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Caviomorph development includes an inverted yolk sac. Since principle processes are not understood, we investigated its differentiation in Galea and re-examined material from the guinea pig. Galea showed the typical caviomorph conditions in blastocyst development and the nature of the definitive yolk sac, formed of the visceral layer that became villous, proliferative, vascularized and attached to the uterus and placenta. In contrast to what was known before, in both species parts of the parietal yolk sac and a yolk sac cavity were temporarily present. Data suggest that early yolk sac development in caviomorphs is more complex than thought before. PMID:22809674
de Oliveira, M F; do Vale, A M; Favaron, P O; Vasconcelos, B G; de Oliveira, G B; Miglino, M A; Mess, A
Rodentia is the most species-rich mammalian order and includes several important laboratory model species. The amount of new information on karyotypic and phylogenetic relations within and among rodent taxa is rapidly increasing, but a synthesis of these data is currently lacking. Here, we have integrated information drawn from conventional banding studies, recent comparative painting investigations and molecular phylogenetic reconstructions of different rodent taxa. This permitted a revision of several ancestral karyotypic reconstructions, and a more accurate depiction of rodent chromosomal evolution.
Romanenko, S A; Perelman, P L; Trifonov, V A; Graphodatsky, A S
In the present study Cathorops spixii, was evaluated as a bioindicator fish for trace metal pollution. Concentrations of cobalt (Co), iron (Fe), selenium (Se)\\u000a and zinc (Zn) were determined by Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis in liver. Mercury (Hg) and methyl-mercury (MeHg)\\u000a were analyzed by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrometry in muscles and livers. High concentrations of Co, Fe, Se and
J. S. Azevedo; W. S. Fernandez; L. A. Farias; D. T. I. Fávaro; E. S. Braga
Encephalitozoon is an obligate intracellular microsporidian parasite that infects a wide range of mammalian hosts. In this study, we used nested PCR to investigate the presence of Encephalitozoon infection in Rodentia and Soricomorpha in Japan. We attempted to amplify and sequence Encephalitozoon-specific DNA from brain and viscera samples of 180 animals collected between 2008 and 2010. Forty-three samples (23.9%) from the orders Rodentia and Soricomorpha were positive for Encephalitozoon. This study is the first report of Encephalitozoon infection in Rodentia and Soricomorpha in Japan, and our findings suggest that these hosts may play a role in the spread of microsporidian spores in the environment. PMID:24060383
The Vicuña oil tanker exploded in Paranaguá Bay (South of Brazil), during methanol unloading operations in front of Paranaguá\\u000a Harbour, on November 15th, 2004, releasing a large amount of bunker oil and methanol. Two weeks after the accident, the acute\\u000a effects of the Vicuña Oil Spill (VOS) were evaluated in the demersal catfish Cathorops spixii, comparing a contaminated (at the
A. Katsumiti; F. X. Valdez Domingos; M. Azevedo; M. D. da Silva; R. C. Damian; M. I. M. Almeida; H. C. Silva de Assis; M. M. Cestari; M. A. F. Randi; C. A. Oliveira Ribeiro; C. A. Freire
The Vicuña oil tanker exploded in Paranaguá Bay (South of Brazil), during methanol unloading operations in front of Paranaguá Harbour, on November 15th, 2004, releasing a large amount of bunker oil and methanol. Two weeks after the accident, the acute effects of the Vicuña Oil Spill (VOS) were evaluated in the demersal catfish Cathorops spixii, comparing a contaminated (at the spill site) and a reference site inside the Bay. Data were compared to previous measurements, taken before the accident, in the same species, from the same sites. The physiological biomarkers were the ones that best reflected acute effects of the spill: plasma osmolality, chloride, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Morphological (liver and gill histopathology) and genetic (piscine micronucleus and DNA strand breaks) biomarkers revealed that damage was already present in fishes from both reference and contaminated sites inside the Bay. Thus, the reference site is not devoid of contamination, as water circulation tends to spread the contaminants released into other areas of the Bay. Acute field surveys of oil spill effects in harbour areas with a long history of contamination should thus be viewed with caution, and whenever possible previous evaluations should be considered for proper appraisal of biomarker sensitivity, especially in mobile bioindicators such as fish. PMID:18478347
Katsumiti, A; Domingos, F X Valdez; Azevedo, M; da Silva, M D; Damian, R C; Almeida, M I M; de Assis, H C Silva; Cestari, M M; Randi, M A F; Ribeiro, C A Oliveira; Freire, C A
A new African species of hystricognathous rodent, Gaudeamus lavocati sp. nov., is described herein from the early Oligocene deposits of Zallah locality (Sirt basin, Central Libya). The dental morphology of this species is very close to that of some earliest South American caviomorphs. It allows a reinterpretation of molar crest homologies among earliest caviomorphs, pentalophodonty being confirmed as the plesiomorphic molar condition in Caviomorpha. This morphological resemblance argues for close affinities between Gaudeamus and earliest South American hystricognaths. Cladistic analysis supports Gaudeamus lavocati sp. nov. as the first known African representative of Caviomorpha, implying that its ancestors were part of the African phiomyid group that crossed the South Atlantic by a direct immigration route. Alternatively, the series of derived dental features of Gaudeamus could also be interpreted as evolutionary synchronous convergences of an African hystricognath lineage towards the specialized pattern of some caviomorphs. However, the high level of similarities concerning teeth morphology and enamel microstructure and the similar age of fossiliferous strata on both continents make this interpretation less probable. The phylogenetic position of this taxon is of considerable importance because it represents an enigmatic component of the phiomorph-caviomorph radiation in Africa and appears as a new clue toward the understanding of caviomorph origins.
Arthropod symbiotes of the Laotian rock-rat, Laonastes aenigmamus (Rodentia:Diatomyidae), from Laos are examined. This host is a member of Diatomyidae previously thought to have gone extinct >10 million yr ago. Permanent symbiotes are represented by 2 species, a new species of sucking louse, Polyplax sp., near rhizomydis (Phthiraptera:Polyplacidae), and a new species of fur mite, Afrolistrophorus sp., near maculatus (Acariformes:Listrophoridae). The temporary parasites are represented by 18 species, i.e., 1 mesostigmatan species, i.e., a new species of Androlaelaps near casalis (Parasitiformes:Laelapidae); immature stages of 2 tick species, Ixodes granulatus and Haemaphysalis sp. (Parasitiformes:Ixodidae); and a rich fauna of chiggers (Acariformes:Trombiculidae) comprising 8 genera and 15 species. It is hypothesized that this host completely lost its initial fauna of ectosymbiotes and that ancestors of the recorded symbiotes switched to this host from rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. PMID:21506873
Bochkov, A V; Abramov, A V; Durden, L A; Apanaskevich, D A; Stekolnikov, A A; Stanyukovich, M K; Gnophanxay, S; Tikhonov, A N
Buoyant density in CsCl, melting temperature, and G + C base content of the DNA from four species of Akodon (Rodentia, Cricetidae) were determined. The buoyant density values of 1.699-1.701 g/cm3 were in accordance with the data reported for other cricetids. No satellite bands were seen in neutral CsCl. The Tm values determined in 1 x SSC ranged from 86.2 to 87.0 C, which corresponds to G + C contents of 41.2-43.2%. There was good agreement in DNA base composition of the four species, although values were slightly higher in A. obscurus, suggesting a certain degree of interspecies variability. PMID:486073
Although most studies of codivergence rely primarily on topological comparisons of host and parasite phyloge- nies, temporal assessments are necessary to determine if divergence events in host and parasite trees occurred contempora- neously. A combination of cophylogenetic analyses and comparisons of branch lengths are used in this study to understand the host-parasite association between heteromyid rodents (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) and their
Topography of the medullar cone in nutria (Myocastor coypus Molina, 1782 - Rodentia: Mammalia). Aiming to investigate the topography of the medullar cone, ten adult nutria (Myocastor coypus), eight male and two female, were previously fixed in 10% aqueous formalin solution, maintained in similar solution and dissected. After the dissection the following data were noted: a) the medullar cone apex
Gilberto Valente Machado; Josy Alvarenga Cal; Arlei José Birck
Reviewing the ancestor-descendant relationships of first genera representatives of 52 fossil and extant families of rodents allow the building of a phylogenetic tree of Rodentia. The shaping of this tree suggests the distribution of these families in six suborders and six infraorders.
Feeding habits of the squirrel Sciurus variegatoides (Rodentia: Sciuridae) in the Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica. Food items consumed by the squirrel Sciurus variegatoides atrirufus were determi- ned in an agricultural setting in the Nicoya Península (9º47' N, 84º56' W), Costa Rica, where two life zones (Premontane Moist Forest Basal Belt Transition, and Tropical Dry Forest) predominate. By analyzing the gut
Habitat association of the spiny rat, Proechimys roberti (Rodentia: Echimyidae), was studied in the National Park of Brasília from October 1998 to June 1999. Thirty-three captures and 25 individuals were recorded with an effort of 1907 trap-nights. Stepwise logistic regression revealed a significant positive association between the presence of babaçu palms and the probability of occurrence for P. roberti (p
Marc Aaron Johnson; Jader Soares Marinho-Filho; Walfrido Moraes Tomas
Cannomys and Rhizomys are the sole living genera of the tribe Rhizomyini (Rhizomyinae, Spalacidae, Rodentia), known in the fossil record since the Late Miocene. The dental morphology of fossil Rhizomyini has been described in detail but until recently such descriptions were unavailable for extant species. A detailed account of the morphology and dental wear pattern of the cheek teeth of Cannomys badius is provided here based on the examination of museum specimens. Three stages of wear are recognized. Cannomys shares with Rhizomys the synapomorphy of having a mesolophid that is a long continuation of the protoconid on the first lower molar. There are significant differences between these taxa, such as the much smaller size of the cheek teeth and the trilophodont dental pattern of the M2, M3, and m2 in Cannomys. PMID:23166472
Abstract Cannomys and Rhizomys are the sole living genera of the tribe Rhizomyini (Rhizomyinae, Spalacidae, Rodentia), known in the fossil record since the Late Miocene. The dental morphology of fossil Rhizomyini has been described in detail but until recently such descriptions were unavailable for extant species. A detailed account of the morphology and dental wear pattern of the cheek teeth of Cannomys badius is provided here based on the examination of museum specimens. Three stages of wear are recognized. Cannomys shares with Rhizomys the synapomorphy of having a mesolophid that is a long continuation of the protoconid on the first lower molar. There are significant differences between these taxa, such as the much smaller size of the cheek teeth and the trilophodont dental pattern of the M2, M3, and m2 in Cannomys.
The phylogenetic relationships among the Gliridae (order Rodentia) were assessed using 3430 nucleotides derived from three nuclear fragments (beta-spectrin non-erythrocytic 1, thyrotropin and lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase) and one mitochondrial gene (12S rRNA). We included 14 glirid species, representative of seven genera of the three recognized subfamilies (Graphiurinae, Glirinae and Leithiinae) in our analysis. The molecular data identified three evolutionary lineages that broadly correspond to the three extant subfamilies. However, the data suggest that the genus Muscardinus, previously regarded as falling within the Glirinae, should be included in the Leithiinae. Molecular dating using local molecular clocks and partitioned datasets allowed an estimate of the timing of cladogenesis within the glirids. Graphiurus probably diverged early in the group's evolution (40-50 Myr ago) and the three subfamilies diverged contemporaneously, probably in Europe. The radiation within Graphiurus is more recent, with the colonization of Africa by this lineage estimated at ca. 8-10 Myr ago.
The discovery of a rich fauna from the late Miocene Cerro Azul Formation in Caleufú, central Argentina, is reported. This fauna includes vertebrate Holarctic immigrants, among which are the oldest South American records of mammals of the families Cricetidae (Rodentia) and Mustelidae (Carnivora). Stratigraphic, biochronological and taphonomic evidence indicates that the faunal assemblage from Caleufú is confidently synchronous and represents
Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) due to Leishmania major is a great public health problem in the Old World. Leishmania major is widely distributed in populations of rodents in arid and savannah regions. In this study, seasonal variation of natural\\u000a infection with Leishmania parasites in Rhombomys opimus (Rodentia: Gerbillinae) population of an endemic focus of ZCL in Iran was monitored. The
A. A. Akhavan; M. R. Yaghoobi-Ershadi; A. Khamesipour; H. Mirhendi; M. H. Alimohammadian; Y. Rassi; M. H. Arandian; R. Jafari; H. Abdoli; N. Shareghi; M. Ghanei; N. Jalali-zand
The order Rodentia includes nearly half of all living mammalian species. Phylogenetic relationships among 22 species of rodents were investigated by use of a 1.2-kb region from exon 1 of the single-copy nuclear gene IRBP. IRBP has been extensively used for study of interordinal phylogeny in mammals, which allowed inclusion of 50 outgroup species, representing every eutherian order plus seven marsupials. Several clades were strongly supported, regardless of analytical method or inclusion/exclusion of data. These include a monophyletic Muroidea, with a clade including Spalax and Rhizomys as the first divergence; a clade uniting Zapus with Dipus, but excluding Sicista; a monophyletic Myodonta (Muroidea plus Dipodidae); and a clade including Aplodontidae as sister to Sciuridae. One bipartition, separating Hystricognathi and Geomyoidea from the remaining rodents, is strongly supported in all analyses that include third-position sites but almost completely absent from analyses that exclude third-position sites. A combination of nonstationary nucleotide composition and branch length effects may be causing all methods examined (including those using the LogDet distance) to support an incorrect conclusion when third-position sites are analyzed together with first- and second-position sites. PMID:11341810
Peromyscus yucatanicus (Rodentia: Cricetidae) is a primary reservoir of Leishmania (Leishmania) mexicana (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae). Nitric oxide (NO) generally plays a crucial role in the containment and elimination of Leishmania. The aim of this study was to determine the amount of NO produced by P. yucatanicus infected with L. (L.) mexicana. Subclinical and clinical infections were established in P. yucatanicus through inoculation with 1 x 10 2 and 2.5 x 10 6 promastigotes, respectively. Peritoneal macrophages were cultured alone or co-cultured with lymphocytes with or without soluble Leishmania antigen. The level of NO production was determined using the Griess reaction. The amount of NO produced was significantly higher (p ? 0.0001) in co-cultured macrophages and lymphocytes than in macrophages cultured alone. No differences in NO production were found between P. yucatanicus with subclinical L. (L.) mexicana infections and animals with clinical infections. These results support the hypothesis that the immunological mechanisms of NO production in P. yucatanicus are similar to those described in mouse models of leishmaniasis and, despite NO production, P. yucatanicus is unable to clear the parasite infection. PMID:23579796
Loría-Cervera, Elsy Nalleli; Sosa-Bibiano, Erika Ivett; Villanueva-Lizama, Liliana Estefanía; Van Wynsberghe, Nicole Raymonde; Canto-Lara, Silvia Beatriz; Batún-Cutz, José Luis; Andrade-Narváez, Fernando José
Chromosome painting and G-banding analyses were used to delimit homologous chromosomal segments among 4 taxa of the hamsters genus Allocricetulus Argyropulo 1932 (Cricetidae, Mur?idea, Rodentia)--A. curtatus (2n = 20), A. eversmanni eversmanni, A. eversmanni pseudocurtatus, and the hybrid A. eversmanni beljaevi × A. eversmanni pseudocurtatus (all 2n = 26). Comparative maps between the 4 karyotypes were established based on chromosome painting of chromosome-specific probes from the Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus, 2n = 44). A putative ancestral karyotype for the genus Allocricetulus (AAK) was proposed and contains 12-13 ancestral autosomal elements. Integrated maps demonstrate extended conservation of syntenies within this rodent genus and show the predominant role of Robertsonian rearrangements in the karyotype evolution of the genus Allocricetulus. At the cytogenetic level, we clearly demonstrate karyological differences between karyotypes of species (A. curtatus vs. A. eversmanni) and subspecies A. e. eversmanni and A. e. beljaevi versus A. e. pseudocurtatus, but the karyotypes of A. e. eversmanni and A. e. beljaevi are identical at this level of resolution. PMID:23328385
Romanenko, S A; Lebedev, V S; Serdukova, N A; Feoktistova, N Y; Surov, A V; Graphodatsky, A S
Rhagomys rufescens (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae) is an endemic species of the Atlantic forest from Southern and Southeastern Brazil. Some authors consider Rhagomys as part of the tribe Thomasomyini; but its phylogenetic relationships remain unclear. Chromosomal studies on eight specimens of Rhagomys rufescens revealed a diploid number of 2n = 36 and a number of autosome arms FN = 50. GTG, CBG and Ag-NOR banding and CMA3 /DAPI staining were performed on metaphase chromosomes. Eight biarmed and nine acrocentric pairs were found in the karyotype of this species. The X and Y chromosomes were both acrocentric. Most of the autosomes and the sex chromosomes showed positive C-bands in the pericentromeric region. The X chromosome showed an additional heterochromatic block in the proximal region of the long arm. Nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) were located in the pericentromeric region of three biarmed autosomes (pairs 4, 6 and 8) and in the telomeric region of the short arm of three acrocentrics (pairs 10, 12 and 17). CMA 3 /DAPI staining produced fluorescent signals in many autosomes, especially in pairs 4, 6, and 8. This study presents cytogenetic data of Rhagomys rufescens for the first time.
A chromosome study of unstriped grass rats of the genus Arvicanthis (Rodentia, Murinae) in western and central Africa is presented. The observations extend the data available to 242 specimens from 59 localities. All individuals karyotyped belong to four karyotypic forms, or cytotypes, earlier described as ANI-1, ANI-2, ANI-3, and ANI-4 and are presumed to correspond to four distinct species. In order to provide diagnostic characters for these western and one central African Arvicanthis species, we standardized the chromosomal data available and developed a G- and C-banded chromosome nomenclature that allows easy species identification. Each form is characterized by a distinct geographical distribution, roughly following the biogeographical domains of western Africa, although their precise limits remain to be assessed. The sole area of sympatry detected is the region of the inner delta of the Niger River, where both ANI-1 and ANI-3 can be found. It is proposed that the three western African species ANI-1, ANI-3, and ANI-4 be renamed as A. niloticus, A. ansorgei, and A. rufinus, respectively. PMID:12438807
Volobouev, V T; Ducroz, J F; Aniskin, V M; Britton-Davidian, J; Castiglia, R; Dobigny, G; Granjon, L; Lombard, M; Corti, M; Sicard, B; Capanna, E
The responses of animal experimental models related to the infectivity, virulence and pathogenicity of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis is constantly used to develop new perspectives of investigation. The rodent Calomys callosus, Rengger 1830 (Rodentia: Cricetidae) is an indigenous inhabitant of the savannah environment found in the central regions of Brazil. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the histopathological and serological features of C. callosus after inoculation with the Pb18 strain of P. brasiliensis. Furthermore, A/Sn and B10.A mice strains were also tested to compare the results obtained in C. callosus to these well-established experimental models of resistance and susceptibility respectively. In every instance, survival analysis was performed, and histopathological study of the lungs, liver and spleen was employed to investigate tissue involvement, degree of inflammation and fungal presence. Levels of antibodies to P. brasiliensis were measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay after 4 weeks and at the advanced stage of infection. The mortality rate was proportional to inoculation dose in all groups, but overall it was much superior in C. callosus than in the B10.A-susceptible mice. Macroscopical and microscopical pathological alterations were also more extensive and remarkable for C. callosus, once again proportional to inoculation dose, but more noticeable differences among the studied groups were found with 0.6 × 105 inoculum. In addition, the serological profile of C. callosus was similar to that found for B10.A-susceptible mice. Infection of C. callosus with 0.6 × 108 Pb18 inoculum resulted in more serious illness, and it decreased in severity in proportion to the inoculum dose. This difference was more pronounced in C. callosus, and the clinical, serological and pathological findings in this animal were more intense and precocious compared with the B10.A-susceptible mice. The present results suggest that C. callosus is a potentially alternative experimental animal model for paracoccidioidomycosis infection.
Berbert, Alceu LCV; Faria, Gabriele G; Gennari-Cardoso, Margareth L; Silva, Maria MMD; Mineo, Jose R; Loyola, Adriano M
Observations of dental microwear are used to analyse the correlation between changes in molar tooth crown morphology and the direction of masticatory movement during the evolution of Myodonta (Rodentia, Mammalia). The studied sample includes 36 specimens representing both superfamilies of Myodonta (Muroidea and Dipodoidea) spanning 16 dipodoid and 9 muroid species. Microscopic scratches on occlusal surfaces resulting from contact between opposite teeth during mastication are analysed. Using these features, we determine the direction of masticatory movements. Microwear patterns display diverse orientations among Dipodoidea: oblique in Sicistinae, Euchoreutinae and Zapodinae, propalinal in Dipodinae and intermediary in Allactaginae. Similarly, Muroidea exhibit the following orientations: oblique in Cricetinae and propalinal in Arvicolinae, Cricetomyinae, Gerbillinae and Murinae. These various chewing types illustrate different evolutionary grades within the superfamilies. Acquisition of the antero-posterior masticatory movement in Dipodoidea is related to flattening of the molar occlusal surface. However, in some muroid subfamilies, this direction of mastication is associated with low-crowned and cuspidate molars (Cricetomyinae, Murinae).
We conducted a mitochondrial phylogeographic study of the endemic dry forest rodent Eliurus carletoni (Rodentia: Nesomyinae) in an ecological transition zone of northern Madagascar (Loky-Manambato) and 2 surrounding regions (Ankarana and Analamerana). The main goal was to assess the evolutionary consequences on this taxon of the complex landscape features and Quaternary ecological vicissitudes. Three haplogroups were identified from the 215 specimens obtained from 15 populations. High levels of genetic diversity and significant genetic differentiation among populations were observed. The different geographical subdivisions of the study area by regions, by river catchment zones, and the physical distance between populations are not correlated with genetic patterns. In contrast, population structure is mostly explained by the geographic distribution of the samples among existing forest blocks. E. carletoni experienced a genetic bottleneck between 18 750 and 7500 years BP, which correlates with periods when moister climates existed on the island. Overall, our data suggest that the complex genetic patterns of E. carletoni can be explained by Quaternary climatic vicissitudes that resulted in habitat fluctuations between dry and humid forests, as well as subsequent human-induced fragmentation of forest habitat. PMID:23132906
Rakotoarisoa, Jean-Eric; Raheriarisena, Martin; Goodman, Steven M
Constitutive heterochromatin comprises a substantial fraction of the eukaryotic genomes and is mainly composed of tandemly arrayed satellite DNAs (satDNA). These repetitive sequences represent a very dynamic and fast evolving component of genomes. In the present work we report the isolation of Cricetus cricetus (CCR, Cricetidae, Rodentia) centromeric repetitive sequences from chromosome 4 (CCR4/10sat), using the laser microdissection and laser pressure catapulting procedure, followed by DOP-PCR amplification and labelling. Physical mapping by fluorescent in situ hybridisation of these sequences onto C. cricetus and another member of Cricetidae, Peromyscus eremicus, displayed quite interesting patterns. Namely, the centromeric sequences showed to be present in another C. cricetus chromosome (CCR10) besides CCR4. Moreover, these almost chromosome-specific sequences revealed to be present in the P. eremicus genome, and most interestingly, displaying a ubiquitous scattered distribution throughout this karyotype. Finally and in both species, a co-localisation of CCR4/10sat with constitutive heterochromatin was found, either by classical C-banding or C-banding sequential to in situ endonuclease restriction. The presence of these orthologous sequences in both genomes is suggestive of a phylogenetic proximity. Furthermore, the existence of common repetitive DNA sequences with a different chromosomal location foresees the occurrence of an extensive process of karyotype restructuring somehow related with intragenomic movements of these repetitive sequences during the evolutionary process of C. cricetus and P. eremicus species. PMID:18602266
The isolation of Leishmania (V.) lainsoni is recorded for the first time from a wild animal, the rodent Agouti paca (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae), from Pará State, north Brazil. Isolates of the parasite were made from apparently normal skin of 3 specimens of this rodent captured on the Island of Tocantins, in the municipality of Tucuruí, an area subsequently flooded in the formation of the lake associated with the Tucuruí hydroelectric dam. No isolations were made from the viscera. Identification of the parasite was in each case based on morphology of the amastigotes and promastigotes, behavior of the organism in hamsters, isoenzymes profiles and the use of monoclonal antibodies. The inapparent nature of the infection leads us to suggest that the "paca", Agouti paca, represents a primitive host of L. (V.) lainsoni in the Amazon Region. PMID:1843391
Silveira, F T; Lainson, R; Shaw, J J; Braga, R R; Ishikawa, E E; Souza, A A
Hypnomys is a genus of Gliridae (Rodentia) that occurred in the Balearic Islands until Late Holocene. Recent finding of a complete skeleton of the chronospecies H. morpheus (Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene) and two articulated skeletons of H. cf. onicensis (Late Pliocene) allowed the inference of body size and the calculation of several postcranial indexes. We also performed a Factorial Discriminant Analysis (FDA) in order to evaluate locomotory behaviour and body shape of the taxa. Using allometric models based on skull and tooth measurements, we calculated a body weight between 173 and 284 g for H. morpheus, and direct measurements of articulated skeletons yielded a Head and Body Length (HBL) of 179 mm and a Total Body Length of 295 mm for this species. In addition to the generally higher robustness of postcranial bones already recorded by previous authors, H. morpheus, similar to Canariomys tamarani, another extinct island species, displayed elongated zygopodium bones of the limbs and a wider distal humerus and femur than in an extant related taxon, Eliomys quercinus. Indexes indicated that Hypnomys was more terrestrial and had greater fossorial abilities than E. quercinus. This was also corroborated by a Discriminant Analysis, although no clear additional inference of locomotory abilities could be calculated.
During a survey lasting from 1990 to 2008, we captured 4,113 Asian house rats, Rattus tanezumi Temminck 1844 (Rodentia: Muridae) from 28 counties of Yunnan Province in Southwestern China. From these rats, a total of 19,304 gamasid mites (Acari: Mesostigmata) were collected and identified as comprising 50 different species. The species diversity of gamasid mites from this single rat species is higher than that reported previously from multiple hosts within a given geographical region. Of the 50 mite species, 31 species belonged to ectoparasites and 19 species belonged to free-living mites. The species diversity of the mites from rats trapped outdoors was much higher than from rats trapped indoors. The parameter K from the negative binomial distribution was used to measure the spatial distribution patterns of the dominant mite species and revealed that all the mites had an aggregated distribution among the rat hosts. Most mite species showed a predominantly female-biased population structure with many more females than males. PMID:23471780
Huang, Li-Qin; Guo, Xian-Guo; Speakman, John R; Dong, Wen-Ge
The aim of this study was to analyse the morphofunctional and adaptive significance of variation in the upper incisor enamel microstructure of South American burrowing ctenomyids and other octodontoid taxa. We studied the specialized subterranean tooth-digger †Eucelophorus chapalmalensis (Pliocene – Middle Pleistocene), and compared it with other fossil and living ctenomyids with disparate digging adaptations, two fossorial octodontids and one arboreal echimyid. Morphofunctionally significant enamel traits were quite similar among the species studied despite their marked differences in habits, digging behaviour and substrates occupied, suggesting a possible phylogenetic constraint for the Octodontoidea. In this context of relative similarity, the inclination of Hunter–Schreger bands, relative thickness of external index (EI) and prismless enamel zone were highest in †Eucelophorus, in agreement with its outstanding craniomandibular tooth-digging specialization. Higher inclination of Hunter–Schreger bands reinforces enamel to withstand high tension forces, while high external index provides greater resistance to wear. Results suggest increased frequency of incisor use for digging in †Eucelophorus, which could be related to a more extreme tooth-digging strategy and/or occupancy of hard soils. Higher external index values as recurring patterns in distant clades of tooth-digging rodents support an adaptive significance of this enamel trait.
Vieytes, Emma C; Morgan, Cecilia C; Verzi, Diego H
A study of the morphological characteristics of the neurons in layer VI of the cerebral cortex was carried out using the rapid Golgi method in several lissencephalic species including Rodentia (rat, mouse, vole (Microtus agrestis) and hamster), Lagomorpha (rabbit), Insectivora (hedgehog) and in the Chiroptera the dwarf bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus). There was a basic uniformity in the structure of the sixth layer. Main neuronal types in lamina VIa were large pyramidal neurons, triangular or atypical pyramidal cells, multiapical pyramidal neurons, inverted pyramids, fusiform neurons, Martinotti cells and bi-tufted cells. Main neuronal types in lamina VIb were medium sized, flattened pyramids, large and small horizontal neurons, horizontal pyramidal cells, fan shaped neurons and multipolar spinous neurons with long descending axons. Sparsely spinous and spine-free multipolar neurons with short axons were present in the two laminae of layer VI, but sparsely spinous neurons with axons similar to those found in basket cells of other layers of the cortex were observed mainly in lamina VIa. Neuronal subsystems were tentatively classified on the basis of the course of the axons. Pyramidal neurons, fusiform neurons, multiapical pyramidal cells, inverted pyramidal cells, fan shaped neurons and multipolar neurons with large descending axons were interpreted as being the main source of long projection and association connections. Large horizontal neurons were interpreted as possible ipsilateral association neurons because the horizontal course of the axons over long distances followed the boundary of the deeper region of the sixth layer. Three intracortical (association) subsystems were included. Axons of Martinotti cells and collateral ascending axons of pyramidal neurons (including multiapical pyramidal neurons) formed the ascending interlaminar fibrillary subsystem. Axons of small horizontal cells and horizontal collaterals of pyramidal neurons formed the horizontal intracortical subsystem. Sparsely spinous and spine-free multipolar neurons and bi-tufted cells were the main source of the local, non-horizontal fibrillary subsystem.
Rodentia comprises 42 % of living mammalian species. The taxonomic identification can be difficult, the number of species currently known probably being underestimated, since many species show only slight morphological variations. Few studies surveyed the biodiversity of species, especially in the Amazon region. Cytogenetic studies show great chromosomal variability in rodents, with diploid numbers ranging from 10 to 102, making it difficult to find chromosomal homologies by comparative G banding. Chromosome painting is useful, but only a few species of rodents have been studied by this technique. In this study, we sorted whole chromosome probes by fluorescence-activated cell sorting from two Hylaeamys megacephalus individuals, an adult female (2n?=?54) and a fetus (2n?=?50). We made reciprocal chromosome painting between these karyotypes and cross-species hybridization on Cerradomys langguthi (2n?=?46). Both species belong to the tribe Oryzomyini (Sigmodontinae), which is restricted to South America and were collected in the Amazon region. Twenty-four chromosome-specific probes from the female and 25 from the fetus were sorted. Reciprocal chromosome painting shows that the karyotype of the fetus does not represent a new cytotype, but an unbalanced karyotype with multiple rearrangements. Cross-species hybridization of H. megacephalus probes on metaphases of C. langguthi shows that 11 chromosomes of H. megacephalus revealed conserved synteny, 10 H. megacephalus probes hybridized to two chromosomal regions and three hybridized to three regions. Associations were observed on chromosomes pairs 1-4 and 11. Fluorescence in situ hybridization with a telomeric probe revealed interstitial regions in three pairs (1, 3, and 4) of C. langguthi chromosomes. We discuss the genomic reorganization of the C. langguthi karyotype. PMID:23494775
Nagamachi, Cleusa Yoshiko; Pieczarka, Julio Cesar; O'Brien, Patricia Caroline Mary; Pinto, Jamilly Amaral; Malcher, Stella Miranda; Pereira, Adenilson Leão; Rissino, Jorge das Dores; Mendes-Oliveira, Ana Cristina; Rossi, Rogério Vieira; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm Andrew
Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) due to Leishmania major is a great public health problem in the Old World. Leishmania major is widely distributed in populations of rodents in arid and savannah regions. In this study, seasonal variation of natural infection with Leishmania parasites in Rhombomys opimus (Rodentia: Gerbillinae) population of an endemic focus of ZCL in Iran was monitored. The study was conducted from October 2007 to October 2008 in the central part of the country. Nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was used for the detection and identification of Leishmania parasites, and the results were confirmed by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). The results showed that Leishmania infection rate was 55.8% (29 out of 52 gerbils) using nested PCR. The highest and lowest Leishmania infection rates were observed in fall and summer, respectively. Gerbils that were found to be infected only with L. major were 5.8%, and that with Leishmania turanica were 23.1%. A mixed natural infection was seen in the rodents with L. major and L. turanica (21.2%), with L. major and L. gerbilli (1.9%), and with all the three species (3.9%). Leishmania major infection alone was seen in fall and winter whereas mixed infection of L. major and L. turanica was observed in all seasons except in summer. Leishmania turanica infection was observed throughout the year. It is concluded that L. major, L. gerbilli, and L. turanica circulate in the population of R. opimus in central part of Iran. Leishmania major infection is usually accompanied by L. turanica in naturally infected gerbils with the highest rate in fall. It is recommended that the role of L. turanica in the epidemiology and transmission of ZCL should be reconsidered. PMID:20390397
Akhavan, A A; Yaghoobi-Ershadi, M R; Khamesipour, A; Mirhendi, H; Alimohammadian, M H; Rassi, Y; Arandian, M H; Jafari, R; Abdoli, H; Shareghi, N; Ghanei, M; Jalali-zand, N
Nucleotide sequences of exon 28 of the von Willebrand Factor (vWF) were analyzed for a representative sampling of rodent families and eutherian orders, with one marsupial sequence as outgroup. The aim of this study was to test if inclusion of an increased taxonomic diversity in molecular analyses would shed light on three uncertainties concerning rodent phylogeny: (1) relationships between rodent families, (2) Rodentia monophyly, and (3) the sister group relationship of rodents and lagomorphs. The results did not give evidence of any particular rodent pattern of molecular evolution relative to a general eutherian pattern. Base compositions and rates of evolution of vWF sequences of rodents were in the range of placental variation. The 10 rodent families studied here cluster in five clades: Hystricognathi, Sciuridae and Aplodontidae (Sciuroidea), Muridae, Dipodidae, and Gliridae. Among hystricognaths, the following conclusions are drawn: a single colonization event in South America by Caviomorpha, a paraphyly of Old World and New World porcupines, and an African origin for Old World porcupines. Despite a broader taxonomic sampling diversity, we did not obtain a robust answer to the question of Rodentia monophyly, but in the absence of any other alternative, we cannot reject the hypothesis of a single origin of rodents. Moreover, the phylogenetic position of Lagomorpha remains totally unsettled. PMID:10335651
The paper describes a taxonomically important Javanese rat, Rattus bartelsii. Descriptions are based on collection and examination of more than 200 specimens from the Mt. Gede-Mt. Pangerango area of West Java. Literature pertaining to the species is revie...
P. F. D. Van Peenen R. H. Light F. J. Duncan R. See J. S. Saroso
There is little information regarding ocular anatomy and histology in many of the rodent species. Histological analyses for morphologic features were performed in 31 globes from 18 rodent species submitted to and archived at the Comparative Ocular Pathology Laboratory of Wisconsin. The following measurements were taken: thickness of the cornea, corneal epithelium, corneal stroma, Descemet's membrane, and retina. H&E sections were evaluated for the following anatomical features: presence of pigmented epithelial cells in the peripheral cornea, presence and location of Schlemm's canal, presence of iridal sphincter and dilator and ciliary body muscles, presence of pars plicata and plana, presence of retinal vessels, presence of lamina cribrosa, and presence of tapetum lucidum. The springhaas was the only rodent in our collection that presented a well-developed tapetum lucidum fibrosum. The presence of retinal vessels was variable: vessels were observed in all of the members of the mouse-related clade, except the springhaas and the beaver, in all of the squirrel-related clade members, and in none of the Ctenohystrica. In the flying squirrels, blood vessels extended to the outer limiting membrane in the photoreceptor layer. Beavers, chinchillas, capybara, and guinea pigs lacked vessels within the retina; however, they had vessels within the optic nerve head. Ground squirrels have an optic nerve head, which is linear in the horizontal plane and an asymmetric retina. The tree-dwelling squirrels have a rounded but still elongated optic nerve, and the flying squirrel has a round optic nerve head like all the other rodents. PMID:23734597
Rodriguez-Ramos Fernandez, Julia; Dubielzig, Richard R
The Rattini (Muridae, Murinae) includes the biologically important model species Rattus norvegicus (RNO) and represents a group of rodents that are of clinical, agricultural and epidemiological importance. We present a comparative\\u000a molecular cytogenetic investigation of ten Rattini species representative of the genera Maxomys, Leopoldamys, Niviventer, Berylmys, Bandicota and Rattus using chromosome banding, cross-species painting (Zoo-fluorescent in situ hybridization or FISH)
Daleen Badenhorst; Gauthier Dobigny; Filomena Adega; Raquel Chaves; Patricia C. M. O’Brien; Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith; Paul D. Waters; Terence J. Robinson
Background Development of phylogenetic methods that do not rely on fossils for the study of evolutionary processes through time have revolutionized the field of evolutionary biology and resulted in an unprecedented expansion of our knowledge about the tree of life. These methods have helped to shed light on the macroevolution of many taxonomic groups such as the placentals (Mammalia). However, despite the increase of studies addressing the diversification patterns of organisms, no synthesis has addressed the case of the most diversified mammalian clade: the Rodentia. Results Here we present a rodent maximum likelihood phylogeny inferred from a molecular supermatrix. It is based on 11 mitochondrial and nuclear genes that covers 1,265 species, i.e., respectively 56% and 81% of the known specific and generic rodent diversity. The inferred topology recovered all Rodentia clades proposed by recent molecular works. A relaxed molecular clock dating approach provided a time framework for speciation events. We found that the Myomorpha clade shows a greater degree of variation in diversification rates than Sciuroidea, Caviomorpha, Castorimorpha and Anomaluromorpha. We identified a number of shifts in diversification rates within the major clades: two in Castorimorpha, three in Ctenohystrica, 6 within the squirrel-related clade and 24 in the Myomorpha clade. The majority of these shifts occurred within the most recent familial rodent radiations: the Cricetidae and Muridae clades. Using the topological imbalances and the time line we discuss the potential role of different diversification factors that might have shaped the rodents radiation. Conclusions The present glimpse on the diversification pattern of rodents can be used for further comparative meta-analyses. Muroid lineages have a greater degree of variation in their diversification rates than any other rodent group. Different topological signatures suggest distinct diversification processes among rodent lineages. In particular, Muroidea and Sciuroidea display widespread distribution and have undergone evolutionary and adaptive radiation on most of the continents. Our results show that rodents experienced shifts in diversification rate regularly through the Tertiary, but at different periods for each clade. A comparison between the rodent fossil record and our results suggest that extinction led to the loss of diversification signal for most of the Paleogene nodes.
The ovarian activity of Agouti paca was characterized by hormonal profiles and ovarian structures. Samples of blood were taken from eight females (seven adults and one juvenile) at the breeding grounds of the Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria y Zootecnia in Yucat?n, Mexico. Sampling lasted approximately two months and was done every three and six days. Blood was collected from anesthetized animals, and the levels of progesterone (P4) and 17 beta estradiol (E2) were analized by radioimmunoassay technique. Macroscopic and microscopic analyses were carried out in ovaries of dead animals. The estrous cycle lasted 29+/-8.4 days, levels of 1.61+/-0.65 ng/ml for P4 and 39+/-24 pg/ml for E2 were observed for a follicular phase, 6.18+/-3.70 ng/ml and 29+/-16 pg/ml for P4 and E2 respectively in the luteal phase. Statistically significant differences were found between phases for P4 but not for E2. The presence of extragonadal steroids with levels of P4 of 1.9+/-0.77 ng/ml and E2 of 22+/-17 pg/ml were observed, which are not produced by the effects of managing stress. The changes in the levels of P4 during the cycle are indicators of luteal activity, with the intersticial tissue acting probably as active steroids-producing gland. Follicular growth was observed during the entire cycle. PMID:18491631
In a sample of 23 breeding places of pacas (Agouti paca) in Costa Rica, the following parasites were found: Eimeria agoutii, Balantidium coli, Capillaria sp., Trichuris sp., Taenia sp., Strongyloides sp., and members of the superfamilies Strongyloidea and Ascaroidea. PMID:1844153
Current mating system theory predicts that the number of females breeding in a group will depend on the number of females\\u000a in the group and the accessibility of unrelated males, whereas the number of males breeding in a group will depend on the\\u000a ability of males to control access to reproductive females. By combining information on group composition with genetic
|The instructional use of animals is a popular strategy to engage students with science, enhance their motivation, and promote values such as respect, tolerance, and empathy for all living beings. Although these beneficial outcomes are widely acknowledged, research has not provided reliable indicators of their efficiency. Therefore, it is…
Fonseca, Maria Joao; Franco, Nuno H.; Brosseron, Francis; Tavares, Fernando; Olsson, I. Anna S.; Borlido-Santos, Julio
The spiny rat (Trinomys moojeni) is a rodent found in the Atlantic Forest, which is considered one of the most diverse and threatened biomes in the world. Knowledge on reproductive biology and physiology is critical to conservation and species management, allowing the prevention of extinction and the use of males in natural and artificial reproduction programs. The main objectives of the present study were to investigate the testis structure as well as spermatogenic and Sertoli cell efficiency in the spiny rat captured in the Caraça Natural Reserve, a fragment of the Atlantic Forest located in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Ten sexually mature spiny rats were analyzed. Intraperitoneal injections of tritiated thymidine were administered to estimate duration of spermatogenesis. The testes were perfused-fixed in buffered glutaraldehyde and routinely processed for histological and morphometric analyses as well as the characterization of the stages of seminiferous epithelium cycle. Volume density (%) of seminiferous tubules and Leydig cells were 97 +/- 0.3 and 0.3 +/- 0.02, respectively. The duration of one spermatogenic cycle and total duration of spermatogenesis were 8.6 +/- 0.1 and 38.5 +/- 0.5 days, respectively. Due to the very great volume density of the seminiferous tubules, short duration of spermatogenesis, tubule length per gram of testis (approximately 40 m), great Sertoli cell efficiency (approximately 15 spermatids per Sertoli cell) and large number of Sertoli cells per testis gram (53 million), spermatogenic efficiency in the spiny rat (82 million) is by far the greatest of the mammalian species investigated thus far. PMID:20018466
Cordeiro-Júnior, D A; Costa, G M J; Talamoni, S A; França, L R
Baranica is a cave system situated in the south-eastern part of Serbia, four kilometers south to Knjaževac, on the right bank of the Trgovi\\vski Timok. The investigations in Baranica were conducted from 1994 to 1997 by the Faculty of Philosophy from Belgrade and the National Museum of Knjaževac. Four geological layers of Quaternary age were recovered. The abundance of remains of both large and small mammals was noticed in the early phase of the research. In this paper, the remains of eight vole species are described: Arvicola terrestris (Linnaeus, 1758), Chionomys nivalis (Martins, 1842), Microtus (Microtus) arvalis (Pallas, 1778) and Microtus (Microtus) agrestis (Linnaeus, 1761), Microtus (Stenocranius) gregalis (Pallas, 1779), Microtus (Terricola) subterraneus (de Sélys-Longchamps, 1836), Clethrionomys glareolus (Schreber, 1780) and Lagurus lagurus (Pallas, 1773). Among them, steppe and open area inhabitants prevail. Based on the evolutionary level and dimensions of the Arvicola terrestris molars, as well as the overall characteristics of the fauna, it was concluded that the deposits were formed in the last glacial period of the Late Pleistocene. These conclusions are rather consistent with the absolute dating of large mammal bones (23.520 ± 110 B.P. for Layer 2 and 35.780 ± 320 B.P. for Layer 4).
Bogi?evi?, Katarina; Nenadi?, Draženko; Mihailovi?, Dušan
Northern South America presents a diverse array of nonforest or savanna-like ecosystems that are patchily distributed. The distribution of these open habitats has been quite dynamic during Quaternary glacial-interglacial cycles; yet, the relevance of climatically driven vicariance events to the diversification of nonforest Amazonian vertebrates remains poorly known. We analyzed karyologic and mitochondrial DNA sequence data of the genus Zygodontomys, a small cricetid rodent distributed throughout nonforest habitats of northern Amazonia. Samples analyzed represented 4 Brazilian Amazonian localities and 2 French Guiana localities. Karyologic variation among Amazonian Brazilian Zygodontomys populations is high, with, at least, 3 karyomorphotypes. Molecular phylogenetic analyses recovered 3 major clades congruent with known karyotypes, a finding that suggests the existence of 3 species, 2 of which currently undescribed. The French Guiana and Surumú clade, identified as Zygodontomys brevicauda microtinus, is characterized by 2n = 86 and is sister to the clade formed by the 2 nondescribed forms. The Rio Negro-Rio Branco form is characterized by 2n = 82, and the Ferreira Gomes-Itapoá form is characterized by 2n = 84. The distribution of the 3 Zygodontomys lineages identified is in accordance with the geography of the open vegetation patches in Northern Amazonia, and divergence time estimates relate speciation events to the middle-upper Pleistocene, supporting the prominent role of Quaternary climatically driven vicariance events in the diversification of the genus. PMID:19066316
Bonvicino, Cibele R; Gonçalves, Pablo R; de Oliveira, João A; de Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B; Mattevi, Margarete S
A full-length cytochrome b pseudogene was found in rodents; it has apparently been translocated from a mitochondrion to the nuclear genome in the subfamily Arvicolinae. The pseudogene (psi cytb) differed from its mitochondrial counterpart at 201 of 1143 sites (17.6%) and by four indels. Cumulative evidence suggests that the pseudogene has been translocated to the nucleus. Phylogenetic reconstruction indicates that the pseudogene arose before the diversification of M. arvalis/M. rossiaemeridionalis from M. oeconomus, but after the divergence of the peromyscine/sigmodontine/ arvicoline clades some approximately 10 MYA. Published rates of divergence between mitochondrial genes and their nuclear pseudogenes suggest that the translocation of this mitochondrial gene to the nuclear genome occurred some 6 MYA, in agreement with the phylogenetic evidence. PMID:10093228
In California, dense woodlands have been recognized as important biotopes where humans are exposed to the nymphal stage of the western blacklegged tick, Ixodes pacificus Cooley & Kohls, the primary vector of the Lyme disease spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (s.s.), in the far-western United States. To identify the principal reservoir host(s) of this spirochete, and of closely related spirochetes in the B. burgdorferi sensu lato (s.l.) complex, in dense woodlands in Mendocino County, California, approximately 50 species of birds and mammals, including wood rats and kangaroo rats, were evaluated as potential hosts for vector ticks and borreliae in 2002 and 2003. Although polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing analyses revealed that many vertebrate species had been exposed to one or more members of the B. burgdorferi s.l. spirochetal complex, only the western gray squirrel, Sciurus griseus, fulfilled the major criteria for a reservoir host of B. burgdorferi s.s. Ear-punch biopsies from eight of 10 squirrels collected from five separate woodlands were PCR-positive for B. burgdorferi s.s., 47% of I. pacificus larvae (n = 64) and 31% of nymphs (n = 49) removed from squirrels contained B. burgdorferi s.l., and the engorgement status of I. pacificus larvae was associated positively with acquisition of spirochetes. Overall, 83 and 100% of the amplicons sequenced from PCR-positive I. pacificus larvae and nymphs, respectively, were identified as B. burgdorferi s.s, Among the five remaining positive I. pacificus larvae, three contained B. bissettii and two had uncharacterized B. burgdorferi s.l. Borrelia burgdorferi s.s. was detected in one of five larvae and zero of two nymphs of the Pacific Coast tick, Dermacentor occidentalis Marx, that likewise had been removed from squirrels. The rickettsial agent of human anaplasmosis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, was detected in the blood or ear biopsies of two squirrels and in one (1.6%) of 64 I. pacificus larvae and two (4.1%) of 49 nymphs obtained from squirrels. The one rickettsial-positive larva was coinfected with B. burgdorferi s.s. The apparently high reservoir potential of S. griseus for B. burgdorferi s.s., plus the fact that the geographic distribution of this squirrel coincides well with that of most reported human cases of Lyme disease in this region, indicated that it may be essential for maintaining foci of B. burgdorferi s.s. in certain types of woodlands. The findings with respect to A. phagocytophilum, although of less certain significance, suggest that S. griseus could serve as a secondary host of this rickettsia. PMID:15962792
Lane, Robert S; Mun, Jeomhee; Eisen, Rebecca J; Eisen, Lars
Lagomorpha (rabbits and pikas) and Sciuromorpha (squirrels) are grouped in the Glires superorder. Their chromosome diversification, since their separation from the eutherian mammalian common ancestor, was characterized by a low rate of chromosome rearrangements. Consequently, the structure of some chromosomes was either conserved or only slightly modified, making their comparison easy at the genus, family and even order level. Interspecific in situ hybridization (Zoo-FISH) largely corroborates classical cytogenetic data but provides much more reliability in comparisons, especially for distant species. We reconstructed common ancestral karyotypes for Glires, Lagomorpha, Sciuromorpha, and Sciuridae species, and then, determined the chromosome changes separating these ancestors from their common eutherian ancestor. We propose that reticulated evolution occurred during the diversification of Glires, which implies that several pericentric inversions and Robertsonian translocations were conserved in the heterozygous status for an extensive period. Finally, among Lagomorpha and Sciuromorpha, we focused on Leporidae and Sciuridae chromosome evolution. In the various attempts to establish dichotomic evolutionary schemes, it was necessary to admit that multiple homoplasies (convergent and reverse rearrangements) occurred in Sciuridae and in a lesser degree, in Leporidae. In Leporidae, additional rearrangements were sufficient to propose a resolved phylogeny. However, a resolved phylogeny was not possible for Sciuridae because most of the rearrangements occurred in terminal branches. We conclude that a reticulated evolution took place early during the evolution of both families and lasted longer in Sciuridae than in Leporidae. In Sciuridae, most chromosome rearrangements were pericentric inversions involving short fragments. Such rearrangements have only mild meiotic consequences, which may explain the long persistence of the heterozygous status characterizing reticulated evolution. PMID:22846378
Ceratogaulus, a member of the extinct fossorial rodent clade Mylagaulidae, is the only known rodent with horns and the smallest known horned mammal. The function of the large, dorsally projecting nasal horns on this burrowing animal has been the subject of wide speculation among palaeontologists; suggested uses range from sexual combat to burrowing. Mammals have evolved adaptations for digging repeatedly; horns and other cranial appendages have also evolved numerous times. These two adaptations co-occur in mammals extremely rarely: only two fossil genera (Ceratogaulus and the xenarthran Peltephilus) and no extant mammals are both horned and fossorial. Tracing the evolution of fossoriality in aplodontoid rodents (the larger clade to which Ceratogaulus belongs) reveals that Ceratogaulus descended from ancestors who dug by head-lifting. Whereas this suggests an obvious explanation for the horns of this rodent, evidence from functional morphology, anatomy, phylogeny and geologic context indicates that the horns in Ceratogaulus were used for defence, rather than digging, and evolved to offset increased predation costs associated with spending more time foraging above ground as body size increased.
The morphology of the lingual side of the mandible was analysed in the genusMarmota. Adults from 12 of 14 living species were compared using geometric morphometric techniques. The information on the lingual\\u000a side was then combined with that of the labial side from a previous analysis. The combined dataset is the most complete description\\u000a of a marmot mandible ever used
The long-tailed pygmy rice rat Oligoryzomys longicaudatus (Sigmodontinae), the major reservoir of Hantavirus in Chile and Patagonian Argentina, is widely distributed in the Mediterranean, Temperate and Patagonian Forests of Chile, as well as in adjacent areas in southern Argentina. We used molecular data to evaluate the effects of the last glacial event on the phylogeographic structure of this species. We examined if historical Pleistocene events had affected genetic variation and spatial distribution of this species along its distributional range. We sampled 223 individuals representing 47 localities along the species range, and sequenced the hypervariable domain I of the mtDNA control region. Aligned sequences were analyzed using haplotype network, Bayesian population structure and demographic analyses. Analysis of population structure and the haplotype network inferred three genetic clusters along the distribution of O. longicaudatus that mostly agreed with the three major ecogeographic regions in Chile: Mediterranean, Temperate Forests and Patagonian Forests. Bayesian Skyline Plots showed constant population sizes through time in all three clusters followed by an increase after and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; between 26,000–13,000 years ago). Neutrality tests and the “g” parameter also suggest that populations of O. longicaudatus experienced demographic expansion across the species entire range. Past climate shifts have influenced population structure and lineage variation of O. longicaudatus. This species remained in refugia areas during Pleistocene times in southern Temperate Forests (and adjacent areas in Patagonia). From these refugia, O. longicaudatus experienced demographic expansions into Patagonian Forests and central Mediterranean Chile using glacial retreats.
Palma, R. Eduardo; Boric-Bargetto, Dusan; Torres-Perez, Fernando; Hernandez, Cristian E.; Yates, Terry L.
The propatagium of gliding and flying mammals is of both functional and phylogenetic interest. The innervation of the propatagial muscle, platysma II, was studied with the axonal tracer wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase (WGA-HRP) in a flying squirrel, Glaucomys volans. Injections of WGA-HRP into the proximal third of platysma II labeled motoneurons in the lateral part of the medial subdivision
We made a comparative analysis of the cytogenetics of spiny rat species of the genus Proechimys collected from several sites of the Madeira River basin (Amazonas State, Brazil) and Jari River valley (Pará State, Brazil). Individuals were assigned to three groups based on diploid and fundamental numbers: 2n = 28, FN = 46 (P. cuvieri and P. gr. longicaudatus); 2n = 38, FN = 52 (Proechimys gr. guyannensis), and 2n = 40, FN = 54 (P. gardneri). The nucleolar organizer region (NOR) was interstitial on the long arm of one submetacentric pair, as seen in all species of Proechimys analyzed thus far. However, its position in the karyotype was variable. A duplication of the NOR in one of the homologues was detected in P. gr. longicaudatus from the Aripuanã basin along the mid Madeira. The C-band pattern varied between species and, together with the NOR, allowed the identification of two evolutionary units in P. gr. longicaudatus in the region of the mid Madeira River (cytotypes A and B). The morphology and banding of the sex chromosomes were species specific. A range extension is suggested for the geographic distribution of P. gardneri and P. gr. longicaudatus. Moreover, we suggest that species of Proechimys with 2n = 38 chromosomes are restricted to east of the Negro River and north of the Amazon River. We also revised the published chromosome data available for Proechimys. PMID:22576911
Eler, E S; da Silva, M N F; Silva, C E F; Feldberg, E
The goal of this work was to characterize the morphology of fetuses of Myocastor coypus bonariensis (coypu) after 60, 90, 120 and 135 days post-coitus (d.p.c.). At all the ages, gestational sacs showed an elliptical shape. Placentas were discoidal, with a unilobular external appearance in fetuses of 60 d.p.c. and with lobulations separated by a groove in fetuses of other ages. The umbilical cord, wrapped around the fetal body, showed a proximal dilatation in 60-d.p.c. fetuses, being its course uniform and a little spiral in the other ages. The 60-d.p.c. fetuses showed differentiation of corporal regions, prominent encephalic vesicles and little developed earlobes located in the laterals of the skull, in the limit with the cervical area and in straight line with the optical vesicles. The primitive forelimbs showed differentiation of arm, forearm and hand. In the hindlimbs, the inter-digital membrane was observed joining the fingers along all their length. Fetuses of 90 d.p.c. showed developed eyelids and closed palpebral cleft, developed auricular pavilions (earlobes), hairy follicles in the facial region (vibrissae) and in the skull and bent limbs. Fetuses of 120 and 135 d.p.c. showed a bodily cover constituted by a dense pilous covering, spread palpebral clefts, open mouth, bent limbs and inter-digital membranes in the hindlimbs. PMID:19032632
The present study reports the C-band patterns of chromosomes of Myocastor coypus from Turkey. The karyotype of M. coypus is comprised of (2n) 42 chromosomes, the number of chromosomal arms (FN) was 83 and the number of autosomal arms (FNa) was 80. The X chromosome was a medium-sized metacentric and the Y chromosome was acrocentric and the smallest in the set. Two metacentric chromosomes have secondary constrictions. Most autosomes in this species were centromeric C-positive and some autosomes had telomeric C-bands. The X chromosome has centromeric heterochromatin, while the Y chromosome appeared to be entirely heterochromatic. PMID:19459458
The present study compares the forefoot and hindfoot musculature of five representative species of Cavioidea rodents. In all species, the musculature of both forefeet and hindfeet have the same array regardless of the absence of digit I in the manus of Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris and Cavia porcellus. Our results suggest a tendency in these species towards a three-digit system, with a functional loss of digit V and a predominance of digit III in their forefeet. In the same way, the muscular reduction of digit I in the other rodents analyzed indicates a four-digit system with predominance of digit II in Myoprocta acouchy and Dasyprocta leporina and of digit V in Agouti paca. There seems to be an association between the muscular arrangement and functional axis of the foot, raising the general question why this axis runs between the third and forth digit, or along the third digit. PMID:17008077
Rocha-Barbosa, Oscar; Loguercio, Mariana F C; Renous, Sabine; Gasc, Jean-Pierre
Background Recent advances in comparative genomics have considerably improved our knowledge of the evolution of mammalian karyotype architecture. One of the breakthroughs was the preferential localization of evolutionary breakpoints in regions enriched in repetitive sequences (segmental duplications, telomeres and centromeres). In this context, we investigated the contribution of ribosomal genes to genome reshuffling since they are generally located in pericentromeric or subtelomeric regions, and form repeat clusters on different chromosomes. The target model was the genus Mus which exhibits a high rate of karyotypic change, a large fraction of which involves centromeres. Results The chromosomal distribution of rDNA clusters was determined by in situ hybridization of mouse probes in 19 species. Using a molecular-based reference tree, the phylogenetic distribution of clusters within the genus was reconstructed, and the temporal association between rDNA clusters, breakpoints and centromeres was tested by maximum likelihood analyses. Our results highlighted the following features of rDNA cluster dynamics in the genus Mus: i) rDNA clusters showed extensive diversity in number between species and an almost exclusive pericentromeric location, ii) a strong association between rDNA sites and centromeres was retrieved which may be related to their shared constraint of concerted evolution, iii) 24% of the observed breakpoints mapped near an rDNA cluster, and iv) a substantial rate of rDNA cluster change (insertion, deletion) also occurred in the absence of chromosomal rearrangements. Conclusions This study on the dynamics of rDNA clusters within the genus Mus has revealed a strong evolutionary relationship between rDNA clusters and centromeres. Both of these genomic structures coincide with breakpoints in the genus Mus, suggesting that the accumulation of a large number of repeats in the centromeric region may contribute to the high level of chromosome repatterning observed in this group. However, the elevated rate of rDNA change observed in the chromosomally invariant clade indicates that the presence of these sequences is insufficient to lead to genome instability. In agreement with recent studies, these results suggest that additional factors such as modifications of the epigenetic state of DNA may be required to trigger evolutionary plasticity.
Distribution of nucleolus organizer regions (NORs) in karyotypes was studied in 10 species of wood mice, including Apodemus flavicollis, A. sylvaticus, A. uralensis (=A. microps), A. fulvipectus (=A. falzfeini), A. ponticus, A. hyrcanicus, A. mystacinus, A. agrarius, A. peninsulae, and A. speciosus. Peculiarities of NOR location in karyotypes can be used in interspecific diagnostics of wood mice. Intraspecific polymorphism of A. sylvaticus, A. agrarius, and A. peninsulae in terms of the number of NORs and their localization in chromosomes can serve as evidence for karyological differentiation in certain populations of these species. The minimum number of active NORs in mice of the genus Apodemus is two to four. Two A. flavicollis wood mice with karyotypes containing one small acrocentric B-chromosome (2n = 49) were identified among animals captured in Estonia. In A. peninsulae, B-chromosomes were found among animals captured in the following regions: the vicinity of Kyzyl (one mouse with 17 microchromosomes, 2n = 65); the vicinity of Birakan (two mice with one metacentric chromosome each, 2n = 49); and in the Ussuri Nature Reserve (one mouse with five B-chromosomes, including three metacentric and two dotlike chromosomes; 2n = 53). In the latter animal, the presence of NORs on two metacentric B-chromosomes was revealed; this is the first case of identification of active NORs on extra chromosomes of mammals. 29 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.
Boeskorov, G.G. [Yakutia Institute of Biology, Yakutsk (Russian Federation); Kartavtseva, I.V. [Biological Soil Institute, Vladivostok (Russian Federation); Zagorodnyuk, I.V. [Shmal`gausen Institute of Zoology, Kiev (Ukraine); Belyanin, A.N. [Saratov State Univ. (Russian Federation); Lyapunova, E.A. [Kol`tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Moscow (Russian Federation)
Marmots are of prominent interest for sociobiologists studying mammal societies. They are also a fascinating group on which to test congruence between morphological information and molecular phylogeny and the possible occurrence of homoplasy in the evolution of the sciurid skeleton. To investigate marmot morphological relationships, an analysis of the outlines of the posterior region of the marmot mandible was performed
Abstract :? Two previously unrecognized species of the genus Hymenolepis are described based on specimens obtained from murid rodent species Bullimus luzonicus , Apomys microdon , and Rattus everetti collected on Luzon Island, Philippines. Hymenolepis bicauda n. sp. differs from all known Hymenolepis spp. in relative position of the poral dorsal and ventral osmoregulatory canals, gravid uterus occupying less than half the length of proglottid, relatively few eggs, and the highly characteristic longitudinal split of proglottids at the end of the gravid strobila. Hymenolepis haukisalmii n. sp. differs from all known Hymenolepis spp. in the relative position of both poral and aporal dorsal and ventral osmoregulatory canals and uterus lacking dorsal and ventral diverticula. The shift in the relative position of the dorsal and ventral osmoregulatory canals was not known in Hymenolepis from rodents in other regions of the world and is reminiscent of the situation observed in Hymenolepis erinacei, parasitic in hedgehogs, and members of the genus Talpolepis, parasitic in moles. The cosmopolitan species Hymenolepis diminuta was the only member of the genus previously reported from the Philippines. PMID:23679835
Makarikov, Arseny A; Tkach, Vasyl V; Bush, Sarah E
The emendation of the description of Litomosoides silvai Padilha and Faria, 1977 was based on results obtained by light and scanning electron microscopy. The filarioids were obtained from Akodon cursor (syn. Akodon arviculoides) found at the Catimbau Grande site in Rio Bonito, Brazil. Some features that are added to the original description include the en face view of the cephalic end, the width of the buccal capsule, the nerve ring, and the pattern of cuticular striations for both sexes. Also included are the morphologic characteristics of the spicules, the number of papillae, the area rugosa, the lateral line of the male, the shape of the buccal capsule, vulva, and anus of the female, and the microfilariae. The morphology of the spicules confirms that this species is part of the carinii line, according to Bain et al. (1989). PMID:8973410
Species distribution modelling has been a powerful tool to explore the potential distribution of parasites in wildlife, being the basis of studies on biogeography. Vexillata spp. are intestinal nematodes found in several species of mammalian hosts, such as rodents (Geomyoidea) and hares (Leporidae) in the Nearctic and northern Neotropical regions. In the present study, we modelled the potential distribution of Vexillata spp. and their hosts, using exclusively species from the Geomyidae and Heteromyidae families, in order to identify their distributional patterns. Bioclimatic and topographic variables were used to identify and predict suitable habitats for Vexillata and its hosts. Using these models, we identified that temperature seasonality is a significant environmental factor that influences the distribution of the parasite genus and its host. In particular, the geographical distribution is estimated to be larger than that predicted for its hosts. This suggests that the nematode has the potential to extend its geographical range and also its spectrum of host species. Increasing sample size and geographical coverage will contribute to recommendations for conservation of this host-parasite system. PMID:23046734
Martínez-Salazar, E A; Escalante, T; Linaje, M; Falcón-Ordaz, J
Background Two common southern African mice species, Mastomys coucha and M. natalensis, are widely distributed throughout the subregion and overlap in many areas. They also share a high degree of morphological similarity, making them impossible to distinguish in the field at present. These multimammate mice are documented carriers of serious disease vectors causing Lassa fever, plague and encephalomyocarditis, which coupled to their cohabitation with humans in many areas, could pose a significant health risk. A preliminary study reported the presence of isozyme markers at three loci (GPI-2, PT-2, -3) in one population each of M. coucha and M. natalensis. Two additional populations (from the Vaal Dam and Richards Bay) were sampled to determine the reliability of these markers, and to seek additional genetic markers. Results Fifteen proteins or enzymes provided interpretable results at a total of 39 loci. Additional fixed allele differences between the species were detected at AAT-1, ADH, EST-1, PGD-1, Hb-1 and -2. Average heterozygosities for M. coucha and M. natalensis were calculated as 0.018 and 0.032 respectively, with a mean genetic distance between the species of 0.26. Conclusions The confirmation of the isozyme and the detection of the additional allozyme markers are important contributions to the identification of these two medical and agricultural pest species.
The long-tailed pygmy rice rat Oligoryzomys longicaudatus (Sigmodontinae), the major reservoir of Hantavirus in Chile and Patagonian Argentina, is widely distributed in the Mediterranean, Temperate and Patagonian Forests of Chile, as well as in adjacent areas in southern Argentina. We used molecular data to evaluate the effects of the last glacial event on the phylogeographic structure of this species. We examined if historical Pleistocene events had affected genetic variation and spatial distribution of this species along its distributional range. We sampled 223 individuals representing 47 localities along the species range, and sequenced the hypervariable domain I of the mtDNA control region. Aligned sequences were analyzed using haplotype network, bayesian population structure and demographic analyses. Analysis of population structure and the haplotype network inferred three genetic clusters along the distribution of O. longicaudatus that mostly agreed with the three major ecogeographic regions in Chile: Mediterranean, Temperate Forests and Patagonian Forests. Bayesian Skyline Plots showed constant population sizes through time in all three clusters followed by an increase after and during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; between 26,000-13,000 years ago). Neutrality tests and the "g" parameter also suggest that populations of O. longicaudatus experienced demographic expansion across the species entire range. Past climate shifts have influenced population structure and lineage variation of O. longicaudatus. This species remained in refugia areas during Pleistocene times in southern Temperate Forests (and adjacent areas in Patagonia). From these refugia, O. longicaudatus experienced demographic expansions into Patagonian Forests and central Mediterranean Chile using glacial retreats. PMID:22396751
Palma, R Eduardo; Boric-Bargetto, Dusan; Torres-Pérez, Fernando; Hernández, Cristián E; Yates, Terry L
The reservoir competence of the rice rat, Oryzomys palustris, for Borrelia burgdorferi is described. Infected Ixodes scapularis Say (I. dammini, Spielman, Clifford, Piesman & Corwin) nymphs were used to infect animals. Borrelia infection was diagnosed by xenodiagnostic feeding of noninfected I. scapularis larvae and by reisolation of the spirochetes from blood and other tissues. Rice rats acquired B. burgdorferi and maintained spirochete infection for 5-9 wk. B. burgdorferi were cultured from samples of skin and urinary bladders from all animals killed on day 21 (three rats), 35 (three rats), or 56 (three rats) after infection. The spirochetes were also detected in blood samples obtained 1 and 2 wk after exposure. Spirochetes that persisted for 5 wk in rice rats did not lose their infectivity for golden Syrian hamsters. The prepatent period for infecting xenodiagnostic ticks was 1 wk. Overall, 75.6% of I. scapularis larvae (n = 694) that fed on infected rice rats acquired B. burgdorferi. Prevalence of infection reached 83% in ticks that fed on tick-exposed animals during the 2nd-4th wk, 68% during the 5th wk, and 17.4% during the 9th wk. The duration of rice rat infectivity for ticks exceeded 2 mo. I. scapularis nymphs infected as larvae on rice rats transmitted B. burgdorferi. Taken together, these studies confirm the reservoir competence of the rice rat for B. burgdorferi. PMID:7608919
Levin, M; Levine, J F; Apperson, C S; Norris, D E; Howard, P B
Pseudoryzomys simplex, the false rice rat, is a monotypic genus of the Oryzomyini tribe (Sigmodontinae) distributed in part of Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Its diploid number has been described as 56 acrocentric chromosomes decreasing in size and no karyotype figure has been depicted. Herein, we present karyotypic data on P. simplex, including chromosome banding and molecular fluorescent in situ hybridization using telomeric sequences and the whole X-chromosome of its sister clade Holochilus brasiliensis (HBR) as probes. A case of remarkable autosomal heteromorphism due to the presence of a whole heterochromatic arm leading to the variability of FN is reported, as well as the occurrence of regions of homology between the X and Y chromosomes (pseudoautosomal regions) after chromosome painting with the HBR X probe on P. simplex metaphases.
Moreira, Camila Nascimento; Di-Nizo, Camilla Bruno; de Jesus Silva, Maria Jose; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Yatiyo; Ventura, Karen
Changes in size and shape in the skull of five species of the African rodent genus Arvicanthis were studied using Geometric Morphometrics, in an attempt to evaluate their systematics and taxonomy which is still confused. Four species endemic to the Horn of Africa (A abyssinicus, A. dembeensis, A. blicki and A. somalicus) and a population of the ’A. niloticus’ complex
In this article we review the existing cytogenetic information on the polymorphic dot-like chromosomes in Trinomys iheringi, the only species in the family Echimyidae harboring them, and provide new data on the frequency, banding properties, meiotic behavior and DNA composition of these minute chromosomes. Since no individuals lacking these chromosomes have hitherto been found, one of the main properties of B chromosomes, i.e. dispensability, has not yet been tested, so that some reasonable doubt might exist on whether they are true B chromosomes. The dot-like chromosomes were also present in the twelve new individuals analyzed, showed intraindividual variation in number, most likely due to mitotic instability during development, failed to show C-bands, showed late-replication, paired among them in meiosis, but not with the large chromosomes, and appeared to be mainly composed of telomeric DNA. These results suggest that these dot-like chromosomes might actually be mitotically unstable micro B chromosomes showing very high frequency in the natural populations thus far analyzed. But, to be confident of this conclusion, individuals lacking the dot-like chromosomes should actively be searched in future research to test their dispensability. PMID:15292586
When it comes to mouse evo-devo, the fourth premolar-first molar (P4-M1) dental complex becomes a source of longstanding controversies among paleontologists and biologists. Muroidea possess only molar teeth but with additional mesial cusps on their M1. Developmental studies tend to demonstrate that the formation of such mesial cusps could result from the integration of a P4 germ into M1 during odontogenesis. Conversely, most Dipodoidea conserve their fourth upper premolars and those that lost these teeth can also bear additional mesial cusps on their first upper molars. The aim of this study is to assess this developmental model in both Muroidea and Dipodoidea by documenting the morphological evolution of the P4-M1 complex across 50?Ma. Fourteen extinct and extant species, including abnormal and mutant specimens were investigated. We found that, even if their dental evolutionary pathways strongly differ, Dipodoidea and Muroidea retain common developmental characteristics because some of them can present similar dental morphological trends. It also appears that the acquisition of a mesial cusp on M1 is independent from the loss of P4 in both superfamilies. Actually, the progressive decrease of the inhibitory effect of P4, consequent to its regression, could allow the M1 to lengthen and mesial cusps to grow in Muroidea. Apart from these developmental explanations, patternings of the mesial part of first molars are also deeply constrained by morpho-functional requirements. As there is no obvious evidence of such mechanisms in Dipodoidea given their more variable dental morphologies, further developmental investigations are needed. PMID:21740509
This study compares seven input devices (mouse, touchsereen, two trackba.lls, mousepen,touchp@ and joystick) performing a star tracing task. Along with the device comparisons, the diffemtce between moving with the selector button pressed (dragging) or with the button released (pointing) is examined. Recent work has found that dragging is slower and more error prone than pointing when using a mouse, stylus
The aim was to characterize the karyotype of rodents of the genus Proechimys from three localities in the central Brazilian Amazon, in the search for new markers that might shed light on our understanding of the taxonomy and evolutionary history of this taxon. Two karyotypes were found, viz., 2n = 28, FN = 46 in individuals from the NRSP (Cuieiras River) and REMAN (Manaus), and 2n = 46, FN = 50 in individuals from the Balbina Hydroelectric Plant. While individuals with the karyotype with 2n = 28 chromosomes were morphologically associated with Proechimys cuvieri, their karyotype shared similarities with those of the same diploid number in two other regions. Although three karyotypes are described for Proechimys cuvieri, no geographic distribution pattern that defined a cline could be identified. Based on the morphological examination of voucher specimens and additional results from molecular analysis, the karyotype with 2n = 46 and FN = 50 could be associated with P. guyannensis. PMID:22481879
E Silva, Carlos Eduardo Faresin; Eler, Eduardo Schmidt; da Silva, Maria Nazareth F; Feldberg, Eliana
In May 2000, a dead porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum Culiver) was found on an infrequently traveled dirt road at Camp Ripley, MN. The presence of late instar Calliphoridae suggested that the porcupine died within the past 4 to 7 d. Adult carrion (Silphidae) and rove (Staphylinidae) beetles were observed under the carcass. In June, a large number of adult American dog ticks, Dermacentor variabilis (Say), were observed questing on the porcupine and the surrounding grass. Six zones were established around the carcass, and each zone was sampled for ticks once a month from June through September. Ticks were captured in June and July, and 93% were captured within 2 m of the carcass. Gases released as part of the decomposition process were believed to attract the ticks to the carcass. PMID:12597663
McNemee, Richard B; Sames, William J; Maloney, Francis A
The genus Proechimys is divisible into four groups of species on the basis of bullar septal patterns. Each of the four groups can be further characterized by distinctive distributions and karyotypes. The subgenus Trinomys and the guatrae species group each are comprised of phylogenetically closely-related species. The semispinosus- and brevicauda-groups, although generally distinctive on the basis of bullar septa, are not phylogenetically equivalent to the first two groups. The brevicauda-group, for example, consists of at least three separate species complexes. The taxonomy used in this report reflects several nomenclatural changes from that used in the recent literature. In addition, previously unreported karyotypes are described for P. quadruplicatus, P. gularis, P. decumanus, P. oris, P. oconnelli, and P. mincae.
Interspecies repetitive DNA homology was studied in akodont rodents related at generic and suprageneric levels. The homology was determined by taking the species Akodon molinae as the reference species. The 3H-DNA/DNA hybridization on filters showed a closer relationship between A. molinae and A. azarae, A. dolores and A. mollis than between A. molinae and Bolomys obscurus. These data agree with the taxonomical ranking of the species. The quantity and quality of the hybrid DNAs were measured by investigating their thermal stabilities and subsequent comparison to the results obtained on the reference species. These data indicate high similitude between the repetitive DNA of A. dolores and A. molinae. Increasing differences were shown to occur in the repetitive DNA of A. mollis, B. obscurus and A. azarae, respectively. Since these results coincide with the G-banding homologies and differ slightly from the taxonomical rank, it is speculated that the divergency between the DNA of A. molinae and A. azarae is the result of a differential process of DNA amplification which is not related to the phylogenetical distance separating the two species. PMID:6762920
Vidal-Rioja, L; Bianchi, N O; Catala, A; Semorile, L
This research study evaluated the effect of different additives on the bait consumption by Indian crested porcupine, a serious forest and agricultural pest, under field conditions. Different additives (saccharin, common salt, bone meal, fish meal, peanut butter, egg yolk, egg shell powder, yeast powder, mineral oil and coconut oil) at 2 and 5% each were tested for their relative preference, using groundnut-maize (1:1) as basic bait. All the additives were tested under a no-choice test pattern. For control tests, no additive was mixed with the basic bait. Saccharin at 5% concentration significantly enhanced the consumption of bait over the basic bait, while 2% saccharin supplemented bait resulted in a non-significant bait consumption. All other additives did not enhance the consumption of the bait material; rather, these worked as repellents. However, the repellency was lowest with the common salt, followed by egg yolk, egg shell powder, bone meal, peanut butter, mineral oil, fish meal and yeast powder, while coconut remained the most repellent compound. The present study suggested that groundnut-maize (1:1) supplemented with 5% saccharin was the preferred bait combination, and can be used with different rodenticides for the management of Indian crested porcupine. PMID:24020467
Mushtaq, Muhammad; Hussain, Iftikhar; Mian, Afsar; Munir, Shahid; Ahmed, Irfan; Khan, Abdul Aziz
Two hundred and eighty-two references to studies on the old-field mouse are listed alphabetically. They are classified into 21 categories which are listed at the beginning and category numbers are given with each citation. A computer program for searching...
The report is one of a series concerned with the helminths of vertebrates taken by the U. S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2 Expedition to North Borneo in 1960. Nematodes were obtained from flying lemurs, primates, anteaters, rodents, carnivores, and ho...
Pseudoryzomys simplex, the false rice rat, is a monotypic genus of the Oryzomyini tribe (Sigmodontinae) distributed in part of Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Its diploid number has been described as 56 acrocentric chromosomes decreasing in size and no karyotype figure has been depicted. Herein, we present karyotypic data on P. simplex, including chromosome banding and molecular fluorescent in situ hybridization using telomeric sequences and the whole X-chromosome of its sister clade Holochilus brasiliensis (HBR) as probes. A case of remarkable autosomal heteromorphism due to the presence of a whole heterochromatic arm leading to the variability of FN is reported, as well as the occurrence of regions of homology between the X and Y chromosomes (pseudoautosomal regions) after chromosome painting with the HBR X probe on P. simplex metaphases. PMID:23885202
Moreira, Camila Nascimento; Di-Nizo, Camilla Bruno; de Jesus Silva, Maria José; Yonenaga-Yassuda, Yatiyo; Ventura, Karen
Extant species of Muridae occupy a wide array of habitats and have diverse dietary habits. Consequently, their dental microwear patterns represent a potential clue to better understand the paleoecology of their extinct relatives, which are abundant in many Old World Neogene localities. In this study, dental microwear is investigated for specimens of 17 extant species of murine and deomyine rodents in order to test the reliability of this method and infer dietary preferences on the fossil species Saïdomys afarensis. This extinct form comes from a mid-Pliocene site (AL 327) located at the Hadar Formation (Ethiopia) known to have delivered many hominid specimens of Australopithecus afarensis. A significant correlation between microwear patterns and diet is detected. Thus, grass, fruit, and insect eaters display, respectively, high amounts of fine scratches, wide scratches, and large pits. Moreover, some aspects of the paleoecology of S. afarensis, including feeding habits, could be assessed in regard to its dental microwear pattern. Indeed, it probably had feeding habits similar to that of living grass eaters. These results concur with the presence of open to woodland areas covered by an herbaceous vegetal layer, including monocotyledons, in the vicinity of this mid-Pliocene locality.
Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4-4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6-0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European-C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus. PMID:23671605
Horá?ek, Ivan; Knitlová, Markéta; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, László; Nadachowski, Adam
The taxonomic relationship between two Korean field mice species, Apodemus agrarius coreae and A. a. chejuensis, as well as their possible historic migration routes, was examined by molecular genetic analysis of the complete mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 73 mice collected from the Korean Peninsula and Jeju Island. Our findings suggest that A. a. coreae and A. a. chejuensis populations expanded and dispersed rapidly. Bayesian and network analysis showed that A. a. chejuensis is a clearly distinct population, and that A. a. chejuensis originated from the ancestral lineage of A. a. coreae. Based on our data, we hypothesize that the A. a. coreae population originated from eastern China or elsewhere. After the last glacial epoch, the lineage isolated from A. a. coreae had adapted to the new environment of Jeju Island, and with the reproductive isolation caused by the geographic barrier, this lineage eventually became a distinct population. PMID:23025457
Oh, Dae-Ju; Kim, Tae-Wook; Chang, Min-Ho; Han, Sang-Hyun; Oh, Hong-Shik; Kim, Se-Jae
Squirrels include several independent lineages of dwarf forms distributed into two ecological groups: the dwarf tree and flying squirrels. The mandible of dwarf tree squirrels share a highly reduced coronoid process and a condylar process drawn backwards. Dwarf flying squirrels on the other hand, have an elongated coronoid process and a well-differentiated condylar process. To interpret such a difference, Elliptic Fourier Transform was used to evaluate how mandible shape varies with dwarfism in sciurids. The results obtained show that this clear-cut difference cannot be explained by a simple allometric relationship in relation with size decrease. We concluded that the retention of anteriorly positioned eye sockets, in relation with distance estimation, allowed the conservation of a well-differentiated coronoid process in all flying species, despite the trend towards its reduction observed among sciurids as their size decreases.
Hautier, Lionel; Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Michaux, Jacques
The recently described taxon Drymoreomys albimaculatus is endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and its biology and genetics are still poorly known. Herein, we present, for the first time, the karyotype of the species using classical and molecular cytogenetics, which showed 2n=62, FN=62, and interstitial telomeric signals at the sex chromosomes. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from the two karyotyped individuals verify the taxonomic identity as the recently described Drymoreomys albimaculatus and confirm the relationship of the species with other Oryzomyini. Additionally, external morphological information is provided. PMID:23794904
Suárez-Villota, Elkin Y; Di-Nizo, Camilla B; Neves, Carolina L; Silva, Maria José de Jesus
The fossil record of the first genera of each family of South American Hystricognathi rodents is reviewed. On this basis the main events for the radiation of the infraorder on this continent are recognized. Two main events can be identified: the first occurs probably during the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, and the second at the Middle-Late Miocene boundary.
Guiomar Vucetich, Marìa; Verzi, Diego H.; Hartenberger, Jean-Louis
Mysopalacinae (zokors) is a group of fossorial rodents for which the taxonomy has yet to reach consensus. Furthermore, due to their fossorial lifestyle, little is known about their ecology. Molecular data are important to elucidate such aspects. In this paper, the complete mitochondrial DNA genome of Gansu zokor (Eospalax cansus) of the type found in Lintan, China was determined. The genome is 16,354 bp in length and consists of 13 protein-coding genes, 22 tRNA genes, two ribosomal RNA genes, and two main non-coding regions (the control region and the origin of the light strand replication), the gene composition and order of which are similar to most other mammals. The overall base composition is T 30.0%, C 24.2%, A 33.5%, and G 12.3%, with an A+T bias of 63.5%. These mitogenome sequence data are potentially important for evolutionary, population genetic, and ecological studies of the Mysopalacinae. PMID:23544500
Su, Junhu; Wang, Jing; Hua, Limin; Gleeson, Dianne; Ji, Weihong
Today and in the Tertiary, the geographical distribution of castorids is limited throughout all of the northern continents. Fossils of the Castoridae genus Steneofiber are abundant in many localities of Eurasia from the late Oligocene to Pliocene period. Recently, Steneofiber fossils were discovered in two localities of northern Thailand, Mae Moh and Chiang Muan coal mines, in layers of late middle Miocene age. These discoveries represent the first records of castorids from Southeast Asia and correspond to their southernmost known range. The focus of this study is to describe this new Thai species of Steneofiber and to define its wear stages from the molar occlusal surfaces by using micro-CT scan analysis. The CT scan technique permits the analysis of the virtual occlusal surface changes from wear, allowing easier comparison to related species of Steneofiber cheek teeth without destroying the teeth. The new species, Steneofiber siamensis n. sp., can be distinguished from the other species of Steneofiber by several distinct characters, longer mesostriid on p4, presence of premesostria and metastria on P4, which are smaller than most of the other known species. The occurrence of this new castorid also supports a subtropical to tropical paleoclimate for these two localities of northern Thailand.
Burrows play an important role for many species, providing them with shelter and access to food resources. For subterranean rodents, living underground imposes constraints on morphology and physiology. The convergence in burrow architecture among subterranean rodents has been related to the energy demands imposed by the cost of constructing an entire system. The low frequency of tunnels with downward angles steeper than 40° appears to be a common feature in burrow design. In the subterranean habitat, movements through the soil are expensive and gravity can exert important restrictions on digging energetics when individuals push out the soil removed in steeper digging angles. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of digging angle on digging energetics in Ctenomys talarum. The mass of the removed soil and burrowing speed were similar while digging metabolic rate and net cost of transport were higher in individuals digging in tunnels with angles >40° than in those digging tunnels with angles <40°. The cost of constructing a burrow in the horizontal plane differed by 20% from others in which the natural representation of tunnels >40° was considered. Even given that tunnels >40° represented only 6% of the total burrow length, burrow architecture appears to be constrained by the high energetic cost of constructing in steeper angles.
In this work we characterize the Phodopus roborovskii and Phodopus sungorus karyotypes, describing the constitutive heterochromatin and the telomeric repeats distribution in these chromosomes. In the two species, (peri)centromeric, interstitial and (sub)telomeric C-bands were revealed, presenting a very high colocalization with evolutionary breakpoint regions identified in these karyotypes. Also both species present telomeric sequences located interstitially (ITS), as short ITS blocks or as large ITS blocks, mainly at the (peri)centromeric heterochromatic regions. The number and degree of ITSs amplification varies greatly in the two hamsters, indicating independent evolutionary events of these repeats in each genome. The combination of the data provided interesting insights about the genome organization of these hamster species, also allowing establishing evolutionary considerations on their chromosomes. The obtained results clearly suggest an involvement of the repetitive genomic fraction in the reshaping of P. roborovskii and P. sungorus karyotypes. PMID:23280178
Abstract In this study, we use three mitochondrial markers, cytochrome b gene (Cyt b), NADH dehydrogenase subunit 4 (ND4) and control region (D-loop) to investigate the phylogenetic relationships of extant zokor species in Mysopalacinae. The phylogenetic tree constructed based on Cyt b strongly supports the monophyly genera Eospalax and Myospalax with E. fontanierii being the most ancient species in Eospalax. Further phylogenetic analyses of four species of Eospalax based on ND4 and D-loop sequences revealed two clades that correspond to two geographical distributions. The basal clade includes E. cansus which is mainly found on Loess Plateau (LP) and another clade including E. baileyi, E. smithii and E. rufescens that inhabits areas above 2000?m on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and Qinling Mountains. Geographical events of QTP and LP may have played a major role in the diversification and evolution of Mysopalacinae. PMID:23607477
Su, Junhu; Ji, Weihong; Wang, Jing; Gleeson, Dianne M; Zhou, Janwei; Hua, Limin; Wei, Yanming
Earlier, in an integral genetic study, the Asian and European races were distinguished within the species Sylvaemus uralensis (pygmy wood mouse) and the European race was divided into the East European and South European forms. Each of these groups differed from the others, in particular, in the quantity of the centromeric heterochromatin in karyotypes of the animals. To establish the pattern of its changes in S. uralensis, in the present study the DNA content in splenocyte nuclei in all races and forms of pygmy wood mice was assessed using DNA flow cytometry. The heterochromatin amount in karyotypes and genome size were shown to be correlated. The East European chromosomal race of S. uralensis (Central Chernozem and Non-Chernozem regions of Russia, Crimea Peninsula, Middle Volga region, and Southern Ural) and the Asian race of this species (East Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and East Turkmenistan), which have respectively the highest and the lowest amounts of centromeric heterochromatin in the karyotype, exhibit the greatest difference in the DNA content in the genome. On average, the difference is approximately 8% in males and 6.7% in females; in both cases, the ranges of variability were distinctly different. Against the general background of the trait variation, the Asian race, whose members have the smallest DNA amount in their cells, looks homogeneous. The genome of the South European chromosomal form of S. uralensis (Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Carpathians, and Balkan Peninsula), which exhibits an intermediate content of the centromeric heterochromatin in the karyotype, is smaller that the genome of the East European race (by 3.2% in the group of males and by 1.9%, in the group of females), but larger than that of the Asian race (by 5% in either sex). Thus, the variability of size of centromeric C-blocks in pygmy wood mouse is likely to be associated with elimination (or, conversely, an increase in the amount) of the genetically inert chromatin. It is suggested that a significant contribution to the variability of genome size in S. uralensis is made by heterochromosomes, or, more precisely, their variable regions, which seem to be largely heterochromatic. PMID:16316009
The helminthological fauna of the cotton rat, Sigmodon hispidus in a tropical environment varies according to habitat and feeding behavior. Six species of nematodes (Longistriata adunca, Trichostrongylus sigmodontis, Strongyloides sigmodontis, Litomosoides carinii, Monodontus sp. and Protospirura sp.) and two species of cestodes (Hymenolepis diminuta and Raillietina sp.) were found in rats from extensive dry lands in Guanacaste where hot temperatures and heterogeneous diet are the rule. Only two species of nematodes (Longistriata adunca and Angiostrongylus costaricensis) were found in rats collected in a humid pineapple plantation in the Central Plateau (Alajuela) where mild temperatures predominate. A. costaricensis, a metastrongylid of medical importance, was found in 42% of them. PMID:11021315
Earlier, we demonstrated the presence of inverted cuticle on the protective spines of New World porcupines. In this cuticle, the scales do not point upwards (to the top of the stem) as they usually do; they have an opposite orientation towards the base of the spine and form a distinctive harpoonlike structure [1?3]. In Old World porcupines, the cuticle of
A new African species of hystricognathous rodent, Gaudeamus lavocati sp. nov., is described herein from the early Oligocene deposits of Zallah locality (Sirt basin, Central Libya). The dental\\u000a morphology of this species is very close to that of some earliest South American caviomorphs. It allows a reinterpretation\\u000a of molar crest homologies among earliest caviomorphs, pentalophodonty being confirmed as the plesiomorphic
Pauline Coster; Mouloud Benammi; Vincent Lazzari; Guillaume Billet; Thomas Martin; Mustafa Salem; Awad Abolhassan Bilal; Yaowalak Chaimanee; Mathieu Schuster; Xavier Valentin; Michel Brunet; Jean-Jacques Jaeger
The analysis of morphological variability of the ten samples of Microtus oeconomus from islands of Baikal and adjacent regions gas shown, that island samples differ from continental ones by complex of parameters, defining proportions of a skuul, mainly, proportions of an auditory region. Island samples also differ higher indexes of complexity and asymmetry of morphotypes of the third upper molar. An environment of the Baikal islands differ absence of the damp habitats preferred Microtus oeconomus, and also colder microclimate that has caused forming original morphological character of island micropopulations. PMID:17168467
The structural and functional organization and the spatio-temporal interrelations of three sympatric vole species (Microtus oeconomus, Clethrionomys, rutilus, and C. rufocanus) were analyzed on territories different in the type of their functional significance to the animals (survival stations, zones of temporary dispersal, and transit zones). The study was conducted in the environs of the Iremel massif (54 degrees 31'25" N 58 degrees 50'18" E) in 1979-1981, in four 1 ha marking-areas in four different altitudinal zones. It is shown that the abundance and demographic structure is different for each species pair in each area, whereas their dynamics in synchronous. The overlap of niches in two Clethrionomys species is small and cannot cause their competition for food. The distribution of voles within the areas is usually independent, but has some peculiarities depending on the type of territory usage by the animals. Preferred microterritories that help species to avoid competition are revealed for each species to occur in different areas. These are cases of spatial separation, not of ecological isolation of sympatric species. Spatial and temporal division of environmental resources is controlled by mechanisms that have developed in the process of the community's evolution. PMID:18257290
Within the species-rich rodent genus Microtus, the Microtus fortis species-group is not well studied so far. We investigated DNA sequences of the mitochondrial control region in taxa of this group to assess the inter- and intraspecific variation and differentiation of populations, and to establish a molecular phylogeny. For comparison, samples of Microtus oeconomus covering the species distribution range were analyzed.
Elisabeth Haring; Irina N. Sheremetyeva; Alexey P. Kryukov
Morphological variation in root vole was studied in 10 samples from the Baikal islands and shore regions. The island samples\\u000a differed from the continental ones by a set of cranial characters as well as by a higher complexity and asymmetry of morphotypes\\u000a of the third upper molar. A possible role of biotopic and microclimatic conditions in the formation of a
A. A. Pozdnyakov; Yu. N. Litvinov; N. I. Litvinov; P. A. Demidovich
We examined data on captive multi-mammate mice (Mastomys coucha) to assess differential maternal investment, and sex-specific resource allocation. Differences in maternal size were induced through manipulation of dietary protein in three treatment groups: low (10%), medium (15%) and high (20%) protein diets. Mothers on the 20% protein diet were significantly larger than those on the lower protein diets, and produced
The instructional use of animals is a popular strategy to engage students with science, enhance their motivation, and promote values such as respect, tolerance, and empathy for all living beings. Although these beneficial outcomes are widely acknowledged, research has not provided reliable indicators of their efficiency. Therefore, it is essential to broaden the studies focused on the use of animals
Maria João Fonseca; Nuno H. Franco; Francis Brosseron; Fernando Tavares; I. Anna S. Olsson; Júlio Borlido-Santos
The numeration of the chromosomes, which can be used to describe the karyotypes of various chromosomal forms from different geographical regions, has been proposed for the Maximowicz's vole Microtus maximowiczii. Application of FISH analysis has allowed us to show homology of Robertsonian rearregement (11/20) inkaryotypes of voles from Transbaikalia (2n = 41 and voles from Norsky reservation in Amur Region (2n = 40). PMID:23875461
Kartavtseva, I V; Sheremet'eva, I N; Romanenko, S A; Gladkikh, O L; Riabkova, A V
Subfossil muskrat remains are numerous in the lower strata at the Lubbock Lake Landmark, Southern High Plains of Texas, dating from c.11,100bp to 8500bp. This period witnessed a significant change in palaeoclimate and habitat at Lubbock Lake and the Southern High Plains. These changes caused the disappearance of many plant and animal species, and the emergence of many others. The
Nucleotide sequences from the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome-b gene were used to infer phylogenetic relationships and estimate genetic distances from 10 individuals of Melanomys caliginosus and to explore the hypothesis that this taxon is comprised of multiple species. Individuals of four geographic populations of M. caliginosus from Central America (Nicaragua and Costa Rica), Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador, respectively, were included in this analysis. Topologies obtained from maximum parsimony and Bayesian inference analyses were identical and produced clades referable to each of the geographic populations. Genetic distances between any pair-wise comparisons of the four groups (except between Panamanian and Venezuelan samples) were comparable to values estimated from comparisons of sister species in the closely related genus Nectomys. Distances between samples from Panama and Venezuela were greater than those of samples within the Ecuadorian and Central American clades, but less than that between species of Nectomys. Based on results from the sequence data, it appears that all four of the populations should be elevated to species level; however, additional data are needed to resolve the nomenclature of the Panamanian and Venezuelan populations.
Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origins of primates, suggesting evolutionary scenarios that are usually paralleled to modern mammalian models that partly simulate the morpho-behavioral apomorphies of primates. The current study examines substrate use and positional behavior of tiny-sized Eurasian harvest mice (Micromys minutus) as living models for inferring the evolution of versatile behavior, flexible branch use and pedal grasping in early small-sized primates. Micromys exhibits a diverse locomotor repertoire composed of clambering and climbing, and uses postural modes requiring secure pedal grasping. It also makes considerable use of fine flexible substrates of various inclinations during both feeding/foraging and traveling. This profile seems to represent an intermediate step between stage 2 (Tupaia-stage) and stage 3 (Caluromys-stage) in Sargis et al.'s (2007) primate evolutionary scenario. Furthermore, our findings suggest that tiny size in itself brings a unique level of flexibility in posture and locomotion that has heretofore been underappreciated in the primate evolution literature. PMID:23228949
Molecular phylogeography suggests that Micromys minutus, the sole extant species of the genus, colonized its extensive range quite recently, during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene period. Rich Pliocene and Pleistocene fossil records both from Europe and China suggest rather continuous and gradual in situ phenotype rearrangements from the Pliocene to the Recent periods. To elucidate the discrepancy we reexamined a considerable part of the European fossil record of the genus (14 sites from MN15 to Q3, 0.4–4.2 Ma, including the type series of M. preaminutus from MN15 Csarnóta 2), analyzed them with the aid of detailed morphometric comparisons, and concluded that: (a) The European Pliocene form, M. praeminutus, differs significantly from the extant species; (b) it exhibits a broad phenotypic variation covering the presumptive diagnostic characters of MN16 M. caesaris; (c) despite having smaller dimensions, the Early and Middle Pleistocene forms (MN17-Q3, 2.6–0.4 Ma) seem to be closer to M. praeminutus than to the extant species; (d) the extinction of M. praeminutus during Q3 and the re-occupation of its niche by the recent expansion of M. minutus from E-European – C Asiatic sources (suggested by phylogeographic hypotheses) cannot be excluded. Discussing interpretations of the phylogenetic past of the genus we emphasize the distinct history of the West Palearctic clade (Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene) terminating with M. praeminutus and the East Asiatic clade (chalceus, tedfordi, minutus), and the possible identity of the Western clade with the Late Miocene genus Parapodemus.
Horacek, Ivan; Knitlova, Marketa; Wagner, Jan; Kordos, Laszlo; Nadachowski, Adam
Trichuris thrichomysi n. sp., recovered from the cecum of the wild rodent Thrichomys apereoides from a transition zone between the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado morfoclimatic domains, and its life cycle observed under experimental conditions are described. This new species is closely related to Trichuris travassosi, Trichuris chiliensis and Trichuris fulvi, but can be distinguished from them mainly by differences in the posterior end of males. Details of the surface such as the bacillary gland, cuticular inflations and several morphological details obtained by scanning electron microscopy and field emission scanning electron microscopy confirmed the characteristics that differentiate the new species. The histopathology of the intestinal wall of naturally infected rodents is also reported. The present study extends the geographical distribution of T. thrichomysi n. sp to the Pantanal ecosystem and reports a new host, Thrichomys pachiurus. PMID:21109353
Torres, Eduardo J Lopes; Nascimento, Ariel P F; Menezes, Aleksandra O; Garcia, Juberlan; dos Santos, Marcos Antônio José; Maldonado, Arnaldo; Miranda, Kildare; Lanfredi, Reinalda M; de Souza, Wanderley
We studied the development of the inverted yolk sac in a New World rodent, Necromys lasiurus during early placentation. Ten implantation sites were investigated by means of histology, immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. The yolk sac was villous near its attachment to the placenta. Elsewhere it was non-villous and closely attached to the uterus. The uterine glands were shallow and wide mouthed. They were associated with vessels and filled with secretion, suggesting the release of histotroph. This feature was absent at later stages. The intimate association of the yolk sac with specialized glandular regions of the uterus may represent a derived character condition of Necromys and/or sigmodont rodents. PMID:22541609
Favaron, P O; Carter, A M; Mess, A M; de Oliveira, M F; Miglino, M A
Hystricognath rodents include Old World Phiomorpha and New World Caviomorpha. These two groups have an enigmatic biogeographical history. Using a nuclear marker, the exon 28 of the von Willebrand Factor gene (vWF), we reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among 23 Hystricognathi species. These taxa encompass the complete familial diversity of the Hystricognathi. Our results indicate a basal trifurcation of hystricognaths leading
The present work describes chromosomal polymorphisms in zones of contact between divergent populations of Ctenomys minutus parapatrically distributed in the coastal plain of southern Brazil, and inter-specific hybridization with C. lami a closely related species. A sample of 171 specimens from 32 sample sites distri- buted along 161 km of the coastal plain was cytogenetically analyzed. Nine polymorphic populations were
The morphology of the first lower molar (M1) of Microtus (Terricola) multiplex (Fatio, 1905) was compared amongst 15 populations from the Alps (Switzerland, Italy, France). M. multiplex orientalis from Trentino Alto Adige is close to the nominative subspecies M. multiplex multiplex from Ticino characterised by a great size, a not tilted pitymyan rhombus and an important development of the anterior
Patrick Brunet-Lecomte; Armando Nappi; Sophie Montuire
Evolutionary relationships of red-backed voles and their relatives were examined and used to test biogeographic hypotheses. Sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were obtained for 25 individuals representing Alticola macrotis, Clethrionomys californicus, C. gapperi, C. glareolus, C. rutilus, and C. rufocanus. These were combined with 21 partial sequences from GenBank for C. regulus, C. rex, C. rufocanus, C. rutilus,
The objective of this work was to estimate the nucleotidic variation between two groups of tepezcuintles (Agouti paca) from the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo, Mexico and within members of each group. Blood samples were collected from eleven A. paca kept in captivity. DNA from leukocytic cells was used for Ramdom Amplification of DNA Polimorphism (RAPD). The primers three 5'-d(GTAGACCCGT)- 3' and six 5'-d(CCCGTCAGCA)- 3' were selected from de Amersham kit (Ready.To.Go. RAPD Analysis Beads, Amersham Pharmacia Biotech), because they produced an adequate number of bands. The electrophoretic pattern of bands obtained was analyzed using software for phylogenetic analysis based on the UPGMA method, to estimate the units of nucleotidic variation. The phylogenetic tree obtained with primer three reveals a dicotomic grouping between the animals from both states in the Yucatan Peninsula showing a divergent value of 1.983 nucleotides per hundred. Animals from Quintana Roo show a grouping with primer six; an additional grouping was observed with animals from Campeche. Nucleotidic variation between both groups was 2.118 nucleotides per hundred. The nucleotidic variation for the two primers within the groups from both states, showed fluctuating values from 0.46 to 1.68 nucleotides per hundred, which indicates that nucleotidic variation between the two groups of animals is around two nucleotides per hundred and, within the groups, less than 1.7 nucleotides per hundred. PMID:18491632
Montes-Pérez, Rubén C; García, Adán W Echeverría; Castro, Jorge Zavala; Gamboa, Militza G Alfaro
From June 1999 to May 2001, small mammals were captured in three areas of the Atlantic Forest in Southeastern Brazil and examined for ectoparasites. Analysis of ectoparasites revealed the presence of a new chigger genus and species, Caamembecaia gratiosus, from Trinomys gratiosus. This is the first record of a chigger from T. gratiosus. PMID:16830704
Gazêta, Gilberto S; Amorim, Marinete; Bossi, David E P; Linhares, Arício X; Serra-Freire, Nicolau M
The bristle-spined porcupine, Chaetomys subspinosus, an endemic rodent from Atlantic Forest, was considered to be abundant in the recent past, but population reductions due to habitat loss and expansion of human activities caused this species to be included in the "vulnerable" category of the World Conservation Union Red List. We performed the first genetic assessment in natural populations of this focal species along its geographical distribution. Thirty-five non-invasive samples (hair) were collected from three natural populations in the Brazilian States of Sergipe, Bahia and Espírito Santo. Genetic similarity obtained by Jaccard's index, based on dominant RAPD and ISSR markers, varied between 25 and 100%. Four clusters, mainly coincident with the geographical distribution of the populations, were observed. Analysis of molecular variance based on 47 polymorphic loci showed that there was 15.99% genetic variability among populations and 84.01% within populations. The estimated genetic structure among populations (?(ST)) was 0.16. The populations may have formed a continuum along the past distribution of the Atlantic rainforest but historical events of human occupation resulted in recent divergence among sampled populations. PMID:21644209
Oliveira, C G; Martinez, R A; Giné, G A F; Faria, D M; Gaiotto, F A
Introduction Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is a widespread phenomenon in animals including mammals. It has been demonstrated that across species, the direction and magnitude of sexual dimorphism in body size often corresponds to social systems. Moreover, many animal lineages conform to “Rensch’s rule”, which states that male-biased SSD increases with body size. We tested whether considerable differences in sociality and large variation in body size were connected with the evolution of SSD in the structural body size of ground squirrels, an otherwise ecologically relatively homogenous group of terrestrial rodents. Results We found the general trend of male-biased SSD in ground squirrels, however, male size increases nearly perfectly isometrically with female size among species and sociality does not explain departures from this relationship. Species with different sociality grades significantly differ in body size, with the most social species tending to be the largest. Conclusions We suggest that lack of conformity with Rensch´s rule in ground squirrels may be attributed to their low variation in SSD, and briefly discuss three potential causes of small magnitude of SSD in the structural size in rodents: low selection on SSD in structural dimensions, ontogenetic and genetic constraints and the existence of ecological/selection factors preventing the evolution of extensive SSD.
The genomes of three species of wood mouse (Apodemus fulvipectus and A. ponticus from the Caucasus and A. argenteus from Japan) were compared by means of restriction analysis of nuclear DNA. The species are differentiated from each other and from previously studied species. Each species has its species-specific features. Within the genus Apodemus, A. ponticus is most closely related to the European species A. sylvaticus and A. flavicollis. A. fulvipectus has a peculiar type of restriction with EcoR I (specific for dispersed repeats) and Hind III (specific for satDNA). The genome of this species contains three families of EcoR I repeats previously found in various species (European and Asian) of wood mouse and Hind III components characteristic of both wood and field mice. A. argenteus differs from all other forms of Apodemus, the genome of which contains the 375-bp Hind III satellite, by the presence of an EcoR I satDNA fraction consisting of 240-bp repeating units. 22 refs., 2 figs.
Chelomina, G.N. [Institute of Biology and Soil Sciences, Vladivostok (Russian Federation); Lyapunova, E.A.; Vorontsov, N.N. [Kol`tsov Institute of Developmental Biology, Moscow (Russian Federation)] [and others
The karyotypes of 13 greater long-tailed hamsters (Tscherskia triton de Winton, 1899) (eight males and five females) from Primorskii krai (Russia), including six males and one female from the vicinity of the city of Ussuriisk and two males and four females from the vicinity of the village of Pogranichnyi, have been studied. The karyotypes of five males (four from the vicinity of Ussuriisk and one from the vicinity of Pogranichnyi) have been found to contain one or two small acrocentric B chromosomes each. In males with B chromosomes, each germline cell contains one or two B chromosomes. The proportion of somatic cells carrying B chromosomes varies from 34.9 to 55.9% in these males. Karyological study of a total of 45 Tscherskia triton (30 males and 15 females) from Primorskii krai has been performed, B chromosomes being found in only five males (11.1%). In T. triton populations of Korea and China, also only a few animals have been found to carry one or two B chromosomes. The greater long-tailed hamster belongs to the monotypic genus Tscherskia; the animals described earlier under the names T. (Cricettilus) triton albipes Ognev, 1914 and T. (Cricettilus) triton nestor Thomas, 1907 belong to the only species in the genus, T. triton de Winton, 1899. PMID:22830259
celíaca (70%), ou em tronco comum com esta (30%); b) os ramos diretos da artéria mesentérica cranial são as artérias pancreaticoduodenal caudal (100%), cólica média (100%), duodenojejunal (90%), pancre- ática (10%), hepática (10%), cólica direita (100%), jejunais (100%), ileocólica (100%) e ileal (100%). A artéria mesentérica caudal surge da face ventral da aorta abdominal, imediatamente cranial à emergência das artérias
Gilberto Valente Machado; Pedro Renato Gonçalves; Adelvino Parizzi
Many freshwater invertebrates rely on vectors for their passive dispersal. A wide array of vectors has already been investigated,\\u000a but dispersal mediated by aquatic mammals remains largely unknown. Since nutria (Myocastor coypus Molina, 1782) live in a variety of aquatic habitats and frequently move around between these water bodies, they have the\\u000a opportunity to transport hitch-hiking aquatic invertebrates along with
Aline Waterkeyn; Olivier Pineau; Patrick Grillas; Luc Brendonck
A new genus and species of aplodontid rodent, Proansomys dureensis, from the late Oligocene of the northern Junggar Basin of China is described. The new genus is referred to as Ansomyinae because the ectoloph on the upper cheek teeth, although not fully crested, has attained the same characteristic bucket-handle-shaped configuration as other members of the subfamily. It represents the earliest record of the subfamily yet discovered in Asia and is more plesiomorphic than species of the genus Ansomys in having a partly crested ectoloph, a lower degree of lophodonty, and less complex tooth basins (lacking accessory lophules). Proansomys has transitional features between Prosciurus and Ansomys, suggesting that the Ansomyinae derived from a group of aplodontids related to Prosciurus, as did other advanced aplodontid rodents. This provides new light on the paleobiogeography of the Ansomyinae.
Bi, Shundong; Meng, Jin; McLean, Sarah; Wu, Wenyu; Ni, Xijun; Ye, Jie
Karyological (G-, C-, and NOR-banding) and allozyme analyses were carried out for island and continental populations of the vole Microtus fortis from the Far East of Russia. Variability of the autosome pair 7 was found. The presence of variation in the number of telomere heterochromatin blocks in the populations of Far Eastern voles was confirmed. NOR-staining of the Far Eastern vole chromosomes was carried out, showing stability of the number and the positions of the nucleolus organizer regions. Ten enzyme systems and three non-enzyme proteins (controlled in total by 25 interpretable loci) were examined in the Far Eastern vole from the island and continental populations. All of the loci were shown to be monomorphic, except for one esterase locus, which exhibited polymorphism at the intrapopulation and interpopulation levels. The issue of distribution of the Far Eastern vole subspecies is discussed. It is suggested that M. fortis pelliceus occurs not only in the Russian Far East, but also in Northern Transbaikalia. PMID:16871789
Zokors (Myospalacinae) is a group of rodents specialized for underground life, endemics of eastern Asia, which is taxonomically and evolutionarily poorly studied. We examined genetic diversity and phylogenetic relationships among zokors (Myospalax myospalax, Myospalax aspalax, Myospalax armandii, Myospalax psilurus, Myospalax smithii) using RAPD-PCR. The subfamily Myospalacinae was shown to be monophyletic and contain four evolutionary branches: M. myospalax, M. aspalax-M. armandii, M. smithii and M. psilurus. Genetic differences and high differentiation were found among the species and between two geographic forms of Manjurian zokor M. psilurus from the marginal parts of the range, Transbaikalia and Primorye. The psiluris phylogroup was shown to be dichotomically divided into two clades according to the geographical distribution of animals from Transbaikalia and Primorye. The genetic differentiation between the geographic forms of M. psilurus corresponded to the differentiation between morphologically similar species M. aspalax and M. armandii. M. armandii is a sister taxon with regard to M. aspalax. This new evidence on the evolutionary relationships among zokors does not contradict the traditional views inferred from morphological, karyological, and allozyme data, on isolation of M. myospalax and the character of form development in this group. The species status of Myospalax psilurus Milne-Edwards, 1874, M. epsilanus Thomas, 1912, M. armandii Milne-Edwards, 1867, which had been suggested earlier on the basis of biochemical and karyological data, was confirmed. PMID:21516793
We investigated the Amblyomma fuscum load on a pullulating wild rodent population and the environmental and biological factors influencing the tick load on the hosts. One hundred and three individuals of Thrichomys laurentius were caught in an Atlantic forest fragment in northeastern Brazil, as part of a longitudinal survey on ticks infesting non-volant small mammals. Ticks (n = 342) were found on 45 individuals and the overall mean intensity of infestation was 7.6 ticks per infested rodent. Ticks were highly aggregated in the host population and the negative binomial distribution model provides a statistically satisfactory fit. The aggregated distribution was influenced by sex and age of the host. The microhabitat preference by T. laurentius probably increases contact opportunities between hosts and aggregated infesting stages of the ticks and represents important clues about the habitat suitability for A. fuscum. PMID:22349983
Aléssio, Filipe Martins; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Siqueira, Daniel Barreto; Lizée, Marie-Hélène; Marvulo, Maria Fernanda Vianna; Martins, Thiago Fernandes; Labruna, Marcelo Bahia; Silva, Jean Carlos Ramos; Mauffrey, Jean-François
The fossil vole Microtus deceitensis occurs in Early Pleistocene deposits at Fort Selkirk, Yukon Territory, and Late Pliocene beds at the type locality, Cape Deceit, Alaska. Analyses of simple vs complex morphotypes in the cheek teeth, and of differentiation of tooth enamel, show that the Cape Deceit sample of M. deceitensis is less derived, and thus appears to be older,
Ctenomys pearsoni (Pearson's tuco-tuco) is a subterranean rodent native to Uruguay. We tested the amplification pattern of 12 microsatellite loci, designed for C. sociabilis and C. haigi in a C. pearsoni population. DNA extractions were made from hair samples, and PCR amplification products were run on an ABI 3100 microcapillary gel. Eight loci were selected to form a highly polymorphic panel that could be used to efficiently screen populations of this species. In DNA from 35 tuco-tucos, the mean polymorphic information content value was 0.6536 and the mean expected heterozygosity was 0.7166. Paternity non-exclusion probabilities for seven independent loci were NE-1P = 0.0766 and NE-2P = 0.0108, and combined non-exclusion P(ID) was 6.2 x 10(-7). This panel of microsatellite loci has sufficient power to make inferences regarding group structure, mating strategies and evolutionary relationships among populations. PMID:23613235
Twenty-eight Capillariinae species have been recorded in rodents; 1 of these species was reported from a caviomorph rodent, Hydrochoeris hydrochaeris (capybara), and placed in the genus Echinocoleus by Moravec (1982). However, both original description and subsequent contributions of Echinocoleus hydrochoeri are poor and incomplete. In this paper, this species is redescribed, and a new geographical distribution is reported. The redescription is based on morphologic and morphometrical features; intestine ends in a cloaca beside ejaculatory duct, caudal bursa composed of 2 large ventrolateral lobes with a fleshy internal part and a membranous external part (they are not united dorsally with a membrane), 1 pair of caudal papillae, terminal part of cylindrical cirrus ornamented with thin and thick spines (and particular pattern distribution), sclerotized spicule in male, and vulvar appendage in female, and 3 bacillary bands (1 ventral and 2 lateral). Generic and specific analyses were performed to establish new standards for future studies on the systematic position of Capillariinae species. This study presents new morphological information and a new record of a capillariid species from Argentina. PMID:23413958
Robles, María del Rosario; Eberhardt, María Ayelen Teresita; Bain, Odile; Beldomenico, Pablo Martín
Information on reproductive characteristics of wild rodents is scarce in the literature. This study aimed to assess the testis morphometry and stereology of Hylaeamys megacephalus. We used five animals in the study, captured in forest fragments in southwestern Goias State, between April and August 2009. The testes were fixed in Karnovsky solution, dehydrated, and embedded in methacrylate. Two-micrometer-thick sections from each sample were stained with toluidine blue/sodium borate 1%. Images of the testicular parenchyma were obtained from photomicroscope and morphometric and stereological analyses were carried out using the Image Pro-Plus software. The average body weight observed in the specimens of H. megacephalus in the study was 47.84g, of which, 0.40% is allocated to the gonads (GSI) and 0.36% to the seminiferous tubules (TSI). These parameters suggest promiscuous reproductive behavior, of the polyandrous type, favoring males with higher sperm production and consequently, larger testes. The volume density of the seminiferous tubules was 94.46%, which represented a volume of 0.18mL. The volume density and volume of the interstitium were 5.54% and 0.011mL, respectively. The diameter of the seminiferous tubules was 206.5?m and the height of seminiferous epithelium was 71.27?m. H. megacephalus presents 5.06m of seminiferous tubules and an average of 27.96m of seminiferous tubules per gram of testis. The mitotic and meiotic indexes showed losses of 85 and 42%, respectively and an overall loss of 90% over the full spermatogenic process. The number of Sertoli cells per testis and per gram of testis was 7.8×10(6) and 95.28×10(6), respectively. Most of the morphometric parameters evaluated in H. megacephalus in this study are within the range of values described for most mammals. PMID:23473695
de Melo, Fabiana Cristina Silveira Alves; de Sousa, Tatiane Pires; Costa, Kyvia Lugate C; da Matta, Sérgio Luis P; de Melo, Fabiano Rodrigues; Santa-Rita, Ricardo de Mattos
With about 400 living species and 82 genera, rodents of the subfamily Sigmodontinae comprise one of the most diverse and more broadly distributed Neotropical mammalian clades. There has been much debate on the origin of the lineage or the lineages of sigmodontines that entered South America, the timing of entrance and different aspects of further diversification within South America. The ages of divergence of the main lineages and the crown age of the subfamily were estimated by using sequences of the interphotoreceptor retinoid binding protein and cytochrome b genes for a dense sigmodontine and muroid sampling. Bayesian inference using three fossil calibration points and a relaxed molecular clock estimated a middle Miocene origin for Sigmodontinae (?12Ma), with most tribes diversifying throughout the Late Miocene (6.9-9.4Ma). These estimates together results of analyses of ancestral area reconstructions suggest a distribution for the most recent common ancestor of Sigmodontinae in Central-South America and a South American distribution for the most recent common ancestor of Oryzomyalia. PMID:23257216
Parada, Andrés; Pardiñas, Ulyses F J; Salazar-Bravo, Jorge; D'Elía, Guillermo; Palma, R Eduardo
Incisors with continuous growth are characteristic of rodents, and microfossil layers contain many of these incisors. For several extant families of rodents, the allometric relationships between the size of the upper incisor and the skull-length, the body-size and the body-mass were quantified, in order to estimate the body-size of fossil rodents. Therefore, the fossil incisors can be helpful for studying the composition and the structure of the communities of fossil rodents. This method was applied to a fossil rodent community from Algeria.
The gastrointestinal morphology was investigated in three mammalian insectivorous species, namely Acomys spinosissimus, Crocidura cyanea, and Amblysomus hottentotus. The aim of the study was to provide a comprehensive morphological comparison between the different species and to explore whether anatomical gastrointestinal adaptations are associated with the insectivorous diet of these species. The shape, proportional length, and proportional surface areas of the different gastrointestinal regions were recorded and compared in the three insectivores. Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) and Alcian Blue/Periodic Acid Schiff (AB/PAS) were used for morphological assessment. In all three species, the stomach was simple and uncompartmentalized. The internal aspect of the stomach in A. spinosissimus was hemi-glandular, containing stratified squamous epithelium in the fundus, with glandular epithelium in the body and pyloric region. However, C. cyanea and A. hottentotus had wholly glandular stomachs. Paneth cells were not observed in the intestinal tracts of C. cyanea and A. hottentotus. Acomys spinosissimus was the only species studied that had a cecum. The proximal colonic region of A. spinosissimus had V-shaped mucosal folds. Histologically, C. cyanea had villi throughout the entire gastrointestinal tract (GIT), whereas for A. hottentotus villi were not present in the most distal gastrointestinal regions. In both C. cyanea and A. hottentotus, longitudinal mucosal folds were present in the distal part of the colon. The GITs of C. cyanea and A. hottentotus showed little morphological differentiation namely, a simple, glandular stomach and the lack of a cecum. PMID:23404626
Boonzaier, Julia; Van der Merwe, Elizabeth L; Bennett, Nigel C; Kotzé, Sanet H
A new Oxyurid genus and species are described in a rodent recently discovered in Lao PDR: Laonastes aenigmamus which happens to be the single survivor of the Diatomyidae, a family considered to be extinct since the Miocene. The morphological characters of the new parasite species allow classifying it within the Syphaciinae Railliet, 1916, a subfamily whose members are exclusively parasites of Lagomorpha and Rodents. Male Syphaciinae have developed several types of ventral cuticular ornamentation used to firmly grip the female during mating. The ornamental characters observed in the new species include a finger like appendix, which, until now, has not been described in the subfamily. The originality of this apparatus justifies the creation of a new genus and a new species for the pinworm parasite of Laonastes. Using morphological characters, the new species is analyzed phylogenetically to describe its affinities with representatives of the main groups distinguished within the Syphaciinae. The phylogenetic study produces a cladogram similar to the phylogeny recently proposed for the hosts of the subfamily and in agreement with a close association of the Diatomyidae with the Ctenodactylidae. Such a phenomenon of cophylogeny is interpreted as the result of the existence of a strict specificity between the Syphaciinae and their respective hosts, due to the very close adaptation of their life cycle with the behaviors of their hosts. In Lagomorpha and Rodents, caecotrophy and grooming activities allow a direct transmission of the parasite eggs and favor successive self-infestations, increasing the chances for the parasite to maintain itself in the same host species but decreasing the probability of host switching. The resulting high host specificity allowed the Syphaciinae to out-compete other pinworms and maintain themselves in their specific host over millions of years. PMID:23357582
Hugot, Jean Pierre; Feliu, Carlos; Douangboupha, Bounneuang; Ribas, Alexis
Two mountain beavers, Aplodontia rufa , were collected in Lincoln County, Oregon, and examined for coccidia. Both were infected with 2 new species of Eimeria. Oocysts of Eimeria chitkoae n. sp. were ellipsoidal with a bilayered wall and measured (L × W) 24.5 × 20.2 ?m, with a shape index (SI) of 1.2. Both micropyle and oocyst residuum were absent, but a polar granule of several fragments was present. Sporocysts were ovoidal, 12.5 × 7.9 ?m, SI was 1.6. Stieda and substieda bodies were present, but a parastieda body was absent; a sporocyst residuum was present, composed of a cluster of moderately coarse granules with many scattered fine granules. Stout sporozoites were 14.7 × 2.9 ?m in situ, with spheroidal anterior and posterior refractile bodies. Oocysts of Eimeria lewisi n. sp. were ovoidal, with a smooth single-layered wall, and measured 13.7 × 7.8 ?m, SI was 1.7. A micropyle and oocyst residuum were absent, but 1-2 polar granule(s) were present. Sporocysts were 6.6 × 4.2 ?m, with SI of 1.6. A Stieda body was present, but substieda and parastieda bodies were absent; a sporocyst residuum was present, composed of a small cluster of several granules. Sporozoites were granular, 8.2 × 1.8 ?m in situ, with a posterior refractile body. These are the first coccidians reported from the mountain beaver. PMID:23240773
McAllister, Chris T; Duszynski, Donald W; McKown, Richard D
The preliminary analysis of a new continental vertebrate locality from the basal part of the Bugti Member (Baluchistan) focuses on the Cricetidae. From dental remains, two new species are described here, and related to genera Pseudocricetodon and Atavocricetodon, well known in the Early Oligocène from Europe. Compared to the European and Chinese Late Eocene specimen, their evolutionary stage suggests the Bugti locality to be Early Oligocène in age. These species are the first but also the oldest Paleogene record of the family on the Indian subcontinent and represent the originating ancestor group of the European cricetids.
The composition and homology of centromeric heterochromatin DNA has been compared in representatives of the Asian race and two chromosomal forms (Eastern European and Southern European) of the European race of the pygmy wood mouse Sylvaemus uralensis by means of in situ hybridization with metaphase chromosomes of microdissection DNA probes obtained from centromeric C-blocks of mice of the Southern European chromosomal form and the Asian race. Joint hybridization of both DNA probes yielded all possible variants of centromeric regions in terms of the presence of repetitive sequences homologous to those of some or another dissection region, which indicates a diversity of centromeric regions differing in DNA composition. However, most variations of the fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) patterns are apparently related to quantitative differences of repetitive elements of the genome. Experiments with the DNA probe obtained from the genome of the Southern European form of the pygmy wood mouse have shown that the number of intense FISH signals roughly corresponds to the number of large C-segments in representatives of the European race, which is characterized by a large amount of the centromeric C-heterochromatin in the karyotype. However, intense signals have been also detected in experiments on hybridization of this probe with chromosomes of representatives of the Asian race, which has no large C-blocks in the karyotype; thus, DNA sequences homologous to heterochromatic ones are also present in nonheterochromatic regions adjacent to C-segments. Despite the variations of the numbers of both intense and weak FISH signals, all chromosomal forms/races of S. uralensis significantly differ from one another in these characters. The number of intense FISH signals in DNA from the samples of pygmy wood mice from eastern Turkmenistan (the Kugitang ridge) and southern Omsk oblast (the vicinity of the Talapker railway station) was intermediate between those in the European and Asian races, which is apparently related to a hybrid origin of these populations (the hybridization having occurred long ago in the former case and recently in the latter case). PMID:20734773
Karamysheva, T V; Bogdanov, A S; Kartavtseva, I V; Likhoshva?, T V; Bochkarev, M N; Kolcheva, N E; Marochkina, V V; Rubtsov, N B
The genetic divergence between the eastern European, southern European, and Asian chromosome forms of the pygmy wood mouse Sylvaemus uralensis, whose karyotypes differ from one another in the amount of pericentromeric heterochromatin, has been reevaluated using allozyme analysis. In general, Asian S. uralensis living in eastern Kazakhstan, eastern Turkmenistan (the Kugitang Ridge), and Uzbekistan are more monomorphic than European populations of this species. However, the allozyme differences between all chromosome forms of the pygmy wood mouse is comparable with the interpopulation differences within each form and are an order of magnitude smaller than those between "good" species of the genus Sylvaemus. Thus, the chromosome forms of S. uralensis cannot be considered to be separate species. The concept of races as large population groups that have not diverged enough to regard them as species but differ from one another in some genetic characters is used to describe the differentiation of S. uralensis forms more adequately. The currently available evidence suggests the existence of two S. uralensis races, the Asian and the European ones, and two chromosome forms (eastern and western) of the European race. The possible historical factors that have determined the formation of the races of the pygmy wood mouse are considered. According to the most plausible hypothesis, the shift and fragmentation of the broad-leaved forest zone during the most recent glacial period (late Pleistocene) were the crucial factors of the formation of these races, because they resulted in a prolonged isolation of the European and Asian population groups of S. uralensis from each other. PMID:15523849
Electrophoretic analysis of 12 enzyme systems and 3 nonenzyme proteins (in all, 24 interpretable loci) was carried out for Microtus oeconomus from ten Kuril islands, Kamchatka Peninsula, and the vicinity of the city of Magadan. Gene geographic variation was examined and the coefficients of genetic variation and differentiation were estimated. The inter-population allozyme differentiation was low (DNEI, 1972 not higher than 0.053) and caused by variation in the allele frequencies of polymorphic loci. The greatest genetic distances were found between the populations belonging to different subspecies. Allozyme differentiation of Far Eastern M. oeconomus and M. fortis are discussed in relation to the data on the age of the island isolation and paleontological records. Karyological analysis (G-, C-, and NOR-banding) demonstrated the absence of differences between M. oeconomus from Kamchatka and the vicinity of Magadan. PMID:14658341
Frisman, L V; Kartavtseva, I V; Kostenko, V A; Sheremet'eva, I N; Cherniavski?, F B
Electrophoretic analysis of 12 enzyme systems and 3 nonenzyme proteins (in all, 24 interpretable loci) was carried out for Microtus oeconomus from ten Kuril Islands, Kamchatka Peninsula, and the vicinity of the city of Magadan. Gene geographic variation was examined and the coefficients of genetic variation and differentiation were estimated. The interpopulation allozyme differentiation was low (DNei, 1972 not higher
L. V. Frisman; I. V. Kartavtseva; V. A. Kostenko; I. N. Sheremetyeva; F. B. Chernyavskii
Evolutionary relationships of red-backed voles and their relatives were examined and used to test biogeographic hypotheses. Sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene were obtained for 25 individuals representing Alticola macrotis, Clethrionomys californicus, C. gapperi, C. glareolus, C. rutilus, and C. rufocanus. These were combined with 21 partial sequences from GenBank for C. regulus, C. rex, C. rufocanus, C. rutilus, Eothenomys imaizumii, E. melanogaster, Phaulomys andersoni, and P. smithii. Complete sequences of three species of Microtus (M. montanus, M. oeconomus, and M. pennsylvanicus), representative species of other arvicoline genera (Myopus, Synaptomys, Arvicola, Ellobius, Ondatra, Lemmus, Dicrostonyx, and Phenacomys), and a sigmodontine representative (Peromyscus) were included as outgroups. We used maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, distance, and Bayesian based methods and conducted statistical tests on proposed hypotheses of phylogenetic relationships and biogeographic histories. A close relationship of species representing the genera Alticola, Clethrionomys, and Eothenomys was supported (Clethrionomyini); however, the genus Clethrionomys was paraphyletic with respect to both Alticola and Eothenomys. Three major clades were identified as Asian (Eothenomys andersoni, E. smithii, C. rex, C. regulus, and C. rufocanus), Trans-beringian (Alticola macrotis, C. californicus, C. gapperi, C. glarelolus, and C. rutilus), and Taiwanese (E. melanogaster). These results are consistent with the fossil record which indicates an initial diversification in Asia followed by colonization of the Nearctic on at least two occasions. The holarctic species, C. rutilus, appears to have either reinvaded Asia from North America or colonized North America more recently (late Pleistocene) than the two species of Clethrionomys (C. gapperi and C. californicus) that are endemic to North America (early to mid-Pleistocene). Finally, C. gapperi, appears to be comprised of an eastern and a western species, the former with affinities to the Asian C. glareolus and the latter more closely related to C. californicus. PMID:15012954
We present the first descriptive comparison of the skull, mandible and jaw muscles of the recently recovered Laotian rock rat Laonastes aenigmamus. The gross anatomy of five specimens captured in Laos and internal architecture of the jaw musculature were studied using dissections. The following muscles are described: temporal, masseter, pterygoids, digastric, mylohyoid, geniohyoid and transverse mandibular. The description of the masticatory apparatus of L. aenigmamus offers a rare opportunity to assess the order of establishment of the morphological characters during the evolution of Ctenohystrica. Striking convergences have occurred during the evolution of Diatomyidae and L. aenigmamus presents a unique combination of myological features that corresponds to a mixture of sciurognathous and hystricognathous characters. If L. aenigmamus is a sciurognathous rodent, we have to assume that it independently acquired a pars reflexa of the superficial masseter. We show for the first time that the development of this pars reflexa has occurred several times during the evolution of Ctenohystrica and can no longer be considered a synapomorphic feature of ‘Hystricognathi’. These results bring new insights into the evolution of hystricognathy and have profound implications for the interpretation of the fossil record of early hystricognath rodents.
Özet: Bu çal mada Mardin yöresinden toplanan 24 (11 erkek, 13 di i) Nannospalax ehrenbergi (Nehring, 1898) örne inin morfolojik ve karyolojik özellikleri ara t r lm t r. Örneklerin vücut ölçüleri, ba iskeleti özellikleri ve ölçüleri, di özellikleri gibi taksonomik öneme sahip morfolojik özellikleri ile karyolojik özellikleri incelenmi tir. Morfolojik ve karyolojik özellikler literatür bilgileriyle kar la t r
Social interactions between conspecifics is a type of nonphotic zeitgeber common to several species. In the diurnal rodent Octodon degus, social interactions enhance reentrainment after phase shifts and can act as a weak zeitgeber. Olfactory stimuli appear necessary for these effects since bulbectomy eliminates socially enhanced reentrainment. In Experiment 1, the authors examined whether stimulation of the main olfactory system
Plastic marine debris is a pervasive type of pollution. River basins and estuaries are a source of plastics pollution for coastal waters and oceans. Estuarine fauna is therefore exposed to chronic plastic pollution. Three important catfish species [Cathorops spixii (N=60), Cathorops agassizii (N=60) and Sciades herzbergii (N=62)] from South Western Atlantic estuaries were investigated in a tropical estuary of the
Fernanda E. Possatto; Mário Barletta; Monica F. Costa; Juliana A. Ivar do Sul; David V. Dantas
The spatial distribution of two marmot species Marmota baibacina and M. sibirica in a zone of coexistence was studied by using their alarm call as a diagnostic trait. It was found that M. baibacina prefers to inhabit bouldery screes, whereas M. sibirica inhabits all suitable biotopes. The difference in biotopic distribution of these species could be explained by M. sibirica forcing M. baibacina out of optimum habitats. Cases of coexistence of both species in one family group sites were registered, which might contribute to the appearance of hybrids. PMID:20583623
Previous reports showed that the tepezcuintle (Agouti paca) is commonly infested by gastrointestinal parasites (GIP), mainly Eucoccidiida and helminths. However, there is no available information on the frequency of those parasites and their faecal egg excretions at different moments during the year. These information would provide a valuable baseline for the establishment of control strategies against GIP in tepezcuintles under captivity. The objectives of the present study were to determine the prevalence of GIP orders and genera that infest tepezcuintles under captivity and, to describe the dynamics of faecal egg and oocyst excretion in a year. Ten tepezcuintles were sampled (faeces) twice every month for twelve months. The faecal samples were processed by the flotation and McMaster techniques. Two orders of parasites were determined: Strongylida and Eucoccidiida. Two genera of nematodes were also determined: Strongyloides and Trichuris. The prevalence of Strongylida eggs, Eucoccidiida oocysts and Trichuris sp. eggs reached 10-20% of animals in certain months. The most important genus was Strongyloides, found in 60 to 100% of the animals year round. The average excretion of eggs in the group was 45 to 372 eggs per gram. Tepezcuintles kept under captivity in Yucatan are parasited with Strongyloides sp throughout the year, but only occasionally had oocysts of Eucoccidiida and eggs of Strongylida and Trichuris sp. PMID:12189798
Ramírez-Herrera, O; Rodríguez-Vivas, R I; Montes-Pérez, R; Torres-Acosta, J F
Trichospirura aethiopica n. sp. is described from unidentified tubular structures (pancreatic ducts?) near the stomach of the murid Malacomys longipes Milne-Edwards, 1877 in Gabon. The extremely long and narrow buccal capsule, posterior position of the vulva, unequal spicules and absence of caudal alae readily identified the specimens as belonging to Trichospirura Smith & Chitwood, 1967, but a combination of several characters distinguished them from the described species in this genus. Males of the new species are characterized by the absence of precloacal papillae, the presence of four pairs of postcloacal papillae and a left spicule length of 165–200 ?m. With only five nominal and one unnamed species, the host range of Trichospirura extends into the Neotropical, Indo-Malayan and Ethiopian Realms and comprises three classes of vertebrates, Amphibia, Reptilia and Mammalia, suggesting a larger species diversity than that currently recorded. Detection is difficult as predilection sites are often outside the gut lumen. It was noted that, irrespective of their geographic origin, species from mammals share certain characters (shorter left spicule and absence of precloacal papillae) that oppose them to those from amphibians and reptiles. A hypothesis for the origin of Trichospirura in mammals through a remote host-switching event in tupaiids in southern Asia, likely facilitated by the intermediate hosts, and for their subsequent migration to the Ethiopian and finally Neotropical Realm is proposed. Regarding the two species from anurans and saurians in the Antilles, one or two host-switching events are considered equally possible, based on morphological characters.
Background Stereology is an established method to extrapolate three-dimensional quantities from two-dimensional images. It was applied to placentation in the mouse, but not yet for other rodents. Herein, we provide the first study on quantitative placental development in a sigmodontine rodent species with relatively similar gestational time. Placental structure was also compared to the mouse, in order to evaluate similarities and differences in developmental patterns at the end of gestation. Methods Fetal and placental tissues of Necromys lasiurus were collected and weighed at 3 different stages of gestation (early, mid and late gestation) for placental stereology. The total and relative volumes of placenta and of its main layers were investigated. Volume fractions of labyrinth components were quantified by the One Stop method in 31 placentae collected from different individuals, using the Mercator® software. Data generated at the end of gestation from N. lasiurus placentae were compared to those of Mus musculus domesticus obtained at the same stage. Results A significant increase in the total absolute volumes of the placenta and its main layers occurred from early to mid-gestation, followed by a reduction near term, with the labyrinth layer becoming the most prominent area. Moreover, at the end of gestation, the total volume of the mouse placenta was significantly increased compared to that of N. lasiurus although the proportions of the labyrinth layer and junctional zones were similar. Analysis of the volume fractions of the components in the labyrinth indicated a significant increase in fetal vessels and sinusoidal giant cells, a decrease in labyrinthine trophoblast whereas the proportion of maternal blood space remained stable in the course of gestation. On the other hand, in the mouse, volume fractions of fetal vessels and sinusoidal giant cells decreased whereas the volume fraction of labyrinthine trophoblast increased compared to N. lasiurus placenta. Conclusions Placental development differed between N. lasiurus and M. musculus domesticus. In particular, the low placental efficiency in N. lasiurus seemed to induce morphological optimization of fetomaternal exchanges. In conclusion, despite similar structural aspects of placentation in these species, the quantitative dynamics showed important differences.
We present the results of a cytogenetic study on Mus (Nannomys) minutoides from Kenya by means of C- and G- banding and in-situ fluorescence hybridization (FISH) to localize the telomeric sequences. The karyotype is characterized by the occurrence of\\u000a several Rb chromosomes Rb(1.X), Rb(1.Y). Rb(2.17), Rb(3.13), Rb(4.10), Rb(5.11), Rb(6.7), Rb(8.12), not previously described\\u000a for this species. This finding suggests a
Riccardo Castiglia; Silvia Garagna; Valeria Merico; Nicholas Oguge; Marco Corti
Preliminary data indicate that chemicals can also increase the frequency of sex-chromosome nondisjunction. Positive results--which certainly need further confirmation--have been obtained for MMS, p-fluorophenylalanine, vincristine, procarbazine, carbendazim, and bleomycin. Nocodazole, benomyl, colcemic, 6-mercaptopurine, and halothane were all negative at the concentrations tested. For the induction of diploid spermatids positive results were only obtained for MMS and parafluorophenylalanine. In view of the results obtained, the Microtus system is considered a very useful tool for analyzing factors contributing to the high frequency of aneuploidy and triploidy among abortuses and of aneuploidy in liveborn infants of men. A method is described for the detection of sex-chromosome nondisjunction and diploid spermatids in male germ cells of the field vole Microtus oeconomus. The method is based on the unique distribution pattern of heterochromatin in Microtus cells, which makes it possible to identify X and Y chromosomes in early spermatids with a simple C-banding procedure. Slide preparation is easy. Scoring of early spermatids for extra sex-chromosomes is simple and 2000-4000 cells per hour can be examined. With the Microtus system it has now been demonstrated that radiation of spermatocyte stages with doses of 50, 100 and 200 R results in a higher frequency of sex chromosome nondisjunction and of diploid gametes. Both types of aberrant gametes can be produced during the first and second meiotic division. PMID:387396
Level TD6 of the Trinchera Dolina Section in the railway cutting of the Sierre de Atapuerca (Trinchera del Ferrocarril) has yielded a rich small mammal assemblage (26 species) in association with fossil human remains of Homo antecessor. The arvicolids of TD6 are identified as: Mimomys savini, Microtus seseae, Stenocranius gregaloides, Terricola arvalidens, Iberomys huescarensis, Allophaiomys chalinei, and Pliomys episcopalis. The rodent association also includes large rodents (i.e., Castor fiber, Marmota sp., and Hystrix refossa) and the small Allocricetus sp., Eliomys helleri, Micromys minutus, and Apodemus aff. flavicollis. The small vertebrate remains also include Insectivora (Beremendia fissidens, Sorex sp, Neomys sp., Crocidura sp., Galemys sp., Talpa sp., Erinaceus sp.), Chiroptera (Miniopterus schreibersii, Myotis sp., Rhinolophus sp.), and Lagomorpha (Oryctolagus sp., Lepus sp.), as well as lizards, birds and amphibians. The H. antecessor remains are derived from a 15 cm thick layer at the top of TD6 (TD6-T36-43), where A. chalinei, H. refossa and Marmota sp. do not occur. The paleomagnetic Matuyama/Brunhes boundary is found in the overlying level TD7 of the Gran Dolina Section. On the basis of the arvicolids, TD6 can be referred to the Biharian biochron. The Matuyama/Brunhes boundary is fixed in the late Biharian (Microtus-Mimomys rodent Superzone). The species M. savini (without M. pusillus), as well as the evolutionary stage of Microtus s.l., are characteristic of the Late Biharian. The evolutionary level of the species M. savini, T. arvalidens, S. gregaloides indicates that TD6 is older than West Runton (type Cromerian). In the Trinchera Dolina Section we are able to calibrate, for the first time, the evolutionary level of important biochronological markers with magnetostratigraphy. We propose that a radiation of Microtus s.l., along with the first appearance of primitive S. gregaloides, T. arvalidens and Iberomys, took place just before the Matuyama/Brunhes boundary. These species can be considered as characteristic elements of early Pleistocene faunas. PMID:10496992
The composition and orientation of the house mouse satellite DNA sequences (minor, major, TLC) were investigated by a FISH and CO-FISH approach in 11 taxa belonging to three clades of the subgenus Mus. Using a phylogenetic framework, our results highlighted two distribution patterns. The TLC satellite, the most recently discovered satellite, was present in all clades but varied quantitatively among species. This distribution supported its appearance in the ancestor of the subgenus followed by independent evolution in species of each clade. In contrast, the minor and major satellites occurred in only two clades of the subgenus indicating the simultaneous and recent amplification of these sequences. In addition, although qualitative differences in the composition and orientation of the satellite sequences were observed among the taxa, none of the features studied were unique to the house mouse and could account for the extensive chromosomal plasticity evidenced in Mus musculus domesticus. PMID:23515652
We isolated 18 polymorphic microsatellite loci to be used for pedigree analysis in a wild population of North American red squirrels, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus . Allelic diversity and observed heterozygosity ranged from six to 13 and 0.39 to 0.89, respectively, in a sample of 93 individuals. Up to 13 sets of primers also amplify in other rodent species.
MELISSA R. GUNN; DEBORAH A. DAWSON; ANDREW LEVISTON; KATIE HARTNUP; COREY S. DAVIS; CURTIS STROBECK; JON SLATE; DAVID W. COLTMAN
A novel karyotype with 2n = 50, FN = 48, was described for specimens of Thaptomys collected at Una, State of Bahia, Brazil, which are morphologically indistinguishable from Thaptomys nigrita, 2n = 52, FN = 52, found in other localities. It was hence proposed that the 2n = 50 karyotype could belong to a distinct species, cryptic of Thaptomys nigrita, once chromosomal rearrangements observed, along with the geographic distance, might represent a reproductive barrier between both forms. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood based on partial cytochrome b sequences with 1077 bp were performed, attempting to establish the relationships among the individuals with distinct karyotypes along the geographic distribution of the genus; the sample comprised 18 karyotyped specimens of Thaptomys, encompassing 15 haplotypes, from eight different localities of the Atlantic Rainforest. The intra-generic relationships corroborated the distinct diploid numbers, once both phylogenetic reconstructions recovered two monophyletic lineages, a northeastern clade grouping the 2n = 50 and a southeastern clade with three subclades, grouping the 2n = 52 karyotype. The sequence divergence observed between their individuals ranged from 1.9% to 3.5%.
Demodex microti n. sp. (Acari, Demodecidae) is described from the skin of the genital area of the common vole Microtus arvalis (Pallas) in Poland based on the morphology of the adult and immature stages. The new species appears most similar to D. cricetuli Hurley & Desch, 1994 from the gray dwarf hamster, Cricetulus migratorius (Pallas), but differs in the following features: the supracoxal spines are conical and located at the edge of the gnathosoma, the spines of the terminal segment of palp are three, single-tined, the opisthosomal organ is narrow and elongated in males and bubble-shaped in females, the vulva is located below the incision of the fourth pair of epimeral plates, eggs are oval. The differences also relate to body size and proportions, D. microti n. sp. being smaller and slender. The new species occurred in all of the rodents examined. A checklist of demodecid mites in cricetids world-wide is also provided. PMID:24048750
Androlaelaps rhabdomysi n. sp. is described from the pelage of the endemic rodent Rhabdomys pumilio (Sparrman) in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. The formal taxonomic description and illustrations are derived from adults (female and male) and deutonymphs. The specimens are similar in appearance to two congeneric species A. dasymys (Radford, 1939) and A. fahrenholzi (Berlese, 1911), but differ in the following features: genital shield long and almost parallel-sided; metapodal shield elongate; and anal shield longer than wide. Furthermore, the pilus dentilis on the fixed cheliceral digit of A. rhabdomysi is a rather broad sausage-shape and slightly constricted medially, whereas in the other two species it has an inflated base and is slender distally. PMID:18535789
Past ecological responses of mammals to climate change are recognized in the fossil record by adaptive significance of morphological variations. To understand the role of dietary behavior on functional adaptations of dental morphology in rodent evolution, we examine evolutionary change of tooth shape in late Miocene Siwalik murine rodents, which experienced a dietary shift toward C4 diets during late Miocene ecological change indicated by carbon isotopic evidence. Geometric morphometric analysis in the outline of upper first molars captures dichotomous lineages of Siwalik murines, in agreement with phylogenetic hypotheses of previous studies (two distinct clades: the Karnimata and Progonomys clades), and indicates lineage-specific functional responses to mechanical properties of their diets. Tooth shapes of the two clades are similar at their sympatric origin but deviate from each other with decreasing overlap through time. Shape change in the Karnimata clade is associated with greater efficiency of propalinal chewing for tough diets than in the Progonomys clade. Larger body mass in Karnimata may be related to exploitation of lower-quality food items, such as grasses, than in smaller-bodied Progonomys. The functional and ecophysiological aspects of Karnimata exploiting C4 grasses are concordant with their isotopic dietary preference relative to Progonomys. Lineage-specific selection was differentially greater in Karnimata, and a faster rate of shape change toward derived Karnimata facilitated inclusion of C4 grasses in the diet. Sympatric speciation in these clades is most plausibly explained by interspecific competition on resource utilization between the two, based on comparisons of our results with the carbon isotope data. Interspecific competition with Karnimata may have suppressed morphological innovation of the Progonomys clade. Pairwise analyses of morphological and carbon isotope data can uncover ecological causes of sympatric speciation and define functional adaptations of teeth to resources.
Kimura, Yuri; Jacobs, Louis L.; Flynn, Lawrence J.
We describe the outcome of a comprehensive cytogenetic survey of the common mole-rat, Cryptomys hottentotus, based on G and C banding, fluorescence in situ hybridisation and the analysis of meiotic chromosomes using immunostaining\\u000a of proteins involved in the formation of synaptonemal complex (SCP1 and SCP3). We identified the presence of a Y-autosome\\u000a translocation that is responsible for a fixed diploid
J. L. Deuve; N. C. Bennett; A. Ruiz-Herrera; P. D. Waters; J. Britton-Davidian; T. J. Robinson
The Pantanal is a large ecosystem located in South America. This preserved area is seasonally flooded due to abundant rainfall during the summer and the subsequent overflow of the Paraguai River. In this paper, we examine the helminth community structure in the wild rodent Thrichomys pachyurus during the wet and dry seasons in two locations of the preserved and cattle ranching areas in the Southern Pantanal. We identified 12 species of helminth, and, although we did not find any differences in species richness between locations within the Pantanal, we found that richness was higher during the wet season. Helminth species were largely aggregated in both farm locations and during seasons. The most common helminth species were more abundant during the dry season than during the wet season, which may have been due to the increased habitat availability and rodent population increase. The intensity of the infection also followed the same pattern for most helminths. The trichostrongylids (Heligmostrongylus crucifer, H. almeidai and Pudica cercomysi) were dominant at both farm locations. The land use of each area was not correlated with helminth diversity. However, species composition of the helminth community of T. pachyurus differed between locations and may be correlated with environmental differences between the habitats. The seasonality of the Pantanal was highly correlated with helminth parasitism in T. pachyurus. PMID:19849884
Zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis, primarily an infection of desert rodents, is an important endemic disease in some parts of Iran. In spite of reporting Leishmania infection in Nesokia indica microscopically, its role remains unclear in Iran. We report the first natural infection by Leishmania turanica in a wild-caught N. indica in the west part of Iran, near the border with Iraq. The evidence is in the form of PCR-RFLP testing based on internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) rDNA with HaeIII enzyme and ITS1 sequence analysis. This isolate was highly pathogenic in BALB/c mice and golden hamsters and caused lethal systemic infection in the former. PMID:18829057
Hajjaran, H; Mohebali, M; Alimoradi, S; Abaei, M R; Edrissian, Gh H
The yellow-pine chipmunk, Tamias amoenus, is common in xerophytic forests throughout much of northwest North America. We analyzed cytochrome b sequence variation from 155 individuals representing 57 localities across the distribution of T. amoenus including 10 additional species of Tamias. Maximum likelihood and parsimony tree estimation methods were used in conjunction with nested clade analysis to infer both deep and population-level processes. Our results indicate that two currently recognized subspecies of T. amoenus (T. a. canicaudus and T. a. cratericus) are not nested within other samples of T. amoenus. Maximum uncorrected levels of intraspecific sequence divergence within remaining samples of T. amoenus are >7%. Substantial geographic variation is characterized by 12 well-supported clades that correspond to distinct mountain ranges, but do not necessarily follow existing subspecific taxonomy. Significant association between geography and genealogy was detected within many of these clades and can be attributed to different population-level processes including past fragmentation, recent range expansion, and isolation by distance. PMID:12644399
The study was carried out in Al-Huwaish, Diyala province for the period from April 1986 to Mar 1987. It was found that Rattus rattus frugivorus is moulting twice a year (srping -summer and autumn-winter moulting). No food of animal source in genral was fo...
Four novel strains of members of the genus Bartonella, OY2-1(T), BR11-1(T), FN15-2(T) and KS2-1(T), were isolated from the blood of wild-captured greater Egyptian jerboa (Jaculus orientalis), plantain squirrel (Callosciurus notatus), fat-tailed gerbil (Pachyuromys duprasi) and golden spiny mouse (Acomys russatus). All the animals were imported to Japan as pets from Egypt, Thailand and the Netherlands. The phenotypic characterization (growth conditions, incubation periods, biochemical properties and cell morphologies), DNA G+C contents (37.4 mol% for strain OY2-1(T), 35.5 mol% for strain BR11-1(T), 35.7 mol% for strain FN15-2(T) and 37.2 mol% for strain KS2-1(T)), and sequence analyses of the 16S rRNA genes indicated that those strains belong to the genus Bartonella. Sequence comparisons of gltA and rpoB genes suggested that all of the strains should be classified as novel species of the genus Bartonella. In phylogenetic trees based on the concatenated sequences of five loci, including the 16S rRNA, ftsZ, gltA and rpoB genes and the ITS region, and on the concatenated deduced amino acid sequences of three housekeeping genes (ftsZ, gltA and rpoB), all strains formed distinct clades and had unique mammalian hosts that could be discriminated from other known species of the genus Bartonella. These data strongly support the hypothesis that strains OY2-1(T), BR11-1(T), FN15-2(T) and KS2-1(T) should be classified as representing novel species of the genus Bartonella. The names Bartonella jaculi sp. nov., Bartonella callosciuri sp. nov., Bartonella pachyuromydis sp. nov. and Bartonella acomydis sp. nov. are proposed for these novel species. Type strains of Bartonella jaculi sp. nov., Bartonella callosciuri sp. nov., Bartonella pachyuromydis sp. nov. and Bartonella acomydis sp. nov. are OY2-1(T) (?=?JCM 17712(T)?=?KCTC 23655(T)), BR11-1(T) (?=?JCM 17709(T)?=?KCTC 23909(T)), FN15-2(T) (?=?JCM 17714(T)?=?KCTC 23657(T)) and KS2-1(T) (?=?JCM 17706(T)?=?KCTC 23907(T)), respectively. PMID:22941296
Laelapine mites are common parasites of sigmodontine rodents in the Neotropics. However, few species are reported from Peru as a result of the low number of mammal surveys that include ectoparasite collections. Herein we report 12 species of mites from northern Peru. From these, 8 are reported for the first time for the country, and 1 is new to science , Androlaepaps aerosus sp. nov., the latter associated exclusively with the sigmodontine Akodon aerosus . Most of the laelapine species were host specific. The new species, included in the Androlaelaps rotundus species group, resembles An. rotundus "sensu stricto" and An. ulysespardinasi in general appearance but is unique in the length of the hypostomal seta h3 (>58 ?m), which is 3 times as long as the gnathosomal seta, and its tip reaching or over-reaching the gnathosomal setal bases; dorsal seta j2 is very long (>70 ?m), almost reaching the point of j3. PMID:22988911
Boltimys broomi gen. nov., sp. nov., a Muridae of uncertain affinity in the Early Pliocene of South Africa. Boltimys broomi gen. nov., sp. nov. is reported from the Early Pliocene fauna of Waypoint 160, a fossiliferous locality in the area of Bolt's Farm (Province of Gauteng) near Krugersdorp in South Africa. The occlusal surface of the jugal teeth is characterized by a basin-shaped aspect due to the coalescence of the cusps which make the lobes of the molars. An accessory inner cusp is present on the first and second upper molars. A faint longitudinal crest is present only in the first lower molar. The new rodent is tentatively referred to the subfamily Myocricetodontinae.
Separate black-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys ludovicianus (Ord), towns on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, were treated with technical pyriproxyfen (Nylar) spray, powder, and oral bait. The treatments were applied to reduce relative abundance of the plague vector Oropsylla hirsuta (Baker). Because pyriproxyfen is a juvenile hormone analog, we were also concerned with the effects of the treatments on nontarget arthropods, which is the focus of this study. Pitfall traps and sweep net sampling were used to measure relative abundance of arthropod populations pre- and posttreatment. Nontarget arthropod sampling produced a large number of statistical comparisons that indicated significant declines (P < 0.05) in relative arthropod abundance. Many of the significant declines were probably because of natural fluctuations in arthropod populations rather than treatment effects. Because arthropod populations appeared to fluctuate randomly, we only made inferences about highly significant (P < 0.001) declines. In doing so, we hoped to abate some of the confusion created by the natural fluctuation in arthropod abundance and increase our chance of correctly attributing a population reduction to a treatment effect. Only Homoptera at the pyriproxyfen powder site exhibited highly significant reductions that appeared to be attributed to the treatments. Pyriproxyfen spray treatments did not significantly reduce relative arthropod abundance. PMID:10916304
Separate black-tailed prairie dog, Cynomys ludovicianus (Ord), towns on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, were treated with technical pyriproxyfen (Nylar) using spray, powder, and oral bait carriers. Direct combing methods (1997 and 1998) and burrow flagging (1998) were used to estimate relative abundance of the plague vector Oropsylla hirsuta (Baker). Pyriproxyfen spray (0.05%) and powder (0.05%) did not significantly reduce (P > 0.05) O. hirsuta abundance. Pyriproxyfen bait, when applied every 4 wk at a concentration of 286 mg/50 g bait, significantly reduced (P < or = 0.05) O. hirsuta infesting prairie dogs, 4 mo after initial treatment. However, flea populations had recovered to pretreatment levels by the following summer (July 1999). PMID:11126542
Past ecological responses of mammals to climate change are recognized in the fossil record by adaptive significance of morphological variations. To understand the role of dietary behavior on functional adaptations of dental morphology in rodent evolution, we examine evolutionary change of tooth shape in late Miocene Siwalik murine rodents, which experienced a dietary shift toward C4 diets during late Miocene ecological change indicated by carbon isotopic evidence. Geometric morphometric analysis in the outline of upper first molars captures dichotomous lineages of Siwalik murines, in agreement with phylogenetic hypotheses of previous studies (two distinct clades: the Karnimata and Progonomys clades), and indicates lineage-specific functional responses to mechanical properties of their diets. Tooth shapes of the two clades are similar at their sympatric origin but deviate from each other with decreasing overlap through time. Shape change in the Karnimata clade is associated with greater efficiency of propalinal chewing for tough diets than in the Progonomys clade. Larger body mass in Karnimata may be related to exploitation of lower-quality food items, such as grasses, than in smaller-bodied Progonomys. The functional and ecophysiological aspects of Karnimata exploiting C4 grasses are concordant with their isotopic dietary preference relative to Progonomys. Lineage-specific selection was differentially greater in Karnimata, and a faster rate of shape change toward derived Karnimata facilitated inclusion of C4 grasses in the diet. Sympatric speciation in these clades is most plausibly explained by interspecific competition on resource utilization between the two, based on comparisons of our results with the carbon isotope data. Interspecific competition with Karnimata may have suppressed morphological innovation of the Progonomys clade. Pairwise analyses of morphological and carbon isotope data can uncover ecological causes of sympatric speciation and define functional adaptations of teeth to resources. PMID:24155885
Following an epidemic of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) around Badrood city, central Iran, Meriones libycus were found to be naturally infected with Leishmania major zymodeme MON-26 (= LON-1) in the villages of Matinabad and Fami, 12 km north-west of Badrood. This is the first isolation and characterization of L. major from M. libycus in Iran, in an area where ZCL has been present recently. M. libycus is probably the principal reservoir host in this area, but the main reservoir host further east is Rhombomys opimus. Parasites were not found in Hemiechinus auritis. The main, proven vector to humans and gerbils is Phlebotomus (Phlebotomus) papatasi. The close contact between vectors and reservoirs creates a very efficient cycle for the transmission of the disease. PMID:8944255
The growth of cells of ventral sebaceous gland of Rhombomys opimus was studied in diffusion chambers. The surface properties of these cells and intercellular contacts have been examined in the scanning electron microscope. After 10 to 12 days of cultivation the cells formed aggregates showing a recognizable histological pattern (the ventral sebaceous gland). The pituitary and ovarian gland explants had a significant effect on the differentiation and mitotic activity of epithelial cells of the ventral sebaceous gland. Apparently it is the cell surface itself that alters during the active processes of secretion and differentiation. PMID:7148261
Trichospirura aethiopica n. sp. is described from unidentified tubular structures (pancreatic ducts?) near the stomach of the murid Malacomys longipes Milne-Edwards, 1877 in Gabon. The extremely long and narrow buccal capsule, posterior position of the vulva, unequal spicules and absence of caudal alae readily identified the specimens as belonging to Trichospirura Smith & Chitwood, 1967, but a combination of several characters distinguished them from the described species in this genus. Males of the new species are characterized by the absence of precloacal papillae, the presence of four pairs of postcloacal papillae and a left spicule length of 165-200 ?m. With only five nominal and one unnamed species, the host range of Trichospirura extends into the Neotropical, Indo-Malayan and Ethiopian Realms and comprises three classes of vertebrates, Amphibia, Reptilia and Mammalia, suggesting a larger species diversity than that currently recorded. Detection is difficult as predilection sites are often outside the gut lumen. It was noted that, irrespective of their geographic origin, species from mammals share certain characters (shorter left spicule and absence of precloacal papillae) that oppose them to those from amphibians and reptiles. A hypothesis for the origin of Trichospirura in mammals through a remote host-switching event in tupaiids in southern Asia, likely facilitated by the intermediate hosts, and for their subsequent migration to the Ethiopian and finally Neotropical Realm is proposed. Regarding the two species from anurans and saurians in the Antilles, one or two host-switching events are considered equally possible, based on morphological characters. PMID:23369432
Three previously described members of the Madagascar Haemaphysalis (Rhipistoma) elongata group have a strong ventral spine on palpal segment 3 and exceptionally long and numerous spines on the coxae and trochanters. These species parasitize spiny insectiv...
Cross-species chromosome painting has become the mainstay of comparative cytogenetic and chromosome evolution studies. Here\\u000a we have made a set of chromosomal painting probes for the field vole (Microtus agrestis) by DOP-PCR amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes. Together with painting probes of golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and mouse (Mus musculus), the field vole probes have been hybridized onto the metaphases of
Natalia A. Sitnikova; Svetlana A. Romanenko; Patricia C. M. O’Brien; Polina L. Perelman; Beiyuan Fu; Nadezhda V. Rubtsova; Natalya A. Serdukova; Feodor N. Golenishchev; Vladimir A. Trifonov; Malcolm A. Ferguson-Smith; Fengtang Yang; Alexander S. Graphodatsky
A method is described for the detection of sex-chromosome nondisjunction and diploid spermatids in male germ cells of the field vole Microtus oeconomus. The method is based on the unique distribution pattern of heterochromatin in Microtus cells, which makes it possible to identify X and Y chromosomes in early spermatids with a simple C-banding procedure. With the Microtus system it
Preliminary data indicate that chemicals can also increase the frequency of sex-chromosome nondisjunction. Positive results--which certainly need further confirmation--have been obtained for MMS, p-fluorophenylalanine, vincristine, procarbazine, carbendazim, and bleomycin. Nocodazole, benomyl, colcemic, 6-mercaptopurine, and halothane were all negative at the concentrations tested. For the induction of diploid spermatids positive results were only obtained for MMS and parafluorophenylalanine. In view of the results obtained, the Microtus system is considered a very useful tool for analyzing factors contributing to the high frequency of aneuploidy and triploidy among abortuses and of aneuploidy in liveborn infants of men. A method is described for the detection of sex-chromosome nondisjunction and diploid spermatids in male germ cells of the field vole Microtus oeconomus. The method is based on the unique distribution pattern of heterochromatin in Microtus cells, which makes it possible to identify X and Y chromosomes in early spermatids with a simple C-banding procedure. Slide preparation is easy. Scoring of early spermatids for extra sex-chromosomes is simple and 2000-4000 cells per hour can be examined. With the Microtus system it has now been demonstrated that radiation of spermatocyte stages with doses of 50, 100 and 200 R results in a higher frequency of sex chromosome nondisjunction and of diploid gametes. Both types of aberrant gametes can be produced during the first and second meiotic division. Images FIGURE 1. FIGURE 2. FIGURE 3. FIGURE 4.
Cross-species chromosome painting has become the mainstay of comparative cytogenetic and chromosome evolution studies. Here we have made a set of chromosomal painting probes for the field vole (Microtus agrestis) by DOP-PCR amplification of flow-sorted chromosomes. Together with painting probes of golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and mouse (Mus musculus), the field vole probes have been hybridized onto the metaphases of the tundra vole (Microtus oeconomus). A comparative chromosome map between these two voles, golden hamster and mouse has been established based on the results of cross-species chromosome painting and G-banding comparisons. The sets of paints from the field vole, golden hamster and mouse identified a total of 27, 40 and 47 homologous autosomal regions, respectively, in the genome of tundra vole; 16, 41 and 51 fusion/fission rearrangements differentiate the karyotype of the tundra vole from the karyotypes of the field vole, golden hamster and mouse, respectively. PMID:17497247
Sitnikova, Natalia A; Romanenko, Svetlana A; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Perelman, Polina L; Fu, Beiyuan; Rubtsova, Nadezhda V; Serdukova, Natalya A; Golenishchev, Feodor N; Trifonov, Vladimir A; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang; Graphodatsky, Alexander S
Oligoryzomys (Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae) is a common rodent genus from South America that includes a couple of very similar species. Related species have been used as experimental model for understanding several diseases for which these species are reservoirs. In order to provide a better understanding of the embryological aspects of this group, herein we showed data on the embryonic and fetal development in Oligoryzomys sp. Eight specimens of different stages of gestation were obtained from the Collection of the Zoology Museum of University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Gestational ages were estimated by crown-rump-length according to Evans and Sack (1973). To address our analysis after examining the gross morphology, tissues from several organs were processed for light and scanning electron microscopy. Morphological data on the systems (nervous system, cardiorespiratory system, intestinal tract and urogenital system) were described in detail. Finally, the findings were compared with what is known about embryological aspects in other rodent species in order to establish similarities and differences during the organogenesis in different species. PMID:22299809
Favaron, P O; Rodrigues, M N; Oliveira, M F; Biasi, C M; Miglino, M A
Hispaniola is a geotectonically complex island consisting of two palaeo-islands that docked c. 10 Ma, with a further geological boundary subdividing the southern palaeo-island into eastern and western regions. All three regions have been isolated by marine barriers during the late Cenozoic and possess biogeographically distinct terrestrial biotas. However, there is currently little evidence to indicate whether Hispaniolan mammals show distributional patterns reflecting this geotectonic history, as the island's endemic land mammal fauna is now almost entirely extinct. We obtained samples of Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium), one of the two surviving Hispaniolan land mammal species, through fieldwork and historical museum collections from seven localities distributed across all three of the island's biogeographic regions. Phylogenetic analysis using mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome b) reveals a pattern of historical allopatric lineage divergence in this species, with the spatial distribution of three distinct hutia lineages biogeographically consistent with the island's geotectonic history. Coalescent modelling, approximate Bayesian computation and approximate Bayes factor analyses support our phylogenetic inferences, indicating near-complete genetic isolation of these biogeographically separate populations and differing estimates of their effective population sizes. Spatial congruence of hutia lineage divergence is not however matched by temporal congruence with divergences in other Hispaniolan taxa or major events in Hispaniola's geotectonic history; divergence between northern and southern hutia lineages dates to c. 0.6 Ma, significantly later than the unification of the palaeo-islands. The three allopatric Plagiodontia populations should all be treated as distinct management units for conservation, with particular attention required for the northern population (low haplotype diversity) and the south-western population (high haplotype diversity but highly threatened). PMID:22404699
Brace, Selina; Barnes, Ian; Powell, Adam; Pearson, Rebecca; Woolaver, Lance G; Thomas, Mark G; Turvey, Samuel T
Concentrations of arsenic and four additional trace elements (Cu, Cr, Ni, and Zn) were determined by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry in the muscular tissue of the yellow catfish (Cathorops spixii) and the urutu catfish (Genidens genidens) from Paranaguá Estuarine Complex, Brazil (PEC). The PEC can be characterized by an environment of high ecological and economic importance in which preserved areas of rainforest and mangroves coexist with urban activities as ports and industries. The average concentrations (in milligram per kilogram dry weight) of elements in the muscle tissue of C. spixii are as follows: Zn (31), As (17), Cu (1.17), Cr (0.62), and Ni (0.28). Similar concentrations could be found in G. genidens with exception of As: Zn (36), As (4.78), Cu (1.14), Cr (0.51), and Ni (0.14). Fish from the geographic northern rural region (Guaraqueçaba-Benito) display higher As concentrations in the muscle tissues than fish found in the south-western (urban) part of the PEC. An international comparison of muscle tissue concentrations of trace elements in fish was made. Except for Ni in C. spixii, a tendency of decrease in element concentration with increasing size (age) of the fish could be observed. According to the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil, levels of Cr and As exceeded the permissible limits for seafood. An estimation of the provisional tolerable weekly intake of As was calculated with 109 % for C. spixii and with 29 % for G. genidens. PMID:23584825
Angeli, J L F; Trevizani, T H; Ribeiro, A; Machado, E C; Figueira, R C L; Markert, B; Fraenzle, S; Wuenschmann, S
Heligmosomoides neopolygyrus, Asakawa and Ohbayashi, 1986 (Nematoda, Heligmosomoidea) is redescribed from Apodemus peninsulae from Rangtang, Sichuan, China. A morphological review of the Heligmosomoides spp. belonging to the "polygyrus line" proposed by Asakawa (1988) is made using new characters. This enabled us to distinguish two subspecies in Mus musculus (Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri from Japan and H. p. polygyrus from China) and two valid species in Apodemus spp. (H. neopolygyrus from Japan (in A. peninsulae) and from China (in A. agrarius) and H. asakawae from China (in A. uralensis)). Three parasite species of A. agrarius and A. peninsulae, previously identified by Asakawa et al. (1993) as H. neopolygyrus, are considered to be Heligmosomoides incertae sedis. This is the first report of H. neopolygyrus in A. peninsulae from China. PMID:23193521
Massoni, J; Durette-Desset, M C; Quéré, J P; Audebert, F
Abstract :? The species described as Longistriata fortuita Freitas, Lent, and Almeida, 1937 is here redescribed from new material collected from the type host, Holochilus chacarius balnearum Thomas, and the type locality, San Martín del Tabacal, Salta, Argentina. Neotypes are designed for the species since the type material deposited by the authors is lost. The original description did not include the synlophe or the female and both are here described. Several characters of the synlophe as the number of ridges (14-19), the ridges continuous and all around body, and the presence of a gradient of size of the ridges allow us to place the species within the Heligmonellidae, Nippostrongylinae. The species possesses a unique combination of characters as the synlophe having a carene together with characters of the caudal bursa as the pattern 1-3-1 and the strong development of the dorsal lobe and ray, which precludes its inclusion in any known genus of Nippostrongylinae. A new genus Mazzanema n. gen. is proposed for it, resulting in the new combination Mazzzanema fortuita n. comb. PMID:23574047
Digiani, María Celina; Notarnicola, Juliana; Paulos, María Soledad
Rodents belonging to the subfamily Gerbillinae and living in the Xinjiang-Uygur autonomous region of China were collected in field surveys between 2001 and 2003. We found four Meriones species, including M. chengi M. liycus, M. meridianus, and M. tamariscinus, as well as related species from different genera, Rhombomys opimus and Brachiones przewaliskii For phylogenetic analyses of these gerbilline species, DNA sequences of parts of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (Cytb) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit II (COII) genes were examined with the neighbor Joining, maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian inference methods. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that the genus Meriones is not monophyletic and place M. tamaricinus as the sister taxon to a clade comprising Brachiones, Psammomys, Rhombomys, and the other Meriones species. The remaining Meriones species separate into three lineages: M. meridianus (including M. chengi), Meriones unguiculatus, and a clade that includes multiple Meriones species originating from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The phylogenetic relationships among the genera Brachines, Meriones, Psammomys, and Rhombomys remain ambiguous, probably due to the saturation of mutations that occurs in fast-evolving mitochondrial DNA. In addition, intraspecific variation was observed for M. meridianus, and this mostly correlated with collection localities, i.e., the northern and southern parts of the Xinjiang region. This variation corresponded to interspecific levels of divergence among other lineages of Meriones. Interestingly, no differences were observed in either the Cytb or COII gene sequences isolated from M. chengi collected from the Turfan Basin in the north and those from M. meridianus in the south, suggesting that M. chengi may be a synonym of M. meridianus. PMID:20192696
Heligmosomoides neopolygyrus, Asakawa and Ohbayashi, 1986 (Nematoda, Heligmosomoidea) is redescribed from Apodemus peninsulae from Rangtang, Sichuan, China. A morphological review of the Heligmosomoides spp. belonging to the “polygyrus line” proposed by Asakawa (1988) is made using new characters. This enabled us to distinguish two subspecies in Mus musculus (Heligmosomoides polygyrus bakeri from Japan and H. p. polygyrus from China) and two valid species in Apodemus spp. (H. neopolygyrus from Japan [in A. peninsulae] and from China [in A. agrarius] and H. asakawae from China [in A. uralensis]). Three parasite species of A. agrarius and A. peninsulae, previously identified by Asakawa et al. (1993) as H. neopolygyrus, are considered to be Heligmosomoides incertae sedis. This is the first report of H. neopolygyrus in A. peninsulae from China.
Massoni, J.; Durette-Desset, M.C.; Quere, J.P.; Audebert, F.
The abrupt appearance of primates and hystricognath rodents in early Oligocene deposits of South America has puzzled mastozoologists for decades. Based on the geoclimatic changes that occurred during the Eocene/Oligocene transition period that may have favoured their dispersal, researchers have proposed the hypothesis that these groups arrived in synchrony. Nevertheless, the hypothesis of synchronous origins of platyrrhine and caviomorph in South America has not been explicitly evaluated. Our aim in this work was to apply a formal test for synchronous divergence times to the Platyrrhini and Caviomorpha splits. We have examined a previous work on platyrrhine and hystricognath origins, applied the test to a case where synchrony is known to occur and conducted simulations to show that it is possible to formally test the age of synchronous nodes. We show that the absolute ages of Platyrrhini/Catarrhini and Caviomorpha/Phiomorpha splits depend on data partitioning and that the test applied consistently detected synchronous events when they were known to have happened. The hypothesis that the arrival of primates and hystricognaths to the New World consisted of a unique event cannot be rejected
Loss-Oliveira, Leticia; Aguiar, Barbara O.; Schrago, Carlos G.
The early evolutionary and paleobiogeographic history of the diverse rodent clade Hystricognathi, which contains Hystricidae (Old World porcupines), Caviomorpha (the endemic South American rodents), and African Phiomorpha (cane rats, dassie rats, and blesmols) is of great interest to students of mammalian evolution, but remains poorly understood because of a poor early fossil record. Here we describe the oldest well-dated hystricognathous rodents from an earliest late Eocene (approximately 37 Ma) fossil locality in the Fayum Depression of northern Egypt. These taxa exhibit a combination of primitive and derived features, the former shared with Asian "baluchimyine" rodents, and the latter shared with Oligocene phiomorphs and caviomorphs. Phylogenetic analysis incorporating morphological, temporal, geographic, and molecular information places the new taxa as successive sister groups of crown Hystricognathi, and supports an Asian origin for stem Hystricognathi and an Afro-Arabian origin for crown Hystricognathi, stem Hystricidae, and stem Caviomorpha. Molecular dating of early divergences within Hystricognathi, using a Bayesian "relaxed clock" approach and multiple fossil calibrations, suggests that the split between Hystricidae and the phiomorph-caviomorph clade occurred approximately 39 Ma, and that phiomorphs and caviomorphs diverged approximately 36 Ma. These results are remarkably congruent with our phylogenetic results and the fossil record of hystricognathous rodent evolution in Afro-Arabia and South America. PMID:19805363
Sallam, Hesham M; Seiffert, Erik R; Steiper, Michael E; Simons, Elwyn L
The early evolutionary and paleobiogeographic history of the diverse rodent clade Hystricognathi, which contains Hystricidae (Old World porcupines), Caviomorpha (the endemic South American rodents), and African Phiomorpha (cane rats, dassie rats, and blesmols) is of great interest to students of mammalian evolution, but remains poorly understood because of a poor early fossil record. Here we describe the oldest well-dated hystricognathous rodents from an earliest late Eocene (?37 Ma) fossil locality in the Fayum Depression of northern Egypt. These taxa exhibit a combination of primitive and derived features, the former shared with Asian “baluchimyine” rodents, and the latter shared with Oligocene phiomorphs and caviomorphs. Phylogenetic analysis incorporating morphological, temporal, geographic, and molecular information places the new taxa as successive sister groups of crown Hystricognathi, and supports an Asian origin for stem Hystricognathi and an Afro-Arabian origin for crown Hystricognathi, stem Hystricidae, and stem Caviomorpha. Molecular dating of early divergences within Hystricognathi, using a Bayesian “relaxed clock” approach and multiple fossil calibrations, suggests that the split between Hystricidae and the phiomorph-caviomorph clade occurred ?39 Ma, and that phiomorphs and caviomorphs diverged ?36 Ma. These results are remarkably congruent with our phylogenetic results and the fossil record of hystricognathous rodent evolution in Afro-Arabia and South America.
Sallam, Hesham M.; Seiffert, Erik R.; Steiper, Michael E.; Simons, Elwyn L.
Among those few hypotheses of Amazonian diversification amenable to falsification by phylogenetic and population genetics methods, three can be singled out because of their general application to vertebrates: the riverine barrier, the refuge, and the Miocene marine incursion hypotheses. I used phylogenetic and population genetics methods to reconstruct the diversification history of the upland (terra-firme) forest superspecies Xiphorhynchus spixii/elegans (Aves: Dendrocolaptidae) in Amazonia, and to evaluate predictions of the riverine barrier, refuge, and Miocene marine incursion hypotheses. Phylogeographic and population genetics analyses of the X. spixiilelegans superspecies indicated that the main prediction of the riverine barrier hypothesis (that sister lineages occur across major rivers) hold only for populations separated by "clear-water" rivers located on the Brazilian shield, in central and eastern Amazonia; in contrast, "white-water" rivers located in western Amazonia did not represent areas of primary divergence for populations of this superspecies. The main prediction derived from the refuge hypothesis (that populations of the X. spixii/elegans superspecies would show signs of past population bottlenecks and recent demographic expansions) was supported only for populations found in western Amazonia, where paleoecological data have failed to support past rainforest fragmentation and expansion of open vegetation types; conversely, populations from the eastern and central parts of Amazonia, where paleoecological data are consistent with an historical interplay between rainforest and open vegetation types, did not show population genetics attributes expected under the refuge hypothesis. Phylogeographic and population genetics data were consistent with the prediction made by the Miocene marine incursion hypothesis that populations of the X. spixii/elegans superspecies found on the Brazilian shield were older than populations from other parts of Amazonia. In contrast, the phylogeny obtained for lineages of this superspecies falsified the predicted monophyly of Brazilian shield populations, as postulated by the Miocene marine incursion hypothesis. In general, important predictions of both riverine barrier and Miocene marine incursion hypotheses were supported, indicating that they are not mutually exclusive; in fact, the data presented herein suggest that an interaction among geology, sea level changes, and hydrography created opportunities for cladogenesis in the X. spixii/elegans superspecies at different temporal and geographical scales. PMID:15266979
Previous molecular analyses of mammalian evolutionary relationships involving a wide range of placental mammalian taxa have been restricted in size from one to two dozen gene loci and have not decisively resolved the basal branching order within Placentalia. Here, on extracting from thousands of gene loci both their coding nucleotide sequences and translated amino acid sequences, we attempt to resolve key uncertainties about the ancient branching pattern of crown placental mammals. Focusing on ?1,700 conserved gene loci, those that have the more slowly evolving coding sequences, and using maximum-likelihood, Bayesian inference, maximum parsimony, and neighbor-joining (NJ) phylogenetic tree reconstruction methods, we find from almost all results that a clade (the southern Atlantogenata) composed of Afrotheria and Xenarthra is the sister group of all other (the northern Boreoeutheria) crown placental mammals, among boreoeutherians Rodentia groups with Lagomorpha, and the resultant Glires is close to Primates. Only the NJ tree for nucleotide sequences separates Rodentia (murids) first and then Lagomorpha (rabbit) from the other placental mammals. However, this nucleotide NJ tree still depicts Atlantogenata and Boreoeutheria but minus Rodentia and Lagomorpha. Moreover, the NJ tree for amino acid sequences does depict the basal separation to be between Atlantogenata and a Boreoeutheria that includes Rodentia and Lagomorpha. Crown placental mammalian diversification appears to be largely the result of ancient plate tectonic events that allowed time for convergent phenotypes to evolve in the descendant clades.
Sexually receptive female Spermophilus beldingi (Rodentia: Sciuridae) usually mate with several different males. The paternity of 27 litters born in 1977 and 1978 was ascertained by combining field observations of mating with laboratory paternity exclusion analyses. Most of the litters (78 percent) were multiply sired, usually by two or three males. This may be the highest frequency of multiple paternity
The lateral geniculate body (LGN) was morphometrically examined and com- pared in representatives of four mammalian orders (Insectivora, Rodentia, Lago- morpha, and Carnivora). In each studied species, the lateral geniculate body was divided into two distinct parts: the dorsal nucleus (LGNd) and the ventral nucleus (LGNv). The lateral geniculate body of the common shrew and the bank vole are very
J. Najdzion; B. Wasilewska; K. Bogus-Nowakowska; M. Równiak; S. Szteyn; A. Robak
In this paper we report new data on the occurrence and range of seven mammal species in the rainforest region of south-eastern Nigeria. The species in question are: Potamogale velox (Insec- tivora), Cercopithecus sclateri, Procolobus badiiis epieni (Primates), Manis fetradactyla (Pholidota), Furiisciurus pyrropus talboti (Rodentia), Trichechus seizegalensis (Sirenia) and Tragelaphus spekii gra- tus (Artiodactyla). In terms of conservation (according to
Non-reproductive females in families of eusocial common mole-rats (Cryptomys sp., Rodentia) are not suppressed by their mother, (either behaviourally or pheromonally) as is generally assumed. They do not mate with their father and brothers simply because they are not sexually attractive for them (and vice versa). The incest avoidance is based on the capability to recognize (and keep in memory
BackgroundThe African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia) are strictly subterranean, congenitally microphthalmic rodents that are hardly ever exposed to environmental light. Because of the lack of an overt behavioural reaction to light, they have long been considered to be blind. However, recent anatomical studies have suggested retention of basic visual capabilities. In this study, we employed behavioural tests to find out if
Ondrej Kott; Radim Sumbera; Pavel Nemec; Andrew Iwaniuk
Order Rodentia comprises a vast portion of mammalian species (1814 species), which occupy extremely diverse habitats requiring very distinct motor specializations (e.g. burrowing, hopping, climbing, flying and swimming). Although early classification of paw use ability suggests rodents are impoverished relative to primates and make little use of their paws, there have been no systematic investigations of paw use in rodents.
Guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus (L.)) (Rodentia: Caviidae) are pets and laboratory animals. They can be infested by a chewing louse, Gliricola porcelli (Schrank) (Phthiraptera: Gyropidae), which is fairly common in some animal rearing facilities, pet stores, and on wild guinea pigs. Infestation with G....
Aim Predictive models of species' distributions use occurrence records and environmental data to produce a model of the species' requirements and a map of its potential distribution. To determine regions of suitable environmental conditions and assess biogeographical questions regarding their ranges, we modelled the potential geographical distributions of two spiny pocket mice (Rodentia: Heteromyidae) in north- western South America.
Robert P. Anderson; Marcela Gomez-Laverde; A. Townsend Peterson
SUMMARY The caging, feeding and handling of four unusual laboratory hystricomorph rodents is described. These rodents are: the chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger), the agouti (Dasyprocta aguti), the acouchi (Myoprocta pratti), and the African porcupine (Hystrix cristata). The animals were kept for study of their reproduction and some details of this are given. The Hystricomorpha is a sub-order of the Order Rodentia
Storing food items is considered an alternative to fat storage in many species of ground squirrels. In a comparative study in the laboratory, we hypothesized that two closely-related ground squirrels, Spermophilus tridecemlineatus and S. spilosoma (subgenus Ictidomys, Rodentia Sciuridae), could hoard food and that the highest proportion of individuals displaying hoarding should be observed in the species with the greatest
Nucleotide sequence variation among 22 representatives of 14 families of hystricognathid rodents was examined using an 814-bp region of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene composing domains I-III. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, the phylogenetic relationships among Old World phiomorph (primarily African) and New World caviomorph (primarily South American) families were investigated, with a special emphasis on testing hypotheses pertaining to the origin of New World families and the identification of major monophyletic groups. Second, divergence times derived from molecular data were compared to those suggested by the fossil record. The resultant 12S rRNA gene phylogeny, analyzed separately and in combination with other morphological and molecular data, supported a monophyletic Caviomorpha. This finding is counter to the idea of a multiple origin for the South American families. The most strongly supported relationships within the Caviomorpha were a monophyletic Octodontoidea (containing five families) and the placement of New World porcupines (family Erethizontidae) as the most divergent family. Although comparisons to other data were more equivocal, the most parsimonious 12S rRNA trees also supported a monophyletic Phiomorpha that could be subdivided into two major groups, a clade containing the Thryonomyoidea (Thryonomyidae and Petromuridae) plus Bathyergidae and the more divergent Hystricidae (Old World porcupines). No significant differences in rates of 12S rRNA gene divergence were observed for hystricognathids in comparison to other rodent groups. Although time since divergence estimates were influenced by the fossil dates chosen to calibrate absolute rates, the overall divergence times derived from both transversions only and Kimura corrected distances and calibrations using two independent dates revealed a divergence time between Old and New World groups dating in the Eocene. PMID:7820285
Subterranean mammals like the blind mole-rat (Rodentia: Spalax ehrenbergi) are functionally blind and possess poor auditory sensitivity, limited to low-frequency sounds. Nevertheless, the mole-rat demonstrates extremely efficient ability to orient spatially. A previous field study has revealed that the mole-rat can assess the location, size and density of an underground obstacle, and accordingly excavates the most efficient bypass tunnel to
BackgroundAfrican mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia) exhibit a wide range of social structures, from solitary to eusocial. We previously found a lack of sex differences in the external genitalia and morphology of the perineal muscles associated with the phallus in the eusocial naked mole-rat. This was quite surprising, as the external genitalia and perineal muscles are sexually dimorphic in all other mammals
Marianne L. Seney; Diane A. Kelly; Bruce D. Goldman; Radim Sumbera; Nancy G. Forger; Anna Dornhaus
Background Rodentia is the most diverse order of placental mammals, with extant rodent species representing about half of all placental diversity. In spite of many morphological and molecular studies, the family-level relationships among rodents and the location of the rodent root are still debated. Although various datasets have already been analyzed to solve rodent phylogeny at the family level, these are difficult to combine because they involve different taxa and genes. Results We present here the largest protein-coding dataset used to study rodent relationships. It comprises six nuclear genes, 41 rodent species, and eight outgroups. Our phylogenetic reconstructions strongly support the division of Rodentia into three clades: (1) a "squirrel-related clade", (2) a "mouse-related clade", and (3) Ctenohystrica. Almost all evolutionary relationships within these clades are also highly supported. The primary remaining uncertainty is the position of the root. The application of various models and techniques aimed to remove non-phylogenetic signal was unable to solve the basal rodent trifurcation. Conclusion Sequencing and analyzing a large sequence dataset enabled us to resolve most of the evolutionary relationships among Rodentia. Our findings suggest that the uncertainty regarding the position of the rodent root reflects the rapid rodent radiation that occurred in the Paleocene rather than the presence of conflicting phylogenetic and non-phylogenetic signals in the dataset.
Phylogenetic relationships among 40 extant species of rodents, with an emphasis on the taxonomic sampling of Muridae and Dipodidae, were studied using sequences of the nuclear protein-coding gene LCAT (lecithin cholesterol acyl transferase). Analysis of 804 bp from the exonic regions of LCAT confirmed many traditional groupings in and around Muridae. A strong support was found for the families Muridae (represented by 29 species) and Dipodidae (5 species). Compared with Sciuridae, Gliridae, and Caviomorpha, the Dipodidae family appeared the closest relative of Muridae, confirming the suprafamilial Myodonta concept. Within the speciose family Muridae, the first branching leads to the fossorial Spalacinae and semifossorial Rhyzomyinae. The remaining components of Muridae appear as a polytomy from which are issued Sigmodontinae, Calomyscinae, Arvicolinae, Cricetinae, Mystromyinae, Nesomyinae, and some Dendromurinae (Steatomys and Dendromus). This phylogeny is interpreted as the result of a bushlike radiation at the end of the early Miocene, leading to emergence of most living subfamilies. The separation between three additional taxa, Murinae, Gerbillinae, and "Acomyinae" (which comprises the genera Acomys, Deomys, Uranomys, and Lophuromys), has occurred more recently from a common ancestor issued from the main basal radiation. As previously shown by other molecular studies, the vlei rats, Otomyinae, are nested within Old World Murinae. In the same way, the zokors, Myospalacinae, appear strongly nested within the hamsters, Cricetinae. Finally, we propose a sister group relationship between Malagasy Nesomyinae and south African Mystromyinae. PMID:11083941
By using DNA sequences of 17 mammalian genes, the generation-time effect is estimated separately for synonymous substitutions and nonsynonymous substitutions. Star phylogenies composed of rodentia, artiodactyla, and primates are examined. The generation-time effect is found to be more conspicuous for synonymous substitutions than for non-synonymous substitutions, by using the methods of (i) Nei and Gojobori, (ii) Li, and (iii) Ina. The proportion of accepted amino acid substitutions in evolution is estimated to be about twice as large in the primate lineage as in the rodent lineage. This result is in accord with the nearly neutral theory of molecular evolution.
The occurrence and prevalence of Metacuterebra apicalis (Diptera: Cuterebridae) in natural populations of Oryzomys subflavus, Bolomys lasiurus, and Thalpomys cerradensis (Rodentia: Muridae) from August 1990 to July 1992 in the cerrado, a common savanna-like vegetation type of central Brazil, are reported. An increase in bot infection in the 3 rodent species between October 1991 and July 1992 without correlation to precipitation was detected. The prevalence was lower than in neotropical forest formations. Mean intensity was 1.3 bots (range 1-2) for T. cerradensis and 1 bot for B. lasiurus and O. subflavus. This is the first record of T. cerradensis as host of bot flies. PMID:8410558
Three rodent feed-through studies were conducted to evaluate the efficacy of insecticides to control Phlebotomus argentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae). The initial test evaluated diflubenzuron, eprinomectin, fipronil and ivermectin as feed-through treatments in Rattus rattus (Rodentia: Muridae). In the preliminary trial, all four insecticides yielded 100% mortality of P. argentipes larvae within 20 days of exposure to treated rodent faeces. Based upon the initial results, fipronil was evaluated further as a feed-through utilizing Bandicota bengalensis (Rodentia: Muridae). The B. bengalensis trial evaluated fipronil against both adult and larval sandflies at 250 p.p.m., 100 p.p.m. and 50 p.p.m. The results showed the fipronil treatment to have 100% efficacy against larvae up to 20 days post-treatment and over 74% efficacy against adult sandflies presented with B. bengalensis faeces up to 10 days post-treatment at all three dosage levels. The results of the three studies suggest that all four insecticides may be useful tools with which to control Leishmania vector populations. PMID:23278322
Ingenloff, K; Garlapati, R; Poché, D; Singh, M I; Remmers, J L; Poché, R M
The von Willebrand factor (vWF) gene has been used to understand the origin and timing of Rodentia evolution in the context of placental phylogeny vWF exon 28 sequences of 15 rodent families and eight non-rodent eutherian clades are analysed with two different molecular dating methods (uniform clock on a linearized tree; quartet dating). Three main conclusions are drawn from the study of this nuclear exon. First, Ctenodactylidae (gundis) and Hystricognathi (e.g. porcupines, guinea-pigs, chinchillas) robustly cluster together in a newly recognized clade, named 'Ctenohystrica'. The Sciurognathi monophyly is subsequently rejected. Pedetidae (springhares) is an independent and early diverging rodent lineage, suggesting a convergent evolution of the multiserial enamel of rodent incisors. Second, molecular date estimates are here more influenced by accuracy and choice of the palaeontological temporal references used to calibrate the molecular clock than by either characters analysed (nucleotides versus amino acids) or species sampling. The caviomorph radiation at 31 million years (Myr) and the pig porpoise split at 63 Myr appear to be reciprocally compatible dates. Third, during the radiation of Rodentia, at least three lineages (Gliridae, Sciuroidea and Ctenohystrica) emerged close to the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, and their common ancestor separated from other placental orders in the Late Cretaceous.
Chigger mites of Afghanistan were studied on the base of collections made in Eastern and Central Hindu Kush, Kabul, and some other localities. Fifteen chigger species parasitizing nine species of Rodentia, two species of Lagomorpha, and one species of Soricomorpha were found, including 13 species which were not previously recorded in Afghanistan. Eco-geographical variability is observed in Shunsennia oudemansi: Individuals of this species from high-mountain localities of Eastern Hindu Kush are characterized by larger values of most morphometric characters than the specimens collected in Kabul. Vertical and horizontal distribution of chiggers and chigger-host relationships in Eastern Hindu Kush is discussed. Comparison of our data with that on chigger fauna in the region of Tirich Mir clearly demonstrates the role of the Eastern Hindu Kush main ridge as a border between different chigger faunas. PMID:20737277
Daniel, Milan; Stekolnikov, Alexandr A; Hakimitabar, Masoud; Saboori, Alireza
Calomys callosus (Rodentia: Cricetidae) chronically infected with CL strain of Trypanosoma cruzi undergo recrudescence of the acute phase when treated with the immunosuppressor cyclophosphamide. The distribution of cytoskeletal proteins in cardiac tissue of immunosuppressed animals was mapped by immunofluorescence and electron microscopy to evaluate myofibrillar distribution during the intracellular life cycle of T. cruzi. Cardiac muscle sections showed enhancement of myocarditis and parasite proliferation after immunosuppression. Immunofluorescence using monoclonal antibodies against myosin, actin, desmin, titin, tropomyosin, and troponin T demonstrated disruption and loss of contractile proteins, such as myosin and actin. Desmin and titin were irregularly distributed in close proximity to parasite nests. Ultrastructural observations confirmed alterations of cardiac cells with Z-line fragmentation, indistinguishable I-bands and A-bands, and loss of myofibrillar elements. The disruption of the muscle cell architecture was greater as infection progressed, probably as a result of increased myocarditis and physical displacement due to the activity of flagellated parasites. PMID:16075261
Taniwaki, Noemi N; Andreoli, Walter K; Calabrese, Kátia S; da Silva, Solange; Mortara, Renato A
Mastophorus muris (Gmelin, 1790) (Nematoda: Spiruroidea) is reported parasitizing the grey leaf-eared mouse Graomys griseoflavus (Waterhouse, 1837) (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae) from the province of La Pampa, Argentina. The distinct position of Mastophorus (Spirocercidae: Mastophorinae) and Protospirura (Spiruridae), sometimes still confused, is again confirmed. The pattern of pseudolabial teeth (a large central tooth with smaller teeth on each side), which seems to be rather stable in all known descriptions, is here confirmed with the aid of scanning electron microscopy. The finding represents the first record of the species in Argentina, but also from a wild host in South America. This indicates an expansion of the distribution range of the species, which, in the subcontinent, was hitherto restricted to domestic rodents. PMID:14710636
Haemaphysalis (Allophysalis) danieli sp. n. is described from a female taken from alpine vegetation in Swat, Pakistan. Fifty-one nymphal and larval ticks tentatively associated with this taxon are from hamsters, field mice, voles, and marmots (Rodentia), Cricetulus migratorius, Apodemus flavicollis, alticola roylei, and Marmota caudata, and from pikas (Lagomorpha), Ochotona roylei, in Gilgit and Hazara districts of Pakistan and in Badakhashan Province of Afghanistan. Collecting localities are in the western Himalayan mountain complex between 2,310 and 4,000 m altitude and between 35degrees08' and 36degrees23' N and 71degrees51' and 74degrees02' E. This species is most closely related to the mountain-inhabiting H. (A9Y pospelovashtromae Hoogstraal of southern USSR and Mongolia and H. (A.) garhwalensis Dhanda and Bhat of northern India and Nepal. PMID:864574
During fauna studies, thirty-six wild mammals were collected in adjacent areas of Itapecuru River and Environmental Preservation area of Inhamum, state of Maranhão, Brazil. They were sampled for ectoparasites. The following specimens of the order Rodentia and its respective ectoparasites were identified: Akodon sp. (Androlaelaps sp. and Laelaps sp.), Oecomys sp. (Androlaelaps sp. and Amblyomma cajennense), Oligoryzomys sp. (Androlaelaps sp. Laelaps sp. and Amblyomma sp.) e Oryzomys megacephalus (A. cajennense). In Calomys callosus no ectoparasite was found. It was observed infestation in the order Didelphimorphia as follows: Didelphis marsupialis (Androlaelaps sp., Laelaps sp. and larvae of Diptera Cyclorrhapha); Gracilinanus sp. (Laelaps sp. and larvae of Diptera Cyclorrhapha), Monodelphis domestica (Poplygenis (Polygenis)), Cummingsia sp., Amblyomma sp. and Androlaelaps sp.). Marmosa sp. e Thylamis sp. had no ectoparasites. From the captured hosts 56% were infested, 82% and 44% rodents and marsupials, respectively. Mites from the family Laelapidae presented the great diversity of hosts and genus. PMID:20059819
Reis, Francineto S; Barros, Maria Claudene; Fraga, Elmary Da C; Da Penha, Tatiane A; Teixeira, Whaubytfran C; Dos Santos, Ana Clara G; Guerra, Rita De Maria S N De C
Using the technique of DNA fingerprinting, we investigated the genetic structure within and among four wild-caught colonies (n = 50 individuals) of a eusocial mammal, the naked mole-rat (Heterocephalus glaber; Rodentia: Bathyergidae). We found that DNA fingerprints of colony-mates were strikingly similar and that between colonies they were much more alike than fingerprints of non-kin in other free-living vertebrates. Extreme genetic similarity within colonies is due to close genetic relationship (mean relatedness estimate +/- SE, r = 0.81 +/- 0.10), which apparently results from consanguineous mating. The inbreeding coefficient (F = 0.45 +/- 0.18) is the highest yet recorded among wild mammals. The genetic structure of naked mole-rat colonies lends support to kin selection and ecological constraints models for the evolution of cooperative breeding and eusociality. Images
Reeve, H K; Westneat, D F; Noon, W A; Sherman, P W; Aquadro, C F
This study demonstrates that ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) extensively use primates as a food resource at the Caratinga Biological Station (CBS) in Southeast Brazil. Analysis of 60 fecal samples collected over 4 years revealed predation upon the brown howler monkey (Alouatta guariba), the muriqui (Brachyteles hypoxanthus), and the brown capuchin monkey (Cebus apella). The most frequent items found in the fecal samples analyzed were Calomys (n=16) and non-identified Aves (n=15), followed by A. guariba (n=12). Although Rodentia was the most common group consumed (n=52) Primates were found in 27% of total fecal samples and were the third most consumed group in relation to the total items. Particularly, predation of A. guariba by ocelots (20% of the total fecal samples) was not an isolated event; our results showed that this species was preyed on across several months. Predation on primates was far higher at CBS than at other sites where comparable studies have been carried out. PMID:17330310
This article describes the first fossils recorded in the Hernandarias Formation (Pleistocene) in Entre Ríos province (eastern Argentina). They are represented by three teeth assigned to the caviomorph rodents (Rodentia, Mammalia) Aenigmys diamantensis gen. et sp. nov. and Eumysops. To establish the phylogenetic affinities of the two most enigmatic teeth, their enamel microstructure was studied. Aenigmys diamantensis is considered the most primitive taxon of a clade formed by Dinomyidae Neoepiblemidae Heptaxodontidae. Evidence of the close relationships among these families also is presented herein. The new fossils reinforce previous hypotheses about the survival of primitive Brazilian taxa after their extinction in the Pampas and Patagonia of southern South America. They also show that the diversity of caviomorph rodents during the Quaternary was greater than supposed and that an important Quaternary extinction, not previously detected, affected several lineages. With the available evidence, it is not possible to determine if these rodents indicate a warm pulse or a particular biogeographic situation in Entre Ríos.
Vucetich, María G.; Vieytes, Emma C.; Verzi, Diego H.; Noriega, Jorge I.; Tonni, Eduardo P.
After humans, mice are the best-studied mammalian species in terms of their biology and genetics. Gerontological research has used mice and rats extensively to generate short- and long-lived mutants, study caloric restriction and more. Mice and rats are valuable model organisms thanks to their small size, short lifespans and fast reproduction. However, when the goal is to further extend the already long human lifespan, studying fast aging species may not provide all the answers. Remarkably, in addition to the fast-aging species, the order Rodentia contains multiple long-lived species with lifespans exceeding 20 years (naked mole-rat, beavers, porcupines, and some squirrels). This diversity opens great opportunities for comparative aging studies. Here we discuss the evolution of lifespan in rodents, review the biology of slow-aging rodents, and show an example of how the use of a comparative approach revealed that telomerase activity coevolved with body mass in rodents.
Topography and structure of the musculus stylohyoideus (MSH) have been studied in 78 species of Mammalia from 12 orders. The muscle in question has specific peculiarities not only in its position and fixation, but also in a great variability of its structure. The MSH is not revealed in Philander opossum, Lagostrophus fasciatus, guinea pig, Meriones eversmanni, Rhombomys opimus, Nyctereutes procyonoides, Thos aureus, Mastelidae. Various pathways of development and different functional loading define existence of several modifications of the MSH: a) the medial part of the muscle develops (Didelphys, Rodentia, Insectivora, Proboscidea, Dama dama, Capreolus capreolus; b) the lateral part of the musculus develops (Lagomorpha, Canis lupus, Ursidae, Felidae, Pinnipedia, Cavicornia); c) both parts of the musculus develop, determining position of the m. digastricus between these two parts (Alces alces, Pseudaxis sica, Cervus elaphus, Macaca rhesus, Erythrocebus patas, Perissodastyla). PMID:3408352
A study of voles (Arvicolidae, Rodentia) from Gansu (China) designed to identify a potential host of Echinococcus multilocularis, responsible for human alveolar echinococcosis, leads to a general analysis of Microtus limnophilus population karyotypes, M1 of M. oeconomus populations from all of Eurasia and of M. limnophilus of Mongolia. The Microtus of Gansu belonging to the nominal subspecies M. limnophilus limnophilus (2n = 38; NF = 58) differs markedly in size and shape of M1 from the M. limnophilus of Mongolia, which must therefore be considered as a new subspecies M. limnophilus of malygini nov. ssp. (2n = 38; NF = 60) and the M. oeconomus of Mongolia should be ranked as M. oeconomus kharanurensis nov. ssp. (2n = 30; NF = 60). PMID:10457599
Background Flying lemurs or Colugos (order Dermoptera) represent an ancient mammalian lineage that contains only two extant species. Although molecular evidence strongly supports that the orders Dermoptera, Scandentia, Lagomorpha, Rodentia and Primates form a superordinal clade called Supraprimates (or Euarchontoglires), the phylogenetic placement of Dermoptera within Supraprimates remains ambiguous. Results To search for cytogenetic signatures that could help to clarify the evolutionary affinities within this superordinal group, we have established a genome-wide comparative map between human and the Malayan flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus) by reciprocal chromosome painting using both human and G. variegatus chromosome-specific probes. The 22 human autosomal paints and the X chromosome paint defined 44 homologous segments in the G. variegatus genome. A putative inversion on GVA 11 was revealed by the hybridization patterns of human chromosome probes 16 and 19. Fifteen associations of human chromosome segments (HSA) were detected in the G. variegatus genome: HSA1/3, 1/10, 2/21, 3/21, 4/8, 4/18, 7/15, 7/16, 7/19, 10/16, 12/22 (twice), 14/15, 16/19 (twice). Reverse painting of G. variegatus chromosome-specific paints onto human chromosomes confirmed the above results, and defined the origin of the homologous human chromosomal segments in these associations. In total, G. variegatus paints revealed 49 homologous chromosomal segments in the HSA genome. Conclusion Comparative analysis of our map with published maps from representative species of other placental orders, including Scandentia, Primates, Lagomorpha and Rodentia, suggests a signature rearrangement (HSA2q/21 association) that links Scandentia and Dermoptera to one sister clade. Our results thus provide new evidence for the hypothesis that Scandentia and Dermoptera have a closer phylogenetic relationship to each other than either of them has to Primates.
Nie, Wenhui; Fu, Beiyuan; O'Brien, Patricia CM; Wang, Jinhuan; Su, Weiting; Tanomtong, Alongkoad; Volobouev, Vitaly; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Yang, Fengtang
This is the first study to investigate whether scatter-hoarding behavior, a conditional mutualism, can be disrupted by forest fragmentation. We examined whether acouchies (Myoprocta acouchy, Rodentia) and agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina, Rodentia) changed scatter-hoarding behavior toward seeds of Astrocaryum aculeatum (Arecaceae) as a consequence of a decrease in forest-patch area. Our study was conducted at the 30-year-old Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, in central Amazon, Brazil. We tested whether forest size affected the number of Astrocaryum seeds removed and scatter-hoarded (and likely dispersed) by acouchies and agoutis, as well as the distance that the seeds were hoarded. The study extended over three seasons: the peak of the rainy season (March-April), the transition between the rainy and the dry season (May-June), and the peak of the dry season (August-September). Our results revealed that the number of seeds removed was larger in smaller fragments, but that the percentage of seeds hoarded was much lower, and seeds eaten much higher, in 1-ha fragments. Moreover, fewer seeds were taken longer distances in fragments than in the continuous forest. Site affected the number of seeds removed and season affected the percentage of seeds hoarded: more seeds were removed from stations in one site than in two others, and hoarding was more important in April and September than in June. Our study reveals that scatter-hoarding behavior is affected by forest fragmentation, with the most important disruption in very small fragments. Fragmentation converts a largely mutualistic relationship between the rodents and this palm in large forest patches into seed predation in small fragments. PMID:19633870
Background Micrurus snake bites can cause death by muscle paralysis and respiratory arrest, few hours after envenomation. The specific treatment for coral snake envenomation is the intravenous application of heterologous antivenom and, in Brazil, it is produced by horse immunization with a mixture of M. corallinus and M. frontalis venoms, snakes that inhabit the South and Southeastern regions of the country. However, this antivenom might be inefficient, considering the existence of intra- and inter-specific variations in the composition of the venoms. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the toxic properties of venoms from nine species of Micrurus: eight present in different geographic regions of Brazil (M. frontalis, M. corallinus, M. hemprichii, M. spixii, M. altirostris, M. surinamensis, M. ibiboboca, M. lemniscatus) and one (M. fulvius) with large distribution in Southeastern United States and Mexico. This study also analyzed the antigenic cross-reactivity and the neutralizing potential of the Brazilian coral snake antivenom against these Micrurus venoms. Methodology/Principal Findings Analysis of protein composition and toxicity revealed a large diversity of venoms from the nine Micrurus species. ELISA and Western blot assays showed a varied capability of the therapeutic antivenom to recognize the diverse species venom components. In vivo and in vitro neutralization assays indicated that the antivenom is not able to fully neutralize the toxic activities of all venoms. Conclusion These results indicate the existence of a large range of both qualitative and quantitative variations in Micrurus venoms, probably reflecting the adaptation of the snakes from this genus to vastly dissimilar habitats. The data also show that the antivenom used for human therapy in Brazil is not fully able to neutralize the main toxic activities present in the venoms from all Micrurus species occurring in the country. It suggests that modifications in the immunization scheme, with the inclusion of other venoms in the antigenic mixture, should occur in order to generate effective therapeutic coral snake antivenom.
Tanaka, Gabriela D.; Furtado, Maria de Fatima D.; Portaro, Fernanda C. V.; Sant'Anna, Osvaldo Augusto; Tambourgi, Denise V.
Information coming from fishery monitoring, surveys and experimental fishing with participation of fishers was employed to determine the impact of an artisanal gear, 'boliche', on the biodiversity of the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta (CGSM), an estuarine lagoon on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Fishery monitoring (catch data) included landings before (1968 and 1978) and after (1994-1996) the introduction of the boliche in the CGSM (1985), whereas surveys were conducted seasonally during 1993-1994. Fishing experiments involved evaluating different mesh sizes and the short-term effect of physical disturbance by the boliche. Monitoring suggested potential trophic effects of this fishing gear: the catch of large, long-lived, carnivorous species declined after the introduction of the boliche in the CGSM, whereas catch rates of smaller, shorter-lived, and lower trophic level species increased. Surveys revealed that the boliche retained 41 species. The by-catch made up 62% of the total catch and the remaining 38% involved the three target species Eugerres plumieri, Mugil incilis and Cathorops spixii. Selectivity experiments showed that 2.5 in. stretched mesh size gill nets caught more species than the 3.0-in. mesh. The smaller mesh also increased the risk of a critical reduction in the spawning stock of target species (notably E. plumieri); a situation that could affect the fish community if mesh sizes lower than 2.5 in. were intensively used. Suspended particulate matter significantly increased after fishing activity, with higher resuspension on mud-shells and mud substrata, whereas dissolved oxygen showed no appreciable changes after fishing operations. Notwithstanding, the activity of the boliche would generate sediment resuspension between 382 and 470 t day -1, which could lead to potential cascade impacts on water quality. We propose a framework of redundancy in management measures in order to simultaneously reach management and conservation goals.
With complete sets of chromosome-specific painting probes derived from flow-sorted chromosomes of human and grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), the whole genome homologies between human and representatives of tree squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis, Callosciurus erythraeus), flying squirrels (Petaurista albiventer) and chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus) have been defined by cross-species chromosome painting. The results show that, unlike the highly rearranged karyotypes of mouse and rat, the karyotypes of squirrels are highly conserved. Two methods have been used to reconstruct the genome phylogeny of squirrels with the laboratory rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) as the out-group: (1) phylogenetic analysis by parsimony using chromosomal characters identified by comparative cytogenetic approaches; (2) mapping the genome rearrangements onto recently published sequence-based molecular trees. Our chromosome painting results, in combination with molecular data, show that flying squirrels are phylogenetically close to New World tree squirrels. Chromosome painting and G-banding comparisons place chipmunks (Tamias sibiricus ), with a derived karyotype, outside the clade comprising tree and flying squirrels. The superorder Glires (orde Rodentia + order Lagomorpha) is firmly supported by two conserved syntenic associations between human chromosomes 1 and 10p homologues, and between 9 and 11 homologues. PMID:15241012
Li, Tangliang; O'Brien, Patricia C M; Biltueva, Larisa; Fu, Beiyuan; Wang, Jinhuan; Nie, Wenhui; Ferguson-Smith, Malcolm A; Graphodatsky, Alexander S; Yang, Fengtang
The timing of the origin and diversification of rodents remains controversial, due to conflicting results from molecular clocks and paleontological data. The fossil record tends to support an early Cenozoic origin of crown-group rodents. In contrast, most molecular studies place the origin and initial diversification of crown-Rodentia deep in the Cretaceous, although some molecular analyses have recovered estimated divergence times that are more compatible with the fossil record. Here we attempt to resolve this conflict by carrying out a molecular clock investigation based on a nine-gene sequence dataset and a novel set of seven fossil constraints, including two new rodent records (the earliest known representatives of Cardiocraniinae and Dipodinae). Our results indicate that rodents originated around 61.7–62.4 Ma, shortly after the Cretaceous/Paleogene (K/Pg) boundary, and diversified at the intraordinal level around 57.7–58.9 Ma. These estimates are broadly consistent with the paleontological record, but challenge previous molecular studies that place the origin and early diversification of rodents in the Cretaceous. This study demonstrates that, with reliable fossil constraints, the incompatibility between paleontological and molecular estimates of rodent divergence times can be eliminated using currently available tools and genetic markers. Similar conflicts between molecular and paleontological evidence bedevil attempts to establish the origination times of other placental groups. The example of the present study suggests that more reliable fossil calibration points may represent the key to resolving these controversies.
Wu, Shaoyuan; Wu, Wenyu; Zhang, Fuchun; Ye, Jie; Ni, Xijun; Sun, Jimin; Edwards, Scott V.; Meng, Jin; Organ, Chris L.
We collected fecal samples from 9 dusky rice rats, Melanomys caliginosus (Rodentia, Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae), in a Biological Reserve in Costa Rica and found 8 (89%) to be infected with 2 Eimeria species which we describe here as new. Sporulated oocysts (n = 20) of the first, Eimeria melanomytis n. sp., are cylindroidal and measure 20.1 × 13.3 ?m (18-23 × 13-15); micropyle and oocyst residuum are both absent, but a bilobular polar granule is present. Its sporocysts are ovoidal, 10.5 × 7.4 ?m (10-13 × 6-8) with a small Stieda body, but both substieda and parastieda bodies are absent; a spheroidal sporocyst residuum is present, ? 5 ?m wide. Sporulated oocysts (n = 20) of the second, Eimeria rebambensis n. sp., are subspheroidal, 21.2 × 17.0 ?m (19-23 × 14-18); micropyle and oocyst residuum are both absent, but with a polar granule ? 2 ?m wide. Sporocysts are elongate-ovoidal, 12.4 × 7.0 ?m (11-14 × 6-9) with a distinct knob-like Stieda body, and a substieda body directly beneath it which is about twice as wide, but no parastieda body is present; the sporocyst residuum is an irregular mass composed of 8-10 globules scattered among the sporozoites, which are ? 10 × 5 ?m, and have 1 refractile body at their wider end and a central nucleus. These are the first eimerians described from this rodent genus. PMID:22924929
Chinchilla, Misael; Valerio, Idalia; Sánchez, Ronald; González, Antonieta; Martínez, Laura; Duszynski, Donald W
Recombination allows faithful chromosomal segregation during meiosis and contributes to the production of new heritable allelic variants that are essential for the maintenance of genetic diversity. Therefore, an appreciation of how this variation is created and maintained is of critical importance to our understanding of biodiversity and evolutionary change. Here, we analysed the recombination features from species representing the major eutherian taxonomic groups Afrotheria, Rodentia, Primates and Carnivora to better understand the dynamics of mammalian recombination. Our results suggest a phylogenetic component in recombination rates (RRs), which appears to be directional, strongly punctuated and subject to selection. Species that diversified earlier in the evolutionary tree have lower RRs than those from more derived phylogenetic branches. Furthermore, chromosome-specific recombination maps in distantly related taxa show that crossover interference is especially weak in the species with highest RRs detected thus far, the tiger. This is the first example of a mammalian species exhibiting such low levels of crossover interference, highlighting the uniqueness of this species and its relevance for the study of the mechanisms controlling crossover formation, distribution and resolution. PMID:24068360
Evidence for magnetoreception in mammals remains limited. Magnetic compass orientation or magnetic alignment has been conclusively demonstrated in only a handful of mammalian species. The functional properties and underlying mechanisms have been most thoroughly characterized in Ansell's mole-rat, Fukomys anselli, which is the species of choice due to its spontaneous drive to construct nests in the southeastern sector of a circular arena using the magnetic field azimuth as the primary orientation cue. Because of the remarkable consistency between experiments, it is generally believed that this directional preference is innate. To test the hypothesis that spontaneous southeastern directional preference is a shared, ancestral feature of all African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia), we employed the same arena assay to study magnetic orientation in two other mole-rat species, the social giant mole-rat, Fukomys mechowii, and the solitary silvery mole-rat, Heliophobius argenteocinereus. Both species exhibited spontaneous western directional preference and deflected their directional preference according to shifts in the direction of magnetic north, clearly indicating that they were deriving directional information from the magnetic field. Because all of the experiments were performed in total darkness, our results strongly suggest that all African mole-rats use a light-independent magnetic compass for near-space orientation. However, the spontaneous directional preference is not common and may be either innate (but species-specific) or learned. We propose an experiment that should be performed to distinguish between these two alternatives. PMID:22855619
Oliveriusová, Ludmila; N?mec, Pavel; Králová, Zuzana; Sedlá?ek, František
A search for mast cells has been made in the brains of 18 mammalian species in 13 families in the orders Insectivora, Primates, Rodentia and Carnivora. In the larger animals, only the diencephalon and olfactory bulbs were examined. Mast cells were identified by virtue of their heparin-containing granules, which are stained by Alcian blue 8GX and, metachromatically, by toluidine blue 0. Within the cerebral parenchyma, mast cells were confined to the dorsal diencephalon of Erinaceus europaeus (hedgehog), Tupaia glis (tree-shrew) and Nycticebus coucang (slow loris). Some cells were next to capillaries; others were not. Mast cells were sometimes found, though rarely, in the intracerebral perivascular connective tissue leptomeninges and choroid plexuses of some of the other species examined. It is concluded that pericapillary cells (pericytes), which have been called mast cells by some investigators, are not in fact mast cells since there is no evidence for the presence of heparin. The functions of mast cells in the brain are unknown. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 Fig. 6
Gastrointestinal parasites cause serious diarrhoea in captive animals. Therefore, we have undertaken this study to establish programmes to prevent, control, and treat intestinal parasitism in the animals of the zoological garden "Peña Escrita" of Almuñecar (Granada). An annual survey was conduced to estimate the occurrence of gastrointestinal parasites and the seasonality of this parasitism. Between June 2006 and May 2007, 432 samples were collected from primates, carnivores, perissoodactyla, artiodactyla, rodentia, diprotodontia, galliformes, anseriformes and struthioniformes. One or more intestinal parasites were identified in 72.5% of the animals. The most frequent pathogenic endoparasites were Eimeria spp. (17.3%), Trichuris spp. (5.1%), Strongyloides spp. (4.5%), Cyclospora spp. (4.5%), Cryptosporidium spp. (3.2%) and Isospora spp. (2.6%). Iodamoeba butschlii, Parascaris equorum and Trichuris spp. did not vary with season and Cryptosporidium spp., Dicrocoelium dendriticum, Metastrongylus spp. and Cylicospirura spp. appeared exclusively in Artiodactyla. Multiple parasitic infections were common, 70% of animals presented with at least two parasites (maximum=6). The most frequent cases of multiple parasitism were Eimeria spp. plus Blastocystis spp. and Eimeria spp. plus Nematodirus spp., in the last case the animals presented explosive diarrhoea. In accord with our results, after each sampling, some of the affected animals were treated and the corresponding programmes of prevention and control were designed. PMID:18639383
Pérez Cordón, G; Hitos Prados, A; Romero, D; Sánchez Moreno, M; Pontes, A; Osuna, A; Rosales, M J
A total of 131 faecal samples from 57 mammalian species housed at the zoo of Zagreb, Croatia, were tested for the presence of Giardia spp. cysts using epifluorescence microscopy. The overall prevalence (29%) was high, yet all animals were asymptomatic at the time of sampling. Positive samples were characterized by PCR and sequence analysis of both conserved and variable loci, for the identification of Giardia species and G. duodenalis assemblages and genotypes. Assemblages A and C were identified in Artiodactyla, assemblage B in Primates, Rodentia and Hyracoidea, and assemblages A, B, C and D, as well as Giardia microti, in Carnivora. Genotyping at the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region, at the triose phosphate isomerase, glutamate dehydrogenase and beta-giardin genes revealed extensive polymorphisms, particularly among assemblage B isolates. A phylogenetic analysis of concatenated sequences showed that isolates from captive mammals housed at the zoo are genetically different from isolates of human and domestic animal origin. This is the first survey in a zoological garden to include a molecular characterization of the parasite, and provides novel sequence data of G. duodenalis from many previously uncharacterized hosts. PMID:20970259
Although neotropical savannas and grasslands, collectively referred to as cerrado, are rich in seed-eating species of rodents, little is known about seed predation and its determinants in this habitat. In this study, we investigated seed predation and damage to fruits of the widespread shrub Solanum lycocarpum. In addition, the influence of two possible determinants (distance from the parental plant and total crop size) on the feeding behaviour of Oryzomys scotti (Rodentia, Sigmodontinae) was also examined. O. scotti were captured more frequently close to the shrubs or on shrub crops, indicating that these rodents were attracted to the shrubs and that seed predation was probably distance-dependent. Moreover, the proportion of damaged fruit on the plant decreased as the total crop size increased; consequently, more productive plants were attacked proportionally less by rodents. This pattern of fruit damage may reflect predator satiation caused by the consumption of a large amount of pulp. Alternatively, secondary metabolites in S. lycocarpum fruits may reduce the pulp consumption per feeding event, thereby limiting the number of fruits damaged.
To better understand evolutionary pathways leading to eusociality, interspecific comparisons are needed, which would use a common axis, such as that of reproductive skew, to array species. African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia) provide an outstanding model of social evolution because of a wide range of social organizations within a single family; however, their reproductive skew is difficult to estimate, due to their cryptic lifestyle. A maximum skew could theoretically be reached in groups where reproduction is monopolized by a stable breeding pair, but the value could be decreased by breeding-male and breeding-female turnover, shared reproduction and extra-group mating. The frequency of such events should be higher in species or populations inhabiting mesic environments with relaxed ecological constraints on dispersal. To test this prediction, we studied patterns of parentage and relatedness within 16 groups of Ansell's mole-rat (Fukomys anselli) in mesic miombo woodland. Contrary to expectation, there was no shared reproduction (more than one breeder of a particular sex) within the studied groups, and proportion of immigrants and offspring not assigned to current breeding males was low. The within-group parentage and relatedness patterns observed resemble arid populations of 'eusocial' Fukomys damarensis, rather than a mesic population of 'social' Cryptomys hottentotus. As a possible explanation, we propose that the extent ecological conditions affect reproductive skew may be markedly affected by life history and natural history traits of the particular species and genera. PMID:23992451
Integrins are heterodimeric adhesion receptors that participate in a variety of cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix protein interactions. Many integrins recognize RGD sequences displayed on extracellular matrix proteins and the exposed loops of viral capsid proteins. Four members of the alphav integrin family of cellular receptors, alphavbeta3, alphavbeta6, alphavbeta1 and alphavbeta8, have been identified as receptors for foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) in vitro, and integrins are believed to be the receptors used to target epithelial cells in the infected animals. To analyse the roles of the alphav integrins from a susceptible species as viral receptors, we have cloned Bactrian camel alphav, beta3 and beta6 integrin cDNAs and compared them to those of other species. The coding sequences for Bactrian camel integrin alphav, beta3 and beta6 were found to be 3165, 2289 and 2367 nucleotides in length, encoding 1054, 762 and 788 amino acids, respectively. The Bactrian camel alphav, beta3 and beta6 subunits share many structural features with homologues of other species, including the ligand binding domain and cysteine-rich region. Phylogenetic trees and similarity analyses showed the close relationships of integrin genes from Bactrian camels, pigs and cattle, which are each susceptible to FMDV infection, that were distinct from the orders Rodentia, Primates, Perissodactyla, Carnivora, Galliformes and Xenopus. We postulate that host tropism of FMDV may in part be related to the divergence in integrin subunits among different species. PMID:19443046
Scrub typhus and tick-borne spotted fever group (SFG) rickettsioses are transmitted by chiggers (larval trombiculid mites) and hard ticks, respectively. We assessed exposure to these disease vectors by extensively sampling both chiggers and ticks and their small mammal hosts in eastern Taiwan during 2007 and 2008. The striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius Pallas (Rodentia: Muridae) was the most common of the small mammals (36.1% of 1393 captures) and presented the highest rate of infestation with both chiggers (47.8% of 110 760) and ticks (78.1% of 1431). Leptotrombidium imphalum Vercammen-Grandjean & Langston (Trombidiformes: Trombiculidae) and immature Rhipicephalus haemaphysaloides Supino (Ixodida: Ixodidae) were the most abundant chiggers (84.5%) and ticks (>99%) identified, respectively. Immunofluorescent antibody assay revealed high seropositive rates of rodents against Orientia tsutsugamushi Hyashi (Rickettsiales: Rickettsiaceae), the aetiological agent of scrub typhus (70.0% of 437 rodents), and tick-borne SFG rickettsiae (91.9% of 418 rodents). The current study represents a first step towards elucidating the potential hosts and vectors in the enzootic transmission of O. tsutsugamushi and tick-borne SFG rickettsiae in Taiwan. Further studies should focus on characterizing pathogens in L. imphalum and R. haemaphysaloides, as well as the proclivity of both vectors to humans. Uncovering the main hosts of adult ticks is also critical for the prevention of SFG rickettsial infections. PMID:21223345
An RNA-Seq strategy was used to obtain the complete set of protein-coding mitochondrial genes from two rodent taxa. Thanks to the next generation sequencing (NGS) 454 approach, we determined the complete mitochondrial DNA genome from Graphiurus kelleni (Mammalia: Rodentia: Gliridae) and partial mitogenome from Pedetes capensis (Pedetidae), and compared them with published rodent and outgroup mitogenomes. We finished the mitogenome sequencing by a series of amplicons using conserved PCR primers to fill the gaps corresponding to tRNA, rRNA and control regions. Phylogenetic analyses of the mitogenomes suggest a well-supported rodent phylogeny in agreement with nuclear gene trees. Pedetes groups with Anomalurus into the clade Anomaluromorpha, while Graphiurus branches within the squirrel-related clade. Moreover, Pedetes+Anomalurus branch with Castor into the mouse-related clade. Our study demonstrates the utility of NGS for obtaining new mitochondrial genomes as well as the importance of choosing adequate models of sequence evolution to infer the phylogeny of rodents. PMID:23973722
Fabre, Pierre-Henri; Jønsson, Knud A; Douzery, Emmanuel J P
Long-term memory can be critically important for animals in a variety of contexts, and yet the extreme reduction in body temperature in hibernating animals alters neurochemistry and may therefore impair brain function. Behavioural studies on memory impairment associated with hibernation have been almost exclusively conducted on ground squirrels (Rodentia) and provide conflicting results, including clear evidence for memory loss. Here, we for the first time tested memory retention after hibernation for a vertebrate outside rodents—bats (Chiroptera). In the light of the high mobility, ecology and long life of bats, we hypothesized that maintenance of consolidated memory through hibernation is under strong natural selection. We trained bats to find food in one out of three maze arms. After training, the pre-hibernation performance of all individuals was at 100 per cent correct decisions. After this pre-test, one group of bats was kept, with two interruptions, at 7°C for two months, while the other group was kept under conditions that prevented them from going into hibernation. The hibernated bats performed at the same high level as before hibernation and as the non-hibernated controls. Our data suggest that bats benefit from an as yet unknown neuroprotective mechanism to prevent memory loss in the cold brain.
Previous studies on infection of Trypanosoma cruzi in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve population of wild free-ranging Leontopithecus rosalia have shown the presence of genotype T. cruzi II, associated in Brazil with human disease. Herein, this study has been extended, the infection being evaluated in L. rosalia of 3 different tamarin populations, inhabiting distinct forest areas located in the same Atlantic Coastal Rainforest. Edentata, Marsupialia, Rodentia and Chiroptera were examined exclusively in the Poço das Antas Biological Reserve. Excluding Chiroptera, T. cruzi infection was found in all orders. Biochemical and molecular characterization demonstrated that golden lion tamarins maintained stable infections by T. cruzi II. The isolates from the other mammals corresponded to T. cruzi I, suggesting independent transmission cycles occurring among the sylvatic mammals inside Poço das Antas Biological Reserve. Significant differences in the infection patterns presented by the 3 populations of wild and captive-born golden lion tamarins were noticed. In Poço das Antas a considerably higher number of positive haemocultures from tamarins with positive serological titres was observed in comparison to those obtained from other areas. The implications for conservation and public health of an active sylvatic cycle in the Atlantic Coastal Rainforest of Rio de Janeiro are discussed. PMID:15648693
Lisboa, C V; Mangia, R H; De Lima, N R C; Martins, A; Dietz, J; Baker, A J; Ramon-Miranda, C R; Ferreira, L F; Fernandes, O; Jansen, A M
While larger brains possess concertedly larger cerebral cortices and cerebella, the relative size of the cerebral cortex increases with brain size, but relative cerebellar size does not. In the absence of data on numbers of neurons in these structures, this discrepancy has been used to dispute the hypothesis that the cerebral cortex and cerebellum function and have evolved in concert and to support a trend towards neocorticalization in evolution. However, the rationale for interpreting changes in absolute and relative size of the cerebral cortex and cerebellum relies on the assumption that they reflect absolute and relative numbers of neurons in these structures across all species – an assumption that our recent studies have shown to be flawed. Here I show for the first time that the numbers of neurons in the cerebral cortex and cerebellum are directly correlated across 19 mammalian species of four different orders, including humans, and increase concertedly in a similar fashion both within and across the orders Eulipotyphla (Insectivora), Rodentia, Scandentia and Primata, such that on average a ratio of 3.6 neurons in the cerebellum to every neuron in the cerebral cortex is maintained across species. This coordinated scaling of cortical and cerebellar numbers of neurons provides direct evidence in favor of concerted function, scaling and evolution of these brain structures, and suggests that the common notion that equates cognitive advancement with neocortical expansion should be revisited to consider in its stead the coordinated scaling of neocortex and cerebellum as a functional ensemble.
New findings pertinent to the human lineage origin (Ardipithecus ramidus) prompt a new analysis of the extrapolation of the social behavior of our closest relatives, the great apes, into human ‘natural social behavior’. With the new findings it becomes clear that human ancestors had very divergent social arrangements from the ones we observe today in our closest genetic relatives. The social structure of chimpanzees and gorillas is characterized by male competition. Aggression and the instigation of fear are common place. The morphology of A. ramidus points in the direction of a social system characterized by female-choice instead of male-male competition. This system tends to be characterized by reduced aggression levels, leading to more stable arrangements. It is postulated here that the social stability with accompanying group cohesion propitiated by this setting is favorable to the investment in more complex behaviors, the development of innovative approaches to solve familiar problems, an increase in exploratory behavior, and eventually higher intelligence and the use of sophisticated tools and technology. The concentration of research efforts into the study of social animals with similar social systems (e.g., New World social monkeys (Callitrichidae), social canids (Canidae) and social rodents (Rodentia)) are likely to provide new insights into the understanding of what factors determined our evolution into an intelligent species capable of advanced technology.
de Sousa António, Marina Resendes; Schulze-Makuch, Dirk
The introduction of an exotic species usually modifies parasite-host dynamics by the import of new parasites or the exotic species' acquiral of local parasites. The loss of parasites may determine the outcome of an invasion if the introduced species is liberated from co-evolved parasites in its range of invasion. In addition, an introduced species may pose sanitary risks to humans and other mammals if it serves as a reservoir of pathogens or carries arthropod vectors. The red-bellied squirrel, Callosciurus erythraeus (Pallas) (Rodentia: Sciuridae), was introduced into Argentina in 1970, since when several foci of invasion have been closely associated with humans. Investigation of the parasitological fauna of C. erythraeus in Argentina will generate new information about novel parasite-host dynamics and may provide new insight into the reasons for the successful invasion of this species. The objective of this study was to describe the arthropod parasites of C. erythraeus in Argentina in comparison with previous studies of parasites of this species in its native habitat and in the ranges of its invasion. Occasional host-parasite associations with local arthropod parasites not previously described for C. erythraeus are reported; these include the mites Androlaelaps fahrenholzi (Ewing) (Mesostigmata: Laelapidae) and Ornithonyssus cf. bacoti (Mesostigmata: Macronyssidae), the flea Polygenis (Polygenis) rimatus Jordan (Siphonaptera: Rhopalopsyllidae) and the botfly Cuterebra Clark (Diptera: Oestridae: Cuterebrinae). Cheyletus sp. mites (Trombidiformes: Cheyletidae) were also found. The low prevalence and mean intensity of ectoparasite species may influence invasion dynamics. PMID:23252828
Gozzi, A C; Guichón, M L; Benitez, V V; Lareschi, M
This book examines case studies of North American Quaternary mammalian evolution within the larger domain of modern evolutionary theory. It presents previously unpublished studies of a variety of taxa (xenarthrans, rodents, carnivores, ungulates) examined over several temporal scales, from a few thousand years during the Holocene to millions of years of late Pliocene and Pleistocene time. Different organizational levels are represented, from mosaic population variation, to a synopsis of Quaternary evolution of an entire order (Rodentia). In addition to specific case histories, the book includes purely theoretical and methodological contributions, for example, on the statistical recognition of stasis in the fossil record, new ways to calculate evolutionary rates, and the use of digital image analysis in the study of dental ontogeny. Perhaps the most important aspect of the studies reported in this book is that they span the time between the "ecological moment" and "deep time". Modern taxa can be traced back into the fossil record, and variation among extant taxa can be used as a control against which variation in the extinct ones can be understood.
While exceptional for an intense diversification of lineages, the evolutionary history of the order Rodentia comprises only a limited number of morphological morphotypes for the mandible. This situation could partly explain the intense debates about the taxonomic position of the latest described member of this clade, the Laotian rock rat Laonastes aenigmamus (Diatomyidae). This discovery has re-launched the debate on the definition of the Hystricognathi suborder identified using the angle of the jaw relative to the plane of the incisors. Our study aims to end this ambiguity. For clarity, it became necessary to revisit the entire morphological diversity of the mandible in extant and extinct rodents. However, current and past rodent diversity brings out the limitations of the qualitative descriptive approach and highlights the need for a quantitative approach. Here, we present the first descriptive comparison of the masticatory apparatus within the Ctenohystrica clade, in combining classic comparative anatomy with morphometrical methods. First, we quantified the shape of the mandible in rodents using 3D landmarks. Then, the analysis of osteological features was compared to myological features in order to understand the biomechanical origin of this morphological diversity. Among the morphological variation observed, the mandible of Laonastes aenigmamus displays an intermediate association of features that could be considered neither as sciurognathous nor as hystricognathous.
A comparative study of seasonal-age dynamics of brain size in six small mammal species, Clethrionomys glareolus, C. rutilus, Microtus oeconomus, M. gregalis (Rodentia); Sorex araneus, S. minutis (Insectivora) has been carried out. The analysis of seasonal changes in brain weight confirms the existence of autumn-winter regression of brain weight, which takes place at the organism level. The regression is less pronounced in voles than in shrews. The decrease in brain weight both in voles and in shrews is accompanied by the decrease in height (capacity) of brain capsule of cranium. In spring the brain weight increase and reaches its maximal specific values in wintered voles in summer. In wintered shrews the brain weight never reaches the value, inherent in young animals before winter regression. The analysis of the data obtained and published data on variability of craniometric features allowed to conclude that seasonal changes in brain size, accompanied by the changes in capacity of cranium capsule might be considered as a general pattern for a large group of palearctic and nonarctic species of small mammals. PMID:2800709
Background The discovery of genetically distinct hantaviruses in shrews (Order Soricomorpha, Family Soricidae) from widely separated geographic regions challenges the hypothesis that rodents (Order Rodentia, Family Muridae and Cricetidae) are the primordial reservoir hosts of hantaviruses and also predicts that other soricomorphs harbor hantaviruses. Recently, novel hantavirus genomes have been detected in moles of the Family Talpidae, including the Japanese shrew mole (Urotrichus talpoides) and American shrew mole (Neurotrichus gibbsii). We present new insights into the evolutionary history of hantaviruses gained from a highly divergent hantavirus, designated Nova virus (NVAV), identified in the European common mole (Talpa europaea) captured in Hungary. Methodology/Principal Findings Pair-wise alignment and comparison of the full-length S- and L-genomic segments indicated moderately low sequence similarity of 54–65% and 46–63% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively, between NVAV and representative rodent- and soricid-borne hantaviruses. Despite the high degree of sequence divergence, the predicted secondary structure of the NVAV nucleocapsid protein exhibited the characteristic coiled-coil domains at the amino-terminal end, and the L-segment motifs, typically found in hantaviruses, were well conserved. Phylogenetic analyses, using maximum-likelihood and Bayesian methods, showed that NVAV formed a distinct clade that was evolutionarily distant from all other hantaviruses. Conclusions Newly identified hantaviruses harbored by shrews and moles support long-standing virus-host relationships and suggest that ancestral soricomorphs, rather than rodents, may have been the early or original mammalian hosts.
Kang, Hae Ji; Bennett, Shannon N.; Sumibcay, Laarni; Arai, Satoru; Hope, Andrew G.; Mocz, Gabor; Song, Jin-Won; Cook, Joseph A.; Yanagihara, Richard
Acid phosphatases (AcPs) are known to provide phosphate to tissues that have high energy requirements, especially during development, growth and maturation. During spermatogenesis AcP activity is manifested in heterophagous lysosomes of Sertoli cells. This phagocytic function appears to be hormone-independent. We examined the expression pattern of AcP during the reproductive period of four species belonging to different vertebrate groups: Tilapia rendalli (Teleostei, Cichlidae), Dendropsophus minutus (Amphibia, Anura), Meriones unguiculatus (Mammalia, Rodentia), and Oryctolagus cuniculus (Mammalia, Lagomorpha). To demonstrate AcP activity, cryosections were processed for enzyme histochemistry by a modification of the method of Gömöri. AcP activity was similar in the testes of these four species. Testes of T. rendalli, D. minutus and M. unguiculatus showed an intense reaction in the Sertoli cell region. AcP activity was detected in the testes of D. minutus and O. cuniculus in seminiferous epithelium regions, where cells are found in more advanced stages of development. The seminiferous epithelium of all four species exhibited AcP activity, mainly in the cytoplasm of either Sertoli cells or germ cells. These findings reinforce the importance of AcP activity during the spermatogenesis process in vertebrates. PMID:20391346
Peruquetti, R L; Taboga, S R; Azeredo-Oliveira, M T V
The terrestrial mammalian fauna of the North Japanese island, Hokkaido, is more similar to that of Southern Siberia than to the main island of Japan, Honshu. Three species of the genus Myodes (Muridae, Rodentia) are found on Hokkaido, but not on Honshu. While Myodes rufocanus and M. rutilus are widely distributed across Hokkaido as well as the Eurasian continent, M. rex, which is endemic to Hokkaido and its adjacent islands, shows a discontinuous distribution pattern. We analyzed the phylogeographic history of M. rex using the mitochondrial DNA control region in order to interpret their discontinuous distribution pattern. Phylogenetic relationships among 54 distinct haplotypes showed that M. rex can be divided into four clades that occur on the northern, central, and southern regions of the Hokkaido mainland and on Rishiri Island, respectively. The phylogroups in the northern and central regions were largely separated in space, although several areas of sympatry were found. The phylogroup in the southern region, which was clearly separated from other phylogroups, showed markedly low genetic variability. All analyzed individuals from the population on Rishiri belonged to a separate lineage. Across a range of divergence rate estimates, we dated the basal divergence of all phylogroups to the mid to late Pleistocene, with subsequent signals of population expansion within lineages. We conclude that current phylogeographic structure in M. rex likely reflects Pleistocene survival in several separate refugia in situ. Past glacial ages have thus played an important role in shaping the current distribution patterns of mammalian species on Hokkaido. PMID:23915157
Kawai, Kuniko; Hailer, Frank; de Guia, Anna Pauline; Ichikawa, Hideo; Saitoh, Takashi
D-amino acids were determined in brain, body fluids (urine, blood coagulate, serum, plasma) and faeces of animals belonging to nine out of 11 taxonomic orders of vertebrates (Artiodactyla, Aves, Carnivora, Lagomorpha, Marsupalia, Osteichthyes, Primates, Rodentia, Tubilidentata). Free amino acids were isolated by means of cation exchangers and converted into volatile N(O)-perfluoroacylamino acid propyl esters. Derivatives of amino acids were separated into D- and L-enantiomers using Chirasil-L-Val capillary columns and detected by selected ion monitoring mass spectrometry. Quantification of amino acids was achieved by comparison of analytes with amino acid standards using L-norleucine as internal standard. Large relative amounts of D-serine were determined in brains of mammals but not of birds. In body fluids the D-enantiomers of most proteinogenic L-amino acids were detected, largest absolute and relative amounts were found in urine. Therein quantities of D-Ala and D-Ser exceeded 50% relative to the L-enantiomers in many instances. Feeding animals with diet fortified with DL-Met resulted in excretion of almost racemic Met in urine. D-Amino acids were also abundant in faeces of rodents. The data confirm that d-amino acids are common in body fluids and certain tissues of vertebrates. PMID:16037932
Order Rodentia comprises a vast portion of mammalian species (1814 species), which occupy extremely diverse habitats requiring very distinct motor specializations (e.g. burrowing, hopping, climbing, flying and swimming). Although early classification of paw use ability suggests rodents are impoverished relative to primates and make little use of their paws, there have been no systematic investigations of paw use in rodents. The present study was undertaken to describe limb/paw movements in a variety of common rodents. The movements used for handling sunflower seeds and other foods were videorecorded and analyzed in the guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus), Syrian hamster (Mesocricetus auratus), laboratory mouse (Mus musculus), laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus), gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus), Richardson's ground squirrel (Spermophilus richardsonni), prairie dog (Cynomus parvidens), and Canadian beaver (Castor americanus). The results suggested five order-common movements of food handling: (1) locating food by sniffing, (2) grasping food by mouth, (3) sitting back on the haunches to eat, (4) grasping the food using an elbow-in movement, and (5) manipulate the food with the digits. Different species displayed species-typical specializations including (1) bilateral grasping with the paws (gerbil), (2) unilateral grasping with a paw (beaver), (3) unilateral holding (ground squirrels), (4) various grip and digit postures (all species), (5) unilateral object removal from the mouth (gerbil), (6) bilateral thumb holding (squirrels), and (7) simultaneous holding/manipulation of two objects (squirrels). Only the guinea pig did not handle food with its paws, suggesting its behavior is regressive. The existence of a core pattern of paw and digit use in rodents suggests that skilled limb and paw movements originate at least with the common ancestors of the rodent, and likely the common ancestor to rodent and primate lineages, while species-typical movements suggest specialization/regression of limb use has occurred in a number of mammalian orders. PMID:9821545
Proechimys (Rodentia: Echimyidae) is a neotropical rodent of the Amazon region that has been successfully colonized in the laboratory and used for experimental medicine. Preliminary studies indicated that Proechimys (casiragua) rodents express an atypical resistance to developing a chronic epileptic condition in common models of temporal lobe epilepsy. Moreover, previous investigation of our laboratory described a remarkably different Proechimy's cytoarchitecture organization of the hippocampal CA2 subfield. In the present study, we investigated the intrinsic neuronal properties and morphological characteristics of the Proechimys's hippocampal pyramidal neurons of the CA1 and CA2 areas. A comparative approach was performed using neurons recorded in Wistar rats. A striking finding in Proechimys rodents was the presence of large pyramidal-like neurons throughout the stratum oriens from CA2 to CA1 area. In order to confirm such distinctive feature of the Proechimys's hippocampus, we performed Nissl staining and immunohistochemistry for neurofilament protein SM311. CA2 pyramidal neurons in the stratum pyramidale of Proechimys exhibited a significantly higher input resistance and lower time constant when compared to corresponding cell groups in the same area of the Wistar rat's. This newly identified population of pyramidal-shaped neurons in stratum oriens of Proechimys exhibited distinct electrophysiological and morphological properties. This included larger capacitance, lower input resistance, larger rheobase, long latency to first action potential and slower firing frequency. In addition, the apical dendrites of these neurons were oriented in parallel to apical dendrites of regular pyramidal neurons in stratum pyramidale. Moreover, these neurons were immunoreactive to SM311 as the majority of the neurons of the pyramidal layer. The functional role of these hippocampal neurons of the rodent Proechimys deserves further investigation. PMID:21215795
Scorza, C A; Araujo, B H S; Leite, L A; Torres, L B; Otalora, L F P; Oliveira, M S; Garrido-Sanabria, E R; Cavalheiro, E A
To reduce the accelerating rate of phylogenetic diversity loss, many studies have searched for mechanisms that could explain why certain species are at risk, whereas others are not. In particular, it has been demonstrated that species might be affected by both extrinsic threat factors as well as intrinsic biological traits that could render a species more sensitive to extinction; here, we focus on extrinsic factors. Recently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature developed a new classification of threat types, including climate change, urbanization, pollution, agriculture and aquaculture, and harvesting/hunting. We have used this new classification to analyze two main factors that could explain the expected future loss of mammalian phylogenetic diversity: 1. differences in the type of threats that affect mammals and 2. differences in the number of major threats that accumulate for a single species. Our results showed that Cetartiodactyla, Diprotodontia, Monotremata, Perissodactyla, Primates, and Proboscidea could lose a high proportion of their current phylogenetic diversity in the coming decades. In contrast, Chiroptera, Didelphimorphia, and Rodentia could lose less phylogenetic diversity than expected if extinctions were random. Some mammalian clades, including Marsupiala, Chiroptera, and a subclade of Primates, are affected by particular threat types, most likely due solely to their geographic locations and associations with particular habitats. However, regardless of the geography, habitat, and taxon considered, it is not the threat type, but the threat diversity that determines the extinction risk for species and clades. Thus, some mammals might be randomly located in areas subjected to a large diversity of threats; they might also accumulate detrimental traits that render them sensitive to different threats, which is a characteristic that could be associated with large body size. Any action reducing threat diversity is expected to have a significant impact on future mammalian phylogeny. PMID:23029443
Blood smears of 1,353 free-ranging mammals (35 species) and 112 reptiles (31 species) from French Guiana were examined for hemoparasites. Parasites from 3 major groups were recorded: Apicomplexa (including hemogregarines, piroplasms, and Plasmodium spp.), Trypanosomatidae, and Filaroidea. Fifty percent of the individuals (86% of the species) were infected by parasites from at least 1 group. Hemogregarines, identified as Hepatozoon sp., infected numerous snakes with high prevalences (30-100%); infection is reported for the first time in 5 host genera of snakes: Clelia, Oxybelis, Pseustes, Rhinobotryum, and Bothriopsis. Infections were also observed in 4 marsupial species and 1 rodent. Hepatozoon spp. recorded in Didelphis albiventris (Marsupialia) and Coendou prehensilis (Rodentia) may be new species. Plasmodium sp. were observed in 2 snake species, Dipsas indica (Colubridae) and Bothrops atrox (Viperidae). Plasmodium brasilianum was recorded in all 5 primate species examined. Piroplasms were observed in all mammal orders except primates. Large terrestrial rodents were the main hosts of members of the Babesidae; 42% of Myoprocta acouchy, 36% of Dasyprocta agouti, and 44% of Agouti paca were infected. Trypanosomes were common in mammals and were recorded in 70% of the examined genera. Trypanosoma cruzi-like infections were reported in 21 mammal species, including sloths, rodents, carnivores, and primates. Microfilariae were also widespread, with higher prevalences in sloths, anteaters, and porcupines (>40% of the individuals infected) and in tamarins (95% infected). This survey highlights some potential anthropozoonotic risks due to the recent further evidence of Plasmodium brasilianum and P. malariae as a single species and to the increased diversity of hosts for Trypanosoma cruzi. PMID:11128476
Rodentia is the most diverse order among mammals, with more than 2,000 species currently described. Most of the time, species assignation is so difficult based on morphological data solely that identifying rodents at the specific level corresponds to a real challenge. In this study, we compared the applicability of 100 bp mini-barcodes from cytochrome b and cytochrome c oxidase 1 genes to enable rodent species identification. Based on GenBank sequence datasets of 115 rodent species, a 136 bp fragment of cytochrome b was selected as the most discriminatory mini-barcode, and rodent universal primers surrounding this fragment were designed. The efficacy of this new molecular tool was assessed on 946 samples including rodent tissues, feces, museum samples and feces/pellets from predators known to ingest rodents. Utilizing next-generation sequencing technologies able to sequence mixes of DNA, 1,140 amplicons were tagged, multiplexed and sequenced together in one single 454 GS-FLX run. Our method was initially validated on a reference sample set including 265 clearly identified rodent tissues, corresponding to 103 different species. Following validation, 85.6% of 555 rodent samples from Europe, Asia and Africa whose species identity was unknown were able to be identified using the BLASTN program and GenBank reference sequences. In addition, our method proved effective even on degraded rodent DNA samples: 91.8% and 75.9% of samples from feces and museum specimens respectively were correctly identified. Finally, we succeeded in determining the diet of 66.7% of the investigated carnivores from their feces and 81.8% of owls from their pellets. Non-rodent species were also identified, suggesting that our method is sensitive enough to investigate complete predator diets. This study demonstrates how this molecular identification method combined with high-throughput sequencing can open new realms of possibilities in achieving fast, accurate and inexpensive species identification. PMID:23144869
Despite the considerable attention devoted to the biology of social species of African mole-rats (Bathyergidae, Rodentia), knowledge is lacking about their behaviour under natural conditions. We studied activity of the largest social bathyergid, the giant mole-rat Fukomys mechowii, in its natural habitat in Zambia using radio-telemetry. We radio-tracked six individuals during three continuous 72-h sessions. Five of these individuals, including a breeding male, belonged to a single family group; the remaining female was probably a solitary disperser. The non-breeders of the family were active (i.e. outside the nest) 5.8 hours per 24h-day with the activity split into 6.5 short bouts. The activity was more concentrated in the night hours, when the animals also travelled longer distances from the nest. The breeding male spent only 3.2 hours per day outside the nest, utilizing less than 20% of the whole family home range. The dispersing female displayed a much different activity pattern than the family members. Her 8.0 hours of outside-nest activity per day were split into 4.6 bouts which were twice as long as in the family non-breeders. Her activity peak in the late afternoon coincided with the temperature maximum in the depth of 10 cm (roughly the depth of the foraging tunnels). Our results suggest that the breeding individuals (at least males) contribute very little to the work of the family group. Nevertheless, the amount of an individual's activity and its daily pattern are probably flexible in this species and can be modified in response to actual environmental and social conditions. PMID:23383166
Background Matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (MEPE) belongs to a family of small integrin-binding ligand N-linked glycoproteins (SIBLINGs) that play a key role in skeleton development, particularly in mineralization, phosphate regulation and osteogenesis. MEPE associated disorders cause various physiological effects, such as loss of bone mass, tumors and disruption of renal function (hypophosphatemia). The study of this developmental gene from an evolutionary perspective could provide valuable insights on the adaptive diversification of morphological phenotypes in vertebrates. Results Here we studied the adaptive evolution of the MEPE gene in 26 Eutherian mammals and three birds. The comparative genomic analyses revealed a high degree of evolutionary conservation of some coding and non-coding regions of the MEPE gene across mammals indicating a possible regulatory or functional role likely related with mineralization and/or phosphate regulation. However, the majority of the coding region had a fast evolutionary rate, particularly within the largest exon (1467 bp). Rodentia and Scandentia had distinct substitution rates with an increased accumulation of both synonymous and non-synonymous mutations compared with other mammalian lineages. Characteristics of the gene (e.g. biochemical, evolutionary rate, and intronic conservation) differed greatly among lineages of the eight mammalian orders. We identified 20 sites with significant positive selection signatures (codon and protein level) outside the main regulatory motifs (dentonin and ASARM) suggestive of an adaptive role. Conversely, we find three sites under selection in the signal peptide and one in the ASARM motif that were supported by at least one selection model. The MEPE protein tends to accumulate amino acids promoting disorder and potential phosphorylation targets. Conclusion MEPE shows a high number of selection signatures, revealing the crucial role of positive selection in the evolution of this SIBLING member. The selection signatures were found mainly outside the functional motifs, reinforcing the idea that other regions outside the dentonin and the ASARM might be crucial for the function of the protein and future studies should be undertaken to understand its importance.
This paper reports on ectoparasitic chigger mites found on small mammals in Yunnan Province, southwest China. Data were accumulated from 19 investigation sites (counties) between 2001 and 2009. A total of 10 222 small mammal hosts were captured and identified; these represented 62 species, 34 genera and 11 families in five orders. From the body surfaces of these 10 222 hosts, a total of 92 990 chigger mites were collected and identified microscopically. These represented 224 species, 22 genera and three subfamilies in the family Trombiculidae (Trombidiformes). Small mammals were commonly found to be infested by chigger mites and most host species harboured several species of mite. The species diversity of chigger mites in Yunnan was much higher than diversities reported previously in other provinces of China and in other countries. A single species of rodent, Eothenomys miletus (Rodentia: Cricetidae), carried 111 species of chigger mite, thus demonstrating the highest species diversity and heaviest mite infestation of all recorded hosts. This diversity is exceptional compared with that of other ectoparasites. Of the total 224 mite species, 21 species accounted for 82.2% of all mites counted. Two species acting as major vectors for scrub typhus (tsutsugamushi disease), Leptotrombidium scutellare and Leptotrombidium deliense, were identified as the dominant mite species in this sample. In addition to these two major vectors, 12 potential or suspected vector species were found. Most species of chigger mite had a wide range of hosts and low host specificity. For example, L. scutellare parasitized 30 species of host. The low host specificity of chigger mites may increase their probability of encountering humans, as well as their transmission of scrub typhus among different hosts. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed that similarities between different chigger mite communities on the 18 main species of small mammal host did not accord with the taxonomic affinity of the hosts. This suggests that the distribution of chigger mites may be strongly influenced by the environment in which hosts live. PMID:23167491
We examined the relationship among seasonal characteristics of climate, food, and population demography (social structure) and fecal corticosterone (CORT) concentrations over 6 yr in adult males of an arid-adapted species, the great gerbil (Rhombomys opimus Licht., Gerbillidae, Rodentia), as a measure of chronic stress in high, low, and recovering population densities. Results showed yearly differences in the seasonal means of CORT, with the highest concentrations in the year of the highest population density. Analysis of year-specific relationships revealed a positive correlation between mean CORT and total precipitation in January and February and a negative correlation with precipitation in March. In the beginning of spring, when gerbils were in maximum reproductive effort, CORT correlated positively with the saturation of burrow systems and with the number of adult females with an adult male. A linear stepwise regression of CORT in individual males in spring seasons of all 6 yr combined after removal of year effects revealed that CORT depended positively on the number of females associated with a single male but negatively on the abundance of annual herbs. Disappearance of adult males was not related to CORT in most cases. We found no correlation between overall mortality from season to season and mean CORT in either spring (March-May) or fall. In fact, we found a highly negative correlation between mean CORT and the proportion of disappeared males at the beginning of spring. Only at the high population density when cases of probable catastrophic mortality of all adults in the group were excluded was CORT of individual males related positively to their disappearance during the summer drought. Our results suggest that desert rodents with irregular population fluctuations are more sensitive to suppression by external factors than by density-dependent mortality mediated by stress. The favorable feeding and climatic conditions may have compensated for density-dependent increases of CORT and the negative effects it might have had on survival. PMID:18781838
Rogovin, Konstantin A; Randall, Jan A; Kolosova, Irina E; Moshkin, Mikhail P
In Iran, Phlebotomus papatasi (Scopoli) (Diptera: Psychodidae) is the main vector of Leishmania major Yakimoff & Schokhor (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae), the causative agent of rural zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis. This sandfly is abundant both in villages and in the burrows of the main reservoir host, the gerbil Rhombomys opimus (Licht.) (Rodentia: Gerbillidae). Populations of P. papatasi were sampled from the edges of villages in Isfahan province, using CDC miniature light traps in peridomestic sites and sticky papers placed at the entrances to gerbil burrows. Single peridomestic sites in two northern provinces were also sampled. Individual sandflies were characterized by PCR amplification and sequencing of fragments of their mitochondrial cytochrome b gene and of the wsp gene of endosymbiotic Wolbachia pipientis Hertig (alpha-Proteobacteria: Rickettsiaceae). The distributions of the haplotypes of these two maternally inherited genes were analysed to assess the population differentiation of P. papatasi, knowledge of which will be needed for planning control measures. For the first time these markers were used to characterize P. papatasi from gerbil burrows, and they indicated the absence not only of sympatric cryptic species but also of any long-term differentiation of lineages in different habitats. A single lineage of cytochrome b haplotypes was found, and both sexes in all populations had a high infection rate of the same A-group strain of Wolbachia (wPap). The distributions of cytochrome b haplotypes were consistent with females dispersing more than males, which has been reported for P. papatasi in other countries. The widespread distribution of wPap suggests that Wolbachia could be used to spread transgenes between populations of P. papatasi in different habitats. PMID:14651648
DNA transposons make up 3% of the human genome, approximately the same percentage as genes. However, because of their inactivity, they are often ignored in favor of the more abundant, active, retroelements. Despite this relative ignominy, there are a number of interesting questions to be asked of these transposon families. One particular question relates to the timing of proliferation and inactivation of elements in a family. Does an ongoing process of turnover occur, or is the process more akin to a life cycle for the family, with elements proliferating rapidly before deactivation at a later date? We answer this question by tracing back to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of each modern transposon family, using two different methods. The first method identifies the MRCA of the species in which a family of transposon fossils can still be found, which we assume will have existed soon after the true origin date of the transposon family. The second method uses molecular dating techniques to predict the age of the MRCA element from which all elements found in a modern genome are descended. Independent data from five pairs of species are used in the molecular dating analysis: human-chimpanzee, human-orangutan, dog-panda, dog-cat, and cow-pig. Orthologous pairs of elements from host species pairs are included, and the divergence dates of these species are used to constrain the analysis. We discover that, in general, the times to element common ancestry for a given family are the same for the different species pairs, suggesting that there has been no order-specific process of turnover. Furthermore, for most families, the ages of the common ancestor of the host species and of that of the elements are similar, suggesting a life cycle model for the proliferation of transposons. Where these two ages differ, in families found only in Primates and Rodentia, for example, we find that the host species date is later than that of the common ancestor of the elements, implying that there may be large deletions of elements from host species, examples of which were found in their ancestors. PMID:22923465
The cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene is highly conserved within vertebrate species. Its pattern of expression in vivo seems to be tightly regulated both developmentally and in a tissue-specific manner, but shows differences with species. To identify transcriptional regulatory elements in the CFTR promoter region, we have used a combined approach based both on the analysis of the chromatin structure in vivo in rat tissues and on evolutionary clues (i.e. phylogenetic footprinting). In CFTR-expressing tissues, 15 DNase I-hypersensitive sites were identified within a 36 kb region encompassing exon 1. Eleven of them are clustered in a 3.5 kb region that exhibits eleven phylogenetic footprints observed when comparing sequences from eight mammalian species representing four orders (Primates, Artiodactylia, Lagomorpha and Rodentia). Comparison of the two sets of data allows the identification of two types of regulatory elements. Some are conserved between species, such as a non-consensus cAMP response element (CRE) and a PMA-responsive element (TRE) located respectively at positions -0.1 and -1.3 kb relative to ATG. Some are species-specific elements such as a 300 bp purine.pyrimidine (Pu.Py) stretch that is present only in rodents. Analysis of protein/DNA interactions in vitro with rat tissue protein extracts on the conserved elements revealed that the TRE site binds a specific heterodimeric complex composed of Fra-2, Jun D and a protein immunologically related to Jun/CRE-binding protein in the duodenum, whereas the CRE-like site binds ATF-1 ubiquitously. Functional analysis in Caco-2 cells showed that the CRE-like site supports a high basal transcriptional activity but is not able by itself to induce a response to cAMP, whereas the TRE site acts as a weak transactivator stimulated by PMA. Lastly, we found that the rodent-specific Pu.Py stretch confers nuclease S1 hypersensitivity under conditions of acidic pH and supercoiling. This indicates a non-B DNA conformation and thus reinforces the biological significance of non-random Pu.Py strand asymmetry in the regulation of transcription. Thus the tight transcriptional regulation of CFTR expression involves the combination of multiple regulatory elements that act in the chromatin environment in vivo. Some of them are conserved throughout evolution, such as the CRE-like element, which is clearly involved in the basal level of transcription; others are species-specific.
Subterranean mammals like the blind mole-rat (Rodentia: Spalax ehrenbergi) are functionally blind and possess poor auditory sensitivity, limited to low-frequency sounds. Nevertheless, the mole-rat demonstrates extremely efficient ability to orient spatially. A previous field study has revealed that the mole-rat can assess the location, size and density of an underground obstacle, and accordingly excavates the most efficient bypass tunnel to detour around the obstacles. In the present study we used a multidisciplinary approach to examine the possibility that the mole-rat estimates the location and physical properties of underground obstacles using reflected self-generated seismic waves (seismic 'echolocation'). Our field observations revealed that all the monitored mole-rats produced low-frequency seismic waves (250-300 Hz) at intervals of 8+/-5 s (range: 1-13 s) between head drums while digging a bypass to detour an obstacle. Using a computerized simulation model we demonstrated that it is possible for the mole-rat to determine its distance from an obstacle boundary (open ditch or stone) by evaluating the amplitude (intensity) of the seismic wave reflected back to it from the obstacle interface. By evaluating the polarity of the reflected wave the mole-rat could distinguish between air space and solid obstacles. Further, the model showed that the diffracted waves from the obstacle's corners could give the mole-rat precise information on the obstacle size and its relative spatial position. In a behavioural experiment using a special T-maze setup, we tested whether the mole-rat can perceive seismic waves through the somatosensory system and localize the source. The results revealed that the mole-rat is able to detect low frequency seismic waves using only its paws, and in most cases the mole-rats determined accurately the direction of the vibratory source. In a histological examination of the glabrous skin of the mole-rat's paws we identified lamellate corpuscle mechanoreceptors that might be used to detect low frequency seismic waves. The combined findings from these different approaches lead us to suggest that a specialized seismic 'echolocation' system could be used by subterranean mammals to determine the most energy-conserving strategy with which to bypass an obstacle, as well as to estimate their distance from the surface, keeping their tunnels at the optimal depth. PMID:15695757
Mima mounds are nearly circular soil mounds, found in grassland landscapes. In California, Mima mounds are often associated with vernal pools, seasonal wetlands that harbor rare and endemic plants and animals. The processes that form and maintain the mound-pool complexes have not yet been conclusively identified, even though such information is necessary to understand the effects that land use and climate change may have on the resilience and longevity of these landscapes. One hypothesis for the origin and persistence of Mima mound- vernal pool systems (termed the Fossorial Rodent Hypothesis) proposes that burrowing organisms such as pocket gophers (Rodentia: Geomyidae) maintain and possibly create the mounds by preferentially translocating soils towards mound centers as an adaptive response to high water tables. In order to investigate this hypothesis, the topographic characteristics and aboveground gopher activity of one of the largest remaining Mima mound-vernal pool systems in California were studied. Detailed topographic information for the mound-pool systems was obtained via an airborne-based LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) survey of a 25km2 region near Merced, CA. An object-oriented classification scheme, which combined different scale, shape, and spectral parameters, was employed in order to characterize the mounds. Based on the initial classification results, roughly 275,000 mounds were identified, indicating a mound density of 11,000km-2. Within the larger study area, gopher sediment transport was monitored on a 3507m2 site by conducting periodic surveys of sediment mounds created by gopher activity using a Global Positioning System and mass measurements. Downslope erosion rates (off Mima mounds) were estimated using a mass balance model which incorporates a diffusive sediment transport law. The median calculated net downslope erosion rate was 15 cm of soil per 1000 years, while the measured rate of aboveground gopher sediment movement was approximately 57cm of soil per 1000 years. Assuming that some portion of the gopher sediment movement is in an upslope direction, these results suggest that gopher soil transport may be large enough to compensate for erosion, and this activity may play a dominant role in maintaining Mima mound-vernal pool systems. The results of this study were used to guide the development of a quantitative model of gopher-driven sediment transport on Mima mound-vernal pool landscapes. This model will be used to infer the origin of the landscapes and the rates of processes critical to their continued functioning and will also help to determine, quantitatively, the role of burrowing animals as a "keystone" species on these landscapes.
Background Mitochondrial and nuclear genes have generally been employed for different purposes in molecular systematics, the former to resolve relationships within recently evolved groups and the latter to investigate phylogenies at a deeper level. In the case of rapid and recent evolutionary radiations, mitochondrial genes like cytochrome b (CYB) are often inefficient for resolving phylogenetic relationships. One of the best examples is illustrated by Arvicolinae rodents (Rodentia; Muridae), the most impressive mammalian radiation of the Northern Hemisphere which produced voles, lemmings and muskrats. Here, we compare the relative contribution of a nuclear marker – the exon 10 of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene – to the one of the mitochondrial CYB for inferring phylogenetic relationships among the major lineages of arvicoline rodents. Results The analysis of GHR sequences improves the overall resolution of the Arvicolinae phylogeny. Our results show that the Caucasian long-clawed vole (Prometheomys schaposnikowi) is one of the basalmost arvicolines, and confirm that true lemmings (Lemmus) and collared lemmings (Dicrostonyx) are not closely related as suggested by morphology. Red-backed voles (Myodini) are found as the sister-group of a clade encompassing water vole (Arvicola), snow vole (Chionomys), and meadow voles (Microtus and allies). Within the latter, no support is recovered for the generic recognition of Blanfordimys, Lasiopodomys, Neodon, and Phaiomys as suggested by morphology. Comparisons of parameter estimates for branch lengths, base composition, among sites rate heterogeneity, and GTR relative substitution rates indicate that CYB sequences consistently exhibit more heterogeneity among codon positions than GHR. By analyzing the contribution of each codon position to node resolution, we show that the apparent higher efficiency of GHR is due to their third positions. Although we focus on speciation events spanning the last 10 million years (Myr), CYB sequences display highly saturated codon positions contrary to the nuclear exon. Lastly, variable length bootstrap predicts a significant increase in resolution of arvicoline phylogeny through the sequencing of nuclear data in an order of magnitude three to five times greater than the size of GHR exon 10. Conclusion Our survey provides a first resolved gene tree for Arvicolinae. The comparison of CYB and GHR phylogenetic efficiency supports recent assertions that nuclear genes are useful for resolving relationships of recently evolved animals. The superiority of nuclear exons may reside both in (i) less heterogeneity among sites, and (ii) the presence of highly informative sites in third codon positions, that evolve rapidly enough to accumulate synapomorphies, but slow enough to avoid substitutional saturation.