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Sample records for australian lungfish revealed

  1. The Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri: a personal story.

    PubMed

    Joss, Jean M P

    2011-08-01

    The following is a brief description of how lungfish research at Macquarie University began, of the period in which it flourished, and, most recently, of the winding down of the University's involvement with this research. During this latter period, the Australian lungfish in the wild were threatened by the construction of a megadam in their very limited habitat. Fortunately, this was averted in December 2009, after 3 years of lobbying the Federal Government. They now await another "Aussie" to make them accessible for further research by Australian and international researchers. PMID:21621541

  2. Visual pigments in a living fossil, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri

    PubMed Central

    Bailes, Helena J; Davies, Wayne L; Trezise, Ann EO; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Background One of the greatest challenges facing the early land vertebrates was the need to effectively interpret a terrestrial environment. Interpretation was based on ocular adaptations evolved for an aquatic environment millions of years earlier. The Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri is thought to be the closest living relative to the first terrestrial vertebrate, and yet nothing is known about the visual pigments present in lungfish or the early tetrapods. Results Here we identify and characterise five visual pigments (rh1, rh2, lws, sws1 and sws2) expressed in the retina of N. forsteri. Phylogenetic analysis of the molecular evolution of lungfish and other vertebrate visual pigment genes indicates a closer relationship between lungfish and amphibian pigments than to pigments in teleost fishes. However, the relationship between lungfish, the coelacanth and tetrapods could not be absolutely determined from opsin phylogeny, supporting an unresolved trichotomy between the three groups. Conclusion The presence of four cone pigments in Australian lungfish suggests that the earliest tetrapods would have had a colorful view of their terrestrial environment. PMID:17961206

  3. Cartilage, bone, and intermandibular connective tissue in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, Anne

    2013-10-01

    The connective tissue that links the bones of the mandible in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, has been described as an intermandibular cartilage, and as such has been considered important for phylogenetic analyses among lower vertebrates. However, light and electron microscopy of developing lungfish jaws demonstrates that the intermandibular tissue, like the connective tissue that links the bones of the upper jaw, contains fibroblasts and numerous bundles of collagen fibrils, extending from the trabeculae of the bones supporting the tooth plates. It differs significantly in structure and in staining reactions from the cartilage and the bone found in this species. In common with the cladistian Polypterus and with actinopterygians and some amphibians, lungfish have no intermandibular cartilage. The connective tissue linking the mandibular bones has no phylogenetic significance for systematic grouping of lungfish, as it is present in a range of different groups among lower vertebrates. PMID:23801584

  4. Scale structure in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, Anne; Heaslop, Meg; Carr, Andrew

    2015-10-01

    Scales of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, are secreted within the dermis by a capsule of scleroblasts, and enclosed in a pouch made of collagen fibers, in contact with the epidermis over the posterior third of the scale. Each scale grows from a focus, which represents the first formed part of the scale. On the internal surface of the scale is elasmodin, made of collagen fiber bundles arranged in layers. Elasmodin, unmineralized in N. forsteri, contains cells in the living animal, and the number of layers increases as the scales grow. Squamulin, on the thin external part of the scale, is also laid down in layers, and based on a matrix of fine collagen fibrils, mineralized with a poorly crystalline biogenic calcium hydroxylapatite. Squamulin is divided into separate sections called squamulae, and contains long tubules with cells applied to the wall of the tubule. The anterior and lateral surfaces of the squamulin are ornamented with pediculae, and the posterior surface has longitudinal ridges, from which collagen fibers extend to anchor the scale within the pouch. Elasmodin and squamulin are linked by unmineralized collagen fibrils. The layers, formed at irregular intervals, are connected around the margin of the scale, effectively converting the whole scale into a flat structure resembling a pearl, with the first formed tissues deeply embedded inside the scale, and the youngest on the outer surface. Incremental lines in the hard tissue, and the number of layers in the elasmodin, do not reflect the chronological age of the fish. PMID:26195325

  5. Brain – Endocast Relationship in the Australian Lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, Elucidated from Tomographic Data (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi)

    PubMed Central

    Clement, Alice M.; Nysjö, Johan; Strand, Robin; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2015-01-01

    Although the brains of the three extant lungfish genera have been previously described, the spatial relationship between the brain and the neurocranium has never before been fully described nor quantified. Through the application of virtual microtomography (μCT) and 3D rendering software, we describe aspects of the gross anatomy of the brain and labyrinth region in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri and compare this to previous accounts. Unexpected characters in this specimen include short olfactory peduncles connecting the olfactory bulbs to the telencephalon, and an oblong telencephalon. Furthermore, we illustrate the endocast (the mould of the internal space of the neurocranial cavity) of Neoceratodus, also describing and quantifying the brain-endocast relationship in a lungfish for the first time. Overall, the brain of the Australian lungfish closely matches the size and shape of the endocast cavity housing it, filling more than four fifths of the total volume. The forebrain and labyrinth regions of the brain correspond very well to the endocast morphology, while the midbrain and hindbrain do not fit so closely. Our results cast light on the gross neural and endocast anatomy in lungfishes, and are likely to have particular significance for palaeoneurologists studying fossil taxa. PMID:26492190

  6. Brain - Endocast Relationship in the Australian Lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, Elucidated from Tomographic Data (Sarcopterygii: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Clement, Alice M; Nysjö, Johan; Strand, Robin; Ahlberg, Per E

    2015-01-01

    Although the brains of the three extant lungfish genera have been previously described, the spatial relationship between the brain and the neurocranium has never before been fully described nor quantified. Through the application of virtual microtomography (μCT) and 3D rendering software, we describe aspects of the gross anatomy of the brain and labyrinth region in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri and compare this to previous accounts. Unexpected characters in this specimen include short olfactory peduncles connecting the olfactory bulbs to the telencephalon, and an oblong telencephalon. Furthermore, we illustrate the endocast (the mould of the internal space of the neurocranial cavity) of Neoceratodus, also describing and quantifying the brain-endocast relationship in a lungfish for the first time. Overall, the brain of the Australian lungfish closely matches the size and shape of the endocast cavity housing it, filling more than four fifths of the total volume. The forebrain and labyrinth regions of the brain correspond very well to the endocast morphology, while the midbrain and hindbrain do not fit so closely. Our results cast light on the gross neural and endocast anatomy in lungfishes, and are likely to have particular significance for palaeoneurologists studying fossil taxa. PMID:26492190

  7. Erythrocyte phosphate composition and osmotic fragility in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus fosteri, and osteoglossid, Scleropages schneichardti.

    PubMed

    Isaacks, R E; Kim, H D

    1984-01-01

    The packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin concentration (g/dl) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus fosteri, and in one of three Australian osteoglossids, Scleropages schneichardti, were 32.3 and 29.9; 10.5 and 10.0; and 407 and 176 micron 3 respectively. Total acid-soluble phosphates (TPi) from the red blood cells (RBC) of the lungfish and osteoglossid were 35.3 and 18.1 mumol/cm3 RBC respectively. Inorganic phosphate (Pi), adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and guanosine triphosphate (GTP) represented 16.4, 39.7 and 17.8% of the cell phosphates in the lungfish respectively. Inositol bisphosphate was not present in extracts of the red cells of N. fosteri, in contrast to the red cells of Lepidosiren paradoxa and Protopterus aethiopicus, in which it was first observed. In the osteoglossid, Pi and ATP represented 37.6 and 46.4% of the erythrocyte phosphate, respectively, with only traces of GTP present. ATP is the predominant organic phosphate in the red cells of both species. The osmotic fragility of erythrocytes of N. fosteri are quite resistant to hemolysis, with hemolysis beginning at 35-30 mM and a complete hemolysis occurring at 20 mM NaCl. The red cells of S. schneichardti begin to hemolyze at 95-90 mM with hemolysis continuing to completion at 60 mM NaCl. PMID:6150802

  8. Anatomy and cytology of the thymus in juvenile Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri

    PubMed Central

    Mohammad, M G; Chilmonczyk, S; Birch, D; Aladaileh, S; Raftos, D; Joss, J

    2007-01-01

    The anatomy, histology and ultrastructure of the thymus of a dipnoan, the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, was studied by light and transmission electron microscopy. The thymic tissue showed clear demarcation into a cortex and medulla with ample vascularization. Large cells including foamy and giant multinucleated cells with periodic acid Schiff/Alcian blue positive staining properties were localized mainly in the medulla. The major cellular components were epithelial cells and lymphoid cells. The epithelial cells were classified by location and ultrastructure into six sub-populations: capsular cells, cortical and medullary reticular cells, perivascular endothelial cells, intermediate cells, nurse-like cells and Hassall-like corpuscles. Myoid cells were found mainly in the cortico-medullary boundary and medulla. Macrophages and secretory-like cells were also present. These findings will provide a base of knowledge about the cellular immune system of lungfish. PMID:17944863

  9. Evolution of the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) genome: a major role for CR1 and L2 LINE elements.

    PubMed

    Metcalfe, Cushla J; Filée, Jonathan; Germon, Isabelle; Joss, Jean; Casane, Didier

    2012-11-01

    Haploid genomes greater than 25,000 Mb are rare, within the animals only the lungfish and some of the salamanders and crustaceans are known to have genomes this large. There is very little data on the structure of genomes this size. It is known, however, that for animal genomes up to 3,000 Mb, there is in general a good correlation between genome size and the percent of the genome composed of repetitive sequence and that this repetitive component is highly dynamic. In this study, we sampled the Australian lungfish genome using three mini-genomic libraries and found that with very little sequence, the results converged on an estimate of 40% of the genome being composed of recognizable transposable elements (TEs), chiefly from the CR1 and L2 long interspersed nuclear element clades. We further characterized the CR1 and L2 elements in the lungfish genome and show that although most CR1 elements probably represent recent amplifications, the L2 elements are more diverse and are more likely the result of a series of amplifications. We suggest that our sampling method has probably underestimated the recognizable TE content. However, on the basis of the most likely sources of error, we suggest that this very large genome is not largely composed of recently amplified, undetected TEs but may instead include a large component of older degenerate TEs. Based on these estimates, and on Thomson's (Thomson K. 1972. An attempt to reconstruct evolutionary changes in the cellular DNA content of lungfish. J Exp Zool. 180:363-372) inference that in the lineage leading to the extant Australian lungfish, there was massive increase in genome size between 350 and 200 mya, after which the size of the genome changed little, we speculate that the very large Australian lungfish genome may be the result of a massive amplification of TEs followed by a long period with a very low rate of sequence removal and some ongoing TE activity. PMID:22734051

  10. Skin structure in the snout of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, A

    2014-10-01

    Many fossil lungfish have a system of mineralised tubules in the dermis of the snout, branching extensively and radiating towards the epidermis. The tubules anastomose in the superficial layer of the dermis, forming a plexus consisting of two layers of vessels, with branches that expand into pore canals and flask organs, flanked by cosmine nodules where these are present. Traces of this system are found in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, consisting of branching tubules in the dermis, a double plexus below the epidermis and dermal papillae entering the epidermis without reaching the surface. In N. forsteri, the tubules, the plexus and the dermal papillae consist of thick, unmineralised connective tissue, enclosing fine blood vessels packed with lymphocytes. Tissues in the epidermis and the dermis of N. forsteri are not associated with deposits of calcium, which is below detectable limits in the skin of the snout at all stages of the life cycle. Canals of the sensory line system, with mechanoreceptors, are separate from the tubules, the plexus and the dermal papillae, as are the electroreceptors in the epidermis. The system of tubules, plexus, dermal papillae and lymphatic capillaries may function to protect the tissues of the snout from infection. PMID:25175034

  11. Formation and structure of scales in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Kemp, Anne

    2012-05-01

    The large elasmoid scales of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, are formed within the dermis by unpigmented scleroblasts, growing within a collagenous dermal pocket below a thick glandular epidermis. The first row of scales, on the trunk of the juvenile lungfish, appears below the lateral line of the trunk, single in this species, at around stage 53. The scales, initially circular in outline, develop anteriorly and posteriorly from the point of initiation in the mid-trunk region, and rows are added alternately below the line, and above the line, until they reach the dorsal or ventral midline, or the margins of the fins. Scales develop later on the ventral surface of the head, from a separate centre of initiation. Scales consist of three layers, all produced by scleroblasts of dermal origin. The outermost layer of interlocking plates, or squamulae, consists of a mineralised matrix of fine collagen fibrils, covered by unmineralised collagen and a single layer of cells. Squamulae of the anterior and lateral surfaces are ornamented with short spines, and the mineralised tissue of the posterior surface is linked to the pouch by collagen fibrils. The innermost layer, known as elasmodin, consists of bundles of thick collagen fibrils and cells arranged in layers. An intermediate layer, made up of collagen fibrils, links the outer and inner layers. The elasmoid scales of N. forsteri can be compared with scale types among other osteichthyan groups, although the cellsand canaliculi in the mineralised squamulae bear little resemblance to typical bone. PMID:22190346

  12. The epithelial sodium channel in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (Osteichthyes: Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Maejima, Sho; Yoshie, Sumio; Kubo, Yoshihiro; Konno, Norifumi; Joss, Jean M P

    2012-12-01

    Epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a Na(+)-selective, aldosterone-stimulated ion channel involved in sodium transport homeostasis. ENaC is rate-limiting for Na(+) absorption in the epithelia of osmoregulatory organs of tetrapods. Although the ENaC/degenerin gene family is proposed to be present in metazoans, no orthologues or paralogues for ENaC have been found in the genome databases of teleosts. We studied full-length cDNA cloning and tissue distributions of ENaCα, β and γ subunits in the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, which is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Neoceratodus ENaC (nENaC) comprised three subunits: nENaCα, β and γ proteins. The nENaCα, β and γ subunits are closely related to amphibian ENaCα, β and γ subunits, respectively. Three ENaC subunit mRNAs were highly expressed in the gills, kidney and rectum. Amiloride-sensitive sodium current was recorded from Xenopus oocytes injected with the nENaCαβγ subunit complementary RNAs under a two-electrode voltage clamp. nENaCα immunoreactivity was observed in the apical cell membrane of the gills, kidney and rectum. Thus, nENaC may play a role in regulating sodium transport of the lungfish, which has a renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This is interesting because there may have been an ENaC sodium absorption system controlled by aldosterone before the conquest of land by vertebrates. PMID:23055064

  13. Spawning activity of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri in an impoundment.

    PubMed

    Roberts, D T; Mallett, S; Krück, N C; Loh, W; Tibbetts, I

    2014-01-01

    This study assessed the spawning activity of the threatened Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri by measuring egg densities within the artificial habitat of a large impoundment (Lake Wivenhoe, Australia). Eggs were sampled (August to November 2009) from multiple locations across the impoundment, but occurred at highest densities in water shallower than 40 cm along shorelines with a dense cover of submerged terrestrial vegetation. The numbers of eggs declined over the study period and all samples were dominated by early developmental stages and high proportions of unviable eggs. The quality of the littoral spawning habitats declined over the study as flooded terrestrial grasses decomposed and filamentous algae coverage increased. Water temperatures at the spawning site exhibited extreme variations, ranging over 20·4° C in water shallower than 5 cm. Dissolved oxygen concentrations regularly declined to <1 mg l⁻¹ at 40 and 80 cm water depth. Spawning habitats utilised by N. forsteri within impoundments expose embryos to increased risk of desiccation or excessive submergence through water-level variations, and extremes in temperature and dissolved oxygen concentration that present numerous challenges for successful spawning and recruitment of N. forsteri in large impoundment environments. PMID:24383803

  14. Effects of environmental oxygen on development and respiration of Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) embryos.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Casey A; Joss, Jean M P; Seymour, Roger S

    2011-10-01

    The effects of oxygen partial pressure ([Formula: see text]) on development and respiration were investigated in the eggs of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri. At 20°C, embryonic survival and development was optimal at 15 and 20.9 kPa. Development was slowed at 5 and 10 kPa and embryos did not survive 2 kPa. At lower [Formula: see text], the rate of oxygen consumption also decreased. Embryos responded to hypoxia by hatching at an earlier age and stage of development, and hatching wet and dry gut-free masses were reduced. The role of oxygen conductance ([Formula: see text]) in gas exchange was also examined under selected environmental [Formula: see text] and temperatures. The breakdown of the vitelline membrane changed capsule geometry, allowed water to be absorbed into the perivitelline space and increased capsule [Formula: see text]. This occurred at embryonic stage 32 under all treatments and was largely independent of both [Formula: see text] and temperature (15, 20 and 25°C), demonstrating that capsule [Formula: see text] cannot adaptively respond to altered environmental conditions. The membrane breakdown increased capsule diffusive [Formula: see text] and stabilised perivitelline [Formula: see text], but reduced the convective [Formula: see text] of the perivitelline fluid, as the large perivitelline volume and inadequate convective current resulted in a [Formula: see text] gradient within the egg prior to hatch. PMID:21461773

  15. African Lungfish Reveal the Evolutionary Origins of Organized Mucosal Lymphoid Tissue in Vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin T; Muñoz, Pilar; Amemiya, Chris T; Salinas, Irene

    2015-09-21

    One of the most remarkable innovations of the vertebrate adaptive immune system is the progressive organization of the lymphoid tissues that leads to increased efficiency of immune surveillance and cell interactions. The mucosal immune system of endotherms has evolved organized secondary mucosal lymphoid tissues (O-MALT) such as Peyer's patches, tonsils, and adenoids. Primitive semi-organized lymphoid nodules or aggregates (LAs) were found in the mucosa of anuran amphibians, suggesting that O-MALT evolved from amphibian LAs ∼250 million years ago. This study shows for the first time the presence of O-MALT in the mucosa of the African lungfish, an extant representative of the closest ancestral lineage to all tetrapods. Lungfish LAs are lymphocyte-rich structures associated with a modified covering epithelium and express all IGH genes except for IGHW2L. In response to infection, nasal LAs doubled their size and increased the expression of CD3 and IGH transcripts. Additionally, de novo organogenesis of inducible LAs resembling mammalian tertiary lymphoid structures was observed. Using deep-sequencing transcriptomes, we identified several members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed its extraordinary diversification within sarcopterygian fish. Attempts to find AICDA in lungfish transcriptomes or by RT-PCR failed, indicating the possible absence of somatic hypermutation in lungfish LAs. These findings collectively suggest that the origin of O-MALT predates the emergence of tetrapods and that TNF family members play a conserved role in the organization of vertebrate mucosal lymphoid organs. PMID:26344090

  16. African Lungfish Reveal the Evolutionary Origins of Organized Mucosal Lymphoid Tissue in Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin T.; Muñoz, Pilar; Amemiya, Chris T.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY One of the most remarkable innovations of the vertebrate adaptive immune system is the progressive organization of the lymphoid tissues that leads to increased efficiency of immune surveillance and cell interactions. The mucosal immune system of endotherms has evolved organized secondary mucosal lymphoid tissues (O-MALT) such as Peyer’s patches, tonsils, and adenoids. Primitive semi-organized lymphoid nodules or aggregates (LAs) were found in the mucosa of anuran amphibians [1], suggesting that O-MALT evolved from amphibian LAs_250 million years ago [1–4]. This study shows for the first time the presence of O-MALT in the mucosa of the African lungfish, an extant representative of the closest ancestral lineage to all tetrapods. Lungfish LAs are lymphocyte-rich structures associated with a modified covering epithelium and express all IGH genes except for IGHW2L. In response to infection, nasal LAs doubled their size and increased the expression of CD3 and IGH transcripts. Additionally, de novo organogenesis of inducible LAs resembling mammalian tertiary lymphoid structures was observed. Using deep-sequencing transcriptomes, we identified several members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily, and subsequent phylogenetic analyses revealed its extraordinary diversification within sarcopterygian fish. Attempts to find AICDA in lungfish transcriptomes or by RT-PCR failed, indicating the possible absence of somatic hypermutation in lungfish LAs. These findings collectively suggest that the origin of O-MALT predates the emergence of tetrapods and that TNF family members play a conserved role in the organization of vertebrate mucosal lymphoid organs. PMID:26344090

  17. Functional analyses of lymphocytes and granulocytes isolated from the thymus, spiral valve intestine, spleen, and kidney of juvenile Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    Hassanpour, Masoud; Joss, Jean; Mohammad, Mohammad G

    2013-07-01

    Our current understanding of the lungfish immune system is limited. This study is characterizing the immune cells separated from primary and secondary immune organs of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri. Our functional studies utilized flow cytometry to study the immune cells extracted from the thymus, spiral valve intestine, spleen, and kidney. The different characteristics of lymphocytes and granulocytes were analyzed by utilization of viability, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, and apoptosis assays. Most of the nonviable intestinal cells were lymphocytes. Depending on the organ, 6-25% of the total population, predominantly granulocytes, underwent phagocytosis where the splenic cells were the most and intestinal cells the least phagocytic cells. Cells responded positively but differently to stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) to produce radical oxygen species, an indication of their oxidative burst activity, which was mainly associated with granulocytes. Although cells were induced by dexamethasone to undergo apoptosis, such an induction did not follow a consistent pattern of dose of dexamethasone or incubation time between the different organs. In the absence of monoclonal antibodies against lungfish immune cells, these functional flow cytometric analyses aid our understanding on the functionality of immune cells. PMID:23603235

  18. Comparative pelvic development of the axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri): conservation and innovation across the fish-tetrapod transition

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The fish-tetrapod transition was one of the major events in vertebrate evolution and was enabled by many morphological changes. Although the transformation of paired fish fins into tetrapod limbs has been a major topic of study in recent years, both from paleontological and comparative developmental perspectives, the interest has focused almost exclusively on the distal part of the appendage and in particular the origin of digits. Relatively little attention has been paid to the transformation of the pelvic girdle from a small unipartite structure to a large tripartite weight-bearing structure, allowing tetrapods to rely mostly on their hindlimbs for locomotion. In order to understand how the ischium and the ilium evolved and how the acetabulum was reoriented during this transition, growth series of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri and the Mexican axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum were cleared and stained for cartilage and bone and immunostained for skeletal muscles. In order to understand the myological developmental data, hypotheses about the homologies of pelvic muscles in adults of Latimeria, Neoceratodus and Necturus were formulated based on descriptions from the literature of the coelacanth (Latimeria), the Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus) and a salamander (Necturus). Results In the axolotl and the lungfish, the chondrification of the pelvic girdle starts at the acetabula and progresses anteriorly in the lungfish and anteriorly and posteriorly in the salamander. The ilium develops by extending dorsally to meet and connect to the sacral rib in the axolotl. Homologous muscles develop in the same order with the hypaxial musculature developing first, followed by the deep, then the superficial pelvic musculature. Conclusions Development of the pelvic endoskeleton and musculature is very similar in Neoceratodus and Ambystoma. If the acetabulum is seen as being a fixed landmark, the evolution of the ischium only required pubic pre

  19. Organization of the cholinergic systems in the brain of two lungfishes, Protopterus dolloi and Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    López, Jesús M; Domínguez, Laura; Morona, Ruth; Northcutt, R Glenn; González, Agustín

    2012-04-01

    Lungfishes (dipnoans) are currently considered the closest living relatives of tetrapods. The organization of the cholinergic systems in the brain has been carefully analyzed in most vertebrate groups, and major shared characteristics have been described, although traits particular to each vertebrate class have also been found. In the present study, we provide the first detailed information on the distribution of cholinergic cell bodies and fibers in the central nervous system in two representative species of lungfishes, the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), as revealed by immunohistochemistry against the enzyme choline acetyltransferase (ChAT). Distinct groups of ChAT immunoreactive (ChAT-ir) cells were observed in the basal telencephalon, habenula, isthmic nucleus, laterodorsal tegmental nucleus, cranial nerve motor nuclei, and the motor column of the spinal cord, and these groups seem to be highly conserved among vertebrates. In lungfishes, the presence of a cholinergic cell group in the thalamus and the absence of ChAT-ir cells in the tectum are variable traits, unique to this group and appearing several times during evolution. Other characters were observed exclusively in Neoceratodus, such as the presence of cholinergic cells in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the pretectal region and the superior raphe nucleus. Cholinergic fibers were found in the medial pallium, basal telencephalon, thalamus and prethalamus, optic tectum and interpeduncular nucleus. Comparison of these results with those from other classes of vertebrates, including a segmental analysis to correlate cell populations, reveals that the cholinergic systems in lungfishes largely resemble those of amphibians and other tetrapods. PMID:21826455

  20. Comparative analysis of the serotonergic systems in the CNS of two lungfishes, Protopterus dolloi and Neoceratodus forsteri.

    PubMed

    López, Jesús M; González, Agustín

    2015-01-01

    The organization of the serotonergic system, one of the most important neurotransmitter systems in the brain, has been carefully analyzed in most vertebrate groups, and major shared characteristics have been described, although traits particular to each vertebrate class have also been found. The present study is the first that provides a comprehensive and detailed map of the serotonergic structures in the brain of two representative species of lungfishes, the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) and the Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri), as revealed by immunohistochemistry against serotonin (5-HT). Lungfishes are currently considered the closest living relatives of tetrapods and represent an interesting group for the study of evolutionary traits in the transition from fishes to tetrapods. Distinct groups of serotonin immunoreactive cells were observed in the preoptic area, nucleus of the periventricular organ, pretectum, optic tectum and the long column of the raphe. Fiber labeling was widely distributed in all main brain subdivisions but was more abundant in regions such as the striatum, septum, amygdaloid complex, preoptic area, suprachiasmatic nucleus, lateral hypothalamic area, prethalamus, thalamus, mesencephalic tegmentum and rhombencephalic reticular formation. Comparison of these results with those from other classes of vertebrates highlights numerous common traits shared by most groups of fishes but also reveals that the serotonergic system in lungfishes largely resembles those of amphibians and other tetrapods. PMID:24178680

  1. Extremely low microsatellite diversity but distinct population structure in a long-lived threatened species, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Hughes, Jane M; Schmidt, Daniel J; Huey, Joel A; Real, Kathryn M; Espinoza, Thomas; McDougall, Andrew; Kind, Peter K; Brooks, Steven; Roberts, David T

    2015-01-01

    The Australian lungfish is a unique living representative of an ancient dipnoan lineage, listed as 'vulnerable' to extinction under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Historical accounts indicate this species occurred naturally in two adjacent river systems in Australia, the Burnett and Mary. Current day populations in other rivers are thought to have arisen by translocation from these source populations. Early genetic work detected very little variation and so had limited power to answer questions relevant for management including how genetic variation is partitioned within and among sub-populations. In this study, we use newly developed microsatellite markers to examine samples from the Burnett and Mary Rivers, as well as from two populations thought to be of translocated origin, Brisbane and North Pine. We test whether there is significant genetic structure among and within river drainages; assign putatively translocated populations to potential source populations; and estimate effective population sizes. Eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci genotyped in 218 individuals gave an average within-population heterozygosity of 0.39 which is low relative to other threatened taxa and for freshwater fishes in general. Based on FST values (average over loci = 0.11) and STRUCTURE analyses, we identify three distinct populations in the natural range, one in the Burnett and two distinct populations in the Mary. These analyses also support the hypothesis that the Mary River is the likely source of translocated populations in the Brisbane and North Pine rivers, which agrees with historical published records of a translocation event giving rise to these populations. We were unable to obtain bounded estimates of effective population size, as we have too few genotype combinations, although point estimates were low, ranging from 29 - 129. We recommend that, in order to preserve any local adaptation in the three distinct populations that

  2. Extremely Low Microsatellite Diversity but Distinct Population Structure in a Long-Lived Threatened Species, the Australian Lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri (Dipnoi)

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Jane M.; Schmidt, Daniel J.; Huey, Joel A.; Real, Kathryn M.; Espinoza, Thomas; McDougall, Andrew; Kind, Peter K.; Brooks, Steven; Roberts, David T.

    2015-01-01

    The Australian lungfish is a unique living representative of an ancient dipnoan lineage, listed as ‘vulnerable’ to extinction under Australia’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Historical accounts indicate this species occurred naturally in two adjacent river systems in Australia, the Burnett and Mary. Current day populations in other rivers are thought to have arisen by translocation from these source populations. Early genetic work detected very little variation and so had limited power to answer questions relevant for management including how genetic variation is partitioned within and among sub-populations. In this study, we use newly developed microsatellite markers to examine samples from the Burnett and Mary Rivers, as well as from two populations thought to be of translocated origin, Brisbane and North Pine. We test whether there is significant genetic structure among and within river drainages; assign putatively translocated populations to potential source populations; and estimate effective population sizes. Eleven polymorphic microsatellite loci genotyped in 218 individuals gave an average within-population heterozygosity of 0.39 which is low relative to other threatened taxa and for freshwater fishes in general. Based on FST values (average over loci = 0.11) and STRUCTURE analyses, we identify three distinct populations in the natural range, one in the Burnett and two distinct populations in the Mary. These analyses also support the hypothesis that the Mary River is the likely source of translocated populations in the Brisbane and North Pine rivers, which agrees with historical published records of a translocation event giving rise to these populations. We were unable to obtain bounded estimates of effective population size, as we have too few genotype combinations, although point estimates were low, ranging from 29 - 129. We recommend that, in order to preserve any local adaptation in the three distinct populations

  3. Lungfish prolactin exhibits close tetrapod relationships.

    PubMed

    Noso, T; Nicoll, C S; Kawauchi, H

    1993-07-10

    This paper describes the isolation and the complete amino-acid sequence of prolactin (PRL) from the pituitary glands of African lungfish, Protoputerus aethiopicus. We purified the hormone from an alkaline extract of the pituitaries using a two-step chromatographic procedure by detecting specific immunoblot reactivity with rabbit antisera against salmon PRL. The lungfish PRL consists of 200 amino-acid residues. Sequence comparison revealed that the PRL shows 66% identities with amphibian, reptilian and bird PRLs, 57% with mammalian PRLs, and 38% with teleost (modern bony fish) PRLs. Moreover, the PRL contains three disulfide bonds homologous to those of tetrapod PRLs and differs from teleost PRLs which lack the amino-terminal disulfide bond. Thus, the structural features of lungfish PRL indicate a closer relationship to tetrapod PRLs than to teleost PRLs. All PRLs sequenced to date share 22 common amino acids, which may be important for the activities common to all PRLs. PMID:8329446

  4. The optics of the growing lungfish eye: lens shape, focal ratio and pupillary movements in Neoceratodus forsteri (Krefft, 1870).

    PubMed

    Bailes, Helena J; Trezise, Ann E O; Collin, Shaun P

    2007-01-01

    Lungfish (order Dipnoi) evolved during the Devonian period and are believed to be the closest living relatives to the land vertebrates. Here we describe the previously unknown morphology of the lungfish eye in order to examine ocular adaptations present in early sarcopterygian fish. Unlike many teleosts, the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri possesses a mobile pupil with a slow pupillary response similar to amphibians. The structure of the eye changes from juvenile to adult, with both eye and lens becoming more elliptical in shape with growth. This change in structure results in a decrease in focal ratio (the distance from lens center to the retina divided by the lens radius) and increased retinal illumination in adult fish. Despite a degree of lenticular correction for spherical aberration, there is considerable variation across the lens. A re-calculation of spatial resolving power using measured focal ratios from cryosectioning reveals a low ability to discriminate fine detail. The dipnoan eye shares more features with amphibian eyes than with most teleost eyes, which may echo the visual needs of this living fossil. PMID:17822577

  5. A larval Devonian lungfish.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Keith S; Sutton, Mark; Thomas, Bethia

    2003-12-18

    Perhaps the most enduring of puzzles in palaeontology has been the identity of Palaeospondylus gunni Traquair, a tiny (5-60-mm) vertebrate fossil from the Middle Devonian period (approximately 385 Myr ago) of Scotland, first discovered in 1890 (refs 1-3). It is known principally from a single site (Achanarras Quarry, Caithness) where, paradoxically, it is extremely abundant, preserved in varved lacustrine deposits along with 13 other genera of fishes. Here we show that Palaeospondylus is the larval stage of a lungfish, most probably Dipterus valenciennesi Sedgwick and Murchison 1828 (ref. 5), and that development of the adult form requires a distinct metamorphosis. Palaeospondylus is the oldest known true larva of a vertebrate. PMID:14685237

  6. An exceptionally preserved transitional lungfish from the lower permian of Nebraska, USA, and the origin of modern lungfishes.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Jason D; Huttenlocker, Adam K; Small, Bryan J

    2014-01-01

    Complete, exceptionally-preserved skulls of the Permian lungfish Persephonichthys chthonica gen. et sp. nov. are described. Persephonichthys chthonica is unique among post-Devonian lungfishes in preserving portions of the neurocranium, permitting description of the braincase of a stem-ceratodontiform for the first time. The completeness of P. chthonica permits robust phylogenetic analysis of the relationships of the extant lungfish lineage within the Devonian lungfish diversification for the first time. New analyses of the relationships of this new species within two published matrices using both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference robustly place P. chthonica and modern lungfishes within dipterid-grade dipnoans rather than within a clade containing Late Devonian 'phaneropleurids' and common Late Paleozoic lungfishes such as Sagenodus. Monophyly of post-Devonian lungfishes is not supported and the Carboniferous-Permian taxon Sagenodus is found to be incidental to the origins of modern lungfishes, suggesting widespread convergence in Late Paleozoic lungfishes. Morphology of the skull, hyoid arch, and pectoral girdle suggests a deviation in feeding mechanics from that of Devonian lungfishes towards the more dynamic gape cycle and more effective buccal pumping seen in modern lungfishes. Similar anatomy observed previously in 'Rhinodipterus' kimberyensis likely represents an intermediate state between the strict durophagy observed in most Devonian lungfishes and the more dynamic buccal pump seen in Persephonichthys and modern lungfishes, rather than adaptation to air-breathing exclusively. PMID:25265394

  7. An Exceptionally Preserved Transitional Lungfish from the Lower Permian of Nebraska, USA, and the Origin of Modern Lungfishes

    PubMed Central

    Pardo, Jason D.; Huttenlocker, Adam K.; Small, Bryan J.

    2014-01-01

    Complete, exceptionally-preserved skulls of the Permian lungfish Persephonichthys chthonica gen. et sp. nov. are described. Persephonichthys chthonica is unique among post-Devonian lungfishes in preserving portions of the neurocranium, permitting description of the braincase of a stem-ceratodontiform for the first time. The completeness of P. chthonica permits robust phylogenetic analysis of the relationships of the extant lungfish lineage within the Devonian lungfish diversification for the first time. New analyses of the relationships of this new species within two published matrices using both maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference robustly place P. chthonica and modern lungfishes within dipterid-grade dipnoans rather than within a clade containing Late Devonian ‘phaneropleurids’ and common Late Paleozoic lungfishes such as Sagenodus. Monophyly of post-Devonian lungfishes is not supported and the Carboniferous-Permian taxon Sagenodus is found to be incidental to the origins of modern lungfishes, suggesting widespread convergence in Late Paleozoic lungfishes. Morphology of the skull, hyoid arch, and pectoral girdle suggests a deviation in feeding mechanics from that of Devonian lungfishes towards the more dynamic gape cycle and more effective buccal pumping seen in modern lungfishes. Similar anatomy observed previously in ‘Rhinodipterus’ kimberyensis likely represents an intermediate state between the strict durophagy observed in most Devonian lungfishes and the more dynamic buccal pump seen in Persephonichthys and modern lungfishes, rather than adaptation to air-breathing exclusively. PMID:25265394

  8. Application of morphologic burrow architects: lungfish or crayfish?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hasiotis, Stephen T.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Dubiel, Russell R.

    1993-01-01

    A methodology for trace fossil identification using burrowing signatures is tested by evaluating ancient and modern lungfish and crayfish burrows and comparing them to previously undescribed burrows in a stratigraphic interval thought to contain both lungfish and crayfish burrows. Permian burrows that bear skeletal remains of the lungfish Gnathorhiza, from museum collections, were evaluated to identify unique burrow morphologies that could be used to distinguish lungfish from crayfish burrows when fossil remains are absent. The lungfish burrows were evaluated for details of the burrowing mechanism preserved in the burrow morphologies together forming burrowing signatures and were compared to new burrows in the Chinle Formation of western Colorado to test the methodology of using burrow signatures to identify unknown burrows. Permian lungfish aestivation burrows show simple, nearly vertical, unbranched architectures and relatively smooth surficial morphologies with characteristic quasi‐horizontal striae on the burrow walls and vertical striae on the bulbous terminus. Burrow lengths do not exceed 0.5 m. In contrast, modern and ancient crayfish burrows exhibit simple to highly complex architectures with highly textured surficial morphologies. Burrow lengths may reach 4 to 5 m. Burrow morphologies unlike those identified in Gnathorhiza aestivation burrows were found in four burrow groups from museum collections. Two of these groups exhibit simple architectures and horizontal striae that were greater in sinuosity and magnitude, respectively. One of these burrows contains the remains of Lysorophus, but the burrow surface reveals no reliable surficial characteristics. It is not clear whether Lysorophus truly burrowed or merely occupied a pre‐existing structure. The other two groups exhibit surficial morphologies similar to those found on modern and ancient crayfish burrows and may provide evidence of freshwater crayfish in the Permian. Burrows from the Upper Triassic

  9. Lungfishes, Like Tetrapods, Possess a Vomeronasal System

    PubMed Central

    González, Agustín; Morona, Ruth; López, Jesús M.; Moreno, Nerea; Northcutt, R. Glenn

    2010-01-01

    The vomeronasal system (VNS) is an accessory olfactory system that in tetrapod vertebrates is composed of specific receptor neurons in the nasal organ and a set of centers in the forebrain that receive and relay the information consecutively towards the hypothalamus. Thus, only in tetrapods the VNS comprises a discrete vomeronasal (Jacobson's) organ, which contains receptor cells that are morphologically distinct from those of the olfactory epithelium and use different transduction mechanisms. The axons of the vomeronasal receptors in tetrapods project to the accessory olfactory bulb (AOB) in the rostral telencephalon. Secondary vomeronasal connections exist through the medial amygdala to the hypothalamus. Currently, the lungfishes are considered the closest living relatives of tetrapods. Here we show that the African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, has epithelial crypts at the base of the lamellae of the olfactory epithelium that express markers of the vomeronasal receptors in tetrapods. The projections of these crypts allow us to identify an AOB on the lateral margin of the main olfactory bulb. The projections of this AOB reach a region that is topologically, hodologically, and immunohistochemically identical to the medial amygdala and could represent its homolog. Neurons of this putative medial amygdala were demonstrated to project to the lateral hypothalamus, as they do in tetrapods. All these features that lungfishes share with tetrapods indicate that lungfishes have the complete set of brain centers and connections involved in processing vomeronasal information and that these features were already present in the last common ancestor of lungfishes and tetrapods. PMID:20941371

  10. Evolution of tissue-specific keratins as deduced from novel cDNA sequences of the lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Schaffeld, Michael; Bremer, Miriam; Hunzinger, Christian; Markl, Jürgen

    2005-03-01

    Lungfishes are possibly the closest extant relatives of the land vertebrates (tetrapods). We report here the cDNA and predicted amino acid sequences of 13 different keratins (ten type I and three type II) of the lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus. These keratins include the orthologs of human K8 and K18. The lungfish keratins were also identified in tissue extracts using two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, keratin blot binding assays and immunoblotting. The identified keratin spots were analyzed by peptide mass fingerprinting which assigned seven sequences (inclusively Protopterus K8 and K18) to their respective protein spot. The peptide mass fingerprints also revealed the fact that the major epidermal type I and type II keratins of this lungfish have not yet been sequenced. Nevertheless, phylogenetic trees constructed from multiple sequence alignments of keratins from lungfish and distantly related vertebrates such as lamprey, shark, trout, frog, and human reveal new insights into the evolution of K8 and K18, and unravel a variety of independent keratin radiation events. PMID:15819414

  11. Gnathostome phylogenomics utilizing lungfish EST sequences.

    PubMed

    Hallström, Björn M; Janke, Axel

    2009-02-01

    The relationship between the Chondrichthyes (cartilaginous fishes), the Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes), and the piscine Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes) and how the Tetrapoda (four-limbed terrestrial vertebrates) are related to these has been a contentious issue for more than a century. A general consensus about the relationship of these vertebrate clades has gradually emerged among morphologists, but no molecular study has yet provided conclusive evidence for any specific hypothesis. In order to examine these relationships on the basis of more extensive sequence data, we have produced almost 1,000,000 bp of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from the African marbled lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. This new data set yielded 771 transcribed nuclear sequences that had not been previously described. The lungfish EST sequences were combined with EST data from two cartilaginous fishes and whole genome data from an agnathan, four ray-finned fishes, and four tetrapods. Phylogenomic analysis of these data yielded, for the first time, significant maximum likelihood support for a traditional gnathostome tree with a split between the Chondrichthyes and remaining (bone) gnathostomes. Also, the sister group relationship between Dipnoi (lungfishes) and Tetrapoda received conclusive support. Previously proposed hypotheses, such as the monophyly of fishes, could be rejected significantly. The divergence time between lungfishes and tetrapods was estimated to 382-388 Ma by the current data set and six calibration points. PMID:19029191

  12. A new method for reconstructing brain morphology: applying the brain-neurocranial spatial relationship in an extant lungfish to a fossil endocast.

    PubMed

    Clement, Alice M; Strand, Robin; Nysjö, Johan; Long, John A; Ahlberg, Per E

    2016-07-01

    Lungfish first appeared in the geological record over 410 million years ago and are the closest living group of fish to the tetrapods. Palaeoneurological investigations into the group show that unlike numerous other fishes-but more similar to those in tetrapods-lungfish appear to have had a close fit between the brain and the cranial cavity that housed it. As such, researchers can use the endocast of fossil taxa (an internal cast of the cranial cavity) both as a source of morphological data but also to aid in developing functional and phylogenetic implications about the group. Using fossil endocast data from a three-dimensional-preserved Late Devonian lungfish from the Gogo Formation, Rhinodipterus, and the brain-neurocranial relationship in the extant Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus, we herein present the first virtually reconstructed brain of a fossil lungfish. Computed tomographic data and a newly developed 'brain-warping' method are used in conjunction with our own distance map software tool to both analyse and present the data. The brain reconstruction is adequate, but we envisage that its accuracy and wider application in other taxonomic groups will grow with increasing availability of tomographic datasets. PMID:27493784

  13. A new method for reconstructing brain morphology: applying the brain-neurocranial spatial relationship in an extant lungfish to a fossil endocast

    PubMed Central

    Strand, Robin; Nysjö, Johan; Long, John A.; Ahlberg, Per E.

    2016-01-01

    Lungfish first appeared in the geological record over 410 million years ago and are the closest living group of fish to the tetrapods. Palaeoneurological investigations into the group show that unlike numerous other fishes—but more similar to those in tetrapods—lungfish appear to have had a close fit between the brain and the cranial cavity that housed it. As such, researchers can use the endocast of fossil taxa (an internal cast of the cranial cavity) both as a source of morphological data but also to aid in developing functional and phylogenetic implications about the group. Using fossil endocast data from a three-dimensional-preserved Late Devonian lungfish from the Gogo Formation, Rhinodipterus, and the brain-neurocranial relationship in the extant Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus, we herein present the first virtually reconstructed brain of a fossil lungfish. Computed tomographic data and a newly developed ‘brain-warping’ method are used in conjunction with our own distance map software tool to both analyse and present the data. The brain reconstruction is adequate, but we envisage that its accuracy and wider application in other taxonomic groups will grow with increasing availability of tomographic datasets. PMID:27493784

  14. Electron microscopy of the intestine of the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Purkerson, M L; Jarvis, J U; Luse, S A; Dempsey, E W

    1975-05-01

    Electron microscopic observations are reported on the intestine of the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. The lungfish has a spiral valve rather than a true stomach. Segments of mucosa from this area reveal, by transmission microscopy, that most cells have distinct striated borders with parallel microvilli. Fibrils within the core of the microvilli extend deeply into the cytoplasm. Microvilli on the surface of goblet cells are less regularly arranged than those of absorptive cells. Interspersed among the cells with striated borders are cells, similar in cytologic appearance except that they are covered with tufts of kinetocilia. By transmission electron microscopy, abnormal cilia having one complete complement of microtubules plus incomplete sets from other cilia which share some of the peripheral doublets of the complete cilium are enclosed by a single membrane. Cilia are usual in the intestine of many lower forms but ordinarily absent in higher vertebrates. Their functional significance in this primitive fish is unknown. PMID:1155792

  15. Cloning and expression of the epithelial sodium channel and its role in osmoregulation of aquatic and estivating African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Minoru; Konno, Norifumi; Shibuya, Sachika; Nogami, Satoshi

    2015-05-01

    The epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is a sodium (Na(+))-selective aldosterone-stimulated ion channel involved in Na(+) transport homeostasis of tetrapods. We examined full-length cDNA sequences and tissue distributions of ENaCα, ENaCβ, and ENaCγ subunits in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens. Protopterus ENaC (pENaC) comprises 3 subunits: pENaCα, pENaCβ, and pENaCγ. pENaCα, pENaCβ, and pENaCγ subunits are closely related to α, β, and γ subunits of the Australian lungfish Neoceratodus forsteri ENaC (nENaC), respectively. Three ENaC subunit mRNAs were highly expressed in the gills and moderately expressed in the kidney and rectum of P. annectens. During estivation for 2-4weeks and 2-3months, plasma Na(+) concentration was relatively stable, but plasma urea concentration significantly increased in comparison with the control fish kept in a freshwater environment. Plasma aldosterone concentration and mRNA expression of the ENaCα subunit gradually and significantly decreased in the gills and kidney after 2months of estivation. Thus, aldosterone-dependent Na(+) absorption via ENaC probably exists in the epithelial cells of osmoregulatory organs of lungfish kept in fresh water, whereas plasma Na(+) concentration may be maintained by a mechanism independent of aldosterone-ENaC axis during estivation in lungfish. PMID:25541184

  16. The first virtual cranial endocast of a lungfish (sarcopterygii: dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Clement, Alice M; Ahlberg, Per E

    2014-01-01

    Lungfish, or dipnoans, have a history spanning over 400 million years and are the closest living sister taxon to the tetrapods. Most Devonian lungfish had heavily ossified endoskeletons, whereas most Mesozoic and Cenozoic lungfish had largely cartilaginous endoskeletons and are usually known only from isolated tooth plates or disarticulated bone fragments. There is thus a substantial temporal and evolutionary gap in our understanding of lungfish endoskeletal morphology, between the diverse and highly variable Devonian forms on the one hand and the three extant genera on the other. Here we present a virtual cranial endocast of Rhinodipterus kimberleyensis, from the Late Devonian Gogo Formation of Australia, one of the most derived fossil dipnoans with a well-ossified braincase. This endocast, generated from a Computed Microtomography (µCT) scan of the skull, is the first virtual endocast of any lungfish published, and only the third fossil dipnoan endocast to be illustrated in its entirety. Key features include long olfactory canals, a telencephalic cavity with a moderate degree of ventral expansion, large suparaotic cavities, and moderately enlarged utricular recesses. It has numerous similarities to the endocasts of Chirodipterus wildungensis and Griphognathus whitei, and to a lesser degree to 'Chirodipterus' australis and Dipnorhynchus sussmilchi. Among extant lungfish, it consistently resembles Neoceratodus more closely than Lepidosiren and Protopterus. Several trends in the evolution of the brains and labyrinth regions in dipnoans, such as the expansions of the utricular recess and telencephalic regions over time, are identified and discussed. PMID:25427173

  17. Genomic sequences of Australian bluetongue virus prototype serotypes reveal global relationships and possible routes of entry into Australia.

    PubMed

    Boyle, David B; Bulach, Dieter M; Amos-Ritchie, Rachel; Adams, Mathew M; Walker, Peter J; Weir, Richard

    2012-06-01

    Bluetongue virus (BTV) is transmitted by biting midges (Culicoides spp.). It causes disease mainly in sheep and occasionally in cattle and other species. BTV has spread into northern Europe, causing disease in sheep and cattle. The introduction of new serotypes, changes in vector species, and climate change have contributed to these changes. Ten BTV serotypes have been isolated in Australia without apparent associated disease. Simplified methods for preferential isolation of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and template preparation enabled high-throughput sequencing of the 10 genome segments of all Australian BTV prototype serotypes. Phylogenetic analysis reinforced the Western and Eastern topotypes previously characterized but revealed unique features of several Australian BTVs. Many of the Australian BTV genome segments (Seg-) were closely related, clustering together within the Eastern topotypes. A novel Australian topotype for Seg-5 (NS1) was identified, with taxa spread across several serotypes and over time. Seg-1, -2, -3, -4, -6, -7, -9, and -10 of BTV_2_AUS_2008 were most closely related to the cognate segments of viruses from Taiwan and Asia and not other Australian viruses, supporting the conclusion that BTV_2 entered Australia recently. The Australian BTV_15_AUS_1982 prototype was revealed to be unusual among the Australian BTV isolates, with Seg-3 and -8 distantly related to other BTV sequences from all serotypes. PMID:22514341

  18. Are lungfish living fossils? Observation on the evolution of the opioid/orphanin gene family.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jenny; Alrubaian, Jasem; Dores, Robert M

    2006-09-15

    This minireview considers the possibility that there is a correlation between the slow rate of morphological change and speciation events that has been occurred within the lungfish lineage since the Permian period, and the apparent slow rate of divergence in the amino acid sequences of lungfish opioid precursor sequences. The status of lungfish as "living fossils" is considered. PMID:16930601

  19. Conserved developmental processes constrain evolution of lungfish dentitions

    PubMed Central

    SMITH, MOYA MEREDITH; KRUPINA, NATASHA I.

    2001-01-01

    Although the 3 genera of living lungfish have different-shaped adult tooth plates, their larval stages have similar patterns of development. The sequence in the pattern of initiation of teeth and their modification through ontogeny in Neoceratodus hatchlings provides a developmental model for fossil hatchling tooth plates (smallest 1–2 mm) recovered as 3-dimensional dentitions from Andreyevichthys. This Late Devonian lungfish demonstrates that these also have a similar dentition pattern and suggests strongly conserved developmental processes. We postulate that a specific pattern of development, derived within lungfish, has been conserved in extant forms through evolution from the earliest known lungfish. The most basal early dipnoan, Diabolepis speratus, is also known from juveniles with tooth plates formed in this pattern. The lungfish pattern is in marked contrast to the typical linear rows of teeth with lingual replacement for each tooth position, characteristic of most osteichthyan and chondrichthyan dentitions. Uniquely for lungfish, teeth are only added to the lateral ends of the radial rows in the palatal and lingual dentition and are consolidated into dental plates without loss through shedding. It is proposed that this tooth pattern is set up from primordial teeth at the patterning stage of the dentition, one in each dentate region of the larval jaws. Although in post-Devonian lungfish marginal dentate bones are absent in the adult, in both the fossil and extant hatchling, teeth are present and function on some of the marginal bones. This pattern of development and loss is described and we conclude that in both forms it is also based on a radial pattern of successive tooth initiation. We propose that this ontogenetic pattern constrained the phylogenetic pattern of adult form, through evolution of dipnoan dentitions from 360 MYBP until the present. The universality amongst dipnoans and the implications for such a conserved constraint in the developmental

  20. Nitric oxide synthase-dependent "on/off" switch and apoptosis in freshwater and aestivating lungfish, Protopterus annectens: skeletal muscle versus cardiac muscle.

    PubMed

    Amelio, D; Garofalo, F; Wong, W P; Chew, S F; Ip, Y K; Cerra, M C; Tota, B

    2013-08-01

    African lungfishes (Protopterus spp.) are obligate air breathers which enter in a prolonged torpor (aestivation) in association with metabolic depression, and biochemical and morpho-functional readjustments during the dry season. During aestivation, the lungfish heart continues to pump, while the skeletal muscle stops to function but can immediately contract during arousal. Currently, nothing is known regarding the orchestration of the multilevel rearrangements occurring in myotomal and myocardial muscles during aestivation and arousal. Because of its universal role in cardio-circulatory and muscle homeostasis, nitric oxide (NO) could be involved in coordinating these stress-induced adaptations. Western blotting and immunofluorescence microscopy on cardiac and skeletal muscles of Protopterus annectens (freshwater, 6months of aestivation and 6days after arousal) showed that expression, localization and activity of the endothelial-like nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) isoform and its partners Akt and Hsp-90 are tissue-specifically modulated. During aestivation, phospho-eNOS/eNOS and phospho-Akt/Akt ratios increased in the heart but decreased in the skeletal muscle. By contrast, Hsp-90 increased in both muscle types during aestivation. TUNEL assay revealed that increased apoptosis occurred in the skeletal muscle of aestivating lungfish, but the myocardial apoptotic rate of the aestivating lungfish remained unchanged as compared with the freshwater control. Consistent with the preserved cardiac activity during aestivation, the expression of apoptosis repressor (ARC) also remained unchanged in the heart of aestivating and aroused fish as compared with the freshwater control. Contrarily, ARC expression was strongly reduced in the skeletal muscle of aestivating lungfish. On the whole, our data indicate that changes in the eNOS/NO system and cell turnover are implicated in the morpho-functional readjustments occurring in lungfish cardiac and skeletal muscle during the switch

  1. Aestivation and brain of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens

    PubMed Central

    Chew, Shit F; Hiong, Kum

    2014-01-01

    Scientists have long been fascinated by animals undergoing aestivation, a state of torpor at high temperature, due to its great potential in fields ranging from medicine to space travel. The brain of the African lungfish is able to coordinate a whole-body response to induce aestivation and to arouse from aestivation. PMID:27581948

  2. The Lungfish Transcriptome: A Glimpse into Molecular Evolution Events at the Transition from Water to Land

    PubMed Central

    Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Gerdol, Marco; Canapa, Adriana; Forconi, Mariko; Olmo, Ettore; Pallavicini, Alberto; Barucca, Marco; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Lungfish and coelacanths are the only living sarcopterygian fish. The phylogenetic relationship of lungfish to the last common ancestor of tetrapods and their close morphological similarity to their fossil ancestors make this species uniquely interesting. However their genome size, the largest among vertebrates, is hampering the generation of a whole genome sequence. To provide a partial solution to the problem, a high-coverage lungfish reference transcriptome was generated and assembled. The present findings indicate that lungfish, not coelacanths, are the closest relatives to land-adapted vertebrates. Whereas protein-coding genes evolve at a very slow rate, possibly reflecting a “living fossil” status, transposable elements appear to be active and show high diversity, suggesting a role for them in the remarkable expansion of the lungfish genome. Analyses of single genes and gene families documented changes connected to the water to land transition and demonstrated the value of the lungfish reference transcriptome for comparative studies of vertebrate evolution. PMID:26908371

  3. The Lungfish Transcriptome: A Glimpse into Molecular Evolution Events at the Transition from Water to Land.

    PubMed

    Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Gerdol, Marco; Canapa, Adriana; Forconi, Mariko; Olmo, Ettore; Pallavicini, Alberto; Barucca, Marco; Schartl, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Lungfish and coelacanths are the only living sarcopterygian fish. The phylogenetic relationship of lungfish to the last common ancestor of tetrapods and their close morphological similarity to their fossil ancestors make this species uniquely interesting. However their genome size, the largest among vertebrates, is hampering the generation of a whole genome sequence. To provide a partial solution to the problem, a high-coverage lungfish reference transcriptome was generated and assembled. The present findings indicate that lungfish, not coelacanths, are the closest relatives to land-adapted vertebrates. Whereas protein-coding genes evolve at a very slow rate, possibly reflecting a "living fossil" status, transposable elements appear to be active and show high diversity, suggesting a role for them in the remarkable expansion of the lungfish genome. Analyses of single genes and gene families documented changes connected to the water to land transition and demonstrated the value of the lungfish reference transcriptome for comparative studies of vertebrate evolution. PMID:26908371

  4. Molecular characterization of MHC class II in the Australian invasive cane toad reveals multiple splice variants.

    PubMed

    Lillie, Mette; Cui, Jian; Shine, Richard; Belov, Katherine

    2016-07-01

    The cane toad has gained notoriety for its invasion across the Australian landscape, with significant impacts on the native Australian fauna. The invasion has accelerated over time, with invading cane toads adapted for highly dispersive traits. This, however, has come at the cost of the immune system, with lower investment in some immune functions. To investigate the cane toad's immunogenetics, we characterized four major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class IIA and three MHC class IIB loci. Preliminary observations suggest very low allelic diversity at all loci. We also observed various splice isoforms. One isoform seen at one class IIA and two class IIB loci was missing exon 2, which is essential to peptide binding and presentation. The other isoform, observed at a class IIA locus, is likely to be a soluble MHC product. These results may suggest a significant role of alternative splicing of MHC loci in the Australian cane toad. PMID:27233954

  5. Intranuclear bundles of microfilaments and microtubules in chromaffin cells of the auricle of the heart of a lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Scheuermann, D W; Adriaensen, D; De Groodt-Lasseel, M H

    1988-01-01

    Intranuclear microtubular-microfilamentous rod-like inclusions were investigated in chromaffin cells of the auricle of the heart of lungfishes. In conventional electron microscopy, these inclusions reveal a wide variety in appearance, depending on their orientation to the plane of sectioning. Whereas originally they were merely interpreted as a bundle of microfilaments, application of a goniometer stage showed the rod- or spindle-shaped intranuclear inclusions to have a basic substructure of parallel arranged microtubules among microfilaments, which are clearly connected to chromatin granules, occasionally penetrating dense areas of chromatin. The chemical nature and biological significance of these structures, which so far remain enigmatic, are discussed. PMID:3227775

  6. Microsatellites reveal a lack of structure in Australian populations of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella (L.).

    PubMed

    Endersby, N M; McKechnie, S W; Ridland, P M; Weeks, A R

    2006-01-01

    The diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella, is renowned for developing resistance to insecticides and causing significant economic damage to Brassica vegetable crops throughout the world. Yet despite its economic importance, little is known about the population structure and movement patterns of this pest both at local and regional scales. In Australia, the movement patterns and insecticide resistance status of P. xylostella infesting canola, vegetables, forage brassicas and weeds have fundamental implications for the management of this pest. Here we use six polymorphic microsatellite loci to investigate population structure and gene flow in Australian populations of P. xylostella. Samples of P. xylostella from New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya were also scored at these loci. We found no evidence of population structure within Australia, with most populations having low inbreeding coefficients and in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. In addition, a sample from the North Island of New Zealand was indistinguishable from the Australian samples. However, large genetic differences were found between the Australia/New Zealand samples and samples from Kenya, Malaysia and Indonesia. There was no relationship between genetic distance and geographic distance among Australian and New Zealand samples. Two of the loci were found to have null alleles, the frequency of which was increased in the populations outside the Australia/New Zealand region. We discuss these results with reference to insecticide resistance management strategies for P. xylostella in Australia. PMID:16367834

  7. Lungfish burrows in the Upper Triassic Chinle and Dolores Formations, Colorado Plateau ( USA).

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dubiel, R.F.; Blodgett, R.H.; Bown, T.M.

    1987-01-01

    Vertical-to-inclined, cylindrical trace fossils that occur in the Upper Triassic Chinle and Dolores Formations on the Colorado Plateau are interpreted to be the casts of lungfish burrows based on their morphologic similarity to previously identified lungfish burrows. The casts were formed by passive siliciclastic and carbonate sedimentation into apparently abandoned lungfish burrows. Locally, the burrow fillings are overwhelmingly abundant, and many intersect and have destroyed former burrow fillings. Bioturbation has contributed to the mottled coloration and the knobby-weathering texture of the rocks. The burrow-fillings occur ubiquitously in three lithofacies, deposited in a continental environment that included fluvial channels and floodplains, sand sheets and playa mudflats, and lacustrine basins, marshes, and deltas. The widespread occurrence of the lungfish burrows in the Chinle and Dolores Formations attests to the extensive habitat that supported lungfish in the Late Triassic. Analogy with the environments that support modern lungfish populations suggests that the Late Triassic climate in the study area provided sufficient moisture to support large populations of lungfish and that this climate was probably punctuated by seasonally dry periods. -from Authors

  8. Lungfish axial muscle function and the vertebrate water to land transition.

    PubMed

    Horner, Angela M; Jayne, Bruce C

    2014-01-01

    The role of axial form and function during the vertebrate water to land transition is poorly understood, in part because patterns of axial movement lack morphological correlates. The few studies available from elongate, semi-aquatic vertebrates suggest that moving on land may be powered simply from modifications of generalized swimming axial motor patterns and kinematics. Lungfish are an ideal group to study the role of axial function in terrestrial locomotion as they are the sister taxon to tetrapods and regularly move on land. Here we use electromyography and high-speed video to test whether lungfish moving on land use axial muscles similar to undulatory swimming or demonstrate novelty. We compared terrestrial lungfish data to data from lungfish swimming in different viscosities as well as to salamander locomotion. The terrestrial locomotion of lungfish involved substantial activity in the trunk muscles but almost no tail activity. Unlike other elongate vertebrates, lungfish moved on land with a standing wave pattern of axial muscle activity that closely resembled the pattern observed in terrestrially locomoting salamanders. The similarity in axial motor pattern in salamanders and lungfish suggests that some aspects of neuromuscular control for the axial movements involved in terrestrial locomotion were present before derived appendicular structures. PMID:24788982

  9. Structure and comparative morphology of camptotrichia of lungfish fins.

    PubMed

    Geraudie, J; Meunier, F J

    1984-01-01

    The present work is devoted to the organization and ultrastructure of the fin rays or camptotrichia of two living Dipnoi (lungfishes) Protopterus and Neoceratodus. In both species, these rods have a dual structure: only the superficial region facing the stratified epidermis is mineralized while the deep one is made of a dense unmineralized network of collagen fibrils forming a permanent pre-osseous tissue. Only the camptotrichia of Neoceratodus is made of cellular bone. This study confirms the structural peculiarities of these camptotrichia when compared to the dermal skeleton of the Actinopterygii constituted by the bony lepidotrichia and the actinotrichia. These results are discussed and compared to fossil dipnoan fin rays. PMID:6740649

  10. Molecules and morphology reveal overlooked populations of two presumed extinct Australian sea snakes (Aipysurus: Hydrophiinae).

    PubMed

    Sanders, Kate L; Schroeder, Tina; Guinea, Michael L; Rasmussen, Arne R

    2015-01-01

    The critically endangered leaf-scaled (Aipysurus foliosquamaI) and short-nosed (A. apraefrontalis) sea snakes are currently recognised only from Ashmore and Hibernia reefs ~600km off the northwest Australian coast. Steep population declines in both species were documented over 15 years and neither has been sighted on dedicated surveys of Ashmore and Hibernia since 2001. We examine specimens of these species that were collected from coastal northwest Australian habitats up until 2010 (A.foliosquama) and 2012 (A. apraefrontalis) and were either overlooked or treated as vagrants in conservation assessments. Morphological variation and mitochondrial sequence data confirm the assignment of these coastal specimens to A. foliosquama (Barrow Island, and offshore from Port Hedland) and A.apraefrontalis (Exmouth Gulf, and offshore from Roebourne and Broome). Collection dates, and molecular and morphological variation between coastal and offshore specimens, suggest that the coastal specimens are not vagrants as previously suspected, but instead represent separate breeding populations. The newly recognised populations present another chance for leaf-scaled and short-nosed sea snakes, but coastal habitats in northwest Australia are widely threatened by infrastructure developments and sea snakes are presently omitted from environmental impact assessments for industry. Further studies are urgently needed to assess these species' remaining distributions, population structure, and extent of occurrence in protected areas. PMID:25671608

  11. Molecules and Morphology Reveal Overlooked Populations of Two Presumed Extinct Australian Sea Snakes (Aipysurus: Hydrophiinae)

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Kate L.; Schroeder, Tina; Guinea, Michael L.; Rasmussen, Arne R.

    2015-01-01

    The critically endangered leaf-scaled (Aipysurus foliosquamaI) and short-nosed (A. apraefrontalis) sea snakes are currently recognised only from Ashmore and Hibernia reefs ~600km off the northwest Australian coast. Steep population declines in both species were documented over 15 years and neither has been sighted on dedicated surveys of Ashmore and Hibernia since 2001. We examine specimens of these species that were collected from coastal northwest Australian habitats up until 2010 (A.foliosquama) and 2012 (A. apraefrontalis) and were either overlooked or treated as vagrants in conservation assessments. Morphological variation and mitochondrial sequence data confirm the assignment of these coastal specimens to A. foliosquama (Barrow Island, and offshore from Port Hedland) and A.apraefrontalis (Exmouth Gulf, and offshore from Roebourne and Broome). Collection dates, and molecular and morphological variation between coastal and offshore specimens, suggest that the coastal specimens are not vagrants as previously suspected, but instead represent separate breeding populations. The newly recognised populations present another chance for leaf-scaled and short-nosed sea snakes, but coastal habitats in northwest Australia are widely threatened by infrastructure developments and sea snakes are presently omitted from environmental impact assessments for industry. Further studies are urgently needed to assess these species’ remaining distributions, population structure, and extent of occurrence in protected areas. PMID:25671608

  12. Age-related differences revealed in Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus gut microbiota.

    PubMed

    Smith, Stuart C; Chalker, Andrea; Dewar, Meagan L; Arnould, John P Y

    2013-11-01

    The gut microbiota of Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) was examined at different age classes using fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. The FISH results indicated that in the fur seal groups, the predominant phyla are Firmicutes (22.14-67.33%) followed by Bacteroidetes (3.11-15.45%) and then Actinobacteria (1.4-5.9%) consistent with other mammals. Phylum Proteobacteria had an initial abundance of 1.8% in the 2-month-old pups, but < 1% of bacterial numbers for the other fur seal age groups. Significant differences did occur in the abundance of Clostridia, Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria between 2 months pups and 9 months pups and adult fur seals. Results from the 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing supported the FISH data and identified significant differences in the composition of Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, Verrucomicrobia and Fusobacteria at all ages. Class Clostridia in phylum Firmicutes dominates the microbiota of the 2 months and 9 months seal pups, whilst class Bacilli dominates the 6 months pups. In addition, a high level of dissimilarity was observed between all age classes. This study provides novel insight into the gut microbiota of Australian fur seals at different age classes. PMID:23746080

  13. Pulmonary mechanoreceptors in the dipnoi lungfish Protopterus and Lepidosiren.

    PubMed

    DeLaney, R G; Laurent, P; Galante, R; Pack, A I; Fishman, A P

    1983-03-01

    Pulmonary mechanoreceptors in the dipnoi lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus and Lepidosiren paradoxa were identified and characterized both in vivo and in vitro. Both slowly adapting receptors (SAR) and rapidly adapting receptors (RAR) were found, with the majority of receptors being of the slowly adapting type. The SAR discharged during inflation once their threshold volume was exceeded, and this activity persisted during prolonged lung inflation. For most of the SAR, interaction between the rate of inflation and lung volume was involved in setting the firing rate of the receptor. Increase in intrapulmonary carbon dioxide partial pressure decreased the activity of the SAR during sustained inflation at a constant intrapulmonary pressure. The RAR also discharged during inflation once the threshold volume was exceeded. However, in contrast to the SAR, the RAR became silent within 1.5 - 15 s after the end of inflation. The activity of these receptors during inflation was influenced predominantly by the rate and influenced little by the volume of inflation. According to these observations, the behavior of lungfish pulmonary mechanoreceptors closely resembles that of pulmonary mechanoreceptors in amphibians but differs from that of mechanoreceptors in the swim bladder of teleosts. PMID:6402942

  14. Circulatory adaptation to bimodal respiration in the dipnoan lungfish.

    PubMed

    Fishman, A P; DeLaney, R G; Laurent, P

    1985-08-01

    In the dipnoan lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus, P. annectens, and Lepidosiren paradoxa, the ductus is a short powerful muscular vascular trunk forming a channel for communication between the systemic and pulmonary circulations. In structure, the dipnoan ductus is very similar to the ductus arteriosus (Botalli) in the mammal. Innervation is abundant, consisting of myelinated and nonmyelinated nerve fibers issuing, at least in part, from the vagus. Neurons are present in the adventitia, and numerous nerve profiles, filled with small agranular vesicles, are closely associated with the myocytes, suggesting strong cholinergic control. Perfusion of the ductus in vitro using hypoxic saline causes it to dilate; conversely it is constricted by alpha-agonists. Dopamine and prostaglandin E2 are potent dilators, whereas the beta-agonist, isoproterenol, and acetylcholine are less powerful. A vasomotor segment has been identified on the pulmonary artery (PAVS) close to its junction with the ductus. Its location and structure are similar to the corresponding segment in amphibians and reptiles. It is innervated by endings filled with small clear vesicles. Granular vesicle cells are also present within the adventitia. The PAVS is constricted by acetylcholine. As in amphibians, alpha-agonists and hypoxic saline are without vasomotor effects. Based on the anatomic and physiological observations, a concept of cyclic perfusion of the gas exchangers in Dipnoi is proposed. During the alternation between air breathing (emersion) and apneic phases (immersion), the pattern of the circulation in the lungfish oscillates between that of a tetrapod and a fish. PMID:4030580

  15. Intraclass diversification of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the African lungfish

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tianyi; Tacchi, Luca; Wei, Zhiguo

    2015-01-01

    Lungfish (Dipnoi) are the closest living relatives to tetrapods, and they represent the transition from water to land during vertebrate evolution. Lungfish are armed with immunoglobulins (Igs), one of the hallmarks of the adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates, but only three Ig forms have been characterized in Dipnoi to date. We report here a new diversity of Ig molecules in two African lungfish species (Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens). The African lungfish Igs consist of three IgMs, two IgWs, three IgNs, and an IgQ, where both IgN and IgQ originated evidently from the IgW lineage. Our data also suggest that the IgH genes in the lungfish are organized in a transiting form from clusters (IgH loci in cartilaginous fish) to a translocon configuration (IgH locus in tetrapods). We propose that the intraclass diversification of the two primordial gnathostome Ig classes (IgM and IgW) as well as acquisition of new isotypes (IgN and IgQ) has allowed lungfish to acquire a complex and functionally diverse Ig repertoire to fight a variety of microorganisms. Furthermore, our results support the idea that “tetrapod-specific” Ig classes did not evolve until the vertebrate adaptation to land was completed ∼360 million years ago. PMID:24676685

  16. Intraclass diversification of immunoglobulin heavy chain genes in the African lungfish.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tianyi; Tacchi, Luca; Wei, Zhiguo; Zhao, Yaofeng; Salinas, Irene

    2014-05-01

    Lungfish (Dipnoi) are the closest living relatives to tetrapods, and they represent the transition from water to land during vertebrate evolution. Lungfish are armed with immunoglobulins (Igs), one of the hallmarks of the adaptive immune system of jawed vertebrates, but only three Ig forms have been characterized in Dipnoi to date. We report here a new diversity of Ig molecules in two African lungfish species (Protopterus dolloi and Protopterus annectens). The African lungfish Igs consist of three IgMs, two IgWs, three IgNs, and an IgQ, where both IgN and IgQ originated evidently from the IgW lineage. Our data also suggest that the IgH genes in the lungfish are organized in a transiting form from clusters (IgH loci in cartilaginous fish) to a translocon configuration (IgH locus in tetrapods). We propose that the intraclass diversification of the two primordial gnathostome Ig classes (IgM and IgW) as well as acquisition of new isotypes (IgN and IgQ) has allowed lungfish to acquire a complex and functionally diverse Ig repertoire to fight a variety of microorganisms. Furthermore, our results support the idea that "tetrapod-specific" Ig classes did not evolve until the vertebrate adaptation to land was completed ~360 million years ago. PMID:24676685

  17. Phylogenetic analysis of the Australian rosella parrots (Platycercus) reveals discordance among molecules and plumage.

    PubMed

    Shipham, Ashlee; Schmidt, Daniel J; Joseph, Leo; Hughes, Jane M

    2015-10-01

    Relationships and species limits among the colourful Australian parrots known as rosellas (Platycercus) are contentious because of poorly understood patterns of parapatry, sympatry and hybridization as well as complex patterns of geographical replacement of phenotypic forms. Two subgenera are, however, conventionally recognised: Platycercus comprises the blue-cheeked crimson rosella complex (Crimson Rosella P. elegans and Green Rosella P. caledonicus), and Violania contains the remaining four currently recognised species (Pale-headed Rosella P. adscitus, Eastern Rosella P. eximius, Northern Rosella P. venustus, and Western Rosella P. icterotis). We used phylogenetic analysis of ten loci (one mitochondrial, eight autosomal and one z-linked) and several individuals per nominal species primarily to examine relationships within the subgenera, especially the relationships and species limits within Violania. Of these, P. adscitus and P. eximius have long been considered sister species or conspecific due to a morphology-based hybrid zone and an early phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphisms. The multilocus phylogenetic analysis presented here supports an alternative hypothesis aligning P. adscitus and P. venustus as sister species. Using divergence rates published in other avian studies, we estimated the divergence between P. venustus and P. adscitus at 0.0148-0.6124MYA and that between the P. adscitus/P. venustus ancestor and P. eximius earlier at 0.1617-1.0816MYA, both within the Pleistocene. Discordant topologies among gene and species trees are discussed and proposed to be the result of historical gene flow and/or incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). In particular, we suggest that discordance between mitochondrial and nuclear data may be the result of asymmetrical mitochondrial introgression from P. adscitus into P. eximius. The biogeographical implications of our findings are discussed relative to similarly distributed groups

  18. Three Putative Types of El Niño Revealed by Spatial Variability in Impact on Australian Wheat Yield.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potgieter, A. B.; Hammer, G. L.; Meinke, H.; Stone, R. C.; Goddard, L.

    2005-05-01

    The El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon significantly impacts rainfall and ensuing crop yields in many parts of the world. In Australia, El Niño events are often associated with severe drought conditions. However, El Niño events differ spatially and temporally in their manifestations and impacts, reducing the relevance of ENSO-based seasonal forecasts. In this analysis, three putative types of El Niño are identified among the 24 occurrences since the beginning of the twentieth century. The three types are based on coherent spatial patterns (“footprints”) found in the El Niño impact on Australian wheat yield. This bioindicator reveals aligned spatial patterns in rainfall anomalies, indicating linkage to atmospheric drivers. Analysis of the associated ocean-atmosphere dynamics identifies three types of El Niño differing in the timing of onset and location of major ocean temperature and atmospheric pressure anomalies. Potential causal mechanisms associated with these differences in anomaly patterns need to be investigated further using the increasing capabilities of general circulation models. Any improved predictability would be extremely valuable in forecasting effects of individual El Niño events on agricultural systems.

  19. Early evolution of the lungfish pectoral fin endoskeleton: evidence from the Middle Devonian (Givetian) Pentlandia macroptera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jude, Emma; Johanson, Zerina; Kearsley, Anton; Friedman, Matt

    2014-08-01

    As the closest living relatives of tetrapods, lungfishes are frequently used as extant models for exploring the fin-to-limb transition. These studies have generally given little consideration to fossil taxa. This is because although lungfish fins are relatively common in the fossil record, the internal structure of these fins is virtually unknown. Information on pectoral-fin endoskeletons in fossil representatives of Dipnomorpha (the lungfish total group) is limited to poorly preserved remains in the lungfish Dipterus and Conchopoma and more complete material in the porolepiform Glyptolepis. Here we describe a well-preserved pectoral-fin endoskeleton in the Middle Devonian (Givetian) lungfish Pentlandia macroptera from the John O’Groats fish bed, Caithness, northeastern Scotland. The skeleton is in association with a cleithrum and clavicle, and consists of a series of at least eight mesomeres. Extensive series of preaxial and postaxial radials are present. Some of the radials are jointed, but none branch. No mesomere articulates with multiple radials on either its pre- or post-axial face. The first two mesomeres, corresponding to the humerus and ulna, bear well-developed axial processes. Uniquely among dipnomorphs, a distinct ossification centre corresponding to the radius is present in Pentlandia. A review of anatomy and development of the pectoral-fin endoskeleton in the living Neoceratodus is presented based on cleared and stained material representing different size stages. These developmental data, in conjunction with new details of primitive lungfish conditions based on Pentlandia, highlight many of the derived features of the pectoral-fin skeleton of Neoceratodus, and clarify patterns of appendage evolution within the dipnomorphs more generally.

  20. Phylogenetic aspects of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase in lungfish: a transitional enzyme in transitional fishes.

    PubMed

    Laberge, Tammy; Walsh, Patrick J

    2011-06-01

    Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS) catalyses the formation of carbamoyl phosphate from glutamine or ammonia, bicarbonate and ATP. There are three different isoforms of CPS that play vital roles in two metabolic pathways, pyrimidine biosynthesis (CPS II) and arginine/urea biosynthesis (CPS I and CPS III). Gene duplication has been proposed as the evolutionary mechanism creating this gene family with CPS II likely giving rise to the CPS I/III clade. In the evolutionary history of this gene family it is still undetermined when CPS I diverged from CPS III on the path to terrestriality in the vertebrates. Transitional organisms such as lungfishes are of particular interest because they are capable of respiring via gills and with lungs and therefore can be found in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. Notably, enzymatic characterization of the mitochondrial CPS isoforms in this transitional group has not led to clear conclusions. In order to determine which CPS isoform is present in transitional animals, we examined partial sequences for liver CPS amplified from five species of lungfish, and a larger fragment of CPS from one lungfish species (Protopterus annectens) and compared them to CPS isoforms from other fish and mammals. Enzyme activities for P. annectens liver were also examined. While enzyme activities did not yield a clear distinction between isoforms (virtually equal activities were obtained for either CPS I or III), CPS sequences from the lungfishes formed a monophyletic clade within the CPS I clade and separate from the CPS III clade of other vertebrates. This finding implies that the mitochondrial isoform of CPS in lungfish is derived from CPS I and is likely to have a physiological function similar to CPS I. This finding is important because it supports the hypothesis that lungfish employ a urea cycle similar to terrestrial air-breathing vertebrates. PMID:21482211

  1. Analysis of lung ventilation in the aestivating lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    DeLaney, R G; Fishman, A P

    1977-11-01

    During aestivation, the breathing pattern of the lungfish changed from the usual aquatic pattern of a single breath followed by prolonged apnea to the pattern of alternating tachypnea and apnea that characterizes Cheyne-Stokes breathing. As aestivation continued, the number of breaths per tachypneic period increased gradually to reach a steady level at about the 3rd mo. During the bouts of tachypnea, minute ventilation increased because of the increase in respiratory frequency even though tidal volumes decreased. Ventilation of the lungs during aestivation appeared to involve the same mechanism as during life in water, i.e., a buccal force pump. The breathing cycle began with the aspiration of air into the mouth as the buccal cavity enlarged. Lung deflation then occurred abetted by contraction of the abdominal muscles. Lung inflation followed and involved the "swallowing" of air form the posterior buccal region into the lungs. Cycles of deflation and partial inflation of the lungs were repeated 8-40 times (tachypneic period). At the end of the tachypneic cycle, after the last deflation, a series of larger buccal force-pump maneuvers reinflated the lungs before the start of the apneic period. PMID:920828

  2. Nuclear and plastid DNA sequences reveal complex evolutionary patterns in Australian water-lilies (Nymphaea subgenus Anecphya, Nymphaeaceae)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study represents the first comprehensive analysis of phylogenetic relationships within the Australian water-lilies, Nymphaea subg. Anecphya. Our 52-taxa dataset covers all species of the subgenus except the newly described N. alexii and includes information from the nuclear ITS as well as from ...

  3. Hearing of the African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) suggests underwater pressure detection and rudimentary aerial hearing in early tetrapods.

    PubMed

    Christensen, Christian Bech; Christensen-Dalsgaard, Jakob; Madsen, Peter Teglberg

    2015-02-01

    In the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial lifestyle, vertebrate auditory systems have undergone major changes while adapting to aerial hearing. Lungfish are the closest living relatives of tetrapods and their auditory system may therefore be a suitable model of the auditory systems of early tetrapods such as Acanthostega. Therefore, experimental studies on the hearing capabilities of lungfish may shed light on the possible hearing capabilities of early tetrapods and broaden our understanding of hearing across the water-to-land transition. Here, we tested the hypotheses that (i) lungfish are sensitive to underwater pressure using their lungs as pressure-to-particle motion transducers and (ii) lungfish can detect airborne sound. To do so, we used neurophysiological recordings to estimate the vibration and pressure sensitivity of African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) in both water and air. We show that lungfish detect underwater sound pressure via pressure-to-particle motion transduction by air volumes in their lungs. The morphology of lungfish shows no specialized connection between these air volumes and the inner ears, and so our results imply that air breathing may have enabled rudimentary pressure detection as early as the Devonian era. Additionally, we demonstrate that lungfish in spite of their atympanic middle ear can detect airborne sound through detection of sound-induced head vibrations. This strongly suggests that even vertebrates with no middle ear adaptations for aerial hearing, such as the first tetrapods, had rudimentary aerial hearing that may have led to the evolution of tympanic middle ears in recent tetrapods. PMID:25653420

  4. Independent Transitions between Monsoonal and Arid Biomes Revealed by Systematic Revison of a Complex of Australian Geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae)

    PubMed Central

    Oliver, Paul M.; Couper, Patrick J.; Pepper, Mitzy

    2014-01-01

    How the widespread expansion and intensification of aridity through the Neogene has shaped the Austral biota is a major question in Antipodean biogeography. Lineages distributed across wide aridity gradients provide opportunities to examine the timing, frequency, and direction of transitions between arid and mesic regions. Here, we use molecular genetics and morphological data to investigate the systematics and biogeography of a nominal Australian gecko species (Diplodactylus conspicillatus sensu lato) with a wide distribution spanning most of the Australian Arid Zone (AAZ) and Monsoonal Tropics (AMT). Our data support a minimum of seven genetically distinct and morphologically diagnosable taxa; we thus redefine the type species, ressurrect three names from synonymy, and describe three new species. Our inferred phylogeny suggests the history and diversification of lineages in the AAZ and AMT are intimately linked, with evidence of multiple independent interchanges since the late Miocene. However, despite this shared history, related lineages in these two regions also show evidence of broadly contrasting intra-regional responses to aridification; vicarance and speciation in older and increasingly attenuated mesic regions, versus a more dynamic history including independent colonisations and recent range expansions in the younger AAZ. PMID:25493936

  5. Death by sex in an Australian icon: a continent-wide survey reveals extensive hybridization between dingoes and domestic dogs.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Danielle; Wilton, Alan N; Fleming, Peter J S; Berry, Oliver

    2015-11-01

    Hybridization between domesticated animals and their wild counterparts can disrupt adaptive gene combinations, reduce genetic diversity, extinguish wild populations and change ecosystem function. The dingo is a free-ranging dog that is an iconic apex predator and distributed throughout most of mainland Australia. Dingoes readily hybridize with domestic dogs, and in many Australian jurisdictions, distinct management strategies are dictated by hybrid status. Yet, the magnitude and spatial extent of domestic dog-dingo hybridization is poorly characterized. To address this, we performed a continent-wide analysis of hybridization throughout Australia based on 24 locus microsatellite DNA genotypes from 3637 free-ranging dogs. Although 46% of all free-ranging dogs were classified as pure dingoes, all regions exhibited some hybridization, and the magnitude varied substantially. The southeast of Australia was highly admixed, with 99% of animals being hybrids or feral domestic dogs, whereas only 13% of the animals from remote central Australia were hybrids. Almost all free-ranging dogs had some dingo ancestry, indicating that domestic dogs could have poor survivorship in nonurban Australian environments. Overall, wild pure dingoes remain the dominant predator over most of Australia, but the speed and extent to which hybridization has occurred in the approximately 220 years since the first introduction of domestic dogs indicate that the process may soon threaten the persistence of pure dingoes. PMID:26514639

  6. Cryptic Diversity in Indo-Australian Rainbowfishes Revealed by DNA Barcoding: Implications for Conservation in a Biodiversity Hotspot Candidate

    PubMed Central

    Kadarusman; Hubert, Nicolas; Hadiaty, Renny Kurnia; Sudarto; Paradis, Emmanuel; Pouyaud, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    The rainbowfishes of the family Melanotaeniidae represent one of the largest radiations of freshwater fishes from the Indo-Australian archipelago. A total of 75 nominal species have been described, among which several have become very popular among tropical fish hobbyists because of their tendency to form large schools of colourful individuals. Facing habitat loss and competition or predation by introduced species, this group has become a priority in the conservation of ornamental fishes in Indonesia. In this context, several expeditions have been conducted between 2007 and 2010 in Indonesian Papua with the aim to initiate a large-scale survey of the genetic resources in this group. We assessed the diversity of the Papua rainbowfishes with DNA barcoding. We sequenced the mitochondrial COI gene for 350 specimens belonging to 53 nominal species throughout the Indo-Australian archipelago. Unexpected levels of cryptic diversity and endemism were detected since additional cryptic lineages were detected in several watersheds from the Vogelkop and the Lengguru massif. DNA barcoding supports the presence of nearly 30 evolutionary lineages among the 15 nominal species sampled in the Vogelkop and all these lineages are endemic to a single lake or watershed. This result highlights that the diversity of the family has been largely underestimated and urges for the identification of conservation priorities in Papua. PMID:22829879

  7. Cryptic diversity in Indo-Australian rainbowfishes revealed by DNA barcoding: implications for conservation in a biodiversity hotspot candidate.

    PubMed

    Kadarusman; Hubert, Nicolas; Hadiaty, Renny Kurnia; Sudarto; Paradis, Emmanuel; Pouyaud, Laurent

    2012-01-01

    The rainbowfishes of the family Melanotaeniidae represent one of the largest radiations of freshwater fishes from the Indo-Australian archipelago. A total of 75 nominal species have been described, among which several have become very popular among tropical fish hobbyists because of their tendency to form large schools of colourful individuals. Facing habitat loss and competition or predation by introduced species, this group has become a priority in the conservation of ornamental fishes in Indonesia. In this context, several expeditions have been conducted between 2007 and 2010 in Indonesian Papua with the aim to initiate a large-scale survey of the genetic resources in this group. We assessed the diversity of the Papua rainbowfishes with DNA barcoding. We sequenced the mitochondrial COI gene for 350 specimens belonging to 53 nominal species throughout the Indo-Australian archipelago. Unexpected levels of cryptic diversity and endemism were detected since additional cryptic lineages were detected in several watersheds from the Vogelkop and the Lengguru massif. DNA barcoding supports the presence of nearly 30 evolutionary lineages among the 15 nominal species sampled in the Vogelkop and all these lineages are endemic to a single lake or watershed. This result highlights that the diversity of the family has been largely underestimated and urges for the identification of conservation priorities in Papua. PMID:22829879

  8. Analysis of glycoproteins produced by the associated gland in the olfactory organ of lungfish.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Nakamuta, Shoko; Taniguchi, Kazumi; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2013-07-31

    The olfactory organ of African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, contains two distinct sensory epithelia: the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium. These epithelia correspond to the olfactory epithelium and the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods, respectively. In contrast to the lamellar olfactory epithelium, which has no associated gland, the recess epithelium is equipped with associated glands. Although the glandular cells and/or the supporting cells are generally presumed to secrete proteins involved in the function of olfactory sensory epithelia, the properties of these proteins in lungfish have not been evaluated to date. In this study, we investigated the associated glands in the olfactory organ of lungfish by transmission electron microscopy and found that the glandular cells contain numerous secretory granules and secrete them from the apical membrane. In addition, we analyzed the olfactory organ by lectin histochemistry using 16 biotinylated lectins. All lectins labeled the secretory granules in the glandular cells with different staining patterns from those of the supporting cells in the lamellar olfactory epithelium or in the recess epithelium. Furthermore, lectin blotting analysis showed that multiple bands were detected by the lectins which specifically labeled the glandular epithelium of the olfactory organ. These results indicate that the secretory products of the associated glands in the recess epithelium have different properties from those of the supporting cells in the olfactory sensory epithelia and contain multiple glycoproteins with different carbohydrate moieties. PMID:23428778

  9. Histological and ultrastructural characteristics of the primordial vomeronasal organ in lungfish.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Shoko; Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Taniguchi, Kazumi; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2012-03-01

    Many vertebrates have two anatomically distinct olfactory organs--the olfactory epithelium and the vomeronasal organ--to detect chemicals such as general odorants and pheromones in their environment. The vomeronasal organ is not present in fish but is present in vertebrates of a higher order than amphibians. Among all extant fishes, the lungfish is considered to be genetically and phylogenetically closest to tetrapods. In this study, we examined the olfactory organs of African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, by lectin histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and transmission electron microscopy. Two types of sensory epithelia were identified in the olfactory organ--the olfactory epithelium covering the surface of lamellae and the sensory epithelium lining the recesses both at the base of lamellae and in the wall of the nasal sac--and designated here as the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium, respectively. Based on analysis of G-protein expression and ultrastructure, the lamellar olfactory epithelium resembled the olfactory epithelium of ordinary teleosts and the recess epithelium resembled the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods. Furthermore, lectin histochemistry demonstrated that the axons from the recess epithelium converge and project to the ventrolateral part of the olfactory bulb, suggesting that lungfish possess a region homologous to the accessory olfactory bulb of tetrapods. Based on these results, it seems appropriate to refer to the recess epithelium as "a primordium of the vomeronasal organ." This study may provide important clues to elucidate how the vomeronasal organ emerged during the evolution of vertebrates. PMID:22271496

  10. Identification, tissue distribution and functional characterization of the ghrelin receptor in West African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Kaiya, Hiroyuki; Konno, Norifumi; Kangawa, Kenji; Uchiyama, Minoru; Miyazato, Mikiya

    2014-12-01

    We identified two ghrelin receptor isoforms, the ghrelin receptor type-1a (GHS-R1a) and its alternative splice form (GHS-R1b) for West African lungfish, Protopterus annectens. Lungfish GHS-R1a and 1b comprised 361 and 281 amino acids, respectively. Lungfish GHS-R1a showed the highest identity to coelacanth GHS-R1a (80.4%). The highest expression of GHS-R1a mRNAs was seen in the brain, liver, ovary, heart, intestine, and gills. GHS-R1b mRNAs were also detected in the same tissues with GHS-R1a, but their expression level was 1/20 that of GHS-R1a. In human embryonic kidney 293 cells transiently expressing lungfish GHS-R1a, rat and bullfrog ghrelin, and two GHS-R1a agonists, GHRP-6 and hexarelin, increased intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. The intensity of the Ca(2+) increases induced by GHS-R1a agonists was twice when compared to that induced by ghrelin, although the median effective doses (ED50) were similar, suggesting a long-lasting effect of GHS-R1a agonists with similar affinity. We also examined changes in the GHS-R gene expression during an eight-week estivation. Body weight was slightly lowered, but plasma sodium and glucose concentrations decreased; plasma urea concentration increased significantly 4weeks after the start of estivation. Overall, expression of GHS-R1a mRNA decreased, but changes in GHS-R1b mRNA expression were inconsistent with those of GHS-R1a during estivation, suggesting an involvement of GHS-R in energy homeostasis, as seen in mammals. Our results suggest that the ghrelin-GHS-R1a system is present in this lungfish although ghrelin has not yet been found. The structure of GHS-R1a is closer to that of tetrapods than Actinopterygian fish, indicating a process of evolution that follows the Crossopterygii such as coelacanth. PMID:25093625

  11. Trade-off between camouflage and sexual dimorphism revealed by UV digital imaging: the case of Australian Mallee dragons (Ctenophorus fordi).

    PubMed

    Garcia, Jair E; Rohr, Detlef; Dyer, Adrian G

    2013-11-15

    Colour patterns displayed by animals may result from the balance of the opposing requirements of sexual selection through display and natural selection through camouflage. Currently, little is known about the possibility of the dual purpose of an animal colour pattern in the UV region of the spectrum, which is potentially perceivable by both predators and conspecifics for detection or communication purposes. Here, we implemented linearised digital UV photography to characterise and quantify the colour pattern of an endemic Australian Agamid lizard classically regarded as monomorphic when considering data from the visible region of the spectrum. Our results indicate a widespread presence of UV elements across the entire body of the lizards and these patterns vary significantly in intensity, size and frequency between sexes. These results were modelled considering either lizard or avian visual characteristics, revealing that UV reflectance represents a trade-off between the requirements of sexual displaying to conspecifics and concealment from avian predators. PMID:23997198

  12. A fibrous membrane suspends the multifocal lens in the eyes of lampreys and African lungfishes.

    PubMed

    Gustafsson, Ola S E; Ekström, Peter; Kröger, Ronald H H

    2010-08-01

    The sharpness and thus information content of the retinal image in the eye depends on the optical quality of the lens and its accurate positioning in the eye. Multifocal lenses create well-focused color images and are present in the eyes of all vertebrate groups studied to date (mammals, reptiles including birds, amphibians, and ray-finned fishes) and occur even in lampreys, i.e., the most basal vertebrates with well-developed eyes. Results from photoretinoscopy obtained in this study indicate that the Dipnoi (lungfishes), i.e., the closest piscine relatives to tetrapods, also possess multifocal lenses. Suspension of the lens is complex and sophisticated in teleosts (bony fishes) and tetrapods. We studied lens suspension using light and electron microscopy in one species of lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis) and two species of African lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus aethiopicus and Protopterus annectens annectens). A fibrous and highly transparent membrane suspends the lens in both of these phylogenetically widely separated vertebrate groups. The membrane attaches to the lens approximately along the lens equator, from where it extends to the ora retinalis. The material forming the membrane is similar in ultrastructure to microfibrils in the zonule fibers of tetrapods. The membrane, possibly in conjunction with the cornea, iris, and vitreous body, seems suitable for keeping the lens in the correct position for well-focused imaging. Suspension of the lens by a multitude of zonule fibers in tetrapods may have evolved from a suspensory membrane similar to that in extant African lungfishes, a structure that seems to have appeared first in the lamprey-like ancestors of allextant vertebrates. PMID:20623650

  13. Nazi medical experiments on Australian prisoners of war: Commentary on the testimony of an Australian soldier.

    PubMed

    Weisz, George M

    2015-12-01

    Archival research reveals that Australian prisoners of war were exposed to non-consensual medical experiments during World War II. This article discusses the first known case of an Australian soldier exposed to German medical experiments. PMID:26939510

  14. Structural and Functional Divergence of Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone Receptors in Early Sarcopterygians: Lungfish and Xenopus

    PubMed Central

    Tam, Janice K. V.; Chow, Billy K. C.; Lee, Leo T. O.

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary trajectories of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) receptor remain enigmatic since the discovery of physiologically functional GHRH-GHRH receptor (GHRHR) in non-mammalian vertebrates in 2007. Interestingly, subsequent studies have described the identification of a GHRHR2 in chicken in addition to the GHRHR and the closely related paralogous receptor, PACAP-related peptide (PRP) receptor (PRPR). In this article, we provide information, for the first time, on the GHRHR in sarcopterygian fish and amphibians by the cloning and characterization of GHRHRs from lungfish (P. dolloi) and X. laevis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated structural resemblance of lungfish GHRHR to their mammalian orthologs, while the X. laevis GHRHR showed the highest homology to GHRHR2 in zebrafish and chicken. Functionally, lungfish GHRHR displayed high affinity towards GHRH in triggering intracellular cAMP and calcium accumulation, while X. laevis GHRHR2 was able to react with both endogenous GHRH and PRP. Tissue distribution analyses showed that both lungfish GHRHR and X. laevis GHRHR2 had the highest expression in brain, and interestingly, X. laevis GHRHR2 also had high abundance in the reproductive organs. These findings, together with previous reports, suggest that early in the Sarcopterygii lineage, GHRHR and PRPR have already established diverged and specific affinities towards their cognate ligands. GHRHR2, which has only been found in xenopus, zebrafish and chicken hitherto, accommodates both GHRH and PRP. PMID:23308232

  15. Structural and functional divergence of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptors in early sarcopterygians: lungfish and Xenopus.

    PubMed

    Tam, Janice K V; Chow, Billy K C; Lee, Leo T O

    2013-01-01

    The evolutionary trajectories of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) receptor remain enigmatic since the discovery of physiologically functional GHRH-GHRH receptor (GHRHR) in non-mammalian vertebrates in 2007. Interestingly, subsequent studies have described the identification of a GHRHR(2) in chicken in addition to the GHRHR and the closely related paralogous receptor, PACAP-related peptide (PRP) receptor (PRPR). In this article, we provide information, for the first time, on the GHRHR in sarcopterygian fish and amphibians by the cloning and characterization of GHRHRs from lungfish (P. dolloi) and X. laevis. Sequence alignment and phylogenetic analyses demonstrated structural resemblance of lungfish GHRHR to their mammalian orthologs, while the X. laevis GHRHR showed the highest homology to GHRHR(2) in zebrafish and chicken. Functionally, lungfish GHRHR displayed high affinity towards GHRH in triggering intracellular cAMP and calcium accumulation, while X. laevis GHRHR(2) was able to react with both endogenous GHRH and PRP. Tissue distribution analyses showed that both lungfish GHRHR and X. laevis GHRHR(2) had the highest expression in brain, and interestingly, X. laevis(GHRHR2) also had high abundance in the reproductive organs. These findings, together with previous reports, suggest that early in the Sarcopterygii lineage, GHRHR and PRPR have already established diverged and specific affinities towards their cognate ligands. GHRHR(2), which has only been found in xenopus, zebrafish and chicken hitherto, accommodates both GHRH and PRP. PMID:23308232

  16. Localization of the primordial vomeronasal organ and its relationship to the associated gland in lungfish.

    PubMed

    Nakamuta, Shoko; Nakamuta, Nobuaki; Taniguchi, Kazumi; Taniguchi, Kazuyuki

    2013-04-01

    The lungfish, the closest fish to tetrapods, has two types of sensory epithelia in the olfactory organ: the lamellar olfactory epithelium and the recess epithelium. The former resembles the olfactory epithelium of ordinary teleosts and the latter resembles the vomeronasal organ of tetrapods with respect to the G-protein expressions and the morphological properties of olfactory receptor cells. In contrast to the lamellar olfactory epithelium covering the surface of olfactory lamella, the recess epithelium, together with the glandular epithelium, lines the recesses at the base of olfactory lamellae and is separated from the surrounding tissues by nonsensory epithelium. In the present study, we examined the distribution of these recesses and the relationship between the recess epithelium and the associated gland in the nasal sac of lungfish. We found that the posterior part of the nasal sac contained more recesses than the anterior one, and the medial one contained more recesses than the lateral one. In addition, virtually all recesses consisted of both the recess epithelium and the glandular epithelium. Furthermore, the glandular epithelium was invariably situated proximal to the midline raphe of the nasal sac, and the recess epithelium distal to it. Possible roles of the recess epithelium and the glandular epithelium are discussed. PMID:23368671

  17. The spleen of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens: freshwater and aestivation.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Loong, Ai M; Ip, Yuen K

    2012-10-01

    We describe the structure of the spleen of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens in freshwater conditions, and after 6 months of aestivation. The spleen is formed by cortical tissue that surrounds the splenic parenchyma. The cortex is a reticulum that contains two types of granulocytes, developing and mature plasma cells, and melanomacrophage centres (MMCs). The parenchyma is divided into lobules that show a subcapsular sinus and areas of red pulp and white pulp. Red pulp contains vascular sinuses and atypical cords formed by delicate trabeculae. White pulp also contains vascular sinuses and cords. Structural data indicate that red pulp is involved in erythropoiesis, destruction of effete erythrocytes, and plasma cell differentiation. White pulp appears to be involved in the production of immune responses. Macrophages and sinus endothelial cells constitute the reticulo-endothelial system of the spleen. After aestivation, the number of MMCs increases, and spleen tissue is infiltrated by lymphocytes, granulocytes, and monocytes. Also, white pulp is reduced, and sinus endothelial cells undergo vacuolar degeneration. Lungfish spleen shares structural characteristics with secondary lymphoid organs of both ectothermic and endothermic vertebrates, but appears to have evolved in unique ways. PMID:22752121

  18. Brain Na+/K+-ATPase α-subunit isoforms and aestivation in the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Ip, Yuen K; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2014-07-01

    This study aimed to clone and sequence Na (+) / K (+)-ATPase (nka) α-subunit isoforms from, and to determine their mRNA expression levels and protein abundance in the brain of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens during the induction, maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation in air. We obtained the full cDNA sequences of nkaα1, nkaα2 and nkaα3 from the brain of P. annectens. Phylogenetic analysis of their deduced amino acid sequences revealed that they are closer to the corresponding NKA α-subunits of tetrapods than to those of fishes. The mRNA expression of these three nkaα isoforms showed differential changes in the brain of P. annectens during the three phases of aestivation. After 12 days of aestivation, there was a significant increase in the protein abundance of Nkaα1 in the brain of P. annectens. This could be an important response to maintain cellular Na(+) and K(+) concentrations and regulate cell volume during the early maintenance phase of aestivation. On the other hand, the mRNA expression of nkaα2 decreased significantly in the brain of P. annectens after 6 months of aestivation, which could be a result of a suppression of transcriptional activities to reduce energy expenditure. The down-regulation of mRNA expression of nkaα1, nkaα2 and nkaα3 and the overall protein abundance of Nka α-subunit isoforms in the brain of P. annectens after 1 day of arousal from 6 months of aestivation were novel observations, and it could be an adaptive response to restore blood pressure and/or to prevent brain oedema. PMID:24696295

  19. Diagnostic investigation of new disease syndromes in farmed Australian saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) reveals associations with herpesviral infection.

    PubMed

    Shilton, Catherine M; Jerrett, Ian V; Davis, Steven; Walsh, Susan; Benedict, Suresh; Isberg, Sally R; Webb, Grahame J W; Manolis, Charlie; Hyndman, Timothy H; Phalen, David; Brown, Gregory P; Melville, Lorna

    2016-05-01

    Since 2006, 3 new disease syndromes have emerged in farmed saltwater crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus) in the Northern Territory of Australia. We describe the syndromes through a retrospective study of laboratory findings from 187 diagnostic cases submitted to Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories between 2005 and 2014. The first syndrome was characterized by conjunctivitis and/or pharyngitis (CP), primarily in hatchlings. Herpesviruses were isolated in primary crocodile cell culture, or were detected by PCR directly from conjunctiva or pharyngeal tissue, in 21 of 39 cases of CP (54%), compared with 9 of 64 crocodiles without the syndrome (14%, p < 0.0001). Chlamydiaceae were detected by PCR in conjunctiva or pharyngeal tissue of 55% of 29 CP cases tested, and of these, 81% also contained herpesvirus. The second syndrome occurred in juveniles and growers exhibiting poor growth, and was characterized histologically by systemic lymphoid proliferation and nonsuppurative encephalitis (SLPE). Herpesviruses were isolated or detected by PCR from at least 1 internal organ in 31 of 33 SLPE cases (94%) compared with 5 of 95 crocodiles without the syndrome (5%, p < 0.0001). The third syndrome, characterized by multifocal lymphohistiocytic infiltration of the dermis (LNS), occurred in 6 harvest-sized crocodiles. Herpesviruses were isolated from at least 1 skin lesion in 4 of these 6 cases. Although our study revealed strong associations between herpesvirus and the CP and SLPE syndromes, the precise nature of the role of herpesvirus, along with the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the syndromes, requires further investigation. PMID:27075848

  20. Fraud and Australian Academics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martin, Brian

    1989-01-01

    A series of highly publicized cases of alleged fraud in the Australian academic community are described. Each case reveals an apparent failure of peer review. The right to pursue investigations and make comments that may offend powerful figures within the scholarly community is precarious. (MLW)

  1. Scleroderma in Australian aborigines.

    PubMed

    Zurauskas, J; Beroukas, D; Walker, J G; Smith, M D; Ahern, M J; Roberts-Thomson, P J

    2005-01-01

    Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) has not been reported before in Australian Aborigines. We describe in detail a community middle-aged Aboriginal woman whose diffuse scleroderma terminated fatally with a renal crisis. Moreover, we have identified a further five Aboriginal patients on the South Australian Scleroderma Register (two with diffuse, two with limited and one with overlap scleroderma), a number consistent with that expected from the 2001 census data for our state. However, an analysis of all antinuclear antibody (ANA) requests from the Top End of Australia over a 6-year period revealed only two Aborigines with low titre anticentromere antibody (despite frequent occurrence of ANA with other specificities). Neither of these Aborigines had features of scleroderma. In conclusion, scleroderma does occur in indigenous Australians but further studies are needed to confirm the apparent infrequency of centromere-associated limited scleroderma (which is the commonest form of scleroderma in our Caucasian population). PMID:15667472

  2. Respiratory allocation and standard rate of metabolism in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Seifert, Ashley W; Chapman, Lauren J

    2006-01-01

    This paper quantifies the relationship between respiratory allocation (air vs. water) and the standard rate of metabolism (SMR) in the primitive air-breathing lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus. Simultaneous measurements of oxygen consumed from both air and water were made to determine the SMR at ecologically relevant aquatic oxygen levels for juveniles 2 to 221 g. Total metabolic rate was positively correlated with body mass with a scaling exponent of 0.78. Aerial oxygen consumption averaged 98% (range=94% to 100%) of total respiratory allocation under low aquatic oxygen levels. Measurements of oxygen consumption made across a gradient of dissolved oxygen from normoxia to anoxia showed that P. aethiopicus maintains its SMR despite a change in respiratory allocation between water and air. PMID:16380279

  3. Musculoskeletal morphology of the pelvis and pelvic fins in the lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    King, Heather M; Hale, Melina E

    2014-04-01

    The West African lungfish (Protopterus annectens) performs benthic, pelvic fin-driven locomotion with gaits common to tetrapods, the sister group of the lungfishes. Features of P. annectens movement are similar to those of modern tetrapods and include use of the distal region of the pelvic fin as a “foot,” use of the fin to lift the body above the substrate and rotation of the fin around the joint with the pelvis. In contrast to these similarities in movement, the pelvic fins of P. annectens are long, slender structures that are superficially very different from tetrapod limbs. Here, we describe the musculoskeletal anatomy of the pelvis and pelvic fins of P. annectens with dissection, magnetic resonance imaging, histology and 3D-reconstruction methods. We found that the pelvis is embedded in the hypaxial muscle by a median rostral and two dorsolateral skeletal projections. The protractor and retractor muscles at the base of the pelvic fin are fan-shaped muscles that cup the femur. The skeletal elements of the fin are serially repeating cartilage cylinders. Along the length of the fin, repeating truncated cones of muscles, the musculus circumradialis pelvici, are separated by connective tissue sheets that connect the skeletal elements to the skin. The simplicity of the protractor and retractor muscles at the base of the fin is surprising, given the complex rotational movement those muscles generate. In contrast, the series of many repeating segmental muscles along the length of the fin is consistent with the dexterity of bending of the distal limb. P. annectens can provide a window into softtissue anatomy and sarcopterygian fish fin function that complements the fossil data from related taxa. This work, combined with previous behavioral examination of P. annectens, illustrates that fin morphologies that do not appear to be capable of walking can accomplish that function, and may inform the interpretation of fossil anatomical evidence. PMID:24741713

  4. Isolation and amino-terminal sequence analysis of a new pancreatic trypsinogen of the African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    de Haën, C; Walsh, K A; Neurath, H

    1977-10-01

    The purification and characterization of three pancreatic trypsinogens A1, A2, and A3, from the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus, is reported. These zymogens are activated by trypsin, by enterokinase, by an acid protease from Aspergillus oryzae, and by autoactivation. The three trypsinogens contain the same amino-terminal amino acid sequence, beginning with the activation peptide Leu-Pro-Leu-Glu-Asp-Asp-Lys-. Like the activation peptide of the previously characterized trypsinogen B [Reeck, G. R., & Neurath, H. (1972) Biochemistry 11, 503] of the same organism, it lacks the tetraaspartyl sequence characteristic of other vertebrate trypsinogens. Two of the corresponding lungfish trypsins were found to have identical amino-terminal sequences for at least 27 residues. These data suggest that the three enzymes are allelic variants. In contrast, the amino acid sequences differ sufficiently from that of trypsinogen B of the same organism to indicate that trypsinogens A and B are the products of different gene loci. PMID:911766

  5. Lungfish aestivating activities are locked in distinct encephalic γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptor α subunits.

    PubMed

    Giusi, Giuseppina; Crudo, Michele; Di Vito, Anna; Facciolo, Rosa Maria; Garofalo, Filippo; Chew, Shit Fun; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Canonaco, Marcello

    2011-03-01

    Ammonia in dipnoans plays a crucial role on neuronal homeostasis, especially for those brain areas that maintain torpor and awakening states in equilibrium. In the present study, specific α subunits of the major neuroreceptor inhibitory complex (GABA(A) R), which predominated during some phases of aestivation of the lungfish Protopterus annectens, turned out to be key adaptive factors of this species. From the isolation, for the first time, of the encoding sequence for GABA(A) R α₁, α₄ , and α₅ subunits in Protopterus annectens, qPCR and in situ hybridization levels of α₄ transcript in thalamic (P < 0.001) and mesencephalic (P < 0.01) areas proved to be significantly higher during long aestivating maintenance states. Very evident α₅ mRNA levels were detected in diencephalon during short inductive aestivating states, whereas an α₄ /α₁ turnover characterized the arousal state. Contextually, the recovery of physiological activities appeared to be tightly related to an evident up-regulation of α₁ transcripts in telencephalic and cerebellar sites. Surprisingly, TUNEL and amino cupric silver methods corroborated apoptotic and neurodegenerative cellular events, respectively, above all in telencephalon and cerebellum of lungfish exposed to long maintenance aestivating conditions. Overall, these results tend to underlie a novel GABAergic-related ON/OFF molecular switch operating during aestivation of the lungfish, which might have a bearing on sleeping disorders. PMID:21259328

  6. Upregulation of intracellular antioxidant enzymes in brain and heart during estivation in the African lungfish Protopterus dolloi.

    PubMed

    Page, Melissa M; Salway, Kurtis D; Ip, Yuen Kwong; Chew, Shit F; Warren, Sarah A; Ballantyne, James S; Stuart, Jeffrey A

    2010-03-01

    The African slender lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, is highly adapted to withstand periods of drought by secreting a mucous cocoon and estivating for periods of months to years. Estivation is similar to the diapause and hibernation of other animal species in that it is characterized by negligible activity and a profoundly depressed metabolic rate. As is typically observed in quiescent states, estivating P. dolloi are resistant to environmental stresses. We tested the hypothesis that P. dolloi enhances stress resistance during estivation by upregulating intracellular antioxidant defences in brain and heart tissues. We found that most of the major intracellular antioxidant enzymes, including the mitochondrial superoxide dismutase, cytosolic superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase, were upregulated in brain tissue of lungfish that had estivated for 60 days. Several of these enzymes were also elevated in heart tissue of estivators. These changes were not due to food deprivation, as they did not occur in a group of fish that were deprived of food but maintained in water for the same period of time. We found little evidence of tissue oxidative damage in estivators. Products of lipid peroxidation (4-hydroxynonenal adducts) and oxidative protein damage (carbonylation) were similar in estivating and control lungfish. However, protein nitrotyrosine levels were elevated in brain tissue of estivators. Taken together, these data indicate that estivating P. dolloi have enhanced oxidative stress resistance in brain and heart due to a significant upregulation of intracellular antioxidant capacity. PMID:19888582

  7. cDNA sequence coding for the alpha'-chain of the third complement component in the African lungfish.

    PubMed

    Sato, A; Sültmann, H; Mayer, W E; Figueroa, F; Tichy, H; Klein, J

    1999-04-01

    cDNA clones coding for almost the entire C3 alpha-chain of the African lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus), a representative of the Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes), were sequenced and characterized. From the sequence it is deduced that the lungfish C3 molecule is probably a disulphide-bonded alpha:beta dimer similar to that of the C3 components of other jawed vertebrates. The deduced sequence contains conserved sites presumably recognized by proteolytic enzymes (e.g. factor I) involved in the activation and inactivation of the component. It also contains the conserved thioester region and the putative site for binding properdin. However, the site for the interaction with complement receptor 2 and factor H are poorly conserved. Either complement receptor 2 and factor H are not present in the lungfish or they bind to different residues at the same or a different site than mammalian complement receptor 2 and factor H. The C3 alpha-chain sequences faithfully reflect the phylogenetic relationships among vertebrate classes and can therefore be used to help to resolve the long-standing controversy concerning the origin of the tetrapods. PMID:10219761

  8. The Complete Nucleotide Sequence of the Mitochondrial Genome of the Lungfish (Protopterus Dolloi) Supports Its Phylogenetic Position as a Close Relative of Land Vertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Zardoya, R.; Meyer, A.

    1996-01-01

    The complete DNA sequence (16,646 bp) of the mitochondrial genome of the African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, was determined. The evolutionary position of lungfish as possibly the closest living relative among fish of land vertebrates made its mitochondrial DNA sequence particularly interesting. Its mitochondrial gene order conforms to the consensus vertebrate gene order. Several sequence motifs and secondary structures likely involved in the regulation of the initiation of replication and transcription of the mitochondrial genome are conserved in the lungfish and are more similar to those of land vertebrates than those of ray-finned fish. A novel feature discovered is that the putative origin of L-strand replication partially overlaps the adjacent tRNA(Cys). The phylogenetic analyses of genes coding for tRNAs and proteins confirm the intermediate phylogenetic position of lungfish between ray-finned fishes and tetrapods. The complete nucleotide sequence of the African lungfish mitochondrial genome was used to estimate which mitochondrial genes are most appropriate to elucidate deep branch phylogenies. Only a combined set of either protein or tRNA mitochondrial genes (but not each gene alone) is able to confidently recover the expected phylogeny among vertebrates that have diverged up to but not over ~400 mya. PMID:8846902

  9. Molecular cloning and mRNA distribution of pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)/PACAP-related peptide in the lungfish.

    PubMed

    Lee, L T O; Tam, J K V; Chan, D W; Chow, B K C

    2009-04-01

    In this article, we report the isolation of a full-length cDNA clone encoding pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP)/PACAP-related peptide (PRP) from lungfish Protopterus dolloi. When comparing the deduced amino acid sequences, the lungfish PACAP was found to be highly conserved with other vertebrates; however, the PRP shares only lower levels of sequence identity with known PRP sequences. Consistently in phylogenetic analysis, the lungfish PRP, similar to sturgeon PRP, fails to cluster with other PRPs. In addition to the full-length clone, another cDNA encoding a short precursor that lacks the first 32 amino acids of the PRP was also isolated. Interestingly, similar isoforms were also identified in several nonmammalian vertebrates, and it was suggested that exon skipping of PRP/PACAP transcripts was a mechanism that regulated the expression ratio of PACAP to PRP in nonmammalian vertebrates. By real-time PCR, both long and short PRP/PACAP transcripts were found almost exclusively in the brain, and the short isoform is the more abundant transcript (3.7 times more), indicating that PACAP is the major product produced in lungfish brain. The expression patterns of lungfish and previously studied frog PRP/PACAP suggest that the PRP/PACAP gene in the tetrapod lineage may first express in the central nervous system; in the process of evolution, the functions of these peptides diversified and were later found in other tissues. PMID:19456341

  10. Australian Extinctions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Science Teacher, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Massive extinctions of animals and the arrival of the first humans in ancient Australia--which occurred 45,000 to 55,000 years ago--may be linked. Researchers at the Carnegie Institution, University of Colorado, Australian National University, and Bates College believe that massive fires set by the first humans may have altered the ecosystem of…

  11. The gut of the juvenile African lungfish Protopterus annectens: a light and scanning electron microscope study.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Garofalo, Filippo; Loong, Ai M; Ip, Yuen K

    2011-07-01

    We describe the microstructure of the alimentary canal of the juvenile lungfish Protopterus annectens. Following the oesophagus, the gut is formed by a long segment that extends down to the pyloric valve. This segment, classically named stomach, is lined by a transitional epithelium but lacks all characteristics of the vertebrate stomach. It has been defined here as the intestinal vestibule. The spiral valve is divided into a first large chamber, which contains mucosal ridges, and a second smooth portion. The entire spiral valve is lined with a pseudostratified columnar epithelium that contains approximately six cell types: enterocytes, goblet cells, ciliated cells, leukocytes, dark pigment cells, and vascular cells. Enterocytes and goblet cells show a high number of cytoplasmic vacuoles. The number and size of the vacuoles, and the number of ciliated cells, decreases from the anterior toward the posterior end, suggesting that most of the digestive processes take place in the anterior part of the spiral valve. The epithelium overlies a lamina propria in the first large chamber and a vascular plexus in the smooth portion. The cloaca has a thick muscular wall covered by a transitional epithelium. An extensive lymphatic system formed by capillaries and lymphatic micropumps is present along the entire wall of the alimentary canal. PMID:21538472

  12. The alimentary canal of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation and after arousal.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Loong, Ai M; Colvee, Elvira; Wong, Wai P; Ip, Yuen K

    2012-01-01

    We describe the structural modifications that occur in the alimentary canal of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation and after arousal. With fasting, all gut segments undergo structural modifications. The epithelium covering the intestinal vestibule undergoes bursts of activation at 4 months of aestivation, adopting a more quiescent appearance at 6 months. The ridge area of the spiral intestine shows, at 4 months of aestivation, epithelial disintegration, cell desquamation, cell death, and loss of the freshwater phenotype. Surprisingly, the epithelium adopts a stratified appearance at 6 months of aestivation. Except for epithelial disintegration, the smooth portion of the spiral intestine follows a similar pattern of modifications than the ridge area. The entire epithelium of spiral intestine appears to be renewed during aestivation. The presence of intraepithelial mast cells suggests that inflammation is part of the cellular response to aestivation. After arousal, cell phenotypes are restored in about 6 days, but full structural recovery is not attained during the experimental period (15 days post-aestivation). Several aspects of the cellular response to fasting are shared by a wide range of animal groups. This commonality agrees with the presence of a character that allows to adjust the structural and functional properties of the gut to food availability and food quality, and to the characteristics of the fasting episodes. PMID:21964967

  13. Anti-viral immune responses in a primitive lung: characterization and expression analysis of interferon-inducible immunoproteasome subunits LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 in a sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi)

    PubMed Central

    Tacchi, Luca; Misra, Milind; Salinas, Irene

    2013-01-01

    Lungfishes (Dipnoi) represent the closest ancestor of tetrapods. Dipnoi have dual breathing modes extracting oxygen from water and air. The primitive lungs of lungfishes are exposed to external antigens including viruses. To date, the immune response of lungfishes against viruses has not been investigated. During viral immune responses, cell exposure to type I interferon induces the replacement of the constitutive proteasome with LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 beta subunits forming the immunoproteasome and enhancing antigen presentation to MHC class I molecules. In order to study the immune defense system of the lungfish lung, we have characterized for the first time the three immunoproteasome subunits in the sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi). LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 were identified in P. dolloi and their sequences encoded predicted proteins of 216, 275 and 278 amino acids, respectively. The mRNA of these three genes was expressed in multiple tissues, including the lung, with the highest abundance observed in kidney and post-pyloric spleen. In vitro stimulation of lungfish lung and kidney primary cell cultures with PolyI:C for 4 and 12 h resulted in increased LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 expression in both tissues. These results suggest a central role of these genes in the activation of an antiviral immune response in lungfish. Importantly, they indicate that the primitive lung of the common ancestor of all tetrapods is capable of inducing the expression of these genes in response to viral stimulation. PMID:23932981

  14. Anti-viral immune responses in a primitive lung: characterization and expression analysis of interferon-inducible immunoproteasome subunits LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 in a sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi).

    PubMed

    Tacchi, Luca; Misra, Milind; Salinas, Irene

    2013-12-01

    Lungfishes (Dipnoi) represent the closest ancestor of tetrapods. Dipnoi have dual breathing modes extracting oxygen from water and air. The primitive lungs of lungfishes are exposed to external antigens including viruses. To date, the immune response of lungfishes against viruses has not been investigated. During viral immune responses, cell exposure to type I interferon induces the replacement of the constitutive proteasome with LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 beta subunits forming the immunoproteasome and enhancing antigen presentation to MHC class I molecules. In order to study the immune defense system of the lungfish lung, we have characterized for the first time the three immunoproteasome subunits in the sarcopterygian fish, the Nigerian spotted lungfish (Protopterus dolloi). LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 were identified in P. dolloi and their sequences encoded predicted proteins of 216, 275 and 278 amino acids, respectively. The mRNA of these three genes was expressed in multiple tissues, including the lung, with the highest abundance observed in kidney and post-pyloric spleen. In vitro stimulation of lungfish lung and kidney primary cell cultures with PolyI:C for 4 and 12 h resulted in increased LMP2, LMP7 and MECL-1 expression in both tissues. These results suggest a central role of these genes in the activation of an antiviral immune response in lungfish. Importantly, they indicate that the primitive lung of the common ancestor of all tetrapods is capable of inducing the expression of these genes in response to viral stimulation. PMID:23932981

  15. Comparative genomics of Australian isolates of the wheat stem rust pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici reveals extensive polymorphism in candidate effector genes.

    PubMed

    Upadhyaya, Narayana M; Garnica, Diana P; Karaoglu, Haydar; Sperschneider, Jana; Nemri, Adnane; Xu, Bo; Mago, Rohit; Cuomo, Christina A; Rathjen, John P; Park, Robert F; Ellis, Jeffrey G; Dodds, Peter N

    2014-01-01

    The wheat stem rust fungus Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) is one of the most destructive pathogens of wheat. In this study, a draft genome was built for a founder Australian Pgt isolate of pathotype (pt.) 21-0 (collected in 1954) by next generation DNA sequencing. A combination of reference-based assembly using the genome of the previously sequenced American Pgt isolate CDL 75-36-700-3 (p7a) and de novo assembly were performed resulting in a 92 Mbp reference genome for Pgt isolate 21-0. Approximately 13 Mbp of de novo assembled sequence in this genome is not present in the p7a reference assembly. This novel sequence is not specific to 21-0 as it is also present in three other Pgt rust isolates of independent origin. The new reference genome was subsequently used to build a pan-genome based on five Australian Pgt isolates. Transcriptomes from germinated urediniospores and haustoria were separately assembled for pt. 21-0 and comparison of gene expression profiles showed differential expression in ∼10% of the genes each in germinated spores and haustoria. A total of 1,924 secreted proteins were predicted from the 21-0 transcriptome, of which 520 were classified as haustorial secreted proteins (HSPs). Comparison of 21-0 with two presumed clonal field derivatives of this lineage (collected in 1982 and 1984) that had evolved virulence on four additional resistance genes (Sr5, Sr11, Sr27, SrSatu) identified mutations in 25 HSP effector candidates. Some of these mutations could explain their novel virulence phenotypes. PMID:25620970

  16. Comparative genomics of Australian isolates of the wheat stem rust pathogen Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici reveals extensive polymorphism in candidate effector genes

    PubMed Central

    Upadhyaya, Narayana M.; Garnica, Diana P.; Karaoglu, Haydar; Sperschneider, Jana; Nemri, Adnane; Xu, Bo; Mago, Rohit; Cuomo, Christina A.; Rathjen, John P.; Park, Robert F.; Ellis, Jeffrey G.; Dodds, Peter N.

    2015-01-01

    The wheat stem rust fungus Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici (Pgt) is one of the most destructive pathogens of wheat. In this study, a draft genome was built for a founder Australian Pgt isolate of pathotype (pt.) 21-0 (collected in 1954) by next generation DNA sequencing. A combination of reference-based assembly using the genome of the previously sequenced American Pgt isolate CDL 75-36-700-3 (p7a) and de novo assembly were performed resulting in a 92 Mbp reference genome for Pgt isolate 21-0. Approximately 13 Mbp of de novo assembled sequence in this genome is not present in the p7a reference assembly. This novel sequence is not specific to 21-0 as it is also present in three other Pgt rust isolates of independent origin. The new reference genome was subsequently used to build a pan-genome based on five Australian Pgt isolates. Transcriptomes from germinated urediniospores and haustoria were separately assembled for pt. 21-0 and comparison of gene expression profiles showed differential expression in ∼10% of the genes each in germinated spores and haustoria. A total of 1,924 secreted proteins were predicted from the 21-0 transcriptome, of which 520 were classified as haustorial secreted proteins (HSPs). Comparison of 21-0 with two presumed clonal field derivatives of this lineage (collected in 1982 and 1984) that had evolved virulence on four additional resistance genes (Sr5, Sr11, Sr27, SrSatu) identified mutations in 25 HSP effector candidates. Some of these mutations could explain their novel virulence phenotypes. PMID:25620970

  17. Discovery of J Chain in African Lungfish (Protopterus dolloi, Sarcopterygii) Using High Throughput Transcriptome Sequencing: Implications in Mucosal Immunity

    PubMed Central

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin; Salinas, Irene

    2013-01-01

    J chain is a small polypeptide responsible for immunoglobulin (Ig) polymerization and transport of Igs across mucosal surfaces in higher vertebrates. We identified a J chain in dipnoid fish, the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) by high throughput sequencing of the transcriptome. P. dolloi J chain is 161 aa long and contains six of the eight Cys residues present in mammalian J chain. Phylogenetic studies place the lungfish J chain closer to tetrapod J chain than to the coelacanth or nurse shark sequences. J chain expression occurs in all P. dolloi immune tissues examined and it increases in the gut and kidney in response to an experimental bacterial infection. Double fluorescent in-situ hybridization shows that 88.5% of IgM+ cells in the gut co-express J chain, a significantly higher percentage than in the pre-pyloric spleen. Importantly, J chain expression is not restricted to the B-cell compartment since gut epithelial cells also express J chain. These results improve our current view of J chain from a phylogenetic perspective. PMID:23967082

  18. Identifying heterogeneity in rates of morphological evolution: discrete character change in the evolution of lungfish (Sarcopterygii; Dipnoi).

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Graeme T; Wang, Steve C; Brusatte, Stephen L

    2012-02-01

    Quantifying rates of morphological evolution is important in many macroevolutionary studies, and critical when assessing possible adaptive radiations and episodes of punctuated equilibrium in the fossil record. However, studies of morphological rates of change have lagged behind those on taxonomic diversification, and most authors have focused on continuous characters and quantifying patterns of morphological rates over time. Here, we provide a phylogenetic approach, using discrete characters and three statistical tests to determine points on a cladogram (branches or entire clades) that are characterized by significantly high or low rates of change. These methods include a randomization approach that identifies branches with significantly high rates and likelihood ratio tests that pinpoint either branches or clades that have significantly higher or lower rates than the pooled rate of the remainder of the tree. As a test case for these methods, we analyze a discrete character dataset of lungfish, which have long been regarded as "living fossils" due to an apparent slowdown in rates since the Devonian. We find that morphological rates are highly heterogeneous across the phylogeny and recover a general pattern of decreasing rates along the phylogenetic backbone toward living taxa, from the Devonian until the present. Compared with previous work, we are able to report a more nuanced picture of lungfish evolution using these new methods. PMID:22276532

  19. Functional subdivision of fin protractor and retractor muscles underlies pelvic fin walking in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Aiello, Brett R; King, Heather M; Hale, Melina E

    2014-10-01

    African lungfish Protopterus annectens can produce rotational movements around the joint between the pelvis and the pelvic fin, allowing these animals to walk across benthic substrates. In tetrapods, limb rotation at the hip joint is a common feature of substrate-based locomotion. For sprawling tetrapods, rotation can involve nine or more muscles, which are often robust and span multiple joints. In contrast, P. annectens uses a modest morphology of two fan-shaped muscles, the pelvic fin protractor and retractor, to accomplish this movement. We hypothesized that functional subdivision, coupled with their broad insertions on the femur, allows each of these muscles to pull on the limb from multiple directions and provides a mechanism for fin rotation. To test this hypothesis, we examined the muscle activity at three locations in both the protractor and the retractor muscles during walking. Electromyograms show differences in the timing of muscle activation between dorsal and ventral regions of each muscle, suggesting that each muscle is functionally subdivided once. The subdivisions demonstrate sequential onsets of muscle activity and overlap of activity between regions, which are also features of limb control in tetrapods. These data indicate that subdivisions of protractor and retractor muscles impart functional complexity to a morphologically simple system, and suggest a mechanism that allows lungfish to produce a tetrapod-like walking gait with only two muscles. As one of few extant sarcopterygian fishes, P. annectens may provide important functional data to inform interpretation of limb movement of fossil relatives. PMID:25104761

  20. Lympho-granulocytic tissue associated with the wall of the spiral valve in the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Icardo, José M; Wong, Wai P; Colvee, Elvira; Loong, Ai M; Zapata, Agustín G; Ip, Yuen K

    2014-02-01

    We describe the structure of the lympho-granulocytic tissue associated with the wall of the spiral valve of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens. The study was performed under freshwater conditions and after 6 months of aestivation. The lympho-granulocytic tissue consists of nodes surrounded by reticular tissue. The nodes are formed by an outer and an inner component separated by a thin collagenous layer. The outer component is a reticular-like tissue that contains two types of granulocytes, developing and mature plasma cells and melanomacrophage centres (MMCs). The inner component, the parenchyma, contains a meshwork of trabeculae and vascular sinusoids and shows dark and pale areas. The dark areas contain diffuse lymphoid tissue, with a large number of mitoses and plasma cell clusters. The pale areas contain a small number of macrophages and lymphocytes. Macrophages and sinus endothelial cells are filled with haemosiderin granules and appear to form part of the reticuloendothelial system of the lungfish. The reticular tissue houses granulocytes, plasma cells and MMCs and might serve for the housing and maturation of cells of the white series. After aestivation, the nodes undergo lymphocyte depletion, the suppression of mitosis, granulocyte invasion and the occurrence of cell death. By contrast, few histological changes occur in the reticular tissue. Whereas the nodes appear to be involved in lymphocyte proliferation and plasma cell maturation, the function of the reticular tissue remains obscure. PMID:24253466

  1. Discovery of J chain in African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi, Sarcopterygii) using high throughput transcriptome sequencing: implications in mucosal immunity.

    PubMed

    Tacchi, Luca; Larragoite, Erin; Salinas, Irene

    2013-01-01

    J chain is a small polypeptide responsible for immunoglobulin (Ig) polymerization and transport of Igs across mucosal surfaces in higher vertebrates. We identified a J chain in dipnoid fish, the African lungfish (Protopterus dolloi) by high throughput sequencing of the transcriptome. P. dolloi J chain is 161 aa long and contains six of the eight Cys residues present in mammalian J chain. Phylogenetic studies place the lungfish J chain closer to tetrapod J chain than to the coelacanth or nurse shark sequences. J chain expression occurs in all P. dolloi immune tissues examined and it increases in the gut and kidney in response to an experimental bacterial infection. Double fluorescent in-situ hybridization shows that 88.5% of IgM⁺ cells in the gut co-express J chain, a significantly higher percentage than in the pre-pyloric spleen. Importantly, J chain expression is not restricted to the B-cell compartment since gut epithelial cells also express J chain. These results improve our current view of J chain from a phylogenetic perspective. PMID:23967082

  2. Immunoreactive atrial natriuretic peptide and dopamine beta-hydroxylase in myocytes and chromaffin cells of the heart of the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus.

    PubMed

    Larsen, T H; Helle, K B; Saetersdal, T

    1994-07-01

    The heart of the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus, was examined for immunoreactive atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and dopamine beta-hydroxylase (D beta H) as markers for hormone secreting myocytes and chromaffin cells, respectively. Specific antibodies raised against rat alpha-ANP and rat D beta H were used for immunofluorescence microscopy and immunogold electron microscopy. D beta H-immunoreactive cells were restricted to subendocardial areas of the atrium whereas ANP immunoreactivity occurred throughout both the atrial and the ventricular myocardium, showing particularly strong staining intensity in the atrial myocytes. The granular ANP immunostaining in the atrial myocytes was frequently accumulated in the sarcoplasm. In the ventricular myocytes ANP immunoreactivity occurred as scattered granular staining throughout the sarcoplasm. ANP and D beta H immunofluorescence staining coincided with the presence of immunoreactive specific granules and secretory vesicles in the cardiac myocytes and chromaffin cells, respectively, as revealed by electron microscopy. The number of ANP-containing specific granules was generally high in the atrial myocytes, and they were frequently observed in clusters in subsarcolemmal areas. Granular frequency was considerably lower and the mean granular diameter was smaller (0.142 +/- 0.045 micron versus 0.213 +/- 0.049 micron) in the ventricular than in the atrial myocytes. The present results indicate that ANP and D beta H are phylogenetically highly conserved proteins from the dipnoi to the rat. The large amounts of ANP and of specific granules are consistent with an endocrine myocardium in the Protopterus heart. The presence of D beta H and secretory vesicles in the subendocardial chromaffin cells of the atrium suggests a local production of catecholamines from dopamine in the heart of this dipnoan. PMID:7926645

  3. Ornithine-urea cycle and urea synthesis in African lungfishes, Protopterus aethiopicus and Protopterus annectens, exposed to terrestrial conditions for six days.

    PubMed

    Loong, Ai May; Hiong, Kum Chew; Lee, Serene Min Lin; Wong, Wai Peng; Chew, Shit Fun; Ip, Yuen Kwong

    2005-05-01

    The objectives of this study were (1) to determine the type of carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (CPS) present, and the compartmentalization of arginase, in the livers of the African lungfishes, Protopterus aethiopicus and Protopterus annectens, and (2) to elucidate if these two lungfishes were capable of increasing the rates of urea synthesis and capacities of the ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) during 6 days of aerial exposure without undergoing aestivation. Like another African lungfish, Protopterus dolloi, reported elsewhere, the CPS activities from the livers of P. aethiopicus and P. annectens had properties similar to that of the marine ray (Taeniura lymma), but dissimilar to that of the mouse (Mus musculus). Hence, they possessed CPS III, and not CPS I as reported previously. CPS III was present exclusively in the liver mitochondria of both lungfishes, but the majority of the arginase activities were present in the cytosolic fractions of their livers. Glutamine synthetase (GS) activity was also detected in the hepatic mitochondria of both specimens. Therefore, our results suggest that the evolution of CPS III to CPS I might not have occurred before the evolution of extant lungfishes as suggested previously, prompting an examination of the current view on the evolution of CPS and OUC in vertebrates. Aerial exposure led to significant decreases in rates of ammonia excretion in P. aethiopicus and P. annectens, but there were no accumulations of ammonia in their tissues. However, urea contents in their tissues increased significantly after 6 days of aerial exposure. The estimated rates of urea synthesis in P. aethiopicus and P. annectens increased 1.2- and 1.47-fold, respectively, which were smaller than that in P. dolloi (8.6-fold) reported elsewhere. In addition, unlike P. dolloi, 6 days of aerial exposure had no significant effects on the hepatic CPS III activities of P. aethiopicus and P. annectens. In contrast, aerial exposure induced relatively greater degrees of

  4. Proteomics of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Australian epidemic strain 1 (AES-1) cultured under conditions mimicking the cystic fibrosis lung reveals increased iron acquisition via the siderophore pyochelin.

    PubMed

    Hare, Nathan J; Soe, Cho Zin; Rose, Barbara; Harbour, Colin; Codd, Rachel; Manos, Jim; Cordwell, Stuart J

    2012-02-01

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen that is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). While most CF patients are thought to acquire P. aeruginosa from the environment, person-to-person transmissible strains have been identified in CF clinics worldwide, and the molecular basis for transmissibility remains poorly understood. We undertook a complementary proteomics approach to characterize protein profiles from a transmissible, acute isolate of the Australian epidemic strain 1 (AES-1R), the virulent burns/wound isolate PA14, and the poorly virulent, laboratory-associated strain PAO1 when grown in an artificial medium that mimics the CF lung environment compared to growth in standard laboratory medium. Proteins elevated in abundance in AES-1R included those involved in methionine and S-adenosylmethionine biosynthesis and in the synthesis of phenazines. Proteomic data were validated by measuring culture supernatant levels of the virulence factor pyocyanin, which is the final product of the phenazine pathway. AES-1R and PAO1 released higher extracellular levels of pyocyanin compared to PA14 when grown in conditions that mimic the CF lung. Proteins associated with biosynthesis of the iron-scavenging siderophore pyochelin (PchDEFGH and FptA) were also present at elevated abundance in AES-1R and at much higher levels than in PAO1, whereas they were reduced in PA14. These protein changes resulted phenotypically in increased extracellular iron acquisition potential and, specifically, elevated pyochelin levels in AES-1R culture supernatants as detected by chrome azurol-S assay and fluorometry, respectively. Transcript analysis of pyochelin genes (pchDFG and fptA) showed they were highly expressed during the early stage of growth in artificial sputum medium (18 h) but returned to basal levels following the establishment of microcolony growth (72 h) consistent with that observed in the CF lung. This provides further

  5. Meteors in Australian Aboriginal Dreamings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2010-06-01

    We present a comprehensive analysis of Australian Aboriginal accounts of meteors. The data used were taken from anthropological and ethnographic literature describing oral traditions, ceremonies, and Dreamings of 97 Aboriginal groups representing all states of modern Australia. This revealed common themes in the way meteors were viewed between Aboriginal groups, focusing on supernatural events, death, omens, and war. The presence of such themes around Australia was probably due to the unpredictable nature of meteors in an otherwise well-ordered cosmos.

  6. The morphology of the lung of the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus : A scanning electron-microscopic study.

    PubMed

    Maina, J N

    1987-10-01

    The lung of the African lungfish (Protopterus aethiopicus) is paired, long and cylindrical. It is situated on the dorsal aspect of the coelomic cavity ventral to the ribs. Much of the gas exchange tissue is found in the proximal aspect of the lung with the caudal part largely taken up by a centrally situated air-duct with a few large peripherally located alveoli. Interalveolar septa, arranged at differing hierarchical levels from the air-duct, subdivide the lung into alveoli, the gas exchange compartments. The alveolar surface is covered by some cells characterized by microvilli on their free surface, while others are devoid of such structures. The general organization of the lung of Protopterus aethiopicus is similar to that of the other genera of Dipnoi, Neoceratodus and Lepidosiren, with the interalveolar septa increasing the surface area for gas exchange through pulmonary compartmentation. The abundant septal smooth muscle fibres and elastic tissue may contribute to the physiomechanical compliance of the lung. The undifferentiated alveolar pneumocytes and the double capillary system, observed in Protopterus, in general appear to characterize the very primitive lungs of the lower air-breathing vertebrates. PMID:21253769

  7. Differential gene expression in the liver of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 days of estivation in air.

    PubMed

    Loong, A M; Hiong, K C; Wong, W P; Chew, S F; Ip, Y K

    2012-02-01

    This study aimed to identify estivation-specific gene clusters through the determination of differential gene expressions in the liver of Protopterus annectens after 6 days of estivation in a mucus cocoon in air (normoxia) using suppression subtractive hybridization polymerase chain reaction. Our results demonstrated that 6 days of estivation in normoxia led to up-regulation of mRNA expressions of several genes related to urea synthesis, including carbamoyl phosphate synthetase (Cps), argininosuccinate synthetase and glutamine synthetase. They indicate that increased urea synthesis, despite being energy-intensive, is an important adaptive response of estivation. They also offer indirect support to the proposition that urea synthesis in this lungfish involved a Cps that uses glutamine as a substrate. In addition, up- or down-regulation of several gene clusters occurred in the liver of P. annectens after 6 days of estivation in normoxia. These estivation-specific genes were involved in the prevention of clot formation, activation of the lectin pathway for complement activation, conservation of minerals (e.g. iron and copper) and increased production of hemoglobin beta. Since there were up- and down-regulation of mRNA expressions of genes related to ribosomal proteins and translational elongation factors, there could be simultaneous increases in protein degradation and protein synthesis during the first 6 days (the induction phase) of estivation, confirming the importance of reconstruction of protein structures in preparation for the maintenance phase of estivation. PMID:21915614

  8. Glial fibrillary acidic protein and vimentin immunoreactivity of astroglial cells in the central nervous system of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens (Dipnoi: Lepidosirenidae).

    PubMed

    Lazzari, Maurizio; Franceschini, Valeria

    2004-12-01

    The distribution of glial intermediate filament molecular markers, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and vimentin, in the brain and spinal cord of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, was examined by light microscopy immunoperoxidase cytochemistry. Glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity is clear and is evident in a radial glial system. It consists of fibers of different lengths and thicknesses that are arranged in a regular radial pattern throughout the central nervous system (CNS). They emerge from generally immunopositive radial ependymoglia (tanycytes), lining the ventricular surface, and are directed from the ventricular wall to the meningeal surface. These fibers give rise to endfeet that are apposed to the subpial surface and to blood vessel walls forming the glia limitans externa and the perivascular glial layer, respectively. GFAP-immunopositive star-shaped astrocytes were not found in P. annectens CNS. In the gray matter of the spinal cord, cell bodies of immunopositive radial glia are displaced from the ependymal layer. Vimentin-immunopositive structures are represented by thin fibers mostly localized in the peripheral zones of the brain and the spinal cord. While a few stained fibers appear in the gray matter, the ependymal layer shows no antivimentin immunostaining. In P. annectens the immunocytochemical response of the astroglial intermediate filaments is typical of a mature astroglia cell lineage, since they primarily express GFAP immunoreactivity. This immunocytochemical study shows that the glial pattern of the African lungfish resembles that found in tetrapods such as urodeles and reptiles. The glial pattern of lungfishes is comparable to that of urodeles and reptiles but is not as complex as that of teleosts, birds, and mammals. PMID:15487019

  9. Signal molecule changes in the gills and lungs of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens, during the maintenance and arousal phases of aestivation.

    PubMed

    Garofalo, F; Amelio, D; Icardo, J M; Chew, S F; Tota, B; Cerra, M C; Ip, Y K

    2015-01-30

    African lungfishes are obligate air breathers, with reduced gills and pulmonary breathing throughout their life. During the dry season they aestivate on land, with the collapse of secondary lamellae of their gills and the establishment of an exclusive aerial ventilation through the vascularization and expansion of their lungs. To date, the mechanisms underlining the respiratory organ remodeling in aestivating lungfishes are unknown. This study aimed to identify key switch components of the stress-induced signal transduction networks implicated in both rapid and medium-long term remodeling of the gills and lungs of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens during aestivation. Through immunofluorescence microscopy and Western blotting, the localization and the expression of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), Akt, Hsp-90 and HIF-1α were evaluated in both gills and lungs exposed to three experimental conditions: freshwater (FW), 6 months of experimentally induced aestivation (6mAe), and 6 days after arousal from 6 months of aestivation (6mAe6d). After 6mAe, the expression of NOS (p-eNOS antibody), Akt (p-Akt antibody), and Hsp-90 decreased in the gills, while NOS and Hsp-90 expression increased with Akt remained unchanged in the lungs. Upon 6mAe6d, NOS, Akt and Hsp-90 expression in the gills returned to the respective FW values. In the lungs of the aroused fish, NOS and Akt decreased to their respective FW levels, while Hsp-90 expression was enhanced with respect to aestivation. In both respiratory organs, the qualitative and quantitative patterns of HIF-1α expression correlated inversely to those of NOS. Overall, our findings suggest that the molecular components of the NOS/NO system changed in a tissue-specific manner in parallel with organ readjustment in the gills and lungs of P. annectens during aestivation and arousal. PMID:25499100

  10. Marketing Australian Universities to Thai Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pimpa, Nattavud

    2005-01-01

    This study examines Thai students' perceptions regarding the quality of the Australian university system. Research findings reveal that (a) it is very important to maintain and safeguard the university's superior reputation, as it is the most important factor influencing Thais to choose one university over other institutions; (b) information on…

  11. Aurorae in Australian Aboriginal Traditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2013-07-01

    Transient celestial phenomena feature prominently in the astronomical knowledge and traditions of Aboriginal Australians. In this paper, I collect accounts of the Aurora Australis from the literature regarding Aboriginal culture. Using previous studies of meteors, eclipses, and comets in Aboriginal traditions, I anticipate that the physical properties of aurora, such as their generally red colour as seen from southern Australia, will be associated with fire, death, blood, and evil spirits. The survey reveals this to be the case and also explores historical auroral events in Aboriginal cultures, aurorae in rock art, and briefly compares Aboriginal auroral traditions with other global indigenous groups, including the Maori of New Zealand.

  12. Defense against environmental ammonia toxicity in the African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus: Bimodal breathing, skin ammonia permeability and urea synthesis.

    PubMed

    Loong, A M; Tan, J Y L; Wong, W P; Chew, S F; Ip, Y K

    2007-11-15

    This study aimed to determine how the African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus defended against ammonia toxicity when confronted with high concentrations (30 or 100 mmoll(-1)) of environmental ammonia. Exposure to 100 mmoll(-1) of NH(4)Cl for 1 or 6 days had no significant effect on the rate of O(2) uptake from water or from air, and the rate of total O(2) consumption. Using an Ussing-like apparatus, we report for the first time that the skin of P. aethiopicus had low permeability (1.26 x 10(-4) micromol min(-1)cm(-1)) to NH(3)in vitro. Indeed, the influx of exogenous ammonia into fish exposed to 30 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl was low (0.117 micromol min(-1) 100g(-1) fish). As a result, P. aethiopicus could afford to maintain relatively low ammonia contents in plasma, muscle, liver and brain even after 6 days of exposure to 100 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl. Surprisingly, fish exposed to 30 or 100 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl had comparable ammonia contents in the muscle and the brain in spite of the big difference (70 mmoll(-1)) in environmental ammonia concentrations. Significant increases in urea contents occurred in various tissues of fish exposed to 30 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl for 6 days, but there were no significant differences in tissue urea contents between fish exposed to 30 mmoll(-1) and 100 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl. Between days 3 and 6, the rate of urea excretion in fish exposed to 30 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl was significantly greater than that of the control. By contrast, there was no significant difference in urea excretion rates between fish exposed to 100 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl and control fish throughout the 6-day period, and such a phenomenon has not been reported before for other lungfish species. Thus, our results suggest that P. aethiopicus was capable of decreasing the NH(3) permeability of its body surface when exposed to high concentrations of environmental ammonia. Indeed, after 6 days of exposure to 100 mmoll(-1) NH(4)Cl, the NH(3) permeability constant of the skin (0.55 x 10(-4) micromol min(-1

  13. Neuroepithelial endocrine cells in the lung of the lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus. An electron- and fluorescence-microscopical investigation.

    PubMed

    Adriaensen, D; Scheuermann, D W; Timmermans, J P; De Groodt-Lasseel, M H

    1990-01-01

    The occurrence and distribution of neuroepithelial endocrine (NEE) cells was demonstrated electron- and fluorescence-microscopically in the lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus. They were only found to occur solitarily in the basal part of the cilio-mucous epithelium which is restricted to the pneumatic duct and adjacent parts of the common anterior chamber. The NEE cells show a yellow, formaldehyde-induced fluorescence. Electron-microscopically, all the NEE cells are characterized by membrane-bound electron-dense secretory granules with varying diameters, ranging from 75 to 150 nm. These granules are distributed throughout the cytoplasm with a higher concentration in the basal region. The NEE cells were regularly found to contain paracrystalline inclusions with a tubule-like substructural arrangement. A small part of the NEE cells appeared to reach the luminal surface by means of a long slender process bearing specialized beaded microvilli on its apical pole. Intraepithelial nerve fibres, with the ultrastructural characteristics of afferent fibres, were found running parallel to the airway surface. Nerve profiles, largely resembling the latter, can be seen in the proximity of the basolateral plasma membrane of the NEE cells. In addition, nerve terminals containing an aggregation of small clear vesicles are in close contact with the NEE cells. In conclusion, it appears that, as has so far been assumed in higher vertebrates, the NEE cells in the lung of Protopterus may perceive changes in the airway gases whereupon they could respond by releasing a chemical modulator, influencing contacting afferent nerve terminals or nearby smooth muscle bundles. Furthermore, intraepithelial nerve fibres or NEE cells might be stretch-sensitive. PMID:2288194

  14. Encephalization of Australian and New Guinean marsupials.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, K W S

    2008-01-01

    Encephalization of Australian marsupials was analyzed using the endocranial volume (ECV) of 52 species of Dasyuromorphia and Notoryctemorphia, 14 species of Peramelemorphia and 116 species of Diprotodontia from Australia and New Guinea and compared with 16 species of Ameridelphian marsupials and 3 species of native and recently introduced Australian eutherian carnivores (dingo, feral cat and feral fox). Linear regression analysis of the relationship between ECV and body weight for marsupials revealed that allometric parameters for these groups are different from those previously derived for samples of (mainly eutherian) mammals, with higher slopes for Dasyuromorphia and Diprotodontia and lower slopes for Ameridelphians and Peramelemorphia. Absolute ECV for small Australian and New Guinea marsupial carnivores (Antechinus and Sminthopsis) were found to be comparable to eutherians of similar body weight, but large marsupial carnivores such as the Tasmanian devil and thylacine had substantially smaller ECVs than eutherian carnivores of similar body weight. Similarly, members of some superfamilies within Diprotodontia (Burramyoidea, Petauroidea, Tarsipedoidea) had ECVs comparable to prosimians, whereas bandicoots, bilbies and many macropods were found to be poorly encephalized. When both encephalization quotient (EQ) and residuals from regression analysis were used to compare relative ECV of extinct/threatened species with common species there were no significant differences for any of the orders of Australian marsupials, suggesting that encephalization is not a major factor in the current extinction crisis for Australian marsupials. Similarly there were no consistent differences in relative ECV between marsupials from New Guinea and associated islands compared to Australia or between arid and non-arid Australian regions for any of the marsupial orders. The results indicate that marsupials are not uniformly poorly encephalized and that small marsupial carnivores and

  15. Australian Curriculum Linked Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurrell, Derek

    2013-01-01

    In providing a continued focus on tasks and activities that help to illustrate key ideas embedded in the new Australian Curriculum, the focus in this issue is on Measurement in the Measurement and Geometry strand. The small unit of work on measurement presented in this article has activities that can be modified to meet the requirements of…

  16. Australian Curriculum Linked Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurrell, Derek

    2014-01-01

    In providing a continued focus on tasks and activities that help to illustrate key ideas embedded in the new Australian Curriculum, this issue will focus on Number in the Number and Algebra strand. In this article Derek Hurrell provides a few tried and proven activities to develop place value understanding. These activities are provided for…

  17. Australian Curriculum Linked Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurrell, Derek; O'Neil, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    In providing a continued focus on tasks and activities that help to illustrate key ideas embedded in the new Australian Curriculum, this issue the authors focus, on Geometry in the Measurement and Geometry strand with strong links for an integrated focus on the Statistics and Probability strand. The small unit of work on the sorting and…

  18. Researching Australian Children's Literature

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saxby, Maurice

    2004-01-01

    When in 1962 the author began to research the history of Australian children's literature, access to the primary sources was limited and difficult. From a catalogue drawer in the Mitchell Library of hand-written cards marked "Children's books" he could call up from the stacks, in alphabetical order, piles of early publications. His notes about the…

  19. Research Readings. Australian Apprenticeships.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smart, Nigel, Ed.

    This volume on apprenticeships in Australia summarizes 11 research studies. After an "Introduction" (Nigel Smart), the reports are: "Apprenticeship in Australia: A Concise History" (John Ray); "Issues and Directions from the Australian Apprenticeship and Traineeship Literature" (Stephen Saunders); "Determinants of Apprentice Training by Small and…

  20. Molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of the Australian Diplodactylus stenodactylus (Gekkota; Reptilia) species-group based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes reveals an ancient split between Pilbara and non-Pilbara D. stenodactylus.

    PubMed

    Pepper, Mitzy; Doughty, Paul; Keogh, J Scott

    2006-12-01

    There is a paucity of research on intra-specific morphological and genetic diversity in Australian arid-zone reptiles, and a number of Australian reptile species have for many years been regarded as "species complexes" that classical morphological analyses could not resolve. We conducted a phylogenetic and phylogeographic study of a widespread species group of Australian geckonid lizards to address two main aims. First, based on a large mitochondrial and nuclear gene data set, we have generated the first molecular phylogeny for the Diplodactylus stenodactylus species group (D. alboguttatus, D. damaeus, D. maini, and D. squarrosus, D. stenodactylus) and multiple outgroups to examine the evolutionary relationships among these arid-zone species and phylogenetic patterns within some species. The edited alignment of 41 individuals comprises 2485 characters (1163 ND2+tRNAs; 490 16s; 832 RAG-1), and of these 717 (29%) were variable and parsimony informative (568 ND2+tRNAs; 89 16s; 60 RAG-1). This broad-scale, multi-gene phylogeny has supported previous conjectures on the higher-level phylogenetic relationships among members of the D. stenodactylus species-group based on morphology, but also has uncovered hidden diversity within the group with two new species identified. Analysis at this broad level has identified patterns associated with the distribution of the D. stenodactylus species group that appear to be influenced by environmental processes operating at large geographic scales. Two major clades within the species group were associated with broad differences in habitat types, with one group largely restricted to the temperate zone of the Southwest Province and another largely restricted to central and northern Western Australia north of Kalgoorlie, in line with the Eremaean Province of the Eremaean Zone and the Northern Province of the Tropical Zone. Second, we have assembled phylogeographic data based on a mitochondrial gene (ND2+tRNAs) for five species

  1. The Australian terrestrial carbon budget

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haverd, V.; Raupach, M. R.; Briggs, P. R.; Canadell, J. G.; Davis, S. J.; Law, R. M.; Meyer, C. P.; Peters, G. P.; Pickett-Heaps, C.; Sherman, B.

    2013-02-01

    This paper reports a study of the full carbon (C-CO2) budget of the Australian continent, focussing on 1990-2011 in the context of estimates over two centuries. The work is a contribution to the RECCAP (REgional Carbon Cycle Assessment and Processes) project, as one of numerous regional studies. In constructing the budget, we estimate the following component carbon fluxes: net primary production (NPP); net ecosystem production (NEP); fire; land use change (LUC); riverine export; dust export; harvest (wood, crop and livestock) and fossil fuel emissions (both territorial and non-territorial). Major biospheric fluxes were derived using BIOS2 (Haverd et al., 2012), a fine-spatial-resolution (0.05°) offline modelling environment in which predictions of CABLE (Wang et al., 2011), a sophisticated land surface model with carbon cycle, are constrained by multiple observation types. The mean NEP reveals that climate variability and rising CO2 contributed 12 ± 24 (1σ error on mean) and 68 ± 15 TgC yr-1, respectively. However these gains were partially offset by fire and LUC (along with other minor fluxes), which caused net losses of 26 ± 4 TgC yr-1 and 18 ± 7 TgC yr-1, respectively. The resultant net biome production (NBP) is 36 ± 29 TgC yr-1, in which the largest contributions to uncertainty are NEP, fire and LUC. This NBP offset fossil fuel emissions (95 ± 6 TgC yr-1) by 38 ± 30%. The interannual variability (IAV) in the Australian carbon budget exceeds Australia's total carbon emissions by fossil fuel combustion and is dominated by IAV in NEP. Territorial fossil fuel emissions are significantly smaller than the rapidly growing fossil fuel exports: in 2009-2010, Australia exported 2.5 times more carbon in fossil fuels than it emitted by burning fossil fuels.

  2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Quality of Life in Sexually Abused Australian Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gospodarevskaya, Elena

    2013-01-01

    The study used publicly available data on post-traumatic stress disorder in a sample of the Australian population with a history of sexual abuse to demonstrate how this evidence can inform economic analyses. The 2007 Australian Mental Health Survey revealed that 8.3% of 993 adolescents experienced childhood sexual abuse, of which 40.2% were…

  3. Review of Australian Higher Education: An Australian Policy Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Montague, Alan

    2013-01-01

    Higher education is one of the key foundations that economic prosperity is founded upon. Government policies, funding and strategic planning require a fine balance to stimulate growth, prosperity health and well-being. The key Australian government policies influenced by a Review of Australian Higher Education report include attracting many more…

  4. Lungfish and Life.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flannery, Maura C.

    1997-01-01

    Discusses the writings of Homer W. Smith, a physiologist who wrote novels, histories of religion, textbooks, and a book on the kidney for the general reader. Smith's writing skills remind students that biologists are as multidimensional as the rest of the population. Smith shows that all parts of life are interrelated as they enrich and shed light…

  5. Australian University International Student Finances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forbes-Mewett, Helen; Marginson, Simon; Nyland, Chris; Ramia, Gaby; Sawir, Erlenawati

    2009-01-01

    The omission of international students from the Australian Vice-Chancellor's Committee (AVCC) 2007 national study on student finances is indicative of a pattern of exclusion. The exclusion is unacceptable from a humane perspective and feeds the belief that Australians perceive international students primarily as "cash cows". This study partially…

  6. Towards Inclusion: An Australian Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forbes, Fiona

    2007-01-01

    This article outlines the views of the Australian Special Education Principals' Association (ASEPA) on inclusion and the impact this is having on Australian Government Schools from a school based perspective. ASEPA is a relatively young association and was formed in 1997 out of the need to put forward the case to support students with special…

  7. Sexuality and Australian law.

    PubMed

    Kirby, Michael

    2005-01-01

    The author describes the changing legal environment concerning same-sex relationships in the common law world with special reference to Australia. He refers to shifts in public opinion recorded in opinion polls; important decisions of human rights courts and tribunals; and changes in national law and court decisions. He then reviews the Australian constitutional setting which divides lawmaking responsibility on such subjects between the federal, State and Territory legislatures. He describes initiatives adopted in the States and Territories and the more modest changes effected in federal law and practice. He concludes on a note of optimism concerning Australia's future reforms affecting discrimination on the grounds of sexuality. PMID:15814500

  8. The interplay of increased urea synthesis and reduced ammonia production in the African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus during 46 days of aestivation in a mucus cocoon.

    PubMed

    Ip, Yuen Kwong; Yeo, Pei Jia; Loong, Ai May; Hiong, Kum Chew; Wong, Wai Peng; Chew, Shit Fun

    2005-12-01

    This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that the rate of urea synthesis in Protopterus aethiopicus was up-regulated to detoxify ammonia during the initial phase of aestivation in air (day 1-day 12), and that a profound suppression of ammonia production occurred at a later phase of aestivation (day 35-day 46) which eliminated the need to sustain the increased rate of urea synthesis. Fasting apparently led to a greater rate of nitrogenous waste excretion in P. aethiopicus in water, which is an indication of increases in production of endogenous ammonia and urea probably as a result of increased proteolysis and amino acid catabolism for energy production. However, 46 days of fasting had no significant effects on the ammonia or urea contents in the muscle, liver, plasma and brain. In contrast, there were significant decreases in the muscle ammonia content in fish after 12, 34 or 46 days of aestivation in air when compared with fish fasting in water. Ammonia was apparently detoxified to urea because urea contents in the muscle, liver, plasma and brain of P. aethiopicus aestivated for 12, 34 or 46 days were significantly greater than the corresponding fasting control; the greatest increases in urea contents occurred during the initial 12 days. There were also significant increases in activities of some of the hepatic ornithine-urea cycle enzymes from fish aestivated for 12 or 46 days. Therefore, contrary to a previous report on P. aethiopicus, our results demonstrated an increase in the estimated rate of urea synthesis (2.8-fold greater than the day 0 fish) in this lungfish during the initial 12 days of aestivation. However, the estimated rate of urea synthesis decreased significantly during the next 34 days. Between day 35 and day 46 (12 days), urea synthesis apparently decreased to 42% of the day 0 control value, and this is the first report of such a phenomenon in African lungfish undergoing aestivation. On the other hand, the estimated rate of ammonia

  9. Farming fit? Dispelling the Australian agrarian myth

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Rural Australians face a higher mental health and lifestyle disease burden (obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease) than their urban counterparts. Our ongoing research reveals that the Australian farming community has even poorer physical and mental health outcomes than rural averages. In particular, farm men and women have high rates of overweightness, obesity, abdominal adiposity, high blood pressure and psychological distress when compared against Australian averages. Within our farming cohort we observed a significant association between psychological distress and obesity, abdominal adiposity and body fat percentage in the farming population. Presentation of hypothesis This paper presents a hypothesis based on preliminary data obtained from an ongoing study that could potentially explain the complex correlation between obesity, psychological distress and physical activity among a farming population. We posit that spasmodic physical activity, changing farm practices and climate variability induce prolonged stress in farmers. This increases systemic cortisol that, in turn, promotes abdominal adiposity and weight gain. Testing the hypothesis The hypothesis will be tested by anthropometric, biochemical and psychological analysis matched against systemic cortisol levels and the physical activity of the subjects. Implications of the hypothesis tested Previous studies indicate that farming populations have elevated rates of psychological distress and high rates of suicide. Australian farmers have recently experienced challenging climatic conditions including prolonged drought, floods and cyclones. Through our interactions and through the media it is not uncommon for farmers to describe the effect of this long-term stress with feelings of 'defeat'. By gaining a greater understanding of the role cortisol and physical activity have on mental and physical health we may positively impact the current rates of psychological distress in farmers. Trial

  10. Substructure within Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Isolates from Australian Wildlife▿

    PubMed Central

    Parsons, Sandra K.; Bull, C. Michael; Gordon, David M.

    2011-01-01

    Multilocus sequence typing of 56 Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica strains isolated from Australian wildlife hosts was performed. The results of population assignment algorithms revealed that the 56 strains could be subdivided into two distinct clades. Strains belonging to the two clades were further distinguished phenotypically, genotypically, and with respect to host distribution. PMID:21378038

  11. The last dicynodont: an Australian Cretaceous relict.

    PubMed Central

    Thulborn, Tony; Turner, Susan

    2003-01-01

    Some long-forgotten fossil evidence reveals that a dicynodont (mammal-like reptile of the infraorder Dicynodontia) inhabited Australia as recently as the Early Cretaceous, ca. 110 Myr after the supposed extinction of dicynodonts in the Late Triassic. This remarkably late occurrence more than doubles the known duration of dicynodont history (from ca. 63 Myr to ca. 170 Myr) and betrays the profound impact of geographical isolation on Australian terrestrial faunas through the Mesozoic. Australia's late-surviving dicynodont may be envisaged as a counterpart of the ceratopians (horned dinosaurs) in Cretaceous tetrapod faunas of Asia and North America. PMID:12803915

  12. Evaluating the Australian Traineeship System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ryan, R. J.

    1987-01-01

    Describes the Australian Traineeship System (ATS), a program integrating formal education and employment designed to increase options for dropouts. Discusses problems involving the centrality of ATS's educational component and implementation of a program evaluation strategy. Includes two references. (MLH)

  13. Australian helminths in Australian rodents: an issue of biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Warner, L R

    1998-06-01

    The Australian public as well as Australian funding bodies are generally unsympathetic to native murids, rats and mice, in spite of the fact that 36% have either become extinct or critically endangered since European settlement. The endemic Australian parasites of these rats and mice have been even less sympathetically regarded. Prior to 1958 very little work was carried out on the helminths of Australian rodents and little more is known today. Records are known from only 28% of the extant host species, comprising some 109 species of helminth identified at least to generic level. The rodents invaded Australia from the north, perhaps through New Guinea in at least two separate waves, 5-8 then about 1 million years ago. The parasites they brought with them have adapted and speciated and there has been some host switching between rodent groups and between rodents and the Australian marsupials. This is illustrated particularly in the Trichostrongyloidea. The origins of the rodents from Southeast Asia down the Indonesian island chain are reflected in the presence of the nematode genus Tikusnema in both Australia and Indonesia, and Cyclodontostomum purvisi across Southeast Asia and into New Guinea. Hydromys chrysogaster, the Australian water-rat, illustrates how the biogeographical influences of the host's distribution and lifestyle can affect its parasite fauna. Most of the research to date is merely indicative of where more data are needed. The links between Australian and New Guinean helminth fauna, as well as the links between rodent and marsupial hosts and their fauna, cannot be determined without further research. PMID:9673864

  14. Differential Gene Expression in the Brain of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after Six Days or Six Months of Aestivation in Air

    PubMed Central

    Hiong, Kum C.; Ip, Yuen K.; Wong, Wai P.; Chew, Shit F.

    2013-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the brain of P. annectens during the induction (6 days) and maintenance (6 months) phases of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the induction phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of prolactin (prl) and growth hormone were up-regulated in the brain of P. annectens, which indicate for the first time the possible induction role of these two hormones in aestivation. Also, the up-regulation of mRNA expression of tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein γ polypeptide and the down-regulation of phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein, suggest that there could be a reduction in biological and neuronal activities in the brain. The mRNA expression of cold inducible RNA-binding protein and glucose regulated protein 58 were also up-regulated in the brain, probably to enhance their cytoprotective effects. Furthermore, the down-regulation of prothymosin α expression suggests that there could be a suppression of transcription and cell proliferation in preparation for the maintenance phase. In general, the induction phase appeared to be characterized by reduction in glycolytic capacity and metabolic activity, suppression of protein synthesis and degradation, and an increase in defense against ammonia toxicity. In contrast, there was a down-regulation in the mRNA expression of prl in the brain of P. annectens during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, there could be an increase in oxidative defense capacity, and up-regulation of transcription, translation, and glycolytic capacities in preparation for arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of reconstruction of protein structures and regulation of energy expenditure during

  15. Differential gene expression in the brain of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after six days or six months of aestivation in air.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Ip, Yuen K; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2013-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the brain of P. annectens during the induction (6 days) and maintenance (6 months) phases of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the induction phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of prolactin (prl) and growth hormone were up-regulated in the brain of P. annectens, which indicate for the first time the possible induction role of these two hormones in aestivation. Also, the up-regulation of mRNA expression of tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation protein γ polypeptide and the down-regulation of phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein, suggest that there could be a reduction in biological and neuronal activities in the brain. The mRNA expression of cold inducible RNA-binding protein and glucose regulated protein 58 were also up-regulated in the brain, probably to enhance their cytoprotective effects. Furthermore, the down-regulation of prothymosin α expression suggests that there could be a suppression of transcription and cell proliferation in preparation for the maintenance phase. In general, the induction phase appeared to be characterized by reduction in glycolytic capacity and metabolic activity, suppression of protein synthesis and degradation, and an increase in defense against ammonia toxicity. In contrast, there was a down-regulation in the mRNA expression of prl in the brain of P. annectens during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, there could be an increase in oxidative defense capacity, and up-regulation of transcription, translation, and glycolytic capacities in preparation for arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of reconstruction of protein structures and regulation of energy expenditure during

  16. Aestivation induces changes in transcription and translation of coagulation factor II and fibrinogen gamma chain in the liver of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Tan, Xiang R; Boo, Mel V; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2015-12-01

    This study aimed to sequence and characterize two pro-coagulant genes, coagulation factor II (f2) and fibrinogen gamma chain (fgg), from the liver of the African lungfish Protopterus annectens, and to determine their hepatic mRNA expression levels during three phases of aestivation. The protein abundance of F2 and Fgg in the liver and plasma was determined by immunoblotting. The results indicated that F2 and Fgg of P. annectens were phylogenetically closer to those of amphibians than those of teleosts. Three days of aestivation resulted in an up-regulation in the hepatic fgg mRNA expression level, while 6 days of aestivation led to a significant increase (3-fold) in the protein abundance of Fgg in the plasma. Hence, there could be an increase in the blood-clotting ability in P. annectens during the induction phase of aestivation. By contrast, the blood-clotting ability in P. annectens might be reduced in response to decreased blood flow and increased possibility of thrombosis during the maintenance phase of aestivation, as 6 months of aestivation led to significant decreases in mRNA expression levels of f2 and fgg in the liver. There could also be a decrease in the export of F2 and Fgg from the liver to the plasma so as to avert thrombosis. Three to 6 days after arousal from 6 months of aestivation, the protein abundance of F2 and Fgg recovered partially in the plasma of P. annectens; a complete recovery of the transcription and translation of f2/F2 in the liver might occur only after refeeding. PMID:26449974

  17. The Civic Mission of Australian Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Lawrence; Muirhead, Bruce

    2003-01-01

    Discusses the origins and meaning of civic responsibility in the Australian model of the university, beginning with medieval European universities and progressing through Australian reforms of the 20th century. Warns against the university without a civic mission. (SLD)

  18. ASA24-Australian Version (Under Development)

    Cancer.gov

    In collaboration with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a consortium of Australian Researchers is adapting the ASA24 system to the Australian context to account for variations in food consumed, portion sizes, and nutrient composition.

  19. "English" in the "Australian Curriculum: English"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dixon, Robert

    2012-01-01

    This is the text of a paper given at the 2011 Symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities on the theme, "Educating the Nation: The Humanities in the New Australian Curriculum", the 42nd Annual Symposium of the Australian Academy of the Humanities at the University of Melbourne, 17 November 2011. It was presented in a session on "History,…

  20. Ethnic origin in the Australian census.

    PubMed

    Horn, R V

    1987-05-01

    "This article discusses the Australian statistics of ethnic origin, collected under the headings of race and ancestry in the Australian census, with particular reference to conceptual precision and neutrality and to validity of results. It deals with European and non-European groups, but not with the special problems of counting the Australian aboriginal population." PMID:12341346

  1. Changing Patterns of Governance for Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harman, Kay; Treadgold, Elaine

    2007-01-01

    Dissatisfaction with the "corporate" model for university governance, a model advocated by both sides of the Australian parliament and adopted by Australian universities over the past two decades, prompted the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) in 2003 to suggest an alternative "trusteeship" model. The paper discusses how this model…

  2. Injury profile of amateur Australian rules footballers.

    PubMed

    Shawdon, A; Brukner, P

    1994-01-01

    Australian Rules Football is played by numerous young Australians throughout winter each year. There have been a number of studies on professional and semi-professional footballers, establishing the nature and frequency of injuries within this football code. Medical cover of an amateur football club over the 1993 season allowed detailed recording of injuries over this period. The data collected revealed a markedly different injury profile to that seen previously. The injury rate in this study was 96 per 1000 player hours. The most common injury was concussion (15%), with hand fractures next most frequent (13.5%). The lower limb was the most common site of injury, with head and neck second and upper limb third. Injuries with an overuse component were seen less commonly in the amateur group while traumatic injuries were more frequent. The time allocated by amateur footballers to their sport is less than professional players, quite aside from the difference in skill level attained. Overuse injuries may be correspondingly much less frequent on a time basis alone. The increased incidence of traumatic injuries is postulated to be a manifestation of both less well developed skills and possibly less available and effective preventative measures such as ankle strapping and tape supplies. Considering the large number of young people playing amateur football and the significant time and cost of what are often relatively minor injuries, more work is required to establish what injuries are most common, and importantly, what measures can be taken to decrease their incidence. PMID:8665278

  3. Australian Aboriginal Astronomy - An Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, Ray P.; Hamacher, Duane W.

    The traditional cultures of Aboriginal Australians include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition, ceremony, and art. This astronomical component includes a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky, and this knowledge was used for practical purposes such as constructing calendars. There is also evidence that traditional Aboriginal Australians made careful records and measurements of cyclical phenomena, paid careful attention to unexpected phenomena such as eclipses and meteorite impacts, and could determine the cardinal points to an accuracy of a few degrees.

  4. Second Languages and Australian Schooling. Australian Education Review No. 54

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lo Bianco, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    It is an underlying principle of Australian Education Review (AER) 54 that active efforts should be made to cultivate the latent bilingual potential within Australia's wider population and that this should be linked to major improvements in the quality of language teaching in schools. A combined approach of this kind will require investment in…

  5. Skills Gaps in Australian Firms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lindorff, Margaret

    2011-01-01

    This paper reports the results of a survey of more than 2000 managers examining perceptions of skills gaps in a range of Australian firms. It finds that three quarters report a skills gap, and almost one third report skills gaps across the whole organisation. Firm size and industry differences exist in perceptions of the effect of the skills gap…

  6. Arabic in Australian Islamic Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Michael

    1996-01-01

    Presents census data on the Muslim population in Australia and overviews full-time independent Islamic schools offering a comprehensive education across the curriculum. Argues that these schools offer great potential for the successful development of Arabic language and cultural literacy skills required by Australian exporters and diplomats in the…

  7. Catalogue of Australian Cynipoidea (Hymenoptera)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A catalogue of all families, subfamilies, genera, and species of Cynipoidea present in Australia is presented here. The Australian cynipoid fauna is very poorly known, with 37 genera cited: one each for Austrocynipidae, Ibaliidae, Liopteridae, two for Cynipidae, and 32 for Figitidae. The first Austr...

  8. Staff Bullying in Australian Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Dan; Duncan, Deirdre J.; Edwards, John

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to estimate the prevalence of staff bullying in Australian schools, to identify bullies and targets and to examine some implications for school leaders in dealing with staff bullying. Design/methodology/approach: The quantitative research design survey instrument contained 11 demographic items, 44 questions of…

  9. Employee Participation: Some Australian Cases.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lansbury, Russell D.; Davis, Edward M.

    1992-01-01

    The Australian Workplace Industrial Relations Survey of 2,353 companies showed sporadic employee participation in decision making. Although case studies of Ford Motor, Australia Post, Lend Lease, Telecom Australia, and Woodlawn Mining illustrate successful programs, most managers appear cautious about industrial democracy. (SK)

  10. Revalidation: implications for Australian anaesthetists.

    PubMed

    Roberts, L J

    2015-09-01

    In early 2015, the Medical Board of Australia commissioned research into international revalidation models and what might be applicable for Australia. This review examines the implications for Australian anaesthetists. What problem is revalidation seeking to address? What is happening in similar countries? Is there an issue with Australian anaesthetists' performance? Isn't continuing professional development enough? Could the Medical Board target known high-risk doctors? What is the evidence for the benefit of revalidation? How is and how should the profession be involved? Revalidation has been introduced in other developed countries. It commonly involves continuing professional development, feedback from colleagues, co-workers and patients, clinical audit and peer review. Although its evidence base is limited, the General Medical Council in the United Kingdom is evaluating its revalidation system, which should provide useful guidance for other countries. Australian anaesthetists and their professional organisations must remain informed about, and engaged in, the national debate about revalidation, to ensure that any new process is workable for Australian anaesthesia practice. PMID:26310418

  11. Stress Literacy in Australian Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Varlow, Megan; Wuthrich, Viviana; Murrihy, Rachael; Remond, Louise; Tuqiri, Rebekka; van Kessel, Jacobine; Wheatley, Anna; Dedousis-Wallace, Anna; Kidman, Antony

    2009-01-01

    Stress literacy is a term that refers to knowledge about stress and stress management techniques. Levels of stress literacy were examined in more than nine hundred Australian adolescents by providing a short stress-management education session and assessing stress literacy using a pre-post survey design. It was found that while adolescents had a…

  12. Cataloguing Practices in Australian Libraries.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hine, Janet D.

    A survey sought to compile comprehensive information about the cataloging codes, classification schemes, subject headings lists, and filing rules used in Australian libraries. Questionnaires were sent to 112 libraries, and 98 returns were received, included in the sample were national, state, public, university, college, and special libraries.…

  13. Australian Rural Education Award, 1999.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Education in Rural Australia, 1999

    1999-01-01

    Profiles and contact information for 14 candidate programs for the 1999 Australian Rural Education Award. Programs feature tree planting, transportation to boarding school, community development, business awareness, early childhood services, GIS technology, community-based curriculum development, reading resources, environmental service learning,…

  14. The 2005 Australian Informatics Competition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, David

    2006-01-01

    This article describes the Australian Informatics Competition (AIC), a non-programming competition aimed at identifying students with potential in programming and algorithmic design. It is the first step in identifying students to represent Australia at the International Olympiad in Informatics. The main aim of the AIC is to increase awareness of…

  15. New reports of Australian cutaneous leishmaniasis in Northern Australian macropods.

    PubMed

    Dougall, A; Shilton, C; Low Choy, J; Alexander, B; Walton, S

    2009-10-01

    Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by various species of Leishmania is a significant zoonotic disease in many parts of the world. We describe the first cases of Australian cutaneous leishmaniasis in eight northern wallaroos, one black wallaroo and two agile wallabies from the Northern Territory of Australia. Diagnosis was made through a combination of gross appearance of lesions, cytology, histology, direct culture, serology and a species-specific real-time PCR. The causative organism was found to be the same unique species of Leishmania previously identified in red kangaroos. These clinical findings provide further evidence for the continuous transmission of the Australian Leishmania species and its presence highlights the importance of continued monitoring and research into the life-cycle of this parasite. PMID:19288959

  16. Immune dysfunction in Australian Aborigines.

    PubMed

    Roberts-Thomson, P J; Roberts-Thomson, R A; Nikoloutsopoulos, T; Gillis, D

    2005-12-01

    An examination of the prevalence and phenotype of immune disorders in different ethnic groups may provide important clues to the etiopathogenesis of these disorders. Whilst still conjectural the restricted and somewhat unique polymorphisms of the MHC (and other genetic loci involving host defences) of the Australian Aborigines may provide an explanation for their apparent heightened susceptibility to newly encountered infections and their resistance to many (auto) immune and allergic disorders. In comparison with non-Aboriginal Australians, Australian Aborigines have heightened frequencies of rheumatic fever, systemic lupus erythematosus, various infections and post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis. In contrast various autoimmune disorders (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, CREST, biliary cirrhosis, coeliac disease, pernicious anaemia, vitiligo), B27 related arthropathies, psoriasis, lymphoproliferative disorders and atopic disorders appear infrequent or absent. Similarly various autoantibodies occur with increased or diminished frequency. With continuing racial admixture, social deprivation and deleterious lifestyles of these people it is likely that further changes in both the frequencies and phenotype of these immune disorders will occur. It is only with a full understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms involved in these immune disorders that meaningful and clinical relevant interventions will be possible. PMID:16572744

  17. Mitochondrial control-region sequence variation in aboriginal Australians.

    PubMed

    van Holst Pellekaan, S; Frommer, M; Sved, J; Boettcher, B

    1998-02-01

    The mitochondrial D-loop hypervariable segment 1 (mt HVS1) between nucleotides 15997 and 16377 has been examined in aboriginal Australian people from the Darling River region of New South Wales (riverine) and from Yuendumu in central Australia (desert). Forty-seven unique HVS1 types were identified, varying at 49 nucleotide positions. Pairwise analysis by calculation of BEPPI (between population proportion index) reveals statistically significant structure in the populations, although some identical HVS1 types are seen in the two contrasting regions. mt HVS1 types may reflect more-ancient distributions than do linguistic diversity and other culturally distinguishing attributes. Comparison with sequences from five published global studies reveals that these Australians demonstrate greatest divergence from some Africans, least from Papua New Guinea highlanders, and only slightly more from some Pacific groups (Indonesian, Asian, Samoan, and coastal Papua New Guinea), although the HVS1 types vary at different nucleotide sites. Construction of a median network, displaying three main groups, suggests that several hypervariable nucleotide sites within the HVS1 are likely to have undergone mutation independently, making phylogenetic comparison with global samples by conventional methods difficult. Specific nucleotide-site variants are major separators in median networks constructed from Australian HVS1 types alone and for one global selection. The distribution of these, requiring extended study, suggests that they may be signatures of different groups of prehistoric colonizers into Australia, for which the time of colonization remains elusive. PMID:9463317

  18. The Politics Are Personal: "The Australian" vs the Australian Curriculum in History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taylor, Tony; Collins, Sue

    2012-01-01

    This article reviews the relationship between the conservative newspaper "The Australian" and the development of a national history curriculum in Australia. The lead author surveyed the major Australian press in the five-year period between 2007 and 2012 and found clear patterns of difference between "The Australian" and other press outlets in…

  19. A Stalagmite record of Holocene Indonesian-Australian summer monsoon variability from the Australian tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denniston, Rhawn F.; Wyrwoll, Karl-Heinz; Polyak, Victor J.; Brown, Josephine R.; Asmerom, Yemane; Wanamaker, Alan D.; LaPointe, Zachary; Ellerbroek, Rebecca; Barthelmes, Michael; Cleary, Daniel; Cugley, John; Woods, David; Humphreys, William F.

    2013-10-01

    Oxygen isotopic data from a suite of calcite and aragonite stalagmites from cave KNI-51, located in the eastern Kimberley region of tropical Western Australia, represent the first absolute-dated, high-resolution speleothem record of the Holocene Indonesian-Australian summer monsoon (IASM) from the Australian tropics. Stalagmite oxygen isotopic values track monsoon intensity via amount effects in precipitation and reveal a dynamic Holocene IASM which strengthened in the early Holocene, decreased in strength by 4 ka, with a further decrease from ˜2 to 1 ka, before strengthening again at 1 ka to years to levels similar to those between 4 and 2 ka. The relationships between the KNI-51 IASM reconstruction and those from published speleothem time series from Flores and Borneo, in combination with other data sets, appear largely inconsistent with changes in the position and/or organization of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). Instead, we argue that the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) may have played a dominant role in driving IASM variability since at least the middle Holocene. Given the muted modern monsoon rainfall responses to most El Niño events in the Kimberley, an impact of ENSO on regional monsoon precipitation over northwestern Australia would suggest non-stationarity in the long-term relationship between ENSO forcing and IASM rainfall, possibly due to changes in the mean state of the tropical Pacific over the Holocene.

  20. Bridging the Gap? A Comparative, Retrospective Analysis of Science Literacy and Interest in Science for Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McConney, Andrew; Oliver, Mary; Woods-McConney, Amanda; Schibeci, Renato

    2011-01-01

    Previous research has shown that indigenous students in Australia do not enjoy equal educational outcomes with other Australians. This secondary analysis of PISA 2006 confirmed that this continues to be the case in science literacy for secondary students. However, the analysis also revealed that indigenous Australian students held interest in…

  1. Exploring omega-3 fatty acids, enzymes and biodiesel producing thraustochytrids from Australian and Indian marine biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Adarsha; Singh, Dilip; Byreddy, Avinesh R; Thyagarajan, Tamilselvi; Sonkar, Shailendra P; Mathur, Anshu S; Tuli, Deepak K; Barrow, Colin J; Puri, Munish

    2016-03-01

    The marine environment harbours a vast diversity of microorganisms, many of which are unique, and have potential to produce commercially useful materials. Therefore, marine biodiversity from Australian and Indian habitat has been explored to produce novel bioactives, and enzymes. Among these, thraustochytrids collected from Indian habitats were shown to be rich in saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), together constituting 51-76% of total fatty acids (TFA). Indian and Australian thraustochytrids occupy separate positions in the dendrogram, showing significant differences exist in the fatty acid profiles in these two sets of thraustochytrid strains. In general, Australian strains had a higher docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content than Indian strains with DHA at 17-31% of TFA. A range of enzyme activities were observed in the strains, with Australian strains showing overall higher levels of enzyme activity, with the exception of one Indian strain (DBTIOC-1). Comparative analysis of the fatty acid profile of 34 strains revealed that Indian thraustochytrids are more suitable for biodiesel production since these strains have higher fatty acids content for biodiesel (FAB, 76%) production than Australian thraustochytrids, while the Australian strains are more suitable for omega-3 (40%) production. PMID:26580151

  2. Understanding Culture and Diversity: Australian Aboriginal Art

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vize, Anne

    2009-01-01

    Australian Aboriginal culture is rich, complex and fascinating. The art of Aboriginal Australians shows a great understanding of the earth and its creatures. This article presents an activity which has been designed as a multi-age project. The learning outcomes have been written to suit both younger and older students. Aspects of the project could…

  3. Australian Literature in the Primary Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Sullivan, Colleen, Ed.

    This book was designed to supply information on available resources in Australian children's literature and a tradition of teaching which incorporates the Australian experience in an inclusive manner. Essays and their authors consist of the following: (1) "Children's Books in Australia: Two Hundred Years of Social Life" (Maurice Saxby); (2) "One…

  4. Career Intentions of Australian Physical Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mäkelä, Kasper; Whipp, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate Australian physical education (PE) teachers' career intentions and factors influencing their intentions. A sample (N = 234) of Western Australian PE teachers responded to a questionnaire determining PE teachers' work and the primary motivators for intention to leave the profession. Half (51.3%) of the…

  5. A global history of Australian trees.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Brett M

    2011-01-01

    Scholars studying the globalization of Australian trees have previously emphasized the rapid natural propagation of Australian trees outside of their native habitats, believing their success to be a reversal of "ecological imperialism" from the "new world" to the "old world." This article argues that the expansion of Australian trees should not be viewed as a biological phenomenon, but as the result of a long-term attempt by powerful states and state-sponsored scientists to select and breed Australian species that could grow in a variety of climates and ecological conditions. Five non-biological factors largely determined the success of these attempts to grow Australian trees: the abundance or paucity of natural forests, state power, the amount of scientific research directed to planting Australian trees, the cost of labor, and the ability to utilize hardwood timbers and bark. This paper compares the use of Australian trees in Australia, India, and South Africa to demonstrate that biology was not the determining factor in the long-term success of many Australian genera and species. PMID:20665086

  6. Government Financial Assistance for Australian University Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Long, Michael

    2002-01-01

    Reviews the assistance provided by governments to students in Australian universities. First provides some background information on the history and structure of the Australian higher education sector and then discusses the two major forms of government financial assistance: assistance with fees and assistance through income support. (EV)

  7. Four Management Agendas for Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharrock, Geoff

    2012-01-01

    In a new mixed economy of higher learning, Australian universities require more strategic management to compete and collaborate sustainably. However, many scholars argue that new modes of university management are at odds with scholarly aims and values. This article examines how Australian universities frame their missions and communicate their…

  8. Are Young Muslims Adopting Australian Values?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kabir, Nahid Afrose

    2008-01-01

    Recently politicians in Australia have raised concerns that some Muslims are not adopting Australian values to a sufficient extent. In this paper I explore the notion of Australian values with respect to immigrant youth. By analysing interviews with 32 Muslim students who are 15-18 years of age and of diverse backgrounds in two state schools in…

  9. Rethinking Majors in Australian Indigenous Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakata, Martin; Nakata, Vicky; Keech, Sarah; Bolt, Reuben

    2014-01-01

    The challenges of finding more productive ways of teaching and learning in Australian Indigenous Studies have been a key focal point for the Australian Indigenous Studies Learning and Teaching Network. This article contributes to this discussion by drawing attention to new possibilities for teaching and learning practices amid the priority being…

  10. Australian Aboriginal Language Early Childhood Education Programmes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmes, Tony

    This report discusses the provision of culturally appropriate early childhood programs in Australian Aboriginal language in Australia, and the education of teachers for these programs. The first section of the report examines the education of indigenous peoples in the context of the current Australian education system. Evidence in support of the…

  11. A National Australian Curriculum: In Whose Interests?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ditchburn, Geraldine

    2012-01-01

    The introduction of an Australian curriculum is likely to have a widespread and long-term impact on schools, teachers and students, and yet there has been a swift and an almost unquestioning acceptance of its introduction by the Australian public and by educators. This paper will use theoretical frameworks informed by Gramsci's cultural hegemony…

  12. Rural surgery: the Australian experience.

    PubMed

    Bruening, Martin H; Maddern, Guy J

    2009-12-01

    A significant proportion of the Australian population resides nonmetropolitan regions. For the majority of these smaller regional centers, the surgical service delivery has been traditionally provided by either solo or two-person surgical practices. As medical students' interest in rural practice declined, new models were created to ensure medical care in these areas. This article outlines the past and current state of medical care in rural areas, highlighting models used in Port Augusta, Mount Gambier, and Port Lincoln. It concludes that these models are successful and should be further developed. PMID:19944815

  13. Australian developments in marine science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coffin, Millard F.

    2012-07-01

    Australia is an island nation with about two thirds of its jurisdiction underwater. On 25 May 2012, Australia instituted the Seas and Submerged Lands (Limits of Continental Shelf) Proclamation 2012, confirming areas of seabed where Australia has exclusive rights to explore and exploit marine resources. This proclamation follows recommendations by the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, a body established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, confirming Australia's entitlement to extended continental shelf, i.e., that beyond 200 nautical miles from the coastline, of some 2.56 million square kilometers, excluding Australian Antarctic Territory [Symonds et al., 2009] (Figure 1a).

  14. Australian Aboriginal Astronomy and Cosmology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clarke, Philip A.

    Australian Aboriginal ethnoastronomical traditions were recorded from a wide variety of sources in different periods. While the corpus of mythology concerning the heavens is diverse, it is unified by beliefs of a Skyworld as land with its own topography, containing plants and animals familiar to those living below. Spirits of the dead reside alongside the Creation Ancestors as celestial bodies in the Skyworld. Aboriginal hunter-gatherers used the regular movement of constellations and planets to measure time and to indicate the season, while unexpected change in the sky was seen as an omen.

  15. Comets in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-03-01

    We present 25 accounts of comets from 40 Australian Aboriginal communities, citing both supernatural perceptions of comets and historical accounts of historically bright comets. Historical and ethnographic descriptions include the Great Comets of 1843, 1861, 1901, 1910, and 1927. We describe the perceptions of comets in Aboriginal societies and show that they are typically associated with fear, death, omens, malevolent spirits, and evil magic, consistent with many cultures around the world. We also provide a list of words for comets in 16 different Aboriginal languages.

  16. Recent Observations on Australian Bat Lyssavirus Tropism and Viral Entry

    PubMed Central

    Weir, Dawn L.; Annand, Edward J.; Reid, Peter A.; Broder, Christopher C.

    2014-01-01

    Australian bat lyssavirus (ABLV) is a recently emerged rhabdovirus of the genus lyssavirus considered endemic in Australian bat populations that causes a neurological disease in people indistinguishable from clinical rabies. There are two distinct variants of ABLV, one that circulates in frugivorous bats (genus Pteropus) and the other in insectivorous microbats (genus Saccolaimus). Three fatal human cases of ABLV infection have been reported, the most recent in 2013, and each manifested as acute encephalitis but with variable incubation periods. Importantly, two equine cases also arose recently in 2013, the first occurrence of ABLV in a species other than bats or humans. Similar to other rhabdoviruses, ABLV infects host cells through receptor-mediated endocytosis and subsequent pH-dependent fusion facilitated by its single fusogenic envelope glycoprotein (G). Recent studies have revealed that proposed rabies virus (RABV) receptors are not sufficient to permit ABLV entry into host cells and that the unknown receptor is broadly conserved among mammalian species. However, despite clear tropism differences between ABLV and RABV, the two viruses appear to utilize similar endocytic entry pathways. The recent human and horse infections highlight the importance of continued Australian public health awareness of this emerging pathogen. PMID:24556791

  17. Mood change and perception of workload in Australian midwives.

    PubMed

    Paterson, Jessica L; Dorrian, Jillian; Pincombe, Jan; Grech, Carol; Dawson, Drew

    2010-01-01

    Investigations of mood and workload in health care settings have focussed primarily on nurses and junior doctors. Given the critical shortfall in the Australian midwifery workforce, and the specialised nature of midwifery as an occupation, it is important to understand how mood and workload are experienced by midwives. Twenty midwives (18F, 2M) in an Australian metropolitan hospital completed logbooks assessing daily fluctuations in subjective mood and workload. Participants also provided information about history of psychopathology and sleep quality. Results revealed that midwives were relatively stable in terms of mood but did experience increased fear and decreased happiness when at work. Further, workload factors significantly predicted mood at work. Specifically, when participants felt that their work was more demanding and frustrating and required more effort, or when they felt that they could not accomplish all that was expected, mood was negatively influenced. This supports the connection between workload and negative mood change in healthcare. Given the potential for mood to influence a multitude of functions relevant to safety, performance and psychosocial wellbeing it is important to understand the factors which influence mood, particularly in light of the current shortfall in the Australian healthcare workforce. PMID:20720329

  18. Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited.

    PubMed

    Heupink, Tim H; Subramanian, Sankar; Wright, Joanne L; Endicott, Phillip; Westaway, Michael Carrington; Huynen, Leon; Parson, Walther; Millar, Craig D; Willerslev, Eske; Lambert, David M

    2016-06-21

    The publication in 2001 by Adcock et al. [Adcock GJ, et al. (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(2):537-542] in PNAS reported the recovery of short mtDNA sequences from ancient Australians, including the 42,000-y-old Mungo Man [Willandra Lakes Hominid (WLH3)]. This landmark study in human ancient DNA suggested that an early modern human mitochondrial lineage emerged in Asia and that the theory of modern human origins could no longer be considered solely through the lens of the "Out of Africa" model. To evaluate these claims, we used second generation DNA sequencing and capture methods as well as PCR-based and single-primer extension (SPEX) approaches to reexamine the same four Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp 8 (KS8) remains studied in the work by Adcock et al. Two of the remains sampled contained no identifiable human DNA (WLH15 and WLH55), whereas the Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA. KS8 reveals human mitochondrial sequences that differ from the previously inferred sequence. Instead, we recover a total of five modern European contaminants from Mungo Man (WLH3). We show that the remaining sample (WLH4) contains ∼1.4% human DNA, from which we assembled two complete mitochondrial genomes. One of these was a previously unidentified Aboriginal Australian haplotype belonging to haplogroup S2 that we sequenced to a high coverage. The other was a contaminating modern European mitochondrial haplotype. Although none of the sequences that we recovered matched those reported by Adcock et al., except a contaminant, these findings show the feasibility of obtaining important information from ancient Aboriginal Australian remains. PMID:27274055

  19. Ancient mtDNA sequences from the First Australians revisited

    PubMed Central

    Subramanian, Sankar; Wright, Joanne L.; Endicott, Phillip; Westaway, Michael Carrington; Huynen, Leon; Parson, Walther; Millar, Craig D.; Willerslev, Eske; Lambert, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The publication in 2001 by Adcock et al. [Adcock GJ, et al. (2001) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98(2):537–542] in PNAS reported the recovery of short mtDNA sequences from ancient Australians, including the 42,000-y-old Mungo Man [Willandra Lakes Hominid (WLH3)]. This landmark study in human ancient DNA suggested that an early modern human mitochondrial lineage emerged in Asia and that the theory of modern human origins could no longer be considered solely through the lens of the “Out of Africa” model. To evaluate these claims, we used second generation DNA sequencing and capture methods as well as PCR-based and single-primer extension (SPEX) approaches to reexamine the same four Willandra Lakes and Kow Swamp 8 (KS8) remains studied in the work by Adcock et al. Two of the remains sampled contained no identifiable human DNA (WLH15 and WLH55), whereas the Mungo Man (WLH3) sample contained no Aboriginal Australian DNA. KS8 reveals human mitochondrial sequences that differ from the previously inferred sequence. Instead, we recover a total of five modern European contaminants from Mungo Man (WLH3). We show that the remaining sample (WLH4) contains ∼1.4% human DNA, from which we assembled two complete mitochondrial genomes. One of these was a previously unidentified Aboriginal Australian haplotype belonging to haplogroup S2 that we sequenced to a high coverage. The other was a contaminating modern European mitochondrial haplotype. Although none of the sequences that we recovered matched those reported by Adcock et al., except a contaminant, these findings show the feasibility of obtaining important information from ancient Aboriginal Australian remains. PMID:27274055

  20. Australian scientists develop male contraceptive.

    PubMed

    1974-05-20

    The Australian Information Service in Canberra reports that Australian scientists have formulated a contraceptive pill to temporarily stop spermatogenesis in man, thus producing infertility. The research was done by a team consisting of Dr. Henry Burger, director of the Medical Reserach Center at Prince Henry's Hospital in Melbourne, Dr. Bryan Hudson, Principal Research Fellow at the Howard Florey Institute of Experimental Medicine at the Univeristy of Melbourne, and Dr. David de Kretser, senior lecturer in Monash University's Department of Medicine at Prince Henry's Hospital. The contraceptive pill consists of progestagen (d-norgestrel) with androgen (methyltestosterone), a combination that suppresses the production of the sperm but conserves libido and potency. The testing program has yet to be undertaken in human volunteers. There will be three phases to the drug trial: pretreatment, during which the health of the volunteers and the safety of the drug will be established; the treatment phase, lasting six months, during which the volunteers will be given daily oral dose of the drugs; and the recovery phase, lasting at least three months, during which the restoration of normal spermatogenesis will be observed. PMID:12333267

  1. Australian Public Universities: Are They Practising a Corporate Approach to Governance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christopher, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    This article draws on the multi-theoretical approach to governance and a qualitative research method to examine the extent to which the corporate approach is practised in Australian public universities. The findings reveal that in meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders, universities are faced with a number of structural, legalistic, and…

  2. Closing the Gap: The Maturing of Quality Assurance in Australian University Libraries

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tang, Karen

    2012-01-01

    A benchmarking review of the quality assurance practices of the libraries of the Australian Technology Network conducted in 2006 revealed exemplars of best practice, but also sector-wide gaps. A follow-up review in 2010 indicated the best practices that remain relevant. While some gaps persist, there has been improvement across the libraries and…

  3. Hey Big Spender! An Analysis of Australian Universities and How Much They Pay Their General Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dobson, Ian R.

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of aggregated data files on staff sent by all Australian universities to DEST in 2007 and of salary schedules posted on university websites reveals a considerable variation between salaries paid to general staff at each salary level and the relative seniority of those staff. This paper outlines the differences in staffing structures and…

  4. Cyberbullying: Experiences, Impacts and Coping Strategies as Described by Australian Young People

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Price, Megan; Dalgleish, John

    2010-01-01

    Cyberbullying impacts on the wellbeing, schooling, family and peer relationships of many young people. The current study of 548 young Australians revealed that cyberbullying is a group phenomenon most prevalent during the transitional ages between primary and secondary school. It takes on many forms and shows an overlap in roles between "bully"…

  5. Eclipses in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.; Norris, Ray P.

    2011-07-01

    We explore about fifty different Australian Aboriginal accounts of lunar and solar eclipses to determine how Aboriginal groups understood this phenomenon. We summarize the literature on Aboriginal references to eclipses. We show that many Aboriginal groups viewed eclipses negatively, frequently associating them with bad omens, evil magic, disease, blood and death. In many communities, elders or medicine men claimed to be able to control or avert eclipses by magical means, solidifying their roles as providers and protectors within their communities. We also show that some Aboriginal groups seem to have understood the motions of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, the connection between the lunar phases and tides, and acknowledged that solar eclipses were caused by the Moon blocking the Sun.

  6. Homicide victims among Australian immigrants.

    PubMed

    Kliewer, E V

    1994-09-01

    The homicide rates for various immigrant groups in Australia were calculated, and the influence of the rate in countries of origin on immigrant rates and the relationship between the birthplace of the accused and victim were examined. Age-sex standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) for homicide were calculated for the immigrant groups, based on 1984-1988 mortality data and 1986 census data. The Australian-born homicide rates were used as the standard. Standardised mortality ratios for countries of origin were derived from WHO data. A cross-tabulation of the birthplaces of the accused and the victim was compiled from 1989-1992 police records. Male SMRs ranged from 0.13 (P < 0.01) for immigrants from Africa and the Americas to 5.83 (P < 0.05) for Koreans. Several female groups had lower SMRs than the Australian-born, although none of these differences were significant. Indonesian females had the highest SMR (5.32, P < 0.01). There was a positive Spearman correlation between the ranking of homicide rates for the origin populations and the immigrants (males 0.64, P < 0.05; females 0.62, P < 0.05). Overall, 51.3 per cent of immigrants were killed by their compatriots. This ranged from zero for New Zealanders to 100 per cent for immigrants from the Middle East. In order to further identify factors contributing to the large differences in rates it is imperative to have information on the victim, the perpetrator and the circumstances surrounding the murder. PMID:7841261

  7. Innovation in Australian Workplaces: An Empirical Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Mark

    1999-01-01

    The determinants of innovation were examined using data from 698 Australian workplaces. Results suggest that better employee-management communications are associated with more change and that workplaces with higher levels of training undergo more change. (Author/JOW)

  8. Higher Degree Examination Procedures in Australian Universities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovas, Stephen

    1980-01-01

    Detailed and wide-ranging suggestions are offered for reforming Australia's higher degree requirements. The author, an Australian PhD, compares them with requirements in other countries and finds them "particularly regressive, unenlightened, intellectually counterproductive, undemocratic, and uncivilized." (JSR)

  9. The historical decline of tobacco smoking among Australian physicians: 1964–1997

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Derek R; Leggat, Peter A

    2008-01-01

    Background Physicians occupy an important position as tobacco control exemplars and their own smoking habits are known to influence how effective they may be in such a role. Methods A comprehensive review of all published manuscripts describing tobacco usage rates and tobacco control activities in the Australian medical profession between 1964 and 1997. Results Some of the earliest surveys revealed that around one-quarter of Australian physicians were smoking in the mid twentieth century, a rate which rapidly declined in the 1970s and 1980s, with reductions beyond that achieved by the general population. Conclusion Overall, our review suggests that not only do contemporary Australian physicians smoke at very low rates when compared internationally, but that an active professional community can also make a real difference to the lifestyle choices of its own members. PMID:19114012

  10. Disentangling the Relationship of the Australian Marsupial Orders Using Retrotransposon and Evolutionary Network Analyses

    PubMed Central

    Gallus, Susanne; Janke, Axel; Kumar, Vikas; Nilsson, Maria A.

    2015-01-01

    The ancestors to the Australian marsupials entered Australia around 60 (54–72) Ma from Antarctica, and radiated into the four living orders Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, Diprotodontia, and Notoryctemorphia. The relationship between the four Australian marsupial orders has been a long-standing question, because different phylogenetic studies have not been able to consistently reconstruct the same topology. Initial in silico analysis of the Tasmanian devil genome and experimental screening in the seven marsupial orders revealed 20 informative transposable element insertions for resolving the inter- and intraordinal relationships of Australian and South American orders. However, the retrotransposon insertions support three conflicting topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia, indicating that the split between the three orders may be best understood as a network. This finding is supported by a phylogenetic reanalysis of nuclear gene sequences, using a consensus network approach that allows depicting hidden phylogenetic conflict, otherwise lost when forcing the data into a bifurcating tree. The consensus network analysis agrees with the transposable element analysis in that all possible topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia in a rooted four-taxon topology are equally well supported. In addition, retrotransposon insertion data support the South American order Didelphimorphia being the sistergroup to all other living marsupial orders. The four Australian orders originated within 3 Myr at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. The rapid divergences left conflicting phylogenetic information in the genome possibly generated by incomplete lineage sorting or introgressive hybridization, leaving the relationship among Australian marsupial orders unresolvable as a bifurcating process millions of years later. PMID:25786431

  11. Disentangling the relationship of the Australian marsupial orders using retrotransposon and evolutionary network analyses.

    PubMed

    Gallus, Susanne; Janke, Axel; Kumar, Vikas; Nilsson, Maria A

    2015-04-01

    The ancestors to the Australian marsupials entered Australia around 60 (54-72) Ma from Antarctica, and radiated into the four living orders Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, Diprotodontia, and Notoryctemorphia. The relationship between the four Australian marsupial orders has been a long-standing question, because different phylogenetic studies have not been able to consistently reconstruct the same topology. Initial in silico analysis of the Tasmanian devil genome and experimental screening in the seven marsupial orders revealed 20 informative transposable element insertions for resolving the inter- and intraordinal relationships of Australian and South American orders. However, the retrotransposon insertions support three conflicting topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia, indicating that the split between the three orders may be best understood as a network. This finding is supported by a phylogenetic reanalysis of nuclear gene sequences, using a consensus network approach that allows depicting hidden phylogenetic conflict, otherwise lost when forcing the data into a bifurcating tree. The consensus network analysis agrees with the transposable element analysis in that all possible topologies regarding Peramelemorphia, Dasyuromorphia, and Notoryctemorphia in a rooted four-taxon topology are equally well supported. In addition, retrotransposon insertion data support the South American order Didelphimorphia being the sistergroup to all other living marsupial orders. The four Australian orders originated within 3 Myr at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. The rapid divergences left conflicting phylogenetic information in the genome possibly generated by incomplete lineage sorting or introgressive hybridization, leaving the relationship among Australian marsupial orders unresolvable as a bifurcating process millions of years later. PMID:25786431

  12. Diffuse panbronchiolitis in an Australian aborigine.

    PubMed

    Brown, James; Simpson, Graham

    2014-06-01

    Diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) is a chronic sino-bronchial disease. It has remained restricted to the Japanese and cases in the West are unusual. We present a patient of Australian aboriginal origin with DPB. The known efficacy of low-dose erythromycin in DPB is again described. Chronic respiratory disease is common in the Australian aboriginal population and DPB should be considered in the differential. PMID:25473569

  13. Diffuse panbronchiolitis in an Australian aborigine

    PubMed Central

    Brown, James; Simpson, Graham

    2014-01-01

    Diffuse panbronchiolitis (DPB) is a chronic sino-bronchial disease. It has remained restricted to the Japanese and cases in the West are unusual. We present a patient of Australian aboriginal origin with DPB. The known efficacy of low-dose erythromycin in DPB is again described. Chronic respiratory disease is common in the Australian aboriginal population and DPB should be considered in the differential. PMID:25473569

  14. Why Do Chinese-Australian Students Outperform Their Australian Peers in Mathematics: A Comparative Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhao, Dacheng; Singh, Michael

    2011-01-01

    International comparative studies and cross-cultural studies of mathematics achievement indicate that Chinese students (whether living in or outside China) consistently outperform their Western counterparts. This study shows that the gap between Chinese-Australian and other Australian students is best explained by differences in motivation to…

  15. Australian Thesaurus of Education Descriptors. A Word-Stock for Indexing and Retrieving Australian Educational Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lavender, G. B.; Findlay, Margaret A.

    This core thesaurus of terms suitable for indexing Australian educational literature was developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research by means of a systematic and thorough revision of the "Thesaurus of ERIC Descriptors." Based on the actual terminology of education in Australia, this thesaurus includes: key words and phrases used…

  16. Marine Biodiversity in the Australian Region

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Alan J.; Rees, Tony; Beesley, Pam; Bax, Nicholas J.

    2010-01-01

    The entire Australian marine jurisdictional area, including offshore and sub-Antarctic islands, is considered in this paper. Most records, however, come from the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) around the continent of Australia itself. The counts of species have been obtained from four primary databases (the Australian Faunal Directory, Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota, Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums, and the Australian node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System), but even these are an underestimate of described species. In addition, some partially completed databases for particular taxonomic groups, and specialized databases (for introduced and threatened species) have been used. Experts also provided estimates of the number of known species not yet in the major databases. For only some groups could we obtain an (expert opinion) estimate of undiscovered species. The databases provide patchy information about endemism, levels of threat, and introductions. We conclude that there are about 33,000 marine species (mainly animals) in the major databases, of which 130 are introduced, 58 listed as threatened and an unknown percentage endemic. An estimated 17,000 more named species are either known from the Australian EEZ but not in the present databases, or potentially occur there. It is crudely estimated that there may be as many as 250,000 species (known and yet to be discovered) in the Australian EEZ. For 17 higher taxa, there is sufficient detail for subdivision by Large Marine Domains, for comparison with other National and Regional Implementation Committees of the Census of Marine Life. Taxonomic expertise in Australia is unevenly distributed across taxa, and declining. Comments are given briefly on biodiversity management measures in Australia, including but not limited to marine protected areas. PMID:20689847

  17. Fiscal incentives for Australian bushland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomson, Norman J.

    1986-09-01

    The clearing of over 80% of the native vegetation from Australian agricultural areas has contributed significantly to the degradation classification applied to more than half this land. Soil erosion, siltation, and salinity damage continue to increase yearly. This situation not only threatens the productivity of the farm sector but has contributed to the estimated loss of 78 species of native flora, endangerment of an additional 2206 species, and the loss of 20 species of Australia's marsupials. Private returns diverge from social returns because the action (or inaction) of farmers has an impact upon others, both now and in the future. There is justification, therefore, for the public sector to intervene on behalf of society in an attempt to influence private decision making for the social good. This article argues for increased incentives from the public sector in Australia to encourage the voluntary cooperation of farmers to improve the balance between development and conservation. In contrast to the essentially temporary nature of man-made measures such as flood-mitigating capital works, increasing the area set aside to native bushland offers scope for the permanent stewardship of the resource—land.

  18. Elements of Australian petroleum geology

    SciTech Connect

    Masters, C.D.; Scott, E.W.

    1986-05-01

    The petroleum geology of Australia reflects the existence of a large cratonic block broken away from India and Antarctica in the early Mesozoic and early Tertiary that has resulted in a rifted passive-margin character on the northwestern, western, and southern boundaries of the continent. Pre-breakup paleozoic sediments are widely distributed but commonly not deeply buried nor particularly thick, and hence contribute minimally to petroleum resource occurrence. Like their Asian neighbors, much of Australian petroleum geology is nonmarine and associated with marginal rift basins. The small Gippsland basin on the southeastern coast, which is responsible for more than 90% of oil and 28% of the gas discovered in Australia, derives its petroleum from nonmarine Eocene to Cretaceous graben-fill sediments, sealed and buried by Oligocene marine shales. The most active play in Australia is in the Eromanga depression of the Great Artesian basin, where nonmarine oil is trapped stratigraphically in small fields in Jurassic and Cretaceous sandstones. These Mesozoic sediments are sag-fill deposits above the Permian-Triassic Cooper basin, and are responsible for some 12% of the gas reserves in Australia. Offshore of the western coast, graben basins filled with late Paleozoic to Mesozoic sediments are prolific and gas-prone - 55% of reserves - owing to coaly source rocks. North Sea-type, Upper Jurassic grabens off the northwestern coast of Australia contain Kimmeridgian hot shales, but developmental drilling, following the initial Jabiru discovery, has yet to demonstrate large reserves.

  19. Movement Profiles, Match Events, and Performance in Australian Football.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Richard J; Watsford, Mark L; Austin, Damien J; Pine, Matthew J; Spurrs, Robert W

    2016-08-01

    Johnston, RJ, Watsford, ML, Austin, D, Pine, MJ, and Spurrs, RW. Movement profiles, match events, and performance in Australian football. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2129-2137, 2016-This study examined the relationship between movement demands, match events, and match performance in professional Australian football. Data were collected from 19 players using global positioning system units during 2 Australian Football League seasons. A range of movement demands and instantaneous power measures were collected. The players were divided into high-caliber (HC, ≥17/20) and low-caliber (LC, ≤8/20) groups based on the rating score by their coaches. A Mann-Whitney U-test, independent samples t-test, and effect sizes were used to determine whether any differences existed between the 2 groups. The HC group had a significantly higher match duration (7.2%), higher total distance (9.6%), and covered more distance and spent more time high-speed running per minute (12.7 and 11.9%). Although not significant, the effect sizes revealed that the HC group tended to have a higher mean metabolic power output (2.6%) and spent more time at the high power zone (7.9%). For the match event data, the HC group had significantly more involvements with the football. The results demonstrated the higher physical demands placed on the HC group. The findings suggest that analyzing instantaneous power measures can provide valuable information about the physical demands placed on team sport athletes to coaches and conditioning staff. PMID:26808858

  20. Living with aphasia: three Indigenous Australian stories.

    PubMed

    Armstrong, Elizabeth; Hersh, Deborah; Hayward, Colleen; Fraser, Joan; Brown, Melita

    2012-06-01

    The incidence of cardiovascular disorders and stroke in Australian Aboriginal communities is more than twice as high as non-Indigenous Australians. Approximately 30% of people who survive stroke are left with some level of aphasia, and yet Indigenous Australians appear to be infrequent users of speech-language pathology services, and there is virtually no research literature about the experiences of aphasia for this group of people. This paper presents the stories of living with aphasia for three Indigenous Australian men living in Perth, Western Australia. Their narratives were collected by an Indigenous researcher through in-depth, supported interviews, and were explored using both within-case and cross-case analyses for common and recurring themes. It is argued that there is value for speech-language pathologists, and other health professionals, to be aware of the broad experiences of living with aphasia for Indigenous Australians because their stories are rarely heard and because, as with people with aphasia generally, they are at risk of social isolation and tend to lack visibility in the community. This study explores the key issues which emerge for these three men and highlights the need for further research in this area. PMID:22472033

  1. Data Convergence - An Australian Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, S. S.; Howell, B.

    2012-12-01

    Coupled numerical physical, biogeochemical and sediment models are increasingly being used as integrators to help understand the cumulative or far field effects of change in the coastal environment. This reliance on modeling has forced observations to be delivered as data streams ingestible by modeling frameworks. This has made it easier to create near real-time or forecasting models than to try to recreate the past, and has lead in turn to the conversion of historical data into data streams to allow them to be ingested by the same frameworks. The model and observation frameworks under development within Australia's Commonwealth and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) are now feeding into the Australian Ocean Data Network's (AODN's) MARine Virtual Laboratory (MARVL) . The sensor, or data stream, brokering solution is centred around the "message" and all data flowing through the gateway is wrapped as a message. Messages consist of a topic and a data object and their routing through the gateway to pre-processors and listeners is determined by the topic. The Sensor Message Gateway (SMG) method is allowing data from different sensors measuring the same thing but with different temporal resolutions, units or spatial coverage to be ingested or visualized seamlessly. At the same time the model output as a virtual sensor is being explored, this again being enabled by the SMG. It is only for two way communications with sensor that rigorous adherence to standards is needed, by accepting existing data in less than ideal formats, but exposing them though the SMG we can move a step closer to the Internet Of Things by creating an Internet of Industries where each vested interest can continue with business as usual, contribute to data convergence and adopt more open standards when investment seems appropriate to that sector or business.Architecture Overview

  2. Australian Indigenous Perspectives on Quality Assurance in Children's Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutchins, Teresa; Frances, Katie; Saggers, Sherry

    2009-01-01

    The Australian Government has recently committed to the development of an integrated system of assuring national quality standards for Australian childcare and preschool services (Australian Government, 2008). This article addresses two fundamental issues relating to the development of an integrated system as it applies to Indigenous children's…

  3. Drama in the Australian National Curriculum: Decisions, Tensions and Uncertainties

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stinson, Madonna; Saunders, John Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    In September 2015, the Australian Federal Government endorsed the final version of the Australian Curriculum arts framework a document resulting from nearly seven years of consultation and development. "The Australian Curriculum: The Arts Version 8.0" comprises five subjects: dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts. This article…

  4. Modelling Choice: Factors Influencing Modes of Delivery in Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Andrew; Ling, Peter; Hill, Doug

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports the findings of a study of Multiple Modes of Delivery in Australian universities that was commissioned by Australian Universities Teaching Committee over the period 2001-2004. The project examined and described the various means of educational delivery deployed by Australian universities. It identified the pedagogical,…

  5. Building Innovation: Learning with Technologies. Australian Education Review Number 56

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moyle, Kathryn

    2010-01-01

    Australian Education Review (AER) 56 explores national and international policy priorities for building students' innovation capabilities through information and communication technologies (ICT) in Australian schools. Section 1 sets out the Australian policy context for digital education and highlights some of the emerging challenges. It provides…

  6. Microbial Communities of Three Sympatric Australian Stingless Bee Species

    PubMed Central

    Leonhardt, Sara D.; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing – among other taxa – host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4–5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

  7. Microbial communities of three sympatric Australian stingless bee species.

    PubMed

    Leonhardt, Sara D; Kaltenpoth, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Bacterial symbionts of insects have received increasing attention due to their prominent role in nutrient acquisition and defense. In social bees, symbiotic bacteria can maintain colony homeostasis and fitness, and the loss or alteration of the bacterial community may be associated with the ongoing bee decline observed worldwide. However, analyses of microbiota associated with bees have been largely confined to the social honeybees (Apis mellifera) and bumblebees (Bombus spec.), revealing--among other taxa--host-specific lactic acid bacteria (LAB, genus Lactobacillus) that are not found in solitary bees. Here, we characterized the microbiota of three Australian stingless bee species (Apidae: Meliponini) of two phylogenetically distant genera (Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). Besides common plant bacteria, we find LAB in all three species, showing that LAB are shared by honeybees, bumblebees and stingless bees across geographical regions. However, while LAB of the honeybee-associated Firm4-5 clusters were present in Tetragonula, they were lacking in Austroplebeia. Instead, we found a novel clade of likely host-specific LAB in all three Australian stingless bee species which forms a sister clade to a large cluster of Halictidae-associated lactobacilli. Our findings indicate both a phylogenetic and geographical signal of host-specific LAB in stingless bees and highlight stingless bees as an interesting group to investigate the evolutionary history of the bee-LAB association. PMID:25148082

  8. Astronomical Symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Rock Art

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, Ray P.; Hamacher, Duane W.

    2011-05-01

    Traditional Aboriginal Australian cultures include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition and ceremony. This knowledge has practical navigational and calendrical functions, and sometimes extends to a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky. Here we explore whether this astronomical tradition is reflected in the rock art of Aboriginal Australians. We find several plausible examples of depictions of astronomical figures and symbols, and also evidence that astronomical observations were used to set out stone arrangements. However, we recognise that the case is not yet strong enough to make an unequivocal statement, and describe our plans for further research.

  9. Selection of the Australian indicator region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reed, C. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1981-01-01

    Each Australian state was examined for the availability of LANDSAT data, area, yield, and production characteristics, statistics, crop calendars, and other ancillary data. Agrophysical conditions that could influence labeling and classification accuracies were identified in connection with the highest producing states as determined from available Australian crop statistics. Based primarily on these production statistics, Western Australia and New South Wales were selected as the wheat indicator region for Australia. The general characteristics of wheat in the indicator region, with potential problems anticipated for proportion estimation are considered. The varieties of wheat, the diseases and pests common to New South Wales, and the wheat growing regions of both states are examined.

  10. Western Australian food security project

    PubMed Central

    McManus, Alexandra; Brown, Graham; Maycock, Bruce

    2007-01-01

    Background The aim of the Western Australian (WA) Food Security Project was to conduct a preliminary investigation into issues relating to food security in one region within the Perth metropolitan area in Western Australia. The first phase of the project involved a food audit in one lower income area that was typical of the region, to identify the range, variety and availability of foods in the region. Methods A comprehensive food audit survey was provided to all food outlet owners/operators in one lower socio-economic region within the City of Mandurah (n = 132 outlets). The purpose of the survey was to investigate the range, variety and availability of foods in the Mandurah region as well as examining specific in-store characteristics such as the types of clientele and in-store promotions offered. Surveys were competed for 99 outlets (response rate = 75%). Results The range of foods available were predominantly pre-prepared with more than half of the outlets pre-preparing the majority of their food. Sandwiches and rolls were the most popular items sold in the outlets surveyed (n = 51 outlets) followed by pastries such as pies, sausage rolls and pasties (n = 33 outlets). Outlets considered their healthiest food options were sandwiches or rolls (n = 51 outlets), salads (n- = 50 outlets), fruit and vegetables (n = 40 outlets), seafood (n = 27 outlets), meats such as chicken (n = 26 outlets and hot foods such as curries, soups or quiches (n = 23 outlets). The majority of outlets surveyed considered pre-prepared food including sandwiches, rolls and salads, as healthy food options regardless of the content of the filling or dressings used. Few outlets (n = 28%) offered a choice of bread type other than white or wholemeal. High fat pastries and dressings were popular client choices (n = 77%) as were carbonated drinks (n = 88%) and flavoured milks (n = 46%). Conclusion These findings clearly indicate the need for further investigation of the impact of access to quality

  11. Differential Gene Expression in the Liver of the African Lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 Months of Aestivation in Air or 1 Day of Arousal from 6 Months of Aestivation

    PubMed Central

    Hiong, Kum C.; Ip, Yuen K.; Wong, Wai P.; Chew, Shit F.

    2015-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the liver of P. annectens after 6 months (the maintenance phase) of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control, or after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation as compared with 6 months of aestivation using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III were up-regulated, indicating an increase in the ornithine-urea cycle capacity to detoxify ammonia to urea. There was also an increase in the expression of betaine homocysteine-S-transferase 1 which could reduce and prevent the accumulation of hepatic homocysteine. On the other hand, the down-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression could signify a decrease in ROS production during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, the maintenance phase was marked by decreases in expressions of genes related to blood coagulation, complement fixation and iron and copper metabolism, which could be strategies used to prevent thrombosis and to conserve energy. Unlike the maintenance phase of aestivation, there were increases in expressions of genes related to nitrogen, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation. There were also up-regulation in expressions of genes that were involved in the electron transport system and ATP synthesis, indicating a greater demand for metabolic energy during arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of sustaining a low rate of waste production and conservation of energy store during the maintenance phase, and the dependence on internal energy store for repair and structural modification during the arousal phase, of aestivation in the liver

  12. Molecular characterization of betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase 1 from the liver, and effects of aestivation on its expressions and homocysteine concentrations in the liver, kidney and muscle, of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens.

    PubMed

    Ong, Jasmine L Y; Woo, Jia M; Hiong, Kum C; Ching, Biyun; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F; Ip, Yuen K

    2015-05-01

    Homocysteine accumulation has numerous deleterious effects, and betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase (BHMT) catalyses the synthesis of methionine from homocysteine and betaine. This study aimed to determine homocysteine concentrations, and mRNA expression levels and protein abundances of bhmt1/Bhmt1 in the liver, kidney and muscle of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, during the induction (6 days), maintenance (6 months) or arousal (3 days after arousal) phase of aestivation. The homocysteine concentration decreased significantly in the liver of P. annectens after 6 days or 6 months of aestivation, but it returned to the control level upon arousal. By contrast, homocysteine concentrations in the kidney and muscle remained unchanged during the three phases of aestivation. The complete coding cDNA sequence of bhmt1 from P. annectens consisted of 1236 bp, coding for 412 amino acids. The Bhmt1 from P. annectens had a close phylogenetic relationship with those from tetrapods and Callorhinchus milii. The expression of bhmt1 was detected in multiple organs/tissues of P. annectens, and this is the first report on the expression of bhmt1/Bhmt1 in animal skeletal muscle. The mRNA and protein expression levels of bhmt1/Bhmt1 were up-regulated in the liver of P. annectens during the induction and maintenance phases of aestivation, possibly to regulate the hepatic homocysteine concentration. The significant increase in hepatic Bhmt1 protein abundance during the arousal phase could be a response to increased cellular methylation for the purpose of tissue reconstruction. Unlike the liver, Bhmt1 expression in the kidney and muscle of P. annectens was regulated translationally, and its up-regulation could be crucial to prevent homocysteine accumulation. PMID:25575738

  13. Differential gene expression in the liver of the African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, after 6 months of aestivation in air or 1 day of arousal from 6 months of aestivation.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum C; Ip, Yuen K; Wong, Wai P; Chew, Shit F

    2015-01-01

    The African lungfish, Protopterus annectens, can undergo aestivation during drought. Aestivation has three phases: induction, maintenance and arousal. The objective of this study was to examine the differential gene expression in the liver of P. annectens after 6 months (the maintenance phase) of aestivation as compared with the freshwater control, or after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation as compared with 6 months of aestivation using suppression subtractive hybridization. During the maintenance phase of aestivation, the mRNA expression of argininosuccinate synthetase 1 and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III were up-regulated, indicating an increase in the ornithine-urea cycle capacity to detoxify ammonia to urea. There was also an increase in the expression of betaine homocysteine-S-transferase 1 which could reduce and prevent the accumulation of hepatic homocysteine. On the other hand, the down-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression could signify a decrease in ROS production during the maintenance phase of aestivation. In addition, the maintenance phase was marked by decreases in expressions of genes related to blood coagulation, complement fixation and iron and copper metabolism, which could be strategies used to prevent thrombosis and to conserve energy. Unlike the maintenance phase of aestivation, there were increases in expressions of genes related to nitrogen, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and fatty acid transport after 1 day of arousal from 6 months aestivation. There were also up-regulation in expressions of genes that were involved in the electron transport system and ATP synthesis, indicating a greater demand for metabolic energy during arousal. Overall, our results signify the importance of sustaining a low rate of waste production and conservation of energy store during the maintenance phase, and the dependence on internal energy store for repair and structural modification during the arousal phase, of aestivation in the liver

  14. Mercury concentrations in the Australian fur seal Arctocephalus pusillus from SE Australian waters

    SciTech Connect

    Bacher, G.J.

    1985-10-01

    Marine carnivores such as seals and sea lions occupy an important position in the upper trophic level of the marine food web and this, together with their longevity, makes these marine mammals useful indicators of mercury accumulation in the marine environment. Little information exists on mercury concentrations in marine mammals from the southern hemisphere. This paper reports total mercury concentrations in the tissues of the Australian Fur Seal Arctocephalus pusillus from southeastern Australian waters.

  15. Marketing in the Australian Higher Education Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Favaloro, Chrissa

    2015-01-01

    This article examines domestic marketing in the Australian higher education sector, specifically, the marketing investment patterns of universities and their levels of student growth as a return on marketing investment. Marketing expenditure by universities has risen 23 per cent in the five years to 2013, with several institutions allocating in…

  16. Bill Boyd and the Australian Connection

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smart, Don

    2011-01-01

    In this article, the author shares a short account of Bill Boyd's contribution to Australian research and practice in educational administration and education policymaking. The author has sought the views and recollections of some of the colleagues who worked closely with Bill. He has chosen to quote them at length rather than attempt to summarize…

  17. Wilson's disease in an Australian aborigine.

    PubMed

    Crawford, D H; Shepherd, R; Cooksley, W G; Patrick, M; Powell, L W

    1990-01-01

    Wilson's disease is due to a genetically determined defect inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Most reported cases have been caucasoid. This report describes a case of Wilson's disease in an Australian Aboriginal girl, only the second such case reported. PMID:2129845

  18. The Reflexive Modernization of Australian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pick, David

    2004-01-01

    The profound changes occurring in Australian higher education are viewed here in the context of the social, cultural, political and economic effects of globalization. Particular attention is paid to providing a theoretical foundation for understanding these effects using the reflexive modernization perspective. Highlighted are some of the…

  19. Professional Standards for Australian Special Education Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dempsey, Ian; Dally, Kerry

    2014-01-01

    Although professional standards for Australian teachers were developed several years ago, this country is yet to develop such standards for special education teachers. The lack of standards for the special education profession is associated with the absence of a consistent process of accreditation in Australia and a lack of clarity in the pathways…

  20. Australian Children's Understanding of Display Rules

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choy, Grace

    2009-01-01

    Cultural display rules govern the manifestation of emotional expressions. In compliance with display rules, the facial expressions displayed (i.e. apparent emotion) may be incongruent with the emotion experienced (i.e. real emotion). This study investigates Australian Caucasian children's understanding of display rules. A sample of 80 four year…

  1. The Dawkins Reconstruction of Australian Higher Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harman, Grant

    Aspects of recent changes in Australian higher education are explored, with focus on the Dawkins Agenda, which is related to the current political and economic situation. Questions about the success of John Dawkins, Federal Minister for Employment, Education and Training, in regard to higher education are raised (why he has been successful and…

  2. Demands of Training: Australian Tourism and Hospitality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freeland, Brett

    Qualitative research was conducted as part of a four-industry project studying operation of training markets, one of which was Australian tourism and hospitality (T&H). Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 23 individuals representing stakeholder groups. Interviews were conducted across Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia and…

  3. School Libraries Empowering Learning: The Australian Landscape.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Ross J.

    2003-01-01

    Describes school libraries in Australia. Highlights include the title of teacher librarian and their education; the history of the role of school libraries in Australian education; empowerment; information skills and benchmarks; national standards for school libraries; information literacy; learning outcomes; evidence-based practice; digital…

  4. Homelessness: An Annotated Bibliography of Australian Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loft, Jenny, Comp.; Davis, Mari, Comp.

    This bibliography, compiled for the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, lists Australian works published since 1974 about homelessness. It includes definitions of homelessness from the literature and an introductory article looking at different perspectives on homelessness. The entries, mainly taken from FAMILY database, are each…

  5. Education for Sustainability and the Australian Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennelly, Julie; Taylor, Neil; Serow, Pep

    2011-01-01

    A national curriculum is presently being developed in Australia with implementation due during 2014. Associated standards for the accreditation of teachers and for teacher education providers have been prepared with the standards describing skills and attributes that teachers are expected to attain. The developing Australian Curriculum, along with…

  6. Australian Universities, Generic Skills and Lifelong Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pitman, Tim; Broomhall, Susan

    2009-01-01

    The concept of lifelong learning implies a cycle where the learner contributes prior learning into a new learning environment and sees that learning upgraded. In recent years, a range of internal and external pressures have encouraged Australian universities to identify the meta or generic skills embedded in tertiary study. Using a content…

  7. Making Space for Multilingualism in Australian Schooling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Turner, Marianne; Cross, Russell

    2016-01-01

    In this article we introduce the special issue: Language(s) across the curriculum in Australian schools. The special issue includes a focus on English as an additional language in mainstream classes, Indigenous education, heritage languages and foreign languages, and we give background to these different--though frequently overlapping--contexts.…

  8. Australian Study Cites Low English Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, David

    2007-01-01

    This article reports the findings of a study showing that one-third of all foreign students who studied at Australian universities speak English so poorly that they should never have been granted visas to study in the country in the first place. The study, by Robert Birrell, director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Australia's…

  9. Revitalising Languages in Australian Universities: What Chance?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lo Bianco, Joseph

    2009-01-01

    Institutions of higher education teach fewer languages, in less secure ways, for less time per week, for shorter periods, by an increasingly casually employed staff, in often underfunded, underappreciated and under stress modes, but participants in the Australian Academy of the Humanities' "Beyond the Crisis: Revitalising Languages in Australian…

  10. Is There Cultural Safety in Australian Universities?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rochecouste, Judith; Oliver, Rhonda; Bennell, Debra

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the cultural safety offered to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students within their university environments. In the context of this paper, cultural safety includes cultural competency, as recently subscribed by Universities Australia, and "extends beyond (to) cultural awareness and cultural…

  11. Developments in Australian Agricultural and Related Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McSweeney, Peter; Rayner, John

    2011-01-01

    While the calm waters metaphor might explain the changes navigated by Australian agricultural education through most of its history, the last 20 or so years have been very turbulent. Now, the new millennium sees agricultural education in both Australia and the Western world facing a different and less certain future. This paper analyses some of…

  12. Western Australian School Students' Understanding of Biotechnology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dawson, Vaille; Schibeci, Renato

    2003-01-01

    Surveys (n=1116) 15-year-old students from 11 Western Australian schools to determine their understanding of and attitude towards recent advances in modern biotechnology. Discusses reasons for students' over-estimation of the use of biotechnology in society. Provides a rationale for the inclusion of biotechnology, a cutting edge science, in the…

  13. The Australians--A "Fair Go" People.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurst, Herschel

    1984-01-01

    Australians are known for their egalitarian spirit, manifested by a dislike of social pretension and affectation. A brief history of the country from the time of its establishment in 1788 as a dumping ground for Britain's unwanted criminals to the present is presented. (RM)

  14. Learning Choices, Older Australians and Active Ageing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boulton-Lewis, Gillian M.; Buys, Laurie

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports on the findings of qualitative, semistructured interviews conducted with 40 older Australian participants who either did or did not engage in organized learning. Phenomenology was used to guide the interviews and analysis to explore the lived learning experiences and perspectives of these older people. Their experiences of…

  15. Young Australians: Their Health and Wellbeing 2011

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milnes, Annette; Pegrum, Karen; Nebe, Brett; Topfer, Alex; Gaal, Lisa; Zhang, Jessica; Hunter, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    This paper is the fourth in a series of national statistical reports on young people aged 12-24 years produced by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). This report provides the latest available information on how Australia's young people are faring according to national indicators of health and wellbeing. Many young Australians…

  16. Linguistic Aspects of Australian Aboriginal English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butcher, Andrew

    2008-01-01

    It is probable that the majority of the 455 000 strong Aboriginal population of Australia speak some form of Australian Aboriginal English (AAE) at least some of the time and that it is the first (and only) language of many Aboriginal children. This means their language is somewhere on a continuum ranging from something very close to Standard…

  17. Sustainability in the Australian Curriculum: Geography

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maude, Alaric

    2014-01-01

    "Sustainability" is one of the seven major concepts in the geography curriculum. It is also one of the three cross-curriculum priorities in the Australian curriculum, together with Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. This paper describes how the concept is explained…

  18. Australian orchids and the doctors they commemorate.

    PubMed

    Pearn, John H

    2013-01-21

    Botanical taxonomy is a repository of medical biographical information. Such botanical memorials include the names of some indigenous orchids of Australia. By searching reference texts and journals relating to Australian botany and Australian orchidology, as well as Australian and international medical and botanical biographical texts, I identified 30 orchids indigenous to Australia whose names commemorate doctors and other medical professionals. Of these, 24 have names that commemorate a total of 16 doctors who worked in Australia. The doctors and orchids I identified include: doctor-soldiers Richard Sanders Rogers (1862-1942), after whom the Rogers' Greenhood (Pterostylis rogersii) is named, and Robert Brown (1773-1858), after whom the Purple Enamel Orchid (Elythranthera brunonis) is named; navy surgeon Archibald Menzies (1754-1842), after whom the Hare Orchid (Leptoceras menziesii) is named; radiologist Hugo Flecker (1884-1957) after whom the Slender Sphinx Orchid (Cestichis fleckeri) is named; and general medical practitioner Hereward Leighton Kesteven (1881-1964), after whom the Kesteven's Orchid (Dendrobium kestevenii) is named. Biographic references in scientific names of plants comprise a select but important library of Australian medical history. Such botanical taxonomy commemorates, in an enduring manner, clinicians who have contributed to biology outside clinical practice. PMID:23330773

  19. Is achievement in Australian chemistry gender based?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beard, John; Fogliani, Charles; Owens, Chris; Wilson, Audrey

    1993-12-01

    This paper compares the performances of female and male secondary students in the 1991 and 1992 Australian National Chemistry Quizzes. Male students consistently achieved a higher mean score in all Year groups (7 to 12), even though the numbers of female and male entrants were approximately equal. Implications for class tests and assessment tasks are addressed.

  20. Does Training Pay? Evidence from Australian Enterprises.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blandy, Richard; Dockery, Michael; Hawke, Anne; Webster, Elizabeth

    A study was conducted to obtain pilot evidence that could serve as a basis for developing convincing methods for individual Australian companies to use in determining their returns from investment in training. The study attempted to replicate survey results from significant overseas surveys by using information collected on more than 90 Australian…

  1. Exporting Australian Educational Services to China

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kendall, Timothy

    2004-01-01

    This article examines the deregulation of the overseas student sector that took place in Australia during the mid-1980s. It focuses specifically upon the short-term English- language courses that were sold to students from the People's Republic of China. The article suggests that the Hawke government's policy of encouraging Australian language…

  2. Scholarly Communication Costs in Australian Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houghton, John W

    2008-01-01

    This paper reports on the development and application of a model used to estimate the costs of scholarly communication (i.e. scholarly publishing and related activities) in Australian higher education. A systems perspective was used to frame a review of the literature on the costs involved in the entire scholarly communication value chain and…

  3. Synergy, 2003. Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network, Parramatta.

    Each issue in the 2002 edition of the Australian Transcultural Mental Health Network (ATMHN) newsletter represents a theme critical to mental health practitioners. The Winter 2002 issue features articles on the psychological consequences of interpreters in relation to working with torture and trauma clients, addressing language issues on mental…

  4. Publications of Australian LIS Academics in Databases

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Concepcion S.; Boell, Sebastian K.; Kennan, Mary Anne; Willard, Patricia

    2011-01-01

    This paper examines aspects of journal articles published from 1967 to 2008, located in eight databases, and authored or co-authored by academics serving for at least two years in Australian LIS programs from 1959 to 2008. These aspects are: inclusion of publications in databases, publications in journals, authorship characteristics of…

  5. Funding of South Australian public hospitals.

    PubMed

    Moss, John

    2002-01-01

    Since the 1994-95 financial year, inpatient episodes of care in South Australian public hospitals have been funded according to their casemix. This paper describes the current funding system, sets it in some context and examines what can be established about hospital performance. PMID:11974955

  6. International Mobility of Australian University Students: 2005

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olsen, Alan

    2008-01-01

    Australia as a destination for international students is well researched. However, less is known about the numbers of Australian students who undertake international study experiences during their courses, the characteristics of those students, their types of experiences, their fields of education, and their destinations. This study finds that…

  7. Contexts for Teacher Education: An Australian Alternative.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brooker, Ross; Service, Melinda

    1999-01-01

    Surveyed and interviewed Australian preservice home economics teachers who volunteered to teach food preparation skills to disadvantaged youth in detention centers. Results indicated that preservice teachers considered the detention center context a worthwhile site for further developing existing teacher competencies, providing them with…

  8. The Australian Curriculum: Continuing the National Conversation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atweh, Bill; Singh, Parlo

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to identify some key areas of the Australian curriculum that remain sites of struggle and contestation. We propose that there remain a number of contentious points in relation to the national curriculum. These points relate variously to the content and form of the curricular documents; assumptions about knowledge,…

  9. Study of Australian Multi-Campus Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Geoff; Grebennikov, Leonid; Johnston, Kim

    2007-01-01

    This study investigates whether Australian multi-campus universities are distinctive in terms of their student profile by field of education (FOE), funding and expenditure profiles, and learning and teaching outcomes, and identifies the implications for higher education policy and funding. Both parametric and non-parametric techniques are used to…

  10. Physical sciences contribute 22% to Australian economy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dineley, Jude

    2015-05-01

    Advances in the physical and mathematical sciences over the last two decades contributed some A292bn (about £151bn) to the Australian economy each year, according to a report carried out by the Centre for International Economics, an economic consultancy.