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Sample records for achatina fulica ferussac

  1. [NADPH-diaphorase activity in digestive system of gastropod molluscs Achatina fulica and Littorina littorea].

    PubMed

    Zaĭtseva, O V; Kuznetsova, T V; Markosova, T G

    2009-01-01

    Localization and peculiarities of NO-ergic elements were studied for he first time throughout the entire length of digestive tract of the marine gastropod mollusc Achatina fulica (Prosobranchia) and the terrestrial molusc Littorina littorea (Pulmonata) by using histochemical method of detection of NADPH-diaphorase (NADPHd). NO-ergic cells and fibers were revealed in all parts of the mollusc digestive tract beginning from pharynx. An intensive NADPHd activity was found in many intraepithelial cells of the open type and in their processes in intra- and subepithelial nerve plexuses, single subepithelial neurons, granular connective tissue cells, and numerous nerve fibers among muscle elements of he digestive tract wall as well as in nerves innervating the tract. NADPHd was also present in receptor cells of he oral area and in the central A. fulica ganglia participating in innervation of the digestive tract. The digestive tract NO-ergic system ofA. fulica has a more complex organization that that of L. littorea. In the A. fulica pharynx, stomach, and midgut, directly beneath epithelium, there is revealed a complex system of glomerular structures formed by thin NADPHd-positive nerve fibers coming from the side of epithelium. More superficially under the main groups of muscle elements, small agglomerations of NADPHd-positive neurons are seen, which could be considered as primitive, non-formed microganglia. Peculiarities of distribution and a possible functional role of NO-ergic elements in the digestive tract of molluscs are discussed as compared with other invertebrate and vertebrate animals.

  2. Natural infection of the feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in the invasive snail Achatina fulica from Argentina.

    PubMed

    Valente, Romina; Diaz, Julia Ines; Salomón, Oscar Daniel; Navone, Graciela Teresa

    2017-02-15

    The giant African snail Achatina fulica is an invasive mollusk native to Africa, the first record in Argentina was in Puerto Iguazú, in northeastern Argentina in 2010. Recently it was reported in Corrientes Province. This snail can act as an intermediate host of Metastrongyloidea nematodes of importance in public health as: Angiostrongylus cantonensis, Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus vasorum. Taking into account the presence of A. fulica in Argentina, the objectives of this study is to assess the presence of Metastrongyloidea nematodes in this mollusk species in Puerto Iguazú, Misiones, close to the international border with Brazil and Paraguay. A total of 451 samples were collected from February 2014 to November 2015. The snails were processed using a digestion technique to recover the parasites. A total of 206 nematodes larvae were founded in the digestion solution of 10 hosts (P=2%; MA=0.5; MI=21). Third larval stage (L3) nematodes identified as Aelurostrongylus abstrusus were founded parasitizing the snails. No other larval stage was observed. This species has veterinary importance because it causes 'aelurostrongilosis', also known as feline strongyloidosis. This study constitutes the first record of a Metastrongyloidea nematode in A. fulica in Argentina and also highlights the susceptibility of this mollusk as intermediate host of other helminthes of health importance. The present study suggests that there is a need to establish an epidemiological monitoring system in order to prevent the possible installation of an infected mollusks focus.

  3. A novel cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptide from the mucus of the snail of Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Jian; Wang, Wenhong; Yang, Xiaomei; Yan, Xiuwen; Liu, Rui

    2013-01-01

    Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are important components of the innate immunity. Many antimicrobial peptides have been found from marine mollusks. Little information about AMPs of mollusks living on land is available. A novel cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptide (mytimacin-AF) belonging to the peptide family of mytimacins was purified and characterized from the mucus of the snail of Achatina fulica. Its cDNA was also cloned from the cDNA library. Mytimacin-AF is composed of 80 amino acid residues including 10 cysteines. Mytimacin-AF showed potent antimicrobial activity against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria and the fungus Candida albicans. Among tested microorganisms, it exerted strongest antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus with a minimal peptide concentration (MIC) of 1.9 μg/ml. Mytimacin-AF had little hemolytic activity against human blood red cells. The current work confirmed the presence of mytimacin-like antimicrobial peptide in land-living mollusks.

  4. Assessment of toxic effects of triclosan on the terrestrial snail (Achatina fulica).

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaonan; Liu, Zhengtao; Wang, Wanhua; Yan, Zhenguang; Zhang, Cong; Wang, Weili; Chen, Lihong

    2014-08-01

    Triclosan (TCS) is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent used in personal care products, and as a result, is widespread in the environment. Toxicity tests of TCS on aquatic organisms have been reported, but limited toxicity data on terrestrial species are available. In this study, the 28-d chronic toxicity of TCS on the biomass, shell diameter growth, and total food intake of the terrestrial snail Achatina fulica were tested. Moreover, biochemical responses, including changes in the activity of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD), and the content of malondialdehyde (MDA), were examined after 14-d and 28-d exposure. Results showed that TCS had toxic effects on the biomass, shell diameter growth, and total food intake of A. fulica with no observed effect concentration (NOEC) values of 24 mg kg(-1). As for the antioxidant enzymes, TCS caused significant oxidative stress even at the low concentration of 24 mg kg(-1). The CAT and POD activities at the high concentrations of 200 and 340 mg kg(-1), respectively, were significantly inhibited. The SOD and CAT activity in treatments below 118 mg kg(-1) and the MDA content in all treatments showed dose-effect relationships. This study demonstrated that TCS caused adverse effects on terrestrial invertebrates, and provided valuable information for the risk assessment imposed by TCS in the terrestrial environment.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Development of ten microsatellite loci in the invasive giant African land snail, Achatina (=Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morrison, Cheryl L.; Springmann, Marcus J.; Iwanowicz, Deborah D.; Wade, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    A suite of tetra-nucleotide microsatellite loci were developed for the invasive giant African land snail, Achatina (=Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822, from Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing data. Ten of the 96 primer sets tested amplified consistently in 30 snails from Miami, Florida, plus 12 individuals representative of their native East Africa, Indian and Pacific Ocean regions. The loci displayed moderate levels of allelic diversity (average 5.6 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 42 %). Levels of genetic diversity were sufficient to produce unique multi-locus genotypes and detect phylogeographic structuring among regional samples. The invasive A. fulica can cause extensive damage to important food crops and natural resources, including native flora and fauna. The loci characterized here will be useful for determining the origins and tracking the spread of invasions, detecting fine-scale spatial structuring and estimating demographic parameters.

  7. Differential bioaccumulation patterns of nanosized and dissolved silver in a land snail Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuanzhen; Si, Youbin; Zhou, Dongmei; Dang, Fei

    2017-03-01

    With the increasing application in antimicrobial products, silver nanoparticles (AgNP) are inevitably released into the terrestrial environment, and pose potential risks to invertebrates such as land snails Achatina fulica, which take up AgNP from food and water. Here we differentiate Ag uptake biodynamic between Ag forms (i.e., PVP-AgNP vs. AgNO3) and between exposure pathways. Snails assimilated Ag efficiently from lettuce leaves pre-exposed to AgNP, with assimilation efficiencies (AEs) averaging 62-85% and food ingestion rates of 0.11 ± 0.03 g g(-1) d(-1). Dietary Ag bioavailability was independent on Ag forms, as revealed by comparable AEs between AgNP and AgNO3. However, the uptake rate constant from water was much lower for AgNP relative to AgNO3 (2 × 10(-4) vs. 0.12 L g(-1) d(-1)). The elimination rate constants were 0.0093 ± 0.0037 d(-1) for AgNP and 0.019 ± 0.0077 d(-1) for AgNO3. Biodynamic modeling further showed that dietary exposure was the dominant uptake pathway for AgNP in most circumstances, while for AgNO3 the relative importance of waterborne and dietary exposure depended on Ag concentrations in food and water. Our findings highlight the importance of dietary uptake of AgNP during bioaccumulation, which should be considered in the risk assessment of these nanoparticles.

  8. Internal distribution of Cd in lettuce and resulting effects on Cd trophic transfer to the snail: Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Li, Cheng-Cheng; Dang, Fei; Cang, Long; Zhou, Dong-Mei; Peijnenburg, Willie J G M

    2015-09-01

    The mechanisms underlying Cd trophic transfer along the soil-lettuce-snail food chain were investigated. The fate of Cd within cells, revealed by assessment of Cd chemical forms and of subcellular partitioning, differed between the two examined lettuce species that we examined (L. longifolia and L. crispa). The species-specific internal Cd fate not only influenced Cd burdens in lettuce, with higher Cd levels in L. crispa, but also affected Cd transfer efficiency to the consumer snail (Achatina fulica). Especially, the incorporation of Cd chemical forms (Cd in the inorganic, water-soluble and pectates and protein-integrated forms) in lettuce could best explain Cd trophic transfer, when compared to dietary Cd levels alone and/or subcellular Cd partitioning. Trophically available metal on the subcellular partitioning base failed to shed light on Cd transfer in this study. After 28-d of exposure, most Cd was trapped in the viscera of Achatina fulica, and cadmium bio-magnification was noted in the snails, as the transfer factor of lettuce-to-snail soft tissue was larger than one. This study provides a first step to apply a chemical speciation approach to dictate the trophic bioavailability of Cd through the soil-plant-snail system, which might be an important pre-requisite for mechanistic understanding of metal trophic transfer.

  9. Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the vector snails Pomacea canaliculata and Achatina fulica in China: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Song, Langui; Wang, Xiaowen; Yang, Zi; Lv, Zhiyue; Wu, Zhongdao

    2016-03-01

    Angiostrongyliasis is a food-borne parasitic disease induced by the nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis, and has been recognized as the main cause leading to human eosinophilic meningitis. Humans usually acquire infection by digestion of infected Pomacea canaliculata and Achatina fulica, the most predominant intermediate hosts found in China. This meta-analysis was aimed to assess the prevalence of A. cantonensis infection among these two snails in China in the past 10 years. Data were systematically collected in electronic databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, CNKI, SinoMed, VIP, CSCD, and Wanfang from 2005 to 2015. Thirty-eight studies with a total of 41,299 P. canaliculata and 21,138 Ac. fulica were included in the present study. The overall infection rate of A. cantonensis in China was estimated to be 7.6 % (95 % confidential interval (CI) = 0.063 to 0.090) in P. canaliculata and 21.5 % in Ac. fulica (95 % CI = 0.184 to 0.245), respectively. No significant difference was observed in prevalence rates among publication year and sample size for both snails. Also, it was found that the prevalence in Ac. fulica is significantly higher than that in P. canaliculata (odds ratio (OR) = 3.946, 95 % CI = 3.070 to 5.073). The present study reveals that snail infection with A. cantonensis is clearly prevalent in China. Further studies are required to improve strategies for control of infections of snails, particularly those of Ac. fulica, and to detect further factors and conditions such as geographic region, temperatures, and diagnosis method.

  10. Isolation of aerobic cultivable cellulolytic bacteria from different regions of the gastrointestinal tract of giant land snail Achatina fulica.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Guilherme L; Correa, Raquel F; Cunha, Raquel S; Cardoso, Alexander M; Chaia, Catia; Clementino, Maysa M; Garcia, Eloi S; de Souza, Wanderley; Frasés, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose by cellulases is one of the major limiting steps in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to yield bioethanol. To overcome this hindrance, significant efforts are underway to identify novel cellulases. The snail Achatina fulica is a gastropod with high cellulolytic activity, mainly due to the abundance of glycoside hydrolases produced by both the animal and its resident microbiota. In this study, we partially assessed the cellulolytic aerobic bacterial diversity inside the gastrointestinal tract of A. fulica by culture-dependent methods and evaluated the hydrolytic repertoire of the isolates. Forty bacterial isolates were recovered from distinct segments of the snail gut and identified to the genus level by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Additional phenotypic characterization was performed using biochemical tests provided by the Vitek2 identification system. The overall enzymatic repertoire of the isolated strains was investigated by enzymatic plate assays, containing the following substrates: powdered sugarcane bagasse, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (pNPG), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside (pNPC), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (MUG), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-cellobioside (MUC), and 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-xylopyranoside (MUX). Our results indicate that the snail A. fulica is an attractive source of cultivable bacteria that showed to be valuable resources for the production of different types of biomass-degrading enzymes.

  11. Isolation of aerobic cultivable cellulolytic bacteria from different regions of the gastrointestinal tract of giant land snail Achatina fulica

    PubMed Central

    Pinheiro, Guilherme L.; Correa, Raquel F.; Cunha, Raquel S.; Cardoso, Alexander M.; Chaia, Catia; Clementino, Maysa M.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Frasés, Susana

    2015-01-01

    The enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulose by cellulases is one of the major limiting steps in the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass to yield bioethanol. To overcome this hindrance, significant efforts are underway to identify novel cellulases. The snail Achatina fulica is a gastropod with high cellulolytic activity, mainly due to the abundance of glycoside hydrolases produced by both the animal and its resident microbiota. In this study, we partially assessed the cellulolytic aerobic bacterial diversity inside the gastrointestinal tract of A. fulica by culture-dependent methods and evaluated the hydrolytic repertoire of the isolates. Forty bacterial isolates were recovered from distinct segments of the snail gut and identified to the genus level by 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Additional phenotypic characterization was performed using biochemical tests provided by the Vitek2 identification system. The overall enzymatic repertoire of the isolated strains was investigated by enzymatic plate assays, containing the following substrates: powdered sugarcane bagasse, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (pNPG), p-nitrophenyl-β-D-cellobioside (pNPC), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-glucopyranoside (MUG), 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-cellobioside (MUC), and 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-D-xylopyranoside (MUX). Our results indicate that the snail A. fulica is an attractive source of cultivable bacteria that showed to be valuable resources for the production of different types of biomass-degrading enzymes. PMID:26347735

  12. Rapid upregulation of heart antioxidant enzymes during arousal from estivation in the Giant African snail (Achatina fulica).

    PubMed

    Salway, Kurtis D; Tattersall, Glenn J; Stuart, Jeffrey A

    2010-11-01

    Estivation is an adaptive response to environments characterized by elevated temperatures and desiccative stress, as may occur during summer dry seasons. Similar to diapause and hibernation, it is characterized by low levels of activity, a drastically suppressed metabolic rate and enhanced stress resistance. We tested the hypothesis that Achatina fulica, a pulmonate land snail, enhances stress resistance during estivation and/or arousal by upregulating intracellular antioxidant defenses in the heart, kidney, hepatopancreas and foot tissues. No statistically significant changes in mitochondrial or cytosolic superoxide dismutase levels or activities, or glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase or catalase activities were associated with estivation in any tissue, however. In contrast, during arousal from estivation, activities of several antioxidant enzymes increased in heart, hepatopancreas and foot. In heart, a rapid increase in MnSOD protein levels was observed that peaked at 2h post arousal, but no such change was observed in CuZnSOD protein levels. Glutathione peroxidase activity was upregulated at 1h post arousal and remained elevated until 8h post arousal in heart tissue. Glutathione peroxidase was also upregulated at 24h post arousal in foot tissue. Glutathione reductase activity was upregulated at 4h post arousal in heart and foot tissues whereas catalase activity showed no changes. Markers of lipid peroxidation and protein damage revealed no significant increases during estivation or arousal. Therefore, antioxidant enzymes may play a role in oxidative stress defense specifically during arousal from estivation in A. fulica.

  13. Biochemical profile of Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Gastropoda) after infection by different parasitic loads of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda, Metastrongylidae).

    PubMed

    Tunholi-Alves, Vinícius Menezes; Tunholi, Victor Menezes; Amaral, Ludimila Santos; Mota, Esther Maria; Maldonado Júnior, Arnaldo; Pinheiro, Jairo; Garcia, Juberlan

    2015-01-01

    The effect of experimental infection by different parasitic loads of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematode, Metastrongylidae) on the activities of the aminotransferases and concentration of total proteins, uric acid and urea in the hemolymph of Achatina fulica (Mollusca, Gastropoda) were investigated. There was a significant decrease in the concentration of total proteins in the exposed snails to 5000 or more larvae. This change was accompanied by an increase in the concentrations of urea and uric acid in the hemolymph, suggesting a higher rate of deamination of the amino acids. Besides this, variations in the activities of the aminotransferases were also observed, with the highest values recorded in the groups exposed to greater parasite load. These results suggest an increase in the use of total proteins, since there was increased formation of nitrogenous catabolites, in conformity with an increase in the aminotransferase activities. Infection was verified by the fact that L3 larvae recovered from the snails was proportion to the exposure dose of L1 larvae. Histopathological results also indicated presence of an inflammatory cell infiltrate, favoring an increase of both transaminases.

  14. Effect of Climate Change on Invasion Risk of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica Férussac, 1821: Achatinidae) in India.

    PubMed

    Sarma, Roshmi Rekha; Munsi, Madhushree; Ananthram, Aravind Neelavara

    2015-01-01

    The Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) is considered to be one the world's 100 worst invasive alien species. The snail has an impact on native biodiversity, and on agricultural and horticultural crops. In India, it is known to feed on more than fifty species of native plants and agricultural crops and also outcompetes the native snails. It was introduced into India in 1847 and since then it has spread all across the country. In this paper, we use ecological niche modeling (ENM) to assess the distribution pattern of Giant African Snail (GAS) under different climate change scenarios. The niche modeling results indicate that under the current climate scenario, Eastern India, peninsular India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are at high risk of invasion. The three different future climate scenarios show that there is no significant change in the geographical distribution of invasion prone areas. However, certain currently invaded areas will be more prone to invasion in the future. These regions include parts of Bihar, Southern Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Assam. The Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands are highly vulnerable to invasion under changed climate. The Central Indian region is at low risk due to high temperature and low rainfall. An understanding of the invasion pattern can help in better management of this invasive species and also in formulating policies for its control.

  15. Effect of Climate Change on Invasion Risk of Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica Férussac, 1821: Achatinidae) in India

    PubMed Central

    Rekha Sarma, Roshmi; Munsi, Madhushree; Neelavara Ananthram, Aravind

    2015-01-01

    The Giant African Snail (Achatina fulica) is considered to be one the world’s 100 worst invasive alien species. The snail has an impact on native biodiversity, and on agricultural and horticultural crops. In India, it is known to feed on more than fifty species of native plants and agricultural crops and also outcompetes the native snails. It was introduced into India in 1847 and since then it has spread all across the country. In this paper, we use ecological niche modeling (ENM) to assess the distribution pattern of Giant African Snail (GAS) under different climate change scenarios. The niche modeling results indicate that under the current climate scenario, Eastern India, peninsular India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are at high risk of invasion. The three different future climate scenarios show that there is no significant change in the geographical distribution of invasion prone areas. However, certain currently invaded areas will be more prone to invasion in the future. These regions include parts of Bihar, Southern Karnataka, parts of Gujarat and Assam. The Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep Islands are highly vulnerable to invasion under changed climate. The Central Indian region is at low risk due to high temperature and low rainfall. An understanding of the invasion pattern can help in better management of this invasive species and also in formulating policies for its control. PMID:26618637

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verbitskaya, Olga; Manukovsky, Nickolay; Kovalev, Vladimir

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

  17. Complete mitochondrial genome of the giant African snail, Achatina fulica (Mollusca: Achatinidae): a novel location of putative control regions (CR) in the mitogenome within Pulmonate species.

    PubMed

    He, Zhang-Ping; Dai, Xia-Bin; Zhang, Shuai; Zhi, Ting-Ting; Lun, Zhao-Rong; Wu, Zhong-Dao; Yang, Ting-Bao

    2016-01-01

    The whole sequence (15,057 bp) of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of the terrestrial snail Achatina fulica (order Stylommatophora) was determined. The mitogenome, as the typical metazoan mtDNA, contains 13 protein-coding genes (PCG), 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNA) and 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNA). The tRNA genes include two trnS without standard secondary structure. Interestingly, among the known mitogenomes of Pulmonata species, we firstly characterized an unassigned lengthy sequence (551 bp) between the cox1 and the trnV which may be the CR for the sake of its AT bases usage bias (65.70%) and potential hairpin structure.

  18. Distribution, feeding behavior and control strategies of the exotic land snail Achatina fulica (Gastropoda: Pulmonata) in the northeast of Brazil.

    PubMed

    Albuquerque, F S; Peso-Aguiar, M C; Assunção-Albuquerque, M J T

    2008-11-01

    The goal of this study was to document the distribution and establishment A. fulica such as their feeding preference and behavior in situ. The study was carried out at the city of Lauro de Freitas, Bahia state, Brazil, between November 2001 and November 2002. We used catch per unit effort methods to determine abundance, distribution, habitat choice and food preferences. The abundance and distribution of A. fulica was most representative in urban area, mainly near to the coastline. Lots and house gardens were the most preferred sites during active hours. The results indicated that A. fulica started their activity at the end of the evening and stopped in mid-morning. Their preferred food were vascular plants such as Hibiscus syriacus, Ricinus communis, Carica papaya, Galinsonga coccinea, Lippia alba, Ixora coccinea, Musa parasidisiaca, Mentha spicata and Cymbopogon citrates. Our results indicate that A. fulica are well adapted and established in this city and modified environments facilitate their establishment and dispersion. However, human perturbation, such as clearance of lots could be limiting for the persistence of A. fulica populations.

  19. Angiostrongylus cantonensis infection in molluscs in the municipality of São Gonçalo, a metropolitan area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: role of the invasive species Achatina fulica in parasite transmission dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Ana PM; Gentile, Rosana; Maldonado, Arnaldo; Torres, Eduardo J Lopes; Thiengo, Silvana C

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to analyse the infection dynamics ofAngiostrongylus cantonensis in its possible intermediate hosts over two years in an urban area in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the presence ofA. cantonensis had been previously recorded in molluscs. Four of the seven mollusc species found in the study were exotic.Bradybaena similaris was the most abundant, followed byAchatina fulica, Streptaxis sp., Subulina octona, Bulimulus tenuissimus, Sarasinula linguaeformis and Leptinaria unilamellata. Only A. fulica and B. similaris were parasitised by A. cantonensis and both presented co-infection with other helminths. The prevalence of A. cantonensisin A. fulica was more than 50% throughout the study. There was an inverse correlation between the population size ofA. fulica and the prevalence of A. cantonensis and abundance of the latter was negatively related to rainfall. The overall prevalence of A. cantonensis in B. similariswas 24.6%. A. fulica was the most important intermediary host of A. cantonensis in the studied area andB. similaris was secondary in importance for A. cantonensis transmission dynamics. PMID:26517652

  20. Restricted genetic variation in populations of Achatina (Lissachatina) fulica outside of East Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands points to the Indian Ocean Islands as the earliest known common source.

    PubMed

    Fontanilla, Ian Kendrich C; Sta Maria, Inna Mikaella P; Garcia, James Rainier M; Ghate, Hemant; Naggs, Fred; Wade, Christopher M

    2014-01-01

    The Giant African Land Snail, Achatina ( =  Lissachatina) fulica Bowdich, 1822, is a tropical crop pest species with a widespread distribution across East Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean, and North and South America. Its current distribution is attributed primarily to the introduction of the snail to new areas by Man within the last 200 years. This study determined the extent of genetic diversity in global A. fulica populations using the mitochondrial 16S ribosomal RNA gene. A total of 560 individuals were evaluated from 39 global populations obtained from 26 territories. Results reveal 18 distinct A. fulica haplotypes; 14 are found in East Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, but only two haplotypes from the Indian Ocean islands emerged from this region, the C haplotype, now distributed across the tropics, and the D haplotype in Ecuador and Bolivia. Haplotype E from the Philippines, F from New Caledonia and Barbados, O from India and Q from Ecuador are variants of the emergent C haplotype. For the non-native populations, the lack of genetic variation points to founder effects due to the lack of multiple introductions from the native range. Our current data could only point with certainty to the Indian Ocean islands as the earliest known common source of A. fulica across the globe, which necessitates further sampling in East Africa to determine the source populations of the emergent haplotypes.

  1. Increases in urea synthesis and the ornithine-urea cycle capacity in the giant African snail, Achatina fulica, during fasting or aestivation, or after the injection with ammonium chloride.

    PubMed

    Hiong, Kum Chew; Loong, Ai May; Chew, Shit Fun; Ip, Yuen Kwong

    2005-12-01

    The objectives of this study are to determine whether a full complement of ornithine-urea cycle (OUC) enzymes is present in the hepatopancreas of the giant African snail Achatina fulica, and to investigate whether the rate of urea synthesis and the OUC capacity can be up-regulated during 23 days of fasting or aestivation, or 24 hr post-injection with NH(4)Cl (10 micromol g(-1) snail) into the foot muscle. A. fulica is ureotelic and a full complement of OUC enzymes, including carbamoyl phosphate synthetase III (CPS III), was detected from its hepatopancreas. There were significant increases in the excretion of NH(4)(+), NH(3) and urea in fasting A. fulica. Fasting had no significant effect on the tissue ammonia contents, but led to a progressive accumulation of urea, which was associated with an 18-fold increase in the rate of urea synthesis. Because fasting took place in the presence of water and because there was no change in water contents in the foot muscle and hepatopancreas, it can be concluded that the function of urea accumulation in fasting A. fulica was unrelated to water retention. Aestivation in arid conditions led to a non-progressive accumulation of urea in A. fulica. During the first 4 days and the last 3 days of the 23-day aestivation period, experimental snails exhibited significantly greater rates of urea synthesis compared with fasted snails. These increases were associated with significant increases in activities of various OUC enzymes, except CPS III, in the hepatopancreas. However, the overall urea accumulation in snails aestivated and snails fasted for 23 days were comparable. Therefore, the classical hypothesis that urea accumulation occurred to prevent water loss through evaporation during aestivation in terrestrial pulmonates may not be valid. Surprisingly, there were no accumulations of ammonia in the foot muscle and hepatopancreas of A. fulica 12 or 24 hr after NH(4)Cl was injected into the foot muscle. In contrast, the urea content in

  2. Effects of lead pollution against juvenile Achatina achatina fed on contaminated artificial diet.

    PubMed

    Ebenso, I E; Ologhobo, A D

    2009-05-01

    We investigated juvenile Achatina achatina snails by feeding graded levels of inorganic lead metal contaminated artificial diet in plastic snaileries in the laboratory. Snails were tolerant of all levels of lead contamination with no mortalities. Results indicated significant (p < 0.05) transfer of lead from diet to snail with high positive (r(2) = 0.98) relationship. Our data suggests that decreased feed intake and growth were found at elevated lead levels. Tissue lead accumulations were lower than dose in artificial diet.

  3. Anti-bacterial activity of Achatina CRP and its mechanism of action.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Sandip; Barman, Soma; Mandal, Narayan Chandra; Bhattacharya, Shelley

    2014-07-01

    The physiological role of C-reactive protein (CRP), the classical acute-phase protein, is not well documented, despite many reports on biological effects of CRP in vitro and in model systems in vivo. It has been suggested that CRP protects mice against lethal toxicity of bacterial infections by implementing immunological responses. In Achatina fulica CRP is a constitutive multifunctional protein in haemolymph and considered responsible for their survival in the environment for millions of years. The efficacy of Achatina CRP (ACRP) was tested against both Salmonella typhimurium and Bacillus subtilis infections in mice where endogenous CRP level is negligible even after inflammatory stimulus. Further, growth curves of the bacteria revealed that ACRP (50 microg/mL) is bacteriostatic against gram negative salmonellae and bactericidal against gram positive bacilli. ACRP induced energy crises in bacterial cells, inhibited key carbohydrate metabolic enzymes such as phosphofructokinase in glycolysis, isocitrate dehydrogenase in TCA cycle, isocitrate lyase in glyoxylate cycle and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase in gluconeogenesis. ACRP disturbed the homeostasis of cellular redox potential as well as reduced glutathione status, which is accompanied by an enhanced rate of lipid peroxidation. Annexin V-Cy3/CFDA dual staining clearly showed ACRP induced apoptosis-like death in bacterial cell population. Moreover, immunoblot analyses also indicated apoptosis-like death in ACRP treated bacterial cells, where activation of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP) and caspase-3 was noteworthy. It is concluded that metabolic impairment by ACRP in bacterial cells is primarily due to generation of reactive oxygen species and ACRP induced anti-bacterial effect is mediated by metabolic impairment leading to apoptosis-like death in bacterial cells.

  4. Effects of lead pollution from vehicular exhaust fumes against sentinel juvenile Achatina achatina.

    PubMed

    Ebenso, I E; Ologhobo, A D

    2008-11-01

    We investigated lead metal pollution induced by traffic fumes along roads with differing traffic intensity near abandoned battery factory (Niger Delta, Nigeria). Juvenile Achatina achatina were positioned as sentinels in plastic snaileries 2 m on road sides. Lead contamination in snail tissue by atomic absorption spectrophotometer increased with increasing vehicular traffic intensity. Snails showed low positive (r (2) = 0.40) relationship and significant (p < 0.05) accumulation of atmospheric lead pollution. Edible snails sold along road sides are prone to lead contamination.

  5. Lineweaver-Burk analysis for the blocking effects of mammalian dopamine receptor antagonists on dopamine-induced currents in Achatina giant neurones.

    PubMed

    Emaduddin, M; Takeuchi, H

    1996-10-01

    1. We had demonstrated (Emaduddin et al., 1995) the blocking effects of the three mammalian dopamine receptor antagonists, (+/-)-SKF83566 (mammalian dopamine D1-like receptor antagonist), (+)-UH232 (D2 and D3-like receptor antagonist) and (+/-)-sulpiride (D2-like receptor antagonist) on the dose (pressure duration)-response curves of dopamine in the three giant neurone types, LVMN (left visceral multiple spike neurone), d-RPeAN (dorsal-right pedal anterior neurone) and v-LCDN (ventral-left cerebral distinct neurone), of Achatina fulica Férussac under voltage clamp. In the present study, we analyzed these data by Lineweaver-Burk plot. 2. Dopamine-induced inward currents (Iin) of the two neurone types, LVMN and d-RPeAN, were blocked by (+/-)-SKF83566 and (+)-UH232 in partly noncompetitive and partly uncompetitive manners. (+/-)-Sulpiride had no effect on these currents. 3. In contrast, dopamine-induced outward current (Iout) of v-LCDN was inhibited competitively by (+/-)-sulpiride and noncompetitively by (+)-UH232. (+/-)-SKF83566 had no effect on this current. 4. Therefore, we consider that the pharmacological features of the dopamine receptors of Achatina neurones are not identical in detail to those of the mammalian dopamine receptors.

  6. Cysteine-Rich Atrial Secretory Protein from the Snail Achatina achatina: Purification and Structural Characterization

    PubMed Central

    Shabelnikov, Sergey; Kiselev, Artem

    2015-01-01

    Despite extensive studies of cardiac bioactive peptides and their functions in molluscs, soluble proteins expressed in the heart and secreted into the circulation have not yet been reported. In this study, we describe an 18.1-kDa, cysteine-rich atrial secretory protein (CRASP) isolated from the terrestrial snail Achatina achatina that has no detectable sequence similarity to any known protein or nucleotide sequence. CRASP is an acidic, 158-residue, N-glycosylated protein composed of eight alpha-helical segments stabilized with five disulphide bonds. A combination of fold recognition algorithms and ab initio folding predicted that CRASP adopts an all-alpha, right-handed superhelical fold. CRASP is most strongly expressed in the atrium in secretory atrial granular cells, and substantial amounts of CRASP are released from the heart upon nerve stimulation. CRASP is detected in the haemolymph of intact animals at nanomolar concentrations. CRASP is the first secretory protein expressed in molluscan atrium to be reported. We propose that CRASP is an example of a taxonomically restricted gene that might be responsible for adaptations specific for terrestrial pulmonates. PMID:26444993

  7. [Distribution of acetylcholinesterase activity in the digestive system of the gastropod molluscs Littorina littorea and Achatina fulica].

    PubMed

    Zaĭtseva, O V; Kuznetsova, T V

    2008-01-01

    With the use of the histochemical procedure for the demonstration of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity, the distribution cholinergic regulatory elements was studied in the esophagus, the pharynx, the stomach, the liver (the digestive gland) and the intestine in sea and terrestrial gastropod molluscs that differed in their general organization level, lifestyle, habitat and feeding type. In both molluscs, all the parts of the digestive tract contained the significant amount of intraepithelial AchE-positive cells of the open type, single subepithelial neurons and the nervous fibers localized among the muscle cells of the wall of the organs. The basal processes of the AchE-positive intraepithelial cells were shown to form the intraepithelial nerve plexus and to pass under the epithelium. The peculiarities and common principles in the distribution of the nervous elements detected, their possible function and the regulatory role in the digestion in gastropod molluscs and other animals are discussed.

  8. [SPECTRAL AND ACID-BASE PROPERTIES OF HEMOLYMPH PLASMA AND ITS FRACTIONS FROM GASTROPOD PULMONATE MOLLUSC ACHATINA FULICA].

    PubMed

    Petrova, T A; Lianguzov, A Yu; Malygina, N M

    2016-01-01

    The set of normal biochemical indicators of the hemolymph plasma of gastropod pulmonate mollusc Achatinafulica is described. Comparative analysis of the whole plasma and its subfractions enriched and depleted of oxygen-carrying protein hemocyanin was performed by spectrophotometry and spectrofluorimetry methods. Individual features of the absorption spectra were analyzed using fourth derivatives. The optimum method for estimating protein concentration was chosen. To characterize acid-base properties of plasma hemolymph and its sub-fractions we calculated buffer capacity, equivalence points and pK values of dominant buffer groups. It is shown that the major role in maintaining the buffer capacity of hemolymph belongs to the bicarbonate system. These results are compared with data for Helix pomatia available in literature. In the future the indicators studied in this work will be used to develop ecotoxicological criteria for the environmental assessment.

  9. Comparative evaluation of haemagglutination potential of haemolymph from two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina).

    PubMed

    Abiona, John Adesanya; Akinduti, Paul Akinniyi; Oyekunle, Mufutao Atanda; Osinowo, Olusegun Ayodeji; Onagbesan, A Okanlawon Mohammed

    2014-05-01

    A comparative study was conducted to evaluate haemagglutination potential in the haemolymph of two species of giant African land snails (Archachatina marginata and Achatina achatina). Three liveweight groups of snails (<100 g, 101-150 g and >150 g) were used with 4 replicates per liveweight per species for haemagglutination assay (HA). The effect of aestivation on haemagglutination potential was also evaluated. Erythrocytes (2%) from cattle, sheep, goat and chicken were used for HA assay. Results showed that agglutinin-like substances that agglutinate erythrocytes of sheep, goat, cattle and chicken were present in the haemolymph of the two species of giant African land snails. Effect of species was found to be significant (P < 0.001) on haemagglutination titre. Haemolymph of A. marginata, had higher haemagglutination titre than that of A. achatina across the three liveweight groups used in this study. Snail liveweight had no significant effect (P > 0.05) on agglutinin content of the haemolymph in both species. Agglutination level depended on the source of erythrocyte used. Sheep erythrocyte recorded the highest haemagglutination titre, followed by goat, cattle, and chicken in that order. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence that Giant African land snails (GALS) haemolymph contain agglutinins as previously reported for Helix species. This evidence may be the basis for its survivability in the wild and thus establish the use of GALS for African herbal medicinal applications.

  10. Spread of the Rat Lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) in Giant African Land Snails (Lissachatina fulica) in Florida, USA.

    PubMed

    Iwanowicz, Deborah D; Sanders, Lakyn R; Schill, W Bane; Xayavong, Maniphet V; da Silva, Alexandre J; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Smith, Trevor

    2015-07-01

    The rat lungworm (Angiostrongylus cantonensis) is a parasitic nematode that causes rat lungworm disease. It is the leading cause of eosinophilic meningitis and is a zoonotic health risk. We confirmed the presence of A. cantonensis using species-specific, quantitative PCR in 18 of 50 (36%) giant African land snails (Lissachatina fulica) collected from Miami, Florida, US in May 2013. These snails were collected from seven of 21 core areas that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services monitor weekly. Rat lungworms have not previously been identified in these areas. Duplicate DNA extractions of foot muscle tissue from each snail were tested. Of the seven core areas we examined, six were positive for A. cantonensis and prevalence of infection ranged from 27% to 100%. Of the 18 positive snails, only five were positive in both extractions. Our results confirm an increase in the range and prevalence of rat lungworm infection in Miami. We also emphasize the importance of extracting sufficient host tissue to minimize false negatives.

  11. Extraordinary MHC class II B diversity in a non-passerine, wild bird: the Eurasian Coot Fulica atra (Aves: Rallidae)

    PubMed Central

    Alcaide, Miguel; Muñoz, Joaquin; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2014-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) hosts the most polymorphic genes ever described in vertebrates. The MHC triggers the adaptive branch of the immune response, and its extraordinary variability is considered an evolutionary consequence of pathogen pressure. The last few years have witnessed the characterization of the MHC multigene family in a large diversity of bird species, unraveling important differences in its polymorphism, complexity, and evolution. Here, we characterize the first MHC class II B sequences isolated from a Rallidae species, the Eurasian Coot Fulica atra. A next-generation sequencing approach revealed up to 265 alleles that translated into 251 different amino acid sequences (β chain, exon 2) in 902 individuals. Bayesian inference identified up to 19 codons within the presumptive peptide-binding region showing pervasive evidence of positive, diversifying selection. Our analyses also detected a significant excess of high-frequency segregating sites (average Tajima's D = 2.36, P < 0.05), indicative of balancing selection. We found one to six different alleles per individual, consistent with the occurrence of at least three MHC class II B gene duplicates. However, the genotypes comprised of three alleles were by far the most abundant in the population investigated (49.4%), followed by those with two (29.6%) and four (17.5%) alleles. We suggest that these proportions are in agreement with the segregation of MHC haplotypes differing in gene copy number. The most widespread segregating haplotypes, according to our findings, would contain one single gene or two genes. The MHC class II of the Eurasian Coot is a valuable system to investigate the evolutionary implications of gene copy variation and extensive variability, the greatest ever found, to the best of our knowledge, in a wild population of a non-passerine bird. PMID:24683452

  12. Extraordinary MHC class II B diversity in a non-passerine, wild bird: the Eurasian Coot Fulica atra (Aves: Rallidae).

    PubMed

    Alcaide, Miguel; Muñoz, Joaquin; Martínez-de la Puente, Josué; Soriguer, Ramón; Figuerola, Jordi

    2014-03-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) hosts the most polymorphic genes ever described in vertebrates. The MHC triggers the adaptive branch of the immune response, and its extraordinary variability is considered an evolutionary consequence of pathogen pressure. The last few years have witnessed the characterization of the MHC multigene family in a large diversity of bird species, unraveling important differences in its polymorphism, complexity, and evolution. Here, we characterize the first MHC class II B sequences isolated from a Rallidae species, the Eurasian Coot Fulica atra. A next-generation sequencing approach revealed up to 265 alleles that translated into 251 different amino acid sequences (β chain, exon 2) in 902 individuals. Bayesian inference identified up to 19 codons within the presumptive peptide-binding region showing pervasive evidence of positive, diversifying selection. Our analyses also detected a significant excess of high-frequency segregating sites (average Tajima's D = 2.36, P < 0.05), indicative of balancing selection. We found one to six different alleles per individual, consistent with the occurrence of at least three MHC class II B gene duplicates. However, the genotypes comprised of three alleles were by far the most abundant in the population investigated (49.4%), followed by those with two (29.6%) and four (17.5%) alleles. We suggest that these proportions are in agreement with the segregation of MHC haplotypes differing in gene copy number. The most widespread segregating haplotypes, according to our findings, would contain one single gene or two genes. The MHC class II of the Eurasian Coot is a valuable system to investigate the evolutionary implications of gene copy variation and extensive variability, the greatest ever found, to the best of our knowledge, in a wild population of a non-passerine bird.

  13. Epizootic vacuolar myelinopathy of the central nervous system of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana).

    PubMed

    Thomas, N J; Meteyer, C U; Sileo, L

    1998-11-01

    Unprecedented mortality occurred in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at DeGray Lake, Arkansas, during the winters of 1994-1995 and 1996-1997. The first eagles were found dead during November, soon after arrival from fall migration, and deaths continued into January during both episodes. In total, 29 eagles died at or near DeGray Lake in the winter of 1994-1995 and 26 died in the winter of 1996-1997; no eagle mortality was noted during the same months of the intervening winter or in the earlier history of the lake. During the mortality events, sick eagles were observed overflying perches or colliding with rock walls. Signs of incoordination and limb paresis were also observed in American coots (Fulica americana) during the episodes of eagle mortality, but mortality in coots was minimal. No consistent abnormalities were seen on gross necropsy of either species. No microscopic findings in organs other than the central nervous system (CNS) could explain the cause of death. By light microscopy, all 26 eagles examined and 62/77 (81%) coots had striking, diffuse, spongy degeneration of the white matter of the CNS. Vacuolation occurred in all myelinated CNS tissue, including the cerebellar folia and medulla oblongata, but was most prominent in the optic tectum. In the spinal cord, vacuoles were concentrated near the gray matter, and occasional swollen axons were seen. Vacuoles were uniformly present in optic nerves but were not evident in the retina or peripheral or autonomic nerves. Cellular inflammatory response to the lesion was distinctly lacking. Vacuoles were 8-50 microns in diameter and occurred individually, in clusters, or in rows. In sections stained by luxol fast blue/periodic acid-Schiff stain, the vacuoles were delimited and transected by myelin strands. Transmission electron microscopy revealed intramyelinic vacuoles formed in the myelin sheaths by splitting of one or more myelin lamellae at the intraperiodic line. This lesion is characteristic of

  14. Epizootic vacuolar myelinopathy of the central nervous system of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thomas, N.J.; Meteyer, C.U.; Sileo, L.

    1998-01-01

    Unprecedented mortality occurred in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at DeGray Lake, Arkansas, during the winters of 1994-1995 and 1996-1997. The first eagles were found dead during November, soon after arrival from fall migration, and deaths continued into January during both episodes. In total, 29 eagles died at or near DeGray Lake in the winter of 1994-1995 and 26 died in the winter of 1996-1997; no eagle mortality was noted during the same months of the intervening winter or in the earlier history of the lake. During the mortality events, sick eagles were observed overflying perches or colliding with rock walls. Signs of incoordination and limb paresis were also observed in American coots (Fulica americana) during the episodes of eagle mortality, but mortality in coots was minimal. No consistent abnormalities were seen on gross necropsy of either species. No microscopic findings in organs other than the central nervous system (CNS) could explain the cause of death. By light microscopy, all 26 eagles examined and 62/77 (81%) coots had striking, diffuse, spongy degeneration of the white matter of the CNS. Vacuolation occurred in all myelinated CNS tissue, including the cerebellar folia and medulla oblongata, but was most prominent in the optic tectum. In the spinal cord, vacuoles were concentrated near the gray matter, and occasional swollen axons were seen. Vacuoles were uniformly present in optic nerves but were not evident in the retina or peripheral or autonomic nerves. Cellular inflammatory response to the lesion was distinctly lacking. Vacuoles were 8-50 microns in diameter and occurred individually, in clusters, or in rows. In sections stained by luxol fast blue/periodic acid-Schiff stain, the vacuoles were delimited and transected by myelin strands. Transmission electron microscopy revealed intramyelinic vacuoles formed in the myelin sheaths by splitting of one or more myelin lamellae at the intraperiodic line. This lesion is characteristic of

  15. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for the Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai, and Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula galeata sandvicensis, through next-generation sequencing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.

    2014-01-01

    We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop novel microsatellite markers for two endangered waterbirds; the Hawaiian coot (Fulica alai) and Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis). The 20 loci polymorphic in the Hawaiian coot displayed moderate allelic diversity (average 3.8 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 59.5 %). The 12 loci variable for the Hawaiian gallinule exhibited lower levels of allelic diversity (average 2.4 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 47.5 %). Loci were in linkage equilibrium and only one locus deviated from Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium. These loci are sufficiently variable to assess levels of genetic diversity and will be useful for conservation genetic studies to aid in the management of these endangered waterbirds.

  16. Elemental contaminants in the livers and ingesta of four subpopulations of the American coot (Fulica americana): An herbivorous winter migrant in San Francisco Bay

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hui, C.A.

    1998-01-01

    Water birds with diets high in animal foods in the San Francisco Bay area are exposed to trace elements that are potentially health impairing. Water birds with herbivorous diets have been less thoroughly examined. The concentrations of trace elements in the livers and the esophageal contents of an herbivorous water bird, the American coot (Fulica americana) were measured to compare levels of contaminant exposure among different locations in the Bay system and with other water birds. A total of 39 coots were collected from four sites: Napa River and Mare Island Strait in the north, Berkeley in the middle, and Coyote Creek in the south. Livers of Berkeley samples differed significantly from those of Napa River and Mare Island Strait by their greater concentrations of As and B and lower concentrations of Cu, but they seemed to be within normal ranges for birds. Otherwise the concentrations of trace elements in the livers did not differ among sites. Ingesta samples from Berkeley differed from the other sites because they tended to be higher in Al, V, and Zn. In contrast to waterfowl, livers from the herbivorous coots in San Francisco Bay showed little exposure to Cd, Hg, Pb, or Se. Coot ingesta showed few samples with measurable levels of Cd, Hg, or Se and had low levels of Pb. The herbivorous diet of coots may shield them from exposure to such elements. However, high levels of V were present in coot livers and ingesta from all four sites, suggesting adaptation to this toxic element. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  17. Bursts of potential elicited by d-amphetamine in central snail neuron: effect of sodium azide.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Lu, Kuan-Ling; Lee, Ya-Ling; Chen, Yi-Hung; Chang, Yu-Chi; Chou, Hong-Nong; Tsai, Ming-Cheng

    2007-10-01

    Effects of sodium azide (NaN(3)) on spontaneously generated action potential and bursts of potential elicited by d-amphetamine (d-amphetamine-elicited BoP) were studied on the right parietal 4 (RP4) neuron of the snail Achatina fulica Ferussac in vitro. Sodium azide altered the spontaneous action potential of RP4 neuron in a concentration-dependent manner. In lower concentrations, neither NaN(3) (30, 100, 300 microM; 1 and 3 mM) nor d-amphetamine (135 microM) affect the resting membrane potential, amplitude and frequency of RP4 neurons, while in the higher concentrations NaN(3) (30 mM) did abolish the spontaneous action potential on RP4 neurons and depolarized the RP4 neurons reversibly. At lower concentration, NaN(3) (30 microM) facilitated the d-amphetamine-elicited BoP. The BoP elicited by NaN(3) (30 microM) and d-amphetamine (135 microM) were decreased following treatment with KT5720 (protein kinase A inhibitor), or intracellular injection of EGTA [ethylene glycol-bis(2-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid]. However, the BoP was not affected by applying U73122 (1-[6-[((17beta)-3-methoxyestra-1,3,5[10]-trien-17-yl)amino]hexyl]-1H-pyrrole-2,5-dione) or neomycin (phospholipase inhibitors). Voltage clamp studies revealed that NaN(3) (30 microM) did not alter the total fast inwards currents (70 msec.) and the steady-state outwards currents (5 sec.). It appeared that the BoP elicited by NaN(3) (30 microM) and d-amphetamine (135 microM) was mainly due to protein kinase A-related messenger system and intracellular calcium. It is concluded that d-amphetamine-elicited BoP was not mainly due to inhibition of the function of mitochondria in the neuron while the function of mitochondria did alter the BoP elicited by amphetamine.

  18. Minocycline inhibits D-amphetamine-elicited action potential bursts in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Chen, Y-H; Lin, P-L; Wong, R-W; Wu, Y-T; Hsu, H-Y; Tsai, M-C; Lin, M-J; Hsu, Y-C; Lin, C-H

    2012-10-25

    Minocycline is a second-generation tetracycline that has been reported to have powerful neuroprotective properties. In our previous studies, we found that d-amphetamine (AMPH) elicited action potential bursts in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. This study sought to determine the effects of minocycline on the AMPH-elicited action potential pattern changes in the central snail neuron, using the two-electrode voltage clamping method. Extracellular application of AMPH at 300 μM elicited action potential bursts in the RP4 neuron. Minocycline dose-dependently (300-900 μM) inhibited the action potential bursts elicited by AMPH. The inhibitory effects of minocycline on AMPH-elicited action potential bursts were restored by forskolin (50 μM), an adenylate cyclase activator, and by dibutyryl cAMP (N(6),2'-O-Dibutyryladenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; 1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog. Co-administration of forskolin (50 μM) plus tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA; 5mM) or co-administration of TEA (5mM) plus dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) also elicited action potential bursts, which were prevented and inhibited by minocycline. In addition, minocycline prevented and inhibited forskolin (100 μM)-elicited action potential bursts. Notably, TEA (50mM)-elicited action potential bursts in the RP4 neuron were not affected by minocycline. Minocycline did not affect steady-state outward currents of the RP4 neuron. However, minocycline did decrease the AMPH-elicited steady-state current changes. Similarly, minocycline decreased the effects of forskolin-elicited steady-state current changes. Pretreatment with H89 (N-[2-(p-Bromocinnamylamino)ethyl]-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide dihydrochloride; 10 μM), a protein kinase A inhibitor, inhibited AMPH-elicited action potential bursts and decreased AMPH-elicited steady-state current changes. These results suggest that the cAMP-protein kinase A signaling pathway and the steady-state current are involved in

  19. Ecstasy and methamphetamine elicit action potential bursts via different mechanisms in a central snail neuron.

    PubMed

    Lin, Pei-Lin; Tsai, Ming-Cheng; Lu, Guan-Ling; Lu, Dah-Yuu; Chuang, Chieh-Min; Yang, Han-Yin; Huang, Shiang-Suo; Chen, Yi-Hung

    2010-01-01

    This study sought to determine the effects of (+) methamphetamine (METH) and its ring-substituted analog (+/-)3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA; ecstasy) on electrophysiological behavior and their relationships to second messenger systems in an identifiable RP4 neuron of the African snail, Achatina fulica Ferussac. Extracellular application of MDMA at 1mM and METH at 3mM elicited action potential bursts that were not blocked after immersing the neurons in Ca(2+)-free solution. Notably, MDMA- (1mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM), but not by the PKA inhibitors KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM). The PKC activator phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu; 3 microM), but not the PKA activator forskolin (50 microM), facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by MDMA at a lower concentration (0.3mM). In contrast, METH- (3mM) elicited action potential bursts were blocked by pretreatment with KT-5720 (10 microM) and H89 (10 microM), but not by chelerythrine (20 microM) and Ro 31-8220 (20 microM). Forskolin (50 microM), but not PDBu (3 microM) facilitated the induction of bursts elicited by METH at a lower concentration (1mM). Tetraethylammonium chloride (TEA), a blocker of the delayed rectifying K(+) current (I(KD)), did not elicit bursts at a concentration of 5mM but did facilitate the induction of action potential bursts elicited by both METH and MDMA. Voltage clamp studies revealed that both METH and MDMA decreased the TEA-sensitive I(KD) of the RP4 neuron. Forskolin (50 microM) or dibutyryl cAMP (1mM), a membrane-permeable cAMP analog, alone did not elicit action potential bursts. However, co-administration with forskolin (50 microM) and TEA (5mM) or co-administration with dibutyryl cAMP (1mM) and TEA (50mM) elicited action potential bursts in the presence of the PKC inhibitor chelerythrine (20 microM). Similarly, PDBu (10 microM) or phorbol

  20. Antimicrobial properties of mucus from the brown garden snail Helix aspersa.

    PubMed

    Pitt, S J; Graham, M A; Dedi, C G; Taylor-Harris, P M; Gunn, A

    2015-01-01

    Research into naturally occurring antimicrobial substances has yielded effective treatments. One area of interest is peptides and proteins produced by invertebrates as part of their defence system, including the contents of mollusc mucus. Mucus produced by the African giant land snail, Achatina fulica has been reported to contain two proteins with broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Mucus from the brown garden snail, Helix aspersa, appears to have skin regeneration properties. This study sought to investigate the antimicrobial properties of H. aspersa mucus. Mucus was collected from H. aspersa snails, diluted in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS), with the supernatant tested against a wide range of organisms in a disc-diffusion antimicrobial assay. This was followed with comparative experiments involving A. fulica, including bacteriophage assays. Mucus from both species of snail was passed through a series of protein size separation columns in order to determine the approximate size of the antimicrobial substance. Electrophoresis was also carried out on the H. aspersa mucus. Results indicated that H. aspersa mucus had a strong antibacterial effect against several strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and a weak effect against Staphylococcus aureus. Mucus from A. fulica also inhibited the growth of S. aureus, but the broad spectrum of activity reported by other workers was not observed. Antimicrobial activity was not caused by bacteriophage. Size separation experiments indicated that the antimicrobial substance(s) in H. aspersa were between 30 and 100 kDa. Electrophoresis revealed two proteins in this region (30-40 kDa and 50-60 kDa). These do not correspond with antimicrobial proteins previously reported in A. fulica. This study found one or more novel antimicrobial agents in H. aspersa mucus, with a strong effect against P. aeruginosa.

  1. Mollusc C-reactive protein crosses species barrier and reverses hepatotoxicity of lead in rodent models.

    PubMed

    Mukherjee, Sandip; Chatterjee, Sarmishtha; Sarkar, Shuvasree; Agarwal, Soumik; Kundu, Rakesh; Maitra, Sudipta; Bhattacharya, Shelley

    2013-08-01

    Achatina fulica C-reactive protein (ACRP) reversed the toxic effects of lead nitrate both in vivo in mice and in vitro in rat hepatocytes restoring the basal level of cell viability, lipid peroxidation, reduced glutathione and superoxides. Cytotoxicity was also significantly ameliorated in rat hepatocytes by in vitro pre-treatments with individual subunits (60, 62, 90 and 110 kDa) of ACRP. Annexin V-Cy3/CFDA dual staining showed significant reduction in the number of apoptotic hepatocytes pre-treated with ACRP. ACRP induced restoration of mitochondrial membrane potential was remarkable. ACRP pre-treatment prevented Pb-induced apoptosis mediated by caspase activation. The antagonistic effect of ACRP may be due to scavenging of reactive oxygen species which maintained the homeostasis of cellular redox potential as well as reduced glutathione status. The results suggest that ACRP crosses the species barrier and it may be utilized as a viable exogenous agent of cytoprotection against heavy metal related toxicity.

  2. Modeling snail breeding in a bioregenerative life support system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kovalev, V. S.; Manukovsky, N. S.; Tikhomirov, A. A.; Kolmakova, A. A.

    2015-07-01

    The discrete-time model of snail breeding consists of two sequentially linked submodels: "Stoichiometry" and "Population". In both submodels, a snail population is split up into twelve age groups within one year of age. The first submodel is used to simulate the metabolism of a single snail in each age group via the stoichiometric equation; the second submodel is used to optimize the age structure and the size of the snail population. Daily intake of snail meat by crewmen is a guideline which specifies the population productivity. The mass exchange of the snail unit inhabited by land snails of Achatina fulica is given as an outcome of step-by-step modeling. All simulations are performed using Solver Add-In of Excel 2007.

  3. The Trade in Medicinal Animals in Northeastern Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Ferreira, Felipe Silva; Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino; Coutinho, Henrique Douglas Melo; Almeida, Waltécio de Oliveira; Alves, Rômulo Romeu da Nóbrega

    2012-01-01

    Over the centuries, a significant part of the Brazilian fauna is widely sold, more specifically in retail stores or street markets. The objective was to characterize the sale of medicinal animals in five large northeast cities. Information about the sale of zootherapeutic items was obtained in the cities of Aracaju-SE, Fortaleza-CE, Maceio-AL, Recife-PE, and Salvador-BA. A total of 68 animal species were sold for medicinal purposes in the cities studied; these are the first results on the use and sale of zootherapeutics in the markets of Aracaju, Fortaleza, and Salvador and first recorded on the medicinal use of the Achatina fulica, Trachycardium muricatum, Philodryas olfersii, Desmodus rotundus, and Leptodactylus vastus. Knowledge of the fauna utilized popular medicine is indispensable for conservation, demonstrating that research on this subject is necessary to determine appropriate practices for the management of the fauna. PMID:22216053

  4. Levels of infection with the lungworm Angiostrongylus cantonensis in terrestrial snails from Thailand, with Cryptozona siamensis as a new intermediate host.

    PubMed

    Vitta, A; Polsut, W; Fukruksa, C; Yimthin, T; Thanwisai, A; Dekumyoy, P

    2016-11-01

    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is primarily considered an emerging infectious agent of eosinophilic meningitis or meningoencephalitis with a worldwide distribution. Rodents and snails are important invasive hosts for transmission and expansion of A. cantonensis. The objective of this study was to investigate infection levels of A. cantonensis in snails, the most important natural intermediate host. Our study location was Mueang Kamphaeng Phet district, Kamphaeng Phet Province, and was undertaken between October and December 2012. A total of 2228 freshwater and terrestrial snails were collected, comprising 1119 Filopaludina spp., 409 Pomacea caniculata, 275 Achatina fulica and 425 Cryptozona siamensis. Angiostrongylus larvae were isolated by artificial digestion methods following Baermann's techniques. A low prevalence and intensity of A. cantonensis were observed in A. fulica, while higher numbers were found in C. siamensis. None of the Filopaludina spp. and Pomacea caniculata were infected with A. cantonensis. Molecular characterization was performed by analysing the 264 bp of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI). Three COI sequences of Angiostrongylus were identical to A. cantonensis with 91-99% identity. Cryptozona siamensis has not previously been recorded as an intermediate host for A. cantonensis in Thailand. The infection of A. cantonensis identified in the natural intermediate hosts is new and important information to assist in the prevention and control of human angiostrongyliasis.

  5. Comprehensive analysis of the cellulolytic system reveals its potential for deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass in a novel Streptomyces sp.

    PubMed

    Pinheiro, Guilherme L; de Azevedo-Martins, Allan C; Albano, Rodolpho M; de Souza, Wanderley; Frases, Susana

    2017-01-01

    The giant snail Achatina fulica is considered an invasive species in most territories in which it was introduced, due to its ability to process a large amount of lignocellulose as a consequence of the presence of a cellulolytic-associated microflora. Streptomyces are well known as crucial agents in the decomposition of complex polymers in soil environments and also as cellulolytic symbionts commonly associated with herbivore insects. Here, we employed a combination of genomic and biochemical tools for a detailed evaluation of the cellulolytic potential of Streptomyces sp. I1.2, an aerobic bacterium isolated from the intestinal lumen of A. fulica in a screening for cellulolytic bacteria. Genomic analysis revealed that the ratio and diversity of CAZy domains and GH families coded by Streptomyces sp. I1.2 are comparable to those present in other highly cellulolytic bacteria. After growth on crystalline cellulose or sugarcane bagasse as sole carbon sources, the functionality of several genes encoding endoglucanases, cellobiohydrolases, xylanases, CBMs, and one β-glucosidase were confirmed by the combination of enzymatic activity measurements, zymography, TLC, and cellulose-binding assays. The endoglucanases secreted by this isolate were stable at 50 °C and exhibited activity over a broad pH range between 4.0 and 8.0. The endoglucanases and cellobiohydrolases secreted by Streptomyces sp. I1.2 exhibited specific activities that were similar to the levels present in a commercial cellulase preparation from Trichoderma reesei, while I1.2 xylanase levels were even 350 % higher. The results presented here show that Streptomyces sp. I1.2 is promising for future biotechnological applications, since it is able to produce endoglucanases, cellobiohydrolases, and xylanases in appreciable amounts when grown on a low-cost residue such as sugarcane bagasse.

  6. The occurrence of the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in nonindigenous snails in the Gulf of Mexico region of the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Teem, John L.; Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Bishop, Henry S.; da Silva, Alexandre J.; Carter, Jacoby; White-McLean, Jodi; Smith, Trevor

    2013-01-01

    Nonindigenous apple snails, Pomacea maculata (formerly Pomacea insularum), are currently spreading rapidly through the southeastern United States. This mollusk serves as an intermediate host of the rat lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), which can cause eosinophilic meningitis in humans who consume infected mollusks. A PCR-based detection assay was used to test nonindigenous apple snails for the rat lungworm parasite in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida. Only apple snails obtained from the New Orleans, Louisiana, area tested positive for the parasite. These results provide the first evidence that Angiostrongylus cantonensis does occur in nonindigenous apple snails in the southeastern United States. Additionally, Angiostrongylus cantonensis was identified in the terrestrial species Achatina fulica in Miami, Florida, indicating that rat lungworm is now established in Florida as well as Louisiana. Although the study suggests that the rat lungworm is not widespread in the Gulf States region, the infected snail population could still pose a risk to human health and facilitate the spread of the parasite to new areas.

  7. PHYLOGENY OF ANGIOSTRONGYLUS CANTONENSIS IN THAILAND BASED ON CYTOCHROME C OXIDASE SUBUNIT I GENE SEQUENCE.

    PubMed

    Apichat, Vitta; Narongrit, Srisongcram; Jittranuch, Thiproaj; Anucha, Wongma; Wilaiwan, Polsut; Chamaiporn, Fukruksa; Thatcha, Yimthin; Bandid, Mangkit; Aunchalee, Thanwisai; Paron, Dekumyoy

    2016-05-01

    Angiostrongylus cantonensis is an emerging infectious agent causing eosinophilic meningitis or meningoencephalitis in humans with clinical manifestation of severe headache. Molecular genetic studies on classification and phylogeny of A. cantonensis in Thailand are limited. This study surveyed A. cantonensis larvae prevalence in natural intermediate hosts across Thailand and analyzed their phylogenetic relationships. A total of 14,032 freshwater and land snails were collected from 19 provinces of Thailand. None of Filopaludina sp, Pomacea sp, and Cyclophorus sp were infected with Angiostrongylus larvae, whereas Achatina fulica, Cryptozona siamensis, and Megaustenia siamensis collected from Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok, and Tak Provinces were infected, with C. siamensis being the common intermediate host. Based on morphology, larvae isolated from 11 samples of these naturally infected snails preliminarily were identified as A. cantonensis. Comparison of partial nucleotide sequences of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene revealed that four sequences are identical to A. cantonensis haplotype ac4 from Bangkok and the other seven to that of A. cantonensis isolate AC Thai, indicating two independent lineages of A. cantonensis in Thailand.

  8. Snails and trematode infection after Indian Ocean tsunami in Phang-Nga Province, southern Thailand.

    PubMed

    Sri-Aroon, Pusadee; Chusongsang, Phiraphol; Chusongsang, Yupa; Pornpimol, Surinthwong; Butraporn, Piyarat; Lohachit, Chantima

    2010-01-01

    The tsunami and non-tsunami affected areas of Takua Pa District, Phang-Nga Province were investigated for fresh- and brackish-water snails that transmit human parasitic diseases during 2006 and 2007. Among 46 snail species found, 17 species of 8 families were freshwater snails, 28 species of another 7 families were brackish-water snails, and 1 species was a land snail. Of these species, 11 freshwater snails, 4 brackish-water snails and 1 land snail were of medical importance. The fresh-water snails were Pomacea canaliculata, Pila angelica, P. gracilis, P. polita, Filopaludina (S.) martensi, F. (F.) s. polygramma, Melanoides tuberculata, Indoplanorbis exuxtus, Radix rubiginosa, Helicorbis umbilicalis, Gyraulus convexiusculus. Four brackish-water snails were Cerithidea cingulata, C. djadjarensis, C. alata, Sermyla riqueti and Achatina fulica was the land snail. I. exutus, M. tuberculata and F. (F.) s. polygramma harbored Xiphidio, Microcercus, Furocercus, Echinostome cercariae, and cercaria without eyespots or tail with hair. Three species of brackish-water snails, Cerithidia cingulata, C. djadjariensis, and C. alata presented with 6 types of trematode cercariae and rediae. Knowledge of medically important snails and their parasitic diseases, and prevention were given to Takua Pa people by poster, pamphlets and broadcasting through community radio.

  9. NMR structural determination of unique invertebrate glycosaminoglycans endowed with medical properties.

    PubMed

    Pomin, Vitor H

    2015-09-02

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are sulfated polysaccharides of complex structure endowed with numerous biomedical functions. Although ubiquitously distributed in vertebrates, GAGs can also occur in certain terrestrial or marine invertebrates. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy has been the analytical technique mostly employed in structural characterization of GAGs from any source. This review aims at illustrating the application of NMR in structural determination of few representative invertebrate GAG examples of unique structures and endowed with therapeutic actions. They are the holothurian fucosylated chondroitin sulfate, the acharan sulfate isolated from the snail Achatina fulica, the dermatan sulfates with distinct sulfation patterns extracted from ascidian species, the sulfated glucuronic acid-containing heparan sulfate isolated from the gastropode Nodipecten nodosum, and the hybrid heparin/heparan sulfate molecule obtained from the shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei. These invertebrate GAGs exhibit distinct structures when compared to those extracted from mammalian GAGs. The distinct structures of the invertebrate GAGs lead also to different mechanisms of actions as compared to the mammalian GAG standards. Invertebrate GAGs comprise promising therapeutic candidates in fights against diseases. Solution NMR has been playing a pivotal role in this carbohydrate-based drug research, discovery and development.

  10. The Occurrence of the Rat Lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, in Nonindigenous Snails in the Gulf of Mexico Region of the United States

    PubMed Central

    Qvarnstrom, Yvonne; Bishop, Henry S; da Silva, Alexandre J; Carter, Jacoby; White-Mclean, Jodi; Smith, Trevor

    2013-01-01

    Nonindigenous apple snails, Pomacea maculata (formerly Pomacea insularum), are currently spreading rapidly through the southeastern United States. This mollusk serves as an intermediate host of the rat lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus cantonensis), which can cause eosinophilic meningitis in humans who consume infected mollusks. A PCR-based detection assay was used to test nonindigenous apple snails for the rat lungworm parasite in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida. Only apple snails obtained from the New Orleans, Louisiana, area tested positive for the parasite. These results provide the first evidence that Angiostrongylus cantonensis does occur in nonindigenous apple snails in the southeastern United States. Additionally, Angiostrongylus cantonensis was identified in the terrestrial species Achatina fulica in Miami, Florida, indicating that rat lungworm is now established in Florida as well as Louisiana. Although the study suggests that the rat lungworm is not widespread in the Gulf States region, the infected snail population could still pose a risk to human health and facilitate the spread of the parasite to new areas. PMID:23901374

  11. Two myomodulins isolated from central nervous system of Northwest Pacific Sea Hare, Aplysia kurodai, and their activities on other mollusks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Chan-Hee; Go, Hye-Jin; Park, Nam Gyu

    2015-01-01

    The central nervous system (CNS) of Aplysia is a fascinating source to identify and characterize neuropeptides and neurotransmitters because of offering many useful divergent and convergent neuronal aggregates. Here, two neuropeptides were isolated from the extract of CNS of the northwest pacific sea hare, Aplysia kurodai, using HPLC system for fractionation and the anterior byssus retractor muscle (ABRM) of the Mytilis edulis as the bioassay system. Purified peptides, myomodulin A (MMA) and E (MME), were determined by amino acid sequencing and molecular mass analysis. MMA showed a potentiating effect at 100 nM or lower, on the contrary, an inhibitory effect at higher doses from 100 nM on phasic contraction elicited by repetitive electrical stimulation on the ABRM of Mytilus. However, MME only inhibited phasic contraction with all examined concentrations. MME revealed 100 times more potent activity than that of MMA on the relaxing catch-tension of ABRM stimulated by acetylcholine. Both MMA and MME potently stimulated a response on the crop and penial retractor muscle of the African giant snail, Achatina fulica, compared with other known mollusks neuropeptides. These results suggest that MMA and MME may be broadly distributed in CNS of Aplysia to function a neuromodulatory role controlled via excitatory and inhibitory neurons, and may be involved in the digestive and reproductive activity in other mollusk.

  12. Angiostrongylus cantonensis Infection on Mayotte Island, Indian Ocean, 2007-2012

    PubMed Central

    Epelboin, Loïc; Blondé, Renaud; Chamouine, Abdourahim; Chrisment, Alexandra; Diancourt, Laure; Villemant, Nicolas; Atale, Agnès; Cadix, Claire; Caro, Valérie; Malvy, Denis; Collet, Louis

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Human angiostrongyliasis (HA) is a neurological helminthic disease caused by the lung worm Angiostrongylus cantonensis. It is suspected in the combination of travel or a residence in an endemic area and eosinophilic meningitis. In Mayotte, an island in the Indian Ocean, cases are rare but regular. The main objective of our study was to describe the epidemiological and diagnosis clues of HA in Mayotte. The secondary objectives were to evaluate the contribution of Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT- PCR) for the diagnosis of HA, delineate the characteristics of the local transmission and ascertain the presence of A. cantonensis in Achatina fulica, the potential vector of the disease. Materials and Methods Between 2007 and 2012, all cases of eosinophilic meningitis were retrospectively included and investigated by RT- PCR in the CSF. Descriptive analysis was conducted for clinical, biological and radiological features, and were analyzed for all patients together with the search for prognostic factors for mortality. Concurrently, geolocalization and temporal parameters were studied to correlate the occurrence of the cases with rainfall seasons and snails were collected to enhance a parasitic carriage with real time PCR. Results During the 6-year period of the study, 14 cases were identified (2.3 cases/year) and 9 among 10 remaining CSF were positive in PCR. Among 14 cases of EM, 13 were less than 2 year-old children. The 1 year mortality rate was 5/14 (35.7%). Among survivors, 3/7 (42.8%) presented neurological sequelae. Factors associated with mortality were dysfunction of cranial nerves, abnormal brain imaging, and CSF glucose level inferior to 2 mmol/l. Occurrence of cases was temporarily and spatially correlated to the rainy season. Among the 64 collected giant snails, 6 (9.4%) were positive with A. cantonensis PCR. The likely main route of transmission was the children licking snails, carriers of the parasite. Conclusion In Mayotte, HA was mainly

  13. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25–131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48–128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest. PMID:27861504

  14. Metagenomic Analysis of the Microbiota from the Crop of an Invasive Snail Reveals a Rich Reservoir of Novel Genes

    PubMed Central

    Cardoso, Alexander M.; Cavalcante, Janaína J. V.; Cantão, Maurício E.; Thompson, Claudia E.; Flatschart, Roberto B.; Glogauer, Arnaldo; Scapin, Sandra M. N.; Sade, Youssef B.; Beltrão, Paulo J. M. S. I.; Gerber, Alexandra L.; Martins, Orlando B.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Vasconcelos, Ana Tereza R.

    2012-01-01

    The shortage of petroleum reserves and the increase in CO2 emissions have raised global concerns and highlighted the importance of adopting sustainable energy sources. Second-generation ethanol made from lignocellulosic materials is considered to be one of the most promising fuels for vehicles. The giant snail Achatina fulica is an agricultural pest whose biotechnological potential has been largely untested. Here, the composition of the microbial population within the crop of this invasive land snail, as well as key genes involved in various biochemical pathways, have been explored for the first time. In a high-throughput approach, 318 Mbp of 454-Titanium shotgun metagenomic sequencing data were obtained. The predominant bacterial phylum found was Proteobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes. Viruses, Fungi, and Archaea were present to lesser extents. The functional analysis reveals a variety of microbial genes that could assist the host in the degradation of recalcitrant lignocellulose, detoxification of xenobiotics, and synthesis of essential amino acids and vitamins, contributing to the adaptability and wide-ranging diet of this snail. More than 2,700 genes encoding glycoside hydrolase (GH) domains and carbohydrate-binding modules were detected. When we compared GH profiles, we found an abundance of sequences coding for oligosaccharide-degrading enzymes (36%), very similar to those from wallabies and giant pandas, as well as many novel cellulase and hemicellulase coding sequences, which points to this model as a remarkable potential source of enzymes for the biofuel industry. Furthermore, this work is a major step toward the understanding of the unique genetic profile of the land snail holobiont. PMID:23133637

  15. Reproductive Ecology of the Giant African Snail in South Florida: Implications for Eradication Programs.

    PubMed

    Roda, Amy; Nachman, Gösta; Weihman, Scott; Yong Cong, Mary; Zimmerman, Fredrick

    2016-01-01

    Giant African snail (Achatina fulica (Bowdich, 1822)), an important invasive snail, was recently found in South Florida, USA. An extensive eradication effort was initiated consisting of pesticide applications, debris removal and hand collections. We studied the reproduction capacity and population dynamics of snails collected from 22 populations for two years to help evaluate the likely success of the eradication program. A total of 23,890 snails, ranging from 25-131 mm, were measured, dissected and the number of eggs in each snail counted. Gravid snails ranged from 48-128 mm. Only 5% of snails had eggs, which were found year round. As the snails increased in size, they were more likely to include reproducing individuals. However, the percentage of gravid snails peaked when snails were approximately 90 mm. Although more prevalent, small (<65 mm) adults contributed fewer eggs to the population than the larger snails. We evaluated the effect of control measures on six populations having >1000 adult snails and used data from the two largest populations to investigate how environmental factors (temperature, humidity, and rainfall) interacted with population dynamics and control measures. More snails were collected in weeks with high humidity and more gravid snails were collected when the temperature was higher. The addition of metaldehyde pesticides had the greatest impact on population dynamics by reducing snail numbers. In populations with fewer snails, their numbers were already declining before the use of metaldehyde, although the new treatment accelerated the process. As a consequence of the eradication program, egg-producing snails were no longer collected from most populations by the end of the study. The aggressive and persistent control efforts apparently lead to reduced populations of egg producing snails, eventually resulting in local extinctions of this important pest.

  16. Characterization of GdFFD, a D-amino acid-containing neuropeptide that functions as an extrinsic modulator of the Aplysia feeding circuit.

    PubMed

    Bai, Lu; Livnat, Itamar; Romanova, Elena V; Alexeeva, Vera; Yau, Peter M; Vilim, Ferdinand S; Weiss, Klaudiusz R; Jing, Jian; Sweedler, Jonathan V

    2013-11-15

    During eukaryotic translation, peptides/proteins are created using L-amino acids. However, a D-amino acid-containing peptide (DAACP) can be produced through post-translational modification via an isomerase enzyme. General approaches to identify novel DAACPs and investigate their function, particularly in specific neural circuits, are lacking. This is primarily due to the difficulty in characterizing this modification and due to the limited information on neural circuits in most species. We describe a multipronged approach to overcome these limitations using the sea slug Aplysia californica. Based on bioinformatics and homology to known DAACPs in the land snail Achatina fulica, we targeted two predicted peptides in Aplysia, GFFD, similar to achatin-I (GdFAD versus GFAD, where dF stands for D-phenylalanine), and YAEFLa, identical to fulyal (YdAEFLa versus YAEFLa), using stereoselective analytical methods, i.e. MALDI MS fragmentation analysis and LC-MS/MS. Although YAEFLa in Aplysia was detected only in an all L-form, we found that both GFFD and GdFFD were present in the Aplysia CNS. In situ hybridization and immunolabeling of GFFD/GdFFD-positive neurons and fibers suggested that GFFD/GdFFD might act as an extrinsic modulator of the feeding circuit. Consistent with this hypothesis, we found that GdFFD induced robust activity in the feeding circuit and elicited egestive motor patterns. In contrast, the peptide consisting of all L-amino acids, GFFD, was not bioactive. Our data indicate that the modification of an L-amino acid-containing neuropeptide to a DAACP is essential for peptide bioactivity in a motor circuit, and thus it provides a functional significance to this modification.

  17. The January 1977 avian cholera epornitic in northwest California.

    PubMed

    Oddo, A F; Pagan, R D; Worden, L; Botzler, R G

    1978-07-01

    A total of 844 birds were observed dead at three sites in Humboldt County and an estimated 6750 birds died at three sites in Del Norte County, California. Coots were the primary species affected. The isolation of Pasteurella multocida from a snowy egret (Egretta thula) is the first reported case of avian cholera in this bird. There was evidence for a distinct sequence in the bird species dying at one site; American coots (Fulica americana) appeared to be the first species to die.

  18. Cultural Resources Investigations at the Lake Traverse-Bois de Sioux Project, Roberts County, South Dakota, Traverse County, Minnesota,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-09-01

    green- winged teals, 50,000 are gadwalls and 20,000 are shovelers (Bellrose 1968). Lake Traverse is within the Central Flyway (Missouri River Corridor...Gull Chlidonias nigra Black Tern Anas crecca Green- winged Teal Anas americana American Wigeon Anas clypeata Northern Shoveler Oxyura jamaicensis Ruddy...Duck Anas acuta Pintail Fulica americana American Coot ... Anas discors Blue- winged Teal Pelecanus erythrorhynchos White Pelican Podilymbus podiceps

  19. [Sense organs on palps and fore tarsi of gamasid mites (Parasitiformes, Rhinonyssidae), parasites of the nasal cavity of the great tit, the rock dove, and the Eurasian coot].

    PubMed

    Leonovich, S A; Dimov, I

    2012-01-01

    The main sensory organs (the palpal organ and the tarsal sensory complex) were examined by scanning electron microscopy method in parasites of the nasal cavity of the great tit Parus major (Ptilonyssus sairae, Ptilonyssus pari), the rock dove Columba livia (Mesonyssus melloi), and the Eurasian coot Fulica atra (Rallinyssus caudistigmus). It was shown that differences in the topography of sensilla within the tarsal complex correspond to the taxonomic relations between species and genera, whereas differences in the structure of the palpal organ are not associated with the taxonomy and, probably, reflect ecological peculiarities of parasitism.

  20. Land Snails as a Diet Diversification Proxy during the Early Upper Palaeolithic in Europe

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Badal, Ernestina; Ferrer García, Carlos; Martínez-Ortí, Alberto; Sanchis Serra, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of terrestrial gastropods in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological record, it is still unknown when and how this type of invertebrate resource was incorporated into human diets. In this paper, we report the oldest evidence of land snail exploitation as a food resource in Europe dated to 31.3-26.9 ka yr cal BP from the recently discovered site of Cova de la Barriada (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Mono-specific accumulations of large Iberus alonensis land snails (Ferussac 1821) were found in three different archaeological levels in association with combustion structures, along with lithic and faunal assemblages. Using a new analytical protocol based on taphonomic, microX-Ray Diffractometer (DXR) and biometric analyses, we investigated the patterns of selection, consumption and accumulation of land snails at the site. The results display a strong mono-specific gathering of adult individuals, most of them older than 55 weeks, which were roasted in ambers of pine and juniper under 375°C. This case study uncovers new patterns of invertebrate exploitation during the Gravettian in southwestern Europe without known precedents in the Middle Palaeolithic nor the Aurignacian. In the Mediterranean context, such an early occurrence contrasts with the neighbouring areas of Morocco, France, Italy and the Balkans, where the systematic nutritional use of land snails appears approximately 10,000 years later during the Iberomaurisian and the Late Epigravettian. The appearance of this new subsistence activity in the eastern and southern regions of Spain was coeval to other demographically driven transformations in the archaeological record, suggesting different chronological patterns of resource intensification and diet broadening along the Upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean basin. PMID:25141047

  1. Land snails as a diet diversification proxy during the early upper palaeolithic in Europe.

    PubMed

    Fernández-López de Pablo, Javier; Badal, Ernestina; Ferrer García, Carlos; Martínez-Ortí, Alberto; Sanchis Serra, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Despite the ubiquity of terrestrial gastropods in the Late Pleistocene and Holocene archaeological record, it is still unknown when and how this type of invertebrate resource was incorporated into human diets. In this paper, we report the oldest evidence of land snail exploitation as a food resource in Europe dated to 31.3-26.9 ka yr cal BP from the recently discovered site of Cova de la Barriada (eastern Iberian Peninsula). Mono-specific accumulations of large Iberus alonensis land snails (Ferussac 1821) were found in three different archaeological levels in association with combustion structures, along with lithic and faunal assemblages. Using a new analytical protocol based on taphonomic, microX-Ray Diffractometer (DXR) and biometric analyses, we investigated the patterns of selection, consumption and accumulation of land snails at the site. The results display a strong mono-specific gathering of adult individuals, most of them older than 55 weeks, which were roasted in ambers of pine and juniper under 375°C. This case study uncovers new patterns of invertebrate exploitation during the Gravettian in southwestern Europe without known precedents in the Middle Palaeolithic nor the Aurignacian. In the Mediterranean context, such an early occurrence contrasts with the neighbouring areas of Morocco, France, Italy and the Balkans, where the systematic nutritional use of land snails appears approximately 10,000 years later during the Iberomaurisian and the Late Epigravettian. The appearance of this new subsistence activity in the eastern and southern regions of Spain was coeval to other demographically driven transformations in the archaeological record, suggesting different chronological patterns of resource intensification and diet broadening along the Upper Palaeolithic in the Mediterranean basin.

  2. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae)

    PubMed Central

    C.Livezey, B.

    1998-01-01

    The order Gruiformes, for which even familial composition remains controversial, is perhaps the least well understood avian order from a phylogenetic perspective. The history of the systematics of the order is presented, and the ecological and biogeographic characteristics of its members are summarized. Using cladistic techniques, phylogenetic relationships among fossil and modern genera of the Gruiformes were estimated based on 381 primarily osteological characters; relationships among modern species of Grues (Psophiidae, Aramidae, Gruidae, Heliornithidae and Rallidae) were assessed based on these characters augmented by 189 characters of the definitive integument. A strict consensus tree for 20,000 shortest trees compiled for the matrix of gruiform genera (length = 967, CI = 0.517) revealed a number of nodes common to the solution set, many of which were robust to bootstrapping and had substantial support (Bremer) indices. Robust nodes included those supporting: a sister relationship between the Pedionomidae and Turnicidae; monophyly of the Gruiformes exclusive of the Pedionomidae and Turnicidae; a sister relationship between the Cariamidae and Phorusrhacoidea; a sister relationship between a clade comprising Eurypyga and Messelornis and one comprising Rhynochetos and Aptornis; monophyly of the Grues (Psophiidae, Aramidae, Gruidae, Heliornithidae and Rallidae); monophyly of a clade (Gruoidea) comprising (in order of increasingly close relationship) Psophia, Aramus, Balearica and other Gruidae, with monophyly of each member in this series confirmed; a sister relationship between the Heliornithidae and Rallidae; and monophyly of the Rallidae exclusive of Himantornis. Autapomorphic divergence was comparatively high for Pedionomus, Eurypyga, Psophia, Himantornis and Fulica; extreme autapomorphy, much of which is unique for the order, characterized the extinct, flightless Aptornis. In the species-level analysis of modern Grues, special efforts were made to limit the

  3. Status and distribution of breeding secretive marshbirds in the Delta of Arkansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Budd, Michael J.; Krementz, David G.

    2011-01-01

    We surveyed the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley of Arkansas ("the Delta") during the breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006 using the national marshbird monitoring protocol for secretive marshbirds. We detected and documented breeding by Podilymbus podiceps (Pied-billed Grebe), Ixobrychus exilis (Least Bittern), Rallus elegans (King Rail), and Gallinula chloropus (Common Moorhen). We detected but did not document breeding by Botaurus lentiginosus (American Bittern), Porphyrula martinica (Purple Gallinule), and Fulica americana (American Coot), all of which have been documented to breed in the Delta. Our estimated occupancy rates for breeding marshbirds in the study area ranged from a low of 6% for the King Rail in 2006 to a high of 27% for the Least Bittern in 2005. The range of these occupancy rates are low and reflect the rarity of secretive marshbirds in the Delta. Secretive marshbird occupancy rates were higher in the southern third of the Delta, probably because wetlands were more abundant or of higher quality there.

  4. Total and organic mercury in liver, kidney and muscle of waterbirds from wetlands of the Caspian Sea, Iran.

    PubMed

    Aazami, J; Esmaili-Saria, A; Bahramifar, N; Savabieasfahani, M

    2012-07-01

    We measured and compared total and organic mercury in liver, kidney, and muscle of the Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), and coot (Fulica atra) from the Caspian Sea wetlands in Iran. For the Great Cormorant organic mercury in liver, kidney and muscle comprised 82 %, 79 % and 58 % of total mercury. In the mallard same values were 46 %, 54 %, and 64 %. For coot total mercury was: 0.1 ± 0.0, 0.1 ± 0.01, 0.03 ± 0.01 in liver kidney and muscle respectively. We detected no organic mercury. In general older birds that feed on higher trophic levels can accumulate more mercury in their tissues.

  5. West Nile virus monitoring in migrating and resident water birds in Iran: are common coots the main reservoirs of the virus in wetlands?

    PubMed

    Fereidouni, Sasan R; Ziegler, Ute; Linke, Sonja; Niedrig, Matthias; Modirrousta, Hossein; Hoffmann, Bernd; Groschup, Martin H

    2011-10-01

    A molecular and serological study was carried out to determine the West Nile virus (WNV) status in different species of wild water birds. From 2003 to 2007, samples were collected from 519 birds representing 26 different species in Iran. Out of 519 serum samples tested for WNV antibodies, 78 (15%) were positive when tested using virus neutralization and immunofluorescence. Antibodies of WNV were detected in 71 out of 131 common coot (Fulica atra) samples. In comparison, only 7 out of 388 birds that were belonged to 25 other species of water birds revealed positive results. For most Anatidae species, no positive duck in serological tests was found. Further, no WNV viral RNA-positive samples were found in this study. Results of this investigation provide important information about the prevalence of WNV in wild water birds in Iran and indicate the potential role and importance of common coots in ecology of WNVs.

  6. [Distribution of cestodes among domestic ducks and free-living aquatic birds].

    PubMed

    Valkounová, J

    1983-01-01

    In 1959-1975, 3404 water birds of 18 species belonging to six orders were examined for the presence of cestodes. The birds came from 52 localities (ponds) in Bohemia and Moravia where domestic ducks were kept by the State Fishery and where also wild water fowl occurred. Cestodes of 31 species of the families Hymenolepididae, Dilepididae, Amabiliidae and Diploposthidae were found. The total number of examined birds included 2476 domestic ducks (1406 of them, i. e. 56.8%, were positive for cestodes) and 928 free-living water birds (873 of them, i. e. 94.1%, were 30 cestode species. Eight free-living bird species of the orders Anseriformes and Ralliformes (Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya ferina, A. fuligula, Fulica atra, Aythya nyroca, Anas crecca, A. querquedula and A. strepera) are significant for the circulation of cestodes as they harbour 16 cestode species also occurring in Anas platyrhynchos dom.

  7. The first case of a major avian type C botulism outbreak in Poland.

    PubMed

    Wlodarczyk, Radoslaw; Minias, Piotr; Kukier, Elibieta; Grenda, Tomasz; Smietanka, Krzysztof; Janiszewski, Tomasz

    2014-09-01

    Major outbreaks of avian type C botulism have been rarely reported from Central Europe. In this paper, we report the first severe outbreak of avian type C botulism in Poland. In 2011-12, two epizootics caused by Clostridium botulinum took place at Jeziorsko dam reservoir and affected an estimated number of 5500 birds in 2011 and 1600 birds in 2012. In total, 24 species ofwaterbirds were affected, including mainly waterfowl (37.0%), shorebirds (27.0%), rallids (25.7%), and larids (9.1%). Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and coots (Fulica atra) were most commonly represented among all affected species (27.5% and 25.0% of all recorded carcasses, respectively). Laboratory analyses confirmed the presence of type C botulinum toxin in the internal organs of paralyzed birds. This case study from the Jeziorsko dam reservoir demonstrates that this type of shallow-water habitat is especially prone to avian botulism outbreaks in the climatic conditions of Central Europe.

  8. A silicified bird from Quaternary hot spring deposits

    PubMed Central

    Channing, Alan; Schweitzer, Mary Higby; Horner, John R; McEneaney, Terry

    2005-01-01

    The first avian fossil recovered from high-temperature hot spring deposits is a three-dimensional external body mould of an American coot (Fulica americana) from Holocene sinters of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. Silica encrustation of the carcass, feathers and colonizing microbial communities occurred within days of death and before substantial soft tissue degradation, allowing preservation of gross body morphology, which is usually lost under other fossilization regimes. We hypothesize that the increased rate and extent of opal-A deposition, facilitated by either passive or active microbial mediation following carcass colonization, is required for exceptional preservation of relatively large, fleshy carcasses or soft-bodied organisms by mineral precipitate mould formation. We suggest physico-chemical parameters conducive to similar preservation in other vertebrate specimens, plus distinctive sinter macrofabric markers of hot spring subenvironments where these parameters are met. PMID:16024344

  9. Surveillance for Avian Influenza Virus in Wild Birds in Poland, 2008-2015.

    PubMed

    Świętoń, Edyta; Wyrostek, Krzysztof; Jóźwiak, Michał; Olszewska-Tomczyk, Monika; Domańska-Blicharz, Katarzyna; Meissner, Włodzimierz; Włodarczyk, Radosław; Minias, Piotr; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Minta, Zenon; Śmietanka, Krzysztof

    2017-01-17

    We tested wild birds in Poland during 2008-2015 for avian influenza virus (AIV). We took 10,312 swabs and feces samples from 6,314 live birds representing 12 orders and 84 bird species, mostly from orders Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, for testing and characterization by various PCR methods. From PCR-positive samples, we attempted to isolate and subtype the virus. The RNA of AIV was detected in 1.8% (95% confidence interval, 1.5%-2.1%) of birds represented by 48 Mallards ( Anas platyrhynchos ), 11 Mute Swans ( Cygnus olor ), 48 Common Teal ( Anas crecca ), three Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), one Common Coot ( Fulica atra ), one Garganey (Spatula querquedula), and one unidentified bird species. Overall, the prevalence of AIV detection in Mallards and Mute Swans (the most frequently sampled species) was 2.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.4%-2.5%) and 0.5% (95% CI, 0.2%-0.8%), respectively; the difference was statistically significant (P=0.000). Hemagglutinin subtypes from H1 to H13 were identified, including H5 and H7 low pathogenic AIV subtypes. Mallards and Common Teals harbored the greatest diversity of subtypes. We observed seasonality of viral detection in Mallards, with higher AIV prevalence in late summer and autumn than in winter and spring. In addition, two peaks in AIV prevalence in summer (August) and autumn (November) were demonstrated for Mallards. The prevalence of AIV in Mute Swans did not show any statistically significant seasonal patterns.

  10. Recurring waterbird mortalities and unusual etiologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cole, R.A.; Franson, J.C.; Boere, Gerard C.; Galbraith, Colin A.; Stroud, David A.

    2006-01-01

    Over the last decade, the National Wildlife Health Center of the United States Geological Survey has documented various largescale mortalities of birds caused by infectious and non-infectious disease agents. Some of these mortality events have unusual or unidentified etiologies and have been recurring. While some of the causes of mortalities have been elucidated, others remain in various stages of investigation and identification. Two examples are discussed: 1) Leyogonimus polyoon (Class: Trematoda), not found in the New World until 1999, causes severe enteritis and has killed over 15 000 American Coot Fulica americana in the upper mid-western United States. The geographic range of this parasite within North America is predicted to be limited to the Great Lakes Basin. 2) In the early 1990s, estimates of up to 6% of the North American population of the Eared Grebe Podiceps nigricollis died at Salton Sea, California, with smaller mortalities occurring throughout the 1990s. Birds were observed to have unusual preening behaviour, and to congregate at freshwater drains and move onto land. Suggested etiologies included interactions of contaminants, immuno-suppression, an unusual form of a bacterial disease, and an unknown biotoxin. During studies carried out from 2000 to 2003, Eared Grebe mortality did not approach the level seen in the early 1990s and, although bacteria were identified as minor factors, the principal cause of mortality remains undetermined. The potential population impact of these emerging and novel disease agents is currently unknown.

  11. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy outbreaks at a southeastern reservoir.

    PubMed

    Fischer, John R; Lewis-Weis, Lynn A; Tate, Cynthia M; Gaydos, Joseph K; Gerhold, Richard W; Poppenga, Robert H

    2006-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease of unknown etiology that affects bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), American coots (Fulica americana), and several species of waterfowl. An unidentified neurotoxin is suspected as the cause of AVM, which has been documented at several reservoirs in the southeastern United States. We conducted diagnostic and epidemiologic studies annually during October-March from 1998-2004 at Clarks Hill/Strom Thurmond Lake on the Georgia/South Carolina border to better understand the disease. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy was confirmed or suspected as the cause of morbidity and mortality of 28 bald eagles, 16 Canada geese (Branta canadensis), six American coots, two great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus), and one killdeer (Charadrius vociferus). Active surveillance during the outbreaks yielded annual average prevalence of vacuolar lesions in 17-94% of coots, but not in 10 beavers (Castor canadensis), four raccoons (Procyon lotor), and one gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) collected for the study. Brain lesions were not apparent in 30 Canada geese collected and examined in June 2002. The outbreaks at this location from 1998-2004 represent the most significant AVM-related bald eagle mortality since the Arkansas epornitics of 1994-95 and 1996-97, as well as the first confirmation of the disease in members of Strigiformes and Charadriiformes.

  12. Selenium and boron in aquatic birds from central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paveglio, F.L.; Bunck, C.M.; Heinz, G.H.

    1992-01-01

    Subsurface agricultural drainwater used for marsh management has resulted in trace element contamination of aquatic bird food chains in central California. Consequently, we collected breeding and wintering aquatic birds from the Grassland Water District (GWD) of California during 1985-88 to measure selenium (Se) and boron (B) contamination resulting from use of such drainage water for wetland management. During the breeding and wintering periods, livers of birds from the North and South areas of the Grasslands contained concentrations of Se and B that have been associated with reproductive impairment. Birds from the South Grasslands, which had received more undiluted drainage water, were more contaminated than those from the North Grasslands. Birds had higher (P < 0.001) levels of Se and B at the end of the 1985-86 wintering period than at the beginning, indicating that the Grasslands was the major source of contamination. Concentrations of Se decreased from 1985 through 1988, after freshwater was substituted for irrigation drainage water during autumn 1985. B concentrations in wintering birds, except for American coots (Fulica americana), declined to background levels, while concentrations in breeding birds remained slightly elevated. However, after 3 years of freshwater management of the Grasslands, liver Se levels in some breeding and wintering birds still were above concentrations associated with impaired reproduction in laboratory and field studies. In areas with high potential for leaching of Se and B from agricultural land, irrigation drainage water should not be used for wetland management.

  13. Serosurveillance for Japanese encephalitis virus in wild birds captured in Korea.

    PubMed

    Yang, Dong-Kun; Oh, Yoon-I; Kim, Hye-Ryoung; Lee, Youn-Jeong; Moon, Oun-Kyong; Yoon, Hachung; Kim, Byounghan; Lee, Kyung-Woo; Song, Jae-Young

    2011-12-01

    Climate change induced by recent global warming may have a significant impact on vector-borne and zoonotic diseases. For example, the distribution of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) has expanded into new regions. We surveyed the levels of hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies against JEV (Family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus) in wild birds captured in Korea. Blood samples were collected from 1,316 wild birds including the following migratory birds: Oceanodroma castro (n = 4), Anas formosa (n = 7), Anas penelope (n = 20), Fulica atra (n = 30), Anas acuta (n = 89), Anas crecca (n = 154), Anas platyrhynchos (n = 214), Aix galericulata (n = 310), and Anas poecilorhyncha (n = 488). All were captured in 16 locations in several Korea provinces between April 2007 and December 2009. Out of the 1,316 serum samples tested, 1,141 (86.7%) were positive for JEV. Wild birds captured in 2009 had a higher seroprevalence of ant-JEV antibodies than those captured in 2007. Wild birds with an HI antibody titer of 1 : 1,280 or higher accounted for 21.2% (280/1,316) of the animals tested. These findings indicated that wild birds from the region examined in our study have been exposed to JEV and may pose a high risk for introducing a new JEV genotype into Korea.

  14. [Molecular virological monitoring of Newcastle disease virus strains (Paramyxoviridae, Avulavirus) in the populations of wild birds in the Volga estuary (the 2001 data)].

    PubMed

    Usachev, E V; Shchelkanov, M Iu; Fediakina, I T; L'vov, D N; Dzharkenov, A F; Aristova, V A; Kovtunov, A I; Prilipov, A G; Iamnikova, S S; L'vov, D K

    2006-01-01

    The paper analyzes the results of isolation of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strains from 336 swaps of 31 wild bird species collected in the 2001 summer in the Volga estuary (Astrakhan Region). Twenty-seven NDV strains were isolated from little terns (Sterna albifrons) (n=11; infection rate, 24.4%), great cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) (n=6; 11.1%), coots (Fulica atra) (n=8; 6.5%), sandwich terns (Sterna sandvicensis) (n=1; 100%), and common redshanks (Tringa totanus) (n=1; 50.0%). Four strains were sequenced by the 374 n. a. residue fragment from the beginning of the F gene, one of them was by the full F gene, and another (Stemal/Astrakhan/2755/2001) was by the full genome. Nucleotide sequences have allowed the authors to classify corresponding NDV strains as 5b genotype and the analysis of the amino acid sequence of the F-protein cleavage site has shown them to belong to a non-pathogenic group.

  15. Establishing a food-chain link between aquatic plant material and avian vacuolar myelinopathy in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).

    PubMed

    Birrenkott, Anna H; Wilde, Susan B; Hains, John J; Fischer, John R; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Parnell, Pamela G; Bowerman, William W

    2004-07-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease primarily affecting bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana). The disease was first characterized in bald eagles in Arkansas in 1994 and then in American coots in 1996. To date, AVM has been confirmed in six additional avian species. Attempts to identify the etiology of AVM have been unsuccessful to date. The objective of this study was to evaluate dermal and oral routes of exposure of birds to hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) and associated materials to evaluate their ability to induce AVM. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were used in all trials; bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus) also were used in one fresh hydrilla material exposure trial. Five trials were conducted, including two fresh hydrilla material exposure trials, two cyanobacteria exposure trials, and a frozen hydrilla material exposure trial. The cyanobacteria exposure trials and frozen hydrilla material trial involved gavaging mallards with either Pseudanabaena catenata (live culture), Hapalosiphon fontinalis, or frozen hydrilla material with both cyanobacteria species present. With the exception of one fresh hydrilla exposure trial, results were negative or inconclusive. In the 2002 hydrilla material exposure trial, six of nine treated ducks had histologic lesions of AVM. This established the first cause-effect link between aquatic vegetation and AVM and provided evidence supporting an aquatic source for the causal agent.

  16. Failure to transmit avian vacuolar myelinopathy to mallard ducks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larsen, R.S.; Nutter, F.B.; Augspurger, T.; Rocke, T.E.; Thomas, N.J.; Stoskopf, M.K.

    2003-01-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease that has been diagnosed in free-ranging birds in the southeastern United States. Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leuocephalus), American coots (Fulica americana), and mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) have been affected. Previous investigations have not determined the etiology of this disease. In November and December 2002, we attempted to induce AVM in game-farmed mallards through four, 7-day exposure trials. Mallards were housed in six groups of eight, with two of these groups serving as controls. One group was housed with AVM-affected coots; one group was tube fed daily with water from the lake where affected coots were captured; one group was tube fed daily with aquatic vegetation (Hydrilla verticillata) from the same lake; and another group was tube fed daily with sediment from the lake. No ducks exhibited clinical neurologic abnormalities consistent with AVM and no evidence of AVM was present at histopathologic examination of brain tissue. Although limitations in sample size, quantity of individual doses, frequency of dose administration, duration of exposure, and timing of these trials restrict the interpretation of the findings, AVM was not readily transmitted by direct contact, water, hydrilla, or sediment in this investigation.

  17. Distribution and habitat associations of breeding secretive marsh birds in Louisiana's Mississippi alluvial valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valente, J.J.; King, S.L.; Wilson, R.R.

    2011-01-01

    Populations of many North American secretive marsh birds (SMBs) have declined in recent decades, partially as a function of wetland loss. Protecting and restoring appropriate habitat for these species is contingent upon understanding the habitat features they utilize. We investigated breeding distributions of SMBs in northeast Louisiana at 118 wetlands in 2007 and 2008 and modeled species occupancy (??) as a function of habitat variables measured at local (???100 m) and landscape (???1 km) scales. Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilis), and Purple Gallinules (Porphyrula martinica) were the most commonly detected species, whereas breeding King Rails (Rallus elegans) and American Coots (Fulica americana) were rare. Local habitat features consistently played a greater role in predicting ?? than landscape features for the three most common species. The proportion of local wetland area dominated by robust emergent vegetation (i.e., Typha spp. and Zizaniopsis miliacea) positively influenced ?? for all species, while other wetland vegetation types tended to have a minimal or negative effect. Our results suggest the habitat characteristics preferred by breeding SMBs differ from those used by migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl and management and restoration objectives for those species may be inadequate for enhancing SMB habitat. ?? 2011 US Government.

  18. Distribution and habitat associations of breeding secretive marsh birds in Louisiana's Mississippi Alluvial Valley

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Valente , Jonathan J.; King, Sammy L.; Wilson, R. Randy

    2011-01-01

    Populations of many North American secretive marsh birds (SMBs) have declined in recent decades, partially as a function of wetland loss. Protecting and restoring appropriate habitat for these species is contingent upon understanding the habitat features they utilize. We investigated breeding distributions of SMBs in northeast Louisiana at 118 wetlands in 2007 and 2008 and modeled species occupancy (psi) as a function of habitat variables measured at local (<= 100 m) and landscape (<= 1 km) scales. Common Moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), Least Bitterns (Ixobrychus exilis), and Purple Gallinules (Porphyrula martinica) were the most commonly detected species, whereas breeding King Rails (Rallus elegans) and American Coots (Fulica americana) were rare. Local habitat features consistently played a greater role in predicting psi than landscape features for the three most common species. The proportion of local wetland area dominated by robust emergent vegetation (i.e., Typha spp. and Zizaniopsis miliacea) positively influenced psi for all species, while other wetland vegetation types tended to have a minimal or negative effect. Our results suggest the habitat characteristics preferred by breeding SMBs differ from those used by migrating shorebirds and wintering waterfowl and management and restoration objectives for those species may be inadequate for enhancing SMB habitat.

  19. Effect of high aluminum consumption on mechanics and composition of furculae of free-ranging coots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hui, C.A.; Ellers, O.

    1999-01-01

    High levels of ingested Al can affect mechanical properties of bones. Because of the spring action of the furcula during the wingbeat, small changes in the mechanical properties of this bone may have measurable impacts on long-distance flight. We examined the furculae and ingesta of free- ranging American coots (Fulica americana) in San Francisco Bay (California, USA), where they consume a diet high in Al. We measured the spring stiffness and phase angle (??) of the furculae and the concentrations of Al, Ca, F. Mg, and P in both the furculae and ingesta. The ingesta had mean Al concentrations (2,384 ??g/g, dry weight) and Al:P molar ratios (6.4:1) predicted to affect bone integrity but the bone concentrations of Al were near the normal range and the furcula stiffness did not change with Al concentration. The tan ?? of the furculae changed with Al concentration but the relationship was weak. The chemical speciation of the ingested Al may have affected its physiologic role and the high mean levels of ingested calcium (71,283 ??g/g, dry weight) very likely neutralized the activity of the Al. Controlled feeding studies have shown that F strengthens avian bones. The bones in our study had molar concentrations of F more than two orders of magnitude greater than Al (170:1) but F appears to have insignificant influence on bone mechanics. The coots in San Francisco Bay apparently are not suffering furcula impairment despite a diet high in Al.

  20. Species occurrence of marsh birds at Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Erwin, R.M.; Conway, C.J.; Hadden, S.W.

    2002-01-01

    We initiated an inventory and a field test of a protocol that could be used for monitoring marsh birds at the Cape Cod National Seashore in eastern Massachusetts during 1999 and 2000, as part of a more comprehensive national effort. Using cassette tapes during call broadcast surveys, we visited a total of 78 survey points at freshwater, brackish, and salt marsh sites three times on the ground or in canoes during the breeding season (May-June), fall migration (September to November), and twice during winter (December-January). Observer bias on our marsh bird surveys appeared negligible. Although both auditory and visual detection of most species was low (mean ( 0.3 birds per replicate-survey point), we confirmed the presence of seven marsh species, including American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), American Coot (Fulica americana), King Rail (Rallus elegans), Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), Sora (Porzana carolina), and Virginia Rail (Railus limicola). We suspected breeding of Least Bitterns and Soras at Great Pond in Provincetown, and for Virginia Rails at Hatches Harbor, Provincetown. The most frequently detected species were Soras, Pied-billed Grebes, and Virginia Rails. We recommend using call broadcast surveys for these cryptic species to enhance their probabilities of detection.

  1. Maximizing detection probability of Wetland-dependent birds during point-count surveys in northwestern Florida

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nadeau, C.P.; Conway, C.J.; Smith, B.S.; Lewis, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    We conducted 262 call-broadcast point-count surveys (1-6 replicate surveys on each of 62 points) using standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocols between 31 May and 7 July 2006 on St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge, an island off the northwest coast of Florida. We conducted double-blind multiple-observer surveys, paired morning and evening surveys, and paired morning and night surveys to examine the influence of call-broadcast and time of day on detection probability. Observer detection probability for all species pooled was 75% and was similar between passive (69%) and call-broadcast (65%) periods. Detection probability was higher on morning than evening (t = 3.0, P = 0.030) or night (t = 3.4, P = 0.042) surveys when we pooled all species. Detection probability was higher (but not significant for all species) on morning compared to evening or night surveys for all five focal species detected on surveys: Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris), Purple Gallinule (Porphyrula martinica), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), and American Coot (Fulica americana). We detected more Least Bitterns (t = 2.4, P = 0.064) and Common Moorhens (t = 2.8, P = 0.026) on morning than evening surveys, and more Clapper Rails (t = 5.1, P = 0.014) on morning than night surveys.

  2. Presence of plastic particles in waterbirds faeces collected in Spanish lakes.

    PubMed

    Gil-Delgado, J A; Guijarro, D; Gosálvez, R U; López-Iborra, G M; Ponz, A; Velasco, A

    2017-01-01

    Plastic intake by marine vertebrates has been widely reported, but information about its presence in continental waterfowl is scarce. Here we analyzed faeces of waterbirds species (European coot, Fulica atra, mallard, Anas platyrhynchos and shelduck, Tadorna tadorna) for plastic debris in five wetlands in Central Spain. We collected 89 faeces of shelduck distributed in four lakes, 43.8% of them presented plastic remnants. Sixty percent of 10 faeces of European coot and 45% of 40 faeces of mallard contained plastic debris. Plastic debris found was of two types, threads and fragments, and were identified as remnants of plastic objects used in agricultural fields surrounding the lakes. Differences in prevalence of plastic in faeces, number of plastic pieces per excrement and size of the plastic pieces were not statistically significant between waterfowl species. Thus, our results suggest that plastic may also be frequently ingested by waterfowl in continental waters, at least in our study area. Future studies should address this potential problem for waterbird conservation in other wetlands to evaluate the real impact of this pollutant on waterbirds living in inland water.

  3. [Distribution of aquatic birds in oxidation lagoons of La Paz city in South Baja California, Mexico].

    PubMed

    Zamora-Orozco, Elvia Margarita; Carmona, Roberto; Brabata, Georgina

    2007-06-01

    Taxonomic composition, spatial and temporal distribution of aquatic birds in oxidation lagoons (LO) of La Paz city in south Baja California, Mexico, were determined during 24 censuses realized in two-week intervals (April/98-March/99). There are five lagoons of5 Ha each and 17 ha of terrains constantly flooded that serve as feeding areas for cattle and birds. One hundred twenty three species were observed, 75 of which were aquatic birds. A total of 46 041 observations were made (average 1 918 birds/census). Richness and abundance of aquatic birds were influenced mainly by migration of anatids and sandpipers. The first group had the greatest abundance due to its affinity towards fresh water bodies. The terrains were the favorite sites of dabbling ducks (Anas) and sandpipers. In contrast, two of the most abundant species (Oxyura jamaicensis, 12.5% of all species, and Fulica americana, 8.8 %) restricted their presence to the oxidation lagoons. LO presented a bird structure of its own and atypical, according to the dryness of the region.

  4. Macromolecular antimicrobial glycoprotein, achacin, expressed in a methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Ogawa, M; Nakamura, S; Atsuchi, T; Tamiya, T; Tsuchiya, T; Nakai, S

    1999-04-01

    A cDNA encoding achacin, an antimicrobial glycoprotein from the body surface mucus of giant African snail Achacina fulica Férussac, was expressed in a methylotrophic yeast, Pichia pastoris, and recombinant achacin (rAch) was secreted in yeast minimal medium in a polyglycosylated form with 80 kDa. Carbohydrate analysis revealed that the glycosylated moiety of rAch was composed of 50 mol mannose and 2 mol N-acetylglucosamine residues. Antimicrobial activity using Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus showed that the rAch had a behavior similar to its native counterpart. The rAch showed so wide an antimicrobial spectrum that 0.1 mg/ml rAch inhibited the growth of Pseudomonas fluorescens, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Streptococcus faecalis in addition to E. coli and S. aureus, whereas it did not appreciably affect the growth of Proteus mirabilis, Bacillus cereus and Micrococcus luteus. The rAch was also effective in preventing growth of Vibrio anguillarum and Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The results suggested that the rAch had great potential of using as an antimicrobial agent.

  5. An extract of Hydrilla verticillata and associated epiphytes induces avian vacuolar myelinopathy in laboratory mallards.

    PubMed

    Wiley, Faith E; Twiner, Michael J; Leighfield, Tod A; Wilde, Susan B; Van Dolah, Frances M; Fischer, John R; Bowerman, William W

    2009-08-01

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurological disease affecting bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), American coots (Fulica americana), waterfowl, and other birds in the southeastern United States. The cause of the disease is unknown, but is thought to be a naturally produced toxin. AVM is associated with aquatic macrophytes, most frequently hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), and researchers have linked the disease to an epiphytic cyanobacterial species associated with the macrophytes. The goal of this study was to develop an extraction protocol for separating the putative toxin from a hydrilla-cyanobacterial matrix. Hydrilla samples were collected from an AVM-affected reservoir (J. Strom Thurmond Lake, SC) and confirmed to contain the etiologic agent by mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) bioassay. These samples were then extracted using a solvent series of increasing polarity: hexanes, acetone, and methanol. Control hydrilla samples from a reference reservoir with no history of AVM (Lake Marion, SC) were extracted in parallel. Resulting extracts were administered to mallards by oral gavage. Our findings indicate that the methanol extracts of hydrilla collected from the AVM-affected site induced the disease in laboratory mallards. This study provides the first data documenting for an "extractable" AVM-inducing agent.

  6. Effects on wildlife of ethyl and methyl parathion applied to California rice fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hill, E.F.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Selected rice fields on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex were aerially sprayed one time during May or June 1982 with either ethyl (0.11 kg Al/ha) or methyl (0.84 kg AI/ha) parathion for control of tadpole shrimp, Triops longicaudatus. No sick or dead vertebrate wildlife were found or adjacent to the treated rice fields after spraying. Specimens of the following birds and mammals were assayed for brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity to determine exposure to either form of parathion; house mouse, Mus musculus; black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; American coot, Fulica americana; and red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. Both mice and pheasants from methyl parathion-treated fields had overall mean ChE activities that were significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared with controls, and 7, 40, 54 and 57% of individual blackbirds, pheasant, mice, and coots, respectively, had inhibited brain ChE activities (i.e., less than -2 SD of control mean). Although no overall species effect was detected for ethyl parathoid treatment, pheasants (43%), coots (33%), and mice (37%) had significantly inhibited brain ChE activities. Neither of the parathion treatment appeared acutely hazardous to wildlife in or adjacent to rice fields, but sufficient information on potential hazards was obtained to warrant caution in use of these chemicals, especially methyl parathion, in rice fields.

  7. Effects of wildlife of ethyl and methyl parathion applied to California USA rice fields

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Custer, T.W.; Hill, E.F.; Ohlendorf, H.M.

    1985-01-01

    Selected rice fields on the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex were aerially sprayed one time during May or June 1982 with either ethyl (0.11 kg Al/ha) or methyl (0.84 kg AI/ha) parathion for control of tadpole shrimp, Triops longicaudatus. No sick or dead vertebrate wildlife were found or adjacent to the treated rice fields after spraying. Specimens of the following birds and mammals were assayed for brain cholinesterase (ChE) activity to determine exposure to either form of parathion; house mouse, Mus musculus; black-tailed jackrabbit, Lepus californicus; mallard, Anas platyrhynchos; ring-necked pheasant, Phasianus colchicus; American coot, Fulica americana; and red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus. Both mice and pheasants from methyl parathion-treated fields had overall mean ChE activities that were significantly (P < 0.05) inhibited compared with controls, and 7, 40, 54 and 57% of individual blackbirds, pheasant, mice, and coots, respectively, had inhibited brain ChE activities (i.e., less than -2 SD of control mean). Although no overall species effect was detected for ethyl parathoid treatment, pheasants (43%), coots (33%), and mice (37%) had significantly inhibited brain ChE activities. Neither of the parathion treatment appeared acutely hazardous to wildlife in or adjacent to rice fields, but sufficient information on potential hazards was obtained to warrant caution in use of these chemicals, especially methyl parathion, in rice fields.

  8. Free-living Waterfowl as a Source of Zoonotic Bacteria in a Dense Wild Bird Population Area in Northeastern Spain.

    PubMed

    Antilles, N; Sanglas, A; Cerdà-Cuéllar, M

    2015-10-01

    Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. are zoonotic bacteria that represent an economic and public health concern worldwide. Due to the difficulty to collect samples from free-living waterfowl, little is known on their importance as a reservoir of zoonotic agents. Thus, a study was conducted to determine the prevalence, genotypic diversity and antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonella and Campylobacter from waterfowl in Ebro Delta (northeastern Spain), a geographical area with a dense wild bird population. Samples were collected from 318 adult waterfowl belonging to nine fowl species. All the samples were taken during the hunting season from 2008 to 2010. None of the birds were positive for Salmonella, while the overall Campylobacter prevalence was 12.58% (40/318). A much higher Campylobacter coli prevalence than Campylobacter jejuni was found (11.64% versus 0.94%). The species Fulica atra showed the highest Campylobacter prevalence (78.05%). ERIC-PCR of the isolates showed a high diversity of strains. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of Campylobacter isolates showed that all the isolates were susceptible to the seven antibiotics tested.

  9. Waterfowl in relation to land use and water levels on the Spring Run Area

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, G.L.; Parsons, D.R.; Weller, M.W.

    1970-01-01

    Low water levels during critical phases of the breeding cycle appear to have caused population declines of waterfowl and other marsh birds on the Spring Run Game Management Area. Pair-counts indicated a decline from 70 pairs of waterfowl in 1965 to 2 pairs in 1968. Nest success of upland nesting blue-winged teal (Anas discors) averaged 33% and mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) averaged 23%. Blue-winged teal selected nest sites closer to water than did mallards (314 feet versus 424 feet). Teal nested in ungrazed bluegrass (Poa pratensis) in preference to alfalfa (Medicago sativa) hayland. Bromegrass (Bromus inermis) was readily used by teal and mallards when it became available for nesting. Nest success of species nesting overwater was considerably higher: Redheads (Aythya americana) were 55% successful and 93% of 75 coot (Fulica americana) nests hatched. A study of dummy-nests showed nest success significantly higher on ungrazed than on grazed bluegrass. Grazing did not significantly lower total mouse populations but did change species composition because deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) increased as other species declined with grazing.

  10. Epizootiologic studies of avian vacuolar myelinopathy in waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Thomas, N.J.; Augspurger, T.; Miller, K.

    2002-01-01

    Epizootic avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) was first recognized as a neurologic disease in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and American coots (Fulica americana) in Arkansas, USA in 1994 and 1996, respectively, but attempts to identify the etiology of the disease have been unsuccessful to date. Between 1998 and 2001, wing clipped sentinel birds (wild American coots and game farm mallards [Anas platyrhynchos]) were released at Lake Surf, North Carolina, a lake with recurrent outbreaks of AVM, in order to gain a better understanding of the epizootiology of the disease. As early as 5-7 days post-release, sentinel coots and mallards showed neurologic signs of disease and were confirmed with AVM upon histologic examination of their brains. Serial releases of sentinel mallards during the summer, fall, and winter of 2000-01 demonstrated that exposure to the causative agent at a threshold sufficient to manifest disease was seasonal and occurred over about a 2 mo period, during November and December. Our findings that disease onset can be very rapid (5-7 days) and that exposure to the causative agent of AVM is site-specific, seasonal (late fall to early winter), and occurs over a relatively short duration (several months) supports the hypothesis that the disease is caused by a chemical substance, most likely of natural origin.

  11. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  12. Nest survival of American Coots relative to grazing, burning, and water depths [Survie au nid chez la Foulque d’Amérique en fonction du pâturage, du brûlage et de la profondeur d’eau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, Jane E.; Buhl, Deborah A.

    2011-01-01

    Water and emergent vegetation are key features influencing nest site selection and success for many marsh-nesting waterbirds. Wetland management practices such as grazing, burning, and water-level manipulations directly affect these features and can influence nest survival. We used model selection and before-after-control-impact approaches to evaluate the effects of water depth and four common land-management practices or treatments, i.e., summer grazing, fall grazing, fall burning, and idle (no active treatment) on nest survival of American coots (Fulica americana) nesting at Grays Lake, a large montane wetland in southeast Idaho. The best model included the variables year × treatment, and quadratic functions of date, water depth, and nest age; height of vegetation at the nest did not improve the best model. However, results from the before-after-control-impact analysis indicate that management practices affected nest success via vegetation and involved interactions of hydrology, residual vegetation, and habitat composition. Nest success in idled fields changed little between pre- and post-treatment periods, whereas nest success declined in fields that were grazed or burned, with the most dramatic declines the year following treatments. The importance of water depth may be amplified in this wetland system because of rapid water-level withdrawal during the nesting season. Water and land-use values for area ranchers, management for nesting waterbirds, and long-term wetland function are important considerations in management of water levels and vegetation.

  13. Feeding ecology of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus) inhabiting a forest-mangrove-savanna-agricultural matrix at Caiquene-Cadique, Cantanhez National Park, Guinea-Bissau.

    PubMed

    Bessa, Joana; Sousa, Cláudia; Hockings, Kimberley J

    2015-06-01

    With rising conversion of "natural" habitat to other land use such as agriculture, nonhuman primates are increasingly exploiting areas influenced by people and their activities. Despite the conservation importance of understanding the ways in which primates modify their behavior to human pressures, data are lacking, even for well-studied species. Using systematically collected data (fecal samples, feeding traces, and direct observations), we examined the diet and feeding strategies of an unhabituated chimpanzee community (Pan troglodytes verus) at Caiquene-Cadique in Guinea-Bissau that inhabit a forest-savanna-mangrove-agricultural mosaic. The chimpanzees experienced marked seasonal variations in the availability of plant foods, but maintained a high proportion of ripe fruit in the diet across months. Certain wild species were identified as important to this community including oil-palm (Elaeis guineensis) fruit and flower. Honey was frequently consumed but no other insects or vertebrates were confirmed to be eaten by this community. However, we provide indirect evidence of possible smashing and consumption of giant African snails (Achatina sp.) by chimpanzees at this site. Caiquene-Cadique chimpanzees were confirmed to feed on nine different agricultural crops, which represented 13.6% of all plant species consumed. Consumption of fruit and nonfruit crops was regular, but did not increase during periods of wild fruit scarcity. Crop consumption is an increasing and potentially problematic behavior, which can impact local people's tolerance toward wildlife. To maximize the potential success of any human-wildlife coexistence strategy (e.g., to reduce primate crop feeding), knowledge of primate behavior, as well as multifaceted social dimensions of interactions, is critical.

  14. Finding the Exotic Faucet Snail (Bithynia tentaculata): Investigation of Waterbird Die-Offs on the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sauer, Jennifer S.; Cole, Rebecca A.; Nissen, James M.

    2007-01-01

    Beginning in 2002, there have been major waterbird die-offs every spring and fall in Lake Onalaska (Navigation Pool 7 of the Upper Mississippi River) located near La Crosse, Wisconsin. This area is part of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (UMR Refuge) and lies within the Mississippi Flyway, through which an estimated 40 percent of the continent's waterfowl migrate. Through the 2006 spring migration, total mortality on the UMR Refuge was estimated at 22,000 to 26,000 birds, primarily American coots (Fulica americana) and lesser scaup (Aythya affinis). Two trematodes (Sphaeridiotrema globulus and Cyathocotyle bushiensis) that use the exotic faucet snail (Bithynia tentaculata) as an intermediate host were found to infect and kill the waterbirds. The faucet snail was introduced into the United States from Europe in the late 1800s. Because Lake Onalaska is a major spring and fall stop-over area for waterfowl in the Mississippi Flyway, concerns were raised that the snail and trematodes may be spreading to other waterfowl stop-over areas on the river. Exploratory sampling for faucet snails was conducted in 2005 and 2006 in navigation Pools 4-9 (excluding Pool 5a which is located between Pools 5 and 6), 11, and 13. Infected snails were found in all the sampled pools except Pool 6. To our knowledge, these are the first records of faucet snails and associated trematodes beyond those found in Pool 7, Lake Onalaska. Waterbird die-offs are becoming a UMR Refuge-wide problem. Information obtained through research and monitoring, including the identification of the origin of infections in snails and birds and the role various environmental factors have on this process, should help guide managers to develop effective mitigation and control measures.

  15. Radiocesium in migratory aquatic game birds using contaminated U.S. Department of Energy reactor-cooling reservoirs: A long-term perspective.

    PubMed

    Kennamer, Robert A; Oldenkamp, Ricki E; Leaphart, James C; King, Joshua D; Bryan, A Lawrence; Beasley, James C

    2017-05-01

    Low-level releases of radiocesium into former nuclear reactor cooling-reservoirs on the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina, USA, dating primarily to the late 1950s and early 1960s, have allowed examination of long-term contaminant attenuation in biota occupying these habitats. Periodic collections of migratory game birds since the 1970s have documented (137)Cs (radiocesium) activity concentrations in birds of SRS reservoirs, including mainly Par Pond and Pond B. In this study, during 2014 and 2015 we released wild-caught American coots (Fulica americana) and ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) onto Pond B. We made lethal collections of these same birds with residence times ranging from 32 to 173 days to examine radiocesium uptake and estimate the rate of natural attenuation. The two species achieved asymptotic whole-body activity concentrations of radiocesium at different times, with ring-necked ducks requiring almost three times longer than the 30-35 days needed by coots. We estimated ecological half-life (Te) for Pond B coots over a 28-yr period as 16.8 yr (95% CI = 12.9-24.2 yr). Pond B coot Te was nearly four times longer than Te for coots at nearby Par Pond where radiocesium bioavailability had been constrained for decades by pumping of potassium-enriched river water into that reservoir. Te could not be estimated from long-term data for radiocesium in Pond B diving ducks, including ring-necked ducks, likely because of high variability in residence times of ducks on Pond B. Our results highlight the importance: (1) for risk managers to understand site-specific bio-geochemistry of radiocesium for successful implementation of countermeasures at contaminated sites and (2) of residence time as a critical determinant of observed radiocesium activity concentrations in highly mobile wildlife inhabiting contaminated habitats.

  16. Selective predation by mink, Mustela vison, on waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.; Swanson, G.A.; Doty, H.A.

    1973-01-01

    Predation by mink (Mustela vison) on three types of ducks (captive, pen-reared-released and wild) was documented in two studies at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota. In the first study, 36 of 60 flightless adult and juvenile ducks held on eight 0.1-acre experimental ponds disappeared between 10 July and 4 August 1969. Available evidence indicated that all were killed by a large adult mink. The mink selected recently released incubator-hatched ducklings, females in the process of incubating, and adults and juveniles on a marginal food supply.In the second study, 152 wood duck ducklings (Aix sponsa) were released on a 76-acre marsh during 1971. Half of the ducklings, when 24 to 27 days old, were placed at weekly intervals in four floating pens and allowed to escape after 4 days. Each time birds were placed in the floating pens, a comparable group was placed in a predator-proof shoreline pen. Birds in the shoreline pen escaped as they learned to fly when approximately 60 days old. The shoreline of the marsh was periodically searched, and the remains of 21 (28%) of the floating-pen birds were identified in food remains found at 16 mink dens. No remains of birds from the shoreline pen were found at the dens. Coots (Fulica americana) were also taken commonly. Wild ducklings appeared to have been almost totally consumed, but the legs and feet of the wood ducks were often left uneaten because of bands and tags.

  17. Experimental feeding of Hydrilla verticillata colonized by stigonematales cyanobacteria induces vacuolar myelinopathy in painted turtles (Chrysemys picta).

    PubMed

    Mercurio, Albert D; Hernandez, Sonia M; Maerz, John C; Yabsley, Michael J; Ellis, Angela E; Coleman, Amanda L; Shelnutt, Leslie M; Fischer, John R; Wilde, Susan B

    2014-01-01

    Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM) is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter "UCB" for "uncharacterized cyanobacterium"). Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common "host" of UCB). We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, "toxicity") was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana) captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the putative UCB toxin

  18. Secretive marsh aird species co-eccurrences and habitat associations across the midwest, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bolenbaugh, Jason R.; Krementz, David G.; Lehnen, Sarah E.

    2011-01-01

    Because secretive marsh birds are difficult to detect, population status and habitat use for these birds are not well known. We conducted repeated surveys for secretive marsh birds across 264 sites in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture region to estimate abundance, occupancy, and detection probabilities during the 2008 and 2009 breeding seasons. We identified species groups based on observed species co-occurrences. Two species, least bittern Ixobrychus exilis and American bittern Botaurus lentiginosus, co-occurred with other species less often than expected by chance, and two species groups, rails (Virginia rail Rallus limicola and sora Porzana carolina) and open-water birds (pied-billed grebe Podilymbus podiceps, common moorhen Gallinula chloropus, and American coot Fulica americana; coots were only surveyed in 2009), co-occurred more often than expected by chance. These groupings were consistent between years. We then estimated the relation of these species and groups to landscape and local site characteristics by using zero-inflated abundance models that accounted for incomplete detection. At the landscape level (5-km radius), the amount of emergent herbaceous wetland was positively associated with least bittern occupancy, whereas the amount of woody wetland was negatively associated with least bittern, rail, and open-water bird occupancy. At the local level, habitat variables that were associated with abundance were not consistent among groups or between years, with the exception that both least bitterns and open-water birds had a strong positive association between abundance and water-vegetation interspersion. Land managers interested in marsh bird management or conservation may want to consider focusing efforts on landscapes with high amounts of emergent herbaceous wetland and low amounts of woody wetland, and managing for high amounts of water-vegetation interspersion within the wetland.

  19. Experimental Feeding of Hydrilla verticillata Colonized by Stigonematales Cyanobacteria Induces Vacuolar Myelinopathy in Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta)

    PubMed Central

    Mercurio, Albert D.; Hernandez, Sonia M.; Maerz, John C.; Yabsley, Michael J.; Ellis, Angela E.; Coleman, Amanda L.; Shelnutt, Leslie M.; Fischer, John R.; Wilde, Susan B.

    2014-01-01

    Vacuolar myelinopathy (VM) is a neurologic disease primarily found in birds that occurs when wildlife ingest submerged aquatic vegetation colonized by an uncharacterized toxin-producing cyanobacterium (hereafter “UCB” for “uncharacterized cyanobacterium”). Turtles are among the closest extant relatives of birds and many species directly and/or indirectly consume aquatic vegetation. However, it is unknown whether turtles can develop VM. We conducted a feeding trial to determine whether painted turtles (Chrysemys picta) would develop VM after feeding on Hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata), colonized by the UCB (Hydrilla is the most common “host” of UCB). We hypothesized turtles fed Hydrilla colonized by the UCB would exhibit neurologic impairment and vacuolation of nervous tissues, whereas turtles fed Hydrilla free of the UCB would not. The ability of Hydrilla colonized by the UCB to cause VM (hereafter, “toxicity”) was verified by feeding it to domestic chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus) or necropsy of field collected American coots (Fulica americana) captured at the site of Hydrilla collections. We randomly assigned ten wild-caught turtles into toxic or non-toxic Hydrilla feeding groups and delivered the diets for up to 97 days. Between days 82 and 89, all turtles fed toxic Hydrilla displayed physical and/or neurologic impairment. Histologic examination of the brain and spinal cord revealed vacuolations in all treatment turtles. None of the control turtles exhibited neurologic impairment or had detectable brain or spinal cord vacuolations. This is the first evidence that freshwater turtles can become neurologically impaired and develop vacuolations after consuming toxic Hydrilla colonized with the UCB. The southeastern United States, where outbreaks of VM occur regularly and where vegetation colonized by the UCB is common, is also a global hotspot of freshwater turtle diversity. Our results suggest that further investigations into the effect of the

  20. Interspecific relationships between American coots and waterfowl during fall migration

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Patterson, Craig T.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1985-01-01

    Interactions between American Coots (Fulica americana) and water-fowl during the breeding season are well-documented (Ryder 1959, Nudds 1981). Ducks and coots use similar nesting, feeding, brooding, and loafing sites during the breeding season (Munro 1939, Sooter 1945, Ryder 1959). Coots create potential nest sites, repulse predators, provide predation buffers for ducks (Sooter 1945; Ryder 1958, 1959), and may also destroy eggs and young of other marsh-nesting birds (Munro 1937, Burger 1973, McNicholl 1975). Coots, ducks, and swans often feed cooperatively (Ryder 1959, Anderson 1974, Ryan 1981); and American Wigeon (Anas americana) and Gadwell () may rob feeding coots (Knapton and Knudsen 1978, Ryan 1981). Interspecies aggression between coots and waterfowl usually occurs when ducks approach coot nests or broods (Ryan and Dinsmore 1979). Despite these interactions, the numbers of duck broods produced in areas in Utah with nesting coots and in areas where coots have been removed were similar (Ryder 1958, 1961). Densities of coots and ducks, and brood counts of coots and ducks for a 26-year period in Saskatchewan also indicated no significant relationship between numbers of coots and waterfowl (Nudds 1981). Coots and waterfowl from large areas of breeding habitat concentrate on smaller areas during the nonbreeding season (Weller 1975:102). These species may also change diets and habitats during migration and while wintering (Weller 1975). This study documents associations between waterfowl and coots during fall migration and examines feeding and behavioral interactions between coots and waterfowl in mixed flocks. Specifically, we (1) describe temporal and spatial overlap among migrations of coots and waterfowl, (2) present behavioral interactions among species, and (3) document food habits of birds feeding sympatrically during fall migration in Oklahoma.

  1. Red fox spatial characteristics in relation to waterfowl predation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sargeant, A.B.

    1972-01-01

    Radio-equipped red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) on the Cedar Creek area in Minnesota were spatially distributed, with individual families occupying well defined, nonoverlapping, contiguous territories. Territory boundaries often conformed to natural physical boundaries and appeared to be maintained through some nonaggressive behavior mechanism. Individual foxes traveled extensively throughout the family territory each night. Fox territories appeared to range from approximately 1 to 3 square miles in size, dependent largely on population density. Red foxes used a sequence of dens to rear their pups, and the amount and location of food remains at individual dens changed as the pups matured. The denning season was divided into pre-emergence, confined-use, and dispersed-use periods of 4 to 5 weeks each. Remains of adult waterfowl were collected at rearing dens on six townships in three ecologically different regions of eastern North Dakota. Remains of 172 adult dabbling ducks and 16 adult American coots (Fulica americana) were found at 35 dens. No remains from diving ducks were found. The number of adult ducks per den averaged 1.6, 5.9, and 10.2 for paired townships in regions with relatively low, moderate and high duck populations, respectively. Eighty-four percent of the ducks were females. The species and sex composition of ducks found at dens during early and late sampling periods reflected the nesting chronology of prairie dabbling ducks. Occupied rearing dens were focal points of red fox travel, and the locations of dens may have had considerable influence on predation. Thirty-five of 38 dens found on the six township study areas were on pastured or idle lands. The distribution of rearing dens on the Sand Lake and Arrowwood national wildlife refuges suggested that, on these areas, fox dens were concentrated because of the topography and land-use practices.

  2. Cost-effectiveness of translocation options for a threatened waterbird.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Regan, Helen M; Viedma, Covadonga; Villuendas, Elena; Bartolomé, Miguel Angel; Gómez, Juan Antonio; Oro, Daniel

    2011-08-01

    Reintroduction of captive-reared animals has become increasingly popular in recent decades as a conservation technique, but little is known of how demographic factors affect the success of reintroductions. We believe whether the increase in population persistence associated with reintroduction is sufficient to warrant the cost of rearing and relocating individuals should be considered as well. We examined the trade-off between population persistence and financial cost of a reintroduction program for Crested Coots (Fulica cristata). This species was nearly extirpated from southern Europe due to unsustainable levels of hunting and reduction in amount and quality of habitat. We used a stochastic, stage-based, single-sex, metapopulation model with site-specific parameters to examine the demographic effects of releasing juveniles or adults in each population for a range of durations. We parameterized the model with data from an unsuccessful reintroduction program in which juvenile captive-bred Crested Coots were released between 2000 and 2009. Using economic data from the captive-breeding program, we also determined whether the strategy that maximized abundance coincided with the least expensive strategy. Releasing adults resulted in slightly larger final abundance than the release of nonreproductive juveniles. Both strategies were equally poor in achieving a viable metapopulation, but releasing adults was 2-4 times more expensive than releasing juveniles. To obtain a metapopulation that would be viable for 30 years, fecundity in the wild would need to increase to the values observed in captivity and juvenile survival would need to increase to almost unity. We suggest that the most likely way to increase these vital rates is by increasing habitat quality at release sites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. Variable effects of climate change on six species of North American birds.

    PubMed

    Torti, Vanessa M; Dunn, Peter O

    2005-09-01

    Many recent studies have shown that birds are advancing their laying date in response to long-term increases in spring temperatures. These studies have been conducted primarily in Europe and at local scales. If climate change is a large-scale phenomenon, then we should see responses at larger scales and in other regions. We examined the effects of long-term temperature change on the laying dates and clutch sizes of six ecologically diverse species of North American birds using 50 years of nest record data. As predicted, laying dates for most (four of six) species were earlier when spring temperatures were warmer. Over the long-term, laying dates advanced over time for two species (red-winged blackbirds, Agelaius phoeniceus and eastern bluebirds, Sialia sialis). Laying date of song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) also advanced with increasing temperature when the analysis was restricted to eastern populations. Neither laying date nor clutch sizes changed significantly over time in the remaining species (American coot, Fulica americana, killdeer, Charadrius vociferous, and American robin, Turdus migratorius), an unsurprising result given the lack of increase in temperatures over time at nest locations of these species. This study indicates that the relationship between climate change and breeding in birds is variable within and among species. In large-scale analyses of North American birds, four of seven species have shown advances in laying dates with increasing temperature (including song sparrows in the east). These variable responses within and among species highlight the need for more detailed studies across large spatial scales.

  5. Avian vacuolar myelinopathy linked to exotic aquatic plants and a novel cyanobacterial species.

    PubMed

    Wilde, Susan B; Murphy, Thomas M; Hope, Charlotte P; Habrun, Sarah K; Kempton, Jason; Birrenkott, Anna; Wiley, Faith; Bowerman, William W; Lewitus, Alan J

    2005-06-01

    Invasions of exotic species have created environmental havoc through competition and displacement of native plants and animals. The introduction of hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) into the United States in the 1960s has been detrimental to navigation, power generation, water intake, and water quality (McCann et al., 1996). Our field surveys and feeding studies have now implicated exotic hydrilla and associated epiphytic cyanobacterial species as a link to avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM), an emerging avian disease affecting herbivorous waterbirds and their avian predators. AVM, first reported in 1994, has caused the death of at least 100 bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) and thousands of American coots (Fulica americana) at 11 sites from Texas to North Carolina (Thomas et al., 1998; Rocke et al., 2002). Our working hypothesis is that the agent of this disease is an uncharacterized neurotoxin produced by a novel cyanobacterial epiphyte of the order Stigonematales. This undescribed species covers up to 95% of the surface area of leaves in reservoirs where bird deaths have occurred from the disease. In addition, this species is rare or not found on hydrilla collected at sites where AVM disease has not been diagnosed. Laboratory feeding trials and a sentinel bird study using naturally occurring blooms of cyanobacteria on hydrilla leaves and farm-raised mallard ducks (Anas platyrhynchos) induced the disease experimentally. Since 1994 AVM has been diagnosed in additional sites from Texas to North Carolina. Specific site characteristics that produce the disjunct distribution of AVM are unknown, but it is probable that the incidence of this disease will increase with the introduction of hydrilla and associated cyanobacterial species into additional ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.

  6. Organochlorine contamination in bird's eggs from the Danube Delta.

    PubMed

    Aurigi, S; Focardi, S; Hulea, D; Renzoni, A

    2000-07-01

    In this study we report the levels of organochlorine compounds in eggs of aquatic birds from the Danube Delta, a major European wetland. The eggs were collected in 1997 and belonged to the following species: the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), the greylag goose (Anser anser), the mute swan (Cygnus olor), the coot (Fulica atra), the glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), the spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), the little egret (Egretta garzetta), the night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), the grey heron (Ardea cinerea), the great white egret (Egretta alba), the red-necked grebe (Podiceps griseus), the Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), the Pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus) and the common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo). Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) levels were higher in eggs of the little egret, the great white egret, the cormorant and the Pygmy cormorant with respect to the other species (48,399, 13,613, 12,400 and 10,417 ng/g dry wt., respectively). Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) levels were lower than 1393 ng/g dry wt. in all species while polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in the Pygmy cormorant (2565 ng/g dry wt.) were higher than in the other species. The toxicity evaluation was based on 2,3,7,8-TCDD toxic equivalent factors (TEF) and non-ortho PCB congeners contributed much more than mono-ortho PCBs in most of species. A further aim of this study was to evaluate the possible differences of organochlorine levels in bird eggs collected in the same area in 1982 and in 1997; generally speaking the levels detected in the latter period were lower than those detected in the earlier one.

  7. ALTERNATE FOOD-CHAIN TRANSFER OF THE TOXIN LINKED TO AVIAN VACUOLAR MYELINOPATHY AND IMPLICATIONS FOR THE ENDANGERED FLORIDA SNAIL KITE (ROSTRHAMUS SOCIABILIS).

    PubMed

    Dodd, Shelley R; Haynie, Rebecca S; Williams, Susan M; Wilde, Susan B

    2016-04-28

    Avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) is a neurologic disease causing recurrent mortality of Bald Eagles ( Haliaeetus leucocephalus ) and American Coots ( Fulica americana ) at reservoirs and small impoundments in the southern US. Since 1994, AVM is considered the cause of death for over 170 Bald Eagles and thousands of American Coots and other species of wild birds. Previous studies link the disease to an uncharacterized toxin produced by a recently described cyanobacterium, Aetokthonos hydrillicola gen. et sp. nov. that grows epiphytically on submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). The toxin accumulates, likely in the gastrointestinal tract of waterbirds that consume SAV, and birds of prey are exposed when feeding on the moribund waterbirds. Aetokthonos hydrillicola has been identified in all reservoirs where AVM deaths have occurred and was identified growing abundantly on an exotic SAV hydrilla ( Hydrilla verticillata ) in Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) in central Florida. Toho supports a breeding population of a federally endangered raptor, the Florida Snail Kite ( Rostrhamus sociabilis ) and a dense infestation of an exotic herbivorous aquatic snail, the island applesnail ( Pomacea maculata ), a primary source of food for resident Snail Kites. We investigated the potential for transmission in a new food chain and, in laboratory feeding trials, confirmed that the AVM toxin was present in the hydrilla/A. hydrillicola matrix collected from Toho. Additionally, laboratory birds that were fed apple snails feeding on hydrilla/A. hydrillicola material from a confirmed AVM site displayed clinical signs (3/5), and all five developed brain lesions unique to AVM. This documentation of AVM toxin in central Florida and the demonstration of AVM toxin transfer through invertebrates indicate a significant risk to the already diminished population of endangered Snail Kites.

  8. Nesting ecology of waterbirds at Grays Lake, Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Austin, J.E.; Pyle, W.H.

    2004-01-01

    Montane wetlands provide valuable habitat for nesting waterfowl and other waterbirds in the western United States, but relatively little information is available about the nesting ecology of their waterbird communities. We describe the general nesting ecology of breeding waterbirds at a large, shallow montane wetland in southeast Idaho during 1997-2000. Habitats included upland grasslands and intermittently to semipermanently flooded wetland habitats. We located a total of 1207 nests of 23 bird species: eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (A. strepera), American wigeon (A. americana), green-winged teal (A. crecca), blue-winged teal (A. discors), cinnamon teal (A. cyanoptera), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), northern pintail (A. acuta), redhead (Aythya americana), canvasback (A. valisineria), lesser scaup (A. affinis), ruddy duck (Oxyuris jamaicensis), northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), American coot (Fulica americana), Virginia rail (Rallus limicola), greater sandhill crane (Grus canadensis tabida), American avocet (Recurvirostra americana), long-billed curlew (Numenius americanus), Wilsons snipe (Gallinago delicta), Wilsons phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor), and short-eared owl (Asio flammeus). Most nests were initiated in May-early June and were terminated (hatched or destroyed) by the third week of June. Mean daily survival rate (DSR) for Canada goose nests was 0.954 0.005 (SE) (n = 127 nests), equivalent to Mayfield nest success of 21%. Mean DSR for dabbling duck nests over all four years was 0.938 0.006 (n = 141), equivalent to Mayfield nest success of 11%. For all other species where we found >10 nests each year (eared grebe, redhead, canvasback, coot, sandhill crane, American avocet, and Wilsons snipe), >50% of nests found hatched at least one young. Success rates for geese, cranes, and ducks were lower than reported for Grays Lake during 1949-1951 and lower than most other wetlands in

  9. Wildlife in some areas of New Mexico and Texas accumulate elevated DDE residues, 1983

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    White, D.H.; Krynitsky, A.J.

    1986-01-01

    Over the last decade, data gathered by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Contaminant Biomonitoring Program have identified an area of elevated DDE contamination in portions of New Mexico and Texas. Extensive wildlife sampling in 1983 confirmed that DDE, the major metabolite of the insecticide DDT, was present at high concentrations in wildlife at selected sites in the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages. DDE in carcasses ranged up to 47 ppm (wet weight) in western kingbirds (Tyrannus verticalis), 35 ppm in house sparrows (Passer domesticus), 46 ppm in Brazilian free-tailed bats (Tadarida brasiliensis), and 104 ppm in whiptail lizards (Cnemidophorus spp.) DDE was also detected in gut contents from western kingbirds at some of the highest concentrations ever reported, ranging up to 21 ppm in proventricular samples. An average of 40% of the eggs of black-crowned night-herons (Nycticorax nycticorax) from two sites along the Pecos River in New Mexico had DDE levels ( gtoreq 8 ppm) that have been associated in other studies with impaired reproduction. In contrast, wintering mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and American coots (Fulica americana) from the study area did not accumulate elevated DDE levels. DDE in wildlife samples at control sites (non-agricultural areas) was either absent or averaged less than 0.35 ppm. Collectively, these data provide evidence that there is major DDE contamination of several vertebrate species in portions of the Rio Grande and Pecos River drainages, but whether the contamination is recent or residual was not determined. Apparently, the source was not DDE contamination present in dicofol (4-chloro-a-(4-chlorophenyl)-a- (trichloromethyl) benzenemethanol); neither dicofol nor its metabolite, p,p'-dichlorobenzophenone, were detected in wildlife carcasses (0.1 ppm detection limit) or proventricular contents (0.01 ppm detection limit) of western kingbirds.

  10. Attempts to identify the source of avian vacuolar myelinopathy for waterbirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Thomas, N.J.; Meteyer, C.U.; Quist, C.F.; Fischer, John R.; Augspurger, T.; Ward, S.E.

    2005-01-01

    Attempts were made to reproduce avian vacuolar myelinopathy (AVM) in a number of test animals in order to determine the source of the causative agent for birds and to find a suitable animal model for future studies. Submerged vegetation, plankton, invertebrates, forage fish, and sediments were collected from three lakes with ongoing outbreaks of AVM and fed to American coots (Fulica americana), mallard ducks and ducklings (Anas platyrhynchos), quail (Coturnix japonica), and laboratory mice either via gavage or ad libitum. Tissues from AVM-affected coots with brain lesions were fed to ducklings, kestrels (Falco sparverius), and American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). Two mallards that ingested one sample of Hydrilla verticillata along with any biotic or abiotic material associated with its external surface developed brain lesions consistent with AVM, although neither of the ducks had clinical signs of disease. Ingestion of numerous other samples of Hydrilla from the AVM affected lakes and a lake with no prior history of AVM, other materials (sediments, algae, fish, invertebrates, and water from affected lakes), or tissues from AVM-affected birds did not produce either clinical signs or brain lesions in any of the other test animals in our studies. These results suggest that waterbirds are most likely exposed to the causative agent of AVM while feeding on aquatic vegetation, but we do not believe the vegetation itself is the agent. We hypothesize that the causative agent of AVM might either be accumulated by aquatic vegetation, such as Hydrilla, or associated with biotic or abiotic material on its external surfaces. In support of that hypothesis, two coots that ingested Hydrilla sampled from a lake with an ongoing AVM outbreak in wild birds developed neurologic signs within 9 days (ataxia, limb weakness, and incoordination), and one of two coots that ingested Hydrilla collected from the same site 13 days later became sick and died within 38 days. None of these three

  11. Interactions of marine mammals and birds with offshore membrane enclosures for growing algae (OMEGA)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background OMEGA is an integrated aquatic system to produce biofuels, treat and recycle wastewater, capture CO2, and expand aquaculture production. This system includes floating photobioreactors (PBRs) that will cover hundreds of hectares in marine bays. To assess the interactions of marine mammals and birds with PBRs, 9 × 1.3 m flat panel and 9.5 × 0.2 m tubular PBRs were deployed in a harbor and monitored day and night from October 10, 2011 to Janurary 22, 2012 using infrared video. To observe interactions with pinnipeds, two trained sea lions (Zalophus californianus) and one trained harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) were observed and directed to interact with PBRs in tanks. To determine the forces required to puncture PBR plastic and the effects of weathering, Instron measurements were made with a sea otter (Enhydra lutris) tooth and bird beaks. Results A total of 1,445 interactions of marine mammals and birds with PBRs were observed in the 2,424 hours of video recorded. The 95 marine mammal interactions, 94 by sea otters and one by a sea lion had average durations of three minutes (max 44 min) and represented about 1% of total recording time. The 1,350 bird interactions, primarily coots (Fulica americana) and gulls (Larus occidentalis and L. californicus) had average durations of six minutes (max. 170) and represented 5% of recording time. Interactive behaviors were characterized as passive (feeding, walking, resting, grooming, and social activity) or proactive (biting, pecking, investigating, and unspecified manipulating). Mammal interactions were predominantly proactive, whereas birds were passive. All interactions occurred primarily during the day. Ninety-six percent of otter interactions occurred in winter, whereas 73% of bird interactions in fall, correlating to their abundance in the harbor. Trained pinnipeds followed most commands to bite, drag, and haul-out onto PBRs, made no overt undirected interactions with the PBRs, but showed avoidance

  12. Determining age and sex of American coots

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Knopf, Fritz L.

    1985-01-01

    Reliable techniques for age and sex determination of migrating and wintering American Coots (Fulica americana) have not been available. Breeding coots can be ages through age 3 by tarsal color (birds 4 years and older were placed in a 4+ age class) (Crawford 1978), and males and females have sex-specific behaviors and calls while on breeding territories (Gullion 1950, 1952). Externally, juvenile coots differ from adults in having gray (as opposed to white) bills and brown (as opposed to red) eyes to an age of 75 days (Gullion 1954-394). Bill color changes to white by about 120 days. No quantitative data have been available, however, on the proportion of juveniles retaining these traits throughout fall and early winter. Nonbreeding coots can be ages as juvenile or adult by internal examination of the thickness of the wall of the bursa of Fabricius, although bursal depth does not predictably decline with age (Fredrickson 1968). Attempts to sex coots by single external measurements of combinations of measurements have met with mixed success. Eight-five percent of 101 fall migrants in Wisconsin could be sexed by the length of the metatarsus-midtoe including claw by using 139.5 mm as a cutoff point (Burton 1959), whereas 88% of 67 coots in California were correctly sexed by the length of the metatarsus-midtoe without claw using 127.5 mm as the cutoff point (Gullion 1952). Two-hundred-thirty-two of 291 coots collected in Iowa, however, were in the zone of overlap between the sexes for this measurement (Fredrickson 1968). Previous studies attempting to develop aging and sexing techniques for American Coots have been limited to a few study sites or to 1 season or year, often failing to take geographical, annual, and seasonal morphological variation into account (e.g., Visser 1976, Fjeldsa 1977). We designed the present study to refine and quantify external and internal age and sex criteria for postbreeding coots, with the objective of defining techniques applicable for all

  13. Conservation of North American rallids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eddleman, William R.; Knopf, Fritz L.; Manley, Brooke; Reid, Frederic A.; Zembal, Richard

    1988-01-01

    The Rallidae are a diverse group in their habitat selection, yet most North American species occur in or near wetlands As a consequence, most species are subject to habitat enhancement or perturbation from waterfowl management programs. The overall effects of these management programs relative to rallid conservation have been assessed for few species, and there is a need for synthesis of such information. In the cases of some species or raves, population status is not known, and suggested directions for conservation and management are needed. Rare, endangered, or status undetermined species or races often occur in areas where related species are classified as game birds, and the effects of such hunting on rarer forms are not known. Their generally secretive nature, the endangered status of several races and populations, and continued loss of habitat and threats to present habitat, warrant an examination of the conservation status of the North American taxa in this group. In 1977, a committee of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies summarized available information on management and biology of American Coots (Fulica americana), rails, and gallinules in North America (Holliman 1977). That summary was intended to provide relatively complete information on conservation of these species, and also to provide guidance for research within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) Accelerated Research Program for Webless Migratory Shore and Upland Game Birds (ARP). Subsequently, a number of rallid studies were funded under this program. The program was eliminated in 1982, following substantial research activities on North American rallids. Since the demise of the ARP, additional research on rallids in North America has focused on an area the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies report failed to cover in detail--that of endangered rallids in the U.S. and their possessions. Most of these studies have been of threatened and endangered

  14. Selenium teratogenesis in natural populations of aquatic birds in central California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, D.J.; Ohlendorf, H.M.; Aldrich, T.W.

    1988-01-01

    The frequency and types of malformations are described that were encountered during the spring of 1983 in a natural population of aquatic birds exposed to agricultural drainwater ponds and food items containing high concentrations of selenium in central California. A total of 347 nests of aquatic birds containing 1,681 eggs was selected for study at Kesterson Reservoir located in the Kesterson National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Merced County, California. Embryos collected during incubation or from eggs that failed to hatch were examined to determine the age at death and presence of malformations. Embryonic death was generally high; approximately 17?60% of the nests of different species contained at least one dead embryo. The incidence of malformed embryos was also high; approximately 22?65% of the nests where at least two embryos were examined contained abnormal embryos. American coots (Fulica americana) and black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) experienced the highest incidence of malformed embryos. For all species, the average percentage of eggs containing dead or live abnormal embryos was 16.1 whereas the average percentage containing live abnormal embryos was 10.7. Multiple gross malformations of the eyes, brain, and feet were often present. Brain defects included hydrocephaly and exencephaly. Eye defects included both unilateral and bilateral anophthalmia and microphthalmia. Eye and foot defects with ectrodactyly and swollen joints were the most common in coots. Beak defects also occurred frequently and most often included incomplete development of the lower beak of ducks (Anas spp.) and stilts. Wing and leg defects were most prevalent in stilts and ducks, with ectromelia and amelia most prevalent in stilts. Other malformations occurring at lower frequencies included enlarged hearts with thin ventricular walls, liver hypopiasia, and gastroschisis. Based upon simultaneous examination of a control population of aquatic birds of the same species and published

  15. Role of selenium toxicity and oxidative stress in aquatic birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hoffman, D.J.

    2002-01-01

    Adverse effects of selenium (Se) in wild aquatic birds have been documented as a consequence of pollution of the aquatic environment by subsurface agricultural drainwater and other sources. These effects include mortality, impaired reproduction with teratogenesis, reduced growth, histopathological lesions and alterations in hepatic glutathione metabolism. A review is provided, relating adverse biological effects of Se in aquatic birds to altered glutathione metabolism and oxidative stress. Laboratory studies, mainly with an organic form of Se, selenomethionine, have revealed oxidative stress in different stages of the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) life cycle. As dietary and tissue concentrations of Se increase, increases in plasma and hepatic GSH peroxidase activities occur, followed by dose-dependent increases in the ratio of hepatic oxidized to reduced glutathione (GSSG:GSH) and ultimately hepatic lipid peroxidation measured as an increase in thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS). One or more of these oxidative effects were associated with teratogenesis (4.6 ppm wet weight Se in eggs), reduced growth in ducklings (15 ppm Se in liver), diminished immune function (5 ppm Se in liver) and histopathological lesions (29 ppm Se in liver) in adults. Manifestations of Serelated effects on glutathione metabolism were also apparent in field studies in seven species of aquatic birds. Reduced growth and possibly immune function but increased liver:body weight and hepatic GSSG:GSH ratios were apparent in American avocet (Recurvirostra americana) hatchlings from eggs containing 9 ppm Se. In blacknecked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), which contained somewhat lower Se concentrations, a decrease in hepatic GSH was apparent with few other effects. In adult American coots (Fulica americana), signs of Se toxicosis included emaciation, abnormal feather loss and histopathological lesions. Mean liver concentrations of 28 ppm Se (ww) in the coots were associated with elevated