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Sample records for biomphalaria alexandrina snails

  1. New scope on the relationship between rotifers and Biomphalaria alexandrina snails

    PubMed Central

    Mossallam, Shereen Farouk; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the effect of rotifer internalization into snail tissue on the development of schistosomes. Methods Susceptible laboratory-bred Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina) snails were exposed to lab-maintained rotifers; Philodina spp., two weeks before and after being infected with Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) miracidia. The consequent histopathological impact on snail tissues and cercarial biology were investigated before and after emergence from snails. Results Contamination of B. alexandrina snails with philodina, two weeks before miracidial exposure, was found to hinder the preliminary development of S. mansoni cercariae inside the snail tissues. Furthermore, when snails were contaminated with rotifers two weeks post miracidial exposure; growth of already established cercariae was found to be retarded. The consequent influence of internalized rotifers within the snail tissue was clearly reflected on cercarial emergence, activity and infectivity along the four weeks duration of shedding. In the present study, comparison of snail histopathological findings and altered cercarial biology observed between the experimental and control groups indicated that the rotifers may have affected the levels of snail's energy reservoirs, which eventually was found to have had an adverse impact on reproduction, growth and survival of the parasite within the snail host, coupled with its performance outside the snail. Conclusions In future biological control strategies of schistosomiasis, ritifers should be considered as a parasitic scourge of humanity. PMID:23905015

  2. Susceptibility of the snail Biomphalaria alexandrina alexandrina from the UAR and the Sudan to infection with a strain of Schistosoma mansoni from Tanzania*

    PubMed Central

    Cridland, C. C.

    1970-01-01

    A series of laboratory experiments was carried out to determine the susceptibility of Biomphalaria alexandrina alexandrina, the snail vector of schistosomiasis in the United Arab Republic and the Sudan, to a strain of Schistosoma mansoni from Mwanza, Tanzania. The objective of the investigation was to determine whether or not B. alexandrina is refractory or partially refractory to infection with strains of S. mansoni other than the Egyptian strain. In one series of 5 exposures, snails from a colony originating in Alexandria, UAR, showed a mean infection rate 4 times that observed when snails from the same colony were exposed to the local strain of S. mansoni. PMID:5314014

  3. The endocrine disruptor effect of the herbicides atrazine and glyphosate on Biomphalaria alexandrina snails.

    PubMed

    Omran, Nahla Elsayed; Salama, Wesam Mohamed

    2016-04-01

    Atrazine (AZ) and glyphosate (GL) are herbicides that are widely applied to cereal crops in Egypt. The present study was designed to investigate the response of the snailBiomphalaria alexandrina(Mollusca: Gastropoda) as a bioindicator for endocrine disrupters in terms of steroid levels (testosterone (T) and 17β-estradiol (E)), alteration of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity, total protein (TP) level, and gonadal structure after exposure to sublethal concentrations of AZ or GL for 3 weeks. In order to study the ability of the snails' recuperation, the exposed snails were subjected to a recovery period for 2 weeks. The results showed that the level of T, E, and TP contents were significantly decreased (p≤ 0.05) in both AZ- and GL-exposed groups compared with control (unexposed) group. The level of microsomal CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity increased significantly (p≤ 0.05) in GL- and AZ-exposed snails and reach nearly a 50% increase in AZ-exposed group. Histological investigation of the ovotestis showed that AZ and GL caused degenerative changes including azoospermia and oocytes deformation. Interestingly, all the recovered groups did not return back to their normal state. It can be concluded that both herbicides are endocrine disrupters and cause cellular toxicity indicated by the decrease of protein content and the increase in CYP4501B1-like immunoreactivity. This toxicity is irreversible and the snail is not able to recover its normal state. The fluctuation of CYP4501B1 suggests that this vertebrate-like enzyme may be functional also in the snail and may be used as a biomarker for insecticide toxicity. PMID:24215068

  4. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail

    PubMed Central

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-01-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalaria species,Biomphalaria alexandrina represents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrina snails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoni infection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalaria control. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control. PMID:26061235

  5. Molluscicidal Activity of the Methanol Extract of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. ex Gaertner) G.Don ex Loudon Fruits, Bark and Leaves against Biomphalaria alexandrina Snails

    PubMed Central

    A Gohar, Ahmed; T Maatooq, Galal; R Gadara, Sahar; S Aboelmaaty, Walaa; M El-Shazly, Atef

    2014-01-01

    Methanol extracts of Callistemon viminalis (Sol. Ex Gaertner) G.Don Ex Loudon fruits, bark and leaves were tested for molluscicidal activity. Snails were collected and kept in dechlorinated water under standard condition. Ten adults Biomphalaria Alexandrina, of the same size, were introduced in plastic acquaria for each experiment. The fruits, barks and leaves were extracted with methanol and the methanol extracts were kept for testing as molluscicides. Different extracts proved to have molluscicidal activity against the vector of schistosomiasis, B. alexandrina snails. LC50 values for C. viminalis fruits, bark and leaves were 6.2, 32 and 40 ppm respectively. The C. viminalis fruits extract showed the highest effect against the tested snails. Histopathological studies proved that the site of action of all tested extracts was localized in the digestive system and hermaphrodite gland. PMID:25237345

  6. Biomphalaria alexandrina in Egypt: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman F

    2013-09-01

    The African species of Biomphalaria appeared as a result of the relatively recent west-to-east trans-Atlantic dispersal of the Biomphalaria glabrata-like taxon. In Egypt, Biomphalaria alexandrina is the intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni. Biomphalaria alexandrina originated in the area between Alexandria and Rosetta and has historically been confined to the Nile Delta. Schistosoma mansoni reached Egypt via infected slaves and baboons from the Land of Punt through migrations that occurred as early as the Vth Dynasty. The suggestion of the presence of Schistosoma mansoni infection in Lower Egypt during Pharaonic times is discussed despite the fact that that there is no evidence of such infection in Egyptian mummies. It is only recently that Biomphalaria alexandrina colonized the Egyptian Nile from the Delta to Lake Nasser. This change was likely due to the construction of huge water projects, the development of new water resources essential for land reclamation projects and the movement of refugees from the Suez Canal zone to the Delta and vice versa. The situation with respect to Biomphalaria in Egypt has become complicated in recent years by the detection of Biomphalaria glabrata and a hybrid between both species; however, follow-up studies have demonstrated the disappearance of such species within Egypt. The National Schistosoma Control Program has made great strides with respect to the eradication of schistosoma; however, there has unfortunately been a reemergence of Schistosoma mansoni resistant to praziquantel. There are numerous factors that may influence the prevalence of snails in Egypt, including the construction of water projects, the increase in reclaimed areas, global climate change and pollution. Thus, continued field studies in addition to the cooperation of several scientists are needed to obtain an accurate representation of the status of this species. In addition, the determination of the genome sequence for Biomphalaria alexandrina and the use of modern technology will allow for the study of the host-parasite relationship at a molecular level. PMID:23938396

  7. Heavy metal concentrations in the freshwater snail Biomphalaria alexandrina uninfected or infected with cercariae of Schistosoma mansoni and/or Echinostoma liei in Egypt: the potential use of this snail as a bioindicator of pollution.

    PubMed

    Mostafa, O M S; Mossa, A-T H; El Einin, H M A

    2014-12-01

    In spite of using aquatic snails as bioindicators for water pollution, little attention has been paid to the effect of parasitism upon the concentration of heavy metals (Al, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn) in these organisms. The present study therefore aimed to compare the concentrations of heavy metals in trematode-infected Biomphalaria alexandrina collected from Kafer Alsheikh and Menofia provinces, Egypt, with uninfected snails from the same sites, in order to assess the effect of parasitism on the use of these snails as bioindicators. The concentrations of heavy metals in the soft parts and shells of snails were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. The results showed that the heavy metal profile in snails infected with Echinostoma liei was very different from that in snails infected with Schistosoma mansoni. The total concentration of heavy metals in E. liei-infected snails collected from Kafer Alsheikh or Menofia province was greater than in uninfected snails. In contrast, the total concentration of heavy metals in S. mansoni-infected snails was reduced compared with uninfected snails. In conclusion, the status of snails with respect to parasitic infection must be taken into consideration when these snails are used as bioindicators. PMID:23710821

  8. Impact of the age of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails on Schistosoma mansoni transmission: modulation of the genetic outcome and the internal defence system of the snail.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy; Sadaka, Hayam Abd El-Monem; Amer, Eglal Ibrahim; Diab, Iman Hassan; Khedr, Safaa Ibrahim Abd El-Halim

    2015-08-01

    Of the approximately 34 identified Biomphalariaspecies,Biomphalaria alexandrinarepresents the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoniin Egypt. Using parasitological and SOD1 enzyme assay, this study aimed to elucidate the impact of the age of B. alexandrinasnails on their genetic variability and internal defence against S. mansoniinfection. Susceptible and resistant snails were reared individually for self-reproduction; four subgroups of their progeny were used in experiment. The young susceptible subgroup showed the highest infection rate, the shortest pre-patent period, the highest total cercarial production, the highest mortality rate and the lowest SOD1 activity. Among the young and adult susceptible subgroups, 8% and 26% were found to be resistant, indicating the inheritance of resistance alleles from parents. The adult resistant subgroup, however, contained only resistant snails and showed the highest enzyme activity. The complex interaction between snail age, genetic background and internal defence resulted in great variability in compatibility patterns, with the highest significant difference between young susceptible and adult resistant snails. The results demonstrate that resistance alleles function to a greater degree in adults, with higher SOD1 activity and provide potential implications for Biomphalariacontrol. The identification of the most susceptible snail age enables determination of the best timing for applying molluscicides. Moreover, adult resistant snails could be beneficial in biological snail control. PMID:26061235

  9. Meta-analysis indicates lack of local adaptation of Schistosoma mansoni to Biomphalaria alexandrina in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Abou-El-Naga, Iman Fathy

    2014-03-01

    In Egypt, reclaiming portions of the desert using water from the Nile has resulted in large-scale invasion of Biomphalaria alexandrina in these regions. Studies exploring the local adaptation of Schistosoma mansoni to its snail host have been carried out to predict the extension of schistosomiasis to newly reclaimed areas. A meta-analysis of the relevant reports was conducted to compare the different biological characteristics of sympatric and allopatric Schistosoma mansoni and Biomphalaria alexandrina using different experimental designs. The results showed that there were no significant differences in the biological characteristics of sympatric and allopatric populations. The experimental design of some of the studies analyzed was found to affect the total cercarial production. The distance between the origin of the parasite and that of the snail did not affect any of the biological characteristics. The results showed that there is no evidence of local adaptation between Schistosoma mansoni and Biomphalaria alexandrina; however, the parasite is adapted to its intermediate host throughout the water bodies located in Egypt. The absence of local adaptation between Schistosoma mansoni and Biomphalaria alexandrina is likely of critical importance in predicting public health risks engendered by future reclaimed agriculture projects. Indeed, these results could assist in determining the appropriate balance between the development of water resource projects and schistosomiasis control in Egypt. PMID:24442240

  10. Cercarial Production from Biomphalaria alexandrina Infected with Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Chu, K. Y.; Dawood, I. K.

    1970-01-01

    The present paper deals with longitudinal and cross-sectional methods of counting cercariae shed from Biomphalaria alexandrina in Egypt, both experimentally and naturally infected with schistosomes. By the longitudinal method, the daily output of cercariae was counted from the first shedding from experimentally infected snails and from the day of collection from naturally infected ones. The results show that the size of the snails at the time of shedding exerts a very large effect on the output of cercariae and that the numbers obtained in the laboratory are not representative of cercarial output in the field. By the cross-sectional method, the cercarial output in the first 24 hours from infected snails collected in different months from the field was counted. The results show that output is size-specific. When the size-specific output is adjusted to the size-composition of infected snails taken from the field, it is estimated that the daily output from infected snails in the field may be 957.7 cercariae. However, this number may vary with the season. PMID:5310951

  11. Alterations in the fatty acid profile, antioxidant enzymes and protein pattern of Biomphalaria alexandrina snails exposed to the pesticides diazinon and profenfos.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; El-Hommossany, Karem; Abd El-Atti, Mahmoud; Ismail, Somaya M

    2016-04-01

    The use of pesticides is widespread in agricultural activities. These pesticides may contaminate the irrigation and drainage systems during agriculture activities and pests' control and then negatively affect the biotic and a biotic component of the polluted water courses. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of the pesticides diazinon and profenfos on some biological activities ofBiomphalaria alexandrinasnails such as fatty acid profile, some antioxidant enzymes (thioredoxin reductase (TrxR), sorbitol dehydrogenase (SDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) as well as glutathione reductase (GR) and lipid peroxidation (LP)) and protein patterns in snails' tissues exposed for 4 weeks to LC10of diazinon and profenfos. The results showed that the two pesticides caused considerable reduction in survival rates and egg production of treated snails. Identification of fatty acid composition in snail tissues treated with diazinon and profenfos pesticides was carried out using gas-liquid chromatography (GLC). The results declared alteration in fatty acid profile, fluctuation in percentage of long chain and short chain fatty acid contributions either saturated or unsaturated ones, and a decrease in total lipid content in tissues of snails treated with these pesticides. The data demonstrate that there was a significant inhibition in the activities of tissues SOD, CAT, glutathione reductase (GR), TrxR, and SDH in tissues of treated snails, while a significant elevation was detected in LP as compared to the normal control. On the other hand, the electrophoretic pattern of total protein showed differences in number and molecular weights of protein bands due to the treatment of snails. It was concluded that the residues of diazinon and profenfos pesticides in aquatic environments have toxic effects onB. alexandrinasnails. PMID:24215063

  12. Potential effect of Allium cepa and Allium sativum on haemolymph of Biomphalaria alexandrina, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Mantawy, M I

    2001-12-01

    Biomphalaria alexandrina were fed on either Allium cepa or A. sativum to study their effects on some biochemical parameters such as total proteins, free amino acids and liver enzymes (ALT, ALP and AST) on egg laying activity of the snails. The results revealed that ALP was highly significantly reduced in haemolymph of snails that fed on either Allium cepa or A. sativum. Also, ALT and AST were highly significantly reduced in haemolymph of snails that were fed on A. cepa while those fed on A. sativum showed no change in ALT activity and a high significant increase in AST activity. Total proteins were significantly decreased in haemolymph of all treated snails whereas variations in free amino acids contents were also observed. The reproductive activity of snails fed on either Allium cepa or A. sativum was highly affected. In addition, growth rate of newly hatched snails fed on either A. cepa or A. sativum was affected. Exposure of snails to water containing either A. cepa or A. sativum caused snail toxicity which may result from alterations in the snails' habitat. PMID:11775098

  13. The ecology of Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria alexandrina and its implications for the control of bilharziasis in the Egypt-49 project area.

    PubMed

    Dazo, B C; Hairston, N G; Dawood, I K

    1966-01-01

    The respective vectors of the two forms of bilharziasis in Egypt do not have the same ecological distribution. Bulinus truncatus is most abundant in large canals, and decreases in density as the water approaches and flows into drains. Biomphalaria alexandrina is most abundant in drains, and decreases in density upstream from these habitats. Both species are most abundant in the presence of aquatic vegetation, but they differ in their respective associations with the water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes. Biomph. alexandrina reaches maximum abundance in the presence of this plant, but Bul. truncatus is as uncommon in the absence of plants as in the presence of E. crassipes.Calculation of life-table parameters from field data shows that, under optimum field conditions, both species can double their populations in 14-16 days. The reproductive rates of both species are greatest in March and the death rates in midsummer. The observed peak densities in May and June give a false impression of optima because of undercollection of young snails, which are most abundant in March and April.Control operations should take advantage of the findings on population parameters. A single area-wide treatment with molluscicide in April is recommended. During the remainder of the year, search for isolated foci of snail breeding and individual treatment of these will effect large savings of chemical and will be effective in controlling the transmission of the parasites. PMID:5297630

  14. Influence of Capparis spinosa and Acacia arabica on certain biochemical haemolymph parameters of Biomphalaria alexandrina.

    PubMed

    Mantawy, Mona M; Hamed, Manal A; Sammour, Elham M; Sanad, Mahmoud

    2004-08-01

    The work investigated the molluscicidal potency of dried Capparis spinosa and Acacia arabica leaves on selected biochemical parameters of Bionimphalaria alexandrina, in order to render them, physiologically, unsuitable for S. mansoni infection or at least disturb the life-cycle of the parasite within its respective snail host. The effect of the two plants on lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), 5'-nucleotidase, acid phosphatase (AP), aspartate and alanine aminotransferases (AST & ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and glucose content were studied. This work was extended to evaluate the effect of these two plants on protein profile as well as total protein (TP) content of snail's in haemolymph after 24 hours and one week of snails plants feeding. The study revealed that both plants induced marked alteration in all the measured parameters, where LC50 of C. spinosa after fed one week showed the most potent effect. PMID:15287187

  15. Molluscicidal activity of some Saudi Arabian euphorbiales against the snail Biomphalaria pfeifferi.

    PubMed

    Al-Zanbagi, N A; Banaja, A A; Barrett, J

    2000-05-01

    The comparative susceptibility of the snail vector of intestinal schistosomiasis, Biomphalaria pfeifferi to the action of extracts from Saudi Arabian Euphorbiales has been determined. Methanol and chloroform extracts of the plants tested (Jatropha glauca, Euphorbia helioscopia and Euphorbia schimperiana) were the most promising from the molluscicidal point of view with LD(50) values in the range 10-100 ppm. PMID:10771201

  16. Measurement of Selected Enzymatic Activities in Solanum nigrum-Treated Biomphalaria arabica Snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Al-Daihan, Sooad

    In the present study, glucose, acid and alkaline phosphatases (ACP and ALP), α-amylase and lipase were measured for the first time in tissue homogenates of Biomphalaria arabica snails, molluscan intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni in Saudi Arabia. Also, the effect of sublethal concentrations (LC25) of dry powdered Solanum nigrum leaf was tested as plant molluscicide against this snail species. The tested enzymes were altered in molluscicide-treated snails compared to control. While ALP and amylase were slightly affected, ACP and lipase were significantly altered. Glucose as an important energy source for a successful schistosome-snail relationship was significantly reduced in molluscicide-treated snails. In conclusion, sublethal concentration of the molluscicide showed potent effect in disturbing snail biochemistry which may render them physiologically unsuitable for the developing of schistosome parasite. This could be considered as a promising strategy to control the disease.

  17. Development of the Statocyst in the Freshwater Snail Biomphalaria Glabrata (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gao, Wenyuan; Wiederhold, Michael; Hejl, Robert

    1997-01-01

    The development of the statocyst of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been examined from embryo to adult. Special emphasis was put on the growth of the statoconia in the statocysts. In the statocysts of embryonic snails (90-120 h after oviposition) there is not a single statolith but an average of 40-50 statoconia per statocyst. The number of statoconia increases to 385-400 when the snails reach a shell diameter of 4 mm and remains relatively constant thereafter, irrespective of shell size. Small statoconia are found in supporting cells, which suggests that the statoconia are produced within these cells. The average diameter of statoconia and the total mass of statoconia increase with increasing shell diameter. The average number of large statoconia (diameter greater than 7 micrometers) per statocyst continues to increase from 2 to 10 mm animals while the number of small ones (diameter less than 4 micrometers) initially rises and then decreases after 4 mm. These results demonstrate continuous growth of the statoconia in the cyst lumen of Biomphalaria. The single statoconia vibrate in a regular pattern in vivo, indicating beating of the statocyst cilia. The statoconia sink under the influence of gravity to load and stimulate receptor cells which are at the bottom. The length of cilia and the size of statocyst gradually increase as the animal grows. However, the increase in the volume of the statocyst is relatively small compared with the increase in body weight during normal development.

  18. Rescue of sporocysts of Schistosoma mansoni in nonsusceptible Biomphalaria by head-foot transplantation into susceptible snails.

    PubMed

    Galvan, A G; Paugam, M; Sullivan, J T

    2000-04-01

    To measure the longevity of sporocysts of Schistosoma mansoni in nonsusceptible snails (13-16-R1 and Salvador strains of Biomphalaria glabrata, and Biomphalaria obstructa), the head-foot (HF) of miracidia-exposed snails was transplanted into the hemocoel of a susceptible NIH albino recipient at 1-36 days postexposure (DPE). Recipient snails which were not exposed to miracidia then were monitored for infection transferred by the implant, and infection prevalences in recipients of HF transplants from nonsusceptible donors were compared to those in snails implanted with an HF from NIH albino donors. Transplants from NIH albino snails between 1 to 15 DPE infected 98% of recipients. Similarly, at 1 DPE, 69-85% of transplants from nonsusceptible snails contained viable sporocysts, as shown by resulting patent infections in the recipients. Recipient infection prevalence, and presumably numbers of transplants containing viable sporocysts, declined as a function of DPE, and by 5-9 DPE this decrease was significant for all 3 types of nonsusceptible donors. However, viable sporocysts still occurred in B. obstructa and 13-16-R1 B. glabrata as late as 19 and 20 DPE, respectively, and in Salvador B. glabrata as late as 33 DPE. Thus, sporocysts persist in nonsusceptible snails considerably longer than suggested by results of previous histological studies. PMID:10780550

  19. The Structure of the Statocyst of the Freshwater Snail Biomphalaria Glabrata (Pulmonata, Basommatophora)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gao, Wenyuan; Wiederhold, Michael L.

    1997-01-01

    The structure of the statocyst of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been examined by light and electron microscopy. The two statocysts are located on the dorsal-lateral side of the left and right pedal ganglion. The statocysts are spherical, fluid-filled capsules with a diameter of approximately 60 microns for young and 110 microns for adult snails. The wall of the cyst is composed of large receptor cells and many smaller supporting cells. The receptor cells bear cilia which are evenly distributed on the apical surface. The cilia have the typical 9+2 internal tubule configuration. Striate rootlets originate from the base of the basal body and run downward into the cytoplasm. Side-roots arise from one side of the basal body and a basal foot from the other. For each receptor cell, the basal foot always points to the periphery of the surface, indicating that the receptor cell is non-polarized. The receptor cells contain cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondria, ribosomes, rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, compact Golgi bodies and multivesicular bodies. Supporting cells bearing microvilli are interposed between the receptor cells. The junction complex between the supporting cells and the receptor cells is composed of adherens and septate junctions, while between supporting cells only the adherens junctions are present. The static nerve arises from the lateral side of the cyst and contains axons in which parallel neurotubules and mitochondria are found. The axons arise directly from the base of the receptor cells without synapse. In the cyst lumen there are unattached statoconia. The statoconia have a plate-like or concentric membranous ring structure. Based on the morphology, the function of the statocyst in Biomphalaria is discussed.

  20. Histamine Immunoreactive Elements in the Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems of the Snail, Biomphalaria spp., Intermediate Host for Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Habib, Mohamed R.; Mohamed, Azza H.; Osman, Gamalat Y.; Sharaf El-Din, Ahmed T.; Mossalem, Hanan S.; Delgado, Nadia; Torres, Grace; Rolón-Martínez, Solymar; Miller, Mark W.; Croll, Roger P.

    2015-01-01

    Histamine appears to be an important transmitter throughout the Animal Kingdom. Gastropods, in particular, have been used in numerous studies establishing potential roles for this biogenic amine in the nervous system and showing its involvement in the generation of diverse behaviours. And yet, the distribution of histamine has only previously been described in a small number of molluscan species. The present study examined the localization of histamine-like immunoreactivity in the central and peripheral nervous systems of pulmonate snails of the genus Biomphalaria. This investigation demonstrates immunoreactive cells throughout the buccal, cerebral, pedal, left parietal and visceral ganglia, indicative of diverse regulatory functions in Biomphalaria. Immunoreactivity was also present in statocyst hair cells, supporting a role for histamine in graviception. In the periphery, dense innervation by immunoreactive fibers was observed in the anterior foot, perioral zone, and other regions of the body wall. This study thus shows that histamine is an abundant transmitter in these snails and its distribution suggest involvement in numerous neural circuits. In addition to providing novel subjects for comparative studies of histaminegic neurons in gastropods, Biomphalaria is also the major intermediate host for the digenetic trematode parasite, which causes human schistosomiasis. The study therefore provides a foundation for understanding potential roles for histamine in interactions between the snail hosts and their trematode parasites. PMID:26086611

  1. Study of the snail intermediate hosts for Schistosoma mansoni on Itamaracá Island in northeast Brazil: spatial displacement of Biomphalaria glabrata by Biomphalaria straminea.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Constança S; Barbosa, Verônica S; Nascimento, Wheverton C; Pieri, Otavio S; Araújo, Karina C G M

    2014-05-01

    In 2012 a malacological survey of the breeding sites of Biomphalaria glabrata and B. straminea , the two intermediate host snails of Schistosoma mansoni , was carried out on Itamaraca Island in Pernambuco, Brazil. This study has now been extended by studying the competition between the two species. Snails were collected and dissected to identify the species and tests were performed to verify S. mansoni infection. Student's t test was used to compare the proportion between the two species and their breeding sites and a parasitological survey was conducted among local residents, using the Kato-Katz method. The spatial distribution of the two snail species was determined using TerraView, while a snail density map was constructed by Kernel estimate. The survey identified two breeding sites for B. glabrata with 17 specimens and 19 breeding sites for B. straminea with 459 snails, all of them negative for S. mansoni infection. The statistical analysis revealed that the proportion of the numbers of specimens and breeding sites of B. straminea (37.84 ± 9.01) were significantly greater than those of B. glabrata (8.50 ± 6.50). Parasitological examinations from 41 residents diagnosed two cases of schistosomiasis with parasite loads of 60 and 84 eggs per 1 g of stool, respectively. This indiction of a competitive process between the two snail species requires monitoring of schistosomiasis in the resident and travelling human populations occupying this environment, which could potentially result in social and economic changes on the island risking its attraction as a centre for eco-tourism. PMID:24893012

  2. Distribution of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, within a St Lucian field habitat

    PubMed Central

    Sturrock, R. F.

    1975-01-01

    A total of 6360 mud samples were obtained, in 62 collections made with an exhaustive sampling device, from banana drains on the West Indian island of St Lucia during fortnightly samplings over a 2½-year period. Analysis of counts of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata from these samples showed that this species had a contagious distribution. This finding is consistent with other evidence that banana drains form a rigorous habitat for B. glabrata. Its distribution was more contagious than that of Oncomelania quadrasi in certain Philippine habitats and several species of aquatic snail in various African irrigation canals. The exact transformation for normalizing the snail counts for standard statistical techniques was z = x0.287 but the more convenient cube root transformation is probably adequate. However, if too few snails are collected (15 or fewer per 100 samples) or if the frequency distribution of snail counts is discontinuous, with too many widely separated high frequency counts, neither transformation will be entirely satisfactory. PMID:1084797

  3. Schistosoma mansoni in Susceptible and Resistant Snail Strains Biomphalaria tenagophila: In Vivo Tissue Response and In Vitro Hemocyte Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Nacif-Pimenta, Rafael; de Mattos, Ana Carolina Alves; Orfanó, Alessandra da Silva; Barbosa, Luciene; Pimenta, Paulo Filemon Paolucci; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech

    2012-01-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that is highly prevalent, especially in developing countries. Biomphalaria tenagophila is an important invertebrate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Brazil, with some strains (e.g. Cabo Frio) being highly susceptible to the parasite, whereas others (e.g. Taim) are completely resistant to infection. Therefore, B. tenagophila is an important research model for studying immune defense mechanisms against S. mansoni. The internal defense system (IDS) of the snail comprises hemocytes and hemolymph factors acting together to recognize self from non-self molecular patterns to eliminate the threat of infection. We performed experiments to understand the cellular defenses related to the resistance and/or susceptibility of B. tenagophila to S. mansoni. During the early stages of infection, fibrous host cells of both snail strains were arranged as a thin layer surrounding the sporocysts. However, at later stages of infection, the cellular reactions in resistant snails were increasingly more intense, with thicker layers surrounding the parasites, in contrast to susceptible strains. All parasites were damaged or destroyed inside resistant snails after 10 h of infection. By contrast, parasites inside susceptible snails appeared to be morphologically healthy. We also performed experiments using isolated hemocytes from the two strains interacting with sporocysts. Hemocyte attachment started as early as 1 h after initial infection in both strains, but the killing of sporocysts was exclusive to hemocytes from the resistant strain and was time course dependent. The resistant strain was able to kill all sporocysts. In conclusion, our study revealed important aspects of the initial process of infection related to immune defense responses of strains of B. tenagophila that were resistant to S. mansoni compared with strains that were susceptible. Such information is relevant for the survival or death of the parasites and so is important in the development of control measures against this parasite. PMID:23049828

  4. A Shift from Cellular to Humoral Responses Contributes to Innate Immune Memory in the Vector Snail Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Pinaud, Silvain; Portela, Julien; Duval, David; Nowacki, Fanny C.; Olive, Marie-Aude; Allienne, Jean-François; Galinier, Richard; Dheilly, Nolwenn M.; Kieffer-Jaquinod, Sylvie; Mitta, Guillaume; Théron, André; Gourbal, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Discoveries made over the past ten years have provided evidence that invertebrate antiparasitic responses may be primed in a sustainable manner, leading to the failure of a secondary encounter with the same pathogen. This phenomenon called “immune priming” or "innate immune memory" was mainly phenomenological. The demonstration of this process remains to be obtained and the underlying mechanisms remain to be discovered and exhaustively tested with rigorous functional and molecular methods, to eliminate all alternative explanations. In order to achieve this ambitious aim, the present study focuses on the Lophotrochozoan snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, in which innate immune memory was recently reported. We provide herein the first evidence that a shift from a cellular immune response (encapsulation) to a humoral immune response (biomphalysin) occurs during the development of innate memory. The molecular characterisation of this process in Biomphalaria/Schistosoma system was undertaken to reconcile mechanisms with phenomena, opening the way to a better comprehension of innate immune memory in invertebrates. This prompted us to revisit the artificial dichotomy between innate and memory immunity in invertebrate systems. PMID:26735307

  5. The spatial and seasonal distribution of Bulinus truncatus, Bulinus forskalii and Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the intermediate host snails of schistosomiasis, in N'Djamena, Chad.

    PubMed

    Moser, Wendelin; Greter, Helena; Schindler, Christian; Allan, Fiona; Ngandolo, Bongo N R; Moto, Daugla D; Utzinger, Jürg; Zinsstag, Jakob

    2014-11-01

    There is a paucity of epidemiological and malacological data pertaining to schistosomiasis in Chad. In view of a recently articulated elimination agenda, a deeper understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails is pivotal. We conducted cross-sectional malacological surveys during the dry season (April/May 2013) and after the short rainy season (October 2013) in N'Djamena, the capital of Chad. Snails were identified at the genus and species level using morphological keys and molecular DNA barcoding approaches. Those belonging to Bulinus and Biomphalaria were examined for cercarial shedding. Snail habitats were characterised and their predictive potential for the presence of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails explored. Seasonal patterns were studied using geographical information system and kriging in order to interpolate snail abundance data to make predictions at non-sampled locations across N'Djamena. Overall, 413 Bulinus truncatus, 369 Bulinus forskalii and 108 Biomphalaria pfeifferi snails were collected and subjected to cercarial shedding. During the dry season, one Bu. truncatus of 119 snails collected shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae (0.84%), while S. mansoni was shed by one of 108 Bi. pfeifferi snails (0.93%). None of the snails collected after the rainy season shed Schistosoma spp. cercariae. The abundance of Bu. truncatus and Bu. forskalii showed an inverse U-shape relationship with the square term of conductivity, i.e. low abundance at the lowest and highest levels of conductivity and high abundance at intermediate levels. Bi. pfeifferi showed a negative, linear association with pH in the dry seasons. It is planned to link these intermediate host snail data to infection data in human populations with the goal to draw a predictive risk map that can be utilised for control and elimination of schistosomiasis in N'Djamena. PMID:25545929

  6. Nimbus (BgI): An active non-LTR retrotransposon of the Schistosoma mansoni snail host Biomphalaria glabrata?

    PubMed Central

    Raghavan, Nithya; Tettelin, Herv; Miller, Andr; Hostetler, Jessica; Tallon, Luke; Knight, Matty

    2009-01-01

    The freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata is closely associated with the transmission of human schistosomiasis. An ecologically sound method has been proposed to control schistosomiasis using genetically modified snails to displace endemic, susceptible ones. To assess the viability of this form of biological control, studies towards understanding the molecular makeup of the snail relative to the presence of endogenous mobile genetic elements are being undertaken since they can be exploited for genetic transformation studies. We previously cloned a 1.95 Kb BamHI fragment in B. glabrata (BGR2) with sequence similarity to the human long interspersed nuclear element (LINE or L1). A contiguous, full-length sequence corresponding to BGR2, hereafter-named nimbus (BgI), has been identified from a B. glabrata bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) library. Sequence analysis of the 65,764 bp BAC insert contained one full-length, complete nimbus (BgI) element (element I), two full-length elements (elements II and III) containing deletions and flanked by target site duplications and 10 truncated copies. The intact nimbus (BgI) contained two open reading frames (ORFs 1 and 2) encoding the characteristic hallmark domains found in non-long terminal repeat retrotransposons belonging to the I clade; a nucleic acid binding protein in ORF1 and an apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease, reverse transcriptase and RNase H in ORF2. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that nimbus (BgI) is closely related to Drosophila (I factor), mosquito Aedes aegypti (MosquI) and chordate ascidian Ciona intestinalis (CiI) retrotransposons. Nimbus (BgI) represents the first complete mobile element characterized from a mollusk that appears to be transcriptionally active and is widely distributed in snails of the neotropics and the Old World. PMID:17521654

  7. Developmental toxicity, acute toxicity and mutagenicity testing in freshwater snails Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca: Gastropoda) exposed to chromium and water samples.

    PubMed

    Tallarico, Lenita de Freitas; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Hamada, Natália; Grazeffe, Vanessa Siqueira; Ohlweiler, Fernanda Pires; Okazaki, Kayo; Granatelli, Amanda Tosatte; Pereira, Ivana Wuo; Pereira, Carlos Alberto de Bragança; Nakano, Eliana

    2014-12-01

    A protocol combining acute toxicity, developmental toxicity and mutagenicity analysis in freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata for application in ecotoxicological studies is described. For acute toxicity testing, LC50 and EC50 values were determined; dominant lethal mutations induction was the endpoint for mutagenicity analysis. Reference toxicant potassium dichromate (K2Cr2O7) was used to characterize B. glabrata sensitivity for toxicity and cyclophosphamide to mutagenicity testing purposes. Compared to other relevant freshwater species, B. glabrata showed high sensitivity: the lowest EC50 value was obtained with embryos at veliger stage (5.76mg/L). To assess the model applicability for environmental studies, influent and effluent water samples from a wastewater treatment plant were evaluated. Gastropod sensitivity was assessed in comparison to the standardized bioassay with Daphnia similis exposed to the same water samples. Sampling sites identified as toxic to daphnids were also detected by snails, showing a qualitatively similar sensitivity suggesting that B. glabrata is a suitable test species for freshwater monitoring. Holding procedures and protocols implemented for toxicity and developmental bioassays showed to be in compliance with international standards for intra-laboratory precision. Thereby, we are proposing this system for application in ecotoxicological studies. PMID:25259848

  8. Regulation of laboratory populations of snails (Biomphalaria and Bulinus spp.) by river prawns, Macrobrachium spp. (Decapoda, Palaemonidae): implications for control of schistosomiasis

    PubMed Central

    Lafferty, Kevin D.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2014-01-01

    Human schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease endemic in many tropical and subtropical countries. One barrier to achieving long-term control of this disease has been re-infection of treated patients when they swim, bathe, or wade in surface fresh water infested with snails that harbor and release larval parasites. Because some snail species are obligate intermediate hosts of schistosome parasites, removing snails may reduce parasitic larvae in the water, reducing re-infection risk. Here, we evaluate the potential for snail control by predatory freshwater prawns, Macrobrachium rosenbergii and M. vollenhovenii, native to Asia and Africa, respectively. Both prawn species are high value, protein-rich human food commodities, suggesting their cultivation may be beneficial in resource-poor settings where few other disease control options exist. In a series of predation trials in laboratory aquaria, we found both species to be voracious predators of schistosome-susceptible snails, hatchlings, and eggs, even in the presence of alternative food, with sustained average consumption rates of 12% of their body weight per day. Prawns showed a weak preference for Bulinus truncatus over Biomphalaria glabrata snails. Consumption rates were highly predictable based on the ratio of prawn: snail body mass, suggesting satiation-limited predation. Even the smallest prawns tested (0.5–2g) caused snail recruitment failure, despite high snail fecundity. With the World Health Organization turning attention toward schistosomiasis elimination, native prawn cultivation may be a viable snail control strategy that offers a win-win for public health and economic development. PMID:24388955

  9. Bioactivity Evaluation of Plant Extracts Used in Indigenous Medicine against the Snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, and the Larvae of Aedes aegypti

    PubMed Central

    dos Santos, Edilson Alves; de Carvalho, Cenira M.; Costa, Ana L. S.; Conceição, Adilva S.; Moura, Flávia de B. Prado; Santana, Antônio Euzébio Goulart

    2012-01-01

    This investigation examined the molluscicidal and larvicidal activity of eight plants that are used in the traditional medicine of the Pankararé indigenous people in the Raso da Catarina region, Bahia state, Brazil. The tested plants were chosen based on the results of previous studies. Only those plants that were used either as insect repellents or to treat intestinal parasitic infections were included in the study. Crude extracts (CEs) of these plants were tested for their larvicidal activity (against Aedes aegypti larvae in the fourth instar) and molluscicidal activity (against the snail Biomphalaria glabrata). The plant species Scoparia dulcis and Helicteres velutina exhibited the best larvicidal activities (LC50 83.426 mg/L and LC50 138.896 mg/L, resp.), and Poincianella pyramidalis, Chenopodium ambrosoides, and Mimosa tenuiflora presented the best molluscicidal activities (LC50 0.94 mg/L, LC50 13.51 mg/L, and LC50 20.22 mg/L, resp.). As we used crude extracts as the tested materials, further study is warranted to isolate and purify the most active compounds. PMID:22194773

  10. A family of variable immunoglobulin and lect in domain containing molecules in the snail Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Dheilly, Nolwenn M; Duval, David; Mouahid, Gabriel; Emans, Rémi; Allienne, Jean-François; Galinier, Richard; Genthon, Clémence; Dubois, Emeric; Pasquier, Louis Du; Adema, Coen M; Grunau, Christoph; Mitta, Guillaume; Gourbal, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    Technical limitations have hindered comprehensive studies of highly variable immune response molecules that are thought to have evolved due to pathogen-mediated selection such as Fibrinogen-related proteins (FREPs) from Biomphalaria glabrata. FREPs combine upstream immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) domains with a C-terminal fibrinogen-related domain (FreD) and participate in reactions against trematode parasites. From RNAseq data we assembled a de novo reference transcriptome of B. glabrata to investigate the diversity of FREP transcripts. This study increased over two-fold the number of bonafide FREP subfamilies and revealed important sequence diversity within FREP12 subfamily. We also report the discovery of related molecules that feature one or two IgSF domains associated with different C-terminal lectin domains, named C-type lectin-related proteins (CREPs) and Galectin-related protein (GREP). Together, the highly similar FREPs, CREPs and GREP were designated VIgL (Variable Immunoglobulin and Lectin domain containing molecules). PMID:25451302

  11. Acetylcholine-Binding Protein in the Hemolymph of the Planorbid Snail Biomphalaria glabrata Is a Pentagonal Dodecahedron (60 Subunits)

    PubMed Central

    Kapetanopoulos, Katharina; Braukmann, Sandra; Gebauer, Wolfgang; Tenzer, Stefan; Markl, Jürgen

    2012-01-01

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) play important neurophysiological roles and are of considerable medical relevance. They have been studied extensively, greatly facilitated by the gastropod acetylcholine-binding proteins (AChBP) which represent soluble structural and functional homologues of the ligand-binding domain of nAChR. All these proteins are ring-like pentamers. Here we report that AChBP exists in the hemolymph of the planorbid snail Biomphalaria glabrata (vector of the schistosomiasis parasite) as a regular pentagonal dodecahedron, 22 nm in diameter (12 pentamers, 60 active sites). We sequenced and recombinantly expressed two ∼25 kDa polypeptides (BgAChBP1 and BgAChBP2) with a specific active site, N-glycan site and disulfide bridge variation. We also provide the exon/intron structures. Recombinant BgAChBP1 formed pentamers and dodecahedra, recombinant BgAChBP2 formed pentamers and probably disulfide-bridged di-pentamers, but not dodecahedra. Three-dimensional electron cryo-microscopy (3D-EM) yielded a 3D reconstruction of the dodecahedron with a resolution of 6 Å. Homology models of the pentamers docked to the 6 Å structure revealed opportunities for chemical bonding at the inter-pentamer interfaces. Definition of the ligand-binding pocket and the gating C-loop in the 6 Å structure suggests that 3D-EM might lead to the identification of functional states in the BgAChBP dodecahedron. PMID:22916297

  12. Implications of water hardness in ecotoxicological assessments for water quality regulatory purposes: a case study with the aquatic snail Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818).

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Filho, E C; Caixeta, N R; Simplício, N C S; Sousa, S R; Aragão, T P; Muniz, D H F

    2014-02-01

    Water hardness is a property depending on the presence of alkaline earth metals, mainly calcium and magnesium. Among the strategies for water quality monitoring, ecotoxicological assays are performed to minimize impacts and classify water bodies. For these laboratory evaluations parameters are previously defined in the guidelines, including water hardness for both cultivation and testing medium. The present work was performed to evaluate the effects of different levels of water hardness on the survival and reproduction of the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata and discuss the influence of natural water hardness on the results of ecotoxicological tests with these environmental samples. Comparing the groups it was possible to observe that those maintained in waters with least hardness had lower reproductive success, while the groups maintained in highest hardness showed better reproduction. These data show that waters with low hardness make the reproduction of the snail B. glabrata unfeasible, and this reveal a problem for ecotoxicity assays using natural water samples. PMID:25055099

  13. Altered Gene Expression in the Schistosome-Transmitting Snail Biomphalaria glabrata following Exposure to Niclosamide, the Active Ingredient in the Widely Used Molluscicide Bayluscide

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Si-Ming; Buddenborg, Sarah K.; Adema, Coen M.; Sullivan, John T.; Loker, Eric S.

    2015-01-01

    In view of the call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem by 2025, use of molluscicides in snail control to supplement chemotherapy–based control efforts is likely to increase in the coming years. The mechanisms of action of niclosamide, the active ingredient in the most widely used molluscicides, remain largely unknown. A better understanding of its toxicology at the molecular level will both improve our knowledge of snail biology and may offer valuable insights into the development of better chemical control methods for snails. We used a recently developed Biomphalaria glabrata oligonucleotide microarray (31K features) to investigate the effect of sublethal exposure to niclosamide on the transcriptional responses of the snail B. glabrata relative to untreated snails. Most of the genes highly upregulated following exposure of snails to niclosamide are involved in biotransformation of xenobiotics, including genes encoding cytochrome P450s (CYP), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and drug transporters, notably multi-drug resistance protein (efflux transporter) and solute linked carrier (influx transporter). Niclosamide also induced stress responses. Specifically, six heat shock protein (HSP) genes from three super-families (HSP20, HSP40 and HSP70) were upregulated. Genes encoding ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and coatomer, all of which are involved in vesicle trafficking in the Golgi of mammalian cells, were also upregulated. Lastly, a hemoglobin gene was downregulated, suggesting niclosamide may affect oxygen transport. Our results show that snails mount substantial responses to sublethal concentrations of niclosamide, at least some of which appear to be protective. The topic of how niclosamide’s lethality at higher concentrations is determined requires further study. Given that niclosamide has also been used as an anthelmintic drug for decades and has been found to have activity against several types of cancer, our findings may be of relevance in understanding how both parasites and neoplastic cells respond to this compound. PMID:26452273

  14. Altered Gene Expression in the Schistosome-Transmitting Snail Biomphalaria glabrata following Exposure to Niclosamide, the Active Ingredient in the Widely Used Molluscicide Bayluscide.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Si-Ming; Buddenborg, Sarah K; Adema, Coen M; Sullivan, John T; Loker, Eric S

    2015-01-01

    In view of the call by the World Health Organization (WHO) for elimination of schistosomiasis as a public health problem by 2025, use of molluscicides in snail control to supplement chemotherapy-based control efforts is likely to increase in the coming years. The mechanisms of action of niclosamide, the active ingredient in the most widely used molluscicides, remain largely unknown. A better understanding of its toxicology at the molecular level will both improve our knowledge of snail biology and may offer valuable insights into the development of better chemical control methods for snails. We used a recently developed Biomphalaria glabrata oligonucleotide microarray (31K features) to investigate the effect of sublethal exposure to niclosamide on the transcriptional responses of the snail B. glabrata relative to untreated snails. Most of the genes highly upregulated following exposure of snails to niclosamide are involved in biotransformation of xenobiotics, including genes encoding cytochrome P450s (CYP), glutathione S-transferases (GST), and drug transporters, notably multi-drug resistance protein (efflux transporter) and solute linked carrier (influx transporter). Niclosamide also induced stress responses. Specifically, six heat shock protein (HSP) genes from three super-families (HSP20, HSP40 and HSP70) were upregulated. Genes encoding ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF), cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and coatomer, all of which are involved in vesicle trafficking in the Golgi of mammalian cells, were also upregulated. Lastly, a hemoglobin gene was downregulated, suggesting niclosamide may affect oxygen transport. Our results show that snails mount substantial responses to sublethal concentrations of niclosamide, at least some of which appear to be protective. The topic of how niclosamide's lethality at higher concentrations is determined requires further study. Given that niclosamide has also been used as an anthelmintic drug for decades and has been found to have activity against several types of cancer, our findings may be of relevance in understanding how both parasites and neoplastic cells respond to this compound. PMID:26452273

  15. Genome-Wide Scan and Test of Candidate Genes in the Snail Biomphalaria glabrata Reveal New Locus Influencing Resistance to Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Tennessen, Jacob A.; Bonner, Kaitlin M.; Bollmann, Stephanie R.; Johnstun, Joel A.; Yeh, Jan-Ying; Marine, Melanie; Tavalire, Hannah F.; Bayne, Christopher J.; Blouin, Michael S.

    2015-01-01

    Background New strategies to combat the global scourge of schistosomiasis may be revealed by increased understanding of the mechanisms by which the obligate snail host can resist the schistosome parasite. However, few molecular markers linked to resistance have been identified and characterized in snails. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we test six independent genetic loci for their influence on resistance to Schistosoma mansoni strain PR1 in the 13-16-R1 strain of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata. We first identify a genomic region, RADres, showing the highest differentiation between susceptible and resistant inbred lines among 1611 informative restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) markers, and show that it significantly influences resistance in an independent set of 439 outbred snails. The additive effect of each RADres resistance allele is 2-fold, similar to that of the previously identified resistance gene sod1. The data fit a model in which both loci contribute independently and additively to resistance, such that the odds of infection in homozygotes for the resistance alleles at both loci (13% infected) is 16-fold lower than the odds of infection in snails without any resistance alleles (70% infected). Genome-wide linkage disequilibrium is high, with both sod1 and RADres residing on haplotype blocks >2Mb, and with other markers in each block also showing significant effects on resistance; thus the causal genes within these blocks remain to be demonstrated. Other candidate loci had no effect on resistance, including the Guadeloupe Resistance Complex and three genes (aif, infPhox, and prx1) with immunological roles and expression patterns tied to resistance, which must therefore be trans-regulated. Conclusions/Significance The loci RADres and sod1 both have strong effects on resistance to S. mansoni. Future approaches to control schistosomiasis may benefit from further efforts to characterize and harness this natural genetic variation. PMID:26372103

  16. Molecular and functional characterization of a tandem-repeat galectin from the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Timothy P.; Dinguirard, Nathalie; Kunert, John; Hokke, Cornelius H.

    2008-01-01

    In the present study, a tandem-repeat type galectin was characterized from an embryonic cell line (Bge) and circulating hemocytes of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. The predicted B. glabrata galectin (BgGal) protein of 32 kDa possessed 2 carbohydrate recognition domains, each displaying 6 of 8 conserved amino acids involved in galactoside-binding activity. A recombinant BgGal (rBgGal) demonstrated hemagglutinating activity against rabbit erythrocytes, which was specifically inhibited by galactose-containing sugars (lacNAc/lac > galNAc/gal). Although native galectin was immunolocalized in the cytoplasm of Bge cells and the plasma membrane of a subset of snail hemocytes (60%), it was not detected in cell-free plasma by Western blot analysis. The findings that rBgGal selectively recognizes the schistosome-related sugar, lacNAc, and strongly binds to hemocytes and the tegument of S. mansoni sporocysts in a sugar-inhibitable fashion suggest that hemocyte-bound galectin may be serving as pattern recognition receptor for this, or other pathogens possessing appropriate sugar ligands. Based on molecular and functional features, BgGal represents an authentic galectin, the first to be fully characterized in the medically-important molluscan Class Gastropoda. PMID:18280060

  17. Resistance of Biomphalaria glabrata 13–16-R1 snails to Schistosoma mansoni PR1 is a function of haemocyte abundance and constitutive levels of specific transcripts in haemocytes☆

    PubMed Central

    Larson, Maureen K.; Bender, Randal C.; Bayne, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    Continuing transmission of human intestinal schistosomiasis depends on the parasite’s access to susceptible snail intermediate hosts (often Biomphalaria glabrata). Transmission fails when parasite larvae enter resistant individuals in wild snail populations. The genetic basis for differences in snail susceptibility/resistance is being intensively investigated as a means to devise novel control strategies based on resistance genes. Reactive oxygen species produced by the snail’s defence cells (haemocytes) are effectors of resistance. We hypothesised that genes relevant to production and consumption of reactive oxygen species would be expressed differentially in the haemocytes of snail hosts with different susceptibility/resistance phenotypes. By restricting the genetic diversity of snails, we sought to facilitate identification of resistance genes. By inbreeding, we procured from a 13–16-R1 snail population with both susceptible and resistant individuals 52 lines of B. glabrata (expected homozygosity ~87.5%), and determined the phenotype of each in regard to susceptibility/resistance to Schistosoma mansoni. The inbred lines were found to have line-specific differences in numbers of spreading haemocytes; these were enumerated in both juvenile and adult snails. Lines with high cell numbers were invariably resistant to S. mansoni, whereas lines with lower cell numbers could be resistant or susceptible. Transcript levels in haemocytes were quantified for 18 potentially defence-related genes. Among snails with low cell numbers, the different susceptibility/resistance phenotypes correlated with differences in transcript levels for two redox-relevant genes: an inferred phagocyte oxidase component and a peroxiredoxin. Allograft inflammatory factor (potentially a regulator of leucocyte activation) was expressed at higher levels in resistant snails regardless of spread cell number. Having abundant spreading haemocytes is inferred to enable a snail to kill parasite sporocysts. In contrast, snails with fewer spreading haemocytes seem to achieve resistance only if specific genes are expressed constitutively at levels that are high for the species. PMID:24681237

  18. Cytometric analysis, genetic manipulation and antibiotic selection of the snail embryonic cell line Bge from Biomphalaria glabrata, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Rinaldi, Gabriel; Yan, Hongbin; Nacif-Pimenta, Rafael; Matchimakul, Pitchaya; Bridger, Joanna; Mann, Victoria H; Smout, Michael J; Brindley, Paul J; Knight, Matty

    2015-07-01

    The invertebrate cell line, Bge, from embryos of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata, remains to date the only established cell line from any species of the Phylum Mollusca. Since its establishment in 1976 by Eder Hansen, few studies have focused on profiling its cytometrics, growth characteristics or sensitivity to xenobiotics. Bge cells are reputed to be challenging to propagate and maintain. Therefore, even though this cell line is a noteworthy resource, it has not been studied widely. With growing interest in functional genomics, including genetic transformation, to elucidate molecular aspects of the snail intermediate hosts responsible for transmission of schistosomiasis, and aiming to enhance the convenience of maintenance of this molluscan cell line, we deployed the xCELLigene real time approach to study Bge cells. Doubling times for three isolates of Bge, termed CB, SL and UK, were longer than for mammalian cell lines - longer than 40 h in complete Bge medium supplemented with 7% fetal bovine serum at 25°C, ranging from ∼42 h to ∼157 h when 40,000 cells were seeded. To assess the potential of the cells for genetic transformation, antibiotic selection was explored. Bge cells were sensitive to the aminonucleoside antibiotic puromycin (from Streptomyces alboniger) from 5 μg/ml to 200 ng/ml, displaying a half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of ∼1.91 μg/ml. Sensitivity to puromycin, and a relatively quick kill time (<48 h in 5 μg/ml) facilitated use of this antibiotic, together with the cognate resistance gene (puromycin N-acetyl-transferase) for selection of Bge cells transformed with the PAC gene (puroR). Bge cells transfected with a plasmid encoding puroR were partially rescued when cultured in the presence of 5 μg/ml of puromycin. These findings pave the way for the development of functional genomic tools applied to the host-parasite interaction during schistosomiasis and neglected tropical trematodiases at large. PMID:25907768

  19. Pathogen-associated molecular patterns activate expression of genes involved in cell proliferation, immunity and detoxification in the amebocyte-producing organ of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Si-Ming; Loker, Eric S; Sullivan, John T

    2016-03-01

    The anterior pericardial wall of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata has been identified as a site of hemocyte production, hence has been named the amebocyte-producing organ (APO). A number of studies have shown that exogenous abiotic and biotic substances, including pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), are able to stimulate APO mitotic activity and/or enlarge its size, implying a role for the APO in innate immunity. The molecular mechanisms underlying such responses have not yet been explored, in part due to the difficulty in obtaining sufficient APO tissue for gene expression studies. By using a modified RNA extraction technique and microarray technology, we investigated transcriptomic responses of APOs dissected from snails at 24 h post-injection with two bacterial PAMPs, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and peptidoglycan (PGN), or with fucoidan (FCN), which may mimic fucosyl-rich glycan PAMPs on sporocysts of Schistosoma mansoni. Based upon the number of genes differentially expressed, LPS exhibited the strongest activity, relative to saline-injected controls. A concurrent activation of genes involved in cell proliferation, immune response and detoxification metabolism was observed. A gene encoding checkpoint 1 kinase, a key regulator of mitosis, was highly expressed after stimulation by LPS. Also, seven different aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases that play an essential role in protein synthesis were found to be highly expressed. In addition to stimulating genes involved in cell proliferation, the injected substances, especially LPS, also induced expression of a number of immune-related genes including arginase, peptidoglycan recognition protein short form, tumor necrosis factor receptor, ficolin, calmodulin, bacterial permeability increasing proteins and E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase. Importantly, significant up-regulation was observed in four GiMAP (GTPase of immunity-associated protein) genes, a result which provides the first evidence suggesting an immune role of GiMAP in protostome animals. Moreover, altered expression of genes encoding cytochrome P450, glutathione-S-transferase, multiple drug resistance protein as well as a large number of genes encoding enzymes associated with degradation and detoxification metabolism was elicited in response to the injected substances. PMID:26592964

  20. Predation of schistosomiasis vector snails by ostracoda (crustacea)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sohn, I.G.; Kornicker, L.S.

    1972-01-01

    An ostracod species of Cypretta is an effective predator in laboratory experiments on 1- to 3-day-old Biomphalaria glabrata, a vector snail of the blood fluke that causes the tropical and subtropical disease schistosomiasis.

  1. Tissue invasion of laboratory-reared Biomphalaria glabrata by a harpacticoid copepod.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, John T; Yeung, John T

    2011-06-01

    Copepods were observed in the tissues of 3 of 23 Biomphalaria glabrata snails examined histologically. All were heavily encapsulated by hemocytes and were dead. The copepods are most likely members of the order Harpacticoida, based on external morphology. This tissue invasion appears to be accidental rather than symbiotic or predatory, but could be a cause of observed mortality in laboratory snail colonies. PMID:21414323

  2. Breeding of Biomphalaria tenagophila in mass scale.

    PubMed

    Rosa, Florence Mara; Marques, Daisymara P Almeida; Maciel, Engels; Couto, Josiane Maria; Negrão-Corrêa, Deborah A; Teles, Horácio M Santana; Santos, João Batista dos; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech

    2013-01-01

    An efficient method for breeding Biomphalaria tenagophila (Taim lineage/RS) was developed over a 5-year-period (2005-2010). Special facilities were provided which consisted of four cement tanks (9.4 x 0.6 x 0.22 m), with their bottom covered with a layer of sterilized red earth and calcium carbonate. Standard measures were adopted, as follows: each tank should contain an average of 3000 specimens, and would be provided with a daily ration of 35,000 mg complemented with lettuce. A green-house effect heating system was developed which constituted of movable dark canvas covers, which allowed the temperature to be controlled between 20 - 24 ºC. This system was essential, especially during the coldest months of the year. Approximately 27,000 specimens with a diameter of 12 mm or more were produced during a 14-month-period. The mortality rates of the newly-hatched and adult snails were 77% and 37%, respectively. The follow-up of the development system related to 310 specimens of B. tenagophila demonstrated that 70-day-old snails reached an average of 17.0 ± 0.9 mm diameter. The mortality rates and the development performance of B. tenagophila snails can be considered as highly satisfactory, when compared with other results in literature related to works carried out with different species of the genus Biomphalaria, under controlled laboratory conditions. PMID:23328724

  3. Hybridism between Biomphalaria cousini and Biomphalaria amazonica and its susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Teodoro, Tatiana Maria; Jannotti-Passos, Liana Konovaloff; Carvalho, Omar dos Santos; Grijalva, Mario J; Baús, Esteban Guilhermo; Caldeira, Roberta Lima

    2011-11-01

    Molecular techniques can aid in the classification of Biomphalaria species because morphological differentiation between these species is difficult. Previous studies using phylogeny, morphological and molecular taxonomy showed that some populations studied were Biomphalaria cousini instead of Biomphalaria amazonica. Three different molecular profiles were observed that enabled the separation of B. amazonica from B. cousini. The third profile showed an association between the two and suggested the possibility of hybrids between them. Therefore, the aim of this work was to investigate the hybridism between B. cousini and B. amazonica and to verify if the hybrids are susceptible to Schistosoma mansoni. Crosses using the albinism factor as a genetic marker were performed, with pigmented B. cousini and albino B. amazonica snails identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. This procedure was conducted using B. cousini and B. amazonica of the type locality accordingly to Paraense, 1966. In addition, susceptibility studies were performed using snails obtained from the crosses (hybrids) and three S. mansoni strains (LE, SJ, AL). The crosses between B. amazonica and B. cousini confirmed the occurrence of hybrids. Moreover, hybrids can be considered potential hosts of S. mansoni because they are susceptible to LE, SJ and AL strains (4.4%, 5.6% and 2.2%, respectively). These results indicate that there is a risk of introducing schistosomiasis mansoni into new areas. PMID:22124558

  4. O-Glycosylation of snails.

    PubMed

    Stepan, Herwig; Pabst, Martin; Altmann, Friedrich; Geyer, Hildegard; Geyer, Rudolf; Staudacher, Erika

    2012-05-01

    The glycosylation abilities of snails deserve attention, because snail species serve as intermediate hosts in the developmental cycles of some human and cattle parasites. In analogy to many other host-pathogen relations, the glycosylation of snail proteins may likewise contribute to these host-parasite interactions. Here we present an overview on the O-glycan structures of 8 different snails (land and water snails, with or without shell): Arion lusitanicus, Achatina fulica, Biomphalaria glabrata, Cepaea hortensis, Clea helena, Helix pomatia, Limax maximus and Planorbarius corneus. The O-glycans were released from the purified snail proteins by β-elimination. Further analysis was carried out by liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and - for the main structures - by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Snail O-glycans are built from the four monosaccharide constituents: N-acetylgalactosamine, galactose, mannose and fucose. An additional modification is a methylation of the hexoses. The common trisaccharide core structure was determined in Arion lusitanicus to be N-acetylgalactosamine linked to the protein elongated by two 4-O-methylated galactose residues. Further elongations by methylated and unmethylated galactose and mannose residues and/or fucose are present. The typical snail O-glycan structures are different to those so far described. Similar to snail N-glycan structures they display methylated hexose residues. PMID:22581130

  5. Freshwater snails (Mollusca: Gastropoda) from the Commonwealth of Dominica with a discussion of their roles in the transmission of parasites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We collected six species of freshwater snails from Dominica, including Biomphalaria kuhniana, Gundlachia radiata Helisoma (= Planorbella) trivolvis, Melanoides tuberculata, Neritina punctulata, and Physa marmorata. Our collections indicate that un-reported species such as Gundlachia radiata and Hel...

  6. Snail Snooping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Dorothy

    1993-01-01

    Presents an activity in which students in grades 5-8 learn about snail reproduction by observing and charting the activities of land snails, freshwater snails, and slugs. Instructions to implement and extend the activity are provided. (MDH)

  7. Update on the distribution and phylogenetics of Biomphalaria (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) populations in Guangdong Province, China.

    PubMed

    Attwood, Stephen W; Huo, Guan-Nan; Qiu, Jian-Wen

    2015-01-01

    In 1973 planorbid snails then identified as Biomphalaria straminea were discovered in Hong Kong, China. It was assumed that these snails had been introduced to Hong Kong via the import of tropical fish by air from South America. In 2012 Biomphalaria were found for the first time in Guangdong Province, China. In view of the renewed interest in these invasive snails, a morphological and DNA-sequence based phylogenetic study was undertaken for seven populations of Biomphalaria snails collected in Guangdong. Morphologically and phylogenetically, five of the populations clustered more closely with Biomphalaria kuhniana than with B. straminea. Levels of genetic diversity among the populations were about half those of autochthonous populations in Brazil, the phylogenetic relationships did not correlate with a radiation from any one international port in China, and different lineages appeared associated with different ports. Consequently in explaining the current distribution of the snails, multiple colonization events, each establishing a new local snail population near to maritime international container ports, were considered more likely than the spread of snails from Hong Kong to China. The displacement of B. straminea by B. kuhniana in Guangdong is considered as an explanation for the habitat changes observed among the snails between Hong Kong in the 1980s and the present. The conclusions of the study are that any risk of Schistosoma mansoni transmission in China is more likely to come from parasite importation in the intramolluscan stage, than from transmission by migrant workers from South America or Africa. In addition, although likely to be rare, sporadic outbreaks of imported schistosomiasis (caused by invading infected snails) could be a threat to public health in the vicinity of International container ports (not only in Guangdong Province). Further work is called for to investigate further the presence of B. kuhniana and its potential interactions with B. straminea (the former is thought to be incompatible with S. mansoni), and the responses of Chinese Biomphalaria to potential competitors such as Thiaridae. The current expansion of container ports in Brazil and Venezuela, and the increase in trade with China, is likely to accentuate any current risk of imported schistosomiasis, and surveillance around ports in China, together with further research, are necessary. PMID:24811366

  8. New insights into the amphibious life of Biomphalaria glabrata and susceptibility of its egg masses to fungal infection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Egg masses of an aquatic snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, matured, and juveniles subsequently eclosed and were mobile in a stable water film of transitory habitats simulated by two different simple test devices described here. The viability of eggs maintained in an unstable film due to low ambient mois...

  9. A Novel Bacterial Pathogen of Biomphalaria glabrata: A Potential Weapon for Schistosomiasis Control?

    PubMed Central

    Duval, David; Galinier, Richard; Mouahid, Gabriel; Toulza, Eve; Allienne, Jean François; Portela, Julien; Calvayrac, Christophe; Rognon, Anne; Arancibia, Nathalie; Mitta, Guillaume; Théron, André; Gourbal, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis is the second-most widespread tropical parasitic disease after malaria. Various research strategies and treatment programs for achieving the objective of eradicating schistosomiasis within a decade have been recommended and supported by the World Health Organization. One of these approaches is based on the control of snail vectors in endemic areas. Previous field studies have shown that competitor or predator introduction can reduce snail numbers, but no systematic investigation has ever been conducted to identify snail microbial pathogens and evaluate their molluscicidal effects. Methodology/Principal findings In populations of Biomphalaria glabrata snails experiencing high mortalities, white nodules were visible on snail bodies. Infectious agents were isolated from such nodules. Only one type of bacteria, identified as a new species of Paenibacillus named Candidatus Paenibacillus glabratella, was found, and was shown to be closely related to P. alvei through 16S and Rpob DNA analysis. Histopathological examination showed extensive bacterial infiltration leading to overall tissue disorganization. Exposure of healthy snails to Paenibacillus-infected snails caused massive mortality. Moreover, eggs laid by infected snails were also infected, decreasing hatching but without apparent effects on spawning. Embryonic lethality was correlated with the presence of pathogenic bacteria in eggs. Conclusions/Significance This is the first account of a novel Paenibacillus strain, Ca. Paenibacillus glabratella, as a snail microbial pathogen. Since this strain affects both adult and embryonic stages and causes significant mortality, it may hold promise as a biocontrol agent to limit schistosomiasis transmission in the field. PMID:25719489

  10. Some factors affecting the fecundity of Biomphalaria pfeifferi (Krauss) in glass aquaria*

    PubMed Central

    Frank, G. H.

    1963-01-01

    Little being known of the effect of artificial conditions on Biomphalaria snails maintained in laboratory aquaria, experiments were conducted to determine some of the basic requirements of these snails, expressed in terms of the influence of various factors on their growth, fecundity and mortality. Among the factors studied were diet, artificial aeration, the chemical and physical properties of the water, and the presence of human urine in the water. The results obtained suggest that a diet of dehydrated lettuce and lucerne, no artificial aeration, a CaCO3 concentration of approximately 18 p.p.m., a sodium/calcium ratio of 1, and mild “pollution” give optimum fecundity and growth and low mortality with Biomphalaria pfeifferi (Krauss). PMID:14099678

  11. Mathematical simulation of an aquatic snail population*

    PubMed Central

    Jobin, W. R.; Michelson, E. H.

    1967-01-01

    Techniques for controlling the intermediate snail hosts of schistosomiasis have had to be evaluated by field trials, since the complexity of snail population dynamics has so far made it impossible to predict the effects of these techniques and thereby avoid costly field testing. However, in laboratory studies with Biomphalaria glabrata it was found that the fecundity of these snails was directly proportional to F/NV, where F is the total amount of food in the habitat, N the number of snails, and V the volume of the habitat. The use of this fecundity variable together with data published on snail longevity and fecundity made it possible to construct a mathematical model of a snail population which may eventually be useful for evaluating snail control methods. For preliminary verification of the model, its predictions were compared with a published history of a population of Bulinus globosus in a small pond. The general agreement of the predicted and observed population data indicated that the basic structure of the model was sound. PMID:5301741

  12. Laboratory observations on the biological control of Biomphalaria glabrata by a species of Pomacea (Ampullariidae)*

    PubMed Central

    Paulinyi, Helene M.; Paulini, Ernest

    1972-01-01

    Laboratory experiments have shown that medium-sized (30-50 mm in shell height) Pomacea sp. snails consumed the egg masses of Biomphalaria glabrata deposited either on glass or on the leaves of Salvinia, and that they also caused a high mortality rate among the newly hatched B. glabrata. When the two species of snail were kept in the same tank, the Pomacea sp. caused a reduction in the B. glabrata egg density in proportion to their relative numbers and the presence of Pomacea sp. prevented colonies of B. glabrata from becoming established. The identity of the Pomacea sp. has not yet been satisfactorily established. PMID:4537485

  13. Lethal and Sub-lethal Effects of UVB on Juvenile Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca: Pulmonata)

    PubMed Central

    Ruelas, Debbie S.; Karentz, Deneb; Sullivan, John T.

    2007-01-01

    Although Schistosoma mansoni occurs mainly in the tropics, where intense levels of solar radiation are present, the impact of ultraviolet (UV) light on schistosome transmission is not known. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential effects of UVB (290–320 nm) on juvenile Biomphalaria glabrata, the snail intermediate host of S. mansoni. Albino and wild type snails were exposed to doses of UVB from UV-fluorescent lamps, and the following were measured: survival, photoreactivation (light-mediated DNA repair), effects on feeding behavior, and morphological tissue abnormalities. Irradiation with UVB is lethal to B. glabrata in a dose-dependent manner. Exposure to white light subsequent to UVB irradiation enhances survival, probably by photoreactivation. The shell offers some, but not complete, protection. Experiments in which UVB transmittance through the shell was blocked with black nail polish suggest that injury to both exposed (headfoot) and shell-enclosed (mantle and visceral mass) tissues contributes to mortality in lethally-irradiated snails. Wild-type (pigmented) snails are less susceptible to lethal effects of UVB than albino snails, and they may be more capable of photoreactivation. UVB exposure inhibits snail feeding behavior, and causes tentacle forks and growths on the headfoot. Thus, UVB may influence the life cycle of S. mansoni by both lethal and sub-lethal damage to the snail intermediate host. However, the ability of snails to photoreactivate may mitigate these effects. PMID:16996081

  14. Snail Trails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galus, Pamela

    2002-01-01

    The slime trails of snails lead the author's students to a better understanding of science as inquiry and the processes of science. During this five-day activity, students get up close and personal with one of her favorite creatures, the land snail. Students begin by observing the organism and recording their observations. After making initial…

  15. Epidemiology of Schistosoma mansoni infection and its relationship to snail distribution in a village at the Nile bank south to Cairo.

    PubMed

    Sayed, Hanan A; El-Ayyat, Afaf; Kader, Ahmed Abdel; Sabry, Hoda Y; Amer, Neimat M

    2004-01-01

    The relationship between epidemiology of S. mansoni infection and snail distribution at a village, related to Guiza Governorate and lies south to Cairo, was investigated. A systematic random sample of houses was selected. All inhabitants of the houses were invited to share in the study. The Number examined was 704. Urine and stools were examined using Nucleopore filtration and standard Kato-Katz techniques, respectively. Snail collection was done from 35 sites along the water bodies related to the village. Snails collected were examined by cercariae shedding under light. Snail differentiation was done. The results showed that the prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni human infection was 25.1 % and GMEC was 2.4 +/- 5.5. Schistosoma haematobium infection was zero percent. Biomphlaria alexandrina snail infection rate was 3.7% with density equal 0.5 +/- 1.3. Bulinus truncatus snail infection rate was zero percent. The pattern of S. mansoni human infection was closely related to snail distribution and infection. Presence of a hybrid species of B. alexandrina and B. glabrata may explain the epidemiological pattern found in the studied village. PMID:16916052

  16. Snails home

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunstan, D. J.; Hodgson, D. J.

    2014-06-01

    Many gardeners and horticulturalists seek non-chemical methods to control populations of snails. It has frequently been reported that snails that are marked and removed from a garden are later found in the garden again. This phenomenon is often cited as evidence for a homing instinct. We report a systematic study of the snail population in a small suburban garden, in which large numbers of snails were marked and removed over a period of about 6 months. While many returned, inferring a homing instinct from this evidence requires statistical modelling. Monte Carlo techniques demonstrate that movements of snails are better explained by drift under the influence of a homing instinct than by random diffusion. Maximum likelihood techniques infer the existence of two groups of snails in the garden: members of a larger population that show little affinity to the garden itself, and core members of a local garden population that regularly return to their home if removed. The data are strongly suggestive of a homing instinct, but also reveal that snail-throwing can work as a pest management strategy.

  17. The continued introduction of intermediate host snails to Schistosoma mansoni into Hong Kong

    PubMed Central

    Woodruff, David S.; Mulvey, Margaret; Yipp, May W.

    1985-01-01

    The South American planorbid snail Biomphalaria straminea, an intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, was first introduced into Hong Kong with tropical aquarium plants or fish around 1970. Genetic data indicate that a second introduction occurred in 1981-82. PMID:3930083

  18. Snail Shell

    Plant seems to be a Heliotropum sp. Huge snail shells litter the wetland around Asuncion Bay. Near 251549S, 573747W. La plantita detrs del caracol parece ser un Heliotropium sp., Boraginaceae....

  19. OVICIDAL EFFECT OF PIPERACEAE SPECIES ON Biomphalaria glabrata, Schistosoma mansoni HOST

    PubMed Central

    Rapado, Ludmila Nakamura; Lopes, Priscila Orechio de Moraes; Yamaguchi, Lydia Fumiko; Nakano, Eliana

    2013-01-01

    SUMMARY Schistosomiasis is a neglected disease with public health importance in tropical and subtropical regions. An alternative to the disease control is the use of molluscicides to eliminate or reduce the intermediate host snail population causing a reduction of transmission in endemic regions. In this study nine extracts from eight Piperaceae species were evaluated against Biomphalaria glabrata embryos at blastula stage. The extracts were evaluated in concentrations ranging from 100 to 10 mg/L. Piper crassinervium and Piper tuberculatum extracts were the most active (100% of mortality at 20 mg/L and 30 mg/L respectively). PMID:24213196

  20. Snail Shell

    Plant seems to be a Heliotropum sp. Huge snail shells litter the wetland around Asuncion Bay. Near 25°15’49’’S, 57°37’47’’W. La plantita detrás del caracol parece ser un Heliotropium sp., Boraginaceae....

  1. Changes in the calcium metabolism of Biomphalaria glabrata experimentally infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis.

    PubMed

    Tunholi-Alves, V M; Tunholi, V M; Garcia, J Silva; Costa-Neto, S F; Maldonado, A; Santos, M A J; Thiengo, S C; Pinheiro, J

    2014-06-01

    Levels of calcium in the haemolymph and reserves in the shell of Biomphalaria glabrata experimentally infected by Angiostrongylus cantonensis were determined for the first time. At the same time, histochemical analyses of the digestive gland of infected and uninfected snails were performed to better understand the possible changes in metabolism of calcium in these organisms. After 1, 2 and 3 weeks of infection, the snails were dissected for collection of haemolymph and separation of tissues. The highest calcium concentrations in the haemolymph were found 2 weeks after infection, with a 39.61% increase in relation to the respective control group. However, there was a significant reduction in the concentration of this ion in the haemolymph of infected snails after 1 week of infection in relation to the uninfected specimens. In parallel, intense hypocalcification was shown in the shell of infected snails 1 and 2 weeks after infection, differing significantly in relation to the respective control groups. Morphological changes in the digestive gland of infected snails were also observed, confirming the role of this ion as an important element in the parasite encapsulation process. PMID:23290340

  2. Infection with schistosome parasites in snails leads to increased predation by prawns: implications for human schistosomiasis control.

    PubMed

    Swartz, Scott J; De Leo, Giulio A; Wood, Chelsea L; Sokolow, Susanne H

    2015-12-01

    Schistosomiasis - a parasitic disease that affects over 200 million people across the globe - is primarily transmitted between human definitive hosts and snail intermediate hosts. To reduce schistosomiasis transmission, some have advocated disrupting the schistosome life cycle through biological control of snails, achieved by boosting the abundance of snails' natural predators. But little is known about the effect of parasitic infection on predator-prey interactions, especially in the case of schistosomiasis. Here, we present the results of laboratory experiments performed on Bulinus truncatus and Biomphalaria glabrata snails to investigate: (i) rates of predation on schistosome-infected versus uninfected snails by a sympatric native river prawn, Macrobrachium vollenhovenii, and (ii) differences in snail behavior (including movement, refuge-seeking and anti-predator behavior) between infected and uninfected snails. In predation trials, prawns showed a preference for consuming snails infected with schistosome larvae. In behavioral trials, infected snails moved less quickly and less often than uninfected snails, and were less likely to avoid predation by exiting the water or hiding under substrate. Although the mechanism by which the parasite alters snail behavior remains unknown, these results provide insight into the effects of parasitic infection on predator-prey dynamics and suggest that boosting natural rates of predation on snails may be a useful strategy for reducing transmission in schistosomiasis hotspots. PMID:26677260

  3. Susceptibility and compatibility of Biomphalaria tenagophila from the Río de la Plata basin with Schistosoma mansoni from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Borda, Carlos Edgardo; Rea, María Josefa F

    2010-07-01

    Schistosomiasis has expanded to southern parts of Brazil. Between 2005-2007 the dispersion and the proliferation of Biomphalaria tenagophila was verified in the province of Corrientes near the Brazilian border. In order to study the possibility that schistosomiasis might spread into the basins of the Paraná and Uruguay Rivers, 440 B. tenagophila collected from 10 populations groups were experimentally exposed to infection with Schistosoma mansoni of the SJ2 strain. Snails from five localities were susceptible. Frandsen's index (TCP/100) shows that those snails from Mirungá (11%), Aguacerito (2%) and Curupicay (2%) were Class I and not very compatible. Meanwhile, snails from Copra (6%) and Pay-Ubre (22%), in the Paraná River basin, were Class II and poorly compatible. PMID:20721498

  4. Molluscicidal and ovicidal activities of plant extracts of the Piperaceae on Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818).

    PubMed

    Rapado, L N; Nakano, E; Ohlweiler, F P; Kato, M J; Yamaguchi, L F; Pereira, C A B; Kawano, T

    2011-03-01

    Schistosomiasis is a tropical disease caused by Schistosoma and occurs in 54 countries, mainly in South America, the Caribbean region, Africa and the eastern Mediterranean. Currently, 5 to 6 million Brazilian people are infected and 30,000 are under infection risk. Typical of poor regions, this disease is associated with the lack of basic sanitation and very frequently to the use of contaminated water in agriculture, housework and leisure. One of the most efficient methods of controlling the disease is application of molluscicides to eliminate or to reduce the population of the intermediate host snail Biomphalaria glabrata. Studies on molluscicidal activity of plant extracts have been stimulated by issues such as environmental preservation, high cost and recurrent resistance of snails to synthetic molluscicides. The aim of this study was to determine the molluscicide action of extracts from Piperaceae species on adult and embryonic stages of B. glabrata. Fifteen extracts from 13 Piperaceae species were obtained from stems, leaves and roots. Toxicity of extracts was evaluated against snails at two different concentrations (500 and 100 ppm) and those causing 100% mortality at 100 ppm concentration were selected to obtain the LC₉₀ (lethal concentration of 90% mortality). Piper aduncum, P. crassinervium, P. cuyabanum, P. diospyrifolium and P. hostmannianum gave 100% mortality of adult snails at concentrations ranging from 10 to 60 ppm. These extracts were also assayed on embryonic stages of B. glabrata and those from P. cuyabanum and P. hostmannianum showed 100% ovicidal action at 20 ppm. PMID:20444299

  5. Bibliotheca Alexandrina--Reviving a Legacy of the Past for a Brighter Common Future.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tocatlian, Jacques

    1991-01-01

    Discusses the ancient library at Alexandria and describes plans for the development of the new Bibliotheca Alexandrina. The administrative organization is discussed; the building design is explained; international cooperation between Egypt, UNESCO, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), and the library community is described; and future…

  6. Snail control in urban sites in Brazil with slow-release hexabutyldistannoxane and pentachlorophenol*

    PubMed Central

    Toledo, J. V.; Da Silva, C. S. Monteiro; Bulhões, M. S.; Leme, L. A. Paes; Netto, J. A. Da Silva; Gilbert, B.

    1976-01-01

    Slow release formulations of hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) and pentachlorophenol (PCP) were tested for the control of Biomphalaria tenagophila in 52 urban sites in Rio de Janeiro. TBTO acted faster and lasted longer than PCP and at 15 g/m2 it eliminated snails from 76% of the treated sites for 1 year. Water pollution and rate of flow had no significant influence on the molluscicidal properties of either compound, but alkalinity lowered the activity of TBTO. Failure to control snail populations was due mainly to human interference and to the non-treatment of adjacent breeding sites that were temporarily dry and therefore overlooked. PMID:1088356

  7. Development of species-specific primers for identification of Biomphalaria arabica, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni in Saudi Arabia

    PubMed Central

    Al-Quraishy, Saleh A.; Bin Dajem, Saad M.; Mostafa, Osama M.; Ibrahim, Essam H.; Al-Qahtani, Ahmed

    2013-01-01

    Schistosoma mansoni is mediated through the intermediate host Biomphalaria arabica which lives in Saudi Arabia. Molecular characterization and identification of this intermediate host are important for epidemiological studies of schistosomiasis. The present work aimed to determine the molecular variations among the populations of B. arabica found in Southern part of Saudi Arabia, and to develop species-specific primers for identification of these snails as a first step in the development of multiplex PCR for simultaneously identifying the snails and diagnosing its infections in a single step. Five populations of Saudi B. arabica snails were collected from freshwater bodies. Three populations were collected from Asser and two populations were collected from AL-Baha. Genomic DNA was extracted from snails and was amplified using five different RAPD–PCR primers. The banding patterns of amplified materials by primers P1 and P5 were identical in all populations. However, the rest primers displayed intra-specific differences among populations with variable degrees. Largest sizes of RAPD–PCR products were cloned into TA cloning vector as a preparatory step for DNA sequence analysis. After sequencing, similarity searches of obtained DNA sequences revealed that there are no similar sequences submitted to genebank data bases and its associated banks. The results obtained will be helpful in the development of simultaneous identification of B. arabica snails and diagnosis of S. mansoni infection within it in a single step by an implementation of multiplex PCR. PMID:24596501

  8. A Novel Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) Influences Compatibility between the Gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, and the Digenean Trematode Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Pila, Emmanuel A.; Tarrabain, Mahmoud; Kabore, Alethe L.; Hanington, Patrick C.

    2016-01-01

    Schistosomiasis, a devastating disease caused by parasitic flatworms of the genus Schistosoma, affects over 260 million people worldwide especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Schistosomes must undergo their larval development within specific species of snail intermediate hosts, a trait that is shared among almost all digenean trematodes. This unique and long-standing host-parasite relationship presents an opportunity to study both the importance of conserved immunological features in novel immunological roles, as well as new immunological adaptations that have arisen to combat a very specific type of immunological challenge. While it is well supported that the snail immune response is important for protecting against schistosome infection, very few specific snail immune factors have been identified and even fewer have been functionally characterized. Here, we provide the first functional report of a snail Toll-like receptor, which we demonstrate as playing an important role in the cellular immune response of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata following challenge with Schistosoma mansoni. This TLR (BgTLR) was identified as part of a peptide screen of snail immune cell surface proteins that differed in abundance between B. glabrata snails that differ in their compatibility phenotype to challenge by S. mansoni. The S. mansoni-resistant strain of B. glabrata (BS-90) displayed higher levels of BgTLR compared to the susceptible (M-line) strain. Transcript expression of BgTLR was found to be very responsive in BS-90 snails when challenged with S. mansoni, increasing 27 fold relative to β-actin (non-immune control gene); whereas expression in susceptible M-line snails was not significantly increased. Knockdown of BgTLR in BS-90 snails via targeted siRNA oligonucleotides was confirmed using a specific anti-BgTLR antibody and resulted in a significant alteration of the resistant phenotype, yielding patent infections in 43% of the normally resistant snails, which shed S. mansoni cercariae 1-week before the susceptible controls. Our results represent the first functional characterization of a gastropod TLR, and demonstrate that BgTLR is an important snail immune receptor that is capable of influencing infection outcome following S. mansoni challenge. PMID:27015424

  9. The susceptibility of Biomphalaria glabrata throughout its life-history to N-tritylmorpholine

    PubMed Central

    Boyce, C. B. C.; Tieze-Dagevos, J. W.; Larman, V. N.

    1967-01-01

    This study was undertaken as part of a detailed investigation of the molluscicidal properties of N-tritylmorpholine (Frescon, WL 8008). It is shown that the stage of development of Biomphalaria glabrata has a pronounced influence on its susceptibility to N-tritylmorpholine. As the snails grow from hatching to a diameter of 3 mm, the LC50 falls from 0.04 ppm to 0.02 ppm, but further growth results in a progressive increase in LC50 until, at a shell diameter of 20 mm, it is 0.17 ppm. N-Tritylmorpholine is much less toxic to snail eggs when used in short exposures. However, young embryos in capsules treated with 5 ppm for 24 hours developed abnormally and died without hatching. Older embryos developed normally but died after hatching. This delayed effect is attributed to contact, during hatching, with N-tritylmorpholine which is associated with the jelly. The difference in susceptibility between snails and eggs is attributed to a slow rate of penetration of the egg membrane. ImagesFIG. 5 PMID:5300047

  10. Morphological and ITS2 Molecular Characterization of Ribeiroia Cercariae (Digenea: Psilostomidae) from Biomphalaria spp. (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) in Northern Argentina.

    PubMed

    Davies, Dora; Davies, Carolina; Lauthier, Juan José; Hamann, Monika; Ostrowski de Núñez, Margarita

    2015-10-01

    Species of Ribeiroia use planorbid snails as intermediate host. Since there is little information about these digenean parasites in South America, we aimed to assess whether Ribeiroia cercariae from 3 north Argentina locations belonged to the same species and differed from Ribeiroia cercariae described elsewhere. Specimens were obtained from Biomphalaria tenagophila and Biomphalaria orbignyi (Salta Province), and Biomphalaria occidentalis (Corrientes Province). Morphological traits of cercariae were analyzed, as well as their sequence of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2). The ITS2 region consisted of 426 nucleotides identical in all samples, suggesting that all specimens belong to the same species in spite of their morphological differences and first intermediate host species. Comparison of the ITS2 region with GenBank database records showed that specimens from Argentina were different from Ribeiroia ondatrae (0.9% divergence), Ribeiroia marini (0.7% divergence), and Cercaria lileta (0.2% divergence). In summary, morphological, ecological, and ITS2 molecular data suggest that specimens from Argentina belong to a different species. PMID:26075730

  11. Molecular evidence supports an african affinity of the neotropical freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata, say 1818, an intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Campbell, G; Jones, C S; Lockyer, A E; Hughes, S; Brown, D; Noble, L R; Rollinson, D

    2000-12-01

    Freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria, Preston 1910, are the most important and widely distributed intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni, the blood fluke responsible for human intestinal schistosomiasis, in Africa and the Neotropics. S. mansoni is thought to have been imported repeatedly into the Americas during the last 500 years with the African slave trade. Surprisingly considering that the New and Old World separated 95-106 million years (Myr) ago, the disease rapidly became established due to the presence of endemic susceptible hosts. Reconstructing the phylogenetic relationships within Biomphalaria may provide insights into the successful intercontinental spread of S. mansoni. Parsimony and distance analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear sequences show African taxa to be monophyletic and Neotropical species paraphyletic, with Biomphalaria glabrata forming a separate clade from other Neotropical Biomphalaria, and ancestral to the African taxa. A west to east trans-Atlantic dispersal of a B. glabrata-like taxon, possibly as recently as the Plio-Pleistocene (1.8-3.6 Myr ago) according to a general mitochondrial clock, would fit these observations. Vicariance or an African origin for B. glabrata followed by multiple introductions to South America over the past 500 years with the African slave trade seem unlikely explanations. Knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships among important intermediate host species may prove useful in furthering control measures which exploit genetic differences in susceptibility to parasites, and in elucidating the evolution of schistosome resistance. PMID:11133023

  12. Distribution and Schistosoma mansoni infection of Biomphalaria glabrata in different habitats in a rural area in the Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais, Brazil: environmental and epidemiological aspects.

    PubMed

    Kloos, Helmut; Passos, Liana Kanovaloff Janotti; Loverde, Philip; Oliveira, Rodrigo Correa; Gazzinelli, Andréa

    2004-11-01

    This paper examines the distribution and infection of Biomphalaria glabrata with Schistosoma mansoni in all aquatic snail habitats in a rural area in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in relation to physico/biotic and behavioral factors. Snail and environmental surveys were carried out semi-annually between July 2001 and November 2002 at 106 sites. Collected snails were examined in the laboratory for infection. B. glabrata densities were highest in overflow ponds, irrigation ponds, springs, canals and wells, and lowest in fishponds and water tanks. Snail densities were higher during the hot, rainy season except for streams and canals and were statistically associated with the presence of fish, pollution, and vegetation density. Tilapia fish and an unidentified Diptera larva were found to be predators of B. glabrata but ducks were not. Twenty-four of the 25 infected snails were collected in 2001(1.4% infection rate) and only one in 2002, after mass chemotherapy. The occurrence of B. glabrata in all 11 snail habitats both at and away from water contact sites studied indicates widespread risk of human infection in the study area. In spite of the strong association between B. glabrata and tilapia in fishponds we do not recommend its use in schistosomiasis control for ecological reasons and its relative inefficiency in streams and dams. PMID:15654420

  13. Potential schistosome-vector snails and associated trematodes in ricefields of Corrients province, Argentina. Preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Rumi, A; Hamann, M I

    1990-01-01

    Considering the possibility of introduction of schistosomiasis mansoni into Argentina as a consequence of dam construction on the Rio De La Plata basin, preliminary studies have been carried out on agrosystems such as ricefields in Corrientes province with the following purposes: 1) to survey and estimate the relative abundance of planorbids and identify potential vector species; 2) to identify environmental factors capable of influencing Biomphalaria population dynamics; and 3) to find out snail-parasite associations and estimate snail infection rates in order to detect possible competitive interactions between larval stages of native trematodes that could be used in biological control of Schistosoma mansoni. Three potential schistosome vectors were detected in ricefields, namely Biomphalaria straminea, B. tenagophila and B. peregrina, although B. orbignyi, a species refractory to infection with S. mansoni, proved the most frequent and abundant. Positive correlations (P less than 0.05) were found between Biomphalaria abundance and some environmental parameters: conductivity, hardness, calcium, nitrites plus nitrates, ammonium and bicarbonates. Water temperature correlation was negative (P less than 0.05). No correlation (P less than 0.05) was found in total iron, phosphates (SRP), pH and soil granulometry. PMID:2134706

  14. Distribution and abundance of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis host snails along the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Dida, Gabriel O; Gelder, Frank B; Anyona, Douglas N; Matano, Ally-Said; Abuom, Paul O; Adoka, Samson O; Ouma, Collins; Kanangire, Canisius K; Owuor, Phillip O; Ofulla, Ayub V O

    2014-01-01

    We purposively selected 39 sampling sites along the Mara River and its two perennial tributaries of Amala and Nyangores and sampled snails. In addition, water physicochemical parameters (temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, alkalinity, salinity and pH) were taken to establish their influence on the snail abundance and habitat preference. Out of the 39 sites sampled, 10 (25.6%) had snails. The snail species encountered included Biomphalaria pfeifferi Krauss - the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni Sambon, Bulinus africanus - the intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, and Lymnaea natalensis Krauss - the intermediate host of both Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica Cobbold. Ceratophallus spp., a non-vector snail was also encountered. Most (61.0%) of the snails were encountered in streamside pools. Schistosomiasis-transmitting host snails, B. pfeifferi and B. africanus, were fewer than fascioliasis-transmitting Lymnaea species. All the four different snail species were found to be attached to different aquatic weeds, with B. pfeifferi accounting for over half (61.1%) of the snails attached to the sedge, followed by B. africanus and Lymnaea spp., accounting for 22.2 and 16.7%, respectively. Ceratophallus spp. were non-existent in sedge. The results from this preliminary study show that snails intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis exists in different habitats, in few areas along the Mara River, though their densities are still low to have any noticeable impacts on disease transmission in case they are infected. The mere presence of the vector snails in these focal regions calls for their immediate control and institution of proper regulations, management, and education among the locals that can help curtail the spread of the snails and also schistosomiasis and fascioliasis within the Mara River basin. PMID:25405008

  15. Distribution and abundance of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis host snails along the Mara River in Kenya and Tanzania

    PubMed Central

    Dida, Gabriel O.; Gelder, Frank B.; Anyona, Douglas N.; Matano, Ally-Said; Abuom, Paul O.; Adoka, Samson O.; Ouma, Collins; Kanangire, Canisius K.; Owuor, Phillip O.; Ofulla, Ayub V. O.

    2014-01-01

    We purposively selected 39 sampling sites along the Mara River and its two perennial tributaries of Amala and Nyangores and sampled snails. In addition, water physicochemical parameters (temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, alkalinity, salinity and pH) were taken to establish their influence on the snail abundance and habitat preference. Out of the 39 sites sampled, 10 (25.6%) had snails. The snail species encountered included Biomphalaria pfeifferi Krauss – the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni Sambon, Bulinus africanus – the intermediate host of Schistosoma haematobium, and Lymnaea natalensis Krauss – the intermediate host of both Fasciola gigantica and F. hepatica Cobbold. Ceratophallus spp., a non-vector snail was also encountered. Most (61.0%) of the snails were encountered in streamside pools. Schistosomiasis-transmitting host snails, B. pfeifferi and B. africanus, were fewer than fascioliasis-transmitting Lymnaea species. All the four different snail species were found to be attached to different aquatic weeds, with B. pfeifferi accounting for over half (61.1%) of the snails attached to the sedge, followed by B. africanus and Lymnaea spp., accounting for 22.2 and 16.7%, respectively. Ceratophallus spp. were non-existent in sedge. The results from this preliminary study show that snails intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis and fascioliasis exists in different habitats, in few areas along the Mara River, though their densities are still low to have any noticeable impacts on disease transmission in case they are infected. The mere presence of the vector snails in these focal regions calls for their immediate control and institution of proper regulations, management, and education among the locals that can help curtail the spread of the snails and also schistosomiasis and fascioliasis within the Mara River basin. PMID:25405008

  16. Changes in the locomotory and reproductive behavior of Biomphalaria glabrata infected with Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Alberto-Silva, Anna Carla; Santos, Everton Gustavo Nunes; Santos, Cludia Portes; Mello-Silva, Cllia Christina

    2015-06-01

    The infection and development of a parasite may cause physiological, morphological and behavioral changes in its host. Changes in the locomotory activity of a host induced by their parasites may also influence the life-cycles of both host and parasite in the environment. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the locomotory activities of Biomphalaria glabrata before and after an experimental infection with Schistosoma mansoni relating to the shedding of cercaria. In addition, the reproductive parameters of infected B.?glabrata were analyzed during the prepatent and patent periods of the infection. The locomotory activity was recorded using an image analysis biomonitoring system based on a Videomex V. Five parameters were analyzed: 'Distance traveled', 'Ambulatory time', 'Stereotypic time', 'Resting time' and 'Average speed'. The number of shed cercariae was counted twice at 45 and 52 days post-infection. The reproductive parameters of infected B.?glabrata analyzed were the numbers of egg masses, eggs and hatched snails. All statistical analyses were performed using the R program. Of the 69 snails infected with S.?mansoni, 33 (47.8%) shed cercariae ('positive') and 36 (52.2%) ('exposed') failed to exhibit any cercarial shedding prior to the end of the experiment. The locomotory activity of the all snails increased significantly after infection with S.?mansoni. However, when the 'positive' and 'exposed' snails were compared, the former, shedding cercariae, were less motile. With regard to reproduction, 84.8% (28/33) of the 'positive' and 27.7% (10/36) of the 'exposed' snails failed to lay egg masses during patent period. The number of cercariae individually shed by each 'positive' snail presented a positive relation with 'Stereotypic time' and a negative relation with egg laying. Our findingshighlight the way in which infection with S.?mansoni affects the locomotory and the reproductive behavior of B.?glabrata. The number of cercariae shed is directly associated with the reduction/interruption in egg-laying and with an increase in random movement. PMID:25765559

  17. Preliminary trials against Biomphalaria glabrata of a new molluscicide formulation: geletin granules containing Bayluscide wettable powder.

    PubMed

    Upatham, E S; Sturrock, R F

    1977-03-01

    Tests were conducted with gelatin granules containing Bayluscide (niclosamide) w.p., 23-3% w/w a.i. Granules rendered a simulated field habitat (banana drain) lethal to Biomphalaria glabrata for 40 days when applied at a rate calculated to give 5 mg/1 in the water. At this dose, Bayluscide e.c. was effective for 8-12 days. Granules exposed to various combinations of natural or simulated tropical climatic factors for up to 56 days gave variable kills of snails, apparently unrelated to the factors tested. The rate at which the molluscicide was released from the granules was affected by climatic factors: high temperatures and low humidities slowed the rate, probably by hardening the granules; rainfall and high humidities accelerated the rate, probably by softening or disintegrating the granules. There was no apparent loss of molluscicidal activity in granules exposed for 56 days to various combinations of climatic factors. The results suggest that this formulation may be applied during droughts to temporary habitats when these are dry and accessible. The molluscicide would then be released at the unpredictable start of the next wet season and kill any snails which survive the drought by aestivation. PMID:849021

  18. Behavior of Biomphalaria glabrata Say, 1818 (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) - 1. Morphophysiology of the mantle cavity.

    PubMed

    Jurberg, P; Cunha, R A; Rodrigues, M L

    1997-01-01

    Using longitudinal and transverse anatomical sections, we observed that the three cristae of the mantle of Biomphalaria glabrata (renal, rectal and dorsolateral cristae) divide the mantle cavity into three chambers which we designated air or pulmonary chamber, water inflow chamber and water outflow chamber. Using videotape filming, we observed the inflow and outflow of air and water into and from the mantle cavity and we related their probable functions such as flotation, oxygen reservoir and transport, excreta circulation and elimination, water skeleton, and modification of specific weight. To determine whether the air bubble may function as a physical gill in this species we submitted three groups of snails to different systems in which water contained the same level of dissolved oxygen whereas the gas phases were atmospheric air, pure nitrogen or pure oxygen. We observed the following parameters: timer of permanence on the surface, time of immersion, and frequency at which the snails reached the surface. These results did not demonstrate a physical gill function; morphological analysis of the mantle cavity indicates this possibility. PMID:24159674

  19. The Classroom Animal: Snails.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kramer, David S.

    1985-01-01

    Points out that snails are interesting and easily-managed classroom animals. One advantage of this animal is that it requires no special attention over weekends or holidays. Background information, anatomy, reproduction, and feeding are discussed, along with suggestions for housing aquatic and/or land snails. (DH)

  20. Snail Shell Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matthews, Catherine

    1992-01-01

    Presents three inquiry-based lessons to develop the science process skills of observation, identification, and classification. Activities use whelk eggs and snail shells as the focus of the students' inquiries. Provides a list of 19 facts about whelks and snails. (MDH)

  1. Differences in the Gene Expression Profiles of Haemocytes from Schistosome-Susceptible and -Resistant Biomphalaria glabrata Exposed to Schistosoma mansoni Excretory-Secretory Products

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Angela J.; Kirk, Ruth S.; Emery, Aidan M.; Rollinson, David; Jones, Catherine S.; Noble, Leslie R.; Walker, Anthony J.

    2014-01-01

    During its life cycle, the helminth parasite Schistosoma mansoni uses the freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata as an intermediate host to reproduce asexually generating cercariae for infection of the human definitive host. Following invasion of the snail, the parasite develops from a miracidium to a mother sporocyst and releases excretory-secretory products (ESPs) that likely influence the outcome of host infection. To better understand molecular interactions between these ESPs and the host snail defence system, we determined gene expression profiles of haemocytes from S. mansoni-resistant or -susceptible strains of B. glabrata exposed in vitro to S. mansoni ESPs (20 μg/ml) for 1 h, using a 5K B. glabrata cDNA microarray. Ninety-eight genes were found differentially expressed between haemocytes from the two snail strains, 57 resistant specific and 41 susceptible specific, 60 of which had no known homologue in GenBank. Known differentially expressed resistant-snail genes included the nuclear factor kappa B subunit Relish, elongation factor 1α, 40S ribosomal protein S9, and matrilin; known susceptible-snail specific genes included cathepsins D and L, and theromacin. Comparative analysis with other gene expression studies revealed 38 of the 98 identified genes to be uniquely differentially expressed in haemocytes in the presence of ESPs, thus identifying for the first time schistosome ESPs as important molecules that influence global snail host-defence cell gene expression profiles. Such immunomodulation may benefit the schistosome, enabling its survival and successful development in the snail host. PMID:24663063

  2. Evaluation of the mitochondrial system in the gonad-digestive gland complex of Biomphalaria glabrata (Mollusca, Gastropoda) after infection by Echinostoma paraensei (Trematoda, Echinostomatidae).

    PubMed

    Tunholi, Victor Menezes; Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius Menezes; Santos, Anderson Teixeira; Garcia, Juberlan da Silva; Maldonado, Arnaldo; da-Silva, Wagner Seixas; Rodrigues, Maria de Lurdes de Azevedo; Pinheiro, Jairo

    2016-05-01

    The effect of infection by Echinostoma paraensei on the mitochondrial physiology of Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated after exposure to 50 miracidia. The snails were dissected one, two, three and four weeks after infection for collection and mechanical permeabilization of the gonad-digestive gland (DGG) complex. The results obtained indicate that prepatent infection by this echinostomatid fluke significantly suppresses the phosphorylation state (respiratory state 3) and basal oxygen consumption of B. glabrata, demonstrating that the infection reduces the ability of the intermediate host to carry out aerobic oxidative reactions. Additionally, relevant variations related to the uncoupled mitochondrial (state 3u) of B. glabrata infected by E. paraensei were observed. Four weeks after exposure, a significant reduction in mitochondrial oxygen consumption after addition of ADP (3.68±0.26pmol O2/mg proteins) was observed in the infected snails in comparison with the respective control group (5.14±0.25). In the uncoupled state, the infected snails consumed about 62% less oxygen than the infected snails (7.87±0.84pmol O2/mg proteins) in the same period. These results demonstrate a reduction in oxidative decarboxylation rate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle and faster anaerobic degradation of carbohydrates in the infected snails. The possible mechanisms that explain this new metabolic condition in the infected organisms are discussed. PMID:27079167

  3. Toxicity of Euphorbia milii latex and niclosamide to snails and nontarget aquatic species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira-Filho, E C; Paumgartten, F J

    2000-07-01

    The toxicity of Euphorbia milii molluscicidal latex and niclosamide (NCL) to target snails (Biomphalaria glabrata and Biomphalaria tenagophila) and nontarget aquatic organisms is evaluated. Planorbidae snails were killed by very low concentrations of lyophilized latex (48-h LC(50), mg/L: B. glabrata, 0.12; B. tenagophila, 0.09; Helisoma duryi, 0.10). Latex was less toxic (48-h LC(50) or EC(50), mg/L) to oligochaeta (Tubifex tubifex, 0.31), planktonic crustacea (Daphnia similis, 0.38; C. dubia, 1.07; Artemia sp., 0.93), and fishes (Danio rerio, 0.96; Poecilia reticulata, 1. 39), and considerably less toxic to Ampullariidae snails (Pomacea sp. , 10.55) and frog tadpoles (Rana catesbeiana, 7.50). Latex (up to 100 mg/L) was not toxic to bacteria (P. putida and V. fischeri), algae (Selenastrum capricornutum and Chlorella vulgaris), and mosquito larvae (Anopheles albitarsis, Aedes aegypti, Aedes fluviatilis). NCL was very toxic (48-h LC(50) or EC(50), mg/L) to Planorbidae snails (B. glabrata, 0.15, B. tenagophila, 0.13; H. duryi, 0.10), T. tubifex (0.11), crustacea (D. similis, 0.19; Ceriodaphnia dubia, 0.47; Artemia sp. 0.18), fishes (D. rerio, 0.25; P. reticulata, 0.29), R. catesbeiana (0.16), and Pomacea sp. (0.76). NCL was toxic to bacteria, algae (96-h IC(50), mg/L: S. capricornutum, 0.34; C. vulgaris, 1.23) and slightly toxic to mosquito larvae. In conclusion, E. milii latex, as compared with the reference molluscicide niclosamide, presents a higher degree of selectivity toward snails which are intermediate hosts of Schistosoma trematodes. PMID:10903832

  4. Differential transcriptomic responses of Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda, Mollusca) to bacteria and metazoan parasites, Schistosoma mansoni and Echinostoma paraensei (Digenea, Platyhelminthes).

    PubMed

    Adema, Coen M; Hanington, Patrick C; Lun, Cheng-Man; Rosenberg, George H; Aragon, Anthony D; Stout, Barbara A; Lennard Richard, Mara L; Gross, Paul S; Loker, Eric S

    2010-01-01

    A 70-mer-oligonucleotide-based microarray (1152 features) that emphasizes stress and immune responses factors was constructed to study transcriptomic responses of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata to different immune challenges. In addition to sequences with relevant putative ID and Gene Ontology (GO) annotation, the array features non-immune factors and unknown B. glabrata ESTs for functional gene discovery. The transcription profiles of B. glabrata (3 biological replicates, each a pool of 5 snails) were recorded at 12h post-wounding, exposure to Gram negative or Gram positive bacteria (Escherichia coli and Micrococcus luteus, respectively), or infection with compatible trematode parasites (Schistosoma mansoni or Echinostoma paraensei, 20 miracidia/snail), relative to controls, using universal reference RNA. The data were subjected to Significance Analysis for Microarrays (SAM), with a false positive rate (FPR) snails challenged with E. coli (83 up/20 down) or M. luteus (120 up/42 down), mostly showing up-regulation of defense and stress-related features. Significantly altered expression of selected immune features indicates that B. glabrata detects and responds differently to compatible trematodes. Echinostoma paraensei infection was associated mostly with down-regulation of many (immune-) transcripts (42 up/68 down), whereas S. mansoni exposure yielded a preponderance of up-regulated features (140 up/23 down), with only few known immune genes affected. These observations may reflect the divergent strategies developed by trematodes during their evolution as specialized pathogens of snails to negate host defense responses. Clearly, the immune defenses of B. glabrata distinguish and respond differently to various immune challenges. PMID:19962194

  5. The Nuclear Receptors of Biomphalaria glabrata and Lottia gigantea: Implications for Developing New Model Organisms

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Satwant; Jobling, Susan; Jones, Catherine S.; Noble, Leslie R.; Routledge, Edwin J.; Lockyer, Anne E.

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) are transcription regulators involved in an array of diverse physiological functions including key roles in endocrine and metabolic function. The aim of this study was to identify nuclear receptors in the fully sequenced genome of the gastropod snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host for Schistosoma mansoni and compare these to known vertebrate NRs, with a view to assessing the snail's potential as a invertebrate model organism for endocrine function, both as a prospective new test organism and to elucidate the fundamental genetic and mechanistic causes of disease. For comparative purposes, the genome of a second gastropod, the owl limpet, Lottia gigantea was also investigated for nuclear receptors. Thirty-nine and thirty-three putative NRs were identified from the B. glabrata and L. gigantea genomes respectively, based on the presence of a conserved DNA-binding domain and/or ligand-binding domain. Nuclear receptor transcript expression was confirmed and sequences were subjected to a comparative phylogenetic analysis, which demonstrated that these molluscs have representatives of all the major NR subfamilies (1-6). Many of the identified NRs are conserved between vertebrates and invertebrates, however differences exist, most notably, the absence of receptors of Group 3C, which includes some of the vertebrate endocrine hormone targets. The mollusc genomes also contain NR homologues that are present in insects and nematodes but not in vertebrates, such as Group 1J (HR48/DAF12/HR96). The identification of many shared receptors between humans and molluscs indicates the potential for molluscs as model organisms; however the absence of several steroid hormone receptors indicates snail endocrine systems are fundamentally different. PMID:25849443

  6. Usnic Acid Potassium Salt: An Alternative for the Control of Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818)

    PubMed Central

    Lima, Vera L. M.; Pereira, Eugênia C.; Falcão, Emerson P. S.; Melo, Ana M. M. A.; da Silva, Nicácio Henrique

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, the snail Biomphalaria glabrata is the most important vector of schistosomiasis due to its wide geographical distribution, high infection rate and efficient disease transmission. Among the methods of schistosomiasis control, the World Health Organization recommends the use of synthetic molluscicides, such as niclosamide. However, different substances of natural origin have been tested as alternatives for the control or eradication of mollusks. The literature describes the antitumor, antimicrobial and antiviral properties of usnic acid as well as other important activities of common interest between medicine and the environment. However, usnic acid has a low degree of water solubility, which can be a limiting factor for its use, especially in aquatic environments, since the organic solvents commonly used to solubilize this substance can have toxic effects on aquatic biota. Thus, the aim of the present study was to test the potassium salt of usnic acid (potassium usnate) with regard to molluscicidal activity and toxicity to brine shrimp (Artemia salina). To obtain potassium usnate, usnic acid was extracted with diethyl ether isolated and purified from the lichen Cladonia substellata. Biological assays were performed with embryos and adult snails of B. glabrata exposed for 24 h to the usnate solution solubilized in dechlorinated water at 2.5; 5 and 10 µg/ml for embryos, 0.5; 0.9; 1;5 and 10 µg/ml for mollusks and 0.5; 1; 5; 10 µg/ml for A. salina. The lowest lethal concentration for the embryos and adult snails was 10 and 1 µg/ml, respectively. No toxicity to A. salina was found. The results show that modified usnic acid has increased solubility (100%) without losing its biological activity and may be a viable alternative for the control of B. glabrata. PMID:25375098

  7. Assessment of toxicity of Moringa oleifera flower extract to Biomphalaria glabrata, Schistosoma mansoni and Artemia salina.

    PubMed

    Rocha-Filho, Cláudio A A; Albuquerque, Lidiane P; Silva, Luanna R S; Silva, Patrícia C B; Coelho, Luana C B B; Navarro, Daniela M A F; Albuquerque, Monica C P A; Melo, Ana Maria M A; Napoleão, Thiago H; Pontual, Emmanuel V; Paiva, Patrícia M G

    2015-08-01

    This study reports the effect of an aqueous extract from Moringa oleifera Lam. flowers on Biomphalaria glabrata embryos and adults and on Schistosoma mansoni adult worms. The extract contains tannins, saponins, flavones, flavonols, xanthones, and trypsin inhibitor activity. The toxicity of the extract on Artemia salina larvae was also investigated to determine the safety of its use for schistosomiasis control. After incubation for 24h, the flower extract significantly (p<0.05) delayed the development of B. glabrata embryos and promoted mortality of adult snails (LC50: 2.37±0.5mgmL(-1)). Furthermore, treatment with the extract disrupted the development of embryos generated by snails, with most of them remaining in the blastula stage while control embryos were already in the gastrula stage. Flower extract killed A. salina larvae with a LC50 value (0.2±0.015mgmL(-1)) lower than that determined for snails. A small reduction (17%) in molluscicidal activity was detected when flower extract (2.37mgmL(-1)) was exposed to tropical environmental conditions (UVI index ranging from 1 to 14, temperature from 25 to 30°C, and 65% relative humidity). Toxicity to A. salina was also reduced (LC50 value of 0.28±0.01mgmL(-1)). In conclusion, M. oleifera flower extract had deleterious effects on B. glabrata adults and embryos. However, unrestricted use to control schistosomiasis should be avoided due to the toxicity of this extract on A. salina. PMID:25867917

  8. Susceptibility of Snails to Infection with Schistosomes is influenced by Temperature and Expression of Heat Shock Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Matty; Elhelu, O; Smith, M; Haugen, B; Miller, A; Raghavan, N; Wellman, C; Cousin, C; Dixon, F; Mann, V; Rinaldi, G; Ittiprasert, W; Brindley, PJ

    2015-01-01

    The freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata is the obligate intermediate host for the transmission of the parasitic trematode, Schistosoma mansoni the causative agent of the chronic debilitating neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis. We showed previously that in juvenile snails, early and significant induction of stress manifested by the expression of stress proteins, Hsp 70, Hsp 90 and reverse transcriptase (RT) of the non- LTR retrotransposon, nimbus, is a characteristic feature of juvenile susceptible NMRI but not resistant BS-90 snails. These latter, however, could be rendered susceptible after mild heat shock at 32°C, revealing that resistance in the BS-90 resistant snail to schistosomes is a temperature dependent trait. Here we tested the hypothesis that maintenance of BS-90 resistant snails at the permissive temperature for several generations affects the resistance phenotype displayed at the non-permissive temperature of 25°C. The progeny of BS-90 snails bred and maintained through several generations (F1 to F4) at 32°C were susceptible to the schistosome infection when returned to room temperature, shedding cercariae at four weeks post-infection. Moreover, the study of expression levels of the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 protein by ELISA and western blot analysis, showed that this protein is also differentially expressed between susceptible and resistant snails, with susceptible snails expressing more protein than their resistant counterparts after early exposure to wild-type but not to radiation-attenuated miracidia. These data suggested that in the face of global warming, the ability to sustain a reduction in schistosomiasis by using refractory snails as a strategy to block transmission of the disease might prove challenging since non-lethal elevation in temperature, affects snail susceptibility to S. mansoni. PMID:26504668

  9. Snail Chirality: The Unwinding.

    PubMed

    Maderspacher, Florian

    2016-03-01

    Most snails are coiled clockwise, but in some species rare genetic variants with reverse coiling occur. Now, a molecular determinant of coiling direction has been identified, the cytoskeletal regulator formin. PMID:26954445

  10. Large-scale determinants of intestinal schistosomiasis and intermediate host snail distribution across Africa: does climate matter?

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Utzinger, Jürg; Vounatsou, Penelope; Hürlimann, Eveline; Schur, Nadine; Saarnak, Christopher F L; Simoonga, Christopher; Mubita, Patricia; Kabatereine, Narcis B; Tchuem Tchuenté, Louis-Albert; Rahbek, Carsten; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2013-11-01

    The geographical ranges of most species, including many infectious disease agents and their vectors and intermediate hosts, are assumed to be constrained by climatic tolerances, mainly temperature. It has been suggested that global warming will cause an expansion of the areas potentially suitable for infectious disease transmission. However, the transmission of infectious diseases is governed by a myriad of ecological, economic, evolutionary and social factors. Hence, a deeper understanding of the total disease system (pathogens, vectors and hosts) and its drivers is important for predicting responses to climate change. Here, we combine a growing degree day model for Schistosoma mansoni with species distribution models for the intermediate host snail (Biomphalaria spp.) to investigate large-scale environmental determinants of the distribution of the African S. mansoni-Biomphalaria system and potential impacts of climatic changes. Snail species distribution models included several combinations of climatic and habitat-related predictors; the latter divided into "natural" and "human-impacted" habitat variables to measure anthropogenic influence. The predictive performance of the combined snail-parasite model was evaluated against a comprehensive compilation of historical S. mansoni parasitological survey records, and then examined for two climate change scenarios of increasing severity for 2080. Future projections indicate that while the potential S. mansoni transmission area expands, the snail ranges are more likely to contract and/or move into cooler areas in the south and east. Importantly, we also note that even though climate per se matters, the impact of humans on habitat play a crucial role in determining the distribution of the intermediate host snails in Africa. Thus, a future contraction in the geographical range size of the intermediate host snails caused by climatic changes does not necessarily translate into a decrease or zero-sum change in human schistosomiasis prevalence. PMID:22142789

  11. New insights into the amphibious life of Biomphalaria glabrata and susceptibility of its egg masses to fungal infection.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Glennyha F; Rodrigues, Juscelino; Fernandes, Éverton K K; Humber, Richard A; Luz, Christian

    2015-02-01

    The air-breathing snail Biomphalaria glabrata proliferates in stagnant freshwater, and nothing is known about the survival of eggs in intermittently (rather than perpetually) wet habitats. In the present study their egg masses matured, and juveniles subsequently eclosed and were mobile in a stable water film of transitory habitats simulated by two different simple test devices described here. The viability of eggs maintained in an unstable film however, was diminished. The maturation of egg masses in a water film or in water was significantly prevented by the entomopathogenic fungi Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae. The efficiency depended on the fungal propagule and test environment. Hyphal bodies were more effective against egg masses than conidia. This appears to be a first report of activity of either entomopathogen against a mollusc. Both devices offer accurate and reproducible conditions to test both biological questions and the effects of substances or pathogens against B. glabrata egg masses in water films. PMID:25576771

  12. A water snail catches a ride on STS-90 as part of Neurolab

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    A water snail (Biomphalaria glabrata), like those that are part of the Neurolab payload on Space Shuttle Mission STS-90, is held up for inspection in the Operations and Checkout Building. The snails will fly in the Closed Equilibrated Biological Aquatic System (CEBAS) Minimodule, a middeck locker-sized fresh water habitat, designed to allow the controlled incubation of aquatic species in a self-stabilizing, artifical ecosystem for up to three weeks under space conditions. Investigations during the Neurolab mission will focus on the effects of microgravity on the nervous system. The crew of STS-90, slated for launch April 16 at 2:19 p.m. EDT, includes Commander Richard Searfoss, Pilot Scott Altman, Mission Specialists Richard Linnehan, D.V.M., Dafydd (Dave) Williams, M.D., and Kathryn (Kay) Hire, and Payload Specialists Jay Buckey, M.D., and James Pawelczyk, Ph.D.

  13. Reduced Susceptibility of a Biomphalaria tenagophila Population to Schistosoma mansoni after Introducing the Resistant Taim/RS Strain of B. tenagophila into Herivelton Martins Stream

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Daisymara Priscila de Almeida; Rosa, Florence Mara; Maciel, Engels; Negrão-Corrêa, Deborah; Teles, Horácio Manuel Santana; Caldeira, Roberta Lima; Jannotti-Passos, Liana Konovaloff; Coelho, Paulo Marcos Zech

    2014-01-01

    Studies performed in the last 30 years demonstrated that a strain of B. tenagophila from the Taim Biological Reserve is completely resistant to Schistosoma mansoni infection. This resistance to parasite infection is a dominant characteristic during crossbreeding with susceptible B. tenagophila strains. These experiments also identified a 350 bp molecular marker that is exclusive to the Taim strain and does not occur in other geographic strains of this snail species. The Taim strain (Taim/RS) of Biomphalaria tenagophila was bred on a large scale, physically marked and introduced into a stream in which previous malacological analyses had revealed the presence of only parasite-susceptible B. tenagophila. Samples of offspring captured 4, 11 and 14 months after the introduction of the Taim strain were examined, and the susceptibility of the snails to S. mansoni infection dropped from 38.6–26.5% to 2.1% during the 14 months after the introduction of the Taim snail strain. A significant correlation was also observed between the absence of infection and the identification of the Taim molecular marker. These results demonstrate that the genetic marker from the Taim strain was successfully introduced into the wild snail population. In addition, a significant relationship exists between the marker and resistance to infection. PMID:24941324

  14. The interaction of light and gravity on the transmission of Echinostoma caproni (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) cercariae to the second intermediate host, Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Platt, Thomas R; Greenlee, Hali; Zelmer, Derek A

    2010-04-01

    The current experiments were designed to assess the interaction of light and gravity on the transmission of Echinostoma caproni cercariae to the second intermediate host, Biomphalaria glabrata. Transmission chambers were constructed of clear polyvinyl chloride pipe covered with a black sleeve to exclude light. Snails were constrained within the chamber to prevent movement, while permitting the cercariae to swim freely. A trial consisted of 2 infected B. glabrata shedding E. caproni cercariae placed at the center of the chamber with 5 uninfected B. glabrata placed 10 cm above and below the shedding snails as sentinels. Three experiments, consisting of 12 trials each, were conducted under the following lighting conditions, i.e., above and below the transmission chamber, and in complete darkness. In all 3 experiments, the proportion of metacercariae was significantly higher in snails at the top of the chamber. The results suggest that a negative geotaxis is the primary factor in the initial dispersal of E. caproni cercariae. Coupling negative geotaxis and positive phototaxis (light from above) resulted in a significantly higher proportion of metacercariae in sentinel snails at the top of the transmission chamber when corrected for cercarial density. There was no significant difference in the proportion of metacercariae in snails at the top or bottom of the transmission chamber with light at the bottom of the chamber or in complete darkness. Cercariae of E. caproni only respond to light in context, i.e., from above, and ignore the light stimulus when it comes from an unexpected location (bottom of the water column). Significantly greater numbers of cercariae were released from shedding snails when light was present, suggesting that emergence of cercariae from B. glabrata is dependent on light regardless of the position of the light source. PMID:19842717

  15. Current advances on the study of snail-snail interactions, with special emphasis on competition process.

    PubMed

    de Freitas, J R; dos Santos, M B

    1995-01-01

    Field work research on population dynamic of snails from the regions of Belo Horizonte and Lagoa Santa give much information about interactions among two or more species of mollusks: Pomacea haustrum, Biomphalaria glabrata, B. tenagophila, B. straminea and Melanoides tuberculata. Data ranging from two years to several decades ago suggest that the Pampulha reservoir is like a cemetery of B. glabrata and B. straminea, species that coexist for more than 14 years in a small part of a stream, whereas only B. glabrata lives in all the streams of the basin. In the last ten to twenty years B. tenagophila has coexisted with P. haustrum and M. tuberculata in the Serra Verde ponds and in the Pampulha dam. However these species have not settled in any of the brooks, except temporarily. The data suggest that the kind of biotope and the habitat conditions are decisive factors for the permanence of each species in its preferencial biotope. B. glabrata, natural from streams and riverheads, quickly disappears from the reservoirs and ponds where it coexists with other species for a short time, independently of the competitive process. Competition needs to be better studied, since in Central America and Caribean islands this kind of study has favored the biological control of planorbid species. PMID:8531669

  16. 3D-Ultrastructure, Functions and Stress Responses of Gastropod (Biomphalaria glabrata) Rhogocytes

    PubMed Central

    Kokkinopoulou, Maria; Güler, M. Alptekin; Lieb, Bernhard; Barbeck, Mike; Ghanaati, Shahram; Markl, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Rhogocytes are pore cells scattered among the connective tissue of different body parts of gastropods and other molluscs, with great variation in their number, shape and size. They are enveloped by a lamina of extracellular matrix. Their most characteristic feature is the “slit apparatus”, local invaginations of the plasma membrane bridged by cytoplasmic bars, forming slits of ca. 20 nm width. A slit diaphragm creates a molecular sieve with permeation holes of 20×20 nm. In blue-blooded gastropods, rhogocytes synthesize and secrete the respiratory protein hemocyanin, and it has been proposed–though not proven–that in the rare red-blooded snail species they might synthesize and secrete the hemoglobin. However, the cellular secretion pathway for respiratory proteins, and the functional role(s) of the enigmatic rhogocyte slit apparatus are still unclear. Additional functions for rhogocytes have been proposed, notably a role in protein uptake and degradation, and in heavy metal detoxification. Here we provide new structural and functional information on the rhogocytes of the red-blooded freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata. By in situ hybridization of mantle tissues, we prove that rhogocytes indeed synthesize hemoglobin. By electron tomography, the first three dimensional (3D) reconstructions of the slit apparatus are provided, showing detail of highly dense material in the cytoplasmic bars close to the slits. By immunogold labelling, we collected evidence that a major component of this material is actin. By genome databank mining, the complete sequence of a B. glabrata nephrin was obtained, and localized to the rhogocytes by immunofluorescence microscopy. The presence of both proteins fit the ultrastructure-based hypothesis that rhogocytes are related to mammalian podocytes and insect nephrocytes. Reactions of the rhogocytes to deprivation of food and cadmium toxification are also documented, and a possible secretion pathway of newly synthesized respiratory proteins through the slit apparatus is discussed. PMID:24971744

  17. Modelling spatial distribution of snails transmitting parasitic worms with importance to human and animal health and analysis of distributional changes in relation to climate.

    PubMed

    Pedersen, Ulrik B; Midzi, Nicholas; Mduluza, Takafira; Soko, White; Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Vennervald, Birgitte J; Mukaratirwa, Samson; Kristensen, Thomas K

    2014-05-01

    The environment, the on-going global climate change and the ecology of animal species determine the localisation of habitats and the geographical distribution of the various species in nature. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of such changes on snail species not only of interest to naturalists but also of importance to human and animal health. The spatial distribution of freshwater snail intermediate hosts involved in the transmission of schistosomiasis, fascioliasis and paramphistomiasis (i.e. Bulinus globosus, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and Lymnaea natalensis) were modelled by the use of a maximum entropy algorithm (Maxent). Two snail observation datasets from Zimbabwe, from 1988 and 2012, were compared in terms of geospatial distribution and potential distributional change over this 24-year period investigated. Climate data, from the two years were identified and used in a species distribution modelling framework to produce maps of predicted suitable snail habitats. Having both climate- and snail observation data spaced 24 years in time represent a unique opportunity to evaluate biological response of snails to changes in climate variables. The study shows that snail habitat suitability is highly variable in Zimbabwe with foci mainly in the central Highveld but also in areas to the South and West. It is further demonstrated that the spatial distribution of suitable habitats changes with variation in the climatic conditions, and that this parallels that of the predicted climate change. PMID:24893011

  18. Thai koi-hoi snail dish and angiostrongyliasis due to Angiostrongylus cantonensis: Effects of food flavoring and alcoholic drink on the third-stage larvae in infected snail meat.

    PubMed

    Eamsobhana, Praphathip; Yoolek, Adisak; Punthuprapasa, Paibulaya; Yong, Hoi-Sen

    2009-04-01

    Human infection with the rat lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Parastrongylus cantonensis) in Thailand, especially in the northeastern region, is associated with the habit of eating koi-hoi, which contains raw snail meat. Infection results from the snails being carriers of the larval parasite. The present study was conducted to assess the effect of food flavorings in koi-hoi, alcohol, and exposure time of the two variable on the infective larvae of A. cantonensis. Infected Biomphalaria glabrata snails were used for koi-hoi preparation. Raw snail meat was mixed with koi-hoi flavoring and left at room temperature for various time periods ranging from 5 to 60 minutes. At a predetermined time, two pieces of snail meat were removed at random and examined for viability (as determined by motility) of the parasitic third-stage larvae. At the same time, two random pieces of snail meat were removed and treated with 10 mL of a local 40% alcoholic drink for 30 minutes before examination of larval viability. Exposure of infected snail meat for 10 minutes or more to koi-hoi food flavoring resulted in significantly more nonmotile (dying or dead) larvae. Addition of the local alcoholic drink after exposure to the flavoring exerted an additional killing effect on the larvae. Despite long exposure time, both the koi-hoi flavoring and addition of alcoholic drink were not completely effective in killing the infective larvae in the snail meat. Thorough cooking of the food intended for human consumption should still be practiced. PMID:19272010

  19. Characterization of α-L-fucosidase and other digestive hydrolases from Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    Perrella, Natalia N; Cantinha, Rebeca S; Nakano, Eliana; Lopes, Adriana R

    2015-01-01

    Schistosoma mansoni is one of the major agents of the disease Schistosomiasis, which is one of the major global public health concerns. Biomphalaria glabrata is an obligate intermediate mollusc host of S. mansoni. Although the development of S. mansoni occurs in the snail hepatopancreas, studies that focus on this organ remain limited. In this study, we biochemically identified five distinct carbohydrases (amylase, maltase, α-glucosidase, trehalase, and α-L-fucosidase), lipases, and peptidases in the B. glabrata hepatopancreas and focused on the isolation and characterization of the activity of α-L-fucosidase. The isolated α-L-fucosidase has a molecular mass of 141 kDa, an optimum pH of 5.8, and is inhibited by Tris, fucose, and 1-deoxyfuconojirimycin. B. glabrata α-L-fucosidase is an exoglycosidase that can hydrolyze the natural substrate fucoidan to fucose residues. It presented Km values of 48.4 μM to 4-Methylumbelliferyl α-L-fucopyranoside and 0.55 mM to p-nitrophenyl-α-L-fucopyranoside. Thus, α-L-fucosidase has a high activity in the hepatopancreas of B. glabrata, and the differential expression of this enzyme between susceptible and resistant strains indicates that besides its digestive role, α-L-fucosidase may also be important in host/parasite interactions. PMID:25218034

  20. Profile of organic acid concentrations in the digestive gland and hemolymph of Biomphalaria glabrata under estivation.

    PubMed

    Bezerra, J C; Kemper, A; Becker, W

    1999-01-01

    Using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis it was possible to determine simultaneously the concentration of organic acids (pyruvate, lactate, succinate, fumarate, malate, acetate, propionate, acetoacetate, and ss-hydroxybutyrate) in the digestive gland and the extracellular concentration of these same acids in the hemolymph of estivating Biomphalaria glabrata, the intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni. After a 7 day period of estivation, there was a significant increase in the tissue levels of lactate, succinate, malate and acetate compared to non-estivating snails. After 14 days of estivation, the levels of lactate and acetate were also significantly elevated. The hemolymph concentrations of pyruvate and acetate increased significantly after 7 days and acetate concentrations continued to be significantly increased up to 14 days of estivation. The other organic acids studied, such as ketone body acetoacetate and ss-hydroxybutyrate or the volatile acid propionate, did not accumulate. Their tissue concentrations, however, increased on the 7th day of estivation and reached normal levels within two weeks of estivation for some of them. One should take into consideration how the reduction in metabolism can be handled under aerobic conditions, and what role anaerobic pathways may play in both energy formation and redox balance processes. PMID:10585654

  1. Biomphalaria straminea (Mollusca: Planorbidae) as an intermediate host of Ribeiroia sp. (Trematoda: Psilostomidae) in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Pinto, H A; Jadin, R C; Orlofske, S A; Johnson, P T J; Melo, A L

    2013-10-01

    Species of Ribeiroia are trematode parasites of birds and mammals that have acquired notoriety since Ribeiroia ondatrae was identified as a cause of mortality and malformations in North American amphibians. Although species of Ribeiroia have been reported in vertebrate hosts in South America, the snails involved in its transmission remain unknown in Brazil. During malacological studies conducted at Pampulha Reservoir, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, between January 2009 and February 2012, in total 14,264 specimens of Biomphalaria straminea were collected, of which 192 (1.35%) were infected with gymnocephalous cercariae. The larvae were used for experimental infection of laboratory-reared guppies ( Poecilia reticulata ); metacercariae obtained in these fishes were orally administered to domestic ducks (Cairina moschata); and adult parasites were obtained from the proventriculus 10 days after infection. Based on morphological and molecular analyses, the parasite was identified as Ribeiroia sp., a species morphologically similar to R. ondatrae , but distinctly different at the molecular level. This is the first report of larvae of Ribeiroia in Brazil and B. straminea as a new intermediate host for this genus. PMID:23421393

  2. Biomphalysin, a New ? Pore-forming Toxin Involved in Biomphalaria glabrata Immune Defense against Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Mon, Yves; Allienne, Jean Franois; Henri, Hlne; Delbecq, Stphane; Mitta, Guillaume; Gourbal, Benjamin; Duval, David

    2013-01-01

    Aerolysins are virulence factors belonging to the ? pore-forming toxin (?-PFT) superfamily that are abundantly distributed in bacteria. More rarely, ?-PFTs have been described in eukaryotic organisms. Recently, we identified a putative cytolytic protein in the snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, whose primary structural features suggest that it could belong to this ?-PFT superfamily. In the present paper, we report the molecular cloning and functional characterization of this protein, which we call Biomphalysin, and demonstrate that it is indeed a new eukaryotic ?-PFT. We show that, despite weak sequence similarities with aerolysins, Biomphalysin shares a common architecture with proteins belonging to this superfamily. A phylogenetic approach revealed that the gene encoding Biomphalysin could have resulted from horizontal transfer. Its expression is restricted to immune-competent cells and is not induced by parasite challenge. Recombinant Biomphalysin showed hemolytic activity that was greatly enhanced by the plasma compartment of B. glabrata. We further demonstrated that Biomphalysin with plasma is highly toxic toward Schistosoma mansoni sporocysts. Using in vitro binding assays in conjunction with Western blot and immunocytochemistry analyses, we also showed that Biomphalysin binds to parasite membranes. Finally, we showed that, in contrast to what has been reported for most other members of the family, lytic activity of Biomphalysin is not dependent on proteolytic processing. These results provide the first functional description of a mollusk immune effector protein involved in killing S. mansoni. PMID:23555242

  3. Nematode and snail metallothioneins.

    PubMed

    Höckner, Martina; Dallinger, Reinhard; Stürzenbaum, Stephen R

    2011-10-01

    Metallobiologists have, at large, neglected soil dwelling invertebrates; exceptions are the nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans) and snails (Helix pomatia and Cantareus aspersus). This review aims to compare and contrast the molecular, protein and cellular mechanisms of the multifunctional nematode and snail metallothioneins (MTs). The C. elegans genome contains two MT genes, mtl-1, which is constitutively expressed in the pharynx and likely to act as an essential and/or toxic metal sensor, and mtl-2, which plays a negligible role under normal physiological conditions but is strongly induced (as mtl-1) in intestinal cells upon metal exposure. It has been possible to follow the intricate phenotypic responses upon the knockdown/knockout of single and multiple MT isoforms and we have started to decipher the multifunctional role of C. elegans MTs. The snails have contributed to our understanding regarding MT evolution and diversity, structure and metal-specific functionality. The H. pomatia and C. aspersus genomes contain at least three MT isoform genes. CdMT is responsible for cadmium detoxification, CuMT is involved in copper homeostasis and Cd/CuMT is a putative ancestral MT possibly only of minor importance in metal metabolism. Further investigations of nematode, snail and other invertebrate MTs will allow the development of alternative biomarker approaches and lead to an improved understanding of metallobiology, protein evolution and toxicogenomics. PMID:21822727

  4. Nematode and snail metallothioneins.

    TOXLINE Toxicology Bibliographic Information

    Höckner M; Dallinger R; Stürzenbaum SR

    2011-10-01

    Metallobiologists have, at large, neglected soil dwelling invertebrates; exceptions are the nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans) and snails (Helix pomatia and Cantareus aspersus). This review aims to compare and contrast the molecular, protein and cellular mechanisms of the multifunctional nematode and snail metallothioneins (MTs). The C. elegans genome contains two MT genes, mtl-1, which is constitutively expressed in the pharynx and likely to act as an essential and/or toxic metal sensor, and mtl-2, which plays a negligible role under normal physiological conditions but is strongly induced (as mtl-1) in intestinal cells upon metal exposure. It has been possible to follow the intricate phenotypic responses upon the knockdown/knockout of single and multiple MT isoforms and we have started to decipher the multifunctional role of C. elegans MTs. The snails have contributed to our understanding regarding MT evolution and diversity, structure and metal-specific functionality. The H. pomatia and C. aspersus genomes contain at least three MT isoform genes. CdMT is responsible for cadmium detoxification, CuMT is involved in copper homeostasis and Cd/CuMT is a putative ancestral MT possibly only of minor importance in metal metabolism. Further investigations of nematode, snail and other invertebrate MTs will allow the development of alternative biomarker approaches and lead to an improved understanding of metallobiology, protein evolution and toxicogenomics.

  5. Experimental evaluation of Candonocypris novaezelandiae (Crustacea: Ostracoda) in the biocontrol of Schistosomiasis mansoni transmission

    PubMed Central

    Yousif, Fouad; Hafez, Sherif; El Bardicy, Samia; Tadros, Menerva; Taleb, Hoda Abu

    2013-01-01

    Objective To test Candonocypris novaezelandiae (Baird) (C. novaezelandiae), sub-class Ostracoda, obtained from the Nile, Egypt for its predatory activity on snail, Biomphalaria alexandrina (B. alexandrina), intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni (S. mansoni) and on the free-living larval stages of this parasite (miracidia and cercariae). Methods The predatory activity of C. novaezelandiae was determined on B. alexandrina snail (several densities of eggs, newly hatched and juveniles). This activity was also determined on S. mansoni miracidia and cercariae using different volumes of water and different numbers of larvae. C. novaezelandiae was also tested for its effect on infection of snails and on the cercarial production. Results C. novaezelandiae was found to feed on the eggs, newly hatched and juvenile snails, but with significant reduction in the consumption in the presence of other diet like the blue green algae (Nostoc muscorum). This ostracod also showed considerable predatory activity on the free-living larval stages of S. mansoni which was affected by certain environmental factors such as volume of water, density of C. novaezelandiae and number of larvae of the parasite. Conclusions The presence of this ostracod in the aquatic habitat led to significant reduction of snail population, infection rate of snails with schistosme miracidia as well as of cercarial production from the infected snails. This may suggest that introducing C. novaezelandiae into the habitat at schistosome risky sites could suppress the transmission of the disease. PMID:23620849

  6. Endogenous growth factor stimulation of hemocyte proliferation induces resistance to Schistosoma mansoni challenge in the snail host.

    PubMed

    Pila, Emmanuel A; Gordy, Michelle A; Phillips, Valerie K; Kabore, Alethe L; Rudko, Sydney P; Hanington, Patrick C

    2016-05-10

    Digenean trematodes are a large, complex group of parasitic flatworms that infect an incredible diversity of organisms, including humans. Larval development of most digeneans takes place within a snail (Gastropoda). Compatibility between snails and digeneans is often very specific, such that suitable snail hosts define the geographical ranges of diseases caused by these worms. The immune cells (hemocytes) of a snail are sentinels that act as a crucial barrier to infection by larval digeneans. Hemocytes coordinate a robust and specific immunological response, participating directly in parasite killing by encapsulating and clearing the infection. Hemocyte proliferation and differentiation are influenced by unknown digenean-specific exogenous factors. However, we know nothing about the endogenous control of hemocyte development in any gastropod model. Here, we identify and functionally characterize a progranulin [Biomphalaria glabrata granulin (BgGRN)] from the snail B. glabrata, a natural host for the human blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni Granulins are growth factors that drive proliferation of immune cells in organisms, spanning the animal kingdom. We demonstrate that BgGRN induces proliferation of B. glabrata hemocytes, and specifically drives the production of an adherent hemocyte subset that participates centrally in the anti-digenean defense response. Additionally, we demonstrate that susceptible B. glabrata snails can be made resistant to infection with S. mansoni by first inducing hemocyte proliferation with BgGRN. This marks the functional characterization of an endogenous growth factor of a gastropod mollusc, and provides direct evidence of gain of resistance in a snail-digenean infection model using a defined factor to induce snail resistance to infection. PMID:27114544

  7. Electrophoretic studies on the digestive gland esterases of some biomphalarid and lymnaeid snails

    PubMed Central

    Malek, Emile A.; File, Sharon K.

    1971-01-01

    Because of the problems encountered in the classification of snails of medical importance, biochemical methods have been sought to help clarify the situation. Of these, the separation of the enzymes of adult snails by electrophoresis seems the most promising but very few attempts have been made so far to use the results for taxonomic studies. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the use of the enzyme systems of neotropical planorbid and of lymnaeid snails to elucidate their taxonomy and also snail—schistosome relationships at the species and population levels. The findings show the characteristic electrophoretic patterns of digestive gland esterases of the planorbid and lymnaeid snails used, as well as their variation and the level of such variation among certain populations and the consistency of the patterns among others. The results also show that, in general, the extent of variation between some populations of the same species is greater than the differences between species of the same group. However, at the specific level, there are similarities suggesting close relationships between some populations of Biomphalaria glabrata and B. tenagophila on the one hand, and of certain populations of B. peregrina and of B. obstructa on the other hand. The present study has thrown some light on the question of electrophoretic variation in enzymes, and the ways in which this can be applied to studies of the genetics of snails. A correlation is suggested between certain patterns that indicate biochemical similarities or differences among the planorbid snail populations and the susceptibility of the species or the population to infection with the schistosomes. ImagesFig. 4Fig. 1Fig. 3Fig. 2 PMID:5317015

  8. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2002-01-01

    Introduces land snails for use in inquiry-based science activities. Describes common characteristics and safety considerations while introducing students to land snails. Explains procedures for inquiry-based use of land snails in classrooms. (YDS)

  9. The role of light and gravity in the experimental transmission of Echinostoma caproni (Digenea: Echinostomatidae) cercariae to the second intermediate host, Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed

    Platt, Thomas R; Burnside, Lindsay; Bush, Elizabeth

    2009-06-01

    Trematode cercariae inhabit predictable environments and respond to trigger cues with genetically fixed releaser responses when foraging for the upstream host. The effect of light and gravity on the transmission of Echinostoma caproni cercariae to Biomphalaria glabrata was investigated experimentally. Transmission chambers were constructed of clear polyvinyl chloride pipe. Snails were constrained within the chamber to prevent movement, while permitting the cercariae to swim freely. A trial consisted of 2 infected B. glabrata shedding E. caproni cercariae placed at the center of the chamber, with 5 uninfected B. glabrata placed 10 cm on either side (or above and below) of the shedding snails as sentinels. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of infection sentinel snails in either experiment (light vs. dark or top vs. bottom); however, mean intensity was significantly higher in sentinel snails in the dark portion of the chamber (42.5 vs. 10.4; P = 0.001) and the top of the transmission chamber (66.1 vs. 38.0; P = 0.0003). There was a high correlation between the number of metacercariae collected from sentinel snails and the total number of infective units (metacercariae + unsuccessful cercariae): r = 0.992 (light vs. dark) and r = 0.957 (top vs. bottom), respectively, at cercariae densities estimated from 22 to 3,304/L. The results suggest that cercariae of E. caproni exhibit negative photo- and geotaxis in searching for a second intermediate host. Stereotypical releaser responses to environmental trigger cues (light and gravity) allow E. caproni cercariae to exploit flexible strategies for completing the life cycle consistent with the broad range second intermediate and definitive hosts used by E. caproni cercariae and adults, respectively. PMID:18954154

  10. Effects of Cu/Zn Superoxide Dismutase (sod1) Genotype and Genetic Background on Growth, Reproduction and Defense in Biomphalaria glabrata

    PubMed Central

    Bonner, Kaitlin M.; Bayne, Christopher J.; Larson, Maureen K.; Blouin, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Resistance of the snail Biomphalaria glabrata to the trematode Schistosoma mansoni is correlated with allelic variation at copper-zinc superoxide dismutase (sod1). We tested whether there is a fitness cost associated with carrying the most resistant allele in three outbred laboratory populations of snails. These three populations were derived from the same base population, but differed in average resistance. Under controlled laboratory conditions we found no cost of carrying the most resistant allele in terms of fecundity, and a possible advantage in terms of growth and mortality. These results suggest that it might be possible to drive resistant alleles of sod1 into natural populations of the snail vector for the purpose of controlling transmission of S. mansoni. However, we did observe a strong effect of genetic background on the association between sod1 genotype and resistance. sod1 genotype explained substantial variance in resistance among individuals in the most resistant genetic background, but had little effect in the least resistant genetic background. Thus, epistatic interactions with other loci may be as important a consideration as costs of resistance in the use of sod1 for vector manipulation. PMID:22724037

  11. Effects of Echinostoma caproni miracidia dose on the amino acid contents of Biomphalaria glabrata as determined by high-performance thin-layer chromatography.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Mai; Fried, Bernard; Sherma, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    The effects of 5, 20, and 40 miracidia dose exposures of Echinostoma caproni on the amino acid contents of Biomphalaria glabrata were studied using high performance thin-layer chromatography-densitometry. Amino acids were identified and quantified in whole bodies of exposed snails and in the uninfected matched controls at 2 and 4 weeks post-exposure. Using cellulose layers with the mobile phase 2-butanol-pyridine-glacial acetic acid-deionized water (39:34:10:26) and ninhydrin detection reagent [2% ninhydrin in acetone-n-butanol (1:1)], five amino acids were identified, i.e., leucine/isoleucine, valine, alanine, glycine, and ornithine, by hRF value comparison and color differentiation. Quantitatively, there was a marked elevation in the amounts of four of these five amino acids (isoleucine/leucine, valine, alanine, and ornithine) across dose levels at 4 weeks post-infection (P<0.05). Elevation of the amino acid content in the high dose snail group suggested that some changes occurred in the amino acid metabolism of the snails in that group as a function of miracidia dose. PMID:26751880

  12. Modeling the distribution of Schistosoma mansoni and host snails in Uganda using satellite sensor data and Geographical Information Systems.

    PubMed

    Stensgaard, A; Jrgensen, A; Kabatereine, N B; Malone, J B; Kristensen, T K

    2005-03-01

    The potential value of MODIS satellite sensor data on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and land surface temperatures (LST) for describing the distribution of the Schistosoma mansoni-"Biomphalaria pfeifferi"/Biomphalaria sudanica parasite-snail system in inland Uganda, were tested by developing annual and seasonal composite models, and iteratively analysing for their relationship with parasite and snail distribution. The dry season composite model predicted an endemic area that produced the best fit with the distribution of schools with > or =5% prevalence. NDVI values of 151-174, day temperatures of 26-36 degrees C, and night temperatures of 15-20 degrees C were used as criteria for the prediction model. Using the same approach with host snail data indicated that most of Uganda is suitable "B. pfeifferi"/B. sudanica habitat, except for possibly the north-eastern region of the country. The parasite, however, appears to be restricted in its distribution in both the north-eastern and the south-western regions of Uganda. The absence of disease in the south-west can not be attributed to the absence of snail hosts. Results suggest a combination of satellite sensor data on temperature and standard climate data on precipitation, as the best ecological determinants of the S. mansoni-"B. pfeifferi"/B. sudanica system. Satellite composite models and logistic regression analysis, suggest low night time temperature as one of the significant factors inhibiting S. mansoni transmission in the south-western highland areas of Uganda. The developed models are, however, unique, representing species-specific ecologic preferences of the S. mansoni-"B. Pfeifferi"/B. sudanica system in inland Uganda. Further validation studies are needed to test the value of the model in other countries in East Africa. PMID:16044680

  13. [Susceptibility of Biomphalaria tenagophila and Biomphalaria glabrata from a same region to 2 Schistosoma mansoni strains].

    PubMed

    da Silva, R E; de Melo, A L; Pereira, L H

    1994-01-01

    B. tenagophila snails from Ouro Branco, MG, showed positivity for S. mansoni, with infection rates of 5%, 10%, (SJ strain), and 1% (LE strain) using a pool of miracidia. The mollusks were found to be susceptive from the 3rd generation reared in laboratory onwards. The B. tenagophila (OB, MG) when individually exposed to 10 miracidia, showed infection rate of 2% for LE strain. B. glabrata snails from Gagé, MG, showed a positivity rate of 58% for S. mansoni (LE strain), under experimental conditions. The B. tenagophila from Cabo Frio, RJ and B. glabrata from Belo Horizonte, MG used as a control for SJ strain showed infection rates of 47%-85% and 36% respectivily. For the LE strain, B. glabrata (BH, MG) used as control showed infection rate of 40%-75%. PMID:7569607

  14. Studying snails and stream health

    SciTech Connect

    Krause, C.

    1992-01-01

    A type of snail (Elimia) that is abundant in most streams in east Tennessee is noticeably absent in contaminated Oak Ridge streams, indicating a significant level of pollution. Such a snail could serve as a sensitive indicator of and contributor to improved water quality in Oak Ridge streams as remediation programs take effect.

  15. An artificial perch to help Snail Kites handle an exotic Apple Snail

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pias, Kyle E.; Welch, Zach C.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) is a federally endangered species and restricted to the wetlands of south-central Florida where the current population numbers less than 1,500. The Snail Kite is an extreme dietary specialist, previously feeding almost exclusively on one species of snail, the Florida Apple Snail (Pomacea paludosa). Within the past decade, an exotic species of apple snail, the Island Apple Snail (Pomacea insularum), has become established on lakes in central Florida. Island Apple Snails are larger than the native Florida Apple Snails, and Snail Kites handle the exotic snails less efficiently. Juvenile Snail Kites, in particular, have lower daily energy balances while feeding on Island Apple Snails. An inexpensive, easy-to-construct platform was developed that would provide Snail Kites with a flat, stable surface on which to extract snails. The platform has the potential to reduce the difficulties Snail Kites experience when handling exotic snails, and may benefit the Snail Kite population as a whole. Initial observations indicate that Snail Kites use the platforms frequently, and snails extracted at the platforms are larger than snails extracted at other perches.

  16. Interaction of Schistosoma mansoni Sporocysts and Hemocytes of Biomphalaria

    PubMed Central

    Negrão-Corrêa, D.; Mattos, A. C. A.; Pereira, C. A. J.; Martins-Souza, R. L.; Coelho, P. M. Z.

    2012-01-01

    Human infection by Schistosoma mansoni affects more than 100 million people worldwide, most often in populations of developing countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The transmission of S. mansoni in human populations depends on the presence of some species of Biomphalaria that act as an intermediate host. The compatibility between S. mansoni and its intermediate host is influenced by behavioral, physiological, and genetical factors of the mollusc and the parasite. The susceptibility level of the mollusc has been attributed to the capacity of internal defense system (IDS)—hemocytes and soluble components of the hemolymph—to recognize and destroy the parasite, and this will be the center of interest of this paper. The schistosome-resistant Biomphalaria can be an alternative strategy for the control of schistosomiasis. PMID:22811885

  17. Aerobic to anaerobic transition in Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818) infected with different miracidial doses of Echinostoma paraensei (Lie and Basch, 1967) by high-performance liquid chromatography.

    PubMed

    Tunholi, Victor Menezes; Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius Menezes; Lustrino, Danilo; Castro, Rosane N; Sant'Ana, Luiza D'Oliveira; Garcia, Juberlan Silva; Maldonado, Arnaldo; dos Santos, Marcos Antônio José; de Lurdes de Azevedo Rodrigues, Maria; Pinheiro, Jairo

    2013-04-01

    The glucose content in the hemolymph and glycogen content in the digestive gland-gonad complex (DGG) and cephalopedal mass of Biomphalaria glabrata exposed to different parasite doses (5 and 50 miracidia) of Echinostoma paraensei as well as the activity of lactate dehydrogenase were evaluated. HPLC (high-performance liquid chromatography) analyses were also performed to determine the concentrations of four organic acids (oxalic, succinic, pyruvic and lactic) present in the hemolymph of infected and uninfected snails, to better understand the effect of infection on the host's energetic/oxidative metabolism. The snails were dissected 1-4 weeks after infection to collect the hemolymph and separate the tissues. There was alteration in the glycemia of the snails at both parasite doses, with a significant increase of glycemia from of the third week after infection in comparison to the control group. Changes were also observed in the lactate dehydrogenase activity, with increased activity as the infection progressed. In parallel, there was a decrease in the glycogen content in the storage tissues, with a markedly greater reduction in the digestive gland-gonad complex (larval development site) in comparison with the cephalopedal mass. Additionally, the infection by both miracidial doses resulted in an increase of oxalic and lactic acid levels, as well as in a decline of piruvic and succinic acid levels in B. glabrata, thus explaining the reduction of the oxidative decarboxylation rate in the tricarboxylic acid cycle and acceleration of the anaerobic degradation of carbohydrates in the snails, through lactic fermentation, which is essential to ensure energy supply and success of the infection. PMID:23376444

  18. Preliminary studies investigating the occurrence of Biomphalaria cousini in Brazil.

    PubMed

    Caldeira, Roberta Lima; Teodoro, Tatiana Maria; Gomes, Maria Flávia Belfort; Carvalho, Omar dos Santos

    2010-07-01

    Specific genetic profiles of Brazilian Biomphalaria species were previously standardized by molecular taxonomy through the analysis of restriction fragments, which were generated by digesting the internal transcribed spacer region of rDNA with the DdeI endonuclease. Biomphalaria amazonica displayed three distinct profiles. To investigate these distinct profiles, the same molecular technique, polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism, was used with different endonucleases. In addition, morphological data were also used to compare B. amazonica specimens that were collected from Brazil, Colombia and Bolivia. The morphological characters of Bolivian molluscs were similar to B. amazonica, displayed a molecular profile of five restriction fragments and morphological data, whereas the Colombian mollusc population showed morphological characters similar to Biomphalaria cousini and a molecular profile of three restriction fragments, similar to B. cousini. The Brazilian specimens showed the B. amazonica and B. cousini molecular profiles as well as a third profile, which resembled a combination of the Colombian and Bolivian molecular profiles. PMID:20721495

  19. Muscle versus Snail: Muscle wins.

    PubMed

    Simoes, Sergio; Tepass, Ulrich

    2016-01-18

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMTs) are often governed by the transcription factor Snail and entail the loss of apical junctions from epithelial cells. In this issue, Weng and Wieschaus (2016. J Cell Biol. http://dx.doi.org/10.1083/jcb.201508056) report that actomyosin contractility can strengthen junctions to override Snail-dependent junctional disassembly and postpone EMT during Drosophila melanogaster gastrulation. PMID:26754649

  20. Demographic responses to multi-generation cadmium exposure in two strains of the freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata.

    SciTech Connect

    Salice, Christopher J.; Miller, Thomas J.; Roesijadi, Guritno

    2008-08-20

    A life table response experiment (LTRE) was used to quantify the population-level effects of continuous, multi-generation cadmium exposure on two strains of the freshwater gastropod, Biomphalaria glabrata; the parasite resistant BS90 and parasite susceptible NMRI strains. Snails were exposed to waterborne cadmium for three consecutive generations. Survival, growth and reproduction were measured empirically and incorporated into a stage-based, deterministic population model. Cadmium significantly affected hatching success, time to maturity and juvenile and adult survival in both strains. There were significant effects of generation on fecundity, hatching success time to maturity and juvenile survival in NMRI and time to maturity and adult survival in BS90. Cadmium significantly affected the population growth rate, lambda (?), in BS90. Cadmium, generation and the cadmium x generation interaction had significant effects on ? in NMRI. At the high cadmium exposure, ? for NMRI showed a decrease from generation 1 to generation 2 followed by and increase from generation 2 to 3. Lambda in high cadmium BS90 steadily decreased over the three generations while NMRI at this same concentration was similar to the controls. The results indicated that strain-specific differences in response to multi-generation cadmium exposure are evident in B. glabrata. Moreover, effects seen in the first generation are not necessarily indicative of effects in subsequent generations. Changes in ? over the course of the three-generation exposure suggest that acclimation and/or adaptation to cadmium may have occurred, particularly in NMRI at the high cadmium exposure level.

  1. EVALUATION OF THE MOLLUSCICIDAL POTENTIAL OF HYDROALCOHOLIC EXTRACTS OF Jatropha gossypiifolia Linnaeus, 1753 ON Biomphalaria glabrata (Say, 1818)

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Adalberto Alves; França, Clícia Rosane Costa; Oliveira, Dorlam's da Silva; Mendes, Renato Juvino de Aragão; Gonçalves, José de Ribamar Santos; Rosa, Ivone Garros

    2014-01-01

    The action of extracts from the stem, leaves, and fruit of Jatropha gossypiifolia on Biomphalaria glabrata was studied by analyzing survival, feeding capacity and oviposition ability. The extracts were obtained by macerating the plant parts in 92% ethanol, which were then evaporated until a dry residue was obtained and phytochemically studied. The molluscicidal activity on B. glabrata was investigated using the procedures recommended by WHO (1965). The amount of food ingested and oviposition were measured during each experiment. The extract of leaves from J. gossypiifolia was shown to be a strong molluscicidal agent, causing 100% mortality of B. glabrata, even in the lowest concentration tested, of 25 ppm. Regarding the fruit extract, there was variation in the mortality, depending on the concentration used (100, 75, 50 and 25 ppm). The snails that were in contact with the fruit extract had significant reduction in feeding and number of embryos in comparison to the control. The stem extract did not present molluscicidal activity nor had any influence on the feeding and oviposition abilities of B. glabrata, in the concentrations tested. In conclusion, the extracts of leaves and fruits of J. gossypiifolia investigated in this work show molluscicidal effect and may be sources of useful compounds for the schistosomiasis control. PMID:25351545

  2. Susceptibility of Biomphalaria straminea from Peixe Angical dam, Tocantins, Brazil to infection with three strains of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Monica Ammon; Thiengo, Silvana Carvalho

    2010-07-01

    Environmental changes from water resource developmental projects affect the epidemiology of water-associated diseases, as well as malaria and schistosomiasis. Aiming to investigate the occurrence and distribution of freshwater snails of medical and veterinary importance in the area of influence of the Peixe Angical hydroelectric dam, a survey has been conducted over four years (2004-2008). The study has revealed the occurrence of populations of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker) in all municipalities surrounding the lake. Studies on parasite-mollusc compatibility were undertaken using 35 populations of B. straminea, descendants of specimens obtained from that area and three strains of Schistosoma mansoni (Sambon) (BH, CM and CMO). The main results are as follows: (i) among the 1,314 specimens used, eight had been infected (infection index of 0.6%) with only the BH strain, (ii) for B. straminea populations, the mortality index was 6.8% and, depending on the strain used, the indexes were 4.6%, 8.49% and 19% with BH, CM and CMO strains, respectively, (iii) the infection indexes varied according to the B. straminea populations, ranging from 0-12.5% and (iv) the duration of the precercarial period varied from 25-49 days. These results, in addition to environmental and social changes that took place in the Peixe Angical dam region, indicate the possibility of B. straminea emerging as a schistosomiasis vector in this area. PMID:20721496

  3. Identification of protein components of egg masses indicates parental investment in immunoprotection of offspring by Biomphalaria glabrata (Gastropoda, Mollusca)

    PubMed Central

    Hathaway, Jennifer J M; Adema, Coen M.; Stout, Barbara A.; Mobarak, Charlotte D; Loker, Eric S

    2009-01-01

    The macromolecules contributed by the freshwater gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata, intermediate host of Schistosoma mansoni, to developing offspring inside egg masses are poorly known. SDS-PAGE fractionated egg mass fluids (EMF) of M line and BB02 B. glabrata were analyzed by MALDI-TOF (MS and tandem MS). A MASCOT database was assembled with EST data from B. glabrata and other molluscs to aid in sequence characterization. Of approximately 20 major EMF polypeptides, 16 were identified as defense-related, including protease inhibitors, a hemocyanin-like factor and tyrosinase (each with possible phenoloxidase activity), extracellular Cu-Zn SOD, two categories of C-type lectins, Gram negative bacteria-binding protein (GNBP), aplysianin/achacin-like protein, as well as versions of lipopolysaccharide binding protein/bacterial permeability increasing proteins (LBP/BPI) that differed from those previously described from hemocytes. Along with two sequences that were encoded by “unknown” ESTs, EMF also yielded a compound containing a vWF domain that is likely involved in defense and a polypeptide with homology to the Aplysia pheromone temptin. Further study of B. glabrata pheromones is warranted as these could be useful in efforts to control these schistosome-transmitting snails. Several of the EMF polypeptides were contained in the albumen gland, the organ that produces most EMF. Thus parental investment of B. glabrata in immunoprotection of its offspring is indicated to be considerable. PMID:19995576

  4. Small Molecules in the Cone Snail Arsenal.

    PubMed

    Neves, Jorge L B; Lin, Zhenjian; Imperial, Julita S; Antunes, Agostinho; Vasconcelos, Vitor; Olivera, Baldomero M; Schmidt, Eric W

    2015-10-16

    Cone snails are renowned for producing peptide-based venom, containing conopeptides and conotoxins, to capture their prey. A novel small-molecule guanine derivative with unprecedented features, genuanine, was isolated from the venom of two cone snail species. Genuanine causes paralysis in mice, indicating that small molecules and not just polypeptides may contribute to the activity of cone snail venom. PMID:26421741

  5. Adaptive responses and latent costs of multigeneration cadmium exposure in parasite resistant and susceptible strains of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Salice, Christopher J; Anderson, Todd A; Roesijadi, G

    2010-11-01

    Population response to anthropogenic activities will be influenced by prior adaptation to environmental conditions. We tested how parasite-resistant and -susceptible strains of the freshwater snail, Biomphalaria glabrata, responded to cadmium and elevated temperature challenges after having been exposed to low-level cadmium continuously for multiple generations. Snails exposed to cadmium for three generations were removed for the fourth generation, and challenged in the fifth generation with (1) chronic cadmium exposure over the entire life cycle; (2) lethal cadmium exposure of adults; and (3) elevated temperature challenge of adults. The parasite susceptible NMRI strain is more cadmium tolerant than the parasite resistant BS90 strain and remained more tolerant than BS90 throughout this study. Additionally, NMRI exhibited greater adaptive capacity for cadmium than BS90 and became more tolerant of both chronic and lethal cadmium challenges, while BS90 became more tolerant of lethal cadmium challenge only. Fitness costs, reflected in population growth rate, were not apparent in fifth generation snails maintained in control conditions. However, costs were latent and expressed as decreased tolerance to a secondarily imposed temperature stress. Adaptation to prior selection pressures can influence subsequent adaptation to anthropogenic stresses and may have associated costs that reduce fitness in novel environments. PMID:20703799

  6. The Development of Snail Control Methods on an Irrigated Sugar-Cane Estate in Northern Tanzania*

    PubMed Central

    Fenwick, A.

    1970-01-01

    In an attempt to prevent the transmission of Schistosoma mansoni on an irrigated sugar-cane estate, molluscicide experiments were carried out to find the optimum methods for controlling the intermediate-host snails, Biomphalaria pfeifferi. The ease of application of N-tritylmorpholine led to its adoption as the molluscicide of choice for the two separate irrigation systems on the estate. Experiments on the frequency and duration of molluscicide treatments were carried out, and from these it was concluded that 5-day applications of N-tritylmorpholine at 0.025 ppm every 7 weeks might lead to a break in transmission by control of the snails. In another set of trials, drainage ditches were treated alternately with N-tritylmorpholine and niclosamide ethanolamine salt, and although the chemicals differed only slightly in their effect, the latter—being ovicidal—was chosen to be applied at approximately 4 ppm by knapsack sprayer every 8 weeks. Extra treatment of small pools with the same compound was carried out during the long rains when irrigation was unnecessary and most of the canals were dry. It is pointed out that the effect of the control methods on S. mansoni transmission will need to be evaluated by studying the incidence of the disease in the population. PMID:5310954

  7. Observations on bilharziasis and the potential snail hosts in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Fergus S.

    1964-01-01

    In 1962, the author conducted a preliminary investigation of bilharziasis in the Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), at the request of the Government, in order to review existing information and work done on bilharziasis, to assess the prevalence and distribution of the disease, to make observations on the potential snail hosts, and to propose further suitable studies and control measures. Although little time was available for this study, it appears reasonable to conclude that Schistosoma haematobium is confined to a few foci in the west of the country, the main snail host being a new subspecies of Bulinus (B.) truncatus. Intestinal bilharziasis is apparently very rare, but systematic stool surveys have not been done; S. mansoni may be, or become, endemic at Dolisie, where Biomphalaria camerunensis is abundant. The main factors governing the restricted distribution of bilharziasis are discussed. Bilharziasis control appears to merit relatively low priority compared with that due to several other diseases, and the author concludes that bilharziasis is unlikely to become widespread in future years unless there is major environmental change, although the intensity of transmission may increase in some present endemic foci. PMID:14163961

  8. Air-water CO2 outgassing in the Lower Lakes (Alexandrina and Albert, Australia) following a millennium drought.

    PubMed

    Li, Siyue; Bush, Richard T; Ward, Nicholas J; Sullivan, Leigh A; Dong, Fangyong

    2016-01-15

    Lakes are an important source and sink of atmospheric CO2, and thus are a vital component of the global carbon cycle. However, with scarce data on potentially important subtropical and tropical areas for whole continents such as Australia, the magnitude of large-scale lake CO2 emissions is unclear. This study presents spatiotemporal changes of dissolved inorganic carbon and water - to - air interface CO2 flux in the two of Australia's largest connected, yet geomorphically different freshwater lakes (Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert, South Australia), during drought (2007 to September-2010) and post-drought (October 2010 to 2013). Lake levels in the extreme drought were on average approximately 1m lower than long-term average (0.71 m AHD). Drought was associated with an increase in the concentrations of dissolved inorganic species, organic carbon, nitrogen, Chl-a and major ions, as well as water acidification as a consequence of acid sulfate soil (ASS) exposure, and hence, had profound effects on lake pCO2 concentrations. Lakes Alexandrina and Albert were a source of CO2 to the atmosphere during the drought period, with efflux ranging from 0.3 to 7.0 mmol/m(2)/d. The lake air-water CO2 flux was negative in the post-drought, ranging between -16.4 and 0.9 mmol/m(2)/d. The average annual CO2 emission was estimated at 615.5×10(6) mol CO2/y during the drought period. These calculated emission rates are in the lower range for lakes, despite the potential for drought conditions that shift the lakes from sink to net source for atmospheric CO2. These observations have significant implications in the context of predicted increasing frequency and intensity of drought as a result of climate change. Further information on the spatial and temporal variability in CO2 flux from Australian lakes is urgently warranted to revise the global carbon budget for lakes. PMID:26520269

  9. The status of Schistosoma mansoni and snail hosts in Tigray and northern Wello regions, northern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Birrie, H; Woldemichael, T; Redda, A; Chane, T

    1994-10-01

    A survey of Schistosoma mansoni infection and snail hosts was carried out in 1992 in six accessible schools and 11 water bodies respectively. Five to ten per cent of the students were randomly selected for stool examination by the Ritichie's method. In Adwa town, however, stools of 100 students out of the 199 selected were re-examined by Kato's method to assess intensity of infection. Results of stools examined by Ritichie's method showed that S. mansoni positive patients were present in four out of six (66.7%) schools, the prevalence for school ranging from 1% in Maychew to 61.8% in Adwa. In all the localities, there was significant male preponderance in the prevalence of infection (p < 0.05). Among those whose stools were examined by the Kato's method in Adwa town, both prevalence and geometric mean egg count per gram of faeces (EPG) were highest in the 10 to 14 years age group reaching 68% and 597 followed by 64% and 591 respectively in the 15 to 19 years of age. Of the S. mansoni positive students in Adwa, 86% excreted 200 or more EPG, 84% of those in the 10 to 14 years of age excreted as high as 1,600 EPG. Sexwise, no significant difference was observed in EPG (p > 0.05). Biomphalaria pfeifferi, the principal snail host of S. mansoni in Ethiopia, were collected from five out of the 11 waterbodies and were found shedding human schistosome cercariae in two of them, their infection rate reaching 0.7%. The ecological characteristics observed were found suitable for snail propagation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7835353

  10. Schistosomiasis in newly reclaimed areas in Egypt. 2--Patterns of transmission.

    PubMed

    Yousif, F; el-Emam, M; Abdel Kader, A; el-Din, A S; el-Hommossany, K; Shiff, C

    1999-08-01

    The distribution, abundance and seasonality of infected Biomphalaria alexandrina and Bulinus truncatus were studied for 2 years (1992-1994) in two newly reclaimed areas, namely El Manayef and El-Morra areas located on both sides of Suez Canal near Ismailia City. The results confirm the occurrence of transmission of both Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium since infected snails of both species were recovered in these areas. This consequently proves that reclamation of parts of the desert utilizing Nile water had led to spread of schistosomiasis to these areas. Analysis of the data shows that the infected snails, especially B. alexandrina, were found clustered in a relatively few numbers of transmission sites and furthermore the greater majority of these sites were found located within a less number of transmission foci. This pattern of focality is clearly demonstrated by Geographical Information System (GIS) produced maps. Infected B. alexandrina snails fluctuated seasonally showing 2 peaks, a minor peak in August and a higher one in November. Only one peak of infected B. truncatus was recognized in July. PMID:10605512

  11. Toxic effects of Microgramma vacciniifolia rhizome lectin on Artemia salina, human cells, and the schistosomiasis vector Biomphalaria glabrata.

    PubMed

    de Albuquerque, Lidiane Pereira; Pontual, Emmanuel Viana; Santana, Giselly Maria de Sá; Silva, Luanna Ribeiro Santos; Aguiar, Jaciana dos Santos; Coelho, Luana Cassandra Breitenbach Barroso; Rêgo, Moacyr Jesus Barreto de Melo; Pitta, Maira Galdino da Rocha; da Silva, Teresinha Gonçalves; Melo, Ana Maria Mendonça de Albuquerque; Napoleão, Thiago Henrique; Paiva, Patrícia Maria Guedes

    2014-10-01

    The present study evaluated the toxicity of Microgramma vacciniifolia rhizome lectin (MvRL) to Artemia salina, human tumour cell lines (larynx epidermoid carcinoma Hep-2, NCI-H292 lung mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and chronic myelocytic leukaemia K562), and normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), as well as to Biomphalaria glabrata embryos and adults. MvRL was toxic to A. salina (LC50=159.9 μg/mL), and exerted cytotoxic effects on NCI-H292 cells (IC50=25.23 μg/mL). The lectin (1-100 μg/mL) did not affect the viability of K562 and Hep-2 tumour cells, as well as of PBMCs. MvRL concentration of 1, 10, and 100 μg/mL promoted malformations (mainly exogastrulation) in 7.8%, 22.5%, and 27.7% of embryos, respectively, as well as delayed embryo development in 42.0%, 69.5%, and 54.7% of embryos, respectively. MvRL at a concentration of 100 μg/mL killed B. glabrata embryos (17.7%) and adults (25%). Further, MvRL damaged B. glabrata reproductive processes, which was evidenced by observations that snails exposed to the lectin (100 μg/mL) deposited fewer eggs than those in the control group, and approximately 40% of the deposited eggs exhibited malformations. Comparison of these results with that from A. salina assay indicates that MvRL is adulticidal at the concentration range which is toxic to environment. In conclusion, the cytotoxicity of MvRL on tumour cell and absence of toxicity to normal cell indicate its potential as chemotherapeutic drug. Also, the study revealed that the lectin is able to promote deleterious effects on B. glabrata embryos at environmentally safe concentrations. PMID:24954527

  12. Characterization of the Life Cycle of a Fish Eye Fluke, Austrodiplostomum ostrowskiae (Digenea: Diplostomidae), with Notes on Two Other Diplostomids Infecting Biomphalaria havanensis (Mollusca: Planorbidae) from Catfish Aquaculture Ponds in Mississippi, USA.

    PubMed

    Rosser, Thomas G; Alberson, Neely R; Khoo, Lester H; Woodyard, Ethan T; Pote, Linda M; Griffin, Matt J

    2016-04-01

    Ocular diplostomiasis is caused by trematode species in the family Diplostomidae, specifically those in the genera Austrodiplostomum, Diplostomum, and Tylodelphys. Diplostomid trematodes are globally distributed parasites of fish. Heavy infections of diplostomids that parasitize the eyes of fish can result in acute mortality while chronic infections are often characterized by impaired vision or blindness. In the southeastern United States, commercial catfish production is threatened by piscivorous birds and the many trematode species that parasitize them. The life cycles typically involve a piscivorous avian definitive host, a mollusk first intermediate host, and a fish second intermediate host. A survey of parasites infecting the snail host Biomphalaria havanensis (= B. obstructa ) in catfish production ponds was undertaken. Snails were collected from 2 separate ponds during the summer of 2014 and observed for the release of trematode cercariae. A total of 1,740 snails were collected. Three distinct longifurcate pharyngeate cercariae were observed and these cercariae were characterized morphologically and molecularly. Sequencing of ∼4,200 base pairs (bp) of the nuclear ribosomal genes and ∼450 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase gene revealed 3 genetically distinct species. One morphotype shared 99-100% sequence identity with metacercariae from the aqueous and vitreous humors of gizzard shad Dorosoma cepedianum and channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus as well as an adult trematode, Austrodiplostomum ostrowskiae, a parasite of the double-crested cormorant Nannopterum auritus. The remaining 2 cercariae morphotypes shared 99-100% sequence identity with an unidentified Tylodelphys sp. and Austrodiplostomum sp. metacercaria from the brain and eyes of several freshwater fish. Herein we molecularly link the cercaria, metacercaria, and adult stage of the life cycle of A. ostrowskiae, identifying the snail host for this parasite, in addition to providing notes on 2 cercariae representing 2 other diplostomids. PMID:26741049

  13. Snail modulates cell metabolism in MDCK cells

    SciTech Connect

    Haraguchi, Misako; Indo, Hiroko P.; Iwasaki, Yasumasa; Iwashita, Yoichiro; Fukushige, Tomoko; Majima, Hideyuki J.; Izumo, Kimiko; Horiuchi, Masahisa; Kanekura, Takuro; Furukawa, Tatsuhiko; Ozawa, Masayuki

    2013-03-22

    Highlights: ► MDCK/snail cells were more sensitive to glucose deprivation than MDCK/neo cells. ► MDCK/snail cells had decreased oxidative phosphorylation, O{sub 2} consumption and ATP content. ► TCA cycle enzyme activity, but not expression, was lower in MDCK/snail cells. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced PDH activity and increased PDK1 expression. ► MDCK/snail cells showed reduced expression of GLS2 and ACLY. -- Abstract: Snail, a repressor of E-cadherin gene transcription, induces epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and is involved in tumor progression. Snail also mediates resistance to cell death induced by serum depletion. By contrast, we observed that snail-expressing MDCK (MDCK/snail) cells undergo cell death at a higher rate than control (MDCK/neo) cells in low-glucose medium. Therefore, we investigated whether snail expression influences cell metabolism in MDCK cells. Although gylcolysis was not affected in MDCK/snail cells, they did exhibit reduced pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) activity, which controls pyruvate entry into the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Indeed, the activity of multiple enzymes involved in the TCA cycle was decreased in MDCK/snail cells, including that of mitochondrial NADP{sup +}-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH2), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), and electron transport Complex II and Complex IV. Consequently, lower ATP content, lower oxygen consumption and increased survival under hypoxic conditions was also observed in MDCK/snail cells compared to MDCK/neo cells. In addition, the expression and promoter activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1), which phosphorylates and inhibits the activity of PDH, was increased in MDCK/snail cells, while expression levels of glutaminase 2 (GLS2) and ATP-citrate lyase (ACLY), which are involved in glutaminolysis and fatty acid synthesis, were decreased in MDCK/snail cells. These results suggest that snail modulates cell metabolism by altering the expression and activity of key enzymes. This results in enhanced glucose dependency and leads to cell death under low-glucose conditions. On the other hand, the reduced requirements for oxygen and nutrients from the surrounding environment, might confer the resistance to cell death induced by hypoxia and malnutrition.

  14. Celss nutrition system utilizing snails

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Midorikawa, Y.; Fujii, T.; Ohira, A.; Nitta, K.

    At the 40th IAF Congress in Malaga, a nutrition system for a lunar base CELSS was presented. A lunar base with a total of eight crew members was envisaged. In this paper, four species of plants—rice, soybean, lettuce and strawberry—were introduced to the system. These plants were sufficient to satisfy fundamental nutritional needs of the crew members. The supply of nutrition from plants and the human nutritional requirements could almost be balanced. Our study revealed that the necessary plant cultivation area per crew member would be nearly 40 m 3 in the lunar base. The sources of nutrition considered in the study were energy, sugar, fat, amino acids, inorganic salt and vitamins; however, calcium, vitamin B 2, vitamin A and sodium were found to be lacking. Therefore, a subsystem to supply these elements is of considerable value. In this paper, we report on a study for breeding snails and utilizing meat as food. Nutrients supplied from snails are shown to compensate for the abovementioned lacking elements. We evaluate the snail breeder and the associated food supply system as a subsystem of closed ecological life support system.

  15. Production of apple snail for space diet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamashita, Masamichi; Motoki, Shigeru; Space Agriculture Task Force, J.; Katayama, Naomi

    For food production in space at recycling bio-elements under closed environment, appropriate organisms should be chosen to drive the closed materials recycle loop. We propose a combination of green algae, photosynthetic protozoa, and aquatic plants such as Wolffia spp., for the primary producer fixing solar energy to chemical form in biomass, and apple snail, Pomacea bridgesii, which converts this biomass to animal meat. Because of high proliferation rate of green algae or protozoa compared to higher plants, and direct conversion of them to apple snail, the efficiency of food production in this combination is high, in terms of energy usage, space for rearing, and yield of edible biomass. Furthermore, green algae and apple snail can form a closed ecological system with exchanging bio-elements between two member, i.e. excreta of snail turn to fertilizer of algae, and grown algae become feed for snail. Since apple snail stays in water or on wet substrate, control of rearing is easy to make. Mass production technology of apple snail has been well established to utilize it as human food. Nutrients of apple snail are also listed in the standard tables of food composition in Japan. Nutrients for 100 g of apple snail canned in brine are energy 340 kJ, protein 16.5 g, lipid 1.0 g, cholesterol 240 mg, carbohydrate 0.8 g, Ca 400 mg, Fe 3.9 mg, Zn 1.5 mg. It is rich in minerals, especially Ca and Fe. Vitamin contents are quite low, but K 0.005 mg, B2 0.09 mg, B12 0.0006 mg, folate 0.001 mg, and E 0.6 mg. The amino acid score of apple snail could not be found in literature. Overall, apple snail provides rich protein and animal lipid such as cholesterol. It could be a good source of minerals. However, it does not give enough vitamin D and B12 , which are supposed to be supplemented by animal origin foods. In terms of acceptance in food culture, escargot is a gourmet menu in French dishes, and six to ten snail, roughly 50 g, are served for one person. Apple snail reaches to 30 g of body weight within two or three month from its egg. Several hundreds of egg are laid by one snail. It start egg laying after three months from hatching. In order to harvest 50 g for every day's meal, 3 m2 is required for rearing space. Eating apple snail and establishing its rearing system might save the food crisis on Earth.

  16. Controlling slugs and snails in orchids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Slugs and snails are pests of orchids, preferring tender plant tissues such as flowers and root tips. Unlike many insect pests which feed only on certain types of plants, most species of slugs and snails are generalists, feeding on green plants, algae, fungi, decaying plant matter, or decaying anima...

  17. Inquiry, Land Snails, and Environmental Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrow, Lloyd H.; Krantz, Patrick D.

    2005-01-01

    Land snails are common invertebrates that fascinate children. Unfortunately, they are seldom used for activities in the science classroom. Snails are inexpensive, take up little space in the classroom, and require only low maintenance, and their learning dividends can be enormous. For example, students can use them in inquiry-based activities that…

  18. Environmental calcium modifies induced defences in snails.

    PubMed

    Rundle, Simon D; Spicer, John I; Coleman, Ross A; Vosper, Jo; Soane, Julie

    2004-02-01

    Inducible defences are adaptive phenotypes that arise in response to predation threats. Such plasticity incurs costs to individuals, but there has been little interest in how such induced traits in animals may be constrained by environmental factors. Here, we demonstrate that calcium availability interacts with predation cues to modify snail shell growth and form. Small snails increased their growth and were heavier when exposed to fish chemical cues, but this response was calcium limited. There was also an interactive effect of fish cues and calcium on the shell growth of larger snails, but shell strength and aperture narrowness were affected by calcium alone. For small snails, behavioural avoidance was greatest for snails exhibiting least morphological plasticity, suggesting a trade-off. There was no trade-off of somatic growth with plasticity. We suggest that the expression of defensive traits in molluscs can be constrained by calcium availability, which has implications for molluscan ecology and evolution. PMID:15101422

  19. The Curiously Slow Snail Ball

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vener, David; Balmforth, Neil; Sekora, Mike; Bush, John; Young, Bill

    2004-11-01

    Motivated by the curious behavior of the commercially available `snail ball,' we investigate the complex dynamics of a journal bearing (specifically, a cylindrical shell containing a viscous fluid and a solid cylinder) rolling down an inclined plane. An existing exact solution for the resulting Stokes flow is used to build up a hierarchy of reduced models of increasing complexity. Particular attention is paid to the case where the outer cylinder is fixed; the resulting numerical simulations are compared to experiment to test the model's validity. Finally, we generate numerical results for the fully dynamical problem, in which the outer cylinder rolls without slipping under the influence of gravity.

  20. Modeling apple snail population dynamics on the Everglades landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, Phil; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Romanach, Stephanie; Suir, Kevin J.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.

    2015-01-01

    Comparisons of model output to empirical data indicate the need for more data to better understand, and eventually parameterize, several aspects of snail ecology in support of EverSnail. A primary value of EverSnail is its capacity to describe the relative response of snail abundance to alternative hydrologic scenarios considered for Everglades water management and restoration.

  1. On the Ultrastructure and Function of Rhogocytes from the Pond Snail Lymnaea stagnalis

    PubMed Central

    Kokkinopoulou, Maria; Spiecker, Lisa; Messerschmidt, Claudia; Barbeck, Mike; Ghanaati, Shahram; Landfester, Katharina; Markl, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    Rhogocytes, also termed “pore cells”, occur as solitary or clustered cells in the connective tissue of gastropod molluscs. Rhogocytes possess an enveloping lamina of extracellular matrix and enigmatic extracellular lacunae bridged by cytoplasmic bars that form 20 nm diaphragmatic slits likely to act as a molecular sieve. Recent papers highlight the embryogenesis and ultrastructure of these cells, and their role in heavy metal detoxification. Rhogocytes are the site of hemocyanin or hemoglobin biosynthesis in gastropods. Based on electron microscopy, we recently proposed a possible pathway of hemoglobin exocytosis through the slit apparatus, and provided molecular evidence of a common phylogenetic origin of molluscan rhogocytes, insect nephrocytes and vertebrate podocytes. However, the previously proposed secretion mode of the respiratory proteins into the hemolymph is still rather hypothetical, and the possible role of rhogocytes in detoxification requires additional data. Although our previous study on rhogocytes of the red-blooded (hemoglobin-containing) freshwater snail Biomphalaria glabrata provided much new information, a disadvantage was that the hemoglobin molecules were not unequivocally defined in the electron microscope. This made it difficult to trace the exocytosis pathway of this protein. Therefore, we have now performed a similar study on the rhogocytes of the blue-blooded (hemocyanin-containing) freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis. The intracellular hemocyanin could be identified in the electron microscope, either as individual molecules or as pseudo-crystalline arrays. Based on 3D-electron microscopy, and supplemented by in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry and stress response experiments, we provide here additional details on the structure and hemocyanin biosynthesis of rhogocytes, and on their response in animals under cadmium and starvation stress. Moreover, we present an advanced model on the release of synthesized hemocyanin molecules through the slit apparatus into the hemolymph, and the uptake of much smaller particles such as cadmium ions from the hemolymph through the slit apparatus into the cytoplasm. PMID:26488403

  2. Cercarial Dermatitis Transmitted by Exotic Marine Snail

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Andrew N.; James, David; Hui, Lucia; Hom, Albert; Loker, Eric S.

    2010-01-01

    Cercarial dermatitis (swimmer’s itch) is caused by the penetration of human skin by cercariae of schistosome parasites that develop in and are released from snail hosts. Cercarial dermatitis is frequently acquired in freshwater habitats, and less commonly in marine or estuarine waters. To investigate reports of a dermatitis outbreak in San Francisco Bay, California, we surveyed local snails for schistosome infections during 2005–2008. We found schistosomes only in Haminoea japonica, an Asian snail first reported in San Francisco Bay in 1999. Genetic markers place this schistosome within a large clade of avian schistosomes, but do not match any species for which there are genetic data. It is the second known schistosome species to cause dermatitis in western North American coastal waters; these species are transmitted by exotic snails. Introduction of exotic hosts can support unexpected emergence of an unknown parasite with serious medical or veterinary implications. PMID:20735918

  3. Behavioural responses of the snail Lymnaea acuminata to carbohydrates in snail-attractant pellets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tiwari, Farindra; Singh, D. K.

    Snail control is one of the most important tools in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. In order to attain this objective, the method of bait formulation in order to contain an attractant and a molluscicide is an expedient approach to lure the target snail population to the molluscicide. This study identifies certain carbohydrates, namely sucrose, maltose, glucose, fructose and starch, for preparing such baits. These were tested on Lymnaea acuminata, an intermediate host of the digenean trematodes Fasciola hepatica and Fasciola gigantica. The behavioural responses of snails to these carbohydrates were examined. Significant variations in behavioural responses were observed in the snail even when the five carbohydrates were used in low concentrations in snail-attractant pellets. Starch emerged as the strongest attractant for Lymnaea acuminata, followed by maltose.

  4. Histopathological effects of copper on selected epithelial tissues of snails

    SciTech Connect

    Wolmarans, C.T.; van Aardt, W.J.; Coetzee, J.

    1986-06-01

    The exposure of freshwater snails to copper sulfate has several harmful effects on the snails. These effects include several physiological disturbances as well as certain behavioral and histological changes. On the strength of these findings it was decided to investigate, by means of transmission electron microscopy, whether histological changes occur in the surface epithelium of the snail Bulinus tropicus after exposure to copper sulfate.

  5. Glycotope Sharing between Snail Hemolymph and Larval Schistosomes: Larval Transformation Products Alter Shared Glycan Patterns of Plasma Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Yoshino, Timothy P.; Wu, Xiao-Jun; Liu, Hongdi; Gonzalez, Laura A.; Deelder, André M.; Hokke, Cornelis H.

    2012-01-01

    Recent evidence supports the involvement of inducible, highly diverse lectin-like recognition molecules in snail hemocyte-mediated responses to larval Schistosoma mansoni. Because host lectins likely are involved in initial parasite recognition, we sought to identify specific carbohydrate structures (glycans) shared between larval S. mansoni and its host Biomphalaria glabrata to address possible mechanisms of immune avoidance through mimicry of elements associated with the host immunoreactivity. A panel of monoclonal antibodies (mABs) to specific S. mansoni glycans was used to identify the distribution and abundance of shared glycan epitopes (glycotopes) on plasma glycoproteins from B. glabrata strains that differ in their susceptibilities to infection by S. mansoni. In addition, a major aim of this study was to determine if larval transformation products (LTPs) could bind to plasma proteins, and thereby alter the glycotopes exposed on plasma proteins in a snail strain-specific fashion. Plasma fractions (<100 kDa/>100 kDa) from susceptible (NMRI) and resistant (BS-90) snail strains were subjected to SDS-PAGE and immunoblot analyses using mAB to LacdiNAc (LDN), fucosylated LDN variants, Lewis X and trimannosyl core glycans. Results confirmed a high degree of glycan sharing, with NMRI plasma exhibiting a greater distribution/abundance of LDN, F-LDN and F-LDN-F than BS-90 plasma (<100 kDa fraction). Pretreatment of blotted proteins with LTPs significantly altered the reactivity of specific mABs to shared glycotopes on blots, mainly through the binding of LTPs to plasma proteins resulting in either glycotope blocking or increased glycotope attachment to plasma. Many LTP-mediated changes in shared glycans were snail-strain specific, especially those in the <100 kDa fraction for NMRI plasma proteins, and for BS-90, mainly those in the >100 kDa fraction. Our data suggest that differential binding of S. mansoni LTPs to plasma proteins of susceptible and resistant B. glabrata strains may significantly impact early anti-larval immune reactivity, and in turn, compatibility, in this parasite-host system. PMID:22448293

  6. Studies on the effect of pollution on Lake Manzala ecosystem in Port-Said, Damietta and Dakahlia Governorates Egypt.

    PubMed

    El-Khayat, Hanaa M M; Mahmoud, Kadria M A; Gaber, Hanan S; Abdel-Hamid, Hoda; Abu Taleb, Hoda M A

    2015-04-01

    This work studied how pollution impacts the ecosystem of Lake Manzala by determination of physicochemical parameters, studying biodiversity of aquatic plants and macroinvertebrates, and determining bioaccumulation of Pb, Cu, Cd & Zn in some major organisms, Biomphalaria alexandrina and Melanoides tuberculata snails and Oreochromis niloticus fish. The more near to Mediterranean Sea and to the industrial area, Port-Said and Damietta sites showed higher dissolved oxygen and conductivity than Dakahlia sites. Distribution percentage of Eichhornia crassipes is high among Port-Said and Dakahlia sites of 100 and 88%, respectively, while Lemna giba is the most abundant among Damietta sites of 60%. The maximum macroinvertebrate taxa richness was obtained at Gammalya, Dakahlia of 16 species while the maximum abundance was registered at Annanya, Damietta of 591 organisms. Gastropoda are the most distributed organisms in Lake Manzala followed by Hemiptera and Plecoptera then shrimps and scud. All the medically important snails, B. alexandrina, B. truncatus and L. natalensis were recorded in Dakahlia, but only B. alexandrina was in Damietta and Port-Said sites. The collected water samples from Damietta sites showed the highest significant Cu & Cd concentration while Port-Said samples showed the highest Pb concentration and Dakahlia showed the highest Zn concentration. The metals concentrations were higher in snail tissue and in fish liver, kidney and most of muscle samples as compared in surface water. The higher metal bioaccumulation was determined in snails collected from sites showed higher water metals concentrations. Fish muscle showed the least residues than liver and kidney for all the measured metals. Pb and Cd were more accumulated in kidneys, Cu was more accumulated in liver and Zn was accumulated in all examined fish parts in descending order as follows Kidney > liver > muscle. PMID:26012230

  7. Epigenetic Regulation of EMT: The Snail Story

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yiwei; Dong, Chenfang; Zhou, Binhua P.

    2014-01-01

    While the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a fundamental role during development, its deregulation can adversely promote tumor metastasis. The phenotypic and cellular plasticity of EMT indicates that it is subject to epigenetic regulation. In this review, we try to embrace recent findings on the mechanisms of the transcription factor Snail-mediated E-cadherin silencing, which is a hallmark of EMT. Our studies as well as those of others have clearly demonstrated that Snail can recruit multiple chromatin enzymes including LSD1, HDAC1/2, PRC2, G9a and Suv39H1 to the E-cadherin promoter. These enzymes function in a highly orchestrated fashion to generate heterochromatin and promote DNA methyltransferase (DNMT)-mediated DNA methylation at the promoter region. Disruption of the connection between Snail and these chromatin-modifying enzymes may represent an efficient strategy for the treatment of EMT-related diseases. PMID:23888971

  8. The Dual Protection of a Micro Land Snail against a Micro Predatory Snail

    PubMed Central

    Wada, Shinichiro; Chiba, Satoshi

    2013-01-01

    Defense against a single predatory attack strategy may best be achieved not by a single trait but by a combination of different traits. We tested this hypothesis experimentally by examining the unique shell traits (the protruded aperture and the denticles within the aperture) of the micro land snail Bensonella plicidens. We artificially altered shell characteristics by removing the denticles and/or cutting the protruded aperture. These snails were offered to the carnivorous micro land snail Indoennea bicolor, which preys on the snails by gaining entry to their shell. B. plicidens exhibited the best defence when both of the traits studied were present; the defensive ability of B. plicidens decreased if either trait was removed and was further reduced if both traits were removed. These results suggest that a combination of different traits provides more effective defence against attack by the predator than either single trait by itself. PMID:23326582

  9. Field tests of hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) in slow-release formulations against Biomphalaria spp

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, B.; Leme, L. A. Paes; Ferreira, A. M.; Bulhões, M. S.; Castleton, C.

    1973-01-01

    Hexabutyldistannoxane (TBTO) in an asphalt base was found to retain molluscicidal activity for more than a year in the field. It was not deactivated by immersion in mud or by drying and exposure to the sun. Complete elimination of planorbid snails was achieved and maintained when repopulation pressure was sporadic, but control of a continuously entering population was not practicable. Fixing the product at the site is important, and a formulation in fragments of rubber that floated failed after 1-2 months. TBTO apparently acts cumulatively in snails, but is only initially toxic to aquatic insects and fish, which return to repopulate treated areas that remain snail-free. PMID:4548389

  10. Mate desertion in the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beissinger, S.R.; Snyder, N.F.R.

    1988-01-01

    Mate desertion during the breeding cycle was documented at 28 of 36 (78%) snail kite, Rostrhamus sociabilis nests in Florida between 1979 and 1983. Offspring mortality occurred at only one deserted nest, however. Parents that were deserted by their mates continued to care for their young until independence (3?5 additional weeks) and provided snails at a rate similar to that of both parents combined before desertion. Males and females deserted with nearly equal frequency, except in 1982 when more females deserted. No desertion occurred during drought years, whereas desertion occurred at nearly every nest during favourable conditions. The occurrence of mate desertion was generally related to indirect measures of snail abundance: foraging range, snail delivery rates to the young and growth rates. Small broods were deserted more frequently by females than by males and tended to be deserted earlier than large ones. After desertion, deserters had the opportunity to re-mate and nest again since breeding seasons were commonly lengthy, but whether they did so was impossible to determine conclusively in most cases. The deserted bird sometimes incurred increased energetic costs and lost breeding opportunities during periods of monoparental care.

  11. Karyological Studies of Biomphalaria tenagophila (d'Orbigny, 1835) (Gastropoda: Planobidae) from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Yong, Tai-Soon

    2014-01-01

    The karyotypes of Biomphalaria tenagophila collected from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were studied using the air-drying method. Somatic cells of this species had 2n=36. The 18 chromosome pairs were identified and classified into 3 groups. The diploid cell has 7 pairs of metacentric, 8 pairs of submetacentric, and 3 pairs of subtelocentric chromosomes. Observed chromosomes ranged from 2.4 to 6.4 µm, and the total length was 122.3 µm. This is the first report on the chromosome of B. tenagophila. PMID:25246727

  12. Fecundity of the Chinese mystery snail in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stephen, Bruce J.; Allen, Craig R.; Chaine, Noelle M.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.; Wong, Alec

    2013-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is a non-indigenous, invasive species in freshwater ecosystems of North America. We provide fecundity estimates for a population of these snails in a Nebraska reservoir. We dissected 70 snails, of which 29 were females. Nearly all female snails contained developing young, with an average of 25 young per female. Annual fecundity was estimated at between 27.2 and 33.3 young per female per year. Based on an estimated adult population and the calculated fecundity, the annual production for this reservoir was between 2.2 and 3.7 million young.

  13. The convoluted evolution of snail chirality.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, M; Davison, A

    2005-11-01

    The direction that a snail (Mollusca: Gastropoda) coils, whether dextral (right-handed) or sinistral (left-handed), originates in early development but is most easily observed in the shell form of the adult. Here, we review recent progress in understanding snail chirality from genetic, developmental and ecological perspectives. In the few species that have been characterized, chirality is determined by a single genetic locus with delayed inheritance, which means that the genotype is expressed in the mother's offspring. Although research lags behind the studies of asymmetry in the mouse and nematode, attempts to isolate the loci involved in snail chirality have begun, with the final aim of understanding how the axis of left-right asymmetry is established. In nature, most snail taxa (>90%) are dextral, but sinistrality is known from mutant individuals, populations within dextral species, entirely sinistral species, genera and even families. Ordinarily, it is expected that strong frequency-dependent selection should act against the establishment of new chiral types because the chiral minority have difficulty finding a suitable mating partner (their genitalia are on the 'wrong' side). Mixed populations should therefore not persist. Intriguingly, however, a very few land snail species, notably the subgenus Amphidromus sensu stricto, not only appear to mate randomly between different chiral types, but also have a stable, within-population chiral dimorphism, which suggests the involvement of a balancing factor. At the other end of the spectrum, in many species, different chiral types are unable to mate and so could be reproductively isolated from one another. However, while empirical data, models and simulations have indicated that chiral reversal must sometimes occur, it is rarely likely to lead to so-called 'single-gene' speciation. Nevertheless, chiral reversal could still be a contributing factor to speciation (or to divergence after speciation) when reproductive character displacement is involved. Understanding the establishment of chirality, the preponderance of dextral species and the rare instances of stable dimorphism is an important target for future research. Since the genetics of chirality have been studied in only a few pulmonate species, we also urge that more taxa, especially those from the sea, should be investigated. PMID:16217668

  14. The convoluted evolution of snail chirality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schilthuizen, M.; Davison, A.

    2005-11-01

    The direction that a snail (Mollusca: Gastropoda) coils, whether dextral (right-handed) or sinistral (left-handed), originates in early development but is most easily observed in the shell form of the adult. Here, we review recent progress in understanding snail chirality from genetic, developmental and ecological perspectives. In the few species that have been characterized, chirality is determined by a single genetic locus with delayed inheritance, which means that the genotype is expressed in the mother's offspring. Although research lags behind the studies of asymmetry in the mouse and nematode, attempts to isolate the loci involved in snail chirality have begun, with the final aim of understanding how the axis of left-right asymmetry is established. In nature, most snail taxa (>90%) are dextral, but sinistrality is known from mutant individuals, populations within dextral species, entirely sinistral species, genera and even families. Ordinarily, it is expected that strong frequency-dependent selection should act against the establishment of new chiral types because the chiral minority have difficulty finding a suitable mating partner (their genitalia are on the ‘wrong’ side). Mixed populations should therefore not persist. Intriguingly, however, a very few land snail species, notably the subgenus Amphidromus sensu stricto, not only appear to mate randomly between different chiral types, but also have a stable, within-population chiral dimorphism, which suggests the involvement of a balancing factor. At the other end of the spectrum, in many species, different chiral types are unable to mate and so could be reproductively isolated from one another. However, while empirical data, models and simulations have indicated that chiral reversal must sometimes occur, it is rarely likely to lead to so-called ‘single-gene’ speciation. Nevertheless, chiral reversal could still be a contributing factor to speciation (or to divergence after speciation) when reproductive character displacement is involved. Understanding the establishment of chirality, the preponderance of dextral species and the rare instances of stable dimorphism is an important target for future research. Since the genetics of chirality have been studied in only a few pulmonate species, we also urge that more taxa, especially those from the sea, should be investigated.

  15. Phenotypic Plasticity of the Introduced New Zealand Mud Snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, Compared to Sympatric Native Snails

    PubMed Central

    Levri, Edward P.; Krist, Amy C.; Bilka, Rachel; Dybdahl, Mark F.

    2014-01-01

    Phenotypic plasticity is likely to be important in determining the invasive potential of a species, especially if invasive species show greater plasticity or tolerance compared to sympatric native species. Here in two separate experiments we compare reaction norms in response to two environmental variables of two clones of the New Zealand mud snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum, isolated from the United States, (one invasive and one not yet invasive) with those of two species of native snails that are sympatric with the invader, Fossaria bulimoides group and Physella gyrina group. We placed juvenile snails in environments with high and low conductivity (300 and 800 mS) in one experiment, and raised them at two different temperatures (16°C and 22°C) in a second experiment. Growth rate and mortality were measured over the course of 8 weeks. Mortality rates were higher in the native snails compared to P. antipodarum across all treatments, and variation in conductivity influenced mortality. In both experiments, reaction norms did not vary significantly between species. There was little evidence that the success of the introduced species is a result of greater phenotypic plasticity to these variables compared to the sympatric native species. PMID:24699685

  16. Supercharged Snails for Stream Ecology & Water-Quality Studies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Arthur J.; Ryon, Michael G.

    2003-01-01

    Gill-breathing freshwater snails (Family "Pleuroceridae") are ecologically important, abundant in many streams in the United States, and easy to collect and maintain under classroom conditions. These snails can be used in classroom tests to demonstrate effects of pollutants on aquatic organisms. In more advanced classes, students can cage the…

  17. The role of DDX3 in regulating Snail.

    PubMed

    Sun, Mianen; Song, Ling; Zhou, Tong; Gillespie, G Yancey; Jope, Richard S

    2011-03-01

    DDX3, a DEAD box protein family member, appears to promote the progression of some cancers, which may partly result from its impedance of death receptor-mediated apoptosis. We found that another mechanism by which DDX3 may aid cancer progression is by promoting increased levels of the transcription factor Snail. Snail represses expression of cellular adhesion proteins, leading to increased cell migration and metastasis of many types of cancer. Knockdown of DDX3 levels by shRNA reduced basal levels of Snail in HeLa and MCF-7 cells, and this was associated with reduced cell proliferation and migration. Snail protein and mRNA levels were increased by treatment with the HDAC inhibitors sodium butyrate or trichostatin A, and these increases were attenuated in cells with DDX3 knocked down. Treatment of cells with camptothecin was discovered to increase Snail protein levels, and this increase was diminished in cells with DDX3 knocked down. Analysis of 31 patient glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) samples revealed a significant correlation between the levels of DDX3 and Snail. Thus, DDX3 is required for basal Snail expression and increases in Snail induced by HDAC inhibitors or camptothecin, indicating that this action of DDX3 may contribute to its promotion of the progression of some cancers. PMID:21237216

  18. North American Paleozoic land snails with a summary of other Paleozoic nonmarine snails

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Solem, Alan; Yochelson, Ellis Leon

    1979-01-01

    Land snails from the Paleozoic of North America are known from the coal fields of eastern Canada, from the Dunkard basin west of the Allegheny Mountains, and from the western margin of the Illinois basin. The earliest finds were made about 125 years ago; essentially no new information has been recorded for a century. Large collections of Anthracopupa from the Dunkard basin sparked inquiry into the land snails from the other two areas. Studies using the SEM (scanning electron microscope) have provided considerable insight into microdetails of shell structure, which allow systematic assignment of these gastropods. All may be assigned to extant families, except one, for which insufficient material allows only superfamily assignment. The prosobranch Dawsonella is confirmed as being a terrestrial neritacean gastropod. To date, it is known only from the upper Middle Pennsylvanian of Illinois and Indiana. All the other Paleozoic land snails are stylommatophoran pulmonates; their current classification as nonmarine cyclophoraceans is not correct. Restudy of material from the Joggins section of Nova Scotia indicates that representatives of two ordinal groups of pulmonates appeared simultaneously in upper Lower Pennsylvanian strata; the oldest land prosobranch is found in only very slightly younger rocks. Zonites (Conulus) priscus is reassigned to the new genus Protodiscus in the extant family Discidae. Dendropupa is placed within the family Enidae, Anthraaopupa is placed in the family Tornatellinidae, and 'Pupa' bigsbii is assigned to the superfamily Pupillacea. All four of these family-level taxa are diverse and belong to two orders within the superorder Stylommatophora, heretofore considered a derived rather than an ancestral stock. Anthracopupa ohioensis Whitfield is a highly variable species, and two other species Naticopsis (?) diminuta and A.(?) dunkardona, both named by Stauffer and Schroyer, are placed in synonymy with it. To obtain taxonomic data to support the family placement of Anthracopupa, growth forms of modern pupillid and tornatellinid snails have been distinguished. The apertural barriers in Anthracopupa are identical in placement and growth pattern with those of living Tornatellinidae and independently confirm the family placement derived from study of the general form. One new species, A. sturgeoni, has been named. Anthracopupa is found most commonly in thin limestones interpreted as having been deposited in pools into which the small shells floated. Dendropupa is most commonly found in erect tree stumps that were covered by rapid sedimentation. Both environments are similar to those in which the shells of allied living species may be found today, and the fossils support environmental interpretations made entirely from lithology. A survey of the few European occurrences of Paleozoic land snails indicates that both Anthracopupa and Dendropupa occur in Lower Permian strata; Anthracopupa is known from beds as old as Westphalian B. These genera cannot be used for determining the Carboniferous-Permian boundary. Both the long local stratigraphic range of A. brittanica and D. vetusta reported in the literature and the moderately long range and great variability of A. ohioensis suggest that the land snails have little stratigraphic utility. On the other hand, the occurrence of these land snails in the late Paleozoic of the Northern Hemisphere provides further fossil evidence suggestive of a closed Atlantic Ocean at that time. A comparison of the Paleozoic and the present distributions of land -snail families on both sides of the Atlantic provides some interesting data on geographic shifts of organisms. Finally, the assignment of the earliest land snails to extant taxa at the family level indicates that the subclass Pulmonata has been very conservative in its evolution after initial radiation. A few notes on Paleozoic freshwater snails complete this survey.

  19. Effects of sewage sludge amendment on snail growth and trace metal transfer in the soil-plant-snail food chain.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Badot, Pierre-Marie; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr; Aleya, Lotfi

    2015-11-01

    Cu, Zn, Pb, and Cd concentrations in a soil plant (Lactuca sativa) continuum were measured after sewage sludge amendment. The effects of sewage sludge on growth and trace metal bioaccumulation in snails (Cantareus aspersus) were investigated in a laboratory experiment specifically designed to identify contamination sources (e.g., soil and leaves). Application of sewage sludge increased trace metal concentrations in topsoil. However, except Zn, metal concentrations in lettuce leaves did not reflect those in soil. Lettuce leaves were the main source of Zn, Cu, and Cd in exposed snails. Bioaccumulation of Pb suggested its immediate transfer to snails via the soil. No apparent toxic effects of trace metal accumulation were observed in snails. Moreover, snail growth was significantly stimulated at high rates of sludge application. This hormesis effect may be due to the enhanced nutritional content of lettuce leaves exposed to sewage sludge. PMID:26165994

  20. Modeling snail breeding in Bioregenerative Life Support System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, Vladimir; Tikhomirov, Alexander A.; Nickolay Manukovsky, D..

    It is known that snail meat is a high quality food that is rich in protein. Hence, heliciculture or land snail farming spreads worldwide because it is a profitable business. The possibility to use the snails of Helix pomatia in Biological Life Support System (BLSS) was studied by Japanese Researches. In that study land snails were considered to be producers of animal protein. Also, snail breeding was an important part of waste processing, because snails were capable to eat the inedible plant biomass. As opposed to the agricultural snail farming, heliciculture in BLSS should be more carefully planned. The purpose of our work was to develop a model for snail breeding in BLSS that can predict mass flow rates in and out of snail facility. There are three linked parts in the model called “Stoichiometry”, “Population” and “Mass balance”, which are used in turn. Snail population is divided into 12 age groups from oviposition to one year. In the submodel “Stoichiometry” the individual snail growth and metabolism in each of 12 age groups are described with stoichiometry equations. Reactants are written on the left side of the equations, while products are written on the right side. Stoichiometry formulas of reactants and products consist of four chemical elements: C, H, O, N. The reactants are feed and oxygen, products are carbon dioxide, metabolic water, snail meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs. If formulas of substances in the stoichiometry equations are substituted with their molar masses, then stoichiometry equations are transformed to the equations of molar mass balance. To get the real mass balance of individual snail growth and metabolism one should multiply the value of each molar mass in the equations on the scale parameter, which is the ratio between mass of monthly consumed feed and molar mass of feed. Mass of monthly consumed feed and stoichiometry coefficients of formulas of meat, shell, feces, slime and eggs should be determined experimentally. An age structure and size of snail population are optimized on the base of individual growth and metabolic characteristics with the help of the second submodel "Population". In this simulation a daily amount of snail meat consumed by crewmembers is a guideline which specifies population productivity. Also, the daily amount of snail meat may have an optional value. Prescribed population characteristics are used in the third submodel "Mass balance" to equalize input and output mass flow rates of snail facility. In this submodel we add a water and ash to the organic masses of feed, meat, feces, shell and eggs. Moreover, masses of calcium carbonate and potable water are added to the left side of mass balance equations. Mass of calcium carbonate is distributed among shell, feces and eggs. Summarizing the twelve equations for each snail age, we get the mass balance equation for the snail facility. All simulations are performed by using Solver Add-In for Excel 2007.

  1. What can be learnt from a snail?

    PubMed

    Johannesson, Kerstin

    2016-01-01

    The marine snail Littorina saxatilis is a common inhabitant of intertidal shores of the north Atlantic. It is amazingly polymorphic and forms reproductively isolated ecotypes in microhabitats where crabs are either present and wave action is less furious, or where waves are strong and crabs are absent. Decades of research have unveiled much of the ecological and demographic context of the formation of crab- and wave-ecotype snails showing important phenotypic differences being inherited, differential selection being strong over adjacent microhabitats, local dispersal being restricted, and long-distance transports of individuals being rare. In addition, strong assortative mating of ecotypes has been shown to include a component of male mate preference based on female size. Several studies support ecotypes being diverged locally and under gene flow in a parallel and highly replicated fashion. The high level of replication at various levels of independence (from local to pan-European scale) provides excellent opportunities to investigate the detailed mechanisms of microevolution, including the formation of barriers to gene flow. Current investigations benefit from a draft reference genome and an integration of genomic approaches, modelling and experiments to unveil molecular and ecological components of speciation and their interactions. PMID:27087845

  2. Chiral Speciation in Terrestrial Pulmonate Snails

    PubMed Central

    Gittenberger, Edmund; Hamann, Thomas D.; Asami, Takahiro

    2012-01-01

    On the basis of data in the literature, the percentages of dextral versus sinistral species of snails have been calculated for western Europe, Turkey, North America (north of Mexico), and Japan. When the family of Clausiliidae is represented, about a quarter of all snail species may be sinistral, whereas less than one per cent of the species may be sinistral where that family does not occur. The number of single-gene speciation events on the basis of chirality, resulting in the origin of mirror image species, is not closely linked to the percentage of sinistral versus dextral species in a particular region. Turkey is nevertheless exceptional by both a high percentage of sinistral species and a high number of speciation events resulting in mirror image species. Shell morphology and genetic background may influence the ease of chirality-linked speciation, whereas sinistrality may additionally be selected against by internal selection. For the Clausiliidae, the fossil record and the recent fauna suggest that successful reversals in coiling direction occurred with a frequency of once every three to four million years. PMID:22532825

  3. Molluscicidal and anti-feedant activities of diterpenes from Euphorbia paralias L.

    PubMed

    Abdelgaleil, Samir A M; el-Aswad, Ahmed F; Nakatani, Munehiro

    2002-05-01

    Nine known diterpene polyesters of segetanes, jatrophenes and paralianes have been isolated from the aerial parts of Euphorbia paralias L. The molluscicidal activity of isolated compounds was evaluated on Biomphalaria alexandrina (Ehrenberg). Paraliane diterpene, (2S,3S,4R,5R,6R,8R,12S,13S,14R,15R)-5,8,14-triacetoxy-3-benzoyloxy-15- hydroxy-9-oxo-paraliane, was the most potent compound against the snail. Anti-feedant activity was tested by a conventional leaf disc method against third-instar larvae of Spodoptera littoralis (Boisd). Jatrophene diterpene, (2R,3R,4S,5R,7S,8R,13R,15R)-2,3,5,7,15-pentaacetoxy-8-angeloyloxy-14,15- dioxojatropha-6(17)-11E-diene, had the highest anti-feedant activity among the compounds tested. PMID:11997975

  4. Crawling beneath the free surface: Water snail locomotion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sungyon; Bush, John W. M.; Hosoi, A. E.; Lauga, Eric

    2008-08-01

    Land snails move via adhesive locomotion. Through muscular contraction and expansion of their foot, they transmit waves of shear stress through a thin layer of mucus onto a solid substrate. Since a free surface cannot support shear stress, adhesive locomotion is not a viable propulsion mechanism for water snails that travel inverted beneath the free surface. Nevertheless, the motion of the freshwater snail, Sorbeoconcha physidae, is reminiscent of that of its terrestrial counterparts, being generated by the undulation of the snail foot that is separated from the free surface by a thin layer of mucus. Here, a lubrication model is used to describe the mucus flow in the limit of small-amplitude interfacial deformations. By assuming the shape of the snail foot to be a traveling sine wave and the mucus to be Newtonian, an evolution equation for the interface shape is obtained and the resulting propulsive force on the snail is calculated. This propulsive force is found to be nonzero for moderate values of the capillary number but vanishes in the limits of high and low capillary number. Physically, this force arises because the snail's foot deforms the free surface, thereby generating curvature pressures and lubrication flows inside the mucus layer that couple to the topography of the foot.

  5. Snails, stable iostopes, and southwestern desert paleoclimates

    SciTech Connect

    Sharpe, S.E.; Whelan, J.F.; Forester, R.M.; Burdett, J.

    1995-09-01

    Modern and fossil molluscs (snails) occur in many localities in and semi-arid regions throughout the desert southwest. Live terrestrial snails are found under rocks and in forest litter and aquatic taxa inhabit springs, seeps, and/or wetlands. Molluscs uptake local water during their growing season (spring and summer) and incorporate its delta 180 signature into their shells. Preliminary 180 analysis of modem shells from the southern Great Basin indicates that the shells probably reflect meteoric water 180 values during the growing season. This provides a way to estimate the delta 180 value of precipitation and, thereby, the source of the moisture-bearing air masses. Significant 180 variability in shells analyzed include geographic location, elevation, taxonomy, and habitat (terrestrial, spring, or wetland). We found a rough inverse correlation with elevation in modem shells from the Spring Range in southern Nevada. The delta 180 values of modem and fossil shells are also very different; modem values in this location are much higher than those from nearby late Pleistocene-age molluscs suggesting that the Pleistocene summers were variously colder and wetter than today or less evaporative (more humid). Assuming shell material directly reflects the 180 of the growing-season environment, comparison of modem and fossil shell delta 180 values can potentially identify changes in air-mass moisture sources and can help to define seasonal precipitation change through time. Comprehension and quantification of community and isotopic variability in modem gastropods is required to create probabilistic valid transfer functions with fossil materials. Valid inferences about past environmental conditions can then be established with known confidence limits.

  6. METHODS FOR EXCLUDING SLUGS AND SNAILS ON EXPORTED HORTICULTURAL COMMODITIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasingly, slugs and snails (mollusks) are recognized as important quarantine pests threatening agriculture, export markets and the environment. This increased awareness results from the rapid spread of damaging species concurrent with higher levels of international trade of horticultural commodi...

  7. Some aspects of snail ecology in South Africa

    PubMed Central

    de Meillon, B.; Frank, G. H.; Allanson, B. R.

    1958-01-01

    In this paper, the authors present the preliminary results of a recent ecological survey of some rivers in the Transvaal, Union of South Africa. Representative samples of the molluscan fauna of the rivers were collected and chemical analyses of the river waters were carried out. In addition, such characteristics as current speed, temperature, turbidity, biochemical oxygen demand, and amount of oxygen absorbed from potassium permanganate were determined. No evidence was obtained to show that the chemical composition of natural, unpolluted waters plays any part in determining vector snail habitats. Current speed was found to have some effect, bilharzia vector snails not being found in fast-flowing waters. Of the other factors, turbidity was shown to be of some importance, probably because it affects the growth of the algae on which certain snails seem to depend for their proper development, and severe pollution with sewage and industrial wastes also appeared to have an adverse affect on the snail population. PMID:13573112

  8. Occurrence of Biomphalaria cousini (Mollusca: Gastropoda) in Brazil and its susceptibility to Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminths: Trematoda).

    PubMed

    Teodoro, Tatiana Maria; Janotti-Passos, Liana Konovalloff; Carvalho, Omar dos Santos; Caldeira, Roberta Lima

    2010-10-01

    In Brazil, there are three intermediate snail vectors and two potential hosts of Schistosoma mansoni. Previous studies showed three variant molecular profiles to B. amazonica and evidenced intraspecific variations using sequence data. In this context, the aim of this study was to verify whether such differences would correspond to either B. amazonica or B. cousini. The snails were morphologically identified; PCR-RFLP and sequencing were carried out. Besides, B. cousini were submitted to susceptibility experiments to S. mansoni. Noteworthy, morphological data of Brazilian specimens predominantly showed the morphology described for B. amazonica. Nevertheless, PCR-RFLP results exhibited three variant molecular profiles for the specimens previously identified as B. amazonica and the phylogenetic analyses showed two groups one to B. amazonica and another to B. cousini. Furthermore, B. cousini showed to be susceptible to S. mansoni. These results confirm the occurrence of B. cousini in Brazil and points to the risk of introduction of schistosomiasis mansoni into new areas. PMID:20580934

  9. Modulation of defensive reflex conditioning in snails by serotonin

    PubMed Central

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V.; Bogodvid, Tatiana K.; Deryabina, Irina B.; Golovchenko, Aleksandra N.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Tagirova, Roza R.; Vinarskaya, Aliya K.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.

    2015-01-01

    Highlights Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning in snails.Daily injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan before a training session in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by the “neurotoxic” analog of serotonin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, restored the ability of snails to learn.After injection of the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine as well as serotonin, depolarization of the membrane and decrease of the threshold potential of premotor interneurons was observed. We studied the role of serotonin in the mechanisms of learning in terrestrial snails. To produce a serotonin deficit, the “neurotoxic” analogs of serotonin, 5,6- or 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,6/5,7-DHT) were used. Injection of 5,6/5,7-DHT was found to disrupt defensive reflex conditioning. Within 2 weeks of neurotoxin application, the ability to learn had recovered. Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning and daily injections of 5-HTP in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by 5,7-DHT restored the snail's ability to learn. We discovered that injections of the neurotoxins 5,6/5,7-DHT as well as serotonin, caused a decrease in the resting and threshold potentials of the premotor interneurons LPa3 and RPa3. PMID:26557063

  10. Modulation of defensive reflex conditioning in snails by serotonin.

    PubMed

    Andrianov, Vyatcheslav V; Bogodvid, Tatiana K; Deryabina, Irina B; Golovchenko, Aleksandra N; Muranova, Lyudmila N; Tagirova, Roza R; Vinarskaya, Aliya K; Gainutdinov, Khalil L

    2015-01-01

    Highlights Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning in snails.Daily injection of 5-hydroxytryptophan before a training session in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by the "neurotoxic" analog of serotonin 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine, restored the ability of snails to learn.After injection of the "neurotoxic" analogs of serotonin 5,6- and 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine as well as serotonin, depolarization of the membrane and decrease of the threshold potential of premotor interneurons was observed. We studied the role of serotonin in the mechanisms of learning in terrestrial snails. To produce a serotonin deficit, the "neurotoxic" analogs of serotonin, 5,6- or 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine (5,6/5,7-DHT) were used. Injection of 5,6/5,7-DHT was found to disrupt defensive reflex conditioning. Within 2 weeks of neurotoxin application, the ability to learn had recovered. Daily injection of serotonin before a training session accelerated defensive reflex conditioning and daily injections of 5-HTP in snails with a deficiency of serotonin induced by 5,7-DHT restored the snail's ability to learn. We discovered that injections of the neurotoxins 5,6/5,7-DHT as well as serotonin, caused a decrease in the resting and threshold potentials of the premotor interneurons LPa3 and RPa3. PMID:26557063

  11. The Hypoxia-controlled FBXL14 Ubiquitin Ligase Targets SNAIL1 for Proteasome Degradation*

    PubMed Central

    Vias-Castells, Rosa; Beltran, Manuel; Valls, Gabriela; Gmez, Irene; Garca, Jos Miguel; Montserrat-Sents, Brbara; Baulida, Josep; Bonilla, Flix; de Herreros, Antonio Garca; Daz, Vctor M.

    2010-01-01

    The transcription factor SNAIL1 is a master regulator of epithelial to mesenchymal transition. SNAIL1 is a very unstable protein, and its levels are regulated by the E3 ubiquitin ligase ?-TrCP1 that interacts with SNAIL1 upon its phosphorylation by GSK-3?. Here we show that SNAIL1 polyubiquitylation and degradation may occur in conditions precluding SNAIL1 phosphorylation by GSK-3?, suggesting that additional E3 ligases participate in the control of SNAIL1 protein stability. In particular, we demonstrate that the F-box E3 ubiquitin ligase FBXl14 interacts with SNAIL1 and promotes its ubiquitylation and proteasome degradation independently of phosphorylation by GSK-3?. In vivo, inhibition of FBXl14 using short hairpin RNA stabilizes both ectopically expressed and endogenous SNAIL1. Moreover, the expression of FBXl14 is potently down-regulated during hypoxia, a condition that increases the levels of SNAIL1 protein but not SNAIL1 mRNA. FBXL14 mRNA is decreased in tumors with a high expression of two proteins up-regulated in hypoxia, carbonic anhydrase 9 and TWIST1. In addition, Twist1 small interfering RNA prevents hypoxia-induced Fbxl14 down-regulation and SNAIL1 stabilization in NMuMG cells. Altogether, these results demonstrate the existence of an alternative mechanism controlling SNAIL1 protein levels relevant for the induction of SNAIL1 during hypoxia. PMID:19955572

  12. A conserved role for Snail as a potentiator of active transcription.

    PubMed

    Rembold, Martina; Ciglar, Lucia; Yáñez-Cuna, J Omar; Zinzen, Robert P; Girardot, Charles; Jain, Ankit; Welte, Michael A; Stark, Alexander; Leptin, Maria; Furlong, Eileen E M

    2014-01-15

    The transcription factors of the Snail family are key regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal transitions, cell morphogenesis, and tumor metastasis. Since its discovery in Drosophila ∼25 years ago, Snail has been extensively studied for its role as a transcriptional repressor. Here we demonstrate that Drosophila Snail can positively modulate transcriptional activation. By combining information on in vivo occupancy with expression profiling of hand-selected, staged snail mutant embryos, we identified 106 genes that are potentially directly regulated by Snail during mesoderm development. In addition to the expected Snail-repressed genes, almost 50% of Snail targets showed an unanticipated activation. The majority of "Snail-activated" genes have enhancer elements cobound by Twist and are expressed in the mesoderm at the stages of Snail occupancy. Snail can potentiate Twist-mediated enhancer activation in vitro and is essential for enhancer activity in vivo. Using a machine learning approach, we show that differentially enriched motifs are sufficient to predict Snail's regulatory response. In silico mutagenesis revealed a likely causative motif, which we demonstrate is essential for enhancer activation. Taken together, these data indicate that Snail can potentiate enhancer activation by collaborating with different activators, providing a new mechanism by which Snail regulates development. PMID:24402316

  13. A conserved role for Snail as a potentiator of active transcription

    PubMed Central

    Rembold, Martina; Ciglar, Lucia; Yáñez-Cuna, J. Omar; Zinzen, Robert P.; Girardot, Charles; Jain, Ankit; Welte, Michael A.; Stark, Alexander; Leptin, Maria; Furlong, Eileen E.M.

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factors of the Snail family are key regulators of epithelial–mesenchymal transitions, cell morphogenesis, and tumor metastasis. Since its discovery in Drosophila ∼25 years ago, Snail has been extensively studied for its role as a transcriptional repressor. Here we demonstrate that Drosophila Snail can positively modulate transcriptional activation. By combining information on in vivo occupancy with expression profiling of hand-selected, staged snail mutant embryos, we identified 106 genes that are potentially directly regulated by Snail during mesoderm development. In addition to the expected Snail-repressed genes, almost 50% of Snail targets showed an unanticipated activation. The majority of “Snail-activated” genes have enhancer elements cobound by Twist and are expressed in the mesoderm at the stages of Snail occupancy. Snail can potentiate Twist-mediated enhancer activation in vitro and is essential for enhancer activity in vivo. Using a machine learning approach, we show that differentially enriched motifs are sufficient to predict Snail's regulatory response. In silico mutagenesis revealed a likely causative motif, which we demonstrate is essential for enhancer activation. Taken together, these data indicate that Snail can potentiate enhancer activation by collaborating with different activators, providing a new mechanism by which Snail regulates development. PMID:24402316

  14. Functional Changes in the Snail Statocyst System Elicited by Microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Balaban, Pavel M.; Malyshev, Aleksey Y.; Ierusalimsky, Victor N.; Aseyev, Nikolay; Korshunova, Tania A.; Bravarenko, Natasha I.; Lemak, M. S.; Roshchin, Matvey; Zakharov, Igor S.; Popova, Yekaterina; Boyle, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Background The mollusk statocyst is a mechanosensing organ detecting the animal's orientation with respect to gravity. This system has clear similarities to its vertebrate counterparts: a weight-lending mass, an epithelial layer containing small supporting cells and the large sensory hair cells, and an output eliciting compensatory body reflexes to perturbations. Methodology/Principal Findings In terrestrial gastropod snail we studied the impact of 16- (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in unmanned orbital missions on: (i) the whole animal behavior (Helix lucorum L.), (ii) the statoreceptor responses to tilt in an isolated neural preparation (Helix lucorum L.), and (iii) the differential expression of the Helix pedal peptide (HPep) and the tetrapeptide FMRFamide genes in neural structures (Helix aspersa L.). Experiments were performed 13–42 hours after return to Earth. Latency of body re-orientation to sudden 90° head-down pitch was significantly reduced in postflight snails indicating an enhanced negative gravitaxis response. Statoreceptor responses to tilt in postflight snails were independent of motion direction, in contrast to a directional preference observed in control animals. Positive relation between tilt velocity and firing rate was observed in both control and postflight snails, but the response magnitude was significantly larger in postflight snails indicating an enhanced sensitivity to acceleration. A significant increase in mRNA expression of the gene encoding HPep, a peptide linked to ciliary beating, in statoreceptors was observed in postflight snails; no differential expression of the gene encoding FMRFamide, a possible neurotransmission modulator, was observed. Conclusions/Significance Upregulation of statocyst function in snails following microgravity exposure parallels that observed in vertebrates suggesting fundamental principles underlie gravi-sensing and the organism's ability to adapt to gravity changes. This simple animal model offers the possibility to describe general subcellular mechanisms of nervous system's response to conditions on Earth and in space. PMID:21479267

  15. Larvicidal Activity against Aedes aegypti and Molluscicidal Activity against Biomphalaria glabrata of Brazilian Marine Algae.

    PubMed

    Guedes, Elíca Amara Cecília; de Carvalho, Cenira M; Ribeiro Junior, Karlos Antonio Lisboa; Lisboa Ribeiro, Thyago Fernando; de Barros, Lurdiana Dayse; de Lima, Maria Raquel Ferreira; Prado Moura, Flávia de Barros; Goulart Sant'ana, Antônio Euzebio

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the biological activities of five benthic marine algae collected from Northeastern Region of Brazil. The tested activities included larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti, molluscicidal activity against Biomphalaria glabrata, and toxicity against Artemia salina. Extracts of Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta), Padina gymnospora, Sargassum vulgare (Phaeophyta), Hypnea musciformis, and Digenea simplex (Rhodophyta) were prepared using different solvents of increasing polarity, including dichloromethane, methanol, ethanol, and water. Of the extracts screened, the dichloromethane extracts of H. musciformis and P. gymnospora exhibited the highest activities and were subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation in hexane and chloroform. The chloroform fractions of the P. gymnospora and H. musciformis extracts showed molluscicidal activity at values below 40  μ g·mL(-1) (11.1460  μ g·mL(-1) and 25.8689  μ g·mL(-1), resp.), and the chloroform and hexane fractions of P. gymnospora showed larvicidal activity at values below 40  μ g·mL(-1) (29.018  μ g·mL(-1) and 17.230  μ g·mL(-1), resp.). The crude extracts were not toxic to A. salina, whereas the chloroform and hexane fractions of P. gymnospora (788.277  μ g·mL(-1) and 706.990  μ g·mL(-1)) showed moderate toxicity, indicating that the toxic compounds present in these algae are nonpolar. PMID:24688787

  16. Larvicidal Activity against Aedes aegypti and Molluscicidal Activity against Biomphalaria glabrata of Brazilian Marine Algae

    PubMed Central

    Guedes, Elíca Amara Cecília; de Carvalho, Cenira M.; Ribeiro Junior, Karlos Antonio Lisboa; Lisboa Ribeiro, Thyago Fernando; de Barros, Lurdiana Dayse; de Lima, Maria Raquel Ferreira; Prado Moura, Flávia de Barros; Goulart Sant'Ana, Antônio Euzebio

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the biological activities of five benthic marine algae collected from Northeastern Region of Brazil. The tested activities included larvicidal activity against Aedes aegypti, molluscicidal activity against Biomphalaria glabrata, and toxicity against Artemia salina. Extracts of Ulva lactuca (Chlorophyta), Padina gymnospora, Sargassum vulgare (Phaeophyta), Hypnea musciformis, and Digenea simplex (Rhodophyta) were prepared using different solvents of increasing polarity, including dichloromethane, methanol, ethanol, and water. Of the extracts screened, the dichloromethane extracts of H. musciformis and P. gymnospora exhibited the highest activities and were subjected to bioassay-guided fractionation in hexane and chloroform. The chloroform fractions of the P. gymnospora and H. musciformis extracts showed molluscicidal activity at values below 40 μg·mL−1 (11.1460 μg·mL−1 and 25.8689 μg·mL−1, resp.), and the chloroform and hexane fractions of P. gymnospora showed larvicidal activity at values below 40 μg·mL−1 (29.018 μg·mL−1 and 17.230 μg·mL−1, resp.). The crude extracts were not toxic to A. salina, whereas the chloroform and hexane fractions of P. gymnospora (788.277 μg·mL−1 and 706.990 μg·mL−1) showed moderate toxicity, indicating that the toxic compounds present in these algae are nonpolar. PMID:24688787

  17. The feeding habits of the snail kite in Florida, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W., Jr.

    1987-01-01

    The feeding habits of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were observed intermittently from 1967-1980 in Florida, USA. Approximately 97% of all observed foraging bouts were over marshes having sparse emergent vegetation. The visually-hunting kite was unable to forage over floating mats of exotic water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). Male kites had shorter hunting bouts than females. For still-hunting, the birds' perches ranged from 0.15-4.6 m high and captures occurred an average of 5.8 m from perches. Females were significantly more successful (70%) for course-hunting than males (48%), but I found no difference for still-hunting. Birds tended to forage throughout the day, except for occasional inactive periods by some individuals during midday. On cooler days, foraging commenced slightly later in the morning than on warmer days. Kites probably capture freshwater apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) as deep as 16 cm. Capture rates for adults generally ranged from 1.7-3.4 snails per hour. Kites usually foraged over a common hunting area, and defense of foraging sites was rare. Handling of snails, from the kite's arrival at the feeding perch unit consumption, averaged 2.7 min, with no significant difference between sexes. However, adult females were more efficient at the extraction portion of this process than were adult males. Snails were usually extracted before being brought to the nest, except in the latter part of the nestling period when some snails were extracted at or near the nest and some were brought intact. Adults feed small chicks bill to bill, and both parents generally shared equally in care of the young, except at two nests where the females did 67% or more of the feeding. Mean length of snails taken by kites was 42.8 mm (range 25.2-71.3 n=697) and mean diameter was 45.8 mm (range 27.4-82.4, n=697). The most common size classes tkaen were 30-60 mm in length and diameter. Nutritional and gross energy values were determined for apple snails. Female snails with albumen glands removed (versus males or mixed samples of both sexes of complete tissue or with viscera removed) had the highest caloric value (.hivin.x=4.04 kcal/g, n=10). Kites cast pellets, a behavior documented here for the first time.

  18. Lactic acid microflora of the gut of snail Cornu aspersum

    PubMed Central

    Koleva, Zdravka; Dedov, Ivaylo; Kizheva, Joana; Lipovanska, Roxana; Moncheva, Penka; Hristova, Petya

    2014-01-01

    The intestinal lactic acid microflora of the edible snail Cornu aspersum was studied by culture-based methods and was phenotypically and molecularly characterized. The antibacterial activity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) isolates was investigated. Snails in different stages of development were collected from farms located in several regions of Bulgaria. One hundred twenty-two isolates, belonging to the group of LAB, were characterized morphologically and were divided into four groups. Representative isolates from each morphological type were subjected to phenotypic characterization and molecular identification. The snail gut lactic acid microflora was composed by Enterococcus (17 isolates), Lactococcus (12 isolates), Leuconostoc (7 isolates), Lactobacillus (18 isolates) and Weissella (1 isolate). The species affiliation of Lactococcus lactis (12), Leuconostoc mesenteroides (4) and Lactobacillus plantarum (2) was confirmed by species-specific primers. The Lactobacillus isolates were identified by sequence analysis of 16S rDNA as Lactobacillus brevis (12), L. plantarum (2), Lactobacillus graminis (1) and Lactobacillus curvatus (3). The species L. brevis, L. graminis and L. curvatus were found in snails in a phase of hibernation, whereas L. plantarum was identified both in active and hibernation phases. Antibacterial activity (bacteriocine-like) was shown only by one strain of L. mesentereoides P4/8 against Propionibacterium acnes. The present study showed that the LAB are a component of the microbial communities in the snail digestive system. This is the first report on Lactobacillus strains detected in the gut of C. aspersum. PMID:26019550

  19. 14-3-3 binding sites in the snail protein are essential for snail-mediated transcriptional repression and epithelial-mesenchymal differentiation.

    PubMed

    Hou, Zhaoyuan; Peng, Hongzhuang; White, David E; Wang, Pu; Lieberman, Paul M; Halazonetis, Thanos; Rauscher, Frank J

    2010-06-01

    The Snail transcription factor is a repressor and a master regulator of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) events in normal embryonic development and during tumor metastases. Snail directly regulates genes affecting cell adhesion, motility, and polarity. Invasive tumor cells express high levels of Snail, which is a marker for aggressive disease and poor prognosis. Transcriptional repression and EMT induction by Snail requires binding to its obligate corepressor, the LIM protein Ajuba. It is unclear how this complex is assembled and maintained on Snail target genes. Here we define functional 14-3-3 binding motifs in Snail and Ajuba, which selectively bind 14-3-3 protein isoforms. In Snail, an NH(2)-terminal motif in the repression domain cooperates with a COOH-terminal, high-affinity motif for binding to 14-3-3 proteins. Coordinate mutation of both motifs abolishes 14-3-3 binding and inhibits Snail-mediated gene repression and EMT differentiation. Snail, 14-3-3 proteins, and Ajuba form a ternary complex that is readily detected through chromatin immunoprecipitation at the endogenous E-cadherin promoter. Collectively, these data show that 14-3-3 proteins are new components of the Snail transcriptional repression machinery and mediate its important biological functions. PMID:20501852

  20. Helix and Drugs: Snails for Western Health Care From Antiquity to the Present

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    The land helix, or snail, has been used in medicine since antiquity and prepared according to several formulations. This historical report traces the understanding of their properties from the time of Hippocrates, who proposed the use of snail mucus against protoccle and Pliny who thought that the snail increased the speed of delivery and was “a sovereign remedy to treat pain related to burns, abscesses and other wounds”, Galien recommended snails against hydrops foetails. In the 18th century, various snail “preparations” were also recommended for external use with dermatological disorders and internally for symptoms associated with tuberculosis and nephritis. Surprisingly, the 19th century saw a renewed interest in the pharmaceutical and medical use of snails with numerous indications for snail preparations. This interest in snails did not stop at the end of the 19th century. The 1945 edition of Dorvault devotes an entire paragraph to snails, indicating that the therapeutic usage of snails was still alive at that time. Recently the FDA has also shown an interest in snails. Ziconotide (SNXIII), a synthetic peptide coming from snail venom, has been under FDA review since 1999. Pre-clinical and clinical studies of this new drug are promising. PMID:15841274

  1. The faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) invades the St. Louis River Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) now numbers among the aquatic invasive species present in the St. Louis River Estuary. This snail has been in the lower Great Lakes since the early 20th century but is new to the Lake Superior basin. We found faucet snails...

  2. MTA3 regulates CGB5 and Snail genes in trophoblast

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, Ying; Miyazaki, Jun; Division of Molecular Genetics, Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science, Fujita Health University, Toyoake ; Nishizawa, Haruki; Kurahashi, Hiroki; Leach, Richard; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health, Spectrum Health Medical Group, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 ; Wang, Kai

    2013-04-19

    Highlights: •Impaired MTA3, raised CGB5 and Snail expression are associated with preeclampsia. •Knock-down of MTA3 causes up-regulation of CGB5 and Snail genes in BeWo cells. •MTA3 occupies CGB5 and Snail gene promoters in BeWo cells. -- Abstract: Secreted by the placental trophoblast, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is an important hormone during pregnancy and is required for the maintenance of pregnancy. Previous studies have shown that dys-regulation of hCG expression is associated with preeclampsia. However, the exact relationship between altered hCG levels and development of preeclampsia is unknown. Metastasis associated protein 3 (MTA3), a chromatin remodeling protein, is abundantly expressed in the placental trophoblasts, but its function is unknown. In breast cancer, MTA3 has been shown to repress the expression of Snail and cell migration. However, whether MTA3 acts similarly in the trophoblast has not been investigated. In the present study, we examined the role of MTA3 in regulating the hCG β-subunit gene (gene name: CGB5) and Snail expression in the trophoblast cell line, BeWo, as well as its relevance to the high hCG expression levels seen in preeclampsia. First, we investigated MTA3 expression in preeclamptic placenta as compared to normal control placenta via gene expression microarray and qRT-PCR and found that MTA3 was significantly down-regulated, whereas both CGB5 and Snail were up-regulated in preeclamptic placenta. Secondly, we knocked down MTA3 gene in trophoblast cell line BeWo and found Snail and hCG were both up-regulated, suggesting that MTA3 represses Snail and hCG gene expression in trophoblasts. Next, we cloned the CGB5 and Snail promoters into the pGL3-basic vector individually and found that silencing of MTA3 by siRNA resulted in an increase of both CGB5 and Snail promoter activities. To confirm that this MTA3 inhibition is a direct effect, we performed a chromatin immune-precipitation (ChIP) assay and found that MTA3 occupied the proximal promoter regions of both Snail and hCG within BeWo cells. Furthermore, we examined MTA3 expression in placental trophoblast by immunohistochemistry and found that MTA3 expression was higher in villous cytotrophoblasts versus syncytiotrophoblasts, which supports an inverse association of MTA3 with hCG expression. Lastly, using the well-characterized trophoblast fusion model, we examined MTA3 and hCG levels in forskolin-treated BeWo cells and found that MTA3 down-regulation was accompanied by an up-regulation of hCG. These data further suggest that MTA3 is repressing placental hCG expression. In summary, MTA3 plays a critical role in repressing hCG and Snail in placenta trophoblast and its deregulation is associated with preeclampsia.

  3. Central chemoreceptor stimulus in the terrestrial, pulmonate snail, Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Erlichman, J S; Leiter, J C

    1994-02-01

    We studied the effect of hypercapnic and fixed acid central chemoreceptor stimulation on the pneumostome in the pulmonate snail, Helix aspersa. We found that focal stimulation of the central chemoreceptor area of the pulmonate snail brain with hypercapnic solutions more effectively increased the pneumostomal area than did fixed acid stimulation at the same extracellular pH. Disrupting intracellular pH regulation by inhibiting Cl- transport, either pharmacologically (DIDS) or by ion substitution (Cl(-)-free perfusate), enhanced pneumostomal responses to CO2. While maintaining a constant perfusate pH, addition of NH4Cl to the perfusate resulted in pneumostomal closure; whereas removal of NH4Cl from the bath resulted in pneumostomal opening. In conclusion, the ventilatory response to CO2 in H. aspersa does not require Cl- transport or conductance. Furthermore, changing pHi alone is an adequate stimulus for the central chemoreceptors in the snail. PMID:8191042

  4. Movements of florida apple snails in relation to water levels and drying events

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Miller, S.J.; Percival, H.F.

    2002-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea Paludosa) apparently have only a limited tolerance to wetland drying events (although little direct evidence exists), but their populations routinely face dry downs under natural and managed water regimes. In this paper, we address speculation that apple snails respond to decreasing water levels and potential drying events by moving toward refugia that remain inundated. We monitored the movements of apple snails in central Florida, USA during drying events at the Blue Cypress Marsh (BC) and at Lake Kissimmee (LK). We monitored the weekly movements of 47 BC snails and 31 LK snails using radio-telemetry. Snails tended to stop moving when water depths were 10 cm. Snails moved along the greatest positive depth gradient (i.e., towards deeper water) when they encountered water depths between 10 and 20 cm. Snails tended to move toward shallower water in water depths ???50 cm, suggesting that snails were avoiding deep water areas such as canals and sloughs. Of the 11 BC snails originally located in the area that eventually went dry, three (27%) were found in deep water refugia by the end of the study. Only one of the 31 LK snails escaped the drying event by moving to deeper water. Our results indicate that some snails may opportunistically escape drying events through movement. The tendency to move toward deeper water was statistically significant and indicates that this behavioral trait might enhance survival when the spatial extent of a dry down is limited. However, as water level falls below 10 cm, snails stop moving and become stranded. As the spatial extent of a dry down increases, we predict that the number of snails stranded would increase proportionally. Stranded Pomacea paludosa must contend with dry marsh conditions, possibly by aestivation. Little more than anecdotal information has been published on P. paludosa aestivation, but it is a common adaptation among other apple snails (Caenogastropoda: Ampullaridae). ?? 2002, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  5. Snail cooperates with KrasG12D to promote pancreatic fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Shields, Mario A.; Ebine, Kazumi; Sahai, Vaibhav; Kumar, Krishan; Siddiqui, Kulsumjehan; Hwang, Rosa F.; Grippo, Paul J.; Munshi, Hidayatullah G.

    2013-01-01

    Patients with pancreatic cancer, which is characterized by an extensive collagen-rich fibrotic reaction, often present with metastases. A critical step in cancer metastasis is epithelial to mesenchymal transition, which can be orchestrated by Snail family of transcription factors. To understand the role of Snail (Snai1) in pancreatic cancer, we generated transgenic mice expressing Snail in the pancreas. While there was robust Snail expression, no phenotypic changes were observed. Since chronic pancreatitis can contribute to pancreatic cancer development, Snail-expressing mice were treated with cerulein to induce pancreatitis. Although there was significant tissue injury, no difference in pancreatitis was observed between control and Snail-expressing mice. As Kras mutation is necessary for tumor development in mouse models of pancreatic cancer, we generated mice expressing both mutant KrasG12D and Snail (Kras+/Snail+). Compared to control mice (Kras+/Snail−), Kras+/Snail+ mice developed acinar ectasia and more advanced acinar to ductal metaplasia. The Kras+/Snail+ mice exhibited increased fibrosis, increased pSmad2 levels and TGF-β2 expression, and activation of pancreatic stellate cells. To further understand how Snail promoted fibrosis, we established an in vitro model to examine the effect of Snail expression in pancreatic cancer cells on stellate cell collagen production. Snail expression in pancreatic cancer cells increased TGF-β2 levels and conditioned media from Snail-expressing pancreatic cancer cells increased collagen production by stellate cells. Additionally, inhibiting TGF-β signaling in stellate cells attenuated the conditioned media-induced collagen production by stellate cells. Together these results suggest that Snail contributes to pancreatic tumor development by promoting fibrotic reaction through increased TGF-β signaling. PMID:23761168

  6. Effects of trematode parasitism on the shell morphology of snails from flow and nonflow environments.

    PubMed

    Gustafson, Kyle D; Bolek, Matthew G

    2016-03-01

    The primary function of the gastropod shell is protection. However, shells that function well in one environment may be maladaptive in another. Upon infection, the snail shell protects internal parasites and it is to the parasite's advantage to optimize, or not interfere with, shell functionality. However, parasites, particularly trematodes, are often pathogenic and it is not clear if parasitism will induce environment-dependent or -independent changes to gastropod shells. We conducted a field study and a complementary laboratory experiment to examine the effects of trematode parasitism on shell characteristics (shape, size, and crush resistance) of Physa acuta snails in flow and nonflow environments using geometric morphometrics and crush assays. Field results indicate wetland (nonflow) snails had large, crush resistant shells with narrow apertures and tall spires. In contrast, stream (flow) snails had small, weak shells with wide apertures and short spires. Parasitism had no apparent effect on the crush resistance of wetland snails but significantly reduced the crush resistance of stream snails. Parasitism had no significant effect on overall shell shape in stream or wetland snails. Similar to the results of our field study, nonflow tank snails had significantly more crush resistant shells than flow tank snails. Additionally, the shapes of flow and nonflow tank snails significantly differed where nonflow tank snails resembled wetland snails and flow tank snails resembled stream snails. For laboratory snails, parasitism reduced crush resistance regardless of flow/nonflow treatment. Our results demonstrate that habitat and/or flow treatment was the primary factor affecting P. acuta shell morphology and that trematode parasitism played a secondary role. J. Morphol. 277:316-325, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26606527

  7. Schistosomiasis Control Using Piplartine against Biomphalaria glabrata at Different Developmental Stages

    PubMed Central

    Rapado, Ludmila Nakamura; Pinheiro, Alessandro de Sá; Lopes, Priscila Orechio de Moraes Victor; Fokoue, Harold Hilarion; Scotti, Marcus Tullius; Marques, Joaquim Vogt; Ohlweiler, Fernanda Pires; Borrely, Sueli Ivone; Pereira, Carlos Alberto de Bragança; Kato, Massuo Jorge; Nakano, Eliana; Yamaguchi, Lydia Fumiko

    2013-01-01

    Background Schistosomiasis is one of the most significant diseases in tropical countries and affects almost 200 million people worldwide. The application of molluscicides to eliminate the parasite's intermediate host, Biomphalaria glabrata, from infected water supplies is one strategy currently being used to control the disease. Previous studies have shown a potent molluscicidal activity of crude extracts from Piper species, with extracts from Piper tuberculatum being among the most active. Methods and Findings The molluscicidal activity of P. tuberculatum was monitored on methanolic extracts from different organs (roots, leaves, fruit and stems). The compounds responsible for the molluscicidal activity were identified using 1H NMR and ESIMS data and multivariate analyses, including principal component analysis and partial least squares. These results indicated that the high molluscicidal activity displayed by root extracts (LC50 20.28 µg/ml) was due to the presence of piplartine, a well-known biologically-active amide. Piplartine was isolated from P. tuberculatum root extracts, and the molluscicidal activity of this compound on adults and embryos of B. glabrata was determined. The compound displayed potent activity against all developmental stages of B. glabrata. Next, the environmental toxicity of piplartine was evaluated using the microcrustacean Daphnia similis (LC50 7.32 µg/ml) and the fish Danio rerio (1.69 µg/ml). The toxicity to these organisms was less compared with the toxicity of niclosamide, a commercial molluscicide. Conclusions The development of a new, natural molluscicide is highly desirable, particularly because the commercially available molluscicide niclosamide is highly toxic to some organisms in the environment (LC50 0.25 µg/ml to D. similis and 0.12 µg/ml to D. rerio). Thus, piplartine is a potential candidate for a natural molluscicide that has been extracted from a tropical plant species and showed less toxic to environment. PMID:23755312

  8. Nuclear ubiquitination by FBXL5 modulates Snail1 DNA binding and stability.

    PubMed

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Frías, Álex; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D; García de Herreros, Antonio; Díaz, Víctor M

    2014-01-01

    The zinc finger transcription factor Snail1 regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition, repressing epithelial markers and activating mesenchymal genes. Snail1 is an extremely labile protein degraded by the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-ligases β-TrCP1/FBXW1 and Ppa/FBXL14. Using a short hairpin RNA screening, we have identified FBXL5 as a novel Snail1 ubiquitin ligase. FBXL5 is located in the nucleus where it interacts with Snail1 promoting its polyubiquitination and affecting Snail1 protein stability and function by impairing DNA binding. Snail1 downregulation by FBXL5 is prevented by Lats2, a protein kinase that phosphorylates Snail1 precluding its nuclear export but not its polyubiquitination. Actually, although polyubiquitination by FBXL5 takes place in the nucleus, Snail1 is degraded in the cytosol. Finally, FBXL5 is highly sensitive to stress conditions and is downregulated by iron depletion and γ-irradiation, explaining Snail1 stabilization in these conditions. These results characterize a novel nuclear ubiquitin ligase controlling Snail1 protein stability and provide the molecular basis for understanding how radiotherapy upregulates the epithelial to mesenchymal transition-inducer Snail1. PMID:24157836

  9. Nuclear ubiquitination by FBXL5 modulates Snail1 DNA binding and stability

    PubMed Central

    Viñas-Castells, Rosa; Frías, Álex; Robles-Lanuza, Estefanía; Zhang, Kun; Longmore, Gregory D.; García de Herreros, Antonio; Díaz, Víctor M.

    2014-01-01

    The zinc finger transcription factor Snail1 regulates epithelial to mesenchymal transition, repressing epithelial markers and activating mesenchymal genes. Snail1 is an extremely labile protein degraded by the cytoplasmic ubiquitin-ligases β-TrCP1/FBXW1 and Ppa/FBXL14. Using a short hairpin RNA screening, we have identified FBXL5 as a novel Snail1 ubiquitin ligase. FBXL5 is located in the nucleus where it interacts with Snail1 promoting its polyubiquitination and affecting Snail1 protein stability and function by impairing DNA binding. Snail1 downregulation by FBXL5 is prevented by Lats2, a protein kinase that phosphorylates Snail1 precluding its nuclear export but not its polyubiquitination. Actually, although polyubiquitination by FBXL5 takes place in the nucleus, Snail1 is degraded in the cytosol. Finally, FBXL5 is highly sensitive to stress conditions and is downregulated by iron depletion and γ-irradiation, explaining Snail1 stabilization in these conditions. These results characterize a novel nuclear ubiquitin ligase controlling Snail1 protein stability and provide the molecular basis for understanding how radiotherapy upregulates the epithelial to mesenchymal transition-inducer Snail1. PMID:24157836

  10. Snail1 is a transcriptional effector of FGFR3 signaling during chondrogenesis and achondroplasias.

    PubMed

    de Frutos, Cristina A; Vega, Sonia; Manzanares, Miguel; Flores, Juana M; Huertas, Hector; Martínez-Frías, M Luisa; Nieto, M Angela

    2007-12-01

    Achondroplasias are the most common genetic forms of dwarfism in humans. They are associated with activating mutations in FGFR3, which signal through the Stat and MAPK pathways in a ligand-independent manner to impair chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. Snail1 has been implicated in chondrocyte differentiation as it represses Collagen II and aggrecan transcription in vitro. Here we demonstrate that Snail1 overexpression in the developing bone leads to achondroplasia in mice. Snail1 acts downstream of FGFR3 signaling in chondrocytes, regulating both Stat and MAPK pathways. Moreover, FGFR3 requires Snail1 during bone development and disease as the inhibition of Snail1 abolishes its signaling even through achondroplastic- and thanatophoric-activating FGFR3 forms. Significantly, Snail1 is aberrantly upregulated in thanatophoric versus normal cartilages from stillborns. Thus, Snail activity may likely be considered a target for achondroplasia therapies. PMID:18061568

  11. An ecological study of Bithynia snails, the first intermediate host of Opisthorchis viverrini in northeast Thailand.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi-Chen; Ho, Richard Cheng Yong; Feng, Chen-Chieh; Namsanor, Jutamas; Sithithaworn, Paiboon

    2015-01-01

    Infection with the food-borne trematodiasis, liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, is a major public health concern in Southeast Asia. While epidemiology and parasitic incidence in humans are well studied, ecological information on the O. viverrini intermediate hosts remains limited. This study aimed to investigate the factors affecting the distribution and abundance of the first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails. Water quality and snails were sampled in 31 sites in Muang District, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand from June 2012 to January 2013 to characterize the B.s. goniomphalos snail habitats. Species relative abundance and Shannon's diversity and evenness indices were employed to describe snail compositions and diversities across different habitat types. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine the extent to which the water quality variables and species interactions account for the relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails. The results showed that the freshwater habitats of ponds, streams and rice paddies possessed significantly different abiotic water qualities, with water temperature and pH showing distinct statistical differences (P<0.05). Different habitats had different snail diversity and species evenness, with high B.s. goniomphalos snail abundance at rice paddy habitats. The differences in snail abundance might be due to the distinct sets of abiotic water qualities associated with each habitat types. The relative abundance of B.s. goniomphalos snails was found to be negatively correlated with that of Filopaludina martensi martensi snails (r=-0.46, P<0.05), underscoring the possible influence of species interaction on B.s. goniomphalos snail population. Field work observations revealed that rice planting seasons and irrigation could regulate snail population dynamics at rice paddy habitats. This study provides new ecological insights into the factors affecting Bithynia snail distribution and abundance. It bridges the knowledge gap in O. viverrini disease ecology and highlights the potential effect of anthropogenic irrigation practices on B.s. goniomphalos snail ecology. PMID:24561073

  12. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness

    PubMed Central

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes’ dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  13. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banks, Stephen W.; Shepherd, Deborah K.; Williams-Hart, Tara; Gossett, Dalton R.; Crnkovic, Amanda C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is based upon a laboratory exercise designed for biology students in secondary schools or those taking introductory biology laboratory courses in colleges and universities. This exercise requires a set of calipers, a calculator and populations of snail shells collected either from the wild or obtained from a biological supply house. The…

  14. Fossil snail shells tell story about Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wendel, JoAnna

    2014-09-01

    Ancient and modern snail shells have given scientists a unique look at the evolution of the Tibetan Plateau, confirming that parts of the plateau have actually lost elevation over time, despite its immense height. A new paper detailing the research was published on 29 August in the Geological Society of America Bulletin (doi:10.1130/B31000.1).

  15. MOLLUSCICIDAL ACTIVITY OF VULGARONE B AGAINST RAM'S HORN SNAIL

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ram's horn snail (Planorbdella trivolvis) is an intermediate host for a digenetic trematode (Bolbophorus confusus) that has recently been discovered to be a significant problem in commercial catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) production ponds in the Mississippi Delta region of the USA. In these catf...

  16. Molecular diversity of avian schistosomes in Danish freshwater snails.

    PubMed

    Christiansen, Anne Ø; Olsen, Annette; Buchmann, Kurt; Kania, Per W; Nejsum, Peter; Vennervald, Birgitte J

    2016-03-01

    Avian schistosomes are widespread parasites of snails and waterfowl and may cause cercarial dermatitis (swimmer's itch) in humans, a disease that is frequently reported in European countries. These parasites are known to occur in Denmark, but here, we applied a new approach using molecular tools to identify the parasites at species level. In order to do that, 499 pulmonate freshwater snails (Radix sp., Lymnaea stagnalis, Stagnicola sp. and Planorbarius corneus) were sampled from 12 lakes, ponds, and marshes in the greater Copenhagen area. Avian schistosome cercariae were identified by microscopy and subjected to molecular investigation by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the 5.8S and ITS2 ribosomal DNA for species identification. Additionally, snail hosts belonging to the genus Radix were identified by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of partial ITS2 ribosomal DNA. Three out of 499 snails shed different species of Trichobilharzia cercariae: Trichobilharzia szidati was isolated from L. stagnalis, Trichobilharzia franki from Radix auricularia and Trichobilharzia regenti from Radix peregra. In the light of the public health risk represented by bird schistosomes, these findings are of concern and, particularly, the presence of the potentially neuro-pathogenic species, T. regenti, in Danish freshwaters calls for attention. PMID:26573519

  17. A snail-eating snake recognizes prey handedness.

    PubMed

    Danaisawadi, Patchara; Asami, Takahiro; Ota, Hidetoshi; Sutcharit, Chirasak; Panha, Somsak

    2016-01-01

    Specialized predator-prey interactions can be a driving force for their coevolution. Southeast Asian snail-eating snakes (Pareas) have more teeth on the right mandible and specialize in predation on the clockwise-coiled (dextral) majority in shelled snails by soft-body extraction. Snails have countered the snakes' dextral-predation by recurrent coil reversal, which generates diverse counterclockwise-coiled (sinistral) prey where Pareas snakes live. However, whether the snake predator in turn evolves any response to prey reversal is unknown. We show that Pareas carinatus living with abundant sinistrals avoids approaching or striking at a sinistral that is more difficult and costly to handle than a dextral. Whenever it strikes, however, the snake succeeds in predation by handling dextral and sinistral prey in reverse. In contrast, P. iwasakii with little access to sinistrals on small peripheral islands attempts and frequently misses capturing a given sinistral. Prey-handedness recognition should be advantageous for right-handed snail-eating snakes where frequently encountering sinistrals. Under dextral-predation by Pareas snakes, adaptive fixation of a prey population for a reversal gene instantaneously generates a sinistral species because interchiral mating is rarely possible. The novel warning, instead of sheltering, effect of sinistrality benefitting both predators and prey could further accelerate single-gene ecological speciation by left-right reversal. PMID:27046345

  18. Palatability studies of snail and slug poison baits, using dogs.

    PubMed

    Kitchell, R L; Schubert, T A; Mull, R L; Knaak, J B

    1978-07-01

    In 1975, the California Department of Food and Agriculture required registered manufacturers of snail and slug baits to present data showing the unattractiveness of these products to dogs, in order to reduce the number deaths in dogs due to poisoning by eating these baits. A cooperative project involving the University of California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and the snail and slug bait manufacturers was designed to assist the manufacturers in assessing the palatability of their products by dogs and to develop criteria for the regulatory agencies to use to ensure that the products they were registering were unattractive to dogs. The studies showed that most recently formulated baits were relatively unpalatable for dogs. A 2-panel consumption testing procedure was developed and is being used by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency as criteria for registration. Current reports indicate a dramatic decrease in snail and slug bait poisonings in California after these criteria were established as requirements for registration of snail and slug baits. PMID:670059

  19. Food Choice in the Common Snail (Helix Aspersa).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gill, John; Howell, Pauline

    1985-01-01

    The easily obtained common snail shows interesting dietary preferences which can be the source of several simple experiments. Specific student instructions are given for quantitative and comparative studies using cabbage, lettuce, carrot, rutabaga, and onion. Suggestions for laboratory setup and further work are included. (DH)

  20. Arsenic speciation in freshwater snails and its life cycle variation.

    PubMed

    Lai, Vivian W-M; Kanaki, Katerina; Pergantis, Spiros A; Cullen, William R; Reimer, Kenneth J

    2012-03-01

    Terrestrial snails are consumed by humans occasionally and they are an important food source for many creatures including fish and birds. Little is known about arsenic speciation in these gastropods, let alone life cycle variations. Here we report on the arsenic speciation in freshwater snails from Pender Island and Vancouver Island, B.C., Canada, which was determined on methanol/water extracts (43-59% extraction efficiency) by using high performance liquid chromatography-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) and HPLC-electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. The tetramethylarsonium ion, oxo-arsenosugars and thio-arsenosugars are the main arsenic species encountered. Arsenobetaine, which is commonly found in the marine environment, is minor. Live bearing snails Viviparidae sp. from Pender Island were maintained in aquaria and the arsenic speciation in the unborn, newly born, and adult animals was monitored. Oxo-arsenosugars predominate in the adults, whereas thio-arsenosugars seem to predominate in juveniles, suggesting that these arsenicals are snail metabolites. PMID:22193982

  1. Snail Shells in a Practical Application of Statistical Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Banks, Stephen W.; Shepherd, Deborah K.; Williams-Hart, Tara; Gossett, Dalton R.; Crnkovic, Amanda C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper is based upon a laboratory exercise designed for biology students in secondary schools or those taking introductory biology laboratory courses in colleges and universities. This exercise requires a set of calipers, a calculator and populations of snail shells collected either from the wild or obtained from a biological supply house. The

  2. Molecular phylogeny and evolution of the cone snails (Gastropoda, Conoidea).

    PubMed

    Puillandre, N; Bouchet, P; Duda, T F; Kauferstein, S; Kohn, A J; Olivera, B M; Watkins, M; Meyer, C

    2014-09-01

    We present a large-scale molecular phylogeny that includes 320 of the 761 recognized valid species of the cone snails (Conus), one of the most diverse groups of marine molluscs, based on three mitochondrial genes (COI, 16S rDNA and 12S rDNA). This is the first phylogeny of the taxon to employ concatenated sequences of several genes, and it includes more than twice as many species as the last published molecular phylogeny of the entire group nearly a decade ago. Most of the numerous molecular phylogenies published during the last 15years are limited to rather small fractions of its species diversity. Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses are mostly congruent and confirm the presence of three previously reported highly divergent lineages among cone snails, and one identified here using molecular data. About 85% of the species cluster in the single Large Major Clade; the others are divided between the Small Major Clade (∼12%), the Conus californicus lineage (one species), and a newly defined clade (∼3%). We also define several subclades within the Large and Small major clades, but most of their relationships remain poorly supported. To illustrate the usefulness of molecular phylogenies in addressing specific evolutionary questions, we analyse the evolution of the diet, the biogeography and the toxins of cone snails. All cone snails whose feeding biology is known inject venom into large prey animals and swallow them whole. Predation on polychaete worms is inferred as the ancestral state, and diet shifts to molluscs and fishes occurred rarely. The ancestor of cone snails probably originated from the Indo-Pacific; rather few colonisations of other biogeographic provinces have probably occurred. A new classification of the Conidae, based on the molecular phylogeny, is published in an accompanying paper. PMID:24878223

  3. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon.

    PubMed

    Aguirre-Macedo, María Leopoldina; Vidal-Martínez, Victor M; Lafferty, Kevin D

    2011-11-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery. PMID:22079832

  4. Targeted Inactivation of Snail Family EMT Regulatory Factors by a Co(III)-Ebox Conjugate

    PubMed Central

    Harney, Allison S.; Meade, Thomas J.; LaBonne, Carole

    2012-01-01

    Snail family proteins are core EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) regulatory factors that play essential roles in both development and disease processes and have been associated with metastasis in carcinomas. Snail factors are required for the formation of neural crest stem cells in most vertebrate embryos, as well as for the migratory invasive behavior of these cells. Snail factors have recently been linked to the formation of cancer stem cells, and expression of Snail proteins may be associated with tumor recurrence and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We report that Co(III)-Ebox is a potent inhibitor of Snail- mediated transcriptional repression in breast cancer cells and in the neural crest of Xenopus. We further show that the activity of Co(III)-Ebox can be modulated by temperature, increasing the utility of this conjugate as a Snail inhibitor in model organisms. We exploit this feature to further delineate the requirements for Snail function during neural crest development, showing that in addition to the roles that Snail factors play in neural crest precursor formation and neural crest EMT/migration, inhibition of Snail function after the onset of neural crest migration leads to a loss of neural crest derived melanocytes. Co(III)-Ebox-mediated inhibition therefore provides a powerful tool for analysing the function of these core EMT factors with unparalleled temporal resolution. Moreover, the potency of Co(III)-Ebox as a Snail inhibitor in breast cancer cells suggests its potential as a therapeutic inhibitor of tumor progression and metastasis. PMID:22393397

  5. Snail1 transcriptional repressor binds to its own promoter and controls its expression

    PubMed Central

    Peiró, Sandra; Escrivà, Maria; Puig, Isabel; Barberà, Maria José; Dave, Natàlia; Herranz, Nicolás; Larriba, Maria Jesús; Takkunen, Minna; Francí, Clara; Muñoz, Alberto; Virtanen, Ismo; Baulida, Josep; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2006-01-01

    The product of Snail1 gene is a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin expression and an inductor of the epithelial–mesenchymal transition in several epithelial tumour cell lines. Transcription of Snail1 is induced when epithelial cells are forced to acquire a mesenchymal phenotype. In this work we demonstrate that Snail1 protein limits its own expression: Snail1 binds to an E-box present in its promoter (at −146 with respect to the transcription start) and represses its activity. Therefore, mutation of the E-box increases Snail1 transcription in epithelial and mesenchymal cells. Evidence of binding of ectopic or endogenous Snail1 to its own promoter was obtained by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments. Studies performed expressing different forms of Snail1 under the control of its own promoter demonstrate that disruption of the regulatory loop increases the cellular levels of Snail protein. These results indicate that expression of Snail1 gene can be regulated by its product and evidence the existence of a fine-tuning feed-back mechanism of regulation of Snail1 transcription. PMID:16617148

  6. Snail controls proliferation of Drosophila ovarian epithelial follicle stem cells, independently of E-cadherin.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Chen-Yuan; Kao, Shih-Han; Hsu, Hwei-Jan

    2016-06-15

    Epithelial stem cells undergo constant self-renewal and differentiation to maintain the homeostasis of epithelial tissues that undergo rapid turnover. Recent studies have shown that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is primarily mediated by Snail via the suppression of E-cadherin, is able to generate cells with stem cell properties. However, the role of Snail in epithelial stem cells remains unclear. Here, we report that Snail directly controls proliferation of follicle stem cells (FSCs) in Drosophila females. Disruption of Snail expression in FSCs compromises their proliferation, but not their maintenance. Conversely, FSCs with excessive Snail expression display increased proliferation and lifespan, which is accompanied by a moderate decrease in the expression of E-cadherin (required for adhesion of FSCs to their niche) at the junction between their adjacent cells, indicating a conserved role of Snail in E-cadherin inhibition, which promote epithelial cell proliferation. Interestingly, a decrease in E-cadherin in snail-knock down FSCs does not restore the decreased proliferation of snail-knock down FSCs, suggesting that adhesion strength of FSCs to their niche is dispensable for Snail-mediated FSC division. Our results demonstrate that Snail controls epithelial stem cell division independently of its known role in the EMT, which contributes to induction of cancer stem cells. PMID:27141871

  7. Snail and serpinA1 promote tumor progression and predict prognosis in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jin Hwa; Lee, Ja Rang; Kim, Hye Kyung; Jo, Hong-jae; Kim, Hyun Sung; Oh, Nahmgun; Song, Geun Am; Park, Do Youn

    2015-01-01

    The role of Snail and serpin peptidase inhibitor clade A member 1 (serpinA1) in tumorigenesis has been previously identified. However, the exact role and mechanism of these proteins in progression of colorectal cancer (CRC) are controversial. In this study, we investigated the role of Snail and serpinA1 in colorectal cancer (CRC) and examined the mechanisms through which these proteins mediate CRC progression. Immunohistochemical analysis of 528 samples from patients with CRC showed that elevated expression of Snail or serpinA1 was correlated with advanced stage, lymph node metastasis, and poor prognosis. Moreover, we detected a correlation between Snail and serpinA1 expression. Functional studies performed using the CRC cell lines DLD-1 and SW-480 showed that overexpression of Snail or serpinA1 significantly increased CRC cell invasion and migration. Conversely, knockdown of Snail or serpinA1 expression suppressed CRC cell invasion and migration. ChIP analysis revealed that Snail regulated serpinA1 by binding to its promoter. In addition, fibronectin mediated Snail and serpinA1 signaling was involved in CRC cell invasion and migration. Taken together, our data showed that Snail and serpinA1 promoted CRC progression through fibronectin. These findings suggested that Snail and serpinA1 were novel prognostic biomarkers and candidate therapeutic targets in CRC. PMID:26015410

  8. Trematode communities in snails can indicate impact and recovery from hurricanes in a tropical coastal lagoon

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aguirre-Macedo, Maria Leopoldina; Vidal-Martinez, Victor M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2011-01-01

    In September 2002, Hurricane Isidore devastated the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. To understand its effects on the parasites of aquatic organisms, we analyzed long-term monthly population data of the horn snail Cerithidea pliculosa and its trematode communities in Celestún, Yucatán, Mexico before and after the hurricane (February 2001 to December 2009). Five trematode species occurred in the snail population: Mesostephanus appendiculatoides, Euhaplorchis californiensis, two species of the genus Renicola and one Heterophyidae gen. sp. Because these parasites use snails as first intermediate hosts, fishes as second intermediate hosts and birds as final hosts, their presence in snails depends on food webs. No snails were present at the sampled sites for 6 months after the hurricane. After snails recolonised the site, no trematodes were found in snails until 14 months after the hurricane. It took several years for snail and trematode populations to recover. Our results suggest that the increase in the occurrence of hurricanes predicted due to climate change can impact upon parasites with complex life cycles. However, both the snail populations and their parasite communities eventually reached numbers of individuals and species similar to those before the hurricane. Thus, the trematode parasites of snails can be useful indicators of coastal lagoon ecosystem degradation and recovery.

  9. Pseudosuccinea columella: age resistance to Calicophoron daubneyi infection in two snail populations.

    PubMed

    Dar, Yasser; Rondelaud, Daniel; Vignoles, Philippe; Dreyfuss, Gilles

    2015-01-01

    Individual infections of Egyptian and French Pseudosuccinea columella with five miracidia of Calicophoron daubneyi were carried out to determine whether this lymnaeid was capable of sustaining larval development of this parasite. On day 42 post-exposure (at 23 °C), infected snails were only noted in groups of individuals measuring 1 or 2 mm in height at miracidial exposure. Snail survival in the 2-mm groups was significantly higher than that noted in the 1-mm snails, whatever the geographic origin of snail population. In contrast, prevalence of C. daubneyi infection was significantly greater in the 1-mm groups (15-20% versus 3.4-4.0% in the 2-mm snails). Low values were noted for the mean shell growth of infected snails at their death (3.1-4.0 mm) and the mean number of cercariae (<9 in the 1-mm groups, <19 in the 2-mm snails). No significant differences between snail populations and snails groups were noted for these last two parameters. Most infected snails died after a single cercarial shedding wave. Both populations of P. columella showed an age resistance to C. daubneyi infection and only juveniles measuring 2 mm or less in shell height at exposure can ensure larval development of this digenean up to cercarial shedding. PMID:25664810

  10. Overexpression of Snail in retinal pigment epithelial triggered epithelial–mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Hui; Li, Min; Xu, Ding; Zhao, Chun; Liu, Guodong; Wang, Fang

    2014-03-28

    Highlights: • First reported overexpression of Snail in RPE cells could directly trigger EMT. • Further confirmed the regulator role of Snail in RPE cells EMT in vitro. • Snail may be a potential therapeutic target to prevent the fibrosis of PVR. - Abstract: Snail transcription factor has been implicated as an important regulator in epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) during tumourigenesis and fibrogenesis. Our previous work showed that Snail transcription factor was activated in transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1) induced EMT in retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and may contribute to the development of retinal fibrotic disease such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). However, whether Snail alone has a direct role on retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition has not been investigated. Here, we analyzed the capacity of Snail to drive EMT in human RPE cells. A vector encoding Snail gene or an empty vector were transfected into human RPE cell lines ARPE-19 respectively. Snail overexpression in ARPE-19 cells resulted in EMT, which was characterized by the expected phenotypic transition from a typical epithelial morphology to mesenchymal spindle-shaped. The expression of epithelial markers E-cadherin and Zona occludin-1 (ZO-1) were down-regulated, whereas mesenchymal markers a-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA) and fibronectin were up-regulated in Snail expression vector transfected cells. In addition, ectopic expression of Snail significantly enhanced ARPE-19 cell motility and migration. The present data suggest that overexpression of Snail in ARPE-19 cells could directly trigger EMT. These results may provide novel insight into understanding the regulator role of Snail in the development of retinal pigment epithelial–mesenchymal transition.

  11. Metabolic acceleration in the pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmer, Elke I.; Ducrot, V.; Jager, T.; Koene, J.; Lagadic, L.; Kooijman, S. A. L. M.

    2014-11-01

    Under constant environmental conditions, most animals tend to grow following the von Bertalanffy growth curve. Deviations from this curve can point to changes in the environment that the animals experience, such as food limitation when the available food is not sufficient or suitable. However, such deviations can also point to a phenomenon called metabolic acceleration, which is receiving increasing attention in the field of Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) modeling. Reasons for such an acceleration are usually changes in shape during ontogeny, which cause changes in the surface area to volume ratio of the organism. Those changes, in turn, lead to changes in some of the model parameters that have length in their dimension. The life-history consequences of metabolic acceleration as implemented in the DEB theory are an s-shaped growth curve (when body size is expressed as a length measure) and a prolongation of the hatching time. The great pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis was earlier found to be food limited during the juvenile phase in laboratory experiments conducted under classical ecotoxicity test protocols. The pond snail has isomorphic shell growth but yet does not exhibit the expected von Bertalanffy growth curve under food limitation. When applying the standard DEB model to data from such life-cycle experiments, we also found that the hatching time is consistently underestimated, which could be a sign of metabolic acceleration. We here present an application of the DEB model including metabolic acceleration to the great pond snail. We account for the simultaneous hermaphroditism of the snail by including a model extension that describes the relative investment into the male and female function. This model allowed us to adequately predict the life history of the snail over the entire life cycle. However, the pond snail does not change in shape substantially after birth, so the original explanation for the metabolic acceleration does not hold. Since the change in shape is not the only explanation for metabolic acceleration in animals, we discuss the possible other explanations for this pattern in L. stagnalis.

  12. Lumican Inhibits SNAIL-Induced Melanoma Cell Migration Specifically by Blocking MMP-14 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Stasiak, Marta; Boncela, Joanna; Perreau, Corinne; Karamanou, Konstantina; Chatron-Colliet, Aurore; Proult, Isabelle; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Chakravarti, Shukti; Maquart, François-Xavier; Kowalska, M. Anna; Wegrowski, Yanusz; Brézillon, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan, inhibits MMP-14 activity and melanoma cell migration in vitro and in vivo. Snail triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transitions endowing epithelial cells with migratory and invasive properties during tumor progression. The aim of this work was to investigate lumican effects on MMP-14 activity and migration of Snail overexpressing B16F1 (Snail-B16F1) melanoma cells and HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Lumican inhibits the Snail induced MMP-14 activity in B16F1 but not in HT-29 cells. In Snail-B16F1 cells, lumican inhibits migration, growth, and melanoma primary tumor development. A lumican-based strategy targeting Snail-induced MMP-14 activity might be useful for melanoma treatment. PMID:26930497

  13. A speciation gene for left-right reversal in snails results in anti-predator adaptation.

    PubMed

    Hoso, Masaki; Kameda, Yuichi; Wu, Shu-Ping; Asami, Takahiro; Kato, Makoto; Hori, Michio

    2010-01-01

    How speciation genes can spread in a population is poorly understood. In land snails, a single gene for left-right reversal could be responsible for instant speciation, because dextral and sinistral snails have difficulty in mating. However, the traditional two-locus speciation model predicts that a mating disadvantage for the reversal should counteract this speciation. In this study, we show that specialized snake predation of the dextral majority drives prey speciation by reversal. Our experiments demonstrate that sinistral Satsuma snails (Stylommatophora: Camaenidae) survive predation by Pareas iwasakii (Colubroidea: Pareatidae). Worldwide biogeography reveals that stylommatophoran snail speciation by reversal has been accelerated in the range of pareatid snakes, especially in snails that gain stronger anti-snake defense and reproductive isolation from dextrals by sinistrality. Molecular phylogeny of Satsuma snails further provides intriguing evidence of repetitive speciation under snake predation. Our study demonstrates that a speciation gene can be fixed in populations by positive pleiotropic effects on survival. PMID:21139578

  14. Lumican Inhibits SNAIL-Induced Melanoma Cell Migration Specifically by Blocking MMP-14 Activity.

    PubMed

    Stasiak, Marta; Boncela, Joanna; Perreau, Corinne; Karamanou, Konstantina; Chatron-Colliet, Aurore; Proult, Isabelle; Przygodzka, Patrycja; Chakravarti, Shukti; Maquart, François-Xavier; Kowalska, M Anna; Wegrowski, Yanusz; Brézillon, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Lumican, a small leucine rich proteoglycan, inhibits MMP-14 activity and melanoma cell migration in vitro and in vivo. Snail triggers epithelial-mesenchymal transitions endowing epithelial cells with migratory and invasive properties during tumor progression. The aim of this work was to investigate lumican effects on MMP-14 activity and migration of Snail overexpressing B16F1 (Snail-B16F1) melanoma cells and HT-29 colon adenocarcinoma cells. Lumican inhibits the Snail induced MMP-14 activity in B16F1 but not in HT-29 cells. In Snail-B16F1 cells, lumican inhibits migration, growth, and melanoma primary tumor development. A lumican-based strategy targeting Snail-induced MMP-14 activity might be useful for melanoma treatment. PMID:26930497

  15. A speciation gene for left–right reversal in snails results in anti-predator adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Hoso, Masaki; Kameda, Yuichi; Wu, Shu-Ping; Asami, Takahiro; Kato, Makoto; Hori, Michio

    2010-01-01

    How speciation genes can spread in a population is poorly understood. In land snails, a single gene for left–right reversal could be responsible for instant speciation, because dextral and sinistral snails have difficulty in mating. However, the traditional two-locus speciation model predicts that a mating disadvantage for the reversal should counteract this speciation. In this study, we show that specialized snake predation of the dextral majority drives prey speciation by reversal. Our experiments demonstrate that sinistral Satsuma snails (Stylommatophora: Camaenidae) survive predation by Pareas iwasakii (Colubroidea: Pareatidae). Worldwide biogeography reveals that stylommatophoran snail speciation by reversal has been accelerated in the range of pareatid snakes, especially in snails that gain stronger anti-snake defense and reproductive isolation from dextrals by sinistrality. Molecular phylogeny of Satsuma snails further provides intriguing evidence of repetitive speciation under snake predation. Our study demonstrates that a speciation gene can be fixed in populations by positive pleiotropic effects on survival. PMID:21139578

  16. Schistosoma mansoni: the ultrastructure of larval morphogenesis in Biomphalaria glabrata and of associated host-parasite interactions.

    PubMed

    Pan, S C

    1996-08-01

    An electron microscopic study has been carried out to describe the transformation of the miracidium of S. mansoni into the mother sporocysts in the susceptible B. glabrata and the associated host-parasite interactions. The miracidium enters the snail host without morphological alterations. Within 3 hr after entering, all the ciliary epidermal plates of the miracidium are discarded. A new tegument is quickly formed by 5 hr postinfection by the expansion of epidermal ridges. The rapid formation of the new tegument reflects the participation of membrane-bound vesicles in the ridge cytons. The membranes of these vesicles become the new tegument membranes with the discharge of their electron-dense contents into the snail tissues. The vesicular contents discharged into the tissues apparently prevent snail amoebocytes (phagocytes) from attachment to the parasite tegument and thus prevent their interference with the further development of the postmiracidium. If a postmiracidium fails to mobilize membrane-bound vesicles in the formation of tegument, the parasite becomes surrounded by closely attached concentric layers of fibroblasts formed by amoebocytes and histiocytes within 24 hr. The membrane-bound vesicles are present in small numbers in the ridge cytons of the miracidium and become numerous in the postmiracidium stage and with many migrate to the ridges through connecting bridges within 24 hr. By 3 days postinfection when extensive microvilli have formed on the tegument the vesicles have disappeared and are replaced by mitochondria, ribosomes and complex carbohydrate particles. Many fibroblasts in the snail connective tissues have phagocytic capacities and are regarded as snail tissue histiocytes or fixed amoebocytes that eventually may become hypertrophic and detached. PMID:9086392

  17. Mercury residues in south Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa)

    SciTech Connect

    Eisemann, J.D.; Beyer, W.N.; Morton, A.; Bennetts, R.E.

    1997-05-01

    Mercury concentrations in the sediments of south Florida wetlands have increased three fold in the last century. Because south Florida is home to many endemic and endangered species, it is important to understand the potential impacts of mercury in this ecosystem`s food web. Recent research by Malley et al. has shown mollusks to be sensitive indicators of methyl mercury which can reflect small differences in background methyl mercury concentrations. In this study, we attempted to determine if the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) or its eggs are good indicators of bioavailable mercury. Then, using the apple snail as an indicator, we attempted to determine geographic differences in the concentrations of mercury in south Florida. 12 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  18. Multiple paternity in the freshwater snail, Potamopyrgus antipodarum

    PubMed Central

    Soper, Deanna M; Delph, Lynda F; Lively, Curt M

    2012-01-01

    Mating multiply may incur costs, such as exposure to predators and to sexually transmitted diseases. Nevertheless, it may be favored, in spite of these costs, as a way to increase the genetic diversity of offspring through fertilization by multiple males. Here, we tested for multiple paternity in a freshwater snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum), which is host to several species of sterilizing trematode worms. Using microsatellites markers, we found multiple paternity in two different snail populations, with as many as seven males fertilizing a single female. In addition, high evenness of sire fertilization was found within individual broods. Multiple paternity can occur for a variety of reasons; however, given that these populations experience high risk of infection by a sterilizing trematode, one potential explanation may be that multiple paternity and high evenness of sire fertilizations increase the chances of the production of parasite-resistant offspring. PMID:23301182

  19. Creosote compounds in snails obtained from Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rostad, C.E.; Pereira, W.E.

    1987-01-01

    Snails, Thais haemostoma, were collected from two areas offshore in Pensacola Bay, Florida, near an onshore hazardous-waste site. Tissue from the snails was extracted to isolate the lipophilic compounds and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Along with naturally occurring compounds, the snail tissue contained large concentrations of polycyclic aromatic compounds, such as phenanthrene, acridine, dibenzothiophene, dibenzofuran, and benzo[a]pyrene. Many of these compounds were characteristic of creosote contamination associated with the onshore hazardous-waste site.

  20. Removal of corallivorous snails as a proactive tool for the conservation of acroporid corals

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Margaret W.; Bright, Allan J.; Cameron, Caitlin M.

    2014-01-01

    Corallivorous snail feeding is a common source of tissue loss for the threatened coral, Acropora palmata, accounting for roughly one-quarter of tissue loss in monitored study plots over seven years. In contrast with larger threats such as bleaching, disease, or storms, corallivory by Coralliophila abbreviata is one of the few direct sources of partial mortality that may be locally managed. We conducted a field experiment to explore the effectiveness and feasibility of snail removal. Long-term monitoring plots on six reefs in the upper Florida Keys were assigned to one of three removal treatments: (1) removal from A. palmata only, (2) removal from all host coral species, or (3) no-removal controls. During the initial removal in June 2011, 436 snails were removed from twelve 150 m2 plots. Snails were removed three additional times during a seven month “removal phase”, then counted at five surveys over the next 19 months to track recolonization. At the conclusion, snails were collected, measured and sexed. Before-After-Control-Impact analysis revealed that both snail abundance and feeding scar prevalence were reduced in removal treatments compared to the control, but there was no difference between removal treatments. Recolonization by snails to baseline abundance is estimated to be 3.7 years and did not differ between removal treatments. Recolonization rate was significantly correlated with baseline snail abundance. Maximum snail size decreased from 47.0 mm to 34.6 mm in the removal treatments. The effort required to remove snails from A. palmata was 30 diver minutes per 150 m2 plot, compared with 51 min to remove snails from all host corals. Since there was no additional benefit observed with removing snails from all host species, removals can be more efficiently focused on only A. palmata colonies and in areas where C. abbreviata abundance is high, to effectively conserve A. palmata in targeted areas. PMID:25469321

  1. Biomphalaria straminea (Mollusca: Planorbidae) as an intermediate host of Drepanocephalus spp. (Trematoda: Echinostomatidae) in Brazil: a morphological and molecular study.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Hudson A; Griffin, Matt J; Quiniou, Sylvie M; Ware, Cynthia; Melo, Alan L

    2016-01-01

    Species of trematodes belonging to the genus Drepanocephalus are intestinal parasites of piscivorous birds, primarily cormorants (Phalachrocorax spp.), and are widely reported in the Americas. During a 4-year malacological study conducted on an urban lake in Brazil, 27-collar-spined echinostome cercariae were found in 1665/15,459 (10.7 %) specimens of Biomphalaria straminea collected. The cercariae were identified as Drepanocephalus spp. by sequencing the 18S (SSU) rDNA, ITS1/5.8S rDNA/ITS2 (ITS), 28S (LSU) rDNA region, cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1), and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1) markers. In experimental life cycle studies, metacercariae developed in laboratory-reared guppies (Poecilia reticulata); however, attempts to infect birds and rodents were unsuccessful. Two closely related morphotypes of cercariae were characterized. One species, identified by molecular markers as a genetic variant of Drepanocephalus auritus (99.9 % similarity at SSU, ITS, LSU; 97.2 % at CO1; 95.8 % at ND1), differs slightly from an archived North American isolate of this species also sequenced as part of this study. A second species, putatively identified as Drepanocephalus sp., has smaller cercariae and demonstrates significant differences from D. auritus at the CO1 (11.0 %) and ND1 (13.6 %) markers. Aspects related to the morphological taxonomic identification of 27-collar-spined echinostome metacercariae are briefly discussed. This is the first report of the involvement of molluscs of the genus Biomphalaria in the transmission of Drepanocephalus and the first report of D. auritus in South America. PMID:25982569

  2. Controlled Chaos of Polymorphic Mucins in a Metazoan Parasite (Schistosoma mansoni) Interacting with Its Invertebrate Host (Biomphalaria glabrata)

    PubMed Central

    Roger, Emmanuel; Grunau, Christoph; Pierce, Raymond J.; Hirai, Hirohisa; Gourbal, Benjamin; Galinier, Richard; Emans, Rémi; Cesari, Italo M.; Cosseau, Céline; Mitta, Guillaume

    2008-01-01

    Invertebrates were long thought to possess only a simple, effective and hence non-adaptive defence system against microbial and parasitic attacks. However, recent studies have shown that invertebrate immunity also relies on immune receptors that diversify (e.g. in echinoderms, insects and mollusks (Biomphalaria glabrata)). Apparently, individual or population-based polymorphism-generating mechanisms exists that permit the survival of invertebrate species exposed to parasites. Consequently, the generally accepted arms race hypothesis predicts that molecular diversity and polymorphism also exist in parasites of invertebrates. We investigated the diversity and polymorphism of parasite molecules (Schistosoma mansoni Polymorphic Mucins, SmPoMucs) that are key factors for the compatibility of schistosomes interacting with their host, the mollusc Biomphalaria glabrata. We have elucidated the complex cascade of mechanisms acting both at the genomic level and during expression that confer polymorphism to SmPoMuc. We show that SmPoMuc is coded by a multi-gene family whose members frequently recombine. We show that these genes are transcribed in an individual-specific manner, and that for each gene, multiple splice variants exist. Finally, we reveal the impact of this polymorphism on the SmPoMuc glycosylation status. Our data support the view that S. mansoni has evolved a complex hierarchical system that efficiently generates a high degree of polymorphism—a “controlled chaos”—based on a relatively low number of genes. This contrasts with protozoan parasites that generate antigenic variation from large sets of genes such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Trypanosoma brucei and Plasmodium falciparum. Our data support the view that the interaction between parasites and their invertebrate hosts are far more complex than previously thought. While most studies in this matter have focused on invertebrate host diversification, we clearly show that diversifying mechanisms also exist on the parasite side of the interaction. Our findings shed new light on how and why invertebrate immunity develops. PMID:19002242

  3. Snail1 is required for the maintenance of the pancreatic acinar phenotype

    PubMed Central

    Loubat-Casanovas, Jordina; Peña, Raúl; Gonzàlez, Núria; Alba-Castellón, Lorena; Rosell, Santi; Francí, Clara; Navarro, Pilar; de Herreros, Antonio García

    2016-01-01

    The Snail1 transcriptional factor is required for correct embryonic development, yet its expression in adult animals is very limited and its functional roles are not evident. We have now conditionally inactivated Snail1 in adult mice and analyzed the phenotype of these animals. Snail1 ablation rapidly altered pancreas structure: one month after Snail1 depletion, acinar cells were markedly depleted, and pancreas accumulated adipose tissue. Snail1 expression was not detected in the epithelium but was in pancreatic mesenchymal cells (PMCs). Snail1 ablation in cultured PMCs downregulated the expression of several β-catenin/Tcf-4 target genes, modified the secretome of these cells and decreased their ability to maintain acinar markers in cultured pancreas cells. Finally, Snail1 deficiency modified the phenotype of pancreatic tumors generated in transgenic mice expressing c-myc under the control of the elastase promoter. Specifically, Snail1 depletion did not significantly alter the size of the tumors but accelerated acinar-ductal metaplasia. These results demonstrate that Snail1 is expressed in PMCs and plays a pivotal role in maintaining acinar cells within the pancreas in normal and pathological conditions. PMID:26735179

  4. Snail Is a Critical Mediator of Invadosome Formation and Joint Degradation in Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Lauzier, Annie; Lavoie, Roxane R; Charbonneau, Martine; Gouin-Boisvert, Béatrice; Harper, Kelly; Dubois, Claire M

    2016-02-01

    Progressive cartilage destruction, mediated by invasive fibroblast-like synoviocytes, is a central feature in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Members of the Snail family of transcription factors are required for cell migration and invasion, but their role in joint destruction remains unknown. Herein, we demonstrate that Snail is essential for the formation of extracellular matrix-degrading invadosomal structures by synovial cells from collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rats and RA patients. Mechanistically, Snail induces extracellular matrix degradation in synovial cells by repressing PTEN, resulting in increased phosphorylation of platelet-derived growth factor receptor and activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT pathway. Of significance, Snail is overexpressed in synovial cells and tissues of CIA rats and RA patients, whereas knockdown of Snail in CIA joints prevents cartilage invasion and joint damage. Furthermore, Snail expression is associated with an epithelial-mesenchymal transition gene signature characteristic of transglutaminase 2/transforming growth factor-β activation. Transforming growth factor-β and transglutaminase 2 stimulate Snail-dependent invadosome formation in rat and human synoviocytes. Our results identify the Snail-PTEN platelet-derived growth factor receptor/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase axis as a novel regulator of the prodestructive invadosome-forming phenotype of synovial cells. New therapies for RA target inflammation, and are only partly effective in preventing joint damage. Blocking Snail and/or its associated gene expression program may provide an additional tool to improve the efficacy of treatments to prevent joint destruction. PMID:26704941

  5. Copper uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa).

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Rogevich, Emily C; Rand, Gary M; Frakes, Robert A

    2008-10-01

    The present study characterized copper (Cu) uptake and depuration by juvenile and adult Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) from water, soil, and diet. During a 28-day uptake period, juvenile apple snails were exposed to aqueous Cu and adult apple snails were exposed to Cu-contaminated soil, water, and food. In the follow-up 14-day depuration period, both juvenile and adult apple snails were held in laboratory freshwater with background Cu concentrations<4 microg/l. For juvenile apple snails, whole body Cu concentrations increased with time and reached a plateau after 14 days. The data followed Michaelis-Menten kinetics rather than a one compartment first order kinetics model. The mean Cu bioconcentration factor (BCF) for juvenile apple snails was 1493 and the depuration half-life was 10.5-13.8 days. For adult snails, dietary uptake of Cu resulted in higher bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) compared to uptake from soil. Most of the accumulated Cu was located in soft tissue (about 60% in the viscera and 40% in the foot). The shell contained <1% of the total accumulated copper. Soft tissue is usually consumed by predators of the apple snail. Therefore, the results of the present study show that Cu transfer through the food chain to the apple snail may lead to potential risk to its predators. PMID:18642077

  6. Activity of the mangrove snail Cerithidea decollata (Gastropoda: Potamididae) in a warm temperate South African estuary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hodgson, Alan N.; Dickens, John

    2012-08-01

    A population of Cerithidea decollata, an intertidal marine gastropod usually found within mangroves, was studied within an area of Juncus kraussii in the upper reaches of the warm temperate Knysna estuary, which is at the southern-most limit of the recorded distribution of this snail. Activity (migratory and homing behaviour, distances travelled during foraging) of the snails was monitored over spring and neap tides in four seasons. Migratory patterns of the snails were affected by season, time of low tide (day vs night), tidal magnitude (spring vs neap) and zonation. In the summer and spring, a greater proportion of snails migrated from J. kraussii leaves onto the mud during the day at spring low tide. During neap tides in these two seasons, most snails did not climb J. kraussii leaves and remained on the mud, which was nearly always exposed. In autumn a few snails only were active and in winter snails were almost completely inactive, probably due to low air temperatures. Snails travelled greater distances on the mud on spring tides, during the diurnal low tides, and in the summer. No snails were found to home to individual J. kraussii leaves; however, homing behaviour was recorded to wooden poles within the Juncus wetland.

  7. Population estimate of Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) in a Nebraska reservoir

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chaine, Noelle M.; Allen, Craig R.; Fricke, Kent A.; Haak, Danielle M.; Hellman, Michelle L.; Kill, Robert A.; Nemec, Kristine T.; Pope, Kevin L.; Smeenk, Nicholas A.; Stephen, Bruce J.; Uden, Daniel R.; Unstad, Kody M.; VanderHam, Ashley E.

    2012-01-01

    The Chinese mystery snail (Bellamya chinensis) is an aquatic invasive species in North America. Little is known regarding this species' impacts on freshwater ecosystems. It is be lieved that population densities can be high, yet no population estimates have been reported. We utilized a mark-recapture approach to generate a population estimate for Chinese mystery snail in Wild Plum Lake, a 6.47-ha reservoir in southeast Nebraska. We calculated, using bias-adjusted Lincoln-Petersen estimation, that there were approximately 664 adult snails within a 127 m2 transect (5.2 snails/m2). If this density was consistent throughout the littoral zone (<3 m in depth) of the reservoir, then the total adult population in this impoundment is estimated to be 253,570 snails, and the total Chinese mystery snail wet biomass is estimated to be 3,119 kg (643 kg/ha). If this density is confined to the depth sampled in this study (1.46 m), then the adult population is estimated to be 169,400 snails, and wet biomass is estimated to be 2,084 kg (643 kg/ha). Additional research is warranted to further test the utility of mark-recapture methods for aquatic snails and to better understand Chinese mystery snail distributions within reservoirs.

  8. Divergent shell shape as an antipredator adaptation in tropical land snails.

    PubMed

    Hoso, Masaki; Hori, Michio

    2008-11-01

    Although many land snails exhibit amazingly divergent shell shapes in the tropics, the functions of these remain obscure. Here we show that a modified aperture shape acts as an impediment specifically to predation by a snail-eating snake. Pareas iwasakii (Colubridae: Pareatinae) uses a unique method to feed on land snails: the snake extracts the soft body from the shell through the aperture by alternately retracting its mandibles. The snail Satsuma caliginosa (Camaenidae: Camaeninae) has apertural variation in regard to the presence of snail-eating snakes. Our experiments demonstrated that the distorted aperture mechanically impeded predation by this gape-limited predator, interrupting the mandibular movements. In contrast, congeneric snails with round apertures did not escape predation by snakes. The paleobiogeography of the focal area indicates that the subspecies Satsuma caliginosa picta, which does not have apertural modification, was derived from a defensive ancestor after the extinction of snail-eating snakes. Our study suggests a possibility that snail-eating snakes are responsible for divergent shell shapes in a variety of tropical land snails. PMID:18834301

  9. Phenoloxidase activity of Helix aspersa maxima (garden snail, gastropod) hemocyanin.

    PubMed

    Raynova, Yuliana; Doumanova, Lyuba; Idakieva, Krassimira Nikolova

    2013-12-01

    The oxygen-transporting protein, hemocyanin (Hc), of the garden snail Helix aspersa maxima (HaH) was isolated and kinetically characterized. Kinetic parameters of the reaction of catalytic oxidation of catechol to quinone, catalyzed by native HaH were determined: the V max value amounted to 22 nmol min(-1) mg(-1), k cat to 1.1 min(-1). Data were compared to those reported for other molluscan Hcs and phenoloxidases (POs). The o-diphenoloxidase activity of the native HaH is about five times higher than the activity determined for the Hcs of the terrestrial snail Helix pomatia and of the marine snail Rapana thomasiana (k cat values of 0.22 and 0.25 min(-1), respectively). The K m values obtained for molluscan Hcs from different species are comparable to those for true POs, but the low catalytic efficiency of Hcs is probably related to inaccessibility of the active sites to potential substrates. Upon treatment of HaH with subtilisin DY, the enzyme activity against substrate catechol was considerably increased. The relatively high proteolytically induced o-diPO activity of HaH allowed using it for preparation of a biosensor for detection of catechol. PMID:24243490

  10. Function of insulin in snail brain in associative learning.

    PubMed

    Kojima, S; Sunada, H; Mita, K; Sakakibara, M; Lukowiak, K; Ito, E

    2015-10-01

    Insulin is well known as a hormone regulating glucose homeostasis across phyla. Although there are insulin-independent mechanisms for glucose uptake in the mammalian brain, which had contributed to a perception of the brain as an insulin-insensitive organ for decades, the finding of insulin and its receptors in the brain revolutionized the concept of insulin signaling in the brain. However, insulin's role in brain functions, such as cognition, attention, and memory, remains unknown. Studies using invertebrates with their open blood-vascular system have the promise of promoting a better understanding of the role played by insulin in mediating/modulating cognitive functions. In this review, the relationship between insulin and its impact on long-term memory (LTM) is discussed particularly in snails. The pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis has the ability to undergo conditioned taste aversion (CTA), that is, it associatively learns and forms LTM not to respond with a feeding response to a food that normally elicits a robust feeding response. We show that molluscan insulin-related peptides are up-regulated in snails exhibiting CTA-LTM and play a key role in the causal neural basis of CTA-LTM. We also survey the relevant literature of the roles played by insulin in learning and memory in other phyla. PMID:26233474

  11. Impact of cigarette butt leachate on tidepool snails.

    PubMed

    Booth, David J; Gribben, Paul; Parkinson, Kerryn

    2015-06-15

    In urban areas, cigarette butts are the most common discarded refuse articles. In marine intertidal zones, they often fall into tidepools. We tested how common intertidal molluscs were affected by butt leachate in a laboratory experiment, where snails were exposed to various leachate concentrations. Mortality was very high, with all species showing 100% mortality at the full leachate concentration (5 butts per litre and 2h soak time) after 8days. However, Austrocochlea porcata showed higher mortality than the other 2 species at lower concentrations (10%, 25%) which may affect the relative abundance of the 3 snails under different concentrations of leachate pollution. Also, sublethal effects of leachate on snail activity were observed, with greater activity of Nerita atramentosa than the other 2 species at higher concentrations, suggesting it is more resilient than the other 2 species. While human health concerns predominate with respect to smoking, we show strong lethal and sublethal (via behavioural modifications) impacts of discarded butts on intertidal organisms, with even closely-related taxa responding differently. PMID:25913792

  12. Snails from heavy-metal polluted environments have reduced sensitivity to carbon dioxide-induced acidity.

    PubMed

    Lefcort, Hugh; Cleary, David A; Marble, Aaron M; Phillips, Morgan V; Stoddard, Timothy J; Tuthill, Lara M; Winslow, James R

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 reacts with water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which increases water acidity. While marine acidification has received recent consideration, less attention has been paid to the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide on freshwater systems-systems that often have low buffering potential. Since many aquatic systems are already impacted by pollutants such as heavy metals, we wondered about the added effect of rising atmospheric CO2 on freshwater organisms. We studied aquatic pulmonate snails (Physella columbiana) from both a heavy-metal polluted watershed and snails from a reference watershed that has not experienced mining pollution. We used gaseous CO2 to increase water acidity and we then measured changes in antipredatory behavior and also survival. We predicted a simple negative additive effect of low pH. We hypothesized that snails from metal-polluted environments would be physiologically stressed and impaired due to defense responses against heavy metals. Instead, snails from populations that acclimated or evolved in the presence of heavy metal mining pollution were more robust to acidic conditions than were snails from reference habitats. Snails from mining polluted sites seemed to be preadapted to a low pH environment. Their short-term survival in acidic conditions was better than snails from reference sites that lacked metal pollution. In fact, the 48 h survival of snails from polluted sites was so high that it did not significantly differ from the 24 h survival of snails from control sites. This suggests that the response of organisms to a world with rising anthropogenic carbon dioxide levels may be complex and difficult to predict. Snails had a weaker behavioral response to stressful stimuli if kept for 1 month at a pH that differed from their lake of origin. We found that snails raised at a pH of 5.5 had a weaker response (less of a decrease in activity) to concentrated heavy metals than did snails raised at their natal pH of 6.5. Furthermore, snails raised a pH of 5.5, 6.0, and 7.0 all had a weaker antipredatory response to an extract of crushed snail cells than did the pH 6.5 treatment snails. PMID:26090314

  13. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN REDUCES THE ACCUMULATION OF TESTOSTERONE AS FATTY ACID ESTERS IN THE MUD SNAIL (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated wit...

  14. Characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Chah, Jane Mbolle; Inegbedion, Grace

    2013-02-01

    The study was carried out to determine the characteristics of snail farming in Edo South Agricultural Zone of Edo State Nigeria. The interview schedule was used to collect data from 60 snail farmers randomly selected from six cells in the study area. Information on the socioeconomic status of the farmers, production system, management practices and production constraints in the snail farms were elicited. The constraints were determined using a four-point Likert-type scale; a mean score of ≥ 2.5 was considered as a production constraint. Majority (85.0 %) of the respondents were part-time snail farmers. The major species of snails reared were Achatina achatina and Archachatina marginata, reared by 43.3 and 26.7 % of the farmers, respectively. Semi-intensive system of production was practised by 40.0 % of the farmers. Majority (78.0 %) of the respondents used car tyres to house their snails. About 56 % of the respondents kept their snails for 1-2 years before sale. Up to 51.7 % of the respondents separated their snails into different pens according to their size/age. The most commonly used feeds were vegetables (71.2 %), plant leaves (67.8 %) and kitchen waste (59.3 %). Records of snail production activities were kept by 75.0 % of respondents. The major constraints identified were lack of capital (3.31), inability to get good laying stock (3.00), lack of formulated feed to buy (2.98) and slow growth rate of snails (2.52). The potentials of snail farming in the study area have not been fully exploited as farmers produced at subsistence level. PMID:23011673

  15. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and

  16. A pilot study testing a natural and a synthetic molluscicide for controlling invasive apple snails (Pomacea maculata)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pomacea maculata (formerly P. insularum), an apple snail native to South America, was discovered in Louisiana in 2008. These snails strip vegetation, reproduce at tremendous rates, and have reduced rice production and caused ecosystem changes in Asia. In this study snails were exposed to two mollusc...

  17. Measuring Animal Movements in a Natural Ecosystem: A Mark-Recapture Investigation Using Stream-Dwelling Snails

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Timothy W.

    2007-01-01

    In this investigation, students measure and describe movements of animals in a natural ecosystem. Students mark stream-dwelling snails with nail polish, then search for these snails 1-7 days later. Distances and directions moved by recaptured snails are recorded. Simple statistical techniques are used to answer specific research questions and…

  18. Local adaptation of the trematode Fasciola hepatica to the snail Galba truncatula

    PubMed Central

    Dreyfuss, G.; Vignoles, P.; Rondelaud, D.

    2012-01-01

    Experimental infections of six riverbank populations of Galba truncatula with Fasciola hepatica were carried out to determine if the poor susceptibility of these populations to this digenean might be due to the scarcity or the absence of natural encounters between these snails and the parasite. The first three populations originated from banks frequented by cattle in the past (riverbank group) whereas the three others were living on islet banks without any known contact with local ruminants (islet group). After their exposure, all snails were placed in their natural habitats from the end of October up to their collection at the beginning of April. Compared to the riverbank group, snails, which died without cercarial shedding clearly predominated in the islet group, while the other infected snails were few in number. Most of these last snails released their cercariae during a single shedding wave. In islet snails dissected after their death, the redial and cercarial burdens were significantly lower than those noted in riverbank G. truncatula. Snails living on these islet banks are thus able to sustain larval development of F. hepatica. The modifications noted in the characteristics of snail infection suggest the existence of an incomplete adaptation between these G. truncatula and the parasite, probably due to the absence of natural contact between host and parasite. PMID:22910670

  19. EFFECTS OF DIETARY EXPOSURE TO FOREST PESTICIDES ON THE BROWN GARDEN SNAIL HELIX ASPERSA MULLER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Brown garden snails, Helix aspersa, were fed prepared diets with 12 pesticides used in forest spraying practices where endangered arboreal and terrestrial snails may be at risk. cephate, atrazine, glyphosate, hexazinone, and picloram were not lethal at concentrations of 5,000 mg/...

  20. Dry down impacts on apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) demography: Implications for wetland water management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.; Percival, H.F.

    2008-01-01

    Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa Say) are prey for several wetland-dependent predators, most notably for the endangered Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis Vieillot). Management concerns for kites have been raised regarding the impacts of wetland dry downs on snails, but little data exists to validate these concerns. We simulated drying events in experimental tanks, where we observed that snail survival patterns, regardless of hydrology, were driven by a post-reproductive die off. In contrast to earlier reports of little to no dry down tolerance, we found that 70% of pre-reproductive adult-sized snails survived a 12-week dry down. Smaller size classes of snails exhibited significantly lower survival rates (< 50% after eight weeks dry). Field surveys showed that 77% of egg production occurs in April-June. Our hydrologic analyses of six peninsular Florida wetlands showed that most dry downs overlapped a portion of the peak snail breeding season, and 70% of dry downs were ??? 12 weeks in duration. Dry down timing can affect recruitment by truncating annual egg production and stranding juveniles. Dry down survival rates and seasonal patterns of egg cluster production helped define a range of hydrologic conditions that support robust apple snail populations, and illustrate why multiple characteristics of dry down events should be considered in developing target hydrologic regimes for wetland fauna. ?? 2008, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  1. CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL CONTROL OF THE RAMS-HORN SNAIL IN COMMERCIAL FISH PONDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Trematodes can cause massive infections in fish. The most promising approach for the control of these infections is the reduction or elimination of snails that vector these parasites. This poster is a summary of information from several research efforts aimed at controlling rams-horn snails in com...

  2. Larval stages of digenetic trematodes in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from freshwater bodies in Palestine

    PubMed Central

    Bdir, Sami; Adwan, Ghaleb

    2011-01-01

    Objective To detect the species of larval trematodes (cercariae) in Melanopsis praemorsa snails from 5 different fresh water bodies in Palestine. Methods A total of 1 880 Melanopsis praemorsa snails were collected from different fresh water bodies in Palestine from October, 2008 to November, 2010. Cercariae in Melanopsis praemorsa snails were obtained by lighting and crushing methods. The behavior of cercariae was observed using a dissecting microscope. Results Three different species of larval trematodes were identified from Melanopsis praemorsa snails collected only from Al-Bathan fresh water body, while snails from other water bodies were not infected. These species were microcercous cercaria, xiphidiocercaria and brevifurcate lophocercous cercaria. These cercariae called Cercaria melanopsi palestinia I, Cercaria melanopsi palestinia II and Cercaria melanopsi palestinia III have not been described before from this snail in Palestine. The infection rate of Melanopsis praemorsa collected from Al-Bathan fresh water body was 5.7%, while the overall infection rate of snails collected from all fresh water bodies was 4.3%. Details are presented on the morphology and behavior of the cercariae as well as their development within the snail. Conclusions These results have been recorded for the first time and these cercariae may be of medical and veterinary importance. PMID:23569759

  3. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  4. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  5. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  6. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR... Special rules—snails and clams....

  7. The non-native faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) makes the leap to Lake Superior

    EPA Science Inventory

    The European-origin faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) has been present in the lower Great Lakes since the late 1800s but only very recently reached Lake Superior. Surveys from 2011 through 2013 found faucet snail to be abundant and wide-spread in the St. Louis River Estuary wi...

  8. THE PREFERENCE OF MOLLUSK EATING FISH FOR THREE AQUATIC SNAILS THAT VECTOR FISH TREMATODES.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Melanoides tuberculata, Planorbella trivolvis and Physella heterostropha are three aquatic snails which host trematodes that can infect both cultured and wild populations of fish causing serious problems. These three snail species were offered to black carp Mylopharngodon pisceus, redear sunfish Le...

  9. Exploring the temporal effects of seasonal water availability on the snail kite of Florida: Part III

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mooij, Wolf M.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.; DeAngelis, Donald L.

    2007-01-01

    The Florida snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) is an endangered raptor that occurs as an isolated population, currently of about 2,000 birds, in the wetlands of southern and central Florida, USA. Its exclusive prey species, the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) is strongly influenced by seasonal changes in water abundance. Droughts during the snail kite breeding season have a direct negative effect on snail kite survival and reproduction, but droughts are also needed to maintain aquatic vegetation types favorable to snail kite foraging for snails. We used a spatially explicit matrix model to explore the effects of temporal variation in water levels on the viability of the snail kite population under different temporal drought regimes in its wetland breeding habitat. We focused on three aspects of variations in water levels that were likely to affect kites: (1) drought frequency; (2) drought duration; and (3) drought timing within the year. We modeled a 31-year historical scenario using four different scenarios in which the average water level was maintained constant, but the amplitude of water level fluctuations was modified. Our results reveal the complexity of the effects of temporal variation in water levels on snail kite population dynamics. Management implications of these results are discussed. In particular, management decisions should not be based on annual mean water levels alone, but must consider the intra-annual variability.

  10. Snail/beta-catenin signaling protects breast cancer cells from hypoxia attack

    SciTech Connect

    Scherbakov, Alexander M.; Stefanova, Lidia B.; Sorokin, Danila V.; Semina, Svetlana E.; Berstein, Lev M.; Krasil’nikov, Mikhail A.

    2013-12-10

    The tolerance of cancer cells to hypoxia depends on the combination of different factors – from increase of glycolysis (Warburg Effect) to activation of intracellular growth/apoptotic pathways. Less is known about the influence of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and EMT-associated pathways on the cell sensitivity to hypoxia. The aim of this study was to explore the role of Snail signaling, one of the key EMT pathways, in the mediating of hypoxia response and regulation of cell sensitivity to hypoxia, using as a model in vitro cultured breast cancer cells. Earlier we have shown that estrogen-independent HBL-100 breast cancer cells differ from estrogen-dependent MCF-7 cells with increased expression of Snail1, and demonstrated Snail1 involvement into formation of hormone-resistant phenotype. Because Snail1 belongs to hypoxia-activated proteins, here we studied the influence of Snail1 signaling on the cell tolerance to hypoxia. We found that Snail1-enriched HBL-100 cells were less sensitive to hypoxia-induced growth suppression if compared with MCF-7 line (31% MCF-7 vs. 71% HBL-100 cell viability after 1% O{sub 2} atmosphere for 3 days). Snail1 knock-down enhanced the hypoxia-induced inhibition of cell proliferation giving the direct evidence of Snail1 involvement into cell protection from hypoxia attack. The protective effect of Snail1 was shown to be mediated, at least in a part, via beta-catenin which positively regulated expression of HIF-1-dependent genes. Finally, we found that cell tolerance to hypoxia was accompanied with the failure in the phosphorylation of AMPK – the key energy sensor, and demonstrated an inverse relationship between AMPK and Snail/beta-catenin signaling. Totally, our data show that Snail1 and beta-catenin, besides association with loss of hormone dependence, protect cancer cells from hypoxia and may serve as an important target in the treatment of breast cancer. Moreover, we suggest that the level of these proteins as well the level of AMPK phosphorylation may be considered as predictors of the tumor sensitivity to anti-angiogenic drugs. - Highlights: • Snail1 protects breast cancer cells from hypoxia. • Protective effect of Snail1 is mediated via β-catenin/HIF-1 pathway. • Snail/β-catenin signaling is negatively controlled by the energy sensor – AMPK. • The failure in AMPK phosphorylation drives cells to the hypoxia-tolerant state.

  11. Snail modulates the assembly of fibronectin via α5 integrin for myocardial migration in zebrafish embryos

    PubMed Central

    Qiao, Liangjun; Gao, Hongwei; Zhang, Ting; Jing, Lulu; Xiao, Chun; Xiao, Yue; Luo, Ning; Zhu, Hongyan; Meng, Wentong; Xu, Hong; Mo, Xianming

    2014-01-01

    The Snail family member snail encodes a zinc finger-containing transcriptional factor that is involved in heart formation. Yet, little is known about how Snail regulates heart development. Here, we identified that one of the duplicated snail genes, snai1b, was expressed in the heart region of zebrafish embryos. Depletion of Snai1b function dramatically reduced expression of α5 integrin, disrupted Fibronectin layer in the heart region, especially at the midline, and prevented migration of cardiac precursors, resulting in defects in cardiac morphology and function in zebrafish embryos. Injection of α5β1 protein rescued the Fibronectin layer and then the myocardial precursor migration in snai1b knockdown embryos. The results provide the molecular mechanism how Snail controls the morphogenesis of heart during embryonic development. PMID:24667151

  12. Snails and slugs damaging the cut foliage, Cordyline fruticosa and use of biorationals towards their management.

    PubMed

    Karthiga, S; Jegathambigai, V; Karunarathne, M D S D; Svinningen, A; Mikunthan, G

    2012-01-01

    Snails and slugs became a serious molluscan pests and damaging leaves of purple compacta, Cordyline fruticosa extensively grown for export at Green Farm Ltd, Sri Lanka. The export quality of leaves of C. fruticosa is lowered due to feeding of snails, Achantina fulica (Bowditch), Opeas pyrgula Schmacker and Boettgerx and Helix aspersa Muller and slugs incurring great loss to cut foliage industry. Paucity of information is available to understand snails and slugs damage and their host range that limits to develop suitable management practices. Therefore this study was aimed to determine damage, alternate hosts and to develop possible management practices. Snails and slugs damaged mainly fresh leaves of C. fruticosa. The severity of damage was 44.5% in infested field based on the visual rating method. Leaves of cassava, sting bean, okra, cucumber, passion fruit, papaya, Glyricidia and shoe flower were identified as alternate hosts and neem, Ixora and Dracaena spp were not served as alternate hosts. Among the plant materials tested for their repellence against snails and slugs revealed that neem seed powder was an irritant; neem leaves, mint leaves and Lantana leaves were acted as anti-feedant and Salt as chemical repellent. Among the barrier and bait experiments Bordeaux mixture exhibited a significant barrier effect against horizontal movement of snails. Baits made out of Metaldehyde bait, vegetables bait and jaggery had a strong effect in repelling the snails and slugs. Mulching with Madhuca longifolia punnac was the best to reduce the snails and slugs population compared to M. longifolia seed kernel powder. Oil from M. longifolia failed to reduce their population. Hence the results revealed that saponin containing M. longifolia punnac helped to eliminate snails and slugs when used as mulch. Metaldehyde, vegetable and jaggery baits are also useful to minimize their colonization further. Hence combination of these methods will help to prevent snails and slugs from damaging C. fruticosa and benefit to the cut foliage industry to sustain its export quality. PMID:23885439

  13. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: example of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences.

  14. Effects of an exotic prey species on a native specialist: Eexample of the snail kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cattau, Christopher E.; Martin, J.; Kitchens, W.M.

    2010-01-01

    Despite acknowledging that exotic species can exhibit tremendous influence over native populations, few case studies have clearly demonstrated the effects of exotic prey species on native predators. We examined the effects of the recently introduced island apple snail (Pomacea insularum) on the foraging behavior and energetics of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) in Florida. We conducted time-activity budgets: (i) on kites foraging for native Florida apple snails (Pomacea paludosa) in major wetland units within the kites' range that had not been invaded by the exotic island apple snail and (ii) on kites foraging for exotic apple snails in Lake Tohopekaliga, the only major wetland utilized by the snail kite that had suffered a serious invasion of P. insularum. When foraging for P. insularum, snail kites dropped a greater proportion of snails, and they experienced increased handling times and decreased consumption rates; however, kites foraging for P. insularum also spent a smaller proportion of the day in flight. Estimates of net daily energy balances between kites feeding on P. insularum versus P. paludosa were comparable for adults, but juveniles experienced energetic deficiencies when feeding on the exotic snail. Due to this discrepancy, we hypothesize that wetlands invaded by P. insularum, such as Lake Tohopekaliga, may function as ecological traps for the snail kite in Florida by attracting breeding adults but simultaneously depressing juvenile survival. This study highlights the conservation implications and importance of elucidating the effects that exotic species have on native specialists, especially those that are endangered, because subtle influences on behavior may have significant population consequences. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  15. Use of a saponin based molluscicide to control Pomacea canaliculata snails in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    San Martns, R; Gelmi, Claudio; de Oliveira, Jaime Vargas; Galo, Jos Luis; Pranto, Honorio

    2009-10-01

    Pomacea canaliculata snails pose a severe problem to direct seeded rice cultivated in Southern Brazil. Control of this snail is nowadays performed with toxic chemicals such as copper sulfate and fungicides such as fentin. A novel natural molluscicide based on alkali modified quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) saponins was tested under laboratory conditions. Snails were collected in rice fields close to Porto Alegre (State of Rio Grande do Sul) and in Brusque (State of Santa Catarina, 400 km north of Porto Alegre). In Santa Catarina the product was very effective, while in Porto Alegre it had no effect. This unexpected behavior was probably due to the respiratory habits of the snails under different contents of dissolved oxygen in the water. Near Porto Alegre the water used in rice fields is heavily polluted, with dissolved oxygen levels of 1-2 ppm, and the snails rely primarily on their siphon and lungs to breathe. Since saponin control is probably due to an interaction between saponins with the sterols present in the cell walls in the gills, no control was observed. By contrast, in Santa Catarina the dissolved oxygen level of the water is 5-6 ppm, and the snails remain mostly underwater, breathing with their gills. In this case the snails died within 24 h at a dose of 20 and 30 ppm of product. To test this observation, snails grown in polluted waters were forced to remain underwater in saponin solutions and water (control) preventing the use of their siphon to breathe. The snails exposed to saponin solutions died, while the control snails survived, indicating that they were still able to use their gills to breathe. These results indicate that the use of the saponin product is limited to rice fields not irrigated with heavily polluted waters. PMID:19911565

  16. Controllable Snail-Paced Light in Biological Bacteriorhodopsin Thin Film

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Pengfei; Rao, D.V.G.L.N.

    2005-12-16

    We observe that the group velocity of light is reduced to an extremely low value of 0.091 mm/s in a biological thin film of bacteriorhodopsin at room temperature. By exploiting unique features of a flexible photoisomerization process for coherent population oscillation, the velocity is all-optically controlled over an enormous span, from snail-paced to normal light speed, with no need of modifying the characteristics of the incident pulse. Because of the large quantum yield for the photoreaction in this biochemical system, the ultraslow light is observed even at low light levels of microwatts, indicating high energy efficiency.

  17. Toxic effects of Cadmium on the garden snail (Helix aspersa)

    SciTech Connect

    Russell, L.K.; DeHaven, J.I.; Botts, R.P.

    1981-05-01

    Spreading treated municipal wastes on agricultural and forest lands is becoming an established method of disposal. However, there is concern about the deleterious effects of toxicants, particularly cadmium, in the sludges. Cadmium concentrations in sewage sludge have been reported as high as 1500 ppM. The work reported here is a part of a larger project to investigate the ecological effects of municipal wastes on forest lands. Snails, Helix aspersa, were chosen to examine the entrance of cadmium into terrestrial food chains. This experiment was designed to determine cadmium accumulation, acute toxicity, and behavioral, reproductive and growth responses with increasing levels of cadmium.

  18. [Equipment for biological experiments with snails aboard piloted orbital stations].

    PubMed

    Gorgiladze, G I; Korotkova, E V; Kuznetsova, E E; Mukhamedieva, L N; Begrov, V V; Pepeliaev, Iu V

    2010-01-01

    To fly biological experiments aboard piloted orbital stations, research equipment was built up of an incubation container, filter system and automatic temperature controller. Investigations included analysis of the makeup and concentrations of gases produced by animals (snails) during biocycle, and emitted after death. Filters are chemisorption active fibrous materials (AFM) with high sorption rate and water receptivity (cation exchange fiber VION-KN-1 and anion exchange fiber VION-AS-1), and water-repellent carbon adsorbent SKLTS. AFM filters were effective in air cleaning and practically excluded ingress of chemical substances from the container into cabin atmosphere over more than 100 days. PMID:21033402

  19. [Dynamic transmission of Schistosoma by Biomphalaria pfeifferi in the region of Man in Cte d'Ivoire].

    PubMed

    Yapi Yapi, G; Tour, M; Boka, O M; Tia, E; Boby, O A-M

    2014-12-01

    Intestinal schistosomiasis by Schistosoma mansoni is a parasitary affection transmitted in West Africa by the mollusc Biomphalaria pfeifferi. Transmission dynamic of schistosomiasis by Biomphalaria pfeifferi has seldom been investigated in Cte d'Ivoire. In the framework of a research project on the epidemiology of schistosomiasis in the natural forest ecosystems, this study was performed longitudinally over a period of three years in Man region, in western Cte d'Ivoire. The trial set up from 1986 to 1989 and the project was funded by the World Health Organization. The general objective is to design a strategy of schistosomiasis control based on chemotherapy. The approach aims at interrupting or considerably reducing the reinfections, prolonging in that way the duration of the positive effects of the chemotherapy. The specific objectives assigned to the work consisted in studying the dynamic of the B. pfeifferi population and the infection of B. pfeifferi. To achieve our objectives, diverse methods (i: the molluscs sampling by two prospectors during 15 minutes per study site and ii: individual isolation of molluscs in test tubes with 5 or 10 mL of filtered water and exposure to light) have been used. They enabled us in the sampling of the intermediary host molluscs of Schistosoma and seek their infections. The results show that apparent high densities of B. pfeifferi can be observed at the end of the dry season and at the beginning of rainy seasons. In addition, the variation of relative abundance of intermediary host molluscs of Schistosoma is significantly influenced by rainfall and the system of water ways. The period of transmission of the infection to man is six months at Gueupleu village and ten months at Botonguin village. In order to optimize the effect of chemotherapy in these sites of transmission characterized by a high level of endemy (68 %), an extreme mobility of human populations and a multiplicity of contamination sites, this study should not only take into account the geographic space of the illness, but also it should eventually associate with a molluscicide action and/or a sanitary education through the teaching of primary health care. PMID:25351337

  20. Reproduction and demography of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Beissinger, S.R.; Chandler, R.E.

    1989-01-01

    An 18-year study of reproduction and survival of the Florida Everglade (Snail) Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus) has revealed the following: extremely poor nesting success (only 13.6% of nests found at the nest-building stage successful); extremely long breeding seasons (some reproductive activity in almost all months in good years); frequent multiple brooding and frequent multiple brooding and frequent renesting after failure; low egg hatchability (81%); high failure rates due to nest collapse, desertion, and predation; extremely high survival of juveniles and adults under good water conditions; and high vulnerability to drought due to near total dependency on a single species of drought-sensitive snail for food. Despite low nesting success, the species has increased rapidly under good conditions, mainly because of multiple nesting attempts within long breeding seasons and high survival rates of free-flying birds. Nesting success varied significantly between regions and nest substrates, but not as a function of seasons or solitary vs. colonial nesting. While nesting success was reduced in low water years, this effect was at least partly due to heavy use of poor nest substrates under such conditions. Clutch size and numbers of young per successful nest varied with regions, but not as a function of seasons or water levels. The effects of coloniality on clutch size and numbers of young were inconsistent. Significant effects of nest-substrate types on clutch size and numbers of young were apparently artifacts of substrate differences between regions.

  1. Microgeographic evolution of snail shell shape and predator behavior.

    PubMed

    Schilthuizen, Menno; van Til, Angelique; Salverda, Merijn; Liew, Thor-Seng; James, S Sheena; bin Elahan, Berjaya; Vermeulen, Jaap J

    2006-09-01

    Genetic divergence in geographically isolated populations is a prerequisite for allopatric speciation, one of the most common modes of speciation. In ecologically equivalent populations existing within a small, environmentally homogeneous area, an important role for environmentally neutral divergence is often found or inferred. We studied a species complex of conspicuously shaped Opisthostoma land snails on scattered limestone outcrops within a small area of lowland rainforest in Borneo. We used shell morphometrics, mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences, and marks of predation to study the factors involved in allopatric divergence. We found that a striking geographic divergence exists in shell morphology, which is partly associated with neutral genetic divergence. We also found geographic differentiation in the behavior of the snails' invertebrate predator and evidence of an evolutionary interaction between aspects of shell shape and predator behavior. Our study shows that adaptation to biotic aspects of the environment may play a more important role in allopatric speciation than previously suspected, even on a geographically very small scale. PMID:17089969

  2. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Robert G.; Vicente-Dueñas, Carolina; González-Herrero, Ines; Anderson, Catriona; Flores, Teresa; Hughes, Sharon; Tselepis, Chris; Ross, James A.; Sánchez-García, Isidro

    2007-01-01

    E-Cadherin (CDH1) expression is reduced in thyroid carcinomas by primarily unknown mechanisms. In several tissues, SNAIL (SNAI1) and SLUG (SNAI2) induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition by altering target gene transcription, including CDH1 repression, but these transcription factors have not been studied in thyroid carcinoma. Recently, our group has provided direct evidence that ectopic SNAI1 expression induces epithelial and mesenchymal mouse tumors. SNAI1, SNAI2, and CDH1 expression were analyzed in thyroid-derived cell lines and samples of human follicular and papillary thyroid carcinoma by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The effect of SNAI1 expression on CDH1 transcription was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting in ori-3 cells. Thyroid carcinoma development was analyzed in CombitTA-Snail mice, in which SNAI1 levels are up-regulated. SNAI1 and SNAI2 were not expressed in cells derived from normal thyroid tissue, or in normal human thyroid samples, but were highly expressed in cell lines derived from thyroid carcinomas, in human thyroid carcinoma samples, and their metastases. SNAI1 expression in ori-3 cells repressed CDH1 transcription. Combi-TA mice developed papillary thyroid carcinomas, the incidence of which was increased by concomitant radiotherapy. In conclusion, SNAI1 and SNAI2 are ectopically expressed in thyroid carcinomas, and aberrant expression in mice is associated with papillary carcinoma development. PMID:17724139

  3. PKD1 phosphorylation-dependent degradation of SNAIL by SCF-FBXO11 regulates epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Hanqiu; Shen, Minhong; Zha, Yin-Lian; Li, Wenyang; Wei, Yong; Blanco, Mario Andres; Ren, Guangwen; Zhou, Tianhua; Storz, Peter; Wang, Hui-Yun; Kang, Yibin

    2014-09-01

    Metastatic dissemination is often initiated by the reactivation of an embryonic development program referred to as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The transcription factor SNAIL promotes EMT and elicits associated pathological characteristics such as invasion, metastasis, and stemness. To better understand the posttranslational regulation of SNAIL, we performed a luciferase-based, genome-wide E3 ligase siRNA library screen and identified SCF-FBXO11 as an important E3 that targets SNAIL for ubiquitylation and degradation. Furthermore, we discovered that SNAIL degradation by FBXO11 is dependent on Ser-11 phosphorylation of SNAIL by protein kinase D1 (PKD1). FBXO11 blocks SNAIL-induced EMT, tumor initiation, and metastasis in multiple breast cancer models. These findings establish the PKD1-FBXO11-SNAIL axis as a mechanism of posttranslational regulation of EMT and cancer metastasis. PMID:25203322

  4. Bacterial induction of Snail1 contributes to blood-brain barrier disruption

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Brandon J.; Hancock, Bryan M.; Bermudez, Andres; Cid, Natasha Del; Reyes, Efren; van Sorge, Nina M.; Lauth, Xavier; Smurthwaite, Cameron A.; Hilton, Brett J.; Stotland, Aleksandr; Banerjee, Anirban; Buchanan, John; Wolkowicz, Roland; Traver, David; Doran, Kelly S.

    2015-01-01

    Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the CNS that results when blood-borne bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal meningitis; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate bacterial BBB disruption and penetration are not well understood. Here, we found that infection of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) with GBS and other meningeal pathogens results in the induction of host transcriptional repressor Snail1, which impedes expression of tight junction genes. Moreover, GBS infection also induced Snail1 expression in murine and zebrafish models. Tight junction components ZO-1, claudin 5, and occludin were decreased at both the transcript and protein levels in hBMECs following GBS infection, and this repression was dependent on Snail1 induction. Bacteria-independent Snail1 expression was sufficient to facilitate tight junction disruption, promoting BBB permeability to allow bacterial passage. GBS induction of Snail1 expression was dependent on the ERK1/2/MAPK signaling cascade and bacterial cell wall components. Finally, overexpression of a dominant-negative Snail1 homolog in zebrafish elevated transcription of tight junction protein–encoding genes and increased zebrafish survival in response to GBS challenge. Taken together, our data support a Snail1-dependent mechanism of BBB disruption and penetration by meningeal pathogens. PMID:25961453

  5. Snail1 is involved in the renal epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshino, Jun; Monkawa, Toshiaki Tsuji, Mihoko; Inukai, Mai; Itoh, Hiroshi; Hayashi, Matsuhiko

    2007-10-12

    The pathological significance of the tubular epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in kidney diseases is becoming increasingly recognized, and the transcription factor Snail1 plays a critical role in EMT. The results of this study show that Snail1 mRNA and protein were upregulated in the tubular epithelial cells of the obstructed kidneys in a rat model of unilateral ureteral obstruction and in human proximal tubule HKC-8 cells treated with TGF-{beta}1. Glycogen synthase kinase-3{beta} (GSK-3{beta}) regulates the Snail1 level by degrading Snail1 protein. The level of the phosphorylated inactive form of GSK-3{beta} was increased in the tubular epithelial cells of the obstructed kidney. TGF-{beta}1 increased the phosphorylated form of GSK-3{beta} in HKC-8 cells, and inhibition of GSK-3{beta} by the selective inhibitors lithium and TDZD-8 caused Snail1 protein to accumulate. This study demonstrated that Snail1 is involved in renal tubular EMT and that TGF-{beta}1 regulates Snail1 at the transcription and protein degradation levels.

  6. Taken to the limit--Is desiccation stress causing precocious encystment of trematode parasites in snails?

    PubMed

    O'Dwyer, Katie; Poulin, Robert

    2015-12-01

    When hosts experience environmental stress, the quantity and quality of resources they provide for parasites may be diminished, and host longevity may be decreased. Under stress, parasites may adopt alternative strategies to avoid fitness reductions. Trematode parasites typically have complex life cycles, involving asexual reproduction in a gastropod first intermediate host. A rare phenomenon, briefly mentioned in the literature, and termed 'precocious encystment' involves the next stage in the parasites' life cycle (metacercarial cyst) forming within the preceding stage (redia), while still inside the snail. In the trematode Parorchis sp. NZ using rocky shore snails exposed to long periods outside water, we hypothesised that this might be an adaptive strategy against desiccation, preventing parasite emergence from the snail. To test this, we first investigated the effect of prolonged desiccation on the survival of two species of high intertidal snails. Secondly, we measured the reproductive output (cercarial production) of the parasite under wet and dry conditions. Finally, we quantified the influence of desiccation stress on the occurrence of precocious encystment. Snail mortality was higher under dry conditions, indicating stress, and it was somewhat exacerbated for infected snails. Parasite reproductive output differed between wet and dry conditions, with parasites of snails kept in dry conditions producing more cercariae when placed in water. Little variation was observed in the occurrence of precocious encystment, although some subtle patterns emerged. Given the stresses associated with living in high intertidal environments, we discuss precocious encystment as a possible stress response in this trematode parasite. PMID:26344863

  7. Comparative toxicity of Paraquat herbicide and some plant extracts in Lymnaea natalensis snails.

    PubMed

    Bakry, Fayez A; Eleiwa, Mona E; Taha, Samir A; Ismil, Somya M

    2016-01-01

    Paraquat has been shown to be a highly toxic compound for humans and animals, and many cases of acute poisoning and death have been reported over the past few decades. The present study was undertaken to evaluate comprehensively herbicides (Paraquat) and some plant extracts to biochemical aspects of Lymnaea natalensis snails. It was found that the exposure of L. natalensis to Paraquat and plant extracts led to a significant reduction in the infectivity of Fasciola gigantica miracidia to the snail. The glucose level in hemolymph of exposed snails was elevated, while the glycogen showed a decrease in soft tissues when compared with the control group. In addition, the activity level of some enzymes representing glycolytic enzymes as hexokinase (HK), pyruvate kinase (PK), phosphofructokinase (PFK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and glucose phosphate isomerase (GPI) in snail's tissues were reduced in response to the treatment. It was concluded that the pollution of the aquatic environment by herbicide would adversely affect the metabolism of the L. natalensis snails. Snails treated with Agave attenuate, Ammi visnaga, and Canna iridiflora plant had less toxic effect compared to snails treated with Paraquat. PMID:24081640

  8. Epidemiology of cercarial stage of trematodes in freshwater snails from Chiang Mai province, Thailand

    PubMed Central

    Chontananarth, Thapana; Wongsawad, Chalobol

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the epidemiological situation of cercarial trematodes infection in freshwater snails from different water resources in Chiang Mai province, Thailand. Methods The snail specimens were collected from 13 districts of Chiang Mai province during April 2008 to February 2012. The prevalence of cercarial infection in snails was investigated using the crushing method. The drawing was done with the help of a camera lucida for the morphological study. Results A total of 2 479 snail individuals were collected and classified into 7 families, 11 genera, and 14 species, Among them, 8 snails species were found to be infected with an overall prevalence of 17.27% (428/2 479), which infected with nine groups of cercariae; gymnocephalous cercaria, strigea cercaria, megalurous cercaria, monostome cercaria, parapleurolophocercous cercaria (Haplorchis cercaria), pleurolophocercous cercaria, furcocercous cercaria (Transversotrema cercaria), xiphidiocercaria, and virgulate cercaria. The parapleurolophocercous cercaria was found to be the dominant type among the cercarial infection in the snails (64.25%). Conclusions The various species of snails found in the research location act as the intermediate hosts for the high prevalence of parasitic infection of many species of mammals. This work will provide new information on both the distribution and first intermediate host of trematodes. PMID:23620846

  9. Temperature dependence of Opisthorchis viverrini infection in first intermediate host snail, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos.

    PubMed

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Kulsantiwong, Jutharat; Piratae, Supawadee; Khampoosa, Panita; Thammasiri, Chalida; Suwannatrai, Apiporn; Laha, Thewarach; Grams, Rudi; Loukas, Alex; Tesana, Smarn

    2015-01-01

    Determining of the success of a parasite's infectiveness in its snail host clearly depends on environmental conditions. Temperature, one of the most influential factors impinging on metabolism of cold-blooded animals, is believed to be an important factor in parasitic infection in snails. In order to elucidate the influence of temperature, sex and size of snails on infectivity of Opisthorchis viverrini to its first intermediate host, Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos, 960 snails were divided into 2 groups by sex. Each group was subdivided by their size into small and medium sub-groups. Each snail was fed with embryonated uterine-eggs of O. viverrini at different temperatures (16-37C, 3C intervals). Dissections were carried out 1, 7, 14, 28 and 56 days thereafter and detection of O. viverrini infection was undertaken by PCR using specific primers. Infection was strongly temperature-dependent, as temperature increases of 1C resulted in increased odds of infection 5.4% (P<0.01). A temperature of 34C gave the highest rate of infection of 44.14%. We also found that the odds of infection in small sized snails was 39.8% higher relative to medium sized snails (P<0.05). Relative to day 1, the decrease in the odds of infection was detected when the day post infection was longer (P<0.01). Proportion of infection in female was not different to male significantly. PMID:24161535

  10. Bacterial induction of Snail1 contributes to blood-brain barrier disruption.

    PubMed

    Kim, Brandon J; Hancock, Bryan M; Bermudez, Andres; Del Cid, Natasha; Reyes, Efren; van Sorge, Nina M; Lauth, Xavier; Smurthwaite, Cameron A; Hilton, Brett J; Stotland, Aleksandr; Banerjee, Anirban; Buchanan, John; Wolkowicz, Roland; Traver, David; Doran, Kelly S

    2015-06-01

    Bacterial meningitis is a serious infection of the CNS that results when blood-borne bacteria are able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is the leading cause of neonatal meningitis; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate bacterial BBB disruption and penetration are not well understood. Here, we found that infection of human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs) with GBS and other meningeal pathogens results in the induction of host transcriptional repressor Snail1, which impedes expression of tight junction genes. Moreover, GBS infection also induced Snail1 expression in murine and zebrafish models. Tight junction components ZO-1, claudin 5, and occludin were decreased at both the transcript and protein levels in hBMECs following GBS infection, and this repression was dependent on Snail1 induction. Bacteria-independent Snail1 expression was sufficient to facilitate tight junction disruption, promoting BBB permeability to allow bacterial passage. GBS induction of Snail1 expression was dependent on the ERK1/2/MAPK signaling cascade and bacterial cell wall components. Finally, overexpression of a dominant-negative Snail1 homolog in zebrafish elevated transcription of tight junction protein-encoding genes and increased zebrafish survival in response to GBS challenge. Taken together, our data support a Snail1-dependent mechanism of BBB disruption and penetration by meningeal pathogens. PMID:25961453

  11. The ectopic expression of Snail in MDBK cells does not induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    IZAWA, GENYA; KOBAYASHI, WAKAKO; HARAGUCHI, MISAKO; SUDO, AKIHARU; OZAWA, MASAYUKI

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process in the tumor metastatic cascade, is characterized by the loss of cell-cell junctions and cell polarity, as well as by the acquisition of migratory and invasive properties. However, the precise molecular events that initiate this complex EMT process are poorly understood. Snail expression induces EMT in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells and the human epidermoid carcinoma cell line, A431. Snail is a zinc finger transcription factor and triggers EMT by suppressing E-cadherin expression. In the present study, to broaden our knowledge of Snail-induced EMT, we generated stable Snail transfectants using Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells. Contrary to the MDCK or A431 cells examined in our previous studies, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct maintained an epithelial morphology and showed no sign of reduced cell-cell adhesiveness compared to the control cells. Consistent with these observations, the down-regulation of epithelial marker proteins, e.g. E-cadherin and desmoglein, and the upregulation of mesenchymal marker proteins, e.g., N-cadherin and fibronectin, were not detected. Furthermore, the E-cadherin promoter was not methylated. Therefore, in the MDBK cells, the ectopic expression of Snail failed to induce EMT. As previously demonstrated, in MDCK cells, Snail expression is accompanied by the increased expression of other EMT-inducing transcription factors, e.g., Slug and zinc finger E-box-binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1). However, the MDBK cells transfected with the Snail construct did not exhibit an increased expression of these factors. Thus, it is possible that the failure to upregulate other EMT-related transcription factors may explain the lack of Snail-mediated induction of EMT in MDBK cells. PMID:25998899

  12. Radix natalensis: the effect of Fasciola hepatica infection on the reproductive activity of the snail.

    PubMed

    Dar, Yasser; Vignoles, Philippe; Rondelaud, Daniel; Dreyfuss, Gilles

    2014-01-01

    Experimental infections of Egyptian Radix natalensis (shell height at miracidial exposure: 4 mm) with a French isolate of Fasciola hepatica were carried out under laboratory conditions at 22 °C to specify the characteristics and follow the dynamics of their egg-laying. Controls constituted unexposed R. natalensis of the same size. No significant difference between controls and the uninfected snails of the exposed group was noted, whatever the parameter considered. In controls and exposed snails, the dates of the first egg masses were close to each other (56.4-65.3 days). In contrast, the life span of snails and the length of the egg-laying period were significantly shorter and egg production was significantly lower in infected R. natalensis than in controls and uninfected snails. In infected R. natalensis, but without cercarial shedding (NCS snails), egg production was irregular throughout the egg-laying period. In cercarial-shedding (CS) snails, the first egg masses were laid before the first cercarial emergence (at a mean of 56 days and 67 days, respectively). Thereafter, egg mass production of CS snails was irregular up to day 72 of the experiment, stopped during the following two weeks and started again after day 88 for a single snail. In conclusion, the F. hepatica infection of R. natalensis reduced the reproductive activity in both NCS and CS snails. The pattern noted for egg production in infected R. natalensis seems to be species-specific because of the high shell size of this lymnaeid and its role as an atypical intermediate host in the life cycle of the parasite. PMID:24871866

  13. Isolation of salmonellae and other potential pathogens from the freshwater aquarium snail Ampullaria.

    PubMed

    Bartlett, K H; Trust, T J

    1976-05-01

    The freshwater aquarium snail (Ampullaria spp.) was demonstrated to carry as many as 10(8) viable mesophilic bacteria per g of meat plus shell. Some 16 genera of bacteria were identified, with gram negatives predominating. Enrichment culture techniques enabled the isolation of salmonellae from 24 to 42 lots of 200 g each. The salmonellae comprised eight different serotypes, including Salmonella newport, Salmonella saint-paul, and Salmonella infantis. This association of salmonellae with snails may contribute to cases of human salmonellosis, since other aquarium species have already been shown to contribute to many such cases. The snails were also found to commonly harbor Pseudomonas aeruginosa and, occasionally, Edwardsiella tarda. PMID:818954

  14. Copper toxicity to the fresh water snail, Lymnaea luteola

    SciTech Connect

    Reddy, N.M.; Rao, P.V.

    1987-07-01

    Haemocyanins are found in arthropoda and mollusca and show a copper content characteristic for each phylum. Heavy metal accumulation by mollusks is widely reported. Approximately one third of the enzymes either required addition of a metal ion as a cofactor in order to exhibit maximum activity or contained a slightly bound metal ion which appeared to be involved in the catalytic process. Copper is the only metal which has been detected in significant amounts in amino oxidase. The present study is designed to evaluate the influence of such copper, which is of such common occurrence in biological material, on some of the lipolytic enzymes of fresh water pulmonate snail, Lymnaea luteola when added to ambient medium. The present study also highlights the possible detoxification mechanism prevailing in this fresh water mollusk.

  15. Pesticide concentrations in snail kite eggs and nestlings in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    From 1970-1977, unhatched snail kite eggs and young that were found dead at nests in Florida were analyzed by gas chromatography for residues of organochlorine pollutants. The 1970 and 1974 material showed measurable amounts of p,p'-DDE, p,p'-DDD, p,p'-DDT, and dieldrin. Dieldrin and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) residues were less than 0.1 ppm in the eggs and were detected in only one sample of muscle tissue at 0.11 ppm. Concentrations in ppm wet weight of p,p'-DDE, p,p' DDD, p,p'-DDT, dieldrin, and PCB for two samples of muscle and three of brain tissue (all 1977 material) were not detected at the limit of quantification (0.05 ppm).

  16. Evening roosts of the snail kite in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sykes, P.W., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    A total of 36 roost sites of the Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were studied in southern Florida, of which four (11%) were used regularly for 6 or more years. Major roosts were also used as nesting sites. All roosts were in flooded marshes and 33 (91.6%) were in stands of coastal-plain willow. Population increase and the number of roosts were strongly correlated. The number of kites arriving at roosts before sunset was smaller than arriving after sunset (37.8:62.2%), and gray birds (adult and subadult males) generally went to roost earlier than brown birds (all females and immature males). Rites tended to go to roost earlier on cloudy days. Morning departure from roosts was over a much shorter time than arrivals in the afternoon. Ninety-two percent of the kite roosts were also used by other species of birds for roosting, 8 1% of which were eight species of herons.

  17. Solar radio-transmitters on snail kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Beissinger, S.R.; Fuller, M.R.

    1989-01-01

    The effectiveness and safety of one- and two-stage solar radio-transmitters in tracking the movements and survival of adult and fledgling Snail Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) were evaluated between 1979 and 1983 in southern Florida. Transmitters were attached to birds with back-pack arrangements using teflon ribbon straps. Accessory plastic shields minimized feather coverage of the solar cells. Intact transmitters were seen on birds up to 47 mo after installation. Operating lives ranged from 8 to 21 mo for one-stage, and 10 to 14 mo for two-stage transmitters. Because survival of adult and nestling radio-marked kites was high, we conclude that our transmitter-attachment method had little effect on the birds.

  18. Gastropod-Borne Helminths: A Look at the Snail-Parasite Interplay.

    PubMed

    Giannelli, Alessio; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Colella, Vito; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Otranto, Domenico

    2016-03-01

    More than 300 million people suffer from a range of diseases caused by gastropod-borne helminths, predominantly flatworms and roundworms, whose life cycles are characterized by a diversified ecology and epidemiology. Despite the plethora of data on these parasites, very little is known of the fundamental biology of their gastropod intermediate hosts, or of the interactions occurring at the snail-helminth interface. In this article, we focus on schistosomes and metastrongylids of human and animal significance, and review current knowledge of snail-parasite interplay. Future efforts aimed at elucidating key elements of the biology and ecology of the snail intermediate hosts, together with an improved understanding of snail-parasite interactions, will aid to identify, plan, and develop new strategies for disease control focused on gastropod intermediate hosts. PMID:26740470

  19. Wet Adhesion and Adhesive Locomotion of Snails on Anti-Adhesive Non-Wetting Surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Shirtcliffe, Neil J.; McHale, Glen; Newton, Michael I.

    2012-01-01

    Creating surfaces capable of resisting liquid-mediated adhesion is extremely difficult due to the strong capillary forces that exist between surfaces. Land snails use this to adhere to and traverse across almost any type of solid surface of any orientation (horizontal, vertical or inverted), texture (smooth, rough or granular) or wetting property (hydrophilic or hydrophobic) via a layer of mucus. However, the wetting properties that enable snails to generate strong temporary attachment and the effectiveness of this adhesive locomotion on modern super-slippy superhydrophobic surfaces are unclear. Here we report that snail adhesion overcomes a wide range of these microscale and nanoscale topographically structured non-stick surfaces. For the one surface which we found to be snail resistant, we show that the effect is correlated with the wetting response of the surface to a weak surfactant. Our results elucidate some critical wetting factors for the design of anti-adhesive and bio-adhesion resistant surfaces. PMID:22693563

  20. Bioaccumulative and conchological assessment of heavy metal transfer in a soil-plant-snail food chain

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) can pose serious threats to environmental health because they tend to bioaccumulate in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated under field conditions the transfer of these heavy metals in a soil-plant-snail food chain in Banat area, Romania. The main goal of this paper was to assess the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) usefulness in environmental monitoring as bioindicator of heavy metal accumulation. Eight sampling sites, selected by different history of heavy metal (HM) exposure, were chosen to be sampled for soil, nettle leaves, and newly matured snails. This study also aimed to identify the putative effects of HM accumulation in the environment on phenotypic variability in selected shell features, which included shell height (SH), relative shell height (RSH), and whorl number (WN). Results Significantly higher amounts of HMs were accumulated in snail hepatopancreas and not in foot. Cu, Zn, and Cd have biomagnified in the snail body, particularly in the hepatopancreas. In contrast, Pb decreased when going up into the food chain. Zn, Cd, and Pb correlated highly with each other at all levels of the investigated food chain. Zn and Pb exhibited an effective soil–plant transfer, whereas in the snail body only foot Cu concentration was correlated with that in soil. There were significant differences among sampling sites for WN, SH, and RSH when compared with reference snails. WN was strongly correlated with Cd and Pb concentrations in nettle leaves but not with Cu and Zn. SH was independent of HM concentrations in soil, snail hepatopancreas, and foot. However, SH correlated negatively with nettle leaves concentrations for each HM except Cu. In contrast, RSH correlated significantly only with Pb concentration in hepatopancreas. Conclusions The snail hepatopancreas accumulates high amounts of HMs, and therefore, this organ can function as a reliable biomarker for tracking HM bioavailability in soil. Long-term exposure to HMs via contaminated food might influence the variability of shell traits in snail populations. Therefore, our results highlight the Roman snail (Helix pomatia) potential to be used in environmental monitoring studies as bioindicator of HM pollution. PMID:22703871

  1. STAT3 integrates cooperative Ras and TGF-β signals that induce Snail expression.

    PubMed

    Saitoh, M; Endo, K; Furuya, S; Minami, M; Fukasawa, A; Imamura, T; Miyazawa, K

    2016-02-25

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial morphological event that occurs during the progression of epithelial tumors. EMT can be induced by transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) in certain kinds of cancer cells through the induction of Snail, a key regulator of EMT. We have previously found that TGF-β remarkably induces Snail expression in cooperation with Ras signals; however, the underlying mechanism of this synergism has not yet been determined. Here, we demonstrate that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) acts as a mediator that synergizes TGF-β and Ras signals. The overexpression of STAT3 enhanced Snail induction, whereas siRNA-mediated knockdown of STAT3 inhibited it. The STAT3-YF mutant, which has Tyr 705 substituted with Phe, did not enhance Snail induction. Several STAT3 mutants lacking transcriptional activity also failed to enhance it; however, the putative STAT3-binding elements in the Snail promoter regions were not required for STAT3-mediated Snail induction. Protein inhibitor of activated STAT3 (PIAS3) inhibited the enhanced Snail promoter activity induced by TGF-β and Ras. The interaction between PIAS3 and STAT3 was reduced by TGF-β in cells harboring oncogenic Ras, whereas TGF-β promoted the binding of PIAS3 to Smad3, a crucial mediator of TGF-β signaling. Therefore, these findings suggest that STAT3 enhances Snail induction when it is dissociated from PIAS3 by TGF-β in cooperation with Ras signals. PMID:25961936

  2. Effect of 2450 MHz microwave radiation on the ultrastructure of snail neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Arber, S.L.; Neilly, J.P.; Lin, J.C.; Kriho, V.

    1986-01-01

    An electron microscopical study of snail neurons was undertaken to verify whether any ultrastructural alterations accompany microwave-induced electrophysiological changes observed in these neurons. Subesophageal ganglia from Helix aspersa snails were exposed to 2450 MHz microwave radiation in vitro at SAR 12.9 mW/g for 60 minutes. It was found that exposure at 21 degrees C causes minor changes in Golgi complexes and slight swelling of the endoplasmic reticulum.

  3. Shading decreases the abundance of the herbivorous California horn snail, Cerithidea californica

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lorda, Julio; Lafferty, Kevin D.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the intertidal zone in estuaries of California, USA and Baja California, Mexico is covered with vascular vegetation. Shading by these vascular plants influences abiotic and biotic processes that shape benthic community assemblages. We present data on the effects of shading on the California horn snail, Cerithidea californica. This species is important because it is the most common benthic macrofaunal species in these systems and acts as an obligate intermediate host of several species of rematode parasites that infect several other species. Using observational and experimental studies, we found a negative effect of shade on the distribution and abundance of the California horn snail. We hypothesized that shading reduces the abundance of the epipelic diatoms that the snails feeds on, causing snails to leave haded areas. We observed a negative relationship between vascular plant cover, sub-canopy light levels, and snail density in Mugu Lagoon. Then we experimentally manipulated light regimes, by clipping vegetation and adding shade structures, and found higher snail densities at higher light levels. In Goleta Slough, we isolated the effect of shade from vegetation by documenting a negative relationship between the shade created by two bridges and diatom and snail densities. We also found that snails moved the greatest distances over shaded channel banks compared to unshaded channel banks. Further, we documented the effect of water depth and channel bank orientation on shading in this system. An additional effect of shading is the reduction of temperature, providing an alternative explanation for some of our results. These results broaden our knowledge of how variation in the light environment influences the ecology of estuarine ecosystems.

  4. The effects of wetland habitat structure on Florida apple snail density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Karunaratne, L.B.; Darby, P.C.; Bennetts, R.E.

    2006-01-01

    Wetlands often support a variety of juxtaposed habitat patches (e.g., grass-, shrub- or tree-dominated) differentially suited to support the inhabiting fauna. The proportion of available habitat types has been affected by human activity and consequently has contributed to degrading habitat quality for some species. The Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) has drawn attention as a critical prey item for wetlands wildlife and as an indicator of wetlands restoration success in peninsular Florida, USA. An apparent contradiction has evolved wherein this species appears intolerant of drying events, but these disturbances may be necessary to maintain suitable habitat structure for apple snails. We recently reported that assertions regarding intolerance to dry downs in this species were inaccurate. Here, we compared snail density in habitats with (wet prairie) and without (slough) emergent macrophytes, as well as evaluating the effects of structural attributes within the broad wet prairie habitat type. Snail densities were greater in prairies relative to sloughs (??2= 12.90, df=1, P=0.0003), often by a factor of two to three. Within wet prairie habitats, we found greater snail densities in Panicum hemitomon as compared to Eleocharis cellulosa (??2=31.45, df=1, P=0.0001). Significantly fewer snails were found in dense E. cellulosa as compared to habitats with lower stem density (??2= 10.73, df=1, P=0.011). Our results indicate that wet prairie habitat supports greater snail densities than nymphaea-dominatd slough. Our results have implications for wetlands water management in that continuous inundation has been shown to convert wet prairie to slough habitat, and we suggest this should be avoided in support of apple snails and their predators. ?? 2006, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  5. The effect of aquatic plant abundance on shell crushing resistance in a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Chaves-Campos, Johel; Coghill, Lyndon M; García de León, Francisco J; Johnson, Steven G

    2012-01-01

    Most of the shell material in snails is composed of calcium carbonate but the organic shell matrix determines the properties of calcium carbonate crystals. It has been shown that the deposition of calcium carbonate is affected by the ingestion of organic compounds. We hypothesize that organic compounds not synthesized by the snails are important for shell strength and must be obtained from the diet. We tested this idea indirectly by evaluating whether the abundance of the organic matter that snails eat is related to the strength of their shells. We measured shell crushing resistance in the snail Mexipyrgus churinceanus and the abundance of the most common aquatic macrophyte, the water lily Nymphaea ampla, in ten bodies of water in the valley of Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico. We used stable isotopes to test the assumption that these snails feed on water lily organic matter. We also measured other factors that can affect crushing resistance, such as the density of crushing predators, snail density, water pH, and the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the water. The isotope analysis suggested that snails assimilate water lily organic matter that is metabolized by sediment bacteria. The variable that best explained the variation in crushing resistance found among sites was the local abundance of water lilies. We propose that the local amount of water lily organic matter provides organic compounds important in shell biomineralization, thus determining crushing resistance. Hence, we propose that a third trophic level could be important in the coevolution of snail defensive traits and predatory structures. PMID:22970206

  6. The Effect of Aquatic Plant Abundance on Shell Crushing Resistance in a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Chaves-Campos, Johel; Coghill, Lyndon M.; García de León, Francisco J.; Johnson, Steven G.

    2012-01-01

    Most of the shell material in snails is composed of calcium carbonate but the organic shell matrix determines the properties of calcium carbonate crystals. It has been shown that the deposition of calcium carbonate is affected by the ingestion of organic compounds. We hypothesize that organic compounds not synthesized by the snails are important for shell strength and must be obtained from the diet. We tested this idea indirectly by evaluating whether the abundance of the organic matter that snails eat is related to the strength of their shells. We measured shell crushing resistance in the snail Mexipyrgus churinceanus and the abundance of the most common aquatic macrophyte, the water lily Nymphaea ampla, in ten bodies of water in the valley of Cuatro Ciénegas, Mexico. We used stable isotopes to test the assumption that these snails feed on water lily organic matter. We also measured other factors that can affect crushing resistance, such as the density of crushing predators, snail density, water pH, and the concentration of calcium and phosphorus in the water. The isotope analysis suggested that snails assimilate water lily organic matter that is metabolized by sediment bacteria. The variable that best explained the variation in crushing resistance found among sites was the local abundance of water lilies. We propose that the local amount of water lily organic matter provides organic compounds important in shell biomineralization, thus determining crushing resistance. Hence, we propose that a third trophic level could be important in the coevolution of snail defensive traits and predatory structures. PMID:22970206

  7. The Giant Snail Achatina fulica as a Candidate Species for Advanced Bioregenerative Life Support Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

    Maintenance of crew health is of paramount importance for long duration space missions. Weight loss, bone and calcium loss, increased exposure to radiation and oxidative stress are critical concerns that need to be alleviated. Rational nutrition is a resource for mitigating the influence of unfavorable conditions. The insufficiency of vegetarian diet has been examined by the Japanese, Chinese and U.S. developers of bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS). Hence, inclusion of animals such as silkworm in BLSS looks justified. The giant snail is currently under studying as a source of animal food and a species of reducing waste in BLSS. An experimental system to conduct cultivation of giant snail was developed. It was established that there are some reasons to use the giant snails in BLSS. It could be a source of delicious meat. A. fulica is capable of consuming a wide range of feedstuffs including plant residues. Cultivation of snail in the limited volume does not demand the big expenditures of labor. The production of crude edible biomass and protein of A. fulica was 60±15 g and 7±1.8 g respectively per 1 kg of consumed forage (fresh salad leaves, root and leafy tops of carrot). To satisfy daily animal protein needs (30-35 g) a crewman has to consume 260-300 g of snail meat. To produce such amount of snail protein it takes to use 4.3-5.0 kg of plant forage daily. The nutritional composition of A. fulica whole bodies (without shell) and a meal prepared in various ways was quantitatively determined. Protein, carbohydrate, fat acid and ash content percentages were different among samples prepared in various ways. The protein content was highest (68 %) in the dry sample washed with CH3 COOH solution. Taking into consideration the experimental results a conceptual configuration of BLSS with inclusion of giant snail was developed and mass flow rates between compartments were calculated. Keywords: animal food; protein; giant snail; BLSS; conceptual configuration.

  8. Snail2/Slug cooperates with Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) to regulate neural crest development

    PubMed Central

    Tien, Chih-Liang; Jones, Amanda; Wang, Hengbin; Gerigk, Magda; Nozell, Susan; Chang, Chenbei

    2015-01-01

    Neural crest cells arise from the border of the neural plate and epidermal ectoderm, migrate extensively and differentiate into diverse cell types during vertebrate embryogenesis. Although much has been learnt about growth factor signals and gene regulatory networks that regulate neural crest development, limited information is available on how epigenetic mechanisms control this process. In this study, we show that Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) cooperates with the transcription factor Snail2/Slug to modulate neural crest development in Xenopus. The PRC2 core components Eed, Ezh2 and Suz12 are expressed in the neural crest cells and are required for neural crest marker expression. Knockdown of Ezh2, the catalytic subunit of PRC2 for histone H3K27 methylation, results in defects in neural crest specification, migration and craniofacial cartilage formation. EZH2 interacts directly with Snail2, and Snail2 fails to expand the neural crest domains in the absence of Ezh2. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis shows that Snail2 regulates EZH2 occupancy and histone H3K27 trimethylation levels at the promoter region of the Snail2 target E-cadherin. Our results indicate that Snail2 cooperates with EZH2 and PRC2 to control expression of the genes important for neural crest specification and migration during neural crest development. PMID:25617436

  9. Bacterial diversity in different regions of gastrointestinal tract of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica)

    PubMed Central

    Pawar, Kiran D; Banskar, Sunil; Rane, Shailendra D; Charan, Shakti S; Kulkarni, Girish J; Sawant, Shailesh S; Ghate, Hemant V; Patole, Milind S; Shouche, Yogesh S

    2012-01-01

    The gastrointestinal (GI) tract of invasive land snail Achatina fulica is known to harbor metabolically active bacterial communities. In this study, we assessed the bacterial diversity in the different regions of GI tract of Giant African snail, A. fulica by culture-independent and culture-dependent methods. Five 16S rRNA gene libraries from different regions of GI tract of active snails indicated that sequences affiliated to phylum ?-Proteobacteria dominated the esophagus, crop, intestine, and rectum libraries, whereas sequences affiliated to Tenericutes dominated the stomach library. On phylogenetic analysis, 30, 27, 9, 27, and 25 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) from esophagus, crop, stomach, intestine, and rectum libraries were identified, respectively. Estimations of the total bacterial diversity covered along with environmental cluster analysis showed highest bacterial diversity in the esophagus and lowest in the stomach. Thirty-three distinct bacterial isolates were obtained, which belonged to 12 genera of two major bacterial phyla namely ?-Proteobacteria and Firmicutes. Among these, Lactococcus lactis and Kurthia gibsonii were the dominant bacteria present in all GI tract regions. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis indicated significant differences in bacterial load in different GI tract regions of active and estivating snails. The difference in the bacterial load between the intestines of active and estivating snail was maximum. Principal component analysis (PCA) of terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism suggested that bacterial community structure changes only in intestine when snail enters estivation state. PMID:23233413

  10. Studies of the snail vectors of bilharziasis mansoni in north-eastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Barbosa, Frederico S.; Olivier, Louis

    1958-01-01

    The authors describe the bilharziasis endemic areas in north-eastern Brazil, giving the rainfall and general characteristics of the climate. The life-cycles of the two snail vectors—Australorbis glabratus and Tropicorbis centimetralis—in Pernambuco are described. Considerable attention is given to the effects on the snails of the annual drought, which causes many of the habitats to dry up and seriously affects the snail life-cycles and survival patterns. The snails are able to populate habitats that are dry for 5-7 months every year. They survive during the dry season in the protection of debris, vegetation, etc. A. glabratus is more susceptible to infection with Schistosoma mansoni than is T. centimetralis, but the latter is an effective vector, nevertheless, probably because it often occurs in very large numbers. A. glabratus with mature infections die or lose their infections when removed from the water for 20-30 days. Immature parasites are not killed under the same conditions. Infection with S. mansoni injures the snails and may kill them. It also reduces the reproductive capacity of the vectors, but it does not permanently castrate them. The epidemiological significance of these findings and their meaning in terms of snail control are discussed. PMID:13573116

  11. Biochemical responses to the toxicity of the biocide abamectin on the freshwater snail Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junguo; Zhou, Chune; Li, Yao; Li, Xiaoyu

    2014-03-01

    The toxic effects of abamectin (ABM), an anthelmintic drug, on the snail, Physa Acuta, and the biochemical responses to the exposure stress were evaluated. The activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione S-transferase (GST), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), and nitric oxide synthase (NOS), and the contents of malondialdehyde (MDA) were determined in snail soft tissues (head, foot, visceral mass, and the mantle) for up to 96h of exposure to 3.4, 9.6, 19.2, or 27.4μgL(-1) of ABM. The results showed that SOD and GST activities were promoted by ABM-exposure at the earlier periods of treatment (12-48h) while these activites were inhibited at the end of test. The tendency of CAT activity was similar to that of SOD, but it increased at the end of test. MDA levels of the snail soft tissues increased in all treatment groups, including the recovery group, indicating that lipid peroxidation occurred in snail soft tissues. ABM-exposure inhibited AChE activity. However, NOS activities increased by ABM-exposure. In addition, activities of antioxidant enzymes and AChE from the snail soft tissues resumed the normal levels after 96h of recovery period, but MDA level did not attain the original level. This study provides information on the biochemical mechanism of ABM toxicity on the snail. PMID:24507123

  12. Role of Ras signaling in the induction of snail by transforming growth factor-beta.

    PubMed

    Horiguchi, Kana; Shirakihara, Takuya; Nakano, Ayako; Imamura, Takeshi; Miyazono, Kohei; Saitoh, Masao

    2009-01-01

    The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a crucial morphological event that occurs during the progression of epithelial tumors. EMT can be induced by transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta in some tumor cells. Here, we demonstrate the molecular mechanism whereby Snail, a key regulator of EMT, is induced by TGF-beta in tumor cells. Snail induction by TGF-beta was highly dependent on cooperation with active Ras signals, and silencing of Ras abolished Snail induction by TGF-beta in pancreatic cancer Panc-1 cells. Transfection of constitutively active Ras into HeLa cells led to induction of Snail by TGF-beta, while representative direct targets of TGF-beta, including Smad7 and PAI-1, were not affected by Ras signaling. Using mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitors or Smad3 or Smad2 mutants, we found that phosphorylation at the linker region of Smad2/3 was not required for the induction of Snail by TGF-beta. Taken together, these findings indicate that Ras and TGF-beta-Smad signaling selectively cooperate in the induction of Snail, which occurs in a Smad-dependent manner, but independently of phosphorylation at the linker region of R-Smads by Ras signaling. PMID:19010789

  13. Effects of dietary exposure to forest pesticides on the brown garden snail Helix aspersa mueller

    SciTech Connect

    Schuytema, G.S.; Nebeker, A.V.; Griffis, W.L.

    1994-01-01

    Brown garden snails, Helix aspersa, were fed prepared diets with 12 pesticides used in forest spraying practices where endangered arboreal and terrestrial snails may be at risk. Acephate, atrazine, glyphosate, hexazinone, and picloram were not lethal at concentrations of 5,000 mg/kg in 14-day screening tests. The remaining seven pesticides, lethal to 13-100% of the tested snails at 5,000 mg/kg, were evaluated in 10-day definitive feeding tests. Azinphosmethyl (Guthion) and aminocarb were the most toxic, with 10-day LC50s of 188 and 313 mg/kg, respectively. Paraquat, trichlorfon and fenitrothion had 10-day LC50s of 659, 664, and 7,058 mg/kg respectively. Avoidance of pesticide-containing foods occurred, e.g., 10-day LC50s of >10,000 mg/kg for carbaryl and ethyl parathion. Significant descreases (p<0.05) in snail weight (total, shell-only, body-only) or shell diameter were accompanied by a significant decrease in the amount of food consumed/snail/day. Concentrations of pesticide in tissues were measured in snails exposed to atrazine and azinphosmethyl; there was no bioaccumulation. (Copyright (c) 1994 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.)

  14. Differences in predatory pressure on terrestrial snails by birds and mammals.

    PubMed

    Rosin, Zuzanna M; Olborska, Paulina; Surmacki, Adrian; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2011-09-01

    The evolution of shell polymorphism in terrestrial snails is a classic textbook example of the effect of natural selection in which avian and mammalian predation represents an important selective force on gene frequency. However, many questions about predation remain unclear, especially in the case of mammals. We collected 2000 specimens from eight terrestrial gastropod species to investigate the predation pressure exerted by birds and mice on snails. We found evidence of avian and mammalian predation in 26.5% and 36.8% of the shells. Both birds and mammals were selective with respect to snail species, size and morphs. Birds preferred the brown-lipped banded snail Cepaea nemoralis (L.) and mice preferred the burgundy snail Helix pomatia L. Mice avoided pink mid-banded C. nemoralis and preferred brown mid-banded morphs, which were neglected by birds. In contrast to mice, birds chose larger individuals. Significant differences in their predatory pressure can influence the evolution and maintenance of shell size and polymorphism of shell colouration in snails. PMID:21857115

  15. Foraging and refuge use by a pond snail: Effects of physiological state, predators, and resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wojdak, Jeremy M.

    2009-09-01

    The costs and benefits of anti-predator behavioral responses should be functions of the actual risk of predation, the availability of the prey's resources, and the physiological state of the prey. For example, a food-stressed individual risks starvation when hiding from predators, while a well-fed organism can better afford to hide (and pay the cost of not foraging). Similarly, the benefits of resource acquisition are probably highest for the prey in the poorest state, while there may be diminishing returns for prey nearing satiation. Empirical studies of state-dependent behavior are only beginning, however, and few studies have investigated interactions between all three potentially important factors. Here I present the results of a laboratory experiment where I manipulated the physiological state of pond snails ( Physa gyrina), the abundance of algal resources, and predation cues ( Belostoma flumineum waterbugs consuming snails) in a full factorial design to assess their direct effects on snail behavior and indirect effects on algal biomass. On average, snails foraged more when resources were abundant, and when predators were absent. Snails also foraged more when previously exposed to physiological stress. Snails spent more time at the water's surface (a refuging behavior) in the presence of predation cues on average, but predation, resource levels, and prey state had interactive effects on refuge use. There was a consistent positive trait-mediated indirect effect of predators on algal biomass, across all resource levels and prey states.

  16. Impact of invasive apple snails on the functioning and services of natural and managed wetlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horgan, Finbarr G.; Stuart, Alexander M.; Kudavidanage, Enoka P.

    2014-01-01

    At least 14 species of apple snail (Ampullariidae) have been released to water bodies outside their native ranges; however, less than half of these species have become widespread or caused appreciable impacts. We review evidence for the impact of apple snails on natural and managed wetlands focusing on those studies that have elucidated impact mechanisms. Significant changes in wetland ecosystems have been noted in regions where the snails are established: Two species in particular (Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata) have become major pests of aquatic crops, including rice, and caused enormous increases in molluscicide use. Invasive apple snails have also altered macrophyte community structure in natural and managed wetlands through selective herbivory and certain apple snail species can potentially shift the balance of freshwater ecosystems from clear water (macrophyte dominated) to turbid (plankton dominated) states by depleting densities of native aquatic plants. Furthermore, the introductions of some apple snail species have altered benthic community structure either directly, through predation, or indirectly, through exploitation competition or as a result of management actions. To date much of the evidence for these impacts has been based on correlations, with few manipulative field or mesocosm experiments. Greater attention to impact monitoring is required, and, for Asia in particular, a landscape approach to impact management that includes both natural and managed-rice wetlands is recommended.

  17. Snail mediates medial-lateral patterning of the ascidian neural plate.

    PubMed

    Hudson, Clare; Sirour, Cathy; Yasuo, Hitoyoshi

    2015-07-15

    The ascidian neural plate exhibits a regular, grid-like arrangement of cells. Patterning of the neural plate across the medial-lateral axis is initiated by bilateral sources of Nodal signalling, such that Nodal signalling induces expression of lateral neural plate genes and represses expression of medial neural plate genes. One of the earliest lateral neural plate genes induced by Nodal signals encodes the transcription factor Snail. Here, we show that Snail is a critical downstream factor mediating this Nodal-dependent patterning. Using gain and loss of function approaches, we show that Snail is required to repress medial neural plate gene expression at neural plate stages and to maintain the lateral neural tube genetic programme at later stages. A comparison of these results to those obtained following Nodal gain and loss of function indicates that Snail mediates a subset of Nodal functions. Consistently, overexpression of Snail can partially rescue a Nodal inhibition phenotype. We conclude that Snail is an early component of the gene regulatory network, initiated by Nodal signals, that patterns the ascidian neural plate. PMID:25962578

  18. Overexpression of miR-506 inhibits growth of osteosarcoma through Snail2

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Zhongxiang; Zhang, Yuting; Gao, Ningyang; Wang, Xiang

    2015-01-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS) is a prevalent primary bone malignancy and its distal metastasis accounts for the majority of OS-related death. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play critical roles during cancer metastasis. Thus, elucidation of the involvement of specific miRNAs in the metastasis of OS may provide novel therapeutic targets for OS treatment. Here, we showed that in the OS specimens from patients, the levels of miR-506 were significantly decreased and the levels of Snail2 were significantly increased, compared to the paired normal bone tissue. MiR-506 and Snail2 inversely correlated in patients’ specimen. Bioinformatics analyses predicted that miR-506 may target the 3’-UTR of Snail2 mRNA to inhibit its translation, which was confirmed by luciferase-reporter assay. Moreover, miR-506 overexpression inhibited Snail2-mediated cell invasiveness, while miR-506 depletion increased Snail2-mediated cell invasiveness in OS cells. Together, our data suggest that miR-506 suppression in OS cells may promote Snail2-mediated cancer metastasis. PMID:26885269

  19. Endothelial Snail Regulates Capillary Branching Morphogenesis via Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 3 Expression

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jeong Ae; Kim, Dong Young; Kim, Young-Myeong; Kwon, Young-Guen

    2015-01-01

    Vascular branching morphogenesis is activated and maintained by several signaling pathways. Among them, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) signaling is largely presented in arteries, and VEGFR3 signaling is in veins and capillaries. Recent reports have documented that Snail, a well-known epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition protein, is expressed in endothelial cells, where it regulates sprouting angiogenesis and embryonic vascular development. Here, we identified Snail as a regulator of VEGFR3 expression during capillary branching morphogenesis. Snail was dramatically upregulated in sprouting vessels in the developing retinal vasculature, including the leading-edged vessels and vertical sprouting vessels for capillary extension toward the deep retina. Results from in vitro functional studies demonstrate that Snail expression colocalized with VEGFR3 and upregulated VEGFR3 mRNA by directly binding to the VEGFR3 promoter via cooperating with early growth response protein-1. Snail knockdown in postnatal mice attenuated the formation of the deep capillary plexus, not only by impairing vertical sprouting vessels but also by downregulating VEGFR3 expression. Collectively, these data suggest that the Snail-VEGFR3 axis controls capillary extension, especially in vessels expressing VEGFR2 at low levels. PMID:26147525

  20. Snail Nuclear Transport: the Gateways Regulating Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition?

    PubMed Central

    Muqbil, Irfana; Wu, Jack; Aboukameel, Amro; Mohammad, Ramzi M.; Azmi, Asfar S.

    2014-01-01

    Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the reverse process (MET) plays central role in organ developmental biology. It is a fine tuned process that when disturbed leads to pathological conditions especially cancers with aggressive and metastatic behavior. Snail is an oncogene that has been well established to be a promoter of EMT through direct repression of epithelial morphology promoter E-cadherin. It can function in the nucleus, in the cytosol and as discovered recently, extracellularly through secretory vesicular structures. The intracellular transport of snail has for long been shown to be regulated by the nuclear pore complex. One of the Karyopherins, importin alpha, mediates snail import, while importin beta/exportin 1 (Xpo1) or chromosome maintenance region 1 (CRM1) is its major nuclear exporter. A number of additional biological regulators are emerging that directly modulate Snail stability by altering its subcellular localization. These observations indicate that targeting the nuclear transport machinery could be an important and as of yet, unexplored avenue for therapeutic intervention against the EMT processes in cancer. In parallel, a number of novel agents that disrupt nuclear transport have recently been discovered and are being explored for their anti-cancer effects in the early clinical settings. Through this review we provide insights on the mechanisms regulating snail subcellular localization and how this impacts EMT. We discuss strategies on how the nuclear transport function can be harnessed to rein in EMT through modulation of snail signaling. PMID:24954011

  1. Molluscicidal activity of vulgarone B against ram's horn snail (Planorbella trivolvis).

    PubMed

    Meepagala, Kumudini M; Sturtz, George; Mischke, Charles C; Wise, David; Duke, Stephen O

    2004-05-01

    The ram's horn snail (Planorbella trivolvis (Say)) is an intermediate host for a digenetic trematode (Bolbophorus confusus (Krause) Dubois) that has recently been discovered to be a significant problem in commercial channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus Raf) production ponds in the Mississippi Delta region in the USA. In these catfish ponds, the digenetic life cycle of this parasitic trematode involves two intermediate hosts, the ram's horn snail and the channel catfish, and the final host, the American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos Gmelin). One approach to eradicate this problem is to disrupt the life cycle of the parasitic trematodes by eliminating the snails. During our search for natural-product-based molluscicides to control the snails in the catfish ponds, vulgarone B, isolated from the steam distillate of the aerial parts of the plant Artemisia douglasiana Besser (Asteraceae), was found to be active towards the snails with a LC50 of ca 24 microM. Channel catfish toxicity studies indicated a LC50 of ca 207 microM. Vulgarone B may be an environmentally acceptable alternative for snail control in aquaculture. PMID:15154515

  2. Age-dependent susceptibilities of Bulinus truncatus snails to an aqueous extract of Pulicaria crispa (Forssk.) Oliv. (Asteraceae) leaves.

    PubMed

    Ali, Elnour A; Bushara, Hamid O; Ali, Faisal S; Hussein, Mansour F

    2009-05-01

    This study was carried out to investigate the potential use of the herb Pulicaria crispa in the biological control of different developmental stages of Bulinus truncatus, a major snail intermediate host of urinary schistosomiasis. Age-dependent susceptibilities of mature adult snails, immature snails, juveniles, and one-day old egg masses to aqueous extracts of Pulicaria crispa leaves collected from Khartoum (Sudan) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) was determined and compared. The results show the juvenile snails are the most susceptible, followed in descending order by one-day old egg masses, immature snails, and mature adult snails. The P. crispa sample collected from Riyadh was significantly more potent against B. truncatus than that collected from Khartoum, as indicated by the least (LC50) and (LC90) values for all B. truncatus ages. PMID:19842431

  3. The biocide tributyltin reduces the accumulation of testosterone as fatty acid esters in the mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta).

    PubMed Central

    Gooding, Meredith P; Wilson, Vickie S; Folmar, Leroy C; Marcovich, Dragoslav T; LeBlanc, Gerald A

    2003-01-01

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been documented globally and is causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Elevated testosterone levels in snails also are associated with TBT, and direct exposure to testosterone has been shown to cause imposex. We discovered previously that the mud snail (Ilyanassa obsoleta)biotransforms and retains excess testosterone primarily as fatty acid esters. The purpose of this study was to determine whether TBT interferes with the esterification of testosterone, resulting in the elevated free (unesterified) testosterone levels associated with imposex. Exposure of snails to environmentally relevant concentrations of TBT (> or = 1.0 ng/L as tin) significantly increased the incidence of imposex. Total (free + esterified) testosterone levels in snails were not altered by TBT; however, free testosterone levels increased with increasing exposure concentration of TBT. TBT-exposed snails were given [14C

  4. Research on Dynamic Monitoring (1990-2010) of Schistosomiasis Vector-Snail at Xinmin Beach, Gaoyou Lake, Jiangsu Province, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhaoyan; Li, Chuanrong; Tang, Lingli; Zhou, Xiaonong; Ma, Lingling

    2014-11-01

    Schistosomiasis is a parasitic disease that menaces human health. In terms of impact, this disease is second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic disease. Oncomelania hupensis (snail) is the unique intermediate host of schistosoma, so monitoring and controlling of the number of snail is key to reduce the risk of schistosomiasis transmission. Remote sensing technology can real-timely access the large-scale environmental factors related to snail breeding and reproduction, and can also provide the efficient information to determine the location, area, and spread tendency of snail. Based on the T-S (Takagi-Sugeno) fuzzy information theory, a quantitative remote sensing monitoring model of snail has been developed in previous wok. In a case study, this paper will take Xinmin beach, Gaoyou Lake as new research area, carry out 20 years (1990 - 2010) dynamic monitoring, to further validate the effectiveness of the T-S Fuzzy RS snail monitoring model.

  5. Single- or mixed-sex Schistosoma japonicum infections of intermediate host snails in hilly areas of Anhui, China.

    PubMed

    Shi, Hui-Ping; Lu, Da-Bing; Shen, Lei; Shi, Tan; Gu, Jian

    2014-02-01

    Schistosomiasis japonicum is one of the most serious communicable diseases, and the transmission of the parasite is dependent of its complex life cycle on which many factors can have an impact. Multiple infections comprising both male and female schistosome within snail intermediate hosts, for example, would facilitate parasite transmission. However, no research on Schistosoma japonicum communities in field-collected Oncomelania hupensis hupensis in relation to schistosome sex has been reported. Therefore, snail survey was performed in a hilly region of Anhui, China, and single- or mixed-sex schistosome infections of snails were detected with final host mouse infection. A total of 8,563 snails were sampled in the field, and 67 were identified with schistosome infections. Of these infected snails, 46 were selected for final host infection. From this, 21 snails were infected with female schistosome, 23 with males and 2 with both males and females. More worms were recovered for snails with mixed-sex infections than with single-sex infection and for snails with male schistosome infection than with female infection (P<0.001). The observed frequency of mixed-sex infections of snails was significantly higher than would be expected if randomly distributed (P<0.01). The ratio male/female of schistosome infections in snails was nearly equal and up to 95.65 % (44/46) of infected snails were single-sex infection. Schistosome infections in snails collected from the hilly area of Anhui Province were not randomly distributed but over-dispersed. PMID:24292605

  6. SNAIL transcription factor increases the motility and invasive capacity of prostate cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Osorio, Luis A; Farfán, Nancy M; Castellón, Enrique A; Contreras, Héctor R

    2016-01-01

    The incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (PCa) are increasing, and PCa is almost the second‑leading cause of cancer‑associated mortality in men. During tumor progression, epithelial cells decrease the number of adhesion molecules, change their polarity and position, rearrange their cytoskeleton and increase their migratory and invasive capacities. These changes are known under the concept of epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is characterized by an upregulation of certain transcription factors, including SNAIL1, which represses genes that are characteristic of an epithelial phenotype, including E‑cadherin, and indirectly increase the expression levels of genes, which are associated with the mesenchymal phenotype. It has been suggested that the transcription factor, SNAIL1, decreases the proliferation and increases the migratory and invasive capacities of PCa cell lines. The present study was performed using LNCaP and PC3 cell lines, in which the expression levels of SNAIL1 were increased or silenced through the use of lentiviral vectors. The expression levels of EMT markers were quantified using reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. In addition, cell survival was analyzed using an MTS assay; cell proliferation was examined using an antibody targeting Ki‑67; migration on plates with 8 µm pores to allow the passage of cells; and invasiveness was analyzed using a membrane chamber covered in dried basement membrane matrix solution. The levels of apoptosis were determined using a Caspase 3/7 assay containing a substrate modified by caspases 3 and 7. The results demonstrated that the overexpression and silencing of SNAIL1 decreased cell proliferation and survival. However, the overexpression of SNAIL1 decreased apoptosis, compared with cells with the SNAIL1‑silenced cells, in which cell apoptosis increased. The migration and invasive capacities increased in the cells overexpressing SNAIL1, and decreased when SNAIL1 was silenced. In conclusion, PCa cells overexpressing SNAIL1 exhibited characteristics of an EMT phenotype, whereas the silencing of the SNAIL1 transcriptional repressor promoted an epithelial‑like phenotype, with decreased migration and invasion, characteristic of mesenchymal cells. PMID:26648419

  7. SNAIL transcription factor increases the motility and invasive capacity of prostate cancer cells

    PubMed Central

    OSORIO, LUIS A.; FARFÁN, NANCY M.; CASTELLÓN, ENRIQUE A.; CONTRERAS, HÉCTOR R.

    2016-01-01

    The incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer (PCa) are increasing, and PCa is almost the second-leading cause of cancer-associated mortality in men. During tumor progression, epithelial cells decrease the number of adhesion molecules, change their polarity and position, rearrange their cytoskeleton and increase their migratory and invasive capacities. These changes are known under the concept of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). EMT is characterized by an upregulation of certain transcription factors, including SNAIL1, which represses genes that are characteristic of an epithelial phenotype, including E-cadherin, and indirectly increase the expression levels of genes, which are associated with the mesenchymal phenotype. It has been suggested that the transcription factor, SNAIL1, decreases the proliferation and increases the migratory and invasive capacities of PCa cell lines. The present study was performed using LNCaP and PC3 cell lines, in which the expression levels of SNAIL1 were increased or silenced through the use of lentiviral vectors. The expression levels of EMT markers were quantified using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis. In addition, cell survival was analyzed using an MTS assay; cell proliferation was examined using an antibody targeting Ki-67; migration on plates with 8 µm pores to allow the passage of cells; and invasiveness was analyzed using a membrane chamber covered in dried basement membrane matrix solution. The levels of apoptosis were determined using a Caspase 3/7 assay containing a substrate modified by caspases 3 and 7. The results demonstrated that the overexpression and silencing of SNAIL1 decreased cell proliferation and survival. However, the overexpression of SNAIL1 decreased apoptosis, compared with cells with the SNAIL1-silenced cells, in which cell apoptosis increased. The migration and invasive capacities increased in the cells overexpressing SNAIL1, and decreased when SNAIL1 was silenced. In conclusion, PCa cells overexpressing SNAIL1 exhibited characteristics of an EMT phenotype, whereas the silencing of the SNAIL1 transcriptional repressor promoted an epithelial-like phenotype, with decreased migration and invasion, characteristic of mesenchymal cells. PMID:26648419

  8. Release of Lungworm Larvae from Snails in the Environment: Potential for Alternative Transmission Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Giannelli, Alessio; Colella, Vito; Abramo, Francesca; do Nascimento Ramos, Rafael Antonio; Falsone, Luigi; Brianti, Emanuele; Varcasia, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Knaus, Martin; Fox, Mark T.; Otranto, Domenico

    2015-01-01

    Background Gastropod-borne parasites may cause debilitating clinical conditions in animals and humans following the consumption of infected intermediate or paratenic hosts. However, the ingestion of fresh vegetables contaminated by snail mucus and/or water has also been proposed as a source of the infection for some zoonotic metastrongyloids (e.g., Angiostrongylus cantonensis). In the meantime, the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior are increasingly spreading among cat populations, along with their gastropod intermediate hosts. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of alternative transmission pathways for A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3 via the mucus of infected Helix aspersa snails and the water where gastropods died. In addition, the histological examination of snail specimens provided information on the larval localization and inflammatory reactions in the intermediate host. Methodology/Principal Findings Twenty-four specimens of H. aspersa received ~500 L1 of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, and were assigned to six study groups. Snails were subjected to different mechanical and chemical stimuli throughout 20 days in order to elicit the production of mucus. At the end of the study, gastropods were submerged in tap water and the sediment was observed for lungworm larvae for three consecutive days. Finally, snails were artificially digested and recovered larvae were counted and morphologically and molecularly identified. The anatomical localization of A. abstrusus and T. brevior larvae within snail tissues was investigated by histology. L3 were detected in the snail mucus (i.e., 37 A. abstrusus and 19 T. brevior) and in the sediment of submerged specimens (172 A. abstrusus and 39 T. brevior). Following the artificial digestion of H. aspersa snails, a mean number of 127.8 A. abstrusus and 60.3 T. brevior larvae were recovered. The number of snail sections positive for A. abstrusus was higher than those for T. brevior. Conclusions Results of this study indicate that A. abstrusus and T. brevior infective L3 are shed in the mucus of H. aspersa or in water where infected gastropods had died submerged. Both elimination pathways may represent alternative route(s) of environmental contamination and source of the infection for these nematodes under field conditions and may significantly affect the epidemiology of feline lungworms. Considering that snails may act as intermediate hosts for other metastrongyloid species, the environmental contamination by mucus-released larvae is discussed in a broader context. PMID:25884402

  9. A p53/miRNA-34 axis regulates Snail1-dependent cancer cell epithelial–mesenchymal transition

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Nam Hee; Kim, Hyun Sil; Lee, Inhan; Choi, Hyung-Seok; Kang, Shi Eun; Cha, So Young; Ryu, Joo Kyung; Yoon, Dojun; Fearon, Eric R.; Rowe, R. Grant; Lee, Sanghyuk; Maher, Christopher A.

    2011-01-01

    Snail1 is a zinc finger transcriptional repressor whose pathological expression has been linked to cancer cell epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) programs and the induction of tissue-invasive activity, but pro-oncogenic events capable of regulating Snail1 activity remain largely uncharacterized. Herein, we demonstrate that p53 loss-of-function or mutation promotes cancer cell EMT by de-repressing Snail1 protein expression and activity. In the absence of wild-type p53 function, Snail1-dependent EMT is activated in colon, breast, and lung carcinoma cells as a consequence of a decrease in miRNA-34 levels, which suppress Snail1 activity by binding to highly conserved 3′ untranslated regions in Snail1 itself as well as those of key Snail1 regulatory molecules, including β-catenin, LEF1, and Axin2. Although p53 activity can impact cell cycle regulation, apoptosis, and DNA repair pathways, the EMT and invasion programs initiated by p53 loss of function or mutation are completely dependent on Snail1 expression. These results identify a new link between p53, miR-34, and Snail1 in the regulation of cancer cell EMT programs. PMID:22024162

  10. Inhibition of Snail1-DNA-PKcs Protein-Protein Interface Sensitizes Cancer Cells and Inhibits Tumor Metastasis*

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Ga-Young; Pyun, Bo-Jeong; Seo, Haeng Ran; Jin, Yeung Bae; Lee, Hae-June; Lee, Yoon-Jin; Lee, Yun-Sil

    2013-01-01

    Our previous study suggested that the DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) interacts with Snail1, which affects genomic instability, sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, and migration of tumor cells by reciprocal regulation between DNA-PKcs and Snail1. Here, we further investigate that a peptide containing 7-amino acid sequences (amino acids 15–21) of Snail1 (KPNYSEL, SP) inhibits the endogenous interaction between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 through primary interaction with DNA-PKcs. SP restored the inhibited DNA-PKcs repair activity and downstream pathways. On the other hand, DNA-PKcs-mediated phosphorylation of Snail1 was inhibited by SP, which resulted in decreased Snail1 stability and Snail1 functions. However, these phenomena were only shown in p53 wild-type cells, not in p53-defective cells. From these results, it is suggested that interfering with the protein interaction between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 might be an effective strategy for sensitizing cancer cells and inhibiting tumor migration, especially in both Snail1-overexpressing and DNA-PKcs-overexpressing cancer cells with functional p53. PMID:24085291

  11. FBXO11 promotes ubiquitination of the Snail family of transcription factors in cancer progression and epidermal development.

    PubMed

    Jin, Yue; Shenoy, Anitha K; Doernberg, Samuel; Chen, Hao; Luo, Huacheng; Shen, Huangxuan; Lin, Tong; Tarrash, Miriam; Cai, Qingsong; Hu, Xin; Fiske, Ryan; Chen, Ting; Wu, Lizi; Mohammed, Kamal A; Rottiers, Veerle; Lee, Siu Sylvia; Lu, Jianrong

    2015-06-28

    The Snail family of transcription factors are core inducers of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here we show that the F-box protein FBXO11 recognizes and promotes ubiquitin-mediated degradation of multiple Snail family members including Scratch. The association between FBXO11 and Snai1 in vitro is independent of Snai1 phosphorylation. Overexpression of FBXO11 in mesenchymal cells reduces Snail protein abundance and cellular invasiveness. Conversely, depletion of endogenous FBXO11 in epithelial cancer cells causes Snail protein accumulation, EMT, and tumor invasion, as well as loss of estrogen receptor expression in breast cancer cells. Expression of FBXO11 is downregulated by EMT-inducing signals TGF? and nickel. In human cancer, high FBXO11 levels correlate with expression of epithelial markers and favorable prognosis. The results suggest that FBXO11 sustains the epithelial state and inhibits cancer progression. Inactivation of FBXO11 in mice leads to neonatal lethality, epidermal thickening, and increased Snail protein levels in epidermis, validating that FBXO11 is a physiological ubiquitin ligase of Snail. Moreover, in C. elegans, the FBXO11 mutant phenotype is attributed to the Snail factors as it is suppressed by inactivation/depletion of Snail homologs. Collectively, these findings suggest that the FBXO11-Snail regulatory axis is evolutionarily conserved and critically governs carcinoma progression and mammalian epidermal development. PMID:25827072

  12. Overexpression of Snail is associated with lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a significant role in tumor progression and invasion. Snail is a known regulator of EMT in various malignant tumors. This study investigated the role of Snail in gastric cancer. Methods We examined the effects of silenced or overexpressed Snail using lenti-viral constructs in gastric cancer cells. Immunohistochemical analysis of tissue microarrays from 314 patients with gastric adenocarcinoma (GC) was used to determine Snail’s clinicopathological and prognostic significance. Differential gene expression in 45 GC specimens with Snail overexpression was investigated using cDNA microarray analysis. Results Silencing of Snail by shRNA decreased invasion and migration in GC cell lines. Conversely, Snail overexpression increased invasion and migration of gastric cancer cells, in line with increased VEGF and MMP11. Snail overexpression (≥75% positive nuclear staining) was also significantly associated with tumor progression (P < 0.001), lymph node metastases (P = 0.002), lymphovascular invasion (P = 0.002), and perineural invasion (P = 0.002) in the 314 GC patients, and with shorter survival (P = 0.023). cDNA microarray analysis revealed 213 differentially expressed genes in GC tissues with Snail overexpression, including genes related to metastasis and invasion. Conclusion Snail significantly affects invasiveness/migratory ability of GCs, and may also be used as a predictive biomarker for prognosis or aggressiveness of GCs. PMID:23151184

  13. Changes in epilithic communities due to individual and combined treatments of zinc and snail grazing in stream mesocosms

    SciTech Connect

    Genter, R.B.; Colwell, F.S.; Pratt, J.R.; Cherry, D.S.; Cairns, J. Jr.

    1988-06-01

    Effects of 0.5 mg/liter zinc (Zn) and snail grazing (400 snails/m2) on density of dominant algal and protozoan taxa, epilithic glucose respiration, and ash-free dry weight (AFDW) were examined using established (12-day colonization) periphyton communities in flow-through stream mesocosms with four treatments (Zn, snails, Zn and snails, control) for 30 days. Grazing and Zn similarly reduced the abundance of 5 of 10 dominant algal taxa and AFDW during the first 10 days of treatment. Abundance of these taxa and AFDW in grazed (ambient Zn) treatments approached control levels after 10 days as the effect due to snails decreased. Decreasing temperatures may have reduced snail activity. Snails, Zn, and the combination of these treatments contributed to higher rates of glucose respiration per unit AFDW. Protozoan species abundance was reduced to less than half by Zn but was unaffected by snails. Although Zn and snails individually altered structural and functional aspects of this microbial community, the effects when both treatments were combined could not always be inferred from the individual effects. Testing individual and combined variables that affect periphyton with a corresponding assessment of population dynamics, biomass, and community functional attributes will enhance understanding of the overall effects of pollutants on periphyton communities.

  14. Proterometra macrostoma (Trematoda: Azygiidae): location of the redia and emergence path from the snail, Elimia semicarinata (Gastropoda: Pleuroceridae).

    PubMed

    Rosen, Ronald; Berg, Ericka; Dolan, Julianna; King, Bailey; Martin, Michon; Mehmeti, Franceska

    2013-08-01

    The objectives of this study were to describe (1) the osmotic environment and precise location of the Proterometra macrostoma redia in its snail intermediate host, (2) where retraction of the distome body into the cercarial tail occurs, and (3) the subsequent emergence path of the cercaria out of the snail. Snails, Elimia semicarinata , were collected from North Elkhorn Creek in Scott County, Kentucky and screened daily for patent infections. Live rediae were extracted from infected snails in either artificial pond water (APW) or artificial snail water (ASW) and monitored for changes in morphology and movement every hour over 5 hr at 22 C. Infected and control snails were simultaneously fixed and decalcified in Cal-Ex II, prepared for routine paraffin sectioning, and serial sections subsequently analyzed for rediae and cercariae location. Significantly (?(2) = 42.45; 1 df; P = 0.0001) more rediae showed movement in ASW than in APW after 5 hr, suggesting a host compartment separate from the mantle cavity. Histological sections clearly showed rediae developing in close association with the snail digestive tract, within the peri-intestinal sinus of the snail, and isolated from the mantle cavity by a mantle membrane. Retraction of the distome body into the cercarial tail follows the emergence of the cercaria from the redia. Cercariae then enter the mantle cavity and emerge into fresh water through a siphon-like structure formed by the mantle collar of the snail. PMID:23343411

  15. Effect of Helisoma duryi on the survival, growth, and cercarial production of Schistosoma mansoni-infected Biomphalaria glabrata*

    PubMed Central

    Frandsen, Flemming; Christensen, Niels Ø.

    1977-01-01

    Biological control of the intermediate hosts of S. mansoni and S. haematobium by means of a competitor snail,Helisoma duryi, has been suggested. In the present laboratory study, information was obtained concerning the interspecific competition between H. duryi and B. glabrata. The results indicated that the growth rate, mortality rate, and cercarial production of S. mansoni-infected B. glabrata were highly influenced by H. duryi. These observations agree with results obtained in earlier experiments concerning the interspecific competition between H. duryi and S. mansoni-infected B. pfeifferi. The exact characteristics of the influencing factor have not yet been determined, but the observations indicated that H. duryi could possibly be used as a biological control agent. PMID:303959

  16. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D K; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails. PMID:26925296

  17. Chlorophyllin Bait Formulation and Exposure to Different Spectrum of Visible Light on the Reproduction of Infected/Uninfected Snail Lymnaea acuminata

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Navneet; Singh, D. K.; Singh, Vinay Kumar

    2016-01-01

    Fasciolosis is a waterborne disease, caused by Fasciola species. Snail Lymnaea acuminata is an intermediate host of these flukes. Control of snail population is major tool in reducing the incidences. Variation in light intensity and wavelength caused significant changes in reproduction pattern of snails. Maximum fecundity was noted with bait containing carbohydrate (starch, 468 ± 0.10/20 snails) or amino acid (serine, 319 ± 0.29/20 snails) as attractant. Sublethal feeding of chlorophyllin bait with starch or serine attractant to infected and uninfected snails caused significant reduction in fecundity, hatchability, and survivability. These significant changes are observed in snails exposed to different spectral band of visible light and sunlight. Maximum fecundity of 536 ± 2.0 and minimum of 89.3 ± 0.4 were noted in snails not fed with bait and exposed to sunlight and red spectral band, respectively. There was complete arrest in the fecundity of infected and uninfected snails and no survivability of uninfected snails after 48 h feeding with bait containing chlorophyllin + attractant. Minimum hatchability (9.25 ± 0.5) was noted in red light exposed, chlorophyllin + starch fed infected snails and hatching period of bait fed snails was prolonged. Conclusively, chlorophyllin bait and red light reduce reproduction capacity in snails. PMID:26925296

  18. Thermal tolerance and climate warming sensitivity in tropical snails.

    PubMed

    Marshall, David J; Rezende, Enrico L; Baharuddin, Nursalwa; Choi, Francis; Helmuth, Brian

    2015-12-01

    Tropical ectotherms are predicted to be especially vulnerable to climate change because their thermal tolerance limits generally lie close to current maximum air temperatures. This prediction derives primarily from studies on insects and lizards and remains untested for other taxa with contrasting ecologies. We studied the HCT (heat coma temperatures) and ULT (upper lethal temperatures) of 40 species of tropical eulittoral snails (Littorinidae and Neritidae) inhabiting exposed rocky shores and shaded mangrove forests in Oceania, Africa, Asia and North America. We also estimated extremes in animal body temperature at each site using a simple heat budget model and historical (20 years) air temperature and solar radiation data. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that HCT and ULT exhibit limited adaptive variation across habitats (mangroves vs. rocky shores) or geographic locations despite their contrasting thermal regimes. Instead, the elevated heat tolerance of these species (HCT = 44.5 ± 1.8°C and ULT = 52.1 ± 2.2°C) seems to reflect the extreme temperature variability of intertidal systems. Sensitivity to climate warming, which was quantified as the difference between HCT or ULT and maximum body temperature, differed greatly between snails from sunny (rocky shore; Thermal Safety Margin, TSM = -14.8 ± 3.3°C and -6.2 ± 4.4°C for HCT and ULT, respectively) and shaded (mangrove) habitats (TSM = 5.1 ± 3.6°C and 12.5 ± 3.6°C). Negative TSMs in rocky shore animals suggest that mortality is likely ameliorated during extreme climatic events by behavioral thermoregulation. Given the low variability in heat tolerance across species, habitat and geographic location account for most of the variation in TSM and may adequately predict the vulnerability to climate change. These findings caution against generalizations on the impact of global warming across ectothermic taxa and highlight how the consideration of nonmodel animals, ecological transitions, and behavioral responses may alter predictions of studies that ignore these biological details. PMID:26811764

  19. FOXQ1 promotes gastric cancer metastasis through upregulation of Snail.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Liu, Yimin; Zhang, Jia; Cui, Xiaohai; Li, Gang; Wang, Jiansheng; Ren, Hong; Zhang, Yunfeng

    2016-06-01

    Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancers, and the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Forkhead box Q1 (FOXQ1) is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family and its upregulation is closely correlated with tumor progression and prognosis of multiple cancer types, including GC. FOXQ1 has been shown to regulate EMT and function in human cancers. However, the role of FOXQ1 in regulating EMT in GC and the exactly mechanism has not been clarified. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of FOXQ1 on EMT in human GC. FOXQ1 protein was detected by immunohistochemistry in human GC specimens and their clinical significance evaluated. We examined the cell biology and molecular biology changes after overexpression and knockdown of FOXQ1 in gastric cancer cells in vitro. To further understand the underlying mechanisms of EMT promoted by FOXQ1, we examined the changes of target genes of FOXQ1 after overexpression and knockdown of FOXQ1 in gastric cancer cells. In the present study, we demonstrate that FOXQ1 is overexpressed in GC tissues and its expression level is closely correlated with histologic differentiation, pTNM stage, and lymphatic metastasis of GC. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that a high expression level of FOXQ1 resulted in a significantly poor prognosis of GC patients. FOXQ1 modulated GC cell invasion in vitro, and induced E-cadherin repression. FOXQ1 also upregulated the expression of vimentin in vitro. The Snail signaling pathway was likely involved in the induction of EMT by FOXQ1 in GC. Our results demonstrate that FOXQ1 is a prognostic marker for patients with GC, FOXQ1 over-expression is involved in acquisition of the mesenchymal phenotype of gastric cancer cells, and that subsequent Snail expression is essential for induction of EMT. The results suggest that FOXQ1 is a potential therapeutic target for the development of therapies for GC. PMID:27109028

  20. Influence of water quality on zinc toxicity to the Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) and sensitivity of freshwater snails to zinc.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Tham C; Tong, Xin

    2015-03-01

    The present study characterized the influence of water-quality characteristics on zinc (Zn) toxicity to the Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) and the sensitivity of freshwater snails to Zn. Standard 96-h renewal acute toxicity tests were conducted with Zn and juvenile P. paludosa under 3 conditions of pH and alkalinity, water hardness, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). Median lethal effect concentrations (96-h LC50s), no-observed- effect concentrations, lowest-observed-effect concentrations, LC10s, and LC20s were determined for each test. The results showed that Zn toxicity to P. paludosa decreased linearly with increasing hardness, pH, and DOC. A multiple linear regression model based on pH, hardness, and DOC was able to explain 99% of the observed variability in LC50s. These results are useful for the development of a biotic ligand model (BLM) for P. paludosa and Zn. Zinc acute toxicity data were collected from the literature for 12 freshwater snail species in a wide range of water-quality characteristics for species sensitivity distribution analysis. The results showed that P. paludosa is the second most sensitive to Zn. The present study also suggested that aqueous ZnCO3 and ZnHCO3 (-) can be bioavailable to P. paludosa. Therefore, bioavailability models (e.g., BLM) should take these Zn species into consideration for bioavailability when applied to snails. PMID:25475172

  1. Effects of trematode parasitism on the behaviour and ecology of a common marine snail (Littorina littorea (L.)).

    PubMed

    Davies, M S.; Knowles, A J.

    2001-06-01

    Cryptocotyle lingua (Creplin) is a digenean trematode parasite of the littoral prosobranch gastropod Littorina littorea (L.). The literature suggests the snails become infected by grazing guano of the final host, the herring gull, Larus argentatus Pontoppidan. The parasite emerges from the snail as free-swimming cercariae. Interactions between the snail and the parasite at cellular and life-history levels are well established, but little is known of the influences the interaction has on the behaviour and the ecology of the snail. We tested the response of the snail to encounters with cercariae, examined the longevity of the guano on-shore and tested the responses of the snail to encounters with guano. Over half the L. littorea tested were able to detect both cercariae and a filtered homogenate of cercariae in conspecific mucus trails, approximately one-third of animals refusing to cross the treatments. Chemoreception by the mouth or foot is considered the most likely means of detection. Guano samples (mean weight 3.22 g) naturally deposited at approximately mid-tide level were completely washed away by one tidal inundation. We consider this period too brief to allow for ingestion of eggs in guano by the snail. Further, snails would not cross guano placed in conspecific trails. Most snails would not cross guano diluted by 10(3)x(10 mg ml(-1)) and some snails could still detect guano diluted by 10(6)x(10 &mgr;g ml(-1)), though all were prepared to cross it. Detection of guano is again believed to be by chemoreception by the mouth or foot. These results are discussed in terms of the mating and aggregating behaviour of L. littorea. Ingestion of the parasite by L. littorea is likely to take place once the guano has washed away as the eggs are negatively buoyant in seawater and may adhere to rock (biofilm) or algal fronds which may be grazed by the snail. PMID:11358576

  2. The Application of Electric Shock as a Novel Pest Control Method for Apple Snail, Pomacea canaliculata (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yagyu, Yoshihito; Tsuji, Satoshi; Satoh, Saburoh; Yamabe, Chobei

    The apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, brought to Japan from Taiwan for human consumption in the 1980s, has come to be considered as deleterious for rice cultivation. The snail is unable to injure young rice plants while receiving electric shock because the snail retracts its entire body into its shell and shuts its aperture with its operculum. Electric shock should be applied intermittently to reduce the amount of energy that is wasted when the snail is in its shell made of one of the insulator. The minimum electric shock required for controlling snails and the time required for movement after application of electric shock to determine the frequency of each electric shock were investigated using two methods; vertical and horizontal application of the electrical stimulation. The results showed that there is a strong correlation between the strength of electric shock and the reaction of the snails, and electric shock made snails inactive when it was applied 0.35 A/m2 in the horizontal direction and 0.45 A/m2 in the vertical direction with water of 11 mS/m. A positive correlation was also found between electric shock and the reaction of the snails and shell height. In comparison with larger snails, the smaller snails had higher threshold levels against electric current density because their shorter feet tended to have lower voltage dorp. Moreover, the frequency of electric shock should be chosen the minimum duration for the inactive condition, and it was approximately 10 seconds. Consequently the direction of electric current should be in the horizontal direction above 0.35 A/m2 and the frequency of electric shock should be less than 10 seconds for practical use. However, electric shock would have to be maintained at greater than 0.35 A/m2 because snails might become habituated to electric shock and water in paddy field would have high electric conductivity.

  3. A phylogeny of the land snails (Gastropoda: Pulmonata).

    PubMed Central

    Wade, C. M.; Mordan, P. B.; Clarke, B.

    2001-01-01

    We have undertaken the first large-scale molecular phylogenetic analysis of the Stylommatophora. Sequences of the ribosomal RNA gene-cluster were examined in 104 species of snails and slugs from 50 families, encompassing all the currently recognized major groups. It allows an independent test of the present classification based on morphology. At the level of families our molecular phylogeny closely supports the current taxonomy, but the deep branches within the tree do not. Surprisingly, a single assemblage including the families Achatinidae, Subulinidae and Streptaxidae lies near the base of the tree, forming a sister group to all remaining stylommatophorans. This primary division into 'achatinoid' and 'non-achatinoid' taxa is unexpected, and demands a radical reinterpretation of early stylommatophoran evolution. In particular, the Orthurethra appear to be relatively advanced within the 'non-achatinoid clade', and broadly equivalent to other super-familial clusters. This indicates that supposedly primitive features such as the orthurethran kidney are derived. The molecular tree also suggests that the origin of the Stylommatophora is much earlier than the main period of their diversification. PMID:11270439

  4. Prostaglandin E2 accelerates invasion by upregulating Snail in hepatocellular carcinoma cells.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Min; Zhang, Hai; Cheng, Shanyu; Zhang, Dengcai; Xu, Yan; Bai, Xiaoming; Xia, Shukai; Zhang, Li; Ma, Juan; Du, Mingzhan; Wang, Yipin; Wang, Jie; Chen, Meng; Leng, Jing

    2014-07-01

    Our previous studies showed that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) promotes hepatoma cell growth and migration, as well as invasion; however, the precise mechanism remains elusive. Snail and p65 protein levels were detected in human samples with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) by immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining. HCC cell lines (Huh-7 and Hep3B) were used for in vitro experiments. PGE2/Akt/NF-κB pathway was investigated in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells after treatment with PGE2, EP4 receptor (EP4R) agonist, Akt inhibitor, and NF-κB inhibitor, respectively, by real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, Western blotting, and immunofluorescence (IF) staining. In vitro cell invasion assay was performed to evaluate the effect of PGE2 on tumor invasiveness. Knockdown of EP4R was carried out in Huh-7 cells through plasmid-based small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach to confirm the regulation of PGE2 on Snail by EP4R. Dual luciferase reporter assay was performed to assess Snail promoter activity in Huh-7 cell after treatment with EP4R agonist. We found that the protein levels of Snail were higher in HCC tissues than those in control and that PGE2 and EP4R agonist treatment significantly increased Snail expression in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells. EP4R agonist also profoundly promoted invasiveness of Huh-7 cells. Knockdown of the EP4R by siRNA completely blocked the PGE2-induced upregulation of Snail expression and reduced invasiveness of Huh-7 cells. We failed to find that EP4R-induced upregulation of Snail was reversed by inhibition of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB), a canonical downstream target of EP4R. Alternatively, EP4R agonist treatment significantly increased the levels of phosphorylated EGFR and Akt both in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells. AG1478, an EGFR inhibitor, blocked the phosphorylation of Akt. The levels of phosphorylated IκB increased in Huh-7 cells after treatment with EP4R agonist for 30 min. The levels of phosphorylated p65 started to increase in Huh-7 cells treated with EP4R agonist for 4 h, and p65 translocated into the nucleus. In EP4R-agonist-treated Hep3B, the levels of phosphorylated p65 were also increased compared to the control group. The phosphorylation levels of p65 were significantly decreased in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells after treatment with the Akt signaling inhibitor LY294002 and EP4R agonist for 24 h. Treatment with the NF-κB inhibitor pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) at 10 μM for 24 h blocked EP4R-agonist-induced Snail upregulation in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells. Furthermore, we obtained human Snail promoter sequence from TRED-Promoter Database and identified a putative binding site of NF-κB in the sequence through TFSEARCH analysis. Subsequently, we treated Huh-7 cells with EP4R agonist or EP4R agonist and PDTC (NF-κB antagonist) and found significantly increased Snail promoter activity after EP4R agonist treatment for 12 h. The increased Snail promoter activity could be partially abolished by additional PDTC treatment. In addition, p65 protein levels were found increased together with Snail in HCC tissues compared to normal liver tissues. In conclusion, PGE2 activates Akt/NF-κB signaling and then upregulates Snail via the EP4R/EGFR to promote migration and invasion in hepatoma cells. These findings may help future evaluation of novel chemo-preventive strategies for HCC. PMID:24760275

  5. Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog

    PubMed Central

    Davison, Angus; McDowell, Gary S.; Holden, Jennifer M.; Johnson, Harriet F.; Koutsovoulos, Georgios D.; Liu, M. Maureen; Hulpiau, Paco; Van Roy, Frans; Wade, Christopher M.; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fengtang; Chiba, Satoshi; Davey, John W.; Jackson, Daniel J.; Levin, Michael; Blaxter, Mark L.

    2016-01-01

    Summary While components of the pathway that establishes left-right asymmetry have been identified in diverse animals, from vertebrates to flies, it is striking that the genes involved in the first symmetry-breaking step remain wholly unknown in the most obviously chiral animals, the gastropod snails. Previously, research on snails was used to show that left-right signaling of Nodal, downstream of symmetry breaking, may be an ancestral feature of the Bilateria [1, 2]. Here, we report that a disabling mutation in one copy of a tandemly duplicated, diaphanous-related formin is perfectly associated with symmetry breaking in the pond snail. This is supported by the observation that an anti-formin drug treatment converts dextral snail embryos to a sinistral phenocopy, and in frogs, drug inhibition or overexpression by microinjection of formin has a chirality-randomizing effect in early (pre-cilia) embryos. Contrary to expectations based on existing models [3, 4, 5], we discovered asymmetric gene expression in 2- and 4-cell snail embryos, preceding morphological asymmetry. As the formin-actin filament has been shown to be part of an asymmetry-breaking switch in vitro [6, 7], together these results are consistent with the view that animals with diverse body plans may derive their asymmetries from the same intracellular chiral elements [8]. PMID:26923788

  6. The role of Snail1 transcription factor in colorectal cancer progression and metastasis

    PubMed Central

    Michalski, Marek; Wyrobiec, Grzegorz; Piecuch, Adam; Dittfeld, Anna; Harabin-Słowińska, Marzena; Boroń, Dariusz; Wojnicz, Romuald

    2015-01-01

    Snail1 is a zinc-finger transcription factor, which plays a role in colorectal cancer development by silencing E-cadherin expression and inducing epithelialmesenchymal transition (EMT). During EMT tumour cells acquire a mesenchymal phenotype that is responsible for their invasive activities. Consequently, Snail1 expression in colorectal cancer is usually associated with progression and metastasis. Some studies revealed that about 77% of colon cancer samples display Snail1 immunoreactivity both in activated fibroblasts and in carcinoma cells that have undergone EMT. Therefore, expression of this factor in the stroma may indicate how many cells possess the abilities to escape from the primary tumour mass, invade the basal lamina and colonise distant target organs. Blocking snail proteins activity has the potential to avert cancer cell metastasis by interfering with such cellular processes as remodelling of the actin cytoskeleton, migration and invasion, which are clearly associated with the aggressive phenotype of the disease. Moreover, the link between factors from the snail family and cancer stem cells suggests that inhibitory agents may also prove their potency as inhibitors of cancer recurrence. PMID:26557772

  7. Antidepressants cause foot detachment from substrate in five species of marine snail.

    PubMed

    Fong, Peter P; Molnar, Nikolett

    2013-03-01

    Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) are released into aquatic ecosystems through discharged sewage wastewater. Antidepressants are among those APIs often detected in wastewater effluent and have been recently reported to cause foot detachment from the substrate in freshwater snails. We tested the effects of four commonly prescribed antidepressants {fluoxetine ("Prozac"), fluvoxamine ("Luvox"), venlafaxine ("Effexor"), and citalopram ("Celexa") on adhesion to the substrate in five species of marine snails, three from the Pacific coast (Chlorostoma funebralis, Nucella ostrina, Urosalpinx cinerea) and two species from the Atlantic coast (Tegula fasciatus and Lithopoma americanum) of North America representing three different gastropod families. All antidepressants tested induced foot detachment from the substrate in all snail species in a mainly dose-dependent manner (p < 0.04-0.00000001). The lowest LOECs (lowest observed effect concentration) for antidepressants and snails were recorded for Lithopoma in 43.4 μg/L (100 nM) fluvoxamine and Chlorostoma in 157 μg/L (500 nM) venlafaxine and 217 μg/L (500 nM) fluvoxamine. The trochids and turbinids were 2-10× more sensitive to the antidepressants than the muricids. Latency to detachment was also dose dependent, with the fastest average times to detach seen in Chlorostoma and Lithopoma (7.33 and 13.16 min respectively in 3.13 mg/L venlafaxine). The possible physiological mechanisms regulating antidepressant-induced foot detachment in marine snails and the possible ecological consequences are discussed. PMID:23218553

  8. Correlated S-palmitoylation profiling of Snail-induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition.

    PubMed

    Hernandez, Jeannie L; Davda, Dahvid; Majmudar, Jaimeen D; Won, Sang Joon; Prakash, Ashesh; Choi, Alexandria I; Martin, Brent R

    2016-05-24

    Epithelial cells form spatially-organized adhesion complexes that establish polarity gradients, regulate cell proliferation, and direct wound healing. As cells accumulate oncogenic mutations, these key tumor suppression mechanisms are disrupted, eliminating many adhesion complexes and bypassing contact inhibition. The transcription factor Snail is often expressed in malignant cancers, where it promotes transcriptional reprogramming to drive epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and establishes a more invasive state. S-Palmitoylation describes the fatty-acyl post-translational modification of cysteine residues in proteins, and is required for membrane anchoring, trafficking, localization and function of hundreds of proteins involved in cell growth, polarity, and signaling. Since Snail-expression disrupts apico-basolateral cell polarity, we asked if Snail-dependent transformation induces proteome-wide changes in S-palmitoylation. MCF10A breast cancer cells were retrovirally transduced with Snail and correlated proteome-wide changes in protein abundance and S-palmitoylation were profiled by using stable isotope labeling in cell culture with amino acid (SILAC) mass spectrometry. This analysis identified increased levels of proteins involved in migration, glycolysis, and cell junction remodeling, and decreased levels of proteins involved in cell adhesion. Overall, protein S-palmitoylation is highly correlated with protein abundance, yet for a subset of proteins, this correlation is uncoupled. These findings suggest that Snail-overexpression affects the S-palmitoylation cycle of some proteins, which may participate in cell polarity and tumor suppression. PMID:27030425

  9. Susceptibility of the Giant African snail (Achatina fulica) exposed to the gastropod parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita.

    PubMed

    Williams, A J; Rae, R

    2015-05-01

    The Giant African snail (Achatina fulica) is a major pest in tropical countries. Current control methods involve the use of slug pellets (metaldehyde) but they are ineffective, therefore new methods of control are needed. We investigated whether A. fulica is susceptible to the gastropod parasitic nematode Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, which has been developed as a biological control agent for slugs and snails in northern Europe. We exposed A. fulica to P. hermaphrodita applied at 30 and 150nematodes per cm(2) for 70days and also assessed feeding inhibition and changes in snail weight. We show that unlike the susceptible slug species Deroceras panormitanum, which is killed less than 30days of exposure to P. hermaphrodita, A. fulica is remarkably resistant to the nematode at both doses. Also P. hermaphrodita does not reduce feeding in A. fulica nor did it have any effect on weight gain over 70days. Upon dissection of infected A. fulica we found that hundreds of P. hermaphrodita had been encapsulated, trapped and killed in the snail's shell. We found that A. fulica is able to begin encapsulating P. hermaphrodita after just 3days of exposure and the numbers of nematodes encapsulated increased over time. Taken together, we have shown that A. fulica is highly resistant to P. hermaphrodita, which could be due to an immune response dependent on the snail shell to encapsulate and kill invading parasitic nematodes. PMID:25819846

  10. Doxorubicin enhances Snail/LSD1-mediated PTEN suppression in a PARP1-dependent manner

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Yiwei; Kang, Tiebang; Zhou, Binhua P

    2014-01-01

    The transcription factor Snail not only functions as a master regulator of epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), but also mediates cell proliferation and survival. While previous studies have showed that Snail protects tumor cells from apoptosis through transcriptional repression of PTEN, the specific mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrated that Snail cooperates with LSD1 to repress PTEN in a PARP1-dependent manner. Upon doxorubicin treatment, Snail becomes tightly associated with PARP1 through its pADPr-binding motif and is subject to poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation. This modification can enhance Snail–LSD1 interaction and promote the recruitment of LSD1 to PTEN promoter, where LSD1 removes methylation on histone H3 lysine 4 for transcription repression. Furthermore, treatment of tumor cells with PARP1 inhibitor AZD2281 can compromise doxorubicin-induced PTEN suppression and enhance the inhibitory effect of doxorubicin. Together, we proposed a tentative drug-resistant mechanism through which tumor cells defend themselves against DNA damage-induced apoptosis. PARP1 inhibitors in combination with DNA damaging reagents might represent a promising treatment strategy targeting tumors with over-activated Snail and LSD1. PMID:24675890

  11. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails.

    PubMed

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W; Norton, Raymond S; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-02-10

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail's distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail. PMID:25605914

  12. Formin Is Associated with Left-Right Asymmetry in the Pond Snail and the Frog.

    PubMed

    Davison, Angus; McDowell, Gary S; Holden, Jennifer M; Johnson, Harriet F; Koutsovoulos, Georgios D; Liu, M Maureen; Hulpiau, Paco; Van Roy, Frans; Wade, Christopher M; Banerjee, Ruby; Yang, Fengtang; Chiba, Satoshi; Davey, John W; Jackson, Daniel J; Levin, Michael; Blaxter, Mark L

    2016-03-01

    While components of the pathway that establishes left-right asymmetry have been identified in diverse animals, from vertebrates to flies, it is striking that the genes involved in the first symmetry-breaking step remain wholly unknown in the most obviously chiral animals, the gastropod snails. Previously, research on snails was used to show that left-right signaling of Nodal, downstream of symmetry breaking, may be an ancestral feature of the Bilateria [1, 2]. Here, we report that a disabling mutation in one copy of a tandemly duplicated, diaphanous-related formin is perfectly associated with symmetry breaking in the pond snail. This is supported by the observation that an anti-formin drug treatment converts dextral snail embryos to a sinistral phenocopy, and in frogs, drug inhibition or overexpression by microinjection of formin has a chirality-randomizing effect in early (pre-cilia) embryos. Contrary to expectations based on existing models [3-5], we discovered asymmetric gene expression in 2- and 4-cell snail embryos, preceding morphological asymmetry. As the formin-actin filament has been shown to be part of an asymmetry-breaking switch in vitro [6, 7], together these results are consistent with the view that animals with diverse body plans may derive their asymmetries from the same intracellular chiral elements [8]. PMID:26923788

  13. Myosin-dependent remodeling of adherens junctions protects junctions from Snail-dependent disassembly.

    PubMed

    Weng, Mo; Wieschaus, Eric

    2016-01-18

    Although Snail is essential for disassembly of adherens junctions during epithelial-mesenchymal transitions (EMTs), loss of adherens junctions in Drosophila melanogaster gastrula is delayed until mesoderm is internalized, despite the early expression of Snail in that primordium. By combining live imaging and quantitative image analysis, we track the behavior of E-cadherin-rich junction clusters, demonstrating that in the early stages of gastrulation most subapical clusters in mesoderm not only persist, but move apically and enhance in density and total intensity. All three phenomena depend on myosin II and are temporally correlated with the pulses of actomyosin accumulation that drive initial cell shape changes during gastrulation. When contractile myosin is absent, the normal Snail expression in mesoderm, or ectopic Snail expression in ectoderm, is sufficient to drive early disassembly of junctions. In both cases, junctional disassembly can be blocked by simultaneous induction of myosin contractility. Our findings provide in vivo evidence for mechanosensitivity of cell-cell junctions and imply that myosin-mediated tension can prevent Snail-driven EMT. PMID:26754645

  14. Fascioliasis Control: In Vivo and In Vitro Phytotherapy of Vector Snail to Kill Fasciola Larva

    PubMed Central

    Sunita, Kumari; Singh, D. K.

    2011-01-01

    Snail is one of the important components of an aquatic ecosystem, it acts as intermediate host of Fasciola species. Control of snail population below a certain threshold level is one of the important methods in the campaign to reduce the incidence of fascioliasis. Life cycle of the parasite can be interrupted by killing the snail or Fasciola larva redia and cercaria in the snail body. In vivo and in vitro toxicity of the plant products and their active component such as citral, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, azadirachtin, and allicin against larva of Fasciola in infected snail Lymnaea acuminata were tested. Mortality of larvae were observed at 2 h, 4 h, 6 h, and 8 h, of treatment. In in vivo treatment, azadirachtin caused highest mortality in redia and cercaria larva (8 h, LC50 0.11, and 0.05 mg/L) whereas in in vitro condition allicin was highly toxic against redia and cercaria (8 h, LC50 0.01, and 0.009 mg/L). Toxicity of citral was lowest against redia and cercaria larva. PMID:22132306

  15. Evaluation of environmental methods to control snails in an irrigation system in Central Morocco.

    PubMed

    Laamrani, H; Khallaayoune, K; Boelee, E; Laghroubi, M M; Madsen, H; Gryseels, B

    2000-08-01

    The Moroccan Ministry of Public Health has launched a programme to eliminate schistosomiasis. One of the components in this process is the control of Bulinus truncatus, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma haematobium. We evaluated three environmentally safe measures to control B. truncatus in siphon boxes, the main breeding sites for these snails in the Tessaout Amont irrigation system. The first method involved covering the siphon boxes to exclude light and reduce algal growth, the second consisted of increasing the frequency of emptying and cleaning the siphon boxes, and the third method increased water velocity to hinder the establishment of the intermediate hosts. The results showed that covering had a pronounced effect on snail and egg mass density, was accepted by the local community and prevented water contact. Cleaning the siphons three times during the irrigation season led to a reduction in snail density although it was not statistically significant and recolonization was rapid. Increasing water velocity by reducing the dimensions of siphon boxes delayed recolonization, but such a control measure can be applied only in specific situations where it does not pose hydraulic problems. The three interventions were selectively effective against B. truncatus, whereas other snails such as Physa acuta and Lymnaea peregra were hardly affected. Covering, the most promising control measure, could be useful in the Moroccan schistosomiasis eradication programme. However, further investigations are needed to assess its impact on water quality. PMID:10995096

  16. Use of ice water and salt treatments to eliminate an exotic snail, red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus, from small immersible fisheries equipment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ice water and salt treatments were evaluated for disinfection of fisheries equipment contaminated with a non-indigenous tropical snail, the red-rim melania Melanoides tuberculatus. The snail can displace native snails and can transmit trematodes directly to fishes and indirectly to other animals, i...

  17. Survival of the faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Bithynia tentaculata, the faucet snail, is a non indigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia that was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871. The snail’s distribution in the United States has expanded to the mid-Atlantic states and the drainage basin of the Great Lakes and most recently to the Mississippi...

  18. Alterations of biochemical indicators in hepatopancreas of the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, from paddy fields in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Yuh-Wen; Wu, Jui-Pin; Hsieh, Tsung-Chih; Liang, Shih-Hsiung; Chen, Chien-Min; Huang, Da-Ji

    2014-07-01

    The freshwater golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snails' wide distribution, high abundance, and sensitivity to environmental pollution make them a potential bioindicator for environmental contamination. In this study, the biochemical status of golden apple snails collected from paddy fields throughout the island of Taiwan was examined. This study found that the biochemical status of apple snails collected from paddy fields differed from that of animals bred and maintained in the laboratory. Furthermore, certain biochemical endpoints of the snails collected from the paddy fields before and after agricultural activities were also different-hemolymphatic vitellogenin protein was induced in male snail after exposure to estrogen-like chemicals, the hepatic monooxygenase (1.97 +/- 0.50 deltaA(650mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and glutathione S transferase (0.02 +/- 0.01 delta A(340mm) 30 min(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) snails exposed to pesticides, as well as the hepatopancreatic levels of aspartate aminotransferase (450.00 +/- 59.40 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) and alanine aminotransferase (233.27 +/- 42.09 U mg(-1) mg(-1) protein in control group) decreased the indicating that xenobiotics destroyed hepatopancreatic. The above findings reveal that apple snail could be used as a practical bioindicator to monitor anthropogenic environmental pollution. PMID:25004751

  19. Survival and growth of freshwater pulmonate and nonpulmonate snails in 28-day exposures to copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Besser, John M.; Dorman, Rebecca A.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.

    2016-01-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta,Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails.

  20. Survival and Growth of Freshwater Pulmonate and Nonpulmonate Snails in 28-Day Exposures to Copper, Ammonia, and Pentachlorophenol.

    PubMed

    Besser, John M; Dorman, Rebecca A; Hardesty, Douglas L; Ingersoll, Christopher G

    2016-02-01

    We performed toxicity tests with two species of pulmonate snails (Lymnaea stagnalis and Physa gyrina) and four taxa of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae (Pyrgulopsis robusta, Taylorconcha serpenticola, Fluminicola sp., and Fontigens aldrichi). Snails were maintained in static-renewal or recirculating culture systems with adults removed periodically to isolate cohorts of offspring for toxicity testing. This method successfully produced offspring for both species of pulmonate snails and for two hydrobiid species, P. robusta and Fluminicola sp. Toxicity tests were performed for 28 days with copper, ammonia, and pentachlorophenol in hard reconstituted water with endpoints of survival and growth. Tests were started with 1-week-old L. stagnalis, 2-week-old P. gyrina, 5- to 13-week-old P. robusta and Fluminicola sp., and older juveniles and adults of several hydrobiid species. For all three chemicals, chronic toxicity values for pulmonate snails were consistently greater than those for hydrobiid snails, and hydrobiids were among the most sensitive taxa in species sensitivity distributions for all three chemicals. These results suggest that the toxicant sensitivity of nonpulmonate snails in the family Hydrobiidae would not be adequately represented by results of toxicity testing with pulmonate snails. PMID:26747374

  1. Lipids in the broodsac of Leucochloridium variae (Digenea, Leucochloridiidae) and its snail host Succinea ovalis.

    PubMed

    Fried, B; Beers, K; Lewis, P D

    1993-02-01

    Thin-layer chromatographic analysis was used to examine lipophilic pigments and neutral lipids in the broodsac of Leucochloridium variae and in the tissues of its snail host, Succinea ovalis. Beta-carotene and lutein were not detected in either the parasite or the host on a C-18 reversed phase layer developed in a solvent system of petroleum ether-acetonitrile-methanol (2:4:4). This chromatographic system was able to detect 10 ng of a beta-carotene standard and 100 ng of a lutein standard. The Mangold solvent system on a silica gel plate showed the presence of triacylglycerols, free sterols, and sterol esters as the major neutral lipids in both snail and parasite tissues. As seen in a previous sporocyst-snail relationship, the qualitative neutral lipid profiles of both host and parasite are similar. PMID:8468128

  2. The environmental effects of trace elements concentration in sea snails using atomic absorption spectrometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Amri, F. A.

    2003-05-01

    Water pollution bas increased in heavy industrialised areas. Most industrial water wastes end up in the sea. Monitoring the elemental composition in marine organisms, such as snails, provides the essential elements in living organisms and through the food chain to man. 50 samples of each of two kinds of snails have been collected from the west coast of Libya. Samples were digeste with nitric acid and the concentration of Copper, Iron, Magnesium and Zinc were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry. The results shows that Mg has the highest value while the Copper has the lowest in both kind of snaiis. A pattern of the trace elements concentration was investigated regarding the size and kind of snails.

  3. Biochemical studies on the terrestrial snail, Eubania vermiculata (Müller) treated with some pesticides.

    PubMed

    el-Wakil, H B; Radwan, M A

    1991-01-01

    The in vivo effects of methomyl, thiodicarb and metaldehyde on total soluble proteins, total lipids and glycogen content, in addition, the activity of glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, (GOT), (GPT) glutamic pyruvic transaminase and catalase (CAT) enzymes of terrestrial E. vermiculata snails was studied. The experimental snails were treated with low concentration of 0.2% brain bait w/w of the pesticides for a period of 1,3,5,7 and 10 days. The results showed that methomyl and thiodicarb lead to significant reduction in total soluble proteins, lipids, and glycogen content, while significant increases in the activity of all enzymes tested were noted. Metaldehyde treatment showed no significant effect on total soluble proteins, lipids and GOT level, whereas a significant increase in GPT and CAT enzymes was observed. Also, metaldehyde resulted a significant reduction in glycogen content of snails. PMID:1779124

  4. Scope for growth in a tropical freshwater snail -- Implications for monitoring sublethal toxic stressors

    SciTech Connect

    Lai, P.C.C.; Lam, P.K.S.

    1995-12-31

    Scope for growth (SfG), the difference between the energy input to an organism from its food and the output from respiratory metabolism, has been used as a bioassay for environmental stress in the temperate region. Here, the same technique was applied to a tropical freshwater snail, Brotia hainanensis (Thiaridae), to investigate whether the technique is applicable to biological systems at lower latitudes. In this study, the effects of copper and low pH on the SfG of the snails were examined. The results show that both copper and low pH can significantly reduce the SfG of individual snails through a decrease in the amount of energy absorbed, while the change in energy expenditure is not apparent. It was also found that the SfG assay is most informative at stress levels too low to be detected by the corresponding acute tests.

  5. Large-scale facilitation of a sessile community by an invasive habitat-forming snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thyrring, Jakob; Thomsen, Mads Solgaard; Wernberg, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    We provide an example of extensive facilitation of a sessile community throughout an invaded estuary by the invasive snail Batillaria australis. We show that B. australis greatly increases a limiting resource (attachment space) to a community of sessile organisms and estimate that a large part of the invaded estuary now contain ca. 50 times more sessile individuals associated with the invader than all native snails combined. We argue that native snails are unlikely to have been dramatically reduced by the invader, and we therefore suggest that the shell-attached sessile community, as a functional group, has benefitted significantly from this invasion. These results expand the current understanding of how invaded marine systems respond to habitat-forming invaders.

  6. Effect of gamma irradiation on the reproductive system of the pond snail Physa acuta

    SciTech Connect

    Fujita, S.; Egami, N.

    1984-05-01

    Changes in the survival rate in adults and embryos of the pond snail Physa acuta were studied after acute whole-body ..gamma.. irradiation. The LD/sub 50/ value of the adult snails was about 40 kR. The LD/sub 50/ values of the embryos irradiated 0 and 1 day after oviposition were about 0.9 and 2 kR, respectively. Histological changes in the ovotestis, the number of eggs laid, and their hatchability were examined in the irradiated adult snails. A fall and a subsequent recovery were observed for these characteristics after irradiation with 8 kR of ..gamma.. rays. The relative constitution of the germ-cell populations was greatly changed by the same dose of ..gamma.. rays. After depletion, the ovotestis was first repopulated with gonia, and then with oocytes, spermatocytes, and spermatids.

  7. Mutual regulation between DNA-PKcs and Snail1 leads to increased genomic instability and aggressive tumor characteristics.

    PubMed

    Pyun, B-J; Seo, H R; Lee, H-J; Jin, Y B; Kim, E-J; Kim, N H; Kim, H S; Nam, H W; Yook, J I; Lee, Y-S

    2013-01-01

    Although the roles of DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunits (DNA-PKcs) in the non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) of DNA repair are well-recognized, the biological mechanisms and regulators by DNA-PKcs besides DNA repair, have not been clearly described. Here, we show that active DNA-PKcs caused by ionizing radiation, phosphorylated Snail1 at serine (Ser) 100, led to increased Snail1 stability. Furthermore, phosphorylated Snail1 at Ser100 reciprocally inhibited the kinase activity of DNA-PKcs, resulting in an inhibition of DNA repair activity. Moreover, Snail1 phosphorylation by DNA-PKcs was involved in genomic instability and aggressive tumor characteristics. Our results describe novel cellular mechanisms that affect genomic instability, sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents, and the migration of tumor cells by reciprocal regulation between DNA-PKcs and Snail1. PMID:23449453

  8. [Factors that can affect the breeding and maintenance of infected snails and the production of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae].

    PubMed

    De Souza, C P; Araújo, N; Jannotti, L K; Gazzinelli, G

    1987-01-01

    Mass production of Schistosoma mansoni cercariae was affected by biological and chemical agents. Rotifers and ostracods, snail predators, were identified in our colony. Rotifers were easily eradicated by washing the aquaria and lettuce with diluted solution of acetic acid. On the other hand, ostracods were difficult to eradicate and led to a high level mortality of infected snails (50-60%). Snails maintained in an incubator at constant temperature and total darkness produced maximum shedding when submitted to brightness and high temperature (about 30 degrees C). The number of cercariae shed was practically the same between pH 5-7. Contaminants such as Cu and Pb added to glass distilled water decreased the cercariae production. In conclusion, laboratory maintenance of large number of infected snails for mass production of cercariae is much simpler and more efficient than the conventional technique with running tap water although a high rate of mortality is observed in the snail colony. PMID:3507569

  9. Malacological assessment and natural infestation of Biomphalaria straminea (Dunker, 1848) by Schistosoma mansoni (Sambon, 1907) And Chaetogaster limnaei (K. Von Baer, 1827) in an urban eutrophic watershed.

    PubMed

    Callisto, M; Moreno, P; Gonçalves, J F; Ferreira, W R; Gomes, C L Z

    2005-05-01

    The objective of this study was to perform a malacological assessment at the Ibirité reservoir watershed in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) and to evaluate the natural infestation rate of Biomphalaria straminea (Gastropoda: Planorbidae) by Schistosoma mansoni (Platyhelminthes: Trematoda) and Chaetogaster limnaei (Oligochaeta: Naididae). The samples were collected from July to August 2002. The B. straminea individuals collected were kept in the laboratory; the natural infestation rate by S. mansoni and C. limnaei was assessed weekly. The malacological assessment identified five mollusk species present in the Ibirité reservoir watershed: B. straminea, Physa marmorata, Lymnea sp., Melanoides tuberculatus, and Pomacea austrum. Laboratory observations showed that the B. straminea individuals were infected by C. limnaei rather than S. mansoni. Although there was no infection of B. straminea by S. mansoni, presence of B. straminea in itself merits close attention due to possible risk of human schistosomiasis by the local population. PMID:16097724

  10. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails.

    PubMed

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T A; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in "100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species"; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest "attack rates" a, shortest "handling times" h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  11. Using snails as bioindicators of heavy metal exposure at a Department of Defense facility

    SciTech Connect

    Frenkel, C.; Randolph, J.C.; Henshel, D.S.

    1995-12-31

    Mollusks are useful bioindicators of aquatic contamination. They are easy to identify and handle, are widely distributed, and are known to accumulate heavy metals. The authors evaluated the accumulation of heavy metals in snails at points both upstream and downstream from potential contaminant sources, indigenous snails (Elimia livescens) were collected from an upstream site and placed in plastic mesh cages in 6 sites in 3 watersheds on base, upstream and downstream of 3 potential contamination sources. At each site there were 3 cages containing 12 snails each. In a parallel laboratory study snails were placed in 6 jars in 3 different treatments. One treatment contained stream water taken from the same sites where the snails were collected. The other two treatments had the same stream water spiked with 2 different concentrations of metals. The higher concentration of metals reflected the level of each metal detected in surface water downstream of one of the potentially contaminated sites. The lower metal concentration jars were spiked with metals at 1/2 the concentrations used in the higher level treatment. The animals were left in the cages and the jars for 12 weeks. After being removed from the cages and jars the snails were freeze-dried, weighed whole, then dissected into shelf and organic tissue. Tissue and shell were separately analyzed for metal content. Water and sediment samples were collected in the beginning and end of the field study and also analyzed for heavy metals. The heavy metal analysis was done on an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Fe, Mn, Pb and Ni have been analyzed. Initial results show that there are differences in the concentrations of the metals in the three watersheds. Also, there is a higher concentration of Fe and Mn in tissue compared to shell, and higher concentration of Pb in shell compared to tissue.

  12. Association between shell morphology of micro-land snails (genus Plectostoma) and their predator's predatory behaviour.

    PubMed

    Liew, Thor-Seng; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Predator-prey interactions are among the main ecological interactions that shape the diversity of biological form. In many cases, the evolution of the mollusc shell form is presumably driven by predation. However, the adaptive significance of several uncommon, yet striking, shell traits of land snails are still poorly known. These include the distorted coiled "tuba" and the protruded radial ribs that can be found in micro-landsnails of the genus Plectostoma. Here, we experimentally tested whether these shell traits may act as defensive adaptations against predators. We characterised and quantified the possible anti-predation behaviour and shell traits of Plectostoma snails both in terms of their properties and efficiencies in defending against the Atopos slug predatory strategies, namely, shell-apertural entry and shell-drilling. The results showed that Atopos slugs would first attack the snail by shell-apertural entry, and, should this fail, shift to the energetically more costly shell-drilling strategy. We found that the shell tuba of Plectostoma snails is an effective defensive trait against shell-apertural entry attack. None of the snail traits, such as resting behaviour, shell thickness, shell tuba shape, shell rib density and intensity can fully protect the snail from the slug's shell-drilling attack. However, these traits could increase the predation costs to the slug. Further analysis on the shell traits revealed that the lack of effectiveness in these anti-predation shell traits may be caused by a functional trade-off between shell traits under selection of two different predatory strategies. PMID:24749008

  13. Ghrelin promotes renal cell carcinoma metastasis via Snail activation and is associated with poor prognosis.

    PubMed

    Lin, Tsung-Chieh; Liu, Yu-Peng; Chan, Yung-Chieh; Su, Chia-Yi; Lin, Yuan-Feng; Hsu, Shih-Lan; Yang, Chung-Shi; Hsiao, Michael

    2015-09-01

    Ghrelin is an appetite-regulating molecule that promotes growth hormone (GH) release and food intake through growth hormone secretagogue receptor (GHS-R). Recently, high ghrelin levels have been detected in various types of human cancer. Ghrelin expression is observed in proximal and distal renal tubules, where renal cell carcinoma (RCC) arises. However, whether ghrelin is up-regulated and promotes renal cell carcinogenesis remains obscure. In this study, we observed that ghrelin was highly expressed in renal tumours, especially in metastatic RCC. In addition, high ghrelin levels correlated with poor outcome, lymph node and distant metastasis. The addition of ghrelin promoted the migration ability of RCC cell lines 786-0, ACHN and A-498. Furthermore, knockdown of ghrelin expression reduced in vitro migration and in vivo metastasis, suggesting a requirement for ghrelin accumulation in the microenvironment for RCC metastasis. Analysis of microarray signatures using Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) and MetaCore pointed to the potential regulation by ghrelin of Snail, a transcriptional repressor of E-cadherin. We further observed that Ghrelin increased the expression, nuclear translocation and promoter-binding activity of Snail. Snail silencing blocked the ghrelin-mediated effects on E-cadherin repression and cell migration. Snail-E-cadherin regulation was mediated by GHS-R-triggered Akt phosphorylation at Ser473 and Thr308. Pretreatment with PI3K inhibitors, LY294002 and wortmannin, as well as Akt siRNA, decreased ghrelin-induced Akt phosphorylation, Snail promoter binding activity and migration. Taken together, our findings indicate that ghrelin can activate Snail function via the GHS-R-PI3K-Akt axis, which may contribute to RCC metastasis. The microarray raw data were retrieved from the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) [KIRC gene expression (IlluminaHiSeq) dataset]. PMID:25925728

  14. Experimental Quantification of Long Distance Dispersal Potential of Aquatic Snails in the Gut of Migratory Birds

    PubMed Central

    van Leeuwen, Casper H. A.; van der Velde, Gerard; van Lith, Bart; Klaassen, Marcel

    2012-01-01

    Many plant seeds and invertebrates can survive passage through the digestive system of birds, which may lead to long distance dispersal (endozoochory) in case of prolonged retention by moving vectors. Endozoochorous dispersal by waterbirds has nowadays been documented for many aquatic plant seeds, algae and dormant life stages of aquatic invertebrates. Anecdotal information indicates that endozoochory is also possible for fully functional, active aquatic organisms, a phenomenon that we here address experimentally using aquatic snails. We fed four species of aquatic snails to mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), and monitored snail retrieval and survival over time. One of the snail species tested was found to survive passage through the digestive tract of mallards as fully functional adults. Hydrobia (Peringia) ulvae survived up to five hours in the digestive tract. This suggests a maximum potential transport distance of up to 300 km may be possible if these snails are taken by flying birds, although the actual dispersal distance greatly depends on additional factors such as the behavior of the vectors. We put forward that more organisms that acquired traits for survival in stochastic environments such as wetlands, but not specifically adapted for endozoochory, may be sufficiently equipped to successfully pass a bird's digestive system. This may be explained by a digestive trade-off in birds, which maximize their net energy intake rate rather than digestive efficiency, since higher efficiency comes with the cost of prolonged retention times and hence reduces food intake. The resulting lower digestive efficiency allows species like aquatic snails, and potentially other fully functional organisms without obvious dispersal adaptations, to be transported internally. Adopting this view, endozoochorous dispersal may be more common than up to now thought. PMID:22403642

  15. Mass spectrometric analysis of activity-dependent changes of neuropeptide profile in the snail, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Pirger, Z; Lubics, A; Reglodi, D; Laszlo, Z; Mark, L; Kiss, T

    2010-12-01

    Terrestrial snails are able to transform themselves into inactivity ceasing their behavioral activity under unfavorable environmental conditions. In the present study, we report on the activity-dependent changes of the peptide and/or polypeptide profile in the brain and hemolymph of the snail, Helix pomatia, using MALDI TOF and quadrupole mass spectrometry. The present data indicate that the snails respond to low temperature by increasing or decreasing the output of selected peptides. Average mass spectra of the brain and hemolymph revealed numerous peaks predominantly present during the active state (19 and 10 peptides/polypeptides, respectively), while others were observed only during hibernation (11 and 13). However, there were peptides and/or polypeptides or their fragments present irrespective of the activity states (49 and 18). The intensity of fourteen peaks that correspond to previously identified neuropeptides varied in the brain of active snails compared to those of hibernating animals. Among those the intensity of eight peptides increased significantly in active animals while in hibernated animals the intensity of another six peptides increased significantly. A new peptide or peptide fragment at m/z 1110.7 was identified in a brain of the snail with the following suggested amino acid sequence: GSGASGSMPATTS. This peptide was found to be more abundant in active animals because the intensity of the peptide was significantly higher compared to hibernating animals. In summary, our results revealed substantial differences in the peptide/polypeptide profile of the brain and hemolymph of active and hibernating snails suggesting a possible contribution of peptides in the process of hibernation. PMID:20716464

  16. Comparative Functional Responses Predict the Invasiveness and Ecological Impacts of Alien Herbivorous Snails

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Mu, Xidong; Dick, Jaimie T. A.; Fang, Miao; Gu, Dangen; Luo, Du; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Jianren; Hu, Yinchang

    2016-01-01

    Understanding determinants of the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien species is amongst the most sought-after and urgent research questions in ecology. Several studies have shown the value of comparing the functional responses (FRs) of alien and native predators towards native prey, however, the technique is under-explored with herbivorous alien species and as a predictor of invasiveness as distinct from ecological impact. Here, in China, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to compare the FRs among three herbivorous snail species: the golden apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, a highly invasive and high impact alien listed in “100 of the World's Worst Invasive Alien Species”; Planorbarius corneus, a non-invasive, low impact alien; and the Chinese native snail, Bellamya aeruginosa, when feeding on four locally occurring plant species. Further, by using a numerical response equation, we modelled the population dynamics of the snail consumers. For standard FR parameters, we found that the invasive and damaging alien snail had the highest “attack rates” a, shortest “handling times” h and also the highest estimated maximum feeding rates, 1/hT, whereas the native species had the lowest attack rates, longest handling times and lowest maximum feeding rates. The non-invasive, low impact alien species had consistently intermediate FR parameters. The invasive alien species had higher population growth potential than the native snail species, whilst that of the non-invasive alien species was intermediate. Thus, while the comparative FR approach has been proposed as a reliable method for predicting the ecological impacts of invasive predators, our results further suggest that comparative FRs could extend to predict the invasiveness and ecological impacts of alien herbivores and should be explored in other taxa and trophic groups to determine the general utility of the approach. PMID:26771658

  17. Predator-Induced Morphological Plasticity Across Local Populations of a Freshwater Snail

    PubMed Central

    Brönmark, Christer; Lakowitz, Thomas; Hollander, Johan

    2011-01-01

    The expression of anti-predator adaptations may vary on a spatial scale, favouring traits that are advantageous in a given predation regime. Besides, evolution of different developmental strategies depends to a large extent on the grain of the environment and may result in locally canalized adaptations or, alternatively, the evolution of phenotypic plasticity as different predation regimes may vary across habitats. We investigated the potential for predator-driven variability in shell morphology in a freshwater snail, Radix balthica, and whether found differences were a specialized ecotype adaptation or a result of phenotypic plasticity. Shell shape was quantified in snails from geographically separated pond populations with and without molluscivorous fish. Subsequently, in a common garden experiment we investigated reaction norms of snails from populations' with/without fish when exposed to chemical cues from tench (Tinca tinca), a molluscivorous fish. We found that snails from fish-free ponds had a narrow shell with a well developed spire, whereas snails that coexisted with fish had more rotund shells with a low spire, a shell morphology known to increase survival rate from shell-crushing predators. The common garden experiment mirrored the results from the field survey and showed that snails had similar reaction norms in response to chemical predator cues, i.e. the expression of shell shape was independent of population origin. Finally, we found significant differences for the trait means among populations, within each pond category (fish/fish free), suggesting a genetic component in the determination of shell morphology that has evolved independently across ponds. PMID:21818264

  18. Paraphyly and budding speciation in the hairy snail (Pulmonata, Hygromiidae)

    PubMed Central

    Kruckenhauser, Luise; Duda, Michael; Bartel, Daniela; Sattmann, Helmut; Harl, Josef; Kirchner, Sandra; Haring, Elisabeth

    2014-01-01

    Delimitation of species is often complicated by discordance of morphological and genetic data. This may be caused by the existence of cryptic or polymorphic species. The latter case is particularly true for certain snail species showing an exceptionally high intraspecific genetic diversity. The present investigation deals with the Trochulus hispidus complex, which has a complicated taxonomy. Our analyses of the COI sequence revealed that individuals showing a T. hispidus phenotype are distributed in nine highly differentiated mitochondrial clades (showing p-distances up to 19%). The results of a parallel morphometric investigation did not reveal any differentiation between these clades, although the overall variability is quite high. The phylogenetic analyses based on 12S, 16S and COI sequences show that the T. hispidus complex is paraphyletic with respect to several other morphologically well-defined Trochulus species (T. clandestinus, T. villosus, T. villosulus and T. striolatus) which form well-supported monophyletic groups. The nc marker sequence (5.8S–ITS2–28S) shows only a clear separation of T. o. oreinos and T. o. scheerpeltzi, and a weakly supported separation of T. clandestinus, whereas all other species and the clades of the T. hispidus complex appear within one homogeneous group. The paraphyly of the T. hispidus complex reflects its complicated history, which was probably driven by geographic isolation in different glacial refugia and budding speciation. At our present state of knowledge, it cannot be excluded that several cryptic species are embedded within the T. hispidus complex. However, the lack of morphological differentiation of the T. hispidus mitochondrial clades does not provide any hints in this direction. Thus, we currently do not recommend any taxonomic changes. The results of the current investigation exemplify the limitations of barcoding attempts in highly diverse species such as T. hispidus. PMID:25170185

  19. Molecular Evolution of Freshwater Snails with Contrasting Mating Systems.

    PubMed

    Burgarella, Concetta; Gayral, Philippe; Ballenghien, Marion; Bernard, Aurélien; David, Patrice; Jarne, Philippe; Correa, Ana; Hurtrez-Boussès, Sylvie; Escobar, Juan; Galtier, Nicolas; Glémin, Sylvain

    2015-09-01

    Because mating systems affect population genetics and ecology, they are expected to impact the molecular evolution of species. Self-fertilizing species experience reduced effective population size, recombination rates, and heterozygosity, which in turn should decrease the efficacy of natural selection, both adaptive and purifying, and the strength of meiotic drive processes such as GC-biased gene conversion. The empirical evidence is only partly congruent with these predictions, depending on the analyzed species, some, but not all, of the expected effects have been observed. One possible reason is that self-fertilization is an evolutionary dead-end, so that most current selfers recently evolved self-fertilization, and their genome has not yet been strongly impacted by selfing. Here, we investigate the molecular evolution of two groups of freshwater snails in which mating systems have likely been stable for several millions of years. Analyzing coding sequence polymorphism, divergence, and expression levels, we report a strongly reduced genetic diversity, decreased efficacy of purifying selection, slower rate of adaptive evolution, and weakened codon usage bias/GC-biased gene conversion in the selfer Galba compared with the outcrosser Physa, in full agreement with theoretical expectations. Our results demonstrate that self-fertilization, when effective in the long run, is a major driver of population genomic and molecular evolutionary processes. Despite the genomic effects of selfing, Galba truncatula seems to escape the demographic consequences of the genetic load. We suggest that the particular ecology of the species may buffer the negative consequences of selfing, shedding new light on the dead-end hypothesis. PMID:25980005

  20. Molecular-cellular mechanisms of learning of the common snail.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, V P

    1994-01-01

    The development of sensitization and an associative habit of rejection of a specific type of food is accompanied by short-term and long-term changes in behavior, bioelectrical activity, and the dynamics of the content of Ca(b) in the command neurons of defense behavior of the common snail. In approximately an hour from the moment of the beginning of training, behavioral and neurophysiological effects which were similar on the whole were identified during the development of these habits. During the development of sensitization, the responses to test tactile stimulations and to applications of quinine and carrot juice appeared and/or were markedly intensified from 50 through 90 min from the moment of the first sensitizing stimulation. During the development of conditioning, responses to the tactile stimulations and quinine also appeared and/or intensified from 50-60 min, while responses to the conditional stimulus appeared and intensified approximately 30 min later (from 85-95 min). Phases of an initial marked increase, with a subsequent tendency to stabilization, in the level of Ca(b) were observed in the command neurons during a brief period in the development of sensitization; during conditioning a temporary decrease was identified in the content of Ca(b) in response to each combination of stimuli with its subsequent spontaneous decrease at 40-60 min. An increase in the level of Ca(b), beginning during the development of sensitization from 50-60 min, and during conditioning from 85-90 min from the moment of the beginning of training, was observed in the long-term period.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7808640

  1. Role of the lymnaeid snail Pseudosuccinea columella in the transmission of the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in Egypt.

    PubMed

    Dar, Y; Vignoles, P; Rondelaud, D; Dreyfuss, G

    2015-11-01

    Experimental infections of three Egyptian Pseudosuccinea columella populations with sympatric miracidia of Fasciola sp., coming from cattle- or sheep-collected eggs, were carried out to determine the capacity of this lymnaeid to support larval development of the parasite. Using microsatellite markers, the isolates of Egyptian miracidia were identified as Fasciola hepatica. Apart from being independent of snail origin, prevalences ranging from 60.4 to 75.5% in snails infected with five miracidia of F. hepatica were significantly higher than values of 30.4 to 42.2% in snails with bi-miracidial infections. The number of metacercariae ranged from 243 to 472 per cercarial-shedding snail and was independent of snail origin, parasite origin and miracidial dose used for infection. If P. columella was subjected to two successive bi-miracidial infections with F. hepatica, prevalence of infection was 63.3%, with a mean of 311 metacercariae per snail. These values were clearly greater than those already reported for Radix natalensis infected with the same parasite and the same protocol. Successful experimental infection of P. columella with F. hepatica suggests that this lymnaeid snail is an important intermediate host for the transmission of fascioliasis in Egypt. PMID:24865184

  2. Survival of the faucet snail after chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water bath treatments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mitchell, A.J.; Cole, R.A.

    2008-01-01

    The faucet snail Bithynia tentaculata, a nonindigenous aquatic snail from Eurasia, was introduced into Lake Michigan in 1871 and has spread to the mid-Atlantic states, the Great Lakes region, Montana, and most recently, the Mississippi River. The faucet snail serves as intermediate host for several trematodes that have caused large-scale mortality among water birds, primarily in the Great Lakes region and Montana. It is important to limit the spread of the faucet snail; small fisheries equipment can serve as a method of snail distribution. Treatments with chemical disinfection, pH extremes, and heated water baths were tested to determine their effectiveness as a disinfectant for small fisheries equipment. Two treatments eliminated all test snails: (1) a 24-h exposure to Hydrothol 191 at a concentration of at least 20 mg/L and (2) a treatment with 50??C heated water for 1 min or longer. Faucet snails were highly resistant to ethanol, NaCl, formalin, Lysol, potassium permanganate, copper sulfate, Baquacil, Virkon, household bleach, and pH extremes (as low as 1 and as high as 13).

  3. Pivotal roles of snail inhibition and RKIP induction by the proteasome inhibitor NPI-0052 in tumor cell chemoimmunosensitization.

    PubMed

    Baritaki, Stavroula; Yeung, Kam; Palladino, Michael; Berenson, James; Bonavida, Benjamin

    2009-11-01

    The novel proteasome inhibitor NPI-0052 has been shown to sensitize tumor cells to apoptosis by various chemotherapeutic drugs and tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), although the mechanisms involved are not clear. We hypothesized that NPI-0052-mediated sensitization may result from NF-kappaB inhibition and downstream modulation of the metastasis inducer Snail and the metastasis suppressor/immunosurveillance cancer gene product Raf-1 kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP). Human prostate cancer cell lines were used as models, as they express different levels of these proteins. We show that NPI-0052 inhibits both NF-kappaB and Snail and induces RKIP expression, thus resulting in cell sensitization to CDDP and TRAIL. The direct role of NF-kappaB inhibition in sensitization was corroborated with the NF-kappaB inhibitor DHMEQ, which mimicked NPI-0052 in sensitization and inhibition of Snail and induction of RKIP. The direct role of Snail inhibition by NPI-0052 in sensitization was shown with Snail small interfering RNA, which reversed resistance and induced RKIP. Likewise, the direct role of RKIP induction in sensitization was revealed by both overexpression of RKIP (mimicking NPI-0052) and RKIP small interfering RNA that inhibited NPI-0052-mediated sensitization. These findings show that NPI-0052 modifies the NF-kappaB-Snail-RKIP circuitry in tumor cells and results in downstream inhibition of antiapoptotic gene products and chemoimmunosensitization. The findings also identified Snail and RKIP as targets for reversal of resistance. PMID:19843864

  4. Snail-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition promotes cancer stem cell-like phenotype in head and neck cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Masui, Takashi; Ota, Ichiro; Yook, Jong-In; Mikami, Shinji; Yane, Katsunari; Yamanaka, Toshiaki; Hosoi, Hiroshi

    2014-03-01

    Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is known to have a poor prognosis. The resistance to treatment and distant metastasis are important clinical problems in HNSCC. The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process in successful execution of many steps such as the invasion and metastasis for cancer cells. Snail is one of the master regulators that promote EMT in many types of malignancies including HNSCC. Recently, it has been shown that Snail-induced EMT could induce a cancer stem cell (CSC)?like phenotype in a number of tumor types. In this study, we investigated the role of Snail in inducing EMT properties and CSC-like phenotype in HNSCC. We established HNSCC cell lines transfected with Snail. E-cadherin was analyzed using western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining. Cell migration and invasion were assessed using wound-healing assay and modified Boyden chamber assay, respectively. CSC markers of HNSCC, CD44 and aldehyde dehydrogenase1 (ALDH1), were also evaluated with western blot analysis, and chemosensitivity was assessed with WST-8 assay. Introduction of Snail induced EMT properties in HNSCC cells and enhanced cell migration and invasion. Moreover, Snail-induced EMT gained CSC-like phenotype and was associated with increased chemoresistance. These results suggest that Snail could be one of the attractive targets for the development of therapeutic strategies in HNSCC. PMID:24365974

  5. Effect of snails (Elimia clavaeformis) on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities

    SciTech Connect

    Jay, E.A.

    1993-10-01

    In this study, the author examined the effect of grazing on phosphorus cycling in stream periphyton and leaf detritus communities using the snail Elimia clavaeformis. Phosphorus cycling fluxes and turnover rates were measured in a laboratory and in a natural stream, respectively, using radioactive tracer techniques.

  6. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Galápagos Endemic Land Snail Naesiotus nux

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Samuel S.; Settles, Matthew L.; New, Daniel D.; Parent, Christine E.

    2016-01-01

    We report herein the draft mitochondrial genome sequence of Naesiotus nux, a Galápagos endemic land snail species of the genus Naesiotus. The circular genome is 15 kb and encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 21 tRNA genes. PMID:26798085

  7. Plasticity as Phenotype: G x E Interaction in a Freshwater Snail

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brunkow, P. E.; Calloway, S. A.

    2005-05-01

    Plasticity in morphological development allows species to accommodate environmental variation experienced during growth; however, genetic variation for phenotypic plasticity per se has been relatively under-studied. We utilized the well-documented plastic response of shell development to predator cues in a freshwater snail to quantify genetic variation for plasticity in growth rate and shell shape. Field-caught pairs of snails reproduced in the laboratory to create families of full siblings, which were then divided and allowed to grow in control and predator cue treatments. Predator (crayfish) cues had significant effects on both size-corrected growth rate and shell shape; family identity also significantly affected both final shell shape and growth rate. The interaction between predator treatment and family identity significantly affected snail growth rate but not final shell shape, suggesting genetic variation in the plastic response to predator cues for a physiological variable (growth rate) but not for a variable known to mechanically reduce the risk of predation (shell shape), at least in this population of snails. The possibility that risk of multiple modes of predation (i.e., both fish and crayfish) in some populations might maintain genetic variation in morphological plasticity is discussed.

  8. Specialized insulin is used for chemical warfare by fish-hunting cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Gajewiak, Joanna; Karanth, Santhosh; Robinson, Samuel D.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Douglass, Adam D.; Schlegel, Amnon; Imperial, Julita S.; Watkins, Maren; Bandyopadhyay, Pradip K.; Yandell, Mark; Li, Qing; Purcell, Anthony W.; Norton, Raymond S.; Ellgaard, Lars; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2015-01-01

    More than 100 species of venomous cone snails (genus Conus) are highly effective predators of fish. The vast majority of venom components identified and functionally characterized to date are neurotoxins specifically targeted to receptors, ion channels, and transporters in the nervous system of prey, predators, or competitors. Here we describe a venom component targeting energy metabolism, a radically different mechanism. Two fish-hunting cone snails, Conus geographus and Conus tulipa, have evolved specialized insulins that are expressed as major components of their venoms. These insulins are distinctive in having much greater similarity to fish insulins than to the molluscan hormone and are unique in that posttranslational modifications characteristic of conotoxins (hydroxyproline, γ-carboxyglutamate) are present. When injected into fish, the venom insulin elicits hypoglycemic shock, a condition characterized by dangerously low blood glucose. Our evidence suggests that insulin is specifically used as a weapon for prey capture by a subset of fish-hunting cone snails that use a net strategy to capture prey. Insulin appears to be a component of the nirvana cabal, a toxin combination in these venoms that is released into the water to disorient schools of small fish, making them easier to engulf with the snail’s distended false mouth, which functions as a net. If an entire school of fish simultaneously experiences hypoglycemic shock, this should directly facilitate capture by the predatory snail. PMID:25605914

  9. A "Love" Dart Allohormone Identified in the Mucous Glands of Hermaphroditic Land Snails.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Michael J; Wang, Tianfang; Koene, Joris M; Storey, Kenneth B; Cummins, Scott F

    2016-04-01

    Animals have evolved many ways to enhance their own reproductive success. One bizarre sexual ritual is the "love" dart shooting of helicid snails, which has courted many theories regarding its precise function. Acting as a hypodermic needle, the dart transfers an allohormone that increases paternity success. Its precise physiological mechanism of action within the recipient snail is to close off the entrance to the sperm digestion organ via a contraction of the copulatory canal, thereby delaying the digestion of most donated sperm. In this study, we used the common garden snailCornu aspersumto identify the allohormone that is responsible for this physiological change in the female system of this simultaneous hermaphrodite. The love dart allohormone (LDA) was isolated from extracts derived from mucous glands that coat the dart before it is stabbed through the partner's body wall. We isolated LDA from extracts using bioassay-guided contractility measurement of the copulatory canal. LDA is encoded within a 235-amino acid precursor protein containing multiple cleavage sites that, when cleaved, releases multiple bioactive peptides. Synthetic LDA also stimulated copulatory canal contractility. Combined with our finding that the protein amino acid sequence resembles previously described molluscan buccalin precursors, this indicates that LDA is partially conserved in helicid snails and less in other molluscan species. In summary, our study provides the full identification of an allohormone that is hypodermically injected via a love dart. More importantly, our findings have important consequences for understanding reproductive biology and the evolution of alternative reproductive strategies. PMID:26817846

  10. 76 FR 31866 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reclassification of the Tulotoma Snail From...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-02

    ... in the Federal Register on June 22, 2010 (75 FR 35424). The tulotoma snail (Tulotoma magnifica... Coosa River drainage (56 FR 797; January 9, 1991). These included approximately a 3-kilometer (km) (1.8... species prior to June 22, 2010, are outlined in our proposed rule for this reclassification (75 FR...

  11. Studying Land Snails: Inquiry with K-W-L or Four Question Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Pamela; Thiessen, Ronda; Wilson, Debbie; Arey, Beth; Barrow, Lloyd H.

    1999-01-01

    Summarizes how a group of teachers prepared a series of elementary-level inquiry experiences that focused on the study of land snails. Recommends and describes the K-W-L and Four Question inquiry strategies for younger and older students respectively. (WRM)

  12. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Aǧaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-01

    In this study, chemical and structural properties of sea snail shell based bioceramic materials (i.e. hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and other phases) are produced by using mechano-chemical (ultrasonic) conversion method. For this purpose, differential thermal and gravimetric analysis (DTA/TG), X-ray diffraction, infra-red (IR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies are performed.

  13. EFFECTS OF COPPER, NICKEL AND ZINC ON THREE SPECIES OF OREGON FRESHWATER SNAILS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Three snail species collected from western Oregon were exposed to metals - Juga plicifera and Lithoglyphus virens, which inhabit cool coastal streams, and Physa gyrina, which is found in Willamette Valley ponds. J. plicifera were exposed in flow-through laboratory tests to copper...

  14. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN ALTERS TESTOSTERONE ESTERIFICATION IN MUD SNAILS (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Biocide Tributyltin Alters Testosterone Esterification in Mud Snails (Ilyanassa obsoleta)

    Meredith P. Gooding and Gerald A. LeBlanc
    Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7633

    Tributyltin (TBT...

  15. Identification of SNAIL1 Peptide-Based Irreversible Lysine-Specific Demethylase 1-Selective Inactivators.

    PubMed

    Itoh, Yukihiro; Aihara, Keisuke; Mellini, Paolo; Tojo, Toshifumi; Ota, Yosuke; Tsumoto, Hiroki; Solomon, Viswas Raja; Zhan, Peng; Suzuki, Miki; Ogasawara, Daisuke; Shigenaga, Akira; Inokuma, Tsubasa; Nakagawa, Hidehiko; Miyata, Naoki; Mizukami, Tamio; Otaka, Akira; Suzuki, Takayoshi

    2016-02-25

    Inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), a flavin-dependent histone demethylase, has recently emerged as a new strategy for treating cancer and other diseases. LSD1 interacts physically with SNAIL1, a member of the SNAIL/SCRATCH family of transcription factors. This study describes the discovery of SNAIL1 peptide-based inactivators of LSD1. We designed and prepared SNAIL1 peptides bearing a propargyl amine, hydrazine, or phenylcyclopropane moiety. Among them, peptide 3, bearing hydrazine, displayed the most potent LSD1-inhibitory activity in enzyme assays. Kinetic study and mass spectrometric analysis indicated that peptide 3 is a mechanism-based LSD1 inhibitor. Furthermore, peptides 37 and 38, which consist of cell-membrane-permeable oligoarginine conjugated with peptide 3, induced a dose-dependent increase of dimethylated Lys4 of histone H3 in HeLa cells, suggesting that they are likely to exhibit LSD1-inhibitory activity intracellularly. In addition, peptide 37 decreased the viability of HeLa cells. We believe this new approach for targeting LSD1 provides a basis for development of potent selective inhibitors and biological probes for LSD1. PMID:26700437

  16. Reconsolidation of a Context Long-Term Memory in the Terrestrial Snail Requires Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gainutdinova, Tatiana H.; Tagirova, Rosa R.; Ismailova, Asja I.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Samarova, Elena I.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the influence of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin on contextual memory in the terrestrial snail "Helix." Prior to the training session, the behavioral responses in two contexts were similar. Two days after a session of electric shocks (5 d) in one context only, the context conditioning was observed as the significant…

  17. Should apple snail Pomacea canaliculata (Caenogastropoda, Ampullariidae) be used as bioindicator for BDE-209?

    PubMed

    Koch, Eduardo; Altamirano, Jorgelina Cecilia; Covaci, Adrian; Lana, Nerina Belén; Ciocco, Néstor Fernando

    2014-01-01

    Apple snail Pomacea canaliculata has been reported to accumulate polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and was recently proposed as PBDE bioindicator. This work investigates the ability of P. canaliculata to accumulate BDE-209 by dietary exposure under controlled experimental conditions. A 30-day long enrichment feeding assay was carried out using 30 adult apple snails, placed in individual aquaria. Food was enriched at three BDE-209 concentrations (400, 4,700, and 8,300 μg g(−1) lipid weight). Correlation between BDE-209 values in food and snail tissue were estimated according to Stockholm Convention suggested criteria for chemicals with K(OW) >5. All animals survived with no evident physical alterations, and all of them accumulated BDE-209. BDE-209 levels in tissue samples increased exponentially with the exposure concentration. The bioaccumulation factor vs. food concentration plot showed a peculiar pattern, in which at intermediate concentrations the snails accumulated less BDE-209 than expected. Our results suggest that P. canaliculata would present a detoxification mechanism for BDE-209 different from the most commonly reported metabolic pathways. PMID:24022099

  18. Snails as indicators of pesticide drift, deposit, transfer and effects in the vineyard.

    PubMed

    Druart, Coline; Millet, Maurice; Scheifler, Renaud; Delhomme, Olivier; Raeppel, Caroline; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2011-09-15

    This paper presents a field-study of real pesticide application conditions in a vineyard. The objective was to measure the exposure, the transfer and the effects of pesticides on a non-target soil invertebrate, the land snail Helix aspersa. There was no drift of the herbicides (glyphosate and glufosinate) whereas the fungicides (cymoxanil, folpet, tebuconazole and pyraclostrobin) were detected up to 20 m from the treated area. For folpet and particularly tebuconazole, spray deposits on soil (corresponding to losses for the intended target i.e. the vine leaves) were high (41.1% and 88.8% loss of applied dose, respectively). For herbicides, the target was the soil and losses (percentage of compounds which did not reach the soil) were of 22% for glufosinate and 52% for glyphosate. In the study plot, glyphosate was transferred to and accumulated in snail tissues (4 mg kg(-1) dry weight, dw), as was its metabolite AMPA (8 mg kg(-1) dw) which could be in relation with the reduced growth observed in snails. No effects on snail survival or growth were found after exposure to the other organic compounds or to copper and sulphur-fungicides, although transfer of tebuconazole, pyraclostrobin and copper occurred. This study brings original field data on the fate of pesticides in a vineyard agro-ecosystem under real conditions of application and shows that transfer and effects of pesticides to a non-target organism occurred. PMID:21784506

  19. Mitochondrial Genome Sequence of the Galpagos Endemic Land Snail Naesiotus nux.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Samuel S; Settles, Matthew L; New, Daniel D; Parent, Christine E; Gerritsen, Alida T

    2016-01-01

    We report herein the draft mitochondrial genome sequence of Naesiotus nux, a Galpagos endemic land snail species of the genus Naesiotus. The circular genome is 15 kb and encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 2 rRNA genes, and 21 tRNA genes. PMID:26798085

  20. Reconsolidation of a Context Long-Term Memory in the Terrestrial Snail Requires Protein Synthesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gainutdinova, Tatiana H.; Tagirova, Rosa R.; Ismailova, Asja I.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Samarova, Elena I.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the influence of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin on contextual memory in the terrestrial snail "Helix." Prior to the training session, the behavioral responses in two contexts were similar. Two days after a session of electric shocks (5 d) in one context only, the context conditioning was observed as the significant

  1. Activation of NF-kappaB by Akt upregulates Snail expression and induces epithelium mesenchyme transition.

    PubMed

    Julien, S; Puig, I; Caretti, E; Bonaventure, J; Nelles, L; van Roy, F; Dargemont, C; de Herreros, A Garcia; Bellacosa, A; Larue, L

    2007-11-22

    Carcinoma progression is associated with the loss of epithelial features, and the acquisition of mesenchymal characteristics and invasive properties by tumour cells. The loss of cell-cell contacts may be the first step of the epithelium mesenchyme transition (EMT) and involves the functional inactivation of the cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin. Repression of E-cadherin expression by the transcription factor Snail is a central event during the loss of epithelial phenotype. Akt kinase activation is frequent in human carcinomas, and Akt regulates various cellular mechanisms including EMT. Here, we show that Snail activation and consequent repression of E-cadherin may depend on AKT-mediated nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation, and that NF-kappaB induces Snail expression. Expression of the NF-kappaB subunit p65 is sufficient for EMT induction, validating this signalling module during EMT. NF-kappaB pathway activation is associated with tumour progression and metastasis of several human tumour types; E-cadherin acts as a metastasis suppressor protein. Thus, this signalling and transcriptional network linking AKT, NF-kappaB, Snail and E-cadherin during EMT is a potential target for antimetastatic therapeutics. PMID:17563753

  2. Intensity of parasitic mite infection decreases with hibernation duration of the host snail.

    PubMed

    Haeussler, E M; Piz, J; Schmera, D; Baur, B

    2012-07-01

    Temperature can be a limiting factor on parasite development. Riccardoella limacum, a haematophagous mite, lives in the mantle cavity of helicid land snails. The prevalence of infection by R. limacum in populations of the land snail Arianta arbustorum is highly variable (0-78%) in Switzerland. However, parasitic mites do not occur in host populations at altitudes of 1290 m or higher. It has been hypothesized that the host's hibernation period might be too long at high elevations for mites and their eggs to survive. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally infected snails and allowed them to hibernate at 4C for periods of 4-7 months. Winter survival of host snails was negatively affected by R. limacum. The intensity of mite infection decreased with increasing hibernation duration. Another experiment with shorter recording intervals revealed that mites do not leave the host when it buries in the soil at the beginning of hibernation. The number of mites decreased after 24 days of hibernation, whereas the number of eggs attached to the lung tissue remained constant throughout hibernation. Thus, R. limacum survives the winter in the egg stage in the host. Low temperature at high altitudes may limit the occurrence of R. limacum. PMID:22444479

  3. Larval dermestid beetles feeding on nestling snail kites, wood storks, and great blue herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Ogden, J.C.; Bittner, J.D.; Grau, G.A.

    1984-01-01

    In recent years abdominal lesions attributable to larval dermestid beetles (D. nidum) have appeared in nestling snail (Everglade) kites (R. sociabilis), wood storks (M. americana) and great blue herons (A. herodias). Although it appears that most nestlings affected have survived, the degree of threat posed by dermestid larvae to various avian species is as yet unclear.

  4. Larval dermestid beetles feeding on nestling snail kites, wood storks, and great blue herons

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Snyder, N.F.R.; Ogden, J.C.; Bittner, J.D.; Grau, G.A.

    1984-01-01

    In recent years abdominal lesions attributable to larval dermestid beetles (Dermestes nidum) have appeared in nestling Snail (Everglade) Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis), Wood Storks (Mycteria americana), and Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias). Although it appears that most nestlings affected have survived, the degree of threat posed by dermestid larvae to various avian species is as yet unclear.

  5. Larval development of Angiostrongylus vasorum in the land snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Di Cesare, Angela; Crisi, Paolo Emidio; Bartolini, Roberto; Iorio, Raffaella; Talone, Tonino; Filippi, Laura; Traversa, Donato

    2015-10-01

    The metastrongyloid nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum affects the heart and pulmonary arteries of dogs and wild animals. Over the recent years, dog angiostrongylosis has gained great attention in the veterinary community for the expansion of its geographic range and for a rise in the number of clinical cases. Global warming, changes in phenology of mollusc intermediate hosts and movements of wild reservoirs have been evocated in the spreading of mollusc-borne parasites, including A. vasorum. The land snail Helix aspersa, a vector of other respiratory metastrongyloids, is endemic in most regions of the World, where it is a pest outside its native Mediterranean range. In the present study, the susceptibility and suitability of H. aspersa as an intermediate host of A. vasorum were investigated along with the characteristics of larval recovery and development following two different ways of inoculation, i.e. experimental (group A) vs natural infection (group B). After infections, the snails were kept at environmental conditions for 2 months. Five snails from groups A and B were randomly selected, digested and examined at 15-day intervals for 2 months. L1s, L2s and L3s were microscopically identified based on key morphological and morphometric characteristics and their identity was genetically confirmed. The results showed that A. vasorum may reach the infective stage in H. aspersa and that uptake of larvae and parasitic burden within the snails depend on the grazing capability of the molluscs. Biological and epidemiological implications are discussed. PMID:26122991

  6. 50 CFR 17.45 - Special rules-snails and clams. [Reserved

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 2 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Special rules-snails and clams. 17.45 Section 17.45 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED) TAKING, POSSESSION, TRANSPORTATION, SALE, PURCHASE, BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED)...

  7. Tropical sea snail shells: Possible exotic sources for ceramic biomaterial synthesis

    SciTech Connect

    Oktar, F. N.; Kiyici, I. A.; Gökçe, H.; Ağaogulları, D.; Kayali, E. S.

    2013-12-16

    In this study, chemical and structural properties of sea snail shell based bioceramic materials (i.e. hydroxyapatite, whitlockite and other phases) are produced by using mechano-chemical (ultrasonic) conversion method. For this purpose, differential thermal and gravimetric analysis (DTA/TG), X-ray diffraction, infra-red (IR) and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies are performed.

  8. Angiotensin II Contributes to Diabetic Renal Dysfunction in Rodents and Humans via Notch1/Snail Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Gagliardini, Elena; Perico, Norberto; Rizzo, Paola; Buelli, Simona; Longaretti, Lorena; Perico, Luca; Tomasoni, Susanna; Zoja, Carla; Macconi, Daniela; Morigi, Marina; Remuzzi, Giuseppe; Benigni, Ariela

    2014-01-01

    In nondiabetic rat models of renal disease, angiotensin II (Ang II) perpetuates podocyte injury and promotes progression to end-stage kidney disease. Herein, we wanted to explore the role of Ang II in diabetic nephropathy by a translational approach spanning from in vitro to in vivo rat and human studies, and to dissect the intracellular pathways involved. In isolated perfused rat kidneys and in cultured human podocytes, Ang II down-regulated nephrin expression via Notch1 activation and nuclear translocation of Snail. Hairy enhancer of split-1 was a Notch1-downstream gene effector that activated Snail in cultured podocytes. In vitro changes of the Snail/nephrin axis were similar to those in renal biopsy specimens of Zucker diabetic fatty rats and patients with advanced diabetic nephropathy, and were normalized by pharmacological inhibition of the renin-angiotensin system. Collectively, the present studies provide evidence that Ang II plays a relevant role in perpetuating glomerular injury in experimental and human diabetic nephropathy via persistent activation of Notch1 and Snail signaling in podocytes, eventually resulting in down-regulation of nephrin expression, the integrity of which is crucial for the glomerular filtration barrier. PMID:23707238

  9. Evolution of whole-body enantiomorphy in the tree snail genus Amphidromus

    PubMed Central

    SUTCHARIT, C; ASAMI, T; PANHA, S

    2007-01-01

    Diverse animals exhibit left–right asymmetry in development. However, no example of dimorphism for the left–right polarity of development (whole-body enantiomorphy) is known to persist within natural populations. In snails, whole-body enantiomorphs have repeatedly evolved as separate species. Within populations, however, snails are not expected to exhibit enantiomorphy, because of selection against the less common morph resulting from mating disadvantage. Here we present a unique example of evolutionarily stable whole-body enantiomorphy in snails. Our molecular phylogeny of South-east Asian tree snails in the genus Amphidromus indicates that enantiomorphy has likely persisted as the ancestral state over a million generations. Enantiomorphs have continuously coexisted in every population surveyed spanning a period of 10 years. Our results indicate that whole-body enantiomorphy is maintained within populations opposing the rule of directional asymmetry in animals. This study implicates the need for explicit approaches to disclosure of a maintenance mechanism and conservation of the genus. PMID:17305832

  10. A multiplex PCR for the detection of Fasciola hepatica in the intermediate snail host Galba cubensis.

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Vázquez, Antonio A; Hernández, Hilda; Sánchez, Jorge; Marcet, Ricardo; Figueredo, Mabel; Sarracent, Jorge; Fraga, Jorge

    2015-07-30

    Fasciolosis is a snail-borne trematode infection that has re-emerged as a human disease, and is considered a significant problem for veterinary medicine worldwide. The evaluation of the transmission risk of fasciolosis as well as the efficacy of the strategies for its control could be carried out through epidemiological surveillance of the snails that act as intermediate hosts of the parasites. The present study aimed to develop the first multiplex PCR to detect Fasciola hepatica in Galba cubensis, an important intermediate host of the parasite in the Americas and especially in the Caribbean basin. The multiplex PCR was optimized for the amplification of a 340 bp fragment of the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS-2) of F. hepatica rDNA, while another set of primers was designed and used to amplify a conserved segment of the nuclear 18S rDNA of the snail (451 bp), as an internal control of the reaction. The assay was able to detect up to 100 pg of the parasite even at high concentrations of snail DNA, an analytical sensitivity that allows the detection of less than a single miracidium, which is the minimal biological infestation unit. A controlled laboratory-reared G. cubensis - F. hepatica system was used for the evaluation of the developed multiplex PCR, and 100% sensitivity and specificity was achieved. This assay constitutes a novel, useful and suitable technique for the survey of fasciolosis transmission through one of the main intermediate hosts in the Western hemisphere. PMID:26012858

  11. Field and laboratory evaluation of the influence of copper-diquat on apple snails in southern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winger, P.V.; Imlay, M.J.; McMillan, W.E.; Martin, T.W.; Takekawa, J.; Johnson, W.W.

    1984-01-01

    The recent decline of apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) populations in canals surrounding Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge in southern Florida coincided with the use of copper-diquat for the control of the aquatic weed hydrilla (Hydrilla ver/icillara). Field and laboratory studies were designed to assess the effects of copper-diquat on apple snails, which are the primary food of the endangered snail kite Rostrhamus sociabilis (formerly known as the Everglade kite). Acute toxicities (96-h LC50 values) of Cutrine-Plus and Komeen (chelated formulations of copper) to immature apple snails were 22 and 241-?g/L, respectively. Diquat was toxic at a concentration of 1,800 I-?g/L and did not increase the toxicity of copper when the chemicals were used in combination. Evaluation of field samples indicated that copper concentrations were higher in detritus than in water. plants and mud, and that there was a gradient of copper concentration from the canal to the interior, the highest residues being in samples from the canal. Copper associated with detritus (up to 150 ?g/g) had no effect on growth or survival of apple snails in field cage and tank studies. Also, field applications of copper.diquat to hydrilla had no effect on survival of caged adult and immature snails. Copper from field applications was rapidly taken out of solution by plants and organic material in the water and subsequently incorporated into the bottom detritus. Although the effects of repeated applications of copper-diquat and high body burdens of copper (accumulated during exposure to herbicidal treatment) on survival and reproduction of apple snails are not known, the information available indicates that treatment of hydrilla with copper-diquat was probably not responsible for the decline in the apple snail population. Application at recommended rates should pose no threat to these snails in the organically rich waters of southern Florida.

  12. Invasive Snails and an Emerging Infectious Disease: Results from the First National Survey on Angiostrongylus cantonensis in China

    PubMed Central

    Lv, Shan; Zhang, Yi; Liu, He-Xiang; Hu, Ling; Yang, Kun; Steinmann, Peter; Chen, Zhao; Wang, Li-Ying; Utzinger, Jürg; Zhou, Xiao-Nong

    2009-01-01

    Background Eosinophilic meningitis (angiostrongyliasis) caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis is emerging in mainland China. However, the distribution of A. cantonensis and its intermediate host snails, and the role of two invasive snail species in the emergence of angiostrongyliasis, are not well understood. Methodology/Principal Findings A national survey pertaining to A. cantonensis was carried out using a grid sampling approach (spatial resolution: 40×40 km). One village per grid cell was randomly selected from a 5% random sample of grid cells located in areas where the presence of the intermediate host snail Pomacea canaliculata had been predicted based on a degree-day model. Potential intermediate hosts of A. cantonensis were collected in the field, restaurants, markets and snail farms, and examined for infection. The infection prevalence among intermediate host snails was estimated, and the prevalence of A. cantonensis within P. canaliculata was displayed on a map, and predicted for non-sampled locations. It was confirmed that P. canaliculata and Achatina fulica were the predominant intermediate hosts of A. cantonensis in China, and these snails were found to be well established in 11 and six provinces, respectively. Infected snails of either species were found in seven provinces, closely matching the endemic area of A. cantonensis. Infected snails were also found in markets and restaurants. Two clusters of A. cantonensis–infected P. canaliculata were predicted in Fujian and Guangxi provinces. Conclusions/Significance The first national survey in China revealed a wide distribution of A. cantonensis and two invasive snail species, indicating that a considerable number of people are at risk of angiostrongyliasis. Health education, rigorous food inspection and surveillance are all needed to prevent recurrent angiostrongyliasis outbreaks. PMID:19190771

  13. An experimental heat wave changes immune defense and life history traits in a freshwater snail

    PubMed Central

    Leicht, Katja; Jokela, Jukka; Seppälä, Otto

    2013-01-01

    The predicted increase in frequency and severity of heat waves due to climate change is expected to alter disease dynamics by reducing hosts' ability to resist infections. This could take place via two different mechanisms: (1) through general reduction in hosts' performance under harsh environmental conditions and/or (2) through altered resource allocation that reduces expression of defense traits in order to maintain other traits. We tested these alternative hypotheses by measuring the effect of an experimental heat wave (25 vs. 15°C) on the constitutive level of immune defense (hemocyte concentration, phenoloxidase [PO]-like activity, antibacterial activity of hemolymph), and life history traits (growth and number of oviposited eggs) of the great pond snail Lymnaea stagnalis. We also manipulated the exposure time to high temperature (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 days). We found that if the exposure to high temperature lasted <1 week, immune function was not affected. However, when the exposure lasted longer than that, the level of snails' immune function (hemocyte concentration and PO-like activity) was reduced. Snails' growth and reproduction increased within the first week of exposure to high temperature. However, longer exposures did not lead to a further increase in cumulative reproductive output. Our results show that short experimental heat waves do not alter immune function but lead to plastic responses that increase snails' growth and reproduction. Thus, although the relative expression of traits changes, short experimental heat waves do not impair snails' defenses. Negative effects on performance get pronounced when the heat waves are prolonged suggesting that high performance cannot be maintained over long time periods. This ultimately reduces the levels of defense traits. PMID:24455121

  14. Effects of shorebird predation and snail abundance on an intertidal mudflat community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheverie, Anne V.; Hamilton, Diana J.; Coffin, Michael R. S.; Barbeau, Myriam A.

    2014-09-01

    Top-down effects of predation are well documented in a variety of ecological communities, including marine soft-sediment systems. It has been proposed that intertidal mudflats in the upper Bay of Fundy, Canada, which host a large population of foraging shorebirds each summer, may exhibit this community dynamic. Biofilm (consisting mainly of diatoms) forms the base of the mudflat community food web, which is dominated by the amphipod Corophium volutator. To assess the potential for a trophic cascade, we conducted a manipulative field experiment examining individual and combined effects of the shorebird Calidris pusilla, a primary predator of C. volutator, and the eastern mudsnail (Nassarius obsoletus), an intraguild predator, on community structure (including macrofauna and large meiofauna retained by a 250-μm screen). Snails exhibited density-dependent top-down effects, primarily from strong negative interactions with juvenile and adult C. volutator, likely due to interference, consumption and emigration. Medium and high densities of snails reduced chlorophyll a concentration (a measure of diatom abundance), likely through consumption and disturbance of the sediment. When present at higher densities, snails also increased variability in community structure. Shorebirds were less influential in determining community structure. They reduced C. volutator biomass through consumption, but there was no resulting effect on primary production. Top-down effects of snails and birds were cumulative on C. volutator, but did not generate a trophic cascade. We suggest that a combination of omnivory and intraguild predation by shorebirds and snails, coupled with relatively low grazing pressure by C. volutator, prevented transmission of top-down effects.

  15. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails.

    PubMed

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-06-01

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution. PMID:26025559

  16. Factors influencing counts in an annual survey of Snail Kites in Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bennetts, R.E.; Link, W.A.; Sauer, J.R.; Sykes, P.W., Jr.

    1999-01-01

    Snail Kites (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in Florida were monitored between 1969 and 1994 using a quasi-systematic annual survey. We analyzed data from the annual Snail Kite survey using a generalized linear model where counts were regarded as over-dispersed Poisson random variables. This approach allowed us to investigate covariates that might have obscured temporal patterns of population change or induced spurious patterns in count data by influencing detection rates. We selected a model that distinguished effects related to these covariates from other temporal effects, allowing us to identify patterns of population change in count data. Snail Kite counts were influenced by observer differences, site effects, effort, and water levels. Because there was no temporal overlap of the primary observers who collected count data, patterns of change could be estimated within time intervals covered by an observer, but not for the intervals among observers. Modeled population change was quite different from the change in counts, suggesting that analyses based on unadjusted counts do not accurately model Snail Kite population change. Results from this analysis were consistent with previous reports of an association between water levels and counts, although further work is needed to determine whether water levels affect actual population size as well as detection rates of Snail Kites. Although the effects of variation in detection rates can sometimes be mitigated by including controls for factors related to detection rates, it is often difficult to distinguish factors wholly related to detection rates from factors related to population size. For factors related to both, count survey data cannot be adequately analyzed without explicit estimation of detection rates, using procedures such as capture-recapture.

  17. Molecular Diversity and Gene Evolution of the Venom Arsenal of Terebridae Predatory Marine Snails

    PubMed Central

    Gorson, Juliette; Ramrattan, Girish; Verdes, Aida; Wright, Elizabeth M.; Kantor, Yuri; Rajaram Srinivasan, Ramakrishnan; Musunuri, Raj; Packer, Daniel; Albano, Gabriel; Qiu, Wei-Gang; Holford, Mandë

    2015-01-01

    Venom peptides from predatory organisms are a resource for investigating evolutionary processes such as adaptive radiation or diversification, and exemplify promising targets for biomedical drug development. Terebridae are an understudied lineage of conoidean snails, which also includes cone snails and turrids. Characterization of cone snail venom peptides, conotoxins, has revealed a cocktail of bioactive compounds used to investigate physiological cellular function, predator-prey interactions, and to develop novel therapeutics. However, venom diversity of other conoidean snails remains poorly understood. The present research applies a venomics approach to characterize novel terebrid venom peptides, teretoxins, from the venom gland transcriptomes of Triplostephanus anilis and Terebra subulata. Next-generation sequencing and de novo assembly identified 139 putative teretoxins that were analyzed for the presence of canonical peptide features as identified in conotoxins. To meet the challenges of de novo assembly, multiple approaches for cross validation of findings were performed to achieve reliable assemblies of venom duct transcriptomes and to obtain a robust portrait of Terebridae venom. Phylogenetic methodology was used to identify 14 teretoxin gene superfamilies for the first time, 13 of which are unique to the Terebridae. Additionally, basic local algorithm search tool homology-based searches to venom-related genes and posttranslational modification enzymes identified a convergence of certain venom proteins, such as actinoporin, commonly found in venoms. This research provides novel insights into venom evolution and recruitment in Conoidean predatory marine snails and identifies a plethora of terebrid venom peptides that can be used to investigate fundamental questions pertaining to gene evolution. PMID:26025559

  18. Soil Calcium Availability Influences Shell Ecophenotype Formation in the Sub-Antarctic Land Snail, Notodiscus hookeri

    PubMed Central

    Charrier, Maryvonne; Marie, Arul; Guillaume, Damien; Bédouet, Laurent; Le Lannic, Joseph; Roiland, Claire; Berland, Sophie; Pierre, Jean-Sébastien; Le Floch, Marie; Frenot, Yves; Lebouvier, Marc

    2013-01-01

    Ecophenotypes reflect local matches between organisms and their environment, and show plasticity across generations in response to current living conditions. Plastic responses in shell morphology and shell growth have been widely studied in gastropods and are often related to environmental calcium availability, which influences shell biomineralisation. To date, all of these studies have overlooked micro-scale structure of the shell, in addition to how it is related to species responses in the context of environmental pressure. This study is the first to demonstrate that environmental factors induce a bi-modal variation in the shell micro-scale structure of a land gastropod. Notodiscus hookeri is the only native land snail present in the Crozet Archipelago (sub-Antarctic region). The adults have evolved into two ecophenotypes, which are referred to here as MS (mineral shell) and OS (organic shell). The MS-ecophenotype is characterised by a thick mineralised shell. It is primarily distributed along the coastline, and could be associated to the presence of exchangeable calcium in the clay minerals of the soils. The Os-ecophenotype is characterised by a thin organic shell. It is primarily distributed at high altitudes in the mesic and xeric fell-fields in soils with large particles that lack clay and exchangeable calcium. Snails of the Os-ecophenotype are characterised by thinner and larger shell sizes compared to snails of the MS- ecophenotype, indicating a trade-off between mineral thickness and shell size. This pattern increased along a temporal scale; whereby, older adult snails were more clearly separated into two clusters compared to the younger adult snails. The prevalence of glycine-rich proteins in the organic shell layer of N. hookeri, along with the absence of chitin, differs to the organic scaffolds of molluscan biominerals. The present study provides new insights for testing the adaptive value of phenotypic plasticity in response to spatial and temporal environmental variations. PMID:24376821

  19. Physiological, Diurnal and Stress-Related Variability of Cadmium-Metallothionein Gene Expression in Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Pedrini-Martha, Veronika; Niederwanger, Michael; Kopp, Renate; Schnegg, Raimund; Dallinger, Reinhard

    2016-01-01

    The terrestrial Roman snail Helix pomatia has successfully adapted to strongly fluctuating conditions in its natural soil habitat. Part of the snail’s stress defense strategy is its ability to express Metallothioneins (MTs). These are multifunctional, cysteine-rich proteins that bind and inactivate transition metal ions (Cd2+, Zn2+, Cu+) with high affinity. In Helix pomatia a Cadmium (Cd)-selective, inducible Metallothionein Isoform (CdMT) is mainly involved in detoxification of this harmful metal. In addition, the snail CdMT has been shown to also respond to certain physiological stressors. The aim of the present study was to investigate the physiological and diurnal variability of CdMT gene expression in snails exposed to Cd and non-metallic stressors such as desiccation and oxygen depletion. CdMT gene expression was upregulated by Cd exposure and desiccation, whereas no significant impact on the expression of CdMT was measured due to oxygen depletion. Overall, Cd was clearly more effective as an inducer of the CdMT gene expression compared to the applied non-metallic stressors. In unexposed snails, diurnal rhythmicity of CdMT gene expression was observed with higher mRNA concentrations at night compared to daytime. This rhythmicity was severely disrupted in Cd-exposed snails which exhibited highest CdMT gene transcription rates in the morning. Apart from diurnal rhythmicity, feeding activity also had a strong impact on CdMT gene expression. Although underlying mechanisms are not completely understood, it is clear that factors increasing MT expression variability have to be considered when using MT mRNA quantification as a biomarker for environmental stressors. PMID:26935042

  20. A new calibration curve for carbonate clumped isotope thermometer of land snail shells (aragonite)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, N.; Yamada, K.; Yoshida, N.

    2013-12-01

    Clumped isotope data (Δ47) of carbonate is considered as a useful tool to reflect both the temperature and oxygen isotopic composition of water where the carbonate grew [1]. Zarrur et al. reported the relationship between snail shell calcification temperatures and the mean annual/ activity season ambient temperatures based on a calibration curve established by Ghosh et al. [2]. However, the clumped isotope temperature is always higher than the environment temperature. For better understanding this phenomenon, we present a new empirical calibration curve based on land snail shells (aragonite) cultured in the controlled temperature environment. In 2012, we cultured the land snails ';Euhadra' which were collected from Yokohama, Japan. They were cultured from eggs to adults around 6-8 months under the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. Each temperature group contains 15-20 snails. All of them were fed by cabbages during their life span. To study the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. Clumped isotope data for all samples were analyzed by a Thermo Finnigan MAT 253 Mass Spectrometer and calibrated by an ';absolute reference frame' [3]. We found an empirical linear relationship between Δ47 and controlled ambient temperature, which is slightly deviated from the published theoretical and experimental calibration curves based on both inorganic and biogenic materials. We will discuss the potential controlling factors caused this kind of deviation combine with the land snail growth environment. [1] Ghosh et al., 2006, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 70, 1439-1456 [2] Zaarur et al. 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 75, 6859-6869 [3] Dennis et al., 2011. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 75, 7117-7131

  1. Impairment of context memory by beta-amyloid peptide in terrestrial snail.

    PubMed

    Korshunova, Tatiana A; Bravarenko, Natalia I; Balaban, Pavel M

    2008-01-01

    We examined influence of the beta-amyloid peptide (betaAP) (25-35) neurotoxic fragment on Helix lucorum food-aversion learning. Testing with aversively conditioned carrot showed that 2, 5 and 14 days after training the betaAP-injected group responded in a significantly larger number of cases and with a significantly smaller latency than the sham-injected control group. The results demonstrate that the AP partially impairs the learning process. In an attempt to specify what component of memory is impaired we compared responses in a context in which the snails were aversively trained, and in a neutral context. It was found that the sham-injected learned snails significantly less frequently took the aversively conditioned food in the context in which the snails were shocked, while the betaAP-injected snails remembered the aversive context 2 days after associative training, but were not able to distinguish two contexts 5, and 14 days after training. In a separate series of experiments a specific context was associated with electric shock, and changes in general responsiveness were tested in two contexts several days later. It was found that the betaAP-injected snails significantly increased withdrawal responses in all tested contexts, while the sham-injected control animals selectively increased responsiveness only in the context in which they were reinforced with electric shocks. These results demonstrate that the betaAP (25-35) interferes with the learning process, and may play a significant role in behavioral plasticity and memory by selectively impairing only one component of memory - the context memory. PMID:18958193

  2. Is the interspecific variation of body size of land snails correlated with rainfall in Israel and Palestine?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hausdorf, Bernhard

    2006-11-01

    The hypothesis that body size of land snail species increases with aridity in Israel and Palestine because large snails lose relatively less water due to their lower surface to volume ratio has been investigated. Data on rainfall amplitudes of 84 land snail species in Israel and Palestine and on their body sizes were used to test for interspecific correlations between body size and rainfall. Four methods, means of body sizes in rainfall categories, the midpoint method, the across-species method, and a phylogenetically controlled analysis (CAIC) showed that there is no significant correlation between body size of land snail species and their rainfall amplitude in Israel and Palestine. The lack of an interspecific correlation between body size and rainfall amplitude may be the result of conflicting selective forces on body size.

  3. Comparison of carbon and nitrogen content of infected and uninfected snails, Succinea ovalis, and the trematode Leucochloridium variae.

    PubMed

    Burky, A J; Hornbach, D J

    1979-06-01

    In June, 6.7% of adult Succinea ovalis collected near Urbana, Ohio, were infected with the trematode, Leucochloridium variae. The effects of parasitism were assessed as total organic carbon (equivalent to calorific values) and as total nitrogen. The parasite represents 23.8% of total (parasite + snail tissue) dry tissue weight, 21.4% of total carbon and 19.8% of total nitrogen of infected snails. The higher C : N ratio for parasite tissue indicates a higher proportion of nonproteinaceous compounds (e.g., fats and/or carbohydrates) as compared to host tissue. There is less snail tissue in parasited S. ovalis. The C : N ratios for parasitized and nonparasitized snail tissue suggest identical percentage compositions of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. PMID:480064

  4. Structure and Function of the Snail Statocyst System after a 16-Day Flight on Foton-M-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balaban, P. M.; Malyshev, A. Y.; Zakharov, I. S.; Aseev, N. A.; Bravarenko, N. I.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Samarova, A. I.; Vorontzov, D. D.; Popova, Y.; Boyle, R.

    2006-01-01

    In terrestrial gastropod snail Helix lucorum L. we studied the changes after a 16-day exposure to microgravity in: behavior, neural responses to adequate motion stimulation, intersensory interactions between the photosensory pathways and the statocyst receptors, and in expression of the HPeP gene in the statocyst receptors. In behavioral experiments it was found that the latency of body position change to sudden orientation change (flip from horizontal to downwards position) was significantly reduced in the postflight snails. Extracellularly recorded neural responses of the statocyst nerve to adequate motion stimulation in the postflight snails were independent of the motion direction while in the control animals an orientation selectivity was observed. Significant differences in the HPeP gene mRNA expression pattern in the statocyst receptor neurons were observed in postflight (30h) and control snails. Obtained results confirm the possibility to elucidate the influence of microgravity exposure on mechanisms and function of gravireceptors using this simple model animal.

  5. THE BIOCIDE TRIBUTYLTIN REDUCES THE RETENTION OF TESTOSTERONE AS FATTY ACID ESTERS IN THE MUD SNAIL (ILYANASSA OBSOLETA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    ABSTRACT

    Imposex, the development of male sex characteristics by female gonochoristic snails, has been causally associated with exposure to the ubiquitous environmental contaminant tributyltin (TBT). Documentation of imposex distribution indicates that this masculinizat...

  6. Trematodes in snails near raccoon latrines suggest a final host role for this mammal in California Salt Marshes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lafferty, K.D.; Dunham, E.J.

    2005-01-01

    Of the 18 trematode species that use the horn snail, Cerithidea californica, as a first intermediate host, 6 have the potential to use raccoons as a final host. The presence of raccoon latrines in Carpinteria Salt Marsh, California, allowed us to investigate associations between raccoons and trematodes in snails. Two trematode species, Probolocoryphe uca and Stictodora hancocki, occurred at higher prevalences in snails near raccoon latrines than in snails away from latrines, suggesting that raccoons may serve as final hosts for these species. Fecal remains indicated that raccoons fed on shore crabs, the second intermediate host for P. uca, and fish, the second intermediate host for S. hancocki. The increase in raccoon populations in the suburban areas surrounding west coast salt marshes could increase their importance as final hosts for trematodes in this system. ?? American Society of Parasitologists 2005.

  7. Trematode maturation patterns in a migratory snail host: What happens during upshore residency in a Mediterranean lagoon?

    PubMed

    Born-Torrijos, Ana; Raga, Juan Antonio; Holzer, Astrid Sibylle

    2016-02-01

    Maturation of trematode larval stages is expected to be temporally and spatially adapted to maximise the encounter with the adequate downstream host, i.e. the host, which will be infected by this parasite stage. Since studies on intramolluscan parasite maturation are scarce but important in the context of parasite transmission, the larval development inside sporocysts was monitored during upshore residency of the snail host Gibbula adansonii (Trochidae), i.e., from March to May (2011 and 2013), when these snails temporarily reside in the intertidal habitat of a Western Mediterranean lagoon (40° 37' 35″ N, 0° 44' 31″ E, Spain). Data on the relative quantity of different maturation stages of Cainocreadium labracis and Macvicaria obovata (Opecoelidae) parasitising the G. adansonii as well as on snail and sporocyst size were explored using linear models and linear mixed models. The effect of the trematodes on snail growth was shown to be species-specific, with snail and sporocyst size acting as proxies of the reproductive capacity of M. obovata but not that of C. labracis. The number of cercarial embryos and germinal balls did not show monthly variation in either parasite species, but a higher number of mature stages and the highest maturity index was found in April. Hence, during the snail's limited spawning-related presence in the upshore waters of the lagoon, continuous production and output of infectious cercariae was observed, which indicates a link between larval maturation and snail migration. The synchronization of snails, mature parasite transmission stages and downstream hosts in time and space guarantees a successful completion of the life cycle. PMID:26446090

  8. Recruitment of Glycosyl Hydrolase Proteins in a Cone Snail Venomous Arsenal: Further Insights into Biomolecular Features of Conus Venoms

    PubMed Central

    Violette, Aude; Leonardi, Adrijana; Piquemal, David; Terrat, Yves; Biass, Daniel; Dutertre, Sébastien; Noguier, Florian; Ducancel, Frédéric; Stöcklin, Reto; Križaj, Igor; Favreau, Philippe

    2012-01-01

    Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, we identified glycosyl hydrolase proteins, of the hyaluronidase type (Hyal), from the dissected and injectable venoms (“injectable venom” stands for the venom variety obtained by milking of the snails. This is in contrast to the “dissected venom”, which was obtained from dissected snails by extraction of the venom glands) of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus consors (Pionoconus clade). The major Hyal isoform, Conohyal-Cn1, is expressed as a mixture of numerous glycosylated proteins in the 50 kDa molecular mass range, as observed in 2D gel and mass spectrometry analyses. Further proteomic analysis and venom duct mRNA sequencing allowed full sequence determination. Additionally, unambiguous segment location of at least three glycosylation sites could be determined, with glycans corresponding to multiple hexose (Hex) and N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc) moieties. With respect to other known Hyals, Conohyal-Cn1 clearly belongs to the hydrolase-type of Hyals, with strictly conserved consensus catalytic donor and positioning residues. Potent biological activity of the native Conohyals could be confirmed in degrading hyaluronic acid. A similar Hyal sequence was also found in the venom duct transcriptome of C. adamsonii (Textilia clade), implying a possible widespread recruitment of this enzyme family in fish-hunting cone snail venoms. These results provide the first detailed Hyal sequence characterized from a cone snail venom, and to a larger extent in the Mollusca phylum, thus extending our knowledge on this protein family and its evolutionary selection in marine snail venoms. PMID:22412800

  9. Recruitment of glycosyl hydrolase proteins in a cone snail venomous arsenal: further insights into biomolecular features of Conus venoms.

    PubMed

    Violette, Aude; Leonardi, Adrijana; Piquemal, David; Terrat, Yves; Biass, Daniel; Dutertre, Sébastien; Noguier, Florian; Ducancel, Frédéric; Stöcklin, Reto; Križaj, Igor; Favreau, Philippe

    2012-02-01

    Cone snail venoms are considered an untapped reservoir of extremely diverse peptides, named conopeptides, displaying a wide array of pharmacological activities. We report here for the first time, the presence of high molecular weight compounds that participate in the envenomation cocktail used by these marine snails. Using a combination of proteomic and transcriptomic approaches, we identified glycosyl hydrolase proteins, of the hyaluronidase type (Hyal), from the dissected and injectable venoms ("injectable venom" stands for the venom variety obtained by milking of the snails. This is in contrast to the "dissected venom", which was obtained from dissected snails by extraction of the venom glands) of a fish-hunting cone snail, Conus consors (Pionoconus clade). The major Hyal isoform, Conohyal-Cn1, is expressed as a mixture of numerous glycosylated proteins in the 50 kDa molecular mass range, as observed in 2D gel and mass spectrometry analyses. Further proteomic analysis and venom duct mRNA sequencing allowed full sequence determination. Additionally, unambiguous segment location of at least three glycosylation sites could be determined, with glycans corresponding to multiple hexose (Hex) and N-acetylhexosamine (HexNAc) moieties. With respect to other known Hyals, Conohyal-Cn1 clearly belongs to the hydrolase-type of Hyals, with strictly conserved consensus catalytic donor and positioning residues. Potent biological activity of the native Conohyals could be confirmed in degrading hyaluronic acid. A similar Hyal sequence was also found in the venom duct transcriptome of C. adamsonii (Textilia clade), implying a possible widespread recruitment of this enzyme family in fish-hunting cone snail venoms. These results provide the first detailed Hyal sequence characterized from a cone snail venom, and to a larger extent in the Mollusca phylum, thus extending our knowledge on this protein family and its evolutionary selection in marine snail venoms. PMID:22412800

  10. A novel monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic assay for epidemiological surveillance of the vector snails of Fasciola hepatica (Trematoda: Digenea).

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Hernández, Hilda M; Marcet, Ricardo; Vázquez, Antonio A; Figueredo, Mabel; Sánchez, Jorge; Otero, Oscar; Sarracent, Jorge

    2015-02-01

    Fasciolosis is a globally distributed snail-borne disease which requires economic consideration due to its enormous impact on veterinary medicine. During recent decades, this parasitosis has also shown increasing prevalence in human populations worldwide. The dissemination and successful transmission of fasciolosis ultimately depends on the existence of susceptible snails that act as intermediate hosts. Therefore, to accomplish effective control of this disease, surveillance and detection of the infected intermediate host would be essential. The screening of trematodes within snails using classical parasitological examination of the larvae can be unreliable (sensitivity and specificity vary depending on the time of infection and the experience of the observer) and relatively costly when using molecular biological methods during large-scale monitoring. Here we propose a novel monoclonal antibody-based immunoenzymatic assay to detect ongoing Fasciola hepatica infection in lymnaeid snails. Anti-F. hepatica rediae mouse monoclonal antibodies were generated and used to develop a double monoclonal antibody-based ELISA for parasite detection. Fasciola hepatica-infected and uninfected laboratory-reared Galba cubensis and Pseudosuccinea columella were used for assessment of the developed ELISA. Experimentally infected snails were dissected and examined for parasite larvae as the "gold standard" method. Sensitivity results were 100% for both snail species, while specificity was 98% for G. cubensis and 100% for P. columella. No cross-reactivity was detected in lymnaeids infected with Trichobilharzia sp. or Cotylophoron sp. The ELISA enabled detection of the infection from day 8 p.i. in G. cubensis while in P. columella it was noted as early as day 4. To our knowledge no previous immunoassays have been reported to detect helminth-infected snails and the developed sandwich ELISA method is therefore suggested for infection status validation in natural populations of lymnaeid snails. PMID:25486493

  11. Snails and their trails: the multiple functions of trail-following in gastropods.

    PubMed

    Ng, Terence P T; Saltin, Sara H; Davies, Mark S; Johannesson, Kerstin; Stafford, Richard; Williams, Gray A

    2013-08-01

    Snails are highly unusual among multicellular animals in that they move on a layer of costly mucus, leaving behind a trail that can be followed and utilized for various purposes by themselves or by other animals. Here we review more than 40 years of experimental and theoretical research to try to understand the ecological and evolutionary rationales for trail-following in gastropods. Data from over 30 genera are currently available, representing a broad taxonomic range living in both aquatic and terrestrial environments. The emerging picture is that the production of mucus trails, which initially was an adaptation to facilitate locomotion and/or habitat extension, has evolved to facilitate a multitude of additional functions. Trail-following supports homing behaviours, and provides simple mechanisms for self-organisation in groups of snails, promoting aggregation and thus relieving desiccation and predation pressures. In gastropods that copulate, trail-following is an important component in mate-searching, either as an alternative, or in addition to the release of water- or air-borne pheromones. In some species, this includes a capacity of males not only to identify trails of conspecifics but also to discriminate between trails laid by females and males. Notably, trail discrimination seems important as a pre-zygotic barrier to mating in some snail species. As production of a mucus trail is the most costly component of snail locomotion, it is also tempting to speculate that evolution has given rise to various ways to compensate for energy losses. Some snails, for example, increase energy intake by eating particles attached to the mucus of trails that they follow, whereas others save energy through reducing the production of their own mucus by moving over previously laid mucus trails. Trail-following to locate a prey item or a mate is also a way to save energy. While the rationale for trail-following in many cases appears clear, the basic mechanisms of trail discrimination, including the mechanisms by which many snails determine the polarity of the trail, are yet to be experimentally determined. Given the multiple functions of trail-following we propose that future studies should adopt an integrated approach, taking into account the possibility of the simultaneous occurrence of many selectively advantageous roles of trail-following behaviour in gastropods. We also believe that future opportunities to link phenotypic and genotypic traits will make possible a new generation of research projects in which gastropod trail-following, its multitude of functions and evolutionary trade-offs can be further elucidated. PMID:23374161

  12. Mechanical signals regulate and activate SNAIL1 protein to control the fibrogenic response of cancer-associated fibroblasts.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Kun; Grither, Whitney R; Van Hove, Samantha; Biswas, Hirak; Ponik, Suzanne M; Eliceiri, Kevin W; Keely, Patricia J; Longmore, Gregory D

    2016-05-15

    Increased deposition of collagen in extracellular matrix (ECM) leads to increased tissue stiffness and occurs in breast tumors. When present, this increases tumor invasion and metastasis. Precisely how this deposition is regulated and maintained in tumors is unclear. Much has been learnt about mechanical signal transduction in cells, but transcriptional responses and the pathophysiological consequences are just becoming appreciated. Here, we show that the SNAIL1 (also known as SNAI1) protein level increases and accumulates in nuclei of breast tumor cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) following exposure to stiff ECM in culture and in vivo SNAIL1 is required for the fibrogenic response of CAFs when exposed to a stiff matrix. ECM stiffness induces ROCK activity, which stabilizes SNAIL1 protein indirectly by increasing intracellular tension, integrin clustering and integrin signaling to ERK2 (also known as MAPK1). Increased ERK2 activity leads to nuclear accumulation of SNAIL1, and, thus, avoidance of cytosolic proteasome degradation. SNAIL1 also influences the level and activity of YAP1 in CAFs exposed to a stiff matrix. This work describes a mechanism whereby increased tumor fibrosis can perpetuate activation of CAFs to sustain tumor fibrosis and promote tumor metastasis through regulation of SNAIL1 protein level and activity. PMID:27076520

  13. The Snail Transcription Factor Regulates the Numbers of Neural Precursor Cells and Newborn Neurons throughout Mammalian Life

    PubMed Central

    Zander, Mark A.; Cancino, Gonzalo I.; Gridley, Thomas; Kaplan, David R.; Miller, Freda D.

    2014-01-01

    The Snail transcription factor regulates diverse aspects of stem cell biology in organisms ranging from Drosophila to mammals. Here we have asked whether it regulates the biology of neural precursor cells (NPCs) in the forebrain of postnatal and adult mice, taking advantage of a mouse containing a floxed Snail allele (Snailfl/fl mice). We show that when Snail is inducibly ablated in the embryonic cortex, this has long-term consequences for cortical organization. In particular, when Snailfl/fl mice are crossed to Nestin-cre mice that express Cre recombinase in embryonic neural precursors, this causes inducible ablation of Snail expression throughout the postnatal cortex. This loss of Snail causes a decrease in proliferation of neonatal cortical neural precursors and mislocalization and misspecification of cortical neurons. Moreover, these precursor phenotypes persist into adulthood. Adult neural precursor cell proliferation is decreased in the forebrain subventricular zone and in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, and this is coincident with a decrease in the number of adult-born olfactory and hippocampal neurons. Thus, Snail is a key regulator of the numbers of neural precursors and newborn neurons throughout life. PMID:25136812

  14. Feeding of Bait to Snail Lymnaea acuminata and Their Effect on Certain Enzyme in the Nervous Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Pradeep; Singh, V. K.; Singh, D. K.

    2012-01-01

    Fascioliasis, a snail-borne parasitic zoonosis, has been recognized for a long time because of its major veterinary and human impact. Different Bait formulations were fed to the snail Lymnaea acuminata in clear glass aquaria having diameter of 30 cm. Snail attractant containing bait formulations was prepared from different binary combination (1 : 1 ratio) of carbohydrates (glucose, starch 10 mM) and amino acid (methionine, histidine 10 mM) in 100 ml of 2% agar solution + sublethal (20% and 60% of 24 h and 96 h LC50) doses of different molluscicides (eugenol, ferulic acid, umbelliferone, and limonene). Snails fed on bait containing sub-lethal concentration of different molluscicides and the snail attractant, causing a significant inhibition in alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity in the nervous tissue of the vector snail L. acuminata. Maximum inhibition in ALP (20% of control) and AChE (49.49% of control) activity was observed in the nervous tissue of the L. acuminata exposed to 60% of 96 h LC50 of eugenol in the bait pellets containing starch + histidine, starch + methionine, respectively. PMID:25969756

  15. Detection of Early and Single Infections of Schistosoma japonicum in the Intermediate Host Snail, Oncomelania hupensis, by PCR and Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) Assay

    PubMed Central

    Kumagai, Takashi; Furushima-Shimogawara, Rieko; Ohmae, Hiroshi; Wang, Tian-Ping; Lu, Shaohong; Chen, Rui; Wen, Liyong; Ohta, Nobuo

    2010-01-01

    Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with the specific primer set amplifying 28S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) of Schistosoma japonicum was able to detect genomic DNA of S. japonicum, but not S. mansoni, at 100 fg. This procedure enabled us to detect the DNA from a single miracidium and a snail infected with one miracidium at just 1 day after infection. We compared these results with those from loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) targeting 28S rDNA and found similar results. The LAMP could amplify the specific DNA from a group of 100 normal snails mixed with one infected snail A PCR screening of infected snails from endemic regions in Anhui Province revealed schistosomal DNA even in snails found negative by microscopy. PCR and LAMP show promise for monitoring the early infection rate in snails, and they may be useful for predicting the risk of infection in the endemic places. PMID:20810818

  16. Tissue accumulation of aluminium is not a predictor of toxicity in the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis.

    PubMed

    Walton, Rachel C; McCrohan, Catherine R; Livens, Francis R; White, Keith N

    2009-07-01

    The amount of toxic metal accumulated by an organism is often taken as an indicator of potential toxicity. We investigated this relationship in the freshwater snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, exposed to 500 microg l(-1) Al over 30 days, either alone or in the presence of phosphate (500 microg l(-1) P) or a fulvic acid surrogate (FAS; 10 mg l(-1) C). Behavioural activity was assessed and tissue accumulation of Al quantified. Lability of Al within the water column was a good predictor of toxicity. FAS increased both Al lability and behavioural dysfunction, whereas phosphate reduced Al lability, and completely abolished Al-induced behavioural toxicity. Tissue accumulation of Al was not linked to toxicity. Higher levels of Al were accumulated in snails exposed to Al + P, compared to those exposed to Al alone, whereas FAS reduced Al accumulation. These findings demonstrate that the degree of tissue accumulation of a metal can be independent of toxicity. PMID:19285770

  17. A twisting story: how a single gene twists a snail? Mechanogenetics.

    PubMed

    Kuroda, Reiko

    2015-11-01

    Left-right (l-r) symmetry breaking and the establishment of asymmetric animal body plan during embryonic development are fundamental questions in nature. The molecular basis of l-r symmetry breaking of snails is a fascinating topic as it is determined by a maternal single handedness-determining locus at a very early developmental stage. This perspective describes the current state of the art of the chiromorphogenesis, mainly based on our own work, i.e. the first step of l-r symmetry breaking, as proven by our "Mechanogenetics", before the start of zygotic gene expression, transfer of chirality information to the cell-fate determining stage, and the expression of nodal at the blastula stage. The Nodal signalling pathway is a common mechanism in vertebrates' chiromorphogenesis in later development. Studies on snails, especially Lymnaea (L.) stagnalis, shall give important insights into the molecular basis of chiromorphogenesis not only in Lophotrochozoa but in vertebrates as well. PMID:26537404

  18. Sensitivity of freshwater pulmonate snails, Lymnaea luteolo L. , to heavy metals

    SciTech Connect

    Khangarot, B.S.; Ray, P.K.

    1988-08-01

    The current alarm of the impacts of metal pollution on living organisms has received much attention with the tragedy of Minimata and later Niigata, in Japan. Although there has been a great deal of the concern about the acute and chronic toxicities of heavy metals to freshwater fishes and crustaceans but little information is available on the effects of heavy metals to freshwater snails, which are widely distributed in the aquatic environment. The present study was undertaken to determine the acute toxicities of selected heavy metals to a freshwater pond snail Lymnaea luteolo Lamarck; a locally abundant species and play an important role in the aquatic food chain(s). Static bioassays were conducted with the salts of cadmium, copper, chromium, mercury, nickel, silver and zinc in hard water.

  19. Zinc sensitivity of a freshwater snail, Lymnaea luteola L. , in relation to seasonal variations in temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Khangarot, B.S.; Ray, P.K.

    1987-07-01

    The aquatic environment has numerous physical and chemical parameters that may influence the physiology and chemical toxicity to freshwater organisms. Temperature is one of the these factors having a marked influence on heavy metal toxicity to fishes and macroinvertebrates. There is a limited and scattered information available on temperature induced changes in acute toxicity of zinc compounds to freshwater pond snails. This information is essential because there are large temperature differences with season and latitudes and the aquatic organisms are subjected to seasonal temperature changes of 20-25/sup 0/C or even more. It is proposed to study the effect of seasonal changes in temperature on zinc toxicity to a freshwater pond snail, Lymnaea luteola (Lamarck), which form an important link in aquatic food chain(s) and are widely distributed in lakes, ponds and rivers of India.

  20. The complete mitochondrial genome of Chinese land snail Mastigeulota kiangsinensis (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Bradybaenidae).

    PubMed

    Deng, Pu-Juan; Wang, Wen-Min; Huang, Xiao-Chen; Wu, Xiao-Ping; Xie, Guang-Long; Ouyang, Shan

    2016-03-01

    Mastigeulota kiangsinensis is an endemic and widespread land snail in China. The complete mitochondrial genome of M. kiangsinensis was first determined using long PCR reactions and primer walking method (accession number KM083123). The genome has a length of 14,029 bp, containing 37 typical mitochondrial genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 rRNA genes). The base composition of the whole heavy strand is A 29.48%, T 37.92%, C 14.38% and G 18.22%. Gene order of M. kiangsinensis is identical to Euhadra herklotsi, but gene rearrangements are found compared with other mitochondrial genomes described in Stylommatophora. tRNA(Thr) is located in COIII, which has not been found in other helicoids so far. This new complete mitochondrial genome can be the basic data for further studies on mitogenome comparison, molecular taxonomy and phylogenetic analysis in land snails and Molluscs at large. PMID:25185698

  1. Predator-Prey Interactions between Shell-Boring Beetle Larvae and Rock-Dwelling Land Snails

    PubMed Central

    Castillo Cajas, Ruth F.; van Moorsel, Coline H. M.; Kundrata, Robin; Welter-Schultes, Francisco W.; Giokas, Sinos; Schilthuizen, Menno

    2014-01-01

    Drilus beetle larvae (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are specialized predators of land snails. Here, we describe various aspects of the predator-prey interactions between multiple Drilus species attacking multiple Albinaria (Gastropoda: Clausiliidae) species in Greece. We observe that Drilus species may be facultative or obligate Albinaria-specialists. We map geographically varying predation rates in Crete, where on average 24% of empty shells carry fatal Drilus bore holes. We also provide first-hand observations and video-footage of prey entry and exit strategies of the Drilus larvae, and evaluate the potential mutual evolutionary impacts. We find limited evidence for an effect of shell features and snail behavioral traits on inter- and intra-specifically differing predation rates. We also find that Drilus predators adjust their predation behavior based on specific shell traits of the prey. In conclusion, we suggest that, with these baseline data, this interesting predator-prey system will be available for further, detailed more evolutionary ecology studies. PMID:24964101

  2. The complete mitochondrial genome of Chinese land snail Aegista aubryana (Gastropoda: Pulmonata: Bradybaenidae).

    PubMed

    Yang, Xue; Xie, Guang-Long; Wu, Xiao-Ping; Ouyang, Shan

    2016-09-01

    Aegista aubryana is an endemic land snail in China. The complete mitochondrial genome of A. aubryana was first determined using long PCR reactions and primer walking method (accession number KT192071). The genome has a length of 14 238 bp, containing 37 typical mitochondrial genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes and 2 rRNA genes). The base composition of the whole heavy strand is A 31.32%, T 37.86%, C 14.46% and G 16.36%. The results of phylogenetic analyses showed that the A. aubryana is most closely related to Mastigeulota kiangsinensis. This new complete mitochondrial genome can be the basic data for further studies on mitogenome comparison, molecular taxonomy and phylogenetic analyses in bradybaenid snails and Molluscs at large. PMID:26260173

  3. The freshwater snails (Gastropoda) of Iran, with descriptions of two new genera and eight new species

    PubMed Central

    Glöer, Peter; Pešić, Vladimir

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Using published records and original data from recent field work and revision of Iranian material of certain species deposited in the collections of the Natural History Museum Basel, the Zoological Museum Berlin, and Natural History Museum Vienna, a checklist of the freshwater gastropod fauna of Iran was compiled. This checklist contains 73 species from 34 genera and 14 families of freshwater snails; 27 of these species (37%) are endemic to Iran. Two new genera, Kaskakia and Sarkhia, and eight species, i.e., Bithynia forcarti, Bithynia starmuehlneri, Bithynia mazandaranensis, Pseudamnicola georgievi, Kaskakia khorrasanensis, Sarkhia sarabensis, Valvata nowsharensis and Acroloxus pseudolacustris are described as new to science; Ecrobia grimmi (Clessin & Dybowski, 1888), Heleobia dalmatica (Radoman, 1974) and Hippeutis complanatus (Linnaeus, 1758) are reported for the first time from Iran. Additional field work is highly desirable for a more appropriate evaluation of the extant freshwater snail biodiversity in Iran. PMID:22977349

  4. ALX1 promotes migration and invasion of lung cancer cells through increasing snail expression

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Wei; Liu, Yong; Zhang, Zhuo; Li, Guoquan; Xu, Xiaoying; Zou, Kun; Xu, Yinghui; Zou, Lijuan

    2015-01-01

    Lung cancer is one of the main causes in cancer-related death. Here we reported a novel functional role of Aristaless-like homeobox1 (ALX1) in lung carcinogenesis. Analysis of ALX1 in lung cancer specimens confirms upregulation of ALX1 in lung cancer, especially these with distant metastasis. Moreover, higher level of ALX1 expression is associated with poorer prognosis of lung cancer patients. Ectopic expression of ALX1 significantly promotes lung cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion, while ALX1 silencing by siRNA significantly inhibits these abilities of lung cancer cells. The functional role of ALX1 is dependent on increasing Snail expression and knockdown of Snail could restrain the role of ALX1. Collectively, we identify critical roles of ALX1 in lung cancer development and progression. These findings may serve as a framework for future investigations designed to more comprehensive determination of ALX1 as a potential therapeutic target. PMID:26722397

  5. Marine snail venoms: use and trends in receptor and channel neuropharmacology.

    PubMed

    Favreau, Philippe; Stöcklin, Reto

    2009-10-01

    Venoms are rich mixtures of mainly peptides and proteins evolved by nature to catch and digest preys or for protection against predators. They represent extensive sources of potent and selective bioactive compounds that can lead to original active ingredients, for use as drugs, as pharmacological tools in research and for the biotechnology industry. Among the most fascinating venomous animals, marine snails offer a unique set of pharmacologically active components, targeting a wide diversity of receptors and ion channels. Recent advances still continue to demonstrate their huge neuropharmacological potential. In the quest for interesting pharmacological profiles, researchers face a vast number of venom components to investigate within time and technological constraints. A brief perspective on marine snail venom's complexity and features is given followed by the different discovery strategies and pharmacological approaches, exemplified with some recent developments. These advances will hopefully help further uncovering new pharmacologically important venom molecules. PMID:19540804

  6. Ocean acidification increases the vulnerability of native oysters to predation by invasive snails.

    PubMed

    Sanford, Eric; Gaylord, Brian; Hettinger, Annaliese; Lenz, Elizabeth A; Meyer, Kirstin; Hill, Tessa M

    2014-03-01

    There is growing concern that global environmental change might exacerbate the ecological impacts of invasive species by increasing their per capita effects on native species. However, the mechanisms underlying such shifts in interaction strength are poorly understood. Here, we test whether ocean acidification, driven by elevated seawater pCO₂, increases the susceptibility of native Olympia oysters to predation by invasive snails. Oysters raised under elevated pCO₂ experienced a 20% increase in drilling predation. When presented alongside control oysters in a choice experiment, 48% more high-CO₂ oysters were consumed. The invasive snails were tolerant of elevated CO₂ with no change in feeding behaviour. Oysters raised under acidified conditions did not have thinner shells, but were 29-40% smaller than control oysters, and these smaller individuals were consumed at disproportionately greater rates. Reduction in prey size is a common response to environmental stress that may drive increasing per capita effects of stress-tolerant invasive predators. PMID:24430847

  7. Postembryonic neurogenesis in the procerebrum of the terrestrial snail, Helix lucorum L

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakharov, I. S.; Hayes, N. L.; Ierusalimsky, V. N.; Nowakowski, R. S.; Balaban, P. M.

    1998-01-01

    Neuronogenesis during posthatching development of the procerebrum of the terrestrial snail Helix lucorum was analyzed using bromodeoxyuridine immunohistochemistry to label proliferating cells. Comparison of the distribution of labeled cells in a series of animals which differed in age at the time of incubation with bromodeoxyuridine, in survival time after incubation, and in age at sacrifice reveals a clear pattern and developmental sequence in neuron origin. First, the proliferating cells are located only at the apical portion of the procerebrum. Second, cells which are produced at any particular age remain, for the most part, confined to a single layer in the procerebrum. Third, as development proceeds, each layer of previously produced neurons is displaced toward the basal part of the procerebrum by the production of additional neurons. Our results suggest that the vast majority of the neurons (probably about 70-80%) of the snail procerebrum are produced during the first 1-2 months of posthatching development.

  8. Factors controlling carbon isotopic composition of land snail shells estimated from lab culturing experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Naizhong; Yamada, Keita; Yoshida, Naohiro

    2014-05-01

    Carbon isotopic composition (δ13C) of land snail shell carbonate is widely applied in reconstructing the C3/C4 vegetation distribution of paleo-environment, which is considered to reflect variations of some environmental parameters [1][2][3]. Land snail shell carbon has three potential sources: diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested carbonate (limestone) [4]. However, their relative contributions to shell carbonate have not been understood well yet [4][5][6][7][8]. More researches are necessary before we could apply this tool in paleo-environment reconstruction, especially inter-lab culturing experiment. A kind of land snail species, Acusta despecta sieboldiana, was collected at Yokohama, Japan and cultured under suitable environment to lay eggs. The second generations were growing up from eggs to adults around 6-12 months at the temperature of 20°, 25° and 30°, respectively. All of the snails at 25° and 30° and most of those at 20° were fed by cabbage (C3 plant) during their life span while others were fed by corn (C4 plant). To investigate the effect of ingested carbonate, some of them were fed by Ca3(PO4)2 powder while others were fed by CaCO3 powder. δ13C of shells were analyzed by an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (Thermo Finnigan MAT 253); δ13C of food and snail tissue were measured by a Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy (Picarro G1121-i). At the same time, δ13C of eggshell and new born snails were analyzed by a Continuous Flow Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (GasBench II). We confirmed that diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone could be important sources controlling shell δ13C values. And the temperature could affect shell carbonate δ13C values, too. A simple but credible frame was raised to discuss the mechanism of how each possible source and environmental parameter could affect shell carbonate δ13C values based on previous works [4][6][8] and this study. According to this frame and some reasonable assumptions, we have estimated the contribution of different carbon sources for each snail individual: to cabbage (C3 plant) fed groups, the contributions of diet, atmospheric CO2 and ingested limestone vary in a range of 66~80%, 16~24% and 0~13%, respectively. And to corn (C4 plant) fed groups, because of the possible food stress (lower consumption ability of C4 plant), they vary in 56~64%, 18~20% and 16~26%, respectively. We will discuss how these results could be consistent to the observations, which suggests our calculations are suitable and believable. In addition, we will discuss the carbon isotope fractionation during egg laying and hatching of land snails, too. [1] Goodfriend, 1992, Quaternary Sciences Reviews. 11, 665-685 [2] Yanes et al. 2009. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73, 4077-4099 [3] Yanes et al., 2013. Palaeogeography, Plaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 378, 91-102 [4] Goodfriend and Hood, 1983. Radiocarbon, 25, 810-830 [5] Goodfriend and Stipp, 1983. Geology, 11, 575-577 [6] Stott, 2002. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 195, 249-259 [7] Metref et al., 2003. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 211, 381-393 [8] Romaniello et al., 2008. Quaternary Geochronology, 3, 68-75

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome of the giant ramshorn snail Marisa cornuarietis (Gastropoda: Ampullariidae).

    PubMed

    Wang, Mingling; Qiu, Jian-Wen

    2016-05-01

    We report the complete mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the giant ramshorn snail Marisa cornuarietis, a biocontrol agent of freshwater weeds and snail vectors of schistosomes. The mitogenome is 15,923 bp in length, encoding 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs and 2 ribosomal RNAs. The mitogenome is A+T biased (70.0%), with 28.9% A, 41.1% T, 16.7% G, and 13.3% C. A comparison with Pomacea canaliculata, the other member in the same family (Ampullariidae) with a sequenced mitogenome, shows that the two species have an identical gene order, but their intergenic regions vary substantially in sequence length. The mitogenome data can be used to understand the population genetics of M. cornuarietis, and resolve the phylogenetic relationship of various genera in Ampullariidae. PMID:25259454

  10. The ecology of vector snail habitats and mosquito breeding-places

    PubMed Central

    Muirhead-Thomson, R. C.

    1958-01-01

    The ecology of freshwater snails—in particular those which act as intermediate hosts of bilharziasis—is reviewed in the light of the much more extensive knowledge available on the breeding-places of anopheline mosquitos. Experimental ecological methods are recommended for the field and laboratory investigation of a number of common problems involved in the study of snail habitats and mosquito breeding-places. Among the environmental factors discussed are temperature, oxygen concentration, water movement, pollution and salinity. Sampling methods for estimating populations of both snails and mosquito larvae are also described. An attempt is made to show how malacologists and entomologists alike would benefit from improved facilities for keeping abreast of general developments in the wider field of freshwater ecology. PMID:13596888

  11. [Studies on the strain differences of Schistosoma japonicum in the mainland of China. I. Compatibility between schistosomes and their snail hosts].

    PubMed

    He, Y X; Guo, Y H; Ni, C H; Xia, F; Liu, H X; Yu, Q F; Hu, Y Q

    1990-01-01

    Oncomelania hupensis hupensis from six localities were used in this study, i.e. Guichi of Anhui in the east, Jianli of Hubei in the middle, Guiping of Guangxi in the south, Tianquan of Sichuan and Eryuan of Yunnan in the southwest and Fuqing of Fujian in the southeast. Snails from each locality were individually cross-exposed to 20 miracidia of the different isolates of S. japonicum from the above-named places, with the exception of Fujian Province where no snail could be found naturally infected with S. japonicum. The results showed that snails from one locality were readily infected with the local isolate of S. japonicum. Besides, cross infection also took place readily between the snails and the schistosomes from Hubei and Anhui with snail infection rates of 43.8% and 40.9% respectively. Snails from Sichuan and Yunnan were refractory to infection with schistosome isolates from Hubei and Anhui, but the isolate from Sichuan was able to develop in Oncomelania snails from Hubei and Anhui, resulting in infection rates of 10.2% and 4.5% while that from Yunnan, in snails from Hubei and Anhui in infection rates of 33.6% and 10.8% respectively. Though the Guangxi isolate of S. japonicum developed readily in both Anhui (30.7%) and Guangxi snails (9.4%), the average precercarial period was 100.9 days in the former which was significantly longer than 76.9 days in the latter. None of the other snails from Sichuan, Yunnan and Fujian became infected. On the other hand, snails from Guangxi infected with Anhui parasites also had a longer precercarial period of 92.7 days compared with that of 81.6 days in Anhui snail.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2208632

  12. Land snails as a diet diversification proxy during the early upper palaeolithic in Europe.

    PubMed

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Badal, Ernestina; Ferrer García, Carlos; Martínez-Ortí, Alberto; Sanchis Serra, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of terrestrial gastropods in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological record, it is still unknown when and how this type of invertebrate resource was incorporated into human diets. In this paper, we report the oldest evidence of land snail exploitation as a food resource in Europe dated to 31.3-26.9 ka yr cal BP from the recently discovered site of Cova de la Barriada (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Mono-specific accumulations of large Iberus alonensis land snails (Ferussac 1821) were found in three different archaeological levels in association with combustion structures, along with lithic and faunal assemblages. Using a new analytical protocol based on taphonomic, microX-Ray Diffractometer (DXR) and biometric analyses, we investigated the patterns of selection, consumption and accumulation of land snails at the site. The results display a strong mono-specific gathering of adult individuals, most of them older than 55 weeks, which were roasted in ambers of pine and juniper under 375°C. This case study uncovers new patterns of invertebrate exploitation during the Gravettian in southwestern Europe without known precedents in the Middle Palaeolithic nor the Aurignacian. In the Mediterranean context, such an early occurrence contrasts with the neighbouring areas of Morocco, France, Italy and the Balkans, where the systematic nutritional use of land snails appears approximately 10,000 years later during the Iberomaurisian and the Late Epigravettian. The appearance of this new subsistence activity in the eastern and southern regions of Spain was coeval to other demographically driven transformations in the archaeological record, suggesting different chronological patterns of resource intensification and diet broadening along the Upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean basin. PMID:25141047

  13. EMT transcription factors snail and slug directly contribute to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a molecular process through which an epithelial cell undergoes transdifferentiation into a mesenchymal phenotype. The role of EMT in embryogenesis is well-characterized and increasing evidence suggests that elements of the transition may be important in other processes, including metastasis and drug resistance in various different cancers. Methods Agilent 4 × 44 K whole human genome arrays and selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry were used to investigate mRNA and protein expression in A2780 cisplatin sensitive and resistant cell lines. Invasion and migration were assessed using Boyden chamber assays. Gene knockdown of snail and slug was done using targeted siRNA. Clinical relevance of the EMT pathway was assessed in a cohort of primary ovarian tumours using data from Affymetrix GeneChip Human Genome U133 plus 2.0 arrays. Results Morphological and phenotypic hallmarks of EMT were identified in the chemoresistant cells. Subsequent gene expression profiling revealed upregulation of EMT-related transcription factors including snail, slug, twist2 and zeb2. Proteomic analysis demonstrated up regulation of Snail and Slug as well as the mesenchymal marker Vimentin, and down regulation of E-cadherin, an epithelial marker. By reducing expression of snail and slug, the mesenchymal phenotype was largely reversed and cells were resensitized to cisplatin. Finally, gene expression data from primary tumours mirrored the finding that an EMT-like pathway is activated in resistant tumours relative to sensitive tumours, suggesting that the involvement of this transition may not be limited to in vitro drug effects. Conclusions This work strongly suggests that genes associated with EMT may play a significant role in cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer, therefore potentially leading to the development of predictive biomarkers of drug response or novel therapeutic strategies for overcoming drug resistance. PMID:22429801

  14. Land Snails as a Diet Diversification Proxy during the Early Upper Palaeolithic in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Badal, Ernestina; Ferrer García, Carlos; Martínez-Ortí, Alberto; Sanchis Serra, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of terrestrial gastropods in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological record, it is still unknown when and how this type of invertebrate resource was incorporated into human diets. In this paper, we report the oldest evidence of land snail exploitation as a food resource in Europe dated to 31.3-26.9 ka yr cal BP from the recently discovered site of Cova de la Barriada (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Mono-specific accumulations of large Iberus alonensis land snails (Ferussac 1821) were found in three different archaeological levels in association with combustion structures, along with lithic and faunal assemblages. Using a new analytical protocol based on taphonomic, microX-Ray Diffractometer (DXR) and biometric analyses, we investigated the patterns of selection, consumption and accumulation of land snails at the site. The results display a strong mono-specific gathering of adult individuals, most of them older than 55 weeks, which were roasted in ambers of pine and juniper under 375°C. This case study uncovers new patterns of invertebrate exploitation during the Gravettian in southwestern Europe without known precedents in the Middle Palaeolithic nor the Aurignacian. In the Mediterranean context, such an early occurrence contrasts with the neighbouring areas of Morocco, France, Italy and the Balkans, where the systematic nutritional use of land snails appears approximately 10,000 years later during the Iberomaurisian and the Late Epigravettian. The appearance of this new subsistence activity in the eastern and southern regions of Spain was coeval to other demographically driven transformations in the archaeological record, suggesting different chronological patterns of resource intensification and diet broadening along the Upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean basin. PMID:25141047

  15. HBV-induced ROS accumulation promotes hepatocarcinogenesis through Snail-mediated epigenetic silencing of SOCS3.

    PubMed

    Yuan, K; Lei, Y; Chen, H-N; Chen, Y; Zhang, T; Li, K; Xie, N; Wang, K; Feng, X; Pu, Q; Yang, W; Wu, M; Xiang, R; Nice, E C; Wei, Y; Huang, C

    2016-04-01

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) has been demonstrated to be involved in Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-associated hepatocarcinogenesis through activation of the STAT3 pathway. The sustained activation of the IL-6/STAT3 pathway is frequently associated with repression of SOCS3, which is both a target gene and a negative regulator of STAT3. However, the silencing mechanism of SOCS3 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be elucidated. Here, we showed that the repression of SOCS3 and sustained activation of IL-6/STAT3 pathway in HBV-producing HCC cells were caused by HBV-induced mitochondrial ROS accumulation. Mechanistic studies revealed that ROS-mediated DNA methylation resulted in the silencing of SOCS3. Decreased SOCS3 expression significantly promoted the proliferation of HCC cells and growth of tumor xenografts in mice. Further studies revealed that HBV-induced ROS accumulation upregulated the expression of the transcription factor, Snail, which bound to the E-boxes of SOCS3 promoter and mediated the epigenetic silencing of SOCS3 in association with DNMT1 and HDAC1. In addition, we found that the expression of Snail and SOCS3 were inversely correlated in HBV-associated HCC patients, suggesting that SOCS3 and/or Snail could be used as prognostic markers in HCC pathogenesis. Taken together, our data show that HBV-induced mitochondrial ROS production represses SOCS3 expression through Snail-mediated epigenetic silencing, leading to the sustained activation of IL-6/STAT3 pathway and ultimately contributing to hepatocarcinogenesis. PMID:26794444

  16. Relationships between nutrient enrichment, pleurocerid snail density and trematode infection rate in streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ciparis, Serena; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.; Voshell, J. Reese, Jr.

    2013-01-01

    Summary 1. Nutrient enrichment is a widespread environmental problem in freshwater ecosystems. Eutrophic conditions caused by nutrient enrichment may result in a higher prevalence of infection by trematode parasites in host populations, due to greater resource availability for the molluscan first intermediate hosts. 2. This study examined relationships among land use, environmental variables indicating eutrophication, population density of the pleurocerid snail, Leptoxis carinata, and trematode infections. Fifteen study sites were located in streams within the Shenandoah River catchment (Virginia, U.S.A.), where widespread nutrient enrichment has occurred. 3. Snail population density had a weak positive relationship with stream water nutrient concentration. Snail population density also increased as human activities within stream catchments increased, but density did not continue to increase in catchments where anthropogenic disturbance was greatest. 4. Cercariae from five families of trematodes were identified in L. carinata, and infection rate was generally low (<10%). Neither total infection rate nor the infection rate of individual trematode types showed a positive relationship with snail population density, nutrients or land use. 5. There were statistically significant but weak relationships between the prevalence of infection by two trematode families and physical and biological variables. The prevalence of Notocotylidae was positively related to water depth, which may be related to habitat use by definitive hosts. Prevalence of Opecoelidae had a negative relationship with orthophosphate concentration and a polynomial relationship with chlorophyll a concentration. Transmission of Opecoelid trematodes between hosts may be inhibited by eutrophic conditions. 6. Leptoxis carinata appears to be a useful species for monitoring the biological effects of eutrophication and investigating trematode transmission dynamics in lotic systems.

  17. Gigagauss-scale quasistatic magnetic field generation in a snail-shaped target

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korneev, Ph.; d'Humières, E.; Tikhonchuk, V.

    2015-04-01

    A simple setup for the generation of ultra-intense quasistatic magnetic fields, based on the generation of electron currents with a predefined geometry in a curved snail (or `escargot') target, is proposed and analyzed. Particle-in-cell simulations and qualitative estimates show that gigagauss scale magnetic fields may be obtained with existent laser facilities. The described mechanism of the strong magnetic field generation may be useful in a wide range of applications, from laboratory astrophysics to magnetized inertial confinement fusion schemes.

  18. Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs

    SciTech Connect

    Riggs, A.C.

    1984-04-06

    Carbon-14 contents as low as 3.3 +/- 0.2% modern (apparent age, 27,000 years) measured from the shells of snails Melanoides tuberculatus living in artesian springs in southern Nevada are attributed to fixation of dissolved HCO/sub 3//sup -/ with which the shells are in carbon isotope equilibrium. Recognition of the existence of such extreme deficiencies is necessary so that erroneous ages are not attributed to fresh water biogenic carbonates. 2 figures, 1 table.

  19. Insights into the origins of fish hunting in venomous cone snails from studies of Conus tessulatus

    PubMed Central

    Aman, Joseph W.; Imperial, Julita S.; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Zhang, Min-Min; Aguilar, Manuel; Taylor, Dylan; Watkins, Maren; Yoshikami, Doju; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Biggs, Jason; Teichert, Russell W.; Olivera, Baldomero M.

    2015-01-01

    Prey shifts in carnivorous predators are events that can initiate the accelerated generation of new biodiversity. However, it is seldom possible to reconstruct how the change in prey preference occurred. Here we describe an evolutionary “smoking gun” that illuminates the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting among marine cone snails, resulting in the adaptive radiation of fish-hunting lineages comprising ∼100 piscivorous Conus species. This smoking gun is δ-conotoxin TsVIA, a peptide from the venom of Conus tessulatus that delays inactivation of vertebrate voltage-gated sodium channels. C. tessulatus is a species in a worm-hunting clade, which is phylogenetically closely related to the fish-hunting cone snail specialists. The discovery of a δ-conotoxin that potently acts on vertebrate sodium channels in the venom of a worm-hunting cone snail suggests that a closely related ancestral toxin enabled the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting, as δ-conotoxins are highly conserved among fish hunters and critical to their mechanism of prey capture; this peptide, δ-conotoxin TsVIA, has striking sequence similarity to these δ-conotoxins from piscivorous cone snail venoms. Calcium-imaging studies on dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons revealed the peptide’s putative molecular target (voltage-gated sodium channels) and mechanism of action (inhibition of channel inactivation). The results were confirmed by electrophysiology. This work demonstrates how elucidating the specific interactions between toxins and receptors from phylogenetically well-defined lineages can uncover molecular mechanisms that underlie significant evolutionary transitions. PMID:25848010

  20. The Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Galba pervia (Gastropoda: Mollusca), an Intermediate Host Snail of Fasciola spp

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Wei-Yi; Zhao, Guang-Hui; Wei, Shu-Jun; Song, Hui-Qun; Xu, Min-Jun; Lin, Rui-Qing; Zhou, Dong-Hui; Zhu, Xing-Quan

    2012-01-01

    Complete mitochondrial (mt) genomes and the gene rearrangements are increasingly used as molecular markers for investigating phylogenetic relationships. Contributing to the complete mt genomes of Gastropoda, especially Pulmonata, we determined the mt genome of the freshwater snail Galba pervia, which is an important intermediate host for Fasciola spp. in China. The complete mt genome of G. pervia is 13,768 bp in length. Its genome is circular, and consists of 37 genes, including 13 genes for proteins, 2 genes for rRNA, 22 genes for tRNA. The mt gene order of G. pervia showed novel arrangement (tRNA-His, tRNA-Gly and tRNA-Tyr change positions and directions) when compared with mt genomes of Pulmonata species sequenced to date, indicating divergence among different species within the Pulmonata. A total of 3655 amino acids were deduced to encode 13 protein genes. The most frequently used amino acid is Leu (15.05%), followed by Phe (11.24%), Ser (10.76%) and IIe (8.346%). Phylogenetic analyses using the concatenated amino acid sequences of the 13 protein-coding genes, with three different computational algorithms (maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and Bayesian analysis), all revealed that the families Lymnaeidae and Planorbidae are closely related two snail families, consistent with previous classifications based on morphological and molecular studies. The complete mt genome sequence of G. pervia showed a novel gene arrangement and it represents the first sequenced high quality mt genome of the family Lymnaeidae. These novel mtDNA data provide additional genetic markers for studying the epidemiology, population genetics and phylogeographics of freshwater snails, as well as for understanding interplay between the intermediate snail hosts and the intra-mollusca stages of Fasciola spp.. PMID:22844544

  1. Insights into the origins of fish hunting in venomous cone snails from studies of Conus tessulatus.

    PubMed

    Aman, Joseph W; Imperial, Julita S; Ueberheide, Beatrix; Zhang, Min-Min; Aguilar, Manuel; Taylor, Dylan; Watkins, Maren; Yoshikami, Doju; Showers-Corneli, Patrice; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Biggs, Jason; Teichert, Russell W; Olivera, Baldomero M

    2015-04-21

    Prey shifts in carnivorous predators are events that can initiate the accelerated generation of new biodiversity. However, it is seldom possible to reconstruct how the change in prey preference occurred. Here we describe an evolutionary "smoking gun" that illuminates the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting among marine cone snails, resulting in the adaptive radiation of fish-hunting lineages comprising ∼100 piscivorous Conus species. This smoking gun is δ-conotoxin TsVIA, a peptide from the venom of Conus tessulatus that delays inactivation of vertebrate voltage-gated sodium channels. C. tessulatus is a species in a worm-hunting clade, which is phylogenetically closely related to the fish-hunting cone snail specialists. The discovery of a δ-conotoxin that potently acts on vertebrate sodium channels in the venom of a worm-hunting cone snail suggests that a closely related ancestral toxin enabled the transition from worm hunting to fish hunting, as δ-conotoxins are highly conserved among fish hunters and critical to their mechanism of prey capture; this peptide, δ-conotoxin TsVIA, has striking sequence similarity to these δ-conotoxins from piscivorous cone snail venoms. Calcium-imaging studies on dissociated dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons revealed the peptide's putative molecular target (voltage-gated sodium channels) and mechanism of action (inhibition of channel inactivation). The results were confirmed by electrophysiology. This work demonstrates how elucidating the specific interactions between toxins and receptors from phylogenetically well-defined lineages can uncover molecular mechanisms that underlie significant evolutionary transitions. PMID:25848010

  2. Heart rate and hemocyte number as stress indicators in disturbed hibernating vineyard snails, Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Renwrantz, Lothar; Spielvogel, Frank

    2011-12-01

    In humans and other vertebrates, mental or physical stressors may trigger a variety of symptoms generally referred to as the fight/flight response (Cannon 1929). The processes also include variability of the heart frequency as well as leukocytosis. We monitored both body responses in disturbed hibernating vineyard snails, H. pomatia, to obtain information on the stress sensitivity of these "sleeping" invertebrates. The first mild stressor, a 100 meter transport of hibernating snails from the cold room to the laboratory, caused cardiac arrhythmia in the animals. This reaction could have been provoked by mechanical disturbances and/or by raising the body temperature to room temperature. But a change in the ambient temperature did not trigger an abnormal heart rhythm. Different from this observation, we recorded instant heart rate changes in response to knocking on the shell and a very irregular heartbeat occurred when a hole was punched in the shell. With a short time delay upon damaging the shell, a large increase in the number of circulating cells also occurred. This was not observed after knocking on the shell or when snails were adapted to different temperatures for each 48 h. Thus, hibernating snails sense environmental variations which cause an immediate change of the heart frequency and an elevated stimulus level initiates in addition leukocytosis which occurs at a post-stimulus latency. This disparity could indicate the activity of two different stress regulation pathways. Furthermore, the assays demonstrate an increasing linear relation between rising temperature and frequency of heart pulsations (y=1.01x-2.1); but the results do not indicate a correlation between heartbeat frequency and the number of cells in circulation. Consequently, neither temperature nor heart frequency seems to influence the number of circulating cells in hibernating H. pomatia. PMID:21846507

  3. Responses to odors mapped in snail tentacle and brain by [14C]-2-deoxyglucose autoradiography.

    PubMed

    Chase, R

    1985-11-01

    The method of 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG) autoradiography has been widely used to map functional neuronal systems in vertebrates, but in invertebrate species, where morphological dimensions favor its use, the applications have been minimal. This study uses [14C]-2-DG to map the olfactory system of a terrestrial snail, Achatina fulica. The olfactory organ in the snail's tentacles bears a striking resemblance to the vertebrate olfactory mucosa. There are also complex neural structures in the tentacle and brain that are devoted to subsequent processing. These facts make the molluscan olfactory system a suitable complement to the traditional vertebrate and insect models in olfaction. The experiments utilized intact snails in which one tentacle was exposed to a controlled odor environment while the contralateral tentacle was held in a retracted position. The dose of [14C]-2-DG (2 microCi/gm) was injected into the hemocele. Tissue processing involved freeze-substitution with acetone, dry sectioning, and the preparation of liquid film autoradiographs. Optical density measurements permitted quantitative comparisons between experimental conditions. The natural odors of conspecific snails and of carrots elicited significantly more uptake of 2-DG in the exposed tentacle than in the unexposed tentacle and, in the exposed tentacle, significantly more label over the axons of the primary sensory neurons than was elicited by exposure to clean air. Amyl acetate and octanol were less effective. A small number of superficially placed sensory neurons were labeled in all stimulus conditions, including clean air, and may represent the mechanosensors. Stimulus-dependent labeling in the brain was limited to the procerebrum and included both neuropilar and cellular parts. In contrast to vertebrate and insect olfactory systems, there was no evidence of spatial coding for odor quality. PMID:4056861

  4. Major carbon-14 deficiency in modern snail shells from southern Nevada springs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Riggs, A.C.

    1984-01-01

    Carbon-14 contents as low as 3.3 ?? 0.2 percent modern (apparent age, 27,000 years) measured from the shells of snails Melanoides tuberculatus living in artesian springs in southern Nevada are attributed to fixation of dissolved HCO3- with which the shells are in carbon isotope equilibrium. Recognition of the existence of such extreme deficiencies is necessary so that erroneous ages are not attributed to freshwater biogenic carbonates.

  5. Unusual snail species involved in the transmission of Fasciola hepatica in watercress beds in central France.

    PubMed

    Dreyfuss, G; Vignoles, P; Abrous, M; Rondelaud, D

    2002-06-01

    Four freshwater pulmonate species (Lymnaea ovata, L. stagnalis, Physa acuta, Planorbis leucostoma) were living in several watercress beds known for their relationships with human cases of fasciolosis, whereas L. truncatula was never found. The aims of these studies were to determine the prevalence of natural infections with Fasciola hepatica in snails and to verify if these species might ensure the full larval development of this trematode (with cercarial shedding) when they were experimentally subjected to F. hepatica only, or to co-infections with an other trematode species. Investigations were so carried out in six snail populations living in watercress beds (including three for P. acuta) and in four others originating from three brooks or a pond (as controls). Snails naturally infected with F. hepatica were found in two watercress beds inhabited by L. ovata (prevalence of infection: 1.4%) and P. leucostoma (0.1%), respectively. The L. ovata from the watercress bed could be infected at a higher size than those from the control population and the prevalence of this infection was greater in the bed population. Similar findings were noted for L. stagnalis. Despite single or dual infections, the results obtained with the four populations of P. acuta were unsuccessful. In contrast, the co-infections of young P. leucostoma with Paramphistomum daubneyi and F. hepatica resulted in the shedding of some F. hepatica cercariae. According to the authors, the occurrence of fasciolosis in these watercress beds would be the consequence of frequent natural encounters between parasite and snails (L. ovata, L. stagnalis), or of co-infections with P. daubneyi and F. hepatica (P. leucostoma). In watercress beds only colonized by P. acuta, a lymnaeid species would have ensured the larval development of F. hepatica but it would have been eliminated by P. acuta, as this last species was known to be invasive and could colonize open drainage ditches on siliceous soil. PMID:12116856

  6. Adaptation of Lymnaea fuscus and Radix balthica to Fasciola hepatica through the experimental infection of several successive snail generations

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background High prevalence of Fasciola hepatica infection (>70%) was noted during several outbreaks before the 2000s in several French farms where Galba truncatula is lacking. Other lymnaeids such as Lymnaea fuscus, L. glabra and/or Radix balthica are living in meadows around these farms but only juvenile snails can sustain complete larval development of F. hepatica while older snails were resistant. The low prevalence of infection (<20%) and limited cercarial production (<50 cercariae per infected snail) noted with these juveniles could not explain the high values noted in these cattle herds. As paramphistomosis due to Calicophoron daubneyi was not still noted in these farms, the existence of another mode of infection was hypothesized. Experimental infection of several successive generations of L. glabra, originating from eggs laid by their parents already infected with this parasite resulted in a progressive increase in prevalence of snail infection and the number of shed cercariae. The aim of this paper was to determine if this mode of snail infection was specific to L. glabra, or it might occur in other lymnaeid species such as L. fuscus and R. balthica. Methods Five successive generations of L. fuscus and R. balthica were subjected to individual bimiracidial infections in the laboratory. Resulting rediae and cercariae in the first four generations were counted after snail dissection at day 50 p.e. (20°C), while the dynamics of cercarial shedding was followed in the F5 generation. Results In the first experiment, prevalence and intensity of F. hepatica infection in snails progressively increased from the F1 (R. balthica) or F2 (L. fuscus) generation. In the second experiment, the prevalence of F. hepatica infection and the number of shed cercariae were significantly lower in L. fuscus and R. balthica (without significant differences between both lymnaeids) than in G. truncatula. Conclusion The F. hepatica infection of several successive snail generations, coming from parents infected with this parasite, resulted in a progressive increase in prevalence and intensity of snail infection. This may explain high prevalence of fasciolosis noted in several cattle-breeding farms when the common snail host of this digenean, G. truncatula, is lacking. PMID:24986589

  7. Downregulation of SNAIL sensitizes hepatocellular carcinoma cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by regulating the NF-κB pathway.

    PubMed

    Wan, Zhaojun; Pan, Huazheng; Liu, Shihai; Zhu, Jingjuan; Qi, Weiwei; Fu, Kai; Zhao, Teng; Liang, Jun

    2015-03-01

    Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common cancer and the second most lethal cancer worldwide. Evidence has shown HCC cell resistance to TRAIL‑mediated apoptosis. In a previous study, we verified that silencing SNAIL downregulated the growth of HCC cells. In addition, the mechanism of resistance to TRAIL in HCC cells was connected with the activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). Thus, it was hypothesized that the downregultaion of SNAIL sensitizes HCC cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis by regulating the NF-κB pathway. In the present study, the most effective lentiviral vectors carrying shRNA against SNAIL were selected and adenoviral vectors harboring TRAIL were constructed. The expression of SNAIL and TRAIL was detected by quantitative PCR and western blotting. HCC cell viability and apoptosis were assessed using an MTT assay and the Hoechst test. To determine how to sensitize HCC cells to TRAIL-induced apoptosis after silencing SNAIL, p53 was assessed by western blot analysis. We also investigated the expression of Bcl-xL, cIAP2, survivin and Raf-1 protein using western blot analysis and the apoptotic degree of HuH-7 cells was detected using the Hoechst test following the suppression of each gene, which was a possible molecular mechanism to sensitive TRAIL-induced apoptosis through the downregulation of SNAIL in HCC cells. Silencing SNAIL resulted in increased apoptosis by enhancing sensitization to TRAIL in all the HCC cells. Additionally, p53 protein was upregulated in HuH-7 cells. Expression of Bcl-xL, cIAP2, survivin and Raf-1 was downregulated following silencing of SNAIL, while down-regulation of any of the proteins contributed to SNAIL suppression enhancing HCC cell sensitivity to TRAIL‑induced apoptosis, with the exception of cIAP2. The results demonstrated that silencing SNAIL can sensitize TRAIL-induced apoptosis in HCC cells by upregulating p53 protein and by regulating related genes of the NF-κB pathway such as Bcl-xL, survivin and Raf-1. PMID:25607597

  8. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts by marine snails demonstrate a novel mechanism for transmission of terrestrial zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Krusor, Colin; Smith, Woutrina A; Tinker, M Tim; Silver, Mary; Conrad, Patricia A; Shapiro, Karen

    2015-11-01

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is an environmentally persistent pathogen that can cause fatal disease in humans, terrestrial warm-blooded animals and aquatic mammals. Although an association between T. gondii exposure and prey specialization on marine snails was identified in threatened California sea otters, the ability of kelp-dwelling snails to transmit terrestrially derived pathogens has not been previously investigated. The objective of this study was to measure concentration and retention of T. gondii by marine snails in laboratory aquaria, and to test for natural T. gondii contamination in field-collected snails. Following exposure to T. gondii-containing seawater, oocysts were detected by microscopy in snail faeces and tissues for 10 and 3 days respectively. Nested polymerase chain reaction was also applied as a method for confirming putative T. gondii oocysts detected in snail faeces and tissues by microscopy. Toxoplasma gondii was not detected in field-collected snails. Results suggest that turban snails are competent transport hosts for T. gondii. By concentrating oocysts in faecal pellets, snails may facilitate entry of T. gondii into the nearshore marine food web. This novel mechanism also represents a general pathway by which marine transmission of terrestrially derived microorganisms can be mediated via pathogen concentration and retention by benthic invertebrates. PMID:26033089

  9. Impacts of an Invasive Snail (Tarebia granifera) on Nutrient Cycling in Tropical Streams: The Role of Riparian Deforestation in Trinidad, West Indies

    PubMed Central

    Moslemi, Jennifer M.; Snider, Sunny B.; MacNeill, Keeley; Gilliam, James F.; Flecker, Alexander S.

    2012-01-01

    Non-native species and habitat degradation are two major catalysts of environmental change and often occur simultaneously. In freshwater systems, degradation of adjacent terrestrial vegetation may facilitate introduced species by altering resource availability. Here we examine how the presence of intact riparian cover influences the impact of an invasive herbivorous snail, Tarebia granifera, on nitrogen (N) cycling in aquatic systems on the island of Trinidad. We quantified snail biomass, growth, and N excretion in locations where riparian vegetation was present or removed to determine how snail demographics and excretion were related to the condition of the riparian zone. In three Neotropical streams, we measured snail biomass and N excretion in open and closed canopy habitats to generate estimates of mass- and area-specific N excretion rates. Snail biomass was 2 to 8 times greater and areal N excretion rates ranged from 3 to 9 times greater in open canopy habitats. Snails foraging in open canopy habitat also had access to more abundant food resources and exhibited greater growth and mass-specific N excretion rates. Estimates of ecosystem N demand indicated that snail N excretion in fully closed, partially closed, and open canopy habitats supplied 2%, 11%, and 16% of integrated ecosystem N demand, respectively. We conclude that human-mediated riparian canopy loss can generate hotspots of snail biomass, growth, and N excretion along tropical stream networks, altering the impacts of an invasive snail on the biogeochemical cycling of N. PMID:22761706

  10. Stable and clumped isotopes in shell carbonates of land snails Cathaica sp. and Bradybaena sp. in north China and implications for ecophysiological characteristics and paleoclimate studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xu; Cui, Linlin; Zhai, Jixuan; Ding, Zhongli

    2016-01-01

    Knowledge of ecophysiological characteristics of different land snail species is crucial for defining climatic significance of snail faunal assemblages. However, little work has been done in this aspect, hindering our obtaining unambiguous paleoclimatic information using these proxy indicators. Here we document for the first time the different ecophysiological characteristics of Cathaica sp. and Bradybaena sp. land snails using the stable isotopes and clumped isotope (Δ47) of the shell carbonates. The Δ47-derived temperatures for both species revealed a robust correlation with environmental temperatures. Moreover, the temperatures for Cathaica sp. are 3-5°C higher than those for Bradybaena sp. land snails, indicating different ecophysiological adaptations or growing seasons of the two species. Specifically, Cathaica sp. snails prefer living in a warm-humid summer, whereas Bradybaena sp. snails are active in the relatively cool-arid spring and/or autumn. The result testifies to the Δ47 in snail shell carbonates as a promising paleothermometer in monsoonal region and presents new insight into paleoclimatic explanation of these land snail species. This finding highlights the importance of climatic seasonality in the changes of the faunal assemblages of land snails.

  11. Inhibition of epithelial to mesenchymal transition in metastatic prostate cancer cells by the novel proteasome inhibitor, NPI-0052: pivotal roles of Snail repression and RKIP induction.

    PubMed

    Baritaki, S; Chapman, A; Yeung, K; Spandidos, D A; Palladino, M; Bonavida, B

    2009-10-01

    Metastasis is associated with the loss of epithelial features and the acquisition of mesenchymal characteristics and invasive properties by tumor cells, a process known as epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). Snail expression, through nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation, is an EMT determinant. The proteasome inhibitor, NPI-0052, induces the metastasis tumor suppressor/immune surveillance cancer gene, Raf kinase inhibitor protein (RKIP), via NF-kappaB inhibition. We hypothesized that NPI-0052 may inhibit Snail expression and, consequently, the metastatic phenotype in DU-145 prostate cancer cells. Cell treatment with NPI-0052 induced E-cadherin and inhibited Snail expression and both tumor cell invasion and migration. Inhibition of Snail inversely correlated with the induction of RKIP. The underlying mechanism of NPI-0052-induced inhibition of the metastatic phenotype was corroborated by: (1) treatment with Snail siRNA in DU-145 inhibited EMT and, in contrast, overexpression of Snail in the nonmetastatic LNCaP cells induced EMT, (2) NPI-0052-induced repression of Snail via inhibition of NF-kappaB was corroborated by the specific NF-kappaB inhibitor DHMEQ and (3) RKIP overexpression mimicked NPI-0052 in the inhibition of Snail and EMT. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, the role of NPI-0052 in the regulation of EMT via inhibition of NF-kappaB and Snail and induction of RKIP. PMID:19633685

  12. Concentration and retention of Toxoplasma gondii oocysts by marine snails demonstrate a novel mechanism for transmission of terrestrial zoonotic pathogens in coastal ecosystems

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krusor, Colin; Smith, Woutrina A.; Tinker, M. Tim; Silver, Mary; Conrad, Patricia A.; Shapiro, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The parasite Toxoplasma gondii is an environmentally persistent pathogen that can cause fatal disease in humans, terrestrial warm-blooded animals and aquatic mammals. Although an association between T. gondii exposure and prey specialization on marine snails was identified in threatened California sea otters, the ability of kelp-dwelling snails to transmit terrestrially derived pathogens has not been previously investigated. The objective of this study was to measure concentration and retention of T. gondii by marine snails in laboratory aquaria, and to test for natural T. gondii contamination in field-collected snails. Following exposure to T. gondii-containing seawater, oocysts were detected by microscopy in snail faeces and tissues for 10 and 3 days respectively. Nested polymerase chain reaction was also applied as a method for confirming putative T. gondii oocysts detected in snail faeces and tissues by microscopy. Toxoplasma gondiiwas not detected in field-collected snails. Results suggest that turban snails are competent transport hosts for T. gondii. By concentrating oocysts in faecal pellets, snails may facilitate entry of T. gondii into the nearshore marine food web. This novel mechanism also represents a general pathway by which marine transmission of terrestrially derived microorganisms can be mediated via pathogen concentration and retention by benthic invertebrates.

  13. A sleep-inducing peptide from the venom of the Indian cone snail Conus araneosus.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Jayaseelan Benjamin; Rajesh, Rajaian Pushpabai

    2015-09-01

    The marine snail Conus araneosus has unusual significance due to its confined distribution to coastal regions of southeast India and Sri Lanka. Due to its relative scarceness, this species has been poorly studied. In this work, we characterized the venom of C. araneosus to identify new venom peptides. We identified 14 novel compounds. We determined amino acid sequences from chemically-modified and unmodified crude venom using liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Ten sequences showed six Cys residues arranged in a pattern that is most commonly associated with the M-superfamily of conotoxins. Four other sequences had four Cys residues in a pattern that is most commonly associated with the T-superfamily of conotoxins. The post-translationally modified residue (pyroglutamate) was determined at the N-terminus of two sequences, ar3h and ar3i respectively. In addition, two sequences, ar3g and ar3h were C-terminally amidated. At a dose of 2 nmol, peptide ar3j elicited sleep when injected intraperitoneally into mice. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a peptide from a molluscivorous cone snail with sleep-inducing effects in mice. The novel peptides characterized herein extend the repertoire of unique peptides derived from cone snails and may add value to the therapeutic promise of conotoxins. PMID:26100663

  14. Nitric oxide is necessary for labilization of a consolidated context memory during reconsolidation in terrestrial snails.

    PubMed

    Balaban, Pavel M; Roshchin, Matvey; Timoshenko, Alia K; Gainutdinov, Khalil L; Bogodvid, Tatiana K; Muranova, Lyudmila N; Zuzina, Alena B; Korshunova, Tatiana A

    2014-09-01

    Nitric oxide (NO) is known to be involved in associative memory formation. We investigated the influence of blocking NO function on the reconsolidation of context memory in terrestrial snails (Helix lucorum L.). After a 10 day session of electric shocks in one context only, context memory in snails was observed in test sessions as the significant difference of amplitudes of withdrawal responses to tactile stimuli in two different contexts. After a 1 day rest, a session of 'reminding' was performed, preceded by injection in different groups of the snails with either vehicle or combination of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin (ANI) with one of the following drugs: the NO scavenger carboxy-PTIO, the NO-synthase inhibitors N-omega-nitro-L-arginin, nitroindazole and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride, or the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine. Testing the context memory at different time intervals after the reminder under ANI injection showed that the context memory was impaired at 24 h and later, whereas the reminder under combined injection of ANI and each of the NO-synthase inhibitors used or the NO scavenger showed no impairment of long-term context memory. Injection of the NO donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-DL-penicillamine with or without reminder had no effect on context memory. The results obtained demonstrated that NO is necessary for labilization of a consolidated context memory. PMID:24910164

  15. Mercury toxicity to terrestrial snails in a partial life cycle experiment.

    PubMed

    Gimbert, Frédéric; Perrier, Fanny; Caire, Ange-Lyne; de Vaufleury, Annette

    2016-02-01

    Despite growing concerns about the potential adverse effects of elevated mercury (Hg) concentrations in the terrestrial environment, only a few toxicity data are available for soil invertebrates. The chronic toxicity of inorganic Hg-Hg(II)-through food or soil contaminations was therefore assessed for the snail Cantareus aspersus, a well-recognized soil quality bioindicator. The 28-day EC50s (the concentrations causing 50 % effect) for the snail growth were 600 and 5048 mg Hg kg(-1) for food and soil, respectively. A survey of growth over its entire duration (91 days) allowed to show that the effects took place rapidly after the beginning of exposure and persisted in the long term. Reproduction was also impaired, and we established 28-day EC50s for sexual maturation and fecundity of 831 and 339 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for food and 1719 and 53 mg Hg kg(-1), respectively, for soil. Total Hg analyses in snails exposed to contaminated matrices revealed important bioaccumulation capacities up to 2000 mg Hg kg(-1) viscera. Critical limits in internal Hg concentration of about 500 and 1000 mg Hg kg(-1) were determined as thresholds for the induction of growth toxicity through food and soil exposure, respectively. These different values underlined differences in the uptake and toxicological dynamics of Hg according to its bioavailability in the source of exposure. PMID:26507730

  16. Mucus secretion by the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis limits aluminum concentrations of the aqueous environment

    SciTech Connect

    Jugdaohsingh, R.; Thompson, R.P.H.; Powell, J.J.; Campbell, M.M.; Mccrohan, C.R.; White, K.N.

    1998-09-01

    Extracellular mucopolysaccharide (EPS) is a significant component in many waters. Its role in the cycling and mobilization of metals is unclear. In vitro studies were conducted to examine the influence of EPS, secreted by the freshwater pond snail, Lymnaea stagnalis, on soluble water Al concentrations at near-neutral pH. Snails maintained in aerated water of known ion content and added aluminum reduced Al in solution as compared to controls. Although snails accumulated Al into soft tissue, this only accounted for a small percentage of the total reduction. The remaining Al was recovered following acidification of the water. This observation was attributed to pedal EPS secreted by L. stagnalis which is chiefly insoluble and substrate bound. The Al that remained in solution was more labile, possibly due to the influence of soluble EPS. Further experiments with isolated EPS, confirmed that this poorly soluble film binds and reduces Al in solution. The influence of EPS on the solution chemistry and bioavailability of Al and possibly other metals may be important in natural waters.

  17. Proteomic profile of Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos snails upon infection with the carcinogenic liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini

    PubMed Central

    Prasopdee, Sattrachai; Tesana, Smarn; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Laha, Thewarach; Mulvenna, Jason; Grams, Rudi; Loukas, Alex; Sotillo, Javier

    2014-01-01

    The snail Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos acts as the first intermediate host for the human liver fluke Opisthorchis viverrini, the major cause of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) in Northeast Thailand. The undisputed link between CCA and O. viverrini infection has precipitated efforts to understand the molecular basis of host-parasite interactions with a view to ultimately developing new control strategies to combat this carcinogenic infection. To date most effort has focused on the interactions between the parasite and its human host, and little is known about the molecular relationships between the liver fluke and its snail intermediate host. In the present study we analyse the protein expression changes in different tissues of B. siamensis goniomphalos induced by infection with larval O. viverrini using iTRAQ labelling technology. We show that O. viverrini infection downregulates the expression of oxidoreductases and catalytic enzymes, while stress-related and motor proteins are upregulated. The present work could serve as a basis for future studies on the proteins implicated in the susceptibility/resistance of B. siamensis goniomphalos to O. viverrini, as well as studies on other pulmonate snail intermediate hosts of various parasitic flukes that infect humans. PMID:25284051

  18. Distribution and abundance of the Japanese snail, Viviparus japonicus, and associated macrobenthos in Sandusky Bay, Ohio

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wolfert, David R.; Hiltunen, Jarl K.

    1968-01-01

    A survey of the macrobenthos of Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie, in June, 1963, provided information on the abundance and distribution of the introduced Japanese snail, Viviparus japonicus, which has become a nuisance to commercial seine fishermen. The abundance and distribution varied considerably within the bay; at the time of the survey, most snails were found near the north-central shore. Environmental characteristics were nearly uniform and had no apparent effect on the distribution; concentrations in different areas at different times appeared to result from water movements induced by winds. The time of the study coincided with a period of reproduction; young-of-the-year snails were most abundant in areas where adults were most common. The frequency distributions of shell height and diameter suggested the presence of two age groups of adults in the population. Considerable natural mortality was seen, both at the time of the study and in other seasons. Only three other gastropods were observed in the bay; the most abundant was another viviparid, Campeloma decisum. Other mollusks present were four species of Sphaeriidae and 18 species of Unionidae. A summary of invertebrates found, other than the mollusks, is also presented.

  19. Gender-based differences in Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) movements

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valentine-Darby, P. L.; Darby, P.C.; Percival, H.F.

    2011-01-01

    Gastropod movements have been studied in the context of habitat selection, finding food and mates, and avoiding predation. Many of these studies were conducted in the laboratory, where constraints on spatial scale influence behavior. We conducted a field study of Florida apple snail (Pomacea paludosa) movements using telemetry. We hypothesized that Florida apple snail movements were driven by reproductive activity, and that gender differences would be evident. We documented male and female directions and distances traveled. We also conducted a trapping study that included conspecific bait to test if the presence of females attracted more males as measured by M:F ratios in traps. The greatest distances traveled were by males, and males were more likely to maintain a consistent bearing compared to females. Male distances peaked in what typically corresponds to peak breeding season. M:F ratios in traps were positively associated with reproductive activity in the study population as measured by egg cluster counts. Conspecific bait had no effect on the number of males or females captured. However, if a female crawled into the trap, we observed greater numbers of males compared to those with no trapped females. Males may have tracked females to increase mating encounters, following slime trails, as seen in other aquatic (including other Pomacea) snails. The capacity for mate finding has implications for reproductive success in the relatively low density populations often seen for Pomacea paludosa.

  20. Use of the land snail Helix aspersa for monitoring heavy metal soil contamination in Northeast Algeria.

    PubMed

    Larba, R; Soltani, N

    2014-08-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of anthropogenic activities on soil quality using the land snail Helix aspersa as a bioindicator. Soil samples and snails were collected from several sites in Northeast Algeria during the summer and winter of 2010. All of the sites were chosen due to their proximity to industrial factories-a potential source of soil pollution via heavy metal contamination. The concentration of heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Mn, and Fe) in soil samples was analyzed using atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Activity levels of glutathione S-transferase (GST) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE), indicators of oxidative stress and neurotoxicity, respectively, were measured in snails collected from each site. GST and AChE activity were found to vary between sites and by season. The highest levels of GST activity were registered during the summer at sites closest to potential sources of pollution. AChE activity levels also peaked during the summer with the highest values recorded at the site in El Hadjar. These increased levels of bioindicative stress response correlated with increasing metal concentration in soil samples collected at each site. PMID:24687691

  1. Identification and characterization of a goose-type lysozyme from sewage snail Physa acuta.

    PubMed

    Guo, Yunhai; He, Hongxuan

    2014-08-01

    Freshwater snail Physa acuta has been considered as an important invasive species and medical mollusc. Field investigation has shown that this snail could survive better than other snails in polluted water bodies. To understand the immune mechanisms of P. acuta, suppression subtractive hybridization hepatopancreas cDNA library has been constructed with bacterial challenge. In this study, a full-length cDNA of a novel goose-type lysozyme (PALysG) has been identified from P. acuta by EST and RACE technique. The conservative structure domains share high homology with other molluscan g-type lysozymes including the SLT domain, the substrate binding sites, the catalytic residues, three alpha-helices structures and six molluscan specific cysteines. Meanwhile, PALysG is the first record of goose-type lysozyme in Gastropoda. Real-time PCR indicated that PALysG mRNA had been expressed significantly at high levels in hepatopancreas for 8-48 h. PALysG recombinant protein displayed the lytic activity of g-type lysozyme with other organisms against Micrococcus lysodikicus. PMID:24882016

  2. Dynamics of defense and alimentary reactions in the development of sensitization in edible snails.

    PubMed

    Nikitin, V P; Kozyrev, S A

    1992-01-01

    Changes in defense and alimentary behavior as well as in the reactions of command and motor neurons of these types of behavior during the development of sensitization were investigated in edible snails. Following a one-time exposure of the head of the mollusc to a 50% solution of quinine, brief (50-70 min) and prolonged (hours or days) facilitation of the defense reactions of the animals and of the responses of the command neurons of defense behavior in response to tactile and chemical sensory stimuli was discovered. The alimentary behavior of the snails and the reactions of the modulatory neurons of alimentary behavior in response to the presentation of carrot juice was suppressed in sensitized snails. Differences were observed in the dynamics of defense responses to tactile and chemical sensory stimulations in one and the same sensitized animals. Brief facilitation of the responses during sensitization correlated primarily with the depolarization of the membrane potential of the neurons of defense behavior and with an increase in excitability of the plasma membrane. Prolonged facilitation of the responses was determined primarily by change in the efficiency of synaptic transmission. The described model of the development of sensitization may be the basis for the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying learning. PMID:1528414

  3. Evolution of separate predation- and defence-evoked venoms in carnivorous cone snails

    PubMed Central

    Dutertre, Sébastien; Jin, Ai-Hua; Vetter, Irina; Hamilton, Brett; Sunagar, Kartik; Lavergne, Vincent; Dutertre, Valentin; Fry, Bryan G.; Antunes, Agostinho; Venter, Deon J.; Alewood, Paul F.; Lewis, Richard J.

    2014-01-01

    Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus contains high levels of paralytic toxins that potently block neuromuscular receptors, consistent with its lethal effects on humans. In contrast, C. geographus predation-evoked venom contains prey-specific toxins mostly inactive at human targets. Predation- and defence-evoked venoms originate from the distal and proximal regions of the venom duct, respectively, explaining how different stimuli can generate two distinct venoms. A specialized defensive envenomation strategy is widely evolved across worm, mollusk and fish-hunting cone snails. We propose that defensive toxins, originally evolved in ancestral worm-hunting cone snails to protect against cephalopod and fish predation, have been repurposed in predatory venoms to facilitate diversification to fish and mollusk diets. PMID:24662800

  4. Sexual selection on land snail shell ornamentation: a hypothesis that may explain shell diversity

    PubMed Central

    Schilthuizen, Menno

    2003-01-01

    Background Many groups of land snails show great interspecific diversity in shell ornamentation, which may include spines on the shell and flanges on the aperture. Such structures have been explained as camouflage or defence, but the possibility that they might be under sexual selection has not previously been explored. Presentation of the hypothesis The hypothesis that is presented consists of two parts. First, that shell ornamentation is the result of sexual selection. Second, that such sexual selection has caused the divergence in shell shape in different species. Testing the hypothesis The first part of the hypothesis may be tested by searching for sexual dimorphism in shell ornamentation in gonochoristic snails, by searching for increased variance in shell ornamentation relative to other shell traits, and by mate choice experiments using individuals with experimentally enhanced ornamentation. The second part of the hypothesis may be tested by comparing sister groups and correlating shell diversity with degree of polygamy. Implications of the hypothesis If the hypothesis were true, it would provide an explanation for the many cases of allopatric evolutionary radiation in snails, where shell diversity cannot be related to any niche differentiation or environmental differences. PMID:12791170

  5. Adjustment of metabolite composition in the haemolymph to seasonal variations in the land snail Helix pomatia.

    PubMed

    Nicolai, Annegret; Filser, Juliane; Lenz, Roman; Bertrand, Carole; Charrier, Maryvonne

    2011-05-01

    In temperate regions, land snails are subjected to subzero temperatures in winter and hot temperatures often associated to drought in summer. The response to these environmental factors is usually a state of inactivity, hibernation and aestivation, respectively, in a temperature and humidity buffered refuge, accompanied by physiological adjustments to resist cold or heat stress. We investigated how environmental factors in the microhabitat and body condition influence the metabolite composition of haemolymph of the endangered species Helix pomatia. We used UPLC and GC-MS techniques and analyzed annual biochemical variations in a multivariate model. Hibernation and activity months differed in metabolite composition. Snails used photoperiod as cue for seasonal climatic variations to initiate a physiological state and were also highly sensitive to temperature variations, therefore constantly adjusting their physiological processes. Galactose levels gave evidence for the persistence of metabolic activity with energy expenditure during hibernation and for high reproductive activity in June. Triglycerides accumulated prior to hibernation might act as cryoprotectants or energy reserves. During the last month of hibernation snails activated physiological processes related to arousal. During activity, protein metabolism was reflected by high amino acid level. An exceptional aestivation period was observed in April giving evidence for heat stress responses, like the protection of cells from dehydration by polyols and saccharides, the membrane stabilization by cholesterol and enhanced metabolism using the anaerobic succinic acid pathway to sustain costly stress responses. In conclusion, physiological adjustments to environmental variations in Helix pomatia involve water loss regulation, cryoprotectant or heatprotectant accumulation. PMID:21136264

  6. Lectin-binding glycoproteins in the developing and adult snail CNS.

    PubMed

    Serfozo, Zoltán; Elekes, Károly

    2009-12-01

    Glycoproteins are complex molecules of the cell surface and the extracellular matrix (ECM) playing a fundamental role in the migration, guidance and synapse formation of neurons. In the present study, the glycosylated protein composition and localization were investigated in the adult and developing CNS of an aquatic (Lymnaea stagnalis) and a terrestrial (Helix pomatia) snail species, applying lectin histochemistry and blotting. Lectin probes that are specific for N-acetyl-glucosamine (GlcNAc) oligomers frequently appeared in anatomically different regions of the adult ganglia of both species, such as, the periganglionic sheath, the interperikaryonal space and the neuropil. Different GlcNAc residues were found to intensively glycosylate five, high-molecular weight proteins characteristic for the ECM of Lymnaea CNS and localized mainly in the interperikaryonal space. N-acetyl-galactosamine oligomers were less pronounced in the adult snail ganglia, they were detected only in the periganglionic sheath and the attached basement lamina. Apart from some similarities, the glycosylation pattern of proteins and the distribution of glycoproteins in the neuropil displayed significant differences in Lymnaea and Helix. All continuous and increasing level of and also transient presence of glycoproteins were detected during Lymnaea CNS development. Our results indicate a rich glycosylated pattern of specific proteins in the snail CNS, displaying remarkable species- and age-dependent changes which suggest the wide importance of protein glycosylation in the CNS of invertebrates. PMID:19916020

  7. Morphology of neuropeptide CNP2 modulation of heart activity in terrestrial snail.

    PubMed

    Aseyev, Nikolay; Zakharov, Igor S; Balaban, Pavel M

    2010-07-01

    A family of neuropeptides called Command Neuron Peptides (CNPs) was described ten years ago as the protein products of the gene HCS2, specifically expressed in the identified interneurons of the nervous system of terrestrial snail (Helix lucorum L. and H. pomatia L.). Recently, the CNP-like peptides have been detected by immunochemistry and immunoblotting in nervous systems of representatives of different invertebrate phyla (Mollusca, Annelida, and Insecta). Still, the function of these peptides remains largely unknown. In Helix it is shown that CNPs: modulate the electrical activity of unidentified central neurons, modulate the pneumostome motoneurons, stimulate neural cones growth in neural cultures. Here, we describe for the first time the CNPs-immunoreactive neural fibers in walls of both auricle and ventricle of the snail heart. We show that application of the synthetic neuropeptide CNP2 (DYPRLamide) in perfusion saline affects heart rate and magnitude of beats in isolated snail heart. The results suggest that in Helix the Command Neuron Peptides could participate in neural modulation of cardiovascular system. PMID:20399241

  8. Venom Variation during Prey Capture by the Cone Snail, Conus textile

    PubMed Central

    Prator, Cecilia A.; Murayama, Kellee M.; Schulz, Joseph R.

    2014-01-01

    Observations of the mollusc-hunting cone snail Conus textile during feeding reveal that prey are often stung multiple times in succession. While studies on the venom peptides injected by fish-hunting cone snails have become common, these approaches have not been widely applied to the analysis of the injected venoms from mollusc-hunters. We have successfully obtained multiple injected venom samples from C. textile individuals, allowing us to investigate venom compositional variation during prey capture. Our studies indicate that C. textile individuals alter the composition of prey-injected venom peptides during single feeding events. The qualitative results obtained by MALDI-ToF mass spectrometry are mirrored by quantitative changes in venom composition observed by reverse-phase high performance liquid chromatography. While it is unclear why mollusc-hunting cone snails inject prey multiple times prior to engulfment, our study establishes for the first time a link between this behavior and compositional changes of the venom during prey capture. Changes in venom composition during hunting may represent a multi-step strategy utilized by these venomous animals to slow and incapacitate prey prior to engulfment. PMID:24940882

  9. Characterisation of two conopressin precursor isoforms in the land snail, Theba pisana.

    PubMed

    Stewart, M J; Harding, B I; Adamson, K J; Wang, T; Storey, K B; Cummins, S F

    2016-06-01

    Increased understanding of the molecular components involved in mollusc reproduction may assist in understanding the evolutionary adaptations used by animals, including hermaphrodites, to produce offspring. The neuropeptide conopressin, a member of the vasopressin/oxytocin-like peptide family, can modulate various reproductive activities in invertebrates. In this study, we used the hermaphroditic land snail, Theba pisana, to investigate the presence and tissue-specific distribution of a conopressin gene. Our transcriptomic analysis of T. pisana CNS sheath tissue has revealed two conopressin gene transcripts (Tpi-conopressin-1 and Tpi-conopressin-2), each encoding for precursors containing an identical conopressin nonapeptide and a variable neurophysin. T. pisana conopressins share high identity with other land snails and slugs, as well as other mollusc and vertebrate vasopressin/oxytocin, supported by phylogenetic analysis. Conserved residues in the T. pisana neurophysin are important for peptide binding, and we present molecular dynamic models demonstrating the most likely stable structure of the Tpi-conopressin-1 peptide when associated with neurophysin. RT-PCR shows that Tpi-conopressin-1 is additionally expressed in reproductive tissues, including the dart sac, where abundant spatial expression throughout the sac region is found; this implies a role in 'love' dart synthesis or dart injection during mating. The presence of a conopressin receptor in the CNS sheath indicates CNS neural excitation. In summary, this study represents a detailed molecular analysis of conopressin in a land snail. PMID:26752717

  10. Definition of the DNA-binding site repertoire for the Drosophila transcription factor SNAIL.

    PubMed Central

    Mauhin, V; Lutz, Y; Dennefeld, C; Alberga, A

    1993-01-01

    The Drosophila gene snail (sna) which encodes a zinc finger protein is essential for dorsal-ventral pattern formation in the developing embryo. We have defined a repertoire of SNAIL (SNA) binding sites using recombinant SNA proteins to select specific binding sequences from a pool of random sequence nucleotides. The bound sequences which were selected by multiple rounds of gel retardation and amplification by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were subsequently cloned and sequenced. The consensus sequence, 5'G/A A/t G/A A CAGGTG C/t A C 3', with a highly conserved core of 6 bases, CAGGTG, shares no significant homology with known binding sequences of other Drosophila zinc finger proteins. However, the CAGGTG core is identical to the core motif of aHLH (helix-loop-helix) binding sites. The strongest SNA binding is obtained with sequences containing this core motif whereas reduced binding is seen for sequences with canonical CANNTG HLH motifs. Interestingly, SNA binding is detected in the promoter region of the snail gene. Transient expression in co-transfection experiments using a SNA binding element (SBE) linked to a heterologous promoter indicates that SNA has the ability to function as a transcription activator. Images PMID:8371971

  11. The effect of changes in habitat conditions on the movement of juvenile Snail Kites Rostrhamus sociabilis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowling, Andrea C.; Martin, Julien; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2012-01-01

    The degradation of habitats due to human activities is a major topic of interest for the conservation and management of wild populations. There is growing evidence that the Florida Everglades ecosystem continues to suffer from habitat degradation. After a period of recovery in the 1990s, the Snail Kite Rostrhamus sociabilis population suffered a substantial decline in 2001 and has not recovered since. Habitat degradation has been suggested as one of the primary reasons for this lack of recovery. As a consequence of the continued degradation of the Everglades, we hypothesized that this would have led to increased movement of juvenile Kites over time, as a consequence of the need to find more favourable habitat. We used multistate mark-recapture models to compare between-site movement probabilities of juvenile Snail Kites in the 1990s (1992–95; which corresponds to the period before the decline) and 2000s (2003–06; after the decline). Our analyses were based on an extensive radiotelemetry study (266 birds tracked monthly over the entire state of Florida for a total period of 6 years) and considered factors such as sex and age of marked individuals. There was evidence of increased movement of juvenile Snail Kites during the post-decline period from most of the wetland regions used historically by Kites. Higher movement rates may contribute to an increase in the probability of mortality of young individuals and could contribute to the observed declines.

  12. Chemoreception of hunger levels alters the following behaviour of a freshwater snail.

    PubMed

    Larcher, Marie; Crane, Adam L

    2015-12-01

    Chemically-mediated orientation is essential for many animals that must locate sites containing resources such as mates or food. One way to find these areas is by using publically-available information from other individuals. We tested a freshwater snail, Physa gyrina, for chemoreception of conspecific cues and predicted they could discriminate between cues based on information regarding hunger levels. We placed 'tracker' snails into a 2-arm arena where they could either follow or avoid an area previously used by a 'marker' snail. The hunger levels of both trackers and markers was manipulated, being either starved or fed. Starved and fed trackers did not differ in their following response when markers were hungry, but starved trackers were significantly more likely to follow fed markers, compared to fed trackers that tended to avoid areas used by fed markers. This outcome suggests that P. gyrina uses conspecific chemical cues to find food and potentially in some situations to avoid intra-specific food competition. PMID:26478254

  13. Reconsolidation of a context long-term memory in the terrestrial snail requires protein synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Gainutdinova, Tatiana H.; Tagirova, Rosa R.; Ismailova, Asja I.; Muranova, Lyudmila N.; Samarova, Elena I.; Gainutdinov, Khalil L.; Balaban, Pavel M.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the influence of the protein synthesis blocker anisomycin on contextual memory in the terrestrial snail Helix. Prior to the training session, the behavioral responses in two contexts were similar. Two days after a session of electric shocks (5 d) in one context only, the context conditioning was observed as the significant difference of behavioral response amplitudes in two contexts. On the day following testing of context learning, a session of “reminding” was performed, immediately after which the snails were injected with anisomycin or vehicle. Testing of long-term context memory has shown that only anisomycin injections impaired the context conditioning. In control series, the snails were injected after the training session with anisomycin/saline without reminding, and no impairment of the long-term context memory was observed, while injection of anisomycin during the training session completely abolished the long-term memory. No effects of anisomycin on the short-term memory were observed. Surprisingly, injection of anisomycin after the reminding combined with reinforcing stimuli elicited no effect on the context memory. Differences between single-trial and multisession learning are discussed. PMID:16322364

  14. Adaptive shell color plasticity during the early ontogeny of an intertidal keystone snail.

    PubMed

    Manríquez, Patricio H; Lagos, Nelson A; Jara, María Elisa; Castilla, Juan Carlos

    2009-09-22

    We report a mechanism of crypsis present during the vulnerable early post-metamorphic ontogeny (snail Concholepas concholepas, a rocky shore keystone predator characteristic of the southeastern Pacific coast. In the field, we found a significant occurrence (>95%) of specimens bearing patterns of shell coloration (dark or light colored) that matched the background coloration provided by patches of Concholepas' most abundant prey (mussels or barnacles respectively). The variation in shell color was positively associated with the color of the most common prey (r = 0.99). In laboratory experiments, shell coloration of C. concholepas depended on the prey-substrate used to induce metamorphosis and for the post-metamorphic rearing. The snail shell color matched the color of the prey offered during rearing. Laboratory manipulation experiments, switching the prey during rearing, showed a corresponding change in snail shell color along the outermost shell edge. As individuals grew and became increasingly indistinguishable from the surrounding background, cryptic individuals had higher survival (71%) than the non cryptic ones (4%) when they were reared in the presence of the predatory crab Acanthocyclus hassleri. These results suggest that the evolution of shell color plasticity during the early ontogeny of C. concholepas, depends on the color of the more abundant of the consumed prey available in the natural habitat where settlement has taken place; this in turn has important consequences for their fitness and survivorship in the presence of visual predators. PMID:19805296

  15. Stable isotope ecology of land snails from a high-latitude site near Fairbanks, interior Alaska, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanes, Yurena

    2015-05-01

    Land snails have been investigated isotopically in tropical islands and mid-latitude continental settings, while high-latitude locales, where snails grow only during the summer, have been overlooked. This study presents the first isotopic baseline of live snails from Fairbanks, Alaska (64°51‧N), a proxy calibration necessary prior to paleoenvironmental inferences using fossils. δ13C values of the shell (- 10.4 ± 0.4‰) and the body (- 25.5 ± 1.0‰) indicate that snails consumed fresh and decayed C3-plants and fungi. A flux-balance mixing model suggests that specimens differed in metabolic rates, which may complicate paleovegetation inferences. Shell δ18O values (- 10.8 ± 0.4‰) were ~ 4‰ higher than local summer rain δ18O. If calcification occurred during summer, a flux-balance mixing model suggests that snails grew at temperatures of ~ 13°C, rainwater δ18O values of ~- 15‰ and relative humidity of ~ 93%. Results from Fairbanks were compared to shells from San Salvador (Bahamas), at 24°51‧N. Average (annual) δ18O values of shells and rainwater samples from The Bahamas were both ~ 10‰ 18O-enriched with respect to seasonal (summer) Alaskan samples. At a coarse latitudinal scale, shell δ18O values overwhelmingly record the signature of the rainfall during snail active periods. While tropical snails record annual average environmental information, high-latitude specimens only trace summer season climatic data.

  16. Invasiveness Does Not Predict Impact: Response of Native Land Snail Communities to Plant Invasions in Riparian Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Horáčková, Jitka; Juřičková, Lucie; Šizling, Arnošt L.; Pyšek, Petr

    2014-01-01

    Studies of plant invasions rarely address impacts on molluscs. By comparing pairs of invaded and corresponding uninvaded plots in 96 sites in floodplain forests, we examined effects of four invasive alien plants (Impatiens glandulifera, Fallopia japonica, F. sachalinensis, and F.×bohemica) in the Czech Republic on communities of land snails. The richness and abundance of living land snail species were recorded separately for all species, rare species listed on the national Red List, and small species with shell size below 5 mm. The significant impacts ranged from 16–48% reduction in snail species numbers, and 29–90% reduction in abundance. Small species were especially prone to reduction in species richness by all four invasive plant taxa. Rare snails were also negatively impacted by all plant invaders, both in terms of species richness or abundance. Overall, the impacts on snails were invader-specific, differing among plant taxa. The strong effect of I. glandulifera could be related to the post-invasion decrease in abundance of tall nitrophilous native plant species that are a nutrient-rich food source for snails in riparian habitats. Fallopia sachalinensis had the strongest negative impact of the three knotweeds, which reflects differences in their canopy structure, microhabitat humidity and litter decomposition. The ranking of Fallopia taxa according to the strength of impacts on snail communities differs from ranking by their invasiveness, known from previous studies. This indicates that invasiveness does not simply translate to impacts of invasion and needs to be borne in mind by conservation and management authorities. PMID:25238059

  17. Sewage sludge application in a plantation: effects on trace metal transfer in soil-plant-snail continuum.

    PubMed

    Bourioug, Mohamed; Gimbert, Frédéric; Alaoui-Sehmer, Laurence; Benbrahim, Mohammed; Aleya, Lotfi; Alaoui-Sossé, Badr

    2015-01-01

    We studied the potential bioaccumulation of Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd by the snail Cantareus aspersus and evaluated the risk of leaching after app