Science.gov

Sample records for free-living atlantic walruses

  1. Population structure and gene flow of the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) in the eastern Atlantic Arctic based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite variation.

    PubMed

    Andersen, L W; Born, E W; Gjertz, I; Wiig, O; Holm, L E; Bendixen, C

    1998-10-01

    The population structure of the Atlantic walrus, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, was studied using 11 polymorphic microsatellites and restriction fragment length polymorphism detected in the NADH-dehydrogenase ND1, ND2 and ND3/4 segments in mtDNA. A total of 105 walrus samples were analysed from northwest (NW) Greenland, east (E) Greenland, Svalbard and Franz Joseph Land. Two of the 10 haplotypes detected in the four samples were diagnostic for the NW Greenland sample, which implied that the group of walruses in this area is evolutionary distinct from walruses in the other three areas. One individual sampled in E Greenland exhibited a Pacific haplotype, which proved a connection between the Pacific walrus and walruses in eastern Greenland. The Franz Joseph Land, Svalbard and E Greenland samples shared the most common haplotype, indicating very little differentiation at the mtDNA level. Gene flow (Nm) estimates among the four areas indicated a very restricted exchange of female genes between NW Greenland and the more eastern Atlantic Arctic samples, and a closer relationship between the three samples composing the eastern Atlantic Arctic. The genetic variation at 11 polymorphic microsatellite loci grouped individuals into three populations, NW Greenland, E Greenland and a common Franz Joseph Land-Svalbard population, which were connected by moderate gene flow. PMID:9787444

  2. Occurrence of Prosthenorchis elegans in Free-living Primates from the Atlantic Forest of Southern Bahia, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Catenacci, Lilian S; Colosio, Adriana C; Oliveira, Leonardo C; De Vleeschouwer, Kristel M; Munhoz, Alexandre D; Deem, Sharon L; Pinto, Jaqueline M S

    2016-04-28

    Parasite prevalence and abundance are important factors affecting species' conservation. During necropsies on a free-living golden-headed lion tamarin ( Leontopithecus chrysomelas ) and two Wied's marmosets ( Callithrix kuhlii ) in the Atlantic Forest of southern Bahia, Brazil, we collected a large number of adult intestinal parasites that we identified as Prosthenorchis elegans. This parasite is pathogenic for neotropical primates. Prosthenorchis spp. infestation is influenced by diet with increased risk of exposure from ingesting invertebrate intermediate hosts. The biological similarities and sympatric nature of these two nonhuman primates support that they may harbor similar infectious and parasitic agents. PMID:26981688

  3. Co-occurrence Analysis of Microbial Taxa in the Atlantic Ocean Reveals High Connectivity in the Free-Living Bacterioplankton

    PubMed Central

    Milici, Mathias; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Decelle, Johan; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L.; Wang, Hui; Jáuregui, Ruy; Plumeier, Iris; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Badewien, Thomas H.; Wurst, Mascha; Pieper, Dietmar H.; Simon, Meinhard; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2016-01-01

    We determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterioplankton of the epipelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean along a latitudinal transect (51°S–47°N) using Illumina sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene and inferred co-occurrence networks. Bacterioplankon community composition was distinct for Longhurstian provinces and water depth. Free-living microbial communities (between 0.22 and 3 μm) were dominated by highly abundant and ubiquitous taxa with streamlined genomes (e.g., SAR11, SAR86, OM1, Prochlorococcus) and could clearly be separated from particle-associated communities which were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Planktomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Roseobacters. From a total of 369 different communities we then inferred co-occurrence networks for each size fraction and depth layer of the plankton between bacteria and between bacteria and phototrophic micro-eukaryotes. The inferred networks showed a reduction of edges in the deepest layer of the photic zone. Networks comprised of free-living bacteria had a larger amount of connections per OTU when compared to the particle associated communities throughout the water column. Negative correlations accounted for roughly one third of the total edges in the free-living communities at all depths, while they decreased with depth in the particle associated communities where they amounted for roughly 10% of the total in the last part of the epipelagic zone. Co-occurrence networks of bacteria with phototrophic micro-eukaryotes were not taxon-specific, and dominated by mutual exclusion (~60%). The data show a high degree of specialization to micro-environments in the water column and highlight the importance of interdependencies particularly between free-living bacteria in the upper layers of the epipelagic zone. PMID:27199970

  4. Co-occurrence Analysis of Microbial Taxa in the Atlantic Ocean Reveals High Connectivity in the Free-Living Bacterioplankton.

    PubMed

    Milici, Mathias; Deng, Zhi-Luo; Tomasch, Jürgen; Decelle, Johan; Wos-Oxley, Melissa L; Wang, Hui; Jáuregui, Ruy; Plumeier, Iris; Giebel, Helge-Ansgar; Badewien, Thomas H; Wurst, Mascha; Pieper, Dietmar H; Simon, Meinhard; Wagner-Döbler, Irene

    2016-01-01

    We determined the taxonomic composition of the bacterioplankton of the epipelagic zone of the Atlantic Ocean along a latitudinal transect (51°S-47°N) using Illumina sequencing of the V5-V6 region of the 16S rRNA gene and inferred co-occurrence networks. Bacterioplankon community composition was distinct for Longhurstian provinces and water depth. Free-living microbial communities (between 0.22 and 3 μm) were dominated by highly abundant and ubiquitous taxa with streamlined genomes (e.g., SAR11, SAR86, OM1, Prochlorococcus) and could clearly be separated from particle-associated communities which were dominated by Bacteroidetes, Planktomycetes, Verrucomicrobia, and Roseobacters. From a total of 369 different communities we then inferred co-occurrence networks for each size fraction and depth layer of the plankton between bacteria and between bacteria and phototrophic micro-eukaryotes. The inferred networks showed a reduction of edges in the deepest layer of the photic zone. Networks comprised of free-living bacteria had a larger amount of connections per OTU when compared to the particle associated communities throughout the water column. Negative correlations accounted for roughly one third of the total edges in the free-living communities at all depths, while they decreased with depth in the particle associated communities where they amounted for roughly 10% of the total in the last part of the epipelagic zone. Co-occurrence networks of bacteria with phototrophic micro-eukaryotes were not taxon-specific, and dominated by mutual exclusion (~60%). The data show a high degree of specialization to micro-environments in the water column and highlight the importance of interdependencies particularly between free-living bacteria in the upper layers of the epipelagic zone. PMID:27199970

  5. Levels of cadmium and mercury in the hair of Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) from Svalbard, Norway

    SciTech Connect

    Wiig, O.; Renzoni, A.; Gjertz, I.

    1999-08-01

    Hair samples of 15 adult male Atlantic walruses (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) collected from anesthetized individuals at Svalbard, Norway, were analyzed for cadmium and total mercury. The mean level of cadmium was 0.860 {+-} 0.321 {micro}g/g dry weight and the mean level of mercury was 0.235 {+-} 0.100 {micro}g/g dry weight. Levels of cadmium and mercury in hair of walruses from other areas are not known. Both cadmium and mercury levels in hair of walruses from Svalbard are relatively low compared to the levels found in the hair of other marine mammal species. It has been documented from a number of marine species, including marine mammals such as ringed seals and polar bears, that both cadmium and mercury levels of Svalbard are lower than in other areas. It is uncertain as to what degree levels in hair reflect levels in internal organs in walruses. In rare and highly endangered species or populations tissue samples can be difficult to collect. In walruses, it is possible to collect hair from anesthetized individuals or at the haul-out sites during molt, to monitor heavy metal levels of the population.

  6. Mother-calf vocal communication in Atlantic walrus: a first field experimental study.

    PubMed

    Charrier, Isabelle; Aubin, Thierry; Mathevon, Nicolas

    2010-05-01

    In all colonial pinnipeds studied, mother-young vocal recognition exists and allows rapid and reliable meetings in spite of the confusing environment of the breeding colony. The efficiency of this recognition process guarantees pup survival, especially in species where females alternate foraging sea trips and lactation periods on land. The Atlantic Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus) is a highly gregarious pinniped with females attending their calves for an extended period of time (2-3 years). Although we expect mother-calf vocal recognition to occur in this species due to the high density of individuals packed in herds, it has never been experimentally demonstrated. Here, we assessed the individual stereotypy of both mother and calf barks recorded in the wild by measuring frequency and temporal acoustic parameters. Both discriminant function and artificial neural network analyses resulted in high correct classification rates, underlying a well-defined individual stereotypy in parameters related to frequency modulation and frequency values. Playback experiments showed that mothers were more responsive to the barks of their own calf than to those of unrelated young. Finally, propagation experiments revealed that barks propagate at greater distances over water surface than over ice, acoustic features such as frequency modulation and frequency spectrum being highly resistant to degradation during propagation. Thus, acoustic analysis and propagation experiments suggest that these frequency parameters might be the key acoustic features involved in the individual identification process. This experimental study clearly demonstrates that Atlantic walrus has developed a highly reliable mother-calf vocal communication allowing such strong social bond. PMID:19960216

  7. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge.

    PubMed

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M; Furgal, Chris M; Hammill, Mike O; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health. PMID:27049757

  8. Towards a Better Understanding of the Effects of UV on Atlantic Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus: A Study Combining Histological Data with Local Ecological Knowledge

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Levasseur, Laura M.; Furgal, Chris M.; Hammill, Mike O.; Burness, Gary

    2016-01-01

    Walruses, Odobenus rosmarus, play a key role in the Arctic ecosystem, including northern Indigenous communities, which are reliant upon walruses for aspects of their diet and culture. However, walruses face varied environmental threats including rising sea-water temperatures and decreasing ice cover. An underappreciated threat may be the large amount of solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) that continues to reach the Arctic as a result of ozone loss. UV has been shown to negatively affect whales. Like whales, walrus skin is unprotected by fur, but in contrast, walruses spend long periods of time hauled-out on land. In this study, we combined the results of histological analyses of skin sections from five Atlantic walruses, Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus, collected in Nunavik (Northern Quebec, Canada) with qualitative data obtained through the interviews of 33 local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders. Histological analyses allowed us to explore UV-induced cellular lesions and interviews with experienced walrus hunters and Elders helped us to study the incidences and temporal changes of UV-induced gross lesions in walruses. At the microscopic scale, we detected a range of skin abnormalities consistent with UV damage. However, currently such UV effects do not seem to be widely observed at the whole-animal level (i.e., absence of skin blistering, erythema, eye cataract) by individuals interviewed. Although walruses may experience skin damage under normal everyday UV exposure, the long-term data from local walrus hunters and Inuit Elders did not report a relation between the increased sun radiation secondary to ozone loss and walrus health. PMID:27049757

  9. Free-living nematode species (Nematoda) dwelling in hydrothermal sites of the North Mid-Atlantic Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tchesunov, Alexei V.

    2015-12-01

    Morphological descriptions of seven free-living nematode species from hydrothermal sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge are presented. Four of them are new for science: Paracanthonchus olgae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Cyatholaimidae), Prochromadora helenae sp. n. (Chromadorida, Chromadoridae), Prochaetosoma ventriverruca sp. n. (Desmodorida, Draconematidae) and Leptolaimus hydrothermalis sp. n. (Plectida, Leptolaimidae). Two species have been previously recorded in hydrothermal habitats, and one species is recorded for the first time in such an environment. Oncholaimus scanicus (Enoplida, Oncholaimidae) was formerly known from only the type locality in non-hydrothermal shallow milieu of the Norway Sea. O. scanicus is a very abundant species in Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Lost City hydrothermal sites, and population of the last locality differs from other two in some morphometric characteristics. Desmodora marci (Desmodorida, Desmodoridae) was previously known from other remote deep-sea hydrothermal localities in south-western and north-eastern Pacific. Halomonhystera vandoverae (Monhysterida, Monhysteridae) was described and repeatedly found in mass in Snake Pit hydrothermal site. The whole hydrothermal nematode assemblages are featured by low diversity in comparison with either shelf or deep-sea non-hydrothermal communities. The nematode species list of the Atlantic hydrothermal vents consists of representatives of common shallow-water genera; the new species are also related to some shelf species. On the average, the hydrothermal species differ from those of slope and abyssal plains of comparable depths by larger sizes, diversity of buccal structures, presence of food content in the gut and ripe eggs in uteri.

  10. Feeding behaviour of free-ranging walruses with notes on apparent dextrality of flipper use

    PubMed Central

    Levermann, Nette; Galatius, Anders; Ehlme, Göran; Rysgaard, Søren; Born, Erik W

    2003-01-01

    Background Direct observations of underwater behaviour of free-living marine mammals are rare. This is particularly true for large and potentially dangerous species such as the walrus (Odobenus rosmarus). Walruses are highly specialised predators on benthic invertebrates – especially bivalves. The unique feeding niche of walruses has led to speculations as to their underwater foraging behaviour. Based on observations of walruses in captivity and signs of predation left on the sea floor by free-living walruses, various types of feeding behaviour have been suggested in the literature. In this study, however, the underwater feeding behaviour of wild adult male Atlantic walruses (O. r. rosmarus) is documented for the first time in their natural habitat by scuba-divers. The video recordings indicated a predisposition for use of the right front flipper during feeding. This tendency towards dextrality was explored further by examining a museum collection of extremities of walrus skeletons. Results During July and August 2001, twelve video-recordings of foraging adult male walruses were made in Young Sound (74°18 N; 20°15 V), Northeast Greenland. The recordings did not allow for differentiation among animals, however based on notes by the photographer at least five different individuals were involved. The walruses showed four different foraging behaviours; removing sediment by beating the right flipper, removing sediment by beating the left flipper, removing sediment by use of a water-jet from the mouth and rooting through sediment with the muzzle. There was a significant preference for using right flipper over left flipper during foraging. Measurements of the dimensions of forelimbs from 23 walrus skeletons revealed that the length of the right scapula, humerus, and ulna was significantly greater than that of the left, supporting our field observations of walruses showing a tendency of dextrality in flipper use. Conclusion We suggest that the four feeding behaviours

  11. The late Wisconsinan and Holocene record of Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) from North America: A review with new data from Arctic and Atlantic Canada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dyke, A.S.; Hooper, J.; Harington, C.R.; Savelle, J.M.

    1999-01-01

    The Late Wisconsinan and Holocene record of the Atlantic walrus is known from numerous collections of bones and tusks from Arctic Canada and south to North Carolina, as well as from many archaeological sites in the Arctic and Subarctic. In contrast, the Pacific walrus has no dated Late Wisconsinan or early Holocene record in North America, and it may have been displaced into the northwest Pacific at Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The Atlantic walrus rapidly exploited newly deglaciated territory, moving northward from its LGM refugium and reaching the Bay of Fundy by 12800 B.P., the Grand Banks by 12500 B.P., southern Labrador by 11500 B.P., and the central Canadian Arctic Archipelago (CAA) by 9700 B.P. Its southern range limit may have retracted to the Bay of Fundy by ca. 7500 B.P. Within the CAA, walrus remains cluster in two main age groups: 9700 to 8500 B.P. and 5000 to 4/3000 B.P. This pattern strongly resembles the distribution of bowhead whale radiocarbon ages from the same area, which suggests a common control by sea-ice conditions. Walrus remains occur in Indian culture archaeological sites as old as 7500 B.P. and, in some cases (Namu, British Columbia, and Mackinac Island, Michigan), they evidently represent long-distance human transport. They are much more common in Paleoeskimo and Neoeskimo culture sites. However, they occur in very low abundances, and generally as debitage, in sites older than Dorset (2500 B.P.). The walrus, therefore, may not have been hunted by early Paleoeskimos. Beginning with Early Dorset, walrus remains occur in definite diet-related contexts. Middle Dorset (2300 to 1500 B.P.) and late Thule (<400 B.P.) sites are missing from the High Arctic, and there may be a similar gap in the middle Pre-Dorset (3400 to 2600 B.P.). Sea-ice conditions at these times may have adversely affected availability of walrus and other marine mammal resources. Walrus is a prominent faunal element in Middle Dorset sites on the Labrador coast; this is

  12. Demographic inferences using short-read genomic data in an approximate Bayesian computation framework: in silico evaluation of power, biases and proof of concept in Atlantic walrus.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Aaron B A; Gattepaille, Lucie M; Stewart, Robert E A; Wolf, Jochen B W

    2015-01-01

    Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is a powerful tool for model-based inference of demographic histories from large genetic data sets. For most organisms, its implementation has been hampered by the lack of sufficient genetic data. Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) provides cheap genome-scale data to fill this gap, but its potential has not fully been exploited. Here, we explored power, precision and biases of a coalescent-based ABC approach where GBS data were modelled with either a population mutation parameter (θ) or a fixed site (FS) approach, allowing single or several segregating sites per locus. With simulated data ranging from 500 to 50 000 loci, a variety of demographic models could be reliably inferred across a range of timescales and migration scenarios. Posterior estimates were informative with 1000 loci for migration and split time in simple population divergence models. In more complex models, posterior distributions were wide and almost reverted to the uninformative prior even with 50 000 loci. ABC parameter estimates, however, were generally more accurate than an alternative composite-likelihood method. Bottleneck scenarios proved particularly difficult, and only recent bottlenecks without recovery could be reliably detected and dated. Notably, minor-allele-frequency filters - usual practice for GBS data - negatively affected nearly all estimates. With this in mind, we used a combination of FS and θ approaches on empirical GBS data generated from the Atlantic walrus (Odobenus rosmarus rosmarus), collectively providing support for a population split before the last glacial maximum followed by asymmetrical migration and a high Arctic bottleneck. Overall, this study evaluates the potential and limitations of GBS data in an ABC-coalescence framework and proposes a best-practice approach. PMID:25482153

  13. Molecular method for determining sex of walruses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, A.S.; Jay, C.V.; Jackson, J.V.; Andersen, L.W.; Sage, G.K.; Talbot, S.L.

    2008-01-01

    We evaluated the ability of a set of published trans-species molecular sexing primers and a set of walrus-specific primers, which we developed, to accurately identify sex of 235 Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The trans-species primers were developed for mammals and targeted the X- and Y-gametologs of the zinc finger protein genes (ZFX, ZFY). We extended this method by using these primers to obtain sequence from Pacific and Atlantic walrus (0. r. rosmarus) ZFX and ZFY genes to develop new walrus-specific primers, which yield polymerase chain reaction products of distinct lengths (327 and 288 base pairs from the X- and Y-chromosome, respectively), allowing them to be used for sex determination. Both methods yielded a determination of sex in all but 1-2% of samples with an accuracy of 99.6-100%. Our walrus-specific primers offer the advantage of small fragment size and facile application to automated electrophoresis and visualization.

  14. Spatial variation and low diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Fales, Krystal; Jay, Chadwick V.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2014-01-01

    Increased global temperature and associated changes to Arctic habitats will likely result in the northward advance of species, including an influx of pathogens novel to the Arctic. How species respond to these immunological challenges will depend in part on the adaptive potential of their immune response system. We compared levels of genetic diversity at a gene associated with adaptive immune response [Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC), DQB exon 2] between populations of walrus (Odobenus rosmarus), a sea ice-dependent Arctic species. Walrus was represented by only five MHC DQB alleles, with frequency differences observed between Pacific and Atlantic populations. MHC DQB alleles appear to be under balancing selection, and most (80 %; n = 4/5) of the alleles were observed in walruses from both oceans, suggesting broad scale differences in the frequency of exposure and diversity of pathogens may be influencing levels of heterozygosity at DQB in walruses. Limited genetic diversity at MHC, however, suggests that walrus may have a reduced capacity to respond to novel immunological challenges associated with shifts in ecological communities and environmental stressors predicted for changing climates. This is particularly pertinent for walrus, since reductions in summer sea ice may facilitate both northward expansion of marine species and associated pathogens from more temperate regions, and exchange of marine mammals and associated pathogens through the recently opened Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans in the Canadian high Arctic.

  15. Microorganisms Resistant to Free-Living Amoebae

    PubMed Central

    Greub, Gilbert; Raoult, Didier

    2004-01-01

    Free-living amoebae feed on bacteria, fungi, and algae. However, some microorganisms have evolved to become resistant to these protists. These amoeba-resistant microorganisms include established pathogens, such as Cryptococcus neoformans, Legionella spp., Chlamydophila pneumoniae, Mycobacterium avium, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Francisella tularensis, and emerging pathogens, such as Bosea spp., Simkania negevensis, Parachlamydia acanthamoebae, and Legionella-like amoebal pathogens. Some of these amoeba-resistant bacteria (ARB) are lytic for their amoebal host, while others are considered endosymbionts, since a stable host-parasite ratio is maintained. Free-living amoebae represent an important reservoir of ARB and may, while encysted, protect the internalized bacteria from chlorine and other biocides. Free-living amoebae may act as a Trojan horse, bringing hidden ARB within the human “Troy,” and may produce vesicles filled with ARB, increasing their transmission potential. Free-living amoebae may also play a role in the selection of virulence traits and in adaptation to survival in macrophages. Thus, intra-amoebal growth was found to enhance virulence, and similar mechanisms seem to be implicated in the survival of ARB in response to both amoebae and macrophages. Moreover, free-living amoebae represent a useful tool for the culture of some intracellular bacteria and new bacterial species that might be potential emerging pathogens. PMID:15084508

  16. Behavioral sleep in the walrus.

    PubMed

    Pryaslova, Julia P; Lyamin, Oleg I; Siegel, Jerome M; Mukhametov, Lev M

    2009-07-19

    In this study we examined behavioral sleep in the walrus, the only living species of the family Odobenidae. The behavior of four 1.5-2-year-old captive walruses was videotaped continuously for 7-17 days and scored in 1-min epochs. When walruses had access to water and land, behavioral sleep, the combined amount of quiet and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, occupied on average 17+/-4% of 24 h (n=4) with the majority of sleep occurring on land. All walruses alternated periods of almost continuous swimming lasting for 40-84 h with periods of rest on land lasting for 2-19 h. When in water they were predominantly awake (88-99% of the time). On land walruses were asleep on average 40-74% of the time. The total sleep time varied between 0 and 60% of 24h with the daily amount of REM sleep ranging from 0 to 5% of 24 h. In water, walruses slept while floating at the surface, lying on the bottom or standing and leaning against the pool wall. REM sleep in water occurred in all positions. On land the breathing pattern was regular during quiet sleep (most pauses were <30s) and arrhythmic in REM sleep (apneas lasted up to 160 s). While in water the irregularity of breathing further increased (apneas were >4 min) and all REM sleep episodes occurred during a single apnea. Data indicate that the pattern of sleep and breathing in walruses is similar to the Otariidae seals while on land and the Phocidae seals while in water. PMID:19428620

  17. Chlamydial infections in free-living birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brand, C.J.

    1989-01-01

    Most studies of chlamydial infections in free-living wild birds have been limited to surveys for the presence of Chlamydia psittaci or antibody to C psittaci and have largely been done in association with the identification of chlamydiosis in human beings, commercial fowl, or pet birds. The emphasis of these studies has been to determine the prevalence of infection and the potential role of wild birds in the spread of chlamydiae to domestic birds and human beings. Little is known about the epizootiology of chlamydiosis in free-living birds or its affect on their population dynamics. The following article is a summary of reported studies of chlamydiosis in free-living wild birds in relation to host range, ecologic aspects of transmission and maintenance, and the prevalence of disease.

  18. Developmental diversity in free-living flatworms

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Flatworm embryology has attracted attention since the early beginnings of comparative evolutionary biology. Considered for a long time the most basal bilaterians, the Platyhelminthes (excluding Acoelomorpha) are now robustly placed within the Spiralia. Despite having lost their relevance to explain the transition from radially to bilaterally symmetrical animals, the study of flatworm embryology is still of great importance to understand the diversification of bilaterians and of developmental mechanisms. Flatworms are acoelomate organisms generally with a simple centralized nervous system, a blind gut, and lacking a circulatory organ, a skeleton and a respiratory system other than the epidermis. Regeneration and asexual reproduction, based on a totipotent neoblast stem cell system, are broadly present among different groups of flatworms. While some more basally branching groups - such as polyclad flatworms - retain the ancestral quartet spiral cleavage pattern, most flatworms have significantly diverged from this pattern and exhibit unique strategies to specify the common adult body plan. Most free-living flatworms (i.e. Platyhelminthes excluding the parasitic Neodermata) are directly developing, whereas in polyclads, also indirect developers with an intermediate free-living larval stage and subsequent metamorphosis are found. A comparative study of developmental diversity may help understanding major questions in evolutionary biology, such as the evolution of cleavage patterns, gastrulation and axial specification, the evolution of larval types, and the diversification and specialization of organ systems. In this review, we present a thorough overview of the embryonic development of the different groups of free-living (turbellarian) platyhelminths, including the Catenulida, Macrostomorpha, Polycladida, Lecithoepitheliata, Proseriata, Bothrioplanida, Rhabdocoela, Fecampiida, Prolecithophora and Tricladida, and discuss their main features under a consensus phylogeny

  19. Infections with free-living amebae.

    PubMed

    Visvesvara, Govinda S

    2013-01-01

    Acanthamoeba spp., Balamuthia mandrillaris, and Naegleria fowleri are mitochondria-bearing, free-living eukaryotic amebae that have been known to cause infections of the central nervous system (CNS) of humans and other animals. Several species of Acanthamoeba belonging to several different genotypes cause an insidious and chronic disease, granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE), principally in immunocompromised hosts including persons infected with HIV/AIDS. Acanthamoeba spp., belonging to mostly group 2, also cause infection of the human cornea, Acanthamoeba keratitis. Balamuthia mandrillaris causes GAE in both immunocompromised and immunocompetent hosts mostly in the very young or very old individuals. Both Acanthamoeba spp. and B. mandrillaris also cause a disseminated disease including the lungs, skin, kidneys, and uterus. Naegleria fowleri, on the other hand, causes an acute and fulminating, necrotizing infection of the CNS called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) in children and young adults with a history of recent exposure to warm fresh water. Additionally, another free-living ameba Sappinia pedata, previously described as S. diploidea, also has caused a single case of amebic meningoencephalitis. In this review the biology of these amebae, clinical manifestations, molecular and immunological diagnosis, and epidemiological features associated with GAE and PAM are discussed. PMID:23829906

  20. Free-living amebic meningoencephalitides: comparative study.

    PubMed

    Martínez, A J

    1977-01-01

    Primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is an infectious disease essentially confined to the central nervous system (CNS) and caused by free-living ameboflagellates of the genus Naegleria (N) and Acanthamoeba (A). N produces an acute fulminant, usually fatal hemorrhagic-necrotizing meningoencephalitis, associated with an inflammatory reaction composed of neutrophils, eosinophils, macrophages and a few lymphocytes. The incubation period is between 3-7 days. Typically, PAM occurs in healthy, young individuals, who frequently have a history of swimming or washing their face in infested waters. The portal of entry into the CNS is through the olfactory neuroepithelium, at the level of the cribriform plate and invasion of the amyelinic submucosal nervous plexus. Trophozoites are the only amebic forms found in the lesions. By contrast, A produces a sub-acute or chronic granulamotous meningoencephalitis (AM) with multinucleated foreign body giant cells, lymphocytes and monocytes. Cysts and trophozoites may be present in the lesions. AM have been reported in chronically ill debilitated individuals, some of them under immunosuppressive therapy, without history of recent swimming. The portal of entry into the CNS appears to be by hematogenous route. The incubation period is unknown, but perhaps more than 10 days. This comparison indicates that infection due to Naegleria produces a clearly defined clinco-pathological entity, which differs significantly from that due to Acanthamoeba, and both species of amebus should be considered in the differential diagnosis of amebic meningoencephalitis. PMID:616542

  1. Free-living amoebae: Health concerns in the indoor environment

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Ironside, K.S.

    1990-01-01

    Free-living amoebae are the most likely protozoa implicated in health concerns of the indoor environment. These amoebae can be the source of allergic reactions, eye infections or, on rare occasions, encephalitis. While too large to be effectively aerosolized, free- living amoebae can support the multiplication of pathogens such as Legionella which are easily aerosolized and infectious via the pulmonary route. Traditional detection methods for free-living amoebae are laborious and time consuming. Newer techniques for rapidly detecting and quantitating free-living amoebae such as monoclonal antibodies, flow cytometry, gene probes, and laser optics have or could be employed. 25 refs.

  2. Assessment of the extirpated Maritimes walrus using morphological and ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    McLeod, Brenna A; Frasier, Timothy R; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  3. Assessment of the Extirpated Maritimes Walrus Using Morphological and Ancient DNA Analysis

    PubMed Central

    McLeod, Brenna A.; Frasier, Timothy R.; Lucas, Zoe

    2014-01-01

    Species biogeography is a result of complex events and factors associated with climate change, ecological interactions, anthropogenic impacts, physical geography, and evolution. To understand the contemporary biogeography of a species, it is necessary to understand its history. Specimens from areas of localized extinction are important, as extirpation of species from these areas may represent the loss of unique adaptations and a distinctive evolutionary trajectory. The walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) has a discontinuous circumpolar distribution in the arctic and subarctic that once included the southeastern Canadian Maritimes region. However, exploitation of the Maritimes population during the 16th-18th centuries led to extirpation, and the species has not inhabited areas south of 55°N for ∼250 years. We examined genetic and morphological characteristics of specimens from the Maritimes, Atlantic (O. r. rosmarus) and Pacific (O. r. divergens) populations to test the hypothesis that the first group was distinctive. Analysis of Atlantic and Maritimes specimens indicated that most skull and mandibular measurements were significantly different between the Maritimes and Atlantic groups and discriminant analysis of principal components confirmed them as distinctive groups, with complete isolation of skull features. The Maritimes walrus appear to have been larger animals, with larger and more robust tusks, skulls and mandibles. The mtDNA control region haplotypes identified in Maritimes specimens were unique to the region and a greater average number of nucleotide differences were found between the regions (Atlantic and Maritimes) than within either group. Levels of diversity (h and π) were lower in the Maritimes, consistent with other studies of species at range margins. Our data suggest that the Maritimes walrus was a morphologically and genetically distinctive group that was on a different evolutionary path from other walrus found in the north Atlantic. PMID:24924490

  4. Hemosporidian parasites of free-living birds in the São Paulo Zoo, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Chagas, Carolina Romeiro Fernandes; Guimarães, Lilian de Oliveira; Monteiro, Eliana Ferreira; Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Katayama, Michele Viana; Santos, Stéfanie Vanessa; Guida, Fernanda Junqueira Vaz; Simões, Roseli França; Kirchgatter, Karin

    2016-04-01

    Numerous studies addressed the diversity of bird Plasmodium and Haemoproteus parasites. However, a few have been carried out in continental avian hotspot regions such as Brazil, a country with markedly different biomes, including Amazon, Brazilian Savanna, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Pantanal, and Pampas. We present the first study on hemosporidian (Haemosporida) parasites in free-living birds from an Atlantic Forest fragment where more than 80 avian species have been reported. Within this area, the São Paulo Zoo locates, and it is the fourth largest zoo in the world and the largest in Latin America. A total of 133 free-living bird samples representing 12 species were collected in the zoo, with the overall hemosporidian prevalence of 18 % by PCR-based diagnostics. Twenty-four positive PCR signals were reported from four different bird species, including migratory ones. Columba livia, an urban species, considered nowadays a pest in big cities, showed 100 % prevalence of Haemoproteus spp., mainly Haemoproteus columbae. We discuss the epidemiological importance of new parasites introduced by migratory birds in the São Paulo Zoo area and the risk it poses to the captive species, which are natives or exotics. We also warn about the influence these parasites can have on the biodiversity and the structure of host populations by altering the competitive interaction between the free-living and the captive birds. PMID:26677094

  5. Blood protozoa of free-living birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herman, C.M.

    1969-01-01

    Blood protozoa were first reported from wild birds in 1884. Since then numerous surveys throughout the world have demonstrated their presence in a wide variety of hosts and localities with continuing designations of new species. Taxonomic determinations include parasites in the genera Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, Leucocytozoon, Babesia, Lankesterella and Trypanosoma. Transmission of Plasmodium by mosquitoes was demonstrated with a bird parasite before these insects were proven as vectors of human malaria. All the genera under consideration require an insect vector to complete their life-cycles and susceptible vectors have been demonstrated. Most experimental work on the blood protozoa of birds has been carried on with captive birds. An extensive volume of research has been conducted on Plasmodium because of its close similarity to malaria in man. Field studies that would provide information on the epizootiology of occurrence of these parasites in wild populations have been very limited, mainly confined to single blood film surveys. Such data are inadequate to provide an understanding of true prevalence or incidence or of factual knowledge of their impact on the wild population. Mechanisms for procuring such information are available in some cases and can be developed to fit other situations. Isodiagnosis, inoculation of blood from wild birds into susceptible captive hosts, has revealed a prevalence of over 60 % for Plasmodium in situations where microscope examination of single peripheral blood preparations yielded less than 1 %. Culture of bone marrow collected by biopsy demonstrates high prevalence of trypanosomes even when none are evident from microscopic examination of blood. Often preparations of tissues collected at necropsy reveal Leucocytozoon and Lankesterella when examination of peripheral blood gave no indication of infection. Methods developed by bird ringers provide techniques for obtaining repeat examinations of free-living birds that can yield further

  6. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs

    PubMed Central

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-01-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  7. The use of singleplex and nested PCR to detect Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in free-living frogs.

    PubMed

    Coutinho, Selene Dall'Acqua; Burke, Julieta Catarina; de Paula, Catia Dejuste; Rodrigues, Miguel Trefaut; Catão-Dias, José Luiz

    2015-06-01

    Many microorganisms are able to cause diseases in amphibians, and in the past few years one of the most reported has been Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. This fungus was first reported in Brazil in 2005; following this, other reports were made in specimens deposited in museum collections, captive and free-living frogs. The aim of this study was to compare singleplex and nested-PCR techniques to detect B. dendrobatidis in free-living and apparently healthy adult frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The sample collection area was a protected government park, with no general entrance permitted and no management of the animals there. Swabs were taken from the skin of 107 animals without macroscopic lesions and they were maintained in ethanol p.a. Fungal DNA was extracted and identification of B. dendrobatidis was performed using singleplex and nested-PCR techniques, employing specific primers sequences. B. dendrobatidis was detected in 61/107 (57%) and 18/107 (17%) animals, respectively by nested and singleplex-PCR. Nested-PCR was statistically more sensible than the conventional for the detection of B. dendrobatidis (Chi-square = 37.1; α = 1%) and the agreement between both techniques was considered just fair (Kappa = 0.27). The high prevalence obtained confirms that these fungi occur in free-living frogs from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest with no macroscopic lesions, characterizing the state of asymptomatic carrier. We concluded that the nested-PCR technique, due to its ease of execution and reproducibility, can be recommended as one of the alternatives in epidemiological surveys to detect B. dendrobatidis in healthy free-living frog populations. PMID:26273273

  8. Pacific Walrus Response to Arctic Sea Ice Losses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2008-01-01

    Sea ice plays an important role in the life of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are seeking to understand how losses of sea ice during summer over important foraging grounds in the Chukchi Sea will affect walruses. USGS scientists recently modified a remotely deployed satellite radio-tag that will aid in studying walrus foraging habitats and behaviors. Information from the tags will help USGS understand how walruses are responding to their changing environment.

  9. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 8 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  10. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  11. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  12. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  13. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109... walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) in waters or on lands subject to the jurisdiction of the State of Alaska,...

  14. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  15. 50 CFR 216.85 - Walrus and Otter Islands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 10 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Walrus and Otter Islands. 216.85 Section... MAMMALS Pribilof Islands Administration § 216.85 Walrus and Otter Islands. By Executive Order 1044, dated February 27, 1909, Walrus and Otter Islands were set aside as bird reservations. All persons are...

  16. First Gammaherpesvirus detection in a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin.

    PubMed

    Lecis, Roberta; Tocchetti, Marco; Rotta, Andrea; Naitana, Salvatore; Ganges, Llilianne; Pittau, Marco; Alberti, Alberto

    2014-12-01

    Recently, herpes viruses have been detected in different cetacean species from the Atlantic and in Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba). While pathogens such as cetacean morbillivirus have been widely studied following recent epizootics, herpesvirus (HV) distribution and pathogenic effects in cetaceans are still understudied. This study reports the first molecular identification of a Gammaherpesvirus in the genital mucosa of a free-living Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) stranded off the coast of central Italy. Sequenced herpesviral PCR product was closely related to other HVs recently isolated in the genital mucosa of various cetacean species. PMID:25632684

  17. Free-living flatworms under the knife: past and present

    PubMed Central

    Gschwentner, Robert; Rieger, Reinhard

    2006-01-01

    Traditionally, regeneration research has been closely tied to flatworm research, as flatworms (Plathelminthes) were among the first animals where the phenomenon of regeneration was discovered. Since then, the main focus of flatworm regeneration research was on triclads, for which various phenomena were observed and a number of theories developed. However, free-living flatworms encompass a number of other taxa where regeneration was found to be possible. This review aims to display and to compare regeneration in all major free-living flatworm taxa, with special focus on a new player in the field of regeneration, Macrostomum lignano (Macrostomorpha). Findings on the regeneration capacity of this organism provide clues for links between regeneration and (post-)embryonic development, starvation, and asexual reproduction. The role of the nervous system and especially the brain for regeneration is discussed, and similarities as well as particularities in regeneration among free-living flatworms are pointed out. PMID:17146688

  18. Study of sleep in a walrus.

    PubMed

    Lyamin, O I; Kosenko, P O; Vyssotski, A L; Lapierre, J L; Siegel, J M; Mukhametov, L M

    2012-01-01

    Several behavioral and physiological adaptations have been developed in evolution of Pinnipeds allowing them to sleep both on land and in water. To date sleep has been examined in detail in eared and true seals (the families of Otariidae and Phocidae). The aim of this study was to examine sleep in another semiaquatic mammal - the walrus, which is the only extant representative of the family Odobenidae. Slow wave and paradoxical sleep (SWS and PS) in the examined walrus (2 year old female, weight 130 kg) averaged 19.4 ± 2.0 and 6.9 ± 1.1% of 24-h when on land, and 20.5 ± 0.8% of 24-h and 1.1 ± 0.6% when in water, respectively. The average duration of PS episode was 6.4 ± 0.6 min (maximum 23 min) when on land and 1.8 ± 0.1 min (maximum 3.3 min) when in water. In water, sleep occurred predominantly while the walrus submerged and lay on the bottom of the pool (89% of total sleep time). The walrus usually woke up while emerging to the surface for breathing. Most often EEG slow waves developed synchronously in both cortical hemispheres (90% of SWS time when on land and 97% when in water). Short episodes of interhemispheric EEG asymmetry usually coincided with brief opening of one eye. The pattern of sleep in the walrus was similar to the pattern of sleep in the Otariidae seals while on land (predominantly bilateral SWS, accompanied by regular breathing) and to the pattern of sleep in the Phocidae while in water (sleep during apneas both in depth and at the surface, interrupted by brief arousal when emerging for breathing). PMID:22760621

  19. Ocean environmental effects on walrus communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denes, Samuel L.

    This work aimed to develop source characteristics and transmission effects for the acoustic breeding displays of male Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Pacific walrus breeding activities occur in late winter in the Bering Sea, an area renowned for extreme weather conditions and high biological productivity. During the breeding season, males perform acoustic displays while swimming in the vicinity of females hauled out on ice. Underwater vocalizations heard by individuals hauled out on ice may be important in the mate selection process. The extreme environment in which walrus breeding activities occur precludes direct observation of these animals during this important period and has resulted in a lack of data. A combination of remote-sensing data, captive animal research, controlled environment experiment, and computational modeling was used to increase our understanding of the acoustic displays of Pacific walrus. Analysis of recordings of captive and wild male Pacific walrus vocalizations during breeding season provided quantification of source characteristics. Working with a captive animal provided the ability to make direct observations of a male producing breeding vocalizations and the direct calculation of source level. The mean peak to peak source level of the impulsive knocks produced by the captive male was 183 dB (re: 1 microPa) with the middle 95% of the knocks between 168 dB and 195 dB. The broadband knock signals contained significant acoustic energy up to 13 kHz. To estimate source level from wild vocalizations, the location of the source walrus first needed to be determined. Using a method of relative multipath arrival time, more than 37,000 knocks were localized from six years of data from autonomous recorders deployed in the Bering Sea. The mean peak-peak source level from the wild recordings was 177 dB (re: 1 microPa) with 95% of the knocks between 163 dB and 189 dB. For both wild and captive vocalizations, a significant relationship

  20. Accuracy of Step Recording in Free-Living Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Behrens, Timothy K.; Dinger, Mary K.; Vesely, Sara K.; Fields, David A.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate how accurately free-living adults record their pedometer steps on step logs. Researchers used three different methods to examine the accuracy of participant-recorded steps: tests of equivalence, correlation coefficients, and Bland-Altman plots. Findings indicate that participant-recorded steps…

  1. Application of airborne thermal imagery to surveys of Pacific walrus

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.; Udevitz, M.S.

    2006-01-01

    We conducted tests of airborne thermal imagery of Pacific walrus to determine if this technology can be used to detect walrus groups on sea ice and estimate the number of walruses present in each group. In April 2002 we collected thermal imagery of 37 walrus groups in the Bering Sea at spatial resolutions ranging from 1-4 m. We also collected high-resolution digital aerial photographs of the same groups. Walruses were considerably warmer than the background environment of ice, snow, and seawater and were easily detected in thermal imagery. We found a significant linear relation between walrus group size and the amount of heat measured by the thermal sensor at all 4 spatial resolutions tested. This relation can be used in a double-sampling framework to estimate total walrus numbers from a thermal survey of a sample of units within an area and photographs from a subsample of the thermally detected groups. Previous methods used in visual aerial surveys of Pacific walrus have sampled only a small percentage of available habitat, resulting in population estimates with low precision. Results of this study indicate that an aerial survey using a thermal sensor can cover as much as 4 times the area per hour of flight time with greater reliability than visual observation.

  2. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the moratorium on the hunting and killing of...

  3. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the moratorium on the hunting and killing of...

  4. 50 CFR 18.94 - Pacific walrus (Alaska).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 9 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Pacific walrus (Alaska). 18.94 Section 18... Marine Mammal Species § 18.94 Pacific walrus (Alaska). (a) Pursuant to sections 101(a)(3)(A) 103, and 109 of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the moratorium on the hunting and killing of...

  5. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in free-living African mammals.

    PubMed

    Riemann, G P; Burridge, M J; Behymer, D E; Franti, C E

    1975-10-01

    Twelve species of free-living African mammals from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia were tested for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii using the indirect hemagglutination test. Of 157 animals sampled, 20 (13%) were seropositive. T. gondii antibodies were detected in Burchell's zebra, (Equus burchelli), hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), African elephant (Loxodonta africana), defassa waterbuck (Kobus defassa), lion (Panthera leo), and rock hyrax (Procavia capensis), The highest titers were found in elephants, two having titers of 1:4096 and one of 1:8192. These results are discussed in relation to the maintenance of T. gondii among African wildlife. PMID:1195497

  6. Natural infection by endoparasites among free-living wild animals.

    PubMed

    Holsback, Luciane; Cardoso, Mauro José Lahm; Fagnani, Rafael; Patelli, Thaís Helena Constantino

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the frequency of occurrence and variety of intestinal parasites among free-living wild animals. Fecal samples from wild mammals and birds at rehabilitation centers in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul and São Paulo were analyzed by sedimentation and flotation-centrifugation methods. Parasite eggs, oocysts, cysts and/or trophozoites were found in 71% of the samples. Cryptosporidium sp. oocysts were detected in fecal samples from oncillas (Leopardus tigrinus) and scaly-headed parrots (Pionus maximiliani). Giardia cysts were identified in the feces of a gray brocket (Mazama gouazoubira). Among the most common parasites found, there were eggs from Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina and Ancylostoma tubaeforme, and from Cestoda. Several Enterobius sp. eggs were found in the feces of red howler monkeys (Alouatta seniculus). It can be concluded from this study that despite the small number of samples, the diversity of parasites found was noteworthy. Additional information about parasite endofauna in wild animals is needed, since their presence might suggest that there could be proximity to and interactions with domestic animals and/or humans. In addition, further studies on parasites from free-living wild animals are of prime importance for understanding the intensity of anthropic changes in wild environments. PMID:23778826

  7. Genetic Variation in the Free-Living Amoeba Naegleria fowleri

    PubMed Central

    Pélandakis, Michel; De Jonckheere, Johan F.; Pernin, Pierre

    1998-01-01

    In this study, 30 strains of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Naegleria fowleri were investigated by using the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method. The present study confirmed our previous finding that RAPD variation is not correlated with geographical origin. In particular, Mexican strains belong to the variant previously detected in Asia, Europe, and the United States. In France, surprisingly, strains from Cattenom gave RAPD patterns identical to those of the Japanese strains. In addition, all of these strains, together with an additional French strain from Chooz, exhibited similarities to South Pacific strains. The results also confirmed the presence of numerous variants in Europe, whereas only two variants were detected in the United States. The two variants found in the United States were different from the South Pacific variants. These findings do not support the previous hypothesis concerning the origin and modes of dispersal of N. fowleri. PMID:9687460

  8. Intestinal proteases of free-living and parasitic astigmatid mites.

    PubMed

    Holt, Deborah C; Burgess, Stewart T G; Reynolds, Simone L; Mahmood, Wajahat; Fischer, Katja

    2013-02-01

    Among arthropod pests, mites are responsible for considerable damage to crops, humans and other animals. However, detailed physiological data on these organisms remain sparse, mainly because of their small size but possibly also because of their extreme diversity. Focusing on intestinal proteases, we draw together information from three distinct mite species that all feed on skin but have separately adapted to a free-living, a strictly ecto-parasitic and a parasitic lifestyle. A wide range of studies involving immunohistology, molecular biology, X-ray crystallography and enzyme biochemistry of mite gut proteases suggests that these creatures have diverged considerably as house dust mites, sheep scab mites and scabies mites. Each species has evolved a particular variation of a presumably ancestral repertoire of digestive enzymes that have become specifically adapted to their individual environmental requirements. PMID:22427061

  9. Cocultivation of Legionella pneumophila and free-living amoebae

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Domingue, E.L.

    1982-10-01

    Studies of the interaction of Legionella pneumophila with free-living amoebae showed that Naegleria lovaniensis and Acanthamoeba royreba could use L. pneumophia as a sole food source. However, growth of the amoebae on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with L. pneumophila was slower than growth on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. On inoculation of L. pneumophila into axenic cultures of N. lovaniensis and A. roryba, 99.9% of the L. pneumophila was destroyed within 24 h. After several weeks, however, some amoeba cultures became chronically infected and supported the growth of L. pneumophila. Amoebae exposed to L. pneumophila and containing adhered L. pneumophila, L. pneumophila antigens, or both, showed no increased pathogenic potential on intranasal inoculation of weanling mice. Similarly, L. pneumophila propagated in chronically infected amoeba cultures showed no increase in virulence on intraperitoneal inoculation of guinea pigs relative to L. pneumophila grown in yeast extract broth. 20 references, 1 figure, 4 tables.

  10. Viruses in close associations with free-living amoebae.

    PubMed

    Scheid, Patrick

    2015-11-01

    As both groups of organisms, free-living amoebae (FLA) and viruses, can be found in aquatic environments side by side, it appears obvious that there are multiple interactions with respect to host-endocytobiont relationships. Several relationships between viruses and protozoan hosts are described and it was the discovery of the so called "giant viruses," associated with amoebae, which gave another dimension to these interactions. Mimiviruses, Pandoraviruses and Pithoviruses are examples for interesting viral endocytobionts within FLA. In the Mimivirus viral factories, viral DNA undergoes replication and transcription, and the DNA is prepared to be packed in procapsids. Theses Mimivirus factories can be considered as efficient "production lines" where, at any given moment, all stages of viral generation including membrane biogenesis, capsid assembly and genome encapsidation, are occurring concomitantly. There are some hints that similar replication factories are involved as well during the Pandoravirus development. Some scientists favour the assumption that the giant viruses have received many of their genes from their hosts or from sympatric occurring endocytobionts via lateral gene transfer. This hypothesis would mean that this type of transfer has been an important process in the evolution of genomes in the context of the intracellular parasitic or endocytobiotic lifestyle. In turn, that would migitate against hypothesizing development of a new branch in the tree of life. Based on the described scenarios to explain the presence of genes related to translation, it is also possible that earlier ancestors of today's DNA viruses were involved in the origin of eukaryotes. That possibly could in turn support the idea that cellular organisms could have evolved from viruses with growing autarkic properties. In future we expect the discovery of further (giant) viruses within free-living amoebae and other protozoa through genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses. PMID

  11. Divergent movements of walrus and sea ice in the Nothern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Kwok, Ron; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens is a large Arctic pinniped of the Chukchi and Bering Seas. Reductions of sea ice projected to occur in the Arctic by mid-century raise concerns for conservation of the Pacific walrus. To understand the significance of sea ice loss to the viability of walruses, it would be useful to better understand the spatial associations between the movements of sea ice and walruses. We investigated whether local-scale (~1 to 100 km) walrus movements correspond to movements of sea ice in the Bering Sea in early spring, using locations from radio-tracked walruses and measures of ice floe movements from processed synthetic aperture radar satellite imagery. We used generalized linear mixed-effects models to analyze the angle between walrus and ice floe movement vectors and the distance between the final geographic position of walruses and their associated ice floes (displacement), as functions of observation duration, proportion of time the walrus was in water, and geographic region. Analyses were based on 121 walrus-ice vector pairs and observations lasting 12 to 36 h. Angles and displacements increased with observation duration, proportion of time the walrus spent in the water, and varied among regions (regional mean angles ranged from 40° to 81° and mean displacements ranged from 15 to 35 km). Our results indicated a lack of correspondence between walruses and their initially associated ice floes, suggesting that local areas of walrus activities were independent of the movement of ice floes.

  12. Nutrient compensatory foraging in a free-living social insect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christensen, Keri L.; Gallacher, Anthony P.; Martin, Lizzie; Tong, Desmond; Elgar, Mark A.

    2010-10-01

    The geometric framework model predicts that animal foraging decisions are influenced by their dietary history, with animals targeting a combination of essential nutrients through compensatory foraging. We provide experimental confirmation of nutrient-specific compensatory foraging in a natural, free-living population of social insects by supplementing their diet with sources of protein- or carbohydrate-rich food. Colonies of the ant Iridomyrmex suchieri were provided with feeders containing food rich in either carbohydrate or protein for 6 days, and were then provided with a feeder containing the same or different diet. The patterns of recruitment were consistent with the geometric framework: while feeders with a carbohydrate diet typically attracted more workers than did feeders with protein diet, the difference in recruitment between the two nutrients was smaller if the colonies had had prior access to carbohydrate than protein. Further, fewer ants visited feeders if the colony had had prior access to protein than to carbohydrates, suggesting that the larvae play a role in worker foraging behaviour.

  13. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals.

    PubMed

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (-5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness. PMID:26337732

  14. Dispersal and gene flow in free-living marine nematodes.

    PubMed

    Derycke, Sofie; Backeljau, Thierry; Moens, Tom

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal and gene flow determine connectivity among populations, and can be studied through population genetics and phylogeography. We here review the results of such a framework for free-living marine nematodes. Although field experiments have illustrated substantial dispersal in nematodes at ecological time scales, analysis of the genetic diversity illustrated the importance of priority effects, founder effects and genetic bottlenecks for population structuring between patches <1 km apart. In contrast, only little genetic structuring was observed within an estuary (<50 km), indicating that these small scale fluctuations in genetic differentiation are stabilized over deeper time scales through extensive gene flow. Interestingly, nematode species with contrasting life histories (extreme colonizers vs persisters) or with different habitat preferences (algae vs sediment) show similar, low genetic structuring. Finally, historical events have shaped the genetic pattern of marine nematodes and show that gene flow is restricted at large geographical scales. We also discuss the presence of substantial cryptic diversity in marine nematodes, and end with highlighting future important steps to further unravel nematode evolution and diversity. PMID:23356547

  15. Dispersal and gene flow in free-living marine nematodes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Dispersal and gene flow determine connectivity among populations, and can be studied through population genetics and phylogeography. We here review the results of such a framework for free-living marine nematodes. Although field experiments have illustrated substantial dispersal in nematodes at ecological time scales, analysis of the genetic diversity illustrated the importance of priority effects, founder effects and genetic bottlenecks for population structuring between patches <1 km apart. In contrast, only little genetic structuring was observed within an estuary (<50 km), indicating that these small scale fluctuations in genetic differentiation are stabilized over deeper time scales through extensive gene flow. Interestingly, nematode species with contrasting life histories (extreme colonizers vs persisters) or with different habitat preferences (algae vs sediment) show similar, low genetic structuring. Finally, historical events have shaped the genetic pattern of marine nematodes and show that gene flow is restricted at large geographical scales. We also discuss the presence of substantial cryptic diversity in marine nematodes, and end with highlighting future important steps to further unravel nematode evolution and diversity. PMID:23356547

  16. Microsporidian infection in a free-living marine nematode.

    PubMed

    Ardila-Garcia, A M; Fast, N M

    2012-12-01

    Microsporidia are unicellular fungi that are obligate endoparasites. Although nematodes are one of the most abundant and diverse animal groups, the only confirmed report of microsporidian infection was that of the "nematode killer" (Nematocida parisii). N. parisii was isolated from a wild Caenorhabditis sp. and causes an acute and lethal intestinal infection in a lab strain of Caenorhabditis elegans. We set out to characterize a microsporidian infection in a wild nematode to determine whether the infection pattern of N. parisii in the lab is typical of microsporidian infections in nematodes. We describe a novel microsporidian species named Sporanauta perivermis (marine spore of roundworms) and characterize its infection in its natural host, the free-living marine nematode Odontophora rectangula. S. perivermis is not closely related to N. parisii and differs strikingly in all aspects of infection. Examination by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the infection was localized in the hypodermal and muscle tissues only and did not involve the intestines. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) confirmed infection in the muscle and hypodermis, and surprisingly, it also revealed that the parasite infects O. rectangula eggs, suggesting a vertical mode of transmission. Our observations highlight the importance of studying parasites in their natural hosts and indicate that not all nematode-infecting microsporidia are "nematode killers"; instead, microsporidiosis can be more versatile and chronic in the wild. PMID:23087371

  17. Microsporidian Infection in a Free-Living Marine Nematode

    PubMed Central

    Ardila-Garcia, A. M.

    2012-01-01

    Microsporidia are unicellular fungi that are obligate endoparasites. Although nematodes are one of the most abundant and diverse animal groups, the only confirmed report of microsporidian infection was that of the “nematode killer” (Nematocida parisii). N. parisii was isolated from a wild Caenorhabditis sp. and causes an acute and lethal intestinal infection in a lab strain of Caenorhabditis elegans. We set out to characterize a microsporidian infection in a wild nematode to determine whether the infection pattern of N. parisii in the lab is typical of microsporidian infections in nematodes. We describe a novel microsporidian species named Sporanauta perivermis (marine spore of roundworms) and characterize its infection in its natural host, the free-living marine nematode Odontophora rectangula. S. perivermis is not closely related to N. parisii and differs strikingly in all aspects of infection. Examination by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed that the infection was localized in the hypodermal and muscle tissues only and did not involve the intestines. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) confirmed infection in the muscle and hypodermis, and surprisingly, it also revealed that the parasite infects O. rectangula eggs, suggesting a vertical mode of transmission. Our observations highlight the importance of studying parasites in their natural hosts and indicate that not all nematode-infecting microsporidia are “nematode killers”; instead, microsporidiosis can be more versatile and chronic in the wild. PMID:23087371

  18. In Silico Ionomics Segregates Parasitic from Free-Living Eukaryotes

    PubMed Central

    Greganova, Eva; Steinmann, Michael; Mäser, Pascal; Fankhauser, Niklaus

    2013-01-01

    Ion transporters are fundamental to life. Due to their ancient origin and conservation in sequence, ion transporters are also particularly well suited for comparative genomics of distantly related species. Here, we perform genome-wide ion transporter profiling as a basis for comparative genomics of eukaryotes. From a given predicted proteome, we identify all bona fide ion channels, ion porters, and ion pumps. Concentrating on unicellular eukaryotes (n = 37), we demonstrate that clustering of species according to their repertoire of ion transporters segregates obligate endoparasites (n = 23) on the one hand, from free-living species and facultative parasites (n = 14) on the other hand. This surprising finding indicates strong convergent evolution of the parasites regarding the acquisition and homeostasis of inorganic ions. Random forest classification identifies transporters of ammonia, plus transporters of iron and other transition metals, as the most informative for distinguishing the obligate parasites. Thus, in silico ionomics further underscores the importance of iron in infection biology and suggests access to host sources of nitrogen and transition metals to be selective forces in the evolution of parasitism. This finding is in agreement with the phenomenon of iron withholding as a primordial antimicrobial strategy of infected mammals. PMID:24048281

  19. Light pollution disrupts sleep in free-living animals

    PubMed Central

    Raap, Thomas; Pinxten, Rianne; Eens, Marcel

    2015-01-01

    Artificial lighting can alter individual behaviour, with often drastic and potentially negative effects on biological rhythms, daily activity and reproduction. Whether this is caused by a disruption of sleep, an important widespread behaviour enabling animals to recover from daily stress, is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that light pollution disrupts sleep by recording individual sleep behaviour of great tits, Parus major, that were roosting in dark nest-boxes and were exposed to light-emitting diode light the following night. Their behaviour was compared to that of control birds sleeping in dark nest-boxes on both nights. Artificial lighting caused experimental birds to wake up earlier, sleep less (–5%) and spent less time in the nest-box as they left their nest-box earlier in the morning. Experimental birds did not enter the nest-box or fall asleep later than controls. Although individuals in lit nest-boxes did not wake up more often nor decreased the length of their sleep bouts, females spent a greater proportion of the night awake. Our study provides the first direct proof that light pollution has a significant impact on sleep in free-living animals, in particular in the morning, and highlights a mechanism for potential effects of light pollution on fitness. PMID:26337732

  20. In silico ionomics segregates parasitic from free-living eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Greganova, Eva; Steinmann, Michael; Mäser, Pascal; Fankhauser, Niklaus

    2013-01-01

    Ion transporters are fundamental to life. Due to their ancient origin and conservation in sequence, ion transporters are also particularly well suited for comparative genomics of distantly related species. Here, we perform genome-wide ion transporter profiling as a basis for comparative genomics of eukaryotes. From a given predicted proteome, we identify all bona fide ion channels, ion porters, and ion pumps. Concentrating on unicellular eukaryotes (n = 37), we demonstrate that clustering of species according to their repertoire of ion transporters segregates obligate endoparasites (n = 23) on the one hand, from free-living species and facultative parasites (n = 14) on the other hand. This surprising finding indicates strong convergent evolution of the parasites regarding the acquisition and homeostasis of inorganic ions. Random forest classification identifies transporters of ammonia, plus transporters of iron and other transition metals, as the most informative for distinguishing the obligate parasites. Thus, in silico ionomics further underscores the importance of iron in infection biology and suggests access to host sources of nitrogen and transition metals to be selective forces in the evolution of parasitism. This finding is in agreement with the phenomenon of iron withholding as a primordial antimicrobial strategy of infected mammals. PMID:24048281

  1. Cosmopolitan metapopulations of free-living microbial eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Finlay, Bland J; Fenchel, Tom

    2004-06-01

    Metapopulations of macroscopic organisms tend to be geographically restricted, but free-living protists and other microbial eukaryotes present a different picture. Here we show that most organisms smaller than 1 mm occur worldwide wherever their required habitats are realised. This is a consequence of ubiquitous dispersal driven by huge population sizes, and the consequently low probability of local extinction. Organisms larger than 10 mm are much less abundant, and rarely cosmopolitan. The supporting data, together with the discovery that the 1-10 mm size range accommodates a transition from cosmopolitan to regionally-restricted distribution, were derived from extensive inventories of eukaryotic species in a freshwater pond (1278 species), and a shallow marine bay (785 species). All accessible records were examined to establish the extent of global coverage by these species. Some groups of microbial eukaryotes are severely undersampled (e.g. naked amoebae; marine meiofauna in the southern hemisphere) but this fails to weaken evidence that metapopulations of microbial eukaryotes are cosmopolitan. PMID:15305798

  2. Eating frequency and energy regulation in free-living adults consuming self-selected diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The relative importance of eating frequency to weight control is poorly understood. This review examines the evidence to date on the role of eating frequency in weight control in free-living adults. The majority of cross-sectional studies in free-living adults show an inverse relationship between ea...

  3. Diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system

    EPA Science Inventory

    Free-living amoebae are known to facilitate the growth of water associated pathogens. This study, for the first time, explored the diversity of free-living amoebae in a dual distribution (potable and recycled) water system in Rouse Hill NSW, Australia. Water and biofilm samples w...

  4. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions.

    PubMed

    Maccracken, James G

    2012-08-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  5. Pacific Walrus and climate change: observations and predictions

    PubMed Central

    MacCracken, James G

    2012-01-01

    The extent and duration of sea-ice habitats used by Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are diminishing resulting in altered walrus behavior, mortality, and distribution. I document changes that have occurred over the past several decades and make predictions to the end of the 21st century. Climate models project that sea ice will monotonically decline resulting in more ice-free summers of longer duration. Several stressors that may impact walruses are directly influenced by sea ice. How these stressors materialize were modeled as most likely-case, worst-case, and best-case scenarios for the mid- and late-21st century, resulting in four comprehensive working hypotheses that can help identify and prioritize management and research projects, identify comprehensive mitigation actions, and guide monitoring programs to track future developments and adjust programs as needed. In the short term, the most plausible hypotheses predict a continuing northward shift in walrus distribution, increasing use of coastal haulouts in summer and fall, and a population reduction set by the carrying capacity of the near shore environment and subsistence hunting. Alternatively, under worst-case conditions, the population will decline to a level where the probability of extinction is high. In the long term, walrus may seasonally abandon the Bering and Chukchi Seas for sea-ice refugia to the northwest and northeast, ocean warming and pH decline alter walrus food resources, and subsistence hunting exacerbates a large population decline. However, conditions that reverse current trends in sea ice loss cannot be ruled out. Which hypothesis comes to fruition depends on how the stressors develop and the success of mitigation measures. Best-case scenarios indicate that successful mitigation of unsustainable harvests and terrestrial haulout-related mortalities can be effective. Management and research should focus on monitoring, elucidating effects, and mitigation, while ultimately

  6. Free-living fungal symbionts (Lepiotaceae) of fungus-growing ants (Attini: Formicidae).

    PubMed

    Vo, Tanya L; Mueller, Ulrich G; Mikheyev, Alexander S

    2009-01-01

    Surveys of leucocoprinaceous fungi (Lepiotaceae, Agaricales, Basidiomycota) in the rainforests of Panama and Brazil revealed several free-living counterparts of fungi cultivated by primitive attine ants (the lower Attini, Formicidae, Hymenoptera), adding to two such collections identified in a survey by Mueller et al (1998). The accumulated evidence supports the hypothesis that perhaps all fungi of lower attine ants have close free-living relatives. Free-living counterparts of ant-cultivated fungi are collected most readily during the early rainy season; in particular these are free-living mushrooms of fungal counterparts that are cultivated as yeasts in gardens of ants in the Cyphomyrmex rimosus group. Free-living and symbiotic fungi of these yeast-cultivating ant species might represent a promising study system to compare the biology of sympatric, conspecific fungi existing outside versus inside the attine symbiosis. PMID:19397193

  7. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimate Pacific walrus population size, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, S.G.; Chernook, V.I.; Burn, D.M.; Udevitz, M.S.; Kochnev, A.A.; Vasilev, A.; Jay, C.V.; Lisovsky, A.; Fischbach, A.S.; Benter, R.B.

    2011-01-01

    In spring 2006, we conducted a collaborative U.S.-Russia survey to estimate abundance of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The Bering Sea was partitioned into survey blocks, and a systematic random sample of transects within a subset of the blocks was surveyed with airborne thermal scanners using standard strip-transect methodology. Counts of walruses in photographed groups were used to model the relation between thermal signatures and the number of walruses in groups, which was used to estimate the number of walruses in groups that were detected by the scanner but not photographed. We also modeled the probability of thermally detecting various-sized walrus groups to estimate the number of walruses in groups undetected by the scanner. We used data from radio-tagged walruses to adjust on-ice estimates to account for walruses in the water during the survey. The estimated area of available habitat averaged 668,000 km2 and the area of surveyed blocks was 318,204 km2. The number of Pacific walruses within the surveyed area was estimated at 129,000 with 95% confidence limits of 55,000-507,000 individuals. Poor weather conditions precluded surveying in other areas; therefore, this value represents the number of Pacific walruses within about half of potential walrus habitat. ?? 2010 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  8. Walrus distributional and foraging response to changing ice and benthic conditions in the Chukchi Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

    2012-01-01

    Arctic species such as the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are facing a rapidly changing environment. Walruses are benthic foragers and may shift their spatial patterns of foraging in response to changes in prey distribution. We used data from satellite radio-tags attached to walruses in 2009-2010 to map walrus foraging locations with concurrent sampling of benthic infauna to examine relationships between distributions of dominant walrus prey and spatial patterns of walrus foraging. Walrus foraging was concentrated offshore in the NE Chukchi Sea, and coastal areas of northwestern Alaska when sea ice was sparse. Walrus foraging areas in August-September were coincident with the biomass of two dominant bivalve taxa (Tellinidae and Nuculidae) and sipunculid worms. Walrusforaging costs associated with increased travel time to higher biomass food patches from land may be significantly higher than the costs from sea ice haul-outs and result in reduced energy storesin walruses. Identifying what resources are selected by walruses and how those resources are distributed in space and time will improve our ability to forecast how walruses might respond to a changing climate.

  9. Indication of two Pacific walrus stocks from whole tooth elemental analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Outridge, P.M.; Garlich-Miller, J. L.

    2008-01-01

    The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is considered to be a single panmictic population for management purposes. However, studies on population structuring in this species are limited; in part, because portions of the population's range are often inaccessible. Therefore, alternative and complementary methods for investigating stock structure in the Pacific walrus are of particular interest. We used measures of elemental concentrations in whole tooth sections from ICP-MS in a discriminant analysis to investigate evidence of stock separation between walruses from two of three known breeding areas (S.E. Bering, St Lawrence, and Anadyr Gulf). Elemental compositions of teeth from female and male walruses from the S.E. Bering and St Lawrence breeding areas were significantly different, providing evidence of separate stocks. We also obtained insights into the potential relation of walruses from non-breeding areas to walruses from these breeding groups based on similarities in their dental elemental profiles. ?? 2008 Springer-Verlag.

  10. Results and evaluation of a survey to estimate Pacific walrus population size, 2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Speckman, Suzann G.; Chernook, Vladimir I.; Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; Vasilev, Alexander; Jay, Chadwick V.; Lisovsky, Alexander; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2011-01-01

    In spring 2006, we conducted a collaborative U.S.-Russia survey to estimate abundance of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). The Bering Sea was partitioned into survey blocks, and a systematic random sample of transects within a subset of the blocks was surveyed with airborne thermal scanners using standard strip-transect methodology. Counts of walruses in photographed groups were used to model the relation between thermal signatures and the number of walruses in groups, which was used to estimate the number of walruses in groups that were detected by the scanner but not photographed. We also modeled the probability of thermally detecting various-sized walrus groups to estimate the number of walruses in groups undetected by the scanner. We used data from radio-tagged walruses to adjust on-ice estimates to account for walruses in the water during the survey. The estimated area of available habitat averaged 668,000 km2 and the area of surveyed blocks was 318,204 km2. The number of Pacific walruses within the surveyed area was estimated at 129,000 with 95% confidence limits of 55,000 to 507,000 individuals. This value can be used by managers as a minimum estimate of the total population size.

  11. Genetic diversity of free-living Symbiodinium in the Caribbean: the importance of habitats and seasons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granados-Cifuentes, Camila; Neigel, Joseph; Leberg, Paul; Rodriguez-Lanetty, Mauricio

    2015-09-01

    Although reef corals are dependent of the dinoflagellate Symbiodinium, the large majority of corals spawn gametes that do not contain their vital symbiont. This suggests the existence of a pool of Symbiodinium in the environment, of which surprisingly little is known. Reefs around Curaçao (Caribbean) were sampled for free-living Symbiodinium at three time periods (summer 2009, summer 2010, and winter 2010) to characterize different habitats (water column, coral rubble, sediment, the macroalgae Halimeda spp., Dictyota spp., and Lobophora variegata, and the seagrass Thalassia testudinum) that could serve as environmental sources of symbionts for corals. We detected the common clades of Symbiodinium that engage in symbiosis with Caribbean coral hosts A, B, and C using Symbiodinium-specific primers of the hypervariable region of the chloroplast 23S ribosomal DNA gene. We also discovered clade G and, for the first time in the Caribbean, the presence of free-living Symbiodinium clades F and H. Additionally, this study expands the habitat range of free-living Symbiodinium as environmental Symbiodinium was detected in T. testudinum seagrass beds. The patterns of association between free-living Symbiodinium types and habitats were shown to be complex. An interesting, strong association was seen between some clade A sequence types and sediment, suggesting that sediment could be a niche where clade A radiated from a free-living ancestor. Other interesting relationships were seen between sequence types of Symbiodinium clade C with Halimeda spp. and clades B and F with T. testudinium. These relationships highlight the importance of some macroalgae and seagrasses in hosting free-living Symbiodinium. Finally, studies spanning beyond a 1-yr cycle are needed to further expand on our results in order to better understand the variation of Symbiodinium in the environment through time. All together, results presented here showed that the great diversity of free-living Symbiodinium has

  12. Vocal learning in seals, sea lions, and walruses.

    PubMed

    Reichmuth, Colleen; Casey, Caroline

    2014-10-01

    The pinnipeds provide a variety of clues to those interested in the vocal learning capabilities of non-human animals. Observational and experimental studies of seals, sea lions, and walruses reveal elements of vocal development, contextual control, plasticity in expression and learning, and even imitation of complex sounds. Consideration of the factors that influence the expression of these capabilities informs understanding of the behavioral and structural mechanisms that support vocal learning in mammals and the evolutionary forces shaping these capabilities. PMID:25042930

  13. Summer diving behavior of male walruses in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Farley, Sean D.; Garner, G.W.

    2001-01-01

    Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) make trips from ice or land haul-out sites to forage for benthic prey. We describe dive and trip characteristics from time-depth-recorder data collected over a one-month period during summer from four male Pacific walruses in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Dives were classified into four types. Shallow (4 m), short (2.7 min), square-shaped dives accounted for 11% of trip time, and many were probably associated with traveling. Shallow (2 m) and very short (0.5 min) dives composed only 1% of trip time. Deep (41 m), long (7.2 min), square-shaped dives accounted for 46% of trip time and were undoubtedly associated with benthic foraging. V-shaped dives ranged widely in depth, were of moderate duration (4.7 min), and composed 3% of trip time. These dives may have been associated with navigation or exploration of the seafloor for potential prey habitat. Surface intervals between dives were similar among dive types, and generally lasted 1-2 min. Total foraging time was strongly correlated with trip duration and there was no apparent diel pattern of diving in any dive type among animals. We found no correlation between dive duration and postdive surface interval within dive types, suggesting that diving occurred within aerobic dive limits. Trip duration varied considerably within and among walruses (0.3-9.4 d), and there was evidence that some of the very short trips were unrelated to foraging. Overall, walruses were in the water for 76.6% of the time, of which 60.3% was spent diving.

  14. A Common Scaling Rule for Abundance, Energetics, and Production of Parasitic and Free-Living Species

    PubMed Central

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andy P.; Brown, James H.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2011-01-01

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the −¾ power. This result indicates “production equivalence,” where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic. PMID:21778398

  15. Photoadaptation of photosynthetic carbon uptake by solitary Radiolaria: comparisons with free-living phytoplankton

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rivkin, Richard B.; Lessard, Evelyn J.

    1986-08-01

    Carbon uptake, the activity of carboxylating enzymes, and chlorophyll a concentrations of symbiont-containing radiolarians and free-living phytoplankton were examined in the Sargasso Sea. Unlike free-living phytoplankton, Radiolaria collected from the surface waters and at the base of the euphotic zone had identical photosynthetic characteristics: the assimilation ratio, photosynthetic capacity, RuBPCase activity and saturation light intensity were independent of the depth within the euphotic zone from which Radiolaria were collected. The radiolarian's intracellular environment is enriched with N and P relative to the nutrient dilute water column. Since RuBPCase can comprise a significant proportion of the symbiont's cellular nitrogen, the constant and high RuBPCase activity and photosynthetic capacity may result from the symbiotic algae devoting a larger proportion of their cellular nitrogen quota carboxylating enzymes than free-living algae.

  16. A common scaling rule for abundance, energetics, and production of parasitic and free-living species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hechinger, Ryan F.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Dobson, Andy P.; Brown, James H.; Kuris, Armand M.

    2011-01-01

    The metabolic theory of ecology uses the scaling of metabolism with body size and temperature to explain the causes and consequences of species abundance. However, the theory and its empirical tests have never simultaneously examined parasites alongside free-living species. This is unfortunate because parasites represent at least half of species diversity. We show that metabolic scaling theory could not account for the abundance of parasitic or free-living species in three estuarine food webs until accounting for trophic dynamics. Analyses then revealed that the abundance of all species uniformly scaled with body mass to the - 3/4 power. This result indicates "production equivalence," where biomass production within trophic levels is invariant of body size across all species and functional groups: invertebrate or vertebrate, ectothermic or endothermic, and free-living or parasitic.

  17. Functional ecology of free-living nitrogen fixation: A contemporary perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reed, Sasha C.; Cleveland, Cory C.; Townsend, Alan R.

    2011-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) availability is thought to frequently limit terrestrial ecosystem processes, and explicit consideration of N biogeochemistry, including biological N2 fixation, is central to understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change. Yet, the importance of free-living N2 fixation—a process that occurs on a wide variety of substrates, is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial ecosystems, and may often represent the dominant pathway for acquiring newly available N—is often underappreciated. Here, we draw from studies that investigate free-living N2 fixation from functional, physiological, genetic, and ecological perspectives. We show that recent research and analytical advances have generated a wealth of new information that provides novel insight into the ecology of N2 fixation as well as raises new questions and priorities for future work. These priorities include a need to better integrate free-living N2 fixation into conceptual and analytical evaluations of the N cycle's role in a variety of global change scenarios.

  18. Phenotypic and Genotypic Comparison of Symbiotic and Free-Living Cyanobacteria from a Single Field Site

    PubMed Central

    West, N. J.; Adams, D. G.

    1997-01-01

    PCR amplification techniques were used to compare cyanobacterial symbionts from a cyanobacterium-bryophyte symbiosis and free-living cyanobacteria from the same field site. Thirty-one symbiotic cyanobacteria were isolated from the hornwort Phaeoceros sp. at several closely spaced locations, and 40 free-living cyanobacteria were isolated from the immediate vicinity of the same plants. One of the symbiotic isolates was a species of Calothrix, a genus not previously known to form bryophyte symbioses, and the remainder were Nostoc spp. Of the free-living strains, two were Calothrix spp., three were Chlorogloeopsis spp. and the rest were Nostoc spp. All of the symbiotic and all but one of the free-living strains were able to reconstitute the symbiosis with axenic cultures of both Phaeoceros and the liverwort Blasia sp. Axenic cyanobacterial strains were compared by DNA amplification using PCR with either short arbitrary primers or primers specific for the regions flanking the 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer. With one exception, the two techniques produced complementary results and confirmed for the first time that a diversity of symbiotic cyanobacteria infect Phaeoceros in the field. Symbionts from adjacent colonies were different as often as they were the same, showing that the same thallus could be infected with many different cyanobacterial strains. Strains found to be identical by the techniques employed here were often found as symbionts in different thalli at the same locale but were never found free-living. Only one of the free-living strains, and none of the symbiotic strains, was found at more than one sample site, implying a highly localized distribution of strains. PMID:16535734

  19. Effects of Holothuroid Ichtyotoxic Saponins on the Gills of Free-Living Fishes and Symbiotic Pearlfishes.

    PubMed

    Eeckhaut, Igor; Caulier, Guillaume; Brasseur, Lola; Flammang, Patrick; Gerbaux, Pascal; Parmentier, Eric

    2015-06-01

    Several carapid fishes, known as pearlfishes, are endosymbiotic in holothuroids and asteroids. These echinoderms contain a strong concentration of saponins that are efficient membranolytic repellents to predators. We compared the effects of exposure to saponins from the sea cucumber body wall and from the Cuvierian tubules on the behavior and gill ultrastructure of pearlfishes and free-living fishes. Saponins were extracted from the body wall of two holothuroids, the Mediterranean Holothuria forskali and the tropical Bohadschia atra, and from the water surrounding the Cuvierian tubules of B. atra. Five species of carapids that live in symbiosis with holothuroids and seven species of free-living fishes were exposed to these extracts. The free-living fishes exhibited a stress response and died about 45 times faster than pearlfishes when exposed to the same quantity of saponins. Cuvierian tubules and saponins extracted from the body wall were lethal to the free-living fishes, whereas the carapids were much less sensitive. The carapids did not exhibit a stress response. The high toxicity shown by Cuvierian tubules was not explained by the nature of the saponins that were identified by mass spectrometry, but it is likely due to the higher concentration of saponins in the tubules. Histology and scanning and transmission electron microscopy of the gills of the free-living fishes and pearlfishes showed that saponins act at the level of the secondary lamellae where they induce the detachment of the epithelia, create edema at the level of the epithelia, and induce pores in the epithelial cells that lead to their destruction and the invasion of inner cells (pillar cells and red blood cells). This sequence of events happens 5 min after saponin exposure in free-living fishes and after 1 h in carapids. PMID:26124451

  20. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected. PMID:27110176

  1. Free-living marine nematodes from San Antonio Bay (Río Negro, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Villares, Gabriela; Lo Russo, Virginia; Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The dataset of free-living marine nematodes of San Antonio Bay is based on sediment samples collected in February 2009 during doctoral theses funded by CONICET grants. A total of 36 samples has been taken at three locations in the San Antonio Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for benthic biodiversity assessment of Patagonian nematodes as this area remains one of the least known regions. In total 7,743 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to two classes, eight orders, 37 families, 94 genera and 104 species were collected. PMID:27110176

  2. Sub-Regional Sea Ice Preferences of Pacific Walrus in the Bering Sea Using SAR Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, A.; Mahoney, A. R.; Eicken, H.; Johnson, M. A.; Ray, C.

    2014-12-01

    The Pacific walrus (O. r. divergens) uses winter sea ice in the Bering Sea for numerous parts of its natural history including courtship, foraging, and migration. Recent and predicted loss of sea ice has caused the Pacific walrus to be considered for an elevated status under the Endangered Species Act. Study of the ice conditions during this period is required to investigate changes in the Bering Sea ice pack and its effects on walrus sustainability. Using Radarsat-1 data and second-order texture statistics, a classification system was devised to separate sea ice into three distinguishable classes based on walrus needs of open water availability in the pack ice: discontinuous pack ice, continuous pack ice, and open water. Classifications are performed on sub-regional image areas to facilitate classification of heterogeneous seascapes which are thought to be distinguishable by walrus. Spatial, as well as temporal, changes in the seascape cover, based on the classification, are achieved. These results are then combined with ship-based observations of walrus to quantify walrus habitat preference. The three-class algorithm has a success rate of 94% for the discontinuous ice and continuous pack ice. Radarsat-1 images from 2004 - 2008 were analyzed for changes in seasonal and annual discontinuous ice extent. After classification, the spatial extent of discontinuous ice was found to vary throughout 2004 - 2008 in the Bering Sea shelf. Walrus are also shown to prefer discontinuous pack far from the southernmost ice edge. Maps of walrus habitat preference and persistent areas of sea ice seascapes are created and then can be used for the walrus' status consideration under the Endangered Species Act in addition to general species management issues.

  3. Influence of Activity Monitor Location and Bout Duration on Free-Living Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heil, Daniel P.; Bennett, Gary G.; Bond, Kathleen S.; Webster, Michael D.; Wolin, Kathleen Y.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of the location (ankle, hip, wrist) where an activity monitor (AM) is worn and of the minimum bout duration (BD) on physical activity (PA) variables during free-living monitoring. Study 1 participants wore AMs at three locations for 1 day while wearing the Intelligent Device for Energy…

  4. On the run: free-living mushroom corals avoiding interaction with sponges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoeksema, B. W.; de Voogd, N. J.

    2012-06-01

    Individuals of the free-living mushroom coral Heliofungia fralinae moved away when placed in contact with fragments of the toxic haplosclerid sponge Callyspongia (Euplacella) biru. This reaction was not evoked by three other sponge species. The experiment demonstrated that mobility of mushroom corals helps them to flee from organisms that secrete secondary metabolites in competition for space.

  5. TOXOPLASMA GONDII : UPTAKE AND SURVIVAL OF OOCYSTS IN FREE-LIVING AMOEBAE

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Waterborne transmission of the oocyst stage of Toxoplasma gondii can cause outbreaks of clinical toxoplasmosis in humans and infection of marine mammals. In water-related environments and soil, free-living amoebae are considered potential carriers of various pathogens, but knowledge on interactions ...

  6. STUDY OF PATHOGENIC FREE-LIVING AMEBAS IN FRESH-WATER LAKES IN VIRGINIA

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pathogenic free-living amebas may produce fatal infection of the central nervous system known as Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). In Richmond, Virginia, 17 cases have occurred, more than in any other location in the world. The objectives were to examine freshwater lakes ...

  7. Sensitivity of free-living amoeba trophozoites and cysts to water disinfectants.

    PubMed

    Dupuy, Mathieu; Berne, Florence; Herbelin, Pascaline; Binet, Marie; Berthelot, Nelsie; Rodier, Marie-Hélène; Soreau, Sylvie; Héchard, Yann

    2014-03-01

    Free-living amoebae are naturally present in water. These protozoa could be pathogenic and could also shelter pathogenic bacteria. Thus, they are described as a potential hazard for health. Also, free-living amoebae have been described to be resistant to biocides, especially under their cyst resistant form. There are several studies on amoeba treatments but none of them compare sensitivity of trophozoites and cysts from different genus to various water disinfectants. In our study, we tested chlorine, monochloramine and chlorine dioxide on both cysts and trophozoites from three strains, belonging to the three main genera of free-living amoebae. The results show that, comparing cysts to trophozoites inactivation, only the Acanthamoeba cysts were highly more resistant to treatment than trophozoites. Comparison of the disinfectant efficiency led to conclude that chlorine dioxide was the most efficient treatment in our conditions and was particularly efficient against cysts. In conclusion, our results would help to adapt water treatments in order to target free-living amoebae in water networks. PMID:23932411

  8. Investigational drug available directly from CDC for the treatment of infections with free-living amebae.

    PubMed

    2013-08-23

    Infections caused by free-living amebae (FLA) are severe and life-threatening. These infections include primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria fowleri and granulomatous amebic encephalitis caused by Balamuthia mandrillaris and Acanthamoeba species. Although several drugs have in vitro activity against FLA, mortality from these infections remains>90% despite treatment with combinations of drugs. PMID:23965830

  9. Quantifying the effect of fire disturbance on free-living nitrogen fixation in tropical ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Oliveira Bomfim, B.; Silva, L. C. R.; Marimon-Junior, B. H.; Marimon, B.; Horwath, W. R.; Neves, L.

    2015-12-01

    Tropical forests and savannas are among the most important biomes on Earth, supporting more than half of all plant and animal species on the planet. Despite growing interest in biogeochemical processes that affect tropical forest dynamics, many, including biological nitrogen fixation (BNF), are still poorly understood. Free-living N-fixers are thought to play a key role in tropical ecosystems, alleviating N and P limitation, supporting above and below ground biomass production, as well as carbon storage in plants and soil, but this influence has yet to be quantified. Of particular interest, the spatial distribution and identity of free-living BNF under disturbance regimes that commonly lead to the conversion of forests to savannas is currently unknown. To address this critical gap in knowledge, we measured free-living BNF quantifying rates of N fixation under contrasting fire regimes in the Amazon-Cerrado transition of central Brazil. Samples were collected in 4 ha of floodable forests affected by fire and 1 ha of unburned (seasonally flooded) forest located at the Araguaia State Park, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. Free-living N-fixation rates were measured by both 15N2 (98 atom% 15N) and acethylene reduction assay (ARA). Samples were incubated in the field and left in the dark at room temperature for 12 hours. In the next few weeks we will quantify N fixation rates that will be presented in the upcoming AGU meeting.

  10. Dietary Adherence Monitoring Tool for Free-living, Controlled Feeding Studies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Objective: To devise a dietary adherence monitoring tool for use in controlled human feeding trials involving free-living study participants. Methods: A scoring tool was devised to measure and track dietary adherence for an 8-wk randomized trial evaluating the effects of two different dietary patter...

  11. Use of cell cultures as an indicator of pathogenicity of free-living amoebae.

    PubMed Central

    Cursons, R T; Brown, T J

    1978-01-01

    Results comparing the time needed for the development of cytopathic effects in cell cultures with that needed to cause death in mice using inocula of Naegleria and Acanthamoeba are presented. The significance of the source and concentration of the inocula is demonstrated. The use of cell cultures as an indicator of the pathogenicity of free-living amoebae is discussed. Images PMID:342543

  12. Comparison of Yamax pedometer and GT3X accelerometer steps in a free-living sample

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our objective was to compare steps detected by the Yamax pedometer (PEDO) versus the GT3X accelerometer (ACCEL) in free-living adults. Daily PEDO and ACCEL steps were collected from a sample of 23 overweight and obese participants (18 females; mean +/- sd: age = 52.6 +/- 8.4 yr.; body mass index = 3...

  13. Species distribution within the free-living marine nematode genus Dichromadora in the Weddell Sea and adjacent areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vermeeren, Hannelore; Vanreusel, Ann; Vanhove, Sandra

    2004-07-01

    Studies of Antarctic, free-living, marine nematodes are mostly restricted to genus level. In the current study, the genus Dichromadora (Kreis, H.A., 1929. Capita Zoologica 2(7), 1-98) is analysed to species level. Dichromadora is one of the genera that are frequently present along the continental margin of the eastern Weddell Sea. Samples were retrieved from the 1000-2000 m depth line in the eastern Weddell Sea (Halley Bay, Vestkapp and Kapp Norvegia), South Sandwich Trench and the Drake Passage. Eight species are distinguished within the genus Dichromadora of which seven are new to science. Out of these seven species, five are described taxonomically: Dichromadora weddellensis sp. n. , Dichromadora southernis sp. n. , Dichromadora polarsternis sp. n., Dichromadora parva sp. n., and Dichromadora polaris sp. n. The two other species ( D. spec A, D. spec B) receive, as to the scarcety of available specimens, no scientific name. The distribution of the Dichromadora species from Antarctica are discussed in the context of deep-sea (1000-2000 m) observations in Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

  14. Focal palatine erosion in captive and free-living cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) and other felid species.

    PubMed

    Zordan, Martýn; Deem, Sharon L; Sanchez, Carlos R

    2012-01-01

    We examined 1,092 skulls of captive and free-living individuals, representing 33 felid species, to determine the prevalence of focal palatine erosion (FPE). FPE was detected in 3.2% of cats evaluated, including cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) and 14 other felid species. The prevalence of FPE between cheetah (9.4%; n = 64) and non-cheetah species (2.8%; n = 1,028) (χ(2) test; P = 0.004) and between captive (5.7%; n = 246) and free-living (2.4%; n = 824) individuals (χ(2) test; P = 0.010) were significantly different, with prevalence between captive (19%; n = 21) and free-living (2.9%; n = 34) cheetahs approaching significance (Fisher's exact test; P = 0.064). FPE was diagnosed with equal prevalence in skulls from individuals in which the lower molars did not meet the palatine bone (60.6%) and individuals in which it did (39.4%; n = 33) (χ(2) test; P = 0.139). In cheetahs with FPE, one was a captive animal in Germany, one a free-living cheetah from Mali, one captive cheetah from Kenya, and three captive cheetahs of unknown origin. Additionally, we evaluated the medical records of 49 captive cheetahs in Namibia. Of these cheetahs, 48 (98.0%) had clinical signs consistent with FPE, although only 16 of these 48 (39.6%) had perforation of the palatine bone. Based on physical examinations, FPE was diagnosed in two caracals (Caracal caracal) and one fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) from a North American Zoo. Results from this study confirm FPE in cheetahs outside of Namibia, in a minimum of 15 felid species, and a higher FPE prevalence in captive individuals than free-living ones. Clinical implications of these findings and recommendations for future studies are provided. PMID:21541986

  15. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the Northern Bering Sea.

    PubMed

    Jay, Chadwick V; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M; Fischbach, Anthony S; McDonald, Trent L; Cooper, Lee W; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea. PMID:24717979

  16. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the northern Bering Sea

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea.

  17. Pacific Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) Resource Selection in the Northern Bering Sea

    PubMed Central

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn

    2014-01-01

    The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus wintering area in the northern Bering Sea (St. Lawrence Island polynya) in 2006, 2008, and 2009. At least 60% of the total caloric biomass of dominant macroinfauna in the study area was composed of members of the bivalve families Nuculidae, Tellinidae, and Nuculanidae. Model estimates indicated walrus site selection was related most strongly to tellinid bivalve caloric biomass distribution and that walruses selected lower ice concentrations from the mostly high ice concentrations that were available to them (quartiles: 76%, 93%, and 99%). Areas with high average predicted walrus site selection generally coincided with areas of high organic carbon input identified in other studies. Projected decreases in sea ice in the St. Lawrence Island polynya and the potential for a concomitant decline of bivalves in the region could result in a northward shift in the wintering grounds of walruses in the northern Bering Sea. PMID:24717979

  18. An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Speckman, Suzann G.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2009-01-01

    In recent years, application of remote sensing to marine mammal surveys has been a promising area of investigation for wildlife managers and researchers. In April 2006, the United States and Russia conducted an aerial survey of Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using thermal infrared sensors to detect groups of animals resting on pack ice in the Bering Sea. The goal of this survey was to estimate the size of the Pacific walrus population. An initial analysis of the U.S. data using previously-established methods resulted in lower detectability of walrus groups in the imagery and higher variability in calibration models than was expected based on pilot studies. This paper describes an improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus groups in airborne thermal imagery. Thermal images were first subdivided into smaller 200 x 200 pixel "tiles." We calculated three statistics to represent characteristics of walrus signatures from the temperature histogram for each the. Tiles that exhibited one or more of these characteristics were examined further to determine if walrus signatures were present. We used cluster analysis on tiles that contained walrus signatures to determine which pixels belonged to each group. We then calculated a thermal index value for each walrus group in the imagery and used generalized linear models to estimate detection functions (the probability of a group having a positive index value) and calibration functions (the size of a group as a function of its index value) based on counts from matched digital aerial photographs. The new method described here improved our ability to detect walrus groups at both 2 m and 4 m spatial resolution. In addition, the resulting calibration models have lower variance than the original method. We anticipate that the use of this new procedure will greatly improve the quality of the population estimate derived from these data. This procedure may also have broader applicability to thermal infrared

  19. Walrus areas of use in the Chukchi Sea during sparse sea ice cover

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.

    2012-01-01

    The Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens feeds on benthic invertebrates on the continental shelf of the Chukchi and Bering Seas and rests on sea ice between foraging trips. With climate warming, ice-free periods in the Chukchi Sea have increased and are projected to increase further in frequency and duration. We radio-tracked walruses to estimate areas of walrus foraging and occupancy in the Chukchi Sea from June to November of 2008 to 2011, years when sea ice was sparse over the continental shelf in comparison to historical records. The earlier and more extensive sea ice retreat in June to September, and delayed freeze-up of sea ice in October to November, created conditions for walruses to arrive earlier and stay later in the Chukchi Sea than in the past. The lack of sea ice over the continental shelf from September to October caused walruses to forage in nearshore areas instead of offshore areas as in the past. Walruses did not frequent the deep waters of the Arctic Basin when sea ice retreated off the shelf. Walruses foraged in most areas they occupied, and areas of concentrated foraging generally corresponded to regions of high benthic biomass, such as in the northeastern (Hanna Shoal) and southwestern Chukchi Sea. A notable exception was the occurrence of concentrated foraging in a nearshore area of northwestern Alaska that is apparently depauperate in walrus prey. With increasing sea ice loss, it is likely that walruses will increase their use of coastal haul-outs and nearshore foraging areas, with consequences to the population that are yet to be understood.

  20. An improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus signatures in airborne thermal imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burn, Douglas M.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Speckman, Suzann G.; Benter, R. Bradley

    2009-10-01

    In recent years, application of remote sensing to marine mammal surveys has been a promising area of investigation for wildlife managers and researchers. In April 2006, the United States and Russia conducted an aerial survey of Pacific walrus ( Odobenus rosmarus divergens) using thermal infrared sensors to detect groups of animals resting on pack ice in the Bering Sea. The goal of this survey was to estimate the size of the Pacific walrus population. An initial analysis of the U.S. data using previously-established methods resulted in lower detectability of walrus groups in the imagery and higher variability in calibration models than was expected based on pilot studies. This paper describes an improved procedure for detection and enumeration of walrus groups in airborne thermal imagery. Thermal images were first subdivided into smaller 200 × 200 pixel "tiles." We calculated three statistics to represent characteristics of walrus signatures from the temperature histogram for each tile. Tiles that exhibited one or more of these characteristics were examined further to determine if walrus signatures were present. We used cluster analysis on tiles that contained walrus signatures to determine which pixels belonged to each group. We then calculated a thermal index value for each walrus group in the imagery and used generalized linear models to estimate detection functions (the probability of a group having a positive index value) and calibration functions (the size of a group as a function of its index value) based on counts from matched digital aerial photographs. The new method described here improved our ability to detect walrus groups at both 2 m and 4 m spatial resolution. In addition, the resulting calibration models have lower variance than the original method. We anticipate that the use of this new procedure will greatly improve the quality of the population estimate derived from these data. This procedure may also have broader applicability to thermal

  1. Detection and identification of free-living amoeba from aquatic environment in different seasons in Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tzeng, K.; Hsu, B.; Tsai, H.; Huang, P.; Tsai, J.; Kao, P.; Huang, K.; Chen, J.

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba includes Acanthamoeba and Naegleria, which are widely distributed in water and soil. Human infection with free-living amoeba leads to serious illness, even lethal. For example, central nervous system infection will cause amoebic meningoencephalitis, and infections will cause amoebic keratitis. The presence of free-living amoeba in environment water can be used as a water quality indicator in ecosystem assessment. In Taiwan, reservoirs are indispensable because of the water source are limited by the steep terrain and the short river flow. Therefore, we need to pay more attention in the quality control of reservoirs water. The aims of this study are to investigate the presence of free-living amoeba in Taiwan reservoirs, and to compare the differences among seasons. At last, the identification and genotyping of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria are investigated. In this study, we use polymerase chain reaction with specific primers to analyze the presence of free-living amoeba in aquatic environment. We collected total 60 samples from reservoirs in Taiwan. The water samples are divided into two parts for both direct concentration method and culture method. The results show the different detection rates among seasons. For Acanthamoeba, the detection rates were 28.3% (17 of 60 water samples), 21.7% (13 of 60 water samples) and 8.3% (5 of 60 water samples) in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. For Naegleria, the detection rates were 6.7% (4 of 60 water samples), 0% (0 of 60 water samples) and 0% (0 of 60 water samples) were detected positive in autumn, winter and spring, respectively. Sequence analysis showed that the major genotypes in Acanthamoeba were T3, T4, T10 and T11 in autumn, T2, T4 and T10 in winter, T4 in spring. Due to the presences of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria in reservoirs, we should pay more attention in water quality monitoring to prevent the potential risks of diseases. Keywords: free-living amoeba, Acanthamoeba, Naegleria, polymerase

  2. Coccidioidomycosis in a Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Todd L; Procter, Diana G

    2014-03-01

    An 11 yr-old female Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) demonstrated decreased appetite and weight loss approximately 4 wk after truck transport from a northern California facility to a southern California facility. An initial blood analysis revealed a leukocytosis of 22,800 white blood cells (WBC)/microl, with a left shift, low iron (58 microg/dl), and mild hyperglobulinemia (4.3 g/dl). Empiric antibiotic therapy was started with amoxicillin and clavulanic acid (14 mg/kg p.o. b.i.d.). Clinical improvement was observed initially; however, follow-up blood analysis demonstrated a persistent leukocytosis (24,000 WBC/microl), with left shift and progressive hyperglobulinemia (6.7 mg/dl). As a result of the relapse of clinical signs on antibiotic therapy, aggressive antifungal therapy was initiated with voriconazole (1.8 mg/kg p.o. s.i.d.). Concurrent fungal immunodiffusion antibody assays and complement fixation were repetitively positive for coccidioidomycosis. The walrus improved clinically over the next 3 mo and is currently stable on antifungal therapy at its originating facility in northern California. PMID:24712180

  3. Toxoplasmosis in captive dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus).

    PubMed

    Dubey, J P; Mergl, J; Gehring, E; Sundar, N; Velmurugan, G V; Kwok, O C H; Grigg, M E; Su, C; Martineau, D

    2009-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii infection in marine mammals is intriguing and indicative of contamination of the ocean environment and coastal waters with oocysts. Toxoplasma gondii infection was detected in captive marine mammals at a sea aquarium in Canada. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in all 7 bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) tested. Two of these dolphins, as well as a walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) at the facility, died. Encephalitis and T. gondii tissue cysts were identified in histological sections of the brain of 1 dolphin (dolphin no. 1). Another dolphin (dolphin no. 2) had mild focal encephalitis without visible organisms, but viable T. gondii was isolated by bioassay in mice and cats from its brain and skeletal muscle; this strain was designated TgDoCA1. The PCR-RFLP typing using 11 markers (B1, SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1, and Apico) identified a Type II strain. The DNA sequencing of B1 and SAG1 alleles amplified from TgDoCA1 and directly from the brains of dolphin no. 1 and the walrus showed archetypal alleles consistent with infection by a Type II strain. No unique polymorphisms were detected. This is apparently the first report of isolation of T. gondii from a marine mammal in Canada. PMID:19245284

  4. Streptococcus pyogenes Infection in a Free-Living European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).

    PubMed

    Franklinos, Lydia H V; Efstratiou, Androulla; Macgregor, Shaheed K; John, Shinto K; Hopkins, Timothy; Cunningham, Andrew A; Lawson, Becki

    2015-12-01

    Streptococcus pyogenes, a common pathogen of humans, was isolated from the carcass of a free-living European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) found in northern England in June 2014. The animal had abscessation of the deep right cervical lymph node, mesenteric lymph nodes and liver. The S. pyogenes strain isolated from the lesions, peritoneal and pleural cavities was characterised as emm 28, which can be associated with invasive disease in humans. This is the first known report of S. pyogenes in a hedgehog and in any free-living wild animal that has been confirmed by gene sequencing. As close associations between wild hedgehogs and people in England are common, we hypothesise that this case might have resulted from anthroponotic infection. PMID:26242215

  5. Free-living marine nematodes from San Julián Bay (Santa Cruz, Argentina).

    PubMed

    Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Lo Russo, Virginia; Villares, Gabriela; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2015-01-01

    The free-living marine nematodes of San Julián Bay dataset is based on sediment samples collected in January 2009 during the project PICT AGENCIA-FONCYT 2/33345-2005. A total of 36 samples have been taken at three locations in the San Julián Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for the nematode benthic biodiversity assessment as this area remains one of the least known regions in Patagonia. In total 10,030 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to 2 classes, 9 orders, 35 families, 78 genera and 125 species were collected. The San Julián city site presented a very high species richness. PMID:25878534

  6. Free-living marine nematodes from San Julián Bay (Santa Cruz, Argentina)

    PubMed Central

    Pastor de Ward, Catalina; Lo Russo, Virginia; Villares, Gabriela; Milano, Viviana; Miyashiro, Lidia; Mazzanti, Renato

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The free-living marine nematodes of San Julián Bay dataset is based on sediment samples collected in January 2009 during the project PICT AGENCIA-FONCYT 2/33345-2005. A total of 36 samples have been taken at three locations in the San Julián Bay, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina on the coastal littoral at three tidal levels. This presents a unique and important collection for the nematode benthic biodiversity assessment as this area remains one of the least known regions in Patagonia. In total 10,030 specimens of free-living marine nematodes belonging to 2 classes, 9 orders, 35 families, 78 genera and 125 species were collected. The San Julián city site presented a very high species richness. PMID:25878534

  7. Distribution of free-living amoebae in a treatment system of textile industrial wastewater.

    PubMed

    Ramirez, Elizabeth; Robles, Esperanza; Martinez, Blanca; Ayala, Reynaldo; Sainz, Guadalupe; Martinez, Maria Elena; Gonzalez, Maria Elena

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae have been found in soil, air and a variety of aquatic environments, but few studies have been conducted on industrial wastewater and none on wastewater from the textile industry. The aim of this study was to determine the presence and distribution of free-living amoebae in a biological treatment system that treats textile industrial wastewater. Samples were taken from input, aeration tank, sedimentation tank and output. Samples were centrifuged at 1200g for 15min, the sediment was seeded on non-nutritive agar with Enterobacter aerogenes (NNE) and the plates were incubated at 30 and 37°C. Free-living amoebae were present in all stages of the treatment system. The highest number of amoebic isolates was found in the aeration tank and no seasonal distribution was observed during the year. A total of 14 amoeba genera were isolated: Acanthamoeba, Echinamoeba, Korotnevella, Mayorella, Naegleria, Platyamoeba, Saccamoeba, Stachyamoeba, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella, Vermamoeba, Vexillifera and Willaertia. The most frequently found amoebae were Acanthamoeba and Vermamoeba which were found in all treatment system stages. The constant presence and diversity of free-living amoebae in the treatment system were important findings due to the characteristics of the wastewater from the textile plant in terms of the residue content from colorants, fixers, carriers, surfactants, etc., used in fabric dyeing and finishing processes. The factors that determined the presence and distribution of amoebae in the activated sludge system were their capacity to form cysts, which allowed them to resist adverse conditions; food availability; an average temperature of 27-33°C; dissolved oxygen in average concentrations above 2mg/L, and pH in a range of 5.9-7.1. PMID:25072828

  8. The effect of triflumuron (SIR8514) on the free-living stages of sheep nematodes.

    PubMed

    Waller, P J; Lacey, E

    1986-06-01

    Studies both in vitro and in vivo showed that the insect growth regulator, triflumuron, exhibited potent larvacidal effects against the free-living stages of Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Effects were not as marked on the closely related nematodes, Haemonchus contortus and Ostertagia circumcincta. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that growth regulators may be used to develop novel methods of nematode control, and thus offer alternatives or adjuncts to conventional anthelmintic therapy and at the same time reduce the selection for anthelmintic resistance. PMID:3739204

  9. Cadmium, lead, and mercury exposure assessment among croatian consumers of free-living game.

    PubMed

    Lazarus, Maja; Prevendar Crnić, Andreja; Bilandžić, Nina; Kusak, Josip; Reljić, Slaven

    2014-09-01

    Free-living game can be an important source of dietary cadmium and lead; the question is whether exposure to these two elements is such that it might cause adverse health effects in the consumers. The aim of this study was to estimate dietary exposure to cadmium, lead, and mercury from free-living big game (fallow deer, roe deer, red deer, wild boar, and brown bear), and to mercury from small game (pheasant and hare), hunted in Croatia from 1990 to 2012. The exposure assessment was based on available literature data and our own measurements of metal levels in the tissues of the game, by taking into account different consumption frequencies (four times a year, once a month and once a week). Exposure was expressed as percentage of (provisional) tolerable weekly intake [(P)TWI] values set by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Consumption of game meat (0.002-0.5 % PTWI) and liver (0.005-6 % PTWI) assumed for the general population (four times a year) does not pose a health risk to consumers from the general population, nor does monthly (0.02-6 % PTWI) and weekly (0.1-24 % PTWI) consumption of game meat. However, because of the high percentage of free-living game liver and kidney samples exceeding the legislative limits for cadmium (2-99 %) and lead (1-82 %), people should keep the consumption of certain game species' offal as low as possible. Children and pregnant and lactating women should avoid eating game offal altogether. Free-living game liver could be an important source of cadmium if consumed on a monthly basis (3-74 % TWI), and if consumed weekly (11-297 % TWI), it could even give rise to toxicological concern. PMID:25205692

  10. Free-living monitoring of Parkinson's disease: Lessons from the field.

    PubMed

    Del Din, Silvia; Godfrey, Alan; Mazzà, Claudia; Lord, Sue; Rochester, Lynn

    2016-09-01

    Wearable technology comprises miniaturized sensors (eg, accelerometers) worn on the body and/or paired with mobile devices (eg, smart phones) allowing continuous patient monitoring in unsupervised, habitual environments (termed free-living). Wearable technologies are revolutionizing approaches to health care as a result of their utility, accessibility, and affordability. They are positioned to transform Parkinson's disease (PD) management through the provision of individualized, comprehensive, and representative data. This is particularly relevant in PD where symptoms are often triggered by task and free-living environmental challenges that cannot be replicated with sufficient veracity elsewhere. This review concerns use of wearable technology in free-living environments for people with PD. It outlines the potential advantages of wearable technologies and evidence for these to accurately detect and measure clinically relevant features including motor symptoms, falls risk, freezing of gait, gait, functional mobility, and physical activity. Technological limitations and challenges are highlighted, and advances concerning broader aspects are discussed. Recommendations to overcome key challenges are made. To date there is no fully validated system to monitor clinical features or activities in free-living environments. Robust accuracy and validity metrics for some features have been reported, and wearable technology may be used in these cases with a degree of confidence. Utility and acceptability appears reasonable, although testing has largely been informal. Key recommendations include adopting a multidisciplinary approach for standardizing definitions, protocols, and outcomes. Robust validation of developed algorithms and sensor-based metrics is required along with testing of utility. These advances are required before widespread clinical adoption of wearable technology can be realized. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. PMID:27452964

  11. Noninvasive Tuberculosis Screening in Free-Living Primate Populations in Gombe National Park, Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Tiffany M; Sreevatsan, Srinand; Singer, Randall S; Lipende, Iddi; Collins, Anthony; Gillespie, Thomas R; Lonsdorf, Elizabeth V; Travis, Dominic A

    2016-03-01

    Recent advances in noninvasive detection methods for mycobacterial infection in primates create new opportunities for exploring the epidemiology of tuberculosis in free-living species. Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) and baboons (Papio anubis) in Gombe National Park, Tanzania, were screened for infection with pathogens of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Complex using Fecal IS6110 PCR; none was positive. This study demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale mycobacterial screening in wild primates. PMID:26419483

  12. Reliability of Pedometer-Determined Free-Living Physical Activity Data in College Women

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Felton, Gwen M.; Tudor-Locke, Catrine; Burkett, Lee

    2006-01-01

    This study examined stability and reliability of free-living physical activity assessed by pedometer in 69 young female college students (M age = 18.7 years, SD = 1.2, range: 18-25 years; body mass index = 23.2 kg/m[superscript 2], SD = 0.6) for two complete weeks (Week 1 and Week 2) separated by 12 weeks. During Week 1, participants took an…

  13. Evolutionary Analysis of Mitogenomes from Parasitic and Free-Living Flatworms

    PubMed Central

    Frías-López, Cristina; Littlewood, D. Timothy J.; Rozas, Julio; Riutort, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) are useful and relatively accessible sources of molecular data to explore and understand the evolutionary history and relationships of eukaryotic organisms across diverse taxonomic levels. The availability of complete mitogenomes from Platyhelminthes is limited; of the 40 or so published most are from parasitic flatworms (Neodermata). Here, we present the mitogenomes of two free-living flatworms (Tricladida): the complete genome of the freshwater species Crenobia alpina (Planariidae) and a nearly complete genome of the land planarian Obama sp. (Geoplanidae). Moreover, we have reanotated the published mitogenome of the species Dugesia japonica (Dugesiidae). This contribution almost doubles the total number of mtDNAs published for Tricladida, a species-rich group including model organisms and economically important invasive species. We took the opportunity to conduct comparative mitogenomic analyses between available free-living and selected parasitic flatworms in order to gain insights into the putative effect of life cycle on nucleotide composition through mutation and natural selection. Unexpectedly, we did not find any molecular hallmark of a selective relaxation in mitogenomes of parasitic flatworms; on the contrary, three out of the four studied free-living triclad mitogenomes exhibit higher A+T content and selective relaxation levels. Additionally, we provide new and valuable molecular data to develop markers for future phylogenetic studies on planariids and geoplanids. PMID:25793530

  14. Diverse modes of reproduction in the marine free-living ciliate Glauconema trihymene

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Most free-living ciliates reproduce by equal fission or budding during vegetative growth. In certain ciliates, reproduction occurs inside the cyst wall, viz. reproductive cysts, but more complex reproductive strategies have generally been thought to be confined to parasitic or symbiotic species, e.g. Radiophrya spp. Results In addition to equal fission, asymmetric binary division and reproductive cysts were discovered in the free-living bacterivorous scuticociliate Glauconema trihymene Thompson, 1966. Asymmetric division is an innate physiological state that can be induced by sufficient food, and the higher the food concentration, the longer the asymmetric division persists. During asymmetric division, nuclear and somatic structures divide with transiently arrested cytokinesis and variable positioning of macronuclei. Phylogenetic analysis, based on the small subunit of ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequences, showed that the G. trihymene isolate studied here nests with typical scuticociliates and is paraphyletic to both the symbiotic apostome and astome ciliates, some of which also produce progeny by asymmetric division. Conclusions The asymmetric division in G. trihymene has no precedent among undisturbed free-living ciliates. The coexistence of multiple modes of reproduction may represent a previously undescribed reproductive strategy for ciliates living on food patches in coastal waters. This may also be indicative of similar reproductive strategies among other polyphenic ciliates, which have not been intensively studied. Asymmetric division provides a special opportunity for studying ciliates' phenotypic plasticity and may also illuminate the origins of multicellularity. PMID:20388205

  15. Free-Living Physical Activity in COPD: Assessment with Accelerometer and Activity Checklist

    PubMed Central

    MATTHESS, KIRBY; STOLZMANN, KELLY; REILLY, JOHN; GARSHICK, ERIC

    2009-01-01

    Rationale In order to assess participation in physical activities (PA) and disability in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), we evaluated the use of an accelerometer and checklist to measure free-living PA. Methods 17 males with stable COPD completed a daily activity checklist for 14 days. 10 subjects concurrently wore an accelerometer (FitSense, Southborough, MA) that records steps per day. Regression models assessed relationships between steps per day, number of daily checklist activities performed, and clinical measures of COPD status. Results The average steps per day ranged from 406 to 4,856. The median intra-subject coefficient of variation for steps per day was 0.52 (interquartile range [IQR] 0.41-0.58) and for number of daily checklist activities performed was 0.28 (IQR 0.22-0.32). A higher number of steps per day were associated with a greater distance walked on the 6-minute walk test and better health-related quality of life. A higher number of daily checklist activities performed was associated with a higher FEV1 % predicted and lower BODE index. Conclusions It is feasible to prospectively measure free-living PA in COPD using an unobtrusive accelerometer and simple activity checklist. There is low intra-subject variation in free-living PA, which is significantly associated with clinical measures of COPD status. PMID:19533541

  16. Validation of a portable EMG device to assess muscle activity during free-living situations.

    PubMed

    Walters, T J; Kaschinske, K A; Strath, S J; Swartz, A M; Keenan, K G

    2013-10-01

    Portable amplifiers that record electromyograms (EMGs) for longer than four hours are commonly priced over $20,000 USD. This cost, and the technical challenges associated with recording EMGs during free-living situations, typically restrict EMG use to laboratory settings. A low-cost system (μEMG; OT Bioelecttronica, 100€), using specialized concentric bipolar electrodes, has been developed specifically for free-living situations. The purpose of this study was to validate the μEMG system by comparing EMGs from μEMG with a laboratory-based alternative (Telemyo 900; Noraxon USA, Inc.). Surface EMGs from biceps brachii (BB) and tibialis anterior (TA) of ten subjects were recorded simultaneously with both systems as subjects performed maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs), submaximal contractions at 25%, 50%, and 75% MVC, seven simulated activities of daily living (ADLs), and >60min of simulated free-living inside the laboratory. In general, EMG parameters (e.g., average full-wave rectified EMG amplitude) derived from both systems were not significantly different for all outcome variables, except there were small differences across systems in baseline noise and absolute EMG amplitudes during MVCs. These results suggest that μEMG is a valid approach to the long-term recording of EMG. PMID:23830889

  17. GASTROINTESTINAL PARASITES OF CAPTIVE AND FREE-LIVING LEMURS AND DOMESTIC CARNIVORES IN EASTERN MADAGASCAR.

    PubMed

    Alexander, Amy B; Poirotte, Clémence; Porton, Ingrid J; Freeman, Karen L M; Rasambainarivo, Fidisoa; Olson, Kimberly G; Iambana, Bernard; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-03-01

    Fecal samples from captive and free-living lemurs at Ivoloina Zoological Park (IZP) and domestic carnivores from six villages surrounding IZP were evaluated between July and August 2012. Free-living lemurs from Betampona Natural Reserve (BNR), a relatively pristine rainforest fragment 40 km away, were also evaluated in November 2013. All 33 dogs sampled (100%) and 16 of 22 cats sampled (72.7%) were parasitized, predominantly with nematodes (strongyles, ascarids, and spirurids) as well as cestodes and protozoans. Similar types of parasites were identified in the lemur populations. Identification of spirurid nematodes and protozoans in the lemur fecal samples were of concern due to previously documented morbidity and mortality in lemurs from these parasitic agents. Twelve of 13 free-living (93%) and 31 of 49 captive (63%) lemurs sampled at IZP had a higher parasite prevalence than lemurs at BNR, with 13 of 24 (54%) being parasitized. The lemurs in BNR are likely at risk of increased exposure to these parasites and, therefore, increased morbidity and mortality, as humans and their domestic animals are encroaching on this natural area. PMID:27010275

  18. Cooling and freezing of sperm from captive, free-living and endangered squirrel monkey species.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Karol G; Santos, Regiane R; Leão, Danuza L; Brito, Adriel B; Lima, Julianne S; Sampaio, Wlaísa V; Domingues, Sheyla F S

    2016-06-01

    Germoplasm banking is an important tool for the preservation of genetic material from Neotropical primates in captivity, and from free living species, especially the endangered ones like Saimiri vanzolinii (Black-headed squirrel monkey), a primate with a low incidence area (870 km(2) of floodplains) in the southern part of the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, Brazil. Therefore, in the present study we aimed to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol comparing sperm cooling in presence (T1) and absence (T2) of egg yolk, and to test freezing protocols to preserve semen from captive (Saimiri collinsi), and free-living (Saimiri vanzolinii, Saimiri cassiquiarensis and Saimiri macrodon) New World primates. Cooling preserved sperm of S. collinsi in all evaluated microscopic parameters, except for sperm motility. No differences were observed among the treatments, indicating that semen of this species can be cooled without egg yolk. Freezing did not affect sperm quality of S. collinsi, except plasma membrane integrity that was negatively affected. Generally, a good maintenance rate was observed between cooling and thawing of semen for the four species, showing the positive translational application of protocols from S. collinsi to the free-living species. Developed freezing protocol proved to be useful for sperm cryopreservation of S. collinsi and in field conditions. PMID:26994833

  19. Toward Objective Monitoring of Ingestive Behavior in Free-living Population

    PubMed Central

    Sazonov, Edward S.; Schuckers, Stephanie A.C.; Lopez-Meyer, Paulo; Makeyev, Oleksandr; Melanson, Edward L.; Neuman, Michael R.; Hill, James O.

    2010-01-01

    Understanding of eating behaviors associated with obesity requires objective and accurate monitoring of food intake patterns. Accurate methods are available for measuring total energy expenditure and its components in free-living populations, but methods for measuring food intake in free-living people are far less accurate and involve self-reporting or subjective monitoring. We suggest that chews and swallows can be used for objective monitoring of ingestive behavior. This hypothesis was verified in a human study involving 20 subjects. Chews and swallows were captured during periods of quiet resting, talking, and meals of varying size. The counts of chews and swallows along with other derived metrics were used to build prediction models for detection of food intake, differentiation between liquids and solids, and for estimation of the mass of ingested food. The proposed prediction models were able to detect periods of food intake with >95% accuracy and a fine time resolution of 30 s, differentiate solid foods from liquids with >91% accuracy, and predict mass of ingested food with >91% accuracy for solids and >83% accuracy for liquids. In earlier publications, we have shown that chews and swallows can be captured by noninvasive sensors that could be developed into a wearable device. Thus, the proposed methodology could lead to the development of an innovative new way of assessing human eating behavior in free-living conditions. PMID:19444225

  20. Optimizing culture conditions for free-living stages of the nematode parasite Strongyloides ratti.

    PubMed

    Dulovic, Alex; Puller, Vadim; Streit, Adrian

    2016-09-01

    The rat parasitic nematode Strongyloides ratti (S. ratti) has recently emerged as a model system for various aspects of parasite biology and evolution. In addition to parasitic parthenogenetic females, this species can also form facultative free-living generations of sexually reproducing adults. These free-living worms are bacteriovorous and grow very well when cultured in the feces of their host. However, in fecal cultures the worms are rather difficult to find for observation and experimental manipulation. Therefore, it has also been attempted to raise S. ratti on Nematode Growth Media (NGM) plates with Escherichia coli OP50 as food, exactly as described for the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Whilst worms did grow on these plates, their longevity and reproductive output compared to fecal cultures were dramatically reduced. In order to improve the culture success we tested other plates occasionally used for C. elegans and, starting from the best performing one, systematically varied the plate composition, the temperature and the food in order to further optimize the conditions. Here we present a plate culturing protocol for free-living stages of S. ratti with strongly improved reproductive success and longevity. PMID:27334397

  1. Bovine virus diarrhea virus in free-living deer from Denmark.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, S S; Roensholt, L; Bitsch, V

    2000-07-01

    Free-living deer are suggested as a possible source of infection of cattle with bovine virus diarrhea (BVD) virus. To examine this hypothesis blood samples from 476 free-living deer were collected during two different periods and tested for BVD virus and antibody in Denmark. In 1995-96, 207 animals were tested. These included 149 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), 29 fallow deer (Dama dama), 20 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and one sika deer (Cervus sika). For the remaining eight animals no species information was available. In 1998-99, 269 animals were tested including 212 roe deer and 57 red deer. The animals were selected from areas with a relatively high prevalence of cattle herds with a BVD persistent infection status in 1997 and 1998. All 207 samples from 1995-96 were found antibody-negative except two samples from red deer. Only 158 of the 207 samples were tested for virus and were all found negative. Of the 269 samples from 1998-99 all but one were antibody negative. The positive sample was from a red deer. All samples were virus-negative. It appears that BVD infection does not occur in roe deer in Denmark. The presence of antibody in a few red deer from various districts in Jutland probably results from cattle to deer transmission, rather than spread among deer. Hence, the possibility of free-living deer as a source of infection for cattle in Denmark seems to be remote. PMID:10941751

  2. The effect of elevated temperature and substrate on free-living Symbiodinium cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nitschke, M. R.; Davy, S. K.; Cribb, T. H.; Ward, S.

    2015-03-01

    Elevated temperatures can produce a range of serious, deleterious effects on marine invertebrate— Symbiodinium symbioses. The responses of free-living Symbiodinium to elevated temperature, however, have been little studied, especially in the context of their natural habitat. In this study, we investigated physiological responses of two Symbiodinium cultures to elevated temperature, an exclusively free-living ITS2 clade A (strain HI-0509) and the symbiosis-forming ITS2 type A1 (strain CCMP2467). Free-living Symbiodinium strains have recently been isolated from benthic sediments, and both cultures were therefore grown with or without a microhabitat of carbonate sediment at 25, 28 or 31 °C. Maximum quantum yield of photosystem II ( F v/ F m) and specific growth rate were measured as response variables. In culture, Symbiodinium cells exhibit motility in a helical swimming pattern, and therefore, revolutions per minute (RPM) were also measured with video microscopy. The exclusively free-living clade A was physiologically superior to Symbiodinium A1 across all measured variables and treatment combinations. F v/ F m remained relatively stable through time (at approximately 0.55) and was not substantially affected by temperature or the presence or the absence of sediment. Populations of the exclusively free-living Symbiodinium A reproduced faster with sediment than without and exhibited high levels of motility across all treatments (surpassing 300 RPM). In contrast, the F v/ F m of A1 dropped to 0.42 in sediment (relative to cultures without sediment) and exhibited dramatic declines in cell concentration, most severely at 31 °C. A > 50 % reduction in motility was also observed at 31 °C. Even in the absence of sediment, elevated temperature was observed to reduce population growth and cell motility of type A1. We suggest that vital behaviours linked to motility (such as vertical migration and the locating of potential hosts) may become impaired during future thermal

  3. Ecology of the free-living stages of major trichostrongylid parasites of sheep.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Lauren J; Walkden-Brown, Stephen W; Kahn, Lewis P

    2006-11-30

    Significant developments over recent decades make it timely to review the ecology of the major gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) species of sheep. These include the relentless development and spread of anthelmintic resistance in all of the major sheep production regions of the world, and the consequent drive towards integrated parasite management (IPM) systems incorporating non-chemotherapeutic strategies such as grazing management. The success of such programs is dependent on a detailed understanding of the environmental influences on the free-living stages of the nematode lifecycle. Major reviews of the subject were conducted prior to 1980, however considerable work has been completed since, including the development of mathematical models describing the epidemiology of GIN infection. Knowledge of the temperature thresholds for free-living development has also improved, while investigations of moisture influences and interactions with temperature have allowed more effective exploitation of environmental effects for IPM. This review re-evaluates our understanding of the factors that determine the success or failure of the free-living phases of the lifecycle in light of these developments. Temperature and moisture are the dominant influences on the free-living stages of Haemonchus contortus, Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis, with the effects of pasture conditions playing a significant modulating role. Early in the free-living phase, the developmental success of the three GIN species is limited by susceptibility to cold temperatures. In general, H. contortus is most susceptible, followed by T. colubriformis and then T. circumcincta. The length of the development cycle is dependent largely on temperature, with development rate increasing at warmer temperatures. However, in order for development to proceed to the infective larval stage, addition of moisture is generally required. There has been considerably less work quantifying the effects

  4. Pacific walrus coastal haulout database, 1852-2016— Background report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; Garlich-Miller, Joel L.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2016-01-01

    Walruses are large benthic predators that rest out of water between foraging bouts. Coastal “haulouts” (places where walruses rest) are formed by adult males in summer and sometimes by females and young when sea ice is absent, and are often used repeatedly across seasons and years. Understanding the geography and historical use of haulouts provides a context for conservation efforts. We summarize information on Pacific walrus haulouts from available reports (n =151), interviews with coastal residents and aviators, and personal observations of the authors. We provide this in the form of a georeferenced database that can be queried and displayed with standard geographic information system and database management software. The database contains 150 records of Pacific walrus haulouts, with a summary of basic characteristics on maximum haulout aggregation size, age-sex composition, season of use, and decade of most recent use. Citations to reports are provided in the appendix and as a bibliographic database. Haulouts were distributed across the coasts of the Pacific walrus range; however, the largest (maximum >10,000 walruses) of the haulouts reported in the recent 4 decades (n=19) were concentrated on the Russian shores in regions near the Bering Strait and northward into the western Chukchi Sea (n=17). Haulouts of adult female and young walruses primarily occurred in the Bering Strait region and areas northward, with others occurring in the central Bering Sea, Gulf of Anadyr, and Saint Lawrence Island regions. The Gulf of Anadyr was the only region to contain female and young walrus haulouts, which formed after the northward spring migration and prior to autumn ice formation.

  5. Object-Oriented Analysis of Sea Ice Fragmentation Using SAR Imagery to Determine Pacific Walrus Habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brigham, C.; Kolkowitz, I.; Dolson, M.; Rudy, J.; Brooks, A.; Hiatt, C.; Schmidt, C. L.; Skiles, J.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in climate are causing alterations in sea ice formation resulting in a changing habitat for Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Students from NASA Ames Research Center's DEVELOP Internship Program worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in Alaska to assess the use of satellite imagery for studying walrus habitat on sea ice. Few studies use satellite imagery to observe marine mammal habitats in polar regions because of the difficulty in obtaining imagery and georeferenced data points of species location for the same time period. This study used a method for sea ice image analysis that incorporated remote sensing segmentation and classification techniques with RADARSAT1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) imagery. Results were correlated with ground point data to determine the relationships of sea ice features to walrus' preferred habitat. MODIS data were utilized, where possible, to verify the classifications of sea ice surfaces obtained by RADARSAT1. The goal of the study was to define geophysical information from radar images that correlate with georeferenced species data points for the same time period. The students determined that walrus prefer thin to medium ice thicknesses. This finding means that aircraft census of walrus populations will not need to be done over areas of thick ice, saving flight time and allowing USFWS personnel to concentrate on locations where walrus populations can be expected to be found.

  6. BESMEX: Bering Sea marine mammal experiment. [with the primary target species being the walrus and bowhead whale

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, G. C.; Wartzok, D.

    1974-01-01

    Predictive ecological models are being studied for the management and conservation of the walrus, and the bowhead whale in the Bering Sea. The influence of sea ice on the distribution, and carrying capacity of the area for these two mammals is to be investigated with the primary target species being the walrus. Remote sensing and radio tracking is considered a requirement for assessing the walrus ecosystem.

  7. Estimation of free-living energy expenditure using a novel activity monitor designed to minimize obtrusiveness.

    PubMed

    Bonomi, Alberto G; Plasqui, Guy; Goris, Annelies H C; Westerterp, Klass R

    2010-09-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of a novel activity monitor designed to be minimally obtrusive in predicting free-living energy expenditure. Subjects were 18 men and 12 women (age: 41 +/- 11 years, BMI: 24.4 +/- 3 kg/m(2)). The habitual physical activity was monitored for 14 days using a DirectLife triaxial accelerometer for movement registration (Tracmor(D)) (Philips New Wellness Solutions, Lifestyle Incubator, the Netherlands). Tracmor(D) output was expressed as activity counts per day (Cnts/d). Simultaneously, total energy expenditure (TEE) was measured in free living conditions using doubly labeled water (DLW). Activity energy expenditure (AEE) and the physical activity level (PAL) were determined from TEE and sleeping metabolic rate (SMR). A multiple-linear regression model predicted 76% of the variance in TEE, using as independent variables SMR (partial-r(2) = 0.55, P < 0.001), and Cnts/d (partial r(2) = 0.21, P < 0.001). The s.e. of TEE estimates was 0.9 MJ/day or 7.4% of the average TEE. A model based on body mass (partial-r(2) = 0.31, P < 0.001) and Cnts/d (partial-r(2) = 0.23, P < 0.001) predicted 54% of the variance in TEE. Cnts/d were significantly and positively associated with AEE (r = 0.54, P < 0.01), PAL (r = 0.68, P < 0.001), and AEE corrected by body mass (r = 0.71, P < 0.001). This study showed that the Tracmor(D) is a highly accurate instrument for predicting free-living energy expenditure. The miniaturized design did not harm the ability of the instrument in measuring physical activity and in determining outcome parameters of physical activity such as TEE, AEE, and PAL. PMID:20186133

  8. Epidemiologic determinants of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) in Virginia.

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Sleeman, Jonathan M; Elvinger, François

    2003-10-01

    Epidemiologic determinants of 46 cases of aural abscessation in free-living eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina) admitted to the Wildlife Center of Virginia (Virginia, USA) from 1991 to 2000 were evaluated. County human population density, year and season of admission, weight, and sex did not affect the risk for box turtles to develop aural abscessation. Counties with cases of aural abscessation were not randomly distributed, but rather were clustered into two multi-county regions. Geographic location was the only risk factor associated with aural abscessation in box turtles found in this study. Possible etiologies could include chronic infectious disease, malnutrition, or chronic exposure to environmental contamination with organochlorine compounds. PMID:14733291

  9. Monitoring of Yersinia enterocolitica strains from free-living animals using different methods.

    PubMed

    Syczyło, K; Platt-Samoraj, A; Bancerz-Kisiel, A; Szczerba-Turek, A; Lipczyńska, K; Jabłoński, A; Procajło, Z; Szweda, W

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the study was to monitor Y. enterocolitica strains from free-living animals captured during 2011-2014 hunting seasons in Poland using warm (ITC) and cold (PSB) enrichment and molecular examination. Over 1600 samples have been cultured. After ITC/PSB enrichment 237 strains presenting features characteristic for Y. enterocolitica were isolated. Molecular examination using multiplex PCR revealed 140 isolates from PSB and 78 from ITC. The concentration of pathogenic Yersinia in asymptomatic carriers is low and the PCR detection should be preceded by bacteriological examination. PMID:27096808

  10. Free-living bodonids and derived parasitic trypanosomatids: but what lies in between?

    PubMed

    Stevens, Jamie R

    2014-03-01

    Inclusion of suitable out-group taxa has been of particular importance in accurate reconstruction of evolutionary relationships among trypanosomatids. However, the persistence of researchers focusing on insect trypansomatids appears to have paid off, and a novel, apparently-monoxenous parasite isolated from mosquitoes has recently been characterised. Critically, phylogenetic and phylogenomic analyses robustly position this new species, Paratrypanosoma confusum, between free-living bodonid out-group taxa and other trypanosomatids, thereby overcoming some of the issues associated with previously utilised out-groups. PMID:24468209

  11. Extrapolating laboratory avian toxicity data to free-living birds: Comparison of the toxicity of parathion to captive and free-living European starlings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grue, C.E.; Rattner, B.A.; Bunck, C.M.

    1993-01-01

    In 1985 and 1986, we captured nesting wild female European starlings with young 8-10 days of age. Birds were weighted, banded, and given one of four dosages of the OP insecticide parathion (50, 72, 104 or 150 mg/kg dissolved in corn oil) or pure corn-oil (control). and their young weighed. Nest boxes (7- 12/treatment) were observed and young re-weighed 2-3 days postdose to determine presence/absence of the females. If necessary, males were captured and fate of young used to confirm female response. Brain ChE inhibition in dosed birds (based on a pilot study) was 55-74%. EC50's (failure to return to nest box) for the females was 74 mg/kg in 1985 and 92 mg/kg in 1986. Confidence limit (95%) for these estimates overlapped LD50's for captive female starlings dosed with the OP in spring and early summer 1987 (136, 128 mg/kg, respectively). Results suggest that responses of captive and free-living birds to potentially lethal concentrations of OP's are similar, despite the additional stresses in the wild.

  12. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Noren, Shawn R; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d(-1) for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d(-1) for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss. PMID:25461648

  13. Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2014-01-01

    Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully understanding potential population-level impacts. We analyzed long-term longitudinal data sets of caloric consumption and body mass from nine female Pacific walruses housed at six aquaria using a hierarchical Bayesian approach to quantify relative energetic demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation. By examining body mass fluctuations in response to food consumption, the model explicitly uncoupled caloric demand from caloric intake. This is important for pinnipeds because they sequester and deplete large quantities of lipids throughout their lifetimes. Model outputs were scaled to account for activity levels typical of free-ranging Pacific walruses, averaging 83% of the time active in water and 17% of the time hauled-out resting. Estimated caloric requirements ranged from 26,900 kcal d−1 for 2-yr-olds to 93,370 kcal d−1 for simultaneously lactating and pregnant walruses. Daily consumption requirements were higher for pregnancy than lactation, reflecting energetic demands of increasing body size and lipid deposition during pregnancy. Although walruses forage during lactation, fat sequestered during pregnancy sustained 27% of caloric requirements during the first month of lactation, suggesting that walruses use a mixed strategy of capital and income breeding. Ultimately, this model will aid in our understanding of the energetic and population consequences of sea ice loss.

  14. A Reevaluation of the Morphology, Paleoecology, and Phylogenetic Relationships of the Enigmatic Walrus Pelagiarctos

    PubMed Central

    Boessenecker, Robert W.; Churchill, Morgan

    2013-01-01

    Background A number of aberrant walruses (Odobenidae) have been described from the Neogene of the North Pacific, including specialized suction-feeding and generalist fish-eating taxa. At least one of these fossil walruses has been hypothesized to have been a specialized predator of other marine mammals, the middle Miocene walrus Pelagiarctos thomasi from the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed of California (16.1–14.5 Ma). Methodology/Principal Findings A new specimen of Pelagiarctos from the middle Miocene “Topanga” Formation of southern California (17.5–15 Ma) allows a reassessment of the morphology and feeding ecology of this extinct walrus. The mandibles of this new specimen are robust with large canines, bulbous premolars with prominent paraconid, metaconid, hypoconid cusps, crenulated lingual cingula with small talonid basins, M2 present, double-rooted P3–M1, single-rooted P1 and M2, and a P2 with a bilobate root. Because this specimen lacks a fused mandibular symphysis like Pelagiarctos thomasi, it is instead referred to Pelagiarctos sp. This specimen is more informative than the fragmentary holotype of Pelagiarctos thomasi, permitting Pelagiarctos to be included within a phylogenetic analysis for the first time. Analysis of a matrix composed of 90 cranial, dental, mandibular and postcranial characters indicates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus and sister to the late Miocene walrus Imagotaria downsi. We reevaluate the evidence for a macropredatory lifestyle for Pelagiarctos, and we find no evidence of specialization towards a macrophagous diet, suggesting that Pelagiarctos was a generalist feeder with the ability to feed on large prey. Conclusions/Significance This new specimen of Pelagiarctos adds to the knowledge of this problematic taxon. The phylogenetic analysis conclusively demonstrates that Pelagiarctos is an early diverging walrus. Pelagiarctos does not show morphological specializations associated with macrophagy, and was likely a

  15. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, Chadwick V.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained <10% through the end of the century. The summed probabilities of vulnerable, rare, and extirpated (P(v,r,e)) increased from a current level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance.

  16. Projected status of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the twenty-first century

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Marcot, B.G.; Douglas, D.C.

    2011-01-01

    Extensive and rapid losses of sea ice in the Arctic have raised conservation concerns for the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens), a large pinniped inhabiting arctic and subarctic continental shelf waters of the Chukchi and Bering seas. We developed a Bayesian network model to integrate potential effects of changing environmental conditions and anthropogenic stressors on the future status of the Pacific walrus population at four periods through the twenty-first century. The model framework allowed for inclusion of various sources and levels of knowledge, and representation of structural and parameter uncertainties. Walrus outcome probabilities through the century reflected a clear trend of worsening conditions for the subspecies. From the current observation period to the end of century, the greatest change in walrus outcome probabilities was a progressive decrease in the outcome state of robust and a concomitant increase in the outcome state of vulnerable. The probabilities of rare and extirpated states each progressively increased but remained >10% through the end of the century. The summed probabilities of vulnerable, rare, and extirpated (P(v,r,e)) increased from a current level of 10% in 2004 to 22% by 2050 and 40% by 2095. The degree of uncertainty in walrus outcomes increased monotonically over future periods. In the model, sea ice habitat (particularly for summer/fall) and harvest levels had the greatest influence on future population outcomes. Other potential stressors had much smaller influences on walrus outcomes, mostly because of uncertainty in their future states and our current poor understanding of their mechanistic influence on walrus abundance. ?? 2011 US Government.

  17. Pathology of aural abscesses in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina).

    PubMed

    Brown, Justin D; Richards, Jean M; Robertson, John; Holladay, Steven; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2004-10-01

    Aural abscess or abscess of the middle ear is common in free-living Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) of Virginia (USA) and elsewhere. Although its etiology remains unknown, hypovitaminosis A has been suggested on the basis of similar lesions occurring in captive chelonians fed diets that are deficient in vitamin A. This hypothesis was supported by significantly greater body burdens of organochlorine compounds (reported disruptors of vitamin A metabolism) and a nonsignificant trend toward lower serum and hepatic vitamin A levels in free-living box turtles with this lesion. The tympanic epithelium was evaluated in 27 box turtles (10 with aural abscesses and 17 without). Lesions of the tympanic epithelium of box turtles with aural abscesses included hyperplasia, squamous metaplasia, hyperemia, cellular sloughing, granulomatous inflammation, and bacterial infection. These changes were more severe in turtles with aural abscesses than in those without and were more severe in tympanic cavities that had an abscess compared to those without when the lesion was unilateral. Organs from 21 box turtles (10 with aural abscesses and 11 without) from the study population were examined for microscopic lesions, and minimal histopathologic changes were found, none of which were similar to those found in the tympanic epithelium. Histopathologic changes in box turtles with aural abscesses were consistent with a syndrome that may involve hypovitaminosis A. PMID:15650088

  18. Apoptosis as a mechanism of cytolysis of tumor cells by a pathogenic free-living amoeba.

    PubMed Central

    Alizadeh, H; Pidherney, M S; McCulley, J P; Niederkorn, J Y

    1994-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that trophozoites of the pathogenic free-living amoeba Acanthamoeba castellanii rapidly lysed a variety of tumor cells in vitro. Tumor cells undergoing parasite-mediated lysis displayed characteristic cell membrane blebbing reminiscent of apoptosis. The present investigation examined the role of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in Acanthamoeba-mediated tumor cell lysis. The results showed that more than 70% of tumor cell DNA was fragmented following exposure to Acanthamoeba cell extracts. By contrast, only 7% of untreated control cells underwent DNA fragmentation. DNA fragmentation increased significantly in a dose-dependent fashion following concentration of the parasite extract. Apoptosis was also confirmed by DNA ladder formation. Characteristic DNA ladders, consisting of multimers of approximately 180 to 200 bp, were produced by tumor cells exposed to Acanthamoeba cell extracts. The morphology of tumor cell lysis was examined by light and scanning electron microscopy. Tumor cells exposed to parasite extract displayed morphological features characteristic of apoptosis including cell shrinkage, cell membrane blebbing, formation of apoptotic bodies, and nuclear condensation. By contrast, similar effects were not found in tumor cells exposed to extract similarly prepared from normal mammalian cells (i.e., human keratocytes). The results suggest that at least one species of pathogenic free-living amoeba is able to lyse tumor cells by a process that culminates in apoptosis. Images PMID:8132336

  19. Inbreeding effects on immune response in free-living song sparrows (Melospiza melodia)

    PubMed Central

    Reid, Jane M; Arcese, Peter; Keller, Lukas F; Elliott, Kyle H; Sampson, Laura; Hasselquist, Dennis

    2006-01-01

    The consequences of inbreeding for host immunity to parasitic infection have broad implications for the evolutionary and dynamical impacts of parasites on populations where inbreeding occurs. To rigorously assess the magnitude and the prevalence of inbreeding effects on immunity, multiple components of host immune response should be related to inbreeding coefficient (f) in free-living individuals. We used a pedigreed, free-living population of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) to test whether individual responses to widely used experimental immune challenges varied consistently with f. The patagial swelling response to phytohaemagglutinin declined markedly with f in both females and males in both 2002 and 2003, although overall inbreeding depression was greater in males. The primary antibody response to tetanus toxoid declined with f in females but not in males in both 2004 and 2005. Primary antibody responses to diphtheria toxoid were low but tended to decline with f in 2004. Overall inbreeding depression did not solely reflect particularly strong immune responses in outbred offspring of immigrant–native pairings or weak responses in highly inbred individuals. These data indicate substantial and apparently sex-specific inbreeding effects on immune response, implying that inbred hosts may be relatively susceptible to parasitic infection to differing degrees in males and females. PMID:17254994

  20. A validation of extraction methods for noninvasive sampling of glucocorticoids in free-living ground squirrels.

    PubMed

    Mateo, Jill M; Cavigelli, Sonia A

    2005-01-01

    Fecal hormone assays provide a powerful tool for noninvasive monitoring of endocrine status in wild animals. In this study we validated a protocol for extracting and measuring glucocorticoids in free-living and captive Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi). We first compared two commonly used extraction protocols to determine which performed better with commercially available antibodies. We next verified the preferred extraction method by correlating circulating and fecal glucocorticoid measures from a group of individuals over time. For this comparison, we used both a cortisol and a corticosterone antibody to determine which had greater affinity to the fecal metabolites. Cortisol was the primary circulating glucocorticoid, but both hormones were present in well above detectable concentrations in the blood, which does not occur in other sciurids. In addition, the cortisol antibody showed greater binding with the fecal extracts than did the corticosterone antibody. Finally, we used adrenocorticotropic hormone and dexamethasone challenges to demonstrate that changes in adrenal functioning are reflected in changing fecal corticoid levels. These results suggest that our extraction protocol provides a fast, reliable assay of stress hormones in free-living ground squirrels without the confounding influence of short-term rises in glucocorticoid concentrations caused by handling and restraint stress and that it can facilitate ecological and evolutionary studies of stress in wild species. PMID:16228945

  1. Seasonal glucocorticoid responses to capture in wild free-living mammals.

    PubMed

    Romero, L Michael; Meister, Cecile J; Cyr, Nicole E; Kenagy, G J; Wingfield, John C

    2008-02-01

    We determined baseline and capture-induced glucocorticoid concentrations during two different seasons in three species of wild free-living rodents: brown lemmings (Lemmus trimucronatus), golden-mantled ground squirrels (Spermophilus saturatus), and yellow-pine chipmunks (Tamias amoenus). Initial blood samples were obtained within 3 min of capture, so that initial glucocorticoid levels reflect baseline titers of undisturbed animals. Animals were held for an additional 30 min, when a second blood sample was taken to measure stress-induced glucocorticoid titers. The primary glucocorticoid differed in each species. Lemmings secreted extremely large amounts of corticosterone (as high as 8,000 ng/ml). These high concentrations were accompanied by high corticosterone-binding globulin capacity and resistance to negative feedback. Squirrels and chipmunks secreted a mixture of cortisol and corticosterone (10-400 ng/ml). In males of all three species and female squirrels and chipmunks, glucocorticoid levels were significantly elevated 30 min after capture. Baseline and 30-min glucocorticoid levels differed seasonally in each species. Levels were higher during summer (with no snow cover) than in spring (with approximately 60% snow cover) in female lemmings, higher during breeding than before hibernation in squirrels, and higher postreproductively than during breeding in chipmunks. Together, these data indicate that glucocorticoid responses to stress in these free-living species are similar to those in laboratory species, but the magnitude of the response appears to depend on life-history features specific to each species. PMID:18094060

  2. Application of flow cytometry to studies of pathogenic free-living amoebae.

    PubMed Central

    Muldrow, L L; Tyndall, R L; Fliermans, C B

    1982-01-01

    Species of small, free-living amoebae of the genera Naegleria and Acanthamoeba can cause fatal amoebic meningoencephalitis. Previous investigations have shown that pathogenic amoebae are associated with thermally altered water. Flow cytometric techniques for identifying species of pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae from such water have been developed, using immunofluorescence and fluorescein-bound concanavalin A. Flow cytometry is accomplished with a cytofluorograph, in which cells are dispersed in a suspended carrier liquid and passed in front of a focused argon ion laser beam. Cells are then distinguished by the degree of scattered light (size) or fluorescence. Flow cytometry techniques have proven efficient for environmental samples, as indicated by the identification of pathogenic Naegleria fowleri and nonpathogenic Naegleri gruberi and Acanthamoeba castellanii isolated from the Savannah River Plant in South Carolina. Cytofluorographic analysis of environmental samples has several advantages over the current methods of isolation and classification of free-living amoebae. With this system, it is possible to rapidly identify species and quantitate mixtures of pathogenic amoebae in environmental samples. Cytofluorographic analysis of amoebic isolates reduces the time presently required to screen environmental sites for pathogenic amoebae. The cytofluorograph permits detection and species identification of nonthermophilic Naegleria spp. and Acanthamoeba spp. that could not easily be isolated for species identification by conventional methods. Other advantages of flow cytometry over fluorescent microscopy include a high degree of statistical precision due to the large numbers measured, high immunofluorescent titers, and elimination of subjectivity and fluorescence fading. PMID:6186196

  3. Increased Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Disease Prevalence in Domestic Hybrids Among Free-Living Wild Boar.

    PubMed

    Goedbloed, Daniel J; van Hooft, Pim; Lutz, Walburga; Megens, Hendrik-Jan; van Wieren, Sip E; Ydenberg, Ron C; Prins, Herbert H T

    2015-12-01

    Wildlife immune genes are subject to natural selection exerted by pathogens. In contrast, domestic immune genes are largely protected from pathogen selection by veterinary care. Introgression of domestic alleles into the wild could lead to increased disease susceptibility, but observations are scarce due to low introgression rates, low disease prevalence and reduced survival of domestic hybrids. Here we report the first observation of a deleterious effect of domestic introgression on disease prevalence in a free-living large mammal. A fraction of 462 randomly sampled free-living European wild boar (Sus scrofa) was genetically identified as recent wild boar-domestic pig hybrids based on 351 SNP data. Analysis of antibody prevalence against the bacterial pathogen Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhyo) showed an increased Mhyo prevalence in wild-domestic hybrids. We argue that the most likely mechanism explaining the observed association between domestic hybrid status and Mhyo antibody prevalence would be introgression of deleterious domestic alleles. We hypothesise that large-scale use of antibiotics in the swine breeding sector may have played a role in shaping the relatively deleterious properties of domestic swine immune genes and that domestic introgression may also lead to increased wildlife disease susceptibility in the case of other species. PMID:26391376

  4. Response of Plant Parasitic and Free Living Soil Nematodes to Composted Animal Manure Soil Amendments

    PubMed Central

    Renčo, M.; Kováčik, P.

    2012-01-01

    In an outside pot experiment, dry pig manure processed on pine sawdust litter and fermented for seven days by house fly larvae (fermented manure), and pine sawdust applied alone, and in combination with a spring application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizer were used to determine their effects on plant parasitic and free-living soil nematodes on sugar beets (cv. Antek). Non amended soil was used as a control. All treatments with fermented pig manure and sawdust with nitrogen fertilizer decreased number of plant parasitic nematodes and also root-fungal feeding nematodes compared to the untreated control. Sawdust applied alone had no effect on plant parasitic and root-fungal feeding nematode suppression. Free-living nematodes which were mainly bacteriovores and fungivores were significantly more abundant in soil amended with fermented pig manure, while the sawdust had no effect on these nematodes. The effect of all tested treatments on omnivores-predators was rather random, and in general, the number of these nematodes decreased after soil amendment applications compared to the untreated control. PMID:23482503

  5. Interaction of free-living marine nematodes in the artificial mangrove environment (Southeast Coast of India).

    PubMed

    Ansari, K G Mohamed Thameemul; Manokaran, S; Raja, S; Lyla, P S; Khan, S Ajmal

    2014-01-01

    Free-living marine nematode diversity was analyzed between Avicennia marina and Rhizophora mucronata mangrove covers of the Vellar Estuary (southeast coast of India). A total of 4,976 specimens of free-living marine nematodes were collected in 56 species. Comparatively, a higher species richness was obtained for A. marina (52 species) than for R. mucronata (44 species), whereas 40 species commonly existed in both mangrove covers. A higher density of nematodes was found in sediments of sandy nature, whereas there was lower total organic carbon compared to silt/clay composition; epigrowth feeders were dominant over the other feeding groups based on organic enrichment in surface sediments. Principal component analysis clearly explained the relationship between the environmental parameters of various months. Higher R values of analysis of similarities revealed significant differences in nematode assemblages between months, and it was quite evident by non-metric multidimensional scaling. Diversity indices showed higher values in the dry months. RELATE analysis explained serial changes in nematode species composition between months, and a relationship between biotic and abiotic variables was clarified using the BIO-ENV procedure. Viscosia spp., Metachromadora spp., Theristus spp., and Sphaerolaimus spp. were candidate species of A. marina leaf interaction by observation. PMID:23928719

  6. Free-Living Nematodes in the Freshwater Food Web: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-01-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities. PMID:25861114

  7. Free-living amoebae used to isolate consortia capable of degrading trichloroethylene

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Katz, D.S.; Little, C.D.; Kennedy, J.R.

    1991-12-31

    The interaction of protozoa with prokaryotes is well documented. These interactions can be either ecto- or endosymbiotic. An example of photosynthetic symbiosis is the well-defined interaction between paramecium and entrapped Chlorella. Paramecium can also form symbiotic relationships with gram-negative heterotrophic bacteria. Jeon has described an interaction between amoebae and engulfed bacteria, that eventuated into a dependency of the amoebae on the presence of the engulfed bacterium. Free-living amoebae and tetrahymena can engulf and subsequently provide the necessary niche for the replication of Legionella. Acanthamoebae trophozoites and cysts can harbor and support the replication of unidentified gram-negative bacteria. King has recently shown that bacteria associated with free-living amoebae are more resistant to toxic environments. Assuming that methylotrophic bacteria in situ are a part of a mixed community, and based on our observations that bacteria associated with protozoa may not be easily isolated by standard techniques, we attempted to use protozoa as a tool to isolate TCE-degrading bacteria.

  8. Tyrosinase expression during black truffle development: from free living mycelium to ripe fruit body.

    PubMed

    Zarivi, Osvaldo; Bonfigli, Antonella; Colafarina, Sabrina; Aimola, Pierpaolo; Ragnelli, Anna Maria; Pacioni, Giovanni; Miranda, Michele

    2011-12-01

    The present work studies the expression of tyrosinase (monophenol:diphenol oxygen oxidoreductase, EC 1.14.18.1) during the development of the black truffle Tuber melanosporum Vittad., an ectomycorrhizal fungus of great biological and economic interest. As widely reported in the literature, melanins and the enzymes that synthesize them, are of paramount importance in fungal development and sexual differentiation. Tyrosinase and laccase are the enzymes that produce melanins from monophenols and diphenols. We have detected tyrosinase expression from the stage of free living mycelium, through the mychorrizal stage and the six fruit body developmental stages by measuring the levels of tyrosinase mRNA by quantitative PCR (q-PCR), spectrophotometry, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry and electrophoresis. Tyrosinase is always expressed, from the free living mycelium to the ripe fruit body developmental stages, when it is very low. The switching off of the tyrosinase gene during T. melanosporum development when the fruit body is ripe and no more cell walls are to be built is discussed in relation of thioflavour production. Specific primers, prepared from the cloned T. melanosporum tyrosinase cDNA were used for the q-PCR and the deduced aminoacid sequences of the CuA and CuB binding sites were compared to those of various ascomycetes and basidiomycetes. PMID:21945278

  9. Specific Hopanoid Classes Differentially Affect Free-Living and Symbiotic States of Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Gargi; Busset, Nicolas; Molinaro, Antonio; Gargani, Daniel; Chaintreuil, Clemence; Silipo, Alba

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A better understanding of how bacteria resist stresses encountered during the progression of plant-microbe symbioses will advance our ability to stimulate plant growth. Here, we show that the symbiotic system comprising the nitrogen-fixing bacterium Bradyrhizobium diazoefficiens and the legume Aeschynomene afraspera requires hopanoid production for optimal fitness. While methylated (2Me) hopanoids contribute to growth under plant-cell-like microaerobic and acidic conditions in the free-living state, they are dispensable during symbiosis. In contrast, synthesis of extended (C35) hopanoids is required for growth microaerobically and under various stress conditions (high temperature, low pH, high osmolarity, bile salts, oxidative stress, and antimicrobial peptides) in the free-living state and also during symbiosis. These defects might be due to a less rigid membrane resulting from the absence of free or lipidA-bound C35 hopanoids or the accumulation of the C30 hopanoid diploptene. Our results also show that C35 hopanoids are necessary for symbiosis only with the host Aeschynomene afraspera but not with soybean. This difference is likely related to the presence of cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides in Aeschynomene nodules that induce drastic modification in bacterial morphology and physiology. The study of hopanoid mutants in plant symbionts thus provides an opportunity to gain insight into host-microbe interactions during later stages of symbiotic progression, as well as the microenvironmental conditions for which hopanoids provide a fitness advantage. PMID:26489859

  10. Emerging trends in free-living amebic infections of the brain: implications for organ transplantation.

    PubMed

    Diaz, James H; Boudreaux, J Philip

    2013-01-01

    This epidemiological review analyzed cases of Naegleria fowleri primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) and Balamuthia mandrillaris granulomatous amebic encephalitis (GAE) for behavioral and demographic risk factors for pathogen exposures and potential transmission by organ transplantation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Naegleria Workgroup Registry provided 121 cases of laboratory-confirmed PAM over the period, 1937-2007. The CDC and the California Encephalitis Project provided 28 cases of GAE over the period, 1994-2010. There was a statistically significant increase in clusters of PAM cases between the periods, 1937-1996 and 1997-2007. Risk factors for PAM included male gender, freshwater exposures, summer exposures, and exposures in southern-tier US (United States) states. Risk factors for GAE included male gender, exposures in southern-tier US states, Hispanic ethnicity in California, occupational or recreational contacts with soil, and recent organ transplantation. Fatal free-living amebic infections of the brain are increasing today due to more frequent environmental, recreational, and occupational exposures; organ transplantation; and unanticipated clusters of PAM due to N. fowleri inoculations following nasal sinus irrigation using neti pots filled with municipal tap water. Potential organ donors dying from meningoencephalitis of unexplained causes should be screened for free-living amebic infections of the brain capable of hematogenous dissemination in organ recipients. PMID:25073256

  11. Isolation and Molecular Characterization of Free-Living Amoebae from Different Water Sources in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Montalbano Di Filippo, Margherita; Santoro, Maristella; Lovreglio, Piero; Monno, Rosa; Capolongo, Carmen; Calia, Carla; Fumarola, Luciana; D’Alfonso, Rossella; Berrilli, Federica; Di Cave, David

    2015-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa ubiquitous in Nature, isolated from a variety of environments worldwide. In addition to their natural distribution, some species have been found to be pathogenic to humans. In the present study a survey was conducted in order to evaluate the presence and to characterize at molecular level the isolates of amoebic organisms collected from different water sources in Italy. A total of 160 water samples were analyzed by culture and microscopic examination. FLA were found in 46 (28.7%) of the investigated water samples. Groundwater, well waters, and ornamental fountain waters were the sources with higher prevalence rates (85.7%, 50.0%, and 45.9%, respectively). Identification of FLA species/genotypes, based on the 18S rDNA regions, allowed to identify 18 (39.1%) Acanthamoeba isolates (genotypes T4 and T15) and 21 (45.6%) Vermamoeba vermiformis isolates. Other FLA species, including Vahlkampfia sp. and Naegleria spp., previously reported in Italy, were not recovered. The occurrence of potentially pathogenic free-living amoebae in habitats related to human population, as reported in the present study, supports the relevance of FLA as a potential health threat to humans. PMID:25811766

  12. Selective disappearance of individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin in a free-living bird.

    PubMed

    Récapet, Charlotte; Sibeaux, Adélaïde; Cauchard, Laure; Doligez, Blandine; Bize, Pierre

    2016-08-01

    Although disruption of glucose homeostasis is a hallmark of ageing in humans and laboratory model organisms, we have little information on the importance of this process in free-living animals. Poor control of blood glucose levels leads to irreversible protein glycation. Hence, levels of protein glycation are hypothesized to increase with age and to be associated with a decline in survival. We tested these predictions by measuring blood glycated haemoglobin in 274 adult collared flycatchers of known age and estimating individual probability of recapture in the following 2 years. Results show a strong decrease in glycated haemoglobin from age 1 to 5 years and an increase thereafter. Individuals with high levels of glycated haemoglobin had a lower probability of recapture, even after controlling for effects of age and dispersal. Altogether, our findings suggest that poor control of glucose homoeostasis is associated with lower survival in this free-living bird population, and that the selective disappearance of individuals with the highest glycation levels could account for the counterintuitive age-related decline in glycated haemoglobin in the early age categories. PMID:27555645

  13. Nematofauna in the Adriatic Sea: review and check-list of free-living nematode species

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Travizi, Ana; Vidaković, Jasna

    1998-02-01

    The present paper presents a collection and synthesis of data found in numerous publications on Adriatic Sea nematofauna, as well as unpublished, data mentioned in annotations. For this purpose, a chronological order of investigations and a general survey of the species that occurred in the Adriatic Sea are given. In all, 281 free-living nematode species comprised in 133 genera and 34 families were discerned and listed in a taxonomic review, according to their spatial distribution. In special cases, descriptions of habitat features were noted. The position of species characterized by high population densities, their importance, and contribution to the faunistic composition of certain parts of the Adriatic were also discussed. The summary of the results, of prevailing research on free-living marine nematodes serves as a tool for making distinctions concerning the research level and state of nematofauna knowledge in different parts of the Adriatic Sea. Northern Adriatic nematofauna has been considerably more intensively investigated than that of the Central and South Adriatic.

  14. Free-living nematodes in the freshwater food web: a review.

    PubMed

    Majdi, Nabil; Traunspurger, Walter

    2015-03-01

    Free-living nematodes are well-recognized as an abundant and ubiquitous component of benthic communities in inland waters. Compelling evidence from soil and marine ecosystems has highlighted the importance of nematodes as trophic intermediaries between microbial production and higher trophic levels. However, the paucity of empirical evidence of their role in freshwater ecosystems has hampered their inclusion in our understanding of freshwater food web functioning. This literature survey provides an overview of research efforts in the field of freshwater nematode ecology and of the complex trophic interactions between free-living nematodes and microbes, other meiofauna, macro-invertebrates, and fishes. Based on an analysis of the relevant literature and an appreciation of the potential of emerging approaches for the evaluation of nematode trophic ecology, we point out research gaps and recommend relevant directions for further research. The latter include (i) interactions of nematodes with protozoans and fungi; (ii) nonconsumptive effects of nematodes on microbial activity and the effects of nematodes on associated key ecosystem processes (decomposition, primary production); and (iii) the feeding selectivity and intraspecific feeding variability of nematodes and their potential impacts on the structure of benthic communities. PMID:25861114

  15. Presence of free-living amoebae in portable and stationary eye wash stations

    SciTech Connect

    Tyndall, R.L.; Lyle, M.M.; Ironside, K.S.

    1987-11-01

    Portable and stationary eye wash stations were tested for the presence of free-living amoebae. Such amoebae may be found in potable waters, and at least one genera, the Acanthamoebae, can cause severe infections when introduced into traumatized eyes. Concentrates or filtrates of water from eye wash stations were placed on nonnutrient agar plates seeded with Escherichia coli. Resultant outgrowths of free-living amoebae, which were morphologically identified as mixtures of Hartmannella and Acanthamoebae, were inoculated intranasally into weanling mice. Subsequently, brain and lung tissues from inject mice were tested for amoebae as an indication of persistent infection. Acanthamoebae and Hartmannella were detected in some eye wash stations at each of four test sites. Both portable and stationary stations harbored Acanthamoebae. Some of the isolates caused persistent pulmonary infection but were not isolated from brain tissue. Flushing stationary eye wash stations temporarily reduced the number of stations positive for amoebae. Treatment of portable stations with 25 ppm of free chlorine also reduced the number of stations harboring amoebae but caused corrosion in some of the stations.

  16. [Comparative characteristics of free-living ultramicroscopical bacteria obtained from extremal biotopes].

    PubMed

    Suzina, N E; Esikova, T Z; Oleinikov, R R; Gafarov, B; Shorokhov, A P; Polivtseva, V N; Ross, D V; Abashina, T N; Duda, V I; Boronin, A M

    2015-01-01

    We isolated 50 strains of free-living ultrasmall bacteria with a cell volume that varies from 0.02 to 1.3 microm3 from a range of extremal natural biotopes, namely permafrost soils, oil slime, soils, lake silt, thermal swamp moss, and the skin integuments of the clawed frog, Xenopus laevis. Of them, 15 isolates, characterized by a cell size of less than 0.1 microm3 and a genome size from 1.5 to 2.4 Mb, were subsumed to ultramicrobacteria belonging to different philogenetic groups (Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria) and genera (Kaistia, Chryseobacterium, Microbacterium, Leucobacter, Leifsonia, and Agrococcus) of the Bacteria domain. They are free-living mesophilic heterotrophic aerobic bacteria. The representatives of Kaistia and Chryseobacterium genera were capable of facultative parasitism on other species of chemo-organotrophic bacteria and cyanobacteria. The ultramicrobacteria differed in their morpholgy, cell ultrastructural organization, and physiological and biochemical features. According to the fine structure of their cell walls, the isolates were subdivided into two groups, namely Gram-positive and Gram-negative forms. PMID:26027350

  17. Inertial measurements of free-living activities: assessing mobility to predict falls.

    PubMed

    Wang, Kejia; Lovell, Nigel H; Del Rosario, Michael B; Liu, Ying; Wang, Jingjing; Narayanan, Michael R; Brodie, Matthew A D; Delbaere, Kim; Menant, Jasmine; Lord, Stephen R; Redmond, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    An exploratory analysis was conducted into how simple features, from acceleration at the lower back and ankle during simulated free-living walking, stair ascent and descent, correlate with age, the overall fall risk from a clinically validated Physiological Profile Assessment (PPA), and its sub-components. Inertial data were captured from 92 older adults aged 78-95 (42 female, mean age 84.1, standard deviation 3.9 years). The dominant frequency, peak width from Welch's power spectral density estimate, and signal variance along each axis, from each sensor location and for each activity were calculated. Several correlations were found between these features and the physiological risk factors. The strongest correlations were from the dominant frequency at the ankle along the mediolateral direction during stair ascent (Spearman's correlation coefficient p = - 0.45) with anterioposterior sway, and signal variance of the anterioposterior acceleration at the lower back during stair descent (p = - 0.45) with age. These findings should aid future attempts to classify activities and predict falls in older adults, based on true free-living data from a range of activities. PMID:25571580

  18. Isolation, identification and antibiotic resistance of Campylobacter strains isolated from domestic and free-living pigeons.

    PubMed

    Dudzic, A; Urban-Chmiel, R; Stępień-Pyśniak, D; Dec, M; Puchalski, A; Wernicki, A

    2016-04-01

    1. The aim of this study was to evaluate the occurrence of Campylobacter spp. in domestic and free-living pigeons and to evaluate the antibiotic resistance profiles. 2. The material consisted of cloacal swabs obtained from 108 homing pigeons and fresh faeces from 72 wild birds from Lublin and its vicinity. The identification of strains isolated on differential/selective media for Campylobacter spp. was carried out by MALDI-TOF and PCR. The susceptibility to antibiotics was evaluated by minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) in Mueller-Hinton broth. 3. A total of 35 strains of Campylobacter spp. were isolated; 27 were identified as Campylobacter jejuni and 8 as Campylobacter coli. Over half of the isolates were resistant to erythromycin and streptomycin, 40% of strains were resistant to tetracycline and ampicillin and 37% isolates were resistant to amoxicillin. Resistance to two or more antibiotics was observed in all strains tested. 4. The results indicate that both domestic and free-living pigeons are reservoirs for bacteria of the genus Campylobacter, which are characterised by varied and growing resistance to commonly used antibiotics. PMID:26841300

  19. Genetic Correlates of Individual Differences in Sleep Behavior of Free-Living Great Tits (Parus major)

    PubMed Central

    Stuber, Erica F.; Baumgartner, Christine; Dingemanse, Niels J.; Kempenaers, Bart; Mueller, Jakob C.

    2016-01-01

    Within populations, free-living birds display considerable variation in observable sleep behaviors, reflecting dynamic interactions between individuals and their environment. Genes are expected to contribute to repeatable between-individual differences in sleep behaviors, which may be associated with individual fitness. We identified and genotyped polymorphisms in nine candidate genes for sleep, and measured five repeatable sleep behaviors in free-living great tits (Parus major), partly replicating a previous study in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus). Microsatellites in the CLOCK and NPAS2 clock genes exhibited an association with sleep duration relative to night length, and morning latency to exit the nest box, respectively. Furthermore, microsatellites in the NPSR1 and PCSK2 genes associated with relative sleep duration and proportion of time spent awake at night, respectively. Given the detection rate of associations in the same models run with random markers instead of candidate genes, we expected two associations to arise by chance. The detection of four associations between candidate genes and sleep, however, suggests that clock genes, a clock-related gene, or a gene involved in the melanocortin system, could play key roles in maintaining phenotypic variation in sleep behavior in avian populations. Knowledge of the genetic architecture underlying sleep behavior in the wild is important because it will enable ecologists to assess the evolution of sleep in response to selection. PMID:26739645

  20. Changes in free-living bacterial community diversity reflect the magnitude of environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Ortmann, Alice C; Ortell, Natalie

    2014-01-01

    A 2-year study was undertaken to compare patterns in the diversity of free-living bacteria in a river-dominated estuary and offshore, on the shelf, to determine whether changes in the free-living bacterial community could be related to differences in environmental seasonality and variability. Although the environmental conditions inshore were significantly more variable than those on the shelf and demonstrated clear seasonal patterns, there were no significant differences in the alpha diversity of the communities based on richness, evenness, or phylogenetic diversity. Comparison of communities using Bray-Curtis similarity indicated no significant differences in the magnitude of change between sequential samples from inshore and on the shelf. Seasonal differences were detected both inshore and on the shelf. However, analysis using the weighted UniFrac distance indicated significantly lower overall change between shelf samples with no significant seasonal differences. These findings suggest different patterns of change between the two sites. Inshore, changes in the relative abundance of distantly related bacterial species reflect the larger environmental variability, while on the shelf, changes in the relative abundance of closely related bacterial species or strains may result in a more functionally stable community. Thus, the magnitude of environmental change can alter patterns of bacterial diversity in marine systems. PMID:24117806

  1. A Model of Extracellular Enzymes in Free-Living Microbes: Which Strategy Pays Off?

    PubMed Central

    Thygesen, Uffe H.; Riemann, Lasse; Stedmon, Colin A.

    2015-01-01

    An initial modeling approach was applied to analyze how a single, nonmotile, free-living, heterotrophic bacterial cell may optimize the deployment of its extracellular enzymes. Free-living cells live in a dilute and complex substrate field, and to gain enough substrate, their extracellular enzymes must be utilized efficiently. The model revealed that surface-attached and free enzymes generate unique enzyme and substrate fields, and each deployment strategy has distinctive advantages. For a solitary cell, surface-attached enzymes are suggested to be the most cost-efficient strategy. This strategy entails potential substrates being reduced to very low concentrations. Free enzymes, on the other hand, generate a radically different substrate field, which suggests significant benefits for the strategy if free cells engage in social foraging or experience high substrate concentrations. Swimming has a slight positive effect for the attached-enzyme strategy, while the effect is negative for the free-enzyme strategy. The results of this study suggest that specific dissolved organic compounds in the ocean likely persist below a threshold concentration impervious to biological utilization. This could help explain the persistence and apparent refractory state of oceanic dissolved organic matter (DOM). Microbial extracellular enzyme strategies, therefore, have important implications for larger-scale processes, such as shaping the role of DOM in ocean carbon sequestration. PMID:26253668

  2. Estimating age ratios and size of Pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Monson, Daniel H.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010–2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m2 (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03–0.06) and we documented ~30,000 animals along ~1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0–2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species.

  3. Estimating Age Ratios and Size of Pacific Walrus Herds on Coastal Haulouts using Video Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Monson, Daniel H.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010–2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m2 (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03–0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0–2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species. PMID:23936106

  4. Estimating age ratios and size of pacific walrus herds on coastal haulouts using video imaging.

    PubMed

    Monson, Daniel H; Udevitz, Mark S; Jay, Chadwick V

    2013-01-01

    During Arctic summers, sea ice provides resting habitat for Pacific walruses as it drifts over foraging areas in the eastern Chukchi Sea. Climate-driven reductions in sea ice have recently created ice-free conditions in the Chukchi Sea by late summer causing walruses to rest at coastal haulouts along the Chukotka and Alaska coasts, which provides an opportunity to study walruses at relatively accessible locations. Walrus age can be determined from the ratio of tusk length to snout dimensions. We evaluated use of images obtained from a gyro-stabilized video system mounted on a helicopter flying at high altitudes (to avoid disturbance) to classify the sex and age of walruses hauled out on Alaska beaches in 2010-2011. We were able to classify 95% of randomly selected individuals to either an 8- or 3-category age class, and we found measurement-based age classifications were more repeatable than visual classifications when using images presenting the correct head profile. Herd density at coastal haulouts averaged 0.88 walruses/m(2) (std. err. = 0.02), herd size ranged from 8,300 to 19,400 (CV 0.03-0.06) and we documented ∼30,000 animals along ∼1 km of beach in 2011. Within the herds, dependent walruses (0-2 yr-olds) tended to be located closer to water, and this tendency became more pronounced as the herd spent more time on the beach. Therefore, unbiased estimation of herd age-ratios will require a sampling design that allows for spatial and temporal structuring. In addition, randomly sampling walruses available at the edge of the herd for other purposes (e.g., tagging, biopsying) will not sample walruses with an age structure representative of the herd. Sea ice losses are projected to continue, and population age structure data collected with aerial videography at coastal haulouts may provide demographic information vital to ongoing efforts to understand effects of climate change on this species. PMID:23936106

  5. Modeling haul-out behavior of walruses in Bering Sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, M.S.; Jay, C.V.; Fischbach, A.S.; Garlich-Miller, J. L.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding haul-out behavior of ice-associated pinnipeds is essential for designing and interpreting popula-tion surveys and for assessing effects of potential changes in their ice environments. We used satellite-linked transmitters to obtain sequential information about location and haul-out state for Pacific walruses, Odobenus rosmarus divergens (Il-liger, 1815), in the Bering Sea during April of 2004, 2005, and 2006. We used these data in a generalized mixed model of haul-out bout durations and a hierarchical Bayesian model of haul-out probabilities to assess factors related to walrus haul-out behavior, and provide the first predictive model of walrus haul-out behavior in sea ice habitat. Average haul-out bout duration was 9 h, but durations of haul-out bouts tended to increase with durations of preceding in-water bouts. On aver-age, tagged walruses spent only about 17% of their time hauled out on sea ice. Probability of being hauled out decreased with wind speed, increased with temperature, and followed a diurnal cycle with the highest values in the evening. Our haul-out probability model can be used to estimate the proportion of the population that is unavailable for detection in spring surveys of Pacific walruses on sea ice.

  6. Decadal Bering Sea seascape change: consequences for Pacific walruses and indigenous hunters.

    PubMed

    Ray, G Carleton; Hufford, Gary L; Overland, James E; Krupnik, Igor; McCormick-Ray, Jerry; Frey, Karen; Labunski, Elizabeth

    2016-01-01

    The most significant factors currently affecting the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) population are climate change and consequent changes in sea-ice morphology and dynamics. This paper integrates recent physical sea-ice change in the Bering Sea with biological and ecological conditions of walruses in their winter-spring reproductive habitat. Historically, walrus in winter-spring depended on a critical mass of sea-ice habitat to optimize social networking, reproductive fitness, feeding behavior, migration, and energetic efficiency. During 2003-2013, our cross-disciplinary, multiscale analysis from shipboard observations, satellite imagery, and ice-floe tracking, reinforced by information from indigenous subsistence hunters, documented change of sea-ice structure from a plastic continuum to a "mixing bowl" of ice floes moving more independently. This fragmentation of winter habitat preconditions the walrus population toward dispersal mortality and will also negatively affect the availability of resources for indigenous communities. We urge an expanded research and management agenda that integrates walrus natural history and habitat more completely with changing sea-ice morphology and dynamics at multiple scales, while also meeting the needs of local communities. PMID:27039507

  7. Estimation of walrus populations on sea ice with infrared imagery and aerial photography

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Udevitz, M.S.; Burn, D.M.; Webber, M.A.

    2008-01-01

    Population sizes of ice-associated pinnipeds have often been estimated with visual or photographic aerial surveys, but these methods require relatively slow speeds and low altitudes, limiting the area they can cover. Recent developments in infrared imagery and its integration with digital photography could allow substantially larger areas to be surveyed and more accurate enumeration of individuals, thereby solving major problems with previous survey methods. We conducted a trial survey in April 2003 to estimate the number of Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) hauled out on sea ice around St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. The survey used high altitude infrared imagery to detect groups of walruses on strip transects. Low altitude digital photography was used to determine the number of walruses in a sample of detected groups and calibrate the infrared imagery for estimating the total number of walruses. We propose a survey design incorporating this approach with satellite radio telemetry to estimate the proportion of the population in the water and additional low-level flights to estimate the proportion of the hauled-out population in groups too small to be detected in the infrared imagery. We believe that this approach offers the potential for obtaining reliable population estimates for walruses and other ice-associated pinnipeds. ?? 2007 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

  8. Novel sound production through contingency learning in the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens).

    PubMed

    Schusterman, Ronald J; Reichmuth, Colleen

    2008-04-01

    Walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) are highly vocal amphibious mammals with a range of anatomical specializations that can provide plasticity to their sound emissions. The objective of this descriptive study was to determine whether contingency learning could be used to increase variability and induce novelty in the acoustic behavior of walruses. The subjects were two twelve-year-old captive walruses, a male and a female that had previously been conditioned using food reinforcement to produce several specific sounds in response to different discriminative cues. In the current task, these individuals were encouraged to produce novel sounds and novel sound combinations in air by withholding reinforcement for sounds previously emitted in a given session and providing reinforcement only for qualitative differences in emitted sounds. Following training in air, the walruses were tested under water with the same reinforcement contingency. The subjects responded as they had done in air, by varying their underwater sound emissions until reinforcement was provided. Many of the sounds and sound combinations produced by the subjects during underwater testing were quite different from those produced during training in air and those produced under water during baseline observations. Both the male and female spontaneously emitted knocks and soft bells which are components of the songs known to be emitted by mature male walruses during the breeding season. The finding that reinforced variability can induce creativity in sound production is consistent with recent experiments on budgerigar birds showing that vocal topographies, like motor responses, may be influenced by contingency learning. PMID:18038276

  9. The prospects for biological control of the free-living stages of nematode parasites of livestock.

    PubMed

    Waller, P J; Faedo, M

    1996-01-01

    Control of nematode parasites of livestock is focused almost entirely on the parasitic stages within the host. Current methods rely on anthelmintic drugs, but these are under increasing threat with the development of resistance covering the whole spectrum of anthelmintics amongst the important nematode species of a range of livestock. However, invariably the greatest proportion of the parasite biomass resides not within the animal hosts, but in the external environment-commonly on pasture. It is in this environment that the free-living stages are vulnerable to a range of abiotic factors (extremes in temperature and desiccation) and biotic factors (macro- and micro-organisms) that may decimate their numbers. Of the latter, there are organisms, which exert their effects either indirectly by rendering faecal deposits inimical for the development of nematode eggs through to infective larvae, or directly by acting as pathogens or by exploiting the free-living stages as a food source. Within this vast assemblage of organisms, which include microarthropods, protozoa, viruses, bacteria and fungi, could well emerge a variety of biological control agents of nematode parasites. At present, greatest interest lies with the nematode-destroying fungi. Work has progressed from Petri dishes, to plots, to paddocks with several species of the genus Arthrobotrys and Duddingtonia flagrans. These studies indicate that the voracious nematophagous capabilities of these fungi, clearly demonstrated in vitro, translate to reductions in the number of infective larvae on pasture and indicate that levels of control, comparable to conventional schemes using anthelmintics, can be achieved. The challenge now lies in developing methods of administration of fungi to animals which can be applied under practical farm conditions. However, the pursuit of candidates for biological control of nematode parasites of livestock should not involve just a few species of nematophagous fungi. More than 100

  10. Movements of walruses radio-tagged in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Hills, S.

    2005-01-01

    Satellite radio-location data from 57 adult male Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) were used to estimate haul-out fidelity, broadly describe seasonal foraging distributions, and determine the approximate timing of autumn migration from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Data were collected intermittently during 1987-91 and 1995-2000, primarily during the period from May to October. Transmitter longevity ranged from less than 1 day to 560 days (median 75 d). The four tagging sites were the only haul-outs that were commonly used in the bay from spring through autumn. Mean fidelity, defined as the chance that an animal will return to an area where it previously hauled out, was 0.56 (SE = 0.09). However, small sample sizes precluded comparisons of fidelity among years and among haul-outs by season. No tagged animals migrated out of the bay between spring and early autumn. Combined monthly locations suggest that foraging occurred primarily in the southern and eastern areas of the bay in spring and gradually shifted towards northwestern areas in late autumn and winter. Ninety-eight percent of the in-water locations were in waters under 60 m deep, which account for 76% of the study area. Some animals migrated out of the bay in late autumn and winter; others remained within the bay throughout the year. Those making long-range migrations departed the bay during November and December. ?? The Arctic Institute of North America.

  11. Response of free-living marine nematodes to the southern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass.

    PubMed

    Xu, Man; Liu, Qinghe; Zhang, Zhinan; Liu, Xiaoshou

    2016-04-15

    The Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass is a remarkable seasonal hydrographic event in the bottom water of the Yellow Sea. In order to reveal the response of free-living marine nematodes to this event, community structure and biodiversity indices of nematodes were studied in June and November 2013. The dominant species were Dorylaimopsis rabalaisi, Spilophorella sp., Daptonema sp., Sabatieria sp. and Parasphaerolaimus sp. In terms of trophic structure, epigrowth feeders were the most dominant group. Correlation analysis showed that Shannon-Wiener diversity index had significantly negative correlation with sediment silt-clay percentage, organic matter content and water content. Results of BIOENV indicated that sediment phaeophorbide content, water content, bottom water salinity and temperature were the most important factors related to nematode community. In conclusion, community structure and biodiversity indices of nematodes were consistent in the two sampling seasons. PMID:26965091

  12. Effect of flagellates on free-living bacterial abundance in an organically contaminated aquifer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kinner, N.E.; Harvey, R.W.; Kazmierkiewicz-Tabaka, M.

    1997-01-01

    Little is known about the role of protists in the saturated subsurface. Porous media microcosms containing bacteria and protists, were used to determine whether flagellates from an organically contaminated aquifer could substantively affect the number of free- living bacteria (FLB). When flagellates were present, the 3-40% maximum breakthrough of fluorescent y labelled FLB injected into the microcosms was much lower than the 60-130% observed for killed controls Grazing and clearance rates (3-27 FLB flag-1 h-1 and 12-23 nI flag-1 h-1, respectively) calculated from the data were in the range reported for flagellates in other aqueous environments. The data provide evidence that flagellate bacterivory is an important control on groundwater FLB populations.

  13. Prevalence of influenza A viruses in livestock and free-living waterfowl in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Avian influenza viruses may cause severe disease in a variety of domestic animal species worldwide, with high mortality in chickens and turkeys. To reduce the information gap about prevalence of these viruses in animals in Uganda, this study was undertaken. Results Influenza A virus prevalence by RT-PCR was 1.1% (45/4,052) while seroprevalence by ELISA was 0.8% (24/2,970). Virus prevalence was highest in domestic ducks (2.7%, 17/629) and turkeys (2.6%, 2/76), followed by free-living waterfowl (1.3%, 12/929) and swine (1.4%, 7/511). A lower proportion of chicken samples (0.4%, 7/1,865) tested positive. No influenza A virus was isolated. A seasonal prevalence of these viruses in waterfowl was 0.7% (4/561) for the dry and 2.2% (8/368) for the wet season. In poultry, prevalence was 0.2% (2/863) for the dry and 1.4% (24/1,713) for the wet season, while that of swine was 0.0% (0/159) and 2.0% (7/352) in the two seasons, respectively. Of the 45 RT-PCR positive samples, 13 (28.9%) of them were H5 but none was H7. The 19 swine sera positive for influenza antibodies by ELISA were positive for H1 antibodies by HAI assay, but the subtype(s) of ELISA positive poultry sera could not be determined. Antibodies in the poultry sera could have been those against subtypes not included in the HAI test panel. Conclusions The study has demonstrated occurrence of influenza A viruses in animals in Uganda. The results suggest that increase in volumes of migratory waterfowl in the country could be associated with increased prevalence of these viruses in free-living waterfowl and poultry. PMID:24576325

  14. Genotyping of Cryptosporidium spp. from free-living wild birds from Brazil.

    PubMed

    Sevá, Anaiá da Paixão; Funada, Mikaela Renata; Richtzenhain, Leonardo; Guimarães, Marta Brito; Souza, Sheila de Oliveira; Allegretti, Luciana; Sinhorini, Juliana Anaya; Duarte, Vanessa Vertematti; Soares, Rodrigo Martins

    2011-01-10

    In wild and domestic birds, cryptosporidiosis is often associated with infections by Cryptosporidium galli, Cryptosporidium baileyi and Cryptosporidium meleagridis. In addition to these species, a number of avian Cryptosporidium species yet to be fully characterized are commonly found among exotic and wild avian isolates. The present study aimed to detect and identify samples of Cryptosporidium spp. from free-living wild birds, in order to contribute to the knowledge of the variability of this parasite in the free-living population of Brazil. Stool samples were collected from 242 birds, with the following proportions of individuals: 50 Emberizidae (20.7%), 112 Psittacidae (46.3%), 44 Cardinalidae (18.2%), 12 Turdidae (5.0%), eight Ramphastidae (3.3%), seven Icteridae (2.9%), three Estrilididae (1.2%), two Contigidae (0.8%), two Thraupidae (0.8%) and two Fringilidae (0.8%). Among the 242 fecal samples from wild birds, 16 (6.6%) were positive for the presence of oocysts of Cryptosporidium. Molecular characterization of the 16 samples of Cryptosporidium, were performed with phylogenetic reconstructions employing 292 positions of 18S rDNA. None of the samples of birds was characterized as C. meleagridis. C. galli was identified in one rufous-bellied thrush (Turdus rufiventris), five green-winged saltators (Saltator similis), one slate-coloured seedeater (Sporophila schistacea), one goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) and three saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola). One goldfinch isolate, one buffy-fronted seedeater (Sporophila frontalis), one red-cowled cardinal (Paroaria dominicana) and one other saffron finch (S. flaveola) were identified as C. baileyi. Avian genotype II was found in an isolate from a white-eyed parakeet (Aratinga leucophthalma). Clinical symptoms of cryptosporidiosis in birds have already been described and the number of wild birds which were shedding parasites was high. Therefore, further epidemiological research and disease surveillance of birds in the

  15. Nervous system immunohistochemistry of the parasitic cnidarian Polypodium hydriforme at its free-living stage.

    PubMed

    Raikova, Ekaterina V; Raikova, Olga I

    2016-04-01

    Polypodium hydriforme, the only species in Polypodiozoa, which is currently considered a class of Cnidaria, and likely a sister group to Medusozoa (together with Myxozoa), is a cnidarian adapted to intracellular parasitism inside sturgeon oocytes. Free-living P. hydriforme lives on river bottoms; it walks on supporting tentacles and uses sensory tentacles to capture food and bring it to the mouth. The nervous system of free-living P. hydriforme was studied by confocal microscopy and immunohistochemistry using antibodies to FMRF-amide and α-tubulin combined with phalloidin-staining of F-actin fibres. A sensory FMRF-amide immunoreactive (IR) nerve net and an α-tubulin IR nerve net have been identified. The FMRF-amide IR nerve net underlies the epidermis along the tentacles and around the mouth; it consists of neurites emanating from epidermal sensory cells and basiepidermal ganglion cells, and it connects with cnidocytes. A deeper-lying α-tubulin IR nerve net occurs only in tentacles and looks like chains of different-sized beads crossing the mesoglea and entwining muscles. Anti-α-tubulin staining also reveals microtubules in muscle cells following the longitudinal muscle fibres or the thin circular F-actin fibres of the tentacles. Cnidocytes in the tentacles are embedded in a regular hexagonal non-neural network formed by the tubulin IR cytoskeleton of epidermal cells. Cnidocils of the cnidocytes around the mouth and in walking tentacles are identical, but those in sensory tentacles differ in length and width. The possible homology of the tubulin IR nerve net with motor nerve nets of cnidarians is discussed. The absence of a classic nerve ring around the mouth and the lack of specialised sense organs are considered to be plesiomorphic characters for Cnidaria. PMID:26897553

  16. Energetic Assessment of the Nonexercise Activities under Free-Living Conditions

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Nonexercise activities (NAs) are common types of physical activity in daily life and critical component in energy expenditure. However, energetic assessment of NA, particularly in free-living subjects, is a technical challenge. In this study, mechanical modeling and portable device were used to evaluate five common types of NA in daily life: sit to stand, lie to sit, bowing while standing, squat, and right leg over left. A human indirect calorimeter was used to measure the activity energy expenditure of NA. Mechanical work and mechanical efficiency of NA were calculated for mechanical modeling. Thirty-two male subjects were recruited for the study (20 subjects for the development of models and 12 subjects for evaluation of models). The average (mean ± SD) mechanical work of 5 NAs was 2.31 ± 0.50, 2.88 ± 0.57, 1.75 ± 0.55, 3.96 ± 1.25, and 1.25 ± 0.51 J/kg·m, respectively. The mean mechanical efficiencies of those activities were 22.0 ± 3.3%, 26.5 ± 5.1%, 19.8 ± 3.7%, 24.0 ± 5.5%, and 26.3 ± 5.5%. The activity energy expenditure estimated by the models was not significantly different from the measurements by the calorimeter (p > 0.05) with accuracies of 102.2 ± 20.7%, 103.7 ± 25.8%, 105.6 ± 14.6%, 101.1 ± 28.0%, and 95.8 ± 20.7%, respectively, for those activities. These findings suggest that the mechanical models combined with a portable device can provide an alternative method for the energetic analysis of nonexercise activities under free-living condition. PMID:27493966

  17. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, M.; Atwood, T.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  18. Grapevine red blotch-associated virus is Present in Free-Living Vitis spp. Proximal to Cultivated Grapevines.

    PubMed

    Perry, Keith L; McLane, Heather; Hyder, Muhammad Z; Dangl, Gerald S; Thompson, Jeremy R; Fuchs, Marc F

    2016-06-01

    Red blotch is an emerging disease of grapevine associated with grapevine red blotch-associated virus (GRBaV). The virus spreads with infected planting stocks but no vector of epidemiological significance has been conclusively identified. A vineyard block of red-blotch-affected Vitis vinifera 'Cabernet franc' clone 214 was observed in California, with a clustering of infected, symptomatic vines focused along one edge of the field proximal to a riparian habitat with free-living Vitis spp. No genetic heterogeneity was observed in a 587-nucleotide region of the GRBaV genome in a population of 44 Cabernet franc clone 214 isolates. By contrast, genetic differences were observed in isolates from other cultivars and clones growing in adjacent blocks. GRBaV was confirmed infecting four free-living vines, two of which were shown to be V. californica × V. vinifera hybrids. The genomes of three free-living GRBaV vine isolates and seven from V. vinifera cultivars were compared; free-living vine isolates were shown to be more similar to each other and a 'Merlot' isolate than to the other cultivated vine isolates. The finding that GRBaV is present in free-living Vitis spp. indicates the virus can be spread by natural (nonhuman-mediated) means, and we hypothesize that in-field spread of GRBaV is occurring. PMID:26960112

  19. Predicting free-living energy expenditure using a miniaturized ear-worn sensor: an evaluation against doubly labeled water.

    PubMed

    Bouarfa, Loubna; Atallah, Louis; Kwasnicki, Richard Mark; Pettitt, Claire; Frost, Gary; Yang, Guang-Zhong

    2014-02-01

    Accurate estimation of daily total energy expenditure (EE)is a prerequisite for assisted weight management and assessing certain health conditions. The use of wearable sensors for predicting free-living EE is challenged by consistent sensor placement, user compliance, and estimation methods used. This paper examines whether a single ear-worn accelerometer can be used for EE estimation under free-living conditions.An EE prediction model as first derived and validated in a controlled setting using healthy subjects involving different physical activities. Ten different activities were assessed showing a tenfold cross validation error of 0.24. Furthermore, the EE prediction model shows a mean absolute deviation(MAD) below 1.2 metabolic equivalent of tasks. The same model was applied to a free-living setting with a different population for further validation. The results were compared against those derived from doubly labeled water. In free-living settings, the predicted daily EE has a correlation of 0.74, p 0.008, and a MAD of 272 kcal day. These results demonstrate that laboratory-derived prediction models can be used to predict EE under free-living conditions [corrected]. PMID:24108707

  20. Gray whale and walrus feeding excavation on the Bering Shelf, Alaska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, C.H.; Johnson, K.R.; Barber, J.H., Jr.

    1987-01-01

    The gray whales (average mouth length, 2.0 m), when suction feeding on infaunal amphipods, create shallow pits in the sea floor, typically 2.5m x 1.5m x 10cm deep, which are distinct and mappable on sidescan sonographs. Similarly, walrus, when foraging for shallow clams, create long, linear feeding furrows that average 47 x 0.4 x 0.1m (length-width-depth). The whale feeding pits are commonly enlarged and oriented by seasonal storm-related scour. Walrus-feeding features are smaller, formed in higher-energy environments, and modified more rapidly than whale-feeding pits. -from Authors

  1. Status of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan.

    PubMed

    Yousuf, Farzana Abubakar; Siddiqui, Ruqaiyyah; Subhani, Faysal; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-06-01

    The ability of pathogenic free-living amoebae to produce infections is a growing concern. In this study, we investigated the presence of free-living amoebae (Acanthamoeba spp., Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris) in drinking water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. Fifty-two domestic tap water samples were examined. Amoebae were identified by morphological characteristics and polymerase chain reaction. Thirty percent of the examined samples were positive for Acanthamoeba spp., 8% for N. fowleri while B. mandrillaris were not recovered. Additionally we examined secretory IgA antibody to Acanthamoeba and B. mandrillaris. Acanthamoeba antibody prevalence rate was 100% in both males and females, while B. mandrillaris antibody prevalence rate was 5.5% in males only (females were negative). Our findings suggest that free-living amoebae are a potential health hazard in domestic water supplies in Karachi, Pakistan. PMID:23708583

  2. Cardiorespiratory fitness estimation using wearable sensors: Laboratory and free-living analysis of context-specific submaximal heart rates.

    PubMed

    Altini, Marco; Casale, Pierluigi; Penders, Julien; Ten Velde, Gabrielle; Plasqui, Guy; Amft, Oliver

    2016-05-01

    In this work, we propose to use pattern recognition methods to determine submaximal heart rate (HR) during specific contexts, such as walking at a certain speed, using wearable sensors in free living, and using context-specific HR to estimate cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF). CRF of 51 participants was assessed by a maximal exertion test (V̇o2 max). Participants wore a combined accelerometer and HR monitor during a laboratory-based simulation of activities of daily living and for 2 wk in free living. Anthropometrics, HR while lying down, and walking at predefined speeds in laboratory settings were used to estimate CRF. Explained variance (R(2)) was 0.64 for anthropometrics, and increased up to 0.74 for context-specific HR (0.73-0.78 when including fat-free mass). Next, we developed activity recognition and walking speed estimation algorithms to determine the same contexts (i.e., lying down and walking) in free living. Context-specific HR in free living was highly correlated with laboratory measurements (Pearson's r = 0.71-0.75). R(2) for CRF estimation was 0.65 when anthropometrics were used as predictors, and increased up to 0.77 when including free-living context-specific HR (i.e., HR while walking at 5.5 km/h). R(2) varied between 0.73 and 0.80 when including fat-free mass among the predictors. Root mean-square error was reduced from 354.7 to 281.0 ml/min by the inclusion of context-specific HR parameters (21% error reduction). We conclude that pattern recognition techniques can be used to contextualize HR in free living and estimated CRF with accuracy comparable to what can be obtained with laboratory measurements of HR response to walking. PMID:26940653

  3. Diversity and activity of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria and total bacteria in organic and conventionally managed soils.

    PubMed

    Orr, Caroline H; James, Angela; Leifert, Carlo; Cooper, Julia M; Cummings, Stephen P

    2011-02-01

    Agricultural soils are heterogeneous environments in which conditions affecting microbial growth and diversity fluctuate widely in space and time. In this study, the molecular ecology of the total bacterial and free-living nitrogen-fixing communities in soils from the Nafferton Factorial Systems Comparison (NFSC) study in northeast England were examined. The field experiment was factorial in design, with organic versus conventional crop rotation, crop protection, and fertility management factors. Soils were sampled on three dates (March, June, and September) in 2007. Total RNA was extracted from all soil samples and reverse transcribed. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) were used to analyze nifH and 16S rRNA genes in order to study free-living diazotrophs and the total bacterial community, respectively. Crop rotation was shown to have a significant effect on total bacterial diversity (and that of free-living N fixers) (P ≤ 0.001). On all three dates, nifH activity was higher in the conventional crop rotation. In contrast, qPCR analysis of free-living N fixers indicated significantly higher levels of activity in conventionally fertilized plots in June (P = 0.0324) and in plots with organic crop protection in September (P = 0.0143). To our knowledge, the effects of organic and conventional farming systems on free-living diazotrophs have never been studied. An increased understanding of the impacts of management practices on free-living N fixers could allow modifications in soil management practices to optimize the activity of these organisms. PMID:21131514

  4. Comparison of nucleic acid content in populations of free-living and symbiotic Rhizobium meliloti by flow microfluorometry.

    PubMed Central

    Paau, A S; Lee, D; Cowles, J R

    1977-01-01

    Populations of symbiotic Rhizobium meliloti extracted from alfalfa nodules were shown by flow microfluorometry to contain a significant number of bacteroids with higher nucleic acid content than the free-living rhizobia. Bacteroids with lower nucleic acid content than the free-living bacteria were not detected in significant quantities in these populations. These results indicate that the incapability of bacteroids to reestablish growth in nutrient media may not be caused by a decrease in nucleic acid content of the symbiotic rhizobia. PMID:838682

  5. Response of Pacific walruses to disturbances from capture and handling activities at a haul-out in Bristol Bay, Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jay, C.V.; Olson, T.L.; Garner, G.W.; Ballachey, B.E.

    1998-01-01

    Observations were made on hems of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) to study their response during the capturing and handling of adult males in summer 1995 at a haul-out at Cape Peirce in southwestern Alaska. Three behaviors (alertness, displacement, and dispersal) were quantified from 16 capture sessions. Herd sizes ranged from 622 to 5,289 walruses. Handling of an immobilized walrus consisted of attempts to attach telemetry devices to the tusks and collect various biological samples. Handling activities resulted in an average of about 10-fold or greater levels of behavior in alertness, displacement, and dispersal than during precapture and darting periods. High levels of behavior usually occurred within the first 45 min of handling. In 8 of 10 capture sessions, walruses returned to predisturbance levels of behavior within 40 min of cessation of the handling disturbance. Alertness and displacement were moderately and negatively correlated with herd size during the handling period, which may reflect an effect of a threshold distance from the point of disturbance to responding individuals. Observations of walruses tagged with VHF radio transmitters indicated that the activities from a given capture session did not preclude tagged walruses from using the haul-out over a subsequent 11-wk monitoring period. Moreover, non-tagged walruses continued to extensively use the haul-out during and after the period in which capture sessions were conducted.

  6. Are baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses in free-living amphibians repeatable?

    PubMed

    Narayan, Edward J; Cockrem, John F; Hero, Jean-Marc

    2013-01-01

    Amphibians respond to environmental stressors by secreting corticosterone, a stress hormone which promotes physiological and behavioral responses. Capture handling can be used to stimulate physiological stress response in amphibians. The use of single blood sampling and presentation of mean data often limits the quantification of within and between individual variation in baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses in amphibians. It is important for studies of amphibian physiological ecology to determine whether baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses are consistent or not. We quantified repeatability (r), a statistical measure of consistency, in baseline and short-term corticosterone stress responses to a standard capture and handling stress protocol in free-living adult male cane toads (Rhinella marina). Corticosterone metabolite concentrations were measured entirely non-invasively in male toad urine samples via an enzyme-immunoassay. During the first sampling occasion, urine samples were collected manually from individual male toads (n=20) immediately upon field capture. Toads were handled for 5min then transferred to plastic bags (constituting a mild stressor), and urine samples were collected hourly over 8h in the field. The toads were resampled for baseline (0h) urine corticosterone with hourly urine sampling over 8h (for quantification of the stress induced corticosterone) at 14 day intervals on three consecutive occasions. Within and between sample variations in urinary corticosterone metabolite concentrations were also quantified. All toads expressed a corticosterone stress response over 8h to our standard capture and handling stress protocol. Variations both within and between toads was higher for corrected integrated corticosterone concentrations than corticosterone concentrations at baseline, 3 or 6h. Baseline urinary corticosterone metabolite concentration of the male toads was highly repeatable (r=0.877) together with high

  7. A model for the dynamics of the free-living stages of equine cyathostomins.

    PubMed

    Leathwick, Dave M; Donecker, John M; Nielsen, Martin K

    2015-04-30

    Anthelmintic resistance in strongyle nematode parasites of horses is an expanding global problem and steps need to be taken to slow its development before control becomes more problematic. A move away from traditional deworming programmes, involving frequent whole-herd treatments with broad spectrum anthelmintics, to a more strategic or targeted use of chemicals is required. However, anthelmintic resistance management strategies which also maintain effective control are invariably more complicated and often require a greater understanding of both nematode epidemiology and grazing management, than does the simple routine use of chemicals. Here, as a first step in applying a modelling approach to resistance management in horses, a model is proposed to describe the dynamics on pasture of the free-living stages of equine cyathostomins. Firstly, the development and survival of the pre-infective stages is considered as a single process driven by temperature, and secondly, two populations of infective stage larvae (L3) are considered; those within the faecal pat and those on the herbage. Both are modelled using the box-car train approach which allows for variable development rates within a cohort of individuals and full overlap of generations. Uniquely, L3 survival is modelled as an ageing process where larvae progress through physiological age classes at a rate determined by temperature and rainfall. Model output reflects the dynamics of free-living stages under a range of environments. Under extreme cold, there is no development to L3 but eggs can survive for long periods to develop if conditions become favourable, while L3 survival is reduced under repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Under tropical conditions, development is rapid and a large number of L3 can be produced but survival of L3 is short. In temperate climates development tends to be slower, with large numbers of L3 produced over the warmer months but fewer over winter, and L3 survival tends to be higher all year

  8. A year long study of the presence of free living amoeba in Spain.

    PubMed

    Magnet, A; Fenoy, S; Galván, A L; Izquierdo, F; Rueda, C; Fernandez Vadillo, C; Del Aguila, C

    2013-12-01

    Free-living amoeba such as Acanthamoeba and Balamuthia mandrillaris can act as opportunistic parasites on a wide range of vertebrates and they are becoming a serious threat to human health due to the resistance of their cysts to harsh environmental conditions, disinfectants, some water treatment practices and their ubiquitous distribution. This work was carried out in order to study the presence of these free-living amoebae (FLA) and their possible seasonality in a continental-Mediterranean climate in different types of water. For this purpose, a total of 223 water samples were collected during one year from four drinking water treatment plants (DWTP), seven wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) and six locations of influence (LI) on four river basins from Spain. Water samples were concentrated using the IDEXX Filta-Max(®) system and analyzed by a triplex real time PCR that detects Acanthamoeba, B. mandrillaris and Naegleria fowleri. Agar plates were also seeded for Acanthamoeba culture. From the three FLA studied, N. fowleri was not detected in any sample while B. mandrillaris was found at the entrance of a DWTP; this being, to our knowledge, the first report of these protozoa in water worldwide. On the other hand, the presence of Acanthamoeba observed was higher, 94.6% of the studied points were positive by real time PCR and 85.2% by culture, resulting in 99.1% positive for Acanthamoeba with both methods. All genetically analyzed Acanthamoeba were genotype T4 but nine different T4/DF3 sequences were observed, three of them being described for the first time, assigning new codes. No seasonal distribution of Acanthamoeba was found. These facts should serve as a warning to contact lens wearers of the risk of a poor hygiene when handling their contact lenses. It should also serve as a signal to physicians to consider FLA as a possible causative agent of nervous system infections as well as Acanthamoeba keratitis due to their high environmental presence shown in this

  9. Free-Living Turtles Are a Reservoir for Salmonella but Not for Campylobacter

    PubMed Central

    Marin, Clara; Ingresa-Capaccioni, Sofia; González-Bodi, Sara; Marco-Jiménez, Francisco; Vega, Santiago

    2013-01-01

    Different studies have reported the prevalence of Salmonella in turtles and its role in reptile-associated salmonellosis in humans, but there is a lack of scientific literature related with the epidemiology of Campylobacter in turtles. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of Campylobacter and Salmonella in free-living native (Emys orbicularis, n=83) and exotic (Trachemysscriptaelegans, n=117) turtles from 11 natural ponds in Eastern Spain. In addition, different types of samples (cloacal swabs, intestinal content and water from Turtle containers) were compared. Regardless of the turtle species, natural ponds where individuals were captured and the type of sample taken, Campylobacter was not detected. Salmonella was isolated in similar proportions in native (8.0±3.1%) and exotic (15.0±3.3%) turtles (p=0.189). The prevalence of Salmonella positive turtles was associated with the natural ponds where animals were captured. Captured turtles from 8 of the 11 natural ponds were positive, ranged between 3.0±3.1% and 60.0±11.0%. Serotyping revealed 8 different serovars among four Salmonella enterica subspecies: S. enterica subsp. enterica (n = 21), S. enterica subsp. salamae (n = 2), S. enterica subsp. diarizonae (n = 3), and S. enterica subsp. houtenae (n = 1). Two serovars were predominant: S. Thompson (n=16) and S. typhimurium (n=3). In addition, there was an effect of sample type on Salmonella detection. The highest isolation of Salmonella was obtained from intestinal content samples (12.0±3.0%), while lower percentages were found for water from the containers and cloacal swabs (8.0±2.5% and 3.0±1.5%, respectively). Our results imply that free-living turtles are a risk factor for Salmonella transmission, but do not seem to be a reservoir for Campylobacter. We therefore rule out turtles as a risk factor for human campylobacteriosis. Nevertheless, further studies should be undertaken in other countries to confirm these results. PMID:23951312

  10. Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens): 1974-2006

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Global climate change may fundamentally alter population dynamics of many species for which baseline population parameter estimates are imprecise or lacking. Historically, the Pacific walrus is thought to have been limited by harvest, but it may become limited by global warming-induced reductions in sea ice. Loss of sea ice, on which walruses rest between foraging bouts, may reduce access to food, thus lowering vital rates. Rigorous walrus survival rate estimates do not exist, and other population parameter estimates are out of date or have well-documented bias and imprecision. To provide useful population parameter estimates we developed a Bayesian, hidden process demographic model of walrus population dynamics from 1974 through 2006 that combined annual age-specific harvest estimates with five population size estimates, six standing age structure estimates, and two reproductive rate estimates. Median density independent natural survival was high for juveniles (0.97) and adults (0.99), and annual density dependent vital rates rose from 0.06 to 0.11 for reproduction, 0.31 to 0.59 for survival of neonatal calves, and 0.39 to 0.85 for survival of older calves, concomitant with a population decline. This integrated population model provides a baseline for estimating changing population dynamics resulting from changing harvests or sea ice.

  11. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kucklick, J.R.; Krahn, M.M.; Becker, P.R.; Porter, B.J.; Schantz, M.M.; York, G.S.; O'Hara, T. M.; Wise, S.A.

    2006-01-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for ??PCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic. ?? The Royal Society of Chemistry 2006.

  12. Persistent organic pollutants in Alaskan ringed seal (Phoca hispida) and walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) blubber

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kucklick, John R.; Krahn, Margaret M.; Becker, Paul R.; Porter, Barbara J.; Schantz, Michele M.; York, Geoffrey S.; O'Hara, Todd M.; Wise, Stephen A.

    2006-01-01

    Since 1987, the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) has collected tissues from 18 marine mammal species. Specimens are archived in the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank (NIST-NBSB). AMMTAP has collected blubber, liver and/or kidney specimens from a number of ringed seals (Phoca hispida) from the areas near Nome and Barrow, Alaska and walruses (Odobenus rosmarus) from several locations in the Bering Sea. Thirty-three ringed seal and 15 walrus blubber samples from the NIST-NBSB were analyzed for persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The compounds determined included PCBs (28 congeners or congener groups), DDT and related compounds, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), chlordanes, dieldrin, and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seal blubber were significantly higher in Barrow than in Nome when statistically accounting for the interaction of age and gender; HCB, however, was not statistically different between the two locations. Unlike males, POP concentrations and age were not significantly correlated in females probably as a result of lactational loss. POP concentrations in walrus blubber were lower than in ringed seal blubber for ΣPCBs, chlordanes, and HCHs, but higher for dieldrin and mirex. POP concentrations in ringed seals and walrus from Alaska provide further evidence that the western Arctic tends to have lower or similar POP concentrations compared to the eastern Canadian Arctic.

  13. Longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in free-living male and female meerkats (Suricata suricatta).

    PubMed

    Moss, A M; Clutton-Brock, T H; Monfort, S L

    2001-05-01

    Slender-tailed meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are small, diurnal, cooperatively breeding mongooses of the family Herpestidae. A prerequisite to fully understanding the mating system of meerkats is the development of a normative reproductive-endocrine database. This study examined longitudinal gonadal steroid excretion in all adult and juvenile individuals of both sexes within a social group of free-living meerkats sampled across an entire breeding season. The specific objectives of this study were to (1) validate noninvasive (fecal and urinary) gonadal steroid hormone monitoring techniques in male (testosterone) and female (estrogens, progestagens) meerkats; (2) test the feasibility of using these noninvasive methods under field conditions; (3) characterize the endocrine correlates associated with the female reproductive cycle, including estrus, gestation, and postpartum estrus; (4) examine longitudinal androgen excretion in males; and (5) determine whether social status (i.e., dominant versus subordinate) affected gonadal steroid excretion. In females, the results demonstrated the physiological validity of noninvasive monitoring in meerkats by corresponding excretory hormone concentrations to major reproductive events (i.e., estrous, pregnancy, parturition). Hormone excretory patterns during estrous intervals suggested possible mechanisms whereby reproductive suppression may operate in female meerkats. In males, androgen excretion did not correspond to changes in reproductive and aggressive behaviors, suggesting that dominance, and hence breeding access to females, was not regulated strictly by gonadal steroid production. The consistency in androgen excretion among male meerkats indicated that reproductive suppression may be mediated by behavioral (i.e., intermale aggression) rather than physiological (i.e., depressed spermatogenesis) mechanisms. PMID:11316421

  14. Phaeohyphomycosis in a free-living eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina).

    PubMed

    Joyner, Priscilla H; Shreve, Allison A; Spahr, John; Fountain, Andrea L; Sleeman, Jonathan M

    2006-10-01

    A free-ranging eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) was referred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia with a three-month history of marked swelling of the right hind limb initially diagnosed as chromomycosis by histopathology. Hematology revealed severe anemia (9%), leukocytosis (12.8 cells x 10(3)/microl), heterophilia (6.14 cells x 10(3)/microl), and monocytosis (0.51 cells x 10(3)/microl). Gross necropsy revealed a firm, encapsulated 3 x 1 cm subcutaneous mass filled with dark brown-black, friable necrotic material of the distal right hind limb. Microscopically, the mass was characterized by a granulomatous inflammatory process with numerous multinucleated histiocytic giant cells. Fungal elements were present within necrotic centers and associated with multinucleated cells. Special stains revealed numerous phaeoid hyphae and yeast; Exophiala jeanselmei was isolated by routine mycologic culture. Phaeohyphomycosis was diagnosed based on the histologic appearance of the fungal elements within the mass and culture results. There was no histopathological evidence of systemic infection. This is the first report of phaeohyphomycosis caused by fungi of the genus Exophiala in free-living reptiles. PMID:17255461

  15. Free-living freshwater amoebae differ in their susceptibility to the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila.

    PubMed

    Dey, Rafik; Bodennec, Jacques; Mameri, Mouh Oulhadj; Pernin, Pierre

    2009-01-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as a facultative intracellular parasite of free-living soil and freshwater amoebae, of which several species have been shown to support the growth of the pathogenic bacteria. We report for the first time the behaviour of two strains (c2c and Z503) of the amoeba Willaertia magna towards different strains of L. pneumophila serogroup 1 and compared it with Acanthamoeba castellanii and Hartmannella vermiformis, known to be L. pneumophila permissive. In contrast to the results seen with other amoebae, W. magna c2c inhibited the growth of one strain of Legionella (L. pneumophila, Paris), but not of others belonging to the same serogroup (L. pneumophila, Philadelphia and L. pneumophila, Lens). Also, the different L. pneumophila inhibited cell growth and induced cell death in A. castellanii, H. vermiformis and W. magna Z503 within 3-4 days while W. magna c2c strain remained unaffected even up to 7 days. Electron microscopy demonstrated that the formation of numerous replicative phagosomes observed within Acanthamoeba and Hartmannella is rarely seen in W. magna c2c cocultured with L. pneumophila. Moreover, the morphological differences were observed between L. pneumophila cultured either with Willaertia or other amoebae. These observations show that amoebae are not all equally permissive to L. pneumophila and highlight W. magna c2c as particularly resistant towards some strains of this bacterium. PMID:19016880

  16. Persistent diel melatonin rhythmicity during the Arctic summer in free-living willow warblers.

    PubMed

    Silverin, Bengt; Gwinner, Eberhard; Van't Hof, Thomas J; Schwabl, Ingrid; Fusani, Leonida; Hau, Michaela; Helm, Barbara

    2009-06-01

    Arctic environments are challenging for circadian systems. Around the solstices, the most important zeitgeber, the change between night and day, is reduced to minor fluctuations in light intensities. However, many species including songbirds nonetheless show clear diel activity patterns. Here we examine the possible physiological basis underlying diel rhythmicity under continuous Arctic summer light. Rhythmic secretion of the hormone melatonin constitutes an important part of the songbird circadian system and its experimental suppression, e.g., by constant light, usually leads to behavioral arrhythmia. We therefore studied melatonin patterns in a free-living migratory songbird, the willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus), that maintains diel activity during the Arctic summer. We compared melatonin profiles during late spring and summer solstice in two Swedish populations from the south (58 degrees N) and near the Arctic circle (66 degrees N). We found the northern Swedish population maintained clear diel changes in melatonin secretion during the summer solstice, although peak concentrations were lower than in southern Sweden. Melatonin levels were highest before midnight and in good accordance with periods of reduced activity. The maintenance of diel melatonin rhythmicity under conditions of continuous light may be one of the physiological mechanisms that enables continued functioning of the circadian system. PMID:19374903

  17. Behavioral correlates of heart rates of free-living Greater White-fronted Geese

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ely, C.R.; Ward, D.H.; Bollinger, K.S.

    1999-01-01

    We simultaneously monitored the heart rate and behavior of nine free-living Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons) on their wintering grounds in northern California. Heart rates of wild geese were monitored via abdominally-implanted radio transmitters with electrodes that received electrical impulses of the heart and emitted a radio signal with each ventricular contraction. Post-operative birds appeared to behave normally, readily rejoining flocks and flying up to 15 km daily from night-time roost sites to feed in surrounding agricultural fields. Heart rates varied significantly among individuals and among behaviors, and ranged from less than 100 beats per minute (BPM) during resting, to over 400 BPM during flight. Heart rates varied from 80 to 140 BPM during non-strenuous activities such as walking, feeding, and maintenance activities, to about 180 BPM when birds became alert, and over 400 BPM when birds were startled, even if they did not take flight. Postflight heart rate recovery time averaged < 10 sec. During agonistic encounters, heart rate exceeded 400 BPM; heart rates during social interactions were not predictable solely from postures, as heart rates were context-dependent, and were highest in initial encounters among individuals. Instantaneous measures of physiological parameters, such as heart rate, are often better indicators of the degree of response to external stimuli than visual observations and can be used to improve estimates of energy expenditure based solely on activity data.

  18. A smartphone-driven methodology for estimating physical activities and energy expenditure in free living conditions.

    PubMed

    Guidoux, Romain; Duclos, Martine; Fleury, Gérard; Lacomme, Philippe; Lamaudière, Nicolas; Manenq, Pierre-Henri; Paris, Ludivine; Ren, Libo; Rousset, Sylvie

    2014-12-01

    This paper introduces a function dedicated to the estimation of total energy expenditure (TEE) of daily activities based on data from accelerometers integrated into smartphones. The use of mass-market sensors such as accelerometers offers a promising solution for the general public due to the growing smartphone market over the last decade. The TEE estimation function quality was evaluated using data from intensive numerical experiments based, first, on 12 volunteers equipped with a smartphone and two research sensors (Armband and Actiheart) in controlled conditions (CC) and, then, on 30 other volunteers in free-living conditions (FLC). The TEE given by these two sensors in both conditions and estimated from the metabolic equivalent tasks (MET) in CC served as references during the creation and evaluation of the function. The TEE mean gap in absolute value between the function and the three references was 7.0%, 16.4% and 2.7% in CC, and 17.0% and 23.7% according to Armband and Actiheart, respectively, in FLC. This is the first step in the definition of a new feedback mechanism that promotes self-management and daily-efficiency evaluation of physical activity as part of an information system dedicated to the prevention of chronic diseases. PMID:25048352

  19. Free-living amoebae (FLA) co-occurring with legionellae in industrial waters.

    PubMed

    Scheikl, Ute; Sommer, Regina; Kirschner, Alexander; Rameder, Alexandra; Schrammel, Barbara; Zweimüller, Irene; Wesner, Wolfgang; Hinker, Manfred; Walochnik, Julia

    2014-08-01

    Legionella pneumophila is known as the causative agent of Legionnaires' disease and free-living amoebae (FLA) can serve as vehicles for legionellae. The aim of this study was to screen industrial waters for the occurrence of FLA and their co-occurrence with legionellae. A total of 201 water samples, including 129 cooling waters and 72 process waters, and 30 cooling lubricants were included in the study. Treated waters were screened periodically, pre and post treatment. Altogether, 72.6% of the water samples were positive for FLA, acanthamoebae being most prevalent (in 23.9% of the samples) followed by Vermamoeba vermiformis (19.4%). Only one cooling lubricant was positive (Acanthamoeba genotype T4). Legionella spp. were detected in 34.8% of the water samples and in 15% in high concentrations (>1000 CFU/100 ml). Altogether, 81.4% of the Legionella-positive samples were positive for FLA by standard methods. By applying a highly sensitive nested PCR to a representative set of random samples it was revealed that Legionella spp. always co-occurred with Acanthamoeba spp. Although the addition of disinfectants did influence amoebal density and diversity, treated waters showed no difference concerning FLA in the interphases of disinfection. It appears that FLA can re-colonize treated waters within a short period of time. PMID:25062389

  20. Complementary data on four methods for sampling free-living ticks in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Vanessa do Nascimento; Osava, Carolina Fonseca; Piovezan, Ubiratan; Szabó, Matias Pablo Juan

    2014-01-01

    In this study, four methods for sampling free-living ticks that are used in ecological and human tick-bite risk studies were evaluated. Cloth dragging, carbon dioxide traps and visual searches and inspection of plant litter on the ground were used in field and forest areas within the Brazilian Pantanal. Among the three tick species collected, Amblyomma sculptum predominated, followed by Amblyomma parvum and Amblyomma ovale. Dragging, a cheap and simple technique, yielded the highest numbers of ticks, particularly nymphs. The visual search detected a high number of adult ticks and provided information on tick questing height. Even though laborious, plant litter examination showed that large numbers of ticks may use this stratum. Carbon dioxide (CO2) traps are expensive and difficult to handle, but they are highly efficient for adult ticks, especially A. parvum. These data indicate that one method alone is incapable of providing a representative sample of the tick fauna in a particular area and that multiple techniques should be used for tick population studies. PMID:25517531

  1. Abundance, diversity and community composition of free-living protozoa on vegetable sprouts.

    PubMed

    Chavatte, N; Lambrecht, E; Van Damme, I; Sabbe, K; Houf, K

    2016-05-01

    Interactions with free-living protozoa (FLP) have been implicated in the persistence of pathogenic bacteria on food products. In order to assess the potential involvement of FLP in this contamination, detailed knowledge on their occurrence, abundance and diversity on food products is required. In the present study, enrichment and cultivation methods were used to inventory and quantify FLP on eight types of commercial vegetable sprouts (alfalfa, beetroot, cress, green pea, leek, mung bean, red cabbage and rosabi). In parallel, total aerobic bacteria and Escherichia coli counts were performed. The vegetable sprouts harbored diverse communities of FLP, with Tetrahymena (ciliate), Bodo saltans and cercomonads (flagellates), and Acanthamoeba and Vannella (amoebae) as the dominant taxa. Protozoan community composition and abundance significantly differed between the sprout types. Beetroot harbored the most abundant and diverse FLP communities, with many unique species such as Korotnevella sp., Vannella sp., Chilodonella sp., Podophrya sp. and Sphaerophrya sp. In contrast, mung bean sprouts were species-poor and had low FLP numbers. Sampling month and company had no significant influence, suggesting that seasonal and local factors are of minor importance. Likewise, no significant relationship between protozoan community composition and bacterial load was observed. PMID:26742616

  2. Particle-Associated Differ from Free-Living Bacteria in Surface Waters of the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Rieck, Angelika; Herlemann, Daniel P. R.; Jürgens, Klaus; Grossart, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Many studies on bacterial community composition (BCC) do not distinguish between particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacteria or neglect the PA fraction by pre-filtration removing most particles. Although temporal and spatial gradients in environmental variables are known to shape BCC, it remains unclear how and to what extent PA and FL bacterial diversity responds to such environmental changes. To elucidate the BCC of both bacterial fractions related to different environmental settings, we studied surface samples of three Baltic Sea stations (marine, mesohaline, and oligohaline) in two different seasons (summer and fall/winter). Amplicon sequencing of the 16 S rRNA gene revealed significant differences in BCC of both bacterial fractions among stations and seasons, with a particularly high number of PA operational taxonomic units (OTUs at genus-level) at the marine station in both seasons. “Shannon and Simpson indices” showed a higher diversity of PA than FL bacteria at the marine station in both seasons and at the oligohaline station in fall/winter. In general, a high fraction of bacterial OTUs was found exclusively in the PA fraction (52% of total OTUs). These findings indicate that PA bacteria significantly contribute to overall bacterial richness and that they differ from FL bacteria. Therefore, to gain a deeper understanding on diversity and dynamics of aquatic bacteria, PA and FL bacteria should be generally studied independently. PMID:26648911

  3. The control of food intake of free-living humans: putting the pieces back together.

    PubMed

    de Castro, John M

    2010-07-14

    The control of food intake has been studied using reductionism; by separately investigating environmental, physiological, and genetic variables. The general model of intake regulation attempts to reassemble the pieces into an organized whole. It postulates that intake is influenced by sets of both physiological factors which have negative feedback loops to intake and environmental factors which do not. Data and behavioral genetic analysis on a number of environmental, psychological, dietary, and social variables demonstrate that they have large impacts on the intake of free-living humans in their everyday environments and their magnitude and impact on intake are influenced by heredity. Recent evidence of built environment influences on activity and intake further indicate the profound influence of environmental circumstances on both intake and expenditure. A computer simulation of the general model of intake regulation demonstrates that the model predicts different maintained levels of intake and body weight depending upon the external environment and that change in the environment can produce new sustained levels. It is suggested that eating is influenced by a myriad of physiological and non-physiological factors and that total intake results from the integral of their influences. It is concluded that recombining the components broken down in the reductionistic process results in a functional whole that can well describe human behavior in natural environments. The paper represents an invited review by a symposium, award winner or keynote speaker at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior [SSIB] Annual Meeting in Portland, July 2009. PMID:20450867

  4. Functional thioredoxin reductase from pathogenic and free-living Leptospira spp.

    PubMed

    Sasoni, Natalia; Iglesias, Alberto A; Guerrero, Sergio A; Arias, Diego G

    2016-08-01

    Low molecular mass thiols and antioxidant enzymes have essential functions to detoxify reactive oxygen and nitrogen species maintaining cellular redox balance. The metabolic pathways for redox homeostasis in pathogenic (Leptospira interrogans) and free-living (Leptospira biflexa) leptospires species were not functionally characterized. We performed biochemical studies on recombinantly produced proteins to in depth analyze kinetic and structural properties of thioredoxin reductase (LinTrxR) and thioredoxin (LinTrx) from L. interrogans, and two TrxRs (LbiTrxR1 and LbiTrxR2) from L. biflexa. All the TrxRs were characterized as homodimeric flavoproteins, with LinTrxR and LbiTrxR1 catalyzing the NADPH dependent reduction of LinTrx and DTNB. The thioredoxin system from L. interrogans was able to use glutathione disulfide, lipoamide disulfide, cystine and bis-γ-glutamyl cysteine and homologous peroxiredoxin as substrates. Classic TrxR activity of LinTrxR2 had not been evidenced in vitro, but recombinant Escherichia coli cells overexpressing LbiTrxR2 showed high tolerance to oxidative stress. The enzymatic systems herein characterized could play a key role for the maintenance of redox homeostasis and the function of defense mechanisms against reactive oxidant species in Leptospira spp. Our results contribute to the general knowledge about redox biochemistry in these bacteria, positioning TrxR as a critical molecular target for the development of new anti-leptospiral drugs. PMID:27178006

  5. Long-term viral serology of semi-free-living and captive ungulates.

    PubMed

    Frölich, K; Flach, E J

    1998-06-01

    Between 1973 and 1994, blood samples were collected at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park (UK) from three ungulate species kept in enclosures, including 28 European bison (Bison bonasus), 37 scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah), and 49 Père David's deer (Elaphurus davidianus), and also from 144 semi-free-living Chinese water deer (Hydropotes inermis). These samples were tested for the presence of antibodies against three bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)-like strains, three alpha-herpesvirus strains, enzootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) of deer, bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine adenovirus 3 (BAV-3), and enzootic bovine leucosis virus (EBLV). Thirty-three individuals (13.1%) had antibodies to one or more of the three BVDV-like viruses, with titers ranging from 1:5 to 1:16, and 17 individuals (6.6%) were positive for antibodies to one or more of the three alpha-herpesviruses, with titers between 1:4 and 1:80. The highest titers and greatest proportion of seropositivity were against SH9/11, a recently isolated cytopathogenic pestivirus from wild roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). There were no positive reactors to BRSV and EHDV, and there was only one BAV-3 positive reactor, a scimitar-horned oryx, and one EBLV reactor, a European bison. There is no serologic evidence that semi-free-ranging Chinese water deer are important reservoirs or transmitters of the viral diseases investigated. PMID:9732031

  6. Aspects of nitrogen-fixing Actinobacteria, in particular free-living and symbiotic Frankia.

    PubMed

    Sellstedt, Anita; Richau, Kerstin H

    2013-05-01

    Studies of nitrogen-fixing properties among the Gram-positive Actinobacteria revealed that some species of Arthrobacter, Agromyces, Corynebacterium, Mycobacterium, Micromonospora, Propionibacteria and Streptomyces have nitrogen-fixing capacity. This is also valid for Frankia that fix nitrogen both in free-living and in symbiotic conditions. Frankia symbiosis results from interaction between the Frankia bacteria and dicotyledonous plants, that is, actinorhiza. These plants, which are important in forestry and agroforestry, form, together with the legumes (Fabales), a single nitrogen-fixing clade. It has been shown that a receptor-like kinase gene, SymRK, is necessary for nodulation in actinorhizal plants as well as in legumes and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Recently, the involvement of isoflavonoids as signal molecules during nodulation of an actinorhizal plant was shown. The genome sizes of three Frankia species, Frankia EANpec, ACN14a and CcI3, are different, revealing a relationship between genome size and geographical distribution. Recent genomic sequencing data of Frankia represent genomes from cluster I to IV, indicating that the genome of DgI is one of the smallest genomes in Frankia. In addition, nonsymbiotic Frankiales such as Acidothermus cellulolyticus, Blastococcus saxoobsidens, Geodermatophilus obscurus and Modestobacter marinus have a variety of genome sizes ranging from 2.4 to 5.57 Mb. PMID:23461635

  7. Isolation and identification of free-living amoebae from tap water in Sivas, Turkey.

    PubMed

    Coşkun, Kübra Açıkalın; Ozçelik, Semra; Tutar, Lütfi; Elaldı, Nazif; Tutar, Yusuf

    2013-01-01

    The present work focuses on a local survey of free-living amoebae (FLA) that cause opportunistic and nonopportunistic infections in humans. Determining the prevalence of FLA in water sources can shine a light on the need to prevent FLA related illnesses. A total of 150 samples of tap water were collected from six districts of Sivas province. The samples were filtered and seeded on nonnutrient agar containing Escherichia coli spread. Thirty-three (22%) out of 150 samples were found to be positive for FLA. The FLA were identified by morphology and by PCR using 18S rDNA gene. The morphological analysis and partial sequencing of the 18S rDNA gene revealed the presence of three different species, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Hartmannella vermiformis. Naegleria fowleri, Balamuthia mandrillaris, or Sappinia sp. was not isolated during the study. All A. castellanii and A. polyphaga sequence types were found to be genotype T4 that contains most of the pathogenic Acanthamoeba strains. The results indicated the occurrence and distribution of FLA species in tap water in these localities of Sivas, Turkey. Furthermore, the presence of temperature tolerant Acanthamoeba genotype T4 in tap water in the region must be taken into account for health risks. PMID:23971043

  8. Daily foraging patterns in free-living birds: exploring the predation–starvation trade-off

    PubMed Central

    Bonter, David N.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Sedgwick, Carolyn W.; Hochachka, Wesley M.

    2013-01-01

    Daily patterns in the foraging behaviour of birds are assumed to balance the counteracting risks of predation and starvation. Predation risks are a function of the influence of weight on flight performance and foraging behaviours that may expose individuals to predators. Although recent research sheds light on daily patterns in weight gain, little data exist on daily foraging routines in free-living birds. In order to test the predictions of various hypotheses about daily patterns of foraging, we quantified the activity of four species of passerines in winter using radio-frequency identification receivers built into supplemental feeding stations. From records of 472 368 feeder visits by tagged birds, we found that birds generally started to feed before sunrise and continued to forage at a steady to increasing rate throughout the day. Foraging in most species terminated well before sunset, suggesting their required level of energy reserves was being reached before the end of the day. These results support the risk-spreading theorem over a long-standing hypothesis predicting bimodality in foraging behaviour purportedly driven by a trade-off between the risks of starvation and predation. Given the increased energetic demands experienced by birds during colder weather, our results suggest that birds' perceptions of risk are biased towards starvation avoidance in winter. PMID:23595267

  9. Biodiversity of free-living marine nematodes in the southern Yellow Sea, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiaoshou; Xu, Man; Hua, Er; Zhang, Zhinan

    2016-02-01

    Biodiversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes were studied using specific, taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity measures in the southern Yellow Sea, China. The results showed that the average of Shannon-Wiener diversity index ( H') in the study area was 3.17. The higher values were distributed in the east part of Shandong coastal waters and north part of Jiangsu coastal waters, while the lower values were distributed in the southern Yellow Sea Cold Water Mass (YSCWM). The average of taxonomic diversity ( Δ) was 62.09 in the study region. The higher values were distributed in the transitional areas between the coastal areas and the southern YSCWM, while the lower values were distributed near the north part of Jiangsu coastal waters and the YSCWM. Results of correlation analysis of species diversity and taxonomic diversity showed that some of the two kinds of diversity index were independent, which suggested that combining the two kinds of diversity indices can reflect the ecological characteristics better. A test for 95% probability funnels of average taxonomic distinctness and variation in taxonomic distinctness suggested that Station 8794 (in the YSCWM) was outside of the 95% probability funnels, which may be due to the environmental stress. Results of correlation analysis between marine nematodes biodiversity and environmental variables showed that the sediment characteristics (Mdø and Silt-clay fraction) and phaeophorbide a (Pha- a) were the most important factors to determine the biodiversity patterns of marine nematodes.

  10. Occurrence and diversity of free-living protozoa on butterhead lettuce.

    PubMed

    Vaerewijck, Mario J M; Sabbe, Koen; Baré, Julie; Houf, Kurt

    2011-05-27

    The occurrence and diversity of free-living protozoa (FLP) on butterhead lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) was investigated using four different sampling techniques (washing, swabbing, homogenization, and excising). FLP were recovered from all leaf samples (n=64), and cultures were FLP-positive after 1 week. Identification of FLP was performed by light microscopy and sequencing of denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE)-separated 18S rRNA gene fragments. Bodo saltans, Spumella (-like) spp. and Cercozoa were the most common heterotrophic nanoflagellates. Amoebae belonged mainly to the Vannellida and Tubulinida. Colpoda steinii and Cyclidium glaucoma were the most common ciliates. The total number of FLP on middle leaves estimated by the Most Probable Number method ranged from 9.3 × 10(2)MPN/g to 2.4 × 10(5)MPN/g leaf, with flagellates (92 MPN/g to 2.4 ×10(5)MPN/g) being more abundant than amoebae (<3 MPN/g to 9.3 × 10(3)MPN/g) and ciliates (<3 MPN/g to 9.3 × 10(2)MPN/g). Washing or rinsing leaves followed by spin-drying in a household salad spinner reduced the protozoan number with maximum one log unit. Our survey shows that FLP on lettuce leaves are a common and diverse but largely unexplored group of microorganisms. PMID:21513995

  11. Epidemiology of viral haemorrhagic disease and myxomatosis in a free-living population of wild rabbits.

    PubMed

    Calvete, C; Estrada, R; Villafuerte, R; Osácar, J J; Lucientes, J

    2002-06-22

    From January 1993 to June 1996, the epidemiology of myxomatosis and viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD) was studied in a free-living population of wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) in Spain by means of serological surveys and radiotracking. Myxomatosis was endemic and associated with the breeding period. Its serological pattern was characterised by a 100 per cent prevalence of antibodies in adult rabbits and a rapid increase in antibodies in young rabbits in their first year. No mortality from myxomatosis was detected in adults, and mortality in young rabbits could not be estimated because of interference by predators and scavengers and the deaths of many radiotagged rabbits inside their burrows. VHD was also an endemic disease associated with the breeding period. Adults had a higher prevalence of antibodies against VHD than young rabbits, reaching values of 80 to 90 per cent. During the study, there was an increase in rabbit numbers as a result of a decrease in mortality from predation which was associated with an increase in mortality due to VHD and in the prevalence of antibodies to VHD. Mortality from VHD was lower in rabbits with VHD antibodies than in seronegative rabbits, but some mortality from the disease was also detected in seropositive rabbits. The annual mean mortality rate due to VHD in adult rabbits was estimated to be 21.8 per cent. PMID:12135072

  12. Clinical pathology and parasitologic evaluation of free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus).

    PubMed

    Allgayer, M C; Guedes, N M R; Chiminazzo, C; Cziulik, M; Weimer, T A

    2009-10-01

    This study evaluated the health status and established hematologic and serum biochemistry parameters for free-living nestlings of the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) from the Brazilian Pantanal (19 degrees 51'-19 degrees 58'S; 56 degrees 17'-56 degrees 24'W), for four consecutive years (from December 2003 through December 2006). Physical examinations indicated that all the birds were in good health. Endoparasites and blood parasites were not detected in any of the nestlings, and ectoparasites seemed to be limited to Philornis sp. (Diptera: Muscidae). Significantly higher levels of total white blood cells and heterophils, glucose, total protein, triglycerides, and phosphorus were observed in females. In females, higher cholesterol levels and packed cell volumes were observed in older birds, and total white blood cell and heterophil counts were higher in young animals. In males, uric acid levels were higher in older individuals. Wild Pantanal Hyacinth Macaws feed on only two species of palm nuts (Acrocomia totai and Scheelea phalerta). This limited food habit has a strong impact on population size and may alter the clinical pathology parameters of these birds. Therefore, knowledge of blood levels in normal individuals is essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild macaws, to assess the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation strategies of this endangered species. PMID:19901373

  13. Proteases from Entamoeba spp. and Pathogenic Free-Living Amoebae as Virulence Factors

    PubMed Central

    Serrano-Luna, Jesús; Piña-Vázquez, Carolina; Reyes-López, Magda; Ortiz-Estrada, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    The standard reference for pathogenic and nonpathogenic amoebae is the human parasite Entamoeba histolytica; a direct correlation between virulence and protease expression has been demonstrated for this amoeba. Traditionally, proteases are considered virulence factors, including those that produce cytopathic effects in the host or that have been implicated in manipulating the immune response. Here, we expand the scope to other amoebae, including less-pathogenic Entamoeba species and highly pathogenic free-living amoebae. In this paper, proteases that affect mucin, extracellular matrix, immune system components, and diverse tissues and cells are included, based on studies in amoebic cultures and animal models. We also include proteases used by amoebae to degrade iron-containing proteins because iron scavenger capacity is currently considered a virulence factor for pathogens. In addition, proteases that have a role in adhesion and encystation, which are essential for establishing and transmitting infection, are discussed. The study of proteases and their specific inhibitors is relevant to the search for new therapeutic targets and to increase the power of drugs used to treat the diseases caused by these complex microorganisms. PMID:23476670

  14. Associations of free-living bacteria and dissolved organic compounds in a plume of contaminated groundwater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Harvey, R.W.; Barber, L.B., II

    1992-01-01

    Associations of free-living bacteria (FLB) and dissolved organic contaminants in a 4-km-long plume of sewage-contaminated groundwater were investigated. Abundance of FLB in the core of the plume (as delineated by maximum specific conductance) steadily decreased in the direction of flow from a point 0.25 km downgradient from the source to the toe of the plume. At 0.25 km downgradient, FLB comprised up to 31% of the total bacterial population, but constituted < 7% of the population at 2 km downgradient. Abundance of FLB correlated strongly (r = 0.80 n = 23) with total dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in contaminated groundwater between 0.64 and 2.1 km downgradient, although distributions of individual contaminants such as di-, tri- and tetrachloroethene were highly variable, and their association with FLB less clear. Numbers of FLB in the downgradient portion of the plume which is contaminated with branched-chain alkylbenzenesulfonate (ABS) surfactants were low (< 5??108/L) in spite of relatively high levels of DOC (up to 4 mg/L). However, abundance of FLB correlated strongly with non-surfactant DOC along vertical transects through the plume. The ratio of FLB to DOC and the ratio of FLB to attached bacteria generally decreased in the direction of flow and, consequently, with the age of the organic contaminants.

  15. Particle-Associated Differ from Free-Living Bacteria in Surface Waters of the Baltic Sea.

    PubMed

    Rieck, Angelika; Herlemann, Daniel P R; Jürgens, Klaus; Grossart, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    Many studies on bacterial community composition (BCC) do not distinguish between particle-associated (PA) and free-living (FL) bacteria or neglect the PA fraction by pre-filtration removing most particles. Although temporal and spatial gradients in environmental variables are known to shape BCC, it remains unclear how and to what extent PA and FL bacterial diversity responds to such environmental changes. To elucidate the BCC of both bacterial fractions related to different environmental settings, we studied surface samples of three Baltic Sea stations (marine, mesohaline, and oligohaline) in two different seasons (summer and fall/winter). Amplicon sequencing of the 16 S rRNA gene revealed significant differences in BCC of both bacterial fractions among stations and seasons, with a particularly high number of PA operational taxonomic units (OTUs at genus-level) at the marine station in both seasons. "Shannon and Simpson indices" showed a higher diversity of PA than FL bacteria at the marine station in both seasons and at the oligohaline station in fall/winter. In general, a high fraction of bacterial OTUs was found exclusively in the PA fraction (52% of total OTUs). These findings indicate that PA bacteria significantly contribute to overall bacterial richness and that they differ from FL bacteria. Therefore, to gain a deeper understanding on diversity and dynamics of aquatic bacteria, PA and FL bacteria should be generally studied independently. PMID:26648911

  16. Portion size effects on weight gain in a free living setting

    PubMed Central

    French, Simone A; Mitchell, Nathan R; Wolfson, Julian; Harnack, Lisa J; Jeffery, Robert W; Gerlach, Anne F; Blundell, John E; Pentel, Paul R

    2014-01-01

    Objective Examine the effect of weekday exposure over six months to different lunch sizes on energy intake and body weight in a free-living sample of working adults. Design and Methods Adults (n=233) were randomly assigned to one of three lunch size groups (400 kcal; 800 kcal; 1600 kcal) or to a no-free lunch control group for six months. Weight and energy intake were measured at baseline, and months 1, 3, and 6. Results Lunch energy was significantly higher in the 800 and 1600 kcal groups compared to the 400 kcal group (p < 0.0001). Total energy was significantly higher for the 1600 kcal group compared to the 400 and 800 kcal groups (p = 0.02). Body weight change at six months did not significantly differ at the 5% level by experimental group (1600 kcal group: +1.1 kg (sd=0.44); 800 kcal group: −0.1 kg (sd=0.42); 400 kcal group: −0.1 kg (sd=0.43); control group: 1.1 (sd=0.42); p=.07). Weight gain over time was significant in the 1600 kcal box lunch group (p < 0.05). Conclusions Weekday exposure for six months to a 1600 kcal lunch caused significant increases in total energy intake and weight gain. PMID:24510841

  17. Occurrence of free-living amoebae in streams of the Mexico Basin.

    PubMed

    Bonilla-Lemus, Patricia; Caballero Villegas, Adán S; Carmona Jiménez, Javier; Lugo Vázquez, Alfonso

    2014-11-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa that are widely distributed in nature. They are important in the cycling of nutrients in aquatic food chains, but their distribution in natural aquatic environments is not well known. We conducted a survey to determine the presence and distribution of FLA and their relation to some physicochemical parameters in streams of the Mexico Basin in Central Mexico. Thirty-two sites from 18 streams were sampled. Samples were centrifuged and cultured onto NNA-media to isolate amoebae. Identifications were based on morphology. The pathogenicity of Acanthamoeba isolates was tested. Oxygen saturation, temperature, pH, specific conductance, water flow, dissolved reactive phosphorus, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, dissolved inorganic nitrogen and coliforms were determined. One hundred-and-twenty FLA representing 18 genera were identified. The most frequent genera were Vannella, Rosculus and Acanthamoeba. The frequency of potentially pathogenic FLA was low and only 3 Acanthamoeba isolates were invasive in mice. The highest species richness of FLA was found in streams located into agriculture activity areas and those close to small villages that discharge wastewater into them. Water temperatures were always below 17°C. Oxygen saturation and pH were within the limits for the growth of most FLA. The presence of Acanthamoeba and Naegleria was low; nevertheless, they include potentially pathogenic species and can act as vectors and reservoirs for microbial pathogens and can produce human infections. PMID:25014111

  18. Effect of cytokinins and auxins on the growth of free-living conchocelis of Porphyra yezoensis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de-Lin, Duan; Xiu-Geng, Fei; Hong-Xu, Ren; Xiong, Chen; Ying, Zhu

    1995-09-01

    IAA 3-Indolylacetic acid, NAA a-Naphthylacetic acid and cytokinins in PESI culture medium were used in a study on the effects of plant hormones on the growth of free-living conchocelis of Porphyra yezoensis which showed that its growth in medium with cytokinins, IAA and NAA was more rapid than that in medium with non—phytohormones; that the optimal concentrations for promoting growth were 10 μg/L for IAA and ZA (Zeatin), and 0.1 μg/L for BA 6-Benzyl amino purine and KIN 6-Furfurylamino- purine. Mix use of NAA, IAA and cytokinins, NAA/ZA 1-1000/1 μg/L, NAA/BA 10/1-1000 μg/L, NAA/KIN 1/1-1000 μg/L promoted growth. IAA/ZA 0.1-1/0.1-1 μg/L; IAA/BA 0.1-1/0.1-10 μg/L IAA/KIN 1/0.1-1000 μg/L also promoted growth.

  19. Do free-living amoebae in treated drinking water systems present an emerging health risk?

    PubMed

    Thomas, Jacqueline M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J

    2011-02-01

    There is an expanding body of evidence that free-living amoebae (FLA) increase both the numbers and virulence of water-based, human-pathogenic, amoeba-resisting microorganisms (ARM). Legionella spp., Mycobacterium spp., and other opportunistic human pathogens are known to be both ARM and also the etiologic agents of potentially fatal human lung infections. However, comparatively little is known about the FLA that may facilitate ARM growth in drinking water. This review examines the available literature on FLA in treated drinking water systems; in total 26 studies from 18 different countries. FLA were reported to breakthrough the water treatment barrier and enter distribution systems, in addition to the expected post-treatment system ingress. Once in the distribution system there is evidence of FLA colonization and regrowth especially in reservoirs and in-premise plumbing storage tanks. At the point of use the average FLA detection rate was 45% but highly variable (n = 16, σ = 31) due to both differences in both assay methods and the type of water systems examined. This review reveals that FLA are consistently detected in treated drinking water systems around the world and present a yet unquantified emerging health risk. However, more research is urgently required before accurate risks assessments can be undertaken to assess the impacts on human health, in households and institutions, due to exposure to FLA facilitated pathogenic ARM. PMID:21194220

  20. Comparison of total energy expenditure assessed by two devices in controlled and free-living conditions.

    PubMed

    Rousset, Sylvie; Fardet, Anthony; Lacomme, Philippe; Normand, Sylvie; Montaurier, Christophe; Boirie, Yves; Morio, Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the validity of total energy expenditure (TEE) provided by Actiheart and Armband. Normal-weight adult volunteers wore both devices either for 17 hours in a calorimetric chamber (CC, n = 49) or for 10 days in free-living conditions (FLC) outside the laboratory (n = 41). The two devices and indirect calorimetry or doubly labelled water, respectively, were used to estimate TEE in the CC group and FLC group. In the CC, the relative value of TEE error was not significant (p > 0.05) for Actiheart but significantly different from zero for Armband, showing TEE underestimation (-4.9%, p < 0.0001). However, the mean absolute values of errors were significantly different between Actiheart and Armband: 8.6% and 6.7%, respectively (p = 0.05). Armband was more accurate for estimating TEE during sleeping, rest, recovery periods and sitting-standing. Actiheart provided better estimation during step and walking. In FLC, no significant error in relative value was detected. Nevertheless, Armband produced smaller errors in absolute value than Actiheart (8.6% vs. 12.8%). The distributions of differences were more scattered around the means, suggesting a higher inter-individual variability in TEE estimated by Actiheart than by Armband. Our results show that both monitors are appropriate for estimating TEE. Armband is more effective than Actiheart at the individual level for daily light-intensity activities. PMID:25141769

  1. [Establishment of two cell lines secreting monoclonal antibodies against pathogenic free-living amoeba in Shanghai].

    PubMed

    Li, L; Li, H L; Shen, Q W; Lang, S

    1993-01-01

    Taking Naegleria australiensis, a species of pathogenic free-living amoeba (isolated in Shanghai in 1986), as antigen, two cell lines which provided potentially permanent source of monoclonal antibodies were established by lymphocytic hybridoma technique. The results of identification showed that: (1) the two cell lines could secret two different kinds of McAbs; (2) both of the McAbs were IgG (by gel diffusion); (3) McAbs produced in BALB/c mice were at high concentrations. One of them had a titer of > or = 1:8,192 and the other > or = 1:1,024 (by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay). A decline of the titers after purification by salting-out method was shown. One of the purified McAbs had a titer of > or = 1:2,024 and the other > or = 1:128. We have adopted two ways of recovering cryopreserved cells: ordinary recovering and "direct" recovering. The latter way was more practical because it could reduce the cycle of antibody production, and avoid contamination and chromosome variation. Experiments with different doses of cells revealed that, if the latter way was used, the optimal dose was 3 to 5 x 10(6) cells per mouse. PMID:8168238

  2. Functional genomics of hsp-90 in parasitic and free-living nematodes

    PubMed Central

    Gillan, Victoria; Maitland, Kirsty; McCormack, Gillian; Nik Him, Nik A.I.I.; Devaney, Eileen

    2009-01-01

    Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp-90) is a highly conserved essential protein in eukaryotes. Here we describe the molecular characterisation of hsp-90 from three nematodes, the free-living Caenorhabditis elegans (Ce) and the parasitic worms Brugia pahangi (Bp) and Haemonchus contortus (Hc). These molecules were functionally characterised by rescue of a Ce-daf-21 (hsp-90) null mutant. Our results show a gradient of rescue: the C. elegans endogenous gene provided full rescue of the daf-21 mutant, while Hc-hsp-90 provided partial rescue. In contrast, no rescue could be obtained using a variety of Bp-hsp-90 constructs, despite the fact that Bp-hsp-90 was transcribed and translated in the mutant worms. daf-21 RNA interference (RNAi) experiments were carried out to determine whether knock-down of the endogenous daf-21 mRNA in N2 worms could be complemented by expression of either parasite gene. However neither parasite gene could rescue the daf-21 (RNAi) phenotypes. These results indicate that factors other than the level of sequence identity are important for determining whether parasite genes can functionally complement in C. elegans. PMID:19401205

  3. Acanthamoeba and other free-living amoebae in bat guano, an extreme habitat.

    PubMed

    Mulec, Janez; Dietersdorfer, Elisabeth; Üstüntürk-Onan, Miray; Walochnik, Julia

    2016-04-01

    Several representatives of the so-called free-living amoebae (FLA) are of medical relevance, not only as facultative pathogens but also as vehicles for pathogenic bacteria. Some FLA can survive and even grow under extreme environmental conditions. Bat guano is an exceptional habitat, the conditions becoming gradually more extreme with aging. In the current study, samples of bat guano of different ages from five caves in Slovenia were screened for the presence of FLA. FLA were isolated from almost all guano samples, including guano with a pH of 3.5. Only the two samples that had been drawn from >20-year-old guano were negative for FLA. Generally, FLA diversity correlated to high concentrations of cultivable bacteria (∼10(8) CFU/g) and fungi (∼10(5) CFU/g). Interestingly, the absence of FLA in seasoned guanos was mirrored by the presence of dictyostelid slime moulds. The isolated amoebae were identified as belonging to the genera Acanthamoeba, Copromyxa, Naegleria, Sappinia, Tetramitus, Thecamoeba, Vahlkampfia, Vannella and Vermamoeba. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study on the diversity of FLA in guano. PMID:26678653

  4. Free-living spirochetes from Cape Cod microbial mats detected by electron microscopy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teal, T. H.; Chapman, M.; Guillemette, T.; Margulis, L.

    1996-01-01

    Spirochetes from microbial mats and anaerobic mud samples collected in salt marshes were studied by light microscopy, whole mount and thin section transmission electron microscopy. Enriched in cellobiose-rifampin medium, selective for Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, seven distinguishable spirochete morphotypes were observed. Their diameters ranged from 0.17 micron to > 0.45 micron. Six of these morphotypes came from southwest Cape Cod, Massachusetts: five from Microcoleus-dominated mat samples collected at Sippewissett salt marsh and one from anoxic mud collected at School Street salt marsh (on the east side of Eel Pond). The seventh morphotype was enriched from anoxic mud sampled from the north central Cape Cod, at the Sandy Neck salt marsh. Five of these morphotypes are similar or identical to previously described spirochetes (Leptospira, Spirochaeta halophila, Spirochaeta bajacaliforniensis, Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi and Treponema), whereas the other two have unique features that suggest they have not been previously described. One of the morphotypes resembles Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi (the largest free-living spirochete described), in its large variable diameter (0.4-3.0 microns), cytoplasmic granules, and spherical (round) bodies with composite structure. This resemblance permits its tentative identification as a Sippewissett strain of Spirosymplokos deltaeiberi. Microbial mats samples collected in sterile Petri dishes and stored dry for more than four years yielded many organisms upon rewetting, including small unidentified spirochetes in at least 4 out of 100 enrichments.

  5. Description of free-living marine nematodes found in the intestine of fishes from the Brazilian coast.

    PubMed

    Abolafia, Joaquín; Ruiz-Cuenca, Alba N; Fernandes, Berenice M M; Cohen, Simone C; Cárdenas, Melissa Q

    2015-01-01

    The marine nematodes usually comprise free-living species, although a few are parasitic. However, several cases of free-living nematodes found accidentally in the digestive tract of certain vertebrates, especially fishes, have sometimes been recorded and categorized as pseudoparasites. In the present work, two species of marine fishes, the rhomboid crappie, Diapterus rhombeus, and the silvered crappie, Eucinostomus argenteus (Perciformes: Gerreidae), from Angra dos Reis on the coast of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) were examined. Seven species of free-living marine nematodes were found in the digestive tract of these fish. Several of these species remain unknown as free-living forms in Brazil. The combination of the fish feeding strategies and the poor preservation of the body of the nematode specimens found could indicate that these nematodes are pseudoparasites, appearing in the fishes' digestive tracts through accidental ingestion and thereafter surviving for brief periods of time. Descriptions, illustrations and tables of measurements are provided for all species. Six of these species (Croconema torquens, Dorylaimopsis pellucida, Oncholaimellus labiatus, Parodontophora breviamphida, Prooncholaimus ornatus, Trissonchulus latus) have been reported for the first time from the Brazilian coast. PMID:25947787

  6. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living Amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  7. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in free-living amazon river dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from central Amazon, Brazil

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important pathogen in aquatic mammals and its presence in these animals may indicate water contamination of aquatic environment by oocysts. Serum samples from 95 dolphins from free-living Amazon River dolphins (Inia geoffrensis) from Sustainable Development Reserve Mamirauá (...

  8. Monoaminergic signaling as a target for anthelmintic drug discovery: receptor conservation among the free-living and parasitic nematodes.

    PubMed

    Komuniecki, Richard; Law, Wen Jing; Jex, Aaron; Geldhof, Peter; Gray, John; Bamber, Bruce; Gasser, Robin B

    2012-05-01

    This review is designed to summarize the information on monoamine-dependent paralysis as a target for anthelmintic development, examine the conservation of monoamine receptors in the genomes of both free-living and parasitic nematodes, and highlight the utility of the Caenorhabditis elegans model system for dissecting the monoaminergic modulation of locomotory decision-making. PMID:22343182

  9. CHARACTERIZATION OF AMINOPEPTIDASE IN THE FREE-LIVING NEMATODE PANAGRELLUS REDIVIVUS: SUBCELLULAR DISTRIBUTION AND POSSIBLE ROLE IN NEUROPEPTIDE METABOLISM

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Aminopeptidase was detected in homogenates of the free-living nematode Panagrellus redivivus with the aminoacyl substrate L-alanine-4-nitroanilide (Ala-4-NA). Subcellular distribution of the enzyme was unequal, with approximately 80 percent of total aminopeptidase in the soluble fraction and the rem...

  10. Hematologic and Total Plasma Protein Values in Free-Living Red-tailed Amazon Parrot Nestlings (Amazona brasiliensis) in Paraná State, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Vaz, Frederico F; Locatelli-Dittrich, Rosangela; Sipinski, Elenise A B; Abbud, Maria C; Sezerban, Rafael M; Schmidt, Elizabeth M S; Dittrich, Jaqueline; Cavalheiro, Maria L

    2015-09-01

    The red-tailed Amazon parrot (Amazona brasiliensis) is an endangered psittacid species that is endemic in the south and southeast Brazilian Atlantic coastal region. Hematologic evaluation is important to monitor the health of these birds, and information about laboratory values for this species is scarce. Hematologic and total plasma protein profiles were determined for 33 free-living nestling parrots in Paraná state, Brazil. Parrots were temporarily removed from the nest and manually restrained to record body weight and collect blood samples. Mean body weight was <400 g in 13 birds (group 1) and >400 g in 20 birds (group 2). Significantly higher levels of mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentrations, white blood cell counts, monocytes, and basophils were observed in younger birds (group 1). A stress leukogram (high white blood cell and heterophil count) was found in all nestlings, suggesting stress induced by capture and restraint. Parameters obtained in this study will be essential to assess the physiologic and pathologic condition of wild parrots, to evaluate the effects of environmental changes on their health, and to contribute to conservation efforts of this endangered species. PMID:26378664

  11. Bioenergetics model for estimating food requirements of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Noren, S.R.; Udevitz, M.S.; Jay, C.V.

    2012-01-01

    Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens use sea ice as a platform for resting, nursing, and accessing extensive benthic foraging grounds. The extent of summer sea ice in the Chukchi Sea has decreased substantially in recent decades, causing walruses to alter habitat use and activity patterns which could affect their energy requirements. We developed a bioenergetics model to estimate caloric demand of female walruses, accounting for maintenance, growth, activity (active in-water and hauled-out resting), molt, and reproductive costs. Estimates for non-reproductive females 0–12 yr old (65−810 kg) ranged from 16359 to 68960 kcal d−1 (74−257 kcal d−1 kg−1) for years with readily available sea ice for which we assumed animals spent 83% of their time in water. This translated into the energy content of 3200–5960 clams per day, equivalent to 7–8% and 14–9% of body mass per day for 5–12 and 2–4 yr olds, respectively. Estimated consumption rates of 12 yr old females were minimally affected by pregnancy, but lactation had a large impact, increasing consumption rates to 15% of body mass per day. Increasing the proportion of time in water to 93%, as might happen if walruses were required to spend more time foraging during ice-free periods, increased daily caloric demand by 6–7% for non-lactating females. We provide the first bioenergetics-based estimates of energy requirements for walruses and a first step towards establishing bioenergetic linkages between demography and prey requirements that can ultimately be used in predicting this population’s response to environmental change.

  12. Data logging of body temperatures provides precise information on phenology of reproductive events in a free-living arctic hibernator

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Williams, C.T.; Sheriff, M.J.; Schmutz, J.A.; Kohl, F.; Toien, O.; Buck, C.L.; Barnes, B.M.

    2011-01-01

    Precise measures of phenology are critical to understanding how animals organize their annual cycles and how individuals and populations respond to climate-induced changes in physical and ecological stressors. We show that patterns of core body temperature (T b) can be used to precisely determine the timing of key seasonal events including hibernation, mating and parturition, and immergence and emergence from the hibernacula in free-living arctic ground squirrels (Urocitellus parryii). Using temperature loggers that recorded T b every 20 min for up to 18 months, we monitored core T b from three females that subsequently gave birth in captivity and from 66 female and 57 male ground squirrels free-living in the northern foothills of the Brooks Range Alaska. In addition, dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed for four free-living male squirrels. Average T b in captive females decreased by 0.5–1.0°C during gestation and abruptly increased by 1–1.5°C on the day of parturition. In free-living females, similar shifts in T b were observed in 78% (n = 9) of yearlings and 94% (n = 31) of adults; females without the shift are assumed not to have given birth. Three of four ground squirrels for which dates of emergence from hibernation were visually confirmed did not exhibit obvious diurnal rhythms in T b until they first emerged onto the surface when T b patterns became diurnal. In free-living males undergoing reproductive maturation, this pre-emergence euthermic interval averaged 20.4 days (n = 56). T b-loggers represent a cost-effective and logistically feasible method to precisely investigate the phenology of reproduction and hibernation in ground squirrels.

  13. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Teuling, A. J.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-10-01

    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for sloping catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.

  14. The Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS): a lumped rainfall-runoff model for catchments with shallow groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brauer, C. C.; Teuling, A. J.; Torfs, P. J. J. F.; Uijlenhoet, R.

    2014-02-01

    We present the Wageningen Lowland Runoff Simulator (WALRUS), a novel rainfall-runoff model to fill the gap between complex, spatially distributed models which are often used in lowland catchments and simple, parametric (conceptual) models which have mostly been developed for mountainous catchments. WALRUS explicitly accounts for processes that are important in lowland areas, notably (1) groundwater-unsaturated zone coupling, (2) wetness-dependent flow routes, (3) groundwater-surface water feedbacks and (4) seepage and surface water supply. WALRUS consists of a coupled groundwater-vadose zone reservoir, a quickflow reservoir and a surface water reservoir. WALRUS is suitable for operational use because it is computationally efficient and numerically stable (achieved with a flexible time step approach). In the open source model code default relations have been implemented, leaving only four parameters which require calibration. For research purposes, these defaults can easily be changed. Numerical experiments show that the implemented feedbacks have the desired effect on the system variables.

  15. Sea-ice habitat preference of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in the Bering Sea: A multiscaled approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sacco, Alexander Edward

    The goal of this thesis is to define specific parameters of mesoscale sea-ice seascapes for which walruses show preference during important periods of their natural history. This research thesis incorporates sea-ice geophysics, marine-mammal ecology, remote sensing, computer vision techniques, and traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous subsistence hunters in order to quantitatively study walrus preference of sea ice during the spring migration in the Bering Sea. Using an approach that applies seascape ecology, or landscape ecology to the marine environment, our goal is to define specific parameters of ice patch descriptors, or mesoscale seascapes in order to evaluate and describe potential walrus preference for such ice and the ecological services it provides during an important period of their life-cycle. The importance of specific sea-ice properties to walrus occupation motivates an investigation into how walruses use sea ice at multiple spatial scales when previous research suggests that walruses do not show preference for particular floes. Analysis of aerial imagery, using image processing techniques and digital geomorphometric measurements (floe size, shape, and arrangement), demonstrated that while a particular floe may not be preferred, at larger scales a collection of floes, specifically an ice patch (< 4 km2), was preferred. This shows that walruses occupy ice patches with distinct ice features such as floe convexity, spatial density, and young ice and open water concentration. Ice patches that are occupied by adult and juvenile walruses show a small number of characteristics that vary from those ice patches that were visually unoccupied. Using synthetic aperture radar imagery, we analyzed co-located walrus observations and statistical texture analysis of radar imagery to quantify seascape preferences of walruses during the spring migration. At a coarse resolution of 100 -- 9,000 km2, seascape analysis shows that, for the years 2006 -- 2008

  16. Morphological and molecular identification of free living amoeba isolated from hospital water in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Trabelsi, Houaida; Dendana, F; Neji, S; Sellami, H; Cheikhrouhou, F; Makni, F; Ayadi, A

    2016-01-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are opportunistic and ubiquitous protozoa that are widely found in various environmental sources. They are known to cause serious human infections. The aim of our study was to detect FLA and Acanthamoeba spp. in hospital water circuits. Eighty-four water samples were collected over a period of 4 months (September-December 2011) from different wards of the Sfax University Hospital (surgical services, intensive care unit, operating theater, and water storage tanks). FLA were detected in 53.5 % of samples as follows: surgical services (80 %), operating theater and surgical intensive care unit (13.3 %), medical intensive care unit (0 %), water storage tanks (6.6 %). The predominant morphotype was the acanthopodial (89 %). The others morphotypes were as follows: monopodial (40 %), dactylopodial (22 %), rugosa (62 %), eruptive (24 %), fan shaped (18 %), and polypodial (18 %). Acanthamoeba was found in 40 samples (47.6 %). 64.2 % of isolates were identified as Acanthamoeba spp. by PCR, using primers to amplify a region of 18S rDNA which showed variation in the product length. Sequence analysis of five PCR products identified Acanthamoeba sp. These isolates belong to T4, T10, and T11 genotypes, and to our knowledge this is the first report of the T10 and T11 genotype in Tunisia.The occurrence of potentially pathogenic FLA in the hospital environment may represent a health risk for patients, since these organisms can cause severe opportunistic illness and also can harbor pathogenic agents. Thus, increased awareness regarding these parasites and recognition of their importance, particularly in immunocompromised patients is crucial. PMID:26468150

  17. Shoot Feeding as a Nutrient Acquisition Strategy in Free-Living Psylloids

    PubMed Central

    Steinbauer, Martin J.

    2013-01-01

    Shoot feeding by sucking insects is accepted as an adaptation to feeding where plant nutrients are most concentrated and/or of higher quality. Psylloids are an important hemipteran taxon, most of which are free-living and comprise many shoot feeding species, whose nutritional ecology has been largely ignored. I conducted a longitudinal study of Ctenarytaina eucalypti (Maskell) and C. bipartita Burckhardt et al. (Aphalaridae) feeding on eucalypts to document how within-plant (ontogenic) variation in nutritional quality, in particular of free amino acids, determines host suitability and hence the distribution and abundance of nymphs. Nymphs were most abundant within developing apical buds but were not more abundant on branchlets of greater vigour (indicated by rate of extension). Nymphs could be found up to two (C. bipartita) to three (C. eucalypti) alternate leaf pairs distant from apical buds but infrequently and in low numbers; they were never found on older, fully expanded leaves. The position of a leaf on a branchlet (indicative of age) determined its nutritional quality. Younger leaves had higher water contents, lower chlorophyll contents and differed in amino acid (essential and non-essential) composition compared to older leaves. The abundance of C. eucalypti nymphs on expanding leaves and in buds was positively correlated with the concentrations of methionine, valine and threonine in E. globulus leaves at the same or comparable position on a branchlet. The abundance of C. bipartita nymphs was positively correlated with foliar leucine concentrations. Shoot feeding by these two psyllids facilitates access to more concentrated, better quality plant nutrients but may not entirely explain the adaptive significance of their behaviour. The humid microclimate created by the architecture of the hosts’ apical buds protects eggs and nymphs from desiccation and is suggested to have had a significant influence on the evolution of host utilisation strategies of psyllids

  18. Osteoarthritis of the temporo-mandibular joint in free-living Soay sheep on St Kilda.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Colin; Watt, Kathryn; Nussey, Daniel H; Pemberton, Josephine M; Pilkington, Jill G; Herman, Jeremy S; Timmons, Zena L; Clements, Dylan N; Scott, Philip R

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common degenerative disease of synovial joints with the potential to cause pathology and welfare issues in both domestic and wild ruminants. Previous work has identified OA of the elbow joint in domestic sheep, but the prevalence of OA of the jaw and in particular the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has not been previously reported. Following up a previous report of a single case of TMJ OA in a free-living population of Soay sheep on St Kilda in the Outer Hebrides, an archive of 2736 jaw bones collected from this population between 1985 and 2010 was surveyed. Evidence of TMJ OA was found in 35 sheep. Of these, 15 cases were unilateral (11 right side, 4 left side) and the remaining 20 were bilateral. TMJ pathology was much more common in females than males: only 3/35 cases were in males, with overall prevalence at 2.3% for females and 0.2% in males. Radiographic examination of TMJ with OA revealed extensive bone re-modelling with osteophytosis, particularly of the condyle of the mandible. There was a highly significant age-dependence in TMJ OA incidence among age classes: 30/35 cases occurred in geriatric sheep (aged 7 years or more; 11.1% prevalence within this age class), four in adults (2-6 years old; 0.9% prevalence), one in yearlings (0.3% prevalence) and none in lambs. The low incidence in males was confounded by sex differences in longevity: while 18% of females sampled died in the geriatric age class, only 2% of males did so. Although the low prevalence of the pathology limited the ability to test its association with other traits, it was possible to examine relationships with reproductive performance measures amongst geriatric females with and without TMJ OA. Although there were trends towards lower fecundity and lower lamb birth weight in the breeding season prior to death, these were not statistically significant. PMID:25458883

  19. Carriage of Staphylococcus aureus by Free-Living Wild Animals in Spain

    PubMed Central

    Mentaberre, Gregorio; Sánchez, Sergio; Fernández-Llario, Pedro; Casas-Díaz, Encarna; Mateos, Ana; Vidal, Dolors; Lavín, Santiago; Fernández-Garayzábal, José-Francisco; Domínguez, Lucas

    2014-01-01

    The presence of methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) was analyzed in different free-living wild animals to assess the genetic diversity and predominant genotypes on each animal species. Samples were taken from the skin and/or nares, and isolates were characterized by spa typing, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and antimicrobial susceptibility testing. The proportion of MSSA carriers were 5.00, 22.93, 19.78, and 17.67% in Eurasian griffon vulture, Iberian ibex, red deer, and wild boar, respectively (P = 0.057). A higher proportion of isolates (P = 0.000) were recovered from nasal samples (78.51%) than skin samples (21.49%), but the 9.26% of red deer and 18.25% of wild boar would have been undetected if only nasal samples had been tested. Sixty-three different spa types were identified, including 25 new spa types. The most common were t528 (43.59%) in Iberian ibex, t548 and t11212 (15.79% and 14.04%) in red deer, and t3750 (36.11%) in wild boar. By MLST, 27 STs were detected, of which 12 had not been described previously. The most frequent were ST581 for Iberian ibex (48.72%), ST425 for red deer (29.82%), and ST2328 for wild boar (42.36%). Isolates from Eurasian griffon vulture belong to ST133. Host specificity has been observed for the most frequent spa types and STs (P = 0.000). The highest resistance percentage was found against benzylpenicillin (average, 22.2%), although most of the S. aureus isolates were susceptible to all antimicrobial tested. Basically, MSSA isolates were different from those MRSA isolates previously detected in the same animal species. PMID:24907325

  20. Interrelated effects of mycorrhiza and free-living nitrogen fixers cascade up to aboveground herbivores

    PubMed Central

    Khaitov, Botir; Patiño-Ruiz, José David; Pina, Tatiana; Schausberger, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground plant performance is strongly influenced by belowground microorganisms, some of which are pathogenic and have negative effects, while others, such as nitrogen-fixing bacteria and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, usually have positive effects. Recent research revealed that belowground interactions between plants and functionally distinct groups of microorganisms cascade up to aboveground plant associates such as herbivores and their natural enemies. However, while functionally distinct belowground microorganisms commonly co-occur in the rhizosphere, their combined effects, and relative contributions, respectively, on performance of aboveground plant-associated organisms are virtually unexplored. Here, we scrutinized and disentangled the effects of free-living nitrogen-fixing (diazotrophic) bacteria Azotobacter chroococcum (DB) and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi Glomus mosseae (AMF) on host plant choice and reproduction of the herbivorous two-spotted spider mite Tetranychus urticae on common bean plants Phaseolus vulgaris. Additionally, we assessed plant growth, and AMF and DB occurrence and density as affected by each other. Both AMF alone and DB alone increased spider mite reproduction to similar levels, as compared to the control, and exerted additive effects under co-occurrence. These effects were similarly apparent in host plant choice, that is, the mites preferred leaves from plants with both AMF and DB to plants with AMF or DB to plants grown without AMF and DB. DB, which also act as AMF helper bacteria, enhanced root colonization by AMF, whereas AMF did not affect DB abundance. AMF but not DB increased growth of reproductive plant tissue and seed production, respectively. Both AMF and DB increased the biomass of vegetative aboveground plant tissue. Our study breaks new ground in multitrophic belowground–aboveground research by providing first insights into the fitness implications of plant-mediated interactions between interrelated belowground fungi

  1. Detection of free-living amoebae by using multiplex quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Le Calvez, Thomas; Trouilhé, Marie-Cécile; Humeau, Philippe; Moletta-Denat, Marina; Frère, Jacques; Héchard, Yann

    2012-06-01

    Free-living amoebae (FLA) are protozoa found worldwide in soil and aquatic environments, which are able to colonize man-made water networks. Some FLA have the potential to be pathogenic and others might harbour pathogenic bacteria. Indeed, FLA feed on bacteria, but some bacteria could resist phagocytosis and either survive in FLA or even multiply within FLA. These bacteria are collectively named amoeba resistant bacteria (ARB). The best characterized example is Legionella pneumophila, for which FLA is the main reservoir in the environment. Not only could FLA be a reservoir that protects ARB, some bacteria might become more resistant to treatment and be more virulent. Thus, it is of medical significance to quantify FLA populations in soil, water or the environment. The main limitation for the quantification of FLA is that classical culture is not efficient and reliable for many genera and 'strains'. Thus, several PCR-based quantification methods have been published for various FLA. However, thus far, no method has been published to simultaneously quantify the main FLA genera in the same PCR reaction. In this study, we developed a multiplex qPCR method to detect both Amoebozoan (i.e. Acanthamoeba, Hartmannella and Echinamoeba) and Vahlkampfiidae (i.e. Vahlkampfia and Naegleria) using 18S ribosomal RNA as the target gene. This method was shown to be specific, reliable and sensitive, could be used for the quantification of FLA and is likely to be useful to anticipate risks due to FLA or pathogenic bacteria, such as L. pneumophila. PMID:22449586

  2. Presence of Legionella and Free-Living Amoebae in Composts and Bioaerosols from Composting Facilities

    PubMed Central

    Conza, Lisa; Pagani, Simona Casati; Gaia, Valeria

    2013-01-01

    Several species of Legionella cause Legionnaires’ disease (LD). Infection may occur through inhalation of Legionella or amoebal vesicles. The reservoirs of Legionella are water, soil, potting soil and compost. Some species of free-living amoebae (FLA) that are naturally present in water and soil were described as hosts for Legionella. This study aimed to understand whether or not the composting facilities could be sources of community-acquired Legionella infections after development of bioaerosols containing Legionella or FLA. We looked for the presence of Legionella (by co-culture) and FLA (by culture) in composts and bioaerosols collected at four composting facilities located in southern Switzerland. We investigated the association between the presence of Legionella and compost and air parameters and presence of FLA. Legionella spp. (including L. pneumophila) were detected in 69.3% (61/88) of the composts and FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, Naegleria and Stenamoeba) in 92.0% (81/88). L. pneumophila and L. bozemanii were most frequently isolated. FLA as potential host for Legionella spp. were isolated from 40.9% (36/88) of the composts in all facilities. In Legionella-positive samples the temperature of compost was significantly lower (P = 0.012) than in Legionella-negative samples. Of 47 bioaerosol samples, 19.1% (9/47) were positive for FLA and 10.6% (5/47) for L. pneumophila. Composts (62.8%) were positive for Legionella and FLA contemporaneously, but both microorganisms were never detected simultaneously in bioaerosols. Compost can release bioaerosol containing FLA or Legionella and could represent a source of infection of community-acquired Legionella infections for workers and nearby residents. PMID:23844174

  3. Genome sequence of the Fleming strain of Micrococcus luteus, a simple free- living actinobacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Young, Michael; Artsatbanov, Vladislav; Beller, Harry R.; Chandra, Govind; Chater, Keith F.; Dover, Lynn G.; Goh, Ee-Been; Kahan, Tamar; Kaprelyants, Arseny S.; Kyrpides, Nikos; Lapidus, Alla; Lowry, Stephen R.; Lykidis, Athanasios; Mahillon, Jacques; Markowitz, Viktor; Mavrommatis, Konstantinos; Mukamolova, Galina V.; Oren, Aharon; Rokem, J. Stefan; Smith, Margaret C. M.; Young, Danielle I.; Greenblatt, Charles L.

    2009-11-01

    Micrococcus luteus (NCTC2665, Fleming strain) has one of the smallest genomes of free living actinobacteria sequenced to date, comprising a single circular chromosome of 2,501,097 bp (G+C content 73%) predicted to encode 2403 proteins. The genome shows extensive synteny with that of the closely related organism, Kocuria rhizophila, from which it was taxonomically separated relatively recently. Despite its small size, the genome harbors 73 IS elements, almost all of which are closely related to elements found in other actinobacteria. An IS element is inserted into the rrs gene of one of only two rrn operons found in M. luteus. The genome encodes only four sigma factors and fourteen response regulators, indicative of adaptation to a rather strict ecological niche (mammalian skin). The high sensitivity of M. luteus to {Beta}-lactam antibiotics may result from the presence of a reduced set of penicillin binding proteins and the absence of a wblC gene, which plays an important role in antibiotic resistance in other actinobacteria. Consistent with the restricted range of compounds it can use as a sole source of carbon for energy and growth, M. luteus has a minimal complement of genes concerned with carbohydrate transport and metabolism and its inability to utilize glucose as a sole carbon source may be due to the apparent absence of a gene encoding glucokinase. Uniquely among characterized bacteria, M. luteus appears to be able to metabolize glycogen only via trehalose, and to make trehalose only via glycogen. It has very few genes associated with secondary metabolism. In contrast to other actinobacteria, M. luteus encodes only one resuscitation-promoting factor (Rpf) required for emergence from dormancy and its complement of other dormancy-related proteins is also much reduced. M. luteus is capable of long-chain alkene biosynthesis, which is of interest for advanced biofuel production; a three gene cluster essential for this metabolism has been identified in the genome.

  4. Presence of Legionella and free-living Amoebae in composts and bioaerosols from composting facilities.

    PubMed

    Conza, Lisa; Pagani, Simona Casati; Gaia, Valeria

    2013-01-01

    Several species of Legionella cause Legionnaires' disease (LD). Infection may occur through inhalation of Legionella or amoebal vesicles. The reservoirs of Legionella are water, soil, potting soil and compost. Some species of free-living amoebae (FLA) that are naturally present in water and soil were described as hosts for Legionella. This study aimed to understand whether or not the composting facilities could be sources of community-acquired Legionella infections after development of bioaerosols containing Legionella or FLA. We looked for the presence of Legionella (by co-culture) and FLA (by culture) in composts and bioaerosols collected at four composting facilities located in southern Switzerland. We investigated the association between the presence of Legionella and compost and air parameters and presence of FLA. Legionella spp. (including L. pneumophila) were detected in 69.3% (61/88) of the composts and FLA (mainly Acanthamoeba, Vermamoeba, Naegleria and Stenamoeba) in 92.0% (81/88). L. pneumophila and L. bozemanii were most frequently isolated. FLA as potential host for Legionella spp. were isolated from 40.9% (36/88) of the composts in all facilities. In Legionella-positive samples the temperature of compost was significantly lower (P = 0.012) than in Legionella-negative samples. Of 47 bioaerosol samples, 19.1% (9/47) were positive for FLA and 10.6% (5/47) for L. pneumophila. Composts (62.8%) were positive for Legionella and FLA contemporaneously, but both microorganisms were never detected simultaneously in bioaerosols. Compost can release bioaerosol containing FLA or Legionella and could represent a source of infection of community-acquired Legionella infections for workers and nearby residents. PMID:23844174

  5. Feeding by heterotrophic dinoflagellates and ciliates on the free-living dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (Clade E).

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hae Jin; Lim, An Suk; Yoo, Yeong Du; Lee, Moo Joon; Lee, Kyung Ha; Jang, Tae Young; Lee, Kitack

    2014-01-01

    To investigate heterotrophic protists grazing on Symbiodinium sp., we tested whether the common heterotrophic dinoflagellates Gyrodinium dominans, Gyrodinium moestrupii, Gyrodinium spirale, Oblea rotundata, Oxyrrhis marina, and Polykrikos kofoidii and the ciliates Balanion sp. and Parastrombidinopsis sp. preyed on the free-living dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. (clade E). We measured the growth and ingestion rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. as a function of prey concentration. Furthermore, we compared the results to those obtained for other algal prey species. In addition, we measured the growth and ingestion rates of other predators at single prey concentrations at which these rates of O. marina and G. dominans were saturated. All predators tested in the present study, except Balanion sp., preyed on Symbiodinium sp. The specific growth rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. increased rapidly with increasing mean prey concentration < ca. 740-815 ng C/ml (7,400-8,150 cells/ml), but became saturated at higher concentrations. The maximum growth rates of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. (0.87 and 0.61/d) were much higher than those of G. moestrupii and P. kofoidii (0.11 and 0.04/d). Symbiodinium sp. did not support positive growth of G. spirale, O. rotundata, and Parastrombidinopsis sp. However, the maximum ingestion rates of P. kofoidii and Parastrombidinopsis sp. (6.7-10.0 ng C/predator/d) were much higher than those of O. marina and G. dominans on Symbiodinium sp. (1.9-2.1 ng C/predator/d). The results of the present study suggest that Symbiodinium sp. may increase or maintain the populations of some predators. PMID:24102740

  6. Identifying and Characterizing Alternative Molecular Markers for the Symbiotic and Free-Living Dinoflagellate Genus Symbiodinium

    PubMed Central

    Pochon, Xavier; Putnam, Hollie M.; Burki, Fabien; Gates, Ruth D.

    2012-01-01

    Dinoflagellates in the genus Symbiodinium are best known as endosymbionts of corals and other invertebrate as well as protist hosts, but also exist free-living in coastal environments. Despite their importance in marine ecosystems, less than 10 loci have been used to explore phylogenetic relationships in this group, and only the multi-copy nuclear ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) regions 1 and 2 have been used to characterize fine-scale genetic diversity within the nine clades (A–I) that comprise the genus. Here, we describe a three-step molecular approach focused on 1) identifying new candidate genes for phylogenetic analysis of Symbiodinium spp., 2) characterizing the phylogenetic relationship of these candidate genes from DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A–H), and 3) conducting in-depth phylogenetic analyses of candidate genes displaying genetic divergences equal or higher than those within the ITS-2 of Symbiodinium clade C. To this end, we used bioinformatics tools and reciprocal comparisons to identify homologous genes from 55,551 cDNA sequences representing two Symbiodinium and six additional dinoflagellate EST libraries. Of the 84 candidate genes identified, 7 Symbiodinium genes (elf2, coI, coIII, cob, calmodulin, rad24, and actin) were characterized by sequencing 23 DNA samples spanning eight Symbiodinium clades (A–H). Four genes displaying higher rates of genetic divergences than ITS-2 within clade C were selected for in-depth phylogenetic analyses, which revealed that calmodulin has limited taxonomic utility but that coI, rad24, and actin behave predictably with respect to Symbiodinium lineage C and are potential candidates as new markers for this group. The approach for targeting candidate genes described here can serve as a model for future studies aimed at identifying and testing new phylogenetically informative genes for taxa where transcriptomic and genomics data are available. PMID:22238660

  7. Diversity of free-living marine nematodes (Enoplida) from Baja California assessed by integrative taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Tiago José; Fonseca, Gustavo; Mundo-Ocampo, Manuel; Guilherme, Betânia Cristina; Rocha-Olivares, Axayácatl

    2010-01-01

    We used morphological and molecular approaches to evaluate the diversity of free-living marine nematodes (order Enoplida) at four coastal sites in the Gulf of California and three on the Pacific coast of Baja California, Mexico. We identified 22 morphological species belonging to six families, of which Thoracostomopsidae and Oncholaimidae were the most diverse. The genus Mesacanthion (Thoracostomopsidae) was the most widespread and diverse. Five allopatric species, genetically and morphologically differentiated, were found in two localities in the Gulf of California (M. sp1 and M. sp2) and three in the Pacific coast (M. sp3, M. sp4 and M. sp5). Overall, we produced 19 and 20 sequences for the 18S and 28S genes, respectively. Neither gene displayed intraspecific polymorphisms, which allowed us to establish that some morphological variation was likely either ontogenetic or due to phenotypic plasticity. Although 18S and 28S phylogenies were topologically congruent (incongruence length difference test, P > 0.05), divergences between species were much higher in the 28S gene. Moreover, this gene possessed a stronger phylogenetic signal to resolve relationships involving Rhabdodemania and Bathylaimus. On the other hand, the close relationship of Pareurystomina (Enchilidiidae) with oncholaimids warrants further study. The 28S sequences (D2D3 domain) may be better suited for DNA barcoding of marine nematodes than those from the 18S rDNA, particularly for differentiating closely related or cryptic species. Finally, our results underline the relevance of adopting an integrative approach encompassing morphological and molecular analyses to improve the assessment of marine nematode diversity and advance their taxonomy. PMID:24391248

  8. Exposure of free-living jaguars to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona in the Brazilian Pantanal.

    PubMed

    Onuma, Selma Samiko Miyazaki; Melo, Andréia Lima Tomé; Kantek, Daniel Luis Zanella; Crawshaw-Junior, Peter Gransden; Morato, Ronaldo Gonçalves; May-Júnior, Joares Adenílson; Pacheco, Thábata dos Anjos; Aguiar, Daniel Moura de

    2014-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis neurona are related apicomplexan parasites that cause reproductive and neurological disorders in a wide range of domestic and wild animals. In the present study, the immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was used to investigate the presence of antibodies against T. gondii, N. caninum and S. neurona in the sera of 11 free-living jaguars (Panthera onca) in two protected areas in the Pantanal region of Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Ten jaguars (90.9%) showed seropositivity for T. gondii, eight (72.7%) for S. neurona, and seven (63.6%) for N. caninum antigens. Our findings reveal exposure of jaguars to these related coccidian parasites and circulation of these pathogens in this wild ecosystem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first serological detection of N. caninum and S. neurona in free-living jaguars. PMID:25517539

  9. Transmission electron microscopy sample preparation protocols for the ultrastructural study of cysts of free-living protozoa.

    PubMed

    Lambrecht, Ellen; Baré, Julie; Claeys, Myriam; Chavatte, Natascha; Bert, Wim; Sabbe, Koen; Houf, Kurt

    2015-04-01

    Cysts of free-living protozoa have an impact on the ecology and epidemiology of bacteria because they may act as a transmission vector or shelter the bacteria against hash environmental conditions. Detection and localization of intracystic bacteria and examination of the en- and excystment dynamics is a major challenge because no detailed protocols for ultrastructural analysis of cysts are currently available. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is ideally suited for those analyses; however, conventional TEM protocols are not satisfactory for cysts of free-living protozoa. Here we report on the design and testing of four protocols for TEM sample preparation of cysts. Two protocols, one based on chemical fixation in coated well plates and one on high-pressure freezing, were selected as the most effective for TEM-based ultrastructural studies of cysts. Our protocols will enable improved analysis of cyst structure and a better understanding of bacterial survival mechanisms in cysts. PMID:25861930

  10. Clinical Mycoplasma sp. Infections in Free-living Three-toed Box Turtles ( Terrapene carolina triunguis) in Missouri, USA.

    PubMed

    Palmer, Jamie L; Blake, Stephen; Wellehan, James F X; Childress, April L; Deem, Sharon L

    2016-04-28

    Mycoplasma species, which can cause upper respiratory tract disease (URTD), are significant pathogens of birds, mammals, fish, and reptiles. Mycoplasmosis is of high concern for chelonian conservation, with the most well-documented cases in gopher and desert tortoises. Mycoplasma sp. infections have been reported in captive and free-living box turtles ( Terrapene spp.). We documented URTD associated with Mycoplasma sp. in two free-living, three-toed box turtles ( Terrapene carolina triunguis) in Missouri, US. Both turtles were Mycoplasma sp. positive by PCR and had URTD-like clinical signs, including nasal and ocular discharge, palpebral edema, lethargy, and weight loss, during a 6-8-wk period between June and September 2014. PMID:27124328