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Sample records for pikas ochotona princeps

  1. Plastic pikas: Behavioural flexibility in low-elevation pikas (Ochotona princeps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Varner, Johanna; Horns, Joshua J.; Lambert, Mallory S.; Westberg, Elizabeth; Ruff, James; Wolfenberger, Katelyn; Beever, Erik; Dearing, M. Denise

    2016-01-01

    Behaviour is an important mechanism for accommodating rapid environmental changes. Understanding a species’ capacity for behavioural plasticity is therefore a key, but understudied, aspect of developing tractable conservation and management plans under climate-change scenarios. Here, we quantified behavioural differences between American pikas (Ochotona princeps) living in an atypical, low-elevation habitat versus those living in a more-typical, alpine habitat. With respect to foraging strategy, low-elevation pikas spent more time consuming vegetation and less time caching food for winter, compared to high-elevation pikas. Low-elevation pikas were also far more likely to be detected in forested microhabitats off the talus than their high-elevation counterparts at midday. Finally, pikas living in the atypical habitat had smaller home range sizes compared to those in typical habitat or any previously published home ranges for this species. Our findings indicate that behavioural plasticity likely allows pikas to accommodate atypical conditions in this low-elevation habitat, and that they may rely on critical habitat factors such as suitable microclimate refugia to behaviourally thermoregulate. Together, these results suggest that behavioural adjustments are one important mechanism by which pikas can persist outside of their previously appreciated dietary and thermal niches.

  2. Facing a changing world: Thermal physiology of American pikas (Ochotona princeps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Otto, Hans W; Wilson, James A; Beever, Erik

    2015-01-01

    American pikas (Ochotona princeps) are of concern with respect to warming montane temperatures; however, little information exists regarding their physiological ability to adapt to warming temperatures. Previous studies have shown that pikas have high metabolism and low thermal conductance, which allow survival during cold winters. It has been hypothesized that these characteristics may be detrimental, given the recent warming trends observed in montane ecosystems. We examined resting metabolic rate, surface activity, and den and ambient temperatures (Ta) of pikas in late summer (August 2011 and 2012) at 2 locations in the Rocky Mountains. Resting metabolic rate was calculated to be 2.02 mL O2 · g-1h-1, with a lower critical temperature (LCT) of 28.1 ± 0.2 °C. No upper critical temperature (UCT) could be determined from our data; therefore, the estimated thermoneutral zone (TNZ) was 28.1 °C to at least 35.0 °C (upper experimental temperature). Pikas in this study showed the same bimodal above-talus activity patterns reported in previous studies. Den temperatures in Colorado were correlated with, but consistently lower than, current ambient temperatures. Wyoming den temperatures showed a weak correlation with Ta 20 min prior to the current den temperature. This study is one of few to present data on the physiological response pikas may have to current warming conditions, and the first to perform metabolic measurements in situ. Our data support conclusions of previous studies, specifically MacArthur and Wang (1973, 1974) and Smith (1974), which indicated American pikas may not have the physiological ability to cope with high Ta. Our results also highlight the importance of shaded regions below the talus rocks for behavioral thermoregulation by pikas.

  3. Alpine biodiversity and assisted migration: The case of the American pika (Ochotona princeps)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Ramsay, Nathan G.; Klingler, Kelly

    2015-01-01

    Alpine mammals are predicted to be among the species most threatened by climate change, due to the projected loss and further fragmentation of alpine habitats. As temperature or precipitation regimes change, alpine mammals may also be faced with insurmountable barriers to dispersal. The slow rate or inability to adjust to rapidly shifting environmental conditions may cause isolated alpine species to become locally extirpated, resulting in reduced biodiversity. One proposed method for mitigating the impacts of alpine species loss is assisted migration. This method, which involves translocating a species to an area with more favourable climate and habitat characteristics, has become the subject of debate and controversy in the conservation community. The uncertainty associated with climate change projections, coupled with the thermal sensitivity of many alpine mammals, makes it difficult to a priori assess the efficacy of this technique as a conservation management tool. Here we present the American pika (Ochotona princeps) as a case study. American pikas inhabit rocky areas throughout the western US, and populations in some mountainous areas have become locally extirpated in recent years. We review known climatic and habitat requirements for this species, and also propose protocols designed to reliably identify favourable relocation areas. We present data related to the physiological constraints of this species and outline specific requirements which must be addressed for translocation of viable populations, including wildlife disease and genetic considerations. Finally, we discuss potential impacts on other alpine species and alpine communities, and overall implications for conserving alpine biodiversity in a changing climate.

  4. American pikas (Ochotona princeps) in northwestern Nevada: A newly discovered population at a low-elevation site

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Wilkening, J.L.; McIvor, D.E.; Weber, S.S.; Brussard, P.F.

    2008-01-01

    The central tenet of island biogeography theory - that species assemblages on islands are functions of island area, isolation from mainlands, and vicariance - has been altered by the demonstrable effects that rapid climate change is imposing on insular faunas, at least in isolated mountaintops. Although populations of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) continue to suffer extirpations, and although the lower bounds of the pika's elevational distribution are shifting upslope across the Great Basin, we report here on the new discovery of a low-elevation population of pikas in a mountain range from which they had not been reported previously. This discovery, particularly in the context of relatively rapid ecological change, highlights the importance of seeking out original sources of information and performing spatially extensive fieldwork. Results presented here further illustrate that although thermal influences appear to be the single strongest determinant of pika distribution currently, such influences interact with a number of other factors to determine persistence.

  5. Patterns of apparent extirpation among isolated populations of pikas (Ochotona princeps) in the Great Basin

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, Erik A.; Brussard, P.F.; Berger, Joel

    2003-01-01

    We conducted exploratory analyses to examine the relative roles played by natural and anthropogenic influences on persistence of a montane mammal. We revisited historical locations of pikas (Ochotona princeps) within the hydrographic Great Basin during summers of 1994-1999. Seven of 25 populations (28%) reported earlier in the 20th century appeared to have experienced recent extirpations. We assessed causative agents of faunal change using several alternative, but not mutually exclusive, hypotheses. Higher probability of persistence was correlated with greater area of talus habitat at local and mountain-range scales, higher elevation, more easterly longitude, more southern latitude, lack of livestock grazing, greater distance to primary roads, and wilderness management. However, only area of habitat in the mountain range, maximum elevation of talus habitat, and distance to primary roads appeared in the most parsimonious model of persistence when we used Akaike's information criterion model-selection technique. These results suggest that relaxation of montane faunas may occur more rapidly than previously expected; that biogeographic models of species occurrence can be refined by including more proximate factors (e.g., grazing status, proximity to roads); and that habitat-based approaches to modelling vertebrate trends should be accompanied by field data because population loss can occur with no apparent change in habitat.

  6. Relating Sub-Surface Ice Features to Physiological Stress in a Climate Sensitive Mammal, the American Pika (Ochotona princeps)

    PubMed Central

    Wilkening, Jennifer L.; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2015-01-01

    The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, and ongoing research suggests loss of sub-surface ice as a mechanism. However, no studies have demonstrated physiological responses of pikas to sub-surface ice features. Here we present the first analysis of physiological stress in pikas living in and adjacent to habitats underlain by ice. Fresh fecal samples were collected non-invasively from two adjacent sites in the Rocky Mountains (one with sub-surface ice and one without) and analyzed for glucocorticoid metabolites (GCM). We also measured sub-surface microclimates in each habitat. Results indicate lower GCM concentration in sites with sub-surface ice, suggesting that pikas are less stressed in favorable microclimates resulting from sub-surface ice features. GCM response was well predicted by habitat characteristics associated with sub-surface ice features, such as lower mean summer temperatures. These results suggest that pikas inhabiting areas without sub-surface ice features are experiencing higher levels of physiological stress and may be more susceptible to changing climates. Although post-deposition environmental effects can confound analyses based on fecal GCM, we found no evidence for such effects in this study. Sub-surface ice features are key to water cycling and storage and will likely represent an increasingly important component of water resources in a warming climate. Fecal samples collected from additional watersheds as part of current pika monitoring programs could be used to further characterize relationships between pika stress and sub-surface ice features. PMID:25803587

  7. Climate Tolerances and Habitat Requirements Jointly Shape the Elevational Distribution of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps), with Implications for Climate Change Effects

    PubMed Central

    Yandow, Leah H.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Doak, Daniel F.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most compelling examples of ecological responses to climate change are elevational range shifts of individual species, which have been observed throughout the world. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests substantial mediation of simple range shifts due to climate change by other limiting factors. Understanding limiting factors for a species within different contexts, therefore, is critical for predicting responses to climate change. The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is an ideal species for investigating distributions in relation to climate because of their unusual and well-understood natural history as well as observed shifts to higher elevation in parts of their range. We tested three hypotheses for the climatic or habitat characteristics that may limit pika presence and abundance: summer heat, winter snowpack, and forage availability. We performed these tests using an index of pika abundance gathered in a region where environmental influences on pika distribution have not been well-characterized. We estimated relative pika abundance via scat surveys and quantified climatic and habitat characteristics across two North-Central Rocky Mountain Ranges, the Wind River and Bighorn ranges in Wyoming, USA. Pika scat density was highest at mid-elevations and increased linearly with forage availability in both ranges. Scat density also increased with temperatures conducive to forage plant growth, and showed a unimodal relationship with the number of days below -5°C, which is modulated by insulating snowpack. Our results provide support for both the forage availability and winter snowpack hypotheses. Especially in montane systems, considering the context-dependent nature of climate effects across regions and elevations as well as interactions between climatic and other critical habitat characteristics, will be essential for predicting future species distributions. PMID:26244851

  8. Climate Tolerances and Habitat Requirements Jointly Shape the Elevational Distribution of the American Pika (Ochotona princeps), with Implications for Climate Change Effects.

    PubMed

    Yandow, Leah H; Chalfoun, Anna D; Doak, Daniel F

    2015-01-01

    Some of the most compelling examples of ecological responses to climate change are elevational range shifts of individual species, which have been observed throughout the world. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests substantial mediation of simple range shifts due to climate change by other limiting factors. Understanding limiting factors for a species within different contexts, therefore, is critical for predicting responses to climate change. The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is an ideal species for investigating distributions in relation to climate because of their unusual and well-understood natural history as well as observed shifts to higher elevation in parts of their range. We tested three hypotheses for the climatic or habitat characteristics that may limit pika presence and abundance: summer heat, winter snowpack, and forage availability. We performed these tests using an index of pika abundance gathered in a region where environmental influences on pika distribution have not been well-characterized. We estimated relative pika abundance via scat surveys and quantified climatic and habitat characteristics across two North-Central Rocky Mountain Ranges, the Wind River and Bighorn ranges in Wyoming, USA. Pika scat density was highest at mid-elevations and increased linearly with forage availability in both ranges. Scat density also increased with temperatures conducive to forage plant growth, and showed a unimodal relationship with the number of days below -5°C, which is modulated by insulating snowpack. Our results provide support for both the forage availability and winter snowpack hypotheses. Especially in montane systems, considering the context-dependent nature of climate effects across regions and elevations as well as interactions between climatic and other critical habitat characteristics, will be essential for predicting future species distributions. PMID:26244851

  9. Using High Resolution Remotely Sensed Data to Predict Territory Occupancy and Mircrorefugia for a Habitat Specialist, the American Pika (Ochotona princeps)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beers, A.; Ray, C.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is likely to affect mountainous areas unevenly due to the complex interactions between topography, vegetation, and the accumulation of snow and ice. This heterogeneity will complicate relationships between species presence and large-scale drivers such as precipitation and make predicting habitat extent and connectivity much more difficult. We studied the potential for fine-scale variation in climate and habitat use throughout the year in the American pika (Ochotona princeps), a talus specialist of mountainous western North America known for strong microhabitat affiliation. Not all areas of talus are likely to be equally hospitable, which may reduce connectivity more than predicted by large-scale occupancy drivers. We used high resolution remotely sensed data to create metrics of the terrain and land cover in the Niwot Ridge (NWT) LTER site in Colorado. We hypothesized that pikas preferentially use heterogeneous terrain, as it might foster greater snow accumulation, and used radio telemetry to test this with radio-collared pikas. Pikas use heterogeneous terrain during snow covered periods and less heterogeneous area during the summer. This suggests that not all areas of talus habitat are equally suitable as shelter from extreme conditions but that pikas need more than just shelter from winter cold. With those results we created a predictive map using the same habitat metrics to model the extent of suitable habitat across the NWT area. These strong effects of terrain on pika habitat use and territory occupancy show the great utility that high resolution remotely sensed data can have in ecological applications. With increasing effects of climate change in mountainous regions, this modeling approach is crucial for quantifying habitat connectivity at both small and large scales and to identify potential refugia for threatened or isolated species.

  10. Endogenization of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-like elements in genomes of pikas (Ochotona sp.).

    PubMed

    Lemos de Matos, Ana; de Sousa-Pereira, Patrícia; Lissovsky, Andrey A; van der Loo, Wessel; Melo-Ferreira, José; Cui, Jie; Esteves, Pedro J

    2015-12-01

    Despite the finding in European rabbit and other leporid genomes of the first ever described endogenous lentivirus and of a European rabbit exclusive endogenous gammaretrovirus, until now no exogenous retroviruses have been isolated in Lagomorpha species. Nevertheless, looking for the presence of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) in the species genomes could lead to the discovery of retroviral lineages yet to be found in Lagomorpha. Different mammalian genomes harbor endogenous viral sequences phylogenetically close to the betaretrovirus mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV), propelling us to look for such retroviral "fossil" in American pika (Ochotona princeps) and European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) genomes. By performing genomic mining using MMTV gag and LTR as query sequences, we found that such viral elements were absent from the European rabbit genome. Oppositely, significant matches were found in American pika, and more importantly, a nearly complete MMTV-like virus (Pika-BERV) was identified. Using Pika-BERV gag and LTR as templates, we found similar sequences endogenized in different pika (Ochotona sp.) species. The orthology of the LTR flanking region between some pika species supported shared ancestry of specific endogenous betaretroviruses, while in other pika species similar sequences, but not orthologous, should have resulted from independent insertions. Our study supports the possible existence of infecting exogenous betaretroviruses for a long term, after the divergence of Ochotonidae from Leporidae, but yet to be identified. PMID:26151606

  11. Discovery of new Ohbayashinema spp. (nematoda: heligomosomoidea) in Ochotona princeps and O. cansus (lagomorpha: ochotonidae) from western North America and central Asia, with considerations of historical biogeography

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three new species of Ohbayashinema (Nematoda, Heligmosomoidea) are described from localities in western North America and central Asia. Two of these species, Ohbayashinema nearctica n. sp and O. aspeira n. sp. are parasitic in American pika, Ochotona princeps. Ohbayashinema nearctica is differentiat...

  12. Discovery of new Ohbayashinema spp. (Nematoda: Heligmosomoidea) in Ochotona princeps and Ochotona cansus (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) from western North America and Central Asia, with considerations of historical biogeography.

    PubMed

    Durette-Desset, M-C; Galbreath, K E; Hoberg, E P

    2010-06-01

    Three new species of Ohbayashinema (Nematoda, Heligmosomoidea) are described from localities in western North America and central Asia. Two of these species, Ohbayashinema nearctica n. sp. and Ohbayashinema aspeira n. sp., are parasitic in American pika, Ochotona princeps. Ohbayashinema nearctica is differentiated from the 5 known species of the genus parasitic in Ochotonidae from the Old World by very long spicules and an oblique axis of orientation for the ridges composing the synlophe. Ohbayashinema aspeira, described only from females, is similar to Oh. nearctica based on the number of cuticular ridges at the mid-body. It is mainly differentiated by an uncoiled anterior extremity and by near equal dimensions of the vestibule and the uterus. The third species, Ohbayashinema patriciae n. sp., is parasitic in Gansu pika, Ochotona cansus , from China. It is similar to Ohbayashinema erbaevae parasitic in Ochotona dauurica from Buriatia and Ohbayashinema ochotoni in Ochotona macrotis from Nepal, based on the length of the spicules and the ratio of spicule length to body length. It differs from the former species by possessing a smaller number of cuticular ridges and in the comparative length of the vestibule and infundibulum. Related to Oh. ochotoni by an identical number of cuticular ridges at the mid-body, it differs from this species in having smaller ridges in the dorsal rather than ventral field and in the dimensions of the dorsal ray where rays 9 are less than rays 10. Species of Ohbayashinema appear to be host-specific among the Ochotonidae but had not been previously reported in pikas from the Nearctic. Although much remains to be demonstrated about the diversity for helminths in pikas, it is apparent that factors associated with the assembly and structure of parasite faunas have been complex, involving episodic processes for geographic and host colonization along with coevolutionary mechanisms. Understanding the historical factors, particularly climate

  13. Molecular systematics of pikas (genus Ochotona) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Yu, N; Zheng, C; Zhang, Y P; Li, W H

    2000-07-01

    The phylogenetic relationships among worldwide species of genus Ochotona were investigated by sequencing mitochondrial cytochrome b and ND4 genes. Parsimony and neighbor-joining analyses of the sequence data yielded congruent results that strongly indicated three major clusters: the shrub-steppe group, the northern group, and the mountain group. The subgeneric classification of Ochotona species needs to be revised because each of the two subgenera in the present classification contains species from the mountain group. To solve this taxonomic problem so that each taxon is monophyletic, i.e. , represents a natural clade, Ochotona could be divided into three subgenera, one for the shrub-steppe species, a second for the northern species, and a third for the mountain species. The inferred tree suggests that the differentiation of this genus in the Palearctic Region was closely related to the gradual uplifting of the Tibet (Qinghai-Xizang) Plateau, as hypothesized previously, and that vicariance might have played a major role in the differentiation of this genus on the Plateau. On the other hand, the North American species, O. princeps, is most likely a dispersal event, which might have happened during the Pliocene through the opening of the Bering Strait. The phylogenetic relationships within the shrub-steppe group are worth noting in that instead of a monophyletic shrub-dwelling group, shrub dwellers and steppe dwellers are intermingled with each other. Moreover, the sequence divergence within the sister taxa of one steppe dweller and one shrub dweller is very low. These findings support the hypothesis that pikas have entered the steppe environment several times and that morphological similarities within steppe dwellers were due to convergent evolution. PMID:10877942

  14. Inferring divergence times within pikas (Ochotona spp.) using mtDNA and relaxed molecular dating techniques.

    PubMed

    Lanier, Hayley C; Olson, Link E

    2009-10-01

    Although several studies have recently addressed phylogenetic relationships among Asian pikas (Ochotona spp.), the North American species have been relatively neglected and their monophyly generally unquestioned or assumed. Given the high degree of intraspecific diversity in pelage and call structure, the recent identification of previously unrecognized species of pika in Asia, and the increasing evidence for multiple trans-Beringian dispersals in several small mammal lineages, the monophyly of North American pikas warrants reexamination. In addition, previous studies have applied an externally calibrated rate to examine the timing of diversification within the genus. This method has been increasingly shown to return results that, at the very least, are overly narrow in their confidence intervals, and at the worst can be entirely spurious. For this study we combined GenBank sequences from the mitochondrial genes cyt b and ND4 with newly generated sequence data from O. hyperborea and O. collaris to investigate the origin of the North American lineages and the timing of phylogenetic diversification within the genus Ochotona. Specifically, we address three goals (1) summarize and reanalyze the molecular evidence for relationships within the genus using statistically supported models of evolution; (2) add additional sequences from O. collaris and O. hyperborea to rigorously test the monophyly of North American pikas; (3) examine the timing of the diversification within the genus using relaxed molecular clock methods. We found no evidence of multiple trans-Beringian dispersals into North America, thereby supporting the traditional hypothesis of a single invasion of North America. We also provide evidence that the major splits within the genus occurred in the Miocene, and the Nearctic pikas diverged sometime before the Pleistocene. PMID:19501176

  15. Forage selection by Royle's pika (Ochotona roylei) in the western Himalaya, India.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Sabuj; Adhikari, Bhupendra S; Rawat, Gopal S

    2013-10-01

    Forage selection decisions of herbivores are often complex and dynamic; they are modulated by multiple cues, such as quality, accessibility and abundance of forage plants. To advance the understanding of plant-herbivore interactions, we explored foraging behavior of the alpine lagomorph Royle's pika (Ochotona roylei) in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Pika bite counts on food plants were recorded through focal sampling in three permanently marked plots. Food plant abundance was recorded by traditional quadrat procedures; forage selection was estimated with Jacob's selection index. Multiple food-choice experiments were conducted to determine whether forage selection criteria would change with variation in food plant composition. We also analyzed leaf morphology and nutrient content in both major food plants and abundantly available non-food plants. Linear regression models were used to test competing hypotheses in order to identify factors governing forage selection. Royle's pika fed primarily on 17 plant species and each forage selection decision was positively modulated by leaf area and negatively modulated by contents of avoided substances (neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, acid detergent lignin and tannin) in food plants. Furthermore, significance of the interaction term "leaf size × avoided substance" indicates that plants with large leaves were selected only when they had low avoided substance content. The forage selection criteria did not differ between field and laboratory experiments. The parameter estimates of best fit models indicate that the influence of leaf size or amount of avoided substance on pika forage selection was modulated by the magnitude of predation risk. PMID:23932023

  16. [Hypoxic adaptation of the hearts of plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) and plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae)].

    PubMed

    Qi, Xin-Zhang; Wang, Xiao-Jun; Zhu, Shi-Hai; Rao, Xin-Feng; Wei, Lian; Wei, Deng-Bang

    2008-06-25

    Plateau zokor (Myospalax baileyi) and plateau pika (Ochotona curzniae) are native to the Qinghai-Tibet plateau. To study their adaptive mechanisms, the ratios of heart weight to body weight (HW/BW) and right to left ventricular plus septum weights [RV/(LV+S)] were determined; the microvessel density (MVD) of cardiac muscle were measured by immunohistochemical staining; the numerical density on area (N(A)), volume density (V(V)), specific surface (δ), and surface density (S(V)) of mitochondria were obtained by microscopy and stereology; the contents of myoglobin (Mb) and lactic acid (LD), and the activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in cardiac muscle were analyzed by spectrophotometer. The results showed that the HW/BW of plateau zokor [(4.55±0.26)%] and plateau pika [(4.41±0.38)%] was significantly greater than that of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rat [(3.44±0.41)%] (P<0.05), but the RV/(LV+S) [(22.04±1.98)%, (25.53±3.41)%] was smaller than that of SD rats [(44.23±3.87)%] (P<0.05). The MVD and N(A) of cardiac muscle were 1688.631±250.253 and 0.768±0.123 in SD rat, 2002.888±367.466 and 0.868±0.159 in plateau pika and 2 990.643±389.888 and 1.012±0.133 in plateau zokor. The V(V) of mitochondria in plateau zokor (0.272±0.045) was significantly lower than that in plateau pika (0.343±0.039) and SD rat (0.321±0.048) (P<0.05), while the δ of mitochondria in plateau zokor (9.409±1.238) was higher than that in plateau pika (6.772±0.892) and SD rat (7.287±1.373) (P<0.05). The S(V) of mitochondria in plateau pika (2.322±0.347) was not obviously different from that in plateau zokor (2.468±0.380) and SD rat (2.227±0.377), but that in plateau zokor was significantly higher than that in SD rat (P<0.05). The contents of Mb in cardiac muscle of plateau zokor [(763.33±88.73) nmol/g] and plateau pika [(765.96±28.47) nmol/g] were significantly higher than that of SD rat [(492.38±72.14) nmol/g] (P<0.05), the content of LD in plateau zokor [(0.57±0.06) mmol/L] was

  17. Comparative ventilatory strategies of acclimated rats and burrowing plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) in response to hypoxic-hypercapnia.

    PubMed

    Pichon, Aurélien; Voituron, Nicolas; Bai, Zhenzhong; Jeton, Florine; Tana, Wuren; Marchant, Dominique; Jin, Guoen; Richalet, Jean-Paul; Ge, Ri-Li

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to compare the different ventilatory strategies that help in coping with hypoxic-hypercapnia environment among two species: use acclimated rats and plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) that live in Tibetan plateaus, and have been well adjusted to high altitude. Arterial blood samples taken at 4100 m of elevation in acclimatized rats and adapted pikas revealed inter-species differences with lower hemoglobin and hematocrit and higher blood pH in pikas. A linear and significant increase in minute ventilation was observed in pikas, which help them to cope with hypoxic-hypercapnia. Pikas also displayed a high inspiratory drive and an invariant respiratory timing regardless of the conditions. Biochemical analysis revealed that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDA) receptor gene and nNOS gene are highly conserved between rats and pikas, however pikas have higher expression of NMDA receptors and nNOS compared to rats at the brainstem level. Taken together, these results suggest that pikas have developed a specific ventilatory pattern supported by a modification of the NMDA/NO ventilatory central pathways to survive in extreme conditions imposed on the Tibetan plateaus. These physiological adaptive strategies help in maintaining a better blood oxygenation despite high CO2 concentration in burrows at high altitude. PMID:25988712

  18. Enzymatic Kinetic Properties of the Lactate Dehydrogenase Isoenzyme C4 of the Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae)

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian; Wei, Dengbang; Li, Xiao; Xu, Lina; Wei, Linna

    2016-01-01

    Testis-specific lactate dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) is one of the lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) isozymes that catalyze the terminal reaction of pyruvate to lactate in the glycolytic pathway. LDH-C4 in mammals was previously thought to be expressed only in spermatozoa and testis and not in other tissues. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family. It is a hypoxia-tolerant species living in remote mountain areas at altitudes of 3000–5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Surprisingly, Ldh-c is expressed not only in its testis and sperm, but also in somatic tissues of plateau pika. To shed light on the function of LDH-C4 in somatic cells, Ldh-a, Ldh-b, and Ldh-c of plateau pika were subcloned into bacterial expression vectors. The pure enzymes of Lactate Dehydrogenase A4 (LDH-A4), Lactate Dehydrogenase B4 (LDH-B4), and LDH-C4 were prepared by a series of expression and purification processes, and the three enzymes were identified by the method of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). The enzymatic kinetics properties of these enzymes were studied by Lineweaver-Burk double-reciprocal plots. The results showed the Michaelis constant (Km) of LDH-C4 for pyruvate and lactate was 0.052 and 4.934 mmol/L, respectively, with an approximate 90 times higher affinity of LDH-C4 for pyruvate than for lactate. At relatively high concentrations of lactate, the inhibition constant (Ki) of the LDH isoenzymes varied: LDH-A4 (Ki = 26.900 mmol/L), LDH-B4 (Ki = 23.800 mmol/L), and LDH-C4 (Ki = 65.500 mmol/L). These data suggest that inhibition of lactate by LDH-A4 and LDH-B4 were stronger than LDH-C4. In light of the enzymatic kinetics properties, we suggest that the plateau pika can reduce reliance on oxygen supply and enhance its adaptation to the hypoxic environments due to increased anaerobic glycolysis by LDH-C4. PMID:26751442

  19. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    Bai, Xiangning; Zhang, Wang; Tang, Xinyuan; Xin, Youquan; Xu, Yanmei; Sun, Hui; Luo, Xuelian; Pu, Ji; Xu, Jianguo; Xiong, Yanwen; Lu, Shan

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are an emerging group of zoonotic pathogens. Ruminants are the natural reservoir of STEC. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of the STEC in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. A total of 1116 pika samples, including 294 intestinal contents samples, 317 fecal samples, and 505 intestinal contents samples, were collected from May to August in the years 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. Twenty-one samples (1.88%) yielded at least one STEC isolate; in total, 22 STEC isolates were recovered. Thirteen different O serogroups and 14 serotypes were identified. One stx1 subtype (stx1a) and three stx2 subtypes (stx2a, stx2b, and stx2d) were present in the STEC isolates. Fifteen, fourteen, and three STEC isolates harbored the virulence genes ehxA, subA, and astA, respectively. Adherence-associated genes iha and saa were, respectively, present in 72.73 and 68.18% of the STEC isolates. Twenty antibiotics were active against all the STEC isolates; all strains were resistant to penicillin G, and some to cephalothin or streptomycin. The 22 STEC isolates were divided into 16 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 12 sequence types. Plateau pikas may play a role in the ongoing circulation of STEC in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. This study provides the first report on STEC in plateau pikas and new information about STEC reservoirs in wildlife. Based on the serotypes, virulence gene profiles and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, the majority of these pika STECs may pose a low public health risk. PMID:27047483

  20. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Plateau Pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Bai, Xiangning; Zhang, Wang; Tang, Xinyuan; Xin, Youquan; Xu, Yanmei; Sun, Hui; Luo, Xuelian; Pu, Ji; Xu, Jianguo; Xiong, Yanwen; Lu, Shan

    2016-01-01

    Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) are an emerging group of zoonotic pathogens. Ruminants are the natural reservoir of STEC. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of the STEC in plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. A total of 1116 pika samples, including 294 intestinal contents samples, 317 fecal samples, and 505 intestinal contents samples, were collected from May to August in the years 2012, 2013, and 2015, respectively. Twenty-one samples (1.88%) yielded at least one STEC isolate; in total, 22 STEC isolates were recovered. Thirteen different O serogroups and 14 serotypes were identified. One stx 1 subtype (stx 1a) and three stx 2 subtypes (stx 2a, stx 2b, and stx 2d) were present in the STEC isolates. Fifteen, fourteen, and three STEC isolates harbored the virulence genes ehxA, subA, and astA, respectively. Adherence-associated genes iha and saa were, respectively, present in 72.73 and 68.18% of the STEC isolates. Twenty antibiotics were active against all the STEC isolates; all strains were resistant to penicillin G, and some to cephalothin or streptomycin. The 22 STEC isolates were divided into 16 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 12 sequence types. Plateau pikas may play a role in the ongoing circulation of STEC in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. This study provides the first report on STEC in plateau pikas and new information about STEC reservoirs in wildlife. Based on the serotypes, virulence gene profiles and multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis, the majority of these pika STECs may pose a low public health risk. PMID:27047483

  1. The earliest occurrence of the steppe pika ( Ochotona pusilla) in Europe near the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fostowicz-Frelik, Łucja; Frelik, Grzegorz J.

    2010-03-01

    The steppe pika ( Ochotona pusilla), a representative of the lagomorph family Ochotonidae, is restricted today to Kazakhstan and Russia. This subspecies-rich form belongs to a morphologically distinct, monospecific group of relatively small pikas, inhabiting steppe-like habitat. In the fossil record, it serves as a bioindicator of dry, grassland environment. The steppe pika was abundant and widespread in Europe during the Last Glaciation, and its unquestionable presence has been reported there since the middle Pleistocene. A new discovery of O. pusilla, from the Kielniki 3B locality (Poland), dated to the latest Pliocene, moves back the species appearance in Europe about one million years, almost coeval with its first record from the late Pliocene of Kazakhstan. Presence of such a typical steppe inhabitant as O. pusilla indicates significant climate change towards more arid, continental conditions, which started influencing Europe at 2.6 Ma. We present the first reliable record of the earliest O. pusilla entry deep into Europe in the latest Pliocene.

  2. Cardiac adaptation to high altitude in the plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae).

    PubMed

    Pichon, Aurélien; Zhenzhong, Bai; Marchant, Dominique; Jin, Guoen; Voituron, Nicolas; Haixia, Yun; Favret, Fabrice; Richalet, Jean-Paul; Ge, Ri-Li

    2013-07-01

    The aim of this study was to assess maximal heart rate (HR) and heart morphological changes in high altitude living "plateau pikas" and rats bred at 2260 m. Rats and pikas were catheterized to measure HR (2260 m). After baseline measurements, 1 mg/kg of atropine (AT) and increasing doses of isoproterenol (IsoP) (0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μg kg) were injected into animals. Right (RV) and left ventricles (LV) were removed to calculate Fulton's ratio (LV + septum (S) to RV weights) and to assess mRNA expression level of β1- and β2-adrenoceptors, muscarinic m1 and m2 receptors, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Resting HR was significantly lower in rats than in pikas and increased after AT injection only in rats. IsoP injection induced a significant increase in HR in rat for all doses, which was systematically greater than in pikas. In pikas HR was slightly increased only after the two highest concentrations of IsoP. Fulton's ratio was greater in rats compared with pikas but the LV + S adjusted for body weight was greater in pikas. Pikas showed lower β1-adrenoceptors and muscarinic m2 receptors mRNA expression but larger VEGF mRNA expression than rats both in RV and LV. These results suggest that pikas have a lower maximal HR compared with rats certainly due to a decrease in β-adrenergic and muscarinic receptors mRNA expression. However, the LV hypertrophy probably led to an increase in stroke volume to maintain cardiac output in response to the cold and hypoxic environment. PMID:24303117

  3. Morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) (Diptera: Hypodermatinae) from wild plateau pikas(Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yong; Li, Wei; Duo, Hong; Guo, Zhihong; Dang, Zhisheng; Shen, Xiuying; Peng, Mao; Zhang, Yanming

    2016-02-01

    The objective of this article was to investigate the morphological and molecular characterization of Oestromyia leporina (Pallas, 1778) from wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in Qinghai province, China. The third-stage larvae of O. leporina were examined by scanning electron microscopy revealing morphology characteristics of the spines on the cephalic, the thoracic segments, the abdominal segments and the spiracular plates. The coding regions of 25 cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes of O. leporina were investigated. Eighty-one variable sites and 21 haplotypes were identified and the nucleotide and haplotype diversities were 0.04456 and 0.9767, respectively, indicating a rich genetic diversity in O. leporina. Phylogenetic analysis utilizing sequences of COI revealed two distinct lineages. These findings revealed ultrastructure and molecular characterization among the O. leporina from plateau pikas in Qinghai province, China and had implications for studying morphological identification, molecular epidemiology and population genetics of O. leporina. PMID:26708934

  4. Mycoplasma lagogenitalium sp. nov., from the preputial smegma of Afghan pikas (Ochotona rufescens rufescens).

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, H; Runge, M; Schmidt, R; Kubo, M; Yamamoto, K; Kirchhoff, H

    1997-10-01

    Organisms with characteristics typical of mycoplasmas were isolated from the preputial smegma of Afghan picas (Ochotona rufescens rufescens). The results of growth inhibition tests, metabolic inhibition tests, and immunobinding assays showed that the isolated strains were identical and that they were distinct from previously described Mycoplasma, Entomoplasma, Mesoplasma, and Acholeplasma species. These organisms represent a new species, for which the name Mycoplasma lagogenitalium is proposed. M. lagogenitalium ferments glucose, does not hydrolyze arginine or urea, reduces tetrazolium chloride, possesses phosphatase activity, does not digest gelatin or casein, and does not produce films or spots. It lyses sheep erythrocytes and does not adsorb sheep, rabbit, or horse erythrocytes. Cholesterol or serum is required for growth. The growth temperature is 37 degrees C. The guanine-plus-cytosine content of the DNA is 23.0 +/- 1.0 mol%. The type strain is M. lagogenitalium 12MS (= ATCC 700289T). PMID:9336930

  5. Effect of the disturbance of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) on soil water and soil temperature characteristics at Alpine Meadows in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Yujun; Wu, Yinan; Wang, Xiaoxing; Li, Xiaoyan

    2015-04-01

    The plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) is one of main small rodents at Alpine Meadows in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and has a positive effect on the maintenance of regional soil biodiversity. But, its excessive disturbance was also known as an important factor that leads to the vegetation degradation. Based on the field experiment, sampling analysis and continuous observation, this study compared the difference of soil water and soil temperature characteristics at different disturbance stages, which included native grassland, new mound, old mound and bare land formed by old mound. The findings of this study revealed that, after the disturbance of plateau pika, the soil bulk density at the shallow layer (0-20 cm) increased with the time-lapse. At the 20-30 cm depth, the soil bulk density of old mound, bare land and native grassland were similar, and were all higher than that of new mound. At the deep layer (under 30 cm), the soil bulk density had no significant difference between four stages, which showed that the disturbance of plateau pika mainly distributed within the shallow 30 cm depth. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivity of new mound was higher than old mound, bare soil and native grassland, with the multiple of 3.08-8.71, 4.63-16.27 and 3.70-15.25, respectively, and led to the obvious variance of soil water change for different types of land surface. After the precipitation, the soil water content change of new mound and old mound were more significant than that of bare land and native grassland. Because of the disturbance of plateau pika, the soil temperature characteristics changed, too. The heat conductivity rate of new mound and old mound decreased, significantly, and their daily temperature difference were obvious higher than bare land and native grassland. These results were essential for the study of vegetation recovery after the disturbance of plateau pika.

  6. WHY MUSEUMS MATTER: A TALE OF PINWORMS (OXYUROIDEA: HETEROXYNEMATIDAE) AMONG PIKAS (OCHOTONA PRINCEPS AND O. COLLARIS) IN THE AMERICAN WEST.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Permanent and well supported museum collections provide a solid foundation for the process of systematics research through creation of an empirical record which validates our understanding of the biosphere. We explore the role of museums in ongoing studies of the complex helminth fauna characterist...

  7. American pika in a low-elevation lava landscape: expanding the known distribution of a temperature-sensitive species

    PubMed Central

    Shinderman, Matt

    2015-01-01

    In 2010, the American pika (Ochotona princeps fenisex) was denied federal protection based on limited evidence of persistence in low-elevation environments. Studies in nonalpine areas have been limited to relatively few environments, and it is unclear whether patterns observed elsewhere (e.g., Bodie, CA) represent other nonalpine habitats. This study was designed to establish pika presence in a new location, determine distribution within the surveyed area, and evaluate influences of elevation, vegetation, lava complexity, and distance to habitat edge on pika site occupancy. In 2011 and 2012, we conducted surveys for American pika on four distinct subalpine lava flows of Newberry National Volcanic Monument, Oregon, USA. Field surveys were conducted at predetermined locations within lava flows via silent observation and active searching for pika sign. Site habitat characteristics were included as predictors of occupancy in multinomial regression models. Above and belowground temperatures were recorded at a subsample of pika detection sites. Pika were detected in 26% (2011) and 19% (2012) of survey plots. Seventy-four pika were detected outside survey plot boundaries. Lava complexity was the strongest predictor of pika occurrence, where pika were up to seven times more likely to occur in the most complicated lava formations. Pika were two times more likely to occur with increasing elevation, although they were found at all elevations in the study area. This study expands the known distribution of the species and provides additional evidence for persistence in nonalpine habitats. Results partially support the predictive occupancy model developed for pika at Craters of the Moon National Monument, another lava environment. Characteristics of the lava environment clearly influence pika site occupancy, but habitat variables reported as important in other studies were inconclusive here. Further work is needed to gain a better understanding of the species’ current

  8. Colonization from divergent ancestors: glaciation signatures on contemporary patterns of genomic variation in Collared Pikas (Ochotona collaris).

    PubMed

    Lanier, Hayley C; Massatti, Rob; He, Qixin; Olson, Link E; Knowles, L Lacey

    2015-07-01

    Identifying the genetic structure of a species and the factors that drive it is an important first step in modern population management, in part because populations evolving from separate ancestral sources may possess potentially different characteristics. This is especially true for climate-sensitive species such as pikas, where the delimitation of distinct genetic units and the characterization of population responses to contemporary and historical environmental pressures are of particular interest. We combined a restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADSeq) data set containing 4156 single nucleotide polymorphisms with ecological niche models (ENMs) of present and past habitat suitability to characterize population composition and evaluate the effects of historical range shifts, contemporary climates and landscape factors on gene flow in Collared Pikas, which are found in Alaska and adjacent regions of northwestern Canada and are the lesser-studied of North America's two pika species. The results suggest that contemporary environmental factors contribute little to current population connectivity. Instead, genetic diversity is strongly shaped by the presence of three ancestral lineages isolated during the Pleistocene (~148 and 52 kya). Based on ENMs and genetic data, populations originating from a northern refugium experienced longer-term stability, whereas both southern lineages underwent population expansion - contradicting the southern stability and northern expansion patterns seen in many other taxa. Current populations are comparable with respect to generally low diversity within populations and little-to-no recent admixture. The predominance of divergent histories structuring populations implies that if we are to understand and manage pika populations, we must specifically assess and accurately account for the forces underlying genetic similarity. PMID:26096099

  9. An Intriguing Shift Occurs in the Novel Protein Phosphatase 1 Binding Partner, TCTEX1D4: Evidence of Positive Selection in a Pika Model

    PubMed Central

    Korrodi-Gregório, Luís; Margarida Lopes, Ana; Esteves, Sara L. C.; Afonso, Sandra; Lemos de Matos, Ana; Lissovsky, Andrey A.; da Cruz e Silva, Odete A. B.; Esteves, Pedro José; Fardilha, Margarida

    2013-01-01

    T-complex testis expressed protein 1 domain containing 4 (TCTEX1D4) contains the canonical phosphoprotein phosphatase 1 (PPP1) binding motif, composed by the amino acid sequence RVSF. We identified and validated the binding of TCTEX1D4 to PPP1 and demonstrated that indeed this protein is a novel PPP1 interacting protein. Analyses of twenty-one mammalian species available in public databases and seven Lagomorpha sequences obtained in this work showed that the PPP1 binding motif 90RVSF93 is present in all of them and is flanked by a palindromic sequence, PLGS, except in three species of pikas (Ochotona princeps, O. dauurica and O. pusilla). Furthermore, for the Ochotona species an extra glycosylation site, motif 96NLS98, and the loss of the palindromic sequence were observed. Comparison with other lagomorphs suggests that this event happened before the Ochotona radiation. The dN/dS for the sequence region comprising the PPP1 binding motif and the flanking palindrome highly supports the hypothesis that for Ochotona species this region has been evolving under positive selection. In addition, mutational screening shows that the ability of pikas TCTEX1D4 to bind to PPP1 is maintained, although the PPP1 binding motif is disrupted, and the N- and C-terminal surrounding residues are also abrogated. These observations suggest pika as an ideal model to study novel PPP1 complexes regulatory mechanisms. PMID:24130861

  10. An eco-evolutionary IBM improves predictions of future geneticconnectivity for American Pikas (Ochotona princeps) in Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the face of rapid, contemporary climate change, conservationbiologists are relying heavily on species distribution models (SDMs)to predict shifting occupancy and distribution patterns in responseto future conditions. These models are critical tools for assessingvulnerability t...

  11. Sex differences in the ontogeny of social behavior in pikas: possible relationships to dispersal and territoriality

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    1984-01-01

    A laboratory study on the ontogeny of social behavior in pikas (Ochotona princeps), an alpine lagomorph, was conducted to determine the role of early relationships between adult females and young and among siblings in the development of territorial and dispersal behaviors. Sex differences during development were examined because field studies have reported greater dispersal distances in young females than young males. At birth, females were significantly heavier than males. There were no sex differences in nursing frequency until after the 2nd week of age, when males initiated more nursing attempts than females. By the end of the weaning period (weeks 5 and 6), adult females became non-interactive with young, but aggression of young toward littermates and the mother increased until the eighth week. At this time, young males outweighed their sibling females. Young were dominant over their mothers by the age of 5 weeks, and young males were dominant over their sibling females. Sex differences were observed in aggression, scent-marking, exploratory activity, and submissive vocalizations, with higher rates in young males, except for submissive vocalizations, which were higher in females (Table 2). Vocalizations and scent-marking behavior increased over time, and were positively correlated with interaction rates. These data support the hypothesis that female young disperse farther than male young largely as the result of unsuccessful competition with male siblings for available territories close to the birthplace. A dispersal strategy for pikas is proposed.

  12. The idiosyncrasies of place: geographic variation in the climate-distribution relationships of the American pika.

    PubMed

    Jeffress, Mackenzie R; Rodhouse, Thomas J; Ray, Chris; Wolff, Susan; Epps, Clinton W

    2013-06-01

    Although climate acts as a fundamental constraint on the distribution of organisms, understanding how this relationship between climate and distribution varies over a species' range is critical for addressing the potential impacts of accelerated climate change on biodiversity. Bioclimatic niche models provide compelling evidence that many species will experience range shifts under scenarios of global change, yet these broad, macroecological perspectives lack specificity at local scales, where unique combinations of environment, biota, and history conspire against generalizations. We explored how these idiosyncrasies of place affect the climate-distribution relationship of the American pika (Ochotona princeps) by replicating intensive field surveys across bioclimatic gradients in eight U.S. national parks. At macroecological scales, the importance of climate as a constraint on pika distribution appears unequivocal; forecasts suggest that the species' range will contract sharply in coming decades. However, the species persists outside of its modeled bioclimatic envelope in many locations, fueling uncertainty and debate over its conservation status. Using a Bayesian hierarchical approach, we modeled variation in local patterns of pika distribution along topographic position, vegetation cover, elevation, temperature, and precipitation gradients in each park landscape. We also accounted for annual turnover in site occupancy probabilities. Topographic position and vegetation cover influenced occurrence in all parks. After accounting for these factors, pika occurrence varied widely among parks along bioclimatic gradients. Precipitation by itself was not a particularly influential predictor. However, measures of heat stress appeared most influential in the driest parks, suggesting an interaction between the strength of climate effects and the position of parks along precipitation gradients. The combination of high elevation, cold temperatures, and high precipitation

  13. Pika Gut May Select for Rare but Diverse Environmental Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Yao, Minjie; Li, Jiabao; Zhang, Shiheng; Wirth, Stephan; Cao, Weidong; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    The composition of the mammalian gut bacterial communities can be influenced by the introduction of environmental bacteria in their respective habitats. However, there are no extensive studies examining the interactions between environmental bacteriome and gut bacteriome in wild mammals. Here, we explored the relationship between the gut bacterial communities of pika (Ochotona spp.) and the related environmental bacteria across host species and altitudinal sites using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Plateau pikas (O. curzoniae) and Daurian pikas (O. daurica) were sampled at five different sites, and plant and soil samples were collected at each site as well. Our data indicated that Plateau pikas and Daurian pikas had distinct bacterial communities. The pika, plant and soil bacterial communities were also distinct. Very little overlap occurred in the pika core bacteria and the most abundant environmental bacteria. The shared OTUs between pikas and environments were present in the environment at relatively low abundance, whereas they were affiliated with diverse bacterial taxa. These results suggested that the pika gut may mainly select for low-abundance but diverse environmental bacteria in a host species-specific manner. PMID:27582734

  14. Pika Gut May Select for Rare but Diverse Environmental Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Yao, Minjie; Li, Jiabao; Zhang, Shiheng; Wirth, Stephan; Cao, Weidong; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    The composition of the mammalian gut bacterial communities can be influenced by the introduction of environmental bacteria in their respective habitats. However, there are no extensive studies examining the interactions between environmental bacteriome and gut bacteriome in wild mammals. Here, we explored the relationship between the gut bacterial communities of pika (Ochotona spp.) and the related environmental bacteria across host species and altitudinal sites using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Plateau pikas (O. curzoniae) and Daurian pikas (O. daurica) were sampled at five different sites, and plant and soil samples were collected at each site as well. Our data indicated that Plateau pikas and Daurian pikas had distinct bacterial communities. The pika, plant and soil bacterial communities were also distinct. Very little overlap occurred in the pika core bacteria and the most abundant environmental bacteria. The shared OTUs between pikas and environments were present in the environment at relatively low abundance, whereas they were affiliated with diverse bacterial taxa. These results suggested that the pika gut may mainly select for low-abundance but diverse environmental bacteria in a host species-specific manner. PMID:27582734

  15. [Impacts of Ochotona pallasi disturbance on alpine grassland community characteristics].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guo-qin; Li, Guang-yong; Ma, Wen-hu; Zhao, Dian-zhi; Li, Xiao-yan

    2013-08-01

    Plateau pika is the main fossorial mammal in the alpine grassland in Qinghai Lake Watershed of Northwest China. Based on the field investigation data from 18 alpine grassland quadrats in the Watershed, and by using redundancy analysis (RDA) and the surface fitting offered by 'R-Vegan' , the disturbance intensity of plateau pika (Ochotona pallasi) was classified as four levels. In order to explore the impacts of plateau pika disturbance on the alpine grassland ecosystem and its grazing quality, the community characteristics under different disturbance intensities by plateau pika were analyzed, and a conceptual model about the alpine grassland community succession was proposed. The results showed that with the increase of the disturbance intensity, the dominant species changed from Juncus roemerianus to Poa pratensis and Laux maritima. When the disturbance was small, the community had high quantitative values of coverage, aboveground biomass, biodiversity, and species richness, but the proportion of weeds was also high. When the disturbance was large, the quantitative values were the lowest, while the proportion of weeds was the highest. When the disturbance was moderate, the community had relatively high quantitative values, and the proportion of grasses and sedges was the highest. It was concluded that the community' s characteristic values under low plateau pika disturbance intensity were high but the grazing quality was low, while high disturbance intensity resulted in the grassland degradation. Therefore, the disturbance intensity in the threshold could maintain the stability of alpine grassland ecosystem and improve its grazing quality. PMID:24380328

  16. Collared Pikas as a Model Species for Studying the Biological Impacts of Climate Change in Alpine Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Donovan, K. S.; Hik, D.

    2007-12-01

    Climate models suggest that global temperatures could rise between 1.4° C and 5.8° C over the next 100 years, and that these effects will be most extreme in northern mountain regions. Pikas (Ochotona, Lagomorpha) are widespread small mammals in the alpine environments of Asia and North America. They are cold adapted and consequently sensitive to warming global temperatures. Considerable research has shown a poleward migration of many species as a result of rising temperatures, but high alpine dwelling species, like the pika, may already be trapped at the top of mountains. Little is known about the threshold values of environmental conditions under which pikas either persist or disappear. Collared pikas (Ochotona collaris) inhabit alpine meadows in the Kluane region of the southwest Yukon. Sites located along an environmental gradient from nunataks in the St Elias Icefields to the Ruby Range Mountains have experienced different climatic and glacial histories. Using baseline data from the long-term study in the Ruby Ranges, we report on differences in the ecological and climatic conditions of sites along this gradient and how this translates into differences in the behavioural and population ecology of the pikas living there. By looking at these differences we can infer the potential impacts of a warming climate, and the subsequent ecological changes on collared pika populations in order to clarify the causes of local extinction and allow us to develop models for predicting ecological responses as conditions change under future climate regimes.

  17. Effect of Hypoxia on Ldh-c Expression in Somatic Cells of Plateau Pika.

    PubMed

    Wei, Dengbang; Wei, Linna; Li, Xiao; Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian

    2016-01-01

    Sperm specific lactate dehydrogenases (LDH-C₄) is a lactate dehydrogenase that catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. In mammals, Ldh-c was originally thought to be expressed only in testes and spermatozoa. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), which belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family, is a hypoxia-tolerant mammal living 3000-5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an environment which is strongly hypoxic. Ldh-c is expressed not only in testes and sperm, but also in the somatic tissues of plateau pika. To reveal the effect of hypoxia on pika Ldh-c expression, we investigated the mRNA and protein level of Ldh-c as well as the biochemical index of anaerobic glycolysis in pika somatic tissues at the altitudes of 2200 m, 3200 m and 3900 m. Our results showed that mRNA and protein expression levels of Ldh-c in the tissues of pika's heart, liver, brain and skeletal muscle were increased significantly from 2200 m to 3200 m, but had no difference from 3200 m to 3900 m; the activities of LDH and the contents of lactate showed no difference from 2200 m to 3200 m, but were increased significantly from 3200 m to 3900 m. Hypoxia up-regulated and maintained the expression levels of Ldh-c in the pika somatic cells. Under the hypoxia condition, plateau pikas increased anaerobic glycolysis in somatic cells by LDH-C₄, and that may have reduced their dependence on oxygen and enhanced their adaptation to the hypoxic environment. PMID:27490559

  18. After the frass: foraging pikas select patches previously grazed by caterpillars.

    PubMed

    Barrio, Isabel C; Hik, David S; Peck, Kristen; Bueno, C Guillermo

    2013-06-23

    Interactions among herbivores can shape the structure of their communities and drive their dynamics. However, detecting herbivore interactions can be challenging when they are deferred in space or time. Moreover, interactions among distantly related groups of herbivores, such as vertebrates and invertebrates, are poorly understood. We investigated the effect of invertebrate herbivory on the subsequent foraging choices of a small alpine-dwelling vertebrate, the collared pika (Ochotona collaris). We carried out a field experiment within pika territories, by presenting them with a choice of foraging sites following manipulation of invertebrate (caterpillar) herbivory. Pikas actively selected areas with increased, recent invertebrate herbivory. While the underlying mechanisms behind this interaction remain unknown, our results demonstrate a positive effect of invertebrate herbivores on subsequent vertebrate foraging preferences for the first time. Even among distantly related taxa, such interactions where one herbivore is cueing on the foraging of another, could drive the creation of herbivory hotspots, with cascading consequences for ecosystem processes. PMID:23616644

  19. Effect of Hypoxia on Ldh-c Expression in Somatic Cells of Plateau Pika

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Dengbang; Wei, Linna; Li, Xiao; Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian

    2016-01-01

    Sperm specific lactate dehydrogenases (LDH-C4) is a lactate dehydrogenase that catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. In mammals, Ldh-c was originally thought to be expressed only in testes and spermatozoa. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), which belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family, is a hypoxia-tolerant mammal living 3000–5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an environment which is strongly hypoxic. Ldh-c is expressed not only in testes and sperm, but also in the somatic tissues of plateau pika. To reveal the effect of hypoxia on pika Ldh-c expression, we investigated the mRNA and protein level of Ldh-c as well as the biochemical index of anaerobic glycolysis in pika somatic tissues at the altitudes of 2200 m, 3200 m and 3900 m. Our results showed that mRNA and protein expression levels of Ldh-c in the tissues of pika’s heart, liver, brain and skeletal muscle were increased significantly from 2200 m to 3200 m, but had no difference from 3200 m to 3900 m; the activities of LDH and the contents of lactate showed no difference from 2200 m to 3200 m, but were increased significantly from 3200 m to 3900 m. Hypoxia up-regulated and maintained the expression levels of Ldh-c in the pika somatic cells. Under the hypoxia condition, plateau pikas increased anaerobic glycolysis in somatic cells by LDH-C4, and that may have reduced their dependence on oxygen and enhanced their adaptation to the hypoxic environment. PMID:27490559

  20. A random forest approach for predicting the presence of Echinococcus multilocularis intermediate host Ochotona spp. presence in relation to landscape characteristics in western China

    PubMed Central

    Marston, Christopher G.; Danson, F. Mark; Armitage, Richard P.; Giraudoux, Patrick; Pleydell, David R.J.; Wang, Qian; Qui, Jiamin; Craig, Philip S.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding distribution patterns of hosts implicated in the transmission of zoonotic disease remains a key goal of parasitology. Here, random forests are employed to model spatial patterns of the presence of the plateau pika (Ochotona spp.) small mammal intermediate host for the parasitic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis which is responsible for a significant burden of human zoonoses in western China. Landsat ETM+ satellite imagery and digital elevation model data were utilized to generate quantified measures of environmental characteristics across a study area in Sichuan Province, China. Land cover maps were generated identifying the distribution of specific land cover types, with landscape metrics employed to describe the spatial organisation of land cover patches. Random forests were used to model spatial patterns of Ochotona spp. presence, enabling the relative importance of the environmental characteristics in relation to Ochotona spp. presence to be ranked. An index of habitat aggregation was identified as the most important variable in influencing Ochotona spp. presence, with area of degraded grassland the most important land cover class variable. 71% of the variance in Ochotona spp. presence was explained, with a 90.98% accuracy rate as determined by ‘out-of-bag’ error assessment. Identification of the environmental characteristics influencing Ochotona spp. presence enables us to better understand distribution patterns of hosts implicated in the transmission of Em. The predictive mapping of this Em host enables the identification of human populations at increased risk of infection, enabling preventative strategies to be adopted. PMID:25386042

  1. A random forest approach for predicting the presence of Echinococcus multilocularis intermediate host Ochotona spp. presence in relation to landscape characteristics in western China.

    PubMed

    Marston, Christopher G; Danson, F Mark; Armitage, Richard P; Giraudoux, Patrick; Pleydell, David R J; Wang, Qian; Qui, Jiamin; Craig, Philip S

    2014-12-01

    Understanding distribution patterns of hosts implicated in the transmission of zoonotic disease remains a key goal of parasitology. Here, random forests are employed to model spatial patterns of the presence of the plateau pika (Ochotona spp.) small mammal intermediate host for the parasitic tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis which is responsible for a significant burden of human zoonoses in western China. Landsat ETM+ satellite imagery and digital elevation model data were utilized to generate quantified measures of environmental characteristics across a study area in Sichuan Province, China. Land cover maps were generated identifying the distribution of specific land cover types, with landscape metrics employed to describe the spatial organisation of land cover patches. Random forests were used to model spatial patterns of Ochotona spp. presence, enabling the relative importance of the environmental characteristics in relation to Ochotona spp. presence to be ranked. An index of habitat aggregation was identified as the most important variable in influencing Ochotona spp. presence, with area of degraded grassland the most important land cover class variable. 71% of the variance in Ochotona spp. presence was explained, with a 90.98% accuracy rate as determined by 'out-of-bag' error assessment. Identification of the environmental characteristics influencing Ochotona spp. presence enables us to better understand distribution patterns of hosts implicated in the transmission of Em. The predictive mapping of this Em host enables the identification of human populations at increased risk of infection, enabling preventative strategies to be adopted. PMID:25386042

  2. Testis-Specific Lactate Dehydrogenase (LDH-C4) in Skeletal Muscle Enhances a Pika's Sprint-Running Capacity in Hypoxic Environment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Wei, Lian; Wei, Dengbang; Li, Xiao; Xu, Lina; Wei, Linna

    2015-08-01

    LDH-C4 is a lactate dehydrogenase that catalyzes the conversion of pyruvate to lactate. In mammals, ldh-c was originally thought to be expressed only in testis and spermatozoa. Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae), which belongs to the genus Ochotona of the Ochotonidea family, is a hypoxia tolerant mammal living 3000-5000 m above sea level on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, an environment which is strongly hypoxic. Ldh-c is expressed not only in testis and sperm but also in somatic tissues of plateau pika. In this study, the effects of N-propyl oxamate and N-isopropyl oxamate on LDH isozyme kinetics were compared to screens for a selective inhibitor of LDH-C4. To reveal the role and physiological mechanism of LDH-C4 in skeletal muscle of plateau pika, we investigated the effect of N-isopropyl oxamate on the pika exercise tolerance as well as the physiological mechanism. Our results show that Ki of N-propyl oxamate and N-isopropyl oxamate for LDH-A4, LDH-B4, and LDH-C4 were 0.094 mmol/L and 0.462 mmol/L, 0.119 mmol/L and 0.248 mmol/L, and 0.015 mmol/L and 0.013 mmol/L, respectively. N-isopropyl oxamate is a powerful selective inhibitor of plateau pika LDH-C4. In our exercise tolerance experiment, groups treated with inhibitors had significantly lower swimming times than the uninhibited control group. The inhibition rates of LDH, LD, and ATP were 37.12%, 66.27%, and 32.42%, respectively. Our results suggested that ldh-c is expressed in the skeletal muscle of plateau pika, and at least 32.42% of ATP in the skeletal muscle is catalyzed by LDH-C4 by anaerobic glycolysis. This suggests that pika has reduced dependence on oxygen and enhanced adaptation to hypoxic environment due to increased anaerobic glycolysis by LDH-C4 in skeletal muscle. LDH-C4 in plateau pika plays the crucial role in anaerobic glycolysis and generates ATP rapidly since this is the role of LDH-A4 in most species on plain land, which provide evidence that the native humans and animals in Qinghai-Tibet plateau

  3. Diet Diversity Is Associated with Beta but not Alpha Diversity of Pika Gut Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Beasley, DeAnna E; Heděnec, Petr; Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Shiheng; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Wild mammals often consume different food sources as they become geographical available. This change in diet composition is likely to influence the gut microbial community, yet it remains unclear what the relationship looks like-particularly in small herbivores-under natural conditions. We used DNA sequencing approaches to characterize the diet composition and gut microbial community of wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) collected from three altitudes. We tested if diet and gut microbiota composition changes across altitudes, and the relationship between diet diversity and gut microbiota diversity. Our results showed that altitude significantly influences the composition of diet and gut microbial communities. Notably, the alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed OTUs) of individual diet was not significantly correlated with that of gut microbiota, whereas the beta diversity (Jaccard and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity) of diet was positively correlated with that of gut microbiota. Our study is the first time to highlight the relationship between diet and gut microbiota composition in wild pikas on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It suggests that the species richness within individual gut microbiota does not linearly increase with diet diversity, whereas those individuals that are more similar in diet composition harbor more similar gut microbiota. PMID:27512391

  4. Diet Diversity Is Associated with Beta but not Alpha Diversity of Pika Gut Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huan; Li, Tongtong; Beasley, DeAnna E.; Heděnec, Petr; Xiao, Zhishu; Zhang, Shiheng; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Wild mammals often consume different food sources as they become geographical available. This change in diet composition is likely to influence the gut microbial community, yet it remains unclear what the relationship looks like—particularly in small herbivores—under natural conditions. We used DNA sequencing approaches to characterize the diet composition and gut microbial community of wild plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) collected from three altitudes. We tested if diet and gut microbiota composition changes across altitudes, and the relationship between diet diversity and gut microbiota diversity. Our results showed that altitude significantly influences the composition of diet and gut microbial communities. Notably, the alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed OTUs) of individual diet was not significantly correlated with that of gut microbiota, whereas the beta diversity (Jaccard and Bray-Curtis dissimilarity) of diet was positively correlated with that of gut microbiota. Our study is the first time to highlight the relationship between diet and gut microbiota composition in wild pikas on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It suggests that the species richness within individual gut microbiota does not linearly increase with diet diversity, whereas those individuals that are more similar in diet composition harbor more similar gut microbiota. PMID:27512391

  5. Pika Population Density Is Associated with the Composition and Diversity of Gut Microbiota

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huan; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Tongtong; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Host population density is positively associated with the strength of social interactions or the frequency of physical contacts, and thus potentially influences microbial transmission among individuals. However, the relationship between host density and gut microbiota remains unknown. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in wild experimental fields with different host population densities. The abundance of some gut microbes significantly correlated with host density, such as Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Staphylococcaceae. Intriguingly, host density was positively correlated with alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed species) of gut microbial communities. The inter-individual gut microbiota within high-density groups were more similar to each other than those of low-density groups. Host density significantly explained the variations in the gut microbiota, even after controlling sex, weight, diet and geographical locations. Based on the PICRUSt metagenome prediction, positive correlations were observed between host density and the relative abundances of 12 gene functions involved in cellular processes, environmental information processing and metabolism. These results indicate the importance of host density as a factor in shaping gut microbial composition and diversity in plateau pikas, and may further help us understand the social transmission of gut microbiota. PMID:27242770

  6. Pika Population Density Is Associated with the Composition and Diversity of Gut Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Li, Huan; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Tongtong; Li, Jiabao; Lin, Qiang; Li, Xiangzhen

    2016-01-01

    Host population density is positively associated with the strength of social interactions or the frequency of physical contacts, and thus potentially influences microbial transmission among individuals. However, the relationship between host density and gut microbiota remains unknown. Here, we characterized the gut microbiota of plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae) in wild experimental fields with different host population densities. The abundance of some gut microbes significantly correlated with host density, such as Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Staphylococcaceae. Intriguingly, host density was positively correlated with alpha diversity (Shannon diversity and observed species) of gut microbial communities. The inter-individual gut microbiota within high-density groups were more similar to each other than those of low-density groups. Host density significantly explained the variations in the gut microbiota, even after controlling sex, weight, diet and geographical locations. Based on the PICRUSt metagenome prediction, positive correlations were observed between host density and the relative abundances of 12 gene functions involved in cellular processes, environmental information processing and metabolism. These results indicate the importance of host density as a factor in shaping gut microbial composition and diversity in plateau pikas, and may further help us understand the social transmission of gut microbiota. PMID:27242770

  7. Herbivory and Competition of Tibetan Steppe Vegetation in Winter Pasture: Effects of Livestock Exclosure and Plateau Pika Reduction

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Richard B.; Wenying, Wang; Badinqiuying; Smith, Andrew T.

    2015-01-01

    Rangeland degradation has been identified as a serious concern in alpine regions of western China on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP). Numerous government-sponsored programs have been initiated, including many that feature long-term grazing prohibitions and some that call for eliminating pastoralism altogether. As well, government programs have long favored eliminating plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae), assumed to contribute to degraded conditions. However, vegetation on the QTP evolved in the presence of herbivory, suggesting that deleterious effects from grazing are, to some extent, compensated for by reduced plant-plant competition. We examined the dynamics of common steppe ecosystem species as well as physical indicators of rangeland stress by excluding livestock and reducing pika abundance on experimental plots, and following responses for 4 years. We established 12 fenced livestock exclosures within pastures grazed during winter by local pastoralists, and removed pikas on half of these. We established paired, permanent vegetation plots within and outside exclosures and measured indices of erosion and biomass of common plant species. We observed modest restoration of physical site conditions (reduced bare soil, erosion, greater vegetation cover) with both livestock exclusion and pika reduction. As expected in areas protected from grazing, we observed a reduction in annual productivity of plant species avoided by livestock and assumed to compete poorly when protected from grazing. Contrary to expectation, we observed similar reductions in annual productivity among palatable, perennial graminoids under livestock exclusion. The dominant grass, Stipa purpurea, displayed evidence of density-dependent growth, suggesting that intra-specific competition exerted a regulatory effect on annual production in the absence of grazing. Complete grazing bans on winter pastures in steppe habitats on the QTP may assist in the recovery of highly eroded pastures, but may not

  8. Herbivory and Competition of Tibetan Steppe Vegetation in Winter Pasture: Effects of Livestock Exclosure and Plateau Pika Reduction.

    PubMed

    Harris, Richard B; Wenying, Wang; Badinqiuying; Smith, Andrew T; Bedunah, Donald J

    2015-01-01

    Rangeland degradation has been identified as a serious concern in alpine regions of western China on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau (QTP). Numerous government-sponsored programs have been initiated, including many that feature long-term grazing prohibitions and some that call for eliminating pastoralism altogether. As well, government programs have long favored eliminating plateau pikas (Ochotona curzoniae), assumed to contribute to degraded conditions. However, vegetation on the QTP evolved in the presence of herbivory, suggesting that deleterious effects from grazing are, to some extent, compensated for by reduced plant-plant competition. We examined the dynamics of common steppe ecosystem species as well as physical indicators of rangeland stress by excluding livestock and reducing pika abundance on experimental plots, and following responses for 4 years. We established 12 fenced livestock exclosures within pastures grazed during winter by local pastoralists, and removed pikas on half of these. We established paired, permanent vegetation plots within and outside exclosures and measured indices of erosion and biomass of common plant species. We observed modest restoration of physical site conditions (reduced bare soil, erosion, greater vegetation cover) with both livestock exclusion and pika reduction. As expected in areas protected from grazing, we observed a reduction in annual productivity of plant species avoided by livestock and assumed to compete poorly when protected from grazing. Contrary to expectation, we observed similar reductions in annual productivity among palatable, perennial graminoids under livestock exclusion. The dominant grass, Stipa purpurea, displayed evidence of density-dependent growth, suggesting that intra-specific competition exerted a regulatory effect on annual production in the absence of grazing. Complete grazing bans on winter pastures in steppe habitats on the QTP may assist in the recovery of highly eroded pastures, but may not

  9. How Far into Europe Did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) Go during the Pleistocene? New Evidence from Central Iberia.

    PubMed

    Laplana, César; Sevilla, Paloma; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Baquedano, Enrique; Pérez-González, Alfredo; López-Martínez, Nieves

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe's alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene. PMID:26535576

  10. How Far into Europe Did Pikas (Lagomorpha: Ochotonidae) Go during the Pleistocene? New Evidence from Central Iberia

    PubMed Central

    Laplana, César; Sevilla, Paloma; Arsuaga, Juan Luis; Arriaza, Mari Carmen; Baquedano, Enrique; Pérez-González, Alfredo

    2015-01-01

    This paper reports the first find of pika remains in the Iberian Peninsula, at a site in central Spain. A fragmented mandible of Ochotona cf. pusilla was unearthed from Layer 3 (deposited some 63.4±5.5 ka ago as determined by thermoluminescence) of the Buena Pinta Cave. This record establishes new limits for the genus geographic distribution during the Pleistocene, shifting the previous edge of its known range southwest by some 500 km. It also supports the idea that, even though Europe’s alpine mountain ranges represented a barrier that prevented the dispersal into the south to this and other taxa of small mammals from central and eastern Europe, they were crossed or circumvented at the coldest time intervals of the end of the Middle Pleistocene and of the Late Pleistocene. During those periods both the reduction of the forest cover and the emersion of large areas of the continental shelf due to the drop of the sea level probably provided these species a way to surpass this barrier. The pika mandible was found accompanying the remains of other small mammals adapted to cold climates, indicating the presence of steppe environments in central Iberia during the Late Pleistocene. PMID:26535576

  11. Seed oil of Joannesia princeps improves cutaneous wound closure in experimental mice.

    PubMed

    Donato-Trancoso, Aline; Gonçalves, Lenicio; Monte-Alto-Costa, Andréa; da Silva, Francisco de Assis; Romana-Souza, Bruna

    2014-09-01

    Joannesia princeps (Cotieira) is a well known medicinal plant in Brazil, however, the therapeutic effects of oil obtained from its seeds have still not been demonstrated. The beneficial effects of J. princeps seed oil on cutaneous wound healing on the back of experimental mice were investigated. An excisional lesion in male Swiss mice (n=20 per group) was topically treated with mineral oil or J. princeps seed oil once a day beginning on the day of lesion until the third day after wounding. Animals were killed and lesions collected after 14 days. Murine skin fibroblast cultures were treated with J. princeps seed oil and fibroblast activity was evaluated. In the in vivo assay, J. princeps seed oil increased wound contraction and migratory tongue length, but reduced neutrophil and macrophage number when compared with the control group. Blood vessel number, collagen deposition, and VEGF levels were increased in treated lesions when compared with control lesions. However, J. princeps seed oil reduced myofibroblast density and carbonyl protein levels when compared with the control group. In the in vitro assay, treatment with J. princeps seed oil increased fibroblast migration and proliferation, but reduced myofibroblastic differentiation in vitro. In conclusion, J. princeps seed oil accelerates wound closure increasing angiogenesis, keratinocyte migration, and fibroblast activity while reducing inflammatory response and oxidative damage. PMID:25053454

  12. Genetic characterization of Toxoplasma gondii from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The distribution of genetic diversity of Toxoplasma gondii in wildlife is of interest to understand the transmission of this parasite in the environment. Limited information on T. gondii genotypes has been reported in wildlife in China. The objective of this study was to carry out the genetic characterization of T. gondii isolates from wild animals on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Methods Using PCR and multilocous polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) technology, we detected genetic diversity of T. gondii isolates from Qinghai vole, Plateau pika and Tibetan ground-tit in these regions. Results In total, 183 brain tissues of different wild animals, including 48 Qinghai vole (Microtus fuscus), 101 Plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae) and 34 Tibetan ground-tit (Pseudopodoces humilis), were tested for T. gondii infection. 11 of these were found to be positive for the T. gondii B1 gene by PCR amplification. These positive DNA samples were typed at 10 genetic markers, including 9 nuclear loci (SAG1, 5’-and 3’-SAG2, alternative SAG2, BTUB, GRA6, L358, PK1, c22-8, c29-2), and an apicoplast locus Apico. Six were successfully genotyped at eight or more genetic loci, and were grouped to three distinct genotypes. Four samples belonged to ToxoDB Genotype #10 and the other two samples were identified as two new genotypes (http://toxodb.org/toxo/). Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first report of genetic typing of T. gondii isolates in wildlife on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China. The results show that there is a potential risk for the transmission of this parasite through the wildlife in this region. PMID:24192458

  13. The link between independent acquisition of intracellular gamma-endosymbionts and concerted evolution in Tremblaya princeps.

    PubMed

    López-Madrigal, Sergio; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés; Gil, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Many insect species establish mutualistic symbiosis with intracellular bacteria that complement their unbalanced diets. The betaproteobacterium "Candidatus Tremblaya" maintains an ancient symbiosis with mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), which are classified in subfamilies Phenacoccinae and Pseudococcinae. Most Phenacoccinae mealybugs have "Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola" as their unique endosymbiont, while most Pseudococcinae mealybugs show a nested symbiosis (a bacterial symbiont placed inside another one) where every "Candidatus Tremblaya princeps" cell harbors several cells of a gammaproteobacterium. Genomic characterization of the endosymbiotic consortium from Planococcus citri, composed by "Ca. Tremblaya princeps" and "Candidatus Moranella endobia," unveiled several atypical features of the former's genome, including the concerted evolution of paralogous loci. Its comparison with the genome of "Ca. Tremblaya phenacola" PAVE, single endosymbiont of Phenacoccus avenae, suggests that the atypical reductive evolution of "Ca. Tremblaya princeps" could be linked to the acquisition of "Ca. Moranella endobia," which possess an almost complete set of genes encoding proteins involved in homologous recombination. In order to test this hypothesis, we performed comparative genomics between "Ca. Tremblaya phenacola" and "Ca. Tremblaya princeps" and searched for the co-occurrence of concerted evolution and homologous recombination genes in endosymbiotic consortia from four unexplored mealybug species, Dysmicoccus boninsis, Planococcus ficus, Pseudococcus longispinus, and Pseudococcus viburni. Our results support a link between concerted evolution and nested endosymbiosis. PMID:26161080

  14. PIKA as an adjuvant enhances specific humoral and cellular immune responses following the vaccination of mice with HBsAg plus PIKA.

    PubMed

    Shen, Erxia; Li, Li; Li, Lietao; Feng, Lianqiang; Lu, Lin; Yao, Ziliang; Lin, Haixiang; Wu, Changyou

    2007-04-01

    An adjuvant is usually used to enhance the immune response induced by vaccines. The choice of adjuvant or immune enhancer determines the effectiveness of the immune response. Currently, aluminium (Alum, a generic term for salts of aluminium) is the only FDA-approved adjuvant. Alum predominantly induces the differentiation of Th2 cells and thus mediates an antibody immune response. Therefore, there is an urgent need for new adjuvants that enhance not only humoral but also cellular immune responses. In the present study, we demonstrates that PIKA (a stabilized dsRNA) as an adjuvant directly induces the activation and the proliferation of both B and NK cells in vitro. Injection of PIKA into mice results in the production of cytokines in vivo. In addition, the study demonstrates that PIKA promotes the maturation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) including up-regulation of the co-stimulatory molecules CD80, CD86 and CD40, and the induction of cytokines such as IL-12p70, IL-12p40 and IL-6. Importantly, after immunization of mice with HBsAg plus PIKA, the presence of PIKA enhances the titers of HBsAg-specific IgG and HBsAg-specific IFN-gamma production. These results demonstrate that PIKA as an adjuvant can promote both humoral and cellular immune responses. These might have an implication in applying PIKA as an adjuvant to be used in the design and development of both therapeutic and preventive vaccines, and used in the clinical study. PMID:17484805

  15. Characterization of H7N2 Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds and Pikas in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Area.

    PubMed

    Su, Shuo; Xing, Gang; Wang, Junhua; Li, Zengkui; Gu, Jinyan; Yan, Liping; Lei, Jing; Ji, Senlin; Hu, Boli; Gray, Gregory C; Yan, Yan; Zhou, Jiyong

    2016-01-01

    Qinghai Lake is a major migrating bird breeding site that has experienced several recent highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) epizootics. From 2006 to 2009 we studied Qinghai's wild birds and pikas for evidence of AIV infections. We sampled 941 healthy wild animals and isolated seventeen H7N2 viruses (eight from pikas and nine from wild birds). The H7N2 viruses were phylogenetically closely related to each other and to viruses isolated in Hong Kong in the 1970s. We determined the pathogenicity of the H7N2 viruses by infecting chickens and mice. Our results suggest that pikas might play an important role in the ecology of AIVs, acting as intermediate hosts in which viruses become more adapted to mammals. Our findings of AI infection in pikas are consistent with previous observations and raise the possibility that pikas might play a previously unrecognized role in the ecology of AIVs peridomestic aquatic environments. PMID:27553660

  16. Characterization of H7N2 Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds and Pikas in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Area

    PubMed Central

    Su, Shuo; Xing, Gang; Wang, Junhua; Li, Zengkui; Gu, Jinyan; Yan, Liping; Lei, Jing; Ji, Senlin; Hu, Boli; Gray, Gregory C.; Yan, Yan; Zhou, Jiyong

    2016-01-01

    Qinghai Lake is a major migrating bird breeding site that has experienced several recent highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) epizootics. From 2006 to 2009 we studied Qinghai’s wild birds and pikas for evidence of AIV infections. We sampled 941 healthy wild animals and isolated seventeen H7N2 viruses (eight from pikas and nine from wild birds). The H7N2 viruses were phylogenetically closely related to each other and to viruses isolated in Hong Kong in the 1970s. We determined the pathogenicity of the H7N2 viruses by infecting chickens and mice. Our results suggest that pikas might play an important role in the ecology of AIVs, acting as intermediate hosts in which viruses become more adapted to mammals. Our findings of AI infection in pikas are consistent with previous observations and raise the possibility that pikas might play a previously unrecognized role in the ecology of AIVs peridomestic aquatic environments. PMID:27553660

  17. Parasite structure of the Ocean Whitefish Caulolatilus princeps from Baja California, México (East Pacific)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-Santiago, M. A.; Rosales-Casián, J. A.

    2011-06-01

    The metazoan parasite fauna of Caulolatilus princeps from northern Baja California, Mexico is quantitatively described for the first time. Further, the ecological aspects of prevalence, abundance, and intensity of infection are examined through an annual cycle. Six parasite species were recorded; 2 ectoparasites (1 monogenean and 1 copepod) and 4 endoparasites (2 digeneans and 2 nematodes). The digeneans Choanodera caulolatili and Bianium plicitum, the nematodes Anisakis sp. and Hysterothylacium sp., and the copepod Hatschekia sp. set new geographical and host records. The highest values of prevalence and abundance were in Anisakis sp. (prevalence = 93.3%, abundance = 12.4 ± 4.7 ind/host) and in Hysterothylacium sp. (prevalence = 86.6%, abundance = 16.5 ± 3.4 ind/host). The mean intensity of infection showed maximum values in summer (August = 14.2) and minimums in winter (February = 4.2). The mean intensity was higher in Hatschekia sp. (20.3 ± 7.8) followed by Hysterothylacium sp. (18.6 ± 1.4) and Anisakis sp. (12.9 ± 2.2). Larval stages of Anisakis and Hysterothylacium were particularly important due to their high abundance and prevalence, because they represent a human health risk (anisakiasis). In addition, the relationships between the metazoan parasites of C. princeps and host size and weight, fish condition and water temperature (bottom) are discussed.

  18. Enhancement of Cadmium Phytoextraction from Contaminated Soils with Artemisia princeps var. orientalis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ok, Yong Sik

    Phytoextraction using plants to remove toxic metals from the environment is an emerging technology for contaminated land remediation. The maximum efficiency of phytoextraction is controlled by the availability of metals in the soil. Plant availability of soil metals are often manipulated by additions of chelating agents. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to evaluate the effects of chelator and ligands on phytoextraction of Cd from contaminated soils with an endemic plant, Artemisia princeps var. orientalis. Cadmium content in the plant was highest in (NH4)2SO4 treatment, but sulfur powder had little effect on Cd accumulation in the plant due to low buffering capacity of the soil and slow turnover rate of S° to SO42-. Cadmium content in the plant was slightly increased in oxalic acid and EDTA treatments by accompanying pH decrease in the soil. Phytoremediation Index (PI) increased in the order of control < sulfur powder (S°) < oxalic acid < (NH4)2SO4< EDTA treatments. In addition, Cd content in the plant showed the same trend with PI except for EDTA treatment. It could be postulated that EDTA addition should be avoided for the soil with high Cd availability as it might accelerate a continuous leaching of Cd-EDTA complexes from surface to subsoil during the phytoextraction. Overall results indicated that (NH4)2SO4 can be used to enhance Cd accumulation in the Artemisia princeps var. orientalis during phytoextraction.

  19. A Novel HIV-1 Reporter Virus with a Membrane-Bound Gaussia princeps Luciferase

    PubMed Central

    Suree, Nuttee; Koizumi, Naoya; Sahakyan, Anna; Shimizu, Saki; An, Dong Sung

    2014-01-01

    Summary HIV-1 reporter viruses are a critical tool for investigating HIV-1 infection. By having a reporter gene incorporated into the HIV-1 genome, the expressed reporter protein acts as a specific tag, thus enabling specific detection of HIV-1 infected cells. Currently existing HIV-1 reporter viruses utilize reporters for the detection of HIV-1 infected cells by a single assay. A reporter virus enabling the detection of viral particles as well as HIV-1 infected cells by two assays can be more versatile for many applications. In this report, a novel reporter HIV-1 was generated by introducing a membrane-anchored form of the Gaussia princeps luciferase gene (mGluc) upstream of the nef gene in the HIV-1NL4-3 genome using a picornaviral 2A-like sequence. The resulting HIV-1NL4-3mGluc virus expresses Gaussia princeps luciferase efficiently on viral membrane and the cell surface of infected human T cell lines and primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells. This HIV-1 reporter is replication competent and the reporter gene mGluc is expressed during multiple rounds of infection. Importantly, viral particles can be detected by bioluminescence and infected cells can be detected simultaneously by bioluminescence and flow cytometric assays. With the versatility of two sensitive detection methods, this novel luciferase reporter has many applications such as cell-based screening for anti-HIV-1 agents or studies of HIV-1 pathogenicity. PMID:22483780

  20. Role of glutamate and serotonin on the hypoxic ventilatory response in high-altitude-adapted plateau Pika.

    PubMed

    Bai, Zhenzhong; Voituron, Nicolas; Wuren, Tana; Jeton, Florine; Jin, Guoen; Marchant, Dominique; Richalet, Jean-Paul; Ge, Ri-Li; Pichon, Aurélien P

    2015-07-01

    The highland "plateau Pika" is considered to be adapted to chronic hypoxia. We hypothesized that glutamate N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors, nitric oxide (NO) synthase, and serotonin are involved in hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) in Pikas. We tested the effects of NMDA (memantine) and non-NMDA receptors (DNQX) antagonists, NO synthase inhibitor (L-NAME), and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine) on ventilation and HVR in Pikas. Ventilatory parameters were measured before and after drug (or vehicle) injections in conscious Pikas at their natural living altitude (PIO2 86 mmHg) and after a hypoxic challenge (PIO2 57 mmHg, 3 min) to assess the influence of peripheral chemoreceptor on HVR. Minute ventilation (VI) and tidal volume (Vt) increased during hypoxic challenge after vehicle injection, whereas the Ti/Ttot ratio remained unchanged. The increase in VI and Vt observed with vehicle at PIO2-57, when compared with PIO2-86, was inhibited after memantine and fluoxetine injection, whereas the DNQX injection increased HVR. At PIO2-57, L-NAME induced an increase in the Ti/Ttot ratio when compared with vehicle. Therefore, the glutamate through NMDA-R/AMPA receptor bindings and serotonin pathway are implicated at the peripheral chemoreceptor level in HVR in Pikas. However, NO influences the ventilatory pattern of Pikas at their habitual living altitude. PMID:25890014

  1. Reproduction and embryonic development in two species of squaliform sharks, Centrophorus granulosus and Etmopterus princeps: Evidence of matrotrophy?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cotton, Charles F.; Dean Grubbs, R.; Dyb, Jan E.; Fossen, Inge; Musick, John A.

    2015-05-01

    Modes of reproduction and embryonic development vary greatly among the elasmobranchs, and prior studies have suggested that the energetic toll of embryogenesis in lecithotrophic species depletes embryonic organic matter by 20% or more. Matrotrophic species experience a lesser reduction or an increase in organic matter during embryogenesis. To investigate the maternal-embryonic nutritional relationship, we measured changes in organic matter from fertilization to near-parturition in embryos of Centrophorus granulosus and Etmopterus princeps. Embryos of C. granulosus experienced a reduction of 19.5% in organic matter, while E. princeps embryos experienced a reduction of 7.7% in organic matter over the course of embryonic development, suggesting some level of matrotrophy occurs, particularly for the latter species. Uterine villi were present in both species and developed concurrently with the embryos, increasing in length and thickness while becoming progressively vascularized. Embryos of C. granulosus were dissected to track the partitioning of water, organic matter, and inorganic matter to the liver, external yolk sac, internal yolk sac, digestive tract, and evicerated body throughout development. Mating was aseasonal for both species and spatially-mediated segregation by sex and maturity stage was observed. Ovarian cycles were concurrent for C. granulosus and consecutive for E. princeps. Size at maturity for C. granulosus was determined to be 111 cm TL for males and 143 cm TL for females, with an average fecundity of 5.3 embryos (range=4-7). Size at maturity for E. princeps was determined to be 56.5 cm TL for males and 61 cm TL for females north of the Azores and 54 cm TL for males and 69 cm TL for females near the Charlie Gibbs Fracture Zone. Average fecundity was 11.2 embryos (range=7-18) for this species. This is the first reporting of reproductive parameters for these two species, and the information provided will be valuable for informing stock assessment

  2. Changes in the morphology and protein expression of germ cells and Sertoli cells in plateau pikas testes during non-breeding season.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ming; Cao, Guangming; Zhang, Yanming; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Wei; Wan, Xinrong; Li, Yu-Xia; Zhang, Zhibin; Wang, Yan-Ling; Gao, Fei

    2016-01-01

    Plateau pikas are seasonally breeding small herbivores that inhabit the meadow ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Testis regression in plateau pikas begins in early June, and the male pikas are completely infertile, with a dramatically reduced testis size, in late July. In this study, a decreased germ cell number in the testes was first noted in early June. By late June, only Sertoli cells and a small number of spermatogonia remained. Interestingly, large gonocyte-like germ cells were observed in early July. In late July, the number of gonocyte-like cells per tubule increased significantly, and most of the Sertoli cell nuclei moved to and clustered in the center of the seminiferous tubules. The gonocyte-like germ cells and Sertoli cells began to express AP-2γ and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) proteins, which were detected in the germ cells and Sertoli cells of juvenile pikas but not in adult testes. Simultaneously, LC3 puncta dramatically increased in the seminiferous tubules of the pikas' testes during the non-breeding season. Our study found that spermatogonia and Sertoli cells in non-breeding adult pikas morphologically resembled those in juvenile pikas and expressed specific markers, indicating that de-differentiation-like transitions may occur during this process. PMID:26939551

  3. A novel rabies vaccine based-on toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) agonist PIKA adjuvant exhibiting excellent safety and efficacy in animal studies.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi; Zhang, Shoufeng; Li, Wei; Hu, Yuchi; Zhao, Jinyan; Liu, Fang; Lin, Haixiang; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Liliang; Xu, Shu; Hu, Rongliang; Shao, Hui; Li, Lietao

    2016-02-01

    Vaccination alone is not sufficiently effective to protect human from post-exposure rabies virus infection due to delayed generation of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies and weak cellular immunity. Therefore, it is vital to develop safer and more efficacious vaccine against rabies. PIKA, a stabilized chemical analog of double-stranded RNA that interacts with TLR3, was employed as adjuvant of rabies vaccine. The efficacy and safety of PIKA rabies vaccine were evaluated. The results showed that PIKA rabies vaccine enhanced both humoral and cellular immunity. After viral challenge, PIKA rabies vaccine protected 70-80% of animals, while the survival rate of non-adjuvant vaccine group (control) was 20-30%. According to the results of toxicity tests, PIKA and PIKA rabies vaccine are shown to be well tolerated in mice. Thus, this study indicates that PIKA rabies vaccine is an effective and safe vaccine which has the potential to develop next-generation rabies vaccine and encourage the start of clinical studies. PMID:26765968

  4. Critical Analysis of a Social and Scientific Moral Dilemma: Fifth Graders and Veterans Respond to "Hiroshima No Pika."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Storey, Dee

    This document presents results of a survey studying the Japanese picture book, "Hiroshima No Pika." The story aptly captures how a family of three find their lives shattered in a matter of seconds when the atomic bomb is dropped on Hiroshima (Japan) in World War II. Issues presented in the story are: (1) immediate survival in the face of a nuclear…

  5. Changes in the morphology and protein expression of germ cells and Sertoli cells in plateau pikas testes during non-breeding season

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ming; Cao, Guangming; Zhang, Yanming; Qu, Jiapeng; Li, Wei; Wan, Xinrong; Li, Yu-xia; Zhang, Zhibin; Wang, Yan-ling; Gao, Fei

    2016-01-01

    Plateau pikas are seasonally breeding small herbivores that inhabit the meadow ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Testis regression in plateau pikas begins in early June, and the male pikas are completely infertile, with a dramatically reduced testis size, in late July. In this study, a decreased germ cell number in the testes was first noted in early June. By late June, only Sertoli cells and a small number of spermatogonia remained. Interestingly, large gonocyte-like germ cells were observed in early July. In late July, the number of gonocyte-like cells per tubule increased significantly, and most of the Sertoli cell nuclei moved to and clustered in the center of the seminiferous tubules. The gonocyte-like germ cells and Sertoli cells began to express AP-2γ and anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) proteins, which were detected in the germ cells and Sertoli cells of juvenile pikas but not in adult testes. Simultaneously, LC3 puncta dramatically increased in the seminiferous tubules of the pikas’ testes during the non-breeding season. Our study found that spermatogonia and Sertoli cells in non-breeding adult pikas morphologically resembled those in juvenile pikas and expressed specific markers, indicating that de-differentiation-like transitions may occur during this process. PMID:26939551

  6. Too hot to trot? evaluating the effects of wildfire on patterns of occupancy and abundance for a climate-sensitive habitat-specialist

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Varner, Johanna; Lambert, Mallory S.; Horns, Joshua J.; Laverty, Sean; Dizney, Laurie; Beever, Erik; Dearing, M. Denise

    2015-01-01

    Wildfires are increasing in frequency and severity as a result of climate change in many ecosystems; however, effects of altered disturbance regimes on wildlife remain poorly quantified. Here, we leverage an unexpected opportunity to investigate how fire affects the occupancy and abundance of a climate-sensitive habitat specialist, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We determine the effects of a fire on microclimates within talus and explore habitat factors promoting persistence and abundance in fire-affected habitat. During the fire, temperatures in talus interstices remained below 19°C, suggesting that animals could have survived in situ. Within 2 years, pikas were widely distributed throughout burned areas and did not appear to be physiologically stressed at severely burned sites. Furthermore, pika densities were better predicted by topographic variables known to affect this species than by metrics of fire severity. This widespread distribution may reflect quick vegetation recovery and the fact that the fire did not alter the talus microclimates in the following years. Together, these results highlight the value of talus as a thermal refuge for small animals during and after fire. They also underscore the importance of further study in individual species’ responses to typical and altered disturbance regimes.

  7. PRINCEPS: A computer-based approach to the structural description and recognition of trends within structural databases, and its application to the Ce-Ni-Si System

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Guo, Yiming; Fredrickson, Daniel C.

    2016-04-01

    Intermetallic crystal structures offer an enormous structural diversity, with an endless array of structural motifs whose connection to stability and physical properties are often mysterious. Making sense of the often complex crystal structures that arise here, developing a clear structural description, and identifying connections to other phases can be laborious and require an encyclopedic knowledge of structure types. In this Article, we present PRINCEPS, an algorithm based on a new coordination environment projection scheme that facilitates the structural analysis and comparison of such crystal structures. We demonstrate the potential of this approach by applying it to the complex Ce-Ni-Si ternarymore » system, whose 17 binary and 21 ternary phases would present a daunting challenge to one seeking to understand the system by manual inspection (but has nonetheless been well-described through the heroic efforts of previous researchers). With the help of PRINCEPS, most of the ternary phases in this system can be rationalized as intergrowths of simple structural fragments, and grouped into a handful of structural series (with some outliers). Lastly, these results illustrate how the PRINCEPS approach can be used to organize a vast collection of crystal structures into structurally meaningful families, and guide the description of complex atomic arrangements.« less

  8. Epistasis Constrains Mutational Pathways of Hemoglobin Adaptation in High-Altitude Pikas

    PubMed Central

    Tufts, Danielle M.; Natarajan, Chandrasekhar; Revsbech, Inge G.; Projecto-Garcia, Joana; Hoffmann, Federico G.; Weber, Roy E.; Fago, Angela; Moriyama, Hideaki; Storz, Jay F.

    2015-01-01

    A fundamental question in evolutionary genetics concerns the roles of mutational pleiotropy and epistasis in shaping trajectories of protein evolution. This question can be addressed most directly by using site-directed mutagenesis to explore the mutational landscape of protein function in experimentally defined regions of sequence space. Here, we evaluate how pleiotropic trade-offs and epistatic interactions influence the accessibility of alternative mutational pathways during the adaptive evolution of hemoglobin (Hb) function in high-altitude pikas (Mammalia: Lagomorpha). By combining ancestral protein resurrection with a combinatorial protein-engineering approach, we examined the functional effects of sequential mutational steps in all possible pathways that produced an increased Hb–O2 affinity. These experiments revealed that the effects of mutations on Hb–O2 affinity are highly dependent on the temporal order in which they occur: Each of three β-chain substitutions produced a significant increase in Hb–O2 affinity on the ancestral genetic background, but two of these substitutions produced opposite effects when they occurred as later steps in the pathway. The experiments revealed pervasive epistasis for Hb–O2 affinity, but affinity-altering mutations produced no significant pleiotropic trade-offs. These results provide insights into the properties of adaptive substitutions in naturally evolved proteins and suggest that the accessibility of alternative mutational pathways may be more strongly constrained by sign epistasis for positively selected biochemical phenotypes than by antagonistic pleiotropy. PMID:25415962

  9. A New Member of Gamma-Conotoxin Family Isolated from Conus princeps Displays a Novel Molecular Target

    PubMed Central

    Bernáldez, Johanna; Jiménez, Samanta; González, Luis Javier; Ferro, Jesús Noda; Soto, Enrique; Salceda, Emilio; Chávez, Daniela; Aguilar, Manuel B.; Licea-Navarro, Alexei

    2016-01-01

    A novel conotoxin, named as PiVIIA, was isolated from the venom of Conus princeps, a marine predatory cone snail collected in the Pacific Southern Coast of Mexico. Chymotryptic digest of the S-alkylated peptide in combination with liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, were used to define the sequencing of this peptide. Eleven N-terminal amino acids were verified by automated Edman degradation. PiVIIA is a 25-mer peptide (CDAOTHYCTNYWγCCSGYCγHSHCW) with six cysteine residues forming three disulphide bonds, a hydroxyproline (O) and two gamma carboxyglutamic acid (γ) residues. Based on the arrangement of six Cys residues (C-C-CC-C-C), this conotoxin might belong to the O2-superfamily. Moreover, PiVIIA has a conserved motif (-γCCS-) that characterizes γ-conotoxins from molluscivorous Conus. Peptide PiVIIA has 45% sequence identity with γ-PnVIIA—the prototype of this family. Biological activity of PiVIIA was assessed by voltage-clamp recording in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Perfusion of PiVIIA in the µM range produces a significant increase in the Ca2+ currents, without significantly modifying the Na+, K+ or proton-gated acid sensing ionic currents. These results indicate that PiVIIA is a new conotoxin whose activity deserves further studies to define its potential use as a positive modulator of neuronal activity. PMID:26861393

  10. A New Member of Gamma-Conotoxin Family Isolated from Conus princeps Displays a Novel Molecular Target.

    PubMed

    Bernáldez, Johanna; Jiménez, Samanta; González, Luis Javier; Ferro, Jesús Noda; Soto, Enrique; Salceda, Emilio; Chávez, Daniela; Aguilar, Manuel B; Licea-Navarro, Alexei

    2016-02-01

    A novel conotoxin, named as PiVIIA, was isolated from the venom of Conus princeps, a marine predatory cone snail collected in the Pacific Southern Coast of Mexico. Chymotryptic digest of the S-alkylated peptide in combination with liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry, were used to define the sequencing of this peptide. Eleven N-terminal amino acids were verified by automated Edman degradation. PiVIIA is a 25-mer peptide (CDAOTHYCTNYWγCCSGYCγHSHCW) with six cysteine residues forming three disulphide bonds, a hydroxyproline (O) and two gamma carboxyglutamic acid (γ) residues. Based on the arrangement of six Cys residues (C-C-CC-C-C), this conotoxin might belong to the O2-superfamily. Moreover, PiVIIA has a conserved motif (-γCCS-) that characterizes γ-conotoxins from molluscivorous Conus. Peptide PiVIIA has 45% sequence identity with γ-PnVIIA-the prototype of this family. Biological activity of PiVIIA was assessed by voltage-clamp recording in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Perfusion of PiVIIA in the µM range produces a significant increase in the Ca(2+) currents, without significantly modifying the Na⁺, K⁺ or proton-gated acid sensing ionic currents. These results indicate that PiVIIA is a new conotoxin whose activity deserves further studies to define its potential use as a positive modulator of neuronal activity. PMID:26861393

  11. Cell-free production of Gaussia princeps luciferase – antibody fragment bioconjugates for ex vivo detection of tumor cells

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kedar G.; Ng, Patrick P.; Kuo, Chiung-Chi; Levy, Shoshana; Levy, Ronald; Swartz, James R.

    2016-01-01

    Antibody fragments (scFvs) fused to luciferase reporter proteins have been used as highly sensitive optical imaging probes. Gaussia princeps luciferase (GLuc) is an attractive choice for a reporter protein because it is small and bright and does not require ATP to stimulate bioluminescence-producing reactions. Both GLuc and scFv proteins contain multiple disulfide bonds, and consequently the production of active and properly folded GLuc–scFv fusions is challenging. We therefore produced both proteins individually in active form, followed by covalent coupling to produce the intended conjugate. We used an Escherichia coli-based cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) platform to produce GLuc and scFv proteins containing non-natural amino acids (nnAAs) for subsequent conjugation by azide–alkyne click chemistry. GLuc mutants with exposed alkyne reactive groups were produced by global replacement of methionine residues in CFPS. Antibody fragment scFvs contained a single exposed azide group using a scheme for site-specific incorporation of tyrosine analogs. Incorporation of tyrosine analogs at specific sites in proteins was performed using an engineered orthogonal tRNA–tRNA synthetase pair from an archaebacterium. The unique azide and alkyne side chains in GLuc and the antibody fragment scFv facilitated conjugation by click chemistry. GLuc–scFv conjugates were shown to differentiate between cells expressing a surface target of the scFv and cells that did not carry this marker. PMID:19852937

  12. When can we measure stress noninvasively? Postdeposition effects on a fecal stress metric confound a multiregional assessment.

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Measurement of stress hormone metabolites in fecal samples has become a common method to assess physiological stress in wildlife populations. Glucocorticoid metabolite (GCM) measurements can be collected noninvasively, and studies relating this stress metric to anthropogenic disturbance are increasing. However, environmental characteristics (e.g., temperature) can alter measured GCM concentration when fecal samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. This effect can confound efforts to separate environmental factors causing predeposition physiological stress in an individual from those acting on a fecal sample postdeposition. We used fecal samples from American pikas (Ochotona princeps) to examine the influence of environmental conditions on GCM concentration by (1) comparing GCM concentration measured in freshly collected control samples to those placed in natural habitats for timed exposure, and (2) relating GCM concentration in samples collected noninvasively throughout the western United States to local environmental characteristics measured before and after deposition. Our timed-exposure trials clarified the spatial scale at which exposure to environmental factors postdeposition influences GCM concentration in pika feces. Also, fecal samples collected from occupied pika habitats throughout the species' range revealed significant relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the postdeposition period (maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation during the month of sample collection). Conversely, we found no such relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the predeposition period (prior to the month of sample collection). Together, these results indicate that noninvasive measurement of physiological stress in pikas across the western US may be confounded by climatic conditions in the postdeposition environment when samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. Our results reiterate the importance

  13. Adaptive divergence along environmental gradients in a climate-change-sensitive mammal

    PubMed Central

    Henry, P; Russello, M A

    2013-01-01

    In the face of predicted climate change, a broader understanding of biotic responses to varying environments has become increasingly important within the context of biodiversity conservation. Local adaptation is one potential option, yet remarkably few studies have harnessed genomic tools to evaluate the efficacy of this response within natural populations. Here, we show evidence of selection driving divergence of a climate-change-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps), distributed along elevation gradients at its northern range margin in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia (BC), Canada. We employed amplified-fragment-length-polymorphism-based genomic scans to conduct genomewide searches for candidate loci among populations inhabiting varying environments from sea level to 1500 m. Using several independent approaches to outlier locus detection, we identified 68 candidate loci putatively under selection (out of a total 1509 screened), 15 of which displayed significant associations with environmental variables including annual precipitation and maximum summer temperature. These candidate loci may represent important targets for predicting pika responses to climate change and informing novel approaches to wildlife conservation in a changing world. PMID:24198948

  14. Secreted Gaussia princeps Luciferase as a Reporter of Escherichia coli Replication in a Mouse Tissue Cage Model of Infection

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Mingyu; Blinn, Christina; McLeod, Sarah M.; Wiseman, John W.; Newman, Joseph V.; Fisher, Stewart L.; Walkup, Grant K.

    2014-01-01

    Measurement of bacterial burden in animal infection models is a key component for both bacterial pathogenesis studies and therapeutic agent research. The traditional quantification means for in vivo bacterial burden requires frequent animal sacrifice and enumerating colony forming units (CFU) recovered from infection loci. To address these issues, researchers have developed a variety of luciferase-expressing bacterial reporter strains to enable bacterial detection in living animals. To date, all such luciferase-based bacterial reporters are in cell-associated form. Production of luciferase-secreting recombinant bacteria could provide the advantage of reporting CFU from both infection loci themselves and remote sampling (eg. body fluid and plasma). Toward this end, we have genetically manipulated a pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain, ATCC25922, to secrete the marine copepod Gaussia princeps luciferase (Gluc), and assessed the use of Gluc as both an in situ and ex situ reporter for bacterial burden in mouse tissue cage infections. The E. coli expressing Gluc demonstrates in vivo imaging of bacteria in a tissue cage model of infection. Furthermore, secreted Gluc activity and bacterial CFUs recovered from tissue cage fluid (TCF) are correlated along 18 days of infection. Importantly, secreted Gluc can also be detected in plasma samples and serve as an ex situ indicator for the established tissue cage infection, once high bacterial burdens are achieved. We have demonstrated that Gluc from marine eukaryotes can be stably expressed and secreted by pathogenic E. coli in vivo to enable a facile tool for longitudinal evaluation of persistent bacterial infection. PMID:24595353

  15. The Late Quaternary biogeographic histories of some Great Basin mammals (western USA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grayson, Donald K.

    2006-11-01

    The Great Basin of arid western North America provides one of the most detailed late Pleistocene and Holocene mammal records available for any part of the world, though the record is by far strongest for small mammals. Of the 35 genera of now-extinct North American Pleistocene mammals, 19 are known to have occurred in the Great Basin, a list that is likely to be complete or nearly so. Of these 19, seven can be shown to have survived beyond 12,000 radiocarbon years ago, a proportion similar to that for North America as a whole. Horses, camels, mammoth, and helmeted musk-oxen appear to have been the most abundant of these genera. Pygmy rabbits ( Brachylagus idahoensis), yellow-bellied marmots ( Marmota flaviventris), and bushy-tailed woodrats ( Neotoma cinerea) declined in abundance at the end of the Pleistocene, at about the same time as populations south of their current arid western distributional boundary were extirpated. Subsequent declines occurred during the hot/dry middle Holocene. Pygmy rabbits also declined as modern pinyon-juniper woodlands developed across the Great Basin. The Snake Range of eastern Nevada has seen the late Pleistocene or Holocene extinction of both northern pocket gophers ( Thomomys talpoides) and pikas ( Ochotona princeps). Coupled with the rarity of yellow-bellied marmots here, these histories make the Snake Range a biogeographic oddity. These and other Great Basin mammal histories provide significant insights into the possible responses of Great Basin small mammals to global warming.

  16. From promise to practice: pairing non-invasive sampling with genomics in conservation

    PubMed Central

    Waterhouse, Matthew D.; Etter, Paul D.; Johnson, Eric A.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation genomics has become an increasingly popular term, yet it remains unclear whether the non-invasive sampling that is essential for many conservation-related studies is compatible with the minimum requirements for harnessing next-generation sequencing technologies. Here, we evaluated the feasibility of using genotyping-by-sequencing of non-invasively collected hair samples to simultaneously identify and genotype single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We identified and genotyped 3,803 high-confidence SNPs across eight sites distributed along two elevational transects using starting DNA amounts as low as 1 ng. Fifty-five outlier loci were detected as candidate gene regions under divergent selection, constituting potential targets for future validation. Genome-wide estimates of gene diversity significantly and positively correlated with elevation across both transects, with all low elevation sites exhibiting significant heterozygote deficit likely due to inbreeding. More broadly, our results highlight a range of issues that must be considered when pairing genomic data collection with non-invasive sampling, particularly related to field sampling protocols for minimizing exogenous DNA, data collection strategies and quality control steps for enhancing target organism yield, and analytical approaches for maximizing cost-effectiveness and information content of recovered genomic data. PMID:26244114

  17. Diversity of A-conotoxins of three worm-hunting cone snails (Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps) from the Mexican Pacific coast.

    PubMed

    Morales-González, Daniel; Flores-Martínez, Ernesto; Zamora-Bustillos, Roberto; Rivera-Reyes, Reginaldo; Michel-Morfín, Jesús Emilio; Landa-Jaime, Víctor; Falcón, Andrés; Aguilar, Manuel B

    2015-06-01

    Conus marine snails (∼500 species) are tropical predators that use venoms mainly to capture prey and defend themselves from predators. The principal components of these venoms are peptides that are known as "conotoxins" and generally comprise 7-40 amino acid residues, including 0-5 disulfide bridges and distinct posttranslational modifications. The most common molecular targets of conotoxins are voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, and neurotransmitter transporters, to which they bind, typically, with high affinity and specificity. Due to these properties, several conotoxins have become molecular probes, medicines, and leads for drug design. Conotoxins have been classified into genetic superfamilies based on the signal sequence of their precursors, and into pharmacological families according to their molecular targets. The objective of this work was to identify and analyze partial cDNAs encoding conotoxin precursors belonging to the A superfamily from Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps. These are vermivorous species of the Mexican Pacific coast from which only one A-conotoxin, and few O- and I2-conotoxins have been reported. Employing RT-PCR, we identified 30 distinct precursors that contain 13 different predicted mature toxins. With the exception of two groups of four highly similar peptides, these toxins are diverse at both the sequence and the physicochemical levels, and they belong to the 4/3, 4/4, 4/5, 4/6, and 4/7 structural subfamilies. These toxins are predicted to target diverse nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subtypes: nx1d, muscle; pi1a-pi1d, α3β2, α7, and/or α9α10; br1a, muscle, α3β4, and/or α4β2; and nx1a-nx1c/pi1g and pi1h, α3β2, α3β4, α9β10, and/or α7. PMID:25703301

  18. Effect of dietary supplementation of Lactobacillus-fermented Artemisia princeps on growth performance, meat lipid peroxidation, and intestinal microflora in Hy-line Brown male chickens.

    PubMed

    Kim, C H; Kim, G-B; Chang, M B; Bae, G S; Paik, I K; Kil, D Y

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this experiment was to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation of Lactobacillus-fermented Artemisia princeps (LFA) on growth performance, meat lipid peroxidation, and intestinal microflora in Hy-line Brown male chickens. A total of six hundred twenty-four 1-d-old Hy-Line Brown male chicks were randomly allotted to 3 dietary treatments with 4 replicated pens consisting of 52 chicks. The control diet was formulated to be adequate in energy and nutrients. Two additional diets were prepared by adding 2.5 or 5.0 g/kg of LFA to the control diet. The experimental diets were fed on an ad libitum basis to the birds during 7 wk. Body weight gain and feed intake were recorded at 2 and 7 wk. At the end of the experiment, 2 birds from each treatment were killed by cervical dislocation and the samples for ileal content, breast, and thigh meat were collected for the determination of meat lipid peroxidation and microbial population. Results indicated that increasing inclusion level of LFA in diets improved BW gain (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05) and tended to improve feed efficiency (linear and quadratic, P < 0.10) of birds during 0 to 7 wk. Feeding the diets containing increasing amounts of LFA to birds reduced (quadratic, P < 0.05) thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) values in breast and thigh meat during 15 d of storage. The concentrations of Lactobacillus spp. in the ileal content of birds increased (linear and quadratic, P < 0.05), but those of Salmonella spp. tended to be decreased (quadratic, P < 0.10) as inclusion level of LFA in diets increased. These results suggest that dietary LFA may be used as a functional ingredient to improve growth performance, meat lipid stability, and intestinal health of birds. PMID:23091141

  19. LaGomiCs-Lagomorph Genomics Consortium: An International Collaborative Effort for Sequencing the Genomes of an Entire Mammalian Order.

    PubMed

    Fontanesi, Luca; Di Palma, Federica; Flicek, Paul; Smith, Andrew T; Thulin, Carl-Gustaf; Alves, Paulo C

    2016-07-01

    The order Lagomorpha comprises about 90 living species, divided in 2 families: the pikas (Family Ochotonidae), and the rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits (Family Leporidae). Lagomorphs are important economically and scientifically as major human food resources, valued game species, pests of agricultural significance, model laboratory animals, and key elements in food webs. A quarter of the lagomorph species are listed as threatened. They are native to all continents except Antarctica, and occur up to 5000 m above sea level, from the equator to the Arctic, spanning a wide range of environmental conditions. The order has notable taxonomic problems presenting significant difficulties for defining a species due to broad phenotypic variation, overlap of morphological characteristics, and relatively recent speciation events. At present, only the genomes of 2 species, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and American pika (Ochotona princeps) have been sequenced and assembled. Starting from a paucity of genome information, the main scientific aim of the Lagomorph Genomics Consortium (LaGomiCs), born from a cooperative initiative of the European COST Action "A Collaborative European Network on Rabbit Genome Biology-RGB-Net" and the World Lagomorph Society (WLS), is to provide an international framework for the sequencing of the genome of all extant and selected extinct lagomorphs. Sequencing the genomes of an entire order will provide a large amount of information to address biological problems not only related to lagomorphs but also to all mammals. We present current and planned sequencing programs and outline the final objective of LaGomiCs possible through broad international collaboration. PMID:26921276

  20. Late Quaternary environments and biogeography in the Great Basin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, R. S.; Mead, J. I.

    1982-01-01

    Plant and animal remains found in packrat ( Neotoma spp.) middens and cave fill from the eastern and southern Great Basin region reveal the presence of subalpine conifers and boreal mammals at relatively low elevations during the Late Wisconsin. Limber pine ( Pinus flexilis) and bristlecone pine ( P. longaeva) were important in the late Pleistocene plant communities throughout this region. Spruce ( Picea cf. engelmannii) and common juniper ( Juniperus communis) were present in some of the more northerly localities, and Douglas fir ( Pseudotsuga menziesii) and white fir ( Abies concolor) were present in southern and eastern localities. Single needle pinyon pine ( Pinus monophylla), common across this region today, was apparently not present north of the Sheep Range of southern Nevada during the Late Wisconsin. Pikas ( Ochotona cf. princeps), small boreal mammals present in only a few Great Basin mountain ranges today, were common throughout the region. Heather voles ( Phenacomys cf. intermedius) have been found in two cave fill deposits in Nevada, though they are unknown in the Great Basin today. Limber and bristlecone pines are generally restricted to rocky substrates in modern subalpine habitats in the Great Basin, and this may also have been the case when these plants grew at lower elevations during the Late Wisconsin. Subalpine conifers were present on the rock outcrops sampled by the packrat middens, but shrub communities, perhaps dominated by sagebrush ( Artemisia spp.), may have been present on alluvial valley-bottom substrates. Forested habitats would thus have been isolated habitat islands, as they are today. Boreal small mammals, including pikas and heather voles, were able to colonize the Great Basin mountain ranges during the late Pleistocene. We suggest that these mammals were able to survive in the intervening valley-bottoms under a cool-summer climatic regime, and that continuous forest or woodland corridors were not necessary for migration.

  1. Evaluation of nutritional and economic feed values of spent coffee grounds and Artemisia princeps residues as a ruminant feed using in vitro ruminal fermentation.

    PubMed

    Seo, Jakyeom; Jung, Jae Keun; Seo, Seongwon

    2015-01-01

    Much research on animal feed has focused on finding alternative feed ingredients that can replace conventional ones (e.g., grains and beans) to reduce feed costs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic, as well as nutritional value of spent coffee grounds (SCG) and Japanese mugwort (Artemisia princeps) residues (APR) as alternative feed ingredients for ruminants. We also investigated whether pre-fermentation using Lactobacillus spp. was a feasible way to increase the feed value of these by-products. Chemical analyses and an in vitro study were conducted for SCG, APR, and their pre-fermented forms. All the experimental diets for in vitro ruminal fermentation were formulated to contain a similar composition of crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and total digestible nutrients at 1x maintenance feed intake based on the dairy National Research Council (NRC). The control diet was composed of ryegrass, corn, soybean meal, whereas the treatments consisted of SCG, SCG fermented with Lactobacillus spp. (FSCG), APR, and its fermented form (FAPR). The treatment diets replaced 100 g/kg dry matter (DM) of the feed ingredients in the control. Costs were lower for the all treatments, except FAPR, than that of the control. After 24-h incubation, the NDF digestibility of the diets containing SCG and its fermented form were significantly lower than those of the other diets (P < 0.01); pre-fermentation tended to increase NDF digestibility (P = 0.07), especially for APR. Supplementation of SCG significantly decreased total gas production (ml/g DM) after 24-h fermentation in comparison with the control (P < 0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the control and the SCG or the APR diets in total gas production, as expressed per Korean Won (KRW). Diets supplemented with SCG or FSCG tended to have a higher total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, expressed as per KRW, compared with the control (P = 0.06). Conversely, the fermentation

  2. Evaluation of nutritional and economic feed values of spent coffee grounds and Artemisia princeps residues as a ruminant feed using in vitro ruminal fermentation

    PubMed Central

    Seo, Jakyeom; Jung, Jae Keun

    2015-01-01

    Much research on animal feed has focused on finding alternative feed ingredients that can replace conventional ones (e.g., grains and beans) to reduce feed costs. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic, as well as nutritional value of spent coffee grounds (SCG) and Japanese mugwort (Artemisia princeps) residues (APR) as alternative feed ingredients for ruminants. We also investigated whether pre-fermentation using Lactobacillus spp. was a feasible way to increase the feed value of these by-products. Chemical analyses and an in vitro study were conducted for SCG, APR, and their pre-fermented forms. All the experimental diets for in vitro ruminal fermentation were formulated to contain a similar composition of crude protein, neutral detergent fiber and total digestible nutrients at 1x maintenance feed intake based on the dairy National Research Council (NRC). The control diet was composed of ryegrass, corn, soybean meal, whereas the treatments consisted of SCG, SCG fermented with Lactobacillus spp. (FSCG), APR, and its fermented form (FAPR). The treatment diets replaced 100 g/kg dry matter (DM) of the feed ingredients in the control. Costs were lower for the all treatments, except FAPR, than that of the control. After 24-h incubation, the NDF digestibility of the diets containing SCG and its fermented form were significantly lower than those of the other diets (P < 0.01); pre-fermentation tended to increase NDF digestibility (P = 0.07), especially for APR. Supplementation of SCG significantly decreased total gas production (ml/g DM) after 24-h fermentation in comparison with the control (P < 0.05); however, there were no significant differences between the control and the SCG or the APR diets in total gas production, as expressed per Korean Won (KRW). Diets supplemented with SCG or FSCG tended to have a higher total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration, expressed as per KRW, compared with the control (P = 0.06). Conversely, the fermentation

  3. Identification, by RT-PCR, of eight novel I₂-conotoxins from the worm-hunting cone snails Conus brunneus, Conus nux, and Conus princeps from the eastern Pacific (Mexico).

    PubMed

    Zamora-Bustillos, R; Rivera-Reyes, R; Aguilar, M B; Michel-Morfín, E; Landa-Jaime, V; Falcón, A; Heimer, E P

    2014-03-01

    Marine snails of the genus Conus (∼500 species) are tropical predators that produce venoms for capturing prey, defense and competitive interactions. These venoms contain 50-200 different peptides ("conotoxins") that generally comprise 7-40 amino acid residues (including 0-5 disulfide bridges), and that frequently contain diverse posttranslational modifications, some of which have been demonstrated to be important for folding, stability, and biological activity. Most conotoxins affect voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels, G protein-coupled receptors, and neurotransmitter transporters, generally with high affinity and specificity. Due to these features, several conotoxins are used as molecular tools, diagnostic agents, medicines, and models for drug design. Based on the signal sequence of their precursors, conotoxins have been classified into genetic superfamilies, whereas their molecular targets allow them to be classified into pharmacological families. The objective of this work was to identify and analyze partial cDNAs encoding precursors of conotoxins belonging to I superfamily from three vermivorous species of the Mexican Pacific coast: C. brunneus, C. nux and C. princeps. The precursors identified contain diverse numbers of amino acid residues (C. brunneus, 65 or 71; C. nux, 70; C. princeps, 72 or 73), and all include a highly conserved signal peptide, a C-terminal propeptide, and a mature toxin. All the latter have one of the typical Cys frameworks of the I-conotoxins (C-C-CC-CC-C-C). The prepropeptides belong to the I2-superfamily, and encode eight different hydrophilic and acidic mature toxins, rather similar among them, and some of which have similarity with I2-conotoxins targeting voltage- and voltage-and-calcium-gated potassium channels. PMID:24486530

  4. First description of the nymph and larva of Dermacentor raskemensis (Acari: Ixodidae), parasites of pikas and other small mammals in Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Apanaskevich, Dmitry A

    2013-09-01

    Dermacentor raskemensis Pomerantzev, 1946 is one of the rare Asian species in this genus. The immature stages of this species have never been described. Reexamination of D. raskemensis holdings stored in the United States National Tick Collection revealed a collection lot containing reared nymphs and larvae of this species. This collection made it possible for us to find numerous nymphs and larvae of D. raskemensis among previously unidentified material collected in the field. Both immature stages of D. raskemensis are described here for the first time. Nymphs of D. raskemensis can be distinguished from those of other Dermacentor species in the region by small spiracular plate, relatively short and obtuse lateral projections of basis capituli dorsally, relatively short spurs on coxa I and the internal spur is characteristically very broadly rounded at its apex, and very small spur on coxa IV, whereas larvae of D. raskemensis can be distinguished from other Dermacentor by relatively short and obtuse lateral projections of basis capituli, approximately 6 denticles in the median files on hypostome, and relatively short, broad, and rounded spur on coxa I. The nymphs and larvae of D. raskemensis studied originate from Afghanistan, India, Iran, and Pakistan, where they were collected from pikas and other small mammals. PMID:24180099

  5. The Importance of Biologically Relevant Microclimates in Habitat Suitability Assessments

    PubMed Central

    Varner, Johanna; Dearing, M. Denise

    2014-01-01

    Predicting habitat suitability under climate change is vital to conserving biodiversity. However, current species distribution models rely on coarse scale climate data, whereas fine scale microclimate data may be necessary to assess habitat suitability and generate predictive models. Here, we evaluate disparities between temperature data at the coarse scale from weather stations versus fine-scale data measured in microhabitats required for a climate-sensitive mammal, the American pika (Ochotona princeps). We collected two years of temperature data in occupied talus habitats predicted to be suitable (high elevation) and unsuitable (low elevation) by the bioclimatic envelope approach. At low elevations, talus surface and interstitial microclimates drastically differed from ambient temperatures measured on-site and at a nearby weather station. Interstitial talus temperatures were frequently decoupled from high ambient temperatures, resulting in instantaneous disparities of over 30°C between these two measurements. Microhabitat temperatures were also highly heterogeneous, such that temperature measurements within the same patch of talus were not more correlated than measurements at distant patches. An experimental manipulation revealed that vegetation cover may cool the talus surface by up to 10°C during the summer, which may contribute to this spatial heterogeneity. Finally, low elevation microclimates were milder and less variable than typical alpine habitat, suggesting that, counter to species distribution model predictions, these seemingly unsuitable habitats may actually be better refugia for this species under climate change. These results highlight the importance of fine-scale microhabitat data in habitat assessments and underscore the notion that some critical refugia may be counterintuitive. PMID:25115894

  6. Adapting to climate change at Glacier National Park, Montana, USA (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fagre, D. B.

    2009-12-01

    The impact of climate change on mountain watersheds has been studied at Glacier National Park, Montana since 1991. Despite a 14% increase in annual precipitation, glaciers have receded, snow packs have diminished, and late season stream discharge has declined. Snow melts one month earlier in the spring, leading to earlier hydrologic peaks and tree invasions of subalpine meadows. This has been largely driven by annual temperature increases that are 2-3 times greater than the global average for the past century. How do scientists and park managers adapt? Although stopping the glaciers from disappearing is not a management option, park staff have embarked on an aggressive education and interpretation effort to use melting glaciers as the segue into dialog about climate change. Media such as podcasts, handouts, posters, visitor center displays and roadside signage complement interpretive ranger-led talks about climate change and incorporate the latest glacial data from ongoing research. With few historic data on most animal populations, Glacier Park staff and other scientists are unable to assess the impacts of climate change to resources that the public cares about. They have recently initiated alpine wildlife monitoring programs to track populations of potentially climate-sensitive organisms such as the American pika (Ochotona princeps). Recognizing that climate change increases the frequency and severity of extreme weather events, design specifications for reconstruction of an alpine highway were adjusted to include larger culverts and hardened rock walls. Species that are dependent on cold water will be at risk as glaciers and snowfields disappear but managers cannot control these processes. However, they are proactively reducing other stressors to sensitive native fish species by removing exotic, introduced species that are competitors. In addition to these adaptation measures, Glacier Park has implemented shuttles, fleet conversions and enhanced building

  7. Sierra Nevada Rock Glaciers: Biodiversity Refugia in a Warming World?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Westfall, R. D.

    2007-12-01

    also mapped 125 discrete locations of American pika (Ochotona princeps) and found a strong association of pika presence with active and relict RIFs, in particular cirque rock glaciers, valley rock glaciers, and boulder streams. Using the PRISM climate model and a small network of temperature dataloggers from RIF habitats, we present a climate envelope for the pika habitats we surveyed. We propose that the large area of RIFs in the Sierra Nevada over a range of elevations could provide extensive habitat for pika in the warming future. RIFs in general are a group of landforms little studied in high mountains of western North America but of potential increasing importance to hydrologic and ecologic function as climate warms in the future. Millar, C.I. and R.D. Westfall. In press. Rock glaciers and periglacial rock-ice features in the Sierra Nevada; Classification, distribution, and climate relationships. Quaternary International.

  8. The link between independent acquisition of intracellular gamma-endosymbionts and concerted evolution in Tremblaya princeps

    PubMed Central

    López-Madrigal, Sergio; Latorre, Amparo; Moya, Andrés; Gil, Rosario

    2015-01-01

    Many insect species establish mutualistic symbiosis with intracellular bacteria that complement their unbalanced diets. The betaproteobacterium “Candidatus Tremblaya” maintains an ancient symbiosis with mealybugs (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), which are classified in subfamilies Phenacoccinae and Pseudococcinae. Most Phenacoccinae mealybugs have “Candidatus Tremblaya phenacola” as their unique endosymbiont, while most Pseudococcinae mealybugs show a nested symbiosis (a bacterial symbiont placed inside another one) where every “Candidatus Tremblaya princeps” cell harbors several cells of a gammaproteobacterium. Genomic characterization of the endosymbiotic consortium from Planococcus citri, composed by “Ca. Tremblaya princeps” and “Candidatus Moranella endobia,” unveiled several atypical features of the former's genome, including the concerted evolution of paralogous loci. Its comparison with the genome of “Ca. Tremblaya phenacola” PAVE, single endosymbiont of Phenacoccus avenae, suggests that the atypical reductive evolution of “Ca. Tremblaya princeps” could be linked to the acquisition of “Ca. Moranella endobia,” which possess an almost complete set of genes encoding proteins involved in homologous recombination. In order to test this hypothesis, we performed comparative genomics between “Ca. Tremblaya phenacola” and “Ca. Tremblaya princeps” and searched for the co-occurrence of concerted evolution and homologous recombination genes in endosymbiotic consortia from four unexplored mealybug species, Dysmicoccus boninsis, Planococcus ficus, Pseudococcus longispinus, and Pseudococcus viburni. Our results support a link between concerted evolution and nested endosymbiosis. PMID:26161080

  9. [The use of opium in Roman society and the dependence of Princeps Marcus Aurelius].

    PubMed

    Trancas, Bruno; Borja Santos, Nuno; Patrício, Luís D

    2008-01-01

    Opium was known and frequently used in Roman society. Medical practice recognized its usefulness as an analgesic, soporific, anti-tussic or anti-diarrheic agent, as well as other currently unsupported uses with quasi-magical properties. It was additionally used as an ingredient in antidotes, panaceas and poisons. The authors present a non-exhaustive compilation of opium use according to medical doctors, writers and encyclopaedists of the time. Mythological and literary representations of the opium poppy reflected its diverse roles, being associated with prosperity and fertility, sleep, death and the underworld and with the art of medicine. Despite its free and routine use, there is no solid evidence of addiction, except the putative case of emperor Marcus Aurelius, consistently reported as one of the most likely cases of addiction to opium. PMID:19331792

  10. Crushed and Injected Buprenorphine Tablets: Characteristics of Princeps and Generic Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Bouquié, Régis; Wainstein, Laura; Pilet, Paul; Mussini, Jean-Marie; Deslandes, Guillaume; Clouet, Johann; Dailly, Eric; Jolliet, Pascale; Victorri-Vigneau, Caroline

    2014-01-01

    Self-injection of high-dose buprenorphine is responsible for well-described complications. In 2011, we have been alerted by unusual but serious cutaneous complication among injection buprenorphine users. A prospective data collection identified 30 cases of necrotic cutaneous lesions after injection of filtered buprenorphine solution, among which 25 cases occurred following injection of buprenorphine generics. The main goal of our study was to put forward particularities that could explain the cutaneous complications, by qualitatively and quantitatively confronting particles present in Subutex and generics solutions. We used the same protocol that injected-buprenorphine users: generic or subutex tablets were crushed in sterile water and filtered through 2 filters commonly used (cotton-pad and sterifilt). Solutions were analyzed by laser granulometry, flow cytometry and scanning electron microscopy. We have highlighted the wide variation of the quantity and the size of the particles present in solution between the two drugs after cotton-pad filtration. The proportion of particles <10 µm is systematically higher in the generic solutions than with Subutex. All of the insoluble particles found in generic solutions contain silica, whereas non- organic element was to be identified in the insoluble particles of Subutex. One skin biopsy obtained from one patient who developed a necrotic lesion after intravenous injection of filtrated solution of buprenorphine generic, shows non-organic elements. Identification of particles in situ enables us to confirm the presence of silica in the biopsy. Actually the monitoring of patient receiving generic of buprenorphine must be strengthened. PMID:25474108

  11. Comparative Morphology of Premolar Foramen in Lagomorphs (Mammalia: Glires) and Its Functional and Phylogenetic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Fostowicz-Frelik, Łucja; Meng, Jin

    2013-01-01

    Lagomorphs (a group that consists of pikas, hares, rabbits and allies) are notable for their conservative morphology retained for most of their over 50 million years evolutionary history. On the other hand, their remarkable morphological uniformity partly stems from a considerable number of homoplasies in cranial and dental structures that hamper phylogenetic analyses. The premolar foramen, an opening in the palate of lagomorphs, has been characterized as an important synapomorphy of one clade, Ochotonidae (pikas). Within Lagomorpha, however, its phylogenetic distribution is much wider, the foramen being present not only in all ochotonids but also in leporids and stem taxa; its morphology and incidence also varies considerably across the order, even intraspecifically. In this study, we provide a broad survey of the taxonomic distribution of the premolar foramen in extant and fossil Lagomorpha and describe in detail the morphological variation of this character within the group. Micro-computed tomography was used to examine the hard palate and infraorbital groove morphology in Poelagus (Leporidae) and Ochotona. Scans revealed the course and contacts of the canal behind the premolar foramen and structural differences between the two crown clades. We propose that the premolar foramen has evolved independently in several lineages of Lagomorpha, and we discuss development and function of this foramen in the lagomorph skull. This study shows the importance of comprehensive studies on phylogenetically informative non-dental characters in Lagomorpha. PMID:24278178

  12. Return to Beringia: parasites reveal cryptic biogeographic history of North American pikas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a dispersal corridor between the northern continents, the Bering Land Bridge played a key role in shaping Holarctic biotas. The Beringian paradigm identifies the land bridge as a zone of predominantly eastward expansion from Eurasia and a staging area for subsequent colonization of lower latitude...

  13. Expertly Validated Models and Phylogenetically-Controlled Analysis Suggests Responses to Climate Change Are Related to Species Traits in the Order Lagomorpha

    PubMed Central

    Leach, Katie; Kelly, Ruth; Cameron, Alison; Montgomery, W. Ian; Reid, Neil

    2015-01-01

    Climate change during the past five decades has impacted significantly on natural ecosystems, and the rate of current climate change is of great concern among conservation biologists. Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have been used widely to project changes in species’ bioclimatic envelopes under future climate scenarios. Here, we aimed to advance this technique by assessing future changes in the bioclimatic envelopes of an entire mammalian order, the Lagomorpha, using a novel framework for model validation based jointly on subjective expert evaluation and objective model evaluation statistics. SDMs were built using climatic, topographical, and habitat variables for all 87 lagomorph species under past and current climate scenarios. Expert evaluation and Kappa values were used to validate past and current models and only those deemed ‘modellable’ within our framework were projected under future climate scenarios (58 species). Phylogenetically-controlled regressions were used to test whether species traits correlated with predicted responses to climate change. Climate change is likely to impact more than two-thirds of lagomorph species, with leporids (rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits) likely to undertake poleward shifts with little overall change in range extent, whilst pikas are likely to show extreme shifts to higher altitudes associated with marked range declines, including the likely extinction of Kozlov’s Pika (Ochotona koslowi). Smaller-bodied species were more likely to exhibit range contractions and elevational increases, but showing little poleward movement, and fecund species were more likely to shift latitudinally and elevationally. Our results suggest that species traits may be important indicators of future climate change and we believe multi-species approaches, as demonstrated here, are likely to lead to more effective mitigation measures and conservation management. We strongly advocate studies minimising data gaps in our knowledge of the

  14. Expertly validated models and phylogenetically-controlled analysis suggests responses to climate change are related to species traits in the order lagomorpha.

    PubMed

    Leach, Katie; Kelly, Ruth; Cameron, Alison; Montgomery, W Ian; Reid, Neil

    2015-01-01

    Climate change during the past five decades has impacted significantly on natural ecosystems, and the rate of current climate change is of great concern among conservation biologists. Species Distribution Models (SDMs) have been used widely to project changes in species' bioclimatic envelopes under future climate scenarios. Here, we aimed to advance this technique by assessing future changes in the bioclimatic envelopes of an entire mammalian order, the Lagomorpha, using a novel framework for model validation based jointly on subjective expert evaluation and objective model evaluation statistics. SDMs were built using climatic, topographical, and habitat variables for all 87 lagomorph species under past and current climate scenarios. Expert evaluation and Kappa values were used to validate past and current models and only those deemed 'modellable' within our framework were projected under future climate scenarios (58 species). Phylogenetically-controlled regressions were used to test whether species traits correlated with predicted responses to climate change. Climate change is likely to impact more than two-thirds of lagomorph species, with leporids (rabbits, hares, and jackrabbits) likely to undertake poleward shifts with little overall change in range extent, whilst pikas are likely to show extreme shifts to higher altitudes associated with marked range declines, including the likely extinction of Kozlov's Pika (Ochotona koslowi). Smaller-bodied species were more likely to exhibit range contractions and elevational increases, but showing little poleward movement, and fecund species were more likely to shift latitudinally and elevationally. Our results suggest that species traits may be important indicators of future climate change and we believe multi-species approaches, as demonstrated here, are likely to lead to more effective mitigation measures and conservation management. We strongly advocate studies minimising data gaps in our knowledge of the Order

  15. Nonneutral evolution of tandem repeats in the mitochondrial DNA control region of lagomorphs.

    PubMed

    Casane, D; Dennebouy, N; de Rochambeau, H; Mounolou, J C; Monnerot, M

    1997-08-01

    The mitochondrial DNA of the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) contains a tandem array of 153-bp repeats in the vicinity of the replication origin of the H-stand. Variation among molecules in the number of these repeats results in inter- and intraindividual length polymorphism (heteroplasmy). Generally, in an individual, one predominant molecular type is observed, the others representing a low percentage of the mtDNA content. At the tissue level, we observe a particular distribution of this polymorphism in the gonads compared with liver, kidneys, or brain, implying a relationship between the differentiation status of the cells and the types of new mtDNA molecules which appear and accumulate during lifetime. Similar tandem repeats were also found in the mtDNA noncoding region of European hares (Lepus europaeus), a cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus), and a pika (Ochotona rufescens). The lengths and the sequences of these units evolve rapidly and in a concerted way, but the number of repeats is maintained in a narrow range, and an internal 20-bp segment is highly conserved. Constraints restrict the evolution of the primary sequence of these repeated units, the number of which is probably controlled by a stabilizing selection. PMID:9254915

  16. Report of the Program for the Development of the Elementary School Principal as an Educational Leader. Princeps Series: Developing the Role of the Elementary School Principal as an Educational Leader. Occasional Paper No. 5.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnes, Judith Crooks; And Others

    This report summarizes and draws implications from a two-year pilot program in which 12 elementary school principals received training designed to help them become more effective leaders in their own school settings. The goal of the program was to enable participating principals to define and enact the leadership roles best suited to their…

  17. Characterization of Nutritional Composition, Antioxidative Capacity, and Sensory Attributes of Seomae Mugwort, a Native Korean Variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jae Kyeom; Shin, Eui-Cheol; Lim, Ho-Jeong; Choi, Soo Jung; Kim, Cho Rong; Suh, Soo Hwan; Kim, Chang-Ju; Park, Gwi Gun; Park, Cheung-Seog; Kim, Hye Kyung; Choi, Jong Hun; Song, Sang-Wook; Shin, Dong-Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have investigated Seomae mugwort (a Korean native mugwort variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot), exclusively cultivated in the southern Korean peninsula, and the possibility of its use as a food resource. In the present study, we compared the nutritional and chemical properties as well as sensory attributes of Seomae mugwort and the commonly consumed species Artemisia princeps Pamp. In comparison with A. princeps, Seomae mugwort had higher contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids, total phenolic compounds, vitamin C, and essential amino acids. In addition, Seomae mugwort had better radical scavenging activity and more diverse volatile compounds than A. princeps as well as favorable sensory attributes when consumed as tea. Given that scant information is available regarding the Seomae mugwort and its biological, chemical, and sensory characteristics, the results herein may provide important characterization data for further industrial and research applications of this mugwort variety. PMID:26550520

  18. Characterization of Nutritional Composition, Antioxidative Capacity, and Sensory Attributes of Seomae Mugwort, a Native Korean Variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jae Kyeom; Shin, Eui-Cheol; Lim, Ho-Jeong; Choi, Soo Jung; Kim, Cho Rong; Suh, Soo Hwan; Kim, Chang-Ju; Park, Gwi Gun; Park, Cheung-Seog; Kim, Hye Kyung; Choi, Jong Hun; Song, Sang-Wook; Shin, Dong-Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Few studies have investigated Seomae mugwort (a Korean native mugwort variety of Artemisia argyi H. Lév. & Vaniot), exclusively cultivated in the southern Korean peninsula, and the possibility of its use as a food resource. In the present study, we compared the nutritional and chemical properties as well as sensory attributes of Seomae mugwort and the commonly consumed species Artemisia princeps Pamp. In comparison with A. princeps, Seomae mugwort had higher contents of polyunsaturated fatty acids, total phenolic compounds, vitamin C, and essential amino acids. In addition, Seomae mugwort had better radical scavenging activity and more diverse volatile compounds than A. princeps as well as favorable sensory attributes when consumed as tea. Given that scant information is available regarding the Seomae mugwort and its biological, chemical, and sensory characteristics, the results herein may provide important characterization data for further industrial and research applications of this mugwort variety. PMID:26550520

  19. 75 FR 6437 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-month Finding on a Petition to List the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-09

    ..., 2009 (74 FR 21301), we reviewed the petition, petition supplement, supporting information provided by.... 10). For example, in Lava Beds National Monument in northern California and Craters of the Moon..., p. 18). O. p. princeps was studied at Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho (Beever 2002,...

  20. Heritability of symbiont density reveals distinct regulatory mechanisms in a tripartite symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Parkinson, Jasmine F; Gobin, Bruno; Hughes, William O H

    2016-04-01

    Beneficial eukaryotic-bacterial partnerships are integral to animal and plant evolution. Understanding the density regulation mechanisms behind bacterial symbiosis is essential to elucidating the functional balance between hosts and symbionts. Citrus mealybugs, Planococcus citri (Risso), present an excellent model system for investigating the mechanisms of symbiont density regulation. They contain two obligate nutritional symbionts, Moranella endobia, which resides inside Tremblaya princeps, which has been maternally transmitted for 100-200 million years. We investigate whether host genotype may influence symbiont density by crossing mealybugs from two inbred laboratory-reared populations that differ substantially in their symbiont density to create hybrids. The density of the M. endobia symbiont in the hybrid hosts matched that of the maternal parent population, in keeping with density being determined either by the symbiont or the maternal genotype. However, the density of the T. princeps symbiont was influenced by the paternal host genotype. The greater dependency of T. princeps on its host may be due to its highly reduced genome. The decoupling of T. princeps and M. endobia densities, in spite of their intimate association, suggests that distinct regulatory mechanisms can be at work in symbiotic partnerships, even when they are obligate and mutualistic. PMID:27099709

  1. Tyrosinase inhibitors from Bolivian medicinal plants.

    PubMed

    Kubo, I; Yokokawa, Y; Kinst-Hori, I

    1995-05-01

    Bioassay-guided fractionation monitored by mushroom tyrosinase (EC 1.14.18.1) activity, afforded six inhibitors from three Bolivian medicinal plants, Buddleia coriacea, Gnaphalium cheiranthifolium, and Scheelea princeps. These inhibitors, which are all known phenolic compounds, inhibited the oxidation of L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) mediated by a mushroom tyrosinase. PMID:7623048

  2. The Method of Shared Concern as an Intervention Technique to Address Bullying in Schools: An Overview and Appraisal

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rigby, Ken

    2005-01-01

    This article outlines and appraises the method of shared concern as developed by Anatol Pikas and applied as a technique for resolving bully-victim problems in schools. It includes a description of how the method can be applied in schools, and critically examines some objections that have been raised to its use. These objections are shown to be…

  3. Pikachurin Protein Required for Increase of Cone Electroretinogram B-Wave during Light Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Nagaya, Masatoshi; Ueno, Shinji; Kominami, Taro; Nakanishi, Ayami; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kondo, Mineo; Furukawa, Takahisa; Terasaki, Hiroko

    2015-01-01

    In normal eyes, the amplitude of the b-wave of the photopic ERGs increases during light adaptation, but the mechanism causing this increase has not been fully determined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the contribution of receptoral and post-receptoral components of the retina to this phenomenon. To accomplish this, we examined the ERGs during light adaptation in Pikachurin null-mutant (Pika -/-) mice, which have a misalignment of the bipolar cell dendritic tips to the photoreceptor ribbon synapses. After dark-adaptation, photopic ERGs were recorded from Pika -/- and wild type (WT) mice during the first 9 minutes of light adaptation. In some of the mice, post-receptoral components were blocked pharmacologically. The photopic b-waves of WT mice increased by 50% during the 9 min of light adaptation as previously reported. On the other hand, the b-waves of the Pika -/- mice decreased by 20% during the same time period. After blocking post-receptoral components, the b-waves were abolished from the WT mice, and the ERGs resembled those of the Pika -/- mice. The extracted post-receptoral component increased during light adaptation in the WT mice, but decreased for the first 3 minutes to a plateau in Pika -/- mice. We conclude that the normal synaptic connection between photoreceptor and retinal ON bipolar cells, which is controlled by pikachurin, is required for the ERGs to increase during light-adaptation. The contributions of post-receptoral components are essential for the photopic b-wave increase during the light adaptation. PMID:26091521

  4. Habitat availability and gene flow influence diverging local population trajectories under scenarios of climate change: a place-based approach.

    PubMed

    Schwalm, Donelle; Epps, Clinton W; Rodhouse, Thomas J; Monahan, William B; Castillo, Jessica A; Ray, Chris; Jeffress, Mackenzie R

    2016-04-01

    Ecological niche theory holds that species distributions are shaped by a large and complex suite of interacting factors. Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly used to describe species' niches and predict the effects of future environmental change, including climate change. Currently, SDMs often fail to capture the complexity of species' niches, resulting in predictions that are generally limited to climate-occupancy interactions. Here, we explore the potential impact of climate change on the American pika using a replicated place-based approach that incorporates climate, gene flow, habitat configuration, and microhabitat complexity into SDMs. Using contemporary presence-absence data from occupancy surveys, genetic data to infer connectivity between habitat patches, and 21 environmental niche variables, we built separate SDMs for pika populations inhabiting eight US National Park Service units representing the habitat and climatic breadth of the species across the western United States. We then predicted occurrence probability under current (1981-2010) and three future time periods (out to 2100). Occurrence probabilities and the relative importance of predictor variables varied widely among study areas, revealing important local-scale differences in the realized niche of the American pika. This variation resulted in diverse and - in some cases - highly divergent future potential occupancy patterns for pikas, ranging from complete extirpation in some study areas to stable occupancy patterns in others. Habitat composition and connectivity, which are rarely incorporated in SDM projections, were influential in predicting pika occupancy in all study areas and frequently outranked climate variables. Our findings illustrate the importance of a place-based approach to species distribution modeling that includes fine-scale factors when assessing current and future climate impacts on species' distributions, especially when predictions are intended to manage and

  5. Apparent effect of rabbit endogenous lentivirus type K acquisition on retrovirus restriction by lagomorph Trim5αs

    PubMed Central

    Yap, Melvyn W.; Stoye, Jonathan P.

    2013-01-01

    To test the hypothesis that rabbit endogenous lentivirus type K (RELIK) could play a role in shaping the evolution of TRIM5α, the susceptibility of viruses containing the RELIK capsid (CA) to TRIM5 restriction was evaluated. RELIK CA-containing viruses were susceptible to the TRIM5αs from Old World monkeys but were unaffected by most ape or New World monkey factors. TRIM5αs from various lagomorph species were also isolated and tested for anti-retroviral activity. The TRIM5αs from both cottontail rabbit and pika restrict a range of retroviruses, including HIV-1, HIV-2, FIV, EIAV and N-MLV. TRIM5αs from the European and cottontail rabbit, which have previously been found to contain RELIK, also restricted RELIK CA-containing viruses, whereas a weaker restriction was observed with chimeric TRIM5α containing the B30.2 domain from the pika, which lacks RELIK. Taken together, these results could suggest that the pika had not been exposed to exogenous RELIK and that endogenized RELIK might exert a selective pressure on lagomorph TRIM5α. PMID:23938750

  6. Genetic characterization of interleukins (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18) with relevant biological roles in lagomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; de Matos, Ana Lemos; Costa, Paulo P

    2015-01-01

    ILs, as essential innate immune modulators, are involved in an array of biological processes. In the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18 have been implicated in inflammatory processes and in the immune response against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus and myxoma virus infections. In this study we characterized these ILs in six Lagomorpha species (European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, two cottontail rabbit species, European brown hare and American pika). Overall, these ILs are conserved between lagomorphs, including in their exon/intron structure. Most differences were observed between leporids and American pika. Indeed, when comparing both, some relevant differences were observed in American pika, such as the location of the stop codon in IL-1α and IL-2, the existence of a different transcript in IL8 and the number of cysteine residues in IL-1β. Changes at N-glycosylation motifs were also detected in IL-1, IL-10, IL-12B and IL-15. IL-1α is the protein that presents the highest evolutionary distances, which is in contrast to IL-12A where the distances between lagomorphs are the lowest. For all these ILs, sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than between human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. PMID:26395994

  7. Genetic characterization of interleukins (IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18) with relevant biological roles in lagomorphs.

    PubMed

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; de Matos, Ana Lemos; Costa, Paulo P; Esteves, Pedro J

    2015-11-01

    ILs, as essential innate immune modulators, are involved in an array of biological processes. In the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) IL-1α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12A, IL-12B, IL-15 and IL-18 have been implicated in inflammatory processes and in the immune response against rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus and myxoma virus infections. In this study we characterized these ILs in six Lagomorpha species (European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, two cottontail rabbit species, European brown hare and American pika). Overall, these ILs are conserved between lagomorphs, including in their exon/intron structure. Most differences were observed between leporids and American pika. Indeed, when comparing both, some relevant differences were observed in American pika, such as the location of the stop codon in IL-1α and IL-2, the existence of a different transcript in IL8 and the number of cysteine residues in IL-1β. Changes at N-glycosylation motifs were also detected in IL-1, IL-10, IL-12B and IL-15. IL-1α is the protein that presents the highest evolutionary distances, which is in contrast to IL-12A where the distances between lagomorphs are the lowest. For all these ILs, sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than between human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. PMID:26395994

  8. Molecular Identification of Echinococcus multilocularis Infection in Small Mammals from Northeast, Iran

    PubMed Central

    Beiromvand, Molouk; Akhlaghi, Lame; Fattahi Massom, Seyed Hossein; Meamar, Ahmad Reza; Darvish, Jamshid; Razmjou, Elham

    2013-01-01

    Background Alveolar echinococcosis is a zoonotic disease caused by the metacestode of Echinococcus multilocularis. Many species of small mammals, including arvicolid rodents or Ochotona spp., are natural intermediate hosts of the cestode. The main aim of this study was to identify natural intermediate hosts of E. multilocularis in Chenaran County, Razavi Khorasan Province, northeastern Iran, where the prevalence of infected wild and domestic carnivores is high. Methodology/Principal Findings A program of trapping was carried out in five villages in which this cestode was reported in carnivores. The livers of 85 small mammals were investigated for the presence of E. multilocularis infection using multiplex PCR of mitochondrial genes. Infections were identified in 30 specimens: 23 Microtus transcaspicus, three Ochotona rufescens, two Mus musculus, one Crocidura gmelini, and one Apodemus witherbyi. Conclusions/Significance A range of small mammals therefore act as natural intermediate hosts for the transmission of E. multilocularis in Chenaran County, and the prevalence suggested that E. multilocularis infection is endemic in this region. The existence of the life cycle of this potentially lethal cestode in the vicinity of human habitats provides a significant risk of human infection. PMID:23875048

  9. Snow Micro-Structure Model

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2014-06-25

    PIKA is a MOOSE-based application for modeling micro-structure evolution of seasonal snow. The model will be useful for environmental, atmospheric, and climate scientists. Possible applications include application to energy balance models, ice sheet modeling, and avalanche forecasting. The model implements physics from published, peer-reviewed articles. The main purpose is to foster university and laboratory collaboration to build a larger multi-scale snow model using MOOSE. The main feature of the code is that it is implementedmore » using the MOOSE framework, thus making features such as multiphysics coupling, adaptive mesh refinement, and parallel scalability native to the application. PIKA implements three equations: the phase-field equation for tracking the evolution of the ice-air interface within seasonal snow at the grain-scale; the heat equation for computing the temperature of both the ice and air within the snow; and the mass transport equation for monitoring the diffusion of water vapor in the pore space of the snow.« less

  10. Snow Micro-Structure Model

    SciTech Connect

    Micah Johnson, Andrew Slaughter

    2014-06-25

    PIKA is a MOOSE-based application for modeling micro-structure evolution of seasonal snow. The model will be useful for environmental, atmospheric, and climate scientists. Possible applications include application to energy balance models, ice sheet modeling, and avalanche forecasting. The model implements physics from published, peer-reviewed articles. The main purpose is to foster university and laboratory collaboration to build a larger multi-scale snow model using MOOSE. The main feature of the code is that it is implemented using the MOOSE framework, thus making features such as multiphysics coupling, adaptive mesh refinement, and parallel scalability native to the application. PIKA implements three equations: the phase-field equation for tracking the evolution of the ice-air interface within seasonal snow at the grain-scale; the heat equation for computing the temperature of both the ice and air within the snow; and the mass transport equation for monitoring the diffusion of water vapor in the pore space of the snow.

  11. Evolutionary Insights into IL17A in Lagomorphs

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; Costa, Paulo P.; Esteves, Pedro J.

    2015-01-01

    In leporids, IL17A had been implicated in the host defense against extracellular pathogens, such as Francisella tularensis that infects hares and rabbits and causes the zoonotic disease tularemia. Here, we studied IL17A from five lagomorphs, European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, brush rabbit, European brown hare, and American pika. We observed that this protein is highly conserved between these species, with a similarity of 97–99% in leporids and ~88% between leporids and American pika. The exon/intron structure, N-glycosylation sites, and cysteine residues are conserved between lagomorphs. However, at codon 88, one of the interaction sites between IL17A and its receptor IL17RA, there is an Arg>Pro mutation that only occurs in European rabbit and European brown hare. This could induce critical alterations in the IL17A structure and conformation and consequently modify its function. The differences observed between leporids and humans or rodents might also represent important alterations in protein structure and function. In addition, as for other interleukins, IL17A sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than the sequences of human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. This study gives further support to the hypothesis that European rabbit might be a more suitable animal model for studies on human IL17. PMID:26788019

  12. Evolutionary Insights into IL17A in Lagomorphs.

    PubMed

    Neves, Fabiana; Abrantes, Joana; Almeida, Tereza; Costa, Paulo P; Esteves, Pedro J

    2015-01-01

    In leporids, IL17A had been implicated in the host defense against extracellular pathogens, such as Francisella tularensis that infects hares and rabbits and causes the zoonotic disease tularemia. Here, we studied IL17A from five lagomorphs, European rabbit, pygmy rabbit, brush rabbit, European brown hare, and American pika. We observed that this protein is highly conserved between these species, with a similarity of 97-99% in leporids and ~88% between leporids and American pika. The exon/intron structure, N-glycosylation sites, and cysteine residues are conserved between lagomorphs. However, at codon 88, one of the interaction sites between IL17A and its receptor IL17RA, there is an Arg>Pro mutation that only occurs in European rabbit and European brown hare. This could induce critical alterations in the IL17A structure and conformation and consequently modify its function. The differences observed between leporids and humans or rodents might also represent important alterations in protein structure and function. In addition, as for other interleukins, IL17A sequences of human and European rabbit are more closely related than the sequences of human and mouse or European rabbit and mouse. This study gives further support to the hypothesis that European rabbit might be a more suitable animal model for studies on human IL17. PMID:26788019

  13. Superluminescent variants of marine luciferases for bioassays.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Bae; Suzuki, Hideyuki; Sato, Moritoshi; Tao, Hiroaki

    2011-11-15

    In this study, a rational synthesis of superluminescent variants from marine luciferases with prolonged bioluminescence has been demonstrated. A putative active site of a model marine luciferase, Gaussia princeps Luciferase (GLuc), was assigned and modified by a site-directed mutagenesis. The potent variants were found to generate up to 10 times stronger bioluminescence, emitting red shifts of up to 33 nm with natural coelenterazine than native GLuc, rendering an efficient optical signature in bioassays. The advantageous properties were demonstrated with mammalian two-hybrid assays, single-chain probes, and metastases of murine B16 melanoma in BALB/c nude mice. The unique ideas for engineering GLuc are proved to be valid even for other marine luciferases. PMID:21951281

  14. The Vascularized Medial Femoral Corticoperiosteal Flap for Thumb Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Amin, Kavit; Darhouse, Nagham; Sivakumar, Bran; Floyd, David

    2015-01-01

    Summary: We present an interesting method of shaping a vascularized medial femoral condyle (MFC) flap into a “neophalanx” for phalangeal reconstruction. Our patient presented with limited strength and function secondary to fracture nonunion of the proximal phalanx of the dominant thumb. Following excision of the pseudarthrosis, an MFC corticoperiosteal flap was harvested, sculpted into a prism shape and inset. The superomedial genicular pedicle was anastomosed to the princeps pollicis artery and a cephalic tributary. On follow-up, new bone growth was seen on radiographs and the patient had substantially improved function, with full metacarpophalangeal extension, a Kapandji score of 9, and a markedly reduced Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score of 2.68. The MFC flap is useful for reconstruction of bony defects, with minimal donor morbidity. This versatile vascularized flap can be crafted to requisite shapes and is useful for small defects in the hand, including phalangeal reconstruction. PMID:26495205

  15. [How to optimize biopharmaceutical treatment safety?].

    PubMed

    Prugnaud, Jean-Louis

    2011-03-01

    Biopharmaceuticals represent a growing share of drug innovation. These complex biological products are derived from recombinant DNA biotechnology and are defined by their manufacturing process. Copies of these products, called biosimilars, are not identical to their princeps products and complicate the treatment choice. Minimal changes at any stage of the biopharmaceutical manufacturing process may affect safety and/or efficacy. Cases illustrating the issues surrounding the optimization of biopharmaceutical safety and efficacy include:--the biological activity and immunogenicity of erythropoietins, which depend on the expression cell system and isoform,--glucocerebrosidases with non identical structures have the same bioactivity,--interchangeability of botulinum toxins,--pharmacokinetics of insulin analogs,--protein immunogenicity. The development and interchangeability of biopharmaceuticals must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The European authorities propose guidelines for the development and registration of biological products, with a specific approach for biosimilars. Biopharmaceutical use requires close patient monitoring and product traceability. PMID:22292313

  16. Analysis of Dragonfly Take-off Mechanism: Initial Impulse Generated by Aerodynamic Forces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ruijie; Bode-Oke, Ayodeji; Ren, Yan; Dong, Haibo; Flow Simulation Research Team

    2013-11-01

    Take-off is a critical part of insect flight due to not only that every single flight initiates from take-off, but also that the take-off period, despite its short duration, accounts for a relatively large fraction of the total energy consumption. Thus, studying the mechanism of insect take-off will help to improve the design of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) in two major properties, the success rate and the energy efficiency of take-off. In this work, we study 20 cases in which dragonflies (species including Pachydiplax longipennis, Epitheca Cynosura, Epitheca princeps etc.) take off from designed platform. By high-speed photogrammetry, 3-d reconstruction and numerical simulation, we explore how dragonflies coordinate different body parts to help take-off. We evaluate how aerodynamic forces generated by wing flapping create the initial impulse, and how these forces help save energy consumption. Supported by NSF CBET-1343154.

  17. Distribution of odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and nearby lands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smolka, George E.; Stewart, Paul M.; Swinford, Thomas O.

    1999-01-01

    From 1993 to 1997, 60 species of Anisoptera (dragonflies) and Zygoptera (damselflies) were found in Lake and Porter Counties, Indiana, including Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in contrast to 34 species that were recorded historically from this region. We added 17 new species to Lake County's odonate records and 39 new species to the 5 previously recorded in Porter County. Several regionally rare species were collected: Aeshna clepsydra, Enallagma cyathigerum, and Leucorrhina frigida. Nine species listed in the historical records were missing from our collections: Hetaerina americana, Calopteryx aequabilis, Nehalennia irene, Arigomphus furcifer, Argia fumipennis violacea, Gomphus spicatus, Epitheca princeps, Libellula exusta, and Sympetrum semicinctum. These nine species have either declined in the area or they may be found in other habitats after further study. Because few odonate surveys were conducted in northwest Indiana in the past, a poor baseline exists for comparisons of temporal trends in odonate diversity.

  18. Occurrence of oriental flies associated with indoor and outdoor human remains in the tropical climate of north Malaysia.

    PubMed

    Kumara, T K; Disney, R H L; Abu Hassan, A; Flores, Micah; Hwa, Tan Siew; Mohamed, Zulqarnain; CheSalmah, M R; Bhupinder, S

    2012-06-01

    Flies attracted to human remains during death investigations were surveyed in north Peninsular Malaysia. Six families, eight genera, and 16 species were identified from human remains, with the greatest fly diversity occurring on remains recovered indoors. The total relative frequency of species was led by Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius, 1794) (46%), followed by Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart, 1842) (22%), Sarcophaga (Liopygia) ruficornis (Fabricius, 1974) (5%), Sarcophaga spp. (4%), Synthesiomyia nudiseta Wulp, 1883 (6%), Megaselia spp. (3%), Megaselia scalaris (Loew, 1866), (2%), Megaselia spiracularis Schmitz, 1938 (2%), and Chrysomya villeneuvi Patton, 1922 (2%). Hemipyrellia tagaliana (Bigot, 1877), Desmometopa sp., Megaselia curtineura (Brues, 1909), Hemipyrellia ligurriens Wiedemann 1830, Ophyra sp., Sarcophaga princeps Wiedemann 1830, Piophila casei (Linnaeus, 1758), and unidentified pupae each represented 1%, respectively. PMID:22548537

  19. Microsatellite DNA markers for assessing phylogeographic and population structure in Preble's meadow jumping mice (Zapus hudsonius preblei) and cross-amplification among neighbouring taxa

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    King, T.L.; Eackles, M.S.; Young, C.C.

    2006-01-01

    We document the isolation and characterization of 14 tetranucleotide microsatellite DNA markers in Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei). The identified markers displayed moderate levels of allelic diversity (averaging 4.9 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 55.1%). Genotypic and allelic frequencies in a collection of 30 individuals conformed to Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium expectations and indicated no linkage disequilibrium. High levels of cross-amplification (95% overall) among neighbouring subspecies and two congeners (Zapus princeps and Zapus trinotatus) were observed. Multilocus genotypes resulting from these markers appear to provide ample genetic diversity for studies assessing individual- and population-level ecological interactions within Z. h. preblei and evolutionary relationships among neighbouring subspecies (Z. h. campestris, Z. h. intermedius, Z. h. pallidus and Z. h. luteus). ?? 2006 The Authors.

  20. Detection of diverse novel astroviruses from small mammals in China.

    PubMed

    Hu, Ben; Chmura, Aleksei A; Li, Jialu; Zhu, Guangjian; Desmond, James S; Zhang, Yunzhi; Zhang, Wei; Epstein, Jonathan H; Daszak, Peter; Shi, Zhengli

    2014-11-01

    Astroviruses infect humans and many animal species and cause gastroenteritis. To extensively understand the distribution and genetic diversity of astrovirus in small mammals, we tested 968 anal swabs from 39 animal species, most of which were bats and rodents. We detected diverse astroviruses in 10 bat species, including known bat astroviruses and a large number of novel viruses. Meanwhile, novel groups of astroviruses were identified in three wild rodent species and a remarkably high genetic diversity of astrovirus was revealed in Eothenomys cachinus. We detected astroviruses in captive-bred porcupines and a nearly full-length genome sequence was determined for one strain. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete ORF2 sequence suggested that this strain may share a common ancestor with porcine astrovirus type 2. Moreover, to our knowledge, this study reports the first discovery of astroviruses in shrews and pikas. Our results provide new insights for understanding these small mammals as natural reservoirs of astroviruses. PMID:25034867

  1. Radiometric and geometric analysis of hyperspectral imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Hruska, Ryan; Mitchell, Jessica; Anderson, Matthew; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2012-09-17

    During the summer of 2010, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral in-flight calibration and characterization experiment of the Resonon PIKA II imaging spectrometer was conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) UAV Research Park. The purpose of the experiment was to validate the radiometric calibration of the spectrometer and determine the georegistration accuracy achievable from the on-board global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation sensors (INS) under operational conditions. In order for low-cost hyperspectral systems to compete with larger systems flown on manned aircraft, they must be able to collect data suitable for quantitative scientific analysis. The results of the in-flight calibration experiment indicate an absolute average agreement of 96.3%, 93.7% and 85.7% for calibration tarps of 56%, 24%, and 2.5% reflectivity, respectively. The achieved planimetric accuracy was 4.6 meters (based on RMSE).

  2. [A NATURAL PLAGUE FOCUS. IN GORNYI ALTAI: FORMATION, DEVELOPMENT, AND FUNCTIONING].

    PubMed

    Korzun, V M; Balakhoiov, S V; Chpanin, E V; Denisov, A V; Mikhailov, E P; Mischenko, A J; Yarygina, M B; Rozhdestvensky, E N; Fomina, L A

    2016-01-01

    The paper gives the results of analyzing the data of long-term studies of the natural focal pattern of plague in the Gornyi Altai natural focus. It describes a wide range of biological processes occurring in the focus and shows the most important patterns of its functioning as a complex multilevel ecological system. The key features of the formation of the focus have been revealed. The plague focus in South-Western Altai has formed relatively, recently, about half a century ago, then it has intensively developed and its enzootic area and the activity of epizootic manifestations have considerably increased. This process is due to the space-time transformations of the basic ecological and population characteristics of Pallas' pika (Ochotoma pallasi), the principal vector of the pathogen of plague and fleas parasitizing the mammal, which is in turn related to the aridization of mountain steppes in South-Western Altai. PMID:27029141

  3. Nidicolous ticks of small mammals in Anaplasma phagocytophilum-enzootic sites in northern California

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet; Rejmanek, Daniel; Fleer, Katryna; Nieto, Nathan

    2011-01-01

    Ixodes spp. tick-borne zoonotic diseases are present across the Holarctic in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Small mammals are reservoirs for the rickettsial pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum and tick vectors may include catholic-feeding bridge vectors as well as host-specialist or nidicolous ticks. Far western North American communities in which A. phagocytophilum is maintained are complex ecologically, with multiple reservoir host and tick species, multiple strains of the bacterial pathogen A. phagocytophilum and differences in dynamics of hosts and vectors across heterogeneous landscapes. We evaluated sites in northern California in order to identify primarily nidicolous ticks and the hosts they infest. A total of 667 ticks was found in 11 study sites, including 288 on flags and 379 attached to small mammals. Larvae were over-represented among attached ticks and adults on flags. The most abundant species was I. pacificus. Two-hundred fourteen nidicolous ticks were found, most abundantly I. angustus and I. spinipalpis. All adult I. ochotonae, I. auritulus, I. angustus, I. jellisoni, and I. woodi were female, while the male:female ratio of I. spinipalpis was 1.2:1 and 1:1 for I. pacificus. The greatest number of ticks was obtained from Tamias ochrogenys, Peromyscus spp., and Neotoma fuscipes. Of 234 small mammal individuals that were infested with Ixodes spp., only 81 (34.6%) were infested with I. pacificus. The remaining infested small mammals hosted nidicolous tick species. Eight ticks were PCR-positive, including 6 I. pacificus (one adult, one larva, and 6 nymphs), and 2 adult I. ochotonae and high PCR prevalences of 18% and 9% were detected in woodrats and chipmunks, respectively. Nymphal I. angustus ticks were active year-long with a possible increase in August while larval activity was only observed in December and spring months and adults only during spring and fall. Overall, we show high tick species richness and year-round high levels of

  4. Nidicolous ticks of small mammals in Anaplasma phagocytophilum-enzootic sites in northern California.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Rejmanek, Daniel; Fleer, Katryna; Nieto, Nathan

    2011-06-01

    Ixodes spp. tick-borne zoonotic diseases are present across the Holarctic in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Small mammals are reservoirs for the rickettsial pathogen Anaplasma phagocytophilum and tick vectors may include catholic-feeding bridge vectors as well as host-specialist or nidicolous ticks. Far western North American communities in which A. phagocytophilum is maintained are complex ecologically, with multiple reservoir host and tick species, multiple strains of the bacterial pathogen A. phagocytophilum and differences in dynamics of hosts and vectors across heterogeneous landscapes. We evaluated sites in northern California in order to identify primarily nidicolous ticks and the hosts they infest. A total of 667 ticks was found in 11 study sites, including 288 on flags and 379 attached to small mammals. Larvae were over-represented among attached ticks and adults on flags. The most abundant species was I. pacificus. Two-hundred fourteen nidicolous ticks were found, most abundantly I. angustus and I. spinipalpis. All adult I. ochotonae, I. auritulus, I. angustus, I. jellisoni, and I. woodi were female, while the male:female ratio of I. spinipalpis was 1.2:1 and 1:1 for I. pacificus. The greatest number of ticks was obtained from Tamias ochrogenys, Peromyscus spp., and Neotoma fuscipes. Of 234 small mammal individuals that were infested with Ixodes spp., only 81 (34.6%) were infested with I. pacificus. The remaining infested small mammals hosted nidicolous tick species. Eight ticks were PCR-positive, including 6 I. pacificus (one adult, one larva, and 6 nymphs), and 2 adult I. ochotonae and high PCR prevalences of 18% and 9% were detected in woodrats and chipmunks, respectively. Nymphal I. angustus ticks were active year-long with a possible increase in August while larval activity was only observed in December and spring months and adults only during spring and fall. Overall, we show high tick species richness and year-round high levels of

  5. The Importance of Habitat in the Ecology of Decomposition on Rabbit Carcasses in Malaysia: Implications in Forensic Entomology.

    PubMed

    Silahuddin, Siti Aisyah; Latif, Baha; Kurahashi, Hiromu; Walter, David Evans; Heo, Chong Chin

    2015-01-01

    The stages of decomposition and the faunal succession on rabbit carcasses in three different habitats, namely jungle, rural, and highland areas, were studied. Three New Zealand White rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) carcasses weighing ∼2 kg were sampled daily until the decomposition process was completed. Representative specimens of adult flies, larvae, pupa, and mites were collected from the carcasses and processed in the laboratory. There were differences in decomposition rate and faunal succession between the carcasses. The fastest rate of decomposition was recorded in rural area, and the slowest rate of decomposition was recorded in highland area. The carcasses exhibited the same pattern of colonization by adult flies, but the dominant species of larvae and adult flies on each carcass in specific habitats were different. The primary species of flies recorded in jungle were Chrysomya megacephala F., Chrysomya rufifacies (Macquart), Chrysomya chani Kurahashi, Chrysomya villenuevi Patton, Chrysomya nigripes Aubertin, Chrysomya pinguis (Walker), Hemipyrellia ligurriens (Wiedemann), Hemipyrellia tagaliana (Bigot), Hypopyiopsis fumipennis (Walker), Hypopygiopsis violacea (Macquart), and Hydrotaea spinigera Stein represented by both adults and larvae. Musca domestica L., Atherigona sp., Lioproctia pattoni (Senior-White), Lioproctia saprianovae Pape & Bänziger, and Seniorwhitea princeps (Wiedemann) were represented by adults only. The biodiversity of flies in the rural area were C. megacephala, C. rufifacies, H. ligurriens, Fannia canicularis L., Hydrotaea chalcogaster (Wiedemann), and Hyd. spinigera represented by both adults and larvae, meanwhile M. domestica, Atherigona sp., Boettcherisca peregrina (Robineau-Desvoidy), Parasarcophaga taenionota Wiedemann, Parasarcophaga scopariiformis Senior-White, and S. princeps were represented by adults only. The species of flies collected in the highland area were Lucilia porphyrina (Walker), C. megacephala, C. rufifacies, C

  6. Genetic characterization of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 gene in lagomorphs: comparison between the families Ochotonidae and Leporidae.

    PubMed

    Abrantes, J; Esteves, P J; Carmo, C R; Müller, A; Thompson, G; van der Loo, W

    2008-04-01

    Chemokines receptors are transmembrane proteins that bind chemokines. Chemokines and their receptors are known to play a crucial role in the immune system and in pathogen entry. There is evidence that myxoma virus, the causative agent of myxomatosis, can use the chemokine receptor CXCR4 to infect cells. This virus causes a benign disease in its natural host, Sylvilagus, but in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) it causes a highly fatal and infectious disease known as myxomatosis. We have characterized the chemokine receptor CXCR4 gene in five genera of the order Lagomorpha, Ochotona (Ochotonidae), and Oryctolagus, Lepus, Bunolagus and Sylvilagus (Leporidae). In lagomorphs, the CXCR4 is highly conserved, with most of the protein diversity found at surface regions. Five amino acid replacements were observed, two in the intracellular loops, one in the transmembrane domain and two in the extracellular loops. Oryctolagus features unique amino acid changes at the intracellular domains, putting this genus apart of all other lagomorphs. Furthermore, in the 37 European rabbits analysed, which included healthy rabbits and rabbits with clinical symptoms of myxomatosis, 14 nucleotide substitutions were obtained but no amino acid differences were observed. PMID:18205827

  7. Torque patterns of the limbs of small therian mammals during locomotion on flat ground.

    PubMed

    Witte, Hartmut; Biltzinger, Jutta; Hackert, Rémi; Schilling, Nadja; Schmidt, Manuela; Reich, Christian; Fischer, Martin S

    2002-05-01

    In three species of small therian mammals (Scandentia: Tupaia glis, Rodentia: Galea musteloides and Lagomorpha: Ochotona rufescens) the net joint forces and torques acting during stance phase in the four kinematically relevant joints of the forelimbs (scapular pivot, shoulder joint, elbow joint, wrist joint) and the hindlimbs (hip joint, knee joint, ankle joint, intratarsal joint) were determined by inverse dynamic analysis. Kinematics were measured by cineradiography (150 frames s(-1)). Synchronously ground reaction forces were acquired by forceplates. Morphometry of the extremities was performed by a scanning method using structured illumination. The vector sum of ground reaction forces and weight accounts for most of the joint force vector. Inertial effects can be neglected since errors of net joint forces amount at most to 10 %. The general time course of joint torques is comparable for all species in all joints of the forelimb and in the ankle joint. Torques in the intratarsal joints differ between tailed and tail-less species. The torque patterns in the knee and hip joint are unique to each species. For the first time torque patterns are described completely for the forelimb including the scapula as the dominant propulsive segment. The results are compared with the few torque data available for various joints of cats (Felis catus), dogs (Canis lupus f. familiaris), goats (Capra sp.) and horses (Equus przewalskii f. caballus). PMID:11948209

  8. Vector biodiversity did not associate with tick-borne pathogen prevalence in small mammal communities in northern and central California.

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet; Piovia-Scott, Jonah

    2014-04-01

    Vector and host abundance affect infection transmission rates, prevalence, and persistence in communities. Biological diversity in hosts and vectors may provide "rescue" hosts which buffer against pathogen extinction and "dilution" hosts which reduce the force of infection in communities. Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a tick-transmitted zoonotic pathogen that circulates in small mammal and tick communities characterized by varying levels of biological diversity. We examined the prevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Ixodes spp. ticks in 11 communities in northern and central California. A total of 1020 ticks of 8 species was evaluated. Five percent of ticks (5 species) were PCR-positive, with the highest prevalence (6-7%) in I. pacificus and I. ochotonae. In most species, adults had a higher prevalence than nymphs or larvae. PCR prevalence varied between 0% and 40% across sites; the infection probability in ticks increased with infestation load and prevalence in small mammals, but not tick species richness, diversity, evenness, or small mammal species richness. No particular tick species was likely to "rescue" infection in the community; rather the risk of A. phagocytophilum infection is related to exposure to particular tick species and life stages, and overall tick abundance. PMID:24582513

  9. Saker falcon research and conservation efforts in Mongolia, 1997

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ellis, D.H.; Tsengeg, P.; Whitlock, P.L.

    1998-01-01

    This past summer. our small field team followed a 4000 km route through central and eastern Mongolia. Even though there was a population crash underway for picas (Ochotona sp.) and voles (Microtus sp.). we found 38 new saker nests and visited 60 eyries found in previous years. Many of the former eyries were unoccupied. Others were occupied but without young. Productivity was good at eyries with large young. and southeastern Mongolia seemed unaffected by food shortages. The main goal for 1997 was to create new eyries and enlarge. stabilise. or otherwise alter marginal eyries. \\Ve created 65 eyries as follows: 8 on wooden powerlines or telephone supports, 8 on metal power line towers, 3 in trees, 3 on boulders, 11 on cliffs, 17 on abandoned buildings, 9 on metal geological survey towers, and 6 on miscellaneous structures. \\Ve also enlarged or repaired three establishedeyries and did minor repairs on several others. Lesser accomplishments include what may be the first observation of siblicide for the saker falcon (please contact us immediately if you have other records of sakerchicks attacking or killing their nest mates) and the description of a new saker flight display. We also documented an unusual golden eagle eyrie containing the remains of nearly 30 foxes, several predatory birds, and a number of gazelle. In 1998. we plan to return to Mongolia to see how many of our 'fake eyries' attracted falcons. Our work in 1997 was supported by Mr. Howell. another philanthropist (anonymous) and the Institute of Raptor Studies.

  10. U-Th and ESR dating of drilled cores from a giant hydrothermal mounds in South Mariana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takamasa, A.; Nakai, S.; Sato, F.; Toyoda, S.; Ishibashi, J.

    2012-12-01

    The time scale for hydrothermal activity is an important factor controlling the size of hydrothermal ore deposits and the evolution of chemosynthesis-based communities in a submarine hydrothermal system. We determined the age of hydrothermal deposits samples, both collected samples by submersible and drilled core samples from South Mariana Trough. Samples were collected from four hydrothermal sites, Snail (near the spreading axis), Archean ( 1.5km from the axis), Pika ( 4.9km from the axis) and Urashima ( 4.9km from the axis). 230Th-234U radioactive disequilibrium dating was applied to hydrothermal sufide minerals consisting of pyrite and sphalerite while electron spin resonance (ESR) dating was applied to barite. For 230Th-234U radioactive disequilibrium dating, we carried out magnetic separation for bulk samples, then we digested samples with nitric acid. U and Th were purified by two-step column separations, and isotopic compositions of spiked and unspiked U and Th were measured by a MC-ICP-MS. Analytical methods for ESR age determination were described in a companion abstract by Toyoda et al. We found that the magnetic fractions had significantly higher U/Th ratios, which enabled 230Th-234U age determinations as precise as ±2% (2σ). This probably reflects that pyrite enriched in magnetic fractions has high U/Th ration. In a sulfide crust sample collected from Archean site, the 230Th-234U ages of the sulfide minerals (0.3-2.2 ka) were compared with ESR ages of barites separated from 12 subsamples of the same sulfide crust. ESR ages (0.27 - 1.7 ka) show a spatial pattern broadly resembling that observed in 230Th-234U dating method. While there are some significant offsets, these results illustrate the potential of the two methods for use in provide information on evolution history of a hydrothermal system. Samples from Pika, Archean and Snail sites yield from 0.5 to ~9 ka, from 0.1 to 3 ka and < ~90 a, respectively. The oldest ages from each site are correlated

  11. Combined effects between temporal heterogeneity of water supply, nutrient level, and population density on biomass of four broadly distributed herbaceous species.

    PubMed

    Hagiwara, Yousuke; Kachi, Naoki; Suzuki, Jun-Ichirou

    2012-01-01

    Temporal heterogeneity of water supply affects grassland community productivity and it can interact with nutrient level and intraspecific competition. To understand community responses, the responses of individual species to water heterogeneity must be evaluated while considering the interactions of this heterogeneity with nutrient levels and population density. We compared responses of four herbaceous species grown in monocultures to various combinations of water heterogeneity, nutrient level, and population density: two grasses (Cynodon dactylon and Lolium perenne), a forb (Artemisia princeps), and a legume (Trifolium repens). Treatment effects on shoot and root biomass were analyzed. In all four species, shoot biomass was larger under homogeneous than under heterogeneous water supply. Shoot responses of L. perenne tended to be greater at high nutrient levels. Although root biomass was also larger under homogeneous water supply, effects of water heterogeneity on root biomass were not significant in the grasses. Trifolium repens showed marked root responses, particularly at high population density. Although greater shoot and root growth under homogeneous water supply appears to be a general trend among herbaceous species, our results suggested differences among species could be found in the degree of response to water heterogeneity and its interactions with nutrient level and intraspecific competition. PMID:21327692

  12. A portable bioluminescence engineered cell-based biosensor for on-site applications.

    PubMed

    Roda, Aldo; Cevenini, Luca; Michelini, Elisa; Branchini, Bruce R

    2011-04-15

    We have developed a portable biosensing device based on genetically engineered bioluminescent (BL) cells. Cells were immobilized on a 4 × 3 multiwell cartridge using a new biocompatible matrix that preserved their vitality. Using a fiber optic taper, the cartridge was placed in direct contact with a cooled CCD sensor to image and quantify the BL signals. Yeast and bacterial cells were engineered to express recognition elements, whose interaction with the analyte led to luciferase expression, via reporter gene technology. Three different biosensors were developed. The first detects androgenic compounds using yeast cells carrying a green-emitting P. pyralis luciferase regulated by the human androgen receptor and a red mutant of the same species as internal vitality control. The second biosensor detects two classes of compounds (androgens and estrogens) using yeast strains engineered to express green-or red-emitting mutant firefly luciferases in response to androgens or estrogens, respectively. The third biosensor detects lactose analogue isopropyl β-d-1-thiogalactopyranoside using two E. coli strains. One strain exploits the lac operon as recognition element for the expression of P. pyralis luciferase. The other strain serves as a vitality control expressing Gaussia princeps luciferase, which requires a different luciferin substrate. The immobilized cells were stable for up to 1 month. The analytes could be detected at nanomolar levels with good precision and accuracy when the specific signal was corrected using the internal vitality control. This portable device can be used for on-site multiplexed bioassays for different compound classes. PMID:21388801

  13. A set of aspartyl protease-deficient strains for improved expression of heterologous proteins in Kluyveromyces lactis

    PubMed Central

    Ganatra, Mehul B; Vainauskas, Saulius; Hong, Julia M; Taylor, Troy E; Denson, John-Paul M; Esposito, Dominic; Read, Jeremiah D; Schmeisser, Hana; Zoon, Kathryn C; Hartley, James L; Taron, Christopher H

    2011-01-01

    Secretion of recombinant proteins is a common strategy for heterologous protein expression using the yeast Kluyveromyces lactis. However, a common problem is degradation of a target recombinant protein by secretory pathway aspartyl proteases. In this study, we identified five putative pfam00026 aspartyl proteases encoded by the K. lactis genome. A set of selectable marker-free protease deletion mutants was constructed in the prototrophic K. lactis GG799 industrial expression strain background using a PCR-based dominant marker recycling method based on the Aspergillus nidulans acetamidase gene (amdS). Each mutant was assessed for its secretion of protease activity, its health and growth characteristics, and its ability to efficiently produce heterologous proteins. In particular, despite having a longer lag phase and slower growth compared with the other mutants, a Δyps1 mutant demonstrated marked improvement in both the yield and the quality of Gaussia princeps luciferase and the human chimeric interferon Hy3, two proteins that experienced significant proteolysis when secreted from the wild-type parent strain. PMID:21166768

  14. Studies on the phytoplankton populations and physico-chemical conditions of treated sewage discharged into Lake Manzala in Egypt.

    PubMed

    el-Naggar, M E; Shaaban-Dessouki, S A; Abdel-Hamid, M I; Aly, E M

    1998-04-01

    Over a full year, the phytoplankton populations and physico-chemical conditions of treated sewage discharged into Lake Manzala in Egypt were investigated. Sixty-seven species of algae were identified, 18 Cyanophyta (Cyanobacteria), 19 Chlorophyta, 21 Bacillariophyta, 6 Euglenophyta, 2 Cryptophyta and one species Pyrrhophyta. Nitzschia (6 spp.), Scenedesmus (6 spp.), Navicula (4 spp.), Oscillatoria (4 spp.) and Euglena (4 spp.) were the most common genera. A remarkable seasonal variation in species composition and standing crop of the phytoplankton populations was noted during the study. The total phytoplankton standing crop appeared to be mainly dependent on the growth of certain species viz., Oscillatoria chalybea, O. princepes, O. tenuis, Microcystis aeruginosa, Anabaena constricta (Cyanophyta), Nitzschia obtusa, Bacillaria paradoxa, Cocconeis placentula, Cyclotella meneghiniana (Bacillariophyta), Pandorina morum, Volvox sp. (Chlorophyta) and Phacus curvicauda (Euglenophyta). The continuous presence of Anabaena constricta and Nitzschia palea was recorded in the treated sewage. The least represented algal divisions were Pyrrhophyta and Cryptophyta, both in terms of quality and quantity. The data indicate that the secondary effluents were unstable in their chemical features and grossly polluted. Therefore, the treatment systems must treat the discharged sewage to a tertiary level before discharging into Lake Manzala. PMID:9579343

  15. [Size structure, selectivity and specific composition of the catch in traps for marine fish in the Gulf of California].

    PubMed

    Nevárez-Martínez, Manuel O; Balmori-Ramírez, Alejandro; Miranda-Mier, Everardo; Santos-Molina, J Pablo; Méndez-Tenorio, Francisco J; Cervantes-Valle, Celio

    2008-09-01

    We analyzed the performance of three traps for marine fish between October 2005 and August 2006 in the Gulf of California, Mexico. The performance was measured as difference in selectivity, fish diversity, size structure and yield. The samples were collected with quadrangular traps 90 cm wide, 120 cm long and 50 cm high. Trap type 1 had a 5 x 5 cm mesh (type 2: 5 x 5 cm including a rear panel of 5 x 10 cm; trap 3: 5 x 10 cm). Most abundant in our traps were: Goldspotted sand bass (Paralabrax auroguttatus), Ocean whitefish (Caulolatilus princeps), Spotted sand bass (P. maculatofaciatus) and Bighead tilefish (C. affinis); there was no bycatch. The number offish per trap per haul decreased when mesh size was increased. We also observed a direct relationship between mesh size and average fish length. By comparing our traps with the authorized fishing gear (hooks-and-line) we found that the size structure is larger in traps. Traps with larger mesh size were more selective. Consequently, we recommend adding traps to hooks-and-line as authorized fishing gear in the small scale fisheries of the Sonora coast, Mexico. PMID:19419053

  16. An interdependent metabolic patchwork in the nested symbiosis of mealybugs

    PubMed Central

    McCutcheon, John P.; von Dohlen, Carol D.

    2011-01-01

    Summary Highly reduced genomes of 144–416 kilobases have been described from nutrient-provisioning bacterial symbionts of several insect lineages [1–5]. Some host insects have formed stable associations with pairs of bacterial symbionts that live in specialized cells and provide them with essential nutrients; genomic data from these systems have revealed remarkable levels of metabolic complementary between the symbiont pairs [3, 4, 6, 7]. The mealybug, Planococcus citri (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), contains dual bacterial symbionts existing with an unprecedented organization: an unnamed Gammaproteobacteria, for which we propose the name Candidatus Moranella endobia, lives inside the Betaproteobacteria Candidatus Tremblaya princeps [8]. Here we describe the complete genomes and metabolic contributions of these unusual nested symbionts. We show that while there is little overlap in retained genes involved in nutrient production between symbionts, several essential amino acid pathways in the mealybug assemblage require a patchwork of interspersed gene products from Tremblaya, Moranella, and possibly P. citri. Furthermore, while Tremblaya has the smallest cellular genome yet described, it contains a genomic inversion present in both orientations in individual insects, starkly contrasting the extreme structural stability typical of highly reduced bacterial genomes [4, 9, 10]. PMID:21835622

  17. Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin

    PubMed Central

    Breure, Abraham S.H.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The type status is described of 96 taxa classified within the superfamily Orthalicoidea and present in the Mollusca collection of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Lectotypes are designated for the following taxa: Orthalicus elegans Rolle, 1895; Bulimus maranhonensis Albers, 1854; Orthalicus nobilis Rolle, 1895; Orthalichus tricinctus Martens, 1893. Orthalicus sphinx tresmariae is introduced as new name for Zebra sphinx turrita Strebel, 1909, not Zebra quagga turrita Strebel, 1909. The following synonyms are established: Zebra crosseifischeri Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus princeps fischeri Martens, 1893; Orthalicus isabellinus Martens, 1873 = Orthalicus bensoni (Reeve, 1849); Zebra zoniferus naesiotes Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus undatus (Bruguière, 1789); Porphyrobaphe (Myiorthalicus) dennisoni pallida Strebel, 1909 = Hemibulimus dennisoni (Reeve, 1848); Zebra delphinus pumilio Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus delphinus (Strebel, 1909); Orthalicus (Laeorthalicus) reginaeformis Strebel, 1909 = Corona perversa (Swainson, 1821); Bulimus (Eurytus) corticosus Sowerby III, 1895 = Plekocheilus (Eurytus) stuebeli Martens, 1885. The taxon Bulimus (Eudioptus) psidii Martens, 1877 is now placed within the family Sagdidae, tentatively in the genus Platysuccinea. Appendices are included with an index to all the types of Orthalicoidea extant (including those listed by Köhler 2007) and a partial list of letters present in the correspondence archives. PMID:23794831

  18. Molecular and histological characterization of primary (betaproteobacteria) and secondary (gammaproteobacteria) endosymbionts of three mealybug species.

    PubMed

    Gatehouse, Laurence N; Sutherland, Paul; Forgie, Shaun A; Kaji, Ryohei; Christeller, John T

    2012-02-01

    Microscopic localization of endosymbiotic bacteria in three species of mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus, the long-tailed mealybug; Pseudococcus calceolariae, the citrophilus mealybug; and Pseudococcus viburni, the obscure mealybug) showed these organisms were confined to bacteriocyte cells within a bacteriome centrally located within the hemocoel. Two species of bacteria were present, with the secondary endosymbiont, in all cases, living within the primary endosymbiont. DNA from the dissected bacteriomes of all three species of mealybug was extracted for analysis. Sequence data from selected 16S rRNA genes confirmed identification of the primary endosymbiont as "Candidatus Tremblaya princeps," a betaproteobacterium, and the secondary endosymbionts as gammaproteobacteria closely related to Sodalis glossinidius. A single 16S rRNA sequence of the primary endosymbiont was found in all individuals of each mealybug species. In contrast, the presence of multiple divergent strains of secondary endosymbionts in each individual mealybug suggests different evolutionary and transmission histories of the two endosymbionts. Mealybugs are known vectors of the plant pathogen Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. To examine the possible role of either endosymbiont in virus transmission, an extension of the model for interaction of proteins with bacterial chaperonins, i.e., GroEL protein homologs, based on mobile-loop amino acid sequences of their GroES homologs, was developed and used for analyses of viral coat protein interactions. The data from this model are consistent with a role for the primary endosymbiont in mealybug transmission of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. PMID:22156418

  19. Molecular and Histological Characterization of Primary (Betaproteobacteria) and Secondary (Gammaproteobacteria) Endosymbionts of Three Mealybug Species

    PubMed Central

    Sutherland, Paul; Forgie, Shaun A.; Kaji, Ryohei; Christeller, John T.

    2012-01-01

    Microscopic localization of endosymbiotic bacteria in three species of mealybug (Pseudococcus longispinus, the long-tailed mealybug; Pseudococcus calceolariae, the citrophilus mealybug; and Pseudococcus viburni, the obscure mealybug) showed these organisms were confined to bacteriocyte cells within a bacteriome centrally located within the hemocoel. Two species of bacteria were present, with the secondary endosymbiont, in all cases, living within the primary endosymbiont. DNA from the dissected bacteriomes of all three species of mealybug was extracted for analysis. Sequence data from selected 16S rRNA genes confirmed identification of the primary endosymbiont as “Candidatus Tremblaya princeps,” a betaproteobacterium, and the secondary endosymbionts as gammaproteobacteria closely related to Sodalis glossinidius. A single 16S rRNA sequence of the primary endosymbiont was found in all individuals of each mealybug species. In contrast, the presence of multiple divergent strains of secondary endosymbionts in each individual mealybug suggests different evolutionary and transmission histories of the two endosymbionts. Mealybugs are known vectors of the plant pathogen Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. To examine the possible role of either endosymbiont in virus transmission, an extension of the model for interaction of proteins with bacterial chaperonins, i.e., GroEL protein homologs, based on mobile-loop amino acid sequences of their GroES homologs, was developed and used for analyses of viral coat protein interactions. The data from this model are consistent with a role for the primary endosymbiont in mealybug transmission of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 3. PMID:22156418

  20. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Mechanisms of Eupafolin in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Responses in RAW264.7 Macrophages

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chin-Chaun; Lin, Ming-Wei; Liang, Chan-Jung; Wang, Shu-Huei

    2016-01-01

    Eupafolin is a flavone isolated from Artemisia princeps Pampanini (family Asteraceae). The aim of this study was to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of eupafolin in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 macrophages and LPS-induced mouse skin and lung inflammation models and to identify the mechanism underlying these effects. Eupafolin decreased the LPS-induced release of inflammatory mediators (iNOS, COX-2 and NO) and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) from the RAW264.7 macrophages. Eupafolin inhibited the LPS-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, ERK1/2, JNK, AKT and p65 and the nuclear translocation of p65 and c-fos. These effects were mainly mediated by the inhibition of JNK. In the mouse paw and lung models, eupafolin effectively suppressed the LPS-induced edema formation and down-regulated iNOS and COX-2 expression. These results demonstrated that eupafolin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and suggested that eupafolin can be developed as an anti-inflammatory agent. PMID:27414646

  1. The Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Mechanisms of Eupafolin in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Responses in RAW264.7 Macrophages.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chin-Chaun; Lin, Ming-Wei; Liang, Chan-Jung; Wang, Shu-Huei

    2016-01-01

    Eupafolin is a flavone isolated from Artemisia princeps Pampanini (family Asteraceae). The aim of this study was to examine the anti-inflammatory effects of eupafolin in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated RAW264.7 macrophages and LPS-induced mouse skin and lung inflammation models and to identify the mechanism underlying these effects. Eupafolin decreased the LPS-induced release of inflammatory mediators (iNOS, COX-2 and NO) and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) from the RAW264.7 macrophages. Eupafolin inhibited the LPS-induced phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, ERK1/2, JNK, AKT and p65 and the nuclear translocation of p65 and c-fos. These effects were mainly mediated by the inhibition of JNK. In the mouse paw and lung models, eupafolin effectively suppressed the LPS-induced edema formation and down-regulated iNOS and COX-2 expression. These results demonstrated that eupafolin exhibits anti-inflammatory properties and suggested that eupafolin can be developed as an anti-inflammatory agent. PMID:27414646

  2. The artery blood supply variant of the upper limb

    PubMed Central

    MASLARSKI, IVAN

    2015-01-01

    Variations of arterial patterns in the upper limb have represented the most common subject of vascular anatomy. Different types of artery branching pattern of the upper limb are very important for orthopedists in angiographic and microvascular surgical practice. The brachial artery (BA) is the most important vessel in the normal vascular anatomy of the upper limb. The classical pattern of the palmar hand region distribution shows the superficial palmar arch. Normally this arch is formed by the superficial branch of the ulnar artery and completed on the lateral side by one of these arteries: the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery, the princeps pollicis artery, the superficial palmar branch of the radial artery or the median artery. After the routine dissection of the right upper limb of an adult male cadaver, we found a very rare variant of the superficial arch artery – a division in a higher level brachial artery. We found this division at 10.4 cm from the beginning of the brachial artery. This superficial brachial artery became a radial artery and was not involved in the formation of the palm arch. In the forearm region, the artery variant was present with the median artery and the ulnar artery, which form the superficial palm arch. PMID:26733754

  3. Annotated type catalogue of the Orthalicoidea (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin.

    PubMed

    Breure, Abraham S H

    2013-01-01

    The type status is described of 96 taxa classified within the superfamily Orthalicoidea and present in the Mollusca collection of the Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Lectotypes are designated for the following taxa: Orthalicus elegans Rolle, 1895; Bulimus maranhonensis Albers, 1854; Orthalicus nobilis Rolle, 1895; Orthalichus tricinctus Martens, 1893. Orthalicus sphinx tresmariae is introduced as new name for Zebra sphinx turrita Strebel, 1909, not Zebra quagga turrita Strebel, 1909. The following synonyms are established: Zebra crosseifischeri Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus princeps fischeri Martens, 1893; Orthalicus isabellinus Martens, 1873 = Orthalicus bensoni (Reeve, 1849); Zebra zoniferus naesiotes Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus undatus (Bruguière, 1789); Porphyrobaphe (Myiorthalicus) dennisoni pallida Strebel, 1909 = Hemibulimus dennisoni (Reeve, 1848); Zebra delphinus pumilio Strebel, 1909 = Orthalicus delphinus (Strebel, 1909); Orthalicus (Laeorthalicus) reginaeformis Strebel, 1909 = Corona perversa (Swainson, 1821); Bulimus (Eurytus) corticosus Sowerby III, 1895 = Plekocheilus (Eurytus) stuebeli Martens, 1885. The taxon Bulimus (Eudioptus) psidii Martens, 1877 is now placed within the family Sagdidae, tentatively in the genus Platysuccinea. Appendices are included with an index to all the types of Orthalicoidea extant (including those listed by Köhler 2007) and a partial list of letters present in the correspondence archives. PMID:23794831

  4. Contributions to the moss flora of Giresun Region (Sebinkarahisar and Alucra district).

    PubMed

    Ozdemir, T; Batan, N

    2008-08-15

    The aim of the study was to obtain knowledge on the moss flora of the Giresun Region-rather than to identify the entire range moss flora of the region. After the identification of 287 moss specimens collected from the research area between June and August in 2007 and 2008, total 85 taxa were defined. These taxa belong to 17 families and 37 genera of Bryopsida (Musci). Among them, 14 taxa -Hygroamblystegium irriguum Hedw., Rhynchostegium confertum (Dicks.) B. S. G., Rhynchostegium alpinum Huds. ex With., Bryum dichotomum Hedw., Bryum laevifilum Syed., Hygrohypnum smithii (Sw.) Broth., Grimmia decipiens (Schultz) Lindb., Grimmia tergestina Tomm. Ex Bruch and Schimp., Schistidium flaccidum (DeNot.) Ochyra., Schistidium platyphyllum (Mitt.) Kindb., Palustriella decipens (De Not.) Ochyra., Desmatodon latifolius (Hedw.) Brid., Phascum curvicolle Hedw., Syntrichia princeps (De Not.) Mitt. new for A4 grid square (40 degrees- 42' N, 38 degrees -42' E) which was adopted by Henderson. Thirty six taxa are new for Giresun Province. All taxa are new for study area. For every each taxon, the habitat pattern and distribution data are presented. PMID:19266904

  5. Tradescantia-micronucleus and -stamen hair mutation assays on genotoxicity of the gaseous and liquid forms of pesticides.

    PubMed

    Mohammed, K B; Ma, T H

    1999-05-19

    The clastogenic and mutagenic effects of the insecticide Dimethoate (Cygon-2E), herbicides Atrazine, Simazine (Princep), Dicamba (Banvel D) and Picloram (Tordon) were studied using the Tradescantia-micronucleus (Trad-MCN) and Tradescantia-stamen hair mutation (Trad-SHM) assays. In clone 4430, dimethoate fumes both significantly increased the pink mutation events and reduced the number of stamen hairs per filament with increasing dosages. The pink mutation events were elevated by the liquid treatment with Picloram at 100 ppm concentration. The result of Trad-MCN test on Dimethoate fumes was not significantly different between the control and treated groups. The herbicide Atrazine showed positive effects at 10-50 ppm dose (liquid) and signs of overdose at 100 and 500 ppm concentrations. Simazine was mildly positive in elevating the MCN frequencies in the dose range of 5 to 200 ppm (liquid doses). Both Dicamba and Picloram induced a dosage-related increase in MCN frequencies in the Trad-MCN tests using Tradescantia clone 03. However, in higher dosages (200 ppm or higher), there were signs of overdose, reduction of MCN frequencies and physical damage of the leaves and buds of plant cuttings. PMID:10350597

  6. Dual luciferase assay for secreted luciferases based on Gaussia and NanoLuc.

    PubMed

    Heise, Kerstin; Oppermann, Henry; Meixensberger, Jürgen; Gebhardt, Rolf; Gaunitz, Frank

    2013-05-01

    Just recently, NanoLuc, a new engineered luciferase based on the small subunit of the luciferase from Oplophorus gracilirostris was introduced. Like the luciferase from Gaussia princeps, this luciferase is secreted into the medium. Both luciferases are the smallest and brightest luciferases known and well-suited for reporter assays. In our experiments, we demonstrate that both luciferases can be used together in a dual-reporter assay by solving the problem that NanoLuc produces a significant signal with coelenterazine, which is the substrate for Gaussia luciferase. We found that the background signal from NanoLuc with coelenterazine can be calculated from the determination of NanoLuc activity in the presence of its substrate furimazine. This in turn allows the precise determination of the activity of Gaussia which does not produce light in the presence of furimazine. Based on this observation, we developed a high sensitive dual secreted luciferase assay which allows the determination of both activities in a single cotransfection experiment. We demonstrate the versatility and robustness of the assay for the normalization of reporter gene activities. Since Gaussia luciferase and NanoLuc are nonhomologous reporters, the method to determine both luciferase activities may also be useful for coincidence reporter gene systems for high-throughput screening. PMID:23679848

  7. Balzac's Louis Lambert : schizophrenia before Kraepelin and Bleuler.

    PubMed

    Dieguez, Sebastian

    2013-01-01

    Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) is well known for his penetrating observations and descriptions of the burgeoning social life and emerging modernity of 19th century France. This chapter focuses on the novel Louis Lambert, first published in 1832. It is argued that its main character provides the first complete and convincing description of schizophrenia - 69 years before Kraepelin fully developed the concept of dementia praecox and 76 years before Bleuler coined the word 'schizophrenia'. We consider the history of the concept of schizophrenia and the intriguing possibility that it is a recent disease. Indeed, if schizophrenia had always existed, it would seem odd that Balzac's novel should be the very first convincing and complete literary account of the disease. This claim is examined by a thorough description of Louis Lambert's symptoms as they appear in the text, and compared to other claims of priority (namely, Shakespeare's King Lear and Gogol's Diary of a Madman). The chapter also provides some background on Balzac's relationship with mysticism, mental illness, and the world of psychiatry. We conclude with remarks regarding influences of Louis Lambert, the case for the priority of the novel as the princeps case of schizophrenia, and its relevance to the recency hypothesis of schizophrenia. PMID:23485889

  8. Permanent Genetic Resources added to Molecular Ecology Resources database 1 January 2009-30 April 2009.

    PubMed

    Abercrombie, L G; Anderson, C M; Baldwin, B G; Bang, I C; Beldade, R; Bernardi, G; Boubou, A; Branca, A; Bretagnolle, F; Bruford, M W; Buonamici, A; Burnett, R K; Canal, D; Cárdenas, H; Caullet, C; Chen, S Y; Chun, Y J; Cossu, C; Crane, C F; Cros-Arteil, S; Cudney-Bueno, R; Danti, R; Dávila, J A; Della Rocca, G; Dobata, S; Dunkle, L D; Dupas, S; Faure, N; Ferrero, M E; Fumanal, B; Gigot, G; González, I; Goodwin, S B; Groth, D; Hardesty, B D; Hasegawa, E; Hoffman, E A; Hou, M L; Jamsari, A F J; Ji, H J; Johnson, D H; Joseph, L; Justy, F; Kang, E J; Kaufmann, B; Kim, K S; Kim, W J; Koehler, A V; Laitung, B; Latch, P; Liu, Y D; Manjerovic, M B; Martel, E; Metcalfe, S S; Miller, J N; Midgley, J J; Migeon, A; Moore, A J; Moore, W L; Morris, V R F; Navajas, M; Navia, D; Neel, M C; De Nova, P J G; Olivieri, I; Omura, T; Othman, A S; Oudot-Canaff, J; Panthee, D R; Parkinson, C L; Patimah, I; Pérez-Galindo, C A; Pettengill, J B; Pfautsch, S; Piola, F; Potti, J; Poulin, R; Raimondi, P T; Rinehart, T A; Ruzainah, A; Sarver, S K; Scheffler, B E; Schneider, A R R; Silvain, J F; Siti Azizah, M N; Springer, Y P; Stewart, C N; Sun, W; Tiedemann, R; Tsuji, K; Trigiano, R N; Vendramin, G G; Wadl, P A; Wang, L; Wang, X; Watanabe, K; Waterman, J M; Weisser, W W; Westcott, D A; Wiesner, K R; Xu, X F; Yaegashi, S; Yuan, J S

    2009-09-01

    This article documents the addition of 283 microsatellite marker loci to the Molecular Ecology Resources Database. Loci were developed for the following species: Agalinis acuta; Ambrosia artemisiifolia; Berula erecta; Casuarius casuarius; Cercospora zeae-maydis; Chorthippus parallelus; Conyza canadensis; Cotesia sesamiae; Epinephelus acanthistius; Ficedula hypoleuca; Grindelia hirsutula; Guadua angustifolia; Leucadendron rubrum; Maritrema novaezealandensis; Meretrix meretrix; Nilaparvata lugens; Oxyeleotris marmoratus; Phoxinus neogaeus; Pristomyrmex punctatus; Pseudobagrus brevicorpus; Seiridium cardinale; Stenopsyche marmorata; Tetranychus evansi and Xerus inauris. These loci were cross-tested on the following species: Agalinis decemloba; Agalinis tenella; Agalinis obtusifolia; Agalinis setacea; Agalinis skinneriana; Cercospora zeina; Cercospora kikuchii; Cercospora sorghi; Mycosphaerella graminicola; Setosphaeria turcica; Magnaporthe oryzae; Cotesia flavipes; Cotesia marginiventris; Grindelia Xpaludosa; Grindelia chiloensis; Grindelia fastigiata; Grindelia lanceolata; Grindelia squarrosa; Leucadendron coniferum; Leucadendron salicifolium; Leucadendron tinctum; Leucadendron meridianum; Laodelphax striatellus; Sogatella furcifera; Phoxinus eos; Phoxinus rigidus; Phoxinus brevispinosus; Phoxinus bicolor; Tetranychus urticae; Tetranychus turkestani; Tetranychus ludeni; Tetranychus neocaledonicus; Tetranychus amicus; Amphitetranychus viennensis; Eotetranychus rubiphilus; Eotetranychus tiliarium; Oligonychus perseae; Panonychus citri; Bryobia rubrioculus; Schizonobia bundi; Petrobia harti; Xerus princeps; Spermophilus tridecemlineatus and Sciurus carolinensis. PMID:21564911

  9. Arthropod vectors and vector-borne bacterial pathogens in Yosemite National Park.

    PubMed

    Fleer, Katryna A; Foley, Patrick; Calder, Lee; Foley, Janet E

    2011-01-01

    Ticks, fleas, and vector-borne pathogens were surveyed in diverse small mammals in Yosemite National Park, California, from 2005 to 2007. A total of 450 unique captures of small mammals was collected during a 3-yr period and yielded 16 species of fleas and 10 species of ticks, including known vectors of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi and plague. Serology was performed for A. phagocytophilum, spotted fever group Rickettsia spp., B. burgdorferi, and Yersinia pestis. A. phagocytophilum exposure was identified in 12.1% of all wild small mammals tested, with seropositive animals in 10 species, notably Belding's ground squirrels (Spermophilus beldingi), jumping mice (Zapus princeps), and voles (Microtus sp.). Spotted fever group Rickettsia spp. exposure was detected in 13.9% of all small mammals tested, with seropositive animals in eight species. Additionally, 37.0% of rodents in five species tested were seropositive for B. burgdorferi. No individuals were seropositive for Y. pestis. No animals were polymerase chain reaction positive for any pathogen tested. These results provide baseline data for future research and prediction of emerging vector-borne disease in Yosemite National Park, as well as adding to the known ranges and host species for tick and fleas in California. PMID:21337955

  10. Absolute calibration of a variable attenuator using few-photon pulses.

    PubMed

    Levine, Zachary H; Glebov, Boris L; Pintar, Adam L; Migdall, Alan L

    2015-06-15

    We demonstrate the ability to calibrate a variable optical attenuator directly at the few-photon level using a superconducting Transition Edge Sensor (TES). Because of the inherent linearity of photon-number resolving detection, no external calibrations are required, even for the energy of the laser pulses, which ranged from means of 0.15 to 18 photons per pulse at the detector. To verify this method, calibrations were compared to an independent conventional calibration made at much higher photon fluxes using analog detectors. In all cases, the attenuations estimated by the two methods agree within their uncertainties.Our few-photon measurement determined attenuations using the Poisson-Influenced K-Means Algorithm (PIKA) to extract mean numbers of photons per pulse along with the uncertainties of these means. The robustness of the method is highlighted by the agreement of the two calibrations even in the presence of significant drifts in the optical power over the course of the experiment.Work of the United States Government. Not subject to copyright. PMID:26193610

  11. High-resolution magnetic signature of active hydrothermal systems in the back-arc spreading region of the southern Mariana Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujii, Masakazu; Okino, Kyoko; Honsho, Chie; Dyment, Jerome; Szitkar, Florent; Mochizuki, Nobutatsu; Asada, Miho

    2015-05-01

    High-resolution vector magnetic measurements were performed on five hydrothermal vent fields of the back-arc spreading region of the southern Mariana Trough using Shinkai 6500, a deep-sea manned submersible. A new 3-D forward scheme was applied that exploits the surrounding bathymetry and varying altitudes of the submersible to estimate absolute crustal magnetization. The results revealed that magnetic-anomaly-derived absolute magnetizations show a reasonable correlation with natural remanent magnetizations of rock samples collected from the seafloor of the same region. The distribution of magnetic-anomaly-derived absolute magnetization suggests that all five andesite-hosted hydrothermal fields are associated with a lack of magnetization, as is generally observed at basalt-hosted hydrothermal sites. Furthermore, both the Pika and Urashima sites were found to have their own distinct low-magnetization zones, which could not be distinguished in magnetic anomaly data collected at higher altitudes by autonomous underwater vehicle due to their limited extension. The spatial extent of the resulting low magnetization is approximately 10 times wider at off-axis sites than at on-axis sites, possibly reflecting larger accumulations of nonmagnetic sulfides, stockwork zones, and/or alteration zones at the off-axis sites.

  12. Radiometric and geometric analysis of hyperspectral imagery acquired from an unmanned aerial vehicle

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Hruska, Ryan; Mitchell, Jessica; Anderson, Matthew; Glenn, Nancy F.

    2012-09-17

    During the summer of 2010, an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) hyperspectral in-flight calibration and characterization experiment of the Resonon PIKA II imaging spectrometer was conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) UAV Research Park. The purpose of the experiment was to validate the radiometric calibration of the spectrometer and determine the georegistration accuracy achievable from the on-board global positioning system (GPS) and inertial navigation sensors (INS) under operational conditions. In order for low-cost hyperspectral systems to compete with larger systems flown on manned aircraft, they must be able to collect data suitable for quantitative scientific analysis.more » The results of the in-flight calibration experiment indicate an absolute average agreement of 96.3%, 93.7% and 85.7% for calibration tarps of 56%, 24%, and 2.5% reflectivity, respectively. The achieved planimetric accuracy was 4.6 meters (based on RMSE).« less

  13. Evolutionary study of leporid CD4 reveals a hotspot of genetic variability within the D2 domain.

    PubMed

    de Sousa-Pereira, Patricia; Abrantes, Joana; Baldauf, Hanna-Mari; Keppler, Oliver T; Esteves, Pedro J

    2016-07-01

    CD4 is the major receptor on T helper cells involved in the uptake of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) into their host cells. Evolutionary studies of CD4 in primates revealed signatures of positive selection in the D1 domain that interacts with primate exogenous lentivirus gp120 proteins. Here, we studied the evolution of CD4 in lagomorphs by comparing sequences obtained for the genera Oryctolagus, Sylvilagus, Lepus, and Ochotona. Our results reveal an overall higher divergence in lagomorphs compared to primates with highest divergence in the D2 domain. A detailed analysis of a small fragment of 33 nucleotides coding for amino acids 169 to 179 in the D2 domain showed dramatic amino acid alterations with a dN/dS value of 3.2 for lagomorphs, suggesting that CD4 is under strong positive selection in this particular region. Within each leporid genus, no significant amino acid changes were observed for the D2 domain which indicates that the genetic differentiation occurred in the ancestor of each genus before the species radiation. The rabbit endogenous lentivirus type K (RELIK) found in leporids shares high structural similarity with HIV which suggests a possible interaction between RELIK and CD4. The presence of RELIK in the studied leporids, the high structural similarity to modern-day exogenous lentiviruses and the absence of exogenous lentiviruses in leporids, allows us to hypothesize that this endogenous retrovirus, that was most probably exogenous in the past, drove the divergent evolution of leporid CD4. PMID:26979977

  14. Microalgal diversity in relation to the physicochemical parameters of some Industrial sites in Mangalore, South India.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Jyothi; Krishnakumar, G

    2015-11-01

    This study is undertaken to understand the microalgal species composition, diversity, abundance and their association with the polluted sites of an industrial area. The microalgae and the wastewater samples collected from these sites were preserved and analysed using standard methods. One hundred and eight species of the microalgae, belonging to Cyanophyceae, Chlorophyceae, Euglenophyceae, Bacillariophyceace and Desmidaceae, were identified. Of these, the members of Cyanophyceae formed the dominant flora. It was observed that the family Oscillatoriaceae was the most diverse family. In this family, the most diverse genus was found to be the Oscillatoria, with 13 species. Further, the abundance of Oscillatoria princeps indicated that these species are tolerant to the pollution and therefore considered as the 'marker species' of the habitat. The abundance of the Cyanophyceae in these sites was found to be due to the favourable contents of the oxidizable organic matter and the presence of the nutrients, such as the nitrates and the phosphates, in abundance, with less dissolved oxygen. The lesser percentage of the Bacillariophyceae (14%), and the negligible number of the euglenoids (2%) indicated that the sites were rich in the inorganic pollutants and poor in the organic pollutants. The range of Shannon diversity indices was found between 2.10 and 3.50, while the dominance index was found between 0.03 and 0.14, the species evenness between 0.73 and 0.93 and the Margalef index between 1.8 and 6.3. The diversity indices indicated that there is light to moderate level of pollution in the studied sites, with moderate diversity level. The principal component analysis (PCA) of the physicochemical parameters identified the four possible groups, which were responsible for the data structure, explaining the 74% of the total variance of the data set. In the PCA performed using all the variables, the first principal component showed the positive correlation with the total

  15. Multidimensional effects of biologically synthesized silver nanoparticles in Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter felis, and human lung (L132) and lung carcinoma A549 cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurunathan, Sangiliyandi; Jeong, Jae-Kyo; Han, Jae Woong; Zhang, Xi-Feng; Park, Jung Hyun; Kim, Jin-Hoi

    2015-02-01

    Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are prominent group of nanomaterials and are recognized for their diverse applications in various health sectors. This study aimed to synthesize the AgNPs using the leaf extract of Artemisia princeps as a bio-reductant. Furthermore, we evaluated the multidimensional effect of the biologically synthesized AgNPs in Helicobacter pylori, Helicobacter felis, and human lung (L132) and lung carcinoma (A549) cells. UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy confirmed the synthesis of AgNPs. X-ray diffraction (XRD) indicated that the AgNPs are specifically indexed to a crystal structure. The results from Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) indicate that biomolecules are involved in the synthesis and stabilization of AgNPs. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) studies showed the average size distribution of the particle between 10 and 40 nm, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) confirmed that the AgNPs were significantly well separated and spherical with an average size of 20 nm. AgNPs caused dose-dependent decrease in cell viability and biofilm formation and increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and DNA fragmentation in H. pylori and H. felis. Furthermore, AgNPs induced mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in A549 cells; conversely, AgNPs had no significant effects on L132 cells. The results from this study suggest that AgNPs could cause cell-specific apoptosis in mammalian cells. Our findings demonstrate that this environmentally friendly method for the synthesis of AgNPs and that the prepared AgNPs have multidimensional effects such as anti-bacterial and anti-biofilm activity against H. pylori and H. felis and also cytotoxic effects against human cancer cells. This report describes comprehensively the effects of AgNPs on bacteria and mammalian cells. We believe that biologically synthesized AgNPs will open a new avenue towards various biotechnological and biomedical applications in the near future.

  16. Cestodes from deep-water squaliform sharks in the Azores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caira, Janine N.; Pickering, Maria

    2013-12-01

    The majority of our knowledge on marine tapeworms (cestodes) is limited to taxa that are relatively easy to obtain (i.e., those that parasitize shallower-water species). The invitation to participate in a deep-water research survey off the Condor seamount in the Azores offered the opportunity to gain information regarding parasites of the less often studied sharks of the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zone. All tapeworms (Platyhelminthes: Cestoda) found parasitizing the spiral intestine of squaliform shark species (Elasmobranchii: Squaliformes) encountered as part of this survey, as well as some additional Azorean sampling from previous years obtained from local fishermen are reported. In total, 112 shark specimens of 12 species of squaliform sharks representing 4 different families from depths ranging between 400 and 1290 m were examined. Cestodes were found in the spiral intestines from 11 of the 12 squaliform species examined: Deania calcea, D. cf. profundorum, D. profundorum, Etmopterus princeps, E. pusillus, E. spinax, Centroscyllium fabricii, Centroscymnus coelolepis, C. cryptacanthus, C. crepidater, and Dalatias licha. No cestodes were found in the spiral intestines of Centrophorus squamosus. Light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy revealed several potentially novel trypanorhynch and biloculated tetraphyllidean species. Aporhynchid and gilquiniid trypanorhynchs dominated the adult cestode fauna of Etmopterus and Deania host species, respectively, while larval phyllobothriids were found across several host genera, including, Deania, Centroscyllium, and Centroscymnus. These results corroborate previous findings that deep-water cestode faunas are relatively depauperate and consist primarily of trypanorhynchs of the families Gilquiniidae and Aporhynchidae and larval tetraphyllideans. A subset of specimens of most cestode species was preserved in ethanol for future molecular analysis to allow more definitive determinations of the identification of the

  17. Studies of binding of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK) to fibroblast growth factor inducible 14 (Fn14).

    PubMed

    Fick, Andrea; Lang, Isabell; Schäfer, Viktoria; Seher, Axel; Trebing, Johannes; Weisenberger, Daniela; Wajant, Harald

    2012-01-01

    To perform highly sensitive cellular binding studies with TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (TWEAK), we developed a bioluminescent variant of soluble TWEAK (GpL-FLAG-TNC-TWEAK) by fusing it genetically to the C terminus of the luciferase of Gaussia princeps (GpL). Equilibrium binding studies on human (HT1080 and HT29) and murine (Renca and B16) cell lines at 37 °C revealed high affinities of human TWEAK from 53 to 112 pm. The dissociation rate constant of the TWEAK-Fn14 interaction was between 0.48×10(-3) s(-1) (HT29) and 0.58×10(-3) s(-1) (HT1080) for the human molecules, and the association rate constant obtained was 3.3×10(6) m(-1) s(-1) for both cell lines. It has been shown previously that oligomerization of soluble TWEAK trimers results in enhanced Fn14-mediated activation of the classical NFκB pathway. Binding studies with GpL-FLAG-TNC-TWEAK trimers oligomerized by help of a FLAG tag-specific antibody gave no evidence for a major increase in Fn14 occupancy by oligomerized ligand despite strongly enhanced induction of the NFκB target IL8. Thus, aggregated complexes of soluble TWEAK and Fn14 have a higher intrinsic activity to stimulate the classical NFκB pathway and qualitatively differ from isolated trimeric TWEAK-Fn14 complexes. Furthermore, determination of IL8 induction as a function of occupied activated receptors revealed that the intrinsic capability of TNFR1 to stimulate the classical NFκB pathway and IL8 production was ∼100-fold higher than Fn14. Thus, although ∼25 activated TNFR1 trimers were sufficient to trigger half-maximal IL8 production, more than 2500 cell-bound oligomerized TWEAK trimers were required to elicit a similar response. PMID:22081603

  18. [Healing and the Roman imperial culture].

    PubMed

    Ziethen, G

    1994-01-01

    From the time of Augustus till Late Antiquity one of the important elements of Roman Imperial policy was the celebration of rituals honouring the Roman Emperor. Elements of Hellenistic ruler cult and traditions of the Roman Republican Age were connected with Roman administration, the economic life and military organisation. Thereby the Roman Emperor generally was considered not only as a powerful and legitimate political leader but also as a well-educated and informed princeps with some kind of ritual sphere. Continuing the traditions of kingship risen in the Oriental monarchies and traduced to the Hellenistic rulers, the Roman Emperor seemed--pictured as Asclepius or Sarapis--to be able to heal not only incurable persons by magic therapy, but also to give a cure to mishandled affairs of state. The hope of the people in the panacea founded on the Emperor's knowledge was explained differently on two intellectual levels: the belief in magical-medical practices against threatening demons and the sophisticated comparisons of the eras of the Roman Empire expressed as the progress of human life from the cradle of iuventus to the old age of senectus. With the image of the Roman State as a human being a tradition began which had been prepared by the parable of the body and the limbs since early Roman historiography. From paganism to the Christianisation of the Roman Empire the vocabulary of healing and therapy was used in papyrological, literary, juridical and theological texts expressing the expectation in impersonation and ceremony of the Roman and Byzantine Emperors till the godblessed monarchs in Christian Europe. PMID:7900185

  19. Nocardioides endophyticus sp. nov. and Nocardioides conyzicola sp. nov., isolated from herbaceous plant roots.

    PubMed

    Han, Ji-Hye; Kim, Tae-Su; Joung, Yochan; Kim, Mi Na; Shin, Kee-Sun; Bae, Taeok; Kim, Seung Bum

    2013-12-01

    Two Gram-stain-positive, non-motile, non-spore-forming, rod-shaped actinobacterial strains were isolated from the surface-sterilized roots of mugwort (Artemisia princeps) and horse-weed (Conyza canadensis), and subjected to taxonomic characterization. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis indicated that the isolates, designated MWE 3-5(T) and HWE 2-02(T), should be placed in the genus Nocardioides of the family Nocardioidaceae. The strains were closely related to Nocardioides hankookensis DS-30(T), which exhibited 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity values of 97.99 and 99.09 % with strains MWE 3-5(T) and HWE 2-02(T), respectively. The genome relatedness of N. hankookensis DS-30(T) with strain MWE 3-5(T) was 35.8 %, and that with strain HWE 2-02(T) was 36.4 %, whereas that between the two isolates was 43.2 %. Strains MWE 3-5(T) and HWE 2-02(T) possessed MK-8(H4) as the major isoprenoid quinone, and ll-diaminopimelic acid in the cell-wall peptidoglycan. The main fatty acids were iso-C16 : 0, iso-C17 : 0 and C18 : 1ω9c for strain MWE 3-5(T) and iso-C16 : 0, 10-methyl C18 : 0 and C18 : 1ω9c for strain HWE 2-02(T). Based on phenotypic, genotypic and phylogenetic studies, the following two novel species are proposed: Nocardioides endophyticus sp. nov. (type strain, MWE 3-5(T) = KCTC 29122(T) = JCM 18532(T)) and Nocardioides conyzicola sp. nov. (type strain, HWE 2-02(T) = KCTC 29121(T) = JCM 18531(T)). PMID:23990649

  20. Variation in phenology of hibernation and reproduction in the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Hibernation is a key life history feature that can impact many other crucial aspects of a species’ biology, such as its survival and reproduction. I examined the timing of hibernation and reproduction in the federally endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus), which occurs across a broad range of latitudes and elevations in the American Southwest. Data from museum specimens and field studies supported predictions for later emergence and shorter active intervals in montane populations relative to lower elevation valley populations. A low-elevation population located at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR) in the Rio Grande valley was most similar to other subspecies of Z. hudsonius: the first emergence date was in mid-May and there was an active interval of 162 days. In montane populations of Z. h. luteus, the date of first emergence was delayed until mid-June and the active interval was reduced to ca 124–135 days, similar to some populations of the western jumping mouse (Z. princeps). Last date of immergence into hibernation occurred at about the same time in all populations (mid to late October). In montane populations pregnant females are known from July to late August and evidence suggests that they have a single litter per year. At BANWR two peaks in reproduction were expected based on similarity of active season to Z. h. preblei. However, only one peak was clearly evident, possibly due to later first reproduction and possible torpor during late summer. At BANWR pregnant females are known from June and July. Due to the short activity season and geographic variation in phenology of key life history events of Z. h. luteus, recommendations are made for the appropriate timing for surveys for this endangered species. PMID:26290794

  1. Fermented rice bran prevents atopic dermatitis in DNCB-treated NC/Nga mice.

    PubMed

    Saba, Evelyn; Lee, Chun Hee; Jeong, Da Hye; Lee, Kija; Kim, Tae-Hwan; Roh, Seong-Soo; Kim, Seung-Hyung; Rhee, Man Hee

    2016-07-01

    The fermentation of natural plants has a favorable effect on the functional and biological activities of living systems. These include anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-platelet aggregation activities. This is attributed to the chemical conversion of the parent plants to functional constituents, which show more potent biological activity. In our study, rice bran along with oriental medicinal plants (Angelicae gigantis, Cnidium officinale, Artemisia princeps, and Camellia sinensis) was fermented by Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Pichia deserticola (FRBE). We evaluated the effects of oral administration of FRBE on atopic dermatitis in 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-treated NC/Nga mice. FRBE significantly ameliorated the macroscopic and microscopic appearance of skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis and reduced levels of serum immunoglobulin E and the differential white blood cell count. In addition, it reduced skin thickness compared to that of atopic dermatitis-affected skin. FRBE treatment also reduced mast cell incorporation in skin lesions of atopic dermatitis. The total cell number in dorsal skin tissue and the axillary lymph node increased following DNCB application, and this was normalized by FRBE treatment. Moreover, it decreased the levels of CD8(+) helper T cells and Gr-1(+)/CD11b(+) B cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, we demonstrated that FRBE significantly inhibited mRNA expression of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-5 and interleukin-13) and cyclooxygenase-2 in AD skin lesions. These results suggest that FRBE could be a valuable herbal remedy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. PMID:27323667

  2. DNA Barcode for Identifying Folium Artemisiae Argyi from Counterfeits.

    PubMed

    Mei, Quanxi; Chen, Xiaolu; Xiang, Li; Liu, Yue; Su, Yanyan; Gao, Yuqiao; Dai, Weibo; Dong, Pengpeng; Chen, Shilin

    2016-01-01

    Folium Artemisiae Argyi is an important herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It is commonly used in moxibustion, medicine, etc. However, identifying Artemisia argyi is difficult because this herb exhibits similar morphological characteristics to closely related species and counterfeits. To verify the applicability of DNA barcoding, ITS2 and psbA-trnH were used to identify A. argyi from 15 closely related species and counterfeits. Results indicated that total DNA was easily extracted from all the samples and that both ITS2 and psbA-trnH fragments can be easily amplified. ITS2 was a more ideal barcode than psbA-trnH and ITS2+psbA-trnH to identify A. argyi from closely related species and counterfeits on the basis of sequence character, genetic distance, and tree methods. The sequence length was 225 bp for the 56 ITS2 sequences of A. argyi, and no variable site was detected. For the ITS2 sequences, A. capillaris, A. anomala, A. annua, A. igniaria, A. maximowicziana, A. princeps, Dendranthema vestitum, and D. indicum had single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The intraspecific Kimura 2-Parameter distance was zero, which is lower than the minimum interspecific distance (0.005). A. argyi, the closely related species, and counterfeits, except for Artemisia maximowicziana and Artemisia sieversiana, were separated into pairs of divergent clusters by using the neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood tree methods. Thus, the ITS2 sequence was an ideal barcode to identify A. argyi from closely related species and counterfeits to ensure the safe use of this plant. PMID:27582332

  3. Fermented rice bran prevents atopic dermatitis in DNCB-treated NC/Nga mice

    PubMed Central

    Saba, Evelyn; Lee, Chun Hee; Jeong, Da Hye; Lee, Kija; Kim, Tae-Hwan; Roh, Seong-Soo; Kim, Seung-Hyung; Rhee, Man Hee

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The fermentation of natural plants has a favorable effect on the functional and biological activities of living systems. These include anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-platelet aggregation activities. This is attributed to the chemical conversion of the parent plants to functional constituents, which show more potent biological activity. In our study, rice bran along with oriental medicinal plants (Angelicae gigantis, Cnidium officinale, Artemisia princeps, and Camellia sinensis) was fermented by Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Pichia deserticola (FRBE). We evaluated the effects of oral administration of FRBE on atopic dermatitis in 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (DNCB)-treated NC/Nga mice. FRBE significantly ameliorated the macroscopic and microscopic appearance of skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis and reduced levels of serum immunoglobulin E and the differential white blood cell count. In addition, it reduced skin thickness compared to that of atopic dermatitis-affected skin. FRBE treatment also reduced mast cell incorporation in skin lesions of atopic dermatitis. The total cell number in dorsal skin tissue and the axillary lymph node increased following DNCB application, and this was normalized by FRBE treatment. Moreover, it decreased the levels of CD8+ helper T cells and Gr-1+/CD11b+ B cells in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and skin lesions in DNCB-induced atopic dermatitis. Using real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis, we demonstrated that FRBE significantly inhibited mRNA expression of cytokines (e.g., interleukin-5 and interleukin-13) and cyclooxygenase-2 in AD skin lesions. These results suggest that FRBE could be a valuable herbal remedy for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. PMID:27323667

  4. Topsoil, ripping, and herbicides influence tree survival and growth on coal minesoil after nine years

    SciTech Connect

    Kost, D.A.; Brown, J.H.; Vimmerstedt, J.P. |

    1998-12-31

    On reclaimed coal surface mines trees are stressed by soil compaction, herbaceous competition, and animal damage. The authors tested treatments to modify soils and herbaceous competition in a split-split-plot experiment on calcareous minesoils in southeastern Ohio. They measured tree survival and growth as affected by minesoil surface (standard graded topsoil, ripped topsoil, graded overburden) and herbicide applications (type, rate, and frequency). Green ash, silver maple, European alder, black pine, eastern white pine, and Virginia pine were planted into a grass/legume ground cover seeded 18 months earlier. Herbicides were applied over the trees at two rates and two frequencies (first year only, two consecutive years) for all species except Virginia pine. After nine years, only green ash (95%) and black pine (48%) had adequate survival. Silver maple (16%), alder (7%), Virginia pine (6%) and white pine (<1%) had low survival by the fifth year. Black pine survived better on standard topsoil (60%) than on graded overburden (37%) and was 43% taller on both topsoils (165 or 168 cm total height) than on graded overburden (116 cm). Green ash height varied significantly on all soil surfaces (172 cm on ripped topsoil, 136 cm on standard topsoil, 102 cm on graded overburden). Survival on herbicide treated plots was greater than on untreated controls only for Virginia pine sprayed with Princep or Oust and for silver maple sprayed with Stomp, but both species had less than 25% survival even when treated by these herbicides. Green ash survival decreased with both rates of Oust and with increasing frequency of Oust. Green ash height was increased on average of 19% by either rate of Dowpon or Surflan. Longer term tree growth was benefited more by topsoil replacement and ripping than by herbicide treatments.

  5. Reporter enzyme inhibitor study to aid assembly of orthogonal reporter gene assays.

    PubMed

    Ho, Pei-i; Yue, Kimberley; Pandey, Pramod; Breault, Lyne; Harbinski, Fred; McBride, Aaron J; Webb, Brian; Narahari, Janaki; Karassina, Natasha; Wood, Keith V; Hill, Adam; Auld, Douglas S

    2013-05-17

    Reporter gene assays (RGAs) are commonly used to measure biological pathway modulation by small molecules. Understanding how such compounds interact with the reporter enzyme is critical to accurately interpret RGA results. To improve our understanding of reporter enzymes and to develop optimal RGA systems, we investigated eight reporter enzymes differing in brightness, emission spectrum, stability, and substrate requirements. These included common reporter enzymes such as firefly luciferase (Photinus pyralis), Renilla reniformis luciferase, and β-lactamase, as well as mutated forms of R. reniformis luciferase emitting either blue- or green-shifted luminescence, a red-light emitting form of Luciola cruciata firefly luciferase, a mutated form of Gaussia princeps luciferase, and a proprietary luciferase termed "NanoLuc" derived from the luminescent sea shrimp Oplophorus gracilirostris. To determine hit rates and structure-activity relationships, we screened a collection of 42,460 PubChem compounds at 10 μM using purified enzyme preparations. We then compared hit rates and chemotypes of actives for each enzyme. The hit rates ranged from <0.1% for β-lactamase to as high as 10% for mutated forms of Renilla luciferase. Related luciferases such as Renilla luciferase mutants showed high degrees of inhibitor overlap (40-70%), while unrelated luciferases such as firefly luciferases, Gaussia luciferase, and NanoLuc showed <10% overlap. Examination of representative inhibitors in cell-based assays revealed that inhibitor-based enzyme stabilization can lead to increases in bioluminescent signal for firefly luciferase, Renilla luciferase, and NanoLuc, with shorter half-life reporters showing increased activation responses. From this study we suggest strategies to improve the construction and interpretation of assays employing these reporter enzymes. PMID:23485150

  6. The Purisima Formation at Capitola Beach, Santa Cruz County, CA: A Deeper Examination of Pliocene Fossils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, L. D.; Brooks, K.; Chen, R.; Chen, T.; James, T.; Gonzales, J.; Schumaker, D.; Williams, D.

    2005-12-01

    Fossil samples from the Pliocene Purisima Formation at Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz County, CA were collected in July-August 2005. The Purisima Formation composes the bulk of the cliffs exposed at Capitola Beach and a rich assemblage of well-preserved fossils occur in gray to brown sandstone and siltstone. Erosion of the cliff face averages 0.3 meter/year and fresh cliff falls in the winter and spring months of 2005 provided an excellent opportunity to resample the Capitola Beach section of the Purisima Formation previously documented by Perry (1988). Organisms were identified from information in Perry (1988) and were compared with collections at the California Academy of Sciences. The most abundant fossils found are from the phylum Mollusca, classes Bivalvia and Gastropoda. Abundant bivalve taxa are: Anadara trilineata, Clinocardium meekianum, Macoma sp., Protothaca staleyi, and Tresus pajaroanus. Also common are the gastropods, Calyptraea fastigata, Crepdiula princeps, Mitrella gausapata, Nassarius grammatus, Nassarius californianus, Natica clausa, and Olivella pedroana. Less common invertebrate fossils are from the phylum Echinodermata ( Dendraster sp., the extinct fossil sand dollar) and from the phylum Arthropoda ( Crustacea), crab fragments ( Cancer) and barnacles ( Balanus). Because numerous fossils are concentrated as fragments in shell beds, Norris (1986) and Perry (1988) believe many were redeposited as storm beds during strong current events that promoted rapid burial. In contrast, whale and other vertebrate bones are common in certain horizons and their presence may be related to the conditions that promoted phosphate mineralization, such as episodes of low sedimentation rates and prolonged exposure on the seafloor (Föllmi and Garrison, 1991). The bone beds, together with the rich infaunal and epifaunal invertebrate assemblages, represent a community of invertebrate organisms that thrived in a shallow marine sea during the Pliocene epoch, approximately

  7. Field evaluation of traditionally used plant-based insect repellents and fumigants against the malaria vector Anopheles darlingi in Riberalta, Bolivian Amazon.

    PubMed

    Moore, Sarah J; Hill, Nigel; Ruiz, Carmen; Cameron, Mary M

    2007-07-01

    Inexpensive insect repellents may be needed to supplement the use of impregnated bed-nets in the Amazon region, where the primary malaria vector, Anopheles darlingi (Root), is exophilic and feeds in the early evening. Three plants that are traditionally used to repel mosquitoes in Riberalta, Bolivian Amazon, were identified by focus group, and then they were tested against An. darlingi as well as Mansonia indubitans (Dyar & Shannon)/Mansonia titillans (Walker). Cymbopogon citratus (Staph), Guatemalan lemongrass, essential oil at 25% was used as a skin repellent, and it provided 74% protection for 2.5 h against predominantly An. darlingi and 95% protection for 2.5 h against Mansonia spp. Attalea princeps (name not verified) husks, burned on charcoal in the traditional way provided 35 and 51% protection against An. darlingi and Mansonia spp., respectively. Kerosene lamps, often used to light rural homes, were used as a heat source to volatilize 100% Mentha arvensis (Malinv ex. Bailey) essential oil, and they reduced biting by 41% inside traditional homes against Mansonia spp., although they were ineffective outdoors against An. darlingi. All three plant-based repellents provided significant protection compared with controls. Plant-based repellents, although less effective than synthetic alternatives, were shown by focus groups to be more culturally acceptable in this setting, in particular para-menthane-3, 8, idol derived from lemon eucalyptus, Corymbia citriodora (Hook). Plant-based repellents have the potential to be produced locally and therefore sold more cheaply than synthetic commercial repellents. Importantly, their low cost may encourage user compliance among indigenous and marginalized populations. PMID:17695017

  8. [Bioaccumulation of heavy metals by the dominant plants growing in Huayuan manganese and lead/zinc mineland, Xiangxi].

    PubMed

    Yang, Sheng-Xiang; Tian, Qi-Jian; Liang, Shi-Chu; Zhou, Yao-Yu; Zou, Hui-Cheng

    2012-06-01

    Heavy metal pollution is a major environmental problem of mine wasteland. Finding out the tolerant plants, which can adapt to the local climate and the soil conditions, is the premise of vegetation restoration. An extensive vegetation survey and sampling were conducted in Huayuan Mn and Pb/Zn mineland, 76 species belonging to 69 genera and 39 families were recorded. The main dominant species and their associated soils were determined for heavy metal concentrations. The results showed that soil Pb, Zn and Cd levels exceeded the threshold levels of Class II of China Environmental Quality Standard for Soils, which suggested minesoils might be polluted by the three elements. The main dominant plants can adapt to the unfavorable edaphic conditions of mineland and were tolerant to heavy metals. There were great variations of metal uptake and accumulation among different plant species. They were classified into three types according to the metal concentrations in the plant shoots and roots: the accumulator, e. g. Camellia oleifera and Dicranopteris dichotoma, absorbed a large amount of heavy metals by the roots and transported to the shoots, which can be used to clean up the soils containing light to moderate toxic metal concentration and with high-value; the root compartment, e. g. Rubus tephrodes, R. corchorifolius, R. chroosepalus, Artemisia princeps and Pteridium aquilinum also absorbed a large amount of heavy metals but held in the roots; and the excluder, e. g. Miscanthus sinensis, Imperata cylindrica, Indocalamus tessellatus and Toddalia asiatica, absorbed less heavy metals than the accumulators. The root compartment and the excluder were more suitable for remediation of the mine wastelands with high heavy metal concentration, low-value and extensive area. PMID:22946193

  9. [Clinical and mycological study of 11 cases of genitopubic trichosporosis nodosa (white piedra)].

    PubMed

    Avram, A; Buot, G; Binet, O; Gracia, A M; Cesarini, J P

    1987-01-01

    Piedra (stone in Spanish) is the name given to a trichomycosis characterized by the formation of nodules resembling small stones. There are two varieties of the disease, depending on the colour of the nodules: white piedra and black piedra. Black piedra sharply differs from white piedra on three main scores: a) the causative agent is a black filamentous and sexed dematicious fungus, Piedraia hortai; b) the disease exclusively affects the scalp, and c) the geographical distribution of human black piedra is limited to tropical and subtropical areas (South America, South-East Asia). White piedra has a different aetiology, being caused by an asexual fungus, Trichosporon beigeli. The genus Trichosporon (Behrend, 1890) and the species T. beigeli (Vuillemin, 1902) were created from a case of piedra of the moustache. White piedra may involve hairy regions other than the scalp, such as the beard and moustache, less frequently the armpits, eyebrows, eyelashes and pubic hair. The disease has been observed in all continents, except Africa, and under all climates, although it is exceptionally found in cold areas (two indigenous cases in Finland). The observatio princeps of white piedra (on a false chignon) was published in 1865 by Beigel, in London. In France, only three cases, all concerning the moustache, were reported at the very beginning of this century No other case has been published in that country in the east 80 years. T. beigeli is a common saprophyte in nature. It has been found in soil, water, fruit, rotten vegetables, sawdust, as well as in man (skin, skin appendages, mucosae) and in animals (mammals, insects, mussels).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3674665

  10. Predation on larval suckers in the Williamson River Delta revealed by molecular genetic assays—A pilot study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hereford, Danielle M.; Ostberg, Carl O.; Burdick, Summer M.

    2016-01-01

    Predation of endangered Lost River suckers (Deltistes luxatus) and shortnose suckers (Chasmistes brevirostris) during larval egress to Upper Klamath Lake from the Williamson River is poorly understood but may be an important factor limiting recruitment into adult spawning populations. Native and non-native piscivores are abundant in nursery wetland habitat, but larval predation has not been directly studied for all species. Larvae lack hard body structures and digest rapidly in predator digestive systems. Therefore, traditional visual methods for diet analysis may fail to identify the extent of predation on larvae. The goals of this study were to (1) use quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays developed for Lost River and shortnose suckers to assay predator stomach contents for sucker DNA, and (2) to assess our ability to use this technique to study predation. Predators were captured opportunistically during larval sucker egress. Concurrent feeding trials indicate that most predators—yellow perch (Perca flaverscens), fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas), blue chub (Gila coerulea), Klamath tui chub (Siphatales bicolor bicolor), Klamath Lake sculpin (Cottus princeps), slender sculpin (Cottus tenuis)—preyed on sucker larvae in the laboratory. However, sucker DNA was not detected in fathead minnow stomachs. Of the stomachs screened from fish captured in the Williamson River Delta, 15.6 percent of yellow perch contained sucker DNA. This study has demonstrated that the application of qPCR and SNP assays is effective for studying predation on larval suckers. We suggest that techniques associated with dissection or detection of sucker DNA from fathead minnow stomachs need improvement.

  11. Chemical characteristics of magma and related seafloor sulfide deposits on back-arc spreading center and off-ridge volcanoes in Southern Mariana Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urabe, T.; Kanamori, S.; Ishibashi, J.; Kentaro, K.; Sato, H.; Kato, S.; Toyoda, S.

    2012-12-01

    The back-arc basalt in Mariana Trough is characterized by fluid-dominated components (Stolper and Newman, 1994). They suggested that the H2O-enriched magma of the Mariana Trough is formed as melting mixture between MORB-type mantle source and H2O-rich component which is likely to be derived from the subducting slab. Four active and one inactive hydrothermal sites were found within a distance of 5 km in Southern Mariana Trough; that is, Snail site (12o57.19'N, 143o37.16'E, depth:2861m) and Yamanaka site (12o56.64'N, 143o36.80'E, depth: 2823m) on the spreading-axis, Archean site (12o56.35'N, 143o37.89'E, depth: 2986m), and Pika+Urashima sites (12o55.13'N, 143o38.92'E, depth: 2773m) on the off-axis seamount, respectively. We conducted nine BMS (Benthic Multi-coring System) drillings during the Hakurei-Maru No.2 cruise of TAIGA project (see below) in June 2010. Both basalt glasses and associated seafloor massive sulfide ores from these sites are cored and served for ICP-MS analyses. Multi-element plot of basalt glass indicates that both on-axis and off-axis basalts have similar pattern and are categorized as differentiated MORB and basaltic andesite which cannot be produced by fractionation of MORB, respectively. Sulfide ores at on-axis and off-axis sites show similar mineral assemblage of pyrite/marcasite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, barite, and limited occurrence of galena only at on-axis site. Fluid-mobile elements such as As, Ba, Pb and others in sulfide ores show systematic increase at off-axis sites which reflect the influence of subduction zone fluids towards the Mariana arc. The sulfur isotope composition of pyrite/marcasite from on-axis sites shows values (+6.4 - +7.9 permil) typically observed in arc magma-related hydrothermal deposits (Suzuki, unpubl. data). On the other hand, those observed at off-axis sites (Archean; +3.6 - +6.9 permil, Pika; +0.8 - +3.5 permil) are similar to the composition of sulfides on mid-ocean ridges where the influence of sulfur

  12. Discovery and drilling of on- and off-axis hydrothermal sites in backarc spreading center of southern Mariana Trough, Western Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urabe, T.; Ishibashi, J.; Maruyama, A.; Marumo, K.; Seama, N.; Utsumi, M.

    2004-12-01

    The Mariana Trough is an actively spreading backarc basin that is located along the eastern margin of Philippine Sea Plate. GPS monitoring indicates that the rate of spreading is about 45 mm/yr in the southern section (Kato et al., 2003). No transform fault offsets exist despite significant changes in the trend of the spreading center. Fryer et al. (1998) pointed out the close proximity of submarine arc volcanoes to the spreading center and tectonic fabric that is at a high angle to the trend of the spreading center on the eastern flank. Three hydrothermal sites were discovered along such tectonic lineament in southern Mariana Trough (12o55-57'N, 143o37-39'E). On-axis site (so-called Fryer site, depth: 2,850 m) consists of a hydrothermal mound about 20 m in diameter that develops on pillow lava of a segment center of the spreading axis. The segment is characterized by highly variable rock composition (up to 68% SiO2). Repeated temperature measurements revealed rapid cooling of the hydrothermal system from 240oC in April 2003, through 112oC in October 2003 to 69oC in March 2004. On the other hand, two off-axis sites seem to have longevity of life: The Archaean site which locates about 2 km off-axis on the eastern (arc side) skirt is characterized by its huge sulfide spire; 50 m in height and 20 m in diameter. It is composed of pyrite, chalcopyrite and sphalerite, and is emanating hydrothermal fluids up to 220oC. In the third site (Pika site), active black smokers (max. temp. = 330oC), numerous dead chimneys and sulfide mounds were found on a basaltic seamount about 5 km off-axis. These lines of evidence support the idea of Fryer et al. (1998) that the backarc magma is replenished by arc/off-axis magma along the tectonic lineation. The first and third sites been drilled and cased using a tethered, submarine rock-drill system BMS (Benthic Multi-coring System) on-board the R/V Hakurei-Maru # 2 as a part of Archaean Park Project*. Rocks from two holes (7.5 m and 4.1 m

  13. Comparative Phylogeography Highlights the Double-Edged Sword of Climate Change Faced by Arctic- and Alpine-Adapted Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Lanier, Hayley C.; Gunderson, Aren M.; Weksler, Marcelo; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Olson, Link E.

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that alpine and arctic organisms may have distinctly different phylogeographic histories from temperate or tropical taxa, with recent range contraction into interglacial refugia as opposed to post-glacial expansion out of refugia. We use a combination of phylogeographic inference, demographic reconstructions, and hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation to test for phylodemographic concordance among five species of alpine-adapted small mammals in eastern Beringia. These species (Collared Pikas, Hoary Marmots, Brown Lemmings, Arctic Ground Squirrels, and Singing Voles) vary in specificity to alpine and boreal-tundra habitat but share commonalities (e.g., cold tolerance and nunatak survival) that might result in concordant responses to Pleistocene glaciations. All five species contain a similar phylogeographic disjunction separating eastern and Beringian lineages, which we show to be the result of simultaneous divergence. Genetic diversity is similar within each haplogroup for each species, and there is no support for a post-Pleistocene population expansion in eastern lineages relative to those from Beringia. Bayesian skyline plots for four of the five species do not support Pleistocene population contraction. Brown Lemmings show evidence of late Quaternary demographic expansion without subsequent population decline. The Wrangell-St. Elias region of eastern Alaska appears to be an important zone of recent secondary contact for nearctic alpine mammals. Despite differences in natural history and ecology, similar phylogeographic histories are supported for all species, suggesting that these, and likely other, alpine- and arctic-adapted taxa are already experiencing population and/or range declines that are likely to synergistically accelerate in the face of rapid climate change. Climate change may therefore be acting as a double-edged sword that erodes genetic diversity within populations but promotes divergence and the generation of

  14. Comparative phylogeography highlights the double-edged sword of climate change faced by arctic- and alpine-adapted mammals.

    PubMed

    Lanier, Hayley C; Gunderson, Aren M; Weksler, Marcelo; Fedorov, Vadim B; Olson, Link E

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies suggest that alpine and arctic organisms may have distinctly different phylogeographic histories from temperate or tropical taxa, with recent range contraction into interglacial refugia as opposed to post-glacial expansion out of refugia. We use a combination of phylogeographic inference, demographic reconstructions, and hierarchical Approximate Bayesian Computation to test for phylodemographic concordance among five species of alpine-adapted small mammals in eastern Beringia. These species (Collared Pikas, Hoary Marmots, Brown Lemmings, Arctic Ground Squirrels, and Singing Voles) vary in specificity to alpine and boreal-tundra habitat but share commonalities (e.g., cold tolerance and nunatak survival) that might result in concordant responses to Pleistocene glaciations. All five species contain a similar phylogeographic disjunction separating eastern and Beringian lineages, which we show to be the result of simultaneous divergence. Genetic diversity is similar within each haplogroup for each species, and there is no support for a post-Pleistocene population expansion in eastern lineages relative to those from Beringia. Bayesian skyline plots for four of the five species do not support Pleistocene population contraction. Brown Lemmings show evidence of late Quaternary demographic expansion without subsequent population decline. The Wrangell-St. Elias region of eastern Alaska appears to be an important zone of recent secondary contact for nearctic alpine mammals. Despite differences in natural history and ecology, similar phylogeographic histories are supported for all species, suggesting that these, and likely other, alpine- and arctic-adapted taxa are already experiencing population and/or range declines that are likely to synergistically accelerate in the face of rapid climate change. Climate change may therefore be acting as a double-edged sword that erodes genetic diversity within populations but promotes divergence and the generation of

  15. Faster Speciation and Reduced Extinction in the Tropics Contribute to the Mammalian Latitudinal Diversity Gradient

    PubMed Central

    Rolland, Jonathan; Condamine, Fabien L.; Jiguet, Frederic; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The increase in species richness from the poles to the tropics, referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient, is one of the most ubiquitous biodiversity patterns in the natural world. Although understanding how rates of speciation and extinction vary with latitude is central to explaining this pattern, such analyses have been impeded by the difficulty of estimating diversification rates associated with specific geographic locations. Here, we use a powerful phylogenetic approach and a nearly complete phylogeny of mammals to estimate speciation, extinction, and dispersal rates associated with the tropical and temperate biomes. Overall, speciation rates are higher, and extinction rates lower, in the tropics than in temperate regions. The diversity of the eight most species-rich mammalian orders (covering 92% of all mammals) peaks in the tropics, except that of the Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas) reaching a maxima in northern-temperate regions. Latitudinal patterns in diversification rates are strikingly consistent with these diversity patterns, with peaks in species richness associated with low extinction rates (Primates and Lagomorpha), high speciation rates (Diprotodontia, Artiodactyla, and Soricomorpha), or both (Chiroptera and Rodentia). Rates of range expansion were typically higher from the tropics to the temperate regions than in the other direction, supporting the “out of the tropics” hypothesis whereby species originate in the tropics and disperse into higher latitudes. Overall, these results suggest that differences in diversification rates have played a major role in shaping the modern latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals, and illustrate the usefulness of recently developed phylogenetic approaches for understanding this famous yet mysterious pattern. PMID:24492316

  16. Evolutionary History of Lagomorphs in Response to Global Environmental Change

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C3 plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C4 (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C4 plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C4 plants in the late Miocene, the so-called ‘nature’s green revolution’, induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major ‘ecological opportunities’, which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids

  17. Landscape Composition and Spatial Prediction of Alveolar Echinococcosis in Southern Ningxia, China

    PubMed Central

    Pleydell, David R. J.; Yang, Yu Rong; Danson, F. Mark; Raoul, Francis; Craig, Philip S.; McManus, Donald P.; Vuitton, Dominique A.; Wang, Qian; Giraudoux, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    Background Alveolar echinococcosis (AE) presents a serious public health challenge within China. Mass screening ultrasound surveys can detect pre-symptomatic AE, but targeting areas identified from hospital records is inefficient regarding AE. Prediction of undetected or emerging hotspots would increase detection rates. Voles and lemmings of the subfamily Arvicolinae are important intermediate hosts in sylvatic transmission systems. Their populations reach high densities in productive grasslands where food and cover are abundant. Habitat availability is thought to affect arvicoline population dynamic patterns and definitive host–intermediate host interactions. Arvicoline habitat correlates with AE prevalence in Western Europe and southern Gansu Province, China. Methods and Findings Xiji County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, borders southern Gansu. The aims of this study were to map AE prevalence across Xiji and test arvicoline habitat as a predictor. Land cover was mapped using remotely sensed (Landsat) imagery. Infection status of 3,205 individuals screened in 2002–2003 was related, using generalised additive mixed models, to covariates: gender; farming; ethnicity; dog ownership; water source; and areal cover of mountain pasture and lowland pasture. A Markov random field modelled additional spatial variation and uncertainty. Mountain pasture and lowland pasture were associated with below and above average AE prevalence, respectively. Conclusions Low values of the normalised difference vegetation index indicated sub-optimality of lowland pasture for grassland arvicolines. Unlike other known endemic areas, grassland arvicolines probably did not provide the principal reservoir for Echinococcus multilocularis in Xiji. This result is consistent with recent small mammal surveys reporting low arvicoline densities and high densities of hamsters, pikas and jerboas, all suitable intermediate hosts for E. multilocularis, in reforested lowland pasture. The risk of re

  18. Evolutionary history of lagomorphs in response to global environmental change.

    PubMed

    Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen

    2013-01-01

    Although species within Lagomorpha are derived from a common ancestor, the distribution range and body size of its two extant groups, ochotonids and leporids, are quite differentiated. It is unclear what has driven their disparate evolutionary history. In this study, we compile and update all fossil records of Lagomorpha for the first time, to trace the evolutionary processes and infer their evolutionary history using mitochondrial genes, body length and distribution of extant species. We also compare the forage selection of extant species, which offers an insight into their future prospects. The earliest lagomorphs originated in Asia and later diversified in different continents. Within ochotonids, more than 20 genera occupied the period from the early Miocene to middle Miocene, whereas most of them became extinct during the transition from the Miocene to Pliocene. The peak diversity of the leporids occurred during the Miocene to Pliocene transition, while their diversity dramatically decreased in the late Quaternary. Mantel tests identified a positive correlation between body length and phylogenetic distance of lagomorphs. The body length of extant ochotonids shows a normal distribution, while the body length of extant leporids displays a non-normal pattern. We also find that the forage selection of extant pikas features a strong preference for C(3) plants, while for the diet of leporids, more than 16% of plant species are identified as C(4) (31% species are from Poaceae). The ability of several leporid species to consume C(4) plants is likely to result in their size increase and range expansion, most notably in Lepus. Expansion of C(4) plants in the late Miocene, the so-called 'nature's green revolution', induced by global environmental change, is suggested to be one of the major 'ecological opportunities', which probably drove large-scale extinction and range contraction of ochotonids, but inversely promoted diversification and range expansion of leporids. PMID

  19. Molecular Characterization of Adipose Tissue in the African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    PubMed Central

    Choong, Siew S.; Giles, Thomas C.; Sells, James; May, Sean; Stansfield, Fiona J.; Allen, William R.; Emes, Richard D.; Mostyn, Alison; Mongan, Nigel P.; Yon, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT) is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare), and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika). Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition and body

  20. Faster speciation and reduced extinction in the tropics contribute to the Mammalian latitudinal diversity gradient.

    PubMed

    Rolland, Jonathan; Condamine, Fabien L; Jiguet, Frederic; Morlon, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The increase in species richness from the poles to the tropics, referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient, is one of the most ubiquitous biodiversity patterns in the natural world. Although understanding how rates of speciation and extinction vary with latitude is central to explaining this pattern, such analyses have been impeded by the difficulty of estimating diversification rates associated with specific geographic locations. Here, we use a powerful phylogenetic approach and a nearly complete phylogeny of mammals to estimate speciation, extinction, and dispersal rates associated with the tropical and temperate biomes. Overall, speciation rates are higher, and extinction rates lower, in the tropics than in temperate regions. The diversity of the eight most species-rich mammalian orders (covering 92% of all mammals) peaks in the tropics, except that of the Lagomorpha (hares, rabbits, and pikas) reaching a maxima in northern-temperate regions. Latitudinal patterns in diversification rates are strikingly consistent with these diversity patterns, with peaks in species richness associated with low extinction rates (Primates and Lagomorpha), high speciation rates (Diprotodontia, Artiodactyla, and Soricomorpha), or both (Chiroptera and Rodentia). Rates of range expansion were typically higher from the tropics to the temperate regions than in the other direction, supporting the "out of the tropics" hypothesis whereby species originate in the tropics and disperse into higher latitudes. Overall, these results suggest that differences in diversification rates have played a major role in shaping the modern latitudinal diversity gradient in mammals, and illustrate the usefulness of recently developed phylogenetic approaches for understanding this famous yet mysterious pattern. PMID:24492316

  1. Novel picornavirus in domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus var. domestica).

    PubMed

    Pankovics, Péter; Boros, Ákos; Bíró, Hunor; Horváth, Katalin Barbara; Phan, Tung Gia; Delwart, Eric; Reuter, Gábor

    2016-01-01

    Picornaviruses (family Picornaviridae) are small, non-enveloped viruses with positive sense, single-stranded RNA genomes. The numbers of the novel picornavirus species and genera are continuously increasing. Picornaviruses infect numerous vertebrate species from fish to mammals, but have not been identified in a member of the Lagomorpha order (pikas, hares and rabbits). In this study, a novel picornavirus was identified in 16 (28.6%) out of 56 faecal samples collected from clinically healthy rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus var. domestica) in two (one commercial and one family farms) of four rabbit farms in Hungary. The 8364 nucleotide (2486 amino acid) long complete genome sequence of strain Rabbit01/2013/HUN (KT325852) has typical picornavirus genome organization with type-V IRES at the 5'UTR, encodes a leader (L) and a single 2A(H-box/NC) proteins, contains a hepatitis-A-virus-like cis-acting replication element (CRE) in the 2A, but it does not contain the sequence forming a "barbell-like" secondary structure in the 3'UTR. Rabbit01/2013/HUN has 52.9%, 52% and 57.2% amino acid identity to corresponding proteins of species Aichivirus A (genus Kobuvirus): to murine Kobuvirus (JF755427) in P1, to canine Kobuvirus (JN387133) in P2 and to feline Kobuvirus (KF831027) in P3, respectively. The sequence and phylogenetic analysis indicated that Rabbit01/2013/HUN represents a novel picornavirus species possibly in genus Kobuvirus. This is the first report of detection of picornavirus in rabbit. Further study is needed to clarify whether this novel picornavirus plays a part in any diseases in domestic or wild rabbits. PMID:26588888

  2. Molecular characterization of adipose tissue in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana).

    PubMed

    Nilsson, Emeli M; Fainberg, Hernan P; Choong, Siew S; Giles, Thomas C; Sells, James; May, Sean; Stansfield, Fiona J; Allen, William R; Emes, Richard D; Mostyn, Alison; Mongan, Nigel P; Yon, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Adipose tissue (AT) is a dynamic and flexible organ with regulatory roles in physiological functions including metabolism, reproduction and inflammation; secreted adipokines, including leptin, and fatty acids facilitate many of these roles. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is experiencing serious challenges to optimal reproduction in captivity. The physiological and molecular basis of this impaired fertility remains unknown. AT production of leptin is a crucial molecular link between nutritional status, adiposity and fertility in many species. We propose that leptin has a similar function in the African elephant. African elephant visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (AT) was obtained from both sexes and a range of ages including females with known pregnancy status. RNA was extracted and histological sections created and analyzed by microarray, PCR and immunohistochemistry respectively. Gas-chromatography was used to determine the fatty acid composition of AT. Microarray expression profiling was used to compare gene expression profiles of AT from pre-pubertal versus reproductively competent adult African elephants. This study demonstrates, for the first time, leptin mRNA and protein expression in African elephant AT. The derived protein sequence of the elephant leptin protein was exploited to determine its relationship within the class I helical cytokine superfamily, which indicates that elephant leptin is most closely related to the leptin orthologs of Oryctolagus cuniculus (European rabbit), Lepus oiostolus (woolly hare), and members of the Ochotonidae (Pika). Immunohistological analysis identified considerable leptin staining within the cytoplasm of adipocytes. Significant differences in fatty acid profiles between pregnant and non-pregnant animals were revealed, most notably a reduction in both linoleic and α linoleic acid in pregnant animals. This report forms the basis for future studies to address the effect of nutrient composition and body

  3. The ecology of tick-transmitted infections in the redwood chipmunk (Tamias ochrogenys)

    PubMed Central

    Foley, Janet E.; Nieto, Nathan C.

    2011-01-01

    The redwood chipmunk contributes to the maintenance of tick-borne diseases in northern California. The range of redwood chipmunks overlaps that of western black-legged ticks and tick-borne disease, including granulocytic anaplasmosis and Lyme borreliosis. Chipmunks have high Anaplasma phagocytophilum PCR- and seroprevalence, are infested with a diversity of Ixodes spp. ticks, and are reservoir competent for Borrelia burgdorferi. We hypothesized that chipmunks could maintain tick-borne disease on the forest floor while also potentially bridging infection to arboreal sciurids as well. We used radio-telemetry to evaluate chipmunk movement and use of trees, characterized burrows, described prevalence of tick-borne disease, and identified ticks on these chipmunks. A total of 192 chipmunks from Hendy Woods, Mendocino County, California, USA, was evaluated between November 2005 and April 2009. The mean density was 2.26–5.8 chipmunks/ha. The longest detected life span was 3 years. Female weights ranged from 80–120 g and males from 80–180 g. The A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. seroprevalence was 21.4% and 24.7%, respectively, and PCR prevalence for these pathogens was 10.6% and 0%, respectively. Ixodes spp. ticks included I. angustus, I. ochotonae, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis. The mean infestation level was 0.92 ticks/chipmunk. Based on telemetry of 11 chipmunks, the greatest distance traveled ranged from 0.14–0.63 km for females and 0.1–1.26 km for males. Areas occupied by chipmunks ranged from 0.005–0.24 km2 for females and 0.006–0.73 km2 for males. On 3 occasions, chipmunks were found in trees. Burrows were identified under a moss-covered redwood log, deep under a live redwood tree, under a Douglas fir log, in a clump of huckleberry, in a root collection from an overturned Douglas fir tree, and in a cluster of exposed huckleberry roots. The biology of the redwood chipmunk has multiple features that allow it to be an important reservoir host for

  4. The ecology of tick-transmitted infections in the redwood chipmunk (Tamias ochrogenys).

    PubMed

    Foley, Janet E; Nieto, Nathan C

    2011-06-01

    The redwood chipmunk contributes to the maintenance of tick-borne diseases in northern California. The range of redwood chipmunks overlaps that of western black-legged ticks and tick-borne disease, including granulocytic anaplasmosis and Lyme borreliosis. Chipmunks have high Anaplasma phagocytophilum PCR- and seroprevalence, are infested with a diversity of Ixodes spp. ticks, and are reservoir competent for Borrelia burgdorferi. We hypothesized that chipmunks could maintain tick-borne disease on the forest floor while also potentially bridging infection to arboreal sciurids as well. We used radio-telemetry to evaluate chipmunk movement and use of trees, characterized burrows, described prevalence of tick-borne disease, and identified ticks on these chipmunks. A total of 192 chipmunks from Hendy Woods, Mendocino County, California, USA, was evaluated between November 2005 and April 2009. The mean density was 2.26-5.8 chipmunks/ha. The longest detected life span was 3 years. Female weights ranged from 80-120 g and males from 80-180 g. The A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. seroprevalence was 21.4% and 24.7%, respectively, and PCR prevalence for these pathogens was 10.6% and 0%, respectively. Ixodes spp. ticks included I. angustus, I. ochotonae, I. pacificus, and I. spinipalpis. The mean infestation level was 0.92 ticks/chipmunk. Based on telemetry of 11 chipmunks, the greatest distance traveled ranged from 0.14-0.63 km for females and 0.1-1.26 km for males. Areas occupied by chipmunks ranged from 0.005-0.24 km(2) for females and 0.006-0.73 km(2) for males. On 3 occasions, chipmunks were found in trees. Burrows were identified under a moss-covered redwood log, deep under a live redwood tree, under a Douglas fir log, in a clump of huckleberry, in a root collection from an overturned Douglas fir tree, and in a cluster of exposed huckleberry roots. The biology of the redwood chipmunk has multiple features that allow it to be an important reservoir host for tick

  5. Drug-Encoded Biomarkers for Monitoring Biological Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Bedenk, Kristina; Zhang, Qian; Frentzen, Alexa; Cappello, Joseph; Fischer, Utz; Szalay, Aladar A.

    2015-01-01

    Blood tests are necessary, easy-to-perform and low-cost alternatives for monitoring of oncolytic virotherapy and other biological therapies in translational research. Here we assessed three candidate proteins with the potential to be used as biomarkers in biological fluids: two glucuronidases from E. coli (GusA) and Staphylococcus sp. RLH1 (GusPlus), and the luciferase from Gaussia princeps (GLuc). The three genes encoding these proteins were inserted individually into vaccinia virus GLV-1h68 genome under the control of an identical promoter. The three resulting recombinant viruses were used to infect tumor cells in cultures and human tumor xenografts in nude mice. In contrast to the actively secreted GLuc, the cytoplasmic glucuronidases GusA and GusPlus were released into the supernatants only as a result of virus-mediated oncolysis. GusPlus resulted in the most sensitive detection of enzyme activity under controlled assay conditions in samples containing as little as 1 pg/ml of GusPlus, followed by GusA (25 pg/ml) and GLuc (≥375 pg/ml). Unexpectedly, even though GusA had a lower specific activity compared to GusPlus, the substrate conversion in the serum of tumor-bearing mice injected with the GusA-encoding virus strains was substantially higher than that of GusPlus. This was attributed to a 3.2 fold and 16.2 fold longer half-life of GusA in the blood stream compared to GusPlus and GLuc respectively, thus a more sensitive monitor of virus replication than the other two enzymes. Due to the good correlation between enzymatic activity of expressed marker gene and virus titer, we conclude that the amount of the biomarker protein in the body fluid semiquantitatively represents the amount of virus in the infected tumors which was confirmed by low light imaging. We found GusA to be the most reliable biomarker for monitoring oncolytic virotherapy among the three tested markers. PMID:26348361

  6. Drug-Encoded Biomarkers for Monitoring Biological Therapies.

    PubMed

    Tsoneva, Desislava; Stritzker, Jochen; Bedenk, Kristina; Zhang, Qian; Frentzen, Alexa; Cappello, Joseph; Fischer, Utz; Szalay, Aladar A

    2015-01-01

    Blood tests are necessary, easy-to-perform and low-cost alternatives for monitoring of oncolytic virotherapy and other biological therapies in translational research. Here we assessed three candidate proteins with the potential to be used as biomarkers in biological fluids: two glucuronidases from E. coli (GusA) and Staphylococcus sp. RLH1 (GusPlus), and the luciferase from Gaussia princeps (GLuc). The three genes encoding these proteins were inserted individually into vaccinia virus GLV-1h68 genome under the control of an identical promoter. The three resulting recombinant viruses were used to infect tumor cells in cultures and human tumor xenografts in nude mice. In contrast to the actively secreted GLuc, the cytoplasmic glucuronidases GusA and GusPlus were released into the supernatants only as a result of virus-mediated oncolysis. GusPlus resulted in the most sensitive detection of enzyme activity under controlled assay conditions in samples containing as little as 1 pg/ml of GusPlus, followed by GusA (25 pg/ml) and GLuc (≥375 pg/ml). Unexpectedly, even though GusA had a lower specific activity compared to GusPlus, the substrate conversion in the serum of tumor-bearing mice injected with the GusA-encoding virus strains was substantially higher than that of GusPlus. This was attributed to a 3.2 fold and 16.2 fold longer half-life of GusA in the blood stream compared to GusPlus and GLuc respectively, thus a more sensitive monitor of virus replication than the other two enzymes. Due to the good correlation between enzymatic activity of expressed marker gene and virus titer, we conclude that the amount of the biomarker protein in the body fluid semiquantitatively represents the amount of virus in the infected tumors which was confirmed by low light imaging. We found GusA to be the most reliable biomarker for monitoring oncolytic virotherapy among the three tested markers. PMID:26348361

  7. Does exposure to noise from human activities compromise sensory information from cephalopod statocysts?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solé, Marta; Lenoir, Marc; Durfort, Mercè; López-Bejar, Manel; Lombarte, Antoni; van der Schaar, Mike; André, Michel

    2013-10-01

    Many anthropogenic noise sources are nowadays contributing to the general noise budget of the oceans. The extent to which sound in the sea impacts and affects marine life is a topic of considerable current interest both to the scientific community and to the general public. Cepaholopods potentially represent a group of species whose ecology may be influenced by artificial noise that would have a direct consequence on the functionality and sensitivity of their sensory organs, the statocysts. These are responsible for their equilibrium and movements in the water column. Controlled Exposure Experiments, including the use of a 50-400Hz sweep (RL=157±5dB re 1μPa with peak levels up to SPL=175dB re 1μPa) revealed lesions in the statocysts of four cephalopod species of the Mediterranean Sea, when exposed to low frequency sounds: (n=76) of Sepia officinalis, (n=4) Octopus vulgaris, (n=5) Loligo vulgaris and (n=2) Illex condietii. The analysis was performed through scanning (SEM) and transmission (TEM) electron microscopical techniques of the whole inner structure of the cephalopods' statocyst, especially on the macula and crista. All exposed individuals presented the same lesions and the same incremental effects over time, consistent with a massive acoustic trauma observed in other species that have been exposed to much higher intensities of sound: Immediately after exposure, the damage was observed in the macula statica princeps (msp) and in the crista sensory epithelium. Kinocilia on hair cells were either missing or were bent or flaccid. A number of hair cells showed protruding apical poles and ruptured lateral plasma membranes, most probably resulting from the extrusion of cytoplasmic material. Hair cells were also partially ejected from the sensory epithelium, and spherical holes corresponding to missing hair cells were visible in the epithelium. The cytoplasmic content of the damaged hair cells showed obvious changes, including the presence of numerous vacuoles

  8. Development of a Lentivirus Vector-Based Assay for Non-Destructive Monitoring of Cell Fusion Activity

    PubMed Central

    Neshati, Zeinab; Liu, Jia; Zhou, Guangqian; Schalij, Martin J.; de Vries, Antoine A. F.

    2014-01-01

    Cell-to-cell fusion can be quantified by endowing acceptor and donor cells with latent reporter genes/proteins and activators of these genes/proteins, respectively. One way to accomplish this goal is by using a bipartite lentivirus vector (LV)-based cell fusion assay system in which the cellular fusion partners are transduced with a flippase-activatable Photinus pyralis luciferase (PpLuc) expression unit (acceptor cells) or with a recombinant gene encoding FLPeNLS+, a nuclear-targeted and molecularly evolved version of flippase (donor cells). Fusion of both cell populations will lead to the FLPe-dependent generation of a functional PpLuc gene. PpLuc activity is typically measured in cell lysates, precluding consecutive analysis of one cell culture. Therefore, in this study the PpLuc-coding sequence was replaced by that of Gaussia princeps luciferase (GpLuc), a secretory protein allowing repeated analysis of the same cell culture. In myotubes the spread of FLPeNLS+ may be limited due to its nuclear localization signal (NLS) causing low signal outputs. To test this hypothesis, myoblasts were transduced with LVs encoding either FLPeNLS+ or an NLS-less version of FLPe (FLPeNLS−) and subsequently co-cultured in different ratios with myoblasts containing the FLPe-activatable GpLuc expression cassette. At different times after induction of cell-to-cell fusion the GpLuc activity in the culture medium was determined. FLPeNLS+ and FLPeNLS− both activated the latent GpLuc gene but when the percentage of FLPe-expressing myoblasts was limiting, FLPeNLS+ generally yielded slightly higher signals than FLPeNLS− while at low acceptor-to-donor cell ratios FLPeNLS− was usually superior. The ability of FLPeNLS+ to spread through myofibers and to induce reporter gene expression is thus not limited by its NLS. However, at high FLPe concentrations the presence of the NLS negatively affected reporter gene expression. In summary, a rapid and simple chemiluminescence assay for

  9. Goat Meat Does Not Cause Increased Blood Pressure

    PubMed Central

    Sunagawa, Katsunori; Kishi, Tetsuya; Nagai, Ayako; Matsumura, Yuka; Nagamine, Itsuki; Uechi, Shuntoku

    2014-01-01

    While there are persistent rumors that the consumption of goat meat dishes increases blood pressure, there is no scientific evidence to support this. Two experiments were conducted to clarify whether or not blood pressure increases in conjunction with the consumption of goat meat dishes. In experiment 1, 24 Dahl/Iwai rats (15 weeks old, body weight 309.3±11.1 g) were evenly separated into 4 groups. The control group (CP) was fed a diet containing 20% chicken and 0.3% salt on a dry matter basis. The goat meat group (GM) was fed a diet containing 20% goat meat and 0.3% salt. The goat meat/salt group (GS) was fed a diet containing 20% goat meant and 3% to 4% salt. The Okinawan mugwort (Artemisia Princeps Pampan)/salt group (GY) was fed a diet containing 20% goat meat, 3% to 4% salt and 5% of freeze-dried mugwort powder. The experiment 1 ran for a period of 14 weeks during which time the blood pressure of the animals was recorded. The GS, and GY groups consumed significantly more water (p<0.01) than the CP and GM groups despite the fact that their diet consumption levels were similar. The body weight of animals in the CP, GM, and GS groups was similar while the animals in the GY group were significantly smaller (p<0.01). The blood pressure in the GM group was virtually the same as the CP group throughout the course of the experiment. In contrast, while the blood pressure of the animals in the GS and GY group from 15 to 19 weeks old was the same as the CP group, their blood pressures were significantly higher (p<0.01) after 20 weeks of age. The GY group tended to have lower blood pressure than the GS group. In experiment 2, in order to clarify whether or not the increase in blood pressure in the GS group and the GY group in experiment 1 was caused by an excessive intake of salt, the effects on blood pressure of a reduction of salt in diet were investigated. When amount of salt in the diet of the GS and GY group was reduced from 4% to 0.3%, the animal’s blood pressure

  10. Environmental change and cultural adaptation in the southern Caucasus: latest results from Aghitu-3 Cave, Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandel, Andrew; Gasparyan, Boris; Bruch, Angela; Nahapetyan, Samvel; Weissbrod, Lior

    2014-05-01

    consisting of fine silt horizons with alternating layers of frost shattered basalt slabs. Pollen shows a change to boreal forest, and the increased presence of pika among the micromammals suggests colder and more barren conditions than today. The wide spectrum of micromammals further points to their likely accumulation by a non-selective raptor such as eagle owl. Fish remains of brown trout confirm the presence of a significant fluvial corridor, likely the nearby Vorotan River. This agrees with the charcoal remains identified thus far, which have the signature of a riparian woodland. The sedimentary sequence ends here, truncated at about 24,000 cal BP by late Holocene deposits of anthropogenic origin.

  11. GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity Use Scenarios: Interoperability Infrastructures (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, S.; Santoro, M.

    2009-12-01

    Transaction server: this component publishes the model outputs. The framework was successfully tested in two use scenarios of the GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity WG aiming to predict species distribution changes due to Climate Change factors, with the scientific patronage of the University of Colorado and the University of Alaska. The first scenario dealt with the Pikas specie regional distribution in the Great Basin area (North America). While, the second one concerned the modeling of the Arctic Food Chain species in the North Pole area -the relationships between different environmental parameters and Polar Bears distribution was analyzed. Results are published in the GEOSS AIP-2 web site: http://www.ogcnetwork.net/AIP2develop .

  12. A technology framework to analyse the Climate Change impact on biodiversity species distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, S.; Khalsa, S. J.; Geller, G. N.; O'Tuama, E.; Thomas, D.; Mazzetti, P.; Santoro, M.

    2009-04-01

    successfully experimented in the GEOSS Interoperability Process Pilot Project (IP3) and demonstrated at the IV Ministerial summit in Cape Town -November 2007. Presently, the framework is used for the GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot project -phase 2. The usage case of the impact of climate change on the distribution of Pikas in North America is presented and discussed. This usage case is based on research being done at the University of Colorado. The used presence datasets were collected by the Scientist and from the GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility) Data Portal. Climate datasets were discovered and collected by the WMO publications and distribution system.

  13. GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity Use Scenarios: Interoperability Infrastructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, Stefano; Santoro, Mattia

    2010-05-01

    publish climate, environmental and biodiversity datasets; e)Ecological Niche Model Server: this component is able to run one or more Ecological Niche Models (ENM) on selected biodiversity and climate datasets; f)Data Access Transaction server: this component publishes the model outputs. This framework was assessed in two use scenarios of GEOSS AIP-2 Climate Change and Biodiversity WG. Both scenarios concern the prediction of species distributions driven by climatological change forecasts. The first scenario dealt with the Pikas specie regional distribution in the Great Basin area (North America). While, the second one concerned the modeling of the Arctic Food Chain species in the North Pole area -the relationships between different environmental parameters and Polar Bears distribution was analyzed. The scientific patronage was provided by the University of Colorado and the University of Alaska, respectively. Results are published in the GEOSS AIP-2 web site: http://www.ogcnetwork.net/AIP2develop.

  14. Vulnerability on the Roof of the World: Resilience to Climate Change and Natural Resource Policies on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, J. A.; Hopping, K. A.; Yeh, E.; Hu, J.; Nyima, Y.; Boone, R.; Galvin, K.; Kang, S.; Ojima, D. S.

    2010-12-01

    Pastoralists on the Tibetan Plateau are a marginalized people living in an extreme environment and may be especially vulnerable as the system approaches critical thresholds. In Tibet, temperatures are increasing several times more than the global average while the frequency and severity of severe snowstorms is predicted to increase. Pastoralists are also experiencing reduced mobility and severe grazing restrictions. We are using interdisciplinary frameworks and methods that include a multifactor ecological experiment, household interviews, remote sensing, and a coupled ecosystem and household decision-making model to examine herder and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events within the context of changing natural resource policies in China. The fully factorial ecological experiment includes two climate changes (warming and spring snow additions) and two types of grazing (yak and pika). We established the experiment in 2008 within the Tibet Autonomous Region (4,870 m) and are monitoring microclimate, vegetation, nutrient availability, carbon fluxes and stable isotopes. We are investigating the sensitivity of the system, whether it is likely to cross critical thresholds, and how resilient this system may be to predicted climate and land use changes. Semi-structured interviews on indigenous knowledge and vulnerability complement the ecological experimental work. We are asking herders about climatic and ecological change and vulnerability to snow disasters. To integrate our ecological and social findings, we are coupling an ecosystem model to an agent-based pastoral household model. Our results from the experiment and the indigenous knowledge study suggest that Kobresia pygmaea, the dominant species and primary grazing resource, is vulnerable to warming. Snow additions can partially mediate this effect. Herders throughout this region share common knowledge about both climatic and ecological changes, but appear to be more closely attuned to

  15. Larval abundance and dispersal at deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the southern Mariana Trough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beaulieu, S. E.; Watanabe, H.; Mills, S. W.; Pradillon, F.; Kojima, S.; Mullineaux, L. S.

    2010-12-01

    Since the discovery of deep-sea hydrothermal vents over thirty years ago, scientists have been perplexed by the question: “How are the faunal populations established and maintained at these very discrete and often ephemeral habitats?” For the animals that are sessile or have limited mobility as adults, dispersal to these habitats occurs early in the life cycle, as planktonic larvae in the water column. Due to the difficulties in sampling deep-sea larvae, including low abundances (dilute concentrations), we have very few quantitative estimates of larval dispersal between or larval supply to hydrothermal vents. Here, we will present results of an international, collaborative effort to study larval abundance and dispersal at vents near the back-arc spreading center in the southern Mariana Trough. On R/V Yokosuka cruise YK10-11 in September 2010, we will deploy large-volume plankton pumps at approximately 3000-m depth at Snail (also called South Backarc), Archaean, and Pika, three of the Vents (Volcanic) Unit sites in the U.S. Marianas Trench Marine National Monument. These vents are being studied as part of the Japanese multi-disciplinary program TAIGA (Trans-crustal Advection and In-situ biogeochemical proceses of Global sub-sea floor Aquifer). These will be the first collections of vent larvae in the Mariana back-arc, and we will compare the abundances and diversity of larvae to similar work conducted at the Ridge 2000 East Pacific Rise Integrated Studies Site. We will deploy a current meter near the Snail site (on-axis) for preliminary estimates of passive larval transport on the time scale of the cruise. The three study sites are situated in a line perpendicular to the back-arc spreading axis, and thus may be interesting in terms of local dispersal processes. Perhaps more interesting, however, is that the back-arc vents that we will visit are as close as 25 km to known vents on the arc, yet 600 km south of the other known vents in the back-arc. These two

  16. Pasture degradation modifies soil organic matter properties and biochemical functioning in Tibetan grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spielvogel, Sandra; Steingräber, Laura; Schleuß, Per; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Guggenberger, Georg

    2015-04-01

    Kobresia pastures of the Tibetan Plateau represent the world's largest alpine ecosystem. Moderate husbandry on Kobresia pastures is beneficial for the storage of soil organic carbon (OC), nitrogen (N) and other nutrients and prevents erosion by establishment of sedge-turf root mats with high OC allocation rates below ground. However, undisturbed root mats are affected by freezing and thawing processes, which cause initial ice cracks. As a consequence decomposition of root mat layers will be accelerated and current sedentarization programs with concomitant increased grazing intensity may additionally enhance root mat degradation. Finally, cracks are enlarged by water and wind erosion as well as pika activities until bare soil surface areas without root mat horizons occur. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of the root mat layer on soil organic carbon stabilization and microbial functioning depending on soil depths and to predict future changes (OC, N and nutrient losses, soil microbial functioning in SOM transformation) by overgrazing and climate change. We investigated the mineral soil below Kobresia root mats along a false time degradation sequence ranging from stage 1 (intact root mat) to stage 4 (mats with large cracks and bare soil patches). Vertical gradients of δ13C values, neutral sugar, cutin and suberin contents as well as microbial biomass estimated by total phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA), microbial community composition (PLFA profiles) and activities of six extracellular enzymes involved in the C, N, and P cycle were assessed. Soil OC and N contents as well as C/N ratios indicate an increasing illuviation of topsoil material into the subsoil with advancing root mat degradation. This was confirmed by more negative δ13C values as well as significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increasing contributions of cutin derived hydroxy fatty acids to OC in the subsoils from degradation stages 1 to 4. PLFA profiles were surprisingly similar in the subsoils of

  17. The Late Pleistocene-Holocene community development in Central and SE-Europe in direct fossil record: scope of the approach, common patterns and inter-regional differences.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horacek, Ivan; Lozek, Vojen

    2010-05-01

    continuous sedimentary sequences from different regions of Czech Republic and Slovakia (850 community samples, 29,800 MNI) and neighbouring countries of Central Europe. Despite common general trends we demonstrated stricking local and regional specificities. Among other they include (a) continuous survival of several woodland elements (Clethrionomys glareolus, Sorex araneus, Micotus subterraneus, Microtus agrestis) throughout Weichselian (including LGM) in the Carpathians, (b) prolonged survival of the glacial elements Ochotona pusilla and Microtus gregalis in Pannonian basin and (c) Dicrostonyx gulielmi in the Carpathian foredeep, contrasting to (d) the early disappearance of them in S-Germany and Bohemia, and (e) similar difference were found also in other cenologic traits. While the glacial communities were nearly homogenous in their structure throughout whole the region, the Holocene development produced a considerable faunal provincialism, which was the most pronounced during Boreal. In contrast to central Europe, the available sequences from the SE-Europe and Asia Minor show only minute faunal changes during the Vistulian and Holocene, no essential rearrangements in community structure were observed (at least as the core species are concerned) and except for Lagurus no glacial immigrant did invade the region. At the same time a degree of local provincialism was continuously high and, in a regional scale, it continuously exceeded that of the Boreal central Europe.

  18. Demersal fish assemblages off the Seine and Sedlo seamounts (northeast Atlantic)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menezes, Gui M.; Rosa, Alexandra; Melo, Octávio; Pinho, Mário R.

    2009-12-01

    hypothesis [Isaacs, J.D., Schwartzlose, R.A., 1965. Migrant sound scatterers: interaction with the sea floor. Science 150, 1810-1813]. At both seamounts mesopelagic feeders (e.g., Beryx splendens) dominate the upper-slope assemblages (<800 m), while the mid-slope assemblages (800-1200/1300 m) and the lower-slope assemblages (>1300 m) were dominated by squaliform species (e.g., Centrophorus squamosus, Centroscymnus coelolepis, Etmopterus princeps) along with Mora moro or the Antimora rostrata. The lower abundance of C. squamosus observed at Seine may be a result of the fishing activities in the area, since the species is an important by-catch of the black-scabbard fish fishery in the Madeira archipelago. The slightly higher predominance of scavenger species at Seine in deeper assemblages may be the result of an ecological response favouring this functional group in lower productivity regimes. Especially relevant was the record of large reproductive aggregations of B. splendens and Epigonus telescopus found at the edge of the Sedlo plateau.

  19. Revision of Sternaspis Otto, 1821 (Polychaeta, Sternaspidae)

    PubMed Central

    Sendall, Kelly; Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I.

    2013-01-01

    Abstract To the memory of William Ronald Sendall Sternaspid polychaetes are common and often abundant in soft bottoms in the world oceans. Some authors suggest that only one species should be recognized, whereas others regard a few species as widely distributed in many seas and variable depths from the low intertidal to about 4400 m. There are some problems with species delineation and the distinctive ventro-caudal shield has been disregarded or barely used for identifying species. In order to clarify these issues, the ventral shield is evaluated in specimens from the same locality and its diagnostic potential is confirmed. On this basis, a revision of Sternaspis Otto, 1821 (Polychaeta: Sternaspidae) is presented based upon type materials, or material collected from type localities. The sternaspid body, introvert hooks and shield show three distinct patterns, two genera have seven abdominal segments and tapered introvert hooks, and one genus has eight abdominal segments and spatulate introvert hooks. The ventro-caudal shield has three different patterns: stiff with ribs, and sometimes concentric lines, stiff with feebly-defined ribs but no concentric lines, and soft with firmly adhered sediment particles. Sternaspis is restricted to include species with seven abdominal segments, falcate introvert hooks, and stiff shields, often exhibiting radial ribs, concentric lines or both. Sternaspis includes, besides the type species, Sternaspis thalassemoides Otto, 1821 from the Mediterranean Sea, Sternaspis affinis Stimpson, 1864 from the Northeastern Pacific, Sternaspis africana Augener, 1918, stat. n. from Western Africa, Sternaspis andamanensis sp. n. from the Andaman Sea, Sternaspis costata von Marenzeller, 1879 from Japan, Sternaspis fossor Stimpson, 1853 from the Northwestern Atlantic, Sternaspis islandica Malmgren, 1867 from Iceland, Sternaspis maior Chamberlin, 1919 from the Gulf of California, Sternaspis princeps Selenka, 1885 from New Zealand, Sternaspis rietschi

  20. Six new deep-water sternaspid species (Annelida, Sternaspidae) from the Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Salazar-Vallejo, Sergio I.; Buzhinskaja, Galina

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Most sternaspid species have been described from shallow water, and Caulleryaspis Sendall & Salazar-Vallejo, 2013 includes one deep water species: C. gudmundssoni Sendall & Salazar-Vallejo, 2013 from Iceland. In Sternaspis Otto, 1821, the most speciose genus, most species were described from shallow water and only three thrive in deep water: S. maior Chamberlin, 1919 from the Gulf of California, S. princeps Selenka, 1885 from New Zealand, and S. riestchi Caullery, 1944 from Indonesia. The study of some deep sea sternaspids from the Pacific Ocean in the collections of six research institutions resulted in the discovery of six undescribed species, and for three of them there were abundant materials showing ventro-caudal shield development. Caulleryaspis fauchaldi sp. n. is described based on specimens from Oregon and California; it differs from the known species because it has a shield with rounded anterior margins and its peg chaetae form thin, small spines. Caulleryaspis nuda sp. n. was collected off Oregon; it is unique because its shield lacks a layer of sediment particles firmly attached, but has instead a thin layer of small particles loosely attached. Four other species are newly described in Sternaspis: S. annenkovae sp. n. was collected east off the northern Kurile Islands in about 4,000 m depth; it differs from other species by having a bicolored body, with the introvert darker than the abdomen, and its ventro-caudal shield plates are divergent resulting in a divided fan. The second species, S. maureri sp. n. was found off Peru in 1296–6489 m water depths and in the Southwestern Pacific in 795–3830 m; it resembles S. williamsae sp. n. but differs because its shield has better-developed ribs, the fan has a shallow or indistinct median notch and has lateral notches well-developed. The third species, S. uschakovi sp. n., was found in the Okhotsk Sea in 592–1366 m, off California in 1585 m, Gulf of California in 1200–1274 m, and Western Mexico

  1. Using a Multi-Method Approach to Examine Social-Ecological Vulnerability to Climate Change and Natural Resource Policies on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, J.; Hopping, K. A.; Yeh, E.; Nyima, Y.; Galvin, K.; Boone, R.; Dorje, T.; Ojima, D. S.

    2012-12-01

    Pastoralists and ecosystems on the Tibetan Plateau are facing a suite of novel stresses. Temperatures are increasing several times more than the global average. The frequency and severity of severe snowstorms, which lead to critical losses of livestock, are also increasing. Pastoralists are also experiencing changes to their livelihood activities, including reduced mobility and severe grazing restrictions. We are using interdisciplinary frameworks and methods that integrate results from a multifactor ecological experiment, household interviews, remote sensing, and a coupled ecosystem and household decision-making model to examine herder and ecosystem vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather events (snow disasters) within the context of changing natural resource management policies in China. The fully factorial ecological experiment includes two climate changes (warming and spring snow additions) and two types of grazing (yak and pika) that are being affected by current policy. We established the experiment in 2008 within the Tibet Autonomous Region. We are monitoring microclimate, vegetation, nutrient availability, ecosystem carbon fluxes and stable isotope signatures of select plant species. Through this experiment, we are investigating the sensitivity of the system, whether it can cross critical thresholds, and how resilient this system may be to predicted future climate and land use changes. Semi-structured, in-depth interviews on indigenous knowledge and vulnerability complement the ecological experimental work. We are asking herders about climate and ecological change and their drivers and are also conducting interviews on vulnerability to snow disasters across a three site, 300-500mm precipitation gradient. We are using remote sensing to identify biophysical landscape change over time. To integrate our ecological and social findings, we are coupling the Savanna ecosystem model to the DECUMA agent-based pastoral household model. Our results to date

  2. Methane Distribution In Plumes Of The South Mariana Back-arc Spreading Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, T.; Hirota, A.; Tsunogai, U.; Gamo, T.; Nakamura, K.; Noguchi, T.; Taira, N.; Oomori, T.; Ishibashi, J.; Utsumi, M.

    2004-12-01

    In the South Mariana Back-arc Spreading Center, two methane plumes were observed in water column based on analysis of methane in seawater samples collected during the R/V Thompson expeditions in 2003 around water depth of 2,700 m over the Fryer site on the ridge-axis seamount (12\\deg57.22N, 143\\deg37.16E, depth: 2,850 m). The estimated end-member isotopic compositions of methane in the two plumes are \\delta13C_{CH4} = -5‰ PDB and -50‰ PDB. These values indicated that the two plumes were originated from the different sources. During YK03-09 cruise using the submersible Shinkai 6500 from October to November in 2003, detailed seafloor observation discovered sulfide chimneys emitting black and clear hydrothermal fluid on the off-axis seamount at Pika site (12°55.15N, 143°36.96E, depth: 2,773 m). The result of analysis of isotopic composition of methane in the hydrothermal fluids recovered from the off-axis hydrothermal vents using WHATS (Water and Hydrothermal Atsuryoku Tight Sampler) was averaged value of -4‰ PDB (standard deviation = 1‰ PDB, n = 3). Hydrothermal fluids from the Fryer site were also sampled and were measured: average value = -6.7‰ PDB, standard deviation = 0.3‰ PDB, n = 3. During the R/V Thompson expeditions in March 2004 using ROV ROPOS, 11 ROPOS dives and CTD-RMS plume surveys were conducted, and newly discovered a huge hydrothermal structure with active fluid venting at Achaean site on the ridge skirt (12°56.37N, 143°37.92E, depth: 2,990 m). The δ ^{13}C_{CH4} value of the fluid sample from the site using ROCS (Rotary Clean Seawater sampler) was -14.7‰ PDB. Analysis of isotopic composition of methane in the plume samples collected using the CTD-hydrocast at water depth of 2,500 m over the Archaean site showed -45‰ PDB. Source of methane (δ ^{13}C_{CH4} = -50‰ PDB), however, in the two plumes of the South Mariana Back-arc Spreading Center has been missing. The δ ^{13}C of methane cannot be considered in sediment