecdysone-regulated gene transcription, and the roles of CncC in Ras signaling in the prothoracic gland, establish the functions of these proteins in the neuroendocrine axis that coordinates insect metamorphosis. PMID:23408904

  6. Precocious Metamorphosis in the Juvenile Hormone–Deficient Mutant of the Silkworm, Bombyx mori

    PubMed Central

    Daimon, Takaaki; Kozaki, Toshinori; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kobayashi, Isao; Furuta, Kenjiro; Namiki, Toshiki; Uchino, Keiro; Banno, Yutaka; Katsuma, Susumu; Tamura, Toshiki; Mita, Kazuei; Sezutsu, Hideki; Nakayama, Masayoshi; Itoyama, Kyo; Shimada, Toru; Shinoda, Tetsuro

    2012-01-01

    Insect molting and metamorphosis are intricately governed by two hormones, ecdysteroids and juvenile hormones (JHs). JHs prevent precocious metamorphosis and allow the larva to undergo multiple rounds of molting until it attains the proper size for metamorphosis. In the silkworm, Bombyx mori, several “moltinism” mutations have been identified that exhibit variations in the number of larval molts; however, none of them have been characterized molecularly. Here we report the identification and characterization of the gene responsible for the dimolting (mod) mutant that undergoes precocious metamorphosis with fewer larval–larval molts. We show that the mod mutation results in complete loss of JHs in the larval hemolymph and that the mutant phenotype can be rescued by topical application of a JH analog. We performed positional cloning of mod and found a null mutation in the cytochrome P450 gene CYP15C1 in the mod allele. We also demonstrated that CYP15C1 is specifically expressed in the corpus allatum, an endocrine organ that synthesizes and secretes JHs. Furthermore, a biochemical experiment showed that CYP15C1 epoxidizes farnesoic acid to JH acid in a highly stereospecific manner. Precocious metamorphosis of mod larvae was rescued when the wild-type allele of CYP15C1 was expressed in transgenic mod larvae using the GAL4/UAS system. Our data therefore reveal that CYP15C1 is the gene responsible for the mod mutation and is essential for JH biosynthesis. Remarkably, precocious larval–pupal transition in mod larvae does not occur in the first or second instar, suggesting that authentic epoxidized JHs are not essential in very young larvae of B. mori. Our identification of a JH–deficient mutant in this model insect will lead to a greater understanding of the molecular basis of the hormonal control of development and metamorphosis. PMID:22412378

  7. Effects of density on growth, metamorphosis, and survivorship in tadpoles of Scaphiopus holbrooki

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Caldwell, J.P.

    1982-08-01

    Density-dependent aspects of growth, metamorphosis, and survivorship of Scaphiopus holbrooki tadpoles were examined in the laboratory under two experimental regimes. In the first density experiment, the growth index (W) of tadpoles decreased exponentially with density. Mean growth rate varied from 0.023 mL/d at the lowest density to 0.006 mL/d at the highest density. The mean number of days to metamorphic climax was positively associated with the initial density treatment: 27 d at the lowest density to 86 d at the highest density. The body size of tadpoles at metamorphosis showed a concave curvilinear relationship to initial density, indicating tadpoles at the highest densities are apparently capable to growth recovery once released from density stress. The survival of tadpoles decreased exponentially with initial density, from 90% at the lowest density to 20% at the highest initial density. In the second experiment a cross-classified design was used to examine the effects of density and duration of treatment (time) on growth and metamorphosis. Density and time had significant effects on body size at metamorphosis and days to metamorphosis. There was no significant interaction between density and time. These results indicate that the inhibitory effect of density stress varies with the duration of the stress. Scaphiopus holbrooki tadpoles exhibit developmental traits (rapid growth, short larval period, small body size at metamorphosis) that should be favored by natural selection in high density habitats. Dispersability may be a mechanism whereby S. holbrooki can minimize the detrimental effects of density stress.

  8. Phosphoproteome analysis during larval development and metamorphosis in the spionid polychaete Pseudopolydora vexillosa

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The metamorphosis of the spionid polychaete Pseudopolydora vexillosa includes spontaneous settlement onto soft-bottom habitats and morphogenesis that can be completed in a very short time. A previous study on the total changes to the proteome during the various developmental stages of P. vexillosa suggested that little or no de novo protein synthesis occurs during metamorphosis. In this study, we used multicolor fluorescence detection of proteins in 2-D gels for differential analysis of proteins and phosphoproteins to reveal the dynamics of post-translational modification proteins in this species. A combination of affinity chromatography, 2D-PAGE, and mass spectrometry was used to identify the phosphoproteins in pre-competent larvae, competent larvae, and newly metamorphosed juveniles. Results We reproducibly detected 210, 492, and 172 phosphoproteins in pre-competent larvae, competent larvae, and newly metamorphosed juveniles, respectively. The highest percentage of phosphorylation was observed during the competent larval stage. About 64 stage-specific phosphoprotein spots were detected in the competent stage, and 32 phosphoproteins were found to be significantly differentially expressed in the three stages. We identified 38 phosphoproteins, 10 of which were differentially expressed during metamorphosis. These phosphoproteins belonged to six categories of biological processes: (1) development, (2) cell differentiation and integrity, (3) transcription and translation, (4) metabolism, (5) protein-protein interaction and proteolysis, and (6) receptors and enzymes. Conclusion This is the first study to report changes in phosphoprotein expression patterns during the metamorphosis of the marine polychaete P. vexillosa. The higher degree of phosphorylation during the process of attaining competence to settle and metamorphose may be due to fast morphological transitions regulated by various mechanisms. Our data are consistent with previous studies showing a high percentage of phosphorylation during competency in the barnacle Balanus amphitrite and the bryozoan Bugula neritina. The identified phosphoproteins may play an important role during metamorphosis, and further studies on the location and functions of important proteins during metamorphosis are warranted. PMID:21612608

  9. Functional modifications associated with gastrointestinal tract organogenesis during metamorphosis in Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Flatfish metamorphosis is a hormone regulated post-embryonic developmental event that transforms a symmetric larva into an asymmetric juvenile. In altricial-gastric teleost fish, differentiation of the stomach takes place after the onset of first feeding, and during metamorphosis dramatic molecular and morphological modifications of the gastrointestinal (GI-) tract occur. Here we present the functional ontogeny of the developing GI-tract from an integrative perspective in the pleuronectiforme Atlantic halibut, and test the hypothesis that the multiple functions of the teleost stomach develop synchronously during metamorphosis. Results Onset of gastric function was determined with several approaches (anatomical, biochemical, molecular and in vivo observations). In vivo pH analysis in the GI-tract lumen combined with quantitative PCR (qPCR) of α and β subunits of the gastric proton pump (H+/K+-ATPase) and pepsinogen A2 indicated that gastric proteolytic capacity is established during the climax of metamorphosis. Transcript abundance of ghrelin, a putative orexigenic signalling molecule produced in the developing stomach, correlated (p < 0.05) with the emergence of gastric proteolytic activity, suggesting that the stomach’s role in appetite regulation occurs simultaneously with the establishment of proteolytic function. A 3D models series of the GI-tract development indicated a functional pyloric sphincter prior to first feeding. Observations of fed larvae in vivo confirmed that stomach reservoir function was established before metamorphosis, and was thus independent of this event. Mechanical breakdown of food and transportation of chyme through the GI-tract was observed in vivo and resulted from phasic and propagating contractions established well before metamorphosis. The number of contractions in the midgut decreased at metamorphic climax synchronously with establishment of the stomach’s proteolytic capacity and its increased peristaltic activity. Putative osmoregulatory competence of the GI-tract, inferred by abundance of Na+/K+-ATPase α transcripts, was already established at the onset of exogenous feeding and was unmodified by metamorphosis. Conclusions The functional specialization of the GI-tract was not exclusive to metamorphosis, and its osmoregulatory capacity and reservoir function were established before first feeding. Nonetheless, acid production and the proteolytic capacity of the stomach coincided with metamorphic climax, and also marked the onset of the stomach’s involvement in appetite regulation via ghrelin. PMID:24552353

  10. Deciphering amphibian diversity through DNA barcoding: chances and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Vences, Miguel; Thomas, Meike; Bonett, Ronald M; Vieites, David R

    2005-01-01

    Amphibians globally are in decline, yet there is still a tremendous amount of unrecognized diversity, calling for an acceleration of taxonomic exploration. This process will be greatly facilitated by a DNA barcoding system; however, the mitochondrial population structure of many amphibian species presents numerous challenges to such a standardized, single locus, approach. Here we analyse intra- and interspecific patterns of mitochondrial variation in two distantly related groups of amphibians, mantellid frogs and salamanders, to determine the promise of DNA barcoding with cytochrome oxidase subunit I (cox1) sequences in this taxon. High intraspecific cox1 divergences of 7–14% were observed (18% in one case) within the whole set of amphibian sequences analysed. These high values are not caused by particularly high substitution rates of this gene but by generally deep mitochondrial divergences within and among amphibian species. Despite these high divergences, cox1 sequences were able to correctly identify species including disparate geographic variants. The main problems with cox1 barcoding of amphibians are (i) the high variability of priming sites that hinder the application of universal primers to all species and (ii) the observed distinct overlap of intraspecific and interspecific divergence values, which implies difficulties in the definition of threshold values to identify candidate species. Common discordances between geographical signatures of mitochondrial and nuclear markers in amphibians indicate that a single-locus approach can be problematic when high accuracy of DNA barcoding is required. We suggest that a number of mitochondrial and nuclear genes may be used as DNA barcoding markers to complement cox1. PMID:16221604

  11. Translocations of amphibians: Proven management method or experimental technique

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seigel, Richard A.; Dodd, C. Kenneth, Jr.

    2002-01-01

    In an otherwise excellent review of metapopulation dynamics in amphibians, Marsh and Trenham (2001) make the following provocative statements (emphasis added): If isolation effects occur primarily in highly disturbed habitats, species translocations may be necessary to promote local and regional population persistence. Because most amphibians lack parental care, they areprime candidates for egg and larval translocations. Indeed, translocations have already proven successful for several species of amphibians. Where populations are severely isolated, translocations into extinct subpopulations may be the best strategy to promote regional population persistence. We take issue with these statements for a number of reasons. First, the authors fail to cite much of the relevant literature on species translocations in general and for amphibians in particular. Second, to those unfamiliar with current research in amphibian conservation biology, these comments might suggest that translocations are a proven management method. This is not the case, at least in most instances where translocations have been evaluated for an appropriate period of time. Finally, the authors fail to point out some of the negative aspects of species translocation as a management method. We realize that Marsh and Trenham's paper was not concerned primarily with translocations. However, because Marsh and Trenham (2001) made specific recommendations for conservation planners and managers (many of whom are not herpetologists or may not be familiar with the pertinent literature on amphibians), we believe that it is essential to point out that not all amphibian biologists are as comfortable with translocations as these authors appear to be. We especially urge caution about advocating potentially unproven techniques without a thorough review of available options.

  12. Developments in amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction programs.

    PubMed

    Harding, Gemma; Griffiths, Richard A; Pavajeau, Lissette

    2016-04-01

    Captive breeding and reintroduction remain high profile but controversial conservation interventions. It is important to understand how such programs develop and respond to strategic conservation initiatives. We analyzed the contribution to conservation made by amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction since the launch of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) in 2007. We assembled data on amphibian captive breeding and reintroduction from a variety of sources including the Amphibian Ark database and the IUCN Red List. We also carried out systematic searches of Web of Science, JSTOR, and Google Scholar for relevant literature. Relative to data collected from 1966 to 2006, the number of species involved in captive breeding and reintroduction projects increased by 57% in the 7 years since release of the ACAP. However, there have been relatively few new reintroductions over this period; most programs have focused on securing captive-assurance populations (i.e., species taken into captivity as a precaution against extinctions in the wild) and conservation-related research. There has been a shift to a broader representation of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians within programs and an increasing emphasis on threatened species. There has been a relative increase of species in programs from Central and South America and the Caribbean, where amphibian biodiversity is high. About half of the programs involve zoos and aquaria with a similar proportion represented in specialist facilities run by governmental or nongovernmental agencies. Despite successful reintroduction often being regarded as the ultimate milestone for such programs, the irreversibility of many current threats to amphibians may make this an impractical goal. Instead, research on captive assurance populations may be needed to develop imaginative solutions to enable amphibians to survive alongside current, emerging, and future threats. PMID:26306460

  13. Incentive or Habit Learning in Amphibians?

    PubMed Central

    Muzio, Rubn N.; Pistone Creydt, Virginia; Iurman, Mariana; Rinaldi, Mauro A.; Sirani, Bruno; Papini, Mauricio R.

    2011-01-01

    Toads (Rhinella arenarum) received training with a novel incentive procedure involving access to solutions of different NaCl concentrations. In Experiment 1, instrumental behavior and weight variation data confirmed that such solutions yield incentive values ranging from appetitive (deionized water, DW, leading to weight gain), to neutral (300 mM slightly hypertonic solution, leading to no net weight gain or loss), and aversive (800 mM highly hypertonic solution leading to weight loss). In Experiment 2, a downshift from DW to a 300 mM solution or an upshift from a 300 mM solution to DW led to a gradual adjustment in instrumental behavior. In Experiment 3, extinction was similar after acquisition with access to only DW or with a random mixture of DW and 300 mM. In Experiment 4, a downshift from DW to 225, 212, or 200 mM solutions led again to gradual adjustments. These findings add to a growing body of comparative evidence suggesting that amphibians adjust to incentive shifts on the basis of habit formation and reorganization. PMID:22087217

  14. Incentive or habit learning in amphibians?

    PubMed

    Muzio, Rubén N; Pistone Creydt, Virginia; Iurman, Mariana; Rinaldi, Mauro A; Sirani, Bruno; Papini, Mauricio R

    2011-01-01

    Toads (Rhinella arenarum) received training with a novel incentive procedure involving access to solutions of different NaCl concentrations. In Experiment 1, instrumental behavior and weight variation data confirmed that such solutions yield incentive values ranging from appetitive (deionized water, DW, leading to weight gain), to neutral (300 mM slightly hypertonic solution, leading to no net weight gain or loss), and aversive (800 mM highly hypertonic solution leading to weight loss). In Experiment 2, a downshift from DW to a 300 mM solution or an upshift from a 300 mM solution to DW led to a gradual adjustment in instrumental behavior. In Experiment 3, extinction was similar after acquisition with access to only DW or with a random mixture of DW and 300 mM. In Experiment 4, a downshift from DW to 225, 212, or 200 mM solutions led again to gradual adjustments. These findings add to a growing body of comparative evidence suggesting that amphibians adjust to incentive shifts on the basis of habit formation and reorganization. PMID:22087217

  15. Mechanics of Blastopore Closure during Amphibian Gastrulation

    PubMed Central

    Feroze, Rafey; Shawky, Joseph H.; von Dassow, Michelangelo; Davidson, Lance A.

    2014-01-01

    Blastopore closure in the amphibian embryo involves large scale tissue reorganization driven by physical forces. These forces are tuned to generate sustained blastopore closure throughout the course of gastrulation. We describe the mechanics of blastopore closure at multiple scales and in different regions around the blastopore by characterizing large scale tissue deformations, cell level shape change and subcellular F-actin organization and by measuring tissue force production and structural stiffness of the blastopore during gastrulation. We find that the embryo generates a ramping magnitude of force until it reaches a peak force on the order of 0.5 μ Newtons. During this time course, the embryo also stiffens 1.5 fold. Strain rate mapping of the dorsal, ventral and lateral epithelial cells proximal to the blastopore reveals changing patterns of strain rate throughout closure. Cells dorsal to the blastopore, which are fated to become neural plate ectoderm, are polarized and have straight boundaries. In contrast, cells lateral and ventral to the blastopore are less polarized and have tortuous cell boundaries. The F-actin network is organized differently in each region with the highest percentage of alignment occurring in the lateral region. Interestingly F-actin was consistently oriented toward the blastopore lip in dorsal and lateral cells, but oriented parallel to the lip in ventral regions. Cell shape and F-actin alignment analyses reveal different local mechanical environments in regions around the blastopore, which was reflected by the strain rate maps. PMID:25448691

  16. Mystery unsolved: missing limbs in deformed amphibians.

    PubMed

    Skelly, David K; Benard, Michael F

    2010-05-15

    Ballengee and Sessions (2009) claim that predatory attacks by small predators such as Sympetrum dragonfly larvae are sufficient to explain amphibian limb deformities in which the limb is partly or completely missing. This deformity type, the most common in nature, is not well explained by Ribeiroia infection which has also been nominated as a mechanism for limb deformities. We argue that the conclusions of the Ballanegee and Sessions study are not well founded. In part this is because the authors have provided no quantitative analysis of the association between limb deformities and predator densities. Our own data on frequencies of limb deformities suggest that missing hind limbs are often extremely rare even when Sympetrum and other small predators are common. While predatory attacks may contribute to observations of limb deformities, further study will be required to elucidate their role; other potential mechanisms deserve study as well. It is premature, and counterproductive, to draw any conclusions regarding the mechanisms behind the most common limb deformities recorded in natural populations. PMID:19950330

  17. Neotropical Amphibian Declines Affect Stream Ecosystem Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, S.; Pringle, C. M.; Bixby, R. J.; Whiles, M. R.; Lips, K. R.; Brenes, R.; Colon-Gaud, J. C.; Kilham, S.; Hunte-Brown, M.

    2005-05-01

    Global declines of amphibians are well documented, yet effects of these dramatic losses on ecosystem structure and function are poorly understood. As part of a larger collaborative project, we compared two upland Panamanian streams. Both streams are biologically and geologically similar; however, one stream (Fortuna) has recently experienced almost complete extirpation of stream-dwelling frogs, while the other (Cope) still has intact populations. We experimentally excluded tadpoles from localized areas in each stream. We then compared chlorophyll a, algal community composition, ash-free dry mass (AFDM), inorganic matter, and insect assemblages in control and exclusion areas. Additionally, we sampled the natural substrate of both streams monthly for chlorophyll a, algal community composition, AFDM, and inorganic matter. At Cope, chlorophyll a, AFDM, and inorganic matter were greater in areas where tadpoles were excluded than in their presence. Numbers of dominant algal species (e.g., Nupela praecipua and Eunotia siolii) were greater in the exclusion versus control treatments. Monthly sampling of natural substrate indicated higher chlorophyll a and AFDM at Cope compared to Fortuna. Our data suggest that stream-dwelling anuran larvae have significant impacts on algal communities. These results also have implications for predicting the relevance of short-term experimental manipulations to long-term, whole-stream processes.

  18. Adaptive tolerance to a pathogenic fungus drives major histocompatibility complex evolution in natural amphibian populations.

    PubMed

    Savage, Anna E; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2016-03-30

    Amphibians have been affected globally by the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungusBatrachochytrium dendrobatidis(Bd), and we are just now beginning to understand how immunogenetic variability contributes to disease susceptibility. Lineages of an expressed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II locus involved in acquired immunity are associated with chytridiomycosis susceptibility in controlled laboratory challenge assays. Here, we extend these findings to natural populations that vary both in exposure and response toBd We find that MHC alleles and supertypes associated withBdsurvival in the field show a molecular signal of positive selection, while those associated with susceptibility do not, supporting the hypothesis that heritableBdtolerance is rapidly evolving. We compare MHC supertypes to neutral loci to demonstrate where selection versus demography is shaping MHC variability. One population withBdtolerance in nature shows a significant signal of directional selection for the same allele (allele Q) that was significantly associated with survival in an earlier laboratory study. Our findings indicate that selective pressure forBdsurvival drives rapid immunogenetic adaptation in some natural populations, despite differences in environment and demography. Our field-based analysis of immunogenetic variation confirms that natural amphibian populations have the evolutionary potential to adapt to chytridiomycosis. PMID:27009220

  19. Adaptive tolerance to a pathogenic fungus drives major histocompatibility complex evolution in natural amphibian populations

    PubMed Central

    Savage, Anna E.; Zamudio, Kelly R.

    2016-01-01

    Amphibians have been affected globally by the disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and we are just now beginning to understand how immunogenetic variability contributes to disease susceptibility. Lineages of an expressed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II locus involved in acquired immunity are associated with chytridiomycosis susceptibility in controlled laboratory challenge assays. Here, we extend these findings to natural populations that vary both in exposure and response to Bd. We find that MHC alleles and supertypes associated with Bd survival in the field show a molecular signal of positive selection, while those associated with susceptibility do not, supporting the hypothesis that heritable Bd tolerance is rapidly evolving. We compare MHC supertypes to neutral loci to demonstrate where selection versus demography is shaping MHC variability. One population with Bd tolerance in nature shows a significant signal of directional selection for the same allele (allele Q) that was significantly associated with survival in an earlier laboratory study. Our findings indicate that selective pressure for Bd survival drives rapid immunogenetic adaptation in some natural populations, despite differences in environment and demography. Our field-based analysis of immunogenetic variation confirms that natural amphibian populations have the evolutionary potential to adapt to chytridiomycosis. PMID:27009220

  20. Variation in pesticide tolerance of tadpoles among and within species of ranidae and patterns of amphibian decline

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bridges, C.M.; Semlitsch, R.D.

    2000-01-01

    There is significant variation among and within amphibian species with respect to reports of population decline; declining species are often found in environments that are physiograpically similar to environments where the same species is thriving. Because variability exists among organisms in their sensitivity to environmental stressors, it is important to determine the degree of this variation when undertaking conservation efforts. We conducted both lethal (time-to-death) and sublethal (activity change) assays to determine the degree of variation in the sensitivity of tadpoles to a pesticide, carbaryl, at three hierarchical levels: among ranid species, among several populations of a single ranid species (Rana sphenocephala), and within populations of R. sphenocephala. We observed significant variation in time to death among the nine ranid species and among the 10 R. sphenocephala populations we tested. Four out of eight R. sphenocephala populations exhibited significantly different times to death among families. The magnitude of the activity change in response to exposure to sublethal carbaryl levels was significantly different among species and within R. sphenocephala populations. Chemical contamination, at lethal or sublethal levels, can alter natural regulatory processes such as juvenile recruitment in amphibian populations and should be considered a contributing cause of declines in amphibian populations.

  1. A review of the role of contaminants in amphibian declines

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    CONCLUSIONS--Although there are no published studies that demonstrate beyond all doubt that contaminants are involved in long term population declines of amphibians, there is ample evidence and reason to encourage active research and concern about effects. Many contaminants are lethal to amphibians at environmentally realistic concentrations. Acute mortality from these compounds may be difficult to detect because investigators would have to be present shortly after exposures. Chronic mortality may be masked by metapopulation phenomena so that areas that serve as population sinks may be repeatedly recolonized and difficult to identify. Metapopulation dynamics also make it more difficult to define discrete populations. Contaminants also have many sublethal effects on behavior, energetics, malformations, and diverse effects on physiological pathways which, by themselves might not lead to overt death but could alter reproduction or interact with other factors to result in gradual declines in populations. Scientific understanding of these interactions, and of the ecotoxicology of amphibians in general is far behind what is known about birds, fish, and mammals, and research is desperately needed in this area. Some specific suggestions for critically needed research include: (1) Determination of lethal concentrations of common contaminants - pesticides, PAHs, metals--under environmentally realistic conditions of light, temperature, and water chemistry. (2) Better understanding of the effects of long term (weeks, months), low- concentration exposure of persistent pesticides and stable contaminants on amphibians. (3) Development and refinement of bioindicators in amphibians to use in monitoring and screening for potential effects of contaminants in declining amphibian populations. (4) Further studies on the interaction between contaminants and disease agents including immunosuppression in amphibians. (5) Additional research on the interaction between ultraviolet radiation - both UV-A and UV-B--and a broader range of contaminants. (6) Development of models to assess risk in amphibians as related to landscape factors and especially in the aquatic-terrestrial interface. (7) Population survival requires that organisms survive through their entire life cycle; to date, there have been no studies that have examined the responses of amphibians to contaminants in all phases (egg, embryo, larvae and adult) of their life cycles.

  2. Amphibian populations in the terrestrial environment: Is there evidence of declines of terrestrial forest amphibians in northwestern California?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Welsh, H.H., Jr.; Fellers, G.M.; Lind, A.J.

    2007-01-01

    Amphibian declines have been documented worldwide; however the vast majority are species associated with aquatic habitats. Information on the status and trends of terrestrial amphibians is almost entirely lacking. Here we use data collected across a 12-yr period (sampling from 1984-86 and from 1993-95) to address the question of whether evidence exists for declines among terrestrial amphibians in northwestern California forests. The majority of amphibians, both species and relative numbers, in these forests are direct-developing salamanders of the family Plethodontidae. We examined amphibian richness and evenness, and the relative abundances of the four most common species of plethodontid salamanders. We examined evidence of differences between years in two ecological provinces (coastal and interior) and across young, mature, and late seral forests and with reference to a moisture gradient from xeric to hydric within late seral forests. We found evidence of declines in species richness across years on late seral mesic stands and in the coastal ecological province, but these differences appeared to be caused by differences in the detection of rarer species, rather than evidence of an overall pattern. We also found differences among specific years in numbers of individuals of the most abundant species, Ensatina eschscholtzii, but these differences also failed to reflect a consistent pattern of declines between the two decadal sample periods. Results showing differences in richness, evenness, and relative abundances along both the seral and moisture continua were consistent with previous research. Overall, we found no compelling evidence of a downward trend in terrestrial plethodontid salamanders. We believe that continued monitoring of terrestrial salamander populations is important to understanding mechanisms of population declines in amphibian species. Copyright 2007 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.

  3. Advective and diffusive dermal processes for estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background/Question/Methods Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Historically, evaluation of pesticide risk to both amphibians and reptiles has been achieved by comparing ingestion and inhalat...

  4. Investigating the Influence of Environmental Factors on Pesticide Exposure in Amphibians

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental factors such as temporal weather patterns and soil characterization coupled with pesticide application rates are known to influence exposure and subsequent absorption of these compounds in amphibians. Amphibians are a unique class of vertebrates due to their varied ...

  5. Annual Report: 2014: Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weir, Linda A.; Nanjappa, P.; Apodaca, J. J.; Williams, J.

    2015-01-01

    Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (PARC) was established in 1999 to address the widespread declines, extinctions, and range reductions of amphibians and reptiles, with a focus on conservation of taxa and habitats in North America. Amphibians and reptiles are affected by a broad range of human activities, both as incidental effects of habitat alteration and direct effects from overexploitation; these animals are also burdened by humans attitudes – that amphibians and reptiles are either dangerous or of little environmental or economic value. However, PARC members understand these taxa are important parts of our natural and cultural heritage and they serve important roles in ecosystems throughout the world. With many amphibians and reptiles classified as threatened with extinction, conservation to ensure healthy populations of these animals has never been more important. As you will see herein, PARC’s 15th anniversary has been marked with major accomplishments and an ever-increasing momentum. With your help, PARC can continue to build on its successes and protect these vital species.

  6. Estimating terrestrial amphibian pesticide body burden through dermal exposure.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Glinski, Donna A; Hong, Tao; Cyterski, Mike; Henderson, W Matthew; Purucker, S Thomas

    2014-10-01

    Dermal exposure presents a potentially significant but understudied route for pesticide uptake in terrestrial amphibians. Our study measured dermal uptake of pesticides of varying hydrophobicity (logKow) in frogs. Amphibians were indirectly exposed to one of five pesticide active ingredients through contact with contaminated soil: imidacloprid (logKow = 0.57), atrazine (logKow = 2.5), triadimefon (logKow = 3.0), fipronil (logKow = 4.11) or pendimethalin (logKow = 5.18). All amphibians had measurable body burdens at the end of the exposure in concentrations ranging from 0.019 to 14.562 μg/g across the pesticides tested. Atrazine produced the greatest body burdens and bioconcentration factors, but fipronil was more permeable to amphibian skin when application rate was considered. Soil partition coefficient and water solubility were much better predictors of pesticide body burden, bioconcentration factor, and skin permeability than logKow. Dermal uptake data can be used to improve risk estimates of pesticide exposure among amphibians as non-target organisms. PMID:25063914

  7. The cause of global amphibian declines: a developmental endocrinologist's perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, T. B.; Falso, P.; Gallipeau, S.; Stice, M.

    2010-01-01

    Greater than 70% of the world's amphibian species are in decline. We propose that there is probably not a single cause for global amphibian declines and present a three-tiered hierarchical approach that addresses interactions among and between ultimate and proximate factors that contribute to amphibian declines. There are two immediate (proximate) causes of amphibian declines: death and decreased recruitment (reproductive failure). Although much attention has focused on death, few studies have addressed factors that contribute to declines as a result of failed recruitment. Further, a great deal of attention has focused on the role of pathogens in inducing diseases that cause death, but we suggest that pathogen success is profoundly affected by four other ultimate factors: atmospheric change, environmental pollutants, habitat modification and invasive species. Environmental pollutants arise as likely important factors in amphibian declines because they have realized potential to affect recruitment. Further, many studies have documented immunosuppressive effects of pesticides, suggesting a role for environmental contaminants in increased pathogen virulence and disease rates. Increased attention to recruitment and ultimate factors that interact with pathogens is important in addressing this global crisis. PMID:20190117

  8. Potential causes for amphibian declines in Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burrowes, P.A.; Joglar, R.L.; Green, David E.

    2004-01-01

    We monitored 11 populations of eight species of Eleutherodactylus in Puerto Rico from 1989 through 2001. We determined relative abundance of active frogs along transects established in the Caribbean National Forest (El Yunque), Carite Forest, San Lorenzo, and in the vicinity of San Juan. Three species (Eleutherodactylus karlschmidti, E. jasperi, and E. eneidae) are presumed to be extinct and eight populations of six different species of endemic Eleutherodactylus are significantly declining at elevations above 400 m. Of the many suspected causes of amphibian declines around the world, we focused on climate change and disease. Temperature and precipitation data from 1970a??2000 were analyzed to determine the general pattern of oscillations and deviations that could be correlated with amphibian declines. We examined a total of 106 tissues taken from museum specimens collected from 1961a??1978 and from live frogs in 2000. We found chytrid fungi in two species collected at El Yunque as early as 1976, this is the first report of chytrid fungus in the Caribbean. Analysis of weather data indicates a significant warming trend and an association between years with extended periods of drought and the decline of amphibians in Puerto Rico. The 1970's and 1990's, which represent the periods of amphibian extirpations and declines, were significantly drier than average. We suggest a possible synergistic interaction between drought and the pathological effect of the chytrid fungus on amphibian populations.

  9. Differential host susceptibility to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, an emerging amphibian pathogen.

    PubMed

    Searle, C L; Gervasi, S S; Hua, J; Hammond, J I; Relyea, R A; Olson, D H; Blaustein, A R

    2011-10-01

    The amphibian fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has received considerable attention due to its role in amphibian population declines worldwide. Although many amphibian species appear to be affected by Bd, there is little information on species-specific differences in susceptibility to this pathogen. We used a comparative experimental approach to examine Bd susceptibility in 6 amphibian species from the United States. We exposed postmetamorphic animals to Bd for 30 days and monitored mortality, feeding rates, and infection levels. In all species tested, Bd-exposed animals had higher rates of mortality than unexposed (control) animals. However, we found differences in mortality rates among species even though the amount of Bd detected on the different species' bodies did not differ. Of the species tested, southern toads (Anaxyrus terrestris) and wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) had the highest rates of Bd-related mortality. Within species, we detected lower levels of Bd on individuals that survived longer and found that the relationship between body size and infection levels differed among species. Our results indicate that, even under identical conditions, amphibian species differ in susceptibility to Bd. This study represents a step toward identifying and understanding species variation in disease susceptibility, which can be used to optimize conservation strategies. PMID:21732979

  10. Mitogenomic perspectives on the origin and phylogeny of living amphibians.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Zhou, Hui; Chen, Yue-Qin; Liu, Yi-Fei; Qu, Liang-Hu

    2005-06-01

    Establishing the relationships among modern amphibians (lissamphibians) and their ancient relatives is necessary for our understanding of early tetrapod evolution. However, the phylogeny is still intractable because of the highly specialized anatomy and poor fossil record of lissamphibians. Paleobiologists are still not sure whether lissamphibians are monophyletic or polyphyletic, and which ancient group (temnospondyls or lepospondyls) is most closely related to them. In an attempt to address these problems, eight mitochondrial genomes of living amphibians were determined and compared with previously published amphibian sequences. A comprehensive molecular phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences yields a highly resolved tree congruent with the traditional hypotheses (Batrachia). By using a molecular clock-independent approach for inferring dating information from molecular phylogenies, we present here the first molecular timescale for lissamphibian evolution, which suggests that lissamphibians first emerged about 330 million years ago. By observing the fit between molecular and fossil times, we suggest that the temnospondyl-origin hypothesis for lissamphibians is more credible than other hypotheses. Moreover, under this timescale, the potential geographic origins of the main living amphibian groups are discussed: (i) advanced frogs (neobatrachians) may possess an Africa-India origin; (ii) salamanders may have originated in east Asia; (iii) the tropic forest of the Triassic Pangaea may be the place of origin for the ancient caecilians. An accurate phylogeny with divergence times can be also helpful to direct the search for "missing" fossils, and can benefit comparative studies of amphibian evolution. PMID:16012106

  11. Cool Temperatures Reduce Antifungal Activity of Symbiotic Bacteria of Threatened Amphibians – Implications for Disease Management and Patterns of Decline

    PubMed Central

    Daskin, Joshua H.; Bell, Sara C.; Schwarzkopf, Lin; Alford, Ross A.

    2014-01-01

    Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is a widespread disease of amphibians responsible for population declines and extinctions. Some bacteria from amphibians’ skins produce antimicrobial substances active against Bd. Supplementing populations of these cutaneous antifungal bacteria might help manage chytridiomycosis in wild amphibians. However, the activity of protective bacteria may depend upon environmental conditions. Biocontrol of Bd in nature thus requires knowledge of how environmental conditions affect their anti-Bd activity. For example, Bd-driven amphibian declines have often occurred at temperatures below Bd’s optimum range. It is possible these declines occurred due to reduced anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts at cool temperatures. Better understanding of the effects of temperature on chytridiomycosis development could also improve risk evaluation for amphibian populations yet to encounter Bd. We characterized, at a range of temperatures approximating natural seasonal variation, the anti-Bd activity of bacterial symbionts from the skins of three species of rainforest tree frogs (Litoria nannotis, Litoria rheocola, and Litoria serrata). All three species declined during chytridiomycosis outbreaks in the late 1980s and early 1990s and have subsequently recovered to differing extents. We collected anti-Bd bacterial symbionts from frogs and cultured the bacteria at constant temperatures from 8°C to 33°C. Using a spectrophotometric assay, we monitored Bd growth in cell-free supernatants (CFSs) from each temperature treatment. CFSs from 11 of 24 bacteria showed reduced anti-Bd activity in vitro when they were produced at cool temperatures similar to those encountered by the host species during population declines. Reduced anti-Bd activity of metabolites produced at low temperatures may, therefore, partially explain the association between Bd-driven declines and cool temperatures. We show that to avoid inconsistent antifungal activity, bacteria evaluated for use in chytridiomycosis biocontrol should be tested over a range of environmental temperatures spanning those likely to be encountered in the field. PMID:24941262

  12. The thyroid gland and thyroid hormones in Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis) during early development and metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Klaren, Peter H M; Wunderink, Yvette S; Yfera, Manuel; Mancera, Juan M; Flik, Gert

    2008-02-01

    We here describe the ontogeny and morphology of the thyroid gland in Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis), and correlate these with whole body concentrations of thyroid hormones during early development and metamorphosis. Under our rearing conditions at 19.5 degrees C, most larvae entered metamorphosis in stage 1 at 15 days post-hatching (dph), and completed metamorphosis in stage 4 at 25dph. The onset of metamorphosis coincided with surges in whole body T4 and T3 concentrations. Crossmon's trichrome stain colored the lumen of follicular structures brightly red, and this co-localized with a T4-immunoreactivity. Thyroid follicles were first observed in stage 0 pre-metamorphic larvae at 5dph of age, and were detected exclusively in the subpharyngeal region, surrounding the ventral aorta. Increases in whole body thyroid hormone levels coincided with a 2(1/2)-fold increase in the total thyroidal colloid area in stage 1 larvae (aged 15dph) compared to stage 0 larvae (12dph). This was preceded by an approximately 40%-increase in the follicles' epithelial cell height in stage 0 larvae at 12dph compared to larvae at 5dph, and by an increase in the whole body T3/T4 ratio, indicative of an increase in outer ring deiodination. We conclude that in S. senegalensis there is a clear chronology in the activation of the thyroid gland that starts in early pre-metamorphic larvae. PMID:17977536

  13. Caring about Strangers: A Lingisian Reading of Kafka's "Metamorphosis"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2013-01-01

    This article explores a significant question, implicit in Kafka's novel "Metamorphosis," explicitly asked by Rorty: "Can I care about a stranger?" Alphonso Lingis's view is adopted to overcome a mainstream belief that there is a distinction between my community and the stranger's community, or us community and

  14. EVIDENCE FOR ACCELERATED METAMORPHOSIS IN BULLFROG (RANA CATESBIEANA) TADPOLES IN AN EPHEMERAL POND

    EPA Science Inventory

    It has been widely accepted that time to metamorphosis for non-native bullfrog tadpoles in the Pacific Northwest is greater than one year. We surveyed 22 ponds within the EE Wilson Reserve (Benton County, Oregon) for bullfrog tadpoles and metamorphs from April through September, ...

  15. Ligand binding pocket function of drosophila USP is necessary for metamorphosis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The widely accepted paradigm that epoxidized methyl farnesoates (“juvenile hormones,” JHs) are the principle sesquiterpenoid hormones regulating insect metamorphosis was assessed in Drosophila melanogaster. GC-MS analysis showed that methyl farnesoate, rather than methyl epoxyfarnesoate (= JH III), ...

  16. Stable isotope enrichment in laboratory ant colonies: effects of colony age, metamorphosis, diet, and fat storage

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologists use stable isotopes to infer diets and trophic levels of animals in food webs, yet some assumptions underlying these inferences have not been thoroughly tested. We used laboratory-reared colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren (Formicidae: Solenopsidini) to test the effects of metamorphosis,...

  17. Control of Pituitary Thyroid-stimulating Hormone Synthesis and Secretion by Thyroid Hormones during Xenopus Metamorphosis

    EPA Science Inventory

    Serum thyroid hormone (TH) concentrations in anuran larvae rise rapidly during metamorphosis. Such a rise in an adult anuran would inevitably trigger a negative feedback response resulting in decreased synthesis and secretion of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) by the pituitary....

  18. Caring about Strangers: A Lingisian Reading of Kafka's "Metamorphosis"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Ruyu

    2013-01-01

    This article explores a significant question, implicit in Kafka's novel "Metamorphosis," explicitly asked by Rorty: "Can I care about a stranger?" Alphonso Lingis's view is adopted to overcome a mainstream belief that there is a distinction between my community and the stranger's community, or us community and…

  19. Metamorphosis enhances the effects of metal exposure on the mayfly, Centroptilum triangulifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wesner, Jeff S.; Kraus, Johanna M.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Walters, David M.; Clements, William H.

    2014-01-01

    The response of larval aquatic insects to stressors such as metals is used to assess the ecological condition of streams worldwide. However, nearly all larval insects metamorphose from aquatic larvae to winged adults, and recent surveys indicate that adults may be a more sensitive indicator of stream metal toxicity than larvae. One hypothesis to explain this pattern is that insects exposed to elevated metal in their larval stages have a reduced ability to successfully complete metamorphosis. To test this hypothesis we exposed late-instar larvae of the mayfly, Centroptilum triangulifer, to an aqueous Zn gradient (32–476 μg/L) in the laboratory. After 6 days of exposure, when metamorphosis began, larval survival was unaffected by zinc. However, Zn reduced wingpad development at concentrations above 139 μg/L. In contrast, emergence of subimagos and imagos tended to decline with any increase in Zn. At Zn concentrations below 105 μg/L (hardness-adjusted aquatic life criterion), survival between the wingpad and subimago stages declined 5-fold across the Zn gradient. These results support the hypothesis that metamorphosis may be a survival bottleneck, particularly in contaminated streams. Thus, death during metamorphosis may be a key mechanism explaining how stream metal contamination can impact terrestrial communities by reducing aquatic insect emergence.

  20. Proteomic analysis of larvae during development, attachment, and metamorphosis in the fouling barnacle, Balanus amphitrite.

    PubMed

    Thiyagarajan, Vengatesen; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2008-08-01

    The barnacle, Balanus amphitrite, is one of the primary model organisms for rocky-shore ecology studies and biofouling research. This barnacle species has a complex life cycle during which the swimming nauplius molts six times and transforms into a cyprid stage. Cyprids must attach to a surface to metamorphose into a juvenile barnacle. To clarify the overall profile of protein expression during larval development and metamorphosis, 2-DE was used to compare the proteome of the nauplius, the swimming cyprid, the attached cyprid, and the metamorphosed cyprid. The proteome of the swimming cyprid was distinctly different from that of other life stages and had about 400 spots. The proteomes of the attached and metamorphosed cyprids were similar with respect to major proteins but had significantly lower numbers of spots compared to that of swimming larval stages. Obviously, synthesis of most proteins from swimming cyprids was switched off after attachment and metamorphosis. Our advanced MS analysis (MALDI-TOF/TOF MS/MS) allowed us to identify the proteins that were differentially and abundantly expressed in the swimming cyprid. These proteins included signal transduction proteins (adenylate cyclase and calmodulin) and juvenile hormone binding proteins. In summary, for the first time, we have analyzed the global protein expression pattern of fouling marine invertebrate larvae during metamorphosis. Our study provides new insights into the mechanisms of barnacle larval metamorphosis and also provides a foundation for exploring novel targets for antifouling treatments. PMID:18654988

  1. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  2. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  3. 50 CFR 16.14 - Importation of live amphibians or their eggs.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Importation of live amphibians or their... Importation of live amphibians or their eggs. Upon the filing of a written declaration with the District Director of Customs at the port of entry as required under § 14.61, all species of live amphibians or...

  4. Qualitative risk analysis of introducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis to the UK through the importation of live amphibians.

    PubMed

    Peel, Alison J; Hartley, Matt; Cunningham, Andrew A

    2012-03-20

    The international amphibian trade is implicated in the emergence and spread of the amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has resulted in amphibian declines and extinctions globally. The establishment of the causal pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), in the UK could negatively affect the survival of native amphibian populations. In recognition of the ongoing threat that it poses to amphibians, Bd was recently included in the World Organisation for Animal Health Aquatic Animal Health Code, and therefore is in the list of international notifiable diseases. Using standardised risk analysis guidelines, we investigated the likelihood that Bd would be introduced to and become established in wild amphibians in the UK through the importation of live amphibians. We obtained data on the volume and origin of the amphibian trade entering the UK and detected Bd infection in amphibians being imported for the pet and private collection trade and also in amphibians already held in captive pet, laboratory and zoological collections. We found that current systems for recording amphibian trade into the UK underestimate the volume of non-European Union trade by almost 10-fold. We identified high likelihoods of entry, establishment and spread of Bd in the UK and the resulting major overall impact. Despite uncertainties, we determined that the overall risk estimation for the introduction of Bd to the UK through the importation of live amphibians is high and that risk management measures are required, whilst ensuring that negative effects on legal trade are minimised. PMID:22436458

  5. Amphibian research and monitoring initiative: Concepts and implementation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.; Adams, M.J.; Battaglin, W.A.; Gallant, A.L.; James, D.L.; Knutson, M.; Langtimm, C.A.; Sauer, J.R.

    2005-01-01

    This report provides the basis for discussion and subsequent articulation of a national plan for the Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI). The authors were members of a task force formed from within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that included scientists with expertise in biology, cartography, hydrology, and statistics. The assignment of the task force was to extend work begun by the National Amphibian Leadership Group. This group, composed of senior USGS scientists, managers, and external authorities, met in Gainesville, Florida, in February 20001. The product of this meeting was a document outlining the framework for a national program to monitor amphibian populations and to conduct research into the causes of declines.

  6. Survey of Turkey's endemic amphibians for chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Erismis, Ugur Cengiz; Konuk, Muhsin; Yoldas, Taner; Agyar, Pinar; Yumuk, Dilay; Korcan, Safiye Elif

    2014-09-30

    We report a new survey for Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in Turkey. We swabbed 228 individuals of 7 amphibian species (from 5 families) living in 2 locations (26-August National Park and the Turkish Lakes District) in the southwestern Anatolian region. The infection intensity of all the samples was determined using quantitative PCR. All 4 amphibian breeding sites and 4 amphibian species in 26-August National Park were infected by Bd, with the prevalence at each site ranging from 8 to 29%. Only 1 species was sampled from Beysehir Lake near the conservation area Beysehir Natural Park, but these samples were notable for their high detection rates (prevalence of 32.11%). This study reports the first records of Bd infecting wild Pelophylax ridibundus, Hyla orientalis, Pseudepidalea variabilis, and endemic Beysehir frogs Pelophylax caralitanus. PMID:25266902

  7. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses.

    PubMed

    Fites, J Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P; Holden, Whitney M; Collier, Sarah P; Sutherland, Danica M; Reinert, Laura K; Gayek, A Sophia; Dermody, Terence S; Aune, Thomas M; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A

    2013-10-18

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernatants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide. PMID:24136969

  8. [Chytridiomycosis in amphibians--first report in Europe].

    PubMed

    Mutschmann, F; Berger, L; Zwart, P; Gaedicke, C

    2000-10-01

    Declining of amphibian populations is a worldwide phenomenon. A cutaneous mycosis as a cause of death in free-living amphibians as well as in captive ones due to an chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) was reported at first in 1998. This infections were reported hitherto from Australia, North, Central and South America. This is the first report on chytrid infections in captive anurans from Europe. Dendrobates auratus and D. pumilo imported from Costa Rica and P. vittatus imported from French Guayana died with chytridiomycosis within a week after arrival in Europe. Batrachocytrium was also found on captive bred frogs in Germany and Belgium. Clinical signs, diagnosis and conclusions for protecting free-living amphibian populations and captive frogs are discussed. PMID:11084755

  9. The invasive chytrid fungus of amphibians paralyzes lymphocyte responses

    PubMed Central

    Fites, J. Scott; Ramsey, Jeremy P.; Holden, Whitney M.; Collier, Sarah P.; Sutherland, Danica M.; Reinert, Laura K.; Gayek, A. Sophia; Dermody, Terence S.; Aune, Thomas M.; Oswald-Richter, Kyra; Rollins-Smith, Louise A.

    2013-01-01

    The chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, causes chytridiomycosis and is a major contributor to global amphibian declines. Although amphibians have robust immune defenses, clearance of this pathogen is impaired. Because inhibition of host immunity is a common survival strategy of pathogenic fungi, we hypothesized that B. dendrobatidis evades clearance by inhibiting immune functions. We found that B. dendrobatidis cells and supernantants impaired lymphocyte proliferation and induced apoptosis; however, fungal recognition and phagocytosis by macrophages and neutrophils was not impaired. Fungal inhibitory factors were resistant to heat, acid, and protease. Their production was absent in zoospores and reduced by nikkomycin Z, suggesting that they may be components of the cell wall. Evasion of host immunity may explain why this pathogen has devastated amphibian populations worldwide. PMID:24136969

  10. Granular gland transcriptomes in stimulated amphibian skin secretions.

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Tianbao; Farragher, Susan; Bjourson, Anthony J; Orr, David F; Rao, Pingfan; Shaw, Chris

    2003-01-01

    Amphibian defensive skin secretions are complex, species-specific cocktails of biologically active molecules, including many uncharacterized peptides. The study of such secretions for novel peptide discovery is time-limited, as amphibians are in rapid global decline. While secretion proteome analysis is non-lethal, transcriptome analysis has until now required killing of specimens prior to skin dissection for cDNA library construction. Here we present the discovery that polyadenylated mRNAs encoding dermal granular gland peptides are present in defensive skin secretions, stabilized by endogenous nucleic acid-binding amphipathic peptides. Thus parallel secretory proteome and transcriptome analyses can be performed without killing the specimen in this model amphibian system--a finding that has important implications in conservation of biodiversity within this threatened vertebrate taxon and whose mechanistics may have broader implications in biomolecular science. PMID:12413397

  11. Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Oliveira-Filho, Edmilson F; Soares, Fábio Angelo M; Souza, Bruno O F; Valença, Raul Baltazar P; Sá, Fabrício B

    2008-01-01

    Ticks infesting amphibians and reptiles in the State of Pernambuco are reviewed, based on the current literature and new collections recently carried out by the authors. To date, three tick species have been found on amphibians and reptiles in Pernambuco. Amblyomma fuscum appears to be exclusively associated with Boa constrictor, its type host. Amblyomma rotundatum has a relatively low host-specificity, being found on toads, snakes, and iguana. Amblyomma dissimile has been found on a lizard and also small mammals (i.e., rodents and marsupials). New tick-host associations and locality records are given. PMID:19265581

  12. The Amphibian Diversity of Bukit Jana, Taiping, Perak

    PubMed Central

    Shahrudin, Shahriza; Jaafar, Ibrahim

    2012-01-01

    The study on the amphibian fauna of Bukit Jana, Taiping, Perak was carried out from January 2009 until December 2010 with a total of 12 nights of observation. Twenty four species of frogs from 14 genera and 6 families were recorded to inhabit the Bukit Jana areas. Seven commensal species were found around human habitations near the foothill whereas the others are typical forest frogs found mostly near the rivers, streams and forest floor. This is the first amphibian checklist of Bukit Jana, Perak and it contributed 22% out of 107 species of frogs that are recorded to inhabit Peninsular Malaysia. PMID:24575233

  13. Effect of delayed metamorphosis on larval competence, and post-larval survival and growth, in the abalone Haliotis iris Gmelin.

    PubMed

    Roberts, R D.; Lapworth, C

    2001-03-30

    Marine invertebrate species vary in their ability to delay metamorphosis, and in the degree to which delayed metamorphosis compromises juvenile performance. Abalone (Haliotis iris) larvae were deprived of metamorphosis cues and the effects of delayed metamorphosis on larval competence, and post-larval growth and survival were quantified. Larvae were exposed to a metamorphosis inducer (the coralline alga Phymatolithon repandum (Foslie) Wilks and Woelkerling) on Days 11, 18, 22, 26, 30 and 34 post-fertilisation (temperature 16-17 degrees C). Post-larvae were reared on diatoms (Nitzschia longissima Grunow) for 3-4 weeks post-metamorphosis. Delayed metamorphosis caused progressive negative effects on post-larval performance. Virtually all larvae initiated metamorphosis in response to P. repandum, regardless of larval age. The proportion of post-larvae that developed post-larval shell growth within 2 days of metamorphosis induction dropped only approximately 20% from Day 11 to Day 26 (P>0.05), but was significantly lower by Day 30 and Day 34 (P<0.001). Larvae that metamorphosed on Days 11, 18 and 22 showed high survival (>80%) and growth rates (means of 20-22 µm shell length per day). In contrast, larvae that metamorphosed on Day 26 and Day 30 had poor survival (30-40%) and lower (P<0.05) growth rates (15-16 µm/day). Of the larvae that metamorphosed on Day 34, only 7 (30%) survived their first week post-metamorphosis, and they grew only 2 µm/day on average. Only one of these post-larvae (4%) survived the second week. The visible yolk supply diminished over the life of the larvae and was near zero by Day 34. Nearly all larvae had died by Day 38. H. iris larvae remained competent to metamorphose for at least 3 weeks after they attained competence. Post-larval growth and survival were not reduced if metamorphosis occurred within 3 weeks of fertilisation. This extended period of larval competence implies that H. iris larvae can potentially disperse for up to several weeks before successful metamorphosis. PMID:11239622

  14. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure

    PubMed Central

    Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I.; Kuhajek, Jeanne M.

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL−1 in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL−1 to high µg mL−1 range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure. PMID:26966668

  15. Expanding networks: Signaling components in and a hypothesis for the evolution of metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Hodin, Jason

    2006-12-01

    Metamorphosis is a substantial morphological transition between 2 multicellular phases in an organism's life cycle, often marking the passage from a prereproductive to a reproductive life stage. It generally involves major physiological changes and a shift in habitat and feeding mode, and can be subdivided into an extended phase of substantial morphological change and/or remodeling, and a shorter-term phase (for example, marine invertebrate "settlement," insect "adult eclosion," mushroom fruiting body emergence) where the actual habitat shift occurs. Disparate metamorphic taxa differ substantially with respect to when the habitat shift occurs relative to the timing of the major events of morphogenetic change. I will present comparative evidence across a broad taxonomic scope suggesting that longer-term processes (morphogenetic changes) are generally hormonally regulated, whereas nitric oxide (NO) repressive signaling often controls the habitat shift itself. Furthermore, new evidence from echinoids (sea urchins, sand dollars) indicates a direct connection between hormonal and NO signaling during metamorphosis. I incorporate 2 hypotheses for the evolution of metamorphosis-one involving heterochrony, the other involving phenotypic integration and evolutionarily stable configurations (ESCs)-into a network model for metamorphosis in echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish, and their kin). Early indications are that this core regulatory network can be acted upon by natural selection to suit the diverse ecological needs of disparate metamorphic organisms, resulting in evolutionary expansions and contractions in the core network. I briefly speculate on the ways that exposure to xenobiotic pollutants and other compounds might influence successful settlement of juveniles in the wild. Indeed, environmentally regulated life history transitions-such as settlement, metamorphosis, and reproductive maturation-may be developmental periods that are especially sensitive to such pollutants. PMID:21672781

  16. Metamorphosis of the invasive ascidian Ciona savignyi: environmental variables and chemical exposure.

    PubMed

    Cahill, Patrick L; Atalah, Javier; Selwood, Andrew I; Kuhajek, Jeanne M

    2016-01-01

    In this study, the effects of environmental variables on larval metamorphosis of the solitary ascidian Ciona savignyi were investigated in a laboratory setting. The progression of metamorphic changes were tracked under various temperature, photoperiod, substrate, larval density, and vessel size regimes. Metamorphosis was maximised at 18 °C, 12:12 h subdued light:dark, smooth polystyrene substrate, and 10 larvae mL(-1) in a twelve-well tissue culture plate. Eliminating the air-water interface by filling culture vessels to capacity further increased the proportion of metamorphosed larvae; 87 ± 5% of larvae completed metamorphosis within 5 days compared to 45 ± 5% in control wells. The effects of the reference antifouling compounds polygodial, portimine, oroidin, chlorothalonil, and tolylfluanid on C. savignyi were subsequently determined, highlighting (1) the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to chemical exposure and (2) the potential to use C. savignyi larvae to screen for bioactivity in an optimised laboratory setting. The compounds were bioactive in the low ng mL(-1) to high µg mL(-1) range. Polygodial was chosen for additional investigations, where it was shown that mean reductions in the proportions of larvae reaching stage E were highly repeatable both within (repeatability = 14 ± 9%) and between (intermediate precision = 17 ± 3%) independent experiments. An environmental extract had no effect on the larvae but exposing larvae to both the extract and polygodial reduced potency relative to polygodial alone. This change in potency stresses the need for caution when working with complex samples, as is routinely implemented when isolating natural compounds from their biological source. Overall, the outcomes of this study highlight the sensitivity of C. savignyi metamorphosis to environmental variations and chemical exposure. PMID:26966668

  17. Red List of amphibians and reptiles of the Wadden Sea area

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fog, K.; Podloucky, R.; Dierking, U.; Stumpel, A. H. P.

    1996-10-01

    In the Wadden Sea, in total, 8 species of amphibians and 4 species of reptiles are threatened in at least one subregion. Of these, 7 species of amphibians and all 4 species of reptiles are threatened in the entire area and are therefore placed on the trilateral Red List. 1 species of the listed reptiles is (probably) extinct in the entire Wadden Sea area. The status of 1 species of amphibians is endangered, the status of (probably) 4 species of amphibians and 3 species of reptiles are vulnerable and of 2 species of amphibians susceptible.

  18. Slow dynamics of the amphibian tympanic membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergevin, Christopher; Meenderink, Sebastiaan W. F.; van der Heijden, Marcel; Narins, Peter M.

    2015-12-01

    Several studies have demonstrated that delays associated with evoked otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) largely originate from filter delays of resonant elements in the inner ear. However, one vertebrate group is an exception: Anuran (frogs and toads) amphibian OAEs exhibit relatively long delays (several milliseconds), yet relatively broad tuning. These delays, also apparent in auditory nerve fiber (ANF) responses, have been partially attributed to the middle ear (ME), with a total forward delay of ˜0.7 ms (˜30 times longer than in gerbil). However, ME forward delays only partially account for the longer delays of OAEs and ANF responses. We used scanning laser Doppler vibrometery to map surface velocity over the tympanic membrane (TyM) of anesthetized bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana). Our main finding is a circularly-symmetric wave on the TyM surface, starting at the outer edges of the TyM and propagating inward towards the center (the site of the ossicular attachment). This wave exists for frequencies ˜0.75-3 kHz, overlapping the range of bullfrog hearing (˜0.05-1.7 kHz). Group delays associated with this wave varied from 0.4 to 1.2 ms and correlated with with TyM diameter, which ranged from ˜6-16 mm. These delays correspond well to those from previous ME measurements. Presumably the TyM waves stem from biomechanical constraints of semi-aquatic species with a relatively large tympanum. We investigated some of these constraints by measuring the pressure ratio across the TyM (˜10-30 dB drop, delay of ˜0.35 ms), the effects of ossicular interruption, the changes due to physiological state of TyM (`dry-out'), and by calculating the middle-ear input impedance. In summary, we found a slow, inward-traveling wave on the TyM surface that accounts for a substantial fraction of the relatively long otoacoustic and neurophysiological delays previously observed in the anuran inner ear.

  19. Exposure to suboptimal temperatures during metamorphosis reveals a critical developmental window in the solitary bee, Megachile rotundata

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Metamorphosis is an important developmental stage for holometabolous insects, during which adult morphology and physiology are established. Proper development relies on optimal body temperatures, and natural ambient temperature (Ta) fluctuations, especially in spring or in northern latitudes, could ...

  20. UPDATE ON COORDINATED STUDIES OF AMPHIBIAN DISTRIBUTIONS AND UV RADIATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    In February of 2000 researchers from the EPA, the National Park Service, other governmental agencies, and academia formulated a plan for coordinated studies of amphibian distributions and aquatic ultraviolet radiation exposure risks in several national parks. At this point we hav...

  1. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C.; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-01-01

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi. PMID:24003137

  2. Emerging contaminants and their potential effects on amphibians and reptiles

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Serious threats to the health and sustainability of global amphibian populations have been well documented over the last few decades. Encroachment upon and destruction of primary habitat is the most critical threat, but some species have disappeared while their habitat remains. Additional stressor...

  3. Using Amphibians and Reptiles To Learn the Process of Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Janice Schnake; Greene, Brian D.

    2001-01-01

    Discusses using amphibians and reptiles as an excellent resource for students to observe and gain an understanding of the process of science. These animals are easy to maintain in the classroom and play important roles in ecosystems as the prey for many birds and mammals and as the predators of various organisms. (SAH)

  4. Utricular otoconia of some amphibians have calcitic morphology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pote, K. G.; Ross, M. D.

    1993-01-01

    This report concerns the morphological features of otoconia removed from the inner ear of four amphibian species. Results from scanning electron microscopic examination are compared based on the site of origin. These results show that utricular otoconia have a mineral structure that mimics calcite, rather than the widely accepted idea that they are mineralized by calcium carbonate of the aragonite polymorph.

  5. Effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians

    SciTech Connect

    Pickering, Q.H.; Hunt, E.P.; Phipps, G.L.; Roush, T.H.; Smith, W.E.; Spehar, D.L.; Stephan, C.E.; Tanner, D.K.

    1983-06-01

    A literature review is presented dealing with studies on the effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians. The pollutants studied included acid mine drainage, PCBs, cadmium, lead, naphthalene, plutonium, in addition to several studies dealing with pH effects. (JMT)

  6. ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION DOSE AND AMPHIBIAN DISTRIBUTIONS IN NATIONAL PARKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ultraviolet Radiation Dose and Amphibian Distributions in National Parks. Diamond, S. A., Detenbeck, N. E., USEPA, Duluth, MN, USA, Bradford, D. F., USEPA, Las Vegas, NV, USA, Trenham, P. C., University of California, Davis, CA., USA, Adams, M. J., Corn, P. S., Hossack, B., USGS,...

  7. Pesticides in amphibian habitats of central and northern California

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Amphibians in California are facing serious population declines. Contaminants, especially pesticides, have been linked to these declines. This study reports on a survey of central and northern California wetlands sampled along four transects associated with Lassen National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemit...

  8. Effects of Terrestrial Buffer Zones on Amphibians on Golf Courses

    PubMed Central

    Puglis, Holly J.; Boone, Michelle D.

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians. PMID:22761833

  9. LAGOON WATER FROM CONFINED ANIMAL FEED OPERATIONS AND AMPHIBIAN DEVELOPMENT

    EPA Science Inventory


    Lagoon Water from Confined Animal Feed Operations and Amphibian Development. Dumont, J. N.* and Slagle, S., Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, and Hutchins, S. R., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (NRMRL/SPRD), Ada, OK. There is some evidence that confined anima...

  10. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2…

  11. EFFECTS OF POLLUTION ON FRESHWATER FISH AND AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A review of the 1982 world literature was conducted on the effects of pollution on freshwater fish and amphibians. This review contained 378 references and included papers on water quality such as dissolved gases and pH; chemical pollutants such as insecticides, herbicides, pesti...

  12. Measuring the Meltdown: Drivers of Global Amphibian Extinction and Decline

    PubMed Central

    Sodhi, Navjot S.; Bickford, David; Diesmos, Arvin C.; Lee, Tien Ming; Koh, Lian Pin; Brook, Barry W.; Sekercioglu, Cagan H.; Bradshaw, Corey J. A.

    2008-01-01

    Habitat loss, climate change, over-exploitation, disease and other factors have been hypothesised in the global decline of amphibian biodiversity. However, the relative importance of and synergies among different drivers are still poorly understood. We present the largest global analysis of roughly 45% of known amphibians (2,583 species) to quantify the influences of life history, climate, human density and habitat loss on declines and extinction risk. Multi-model Bayesian inference reveals that large amphibian species with small geographic range and pronounced seasonality in temperature and precipitation are most likely to be Red-Listed by IUCN. Elevated habitat loss and human densities are also correlated with high threat risk. Range size, habitat loss and more extreme seasonality in precipitation contributed to decline risk in the 2,454 species that declined between 1980 and 2004, compared to species that were stable (n = 1,545) or had increased (n = 28). These empirical results show that amphibian species with restricted ranges should be urgently targeted for conservation. PMID:18286193

  13. AMPHIBIAN DECLINE, ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION AND LOCAL POPULATION ADAPTATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    Amphibian population declines have been noted on both local and global scales. Causes for these declines are unknown although many hypotheses have been offered. In areas adjacent to human development, loss of habitat is a fairly well accepted cause. However in isolated, seemingl...

  14. Using Reptile and Amphibian Activities in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry; Matthews, Catherine E.

    2008-01-01

    Reptiles and amphibians are a diverse and interesting group of organisms. The four activities described in this article take students' curiosity into the realm of scientific understanding. The activities involve the concepts of species identification; animal adaptations, communication, and habitat; and conservation. (Contains 1 table and 2

  15. Effects of terrestrial buffer zones on amphibians on golf courses.

    PubMed

    Puglis, Holly J; Boone, Michelle D

    2012-01-01

    A major cause of amphibian declines worldwide is habitat destruction or alteration. Public green spaces, such as golf courses and parks, could serve as safe havens to curb the effects of habitat loss if managed in ways to bolster local amphibian communities. We reared larval Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) in golf course ponds with and without 1 m terrestrial buffer zones, and released marked cricket frog metamorphs at the golf course ponds they were reared in. Larval survival of both species was affected by the presence of a buffer zone, with increased survival for cricket frogs and decreased survival for green frogs when reared in ponds with buffer zones. No marked cricket frog juveniles were recovered at any golf course pond in the following year, suggesting that most animals died or migrated. In a separate study, we released cricket frogs in a terrestrial pen and allowed them to choose between mown and unmown grass. Cricket frogs had a greater probability of using unmown versus mown grass. Our results suggest that incorporating buffer zones around ponds can offer suitable habitat for some amphibian species and can improve the quality of the aquatic environment for some sensitive local amphibians. PMID:22761833

  16. On the Worrying Fate of Data Deficient Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Nori, Javier; Loyola, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    The ‘Data Deficient’ (DD) category of the IUCN Red List assembles species that cannot be placed in another category due to insufficient information. This process generates uncertainty about whether these species are safe or actually in danger. Here, we give a global overview on the current situation of DD amphibian species (almost a quarter of living amphibians) considering land-use change through habitat modification, the degree of protection of each species and the socio-political context of each country harboring DD species. We found that DD amphibians have, on average, 81% of their ranges totally outside protected areas. Worryingly, more than half of DD species have less than 1% of their distribution represented in protected areas. Furthermore, the percentage of overlap between species’ range and human-modified landscapes is high, at approximately 58%. Many countries harboring a large number of DD species show a worrying socio-political trend illustrated by substantial, recent incremental increases in the Human Development Index and lower incremental increases in the establishment of protected areas. Most of these are African countries, which are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the continent. Other countries with similar socio-political trends are in southeastern Asia, Central America, and in the northern region of South America. This situation is concerning, but it also creates a huge opportunity for considering DD amphibians in future conservation assessments, planning, and policy at different levels of government administration. PMID:25965422

  17. Preliminary checklist of amphibians and reptiles from Baramita, Guyana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, R.P.; MacCulloch, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    We provide an initial checklist of the herpetofauna of Baramita, a lowland rainforest site in the Northwest Region of Guyana. Twenty-five amphibian and 28 reptile species were collected during two separate dry-season visits. New country records for two species of snakes are documented, contributing to the knowledge on the incompletely known herpetofauna of Guyana.

  18. ESTIMATION OF UV-B EXPOSURE IN AMPHIBIAN AQUATIC ENVIRONMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Estimation of ultraviolet radiation B (UV-B; 280 to 320 nm wavelenghts) dose is essential for determining whether UV-B contributes to amphibian population declines and malformations. UV-B dose in wetlands is effected by location, time of day and year, atmospheric levels of ozone,...

  19. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    This study identified the factors responsible for the decline of native amphibians in the U.S. The type of land use, the introduction of exotic animal species, and chemical contamination were identified as the most likely causes of decline.

  20. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors adversely affecting amphibian populations in the US were evaluated using information from species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors (Volume 2 of this book). For each species, factors implicated by the authors (i.e., known or suspected) as affec...

  1. Agrochemicals increase trematode infections in a declining amphibian species.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Schotthoefer, Anna M; Raffel, Thomas R; Carrick, Hunter J; Halstead, Neal; Hoverman, Jason T; Johnson, Catherine M; Johnson, Lucinda B; Lieske, Camilla; Piwoni, Marvin D; Schoff, Patrick K; Beasley, Val R

    2008-10-30

    Global amphibian declines have often been attributed to disease, but ignorance of the relative importance and mode of action of potential drivers of infection has made it difficult to develop effective remediation. In a field study, here we show that the widely used herbicide, atrazine, was the best predictor (out of more than 240 plausible candidates) of the abundance of larval trematodes (parasitic flatworms) in the declining northern leopard frog Rana pipiens. The effects of atrazine were consistent across trematode taxa. The combination of atrazine and phosphate--principal agrochemicals in global corn and sorghum production--accounted for 74% of the variation in the abundance of these often debilitating larval trematodes (atrazine alone accounted for 51%). Analysis of field data supported a causal mechanism whereby both agrochemicals increase exposure and susceptibility to larval trematodes by augmenting snail intermediate hosts and suppressing amphibian immunity. A mesocosm experiment demonstrated that, relative to control tanks, atrazine tanks had immunosuppressed tadpoles, had significantly more attached algae and snails, and had tadpoles with elevated trematode loads, further supporting a causal relationship between atrazine and elevated trematode infections in amphibians. These results raise concerns about the role of atrazine and phosphate in amphibian declines, and illustrate the value of quantifying the relative importance of several possible drivers of disease risk while determining the mechanisms by which they facilitate disease emergence. PMID:18972018

  2. On the worrying fate of Data Deficient amphibians.

    PubMed

    Nori, Javier; Loyola, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    The 'Data Deficient' (DD) category of the IUCN Red List assembles species that cannot be placed in another category due to insufficient information. This process generates uncertainty about whether these species are safe or actually in danger. Here, we give a global overview on the current situation of DD amphibian species (almost a quarter of living amphibians) considering land-use change through habitat modification, the degree of protection of each species and the socio-political context of each country harboring DD species. We found that DD amphibians have, on average, 81% of their ranges totally outside protected areas. Worryingly, more than half of DD species have less than 1% of their distribution represented in protected areas. Furthermore, the percentage of overlap between species' range and human-modified landscapes is high, at approximately 58%. Many countries harboring a large number of DD species show a worrying socio-political trend illustrated by substantial, recent incremental increases in the Human Development Index and lower incremental increases in the establishment of protected areas. Most of these are African countries, which are located mainly in the central and southern regions of the continent. Other countries with similar socio-political trends are in southeastern Asia, Central America, and in the northern region of South America. This situation is concerning, but it also creates a huge opportunity for considering DD amphibians in future conservation assessments, planning, and policy at different levels of government administration. PMID:25965422

  3. RISK ASSESSMENT FOR THE EFFECTS OF SOLAR RADIATION ON AMPHIBIANS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Recent studies have demonstrated that exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can cause mortality and increase the occurrence of eye and limb malformation in some species of amphibians. Based on these reports and various field observations, it has been hypothesized that UV...

  4. Can Myxosporean parasites compromise fish and amphibian reproduction?

    PubMed Central

    Sitjà-Bobadilla, Ariadna

    2009-01-01

    Research into fish and amphibian reproduction has increased exponentially in recent years owing to the expansion of the aquaculture industry, the need to recover fishery populations, the impact of endocrine disruptors on the aquatic environment and the global decline of amphibian populations. This review focuses on a group of parasites, the Myxozoa, that affect fish and amphibian reproduction. Lists of the myxosporeans that specifically infect gonads are provided. Most of these are parasitic of freshwater hosts, and most amphibian cases are reported from testes. Sex specificity and sex reversal are discussed in relation to gonadal parasitism. The immune response of the fish to the infection is described, and the contribution of the immunoprivilege of gonads to host invasion is emphasized. The pathological effect of these parasites can be significant, especially in aquacultured broodstocks, on some occasions, leading to parasitic castration. Although myxosporean parasites are currently not very frequent in gonads, their impact could increase in the future owing to the transactions in the global market. Their easy release into the aquatic environment with spawning could make their spreading even more feasible. In the absence of commercial drugs or vaccines to treat and prevent these infections, there is an urgent need to develop specific, rapid and reliable diagnostic tools to control and manage animal movements. In addition, much effort is still to be made on deciphering the life cycle of these organisms, their invasion strategies and their immune evasion mechanisms. PMID:19474043

  5. FACTORS ADVERSELY AFFECTING AMPHIBIAN POPULATIONS IN THE US

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in a forthcoming book. Specific adverse factors were identified for 53 (58%) of...

  6. Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov. causes lethal chytridiomycosis in amphibians.

    PubMed

    Martel, An; Spitzen-van der Sluijs, Annemarieke; Blooi, Mark; Bert, Wim; Ducatelle, Richard; Fisher, Matthew C; Woeltjes, Antonius; Bosman, Wilbert; Chiers, Koen; Bossuyt, Franky; Pasmans, Frank

    2013-09-17

    The current biodiversity crisis encompasses a sixth mass extinction event affecting the entire class of amphibians. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis is considered one of the major drivers of global amphibian population decline and extinction and is thought to be caused by a single species of aquatic fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. However, several amphibian population declines remain unexplained, among them a steep decrease in fire salamander populations (Salamandra salamandra) that has brought this species to the edge of local extinction. Here we isolated and characterized a unique chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans sp. nov., from this salamander population. This chytrid causes erosive skin disease and rapid mortality in experimentally infected fire salamanders and was present in skin lesions of salamanders found dead during the decline event. Together with the closely related B. dendrobatidis, this taxon forms a well-supported chytridiomycete clade, adapted to vertebrate hosts and highly pathogenic to amphibians. However, the lower thermal growth preference of B. salamandrivorans, compared with B. dendrobatidis, and resistance of midwife toads (Alytes obstetricans) to experimental infection with B. salamandrivorans suggest differential niche occupation of the two chytrid fungi. PMID:24003137

  7. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles.

    PubMed

    Brown, Jason L; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800-1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of suitable habitat occupied by a species, is less expressed in amphibians than in reptiles, possibly reflecting their lower dispersal capacity. Taxonomic composition of communities assessed by field surveys is largely explained by bioclimatic regions, with communities from the dry and especially subarid biomes distinctly differing from humid and subhumid biomes. PMID:26735688

  8. Spatial Biodiversity Patterns of Madagascar's Amphibians and Reptiles

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jason L.; Sillero, Neftali; Glaw, Frank; Bora, Parfait; Vieites, David R.; Vences, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Madagascar has become a model region for testing hypotheses of species diversification and biogeography, and many studies have focused on its diverse and highly endemic herpetofauna. Here we combine species distribution models of a near-complete set of species of reptiles and amphibians known from the island with body size data and a tabulation of herpetofaunal communities from field surveys, compiled up to 2008. Though taxonomic revisions and novel distributional records arose since compilation, we are confident that the data are appropriate for inferring and comparing biogeographic patterns among these groups of organisms. We observed species richness of both amphibians and reptiles was highest in the humid rainforest biome of eastern Madagascar, but reptiles also show areas of high richness in the dry and subarid western biomes. In several amphibian subclades, especially within the Mantellidae, species richness peaks in the central eastern geographic regions while in reptiles different subclades differ distinctly in their richness centers. A high proportion of clades and subclades of both amphibians and reptiles have a peak of local endemism in the topographically and bioclimatically diverse northern geographic regions. This northern area is roughly delimited by a diagonal spanning from 15.5°S on the east coast to ca. 15.0°S on the west coast. Amphibian diversity is highest at altitudes between 800–1200 m above sea-level whereas reptiles have their highest richness at low elevations, probably reflecting the comparatively large number of species specialized to the extended low-elevation areas in the dry and subarid biomes. We found that the range sizes of both amphibians and reptiles strongly correlated with body size, and differences between the two groups are explained by the larger body sizes of reptiles. However, snakes have larger range sizes than lizards which cannot be readily explained by their larger body sizes alone. Range filling, i.e., the amount of suitable habitat occupied by a species, is less expressed in amphibians than in reptiles, possibly reflecting their lower dispersal capacity. Taxonomic composition of communities assessed by field surveys is largely explained by bioclimatic regions, with communities from the dry and especially subarid biomes distinctly differing from humid and subhumid biomes. PMID:26735688

  9. Enzyme assays.

    PubMed

    Reymond, Jean-Louis; Fluxà, Viviana S; Maillard, Noélie

    2009-01-01

    Enzyme assays are analytical tools to visualize enzyme activities. In recent years a large variety of enzyme assays have been developed to assist the discovery and optimization of industrial enzymes, in particular for "white biotechnology" where selective enzymes are used with great success for economically viable, mild and environmentally benign production processes. The present article highlights the aspects of fluorogenic and chromogenic substrates, sensors, and enzyme fingerprinting, which are our particular areas of interest. PMID:19081993

  10. Development of a mobile application for amphibian species recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parveen, B.; H, Chew T.; Shamsir, M. S.; Ahmad, N.

    2014-02-01

    The smartphones mobility and its pervasiveness are beginning to transform practices in biodiversity conservation. The integrated functionalities of a smartphone have created for the public and biodiversity specialists means to identify, gather and record biodiversity data while simultaneously creating knowledge portability in the digital forms of mobile guides. Smartphones enable beginners to recreate the delight of species identification usually reserved for specialist with years of experience. Currently, the advent of Android platform has enabled stakeholders in biodiversity to harness the ubiquity of this platform and create various types of mobile application or "apps" for use in biodiversity research and conservation. However, there is an apparent lack of application devoted to the identification in herpetofauna or amphibian science. Amphibians are a large class of animals with many different species still unidentified under this category. Here we describe the development of an app called Amphibian Recognition Android Application (ARAA) to identify frog amphibian species as well as an accompanying field guide. The app has the amphibian taxonomic key which assists the users in easy and rapid species identification, thus facilitating the process of identification and recording of species occurrences in conservation work. We will also present an overview of the application work flow and how it is designed to meet the needs a conservationist. As this application is still in its beta phase, further research is required to improve the application to include tools such automatic geolocation and geotagging, participative sensing via crowdsourcing and automated identification via image capture. We believe that the introduction of this app will create an impetus to the awareness of nature via species identification.

  11. Terrestrial exposure and effects of Headline AMP() Fungicide on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Cusaac, J Patrick W; Mimbs, William H; Belden, Jason B; Smith, Loren M; McMurry, Scott T

    2015-08-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that a pyraclostrobin-containing fungicide (Headline() Fungicide--Headline() Fungicide and Headline AMP() Fungicide are registered trademarks of BASF) is toxic to amphibians at environmentally relevant concentrations. However, these studies were performed in a laboratory setting of a worst-case direct exposure in clean media. Interception of spray by the crop canopy and ground cover used by animals for security cover will influence exposure. Thus, risk to amphibians is unclear in an environmentally realistic field environment. We tested exposure and toxicity of Headline AMP() Fungicide to amphibians in multiple agricultural habitat scenarios (e.g., within treated crop vs. grassy areas adjacent to crop) and at two rates during routine aerial application. Specifically, we placed Woodhouse's toads (Bufo woodhousii) and Blanchard's cricket frogs (Acris blanchardi) in enclosures located within treated and untreated corn (VT stage, approximate height = 3 m), and in the potential drift area (adjacent to treated corn) during aerial application of Headline AMP Fungicide at either 731 or 1052 ml/ha (70 and 100 % the maximum application rate in corn, respectively). Mean concentrations of pyraclostrobin measured at ground level were ?19 % of nominal application rate in all areas. Overall, mean mortality of recovered individuals of both species was ?15 %, and mortality within Headline AMP Fungicide-treated corn (where risk was anticipated to be highest) was <10 %. It is important to understand that application timing, interception by the crop canopy (which varies both within and between crop systems), and timing of amphibian presence in the crop field influences risk of exposure and effects; however, our results demonstrate that amphibians inhabiting VT stage corn during routine aerial application of Headline AMP Fungicide are at low risk for acute mortality, matching existing laboratory results from acute toxicity studies of Headline Fungicide. PMID:26088505

  12. Projected climate impacts for the amphibians of the western hemisphere

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lawler, Joshua J.; Shafer, Sarah L.; Bancroft, Betsy A.; Blaustein, Andrew R.

    2010-01-01

    Given their physiological requirements, limited dispersal abilities, and hydrologically sensitive habitats, amphibians are likely to be highly sensitive to future climatic changes. We used three approaches to map areas in the western hemisphere where amphibians are particularly likely to be affected by climate change. First, we used bioclimatic models to project potential climate-driven shifts in the distribution of 413 amphibian species based on 20 climate simulations for 2071–2100. We summarized these projections to produce estimates of species turnover. Second, we mapped the distribution of 1099 species with restricted geographic ranges. Finally, using the 20 future climate-change simulations, we mapped areas that were consistently projected to receive less seasonal precipitation in the coming century and thus were likely to have altered microclimates and local hydrologies. Species turnover was projected to be highest in the Andes Mountains and parts of Central America and Mexico, where, on average, turnover rates exceeded 60% under the lower of two emissions scenarios. Many of the restricted-range species not included in our range-shift analyses were concentrated in parts of the Andes and Central America and in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Much of Central America, southwestern North America, and parts of South America were consistently projected to experience decreased precipitation by the end of the century. Combining the results of the three analyses highlighted several areas in which amphibians are likely to be significantly affected by climate change for multiple reasons. Portions of southern Central America were simultaneously projected to experience high species turnover, have many additional restricted-range species, and were consistently projected to receive less precipitation. Together, our three analyses form one potential assessment of the geographic vulnerability of amphibians to climate change and as such provide broad-scale guidance for directing conservation efforts.

  13. Applied reproductive technologies and genetic resource banking for amphibian conservation.

    PubMed

    Kouba, Andrew J; Vance, Carrie K

    2009-01-01

    As amphibian populations continue to decline, both government and non-government organisations are establishing captive assurance colonies to secure populations deemed at risk of extinction if left in the wild. For the most part, little is known about the nutritional ecology, reproductive biology or husbandry needs of the animals placed into captive breeding programs. Because of this lack of knowledge, conservation biologists are currently facing the difficult task of maintaining and reproducing these species. Academic and zoo scientists are beginning to examine different technologies for maintaining the genetic diversity of founder populations brought out of the wild before the animals become extinct from rapidly spreading epizootic diseases. One such technology is genetic resource banking and applied reproductive technologies for species that are difficult to reproduce reliably in captivity. Significant advances have been made in the last decade for amphibian assisted reproduction including the use of exogenous hormones for induction of spermiation and ovulation, in vitro fertilisation, short-term cold storage of gametes and long-term cryopreservation of spermatozoa. These scientific breakthroughs for a select few species will no doubt serve as models for future assisted breeding protocols and the increasing number of amphibians requiring conservation intervention. However, the development of specialised assisted breeding protocols that can be applied to many different families of amphibians will likely require species-specific modifications considering their wide range of reproductive modes. The purpose of this review is to summarise the current state of knowledge in the area of assisted reproduction technologies and gene banking for the conservation of amphibians. PMID:19567216

  14. Inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Persons, Trevor B.; Nowak, Erika M.

    2006-01-01

    As part of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Program in the Mojave Network, we conducted an inventory of amphibians and reptiles at Death Valley National Park in 2002-04. Objectives for this inventory were to: 1) Inventory and document the occurrence of reptile and amphibian species occurring at DEVA, primarily within priority sampling areas, with the goal of documenting at least 90% of the species present; 2) document (through collection or museum specimen and literature review) one voucher specimen for each species identified; 3) provide a GIS-referenced list of sensitive species that are federally or state listed, rare, or worthy of special consideration that occur within priority sampling locations; 4) describe park-wide distribution of federally- or state-listed, rare, or special concern species; 5) enter all species data into the National Park Service NPSpecies database; and 6) provide all deliverables as outlined in the Mojave Network Biological Inventory Study Plan. Methods included daytime and nighttime visual encounter surveys, road driving, and pitfall trapping. Survey effort was concentrated in predetermined priority sampling areas, as well as in areas with a high potential for detecting undocumented species. We recorded 37 species during our surveys, including two species new to the park. During literature review and museum specimen database searches, we recorded three additional species from DEVA, elevating the documented species list to 40 (four amphibians and 36 reptiles). Based on our surveys, as well as literature and museum specimen review, we estimate an overall inventory completeness of 92% for Death Valley and an inventory completeness of 73% for amphibians and 95% for reptiles. Key Words: Amphibians, reptiles, Death Valley National Park, Inyo County, San Bernardino County, Esmeralda County, Nye County, California, Nevada, Mojave Desert, Great Basin Desert, inventory, NPSpecies.

  15. Autocrine regulation of ecdysone synthesis by β3-octopamine receptor in the prothoracic gland is essential for Drosophila metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Ohhara, Yuya; Shimada-Niwa, Yuko; Niwa, Ryusuke; Kayashima, Yasunari; Hayashi, Yoshiki; Akagi, Kazutaka; Ueda, Hitoshi; Yamakawa-Kobayashi, Kimiko; Kobayashi, Satoru

    2015-01-01

    In Drosophila, pulsed production of the steroid hormone ecdysone plays a pivotal role in developmental transitions such as metamorphosis. Ecdysone production is regulated in the prothoracic gland (PG) by prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH) and insulin-like peptides (Ilps). Here, we show that monoaminergic autocrine regulation of ecdysone biosynthesis in the PG is essential for metamorphosis. PG-specific knockdown of a monoamine G protein-coupled receptor, β3-octopamine receptor (Octβ3R), resulted in arrested metamorphosis due to lack of ecdysone. Knockdown of tyramine biosynthesis genes expressed in the PG caused similar defects in ecdysone production and metamorphosis. Moreover, PTTH and Ilps signaling were impaired by Octβ3R knockdown in the PG, and activation of these signaling pathways rescued the defect in metamorphosis. Thus, monoaminergic autocrine signaling in the PG regulates ecdysone biogenesis in a coordinated fashion on activation by PTTH and Ilps. We propose that monoaminergic autocrine signaling acts downstream of a body size checkpoint that allows metamorphosis to occur when nutrients are sufficiently abundant. PMID:25605909

  16. Luciferase assay.

    PubMed

    Smale, Stephen T

    2010-05-01

    When a transient or stable transfection assay is developed for a promoter, a primary objective is to quantify promoter strength. Because transfection efficiency in such assays can be low, promoters are commonly fused to heterologous reporter genes that encode enzymes that can be quantified using highly sensitive assays. The reporter protein's activity or fluorescence within a transfected cell population is approximately proportional to the steady-state mRNA level. A commonly used reporter gene is the luciferase gene from the firefly Photinus pyralis. This gene encodes a 61-kDa enzyme that oxidizes D-luciferin in the presence of ATP, oxygen, and Mg(++), yielding a fluorescent product that can be quantified by measuring the released light. Including coenzyme A in the reaction enhances the sensitivity of the assay and provides a sustained light reaction. In this protocol, cells transfected with a luciferase reporter plasmid are lysed using a detergent-containing buffer. Cell debris is removed by microcentrifugation and luciferase activity is measured using a luminometer. Some luminometers directly inject the reagents into the cell lysate. Such automation allows the signal to be measured at a precise time following injection, which can increase the consistency of the results. For manual luminometers, the substrate solution is mixed by hand with the cell lysate, and the fluorescence is read at a defined time following mixing. The luciferase assay is extremely rapid, simple, relatively inexpensive, sensitive, and possesses a broad linear range. PMID:20439408

  17. Assessment of heavy metal content and DNA damage in Hypsiboas faber (anuran amphibian) in coal open-casting mine.

    PubMed

    Zocche, Jairo José; Damiani, Adriani Paganini; Hainzenreder, Giana; Mendonça, Rodrigo Ávila; Peres, Poliana Bernardo; Santos, Carla Eliete Iochims Dos; Debastiani, Rafaela; Dias, Johnny Ferraz; Andrade, Vanessa Moraes de

    2013-07-01

    The aims of the study were to determine the heavy metal content in the tissues of Hypsiboas faber from a coal mining area and to compare the DNA damage in the blood cells of these animals with that of animals living in an unpolluted area. The heavy metal content was detected according to the technique of Particle-Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and the DNA damage was assessed by the Comet assay. Our results reveal that the specimens of H. faber collected from the coal mining area exhibited elements of order Fe>Cu>Al>Zn>Rb>Mn>Br, independently of the organ. The values of Comet assay parameters (DNA damage index and DNA damage frequency) were significantly higher in specimens collected from the coal mining area than in the reference animals. Our study concludes that the coal mining residues are genotoxic to amphibians and may have adverse effects on soil, water, vegetation and wild animals. PMID:23619523

  18. Delayed costs of an induced defense in tadpoles? Morphology, hopping, and development rate at metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Van Buskirk, J; Saxer, G

    2001-04-01

    Models for the evolution of plasticity predict that individuals having phenotypes induced by exposure to enemies should experience relatively low fitness when enemies are absent. However, costs of induced phenotypes have been difficult to find in both plants and animals, perhaps because costs are expressed at later stages in the life cycle. We searched for delayed costs of an induced defense in larvae of the water frog Rana ridibunda, which exhibits strong phenotypic responses to predators. Tadpoles grew to metamorphosis in outdoor artificial ponds, in either the presence or absence of Aeshna dragonfly larvae confined within cages. We collected metamorphs at forelimb emergence, estimated their development rate until tail resorption was complete, and measured their body and leg shape and hopping performance. Development rate through metamorphosis reflects the duration of a transitional period during which metamorphs are especially vulnerable to predators, and hopping performance may reflect ability to escape predators. Froglets from the dragonfly treatment lost mass through metamorphosis significantly faster than those from predator-free ponds, but they resorbed their tails at about the same rate, despite the fact that their tails were relatively large to begin with. Froglets developing from predator-induced tadpoles had shorter, more muscular legs, and hopped 5% longer distances (difference not significant). Therefore, producing an induced defense against insect predators during the tadpole stage did not exact a cost during or immediately after metamorphosis; if anything, tadpoles with the predator-induced phenotype gave rise to more vigorous froglets. These results focus attention on other costs of the induced phenotype, as well as alternative explanations for plasticity that do not rely on direct fitness trade-offs. PMID:11392399

  19. Effects of nitrate on metamorphosis, thyroid and iodothyronine deiodinases expression in Bufo gargarizans larvae.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ming; Chai, Lihong; Zhao, Hongfeng; Wu, Minyao; Wang, Hongyuan

    2015-11-01

    Chinese toad (Bufo gargarizans) tadpoles were exposed to nitrate (10, 50 and 100mg/L NO3-N) from the beginning of the larval period through metamorphic climax. We examined the effects of chronic nitrate exposure on metamorphosis, mortality, body size and thyroid gland. In addition, thyroid hormone (TH) levels, type II iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio2) and type III iodothyronine deiodinase (Dio3) mRNA levels were also measured to assess disruption of TH synthesis. Results showed that significant metamorphic delay and mortality increased were caused in larvae exposed to 100mg/L NO3-N. The larvae exposed to 100mg/L NO3-N clearly exhibited a greater reduction in thyroxine (T4) and 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) levels. Moreover, treatment with NO3-N induced down-regulation of Dio2 mRNA levels and up-regulation of Dio3 mRNA levels, reflecting the disruption of thyroid endocrine. It seems that increased mass and body size may be correlated with prolonged metamorphosis. Interestingly, we observed an exception that exposure to 100mg/L NO3-N did not exhibit remarkable alterations of thyroid gland size. Compared with control groups, 100mg/L NO3-N caused partial colloid depletion in the thyroid gland follicles. These results suggest that nitrate can act as a chemical stressor inducing retardation in development and metamorphosis. Therefore, we concluded that the presence of high concentrations nitrate can influence the growth, decline the survival, impair TH synthesis and induce metamorphosis retardation of B. gargarizans larvae. PMID:26210189

  20. Changes in the Gut Microbiome of the Sea Lamprey during Metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Tetlock, Amanda; Yost, Christopher K.; Stavrinides, John

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate metamorphosis is often marked by dramatic morphological and physiological changes of the alimentary tract, along with major shifts in diet following development from larva to adult. Little is known about how these developmental changes impact the gut microbiome of the host organism. The metamorphosis of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) from a sedentary filter-feeding larva to a free-swimming sanguivorous parasite is characterized by major physiological and morphological changes to all organ systems. The transformation of the alimentary canal includes closure of the larval esophagus and the physical isolation of the pharynx from the remainder of the gut, which results in a nonfeeding period that can last up to 8 months. To determine how the gut microbiome is affected by metamorphosis, the microbial communities of feeding and nonfeeding larval and parasitic sea lamprey were surveyed using both culture-dependent and -independent methods. Our results show that the gut of the filter-feeding larva contains a greater diversity of bacteria than that of the blood-feeding parasite, with the parasite gut being dominated by Aeromonas and, to a lesser extent, Citrobacter and Shewanella. Phylogenetic analysis of the culturable Aeromonas from both the larval and parasitic gut revealed that at least five distinct species were represented. Phenotypic characterization of these isolates revealed that over half were capable of sheep red blood cell hemolysis, but all were capable of trout red blood cell hemolysis. This suggests that the enrichment of Aeromonas that accompanies metamorphosis is likely related to the sanguivorous lifestyle of the parasitic sea lamprey. PMID:22923392

  1. Time course for tail regression during metamorphosis of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis.

    PubMed

    Matsunobu, Shohei; Sasakura, Yasunori

    2015-09-01

    In most ascidians, the tadpole-like swimming larvae dramatically change their body-plans during metamorphosis and develop into sessile adults. The mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis have been researched and debated for many years. Until now information on the detailed time course of the initiation and completion of each metamorphic event has not been described. One dramatic and important event in ascidian metamorphosis is tail regression, in which ascidian larvae lose their tails to adjust themselves to sessile life. In the present study, we measured the time associated with tail regression in the ascidian Ciona intestinalis. Larvae are thought to acquire competency for each metamorphic event in certain developmental periods. We show that the timing with which the competence for tail regression is acquired is determined by the time since hatching, and this timing is not affected by the timing of post-hatching events such as adhesion. Because larvae need to adhere to substrates with their papillae to induce tail regression, we measured the duration for which larvae need to remain adhered in order to initiate tail regression and the time needed for the tail to regress. Larvae acquire the ability to adhere to substrates before they acquire tail regression competence. We found that when larvae adhered before they acquired tail regression competence, they were able to remember the experience of adhesion until they acquired the ability to undergo tail regression. The time course of the events associated with tail regression provides a valuable reference, upon which the cellular and molecular mechanisms of ascidian metamorphosis can be elucidated. PMID:26102482

  2. Functional Play: Evidence for a Cognitive Metamorphosis in the Year Old Infant.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zelazo, Philip R.; Kearsley, Richard B.

    In this study, free play with toys having unambiguous functions was examined to test the hypothesis that a basic cognitive metamorphosis is associated with the new competences displayed in children at about 12 months. Functional play was observed in 64 children at 9 1/2, 11 1/2, 13 1/2, and 15 1/2 months of age. Six sets of toys with 36…

  3. Pharmacological induction of larval settlement and metamorphosis in the blue mussel Mytilus edulis L.

    PubMed

    Dobretsov, Sergey V; Qian, Pei-Yuan

    2003-02-01

    The blue mussel Mytilus edulis L. is an important aquaculture and fouling species in northern seas. Although the general role of chemical cues for settlement of larvae of the blue mussel has been proposed, few studies have focused on induction of settlement and metamorphosis by pharmacological agents. In this study, the induction of larval settlement of the blue mussel by pharmacological compounds was investigated through a series of laboratory experiments with an aim of identifying artificial cues for laboratory bioassay systems in fouling and antifouling research. Gamma-aminobutiric acid (GABA), dihydroxyphenyl L-alanine (DOPA), isobutyl methylxanthine (IBMX) and acetylcholine chloride (ACH) at 10(-7)-10(-2) M as well as KCl at 10-40 mM K+ in excess of the level in normal seawater were tested for their inductive effect on larval settlement. In filtered seawater (FSW) < 9% of the larvae settled after 48 h. Elevated K+ and GABA levels had no effect on larval settlement and metamorphosis. DOPA at 10(-5) M and IBMX at 10(-6)-10(-4) M induced 41-83% larval settlement and ACH at 10(-7)-10(-5) M induced < 40% larval settlement. While the highest settlement rates were observed after 48 h exposure to the chemical, most of the larvae settled within 24 h. Compounds at concentrations of 10(-3)-10(-2) M were either toxic to larvae or retarded the growth of the post-larvae shell. Juveniles resulting from induction by lower concentrations of chemicals had a very high survival rate, completed metamorphosis and grew as well as the juveniles that metamorphosed spontaneously. IBMX at 10(-6)-10(-4) M and L-DOPA at 10(-5) M are effective agents for induction of settlement and metamorphosis for future studies using juvenile M. edulis. PMID:14618689

  4. Socioeconomic background of hysteria's metamorphosis from the 18th Century to World War I.

    PubMed

    Edelman, Nicole; Walusinski, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    The many changes in the etiopathogenic theories of hysteria, developed from the end of the 18th century to the end of World War I, can only be understood by studying the social, political, economic, and cultural transformations of the Western world during the same period. These transformations, presented below along with concurrent medical discoveries, make it possible to explain the ongoing metamorphosis of both hysteria and the image of the hysteric patient. PMID:25273485

  5. Review and synthesis of the effects of climate change on amphibians.

    PubMed

    Li, Yiming; Cohen, Jeremy M; Rohr, Jason R

    2013-06-01

    Considerable progress has been made in understanding the responses of amphibians to climate change, with successful research carried out on climate change-associated shifts in amphibian phenology, elevational distributions and amphibian-parasite interactions. We review and synthesize the literature on this topic, emphasizing acutely lethal, sublethal, indirect and positive effects of climate change on amphibians, and major research gaps. For instance, evidence is lacking on poleward shifts in amphibian distributions and on changes in body sizes and morphologies of amphibians in response to climate change. We have limited information on amphibian thermal tolerances, thermal preferences, dehydration breaths, opportunity costs of water conserving behaviors and actual temperature and moisture ranges amphibians experience. Even when much of this information is available, there remains little evidence that climate change is acutely lethal to amphibians. This suggests that if climate change is contributing to declines, it might be through effects that are not acutely lethal, indirect, or both, but evidence in support of this suggestion is necessary. In fact, evidence that climate change is directly contributing to amphibian declines is weak, partly because researchers have not often ruled out alternative hypotheses, such as chytrid fungus or climate-fungus interactions. Consequently, we recommend that amphibian-climate research shift from primarily inductive, correlational approach as to studies that evaluate alternative hypotheses for declines. This additional rigor will require interdisciplinary collaborations, estimates of costs and benefits of climate change to amphibian fitness and populations, and the integration of correlative field studies, experiments on 'model' amphibian species, and mathematical and functional, physiological models. PMID:23731811

  6. Assessment of environmental DNA for detecting presence of imperiled aquatic amphibian species in isolated wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mckee, Anna; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Barichivich, William J.; Spear, Stephen F.; Goldberg, Caren S.; Glenn, Travis C

    2015-01-01

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging tool that allows low-impact sampling for aquatic species by isolating DNA from water samples and screening for DNA sequences specific to species of interest. However, researchers have not tested this method in naturally acidic wetlands that provide breeding habitat for a number of imperiled species, including the frosted salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum), reticulated flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi), striped newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus), and gopher frog (Lithobates capito). Our objectives for this study were to develop and optimize eDNA survey protocols and assays to complement and enhance capture-based survey methods for these amphibian species. We collected three or more water samples, dipnetted or trapped larval and adult amphibians, and conducted visual encounter surveys for egg masses for target species at 40 sites on 12 different longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) tracts. We used quantitative PCRs to screen eDNA from each site for target species presence. We detected flatwoods salamanders at three sites with eDNA but did not detect them during physical surveys. Based on the sample location we assumed these eDNA detections to indicate the presence of frosted flatwoods salamanders. We did not detect reticulated flatwoods salamanders. We detected striped newts with physical and eDNA surveys at two wetlands. We detected gopher frogs at 12 sites total, three with eDNA alone, two with physical surveys alone, and seven with physical and eDNA surveys. We detected our target species with eDNA at 9 of 11 sites where they were present as indicated from traditional surveys and at six sites where they were not detected with traditional surveys. It was, however, critical to use at least three water samples per site for eDNA. Our results demonstrate eDNA surveys can be a useful complement to traditional survey methods for detecting imperiled pond-breeding amphibians. Environmental DNA may be particularly useful in situations where detection probability using traditional survey methods is low or access by trained personnel is limited.

  7. The Effects of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on the Mortality and Growth of Two Amphibian Species (Xenopus laevis and Pseudacris triseriata)

    PubMed Central

    Collier, Alex; Orr, Lowell; Morris, Julie; Blank, James

    2008-01-01

    We observed a slight drop in the growth of Xenopus laevis and Pseudacris triseriata larvae following acute exposure (24–48 h) during egg development to three concentrations of TCDD (0.3, 3.0, 30.0 μg/l). Our exposure protocol was modeled on a previous investigation that was designed to mimic the effects of maternal deposition of TCDD. The doses selected were consistent with known rates of maternal transfer between mother and egg using actual adult body burdens from contaminated habitats. Egg and embryonic mortality immediately following exposure increased only among 48 h X. laevis treatments. Control P. triseriata and X. laevis completed metamorphosis more quickly than TCDD-treated animals. The snout-vent length of recently transformed P. triseriata did not differ between treatments although controls were heavier than high-dosed animals. Likewise, the snout-vent length and weight of transformed X. laevis did not differ between control and TCDD treatments. These findings provide additional evidence that amphibians, including P. triseriata and X. laevis are relatively insensitive to acute exposure to TCDD during egg and embryonic development. Although the concentrations selected for this study were relatively high, they were not inconsistent with our current understanding of bioaccumulation via maternal transfer. PMID:19151431

  8. Redefining metamorphosis in spiny lobsters: molecular analysis of the phyllosoma to puerulus transition in Sagmariasus verreauxi.

    PubMed

    Ventura, Tomer; Fitzgibbon, Quinn P; Battaglene, Stephen C; Elizur, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The molecular understanding of crustacean metamorphosis is hindered by small sized individuals and inability to accurately define molt stages. We used the spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi where the large, transparent larvae enable accurate tracing of the transition from a leaf-shaped phyllosoma to an intermediate larval-juvenile phase (puerulus). Transcriptomic analysis of larvae at well-defined stages prior to, during, and following this transition show that the phyllosoma-puerulus metamorphic transition is accompanied by vast transcriptomic changes exceeding 25% of the transcriptome. Notably, genes previously identified as regulating metamorphosis in other crustaceans do not fluctuate during this transition but in the later, morphologically-subtle puerulus-juvenile transition, indicating that the dramatic phyllosoma-puerulus morphological shift relies on a different, yet to be identified metamorphic mechanism. We examined the change in expression of domains and gene families, with focus on several key genes. Our research implies that the separation in molecular triggering systems between the phyllosoma-puerulus and puerulus-juvenile transitions might have enabled the extension of the oceanic phase in spiny lobsters. Study of similar transitions, where metamorphosis is uncoupled from the transition into the benthic juvenile form, in other commercially important crustacean groups might show common features to point on the evolutionary advantage of this two staged regulation. PMID:26311524

  9. A model of muscle atrophy based on live microscopy of muscle remodelling in Drosophila metamorphosis

    PubMed Central

    Kuleesha, Yadav; Puah, Wee Choo; Wasser, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Genes controlling muscle size and survival play important roles in muscle wasting diseases. In Drosophila melanogaster metamorphosis, larval abdominal muscles undergo two developmental fates. While a doomed population is eliminated by cell death, another persistent group is remodelled and survives into adulthood. To identify and characterize genes involved in the development of remodelled muscles, we devised a workflow consisting of in vivo imaging, targeted gene perturbation and quantitative image analysis. We show that inhibition of TOR signalling and activation of autophagy promote developmental muscle atrophy in early, while TOR and yorkie activation are required for muscle growth in late pupation. We discovered changes in the localization of myonuclei during remodelling that involve anti-polar migration leading to central clustering followed by polar migration resulting in localization along the midline. We demonstrate that the Cathepsin L orthologue Cp1 is required for myonuclear clustering in mid, while autophagy contributes to central positioning of nuclei in late metamorphosis. In conclusion, studying muscle remodelling in metamorphosis can provide new insights into the cell biology of muscle wasting. PMID:26998322

  10. Influence of natural settlement cues on the metamorphosis of fiddler crab megalopae, Uca vocator (Decapoda: Ocypodidae).

    PubMed

    Simith, Darlan J B; Diele, Karen; Abrunhosa, Fernando A

    2010-06-01

    Megalopae of many decapod crab species accelerate their development time to metamorphosis (TTM) when exposed to natural physical and/or chemical cues characteristic of the parental habitat. In the present study, the influence of natural settlement cues on the moulting rates and development TTM in megalopae of the fiddler crab Uca vocator was investigated. The effects of mud from different habitats (including well-preserved and degraded-polluted mangrove habitats) and conspecific adult 'odours' (seawater conditioned with crabs) on the induction of metamorphosis were compared with filtered pure seawater (control). 95 to 100% of the megalopae successfully metamorphosed to first juvenile crab stage in all treatments, including the control. However, the development TTM differed significantly among treatments. Settlement cues significantly shortened development, while moulting was delayed in their absence. The fact that megalopae responded to metamorphosis-stimulating cues originating from both adult and non-adult benthic habitats demonstrates that settlement in this species may occur in a wider range of habitats within the mangrove ecosystem, including impacted areas. PMID:20563412

  11. Metamorphosis and acquisition of symbiotic algae in planula larvae and primary polyps of Acropora spp.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirose, M.; Yamamoto, H.; Nonaka, M.

    2008-06-01

    Coral planulae settle, then metamorphose and form polyps. This study examined the morphological process of metamorphosis from planulae into primary polyps in the scleractinian corals Acropora nobilis and Acropora microphthalma, using the cnidarian neuropeptide Hym-248 . These two species release eggs that do not contain Symbiodinium. The mode of acquisition of freshly isolated Symbiodinium (zooxanthellae) (FIZ) by the non-symbiotic polyp was also examined. Non-Hym-248 treated swimming Acropora planulae did not develop blastopore, mesenteries or coelenteron until the induction of metamorphosis 16 days after fertilization. The oral pore was formed by invagination of the epidermal layer after formation of the coelenteron in metamorphosing polyps. At 3 days after settlement and metamorphosis, primary polyps exposed to FIZ established symbioses with the Symbiodinium. Two-four days after exposure to FIZ, the distribution of Symbiodinium was limited to the gastrodermis of the pharynx and basal part of the polyps. Eight-ten days after exposure to FIZ, Symbiodinium were present in gastrodermal cells throughout the polyps.

  12. A model of muscle atrophy based on live microscopy of muscle remodelling in Drosophila metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Kuleesha, Yadav; Puah, Wee Choo; Wasser, Martin

    2016-02-01

    Genes controlling muscle size and survival play important roles in muscle wasting diseases. In Drosophila melanogaster metamorphosis, larval abdominal muscles undergo two developmental fates. While a doomed population is eliminated by cell death, another persistent group is remodelled and survives into adulthood. To identify and characterize genes involved in the development of remodelled muscles, we devised a workflow consisting of in vivo imaging, targeted gene perturbation and quantitative image analysis. We show that inhibition of TOR signalling and activation of autophagy promote developmental muscle atrophy in early, while TOR and yorkie activation are required for muscle growth in late pupation. We discovered changes in the localization of myonuclei during remodelling that involve anti-polar migration leading to central clustering followed by polar migration resulting in localization along the midline. We demonstrate that the Cathepsin L orthologue Cp1 is required for myonuclear clustering in mid, while autophagy contributes to central positioning of nuclei in late metamorphosis. In conclusion, studying muscle remodelling in metamorphosis can provide new insights into the cell biology of muscle wasting. PMID:26998322

  13. Scenarios for acceleration in fish development and the role of metamorphosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kooijman, S. A. L. M.; Pecquerie, L.; Augustine, S.; Jusup, M.

    2011-11-01

    We compare various alternative explanations of why embryo development is sometimes slow relative to juvenile and adult development on the basis of the standard Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) model and make the comparison with avian altricial versus precocial development. We discuss the role of the energy investment ratio, which combines four different aspects of DEBs: allocation, assimilation, mobilisation and costs for structure. We show how this ratio affects the morphology of growth curves: the ratio of the slopes at start and birth during embryonic growth, as well as the von Bertalanffy time as function of ultimate length during post-embryonic growth. We propose an extension of the standard DEB model that combines a Gompertz (i.e. exponential) start with a von Bertalanffy 'tail' with a smooth transition; a combination that has been applied frequently in fisheries research and here given a mechanistic significance. Implications are that a slow embryonic development is combined with a fast post-metamorphic one and that parameters at metamorphosis depend on feeding history prior to metamorphosis. Identical individuals, in terms of parameter values and amounts of reserve and structure, will become permanently different when they experience different (local) environments, even if they experience identical environments after metamorphosis. This might explain part of the parameter variation amongst individuals.

  14. Larger Body Size at Metamorphosis Enhances Survival, Growth and Performance of Young Cane Toads (Rhinella marina)

    PubMed Central

    Cabrera-Guzmán, Elisa; Crossland, Michael R.; Brown, Gregory P.; Shine, Richard

    2013-01-01

    Body size at metamorphosis is a key trait in species (such as many anurans) with biphasic life-histories. Experimental studies have shown that metamorph size is highly plastic, depending upon larval density and environmental conditions (e.g. temperature, food supply, water quality, chemical cues from conspecifics, predators and competitors). To test the hypothesis that this developmental plasticity is adaptive, or to determine if inducing plasticity can be used to control an invasive species, we need to know whether or not a metamorphosing anuran’s body size influences its subsequent viability. For logistical reasons, there are few data on this topic under field conditions. We studied cane toads (Rhinella marina) within their invasive Australian range. Metamorph body size is highly plastic in this species, and our laboratory studies showed that larger metamorphs had better locomotor performance (both on land and in the water), and were more adept at catching and consuming prey. In mark-recapture trials in outdoor enclosures, larger body size enhanced metamorph survival and growth rate under some seasonal conditions. Larger metamorphs maintained their size advantage over smaller siblings for at least a month. Our data support the critical but rarely-tested assumption that all else being equal, larger body size at metamorphosis is likely to enhance an individual’s long term viability. Thus, manipulations to reduce body size at metamorphosis in cane toads may help to reduce the ecological impact of this invasive species. PMID:23922930

  15. Does DNA methylation regulate metamorphosis? The case of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) as an example.

    PubMed

    Covelo-Soto, Lara; Saura, Mara; Morn, Paloma

    2015-07-01

    Lampreys represent one of the most ancient vertebrate lineages enclosing a special interest for genetic and epigenetic studies. The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) is an anadromous species that experiences metamorphosis all the way up to the adult stage. Although representing a gradual process, metamorphosis in this species involves dramatic conversions with regard to physiological together with structural body changes preparing individuals for a marine and parasitic life; in consequence, multiple gene expression modifications are expected. The implications of thyroid hormones and HOX gene expression changes have previously been reported in this species and also in other vertebrate species. Nonetheless, information lacks on how these genes are regulated in lampreys. We here report about the existence of methylation pattern differences between the adult and the larvae sea lamprey life cycle stages making use of the Methylation-Sensitive Amplified Polymorphism (MSAP) technique. Differentially methylated fragment sequencing allowed to establish homologous identities with HOX genes involved in morphogenesis, along with genes related to the water balance and to the osmotic homoeostasis, all associated to a marine environment adaptation. These results provide evidences revealing that DNA methylation plays a role in the epigenetic regulation of the P. marinus post-natal development representing a starting point for future studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study which detects DNA methylation changes associated with metamorphosis in lampreys. PMID:25863144

  16. Initial characterization of receptors for molecules that induce the settlement and metamorphosis of Haliotis rufescens larvae

    SciTech Connect

    Trapido-Rosenthal, H.G.

    1985-01-01

    Larvae of the marine gastropod mollusc Haliotis refescens are induced to undergo metamorphosis by ..gamma..-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and stereochemically related compounds. The most potent of these inducers is (-)-..beta..-(parachlorophenyl)-GABA (baclofen). The inductive response exhibits positive cooperatively, and is subject to both facilitation (up-regulation) and habituation (down-regulation). Facilitation is brought about by diamino acids such as L-diaminopropionic acid (L-DAPA), and is characterized by decreased Hill coefficients (n/sub H/) and concentration requirements (EC/sub 50/) for inducers. Facilitation does not require the simultaneous presence of facilitating and inducing compounds, and the facilitated state is persistent. Larvae are capable of being up-regulated 2 days before they are capable of undergoing settlement and metamorphosis. Habituation can be brought about by exposure of pre-competent larvae to GABA 4 days prior to the attainment of competence; it is then slowly reversible. Larvae specifically bind tritiated (-)-baclofen in a manner that is saturable with both increasing time of exposure of larvae to, and with increasing concentration of, this compound. Specific binding can be competed for by unlabeled GABA-mimetic inducing molecules; the order of effectiveness of these molecules as competitors for specific binding correlates well with their effectiveness as inducers of metamorphosis. Facilitation of larvae by exposure to diamino acids does not alter their specific binding of tritiated (-)-baclofen. It is concluded from these findings that Haliotis larvae possess receptors for GABA-mimetic compounds.

  17. The hydrogen peroxide impact on larval settlement and metamorphosis of abalone Haliotis diversicolor supertexta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiangjing; Yang, Zhihui; Cai, Zhonghua

    2008-08-01

    Abalone Haliotis diversicolor supertexta is an important economic mollusk. The settlement and metamorphosis are two critical stages during its development period, which has direct influence on abalone survival and production. The influence of reactive oxygen species (hydrogen peroxide) on abalone embryo and juvenile development were examined in this study. Larvae of Haliotis diversicolor supertexta were induced to settlement and metamorphose by exposure to seawater supplemented with hydrogen peroxide. They had the best performance at 800 μmol/L. The concentration of 1 000 μmol/L or higher was toxic to the larvae, as the larvae could settle down only at benthic diatom plates without complete metamorphosis. In addition, H2O2 adding time was critical to the larval performance. 24h after two-day post-fertilization was proved to be the optimal adding time. In this paper, two action mechanisms of hydrogen peroxide are discussed: (1) hydrogen peroxide has direct toxicity to ciliated cells, thus cause apoptosis; (2) hydrogen peroxide, as a product from catecholamines’ autoxidation process in vivo, can reverse this process to produce neuro-transmitters to induce abalone metamorphosis.

  18. Phase-based metamorphosis of diffusion lesion in relation to perfusion values in acute ischemic stroke.

    PubMed

    Rekik, Islem; Allassonnière, Stéphanie; Luby, Marie; Carpenter, Trevor K; Wardlaw, Joanna M

    2015-01-01

    Examining the dynamics of stroke ischemia is limited by the standard use of 2D-volume or voxel-based analysis techniques. Recently developed spatiotemporal models such as the 4D metamorphosis model showed promise for capturing ischemia dynamics. We used a 4D metamorphosis model to evaluate acute ischemic stroke lesion morphology from the acute diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to final T2-weighted imaging (T2-w). In 20 representative patients, we metamorphosed the acute lesion to subacute lesion to final infarct. From the DWI lesion deformation maps we identified dynamic lesion areas and examined their association with perfusion values inside and around the lesion edges, blinded to reperfusion status. We then tested the model in ten independent patients from the STroke Imaging Repository (STIR). Perfusion values varied widely between and within patients, and were similar in contracting and expanding DWI areas in many patients in both datasets. In 25% of patients, the perfusion values were higher in DWI-contracting than DWI-expanding areas. A similar wide range of perfusion values and ongoing expansion and contraction of the DWI lesion were seen subacutely. There was more DWI contraction and less expansion in patients who received thrombolysis, although with widely ranging perfusion values that did not differ. 4D metamorphosis modeling shows promise as a method to improve use of multimodal imaging to understand the evolution of acute ischemic tissue towards its fate. PMID:26288755

  19. Phase-based metamorphosis of diffusion lesion in relation to perfusion values in acute ischemic stroke

    PubMed Central

    Rekik, Islem; Allassonnière, Stéphanie; Luby, Marie; Carpenter, Trevor K.; Wardlaw, Joanna M.

    2015-01-01

    Examining the dynamics of stroke ischemia is limited by the standard use of 2D-volume or voxel-based analysis techniques. Recently developed spatiotemporal models such as the 4D metamorphosis model showed promise for capturing ischemia dynamics. We used a 4D metamorphosis model to evaluate acute ischemic stroke lesion morphology from the acute diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) to final T2-weighted imaging (T2-w). In 20 representative patients, we metamorphosed the acute lesion to subacute lesion to final infarct. From the DWI lesion deformation maps we identified dynamic lesion areas and examined their association with perfusion values inside and around the lesion edges, blinded to reperfusion status. We then tested the model in ten independent patients from the STroke Imaging Repository (STIR). Perfusion values varied widely between and within patients, and were similar in contracting and expanding DWI areas in many patients in both datasets. In 25% of patients, the perfusion values were higher in DWI-contracting than DWI-expanding areas. A similar wide range of perfusion values and ongoing expansion and contraction of the DWI lesion were seen subacutely. There was more DWI contraction and less expansion in patients who received thrombolysis, although with widely ranging perfusion values that did not differ. 4D metamorphosis modeling shows promise as a method to improve use of multimodal imaging to understand the evolution of acute ischemic tissue towards its fate. PMID:26288755

  20. Differential expression of proteins and phosphoproteins during larval metamorphosis of the polychaete Capitella sp. I

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The spontaneous metamorphosis of the polychaete Capitella sp. I larvae into juveniles requires minor morphological changes, including segment formation, body elongation, and loss of cilia. In this study, we investigated changes in the expression patterns of both proteins and phosphoproteins during the transition from larvae to juveniles in this species. We used two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) followed by multiplex fluorescent staining and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis to identify the differentially expressed proteins as well as the protein and phosphoprotein profiles of both competent larvae and juveniles. Results Twenty-three differentially expressed proteins were identified in the two developmental stages. Expression patterns of two of those proteins were examined at the protein level by Western blot analysis while seven were further studied at the mRNA level by real-time PCR. Results showed that proteins related to cell division, cell migration, energy storage and oxidative stress were plentifully expressed in the competent larvae; in contrast, proteins involved in oxidative metabolism and transcriptional regulation were abundantly expressed in the juveniles. Conclusion It is likely that these differentially expressed proteins are involved in regulating the larval metamorphosis process and can be used as protein markers for studying molecular mechanisms associated with larval metamorphosis in polychaetes. PMID:21888661

  1. Cerebrolysin Accelerates Metamorphosis and Attenuates Aging-Accelerating Effect of High Temperature in Drosophila Melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Navrotskaya, V.; Vorobyova, L.; Sharma, H.; Muresanu, D.; Summergrad, P.

    2015-01-01

    Cerebrolysin® (CBL) is a neuroprotective drug used for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. CBL’s mechanisms of action remain unclear. Involvement of tryptophan (TRP)–kynurenine (KYN) pathway in neuroprotective effect of CBL might be suggested considering that modulation of KYN pathway of TRP metabolism by CBL, and protection against eclosion defect and prolongation of life span of Drosophila melanogaster with pharmacologically or genetically-induced down-regulation of TRP conversion into KYN. To investigate possible involvement of TRP–KYN pathway in mechanisms of neuroprotective effect of CBL, we evaluated CBL effects on metamorphosis and life span of Drosophila melanogaster maintained at 23 °C and 28 °C ambient temperature. CBL accelerated metamorphosis, exerted strong tendency (p = 0.04) to prolong life span in female but not in male flies, and attenuated aging-accelerating effect of high (28 °C) ambient temperature in both female and male flies. Further research of CBL effects on metamorphosis and resistance to aging-accelerating effect of high temperature might offer new insights in mechanisms of its neuroprotective action and expand its clinical applications. PMID:25798213

  2. Evidence for early metamorphosis of sea lampreys in the Chippewa River, Michigan

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morkert, Sidney B.; Swink, William D.; Seelye, James G.

    1998-01-01

    We determined age at metamorphosis to the juvenile or parasitic phase for sea lampreysPetromyzon marinus in a highly productive Great Lakes tributary to determine if the age at metamorphosis was earlier than expected. Ages determined from statoliths, a structure analogous to otoliths in teleost fishes, indicated that many sea lampreys collected from the Chippewa River, Michigan, in September 1995 were undergoing metamorphosis at age 2, at least 1 year earlier than previously observed. In all, 141 newly metamorphosed lampreys were examined, and 81% were estimated to be only 2 years old. The length-frequency distribution of newly metamorphosed sea lampreys in the Chippewa River also indicated the possibility of metamorphsis at age 2, but to a lesser extent than indicated by statolith aging. The Chippewa River is a highly productive stream that might require more frequent treatment than previously suspected. More careful examination of other highly productive streams is needed to determine if, and to what extent, sea lampreys metamorphose at age 2 in the Chippewa River and other Great Lakes tributaries.

  3. Redefining metamorphosis in spiny lobsters: molecular analysis of the phyllosoma to puerulus transition in Sagmariasus verreauxi

    PubMed Central

    Ventura, Tomer; Fitzgibbon, Quinn P.; Battaglene, Stephen C.; Elizur, Abigail

    2015-01-01

    The molecular understanding of crustacean metamorphosis is hindered by small sized individuals and inability to accurately define molt stages. We used the spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi where the large, transparent larvae enable accurate tracing of the transition from a leaf-shaped phyllosoma to an intermediate larval-juvenile phase (puerulus). Transcriptomic analysis of larvae at well-defined stages prior to, during, and following this transition show that the phyllosoma-puerulus metamorphic transition is accompanied by vast transcriptomic changes exceeding 25% of the transcriptome. Notably, genes previously identified as regulating metamorphosis in other crustaceans do not fluctuate during this transition but in the later, morphologically-subtle puerulus-juvenile transition, indicating that the dramatic phyllosoma-puerulus morphological shift relies on a different, yet to be identified metamorphic mechanism. We examined the change in expression of domains and gene families, with focus on several key genes. Our research implies that the separation in molecular triggering systems between the phyllosoma-puerulus and puerulus-juvenile transitions might have enabled the extension of the oceanic phase in spiny lobsters. Study of similar transitions, where metamorphosis is uncoupled from the transition into the benthic juvenile form, in other commercially important crustacean groups might show common features to point on the evolutionary advantage of this two staged regulation. PMID:26311524

  4. Effects of dietary exposure of polycyclic musk HHCB on the metamorphosis of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Pablos, María Victoria; Jiménez, María Ángeles; San Segundo, Laura; Martini, Federica; Beltrán, Eulalia; Fernández, Carlos

    2016-06-01

    The compound 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexamethylcyclopenta-[γ]-2-benzopyrane (HHCB; galaxolide, Chemical Abstracts Service number 1222-05-5) is a synthetic musk used extensively as a fragrance in many consumer products and classified as an emerging pollutant. The ecotoxicological information available for HHCB addresses exposure via water, but this compound is frequently adsorbed into particulate matter. The goal of the present study was to assess the effects of dietary exposure to several environmentally relevant HHCB concentrations adsorbed in food during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. The authors sought to determine if such exposure to this synthetic musk resulted in histological changes in the thyroid gland in conjunction with changes in development (staging, timing to metamorphosis), body weight, and length. Developmental acceleration on day 14, together with hypertrophy of the thyroid follicular epithelium in tadpoles, suggested a possible agonistic effect of HHCB, which would have been compensated after metamorphosis by regulatory mechanisms to maintain homeostasis. Further research into the potential thyroid-related mechanisms of action of HHCB should be conducted. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1428-1435. © 2015 SETAC. PMID:26472276

  5. Interactions between amphibians' symbiotic bacteria cause the production of emergent anti-fungal metabolites.

    PubMed

    Loudon, Andrew H; Holland, Jessica A; Umile, Thomas P; Burzynski, Elizabeth A; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Harris, Reid N

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians possess beneficial skin bacteria that protect against the disease chytridiomycosis by producing secondary metabolites that inhibit the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Metabolite production may be a mechanism of competition between bacterial species that results in host protection as a by-product. We expect that some co-cultures of bacterial species or strains will result in greater Bd inhibition than mono-cultures. To test this, we cultured four bacterial isolates (Bacillus sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Chitinophaga arvensicola) from red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and cultured isolates both alone and together to collect their cell-free supernatants (CFS). We challenged Bd with CFSs from four bacterial species in varying combinations. This resulted in three experimental treatments: (1) CFSs of single isolates; (2) combined CFSs of two isolates; and (3) CFSs from co-cultures. Pair-wise combinations of four bacterial isolates CFSs were assayed against Bd and revealed additive Bd inhibition in 42.2% of trials, synergistic inhibition in 42.2% and no effect in 16.6% of trials. When bacteria isolates were grown in co-cultures, complete Bd inhibition was generally observed, and synergistic inhibition occurred in four out of six trials. A metabolite profile of the most potent co-culture, Bacillus sp. and Chitinophaga arvensicola, was determined with LC-MS and compared with the profiles of each isolate in mono-culture. Emergent metabolites appearing in the co-culture were inhibitory to Bd, and the most potent inhibitor was identified as tryptophol. Thus mono-cultures of bacteria cultured from red-backed salamanders interacted synergistically and additively to inhibit Bd, and such bacteria produced emergent metabolites when cultured together, with even greater pathogen inhibition. Knowledge of how bacterial species interact to inhibit Bd can be used to select probiotics to provide amphibians with protection against Bd. PMID:25191317

  6. Interactions between amphibians' symbiotic bacteria cause the production of emergent anti-fungal metabolites

    PubMed Central

    Loudon, Andrew H.; Holland, Jessica A.; Umile, Thomas P.; Burzynski, Elizabeth A.; Minbiole, Kevin P. C.; Harris, Reid N.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians possess beneficial skin bacteria that protect against the disease chytridiomycosis by producing secondary metabolites that inhibit the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Metabolite production may be a mechanism of competition between bacterial species that results in host protection as a by-product. We expect that some co-cultures of bacterial species or strains will result in greater Bd inhibition than mono-cultures. To test this, we cultured four bacterial isolates (Bacillus sp., Janthinobacterium sp., Pseudomonas sp. and Chitinophaga arvensicola) from red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and cultured isolates both alone and together to collect their cell-free supernatants (CFS). We challenged Bd with CFSs from four bacterial species in varying combinations. This resulted in three experimental treatments: (1) CFSs of single isolates; (2) combined CFSs of two isolates; and (3) CFSs from co-cultures. Pair-wise combinations of four bacterial isolates CFSs were assayed against Bd and revealed additive Bd inhibition in 42.2% of trials, synergistic inhibition in 42.2% and no effect in 16.6% of trials. When bacteria isolates were grown in co-cultures, complete Bd inhibition was generally observed, and synergistic inhibition occurred in four out of six trials. A metabolite profile of the most potent co-culture, Bacillus sp. and Chitinophaga arvensicola, was determined with LC-MS and compared with the profiles of each isolate in mono-culture. Emergent metabolites appearing in the co-culture were inhibitory to Bd, and the most potent inhibitor was identified as tryptophol. Thus mono-cultures of bacteria cultured from red-backed salamanders interacted synergistically and additively to inhibit Bd, and such bacteria produced emergent metabolites when cultured together, with even greater pathogen inhibition. Knowledge of how bacterial species interact to inhibit Bd can be used to select probiotics to provide amphibians with protection against Bd. PMID:25191317

  7. Characterization of the Carbohydrate Binding Module 18 gene family in the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Stajich, Jason E

    2015-04-01

    Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is the causative agent of chytridiomycosis responsible for worldwide decline in amphibian populations. Previous analysis of the Bd genome revealed a unique expansion of the carbohydrate-binding module family 18 (CBM18) predicted to be a sub-class of chitin recognition domains. CBM expansions have been linked to the evolution of pathogenicity in a variety of fungal species by protecting the fungus from the host. Based on phylogenetic analysis and presence of additional protein domains, the gene family can be classified into 3 classes: Tyrosinase-, Deacetylase-, and Lectin-like. Examination of the mRNA expression levels from sporangia and zoospores of nine of the cbm18 genes found that the Lectin-like genes had the highest expression while the Tyrosinase-like genes showed little expression, especially in zoospores. Heterologous expression of GFP-tagged copies of four CBM18 genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae demonstrated that two copies containing secretion signal peptides are trafficked to the cell boundary. The Lectin-like genes cbm18-ll1 and cbm18-ll2 co-localized with the chitinous cell boundaries visualized by staining with calcofluor white. In vitro assays of the full length and single domain copies from CBM18-LL1 demonstrated chitin binding and no binding to cellulose or xylan. Expressed CBM18 domain proteins were demonstrated to protect the fungus, Trichoderma reeseii, in vitro against hydrolysis from exogenously added chitinase, likely by binding and limiting exposure of fungal chitin. These results demonstrate that cbm18 genes can play a role in fungal defense and expansion of their copy number may be an important pathogenicity factor of this emerging infectious disease of amphibians. PMID:25819009

  8. Assay system

    SciTech Connect

    Patzke, J.B.; Rosenberg, B.J.

    1984-02-07

    The accuracy of assays for monitoring concentrations of basic drugs in biological fluids containing a/sub 1/-acid glycoproteins, such as blood (serum or plasma), is improved by the addition of certain organic phosphate compounds to minimize the ''protein effect.'' Kits containing the elements of the invention are also disclosed.

  9. Ontogenic and ecological control of metamorphosis onset in a carapid fish, Carapus homei: experimental evidence from vertebra and otolith comparisons.

    PubMed

    Parmentier, Eric; Lecchini, David; Lagardere, Francoise; Vandewalle, Pierre

    2004-08-01

    In Carapus homei, reef colonisation is associated with a penetration inside a sea cucumber followed by heavy transformations during which the length of the fish is reduced by 60%. By comparing vertebral axis to otolith ontogenetic changes, this study aimed (i) to specify the events linked to metamorphosis, and (ii) to establish to what extent these fish have the ability to delay it. Different larvae of C. homei were caught when settling on the reef and kept in different experimental conditions for at least 7 days and up to 21 days: darkness or natural light conditions, presence of sea cucumber or not, and food deprivation or not. Whatever the nutritional condition, a period of darkness seems sufficient to initiate metamorphosis. Twenty-one days in natural light conditions delayed metamorphosis, whereas the whole metamorphosis process is the fastest (15 days) for larvae living in sea cucumbers. Whether the metamorphosis was initiated or not, otoliths were modified with the formation of a transition zone, whose structure varied depending on the experimental conditions. At day 21, larvae maintained in darkness had an otolith transition zone with more increments (around 80), albeit wider than those (more or less 21) of individuals kept under natural lighting. These differences in otolith growth could indicate an increased incorporation rate of released metabolites by metamorphosing larvae. However, the presence of a transition zone in delayed-metamorphosis larvae suggests that these otolith changes record the endogenously-induced onset of metamorphosis, whereas body transformations seem to be modulated by the environmental conditions of settlement. PMID:15286941

  10. Development, organization, and remodeling of phoronid muscles from embryo to metamorphosis (Lophotrochozoa: Phoronida)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The phoronid larva, which is called the actinotrocha, is one of the most remarkable planktotrophic larval types among marine invertebrates. Actinotrochs live in plankton for relatively long periods and undergo catastrophic metamorphosis, in which some parts of the larval body are consumed by the juvenile. The development and organization of the muscular system has never been described in detail for actinotrochs and for other stages in the phoronid life cycle. Results In Phoronopsis harmeri, muscular elements of the preoral lobe and the collar originate in the mid-gastrula stage from mesodermal cells, which have immigrated from the anterior wall of the archenteron. Muscles of the trunk originate from posterior mesoderm together with the trunk coelom. The organization of the muscular system in phoronid larvae of different species is very complex and consists of 14 groups of muscles. The telotroch constrictor, which holds the telotroch in the larval body during metamorphosis, is described for the first time. This unusual muscle is formed by apical myofilaments of the epidermal cells. Most larval muscles are formed by cells with cross-striated organization of myofibrils. During metamorphosis, most elements of the larval muscular system degenerate, but some of them remain and are integrated into the juvenile musculature. Conclusion Early steps of phoronid myogenesis reflect the peculiarities of the actinotroch larva: the muscle of the preoral lobe is the first muscle to appear, and it is important for food capture. The larval muscular system is organized in differently in different phoronid larvae, but always exhibits a complexity that probably results from the long pelagic life, planktotrophy, and catastrophic metamorphosis. Degeneration of the larval muscular system during phoronid metamorphosis occurs in two ways, i.e., by complete or by incomplete destruction of larval muscular elements. The organization and remodeling of the muscular system in phoronids exhibits the combination of protostome-like and deuterostome-like features. This combination, which has also been found in the organization of some other systems in phoronids, can be regarded as an important characteristic and one that probably reflects the basal position of phoronids within the Lophotrochozoa. PMID:23617418

  11. Toxicity of road salt to Nova Scotia amphibians.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sara J; Russell, Ronald W

    2009-01-01

    The deposition of chemical pollutants into roadside wetlands from runoff is a current environmental concern. In northern latitudes, a major pollutant in runoff water is salt (NaCl), used as de-icing agents. In this study, 26 roadside ponds were surveyed for amphibian species richness and chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests (LC(50)) were performed on five locally common amphibian species using a range of environmentally significant NaCl concentrations. Field surveys indicated that spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) did not occupy high chloride ponds. American toads (Bufo americanus) showed no pond preference based on chloride concentration. Acute toxicity tests showed spotted salamanders and wood frogs were most sensitive to chloride, and American toads were the least. Spring peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) and green frogs (Rana clamitans) showed intermediate sensitivities. We concluded that chloride concentrations in ponds due to application of de-icing salts, influenced community structure by excluding salt intolerant species. PMID:18684543

  12. Conservation genetics and genomics of amphibians and reptiles.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, H Bradley; Gidi?, Mge; McCartney-Melstad, Evan; Neal, Kevin M; Oyamaguchi, Hilton M; Tellez, Marisa; Toffelmier, Erin M

    2015-01-01

    Amphibians and reptiles as a group are often secretive, reach their greatest diversity often in remote tropical regions, and contain some of the most endangered groups of organisms on earth. Particularly in the past decade, genetics and genomics have been instrumental in the conservation biology of these cryptic vertebrates, enabling work ranging from the identification of populations subject to trade and exploitation, to the identification of cryptic lineages harboring critical genetic variation, to the analysis of genes controlling key life history traits. In this review, we highlight some of the most important ways that genetic analyses have brought new insights to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles. Although genomics has only recently emerged as part of this conservation tool kit, several large-scale data sources, including full genomes, expressed sequence tags, and transcriptomes, are providing new opportunities to identify key genes, quantify landscape effects, and manage captive breeding stocks of at-risk species. PMID:25580719

  13. Early 1900s Detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean Amphibians

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Jonathan J.; Cheng, Tina L.; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P.; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T.

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis – a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs – but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains. PMID:25738656

  14. Congenital malformations of the vertebral column in ancient amphibians.

    PubMed

    Witzmann, F; Rothschild, B M; Hampe, O; Sobral, G; Gubin, Y M; Asbach, P

    2014-04-01

    Temnospondyls, the largest group of Palaeozoic and Mesozoic amphibians, primitively possess rhachitomous vertebrae with multipartite centra (consisting of one horse-shoe-shaped inter- and paired pleurocentra). In a group of temnospondyls, the stereospondyls, the intercentra became pronounced and disc-like, whereas the pleurocentra were reduced. We report the presence of congenital vertebral malformations (hemi, wedge and block vertebrae) in Permian and Triassic temnospondyls, showing that defects of formation and segmentation in the tetrapod vertebral column represent a fundamental failure of somitogenesis that can be followed throughout tetrapod evolution. This is irrespective of the type of affected vertebra, that is, rhachitomous or stereospondylous, and all components of the vertebra can be involved (intercentrum, pleurocentrum and neural arch), either together or independently on their own. This is the oldest known occurrence of wedge vertebra and congenital block vertebra described in fossil tetrapods. The frequency of vertebral congenital malformations in amphibians appears unchanged from the Holocene. PMID:23551141

  15. 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

  16. Early 1900 s detection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Korean amphibians.

    PubMed

    Fong, Jonathan J; Cheng, Tina L; Bataille, Arnaud; Pessier, Allan P; Waldman, Bruce; Vredenburg, Vance T

    2015-01-01

    The pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) is a major conservation concern because of its role in decimating amphibian populations worldwide. We used quantitative PCR to screen 244 museum specimens from the Korean Peninsula, collected between 1911 and 2004, for the presence of Bd to gain insight into its history in Asia. Three specimens of Rugosa emeljanovi (previously Rana or Glandirana rugosa), collected in 1911 from Wonsan, North Korea, tested positive for Bd. Histology of these positive specimens revealed mild hyperkeratosis - a non-specific host response commonly found in Bd-infected frogs - but no Bd zoospores or zoosporangia. Our results indicate that Bd was present in Korea more than 100 years ago, consistent with hypotheses suggesting that Korean amphibians may be infected by endemic Asian Bd strains. PMID:25738656

  17. A field guide to amphibian larvae and eggs of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Parmelee, J.R.; Knutson, M.G.; Lyon, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    Apparent worldwide declines in amphibian populations (Pechmann and Wake 1997) have stimulated interest in amphibians as bioindicators of the health of ecosystems. Because we have little information on the population status of many species, there is interest by public and private land management agencies in monitoring amphibian populations. Amphibian egg and larval surveys are established methods of surveying pond-breeding amphibians. Adults may be widely dispersed across the landscape, but eggs and larvae are confined to the breeding site during a specific season of the year. Also, observations of late-stage larvae or metamorphs are evidence of successful reproduction, which is an important indicator of the viability of the population. The goal of this guide is to help students, natural resources personnel, and biologists identify eggs and larval stages of amphibians in the field without the aid of a microscope.

  18. The Current and Historical Distribution of Special Status Amphibians at the Livermore Site and Site 300

    SciTech Connect

    Hattem, M V; Paterson, L; Woollett, J

    2008-08-20

    65 surveys were completed in 2002 to assess the current distribution of special status amphibians at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Livermore Site and Site 300. Combined with historical information from previous years, the information presented herein illustrates the dynamic and probable risk that amphibian populations face at both sites. The Livermore Site is developed and in stark contrast to the mostly undeveloped Site 300. Yet both sites have significant issues threatening the long-term sustainability of their respective amphibian populations. Livermore Site amphibians are presented with a suite of challenges inherent of urban interfaces, most predictably the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana), while Site 300's erosion issues and periodic feral pig (Sus scrofa) infestations reduce and threaten populations. The long-term sustainability of LLNL's special status amphibians will require active management and resource commitment to maintain and restore amphibian habitat at both sites.

  19. Spemann's organizer and self-regulation in amphibian embryos

    PubMed Central

    De Robertis, Edward M.

    2008-01-01

    In 1924, Spemann and Mangold demonstrated the induction of Siamese twins in transplantation experiments with salamander eggs. Recent work in amphibian embryos has followed their lead and uncovered that cells in signalling centres that are located at the dorsal and ventral poles of the gastrula embryo communicate with each other through a network of secreted growth-factor antagonists, a protease that degrades them, a protease inhibitor and bone-morphogenic-protein signals. PMID:16482093

  20. Amphibian Development in the Virtual Absence of Gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Souza, Kenneth A.; Black, Steven D.; Wassersug, Richard J.

    1995-01-01

    To test whether gravity is required for normal amphibian development, Xenopus laevis females were induced to ovulate aboard the orbiting Space Shuttle. Eggs were fertilized in vitro, and although early embryonic stages showed some abnormalities, the embryos were able to regulate and produce nearly normal larvae. These results demonstrate that a vertebrate can ovulate in the virtual absence of gravity and that the eggs can develop to a free-living stage.

  1. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines

    PubMed Central

    Rohr, Jason R.; Raffel, Thomas R.; Romansic, John M.; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J.

    2008-01-01

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines, more convincing evidence is needed of a causal link. PMID:18987318

  2. Evaluating the links between climate, disease spread, and amphibian declines.

    PubMed

    Rohr, Jason R; Raffel, Thomas R; Romansic, John M; McCallum, Hamish; Hudson, Peter J

    2008-11-11

    Human alteration of the environment has arguably propelled the Earth into its sixth mass extinction event and amphibians, the most threatened of all vertebrate taxa, are at the forefront. Many of the worldwide amphibian declines have been caused by the chytrid fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), and two contrasting hypotheses have been proposed to explain these declines. Positive correlations between global warming and Bd-related declines sparked the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis, which proposes that global warming increased cloud cover in warm years that drove the convergence of daytime and nighttime temperatures toward the thermal optimum for Bd growth. In contrast, the spatiotemporal-spread hypothesis states that Bd-related declines are caused by the introduction and spread of Bd, independent of climate change. We provide a rigorous test of these hypotheses by evaluating (i) whether cloud cover, temperature convergence, and predicted temperature-dependent Bd growth are significant positive predictors of amphibian extinctions in the genus Atelopus and (ii) whether spatial structure in the timing of these extinctions can be detected without making assumptions about the location, timing, or number of Bd emergences. We show that there is spatial structure to the timing of Atelopus spp. extinctions but that the cause of this structure remains equivocal, emphasizing the need for further molecular characterization of Bd. We also show that the reported positive multi-decade correlation between Atelopus spp. extinctions and mean tropical air temperature in the previous year is indeed robust, but the evidence that it is causal is weak because numerous other variables, including regional banana and beer production, were better predictors of these extinctions. Finally, almost all of our findings were opposite to the predictions of the chytrid-thermal-optimum hypothesis. Although climate change is likely to play an important role in worldwide amphibian declines, more convincing evidence is needed of a causal link. PMID:18987318

  3. 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

  4. Latent inhibition of predator recognition by embryonic amphibians.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Maud C O; Chivers, Douglas P

    2009-04-23

    To avoid being captured, prey animals need to be able to distinguish predators from non-predators. Recent studies have shown that amphibians can learn to recognize their future predators while in the egg. Here, we investigated whether amphibians would similarly be able to learn to recognize non-predators while in the egg. We exposed newly laid wood frog eggs to the odour of tiger salamander or a water control daily for 5 days. After hatching, the wood frog larvae were raised for two weeks at which time we tried to condition them to recognize the salamander as a predator. Larvae were exposed to injured conspecific cues paired with salamander odour, a well-established mode of learning for aquatic prey. When subsequently tested for their response to salamander odour, the larvae pre-exposed to water as embryos showed significant anti-predator responses. However, larvae pre-exposed to the salamander odour as embryos showed no learning of the predator, indicating that they had already learned to recognize the salamander as a non-predator. These results indicate that amphibian embryos can (i) learn to recognize stimuli as non-threatening and (ii) remember it for at least two weeks. The widespread ability of prey to learn to recognize non-predators might explain the persistence of injured conspecific cues as a reliable mechanism for learned predator recognition. PMID:19056547

  5. Optimizing protection efforts for amphibian conservation in Mediterranean landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Muñoz, Enrique; Ceacero, Francisco; Carretero, Miguel A.; Pedrajas-Pulido, Luis; Parra, Gema; Guerrero, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    Amphibians epitomize the modern biodiversity crisis, and attract great attention from the scientific community since a complex puzzle of factors has influence on their disappearance. However, these factors are multiple and spatially variable, and declining in each locality is due to a particular combination of causes. This study shows a suitable statistical procedure to determine threats to amphibian species in medium size administrative areas. For our study case, ten biological and ecological variables feasible to affect the survival of 15 amphibian species were categorized and reduced through Principal Component Analysis. The principal components extracted were related to ecological plasticity, reproductive potential, and specificity of breeding habitats. Finally, the factor scores of species were joined in a presence-absence matrix that gives us information to identify where and why conservation management are requires. In summary, this methodology provides the necessary information to maximize benefits of conservation measures in small areas by identifying which ecological factors need management efforts and where should we focus them on.

  6. Effects of nitrate on embryos of three amphibian species.

    PubMed

    Meredith, Christy S; Whiteman, Howard H

    2008-06-01

    Embryos of three aquatic breeding amphibian species, Ambystoma mexicanum, Hyla chrysoscelis, and Rana clamitans, were exposed to increasing levels (0, 5, 10, 30, 60, 100, 300, and 500 mg/L) of nitrate-N (NO(3)-) in laboratory, static-renewal experiments. Lethal effects were recorded from Gosner stage 2 (H. chrysoscelis and R. clamitans) or Harrison stage 2 (A. mexicanum) to time of hatching. Date of hatching and length at hatching were also compared between treatments for A. mexicanum. No significant differences in mortality between treatments were found between the three species. A. mexicanum in the 300 and 500 mg/L treatments hatched significantly earlier than individuals in the other treatment groups and, consequently, were significantly shorter in length at hatching. However, no effect on length was detected when days until hatching was considered as a covariate in the analysis. This study supports other recent research showing little to no effect of NO(3)- on amphibian embryos. The lack of effect at such high nitrate concentrations raises questions about the specific mechanisms responsible for protecting amphibians from NO(3)- during embryonic development, especially when compared to other chemicals that have shown more deleterious effects. PMID:18496633

  7. Interventions for reducing extinction risk in chytridiomycosis-threatened amphibians.

    PubMed

    Scheele, Ben C; Hunter, David A; Grogan, Laura F; Berger, Lee; Kolby, Jon E; McFadden, Michael S; Marantelli, Gerry; Skerratt, Lee F; Driscoll, Don A

    2014-10-01

    Wildlife diseases pose an increasing threat to biodiversity and are a major management challenge. A striking example of this threat is the emergence of chytridiomycosis. Despite diagnosis of chytridiomycosis as an important driver of global amphibian declines 15 years ago, researchers have yet to devise effective large-scale management responses other than biosecurity measures to mitigate disease spread and the establishment of disease-free captive assurance colonies prior to or during disease outbreaks. We examined the development of management actions that can be implemented after an epidemic in surviving populations. We developed a conceptual framework with clear interventions to guide experimental management and applied research so that further extinctions of amphibian species threatened by chytridiomycosis might be prevented. Within our framework, there are 2 management approaches: reducing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (the fungus that causes chytridiomycosis) in the environment or on amphibians and increasing the capacity of populations to persist despite increased mortality from disease. The latter approach emphasizes that mitigation does not necessarily need to focus on reducing disease-associated mortality. We propose promising management actions that can be implemented and tested based on current knowledge and that include habitat manipulation, antifungal treatments, animal translocation, bioaugmentation, head starting, and selection for resistance. Case studies where these strategies are being implemented will demonstrate their potential to save critically endangered species. PMID:24975971

  8. High prevalence of the amphibian chytrid pathogen in Gabon.

    PubMed

    Bell, Rayna C; Gata Garcia, Adriana V; Stuart, Bryan L; Zamudio, Kelly R

    2011-03-01

    Amphibian chytridiomycosis is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) that is implicated in the worldwide decline and extinction of amphibians. Africa has been proposed as a potential source for the global expansion of Bd, yet the distribution of Bd across the continent remains largely unexplored. Using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), we screened for the presence of Bd in 166 adult anurans from two national parks in Gabon (Monts de Cristal and Ivindo). Bd was detected in 20 of the 42 species and was present at all three sites surveyed (two in Monts de Cristal, and one in Ivindo) with high prevalence (19.6%-36.0%). Both national parks were Bd-positive at all elevations and across habitat types, though no dead or dying frogs were encountered. To our knowledge, this study presents the first evidence of Bd in Gabon and the first record of infection for 19 of the 20 species that were Bd-positive. Documenting the distribution and virulence of Bd across Africa will be essential for understanding the dynamics of amphibian chytridiomycosis across the globe. PMID:21210295

  9. Engineering a future for amphibians under climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shoo, L.P.; Olson, D.H.; Mcmenamin, S.K.; Murray, K.A.; Van Sluys, M.; Donnelly, M.A.; Stratford, D.; Terhivuo, J.; Merino-Viteri, A.; Herbert, S.M.; Bishop, P.J.; Corn, P.S.; Dovey, L.; Griffiths, R.A.; Lowe, K.; Mahony, M.; McCallum, H.; Shuker, J.D.; Simpkins, C.; Skerratt, L.F.; Williams, S.E.; Hero, J.-M.

    2011-01-01

    1. Altered global climates in the 21st century pose serious threats for biological systems and practical actions are needed to mount a response for species at risk. 2. We identify management actions from across the world and from diverse disciplines that are applicable to minimizing loss of amphibian biodiversity under climate change. Actions were grouped under three thematic areas of intervention: (i) installation of microclimate and microhabitat refuges; (ii) enhancement and restoration of breeding sites; and (iii) manipulation of hydroperiod or water levels at breeding sites. 3. Synthesis and applications. There are currently few meaningful management actions that will tangibly impact the pervasive threat of climate change on amphibians. A host of potentially useful but poorly tested actions could be incorporated into local or regional management plans, programmes and activities for amphibians. Examples include: installation of irrigation sprayers to manipulate water potentials at breeding sites; retention or supplementation of natural and artificial shelters (e.g. logs, cover boards) to reduce desiccation and thermal stress; manipulation of canopy cover over ponds to reduce water temperature; and, creation of hydrologoically diverse wetland habitats capable of supporting larval development under variable rainfall regimes. We encourage researchers and managers to design, test and scale up new initiatives to respond to this emerging crisis.

  10. Molecular characterization of iridoviruses isolated from sympatric amphibians and fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mao, J.; Green, D.E.; Fellers, G.; Chinchar, V.G.

    1999-01-01

    Iridoviruses infect invertebrates (primarily insects and crustaceans) and ectothermic vertebrates (fish, amphibians, and reptiles). Identical, or nearly identical viruses, have been isolated from different animals within the same taxonomic class, indicating that infection by a given virus is not limited to a single species. Although inter-class infections have been documented following experimental infection with vertebrate iridoviruses, it is not clear whether such infections occur in nature. Here we report the isolation of apparently identical iridoviruses from wild sympatric fish (the threespine stickleback, Gasterostelus aculeatus) and amphibians (the red-legged frog, Rana aurora). Viruses isolated from sticklebacks (stickleback virus, SBV) and from a red-legged frog tadpole (tadpole virus 2, TV2) replicated in fathead minnow (FHM) cells and synthesized proteins which co-migrated with those of frog virus 3 (FV3). Following restriction endonuclease digestion of viral DNA with Hind III and Xba I, gel analysis showed that the profiles of SBV and TV2 were identical to each other and distinct from FV3. Using oligonucleotide primers specific for a highly conserved region of the iridovirus major capsid protein, an not, vert, ~500 nucleotide DNA fragment was amplified from SBV and TV2. Sequence analysis showed that within this 500 nucleotide region SBV and TV2 were identical to each other and to FV3. Taken together these results provide the first evidence that iridoviruses naturally infect animals belonging to different taxonomic classes, and strengthen the suggestion that fish may serve as a reservoir for amphibian viruses or vice versa.

  11. Pronephric duct extension in amphibian embryos: migration and other mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Drawbridge, Julie; Meighan, Christopher M; Lumpkins, Rebecca; Kite, Mary E

    2003-01-01

    Initiation of excretory system development in all vertebrates requires (1) delamination of the pronephric and pronephric duct rudiments from intermediate mesoderm at the ventral border of anterior somites, and (2) extension of the pronephric duct to the cloaca. Pronephric duct extension is the central event in nephric system development; the pronephric duct differentiates into the tubule that carries nephric filtrate out of the body and induces terminal differentiation of adult kidneys. Early studies concluded that pronephric ducts formed by means of in situ segregation of pronephric duct tissue from lateral mesoderm ventral to the forming somites; more recent studies highlight caudal migration of the pronephric duct as the major morphogenetic mechanism. The purpose of this review is to provide the historical background on studies of the mechanisms of amphibian pronephric duct extension, to review evidence showing that different amphibians perform pronephric duct morphogenesis in different ways, and to suggest future studies that may help illuminate the molecular basis of the mechanisms that have evolved in amphibians to extend the pronephric duct to the cloaca. PMID:12508219

  12. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification.

    PubMed

    De Lisle, Stephen P; Rowe, Locke

    2015-03-22

    Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models-that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape-leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation. PMID:25694616

  13. Pentastomiasis and other parasitic zoonoses from reptiles and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Pantchev, Nikola; Tappe, Dennis

    2011-01-01

    Reptiles are growing in popularity as pets.The colonization of reptiles and amphibians by parasites and the resulting disease conditions are the most common problems seen in captive animals.This review focuses on pentastomiasis and sparganosis, important parasitic zoonoses of reptiles and amphibians, respectively, and free living-amoebae. Humans are suitable accidental hosts for some pentastomid species (particularly Armillifer and Porocephalus). In geographical areas with special ethnics, such as in West and Central Africa, and East Asia, 8-45% of the human population can be affected. Usually the larvae are coincidentally found during abdominal surgeries. However, fatalities have been described. Extreme caution is necessary when handling infected reptiles. Ocular or cerebral sparganosis is not uncommonly found in humans in East Asia. This disease is caused by spargana, tapeworm larvae (plerocercoids) of Spirometra sp. The infection occurs when uncooked meat from reptiles or amphibians is applied to wounds or eyes and the parasites migrate directly to human tissue, or by consumption of contaminated food or water. As a consequence of the reptile's predatory behaviour, the full spectrum of endo- and ectoparasites from potential prey animals can be found as transiting parasites in the intestinal tract, e. g. Hymenolepis nana, Cryptosporidium (C.) muris, C parvum or Capillaria hepatica. Occasionally, free-living amoebae are also found in reptile faeces (Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, Hartmanella, Vahlkampfia or Echinamoeba sp.). PMID:22191176

  14. Independent evolution of the sexes promotes amphibian diversification

    PubMed Central

    De Lisle, Stephen P.; Rowe, Locke

    2015-01-01

    Classic ecological theory predicts that the evolution of sexual dimorphism constrains diversification by limiting morphospace available for speciation. Alternatively, sexual selection may lead to the evolution of reproductive isolation and increased diversification. We test contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by examining the relationship between sexual dimorphism and diversification in amphibians. Our analysis shows that the evolution of sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is associated with increased diversification and speciation, contrary to the ecological theory. Further, this result is unlikely to be explained by traditional sexual selection models because variation in amphibian SSD is unlikely to be driven entirely by sexual selection. We suggest that relaxing a central assumption of classic ecological models—that the sexes share a common adaptive landscape—leads to the alternative hypothesis that independent evolution of the sexes may promote diversification. Once the constraints of sexual conflict are relaxed, the sexes can explore morphospace that would otherwise be inaccessible. Consistent with this novel hypothesis, the evolution of SSD in amphibians is associated with reduced current extinction threat status, and an historical reduction in extinction rate. Our work reconciles conflicting predictions from ecological and evolutionary theory and illustrates that the ability of the sexes to evolve independently is associated with a spectacular vertebrate radiation. PMID:25694616

  15. Synergism between UV-B radiation and pathogen magnifies amphibian embryo mortality in nature

    SciTech Connect

    Kiesecker, J.M.; Blaustein, R.

    1995-11-21

    Previous research has shown that amphibians have differential sensitivity to ultraviolet-B (UV-B) radiation. In some species, ambient levels of UV-B radiation cause embryonic mortality in nature. The detrimental effects of UV-B alone or with other agents may ultimately affect amphibians at the population level. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a synergistic effect between UV-B radiation and a pathogenic fungus in the field that increases the mortality of amphibian embryos compared with either factor alone. Studies investigating single factors for causes of amphibian egg mortality or population declines may not reveal the complex factors involved in declines.

  16. Perspectives from the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute: Amphibians and wilderness

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, Paul Stephen

    2001-01-01

    The decline of amphibian species has emerged as a major global conservation issue in the last decade. Last year, the Department of the Interior (DOI) initiated a major national initiative to detect trends in amphibian populations and research the causes of declines. The program, conducted principally by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), emphasizes lands managed by DOI, but collaboration with the Forest Service is encouraged to increase the scope of inference about population trends. Although amphibians are not usually the first group of animals that comes to mind when one thinks of wilderness, conservation of amphibian populations is clearly a wilderness issue.

  17. Amphibians and disease: Implications for conservation in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Corn, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    The decline of amphibian populations is a world-wide phenomenon that has received increasing attention since about 1990. In 2004, the World Conservation Union’s global amphibian assessment concluded that 48% of the world’s 5,743 described amphibian species were in decline, with 32% considered threatened (Stuart et al. 2004). Amphibian declines are a significant issue in the western United States, where all native species of frogs in the genus Rana and many toads in the genus Bufo are at risk, particularly those that inhabit mountainous areas (Corn 2003a,b; Bradford 2005).

  18. Isolation of SFRS3 gene and its differential expression during metamorphosis involving eye migration of Japanese flounder Paralichthys olivaceus.

    PubMed

    Bao, Baolong; Yang, Guimei; Liu, Zhanjiang; Li, Shenhua; Wang, Zilai; Ren, Damin

    2005-08-30

    Both eyes of flatfishes are located on one side of the body due to asymmetrical eye migration. The molecular mechanisms underlying such asymmetry is poorly understood. As an initial step, we have adopted suppression subtractive hybridization for the identification of upregulated genes during metamorphosis involving eye migration in Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olicaceus. One of the upregulated genes was identified as the splicing factor arginine/serine rich-3 (SFRS3). Sequence analysis of SFRS3 revealed that it encodes a protein of 168 amino acids containing the typical eukaryotic RNA recognition motif (RRM) and an arginine/serine-rich region. The overall amino acid sequences of the Japanese flounder SFRS3 was highly conserved with that of other organisms. The expression of flounder SFRS3 gene increased sharply from the beginning of metamorphosis and reached a high level of expression at stage H of metamorphosis 43 days after hatching. The SFRS3 gene upregulation was mainly limited to the head region, particularly in the rapidly proliferative tissues, the lateral ethmoid and "skin thickness" on blind side, which are thought as two proliferative tissues to push the eye movement. In spite of the upregulated expression of SFRS3 during metamorphosis, its role in metamorphosis involving eye migration requires further studies. PMID:15950387

  19. Developmental Transcriptome Analysis and Identification of Genes Involved in Larval Metamorphosis of the Razor Clam, Sinonovacula constricta.

    PubMed

    Niu, Donghong; Wang, Fei; Xie, Shumei; Sun, Fanyue; Wang, Ze; Peng, Maoxiao; Li, Jiale

    2016-04-01

    The razor clam Sinonovacula constricta is an important commercial species. The deficiency of developmental transcriptomic data is becoming the bottleneck of further researches on the mechanisms underlying settlement and metamorphosis in early development. In this study, de novo transcriptome sequencing was performed for S. constricta at different early developmental stages by using Illumina HiSeq 2000 paired-end (PE) sequencing technology. A total of 112,209,077 PE clean reads were generated. De novo assembly generated 249,795 contigs with an average length of 585 bp. Gene annotation resulted in the identification of 22,870 unigene hits against the NCBI database. Eight unique sequences related to metamorphosis were identified and analyzed using real-time PCR. The razor clam reference transcriptome would provide useful information on early developmental and metamorphosis mechanisms and could be used in the genetic breeding of shellfish. PMID:26921240

  20. AMPHIBIAN OCCURRENCE AND AQUATIC INVADERS IN A CHANGING LANDSCAPE: IMPLICATIONS FOR WETLAND MITIGATION IN THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OREGON, USA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite concern about the conservation status of amphibians in western North America, few field studies have documented occurrence patterns of amphibians relative to potential stressors. We surveyed wetland fauna in Oregon Willamette Valley and used an information theoretic appro...

  1. Turbine sound may influence the metamorphosis behaviour of estuarine crab megalopae.

    PubMed

    Pine, Matthew K; Jeffs, Andrew G; Radford, Craig A

    2012-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that a shift towards renewable energy production is needed in order to avoid further anthropogenically induced climate change. The ocean provides a largely untapped source of renewable energy. As a result, harvesting electrical power from the wind and tides has sparked immense government and commercial interest but with relatively little detailed understanding of the potential environmental impacts. This study investigated how the sound emitted from an underwater tidal turbine and an offshore wind turbine would influence the settlement and metamorphosis of the pelagic larvae of estuarine brachyuran crabs which are ubiquitous in most coastal habitats. In a laboratory experiment the median time to metamorphosis (TTM) for the megalopae of the crabs Austrohelice crassa and Hemigrapsus crenulatus was significantly increased by at least 18 h when exposed to either tidal turbine or sea-based wind turbine sound, compared to silent control treatments. Contrastingly, when either species were subjected to natural habitat sound, observed median TTM decreased by approximately 21-31% compared to silent control treatments, 38-47% compared to tidal turbine sound treatments, and 46-60% compared to wind turbine sound treatments. A lack of difference in median TTM in A. crassa between two different source levels of tidal turbine sound suggests the frequency composition of turbine sound is more relevant in explaining such responses rather than sound intensity. These results show that estuarine mudflat sound mediates natural metamorphosis behaviour in two common species of estuarine crabs, and that exposure to continuous turbine sound interferes with this natural process. These results raise concerns about the potential ecological impacts of sound generated by renewable energy generation systems placed in the nearshore environment. PMID:23240063

  2. More similar than you think: Frog metamorphosis as a model of human perinatal endocrinology.

    PubMed

    Buchholz, Daniel R

    2015-12-15

    Hormonal control of development during the human perinatal period is critically important and complex with multiple hormones regulating fetal growth, brain development, and organ maturation in preparation for birth. Genetic and environmental perturbations of such hormonal control may cause irreversible morphological and physiological impairments and may also predispose individuals to diseases of adulthood, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Endocrine and molecular mechanisms that regulate perinatal development and that underlie the connections between early life events and adult diseases are not well elucidated. Such mechanisms are difficult to study in uterus-enclosed mammalian embryos because of confounding maternal effects. To elucidate mechanisms of developmental endocrinology in the perinatal period, Xenopus laevis the African clawed frog is a valuable vertebrate model. Frogs and humans have identical hormones which peak at birth and metamorphosis, have conserved hormone receptors and mechanisms of gene regulation, and have comparable roles for hormones in many target organs. Study of molecular and endocrine mechanisms of hormone-dependent development in frogs is advantageous because an extended free-living larval period followed by metamorphosis (1) is independent of maternal endocrine influence, (2) exhibits dramatic yet conserved developmental effects induced by thyroid and glucocorticoid hormones, and (3) begins at a developmental stage with naturally undetectable hormone levels, thereby facilitating endocrine manipulation and interpretation of results. This review highlights the utility of frog metamorphosis to elucidate molecular and endocrine actions, hormone interactions, and endocrine disruption, especially with respect to thyroid hormone. Knowledge from the frog model is expected to provide fundamental insights to aid medical understanding of endocrine disease, stress, and endocrine disruption affecting the perinatal period in humans. PMID:25744725

  3. Turbine Sound May Influence the Metamorphosis Behaviour of Estuarine Crab Megalopae

    PubMed Central

    Pine, Matthew K.; Jeffs, Andrew G.; Radford, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    It is now widely accepted that a shift towards renewable energy production is needed in order to avoid further anthropogenically induced climate change. The ocean provides a largely untapped source of renewable energy. As a result, harvesting electrical power from the wind and tides has sparked immense government and commercial interest but with relatively little detailed understanding of the potential environmental impacts. This study investigated how the sound emitted from an underwater tidal turbine and an offshore wind turbine would influence the settlement and metamorphosis of the pelagic larvae of estuarine brachyuran crabs which are ubiquitous in most coastal habitats. In a laboratory experiment the median time to metamorphosis (TTM) for the megalopae of the crabs Austrohelice crassa and Hemigrapsus crenulatus was significantly increased by at least 18 h when exposed to either tidal turbine or sea-based wind turbine sound, compared to silent control treatments. Contrastingly, when either species were subjected to natural habitat sound, observed median TTM decreased by approximately 21–31% compared to silent control treatments, 38–47% compared to tidal turbine sound treatments, and 46–60% compared to wind turbine sound treatments. A lack of difference in median TTM in A. crassa between two different source levels of tidal turbine sound suggests the frequency composition of turbine sound is more relevant in explaining such responses rather than sound intensity. These results show that estuarine mudflat sound mediates natural metamorphosis behaviour in two common species of estuarine crabs, and that exposure to continuous turbine sound interferes with this natural process. These results raise concerns about the potential ecological impacts of sound generated by renewable energy generation systems placed in the nearshore environment. PMID:23240063

  4. Control of target gene specificity during metamorphosis by the steroid response gene E93.

    PubMed

    Mou, Xiaochun; Duncan, Dianne M; Baehrecke, Eric H; Duncan, Ian

    2012-02-21

    Hormonal control of sexual maturation is a common feature in animal development. A particularly dramatic example is the metamorphosis of insects, in which pulses of the steroid hormone ecdysone drive the wholesale transformation of the larva into an adult. The mechanisms responsible for this transformation are not well understood. Work in Drosophila indicates that the larval and adult forms are patterned by the same underlying sets of developmental regulators, but it is not understood how the same regulators pattern two distinct forms. Recent studies indicate that this ability is facilitated by a global change in the responsiveness of target genes during metamorphosis. Here we show that this shift is controlled in part by the ecdysone-induced transcription factor E93. Although long considered a dedicated regulator of larval cell death, we find that E93 is expressed widely in adult cells at the pupal stage and is required for many patterning processes at this time. To understand the role of E93 in adult patterning, we focused on a simple E93-dependent process, the induction of the Dll gene within bract cells of the pupal leg by EGF receptor signaling. In this system, we show that E93 functions to cause Dll to become responsive to EGF receptor signaling. We demonstrate that E93 is both necessary and sufficient for directing this switch. E93 likely controls the responsiveness of many other target genes because it is required broadly for patterning during metamorphosis. The wide conservation of E93 orthologs suggests that similar mechanisms control life-cycle transitions in other organisms, including vertebrates. PMID:22308414

  5. The regenerative cells during the metamorphosis in the midgut of bees.

    PubMed

    Martins, Gustavo Ferreira; Neves, Clóvis Andrade; Campos, Lúcio Antonio Oliveira; Serrão, José Eduardo

    2006-01-01

    The midgut epithelium of bees is formed by the digestive cells, responsible for enzyme secretion and nutrient absorption and for small regenerative cells that are placed in nests scattered among the digestive cells. During metamorphosis, the larval midgut epithelium degenerates and a new adult midgut epithelium is built during larval differentiation of regenerative cells. The present work focuses on the midgut epithelial modifications during the post-embryonic development of the stingless bee Melipona quadrifasciata anthidioides worker and the occurrence of regenerative cell proliferation during midgut metamorphosis in order to test the hypothesis that adult midgut epithelium of worker bees results from regenerative cell proliferation during the pupal stage. Regenerative cell proliferation was detected during larval lifespan. Larval aging is followed by an increase in the number and the size of the nests of regenerative cells. Larval epithelium degeneration begins 2 days after the start of defecation process and in this period the nests of regenerative cells are in contact by means of cytoplasmic extension which have many septate desmosomes and gap junctions. The BrdU immunoreactive regenerative cells were found in the prepupae 12 h after BrdU injection, suggesting that regenerative cell population increase during this larval period. Regenerative cell proliferation results in the increase of the regenerative cell population and not in the formation of new digestive cells because the proliferation of regenerative cells would not be enough to reestablish the nests of regenerative cells and at the same time form new adult digestive cells. In this sense the hypothesis that digestive adult cells originate from regenerative cell proliferation during midgut metamorphosis in M. quadrifasciata anthidioides was rejected. PMID:16168658

  6. Transcription factor E93 specifies adult metamorphosis in hemimetabolous and holometabolous insects

    PubMed Central

    Ureña, Enric; Manjón, Cristina; Franch-Marro, Xavier; Martín, David

    2014-01-01

    All immature animals undergo remarkable morphological and physiological changes to become mature adults. In winged insects, metamorphic changes either are limited to a few tissues (hemimetaboly) or involve a complete reorganization of most tissues and organs (holometaboly). Despite the differences, the genetic switch between immature and adult forms in both types of insects relies on the disappearance of the antimetamorphic juvenile hormone (JH) and the transcription factors Krüppel-homolog 1 (Kr-h1) and Broad-Complex (BR-C) during the last juvenile instar. Here, we show that the transcription factor E93 is the key determinant that promotes adult metamorphosis in both hemimetabolous and holometabolous insects, thus acting as the universal adult specifier. In the hemimetabolous insect Blattella germanica, BgE93 is highly expressed in metamorphic tissues, and RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated knockdown of BgE93 in the nymphal stage prevented the nymphal–adult transition, inducing endless reiteration of nymphal development, even in the absence of JH. We also find that BgE93 down-regulated BgKr-h1 and BgBR-C expression during the last nymphal instar of B. germanica, a key step necessary for proper adult differentiation. This essential role of E93 is conserved in holometabolous insects as TcE93 RNAi in Tribolium castaneum prevented pupal–adult transition and produced a supernumerary second pupa. In this beetle, TcE93 also represses expression of TcKr-h1 and TcBR-C during the pupal stage. Similar results were obtained in the more derived holometabolous insect Drosophila melanogaster, suggesting that winged insects use the same regulatory mechanism to promote adult metamorphosis. This study provides an important insight into the understanding of the molecular basis of adult metamorphosis. PMID:24778249

  7. TGF-β signaling in insects regulates metamorphosis via juvenile hormone biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Ishimaru, Yoshiyasu; Tomonari, Sayuri; Matsuoka, Yuji; Watanabe, Takahito; Miyawaki, Katsuyuki; Bando, Tetsuya; Tomioka, Kenji; Ohuchi, Hideyo; Noji, Sumihare; Mito, Taro

    2016-05-17

    Although butterflies undergo a dramatic morphological transformation from larva to adult via a pupal stage (holometamorphosis), crickets undergo a metamorphosis from nymph to adult without formation of a pupa (hemimetamorphosis). Despite these differences, both processes are regulated by common mechanisms that involve 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and juvenile hormone (JH). JH regulates many aspects of insect physiology, such as development, reproduction, diapause, and metamorphosis. Consequently, strict regulation of JH levels is crucial throughout an insect's life cycle. However, it remains unclear how JH synthesis is regulated. Here, we report that in the corpora allata of the cricket, Gryllus bimaculatus, Myoglianin (Gb'Myo), a homolog of Drosophila Myoglianin/vertebrate GDF8/11, is involved in the down-regulation of JH production by suppressing the expression of a gene encoding JH acid O-methyltransferase, Gb'jhamt In contrast, JH production is up-regulated by Decapentaplegic (Gb'Dpp) and Glass-bottom boat/60A (Gb'Gbb) signaling that occurs as part of the transcriptional activation of Gb'jhamt Gb'Myo defines the nature of each developmental transition by regulating JH titer and the interactions between JH and 20E. When Gb'myo expression is suppressed, the activation of Gb'jhamt expression and secretion of 20E induce molting, thereby leading to the next instar before the last nymphal instar. Conversely, high Gb'myo expression induces metamorphosis during the last nymphal instar through the cessation of JH synthesis. Gb'myo also regulates final insect size. Because Myo/GDF8/11 and Dpp/bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)2/4-Gbb/BMP5-8 are conserved in both invertebrates and vertebrates, the present findings provide common regulatory mechanisms for endocrine control of animal development. PMID:27140602

  8. Angiogenesis Assays.

    PubMed

    Nambiar, Dhanya K; Kujur, Praveen K; Singh, Rana P

    2016-01-01

    Neoangiogenesis constitutes one of the first steps of tumor progression beyond a critical size of tumor growth, which supplies a dormant mass of cancerous cells with the required nutrient supply and gaseous exchange through blood vessels essentially needed for their sustained and aggressive growth. In order to understand any biological process, it becomes imperative that we use models, which could mimic the actual biological system as closely as possible. Hence, finding the most appropriate model is always a vital part of any experimental design. Angiogenesis research has also been much affected due to lack of simple, reliable, and relevant models which could be easily quantitated. The angiogenesis models have been used extensively for studying the action of various molecules for agonist or antagonistic behaviour and associated mechanisms. Here, we have described two protocols or models which have been popularly utilized for studying angiogenic parameters. Rat aortic ring assay tends to bridge the gap between in vitro and in vivo models. The chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay is one of the most utilized in vivo model system for angiogenesis-related studies. The CAM is highly vascularized tissue of the avian embryo and serves as a good model to study the effects of various test compounds on neoangiogenesis. PMID:26608294

  9. Analysis of gene expression in Homarus americanus larvae exposed to sublethal concentrations of endosulfan during metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Megan; Greenwood, Spencer J; Clark, K Fraser; Jackman, Paula; Fairchild, Wayne

    2013-12-01

    Agricultural pesticide runoff has been suspected as the cause of numerous fish kills in rivers throughout Prince Edward Island but the impact on the surrounding marine environment is unknown. Endosulfan, an organochlorine pesticide, is a potent neurotoxin and molt inhibitor used to combat the Colorado potato beetle however it has the potential to affect non-target organisms including the American lobster (Homarus americanus). Metamorphosis is a critical stage of development and the effects of contaminant exposure during this time are largely unknown in lobster. A 14day endosulfan exposure was performed to identify the effects on survival, development and gene expression in lobster larvae during metamorphosis; all of which were predicted to be negatively impacted. The higher endosulfan concentrations resulted in greater mortality and a significant increase in the number of days required to reach metamorphosis in surviving animals. A custom made H. americanus microarray was used for monitoring the changes in expression of 14,592 genes at the termination of the exposure. Genes with >1.5 fold change and identified as being significant at p<0.05 using one-way ANOVA were selected for further analysis. A total of 707 genes were identified as being significantly differentiated, however with only ~40% annotation of the array, the majority of these genes were unknown. Annotated genes of interest were involved in many processes: development, metabolism, immunity and oxidative stress response and gene regulation. Nine genes of interest (histone H1, farnesoic acid O-methyltransferase, cuticle protein, glutathione S-transferase, thioredoxin, NADH dehydrogenase, ecdysone nuclear receptor Fushi tarazu F1 (FTZ-F1), ferritin and ecdysone inducible protein E75 (EIP-E75)) were selected for RT-qPCR validation of the microarray results. The RT-qPCR method was more sensitive than the microarray yet detected similar expression patterns. The two highest endosulfan concentrations resulted in increased mortalities, developmental delays in reaching metamorphosis and significant changes in gene expression. This research provides a foundation for using microarray gene expression profiles as screening tools for exploring the impact of environmental contaminants on lobster. PMID:24041715

  10. AN OVERVIEW OF OECD AND EPA/ORD ACTIVITIES RELATED TO AMPHIBIAN TESTING

    EPA Science Inventory

    There has been significant recent activity related to testing amphibians in a regulatory setting. Much of this has emanated from interest by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in utilizing amphibians in scree...

  11. Cognitive and Emotional Evaluation of an Amphibian Conservation Program for Elementary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Randler, Christoph; Ilg, Angelika; Kern, Janina

    2005-01-01

    The authors describe a study aimed at enhancing knowledge about amphibian species. Two classes of 3rd and 4th graders aged 9-11 years participated in the study. In addition, approximately one half of the students participated in an environmental conservation action designated to preserve migrating amphibians. During this action, students…

  12. The Creatures beneath Our Feet: Amphibian Monitors Take to the Road.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daigle, Cheryl Perusse

    1999-01-01

    The Nature Conservancy's Berkshire Program involves community volunteers in monitoring migration routes of amphibians that rely on vernal pools for breeding success. Vernal-pool workshops provide basic knowledge of amphibian lifecycles and detailed monitoring instructions. Nighttime field trips for adults and children and monitoring experiences

  13. Mitigating amphibian chytridiomycosis with bioaugmentation: characteristics of effective probiotics and strategies for their selection and use.

    PubMed

    Bletz, Molly C; Loudon, Andrew H; Becker, Matthew H; Bell, Sara C; Woodhams, Douglas C; Minbiole, Kevin P C; Harris, Reid N

    2013-06-01

    Probiotic therapy through bioaugmentation is a feasible disease mitigation strategy based on growing evidence that microbes contribute to host defences of plants and animals. Amphibians are currently threatened by the rapid global spread of the pathogen, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which causes the disease chytridiomycosis. Bioaugmentation of locally occurring protective bacteria on amphibians has mitigated this disease effectively in laboratory trials and one recent field trial. Areas still naïve to Bd provide an opportunity for conservationists to proactively implement probiotic strategies to prevent further amphibian declines. In areas where Bd is endemic, bioaugmentation can facilitate repatriation of susceptible amphibians currently maintained in assurance colonies. Here, we synthesise the current research in amphibian microbial ecology and bioaugmentation to identify characteristics of effective probiotics in relation to their interactions with Bd, their host, other resident microbes and the environment. To target at-risk species and amphibian communities, we develop sampling strategies and filtering protocols that result in probiotics that inhibit Bd under ecologically relevant conditions and persist on susceptible amphibians. This filtering tool can be used proactively to guide amphibian disease mitigation and can be extended to other taxa threatened by emerging infectious diseases. PMID:23452227

  14. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat

  15. RENO, NV, JANUARY 15, 2004: FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE UNITED STATES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from 267 species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in the forthcoming book, 'Status and Conservation of U.S. Amphibians'. Spec...

  16. What's Slithering around on Your School Grounds? Transforming Student Awareness of Reptile & Amphibian Diversity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tomasek, Terry M.; Matthews, Catherine E.; Hall, Jeff

    2005-01-01

    The protocols used in a research project on amphibian and reptile diversity at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center near New Bern, North Carolina is described. An increasing or stable number of amphibians and reptiles would indicate that the forest has a balance of invertebrates, leaf litter, moisture, pH, debris, burrows and habitat…

  17. Coordinated Studies of Ultraviolet Radiation and Amphibians in Lentic Wetland Habitats

    EPA Science Inventory

    Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has been suggested as a potential cause of population declines and increases in malformations in amphibians. This study indicates that the present distributions of amphibians in four western U.S. National Parks are not related to UVR exposure, and sugg...

  18. The Creatures beneath Our Feet: Amphibian Monitors Take to the Road.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Daigle, Cheryl Perusse

    1999-01-01

    The Nature Conservancy's Berkshire Program involves community volunteers in monitoring migration routes of amphibians that rely on vernal pools for breeding success. Vernal-pool workshops provide basic knowledge of amphibian lifecycles and detailed monitoring instructions. Nighttime field trips for adults and children and monitoring experiences…

  19. Ultraviolet radiation and Vitamin D3 in amphibian health, behaviour, diet and conservation.

    PubMed

    Antwis, R E; Browne, R K

    2009-10-01

    Amphibians are currently suffering a period of mass extinction with approximately 20% of species under severe threat and more than 120 species already extinct. In light of this crisis there is an urgency to establish viable ex situ populations and also find the causes of in situ declines. The role of ultraviolet radiation and Vitamin D(3) in amphibian health directly influences both ex situ and in situ populations. Vitamin D(3) can be photosynthesised endogenously via UV-B radiation (UV-B), or acquired through the diet, and then metabolised to calcitriol the biologically active hormonal form. Although, there is a lack of literature concerning Vitamin D(3) requirements and calcitriol synthesis in amphibians, amphibians are likely to have similar Vitamin D(3) requirements and metabolic processes as other vertebrates due to the phylogenetically conservative nature of calcitriol biosynthesis. Deficiencies in calcitriol in amphibians result in nutritional metabolic bone disease (NMBD) and could compromise reproduction and immunity. However, excess biologically active UV radiation has also proven detrimental across all three amphibian life stages and therefore could impact both in situ and ex situ populations. Here we review the role and necessity of UV-B and calcitriol in amphibians and the potential for negative impacts due to excessive exposure to UV radiation. We also identify priorities for research that could provide critical information for maintaining healthy in ex situ and in situ populations of amphibians. PMID:19555772

  20. Inhibition of Escherichia coli ATP synthase by amphibian antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Laughlin, Thomas F; Ahmad, Zulfiqar

    2010-04-01

    Previously melittin, the alpha-helical basic honey bee venom peptide, was shown to inhibit F(1)-ATPase by binding at the beta-subunit DELSEED motif of F(1)F(o)-ATP synthase. Herein, we present the inhibitory effects of the basic alpha-helical amphibian antimicrobial peptides, ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, carein 1.8, carein 1.9, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, maculatin 1.1, maganin II, MRP, or XT-7, on purified F(1) and membrane bound F(1)F(0)Escherichia coli ATP synthase. We found that the extent of inhibition by amphibian peptides is variable. Whereas MRP-amide inhibited ATPase essentially completely (approximately 96% inhibition), carein 1.8 did not inhibit at all (0% inhibition). Inhibition by other peptides was partial with a range of approximately 13-70%. MRP-amide was also the most potent inhibitor on molar scale (IC(50) approximately 3.25 microM). Presence of an amide group at the c-terminal of peptides was found to be critical in exerting potent inhibition of ATP synthase ( approximately 20-40% additional inhibition). Inhibition was fully reversible and found to be identical in both F(1)F(0) membrane preparations as well as in isolated purified F(1). Interestingly, growth of E. coli was abrogated in the presence of ascaphin-8, aurein 2.2, aurein 2.3, citropin 1.1, dermaseptin, magainin II-amide, MRP, MRP-amide, melittin, or melittin-amide but was unaffected in the presence of carein 1.8, carein 1.9, maculatin 1.1, magainin II, or XT-7. Hence inhibition of F(1)-ATPase and E. coli cell growth by amphibian antimicrobial peptides suggests that their antimicrobial/anticancer properties are in part linked to their actions on ATP synthase. PMID:20100509

  1. Experimental canopy removal enhances diversity of vernal pond amphibians.

    PubMed

    Skelly, David K; Bolden, Susan R; Freidenburg, L Kealoha

    2014-03-01

    Vernal ponds are often treated as protected environments receiving special regulation and management. Within the landscapes where they are found, forest vegetation frequently dominates surrounding uplands and can grow to overtop and shade pond basins. Two bodies of research offer differing views of the role of forest canopy for vernal pond systems. Studies of landscape conversion suggest that removing forest overstory within uplands can cause local extinctions of amphibians by altering terrestrial habitat or hindering movement. Studies of canopy above pond basins imply an opposite relationship; encroachment of overstory vegetation can be associated with local extinctions potentially via changes in light, thermal, and food resource environments. Unresolved uncertainties about the role of forest canopy reveal significant gaps in our understanding of wetland species distributions and dynamics. Any misunderstanding of canopy influences is simultaneously important to managers because current practices emphasize promoting or conserving vegetation growth particularly within buffers immediately adjacent to ponds. We evaluated this apparent contradiction by conducting a landscape-scale, long-term experiment using 14 natural vernal ponds. Tree felling at six manipulated ponds was limited in spatial scope but was nevertheless effective in increasing water temperature. Compared with eight control ponds, manipulated ponds maintained more amphibian species during five years post-manipulation. There was little evidence that any species was negatively influenced, and the reproductive effort of species for which we estimated egg inputs maintained pretreatment population densities in manipulated compared with control ponds. Overall, our experiment shows that a carefully circumscribed reduction of overhead forest canopy can enhance the capacity of vernal ponds to support wildlife diversity and suggests a scale dependence of canopy influences on amphibians. These findings have implications for the connection between current wetland management practices and the goals of wetland stewardship and conservation of wetland-dependent species. PMID:24689145

  2. Effect of diethylstilbestrol on thyroid hormone binding to amphibian transthyretins.

    PubMed

    Yamauchi, K; Prapunpoj, P; Richardson, S J

    2000-09-01

    Transthyretin (TTR) is responsible for a major part of the binding of thyroid hormone to proteins in the plasma in amphibian tadpoles. To characterize the binding properties of amphibian TTRs, the effects of 17 hydrophobic signaling molecules, including 6 endocrine disruptors, on 3,5,3'-l-[(125)I]triiodothyronine ([(125)I]T(3)) binding to plasma proteins were examined in bullfrog Rana catesbeiana tadpoles. T(3) was the most potent competitive inhibitor among the 11 natural biological ligands studied, with an ID(50) of 8 nM. Diethylstilbestrol (DES) was the most powerful inhibitor among the 6 endocrine disruptors studied, with an ID(50) of 20 nM. Similar inhibitions of [(125)I]T(3) binding by these compounds were obtained when purified recombinant Xenopus and Rana TTRs were analyzed. Scatchard analysis revealed that Xenopus and Rana TTRs each possessed a single class of binding site for T(3), with a K(d) of 262 and 1.9 nM, respectively, at 0 degrees C. DES, at a concentration of 200 nM, induced the uptake of [(125)I]T(3) into Rana red blood cells suspended in Rana plasma from prometamorphic stages XIII-XV, when TTR is present in plasma. DES induced the uptake of [(125)I]T(3) into red blood cells to a lesser extent when they were suspended in Rana plasma from metamorphic climax stage XXIV, in which the level of TTR was lower than in plasma from the prometamorphic tadpoles. These results indicate that amphibian TTRs have the ability to bind DES with similar affinity to T(3), the natural ligand, and raise the possibility that DES binding to TTR might induce the temporary elevation of the free concentration of plasma T(3) followed by acceleration of cellular T(3) uptake. PMID:11017780

  3. Relationship Between Landscape Character, UV Exposure, and Amphibian Decline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Reilly, C. M.; Brooks, P. D.; Corn, P. S.; Muths, E.; Campbell, D. H.; Diamond, S.; Tonnessen, K.

    2001-12-01

    Widespread reports of amphibian declines have been considered a warning of large-scale environmental degradation, yet the reasons for these declines remain unclear. This study suggests that exposure to ultraviolet radiation may act as an environmental stressor that affects population breeding success or susceptibility to disease. Ultraviolet radiation is attenuated by dissolved and particulate compounds in water, which may be of either terrestrial or aquatic origin. UV attenuation by dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is primarily due to compounds in the fulvic acid fraction, which originate in soil environments. These terrestrially-derived fulvic acids are transported to during hydrologic flushing events such as snowmelt and episodic precipitation and play an important role in controlling UV exposure in surface waters. As part of a previously published project, amphibian surveys were conducted at seventeen sites in Rocky Mountain National Park both during, and subsequent to, a three-year drought (1988 - 1990). During this period, ten sites lost one amphibian species, while only one site gained a previously unreported species. One possible explanation for these localized species losses is increased exposure to UV radiation, mediated by reduced terrestrial DOC inputs during dry periods. Several subsequent years of water chemistry data showed that the sites with documented species losses were characterized by a range of DOC concentrations, but tended to have a greater proportion of terrestrial DOC than sites that did not undergo species loss. This suggests that terrestrial inputs exert a strong control on DOC concentrations that may influence species success. We used physical environmental factors to develop a classification scheme for these sites. There are many physical factors that can influence terrestrial DOC inputs, including landscape position, geomorphology, soil type, and watershed vegetation. In addition, we considered the possible effects on internal aquatic inputs, such as nutrient status, food web composition, and aquatic vegetation. Finally, we examined other sites in Rocky Mountain National Park to determine their susceptibility to species loss.

  4. 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

  5. Parallels in amphibian and bat declines from pathogenic fungi.

    PubMed

    Eskew, Evan A; Todd, Brian D

    2013-03-01

    Pathogenic fungi have substantial effects on global biodiversity, and 2 emerging pathogenic species-the chytridiomycete Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which causes chytridiomycosis in amphibians, and the ascomycete Geomyces destructans, which causes white-nose syndrome in hibernating bats-are implicated in the widespread decline of their vertebrate hosts. We synthesized current knowledge for chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome regarding disease emergence, environmental reservoirs, life history characteristics of the host, and host-pathogen interactions. We found striking similarities between these aspects of chytridiomycosis and white-nose syndrome, and the research that we review and propose should help guide management of future emerging fungal diseases. PMID:23622255

  6. Sperm motility of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians.

    PubMed

    Browne, R K; Kaurova, S A; Uteshev, V K; Shishova, N V; McGinnity, D; Figiel, C R; Mansour, N; Agney, D; Wu, M; Gakhova, E N; Dzyuba, B; Cosson, J

    2015-01-01

    We review the phylogeny, sperm competition, morphology, physiology, and fertilization environments of the sperm of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians. Increased sperm competition in both fish and anurans generally increases sperm numbers, sperm length, and energy reserves. The difference between the internal osmolarity and iconicity of sperm cells and those of the aquatic medium control the activation, longevity, and velocity of sperm motility. Hypo-osmolarity of the aquatic medium activates the motility of freshwater fish and amphibian sperm and hyperosmolarity activates the motility of marine fish sperm. The average longevity of the motility of marine fish sperm (~550 seconds) was significantly (P < 0.05) greater than that of freshwater fish sperm (~150 seconds), with the longevities of both marine and freshwater fish being significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that of anuran sperm (~4100 seconds). The average velocity of anuran sperm (25 μm/s) was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than that of marine fish (140 μm/s) or freshwater fish (135 μm/s) sperm. The longevity of the sperm of giant salamanders (Cryptobranchoidea) of approximately 600 seconds was greater than that of freshwater fish sperm but much lower than anuran sperm. Our research and information from the literature showed that higher osmolarities promote greater longevity in anuran sperm, and some freshwater fish sperm, and that anuran and cryptobranchid sperm maintained membrane integrity long after the cessation of motility, demonstrating a preferential sharing of energy reserves toward the maintenance of membrane integrity. The maintenance of the membrane integrity of anuran sperm in fresh water for up to 6 hours showed an extremely high osmotic tolerance relative to fish sperm. The very high longevity and osmotic tolerance of anuran sperm and high longevity of cryptobranchid sperm, relative to those of freshwater fish, may reflect the complex fertilization history of amphibian sperm in general and anurans reversion from internal to external fertilization. Our findings provide a greater understanding of the reproductive biology of externally fertilizing fish and amphibians, and a biological foundation for the further development of reproduction technologies for their sustainable management. PMID:25442393

  7. The role of multiple stressor causes in declining amphibian populations: a wingspread workshop summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krest, S.K.; Linder, G.; Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the decline of amphibian populations over the past decade and no single factor has been the linked to these widespread declines. Determining the causes of declining amphibian populations worldwide has proven difficult because of the variety of anthropogenic and natural suspect agents. A Wingspread workshop, convened by The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), brought together individuals with expertise in the areas of amphibian biology, ecotoxicology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. This workshop had three objectives: 1) create a network for future discussions on multiple stressor causes of declines; 2) characterize and prioritize technical issues critical to the analysis of the decline problem; and 3) identify and develop resource management approaches to promote sustainable and healthy amphibian populations. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a book entitled, 'Multiple Stressors and Declining Amphibian Populations: Evaluating Cause and Effect.' This paper summarizes the results of the workshop.

  8. The role of multiple stressor causes in declining amphibian populations: A wingspread workshop summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krest, S.K.; Linder, G.; Sparling, D.W.

    2003-01-01

    Numerous studies have documented the decline of amphibian populations over the past decade and no single factor has been the linked to these widespread declines. Determining the causes of declining amphibian populations worldwide has proven difficult because of the variety of anthropogenic and natural suspect agents. A Wingspread workshop, convened by The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), brought together individuals with expertise in the areas of amphibian biology, ecotoxicology, natural resource management, and environmental policy. This workshop had three objectives: 1) create a network for future discussions on multiple Stressor causes of declines; 2) characterize and prioritize technical issues critical to the analysis of the decline problem; and 3) identify and develop resource management approaches to promote sustainable and healthy amphibian populations. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a book entitled, "Multiple Stressors and Declining Amphibian Populations: Evaluating Cause and Effect." This paper summarizes the results of the workshop.

  9. A critical review of freshwater crayfish as amphibian predators: capable consumers of toxic prey?

    PubMed

    Wilson, Natasha J; Williams, Craig R

    2014-05-01

    Consumption of amphibian eggs and larvae by crayfish has been widely reported despite many amphibians being unpalatable and/or toxic to other predators. The aim of this review was to gather information regarding the consumption and/or avoidance of toxic amphibians by these omnivores. We then appraised the extent of toxin consumptive ability in terms of crayfish phylogenetic history so as to speculate as to the evolutionary history of this trait. Reports indicating an ability to tolerate amphibian toxins were collected and reviewed for 12 freshwater crayfish species. In reviewing these, we have established that freshwater crayfish appear to be tolerant of a range of toxic amphibians, often consuming large numbers of eggs and larvae without lethal or apparent sublethal effects. Toxin tolerance was evident within both superfamilies (Astacoidea and Parastacoidea) suggesting that tolerance may be a primitive trait in freshwater crayfish. PMID:24556015

  10. Synergistic effects of the invasive Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera) and climate change on aquatic amphibian survival

    PubMed Central

    Saenz, Daniel; Fucik, Erin M; Kwiatkowski, Matthew A

    2013-01-01

    Changes in climate and the introduction of invasive species are two major stressors to amphibians, although little is known about the interaction between these two factors with regard to impacts on amphibians. We focused our study on an invasive tree species, the Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), that annually sheds its leaves and produces leaf litter that is known to negatively impact aquatic amphibian survival. The purpose of our research was to determine whether the timing of leaf fall from Chinese tallow and the timing of amphibian breeding (determined by weather) influence survival of amphibian larvae. We simulated a range of winter weather scenarios, ranging from cold to warm, by altering the relative timing of when leaf litter and amphibian larvae were introduced into aquatic mesocosms. Our results indicate that amphibian larvae survival was greatly affected by the length of time Chinese tallow leaf litter decomposes in water prior to the introduction of the larvae. Larvae in treatments simulating warm winters (early amphibian breeding) were introduced to the mesocosms early in the aquatic decomposition process of the leaf litter and had significantly lower survival compared with cold winters (late amphibian breeding), likely due to significantly lower dissolved oxygen levels. Shifts to earlier breeding phenology, linked to warming climate, have already been observed in many amphibian taxa, and with most climate models predicting a significant warming trend over the next century, the trend toward earlier breeding should continue if not increase. Our results strongly suggest that a warming climate can interact with the effects of invasive plant species, in ways we have not previously considered, to reduce the survival of an already declining group of organisms. PMID:24363907

  11. An Unprecedented Role Reversal: Ground Beetle Larvae (Coleoptera: Carabidae) Lure Amphibians and Prey upon Them

    PubMed Central

    Wizen, Gil; Gasith, Avital

    2011-01-01

    Amphibians often feed on beetle larvae, including those of ground beetles (Carabidae). Preliminary reports have detailed an unusual trophic interaction in which, in contrast, larvae of the ground beetle Epomis prey upon juvenile and adult amphibians. While it is known that these larvae feed exclusively on amphibians, how the predator-prey encounter occurs to the advantage of the beetle larvae had been unknown to date. Using laboratory observations and controlled experiments, we recorded the feeding behavior of Epomis larvae, as well as the behavior of their amphibian prey. Here we reveal that larvae of two species of Epomis (E. circumscriptus and E. dejeani) lure their potential predator, taking advantage of the amphibian's predation behavior. The Epomis larva combines a sit-and-wait strategy with unique movements of its antennae and mandibles to draw the attention of the amphibian to the presence of a potential prey. The intensity of this enticement increases with decreasing distance between the larva and the amphibian. When the amphibian attacks, the larva almost always manages to avoid the predator's protracted tongue, exploiting the opportunity to attach itself to the amphibian's body and initiate feeding. Our findings suggest that the trophic interaction between Epomis larvae and amphibians is one of the only natural cases of obligatory predator-prey role reversal. Moreover, this interaction involves a small insect larva that successfully lures and preys on a larger vertebrate. Such role reversal is exceptional in the animal world, extending our perspective of co-evolution in the arms race between predator and prey, and suggesting that counterattack defense behavior has evolved into predator-prey role reversal. PMID:21957480

  12. Dusky-like is required for epidermal pigmentation and metamorphosis in Tribolium castaneum.

    PubMed

    Li, Chengjun; Yun, Xiaopei; Li, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Dusky-like (Dyl) is associated with the morphogenesis of embryonic denticle, adult sensory bristle and wing hair in Drosophila melanogaster. And whether Dyl involved in insect post-embryonic development and its signal transduction are poorly understood. Here, phylogenetic analysis revealed that dyl displayed one-to-one orthologous relationship among insects. In Tribolium castaneum, dyl is abundantly expressed at the late embryonic stage. Tissue-specific expression analysis at the late adult stage illustrated high expression of dyl in the fat body and ovary. Knockdown of dyl resulted in the defects in larval epidermal pigmentation and completely blocked the transitions from larval to pupal and pupal to adult stages of T. castaneum. We further discovered that dyl RNAi phenotypes were phenocopied by blimp-1 or shavenbaby (svb) silencing, and dyl was positively regulated by blimp-1 through svb in T. castaneum. These results suggest that Dyl functions downstream of Blimp-1 through Svb for larval epidermal pigmentation and metamorphosis. Moreover, ftz-f1 was down-regulated after RNA interference (RNAi) suppressing any of those three genes, indicating that Ftz-f1 works downstream of Dyl to mediate the effects of Blimp-1, Svb and Dyl on metamorphosis in T. castaneum. This study provides valuable insights into functions and signaling pathway of insect Dyl. PMID:26829909

  13. Dusky-like is required for epidermal pigmentation and metamorphosis in Tribolium castaneum

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chengjun; Yun, Xiaopei; Li, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Dusky-like (Dyl) is associated with the morphogenesis of embryonic denticle, adult sensory bristle and wing hair in Drosophila melanogaster. And whether Dyl involved in insect post-embryonic development and its signal transduction are poorly understood. Here, phylogenetic analysis revealed that dyl displayed one-to-one orthologous relationship among insects. In Tribolium castaneum, dyl is abundantly expressed at the late embryonic stage. Tissue-specific expression analysis at the late adult stage illustrated high expression of dyl in the fat body and ovary. Knockdown of dyl resulted in the defects in larval epidermal pigmentation and completely blocked the transitions from larval to pupal and pupal to adult stages of T. castaneum. We further discovered that dyl RNAi phenotypes were phenocopied by blimp-1 or shavenbaby (svb) silencing, and dyl was positively regulated by blimp-1 through svb in T. castaneum. These results suggest that Dyl functions downstream of Blimp-1 through Svb for larval epidermal pigmentation and metamorphosis. Moreover, ftz-f1 was down-regulated after RNA interference (RNAi) suppressing any of those three genes, indicating that Ftz-f1 works downstream of Dyl to mediate the effects of Blimp-1, Svb and Dyl on metamorphosis in T. castaneum. This study provides valuable insights into functions and signaling pathway of insect Dyl. PMID:26829909

  14. Post-embryonic larval development and metamorphosis of the hydroid Eudendrium racemosum (Cavolini) (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sommer, C.

    1990-09-01

    The morphology and histology of the planula larva of Eudendrium racemosum (Cavolini) and its metamorphosis into the primary polyp are described from light microscopic observations. The planula hatches as a differentiated gastrula. During the lecithotrophic larval period, large ectodermal mucous cells, embedded between epitheliomuscular cells, secrete a sticky slime. Two granulated cell types occur in the ectoderm that are interpreted as secretory and sensorynervous cells, but might also be representatives of only one cell type with a multiple function. The entoderm consists of yolk-storing gastrodermal cells, digestive gland cells, interstitial cells, cnidoblasts, and premature cnidocytes. The larva starts metamorphosis by affixing its blunt aboral pole to a substratum. While the planula flattens down, the mucous cells penetrate the mesolamella and migrate through the entoderm into the gastral cavity where they are lysed. Subsequently, interstitial cells, cnidoblasts, and premature cnidocytes migrate in the opposite direction, i.e. from entoderm to ectoderm. Then, the polypoid body organization, comprising head (hydranth), stem and foot, all covered by peridermal secretion, becomes recognisable. An oral constriction divides the hypostomal portion of the gastral cavity from the stomachic portion. Within the hypostomal entoderm, cells containing secretory granules differentiate. Following growth and the multiplication of tentacles, the head periderm disappears. A ring of gland cells differentiates at the hydranth's base. The positioning of cnidae in the tentacle ectoderm, penetration of the mouth opening and the multiplication of digestive gland cells enable the polyp to change from lecithotrophic to planktotrophic nutrition.

  15. Phenotypic variation in metamorphosis and paedomorphosis in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum

    SciTech Connect

    Semlitsch, R.D.; Gibbons, J.W.

    1985-08-01

    Phenotypic variation in metamorphosis and paedomorphosis in the salamander Ambystoma talpoideum was examined to determine its environmental or genetic basis. Eight artificial ponds were maintained, four at each of two environmental treatments: constant water level, to simulate fish-free permanent breeding ponds, and gradual drying out, to simulate temporary breeding ponds. Two populations of salamanders were used, derived from two breeding ponds having different frequencies of paedomorphosis. The water level in the drying treatment was lowered during the last 10 wk of the experimental period with no apparent differences in water chemistry parameters between treatments and only a slight change in water temperature during the last 2 wk. The effects of water level were potentially confounded by those of water temperature, density of larvae, and amount food. Population differences in the frequency of metamorphosis and paedomorphosis could potentially represent genetic differences resulting from the different selective regimes that individuals encounter in breeding ponds varying in drying frequency. 35 references, 3 figures, 4 tables.

  16. Ouro proteins are not essential to tail regression during Xenopus tropicalis metamorphosis.

    PubMed

    Nakai, Yuya; Nakajima, Keisuke; Robert, Jacques; Yaoita, Yoshio

    2016-03-01

    Tail regression is one of the most prominent transformations observed during anuran metamorphosis. A tadpole tail that is twice as long as the tadpole trunk nearly disappears within 3 days in Xenopus tropicalis. Several years ago, it was proposed that this phenomenon is driven by an immunological rejection of larval-skin-specific antigens, Ouro proteins. We generated ouro-knockout tadpoles using the TALEN method to reexamine this immunological rejection model. Both the ouro1- and ouro2-knockout tadpoles expressed a very low level of mRNA transcribed from a targeted ouro gene, an undetectable level of Ouro protein encoded by a target gene and a scarcely detectable level of the other Ouro protein from the untargeted ouro gene in tail skin. Furthermore, congenital athymic frogs were produced by Foxn1 gene modification. Flow cytometry analysis showed that mutant frogs lacked splenic CD8(+) T cells, which play a major role in cytotoxic reaction. Furthermore, T-cell-dependent skin allograft rejection was dramatically impaired in mutant frogs. None of the knockout tadpoles showed any significant delay in the process of tail shortening during the climax of metamorphosis, which shows that Ouro proteins are not essential to tail regression at least in Xenopus tropicalis and argues against the immunological rejection model. PMID:26847415

  17. A new clarification method to visualize biliary degeneration during liver metamorphosis in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chung-Davidson, Yu-Wen; Davidson, Peter J.; Scott, Anne M.; Walaszczyk, Erin J.; Brant, Cory O.; Buchinger, Tyler; Johnson, Nicholas S.; Li, Weiming

    2014-01-01

    Biliary atresia is a rare disease of infancy, with an estimated 1 in 15,000 frequency in the southeast United States, but more common in East Asian countries, with a reported frequency of 1 in 5,000 in Taiwan. Although much is known about the management of biliary atresia, its pathogenesis is still elusive. The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) provides a unique opportunity to examine the mechanism and progression of biliary degeneration. Sea lamprey develop through three distinct life stages: larval, parasitic, and adult. During the transition from larvae to parasitic juvenile, sea lamprey undergo metamorphosis with dramatic reorganization and remodeling in external morphology and internal organs. In the liver, the entire biliary system is lost, including the gall bladder and the biliary tree. A newly-developed method called “CLARITY” was modified to clarify the entire liver and the junction with the intestine in metamorphic sea lamprey. The process of biliary degeneration was visualized and discerned during sea lamprey metamorphosis by using laser scanning confocal microscopy. This method provides a powerful tool to study biliary atresia in a unique animal model.

  18. Experimental infection dynamics: using immunosuppression and in vivo parasite tracking to understand host resistance in an amphibian-trematode system.

    PubMed

    LaFonte, Bryan E; Johnson, Pieter T J

    2013-10-01

    Although naturally occurring hosts often exhibit pronounced differences in infection and pathology, the relative importance of factors associated with host life history and immunity in explaining such patterns often remains speculative. Research in eco-immunology highlights the trade-offs between host physiology and immunity, for which natural variations in disease susceptibility offer a valuable platform to test predictions within this framework. Here, we combined use of a novel, in vivo assay for tracking parasite fate and an experimental manipulation of host immune function (via chronic corticosterone exposure) to assess the role of host immunity in regulating susceptibility of amphibian hosts to three larval trematodes: Ribeiroia ondatrae, Echinostoma trivolvis and Alaria sp. 2. Results from the in vivo parasite-tracking assay revealed marked differences in initial parasite penetration and subsequent host clearance. Relative to infections in a highly susceptible species (Pseudacris regilla), the virulent trematode R. ondatrae was -25% less successful at penetrating larvae of three hylid frog species and was cleared > 45(×) faster, such that all parasites were rapidly cleared from hylid hosts over 72 h following a Weibull distribution. Immune suppression of Hyla versicolor sharply reduced this resistance and increased infection of all three trematodes by 67 to 190%, with particularly strong increases for R. ondatrae. Diminished resistance correlated with a 62% decrease in circulating eosinophils. Correspondingly, 10 days after corticosterone exposures ended, infections declined dramatically while eosinophil levels returned to normal. In light of ongoing declines and deformities in amphibian populations, these findings have application potential for mitigating disease-driven effects. PMID:23821713

  19. Significance of experimental design in evaluating ecological hazards of sediments/soils to amphibian species

    SciTech Connect

    Fort, D.J.; Stover, E.L.

    1997-09-01

    In an effort to determine the significance of experimental design on the results of laboratory sediment toxicity studies with amphibians (Xenopus laevis), two different sample preparations were evaluated from three different contaminated waste sites. Whole sediment and aqueous sediment extracts from each site were evaluated. Site 1 soil was characterized as loamy with a relatively high total organic carbon (TOC), moisture fraction (MF), and sulfide content; and contaminated with organochlorine pesticides. Site 2 soil was characterized as silty-clay with low/moderate TOC, MF, and sulfide; and contaminated with polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and pentachlorophenol. Site 3 soil samples consisted of two separate subsamples, the first characterized as loamy with a relatively high TOC, MF, and sulfide content, and the second as a mixture of silty/clay and sand with relatively low TOC, MF, and sulfide content. Both sub-site samples were contaminated with heavy metals, including copper, lead, and zinc. FETAX (Frog Embryo Teratogenesis Assay -- Xenopus) testing of Site 1 samples indicated that substantially greater levels of developmental toxicity were induced by the aqueous extracts than the whole bulk soil. Tests with Site 2 samples suggested that both of the preparations were capable of inducing comparable rates of developmental toxicity. Tests with subsample a of Site 3 indicated that the aqueous extract of the sample induced greater levels of developmental toxicity than the whole soil.

  20. Multicellular Mathematical Modelling of Mesendoderm Formation in Amphibians.

    PubMed

    Brown, L E; Middleton, A M; King, J R; Loose, M

    2016-03-01

    The earliest cell fate decisions in a developing embryo are those associated with establishing the germ layers. The specification of the mesoderm and endoderm is of particular interest as the mesoderm is induced from the endoderm, potentially from an underlying bipotential group of cells, the mesendoderm. Mesendoderm formation has been well studied in an amphibian model frog, Xenopus laevis, and its formation is driven by a gene regulatory network (GRN) induced by maternal factors deposited in the egg. We have recently demonstrated that the axolotl, a urodele amphibian, utilises a different topology in its GRN to specify the mesendoderm. In this paper, we develop spatially structured mathematical models of the GRNs governing mesendoderm formation in a line of cells. We explore several versions of the model of mesendoderm formation in both Xenopus and the axolotl, incorporating the key differences between these two systems. Model simulations are able to reproduce known experimental data, such as Nodal expression domains in Xenopus, and also make predictions about how the positional information derived from maternal factors may be interpreted to drive cell fate decisions. We find that whilst cell-cell signalling plays a minor role in Xenopus, it is crucial for correct patterning domains in axolotl. PMID:26934886